Brexit referendum: Majority of EU citizens wants the United Kingdom to stay
On June 23 more than 46 million Britons vote about remaining in or leaving the EU. The outcome of the referendum affects the whole European Union. Our Europe-wide survey shows: The majority of the EU citizens refuses a Brexit and wants the United Kingdom to stay in the European community.
"Please stay!": For EU citizens outside of the United Kingdom, a Brexit is not an option. If it happens, however, few fear specific consequences for their country. This is shown by a new survey from our "eupinions"-series, an EU-wide, representative opinion poll.
54 percent of EU citizens want the UK to remain in the EU. But the support varies from country to country. While Spain and Poland are the countries most heavily in favour of the UK remaining (64 and 61 percent), only a slight majority of citizens in Italy and Germany are supporting that (55 and 54 percent). It is the French, who can most clearly envisage an EU without their British neighbors: Here only 41 percent want the British to stay.
Part of the interviewees: Brexit could have negative effects on the economy and global role of the EU
When it comes to the consequences of a Brexit for the EU and its member states, there is a lot of uncertainty among EU citizens. Although they fear that the European Union would be weakened, they do not foresee any negative consequences for their own countries. 45 percent expect the position of the EU to be worsened by the UK leaving the European Union. However, an equal proportion of 45 percent said that they did not believe anything would change. In terms of the changes that the participants could foresee, economic ones were at the forefront. 45 percent believe that a Brexit would economically weaken the EU, while around 26 percent fear that the EU would suffer a loss of power without the United Kingdom.
However, a clearer picture emerges when participants are questioned about consequences for their own countries. Two thirds of EU citizens outside the United Kingdom do not expect a Brexit to have an impact on their country. This mood is also reflected in the larger member states Germany, France, Italy, Poland and Spain (63 to 71 percent).
In an own referendum a majority of the interviewees would vote in favor for the EU membership
Although approval for the EU has shrunk in certain countries, the majority of Europeans believe that the EU needs more economic and political integration in the future. 60 percent see it that way. When participants were asked which way they would vote in a potential own EU referendum, supporters of the EU outweighed its opponents everywhere: In Spain, Poland and Germany it is very clear (74, 66 and 62 percent), In contrast in France and Italy EU critics only 54 and 52 percent would vote in favor of the EU membership.
Eupinions is an opinion poll tool that was developed by the Bertelsmann Stiftung together with Dalia Research and regularly questions the citizens of all 28 EU member states on European matters. The actual survey took place in April 2016 and, with a sample size of 10,992 participants, is representative of the EU and its six largest member states Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain and Poland.