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Britons keen to maintain free trade after Brexit

Staff Writer |
New research suggests the electorate's view on Britain's exit from the European Union has changed little since the vote nine months ago.

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A survey conducted by NatCen and political journalist John Curtice showed that 88% of people are in favour of maintaining free trade with Europe, but 68% said EU immigrants should receive the same treatment as non-EU migrants.

UK prime minister Theresa May has indicated the government's intention to pursue a so-called "Hard Brexit", whereby the country will leave the single market operated by the EU.

Only 3% of respondents to the survey said that they were against the idea of Britain retaining free trade with the EU post-Brexit. Other characteristics of a "Soft Brexit" such as EU regulations on phone charges and bank passporting were supported by a majority of those surveyed.

The survey found that 70% were in favour of reducing the rights of British emigrants to the same level as those from outside the EU, but only 37% were happy with the loss of free healthcare for British tourists abroad.

The figures released were largely similar to a previous survey conducted by NatCen in autumn of 2016, showing a consistency in attitudes towards Brexit throughout a turbulent political period.

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