Tuesday, 23 December 2014
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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)

  • OUT - unless there is major reform (which there won't be despite what we may be led to believe). Because the EU is essentially un-democratic, the EU parliament having little control over the EU. The EU also suffers from chronic corruption and incompetence, they have for example never had their accounts signed off because they cannot meet anything like the required reporting standards.

    The only argument as far as the UK is concerned is Trade, we are not talking about an OUT of the EU leading to a complete end of trade with the EU. In fact the EU exports more to us than visa versa so they would be a continuing desire for both sides to maintain a trading relationship. However I think we would be in a better position to agree trade arrangements unilaterly outside the EU. Therefore on balance trade will improve outside the EU (and outside signficant external trade barriers).

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  • Isn't there a cycle at work here... the tradition of all (western) states? After a war, everyone says 'never again, let's work together'... then there are treaties, union, collaboration - until the internal strain of this becomes too much; immigration, self-interest and corruption prompt division, disputes and eventually war.... and so the cycle begins again. The only major civilisation NOT to have indulged in this cycle? China! Perhaps we should think a bit more about why this should be, rather than jumping to easy answers.

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  • In - no doubt. People who follow the populist anti EU movement of the likes of UKIP don't know what they are talking about. Leave and a lot of industry, particularly the automotive industry from the likes of Japan will leave with it. Trade with the world's largest economic block has to be top of the agenda when it comes talking about the EU.

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  • In for me. If the UK leaves the EU, they will still have to comply with all EU regulation in order to trade with EU countries. It is an absolute myth that the UK can just trade more with all the old Commonwealth countries if it so chooses to. Why is it not doing that already? The answer is, it is doing it but these countries are not stupid why should they trade exclusively with the UK - the old Commonwealth bully if they can just trade with anybody they choose to in the whole wide world. The truth is that the EU is the largest economic trading block in the world and anybody ignores them at their peril.

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  • In. I believe the whole issue has been clouded by the migration problems that appear to exist and are causing paranoia amongst a number of folk who appear to have no real interest financially or otherwise in the E.U.
    Breaking away from the EU will not help our import /export business in any way as we will not be able to have any say in it.
    As for the rest of the work "out "will not improve things there as we will appear as a little island all on our own …again!
    We don't have an empire anymore and probably should not have had one in the first place but we are still able to trade with countries outside the E.U.
    Some companies I agree struggle to exist in all the paperwork and rules but these can be made simpler and the rest of the world is hardly free of this.
    As someone who has spent most of my working life internationally I can see it from both sides.
    let’s stay “in” but by all means re negotiate some of the terms and conditions, by last week’s results it looks like we will have the support of other members as well.

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  • We should have nothing to do with an unelected commission and a regime that has been unable to balance its budget for ~ 18 years +. There are benefits to EU membership as stated in other comments. We should cherry pick these and negotiate a 'lower tier' membership which minimises exposure to budget interaction but maximises cooperation on trade, security and technical issues.

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  • Ask yourself this:-
    Would you invest in, or work with, an organisation that has not had it's accounts audited satisfactorily for 12 years.

    Out, Out Out I say.

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  • "I have now decided that I didn't like the last referendum so I want another - but this time I'll stick to it, or until fed up with that as well".
    Very churlish, but it seems that so is a lot of the rhetoric concerning this topic. Extreme comments verging on accusations of large scale bribery and corruption do not justify an opinion. Should we perhaps be more honest in our own understanding of our country's status?

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  • This is a pointless question, since everything depends on the terms negotiated between the UK and the EU, most of all, the continuation (or not) of free trade

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  • Then you'd go for the first option.

  • Out.
    While this would cause significant pain, I think the EU is just about at the point of collapse. The level of "protest votes" throughout the community shows the amount of dissatisfaction that exists within Europe for the Brussels Government. We should only stay in if the "Brussels system" of corruption and red tape is totally revised, and the burden of legislation dramatically reduced. And we should only stay in if proper audited accounts are produced. Any future government should have to produce decent accounts or be summarily dismissed.

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