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Leave voters prefer hard Irish border to staying in customs union, poll finds

By Caoimhe Toman

Date: Tuesday 19 Jun 2018

Leave voters prefer hard Irish border to staying in customs union, poll finds

(Sharecast News) - Two thirds of leave voters in the Brexit referendum prefer a hard Irish border to not leaving the customs union after the divorce.
According to a poll by Conservative Lord Ashcroft, six in ten leave voters would rather cut Northern Ireland loose if it means that the rest of the country can leave the EU. Only one third think it completely unacceptable for Northern Ireland to have a different status than the rest of the UK.

Over 9 of 10 unionists in Northern Ireland, and three out of four Conservatives in Britain believe that the border issue is "deliberately exaggerated by politicians and others to suit their own political agenda."

Writing in The Telegraph, Lord Ashcroft said that most British voters thought Brexit was taking too long with Leave voters blaming those who wanted a softer divorce.

"Given these views - impatience with the process, determination for the UK to operate an independent trade policy, and the suspicion that Brexit opponents are deliberately throwing up hurdles - it is not hard to imagine how Leave voters would react if told the UK would not be taking back as much control as they hoped because of the Irish border, an issue they believe is being blown out of proportion," he wrote.

Lord Ashcroft conducted separate polls with 3,294 voters in Britain, including among 1,666 people in Northern Ireland and 1,500 in the Republic. A majority of voters in Northern Ireland said Brexit had made the Irish unification a possibility in the foreseeable future, with almost half of the voters wanting a united Ireland.

In the Republic, only 35% of those canvassed said they would like to see a united Ireland in the next few years with 56% saying it would not be practical or affordable in the immediate future.


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