After the UK’s bombshell Brexit referendum in 2016, some warned of a domino effect, eventually culminating in the total collapse of Brussels.
Yet a new poll makes mockery of the prediction that Brexit would be followed by Grexit, Czexit, Frexit, Italeave and Departugal.
On the contrary, it appears to have done the exact opposite.
According to the European Social Survey, the desire to leave the EU plummeted between 2016 and 2022 in a host of European nations, including Portugal, Slovenia, Hungary, Finland, France, Italy and the Czech Republic.
If a hypothetical Brexit-like referendum had taken place in Italy in 2016, the country’s remainers would have only narrowly claimed victory, with less than 55% of the vote. By 2022, Italeavers would have been firmly defeated – with over 80% of the the country’s population voting to stay in the EU. Similarly, over this six-year period in the Czech Republic, those in the remain camp jumped from just over 50% to more than 70%.
In Hungary and Slovenia, national perceptions of Brussels have become rosier too, with the remain vote share in both countries increasing from around 70 to 90% between 2016 and 2022.
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Many researchers believe Eurosceptic rightwing parties across the continent have become more moderate on the subject of leaving the EU after witnessing the effect of Brexit in the UK.
“Not for me after all,” rings the chorus, as they watch the chaos that continues to ensue in the aftermath of Britain’s messy departure from Brussels. (Witness the NI protocol scuffles making headlines once again today, more than six years down the line.)
Global Britain was the guinea pig but, alas, not the trendsetter. More like, a cautionary tale – and a highly effective cure for Exitmania.
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