Hard or soft? The politics of Brexit

Publication type: National Institute Economic Review | Publication date: 2 Nov 2016 | Theme: UK, Europe and devolution | External Author(s): Menon, A, Fowler, B | JEL Classification: D52, D70, D73, Z13, P16, O52, F33 | Journal: National Institute Economic Review Issue 238

The British people voted for Brexit for a variety of reasons. A literature is emerging that seeks to explain the outcome using the increasing amount of aggregate and individual data being generated. Less often considered is the impact those factors that shaped the referendum outcome might continue to exert on the debate about the UK’s future relationship with the EU. We argue that they will continue to weigh on political debates. The continued resonance of the Leave message militates against anything but what has come to be known as a ‘hard Brexit’.

Keyword tags: 
UK-EU relations
European institutions
Single Market
Brexit
hard Brexit
British politics
referendum
voting behaviour
public opinion

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