55% of voters think the Northern Ireland Protocol is having a positive impact on the economy, according to a new poll.
However, respondents have also raised concerns about the impact the measure is having on political stability.
In the poll of Northern Ireland voters carried out by Queen’s University Belfast, it was noted that opinion on the protocol “continues to be deeply divided” with only a small proportion of respondents having ‘no opinion’.
The poll shows that 55% currently see the protocol as the appropriate means for managing the impact of Brexit on Northern Ireland; 38% disagreed.
53% felt the protocol is overall ‘a good thing for Northern Ireland’, however 37% had the opposite view.
This is the fifth ‘Testing the Temperature’ survey conducted by Queen’s University on Northern Ireland voters’ opinions on the protocol.
The latest results are from a sample of 1,497 responses taken from June 3-6, 2022, with the sample of responses weighted to be representative of the adult population of Northern Ireland.
Over two thirds of respondents believe that particular arrangements for Northern Ireland are necessary to manage the impact of Brexit.
The poll shows that almost 60% do not think that Brexit is overall ‘a good thing’ for the United Kingdom.
65% believe that the protocol offers unique opportunities that could benefit Northern Ireland.
The results show that 59% feel the protocol is having a negative impact on political stability in Northern Ireland and on British-Irish relations.
Almost 40% think that the measure is having a negative impact on the 1998 Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement.
The survey shows that the protocol was a significant factor in how many people (67%) cast their vote in the Northern Ireland Assembly election, despite not all political parties campaigning strongly on the issue.
The researchers found that 47% of voters see the protocol having a negative impact on Northern Ireland’s place in the UK internal market.
The issue of most concern was customs declarations for parcels, according to 55% of respondents.
This was followed by restrictions on plants and seeds and chilled meats being imported from Great Britain.
The issue of least concern is Northern Ireland aligning with the EU’s standards for the production of goods, followed by the application of EU rules on subsidy control and state aid.
Almost three quarters of respondents stated that they would prefer to see the UK and the EU reaching an agreement on the protocol’s implementation rather than the UK taking unilateral action.
77% said they would like to see the EU and the UK jointly present more factual information on the protocol.
The poll shows that the UK government is by far the most distrusted party in the current dispute over the measure.