As we near the end of the Brexit transition period, an Ipsos MORI poll looking at the future of Britain’s relationship with the European Union finds just under half of Britons (49%) believe that Britain is a force for good in the world, down 10 points since April 2019 by Ipsos MORI for King’s College London and UK in a Changing Europe.
The research also shows that while 41% of Britons say we should punch above our weight in world affairs (little change from last year), 38% believe that Britain should stop pretending it is an important power in the world (up five points). Despite this, the public are still more likely to say that Britain should increase its influence around the world than reduce it (by 36% to 16%; 35% believe it should stay as it is).
There is still a divide between those who voted Leave and those who voted Remain in the EU Referendum in 2016.
Europe remains Britain’s most important relationship according to four in ten of public, with double the number of people choosing Europe over either the Commonwealth or the United States (each chosen by two in ten). However, even though four in five think maintaining a close relationship with the European Union is important despite Brexit, only 39% of people now think that is likely, down 13 points since April 2019.
The top priority for Britain’s relationship with the EU is striking a trade agreement with 40% of people choosing it as one of their top priorities. The next most popular – all picked by around one in four – were working with the EU to prevent and detect crime and terrorism, working with the EU to coordinate our COVID-19 response and working with the EU to reduce illegal immigration into Britain. Immigration is the top priority for Leave voters (mentioned by 43%), while trade (47%), co-ordinating the response to COVID-19 and protecting the environment (both 30%) are relatively more important to Remainers.