Europeans say Brexit could start a domino effect

Europeans believe that an out vote would do more damage to the EU than to the UK


Europeans believe that Brexit would trigger further referendums on the continent, according to new polling published by Ipsos-Mori.

However, while 48 per cent expect a domino effect and 45 per cent want their country to hold a referendum, just a third of those polled would vote for their countries to leave the EU.

The poll surveyed residents of Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Great Britain, Germany, Hungary, India, Italy, Poland, South Africa, Spain and Sweden, which together represent three-quarters of the bloc’s population and 80 per cent of its GDP.


The results suggest an east-west divide on euroscepticism. More than half of respondents in Italy and France wanted a referendum called in their countries, with 48 per cent and 41 per cent respectively saying they would vote out. In contrast, just 22 per cent of Poles and 29 per cent of Hungarians would vote to leave.

In post-Brexit negotiations between Britain and the EU, the domino effect would be an important consideration. While pro-Brexit campaigners insist that Britain would be able to negotiate a generous trade deal, the Remain camp argue that the EU would take a tough approach to discourage further referendums.


However, respondents also believe that Brexit would be more damaging to the EU than to the UK, both economically and diplomatically.

Bobby Duffy of Ipsos MORI commented that ‘having heard so much about ‘Project Fear’, and the risks of leaving, it’s interesting to see that internationally, the more common view is that the UK would suffer less than the EU from the break up.’

Residents of several non-EU countries, including the US, were also surveyed and, despite Barack Obama’s warnings, American respondents believe Brexit would net benefit the UK economy.

Of course, these responses are unlikely to be grounded in a strong evidence base, since other Europeans pay about as much attention to internal British politics as Britons pay to internal French, Italian or Polish politics.

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