Britons Offer Harsh Review of Country’s EU Membership
Published on Jun 01 - 2010
If a referendum on staying in the continental group were held today, 42% would vote to get out; 35% would vote to stay.
If given the chance, many people in Britain would distance their country from the European Union (EU), a new Angus Reid Public Opinion poll has found.
In the online survey of a representative national sample of 1,984 British adults, 51 per cent of respondents say EU membership has been moderately negative (26%) or very negative (25%) for the United Kingdom.
Conversely, seven per cent of Britons say the EU has been very positive for the UK, and 31 per cent regard it as moderately positive.
If a referendum on the UK’s permanence in the EU were called, two fifths of Britons (42%) would vote in favour of pulling out, while 35 per cent would vote to stay.
If a plebiscite on the UK adopting the euro were called, a large majority of Britons (79%) would vote against abandoning the pound as the national currency. Only nine per cent of respondents would welcome the euro.
Overall, party allegiances make some difference in how people in Britain feel about the EU. Conservative voters are largely inclined to say EU membership has been detrimental for the UK (66%), but so are many Labour (41%) and Liberal Democrat (41%) voters.
Almost half of Labour (48%) and Liberal Democrat (46%) followers would vote in favour of remaining in the EU in an eventual referendum, while a majority of Tories (57%) would vote to pull out.
Adopting the euro is out of the question for most Britons of all political stripes. At least seven-in-ten Liberal Democrats, Labour and Tory supporters would vote against embracing the EU currency.
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Andy Morris, Research Director, London
From May 21 to May 24, 2010, Angus Reid Public Opinion conducted an online survey among 1,984 randomly selected British adults who are Springboard UK panelists. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 2.2% for the entire sample. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and region data to ensure samples representative of the entire adult population of Great Britain. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.
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