42% of Leave voters back return of caning post-Brexit

42 per of Leave voters back the return of corporal punishment but only 14 per cent of Remain voters want Britain to 'bring back the birch' after leaving EU

Will Hazell

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Forty-two per cent of those who voted Leave in the Brexit referendum think Britain should bring back caning in schools after the country exits the EU.

The startling findings came on the day that prime minister Theresa May formally began the process of leaving the EU by triggering Article 50.

YouGov asked 2,060 British adults whether a list of things that have disappeared from British life “should or should not be brought back once Britain leave the EU”.

In total, 27 per cent said that corporal punishment in schools “should be brought back”.

However, there was a big difference in support for the idea between Remain and Leave voters.

Forty-two per cent of Leave voters wanted to see the return of corporal punishment compared to only 14 per cent of those who voted Remain.

Corporal punishment was outlawed in state schools in 1986, but remained legal in independent schools until Parliament overwhelmingly voted for a full ban in 1998.

A Tes poll in 2008 found that one fifth of teachers supported “the right to use corporal punishment in extreme cases”.

Most developed countries have abolished the practice, though it is still legal in public schools in 19 states in the USA.

The prime minister formally triggered Brexit today by sending a signed letter to Brussels giving official notice under Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. It starts a two year countdown for Britain’s exit from the EU. 

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