New Brexit poll: Voters back staying in EU, Latest World News - The New Paper

New Brexit poll: Voters back staying in EU

This article is more than 12 months old

LONDON Britons would vote to remain in the European Union by a 54 per cent to 46 per cent margin in a second referendum, a survey purporting to be the biggest of its kind showed on Monday.

The apparent boost in Remain support will be seized by campaigners. They want a binding second vote taken on the terms of a deal that London and Brussels is expected to reach before Britain splits from the bloc on March 29.

It remains unclear what would happen if that deal is rejected, with some suggesting that a second referendum be held.

Prime Minister Theresa May rejects the idea, arguing it would be undemocratic for Britain to go back on the Brexit referendum result in June 2016.

Voters then chose to leave the EU by a 52 per cent to 48 per cent margin, fed in part by a desire to regain control of British borders in the face of a refugee crisis sweeping Europe at the time.

But talks over Britain's withdrawal terms remain stuck due to a dispute over the Irish border, and the outlines of a potential deal taking shape look little like what the Leave camp promised two years ago.

Commissioned by Britain's independent Channel 4 television, the online poll of 20,000 people was conducted by the Survation agency between Oct 20 and Nov 2.

It gave no margin of error.

The poll showed support for Brexit in some cities that voted to leave falling by around 10 percentage points.

In Southampton, a port of 250,000 in the south of England, it slipped from 53.8 per cent to 41.8 per cent, while in Birmingham, a central industrial city of one million, it fell from 50.4 per cent to 41.8 per cent.

At the same time, the poll showed backing for the deal that the two sides seem to be nearing at 41 per cent to 30 per cent among voters who identified themselves as members of Mrs May's Conservative Party.

That should give her a boost as she fights off sceptics in her Cabinet who want a quicker and more profound economic break between Britain and the EU. - AFP