How do opinions compare here with those in Europe towards EU exit?

New research from ORB International has found that the UK is the only EU country of the 14 polled where a majority want to leave the Unions. The study is conducted by ORB and their international partners within the WIN/Gallup International network.

Across the 14 countries polled, two in three (64%) said they would prefer to stay in the European Union – no change from 12 months ago.  But the story in certain countries has changed significantly.  The UK shows the highest level of support for leaving the European Union.  If we discount those who don’t know (21%) the UK is the only country where a majority of those with an opinion would elect to leave – 54%.  However, there have also been significant shifts in Italy (where 42% now want to leave compared with 25% one year ago) and in Belgium (33% up from 25%).  In the other direction Greeks appear to see their future is stronger insider Europe – 62% now want to stay vs. 53% one year ago.

The research also shows that more than 15 years after it was launched, we have also seen an increase in those who, if given the choice, would turn their back on the Euro.  Almost one in two (47%) would prefer their national currency, an increase from 44% last year.  But again the picture is varied between countries.  In those without the Euro there is very little appetite for it – UK 6%, Sweden 12%, Romania 26%, Denmark 13% and Bulgaria 9%.  However of those countries currently using the Euro, support has increased over the last twelve month in France, Germany, Greece, Ireland and Spain.  Italy has seen the greatest shift in opinion where a plurality (47%) would now prefer a return to the Lira.

Johnny Heald, Managing Director of ORB International said:

“These results show that the UK really is the black sheep of the family.  Over the last twelve months significantly more of us have felt further removed from Europe (38%) than closer to Europe (13%).  Meanwhile there has also been an increase from 51% to 54% of those with an opinion who would vote to leave the EU.  The Prime Ministers negotiations with his European colleagues appear to be crucial in avoiding Brexit”.

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