In this article, we seek to provide a social quality–led analysis of some of the conditions that
led to the UK population’s collective decision to leave the European Union in June 2016.
We draw on interview data collected between 2010 and 2012 to argue that while not
predictable, the seeds of the Brexit vote are well rooted in the conditions experienced by
many of the working classes in Britain’s most deprived postindustrial communities. We
argue that the ongoing decline in economic security, effective enfranchisement, social
inclusion, and social empowerment have all had profound consequences for working-class
communities and that the outcome of the Brexit vote was rooted, at least in part, in their
subjective experiences and disenchantment forged in this ongoing decline.