Push Polling? Brexit is what worries UK workers most, says study

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UK workers are more inclined to see the terms of leaving the European Union (EU) as the main factor that could cause further job losses over the next 10 to 15 years, according to a RSA/Populus survey published on Tuesday.

The concern with Brexit (34%) is even greater than those impacted by technology (27%).

Other factors of concern are: the exit of companies from the UK to other countries (12%) and a possible new financial crisis (10%).

At the same time, FRN is aware of the ‘push polling’ phenomenon. This encompasses a number of ways in which polling data are used to create opinions about issues, more than reflect existing ones. In short, questions may be posed a particular way, which compels certain answers. Headlines then fail to represent the framing of questions, and in fact often frame the question differently in media, but then give the statistical breakdown of the answers as if the question itself is being accurately reported on.

Furthermore, polling in recent years has proven to be increasingly politicized, and less than accurate. This was famously seen in the 2016 US presidential race, when the West’s most respected and well regarded polling agencies appear to have skewed their methodology, or reported vaguely on the questions posed themselves, to show Clinton leading polls by considerable margins. Her campaign ended in a landslide defeat.

By way of a referendum in 2016, the UK population decided to leave the EU. Negotiations between Brussels and London are already underway and the date of the UK’s final exit from the European bloc is March 29, 2019.

With just a few months remaining, negotiators worry that this could mean the departure of large companies such as BMW and Airbus, which would mean the loss of thousands of jobs.

Meanwhile, UK Prime Minister Theresa May lamented the decision of Brexit Secretary David Davis to resign.

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On Sunday, the media brought to the public’s attention on Davis’ resignation due to disagreements with Theresa May about future customs agreements with the European Union.

“I’m sorry that you have chosen to leave the government when we have already made so much progress towards delivering a smooth and successful Brexit when we are only eight months from the date established in the law for the UK to leave the European Union,” May said in a letter to Davis obtained by The Guardian newspaper.

She also thanked Davis for “everything” he has done in the past two years as Secretary of State to shape our exit from the EU.”

“I regret that the government does not benefit from its ongoing expertise and advice as we secure this agreement and complete the process of leaving the EU,” May added.

Earlier in July, May said his cabinet had struck a deal based on the UK’s ties to the European Union after Brexit. A document outlining its position should be published later this week.

The document, she said, would propose a free trade zone between the EU and the United Kingdom for industrial and agricultural products as well as a common customs territory, putting the cabinet on a collision course with parts of Brexit’s defenders from within the conservative group in power.

The UK government was previously inclined to establish a full customs union regime with the bloc without any exceptions and with the application of World Trade Organization tariffs.

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