Remainers and Leavers agree on something: UK and EU are handling negotiations poorly

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New research from Simon-Kucher & Partners, highlights an otherwise still divided country


When it comes to Brexit, there’s only one thing the UK population agrees on… both the government and the EU are handling the exit negotiations poorly!  However, according to the latest research from pricing experts Simon-Kucher & Partners ( the nation continues to be polarised as to what agreement it wants the Brexit divorce talks to deliver.

Simon-Kucher has been tracking the population’s views on Brexit since the referendum last year.  While both Leavers and Remainers both agree on the priorities for a successful settlement (Immigration; Jurisdiction; and free movement) these are the areas where both sides want fundamentally different outcomes.

Mark Billige, UK Managing Partner at Simon-Kucher said: “It is nearly 16 months since the referendum on the UK leaving the EU, and our research shows that the two sides remain at complete odds with each other… although at least there is increasing agreement over which are the key areas to disagree on!”

The majority of the population is unimpressed with the negotiations so far… with 59% of people feeling they are being handled ‘poorly’ or ‘very poorly’ by UK and 60% feeling they are being handled ‘poorly’ or ‘very poorly’ by EU. 

Mark Billige added: “The most significant change in perception is by Leavers. In April 34% of Leavers thought the government was handling the negotiations ‘well’ or ‘very well’. That has now dropped to only 9%.”

Dr. Peter Colman, Partner at Simon-Kucher said: “With a minority government and a divided country, there is little chance that businesses will get the end to ‘uncertainty’ that so many desire.  For those businesses that have not done so already, it is time for them to take charge of their pricing to protect margins.”

“Regardless of our future trading relationship with the EU, the current reality for costs and volume is volatility.  There are many unknowns, ranging from exchange rates fluctuations, raw material cost movements and customer confidence.  A stronger focus on price management will help ensure that they aren’t buffeted by currency traders reacting to every forward and backward step observed during the long negotiation process being played out in Brussels.”


Simon-Kucher’s research also reveals:

  • Package holidays, supermarket bills and flights are goods & services where most UK citizens expect to see price increases.
  • Considering UK citizens overall, there has been little change in perceptions of unfairness regarding recent price increases since April.  In both surveys around 2/5 of respondents felt that price increases were either ‘slightly unfair’ or ‘unfair’.
  • Previously, however, Leavers generally felt companies blaming price increases on Brexit was unreasonable, but fewer now hold this view.
  • Conversely it is opposite for Remainers, who initially were more supportive of such an explanation for price rises but are increasingly seeing it as unreasonable.


About the research:

The research was conducted by Simon-Kucher & Partners directly in November 2016, April 2017 and October 2017. The panel was arranged by Lightspeed research and respondents were weighted to match a national representative data sample and screened for noise:

November 2016: Total = 1,060;

April 2017: Total = 756;

October 2017: Total = 966.

Simon-Kucher & Partners, Strategy & Marketing Consultants:

Simon-Kucher & Partners is a global consulting firm with more than 1,100 professionals in 34 offices worldwide focusing on TopLine Power©. Founded in 1985, the company has over 30 years of experience providing strategy and marketing consulting and is regarded as the world’s leading pricing advisor.