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Post-Brexit Britain more politically active: study

Tuesday, April 11, 2017 - 08:05

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Britain's vote to leave the European Union has left a nation divided and may have boosted public engagement with political and social causes, researchers said on Tuesday.

[LONDON] Britain's vote to leave the European Union has left a nation divided and may have boosted public engagement with political and social causes, researchers said on Tuesday.

More than half of British people said they signed a petition last year, and around 6 per cent of respondents - equating to 3 million people - said they had joined a protest in 2016, said the study commissioned by the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF).

"People feel the country and their communities are now more divided and, perhaps as a result, there has been a resurgent appetite to get involved in social and political issues," said John Low, CAF's chief executive.

He said the number of people engaged in such social and political activities was the highest ever recorded by CAF.

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Despite political upheaval, almost nine in 10 people said they did something charitable in 2016, around a 10 per cent increase from 2015, according to the online survey of 8,000 people.

More than half said they donated money or goods to charity last year, while one in six said they volunteered - roughly the same figures as 2015.

Britons donated a total of £9.7 billion (S$16.86 billion) in 2016, a small increase from 2015, the report said.

"While huge change was taking place all around us last year, one thing which remained consistent was the reliable and enduring generosity of people in the UK in their support of good causes," Mr Low said.

Britain voted to leave the 28-nation EU in a referendum in June last year. It has two years to sort out the terms of the divorce before it comes into effect in March 2019.

REUTERS

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