According to a representative group of 50 UK citizens, the UK public would rather remain in the single market than leave the European Union without a deal.
The Citizens’ Assembly, which consists of more leave than remain voters, voted on Brexit options, as part of an initiative backed by campaigners from both sides of the EU referendum. The group met over two weekends in September and early October 2017, and heard from academic experts on trade and immigration, as well as reading briefing papers. Following this, they expressed a preference for a bespoke trade and customs deal. If this is not possible, they believe that the UK should remain in the single market.
Dr Alan Renwick, the Director of the Citizens’ Assembly project, said: “We have recently heard increasing talk of a ‘no deal’ Brexit, but when voters heard the arguments and facts on all sides they viewed remaining in the single market and the customs union as preferable to simply walking away without a deal. By a clear margin, the representative group of citizens felt that, on balance, keeping these ties would be better for the country. I hope politicians from across the spectrum will reflect on the Citizens’ Assembly’s conclusions. Members heard from a wide array of experts and thought long and hard before reaching their conclusions. This is the first opportunity to hear in detail what the public really want as the UK departs from the EU.”