The British public are split over whether they want the UK to leave the EU or remain in the 28-nation bloc as David Cameron continues to negotiate with Brussels. A poll from ICM for Vote Leave found that (excluding don't knows) the referendum campaigns were neck-and-neck with 50%.

The online survey, of more than 2,000 voters between 11 and 13 December, also found that a majority (53% versus 47%) of the public would vote for a Brexit if the prime minister fails to secure immigration reforms from the EU.

"The failures of the EU project over the past decade have sapped the enthusiasm of its supporters," said Dominic Cummings, campaign director of Vote Leave. "Every day more people see that the EU is undermining prosperity, security, and democracy and they are increasingly concluding that it's safer to take back control than to keep handing over powers."

The poll comes after the House of Lords blocked Labour's plan to give 16 and 17 year olds the vote at the referendum. Peers voted against the proposed amendment to the EU Referendum Bill with a majority of 17 (263 versus 246) in the upper chamber on 14 December.

The move means that the draft legislation could be passed into law within days after there was some legislative back and forth between the Commons and the Lords over lowering the voting age to 16, like the 2014 Scottish Independence referendum.

Cameron will meet with EU leaders in Brussels on 16 December as he continues to try and gain some concessions ahead of the referendum, which will be held in 2016 or 2017. But the prime minister's pledge to block EU migrants from claiming welfare payments until they have worked in the UK for more than four years has faced resistance across the continent.

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has blasted EU leaders for failing to come up with alternative to the government's welfare reforms, while Number 10 has been forced to deny that Cameron plans to climb-down on the plan.

The Britain Stronger In Europe had not responded to a request for comment at the time of publication.