Germans want Britain to stay, but France backs a Brexit, says poll

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A new YouGov poll suggests that most French people want the UK to get on with leaving.

The newly released YouGov poll, conducted between the 18th and 28th August, asked respondents from seven European countries about the UK, the EU and Brexit.

The first question asked to poll respondents was: “At this point would you prefer that Britain stays in or leaves the European Union?”

Most British respondents said they would prefer to leave the EU (47%) against the 43% who said they would prefer to stay.

More than half of respondents in each of Denmark, Norway and Sweden said they would prefer a backtracking on Brexit, and most Germans (49%) said the same thing.

As for France, which is now led by Europhile centrist Emmanuel Macron, most respondents said they would prefer if Britain got on with the job of leave. No less than 38% said this, ahead of the 32% in disagreement.

The poll also found that if the UK announced that it had decided it was going to stay in the EU after all, 23% of French respondents would feel indifferent, and just 15% would feel pleased.

Emmanuel Macron & Merkel European Council meeting

Analysis:

The UK is not going to change its mind on Brexit. The government may end up with a terrible deal, which it will not doubt try to claim as a great one, but no matter how bad things get, May and Davis will not change their minds on this so in one sense the polling is a pointless exercise.

However, what it does do is reveal splits amongst the populations of Europe. The populations of the smaller countries of Denmark, Sweden and Finland seem to be the most willing to reject Brexit. 62% of Danes and 56% of Swedes would prefer it if the UK stayed, something which is perhaps down to the similar statuses the two countries have with the UK within the EU. Both are on the periphery of the union and do not use the single currency. Without Britain, they lose a giant ally in the union.

What’s most interesting is that the French want Britain gone, but the Germans do not, however, it is worth noting that France had the highest proportion of ‘don’t know’ responses, suggesting the relationship is more complex than at first glance.

Whatever the case, Britain is leaving the EU.

The full results of the poll can be accessed here.