People pessimistic about the UK and think it will start breaking up in the next year or so, new research shows
Most people in Britain think that the UK will start to break up in the next year or so, according to an extensive new report by research group BritainThinks.
The company carried out a poll of more than 2,000 people and a series of focus groups and found that people were generally pessimistic about the direction the UK was heading in and said it would break up in the near future.
With ‘don’t knows’ removed, 59% thought that Scotland would vote to become an independent country “in the next year or so”.
Fewer than a third of those polled believed that the UK would be a better place to live in 10 years. BritainThinks found that “the prevailing feelings toward
the UK are apprehension, concern, disappointment and anger.”
One of the six focus groups, held before the Omicron surge, were held in Wales.
“For me this is apprehension or uncertainty. It’s making plans and then finding a month down the line that you can’t do that now and things have changed, things that are out of my control,” said one member of the Welsh focus group.
“COVID is a still a big part of that uncertainty, there are rumours of another lockdown coming.”
Another said: ““I think we’re rapidly losing our sense of community, including national, regional and local communities… it’s going to take a long time to come back together.”
The report also identified “real frustration about the economic impacts of Brexit, even from some of those who voted Leave”.
“Now we’re out [of the EU], we haven’t been out a year and we’re already struggling,” one person from Wales said. “We’re not producing enough commodities to support ourselves without going to others for help.”
Raphael Malek, research director at BritainThinks, said that the report showed that there was little confidence in the government’s ability to steer the country through its current challenges.
“After a surge in optimism in the summer as lockdowns lifted, the public mood has turned bleak again — almost back to the depths we saw in late 2020,” he said.
“There is still considerable uncertainty about the pandemic (even prior to the news of the Omicron variant), increasing worry about the cost of living and deep concern about the pressures facing the NHS.”
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