In the run-up to the two-year anniversary of the EU Referendum, Change Britain commissioned BMG Research to poll the public on whether they agreed, or disagreed, with the following statement:

The Government should get on with implementing the result of the referendum to take Britain out of the EU and in doing so take back control of our borders, laws, money and trade

Almost one third of Remain voters agree with the statement…

A key message from the EU Referendum, now slightly adapted for the current context, the results show that around half of British adults (50%) either agree, or strongly agree with the statement, whilst just 20% say that they disagree or strongly disagree. Some 30% of Britons say neither, or that they don’t know.

Unsurprisingly, Remain voters were some of the least likely to agree, with just 29% saying that they agreed with the statement compared with 37% who disagreed. A third (34%) said neither or they didn’t know. This is compared with almost nine in ten Leave voters (86%) who agree with the statement, with just 4% saying they disagree (10% say neither/DK).

Interestingly, slightly more Labour voters say that they agree with the statement, than those who disagree with it. With 37% saying they agree, or strongly agree; and 33% saying that they disagree or strongly disagree (31% say neither/DK).

The results suggest that the notion of ‘taking back control’, with specific reference to immigration and laws, is still appealing, and perhaps taps into a sense of urgency on the issue. Even Remain voters who don’t necessary support the merits of the case for leaving the EU can find something to agree with about this statement as they may well be fatigued on Brexit. Getting it done now, rather than the debate dragging out even longer, may be appealing even to the most ardent Remain supporters.

Readers can interact with the data themselves by using the chart below.

How the results should be interpreted…

Although the poll suggests that most people agree with the statement, it should not be used as evidence for how people feel about Britain’s membership of the EU. Clearly the question wording is not presented in an objective and neutral way, but instead a subjective way with a lean towards one particular perspective. As for most statement-based questions. Respondents will understand that as they read the question.

What it does mean is that the results should be used principally for analysis of key sub-groups and definitely not out of the specific context of the question. In this instance examining the responses by Leave voters and Remain voters. It is interesting that almost one third of Remain voters agree with the statement, and it is interesting that more than one third of Labour voters agree also. But, it should only be used to illustrate how messages like these resonate with the British public in conjunction with previous EU Referendum voting behaviour.

Our conclusion is that the simplicity of the message and references to the control of legislation and immigration still offers a powerful and engaging argument for most voters, even though we are almost 2-years out from the referendum.

Methodology, fieldwork dates, and a full breakdown of these results can be found here.

For a more detailed breakdown of results from this poll, or any other results from our polling series, please get in touch by email or phone.


0121 333 6006

Michael Turner – Research Director & Head of Polling

Robert Struthers – Senior Research Executive – Polling