Brits 'keener on single market access than full immigration control', Brexit poll shows

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Public opinion has shifted in favour of securing access to the European single market after Brexit rather than full control over immigration, an exclusive poll reveals today.

Asked to choose which should be the priority in negotiations, 49 per cent preferred keeping access to the single market of 500 million European consumers. 

Only 41 per cent said they would put control over immigration first, found Ipsos MORI researchers.

The lead suggests there would be support for Brexit Secretary David Davis if he can secure a trade deal that avoids a hard Brexit, despite evidence that the public want to see a fall in immigration levels.

The two goals are seen by many experts as incompatible because membership of the single market would require the free movement of workers between the EU and the UK. 

The findings show a clear shift since January when the country was split down the middle on the choice, with 44 per cent prioritising the single market and 42 per cent immigration control. However, immigration control is still seen as “very important” or “essential” by more than six in 10 people.

A clear majority of Londoners, young people, professional people and graduates say access to Europe’s trade club should be prioritised ahead of immigration by Mr Davis. But among older Britons, working-class people and those without qualifications, immigration is key.

Only 29 per cent of people are confident Jeremy Corbyn could get a good deal in Brexit talks, the survey revealed — while 67 per cent think he would probably fai.

Some 36 per cent think Theresa May could succeed, while 60 per cent think she too would fall short.

Gideon Skinner, head of political research at Ipsos MORI, said: “Public opinion is still a long way from being united over people’s top priority.  Meeting public expectations isn’t going to be easy.”

 Ipsos MORI interviewed 1,071 adults across GB by phone between July 14 and 18. Data are weighted. More details at

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