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EUROPEAN UNION

Public support in Europe for leaving EU collapses since Brexit, new survey shows

There has been a significant decline in support for leaving the European Union within its member states following the United Kingdom’s Brexit vote, according to a new survey by the European Social Survey.

Public support in Europe for leaving EU collapses since Brexit, new survey shows
Demonstrators hold placards and EU and Union flags as they take part in a march by the People's Vote organisation in central London on October 19, 2019. (Photo by Niklas HALLE'N / AFP)

The survey that was carried out both in 2016-2017 and again between 2020-2022 shows that public support for leaving the European Union has waned.

In the study, first reported by the Irish Times, respondents were asked the hypothetical question: “Imagine there were a referendum in [your country] tomorrow about membership of the European Union. Would you vote for [your country] to remain a member of the European Union or to leave the European Union?”.

The new data shows that support in favour of leaving the EU dropped in every member state.

The breakdown revealed there was an 11.8 percentage point drop in Finland between the two surveys, whilst Slovenia saw a 10 percentage point drop, 8.8 in Austria, and 8.6 in Portugal. In the Netherlands the those in favour of an EU exit fell by 8.4 percentage points in the period, while in Italy it dropped by 8.3 percentage points and in France by 7.6.

Germany saw support for leaving the EU fall by 3.8 percentage points, in Sweden the potential leave vote fell by 5.2 percentage points and Spain saw a drop of 4.7 percentage points.

When it comes to those who would vote to remain in the EU, support has increased as might be expected given the fall in support for leave, but surprisingly not among all countries.

The share of respondents who would vote to remain in the EU rose by 14.8 percentage points in Finland, 11.2 in the Netherlands, 10.5 in Slovenia, 9.7 in Czechia, 8.2 in Hungary, 8.1 in Portugal, 7.5 in Italy, and 6.7 in France.

Despite most expressing a wish to remain in the EU, not every country saw a rise in support for voting to remain. In Germany, there was a drop of 5.1 percentage points for remain, 3.4 in Poland, 1.7 in Spain and 0.4 in Sweden. But in these countries respondents did not switch to backing leave but gave answers indicating they didn’t know which side they would vote for or that they just wouldn’t vote.

The survey’s results also reveal respondents’ growing attachment to the EU since 2016 in most member states. In France emotional connection to the EU rose from 44 percent to 48.8 percent and in Italy from 37.2 percent to 44.3 percent. In Hungary where the government has been in conflict with the EU, attachment grew from 60 percent to 70.3 percent.

The period covered by the survey coincides with the tortuous negotiations between the UK and Brussels over Brexit as well as a period of political and economic turmoil in the UK which has been partly blamed on Britain’s hard divorce from the EU. It also coincided with the Covid pandemic which saw EU countries working together over the vaccine roll out and travel regulations.

Eurosceptic parties such as Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Rally in France, as well as parties in Italy and the Netherlands have in recent years dropped calls for their countries to leave the EU or the single currency but instead advocated for the union to reform.

Member comments

  1. The Irish Times are so anti Uk that anything they say has no relevance.They should remember that even today many Irish can go to the UK and work without an issue.
    COVID ,Net zero,Immigration and Ukraine have put a spanner in the works on Brexit and to think otherwise is sheer blindness.
    The present government has failed also to implement any changes.
    People voted against the EU rather than for Brexit.
    The Local as always a mix of Left and Wokery.

  2. There is a real sense of European identidy that has come to the surface. The EU members gave been through a lot and the € is holding its own.

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BREXIT

How new post-Brexit rules affect bringing goods to Italy via France

Following reports of a new post-Brexit customs rule meaning extra paperwork and fees when moving to European countries, here’s a look at how the rules apply to people moving their household goods from the UK to Italy.

How new post-Brexit rules affect bringing goods to Italy via France

There’s been talk on social media this week of a new Brexit rule that affects household furniture removals from the UK into Europe via France.

Couriers who regularly transport goods across the Channel have been reporting that a ‘T1’ form or bond is now required by French customs for all household moves from the UK.

Readers have been getting in touch to ask what this means for them – particularly whether this means there are new restrictions on moving goods to Italy or any other EU country.

So what is a T1 form, when will you need one, and why haven’t we heard about this before?

What’s changing

The T1 requirement has been in place for a long time, but it’s only now that France is getting around to enforcing it for the UK post-Brexit, explains Brian Murphy, managing director of the Dublin-based logistics company Global Trade.

A T1 transit declaration form tracks goods that are being transported between countries within the EU customs union from outside the EU. 

It provides the holder with proof that they need to make an import declaration and pay customs duties only upon reaching their final destination, Murphy tells The Local, and not in any of the other EU countries they transit through.

This is not a general requirement for all goods brought into the EU. Because the T1 tracks the movement of goods within the EU, it’s not needed if you’re bringing items from directly into one EU country – e.g. from the US to Italy by plane.

Why is this happening now?

Since Brexit, says Murphy, many removal vans coming from the UK had been using a “loophole” to avoid having to file a T1 form by declaring France as their final destination, even when it wasn’t.

Vehicles coming from the UK would simultaneously submit an export declaration to the UK authorities and an import declaration to the French authorities, providing a French address.

France would give the green light that no customs duty was due (as is typically the case with household moves), and the vehicle could enter the country and then proceed on to its final EU destination with no issues.

READ ALSO: Do you have to pay duty if you bring furniture from the UK to France?

Now, France appears to be closing the loophole by saying it will no longer allow this practice.

“France are now saying these are not destined for France, so do not import them into France: use the T1 to transit through France and import them into the country you’re going to,” says Murphy.

How could a new French customs rule affect shipments from the UK to Italy?

Photo by PHILIPPE HUGUEN / AFP.

How does this affect people moving from the UK to Europe?

If you’re moving from the UK to, say, France or the Netherlands, this likely won’t affect you at all as you can travel to these countries directly (remember that the T1 is only needed when moving goods within the EU customs union).

Those moving from the UK to Italy and driving over via France, though, will now need to open a T1 form.

You can’t simply fill the form out yourself. It isn’t accessible to private individuals as it requires special software, so you’ll need to pay a freight forwarder, customs agent or removal company to do it for you.

READ ALSO: What are the rules on moving household goods to Italy?

If a moving company is handling your items, they should take care of this process for you. If you’re moving your items yourself (see below) you’ll still need to pay someone to open your T1 form.

This means you’ll incur additional costs; some say they’ve been quoted €100, but if you shop around, Murphy says, you might be able to get a better deal. 

This fee isn’t just for providing an administrative service, he adds, but because the company that opens the T1 also accepts liability for paying the potential customs debt if the goods go missing (if no customs duty is due, you could reasonably expect to pay less).

You might also experience some delays with your delivery, as a T1 must be “discharged” when the goods arrive in their destination country.

This means that before the delivery can be completed, the courier or moving company first has to go either to a customs office or an approved location known as an “authorised consignee” to report the cargo’s arrival and close out the T1.

What are the rules on transporting furniture and other household goods to Italy?

Photo by Michal Balog on Unsplash

Given that customs offices tend to have very limited opening hours, some couriers have raised concerns that this could create a major headache – but Murphy says in reality it shouldn’t result in any significant hold-ups, as there are numerous authorised consignee locations that can be used 24/7.

Companies that have any kind of base in the destination country (such as a warehouse or depot) can apply for these to become authorised premises, and you also can pay to use someone else’s authorised consignee location.

“All along the entry points from Switzerland into Italy, you will have these authorised consignees for your truck to pull in and discharge it and move on, and you’re not driving out of your way,” says Murphy.

What if I want to transport my own goods?

Italy’s customs declaration threshold is €10,000: if you’re bringing in items with a lower value than this, says Murphy, you only need to make an oral declaration to the authorities, and shouldn’t have to fill out a form.

If the value of your goods is above this threshold, you will need a T1 form.

As mentioned above, you can’t fill this form out yourself even if you’re moving your household goods independently.

The company or customs agent that opens your T1 form will provide you with a numerical code known as a Movement Reference Number, or MRN, that you will need in order to close out the form on arrival in Italy.

The customs office or authorised consignee where you want to discharge your T1 must be listed on the form at the time of filing, so you’ll need to set this up in advance.

Overall, while the T1 form requirement will likely add some extra fees, bureaucracy, and possible delays for people relocating from the UK to Italy, it’s far from being a major obstacle to a house move.

The T1 “is not an overly complex process,” says Murphy; “it’s just an extra step.”

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