Lyon, France, 23 June 2021 – Exactly five years on from the Brexit referendum, people across Germany, France, Italy and Spain say they are more likely to support their own country’s exit from the EU if the UK’s economy is performing well five years from now – according to a new poll commissioned by Euronews as part of its ‘Feel Connected to Europe’ campaign.
Based on research with 6,000 Europeans conducted by Euronews’ strategic research partner Redfield and Wilton Strategies, half of all Italian (50 per cent) and French (47 per cent) respondents are more likely to favour a future EU departure based on Britain’s economic buoyancy over the next five years. This drops to around one in three among Spanish and German respondents (33 per cent and 36 per cent respectively).
But while they may be looking to Britain as a bellwether, Europeans demonstrate a laissez faire attitude towards Brexit. A majority regard the UK’s departure from the EU as having had little or no impact on either the trading bloc or their own national economies (53 per cent and 54 per cent), and almost half feel that the UK will come to regret leaving the EU (43.5 per cent overall). And should things not work out so well for Britain, Europeans are not opposed to a future reunion. Three in four (73.5 per cent) would either support or not oppose the UK rejoining the EU should Britain wish to re-enter.
It seems that the hostilities of EU and UK negotiations are not doing the UK any favours with European audiences according to Euronews – which delivers impartial news to over 400 million homes across 160 countries, including two thirds of homes in the European Union and the UK.
One in four Europeans across the four countries now have a more negative view of the UK than before Brexit9 – rising to almost two in five among the Spanish (27 per cent and 37 per cent respectively). However, no side has come out of Brexit smelling of roses; one in five Europeans now hold a more negative view of the EU as a result (19 per cent).
The behaviour of politicians on both sides of the channel seems a likely root cause. Two in five Europeans feel that British politicians have become less cordial towards the EU and its members since Brexit (42.5 per cent), and a similar number feel that the EU and European politicians’ behavior towards the UK has become less cordial after Brexit. (40 per cent).
When asked about their perceived positives and negatives for the British caused by Brexit, Europeans ranked the three biggest deficits as loss of trade with the EU bloc, followed by loss of freedom of movement throughout Europe, then increased costs of EU goods and services.
They ranked the UK’s increased freedom in setting laws and standards, more control over immigration and its own borders, and not having to contribute to the EU budget as the three biggest benefits of leaving the EU.
The release of the poll findings coincides with the launch of Euronews’ new campaign, ‘Feel Connected to Europe’. The campaign, which highlights the media company’s ‘All Views’ positioning, impartiality and commitment to critical thinking, is designed to highlight the breadth of its programming and neutral editorial stance in an increasingly polarised news environment.
Michael Peters, Euronews CEO, says: “Feeling connected to Europe is not about being part of the EU, it’s about a common understanding between the UK and its closest geographic, economic and cultural neighbours. When we commissioned this research, we were aware of how much of the media conversation focused on the UK experience of Brexit, with very little understanding of how Britain leaving the EU affects the nation’s standing with Europeans.”
“With this campaign, we want to encourage audiences across the UK to think critically about the news they consume, and the potential benefits of looking beyond the immediate national news agenda and being confronted with wider European and global issues. As Europe’s leading international news media, our mission is to empower people to form their own opinion, through offering a diversity of viewpoints. Euronews’ television and digital platforms provide UK audiences with an alternative source of news and information that helps them to stay connected not only with what’s going on in the UK, but also with Europe and the world.”
On 23rd June 2021, Euronews will offer its audiences special coverage on the UK five years to the day after the Brexit referendum, with all tv and digital programming across each of its 12 language editions.
The media company – which reaches 145 million people every month and is available in over 400 million homes in 160 countries, including two thirds of homes across Europe and the UK – recently expanded its digital feature-led content which complements its rolling news, broadcast in 12 language editions, including the launches of Euronews Next, Euronews Travel and Euronews Green.
Euronews is available in the UK on Sky UK (channel 508), Virgin TV (channel 620), Freeview – ChannelBox #271, on NewsPlayer+ and OneHub Tv.
Euronews is a leading international news channel and one of the best known and most trusted news brands operating across Europe. Worldwide, Euronews is broadcast in 160 countries and distributed in almost 400 million homes – including 67% of homes in the European Union + UK. Every month, Euronews reaches over 140 million people, both on TV and digital platforms, according to the Global Web Index (2020).
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