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FT readers 'can't take eyes off car crash' of Brexit as topic still drives traffic and subs, says Brexit editor

Brexit is still a big driver of traffic for the Financial Times with readers more likely to click on stories about it and spend longer looking at them compared with other news, the paper’s Brexit editor has said.

David Bond said Brexit stories made up 14 per cent of all FT.com traffic over the past six months and is the “highest converting topic” in terms of driving subscriptions for the title.

Brexit content gets 2.5 times more page views and readers spend 30 seconds longer reading it than average FT content, Bond (pictured) told a conference on Brexit and the Media in London today.

“FT readers can’t take their eyes off the car crash,” he said.

Bond said there was “so much anger” in readers’ comments and a “real engagement” in the topic, adding: “Clearly we have to keep doing it because that is what the readers want.”

Bond said there was a 600 per cent surge in FT digital subscriptions on the weekend following the EU Referendum in 2016.

“I can’t say enough that this is really a big story for us,” the former BBC journalist added.

The FT has more than 1m paid-for subscribers, of which about 800,000 are digital.

Bond said that in terms of the FT’s ability to compete globally, for example with the large US newspapers, Brexit gave the title an advantage and was a topic where “we clearly add value.”

He added that because Brexit has been “such a hot topic for us for so long” there can be a tendency to over commission stories for it. “For me as Brexit editor I have to think are we doing too much on it,” he added.

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