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Poll: Brits favor leaving EU by 9 percent margin

By Ed Adamczyk Follow @adamczyk_ed Contact the Author   |   Feb. 19, 2016 at 12:34 PM
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BRUSSELS, Feb. 19 (UPI) -- More voters in Great Britain favor seeing their country leave the European Union, a survey released Friday indicates, as hopes for a deal in Brussels dimmed.

A survey by the polling firm TNS showed that 36 percent of voters want Britain to leave the EU, compared to 27 percent who want it to remain in the union. Twenty-three percent said they were undecided and 7 percent said they would not vote on a referendum. When asked how they expected the referendum to turn out, 38 percent said they thought Britain would stay in the union, compared to 28 percent who expected it to leave. The online survey of 1,120 adults was conducted from Feb. 11 to Feb. 15.

British Prime Minister David Cameron said Friday that progress was made in overnight negotiations with European Union countries on a deal that would lead to a British decision on whether to remain in the union. However, he sent messages to his cabinet not to expect a meeting Friday.

"There's still no deal," Cameron said Friday morning in Brussels after arriving for another round of talks. "I was here until five o'clock this morning working through this," he said. "We've made some progress. As I've said, I'll only do a deal if we get what Britain needs. So we're going to get back in there, we're going to do some more work and we're going to do whatever we can."

Cameron had hoped that talks in Brussels, in which the EU would agree to Britain's list of changes in its membership, would lead to a quick cabinet meeting in London, followed by preparations for a referendum.

Britain is looking for revisions to EU protocols, mostly regarding payment of social welfare benefits for immigrants and financial rules designed to protect the city of London from Eurozone regulations.

If Cameron gets the deal he seeks, he and his cabinet would commit the government to campaigning in favor of Britain remaining in a reformed EU, prior to a referendum in Britain on the matter in June, although individual cabinet ministers would be free to voice opposition.

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