A social psychology study conducted by an international team of researchers has established strong links between supporting Brexit and xenophobia.
Comprised of two surveys – the first study was taken just after the EU referendum, the second in September of 2016, shortly after the government indicated their support for a hard Brexit option – the project set out to see whether schools of thought classically linked to prejudice would also relate to a support for Brexit.
The study began by identifying the psychological groups associated with a fear of immigration or foreigners: right-wing authoritarianism, social dominance orientation (the conviction that your group needs to fight for prominence in the world) and collective narcissism (belief in the unrivalled greatness of your country). Once these groups had been identified they were found to be consistent with a support of Brexit, regardless of voters' age, gender or ethnicity.
Dr Golec de Zavala, the lead author of the "Frontiers in Psychology" paper, highlighted that most of these traits were unlikely to have been brought on by Brexit. "People have those sorts of beliefs in a more or less stable way," she told the Independent. "That would mean that they had them before Brexit. Those attitudes were made salient by the Leave campaign, and were more likely to mobilise these people."
She added: "Personally, I think the Leave campaign gave a new, acceptable way to express xenophobia."
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Things get even worse for the 52 percent. Not only have they been scientifically declared racist by a bunch of experts, but they are unlikely to get the immigrant free future they so desire. Just this week, Indian diplomat YK Sinha indicated that "freer movement of people" has to play a part in any future trade deal with the United Kingdom. Many believe increased immigration is likely to play a role in the majority of trade deals Britain will look to secure with the rest of the world, outside of the single market.
This is the second time this month that the whims of Brexit voters have been on the dissection table. Last week, a survey by YouGov suggested Brexit voters were more likely to enjoy their steak well done than Remainers, as well as being more likely to think golliwogs are acceptable; 71 percent reckoned there was nothing wrong with selling or displaying them. The same study also indicated that they are more likely to think Donald Trump is a good president, more likely to think Doctor Who votes Tory, and even think we should leave the Eurovision Song Contest as soon as possible.