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28 March 2018

BritainThinks: The Brexit diaries: One year on

To mark a year since Theresa May triggered Article 50, BritainThinks has conducted new qualitative research which reveals the state of public opinion on Brexit.

Five key themes have emerged from this research: 

1. No one feels like they’re winning from Brexit. While the public find it easy to identify the “losers” of Brexit, “winners” are much harder to identify. Big business and the “elite” are most likely to be viewed as the winners.

2. There is a widespread sense that negotiations are going badly. 63% of the public believe that negotiations are going badly at the moment. Leavers see progress in negotiations as primarily an issue of motive – they think that the EU is making things difficult for the UK and believe the “liberal elite” is undermining progress. Remainers blame Government incompetence for poor progress.

3. Few expect a good deal at the end of the process. 26% believe it is likely that Britain will get a good deal with the EU. Most believe that problems in the negotiations make it more likely Britain will get a bad deal.

4. Be wary of any suggestions that support for Brexit is decreasing. While a handful of polls have suggested the public is moving towards thinking the UK was wrong to vote to Leave, voter disengagement with the specifics of Brexit means that few are actually re-evaluating their position. Furthermore, definitive impressions of the terms of departure are yet to be formed.

5. There appears to be very specific support for a vote on the final deal. Both Leavers and Remainers think that it is important to “give people a say” on any deal between the UK and the EU.

The findings are based on new qualitative research among 30 “Brexit Diarists”, among whom BritainThinks first conducted research in 2017. The statistics included here are based on a nationally representative sample of 2,089 GB adults aged 18+. 

Full results

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