A new TPA/ComRes poll reveals the vast gulf in opinion between MEPs in Brussels and the British public on EU issues. By comparing the views of 1,020 British adults and 101 MEPs, weighted to be representative of wider society and the European Parliament respectively, the new research demonstrates that while the public are more concerned about the EU's impact, more opposed to the Euro and more enthusiastic about referenda than ever, the politicians at the heart of the EU are fundamentally out of touch with public opinion and remain blindly positive about the project.
Remarkably, while the public are increasingly hostile to the EU on all counts and even want Britain to start defying EU rules, the politicians still believe overwhelmingly that the EU is good for people and listens to what the public want.
ComRes asked both groups whether they agreed or disagreed with six statements on key EU issues:
1 Referendums should be held in member states before significantly expanding EU powers;
2 Member states should break EU rules if they think it is in their national interest;
3 Generally, the EU is good for ordinary people;
4 MEPs should pay a lower rate of income tax than the people they represent;
5 The EU listens to what the general public want;
6 All EU member states become members of the Euro.
The results are very revealing as to the gulf between the opinions of politicians in Brussels and ordinary people in Britain:
A full write-up of the poll can be downloaded here.
The poll provides solid confirmation that despite massive public concern about the EU’s negative impact on ordinary people, overwhelming opposition to the Euro and a strong appetite for Britain to start breaking EU rules in the national interest, MEPs are convinced that the EU is beneficial, that it listens to people and that Britain should join the Euro and obey all EU rules.
Matthew Elliott, Chief Executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said:
“These results show the stark difference in opinion between the British people and politicians in Brussels. Whilst many MEPs still think the EU is great for everyone, that Britain should join the Euro and that EU rules are sacrosanct, the British public are heading in the opposite direction. People want more referenda, more national disobedience to daft EU rules and a sound rejection of the Euro. Brussels is utterly out of touch with the concerns of the real world.”