JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies, 57(3) pp 580-598

This article examines how religious affiliation shapes support for European Union membership. While previous research has shown that Protestants are typically more eurosceptic than Catholics, little is known about the nature of this relationship: specifically, whether religion affects one’s utilitarian assessments of the costs and benefits of membership, or one’s affective attachment to the EU. Using the 2016 British Election Study Referendum Panel, this article shows that religious affiliation influences both sets of attitudes, suggesting that the values and shared history associated with one’s religion shapes how a voter perceives the performance of the EU in delivering its policy objectives, and its operation as a legitimate institution. Moreover, some findings from previous research are challenged: Protestants are not as unified in their scepticism of the EU as is widely assumed, and the positive relationship between Catholicism and support for EU integration is not apparent in the UK.