Published: October 2021
Author(s): Stephen Drinkwater

Industrial Relations Journal 52(6) pp 569-588

This paper focuses on the changing relationship between attitudes towards European Union (EU) membership and workers affected by globalization and technological advances in the lead-up to the UK's EU referendum in 2016. It is found that workers employed in middling occupations, where both relative wages and employment have fallen, were significantly more likely than workers in high-paying occupations to indicate that the UK's long-term policy should be to leave the EU. This view was particularly noticeable amongst males with middling occupations in the post-recessionary period between 2012 and 2015 and had increased significantly relative to the mainly pre-recessionary period between 2004 and 2008.

Keywords
Brexit, left behind, polarization, EU, globalization, post-recession