Friday, 17 April 2015

Brexit... Will the UK choose "the open sea"?

Article from theguardian: click HERE!
What would happen if UK left the EU?
Do we need a new vision of Europe?

If a referendum were held on the UK’s membership of the EU with the options being to remain a member or withdraw, how do you think you would vote?
Would definitely vote to leave the EU = 28%
Would probably vote to leave the EU = 18%
Would probably vote to remain in the EU = 20%
Would definitely vote to remain in the EU = 18%
Don’t know = 17%

To what extent do you consider yourself to be European?
It is a large part of who I am = 13%
It is a small part of who I am = 26%
It doesn’t really describe who I am = 27%
It does not describe who I am at all = 34%

Do you speak any European languages fluently (other than the one/s you class as your mother-tongue)?
Yes 19%
No 81%

76% of Britons believe there should be a referendum on whether the UK remains a member of the EU (47% “definitely”, 29% “probably”). There are predictable splits along party lines; 84% of Ukip supporters say there should “definitely” be a referendum while 11% believe there should “probably” be one. The motivations of the remaining 5% are unclear. Age also has an influence on outlook; only 11% of 18-24s believe there should “definitely” be a referendum, compared with 55% of those aged 55+.

As things stand, Britain would vote to leave the EU if a referendum were held; 46% would either “definitely” (28%) or “probably” (18%) vote to leave, while 38% would “definitely” (20%) or “probably” (18%) vote to remain. Again, there is a clear division on the basis of age; 68% of 18-24s would vote to stay in the EU, while only 9% would vote to leave. Among those aged 55+ the pattern is reversed and 57% would vote to leave while 35% would vote to stay. Londoners are the least likely to vote to leave the EU (36%), while those in the north-east would be the most likely to vote to leave (60%).

Given this hostility to the EU, it is unsurprising that only a minority of Britons think of themselves as European; 13% say it is “a large part of who I am”, while a further 26% say it is “a small part of who I am”. The term “European” is not important to the self-identity of 61% of Britons.

The lack of association with all things European is reflected by the large proportion of Britons (81%) who do not speak another European language fluently. The 19% who do speak another European language are significantly more likely than the average to say that being European is a “large part” of their identity (39% versus 13%) and much more likely to vote to remain part of the EU in any future referendum (49% versus 38%).

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