London – 63% WANTS EUROPE The answer of the Britons is clear: stay in.
Is the UK going to leave the European Union or not? This is the recurring question in the minds of millions of people around Europe. To check the Londoners’ mood we went through the streets of London asking about that.
Lately UK’s political situation hasn’t been easy at all. David Cameron, in his so-called “Bloomberg Speech”, said that a referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union would take place by 2017. Anyhow there are indications that the referendum is likely to be held in 2016.
But why did the Prime Minister put the survey on top of his agenda? During his speech, Cameron declared that his plan is to remain in the EU’s Single Market. However, the UK’s permanence is linked to some conditions. Firstly, he asked for regulations in order to have more competitiveness; secondly, flexibility by allowing countries to opt-out of EU rules and at last a return of power to member states and to national Parliaments.
One of the possible issues of Cameron’s plan is that EU head states don’t have any intention to negotiate with the UK because it would take years and because Cameron’s requests have already been rejected by German and French personalities (Guido Westerwelle and François Hollande).
After the international rejection of his proposals, the British Prime Minister chose another way to cope with such a situation. He invited all Britons to express their own opinion about this important choice. As we said before, we went around London to hear people’s voice, because after all this is what really matters.
Now you can think that common people have nothing to do with economic interests, diplomatic choices or strategies. But we realized how important this choice is for the British people.
Every Londoner knows that “time is money”. Maybe this is one of the reasons why they always go fast, walking in the streets. In fact, it was a real challenge for us to stop their “run”. Although, we achieved our purpose: we got their opinion about David Cameron’s referendum. We went to some of the liveliest areas in London, the most crowded ones: Oxford Street, Piccadilly, Bank and Holborn. We interviewed 1.236 Londoners.
[ photo- survey work zone]
At the question “What do you think about the Referendum? United Kingdom, in or out Europe?” people had different kind of reactions. Some got scared, some got annoyed while the majority looked interested.
The age range was from 18 to 80. The 63% of English citizens voted to stay in Europe while the 26% voted “out.” At last 11% (especially teenagers)abstained from voting, saying that they don’t care about politics. [graphic 1]
We have found that most teenagers answered “in” just because they want to feel part of a greater institution; while the elderly answered “out” in order to save their national integrity. The results changed according to the different places of the interviews. For instance, in Bank there was the prevalence of “in” owing to economical interests, while in Piccadilly “out” prevailed. [graphics 2-3-4-5]
In conclusion we need to say that the resulting data are in agreement with those the English newspaper “Evening Standard” published on 19th June. At the moment it seems that The United Kingdom wants to stay in Europe but anyway the final decision is in the hands of common people and all we can do is waiting for the results of vote.
vignette by Francesca Antinori