Last time I wrote an entry in this blog it was about whether the UK should actually have its referendum on EU membership, so it’s only right that I continue this theme and look at the state of Euroscepticism. This will be a short entry and, out of pure laziness, I’m going to take a British perspective too.
Ipsos MORI, a polling company based in the UK, has released a new poll indicating that support for EU membership is the highest it has been for 23 years, and this is despite the gains the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) has been making recently. We have similar news from the European Parliament that the European political group, ‚Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy‘ (EFDD), has been struggling to maintain support, collapsing for four days after Latvia’s Iveta Grigule MEP defected from the group causing it to lose its required representation from seven member-states; Polish MEP Robert Iwaszkiewicz from the Congress of the New Right party joined the group on 20 October, restoring its required representation.
An interesting point about this story is that while the media in the UK, most notably the BBC, had been accused of biasing the UKIP, the news channels had concentrated a lot of their attention on the break up of the EFDD, but not its reformation a few days later. But I digress.
The rise of UKIP, in the UK, seems to have created a polarising effect: where a lot of the British public were largely apathetic to the European Union before, the population have started to really consider the place of the UK in Europe and the results seem to be a growth in support. That all said, the issue of EU membership still scores very low on people’s minds as an important political topic, being beaten by issues of education, employment, immigration, and above all else, healthcare. Which obviously suggests that unless there is a referendum, the mood can and will probably shift around.
That all said, the UKIP is consistently polling above 15 % and there is no sign that the trend will reverse. However, these are early days, but may still be the start of the collapse of one of the largest Eurosceptic forces in Europe today.
Be sure to check out my blog. I talk about similar topics to Unsere Zeit and I sometimes use pictures!