9 May 2017
By Bryan T. Smyth
Ireland South MEP Deirdre Clune has welcomed a nationwide Red C poll commissioned by the European Movement (EM) Ireland which shows Irish people would not follow their EU neighbours Britain out of the EU – if a vote were to take place in the morning.
Almost 90 per cent of people agree that Ireland should remain as part of the EU, while 87 per cent believe that Ireland has benefited from being a member of the EU.
Welcoming the findings Clune said the EU project has transformed Ireland,
“It’s not just about EU funding. The EU has opened markets, the opportunity to travel and work, peace and stability and cooperation on innovation and development.
Only 16 per cent believe that Ireland should follow the UK out of the EU. This is a significant drop from 30 per cent in EM Ireland’s first polls in 2013.
For the first time in an EM Ireland poll, Irish people were asked for their views on whether Ireland should be part of increased EU defence and security co-operation, with nearly six in ten people (57%) supporting increased co-operation. Unemployed people showed strongest support, at 70 per cent, while 63 per cent of people aged over 65 years supported increased co-operation.
Findings of poll in more detail
· 88 per cent of Irish people agree that Ireland should remain a part of the EU; support runs at 99 per cent among full-time students and 90 per cent among young and middle-aged people aged 18-44 years. On a regional basis, support for EU membership is highest at 94 per cent in Munster.
· 87 per cent believe that on balance, Ireland has benefited from being a member of the EU, increasing to 93 per cent among young people aged 18 to 24 years, and again, highest in Munster at 92 per cent.
· 83 per cent believe that Ireland should not leave the EU, despite the UK’s vote to exit. The EM Ireland/Red C poll last year showed 81 per cent believed Ireland should not follow if the UK were to exit.
· Only 16 per cent believe that Ireland should follow the UK out of the EU. This is a significant drop from 30 per cent in EM Ireland’s first polls in 2013.
· On the UK’s vote to leave, views remain relatively unchanged from last year, with 82 per cent believing the UK should have voted to remain in the EU.
· Almost 6 in 10 people agree that Ireland should be part of increased EU defence and security co-operation, with overall support at 57 per cent. Unemployed people (70 per cent), full-time students (69 per cent) and the over-65s (63%) show higher levels of support.
· Opinion is split evenly at 49 per cent on whether the UK’s vote to leave would cause a return to a hard border. More women at 59 per cent anticipate a return to a hard border compared to 39 per cent of men.
· European Movement Ireland commissioned Red C to conduct this poll in the lead up to the anniversary of the UK referendum held in June 2016, to ascertain Irish people’s views on a variety of topics related to Irish-EU relations.