Context and background been damaged by competition from emerging markets, migrant labour and in some cases the austerity policies imposed by governments and EU institutions. 31 Hanspeter Kriesi and Takis Pappas argue in their 2015 book European Populism in the Shadow of the Great Recession: The lack of responsiveness of established parties to the plight of the ‘globalisation losers’ provided a chance for their mobilisation by the new populist right… the success of the new challengers was mainly due to their appeal to the cultural anxieties of the ‘losers’, which, given the ‘losers’’ heterogeneous economic interests, provided the lowest common denominator for their mobilisation. 32 This is influenced by and feeds into pessimism and a lack of social trust. Research by Demos into the attitudes of online supporters of populist movements across Europe found that these groups had very low levels of optimism about their country’s future: only 10 per cent felt their country was ‘on the right track’. 33 However, this pessimism was also evident – albeit to a lesser extent – in the wider population with only 28 per cent thinking the same across the European population as a whole. Similarly, when asked a standard question of social trust – whether ‘most people can be trusted’ – our online study of populist supporters found that they tended to be more fearful or sceptical of others, with 33 per cent saying yes compared with a European average of 40 per cent. Trends in national identity and attitudes often coincide with negative sentiments towards supranational identity and institutions: Carey, for example, found a negative relationship between national pride and attitudes towards EU integration. 34 In the UK, there has been a clear trend towards a more exclusive sense of English national identity: in 1992, 31 per cent felt English and 62 per cent British, while in 2014, 43 per cent felt exclusively English and the same proportion British. This Englishness is related to attitudes towards the EU, with 52 per cent of those identifying as English supporting Leave against 32 per cent of those who felt British. Although the UK is to some extent an outlier in this regard – regularly coming bottom of Eurobarometer surveys
31 of European identity – attachment to the EU as an institution is low across Europe. Just 11 per cent of EU citizens feel ‘very attached’ to the EU, compared with 56 per cent who feel attached to their country and 52 per cent who feel attached to their city, town or village. 35 This lack of attachment, combined with a rising politics of fear and its populist manifestations, could have severe consequences for the future of the EU.