New Poll Shows that Euroscepticism is a Majority Opinion in the UK

A recent Guardian/ICM poll indicates that 51 percent of respondents favor voting to take the U.K. out of the European Union were an in/out referendum offered, a two percent increase from last year.

The poll suggests not only that the British are becoming increasingly eurosceptic, but that British eurosceptics are more convinced in their beliefs than europhiles. Only 22 percent of respondents would “Definitely vote to stay in,” while 36 percent of respondents would “Definitely vote to leave,” hardly a ringing endorsement of pro-E.U. arguments.

The rise in eurosceptic sentiment is not an indication of Britain becoming more sympathetic to libertarianism. The most prominent eurosceptic party in the U.K., the United Kingdom Independence Party, has policies that are hardly conducive to the principles of limited government. I have written on UKIP’s lack of libertarian credentials here and here.

It is almost a certainty that British Prime Minister David Cameron will appease his party’s euroscepticism in some way before the next general election. Much of the support that the Conservatives have been losing recently is in large part thanks to UKIP, which is ideally placed to pick up Conservative supporters who are uncomfortable with the Conservative Party’s lack of action against the E.U. and the current partnership with the europhilic Liberal Democrats.

Euroscepticism is not jut a right-of-center opinion, despite contemporary rhetoric:

Fifty-seven percent of Tories want to pull Britain out, compared with 44% of Labour supporters and 34% of Lib Dems. But Cameron may be interested to learn than only 41% of his party's supporters are definitely committed to pulling Britain out, leaving a majority of Conservatives who retain a more equivocal or pro-European position.

David Cameron should offer a referendum, and do it quickly. His coalition government has enough to worry about without the European issue being a constant source of irritation. With the socialist Leader of the Labour Party Ed Miliband enjoying good polling numbers offering a referendum on E.U. membership would be a chance to do something with popular support. 

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  • Gladstone||

    Only 51%?

    The rise in eurosceptic sentiment is not an indication of Britain becoming more sympathetic to libertarianism

    Like making Ed Miliband the new PM?

  • ||

    I have written on UKIP’s lack of libertarian credentials here and here.

    Mostly you hate their anti-immigration policies. I don't like them either but really do not give a shit as I don't live in the UK nor do I want to live there.

    Aside from that they have some pretty good libertarian credentials.

    Also i think soem libertarians have made arguments that countries restricting immigration can be libertarian.

    I disagree but then again i don't own the word libertarian.

    If you are going to make the claim that a party lacks libertarian credentials i think you should actually state specifically what libertarian credential you are talking about.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    As long as it is pro-monarchist or neutral, the party has no business describing itself as "libertarian".

  • ||

    pro-monarchist

    Give me a break.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    About what? You think monarchy is compatible with liberty? Or is the UKIP part of the British Republican Movement and I wasn't aware of that fact?

  • fish||

    The case can be made that if not libertarian, monarchy can certainly less restrictive to liberty than democracy.

  • Gladstone||

    England of the 18th and 19th centuries where were classical liberalism sprung and flourished.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    England of the 18th and 19th centuries where were classical liberalism sprung and flourished.

    Flourished in England, yes. Not so much in the colonies of the Empire, yes?

    Also, notice that it was during the 18th to 19th century, in England, when the shift from Mercantilism to Free Trade occurred, which had a lot more to do with Liberty, I argue.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    I've never been convinced that those arguments were nothing more than "The sheeple are so stupid! I hate everybody!" whipped cream with a philosopher-king cherry on top.

  • Gladstone||

    There is also the argument that under a monarchy the state is the king's personal property (and of the aristocrats) so the public is more hostile to the state as supposed to in a republic where "the people" are the state so the public is less hostile to it and want free shit. Though the current UK is a democracy and they want free shit so this shows how a constitutional monarchy can end up in a similar way.

  • Proprietist||

    I think that the point is that a monarchy of King Ron Paul would probably be a more libertarian government than most any democracy could muster. That said, 99.9% of kings would not be like Ron Paul at all.

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    Lichtenstein seems to be making a pretty good run at it.

  • Generic Stranger||

    In theory, a beneficent dictator who kept all the power of the state but refused to use it and left everybody alone would be extremely libertarian, but in practice people simply don't refuse to use power.

    As the saying goes, in theory, theory and practice are the same. in practice, they're not.

  • Gladstone||

    Because the USA, Ireland, Russia, Greece, Italy, Libya, Germany, China, Ian, Iraq, Egypt, Afghanistan, Brazil and Mexico show that there is a clear correlation between republicanism and liberty

  • Gladstone||

    Should be Iran not Ian. Also France, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria and Turkey.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    And Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Morocco, and Swaziland are bastions of liberty?

    C'mon son!

  • Gladstone||

    I never said so. Just that abolishing the monarchy is very low on what actually makes a society free.

    Bashing the UKIP for not being republican is silly.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    It's not my intention to "bash" them. I take exception to them referring to themselves as libertarian, for the reasons above and below. I think "classical liberal" or "market liberalism" are more accurate descriptors.

  • Gladstone||

    Also I doubt abolishing the Saudi monarchy will automatically lead to a free Arabian state.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Also I doubt abolishing the Saudi monarchy will automatically lead to a free Arabian state.

    I absolutely agree. See my comment here.

  • R C Dean||

    You realize, of course, that the Dutch and at least some of the Scandinavian countries (as well as the Brits) still have at least technical monarchies, right?

    A monarch can certainly head a limited government. Limited government, as we are learning to our sorrow, is not necessarily a feature of democracies or republics. And I'm not even going to point to the roots of various totalitarian states in the last century.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    You realize, of course, that the Dutch and at least some of the Scandinavian countries (as well as the Brits) still have at least technical monarchies, right?

    Of course.

    A monarch can certainly head a limited government. Limited government, as we are learning to our sorrow, is not necessarily a feature of democracies or republics.

    This is where we differ. The monarch in a constitutional monarchy, as the head of state, holds executive power. I don't think it conducive to liberty to have a head of state that holds the position for life.

  • ||

    All the major parties of the UK support the monarchy and they all support it by giving it exactly zero real power.

    Also Feeney never made that argument. I assume he does not have problem with UK's Monarchy and libertarianism.

    His issue was primarily Immigration.

  • ||

    I should point out that Britons own Fascist George Orwell supported the monarchy.

    If a nationalist socialist can support a powerless Monarchy I fail to see why a libertarian party can't.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    The UK's monarchy is "powerless" because it suits them to be seen that way. Much like the Roman Emperor had to keep up with the polite fiction of the Senate.

    If a serious threat to the monarchy occurred in England, I think you would see how much power they actual posses. Then again, the House of Windsor might step down, like the royal family of Nepal did. Anything is possible, I suppose.

  • ||

    Among the causes of the hellish depravity of British governance and the pervasive authoritarianism of British society is the basic structure of its state -- that it is a monarchy.

    I don't give a shit what kind of sovereign Elizabeth is. Monarchy is immoral at its core.

  • buybuydandavis||

    " has policies that are hardly conducive to the principles of limited government."

    You think if you don't believe in an open border policy, you're not a libertarian. And if you want to punish criminals, you're not a libertarian.

    Not everyone self identified as a libertarian agrees with you. You can shriek that they aren't "true libertarians", and they can shriek that you're not either. Who cares?

    Why is it necessary to condemn one of the few libertarian parties with substantial public support? Does it offend your fanatical monk's "more libertarian than though" pride?

  • Hyperion||

    You mean 'more libertarian than thou'

  • ||

    They're not libertarian. Their policies are far, far better than any other major party in Europe, but they're not libertarian. They're Reagan Republicans, if you want a decent comparison.

  • Generic Stranger||

    This is like saying you can be a communist without believing in common ownership over the means of production.

    Free immigration is one of the central tenants of libertarianism (or, perhaps more accurately, a derivation of the Non-Aggression Principle, which is perhaps the central tenant of libertarianism), and someone who believes in restricting immigration cannot be said to be truly libertarian. This isn't a purity thing, it's simply the consequence of words having meaning.

  • Hyperion||

    The sooner the Eurotard Union crashes and burns, the better for all the world.

  • Hyperion||

    Whatever some limeys might be doing to promote liberty, even in the smallest of ways, should be taken as something.

    I mean, we are talking about a society that in the 21st century, still believes that they need a fucking King and Queen, lol. How much can you really expect from these primitives?

    They need a few more hundred years to ponder the idea of freedom and liberty, maybe then they will be ready for some.

  • ||

    It's a country whose general public believed it necessary for the House of Lords to issue a proclamation announcing that advocacy of republicanism was not, in fact, a heinous felony punishable by lifelong imprisonment, as dictated by the Treason Felony Act of 1846, before publications actually began doing so. In 2003. That's nine years ago.

  • OldMexican||

    New Poll Shows that Euroscepticism is a Majority Opinion in the UK


    But Piers Morgan can still be deported outta here, right?

  • ||

    I wish there was some famous Limey broadcaster who was an honest hoplophobe -- one of those progressives with genuinely good intentions and a good heart, one of the ones susceptible to education.

    Piers is a fucking thug-lover.

  • EnglishCuckoo||

    The good news is that you might get to extradict him back here to the UK to answer phone hacking charges...I hope.

  • waaminn||

    Looksl ike a big thumbs down to me dude.

    www.Privacy-OT.tk

  • EnglishCuckoo||

    Best not to confuse UKIP with any kind of Libertarian or libertarian party. What began as a single issue pressure group has morphed into an untidy coaltion of High Tories, old style Liberals, exiles from the British National Party and a motley collection of independents who would vote NOTA (None of the Above) if it were available. Their best asset is Farage who has a fine line in invective and rhetoric but beyond that there are some very odd bods sheltering under the party banner, including the prospective local councillor who was recently proposing the forced abortion of all Downs Syndrome foetuses.

  • Gladstone||

    Isn't it a bit rich for Americans to go on about the British Monarchy? It's not like American republicanism is in good shape today. I mean the US President is becoming more and more like an elected dictator and doesn't Obama cost the US taxpayer more than the Royal Family costs the British Taxpayer? I recall that Jefferson thought the State of the Union Address was too monarchial and just had the clerk deliver the speech. This precedent lasted until Woodrow's Wilson time I believe.

  • Gladstone||

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    . I mean the US President is becoming more and more like an elected dictator

    You got that right.

  • Ioannis Brilakis||

    Which UK party (tiny or large) is closest to the libertarian party of the US? I just moved to the UK from the US, and would like to know my options here. I am a classical liberal (F.A. Hayek - type) and believe that (reason's and cato's) libertarianism is a little too extremist towards anarchism, but certainly orders of magnitude closer to classical liberalism than all the other US parties.

  • Hawk Spitui||

    Hey, if the cosmotarians want to pretend they own the word "libertarian", more power to them. All I can say about that is if I had to choose between voting for Gary Johnson or Nigel Farage, I'd vote for Farage in a heartbeat. The cosmotarians are welcome to take the word "libertarian", along with their nation-wrecking immigration policies, and stick them right where the sun don't shine.

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