New report reveals mixed feelings

Briton’s attitudes to the EU

GMT 19:20 Tuesday ,08 September 2015

 Migrant Voice - Briton’s attitudes to the EU

Razia Khanum

Policy Network has this week published a new report by Sofia Vasilopoulou of the University of York, ‘Mixed Feeling: Britain’s Conflicted attitudes to the EU before the referendum’, indicating that the EU problem is more complex than it seems.

The report establishes the origins of the euro scepticism often found amongst Britons and the periods in which ‘political salience’ has been high and low. It then moves to evaluate whether Britons’ want more integration or less as well as how the EU has benefitted them and how they feel about their policies. 

It discovers that Britons’ perception about the EU is dependent on the various areas of the EU policy. For example, there is a much more positive outlook on financial movements rather than physical ones like labour mobility. 

Many believe that the economic benefits gained from the EU membership are great yet many think they think that they should not decide the tax, health and education policies.

A more specific focus was given to immigration and the welfare benefits EU citizens are able to claim in another member country.

Vasilopoulou ends by advising the government to lay out the negative and positive aspects in specific areas more clearly. It is important that in the upcoming debates we understand the complexity of public opinion around this issue, including the strong attitudes around freedom of movement. 


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