26 May 2016, 01:00
Prime Minister appeals to saga magazine readers to remain in EU
• 9 in 10 over 50s plan to vote in the referendum
• 1 in 8 over 50s are yet to make their mind up
• For full interviews, see the June issue of Saga Magazine, or visit www.saga.co.uk/eu-referendum
As the referendum date nears, and the debate reaches boiling point, the Prime Minister, David Cameron, and Vote Leave chief executive, Matthew Elliott, have gonehead to head in Saga Magazine to try to persuade its nearly 1 million readers to vote for their side.
The over 50s will be key to the outcome of the June 23 vote. A new Saga Populus Poll of 8,650 over 50s, shows that more are making up their mind about which way to cast their ballot with the number of undecided falling from 14% to 12%. Overall 42% say they will vote for the UK to remain a member of the European Union in June’s Referendum – up from 41% in April. Support for Brexit also nudged up by a point to 46%.
Lance Batchelor, Saga’s chief executive, commented: “It is real testament to the importance of the over 50s that two of the most influential figures in the EU referendum debate have chosen totalk to Saga Magazine. As the Saga Generations are significantly more likely to vote in the upcoming election, our EU destiny really is in their hands.”
Pensions: In the article in the June edition of Saga Magazine, David Cameron warns that, “a vote to leave would put pensions at risk. Everyone – even those who want to leave – accepts there would be an economic shock. We owe it to all the people who have worked hard and saved all their lives to find dignity in retirement.”
“By leaving the EU and increasing our trade with the rest of the world, we would become far less vulnerable to being dragged down by the Eurozone crisis,” counters Matthew Elliott. “The value of pensions and investments depends above all on the fundamentals of the British economy.”
House prices: The economic uncertainty caused by Brexit could “include increases in mortgage rates”, warns Mr Cameron.
“The value of your home will be far more affected by the strength of the economy and British decisions on housing policy,” says Mr Elliott.
Travel: When asked how Britons would be viewed by other Europeans if we leave the EU, the Prime Minister replies that “the majority want us to remain”, adding “it is possible that you might find it more difficult and you will likely find it more expensive to travel around Europe than you do now.” Benefits such as access to healthcare and reduced phone charges may also be threatened, he adds.
“I am sure we will continue to get a friendly welcome [from Europeans],” says Matthew Elliott. The only change we may detect is a “sneaking admiration that our country had the self-confidence to make a democratic choice for its future.”
Care: Leaving the EU could lead to visa and residency permit issues for the 100,000 skilled EU workers in our care industry, says Mr Cameron, causing an “unpredictable effect on frontline services”.
“There is no question of throwing out Europeans who are already living here,” argues Matthew Elliott.
Turkey: On the possible influx of Turks to Britain if Turkey joins the EU, Matthew Elliott points out that “Theresa May was right to warn that allowing countries such as Albania, Serbia and Turkey into the EU could undermine our security. Our NHS and public services are already under pressure from high levels of migration.”
“Turkey’s membership of the EU is not on the cards for many years to come,” replies Mr Cameron. “There remains a very significant amount of work to do before Turkey would be ready. Every country – including the UK – has a veto at every stage of the process … we are able to influence the pace of the negotiations.”
The one thing the two camps did agree on resoundingly was that whichever way we vote in the upcoming election, the UK will remain a strong, successful nation. “The question isn’t whether we could succeed outside Europe,” says Mr Cameron. “The question is where we will best succeed.”
Notes to editors:
Full Saga Magazine article, additional questions and infographic available from email@example.com
May Saga Populus results in detail (8,650 respondents)
Whilst there has been no change in the intention of male respondents, with 48% favouring Leave and 42% Remain; women have become more certain over the month with 42% favouring Remain and 42% supporting Brexit (both up 1%).
Women in particular are now starting to get off the Euro fence. The latest survey shows 10% of men (same as last month) and 16% of women (down 2%) said they had still to decide how to vote.
The highest support for the UK to Remain is amongst socio-economic groups AB (49%) and the lowest is amongst those in group C2 (24%). Conversely the highest support for Brexit is amongst those in socio-economic group C2 – at 63% and lowest amongst the ABs (40%).
Scotland is firmly pro-EU with 56% supporting Remain vs 31% favouring Leave, Wales 50% vs 43% and London 48% vs 41%. All other regions have a pro Brexit majority.
IN OUT Don’t Know Country
40% 47% 13% England
50% 43% 7% Wales
56% 31% 13% Scotland
50% 43% 7% Northern Ireland
IN OUT Don’t Know Socio-economic group
49% 40% 11% AB
37% 49% 14% C1
24% 63% 13% C2
26% 57% 17% DE
IN OUT Don’t Know Region
48% 41% 11% London
39% 49% 12% South East
40% 48% 12% South West
41% 46% 13% West Midlands
37% 49% 14% East Midlands
41% 44% 15% North West
39% 45% 16% North East
41% 48% 11% Yorkshire
39% 51% 10% East Anglia
IN OUT Don’t Know Age
44% 41% 15% 50s
43% 45% 12% 60s
40% 49% 11% 70s
40% 47% 13% 80s
EU voting intentions research carried out by Saga Populus Poll of 8,650 over 50s online between 16th and 23rd May 2016.
Propensity to vote research carried out by Populus Poll of 2,006, representative of all GB adults online between 11th and 13th September 2015. 93% of the over 50s plan to vote in the referendum, compared to 76% of those aged 18-49.