Can we improve the quality of the referendum debate?

The Treasury Select Committee has said that the EU referendum debate ‘is being poorly served by inconsistent, unqualified and, in some cases, misleading claims and counter-claims’. Alan Renwick, Deputy Director of the UCL Constitution Unit, asks whether there is anything that can be done about this. He identifies a number of possible mechanisms for identifying falsehoods and enforcing truthfulness, but warns that there is a … Continue reading Can we improve the quality of the referendum debate?

Turn out or else: do referendum campaigns actually change voters’ minds?

Over £9m has been spent on leaflets for all British household outlining the arguments in favour of remaining in the EU. But do campaign activities actually sway voters in referendums? Would campaigners do best to try to change minds, or simply motivate their supporters to turn out at the polls? Which arguments will prove decisive? Sara Hobolt, Professor at the LSE European Institute, and Sara Hagemann, … Continue reading Turn out or else: do referendum campaigns actually change voters’ minds?

Who will offer a winning vision of immigration after the referendum?

Steve Ballinger, Director of Communications for British Future, says Brexit campaigners have yet to offer credible visions on immigration that address voters concerns while also acknowledging certain realities. Whichever side does so will greatly improve their chances in June. This piece is part of the UCL European Institute’s commissioning partnership with openDemocracy. Immigration is not the only issue in the EU referendum – it is not even … Continue reading Who will offer a winning vision of immigration after the referendum?

Three reality checks for leavers and remainers

Renaud Thillaye, Deputy Director of Policy Network, argues that both camps must understand there is a difference between Europe and EU institutions if they are to mount effective referendum campaigns. This piece is part of the UCL European Institute’s first guest editor week on openDemocracy.  Ahead of Britain’s in/out referendum, there is much to ponder about looking at past referendum episodes and dissecting ongoing public ambivalence vis-à-vis the EU. The history … Continue reading Three reality checks for leavers and remainers