Most Brits regret Brexit – poll

Just one in ten respondents to a survey conducted three years after the UK left the EU said they were better off financially

Most UK residents now believe Brexit has been bad for the economy, according to an Opinium poll conducted to mark the third anniversary of the country’s departure from the EU and published on Saturday.  

A slight majority (54%) of survey respondents found Brexit had negatively impacted the UK economy as a whole, while a dismal 13% thought its outcome had been good.  

A similar percentage (53%) thought Brexit had hurt the UK’s ability to control immigration, while even more (57%) saw an undesirable effect on their country’s ability to import European goods. Nearly two in three respondents (63%) believed leaving the EU was contributing to inflation and the cost-of-living crisis, compared to just 8% who thought they were getting a better deal in the shops post-Brexit. 

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More gloom ahead for UK economy – study

More than a third (35%) of those polled believed exiting the bloc had negatively impacted their own financial situation, with just one in ten reporting it had helped them financially.  

The effect on salaries and wages was viewed unfavorably by 40%, with just 11% saying they saw a benefit, while nearly half (47%) saw an unfavorable impact on the National Health Service, compared to just 9% who thought things had improved.  

Public discontent at how Brexit has been handled by the government continues, with perceived failings even in areas previously seen as a potential benefit from leaving the EU,” Opinium head of policy and public affairs James Crouch told The Guardian. However, he said, “Brexit is likely to be a secondary issue at the next election compared to the state of the economy and the NHS, which are the clear priority for voters.” 

While the UK voted to leave the EU in 2016 by a four-point margin, with 52% in favor of the move, it did not actually exit until January 2020 – two months before the government’s decision to shut down the economy and lock down the population in response to the Covid-19 pandemic plunged the country into its worst recession since record-keeping by the Office for National Statistics began in 1955.  

After a failed attempt at a Brexit deal led to then-Prime Minister Theresa May’s resignation in 2019, the separation was finally achieved under the direction of her successor Boris Johnson, who led his Conservative party to victory in their biggest election win since the Thatcher years based on his promise to “Get Brexit Done.”   

Current PM Rishi Sunak, who served as chancellor under Johnson, also touted the economic benefits of leaving the EU, calling it a “once-in-a-generation opportunity for our country to take back control of its destiny.

NATO state warns of unnamed anti-Semitic threat

Norway will deploy armed police to counter unspecified threats to Jewish targets

Norwegian police officers will be temporarily armed during New Year’s weekend due to an unspecified “threat” to “Jewish and Israeli targets,” as well as Christian churches, the country’s law enforcement agency announced on Sunday.

Citing a threat assessment by Norway’s Police Security Service, the country’s national police force said that “the threat to Jewish and Israeli targets has intensified in Norway.”

While “there are no concrete threats against Norway,” the decision was still made to increase the number of armed officers on the streets throughout New Year’s weekend, the police said. Norwegian police officers normally don’t carry firearms while on foot, but keep submachine guns and pistols in their patrol cars.

The statement also cited a report from the Police Security Service stating that “churches and Christian places of assembly appear as current terrorist targets in Europe.”

While Sunday’s announcement did not cite any concrete evidence of plots against Christian or Jewish sites, law enforcement in Germany, Austria, and Spain have all stepped up security around churches in recent days, citing a plot by an Islamist group to carry out multiple terrorist attacks over the Christmas and New Year period.

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Police arrest Norwegian plotting ‘Breivik-style mass murder’

Multiple arrests were made before Christmas in Vienna and the German state of Saarland, German tabloid Bild reported last week. 

EU officials have warned since the start of the Israel-Hamas war in October that threats against Jews have skyrocketed. “With war between Israel, Hamas and the polarization it causes in our society, with the upcoming holiday season, there is a huge risk of terrorist attacks in the European Union,” European Justice Commissioner Ylva Johansson said earlier this month. 

Speaking a day after a German-Filipino tourist was fatally stabbed by an Islamist attacker in Paris, Johansson pledged €30 million ($32.3 million) in EU cash to boost security across the bloc.

In the second week of October alone, the French Interior Ministry made hundreds of arrests in relation to more than 1,000 alleged anti-Semitic incidents. Germany had recorded a similar number of incidents by late November.

Norway’s last Islamist attack took place in 2022, when a 42-year-old Iranian man opened fire on a gay bar in downtown Oslo, killing two people and injuring 21. The perpetrator was arrested and will be put on trial in March.