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EU. Immigration Tops List Of UK Concerns
de Administrador AESIL - Wednesday, 21 de August de 2013, 18:35

A national referendum on whether the UK should remain a member of the European Union would result in an extremely narrow victory for those wanting to leave.

An exclusive survey undertaken for Sky News asked the question: "Do you think that the United Kingdom should remain a member of the European Union?" - 51% voted No, with 49% supporting the Yes option. 

Taking into account the margin of error on all poll findings this means the referendum vote is effectively too close to call.

More than half of the electorate would be certain to vote, guaranteeing that the referendum campaign will be bitterly contested.

David Cameron has made it clear that prior to any referendum vote he wants to renegotiate Britain's relationship with the EU. Sky's survey makes it clear what voters want. 

Top of the list, mentioned by 65% of respondents, was a desire to see control over immigration between EU countries returned to the UK. Greater control over employment law was mentioned by another 40%.

These were themes at the core of UKIP's successful campaign ahead of May's local elections.

Recent high-profile cases, prompting calls for the UK to withdraw from the European Convention of Human Rights may lie behind the 45% who want policing and criminal justice powers restored to the UK.

Further down the list of priorities, although still mentioned by a third of respondents, are EU policies on agriculture and fisheries.

Opinion on the referendum is evenly divided but it appears that many voters could be persuaded to switch their preference before the promised vote in 2017. 
Although half stated their current preference was fixed, some 45% believed there was a small chance they could change their mind between now and the referendum. The remaining 5% are clear 'waverers' - a small proportion of the total but a critical set of voters that could tip the balance either way.

The online poll, conducted for Sky News by Survation, found that one in 10 had not yet decided how to vote. When asked the main reason 40% admitted that they did not understand the consequences for the country of an 'out' vote.

A further 25% were taking a 'wait and see' attitude, wanting serious discussion and independent information about the issue before committing to a constitutionally important choice.

Respondents that were willing to reveal a preference for either Yes or No were asked about circumstances that might cause them to change their minds.

Four in 10 of those casting a No vote could not imagine any circumstances that would make them change their minds. For a third of No voters any renegotiation had to address all of their concerns before they would re-conside. There is some hope for the Yes campaigners - one in 10 No voters might switch sides if David Cameron made only modest progress in his renegotiation.

But Mr Cameron would be powerless to act if the other 26 EU countries opt for more not less European integration.

Half of those currently wanting to stay in the European Union would consider changing their minds if the euro was forced on all member states with the UK forced to abandon the pound. A slightly smaller group, 44%, would balk at having their national budgets approved by the EU.

Respondents were asked whether the UK's membership of the EU harms or benefits the country. On the immigration issue the balance was clear - 58% thought membership harms the UK with only 26% seeing it as a benefit.