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Thursday, November 26, 2015 10:21 AM

Majority in UK Now Favor Brexit; Cameron's Quandary

Attitudes towards the EU have hardened in the wake of the ISIS attack on Paris. A new poll reveals Majority of UK Public Now Wants 'Brexit'.

More than half of the public now want to leave the European Union, according to an opinion poll for The Independent – the first time our monthly survey has shown a majority for “Brexit.”

The survey of 2,000 people by ORB, conducted last Wednesday and Thursday in the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks, will be seen as a reflection of public anxiety about the EU’s migration crisis.

Some 52 per cent of people say Britain should leave the EU, while 48 per cent want to remain.

When ORB asked the same question in June, July and September, a majority (55 per cent) wanted to stay and 45 per cent to quit on each occasion.  Last month, amid widespread media coverage of the refugee crisis, the margin narrowed slightly to 53 per cent in favour of staying in, with 47 per cent wanting out.

The latest survey highlights a stark divide between the generations ahead of the in/out referendum to be held by the end of 2017.  Some 69 per cent of 18-24 year-olds want to remain in the EU, while only 31 per cent want to leave. Support for EU membership declines steadily with age among older groups, with only 38 per cent of those aged 65 and over wanting to remain and 62 per cent in favour of leaving.

Some 54 per cent of people who voted Conservative at the May election want to leave the EU, as do 93 per cent of Ukip voters. But a majority of Labour, Liberal Democrat, SNP and Green supporters want to remain.

The overall findings will worry pro-EU campaigners, who admit privately that the refugee crisis is shifting opinion against membership. There are also fears that the Out campaign, funded heavily by hedge funds opposed to EU regulation, enjoys a much bigger budget than the In brigade.  “We will have less but are much more likely to spend it better,” said one In camp insider, promising a professional effort than its rivals.
Cameron's Quandary

UK prime minister David Cameron really has his work cut out for him now. Just yesterday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel Reaffirmed Her Open-Door Refugee Policy.

She is out of her mind of course, and that's going to give all of Europe a major headache, while making matters especially difficult for Cameron who pledged to work out an agreement with Merkel and French President Francois Hollande that the British could accept.

Hollande may be sympathetic on migration issues, but he will not be sympathetic about financial transaction taxes and London regulations.

Cross issues are now huge and more bickering will not help.

Will Cameron even be willing to put this all to a vote as promised? If polls remain in the Brexit category, I doubt it, unless he is politically forced to do do.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

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