Poll: Plurality of Britons favor EU exit

Aug. 15, 2012 at 9:50 AM
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LONDON, Aug. 15 (UPI) -- Nearly half of British residents say they favor leaving the European Union if the question were put to a referendum, a poll indicated.

Forty-six percent of British citizens asked said they would pull out of the EU, a survey by Canadian firm Angus Reid released Tuesday found.

Results indicated 54 percent of Britons said they believe the last 40 years of British membership in the European Union has had a "negative" effect on the country and 81 percent said they were glad the euro wasn't the country's currency, EUobserver.com reported.

The numbers are similar to December 2010, when 48 percent of people surveyed said they wanted Britain to leave the European Union.

Amid talk among EU ministers of a new banking union and political union, a British Foreign Office spokesman told EUobserver.com that under the EU Act of 2011 a referendum automatically is triggered "if any of these changes result in a transfer of competence from the U.K. to the EU."

EUObserver.com did not report the parameters of the August Reid survey.

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