Who would have thought that the humble turkey, often consumed with lashings of gravy, fat-soaked potatoes, and cranberry sauce around Christmas time, could stop the UK from leaving the EU? Well, the main pro-Brussels campaign is using the bird in a bid to avoid a Brexit at the EU referendum.

Britain Stronger in Europe (BSE) has crunched the figures and claimed families will save £22.75 ($33.77) on their turkeys as a result of the UK's access to the European Single Market. That's apparently because Britain would face a £27m charge on imports of turkeys from Europe if it broke up with Brussels.

"Everyone likes a full plate at Christmas, but the hangover could come early if we left the EU. Whether tucking into turkey and sprouts or enjoying a glass of fizz, Christmas is cheaper because of our place in Europe," said Will Straw, the executive director of the BSE campaign.

"Leaving the EU and facing new tariffs on goods would mean higher prices in the supermarkets for British shoppers. To avoid being Christmas Scrooges, those campaigning to leave the EU must come clean about how they would keep all prices, and especially the Christmas spread, down for people in this country".

The research cited by BSE also claimed that Britain avoids paying a total of £3.6m in tariffs on Brussels sprouts and £26m on imports of Champagne because of its membership of the EU.

The latest opinion poll from Ipsos MORI, of more than 500 people between 12 and 14 December, put "remain" 26 points ahead of "leave" (58% versus 32%, respectively).

Robert Oxley, a spokesman for Vote Leave, said: "Everyone knows that the EU's failed Common Agricultural Policy massively increases food prices in the UK already as well as hitting farmers. This research is about as credible as buying a turkey off Del boy.

"Families want some Christmas cheer at the dinner table this week, not this baseless scaremongering that scrooge himself would have been proud of."

A Leave.EU spokesperson added: "Like all turkeys, this argument does not fly. All the evidence suggests that EU tariffs and the Common Agricultural Policy add hundreds of pounds to our shopping bills, while impoverishing food producers in developing countries into the bargain."

"The Turkey that really matters is the one the EU has decided to extend visa-free travel to, opening the doors to over seventy-million people and in all likelihood further depressing the earnings of low-paid workers who are already struggling to put a meal on the table this Christmas."