Unveiling a new poll revealing the public's appetite for radical change in Britain's relationship with the EU, the TaxPayers' Alliance (TPA) and Global Vision (GV) today launch a new campaign to highlight the impact of the European Union on the lives and finances of British taxpayers. The campaign, which will run for the six months up to the European Elections on June 4th, will use the research, campaign and media methods that the TPA has honed in exposing waste, mismanagement and bad government in Britain to scrutinise the EU. Allied with Global Vision's experience and expertise in EU issues, the campaign aims to raise awareness of the importance of the EU as an issue and press for a new, looser relationship with the EU based on trade rather than the harmful drive to political and economic union.
The campaign is launched with an opinion poll that reveals the British public are deeply opposed to the current relationship between Britain and the EU, and that there is considerable appetite for radical change. YouGov surveyed 2,157 adults betwen 6th and 8th January, and the key findings are:
- 45% of the public feel that none of the main parties adequately represent their views on Britain's future relationship with the EU, whilst only 29% believe that any of the main parties represents their view. Among Conservative supporters, only 35% feel that any of the main parties adequately represents their view on Britain's relationship with the EU.
- 64% of the population demand radical change in Britain's relationship with the EU, including an end to political integration and the supremacy of the European Court. 48% of those favour a looser relationship based on trade and voluntary co-operation, whilst a further 16% support withdrawal from the EU. By comparison, only 22% of the population support Britain remaining an EU member on current terms.
- 64% of the public would vote no to Britain joining the Euro, compared to only 24% who would support Euro membership.
- The economic crisis has made people less likely to support joining the single currency - with 27% made less likely to support adopting the Euro, compared to 18% who are more likely to support adopting the currency.
- 59% of the population believe the British Government should disregard the EU’s VAT rules, should they feel that a further cut is necessary in the 2009 Budget to combat the recession. Only 25% believe the Government should obey the EU's rules.
- First Poll of EU Election Voting Intentions: It found that the Conservatives lead the poll on 35%, followed by Labour on 29%, Lib Dems on 15% and UKIP on 7%. Notably, 10% of Conservative voters at a General Election would switch to UKIP at the European elections, compared to 2% of Labour voters and 1% of Liberal Democrat voters. Similarly, 10% of Lib Dem voters are planning to lend their vote to the Greens at the European elections.
The full poll data can be found here.
Matthew Elliott, Chief Executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said:
“The EU affects almost every aspect of our lives, from the work place to prices in the supermarket. It lands a huge cost on ordinary families that they can ill afford to bear, especially during the recession. People have a right to know how their money is being squandered in Brussels and we are going to expose what is really going on. The main political parties have let people down by avoiding or fudging the EU issue, but it has such a big impact on our day to day lives that it must be dealt with.”
Ruth Lea, Director of Global Vision, said:
“The current situation is simply unacceptable. The EU costs British people billions, and controls far too many of our national policies. The people want a new deal, where we can trade and cooperate with Europe but not suffer all the tax, bureaucracy and meddling that comes with full EU membership. That deal can be achieved, and it is in the interests of all of us that we take back control.”