The Times have a snap online Populus poll on the European veto, showing support for David Cameron’s decision. 57% of people thought that David Cameron was right to use the veto, with 14% disagreeing and 29% don’t know. 53% also agreed that the use of the veto showed that Cameron is willing to stand up for Britain.

On the impact of the veto, 56% of people thought that the use of the veto would reduce British influence in Europe (9% disagreed), 44% thought it would protect the City of London as a financial centre (12% disagreed). 24% thought the veto would weaken the prospect of economic recovery, 27% disagreed.

Finally, on the domestic political angle, 35% of people agreed that Cameron used the veto only because of pressure from his backbenchs, 22% disagreed. 35% of people agreed with the statement that the veto makes it less likely that the coalition will last, 16% disagree.

Fieldwork was conducted between Friday and Sunday, so would mostly have been before Nick Clegg cricitised the veto. The poll did not ask voting intention (the political crossbreaks in the Times’ write up are based on 2010 vote), so we’ll have to wait a bit longer to see if it has any impact there.


252 Responses to “Snap Populus poll on the veto”

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  1. First!!! Sorry Brunhilda.

    Oh and these results for me personally are not surprising.

  2. Where is the eurosceptic hoard, I expected to be trampled by folk saying “the public don’t like Europe”, well at least I get the pleasure of being first if Martyn hasn’t got there already. I swear he just hangs around waiting to pounce on every new thread.

  3. Ha!!! I beat Martyn!!

  4. And I beat BRUMHILDA MARIA DE NAVASQUES LATIKA ROBERTA MATIAS SILVA DI FRANCESCI as well

    Horay for me

  5. So people think that the veto will reduce Britain’s influence in Europe, make it more likely that the coalition will split and are divided whether it will weaken economic recovery. And that using it was the right thing to do. :?

    Also UKPR’s ad provider is trying to sell me something in Euros. In Dutch. Does it know something we don’t?

  6. RiN

    Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.

  7. Sorry to spoil the fun, Richard In Norway, but I believe my post was first.

    The only surprise about this article is the eurosceptic vote isn’t higher.

  8. By the way, why do we keep calling it ‘the veto’? When it didn’t actually appear to stop anything.

  9. It stopped treaty change/new treaty, so they aren’t allowed to use EU institutions. We stopped them having control of our budget, we stopped them fining us if we choose to spend more, (something Labour should support as well as they love spending)

  10. Max

    You cheated, I don’t know how but you hacked into the site and inserted your comment above mine!!!!

    I too was surprised by that the veto wasn’t more popular

  11. @ROGER MEXICO

    “So people think that the veto will reduce Britain’s influence in Europe, make it more likely that the coalition will split and are divided whether it will weaken economic recovery. And that using it was the right thing to do.”

    I imagine there’s a mix of party politics, and an attitude of better out than in, in there somewhere.

  12. Max King Of The Fantastic County of Kent (or possibly Max, King Of The Fantastic County of Kent or even Max, King Of The Fantastic, County of Kent)

    Well they seen to be hell-bent on a new treaty anyway; they’ll use EU institutions where they can – invent new ones where they can’t; the budget and spending provisions only ever applied to Eurozone members and still will. So what has been stopped?

    Nice comment in the Guardian (from ‘DerekBeef’)

    I think we’ve been assuming that Cameron’s a good negotiator …

    But remember Dave going to the World Cup as chief negotiator and getting only 1 vote?

    Now he’s managed to come back from Europe with no powers and everyone carrying on without him.

  13. Actually Roger, the countries outside the Eurozone are signing up to the budget controls as well. The Swedish budget for example, will soon be under the watchful eye of Brussels despite being well and truly outside the Euro.

  14. Statgeek

    You’re probably right – we’re seeing a mixture of different and conflicting attitudes, often within the same person. When voters have had time to think about things we may get something more coherent, and certainly a reduction in the number of Don’t Knows.

    Polling later in the week may be more enlightening (which may be the reason we may not get it).

  15. Is it

    Max, king of …….. And who died and made you king anyway?
    Or

    Max king, of ……..

    And what’s so fanatic about Kent apart form the hops

  16. In regards to question about my name

    My name is Max King
    and I am from the Fantastic County of Kent

    What makes it so fantastic, we are the Garden of England of course.

  17. Is Kent full of vegetables?

  18. @RiN

    When I first looked in, you had the top 3. You’re first in my book. :-)

    Out trolls!

  19. “53% also agreed that the use of the veto showed that Cameron is willing to stand up for Britain.”

    Odd, since what it really shows is that he’s just not able to stand up to the rabid right wing of his own party. Held to ransom by a couple of dozen members of his own party.

    Cameron’s only achievement this week was to reveal his own weakness

  20. BTW, I’m also from the ‘fantastic county of Kent”, – I just don’t feel the need to brag about it

  21. I imagine that the veto isn’t more popular because many people are not eurosceptics at all and many people wouldn’t approve of David Cameron discovering a cure for cancer. (As many wouldn’t approve of Gordon Brown successfully defeating the Klingon invasion and saving the world.)

    I think that this poll suggests that Labour have been wise to sit on the fence: there’s not much political profit to be made out of straightforwardly disagreeing (right now anyway) and no shrewd opposition agrees with government policy unless they cannot possibly avoid doing so without sanctioning the mass burning of kittens or the abolition of Christmas.

  22. @JayBlanc

    (I don’t know if you’ll pick this up, so I’ll repost it periodically)

    Yesterday I told you that a tariff/differential tax couldn’t be imposed by the EZ17+ on financial services performed by the UK for clients inside the EZ17+ (i.e. across an internal EU boundary). That advice was correct.

    However, I see in today’s newspapers you were referrring to some kind or surcharge/lien/charge/whatever imposed by the EU across the EEA via qualified majority voting amongst the EU27. I do not know if that will or will not occur or, if it does, whether it would be legal or not.

    So I correctly answered the question I thought you were asking, but failed to answer the question you were actually asking.

    My apologies, regards, Martyn

  23. @ Billy Bob (from two threads ago)

    “My thinking was more in terms of influence rather than as a favoured recipient of Marshall Plan funds as such… the advantageous special relationship as go-to partner between the US and Europe.

    Chatham House… the old establishment international affairs think-tank (amongst many worthies as this sinks in) is currently gnashing its teeth over the implications of Cameron’s behaviour for UK geopolitics.”

    I see what you’re saying. I’m not sure Britain’s role really has been a go to partner between the U.S. and Europe for some time though. And if Britain were to accept fiscal union with the EU, it would lose a lot of its national independence.

    “Both in his opinion… in the post-war environment, and because of the special relationship there was an advantage, in terms of “smooth running” for transnational entities, trade bodies etc. A situation long past, and a difficult readjustment the traditionalists.”

    That’s an interesting perspective. But certainly that hasn’t been the case in a very long time.

    @ Henry (from two threads ago)

    “No one could ever accuse you of not being true to your principles and saying it as it is; but then you are a SOCALLIBERAL and not a LD. But well done on your post.”

    I’m just trying to make an objective political comment (trying being the operative word). What has driven voters away from the Lib Dems is not going to return simply because of a split over Europe. IMHO, I think that if a new election was held, it would likely result in the Lib Dems losing scores of seats and the Tories winning a majority.

    @ Rob Sheffield (from two threads ago)

    “Dave and George have given the Lib Dems a principled golden opportunity to get out of this unhappy marriage without being seen as wreckers!”

    Yeah, but I think that just makes it look worse for them. Their voters see cooperation from the Tories and move parties. If they’re going to go out, they might as well do it as wreckers and not as people who went out on a nuanced point that means little to the average voter.

  24. “57% of people thought that David Cameron was right to use the veto, with 14% disagreeing and 29% don’t know. 53% also agreed that the use of the veto showed that Cameron is willing to stand up for Britain.”

    I gotta say that I think I’d be in the majority on both of these questions.

    It’s complicated for me because the whole Europe issue doesn’t really have anything analogous or similar in American politics. But I would never vote for someone who I thought would put American national interests as secondary or would be unable to stand up for American interests abroad. I would not vote for a candidate who thought it was perfectly allright to surrender American fiscal powers to a foreign quasi-governmental entity who’s decisionmaking and decisionmakers were not subject to the will of the voters and any established judicial process of review.

    So I don’t fault Cameron at all and give him credit for the veto (even if his personal negotiating skills don’t particularly shine here). He’s standing up for British interests abroad and defeding Britain’s fiscal independence.

  25. @ Roger Mexico

    “Also UKPR’s ad provider is trying to sell me something in Euros. In Dutch. Does it know something we don’t?”

    I don’t think so. I often see ads for Republican Presidential and Congressional candidates as well as ads for books authored by notable conservative authors.

  26. @Brumhilda Maria De Navasques Latika Roberta Matias Silva Di Francesci/Max King Of The Fantastic County of Kent

    You said “…It stopped treaty change/new treaty, so they aren’t allowed to use EU institutions. We stopped them having control of our budget, we stopped them fining us if we choose to spend more…”

    Please note the following:
    * they were not attempting to control our budget
    * they were not attemping to fine us if we choose to spend more
    * the new treaty has not been stopped
    * if I’m right (I might not be) the enhanced co-operation loophole enables them to use EU institutions despite UK objections

    @others

    I’m p****d off: what is the use of me carrying all this detail inside my head when somebody on Wikipedia (not me!) has only gone and written this up? Aaaargh! Anyhoo, here are some links:

    * here is the mechanism that may enable EU institutions to be used by the new treaty despite UK objections: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enhanced_co-operation
    * here is the entry for the new treaty organisation that will be established despite UK objections: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Fiscal_Union

    @Anthony

    I note with some displeasure somebody else called “Martyn” posting on John Redwood’s site in a quite rude manner. Given this, and the nonuniqueness of the name “Martyn”, and the fact that this is the only board I post on using that name, I’ll be changing to my usual other name in the New Year, in the same way as The Green Benches did. I’ll make it clear so as to avoid accusations of sockpuppetry.

    Regards, Martyn

  27. @Brumhilda Maria De Navasques Latika Roberta Matias Silva Di Francesci/Max King Of The Fantastic County of Kent

    You said “…It stopped treaty change/new treaty, so they aren’t allowed to use EU institutions. We stopped them having control of our budget, we stopped them fining us if we choose to spend more…”

    Please note the following:
    * they were not attempting to control our budget
    * they were not attemping to fine us if we choose to spend more
    * the new treaty has not been stopped
    * if I’m right (I might not be) the enhanced co-operation loophole enables them to use EU institutions despite UK objections

    @others

    I’m p****d off: what is the use of me carrying all this detail inside my head when somebody on Wikipedia (not me!) has only gone and written this up? Aaaargh! Anyhoo, here are some links:

    * here is the mechanism that may enable EU institutions to be used by the new treaty despite UK objections: h ttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enhanced_co-operation
    * here is the entry for the new treaty organisation that will be established despite UK objections: h ttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Fiscal_Union

    @Anthony

    I note with some displeasure somebody else called “Martyn” posting on John Redwood’s site in a quite rude manner. Given this, and the nonuniqueness of the name “Martyn”, and the fact that this is the only board I post on using that name, I’ll be changing to my usual other name in the New Year, in the same way as The Green Benches did. I’ll make it clear so as to avoid accusations of sockpuppetry.

    Regards, Martyn

  28. @SoCalLib

    You said “…I don’t think so. I often see ads for Republican Presidential and Congressional candidates as well as ads for books authored by notable conservative authors…”

    I see adverts for Boots (that’s “Boots the Chemist” – US equivalent Walgreen? – not shoes that go above the ankle) and Eurostar. So according to this site, I’m a hypochondriac who can’t drive. Ouch… :-)

    Regards, Martyn

  29. Allright, I’m going to be honest and lay it out right here. I am opposed to a financial transaction tax. (Feel free to flame me).

    Let me explain why. When we think of Wall Street (or Fleet Street) and those who invest in publicly traded stocks and bonds, we tend to think of large financial institutions, megabucks financiers, and super wealthy investment bankers. And certainly, it’s not hard to find political support for taxing these guys.

    But here’s the thing, (and maybe it’s not the case in Britain) but Wall Street is far bigger than just those who work within the finance industry and even large public corporations that are publicly traded and sold. Nearly half of the population in the U.S. invests in the stock market. To impose new taxes on financial transactions amounts to a new tax on the middle class and in some cases the working class. I say this because a financial transaction tax, as I understand it, is a regressive tax on all purchases and sales of financial instruments. It would apply equally whether the purchase is a small investment or a large one.

    One you implemented something like this, the large financial institutions would grumble (they would over any loss of potential profits) but they wouldn’t be significantly hurt by it. It would be like a sales tax for them. Those who would be hurt though are the millions and millions of small investors who would have to pay taxes for each transaction they make.

    Now I will say that there have been some proposals here to do this (like Peter DeFazio (D-OR)’s House bill) that take into account some key exemptions and would only impose these taxes on certain transactions and would make some key exemptions. That, I might be more comfortable with.

  30. @SoCalLib

    You said “…He’s [Cameron]…defending Britain’s fiscal independence…”

    If anyone was suggesting submitting UK budgets to fiscal oversight by others before Parliamentary oversight, you would be right. But nobody was doing that. Why do you think somebody was?

    Regards, Martyn

  31. @ Martyn

    “I see adverts for Boots (that’s “Boots the Chemist” – US equivalent Walgreen? – not shoes that go above the ankle) and Eurostar. So according to this site, I’m a hypochondriac who can’t drive. Ouch… :)”

    Now don’t get that way. I am not a hypochondriac and I go to the drugstore all the time (though I usually go to CVS or Rite Aid, not Walgreens). And I can drive just fine but I’ve taken the Eurostar. I like rail transit, it’s one of my pet issues.

    What’s your new blogger name going to be?

    You’re so unfailingly well mannered and polite that I don’t think we would confuse you with anyone else claiming to be Martyn.

  32. How to make friends and influence people: the Glasgow Labour way.

    Tom Harris takes a public swipe the entire Labour Group in the Scottish Parliament, in today’s Times:

    – “He said yesterday: “The veto by MSPs against me effectively meant they were acting like a closed shop. From that point, the odds were against me getting any traction in the campaign.”

    … “I am not saying that they were guilty of bad judgment by not supporting me but to start the campaign with a collective attitude that it had to be an MSP was disappointing.
    “I just hope that in future MSPs accept that it’s not acceptable for them to have a veto.”

    … In his latest message to party members posted on his campaign website yesterday, Mr Harris warns that Scottish Labour “stands on the brink” and may never be elected into government at Holyrood again. The message says: “If our new leader — whoever that is — implements change with which members are comfortable, then it’s either not enough of a change, or it’s the wrong kind of change.
    “Scottish Labour stands on the brink. It is quite conceivable that we will not recover electorally from the defeat of 2011, and that we will never again be seen by Scotland as an alternative government.
    “That’s what is at stake in this leadership election — not the question of whether we win next time round, but whether we’re even relevant next time round…”

    Hmmm… I wonder if this has anything to do with Mr Harris’ irritation?

    Best prices – Next SLAB leader

    Macintosh 8/11 Stan James
    Lamont 6/4 Ladbrokes
    Harris 8/1 Lad, SJ

    Macintosh received a boost yesterday when key SLAB financier Willie Haughey gave him his backing.

  33. Roger Mexico

    “So people think that the veto will reduce Britain’s influence in Europe, make it more likely that the coalition will split and are divided whether it will weaken economic recovery. And that using it was the right thing to do.”

    Indeed !!!

    These confused and tortuous contortions will last about 25 seconds in an actual referendum campaign: when Branson, Sugar and Dyson et al tell the great British public to vote to stay in and not to listen to those stupid politicians.

    I almost want one: just to listen to the disbelieving howls of pain you’d get on here when they lose !

  34. @ Martyn

    “If anyone was suggesting submitting UK budgets to fiscal oversight by others before Parliamentary oversight, you would be right. But nobody was doing that. Why do you think somebody was?”

    I don’t know the full details of the proposed changes to the Lisbon treaty that Cameron vetoed. My understanding is that the Germans and French were proposing increased integration and joint European oversight and regulation of the financial markets instead of regulation and oversight by individual member states.

  35. @ Rob Sheffield

    “These confused and tortuous contortions will last about 25 seconds in an actual referendum campaign: when Branson, Sugar and Dyson et al tell the great British public to vote to stay in and not to listen to those stupid politicians.

    I almost want one: just to listen to the disbelieving howls of pain you’d get on here when they lose !”

    Well is the British public going to listen to Branson, Sugar, and Dyson? (I don’t know who Dyson is).

  36. This is broadly in line with the Mail/Survation poll which had 62% Yes, 19% No 19% Don’t Know.

    I think it would be a mistake to push for EU withdrawal but if the LibDems were mad enough to force an election on this issue it’s possible that Cameron would win a landslide.

  37. NBeale

    Yes an “who governs- Brussels or London” election.

    The last ‘who governs’ election went well for the Tories.

    I think its far more likely that Cameron would lose votes on his (poor as far as the right are concerned) 2010 result.

    Such a campaign would put Cameron and UKIP (and a few Trots along with a handful of eccentrics from other ostensibly pro-Europe parties) on one side of the argument;

    whilst on the other you would have Labour, Lib Dems, Nats and Greens alongside the vast army of commerce and business.

    You might even get cooperation between the LD and Labour to confound Tories in specific seats.

    Be careful what you wish for :D

  38. Guardian (for itis them) !!

    “Cameron’s “brave” stand looked rather different from Cologne in Germany, where I spent a couple of days at the end of last week. What struck me, watching the news, reading the papers there and talking to German friends, was how unimportant the British veto is to the Germans. Britain’s isolation was just an afterthought, rather than the real meat of the summit. We matter to them; but not nearly as much as the euro and the internal crisis. Something has snapped. Even compared to Margaret Thatcher’s day, they really cannot be bothered with more British nay-saying: we don’t want to leave you but we think you ought to go.

    Both Clegg and Miliband understand this. So although the Conservatives may feel euphoric, they shouldn’t. They are in an impossible position. As things stand, 26 countries have formed a new union without us. Let’s call it the euro union, or EU for short. The euro union will meet in the same buildings that the European Union used, with the same officials, and they will make decisions about economics, money and markets. In short, it walks like a duck and talks like a duck. It is a bloody duck.

    Cameron and George Osborne are trying to suggest that life in all other respects goes on as before – that the old European Union remains jolly important. They claim these meetings of 26 will be followed by meetings of 27 that will matter more.

    Surely this is a fantasy. Are we really saying that 26 heads of government will sit and talk, then decide what to do – and then go through the whole process again, to accommodate a British prime minister who rolls up a day later?

    The present situation cannot continue – either Cameron will have to eat enough humble pie to persuade an increasingly hostile German chancellor, Angela Merkel, and French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, to let him back in – or we will have to leave the party altogether. If we do seem to be heading towards withdrawal it’s hard to see how the Lib Dems can possibly remain in the coalition.”

  39. @SOCAL

    “Allright, I’m going to be honest and lay it out right here. I am opposed to a financial transaction tax. (Feel free to flame me). ”

    Not at all. Well said!

    More tax means for more personal loss. Tranaction taxation will means more expensive financial services for users.

    Now a tax on lawyers would be far more popular. :P

  40. ‘If we do seem to be heading towards withdrawal it’s hard to see how the Lib Dems can possibly remain in the coalition.’

    The Guardian obviously has its viewpoint (although why does so much need to be re-printed on here; a brief passage and cross reference would have been more than adequate).

    The comment about what would be a calamatous withdrawal from the Coalition by the LDs both for the Party and the Country did not particularly trouble me, having heard a discussion between politicians including Evan Harris on radio five last night. Yes Evan remains critical of DC, but he is adult and recognises the contribution his Party has made as a junior partner to the running of the Country (which he constantly referred to in the discussion). He indicated that there will be no break up of the Coalition from his all other LDs point of view. That’s good enough for me.

  41. It is not the high figure of around 60% agreeing with DC’s decision that I am focusing on as a euro sceptic but the figure of below 20% i.e. less than one in 5 of the population that think it was a bad decision. Any leader of any party in any democratic country would bite your hand off for disapproval ratings so low.

  42. John Fletcher

    ‘but the figure of below 20% i.e. less than one in 5 of the population that think it was a bad decision. Any leader of any party in any democratic country would bite your hand off for disapproval ratings so low.’

    Coming from a different political perspective from yourself John, one which supports a EU ( but a reformed EU that cuts out the waste and corruption and listens to its auditors) I have to agree with your conclusion.

    I think the British people respect their leaders when they stand up to political bullies in Europe (there are only two). Hopefully both will be removed from office by their own disenchanted electorate in coming elections and we can start to rebuild.

    Following Evan Harris’ staunch support of the Coalition last night, I was pleased to see that David Laws on Sky confirm everything that Evan said. He was also rightly critical of the French and Germans.

  43. @oldnat – “Is Kent full of vegetables?”

    No. Fruit (plenty of cabbages on the Isle of Thanet though).

  44. Good Morning Henry.
    Southborne Beach is glorious today! Cold and sunny.
    Very blue sea this morning.

    I seriously think that the phrase Junior Member of the Coalition is just not good enough. The LD’s are ‘of one flesh’ with the Tories- for good or for ill, supporting them in the Lobbies- which must be troubling men of good conscience.

    The idea that able people have been expressing on here that measures such as new taxes will not apply to the UK is fantasy,

    I think- as the new de facto treaty, which is what it will be, will include our companies having to comply with the new EZ regulations.

    Norway’s Parliament has to comply with the current EU laws, in order to have access to European markets, although that ‘sovereign’ parliament will have no influence on these measures.

    Mr Clegg said it, so it must be right, the PM made his ‘veto’ due to pressures from the right wing members of the Coalition.

  45. I knew Cameron was going to use the veto from the very moment he walked out of the car. You could see it on his face.
    Not only that, every time you turn on the telly it’s nothing but anti German slogans wither it be on a question of Sport to Westminster. Quite pathetic

    My guess is that for now most people in England will back Cameron on his stance but when the economy starts to shrink and the Libs shout “We told you so” then people will want Cameron hanged.

    He is acting like a right little anti German Englander, get over it Cameron, Germany will always outshine England on the footy pitch!! ;)

  46. ALLAN CHRISTIE.

    Harold Wilson used to say that England only win world cups when Labour is in power.

    The 14th June 1970 calamity in Mexico took 2% of the Labour vote on 18th June 1970.

    Then Ted Heath (and Mrs Ttatcher and all) took us into the Treaty of Rome- with the commitment we made then to ‘ever and ever closer union of the people of Europe’.

    The elites in the UK knew the long term implications. customs union will lead to monetary union, which will lead to fiscal union, which will lead to monetary union.

  47. Quick question:

    Is it possible to express an opinion that the EU disapproves of without being branded a “Little Englander”? Is so, can someone give me an example of how you do it?

    Maybe it’s just me, but I’d have thought doing whatever is necessary to protect a major source of tax revenue quite pragmatic myself.

  48. Chris Lane
    ‘Mr Clegg said it, so it must be right, the PM made his ‘veto’ due to pressures from the right wing members of the Coalition.’

    Good to hear you sticking up for our man Clegg; he has received so much criticism (from Labour bloggers) since the GE.

    Of course DC is under pressure from his Party and he must listen to it. So is NC from his Party and again he must listen. Even so it is good to hear such strong and co-ordinated support for NC and the Coalition from such diffferent quarters as Evan Harris and David Laws.

    They are both Euro supporters, which is probably one of the reasons why they were both so critical of the French and German unhelpful stance.

  49. @Chris Neville-Smith

    But the City reaction appears to be that they did not want to be ‘protected’ in a way that means the UK has no say in Europe wide financial regulations, and loses the EuroBond market. It may be popular to ‘stick it to the Germans’, it may have lifted the spirits of the Conservative back benches, but the people who Cameron claims to have protected, have in reality been exposed to risk.

  50. ROB SHEFFIELD

    You might be interested to know that Mathew Paris now shares your view that the Coalition will break up.

    He says they have moved to a phase involving mutual “lack of respect”, which will generate rolling disagreement.

    The attitude to LDs from the Con benches today in HoC might be something to study.

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