U.K. edges closer to historic exit from European Union - new poll

U.K. edges closer to historic exit from European Union - new poll

7 September 2015, 14:00

According to a new poll, more citizens of the United Kingdom expressed willingness to leave than to stay in the European Union.

The potential for an exit has spurred real concerns among British businesses and investors, which have enjoyed trading benefits associated with EU membership.

And yet, businesses have been warned to stay out of the campaign by those close to Prime Minister David Cameron, according to a report in the Financial Times Monday.

The campaign to persuade the U.K. public opinion has already begun, though the referendum on the EU membership does not have to be held before the end of 2017.

Against this backdrop, Cameron and his Chancellor George Osborne, are trying to renegotiate the terms of the U.K.'s membership with their EU partners. However, the Brexit now seems to be at the bottom of the agenda, with the EU mostly preoccupied by the refugee crisis and Greece's economic woes.

Osborne said in an interview over the weekend that there had been quite a lot of willingness to engage with the U.K. and make this work for the whole of the EU in debates so far.

"Across Europe there's a recognition that Europe is not working as well as we'd like it to work for all of Europe's member states. There's widespread recognition that we need to do more to create a lasting, stable relationship between those who are in the euro zone and those who are outside the euro zone," he said.

Debates may appear to be more urgent, after the first survey conducted since the wording of the referendum question was agreed, suggested a narrow lead for the Exit camp, said CNBC.

While 17 percent of those surveyed by Survation for the Mail on Sunday remained undecided, 43 percent would vote to exit the European Union, and 40 percent to stay.

On Monday, the pound edged higher against the dollar with GBP/USD trading at 1.5256, higher 0.56%.

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