An Analysis of Euroskepticism’s Influence on Britain’s Vote to Leave the European Union


  • Kayla McCrary Middle Tennessee State University


In June 2016, the United Kingdom held an in/out referendum on membership in the European Union resulting in a narrow victory for Euroskeptics. Historically, Britain has been notably a Euroskeptic nation, and the following analysis of Britain’s relationship with the European Union will explore the implications of Brexit in context with Euroskepticism. This analysis is a result of previous research on the British vote to the leave the European Union and draws substantially on research in the fields of voting patterns, behavior and social identity, and Britain’s unique characteristics which culminated in the vote to leave the EU. As a result, this paper intends to rely heavily on historical implications of Euroskepticism as well as recent literature on the theories of Euroskeptic voting, demographics, and the history of the relationship between the UK and the EU. The conclusions of the paper wrap up the overall analysis of Euroskepticism, arriving at the conclusion that populist and anti-globalist sentiments driven by political parties such as United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) mobilized Euroskepticism, allowing for a philosophy to transform into effective policy change. Furthermore, this analysis concludes with an understanding of the main driving factors in Britain’s unique position in leaving the European Union being economic and social. This conclusion is substantiated by a constituency-based analysis which utilized materials such as demographic data, voter turnout and result data in order to quantify Euroskepticism and its impact on the top constituencies which voted to leave the EU.