london great britain england united kingdom Millenium bridge, St. Paul's cathedral in London.jpg
Photograph: Freeimages.com / scasha

Euroscepticism is widespread but British voters are still likely to vote to remain part of the European Union in a referendum in June, according to a survey published Wednesday.

Nearly two-thirds of 3,000 people interviewed face to face for the 2015 British Social Attitudes (BSA) survey were sceptical about the EU, but only 30 per cent want Britain to leave the EU, political scientist John Curtice of NatCen Social Research said in a report.

Almost half of the respondents agreed that EU membership was "undermining Britain's distinctive identity" while only a quarter thought the economy would improve if Britain left the EU, Curtice said.

"While the seemingly widespread cultural concern that exists in Britain is the foundation of many a doubt and grievance about Britain's relationship with the EU, on its own that concern is typically insufficient to persuade someone that Britain should actually leave the EU," he said.

"Only if they are also convinced of the economic case for withdrawal are people highly likely to want to take that step," said Curtice, who was the only leading analyst to correctly forecast the result Britain's general election last May.

"It is this that explains why a nation that appears keen on quite radical reductions in the scope of EU-wide activity and entitlement is not necessarily one that will, when the time comes, vote to leave."

Prime Minister David Cameron has urged people to vote for remaining part of the EU after he negotiated a deal for reforms that would give Britain a "special status."

Voters in the June 23 referendum are expected to be asked the single question: Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?

A YouGov poll for The Times, published on Wednesday, suggested that 38 per cent of people want to leave the EU and 37 per cent want remain, with the remaining 25 per cent undecided or not planning to vote.

Related stories

Latest news

Plane crashes at airport in Melbourne

A five-passenger charter plane has crashed into a building next to Essendon Airport in Melbourne, with witnesses reporting explosions, fire and black smoke, police said Tuesday.

Air France pilots give green light to lower cost subsidiary

Members of Air France's main pilots union on Monday voted to accept the creation of a new lower cost subsidiary that the flag carrier hopes will help it compete on long-haul routes.

US Army General McMaster tapped as Trump's national security advisor

Army Lieutenant General HR McMaster will be the new White House national security advisor, US President Donald Trump told reporters Monday.

Greece's creditors want sweeping reforms before next bailout payment

Greece must make sweeping reforms to its labour market, pension system and collective bargaining agreements in order to receive its next vital bailout payment, the country's European creditors said Monday.

President wants to recall "politically appointed ambassadors", can't do it without gov't

President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic said that many politically appointed Croatian ambassadors were not carrying out state policies but that she could not replace them without the government to appoint career diplomats who would fight for Croatia's interests.

Izetbegovic hopes ICJ will confirm Serbia's responsibility for genocide

The Bosniak member of the tripartite presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bakir Izetbegovic, on Monday rejected criticism stirred up by the announcement that the International Court of Justice (ICJ) would be requested to review its judgement made after Bosnia sued Serbia for genocide.

British lawmakers locked in heated debate over Trump's state visit

Allowing US President Donald Trump to visit Britain would be akin to "pimping out the Queen," one British lawmaker said Monday during a heated debate in British parliament over two petitions concerning the US leader's future state visit.

Vitaly Churkin, Russia's sharp-tongued ambassador to the UN, dies

Russia's long-time ambassador to the United Nations, Vitaly Churkin, died in New York on Monday, following a career that spanned four decades and saw Russia emerge from the Soviet Union and experience many turbulent events in its relations with the West.

French police raid National Front over European Parliament payments

France's far-right National Front Monday said that investigators had searched its offices in relation to allegations that it misused European Parliament funds.

Unhappy Presidents' Day: Trump still manoeuvring after Sweden comment

Donald Trump used his first Presidents' Day in office to continue trying to talk his way out of comments implying a terrorist attack in Sweden that never happened.

Croatia supports Kosovo's territorial integrity - Grabar-Kitarovic

Croatia's President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic on Monday expressed the support to Kosovo's territorial integrity and Euro-Atlantic aspirations during her talks with the visiting Kosovo Foreign Minister Enver Hoxhaj.

Petrov rules out early parliamentary election

Parliament Speaker and Bridge party leader Bozo Petrov on Monday dismissed speculation about a reshuffle of the parliamentary majority, saying an early election was likelier, but that right now he did not see "such a scenario."