Brexit exposed many pre-existing social divisions, but it also added a new dimension to our identities that determined which information we chose to believe and how we saw others around us.
Since 2011, our Fear and HOPE reports have studied public attitudes to a range of social issues, dividing the country into six ‘tribes’ based on the overlay between economic security and cultural anxieties. Our 2019 Fear and HOPE report introduces our seven new tribes to better understand how Brexit has changed Britain, to reflect the strength of our Brexit identities and a changing relationship with traditional politics.
There are significant divisions in our core identities and how we see ourselves and interpret the world around us, with a growing ‘culture war’ between those who feel celebrate diversity and those who perceive growing diversity as a challenge to their own position in the world.
As the deadlock in Parliament over Brexit goeson, and infighting swamping the major parties, political mistrust has swelled.
Where we sit on Brexit has become an important part of how many identify, and the strength of our Brexit identities is shaping how we feel about a range of social issues and questions of values. But there remain a large proportion of the population who feel more ambivalent about the issue.
The importance placed on tackling climate change by the public has rapidly jumped, following high profile campaigns, and the vas majority of people say that they are willing to make sacrifices in their own lifestyles to stop global warming.
Support for immigration continues to grow incrementally, with the share of those who think that immigration has been more good than bad for the country up to 63% from 60% in July 2018, and 40% in February 2011.
People feel more and more positive about multiculturalism, but it remains a divisive issue, with many cynical about the state of integration in the UK linked to anxieties and prejudice about Islam and Muslims in Britain.
People continue to see Muslims distinctly differently – and overwhelmingly more negatively – than any other religious group.
The British public now consider the far right the greatest threat to public order, above Islamist extremism. Although far right narratives have become increasingly mainstream, violence on the far is a red line for most people, limiting their appeal.