51 per cent want to leave the EU! Poll result sparks new demands for early referendum. Video
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THE crusade for Britain to cut ties with Brussels took another giant leap forward last night after a poll revealed that most voters now back leaving the European Union.
Britons would vote to quit by 51 per cent to 49 per cent if an in-or-out referendum were held now. It was the second poll in a month to show a majority want to leave after decades of support for continuing to stay in. And the result will step up calls for a referendum on membership to be held sooner rather than later.
The pan-European survey also found growing disenchantment with Brussels across the Continent – including Germany and France. In Britain, it was seen as a boost for the Daily Express’s crusade for us to quit. Anti-EU campaigners last night said the poll showed that public opinion was moving towards an exit. Ukip MP Mark Reckless said: “The more people see of the EU, with its demands for more payment and its ridiculous laws, the more they will want to leave. “We should be an independent country that is free to trade with Europe but should not be dominated by Europe.”
Labour MP Kate Hoey, a leading Eurosceptic, said: “I am not surprised at this. “More and more people are beginning to realise that, despite the Europhile propaganda, our country could be much better if we left.” Matthew Elliott, of the Eurosceptic pressure group Business for Britain, said: “The EU and its unaccountable institutions are becoming increasingly detached from not just the UK but Europe more widely.” The Prime Minister has promised to put the result of his negotiations to voters in an in-or-out referendum by the end of 2017.
Luke Stanley, of Get Britain Out, said: “David Cameron has already bitten off more than he can chew by suggesting he can reform in two-and-a-half years what successive British prime ministers have failed to reform for 40 years – our membership of the EU. “Now, unbelievably, it has emerged that his strategy is to attempt to achieve his reforms in the few short months between the French and German elections in 2017. “If Cameron is intent on this timetable, we all know what will happen in 2017. “Cameron will return to Westminster waving a white flag with a copy of his reforms and he will declare he has fixed every one of Britain’s issues with EU membership in a few short months.
“With his army of civil servants and spin doctors, he will attempt to dupe the Great British Public into thinking our entire relationship with Brussels has been transformed – just in time for the referendum. “Six months later, when it becomes clear the whole renegotiation was a farce, it will be too late and we will be denied a referendum for another 40 years.”
The survey, across 13 EU nations, showed Britain was the only country where most voters wanted to pull out. More than a quarter of voters in France, Germany and Italy wanted to quit. A third of Greeks and 42 per cent of the Dutch also wanted out. A Survation poll earlier this month showed 47 per cent wanting to leave with 34 per cent wanting to stay in. Johnny Heald, managing director of ORB International, which conducted the poll, said: “Cameron will have a big fight on his hands.
“It is on a knife edge at the moment.”
The poll was commissioned by WIN/Gallup International.