Ipsos MORI have published their monthly political monitor and it shows another towering lead for the Conservatives. Topline voting intentions are CON 47%(+7), LAB 29%(-5), LDEM 7%(+1), UKIP 6%(-3). The eighteen point Conservative lead is the highest they’ve managed in any poll since 2009, and the highest lead for a party in government since 2002. Usual caveats apply about any poll showing such a large shift in support over a month, but in terms of direction this does echo the ICM and YouGov polls earlier this month that also showed shifts towards the Conservatives. Full details are here.

A quick word about that UKIP score of just 6%. While it is obviously very bad, it’s not the sudden collapse one might assume. For whatever methodological reason, MORI do tend to show significantly worse scores for UKIP than polls from other companies. It is NOT a case of UKIP support being at 11% with ICM and YouGov last week, their MEPs getting into a fist fight and their support collapsing (however tempting such a narrative is!). MORI has been showing them at significantly lower levels of support for several months anyway – 9% last month, 6% in August, 8% in July. Nevertheless, it does appear as if the Tories are beginning to claw back support they’d previously lost to UKIP.


693 Responses to “Ipsos MORI/Standard – CON 47, LAB 29, LD 7, UKIP 6”

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  1. The Lithuanian Elections are interesting.

    Lithuanians vote today in an election run-off with the centre-right opposition likely to oust the current Left coalition .

    The central issue has been emigration. Lithuania’s population shrunk by 12% over the past decade. as people left in search of higher pay & jobs. A ST report says half of the leavers came to Britain. The ST article describes villages which have lost half their population , left with the Middle Aged & the Old.. Emigrants describe the pay differential from a move to UK-600 euro pm to 3000 euro pm.
    Job vacancies are being filled with refugees , by desperate employers.

    The opposition has a program of inward investment incentives targeted on German & Scandinavian companies to restore the economy & rebuild the countries dying social structure.

    This crazy outcome for this little country is the result of EU’s mad insistence on Free Movement of Labour across Economies with differentials in average pay of 500%.which stubbornly refuse to “Converge” at the will of the Commission.

    It is the voters of Europe who will stop this nonsense eventually-probably after UK is long gone.
    The resistance to transformation of their societies , which they did not ask for , is increasingly gaining political significance.

    ST reports a Leipzig University study showing 40% of Germans would ban all Muslim immigration, and 25% support ” a single strong party that embodies the national community as a whole”.

    If those quotation marks are an accurate rendering of that survey question, the response must send shivers through Merkel as she watches AfD’s Poll ratings rise.

  2. I’m not sure where the confusion as to Article 50’s comes from. The express legislative intent during it’s drafting, as expressed by the people who were drafting it, was that it was supposed to act as a one way guillotine. This was in order to prevent member states using it to try to extract grand concessions from Europe. (ie, the way some Brexitiers think Article 50 negotiations will work.)

    David Cameron tried to explain this during the debate, but didn’t do a good job because he waffled on about ‘ending the divorce procedings’ rather than just outright saying it’s a irreverable process. There seems to be no one on the continent saying that Article 50 can be reversed.

    Is it possible this is just a stalling action?

  3. There appears to be a significant inconsistency developing in some pro Brexit posters minds, which seems to mirror some of the public figures in the wider debate as well.

    There were some proponents of a leave vote who appeared to maintain the pretense that everything would be magical from day one, but on UKPR at least, more sensible posters like @TOH and @Sea Change did accept that there would be a period of dislocation, while maintaining that medium and long term prospects would be improved by Brexit.

    This position is logical and consistent, and not without merit. The argument really comes in identifying and quantifying the effects and extent of the dislocation, and then the long term assessment when we look back from many years in the future.

    Where I am now seeing a fundamental apparent inconsistency developing in these posters views, is around the issue of the impacts of Brexit. They now appear to have switched from their view that negative impacts are to be expected, to one where pointing out apparent negative impacts is variously unpatriotic, ‘talking Britain down’ or some such, rather than an expression of the logical end point of the course of action they espoused. This contradiction is increasingly at the heart of the deepening divisions around Brexit when we look beyond the confines of UKPR.

    It would provide for a more honest and open minded debate if those who had supported Brexit, instead of saying they expect negative impacts and then disparaging those who highlight these, could actually simply agree when such impacts are felt. There are bound to be arguments about what represents a negative impact, and of course, agreeing or not on the causal factors, but protecting oneself by wrapping the argument up in some proto patriotic flag waving and questioning others patriotism in not an endearing approach to take, in my view.

  4. NEILA

    @”So far they seem (whether for tactical reasons vis stopping Brexit altogether, or as a genuine plan) to not want to be our friends unless we are in the EU.”

    An article in ST today suggests a clear motive in the case of Germany :-

    “Although there is zero chance of AfD joining a governing coalition after the 2017 election , Mrs. Merkel will be fighting for survival. She needs Mrs. May’s hard Brexit as a foil for her own hard choice:she will force Germans to choose between “more Europe” , guided by her experience as a world-class leader, and the far right’s alternative of a Germany going back to its nationalist past.
    This means that her treatment of her British counterpart cannot be other than chilly:she has to paint Brexit in the darkest possible colours. Indeed she is engaged in her own “operation fear” just in case Germans might harbour a sneaking admiration for the British “

  5. NEIL A

    Many thanks, I would not actually agree with interpretation of the battle of Waterloo, Wellington was the presiding genius at Waterloo, not least because he had selected the ground to fight on some time before the event. It could also be said that Napoleon was not at his best at Waterloo. To my mind it was clearly a British victory with considerable help from it’s allies. Your point about WW1 & WW2 is totally valid of course. However I do see what you are getting at and I hope your correct in your last paragraph but I have my doubts.

    The use of Waterloo by Somerjohn actually made me smile. It may well be in the context of the EU’s long term future that Brexit is it’s Waterloo. Certainly if we make a great success of Brexit I can see the EU’s demise as others follow our lead. Just a thought but I thought I would share it since he raised it in the first place.

  6. Colin

    Good luck to everyone who makes the move I say! I hope they enjoy the opportunity and prosperity their move affords them.

    The idea that governments should be able to shackle their citizens to their country is a little bit concerning to say the least.

    A loss of 1% a year is fairly fast but I’m sure there are many here who are hoping that 600,000 people “go home” per year from this country. That sort of drop for a decade would suit many. It’d fix a lot of the housing problems.

    It’s up to their government to manage the economic consequences or put into place measures to encourage people to stay by improving their quality of life at home.

  7. @Colin – very interesting post on Lithuania. I have been saying something similar for longer than I care to remember. If the economists are correct, and immigration boosts a countries national wealth, then it must also be true that emigration damages a country.

    Where I believe the left and liberal sections of the UK political establishment made a major category error, from which all of this stems, is to accept immigration as a ‘good thing’.

    The idea seemed to come about that liking immigration made you more cosmopolitan, more enlightened, more decent, and a better person. Immigration was good, because it enabled those who support open borders feel good about themselves.

    While I have no problem per se with immigration, and quite like the idea of Polish deli’s or German Christmas markets, I always felt that the knee jerk ‘migration is a good thing’ brigade lost site of the fact they were simply doing big business’ bidding.

    I see nothing inherently good to have unfettered movement of labour, when it allows the interests of business to override social and economic impacts of both donor and host country. The fact that so much immigration happens is a symptom of failure, not a cause for celebration. Business makes lots of money from this, but declines to support the necessary taxation measures that would help alleviate these impacts.

    Worse, in the case of the EU Posted Workers Directive, business campaigned for, and got, the right to employ workers in one country and ship them to another, but with the original countries pay and conditions applying. Anyone who thinks the UK minimum wage provides a floor for migrant pay is wrong, and business makes good use of this.

    The saddest thing of all for me though, is that had we had a PM of any substance, we could have been working with many allies across the EU to develop workable proposals to help meet the concerns around large scale migration.

    Instead, we had Cameron, a man who played at being PM, and whose only answer was to retreat to his branch of Conservatism – to attack those on benefits. He proposed things which upset our erstwhile allies, because he thought it would play well in the home press, failed to see the bigger picture, and gradually whittled away at the sympathies and support that we had in the EU.

    In my view, it would have been possible to craft a deal on migration that would have technically enabled the EU to claim ‘free movement’ was still in place, but placed limits and restrictions to protect donor and host countries in a way that also helped secure economic and political stability across the EU. Cameron didn’t even bother to try, and it’s right that he is viewed as a failed former PM, in my view.

  8. ALEC

    I agree with paragraph 2 & 3 you just posted but not the rest. I do not feel I have been in the least inconsistent in my posts and I have not seen much in other Brexiters posts. The talking down bit is about those who do not accept “good economic” news and “delight” in bad news. I think that is unpatriotic, as I think people who want to prevent Brexit are undemocratic.

  9. @Alan – “It’s up to their government to manage the economic consequences or put into place measures to encourage people to stay by improving their quality of life at home.”

    Part of the problem is that some EU regulations make this quite hard.

    The UK government just lost an ECJ ruling on a question for welfare claimants regarding their country of origin, as the court ruled that asking this question of EU citizens was discriminatory. The UK argued that it needed to do this to help manage migration, but the argument was lost.

  10. @Alec

    I think it’s perfectly possible to believe that Brexit will be a short term economic hit, but in the long term be relatively neutral. I am sceptical of those who argue it will herald some great new age of Free Trade (although the saga over CETA does make me wonder).

    But is it realistic to ask people to indicate exactly how much of a hit it will be? Do you want my estimate for how much UK GDP will be lower than it would have been after a Remain vote? Is there much point in that? How much credence would you give it anyway?

    And if in the long term the negatives and positive balance, we will be so far from the event that it will be impossible for anyone to be sure what the outcome would have been on the alternative course anyway.

    I also think that sometimes you are a bit of a bad news ratchet. Any negative indicator is treated as extremely relevant and a clear sign of the damage of Brexit. Any positive indicator is dismissed as irrelevant, not as good as it should be etc.

    I think that will probably grow. If in 2 years time, the UK signs a great trade deal with Canada or Australia or whoever, I have no doubt you’ll be downplaying the importance of this.

  11. Alec

    I do see how reducing the “pull” would help.

    I was talking about their government reducing the “push”. The reason people are leaving is because of the relatively low standards of living at home. If there are wage differentials of up to 3000 Euros a month, that isn’t going to be down to benefits is it?

  12. Neil A

    To be fair “show and tell” happens on both sides.

  13. BBZ
    “If the ECJ rule it is not reversible, I find it hard to believe that HMG will prevail.”

    I assume that you mean prevail in the courts, rather than Parliament in a subsequent vote.

    Of course, define, ‘reversable’. If it is reverseable (which I would argue it is because it doesn’t say it is not, so therefore it must be) but only with a unanimous vote of 27 nations plus Wallonia, then it might be regarded as irreversible!

  14. @NEIL A

    “I think of Waterloo not so much as a battle the British won with help from their European friends, but as a battle the Europeans won thanks to the contribution from their British friends.”

    Nope. Waterloo was a battle won by the British aristocracy and establishment AGAINST the new Europe represented by Napoleon.

    “In that context, it offers perhaps a different lesson for future relationships between the EU and the UK. We are very clearly setting out our desire to be their good friends and allies in the decades and centuries to come. So far they seem (whether for tactical reasons vis stopping Brexit altogether, or as a genuine plan) to not want to be our friends unless we are in the EU.”

    Sorry – the ‘good friends’ mantra doesn’t wash if all we seem to be interested in is looking after our self interest. Friendship involves give and take, not just take.

    “We sent young British men to die in Belgium at Waterloo, and have done so twice since. We weren’t in the EU for any of those engagements.”

    We did so because the government believed it was in the nation’s interest to do so. The EU has nothing to do with historical events which happened before it was set up. Indeed, one of the fundamental reasons for the EU and its most important aim is to prevent another war in Europe.

    “My personal view is that we are seeing a combination of shock and disappointment at the vote, and some coordinated negotiating tactics. Europeans can be bloody minded, but to want to drive the UK away forever is not something I believe a continent of generally sensible democrats will really believe in.”

    Bloody minded? Pot calling kettle black here. Which nation has taken the unilateral decision to leave the EU? And if you think that a nation of 65 million can lay down the law to 500 million you are living in la-la land. We are not in 1880 and Europe isn’t India under the Raj.

  15. TOH
    “I am much more interested in returning to what this site is supposed to be about, discussing what polling is telling us.”

    I’ll try to take your wise advice. It’s just difficult sometimes to let rubbish go unchallenged.

  16. HIRETON
    I guess we will just have to wait for s Thomas’ in-depth analysis.

    So it would seem, but perhaps worth setting out the three likely options in the hope that the analysis might become realistic……

    S THOMAS
    Now the choice for an independent scotland has clarified. There are 3 options…..

    I agree that there are 3 options, but none of which you list:

    The first [and IMO most likely given the Belfast Agreement issues] option is that the UK agrees to remain in the single market via the EEA or a Swiss-style specific agreement. In that event, indyref2 is unlikely before the 2020s.

    The second option is that the UK leaves the single market [and most likely loses passporting]. In that event, a referendum bill will almost certainly be passed by Holyrood but may or may not be agreed by Westminster.

    If Westminster says no, what happens next is certainly unclear. My guess would be a new Scottish General Election resulting in an increased pro-independence majority in Holyrood. What happens thereafter is anybody’s guess.

    If Westminster agrees to indyref2 and it is won then most likely it would simply take the UK’s place [without the opt-outs] in the EU.

    Given the 2 link limit, references you might care to peruse are:
    Holyrood’s Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Relations Committee and Reuters’ Scotland welcome to join EU, Merkel ally says.

    Spain’s Foreign Minister said in 2014 that: Spain will not oppose Scottish EU entry [El País in English 2014-02-03]

    Subsequently Radjoy has said more recently that he does not want another European region to set an example for Catalan separatists [El País in English 2016-06-30] but the route proposed by the Germans would require QMV not unanimity. Given that Radjoy’s premiership is anything but secure, my guess would be that he is trying for a “grand coalition” and is trying to woo some allies elsewhere than Catalonia.

  17. COLIN
    You imply that Lithuania has been impovershed by emigration, much of it to the UK. In reality its economy was destroyed in the processes of assimilation into the Soviet Union under the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, which saw its small farm dairy and livestock economy (pre-way rivalling Denmark in exporting dairy and pork products to the rest of Europe) replaced by mon-dairy farming in vast collectives and state farms providing milk to Russia and the SU – and its market infrastructure destroyed through the exiling of “kulak” commercial farmers and merchants to Siberia or massacred. Then on achieving independence, its government unwisely declared all Lituanian citizens with ancestral claims to land entitled to shares of the disbanded large farms and collectives.
    The country had virtually no industry by 1990/91 when it became independent. Since then it has depended heavily on remittances from the labour migration of its highly educated work force.

  18. @ALEC

    “Where I believe the left and liberal sections of the UK political establishment made a major category error, from which all of this stems, is to accept immigration as a ‘good thing’.
    The idea seemed to come about that liking immigration made you more cosmopolitan, more enlightened, more decent, and a better person. Immigration was good, because it enabled those who support open borders feel good about themselves.”

    To a certain extent I share your view, but immigration has always been a political hot potato. Memories of Enoch Powell are still fresh and quite rightly the establishment has not been keen to stir the pot. Speaking personally, I have never been concerned about EU immigration; between 2005 and 2013 I lived in a street which had a Polish family and I never had the slightest trouble from them. They worked hard and drove old cars because they didn’t have much money but were always friendly. On the other hand, when Cameron opened the floodgates to the Nepalese Gurkha families, several of them moved into the rented house next to mine and that’s when the trouble started: noise, chain smoking outside the front door, garden parties at 2am, etc. It’s a problem because you cannot complain without being accused of racism, but given a choice I would choose people who are closer in culture and heritage to us (i.e. the Europeans).

    “I see nothing inherently good to have unfettered movement of labour, when it allows the interests of business to override social and economic impacts of both donor and host country. The fact that so much immigration happens is a symptom of failure, not a cause for celebration. Business makes lots of money from this, but declines to support the necessary taxation measures that would help alleviate these impacts.”

    Free movement of labour is what we had under the old EEC. Now we have free movement of people, which is a different thing, and that is where the problem lies. People from the EU can come here regardless of whether they have a job or not, while under the old rules they could only move if they had a firm offer of employment beforehand.
    As for business they don’t care anything for the social consequences of immigration; all they want is cheap labour. So, yes, I agree that they need to be given the rod with higher tax, but then again we need to make sure that businesses don’t simply leave the country and go elsewhere.

    “Instead, we had Cameron, a man who played at being PM, and whose only answer was to retreat to his branch of Conservatism – to attack those on benefits. He proposed things which upset our erstwhile allies, because he thought it would play well in the home press, failed to see the bigger picture, and gradually whittled away at the sympathies and support that we had in the EU.”

    Cameron was unfit to be PM. I would have preferred it if Major had come back, but he decided to quit politics – fair enough. Cameron’s political nose was terrible – he completely failed to detect the political climate and failed to see the huge discontent that was brewing. Calling the referendum, especially without a qualifying quorum, was an unmitigated political disaster. Cameron, as you rightly say, should have abandoned this nonsense call for a ‘reformed EU’, haggling over unimportant issues, and instead focused on ways of changing the rules on free movement by getting political allies on his side in Brussels. He did have allies and in time change could have happened. But he was a weak politician and decided to abandon responsibility for governing the country with a needless referendum. His stupidity reminds me of Heath calling the February 1974 general election as a referendum on the miners’ strike. It backfired on him just as this referendum backfired on Cameron.

  19. @Alec

    As usual a thoughtful post on migration.

    The bottom line is that many of a liberal left-leaning persuasion are pro-immigration because anyone who is racist or they perceive as racist is almost certainly not.

  20. @MILLIE

    “The bottom line is that many of a liberal left-leaning persuasion are pro-immigration because anyone who is racist or they perceive as racist is almost certainly not.”

    You can’t just blame the liberals or even the left (I draw a distinction between the two as I am a liberal but not left wing). The conservatives themselves distanced themselves from Powell and his supporters and even under Thatcher immigration was not a big concern despite the inner city riots of the early ’80s and increasing social pressures. Ultimately Thatcher was a libertarian free marketeer, and recognised that business would always seek cheap labour above all else.

  21. ROBERT NEWARK
    If it is reverseable (which I would argue it is because it doesn’t say it is not, so therefore it must be) but only with a unanimous vote of 27 nations plus Wallonia, then it might be regarded as irreversible!

    I don’t understand your fascination with Wallonia. Had the UK a sensible federal constitution like Belgium we wouldn’t be in this mess. Wallonia certainly does not have an EU vote, but the Belgian constitution will apply and Belgium will have to apply its own constitutional rules if it is asked to vote on the issue.

    That, of course, is not certain because A50 makes no mention of a change of mind. Our opinions will not be considered by the ECJ, who may of course consider other reasons we have not thought of.

    In any event, if the ECJ should decide that such a vote as you suggest is required then I agree that they would likely pronounce it not reversible.

  22. Mariano Rajoy rides again.

    The PSOE decide they will not vote against his candidacy for PM (had they done so there would have been a third general election).

  23. @PETE B

    “Unlike you, I will not use insulting language, but the only people I knew in the 1980s who didn’t work for as long as two years were worthless scroungers.”

    I think this statement says more about you than anything I or anyone else could say. Of course, getting a job depends hugely on one’s circumstances, location and occupation/skills. Your comment exemplifies the ignorance that is prevalent among so many on the Brexit supporting side.

  24. Colin ”
    This crazy outcome for this little country is the result of EU’s mad insistence on Free Movement of Labour across Economies with differentials in average pay of 500%.which stubbornly refuse to “Converge” at the will of the Commission.”

    Couldn’t agree more. I have always failed to see why a free trade in goods can only be achieved with a free movement of people. It just makes no sense.

    On Waterloo,

    As to why Napoleon got his comeuppance, quite simply the English didnt see him as a serious threat. Facing his enemy he shouted, “To the water, it is the hour.” Which in French translates as, ” A l’eau, c’est l’heure”.

  25. ALEC

    @”In my view, it would have been possible to craft a deal on migration ”

    I disagree-they cling to their shibboleth of Free Movement through thick & thin , blind to the glaring truth that without its concomitant- Convergent Economies-, FM makes no sense.

    Cameron didn’t stand a chance. I think he knew this in the end.

  26. JOHN PILGRIM

    @”You imply that Lithuania has been impovershed by emigration,”

    I don’t think I did.

    I was simply relaying reports of an election campaign in which the social & economic effects of Free Movement + Disparate Economies within EU , on a small country will probably lead to a change in its Government.

  27. @SEACHANGE

    “So even if it does work, you’re going to sulk, because your beliefs have been proven wrong? Strange and blinkered thinking IMO.”

    It depends on what you mean by ‘work’. I am convinced that it will not work for this country and I stand by that conviction. What you define as Brexit ‘working’ may well be different from my definition. You may see it working if EU immigration grinds down to zero irrespective of the economic pain we’ll have to go through, but this would not be definition.

  28. ……not my definition.

  29. ROBERT NEWARK

    Very good :-)

  30. @Alec

    “In my view, it would have been possible to craft a deal on migration ”

    Legally, it would have been possible within the EU, as we have discussed before.

    @Colin

    “I disagree-they cling to their shibboleth of Free Movement through thick & thin , blind to the glaring truth that without its concomitant- Convergent Economies-, FM makes no sense.”

    You can have both free movement and immigration controls – depending on the kind of controls you want. Agreed soft caps in every member state would have been fine provided that it could be objectively justified (pressure on resources etc).

    “Cameron didn’t stand a chance. I think he knew this in the end.”

    Perhaps because he left it too late to have such a significant substantive discussion? I don’t think it’s something the EU could have been seen to be doing just to placate one member state. Others would have agreed given more time.

  31. TOH
    re. Waterloo: I read an interpretation where the main reason for Napoleon losing was the loss of his long-time Chief of Staff Berthier (who had taken his bat home after swearing allegiance to Louis VIII).

    The thesis goes that while Napoleon was a brilliant commander, he was not very good at explaining things to his Marshals. Berthier was brilliant at turning his desires into comprehensible and unambiguous orders. Arguably the decisive factor at Waterloo was that de Grouchy followed Blucher instead of keeping him away from the battle…

  32. RAF

    @” I don’t think it’s something the EU could have been seen to be doing just to placate one member state.”

    Precisely -this is a One Size Fits All system-whether it is good for you -or not.

    @”Others would have agreed given more time.”

    Not enough time to stop UKIP’s pre-Referendum bandwagon.

    I agree that it is only a matter of time though, before real live voters start reshaping the EU into something they are happy with.

  33. PETE B

    “I’ll try to take your wise advice. It’s just difficult sometimes to let rubbish go unchallenged.”

    Don’t worry about I fail to take my own advice myself quite often when I see really irritating nonsense usually from the same posters.

  34. Colin
    The old ones are the best! It’s a bit of light relief to a very polarised thread.

  35. Andrew111

    Yes that is part of the explanation why Napoleon lost, and there is no doubt he missed Berthier who was an excellent Chief of Staff but I maintain it was Wellington’s genius that beat Napoleon at Waterloo as i said with much help from allies..

  36. Robert Newark

    Im with Colin, very good Robert :-)

  37. @Neil A – “I also think that sometimes you are a bit of a bad news ratchet. Any negative indicator is treated as extremely relevant and a clear sign of the damage of Brexit. Any positive indicator is dismissed as irrelevant, not as good as it should be etc.”

    Well I cautioned people in July about the PMI data, reminding them of my belief that they overstate movements and suggesting they wait for August’s data.

    When August came, I suggested this was a reversion to the norm, and then when September came I suggested there was no Brexit effect.

    When October came you’re right – I soiled my trousers, but then I am a somewhat doomladen character, as you say.

  38. Interesting piece by Andrew Rawnsley about the on going Cabinet splits and leaks, the urgent need for May to get a grip on the Cabinet, and the possible polling consequences if she does not. Well worth a read.

  39. hireton

    why would the scots risk neither being in the uk or in EC. The billy no mates of europe. That is why the polls have not moved in favour of independence. I note also the high Brexit vote when no party operating there advocated it.Who speaks for the 38% of scots who want Brexit?

    If scotland is offered the proper fishing package independence will be dead:
    1. All fish caught in uk waters to be landed in the uk:

    2. trawler replacement policy/ generous grants to rebuild the fleet

    3. management by Scotfish?

    4. administer in scotland

  40. @ANDREW111

    Grouchy was most to blame for the defeat at Waterloo, but Napoleon would probably have lost the war even if he had won there, given the level of anger against him from all the great powers. Large Austrian and Russian armies were approaching France from the east and Napoleon’s army was simply too small to take them on.

    Napoleon made two fundamental errors of judgement in his career: invading Russia instead of settling matters in Spain once and for all, and refusing the generous peace offer that was made to him after the battle of Leipzig.

    Also, as well as lacking Berthier, Napoleon badly missed Marshal Davout, who was given a desk job in Paris when his skills were badly needed on the field.

  41. One of the (many) delights of UKPR is the way in which an off-the-cuff remark can set a lively hare running Thus my reference to Napoleon and Waterloo – a refutation of the ‘fortune favours the brave’ pro-Brexit narrative – sparked a discussion by people who know far more about the battle than I do. Bravo!

  42. ALEC
    ” If the economists are correct, and immigration boosts a countries national wealth, then it must also be true that emigration damages a country.”
    This is first a non-sequitur and secondly contrary to the facts on Lithuanian emigration on which @ Colin based his argument (to a chorus of applause).
    From 1990 through to 2009 Lithuania had continuous economic growth, during the 2000’s of 10to 11% p.a. while steadily losing up to a total of 25% of its population – to the States, Canada, Scotland and ireland particularly. In the latter years it had unemployment of 13% despite this growth and specific industrial development and urbanisation; i.e. it had a long-term structural problem of lack of industrial capacity vis-a-vis population (and a high-skill education, with 35% graduates in its active work force).

  43. @s thomas

    Lol. Aye it’s all down to fish. By the way you might like to find out a bit about international law and how fishing is managed. Leaving the EU is not going to make too much difference.

  44. Hireton

    So long and thanks for all the fish?

  45. “If the economists are correct, and immigration boosts a countries national wealth, then it must also be true that emigration damages a country.”

    That’s a bit like saying “If importing cars boosts a country’s wealth, then it must also be true that exporting cars damages a country.”

  46. ALEC
    p.s. I think you would find similar figures for Portugese and Turkish work emigration to Germany and economic growth over a period from the 1960’s through to the present.
    While I agree with @Colin that structural funding to equalise the economies of countries and regions has worked badly (especially for Greece), my understanding would be that this is because it has been badly and indiscriminately done and that it needs, if it is done, to be based on accepting factors of comparative advantage and not on a basic principle of all countries and economies having to be equal.
    The latter would tend to neglect underlying differences in wealth distribution, for example,, the 6 to 15% or so of rural people in France and southern European countries engaged in semi-subsistence horticulture and livestock raising in a quite different agrcultural economy to ours or Holland’s.

  47. JOHN PILGRIM

    @” structural funding to equalise the economies of countries and regions has worked badly”

    I have just read one study which concluded that structural funding transfers correlated negatively with economic convergence!!

    The only thing these fund transfers seem to a have generated is the number of academic studies into why they haven’t worked.

  48. Looks like a shift to the Right in Vilnius:-

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-37745455

  49. So Paul Nuttall might be the next UKIP leader.

    I hope Labour are well-stocked in brown trousers.

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