NEWS15 June 2018

Brexit two years on: disengagement, confusion and boredom

Brexit News Public Sector Trends UK

UK – Two years on from the referendum to leave the EU, swing voters are disengaged from Brexit and understand very little about the possibility of not reaching a deal with the EU, according to BritainThinks research.

Brexit EU referendum2_crop

In the latest of BritainThinks’ ‘Brexit Diaries’ studies, the research revisited the four voter segments identified last year: die-hard leavers, cautious optimists, accepting pragmatists and devastated pessimists.

For the latest wave of research, the agency conducted focus groups with the two swing segments and ran a national survey of 2,000 people.

Over half ( 57%) of the public said they are worried about the consequences of there being no deal between the EU and the UK at the end of negotiations. However, only 18% agree that it is likely a deal won’t be reached.

Swing voters also understood very little about the possibility of a ‘no deal’ scenario, with confusion over what this would result in for the country. The qualitative findings showed that some respondents thought that no deal would result in the UK having to remain part of the EU.

For both leavers and remainers, Brexit is not progressing as hoped; of die-hard leavers, 38% feel the government has done a good job in the negotiations, while only 7% of devastated pessimists agree that negotiations are going well.

Qualitative research among the swing segments suggests that despite this negativity, blame is centred on interference from remainers rather than Theresa May or the EU. Swing voters were also still positive about the prospects of post-Brexit Britain.

Swing segments have also disengaged from Brexit, with these groups more concerned by issues including the perceived rise in crime, the cost of living and the NHS. The qualitative findings also suggest concerns around how Brexit is going centre on how long the process is taking, rather than the outcome. 

Around half of the respondents support the idea of a public vote on the final Brexit deal, although only 28% strongly agree.

There is also confusion around Labour’s position: only 19% of the public say that the party has a clear policy on Brexit.

Speaking at a launch event for the research, Spencer Livermore, partner at BritainThinks and a member of the House of Lords, said: “There’s a huge gulf between the British debate and reality and at some point, it will collide. When that happens, it’s going to be an uncomfortable moment with profound repercussions for our democracy.”


1 Comment

6 years ago

Even key Brexiteers like Aaron Banks say that the mayhem they've caused is getting 'boring'. I guess it's only people whose families could be ripped apart (like mine, with a EU partner) or those who think in depth about the damage of Brexit, who really care any more. I would point a finger of blame at Labour for their fudging on the issue, making it seem like Brexit is only an issue that affects the 'liberal elite', rather than a fundamental change that will affect everyone, including those with the least (who they are supposed to advocate for). Shame on you Jeremy, you lost me and many others in June 2016. Only had a strong showing in the GE due to the terrifying ineptitude of the Conservatives.

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