Thursday

18th Jul 2019

UK support for EU membership hits new high

Britons would vote to remain in the EU by a 10 point margin, according to new polling published on Wednesday (25 February).

Forty-five percent of Britons would back continued membership of the bloc, while 35 percent would vote to leave, according to pollsters YouGov. The lead for the ’IN’ campaign is the largest since YouGov began monthly polls on the question of EU membership in September 2010.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

  • UK support for EU membership is at its highest level since 2010, according to a new poll by YouGov. (Photo: Defence Images)

The growing support for EU membership, which is up from 42 percent last month, marks a big shift since the depths of the eurozone crisis in 2011 and 2012 when a majority of Britons favoured leaving the EU.

At its lowest, a mere 28 percent favoured continued membership in May 2012, when the ‘OUT’ campaign led by 23 points.

In its analysis of the data, YouGov notes that rising support for the UK’s EU membership has been mirrored by a steady increase in economic confidence in both the UK and eurozone economies.

“Just as many of the bumps in public opinion regarding the EU have coincided with critical moments in the Eurozone crisis and the Great Recession, support for the Union has risen more or less in tandem with rising economic confidence,” said YouGov in a statement accompanying the poll. 

“One possible explanation for the movement towards ‘IN’ is that voters have become less interested in disrupting the status quo as they have increasingly felt its rewards,” YouGov added.

YouGov also points to a slight decline in support for the UK Independence party, the only UK party which campaigns for an exit from the EU.

For its part, a survey by rival pollsters Mori last autumn suggested that the rise in popularity of UKIP had actually coincided with increased support for Britain remaining part of the EU.

Britons will go to the polls in May in what is set to be the closest and most fragmented general election for a generation.

Although the EU is unlikely to be one of the major issues during the campaign, both the Conservatives and the opposition Labour party have promised to clamp down on EU migrants' access to welfare benefits.

David Cameron has promised to renegotiate the UK’s membership terms if he wins the election, followed by an in-out referendum before the end of 2017, but has come under increasing pressure to bring forward his plans for a referendum to 2016.

Neither Labour or the Liberal Democrats support an ‘in/out’ referendum, warning that it would destabilise the UK economy.

Opinion

Young Brits are pro-EU, but will they vote?

Britain’s future relationship with Europe may well depend on the views of its Millennials - Britons born after 1980. But this younger, generally pro-EU generation, has a history of not voting.

Chemnitz neo-Nazis pose questions for Germany

UN human rights commissioner urged EU leaders to condemn violence that recalled the 1930s, but the local situation in former East Germany does not apply to the whole country.

Former Malta opposition leader fears for his life

Simon Busuttil spent 10 years as an MEP before returning to Malta to lead the opposition. He now fears for his life amid probes into high-level corruption in Malta's government.

Puigdemont reclaims Catalonia's leadership

Back in Belgium after Spain lifted a European Arrest Warrant against him, the separatist former leader wants to be the real power behind the region's government and a new push for independence.

News in Brief

  1. Nato chief warns world against more Russian missiles
  2. Germany closes Amazon probe as EU opens another
  3. Report: US chipmaker Qualcomm set for new EU fine
  4. Ireland fears Brexit time zone split
  5. Selmayr to leave EU commission post
  6. EU 'appeasement' of Iran like that of Nazis, Israel says
  7. Report: EU anti-trust chief to go after Amazon
  8. Report: France to back Kovesi for EU prosecutor

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDAUNESDA reduces added sugars 11.9% between 2015-2017
  2. International Partnership for Human RightsEU-Uzbekistan Human Rights Dialogue: EU to raise key fundamental rights issues
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNo evidence that social media are harmful to young people
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCanada to host the joint Nordic cultural initiative 2021
  5. Vote for the EU Sutainable Energy AwardsCast your vote for your favourite EUSEW Award finalist. You choose the winner of 2019 Citizen’s Award.
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersEducation gets refugees into work
  7. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank
  8. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  9. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  10. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  11. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North

Latest News

  1. Timmermans trolls 'idiot' Brexit negotiators
  2. Rudderless Europe: Will real Germany please stand up?
  3. PiS & Fidesz claim credit for von der Leyen victory
  4. Von der Leyen faces gender battle for commission posts
  5. EU proposes yearly rule of law 'reports'
  6. Poland 'optimistic' despite new EU law checks
  7. What did we learn from the von der Leyen vote?
  8. Is Golden Dawn's MEP head of a criminal organisation?

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us