Tags: eu | british | withdrawal | poll

Poll: Majority of British Favor UK Withdraw from European Union

By Bill Hoffmann   |   Tuesday, 27 Nov 2012 11:15 AM

A majority of British residents want the United Kingdom to withdraw from the European Union, a new poll shows.

The survey — conducted by ComRes for London’s Independent newspaper — found 54 percent of those surveyed favored leaving as long as Britain could still keep a close trade relationship with the EU.

Another thirty-six percent were against a withdrawal.

Some observers believe a British exit from the European Union may be inevitable.

“Opinions differ about the speed of a potential British exit and also about precisely what new relationship London expects to negotiate with the Union in the longer term,’’ John Palmer, former political director of the European Policy Centre, writes in the Irish Times.

“But, reluctantly, even Britain’s EU partners are coming to realize they may not be able to prevent a slippery slide by the UK out of the Union.’’

The poll comes as British Prime Minister David Cameron faces renewed calls for a referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union.
The New York Times reports that big business in Britain is against a withdrawal.

Earlier this month, Roger Carr, president of the Confederation of British Industry, Britain’s largest business lobby, told his group at its annual conference: “If we are to avoid an exit vote in any referendum, it is essential that the voice of British business is loud and clear in extolling the virtues of future engagement — not as a reluctant participant but as the linchpin of our wider global trade ambitions.”

The EU, founded in 1993, is a political and economic union of 27 member states.

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