Majority of Britons doubt Boris Johnson can get good deal with EU: poll

Boris Johnson

LONDON – An opinion poll released in London on Monday found that 58 percent of people in Britain don’t believe Prime Minister Boris Johnson can get a good deal with the European Union (EU).

The majority of people also think the British government has failed to prepare for a no-deal outcome, according to the poll by Ipsos MORI.

The poll results came as Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove started talks in Brussels with European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic to discuss the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement.

Negotiating teams from both sides, led by Britain’s chief negotiator David Frost and the EU’s Michel Barnier, will start on Tuesday the ninth round of formal negotiations on the future partnership. The talks will continue until Friday.

Both sides are hoping for a breakthrough on a number of disputed issues, mainly over fishing rights in the waters off the British Isles as well as government support for industry.

A mid-October deadline has been set for the two sides to reach an agreement that can be put before the EU’s 27 member states. If no deal is struck by then, Britain will trade with the EU on WTO terms.

In the Ipsos MORI poll, just 26 percent of respondents think the British government has prepared well for the possibility that talks will fail to reach any deal by Dec 31, while almost two thirds think ministers have done a bad job.

Gideon Skinner, head of political research at Ipsos MORI, said: “Britons are still pretty pessimistic about the prospects of getting a good deal from the Brexit negotiations, and the preparations for a no-deal if we don’t.”