EU referendum: European support for Remain not overwhelming, according to Bertelsmann Foundation research

James Nickerson
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Germans would rather the UK votes to remain in the EU (Source: Getty)

A slim majority of Europeans want the UK to remain in the EU, but at the same time they do not think that a Brexit would be the end of Europe, according to new research.

Analysis from Bertelsmann Stiftung found 54 per cent of Europeans think the UK should remain a member of the EU - "not overwhelmingly high", as the pollsters wrote.

A quarter of Europeans are not sure what to think about a possible Brexit, and 21 per cent think that the British should leave the 28-member bloc.

Read more: Probability of Remain vote increases as ECB governor warns that Brexit could cause political instability

A majority of Germans, Italians, Poles and Spaniards would rather the UK votes to remain, while the French are far more sceptical. Only 41 per cent of the French respondents want the UK to stay, a quarter wishes the UK to leave the EU and about a third are not sure.

The research also indicated 45 per cent of Europeans think that the EU will be economically weaker if the UK leaves, while a third thinks that the EU will be less powerful in the world. Meanwhile, 45 per cent of continental Europeans think that the EU would be worse off without the UK, while only 10 per cent think that the EU would be better off.

One factor of note was that the more people support their own country’s membership in the EU, the more they want the UK to remain a member. Yet, the opposite is not true, as Eurosceptics are not rooting for the UK to leave.

Read more: Stock markets and currencies poised for unprecedented volatility before Brexit vote

However, while a large proportion of Europeans think Brexit could hurt the EU, an equally large proportion think the union will be largely unaffected, with a majority believing it will have little impact on their own country.

Within the UK, a majority think Brexit will have almost no consequence on the EU, but near a third are uncertain on what it could mean for the UK itself.

The research comes after a TNS poll in April found Europeans are more likely to back Britain's continued membership than people in the UK.

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