Perceptions of Europeans on Brexit

Our study across six European countries uncovered a plethora of revealing insights of the public opinions of Brexit.
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Emmanuel Rivière

CEO, Public Division, France

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The uncertainty and lack of clarity surrounding Brexit is reflected in the division amongst Europeans when it comes to what they think will happen on the 31st of October. Significant proportions of those surveyed believe that the UK will remain in the EU after the 31st of October, with 40% or more German (49%), Polish (43%) and Irish (40%) citizens affirming this to be the case. However, even larger proportions – between 44% and 56% of citizens in each of the six countries except Germany (38%) – believe the UK will leave the EU on the 31st, albeit with the important caveat that the majority holding this opinion affirm that such an exit would be without a deal.

This research also reveals unity between the six European countries surveyed, and their desire to continue to pursue and support the European project, regardless of whether the UK is a part of that or not. This sentiment is felt to such an extent in certain countries, primarily Germany and Spain, that people express a desire for a referendum on EU membership, so as to be able to demonstrate their support for the EU. I.e. 45% of Germans and 40% of Spaniards are in favour of a referendum of their country’s EU membership, the two highest scores out of the six countries. However, when asked how they would vote in such a referendum, 75% of Germans state they would vote to remain, against only 17% for leave, whilst 72% of Spaniards would choose to remain and only 13% to leave. Furthermore, even France (52% remain, 24% leave) and the Netherlands (60% remain, 19% leave), the two countries ‘least favourable’ to remaining in the EU, still have overwhelming majorities in favour of remaining, whilst in the other four countries surveyed over 70% of voters would opt for remain and only 17% or less would choose to leave.

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