Britons still divided over Brexit: poll

EU and UK flags fly above the EU Commission offices in Westminster, London. Source: AAP

As the UK prepares to formally begin divorce talks with the European Union, a poll shows Britons remain divided about the decision.

As Prime Minister Theresa May starts Britain's withdrawal from the European Union with a plea for "unity", a new poll suggests the UK remains split on the issue.

A YouGov survey says 44 per cent believe the decision to leave was right and 43 per cent say it was wrong.

But the poll has found little appetite for a second referendum on the deal May secures in Brussels, with just 21 per cent backing the idea.

This is against 25 per cent who do not support Brexit but believe the prime minister should implement the referendum decision and 44 per cent who want Britain to leave.

Thirty-seven per cent say the government has handled the Brexit negotiations badly, against 35 per cent who think it is doing well.

Almost half (48 per cent) say they have confidence in the PM to negotiate the kind of deal she wants from Brussels, while 39 per cent do not.

As Chancellor Philip Hammond warned it will not be possible for the UK to "have our cake and eat it", there are signs voters are still hopeful of maintaining free trade with the remaining EU while at the same time imposing controls on immigration.

Despite expert warnings the EU will not allow full access to the single market without free movement of people, about 40 per cent say it is a "false choice" and Britain will be able to get its way on both.

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