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Europeans want hard line in Brexit negotiations

Staff Writer | June 20, 2017
EU leaders should take a firm stance in Brexit negotiations with Britain, according to a poll carried out with citizens from nine major European nations.
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Two-thirds of those surveyed in Belgium, Germany, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Austria, Hungary and Poland said that the EU should stick to its core principles during the Brexit negotiations, which began on Monday.

The survey, which was conducted by pollsters Chatham House-Kantar, showed that just 18% of those asked believed that maintaining a close relationship with the UK should be a priority, at the expense of its principles.

Among the countries surveyed, Italian and German citizens felt the strongest about the EU maintaining its core principles during the discussions, 68% of those in Italy and 67% of those in Germany said that there should be no compromise.

Brexit secretary David Davis met with EU leaders for the official beginning of Brexit negotiations on Monday, with uncertainty remaining following the loss of the Conservative majority in the recent general election.

In the wide-ranging survey which involved over 10,000 people, including a group from Britain, 57% said the EU had been weakened by the UK's decision to leave the bloc.

Meanwhile, 70% of UK citizens surveyed in the poll said that the bloc would suffer without the presence of Britain in the EU.