Majority of Brits are Eurosceptic - but may still vote to stay in the EU, report reveals

Two thirds of the British public consider themselves Eurosceptic - but it is unlikely they will vote to leave the EU, a new report has revealed.

Data from NatCen's latest British Attitudes Survey found 65% either wanted to leave the Union or wanted the EU's powers to be reduced (43%).

Even in Scotland, which is often considered more pro-European than the rest of Britain, Eurosceptics are in the majority with 43% wanting the EU's powers reduced and 17% wanting a Brexit.

But despite the highest level of Euroscepticism since 1992, when given a straight choice, 60% think Britain should continue to stay in the EU.

"For scepticism to translate into support for withdrawal, voters also need to be convinced of the economic case for leaving. And at present most are not," the report said.


Think Britain would be worse off it we left the EU

The report revealed the majority of Brits did back David Cameron's wide-ranging reforms finding:

  • Two thirds (68%) wanted to reduce the ability of EU migrants' access to welfare benefits

  • A majority (60%) favoured reducing the extent the EU regulates business

  • Almost as many (59%) wanted to stop people from other countries accessing the NHS for free

  • And just over half (51%) wanted to end the free movement of people within the UK

Professor John Curtice, senior research fellow for Natcen, said: "Britain is about as sceptical about Europe as it has ever been.

"Feelings seem to be driven by concerns about the impact the EU is having on the nation's identity and cultural life, not least as a result of high levels of EU immigration.

"However, for most people, on its own, this scepticism is not enough to warrant leaving the EU.

"The Leave campaign evidently needs to persuade more voters of its economic arguments, while Remain has to assure voters that the economic advantages of membership are worth putting up with interference from Brussels."

A British referendum on EU membership will take place on June 23.