Almost one-third of farmers would have been happy to leave the European Union with Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal, new research by Farmers Weekly has found.
For the latest Farmers Weekly Sentiment Tracker, farmers were asked in the week before the scheduled Brexit deadline (23 to 31 October) what they would prefer to happen now.
Although there was no clear majority, 32% of farmers indicated that they would rather leave the EU on 31 October under the terms of Mr Johnson’s Brexit deal.
The second most popular decision was to leave with no deal (17%), meaning almost half of farmers (49%) still wished to leave the EU.
Some 12% said they wanted a second referendum and 11% would like to revoke Article 50, which would stop Brexit.
Brexit fatigue was high, with 16% saying they “don’t care and have had enough”.
Just 5% said they wanted an extension to the withdrawal date, which was the eventual outcome. The EU has now extended the withdrawal date to 31 January, 2020.
General election ‘blues’
In addition, there appears to be little appetite among farmers for a general election. This is despite subsequent confirmation that the country will go to the polls on 12 December.
The latest findings were compiled from 168 farmers who responded to the tracker in the week leading up to the 31 October exit date.
The prime minister failed to fast-track his Withdrawal Agreement Bill (WAB) through parliament last week, ending his hope of Brexit on 31 October. The government lost a crunch vote in parliament by 322 to 308 after opposition MPs scuppered the plans.
Mr Johnson previously said the UK would be leaving the EU on 31 October “come what may” and that he would rather be “dead in a ditch” than agree to any further Brexit delay.
Meanwhile, a separate Farmers Weekly poll suggests the majority of readers will vote Conservative in the election