Brexit: what will it mean for Britain?

25 May 2016

With the referendum on whether Britain should remain a member of the European Union (EU) due to take place on 23 June, this paper explores the public’s expectations of what would happen in the event of a vote to leave the EU. First of all, we consider levels of certainty about the potential impacts of leaving the EU and what people think will happen, if this scenario were to take place, in relation to a number of the key areas on which the Remain and Leave campaigns have focused. Second, we explore how attitudes and expectations vary across the population as a whole. Specifically, we examine whether views vary by age, sex, level of education, social class and interest in politics – five characteristics which are known to be linked with wider attitudes to the EU or which, conceptually, we might expect to inform attitudes to Brexit. Finally, we consider how attitudes and expectations for Brexit relate to, and may influence, likely voting patterns – and what this might mean for the Remain and Leave campaigns as they enter the final month of campaigning.

Written by Elizabeth Clery, Research Director and Ian Simpson, Senior Researcher, NatCen Social Research


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The views expressed in this research paper are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the UK in a Changing Europe initiative.

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