The Future of Britain after the EU Referendum
Published: January 2020
One key feature of British politics during and since the EU referendum has been a polarisation of opinions on what the future of the UK should look like. This project answers the need for public debate on the options and trade-offs facing policymakers with respect to post-Brexit policy.
This project uses an approach called deliberative polling. Under this approach, a representative sample of adults are brought together both to debate the issues among themselves (supported by impartial briefing materials), and to interrogate experts who represent a diversity of views. The impact of this process on people’s attitudes is measured by inviting participants to undertake a survey on the subject matter of the poll both before and after the deliberation.
As a result, the approach not only identifies whether the balance of public opinion changes in the wake of the deliberation, but also why and amongst which kinds of voters. This makes it possible to identify the arguments and considerations that are likely to prove persuasive when voters become better informed about a subject and subsequently these insights can also be useful to policy makers.
We are carrying out three deliberative polling events. We ran two online events last year, including one pilot and one full scale event. We are running a further full scale online event this year which will take place on a significantly larger scale and will give us the chance to build on what we have learned already. In total, the project will be reaching almost 600 participants from a range of backgrounds and from different parts of the UK.
The Future of Britain project is being undertaken by John Curtice, Chief Commentator at whatukthinks.org/eu together with Ceri Davies, Research Director at NatCen, James Fishkin, Director of the Center for Deliberative Democracy, Stanford University, Robert Ford, Professor of Politics, Manchester University, and Alice Siu, Associate Director at the Center for Deliberative Democracy. Their work is being supported by an independent Advisory Board under the chairmanship of Bobby Duffy, Director of the Policy Institute at King’s College, London. Funding has been provided by the Economic and Social Research Council as part of its Governance after Brexit initiative directed by Dan Wincott, Professor of Politics at Cardiff University.