How Brexit was made in England

Ailsa Henderson, Charlie Jeffery, Daniel Wincott, Richard Wyn Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The Leave majority recorded in England was decisive in determining the UK-wide referendum result. Brexit was made in England. We take this as a prompt to challenge the conventional Anglo-British mindset that animates most studies of ‘British politics’ and has shaped public attitudes research on the United Kingdom. We explore the persistence of distinctive Eurosceptic views in England and their relationship to English national identity prior to the referendum. We then model referendum vote choice using data from the Future of England Survey. Our analysis shows that immigration concerns played a major role in the Brexit referendum, alongside a general willingness to take risks, right-wing views, older age, and English national identity. Therefore, Brexit was not just made in England, but Englishness was also a significant driver of the choice for Leave.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)631-646
Number of pages16
JournalBritish Journal of Politics and International Relations
Volume19
Issue number4
Early online date4 Oct 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2017

Keywords

  • Brexit
  • British
  • England
  • English
  • national identity
  • public attitudes

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