A very quick post on two new voting intention polls this week. There was a new ComRes poll reported in the Daily Mail this morning that included voting intention figures of CON 41%(+1), LAB 41%(+1), LDEM 7%(-2). Fieldwork was Wed-Thurs last week and changes are from the last ComRes poll at the end of April, which was also neck and neck. Tabs for the poll here.

Yesterday we got the weekly YouGov poll for the Times, which has topline figures of CON 42%(-1), LAB 38%(nc), LDEM 9%(nc). Fieldwork was Sunday to Monday, and changes are from last week. They don’t show any meaningful change and are in line with the four to five point Tory lead that YouGov have been showing in recent weeks. As well as YouGov’s other regular trackers, the poll also included a repeat questions last asked in March about how clear the public are about what the Conservative and Labour positions are on Brexit: 28% thought the Tory policy on Brexit was clear (down 2), 55% unclear (up 5); 15% thought Labour’s position on Brexit was clear (down 1), 61% unclear (up 1). Full tables for the YouGov poll are here.

1,629 Responses to “Latest ComRes and YouGov voting intention figures”

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  1. A new post. A blank sheet of comments. I’m so underwhelmed I can’t think of anything to post. Aaaaagh!

  2. @ COLIN – Happy to admit I was wrong on that. I thought May was going to try to dodge votes until after 29June. As Faisal points out May might have to go to the country if the CON manifesto breakers side with Corbyn!

    Some of those votes are going to be very, very, close! My guess is enough CON-Remain MPs will back down or enough LAB MPs will develop migraines on a few of the tricker votes – but we’re talking about a very narrow margin.

    IMHO Corbyn’s Brexit policy is very clear – get May to do it and hence although very risky Plan B is LAB abstentions!

  3. COLIN

    ????????? ?????

  4. Welp, I guess I can’t post in the Greek alphabet.

  5. No observations at all on the latest AW contribution before it’s back to Brexit is new record even for us I think.

    RogerMexico’s comment on the previous thread is worth revisiting.

    Plenty may be prepared to say “Brexit” on salience questions, especially if they’re asked in the pompous “what matters for Britain” style, but the reality is the country is bored rigid.

    I’m a politics head, and I’m bored rigid.

  6. The ComRes looks the more interesting of the two, I think.

    :-) :-) :-)

  7. GARJ

    My sentiment entirely .

  8. I think new polls get jumped on and chewed over before a now post goes up.

    Therefore, when it’s does appear, we been there and got the T Shirt.

  9. CMJ

    “I think new polls get jumped on and chewed over before a new post goes up.”

    Indeed, but Anthony is serving two markets.

    1. Those who simply want to read his accounts of new polling (and who are totally uninterested in what the rest of us have to say).


    2. Providing a forum in which the politically obsessed can chat to each other across party/policy divides – and usually in a civilized way.

  10. COLIN

    Not what I was trying to post, but it seems like it fits well enough. Perhaps May is so supremely confident in the genius of her new customs wheeze that she earnestly believes that the Commons will unite behind it.

  11. @Oldnat

    The second will never catch on ;-)

  12. PeterW

    “I’m a politics head, and I’m bored rigid.”

    I wouldn’t describe myself as “bored” with Brexit, so much as perplexed as to what the UK will actually do (if anything).

    Something will (or won’t) happen eventually.

    That something will (or won’t) have consequences.

    Those consequences will be bad, or good or neutral.

  13. Last week I was reading some snide remarks on this page about people’s ignorance about what the parties’ policies are on the ‘customs union’ ‘single market’ etc.

    The suggestion being that we are all to thick to be voting on such weighty matters as this and leave it to the experts

    But I’m amazed that anyone at all is able to say ‘clear’ to any of these UK GOV Brexit Policy questions.

    For start I don’t really know what the questions mean.

    On top of that despite following this closely, I myself have only a vague idea, of what the Tory ‘policy’ is, and have little or no idea of Labour’s.

    Apart from ‘Brexit means Brexit, it’s not clear whether the Tory Party actually has a ‘policy’ on Brexit; at all, and even that appears to have been dropped.

    And it’s perfectly clear that Labour doesn’t. Keir Starmer’s ‘policy’ appears to be to say different things at random from day to day.

    Insofar as I can tell at all, Tory ‘policy’ seems to be to get as good a deal as they can and which they can sell to enough of their back benchers to make it stick, and Labour’s, is to make as much political capital as possible out of it all.

    So what’s new? This is always any government’s or opposition’s ‘policy’ on anything.

  14. http://eureferendum.com/documents/rogers%20speech.pdf

    There is much good stuff here.

    It is made clear that the max fac and customs partnership ideas are two dead cats to be released into the wild.

  15. @COLIN

    I dug out my old Noel Coward vinyl some weeks ago. I am always torn between “There are bad times just around the corner” and “Mad dogs and Englishmen” as to which is more appropriate to our present situation.

  16. @Ron Olden – “The suggestion being that we are all to thick to be voting on such weighty matters as this and leave it to the experts”

    I don’t recall anyone saying that – some of us were just pointing out how illogical some of the voting decisions were. Indeed, for my part, the ignorance on display during EU ref 1 was of such a scale that far from leaving it to the experts, I favour taking a properly democratic route and asking the people for their views again, but this time after much more useful information is known.


    Yes !

    What can one say?

    What a catalogue of disaster. A Nation still split over a narrow Referendum Result. Parliament riven with every Brexit opinion from Just Leave, to Make Sure We Don’t Leave. Lords & Commons deeply at odds . Blair, Clegg & the other political hasbeens join Soros & others throwing money by the bucket load to try & stop it.

    A Cabinet that still hasn’t thought through the practicalities of leaving, whilst assorted former Civil Servants make random assessments & off the cuff costings .

    An Opposition whose policy is Market Access no worse than under Membership, under a Leader who will not recognise EU’s Competition & State Aid rules.

    A farce which one can hardly blame Brussels for taking every advantage of given their central objective-make bl**dy sure UK cannot leave their Club & be successful afterwards.

    This morning’s Times produces another of those eloquent juxtaposed reports. Selmayr’s letter to Tim Barrow on Galileo ( at least France-yes France!-seems to be as upset as Spain Sweden & Netherlands).

    Whilst behind their backs as they focus on teaching the UK Electorate that membership of the EU is not a matter for national voters to have a say on-the voters of Italy instal a Government which is about to blow a hole in the EZ’s rickety “Financial Stability” rules. A government in charge of EZ’s 3rd largest economy with Public Debt at 130% X GDP , and a shaky Banking structure. A country “Too Big To Fail”-which German voters will not bail out.

    And the Intelligentsia of this European Dream poke fun a Donald Trump ! :-)

    Anyway-how does May ( & the rest of us ) get out of this alive ?

    I haven’t the foggiest idea.

  18. COLIN

    Brexit is taking place against a backdrop of deep division within the EU. There’s a massive cloud of flies buzzing around Selmayr, and his and Juncker’s goal of accumulating power to an increasingly politicised Commission. MEPs and nation states are alarmed, and as they should be; the Commission is a fairly undemocratic structure originally intended as more of a neutral arbiter. It’s not in the interests of other EU bodies and participants for it to become an overmighty executive which determines the fundamental direction of the EU. It is the commission which is causing us grief in the negotiations for ideological reasons, and there are plenty of others unhappy with the way it has been operating under its current leadership. The need for unity is outweighing displeasure with their actions for now, but with some of the coming upsets the political situation in the EU might become nearly as fraught as it is here. Goodness knows what happens then.

  19. I’m trying to find the KPMG and Nottingham Uni analysis that the head of HMRC used. Any help very welcome.

    Although it should be worrying in itself that the guy in charge of HMRC is having to get his info from these sources via ministers it is worth tracking the sources down for a ‘reality check’.

    The KPMG source info might have come from here:

    Starts with Rabo analysis and Dutch situation (big sigh from Brexiteers but keep going). It then discuss ‘per shipment’ costs, etc but hard to compare that to Thompson’s 200million exports number. Table1 suggests some % costs which are easier to use as we know the £ values. They take a narrow basket but let’s not accuse them of cherry-picking!

    So let’s go with 1% costs/market as a ball-park figure. UK goods exports to EU are worth £168bn (2017), round that to £170bn.

    1% of £170bn = £1.7bn per annum! (that is a massive difference to £13-20bn!!)

    There will also be one-off costs:
    “The costs of putting in place new software will vary, but this will often involve a one-off cost of EUR 20,000 to EUR 50,000” (£30k and certainly something HMG can help mitigate)

    Stronger In told us 200,000 businesses export to EU, Leave actually said it was more (324,000). This is goods and services so the number exporting goods probably 2/3 of that.

    Using the middle values

    260,000 x 2/3 x 35,000 = €6.1bn (£5.3bn) as a one-off cost to UK business

    So in the first year UK businesses might face £7bn cost (76% of which is one-off) followed by under £2bn/annum going forward.

    If I have made errors or used the wrong KPMG analysis then please let me know – it is very concerning that the head of HMRC is on the record claiming a £13-20bn/annum cost and I’d like to get to the bottom of this.

    P.S. They do discuss Dutch accountants etc so we could look a little at services but that is a different kettle of fish, feel free to convert the above numbers to full UK exports of both goods and services to EU (£276bn in 2017) – simply multiply up by 3/2 for rough numbers.

    P.P.S. Bad news for those that buy Dutch flowers. Assuming the cost is fully passed on your bunch of flowers will go up from £10 to £10.13 – on that basis alone maybe we should throw the towel in and beg to stay ;)

  20. ComRes ask about HoL (Q8) – grim reading for the unelected Peers (especially LDEM ones!!)

    Wrong to thwart Brexit net +34
    Wrong to vote against HMG 14 +23

    LDEM 96 peers.. too many +46 ;)

    Obviously a partisan and Remain/Leave bias but looking at Q7 suggests this is clearly due to LAB/Remain seeing HoL as currently helping them as very little partisan or Brexit split in the x-breaks of ‘what should happen to HoL’

  21. Colin,

    The reaction from Peter North:


    “..the sanctimonious poseur, Dominic Cunnings, writing a blogpost on the “Brexit shambles”, in which he complains about the failure of government to plan for Brexit.
    This is the man who consciously rejected the idea of the leave campaign having a plan on the spurious assertion that the “no” campaign (as it was then) “is neither a political party nor a government. It has no locus to negotiate a new deal”. Because of the complexity, he argued: “There is much to be gained by swerving the whole issue”. That was back in June 2015, when I was working with the man,…”

  22. HAL

    Thanks :-)

  23. @Colin et al

    I’m struck by the seeming internal contradictions in the views of what I might call EU-distrusters, ie those who would protest that they accept cultural and geographical affinity with other Europeans, but distrust the nature, structure, ambitions and direction of travel of the EU project.

    People holding such views tend, on the one hand, to welcome evidence of conflicting interests and potential ruptures in the EU27 – populist governments, anti-immigrant quasi-fascist governments, stroppy Greek socialists, irredeemably corrupt Bulgarians and Romanians, Putin-leaning Cypriots and so on. They’re like ferrets in a sack; there are so many internal contradictions, the project is doomed, seems to be the message.

    On the other hand, the EU is seen, or at least portrayed, as behaving like a monolithic, single-minded behemoth running roughshod over national interests and sensibilities, while remorselessly gathering power to itself with the aim of becoming a superstate.

    To those of us on the other side of the debate, these contradictions are easy to reconcile. The EU27 are indeed a disparate, diverse bunch, with constantly changing governments, aims and attitudes. The EU has to be able to function despite all these many and varied pressures. It is indeed the sack that contains all these bloody-minded ferrets, so it is designed to be flexible and giving enough to contain all those diverse pressures, the sudden lunges, the sulking, obstructionism and kicking out.

    The stretchable fabric of the sack is its legal structure. It can give under pressure, but not to the extent of rupturing. In extremis, it can eject a member, or accept its departure, rather than rupturing.

  24. @ ALEC – “I favour taking a properly democratic route and asking the people for their views again, but this time after much more useful information is known.”

    Could you elaborate on “much more useful information”?

    Do you honestly think that another ref would see our politicians behave more admirably or the analysis being pumped out by groupthinktanks and the civil service would be materially different to Project Fear 1.0?

    Since PETER and yourself jumped on Thompson’s numbers yesterday would you care to check into those numbers and see if they seem accurate?

    I have no qualms about the need to throw the decision back to a public vote if it comes to that but we will certainly need to have the details on the choice over the future arrangements in place beforehand and as you know we won’t get those in full until after 29Mar’19 when we are a 3rd country (I reckon we’d have a pretty good idea by Oct’18 but I bow to your excellent track record on calling the WA process and knowledge of A50!). Therefore could you also explain the timing for a new ref and link that to the amount of “useful information” we’d have to vote on.

  25. TW

    Indeed, the figures he touted are very, very suspect. That KPMG report you linked puts the worst-case cost of all NTBs for the worst-hit sector to be no more than 2%, he’s saying that declarations alone will be what, at least twice that across the board? Have you seen form CN22 or CN23 either? They’re a handful of boxes, barely any more complex than filling out the details you need for postage. The easiest comparison is surely to look at another country on the EU’s periphery; what’s the effective cost of a customs declaration under Norway’s system, for example?

    What really sinks it for me is the difference in how he treated the two options:

    For max-fac he put his finger in the air and estimated a per-transaction cost, then multiplied it by the number of transactions to come up with the biggest number he could. He made no allowance for companies adapting to circumstances to reduce costs, for any kind of automation, or for exemptions like those which currently cover small consignments from ouitside the CU.

    When it comes to the partnership though he didn’t bother with anything so tedious as maths, and instead just said that businesses would adapt (no work involved there, apparently), so the net cost would be zero. Are civil servants supposed to come before select committees and deliver such biased testimony?

  26. Colin

    Thanks for the Cummings link – tragic and amusing at the same time. I picked out this:

    “In short, the state has made no preparations to leave and plans to make no preparations to leave even after leaving.”


  27. Reasons for voting in the referendum:
    Leave: the whole system is rotten, but we can’t do much about it while in the EU.
    Remain: the present situation is tolerable, and changing it dangerous.

  28. As one of the big messages of the Leave campaign was £350 million/week for the NHS and the IFS Report on funding the NHS and Social Care has just come out:


    perhaps we could all press AW to sponsor a YouGov poll on what rises in taxation/new taxes would be most acceptable to fund the NHS and social care going forward. We know that the Government is planning to announce something in time for the 70th Anniversary of the NHS in July, but that is no reason to wait and then react to it.

  29. In other news, Hammond is trying to block attempts to give the NHS a modest funding boost. Does he not comprehend that all his fiscal discipline won’t amount to a hill of beans if it results in Labour getting into power? His utter lack of vision is lethal, the man’s a liability.


    There’s a lot of sense in what Ivan Rogers has to say, and we could certainly use some more calm analysis. I think he’s correct that the two options are either Canada-style third country status, or some kind of negotiated close relationship where we have some level of customs unity (at least in a few sectors) and stay aligned to the rules of the single market. The difficulty I can see in the latter is that it will be (parhaps rightly) regarded as cherry picking, so what we’ll end up with is BINO vassaldom. The time for that debate to be had, though, is in the trade talks which follow withdrawal. My concern is that the commission and parliamentary remainers are trying to tie us into a position through the withdrawal agreement (and weaponisation of the Irish border) which will take away all the government’s negotiating power in that second stage. It is in our favour for the WA and withdrawal bill to be as broad as possible, and not for them to tie our hands.

    Cummings is kind of right too when he says that it wasn’t the campaign’s responsibility to create post-Brexit policy; the government should have been doing that, certainly one May took charge. I think he’s also right that the civil service is massively hostile to change, and that the government is getting a lot of other things badly wrong (much of which is eminating from the treasury). Like him, I despair rather of anything good coming of the continued leadership of May and Hammond.

  30. @Trevor Warne – “Since PETER and yourself jumped on Thompson’s numbers yesterday would you care to check into those numbers and see if they seem accurate?”

    Please read my previous posts on this.

    @Garj – the CN22 and CN23 appear reasonably straightforward, and I would imagine would take perhaps 10 -15 minutes each to complete, although it could be more complicated for products with complex rules of origin issues. [I suspect rules or origin will introduce some quite complicated admin for UK suppliers into the EU].

    Based on a £25,000 salary, including on costs and allowing for a 48 week working year and a 37 hour working week, it gets to around £4 labour cost per item. If HMRC is correct and there are going to be 255,000,000 transactions coming under these new terms, then that’s over a billion pounds pa just to fill in these forms.

    That’s 10% of the assumed Brexit bonus, so would be a big chunk of the fiscal advantage of leaving wiped out.

    As I said previously, I don’t know about the other elements of the costs, but I am aware that Nissan has said that delays of 90 seconds to 2 minutes for border clearance would cost them millions of pounds. Again, I don’t know how these calculations have been worked out.

    One of the costs that was reported by an aeronautics components supplier recently (featured here on UKPR) was that they and other UK suppliers were being told that to participate in collaborative EU contracts they would have to underwrite all the costs of warehousing 1 months supply of components as insurance against any customs disruption.

    In terms of operational costs and cashflow, especially for high value products, such costs as this would be horrendous. Perhaps the HMRC figure includes allowances for things like additional warehousing and stock costs?

    I don’t know, and my tendency is to agree that the HMRC figure seems excessive (certainly as an annual cost) but equally, leaving the customs union will not be cheap for UK exporters.

  31. ALEC

    A billion or so seems a much more likely figure, though a lot will depend on what form the agreement takes overall. Companies doing a lot of cross-border business may well be able to automate the process to a great extent. The other issues around NTBs are indeed likely to be the costlier. I’m not trying to argue that there won’t be a cost to business, I just think that by making such a far-fetched claim Thompson was rather revealing his own agenda. It lends credence to what Cummings is saying; that the civil service is misleading ministers and Parliament in order to get their preferred Brexit.

  32. Leftieliberal: I would imagine most voters’ response to the question “who should shoulder the burden of tax increases?” would be “anyone except me!”

    People seem more prepared to pay more tax when they know (and like) what the money is being spent on. I know there are good reasons to be suspicious of hypothecated taxes, but surely desperate times call for desperate measures.

  33. GARJ

    I don’t agree that there is any “weaponisation” of the Irish border issue. It is implementing what was agreed in Stage 1. That was a fudge. Ireland is to be protected as far as possible from the consequences of the UK choices.

    “What clearly cannot be done though is to replicate the effect of removing all
    internal borders via customs facilitation, whether you call that “maximum”
    facilitation or not. And that is not because of EU obstinacy or obstructionism.
    It is because those internal barriers are only removed by participation in the
    Single Market as well as the Customs Union. And it is because World Customs
    Organisation rules require certain processes, such as the declaration of goods
    crossing borders, which cannot legally be eliminated.”

    Ivan Rogers has much more to say on the subject – his treatment of it is comprehensive

  34. @ GARJ – I’m still flabbergasted by Thompson’s testimony. In previous appearances he has very much been saying he can get it done (CDS ready by Jan’19!). More recently he’d asked for a bit more money, headcount and time but y’day was a bolt from the blue on the timing and cost!

    I’d agree that this does feel like “weaponising” civil servants for political purposes to push through the “less bad” May option.

    NCP “net cost would be zero” must be based on the assumption of no future trade deals with rWorld so I’d add to your comment and suggest in order to compare MaxFac to NCP you have to consider the future burden on non-EU exporters as well – where the growth opportunities are! NCP puts an avoidable cost burden on rWorld exporters and that has to be considered when comparing the two options.

    Two growing birds in rWorld are worth more than one dying bird in a cage!!!

    I’m very worried Barnier “caves in” and “accepts” NCP as viable and folks just sigh a sense of relief and we end up with a terrible deal – worse than having voted Remain in hindsight!! I can’t see ERG accepting NCP and 29June is still a few weeks away – is this just a rouse to get CON-Remain onside just to pass HoC votes or the continuing drift towards a BINO deal?!? Who knows?!?

  35. SAM

    I’ve read the full Rogers speech, thanks. As far as I’m concerned what you’re describing is the weaponisation of the Irish border; for Ireland to demand zero change from the status quo or else they’ll veto withdrawal is blackmail, and the UK should not have signed up to anything remotely like that.

  36. @ ALEC – just reread your posts from y’day:

    Your 5:05pm where you reply to PETER and want to add in the cost of 5,000 civil servants to the £20bn (more than NHS bus per week!)

    Your 7:12pm where you suggest 10% costs based on the case of the sports equipment article (which would be in the £17bn ballpark that Thompson suggested)

    You rowed back your comments from y’day in your 11:33am after my 10:45am analysis of the numbers using the KPMG source (we know you’d never admit to being wrong).

    In your 8:43am today you say
    ignorance on display during EU ref 1″

    but ” favour taking a properly democratic route and asking the people for their views again, but this time after much more useful information is known.

    So, back to the question from my 10:45am:

    “Therefore could you also explain the timing for a new ref and link that to the amount of “useful information” we’d have to vote on.”

  37. Somerjohn

    I’m less optimistic.

    Apologies – it will be longish.

    I think the EU, at least in its existing form is dying, not really because of the successes of a few separatist movements (it is now restarted in Corsica too), but because of the conflict between the reality and the liberal ideas.

    After all, it was Merkel who, a few years ago, announced the end of multiculturalism, which means giving up the principles of equality, emancipation, the support of the losers (or victims in my view), This was well before the refugee crisis. It was the admission that the agonistic (sic) ideologies couldn’t be suppressed anymore.

    Then the refugee crisis added another layer – the hostility against some minorities in Europe. The tolerance to this hostility then allows hostility to other minorities (especially the poor, the economic migrants, women, and so on), and this is how then in the Brexit supermarket any idea that was somehow related to emancipation (like tolerance for example) became elitist and expertise something unnatural, while masculinity desirable. But it is just as common in other EU countries.

    The social basis of the liberal Europe is disappearing – the centre left considers the liberals and the greens to be the main opponents, and without admitting the existence of the ultra right (well, they don’t really fight with them), while showing some ethnicist elements. The centre-right adopts, in its fear of an upheaval of the existing social hierarchy, ultra right ideas at wholesale. The outcome is the identity of the economic interests with the local hierarchies, ethnicity and national borders on the public language, and posturing as an underdog (the three largest economies of the EU!).

    The “progressives” are upset because the other side is “inhumane” , the “reactionaries” mock the progressives as “idealist” and naive. But they are just the two sides of the same coin. It is a very disheartening moment when so many ruling parties perceive themselves “rebellious or anti establishment” (like the Brexiters in the UK government)

    Of course, from the ultra right to the centre left (and some of the fringes of the ultra left), it is all natural, because it is historically dominant, the “spirit of the time”, and hence even better selling commodity.

    It is not only the EU that is dying, but so is the UN, the WTO, the Council of Europe and so on.

  38. @trevor Warne – “Your 7:12pm where you suggest 10% costs based on the case of the sports equipment article”

    No. I suggested 10% increase in salary costs for a single small enterprise exporting predominantly low value orders, while making it clear that bigger enterprises or those exporting high value shipments wouldn’t have such high relative costs.

    “Therefore could you also explain the timing for a new ref and link that to the amount of “useful information” we’d have to vote on.””


  39. Laszlo

    John Gray in the New Statesman seems to be in agreement with you. Essentially, he is saying that rules-based organisations are in decline and are being replaced by “might is right”.


  40. GARJ


    I think the single most important thing TM can do on Brexit now is to get a big extension to Transition.

    I was worried about time available ages ago. Right now I don’t begin to understand how we will even put the Heads of Agreement type statement together on Trade before next March………….which means next October for EU internal procedures I believe.

    I think those who predicted that EU holds all the cards are right. And with Brussels’ mindset that does not mean a negotiation based on mutual self interest. There is no sign of it whatsoever .I really believed it would be, and was naive to do so.

  41. I get little bit tired of all the references to “REMAINERS” – which I take to include me. I love the EU, which has brought huge benefits to me and my family, think we’re doing a terribly stupid thing, and would love to stay in it if it were feasible. But it isn’t (without making the undoubted strife in the country even worse) . So what I want is a bit of sanity and reasonable competence – which means to me an EFTA -style deal, followed by a five to ten year period in which those who want us to leave completely work out how they are going to do it without destroying our economy and social fabric. Then perhaps we could vote on that. At the moment it’s just all hopeless, people want something, have been promised lots of cake, but nobody has a clue how to achieve it, as a lot of Leavers seem to agree.

    Is there a word for this view?

  42. CN22? In my business we fill them in all the time. 30 seconds maximum. Is someone seriously suggesting they take quarter of an hour?

  43. @Mike – thanks. I wasn’t sure about the rules of origin stuff, and how complicated that could be.

    It sounds like it isn’t so much of an issue after all.

  44. Colin,

    I agree re a big extension of Transition.

    FWIW, Labour for some time have believed that when push comes to shove there will not be enough net Tory Rebels to meaningful votes re the relationship with the EU in future.

    Internal stuff Henry 8th powers maybe but not the CU stuff.

    Means a GE unlikely and I still think the CPHQ noises are warnings to possible rebels

    ”If you vote with Labour to defeat the Government and a GE ensues with JC becoming PM afterwards, you will be to blame”

  45. This chap on LBC seems to think new border rules will kill his business. Also confirms an early discussions around firms not investing due to lack of certainty of future. he has money and demand for a new van but is putting off buying one.

    “If we go outside the Customs Union, we need to do transit documents. They cost £75-£90 a pop. You have to go to Customs House in Dover to clear them. You have to park up.

    “If you get sent down what’s called a Route One, which I’ve had before, you’re stuck there for six to seven hours waiting to clear them. On a quiet day, you can be out and clear in 45-50 minutes.

    “If we were outside the Customs Union, all vehicles would have to do this.”


  46. @EOTW – maybe this is what the HMRC man was talking about.

  47. COLIN

    There might be a little hope in an extended transition in order to allow negotiations some time to breathe and take away the sword of Damocles. Whether the commission will want to go for it is another matter, but perhaps pressure from member states will come to bear. It would have a greater chance of coming to a sane and mutually agreeable end position. Everybody (the government, the opposition, the ERG, the Lords, the Commission, Ireland, the whole lot of them) is busy throwing their weight around and behaving badly for short-term gain. I only find myself siding with the government because a bad result for them is likely to wind up being a bad result for the whole country.

    There’s also a glimmer of hope in Juncker’s coming retirement in 2019. So long as he hasn’t somehow orchestrated a stitch-up which elevates Selmayr to the top job then I believe we have a reasonable chance of the next President of the Commission being a bit less of an arch-fedaralist, and a bit more willing to try to settle Brexit fairly.


    The head of HMRC is saying that they’ll cost businesses an average of £32.50 a time.

  48. Laszlo:I’m less optimistic…..It is not only the EU that is dying, but so is the UN, the WTO, the Council of Europe and so on.

    LeftieLiberal: …rules-based organisations are in decline and are being replaced by “might is right”.

    Well, those are a couple of counsels of despair! What are we to do: give up and surrender to the nihilistic forces of darkness?

    I’ve spent the morning in Dubrovnik. A quarter of a century ago (yes, it’s really that long) it was under siege by equally dark forces. It emerged, and now is a symbol of how beauty and the human spirit can triumph over darkness. I think it’s a potent metaphor for Europe.

    (And, by the way, I’m well aware of the dark forces equally at work in Croatian nationalism: I’m not blind to that, nor to malign influences throughout Europe).

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