South East European Region

2014 Election
2014 Results
1. Nigel Farage (UKIP) 751439 32.1% (+13.3%)
2. Dan Hannan (Conservative) 723571 30.9% (-3.8%)
3. Janice Atkinson (UKIP) (375720)
4. Nirj Deva (Conservative) (361786)
5. Anneliese Dodds (Labour) 342775 14.7% (+6.4%)
6. Diane James (UKIP) (250480)
7. Richard Ashworth (Conservative) (241190)
8. Keith Taylor (Green) 211706 9.1% (-2.6%)
9. Catherine Bearder (Liberal Democrat) 187876 8% (-6.1%)
10. Ray Finch (UKIP) (187860)
. (Independence from Europe) 45199 1.9% (n/a)
. (English Democrats) 17771 0.8% (-1.5%)
. (BNP) 16909 0.7% (-3.6%)
. (Christian Peoples Alliance) 14893 0.6% (-0.9%)
. (Peace) 10130 0.4% (0%)
. (Socialist Party of GB) 5454 0.2% (n/a)
. (Roman Party Ave!) 2997 0.1% (-0.1%)
. (YOURvoice) 2932 0.1% (n/a)
. (Liberty GB) 2494 0.1% (n/a)
. (Harmony) 1904 0.1% (n/a)
Current sitting MEPs
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Nigel Farage (UKIP) born 1964, Farnborough. Educated at Dulwich College. Former commodity broker. A former Conservative he was a founder member of UKIP in 1993. Contested Itchen, Test and Avon in 1994 European election. Member of the European Parliament for South-East England since 1999. Contested Eastleigh by-election 1994, Salisbury 1997, Bexhill and Battle 2001, South Thanet 2005, Bromley and Chistlehurst 2006 by-election, Buckingham 2010. Leader of UKIP 2006-2009 and since 2010.
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Dan Hannan (Conservative) Born 1971, Peru. Educated at Marlborough College and Oxford University. Journalist and former speechwriter. MEP for South East England since 1999. 
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Janice Atkinson (UKIP) Press advisor. Contested Batley and Spen 2010 for the Conservatives (as Janice Small). MEP for South East since 2014
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Nirj Deva (Conservative) Born 1948, Sri Lanka. Educated at Loughborough University. MP for Brentford and Isleworth 1992-1997. MEP for South East England since 1999. Appointed Deputy Lord Lieutenant for Greater London in 1985.
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Anneliese Dodds (Labour) Born 1978, Scotland. Educated at Oxford University. University lecturer. Contested Billericay 2005, Reading East 2010. MEP for South East since 2014
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Diane James (UKIP) Healthcare consultant. Waverley councillor since 2006, originally elected as an independent. Contested Eastleigh by-election 2012. MEP for South East since 2014
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Richard Ashworth (Conservative) Born 1947, Folkestone. Educated at Kings School Canterbury and Searle-Hayne College. Dairy farmer. Contested North Devon 1997. MEP for South East England since 1999. Leader of the Conservative group in the European Parliament.
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Keith Taylor (Green) Born 1953, Southend. Brighton and Hove councillor 1999-2010. Contested Brighton Pavilion 2001, 2005. MEP since 2010, succeeding upon Caroline Lucas`s election to Parliament.
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Catherine Bearder (Liberal Democrat) Born 1949. Educated at St Christophers, Letchworth. Former Cherwell councillor. Former Oxfordshire county councillor. Contested Banbury 1997, Henley 2001. Contested South-East region 1999, 2004. MEP for South East England since 2009.
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Ray Finch (UKIP) Engineer. Hampshire councillor. Contested Eastleigh 2010. MEP for South East since 2014

Full candidates for the 2014 European election are here.

2009 Election
2009 Results
1. Dan Hannan (Conservative) 812288 34.8% (-0.4%)
2. Nigel Farage (UKIP) 440002 18.8% (-0.7%)
3. Richard Ashworth (Conservative) (406144)
4. Sharon Bowles (Liberal Democrat) 330340 14.1% (-1.2%)
5. Caroline Lucas (Green) 271506 11.6% (+3.8%)
6. Nirj Deva (Conservative) (270763)
7. Marta Andreasen (UKIP) (220001)
8. James Elles (Conservative) (203072)
9. Peter Skinner (Labour) 192592 8.2% (-5.4%)
10. Catherine Bearder (Liberal Democrat) (165170)
. (BNP) 101769 4.4% (+1.4%)
. (English Democrats) 52526 2.2% (+0.9%)
. (Christian) 35712 1.5% (n/a)
. (No2EU) 21455 0.9% (n/a)
. (Libertas) 16767 0.7% (n/a)
. (Socialist Labour) 15484 0.7% (n/a)
. (UK First) 15261 0.7% (n/a)
. (Jury Team) 14172 0.6% (n/a)
. (Peace) 9534 0.4% (-0.2%)
. (Roman Party Ave!) 5450 0.2% (n/a)
Current sitting MEPs
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Dan Hannan (Conservative)Born 1971, Peru. Educated at Marlborough College and Oxford University. Journalist and former speechwriter. MEP for South East England since 1999. 
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Nigel Farage (UKIP)born 1964, Farnborough. Educated at Dulwich College. Former commodity broker. A former Conservative he was a founder member of UKIP in 1993. Contested Itchen, Test and Avon in 1994 European election. Member of the European Parliament for South-East England since 1999. Contested Eastleigh by-election 1994, Salisbury 1997, Bexhill and Battle 2001, South Thanet 2005, Bromley and Chistlehurst 2006 by-election, Buckingham 2010. Leader of UKIP 2006-2009 and since 2010.
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Richard Ashworth (Conservative) Born 1947, Folkestone. Educated at Kings School Canterbury and Searle-Hayne College. Dairy farmer. Contested North Devon 1997. MEP for South East England since 1999. Leader of the Conservative group in the European Parliament.
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Sharon Bowles (Liberal Democrat) Born 1953, Oxford. Educated at Reading University. Patent attorney. Contested Aylesbury 1992, 1997. MEP for South East England since 2005.
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Keith Taylor (Green) Born 1953, Rochford. Brighton and Hove councillor 1999-2010. Contested Brighton Pavilion 2001, 2005. Principal speaker for the Green party 2004-2006. MEP for South East England since 2010, replacing Caroline Lucas upon her election to Parliament.
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Nirj Deva (Conservative) Born 1948, Sri Lanka. Educated at Loughborough University. MP for Brentford and Isleworth 1992-1997. MEP for South East England since 1999. Appointed Deputy Lord Lieutenant for Greater London in 1985.
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Marta Andreasen (Conservative) Born 1954, Argentina. Former EU chief accountant, fired in 2005 for criticising the EU’s accounting policies. MEP for South East England since 2009. Defected to the Conservatives in February 2013 after falling out with Nigel Farage.
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James Elles (Conservative)Born 1949, London. Educated at Edinburgh University. MEP for Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire 1984-1989, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire East 1994-1999, South East England since 1999.
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Peter Skinner (Labour)Born 1959, Oxford. Educated at St Josephs Secondary Modern, Orpington, and Bradford University. Former business and economics lecturer. MEP for West Kent 1994-1999. MEP for the South East since 1999.
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Catherine Bearder (Liberal Democrat)Born 1949. Educated at St Christophers, Letchworth. Former Cherwell councillor. Former Oxfordshire county councillor. Contested Banbury 1997, Henley 2001. Contested South-East region 1999, 2004. MEP for South East England since 2009.


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Comments - 1,549 Responses on “Europe South East”
  1. ‘The answer to your question is surely the East Grinstead seat’

    If you look at the election map for say 66 or 1970 when those boundaries existed, it doesn’t look as if the East Grinstead seats stretches that far southwards to include Burgess Hill but it might have. I know some of what is in Mid Sussex now used to be in Lewes

    I thought the metropolitan counties were those created in the 1970s and that consisted of built-up areas – like the West Midlands, Tyne & Wear, Greater Manchester, Merseyside

  2. You described it as a metropolitan seat in your aforementioned post max

    I presume you meant ceremonial instead

  3. Pepperminttea
    “Reading is one of those (actually rather common places) where Labour does a lot better locally than they do nationally”

    I’ve discussed this with you before on another thread (though for the likes of me I couldn’t find the old post cos I wanted to just paste it here) but this isn’t the case at all. Lab generally do WORSE locally than nationally cos of differential turnout. To prove this I gave the examples of 5 marginal seats in the East of England that held locals on the same day as the GE (Norwich N, Waveney, Ipswich, Stevenage and Harlow) and in all bar Harlow Labs vote in the 2015 locals matched their vote in the GE (less than 500 more or less votes)

    In the one exception Harlow there wasn’t a big difference (Lab over performed locally by about 1,000 votes) and this is a seat were the incumbent Robert Halfon is supposedly locally popular and has a big personal vote thus one would expect Lab to underperform at Westminster.

    Here in Reading its the same tale. Labs vote in both Reading seats matches the votes they received locally. There is no evidence they outperform in the locals and quite a bit to suggest they under perform.

  4. @Rivers10 you are wrong both nationally and on Reading. Of course there are some exceptions e.g Wirral, Birmingham, Brighton (Green local vote) but broadly it is true that Labour does better locally than nationally to a greater or lesser extent virtually everywhere else (or at least in marginals). Here is the lead by constituency on the local votes from the 10 most marginal Conservative held seats in 2015 and Reading East/West (seats with ward boundary changes, no local elections in 2015 or either Con or Lab not running in more than one ward have been omitted), the actual majority is in brackets:

    Derby North: Lab by 1,868 (Con by 41)
    Bury North: Lab by 471 (Con by 378)
    Morley and Outwood: Lab by 3,261 (Con by 422)
    Plymouth Sutton and Devonport: Lab by 1,092 (Con by 523)
    Brighton Kemptown: Con by 1,012 (Con by 690)
    Bolton West: Lab by 1,143 (Con by 801)
    Telford: Lab by 1,856 (Con by 730)
    Plymouth Moor View: Con by 460 (Con by 1,026)
    Lincoln: Lab by 535 (Con by 1,443)
    Waveney: Con by 2,277 (Con by 2,408)
    Southampton Itchen: Con by 1,160 (Con by 2,316)
    Reading West: Con by 3,626 (Con by 6,650)
    Reading East*: Con by 4,239 (Con by 6,520)
    Stevenage**: Con by 2,080 (Con by 4,955)
    Harlow: Con by 5,204 (Con by 8,350)
    Norwich North: 2,502 (Con by 4,463)

    *Mapledurham had no election in 2015 so I used the 2012 result however it is by far the smallest Reading ward so would make little difference.

    **Used the 2010 results for Knebworth and Codicote as they would have been broadly similar had there been a general election in 2015. I don’t know where you got your figures from, Stevenage is a place Labour blatantly obviously over perform locally. I’m not sure where you got the Norwich North ones from either…

    As you can see an over performance by Labour in local elections compared to the general election in all but one of these seats, several including the Reading by pretty huge margins.

    Also in non general election years local elections underestimate the government’s support (of whatever political hue it may be) because the oppositions vote is fired up while the governments ‘reluctant supporters’ feel free to either stay home or have a free protest vote as they can make a statement against the government without letting the opposition in.

  5. Maxim
    Indeed so I don’t know where this notion that Lab over perform in local elections compared to GE’s came from especially considering the large amount of evidence showing seats were Lab under perform locally compared to Westminster. The Wirral is often quoted as an example of an area where Lab under perform in the locals but another nearby example is South Ribble which based off of local election results should be a safe Tory seat, but it isn’t.

  6. @rivers10 one more which I wrote an in depth contribution about today:

    Kingswood: Con by 5,161 (Con by 9,006)

  7. Rossendale and Darwen*: Con by 1,274 (Con by 5,654)

    *Used the results from the 2010 locals for two wards that didn’t vote in 2015 as these two elections weren’t that dissimilar. Labour obviously do miles better here locally than they do nationally (like most places).

    Even South Ribble is not an example of the converse:

    South Ribble**: Con by 5,511 (Con by 5,949)

    **Ward boundary changes make the result approximate. For the two wards that didn’t vote (Hesketh and Rufford) I used 2010 data for Hesketh which will broadly similar to how it would have voted had the ward been up in 2015. Rufford didn’t vote in 2010 either so I used the 2016 result, the Tory numerical lead would have been a tad larger had it voted in 2015 but nowhere near enough to make South Ribble an example of the Tories doing any better locally than nationally.

  8. Pepps
    Long post alert, just wanted to address every issue raised.

    What you’ve done there is provided a comparison between who carried the seat locally and nationally, that’s not what’s being discussed.

    You claimed Lab outperform locally, I said that’s incorrect, that in reality Labs vote in GE’s matches its vote in locals (for the most part) Comparing who carried the seat locally (and by what majority) to who won the seat in a GE (and again by what majority) is a totally different issue, I didn’t make any comment on the Tory vote maybe the Tories underperform in certain areas locally due to a preference for Lib Dem or independent local councillors? Something I’ll provide evidence for in a moment.

    This leads to another big issue though, the seats I chose in the Eastern region were for very careful reasons, they didn’t have any glaring examples of a strong Lib Dem local councillor base or a selection of independents who performed incredibly well etc etc all of which would make side by side comparisons pointless. In Bolton for example both Lab and the Tories massively underperformed locally to the tune of about 3,000 votes each. The seats I chose though were precisely to avoid such anomalous results. Morley and Outwood for example is frankly a daft comparison cos of the very locally strong Morley Independents and a probable Ed Balls effect in the GE.

    But lets have an example to demonstrate my initial point. Southampton Itchen stands out as one of the better examples to support your theory with Lab seemingly over performing to the tune of 1,000 votes. Also minimal pesky independent activity or odd local strength for certain smaller parties to worry about and muddle the results. But lets look in detail. GE vote share is the first number LE vote share is the second bracketed number.

    Southampton Itchen
    Lab=16,340 (16,021)
    Basically the same, Lab actually UNDER performed in the locals by 300 odd votes.
    Tories on the other hand…
    Tory=18,656 (17,181) So the Tories did much worse locally thus resulting in the anomaly you point out. Lab isn’t doing better its the fact that the Tories are doing worse, I don’t claim to know why this is the case but that’s what’s going on here.

    Lets also look at Norwich N which you mentioned. First figure is the GE vote, second bracketed figure LE vote.

    Tories=19,052 (16,990)
    Lab= 14,589 (14,500)

    So again Lab the same Tories doing worse.

    How about Stevenage since you highlighted it as an example of where “Labour blatantly obviously over perform locally”

    Lab=16,336 (16,394)
    Tories=21,291 (16,941)

    So once again Lab basically the same while the Tories do worse.

    Its the same across most of the seats you list, you have simply made the wrong comparisons. Now this obviously opens up the question I alluded to earlier as to why the Tories underperform locally in marginal seats. Based on my experiences in three seats I know very well (Warrington South, Sefton Central and Wirral South) I attribute it to what I deem “soft Tories” people who are not hugely enthused by the Cons but hate Lab more, vote Lib Dem locally (explains the Libs current or former strength locally in all three seats) but then vote Tories in the GE where it really matters.

    Alas that’s a totally different discussion. Fact is though that in most cases Lab do no better in locals compared to the GE.

  9. Ok rivers fair enough but I would contend you are making the wrong comparison as the margin between Con and Lab is a metric that is far more important than how many raw votes each individually manages to get (I probably worded what I was talking about wrong though). Thus when someone in Labour says ‘gee we did well we were narrowly ahead of the Tories in the local vote in seat X’ it is highly likely they would be behind be a significant margin in a general election in the exact same seat X if it was held on the same day (and that is not even considering the fact that oppositions typically over perform in midterm local elections while governments under perform)

    These things are indisputably true:
    1)Labour’s position relative to the Tories is almost always better in local elections compared to general elections.
    2)Local elections almost always underestimate the level of support for the government compared to the opposition.

    I feel like we might actually agree now lol :-).

  10. Have been away from UKPR for a few days. I remain reasonably happy with my proposals and didn’t really find many of the objections terribly persuasive. One of the weakest arguments was that I was wrong to cross Kent and East Sussex. As a traditional counties enthusiast, I absolutely accept that in an ideal world we should be merging the two halves of Sussex. However, the Commission is imposing a tight quota under which Kent is theoretically entitled to 16.41 seats. If you think you are going to achieve 16 sensible seats all within quota with an average electorate of 76,693 then good luck is all I can say…

  11. Perhaps the government will agree to go back to the existing more flexible rules on seat size, to help get the review through the commons and to reduce the necessity to cross counties, split wards and draw up awful seats.

    Labour are such a shambles it’s not as if the Tories need a tight quota to stay in power now.

  12. H Hemmelig- I agree- I’ve long thought a 5% quota too tight.

  13. It would tie in with May’s image of being, erm, less opportunistic than Cameron or Osborne (no bad thing IMO). Certainly, had Cameron found himself in May’s highly fortuitous position he’d have rushed to call an early election faster than a rat up a drainpipe.

  14. I don’t see any problem with ward splitting.

  15. ‘Certainly, had Cameron found himself in May’s highly fortuitous position he’d have rushed to call an early election faster than a rat up a drainpipe.’

    The real opportunist would wait for the implementation of the boundary review

    Why settle fir a majority of 50 when you could have one that exceeds 100

    I think May is very opportunistic anyhow – I don’t think she has any real intention of doing many of the things she said she would when she was first outside number 10 – look at the way she has bowed over to the soft drinks industry with her plans to tackle childhood obesity and her outright refusal to condemn the greedy Sir Philip Green – but by saying she managed to hoodwink many journalists and voters into thinking she would

    Like her cabinet, May is very much to the Right of Cameron and his cabinet

  16. Is that going to be your seat when you start uni?

  17. Why the fascination with Oxford West then? Have the BC done something weird there as well?

  18. Don’t take offence I was just curious 🙂

  19. Jeez man what’s got into you?

  20. Jesus Christ why are we resorting to masturbating metaphors

  21. Maxim
    I just figured it was a random seat to comment on in that as from what I can tell you have no personal links to it (that’s why I asked about uni) so for you to comment on it I assumed the BC must have done something stupid, that’s all I was wondering.

  22. Tim “why settle for a majority of 50 when you could have one of 100”

    Today that looks more like why settle for an overall majority of 100 when you could have 125+.

  23. I really like the proposals for Aldershot.

    Before Feb 1974 the most of what is now NE Hants was part of the Aldershot constituency.

    In recent years it has retreated to being a compact urban constituency straddling one side of the River Blackwater.

    Aldershot had become peripheral to the constituency that was centered on Farnborough and also included Blackwater, Hawley and part of Yateley.

    The new Aldershot constituency makes Aldershot the heart of the constituency with Farnborough to the North and Church Crookham to the West. Blackwater, Hawley and part of Yateley have been removed and replaced with Church Crookham.

    Church Crookham is a more appropriate for Aldershot because of its strong connection with the military.

  24. 16 seats unchanged in the South East:

    Basingstoke.
    Beaconsfield.
    Bracknell.
    Eastbourne.
    Eastleigh.
    East Surrey.
    East Worthing & Shoreham.
    Epsom & Ewell.
    Gosport.
    Guildford.
    Hastings & Rye.
    Maidenhead.
    Reigate.
    Sittingbourne & Sheppey.
    South West Surrey.
    Witney.

  25. Surrey has always been very stable as far as constituency boundaries are concerned – the 11 always about the right electorate.
    Amusing that both Maidenhead and Witney are unchanged.

  26. Diane James has quit UKIP

  27. Diane James is another blue Kipper that potentially wants to rejoin the Conservatives at the next election. “if they had a manifesto that I could sign up to, and if they gave me a reasonable chance – i.e. a seat that was capable of being won.”

    Good luck with that one

  28. Apparently over 20% of gay men in French are going to vote FN:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/article/39641822/why-gay-french-men-are-voting-far-right

    [As discussed on here previously – gay men are generally liberal until their rights are threatened was the consensus from HH et al]

  29. Ladbrokes have shown all of the models.

    Most averaged a Con majority of 60.

    YouGov’s said short of a majority by 46.

    So all were equally wrong as the electorate settled in the middle on Polling Day.

    I understand Ashcroft is to ask a Q re terror attacks but I don’t know if this is just in London seats to see if there was a ‘Madrid effect’ there or whether it was simply due to Remainers switching.

    Thrasher said they will try to look into whether new registrations or young voters affected results when we have more data on the demographic of turnout. As whilst there’s lots of evidence of more students voting in university cities clearly this only affected a few seats such as Hallam, Cambridge, Norwich, Bristol and so on (and most of these were LD/Lab fights).

  30. Two Tory MEPs have set up new organisations today. Daniel Hannan has launched the Institute for Free Trade: pretty much what you’d expect, it appears to be a bog-standard right-wing think-tank. Henri Campbell-Bannerman’s is potentially more interesting: the Campaign for Conservative Democracy, a pressure group to move control of the decisions made by the Conservative Party from CCHQ to the membership. Among their original demands is to allow the membership to directly elect the party’s chairman and deputy leader.

    If long-term Tory Party members ever want to get listened to, now is probably a good time for them to strike. They can argue with good reason that they couldn’t possibly screw up the next election as badly as CCHQ screwed up the last one.

  31. The lack of ability for members to have an input in the Tory party is an issue.

    When I was in UKIP we used to have a monthly association meeting with the committee & members, talking about various things… with the Tories it seems like members are very much on the outer and you have to get yourself into the association executive – either by standing for a position or being co-opted on.

    The party chairman should be directly elected for sure.

    And yes, short of CCHQ being infiltrated by Labour supporters, the national campaign for the next GE couldn’t be worse.

  32. So, two Tory MEPs have had the whip taken away, after voting against moving onto the next stage of the Brexit negotiations.

    https://order-order.com/2017/10/07/whip-withdrawn-tory-meps-voted-british-interests/

    I guess the situation boils down to whether British MEPs representatives of Britain, or of the European Union. Whose interests are they meant to be looking out for here?

  33. I’m as staunch a Remainer as anyone on here but it’s unforgiveable to be so disloyal to your country as to do that (that goes for the Labour and Lib Dem MEPs who did the same too). Peoples’ livelihoods are at stake in this process, too many politicians on both sides are seeing it as a game.

  34. Actually, now I think about it, not only were they acting against Britain’s interests, they were acting against the EU’s interests too. The no-deal scenario isn’t good for either side.

  35. Can you not accept that some British people think there is no chance whatsoever of the EU dropping its stated position and that hence the UK’s best interests would be served by recognizing that?

    Incidentally, the vote in the European Parliament was by 527 votes to less than 93. The ‘divorce’ settlement still requires the approval in a vote by the same European Parliament, while any future trading agreement – such as the UK wants to start discussing now- would require the unanimous agreement of every one of the 27 EU Member States. In that context, it seems perfectly reasonable to me to think that the UK is being hopelessly over-optimistic about the way things are likely to develop.

  36. Accepting an unfortunate reality is not the same thing as voting in support of it.

  37. No quite, no.

    But what practical purpose would have been served by the UK’s MEPs all voting in support of the present government’s stance? The vote itself would still have passed by a majority of around 400, and the UK’s MEPs voting ‘en bloc’ would only have highlighted how far apart the two sides are.

    I cannot see how they might have created any further influence or leverage with all the EU’s 27 Member States, whose unanimous agreement will in due course be needed for the kind of comprehensive new trade deal we want.

  38. But politics isn’t only about practical purpose is it. It is about putting on a show. I don’t think eg peers wearing ridiculous ermine robes serves any practical purpose, or MPs forced to only describe each other as honourable members.

  39. “But politics isn’t only about practical purpose is it. It is about putting on a show. ”

    I’m happy to accept that the MEPs in question failed to “put on a show” in support of the present government’s position. It’s the stuff about being “disloyal to your country” where I think that some kind of practical effect needs to be demonstrated.

    In connection with this, here’s a link to a mercifully short EU briefing about what the ratification procedure is for the EU to enter into a ‘mixed agreement’ which any new EU/UK trading agreement would be. By my calculations such an agreement needs the approval of 35 different national and regional parliaments (and it was 37 before the UK decided to leave).

    http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/BRIE/2016/593513/EPRS_BRI(2016)593513_EN.pdf

  40. On the substance you are preaching to the converted. Even a minimal deal with the EU is going to be very tough to achieve.

  41. I think May prattling on about ‘No deal being better than a bad deal’ prior to the election made a lot of middle class Londoners in particular very anxious. To be fair to her, her tone has shifted since the election. I used to think she was a closet Leaver, but now I’m pretty convinced she’s a Remainer (albeit not a passionate one) who finds the whole Brexit process tiresome and detrimental to Britain.

  42. There is a worrying tendency for the Government to accuse anyone who doubts what they are doing of “damaging” Britain. This from Liam Fox, and directed mainly at the BBC, for example:

    http://uk.businessinsider.com/liam-fox-promises-to-sign-40-free-trade-deals-the-second-after-brexit-2017-10

    Now Fox might or might not be able to get the 40 Trade deals ready within the next 18 months, as he says he hopes to do. But if he is unable to achieve this, would it really be the fault of his political opponents and/or the BBC?

  43. I agree that no deal is better than a bad deal, in the sense that we shouldn’t just allow someone to bully us into something rubbish and sign up to it anyway.

    She’s between a rock and hard place, what she ought to have done was raised the point that a deal was offered to us by David Cameron whether to stay in on the renegotiated (haha) terms or leave.

    The lack of planning for a leave vote by the previous government was alarming and reckless, of course he cut and ran immediately afterwards so wasn’t left to deal with the mess he was responsible for.

    As for the MEPs, I think they ought to have voted for talks to progress, though I think as mentioned above there is a question of whether MEPs see themselves as representatives of the electorate or EU servants.

    Most of the Labour delegation is extremely enthused by the EU, more so than the PLP in Westminster… contrary to the Tories who are broadly Eurosceptics, even if some support continued membership for whatever reason.

    A loose relationship with the EU based around free trade, common standards for this that and the other would have secured popular support, rather than a Brexit at any cost, or us basically being a province of a single country, which is where some high profile European politicians want to drive us all.

  44. James E, the whole issue of the extent to which a post-Brexit trade deal would be vulnerable to single country veto is more complicated than your comments suggest.

    As this blog post by Cambrige law academic, Prof Kenneth Armstrong, explains [https://brexittime.com/2017/05/16/brexit-implications-of-opinion-215/] it’s all to do with which aspects of any deal fall within the scope of the EU’s exclusive powers and which don’t. The latter have to be agreed unanimously, while the former can be agreed via QMV.

    This is a matter that has been the subject of recent litigation regarding an agreement between the EU and Singapore. Prof Armstrong explains that “it is the non-direct investment and the investor-state dispute resolution mechanisms which are the problematic areas of the EU-Singapore deal. But the bulk of this comprehensive agreement does fall within the scope of EU exclusivity and could form the basis for an ambitious Brexit trade deal following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. While the new generation of bilateral EU trade deals do involve chapters on investment and investor-state dispute resolution, it would not be inconceivable to negotiate a parallel bilateral investment treaty (‘BIT’) between the UK and the EU as well as its more substantive Brexit trade deal. In this way, any difficulties with ratification of the BIT would not produce contagion effects to threaten the agreement and conclusion of a trade deal”.

    That suggests to me that there is at least some hope that some sort of deal could be reached that would not require unanimous ratification.

  45. Thanks for that, Kieran.

    What has been discussed so far is the ‘divorce’ deal which would not be a mixed agreement, so could be passed by QMV. However, what Prof Armstrong concludes is that it is uncertain whether any transitional agreement could also be concluded without the ratification by each of the EU27 (and their 35 parliaments). In other words, it is possible that even the request for a 2-year transitional period would need such ratification.

    So when you say ‘some sort of deal’ which might not need unanimous ratification I assume that per the article you quote you do not hold out any hope for a lasting or comprehensive trade agreement with the EU needing only QMV?

  46. By “some sort of deal” I meant a trade deal (albeit one that wouldn’t include what Armstrong refers to as the ‘BIT’ provisions which relate to issues that would require unanimity).

    I don’t claim any kind of expertise in this field, but reading that blog by someone who is it appears that there is a potential way round the requirement for unanimity for most aspects of a trade deal.

  47. I don’t think there is any prospect of a long-term UK/EU trade deal which would not require unanimity for the EU27. This is reflected in Professor Armstrong’s conclusion, where he states that the issue he is addressing applies to any possible transition:

    “Transition

    The complication, however, is in respect of any ‘transitional arrangements’. Such arrangements would act as a bridge between the UK’s status as a Member State, and its status as a ‘third country’. In terms of the EU’s preferred sequencing of negotiations, the discussion of transitional arrangements would form part of Phase II of the negotiations once sufficient progress has been made in Phase I dealing with citizenship rights, outstanding liabilities and border issues relating to the UK and Ireland. It would seem, then, that Article 50 provides a legal basis for such a transitional arrangements. But clearly that creates a potential tension if such arrangements proved to be a long-standing means of managing the UK’s relationship with the EU in that they would, over time, undermine the EU’s specific external trade policy powers. More likely, they will need to be time-limited in order to form part of a withdrawal agreement (or bundle of agreements) based on Article 50 TEU.

    All of which serves to reinforce the point that even if the UK and the EU can agree on what they both want, they may profoundly disagree as to the legal route to getting there and the timing of the stages of the process.”

  48. My reading of the whole post is that in the paragraphs you quote above he has moved on to discussing a seperate issue to the requirement for unanimity.

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