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Britain's EU exit 'extremely unlikely': speaker

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Britain is very unlikely to quit the EU in a referendum, its speaker of parliament said Wednesday, despite a poll earlier this week showing otherwise.

"I think that the idea that we will march through the exit door is extremely unlikely," Speaker John Bercow told students during a lecture at Vilnius University in Lithuania.

"We will remain in, we will argue, there will be disagreements, there will be compromises but we will be part of the European Union," Bercow added.

A Harris Interactive poll published on Monday in the Financial Times showed 50 percent of Britons would vote to leave the bloc, 33 percent would vote to stay in and 17 percent would not vote.

Prime Minister David Cameron said last month that he wants to renegotiate Britain's relationship with the EU and then put the new terms to an in-out referendum by the end of 2017.

Bercow on Wednesday insisted that most members of parliament want to stay in the EU, adding he was convinced "that will be the verdict of the British people as well" in case of a referendum.

"They may grumble, they may criticise, they may argue for change but will they want to go marching through the exit door? I do not believe they will," Bercow said.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130220/britains-eu-exit-extremely-unlikely-speaker