In one of the landmark political decisions in the 21st century, majority of Britons voted to end the country’s longstanding association with the European Union (EU) where it was a key member. Convinced that the decision would benefit Britain socially, politically and economically, over 50 percent of Britons voted in favor of the exit during the Brexit referendum. One of the fundamental reasons for voting in favor of Brexit was gaining economic independence. Exiting the EU, as they argued, would give them the opportunity to negotiate better bilateral economic deals without the being shackled down by the bureaucracy at the EU. It was estimated that exiting EU would bring in millions of pounds in the form of cut submissions to the EU. This would be enhanced by the resulting greater political freedom. Additionally, Brexit was an important opportunity to tackle the growing migrant crisis in the region.
While the decision seemed right from the onset, there has been a stunning turnaround in the opinion of Britons on Brexit. In a case of miswanting, surveys conducted show that many Britons regret voting in favor of Brexit. The regret became the following after the polls with many people interviewed stating that they never understood the full implications of Brexit. It is a trend that has continued several months after the Brexit referendum. In a survey conducted by YouGov/Times, a staggering 45 percent of voters who were surveyed believe it was wrong to leave EU (Ross n.pag). The remarkable turnaround in the opinion of voters shows that the Brexit decision was based on feeling and not thinking. It was a case of lack of affective forecasting (Pelham n.pag).
Pelham, B. (2004). “Affective forecasting: The perils of predicting future feelings”. American Psychological Association.
Ross, T. (2017, April 27). “What’s Done Is Done But U.K. Is Starting to Regret Brexit”. Bloomberg.