There are two new voting intention polls out today – YouGov for the Times, and Ipsos MORI’s monthly political monitor in the Evening Standard.

Ipsos MORI‘s topline figures are CON 38%(nc), LAB 38%(nc), LDEM 10%(+1), UKIP 4%(nc). Fieldwork was between Friday and Tuesday (1st-5th), and changes are from MORI’s last poll back in December.

YouGov‘s topline figures are CON 41%(+2), LAB 34%(nc), LDEM 10(-1), UKIP 4%(-2). Fieldwork was on Sunday and Monday, and changes are from YouGov’s last poll in mid-January.

This does not, of course, offer us much insight on what is really happening. At the weekend a lot of attention was paid to a poll by Opinium showing a big shift towards the Conservatives and a 7 point Tory lead. Earlier in the week Opinium also published a previously unreleased poll conducted for the People’s Vote campaign the previous week, which showed a four point Tory lead, suggesting their Observer poll was more than just an isolated blip. Today’s polls do little to clatify matters – MORI show no change, with the parties still neck-and-neck. YouGov show the Tories moving to a seven point lead, the same as Opinium, but YouGov has typically shown larger Tory leads anyway of late so it doesn’t reflect quite as large a movement.

I know people look at polls hoping to find some firm evidence – the reality is they cannot always provide it. They are volatile, they have margins of error. Only time will tell for sure whether Labour’s support is dropping as events force them to take a clearer stance on Brexit, or whether we’re just reading too much into noise. As ever, the wisest advice I can give is to resist the natural temptation to assume that the polls you’d like to be accurate are the ones that are correct, and that the others must be wrong.

Ipsos MORI tables are up here, YouGov tables are here.


538 Responses to “Latest YouGov and Ipsos MORI voting intention polls”

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  1. @ JAMES B – “promises to end FoM, control of borders, independent trade deals, no ECJ etc,”

    Although some CON MPs seem to have “bad memories” all of that was in CON manifesto and was the default of A50(2), which 494 MPs voted to trigger just over 2yrs ago (all but one CON MP and majority of LAB MPs in case you missed it)

    “while those up the other end will point out the promises of all the benefits of the SM/CU etc.”

    Clearly “cakish” fantasies. Many would question if there is any benefit of being locked into full SM or full CU. Net, certainly a huge disadvantage of being in either/both.

    If they Remainers wanted a Remain party at 2017 GE they should have voted LDEM (or SNP) – if they got duped into voting LAB to “teach CON a lesson” then more fool them!

    The Arch-Remain press pointed out the foolishness of leaving CON with a small majority back before the GE, well worth a re-read as they pretty much nailed it with their prediction (kudos to Sean O’Grady):

    https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/theresa-may-brexit-soft-hard-general-election-progressive-alliance-jeremy-corbyn-a7692361.html

  2. @ DANNY (@ TOH) – Brexit means Brexit ;)

    Brexit is nebulous. The WA is almost 600pages that leaves out all the detail in the future relationship. You can’t put that into a polling question or a public vote.

    Hence the ref question was simple: Remain or Leave.

    MPs, much to Gina Miller’s chagrin, voted by a huge majority to trigger A50 (8Feb’17)

    This is a polling site and plenty of polling that has given us a fairly good idea of what is and what is not considered to be a Brexit. You might have an n=1 view you wish to “project” but polling avoids that “anecdote” approach.

    I’m about the only one who looks at the X-breaks but CON are HMG (with a DUP C+S pact).

    You don’t see May saying she is about to renationalise the railways even though majority want that (certainly more folks want to renationalise railways than the 54%ish that want to Remain, DK removed)

    HMG deliver the policies of their party – simples

    May isn’t renationalising the railways as it’s not CON policy. Same for Brexit and Remain or full CU.

    If any party wants to avoid splitting then that party should have policies that match the vast majority of their VI (and most MPs should appreciate that unless like LDEM Lloyd or some LAB MPs they made a promise to their constituents)

    No Deal matches a majority of CON VI

    LAB VI want a new ref and want to Remain – so speak to Corbyn or get LAB to split so their MPs can respect the wishes of LAB members and VI.

    Starmer, Owen Smith, Umunna + co. I reckon they could get 100+ MPs – what are they waiting for? April Fool’s day 2019?

  3. “Well I agree our democracy is imperfect, but surely you would give some weight to the fact that Leave won the referendum?”

    Not really, aside from my personal dislike of referendums (that I should note, predated this one), it was advisory not only in that didn’t specify what to do after but also in not actually specifying what a ‘win’ was. My own interpretation of that (which is as valid as anyone else’s) is that to proceed as we have on such a huge change with no plan should have needed an awful lot more than a slim simple majority, particularly one that was likely to expire before anything could be implemented.

    @bft

    “That is no surprise, given there are at least three blocks of voters already identified by polling”

    I think you’ve missed the sizeable chunk of those forced into voting labour as the least worst option under FPTP.

    “Clearly “cakish” fantasies.”

    Only in combination with the other set. As it is there is a huge weight of post referendum polling and BES evidence that plenty of, possibly most, people bought the ‘clearly cakish’ fantasies as something they would get. While it may be clear to most here that such things were never deliverable, those here are far from representative of the general public.

    As an aside you’ve just provided a lovely example of someone up one of the far ends of the spectrum who thinks only one set matters (the ones they want) and dismisses the other set out of hand, so thank you for that.

  4. Whilst the GDP figures out today are disappointing, they still show that, out of the G7, we were the third highest on the list, after the USA and Canada (The Donald must be doing something right).
    And our growth was ahead of all the Europeans – so if it is all because of Brexit, then it’s hurting them more than us..but it’s not all about Brexit, is it ?
    And it looks like the Tories and Labour will cobble something together around a deal and out we come on the 29th March.
    Apparently Starmer is not a happy bunny this morning as Corbyn’s letter should have mentioned another vote but the leader’s office “forgot” to put it in the letter.
    You have to larf !!

  5. TOBYEBERT

    I don’t have to, Danny knows what I believe well enough to know that. I have no real understanding of why he occasionally posts to me. I cannot remember when we last agreed on anything, maybe never.

    Danny

    “So the best way to honour the spirit of the referendum is to ignore the result of the referendum. And this has always been a fundamental difficulty with how to proceed.”

    That is utter rubbish. The referendum was very straightforward. As a Nation we decided to leave the EU, and to do that we needed to do nothing else than trigger Art 50, and pass a number of UK laws repealing certain aspects of EU legislation.. There was no need to negotiate a WA or a Trade deal or worry about the Eire/NI border. Personally I would have been totally happy if we had done just that and nothing more.

    The Remain arguments are just undemocratic, end of story.

    Nick P

    I agree I am a British patriot, it’s one of many reasons why I voted to leave the EU. If Putin wants the UK to leave the EU then I am happy to agree with him on that one issue.

    However I also want Trade deals with countries like the USA, Australia, New Zealand. I want the regime in Syria overthrown and replaced with a democracy. I want a stronger Nato and would like the UK spending more on defence. Does Putin want those things?

    You really make yourself look very silly when you post. In fact i cannot remember a sensible, intelligent post from you. Why don’t you try writing one. You never know you might surprise yourself and even the rest of us.

  6. The Times is reporting that Nicola Sturgeon, Scottish first minister, has said that Scotland will be applying to the European Union for membership as an independent country within the next three to five years.
    She said this “on her visit to North America”.
    What is she doing in North America?
    Foreign affairs are a matter for HMG.
    She’s always bleating that Scotland is shortchanged by London and then she swans off across the pond doing what exactly?
    What a waste of money, all to satisfy her ego.

    Scottish voters, please take note.

  7. BFR

    Well I agree it is not a great outcome, especially compared to Remaining; but when e.g. Farage suggested we would end up with ‘something like Norway’ why didn’t the Leave campaign point out in 2016 that this was a [email protected] idea?

    Well, that would be an excellent point if Norway were in the CU and out of the SM, but it isn’t. Ending up in the same sort of position as Norway may not be wildly popular with leavers, but it could represent a perfectly logical outcome. The other form of leaving that could make sense is to leave onto a Canada-style third country trading relationship.

    Retaining a customs union while exiting the single market, however, is a miserable failure of a compromise which would tie the UK to trade with the EU, and potentially the EU alone as its other trading partners would be free to exclude us from access to their markets without consequence. It would necessitate following the single market’s rules, while being technically excluded from it and subject to the same checks which would represent 99% of the impediment to trade in a Canada-style arrangement.

    If you include it alongside a Norwegian solution, meanwhile, then the resulting need to follow the other aspects of the EU would result in a form of leaving which had given up our representation in Europe in return for not much more than ditching the CAP and CFP (and perhaps not even that).

  8. @Garj – you are right, my apologies, that Norway through the EEA is a member of the SM but not the CU, rather than the other way around.

    As such Norway can enter into its own trade deals, but allows free movement of capital, goods, services and workers.

    However my point – perhaps made badly – was that the Norway option implies a list of constraints on national freedom now deemed to be unacceptable by people and groups who once happily proposed it.
    And that this is not the only example – very few Leave leaders actively campaigned for ‘No Deal’ or Canada+ style arrangements in the referendum itself, yet now these are stated to be the only solutions which ‘honour the result of the referendum’.

    I’ve no problem with those like ToH who have advocated total withdrawal from the outset, but he is in a very small minority.

  9. I’m sure this has been posted many times before (including by me probably), but it always makes me laugh and might provide a bit of light relief about Brexit

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=37iHSwA1SwE

  10. HUGO

    Someone forgot to tell Nicola that Scotland will have to remain part of the UK’s customs area in order to avoid a hard border.

    Joking aside, I see no reason why the UK government should allow the SNP to have another go at an independence referendum this side of 2050. They had their shot and they missed, we shouldn’t be in the business of rerunning once-in-a-generation referenda with potentially huge impacts every couple of years because one side didn’t like the result of the last one.

  11. GARJ

    Spot on, sir.

  12. Hugo

    Nicola Sturgeon has said many things over the years not the least that the Scottish independence vote was a once in a generation thing.
    Rather like the SNP IN Westminster it is her eternal mantra of how hard done the Scottish are by those nasty English.
    It’s also a inconvenient truth for the SNP that they have singulary failed to convince the majority of Scots that the SNP should lead them into the glorious uplands of a independent Scotland, so she can talk to whom she wants until the Scottish people decide otherwise it’s all just hot air.

  13. @ JAMES B – May set out to get the best deal possible under the proviso that “No Deal is better than a Bad Deal”

    Time has moved on since BES study[1] so you need to look at fresher polling now we know the best May could get[2]

    Obviously subtle variations in wording and the results but let’s take a recent BMG (picked at random as had hoped they’d have posted their new poll)

    Amongst Leave Voters:
    66% (net 48%) would support UK leaving the EU without a deal.

    https://www.bmgresearch.co.uk/if-may-deal-fails-to-pass/

    [1] – what it is with Remain and the concept of time?

    [2] – Brady amendment sent May back but I think most of us expect she’ll get nothing. This poll was prior to that but 51% (net 17%) of Leave supported giving her another chance. 77% (net 64%) of Leave opposed UK remaining in EU (of which 63% strongly opposed Remain!)

    @ CHARLES – If MPs want a new ref based on “No Deal” v “May-EC Deal” then they will need to enable that.

    It would also require asking for an extension or revoking A50. IMHO it would be extremely divisive, continue the uncertainty that is making businesses hold back on investment and HMG on Project After policies.

    Also EU27 might not unanimously agree to it (as an extension) but if May wants to risk splitting her party or CON Remain MPs force her to then we might end up with yet another PeoplesVotes to decide it: “Deal” v “No Deal” respects the 1st ref and you could argue does not disrespect CON and LAB manifesto.

    If it did come to it I’d prefer a GE “PeoplesVote” to a new ref. By making the wording of “PeoplesVote” vague in order to gain support for it a GE would fit the bill and just so happens to be LAB’s 1st choice policy.

    @ BFR – “remember more than 20% of voters when tested think ‘No Deal’ = Remain!”

    The Trevors have tried to find the source for that but no luck. We know ALEC once thought that, but could you post the source poll/info.

    Keen to know if that is a recent poll or something that has slipped into “acceptance” despite the passage of time and possible change in public awareness of what “No Deal” means.

  14. @ Hugo/Garj/Turk

    While I am sure that Sturgeon, as a believer in independence, would welcome any reason to call another referendum that she might win, it seems entirely fair that when your trade options are so drastically changed that she has every right to ask for a new referendum.

  15. Not much has changed at the Home Office

    http://www.politics.co.uk/news/2019/02/11/hostile-environment-hundreds-of-commonwealth-nationals-evict

    “Figures obtained by Politics.co.uk reveal that almost 300 Commonwealth nationals have been evicted from their homes under the government’s controversial ‘right to rent’ rules, raising concerns that members of the Windrush generation could have been affected.

    The guidelines, which were introduced in 2016 as part of the government’s hostile environment policies, require landlords to check the immigration status of current or potential tenants.

    A key measure within the regulations forces landlords to terminate a tenancy if they receive a notice from the Home Office informing them that someone living at the property is ‘disqualified’ from renting.”

  16. SHEVII

    But Scotland’s trade with the rest of the UK is worth four times more than its trade with the EU. Yet Sturgeon wants to break the union with the UK (£50bn trade) and hook up with the EU (£13bn trade).
    And if her goal is EU membership – no independent trade policy – I ask again what on earth she is doing “touring” North America.

  17. Trevor,

    Starmer to be knowledge has never believed Labour is a remain party post referendum.
    There is no evidence to support this suggestion.
    In fact the evidence is the opposite in that he is the main architect of a Brexit deal that could command a HOC majority.

  18. Trevor Warne,
    “UKPR best example is DANNY.”

    if you were paying attenion, you would have noted my view is conservative MPs are for remain and parliament as a whole is for remain, Moreover, the conservatives have done just about everything they could to optimise the chance of a remain outcome.

    I would also observe that labour has also done nothing inconsistent with seeking to remain.

    Everyone has avoided saying what they honestly believe.

  19. PeteB

    What a great series that was. Thanks for the clip.

    :-)

  20. @shevii

    A few points on your very reasonable reply to our recently convened little British nationalist support group:

    The Scottish electorate elected a Scottish Parliament which has voted to obtain a section 30 order to hold another referendum in line with the manifestoes of the SNP and Scottish Green Party. The denial of that section 30 order is in direct contravention to the vote of the Scottish Parliament.

    The change in circumstances which you rightly point out not only includes a fundamental change to the UK’s trade and related policy but a significant reduction in the powers of the Scottish Parliament and also a fundamental undermining of the devolution settlement in the manner in which that has been done.

    Of course, membership of the EU does not prevent member states and the constituent parts of them in promoting themselves both for trade and as place for investment (something which successive Scottish Governments have done and been successful at) as well as establishing other important links in fields such as education.

    It is also amusing that those who say Brexit will be excellent for trade and industry (with virtually frictionless trade with the EU and expansion in other markets) in the same breath saying that an independent Scotland being an EU member will somehow endanger its trade with rUK.

  21. Hugo

    “And if her goal is EU membership – no independent trade policy – I ask again what on earth she is doing “touring” North America.”

    She is the leader of a major political party in the UK. Why on Earth should she not tour America if she wishes? Do you think she should be under house arrest? Is it ok for Jeremy Corbyn and Vince Cable to tour America or should they too be under house arrest?

  22. Brexit polling

    One thing to note is that polling companies have “kept up” with events.

    Back before EURef and for quite a while afterwards polling companies asked about the “type” of Brexit folks wanted.

    Since we started to get a “deal” fleshed out the questions have turned more to the realities of the choice MPs (and possibly voters if we do get another “PeoplesVote”) will have to make.

    Polling companies can’t easily cover the “process” aspects so some issues are still “cake-ish” and although a “hindsight” tracker might appeal to some folks its pretty useless unless MPs enable a “do-over” poll. Polling companies do ask about the specific type of “PeoplesVote” folks would want as a way out of the current mess – a GE is not popular and the type of question on a ref is very partisan specific (CON and Leave h8te any ref that has “Remain” as an option but more accepting of a “Deal v No Deal” poll – where they’d back No Deal! Remain obviously want a “Remain v” poll and don’t want a “Deal v No Deal” poll – although would deal if it came to that)

    Of course some MPs are still hoping for their version of “cake” but polling companies are being more realistic with the options. Pretending “cake” is still possible (Norway+, Canada+, Turkey-, etc) might block May’s deal but that makes any “enabling” majority harder.

    Sadly, that does make “tracking” of folks views impossible (if anyone has a recent poll asking “Norway” then please post it, I might have missed it).

    FWIW I never wanted absolutely “No Deal” whatsover. The Mayb0cth GE narrowed the likely options to Bad Deal v No Deal (IMHO).

    I’d still like a “slimmed down WA” and given how ill prepared we are for “No Deal” would pay the full 39bn for an implementation period to 1Jan21 (as already agreed in principle).

    Both sides have already implemented some “No Deal” mitigation (e.g. citizens rights, market access, avoiding new NTBs, etc) but that is clearly a long way from a Association Agreement (Verhofstadt suggested that a long time ago) that could take the place of the current WA (cut and pasting large chunks of it, but not all of it)

    Hence my view today is not what it was 2yrs ago. Given the choice of taking May’s deal or “No Deal” (hopefully with more unilateral, bilateral or multilateral mitigation) – I’d take “No Deal”, which is supported by plurality/majority polling of CON and Leave voters.

  23. Corbyns proposal that many see as “Worse than No Deal!” Only fits that description if you think that EU rules don’t or won’t fit the UK.

    As many Remain supporters have pointed out repeated here and elsewhere although there are constant complaints about EU rules and having decisions made in Brussels there are extremely few actual examples of our old rules being superior or of having seperate rules of our own outweighing the benefits of common ones across a continent.

    If you think as many do that the common rules we have across the EU work fairly well for both ourselves and the EU and that as a major player closely integrated with the rest future rules will too, then not being involved in making them is no big deal.

    Clearly what most of UK business wants are clear and stable rules that they can follow that let them trade as freely as possible across the largest possible market and I doubt they are that bothered where they are made as long as they work.

    For those who place the emphasis on making our own laws and if it’s that important would presumably prefer a too many UK rules to fewer EU ones or even a bad British Law to a good EU one, it’s a disaster.

    But I suspect there are a lot of businesses, people and particularly live with it if it causes the least disruption while being on paper “Leaving the EU!”

    As to those upset that we wouldn’t be “Leaving in the Fullest Sense!” Or “Leaving in Name Only!” If they want more they can always demand a New Referendum on moving from a “Corbyn Leave,” to a “Farage Leave!”

    As you might expect from the SNP as a Party that doesn’t want to leave in a Country that voted not to Leave which isn’t going to get it’s wish Corbyns deal looks better than Mays and a lot better than No deal.

    Okay the UK Government doesn’t get a seat at the table when big changes are planned, but the Scottish Government doesn’t have one now so it’s no big change for us.

    Peter.

    Peter.

  24. hugo: … Nicola Sturgeon, Scottish first minister, “on her visit to North America”.
    What is she doing in North America?
    Foreign affairs are a matter for HMG.
    She’s always bleating that Scotland is shortchanged by London and then she swans off across the pond doing what exactly?
    What a waste of money, all to satisfy her ego.

    Scottish voters, please take note.

    Yes, I took note and I am satisfied with what my FM is doing. Given that Scotland may go independent, it would be neglectful of her not to go abroad and for me, the expenditure of taxation on this trip is no problem. We Scots do pay tax and probably have more cause to criticise Westminster for the enormous expenditure on brexit, which does Scotland no good.

    To be consistent, of course, you need to stop all foreign trips for local authorities or government agencies such as the Home Office [which has no foreign affairs brief].

    But, frankly, if you are not in Scotland, you should butt out and mind your own business.

  25. Norbold

    Fine for Corbyn and Sir Vince. They lead all Britain parties that seek to form HMG.

    Sturgeon leads a party that stands in only one part of the kingdom and whose parliament is subordinate to Westminster.

    If she wants to go to North America, it should be in her own time

  26. Judging from the defence secretary’s comment this morning and some of the comments above, Brexit is an expensive (for the country) replacement for PE Treatment (for the individual)…

  27. Tec……………..
    Scotland is part of the UK.
    The UK is my country.
    You may not like it, but you and me are both British.
    Aberdeen, Aberystwyth,Aldershot…all places in our country.

  28. @Peter Cairns SNP – thanks for putting those at risk German jobs numbers in context. Would be interesting to see some thoughts on how many German jobs might be at risk if they undermine the single market, but in any event, these numbers tell us that a hard Brexit will make in effect no noticeable difference to the German jobs mrket overall.

    On the UK-Swiss trade deal;

    This is good news, but it’s worth pointing out that what are seeing today are the limited press releases, not the detail. These make clear that some new tariffs may be levied, as the deal doesn’t cover everything the existing EU deal does, and according to reports, it doesn’t cover the financial sector.

    The detail is going to be quite interesting to watch.

  29. I should have said – according to Bloomberg it doesn’t cover financial services.

    HMG is very reluctant to publish ful texts of the trade deals – in some cases requiring NDA’s to be signed before companies can see them, so I would maintain a healthy suspicion until the full text is available.

  30. YG poll from a few days back.

    “Compared to the rest of the country do you believe London gets more or less than its fair share of public spending”

    Let’s ignore the ONS hard data on regional govt revenue and expenditures and see what folks think about the nebulous term “fair share”

    Londoners:
    More than fair share 21%
    About fair share 35%
    Less than fair share 17%

    net 4% more than fair share

    Then the further you get away from the London the higher the number that think London gets more than fair share.

    The “commuter belt” in SE England start the trend (eg Surrey is 32%, net 24% “more than fair share”)

    Most places in North give 0-2% for “less than fair share” and are net mid 70%+ of view London gets “more than fair share”.

    Scots are net 69% and Welsh net 72% (ie Scots actually less anti-London than Welsh and many part of N.England! It’s a small difference but possibly reflects some Scots are aware of Barnett formula?)

    I’m certainly keen on a less London-centric model post Brexit but was surprised just how “anti-London” rUK is, especially N.England and the Welsh!

    https://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/lc4cznrm4i/YouGov%20London%20fair%20share%20of%20public%20spending.pdf

    ONS actual data on their website – yes, yes, some issues around the commuter issue and other factors but given UKPR has discussed the ONS data before I though the poll was interesting!

  31. Shev11

    The problem is until she is elected leader of a Independent Scotland there not her trade options. They are trade options within the U.K.
    The fact that Scotland had a majority of remainers is no different than saying London with twice the population having a majority of remainers.
    The simple fact is us who voted remain lost, the difference is I concede that fact, while Sturgeon only seeks to use it as Leverage for another independence vote regardless of the likely disastrous economic cost to Scotland should Scotland ever vote for independence .

  32. @DANNY

    I agree with the premise that the majority of MPs would like to waive a magic wand and wish Brexit away but at each point they could do so they have not.

    The arithmetic of the situation makes it difficult to do so and I believe that most MPs understand that. I have constantly reiterated the problems that each side has.

    Labour’s problems are that they have to win leave supporting seats in the east and west midlands and the fact they lost some of these such as Walsall North means that they have to tread carefully through Brexit their advantage is they are not really responsible for Brexit at this moment but it is clear that people have become restless over the issue both leave and remain supporting labour.

    Tories have a simpler problem. I agree with you that they see problems with leaving the EU and when May produced her red lines it defined Brexit and it also defined that brexit would likely be no deal. I pointed to this by the simple question of which of the red lines would either side give up to get a deal since both sets of red lines means basically no deal or basic FTA where UK is seen as a third party.

    The Tories simple problem is that there is a concern that leaving does not satiate the wishes of those that want leave in the fullest or indeed help those that wanted to leave to have political change. After all they are not really offering political change at all since that was not on the cards during the GE2017 election or was it a change of any policy in terms of fiscal or social change we are still running the Cameron/Osborne deficit plan as an example.

    So whilst MPs in their hearts of hearts may want to remain the majority of Tories are calculating that leaving is still the best option which for the Tories given their voters support for leaving is clearly the rational thing to do if they want to keep their party together and be in the hunt for their seats in 2022

    It is why I have pointed to the fact that in the end Tories to stop brexit have to do something they have failed to do which is stop the train. No Tory vote has stopped the leave train, the Brady amendment did basically nothing other than give the government a cause to be united. It matter little that this was completely barmy. Just read what he wrote in the Daily Mail about the amendment.

    I just don’t think when it comes to it the Tories would vote for a second referendum (they know leave would lose which basically split the party and I don’t see the DUP changing their stance. I cannot see how the EU can change it stance as merkel said if you pull one thread you can start pulling the others and then the jumper becomes not a jumper anymore.

    We have been at a political impasse since Lancaster House one which I suspect that May did not know she was in until May was trying to get over the first phase. I suggested at that time that she should have called it quits and said her red lines and the EU redlines were incompatible with anything but a FTA with the UK as a third party but only the brexiteers want that Most industry at least the importing and exporting parts in the main don’t.

    I don’t think there is a conspiracy and I don’t think May performing some fantastic jedi mind trick. I believe she is playing the card she has but at best she is looking at what is the least worst position. In her view leaving the EU with or without a deal would be bad but the the Tories disintegrating would be worse.

    Simply put we are leaving on 29th March most likely without a deal and even if we leave with a deal I suspect we will be in grind of a deal with the EU for best part of a decade.

  33. @ JJ – I’ll put my hand up to a bit of tr0lling on Starmer.

    Clearly Blues hope the Reds split and vice versa. In my defense I did say it was “gossip”.

    However, many PeoplesVote folks think Starmer is slowly taking Corbyn towards a new ref and Remain as an option.

    Let’s go back to LAB conf where Starmer went “freelance” with LAB policy:

    “Starmer said: “Nobody is ruling out Remain as an option [in such a referendum]”. This phrase was not in the version of his speech signed off by Jeremy Corbyn’s office”

    I’m pretty sure most folks agree the facts. The “spin” (ie gossip) will be for each journo or voter to decide! Corbyn’s letter did not mention a new ref with a Remain option (that is fact, no “spin”)

    https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/brexit-labour-referendum-keir-starmer-jeremy-corbyn-final-say-a8554221.html

    @ DANNY – I know your view, I just wanted you to repeat it again. I do apologise, slow day at the office and a bit of Monday Blues so I needed a laugh.

    @ PETE B – great clip. Divide was clearly DD’s Brexit plan, his only plan!

    Didn’t seem to work but if we leave with No Deal then the next EU MFF budget talks should be “fun” to watch from the outside! I’m sure Varadkar will be very popular – NOT!

  34. @Trevors

    66% (net 48%) would support UK leaving the EU without a deal.

    What does net 48% mean and how do they get it? 66% of 52% gives 34% which is what I thought was around the No deal level of current support. Or do they mean that 48% of leavers support no deal and the rest either oppose or have no opinion? Or something else?

    For the sake of clarity I am not saying that a people’s vote is likely, just that without it, I would not accord any legitimacy to any deal or leastways not a legitimacy that was derived from the original referendum. And for this reason among others, I don’t see any ‘clarity’ coming from the May deal. The crucial question of the nature of our relationship with the EU remains, we will continue to bicker over it, with the difference that even more of the cards will be in the EU’s hand than there were before.

    In practice if the people’s vote were to perform one of its potential tasks – avoiding irremediable splits in our parties and conferring some shaky legitimacy on what was finally decided – it would need to encompass the three main possibilities – remain, soft Brexit (it’s not clear that the May deal is a soft Brexit) and no deal.

    In terms of what I think the current chances are. I would go 50% May deal with or without people’s vote, 30 per cent no deal, 20 per cent people’s vote with or without May deal as one of its arms. Someone can no doubt tell me what the betting odds on these options are.

  35. HIRETON

    The Scottish electorate elected a Scottish Parliament which has voted to obtain a section 30 order to hold another referendum in line with the manifestoes of the SNP and Scottish Green Party. The denial of that section 30 order is in direct contravention to the vote of the Scottish Parliament.

    In the end though, so what? The ability to hold lawful independence referenda and make changes to the constitutional status of Scotland is not devolved to Holyrood. They have the right to request a section 30 order, but Westminster has the lawful authority to refuse that request. Fundamentally, the Scottish Parliament is a devolved assembly with limited powers.

    Personally, I’ve long been a believer in a more federal UK of regions with their own clearly defined competences over numerous areas of governance and finance, and some serious limitations on the ability of central government to override them, but that would require a constitutional settlement which would be somewhat in opposition to the legal framwork of the UK. A difficult circle to square. Even if such an arrangement were to exist, I wouldn’t expect it to grant them the right to hold independence referenda without approval from the central government, at least not without some sort of supermajority. An added effect would also be to place Scotland on a legally equivalent status to, say, Yorkshire or Greater Anglia. It may not please some of the nats on here, but that’s the reality of its size within the wider UK and the level of influence its politics ought to wield.

    PETER CAIRNS

    The important thing is to grasp the distinction between what it means to be in the customs union and what it means to be in the single market. For my part I believe that the latter is the important and worthwhile thing about being in the EU. Being in the CU and not in the SM is not a good idea, being in both is BINO.

  36. Just having a look at the UK/Israel continuity deal, and it seems again to have an element of spin. In the press statement regarding this deal, Fox said Israel had agreed to “….offer broadly the same trade terms to Britain after Brexit as it does to the European Union..”.

    Now of course, ‘broadly the same’ could just mean better, but I suspect if that was the case, Fox would have mentioned it.

  37. @PETER CAIRNS (SNP)

    Corbyns proposal that many see as “Worse than No Deal!” Only fits that description if you think that EU rules don’t or won’t fit the UK.

    I think that is core of LEAVEs argument is it not that EU is not only undemocratic but does not serve the UK at all. Yes I know I don’t think so and possibly you don’t think so but people are spending many hours on this site saying exactly that EU rules don’t suit us. read TREVOR WARNE or COLIN or TURK or the THE OTHER HOWARD who basically share that view

    As many Remain supporters have pointed out repeated here and elsewhere although there are constant complaints about EU rules and having decisions made in Brussels there are extremely few actual examples of our old rules being superior or of having seperate rules of our own outweighing the benefits of common ones across a continent.

    I think you hit the second problem, in the main the point that is raised is that it does not really matter what REMAINERs think, For some LEAVE allows the UK to take political decisions that they may not have ever taken just take the issue of CAP and Environmental issues raised by COLIN as an example.

    And yes I agree that CAP provision a lot of flexibility that we don not use in the same way that FoM provides, or indeed how we distributed Fishing quotas but that is besides the point. The view form some LEAVERs is that either the EU allows the Government to do things against its own will or is forced to do things because of the EU being a burdensome undemocratic entity

    For those who place the emphasis on making our own laws and if it’s that important would presumably prefer a too many UK rules to fewer EU ones or even a bad British Law to a good EU one, it’s a disaster.

    Yes the argument is that we can vote the Government out and put in a new government that would reverse these laws.

    Take for example employment legislation, Most of these have been opposed by the Conservatives at some point in my lifetime when proposed by the Labour party. The argument is that because that these rules are written into EU law thus a set of minimum standard that all EU countries have to abide by one of the keys to the UK advantage as seen by a proportion of people is UK ‘s labour flexibility. It is seen a and advantage.

    Okay the UK Government doesn’t get a seat at the table when big changes are planned, but the Scottish Government doesn’t have one now so it’s no big change for us.

    But that is the central point from brexiteers, we are better that the Scots they have to take what UK government gives them and shut up, and we want to renegotiate the Barnett agreement BTW, as the Scots cost too much money…..( a bit like the EU)

    ;-)

    The simple fact is that part of the problem is remain did not win (kind of obvious..) which means that this trumps most if not all arguments including brexit is a clusterbourach* (* A word OLDNAT has graciously taught me I am still minded to use clusterf#’k on occasion though)

    My biggest fear is that there are just too many brexiteer f:#kwits in the cabinet (OK I don’t know any who aren’t and yes one of them is my MP) so as I said in previous posts that we will leave with no deal

    As ALEC has said the FT deals are shrouded in NDAs which seems strange to me because they were supposed to be replications but hey as I said remain lost and I don’t see a way out of this mess.

  38. @ PETER (SNP) – Take State Aid Rules (important for Corbyn and other Lexit folks)

    The “bungs” we gave Japanese car companies in 1980s would not be possible today, not for UK anyway!

    The EU of today is not the EEC we joined, the rules have “developed” and the range of countries within the Common Market are very different in terms of GDP/capita, wages, domestic labour regs, etc.

    JLR got a huge “bung” to move some production to Slovakia (along with cheaper wages).

    Where did the new “Asian Tigers” go?
    Kia – Slovakia
    Hyundai – Czech Republic

    Some Japanese and European producers put new production into Turkey (Renault Turkish workers going on strike was funny but “les gilets jaunes” aren’t laughing!)

    To pretend the CU is a level playing field is simply a l!e. UK has been the “patsy”, exporting UK jobs to E.Europe via the CU and UK taxes to RoI/Lux/etc via the SM.

    I could also point out EU do not allow “state rescues” although that depends on who is bending the rules of course – some countries seem to get away with it!

    I’m not in favour of massive state aid, renationalisations or bailing out very uncompetitive industries (provided other countries play fair) – however, I am in favour of some modest state aid and support for “strategic” industries (and WTO would permit that kind of assistance)!

    I’d also point out the Japanese car companies chose UK in 1980s (Thatcher) – after we’d abandoned the failing Socialist model of the 1970s!

    Had either Callaghan or Foot beaten Thatcher in a GE, would the Japanese have picked UK?

    Perhaps the reason partisan VI split around the age of 49 is due to those that remember what Foot stood for and how similar that is to Corbyn-McDonnell’s “vision”!

  39. A very interesting article here:

    https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/theresa-may-no-deal-brexit-fallback-plan_uk_5c617348e4b0910c63f30fc8?utm_hp_ref=uk-politics

    I have considered for some time that no-deal was the likely outcome. This article has re-enforced that view.

    My wife and I are now stockpiling and I firmly expect the ration book to land on my doormat on 5 April 2019. I am reasonably well heeled and can look after myself and mine for a short time at least, but as I understand it MI5’s dictum is that the UK is just four meals away from anarchy. Let us hope they are wrong, I am now terrified.

  40. @Charles – what Trevs are saying is that 66% of leave voters favour no deal, getting this by adding strongy support and somewhat support, although this adds to 67% so there is a minor error there. This was leave voters only, so 639 in total for this subsample. 18% of this group were against, so net 49% (48% in the post).

    The ‘voted remain’ subsample was smaller, at 540, but they were 74% against no deal and net against by 59%.

    Of the whole sample, (1514) no deal was support 35% against 45% (DK 21%). Remaining was 45% support 39% against.

    Overall, the poll shows pretty clearly that voters want to remain, and don’t want a no deal exit.

  41. @ CHARLES – If you open the BMG link it should make sense.

    About half-way down you’ll see: “Preference amongst Leave voters”

    Middle column shows the result for the question on “The UK leaving the EU without a deal”

    Strongly Support: 41
    Somewhat Support: 26
    Somewhat Oppose: 8
    Strongly Oppose: 10
    DK 16

    Adding up both “support” categories = 67%
    Both “oppose” categories = 18%
    Support-Oppose = net Support 49%

    Hence, amongst Leavers, it’s actually:

    67% (net 49%) would support UK leaving EU without a deal

    At 3:20pm I stated 66% (net 48%) – apologies if that was the confusion. I wouldn’t make a fuss over 1% but I did actually understate the actual support for “No Deal”!

    @ ALEC – Technically we signed a “Trade Continuity Deal” (TCD) with Swiss.

    We can’t actually sign trade deals until we are a 3rd country but the TCD is a statement to “photocopy” or “roll-over” existing UK-Swiss trade terms on Brexit day (11pm 29Mar’19 as it currently stands). Businesses know what it means though.

    Bloomberg lean to “Remain” bias. I also note BBC miss off Israel, give the impression that Eastern and Southern Africa is a single country and let Fairbairn give her spin – talk about anti-Brexit bias!!! :-)

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-47196636

    NB We will not be signing a S.Korea trade deal – she knows that! It is the one and only “red” country on the traffic light system DIT use – apparently! SAM can repost the link that explains why if he likes

  42. “I could also point out EU do not allow “state rescues”…”

    That’s right. That’s why we couldn’t save TSB in 2008.

    Such a shame.

  43. [email protected]: If she [Sturgeon] wants to go to North America, it should be in her own time

    You have no electorate, so if you want to post tripe here, you do it in your own time. I get that.

    But Sturgeon has a Scottish electorate, who expect her to represent Scotland. Going to the US is part of the job and I am cool with her doing it on my taxes.

    If you are bothered about taxpayers money on foreign trips, take a look at Liam Fox.

  44. “You may not like it, but you and me are both British.
    Aberdeen, Aberystwyth,Aldershot…all places in our country.W
    @hugo February 11th, 2019 at 4:52 pm

    Speaking of country, I had to laugh; I was listening to R4’s PM today. They were discussing the poor or absent mobile reception in the country(side). Then one of those bloody experts came on and said well, if you won’t let us build phone masts you ain’t going to get any coverage.

    Hilarious.

  45. Sorry, minor error. We won’t be signing a deal with Turkey either of course as they are in CU – they are “lumped in” with EU for that reason, hence the error in last post.

    We have a trade deficit in goods with Turkey (of course!) but nothing critical that we import from them – not even much food as it goes!

    Some “ava-car-doughs”?

    (DIT joke apparantly – they don’t get out much at the moment!)

  46. [email protected]: But Scotland’s trade with the rest of the UK is worth four times more than its trade with the EU. Yet Sturgeon wants to break the union with the UK (£50bn trade) and hook up with the EU (£13bn trade).

    That is Scotland’s problem, not yours. Why should Scotland take any notice of advice from England, when England does not even know what is good for England.

  47. [email protected]: Scotland is part of the UK.
    The UK is my country.
    You may not like it, but you and me are both British.
    Aberdeen, Aberystwyth,Aldershot…all places in our country.

    You can be as British as you like, it’s your choice. I am not British by choice, I am Scots by choice. You are welcome to be a Scot in Scotland, but the welcome for being British and making British assumptions in Scotland is probably wearing thin.

  48. The Trevors,
    “Although some CON MPs seem to have “bad memories” all of that was in CON manifesto and was the default of A50(2), which 494 MPs voted to trigger just over 2yrs ago”

    But you seem to be missing the logic here. Those MPs voted to support article 50 notice because that was the only way to commence negotiations with the EU. The government gave a number of promises at the time, which have totally failed to materialise into a deal which even its own side can agree.

    You are arguing that because they agreed to move a step further they committed to absolutely any sort of Brexit, which quite clearly they did not.

    Peter Cairns,
    “If you think as many do that the common rules we have across the EU work fairly well for both ourselves and the EU and that as a major player closely integrated with the rest future rules will too, then not being involved in making them is no big deal.”

    I’d be inclined to agree with you. Better to let the EU get on with it. But…it is absolutely the opposite of most of the things the leavers claimed they would get by leaving.

    Maybe that just means they dont undertsand what leaving does and does not mean.

  49. @garj

    A remarkable post.

    On the one hand you say “so what” when the existing constitutional system provides a democratic result you don’t like but then argue that in reality you favour a much more radical constitutional settlement but as that isn’t compatible with the UK’s existing constitution you’re not that bothered about it. You then go on to say that in any event any settlement must ensure that Scotland’s status as a country must be reduced to the same status as an English county.

    So overall I’ll put you down as simply a British nationalist who is comfortable with the existing UK constitution.

  50. Apologies if this next link is a “repost” but appears a lot more info has been eeking out into the public domain.

    This one is interesting as it covers the feasibility of various Plan B’s, for a quick glance open the link and go to page 6. The whole report is a good summary of where we are on Brexit.

    https://researchbriefings.parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/CBP-8483#fullreport

    IMHO this is why the Norway+ idea has gained a bit of traction lately. Note the only option that doesn’t have at least one “pink” or “grey” box
    (NB Not everyone using the same colours for “traffic lights” it seems?!?)

    PS there is clearly some HMG “spin” in this article, there are some actual errors (deliberate or not?) and certainly errors by omission!

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