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.


1,582 Responses to “Where public opinion stands”

1 29 30 31 32
  1. As ALEC says though, this is all angels on the head of a pin stuff.

    If the PM moves to revoke the notice, the present remain-inclined Parliament would push through all the instruments and repeals that might even be merely arguably necessary in a wet afternoon.

  2. @DAVID COLBY
    That was considered in the CJEU ruling on the question put by the Court of Session. It is clear that a second notice given that quickly and in such apparent bad faith as a mere delaying tactic would have no legal effect.

  3. PeterW,

    The reason for the Miller case was that leaving the EU would automatically extinguish rights established by UK statutes (e.g. the 1972 EC Act). Therefore some legislation was required to allow this.

    This would not apply in the case of revoking A50, or indeed signing a treaty to rejoin the EU. That’s because these actions would have no effect in UK law without an Act of Parliament (either repealing the Withdrawal Act, passing a new version of EC 1972 or indeed Danny’s solution of changing the date on the WA – which action has already been authorised by statute).

  4. David Colby

    “She then turns the UK element of the European Parliamentary elections into a defacto in/out referendum and bases her next moves on the outcome”

    Won’t work as elections are not the right place to decide single issues as they are muddied by party allegiances and other issues.

  5. Westminster voting intention:

    LAB: 41% (+1)
    CON: 38% (-1)
    LDEM: 10% (+2)
    UKIP: 4% (+1)
    GRN: 2% (-)

    The Survation poll shows a 3 point Labour Lead .Interesting that the Labour Lead is up even with LIB Dems improvement. You GOV polls tend to be more favourable to the Tories.

    Since 01st November all the Tories Leads have been with YOUGOV. All the other companies have been neck and neck or Labour leads. Are these differences purely down to methodology.

    I have noticed that the YOUGOV polls tend to be discussed a lot more in the media than the other polls. Creating the narrative that the Tories are ahead when this might not be true.

  6. My morning Times has 4 or 5 pages on the latest Brexit manoeuvres .

    I realised , with a sigh, that I couldn’t be bothered to read it .

    In my local Bowls Club , two ordinary working class members I was chatting to ,complained bitterly about the “MPs”. These two didn’t understand why we couldn’t “just leave”. I had neither the energy nor the heart to explain the complications to them.

    I think a weariness of it all has settled on top of the Brexit Divide in our society.

    It is going to take remarkable political skills and leadership to drag the country out from under all of this weary disillusionment .

    I don’t see them on display anywhere.

  7. @peterw – “It might arguably be truer to say that the WTO encompasses a trade deal.”

    Not really. WTO defines what a trade deal is, and it isn’t membership of the WTO. This is at the heart of the principles that WTO operates by.

    @Nearlyfrench – “I have been told many times, by UK officials, that I had to do certain things because of EU rules which either did not exist or had been misinterpreted.”

    My local example was a council official telling us that we had to have national speed limit signs erected 40m from the start of a 30mph zone because of EU rules.

    I went away and spent 30 minutes digging out the DoT guidelines on road signage, along with all the EU road and transport directives. I went back to him the following week and pointed out he was talking [email protected], and that not even the UK regulations specified we needed the signs (guidelines, not requirements).

    We still got the signs, the council still wasted our money, and drivers are still accelerating hard into a 30mph zone.

    Once there is an accident and somebody dies, the council will discover that this isn’t an EU requirement and will remove the signs.

    It’s tiresome. I expect intellectually lazy numpties with a prejudice against foreigners to fall for nonsensical propaganda about the EU, but I used to hope that government officials were more sensible. Alas not.

  8. PETERW
    but the EU is a body of rules. Which rule would it break to stop this?
    The right to revoke article fifty or the right to invoke it? And how would this refusal be implemented? By forcing the U.K. out against its will (refusing step one)? or by forcing the U.K. to remain against its will (refusing step two)? And what do you think the consequences might be if either of those steps were taken?

    TONYBGT
    You think an EU election in those circumstances would be clouded by healthcare etc.? It would be ALL about remain v. Leave.

  9. The survation poll has more national support for the May deal than no deal.
    They had a dead heat on 40% support for government deal or remain in a choice between them, but a win for remain by 46% to 41% against leaving with no deal.

    3 point lead for remain as against leaving the EU as a generality, deal unspecified. With weighting they make it 51/49 for remain.

    The apparent contradiction in these two resuts might be explained because some of the results exclude people who say they do not know the details of the deals. This might not be a very valid way of proceeding, because people who currently do not understand the deal, might still not understand even after a campaign, they just arent interested, but they still have a vote. Also, this brings the sample size down to just 700.

    46% for another referendum, 34% opposed. Its very much leavers oppose one and remainers want one.

    They ask about what happens if some party proposes a second referendum. Labour get more support if conservatives propose it, second best if they propose it, best of all if someone else does. The interesting thing is that if they propose it, the libs gain the difference, not the tories. I did wonder if this imples labour are losing because they are not remain enough. Libs being perceived as the most remain party, if they propose referendum then lab are not losing hard remainers to them in this scenario? I imagine hard remainers would prefer a parliamentary decision to remain, not the risk of another referendum.

    If labour oppose a second referendum, then their vote share sinks around 6-7%.

    Sample size a bit small compared to the yougov (1000 to 25,000), so you might expect bigger random errors.

    I think there might be a problem with the sample selection with regard to the proportion of labour and tory supporters who are remainers or leavers. It looks as though their sample is weighted by party (and by referendum resut), but not enough remainer labour or leaver tory. I think they might be underrepresenting the Brexit motivated partisans. The pattern of their results seems a bit different to yougov’s.

  10. EU Ambassador to the US has reportedly said on US TV that the EU will only allow an extension to A50 of less than two months. BREXIT is not to extend into the euro-eplections. By the elections we are to be either in or out.

  11. Peterw,
    “That was a two stage process, requiring her first to get statutory authority to do so, and then exercising that authority. ”
    Yes, but it seems likely the first stage was general, the power to give notice contiues to exist, and implies the power to withdraw that notice too. So its a question of what additional steps are required to exercise the power, and the answer might be none.

    I recall at the time there was some debate because the act does not direct her to give notice, and whether there was need of a specific step to direct her to do so. SInce there never was one, presumably either none is needed now to withdraw, or her giving notice was invalid because this step was missed out.

    Sam,
    “A referendum is likely to be enough to meet the constitutional requirements. I do not think one will happen. ”

    There is no constitutional requirement in the Uk to hold a referendum before a government does anything, so there does not need to be one at all.

    The EU definition of what would be needed is the definition used in the member contry concerned, so different for each. In general in the Uk, surely the executive is entitled to use powers it has been handed without reference to anyone, and that might apply to pm giving notice!

    The Uk dosnt really have constitutional requirements, that is the constitution. We work by devolved absolute power of the monarch.

    Tonybtg,
    “The problem might be that the loss of VI might be in the southern marginals that they need to win.”

    The recent yougov had 25,000 respondents. If we had a breakdown, it might have significant information on maybe a county level? Or it might have concentrated on key marginals?

  12. There is an extraordinary gap between YouGov’s polling and the others. Since the Brexit agreement was published in mid November, we’ve had 7 YouGov polls and 9 by other pollsters. The averages are as follows:

    YouGov 3.3% Con lead
    The rest 1.6% Lab lead

    Does anyone know why this is happening, or what is unique to YouGov’s methodology?

  13. Has polling in the UK stopped?
    No site update since 16th December 2018

  14. I don’t get why pollsters think it’s useful to ask about what voters would do with various Labour stances on Brexit. This rather seems to ignore that the Tories will also have to state their approach, and both their plausible stances – supporting May’s deal or no deal – will be electoral poison to substantial chunks of their voters.

  15. Smiley Ben

    Maybe it’s because it’s Labour’s position that is the most ambiguous (for obvious reasons that have been discussed over and over on UKPR).

    So the pollsters are trying to eek out the possible nuances that Labour may adopt.

    However, I have an inkling that the Tories have an equally difficult task in this respect, if they follow the position of their membership (and the leaning of their core voter demographic) and go too much leave, they will alienate the moderates in marginals that they need to secure any kind of majority,

  16. James H

    “Does anyone know why this is happening, or what is unique to YouGov’s methodology?”

    Think back to the 2017 general election – Yougov’s methodology produced some very accurate polling. For example, Yougov even predicted the Canterbury result.

    If things are the same now, should we assume that Yougov are probably nearer to the correct position.

  17. @TONYBTG

    Think back to the 2017 general election – Yougov’s methodology produced some very accurate polling. For example, Yougov even predicted the Canterbury result.
    If things are the same now, should we assume that Yougov are probably nearer to the correct position.

    I believe their final published poll had the Conservatives with a 7 point lead, They also used a one with different methodology which they did not publish which gave the Conservatives a 4 point lead

    I believe the pollster who got closest was Survation, but could be wrong

  18. My memory was correct with survation being the most accurate, link here
    https://www.survation.com/survation-most-accurate-pollster/

  19. NeilJ

    Fair enough – My memory must be failing me!

    In which case, I’ll tend towards the Survation poll.

    On the actual election night though, didn’t Yougov produce an experimental polling website that seemed to be predicting most of the Labour swings accurately……..they then announced that they would be using aspects of the new model in their polling.

  20. Yes it was the poll they didn’t publish that got it within 4 points, Survation were still closer though

  21. @tonybtg and @neilj

    IIRC it was Yougov’s experimental methodology using mukti-regression analysis which proved to be very accurate as opposed to their conventional opnion polling.

  22. I posted above that the survation samples for labour and con looked less polarised in terms of remain/leave than the ones I see from yougov.

    I dont know how either applies their normalisation to try to get representative samples. I can see theoretically how you could get the party balance and remain balance separately correct, but have significant differences in the proportion of remainers and leavers in each party. This could blow holes in a lot of the predictions.

    The big normalising factors are the actual election results, and there are no figures from that about the proportions of remain/leave in each party.

    For example, not enough hard leave tories who would oppose the government deal. Not enough hard remain labour who would oppose the government deal. The predited reaction of party voters to one policy or another could be noticeably shifted if the balance of support within that party has been set wrong.

  23. @Colin – “…..two ordinary working class members…..”

    I’m intrigued.

    Do we have ‘working class specials’?

  24. Hireton

    You’d be correct. No reason to suspect You Gov’s regular polling is any more accurate than any other pollster. The sample size with help reduce the random variation due to sampling but but there is still an unknowable bias due to methodology stuck in there.

  25. TonyBTG, re your:

    ”Survation poll provides some evidence that Labour fighting an election promising a second referendum on EU does not impact adversely on their VI”

    My reading the that the position hinted at by John McDonnell of a Labour Deal being put to a second ref, which is where Labour has been heading for some time, in the event of a GE would not necessarily be bad for them.
    Reason being that Labour Brexit voters for whom it is not a single issue totem can support as can remain supporters and soft Brexit supporters.

    Much less equivocal than in 2017 GE which would allow non-Labour remain to back in Lab/Con marginals.

    GE unlikely of course and Labour backing a Tory back-bench move for ref 2 in Feb (should May’s deal or variant fall) most likely. A50 extension for 2 months might delay Labour’s move to that position as there would be more time for others options to be explored first ,specifically cross-party constructs, before the point of no alternative is reached. .

  26. ALEC

    I don’t understand your question.

  27. @Colin

    “In my local Bowls Club , two ordinary working class members I was chatting to ,complained bitterly about the “MPs”. These two didn’t understand why we couldn’t “just leave”. I had neither the energy nor the heart to explain the complications to them.”

    I have a twinge of sympathy for them (and you). After all, many politicians claimed it would be the easiest deal ever, and it was characterised by both sides as a “divorce”. I think most leavers still see it as a “divorce”, but the analogy its very superficial. The choice given was between something that required no change, and something with huge ramifications for our national institutions, for industry, and for millions of individuals, and yet was presented as a straightforward choice between two more or less equal alternatives. We can’t simply put the past behind us and find a new partner, or live happily on our own, because the EU remains our biggest trading partner in a highly globalised world. But it wasn’t presented like that.

    All the same, one would have hoped some sense of reality would have sunk in by now. I think TM has done amazingly well to get the WA she has, given the self-imposed red lines that she started with, and I still don’t really get why those who want to leave don’t support it. I thought this was what they voted for, what they wanted. Unicorns don’t exist. Just do it!

  28. PATRICK BRIAN

    Thanks.

    One of the remarks made to me in that conversation was-“we didn’t have all these problems joining ” .The nature of the difference between the European Economic Community which we joined, and the European UNion which we are trying to leave was not, however lost on them.

    It would have been easy -and pointless-to try and dismiss their frustrations with a list of explanatory complexities . They were just ordinary folk.

    I agree with your last para-save that I have a reason why she lacks support-she hasn’t explained the key detail to the public.-the essential pros & cons. Nada.

    I happened to switch to BBC Parliament the other day-it was the Brexit debate & Michael Gove was speaking. So the exchanges were mostly on Agriculture , Fisheries etc.. But Gove spoke more widely about the WA + PD. He was lucid, precise , informed , and courteous . His exchanges with the back benches opposite were civilised-and constructive.

    It was the best pro WA speech & Q&A I have heard. But it was not being given to the ordinary voter.

    There again-it is the MPs who will decide , and their various factions seem either implacably attached to a viewpoint-or focussed entirely on party political advantage.

  29. We keep on hearing pro-Brexit ministers and campaigners saying that 17.4 million UK voters cannot be ignored, and at constituency level that MPs ought to respect Leave majorities.

    But what about at polity level – why is respect not considered important there? Something Chris Grayling has clearly not considered.

    In Scotland 76% of the MSPs want to Remain or to have the compromise of saying in the SM and CU, and the vote in June 2016 was 62% Remain and only 38% Leave. Some Leavers might argue that it was a whole-UK vote, but the counts were done by polity so that the governments (plural) could be guided by the RESULTS – this was clearly stated in the Referendum Bill.

    Ignoring the democratic vote could possibly be tolerated on non-devolved matters. But on devolved matters it would be a travesty if ministers and MSPs (76% of them and doubtless more) had to be controlled by a vote in a separate polity.

    These MSPs surely have a moral responsibility to accept the Scotland decision, and go further when a devolved matter especially agriculture will be greatly undermined by the absurd UK policy of severely restricting immigration.

    It is high time that Nicola Sturgeon was much bolder in telling TM that the Scottish Government will do all in its power to impede the policy of driving out our seasonal farm workers, doctors, nurses and teachers.

  30. PatrickBrian
    “I think TM has done amazingly well to get the WA she has, given the self-imposed red lines that she started with, and I still don’t really get why those who want to leave don’t support it. ”

    Speaking for myself, it’s simply because the backstop potentially locks us in for ever. I believe that this is a common opinion, though I have no statistics or links to support that belief.

  31. PB
    ‘The choice given was between something that required no change, and something with huge ramifications for our national institutions, for industry, and for millions of individuals, and yet was presented as a straightforward choice between two more or less equal alternatives.’

    The things is it was said many, many times and it was explained, but a lot of people chose not to listen, or their preferred information source chose not to feature it.

    This is the problem of having partisan newspapers, where you don’t get the opposite party’s view, social media websites who only feed you info based on what the algorithm says will be your view and broadcast media who have to be balanced and therefore tend not to stress too much on either argument, preferring to sit on the fence. Add to that a desire to give the government of the day a black eye, add in a touch of xenophobia, promising more money for the NHS and the monstrous EU straight banana type scenario and you can see how it all boils up.

    Sadly the guys you mention probably don’t realise the pup they were sold and can’t understand why it couldn’t be turned off like a light switch.

    However I would’ve thought that they should have been adult enough to know that nothing in this modern world is ever that simple. So naivety and gullibility must come into it too.

  32. “One of the remarks made to me in that conversation was-“we didn’t have all these problems joining ” ”

    In reality we had all sorts of problems. The process of our joining the European Communities took 12 years from the then Prime Minister Harold McMillan announcing his intention to join in 1961.

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/jun/25/a-timeline-of-britains-eu-membership-in-guardian-reporting

  33. Looks as if it’ll take us at least as long to leave! Though I’m still hoping that we won’t.

  34. Steamdrivenandy,
    “The things is it was said many, many times and it was explained, but a lot of people chose not to listen, or their preferred information source chose not to feature it. ”

    I would reckon myself more informed than the average voter, now and before the referendum. But we had no idea the complexities and problems of leaving at referendum time!

    From everything they say, MPs didnt either. If they had, maybe they would have campaigned better. The leave side had no interest in pointing out difficulties with leaving, whether they understood them or not.

    (Thats a generic national ‘we’, not a shared user id trevor sort of ‘we’)

  35. It may well take that something close to that long to sort out our future trading agreements. The Brexiteers have quietly dropped their aspiration to sign dozens of replacement trade deals by 29 March 2019 – having claimed in 2016-17 that this would be entirely achievable.

    https://www.businessinsider.com/liam-fox-promises-to-sign-40-free-trade-deals-the-second-after-brexit-2017-10?r=UK&IR=T

  36. https://www.theguardian.com/education/2019/jan/12/schools-staff-crisis-eu-teacher-applications-fall

    Be careful what you wish for?

    (i’d be interested to hear from any leavers who think that a fall in modern language teachers is a good thing)

  37. @ ALEC – PETERW and HIRETON have already corrected you. It seems you’re starting 2019 with the same terrible memory you’ve had for the last 2yrs :-)

    Perhaps you’ve forgotten, or were unaware, folks use terms like WTO, Norway, Canada, etc to explain the framework of the trade component of a future relationship.

    I’ll repost the link to Global Britain/LAB Leave article below as I’m sure you were too lazy to go back to the original discussion.

    Try reading something other than the corporate elite Kool Aid, you might learn something (although I expect you’d forget it almost instantly)

    Most leavers would consider the current EU deal is the “worst available” given it results in a 95bn trade deficit in goods with EU (woeful and widening), keeps us locked behind EU’s protectionist tariff wall and sees UK jobs being moved to Eastern Europe (manufacturing) or tax havens like Roi/Lux (banking/pharma/GAFA/etc). Oh and for the pleasure of that terrible deal we were pencilled in to pay 11bn/ish per year from 2020!

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

  38. A particularly cruel part of Theresa May`s plan for Brexit is that those EU citizens who came to the UK in 2014, 2015 and early 2016 to work, will have to leave. They came here not thinking they would be expelled by the referendum vote, but knowing that there were severe labour shortages in their career areas.

    It is doubly bad that this stupid woman doesn`t realise what harm these forced departures will do to education, NHS, university research.

    And on top of that, her nasty attitude to those foreigners who can apply for UK residence having stayed here for 5 years, means that they will have to pay a £65 fee. Scotland it seems is showing more humanity by paying these fees.

    But it wouldn`t surprise me if the bully boys of the far right pushed TM into making these payments illegal.

  39. @PB ” I still don’t really get why those who want to leave don’t support it. I thought this was what they voted for, what they wanted. Unicorns don’t exist. Just do it!”

    Part of the answer is that they are starting to do so (as per Survation poll that people have been discussing). Clearly the government’s strategy is to say to remainers if you don’t vote May deal you may get no deal, and to leavers, if you don’t vote May deal you may get no Brexit at all, and to second voters ‘if you let that cat out of the bag you will get riots and most likely no deal as well. And it looks as though this may be starting to work

    As to why they don’t. I suspect that some, like myself, have become radicalised and whereas i might at one stage have welcomed a compromise, I now see anything short of full remain as the end of civilisation as we know it. In the case of leavers, a higher proportion of them were pretty extreme to start with as were a high proportion of their leaders.

    A second reason may be logic. People don’t like uncertainty and the May deal prolongs it. They are fed up with Brexit talk and that is going to continue as well, And they are afraid that their preferred option is not going to materialise – we stay in the EU for ever, a vassal state in limbo, or we are forced into a trade deal or set of trade deals that are extremely bad simply because we are so desperate to get any kind of deal at all,

  40. Charles:

    I can`t understand why people who suffer a psychological loss (not attaining apparent sovereignty for the UK) will be more likely to riot than those losing their jobs and/or being annually £1000 worse off.

    Leavers will come to be grateful if we stay; the rest of us will be angry for years at the chaos inflicted on the UK if we leave. And I feel certain that the Tory party who have caused or permitted this chaos will be unelectable for decades.

  41. @alec

    The trevs clearly didn’t learn to read during their regrettably short absence from the board. I agree with you that “WTO terms” is by definition the absence of a trade deal. Adding any number of +s in and out of brackets doesn’t change that.

  42. @alec

    The trevs clearly didn’t learn to read during their regrettably short absence from the board. I agree with you that “WTO terms” is by definition the absence of a trade deal. Adding any number of +s in and out of brackets doesn’t change that.

  43. @alec

    I think orinary working class means they look up to @colin and know their place so,clearly, as he says in his later post they were “just ordinary folk” they couldn’t possibly understand anything too complicated.

  44. With regards to the YOUGOV polls don’t they use a panel based system. It has been mentioned that they can be skewed due to this with those on the panels more interested in politics than average.

    Maybe Labour panel members are more “Remain” than the average Labour Voter, and Tory Panel members more “leave” than average Tory voter?

  45. HIRETON

    It was always probable that it would be you who would write something like that.

    You really need to get out more .

  46. @Charles

    “People don’t like uncertainty and the May deal prolongs it. They are fed up with Brexit talk …”

    Would these be the same people who allegedly voted Leave because they wanted to stir things up a bit? Another case of care with wishes?

  47. I have a funny feeling TM will call a General Election once she loses the “meaningful vote”.

    She can position the election as “Vote for my deal or face having JC as PM”.

    If she wins, she can say it is a manifesto commitment and thus silence her critics on both wings of her party and go down in history as the PM who delivered Brexit.

    If she loses, she can pass the poisoned chalice of Brexit to Labour. Particularly with a global economic downturn being forecast, the chances are that, regardless of what Labour does or doesn’t do about Brexit, we’ll be worse off in five years time compared to now, and Labour will get the blame.

    What has she got to lose?

  48. DAVID COLBY
    “but the EU is a body of rules. Which rule would it break to stop this? The right to revoke article fifty or the right to invoke it? And how would this refusal be implemented? By forcing the U.K. out against its will (refusing step one)? or by forcing the U.K. to remain against its will (refusing step two)? And what do you think the consequences might be if either of those steps were taken?”

    You could read the CJEU judgment yourself if you want to know.

    In essence though, the answers to your three questions are:

    The rule that is breached is the Article 26 Vienna Convention obligation to act in good faith.

    The implication of paragraph 74 of the judgment (” In the second place, the revocation of the notification of the intention to withdraw must …, be unequivocal and unconditional, that is to say that the purpose of that revocation is to confirm the EU membership of the Member State concerned”) is that it would be step one that would have no legal effect if that condition were not met,

    The consequence would be that under EU law the UK’s membership would cease on the expiry of the two year period.

  49. @DANNY

    Like I said, this is angels on pins stuff. The PM is the block. If she moves Parliament will do everything that might even only possibly be necessary to enable it immediately. But …

    “the power to give notice continues to exist, and implies the power to withdraw that notice too. ”

    I don’t see this at all. The power to accede to the Treaties didn’t include the power to withdraw from them. The Act authorises what it authorises. “The Prime Minister may notify the United Kingdom’s intention to withdraw from the EU”. That’s all. She’s done that. It’s spent.

    “So its a question of what additional steps are required to exercise the power, and the answer might be none. ”

    Agreed, it might be. Because the situations are not directly symmetrical.

    “I recall at the time there was some debate because the act does not direct her to give notice, and whether there was need of a specific step to direct her to do so. SInce there never was one, presumably … none is needed now to withdraw, ”

    Agreed. She does not need directed to give notice to withdraw notice. Indeed I am not sure that she could be bindingly directed to give notice to withdraw notice. But she may need Parliamentary authority to be able to do so, at her discretion, as she did to give notice in the first place.

  50. daibach: I have a funny feeling TM will call a General Election once she loses the “meaningful vote”.
    What has she got to lose?

    She would have to resign first as she promised the tories not to lead them into the next election. Or at least go into the election being known for breaking that promise.

    I think Parliament would quite quickly put itself in charge if she tried that with a no confidence vote and a fairly rapid assembly of an alternative administration under FTPA. I cannot see Parliament allowing a GE at the moment and leaving themselves painted out of decision making.

1 29 30 31 32