NEWS16 July 2018

Brits united in Brexit disillusionment

Brexit News Trends UK

UK – Two years on from the EU referendum, Brits are united in frustration, disillusionment and apathy surrounding Brexit, suggests research from strategic insight agency Flamingo.

Brexit EU referendum2_crop

Based on in-depth interviews with leave and remain voters, EU nationals and people who were not old enough to vote in the Brexit referendum, the research revisited some of the same participants interviewed immediately following the referendum in June 2016.

The report, The Illusion of Democracy, found a sense of shared anxiety amongst both leave and remain voters, with economic uncertainty and a sense that trade will be negatively affected leading to a belief that the country is moving from a position of strength to weakness. In additions to concerns over trade and lower credibility at an international level, people were also worried that Brexit is taking attention away from domestic issues including healthcare, housing and social inequality.

Individuals also now feel disempowered, according to the research, in contrast to the political empowerment experienced in the aftermath of the referendum. A drawn-out political process with discussion about trade agreements and border controls feels irrelevant to people’s lives.

The research also found that while people voted based on their values and ideals amid an emotional debate, the realities of Brexit are centred on complicated technicalities surrounding trade, business and infrastructure, which again leads to the public feeling detached from the process.

Lastly, the research uncovered the belief that the UK is becoming more inward-looking, with many parts of the country moving towards a mono-culture. Interviewees felt that racism has increased as a result of a Brexit debate focused on borders that gave rise to more nationalist sentiments, and EU nationals participating in the research said they had experienced more explicit comments on their status and their right to live in the UK.

Desirée Lopez, chief executive, Flamingo, said: "Our belief in the democratic process has been rocked by Brexit and the wider global changes we are seeing every day in other democratic countries around the world. Whether leave or remain, very few Brits would say the government has handled Brexit negotiations well or that their democratic rights have been honoured.

"People’s belief in the political process has been broken, on both sides. There is a realisation that they have been misled. This has increased the public’s uncertainty about what next for Britain, their families and their futures."

The research consisted of 18 45-minute in-depth phone interviews, in five locations selected to include a diverse profile of people across the country. These included six interviewees from the 2016 research, six EU nationals and six young people who were too young to vote in the referendum. 


Related Articles