Following the theme of independence; According to a British newspaper if a referendum was held tomorrow for leaving the European Union 51% of UK voters would opt to leave, whilst just 34% would choose to stay.
The news has added to the debate that an in or Out referendum could be held in the near future and has piled further pressure onto Prime Minister David Cameron to give the UK electorate a chance to choose whether to stay in the Union. Signs that popular opinion is turning against EU membership is made painfully clear by the fact that the UK independence party has recently overtaken the pro-Euro and coalition partners the Liberal Democrats to take the third most popular party spot.
At last week’s European leader’s summit in Brussels, European leaders were negotiating intensively on the issue of closer integration and the formation of a banking union whereas the UK is seeking ways to reclaim powers.
Mr Cameron has annoyed European leaders by threatening to veto the seven-year EU budget due to be ratified at a summit in November, drawing derision from the German chancellor. It is also believed that he will exploit the negotiations on closer Euro zone integration as an opportunity to negotiate looser membership terms for Britain in the Union.
Support for the UK to withdraw from the union has increased over the past year as the damaging effects of the Eurozone crisis and the lack of action from European leaders has done little to enamour the union to the British people.
Downing Street sources indicated last week that the next Conservative manifesto will contain a pledge to negotiate a claw back of powers from the EU, followed by a public vote on the result. It follows last week’s revelation that Education Secretary Michael Gove wants the UK to pull out of the EU unless we can renegotiate the relationship – a significant development given Mr Gove’s political and personal links to the Prime Minister.
To the derision of its critics the European parliament is seeking to an increase of €1.75 million to its marketing budget in an attempt to ‘raise awareness’ of the benefits of EU membership. One thing the EU has got right is its propaganda machine and critics are claiming that a planned publicity blitz on UK voters is expected to be unleashed before an expected pro-referendum campaign.
Tim Aker, from the anti-EU group Get Britain Out, said: “The EU should not be using our hard-earned cash to promote the so-called benefits of EU membership,” he said. “The EU should stand back and let the British people decide”.
As of 11:35 am
The Pound to Euro exchange rate is currently trading at 1.2278
The Pound to US Dollar exchange rate is currently trading at 1.6041
The Pound to Australian Dollar exchange rate is currently trading at 1.5531
The Euro to US Dollar exchange rate is currently trading at 1.3064
The Euro to Pound exchange rate is currently trading at 0.8145
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