Britain's Brexit hopes, fears and expectations

John Curtice, Muslihah Albakri, Allison Dunatchik and Neil Smith

This report analyses the results of questions on attitudes to Brexit from the 2017 British Social Attitudes survey. It focuses on the long-term consequences of Brexit, and pays special attention to the views of people on a low income.

It finds that:

  • The majority think Brexit will have a negative impact on the UK’s economy in the short-term, but they are divided about the long-term impact; around a third think it will have a positive long-term impact on the economy, a third that it will make it worse and the rest that it will make little difference.
  • The public do believe that Brexit will give the government more control over the UK’s economy and that it will lead to lower immigration.
  • There is little consensus about whether Brexit is likely to affect the number of people in poverty or make their lives easier or harder, or whether it will lead to improvements to the NHS, employment or the availability of better paid work. Significant minorities believe that Brexit will improve all of these issues, others that it will make them worse, but the biggest group think that it will make little difference.
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