January 6, 2014
The influx of Romanian and Bulgarian immigrants has led to a surge in support for Britain leaving the European Union.
A new survey indicates that 50 per cent of the population would cut the UK’s ties with Brussels, with a record low 33 per cent in favour of staying in.
The 17 per cent margin in a Survation poll for The Mail on Sunday is one of the biggest gaps in recent ‘In or Out’ EU surveys.
It is in stark contrast with a similar poll in June which showed just a one per cent majority in favour of leaving the EU, with 45 in the ‘Out’ corner and 44 ‘In’.
Significantly, the 33 per cent in the new poll who want to stay in is the lowest ever number polled by Survation on the issue.
Three out of ten say the arrival of migrants from Romania and Bulgaria since the New Year has made them more likely to vote to go it alone in a referendum on Britain’s future in Europe.
The issue has also led to a revival in the ratings of UKIP leader Nigel Farage. His party is back to 16 per cent, ahead of the Lib Dems on 11 per cent, but behind Labour on 35 and the Conservatives on 31.
The level of concern sparked by Romanian and Bulgarian migrants is underlined in a league table of 16 voters’ concerns, ranging from immigration to jobs, welfare and Scottish independence.
Immigration is way ahead, with 29 per cent saying it was their biggest worry, with the cost of living a distant second on 17, the economy on 15, national debt on 13, and unemployment at eight.
The chief concern about the impact of Romanian and Bulgarian migrants is how schools will cope with extra children. An overwhelming 77 per cent say the strain on schools is their biggest fear.
The extra cost of welfare handouts and the effect on community tensions come next in the list.