Brexit news: Almost half of Italians will want to quit EU if Brexit is a success | World | News

Less than a fortnight after launched his No Europe of Italy party, modelled on Nigel Farage’s , the survey, commissioned by Euronews, will make for sobering reading for European Commission President , struggling to maintain unity after the recent wranglings at last month’s European Council summit. The survey saw 1,500 people in Italy, Germany, France and Spain interviewed between July 17 and 18 – a total of 6,000 altogether.

Questioned about whether they agreed, strongly or otherwise, with the idea of quitting the bloc in five years’ time if Brexit was seen to be a success, 45 percent said they did.

Significant levels of Euroscepticism were also revealed in France, where 38 percent agreed with the statement, and Spain, were 37 percent did.

In Germany, just 30 percent said yes, indicating less dissatisfaction with the status quo.

Gianluigi Paragone

Gianluigi Paragone launched No Europe of Italy last month (Image: GETTY)

Nigel Farage

Nigel Farage with his Italexit t-shirt (Image: Nigel Farage)

The interviewees were also asked whether the UK would benefit from quitting the bloc – and 43 percent of Italians, and 45 percent of the French, said it would do.

The Spanish were less sure (35 percent) with just 31 percent of Germans believing Britain will thrive outside the EU.

Mr Paragone launched his party the day after the ratification of the EU’s coronavirus rescue plan, which includes a £677 billion package of measures aimed at mitigating the impact of the pandemic.

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Ursula von der Leyen

Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission (Image: GETTY)

On face value, the proposals will benefit Italy – but sceptics including Mr Paragone fear it will see the country saddled with enormous debts.

Mr Paragone, a former Five Star Movement senator, has pledged to free his country “from the cage of the European Union and the single currency”.

Dr Mattia Zulianello, a political scientist at the University of Birmingham, told Euronews: “It is too soon to assess the real electoral potential of the new Italexit party.

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Giorgia Meloni

Giorgia Meloni, leader of the right-wing Brothers of Italy party (Image: PA)

Matteo Salvini

Matteo Salvini, Lega leader (Image: GETTY)

“The Italian party system is already overcrowded by the presence of various parties being critical of the EU, in various forms and degrees: Matteo Salvini’s League, Giorgia Meloni’s Brothers of Italy and the Five Star Movement.

“Such parties have considerable electoral support, and the electoral prospects of the new Italexit party will pretty much depend on its capacity ‘to steal’ voters from these parties.”

He added: “Rather than rejecting the very idea of European integration per se, most Italians are unhappy with the concrete functioning of the EU and with the direction it is taking.

Giuseppe Conte

Giuseppe Conte, Italy’s Prime Minister (Image: GETTY)

I am afraid that discontent with the EU will further increase in autumn

Dr Mattia Zulianello

“In other words, there are many shades of Euroscepticism, meaning that increased discontent with the functioning of the EU does not necessarily imply real support for Italexit.

“Euroscepticism is a polyhedric phenomenon: it is not black or white.”

“I am afraid that discontent with the EU will further increase in autumn, when the real extent of the economic crisis will become fully evident.”

Italy growth

Italy’s growth rate was almost stagnant last year – even before the pandemic (Image: Express)

Speaking last month, Dr Marina Cino Pagliarello, of the London School of Economics told “I’m not sure you can really talk about euroscepticism, but there is a sense of disenchantment, but the same optimistic vision of Europe is no longer present.

“When we talk about Europe it’s more a problem of priorities and of what you want to make with them.

“Italexit is a very remote possibility – Italexit is essentially a slogan really.

“Italians are aware that without Europe we could be completely ruined but you never know for the future.”

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