An investigation into young British people’s views on the European Union referendum: whether or not the United Kingdom should remain a member state of the European Union?
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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An investigation was conducted into young British people’s views on the European Union (EU) referendum. A review of the literature exposed a gap in the research concerning young people’s views about Britain leaving or remaining in the EU. This inspired the subsequent investigation. Primarily, the research asked whether or not the United Kingdom (UK) should remain a member state of the EU. More specifically, the research aimed to understand whether young people have uniquely distinctive views concerning the UK membership of the EU and whether any explicit factor is informing any such difference. Questionnaires, consisting of 15 questions, were given to 152 16-24-year olds. Using cross-tabulated analysis, the quantitative and qualitative data was examined to provide more finely-tuned insight into the sample’s opinions. Overall, the research confirmed what was seen as typical in the literature, resulting in 68% of participants expressing their desire for the UK to remain in the EU. It was also determined that the sample’s views were influenced mostly by the following factors, in order of importance: the economy, trade, immigration, free movement, law-making, and sovereignty. It may seem surprising given the current immigration crisis in Europe that the sample privileged economy and trade over all other factors. The results were then discussed in relation to the literature to determine whether or not the sample refuted what was seen as typical amongst the literature. Recommendations of how these factors should be used, were then suggested so that campaigning groups could capitalise on this information for their campaigns.
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