The UK may have taken the historic decision to leave the European Union, but the bloc is looked upon far more favourably here than it is in some countries.
According a survey, 55 per cent of Britons said their country had benefitted from being a member of the EU, while only 39 per cent of Italians agreed with the same statement.
Guy Verhofstadt, the EU parliament’s chief negotiator, tweeted a table of EU states, ranked according to how much they believe membership has paid off.
The Belgian politician said: “A significant majority of Europeans believe EU Membership is beneficial for them. But we could do so much more. Let’s build the EU we need!”
At the top of the list are Ireland, Malta and Lithuania. France, the Czech Republic are just above the UK in terms of support.
A significant majority of Europeans believe EU Membership is beneficial for them. But we could do so much more. Let's build the EU we need! pic.twitter.com/UcmSwwMn38
— Guy Verhofstadt (@GuyVerhofstadt) October 31, 2017
According to the report, 90 cent of the Irish believe their country had benefitted from being a member of the EU.
Earlier this year, the UK’s Brexit Secretary said no other countries were likely to follow Britain in leaving the EU.
David Davis said fears from the European Commission that Brexit would start a domino effect were “without foundation”.
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He argued Britain was “a very different country” to the rest of the EU and suggested that the UK had decided to leave because of its unique “global reach”.
However, support among the bloc’s citizens has actually jumped sharply since the Brexit vote.
Earlier this year, countries including Germany and France reported a rises in the number of people with a favourable view.
But the report, published over summer, warned that concerns about the EU remained.
“[The rise in support] does not necessarily mean these publics are satisfied with the current state of affairs in Europe,” it said.
After Brexit, Italian ministers warned the EU that it must change direction or risk collapse after Britain’s vote to leave the bloc.
“The unthinkable is happening,” Finance Minister Pier Carlo Padoan said. “A double reaction to Brexit is under way, one financial, one political. The financial one, at least until now, is limited. I am more worried about the political one.
“There is a cocktail of factors that can lead to various outcomes, including a further push towards disintegration.”