Davos WEF
Davos WEF

World leaders: UK better off in EU

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It's a vote of confidence that's unlikely to change the minds of those in the United Kingdom (U.K.) who want out of the European Union.

A straw poll of an audience of several hundred delegates at a debate hosted by CNBC on Recharging Europe at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, showed the vast majority of the great and the good want the U.K to stay in the 28-country EU – with just two votes for the country to leave.

UK's EU referendum may be earlier than planned: UK PM

The prospect of the U.K. leaving the European Union after more than four decades seems to be getting closer, as the Conservative Party, one of the U.K.'s two most popular parties, has promised a referendum on EU membership if they keep power following May's general election.

The anti-EU party U.K. Independence Party, led by Nigel Farage, looks likely to have its best-ever performance in the polls.

Prime Minister David Cameron and Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne are currently trying to renegotiate some aspects of the U.K.'s EU membership.

"We have interests and rights which need to be respected as a non-euro zone member of the EU," Osborne told a CNBC panel in Davos.

Asked about May's election, he said: "We have to tell people it's a really important election. People will judge us by our track record."