Europeans feel much more supportive of the EU since the Brexit vote but concerns remain over how Brussels handles migration

Rebecca Smith
Germany, France and the UK all reported a rise in support for the EU
Germany, France and the UK all reported a rise in support for the EU (Source: Getty)

It has nearly been a year since Britain voted to leave the European Union and, oh, how things change...

Including EU citizens' feelings toward the EU, which have improved sharply since the Brexit vote, when 52 per cent voted for Britain to withdraw from the bloc last June. The improvement in sentiment comes despite concerns over Brussels' handling of migration and trade.

Read more: Gina Miller says hard Brexit worries have swung the election

A year ago public sentiment was down, but it has now rebounded, with British voters markedly improving their views of the EU, according to new research from the Pew Research Centre.

In the UK, 54 per cent reported a positive opinion of the EU, up 10 per cent.

Sharp increase in favorability of EU in many countries in last year

In favour of referendums

The study surveyed 9,935 respondents across France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden and the UK, from 2 March to 17 April, noting the likes of Germany, France and the UK all reported a significant rise in the number of people with favourable views of the bloc.

A median of just 18 per cent in the nine continental EU nations wanted their own country to leave the EU, but many were in support of a referendum on membership.

Little support for leaving EU, but many want a referendum on membership

The Brexit consequences: good or bad?

Most agreed Brexit would be bad for the EU, with 69 per cent of those surveyed saying that would be the case, though they were less sure on the consequences for Britain.

A median of 55 per cent felt it will be negative; in Germany 80 per cent agreed it will be bad for Britain, whereas in Greece just 30 per cent felt it would be.

Brits too are divided on this, with 44 per cent saying it will be good for the UK to get out of the bloc, while 48 per cent expressed concerns that it would be bad.

However, the report added the sway in sentiment reported did not "necessarily mean these publics are satisfied with the current state of affairs in Europe".

Many said they wanted national governments as opposed to Brussels, to control future migration from outside the EU – a median of 74 per cent across the nine continental European nations polled, and within the EU – a median of 66 per cent.

Read more: Guy Verhoftstadt says UK faces 'new Europe' if it changes course on Brexit

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