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Global Britain?

The Policy Institute at King’s College London, Ipsos MORI and the UK in a Changing Europe ran a survey of over 1,000 people in Great Britain to assess how the public perceives Britain’s standing and influence in the world in light of Brexit. It also gathered their views on the their sense of identity, the impact of Britain’s relationship with other countries, and their priorities for future international relationships.

The survey found that just over half the public (54%), think Brexit has harmed Britain’s standing in the world. This includes three in 10 (29%) Leave supporters and the overwhelming majority (84%) of Remain voters. But half (52%) of those who say it has been harmed think it can recover, while one in four (24%) think it is irreversible.

Read the report


Other key findings from the survey show that:

  • The number of people who say Britain should try to “punch above its weight” in world affairs has declined by 13 percentage points in three years: from 53% in 2016 to 40% in 2019.
  • Three-quarters (77%) of the public think maintaining a close relationship between Britain and the EU will be important after Brexit, but fewer – half (52%) – think such a relationship is likely.
  • Britons think that Europe is their most important international relationship, but the proportion who agree with this declined from 47% in 2017 to 39% in 2019.
  • Almost twice as many think Britain needs to be open to the rest of the world than to protect itself from it.
  • Britons are most likely to identify with their home nation (62%), Great Britain (57%) or local area (42%). Both Leave and Remain voters identify strongly with these identities, with the main difference being that Remain voters have additional supranational identities – they are more than five times as likely as Leave voters to identify with Europe (56% vs 10%), and are more likely to identify with the Western world (20% vs 13%) and the “global community” (26% vs 7%).
  • Remain supporters are seven times more likely than Leave supporters to say that Brexit will make Britain less secure.