Red lines and compromises – what are the public’s red lines in the negotiations and what are they prepared to compromise on?

We are happy to announce that we have been awarded a £300,000 ESRC grant that will fund our timely and high impact research project ‘Fixed, Crystallising or Diverging: Attitude formation and change in the run-up to Brexit’.

The project aims to monitor public attitudes towards key aspects of the Brexit negotiations as they evolve over the next eighteen months. The study will cover attitudes and expectations about the control of immigration, trade, borders, and sovereignty (‘taking back control’), among other topics.

We will investigate whether the public is willing to accept trade-offs between different elements of the negotiations, to what extent they feel that policy areas should be decided at national, supra-national or sub-national levels, and how public opinion differs across the UK and across different sections of the population. The drivers of opinion and opinion change, such as social identities (e.g. Brexiteer), and macro-economic developments, will also be explored over the next 18 months drawing on a new online panel study.

The project is planned to start in May 2017. If you have any questions about the project please contact

(This news announcement also appeared on the Department of Sociology website on 3rd April 2017)