skip to primary navigationskip to content
 

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)

RSS Feed Latest news

All in a day’s work

Jun 14, 2018

Simon Deakin, Catherine Barnard and Brendan Burchell of the Cambridge Public Policy SRI are helping to understand the world of work – the good, the bad, the fair and the future.

Labour, Finance and Inequality: The Insecurity Cycle in British Public Policy

Jun 14, 2018

Following the 2008 "global" financial crisis, the viability of globalised financial capitalism was called into question. The resulting fear and uncertainty produced a momentary return to "Keynesian" policies. But as soon as emergency stimuli – and bank bail-outs – appeared to stabilise the situation, there was a sharp reversal; and successive British governments and the financial sector have since attempted to return to business as usual.

Inaugural Social Science and Law Interdisciplinary Conference

Mar 12, 2018

The recent Inaugural Social Science and Law Interdisciplinary Conference, held at Jesus College in Cambridge, brought together leading academics from law and the social sciences, including economics, to discuss inequality and the rule of law in the global north and the rising powers, particularly China.

View all news

About Us

We aim to support public policy research across Cambridge University, working with colleagues in science, social science, the arts and humanities, to apply new thinking to public policy problems and promote research and analysis into the public policy process. We hope to connect and raise the profile of existing public policy related work across the University and support collaborative research that includes policy development in a range of subject areas. 

Contact us if you are interested in joining the initiative or would like to know more.