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A generation gap has opened up among Britons, with 41 per cent of 18-24 year olds saying they are firmly in favour of the UK’s EU membership or leaning towards support, compared to 32 per cent who are against, according to a new poll published in The Independent.

Meanwhile, 60 per cent of over 65s reported they are strongly against membership, compared to 25 per cent who said they are pro-EU.

Young Britons think a British withdrawal from the EU “would jeopardise their job prospects at home and on the Continent,” writes The Independent of the ICM Research poll commissioned by think-tank British Future, which will be published in full later in the week.

The results come ahead of the end of immigration restrictions for Romanians and Bulgarians, who will be able to work freely throughout the EU from January 1, 2014.