Ahead of Brexit Anniversary, Most U.K. Voters Say Plan Turned Out Badly

More than 60 percent of British voters say Brexit has either "gone badly" or "worse than expected" a year after the United Kingdom withdrew from the European Union, according to a new poll.

The poll was conducted ahead of the anniversary by the research agency Opinium for The Observer. The survey found that 42 percent of people who voted to "Leave" the E.U. in 2016 now have a negative view of how Brexit has turned out.

Of those with a negative opinion, 26 percent of respondents said the plan has gone worse than they had expected, and 16 percent said they had expected it to go badly and the results proved they were right.

On the anniversary of Brexit, most U.K. voters say the plan has not turned out well, according to a new poll. In this photo, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson outlines his government's negotiating stance with the European Union after Brexit at the Old Naval College on February 3, 2020, in London. Frank Augstein/WPA Pool/Getty

The U.K. originally voted to leave the E.U. in 2016 and officially exited the trading bloc on January 31, 2020. The two sides had an agreement, though, to continue functioning much as it had before what popularly became known as "Brexit" until December 31, 2020. During the time, a new trade deal was worked out between the U.K. and the E.U.

On January 1, 2021, the separation was more complete, and the U.K. could then negotiate its own deals with other countries. Border crossings were also no longer as open as they were before the end of the transition period.

Among those who voted "Remain" during the 2016 vote, 86 percent said Brexit went badly or worse than they expected.

Just 14 percent of all voters said Brexit had gone better than they had expected it to go.

"For most of the Brexit process any time you'd ask a question that could be boiled down to 'is Brexit good or bad?' you'd have all of the Remainers saying 'bad' and all of the Leavers saying 'good' and these would cancel each other out," Adam Drummond of Opinium told The Observer.

He continued, "Now what we're seeing is a significant minority of Leavers saying that things are going badly or at least worse than they expected. While 59 percent of Remain voters said, 'I expected it to go badly and think it has,' only 17 percent of Leave voters said, 'I expected it to go well and think it has.'"

Drummond added that "instead of two uniformly opposing blocs, the Remain bloc are still mostly united on Brexit being bad while the Leave bloc are a bit more split."

On January 1, another controversial trade rule goes into effect at U.K. borders. At that time, full customs checks will be applied to goods being exported from the E.U. to the U.K. Critics argue this move could cause issues for exporters at the border and thus further affect already disrupted supply chains in the U.K.