A majority of Australians think the Britain should remain part of the European Union, according to a poll by the foreign policy think tank the Lowy Institute.
The national phone poll of 1000 people taken in the first week of June found that 51% of Australian adults say the United Kingdom “should remain a member of the European Union”. Support for Brexit was at 19%, while 30% said they don’t know or have no view.
But if the UK does decide to go, the vast majority of Australians think it will damage the EU, perhaps irreparably, with nearly a third believing that is would spell the beginning of the end for the union.
While 41% believed the EU be damaged but would recover from a Brexit, 29% said it would lead to the “break-up of the European Union over time”. Just 11% said there will be no impact.
The Institute’s executive director for International Policy, Dr Michael Fullilove believes a departure would make the UK “a less useful staging-post, and a less interesting vantage-point, for Australians”.
Fullilove says the bilateral relationship would cool and anyone who believed a departure would give the UK the chance to strengthen its relationships with Commonwealth and Anglosphere countries was wrong.
“Brexit would not strengthen links between Western countries: it would weaken them. Brexit would make for a less liberal Europe and a less united West at a time when the world needs Europe and the West more than ever,” he said.
As a result the UK would be “weaker, poorer, less influential and less respected,” Fullilove argues.
“No one who votes for the UK to leave Europe should believe that in so doing they will win the gratitude of Australians or others in the Anglosphere.”
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