What Europeans think about Brexit

Brexit or Bremain? European leaders are waiting with anxiety the results of the British referendum, but are Europeans  worried about it? Not really. If on one hand European citizens support Britain to remain in EU, on the other side they do not think it will cause the end of Europe.

REUTERS/Neil Hall/File Photo

That’s the result of a survey conducted by the think tank Bertelsmann Stiftung on EU citizens opinions about Brexit. It was published just before the referendum that calls British citizens to take the decision on the EU membership.

Spanish and Polish citizens are the most favourable to the permanence of Britain in EU, then Italians (55%) and Germans (54%).

Among the EU supporters at least the 72% of them hopes that UK will remain in European family.

Brexit, what Europeans think about?

Germans and Polish are the most worried about the negative impacts of a UK exit from the EU. In general 21% of the respondents to the survey thinks it is necessary for the UK to leave Europe. But what is surprising is that not even among the euroscepticists in different countries in Europe it is so clear the decision to take: only the 38% of the critics about EU wants to leave Europe, while some of them are surprisingly in favour of the Remain (30%) and others do not have clear opinions (32%).

Regarding  economic impacts 45% of respondents believes that Europe will be economically weaker, one third predicts that Europe will loose power comparing with the rest of the world.

While a very little percentage of respondents (10%) thinks that EU could have some benefits from a Brexit .

In general a great percentage of respondents (45%) thinks that at the end in case of Brexit the impacts will be quite little in all EU member states and that Europe will remain in the same situation more or less. Especially French, Italians and Spanish believe that, with a bit of optimism.

British citizens, between Brexit or Bremain, less EU integration

What do British citizens think about a Brexit?

Even among Britons (47%), it is a common the idea that EU will remain in the same situation also after a Brexit. But some of them (43%) are worried that it may have opposite effects, with Europe falling in a worse situation after the exit of UK. Brexit supporters think UK will be better off when outside the EU, while the Remain fans think the consequences of UK’s leave would be negative . A third are uncertain about the possible consequences of a Brexit for the UK. What make the difference between British citizens from their continental Europeans counterparts is not only a slim majority who wants to leave Europe is also that the in any case a large majority of Britons is not in favour of an ever closer European integration. A similar opinion cannot be found in any other EU country, most of the citizens with other EU nationalities believe in the urgent need of a better political and economic EU integration.

Furthermore what is worrying , according with the study, is that France and Italy show the highest ratings of anti-EU consensus. That’s in line with the last local elections in Italy where the euroscepticist Five Stars Movement  was the clear winner.


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