Unpacking public opinion: Britons, the EU and the referendum

Euroscepticism will weigh heavily in the UK’s referendum debate on EU membership, but do we know exactly what we are talking about? Beyond general assertions, it is necessary to understand the sources, patterns and effects of Euroscepticism among the British people.

This seminar, organised by the University of York and Policy Network, and funded by the ‘UK in a Changing Europe’ initiative, aims to provide a detailed picture of how Britons think about the EU. It will present and discuss the results of an online survey experiment conducted two weeks before the 2015 UK general election by Sofia Vasilopoulou, of the University of York. The research provides new evidence of significant variation in UK support for different EU policies, as well as the emotional dimension of people’s attitudes to the EU. It also finds correlations between attitudes to specific EU policies and how people voted in May 2015.

Politicians and experts from the UK and abroad will comment on the findings and reflect on how campaigners of different horizons can best engage British voters during the referendum campaign.

There will be a drinks reception following the main event.



Sofia Vasilopoulou, lecturer in politics, University of York

Janet Royall, Labour peer and former shadow leader of the House of Lords

Chris Heaton-Harris, Conservative member of parliament for Daventry

Yves Bertoncini, director of the Jacques-Delors Institute, Paris

September 14, 2015 at 5pm - 8pm
Central Hall Westminster
Storey's Gate
London SW1H 9NH
United Kingdom
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