David Cameron has been dealt another blow over his EU renegotiation as a majority of British voters branded the prime minister's efforts as a failure. The development comes as the Conservative leader continues crunch talks with EU grandees in Brussels.
Cameron is reportedly eager to seal a settlement so he can call the EU referendum for 23 June. But the negotiations have been drawn-out as the British premier faces resistance over his plan to block UK child benefits from being exported across the continent and a proposal to ban EU migrants in Britain from accessing in-work-benefits, known as an 'emergency migration break'.
An online poll from TNS Omnibus, of more than 1,000 people between 11 and 15 February, revealed that only 14% of respondents thought Cameron's renegotiation was a 'success', while 37% of people thought the prime minister's efforts were ultimately unsuccessful.
The study also found that 'leave' was three points ahead of 'remain', with 39% of voters backing a Brexit and 36% of respondents supporting a pro-EU position. The figures will lend weight to arguments from Eurosceptics that Cameron's renegotiation package has been "watered down".
But the prime minister has promised to "battle for Britain" in Brussels, while Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn promised his party would campaign for 'remain' regardless of the prime minister's renegotiation.
"The negotiations Cameron is conducting on Britain's relationship with the European Union are a theatrical sideshow, designed to appease his opponents within the Conservative party. They are not about delivering reforms that would make the EU work better for working people," Corbyn claimed.
"The Labour Party will campaign to keep Britain in Europe in the forthcoming referendum, regardless of the outcome of the talks being held in Brussels today. That is because it brings investment, jobs and protection for British workers and consumers."
The government has been downbeat about the negotiations since the early hours of 19 February. The Energy secretary Amber Rudd warned a deal was "currently out of reach" when she appeared on BBC Radio 4's Today programme in the morning.
A so-called 'English breakfast' has been scheduled for 2.30pm (GMT), where the talks will be reviewed. Back in Westminster, the pro-Brexit Grassroots Out group is holding a rally with speeches from top Eurosceptics such as Ukip leader Nigel Farage, Tory MP David Davis and Labour MP Kate Hoey.
An appearance from a cabinet minister has been rumoured, but a source close to the event told IBTimes UK that the situation was "fluid" as ministers cannot campaign for a Brexit until Cameron has finished his renegotiation.
Left-wing Eurosceptic and Respect leader George Galloway said he "couldn't possibly comment" on the matter when IBTimes UK asked if he would be delivering a speech at the London rally.