How did Rishi Sunak vote on Brexit - leave or remain?

The ex-Chancellor is cam second in the race to be PM

Rishi Sunak pictured at his leadership campaign launch
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Rishi Sunak is the UK's fifth Prime Minister in six years, so it's no surprise the public want to know everything they can about him - including how he voted on Brexit.

We've seen two Conservative leadership contests in almost as many months, and the public have been keen to know more about the politics of the potential future leaders, from whether Liz Truss voted leave or remain to did Penny Mordaunt support Brexit.

And much like the public is also keen to know why is Keir Starmer a Sir, the new PM is also drawing curiosity around his history, with questions around his net worth, his wife and even his height doing the rounds - so we've done some digging to find out how he voted on Brexit.

How did Rishi Sunak vote on Brexit - leave or remain?

Rishi Sunak voted to leave the EU, and has almost always voted for pro-Brexit policies in Parliament, including voting to leave without a withdrawal agreement in April 2019.

At the Conservative Party conference in 2021, Sunak gave a speech saying he was told back in 2016 that if he voted for Brexit, his political career would be 'over before it had even begun'. He went on to say "I put my principles first," adding that he was proud to back Brexit because "the agility, flexibility and freedom provided by Brexit will be more valuable in a 21st Century global economy than just proximity to a market."

What has Rishi Sunak said about Brexit?

Announcing his intention to vote leave, Rishi Sunak said "This is a once in a generation opportunity for our country to take back control of its destiny," adding "I believe that our nation will be freer, fairer and more prosperous outside the EU." 

However, in March 2022 the then-chancellor admitted that Brexit is likely to be one of the reasons for the UK's slump in trade. Speaking to the House of Commons Treasury Committee, Sunak said "It was always inevitable that there would be a change in our trade intensity with Europe as a result of a change in the trading relationship. That was expected and unsurprising."

However, he added that it is difficult to 'disentangle' the impact of Brexit from that of the pandemic, adding that the government intends to open up trade with the rest of the world.

His views will further be scrutinised when the leadership TV debates take place, which will be crucial in gaining support for the vote from the Conservative Party membership, after which the new Prime Minister will be announced.

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Ellie Hutchings
Family News Editor

Ellie is GoodtoKnow’s Family News Editor and covers all the latest trends in the parenting world - from relationship advice and baby names to wellbeing and self-care ideas for busy mums. Ellie is also an NCTJ-qualified journalist and has a distinction in MA Magazine Journalism from Nottingham Trent University and a first-class degree in Journalism from Cardiff University. Previously, Ellie has worked with BBC Good Food, The Big Issue, and the Nottingham Post, as well as freelancing as an arts and entertainment writer alongside her studies. When she’s not got her nose in a book, you’ll probably find Ellie jogging around her local park, indulging in an insta-worthy restaurant, or watching Netflix’s newest true crime documentary.