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Journal of Economic Integration 2021 September;36(3) :372-408.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.11130/jei.2021.36.3.372
A Momentary Lapse of Reason? Assessing the Pre- and Post-Brexit Preferences of UK Citizens

Etienne Farvaque1 Muhammad Azmat Hayat2 Ifrah Siddique 2

1University of Lille, France
2University of the Punjab, Pakistan
Corresponding Author: Etienne Farvaque ,Email: etienne.farvaque@univ-lille.fr
Copyright ©2021 Journal of Economic Integration
ABSTRACT
We analyze the persistence of the major determinants of distrust toward the European Union (EU) and pro-Brexit voting attitudes of citizens of the United Kingdom. Looking both backward and forward, our analysis confirms that Euroscepticism is deep-rooted, although the data reveal differences across different parts of the country. We observe no major transformation in the favor of the EU over the last two decades or in the post-referendum period. We also carry out an age-period-cohort analysis by interacting age and cohort effects with time to analyze the evolution of individual preferences. We find that an aging population will promote Eurosceptic assertiveness. We then implement a demographic forecasting analysis to predict whether the level of distrust of older cohorts can be offset by differing attitudes among younger cohorts in the future. On the contrary, we find that demographic trends will tend to strengthen distrust in the EU.

JEL Classification
D72: Political Processes: Rent Seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
F53: International Agreements and Observance; International Organizations
N44: Europe: 1913?
R20: General
Keywords: Brexit | voting | attitudes | preferences | distrust | European Union
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