53% of British people now think Brexit is going badly, poll says, after empty shelves and fuel shortages hit the UK

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53% of British people now think Brexit is going badly, poll says, after empty shelves and fuel shortages hit the UK
Sealed petrol and diesel pumps at a fuel station in London. Richard Baker / In Pictures via Getty Images
  • Most British people think Brexit is going badly, according to a YouGov poll.
  • Sentiment towards Brexit has worsened in recent months, the poll said.
  • Some commentators have suggested shortages in fuel and other goods are due to Brexit.

A majority of British people think Brexit is going badly, a poll has suggested, after a summer of supply-chain issues making life difficult for many in the UK.

The YouGov poll, conducted and published on Wednesday, is the first to suggest a majority of Brits believe Brexit is going badly since the polling company started asking in January, the end of a transition period after the UK left the EU.

Its backdrop was rolling supply-chain issues that have seen empty shelves in some supermarkets and widespread shortages at gas stations.

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Some commentators have blamed the issues on Brexit, but the rest of Europe is also facing a shortage in truck drivers, the BBC noted.

YouGov surveyed 6,546 adults from Great Britain. It found that 18% of those polled thought Brexit has been going well since the start of the year.

The previous poll, conducted on June 21, suggested only 38% of British people thought Brexit is going badly.

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The intervening months have seen supply chain issues exacerbated by the effects of the pandemic, as supermarkets and fuel suppliers struggle with a shortage of truck drivers, often called heavy goods vehicle (HGV) drivers in the UK.

The shortage of HGV drivers has not been helped by Brexit making it harder for European drivers to transport goods in the UK.

But the shortage is mainly driven by the pandemic limiting HGV driver training, changes to tax rules, and shifts in the economy as former drivers find new jobs, the BBC reported.

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None of the YouGov polls survey people from Northern Ireland, which is suffering from serious supply-chain failures in supermarkets as a result of the Northern Ireland protocol.

Northern Ireland continues to follow EU rules on product standards to avoid checks on the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland, but this has led to customs checks on some products from England, Scotland, and Wales.

Unionist parties, which support the relationship between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK, have called for the reform of the Northern Ireland protocol.

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