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What sort of Brexit do the British people want?

last modified Jul 17, 2017 10:53 AM
New research with King’s Policy Institute and RAND Europe.

One of several key findings of new research into public preferences on Brexit policy options, was that, given how much value the public place on the UK making its own trade deals and having access to the single market, they would prefer to have a relationship with the EU similar to that of Norway. This allows for free trade with other countries, while remaining within the single market and accepting freedom of movement and some loss of sovereignty to EU institutions, such as the European Court of Justice.

To reach this conclusion, the research used stated preference discrete choice experiments to measure how the British public value different components of a Brexit deal. This involved interviews with 917 people, drawn from those who participated in the British Social Attitudes Survey. The approach enabled researchers to assess the relative strength of people’s preferences for each attribute of a Brexit deal.

The research offers up some important and perhaps surprising findings in relation to the strength of public opinion around Brexit. For the public, restricting freedom of movement is not as important as the ability to make trade deals and retain single market access. The study also found that the British public have significant reservations about a ‘no deal’ scenario. Overall, the research suggests that the public are more conducive to compromise than would be assumed from both politicians and media reporting of Brexit. Indeed, this research shows that when tested, the British public recognize it is not possible to have everything they want – and are willing to make concessions. 

Further Reading:

What sort of Brexit do the British people want? (PDF)

Technical addendum (PDF)

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