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What were Google’s most frequent U.K. searches after Brexit?

The second-most popular question for the search engine giant: ‘What is the EU?’


 
Leave supporters cheer results at a Leave.eu party after polling stations closed in the Referendum on the European Union in London, Britain, June 23, 2016. (Toby Melville/Reuters)

Leave supporters cheer results at a Leave.eu party after polling stations closed in the Referendum on the European Union in London, Britain, June 23, 2016. (Toby Melville/Reuters)

“What is the EU?” That’s the second-most googled question in the U.K. following the Brexit vote. Citizens of the deeply divided kingdom turned to Google for answers as the shock waves of the decision to leave the European Union reverberate around the globe.

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The fourth-most googled question is: “What will happen now we’ve left the EU?” So far the pound is plummeting, Spain, stoking a 300-year-old fight, is proposing joint control over Gibraltar, and Scotland is mulling a new independence referendum. And that’s just in the first 12 hours since results were announced.

The vote has already claimed its first political casualty. U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron, after campaigning for months for the Remain side, announced his intention resign earlier today. Immediately, the most googled question in the U.K. was: “Who will replace David Cameron?”

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Some preliminary answers to these questions are obvious. Boris Johnson, the former mayor of London and a leader of the Leave campaign, is widely touted as a replacement for Cameron. So is Home Secretary Theresa May, who advocated for Remain, and is broadly popular within the Conservative party.

Canadians are taking to Google to try to figure out what’s going on, too. “Brexit,” and “Brexit results” are the top two trending queries in Canada about the referendum. But people are also googling “pound to CAD” (Canadian dollar) and “What is Brexit?”

Throughout the United Kingdom, similarly fundamental questions are being posed. In Northern Ireland, the top two questions last night were: “What is ‘Brexit’ ”? and “What if the pound collapses?”

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Last night, people who didn’t know the answer to questions like “What is the EU?” walked into voting booths. This morning, some people who voted to leave said they now regret it. Today, we’re all trying to figure out the consequences.


 

What were Google’s most frequent U.K. searches after Brexit?

  1. “Last night, people who didn’t know the answer to questions like “What is the EU?” walked into voting booths. This morning, some people who voted to leave said they now regret it.” That’s, demographically speaking, a thoroughly stupid comment.

    I’m pretty sure that ‘What is the EU?’ has been a large part of the public discussion in Britain for the past 6 months. As have been, in varying strengths, the consequences of leaving the EU. For whatever reason they have chosen to go, it is now becoming painfully obvious that, if the EU is indeed like a parasite sapping the body politic of great Britain, it is every bit as much a pathogen poisoning the world economy.

    Like most divorces it is going to be messy at best adding sentiment or paranoia to the process can’t make it any better. What’s happening in our markets is concerning not so much because we have seen value and invested in the EU, but that our perceptions are so colored by relatively minor political change. Apparently we see the EU as a the house of cards it was described to Britons to be, or we’re acting like it is..

    • “Last night, people who didn’t know the answer to questions like “What is the EU?” walked into voting booths. This morning, some people who voted to leave said they now regret it.” That’s, demographically speaking, a thoroughly stupid comment.

      What’s stupid about it? These were Google searches AFTER the vote. One would think that if a voter wished to be sufficiently informed about a referendum that determines the future well-being of their home nation, they would investigating these questions – all of them – PRIOR to the election, no? It would be like voting for Trump because “he’s a Republican’, then Googling “What are Trump’s Presidential policy provisions” AFTER the election in November. So, if anyone else is reading this in the US, if you don’t know – Google it now, or read a newspaper you trust, or otherwise find out for yourself what they are BEFORE you vote. Many of the vast number of undereducated (Trump’s favorite demo) and folks in low-income and blue collar jobs were scared into voting to leave, told repeatedly that immigrants will continue to take jobs away from them, which may or may not be true – I don’t know for certain without further checking. What they were NOT widely informed of is that the financial uncertainty of the UK’s exit from the EU could be catastrophic to that very demo, immigrants or not. It does not seem that facts or examples of potential negative financial results were widely shared (the “Remain” leadership really got overconfident and dropped the ball here – likely losing the election), and once the votes were in, and the “Leave”side won – a lot of people realized that maybe they didn’t know the ramifications of their vote and wanted to find out using Google. If they did not know the effect of leaving before, and only discovered AFTER THE FACT how it might negatively affect them, it would be logical if many DID regret the “Leave” vote based on emotions that they cast the day before.

      All those older voters (60+) who turned the tide (I would be in that demo if I lived in the UK) who are pining for the pre and post- WWII stature of the UK on the world stage at the expense of stability in the EU (considering Europe’s centuries of wars over historical conflicting priorities of neighboring nations (UK/France/Germany, for example) will be dead in 20 or 30 years, but the UK, likely seriously diminished will remain for most of the folks who voted to remain, and it may not be pretty. The UK may go in the opposite direction, and end up isolated and less secure, in spite of US support, which will have its limits due to a similar nationalist movement in the US.

      Warning to anyone considering voting for Trump in November (not that they would be reading this article, and not that they even know what “Brexit” means – I talked to six people on Thursday and only one of them knew what the term, “Brexit” meant, but more sadly, were not even aware of the referendum or what it meant. These were reasonably educated and intelligent people, but things happening outside their own personal universe and the facts pertaining to those events did not seem to be very high on their radar, if at all. I guess I should not have been, but I was pretty shocked, but I guess this story shows that it was not only Americans who were/are not informed on the Brexit, but many British people, too. Now THAT’s stupid – and irresponsible.

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