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Last week's poll: in or out of the EU?

The strong results from Eurosceptic parties across Europe in last week’s European Parliament elections has put the future of the EU in doubt. What should the UK’s relationship with the EU be?

As expected, we received a very strong response to this poll, with over 950 readers registering their opinion. The largest single group of respondents, 39 per cent, supported the status quo of remaining within the EU to protect British industry, but it’s probably more instructive to note that a clear majority, 56 per cent, voted for options reflecting a change in the UK’s relationship with the EU. A third of the total called for a renegotiation of the terms of membership, while 23 per cent wanted a complete pull-out.

EU Chart

Please let us know what you think of these results.

Readers' comments (56)

  • Why does the EU (especially Germany) dictate so much to the UK instead of the other way round.
    There are so many employers in the UK just using cheap labour from the EU. Exploitation springs to mind.
    Our Government is not really interested in improving the living standards of the ordinary working man (woman)

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  • Politically: There has now been peace between the major Euoropean powers for seventy years. This is undoubtedly due to the collaboration afforded by the EU. Break-up the EU and prepare for WW3!
    Economically: Britain's tangible exports are utterly dependent on EU membership. Foreign owned manufacturing companies (and that's most of them these days) will transfer production to Eastern Europe.
    It's ludicrous to consider Switzerland or Norway as models, they have completely different economies to the UK.

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  • IN ... people bang on about how much the EU dictates to us ... but are often hard pushed to give any solid examples.

    The EU also provides a great deal of well educated workers to the British workforce, people who wish to work hard, integrate and improve themselves rather than sit on the benefits gravy train ... I say stay in and work WITH the EU to make a level playing field for a common European workforce.

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  • Definitely IN, we are geographically part of Europe, and have spent far too long trailing around behind the US.

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  • I'd like to see an element of re-negotiation of terms but pulling out altogether wouldn't be my preferred option. I work in the automotive industry and sometimes attend meetings to discuss proposed legislation in Brussels. At present, I get a say in these regulations. If we pulled out, I'd be (at best) an observer. I think it would be naive to imagine we'd we able to ditch European regulations in many manufacturing industries and "do our own thing" - we'd still have to comply but we won't get any say in their content.

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  • We need a referendum so that the people decide rather than having the political class constantly tell us what they think is best for us. Whatever the outcome, we then stick to it. I would vote to leave the EU. Why? I own and run a manufacturing company (scientific instruments) based in the UK. We employ 15 people. We export throughout the world including USA, Canada, Far East, Australia, New Zealand, and many EU countries. I can say without any hesitation whatsoever that the most difficult place to do business is in the EU due to the ridiculous level of red tape spewing out of Brussels. The European Parliament is undemocratic, inefficient, corrupt and massively expensive to run. It simply cannot continue to run the way it has done for the last 20 years or more but unfortunately I don't see the current EU political regime having any appetite for change. So in my opinion we must leave.

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  • OUT! What the hell has WW3 or trade got to do with being a part of the "Federal States of Europe"? We should be able to trade with our European neighbours - fine - but ought also to be able to trade with other parts of the world without their "permission"! We really do have short memories when we so quickly forget India, Australia, New Zealand etc. We have far more in common with these countries and yet migration from outside the EU is tightly restricted, while free movement from within the EU is the order of the day! Why? Bonkers! And don't get me going about the corruption that exists within the EU - think of the expenses scandal within Westminster and multiply that by 10!

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  • IN! The irritations are minor compared to the advantages. We will have no guarantee that all of our current exports to the EU will continue. If they do it will be on their terms, their specifications. At least we get a chance to say our opinion. We will have no influence on anything in Europe. UKIP claimed that it would be easy to negotiate a "trade only" agreement. What evidence for this? Will car manufacturing remain here when they have to face a tariff?
    Pulling out of the EU is economic suicide and worse running away when we don't get our own way.
    Ironically, I have heard the same gripes in Germany and France. Why don't we get together and solve the "problems" of Brussels.
    As for those elected to the European parliament saying that they will destroy it from the inside, the truth is that they will achieve nothing. Our local MEP, who has an impeccable record of attendance and has negotiated millions of pounds of aid for local industries, lost his seat. A mockery of democracy.

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  • Like many others, I voted in 1973 to join a Common Market. This necessarily required is some commonisation of standards to create a level playing field, but we did not vote for a political and economic union, which turned out to be the hidden agenda of the European Politbureau. Now that the implications of this agenda have become clear, people don't like what they see. The European Commission is trying to make Europe into one homogenous country, where all business is controlled by Brussels.So the UK is not allowed to negotiate its own trade agreements with even the Commonwealth countries.

    The issue of cheap labour is interesting. Before the EU we used to employ Commonwealth citizens (West Indians and Asians) to do the menial low paid jobs. Now we employ Eastern Europeans. I live in East Anglia and have talked to employers who say that, without Eastern European labour to work in the fields and plant nurseries (a large part of the local economy), they would simply go bust because they cannot get British workers to do the same jobs. Is that exploitation? No it is market economics. If they had to pay more they would be uncompetitive against Eastern European products, but that assumes they could get the labour - they get hardly any applications from indigenous British workers, and the few that do apply, including those sent by Job Centres, don't last a week.

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  • In! The Right Wing movement seems intent upon myopic nationalism and the destruction of something (the EU) that has as yet unrealised potential for the member countries.

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