Our last monthly survey found about a quarter of respondents supporting Theresa May’s Chequers Plan. In the wake of her rebuff at Salzburg this week, backing for it has dropped to well under a tenth. Our panel has clearly given up almost altogether on the belief that it is practical or negotiable.
Add it to the nine per cent who back an EEA option, plus the five per cent who want to postpone Brexit altogether, and one reaches 21 per cent. It’s striking that our last pre-EU referendum survey found Remain support at 22 per cent. We suspect that much the same people backed that option then who now support either Chequers, joining the EEA or scrapping Brexit now.
The Canadian option has the most support of any option at over two in five respondents. Over a third want the Prime Minister to walk out of the talks altogether. That proportion may be boosted by this week’s deadlock but backing for it is clearly substantial. Under one per cent express no view at all.
May’s statement yesterday looked tactical rather than strategic – a means of knocking the Chequers ball back into the EU’s court. There is no sign that the EU wants to knock it back. Our panel may not like the way in which the Prime Minister has been treated, but that doesn’t mean they back the plan to which she is sticking (at least publicly). Party conference and the run-up to it still look sticky for her today.