Tue, 26 October 2021

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By David Lidington and Stephen Hammond MP
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British public more bothered about sorting Brexit than keeping Northern Ireland in the UK, poll finds

British public more bothered about sorting Brexit than keeping Northern Ireland in the UK, poll finds
2 min read

A majority of Britons would not mind if Northern Ireland left the UK so long as they got their preferred Brexit outcome, a new poll has found.

A fresh study by YouGov finds that four in ten mainland Brits (41%) say they "don't care very much or at all" about the fate of Northern Ireland, despite months of wrangling over its fate after the UK leaves the EU.

An identical figure of 41% meanwhile say they "wouldn’t be bothered if Northern Ireland left the UK", although a further 41% said they "would be upset if it broke away".

Given the choice, 58% of those asked said they would choose their preferred outcome on Brexit to Northern Ireland staying in the Union.

Just 18% of those polled chose Northern Ireland staying in the UK over their Brexit option.

The figures are similar regardless of where voters sit on the Leave-Remain divide.

More than half (58%) of 2016 Remain voters said they would rather have their way on Brexit than maintain the Union, while just under two-thirds (64%) of Leave voters said the same.

The figures come despite just one in seven Brits telling the polling firm that they had never met someone from Northern Ireland.

A major row over the fate of Northern Ireland has dominated Brexit talks between Britain and the European Union in recent months, with Boris Johnson staking his premiership on ditching the so-called 'backstop' arrangement negotiated by his predecessor Theresa May.

The pro-union DUP ditched its support for Mr Johnson after it warned that his renegotiated agreement would damage Northern Ireland's economy and "undermine the integrity of the Union".

YouGov spoke to 1,641 adults in Great Britain between October 23-24 for its survey.

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