Only 5% of Northern Ireland voters trust UK to handle trade disputes – POLITICO


Almost half of Northern Ireland voters trust the European Union to represent their post-Brexit interests – and almost none of them trust the UK government to do so.

That’s a stark finding from a new opinion poll released on Wednesday by Queen’s University Belfast, which has tracked public sentiment since Northern Ireland’s new trade rules were put in place at the start of 2021. .

The survey of 1,497 people by LucidTalk pollsters, drawn from a cross-community panel providing results within a margin of error of 2.3 percentage points, asked people to rate who they trust to representing the interests of Northern Ireland as the UK and EU move towards making these trade rules work.

Top Trusted Brands Went to Northern Ireland business community with 60% support. The spirit of compromise Alliance Party came second with 50%, while the region’s other staunchly pro-EU party, the moderate Irish nationalists of Social Democratic and Labor Partymanaged 47 percent confidence.

This is linked to the European Commission, while the Irish government – which worked closely with EU partners to keep the island of Ireland free of trade barriers after Northern Ireland left the EU with the rest of the UK – attracted 45% confidence.

By contrast, the two players pushing to unravel the UK-EU protocol treaty governing Northern Ireland’s post-Brexit trade landscape – the UK government and the Democratic Unionists – scored the worst.

A bottom 5% of those polled said they trusted British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government to manage the protocol for the benefit of Northern Ireland. The DUP only attracted 25% confidence.

The results mirror the results of May’s election for the Northern Ireland Assembly, when pro-protocol parties increased their majority and Irish nationalists Sinn Féin overtook the DUP for the first time.

The DUP has since exercised its veto as the largest unionist party to block any revival of the Stormont legislature and a power-sharing government operated jointly with Sinn Féin. The British government is citing the obstruction of the Democratic Unionists to justify its threat to cancel its trade deal with the EU via the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill.

Many locals have expressed fears that if the bill passes, Northern Ireland will lose its key advantage of a barrier-free trade protocol with the rest of Ireland and the wider EU. When polled, 55% said this market access was proving positive for Northern Ireland’s economy, higher than in previous polls.




Politico

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