Britons back leaving EU if freedom of movement unchanged - poll

Reuters
The British Union flag and European Union flag are seen hanging outside Europe House in central London June 9, 2015. REUTERS/Toby Melville

LONDON (Reuters) - If British Prime Minister David Cameron is unable to achieve changes to the European Union's freedom of movement rules, Britons will vote to leave the bloc, according to a poll published on Tuesday.

Cameron has promised to renegotiate Britain's EU ties ahead of a membership referendum by the end of 2017 but his plan to reduce immigration by curbing some welfare payments to EU migrants has proved a stumbling block, with other nations saying it is discriminatory and therefore against EU law.

The ICM poll found that 42 percent of the 2,053 adults surveyed between Dec. 11-13 wanted to stay in the 28-nation bloc, while 41 percent said they wanted to leave.

Asked what they would do if freedom of movement within the bloc remained unchanged following Cameron's renegotiation, the number who favoured staying fell to 40 percent, while those who backed leaving rose to 45 percent.

(Reporting by Kylie MacLellan; editing by Stephen Addison)