A new survey shows that most UK citizens would now vote to remain in the European Union if a referendum were held today, according to Politico. The poll continues a recent trend in public opinion away from support of Brexit, even as withdrawal from the EU looms closer. The new survey, by Eurobarometer, polled 1,000 people in each EU member state. In the UK, only 35 percent supported Leave, with 53 percent supporting remain, and 12 percent undecided.
A significant majority, at 68 percent, said Britain has benefited from its status as a member of the EU. In the original 2016 referendum, 52 percent opted to exit the EU, while 48 percent voted to remain.
“Nearly all results measuring support for the EU showed a significant upturn following the U.K. referendum in 2016, suggesting growing concern across the continent at the impact that Brexit will have and a growing awareness, due to the difficult negotiations, of the benefits of being a member of the EU,” according to the survey report.
With the Brexit deadline of January 21st, 2019 quickly approaching, the new poll is not an isolated finding. Polls from YouGov show a steady decline in support for Brexit, with an increase in those that favor holding a second referendum. Furthermore, a “poll of polls” by the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) showed a 52 percent majority believe the UK should remain an EU member.
John Curtice, who led the NatCen survey report, suggested there has been a weakening of support for Leave, and a strong favoring of Remain among those that did not vote in the 2016 referendum.
Curtice points out that “even if a second referendum does not take place, it might be thought important to ask whether or not, as the Brexit process comes to a conclusion, there is still a majority in favor of leaving the EU.”
The survey results also follow a statement from former European Central Bank head Jean-Claude Trichet saying that the Brexit transition will have a “worse economic impact on UK than EU.”
“In a period when India, China, Brazil, Mexico, Indonesia, and all emerging economies are going very fast and are dwarfing Europe more and more, how can it be that we decide to separate ourselves, to split? It is totally contrary to the new world,” said Trichet.
The EU said today it was willing to extend the timeframe on a post-Brexit transition period if the UK opts to do so. Prime Minister Theresa May has said this could be extended “for a few months.”