Europeans don't like the UK

I followed a link in Chris Grey’s blog to this survey.
Worrying for us emigrants from the UK to the EU - people in major EU countries would not want to help the UK in a major crisis - indeed they seem to have a more sympathetic view of almost all other countries…

I don’t think that applies to known individuals from the UK, however, vis-à-vis the opinion of the UK as an entity I think that rightly or wrongly it is the knock-on effect on Europeans of UK attitudes bred by years of anti-EU propaganda, the constant harping on WWII in popular culture with those terrible stereotyping sitcoms which inform tourists’ attitudes, many anglophones thinking the UK isn’t actually just a European island off the mainland, the spectre of ancient football hooliganism, all sorts of fairly tiny individually insignificant things which add up to “pffff y’en a marre qu’ils se démerdent”.

Edited because of a typo


We are so well accepted here, much more than ever before when we moved in UK.
I consider myself a European and I don’t like the UK very much either.


I’m not sure I’d be willing to help the UK (eg vote for the EU to bail out the country). Friends and family, yes. Particular groups of people, yes. But the country, no. Not logical as my pension will come from the UK so I need it to stay afloat!


Depends somewhat on how one reads the stats. Interesting to note that 15 out of 34 countries (44%) rate the UK higher than the EU average.
Then there is the question of whether it is actually worthwhile for any country to ask the EU for help bearing in mind the length of time that it seems to take the EU to decide on doing something effective, if they ever do. I’m thinking here of the EU response to requests for help with the migrant problem from both Greece and Italy.

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That’s reassuring Véronique, and I’m sure you’re right with regard to most people - but for some there is a tendency - which for example I noticed on this site in one of the ‘chinese’ threads - to conflate a political regime with a people.


For the UK vituperation is the default position of many posters on here, but some sense at last, the UK is its people not its government. We are lumbered with this shambolic crew.

That is simply the nature of averages (for any sample half above, half below the average).

As in:

Half of all drivers are below average ability (shock, horror - er no :slight_smile: )

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Not quite sure how you worked that out Robert. The UK only received net positive scores from Sweden, Denmark, Poland, and Romania - and big negative scores from places like Spain, France and Greece (all places visited by a lot of Brits). France - to take a contrasting example - was given only one small net negative rating.

Indeed the only country less favourably viewed overall was Colombia (with Tunisia a tie).

Anyway - I’m pretty certain Robert mis-understood what the “EU average” represented as there were only 14 countries sampled for their willingness to help others, not 34

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Actually, the UK is quite well liked - not up in the 40s, but liked by our usual friends.
I was expecting far worse!!

I’m sure that I’m not alone in being a resident of Franc e, who’s now embarrassed by being a UK citizen despite the welcoming attitude of the French.

I’m increasingly empathic with the situation of my wife, who until acquiring a UK passport in 2012, had travelled on a South African passport. However, as soon as the Brexit vote occurred, her previously prized UK passsport began to become as big an embarrassment as her SA one. We both want French passports, but need two more years f/t residency , nevertheless we’ll always, though not by choice,be emigrés.

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Well, I’m not resident in France but otherwise agree totally - quite embarrassed to be a Brit at the moment.

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34 countries are listed in the left hand column. The UK has a better rating than the EU average in the right hand two columns from the listed countries in 15 instances. The rest is just mathematics.
The trouble is that it is only ‘statistics’ anyway, and it’s possible to prove anything you like with statistics with the probable exception of the truth.
Didn’t someone once say that there are lies, damned lies, and statistics.
I wonder how the chart would look if all of the Commonwealth countries were included ?

Ah, I see the mistake that you made.

The rightmost column is the rating that the UK gave for each the 34 countries - so what you are describing is the fact that the survey suggests that the UK would view 15 countries more favourably than the EU average and 19 countries less favourably than the EU average.

It is, I have to admit, not the clearest presentation I have ever seen.

Perhaps I need a new magnifying glass.

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It took me a couple of goes before I understood the bloody thing.

Well it’s only statistics anyway so I don’t think I’ll bother straining my eyes with it further.

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Sorry - it came out much smaller than I anticipated - but you can enlarge with Ctrl and + pressed together.
It is actually a huge survey (over 30,000 respondents compared with the usual 1,000 or so of most opinion polls). It is of course ‘only statistics’ - I always test these things with other sources, including my own experience - but as statistics go it ought to be more reliable than most surveys you’re likely to see.

I’m not embarrassed to be a Brit, just perplexed at how my fellow Brits could have come to the decision they did. Most of the French people we have discussed the B word with have an attitude somewhere between perplexed and mildly amused. They certainly don’t take it personally, or blame the British people, living in France or not.