A survey of more than 3,000 personal investors in the UK by The Share Centre suggests that while up to a third would be happy to leave with no deal, a majority would vote to remain if it came to a second referendum on the basis of the withdrawal agreement currently on the table.
The survey responses, gathered in December when the withdrawal agreement was first meant to be put to a vote in Parliament - but which was delayed until January, when it was rejected, and then rejected again this past week - pointed to:
- Over a third (37%) of personal investors said the UK should leave with no deal;
- 23% felt there should be a second referendum;
- Almost one in five (19%) believed the UK should seek to renegotiate;
- A further 19% felt the UK should revoke Article 50.
Critically, however, the survey found that 54% would vote to remain in the EU in a second referendum, if the alternative was to leave on the terms agreed thus far between the UK government and the EU27.
"This more than reverses the 51/49 split in favour of leaving the EU, which this group of respondents indicated was how they voted in the original 2016 referendum," The Share Centre noted.
Thus far, members of the UK Parliament have rejected the government's propopsed withdrawal agreement twice. This week they have voted against leaving with no deal, and have voted in favour of a delay, which prime minister Theresa May would have to seek in the form of an extention to Article 50 from the EU27. Still on the table, then are a number of outcomes, including "no deal at a later date, a further vote on the PM's deal, another referendum, a general election and no Brexit," The Share Centre noted.
Richard Stone, chief executive of The Share Centre, said: "It is clear personal investors don't support the current deal that has been negotiated by the prime minister. When faced with the alternatives perhaps surprisingly, personal investors favour leaving with no deal. The one thing investors clearly do not want is another general election (3%)."
"The latest results from our customer base survey clearly show if presented with a straight second Leave or Remain referendum, with Leave being based on the deal as negotiated, then a majority of personal investors would vote to Remain. This highlights the risk of ‘no Brexit' which has been emphasised by the prime minister and lays at the heart of the dilemma facing Brexiteers in Parliament. Doing so may make a second referendum more likely, 23% of personal investors would favour that, and if that does happen a vote to Remain looks the likely outcome."