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Poll suggests wide generational gap over attitudes to Brexit

Anti-Brexit campaigners wave Union and European Union flags outside the Houses of Parliament, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday January 28, 2019. As the Prime Minister faced another Commons showdown over her EU withdrawal agenda on Tuesday, Downing Street was battling to keep control of the Brexit timetable. See PA story POLITICS Brexit. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

Nearly twice as many younger voters back staying in a reformed EU as older ones do, a new poll in the UK suggests.

A big generational gap in attitudes towards Brexit emerged in a ComRes survey for the Lead Not Leave campaign, which seeks to keep the UK in the EU with greater national control over issues such as welfare and immigration.

Nearly three quarters (72%) of voters aged 18-34 who expressed an opinion backed the Lead Not Leave stance, compared with 38% of people aged 55 and over, according to the poll.

The stark difference in how age groups see the situation was also highlighted by the finding that a no-deal exit from the EU is supported by 28% of 18 to 34-year-olds who expressed a view, compared with 62% of voters aged 55 and over.

Anti-Brexit campaigner Gina Miller, who co-founded the cross-party Lead Not Leave initiative, said the survey showed that younger voters still want "to fight" for EU membership.

Ms Miller said she expected Article 50 to be extended, meaning the UK would stay in the EU beyond the scheduled March 29 exit date.

The campaigner told the Press Association: "I think now in any scenario we end up with an extension."

Ms Miller added: "It is the younger generation that will have to live with the consequences of leaving the EU in the chaotic and destructive way this Government now appears set upon.”

"Our young people have every right to be heard and their concerns can and should be addressed, not least by the opposition.”

"The young people are saying clearly that they want their generation to remain and be a leading voice in Europe, not to trail behind it."

Ms Miller said she believed a new referendum could emerge as the only way out of the Brexit impasse in Parliament.

ComRes interviewed 4,073 adults online between January 23-27 and information was weighted to be "representative of all British adults by age, gender, region and social grade", Lead Not Leave said.