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The Progressive Policy Think Tank

Euroscepticism in the UK

From the vociferousness of the debate in the UK press in recent weeks, one could be excused for thinking that Europe was dominating discussions around the country, as indeed it has done at various points over the last two decades.

But Ipsos-MORI's most recent Issues Index recorded only 1 per cent of respondents indicating the common market, EU, Europe and the euro as the most important issue facing Britain today. Taken together, recent survey evidence suggests that while voters clearly lack knowledge of and support for the EU as an institution, they still recognise the case for a supranational body at the European level covering a wide range of issues.

These findings do not dismiss the strongly held views of many Brits in relation to Europe nor the need for institutional reform, but it does suggest that the nature of euroscepticism in the UK may be more nuanced that the current media debate implies.