Britain has taken “huge strides” in taking advantage of the opportunities opened up by Brexit to address the challenges facing the country, Rishi Sunak has said.
In a statement to mark the third anniversary on Tuesday of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, the Prime Minister said the country is confidently forging a new path as an “independent nation”.
He pointed to the opening of eight new freeports, plans to review or abolish EU red tape and the overhaul of the regime for business subsidies among the benefits of the break with Brussels.
However his upbeat analysis contrasted with recent polling suggesting growing unhappiness with the way Brexit has turned out.
In his statement, Mr Sunak said: “In the three years since leaving the EU, we’ve made huge strides in harnessing the freedoms unlocked by Brexit to tackle generational challenges.
“Whether leading Europe’s fastest vaccine rollout, striking trade deals with over 70 countries or taking back control of our borders, we’ve forged a path as an independent nation with confidence.
“And in my first 100 days as Prime Minister, that momentum hasn’t slowed – we’re cutting red tape for businesses, levelling up through our freeports, and designing our own, fairer farming system to protect the British countryside.
“This is just the beginning of our plans to deliver on our five priorities, including growing the economy so we can create better paid jobs, and I’m determined to ensure the benefits of Brexit continue to empower communities and businesses right across the country.”
A poll published by Ipsos on Monday found 45% thought Brexit was going worse than they expected, up sharply from 28% in June 2021, including just over one in four (26%) of those who voted Leave in the 2016 referendum.
Fewer than one in 10 (9%) – down six points on 2021 – said it was working out better than expected, while nearly two in five (39%) said it was meeting their expectations, a seven-point drop.