The EU Debate

The EU Debate

Has Brexit polarised Britain?

 It is often claimed that attitudes towards Brexit have ‘polarised’. But what might be meant by that claim? It could simply mean that few people think that leaving the EU will not make much difference either way to Britain’s future. But it could also mean that support for leaving varies markedly by social background, sense of identity, or underlying values, as well as people’s perceptions of the consequences of Brexit. Or it could be that the country has divided into strongly committed ‘Remainers’ and strongly committed ‘Leavers’. This chapter assesses the evidence for each of these possibilities.


After increasing between 2015 and 2016, support for leaving the EU has subsequently fallen among Labour supporters. In contrast it has continued to rise among those who back the Conservative Party.


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