The political drama called Brexit leaves observers in London fascinated, appalled or exhausted. Whereas in the UK, the tension seems to intensify with every twist and turn the British take on their way out of the European Union, Europeans on the continent seem to be surprisingly detached. They support their country's membership in the EU in ever greater numbers, and calmly carry on with their daily business.
On the 20th of June 2016, just days before the Brexit referendum took place in the United Kingdom (UK), we published a report "Keep Calm and Carry On" examining how citizens in the remaining 27 member states viewed the possibility of the UK leaving the European Union (EU). The results were clear: a majority of Europeans would like the UK to have remained a member of the EU. At the same time, citizens in the EU27 did not think that Brexit would be the end of the EU. Since June 2016 much has happened. Brexit turned out to be a difficult and lengthy process. While we know that public opinion in the United Kingdom to this day is divided on the topic, of Brexit, what about people in the EU27? In December 2018, we have again polled people in the 27 remaining member states to get a sense of how they view Brexit and how this differs across those who feel close to particular political parties.
Specially, we asked to two questions, one relating to the possible consequences of Brexit for countries within the EU:
- The British decided to leave the EU in 2019, what do you think best describes the consequences the EU will face, if any? EU countries will be better off, EU countries will be worse off, or there will not be a significant change. And one question relating to the possible consequences of Brexit for the United Kingdom:
- The British decided to leave the EU in 2019, what do you think best describes the consequences the United Kingdom will face, if any? The UK will be better off, the UK will be worse off, or there will not be a significant change.
The three main findings of our analysis of this data:
- Like in June 2016, the citizens in the remaining 27 member states think that the EU countries will not be much affected by Brexit.
- Interestingly, citizens in the EU-27 are much more split when it comes to how they view the consequences of Brexit for the UK.
- Finally, our findings show that there is quite some variation across party supporters, especially when it comes to the perceived consequences of Brexit for the UK.
More more details and graphs check out our latest eupinions brief “We’ll be fine."