British public opinion on Brexit: Controversies and contradictions

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial


What does Brexit really mean? We examine what people expect from the Brexit deal, highlighting three key findings. First, while trade is the key policy priority among the British electorate, opinion is divided on whether the UK should leave the customs union. Second, the public is split on the potential trade-off between remaining in the European single market and the ability to control free movement of people across the borders. Third, Britons are opposed to sharing welfare benefits with others, but tend to support EU citizens living, working and doing business in the UK. However, they expect greater access to welfare for UK citizens in European countries compared to EU citizens in the UK.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)134–142
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Political Science
Issue number1
Early online date13 Apr 2018
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019

Bibliographical note

© European Consortium for Political Research 2018. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy. Further copying may not be permitted; contact the publisher for details.


  • Brexit
  • Euroscepticism
  • Freedom of movement
  • Public opinion
  • Trade

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