Survey shows majority of expats in Europe wish to remain EU citizens

Published:  24 May at 6 PM
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According to research carried out by a major website aimed at UK expats, the vast majority of UK citizens living in EU countries are in favour of Britain’s staying put in the EU.

The survey, carried out with a representative sample of expats in Europe, showed that 71 per cent are committed to staying in the EU. Just 23 per cent are intending to vote to leave the union, with six percent unable to make up their minds as yet. The survey, conducted by global expat network AngloInfo, demonstrated that in spite of non-stop campaigning by the 'Leave' group, Brit expat hearts and minds haven’t been swayed beyond their initial conclusions.

Results of a previous survey carried out last month were broadly similar. One reason why expat voting intentions haven’t shifted is that most believe the government and related experts have failed to give concrete evidence of lifestlye changes which might result should a Brexit take place. Persuasive evidence of any Brexit benefits to the UK has also been thin on the ground, according to those taking part in the study.

Given the estimated two million plus expats living outside the UK in the European community, the views of the majority as expressed in the survey may have a significant influence on the referendum’s outcome. Generally, the 84 per cent of respondents intending to lodge a ‘Remain’ vote believe the UK will be financially better off as part of the EU, with 74 per cent saying that damaging new trade laws would come in as a result of leaving.

Interestingly, the global status of the UK played a part in respondents’ decisions, with 71 per cent feeling the country is taken more seriously as a part of the EU. National security issues, according to 68 per cent, would be better served by remaining within the Union.

Specific expat concerns have been endlessly discussed on the internet for some months now, with no straight answers forthcoming from government spokespersons. As a result, healthcare and pension provisions still topped the list of concerns for those who took part in the study, with visa issues, residency fears and income reductions due to exchange rate falls not far behind.

As regards those expats disallowed from voting due to the 15-year rule, 82 per cent said they would vote ‘Remain’ given the chance. Reasons given were similar to other remain-oriented expat respondents, with the negative economic factors of leaving causing the most concern. It would seem the government is missing out on literally millions of ‘Remain’ votes by digging its heels in over the 15-year rule for unspecified political reasons.
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