Brexit chance rated as one in six


Published: Thursday 26th February 2015 by The News Editor

Comments (0)

There is about a one-in-six chance of the UK leaving the European Union over the course of the next Parliament, according to a new Brexit Barometer.

The measure, drawn up by thinktank OpenEurope, put the chances of the UK quitting Europe at 17%, with an overwhelming 83% likelihood it will stay.

A poll carried out for OpenEurope found that 41% of voters would opt to quit the EU and just 37% to stay in if a referendum was held under the current terms of membership. But positions were reversed – with 47% voting to remain and 32% to leave – if the 28-nation bloc was successfully reformed.

But the thinktank said its barometer took into account not only the state of public opinion on the issue, but also the question of what government will emerge from the May 7 general election, the likelihood of that government holding a referendum and the potential outcome of an in/out vote. It also factors in how strongly the next government will push for EU reform and how open and willing the rest of the EU is to reform.

The Barometer found that the greatest likelihood of an in/out referendum during the next Parliament would come if Tories win an absolute majority on May 7, and said there was a 48% chance of Britain voting to leave if David Cameron gets the opportunity to hold the referendum he has promised for 2017.

But it deemed this election result less likely (16%) than a minority government of Tories or Labour (both 18%), a Conservative/Lib Dem coalition (20%) or a Labour/SNP pact (17%), all of which would reduce the chances of a referendum being held.

By the Barometer’s calculations, the most likely scenario for Brexit is a Tory/Lib Dem coalition – with a 20% probability of this being the election outcome and an 85% chance of such a government pressing ahead with a referendum – and the least likely a Labour/Lib Dem partnership, seen as a 13% probability to form a Government but just a 5% chance to stage a vote.

The Barometer will be regularly updated to reflect shifts in sentiment, with the aim of acting as a “bellwether” for the health of the UK’s relationship with the EU, said OpenEurope.

Published: Thursday 26th February 2015 by The News Editor

Comments (0)

Local business search