Europeans and Brexit
Opinion Poll done by FEPS and Fondation Jean Jaurès
On January 23, 2013, Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron sensationally announced that the United Kingdom would be holding a referendum on its membership of the European Union. That announcement became reality last June 23, and, with almost 52% of the votes, the Leave camp won the day. The British have decided to separate from the European Union. The situation is unprecedented and the consequences uncertain. Across Europe, the media, experts and politicians of all persuasions are concerned about the potential fallout from this exit, whether from the economic, geopolitical or institutional point of view. And while Brexit is of great interest to Europe’s leaders, it is also of great interest to citizens in Europe.
What are their reactions? Illustrated through a series of opinion polls Jérôme Fourquet sums this up in an article entitled “Europeans and Brexit”. To begin, he points out that public opinion in Europe “seems highly contrasted” and attributes this situation to the uncertainty mentioned above. He observes that in countries where pro-European sentiment runs high, the predominant reaction is incomprehension (in Germany, for instance). Conversely, in the more Eurosceptic countries and in countries with fragile economies, the predominant feeling is one of understanding (e.g. in France). Elsewhere, the prevailing sentiment is concern.
Full Survey with detailed results (French)