The state of the British economy will play a deciding role in determining whether the UK exits the European Union, according to a new survey.
The Sky News poll asked 2,452 UK citizens aged 18 and over whether they wish to “remain a member of the European Union”, the same question that will be posed by the government in 2017.
The survey reveals that nearly half (46 per cent) of the survey would vote to remain in the EU, if leaving meant that the UK economy would be damaged as a result.
David Cameron is currently in Brussels and is set to meet with European leaders and discuss the future of Britain’s EU membership. It is well documented that Cameron is keen for Britain to stay in the European Union, but will use today’s meeting as an opportunity to gain extra European powers, including the ability to restrict welfare entitlements.
Small business owners have already made their views public regarding an EU referendum. In April, a survey led by Vistage asked 445 CEOs, MDs and owners of predominant medium-sized businesses whether they would vote in the potential referendum.
61 per cent of SME leaders surveyed said that they want to remain in the EU, with only 6 per cent willing to vote ‘Yes’.
Public opinion of the European Union is fairly mixed, with 39 per cent of the Sky News survey stating that the EU is good for the British economy. Voters are speculating the potential effects of leaving the EU, with more people feeling that if Britain left the union, there would be a reduction in unemployment.
‘‘Perceptions of economic risk played a key role in swaying votes in both the Scottish independence referendum and the General Election,’’ commented Sky’s political editor Faisal Islam
If Britain does leave the European Union, will its status as a global leader diminish?
Britons feel like the UK’s credibility will not be affected if the nation exits the European stage, but do show animosity towards other European nations. Over half of the survey participants (51 per cent) said that the UK got a raw deal compared to France and Germany.
‘‘Those behind the ‘Yes’ campaign will frame leaving the EU as an unnecessary risk, with the backing of multinational banks and carmakers, and this survey shows why,’’ continued Islam.