How (not) to talk about Europe

Document type
Katwala, Sunder; Bellinger, Steve
British Future
Date of publication
5 January 2016
Social Policy, Minority Groups
Social welfare
Material type

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This pamphlet presents the arguments and messages used by the `In' and `Out' campaigns in the period preceding the EU referendum. It notes how they appealed to their own supporters but failed to persuade the undecided voters who would determine the outcome. The authors consider these undecided voters and why the messages used by both campaigns did not appeal to them. They provide advice to pro-EU and anti-EU advocates on how not to talk about Europe, analysing the challenges that both campaigns experienced when addressing issues such as identity, immigration and the economy. They suggest strategies for an approach to the referendum that could engage a wider cross-section of the public, and examine the benefits that a high-engagement, high-turnout referendum could bring to public discourse and politics.