The majority of British expats in Cyprus said they will vote to stay in the EU, according to survey by expat network Angloinfo, reflecting the view of most Britons living in other EU countries.
The majority of British expats living in other EU countries will vote for the UK to remain a member in the June 23 referendum, Angloinfo said. Seventy-eight per cent surveyed intend to vote ‘Stay’, with 16 per cent set to vote ‘Leave’ and only six per cent still not sure.
In Cyprus, which was still home to close on 50,000 British expats in 2015 (source: United Nations Populations Division 2015) despite the 2013 financial crisis, 59 per cent of respondents said they will vote to ‘Stay’ in the trading bloc.
They cited economic issues as their chief motivator, with 79 per cent of this group saying that it is in Britain’s best economic interests to remain.
Economic concerns were also top of the list for the 33 per cent who intend to vote ‘Leave’: 71 per cent of this group believe a ‘Brexit’ would benefit the UK economically, freeing it from Brussels’ red tape and enabling it to negotiate trade deals with other countries without interference. Only eight per cent of the respondents in Cyprus were undecided.
Expat concerns focus on potential changes in the healthcare and pensions provisions that come with being a member of the EU, such as whether the state pension provisions will be ‘frozen’.
Visa concerns and potentially having to apply for residency were also considerations, as were reductions in income if the exchange rate lowered.
“I know that many British people living in Cyprus will be concerned about the issues under discussion and how the results of the referendum may affect them. What is clear is that leaving the EU will have many serious implications and no one yet knows the extent of them,” Britain’s High Commissioner in Nicosia, Ric Todd, said.
An estimated 1.2 million Brits live in other EU countries, with up to 5.5 million worldwide – an audience that could have a significant impact on the referendum outcome.
Being an expat living in the EU has had a positive impact on people’s opinions of it. Only 16 per cent of expats claim that living in the EU has made them less in favour of the UK remaining a member state.
The survey was conducted online amongst 4,564 expats across the Angloinfo network, between April 20th and May 19th 2016.