Monday 20 September 2021 12:01 am

New poll: 53 per cent of UK thinks Brexit deal has 'created more problems than it solved'

More than half the UK believes Boris Johnson’s Brexit Withdrawal Agreement “has created more problems than it [has] solved”, according to new polling.

The survey by Opinium on behalf of Best for Britain, an anti-Brexit think tank, found just 15 per cent of people think it has done the opposite.

The survey also found that around half of the UK “are aware of more negative consequences” for businesses, while 13 per cent said they had seen positive consequences.

It comes as lorry driver shortages, which have been blamed on the dual issues of Covid and Brexit, are beginning to bite across the UK.

They have begun to cripple supply chains in some industries and been partly blamed on supermarket shortages.

The cross-party UK Trade and Business Commission – consisting of MPs and business leaders – has called for new grants for businesses affected by Brexit disruption, digital checks for food exporters and a streamlining of visa processes.

Hilary Benn, Labour MP and parliamentary co-convenor of the commission, said:  “The evidence we’ve heard from dozens of experts and businesses confirms that this deal is broken, and will continue to create problems in our supply chain and cost jobs and money in the UK.”

It comes as Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey said in his conference speech yesterday that his party needed to ruthlessly target southern Tory seats in the next election.

Davey said many voters in these Remain voting areas “just don’t feel that Boris Johnson represents them, or shares their values”. 

He added that ministers had “ignored all the warnings” about the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement and UK-EU trade deal.

The Liberal Democrats’ trade spokesperson Sarah Olney claimed the Brexit deal has “led to huge delays at our ports and risks fuelling another winter of discontent”.

“We need urgent action in order to get to grips with the situation, put an end to food shortages, and rebuild valuable trading links with our European partners,” she said.

A government spokesperson said: “Last year, we secured one of the biggest and broadest trade deals in the world, worth £660bn and the only zero tariffs Free Trade Agreement the EU has ever agreed. Our deal gives us full control over our laws, meaning that UK businesses and citizens can succeed as we reform and do things better. 

“We have already begun to take full advantage of these opportunities by establishing our own points-based immigration system, making our own regulations, and forging new trade deals around the world.  

“As we build back better from the pandemic, we will go further and faster by launching plans to create a competitive, high-standards regulatory environment which supports innovation and growth across the UK.”

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