What Britons Want

What Britons Want

Later today, the House of Commons is expected to hold yet another Brexit vote, this time on all or part of Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit plan. We'll spare you the details for now, because today we're looking at a more basic question: what do the British people actually want?


In the coming weeks and months, politicians on all sides of this political dilemma will continue to invoke public opinion in support of their positions. But what do the people of the UK really think?

Not surprisingly, they're unhappy with their elected leaders. A new YouGov poll finds that only 26 percent of the British public has a positive view of Prime Minister Theresa May, and just 18 percent have a favorable opinion of Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn. These are the lowest scores either party leader has ever registered.

What about Brexit itself? A moving average of the six most recent polls to gauge public attitudes toward Brexit finds that, once people with "no opinion" are excluded, 54 percent would rather see the UK remain in the European Union, while 46 percent prefer leaving..

In part, that's because 86 percent of those who voted "remain" in the 2016 referendum would still vote the same way, while just 82 percent of those who voted for Brexit say they'd do so again.

More importantly, among those who did not vote in 2016, more than twice as many say they would vote to keep the UK in the EU if another vote were held today.

Will that matter in what happens next? Not unless there's a second referendum, which still seems unlikely. And even if there is a second referendum, a second campaign might change minds yet again.

But amid another wave of speeches about the will of the people, this is yet another reminder that what politicians say the people want and what those people actually want are often two different things.

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The Taliban’s never-ending crisis

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In late December, now former NYC Mayor Bill De Blasio announced the city would start offering gift cards, free roller coaster rides on Coney Island and trips to the Statue of Liberty to those who get their shots. And it’s not just the Big Apple.

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January 6 laid bare "the deep divisions, the partisan infighting, the polarization within our society," says Fiona Hill, the former US senior director of the National Security Council. In a GZERO World interview, she spoke with Ian Bremmer about her concerns about the state of democracy in the United States.

Hill famously testified against her impeached boss, Donald Trump, who stayed in power after being acquitted by the Senate of abuse of power and obstructing Congress. She also notes that divisions actually make America look weaker on the global stage — particularly to someone like Russia’s president Vladimir Putin.

Watch this episode of GZERO World: American strife: Will US democracy survive? Fiona Hill explains post-Jan 6 stakes

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