The population of the United Kingdom trusts the European Union more than Westminster, reversing a trend that has lasted for more than three decades, according to a study published Thursday by the Policy Institute of King's College London. The analysis is part of the World Values Survey, which examines the trust that people in 24 countries - from Nigeria to South Korea - have in various public institutions, including the press and the police.
Since the country voted in the Brexit referendum almost seven years ago, the proportion of Britons who say they trust Parliament has plummeted 10 percentage points to 22%, while there has been a rise of seven percentage points in the confidence in the community bloc, up to 39%. Confidence in the British government has also fallen in this same period, five percentage points, from 29% to 24%.
The study also reveals that only 24% of respondents said they were "happy" that the UK voted to leave the EU, while 49% said they were "disappointed", with this disappointment being most pronounced in Scotland (59 %) and Northern Ireland (54%).
Trust in the European Union has also experienced a notable increase among all generations. The silent generation (those born between 1928 and 1945) has always been the least confident in the block, followed by the baby boomers and generation X, although sometimes the difference in opinion has been minimal, just 3% in 2009, for example.
Although the gap between these three cohorts has reopened in recent years, trust among all generations - including Generations Y and Z - has seen a notable rebound between 2018 and 2022. For example, during this period, the share of baby boomers who say they trust Brussels increased from 24% to 34%.
These results are likely to increase the confidence of supporters of restoring ties between the United Kingdom and the Twenty-seven, whose relations have experienced some improvement since the so-called Windsor Agreement was signed, signed by the British prime minister, Rishi Sunak, and the president of the Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, at the end of February.
The most striking finding of the analysis, however, is that trust in Parliament has halved since 1990, from 46% to its record low of 23%. "We are among the countries with the least confidence in the Executive of the more than 20 included in the study," says Bobby Duffy, director of the Policy Institute of King's College, in statements to The Guardian.
This change means the UK sits in the bottom half of countries in the survey in terms of trust in their respective parliaments, behind several of its European neighbors including Germany (43%), France (33%) and Spain (32%). Greece is the only European country included in the analysis that registered a lower figure, 14%.
According to the criteria of The Trust Project