Brexit EU referendum

The Paris terror attacks seem to have changed Britons' view of the European Union. More than half of them now want to leave the bloc after the Islamist militant attacks on Paris that killed 130 people on 13 November.

An opinion poll by ORB pollster for the Independent newspaper showed that 52% of British voters now want to leave the EU compared to 48% who preferred to remain in the bloc. A total of 2,000 people were polled.

"It is the first movement we have seen in six months in the data and clearly a backlash to the events in Paris," Johnny Heald, managing director of ORB International said in a statement on the poll. "Many feel as if Europe has failed to protect its borders, the result of which has been bloodshed on the streets of Paris.

"We need to wait a few months to see whether this is a knee jerk reaction or whether the tide is turning," Heald said. Support for staying in the block has fallen by seven percentage points since June. Previous surveys by the pollster showed that a majority of British voters wanted to remain in the EU.

In June, July and September, 55% supported remaining inside the union. In October, the margin narrowed slightly to 53% for a Brexit and 47% remaining.

The ORB poll showed those aged over 55 had the highest support for leaving the bloc while the lowest was among those aged 18 and 24 years. Scotland and Wales were the most pro-European while the south west of England was the most Eurosceptic.

There have been concerns in the UK over the European Union's handling of the huge influx of migrants flowing into the region. UK Prime Minister David Cameron is trying to win support to reform the EU ahead of a referendum on British membership in the bloc by the end of 2017.

Meanwhile, one of the two leave EU referendum campaigns is looking to merge its operations to create a single campaign ahead of the referendum in the UK. The talks were initiated by Arron Banks, the millionaire founder of the Leave.EU campaign. He had written to Matthew Elliott, the campaign director of the Vote Leave campaign. Elliott is believed to have referred the matter to the campaign's board.