17, December 2017
More than half of the British people now want to stay in the European Union, according to a new poll that shows “Remainers” outnumbering “Leavers” by ten percentage points.
While 51 percent of Britons prefer to keep European Union membership, 41 percent want to leave the bloc, according to the BMG Research poll of 1,400 people conducted for The Independent.
According to The Independent, the lead for “Remain” over “Leave” was the biggest in any poll so far since the Brexit referendum in June 2016.
However, BMG Research head of polling cited a shift in opinion among those who chose not to vote last year as the reason for the change.
“The last time Leave polled ahead of Remain was in February 2017, and since then there has been a slow shift in top-line public opinion in favor of remaining in the EU,” said Michael Turner.
“However, readers should note that digging deeper into the data reveals that this shift has come predominantly from those who did not actually vote in the 2016 referendum, with around nine in ten Leave and Remain voters still unchanged in their view,” Turner added.
This comes as EU President Donald Tusk said EU leaders approved the opening of the next stage of Brexit talks Friday after reaching a deal on divorce terms with Britain.
At a meeting in Brussels, members of the bloc said there has been enough progress on key issues. The next phase will involve discussions over future relations and trade ties between the UK and the EU.
Negotiations on the transition period will resume in January.
But talks on trade will not begin until March as EU members need more clarity on the UK’s post-Brexit plans.
British Prime Minister Theresa May signed the divorce deal with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on December 8 after months of negotiations. The deal covers Britain’s exit bill, the future of the Irish border and the rights of EU expatriates in the UK.