The Constitution Unit


Citizens' Assembly on Brexit 

Citizens' Assembly on Brexit

Read the summary report

Read the full report

The Constitution Unit led the team that hosted the Citizens’ Assembly on Brexit in September 2017. 

  • The Summary Report sets out the Assembly's recommendations
  • The Full Report sets out the recommendations and also gives detailed information on how the Assembly was formed and how it functioned

The Citizens’ Assembly, which is part of the highly respected UK in a Changing Europe initiative, brought together citizens to engage in detailed, reflective and informed discussions about what the UK’s post-Brexit relations with the European Union should be. 50 members of the public – who were selected using a survey company and reflected the diversity of the UK’s population – met in Manchester over two weekends in September. 

Over the two weekends the Members learnt about the different options for Brexit, focusing on trade and immigration. They listened to each other, heard from and questioned a wide range of experts, and deliberated in depth. At the end of the second weekend the Assembly Members agreed recommendations. 

The project has important implications both for Brexit and for how we conduct democratic decision-making.  

• On Brexit, the majority of Assembly Members favoured a bespoke trade deal between the UK and the EU, but were clear that, if such a deal proves unattainable, they would prefer the UK to stay in the Single Market and Customs Union than leave the EU with no deal. They wanted the UK to maintain free movement of labour, but to use the controls that are available within the terms of the Single Market and make other changes that would reduce immigration and mitigate its costs.

• On democracy, the Assembly demonstrated that deliberative exercises such as this can work very well even on highly polarised issues. Citizens’ assemblies and other similar bodies deserve to be used again on Brexit and other issues, particularly where problems are widely acknowledged but solutions are difficult to find.

Further information about the Assembly, including all the slides and briefing papers from the Assembly weekends, are available on the Assembly’s website.

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Photos from the launch of the Citizens' Assembly on Brexit in parliament 

Video footage from the Assembly weekends

The Citizens' Assembly on Brexit

The Citizens’ Assembly on Brexit took place over two weekends in September, bringing people together and broadly representing the electorate of the United Kingdom. The Citizens’ Assembly on Brexit allows members to engage in detailed, reflective and informed discussions about what the UK’s post-Brexit relations with the European Union should be.
Video made by http://www.steamrollerproductions.co.uk/

Brexit and public opinion conference

What do voters want from Brexit

The UK in a Changing Europe: Brexit and public opinion conference, 31 January 2018

Anthony Wells – Director of Political and Social Research, You Gov
John Garry – Research leader, The UK in a Changing Europe and Professor of political behaviour, Queen’s University Belfast
Alan Renwick (from 6:18)– Research leader, The UK in a Changing Europe and Deputy Director, UCL Constitution Unit
Sara Hobolt – Research leader, UK in a Changing Europe and Professor in the Department of Government and the European Institute, LSE
Chair: Adam Boulton, Editor-at-large of Sky News, and the current presenter of All Out Politics

UK in a changing Europe