A majority of the ruling Conservative Party members believe Britain should leave the European Union, according to an opinion poll. A survey of party members by the ConservativeHome website for The Independent found 54% would favour ending Britain’s EU membership and signing up to a free-trade agreement
Almost a quarter - 24% - would like a more flexible relationship with the EU, with continued co-operation on key policy areas, while 10% said Britain should maintain its current relationship but ignore European laws which were not in the national interest.
Five per cent said the UK should leave the EU and not seek any new agreements with it, while 3% said the Government should keep the current relationship with the EU but not sign up to any further integration.
Two per cent said they were in favour of further integration, while retaining the pound, while just 1% wanted to join the euro and hand over tax and spending powers to the European Parliament.
Baroness Thatcher is the politician whose views they most closely identify with, followed by London mayor Boris Johnson and former US president Ronald Reagan.
David Cameron trails in eighth place, only just ahead of UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage.