UK referendum and income distribution, by Robert H Wade
Large numbers of those who voted in favour of leaving the EU in the UK’s In/Out referendum — 51.9% of voters voted Out — did so less from a negative assessment of EU membership than from anger at their falling relative income over the past years and worry that their children would fare economically even worse than them. This conclusion comes both from poll and media interviews conducted after the vote closed, and from the fact that the day after the referendum the second most frequently asked question of Google, among all the EU-related questions, was “what is the EU?”
The Remain camp argued that Britain has done well and will continue to do well economically from EU membership. But the claims of a British boom ring hollow to those who are unemployed, or on zero-hours contracts, or forced off benefits.