Analysing The Political Economy

Britons Think UK Will Come Out Worse In Trade War With EU

The government appears to be creating problems in order to show they can solve them – and so it is with the ongoing battle of their own making – Brexit. A trade war looms as a result.

The prospect of a trade war between the UK and EU was unthinkable a couple of years ago but is now looking increasingly likely as the government suggests it may unilaterally scrap parts of its own Brexit arrangements it made with the EU.

The arrangements had allowed Northern Ireland to remain in the EU single market for goods, but treated goods arriving in Northern Ireland from mainland Britain as though coming from a foreign country. Should Britain tear up the rules, the EU could impose tariffs on UK goods or even terminate the entire Brexit deal and a trade war would likely get under way.

A YouGov Eurotrack survey found that, in all seven countries surveyed, people believed that the UK would come off worse in a UK-EU trade war.

As for Britons, 49% believe the UK will come worse-off, compared to 25% who think both sides would be equally hit, and just 11% who think the EU would be most negatively impacted.

The Spanish are the most convinced that the UK would lose (58%), while Italians are the least (35%) convinced.

Only 15% of those polled say the EU would be hit harder.

Within the UK, the vast majority of Labour and Remain voters (76% of each group) think that the UK would suffer more than a trade war with the EU.

By contrast, Conservative and Leave voters tend to think that both sides would be equally badly damaged in a trade war with the EU (40% of the former and 36% of the latter). One in five (20-21%) think that the EU would be more negatively affected than the UK, while marginally more think the UK would be bruised more than the EU (25-27%).



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