A com­plete fail­ure – vot­ers’ ver­dict on PM’s Europe deal

Daily Mail - - News - By James Slack Po­lit­i­cal Edi­tor [email protected]­lymail.co.uk

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’.

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