A majority of Leave voters (50%) over the age of 65 think that Brexit is still worth it even if they or their relatives become jobless as a result of the UK's split from the EU, a poll published on Tuesday 1 August revealed. The YouGov survey, of more than 4,900 people between between 12 and 19 July, also found just 25% of 18-24 year-old Leave voters thought a break from Brussels would be worth it if they became unemployed.
The research comes months after iconic former Prime Minister Tony Blair warned against "Brexit at any cost" in February. MPs have since backed triggering Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, while Theresa May's cabinet have clashed over a potential transition deal between the EU and the UK. The move could see Britain stay in the customs union and single market until 2022, three years after the UK officially splits from the EU.
YouGov said more than six in ten (61%) of Leave voters said that they think "significant damage to the British economy [is] a price worth paying for bringing Britain out of the European Union".
The study also found that so called "Brexit extremism" is not restricted to Leave voters, with a "significant minority" of Remain voters (34%) happy for the economy to suffer should it mean that Brexit was averted.
"As with Leave voters, fewer Remain voters were willing to put their own or their families' jobs on the line to get their way on Brexit. If it cost themselves or members of their family their job, close to one in five Remain voters (18%) believe that would be a price worth paying to remain in the European Union – 61% do not," YouGov said.
Lord William Hague, meanwhile, is the latest Conservative grandee to weigh into the cabinet row over a transitional deal with the EU. Hague said Chancellor Philip Hammond should be given "credit" for calling for the UK to remain in the customs union and single market until 2022.
"What is quite obviously needed is an approach that cuts through all of these problems simultaneously; that reduces the need for rushed legislation, reassures the business world and commands wide support across Parliament. Is it possible to do that? Yes, and the Chancellor, Philip Hammond, deserves great credit for putting forward such an approach," he wrote in The Telegraph.
"He has evidently been trying persuade his Cabinet colleagues that we should be seeking to stay in the EU single market and customs union during a transition and 'implementation' phase that lasts to 2022, followed by a free trade deal with our former partners after that.
"This is seen by longstanding advocates of leaving as a 'soft' position or a climbdown. But in reality it is a plan to rescue Brexit from an approaching disaster."
But International Trade Secretary Liam Fox has reportedly said that the Cabinet has not agreed on a transitional deal, as the two-year-long talks between Brexit Secretary David Davis and the EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier continue.