By Ian Dunt
Seventy-one per cent of Britons want a referendum on the country's membership of the EU, a ComRes poll out today has revealed.
The results of the survey were pounced on by Eurosceptics as evidence of a democratic desire for clear blue water between Britain and the EU.
"This poll shows how hopelessly out-of-touch our politicians are with the public. The need for a referendum, on fundamental issues of sovereignty, has never been greater," said Nigel Farage, leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP).
Roger Helmer, Conservative MEP for the East Midlands and chairman of The Freedom Association, added: "I am delighted at this further confirmation that the British people demand a say on the EU.
"The EU's frantic attempts to deny citizens a say on the Lisbon Treaty are despicable. Their contempt for the voters is breathtaking."
The poll, which was commissioned by the Campaign for an Independent Britain (CIB), found a substantial majority of respondents - 83 per cent - wanted UK law to take precedence over EU law.
Half of voters said Europe is "largely corrupt" while 75 per cent said UK politicians "don't do enough to stand up for British interests in Europe".
Only 29 per cent believe Britain gets good value for money from its membership of the EU.
ComRes interviewed 1,007 GB adults by telephone between January 2nd and January 4th, 2009. The data were weighted to be representative demographically of all British adults.