The 6% who are opposed

On November 30 2013, the Observer reported: “Poll of France, Germany, Poland and the UK shows British hostile to EU, and other nations hostile to Britain“.  The overall results of the poll were predictable, but the details are especially interesting.

Page 17 of the detailed results are about the UK, and include questions about the impact of EU membership on tourism and travel:


For 8% of respondents, EU membership has a negative impact on “tourism from other countries“.  Free movement law allows EU citizen tourists to travel without a visa, thus making it easier for tourists to visit the UK.  Would those 8% prefer fewer tourists from other member states in the EU?  Ouch!

Even more interesting is the 6% who think EU membership has a negative impact on “travel to other countries“.   In this case, EU free movement rules simply allow British tourists to travel to other member states without first obtaining a visa.    Do 6% think this free movement of British people is a bad thing?

It is wrong to interpret these results literally.  Nobody rationally thinks restricting the free movement of  British citizens would positively impact their travel to other countries.

Perhaps the 6% are so opposed to EU membership (and possibly free movement) that they will close their ears to the details of the question and simply answer “Bad!”.

If so, it shows a sizeable base of British people polled are fundamentally opposed to the EU, and those 6% are probably not convincible,

Methodology note about the poll: The survey was conducted using “online surveys among samples of general consumers in each of the UK, France, Germany and Poland“.   It is worth considering how an “online survey” of self-selected participants might slew the results.  Also, “general consumers” would include not only citizens of the country, but also EU citizens who are living and working in that host member state, and third country nationals.

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