The vast majority of European Union citizens want Britain to stay in the EU, a major new poll has found.
The survey of 28,720 people in the EU’s 28 countries found that 60 per cent of people want the UK to stay in the EU – compared to just 10 per cent who want it to leave.
A further 30 per cent of people polled across Europe told pollsters it did not matter either way to them whether Britain left or stayed.
The poll, conducted by Lord Ashcroft and reported by The Sun newspaper, found that of major EU countries France and Austria were the most likely to support Britain leaving.
Still, French people supported the UK remaining by 50 per cent to 18 per cent and Austrians by 41 per cent to 18 per cent.
Luxembourg and Cyprus also tended to be disproportionately supportive of Brexit.
The Maltese were the most pro- Britain remaining in the EU – by 76 per cent to six per cent.
Spain, Portugal, Ireland, and Poland were also very strongly in favour of Britain staying in the bloc.
The same poll however found strong appetite in Britain itself for leaving – with 50 per cent support for staying and 40 per cent for leaving.
What has the EU ever done for us?
What has the EU ever done for us?
1/7 1. It gives you freedom to live, work and retire anywhere in Europe
As a member of the EU, UK citizens benefit from freedom of movement across the continent. Considered one of the so-called four pillars of the European Union, this freedom allows all EU citizens to live, work and travel in other member states.
2/7 2. It sustains millions of jobs
A report by the Centre for Economics and Business Research, released in October 2015, suggested 3.1 million British jobs were linked to the UK’s exports to the EU.
3/7 3. Your holiday is much easier - and safer
Freedom to travel is one of the most exercised benefits of EU membership, with Britons having made 31 million visits to the EU in 2014 alone. But a lot of the benefits of being an EU citizen are either taken for granted or go unnoticed.
4/7 4. It means you're less likely to get ripped off
Consumer protection is a key benefit of the EU’s single market, and ensures members of the British public receive equal consumer rights when shopping anywhere in Europe.
5/7 5. It offers greater protection from terrorists, paedophiles, people traffickers and cyber-crime
Another example of a lesser-known advantage of EU membership is the benefit of cross-country coordination and cooperation in the fight against crime.
6/7 6. Our businesses depend on it
According to 71% of all members of the Confederation of British Influence (CBI), and 67 per cent of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the EU has had an overall positive impact on their business.
7/7 7. We have greater influence
Robin Niblett, Director of think-tank Chatham House, stated in a report published last year: “For a mid-sized country like the UK, which will never again be economically dominant either globally or regionally, and whose diplomatic and military resources are declining in relative terms, being a major player in a strong regional institution can offer a critical lever for international influence.
The poll comes amid a shrinking lead for the “remain” campaign in the polls after a public rejection of David Cameron’s EU reform deal.
Britain will hold a referendum on whether to leave the European Union before the end of 2017 – though the plebiscite is now widely expected in June of this year.
The Conservative manifesto pledged a renegotiation of the terms of membership of the EU, including rules on immigration and benefits.
The PM is locked in crunch talks in Brussels where he will have to get the 28 EU heads of government to agree to a draft package, which was drawn up by European Council president Donald Tusk.
Mr Cameron faces several hurdles – including significant opposition from eastern European countries like Poland whose citizens could lose out under the plan.Reuse content