British Future: Paving the Way for Post-Brexit Collaboration

In the wake of the seismic shift that Brexit brought forth, the landscape of the UK’s international alliances is undergoing a profound transformation. Recent revelations from a comprehensive study by the independent think tank British Future illuminate an intriguing divergence in public sentiment, signalling a marked preference among Britons for fostering closer collaboration with the European Union. This shift, captured in nuanced detail within the report, highlights statistical changes and serves as a barometer for the evolving attitudes in the post-Brexit era. The present study tends to delve into the layers of this transformation, exploring the implications, emerging sentiments, and potential ramifications as the UK navigates its alliances in pursuit of peace, prosperity, and security.


Britons Prefer the EU over the US

In a noteworthy shift since Brexit, a comprehensive study has revealed that nearly twice as many UK voters now prioritise a close relationship with the EU over ties with the US for peace, prosperity, and security. The independent think tank British Future’s latest report paints a nuanced picture of evolving attitudes, suggesting a less toxic and more pragmatic discourse surrounding Brexit. This shift is not merely a statistical change but an indicator of a broader transformation in public sentiment.

Labour Seeks Comprehensive Cooperation with the EU

The study indicates that attitudes towards the EU and British Future are experiencing a positive shift across various policy areas, paving the way for potential collaboration. The entire Brexit debate is described as less toxic and more pragmatic, creating what the authors term “space and permission” for a potential Labour government to foster closer links. This is particularly relevant in trade, security, and defence, where most of the public now expresses support.

Half of the Voters Choose the EU for Prosperity

According to the findings, 52% of the public now desires a closer relationship with the EU. In contrast, only 12% advocate for a more distant relationship, and 27% favour maintaining the status quo. The study delves deeper into the dynamics, asking respondents to rank relationships based on their importance for peace, prosperity, and stability. 48% of respondents prioritise the EU, surpassing the US (27%) and the Commonwealth (25%).

UK & EU’s Concerns Are Common

As concerns grow about the economic repercussions of Brexit, the study found that 61% of people now favour closer cooperation with the EU in trade and science. Additionally, 68% support enhanced collaboration on issues related to crime and terrorism, highlighting a growing recognition of the shared challenges that necessitate joint efforts.

Britons Are Tired of Brexit

The report sheds light on a notable shift in public sentiment against leaving the EU. Discussion groups identified a prevailing sense of public exhaustion with the prolonged Brexit issue, with a majority expressing a desire to move beyond the divisions of previous years. This sentiment is not limited to a specific demographic, with both 2016 Leave and Remain voters and supporters of both the Conservative and Labour parties expressing support for a less heated debate on the UK-EU relationship.

Voters Do Not Seek European Values

While the study notes that there is not strong evidence of people in the UK feeling inherently European or identifying with European values, there is a pragmatic openness to working more closely with the EU. The report suggests a less divisive and more updated ‘future relationship’ could be pursued, especially given the consistent support for a less heated debate across various age groups.

Britons Want to Be in the European Single Market

Sunder Katwala, director of British Future, acknowledges signs of a shifting mood and a willingness among the public to see closer collaboration with the EU. He points to positive responses to recent agreements, such as the Windsor Framework and the UK rejoining the EU science program Horizon. However, he acknowledges challenges for a future government, emphasising the need to consider issues like the single market, free movement, or a potential project to rejoin the EU.

Half of Britons Consider Brexit a Wrong Decision

The study also gauges public opinion on the decision to leave the EU, with 49% considering it wrong and 36% right, while 15% remain undecided. Based on a survey of over 2,000 people and discussion groups in London, Peterborough, and Stockport, the research highlights the nuanced evolution of public sentiments and the potential for a more cooperative future between the UK and the EU.

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