If you’re curious what the new year has in store for Britons, all you need to do is look at the latest opinion surveys to realise the mood on Brexit is souring.
The latest survey by Ipsos MORI shows a majority if Britons believing the government is doing a bad job at handling the exit from the European Union. And this even before it triggered Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty that marks the official start of the withdrawal process.
Looking at the main Brexiteers — Prime Minister Theresa May’s pro-Brexit lieutenants — they fare badly in the eyes of the public. Around 55% of respondents said Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson is doing a bad job at handling Brexit, while 39% think Brexit Secretary David Davies is also doing a bad job.
The silver lining for the Prime Minister is that 51% of respondents (still) believe she is doing a good job herself.
This survey was carried out among a representative sample of 1,003 adults in Britain between December 9 and 12.
Another survey, this time among chief financial officers at companies active in the UK, shows they are gloomy. In fact, only Greek CFOs are less optimistic than the ones in Britain, according to the latest Global Business Outlook Survey.
The survey showed the Optimism Index — the level of confidence that finance directors in Britain feel as they prepare for 2017 — at 49.9 (on a scale of 100), down from 62.3 at the same time last year.
Investment is predicted to fall by 6.3% in Britain whereas in France, usually more pessimistic than the UK, it is expected to rise by 4.9%, according to a statement detailing the results of the survey.
The Global Business Outlook was carried out among almost 1,000 senior finance executives and it ended on December 2.
Both these surveys, one among ordinary people, the other among company executives, show that the optimism displayed by Leave supporters immediately after the vote is unfounded. The negative consequences of the vote are unfolding slowly, but surely.