Disunited kingdom? Attitudes to the EU across the UK

analysis paper 3 thumbnailThis paper examines the nature and scale of differences in support for the European
Union across the four constituent countries of the UK. It assesses how far apart opinion in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland appears to be. It reviews the current state of the polls in each country and what this suggests about whose views might determine the outcome of the referendum. Finally, it examines potential reasons for the variation between England, Scotland and Wales in the level of support for EU membership, including differences in demographic profile, party structure and national identity.

Far from united on Europe

Although recent poll and survey data suggests a slight majority favour remaining in the EU, the size of this majority is much narrower in England than in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

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Party politics and public opinion

England’s relatively anti-EU mood reflects the relatively high level of support for (anti-EU) UKIP and (partly Eurosceptic) Conservatives.

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An English referendum?

Within England, people who feel particularly strongly English are the most likely to want Britain to leave the EU.

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Disunited kingdom? Attitudes to the EU across the UK