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Italy felt very disappointed with Brussels when it became the worst affected country on the continent and some EU supporters may begin to question the benefits of being a member state. And animosity towards EU leaders over the bloc’s failure to offer help to Italians when they need it seems to have been reflected in the results of a new investigation into the relations of the United Nations. Italy with the United Kingdom.
We will intensify our dialogue and our collaboration
The poll found that while 52% of Italians remain critical of the Brexit decision, the number of those who argue that British citizens have done well to vote to sever ties with the EU has increased by 5% at 33% last year.
The percentage of Italians who deem it desirable to maintain a close link between the UK and the EU after Brexit remains stable at 60%, but this proportion increases, in some cases considerably, when it comes to aspects specific to the partnership.
The survey found that 74% of respondents are in favor of a free trade area after the UK leaves the single market, 71% hope for close cooperation on security and defense and 64% of Italians agree with the principle of controlled management of migration. flow of EU citizens between the EU and the UK.
Anti-EU sentiment continues to grow in Italy
While trade talks still stalled, the number of Italians who believe failure to reach an agreement between the UK and the EU would be detrimental has risen from 80% to 84% and just 4 % think the opposite.
A majority of 39% believed the negative impact of a no-deal Brexit would be felt the same way by Britain and the EU, while 30% said they believed the UK would suffer. the most and 15% felt that Brussels would pay the price.
The survey, carried out on behalf of the British Embassy in Rome, reveals a massive consensus in Italy for good commercial and scientific relations after Brexit.
And he found that Italians’ desire to travel to London as soon as the worst of the pandemic has passed remains unaffected by Brexit, with 77% of Italians saying they intend to travel to the UK once. the pandemic ended. This percentage rises to 86% for people aged 25 to 44.
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The survey found that the number of Italians who want to see a strong connection between the UK and Italy in the future has risen to 68%.
Four in five Italians wish to maintain close bilateral collaboration for investment and trade, scientific research and innovation, sustainable development, energy and climate change.
Two-thirds of Italians believe it is useful for the EU to continue working with the UK after Brexit and to ensure it is involved in EU plans to tackle the COVID-19 crisis .
And more than three-quarters believe the UK’s technological and research contribution to finding a vaccine that defeats the coronavirus is valuable.
Commenting on the results of the investigation, British Ambassador to Italy Jill Morris said: “The UK-Italy relationship is resisting the impact of COVID-19, which unfortunately continues to be felt these days here in our two countries and in the rest of the world.
“In this regard, we are closely following the collaboration between Oxford and the Italian Irbm in the search for a vaccine, which I hope will soon lead to positive results.
“I am touched by the number of Italians who say they are ready to return to the UK after the end of the health emergency, and I welcome the wish of many, that the UK and Italy continue to step up exchanges in the scientific field, research and innovation, but also sustainable development, energy and climate change. “
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She continued: “These are key issues, on which the UK and Italy have the incredible opportunity to work together in preparation for our respective G7 and G20 presidencies in 2021, as well as our valuable partnership under the UK Presidency of COP26.
“We will intensify our dialogue and collaboration, providing a coin that I am sure will help us to rebuild together a more prosperous, secure and sustainable future than before.”
(Additional report by Maria Ortega)