Voting intention polls over the last fortnight have been showing the same pattern that we’ve become used to over the last four month: Conservative and Labour very close to each other in support, with the Tories averaging a very small lead.

Survation/GMB (20th June) – CON 41, LAB 38, LDEM 7
ICM/Guardian (24th June) – CON 41, LAB 40, LDEM 9
YouGov/Times (26th June) – CON 42, LAB 37, LDEM 9
Ipsos MORI (27th June) – CON 41, LAB 38, LDEM 9
YouGov/Times (4th July) – CON 41, LAB 40, LDEM 9
AVERAGE – CON 41, LAB 39, LDEM 9

There’s a fresh Survation poll in today’s Mail on Sunday, with fieldwork conducted wholly on Saturday, after the Chequers summit. Topline figures there are CON 38%(-3), LAB 40%(+2), LDEM 10%(+3). While Survation typically show Labour in a better polling position than other companies do, this is still the first Survation poll to show Labour ahead since March. On the other hand, it is well within the normal margin of error (Survation’s polls over the last four months have averaged at CON 41, LAB 40). I will leave it with my normal caveats about reading too much into polls after events – they have the same sample variation as any other poll, so don’t assume that any change is a result of the event, rather than just noise. Wait and see if other polls show a similar pattern of change.

In the meantime, is there anything polling can tell us about how the Brexit deal will impact public attitudes? Our starting point, as is so often the case, should be to recall how little attention most people pay towards the intricacies of the Brexit negoatiations. Most people are not glued to the ins- and outs- of it, don’t know or care about the specifics of court juristrictions and trade regulations. The Brexit deal will, in all likelihood, be judged upon broad brush preceptions. Do people think it is a good deal for Britain? Do people think it is a genuine Brexit?

On those two measures, the Survation poll gave people a brief summary of the deal and asked people if they approved – 33% did, 22% did not, 35% neither approved nor disapproved and 10% did not know. Balance of opinion amongst remainers and leavers was positive, though it went down better among Remainers (for Leave the break was 30% approve, 25% disapprove; for Remain the break was 39% approve, 25% disapprove). The response was less positive when they asked if it was faithful to the referendum result – 29% thought it was, 38% thought it was not, 34% said don’t know. Overall, 26% said it was the right deal, 42% that it was the wrong deal, 32% didn’t know.

That’s clearly a mixed response – the balance of public opinion approves of it, but doesn’t think it respects the result and doesn’t think it’s the right deal. And on all those measures an awful lot of people said don’t know. I expect that’s largely because people have been asked about something they weren’t paying much attention to and didn’t have much of an opinion on it yet (it cannot be easy to get a sample within a space of a few hours at the best of times. When England are playing a World Cup Quarter final at the same point…).

The question is how they will make that decision. For obvious reasons most people will not have spent their Saturday poring over the government press release from the Chequers summit, nor will they read the White Paper this week! It will depend how the papers react to it, how the broadcast media report it, how politicians people recognise like the party leaders, Boris Johnson, Nigel Farage and so on react to it.

The wise thing to do now is to wait and see if there is any lasting movement in the polls, or whether (in public opinion terms) this is just another one of those arguments about the fine details of Brexit that the public seem to be largely tuning out of.

(Note that – despite what it appears to show on my sidebar to the right – UKIP were NOT on zero percent in the latest Survation poll. The poll didn’t ask people who said they’ve vote “other” which other party they would vote for, so it’s impossible to tell UKIP support from the poll.)


396 Responses to “Latest Voting Intention and the Chequers Summit”

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  1. CHARLES

    ….er………..what ??

  2. Prof. Howard

    @”Prediction: May will come back from EU with a compromise deal that is close to Norway ”

    Well-if she does there will be a veritable queue of Tory MPs lining up to remind her that yesterday in HoC she specifically & in terms rejected the Norway model -explaining why she did so.

    Indeed any compromise with Barnier on the Chequers Plan will inevitably find her required to explain why she told Tory MPs in HoC yesterday that there would be none.

  3. The politicians are setting up nicely an argument that there is no form of Brexit which is acceptable.

    Therefore…..

    While it is argued this might lead to crashing out of the EU with the hardest of Brexits, no politicians would be forgiven for allowing that to happen. So it will not.

  4. Just wondering whether this Government’s record on resignations overall is unique? Just saw a picture in the Guardian which reminded me that seven Cabinet Ministers have resigned since the General Election a little over a year ago!

    These really are unprecedented political circumstances and I wonder if our democracy can survive them without significant constitutional reform.

  5. @Pete B – “Can anyone come up with another occasion when 2 cabinet ministers resigned more or less simultaneously?”

    Yesterday the BBC said it was the first time this had happened since 1979, but I’ve no idea who that could have been.

  6. @Alec @Pete B – “Can anyone come up with another occasion when 2 cabinet ministers resigned more or less simultaneously?”
    Yesterday the BBC said it was the first time this had happened since 1979, but I’ve no idea who that could have been.

    didn’t Fallon and Patel resign within a week of each other (for different reasons of course).

  7. @COLIN

    Holding a view is fine. If I said that not being able to have a functioning health care means that the said government does not function therefore the Tories as a government does not function you would laugh me out of court. You would argue that the Government can and does function it may not function particularly well in all it provisions but it does function and reasonably well I think you might add.

    However use the same view point on the EU and we become so blinded we use a different set of metrics to describe them.

    They are undemocratic, well OK that means my local council is undemocratic since the appointees the council makes are not voted on by myself indeed only a small number of councillors are directly voted by myself how is that different from the EU commission indeed we have the House of Lords as a perfect example of a fully appointed body which the commission is not (CoM choose and EP votes on it, we have two bites at the cherry our PM and our MEPs, compared to 1 bite )

    My point is that there are many thing wrong with the EU. for example a minimum of democratic accountability for each country is not enforced a minimum set of legal requirements are not enforced indeed they are not even part of being in the club. But then again the same is true of NATO where Turkey is a member. The issue of subsidiarity is another that is raised however considering we are the most centralised government system of the Northern European countries we can hardly say anything we made local government the whipping boy for cuts (some of a mainly Tory bent I might add which began with Thatcher)

    If you argue the EU is about to fall apart well hell you can argue that the UK is also going to fall apart. If I argued that I would rightly be called in to question just by analysing the facts and doing a simple comparison

    That said opinions are like 4rseholes everyone has one and everyone else’s stinks worse than yours. So I am happy to disagree but if I used your facts in relation to other countries/organisation including the UK one would argue we are equally as screwed would you not.

    my view is at many level you think the EU is a super state it is not, it is a set of independent countries that pool their sovereignty and have a common set of regulations pertaining to a single unified market it really is that simple. The Euro as an example was agreed to because countries wanted german rates of interest on their bonds. Look at Greece, Italy and the spreads before the euro and after the euro and you’ll find out that it was cheap money that drove the south to join. Now you could rightly argue that this was a mistake and I agree the market made a huge mistake in assessing risk and many of the player were dishonest (including Greece which reported a 3% deficit one month before reporting a 13% deficit the next sort of dishonest) hence the bond became worthless and the run on the countries banks started. Now has that broken the EU, in my view no indeed the countries that made adjustments are doing well do I believe it was austerity that did it? No it was huge amounts of investment that has been pouring into these countries and that investment being put to good use. So much of problems are basically due the the individual countries. You can point to Greece and I will point to Slovenia, Italy, well look at Sweden, in the same way I could argue look at london and compare it to cornwall and say UK is a disaster zone. it would never survive.

    So yes you can have a view but it has to make sense in the round and if you think the EU is falling apart then you could use the same arguments for the UK and I don’t for either but we can cherry pick to suite our view.

  8. Seems even more people wish to leave the EU (some survey according to the Mail).

    I think it’s best we leave and take the consequences.

  9. It will be interesting to see if there is a UKIP bounce in those polls which still ask about them.

  10. PTRP

    @”Holding a view is fine.”

    Very generous-thanks :-)

    @” a minimum of democratic accountability for each country is not enforced”

    Which of the member states aren’t representative democracies? ( a rhetorical question :-) )

    @”If you argue the EU is about to fall apart ”

    I don’t-I predict a long lingering death.

    @” if I used your facts in relation to other countries/organisation including the UK one would argue we are equally as screwed would you not.”

    Possibly-possibly not-but how does a piece of “whataboutery” address the issue of EU sustainability?

    @”my view is at many level you think the EU is a super state ”

    Not really-though there are proponents of that objective in EU.

    But I would simply say that this is an unwieldy organisation with too many layers of governance & a panoply of Regulation, Treaty etc presenting a veneer of “solidarity” & “co-operation” etc over a reality of clashing national interest & policy . The result is never ending summits & communiques about “agreements” which never materialise in actions.

    I see Member States increasingly operating unilaterally-or in groups of the “willing” , outside EU structures. I see France & Germany perpetually vying for supremacy in policy making . ( France in the ascendancy at present). I see increasing resentment at the self selected “Top Table” occupied by these two.

    I hear arrogance & anti-democratic sentiment every time Tusk or Juncker open their mouths.

    Anyway-I guess we can go on swapping opposing views about the EU-or just agree to disagree & save many column inches of UKPR Blog.

  11. Yougov table is out. UKIP up to 5% from 3% taking 7% of the 2017 Con vote. I think that is the highest they have polled with Yougov since just before the last election (they have polled 5 or 6% on a few occasions with other pollsters). Not surprising to see a rise in support for them, how much further will it go if it looks like a soft brexit is on the cards?

    Britain’s exit from the EU now has total well of 18 and total badly of 66, net = -48. For those following the right/wrong to leave it is wrong 42, right 46, so no obvious change there from recent polls.

    Con 39 (-2)
    Lab 39 (-1)
    Lib 9 (-)
    UKIP 5 (+2)

    https://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/71kfwwcl1a/TimesResults_18_07_09_VI_Trackers_w.pdf

  12. agh, got it the wrong way round, right to leave 42, wrong to leave 46!!

  13. YouGov tables are out:

    http://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/71kfwwcl1a/TimesResults_18_07_09_VI_Trackers_w.pdf

    It’s a statistic nonsense, but if you were wondering, UKIP went from 3 to 5%. Probably not surprisingly, the well/badly question on negotiations goes down a notch and on the ‘would/would not respect’ question, it’s the Leave voters that are driving the ‘would not’ percentage.

  14. Ahh Frosty got there first, sorry.

  15. @Colin

    Listerine is a mouthwash. Listeria is a bug that infects food. Lister was a surgeon associated with the development of antiseptics. I think Laszlo was asking if you wished to test the immune systems of the poor by giving them dodgy food, He accidentally suggested you might want to give them mouthwash.

    Like you, I often find it extraordinarily difficult to understand what Laszlo is saying. Generally I find that if I struggle with his posts I get some valuable insight. Whether or not this is the insight he meant me to get it is hard to say.

  16. COLIN @ PTRP

    It’s pretty obvious that you’re not the EU’s biggest fan, but do you really want Airbus and the car builders to leave the UK?

    If you do then fine for you but not so good for your fellow subjects.

    Given that the leave campaigners had no plan to deal even with the NI border, it is now pretty obvious that a sensible approach to leaving the EU would need some years [2 to 5?] to plan at a minimum.

    Had the leavers been given a full 5 year parliament to prepare a plan which could be signed off by said parliament, then invoking A50 might have made sense.

    As it stands, EEA+CU or full remain beckons.

  17. Alec

    “Yesterday the BBC said it was the first time this had happened since 1979, but I’ve no idea who that could have been.”

    Yes, I heard that too and as I couldn’t remember this I looked up both the Callaghan and the Thatcher cabinets of 1979 and couldn’t find two “simultaneous” resignations in either.

  18. @ Frosty and Yougov tabs

    You mean Right to leave 42%, Wrong 46%, not the other way round.

    Correct that it agrees with the reversal of opinion towards Brexit that appeared in YouGov and other polls late last year

  19. @Colin

    “Turk:-
    Me & my farmer friends have supplied fresh food to local food banks.

    You-
    My wife says her food bank don’t do this so it must be a nation wide policy not to-so I don’t believe you Turk.

    I’m delighted that “Wurzlegate” still has legs, and as early as 6.00am this morning too! Good grief.”

    For what it’s worth, my original response to Turk’s claims that he and his fellow farmers were supplying fresh food to food banks was that I was “intrigued” by what he had to say because of what I’d recently learned from my wife. I didn’t dispute his claims, or accuse him of lying, I merely questioned them in the light of the policy Mrs H had mentioned to me. To be honest, I was surprised by what she told me at first hearing, but at no time did I claim it was a nationwide policy, although Norbold did confirm that it was widely applied for what, on reflection, appear to be very sensible and understandable reasons.

    My sarcastic tone to Turk was in response to his post in which he labelled Norbold and I as “morons”. Seemed appropriate to reply a little in kind, I thought.

    Looking at the latest YouGov poll, I look forward to Andrew Neil on Thursday night’s programme asking his Tory guest(s) what on earth has happened to cause the Tories to lose a 5% lead “in the polls” in just five days. This is meltdown country, isn’t it??

    :-)

  20. @Colin – “I see Member States increasingly operating unilaterally-or in groups of the “willing” , outside EU structures.”

    I suspect this may be an example of how the EU just can’t win with some people. Yesterday you were talking about national defence initiatives, which I assume this refers to.

    We hear constant and contradictory complaints from Brexiters about how the EU isn’t pulling it’s weight in defence terms, leaving the US to ‘fund’ NATO, while simultaneously complaining about the development of an ‘EU army’ and ‘conscription from Brussels’ (not you, but this has been claimed as a future possibility here on UKPR) and complaints that EU defence developments will undercut NATO.

    Yet when sovereign European nation states elect to cooperate on defence matters outwith the EU to strengthen NATO, suddenly it’s a failure of the EU?

    I don’t get it.

  21. Frosty
    Sorry, I post the comment and then look upthread and you already corrected it!

  22. CHARLES

    Why would fresh food be necessarily “Dodgy”?

  23. Mays lead in best prime minister in this poll is also the lowest it has been for quite a while (I think since feburary) with May on 34 and corbyn on 27. This has been dropping sharply the last few you gov polls so it’s interesting to see. When looking at mays score of 34%, instead of looking at her lead this is actually her lowest level of support in this question since the start of December when you gov recorded May on 34% and Corbyn on 30%. Just like anything that we look at on her it may just be noise but it certainly had been trending this way for the last few polls and it would seem to make sense with the chaos she is facing down at the minute. I know people don’t really pay attention to all that’s goes on in Westminster but big names like Boris can cut through I feel which would in turn bring further attention to Davis resignation aswell. Would be interesting to see a question on wether or not people care about or noticed the events of the last few days.

  24. BZ

    @”do you really want Airbus and the car builders to leave the UK?”

    No

  25. ALEC

    @”Yet when sovereign European nation states elect to cooperate on defence matters outwith the EU to strengthen NATO, suddenly it’s a failure of the EU?

    I don’t get it.”

    Probably because you cannot distinguish between “EU” and European Countries.

    If you read up on it you will see that the EII ( a Bi-lateral co-operation) is a direct response to the problems of agreement & strategy within PESCO ( a EU organisation )

  26. @norbold

    If I remember correctly, Christopher Soames and Mark Carlisle both resigned at Thatcher’s request in her major reshuffle in 1981 (although I don’t know whether resigning at the request of the PM really counts as a resignation!) so that would be after 1979.

  27. CB

    “My sarcastic tone to Turk was in response to his post in which he labelled Norbold and I as “morons”. ”

    Indeed. I actually decided not to grace that comment with a response at all as it is an age-old adage that once people have to resort to the kind of language they have clearly lost the argument and no more needs to be said.

    However, I can fully understand why you made the comment you did. :)

  28. An idle thought, I accept, but as I reflect on this appalling Brexit mess, I wonder if there isn’t some cognitive dissonance going on, particularly on the part of some of the recent Brexiteer converts, many of whom might well have once been overt Remainers or lukewarm and indifferent to our EU membership (like most of the public were before Cameron’s fateful decision to put it to a national plebiscite.)

    The dissonance is caused primarily by tribal party loyalty and it goes a little like this. My default position is, essentially, “my party right or wrong”. We are where we are and my Party/Government is now taking us out of the EU on the back of the referendum decision. I will and must support them even though I have doubts and misgivings but May is my dog in the much bigger fight of stopping Corbyn ever becoming PM, so I’m sticking with it. This will cause me from time to time to adopt completely contradictory positions from my earlier ones but my party loyalty and fear/loathing of Corbyn/Labour means that the priority is to go with my Party and my Government. That is the be all and end all. Blue is the colour and all that. I would and could easily slip into trhe Remain argument if that’s what my Party was advocating. This means that I will big up EU failings, even if I don’t really believe they are that serious, and rally behind whatever Brexit policy my Government develops. All this comes under the category of “Tory Governments do good things and therefore Brexit must be a good thing too, per se. Good things are what Tory Governments do. If a Labour Government was doing this, it would be a national disaster though.”

    I suspect this is essentially the game being played by a number of Tory MPs, commentators, members and voters. Secretly fearing where all this is taking us but sticking with it because it’s a Tory Government doing it. I’m getting the sense that this is what’s going on here as we head for the rocks.

    Party before country, essentially

  29. Obviously Anthony was too busy organising polls to have time to comment on the Conservative Members one, but it does mean we actually have a YouGov poll out promptly for first time in months. Fieldwork was Sun to Mon, so would have been after Davis’ resignation but before Boris’s for nearly all of the participants.

    The most important thing to remember is a question that appears in the handful at the end about the Chequers meeting:

    On Friday Theresa May’s cabinet met at Chequers to agree the sort of post-Brexit deal Britain would try to negotiate with the European Union. How closely are you following this story?

    Very closely 10%

    Fairly closely 28%

    Not very closely 29%

    I am aware of the stories but am not following them 21%

    I am not aware of the stories 12%

    Which explains why the levels of DK in the subsequent responses ranged from 44% to 53%. It’s interesting to speculate how many more people would have been eager to give an opinion if they hadn’t been reminded first of how little they knew about it and it shows how instant response polls like Survation’s should be treated with a lot of caution.

  30. @Colin – thanks for that clarification, which I do understand. However, it doesn’t really answer the central point of my post.

    I hesitate to paraphrase someone else’s views, but there really does seem to be a contradiction running through many of your posts on the EU. In this, you are not alone – many critics of the EU share a similar twin track train of thought.

    The central question I was putting to you is whether you wish to see a tightly bound EU that has strong, centrally agreed policy directs it’s members to engage in such collaborations as you highlight without member states being allowed to diverge, or whether you support a looser union, where member states are free to enter into their own arrangements outside the EU.

    At the moment you appear to be critiquing the EU for both failing to be centrally directed alongside allowing independent actions by it’s member states.

  31. Struggling with the double cabinet resignation as well.

    Mandelson and Robinson both resigned together, and Carrington and Luce did over the Falklands, but the latter in each case was sub-cabinet. That’s the best I can offer.

  32. Charles,

    Actually originally Listerine was a floor cleaner!

    I think it was on QI that they were trying to find new markets and came up with the idea as it was an effective antiseptic and to be fair it does a particularly good job with mouth infections that can cause bad breath.

    If I recall rightly as part of the marketing they actually invented the term “halitosis” creating a medical sounding name for bad breath although bad breath can be a true medical condition.

    Peter.

    “did a quick check Listerine was invented around 1890 but halitosis coined in about 1920!”

  33. @PeterW

    “Struggling with the double cabinet resignation as well.”

    Heseltine and Brittan both resigned from Thatcher’s cabinet in 1986 over the Westland furore when a Somerset helicopter company was threatened with closure. Not sure if they went on the same day, but they both fell on their swords over the same issue.

    Thatcher, of course, and as we all know, survived.

    Here’s a link to an article on the affair

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/margaret-thatcher-approved-leak-that-forced-michael-heseltine-and-leon-brittan-to-resign-a6680971.html

    A footnote to this that interested me was the reference in the article to Leon Brittan “whose position in government was already badly weakened by the anti-Semitism then prevalent in the Tory party.”

    Crikey.

  34. @Colin to Crossbat11

    Does “snide mode” make you feel better?
    ———————————————–

    That’s a bit rich. coming from you, Colin.

  35. I think the polls are concentrating the minds of Conservative MP’s, May will have a lot more flexibility on a softer Brexit than otherwise.
    Even triggering a leadership election may cause repercussions that they cannot foresee

  36. Does anybody else feel slightly sad to live in a country where somewhere between 2 and 12% of people at any one time feel that leaving the EU is the most important matter of all, and hence vote UKIP?

    I expect they wake-up hating the EU, go to sleep hating the EU. Maybe they get ill, have children, who then go to school – but education and health are not important considerations. Leaving the EU trumps everything. Weird.

  37. COLIN

    Thanks for the response. Glad to see you’re not totally blinkered re brexit.

    LEWBLEW

    The 2 to 12% range for UKIP is the only positive for the ramshackle plurality voting system.

  38. LEWBLEW,

    “Leaving the EU trumps everything. Weird.”

    No really!

    We know from the likes of Mori and ICM that over the long term things like Health and education are top for about a third and in the top three for more than half.

    There are however other things like housing or the environment that often get over 10% consistently.

    So the idea that for certain groups one of the second their issues like the environment is there top priority isn’t really strange at all.

    It’s not the nations top priority or even a top ranked priority for most, but it’s important for a core group.

    Peter.

  39. Heseltine and Brittan went within 3 weeks of each other in 1986, but not on the same day.

    In May 1973 Earl Jellicoe, Leader of the HoL, and Lord Lambton, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence (RAF), resigned within 24 hours of each other over a prostitution scandal, but not on the same day.

    Can’t find anything else similar post-war.

  40. Plenty to chew over in the latest British Social Attitudes survey:

    http://bsa.natcen.ac.uk/media-centre/latest-press-releases/a-greatly-divided-and-united-britain-british-social-attitudes.aspx

    For instance:

    * Brexit has deepened age and education divides in views of Britain’s membership of the EU. 49% of people aged 55 or over and 54% of those with no formal qualifications want to leave the EU, compared with 23% of those aged 18 to 34 and 19% of graduates.

    * 93% of Brits believe that the world’s climate is definitely or probably changing. However, 25% of people are very or extremely worried about climate change. 45% are only somewhat worried, and 28% are either not very or at all worried about it.

    31% of 18 to 34 year olds are very or extremely worried about climate change compared with 19% of over 65s. 35% of graduates are very or extremely worried about climate change compared with 20% of those with no qualifications.

    * Despite our divides we are more trusting of each other. 54% of Brits believe that people can be trusted, the highest level since 1998 which stood at 47%. People with degrees (64%) and in managerial or professional social classes (63%) are more likely than those with few or any formal qualifications (42%), or in routine or manual jobs (41%), to say that on the whole they think other people can be trusted. The research also finds that higher social trust is associated with having a larger social network.

  41. CB11

    If your 11.13 am was addressed to me -in your usual oh so subtle way?

    Let me tell you that :-
    * I don’t belong to a Political Party & never have.
    * I have not always voted Tory.
    * I have been a deep & increasingly convinced EU sceptic long long before Cameron bet the House on his Referendum.

  42. @LEWBLEW

    While some of their vote might fit that description, ukip had a wider appeal on a number of other populist issues, e.g. overall immigration and they managed to tap into the general view some had that the main parties weren’t listening to them and that people weren’t in control of their own lives. In many respects the EU was simply a thing to blame stuff on, encouraged by both significant parts of the media and HMG itself when it was convenient.

    @BARBAZENZERO

    “The 2 to 12% range for UKIP is the only positive for the ramshackle plurality voting system.”

    Is it? I’d say it’s one of it’s biggest negatives. One of the reasons UKIP managed to flourish in the first place was because the main parties could neglect huge swathes of the country in favour of a few score swing seats and the wavering voters within them. If we’d had a more proportional system since say 2002 (i.e. blair had actually delivered on his promise re jenkins commission) the concerns of these people would have been heard far earlier and we’d probably not even be in the current mess.

  43. ALEC

    @”The central question I was putting to you is whether you wish to see a tightly bound EU that has strong, centrally agreed policy directs it’s members to engage in such collaborations as you highlight without member states being allowed to diverge, or whether you support a looser union, where member states are free to enter into their own arrangements outside the EU.”

    A fair-and interesting-question.

    I will use your terminology in order to attempt a clear response, but with the caveat that I don’t necessarily accept your exact characterisations.

    ” a tightly bound EU that has strong, centrally agreed policy directs it’s members to engage…. without member states being allowed to diverge, ” is the only model, imo, which will sustain the EU’s chosen architecture. A Common Union Currency, a Union Central Bank, and a Union Monetary Policy cannot function effectively alongside Fiscal Sovereignty of Member States. The Merkelite sticking plasters of Convergence Rules observed in the breaking more than in the compliance merely emphasise the fact that the current set up is incomplete & flawed.
    You cannot, imo “make” all these economies “Converge” on a common per capita GDP simply by Dictat of The Commission & more & more centrally directed Commission Funding. ( I will not dwell on the EU Auditors, or the self recognised paucity of evidence for efficacy of Regional spending)

    ” a looser union, where member states are free to enter into their own arrangements outside the EU.” , is my preferred model-for UK.. But it does not gel with the current architecture & there is no sign that it is a preferred model in Brussels.

    So I think that the EU will see more unilateral attempts to follow the the second model on particular issues of import to Member States, whilst it fails to implement the appropriate model-the first one-because the the voters in member states will not back it. If the Commission thought they would they would do it..

    “We all know what to do, we just don’t know how to get re-elected after we’ve done it.”

    JC Juncker
    2007

  44. Al Jazeera reporting all are out in Thailand.

    Please God it is true.

    Huge admiration for the whole team which achieved this incredible rescue & not a little pride in the British Cave Divers who had a lead role in the Plan & its execution.

  45. @COLIN

    Here is some blurb on PESCO as I have worked on a project associated with it my view of it differs to that of yours so I went back to check

    https://eeas.europa.eu/headquarters/headquarters-Homepage/34226/permanent-structured-cooperation-pesco-factsheet_en

    As I see it, it give the ability for each country to opt out of provisions it doe not want to opt into so indeed each country operates as needs and can form bilateral agreements. The same argument ca be used for NATO as you have said Poland have independently decided to pay for a US base again does that mean that NATO is falling apart.

    AS to the which country isn’t a representative democracy part of a representative democracy is the independence of the judiciary so again looking at some countries I think it is clear that there is something lacking in some countries both in NATO and in the EU

  46. PTRP

    Re your last para-there is only one way to get them all to behave just as you ( or whoever thinks they are entitled to decide) dictate-scrap all their Parliaments & make the EP the only representative forum for EU voters.

  47. CROSSBAT11

    […] I wonder if there isn’t some cognitive dissonance going on, particularly on the part of some of the recent Brexiteer converts, many of whom might well have once been overt Remainers or lukewarm and indifferent to our EU membership (like most of the public were before Cameron’s fateful decision to put it to a national plebiscite.)

    The dissonance is caused primarily by tribal party loyalty

    I think that is true, and clearly some of these conversions are opportunistic, particularly among professional politicians. But rather than caused by a fear of Corbyn (who the same people tend to believe is ‘secretly’ a Leaver anyway) the mechanism for many will be different.

    Those of us on UKPR know that the real responsibility for Brexit lies not with Farage or the Russians or the internet or red buses with slogans, but with Anthony.

    There was the YouGov tracker question Imagine the British government under David Cameron renegotiated our relationship with Europe and said that Britain’s interests were now protected, and David Cameron recommended that Britain remain a member of the European Union on the new terms.
    How would you then vote in a referendum on the issue?
    :

    https://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/vg5e4epeuz/YG-Trackers-Europe-Referendum-080625.pdf#page=13

    which ran regularly from 2013 to 2015. This showed that the standard EU Referendum question that showed an effective tie over most of that period could be converted into a 20-30 point lead with the reassurances of the PM. Looking at the details of the polls showed that this was due to Conservative voters changing their minds on the hypothetical reassurance of their leader. Naturally this appealed to the vanity of “that t*** Cameron” and made him feel he could both promise a referendum and once he said the word, the peasants would all behave on command.

    It didn’t quite work out like that. The antipathy to the EU cultivated by Press for many decades meant that no definite reassurances would ever prevail against vague emotional visions that could promise anything and undefined fears. But it doesn’t mean that Cameron’s avocation had no effect at all.

    Some Conservative voters, who might normally have been inclined to Leave, did indeed vote Remain, but have since reverted to their natural inclinations. I suspect Turk on here might be an example and it is shown quite dramatically in the Tory members polling:

    https://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/sfiq16wfpm/ConservativeMemberResults_180709_w.pdf#page16

    where 97% of Leave voters are still convinced it was right to leave. Of those who voted Remain however[1] 29% now think that Leave was right, a much bigger percentage than we see in polls of normal voters, but a lesser movement might be seen among Conservative non-members.

    Rather than being essentially Remainers who have switched out of loyalty or self-interest, these seem to be more soft Leavers who have reverted to type and are now supported by the changed Party policy. The roughly equivalent number of voters who have moved from Leave to Remain[2] probably don’t have corresponding motivations, but are convinced by other reasons, mainly in the last year as the implications of leaving the EU became clearer.

    [1] 28% of the weighted sample (another 4% did not vote). YouGov have adjusted the weighting slightly to increase Remainers, based on previous surveys, but I wonder if this is wise, both because of Remainers resigning, but more significantly because of hard-line Leavers (such as TOH) joining to ensure that Brexit takes place. It doesn’t make that much difference however and about 20% of Tory members still support the EU.

    [2] The switch from a small Leave to a small Remain lead in the headline figures of polls is mainly caused by 2016 non-voters predominantly choosing Remain.

  48. PTRP

    ” Finally, Paris fears that the current EU defense announcements will once again be all talk and no action.

    France is therefore seeking solutions outside the EU framework. European defense has to deliver on capabilities and operations, not on institutional aesthetics, and it needs to do so quickly.In short, the EII is the opposite of PESCO. It is flexible, linked to operational readiness, and exclusive, as it is supposed to be comprised only of states that are truly interested in defense.
    It takes place outside EU thus seeking to circumvent their slow and cumbersome processes and the miniscule contribution of some members that are symbolically valuable, but of little military use. It also has a flexible and voluntary opt-in format, where states gather around a bigger and experienced backbone state like France and plug in their contributions, allowing all of them to increase their power. Natural partners would include EU countries, like Spain, but also non-EU NATO countries, such as Norway.”

    Carnegie Europe.

  49. @Colin – thanks for the response. It’s a good one.

    In terms of the single currency, yes, I can agree with you – but here I’m going to shout ‘Quibble!’ – the Euro isn’t the same as the EU.

    You started this chain of posts be referring to PESCO and defence issues, but then moved onto the economic demands of the single currency. In some ways, this might bring us to the lesson of this exchange – there are some areas where central control is required, and others where divergence is healthy.

    I suspect we might agree that the central problem facing the EU is precisely that of deciding which areas require which approach.

  50. PTRP

    It comes back to that old chestnut it seems-Germany & their attitude to Defence.

    https://www.ecfr.eu/article/commentary_pesco_the_impotent_gorilla

    add in the pervading legacy of Ostpolitik & you have a happy Putin.

    https://www.politico.eu/article/germany-russia-gas-nord-stream-2-foreign-policy/

    All it needs now is for Trump to tell the EU-pay more for NATO -or we pay less .

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