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New poll shows attitudes to EU are divided in the UK
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Published on 07-03-11

A new poll carried out for the European Commission's Representation in the UK suggests that a low level of understanding of what the EU is and does contributes to the negative image of the EU in the UK. 82% of respondents in the poll said they knew little or nothing and 59% said they were not interested in receiving more information. However, when presented with specific EU initiatives, such as Air Passenger Rights and the Bathing Water Report, most people considered them to be important and more than half indicated that the fact that they were EU initiatives made them feel more positive about the EU. While the poll showed that the UK is pretty evenly split on whether the costs of EU membership outweigh the benefits, it did show that most British people vastly over-estimate that cost, with three-quarters believing the EU's budget was larger than the UK's, when in fact the UK budget is 6 times larger.

    Eurobarometer polling shows divided attitudes

    Eurobarometer polling shows divided attitudes

    The European initiatives with highest recognition were the pet passport (62% of respondents knew about it) and European Health Insurance Card (61%). 93% felt that the European Health Insurance Card was either very important or important to them.

    As well as a broadly even split on the costs and benefits of EU membership, the UK showed a split in its attitudes to the EU in general: 42% were quite or very positive, while 39% were quite or very negative.

    All the polling data can be found here pdf - 9 MB [9 MB] . It comes at the same time as the latest installment of the regular Eurobarometer polling comparing attitudes across Europe. The UK report of this wider poll, is also available pdf - 400 KB [400 KB] .

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    Last update: 23/03/2011  |Top