Cameron’s EU Proposals Boost Support For Brexit

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Proposed changes to the UK’s relationship with the European Union have failed to win over the public – with a poll showing support for a so-called Brexit has grown.

David Cameron hoped the package he has spent months negotiating would boost the In campaign.

But a YouGov poll for The Times carried out two days after the outline plan was revealed found 45% intended to vote Out – up three points on the previous week.

Some 36% of voters want Britain to remain in the 28-strong bloc, while 19% are undecided.

This represents a record lead for the Out campaign.

The poll result came after Lord Rose, the former Marks and Spencer boss leading the campaign to remain in the EU, predicted a win “by a substantial margin”.

The Tory peer made his claim in an upbeat and witty speech to political journalists at Westminster in which he poked fun at his anti-EU opponents and even the Prime Minister.

But Eurosceptic MPs immediately dismissed his boast as a joke.

Conservatives for Britain chairman Steve Baker MP, who was in the audience, said the prediction “may come back to haunt him”.

It is also questionable whether, at such a delicate stage in negotiations with other EU leaders, the PM and his pro-EU allies will see the funny side of such a bold prediction.

Lord Rose’s forecast came after persistent questioning from Scottish journalist Kate Devlin, of The Herald. “A win’s a win,” he said.

“If we get the 50.001%, it’s a win – I want to win, but we will win by a substantial margin.”

He began his speech with a quip about his failure to remember the name of his campaign – Britain Stronger in Europe – during a Sky News interview 10 days ago.

Asked to identify himself at the start of that interview, he said: “Stuart Rose and I’m the chairman of Ocado, I’m chairman of – sorry – of Stay in Britain, Better in Britain campaign.”

Realising his mistake and laughing, he said: “Right, start again.” Then he said: “Stuart Rose and I’m the chairman of the Better in Britain campaign, Better Stay in Britain campaign.”

But he told his Westminster audience, referring to his old job at M&S: “It could have been worse – I could have been CEO of S&M.”

Later, teasing Mr Cameron, he said: “I’m delighted to be working with Karren Brady. She’s a woman so persuasive she even turned the Prime Minister into a West Ham fan.”

He then compared selling the EU to selling in Marks and Spencer, quoting an ex-boss of the company who said: “You can spot good goods arse upwards.”

And ridiculing critics of Mr Cameron’s EU renegotiation, Lord Rose said: “We ought to have a bit of sympathy for the Prime Minister. If he found oil under his desk it would be the wrong colour. It would certainly be the wrong price.

“This is still a negotiation which as far as I am concerned is still in progress, they have made fantastic progress so far. Let’s see what comes out but ‘every little helps’ as Tesco would say.”

He added: “What we have got is a bloody good deal. Is it perfect? Well, probably not.”

And on TV debates during the referendum campaign, he said: “That’s one for the Prime Minister. Beyond my pay grade.”

Lord Rose also said during his speech: “I’m not a politician.”

That prompted The Guardian’s Michael White, sitting next to me, to shout back: “You are now!”

But impressed by Lord Rose’s amusing and sprightly delivery, the veteran columnist also advised him to have a stiff gin before giving an early morning radio interview next time.

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Conservatives for Britain chairman Steve Baker dismissed the prediction

On the peer’s prediction of the referendum result, Mr Baker later came up with his own prediction: a victory for the Leave campaign by 60% to 40%.

And UKIP’s leader Nigel Farage accused Lord Rose of “massive complacency” and said: “He may be in for a shock.”

And if Lord Rose’s prediction does backfire, it will be no laughing matter for Mr Cameron and the Remain campaign.

Culled from: http://news.sky.com/story/1636228/camerons-eu-proposals-boost-support-for-brexit

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