Brexit betrayal: Leave voters turn against UK government over broken promises on borders and economy

Nigel Farage led the Brexit campaign and now Leave voters have turned against UK government system after failure to deliver promises on immigration and the economy (AFP via Getty Images)
Nigel Farage led the Brexit campaign and now Leave voters have turned against UK government system after failure to deliver promises on immigration and the economy (AFP via Getty Images)

Leave voters have turned against politicians after their immigration and economic hopes from Brexit were dashed, an authoritative new study has revealed.

It was published as a new interactive map for The Standard showed how the Tories could lose a string of seats in London, with one poll showing their number of constituencies could drop from 21 to just four.

The annual survey of British Social Attitudes found the percentage of Leave voters who said they almost never trust governments to prioritise the needs of the country has risen from 25 per cent in 2020, a figure which reflected an increase in trust among this group following Brexit, to 48 per cent in the latest survey.

Moreover, 60 per cent of Leave voters said they almost never trust politicians to tell the truth when in a “tight corner”, an increase of 17 points since 2020, while 76 per cent said the system of government needs “quite a lot or a great deal” of improvement, according to the survey by the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen).

Polling expert Sir John Curtice, Professor of Politics at Strathclyde University, told BBC radio: “If we go back to the Brexit stalemate of 2019, at that stage we were recording what at that point were record low levels of trust and confidence.

“But the resolution of Brexit, at least for those who had voted for it, actually did quite a lot of good in terms of restoring their trust and confidence in Britain.

“It seemed...finally we could make a decision to Leave the European Union.

“However, Brexit of course has not necessarily turned out as everybody hoped, it’s certainly the evidence of our survey is that not just voters in general, but Leave voters in particular now saying that actually we think immigration has gone up as a result of Leaving the European Union, which is not what many of them expected, they are inclined to believe our economy is now worse off than better off.

“That section of Leave support in particular have just basically gone back to being extremely doubtful about our politicians and about our system of government.

“So, therefore once again Leave voters are as sceptical as Remain voters about where we stand as a country so far as their politics is concerned.”

Brexiteers won over many voters by pledging to take back control of Britain’s borders, but more than 10,000 asylum seekers and economic migrants have already crossed the Channel in “small boats” so far this year, with record legal migration in 2022.

The 2019 election was fought on the issue of Brexit and Nigel Farage, one of its champions, is now Reform UK leader and standing to be MP for Clacton.

Boris Johnson won an overall majority in 2019 with his “get Brexit done” slogan.

The UK left the EU at the end of January 2020 and, after further negotiations, splintered away from the Single market and Customs Union at the end of that year.

The British economy has been hit by the Covid pandemic and Putin’s war in Ukraine.

But Brexit is also blamed for damaging the economy, including by putting up trade barriers with Britain’s biggest trading partner, the EU.

The Government has failed to deliver on free trade deals, much trumpeted by Brexiteers, with America and India.