Two-thirds of Britons want UK to request Brexit extension to focus on pandemic

A handout photo made available by No10 Downing street shows Britain's Prime Minister, Boris Johnson chairing the morning Covid-19 Meeting after self isolating after testing positive for the Coronavirus in n10 Downing street in London, Britain. EPA-EFE/ANDREW PARSONS/DOWNING STREET HANDOUT

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Two-thirds of people in the UK want the government to request an extension to the Brexit transition period in order to focus on the coronavirus outbreak, a new opinion poll indicates.

The poll of over 2,000 adults revealed such an extension was supported by all age groups, social grades and UK regions, and also had relatively high support among Conservative and Brexit Party voters.

The Focaldata poll was commissioned by cross-party campaign groups Best for Britain and Hope Not Hate.

The call for an extension to the transition period has been echoed by numerous bodies and pressure groups, including the Scottish and Welsh governments.

Two-thirds of respondents (64 per cent) said they agreed with the statement: “The government should request an extension to the transition period in order to focus properly on the coronavirus.” However, just a third (36 per cent) agreed with the statement: “The Brexit transition period must end on 31 December whether a deal has been fixed or not.”

An extension was supported by more than 50 per cent of people across all age groups, with 18-24 year olds the most supportive (78 per cent) and 65-plus year olds the least supportive (although still 52 per cent) – meaning there is no generational divide in the country over an extension request.

The Focaldata poll also indicated most people would like the government to seek membership of the EU Early Warning and Response System (EWRS) for medical emergencies, after it emerged earlier this month the Department of Health had been unsuccessful in lobbying No 10 to remain a member.

Read more via The Independent

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