The Brexit deal: the view from Britain, France and Germany
February 22nd, 2021, Fintan Smith

The Brexit deal: the view from Britain, France and Germany

Now the end of the transition period has past, Britain has officially left the EU and the promises and predictions of the last five years are to be put to the test.

New data from YouGov finds that, out of Britain, France and Germany, Brits are the most pessimistic about the final outcome of the Brexit deal and the consequences this will have for the UK economy.

The French are more likely than Britons to believe Britain does best out of the deal

The most common view in Britain is that the EU has come out on top. A third of Britons (33%) believe the deal serves the EU best, including nearly half of Remain voters (47%). Just 13% hold the opposing view that Britain does better than the EU out of the Brexit deal, including 28% of Leave voters. One in five (22%) believe the deal benefits both sides equally, with no notable difference between the proportion of Remain and Leave voters holding this view (22% and 24% respectively).

The German view is much the same as our own. Just 15% of Germans believe Britain comes out best from the deal, with 34% believing the EU does best and a further 24% believing the deal is equally good for both sides.

The French, on the other hand, are less confident that this has been a good deal for the EU, with 22% believing that Britain is best served by the deal and only 21% believing the EU to have done better. However, the proportion of French people who believe both sides do equally well out of the deal is similar to the British and German populations at 21%.

The Brits are the most sure of the positive economic impacts of Brexit

Few people in any of the three nations think that Brexit will have any positive economic impacts on their own countries’ economies. More than two in five in both France (46%) and Germany (44%) believe that Brexit will in fact have a negative impact on their economies.

The nation most pessimistic about the economic impact of Brexit, however, is Britain itself, at 54%. More than eight in ten Remain voters (84%) foresee negative economic consequences for Britain, compared to 27% of Leave voters. Only a quarter of Britons have hope that leaving the EU will have a positive economic impact (24%), with Leave voters most optimistic at 47%.

Our European cousins, however, are even less likely to see something in it for them: only 15% of Germans and 10% of French people believe that Brexit will have a positive impact on their countries’ economies.

The French and Germans are more likely to feel insulated from the economic ramifications of Britain’s departure, with over a fifth in France (21%) and more than a quarter of Germans (28%) believing that Britain’s exit with have ‘no impact’ on their own national economy. Few Brits share this view, with only 7% believing that Brexit will have no economic impact on Britain.

Brexit Britain may stand to lose some of its European tourist trade

Now that free movement between Britain and other European countries has been brought to an end, some Europeans say they are less likely to visit Britain on their holidays. Nearly a quarter of Germans (23%) say they are less inclined, along with a fifth of French people (20%), as well as a similar number of Swedes (18%), and 13% of Danes. The end of free movement certainly hasn’t made many more likely to visit Britain, with just 5% in Germany, France and Denmark and 8% in Sweden more likely to visit the UK post-Brexit.

See full GB results here

See full Euro results here