Last week’s poll: future relationship with the EU

As debate continues over how the UK should leave the European Union and what future relationship it should have, we once again ask our readers their opinion

As the clock continues to run down on negotiations over the UK’s future relationship with the EU, the country seems as divided as ever, and although many are now weary of it, this is still the biggest political event facing the country. Moreover, it is one of greatest importance to the manufacturing and engineering sectors, as changes over the past decades have made them ever more reliant on global supply chains and just-in-time delivery of components. We would like to know once again how Engineer readers see the current most likely options for the UK’s relationship with the European Union in future years.

Yesterday, Sky News published the results of a poll of 1466 customers, weighted to the profile of the population, which found that 50 per cent of respondents would support a second leave-remain referendum and 40 per cent would oppose this. The same poll said that 78 per cent of respondents thought the government was doing a bad job of negotiating Brexit, and 52 per cent thought Brexit would be bad for the economy.

Although it now seems very unlikely that the UK will not leave the European Union and its institutions, we must offer that as an option. However, on the Leave side of the equation, the options have become so fractured it is no longer practical to just say “Leave”. Should we leave under the terms of the agreement thrashed out at Chequers, despite it being the cause of much fallout and the resignations of two of the leading Brexit supporters in the Cabinet? Should we leave and trade in the future under the terms of the World Trade Organisation – the practical conclusion of what is commonly referred to as “No Deal”? Should we only leave if terms can be agreed that would be based upon the EU’s trading relationship with Canada or the European Free Trade Area? This last option might require some explanation of what its supporters envisage would happen if no such agreement can be made.

We think that these are the most likely options available to the UK, even though some of them are not currently being discussed by the government or even the opposition. If readers have any ideas what other options might exist, they should feel free to mention them in the discussion section. As always, we urge all commenters to read our guidelines on the content of comments and remind everyone that feedback is always moderated.

We will publish the results of this poll on 7 August.