PRESS RELEASE: YouGov Brexit Poll: 2-to-1 support for EEA option with half of Leave camp supporting Norway-style relationship

  • YouGov poll finds 2-to-1 support for EEA Brexit option
  • Twice as many voters pro Norway style relationship with EU than against
  • Almost half of Leavers want Norway option to be considered despite recent claims to the contrary
  • Majority of UK voters would actively support Norway style relationship in immediate aftermath of vote to Leave
  • No clear mandate to reduce immigration at the cost of securing economic stability

A YouGov poll released this morning reveals that the majority of voters would support a Norway-style relationship with the European Union in the event of a vote to Leave, involving retaining freedom of movement and some EU regulations in exchange for full access to the single market.
The new poll, commissioned by the Adam Smith Institute, found that a majority (57%) of Britons believe that the government should consider a relationship with the EU similar to Norway’s, more than double the number opposed to it (24%). And it’s not just Remainers who support the strategy.
Contrary to recent claims that the EEA option would be a ‘betrayal’ of a vote to Leave, those who oppose the Norway model do not make up the majority (45%), and 42% of Leavers stated that they did in fact want the Norway option to be considered following a vote for Brexit.
More than half of all respondents (54%) said that they would actively support such a Norway-style agreement as a transitional arrangement for the five-to-ten years after a Brexit vote, more than twice the number who said they would oppose such an arrangement (25%).
Britons were evenly split on whether protecting free trade with the EU (41%) or reducing immigration (41%) should be the government’s first priority following a vote to Leave, with 18% unsure, showing that there is no clear mandate to reduce immigration at the cost of securing economic stability even in the event of Brexit.
Sam Bowman, Executive Director of the Adam Smith Institute, said:
"By a 2-to-1 margin, the majority of voters support the EEA Option if Britain leaves the EU as a transitional arrangement over five to ten years. This would mean keeping free moment of people in exchange for remaining in the single market, and would be a safe way to leave the EU that would avoid major economic risks or disruption.
“Voters are clear that the EEA Option should be on the table for a post-Brexit government, with even 42% of Leavers saying that the government should consider this option. Our data shows that voters prefer a safe, steady process of disengagement from the European Union compared to a short, sharp shock – even if that safer process meant keeping freedom of movement for up to ten years.
"People’s reasons for leaving the EU are varied and this polling rejects attempts by some commentators to frame the referendum as being about immigration alone. Many Leave voters care about sovereignty and ending Britain's membership of the EU’s common policies far more than they do about immigration. Whatever the result on June 23rd, we will be voting on membership of the European Union, nothing more and nothing less. To pretend that it is “actually” about this or that is simply wrong.”

Notes to editors:

*Survey of 1751 GB adults commissioned by the Adam Smith Institute and conducted by YouGov between 6th-8th June 2016.
The Adam Smith Institute is a free market, libertarian think tank based in London. It advocates classically liberal public policies to create a richer, freer world.
For further comments or to arrange an interview, contact Flora Laven-Morris, Head of Communications, at | 07584 778207.