There have been a flurry of polls following the announcement of the draft Brexit deal – all have tended to show a negative reaction. The most thorough were full length polls from YouGov for the Times and Survation for the Mail.

YouGov’s full length poll found that, based on what they had seen or heard about the deal, 15% of people supported it, 51% were opposed, 33% said don’t know (their snap poll earlier in the day had figures of 19% support, 42% opposed). Presenting people with a brief summary of what the deal actually entails makes little difference – by 50% to 19% people think it is a bad deal for Britain, by 45% to 28% people think it does not respect the result of the referendum. In Survation’s poll 61% said they had heard some details of the deal, and of those people who had heard at least something about the deal, 27% said they supported it, 49% were opposed.

YouGov asked people what should happen next – only 16% of people thought Britain should accept the deal as it is, 11% would prefer to reopen negotiations and seek a better deal, 19% to leave without a deal, 8% to have a referendum on the deal and 28% to just remain in the EU after all. In practice, of course, some of these options may not realistically be on the table. If people were forced to choose between the deal or leaving without one, 60% would choose the deal, 40% no deal. On the other hand, if the choice was between the deal and having a fresh referendum, people would prefer a new referendum by 56% to 44%.

Survation’s poll included some similar choices (though unlike the YouGov ones, they didn’t force a choice, people were able to say don’t know). If there was as referendum between the deal or remaining, people said they would prefer remain by 43% to 34%. If there was a referendum between the deal or no deal, people would prefer no deal by 34% to 32%… but with 34% don’t knows, who were largely remainers (and, if push comes to shove, I suspect may prefer a deal over no deal).

Turning to May’s own future, YouGov found that 33% of people think she should stay, 47% think she should resign. The figures in the Survation poll were very similar – 33% thought she should stay, 50% that she should go. Naturally there was more support among Tory voters, but even many Tory supporters think May should go (43% in the YouGov poll, 30% in the Survation poll).

There is, however, little optimism that a change of leader would produce a better outcome. In YouGov’s poll only 27% of people thought that a different Tory Prime Minister would be able to get a better deal (and only 19% thought that a Labour government under Jeremy Corbyn would get a better deal). They were a little more optimistic in the Survation poll, where 38% thought getting rid of May would increase the chances of a good deal.

In short, people don’t like the deal, but there is relatively optimism about the opportunities for anything better. If forced to choose, people would accept the deal rather than leave with no deal, but they’d also rather have a fresh referendum than accept this one. Whether public opinion really matters at this point is a different matter – this is one of those issues where Parliamentary arithmetic (and the internal politics of the Tory party) will be the actual deciding factors… they may be influenced by public opinion but, outside there being another referendum, public opinion is not going to be decisive.

199 Responses to “Polling on the draft Brexit deal”

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  1. @Jim Jam

    “being rational at a time of much irrationality makes your analysis less likely!!”

    Very true! My fear has always been that we were in a first world war situation. Everyone can see that no deal is disastrous so everyone thinks that they can pursue their interests and others will back down to avoid a meltdown. And so chaos happens by default,

    In the light of the above and given Roger Mexico’s authoritative post above do you think that the Labour party could support the May deal subject to the caveat that it should only be enacted if the people had endorsed a referendum stating that they preferred it to remaining in the EU? In this way they would a) get the Labour party off the hook of forcing a no deal, tackle the fact that May’s deal has a massive democratic deficit (I,e, no one wants it) and avoid Labour from having the odium of scuppering Brexit.

    The latter honour would then lie with Rees Mogg and his fellows who demanded total victory and thus deprived the country of a compromise which would have been as good as they were going to get without the economic damage that most leavers did not want

  2. Jim Jam,
    “There is not a HOC majority for ref 2 at present, of course, and might still not be should Labours’ position end up there”

    How would it play for the conservatives if labour is calling for another referendum, polling is suggesting a remain lead, and the tories are refusing one? The argument for not having a referendum, that the decision is the settled will of the people, immediately erodes once it is exposed to political criticism. It would become an issue of the tories being afraid to hold one because they believed they were acting against the will of the people.

    They might still revert to the traditional argument that their side got more votes and it is their side’s policy, but then the jeopardy from a bad brexit escalates. It would be seen wholly as a party policy.

    Not holding one could become more damaging to them than holding one.

    Similar arguments apply if parliament votes against brexit but in a way which does not bind the government. Then responsibility for the choice to proceed rests solely with the tories.

    And again, this is why May cannot be replaced. Because she may have to stand up in parliament and announce that the government respects the will of parliament and will stop Brexit. Anyone think Rees Mogg as PM could do this?

  3. Charles,
    “avoid Labour from having the odium of scuppering Brexit.”
    Why would this be odium, rather than a huge votewinner?

    Labour could perhaps state they would support the May deal, if there was another referendum on this as against remaining. This respects the original result as per their manifesto. If we do leave, May’s deal is pretty much all there is, so it would be pragmatic. The only obstacle is labours commitment to demanding an election first.

    The disadvantage would be if they operate in coalition with the tories it is letting the tories off the hook of having been the party pushing brexit. If, as everyone expects, brexit goes badly, labour would lose the advantage of being able to blame the tories.

    Labour or the tories would only do this if they believe leaving in the event of another leave vote is an acceptable outcome. I still harbour doubts that the tories do conside it acceptable. I’m inclined to agree labour have always been more sceptical about EU membership whereas the tories have been truly committed to keeping it (Corbyn’s 7/10). One of the perverse ironies of the situation.

    The obvious way to honour the referendum result is to have another on the detailed deal. It is possible the tories could propose this themselves. After a show of disunity, they could put forward a grand truce within the party where the sides will accept the result of a choice given to the people. They would have to finess including a remain option, maybe on the grounds of appeasing labour refuseniks.

  4. Charles,

    I can’t see Labour supporting this deal and their line is that her deal or no deal is a false choice.

    There would have to be at the very least some statement of intention to construct A permanent Customs Union between the UK and the EU.

    Danny – your question of the Cons ignoring what may become a public desire for a second ref is interesting and I have no idea how it would play out.
    Ironically, growing support for one may help get the ERG and bedfellows voting for the current deal on offer.

    Let me repeat, though, I am not sure that even with Labour pushing for ref 2, there is a HOC majority for one and Labour rebels might be significant, somewhere between 20 and 30 perhaps and I reckon at least 15. So over 20 Tories need to support which is why the timing and form of any second ref would have to come from a Tory back-bencher in my opinion.

  5. Hulagu,
    “They can console themselves with the fact that the deal isn’t actually that bad,”

    Its awful. Honestly, its awful.

    I forget who it is who advanced the argument that having the Uk committed to the EU without any ability to direct it will be better for the Uk than if it keeps trying to run the EU. Better for the Uk is we are ruled by Europe as this deal arranges. But…!

  6. Jim [email protected]: Let me clearer, Labour Party people have been told the EC wont endorse a 3-way referendum if they are applying their role as currently guided by the legislation.

    Peter W has explained better than I can why and how the EC can be ignored as the HOC has primacy.

    There is not a HOC majority for ref 2 at present, of course, and might still not be should Labours’ position end up there but there will be uncertain MPs and Electoral Commission endorsement might be crucial for waverers.

    Thanks for the clarification, although it still leaves me somewhat frustrated.

    Of course, I understand PeterW’s point and indeed, I was thinking that a 2nd referendum act could override the Electoral Commission.

    But what I am really interested in is the reasons. As it is, what is being claimed in the LP is too far removed from the source to be taken at face value. It could be [and I suspect] that the Electoral Commission would only object to a 3 way referendum run on 1 choice FPTP lines because of the abvious shortcoming that the winning outcome could achieve less than 50%.

    There is not a HOC majority for ref 2 at present, of course, and might still not be should Labours’ position end up there but there will be uncertain MPs and Electoral Commission endorsement might be crucial for waverers.

  7. Can anyone expain likely process for a ‘peoples vote’ being arranged ?

    While I would like this to happen and public seems to support this, I am not sure whether there is time available.

    My guess is.

    – December 2018 Parliament rejects Government EU withdrawal deal.
    – December 2018 May announces that as no deal is not an option, that she will go back to EU to try to renegotiate.
    – January 2019 May meets with the EU, after UK negotiators cannot obtain any change to withdrawal deal.
    – January 2019 May announces that EU will not change withdrawal deal and therefore Parliament has to choose between her deal or no Brexit.

    Question is whether enough MP’s vote for an amendment to any Government vote calling for a ‘peoples vote’ to be held ?

    If the HoC did back a ‘Peoples vote’, the question is whether Government could ignore this and decide instead to seek a General election ?

    It is not clear to me, how a ‘Peoples vote’ would be arranged, if Government were against arranging it.

  8. @ Danny

    “Its awful. Honestly, its awful.”

    It is worth pointing out these are only the transition terms!

    The future relationship is still to be agreed.

  9. @ R HUckle
    “It is not clear to me, how a ‘Peoples vote’ would be arranged, if Government were against arranging it.”

    They could have a cut out voting slip in the Independent, and the voters can send their three way choices to Lord Adonis.

    When “full Remain” wins, he can then introduce a bill to cancel Brexit and join the Euro in the House of Lords.

  10. Polls show a strong movement against the Tories now people are starting to understand the WA. The WA itself is not liked (no surprise to any I suspect) and it is totally demolished in the ERG publication “Your Right to Know – The case against chequers and the draft withdrawal agreement in plain English.

    It appears May is determined to give us a bad deal and lose the party the next election.

    I can see what is needed with great clarity, and I shall lobby my minister MP but have a feeling of despair about politics in this country right now. That’s nothing new, the only time i have felt really positive is during the Thatcher years. All I can hope for is that parliament votes down the WA and we leave with no deal.

    Fortunately there is a lot more to life than politics and I shall be concentrating on other things from now on. Certainly until we have left the EU.

    On the bright side what a splendid series win in Sri Lanka, congratulations to the England cricket team.

    Wonderful program on Holst and Vaughn Williams last night on BBC 2 I would recommend it to those who love English music as I do. Much of Vaughn Williams is so beautiful that it brings tears to the eyes, what joy!

    Have a good day all I am off to get some carrots for lunch.

  11. I should have added what a fantastic win by Ireland yesterday over the All Blacks. They look a real threat for the 2019 World Cup.

  12. Alas, poor Other Howard. I knew him. A fellow of of infinite jest and excellent fancy.

    Or to quote Mr Lydon –

    Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?

  13. @ JAMES E – “Is there any mechanism by which the Conservative Party can elect a “caretaker” leader”

    Not directly. However, the “rules” are more like “guidelines”. So I see several options, in time order:

    1/ May/cabinet appoint an “heir” BEFORE conf vote is triggered (and Brady can tip them off). The “heir” then wins a confidence vote of CON MPs by a large majority (so large that the “head bangers” back off)

    2/ We have the conf vote. May wins but 100-120 MPs have voted against her. She also loses the “meaningful vote” by 50+ (my guess is 100+). Her position is untenable then back to #1 with some minor changes (why I want Javid but am worried we get Gove)

    3/ We have the conf vote, May loses (largely due to abstentions) and the majority of CON MPs agree on a “caretaker” stop-gap leader with a full leadership contest in Jun’19 (ie after 30Mar’19)

    All of these might seem unlikely but happy to go back through the rough CON Leave MP maths again. My guess is only 20ish are hard core “head bangers” but as time goes on we drift beyond 1,2,3 and hit 4 which is the full leadership contest that would certainly result in members selected the final candidate with the most extreme Brexit view (and most CON MPs would know that)

  14. As the UK only produces 25% of the fruit and vegetables it consumes and supplies from the EU are likely to be severely disrupted if we crash out on 29 March, it’s a sensible move to spend more time tending the carrots.

  15. I wonder if it might be significant that Parliament has set this up to give itself votes at two different stages before ratification, with the “meaningful” vote on the resolution of the House of Commons on the agreement in principle and the requirement for an implementing Act.

    One thing that seems to have been a factor in threatened rebellions vanishing in a puff of smoke to date (granted, to TW and others, involving Soubs and co and not the ERG who may be made of sterner/ madder stuff – delete as you deem applicable) has been something of a “be warned or we’ll really do it next time” mentality. Another reason why the December vote might just sneak through?

  16. Having watched Ridge with Corbyn and May a couple of things seem likely:

    May has seen an escape route: the 7page PD to be “fleshed out” to something HoC will accept (and until then “nothing is agreed until everything is agreed”.
    IMHO she is dreaming that the PD will be a “good deal” and somehow deal with the 20XX issue in the WA

    Corbyn is within a whisker of techincal support for May’s deal but making up false excuses for politicial purposes. He wants a full FTA signed before he’ll back the WA which we all know is now impossible. He continues to duck the new ref which is fair enough.

    For those that understand the meaningful vote issue they know the can kicking could go on until 21Jan’19.

    Could May win a terrible deal vote if she somehow manages to kick the can to 21Jan’19?

    How can she/her deal survive to 21Jan’19?

    When we get the 7page PD “fleshed out” we’ll see but given that is just 1week away I hope CON MPs hold their letters and/or Brady sits on them. We’ll know more by end of EU Council meeting – I doubt it will be “good” but PIGS might fly!

  17. @TW

    Also on the subject of “caretakers”, what if May were simply to resign as PM and not follow the recent convention of announcing an intention but formally awaiting the election of her successor?

    I ask the question as I have no clue as to the answer, but presumably we can’t not have a PM. Especially in what I think we can all agree is something of a time of urgency.

  18. It would have made much more sense for the HOC, right from the beginning, when Art 50 was rushed through, to say that any final agreement would have to be confirmed by a public vote.

    However, even now there seems to be the scope [as I wrote a couple of days ago] to add an amendment to the bill accepting the govt bill and insisting that it includes the necessity for a conforming vote.

    Since it is clearly worse than staying in, as we lose any power or influence, it must be right that the voting public are allowed to express an opinion.

    People bang on about stuff being “undemocratic” but nothing can be more so than insisting on doing something, as life changing as withdrawal will be, against mounting evidence that we, the people, don’t want to do it.

  19. Shami Chakrabarti and Dominic Raab agreeing on the virtues of cake on Marr just now.

  20. @ TW

    So, to paraphrase, that’s “no”.

  21. @TW
    “For those that understand the meaningful vote issue they know the can kicking could go on until 21Jan’19.”

    That’s true. Re my above comment as I see it Parliament actually has three goes if it takes the first one (the December meaningful vote) and then ducks the second (+21 days) with the final crunch then coming on the implementing Act.

    Although the government would undoubtedly face a confidence vote after the first loss and if it fell that derails all plans of course.

    That apart, time is May’s friend ( I think this is true whether she is straight up in wanting her deal, secretly part of a grand remain plot, or secretly a crash-out leaver).

  22. Thank you to those that have tried to piece together how a PeoplesVote might actually happen.

    It should be obvious why Corbyn isn’t backing that!

    I’d also add that once CON-Leave stop fighting between themselves then we can round on Corbyn for ducking the whole issue and betraying the vast majority of his VI and members.

    Spit the opposition don’t spit the party!

    As for polling it is great to see UKIP pulling VI from CON.
    CON absolutely must not let UKIP return and think we can all work out what that means as I’m fairly sure CON “loyalists” fear Corbyn more than a “No Deal” Brexit!

    Post Brexit “betrayal” polling:

    CON+UKIP = 43 (3pt lead)
    CON with UKIP back = 36 (3pt behind)

    CON+UKIP = 44 (5pt lead)
    CON with UKIP back = 36 (3pt behind)

  23. @hulagu

    I still cant see the deal going through the commons on a 2nd reading.
    There is very little space in it for anything but the most minor tinkering – certainly not enough to buy anyone off.

    As for the tory brexiteers – they are going nowhere. They are more than happy to die in a ditch over brexit. On this issue they are idealists before carerists – although subsequently wearing the badge of “keeper of the true flame” will certainly help there standing in whatever political faction becomes the home of the “BREXIT WAS BETRAYED” crowd.

    Apparently labour are going to introduce amendments in current brexit legislation which will prevent the UK leaving with no deal and they have support of a number of tory mps – including in cabinet. link below

    how this works i dont know – but kier stamer is behind it so presumably its got legislative credibility.

    My feeling is that labour will exhaust all credible avenues for brexit before “reluctantly” supporting a 2nd referendum.

    As for mays deals – it horrible and the brexiteers are right – the UK will be stuck in it for the foreseeable. Because the same reasons that prevented any sort of trade deal – i.e the irish border – will still be there. The deal is a huge humiliation of the UK – and it seems most brexiteers would rather remain then accept it.

  24. @R&D
    “It would have made much more sense for the HOC, right from the beginning, when Art 50 was rushed through, to say that any final agreement would have to be confirmed by a public vote.”

    It would have made most sense for the HOC, right from the VERY beginning, when it passed the Referendum Act, to say that any final agreement would have to be confirmed by a public vote. Plenty of us said this at the time.

    Cameron’s mistake (backed, it has to be said, by pretty much the entire HoC) was effectively to go all in on the single vote in the arrogant presumption he couldn’t lose.

  25. @ COLIN – just spotted your reply. Partial answers in previous posts from today but specific responses

    “Who can guarantee what we will get that from EU.?”

    Hopefully some clarity after 25Nov EU Council meeting on the PD. I’m not expecting anything “good” but let’s wait and see.

    “What will the economic effects be? and What will UK plc think & do?”

    HMG/BoE and markets can help mitigate and hopefully strongly mitigate “No Deal” (which I hope is No Deal+, Min Deal whatever you want to call it). I’m not sure May+Hammond “get it” and the UFT mob are too extreme (hence why I want Javid+Raab)

    “EU say they are redrafting & expanding it IN ORDER to allay fears about permanent backstop status.”

    Words are wind, it is a PD not a legal commitment. The WA might honour A49 of the Dec JS but not A50 (as DUP point out) – don’t confuse those with A49-50 of Lisbon treaty, I mean the Dec “nothing is agreed…” declaration

    “Any future relationship of any use at all to UK has to be agreed with the full hearted support & unity of BOTH parties.”

    That is the 20XX perma-transtion “trap” in the backstop. EC insist is it all-weather permanent so it will be all-weather and permanent. Once we sign the 39bn cheque we’re back of their queue with UK tax payers credit card handed to Brussels to decide the annual fee to buy a longer transition.

    “If you don’t believe the EU have any intention to use “best endeavours” to avoid the need for the backstop, and conclude a mutually beneficial post Brexit Trading ( & other) Arrangement, then your ideas have no chance anyway.”

    I’m not sure what you mean. IMHO there is no need for a backstop, it was a trap and we walked into it!
    1/ The PD should remove it but obviously it won’t (we’ve accepted the EC line that we can’t fully negotiate an FTA until after we’ve not just signed the WA but also left EU)
    2/ We put in a unilateral backstop (“open border”) to kick in from 1Jan’21 and see if EC+France+RoI can convince the other EU25 that “No Deal” is better than a “Bad Deal” (for them!)

    Remember “nothing is agreed until everything is agreed”

  26. IT would have not only made more sense but was blindingly obvious that the best way to negotiate with the EU would have been a cross party group with a neutral chair so that whatever we agreed could get through Parliament.

    But this has always been a Tory issue and a Tory problem and having got us here they took it on.

    You broke it…You fix it!


  27. yep – May has been hamfisted and blinkered in her whole approach – but its Cameron who is primarily responsible for the greatest political disaster for the UK since Chamberlin went to munich.

    And at least Chamberlin was acting in what he believed was the best interests of the country – rather than carrying out a clever little wheeze designed win back some UKIP voters to the tory fold

  28. @ToH
    More to life indeed. We could all do well to remember that at times.

    A great sporting weekend. We can agree on that. Enjoy your carrots.

  29. “That’s nothing new, the only time i have felt really positive is during the Thatcher years.”

    The ability of some Brexiters to completely delude themselves is painful to watch.

    The author of the above sentence is either suffering from dementia, knowingly ly!ing, or just deluding themselves.

    We have it here on record how he was so happy with politics under May as PM, that for the first time ever he joined the Conservative Party. We did try to warn him!

    On the ERG’s slightly amusing “Your Right to Know – The case against chequers and the draft withdrawal agreement in plain English” document, yet more delusions. To think that some people still believe what these people write!

    In terms of logical analysis, it fails on the first line, where they bang on about handing over £39bn with nothing in return.

    That’s the money we owe. We don’t get anything in return for paying off our debts. Myth. We just pay off our debts.

    We could refuse to pay off our debts, and get into a lengthy international legal case, which might conclude that not all the £39bn has to be paid – but the chances are slim, as we have already agreed in principle that this is a fair price for what we owe. More accurately, we have agreed the mechanism for calculating what we owe.

    The £39bn is an assumption. The EU assumes it to be quite a lot more than this. More to the point is that the UK has accepted the calculation procedure as valid. We aren’t buying a future service – we are honouring our previous obligations, the ERG is stupid, and anyone who believes them on this point should be gently reminded how wrong they were on May in the past, and should think again.

    They also complain that the WA is under the jurisdiction of the ECJ. Well doh! It would be, wouldn’t it? It is an agreement concluded under Article 50, which is a European legal text, between 28 member states of the EU, who have all democratically agreed to be bound by EU law, and so therefore, until and unless they are no longer EU members, and any agreement concluded on the basis of EU law has to be subject to, er, EU law.

    The future framework won’t be exclusively under EU law, but as ever, the ERG are confused in their childlike analysis of the world.

    The other major logic fail is their insistence that we could quickly get a Canada + trade deal agreed, because…

    “The EU Canada agreement took several years to negotiate but this means that most of the ‘heavy lifting’ has already been done and many of the key issues have previously been thrashed out in a manner the EU has already agreed to.”

    Two failures here: We have sixteen weeks until we leave, and they’ve trashed the transition period. You won’t get a trade deal in 16 weeks, regardless of who has or hasn’t done the ‘heavy lifting’, and they stay utterly silent on how this would work. A simpleton’s analysis.

    Second, they may not be aware (I mean really – they really might not be aware) but we are not Canada. The ‘heavy lifting’ was done for a trade deal between the EU and Canada, not for a trade deal between the EU27 and the UK. These are immeasurably different, and there will need to be acres of text that is not relevant to the Canadian economy needed for a trade deal between the UK and the EU.

    Again, what they are saying is that because the EU has a completely different trade deal in place with a completely different economy under completely different economic, geographic and political circumstances, we can just use that. Barking.

    The ERG are now becoming a parody of themselves. which is in itself quite an achievement, but it’s no surprise that some posters here who are incapable of understanding not just detail, but basic concepts, find their childish statements attractive. As they found May’s bluster attractive once upon a time.

  30. Reggieside

    ”My feeling is that Labour will exhaust all credible avenues for Brexit before “reluctantly” supporting a 2nd referendum.”

    Absolutely, Labour have to reluctantly conclude no way other than a second ref provides a way to break the impasse. This is to assuage a number of MPs more but crucially the leave part of their 2016 GE Vote as much as possible.

    The belief is that Hard Brexit former Labour supporters did not come back in 2017 and that those Leave voters who did vote Labour in 2017 whilst vulnerable to a ‘betrayal’ of the ref claim can be retained as long as Labour seen genuinely to have wanted to honour the result.

    Some Hard Remain bods in Labour seem oblivious to this, in part as some are irreconciled to Corbyn as leader.

  31. “Enjoy your carrots.”

    Not a line you’ll read on any other political forum.

    [It does sound more like a phrase from a Carry On film though.]

  32. @ PETER W – I don’t see May “willingly” resigning (ie JAMES might be right). I agree your 10:53am

    From what I understand we must have a PM and that stays as May until a successor is “agreed” (Lidington would in theory step in if May was run over by a bus but that doesn’t trigger a Betfair outcome!!!). Corbyn would almost certainly call an HoC conf vote in the new PM but due to FTPA that wouldn’t automatically trigger a GE.

    We know the full leadership route and the huge risks attached for all CON factions:

    – Head Bangers fear the 1y continuation of May and her somehow getting her “bad deal” approved
    – Many CON MPs fear May then staying leader into a GE
    – Most CON MPs fear a full leadership contest that results in members picking Boris or SMogg

    and as AW says in the lead:

    “Parliamentary arithmetic (and the internal politics of the Tory party) will be the actual deciding factors… they may be influenced by public opinion

    so note the move of CON VI to UKIP and the CON X-Breaks

    May could use the humiliation that I suspect is coming from the EU Council meeting as a final chance to “pivot” or throw the towel in. Or she limps on with that choice still there.

    My concern is the patience of 48+ CON MPs to let her do that!

    PS A question to ask LAB folks and constitutional experts is why has Corbyn not called an HoC conf vote already? He’d probably lose it of course and with FTPA it won’t achieve much but surely it sends the message that he has a govt ready to take over?

  33. TOH,

    “That’s nothing new, the only time i have felt really positive is during the Thatcher years.”

    Oh I sure you celebrated other great victories!!!!


  34. Good Late Morning everyone from a very sunny Bournemouth. Our two MP’s are very quiet at present; Mr Ellwood and Mr Burns.are honourable men.
    NICK P; vg post.
    I am looking forward to the TV series and book which David Cameron says he is producing in the Autumn, according to the Times yesterday.

    I heard Cheryl Gillan on Radio 5 Live this morning, talking about Fishery Policy and the EU rights to ‘our’ waters.

    Trevor Warne: Hello to you. Tactically, iMO, Corbyn is playing the party political game very well at the moment; I am not at all a Corbyn fan, but his approach at the moment reminds me a bit of Callaghan’s advice to Harold Wilson in 1974: to let the Tories swing in the wind.
    Disraeli used to say (v Gladstone) that ‘the job of Her Majesty’s Opposition is to oppose’ and Labour, IMO, are doing that well at the moment.
    Interestingly Churchill, 1922, spoke of the border in Ireland being a difficult issue to sort out; ‘the steeples and the highways of Fermanagh and South Tyrone. The Unionists were meant to be Mrs May’s ‘friends and allies, so I wonder whether in the end they may vote with her next month.

  35. @TW

    “… once CON-Leave stop fighting between themselves…”

    Trevor, they’ve been fighting about this ever since we went in 43 years ago. I doubt it’s going to stop anytime soon.

  36. @somerjohn
    Your post reminded me of many past journeys through rural France on my way to and from doing Geology in the Pyrenees..

    Truly an amazing country and people, where every village brings something new. I always tried to visit new places, staying in the municipal campsites.

    Speaking of French protests, I was visiting geologists in Paris years a few years ago when IPGP (Institut de Physique du Globe) was located above Place Jussieu. They told me how in 1968 the demonstrators broke into the geology building and rained rock specimens down on the riot police below. Next day the geologists had to collect them and try to sort them out…

  37. Having read through the ERG’s lame offering this morning again, It is worth emphasizing that they say nothing about how we get from where we are to the Canada + deal they want. They trash the transition but don’t say what they want to replace it with.

    This is very dangerous.

  38. @ JimJam
    My feeling is that the Labour leadership will instead say “unfortunately it is now too late for another referendum, and this is all the fault of the Tories”

    This is because fundamentally the Labour Leadership want Brexit to go ahead.. It is like Clegg on tuition fees.. Not in line with his Party members

  39. @ PETER – I note Lidington was trying to sell May’s deal to SNP.

    I think we can both agree that gets a :-) :-)

    How are SNP feeling about a new ref? Do they want to set a precedent for “confirmation” refs?

    I reckon Sturgeon, Blackford et al SNP watching Corbyn on Ridge breathed a huge sigh of relief. If LAB (We) can’t stop Brexit then SNP can’t either but Scots won’t need to blame Sturgeon when Corbyn is refusing to support a “PeoplesVote” until he knows it is too late.

    Corbyn is a very useful !diot – if LAB had elected Owen Smith then CON-Remain and SNP wouldn’t be able to hide under the radar!

    Thank you all Momentum members ;)

  40. Andrew111,

    My sense is different to yours but tis speculation anyhow

    Remember the EU have signaled that A50 extension would be forthcoming (all 27 have to agree of course) if a second ref or GE was in the offing.

  41. I’m guessing not everyone has read the ERG piece, so here it is:

    NB I’m not endorsing it. Not very well written IMHO and far too short to cover everything. The target audience is CON members, Leave supporters and CON constituency folks who can apply pressure on CON MPs – not Arch Remainers (PeoplesVote and B4B folks)

  42. @andrew 111

    but labour are dead set against “no deal” – and that is the only brexit alternative to mays deal sort of labour winning a GE. Corbyn and co may believe that they could get a better deal – but they are not in government.

    The EU will not renegotiate.

    Mays deal will fail.

    No deal is out of bounds (labour already drawing up amendments to make sure).

    May (or whoever) will have to ask for a suspension of a50 -EU will only allow that if there is a new government, aGE or a 2nd ref.

    Labour will push for GE – probably wont get it – 2nd ref or parliament calling it off completely only options left.

    Parliament will go 2nd ref to minimise charge of betraying a democratic decision.

    This way labour can argue that it respected the referendum result but the tories made such a hash of it that brexit deal became impossible (not that they’d have fared much better – but thats by the by) .

    tories descend even further into civil war. possible split. given nature of membership i suspect they may go hard brexit and liberal tories will leave. fevered talk of new “centrist” party – effectively the same of the lib dem/tory coalition but without the right wing tories and including some labour malcontents.

    labour probably win next election

  43. Alec

    “The ability of some Brexiters to completely delude themselves is painful to watch.”

    Please don’t feel any pain on my behalf, I am not demented, lying or deluding myself.

    I have posted a number of times over the years that the only time I have rally been positive about politics was during the Thatcher years and i accept that even Margaret had flaws. So I have been quite consistent.

    I see what is necessary for the country with great clarity, always have done, it’s just my view of course. I also appreciate that what I want, is, in most cases not going to happen, and I’ve said that many times to. I would suggest that I am much more balanced than people like you. I think you are clear what i think of people like you so I won’t bother to repeat my piece about democracy and patriotism.

    I think that post to me exposes just what a child you are, you have to do a ner! ner! I suggest a bit of growing up is necessary.

  44. Oh dear. May blinkered, Raab deluded, Corbyn confused. It’s really hard to choose. The CBI woman on SKY was the most lucid.

  45. @ Andrew111 – if they do that then I wonder how their Remain VI would react.

  46. PETERW

    More to life indeed. We could all do well to remember that at times.”

    Many thanks Peter, yes we can agree on that. Politics is a comparatively small part of my life although i can get passionate about it. My wife and family, good music, good books, the natural world are what really turns me on.

  47. Trevor’s….

    “How are SNP feeling about a new ref? Do they want to set a precedent for “confirmation” refs?”

    Red Herring!

    You can’t bind future Governments and it’s not really an issue under PR.

    If there was a genuine majority for a Referendum across the Country there would also be one in the Parliament and if MSP’s ignored that, next election the Parties backing it would gain if the issue mattered enough to the public.

    In general terms as a strategy it’s better to focus on winning votes than avoiding them.


  48. New thread re the other weekend polls

  49. The Other Howards,
    ” All I can hope for is that parliament votes down the WA and we leave with no deal.”

    Ah well here’s the problem. Most people in the country prefer May’s deal to no deal. Most leavers prefer no deal to the May deal. If its a choice between the two, the nation wants the May deal. But if its a choice between remain and either deal, the nation wants remain.

    Jim Jam
    “The belief is that Hard Brexit former Labour supporters did not come back in 2017 and that those Leave voters who did vote Labour in 2017 whilst vulnerable to a ‘betrayal’ of the ref claim can be retained as long as Labour seen genuinely to have wanted to honour the result.”

    I know we have disagreed over this repeatedly, but I dont disagree with you here. There must be such people and they will be available to come back eventually. My argument has been that there are a lot more remainers right now who have been bleeding away from labour while it has dithered over which side it is on. Yes, both labour and conservative have been performing somersaults while suspend over niagra falls on a bungee cord to try to be all things to all sides.

    However, I dont honestly think the ones who have stayed with labour are very vulnerable to leaving, because there seems lots of evidence they value other labour policies more. The ones who already made the decision to leave are the hard cases.

    Fundamentally though, leave and remain are irreconcileable. It isnt something you can compromise on. We see how May is doing while trying to.

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