A poll commissioned by the Daily Mail revealed a 17-point lead in a British EU referendum poll.
The results are somewhat surprising, given the amount of anti-European Union coverage that many mainstream British media have been displaying lately.
The lead is especially unexpected because leaders of the two main political parties in Britain have not ruled out campaigning for an exit in the EU referendum. Speaking at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester, Prime Minister David Cameron has refused to rule out campaigning for a no vote in the EU referendum. However, Cameron has previously stated he’d like to see Britain stay in the European Union if he can get certain amendments to its structure passed.
On the other side of the spectrum, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has been repeatedly criticised for his opaque stance on Europe, although he has stated he supports continued membership. If David Cameron were to lose workers’ rights in any negotiations however, Corbyn would also not rule out campaigning to leave in the EU referendum.
The proposed vote was a campaign promise by the Conservatives, who won the election in May 2015. The EU referendum is slated to occur in 2017, with the possibility of a vote in 2016.
Despite an overall lead for the “remain” option in the poll, questions were posed about the structure of the European Union. 78% of respondents wanted limits on the freedom of movement of EU migrants, as well as 82% wanting benefits restrictions on EU citizens in the UK. A reduction of business regulations as well as guarantees for future British opt outs also scored highly in the poll.
But European Commission Donald Tusk ruled out any changes on freedom of movement, calling in a non-negotiable value. This is in contrast to David Cameron’s goals of restricting EU migrants from entering the UK.
It’s important to remember that polls don’t necessarily reflect everything – EU referendum polls have shown conflicting results recently. It promises to be a tight race, and for a vote that could happen as early as next year, major party leaders still have to announce their intentions.
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