Esher & Walton

2015 Result:
Conservative: 35845 (62.9%)
Labour: 7229 (12.7%)
Lib Dem: 5372 (9.4%)
Green: 2355 (4.1%)
UKIP: 5551 (9.7%)
Independent: 228 (0.4%)
Others: 396 (0.7%)
MAJORITY: 28616 (50.2%)

Category: Ultra-safe Conservative seat

Geography: South East, Surrey. Most of Elmbridge council area.

Main population centres: Esher, Walton-on-Thames, Cobham, Molesey, Thames Ditton, Claygate, Oxshott.

Profile: This is a prosperous middle class suburban commuter area just outside the Greater London boundary and within the M25 boundary. Most of the constituency is designated as the green belt and with good commuter services into central London the area commands high property prices as is regularly cited as one of the best places to live in the UK. The constituency includes Sandown Park racecourse.

Politics: This is an extremely safe Conservative seat, held by the party since its creation in 1997 (with its predecessor Esher also only have ever returned Conservative members of Parliament). At a local level Elmbridge council is largely contested between the Conservatives and various local residents associations.


Current MP
DOMINIC RAAB (Conservative) Born 1974, Buckinghamshire. Educated at Dr Challoners Grammar School and Oxford University. Former foreign office legal advisor and Chief of staff to Dominic Grieve. First elected as MP for Esher and Walton in 2010. Junior justice minister since 2015.
Past Results
2010
Con: 32134 (59%)
Lab: 5829 (11%)
LDem: 13541 (25%)
UKIP: 1783 (3%)
Oth: 1256 (2%)
MAJ: 18593 (34%)
2005
Con: 21882 (46%)
Lab: 9309 (19%)
LDem: 14155 (30%)
UKIP: 1582 (3%)
Oth: 950 (2%)
MAJ: 7727 (16%)
2001
Con: 22296 (49%)
Lab: 10758 (24%)
LDem: 10241 (22%)
UKIP: 2236 (5%)
MAJ: 11538 (25%)
1997
Con: 26747 (50%)
Lab: 12219 (23%)
LDem: 10937 (20%)
Oth: 860 (2%)
MAJ: 14528 (27%)

Demographics
2015 Candidates
DOMINIC RAAB (Conservative) See above.
FRANCIS ELDERGILL (Labour)
ANDREW DAVIS (Liberal Democrat)
NICHOLAS WOOD (UKIP)
OLIVIA PALMER (Green)
MATT HEENAN (CISTA)
DELLA REYNOLDS (Independent)
Links
Comments - 142 Responses on “Esher & Walton”
  1. On balance, given a choice between Raab’s free-market Brexit vision and Corbyn’s ultra-statist one, public opinion would be heavily behind the latter.

    And I don’t think Dominic Raab has the immense charisma that would be required to change people’s minds on this.

  2. ‘On balance, given a choice between Raab’s free-market Brexit vision and Corbyn’s ultra-statist one, public opinion would be heavily behind the latter.

    And I don’t think Dominic Raab has the immense charisma that would be required to change people’s minds on this.’

    I don’t know about the first bit – you’re probably right – but Raab certainly gives every impression as being one of those people who’s in politics to advance the interests of people like himself – ie the rich and privileged and as the reaction to his resignation suggests he’s already seen as a laughing stock by many

  3. “On balance, given a choice between Raab’s free-market Brexit vision and Corbyn’s ultra-statist one, public opinion would be heavily behind the latter.”

    At the moment certainly yes.

    After a year or two of Prime Minister Corbyn I think a majority of the public would prefer the former.

    Unless a strong political centre re-emerges we risk bouncing backwards and forwards between governments of the hard left and hard right.

  4. I suppose if you’re in the political centre that would be bad but we did have a strong political centre in British politics when Tony Blair was PM and it achieved some great things but the common complaint was that with Labour’s move to the centre and Cameron the so called heir to Blair there was no real difference. Whether that’s true or not people got their wish. You certainly can’t say that now.

  5. That was peoples’ wish in 1997, after 18 years of quite divisive right wing government. Ironically the centrism of Blair and the coalition also lasted 18 years (1997-2015). Now we are due 2 decades of polarisation again.

  6. Tim, it’s one of the most depressing things of the whole Brexit business that people like Hunt and May feel they have to come out with such statements. I don’t know whether they think they have to show the hard Brexiteers that they are properly behind Brexit. Hunt had a very good start as Foreign Secretary, performing far better than Boris Johnson, yet still felt he had to come out with his Soviet Union nonsense, while May had gained a lot of respect from European leaders, which she risks jeopardising with her comments on queue jumping.

  7. Whilst Boris Johnson was one of the worst performing Foreign Secretaries in British history, I agree that Hunt seems to have adapted to the role pretty well but why a moderate man of his obvious intelligence would even bother in trying to appeal to some of the knuckleheads on the hard Brexit Right by pretending to support Brexit raises questions as to how astute a politician he actually is

    In attempting to broaden his base, presumably in an attempt for a run at the leadership, he could in fact be digging his grave

  8. Dominic Raab is giving a speach at the Moment which sounds like a an effective launch of his leadership bid.

  9. Yes, it was. He’s about the only Brexiteer I could live with as PM.

  10. I’m already looking forward to the provision of adequate food.

  11. ‘Dominic Raab is giving a speech at the Moment which sounds like a an effective launch of his leadership bid’

    That he sees himself as a future PM tells us considerably more about his ego than his ability

  12. He’s probably more capable than most of the field, to be honest. My fear is more that he has zero interest in tackling any of the actual problems this country faces.

  13. It’s over a day old now, but this is a pretty devastating select committee hearing.

    https://twitter.com/GPDoran/status/1090739338474860545

  14. Good old Hoey in the background there, pulling faces at the questioner and generally behaving like a child. She needs to grow up.

  15. Hoey on twitter tonight defended May after Anna Soubry criticsed her. Poltics is weird now a days.

  16. ‘Hoey on twitter tonight defended May after Anna Soubry criticsed her. Poltics is weird now a days.’

    With her pro fox hunting, Brexit and stronglky unionist views, It’s amazing she’s still in Labour

    They should grown some balls and kick her out

    the interesting question is who would she defect to – the Tories, UKIP or the lovely James Goddard and his bunch of merry men

  17. It’s an odd one. There should be space in parliament for people like Hoey – especially as the “economically left-wing, socially conservative” combination, while probably not applying to anybody on these forums, does command large swathes of support among the general public. But there isn’t under our current system.

    There would certainly be more space for Hoeyites under PR – though your mileage may vary on whether that would be a good thing.

  18. ‘especially as the “economically left-wing, socially conservative” combination, while probably not applying to anybody on these forums, does command large swathes of support among the general public’

    Prior to the whole Brexit debate, I saw myself as very much of that inclination myself

    Since then however it’s become perfectly evident that I’m nothing of the sort

  19. It’s funny Tim…I would have put you firmly in the socially liberal, economically centrist mould. But it’s hard to judge solely on postings on here of course. Plus it’s all relative…in the U.S., nearly every poster here would be regarded as a soppy, bleeding heart liberal.

  20. Hoey’s problem is being in totally the wrong kind of Labour constituency. She’d go down a storm in a rural-ish mining seat like Bishop Auckland or Barnsley West. Not only are such seats patriotic and strongly Leave, they are usually quite tolerant of hunting (many miners used to go hunting in these areas).

  21. Kate Hoey might fit the electors of those seats pretty well, but her position would still be in the gift of unrepresentative Labour Party members. Even in those kind of seats, most Labour members would still be middle-class social liberals, because that is what the membership is overwhelmingly made up of.

  22. But surely an Mps job is to represent their electors – not party members, and on that basis Hoey would be a good fit for a sec traditional Labour constituency like Bishop Aukland

    Its always struck me as odd that over the last few decades their have been so few socially conservative but ecomically socialist Labour Mps when that makes up such a core base – or at least used to – of their vote. I don’t recall one Labour mp supporting the death penalty throughout my life time and I’m in my early 40s

  23. Kilroy Silk?

  24. In an interview recently Ken Clarke said that on his first day, there were 70 MPs who were miners or ex miners in the Commons.

  25. Tim

    Cyril Smith voted for the death penalty – though never a Labour MP he was a Labour councillor not long before he won Rochdale.

    Not 100% sure but I think John Horam was pro-hanging when a Tory MP in the early 90s.

  26. ‘Kilroy Silk?’

    Since his Damascene conversion to the far right, the attention-seeking Kilroy Silk has long advocated a flat tax – one of the mist regressive, non-socialist, right-wing economic policies you could imagine, so no he doesn’t fit that description

    The closest are probably people like John Mann, Roger Goodsiff and obviously Hoey herself, but none of them are that socially conservative, apart from maybe Hoey

  27. At least one of the numerous Tory defectors to Labour over the past 25 years likely supported capital punishment in the past.

    I think Peter Temple Morris did in the 1970s though not later on.

    Quite likely Alan Amos supported it I think

    Shaun Woodward and Quentin Davies possibly

  28. Alan Amos certainly did – although he’s flipped flopped on political issues in the same way he has political parties

    He’s currently a member of the Tories again

    John Horam and Peter Thurnham are the other two pro-death penalty defectors I can think of, and Quentin Davies voted for its return in 1994, although he did say he no longer supported it when pressed on the subject on joining Labour

  29. I wonder is Raab still not backing the deal is a tactical mistake for him in reaching the 100+ MP’s he needs to make the final ballot.

  30. Raab gets his first surprising endorsement – Maria Miller his backing him due to him wanting to improve Paternity leave and rights for new Mums.

  31. ~Is backing him.
    Does she fancy a return to the frontbench I wonder?

  32. I must say, this doesn’t sound like a very Dominic Raab policy.

  33. He was advocating it years ago but It doesn’t really fit the Britannia Unchained vision for the UK.

  34. Also a prediction – if Raab becomes Prime Minster his first big state visit he will arrange will be President Bolsonaro of Brazil. Raab’s wife is Brazlian and Raab is a fan of Bolsonaro apparently.

  35. “Raab is going to be Prime Minister” is your latest “I’m convinced there’s definitely going to be no deal”. You need to think about things more laterally. Whilever Raab or Boris look seriously like they might win a leadership contest then the many cabinet leadership hopefuls will make sure that the corpse of Theresa May remains propped up in number 10.

  36. BM11 is a likeable poster but he does rather remind me of some of my more ‘woke’, liberal friends who spend time dreaming up awful (to them) political scenarios. I think it’s a defence mechanism…you can’t get too disillusioned or disappointed when.you’ve already predicted the worst. I did note that BM11 was predicting Farage would be PM the other week- that must have been a particularly ‘down’ day. I guess the scars of 2016 (Brexit and Trump in one dreadful double whammy) are still there for many liberals.

  37. I agree. I share the scars of 2016 but a sense of perspective is important also. The sky hasn’t exactly fallen in and it’s unlikely to do so. I challenge anyone to list the 330 seats that the Brexit party would win in order for Farage to become Prime Minister (he’d need a majority as there’s no way any other party would prop him up). Even on the most split vote possible, I’d argue that in this diverse and multicultural country it’s near impossible. Farage might win 80% of the vote in Boston and Hartlepool but he’ll never do well enough in London, the other big cities and in the prosperous suburban south to get anywhere near a majority.

    Plus he clearly doesn’t want to be Prime Minister – too much like hard work.

  38. ‘Even on the most split vote possible, I’d argue that in this diverse and multicultural country it’s near impossible’

    I thought that until Brexit – which really woke me up to how many uneducated, angry and bigoted wankers we have living amongst us in the UK

    Leave did win a fair amount of middle class seats in the South too

  39. A seat voting for Leave does not mean that it is a feasible target for the Brexit party. We will not see Brexit Party MPs in the likes of East Surrey and Sevenoaks. They won’t win a single seat in Scotland and beyond Romford and perhaps Upminster and Dagenham they will win nothing in London.

    Farage’s role will be confined to ruining the electoral chances of others – on balance more the Tories, with damage to Labour in the north and midlands.

  40. @Tim

    I’m interested as to why you think wanting to leave an unpopular political institution (yes a large chunk of Remain voters don’t care for it either, hardcore Europhiles are maybe ~15% of the electorate) makes someone a bigot. I don’t deny there are bigots who have unfortunately been emboldened by the decision to leave the EU to shout ‘go home’ to foreign people/ethic minorities (remember though a large chunk of ethic minorities actually voted Leave) but these people are very much a small minority. On the other hand in my experience there are a comparable amount of bigoted Remain voters, believe me I’ve lived in central Bristol and I know these people and their wacky, bigoted views rather too well.

    Whilst I don’t wish to rehash all the arguments for and against leaving one fact remains clear: the direction of travel of the EU is towards a full federal state and being a member requires you to sign up to this. Britain does have opt-outs but it won’t escape the greater part of ‘ever closer union’. I seem to remember you yourself said you were not keen on EU integration, but this unfortunately is what Remaining means. Ironically if Parliament had actually given the electorate a say on ‘ever closer union’ in the first place with referendums on Lisbon/Maastricht Brexit probably would never have happened.

    My personal view is that power is far too centralised in this country as it is and that handing more power to an even more distant authority is counter-productive. The thing that fuels the far-right most is disenfranchisement, alienation and the sense that people have no control over there own destiny. Increasing the power of the EU will only increase that alienation, not only in Britain (if we stay) but across every member state which would seriously destabilise it.

    The final thing I would note is that Britain is one of the most socially progressive countries in the EU and just because people voted to Leave this political institution it doesn’t change that. The #FBPE types may have deluded themselves into themselves into thinking Britain=nasty, bigoted, racist etc. rest of EU=tolerant, progressive, inclusive etc. but this couldn’t be more untrue. Tellingly the Far Right is far less strong here than in much of the rest of the EU (and no Farage as much as you may hate him is not ‘far right’).

  41. “I don’t deny there are bigots who have unfortunately been emboldened by the decision to leave the EU to shout ‘go home’ to foreign people/ethic minorities (remember though a large chunk of ethic minorities actually voted Leave) but these people are very much a small minority.”

    Only a small minority would shout it in the street maybe. But much more than a small minority silently agree with those sentiments. It is you liberal Leavers who are a fairly small minority of the Leave family, as is shown time and time again by the fact that most Leave voters are motivated with immigration and are content with No Deal.

    “The final thing I would note is that Britain is one of the most socially progressive countries in the EU”

    True but that is not the image that Brexit has portrayed to the rest of Europe and indeed the rest of the world. Remember most other countries have their version of The Sun which stilts the truth to play on nationalist sentiments. Brexit has done massive damage to our image internationally and to our soft power.

    It certainly seems to have emboldened people to be blatently rude to Brits overseas. An amusing personal example from me just a few weeks back, I was flying back from Oslo and spoke to the old Norwegian lady next to me in English. Not realising I also spoke her language she said to her son in Norwegian “I’m not sitting next to an Englishman” and exchanged seats with him! I then asked her in Norwegian why she didn’t want to sit next to an Englishman – very embarrassing for her.

  42. ‘I’m interested as to why you think wanting to leave an unpopular political institution (yes a large chunk of Remain voters don’t care for it either, hardcore Europhiles are maybe ~15% of the electorate) makes someone a bigot’

    Because that’s how the Leave vote won – not by focussing on things like the sovereignty of Parliament, the waste of the EU, unaccountability, ever closer union – many of the arguably valid issues you mention – but by appealing to people’s worst instincts and making up completely bogus claims about immigration

    ‘The thing that fuels the far-right most is disenfranchisement, alienation and the sense that people have no control over their own destiny.’

    I don’t buy that – the newspapers tell us that narrative but that’s largely because the press barons that run them want their readers to vote the way they do – which is typically for right-wing governments that will cut their taxes. It’s the newspapers that fuel it – and it’s quite intentional too.

    ‘Britain is one of the most socially progressive countries in the EU’

    I used to think that but countries like Germany and Sweden are considerably more liberal than the UK – both politically and socially.

    The far Right might not have a permanent political foothold in the UK yet – but they’ve done better than that by winning a referendum. Not even the “bastards” – the extremely right-wing group of Eurosceptics who caused John Major’s governments headache after headache – ever advocated leaving the EU, because it was in the 90s – and still is – an extremist position, because only a simpleton with no understanding of international affairs or economics would agree with it

    But Hemelig has made the best point when he says that enlightened liberal Leavers such as yourself make up but a tiny fragment of the Leave vote.

  43. ”Only a small minority would shout it in the street maybe. But much more than a small minority silently agree with those sentiments. It is you liberal Leavers who are a fairly small minority of the Leave family, as is shown time and time again by the fact that most Leave voters are motivated with immigration and are content with No Deal.”

    Again it depends what you mean by ‘liberal’, it is true most Leave voters aren’t Liberals but neither are most Remainers. Remember a large chunk of Remain voters come from the authoritarian left with its hostilities to free speech, pro-censorship beliefs and genuine coolness with political violence (provided it’s them that’s doing the assaulting though). As i said I’ve lived in Bristol West, if these people are liberals then so is Tommy Robinson!

    But again it depends what you mean by ‘those sentiments’. Most Leave voters would fall into the camp of being ‘concerned’ by the levels of immigration and the rate at which it is happening, that is true but that is a very different thing from hating foreigners/minorities. Only a small minority of these actually truly hate people who aren’t ethnically British.

    Whilst I must stress that my interactions with EU citizens has been overwhelmingly positive I can understand why people have issues. As a personal anecdote a few years ago (I think it might have been 2016 funnily enough) my Gran had quite a bad fall and ended up in Watford General Hospital for a pretty long period of time. The nurses and doctors were mainly EU citizens (which I agree in and of itself is a good thing) but most of them had such poor levels of English I virtually needed a translator to understand them. Plus if I can’t understand them with a decent amount of exposure to broken English I don’t know how the vulnerable elderly patients are supposed to. This is an example of a very legitimate concern which will in part have fueled the Leave vote. Remainers (especially wealthy Remainers who can afford private healthcare) sticking their heads in the sand, claiming there is no problem and accusing everyone who raises this as an issue of being a racist do their cause no favours and just push ordinary, middle of the road type people further towards Leave.

    ”True but that is not the image that Brexit has portrayed to the rest of Europe and indeed the rest of the world. Remember most other countries have their version of The Sun which stilts the truth to play on nationalist sentiments. Brexit has done massive damage to our image internationally and to our soft power.”

    Oh I agree with that. The governments handling of the PR has been atrocious, May’s ‘citizens of nowhere’ speech a case in point. However whilst its true our reputation in European countries has hit rock bottom (unnecessarily as it would have been possible to Leave in a much more cordial way) I don’t think this is necessarily true for the opinion of Britain outside of Europe. Americans for example seem as fascinated by British culture as ever.

    ”Not realising I also spoke her language she said to her son in Norwegian “I’m not sitting next to an Englishman” and exchanged seats with him! I then asked her in Norwegian why she didn’t want to sit next to an Englishman – very embarrassing for her.”

    Lol you should have replied to her in Norwegian, her face would’ve been a picture! But seriously this being the Norway that loves the European project so much that it isn’t even a member!

  44. Norway of course is in great sympathy with our national scepticism of the EU but is just as incredulous at the mess Brexit has become as everyone else in Europe is.

    They are also very puzzled that a big country like the UK could think that Norway’s vassal state relationship within the EEA is something to aspire to. It kinda works for them, as a country which is too small to have much of a say anyway, though despite this very many people hate it.

  45. “Again it depends what you mean by ‘liberal’”

    I meant Leave voters who aren’t overly bothered about immigration. I know a few Leave voters like this, generally very well travelled, internationalist but deeply dislike the bureaucracy of the EU, the CAP etc.

    I realise there will also be some from the extreme left who fit into this category as well, though their motivations are likely very different and as you say they may well not be very well described as liberals.

  46. “As a personal anecdote a few years ago (I think it might have been 2016 funnily enough) my Gran had quite a bad fall and ended up in Watford General Hospital for a pretty long period of time. The nurses and doctors were mainly EU citizens (which I agree in and of itself is a good thing) but most of them had such poor levels of English I virtually needed a translator to understand them.”

    I think you and your gran were just very unlucky there.

    This is one area where the NHS has tightened up greatly following several scandals in recent years.

    Like anyone with young kids we are regular users of the NHS, both where we live now in Sussex and before that in London, despite encountering very large numbers of foreign staff I’ve never once had your problem.

    In any case I fail to see how Brexit will stop the NHS recruiting foreign staff. As we have indeed seen, they will just recruit more from non-EU countries if supply from the EU dries up. Training enough home grown staff is a resources issue and nothing to do with the EU.

  47. @Tim

    ”Because that’s how the Leave vote won – not by focussing on things like the sovereignty of Parliament, the waste of the EU, unaccountability, ever closer union – many of the arguably valid issues you mention – but by appealing to people’s worst instincts and making up completely bogus claims about immigration”

    I would disagree. If there was one single slogan that won it for Leave it would’ve been ‘take back control’. Concerns over immigration and its impacts was of course a factor but as I said in my post to H.Hemmelig there are problems caused by high levels of immigration especially if the country has not equipped itself to deal with it i.e. by building enough homes, schools, checking the new arrivals can actually speak good enough English to be in customer facing roles etc. Plus when middle-class Remainers (who are much more likely to be able to benefit from free movement and who rarely see the downsides of large scale immigration has on poorer areas) shriek racist every time someone raises a concern over immigration it does your argument no favours and just pushes people further into the other camp.

    ”Not even the “bastards” – the extremely right-wing group of Eurosceptics who caused John Major’s governments headache after headache – ever advocated leaving the EU, because it was in the 90s – and still is – an extremist position, because only a simpleton with no understanding of international affairs or economics would agree with it”

    Firstly I take umbrage with your insinuation that I’m stupid. Secondly no it isn’t an extremist position, certain countries which Remainers like to champion as ‘progressive, liberal havens’ such as Norway, Switzerland and Iceland are not members of the EU. Whilst I think it’s fair to suggest that those advocating no deal are advocating an extremist position I would also say the same for those advocating Remain at all costs. Look at the Lib Dems for example, they effectively forced Stephen Lloyd to resign the whip for having the audacity to fulfil his election promise to his constituents (how dare he!) and Norman Lamb is looking increasingly uncomfortable too after the pig-headed MPs in his Party (and others) voted down Ken Clarke’s Customs Union amendment. This could have paved the way for a very soft Brexit where we would have had a very close relationship with the EU similar to the aforementioned countries.

    Plus the EU has centralised and has evolved towards a political union massively since the early 90s and it is pretty clear that it is moving towards a full federal state, if this hadn’t happened Britain would have never voted to Leave. Wanting to get out now before this happens is not an extremist or a stupid position because the vast majority of people Leave or Remain (yourself included) don’t think that Britain being a state in a ‘United States of Europe’ is a good idea. Plus I might remind you that a large majority of elderly Leave voters actually voted to stay in the common market in 1975, it’s not that these people have suddenly grown to hate Europe but that the political institution has evolved in a way they didn’t think they were signing up to.

  48. @H.Hemmelig

    ”I think you and your gran were just very unlucky there.

    This is one area where the NHS has tightened up greatly following several scandals in recent years.

    Like anyone with young kids we are regular users of the NHS, both where we live now in Sussex and before that in London, despite encountering very large numbers of foreign staff I’ve never once had your problem.”

    The thing is it wasn’t one of them that couldn’t speak an understandable level of English it was a good number of them. Saying that Watford General Hospital has an appalling reputation and some of the things I saw there were truly eye-opening. I haven’t been in a hospital since though (touch wood) so I can’t comment since then. I’ve never had a problem at the GPs though most of them tend to have been raised in Britain anyway.

    ”In any case I fail to see how Brexit will stop the NHS recruiting foreign staff. As we have indeed seen, they will just recruit more from non-EU countries if supply from the EU dries up. Training enough home grown staff is a resources issue and nothing to do with the EU.”

    Nor do I think they should. My anecdote was just to illustrate reasons people may have voted Leave and to show that not all people concerned about immigration are racists/xenophobes (I would argue most aren’t). On the other hand I do think think there is something intrinsically immoral about Britain and other Western countries poaching the best and the brightest from poorer countries that they’ve spent scarce resources to train (though I get this is another argument).

    ”I meant Leave voters who aren’t overly bothered about immigration.”

    The public at large is very bothered by immigration though, this therefore must include a fair chunk of Remain voters. i imagine there is a certain school of thought amongst a small minority of Remain voters that ‘EU immigrants are ok because they’re white’.

  49. “The public at large is very bothered by immigration though, this therefore must include a fair chunk of Remain voters”

    Undoubtedly. But as Tim said, the deception has been convincing large numbers of people that leaving the EU will do anything to solve their concerns about immigration. As per your last sentence it may well do the opposite. Tommy Robinson’s followers won’t be happy to have kicked out the Polish only to find that a load of Pakistanis and Somalians have taken their place.

    Many people are unfortunately convinced that there are easy answers to these challenges – there are not.

  50. ‘I would disagree. If there was one single slogan that won it for Leave it would’ve been ‘take back control’. Concerns over immigration and its impacts was of course a factor but as I said in my post to H.Hemmelig there are problems caused by high levels of immigration especially if the country has not equipped itself to deal with it i.e. by building enough homes, schools, checking the new arrivals can actually speak good enough English to be in customer facing roles etc. Plus when middle-class Remainers (who are much more likely to be able to benefit from free movement and who rarely see the downsides of large scale immigration has on poorer areas) shriek racist every time someone raises a concern over immigration it does your argument no favours and just pushes people further into the other camp.’
    Of course there are problems with high immigration – and yes that’s the case throughout Western Europe – but pretending they had anything to do with being in the EU, and that leaving it would mean that it’s a problem no longer, is being disingenuous at best
    ‘Firstly I take umbrage with your insinuation that I’m stupid. Secondly no it isn’t an extremist position, certain countries which Remainers like to champion as ‘progressive, liberal havens’ such as Norway, Switzerland and Iceland are not members of the EU. Whilst I think it’s fair to suggest that those advocating no deal are advocating an extremist position I would also say the same for those advocating Remain at all costs. Look at the Lib Dems for example, they effectively forced Stephen Lloyd to resign the whip for having the audacity to fulfil his election promise to his constituents (how dare he!) and Norman Lamb is looking increasingly uncomfortable too after the pig-headed MPs in his Party (and others) voted down Ken Clarke’s Customs Union amendment. This could have paved the way for a very soft Brexit where we would have had a very close relationship with the EU similar to the aforementioned countries.
    I wasn’t trying to imply you were stupid – far from it – but as I’ve said on countless occasions whenever Brexiteers speak up ion programs like Question Time, Jeremy Vine etc they come across as dim witted and can’t help making fools of themselves because they seem to have great difficulty grasping even the fundamental aspects of their arguments. This isn’t sheer coincidence – and when you look at the sorts of places many of them come from and the education they’ve received, it’s an inescapable impression.
    The 2 countries I mentioned most certainly are in the EU – and I’m not sure too many people see Switzerland or Iceland as liberal havens. If the UK had Norway’s oil reserves, I’d agree that it makes every sense to not be in the EU, but we don’t’
    ‘Plus the EU has centralised and has evolved towards a political union massively since the early 90s and it is pretty clear that it is moving towards a full federal state, if this hadn’t happened Britain would have never voted to Leave. Wanting to get out now before this happens is not an extremist or a stupid position because the vast majority of people Leave or Remain (yourself included) don’t think that Britain being a state in a ‘United States of Europe’ is a good idea. Plus I might remind you that a large majority of elderly Leave voters actually voted to stay in the common market in 1975, it’s not that these people have suddenly grown to hate Europe but that the political institution has evolved in a way they didn’t think they were signing up to.’
    This is the most valid reason for leaving, but the Uk is (or rather was) a massive player in the EU and of late quite a few countries were coming around to our position of wanting to resist ever further integration, and by leaving we have left these countries out in the cold just handed control over to France and Germany, two countries that do want an even closer union

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