While UK Eurosceptics like Nigel Farage’s UKIP campaign for a referendum on the continued membership of the European Union, a poll indicates that many within the EU would like to see a ‘Brexit’.

In a document called “In or Out? Britain’s Future in Europe” [1] research by Opinium shows that, with the exception of Business, there is heavy support for the UK to leave the EU. This is mainly fuelled by views on immigration into the UK, the effects of which, UK respondent say, far outweigh the benefits of membership. On this one point even UK businesses see the EU as having a negative impact on immigration into the UK (54 percent). The exact nature of this negativity is not explained.

The report also points to a ‘structural source of Euroscepticism’ as the people of the UK feel less affinity with other European nations than those nations feel to each other, leading to the general thought that amongst UK citizens Europe is seen as ‘other’.

But, according to the report, there is a perception in the EU that the UK is a ‘spoiler’ and that if it were to leave the Union it would be a positive thing. Although concerns were raised about the UK also taking its money with it and Poles worry about the effect it would have on their people already in the UK. Overall though the Impact on the EU of the UK leaving was viewed as negative.

It also seems that the UK is not viewed by many others as fully ‘part of Europe’ and has always been ‘in some way separate’ leaning more to the US than the EU.

Berlaymont Building by Sebastien Bertrand

Berlaymont Building by Sebastien Bertrand

This being said the report does start off its introduction by saying ‘“We must build a kind of United States of Europe,” said Winston Churchill in 1946, only a year after the end of the Second World War,’ hinting perhaps that Winston Churchill was 100 percent behind the current EU project. Although we can argue over that point it might be as well to take a look at this, which possibly shows that Churchill wanted the UK to have a foot in three main camps but not be ruled by any one of them. But that’s open to personal interpretation.

It also seems from the survey that there is a mismatch between ‘the people’ and businesses on the benefits of EU membership. 26 percent of the UK general public see membership as good and 42 percent think it bad, whereas the reverse is true of business with 47 percent saying it is good to 28 percent saying it is bad. So, great for business to trade etc. but not good for what the people really want out of life perhaps?

At the end of the day the people of the UK have a decision to make; to stop being a 'spoiler' and go fully into the EU or to withdraw gracefully and forge its own future. That is to say a disruptive UK must be removed from the EU either by it stopping being disruptive or letting it take its disruptiveness elsewhere. As we have found out time and again, there is no third way and no renegotiation that has any real meaning. You either belong to a club and abide by the rules over which you may have some small say or you leave – it’s as simple as that. But who will actually give us that choice?

[1] http://opinium.co.uk/sites/default/files/opin-inouteurope.pdf

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