The latest Eurobarometer public opinion survey conducted across the EU in September has found that 85pc in Ireland, if asked, would vote to remain in the EU with just 7pc saying they would vote to leave and 8pc don’t know.
In contrast 53pc of UK respondents would vote to remain in the EU while 35pc would vote to leave and 12pc don’t know.
Commenting on the study Mairead McGuinness MEP and first Vice-President of the European Parliament said it confirms the high level of support there is in Ireland for membership of the EU.
“Even though we’re now net contributors to the EU budget clearly Irish people see the value of trade, economic and social protection that comes from close co-operation with our EU partners.
“That is particularly relevant is a globalised world that is rapidly changing.”
However, that is not to say that Irish people do not have concerns, Ms McGuinness said.
“These concerns relate to the direction in which the EU is going with up to half of respondents expressing such sentiments. Perhaps this is understandable given the level of upheaval and the difficulty in finding solutions to big issues like migration.”
The survey also showed 48pc of respondents wanting the EU to play a more important role while 27pc said they would prefer a lesser role. And 62pc across member states consider their country’s membership of the EU to be a good thing and 68pc see their country as having benefitted from membership.
The MEP also said the findings would appear to indicate that while UK public representatives are deeply divided on Brexit UK citizens may be moving in a more positive direction in their attitudes to the EU since the Brexit vote.
She said everyone on this side of the Irish sea would wish Prime Minister Theresa May well in her quest for unity among her Government colleagues at this very difficult stage in the Brexit talks “and that they live up to the commitment already entered into on the backstop.”