6 things consumers believe about Brexit

October 29, 2018

How do British consumers expect Brexit to impact society?

The UK is leaving the European Union on the 29th of March, less than six months away. We are, however, no closer to understanding what a post EU-Britain will look like. In September 2018, we asked British consumers how they expected Brexit to impact everyday life to ascertain the consumer mindset.


The impact on the UK economy: Leavers are most optimistic

Nearly half of all people who took part in the survey say that leaving the EU will negatively impact the UK’s economy. The outlook of the economy is the area where remain voters are the most pessimistic, and leave voters the most optimistic.

All of the data from this article is available in detail here for Foresight Factory subscribers.


The NHS: over one third expect Brexit to have a negative impact

During the referendum campaign, those associated with the Vote Leave campaign regularly argued that the National Health Service (NHS) would financially benefit from a vote to leave the EU. Due to this, a third of leave voters expect the service to improve compared to less than 10% of remain voters.


Consumers are less concerned about the impact of Brexit on them personally

From the national picture to the personal one. GB adults are more likely to say that Brexit “won’t make a difference” in those areas that are more personal to them. We often see this pattern emerge in surveys of this kind, as it is common for people to believe their personal prospects are secure than the prospects of the country/economy as a whole. High earners are the most concerned about their personal finances and personal banking products should reassure customers.


Ability to travel in Europe: Millennials most likely to expect the worst

Millennials and remain voters (who are often one and the same), are the most fearful that Brexit will impact their ability to travel in Europe. Travel boards can appeal to remain voters trying to escape Brexit Britain, even if it is just for the weekend.


Stockpiling: A Brexit behavior being considered by a quarter of GB Millennials

Following news reports about price rises and product scarcity in post Brexit Britain, we asked people whether they were considering “stockpiling goods I think might become more expensive after the UK leaves the European Union”. Only a minority of adults say they are considering this behavior, however, certain segments rise significantly above the average. This includes a quarter of GB Millennials and even more young men aged 16-29. Households with young children are also considering buying up goods early. This behavior may impact sales patterns before March 2019, creating a stronger than usual first quarter.


The next 6 months: Taking back control… of our finances

We also asked GB adults in September 2018 to tell us their spending intentions in the next six months. How can the shopper mindset be characterized as the Brexit deadline approaches?

  • Among the most popular intentions is to “carefully budget all household spending”; which has risen up since we asked consumers before in 2017.
  • The number of consumers saying they plan to “take more control of my personal finances” has also gone up. This is strongest among high earners who have more to lose, but put more effort into wealth management.
  • More consumers also say they intend to “spend more time comparing prices and looking for bargains (e.g. through price comparison websites)” since 2017.


Is Brexit uncertainty (and widespread pessimism about its impact) a driver behind this renewed financial focus? Undoubtedly – and it likely contributes to the growth in agreement recorded between 2017-18.

Brands targeting British consumers can bear their Brexit fears in mind and mitigate the feeling of uncertainty with assured choices. For British brands, find out what it means to be a British Brand today.


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Written by Dominic Harrison

Director of Global Trends at Foresight Factory. Wish for the future? A world where new generations of smart tech adopt a less interruptive and visible presence in our lives. No more phones at dinner!

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