The political idea of Europe is losing popular support across several key countries–no surprise given the economic travails facing the region. Approximately 77 percent of French respondents see the economic integration as making “things worse for their country”:
The poll pointedly noted that, “No European country is becoming more dispirited and disillusioned faster than France.” Last year, 60 percent of the French surveyed said they had a favorable impression of the European Union. This year only 41 percent did, a decline of 19 percentage points that was the biggest annual drop among the countries surveyed.
The results corresponded to some degree to the health of a nation’s economy. Only Greeks and Italians professed less belief in the benefits of economic union than the French, according to Pew. In Germany, 60 percent held a favorable impression of the union.
That could have everything to do with the listless economy in France, which is on the verge of joining much of Southern Europe in recession and has an unemployment rate of 11 percent. The German economy has fared better and has a relatively low unemployment rate of 5.4 percent.
At the same time, Goldman Sachs issues a sober assessment on the economics of a hotly debated Brexit of the UK from the European Union:
He dismissed those who argue that Britain could negotiate a trade deal with the EU once it had left. “Given the size and importance of the UK economy, it is unlikely that the UK could negotiate the same access to the EU single market that Switzerland and Norway have achieved,” he said. “In particular, the UK’s ability to conduct business in financial services across the European Union is likely to be severely compromised by a departure from the EU.”