British voters would back radical moves to negotiate a new, looser relationship with the European Union, a survey has shown.
The ICM opinion poll for Global Vision, the Eurosceptic campaign group, found that among people who want to remain in the EU, a majority would like Britain to opt out of political and economic union, and restrict itself to links based on trade and co-operation.
I went to the launch of global Britain and they say that their aims are to get that looser relationship whilst remaining in the EU. Something that, when they are not on record, senior members say is not possible.
Not strictly true if it were a manifesto pledge, surely?
A British government seeking to achieve such an outcome could only do so by putting it to voters in a referendum.
If there were a positive result, ministers would then need to renegotiate the terms of Britain's membership with all other EU member states – apolicy currently held by none of the three main political parties.
But held by UKIP, of course. Although to be honest what would need to happen would be Westminster parliament to repeal the 1972 EA act. Then we go and arrange a free trade deal with the EU which they would take because otherwise their businesses would stab them.
The survey findings come days before Ireland holds a referendum on the EU's Lisbon Treaty, the only member country to vote on the issue.
For shame that 4 million people get to vote on the democratic future of the rest of the EU because our leaders are so shameless.
If the Irish vote No on Thursday the treaty, which gives more powers to Brussels, abolishing dozens of national vetoes and creating the new post of EU president, cannot come into force in any of the 27 member states.Considering that the French and Dutch voted no in 2005 I shouldn't have thought it really mattered to them. In a matter of weeks I would imagine that we'd see another referendum in the near future saying to the Irish 'Do you want to stay in the EU and accept the Lisbon Treaty or do you want to leave?' and so the Irish will vote to stay in with the Lisbon Treaty and it goes through.
Maybe, to the extent that it's something else for them to ignore.
It would be another big blow to supporters of further EU integration, after the collapse of the Union's proposed constitution when voters in France and the Netherlands rejected it in 2005.
The Irish Government could, in theory, seek to hold a new referendum, and carry on doing so until it achieved a Yes vote. But recent surveys in the Republic have suggested that public opinion would be hostile to such a move.I don't think that will bother them if they have the EU breathing down their neck.
Although this was taken before the deal with the farmers union was sorted out.
Latest opinion polls yesterday showed a dramatic surge in the No vote. Those saying they oppose the treaty have doubled in three weeks to 35 per cent, with just 30 per cent in favour – a result that has shocked the government and the country's major political parties, all of which want a Yes result.
The Global Vision/ICM survey found that when British voters were asked about their ideal relationship with Europe, 41 per cent chose one based simply on trade and co-operation. Some 27 per cent wanted Britain to stay a full EU member while 26 per cent wanted to withdraw altogether.Although of course the first and the last are essentially the same thing, because we couldn't have that relationships whilst being signed up to the treaties. So, 67% of people support UKIP policy.
If the "trade-only" option were offered in a referendum, 64 per cent said they would vote in favour. Asked what should happen if Britain sought to negotiate a looser relationship but other nations blocked the move, 57 per cent said the UK should leave the EU, while 33 per cent said it should stay in.33% people who don't appear to have a grasp of economics, democracy and who like the poorest people in the world to suffer whilst the west allow their despotic governments to stay in power.
Ruth Lea, director of Global Vision, said: "A looser relationship, based on trade and co-operation, rather than full political and economic integration, is consistently the option of the British people."Such a shame that that option is never put forward by our politicians in Westminster and the media.
Gordon Brown has said Britain will not get a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, although the House of Lords will vote on this decision this week. Stuart Wheeler, the millionaire businessman and major Conservative donor, will make a High Court challenge, also this week, attempting to force the Prime Minister to call a public vote.Fingers crossed, but I suspect the phrase 'manifesto pledges are not subjet to legitimate expectation' will be used, and probably not reported.
Meanwhile, tomorrow, Britain will come under pressure to pass an EU directive giving temporary agency workers the same employment rights as permanent staff. Britain has always opposed the directive because business leaders fear that it could cost 250,000 jobs.Just what we need! Less labour market flexibility Jeez, these people are morons.
Brian Cowen, Ireland's prime minister, embarked yesterday on a last bid to persuade voters to ratify the treaty, saying it was his "most important" task. Defeat would be a personal humiliation for him and would also set back – perhaps permanently – hopes for a reformed and more streamlined decision-making process within the EU.What a selfish, selfish man, putting his own career above that of the democratic wishes of his people and their right to know the actual facts of the treaty.
Ireland has received huge economic benefit from EU membership and Mr Cowen has warned that it could suffer dire consequences, with a No vote interpreted in Europe as a rejection of the union. But the business downturn and public uncertainty over how the treaty will work in practice mean acceptance is not certain.I would imagine that the 12.5% corporation tax has more to do with that than money being poured into the EU which caused spiraling inflation in the country.
But basically, if bribing won't work then they'll resort to blackmail. Another reason to leave.