The consequences of Great Britain choosing to exit the E.U. are going to unfold for years. Jobs will be lost, trade deals will be renegotiated with less favorable terms, and the British pound might never recover. All of these are consequences that have been talked up in the press for months, but Google’s data on what the U.K. is searching for indicates that Britons are scrambling to figure out what it all means.
Google Trends has reported massive spikes in searches for phrases like “What happens if we leave the EU” and “what happens if the pound weakens”. Other searches would indicate the rest of the world is worryingly misinformed: “What is the EU?” has been another major search winner.
This has largely been interpreted as uninformed UK citizens waking up, too late, to the potentially serious consequences of exiting the E.U. But it’s far more likely that Britons are trying to figure out their next steps. Exiting the E.U. will have enormous implications across British society, from the obvious economic consequences to more long-range ones that we can’t predict yet. Unsurprisingly, “getting an Irish passport” has been heavily searched, as Ireland is still a member of the E.U. and many Britons may have to relocate to keep their jobs.
For the British, these frantic Google searches are just beginning.
(Via Ars Technica)