United Kingdom (UK) — For the first time since the UK signed the Maastricht Treaty to join the EU in 1993, a majority the British want to leave the beleaguered assembly of nations. A recent Guardian/ICM poll shows 51% of UK residents would vote to leave if a referendum was currently held with an option to leave.
The numbers of dissatisfied Brits have increased over the years, but never exceeded 50%. A similar poll last year showed 49% wanted to leave, while 51% still favored staying. Of the 49% of those polled who desired to stay in the EU, only 22% said they would “Definitely vote to stay in.” The numbers were much higher for those who would “Definitely want to leave.” A whopping 36% of those polled were certain of their desire to leave the EU. A similar poll in 2001 found that 68% of the British wanted to stay in the EU, while only 19% wanted to leave.
The Guardian poll and its revelations come at a critical time for the British people. Many British leaders are beginning to appeal to a growing trend of voters who see themselves as separate from Europe and desire to distance themselves from common European attitudes and policies.
British Prime Minister David Cameron has begun to make public statements of his intentions to reshape Britain’s relationship with Europe. A much anticipated speech outlining his intentions for the relationship between the UK and the EU is expected within the next month. In the year’s final gathering of right-of-center British leadership, the Prime Minister stated: