The European Union and Brexit

Why did voters choose Brexit?

Why did voters choose Brexit?

The UK voted to leave the European Union in its referendum on 23 June. Sara B. Hobolt writes that although the result has come as a shock to Britain and the rest of Europe, the signs were there tha...

How the United Kingdom voted on Thursday… and why

Lord Ashcroft Polls

The UK has voted to leave the European Union. On referendum day I surveyed 12,369 people after they had voted to help explain the result - who voted for which outcome, and what lay behind their decision. The demographics The older the voters, the more likely they were to have voted to leave the EU.

The EU's democratic deficit/1

A democracy deficit plagues the US and the European Union

The European Union and the United States suffer from democracy deficits. Modern democracy is realised in regularly elected legislative bodies that, though small enough to house in a parliamentary building, are large enough to reflect the interests of an entire people.

The EU's Democratic Deficit/2

The European Parliament is more representative of European citizens than we give it credit for

Does the European Parliament adequately represent the views of European citizens? Drawing on a recent study, Miriam Sorace finds that it is far more representative of voters' views than commonly thought. It is the lack of information about European election campaigns, as well as a tendency for voters to cast protest votes that can lead to less effective representation.

The impact of Brexit on the EU/1

The Brexit-sized hole in the future EU budget

The UK is a net contributor to the EU budget. Following Brexit, the loss of UK contributions will therefore likely require either a reduction in overall spending, or for the remaining member states...

The impact of Brexit on the EU/2

After Brexit, further integration is needed to save the EU

This op-ed is part of the FT's Future of Britain Project. We are inviting readers, commentators and thought leaders to brainstorm ideas for the future of Britain after Brexit. This piece is in response to the fourth and final topic: what future is there for the EU post-Brexit?

The impact of Brexit on the EU/3

No domino effect: Brexit is close to constituting a non-issue in European politics

Following the Netherlands and France, Germany was the third of the original EU members to hold a national election this year. The three election campaigns had at least one thing in common: the consequences of Britain's decision to leave the European Union didn't feature as much as some may have expected.

The impact of Brexit on the EU/4

Brexit pushes European lawmakers to reform the EU

Brexit has pushed European lawmakers to seriously talk about rebuilding the EU. In December 2016, the Committee on Constitutional Affairs of the European Parliament endorsed a report on adjustments to the institutional set-up of the EU, which was then ratified by the full house.

LSE European Institute


Generation Brexit


Learning Outcomes

 In this study guide, you will learn more about the European Union and Britain’s choice to leave it. You will discuss:
  • What is the European Union?
  • Why is the European Union contested, and what role did this play in the Brexit referendum?
  • How will Brexit affect the European Union and how will the EU change after it?

The activities are intended to help you  deepen your understanding of these issues. They will also support the development of those critical thinking skills that you will be expected to demonstrate in your A / AS Level Exams, and at university. 

If you are a STUDENT you will find these  activities useful as part of your self guided study or exam preparation. 

If you are a TEACHER you may wish to incorporate these activities into your lesson plans either  as individual OR small group activities. 



The European Union and Brexit Slideshow

Activity One

In this task, you are asked to answer some questions on positive and negative views on the European Union.

Read or watch one of the following (available in the right side column): Sked, Branson, UK Government, Bickerton


Now answer the questions below:

  • Does the author of the article/video adopt a positive or a negative stance on the European Union?
  • Why does the author say the European Union is a good/bad thing?
  • Do you find the arguments brought forward convincing?

Activity Two

 Read the following articles (available in the left-side column of this study guide):
  •  How the United Kingdom voted on Thursday… and why
  •  Why did voters choose Brexit? 


Now try to answer these questions:

  1. Who voted to Leave the European Union? Who voted to Remain in the EU?
  2. Why did those who voted Leave vote that way? Why did those who voted to Remain vote that way?
  3. Was Brexit a vote about the European Union or was it about something else?

Activity Three

In this activity, you are asked to reflect on what the future relationship of Britain and the EU should look like.
First, read Theresa May's speech on the future UK-EU relations (Link on the right) 
Then go on the platform and read the suggestions brought forward by users for the future of EU-UK relations on ‘Our common future after Brexit’ (Link below)
  • What does Theresa May’s speech say about the future of EU-UK relationships?
  • How does what she say differ from the views of users of the Generation Brexit platform?

Our common future after Brexit

Our common future after Brexit - Generation Brexit

The LSE has found that a majority of young people in the UK want to keep the right to freedom of movement and maintain trade links with Europe after Brexit. Studying in Europe and taking advantage of European education programmes are also priorities.

Activity Four: Debate

Based on the activities you have done so far and the readings in this study guide, you should try to  identify reasons FOR and AGAINST the following propositions: 

  • The United Kingdom will be better off outside of the European Union.
  • The Brexit vote was an Anti-immigration vote.

You should aim to identify a series of POINT / EXAMPLE / EXPLANATION style arguments. After you have completed these notes, take some time to consider your own point of view. Which arguments do you find most convincing, and on what basis? Be prepared to fully explain your position citing relevant evidence.


If you are using this study guide as part of your independent learning or revision, you may want to conclude this activity by  writing a practice exam style essay on this question.

If you are a teacher using this study guide as part of a lesson plan, then you may wish to use this question  as the basis for a class debate. 


Do you have an idea to share?

Generation Brexit has one purpose: it gives young people across the UK and the EU a voice in the Brexit negotiations. By taking part in this policy making project you can shape the future of UK-EU relations post-Brexit. The best ideas will be turned into policy proposals sent to the UK and EU parliaments. 

Generation Brexit is also offering an exciting opportunity for Sixth Form students to intern with an LSE crowdsourcing project as a PLATFORM FACILITATOR responsible for encouraging constructive engagement with Brexit related issues amongst platform users.

 Each PLATFORM FACILITATOR will be expected to spend half an hour on the platform each week for a period of four weeks, and earn 100 participation points on the platform. These participation points can be earned by voting or commenting on other people’s ideas, responding to surveys or posting your own ideas. PLATFORM FACILITATORS who fulfil these requirements will receive a certificate  from the LSE to highlight their contribution to the project.

 This is a great opportunity to participate in the Brexit debate and gain valuable experience that you can include in your UCAS personal statement. For more information contact

Recommended Readings

5 Recommended Readings on European Integration in the Age of Brexit

For the first time, following the UK 'Brexit' vote, the European Union could decrease its number of member states. Having grown from 6 to 28 members, enlargement has been the norm in the history of the EU.

Simon Hix

Sara Hagemann

Alan Sked

Richard Branson

UK Government

Why the government believes that voting to remain in the EU is the best decision for the UK (Archived)

Research and analysis A booklet providing important information about the EU referendum on 23 June 2016. On Thursday 23 June 2016 there will be a referendum. It's your opportunity to decide if the UK remains in the European Union.

Chris Bickerton

Brexit is not the property of the political right. The left is disenchanted too | Chris Bickerton

"Chris, with all my respect and admiration, please explain to me how you have found yourself on this same side as these people. I just don't understand." This was the message I received via Twitter last weekend, from a Spanish friend living in Madrid.

Theresa May's speech on future UK-EU relations

In full: May's big Brexit speech

Here is the full text of Theresa May's Mansion House speech setting out her vision for the UK's relationship with the EU after Brexit. I am here today to set out my vision for the future economic partnership between the United Kingdom and the European Union.


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