Voters say protection of trade with UK should be priority

Trading relationship seen as more important than preservation of common travel area or keeping relations with North unchanged

Middle-class voters and farmers were more inclined to emphasise trade than working-class voters, and both of those groups were least concerned about the common travel area

Middle-class voters and farmers were more inclined to emphasise trade than working-class voters, and both of those groups were least concerned about the common travel area

 

The protection of trade between Ireland and the UK should be the priority for the Government in the forthcoming Brexit negotiations, according to the latest Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI poll.

People rated the future trading relationship between the two countries as being far more important than the preservation of the common travel area or keeping relations with Northern Ireland unchanged.

Asked which of three key issues should be the priority for this country in the negotiations, 56 per cent said trade between Ireland and the UK; 29 per cent said keeping relations with Northern Ireland unchanged; just 11 per cent said the preservation of the common travel area; and 4 per cent had no opinion.

In party political terms there was little difference between the major parties, with Fianna Fáil voters putting marginally more emphasis on trade than Fine Gael and Sinn Féin voters.

Labour and Independent voters were least concerned about trade, and placed more emphasis on keeping relations with the North unchanged.

Supporters

The preservation of the common travel area was third on the list for supporters of all parties, well behind trade and Northern Ireland.

Middle-class voters and farmers were more inclined to emphasise trade than working-class voters, and both of those groups were least concerned about the common travel area.

Voters diverged on Northern Ireland, with the best-off AB voters giving it a higher priority than any other group, and farmers giving it a lower priority than others.

Young people were significantly more concerned about trade than people over 65, while pensioners were more concerned about Northern Ireland than any other age group.

The survey was conducted last Monday and Tuesday among a representative sample of 1,200 voters aged 18 and over in face-to-face interviews at 100 sampling points in all constituencies. The margin of error is plus or minus 2.8 per cent.