A brief update on the state of the polls as we head towards Christmas. First let look at voting intention. The six voting intention polls we’ve seen published so far in December have all shown the two main parties essentially neck and neck – two have shown tiny Labour leads, two have shown tiny Conservative leads, two have had them equal (the YouGov poll for the People’s Vote campaign in the Sunday papers today may have had a slighter larger lead, but it shouldn’t upset the average).

Opinium (14th Dec) – CON 38%, LAB 39%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 6%
YouGov (7th Dec) – CON 38%, LAB 37%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 3%
Kantar (6th Dec) – CON 38%, LAB 38%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 5%
Ipsos MORI (5th Dec) – CON 38%, LAB 38%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 4%
YouGov (4th Dec) – CON 40%, LAB 39%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 4%
ComRes (2nd Dec) – CON 37%, LAB 39%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 6%

Despite the incredibly turbulent situation in British politics, there has been relatively little change in voting intention since the general election. Through late 2017 there was a very small Labour lead, for most of 2018 there was a very small Conservative lead (with a few periods of Labour ahead – most significantly the weeks following the Johnson/Davis resignations). At no point has either party really pulled away. Politics may have been chaos, but voting intention have been steady.

This itself is remarkable given the state of the government at present. If you look at any other measure, they are in a dire situation. The government’s net satisfaction rating in the MORI poll last week was minus 45 (24% satisfied, 69% dissatisfaction). That is comparable to the sort of figures that the Brown government was getting in 2008 or the Thatcher government in 1990… both periods when the opposition had a clear lead in voting intention. Any question asking about the government’s main policy – the delivery of Brexit – shows that a solid majority of people think they are doing badly at implementing it. Today’s poll from Opinium found people thought the party was divided by 69% to 18% (and quite what those 18% of people were thinking I do not know!). And yet, the Conservatives remain pretty much neck-and-neck in the polls.

I can think of three potential explanations (and they are by no means exclusive to one another). The first is that people have simply switched off. The ongoing chaos isn’t impacting people’s voting intention because they are not paying attention. The second is that voting intentions may still be being largely driven by Brexit and, regardless of how well the Conservatives are delivering Brexit, they are the main party that claims it is committed to doing so, and while support for Brexit has fallen, the split in the country is still normally around 47%-53%.

The third potential reason is that Labour are not a particularly attractive option to many voters either – one of the few clear changes in the polls this year is a sharp drop in Jeremy Corbyn’s approval ratings. At the end of last year his approval rating from MORI was minus 7, in the MORI poll last week it was minus 32. On YouGov’s Best Prime Minister question he continues to trail well behind Theresa May (and often both of them trail behind “Not sure”).

While it is interesting to ponder why the voting intention figures remain stable, it’s not necessary particularly meaningful. In the next four months Brexit will either go ahead with a deal that many will dislike, go ahead without any deal with whatever short or long term consequences that may bring, or be delayed or cancelled. Any of these has the potential to have massive impact on support for the parties.

On Brexit itself, public opinion on what should come next is not necessarily much clearer than opinion in Westminster. Throughout 2018 opinion has continued to drift slowly against Brexit – asked if we should remain or leave polls tend to find a modest lead for Remain – typically showing a swing of around 5 points since the referendum (They are helpfully collated by John Curtice here – his average of the last six polls to ask how people would vote now currently shows a Remain lead of 53% to 47%).

While the majority of people don’t support Brexit any longer, that does not necessarily translate into clear
support for stopping it, or indeed for most other courses of action. Poll after poll asks what the government should do next, and there is little clear support for anything. Theresa May’s proposed deal certainly does not have majority support (YouGov’s Sunday Times poll last week found 22% supported it, 51% opposed. MORI’s poll found 62% thought it was a bad thing, 25% good). When Opinium asked what should happen if the deal was defeated, 19% wanted to re-open negotiations, 20% said leave with no deal, 10% said have an election, 30% have a referendum, 11% cancel Brexit altogether. When MORI asked a similar question with slightly different options 16% said renegotiate, 25% said no deal, 10% an election and 30% a referendum.

When polls ask directly about a referendum they tend to find support (although, to be fair, most polls asking about referendums normally find support for then – it is essentially a question asking whether the respondent would like a say, or whether politicians should decide for them). However, a new referendum is obviously a means to an end, rather than an end in itself.

And therein lies the problem – there is scant support for most plausible leave outcomes, but reversing Brexit in some way risks a significant minority of voters (and a majority of the government’s supporters) reacting extremely negatively indeed. In the YouGov Sunday Times poll last week they asked what people’s emotional response would be to the most plausible outcomes (current deal, no deal, soft Brexit, referendum and no Brexit). Would people feel delighted, pleased, relived, disappointed, angry, betrayed, or wouldn’t mind either way?

If Britain ended up leaving without a deal 23% would react positively, 53% negatively.
If Britain ended up leaving with the proposed deal, 20% would react positively, 51% negatively.
If Britain ended up with a softer Brexit, staying in the customs union and single market, 27% would react positively, 35% negatively.

Finally, if there was a referendum and Britain voted to stay, 42% would react positively, 39% would react negatively. This is the outcome that would have a positive reaction from the largest proportion of people, but it would also be by far the most divisive. When asked about their reaction to the deal or a soft Brexit, most people gave people towards the middle of the scale – they’d be disappointed, or relieved, or wouldn’t mind. Asked about reversing the decision to Leave, answers tended to the extremes – 26% would be delighted, but 23% would feel betrayed, including 51% of people who voted Brexit back in 2016.


1,579 Responses to “Where public opinion stands”

1 26 27 28 29 30 32
  1. Happy new Year to everybody, and good to see you all back – even the Trevors! (I was getting worried that they might have had their funding pulled). And TOH in fine form: “contempt and loathing” – well, well.

    I’m proud to say my own MP was one of the Tory signatories of Yvette Cooper’s amendment – a person of great integrity and independence of mind who is willing to risk deselection for what she believes.

  2. Tobyebert.

    All I said in my reply to you was both main political parties have a mix of people. I never suggested that the Tories had more women or people from different ethnic backgrounds than Labour.
    I did however make the point that Labour is run by old white men (the Marx’s brothers) and has never had a woman PM ,on the other hand the Tories have elected two to that office, but then of course you actually knew that didn’t you.

  3. @PASSTHEROCKPLEASE

    You can only go by what was repeatedly stated by the campaigns over and over again. Leave = as express;y stated by both camps and the government, over and over again, by all the news media, meant leaving all of it. To assume that’s not whar Leavrs wanted is prepostrous. It is something stated almost exclusively by remainers that us leavers didn’t know what we voted for. We did – it’s what we want – that’s why we voted for it.

    Is there a Leaver on here who didn’t want to leave the SM & CU?

    Shall we have a poll?

    I voted Leave (reluctantly) accepting and expecting it meant leaving EU, SM, CU, ECJ, the lot. And I’m not a rght winger by a mile. But I will be if that ends up being what it takes as will most of the Leavers I know – including two Labour councillors.

  4. @ADW

    I supported Leave and was at best ambivalent about SM membership. The Customs Union at least protects a common standard of living and we would need to adhere to SM rules to justify one and the other.

    My nain reason for voting to leave was unimpeded movement of low wage immigrants undermining any investment in home talent, and the environmental disaster that is the CAP and CFP.

  5. @PASSTHEROCKPLEASE

    Further, I and most of my friends are all Labour voters, living in a Labour held very marginal seat. Ask us who we would vote for in an election, we will all say Labour. However, if this (Brexit) goes to a General Election if it takes switching to the Tories in a one-off to get this done that is exactly what all of us will do. Which makes a mockery of the Polls really – especially if that is a common attitude amongst Labour Leavers, which in the Labour Leave groups on social media is exactly what it seems to be. Brexit to Leavers is bigger than party loyalties – far far bigger..

  6. @ADW
    The taxi driver who is the regular on my station run voted leave to get rid of the Pakistanis – he was very, very clear about that.

    My wife’s tennis partner, whose husband was ill and struggling to access NHS services, voted Leave so that we could stop health tourists ‘coming to the UK and costing billions’

    Our next door neighbour voted Leave because his father died in the second world war – in his view – saving the UK from people like Angela Merkel

    One of the youngsters in my team voted Leave because he attended Liverpool University studying economics and is intellectually convinced that the UK will be much better off if we remove all trade barriers and worker protections

    My window cleaner voted Leave because he had a £20 bet at 4 to 1 on Leave winning

    I’ve had this conversation a couple of dozen times at least, and I have never heard anyone say to me in the flesh that they voted to Leave because they wanted to exit the Single Market or the CU – not one; to leave the jurisdiction of the ECJ on occasion, end free movement yes, but the other two have simply never come up…

  7. @ PTRP / ADW / HIRETON – Both Remain and Leave campaigns were full of lies, distortions and crystal ballsh*t. In the end it was a simple question – Remain or Leave. We know the result.

    8Feb17 a huge majority of MPs (as per Gina Miller) chose to respect the result of the ref and we triggered A50 (Grieve, Corbyn, etc all voted to Leave)

    It is now time to move on and hope we never have to go through the divisive nightmare of another ref again.

    Neither “broad church” party will ever want another ref (large majority of CON (current HMG!) members and VI don’t want one, although LAB members and VI do want another ref polling has repeatedly shown Corbyn is in a LOSE/LOSE scenario if he backs one).

    If LAB VI want to Remain (or Rejoin) then get a new leader, form a new party (or boost Greens), hold your nose and join LDEM, or, if your unlucky enough to have to live in Scotland then vote SNP in next GE.

    @ PRTP – JRM and Skinner would agree on a “managed” No Deal and plenty of evidence that is where we are going (despite the ignorance of many Remain MPs and public that both UK and EU have already taken measure to mitigate the “crash” out of “crash out” – more to come!)

  8. ADW @ 6.44 pm

    You are wrong.

    The government leaflet issued before the 2016 referendum did not say we would leave the Single Market entirely. Rather it said we would need to negotiate continued access.

    I have pasted out from the leaflet to remind you:

    “”The EU is by far the UK’s biggest trading partner. EU countries buy 44% of everything we sell abroad, from cars to insurance. Remaining inside the EU guarantees our full access to its single market. By contrast, leaving creates uncertainty and risk.

    Losing our full access to the EU’s single market would make exporting to Europe harder and increase costs.

    No other country has managed to secure significant access to the single market, without having to:
    • follow EU rules over which they have no real say
    • pay into the EU
    • accept EU citizens living and working in their country

    A more limited trade deal with the EU would give the UK less access to the single market than we have now – including for services, which make up almost 80% of the UK economy. For example, Canada’s deal with the EU will give limited access for services; it has so far been 7 years in the making and is still not in force.””

    That wording is perfectly clear – the UK would still want some access to the single market if we voted leave. NOT no access.

  9. Good Evening all from a cold Bournemouth East, which is represented by Tobias Ellwood, at the moment, although if as the Daily M is correct, will change when a GE is called and then he becomes a PPC for a time.

    Hello BIGFATRON.
    (Man U fans called the Aston Villa manager by that title in the 1992-1993 season when they were fighting the Reds for the title and when the Tories were deeply divided over the EU)
    I know one voter that voted leave as he had just be made redundant as his school had run out of cash; he was on a new contract at the time. He also wanted to cause trouble for the Tory Party, led by Dave and George. I agree with you, that referendum voting behaviour is often not linked to the question at all.

  10. Curious what LAB-Remain VI have to say about the “joint publication from Global Britain and Labour Leave”

    https://globalbritain.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/GBLL-paper-30-Truths-Final-05.01.19.pdf

    Guardianistas should ensure to read 2 and 3 as they are the key points (I’ll admit #1 and some of the other points are, well, TBC!)

    Of course most LAB Leave MPs by “nature” (eg Corbyn) or by “constituency” are keeping schtum and enjoy making life difficult for the Tories but “Lexiteers” hope May is Corbyn’s “handmaiden” on delivering him a Clean Brexit to inherit post 29Mar’19.

    Well, sorry to disappoint LAB Leave VI but unless you deselect all the Blairite MPs (100+?) and/or perform a miracle on opinion polls then Corbyn will never get to cash in on a Managed No Deal.

  11. @LeftieLiberal

    “Electoral Calculus has updated their monthly summation of opinion polls. This time it is 9375 people up to 20th December:

    Con: 38.4%
    Lab: 38.6%
    Lib: 8.5%
    UKIP: 5.0%
    Grn: 3.8%
    SNP: 3.3%
    PC: 0.5%
    Others:1.8%”

    I’d say that’s about the long and short of it too. Absolute level pegging and pretty much stasis for 12 months. A few twitches of life, tagging the odd event, but absolute opinion gridlock in essence (YouGov appear to be dealing in alternative facts!). None of the parties have really ventured out of their core 2017 election citadels whilst Brexitland, once known as UK politics, transcends all else. Mrs May could sometimes be forgiven, when in full self-pitying mode, for thinking that being responsible for delivering Brexit on behalf of those who voted narrowly for it two and a half years ago, was a curse but, in many ways, it has been an absolute blessing for her and her hapless government, shielding them from a legion of domestic difficulties that would, in normal political times, have mired them in deep and probably terminal unpopularity. No tricky by-elections either, and that’s been lucky, and Brexit has afforded May, certainly in the eyes of hardcore Leavers, an opportunity to don the cloak of plucky national leader, taking on the dark forces of both Jonny Foreigner and the traitors within. A sort of Boris Johnson and Rees-Mogg wet dream. She and her advisers are milking it for all its worth too. Killer death stares are back on the menu. Cruella Deville Mark III

    And in truth, there may be precious little else to milk. Brexit is a demonic hybrid of an end of pier hall of mirrors combined with a maze. A distorted illusion from which there is no escape. The people trapped inside are condemned to gawp at hideous caricatures of both themselves and others until they die. For those of us outside, seeing a country pitifully misgoverned and riven with ever more bilious division, one does begin to wonder where on earth this will all end.

    Maybe, there is a shaft of light in seeing the legislature now assuming some control from the executive, but they need a clear vision of how they take things from here. It’s alright having a non-functioning government, but we need those filling the vacuum to be clear on what comes next. That I don’t see as yet, so we’re still in chaos. A slightly more uplifting chaos maybe, but chaos nonetheless.

    Cometh the hour cometh which man or woman, I wonder? It’s this country’s darkest hour for a very long time, so it has to be quite some man or woman, I suspect. More likely men and women in reality, but, crikey, I crave some leadership too. I see absolutely none.

  12. @LeftieLiberal

    “Electoral Calculus has updated their monthly summation of opinion polls. This time it is 9375 people up to 20th December:

    Con: 38.4%
    Lab: 38.6%
    Lib: 8.5%
    UKIP: 5.0%
    Grn: 3.8%
    SNP: 3.3%
    PC: 0.5%
    Others:1.8%”

    I’d say that’s about the long and short of it too. Absolute level pegging and pretty much stasis for 12 months. A few twitches of life, tagging the odd event, but absolute opinion gridlock in essence (YouGov appear to be dealing in alternative facts!). None of the parties have really ventured out of their core 2017 election citadels whilst Brexitland, once known as UK politics, transcends all else. Mrs May could sometimes be forgiven, when in full self-pitying mode, for thinking that being responsible for delivering Brexit on behalf of those who voted narrowly for it two and a half years ago, was a curse but, in many ways, it has been an absolute blessing for her and her hapless government, shielding it from a legion of domestic difficulties that would, in normal political times, have mired them in deep and probably terminal unpopularity. No tricky by-elections either, and that’s been lucky, and Brexit has afforded May, certainly in the eyes of hardcore Leavers, an opportunity to don the cloak of plucky national leader, taking on the dark forces of both the EU and the remainers within. She and her advisers are milking it for all its worth too. They see mileage in the confection and they could be right. Polling evidence certainly suggests so. Much more to come I’m guessing.

    And in truth, there may be precious little else to milk. Brexit is a strange hybrid of an end of pier hall of mirrors combined with a maze. A distorted illusion from which there is no escape. The people trapped inside are condemned to gawp at hideous caricatures of both themselves and others until they expire. For those of us outside, seeing a country pitifully misgoverned and riven with ever more division, one does begin to wonder where on earth this will all end.

    Maybe, there is a shaft of light in seeing the legislature now assuming some control from the executive, but they need a clear vision of how they take things from here. It’s alright having a non-functioning government, but we need those filling the vacuum to be clear on what comes next. That I don’t see as yet, so we’re still in chaos. A slightly more uplifting chaos maybe, but chaos nonetheless.

    Cometh the hour cometh which man or woman, I wonder? It’s this country’s darkest hour for a very long time, so it has to be quite some man or woman, I suspect. More likely men and women in reality, but, crikey, I crave some leadership too. I see absolutely none.

  13. On tonight’s Peston To Watson hints that if General Election called would probably be 2nd referendum on manifesto. Possible vote between Labour renegotiation and Remain?

  14. @Matt126

    If Labour went I to a GE with that, they will be thrashed big time.

  15. LEFTY LIBERAL

    Thanks.

    Its looking a bit grim .

  16. @adw

    I notice that you have not respinded to the fact that Vote Leave’s official referendum publication said that thete was no need to rush to leave the EzU, that a full agreement would be negotiated before any formal move to leave would be set im motion.

  17. @adw

    I notice that you have not respinded to the fact that Vote Leave’s official referendum publication said that thete was no need to rush to leave the EzU, that a full agreement would be negotiated before any formal move to leave would be set im motion.

  18. @adw

    It seems from your posts above that your British nationalism is your paramount concern and your adherence to the British Labour party must always have been tenuous much like Kate Hoey.

  19. @Hireton

    That’s a bit unfair old chap.

    Your puritanical view of what modern Labour stands for is a route to destruction. Witness what happened to ScoiLabour aka Red Tories.

  20. Well, the recession is a bit overdue – like trains at Manchester Oxford Road Station.

    This time China may colour the process (although they can repeat their 2009 exercise one more time). It is largely structural in reasons, so it could be a bit longish, and could have major implications for manufacturing and about a third of services (in the OECD countries).

  21. It seems to me that ADW and fellow travellers are suffering from a fundamental misunderstanding of the 2016 referendum.

    It was not a general election, and Leave winning the vote did not empower the Leave party to rule the UK. They were totally dependent on the governments putting into effect the advisory decisions made in the four polities.

    So what the Leave campaigners told their voters up to June 2016 was virtually irrelevant. It was how the governments responded that mattered.

    Maybe if the Leave campaigners had asked David Cameron what he intended to do if Leave won, it would have saved them much anguish in three months` time when they find that their hopes have only been partially met. And they claim treachery. But they were utterly misled and fed rubbish information.

  22. Davwel (8:59pm)
    You quoted the government’s leaflet as saying

    “No other country has managed to secure significant access to the single market, without having to:
    • follow EU rules over which they have no real say
    • pay into the EU
    • accept EU citizens living and working in their country”

    So does this mean that the US and China for instance don’t have access to the SM, or that one or more of those conditions applies to them, or that the statement is a lie?

    I think that the leaflet (deliberately?) uses the word access when it actually means membership. I’m sure you’ll correct me if you think I’m wrong.

  23. @ChrisLane1945

    “Man U fans called the Aston Villa manager by that title in the 1992-1993 season when they were fighting the Reds for the title and when the Tories were deeply divided over the EU”

    Hmmm, not sure about that. My memory was that the nickname, “Big Fat Ron”, was given to him by the Villa fans whilst he was Manager of the club and was bestowed on him with affection rather than with any malign intent. Atkinson, a former Villa player in the 60s and self-avowed admirer of the club was not renowned for either a lack of self esteem or regard and, as was his wont, played along with the whole thing. The Holte End quite often chanted “Big Fat Ron’s Claret and Blue Army”, and Atkinson usuially waved back in good-humoured acknowledgement. My favourite use of the nickname though was whenever Villa’s then young winger, Tony Daley, was warming up on the touchline, the fans would sing, “Big Fat Ron bring Tony Daley on.”

    It scanned and rhymed perfectly, if sung to a well known Paul Gadd (GG) song from that era! Ron was in on the joke too. This tale of Man Utd granting him the nickname whilst both United and Villa vied for the very first Premier League title in 1992 doesn’t ring a bell with me at all, I’m afraid. It was purely a Villa thing from my memory.

    And there was me always trusting you implicitly on your historical allusions!

    :-)

  24. Did Atkinson get the nickname Champagne Ron at United?

    Happy New Year all.

  25. @CARFREW

    I don’t know when it started, but I know he sent Joe Royle a case of champagne when Oldham beat United in the early stages of the run-in of the 92-93 season. Somewhat premature thanks as it turned out!

  26. Atkinson was already known as ‘Champagne Ron’ at Cambridge – he once sold a Cambridge player for a case of bubbly…

  27. @jib

    I’m not entirely clear what point you are making.

    My point to @adw is simply that if his overriding concern is British sovereignty ( narrowly defined) then his attachment to Labour is not strongly embedded in its policies. Polling seems to suggest that it is a minority view amongst Labour voters.

    And British Labour’s experience in Scotland suggests that an overriding attachnent to British nationalism is not a clear route to electiral success ( and polling suggests failure to oppose Brexit makes it even worse).

  28. @Hireton

    You do not want to accept, as with all other policies and not just Brexit, there is a broad range of viewpoints in all parties.

    I think Remainers trying to hijack Labour and force Corbyn’s hand are out of order and should accept the above.

  29. @ADW
    @TREVOR WARNE

    I give an example of people voting for something and then arguing for something completely different

    During the 2015 election it was clear that when the Tories sold the idea of £20B of welfare cuts, they refused to describe where the cuts would fall but ruled out most everything leaving just cuts to tax credits. Tories voted for this and then complained about the fact that they voted for tax credit cuts, we ended up with a change of government policy. even papers that supported the government decided it was in their best interest to support the reinstatement of such tax credits. What was laughable was that Labour opposed this policy stating at the time that it would affect tax credits (Project fear?) and they were told they were wrong. yet when it came to oppose the welfare bill as basically their manifesto opposed the bill they chose to abstain. So in the end you had the Sun and the Daily Mail supporting a labour party policy that labour itself could not bring itself to support

    That is the nature of politics. we may argue that this is what we supported all along and we may also argue that this is the situation that has evolved but I am loathed to say that Tories understood what they were voting for when they voted in 2015 since they pretty much opposed it.

    If you follow my posts. My point has always been that some people regard the EU referendum as the thing that unlocks something in the UK that cannot be unlocked by any other means. I accept that people feel strongly about it

    Did both side lie, OK yes both side,lied now what? I was not arguing that anyone lied it is a red herring/strawman argument. My point still stands. We took a punt on a situation without knowing what would happen and without the thinking it through that would have caused a level of circumspection. We have now made Brexit a badge of honour. it actually does not matter what brexit actually means for some peopel als long as it is seen to be done and for other there is a myriad of thing that constitute what brexit is.

    There are good arguments for leaving the EU, For example the best one is that the UK and the EU are on different trajectories in terms of how they want to regulate markets as example be it labour (we opt out of the WTD as an example ) or finance, (Bonds issued in London markets cannot be haircut, or defaulted on). How we want to engage with the world( we seem to suggest that 80% economy being services suggest we shoud be able to export more services (although I am not sure how you export cutting hair and wiping OAPs bums and the fact that at present manufacturing is but 10% of our GDP yet still represents half of our exports and indeed pays higher wages that your median waged service job)

    I have raised the issue of how labour keeps Bristol West (which it won form the Tories) a area that voted heavily to remain and Walsall North an area that voted heavily to leave and is now Tory for only the second time in it history ( It became a seat n 1955). I have argued it would be difficult no matter what and Brexit is the major issue here. That said as Jess Philips has said Birminham Yardley voted to leave yet Philips says not many peopel are beating down her door saying we need to leave, yet in Owen Patterson Dorset constituency he does get the people pushing to leave most strongly

    My singluar point was not a leave or remain argument, we voted for something nebuous and now we are struggling to implement it. It is why I have argued that if you write a decision tree of where we are it basically says we leave with no deal. Those are in my view the facts. I suspect the problem is that saying that a good proportion of people did not vote for the same things as you did does not delegitimise the vote. What it does say to me is that after we leave (I suspect peopel will be rather disappointed in the outcome

    As Lord Ashcroft (a prominent leaver) said in his book: ” No matter what was written n the ballot a good proportion of the electorate answered the question are you happy with the way things are, to which they answered “Well since you asked, No”. Ever since then we have been scrambling to make sense of what that decision actually means in terms of making people happier, yet as BIGFATRON opined that it means different things to different people.

    My worry is that Leavers fail to understand that and do so on purpose. After all Cummings pretty much pointed out if you do the detail of leaving then there isn’t the votes for any one particular leave. So you have a leave that implies to the r4cists that we would end immigration and one that you can sell to BAME as giving them more opportunity to replace immigration form the EU with immigration from Asia and Africa whilst we have Windrush going on

    Yes it is a mess and there is no smooth path out of it

    @PETE B

    The US does not have the level of access they want for example the type of beef and chicken they can sell to the EU is severely limited by regulation. The argument from leave was that we already have the regulations which is true but then we point to have an advantage we want to diverge which would mean in practice less regulation.

    I believe the issue was both side were arguing what the EU would do in response to the UK leaving the EU. One side pointed we had leverage to force through an advantage the other side said we did not have the card that people felt we had. This is why I believe that the argument has moved away from advantage or the base argument that we voted to leave and nothing else. That was complete horsesh!t and leaver supporters being rather disingenuous in all fairness

  30. I find it ironic that , in an organisation which is structured around multi-lateral agreements at Union level , when the chips are down **, its major players fall back on bi-lateral co-operation.

    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/france-and-germany-join-forces-as-a-single-superpower-fjf3bgv60

    ** ie-the EP Election Results in May ??

  31. Corbyn calling for a general election.

    If he gets it, then most of the time left before March 29th will have no Parliament and Mrs May unchallenged as prime minister.

    By my counting, a successful motion of no confidence on Wednesday next week leads to a general election on March 14th, after the two-week waiting period and a six-week campaign. Which leaves practically no time to do anything except beg for an A50 extension.

  32. @Colin – “I find it ironic that , in an organisation which is structured around multi-lateral agreements at Union level , when the chips are down **, its major players fall back on bi-lateral co-operation.”

    I find this an odd comment. The EU has always been based on ‘multi-lateral agreements at Union level’ in those areas where independent states have agreed to share sovereignty, and the EU has also explicitly allowed for bilateral agreements between independent member states in those areas where sovereignty has been retained in full at national level.

    I don’t really understand why you think this is odd.

    @ADW – the fact that you are arguing about how the 2016 referendum should be interpreted demonstrates de facto that you are wrong.

    If it was clear what we voted for, there would be no need to state what we voted for. The fact that you need to make such claims about this is proof that it is unclear what we voted for.

  33. @jib

    You are missing the point.

    It seems that it is actually @adw does not accept that there is a broad range of views in political parties and ,despite being a Labour supporter, will vote for whatever right wing party will deliver his/her pure Brexit (as polling clearly shows his/her views are a minority viewpoint in British Labour). So it is actually ardent Brexiteers who tend not to tolerate a broad range of views in their party.

  34. PTRP

    “That said my view has been the arithmetic of the situation, the legal status of the laws parliament has enacted implies no deal. it is essentially the default. More importantly only May and the Tories can change it and given the number stated above I think they will be more interested in keeping the party together which is why I think we leave with no deal. ”

    I totally agree which is why i remain reasonably confident that we will leave with no deal.

    Colin

    Agree about the german economic news. very ironic. Of course it has nothing to do with Brexit! :-)

  35. @COLIN, ALEC

    It is quite true that the EU allows, and in some cases encourages, bilateral agreements. Every year I find myself doing battle with the Anglo/ French double taxation agreement. The arrangements at the channel ports are also bilateral.
    One of the most annoying things about the Brexit debate has been the failure to explain what the EU does actually control and what is left to national government. The control of third world immigration being a case in point. Until I moved to France, I was not aware of quite how many so called EU rules were interpreted entirely differently.

  36. Mann/Snell/Flint have put down amendments on workers and environmental protection.

    But are they legal text?.

    May offering backstop vote.

    Things starting to move?May knows she is over a barrel.

  37. BS

    “May knows she is over a barrel.”

    I don’t think I’ll ever get that image out of my head now….

  38. PassTheRock – at what point did the Toris complain about cuts (in general) to working tax credits? There were/are some specific complaints to some of the detail but most Tories agree that they should be cut/replaced with a different system.

  39. @ BFR – Lots of folks I know voted Remain because they have massive mortgages and didn’t want the “emergency rate hikes” that Carney “promised” would happen if we voted Leave.

    Osborne’s “punishment budget” probably scared a bunch of folks into voting Remain as well.

    Both sides had voters “duped” by the campaign l!es or their own ignorance but as we see from the polls few, from either side, have change their minds.

    If Leave have to campaign again then pretty sure they’ll make sure to say “No Deal” will mean interest rate CUTS (lower mortgage rates), the NHS 20.5bn/yr (394mn/week) is fixed and austerity has ended (assuming May+Hammond have been replaced by that point).

    At the moment Leave are involved in a deal/no deal civil war but if we have another “uncivil” war then we’ll be back to politicians and campaign groups “spin” – but at least Leave will have new info to “sell” while Remain will be selling the same old sh!t as last time with the spotlight on why their “economic impact” predictions from last time were so wrong!

  40. If we have another referendum and Remain is an option it will get over 55% of the vote.

    Won’t get stung twice by complacency and the young will get out of bed this time.

  41. HAL
    “By my counting, a successful motion of no confidence on Wednesday next week leads to a general election on March 14th, after the two-week waiting period and a six-week campaign. Which leaves practically no time to do anything except beg for an A50 extension.”

    I don’t think it’s even that certain. The fixed timetable in the FTPA determines dissolution by counting back from polling day not polling day by counting forwards from dissolution.

    Undder the FTPA for an “early” general election “the polling day for the election is to be the day appointed by Her Majesty by proclamation on the recommendation of the Prime Minister”.

    If May really is intent on that cliff edge, what’s to stop her recommending to Liz that we all go to the polls on April 4th?

  42. Without the DUP (and Tory MPs who will return if they do) there are insufficient potential ‘rebel’ Labour MPs to see a version of May’s deal pass with or without some workers rights statements or other concessions.

    With the DUP on board, though, imo a version of the Mays deal passes the HOC as sufficient Lab MPs will defy the whip to compensate for the remaining Tory Rebels.

  43. I think Mr Corbyn is right that, if the vote goes against HMG next Tuesday, then there should be a General Election.
    The country, in a referendum where over 33 million voted, came out for Leave.
    That must be respected.
    The Government cannot get its deal through Parliament and therefore we need a new Parliament and Government.
    But to preserve our cherished democracy, the United Kingdom must leave the European Union.

  44. CB – I cant forget what Atkinson called Marcel Desailly

  45. @HAL

    And if we end up with another hung parliament (the median prediction from Electoral Calculus) we might find the SNP and PC offering to support Corbyn if he agrees to an immediate revocation of Article 50 and promises Scotland another indyref.

    The 14-day rule for a vote of confidence if he refuses could then lead to us crashing out of the EU with no deal and yet another GE. I don’t think that Brenda from Bristol would like that (I have no idea of her political views on Brexit).

  46. @HAL

    “Corbyn calling for a general election.

    If he gets it, then most of the time left before March 29th will have no Parliament and Mrs May unchallenged as prime minister.”

    One might suppose both May and Corbyn wish to run down the clock.

  47. @ED G

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/nov/14/tax-credits-cuts-conservative-mps-opposed-stephen-mcpartland

    https://flipchartfairytales.wordpress.com/2015/10/17/tory-opposition-to-tax-credit-cuts-arithmetically-challenged/

    I can only show two links but I hope you get the point. it was a shambles of a budget but in the context of where we are now I presume that people forgot

  48. @Edge of Reason
    @BFR

    Yep, it seems Ron may have had a few nicknames…

  49. A thoughtful, nuanced article in FT.

    The implications for the growing gap between the polling and political outcomes in most of Europe (of course, it is not the most important) is big.

    https://www.ft.com/content/9cbb5e0e-0555-11e9-9d01-cd4d49afbbe3

  50. @SAM
    “One might suppose both May and Corbyn wish to run down the clock.”

    One might more reasonably suppose that recent tactics evince more Corbyn’s wish to make as much trouble as possible for the Government.

    Certainly yesterday’s exercise was the very opposite of running down the clock, but the very epitome of infuriating the Government and obstructing its plans, and he seems to have no qualms in seeing Labour MPs vigorously whipped in the “infuriate and obstruct” direction.

    Which in our adversarial Parliament, and without getting all Jeffersonian about whether it should be, is pretty much his job definition.

1 26 27 28 29 30 32