Future of Britain after the EU Referendum


What is the project about?

Four and half years after a referendum on the subject, the UK has left the EU single market and customs union. This departure has presented it with a new set of policy options and choices in those areas of public policy that, until now, have been largely determined by decisions made in Brussels. In an extension of the work we have been undertaking on public attitudes of relevance to the Brexit process on this site, we are now pursuing a research project on the choices that the public think the UK should make now it has left the EU.


What does the project aim to do?

The Future of Britain after the EU Referendum project is focusing on three subjects – immigration, food policy, and consumer regulation. What do voters think the rules on immigration should be given that Brexit implies ending ‘freedom of movement’ between the UK and the EU? What regulations should govern how food is grown, produced and sold in the UK now it has left the EU? And what should happen to consumer regulation, where the EU has, for example, outlawed the sale of incandescent light bulbs and the imposition of mobile phone roaming charges?


How is the research being carried out?

Since public policy in each of our subject areas (immigration, food policy, and consumer regulation) has largely been set in Brussels until now, it has typically received little in the way of extended or informed public debate. In response to this need for public debate, the project is being pursued via Deliberative Polling.

Using this approach, we have run a series of events that invite voters to debate the three subject areas. In 2019, we successfully ran two online events, in which participants interacted virtually with each other and with experts. Then in October 2020 we ran a third online event in which a new group of participants had the chance to voice their views and debate each subject area.


For further methodological details, please click here.