Four in 10 Britons worried, angry about Brexit: survey

Pro-Brexit supporters shout at an anti-Brexit supporter opposite the Houses of Parliament in London on March 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
Updated 22 March 2019

Four in 10 Britons worried, angry about Brexit: survey

  • In a 2016 referendum, 52 percent voted in favor of leaving  the European Union
  • People who voted to Remain were reporting three times the level of anxiety of Leave supporters

LONDON: Around four in 10 British adults have been left feeling powerless, angry or worried by Brexit in the last year, according to a poll out Friday.
The Mental Health Foundation (MHF) charity commissioned the survey to look at the impact of Britain’s impending departure from the European Union on how people feel, their sleep and their relationships.
The poll found that Brexit had made 43 percent feel powerless, 39 percent feel angry and 38 percent feel worried.
Some 26 percent said Brexit had not caused them to feel any particular emotions in the last 12 months.
But 17 percent said it had caused them “high levels of stress,” while 12 percent reported that it had caused them sleeping problems.
Some said Brexit had made them feel hopeful (nine percent), happy (three percent) or confident (two percent).
In the 2016 referendum on Britain’s EU membership, 52 percent voted in favor of leaving while 48 percent backed remaining in the bloc.
MHF chief executive Mark Rowland told AFP that people who voted Remain were reporting three times the level of anxiety of Leave supporters.
“But in relation to powerlessness, you actually see that the differences between Remain voters and Leave voters are very equal,” he said.
“So everyone across the political spectrum is feeling like their ability to control what happens is very small.”
Geographically, he added, “the closer you get to London, the more concerned people are. Despite the fact that probably the impact of Brexit is going to be less on metropolitan areas.”
The terms of Brexit are yet to be decided, with Britain due to leave the European Union in seven days’ time unless an extension is agreed between London and Brussels.
The MHF charity, founded in 1949, aims to help people understand, protect and sustain their mental health.
Rowland reflected on the small percentage saying they were losing sleep over Brexit.
“Most people are actually able to get on with their lives and separate their concern about Brexit from their own personal and emotional response,” he said.
Pollsters YouGov conducted the online survey of 1,823 British adults between March 12 and 13.


Suspected extremists kill 10 Mali soldiers: security source

Updated 8 min 57 sec ago

Suspected extremists kill 10 Mali soldiers: security source

  • Malian source said a camp in Guire town was attacked
  • A local resident said he heard gunfire in the area

BAMAKO, Mali: At least 10 Malian soldiers died Sunday in an attack by suspected jihadists in the center of the African country, a security source told AFP.

“There are at least 10 dead soliders,” the Malian source said. “Yes our camp at Guire was attacked on Sunday about five in the morning.”

“The terrorists came out of the forest. They were on motorcycles and pick-up trucks. They burnt vehicles and took away others,” said the source, who asked not to be named.

The Mali armed forces confirmed the attack on Twitter and said reinforcements were being sent to the Nara sector, about 370 kilometers north of the capital Bamako.

A local resident contacted by AFP said there was heavy gunfire and the military “were taken by surprise” in the attack.

“I saw two terrorists put their motorcycles in an army vehicle and drive off with it,” he said.

On Saturday a UN peacekeeper was killed and four others wounded when a mine exploded as their convoy passed through central Mali, the latest in continued violence.

The UN mission was established in Mali after radical militias seized the north of the country in 2012 before being pushed back by French troops in 2013.

A peace agreement signed in 2015 by the Bamako government and armed groups was aimed at restoring stability. But the accord has failed to stop the violence.

The latest attacks come as President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita pursued consultations to pick a new prime minister — two days after the previous one, Soumeylou Boubeye Maiga, resigned with his entire cabinet, under fire from the ruling and opposition parties for failing to clamp down on the unrest.