UKICE have released a new collection of articles on Brexit opinions providing a comprehensive and up-to-date guide to public opinion on each of the key issues around Brexit. It is a varied and interesting collection showing that Brexit continues to polarize the British public. We have contributed two pieces to the report. On national identity, we report that those seeing themselves predominately as Scottish or Irish are more inclined to support Remain while among those who describe themselves as English not British, there is strong support, not only, for Brexit but for a ‘hard’ Brexit.
We also reported findings that debunk the widespread assumption that Remain voters have higher levels of understanding of European Union issues than Leave voters. In fact, after a carefully designed study, we found that knowledge of the EU is the same among Leavers and Remainers, both before and after accounting for age and education. Further, we suggest that both sides, the Leavers and Remainers, engage in ‘motivated reasoning’, which is to say that respondents tend to select answers that are most ‘psychologically comforting’. It is also possible that people may preferentially consume information that flatter their ideological priors and acquire more knowledge about their own side than the opposing one. A full summary of the findings in the report can be found here.