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71% of Scots are worried about the impact of Brexit

More than 7 out of 10 Scots are concerned about how Brexit will affect them, according to new data published today by Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS).

We asked a representative sample of 2,010 Scots how worried they are about a number of different issues, and Brexit emerged as one of their main concerns.

Of those expressing concern about Brexit, nearly two thirds identify the cost of food and other essentials as a particular worry. Almost half cite the cost of travel and holidays, and 44% mention human rights. The detailed results are given below.

Publishing the figures today, CAS Chair Rory Mair CBE is calling on Scotland’s politicians to take more account of peoples’ concerns on the issue.

Rory Mair says,

"Hopefully this research will provide a much-needed wake-up call to our political class about the extent of the concerns Scots have about the impact of Brexit.  

"Whether they voted remain or leave, and regardless of their party loyalties, people across Scotland are clearly very uneasy about the effects of leaving the EU.

"While our politicians squabble over the constitutional nuances, families have budgets to manage, businesses have decisions to make, and workers want to know what rights they will have.

"What people want is clarity. They want our leaders to get beyond the predictable point-scoring and instead start making meaningful decisions. In short, they want some leadership and direction. It is time for our politicians to step up and conduct this debate in a way which finally addresses that fact."


Survey responses

We asked the entire sample (2010 people resident in Scotland):

Thinking about the year ahead, how concerned are you about Brexit?

26%       Very concerned

21%       Somewhat concerned

24%       A little concerned

26%       Not concerned

4%         Don’t know

Those who said they were concerned about Brexit (the 71%) were then asked which particular issues they were concerned about, in relation to leaving the EU. The sample size of this sub group was 1,425. 

Which of the following issues, if any, are you concerned about in relation to Brexit/Leaving the EU? (Please tick all that apply)

65%       Cost of food and other essentials

48%       Travelling to Europe

47%       cost of energy bills

45%       cost of holiday expenses to Europe

44%       the NHS

44%       Human rights

44%       Financial matters (e.g. mortgage, savings)

39%       Consumer rights

33%       Availability/choice of fresh food

19%       Finding a job

6%         Don’t Know/prefer not to say

4%         Other


Sub-group differences include:

  • Women were more likely than men to mention the health service (49% v 40%) and the cost of food and other essentials (69% v 61%).
  • The youngest respondents (16-24s) were most likely to be concerned about finding a job (40% v 19% average) and least likely to mention consumer rights, cost of food or cost of energy bills.
  • Working respondents were less worried than others about the health service and the cost of energy bills, retired people were most concerned about the cost of food and the cost of holiday expenses, while other non-working groups were most worried about human rights and finding a job.
  • Concerns also varied by income: those on low incomes were more likely to highlight the health service, cost of food, finding a job and the cost of energy bills, while those in higher incomes were more likely to mention travelling to Europe, financial matters and holiday expenses.



The research was carried out for CAS by Progressive. The total sample for the survey was 2010 people resident in Scotland. The fieldwork was done between 13 – 22 March 2018, and the data was weighted to ensure the sample was representative of the Scottish population by age and gender.



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