UNITED KINGDOM – Britons would vote to stay in EU: Poll

Pro and anti Brexit demonstrators face off outside the Houses of Parliament in central London on September 5, 2018. (AFP photo)
Pro and anti Brexit demonstrators face off outside the Houses of Parliament in central London on September 5, 2018. (AFP photo)

bY CRIMSON TAZVINZWA//Most Britons would choose to stay in the European Union if given the option again, according to a new opinion poll. 

The poll, released on Wednesday, showed 59 percent of voters would now vote to remain in the EU bloc, versus 41 percent who would opt to leave. The findings were published in an academic-led report by research bodies NatCen and the UK in a Changing Europe.

This latest poll showed a six-point swing away from Brexit, and the highest support for EU membership in any survey conducted since the Brexit referendum was held in 2016. That poll resulted in 52% of Britons voting to leave and 48% voting to stay.

However, despite the new poll, the country remains deeply divided over the issue.

Deborah Cairns, the Chair of the Enfield and Haringey pro-Brexit United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), told Press TV: “I believe, in fact, that it is very much the other way around, people having seen the high-handed tactics of the EU. This poll was skewed and included people that didn’t even vote in the original 2016 referendum.”

No country has ever left the EU bloc since its inception, so the effects Brexit will have on the UK’s economy and society are open to debate.

Even those who want to leave the EU are divided between those who favour a “hard-Brexit,” which would see the UK leave without having any formal legal relationship with Europe, while Theresa May’s government is veering towards a “soft Brexit”, which would see the UK maintain ties to the EU economic bloc.

Opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn made his views clear on Wednesday, telling Prime Minister Theresa May that her Brexit negotiation plan was “dead, already ripped apart by her own MPs.”

Opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn

Meanwhile, former UK Foreign Secretary turned Conservative backbencher, Boris Johnson, also attacked May’s plan, claiming Britain is waving a “white flag” with the EU and that talks with Brussels are a “fix.”

The UK’s Brexit negotiator, Dominic Raab, has been engaged in lengthy talks with EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier since last week hoping to reach an agreement before the deadline in March 2019.

Raab will hold further talks on Thursday following comments made by Barnier over the weekend that he “strongly opposes the British proposal,” raising further doubts over May’s strategy.

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