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Real Lives, Real Issues #7: EU Referendum



The seventh in our continuing series, where we seek to understand more about real lives in the UK today. We’re talking to people about the issues that influence their choices in the upcoming EU referendum.

The UK is at a crossroads and many Britons are confused about which path to take. It’s less than three weeks to the referendum that will decide the future of the UK’s membership in the EU. Could the UK, after over 40 years of membership, become the first country to leave the EU? 10-15% of likely voters are unsure whether we’d be better remaining or leaving. In such a close content, the UK’s fate rests with them.

We took a trip to Leicester – one of the UK’s most multicultural cities – to find out what four wavering voters’ decisions rest on. All are certain that they will vote but still don’t know where to put their ‘x’. How will they make up their minds?

Two issues continue to dominate. Concerns about the effects of immigration encourage thoughts of leaving. Anxiety about possible economic meltdown makes people more likely to stick with status quo.

Steve, who manages a team at a large international bank, can clearly see different sides to the immigration debate.

Polish-born Kasia offers another perspective.

There’s a widespread feeling that the campaigns have been largely negative, driven by fear, rather than hope.

Until this referendum, there has been little consideration of the UK’s membership of the EU, outside small groups of vocal activists. Most Britons have grown up with or become accustomed to the UK’s status in the EU. Very few people actually questioned it.

Now that they’re confronted with the stark in/out choice, voters have found impartial and accurate information – which they desperately crave – very hard to come by.

To find out more about Real Lives, Real Issues, and how and why they matter for your brands, please contact Ben Haley, Head of Insight at Ben.Haley@initiative.com. As for the impact and outcome of the EU referendum, we will just have to wait and see.