By John Ensor •
Published: 01 Feb 2024 • 12:54
Four years on, has Brexit fulfilled its promises? The moment the United Kingdom officially parted ways with the European Union at 11:00 pm on January 31 2020 marked a new chapter in its history.
The move to leave the EU surprised many after a close run battle, in which Brexiteers won by a narrow margin of 52 per cent to 48 per cent in 2016, revealing a nation deeply divided.
Four years on and the differences are still passionately debated, encompassing a broad range of economic, social, and political discussions.
An Ipsos poll conducted for the Evening Standard reveals a stark verdict: 57 per cent of Britons view Brexit as a failure, with a mere 13 per cent believing it to be a success.
The dissatisfaction is more pronounced among younger adults, Londoners, and graduates, indicating a generational and geographical divide in opinions.
For instance, 70 per cent of 18 to 34-year-olds and 67 per cent of Londoners consider Brexit a failure, underscoring the wide-ranging disillusionment with its outcomes.
The promise of Brexit was to take back control, enhance the NHS with an additional £350 million a week, secure a lucrative trade deal with America, and usher in a prosperous future.
However, the reality has been different for many. The UK’s economy which has been affected not just by Brexit but also by the Covid pandemic and the war in Ukraine, has seen 70 per cent of citizens acknowledging a negative impact.
In response to the Evening Standard’s survey one anonymous reply read: ‘Bit unfair don’t you think? Firstly we always knew we would suffer a bit in the short, or even medium term. We voted for a better long term future for our children and grandchildren and our country.
‘So while in that post Brexit confusion, that starting to reset things time, covid threw twenty spanner’s and a £400 billion bill into the works. Then (ras) Putin threw another by going to war.
‘We now have another war with Gaza, North Korea and China playing up and everyone focused on immigration.
‘I don’t find it at all surprising that we haven’t yet been able to start sorting the post Brexit position. Ok, it’s been 4 years, but 4 years of complete turmoil.’
One person pointed out the bitter arguments and accusations of lies in the Brexit campaign leading up to the referendum: ‘”We voted for a better long term future for our children and grandchildren and our country.” Based on lies, as our children and grandchildren know.’
According to the survey, 54 per cent of the population believes Brexit has diminished Britain’s standing on the global stage, adding to the sentiment of lost opportunities.
Despite widespread criticism, some voices, like former Brexit Secretary Sir David Davis who famously resigned under Theresa May’s leadership, argued that Brexit has yielded positive outcomes, although he admitted it could have been done better.
In an interview on GB News, Davis highlighted the false predictions by remainers compared to the post-Brexit realities. . .’we were told, you’re going to have a million more unemployed. Oh no, actually 150,000 fewer unemployed.’
He also commented on the growth in exports, suggesting a brighter picture than critics admit. Referring to UK exports to Europe, ‘they’ve grown by 14 per cent. . . service exports have gone up by 17 per cent, an all-time record.’
He added: ‘Actually, we’re doing better than Germany, Italy and France. On the all the things that most of the opponents were talking about, we were right, they were wrong.’
Responding to the GBN interview one person agreed with Davis’ comments: ‘He’s right, it could have been better. It would have been better if the Government had given it 100 per cent, instead it allowed the naysayers to clutch on to any possible impediment.’
The discourse on Brexit remains as divided as the referendum itself, with a significant portion of the populace expressing regret or dissatisfaction.
Yet, there are those who maintain optimism about the long-term benefits, advocating patience and highlighting early signs of success despite challenges.
As Britain navigates its post-Brexit journey, the debate continues, reflecting a nation still grappling with the consequences of its monumental decision.
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Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina.
He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.
Wrong title heading here and a biased interview with only a politician who has a pro Brexit stance. Firstly, it is neither a success or setback as the heading suggests, it is absolute abject failure and a huge loss in monetary terms for each member of the public to the tune of £3,200 pa. Secondly, we cannot even get trade deals with the likes of Canada, the US and India that are as good as what the EU had. The lies told by Farage and Johnson have all been found out now. We have not only lost our standing in the world but have lost any clout we had as a full member of the EU. More major companies are now choosing to be listed on other stock markets in the world and no longer ours. We have shot ourselves in the foot. The only people to benefit from Brexit are wealthy investors and those with offshore funds who wisely invested funds outside of the UK . I recall William Rees-Mogg who advise exactly that and I did it too. Following the NI protocol arrangement recently, food labelling in the UK will now have to state on all packaging that it is not for export to the EU which we will all have to pay for in extra food pricing. If we ever complained about bureaucracy of the EU our situation is even worse now. Illegal migration has worsened since Brexit because being outside of the EU we can no longer return those people back to France. Take back control has meant more illegal migration, madness in the handling of it, a huge loss to us all and unnecessary loss of life. I would rejoin the EU if they would have us, but then we are a fickle divided, prejudiced country that the likes of The Mail and Sun papers like to perpetuate this, and for which politicians use to their own political advantage.
Great comment and correct in every way.
David Davis seems to think 150,000 more unemployed is a good deal for Brexit. I would ask him to look at all the things that were promised by the Brexiteers and see how many of those came true
The problem with Brexit is Brexit. What they promised, never existed. It really was the idiots choice. Fact….
Thank god I don’t live in the uk anymore.
BREXIT WAS THE BEST THING THE UK EVER DID. The fact it has not delivered certain promises is disappointing but then again the UK government made absolutely NO ATTEMPT to make Brexit work. The UK LOVED THE EU because they did all the work and all the Brit usless MPs did was execute the dictats. I truly laugh when I read in the EWN comments from the sour puss remainers, they are angry because it made their little lives more complicated. I have spent years reading about the EU and it is not a pleasant happy organisation. Led by ENELECTED LEADERS who really do and say as they want. Britain is better of the dispicable organisation and just have to try harder to make connections elsewhere but the Tory goverment were absolutely usless at running the UK there was noway they could make trade deals etc wioth non EU countries because they never really tried. And the mention of Canada, run by the dispicable Justin Trudeau, a truly evil useless PM of any country. It was maybe a good thing the UK did no deals with this absolute scumbag, Trudeau takes his orders from the WEF like quite a few leaders in Europe. With their fake virusis, Farm issues. British people voted out of the EU and so did I and I live in sunny Spain.
Whichever part of the political spectrum.
The one thing the Brexit debate proved is that politicians,newspapers do not tell the truth.
Perhaps that is why trust in politics ,whichever party is at an all time low and newspaper circulation is also at an all time low.
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