Poll finds large majority bored with hearing about Brexit and unimpressed by politicians
Peter Walker Political correspondent
The depth of British anxiety over Brexit has been revealed by research showing that more than six in 10 people believe the ongoing uncertainty is bad for mental health.
A poll of 2,004 people carried out late last week by the research company Britain Thinks found that a significant majority of the public are bored and confused by the Brexit process and have very little trust in politicians to sort it out.
It found that 83% of people were sick of seeing Brexit on the news every day, 64% believed the attendant anxiety was bad for people’s mental health, and more than two-thirds felt Brexit became more confusing the more they heard about it.
Asked whether or not they agreed with the statement “I’m not impressed with what either the Conservative party or the Labour party have been doing on Brexit”, 84% of respondents concurred. Seventy per cent said a general election “would not resolve anything”.
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There was greater division on the way forward: 39% said the UK should cancel Brexit and 46% backed a departure with no deal. Almost three years on from the EU referendum, 30% of people said they still firmly backed Brexit and 34% were equally strongly against the idea.
When asked to choose which out of more than a dozen politicians and institutions they would consider most likely to deliver a good outcome on Brexit, “none of these” was the clear winner on 28%. Theresa May was next, on 16%, ahead of Jeremy Corbyn on 9% and Boris Johnson on 5%.
The findings are not overly cheering for the prime minister but are even less so for Corbyn. While 51% of people said May seemed concerned more with party politics than the national interest, 70% said the same of the Labour leader.
Focus groups conducted as part of the research uncovered some grudging admiration for May’s endless efforts over Brexit. One participant said: “You can admire her suffering such ritual humiliation – it’s almost superhuman.”
But most of all, they found a weary hope that it would all end soon. Another said: “The advantage of leaving on Friday would have been not having to hear about it any more. I don’t mean that in a flippant way. It would be lovely to turn the TV on and not have to hear about it and move