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Distrust of international organisations, may be behind Brexit: Study

Another indicator was age, with older respondents also more likely to have a negative attitude towards the concept of supranationalism

Press Trust of India  |  London 

Theresa May, Britain, Brexit
File photo: Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May

The UK referendum vote to leave the (EU) may have been driven by people's distrust of organisations, alongside the fear of immigration, a study has found.

Researchers from the in the UK found that Euroscepticism is not only shaped by attitudes towards immigration and feelings of national identity but also by opposition towards UK involvement in transnational organisations such as the EU.

Supranationalism is defined as the transfer of power from the national to the supranational level, leading to increased dependence on foreign political partners and increased social and cultural exchange.

The team considered study respondents' ideological predispositions, particularly preferences for cultural traditions and loyalty to national authority and a desire for group-based dominance and hierarchy in society to see whether these predicted negative attitudes towards institutions.

They found that people with higher levels of both these characteristics in their ideological outlook were less supportive of supranationalism, were more Eurosceptic, and found it more important that the UK 'takes back control'.

This manifested itself in a preference for 'prioritising control' in any post-scenario among those with a negative attitude towards the concept of supranationalism.

This included 'bringing back control of our laws to Parliament' and 'bringing back control of decisions over immigration to the UK'.

Another indicator was age, with older respondents also more likely to have a negative attitude towards the concept of supranationalism.

First Published: Sat, February 16 2019. 13:45 IST
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