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Bruges Group/Survation opinion poll: 71% would leave the EU and join EFTA

LIFE

A new opinion poll shows 71% of people would prefer the UK leave the EU and join EFTA.

This 71% (compared with just 29% that wanted the UK to stay in the EU) gained support from across the political spectrum. When compiled by voting intentions, the results showed that 81% of Conservatives, 54% of Labour, 50% of the Lib Dems and 95% of UKIP preferred EFTA over the EU. 

It once again indicates the UK’s desire to be free from much of the red tape and cost coming from Brussels. It shows that recent articles by the Chairman and President of the CBI, John Cridland (The Times (£)) and Sir Mike Rake (The Telegraph), that warned against the UK leaving the EU and adopting an EFTA style relationship, do not reflect public opinion.

EFTA differs from the EU in that it would not allow the EU to have jurisdiction over the UK’s agriculture, fisheries, home affairs or justice policies.

EFTA would also allow the UK to negotiate free trade agreements with countries outside the EU.

David Nuttall MP, Chair of the Better Off Out All-Party Parliamentary Group, said: 

“I think this poll just adds to the growing body of evidence that a majority of the British people are realising that Britain would be better off out of the European Union and instead simply having a free trade relationship with our European neighbours.”

This sentiment was echoed by Robert Oulds, Director of the Bruges Group, who said:

“This poll not only adds to the growing body of evidence that a majority of the British people are realising that Britain out be better off out of the European Union but it also shows that there is a viable alternative to EU membership.”

– Notes for Editors –

The opinion poll was carried out by Survation on 3rd July 2013, with 1,085 respondents, with a 3% margin of error. The question asked was:

“The European Economic Area (EEA) is the single market that allows for free movement of goods, services, people and capital between all participating European countries.

There are two organisations which allow countries to access this EEA single market – the European Union (EU) and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). The UK could remain a member of the single market if it left the EU and joined the EFTA.

Unlike the EU, the EFTA does not involve itself in countries’ agriculture, fisheries, home affairs or justice policies, and allows countries to negotiate free trade agreements with any outside countries. The UK would have to adopt 60% fewer regulations and pay around £3bn less in budget contributions if it was in the EFTA instead of the EU, but would have less power to influence the rules of the single market.

“With this in mind, which would you prefer the UK to be a member of?”

Of those surveyed, a clear 54.3% said that Britain would be better off as a member of the trade group EFTA, as opposed to 22.2% thought Britain should remain a member of the EU. 23.5% said they were ‘Don’t Knows’.

When the don’t knows are excluded this leaves the figures of 71% and 29%.

Click here to read the full opinion poll report

Better Off Out is a campaign run by The Freedom Association, a non-partisan pressure group dedicated to principles of freedom and national sovereignty. To keep up to date with the campaign, do follow us on Twitter @BetterOffOut. 

 

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