EU vaccine row 'has caused a shift in Remainers' says expert
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Speaking to LBC, YouGov pollster Peter Kellner said how new polling figures from Bloomberg and other polls show “Brexit is now more popular than it has been at any point since the 2016 referendum”. His comments come as a survey of 2,002 people conducted by JL Partners for Bloomberg found 67 percent of respondents said the European Union has behaved in a “hostile” way towards Britain in the dispute over vaccine supplies. Mr Kellner added there has been a shift since the vaccine crisis in Britons’ view of the bloc but added the shift is not quite as massive as many expected.
Mr Kellner said: “What the pollsters agree on, they agree that in the last three months after five years of pretty much stability that very few Remainers or Leavers are changing their minds.
“But there has now been a shift.”
A mere 13 percent said the bloc had acted like an ally or a friend.
Mr Kellner added: “Brexit is now more popular than it has been at any point since the 2016 referendum.”
The pollster went on to highlight how “its clear to me and the Bloomberg pollsters that the row over vaccines and the performance of the vaccines have been responsible for the shift.”
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But Mr Ferrari asked the pollster really how significant these shifts are and whether these figures will grow or diminish.
The pollster replied: “Even now, even after these shifts other polling figures on other questions generally shift ten or 20 percent when something dramatic happens, this has been a shift of a few percent.
He stressed the shift “is significant, it’s real, it’s important but it’s not as massive as I think might have been expected” before adding that he suspected other issues other than the vaccine row will dominate the Brexit debate in years to come.
Earlier Nick Clegg told LBC in a shock admission: “I think the EU has let itself down, more importantly, it has let millions of Europeans down by not providing people with vaccines on the scale and with the speed that has been possible in the UK and elsewhere.”
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The pollster’s comments on the polling data come as Britains economy showed signs of a bounce-back towards the end of the first quarter of the year, figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) have shown.
A spokeswoman for the ONS said: “The economy showed some improvement in February after the large falls seen at the start of the year but remains around 8% below its pre-pandemic level.”
According to the ONS, the UK’s GDP grew by 0.4 percent in February after a 2.2 percent decline in January.
Although experts predicted a larger increase in GDP this month, they also revised down the drop in January from 2.9 percent to 2.2.
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Overall, however, the economy shrank by 10 percent last year which was the biggest slump recorded in three centuries.
Following Brexit, exports to the EU have also begun to recover to levels seen before the UK’s exit from the EU.
Construction and car producers also bounced back somewhat following a chaotic January.
In terms of exports to the EU, goods rose by 47 percent in February while imports were up by seven percent and comes as the EU has predicted a bounce back in the economy will not arrive until later this year.
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