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Cameron faces a difficult task

10.09.2015 10:00

Recently, against the background of aggravated economic, political and migration issues in the EU the UK eurosсepticism escalated accordingly. Thus, the lower house of the British parliament on Tuesday supported David Cameron's plan to hold a referendum on the UK's membership of the EU before the end of 2017. During the vote this initiative was supported by 316 deputies opposed by only 53 members of parliament.

Director of the Center for British Studies, Institute of Europe of RSA, PhD Elena Ananieva told "Russian Peacekeeper" about the differences between the UK and the EU.

"Public opinion in the UK on the issue of the country leaving the EU is very fluid. Recent polls have shown that 51% of the population was in favor of leaving the EU. However, this is not entirely correct. According to the survey, only 43% of respondents voted for leaving, 40% - against, but 17% - have not decided yet. Recent studies did not include those 17% of respondents, which is a fairly large percentage of the population, who will take part in the referendum.

The British public opinion on this issue depends on the state of affairs in the European Union itself. When the situation worsens, so grows the number of people who vote for disconnection. The latest survey was conducted at the time of migration crisis, so this data should be treated with caution," - the expert believes.

Avanieva recalled that the idea of holding a referendum on Britain's membership in the EU first appeared in 2013 and was related to the internal political and Conservatives' party problems. "UK Independence Party was first with the idea of holding a referendum, considering that Britain should withdraw from the EU because of the inflow of migrants, who are originally not from EU countries. Upon accession of new member countries to the EU citizens of these countries over time acquire the right of free movement in the EU. Therefore, the influx of migrants has increased, not only from the countries of Eastern Europe. Considering the good economic situation in UK, people from France, Italy and Spain went there.

Thus, David Cameron, whose party also has a strong group of eurosceptics, fearing that UKIP could divide Conservators of their votes during May parliamentary elections, has promised to hold this referendum. He himself was in favor of Britain to remain within the EU, but on new conditions that are still being discussed" - explained Ananieva.

"The situation is difficult. Cameron, wanting to preserve the party's unity and  voters was forced to go for the referendum. On the one hand, now he needs to persuade the EU to change the terms of membership for Britain, whilst the EU says that London can not withdraw "cherries from the cake" as other countries would want the same. On the other hand, he has to persuade the British to stay in the EU and to represent his negotiations with the EU as a successful," - concluded the expert.