Google Searches Suggest Many in UK Don't Understand Brexit

By Angela Chen on at

You may have woken up to news that the UK voted to leave the EU which sent the global economy plunging and led to the resignation of the prime minister. But there’s more! Google Trends suggests that many people in the UK still aren’t sure what passing “Brexit” even means.

According to Google Trends, there was a 250 per cent spike in searches for “what happens if we leave the EU” around midnight British time, which is after the voting ended and presumably around the time global currencies went wild and Scotland started saying again that it didn’t want to be part of the UK anymore. Stateside, Brexit isn’t good for the American science community either, as the “leave” vote might mean a loss of talent, funding, or collaboration.

There’s no proof the spike means the people who actually voted in the referendum had no idea what would happen. (Let’s hope. Then again, the “leave” campaigners are already saying the results are not their fault.)

Given that turnout was about 72 per cent, it’s likely that the frantic googlers are those other 28 per cent who didn’t think the daily headlines worldwide and massive campaigns with celebrities involved were worth paying attention to at all — which isn’t really much consolation. [Google Trends, via The Verge]