Entry 29

Uncertainty leads in UK’s EU debate

The year 2015 ended uncertainly for British ‘stayers’ and ‘leavers’ in the country’s national debate about EU membership.

After a late December summit in Brussels, prime minister Cameron claimed that a “pathway” has been created for a clear route to successful terms for Britain remaining in the EU. At another summit in mid-February, billed as the final one on Britain’s terms for a ‘reformed Europe’, Cameron is demanding change on four issues. Stopping in-work benefits for EU migrants in the UK for four years has proved the hardest one to get agreement on.

But the ‘leavers’ mock this ‘pathway’ as a road to nowhere, deriding it as a ‘fudge’, i.e. a puffed up claim of little substance. Mockery may be their best end-of-the year defence for an autumn poll of polls shows that 55% of those asked wanted to stay while 45% wanted out of the EU.

Leavers, however, found a little hope when they saw two individual polls: one put them only two per cent behind (51% to 49%), while another reported the narrowest of leads for the ‘stayers’ – once ‘don’t knows’ were excluded, the figures were the same at 50%.


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