People from EU countries have no intention of helping UK in a major crisis, poll reveals

James Morris
·Senior news reporter, Yahoo News UK
·2-min read
NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND - JULY 28: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks to local people at the Canal Side Heritage Centre in Beeston on July 28, 2020 in Beeston near Nottingham, England. The government is launching a new cycling intuitive to help get people fitter. (Photo by Rui Vieira - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
YouGov said the survey is evidence of how much the UK has 'alienated' itself during the bitter Brexit fallout, including under Boris Johnson's administration. (Getty Images)

People from EU countries would have no intention of helping the UK in a major crisis, a vast new study has revealed.

YouGov provided people from 13 EU member states with a list of 35 countries and asked which ones they would be willing to offer financial help in a major crisis.

Of that 35, only Colombia ranked lower than the UK.

Matthew Smith, from YouGov, said it was evidence of how much the UK has “alienated” itself from its EU neighbours.

It follows the bitter Brexit fallout since the 2016 referendum – something that continues to this day as the UK and EU struggle to negotiate its “future relationship” terms.

It was part of a YouGov study which surveyed more than 21,000 people from 14 European countries: Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Spain, Sweden and the UK.

On average, people from the 13 EU countries gave the UK a -8% net score in terms of their willingness to help in a crisis. Colombia, at the bottom, had -12%.

By contrast, people from the UK were willing to help all 13 EU nations, the survey found.

Smith said of the findings: “These results also demonstrate quite how far the UK has alienated its European neighbours.

“Only in Greece, Denmark, Poland and Romania do more people than not say they would be willing to give the UK financial aid in the event of a major crisis.

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“This is not simply the case that the UK is a rich country and so people won’t donate on the basis that the UK can afford to look after itself: people are far more willing to provide financial assistance to the other top wealthy European countries Germany and France.”

France had a net score of +21% from its EU neighbours, while Germany had +14%.

It comes as a separate study found Brexit sparked a wave of migration out of the UK to Europe similar to those caused by a serious economic or political crisis.

Migrations to EU countries have risen 30% since the 2016 referendum, according to a joint research project between the Oxford-in-Berlin partnership and the WZB Social Science Centre.

The data showed that migration from the UK to EU states averaged 56,832 people per year from 2008 to 2015, but climbed to 73,642 a year from 2016 to 2018.

The number of UK citizens attaining an EU member state passport also leapt by more than 500% across the continent and more than 2,000% in Germany.

The study’s authors said: “The UK is facing a potential brain drain of highly-educated British citizens, who have decided to invest their futures in continental Europe.”