Brexit

Media and Analyses

What do British newspaper readers think about Brexit?

What do British newspaper readers think about Brexit?

Plenty of research has gone into how Brexit has been playing havoc with the British party system, both in terms of party unity and discipline and public attachments to parties and voting intentions. Less attention has been paid to another set of quasi-institutional actors who are also in the business of shaping and representing public opinion – the British press. Notoriously partisan but intermittently quite capable of shifting allegiance and persuading their readers to come along, how have British newspapers been affected by the emergence of this all-engulfing new issue, which is cutting across traditional partisan divides?

It will take a much larger project to look at the supply side – to study directly and in detail how the papers have responded, reported and taken sides on the issue. However, data from the British Election Study Internet Panel (BESIP) enables us to investigate the demand side – how readers of major papers divide on the Leave/Remain issue and its more recent permutations (no-deal, the Withdrawal Agreement, Remain), and also how defections from and to papers relate to the Brexit issue and reshape the preference distributions among readerships.

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Brexit

1975 UK European Communities membership referendum 1983 election David Cameron rejects the idea of a EU referendum David Cameron backs referendum on Europe David Cameron wins election for second term European Union Referendum Act 2015 David Cameron announces referendum in June UK votes to leave the European Union Prime-minister David Cameron resigns Theresa May becomes Prime-Minister Theresa May sets out plan for Brexit Theresa May triggers Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty May calls for a snap election in June Snap election. May loses majority First round of negotiations begin Joint report proposes solutions for Irish border Commission publishes draft Withdrawal Agreement UK and EU agree terms for Brexit transition UK white paper on Brexit UK government approves the draft of the Withdrawal Agreement EU endorses Withdrawal Agreement May announces date for vote on Brexit deal May faces no-confidence motion Theresa May loses in Parliament May loses again in Parliament 1st Brexit deadline Second round of indicative votes: no majority for any proposals May asks for extension to 30 June 2019 At emergency European Council, Brexit extension agreed until 31 October 2019 European parliament elections Theresa May resigns Boris Johnson is the new Prime Minister Parliament suspended The suspension of Parliament is judged unlawful by the Supreme Court Johnson proposes alternative to the backstop Johnson agrees new Withdrawal Agreement with EU Parliament special session on a Saturday A general election is enabled by Parliament UK general election called for 12 December 2019 2nd Brexit deadline Parliament is dissolved First debate between Johnson and Corbyn Snap election. Tories win the majority Johnson's New Year message Current Brexit deadline Deadline for the EU to agree with the UK negotiating objectives Deadline for the UK to ask for an extension of the transition period End of transition period