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C. Bastasin: Brexit is an Underrated Risk

image-04/13/2016 - 15:34The Brexit referendum is up for grabs, for either side. Probably, two thirds of British voters have not yet made up their minds. The probability of success for the "Leave" campaign supporting the UK's withdrawal from the European Union is currently significantly underestimated. Based on a recent round of colloquia I attended in Europe and the U.S., I had a clear perception that the Leave camp's current chances of victory are significantly higher than the standard 33-38% estimate by official polls. My sense is that the Leave supporters are much closer to the 50% threshold, or maybe even higher.

The public is split almost down the middle between Leave and "Remain." Many don't know which way they will vote. Core support for neither Leave nor Remain amounts to more than 20% of the public. Voters who are currently undecided about the referendum will therefore determine its result. Women in particular seem as yet unaligned, and they may determine the final outcome. Certain sections of the voting public, particularly the younger voters, are leaning toward the Remain camp, but they do not seem too interested in actually showing up at polling stations.

In this policy brief, I will try to synthesize the bones of contention. The first section briefly summarizes the standard background information on Brexit. If you are already familiar with the basic tenets, you can jump to the following sections, where I will present some of the findings I gathered from the colloquia I attended. 

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