A complete failure – voters’ verdict on PM’s Europe deal
VOTERS have declared David Cameron’s EU referendum deal an overwhelming flop when it comes to curbing mass immigration.
In an exclusive Daily Mail poll, three- quarters of the public say the Prime Minister’s so- called ‘emergency brake’ on tax credits and his curbs on the payment of child benefit to EU workers will either fail to reduce migration – or could even allow it rise further.
The poll also shows that, among those groups most passionate about voting in the referendum, the contest is now neck and neck.
Currently, migration from within the EU is adding 180,000 to our population every year – a figure six in ten voters say is too high.
The verdict on the PM’s reforms was given by voters over the weekend, as Mr Cameron took to the TV screens to declare his renegotiation a huge triumph that would make Britain ‘safer’ and ‘more secure’.
He claimed he had done better on securing measures to control immigration than most had expected.
But a majority of voters said levels of immigration to Britain and the strength of British democracy will be better off if the country leaves the EU than if it remains.
Some 21 per cent say net migration from the EU will increase in the wake of the deal, while 53 per cent said it would not change – a total of 74 per cent. Only 22 per cent feel it will decrease.
Overall, the Remain lead over the Leave camp has fallen by six points since the last ComRes/Daily Mail poll in January. Some 51 per cent now say they would vote for Britain to stay inside the EU. Some 39 per cent would vote to leave.
Most people were questioned before London Mayor Boris Johnson joined the Out camp, electrifying the contest.
The poll also asked how passionate people were about the referendum. Of those who said they were very passionate – and therefore most likely to vote – the contest was neck-and-neck. Remain is on 48 per cent only one point ahead of Leave on 47.
Fewer than half of voters felt that Mr Cameron had got a good deal overall in last week’s negotiations. Some 45 per cent said he had succeeded and 42 per cent that he had failed. Some 13 per cent did not know. More than a fifth said the PM had failed to a ‘great extent’.
The public also rejected his instruction to MPs that they should ignore the views of their constituency parties when deciding which side to take in the referendum. An overwhelming 74 per cent said MPs should base their decision on the views of their constituents compared to only 5 per cent who said their party leadership.
The public was also scathing about his decision to gag Eurosceptic ministers until his renegotiation was complete – 61 per cent said the gag was ‘wrong’.
The findings on immigration came as a report by the Migrationwatch think-tank said the emergency brake will have ‘lit- tle or no effect’ on net EU migration. It said many of those who had arrived in the past four years had only a limited entitlement to in-work benefits, so the brake would be ‘very unlikely to act as a deterrent’.