Just to catch up on the post-budget YouGov polling from yesterday’s Times, carried out on Monday evening and Tuesday morning.

At the simplest level, the budget appears to have polled well. All the measures within met with approval and overall people thought it was a fair budget (44% fair, 14% unfair). Compared to other recent budgets, that’s a very positive score. However, in all fairness that’s what one should expect – it was very much a giveaway budget, with the Chancellor making several large spending announcements and very little in the way of tax increases. Even those tax increases that were announced – mostly notably the plastics tax and tax on internet companies – were ones that were largely popular. It’s hardly surprising that sort of budget gets net positive ratings – increases to NHS funding, the personal allowance and the National Living Wage are always likely to go down well.

A positively received budget does not, however, necessarily translate into a boost in the polls. The voting intention figures in the poll are CON 41%(nc), LAB 39%(+3), LDEM 7%(-1), UKIP 5%(+1). The three point increase in Labour support doesn’t necessarily mean anything – it’s within the normal margin of error – but it certainly doesn’t point towards a budget boost for the Tories.

The poll also asked about the wider perceptions around the “end of austerity”, and here the figures are far less rosy for the Conservatives. Looking back, by 36% to 29% people think that the austerity polices followed after the 2010 election were necessary, though by 36% to 30% they now think they didn’t help the economy and by 43% to 20% they think they were unfair.

58% of people now think it is right to end austerity (27% who think it was wrong to begin with, 31% who thought it was right at the time, but it is now time to end it). Unfortunately for the government, while people may be in agreement with their stated policy, they don’t actually believe they are doing it – only 10% think the government have ended austerity policies, 50% think they have not.

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2,159 Responses to “YouGov post-budget poll”

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  1. JiB

    It should be obvious that the EU works for the interests of its member states (whether they are “nation states” like Portugal, or multi-national states like Spain, Italy, or the UK).

    That you don’t even understand such basics suggests that your observations on the EU lack that essential value of comprehension.

    Incidentally, the thuggery in Catalonia was perpetrated by the Spanish National Police and Civil Guard.

    You can read Amnesty International’s summary here

    https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2017/10/spain-excessive-use-of-force-by-national-police-and-civil-guard-in-catalonia/

  2. Colin,

    The issue with the backstop is that it comes into force automatically at the end of the transition period, and cannot be terminated without agreement of both sides.

    Since the provisions to extend the transition period are limited, and also require agreement of both sides to implement, it follows that if full agreement is not reached within the transition period, the entire UK is then locked into an indefinite Customs Union over whose rules it has no say and which it cannot unilaterally leave.

    That is a stumbling block.

    If all parties are sure that an FTA will be agreed within the transition period, or within a brief extension thereof, why is a backstop even needed, why is it not time limited, and why does it not permit unilateral withdrawal?

    This is the crux of the problem. It can be solved easily by either:
    a – putting in a time limit;
    b – allowing unilateral withdrawal (subject to a reasonable notice period); or
    c – simply including a declaration that, in the event of no FTA being agreed, both parties undertake to refrain from erecting any physical checks at the border itself.

    My preference would be for C. The effort and convoluted mechanisms described in the Irish protocol suggest to me that the EU do expect the backstop to apply, and that will offer the EU the means to ensure that Brexit does not provide the UK the freedom to reap the benefits of free trade with third parties.

  3. @OLDNAT

    I understand the thuggery was perpetrated by a right wing Spanish Government, but the EU did sweet fa to intervene.
    Clearly we won’t agree on this, as you seem to think that continuing EU membership and Scottish independence are compatible.
    As I said, I support a Federal UK outside the EU. Not sure if that qualifies me as A British Nationalist!

  4. @Oldnat,

    Thanks, I was wondering about that.

    What occurred to me is that it might generate a cottage industry for Northern Ireland, with people either moving to, or having their children in, Northern Ireland in order to generate EU movement freedoms (depending on how exactly the right was calculated).

    I also wonder how the UK government would treat EU citizens who had been long-term residents of Northern Ireland – i.e. would it create a sort of backdoor to Freedom of Movement, via moving to Northern Ireland and then becoming settled there (in the UK) before moving across the Irish sea. It’s not really a practical concern – I don’t think people would really bother. More of an idle curiosity.

  5. JiB

    Indeed we won’t agree!

    You want a very small political union in which (even if federalised), one polity has such numerical dominance that smaller polities can be ignored by the dominant entity.

    I want the same polities that are in the current UK to be part of a wider political union with a former member of the UK, and 26 (preferably more) others.

    In that union, Larger states (like England) will have more of a significant voice. That’s fine. It’s how the world works.

    But a union in which one polity overwhelmingly dominates the others isn’t much of a “union”.

    Again we come back to the Fintan O’Toole analysis.

    There’s a perfectly respectable political stance in small polities, neighboured by a very dominant one, of being submissive to it, in fear of being destroyed by it. At some points in history it can be a sensible strategy.

    When alternative structures exist, it would seem unwise for such small polities just to cling to past arrangements.

  6. @Paul H-J,

    I think it’s slightly academic. No government can bind its successors. A future UK government could always repudiate the agreement, however tightly worded it is legally. They would however, have to suffer the consequences. There’s no such thing as an agreement that one sovereign government can’t “get out of” without the permission of another.

    I think some of the Brexiteers are dancing on the head of a pin really. Or the EU are. I don’t really care. A Customs partnership is fine with me.

    All eyes on the parliamentary Labour party really. Will they vote (effectively) for No Deal in order to inflict a wound on the PM? Probably. They certainly say they will. But there must be a few with their hearts in their mouths.

  7. Neil A

    “it might generate a cottage industry for Northern Ireland, with people either moving to, or having their children in, Northern Ireland in order to generate EU movement freedoms”.

    That would certainly provide a counterbalance to the current “cottage industry” in GB (and soon in RoI) of providing abortions for women in NI, denied that facility by their archaic politicians!

  8. ON
    “Not only is trade a zero-sum game, but so are power and influence”

    That just isn’t true about trade. When I ran my own business, some deals were good, some were bad, and in some I got cheated, but some of the good deals were great. I was paid well for my efforts, and the client gained by being more efficient (I was a software developer mainly for small businesses), and potentially their customers benefitted by my client being more competitive. Win-win-win. That actually gave me more satisfaction than being paid more money for jobs that didn’t use my expertise properly when working as a contractor.
    —————————

    Al Urqa (8:24)
    What is so terrible about leaving the EU with a minimal deal? Obviously we will still co-operate on stuff like security information. It’s not as though we will suddenly stop trading with the EU altogether. There might be a bit more delay at the ports, and there might be a few extra tariffs, and some businesses might need to review their supply chains. So what?
    We will be able to import stuff more cheaply from the rest of the world, therefore moving more traffic to Bristol and Liverpool for instance and reducing traffic via Dover etc , and any business that needs to that hasn’t been planning for this in the last two years deserves to go bust.
    ———————–
    Laszlo (8:52)
    No, sorry, it still doesn’t mean anything.
    ——————-
    NearlyFrench
    “There is nothing good about no deal.”

    We will gain control of out borders, economic policy, be free of the ECJ and crucially be able to negotiate our own trade agreements with the rest of the world.
    —————————
    SAM (9:25)
    I skim-read that Guardian report that you linked to and have rarely seen such a load of garbage. Of course there is a small minority of people who are hard-up.
    I was myself for many years. I didn’t buy a car until I was over 40 for instance (though I had paid off my mortgage). If people got into the habit of saving even a small amount of money a week, and stopped buying the latest smartphones and eating out, drinking so much, smoking, taking drugs etc most of them would be ok. We should be concerned about the poor treatment of army veterans rather that career scroungers.
    —————————————
    JonesIn Bangor
    “I am confident of one thing, and that is that if there is a no deal Brexit, the UK will crawl to Brussels for a deal within 6-12 months.”

    If they do, whoever is in power will lose the next election for certain.
    ———————
    Colin
    “Both May AND ( !) Barnier have stated , in terms, that their intention is never to use it- [the backstop]”

    And you believe them? Even if they’re still relevant by then?
    —————————–
    David Colby
    “On fishing the withdrawal agreement says only that “the EU would apply tariffs on fish until a separate agreement was struck on access to EU fishing in UK waters”.”

    Fine, we’ll eat our own fish.
    ——————————–
    Paul H-J (12:24)

    Agree with every word.

  9. Colin,
    [email protected]”I struggle a bit with why the backstop has become so controversial.”
    Me too.”

    Why? The DUP have as crazy an approach to brexit as everyone else. On the one hand their aim in life is a hard irish border clearly defining the north, but on the other hand they know this would likely increase demands for formal reunification, which they are trying to prevent. They have been riding the tiger and been used as an excuse for a deal which commits the UK to deeper EU integration than the tories had promised in their election manifesto. In itself thats quite controversial.

    However the tories will know that had there been no irish problem, some of its own factions (the majority) would have been arguing for deeper integration anyway.

    The backstop means the UK intends to stay deely integrated into the EU. It is controversial because this is the implication, but the government has used the fact there is no final deal to imply there are still options. There are more options, but the deal allows the UK to end up in exactly the same degree of integration with the EU as now, potentially (probably) paying even more for this than it would have done had it never left.

    Forget Norway, this deal is a first step to the creation of full non voting associate membership. And the tories support that. Very controversial?

    Alec,
    “yes, I’ve been wondering quite how Labour will make an excuse to vote down the deal, as the deal + future framework is pretty much everything they seem to be asking for.”

    Maybe the yougov poll, saying 67% of their voters think this is not a good deal, 7% it is good? The deal does not commit the UK to everything they say must be included. It optionally allows for more than they have demanded, but its only an option. But in other respects it is patently a bad deal and worse than full membership because of the sovereignty losses from leaving the EU council and parliament.

    It occurs to me that while MPs still walk around mumbling ‘respect the referendum’, actually both sides are proposing outcomes which fail to respect the referendum in any sensible way. Any deal where we technically leave carries out the referendum decision. However neither side is willing to leave the EU markets whose membership constrains the actions of the Uk government, while both are willing to give up political control of the EU, which is an enormous loss of Uk sovereignty.

    This is a policy both sides have agreed upon, that the UK CANNOT afford to leave the EU trading system. Whatever happens, either side would negotiate terms for EU market access. WHATEVER HAPPENS.

    This is kind of why I have argued the tories have been resisting Brexit at every opportunity. They know it absolutely makes no sense and the mandated process acts precisely against the stated aim.

    Jim Jam,
    “working with Labour for a peoples vote is a U turn too far even for the Lady that is for Turning.”

    Well thats the question jim jam. I have argued that the tories have resisted brexit at every opportunity. They want to be defeated by parliament, which then imposes remain against their publicly displayed will. The question is how deeply runs their desire to remain. The last recourse would be to stop Brexit themselves, and you can see how they have set the stage so that through rebelion they have lost control of parliament. They do not have the numbers to impose remain against the wishes of labour, but they might go so far as to do so in partnership.

    yes, I think they might agree to cancel brexit without even a referendum if that is how the cards fall. Some face saving excuse could be found, like their deal was defeated so they cannot proceed on the timescale.

  10. Laszlo

    Thank you-thats great.

  11. Jim Jam

    The Government/EU proposal will result in a “formal” Customs Union for Goods.

    Labours position isn’t “flimsy”. It is transparent political expediency which will be all too apparent in December if the country faces a chaotic exit from the EU next March.

    Starmer & Rees Mogg will be equally culpable.

  12. pete B,
    ” I was paid well for my efforts, and the client gained by being more efficient”

    Ok, but you didnt show this is not a zero sum game. Everyone benefitted more than had there been no deal, but its wasnt really a choice between you making the deal or no one making the deal, but between you doing it and Mr Zhang from China doing it.

    “We will be able to import stuff more cheaply from the rest of the world,”
    Yes we will. That is why companies currently manufacturing in the Uk will go broke or have to cut their wages to staff so as to compete. Mr Zhang will have better terms to take away your business.

    The EU tariff walls protect our high wage economy. They do not harm the Uk economy, they assist it. The size of the EU allows it to dictate advantageous terms to trading partners.

    Jonesinbangor,
    “The rest of the Euro EU need deep fiscal and political union (full Federalisation), the UK clearly doesn’t want that.”

    As an EU member the EU cannot force us to accept deeper fiscal or political union. Never. As a non member it can and would compel us to agree to rules bringing the Uk into line with the EU, in whatever way the EU chooses to change in the future.

    Brexit means the UK losing sovereign control over such matters. That is why some diehard europeans are so pleased about it. All this talk about vassal status misses the point that Brexit means giving up the power to prevent that happening. Why do you think de Gaul never allowed us to join? You get on the bus, or you stand in front of it as it drives off.

  13. PAUL H-J

    @”. The effort and convoluted mechanisms described in the Irish protocol suggest to me that the EU do expect the backstop to apply, and that will offer the EU the means to ensure that Brexit does not provide the UK the freedom to reap the benefits of free trade with third parties.”

    Thanks.

    This is at the crux of the ERG fears.

    What can one say?

    That Barnier himself has said he believes a deep FTA/Customs Area on Goods can be achieved in the time because of UK’s unique starting position ?

    That EU spokespersons have stated that the Backstop is “sub-optimal” for them?

    This is how RTE describes the EU movement on a NI only backstop:-

    https://www.rte.ie/news/analysis-and-comment/2018/1117/1011485-brexit/

    I guess it all depends on whether you believe that the EU is trying to hoodwink UK into a permanent CU -or not.

    Given the sentiments at the very heart of the UK Brexit vote, if that is in fact their strategy , it might seem to be a particularly stupid one.

  14. Colin,
    “I guess it all depends on whether you believe that the EU is trying to hoodwink UK into a permanent CU -or not. ”

    Its pretty clear that it is Teresa May – supported by the majority of her party- who is trying to do that. The EU has always said what it wants, which is full UK membership. The closer to this, the better.

    It is the Uk government which is keeping the outcome of negotiations open ended rather than fully defined. The whole thing could have been settled in the WA. May has agreed to a future minium level of association with the EU by customs union, which is the minimum stating point from which closer association will be agreed.

    The fundamental problem here is obvious. Neither tory nor labour want to leave the EU trading arrangements. It would have been perfectly easy to do this if that was their intention. Instead the conservatives have backed May on a tortuous route aimed ay maximising our closeness to the EU.

    ” It is transparent political expediency which will be all too apparent in December if the country faces a chaotic exit from the EU next March.”

    Labour would be to blame when conservatives are in power, had or still have a parliamentary majority, form the government and have conducted all the negotiations?

  15. DANNY

    @”Its pretty clear that it is Teresa May – supported by the majority of her party- who is trying to do that.”

    I disagree.

  16. @Paul H J – “The issue with the backstop is that it comes into force automatically at the end of the transition period, and cannot be terminated without agreement of both sides.”

    I’m afraid your analysis has completely missed the point. I’ll lay the agreement out in a slightly different way to try and explain.

    – The EU has granted the UK numerous substantial concessions compared to a normal third country
    – In return, the UK has agreed to numerous concessions to the EU in exchange for these benefits. One of these is the NI backstop.
    – The agreement states that the UK cannot unilaterally leave the backstop, as to do so would be to breach the terms of the agreement.
    – The UK can ditch the entire agreement at any time, under international law, and walk away from the backstop.
    – What the UK cannot do is walk away from the backstop and retain all the advantages in the rest of the agreement.

    This is your and many other Brexiters fundamental misunderstanding.

  17. The Times reports that “tough negotiations” begin this weekend to extend the Political Framework first draft to “20 + pages”.

    A “senior EU diplomat” is quoted as saying EU leaders will say on 25 November that the Brexit deal is “take it or leave it”-there is nothing else.

    This relates to the WA.

    The PF will be expanded to try & support a perception that the Irish backstop will never be necessary.

    Meanwhile Brussels has its own difficulties with the WA. Times reports Italy, Denmark, Netherlands & Germany amongst others have complained to Barnier that various aspects of the drafty are too advantageous to UK.

  18. OLDNAT

    @Have you looked at the Protocol on Northern Ireland – which is where you’ll find the exemptions from the provisions for GB?”

    Yes.

    Movement is an exemption I suppose but it existed before the EU came into being.

    I think it lays out red lines which mustn’t be broken between the north and the south and limits any future U.K. EU deal to respecting these lines. Fishing was pushed into the future which is why I predict trouble on Tuesday, but I’m struggling to see where the protocol disadvantages Scotland.
    I can see why brexiteers are upset, but Labour, the SNP and the DUP are playing games if they don’t vote for this. (As I suspect the DUP are beginning to realize)

    If there’s a gorilla in the room, it’s that I don’t believe the backstop would be watertight in the long run (which is probably why Michael Gove is still in the cabinet).

  19. Both cakeism, and the belief that the EU is a conspiracy designed to do Britain down, are so deeply embedded in the worldview of the headbangers, that it is impossible to shift.

    Surprisingly quite a lot of sane people who ought to know better get taken in by this nonsense, and the only point in arguing is to let them back down to sanity. There’s nothing you can do with the headbangers, and it’s a waste of time arguing with them, as this site well demonstrates.

  20. Colin – I novel idea blaming the opposition for not coming to your rescue when you can’t get your own MPs (and political bedfellows, DUP in this case) to support you.

    As I said previously, if the PM had been bolder earlier, took on her hard Brexiteers and, in the National Interest, invited Labour (plus devolved polity representation) to be involved in the process we would have arrived at a deal explicitly providing for a full Customs Partnership (union) after the implementation period.

    In stead we have the strong suggestion that that is where she wishes to head but no clarity which is why ratchet Brexiteers such as Gove can support.

    Labour may well be putting party interest at the forefront other can decide, although I believe a stronger CU commitment is possible so they are not, but May (and of course Cameron before her) have used Brexit etc for party purposes egregiously imo.

  21. Is Brexit as negotiated by Government now dead ?

    Is a rebranding excercise required ?

    Bremain ?

    What is the way out of this ?

    Some say UK to request EEA status, staying in EU single market and customs union. That would get through Parliament and EU probably very happy to accept.

    General election would probably not resolve a split country.

    A new referendum might be difficult before April 2019 and might still show same split in country.

    If I were PM, I would request the EU to extend A.50 by 12 months and sell it to UK voters as a period to allow UK Parliament to fully resolve what future vision for the UK they can mostly agree upon. All parties at Westminster need to be fully involved in the process, as do the Wales, Scotland and N.Ireland Parliaments.

    I don’t think it works for a PM and UK Government to be negotiating with the EU without backing of Parliament.

  22. Given the alternatives, it is possible that Mrs May will get her WA and Framework declaration through parliament.

    https://www.cer.eu/insights/what-happens-if-parliament-rejects-mays-brexit-deal

  23. @Danny

    Clearly you want to keep clinging to your Federal EU Superstate with UK integrated dreams.

    You say; “As an EU member the EU cannot force us to accept deeper fiscal or political union. Never. As a non member it can and would compel us to agree to rules bringing the Uk into line with the EU, in whatever way the EU chooses to change in the future.”

    That’s not correct! We’ve been forced to accept deeper Union (albeit with limited “opt outs” since Maastricht through to Lisbon. The pace of integration must increase to bed in the Euro, something that will actually be good for the UK provided we’re outside! Regarding rules, once we leave, we can choose not to align (i.e. reduce equivalance), but we must be clear that we will penalised via tariff arrangements if we do. UK will be sovereign, but diverging via that power will have financial consequences.

    “The EU tariff walls protect our high wage economy. They do not harm the Uk economy, they assist it. The size of the EU allows it to dictate advantageous terms to trading partners.”

    We’ll still be mostly behind that. As I wrote, we can choose to diverge, but will be penalised if we bend the rules.

    We get to end free movement through the WA – what an achievement that is. And end to unlimited immigration suppressing wages for those on low incomes in the hospitality, basic service and semi-skilled manufacturing sectors – that is a major advancement. this will bring an end to minimum wage EU migrant in minimum wage posts being subsidy from the UK taxpayers whilst unscrupulous globalist corporations profit swell.

    I think what you’re concerned about is that this is actually a damn good deal for the UK. A deal you and other Federalists said we had no hope of getting.

    And there’s plenty of time to explain that to the public. The extreme ERG have already tried to strangle it at birth – and failed!

  24. Momentum registered a website calling to reject whatever agreement reached by the government a week before the current agreement was announced.
    Labour have said from day one that they had 6 tests some of which have been rejected by the EU from the beginning.
    Labour only want an election regardless of the damage it would do to the country and to jobs.So they are prepared to risk damaging the jobs of their supporters.
    Neither side is entirely happy with the agreement which suggests that it is a compromise, which was of course always inevitable.
    No one knew what the EU would agree, to before we voted, so anyone who accepted either sides promises was deluded.
    Labour wants to retain our position with regard to Trade but they say they wish to Nationalise several Industries which would not be allowed by the EU.
    That would really be cherry picking.

  25. This is for PETE B’s empathy deficit

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yEh3JG74C6s

  26. @ COLIN

    “Meanwhile Brussels has its own difficulties with the WA. Times reports Italy, Denmark, Netherlands & Germany amongst others have complained to Barnier that various aspects of the drafty are too advantageous to UK.”

    I think we’ve got some decent bits of cake in there – the biggest being the ending of unlimited immigration. It’s a good deal.

  27. JIM JAM

    @” I novel idea blaming the opposition for not coming to your rescue ”

    I neither said that nor meant it.

    It is as May has said, up to MPs to decide in the WA vote now.

    Labour MPs who go into the same lobby as Rees Mogg et al will produce the same result as them. And when UK wakes up to economic turmoil on 30 March 2019 I will be interested in your explanation for their lesser culpability. The public may well conclude that the Labour Leadership which instructed them to vote that way is as responsible for the disaster being reported in their morning newspaper as anyone else who decided to vote the WA down.

    Actually after reading Paul HJ’s post & the Tony Connelly story I posted earlier, I think DUP have more claim to reasoned opposition to the WA than Labour.

    It certainly isn’t going to be comfortable for anyone waiting for the result of that vote. I can only hope that the suggested expansion of the PF text goes some way to bolster trust in the “best endeavours” of EU to conclude a FTA/Customs Area.

    It seems to me-a confirmed EU sceptic-that to believe anything else is simply to believe that UK & the EU can never conclude any relationship of co-operation , trust & mutual interest after Brexit .

    I refuse to believe that.

  28. R Huckle,
    ” I would request the EU to extend A.50 by 12 months”
    Why would they do this? The Uk will fritter away whatever time it is given because the problem is fundamentally insoluble as stated now.

    May’s best hope has been for the voters to turn undeniably to remain, and though there is now as much support to remain as there was to leave (arguably more), it still isnt decisive.

    I agree a new election is highly unlikely to solve the problem. Both parties need to declare for remain, and they daren’t.

    How would tories fight a campaign when their MPs are fundamentally split? But equally, how would they campaign for leave in a referendum? Parliament has to whittle down the options.

    If we do eventually leave with no deal, the following six months would probably be occupied by emergency negotiations to recreate May’s deal. The problem would be legal difficulties, because it would have to be a trade deal, the time for WA having passed.

    The sensible course now is reject May deal. Reject no deal. Referendum on remain vs one or other of deal/no deal. But I repeat, no deal exit would fast become deal exit after it had happened.

  29. JIB

    @”It’s a good deal”.

    I hope so-but we won’t know that until the Political Framework is turned into a new Legal arrangement on TRade, Security,Defence, SCience & all the rest.

    For now-unless I have misunderstood completely-it is a leap of faith that it will be a “good deal”.

    But I’m prepared to take that leap-because the alternative is a leap over Rees Moggs cliff.

  30. JIM JAM

    @” A novel idea blaming the opposition for not coming to your rescue ””

    Its a question of rescuing the Country Jim Jam. If Labour want to punish the Tories more than they want to save the country, they will pay a price in my view.

    Mind you given the price which Cons will pay for this mess, I suppose that will leave us at 40/40.

  31. Jonesinbangor,
    “We’ve been forced to accept deeper Union”

    No we havnt. We chose to join everything, indeed we actively pushed many of the changes to the EU now being complained about. We can change direction within the EU, but it is a supertanker. Our position now, which we actively chose for ourselves, is the result of 50 years work.

    “once we leave, we can choose not to align”
    We could choose not to align. We could choose to give 90% of our national wealth to africa so as to equalise wealth a bit, but we will not. Market pressures will force us to align with our most important customer. The gvernment will be dragged along by its expanding budget deficit into emergency alignment with the EU.

    “We’ll still be mostly behind that”

    if we plan to keep the same trade regime, whats the point of leaving? You are agreeing with me, we will ape whatever the EU does.

    “We get to end free movement through the WA – what an achievement that is”

    Are you being sarcastic and agreeing with me again? We wanted those people to come. All we had to do was tell them they arent welcome, and they have stopped coming. Th UK has never tried to halt immigration, but also immigration has never exceeded demand for labour. The system has worked perfectly as government intended to keep demand for labour satisfied.

    Sure some people dont like what their governments have been encouraging, but it was UK governments pulling in foreigners. This will not stop if we leave the EU.

    “. And end to unlimited immigration suppressing wages for those on low incomes ”

    Thats easy. Put up minimum wage. Reorganise benefits to disadvantage EU people. Yes, it can be done, others do it. But if wages go up then these people wont get benefits. Manufacturers will close because labour is too expensive and demand will fall. Manufacturers will be able to get local labour because the wages are attractive. They will stop advertising abroad asking people to come here.

    We have operated a low wage economy at the bottom end, because it allows businesses to operate which need low wages. Its a chocie to close these down, whether you do it by putting up minimum wage, or stopping free movement. Its simple enough. Shrink the Uk economy until its labour demands fall to below where we need foreign labour.

    “I think what you’re concerned about is that this is actually a damn good deal for the UK”

    There is no point getting pantomime here. If we were a third country outside the EU, then it would be a good deal. But a better one will always be full membership, because it gives us political power over the EU.

  32. Colin – you may be willing to take that leaf of faith but why should mainstream Labour politicians?

  33. ” If Labour want to punish the Tories more than they want to save the country, they will pay a price in my view.”

    ha ha ha

    Maybe they want to save the country from more vicious austerity (see UN Report), hostile environment for immigrants & the poor, and even greater gap between rich and poor?

    You really are a blinkered partisan. And I speak as one who knows one.

  34. Colin,
    “Labour MPs who go into the same lobby as Rees Mogg et al will produce the same result as them. And when UK wakes up to economic turmoil on 30 March 2019 I will be interested in your explanation for their lesser culpability”

    Ah. You are arguing that a no deal outcome would be utterly unacceptable for the Uk. Good we can agree on that.

    I would point out the recent yougov survey, which has about 25% support for no deal and only 50% even amongst leave voters.

    For the May deal, only about 19% support it overall, and 25% of leave voters.

    You and the politicians are dead against no deal, but even less people like the May deal!

    Remain is significantly more popular.

  35. @Danny

    “We chose to join everything”
    No, duplicitous politicians who deliberately chose to keep the public in the dark (stealth Federalists) chose that.

    “We wanted those people to come. ”
    Ermm, no. Big companies wanted them to come so that they could semi-skilled labour at bottom dollar prices!

    We wont agree, you are clearly fully signed up to the stealth Federalisation project that’s been going on for 40+ years. In fact, your current theories on Tory Project Remain illustrate that perfectly!

  36. I did a long post on the recent yougov and was hoping others might chip in. Its quite compex because it asks the questions in different ways. It says remain is most popular and leave are split over which version they like, or whether they like the other leave option at all. This has always been the difficulty, that leave as originally asked encompasses two very different options. Either, like May, essentially accept most of the EU rules and have no control over them, or reject all the rules and accept the economic hit.

    One group would accept the hit for freedom. The other group believes there is some gain from a looser relationship, but is not prepared to take that full hit.

    No one has been able to make a compromise between the two leave positions, never mind with remainers.

    The government appears to have acknowledged that a hard brexit would be unacceptable to UK voters, so it has created a soft brexit deal. But its supporters are the leavers, and they are still fighting the battle of which version they want.

    Labour’s supporters are remainers, who do not want either deal. From the polling I conclude they would desert labour if it does actively support either version of leaving the EU.

    There is scope in all this for the destruction of either the tory party or labour party, with voters flocking elsewhere (or just sitting on their hands), if it is handled badly.

  37. @ Colin

    “Labour MPs who go into the same lobby as Rees Mogg et al will produce the same result as them.. ..”

    While I am not at all convinced that the public will blame the Labour Party rather than the Brexiteers, you do raise a good point: if I were a Labour MP, I would have really strong misgivings about going through the voting lobby alongside the likes of Smogg, and would want the country to avoid ‘no deal’.

    I suspect that a number of Labour MPs on the centre or right of the party will choose instead to abstain. But I have no idea how many, and those who might do so are unlikely to announce their position publicly in advance.

  38. colin: Meanwhile Brussels has its own difficulties with the WA. Times reports Italy, Denmark, Netherlands & Germany amongst others have complained to Barnier that various aspects of the drafty are too advantageous to UK.

    It looks like a deal set up to be rejected. Firstly by the UK parliament and if that does not work, then by the countries within the EU.

  39. @ COLIN – 95%ish of the WA was known (divorce bill, citizen’s rights, transition to Dec’20) the 5%ish bit to read was the NI backstop.

    The one part in that, which Corbyn picked up in PMQ, was the 20XX comment – that is the mechanism for “perma-transition” which Brexiteer’s like myself fear more than Remain!

    The other bits worth reading are that in any extension to transition we’d have virtually no control over the payments (ie could quite well lose the rebate and be paying c£17bn/annum – put that a red bus!)

    A few days back, before the release on the info, you mentioned your concerns about the lack of info on the “Future Framework” – well we got 7pages (plus a 2page statetment) and being bullet point waffle that took maybe 5mins to read?

    How can you possibly back not just a “Blind” Brexit but one that also hands over the UK taxpayers wallet to allow Brussels to decide the annual cost of using UK as an example to deter others from leaving?

    I doubt many people even bothered to read the important/new bits but most of the political commentary in the press was accurate as both Remain and Leave h8te the WA draft

    I await the fleshing out of the 7pages – as I expect do Gove, Leadsom, Fox, Mordaunt, Grayling and probably add to that Hunt, Javid and a dozen or so ministers and lower “payroll” CON MP votes.

    The way to remove May is HoC – so I’m very glad Brady doesn’t have 48 letters (or is at bad as maths as Julian Smith)

    @ PETER – “The peak Remain voter works out at a Green voting, AB, female graduate earning over £60k with a high political attention.
    Not quite Gina Miller but close!”

    I’ll always suspected ALEC was a girl. DANNY is a unisex name. SOMERJOAN and single beard BZ seem older and live in Spain and France though (unlike Remainers I know how to read the X-breaks on age etc) – pretty sure you’re a bloke, HIRETON though?? ;)

  40. @Danny

    “Labour’s supporters are remainers, who do not want either deal. From the polling I conclude they would desert labour if it does actively support either version of leaving the EU.”

    You have a very binary approach to life, turning grey into black and white….

    If you stated facts instead of wrong assumptions, you might be taken more seriously instead of coming out with crackpot conspiracy theories.

    How about: A high proportion of Labour supporters are Remainers, but there are also many Leavers?

  41. @ OLDNAT – “then one can only presume that they (the 5 Leavers still in cabinet) are trying to write a manifesto to go to the English electorate with.”

    Let’s examine that:

    – Robbins+Weyland/Barnier are “fleshing out” the 7page PD (v.unlikely that looks good for UK but important to wait and see especially as its just a few more days)
    – The HoC will kick out May’s deal
    – President May will not survive losing that vote by 50+ (less than that she might limp on and win another vote on 21Jan19). My guess is she gets hammered (100ish) and still can’t believe she’ll try to push it through.
    – CON party will try to avoid a leadership challenge right now (and also wants to avoid a GE and a new ref)

    Above all fairly obvious I think?

    The two possible scenarios I can think of:

    1/ Save Theresa:
    Clearly the 5 (+Hunt, Javid, Cox) want some input to the PD and by holding on ensure that is not as bad as Weyland let slip. Then by staying in cabinet they:
    a/ turn the HoC vote into a “free vote” to save May (Mordaunt plan)
    b/ get May to accept the deal is very bad and get her to “pivot” (too late IMHO)

    2/ Pick up the pieces
    – ensure someone is there ensuring “No Deal” implementation starts in earnest and is coordinating other “mitigation” policies (specific “incentives” to businesses, regional “bungs”, etc)
    – picking a “caretaker” and a stop-gap govt that can win HoC confidence vote won’t be easy but is more likely with these 5(+3) staying on (Boris, SMogg are toxic to likes of Soubs+co)

    Of course it could be 1+2 at same time, or in that order.

    Either way though a GE is still IMHO quite likely and Gove is likely trying to build a team around himself to take over
    (i’d prefer Javid)

    NB Not a prediction but certainly a plausible “plan” that I’m sure has crossed the “tortured” mind of a conniving little sh!t like Gove. He offers to be no more than a “caretaker” and hold a leadership challenge in Summer’19 – but once he’s in he’ll be difficult to remove.

  42. @Colin – (and others) I have been pondering aloud for some time on here the fact that in many ways the pressure of responsibility for collapsing this deal will be on Labour MPs. That’s just a fact of parliamentary arithmetic.

    Labour could choose to push this deal through, but it looks like they won’t, so then, as you rightly suggest, we get into the game of working out who will not be forgiven for the ensuing mess. And let’s be clear – if it is to be a no deal exit in 16 weeks time, it will be an almighty mess, the like of which Brexiters have absolutely no conception.

    This is a reputational risk for Labour, but several factors will potentially mitigate this.

    1) It almost certainly won’t happen. If this deal is rejected, May has options. Ultimately it is her choice to refuse to choose a GE, second referendum and/or extension of A50. We only crash out if she (or another Tory PM) sits on her hands and does nothing.

    With a parliamentary vote in early December, that means over three months of fiddling as Rome burns, and whatever Labour MPs did or didn’t do in the vote in the HoC, for the country to watch a Conservative PM preside over a lengthy (in media news cycle terms) period of catastrophic upheaval while doing nothing to stop it would almost certainly absolve Labour from public ire for the mess.

    2) Even if she does this, and there is a catastrophic mess, Labour can turn it’s guns onto those people who actually wanted a no deal exit. That delusion crop of idiots within Conservative ranks who hark back to a non existent age of British primacy have been telling us for nearly three years now that we have nothing to fear from a WTO exit. Accepted, they have the defence that we should have prepared better for this outcome, but firstly that isn’t Labour’s fault, and secondly – do we really think voters will pay attention to that defence when people start dying and factories shut down?

    I rather suspect that the entire conceptual basis for Brexit will start to degrade instead, and these people will be exposed for the foolish types that they are.

    3) Labour aren’t alone. All other opposition parties seem to be lining up against the deal (inc DUP and SNP) as well as a large chunk of Conservatives. It’s going to be very hard for May to pin the blame squarely on Labour if she isn’t able to deliver her own side to the vote and her government partners desert her.

    4) Labour won’t just be voting against the deal. They will, both in and outside parliament, be calling for other options. Renegotiation is one option (sounds great to the average voter, although in reality it’s barking – the deal is done and won’t be reopened) a GE and a second referendum are the others.

    Will the public really vent their anger on a Labour Party exclusively for what would be happening, when that same Labour Party is calling for all sorts of alternatives and the government is refusing to do anything?

    To be honest, I think the most interesting aspect of this is the fact that there is almost no comment whatsoever about how intransigent and unpleasant the EU have been. For two years we have been promised by Brexiters here on UKPR that any collapse in the deal would be seen by voters as entirely the fault of the ‘imperialistic’ machine in Brussels, and voters would vent their anger etc etc.

    This is not happening. Half the government has accepted what they call a good deal, and virtually no one in the UK press is discussing the EU.

    Taken alongside May’s apparent asides, repeated in press conferences and the HoC, that voting down the deal risks Brexit, I suspect that the outcome of Labour voting down the deal will be to postpone or cancel Brexit, with the acquiescence of May and the EU.

    Readers of the above should take note that I accept entirely that my predictions of future movements of public opinion are rarely, if ever, correct.

  43. EOTW

    OTHERS

    Some of you, for reasons unknown to me, believe that I can cast an interesting light, occasionally on matters Irish.

    I want to provide you with a link directly to the source of my information about Irish matters. I should mention that I am present in the link myself, though not visible. May I draw to your attention, in particular, the compelling exegesis of the Atomic Theory made by the policeman about 28 minutes in. NEIL A will, I am sure, be interested in that. I would like him to provide details of the number of bicycles arrested in the UK in the last year.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w5crxiCVABI

  44. @alec

    pretty much entirely agree with that.
    If the deal is voted down, the government has options to avoid no deal – it will hate those options but it cant allow the chaos of crashing out – they will be pretty much forced to avoid it.

  45. @ COLIN (@ JJ) – “Colin – you may be willing to take that leaf of faith but why should mainstream Labour politicians?”

    I have to agree with JJ here, it is a CON mess. I can’t see Hoey or the Arch-Leave supporting it and even likes of Flint, Snell, etc might abstain at best. May will get nowhere near enough support from LAB to get her deal through HoC.

    The risk for CON is not a move to 40/40 in the polls it is a move to

    CON 35 (-6)
    LAB 40 (uc)
    UKIP 10 (+6)

    That will mean 0 MPs for UKIP probably but it will lose CON a GE for sure and possibly see them out for a generation as UKIP start afresh to get us to actually Leave the EU (not be a vassal state)

    May is putting Brussels and RoI ahead of UK and is going to destroy her party and our country.

    PS I did a long reply to you on the 585 page WA, 7page PD, 2page JS but it hasn’t appeared. You only needed to read 5% of the WA and the other two very short pieces – something Corbyn managed to do (eg the 20XX for extending transition and lose of any input on budget once we’re into perma extendable transition, so no rebate and 17bn/year to be a vassal state example to deter other countries from daring to confront Brussels!)

  46. Lots of wishful thinking from Remainers today that Brexit can somehow be cancelled.

    This Mayish Brexit will happen, the ERG rebellion has already melted away.

    A week is a long time in politics, a month is an age. Things will look very differently then.

  47. @ ALEC – “For two years we have been promised by Brexiters here on UKPR that any collapse in the deal would be seen by voters as entirely the fault of the ‘imperialistic’ machine in Brussels”

    codswallop!

    The fault is with President May and the pretorian guard she appointed around her. Her mistakes are IMHO incompetence not complicit. Brief history:

    – Taking on PM when she clearly was not capable of the job (sadly Gove knifed Boris and took himself out by doing so), at the time she looked OK I admit.
    – Holding a GE and then not turning up for it (which allowed Corbyn to focus on austerity and move the polls 20pts in 8weeks)
    – Agreeing a pact with DUP which made NI “special status” option much more difficult (as is very obvious now, ERG are latching on to that and SCON are flip flopping)
    – Agreeing to sequential talks (DD partially to blame as well but as we’ve seen President May overrules DExEU)
    – Trashing “No Deal” and failing to start no deal implementation in a timely fashion (Hammond partially to blame here)
    – Capitulating on everything at every stage, giving away all our “good” cards for nothing (money, security, etc)

    The EC have done exactly what I’d have expected of them and May has made it very easy for them. As you say:
    “how intransigent and unpleasant the EU have been”
    Totally as expected IMHO – that is what they are – although that might be news to some people?!?

    Most Brexiteers expected EC to punish UK and May has let them. If the WA isn’t bad enough wait for the PD and perma-transition sans rebate, vetoes, votes, etc and still in CFP unable to negotiate-implement any trade deals. That is when the real punishment will begin!

    That means it is her fault and her fault alone
    (I’d partially blame Robbins, Hammond, etc but May appoints those people and the buck stops with her)

    However, what is amazing is the polling – folks still seem to back her but IMHO that is due to:
    – the alternatives: Corbyn or a Brexiteer that would be happy with “No Deal” which has been trashed by the “Establishment” and left v.late to implement
    – a sympathy vote?!?

  48. @TW

    The HoC will kick out May’s deal

    I wouldn’t be so sure of that.

    Will the ERG get 50 into the same lobby as Corbyn and MacDonald?

    Will the Labour whips get everyone into the No lobby?

    Will the DUP abstain?

    Finally, what amends* will be added to the bill?

    *I must confess to not fully understanding the “Meaningful vote” and the various arcane procedures that go with it.

  49. @ ALEC – I’ll admit we see two types of UKPR Brexiteer so perhaps you were addressing others.

    Type 1 – May loyalist, tribal CON VI. They admit the WA is sh!t but think it is best we’ll get, they hope the PD might be OK (ha ha ha!). Seem to have issues with HoC maths and understanding of LAB MPs and VI.

    Type 2 – Clean Brexit backers, seem to be mostly marginal CON VI and even the odd non-CON VI. Furious with WA and May, think we could have done better but have left it too late (and don’t own time machines). Bit unsure what to want now (still prefer May to jump rather than be pushed). We know the PD will be horrific, not legally binding and made even worse as requires unanimous backing (mixed deal) – perma transition, return of UKIP and possibly the end of CON (via split of banished to opposition until Corbyn ruins the country – which probably wouldn’t take long)

    Those are extreme ends on a 1-2 scale. Several might be 1.2 or 1.8.

  50. @ALEC

    I think that’s more or less a spot on analysis, but with one thing I’d like to add.

    The reputational risk to Labour is mitigated because their responsibility is just a fact of parliamentary arithmetic. And will therefore pass 95% of the electorate by.

    In the end though, I think you and I are both in the “May bluffing” camp, and if we’re right it won’t happen anyway. When it comes to the crunch (as it does eventually when the clock runs out if there isn’t a deal on the table) to a choice between no deal leave or remain, I don’t believe she intends a no deal leave.

    If that’s right though, or even if she can suggest that it might be strongly enough, I’m not convinced her deal is as dead as some think. If they conclude she’s bluffing then however much the hard leavers rant and rave they can only force her to remain in the end. And I am not convinced they will all risk putting her in the position to make that choice if they come to conclude that it is likely she would.

    But we can’t know that she’s bluffing. And that is where, as the clock runs down, the doubts set in for remainers too. There is little time even now to stop her if she really means it. Most of the floated routes to bypass her in that event are constitutional fantasy. If she’s not bluffing, then we may already be past the point where however much the remainers rant and rave they can’t stop her. And so keep hold of nurse for fear of something worse.

    Uncertainty is May’s friend. Fear is May’s friend. Time is May’s friend. It’s a narow channel to navigate, but it’s there, and if I had to nail my colours to the mast I’d still back her to do it. Ken Clarke thinks she will, and he’s seen more of this than anyone.

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