I’ve been catching up on sleep after the election, but this is just to add a brief, post-election round up of how the polls performed. In 2015 and 2017 the equivalent posts were all about how the polls had got it wrong, and what might have caused it (even in 2010, when the polls got the gap between Labour and the Conservatives pretty much spot on, there were questions about the overstatement of the Liberal Democrats). It’s therefore rather a relief to be able to write up an election when the polls were pretty much correct.

The majority of the final polls had all the main parties within two points, with Ipsos MORI and Opinium almost spot on – well done both of them. The only companies that really missed the mark were ICM and ComRes, who understated the Tories and overstated Labour, meaning they had Conservative leads of only 6 and 5 points in their final polls.

My perception during the campaign was that much of the difference between polling companies showing small Conservative leads and those companies showing bigger leads was down to how and if they were accounting for false recall when weighting using past vote – I suspect this may well explain the spread in the final polls. Those companies that came closest were those who either do not weight by past vote (MORI & NCPolitics), adjusted for it (Kantar), or used data collected in 2017 (Opinium & YouGov). ComRes and ICM were, as far as I know, both just weighting recalled 2017 past vote to actual 2017 vote shares, something that would risk overstating Labour support if people disproportionately failed to recall voting Labour in 2017.

The YouGov MRP performed less well than in 2017. The final vote shares it produced were all within 2 points of the actual shares, but the seat predictions showed a smaller Tory majority than happened in reality. Ben Lauderdale who designed the model has already posted his thoughts on what happened here. Part of it is simply a function of vote share (a small difference in vote share makes a big difference to seat numbers), part of it was an overstatement of Brexit party support in the key Conservative target seats. Whether that was having too many Brexit supporters in the sample, or Brexit party supporters swinging back to the Tories in the last 48 hours will be clearer once we’ve got some recontact data.

Finally, the 2019 election saw a resurgence of individual constituency polling, primarily from Survation and Deltapoll. Constituency polling is difficult (and I understand has become even more so since the advent of GDPR, as it has reduced the availability of purchasable database of mobile phone numbers from specific areas), and with small sample sizes of 400 or 500 it will inevitably be imprecise. Overall, it performed well this time though – particularly given that many of the constituency polls were conducted in seats you would expect to be hard to poll: unusual seats, or places with independents or high profile defectors standing. David Gauke’s support was understated, for example, and in Putney constituency polling overstated Lib Dem support at the expense of Labour. However, in many places it performed well, particularly the Chelsea & Fulham, Wimbledon, Finchley and Esher & Walton polls.

And with that, I’m off for a nice Christmas break. Have a good Christmas and happy new year.


2,835 Responses to “General election polling – post mortem”

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  1. Best sign so far that things are getting desperate: https://twitter.com/heraldscotland/status/1218302694944845824

    I wonder if Leonard has been taking his cues from Brown, directly or via a mutual friend?

  2. Very interesting stuff from Javid this morning. He has given what will be taken as really quite a stark warning to exporters that we are not going to align with EU rules next year.

    After the election result, there was a distinct ‘certainty’ bounce in the business confidence trackers, even while the output and activity trackers showed a continued pretty dire picture of decline.

    There was a general speculation that the big majority would mean Johnson was capable to facing down the ERG, but – as far as I am aware – we haven’t had any details on why business leaders were more confident. If this was because they shared this view that a soft Brexit was more likely with the big majority, then today’s intervention will come as something of a shock.

    It now pitches exporters into full on uncertainty mode. No one has a clue what the arrangements will be, but Javid very naughtily says businesses have had three years to prepare. Don’t think that will go down well.

    On top of this, the BBC reads Javid’s statements as indicating the possibility of tax rises in the budget, along with ‘difficult choices’.

    So, we have a situation where the global economy is faltering and the UK economy looks to be contracting. The government wants to (possibly) increase taxes, just at the wrong cyclical moment, and is also telling traders that their entire regulatory regime is going to change to some undefined new version within 11 months.

    The obvious intention is to get the bad stuff done early, and hope that in 5 years time, people will see an improvement and will have forgotten all the broken Brexit promises.

    However, given the timescales for major economic investment decisions to come through, can we be sure that we won’t be seeing adverse decisions from iconic British industries hitting our screens as we approach the next election?

  3. @alec

    Sam Lowe ( a member of the UK Government’s Strategic Trade Advisory Group) has written this piece which explains that the trade frictions arise even if the UK decides to align unilaterally with EU regulations etc:

    https://www.cer.eu/insights/flexibility-does-not-come-free

    I’m not sure why anybody has expected Johnson to aim for a “frictionless as possible” deal when he resigned over May’s proposals to achieve that, signalled in his letter to the EU that he wasn’t aiming for that, and the rhetoric recently has been about a “tariff free, quota free” deal.

  4. @hireton – indeed. From yur link – “The EU is a regulatory superpower, and the UK is stuck in its orbit by virtue of geography. The real question remains whether the UK attempts to reap the full benefits of convergence by legally binding itself to EU rules and institutions; or whether it continues to prioritise political rhetoric of ‘taking back control’ over the economic interests of entire sectors.”

  5. Hireton,

    That article by Sam Lowe really is a very good explanation of what “alignment” means and that the flexibility to diverge costs a great deal (ha!).

    While we are recommending articles, there are some great political thoughts by Fintan O’Toole, writing for the Irish Times (reprinted in the G):

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/jan/17/nul-points-eu-revision-contest-brexiters-big-ben

    “The problem with a revolt against imaginary oppression is that you end up with imaginary freedom.”

    Indeed. And that applies to other political situations too.

  6. Hal,

    So basically, having let our frustrations get to the stage where we have gone from tilting at windmills to burning them down, we’re now asking; where does flour come from?

    Peter.

  7. There is absolutely nothing stopping businesses aligning to EU standards and rules once we are out if they want to. They could even use it to market their products and label them ‘EU Compliant’ should they want to.

    Thats the point – they’ll have a choice they they themselves will have to make.

  8. Andrew,

    “ There is absolutely nothing stopping businesses aligning to EU standards”

    Except cost!

    Much like the battle in the U between the Whitehouse & California over emission standards for cars industry hates the idea of a split market where they have to have more than one reduction line.

    It’s not just two product lines but verifying that everything that goes into a product also meets the aligned standard.

    So you can make “Genuine” Cornish Pasties for the EU market as long as you can guarantee to EU inspectors that they don’t contain any US steroid injected beef or US flour from GM modified wheat!

    Peter.

  9. Oops sorry about that posting on my phone not the laptop tends to lead to too many autocorrects !

    Car not cars, Production not reduction,

    Peter.

  10. @Andrew Williams

    You may want to read up on the subject more and even resd the short article by Sam Lowe I linked to.

    The question is not whether individual businesses decide to align with EU standards. Obviously, they will have to if they export to the EU.

    The question is what they wil have to do to sell within the EU having aligned with EU standards: e.g having a legal EU entity within the EU to actually sell the goods, rules of origin compliance and declarations, other customs requirements, and so on. This could be particularly burdensome for agricultural, fishing and food sectors. As an example, the future of the Scottish west coadt inshore fishing sector (IIRC acckunting flr about 25% of UK fish exports by value) looks highly uncertain because of the additional customs and regulatory regulatory requirements ( which will not be offset by quota changes as the catches are either quota free are overwhelmingly allocated to the UK). It remains to be seen whether the internal regulatory border which Johnson has introduced between GB and NI will lead to the migration of the industry to Ireland.

  11. Interesting to see RLB proposals on a PR elected House of Lords and to ponder why little political interest there has ever been in reforming what to me is clearly an anachronistic institution.

    PR obviously is a good way to broaden out political representation, an alternative (my preferred) would be to have committees of “experts” for the issue being debated. They would be elected/appointed by whatever professional groups were involved- economists, accountants etc for economic bills and budgets, teachers/adminstrators for education bills and so on.

    What seems clear to me is that HOL is not fit for purpose, basically comprising of people put in place because at some point in the past the PM wanted them there.

    Ultimately their powers are limited anyway so I’d like to see more of a flagging up of problems with bills rather than just disagreeing politically with them. So you take the politic element out of the HOL recommendations and make practical problems the key to their function. A lot of bad legislation does go through and I think rather than being something that simply goes between HOC and HOL several times before being passed anyway the HOL becomes a beacon for pointing out bad legislation which a government ignores at their peril.

  12. SHEVII,

    “ an alternative (my preferred) would be to have committees of “experts” for the issue being debated.”

    Or you could go for the “Holyrood” option!

    A single chamber elected by PR with balanced Committee’s which take evidence from experts on the issues being debated.

    Effective, Democratic and half the cost!
    But fewer cushy jobs for professional politicians!

    Peter.

  13. @Andrew Williams – “There is absolutely nothing stopping businesses aligning to EU standards and rules once we are out if they want to. They could even use it to market their products and label them ‘EU Compliant’ should they want to.”

    Again, this is simply missing the point.

    To be EU compliant isn’t just sticking to the same standards. It’s sticking to the same standards and then proving you are compliant, which means undertaking the compliance procedures.

    Can you imagine if I was applying for a job with you, and you had asked for a set of specific qualifications, and I said yes, fine – I’m fully compliant with all those courses, done all the work, up to an excellent standard so you don’t need to worry. I didn’t take the exams but I did choose to be compliant with the course standards.

    My guess is you would want to see the certificates and results. That’s what being ‘fully compliant’ actually means. Standards plus process.

    To be fully compliant after 2020 means UK businesses paying extra, even if they don’t change their standards a single jot. That’s what you get for leaving the approvals system.

  14. @Shevii – “Interesting to see RLB proposals on a PR elected House of Lords and to ponder why little political interest there has ever been in reforming what to me is clearly an anachronistic institution.”

    Because it doesn’t really matter? Most ordinary people worry about more immediate things, would be my guess.

    My tip for HoL reform:

    A fully elected second chamber, but with political parties holding only half the seats, elected by regional list based PR at the same time as a GE.

    The other half would be drawn from civic society, with trade groups, charities, unions, professional associations etc all invited to submit representatives, on the basis they they must be elected by the membership.

    This way, everyone would be elected, politicians would not dominate, political patronage is maintained, but doesn’t overwhelm (it’s not a bad thing to reward political service, within limits), expertise is maintained within the upper chamber, but no one would be able to claim the house has a democratic mandate to rival the HoC as the representation would be very different.

  15. https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2020/jan/18/plane-wrong-how-your-bosses-should-cut-back-on-flights

    Examples of companies that have cut air travel by 75% in two years, with no adverse impacts.

    Too little thinking ahead by many. It really is possible to question why workers get shoved onto planes to go to endless meetings.

  16. ALEC, thats up to individual businesses to decide, on a product-by-product basis. If they want to and they think there’s money to be made, they will. You seem to fear lack of central control – next you’ll be extolling the virtues of command economy.

    Business succeeds despite government – not because of it.

  17. SOMERJOHN

    So no answer to my question, just another question. This confirms to me that your comment to me was purely emotional, no problem with that good to know that we all have emotions.

  18. I cannot remember who raised the question of clause 39 of the Withdrawal Agreement Bill saying it enabled a minister to agree an extension beyond the end of December 2020.

    I have now had confirmation that clause 39 does not make it possible to agree an extension of the implementation period with the EU. The clause 39 power is necessary because the EU are currently finalising their position on changes to EU summer time arrangements and to cover that alone.

  19. Alec

    “Very interesting stuff from Javid this morning. He has given what will be taken as really quite a stark warning to exporters that we are not going to align with EU rules next year.”

    Personally delighted with his comments, I want wide divergence so we can achieve all the long term benefits I forecast.

  20. @Alec
    @ShevII

    I don’t think people will want a fully elected HoL, so a misjudgement from RBL. I recall Alec making his suggestion previously, and it has its attractions.

    The first thing I would do is reduce the number of Lords to 650, the same number as the Commons. I would invite the Lords to choose the 650 themselves. Thereafter ‘one in, one out’. The only conditions would be that the percentage of women would not be reduced, and that voting along party lines would be discouraged, and possibly ‘filtered’.

    The public will not relish a ‘political’ HoL, with grandstanding politicos getting elected on party lists.

  21. @Alec
    @ShevII

    I don’t think people will want a fully elected HoL, so a misjudgement from RBL. I recall Alec making his suggestion previously, and it has its attractions.

    The first thing I would do is reduce the number of Lords to 650, the same number as the Commons. I would invite the Lords to choose the 650 themselves. Thereafter ‘one in, one out’. The only conditions would be that the percentage of women would not be reduced, and that voting along party lines would be discouraged, and possibly ‘filtered’.

    The public will not relish a ‘political’ HoL, with grandstanding politicos getting elected on party lists.

  22. TOH: So no answer to my question, just another question. This confirms to me that your comment to me was purely emotional,

    This is mind-boggling.

    My comment to you (“If you don’t understand how anti-European you are I would be amazed. Having made my point, happy to leave it there.”) was an all-except for-one-word repeat of your earlier comment to ON (“If you don’t understand how anti-English you are I would be amazed. Having made my point, happy to leave it there.”)

    My intention was to show how your original judgement of ON as anti-English because he doesn’t like some aspects of how the UK government behaves, was no different to my declaring you to be anti-European because you don’t like the EU. In other words, I judged you by the same standard you applied to others.

    Your answer was to demand, “What is your evidence for that statement.”. The obvious response to that is, “well, what’s your evidence for your statement about ON?” So that’s what I did: asked you the same question. Which, of course, you haven’t answered.

    I simply aimed to show up double standards. QED.

  23. So the article is saying if a business has been selling into the EU for decades, they will incur additional costs in selling there in future, even if we don’t diverge.

    Supposing the EU markets won’t accept the products at a higher price to cover those costs? Either the business reduces its margin, reducing profitability and reducing potential investment or it accepts reduced EU volume and seeks to replace the volume elsewhere. The more EU volume reduces, the less product that the additional costs are spread over and the less competitive the business becomes.

    Exploring and developing new markets for the product is an extra expense, which again dilutes competitiveness.

    It rather reminds me of the business I was in 25 years ago.

    We had 90,000 UK customers, small businesses. Our competitors would often offer the customers lower prices to attract their custom. At first we held a firm line, refusing to compromise our pricing. Trouble was we lost customers, whilst all the while running expensive recruitment activities to bring in new customers. It didn’t make sense, as the cost of meeting the competitors price, or close to it and retaining customers was a lot less than buying new volume. So we started matching competitor terms and reduced the churn of lost business whilst still bringing in new stuff. The moral is that keeping existing business is much more profitable than looking for new. It seems that isn’t understood by many in the UK.

  24. @Andrew Williams

    No. Some businesses succeed.

    That’s the only fair statement. Not all business; some. Many businesses will not succeed as much, and some will fail due to the changes.

    As for government involvement, we can choose the route of regulation via government, as open to lobbying as it is, or self-regulation, which everyone knows doesn’t work if there’s serious money to made or loss of money at risk involved.

    As much as I distrust all governments, some are better than others, and most are better placed than businesses at regulation, if for no other reason than accountability.

  25. @TOH

    What are these benefits?

    In real terms, to all (as you stated all of us will benefit).

  26. @ RP – Glad someone else is aware this a polling forum. Do you know the ‘procedural’ aspects though (eg the ‘affiliated membership’ issue)?

    Are you aware of the 2015 and 2016 actual results on LAB leadership?

    Happy to admit Starmer made the effort to understand the procedural aspects and perhaps RLB has been a bit ‘lazy’ (assuming she’d get in the same way Corbyn did… twice!!)?

    …OR perhaps RLB only ever wanted the shadow CoE job and is happy to let Starmer to take the ‘figurehead’ role of LOO – McDonnell was RLB’s mentor after all and their faction already secured control of the important ‘bits’ within LAB.

    @ PB – Please vote for Starmer ;)

    I’m not sure who becomes new LOO will makes much difference. If Boris loses in GE’24 it will be coz he messed up but no sign of that so far. Early days I know but he does seem to be sticking to the ‘spirit’ of the ‘detail-lite’ manifesto.

  27. Non-polling 2c.

    I continue to be extremely impressed with Javid and great to see Villiers is putting some ‘Green’ into Brexit (thanks to COLIN for a few links that show how well the AB has been received)

    I note the usual suspects still don’t understand trade (notably trade balances!!) and why Boris needs to push for mutual recognition and NOT EU alignment but no time or interest to waste on those issues.

    Folks will well know that IMO the biggest opportunity from Brexit was and still is the domestic-domestic UK market, followed by increased exports (notably services) to the more rapidly growing parts of rWorld and that is where my time+money is being allocated.

    The “woeful and widening” trade deficit in goos with EU is why we absolutely have to avoid alignment with them – bring on some tariffs and ‘friction’ for their exports to UK.

    We can’t all be winners of course – but EUphiliacs are used to losing by now ;)

  28. It is possible to be anti-EU and pro-European. Some, like myself, would even argue that the EU (in its current form and on it’s curretn trajectory) is very bad for Europe and hence being anti-EU is actually pro-Europe!

    (and nope, not going thru it again, short return to post/check replies on UKPR over)

  29. @ Peter Cairns

    But I guess the experts brought before committees in Scotland (just as they are in HOC) are as capable of being ignored as they are in the HOC?

    The thing I am looking for is a HOL made up of experts who reject things for re-consideration, not on party political lines but on expertise. At this point if the legislation goes ahead then it is flagged up as being against the advice of experts.

    So you might have situation where HOL either thinks Universal credit is a stupid idea, or thinks it is a good idea badly managed or thinks it is a great idea. That recommendation goes back to the commons who are free to ignore it but is flagged up that the government is ignoring that advice and pays the consequences if what they predicted comes to pass. This is very different different co committees where it is just a discussion forum with views that you pay no political consequences by ignoring.

    @ Alec
    Agreed this doesn’t resonate among voters one little bit other than perhaps the expense but it doesn’t mean it isn’t a long overdue change that could work for the better.

  30. One of the biggest challenges for U.K. business in adapting to Brexit will be how to secure the necessary investment.

    Although some like to blame EU rules for the decline in our exports and manufacturing, although given it’s a single market and we have shared international trade deals I’ve never been convinced, the real culprit is the City.

    If you can get a higher return at less risk, trading shares currency or property, why lend to buy machinery or build factories where the risks are higher and the returns probably lower.

    As financial services have grown we’ve moved from making things and selling them to selling something we already have over and over again.

    If anything I think Brexit will speed this not reverse it.

    Besides why lend money to someone to adapt so they sell stuff to the EU when you can get a better deal buying shares in an EU company already doing it there?

    Peter.

  31. TW

    @”I note the usual suspects still don’t understand trade (notably trade balances!!) and why Boris needs to push for mutual recognition and NOT EU alignment ”

    Very interesting piece in today’s Times by Philip Aldrick on the difference between “alignment” aka “equivalence” ; and “mutual recognition” aka ” outcomes based equivalence”.

    Covers the very different aspects of Services ( where quality is “rewarded”) , and Goods where cheap labour or shoddy materials=a price advantage.

    Worth a read.

    A nice little recent example of successful mutual recognition with US is mentioned-wasn’t aware this had been done :-

    https://www.icas.com/members/ca-magazine/icas-signs-historic-deal-with-us-accountancy-bodies

    The more I hear & read, the more I feel that sectoral deals will be BJ’s preferred route-hence the Javid warning about winners & losers.

    But at the end of the day we start in alignment & the FTA will be all about managing divergence.

  32. More details of constitutional and policy attitudes in the YG poll of Lab members here

    https://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/bpvaml3meh/TimesResults_200115_LabMembers_w2.pdf

    Tiny (and rather irrelevant) Slab responses in brackets
    “In hindsight, do you think Labour was right or wrong to support a new referendum on EU membership at the General Election?”
    Right 61% (71%) : Wrong 31% (25%)

    “Once Britain has left, do you think the Labour party should or should not campaign in support of Britain rejoining the European Union?”
    Should 35% (35%) : Should not 44% (49%)

    “Now thinking about a referendum on Scottish independence, do you think Labour should..?”
    Support 33% (27%) : Oppose 16% (37%) : Not actively support one, but be open to supporting one as part of a coalition deal with the SNP 44% (30%)

    “What do you think Britain should do when Trident reaches the end of its useful life?”
    Replace with an equally powerful nuclear missile system 10% (12%)
    Retain a nuclear missile system, but it should be less powerful and cost less 24% (24%)
    Give up nuclear weapons completely 60% (56%)

    “Do you think it is possible for there to be a ‘progressive’ form of patriotism that you would find acceptable?”
    Yes 55% (41%) : No 41% (23%)

  33. “I note the usual suspects still don’t understand trade…”

    From the posters that didn’t know an Association Agreement was a ‘mixed’ deal, that did rather make me smile.

    @Colin – I think the trade picture is interesting, but the way this is developing (as those who ‘still don’t understand trade’ predicted) this isn’t going to lead to certainty and a surge in confidence this year.

    The government is prolonging the uncertainty and sectoral deals won’t really ease that. I also think your oft repeated line – “But at the end of the day we start in alignment & the FTA will be all about managing divergence” displays a fundamental misconception.

    We really don’t start from a position of alignment. Not in regulatory terms. We start from a position of a completely blank slate. The EU has no idea if we will be aligned. We need to tell them what we want, and then we start the process of constructing a brand new relationship.

    Read what the experts say about this and they are absolutely clear. We are not starting from a position of alignment.

  34. If you can get hold of todays The Times magazine then do so. Caroline Flint gives her opinion on each of the 5 candidates.

  35. hIf you can get hold of todays The Times magazine then do so. Caroline Flint gives her opinion on each of the 5 candidates.

  36. STATGEEK

    Improved trade, greater growth in GDP than the average under our EU membership.

  37. @alec

    And the usual suspect doesn’t understand that equivalence doesn’t remove the customs and the other compliance issues which were being discussed.

    The development of the Brexiter trade argument has been notable.

    The official Leave campaign said that the UK would be part of a free trade area stretching across Europe and that A50 would not be triggered hastily until the new agreement with the EU was in place. The UK would then be free to enter into trade deals with other countries which would be better matched to its specific requirements and which it could negotiate more quickly.

    The sequencing was abandoned without a metaphorical shot being fired. There was then talk about tariff free, frictionless or as near to frictionless trade with the EU, Canada +++ and so on. But then WTO terms were suddenly absolutely fine. And recently Liam Fox said that actually trade deals aren’t important at all, businesses just need to get out and export ( which of course they could while still having the huge trading advantages of being in the EU).

  38. ON – I don’t like that Indy Ref question.

    Where does someone who wants to say if Holyrood wants a ref after the next Scottish Parliamentary Election the the UK Labour Party should vote to enable one at Westminster?

    Don’t want to enter in to a debate about a mandate for one now just saying that respecting a clear mandate (as I interpret it) but arguing against ahead the Holyrood Election is not an option in that poll.

    I would be saying no to all of the options given.

  39. I’ve started to think about where we will be on food standards in 2021. It does seem to me that the situation will change significantly and people can no longer assume that there will be a comprehensive system that ensures food safety.

    It will be up to individuals to take their own precautions to a much greater extent than at present.

    There are three separate problems I’ve identified:

    1) EU regulations are being weakened as they are transposed into UK law (e.g., allowing more food additives, removing aspects of pesticide regulation) and allowing very wide ministerial discretion to vary future practice.

    https://blogs.sussex.ac.uk/uktpo/publications/brexit-food-safety-legislation-and-potential-implications-for-uk-trade-the-devil-in-the-details/

    2) Imports of food will not be subject to the same standards as UK-produced food – at least there is nothing yet in legislation to require this. The NFU have recently been making a fuss about this :

    “However, farmers across the country will still want to see legislation underpinning the government’s assurances that they will not allow the imports of food produced to standards that would be illegal here through future trade deals.”

    3) There won’t be an effective system of checking imported food in place. In the panic to ensure continuity of food supplies, it is likely the government will wave everything through. As extensively discussed for the no-deal preparations, the UK just does not have the infrastructure to check food imports from the EU and another eleven months is not going to make much differenence. Dover does not have physical space for it even. Imports via Northern Ireland will require physical checks between NI and GB – checks that the government does not even acknowledge will have to exist.

    From 2001, there will be no legal enforcement of standards from EU exporters. They will be free to export food that does not meet EU safety standards without any legal redress in the EU. Thus one cannot automatically assume that food from the EU will meet EU standards. To make matters worse, the UK is leaving the EU’s Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed that alerts importers to unsafe and rejected consignments.

  40. ALEC

    Harmonisation is embedded in the EU SM-so on the last day of transition we will be in regulatory conformity.

    What degree of divergence can occurr by mutual agreement thereafter will be the subject of the Trade negotiation-ie Trade offs. You can access this if we can access that..

    I don’t have any idea how this game will play out. But like May, I think BJ perceives the big prize for UK as the Global Services market. Services accounts for almost half of UK exports-but 80% of GDP-and that is with more severe barriers than Goods. Globally, regulatory barriers in services are estimated to be equivalent to tariiffs between 20% & 75% **

    Mutual recognition-or outcomes based equivalence, policed by WTO is the goal in the international Services Market.***

    Brussels & its rules based SM do not fit well with that. When Switzerland refused to consolidate 120 bilateral treaties into a single deal , Brussels blocked it from financial markets by revoking its Equivalence Status. Switzerland’s rules had not changed but Brussels wielded an arbitrary power for reasons that had nothing to do with financial stability.

    ** OECD
    *** Philip Aldrick-Times today

  41. SOMERJOHN

    Very amusing, your reaction was purely emotional or are you saying you don’t have emotions?

  42. @Colin – “Harmonisation is embedded in the EU SM-so on the last day of transition we will be in regulatory conformity.”

    And on our first day after the transition we will be completely non compliant, whatever standards we adhere to. Being cmpliant is about the process as much as the standard.

    “But like May, I think BJ perceives the big prize for UK as the Global Services market.”

    Agreed. Has anyone done an analysis of the proportion of ‘Red Wall’ constituency seats jobs in the international services sector compared to goods manufacturers?

  43. Jim Jam

    It seems a fairly daft question – since it bypasses the most important issue of “Who has the right to decide whether a referendum takes place?”

    Also the SNP coalition idea doesn’t make much sense when Labour have just badly lost an election across GB, and there’s little prospect of them being useful coalition partners for the SNP for at least a couple of UK Parliamentary terms.

    Still, the crossbreaks by candidate support give some clues as to different belief systems within Labour on this topic (and others).

    The views of the strident imperialists (Phillips and Nandy) are reflected among their supporters with the Phillips’ camp 34% opposed, Nandy’s lot 30% against (with the wee Thornberry group on 28%).

    Long-Bailey’s support for a referendum means only 4% of her supporters are opposed, while of the backers of Starmer (who I don’t think has expressed an opinion) only 19% are opposed.

    I doubt that the constitutional status of Scotland is of much importance, other than the belated realisation that relying on a bloc of SLab MPs marching down to London to impose
    the regime in England was a fool’s gold concept.

  44. ALEC

    @”And on our first day after the transition we will be completely non compliant, whatever standards we adhere to.”

    I don’t understand what that means. How do you know what the terms of the Trade Agreement will be.

    Anyway………..if you can provide a link to an authority explaining why & how “on our first day after the transition we will be completely non compliant, WHATEVER STANDARDS WE ADHERE TO .” I will read it.

  45. Like most on here, I don’t know enough about trading matters to want to be definitive about them.

    However, I read stuff from people who do know more than me, and I found this piece from CNN’s Business section interesting –

    https://edition.cnn.com/2019/11/06/business/brexit-us-uk-trade-donald-trump-boris-johnson-intl-gbr/index.html

    “The UK will never get the US trade deal it wants”

    Of particular interest was this It’s currently easier to trade services across the European Union than it is across US state lines. Which is why the United States cannot offer the United Kingdom all that much on services. “The US services market isn’t very complete and lots of the regulations are done at a state level,”

    It does seem reasonable to think that, just as the UK has demonstrated that it doesn’t understand how the EU works, it doesn’t understand how the USA works either.

  46. Colin,

    I think Alec means that in the absence of any agreement, all trade will completely non-compliant on 1 Jan 2021 and be subject to customs and regulatory checks, or in the case of some services, be prohibited.

    The trade talks will be about establishing some areas in which there will be continuing convergence. The talks are not about divergence.

  47. @Colin – Ivan Rodgers puts it quite well – https://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/politics/ivan-rogers-on-brexit-the-worst-is-yet-to-come-eu-trade-deal-boris-johnson-labour-election-speech-glasgow

    “The fact of “being aligned on day 1 after exit” does NOT make the negotiation of a trade deal easier.

    The current alignment of U.K. and EU rules—what PM Johnson now refers to as the “state of grace” is wholly irrelevant: the only relevant question is where you aim to be on day 2, day 200 and day 2000.”

    That we are aligned now is immaterial, as we have said we don’t want to be aligned, so we have to agree a completely new alignment – even if much of it is, in practical terms, exactly the same.

  48. ON: “Like most on here, I don’t know enough about trading matters to want to be definitive about them.

    However, I read stuff from people who do know more than me, and I found this piece from CNN’s Business section interesting.”

    That’s a very nicely expressed sentiment.

    The CNN piece is, as you say, interesting. I think that’s because it comes from a neutral perspective, taking a cool outsider’s look at the post-brexit trade prospects.

    It seems to me that most brexiteers really don’t want to get involved in detailed discussion along these lines. I can understand that, because it must be fiendishly difficult to come up with a coherent, convincing economic rationale for brexit. So much so, that I don’t think anyone’s properly attempted it so far, apart maybe from Minford, whose prescription (essentially letting UK industry and agriculture go bust by opening the floodgates to completely tariff-free, unregulated imports from the whole world) is sufficiently unconvincing that even JiB (I think it was) described it as “bonkers”.

    As far as I can detect a rationale for the great hopes placed in a US trade deal, it’s something along the lines of, “we’d rather trade with those nice Americans than those nasty Europeans. And maybe they would be a softer touch than EU countries, who are a bit too good at making stuff for our liking.”

    Which rather ignores the fact that – as Colin has helpfully pointed out – it’s in services exports that we do best and have a whopping surplus with EU27. That’s why loss of (albeit incomplete) barrier-free access to the EU services market will really hurt, without any compensating improvement in access elsewhere.

  49. @ hal

    “I think Alec means that in the absence of any agreement, all trade will completely non-compliant on 1 Jan 2021 …”

    The position as set out by Sam Lowe is that even if the UK is fully aligned on standards and has a FTA UK firms will still need to comply with the need to have a legal entity within the EU to sell goods, will have to follow and demonstrate compliance with rules of origin, other customs requirements etc. It is a simple consequence of third country status which Brexiters want.

  50. @Colin @Hal and @Hireton – @Hireton has it correct. It was Sam Lowe I meant to flag up, more than Rodgers.

    Being aligned or agreed on alignment outside the EU is completely different to being aligned and in the EU. The idea of anything being frictionless once we leave is farcical, yet this was what was sold to leave voters.

    The @Trevors still think friction will benefit the UK, but they forget:

    i) The scale of trades made because there is no friction and the impact friction will have on these
    ii) The issue of the proportion of a businesses turnover that originates from the UK and from EU.

    So far the ‘reshoring’ has been mainly out of the UK because of this.

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