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Half of British voters 'would chose to leave the EU in referendum

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Half of British voters 'would chose to leave the EU in referendum

Post  Panda on Tue 20 Nov - 7:11

Half of British voters 'would chose to leave the EU in referendum'


Half of British voters would chose to leave the European Union if they were offered the choice in a referendum, a poll has found.








Mrs Merkel made her unexpected appeal to Mr Cameron before meeting the Prime Minister in London to discuss the EU budget Photo: Guido Bergmann/EPA






By James Kirkup

7:30AM GMT 09 Nov 2012





The survey will fuel the growing political debate about Britain’s future place in the EU, which has seen even Cabinet ministers suggesting that the UK would prosper outside the union.


It was published a day after Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, publicly urged David Cameron to resist growing Conservative pressure for an exit and keep Britain in the EU.


The YouGov poll showed that 49 per cent of voters would vote to leave the EU in a referendum. Twenty-eight per percent said they would opt to remain a member, while 17 per cent said they did not know how they would vote.


The poll, of 1,637 British adults, was carried out late last month and also showed that most Britons do not believe their country has much sway over European affairs.


Only 29 per cent of voters said they consider Britain to be influential within the EU. Forty five per cent said Britain has little clout in Europe.



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British voters are also gloomy about the future of the EU: 65 per cent said they are pessimistic about the union’s prospects, while only 22 per cent were optimistic.

The Prime Minister has said he does not want to have a referendum on EU membership, arguing that remaining inside the union is in Britain’s best interests.

Instead, he has proposed negotiating changes in Britain’s membership to reduce the impact of EU rules on British life. Those changes could be put to the people in a referendum, Mr Cameron has said.

The Prime Minister’s policy does not go far enough for some Conservatives, including members of his Cabinet. They say the party should be willing to consider offering voters the choice of leaving the EU altogether.

Some Conservative advocates of a tougher line on Europe are worried about the rise of the UK Independence Party, which has seen its poll ratings rise over the last year.

Nigel Farage, the Ukip leader, said that the poll showed that Mr Cameron’s European policy is increasingly untenable.

He said: “It is clearer and clearer that the people of this country want out of the European Union. The 49 per cent are not looking for Cameron’s renegotiations, and a punt into the long grass. They want out.”

Some members of the Labour Party are also keen to take a more critical approach to Britain’s place in the EU.

The British political drift towards scepticism over Europe has alarmed some European leaders, who worry that the result could be a British departure from the union.

Mrs Merkel made her unexpected appeal to Mr Cameron before meeting the Prime Minister in London to discuss the EU budget, which has emerged as the latest focus for British political unease over Europe.

Fifty-three Conservative MPs last week united with Labour to back a Commons amendment telling Mr Cameron to seek a real-terms cut in the EU’s 2014 – 2020 budget at a summit later this month.

Mr Cameron has said that such a cut is impossible to deliver, saying his objective is a freeze in Brussels spending instead.

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Since this article the EU have said they will ignore Britains' veto on the proposed increase in EU Expenses , so much for Democracy !!!!

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Re: Half of British voters 'would chose to leave the EU in referendum

Post  Panda on Tue 20 Nov - 7:33

David Cameron is told to call an EU referendum by 2014


David Cameron has accused the EU of "picking the pockets" of the public as he faces demands to call a referendum on Britain's future in Europe next year.









Photo: Reuters



By Tim Ross, Political Correspondent

3:10PM GMT 19 Nov 2012





The leading Tory eurosceptic MP, David Davis, declared that the British people must be given the chance to vote for a major repatriation of powers from Brussels by early 2014.


The government needs a positive referendum result to have a “mandate” that can convince European leaders to negotiate meaningfully about Britain’s future, he said.


It is possible to strike a “new deal” with Europe but ministers “will need to show more imagination, tenacity and courage” than in the past, he said.


Mr Davis, the former shadow home secretary, intervened three days before the Prime Minister departs for Brussels for some of the toughest European negotiations he has faced since taking office.


The Prime Minister, under pressure from Labour as well as his own party over Europe, used a speech to business leaders to declare that the EU must stop “picking the pockets” of the public and limit its budget.



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Mr Davis, a former Europe minister and Conservative leadership candidate, is regarded as a leading voice of the eurosceptics within the party, whom he claims now represent more than 90 per cent of Tory members.

In a speech in Westminster, hosted by Conservativehome.com, Mr Davis proposed a two-stage referendum. The first would ask whether the public wanted to renegotiate Britain’s relationship with the EU and the second would ask whether any resulting new deal was good enough or whether Britain should quit Europe.

If the EU refuses to restore Parliament’s sovereignty over a host of policy areas, including defence, justice, immigration, and social policy, then the government would hold a second “in-out” referendum on whether the UK should leave, he said.

“We have reached a turning point in our history,” he said. “A decision has to be made. It is critical that this decision is made now. The pressure for an in-out referendum is building.”

Levels of support for an in-out referendum fluctuate “but the demand for a say in our future is constant”.

Mr Davis warned bluntly that the Prime Minister would fail to trim the ambitions of European leaders for an increase in the EU budget in his negotiations in Brussels later this week.

Mr Cameron is under increasing pressure to veto plans for an above-inflation increase in the EU budget for the next seven years. Conservative MPs joined Labour to demand a real-terms cut in the EU budget but Mr Cameron is calling for a freeze in line with inflation.

The Prime Minister stepped up his rhetoric ahead of Thursday’s summit, insisting that Brussels had to stop “picking the pockets” of the British public.

He said it was “not credible” for the EU's funding package to escape austerity, and demanded cuts for highly-paid officials.

Speaking at the CBI conference in central London, Mr Cameron said he was “a good European”.

But he signalled he was ready to take a tough line in negotiations on the 2014-20 budget.

“Here in the UK I have frozen some benefits, I have frozen people's pay, I have cut some budgets by 30%. I have actually cut the police budget by 20%,” he said.

“I think I have got the people of Europe on my side in arguing that we should stop picking their pockets and spending more and more money through the EU budget, particularly when so many parts of the European budget are not well spent.”

Meanwhile, the Cabinet’s leading pro-European Tory, Ken Clarke, said it would be a economic “disaster” for Britain to leave the EU.

Mr Clarke, minister without portfolio, said any suggestion the UK could leave the EU is “damaging our influence” in the world.

Speaking on the BBC's Today Programme, he said he does not "remotely believe" the Prime Minister is planning to take Britain out of the EU, despite eurosceptic pressure from backbench MPs.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, called on Mr Cameron to emulate his Tory predecessor Margaret Thatcher and stand up to Europe in the budget talks.

And he said he wanted an “in-out” referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU, suggesting he could not vote to to stay in without reforms.

A referendum is “not the number one economic priority at the moment”, he said, but continued: “We haven’t had a referendum for a very long time, not since 1975.

“I think it would be a good thing at the right moment to settle the matter and ask people, ‘are you basically in favour of being in or out?’” he told BBC Radio 4’s PM programme.

Mr Johnson said he had always favoured remaining inside the EU to be “influential” but recent developments had made it “a much more balanced decision”.

“It depends exactly what the offer is, what kind of settlement could we reach with Europe? That’s the question for me,” he said.

Liberal Democrat Business Secretary Vince Cable conceded that there would have to be a referendum on Europe at some point.

But he warned that now was a "spectacularly bad time" for such a move.

"There will have to be a public argument, there will be a referendum at some point. The issue at the moment is about timing," he said.

























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