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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 20 August 2018

Poll suggests backing for UK anti-Islam party

British public reject premier’s Brexit plan and seek answers beyond the mainstream

Further problems loom on the horizon for UK Prime Minister Theresa May as a poll has found that 65 per cent of voters think her Brexit plan will result in a bad deal. Reuters 
Further problems loom on the horizon for UK Prime Minister Theresa May as a poll has found that 65 per cent of voters think her Brexit plan will result in a bad deal. Reuters 

A quarter of British voters would consider backing a new far-right anti-Islam party, according to a poll on Sunday, in a sign of voters shifting to the extremes of politics amid discontent over the government’s Brexit strategy.

After a chaotic two weeks that have seen senior ministers quit her government and rebellions from both wings of the ruling party, premier Theresa May faces further pressure after a poll for The Sunday Times showed that the public was also deeply opposed to her strategy.

The public believes that Boris Johnson – the former foreign secretary who quit a fortnight ago – is better placed to lead his party and negotiations with Brussels with time running out on securing a deal, according to the YouGov poll.

The newspaper reported that 34 per cent of voters believed Mr Johnson would negotiate Brexit well compared to only 16 per cent for Mrs May.

The poll of 1,668 adults carried out last week found that 24 per cent of voters would back a party on the political far-right committed to “opposing Islamism and immigration and supporting Brexit”.

It comes as former Trump adviser Steve Bannon and pro-Brexit campaigner Nigel Farage discuss plans to form a new right-wing movement to take advantage of the government’s problems.

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The poll also showed that the UK remained divided on the merits of leaving the European Union with 50 per cent voting to remain in the EU in any new referendum. In the 2016 referendum, 52 per cent voted to leave the EU and 48 per cent to remain.

Mrs May’s Brexit plan was thrashed out at a stormy Cabinet meeting earlier this month but has faced opposition from her party, the opposition and with senior negotiators for the European Union in Brussels. She only narrowly won a series of votes on Brexit in parliament last week.

Dominic Raab, the new Brexit Secretary after his predecessor quit two weeks ago, said he was still seeking to persuade all members of the Cabinet that Mrs May’s plan was the best one to “get the best deal”.

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