Theresa May’s Chequers plan for Brexit has suffered a fresh blow after a new poll found that twice as many voters preferred a Canada-style free trade deal instead.
The poll conducted for HuffPost UK by BMG Research found that the free trade option was backed by 22% of the public, compared to just 11% who favoured the PM’s proposal to keep the UK aligned with some EU rules.
The Canada-style deal would allow the UK to curb EU migration, while freeing the country from Brussels’ trade and regulatory framework.
Backed by Tory Cabinet ministers and backbenchers, it is being pushed by several campaign groups as the best alternative to a ‘no deal’ Brexit.
The BMG survey found that the Canada model was the most popular (22%) of a list of Brexit proposals for those who expressed a preference.
A total of 19% would back a ‘no deal’ Brexit, 16% would opt to Remain in the EU with curbs on trade deals with other countries, and only 11% supported a ‘Norway-style’ option that would allow unrestricted EU migration.
Just 11% back the Chequers deal, which seeks to create a UK-EU free trade zone and common rule book for goods, with greater regulatory freedom for services. One in five voters were ‘don’t knows’.
Among Tory voters, 31% support the Canada option, 26% no deal and 20% Chequers. Among Labour voters, just 5% support the May plan, 18% would back the Canada model and 25% would stay in the EU on current terms.
Even among those of all parties who voted Remain in 2016, only 10% back Chequers, 21% back the Canada model and 32% backed staying in the EU.
WHAT IS THE CANADA-PLUS OPTION?
Canada agreed a free trade deal with the EU in 2016, after seven years of talks
It removes most trade tariffs on goods and allows Canadian firms ‘preferential access’ to EU markets without having to sign up to all EU…