Brexit vote triggers fears over security

More than a third of British Jews feel less safe following the EU referendum result, a JC poll has revealed.



More than a third of British Jews feel less safe following the EU referendum result, a JC poll has revealed.

After the country backed leaving the European Union, 38 per cent of the community said the outcome had left them more concerned about their security. More than half said they felt pessimistic about the future.

The results came amid a week of political, economic and social upheaval across the country following the referendum result.

Jewish voters also backed Home Secretary Theresa May to be the next prime minister, with more than twice as many people supporting her than Conservative leadership front-runner Boris Johnson.

The polling, carried out on Tuesday and Wednesday by Survation for the JC, showed that 59 per cent of British Jews voted Remain, with 31 per cent voting Leave. Six per cent did not vote.

Of those who voted for Brexit, 11 per cent said they now regret their decision.

More than half of all those asked said they were unhappy with the outcome of the referendum, with almost three-quarters responding that they had not expected the Leave campaign to be successful.

Almost half — 42 per cent — said they did not feel less safe as a result of the Brexit result.

Fewer than one in three were happy with the outcome, with 60 per cent saying they were either “strongly” or “somewhat” unhappy at the thought of Brexit.

Mr Johnson — who led the Vote Leave campaign — is favoured by one in five Jews to succeed David Cameron in Downing Street. Mrs May, who supported Remain but was not in the frontline of campaigning, would have the support of 39 per cent of Jewish voters.

Three other potential Conservative leadership candidates — Liam Fox, Stephen Crabb and Nicky Morgan — collectively had the support of five per cent of Jews.

But mirroring uncertainty in the country, one in three did not know who should be the next prime minister.

When Survation polled the Jewish community’s voting intentions in May, 34 per cent had said they would back Brexit and 49 per cent Remain.

Survation polled a representative sample of 1,002 British Jews.

Communal bodies paid tribute to Mr Cameron after he announced he would step down as Prime Minister following the country’s 51.9 per cent to 48.1 per cent vote to leave the EU. Lord Feldman, Tory chairman, will also leave his role.

Lord Polak, Conservative Friends of Israel honorary president, said: “The Jewish community and Israel should be very sad today, but also deeply grateful to David Cameron who has been and is an outstanding friend.”

Veteran Jewish Labour MP Margaret Hodge submitted a motion of no confidence against Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn following the result, sparking a series of Shadow Cabinet resignations.

Jonathan Arkush, Board of Deputies president, briefed international Jewish organisations after the referendum result was announced, and a Board spokesman said Britain’s withdrawal from the EU would “undoubtedly change the nature of our organisation’s relationship with the EU”.

Mr Cameron’s work advocating Shoah education was also acknowledged. Karen Pollock, Holocaust Educational Trust chief executive, said: “The prime minister has always been a staunch friend of our cause and our community.

“His establishment of the national Holocaust Commission… will ensure there is a lasting tribute to the Holocaust in this country for generations to come. This is a legacy for which we hope he is proud.”

Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis said the referendum result had “sharply divided our country.

“But the time for disagreement and division is now over. It is more essential than ever before that we unite so that the ensuing political upheaval does not adversely affect the most vulnerable in our society and that our moral leadership role in the world remains undiminished.”

See the full tables here

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