Brits can’t avoid Brexit as new research reveals we have over 92 million conversations about it every 24 hours, while the term ‘Brexit’ is heard more than 507 million times a day in the UK.
And the relentless chatter is taking its toll on our anxiety levels with two thirds of us (67%) admitting we find Brexit conversations stressful, either because of differences of opinion, worries about not understanding the issues or fretting about the future.
The new study of 2,000 adults was commissioned by Channel 4 to launch their gripping new drama Brexit: The Uncivil War. It stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Leave campaign director Dominic Cummings, telling the new story of how the campaign ran behind the scenes.
To accompany the launch, a specially designed red bus mimicking the memorable Vote Leave stunt which pledged to give EU cash to the NHS has been seen driving around London, but updated to read ‘Take back the remote control’.
With the nature of Britain’s departure from the EU – if it happens at all – still shrouded in uncertainty, people around the UK are continuing to discuss the issue as we hurtle towards the scheduled exit date of March 29. The study found British adults have two conversations about Brexit each day on average, amounting to 1,856 conversations each since the date of the referendum in June 2016.
With the average conversation about Brexit taking up almost eight minutes (7 minutes 55 seconds), Brits have spent more than five full days each (5 days, 2 hours, 26 minutes and 40 seconds) talking about Brexit since the referendum in the 928 days since the momentous vote.
It is not just face-to-face discussions which are hijacked by our opposing thoughts on quitting the EU. Figures released by Twitter show there have been 180 million tweets globally mentioning Brexit since the beginning of January 2016 – and only two thirds of those have come from the UK.
The study also indicates how ‘Remoaners’ got their nickname. They have more conversations about Brexit than those who voted to leave the EU, and discuss it for more than a minute longer each day (seven minutes and 38 secs daily discussion for Leavers; eight minutes and 58 secs for Remainers).
Brits say that, on average, they hear the word ‘Brexit’ 11 times a day – adding up to the term being heard a staggering 3.5 billion times each week around the UK, while one in five (20%) hate talking about it.
With such an array of unanswered questions, it has left a third (34%) of us worried about the impact on our holiday plans next summer, in the immediate aftermath of our scheduled departure. However there is a stark contrast shown by those on both sides of the argument. Only a quarter (25%) of Leavers are concerned about the effect on their holiday plans, while for Remainers the figure rises to 45%.
But for an issue that affects the welfare of the nation, many of us admit to being largely in the dark about the finer points. Only 15% say they are confident they know what the Brexit backstop is, and just 17% claim they are definitely sure what Theresa May’s Chequers plan involved.