Nearly 50 percent of Britons want out of the European Union (EU), according to a survey published today.
The survey results come as British Prime Minister David Cameron is in discussions with other EU leaders in Brussels in an attempt to end an impasse over his attempts to gain better membership terms ahead of a 2017 general vote that will be held in Britain on whether to leave the Union.
The survey, taken between November 20 and December 2, was funded by a former deputy chairperson of Cameron's Conservatives Party, Michael Ashcroft. It asked 20,000 people to place themselves on a scale between 0 and 100, with 100 indicating they would definitely vote to leave the EU, and 0 meaning they would definitely vote to remain EU members.
Of those surveyed, 38 percent said they would vote to remain members, putting themselves between 0 and 49; while 47 percent were leaning toward leaving, placing themselves between 51 and 100. The survey showed 14 percent were undecided, placing themselves at the 50 mark.
A quarter of voters indicated they did not have a strong opinion and could easily be persuaded to change their minds.
Thirty-five percent said they would to vote to remain in the EU if Cameron announces he has secured a better deal for Britain.
The survey also asked what are the biggest issues in the debate over Britain's continued EU membership. Immigration was the most popular answer, followed closely by border control.
Although 39 percent said Britain would never be able to bring immigration under control unless it leaves the EU, a similar 37 percent said they thought Britain would not be able to control immigration whether it was in the EU or not.
Those surveyed were fairly evenly divided on the risks of leaving the EU, popularly known as Brexit, with 53 percent saying leaving carries a greater risk to Britain, while 47 percent believe the opposite.
Cameron's biggest obstacle to securing support for a better membership deal for Britain in the EU is his proposal to curb welfare payments to EU migrant workers. Some EU leaders warn such a move would discriminate on grounds of nationality and would be against EU law.