If you are looking at voting intention or best Prime Minister figures to judge how well an opposition leader is doing, the first thing to note is that they are relative. It’s not just about how well the opposition are doing, it’s about how well the government are doing. Indeed, it’s probably mostly how well the government are doing – I am a great believer in the old truism that oppositions do not win elections, governments lose them. A really good opposition leader can pick holes in a government and force them into political errors, but primarily it’s a job of waiting for them to make a mistake, and making sure that when they do, you look like a plausible enough alternative for the public to place their trust in you.

Many of Starmer’s internal Labour party critics start with the absolute assumption that the Government are incredibly unpopular and that Labour should therefore be ahead of them. The reality is the Government’s figures really aren’t that bad and, on corona vaccination – the issue that currently dominates the agenda – are strikingly good. Looking at the Ipsos MORI polling this week, 38% think the government are handling corona well, 46% badly (negative, but not overwhelmingly so). 86% think they are doing well at securing vaccine supplies, 78% that they are doing well in rolling it out. For better or for worse, Boris Johnson has also delivered on his main election promise – getting Brexit done – and his own approval ratings appear to have bottomed out at the end of last year and have improved slightly since then.

As such, we’ve seen the Conservative party creep back ahead in the polls over recent months. At the tail end of last year the polls were broadly neck-and-neck. The Tories now clearly have a small lead again. Opinium and YouGov’s polls this week show a 5 point Tory lead, Survation a 6 point lead, Ipsos MORI earlier this month a 4 point lead. This is likely more a reflection of the Conservative Government’s recovering fortunes than anything Labour have or haven’t done. If we want to get a decent measure of public attitudes towards Keir Starmer, we need to look at figures asking directly about Starmer himself, rather than his relative position to the Government.

If we do that, then on the whole, Starmer’s ratings are at least acceptable. During the early part of his leadership there were very solid indeed, but over the last few months they have declined. His approval ratings are fairly neutral (Opinium’s last poll had 32% approving, 30% disapproving; Ipsos MORI has 40% satisfied, 35% dissatisfied; YouGov 39% good job, 37% bad job). These are significantly better than Boris Johnson’s current ratings, and better than his predecessors Ed Miliband and Jeremy Corbyn.

Looking at polling on perceptions of Starmer, YouGov gives him positive ratings on being strong, likeable, decisive and – especially – competence (42% see him as competent, 21% incompetent). Ipsos MORI finds strongly positive ratings for him on being decisive, and moderately positive figures on leading opinion and demonstrating a clear vision.

MORI also ask a regular question on if the opposition leader looks ready to be Prime Minister. 33% of people think Starmer does, 37% think he does not. Jeremy Corbyn and Ed Miliband got figures ranging between 17%-31% thinking they looked ready to be Prime Minister, but consistently got in excess of 60% saying they did not. The positive figures may not be that different here, but Starmer’s negatives are far, far less than his predecessors. YouGov have a similar question, and found 33% think Starmer looks like a Prime Minister in waiting.

It is clear from the polling that Keir Starmer is seen by the general public as much more of a competent, plausible Prime Ministerial figure than his two predecessors. Whether that is enough is a different matter. I’ve frequently compared Starmer’s figures in this article to Ed Miliband and Jeremy Corbyn. By that yardstick they’re not bad at all. But compare them to Tony Blair, or even to David Cameron, the last two leaders of the opposition to actually go on and become Prime Minister, and they look less positive.

It’s also worth underlining that the direction of movement for Starmer is currently negative. Lots of leaders have positive ratings to begin with (think of how positively rated Theresa May was to begin with, for example). At the moment it looks as if the way that Keir Starmer presents himself has chimed enough with the public for them to give him a serious hearing and to remain open-minded on whether he’d make a good Prime Minister. It looks as if Starmer has managed to win the opportunity to be heard, but having that opportunity doesn’t mean he won’t fluff it.

Obviously Keir Starmer is not yet in a position to win a general election. We won’t know until after the boundary review exactly what sort of lead the Labour party would need to win an election, but to get an overall majority on a uniform swing then without some degree of political realignment they’d need a very substantial lead indeed and at this point, Starmer has no lead at all. I suppose for those within the Labour party, it depends exactly how much one can reasonably expect from leader who inherits a party that has just suffered one of its worst ever general elections, its fourth in row, and has spent the last five years busy in internecine warfare.


2,990 Responses to “How well or badly is Keir Starmer doing?”

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  1. @Garj – “….which creates the potential for them to try to exploit the potential for disruption in the UK in order to try to extract concessions which are effectively unheard of in other trade deals.”

    Sounds good, even if it is tripe.

    I keep saying this, but the USMCA actually stipulates the minimum wage rate for Mexican car workers. The CPTPP would require the UK to criminalise previously legal aspects around patents. The UK has just tried to foist a load of tariff free conditions onto Kenya in their trade talks, which Kenyan MPs have baulked at.

    You can keep whingeing about how nasty those horrid Europeans are, but meanwhile, the real world carries on and will continue to ignore you.

    You probably imagine the US will give us a deal without imposing tough demands, and it’s only the EU that does nasty things.

    Never realised Brexiters were such a bunge of dreamy whiners.

  2. @TREVOR WARNE

    Thanks for the detailed extrapolation on the Welsh YouGov data – I’d avoided doing the same given the number of minor parties and their similar shares, but your indications of whether a list total is likely to drop/rise is helpful.

    Also do we know if YouGov weight the regional subsamples? If not we might expect those to change quite a bit from poll to poll?

    One point I would make on your analysis tho;

    RUK’s highest list % is North at 5% and they might just get the final seat (likely to be close with 6 parties in contention) but elsewhere they are, on most recent polling, just splitting the RoC vote

    We have to be careful with this figure – thanks to the seats won in 2016 Farage’s party has more of an ongoing profile in Wales than elsewhere. If (and it’s a sizeable if!) RUK is attracting similar people that voted for Farage’s previous parties, they could well be drawing as many/more Labour votes than Tory ones in the areas where Labour are dominant.

  3. @Trevs – “If EC-EU want to export less agri-food to UK then fine, their choice = their consequences.”

    :):):)

    And the cunning plan is……..to let the EU stuff in anyway.

    Faced with a choice of normal food service or empty shelves, angry customers, significant food price increases and years long readjustment period to the UK food supply, Lord Frost decides to minimise disruption on EU food imports to the UK.

    You didn’t seriously think it was going to be any other way did you?

    We can’t erect barriers to EU imports because of the disruption that causes. One of the reasons we joined the EU in the first place was because we were worried that we couldn’t guarantee adequate food suppl!es.

    The result is that to ensure we get the food we need, we have to go for light touch import checks, which, as the head of the hauliers association says, chucks away our leverage in talks on border frictions.

    Meanwhile, the EU have plenty of alternative sources to replace UK sourced goods.

  4. GARJ: Of course I don’t like that the EU are taking that approach

    GARJ; I’m not complaining about the EU

    Right over my head. eh?

    Leavers need to get used to the fact that leave means leave. As in, not a member any more. Not mollycoddled any more. Having to stand on our own two feet and not go crying to mummy about the nasty big boys.

  5. @GARJ

    ‘The ongoing belief by a large contingent of remainers that the UK should essentially give the EU whatever it wants is a major encouragement for the hawks in Europe to continue pushing a hardline approach’.

    You may be right that the EU is behaving in an imperialist way. If so, it’s not very nice but is there anything to stop them?

    Isn’t it a bit fanciful to think, as you do above, that powerless UK Remainers are encouraging the hawks in Europe? Is there any evidence for this? Remain lost, and has no influence.

  6. Alec
    “Meanwhile, the EU have plenty of alternative sources to replace UK sourced goods.”

    As we do for theirs of course.

  7. @Tobyebert – “You may be right that the EU is behaving in an imperialist way. If so, it’s not very nice but is there anything to stop them?”

    These types don’t seem to have a scooby do about how the Yanks behave in trade deals. They seem to think the EU is imperialist and everyone else is just so super lovely.

    It’s actually quite depressing seeing Brexit collide with reality.

    @Somerjohn – Perhaps the Australians were ahead of the game when they coined the phrase ‘whingeing poms’?

    It’s all so unfair!

  8. @GARJ

    Just like to invite you to withdraw ‘lickspittle’.

  9. No wonder AW has deserted us.

  10. OLDNAT

    “ New Opinium poll” …
    I think (¿?) that the 1% is a proposal for NHS England. I am fairly sure that the Scottish Government offered all health workers a bonus of £500, but I don’t recall anything of a pay rise.

    Unlike you to miss a chance to highlight opinion polls apparently asking questions which are not applicable in some polities of the UK.

  11. @Pete B – “As we do for theirs of course.”

    The point is that there is an imbalance here.

    We have erected barriers to 27 other countries.

    But to the EU, it’s only 1 country.

    So Spain is already seeing a healthy increase in lamb exports to France, and there are not many products made in the UK that the EU needs and can’t readily supply itself or get from somewhere else.

    For the UK, because of proximity and the fact that they are 27 countries, it’s much more difficult.

    I don’t think you’ve really grasped the reality here.

  12. Scotsman running a story on No now being in the lead

    BUT

    The story is based on the numbers prior to Savanta’s turnout weighting being applied, so not comparable to previous polls.

    I’m surprised Savanta allowed their data to be used in this way.

  13. K9

    :-)

    ScotGov has already announced that in advance of the formal pay settlement, we will implement an interim 1% ‘payment on account’ from 1 December 2020, which will then be built upon by the full settlement when the negotiations conclude. and hoped the interim step, alongside the £500 bonus, would “make clear that we want to support our staff regardless of the impact of the UK Government’s delay to the budget”.

    https://www.nursingtimes.net/news/workforce/scotland-announces-interim-1-pay-rise-for-nhs-nurses-24-02-2021/

  14. EOR
    As I said around thirty a day.

  15. @STEVE

    As I said around thirty a day.

    You said there was no significant change, when it’s actually gone up by 45% over the last few weeks. You can’t approximate that away.

    In any case it was 22 a day on average over the first couple of weeks of Feb, not “about thirty”, and it’s well over 30 a day on average now (32 when I wrote the post yesterday, 34 as of today). It is indisputably rising – as I said tho the positive is that it’s rising significantly more slowly relative to cases than it did in the previous wave.

  16. @OLDNAT

    The story is based on the numbers prior to Savanta’s turnout weighting being applied, so not comparable to previous polls.

    Have they given the numbers with the turnout weighting too? If so, does the weighting make much of a difference?

  17. EOR

    Nope. They have only published a story based on a selection of numbers. It is also being suggested that it isn’t even based on the standard question, but drawn from implications from more/less likely questions.

    The actual poll results will be issued sometime next week, when we will, no doubt, find out what the poll actually reveals.

    It is worth noting, however, that if those results confirmed the Unionist paper’s story, it is unlikely that they wouldn’t have been used.

    But as the saying goes “By the time the truth has got its boots on …….”

  18. UK Statistics Authority rebukes Gove over Brexit figures

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2021/mar/06/uk-statistics-authority-rebukes-gove-over-observers-brexit-figures?CMP=share_btn_tw

    As many will know, for a Minister to be rebuked by the Statistics Authority for misrepresenting data, is it effectively saying that the Minister is untruthful.

    Given that his boss has also been identified by an English Court Order as being economical with the truth in the HoC, I doubt that either of them will give a damn.

    Often politicians are accused of elevating distortion of reality to an art form.

    It appears that UKGov and its lackey in the Scottish Press just scrawl misspelt rude words on walls.

  19. UK (Scotland), Panelbase poll:

    Should Scotland be an independent country?

    Yes: 49% (-4)
    No: 51% (+4)

    +/- 19-22 Jan

    Fieldwork: 3-5 March 2021
    Sample size: 1,013

    This looks more honest.

  20. More accurate numbers from Panelbase

    Should Scotland be an independent country?

    Yes: 46% (-3)
    No: 47% (+3)
    DK: 7% (-)

    +/- 19-22 Jan

    Fieldwork: 3-5 March 2021
    Sample size: 1,013

  21. ALEC

    I see you’re still ignoring all the other SPS and veterinary deals the EU has. Something something US bad, very relevant. This whole rigmarole started because I made a simple point – you posted saying that we don’t have an agreement on SPS because the government is refusing to concede any sovereignty, I argued that it’s because the EU has asked for too much in return and it would be idiotic to cave in rather than hold out for better terms. The thing I object to is not so much that the EU is playing hardball, but that you (and others) seem to think that the appropriate response is always just to accept their first offer.

    SOMERJOHN

    Good job on taking one sentence out of context and ignoring everything else. I’m pretty accepting of the fact that Brexit will cause some discomfort, particularly in the short term. The complaining on this website, running to dozens and dozens of posts every day, is from a few remainers who feel the need to highlight every single disruption caused by Brexit and whine about it ad nauseam. It’s phenomenally boring, which is why I don’t generally engage with it. In your and ALEC’s book, apparently, we are not even allowed to point out that the EU has made some pretty extreme demands, to criticise the thinking behind them, or to suggest that the UK government is acting reasonably in rejecting them.

    TOBYEBERT

    I think lickspittle is a pretty mild term compared to much of what gets thrown at anyone on this website who had the temerity to vote for Brexit or the Tories, and it’s an accurate one as well.

    As to the influence of remainers on the negotiations, I think that it has reduced considerably since the election and the opposition’s decision to avoid talking about Brexit at all, but it certainly weakened our position for a long time before that, and encouraged elements on the EU side who wanted to take a hard approach. I don’t think that the government has made the right moves at every turn either, and I have plenty of misgivings about the UK playing hardball in return. My hope is that both sides are able to put short-term political posturing to one side and, over time, resolve the outstanding problems in a mutually acceptable and respectful fashion. I’d like to see some recognition from certain remainers that that will be a process which requires some willingness to put up with whatever discomfort the EU choose to impose in the short term, rather than an expectation that the UK should effectively immediately surrender its position.

  22. @ Oldnat

    The Panelbase poll that you quote shows a clear drift away from support for Scottish secession from the UK. The effect of the disgraceful hounding of Alex Salmond by the current Wokeist SNP leadership seems to be beginning to have an effect on voting intention.

    t would be good from a unionist perspective if the new Scottish Labour leader won the seat he is contesting in Glasgow Southside at the May elections. Are there any polls on voting intention in this constituency?

  23. GARJ Summarised

    Only believe and everything will be fine.

  24. This is definitely a brexit bonus (if it happens) and something I applaud the government for.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9334503/Torture-tin-foie-gras-set-banned-post-Brexit-move.html

  25. I see some brexit supporters did want their cake to eat. You won, get over it.

    We’re now the EU competitors in trade (as we will be with the USA and China, assuming the yanks don’t join the CPTPP). In a school playground, the big boy always wins.

  26. @dunham111

    There is no evidence that anybody, “wokeist” or not “hounded” Salmond.

    Not surpringly the accusations the inquiry hearings and the media attention is having an impact on vi for indy. It will be interesting to see the vi for Holyrood if the polls covered that.

  27. EOR
    The average daily death rate in Greece is the same now as it was in early January.

    There has been some slight downward and upward movement in between but it corresponds to the equivalent of around a 50 a day change in the U.K. when the uk.was registering 1000+ deaths a day Greece was already at around 35 or equivalent to about 200 in the uk.

    Consequently even after the recent upturn it’s still lower proportionally than the uk now after a 80%+ fall.

    The fact that now more than 50% of those at greatest risk in Greece have received both doses of two dose vaccine and 75% have received at least 1 dose should impact.

    My real point wasn’t arguing that numbers between mid twenties and mid thirties are around 30 it was that if the vaccines work we should see a disconnect between case numbers and serious illness or death.

    If this doesn’t happen in Greece or anywhere else then the whole approach to endless destructive lockdown and vaccination will have failed.

    I see no reason why this should be the outcome and hopefully we can all get back to arguing over more productive matters soon.

  28. Prof Howard
    No disrespect to you.
    But the owner of this website doesn’t seem to be particularly interested in anything qin this website.

  29. @garj

    I don’t recall @alec suggesting that the UK should accept the EU’s first offer. Could you indicate where he did so?

    I admire your shamelessness in putting blame on remainers for the UK Government agreeing a deal which it said was a great oven ready deal in which thete were no non tariff barriers and no border in the Irish Sea.

  30. UK-Kenya trade deal in jeopardy as mood in Nairobi turns outright hostile

    “the mood of the house is very hostile, we don’t trust the UK. We need a number of negotiations to clarify a lot of issues.”

    https://www.cityam.com/uk-kenya-trade-deal-in-jeopardy-as-mood-in-nairobi-turns-outright-hostile/
    ———————–

    Why don’t they trust us? We have the most honest government I’ve known in my lifetime.

  31. @ EOR – Good points.

    I doubt YG weight by the regions and we don’t know what RUK will do (eg Farage news).

    Still a worthwhile exercise to build a quick model. I can ‘adjust’ the %s to see how much change it will make – in many cases not a lot (eg PC gain Llanelli from LAB would almost certainly mean that LAB gain extra list seat from PC).

    Abolish have broken the threshold to win list seats, but not necessarily everywhere[1], for the other smaller parties they risk doing more harm than good (eg vote Green might deny PC a list seat and instead give that seat to CON or Abolish)

    [1] Largely due to LAB winning most constituencies in the 3 ‘South’ regions, which means the ‘fag packet’ D’Hondt approach of 1/(number of seats) threshold to win at least 1 seat is too low (eg in S.East the final D’Hondt seat likely has a 10%+ threshold and I don’t see Greens getting that)

  32. Interesting coverage of the Scotman on Sunday poll.

    It seems the poll results have been declared unweighted, so the results are not what they sees. The way the media and journalists have run with ‘dodgy data’ does smack of trying to push an agenda. This is spin, not good, honest reporting.

    Sadly, these days many journalists are no better than politicians.

  33. @Hireton

    “There is no evidence that anybody, “wokeist” or not “hounded” Salmond.”

    That is not the impression that I have gained when visiting the leading pro-indy website (WoS), usually on Saturday mornings to view Chris Cairns’ excellent cartoons.

  34. @ PETE B – So Tice is now in charge of RUK.

    He is a sharp lad and comes without the Farage baggage but I doubt he’ll have the ‘press’ attention that Farage used to get and hence he’s likely to go unheard.

    Fizzle out is my guess but I’d be very happy to see Tice slip into CON party where he could win Hartlepool next time rather than allow LAB to win on a split RoC vote

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hartlepool_(UK_Parliament_constituency)

    @ GARJ – You’re wasting your time. Boris and even Starmer and Davey ignore the Rem0aners for what is clearly good reason. Let them wail into echo chambers, no one of relevance is listening.

  35. @Garj – your posts are often intelligent and informed, but not on this occasion. See @Hireton’s comment above for my first thought.

    You were l!ed to by your government, plain and simple.
    The TCA is shot through with areas where the EU offered reduced NTBs but which were rejected by the UK because they required a perfectly normal level of agreement on alignment of outcomes – not necessarily alignment of regulations.

    The entire TCA is temporary anyway, with a review of the whole deal in four years, so the UK could, quite easily, have agreed to key alignments – on food standards, SPS, temporary mobility rights etc – without making any permanent or even long term commitments. More on this later.

    We didn’t, because people like you have an unbalanced view of what ‘sovereignty’ means in terms of trade practicalities. You can have free trade, or you can have sovereignty. You can’t have both.

    The government was told constantly by those decisions would create a mess, and lo, we have a mess.

    You are deluded if you think this is the EU applying unreasonable force uniquely onto the UK. Inform yourself, and have a read of this – https://ukandeu.ac.uk/the-swiss-approach-to-trade-with-the-eu/

    To gain a substantial degree of friction free trade (still not completely friction free) Switzerland voluntarily adopts most EU regulations in the key areas. That’s just how these things are done when you live next door to a big trading block.

    You might be interested in this quote: “…Switzerland unilaterally adopted the Cassis de Dijon principle, to which the EU members adhere internally. This means that Switzerland accepts rules unilaterally that have been set to the market in an EU member state if there is no Swiss law explicitly governing the same issue……

    Naturally, a drawback of this unilateral approach is the lack of reciprocity: the EU does not extend the Cassis de Dijon principle to include Switzerland.”

    You can also have a look at this, which is the EU/Ukraine Association Agreement – https://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/docs/2016/november/tradoc_155103.pdf

    So a more-or-less randomly picked out sentence from Article 57 says “Following a check by the EU Party and agreement on the state of alignment of relevant Ukrainian technical legislation, standards and infrastructure, the ACAA shall be added as a Protocol to this Agreement by agreement between the Parties according to the procedure for amending this Agreement, covering such sectors from the list in Annex III to this Agreement as are considered to be aligned. It is intended that the ACAA will ultimately be extended to cover all the sectors listed in Annex III to this Agreement, in accordance with the aforementioned procedure.”

    Note the word “alignment”. Ukraine has to agree to levels of alignment to access the EU market.

    All of this stuff is just normal for smaller countries agreeing deals with bigger countries. I’ll say it again (third time in 24 hours): The US imposes a level of minimum wage on Mexican companies in the car industry, if they want to get the tariff free access. The US also took Mexico to arbitration because the US believed port workers terms of employment were being properly enforced.

    To be continued. Short break, to avoid a super long post.

  36. Write-up for the NHS 1% pay rise poll:

    “Ministers face public backlash over 1% pay offer to nurses”

    https://www.theguardian.com/society/2021/mar/06/ministers-face-public-backlash-over-1-pay-offer-to-nurses

    My 2c? Copy Scotland and award a one-off bonus.

    https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-gbp500-payment-for-health-and-social-care-staff—questions-and-answers/

    Rishi can state public finances coming better (less bad) than expected and say those matters are not budget matters (which is largely true).

    The only issue then is what about teachers who deserve a pay rise/bonus, the what about Police, etc… ‘scope drift’ is a risk.

  37. garj,
    “On a fundamental level the UK is not a weaker negotiating partner than New Zealand or Canada; our economy, population, and market are all much larger (over 10x in the case of NZ) and more accessible to EU exporters. What gives the EU negotiating leverage is that we are moving from a position of full alignment, which:

    well I guess the uk is a potentially better market for the eu than Canada, but we are still fundamentally the supplicant begging for special terms.

    The UK has had 5 years to decide what relationship it wants with the eu . The EU set up to settle this right away after the vote. The uk has done nothing but put off by deciding what it wants, so here we are without a settlement.

  38. garj,
    “On a fundamental level the UK is not a weaker negotiating partner than New Zealand or Canada; our economy, population, and market are all much larger (over 10x in the case of NZ) and more accessible to EU exporters. What gives the EU negotiating leverage is that we are moving from a position of full alignment, which:

    well I guess the uk is a potentially better market for the eu than Canada, but we are still fundamentally the supplicant begging for special terms.

    The UK has had 5 years to decide what relationship it wants with the eu . The EU set up to settle this right away after the vote. The uk has done nothing but put off by deciding what it wants, so here we are without a settlement.

  39. @Garj – continued…

    One more reasonable question is why now? As leavers are fond of saying, we are completely aligned at present (not 100% true, but near enough for most critical trade areas). Why has the EU decided that we have suddenly gone from being a 100% aligned member to a third country with no agreed alignment?

    This is a valid point. There are, in my view, several answers. None of them involve notions of the EU being nasty or imperialist.

    First and most obvious, is that access to the EU benefits (the market) means accepting the membership requirements. Morally, I would have thought most people could understand that not paying the membership fee on it’s own would be sufficient to mean an ex-member should lose membership benefits.

    We are saying that we are no longer members and not paying the membership fee, but we would still like to go to the clubhouse. We will adhere to the dress code for now, but if we feel like it we won’t in the future, but you should still afford us all the privileges of membership in the meantime.

    Second point is that agreeing where and how to align takes time. The biggest problem here is that the UK has refused to agree ongoing alignment, but is claiming to be aligned. It would have been far better to talk through in detail those areas where we wish to have lower NTBs in exchange for agreed levels of alignment, and areas where we wished to retain rights to diverge.

    This is deeply technical stuff and takes time. We were offered far more time, but we repeatedly opted for the cliff edge, and then wasted most of the available negotiating time. Most trade deals take years to sort out, with the level of alignment and the matching level of access being the key reason why they take so long. The lack of time to achieve this is entirely the UK’s fault.

    Final thought on this, is that the idea that we are 100% aligned so give us better access is a very short term position, if you don’t agree mechanisms for ongoing alignment.

    So, for example, we are two months into Brexit. Most leavers won’t be aware that on Monday 1st March a new ‘right to repair’ rule came into force across the EU. This requires producers of white goods to ensure that they can be repaired for at least 10 years after supply.

    The UK is not aligned with these regulations (although UK producers will be working as if we are, for obvious reasons). This creates an immediate issue in the UK in that consumers in NI will be able to make demands on suppliers of goods that fail whereas those in GB cannot, but it is also a sign of how regulations very quickly un-align if you haven’t agreed an alignment process.

    This stuff is going on constantly, and it doesn’t take long before the idea that we are aligned with a dynamic regulatory framework comes unstuck. In this case, it’s taken about 60 days. In the supply of electrical goods, we are no longer aligned.

    So this really brings us to the answer of why the EU is doing this;

    1) It does this to everyone, and the UK is no different. Their club, their rules.

    2) Everyone else does this, and the EU is no different. Compared to the US, the EU demands are relatively light.

    3) There is a clear political aspect to this, in that not to enforce NTBs where the UK has not agreed to align, even where we remain technically aligned, would represent unfairness on those members and other trading partners accepting their obligations to the EU. We would be asking for more than anyone else gets.

    4) Alignment is only temporary anyway, and is already slipping away. Unless the UK agrees a procedure to negotiate the level of alignment on an ongoing basis, it’s not reasonable to expect the EU to grant us the benefits of alignment.

  40. Hireton.
    Brexitanians seen solid in their certitude that the abject failure of the dog’s breakfast they voted for is actually the fault of those who voted against it.

    Twas ever thus–from childhood’s hour I’ve seen my fondest hopes decay.

    Still there’s always blue passports.

  41. GARJ

    @”. My hope is that both sides are able to put short-term political posturing to one side and, over time, resolve the outstanding problems in a mutually acceptable and respectful fashion. ”

    When TM set out the original objectives for the future EU/UK relationship they were couched in terms I very much approved of. A deep and special partnership on a whole range of areas from Security to Trade based on years of shared culture & history. Freely entered into by sovereign bodies.

    I now think that was naive . This is a group of countries who are defined by their Union and its rules & ethos now.
    An ethos defined and practiced by The Commission.
    And it increasingly looks like an embattled & defensive Empire , desperately trying to protect its interests against all outside the walls of its Citadel in the only way it knows how.

    By throwing its weight around in an increasingly
    incoherant manner.

    https://edition.cnn.com/2021/03/04/europe/italy-astrazeneca-doses-australia-intl/index.html

    https://www.dw.com/en/eu-seeks-us-supplies-of-astrazeneca-vaccine-report/a-56793089

    If they want to shut UK exports out and promote intra Union trade that is what they will do. It fits with their protectionist ethos.

    UK has probably misjudged that and many niche exporters reliant on their EU trade will pay the price. I have no idea how the NI protocol will be resolved.

    But this is the reality , rather than the dream of relationships with this organisation. We will have to suck it up.

    Its a Big World out there. And our instinct has always been to open to it. We are entrepreneurial & resourceful. Nimble and resourceful.
    We just have to get on with it pronto and forget about the comfort blanket of the EU SM.

    That world which its supporters here spend every day reminding us about , has gone.

    They won’t forget it. We must.

  42. Another day, in fact another Sunday, and bitter Remainers carry on with pointless crystal ball gazing as to whether leaving the Federal Superstate will be a success or not.

    It seems they’re all such experts at predicting the future.

    Like most sensible people, I’ll wait and see and what the outcome of the popular decision of the majority will be. Timescale : several years.

  43. Not surprised by the dip in Indy support , just surprised people on here put it down to Salmond v Surgeon in the news.

    Support for Independence has very much risen in line with public perception on the Pandemic.

    When Boris was seen as making mistakes while Sturgeon was perceived as to use the phrase “Strong & Stable” the Scottish Government and us doing a better job running things boosted Independence support.

    Now we have the vaccine and for most people it is viewed as a success while the EU is struggling, the U.K. doesn’t seem so bad.

    It will be interesting to see what leadership rating changes there are.

    Not sure it was asked but if it has I suspect you will see a bit of a Boris rise but not much of a Sturgeon dip, because Covid and the Vaccination programme is driving this not the Media feeding frenzy at Holyrood.

    As Anthony has often warned us, it’s easy to attribute this weeks changes to this weeks events but it is usually more useful to look beyond them and focus on the trend.

    Support peaked with the second wave and is dropping back with the vaccine.

    Peter.

  44. JIB, they should’ve put that on a side of a bus.

  45. JIB, also it was the majority of those that actually voted not the majority of people. Though as per norm it’ll be those that didn’t vote and those on the lowest wages(the likes of me) who’ll suffer the most as brexit means prices going up.

  46. “”Brussels must stop sulking over the UK’s decision to leave the European Union and work to make Brexit a success, Boris Johnson’s Europe adviser has said….””

    This is in the DTel this morning.

    With Lord Frost coming out with such provocative statements, there is no chance of him being believed if any serious negotiations resume soon.

    Hopefully, the EU will play one of their trump cards and do rigorous check on the wagon loads going to England, like looking for vaccines and stowaways. The resultant food shortages in supermarkets may then bring the UK government to their senses and we can start trade negotiations humbly with an intention of a fair agreement.

    Ever since 2016, it had been obvious that that situation in Ireland means that the UK cannot effectively leave the CU and SM. And the UK leaving the EU with no deal cannot be contemplated for Ireland`s sake, and the UK having any respect from rWorld.

  47. @Pete

    It was a majority, democratic decision. If you don’t vote, you don’t count. And if your supporters don’t turn out, it’s because you ran a poor campaign.

  48. SOMERJOHN

    “Any difficulties that now arise are the consequence of what we negotiated for and agreed to. Brexit, in other words. Simples, as leavers seem to like to say.”

    I’m not talking about what we negotiated (apart from the WA), I was talking about the attitude of many in the EU and some EU governments, and it is blindingly obvious, see comments from Garj and PeteB. It does not surprise me that you do not see what to others is blindingly obvious.

  49. GARJ: a few remainers who feel the need to highlight every single disruption caused by Brexit and whine about it ad nauseam.

    The voters of this country were told, ad nauseam, that everything would be fine; that predictions of this sort of disruption were ‘Project Fear”.

    When it turns out to be Project Reality, not Project Fear, are we supposed to keep quiet like compliant little North Koreans?

    Your attitude reminds me of nothing more than the crowd in the Emperor’s New Clothes. There’s none so blind as those that will not see – and hate to be told what’s in front of their eyes.

  50. @Davwel

    “Hopefully, the EU will play one of their trump cards and do rigorous check on the wagon loads going to England, like looking for vaccines and stowaways. The resultant food shortages in supermarkets may then bring the UK government to their senses and we can start trade negotiations humbly with an intention of a fair agreement”

    I posted yesterday that this was a misconception on your part. You are peddling a myth.

    The EU carry out no checks and are quite happy to export as much as they can to the UK.

    There was talk of checks on UK checks on bottled springwater in retaliation for the Shellfish Class B issue, but that would be an UK decision.

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