Britain's Europe divorce prompts breakups

By CONAL URQUHART | China Daily UK | Updated: 2017-06-01 17:30

The arguments and divisions that led people in the United Kingdom to vote to leave the European Union last year look to have had a damaging effect on the nation's love life.

A survey conducted for the online dating agency eHarmony estimates that Brexit accounted for 1.6 million breakups. The figure was based on a sample of 2,000 British adults.

The research found that 2.7 million relationships foundered on the issue of politics, but Brexit was by far the largest cause.

Family ties were also affected. The research estimated that 2.5 million Britons fell out with relatives over Brexit, with 813,000 completely cutting of contact with a family member.

Britons between the ages of 25 and 34 were the most volatile on politics, with 12 percent saying they would leave a lover over the issue.

Romain Bertrand, the UK manager for eHarmony, said the Brexit referendum was a defining political moment with lots of coverage.

"This meant people were forced to confront issues they might otherwise have avoided in terms of political perspectives-therefore it's unfortunate but not altogether surprising that 1.6 million UK relationships ended," he said.

June 23 is the first anniversary of the referendum but the UK is still a long way away from leaving the EU. The first negotiations on the breakup are set to begin on July 19 but it is not clear how quickly they will progress or when they will finish.

Before then, the UK must undergo a general election on June 8, which could further complicate Brexit talks and human relations.

Differences of opinion, however, do not necessarily end in a split. Bertrand said the company's research found that traits such as conscientiousness, good conflict resolution, and adaptability help create and sustain happy, long-lasting relationships.

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