In October, the British Chamber of Commerce in Germany (BCCG) conducted a Forsa poll testing: Opinions on the development of the European Union and the potential exit of the United Kingdom from the EU.
Simultaneously, BCCG conducted a membership survey with the same questions. Their results are in brackets below. 36% of the sample of 1018 German adults, representing a fair cross-section of society, said they would not regret the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, although 89% of BCCG members would regret an exit.
1. Some people demand that more rights and competences should be returned from the EU to the member states, Do you agree or disagree with this view?
a. Yes, I share this view 54% (BCCG members: 50%)
b. No, I do not share this view 38% (BCCG members: 47%)
c. Don’t know 8% (BCCG members: 3%)
2. There is also the proposal that national parliaments of EU member states should have the right to stop laws and directives of the EU if a certain number of member state parliaments reject them. Do think this proposal is good or not good?
a. Yes, I think that is a good proposal 64% (BCCG members: 61%)
b. No, I think that proposal is not good 28% (BCCG members: 37%)
c. Don’t know 8% (BCCG members: 2%)
3. So far not all EU member states have introduced the Euro as their currency. In principle, however, it is foreseen that every country, once it fulfils certain criteria, also joins the Eurozone. What do you think: should member states that have not yet introduced the Euro be allowed to keep their own national currency or should in the long run all EU-members be obliged to also join the Eurozone?
a. Yes, member states should be allowed to keep their own national currencies 52% (BCCG members: 61%)
b. No, all member states should also join the Eurozone 43% (BCCG members: 37%)
c. Don’t know 5% (BCCG members: 2%)
4. Do you think that EU-citizens generally should have the right to claim social benefits in another EU-country if they live there, or should EU-member states have a right to make welfare payments dependent to whether a EU-foreigner has already payed contributions for a few years?
a. Yes, EU-citizens should have those rights 26% (BCCG members: 31%)
b. No, they should only receive welfare payments if they have already payed into the system for some years 69% (BCCG members: 67%)
c. Don’t know 5% (BCCG members: 2%)
5. Should within the EU all issues be decided by all member states or should it be possible within the EU that some states with regard to some issues like fighting crime or migration policies work closer together than other countries that do no not wish so?
a. Yes, all decisions should be taken by all member states 51% (BCCG members: 20%)
b. No, it should be possible to work closer with countries that see issues in a similar way 46% (BCCG members: 78%)
c. Don’t know 3% (BCCG members: 2%)
6. In Great Britain the citizens will be asked in 2016 or 2017 to decide via referendum whether Great Britain should leave the EU or remain in the EU. On principle: Do you think it is right if the question of a country’s leaving or staying in the EU is decided by all citizens of that country via referendum or would you prefer if elected representatives in parliament decide on that?
a. Yes, I think citizens should decide such questions in a referendum 72% (BCCG members: 61%)
b. No, I think elected representatives in parliament should take such decisions 25% (BCCG members: 38%)
c. Don’t know 3% (BCCG members: 1%)
7. Would you regret Great Britain leaving the EU or would you not regret that?
a. Yes, I would regret a withdrawal from the EU 55% (BCCG members: 89%)
b. No, I would not regret a withdrawal 36% (BCCG members: 10%)
c. Don’t know 8% (BCCG members: 1%)
Forsa poll: All figures are from Forsa Politik- und Sozialforschung GmbH. The total sample size was 1018 German adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 5th and 7th of October 2015. The survey was carried via computerised telephone interviews. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all German adults (aged 18+).
These results were provided by Andreas Meyer-Schwickerath, Director & Member of the Board, British Chamber of Commerce in Germany e.V. and board member of the German British Forum.