Where is the EU-UK relationship heading in the medium-term? A conjoint survey experiment of Brexit trade-offs

27th October 2021 @ 12:30 pm – 2:00 pm
Sala Europa, Villa Schifanoia

The Brexit deal, as represented by the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) is the start of a new relationship between the UK and the EU. As the economic and political consequences of Brexit play out, there will be pressure to change the TCA, either in a “softer” or “harder” direction in one particular issue area or another. To try to find out where the EU-UK relationship might be heading in the medium-term Simon Hix and his co-authors conducted a conjoint survey experiment with a random sample of British voters, where they were asked to choose between different hypothetical “package deals”. This forced respondents to have to make trade-offs across key issues. When faced with such choices, British citizens overall prefer a “softer” form of Brexit to the TCA: where the UK applies EU regulatory standards in return for greater access to the EU’s single market. However, a majority of Leave voters prefer a much “harder” trade-off: of full regulatory sovereignty but continued restrictions on UK exports. Hix et al also found that Scottish citizens prefer a closer relationship with the EU across a range of issues than do English citizens. Reconciling these differences will continue to be a challenge for British politicians and policy-makers.

This seminar will be hybrid. Please register as places are limited and are available on the first-come, first serve basis.

Speaker: Prof. Simon Hix (EUI – Department of Political and Social Sciences)