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Support for EU in Britain at record high, latest survey finds

European flags symbolising freedom of movement - Credit: PA Images

Support for the EU in Britain is at a record high, a survey into Covid-19 responses across Europe has found.

Positive opinions about the bloc in Britain has increased by six points over the last year to 60% of the population – the highest number recorded for the country by researchers.

The Pew Research Center study of eight EU countries also found that more than half of respondents felt confident that Germany’s Angela Merkel and France’s Emmanuel Macron would do the right thing while far fewer believed Boris Johnson would.

MORE: More approve of EU leadership than Boris Johnson’s premiership, poll finds

The survey of Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden, carried out from mid-June to late July found a median of 66% of people polled approved of the EU.

The highest was Germany with 73% while Italy had the lowest at 58%. 

In terms of the bloc’s most trusted leaders, chancellor Merkel and president Macron came out on both with both seeing boosts of between six and nine points.

A median of 36% of respondents felt confident that Johnson would do the right thing in world affairs. In fact, more people in the UK had faith in Marcon (64%) and Merkel (76%) to do a good job than Johnson (51%).

It also uncovered that 64% of British respondents felt the EU had done a good job handling the coronavirus outbreak – significantly more than the 46% who said the British government had dealt well with the pandemic.

Researchers said the UK stood out for having the worst view of their own country’s Covid-19 response while having one of the most positive of the EU’s.

MORE: Poll finds support for Brexit at an all-time low

Despite the fact that Europe was home to some of the strictest measures to control the spread of the virus, including full national lockdowns, the survey suggested people in most EU nations approved not only of their national governments’ initial response to the pandemic, but also of how the EU had handled it