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Over 50s Brexiteers 'looking forward' to 'fewer terrorist attacks' and 'pension values rising'

Lianna Brinded
Head of Yahoo Finance UK
Photo: Reuters

Those aged 50-years-old and over who voted for Brexit, are “looking forward” to “fewer terrorist attacks,” a rise in their pension pot value, as well as the “cost of living falling.”

That’s according to research by Atomik Research, on behalf of financial services company SunLife, which surveyed 1,000 people over 50 on 4 March this year.

The group found that, of the 53% of respondents who voted to leave the European Union in 2016, 87% would vote the same again, while 7.2% would now vote remain and the rest wouldn’t vote. Of the 42% that voted remain, 82% still would while 16% would now vote to leave the bloc.

It’s important to understand what the over-50s bracket think about Brexit because this age group were responsible for pushing the referendum vote in favour of the UK leaving the EU.

Distribution of EU Referendum votes in the United Kingdom (UK) in 2016, by age group and gender. Chart: Statista

Out of those that would still vote for Brexit, the survey gave an interesting glimpse into what they think will happen after the UK severs ties with the EU. When asked about what they “are looking forward to post-Brexit.” In order, they voted:

  • Sovereignty/Independence
  • Saving the EU membership fee
  • Fewer terrorist attacks
  • Cost of living falling
  • Pension values rising

Over-50s Brexiteers said the thing they are most looking forward to in a post-Brexit Britain is sovereignty — 59% put this in their top 5 and 29% said it was the thing they were looking forward to the most.

This is a sharp contrast to what those who voted for Remain said in the survey. Over 55% of those over-50s said “there will be nothing to look forward to when Britain leaves the EU,” but of the 45% who said they thought there would be positives, the thing most were looking forward to was the cost of living falling.

While Brexit would bring about greater sovereignty for Britain, there is little evidence published that Brexit would make the cost of living fall or that pension values would rise. For example, the paper Will Brexit Raise the Cost of Living?, published by the National Institute Economic Review, said that the cost of living would actually rise for households due to the rise in costs for getting goods to the UK — such as food — which would impact the shopping basket bill. Economists also warn that Brexit would affect wages, output, and inflation.