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Does the EU work for working class people?

Download Does the EU work for working class people?

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Author(s): Shaheen, Faiza; Reed, Howard; O’Grady, Frances

Publisher: Centre for Labour and Social Studies

Published: May 2016

Subjects: Social Policy; Families

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Abstract

This report notes that the debate preceding the referendum on the UK's membership of the EU was narrowly focused on immigration with little discussion of the broader implications for working-class people. The authors observe a class division on Brexit, with the working class largely in favour of the UK leaving the EU and those in highly-paid  professions generally wanting to  remain. They note an anti-immigration sentiment exploited by UKIP politicians and the ‘leave EU’ campaign which coloured the EU debate, with widespread misinformation and debates on immigration are wrongly divorced from broader trends in the labour market . They attempt to make a balanced contribution to the debate, focusing on the areas and issues being overlooked and of most significance to working class people and communities in the UK. They present responses from key figures from across the labour movement and academic institutions,with differing attitudes to the EU, to the question: “Does the European Union work for working class people?” 

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