The number of pro-Europeans in Britain is at its highest for a decade, despite many claiming they have no idea what the EU does.
Figures published as part of an EU-wide survey show 42 per cent of people in the UK think the European Union is a good thing - the highest figure since the late 1980s and well above the 2000 low of 25 per cent.
But a national poll launched today by the European Commission reveals more than a quarter of Britons (29 per cent) admit they know nothing about the EU.
Mike Nattrass, UK Independence Party MEP for the West Midlands, said people could only think the EU was good if they did not under-stand it.
"I find the 42 per cent figure very hard to swallow," he said.
"I think if people actually knew how the EU operated and how inefficient it is they would be horrified.
"If you went and surveyed the Peugeot workers at Ryton I don't think they would say the EU is a good thing. I think they would say it has taken their factory to Slovenia."
But during a visit to Birmingham yesterday Reijo Kemppinen, Head of European Commission in the UK, defended the EU.
"I continue to believe that the more people know about how the EU operates, the more they will like it," he said.
"We will just have to wait and see who is right.
"With regards to the Ryton closure, that was a decision made by manufacturers operating under intense market pressures."
The national poll, by Gallup, reveals 72 per cent of those in the West Midlands thought the EU boosted business.
Almost 70 per cent thought it helped exporters and about half (49 per cent) thought it had improved working conditions.
Mr Kemppinen said Britons had noticed a drive to deliver on important issues such as energy prices, climate change, international mobile call prices and illegal immigration.
"During the past year we have offered the British a different kind of EU; one that delivers results instead of empty promises," he said.
"If we have the wisdom to continue like this, I am sure that even more people will understand why the EU is indispensable for our future."
In the West Midlands, the environment topped the list of issues for the EU to tackle, with 46 per cent labelling it a major concern.
Developing alternative energy sources and generating jobs and growth were also considered top priorities.
Many in the region wanted more information on the EU, particularly on how it benefited them, what its employment and social policies were and how it worked with national governments.
"All over Europe people are asking, quite rightly, what the European Union has ever done for us," said Mr Kemppinen.
"The British are no different. Of course they don't love everything about Europe, but if you probe a bit deeper they like quite a lot."
About 12 per cent of those in the West Midlands have lived or worked in another EU country and 18 per cent have bought a car from another member state .