A sense of ‘Bregret’? Pessimistic UK parents believe future generation will be disadvantaged by Brexit

New research reveals top concerns for British parents ahead of Article 50
  • Almost half (47%) of UK parents think their children will be disadvantaged when Britain leaves the EU
  • Just 29% of parents believe Brexit will benefit their children
  • Less than a third (31%) of parents confident in the UK economy
  • Healthcare tops the agenda as the most important issue for parents in 2017

March 2017: Just days away from the triggering of Article 50, a new report has revealed that almost half (47%) of UK parents believe their children will be disadvantaged when Britain officially leaves the EU.

According to the first Parentdex from comparethemarket.com which identified sentiment of British parents surrounding Brexit, parents are resoundingly pessimistic. In fact, less than three in 10 (29%) believe that Brexit will provide any benefit to their children, whilst one fifth (20%) of young parents aged 18-34 were uncertain of what an isolated Britain will mean for their child’s future, admitting they didn’t know what the potential impact of Brexit could mean.

Advantage, Britain? 

Canvassing over 1,100 parents across the UK, the research found that a rise in the cost of living (46%) topped the list of perceived potential disadvantages – or negative impacts – the next generation will experience as a result of Brexit, followed by anticipated difficulties in travelling to, or working in the EU (38%).

When asked about the likely positive impacts of Brexit, almost three in 10 (29%) couldn’t respond – stating that they felt there would be none. However, of those who disagreed with this, almost a fifth (19%) thought there would be more opportunity for employment, whilst a further 17% felt that it could lead to reduced pressure on public services. Just 14% anticipated that it would improve national security.

Financial future of the next generation 

Looking beyond the broader impact of Brexit, Parentdex also explored the views of mums and dads across the UK on what the financial future could hold for their children post-Brexit.

Those parents polled were largely pessimistic about their child’s financial future and over a third (35%) admitted that they were not at all optimistic about their child’s financial future. Perhaps unsurprisingly, this pessimism was much more marked amongst left-leaning voters, with just 15% of Labour and 14% of Liberal Democrat voters stating that they were optimistic about their children’s financial future.

As less than a third (31%) claim they are confident in the current economy, more than half of all parents across the UK (61%) also believe that they will need to provide more financial support to their children than they received from their parents. In fact, 45% of those parents polled expect to provide financial support to their children after the age of 21.

As the housing affordability crisis continues to be a major issue, over half (51%) of parents admitted they would like to help with a deposit for their children’s first home but are unable to – highlighting a stark contrast between good intentions and means. However, the poll also found that parents are eager to give their children a helping hand in a number of other areas, with almost half stating they hope to help with rent and higher education (47%) and over a third with utility bills (37%).

Simon McCulloch

Simon McCulloch



“What’s becoming clear is that while parents across the UK vary in opinion, there is still a strong sense of ambiguity around the impact of Brexit on future generations which – in turn – is generating a general sense of anxiousness amongst UK families.

“In fact, we found that over two thirds of parents from across the country feel that we are living in a period of economic uncertainty. What we can be certain about however is that, given this sentiment, it’s likely that many parents will be watching their wallets even more closely over the coming months.”

Priorities for the Government 

When asked what areas they would like the government to focus on most this year, nearly two thirds (65%) of parents chose Healthcare above Brexit (45%), the cost of living (36%), and education (34%).

Beyond Healthcare however, there are clear divisions in what each group feels is most important for the government to focus on in 2017. Parents who voted ‘Remain’, listed the economy (49%) and the cost of living (43%) amongst their top concerns, while those who voted ‘Leave’ want immigration & asylum (55%), and Brexit (44%).

Parents’ personal concerns 

Building on the findings above, the rising cost of living also topped the agenda of parents’ own concerns, with over three quarters (77%) of British parents listing this as one of their top worries. This was followed by a reduction in disposable income (71%), the rising cost of imported food products (67%) and the rising cost of holidays (52%).

Looking at concerns around the cost of living in greater detail, it is unsurprisingly the cost of goods and services which is most top of mind for parents – in particular, price rises in utilities (72%), fuel (71%) and household products (64%).

For further insight and to download a copy of the first Parentdex report, visit our page here.