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. @jonesinbangor: “@Alec: “It just shows how the steady capitulation of the hard line Brexiters is playing out when their dreams meet reality”
    Compromise. It was always going to be thus.”

    I think Mr Jones is wrong in that there has been no compromise only capitulation. The EU have no proposals which do not involve the continuation of its authority or a termination of relationships. The EU has boasted that it has won everything so far, and it is right.

    But Alec is wrong it thinks that the negotiations are a failure by Brexiters. It has been as if a minority SNP government won an independence vote, only to have an unreconciled Unionist majority in Holyrood cheering on a hardline Westminster approach.

    The reality, I will admit, that the government has met is facing a powerful opponent who sees no need to negotiate, whilst Parliament basically agrees with the EU.

    So, Brexit must fail because the EU in alliance with supporters in the Commons control the negotiations.

    There is nothing the EU wants from the negotiations that the Commons won’t give it for free.

  2. @CB11

    As a recently retired citizen/old codger (take your pick), freed from 41 years of servitude in the British car industry, and now with far too much idle time on his hands, I thought I’d share my musings on the current political scene. I may continue to do this quite regularly for now, much to the consternation of some regular UKPR posters, I suspect, and maybe the good Mr Wells too! His forbearance will again be sorely tempted.

    Can’t speak for Mr Wells or regular posters but as an intermittent poster and regular lurker I am delighted by your return.

  3. A proper crisis going on. Are we about to measure Schrodinger’s brexit?

  4. “Can’t speak for Mr Wells or regular posters but as an intermittent poster and regular lurker I am delighted by your return.”

    Thanks, Charles. It’s nice to know that I don’t irritate everyone on here!

  5. “I’m pretty cynical about surveys and assume I am I either being “data farmed” or the results will be used to justify some sort outsourced “choice” or other rip off.

    Wouldn’t ever participate.”
    @nickp June 7th, 2018 at 8:06 am

    I once agreed to one of those ‘just a survey of stuff you use, we are not selling anything.’

    For the next three weeks I got very many calls along the lines of ‘I understand you use X toothpaste, we now have a super new product called…’

    Now I just hang up, or let it go to answerphone. Funny how so many callers hang up when they hear my ‘we’re not in at the moment…’ message.

    Never again.

  6. Joseph 18 32,
    A better phrased line would be “there is nothing the eu wants from the negotiations which the uk does not want too.” Even hard leavers want to replace eu oriented trade deals with others doing the same job, but under different management structure. Similarly inviting in alternative immigrants.

    BBC news just said May is holding talks with the brexit secretary. Sounds like she is meeting the representative of a foreign power.

  7. Live feed to No.10 cabinet meeting about Brexit

    https://twitter.com/i/status/1004673446490632192

  8. CROSSBAT11

    I too am very occasional poster but active lurker here.

    But I agree with your anecdotal comments on the state of the UK compared to elsewhere. We are in a mess, we seem as a country to take ages over decision making processes that others do quickly and even once decided on a policy, whatever it is, often it seems to be incompetently implemented and never on time.

    I despair at the state of our railways and am mighty relieved I dont have to use them. E.g on HS2 – whether or not you agree its a good idea – the fact that this has been in discussion for years and years (decades?) even though supposedly definitely going ahead yet still hardly any actual construction. The cost of fares here is just appalling compared to almost everywhere else for a 4th rate so-called ‘service’.

    As a comparison someone I know is visiting China at present and got a train from Tianjin to Nanjing the other day. Thats a distance of 610 miles. Cost: $61. Journey time: 4 hours. Curiously thats by no means the quickest which is 2hours 57minutes. Average speed: 206mph.

  9. JBOYD,

    “the USA does not seek the expulsion of the North Korean population from North Korea nor did it aim to end the existence of Iraq as a state.”

    Well given that in both cases the people living there are the local population rather than people you came from overseas and displaced those living there that isn’t surprising.

    No doubt the fact that the US sees both Iraq and a unified Korea as potential partners and allies also plays a part.

    “About 700,000 Jews migrated to Palestine from Europe between 1919 and 1948 (about half of these after partition). About 350,000 came from the Middle East during the same period.”

    That’s still 2:1 from europe and given that on creation the population of Israel was only 800,000 there were probably close to 3:1 within it’s borders.

    “However between 1951 and 1970 immigration from the Middle East was higher than immigration from Europe and when differential birth rates and the pre-existing jewish population are taken into account, it is probably true that by the 70s, half of Israel’s jewish population were of Middle Eastern origin.”

    They may well have been, but that doesn’t make Israel’s cultural ties and identity any less European especially if over that 20 plus years many moving to Israel adopted the more European Israeli culture and indeed moved because of it.

    Jewish culture and ethnic mix has altered radically in 70 years, understandable for a country which has it’s origins in a diaspora and which has ten times it’s original population.

    However nothing you have posted really counters my initial proposition that criticism of Israel is louder than of other nations because of our long and deep involvement with it since before it’s creation.

    Even if there are more Arab born or descendant Israeli’s than European ones, our connection will still be strong through our deep roots and ties with the European ones.

    Thomas,

    “but it’s better to have them to stop more wars in the region.”

    Problem is it’s pretty impossible to prove that they have stopped a major attack on Israel.

    As to stopping more wars in the region…it’s hard to name a nation in the Middle East that hasn’t in some way been involved in conflict in the years since Israel became a Nuclear power.

    The Middle East is hardly an oasis of calm that should be thankfully for it’s bliss on Israel’s Nuclear deterrent. It might, just might enhance Israel’s security but it’s hard to argue it’s calmed the region.

    Peter.

  10. @Trevor Warne – welcome back. Your post on the Opinium poll is interesting and the observation that the public are backing the idea that we need to be able to do trade deals and then apparently failing to understand that the options put to them don’t include this.

    I suspect that this tells us that many voters absorb campaign messages without actually understanding the full meaning or implications of them, and this seems like a case in point. Leave have been successful in focusing on the trade deal issue, even though all the expert analysis, and the application of simple logic, suggests that leaving the best free trade deal to set up some inferior new ones isn’t a big winner.

    I also need to pull you up on your later post where you say “….and the need to focus on rWorld and break the protectionist-exploitation of the CU.”

    The CU/EU can’t reasonably be described as protectionist or exploitative, in any reasonable assessment. A few days ago @Somerjohn (I think?) posted this link – https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-44291103

    It gives some perspective on this issue, and concludes that the EU is mid ranking in terms of tariff levels, but scores very well on allowing most African nations to export to the EU virtually tariff and quota free under the ‘Everything but Arms’ scheme. [I’ll admit that this was news to me – impoverishing African farmers through aggressive trade policy was one of my criticisms of the EU until I read this, and is clearly something I have got wrong].

    It also looked at NTB’s and found that the EU is better than the US or China in this regard in terms of non tariff meaures that need to be reported to the WTO. In the service sector, the article then references an OECD study that found eight of the ten most open economies were EU members, with the article concluding that:

    “The EU can’t claim to be the world’s freest trader, but on many measures it’s toward the more liberal end of the spectrum.”

    I think it’s time to put to bed your mantra of protectionism in the EU. It’s factually inaccurate, and the EU is, instead, one of the better players in this regard.

  11. @Baldbloke

    As a comparison someone I know is visiting China at present and got a train from Tianjin to Nanjing the other day. Thats a distance of 610 miles. Cost: $61. Journey time: 4 hours. Curiously thats by no means the quickest which is 2hours 57minutes. Average speed: 206mph.

    Great train network for sure.

    If we could have that, but without the communist dictatorship and human right abuse, count me in :-)

  12. Alec,

    “The EU can’t claim to be the world’s freest trader, but on many measures it’s toward the more liberal end of the spectrum.”

    You can’t post that here… it’s a fact that challenges the “Evil Empire” narrative!!!!!

    Peter.

  13. @Joseph1832

    I’m not sure if the effective EFTA outcome (a bit more than BINO I feel) will be a failure. I voted to Leave, and I’m happy with this outcome.

    The poll that I linked to the other day indicated that the most popular outcome, even amongst Tory voters, was a EFTA type deal.

    Minimal disruption and Brexit delivered – I wonder how TM will frame that. I think it will expose the ERG very quickly for what they are as well.

  14. Breaking – Davis not resigning. ‘Massive fudge’ seen in Downing Street. backstop wording changed to include an expectation when it will expire, to be agreed with EU, but no date.

    Pointless.

  15. BB, CMJ,

    Chinese trains are indeed impressive, and a speed of 300km/h over long distances is attained.

    However, the track runs in a straight line, if necessary high in the air on stilts over anything and everything. That’s something to do with having an authoritarian system with no opposition allowed.

  16. HAL,

    I have two close relatives, both Engineers, living in Australia, both of whom regularly visit China.

    Both agree that the speed of China’s Trains is impressive.
    Both agree that speed of building has been impressive.
    Both agree that the low cost to build has been impressive.
    Both agree that the expansion of the network is impressive.

    And

    Both agree that if you applied Western, Financial, Building and Safety standards, everyone involved would be in prison!!!!!

    Peter.

  17. Alec, technical note now published. Date of December 2021 given as the envisaged start for the future relationship (i.e. end of backstop). in general, appears to have been co-authored by Mary Berry and will go down with the EU like a raw loaf with Paul Hollywood.

  18. Government’s backstop proposal is now published.

    1. It extends the EU customs proposal from NI to the UK. Presumably this won’t be acceptable.

    2. The time-limit is not binding and therefore a fudge. It seems Davis lost but is claiming he won; everyone is happy for the moment.

    https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/714594/Technical_Note_-_temporary_customs_arrangement_document_final_clean.docx

  19. @Alec

    “ALEC
    Breaking – Davis not resigning. ‘Massive fudge’ seen in Downing Street. backstop wording changed to include an expectation when it will expire, to be agreed with EU, but no date.

    Pointless.”

    Wording:

    No Effective Viable End Range.

  20. Backstop paper published https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/714594/Technical_Note_-_temporary_customs_arrangement_document_final_clean.docx

    From a quick skim:
    Full customs alignment between EU and UK
    No end date, just the expectation that there will be one
    Oversight by ECJ

    The only area in which it remains for the UK government to concede is their stated wish that the UK be allowed to conclude trade deals while the customs union remains in force.

  21. @ALEC
    @TREVOR WARNE
    @PETER CAIRNS

    I have tried many time unsuccessfully to engage this issue and found that beliefs tend to get in the way of facts. It is why I have often said of many people on this site that tribalism is more important than facts.

    I have often used the Corbyns policies are popular to point out the disconnect between policy and politics. The fact that we have a discerning audience seem to suggest politicians can successfully dissemble facts such that we take as read something that is so clearly wrong.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7lsRbDKOXg

    It is why I often point to Iraq as the nearest analogy for Brexit. At some point in the future someone will say Brexit was done in the teeth of public opinoin but every poll I saw during the demonstrations etc pointed to people supporting the war until it went bad and then it was hard to find quite hard for some people to remember that they were ever in favour of it.

    https://yougov.co.uk/news/2015/06/03/remembering-iraq/

  22. Slightly bemused, as I understood the EU had already rejected the idea of the UK staying in the CU as the backstop position, saying that they viewed the backstop as only being relevant to NI.

    I’m also struggling a little to understand how we can conclude our own trade deals while operating under the existing EU arrangements for rules of origin. Not saying these are incompatible, as I’m not sufficiently expert to know about this, but it sounds a bit odd.

  23. TW
    it’s a good job we’re leaving the EU, so we don’t get caught up in Trump’s trade wars, eh? All those lovely deals Fox and Boris and Uncle Tom Cobbleigh and all can work out with Trump once we’re free of one of the biggest, strongest trading blocks in the world. Can’t wait.

    I’ve just seen the Backstop proposal on the Graun, which looks suspiciously like the dessert menu to me, with Fudge being Cake of the Day.

  24. @Alec

    You might be bemused….

    Think of it like along the lines will anyone notice any really perceptible differences from being in or out of the EU?

    A few maybe, but for the rest of us, not really.

  25. @ ALEC – The 6 options in the Opinium poll failed to understand the importance of rWorld trade deals. As Opinium themselves stated voters (especially Leave but also Remain) ranked rWorld trade deals as very important in any Brexit deal. Voters understand the importance – Opinium decided to skip that issue. IMHO that distorts the result and I’d expect it would be the “golden goal” to tip WTO ahead on the tie with BINO – until we get a better poll (or possibly a new ref!) we won’t know.

    I’ve read the BBC link before and I’m sure we can both cherry-pick bits to make a point (EU being behind US on tariffs and NTBs being highly relevant given the side we’re stuck with as we’re forced to join in that trade war!).

    It’s interesting that for service sector your going with “OECD study that found eight of the ten most open economies were EU members”

    1/ Indeed EU28 countries are still considered separate when folks talk about services since “In this sector the EU’s single market is less complete than it is for goods” No sh1t as they say!!!
    2/ The services part of SM is however better than most of rWorld in most sectors and although we’ve failed to get it fully liberalised as a member we have over 4.5decades managed some modest opening INSIDE of EU. Services are often forgotten (as Opinium poll highlights). Would you agree that a Norway deal is better (less bad) than Turkey deal?
    3/ Services are never made a key priority in extra-EU trade deals (e.g. CETA), if they had been perhaps some Leave would have given value to UK’s voice within EU. Outside of EU we can ensure it is UK’s priority and as the OECD report highlights their is enormous potential to open up service sectors in rWorld – if those markets were already very open maybe we wouldn’t have needed to leave the EU!

    Did you actually read the conclusion in the Beeb write-up? They didn’t seem to mention cars for some inexplicable reason (US charge 2.5% tariff, EU charge 10%) but they still concluded:

    “The conclusion is that the EU does indeed protect some of its producers
    The EU can’t claim to be the world’s freest trader, but on many measures it’s toward the more liberal end of the spectrum..
    Britain may be able to go even further in that direction.”

    Seems a far conclusion but by all means keep seeing the EU through your rose tinted glasses.

    Final question. If we end up with BINO then how do you see UK fixing it’s current account deficit (or do you think the level of that deficit is sustainable)?
    If you would be so kind as to split it out by goods and services in a 2D matrix with EU27 and rWorld.

  26. Does anyone (from any camp) think Barnier will accept UK’s backstop?

    We’ll have to wait and see how long it takes for Barnier to diss it. I’m guessing hours not days!

    Just perhaps the whole cabinet charade is to give them an offer they shouldn’t refuse but that we know they will ;)

  27. @ARTEMIS

    The Temporary Arrangement paper also notes that the 20% UK retention of duties to cover admin costs (!) will legally not reply and looks to the EU for their suggestion on a specific replacement proposal.

    As has been said about many aspects of Brexit – what could possibly go wrong with this….. :-)

  28. Edit to my 14:10 post – I meant apply of course!

  29. Barnier already onto it:

    https://mobile.twitter.com/MichelBarnier?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

    “We will examine it with 3 questions:
    – is it a workable solution to avoid a hard border?
    – Does it respect the integrity of the SM/CU?
    – Is it an all-weather backstop?”

    Given the way EC (and Varadkar) look at things (zero flexibility or pragmatism) I’m pretty sure that is NO, NO and NO!

    Still at least we tried ;)

  30. CB – re Corbyn.

    My starting point is that he will be the leader until the next GE or when he chooses to stand down and the last GE result earned his brand of Labour Party politics another shot so either get behind him or stay quiet in public.

    We all know that he has generated new and returning support for Labour but he has also made it more difficult for soft (especially remain) Tories to support the party. Every single Tory-Lab or vice versa switcher is worth 2 new supporters from DNV/Green etc in most seats esp E&W. At the last GE, there were enough new votes to compensate for those lost due to Corbyn factor and/or Brexit but no more of these 2015 Lab movers are easy to take for the Cons. Plus switchers can switch back but newer voters are more likely to stick long term as long as the differentiation with the Tories is sufficient.

    Truthfully, we don’t know despite opinions surveys what impact Brexit is having net on VI and what a Meh outcome will do as clearly if perceived as good or bad that will boost or hurt the Tories.

    For my part, I like many have reservations but prefer him to a May led Tory Government and on the key issue of our times he has had the sense to appoint and be led by Kier Starmer who in my opinion is doing a cracking job.

    NB) I do think McDonnell is and old fashioned statist behind the smooth delivery and worries me more than Corbyn who is a social policy driven Socialist with Economic policy being a means to an end, in order words more pragmatic

  31. @Trevor Warne – “Final question. If we end up with BINO then how do you see UK fixing it’s current account deficit (or do you think the level of that deficit is sustainable)?”

    You do rather delight in throwing out questions and demanding answers. It simply isn’t relevant to the point in question.

    The question raised was whether the EU is protectionist and exploitative. The answer is that it isn’t too bad on average – fewer services barriers than the US or China, mid ranking for tariffs, and with a pretty good record on African trade. Farm subsidies are relatively high, but that’s arguably understandable, given the economies that geography bestows on the Russians, Australian and North Americans. As one of the wealthiest trading blocks in the world, the EU is a relatively liberal trade partner.

    What has BINO got to do with this, other than as a vehicle for you to obscure the question and avoid admitting you have mischaracterized the EU’s trading record?

  32. Thought this was interesting;

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-44391539

    Not the article as such but the HYS at the end.

    2200 or so comments and for the first time I can remember in two years on a brexit topic Remain seems to be level or winning.

    By and large the “Walk Away Now!” Brexiteers usually dominate sometimes by more than 2:1.

    Could be just an outlier and it’s a self selecting sample but it might be either that public opinion really is starting to turn towards remain or more likely even those that want brexit thing the government is symbolic.

    Time will tell.

    Peter.

  33. @TW
    ‘Still at least we tried ;)’

    I’m not sure if you are being ironic here or not?
    Clearly we haven’t tried – we have focused on producing a proposal that allows the Tory part to continue without exploding under its internal pressures.

    In doing so we have necessarily produced a proposal that we know the EU will not accept and that contains lashings of fudge and cake…

    Everything that is happening about Brexit, and has happened for the last two ears, is about the Tory’s internal divisions and inability to agree a meaningful and coherent way forward.

  34. Peter Cairns

    Maybe they are all beginning to find it very Boring…

  35. @ Peter Cairns

    “Not the article as such but the HYS at the end.”

    Yes, I noticed that too. I don’t believe for a moment a change in public opinion could be that quick, so maybe:

    a) The Russian bots are on holiday today
    b) HYS has got a bit more clever at blocking likes from politcally sponsered comment farms

  36. Actually also:

    c) B4B or some similar organisation can now afford to pay more than Leave groups for people to spam HYS

  37. News that there will probably/definitely/maybe a new referendum – with a date to be decided later – which will b in three parts:

    Should we:

    A/ Pretend to leave the EU but stay?

    B/ Stay in the EU but pretend we’ve left?

    C/ Just say “soddit” and stay in anyway?

    There are arguments about the need for a second choice vote on the ballot, with the third placed vote being discounted. These are expected to resolved: “At some point in the future. Probably.”

  38. Alec: –

    “Slightly bemused, as I understood the EU had already rejected the idea of the UK staying in the CU as the backstop position, saying that they viewed the backstop as only being relevant to NI.”

    Yes – there have been several statements from EU negotiators that the backstop cannot be extended from NI to UK. This isn’t just because they don’t want to, but because the Withdrawal Agreement is to address legacy issues, one of which is the GFA.

    A customs union for the whole of the UK falls into the future relationship, which is to be addressed only in the political declaration and negotiated after leaving. There’s no mandate to put it in the WA.

  39. “PETER CAIRNS (SNP)
    @Alec,

    “The EU can’t claim to be the world’s freest trader, but on many measures it’s toward the more liberal end of the spectrum.”

    “You can’t post that here… it’s a fact that challenges the “Evil Empire” narrative!!!!! ”

    I get confused with my political name-calling here: I thought the Liberal bit WAS the Evil Empire. Is that not right anymore?

  40. Crofty,

    “I thought the Liberal bit WAS the Evil Empire. Is that not right anymore?”

    No it’s like the “Jewish/Bolshevik” conspiracy!

    On the face of it it’s contradictory as they seem to want different thinks and be naturally opposed to each other, but it makes sense if you start from the position of them both being “Evil” which explains why they “Must” be working together.

    Your mistake is starting with the facts and working to a logical conclusion.

    Brexit is about deciding your preferred conclusion and then picking the facts to fit!

    Peter.

  41. The current Backstop debate/debacle highlights how Brexit really is about a Tory Civil war. May and Davis via intermediaries both claiming to have got one over the other, seemingly with little interest in the EU reaction.

  42. Hal

    ” It seems Davis lost……………..”

    Laura Kuenssberg does not agree with that view at all, nor do i. It seems clear the PM had to back down.

    I must say it has been very enjoyable not reading here for a couple of days. I will now return to that approach until next week.

  43. ETOW,

    “seemingly with little interest in the EU reaction.”

    Our in how it makes the pair of them and the Government look to the Public.

    Still you know what they say;

    “People in Glass Houses shouldn’t Naked Mud Wrestle!”

    Peter.

  44. TOH

    Opinions differ. For example,

    Tom Newton Dunn
    @tnewtondunn

    No10 folk are claiming a clear victory for the PM/Olly Robbins over DD. Clever drafting means “she’s done him like a kipper again”. This, to us, is particularly ouch;
    4:00 PM – Jun 7, 2018

  45. I wouldn’t trust either Kuhnssberg or Newton Dunn’s opinion on much at all.

    Or Kevin Maguire for that matter.

    Spin, spin and Journos repeating to keep sources happy.

    John Cole the last decent BBC Political Editor imo.

    BTW – is not a back stop required when the captain has no confidence in the wicket keeper or bowler, or both?

  46. Laura Kuensberg’s version of the backstop document is that David Davies has won. It has a date which Mrs May did not want and her stock is lower as a result. In addition Brussels is even less likely to accept this version than the previous one.

    As far as I can see nobody has won. The date is only the expected date and if Brussels won’t accept this draft where are we? To paraphrase a former permanent secretary, May’s stuffed, Davis is stuffed, we are all stuffed.

  47. Jim Jam,

    Yes indeed. But I think TND is nearer the truth. The point is that the time limit that was inserted is purely an aspiration and will not be seen as binding. Davis has not won anything of substance.

    It is all a distraction anyway. The Single Market regulations (with ECJ) are still required to apply to NI and no-one has got round to trying to extend those to the whole of the UK, or, huffing about treating NI differently. When are they going to have that row?

  48. @ BFR – Ever since the GE disaster (DUP pact) and EC working out NI was the lever to use to get a BINO then IMHO the outcome was always most likely to become EC’s desired option (BINO) or a min.deal (starting at WTO and possibly working up via mini-deals). I agree fully on the Tory division over Brexit (and would add in Lab FWIW). There is now no Brexit compromise position, despite May’s pathetic attempt to find one. That applies at cabinet, CON MP, HoC level and that’s before we even remember we’re supposed to be negotiating with the EC!
    When the talks finally totally fail It will then become a “blame game”.

    But yes, high degree of irony on my part. I’d give the chances of EC accepting the UK’s redraft of the ‘backstop’ near 0% chance of success as I expect most would agree.

    However, for the ‘optics’ it is important for CON-Leave to make it look like May ‘tried’ (even if most of us can see it was a fairly pathetic effort). Then when the EC say “BINO” or “No Deal” everyone can freak out and CON-Leave can TRY and blame everyone else: Varadkar, Barnier, Corbyn, a few CON-Remain rebels and most importantly May (add in Hammond for good measure).

    NB Try in emphasis as no idea if folks will believe it or not. Clearly arch-Remain won’t but if/when if comes to a GE then it’s the marginal voter in the marginal seat that counts and I’d rather work with hope+anger than fear+gloom ;)

  49. @ ALEC – ”The question raised was whether the EU is protectionist and exploitative”

    OK, I’ll answer just that bit and my own question to you. Feel free to re-answer the BINO outcome.

    Firstly the trade facts:

    UK-EU trade
    Goods. UK deficit of £96bn (terrible)
    Services. UK surplus of £14bn (OK but would be better if EU services were more liberalised)
    Net deficit of £72bn

    UK-rWorld trade
    Goods. UK deficit of £41bn (not ideal but to be expected)
    Services. UK surplus of £84bn (pretty good and clearly the area we excel at)
    Net surplus of £43bn

    (HoC Library, Briefing Paper 7851, 1May18)

    Any rationale person would say we need to do more of our “strengths” (rWorld and more service exports) whilst trying to improve on our weaknesses (the goods deficit, which is especially high with EU)

    Germany’s fetish with twin surplus (the rule breaking trade surplus and the budget surplus) combined with UK’s fetish for debt driven consumer spending has created a situation where UK did more than its fair share bailing out the Euro crisis and we weren’t even in the Eternal Recession Mechanism (ERMv2.0)!! Along with the US we sucked up Germany’s excessive trade surplus while they got their “Swabian housewives” and Troika “bail-outs” to fix their banks and economy. That is mostly the “exploitative” bit. For sure the UK consumer needs to come off debt junkyism – leaving the EU by itself will not fix all UK’s problems and I’ve never said it would.

    The protectionist bit is 2-part. We can buy most of what we buy from EU27 either from domestic sources (given the proper incentives to business) or from rWorld. This ability is restricted whilst we are in CU due to CET. CET creates an advantage for EU27 exporters to UK versus exporters from rWorld and has made UK economy overly reliant on London and services. The EC’s lethargic liberalization of services is the other part but as you can see from the trade data we’re pretty good at selling services to rWorld (even stuck in the EU!). Lots of upside there since rWorld services are far from liberalised!

    As you can see from the trade data the current EU deal is cr4p from UK’s perspective. BINO is important to consider as it will, IMHO, makes things worse. Our current modest success in EU service exports will diminish no matter what Brexit outcome but we’ll have nothing to offset that if we end up with BINO. I showed some illustrative numbers a while back.

    Leaving with a min.deal would allow us the opportunity to fix our current account. If we don’t fix it soon then we’ll need a large recession to fix it – the bubble we blew back up after the Great Recession popping for real next time!

    Obviously mostly IMHO but with trade data to back it up. Now your turn. How is BINO going to end well for UK in the medium term?

  50. @Croft

    “I get confused with my political name-calling here: I thought the Liberal bit WAS the Evil Empire. Is that not right anymore?”

    ——

    Yes, you are still struggling with it, Paul. Like when recently BFR and I were discussing different versions of Liberalism and you tried to characterise it as possibly some kind of attack on Liberalism, which once again it wasn’t.

    You’ve indicated before you struggle with the longer, more complex posts, “just words” as you put it, and you keep trying to boil things down to something simple, but while that can work sometimes, often it is lacking.

    In this case, things are a bit more complicated, for example the EU is criticised both for being too Liberal, AND also too Protectionist. Can’t boil down all the reasons why, though some of it is fears about the direction of travel. E.g. the recent TTIP talks etc.

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