A quick update on two polls released today. The regular ICM poll for the Guardian has topline voting intentions of CON 43%(nc), LAB 27%(+1), LDEM 8%(nc), UKIP 12%(+1), GRN 5%(-1). Changes are since mid October. Fieldwork was conducted over the weekend, and the full tabs are here.

BMG also released a new poll, though this is actually less recent than the ICM one (fieldwork was done between the 19th and 24th of October, so just over a week ago). Topline figures with changes from September are CON 42%(+3), LAB 28%(nc), LDEM 8%(nc), UKIP 12%(-1), GRN 4%(-1). Full details are here.

Both polls show the Conservatives still holding a large, robust lead. Note also that UKIP support is pretty steady in both – the drop in UKIP support that we saw in MORI’s poll does not appear to have been echoed in anyone else’s data.


707 Responses to “Latest ICM and BMG voting intention”

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  1. I have also wondered at the lack of discussion about the EU’s £8.5Bn headache, and at the certainty that the EU will be able to punish the UK.

  2. Do not Insult Leavers
    Our MP is correct to reflect the views of the majority of the voters in Cambridge in exactly the same way that the S.N.P. will in Scotland.
    However will he encourage his fellow MP’s in the north of England and Wales whose Labour voters overwhelmingly voted to leave?
    Over a million more voted to leave than to stay and if they follow the majority of their constituents, Article 50 will be passed through the Commons without difficulty and I am sure that the Lords will see sense and not risk being abolished by trying to thwart the wishes of over 17 million voters
    The Electoral Commission carried out an assessment of the referendum question, to make sure that it was clear and easy for voters to understand.
    It was also clear in the leaflet sent by the Government to every household in the country what the consequences of a vote to leave were expected to be and despite the warnings the majority chose leave.
    According to full fact “The UK paid more into the EU budget than it gets back. In 2015 the UK government paid £13 billion to the EU budget, and EU spending on the UK was £4.5 billion.”
    This paid for the Grants to the universities and for subsidies to farmers, which some seem to think, was manna from the Heavenly EU!
    He and others should take care not to insult the intelligence of the Taxpayers who in fact fund them.

  3. COLIN
    “It mean -control of our laws on immigration-which means UK Governments -Labour or Conservative-have the competence & authority to DECIDE & CONTROL who comes here, why & for what purpose.”
    OF COURSE those Governments will not STOP ALL IMMIGRATION-they will decide how much we need from time to time depending on our circumstances & the state of the nation.’
    The only honest person from your persuasion on immigration is Corbyn. At least he has the guts to say he believes there should be no limits applied , instead of indulging in meaningless drivel on this subject.”

    Please take this as a serious question: is this position not consistent, first with proposed investment and expansion of services in areas of high immigration under a Migration Fund; secondly with pursuing a policy of permitting the market, including the demands of industry, care services and the science and technology and higher education sectors, rather than government, to determine labour and skills supply; thirdly with most reliable and trusted sources of data and analysis of future trends and needs in demographic and economic change in the UK and in the international labour market?
    Why should this be Labour rather than an industry and economy friendly Conservative policy?

  4. BFR

    @”We need to know what are the red lines that May intends to apply, and whether they are acceptable to Parliament.”

    I can understand the principle, and the concept of Parliamentary Soverignty is hugely important.

    But if we are not careful, HoC will indulge in a mock “negotiation” before the eyes & Press of the world , leaving May with no cards to play .

    Perhaps she is already reminding herself of this quotation ?:-

    “But if you carry this resolution and follow out all its implications — and do not run away from it — you will send a British Foreign Secretary, whoever he may be, naked into the conference chamber. … And you call that statesmanship? I call it an emotional spasm. “

  5. SOMERJOHN

    @”I think ‘in the Single Market’ means ‘in the Single Market’ with all that implies – free movement of labour, ECJ jurisdiction, acceptance of regulations,contributions and all.
    So it’s clear to me that remaining ‘In the Single Market’ is a non-starter”

    I agree-which is why May expresses her objective as the best available “Access to & Trade within The Single Market”.

    Like Alec, I think a deal such may well be available , if some compromise on immigration categories is made. Alec is also right to remind us that May has a very large sum of money to bargain with-though to start “debating” that in HoC would completely destroy her hand of cards.

  6. What happens if the government is unable to negotiate a deal they are happy to recommend to Parliament and they are not willing to apply WTO hard Brexit terms ?

    Theresa May wants to try to achieve an acceptable Brexit by Summer 2019, because of the election being due in 2020. But it is quite possible that by Summer 2019 they have not met their objective. They will then try to extend the Brexit process, but the other EU countries might not accept this under the A.50 process terms. They are then in a very difficult position with a hard Brexit that they don’t have support for and might have to withdraw their A.50 application. What happens then would presumably be a general election to try to resolve what Brexit would be accepted by voters or another referendum with Brexit choices.

  7. SOMERJOHN

    re @”, acceptance of regulations”

    We will be 100% compliant on the day we leave because of The Great Repeal ( Consolidation) Bill.

    Thereafter, Parliament will decide over time on repeal or adoption & future harmonisation.

    Companies wishing to sell into EU , of course, will always have to meet local product standards & regulations

  8. @TOH

    “As Colin posted yesterday it is quite likely that the EU will take a hard line in negotiation anyway and the result is as you say a hard Brexit. Whilst not necessary if both sidea are sensible it is quite likely in my view.”

    The EU is not taking a hard line, it’s May who is. The EU does not offer and never has offered a menu style arrangement, where you pick and choose what you like and don’t like. The rules are clear: if you want to be in the single market then you have to accept freedom of movement. This isn’t being ‘hard line’ it’s being fair to everyone. Why should Britain be treated any differently. May seems to expect a 19th century approach to diplomacy, where the big powers cut deals between themselves at the expense of smaller nations. This is no longer acceptable.

  9. R HUCKLE

    Now those are sensible questions.

    If, as I understand it, there is no mechanism for withdrawing an A50 notification, we would be out after 2 years ( unless, as you say, EU agrees to extend the A50 time limit) .

    And the any trade into EU is regulated under WTO rules isn’t it?-just as for any other exporter into EU.

  10. TANCRED

    @” Why should Britain be treated any differently.”

    Because it has some leverage.
    Because it has some bargaining chips ( unless they are compromised)
    Because We are actually going to try & get a bespoke deal.

    If we all followed your logic-The Rules are the Rules. -there would be no point in negotiating at all.

  11. @ Colin

    I thought A.50 could be withdrawn before 2 years was up and it does not need extension.

    Yes re EU trade and WTO. But you have to think of consequences. For example agriculture exports to EU apparently have a23% tariff applied, which would have massive implications for UK farmers and Irish.

  12. R HUCKLE

    I hadn’t realised that. It certainly adds a new dimension to all the other variables !

    Yes-WTO rules would not be comfortable for UK exporters. But then they wouldn’t be comfortable for Importers of UK goods & services either.

    UK Treasury would be a net recipient of Tarrif Duty & no doubt some legal brainpower would be directed to finding ways of using the new revenue to mitigate our exporters’ pain.

    A WTO relationship looks like something to be avoided if possible

  13. ………….”Importers of EU goods & services” !

  14. Colin

    I’m not posting tonight but your holding your own very well IMO. Enjoy your evening.

  15. TOH

    I purchased your namesake recently, a Howard 300 Rotavator for the allotment, old as the hills but produces a lovely fine tilth.

    They really do not make them like that anymore.

  16. Just a bit of fun (as Peter Snow might have said).

    I was wondering what Theresa May might be listening to at this time. It could be the following:

    https://youtu.be/5cDLZqe735k

    Note the following stanza:

    “Everybody’s talkin’ all this stuff about me (yeah)
    Why don’t they just let me live (Tell me why)
    I don’t need permission (I don’t need)
    Make my own decisions (My own decisions)
    That’s my prerogative
    It’s my prerogative (It’s my prerogative)”

  17. COLIN
    “Yes-WTO rules would not be comfortable for UK exporters. But then they wouldn’t be comfortable for Importers of UK goods & services either.”
    UK Treasury would be a net recipient of Tarrif Duty & no doubt some legal brainpower would be directed to finding ways of using the new revenue to mitigate our exporters’ pain.”

    I am not sure what sense that would make to UK farmers, the point Huckle was raising. They are more concerned with selling the stuff they produce at great cost in labour and investment in a competitive world.

  18. @Colin

    “UK Treasury would be a net recipient of Tarrif Duty & no doubt some legal brainpower would be directed to finding ways of using the new revenue to mitigate our exporters’ pain.”

    Paid by the importers and ultimately therefore mainly by UK consumers. So UK consumers will be paying to compensate UK exporters for the cost of Brexit. Is that the plan?

  19. Hireton

    They put tariffs on us, we do the same to them.

    We gain.

    We reduce taxes to help consumers- and we start making more stuff here again.

  20. Alec,
    “My feeling (and this is only a feeling) is that a trading deal is available, which looks suspiciously like the single market, except without free movement,”

    Now this is why the whole matter needs to be discussed by parliament and a decision reached. Because the EU has said that such a deal is not available. If you plan to bet the national economy on a hunch, it needs to be parliament making that choice.

    There also needs to be much less of this talk that soft Brexit is not Brexit. It is. leave said that it is during the campaign. This is simply rewriting history.

  21. Welsh Government intends to intervene in the UK Government’s proposed appeal to the Supreme Court on use of the Royal Prerogative.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-37873161

    The counsel general said the judgements raise questions about the use of prerogative power to take steps which will or may impact on:
    the powers of Welsh ministers
    the legislative powers of the assembly
    the legal and constitutional relationships of the assembly to parliament
    the legal and constitutional relationships of the Welsh Government to the UK government
    the social and economic impact on Wales

    The “constitutional requirements” of the UK are, perhaps, not so clear cut as the UK Government would like to think – and their attempt to avoid addressing such (via the Royal Prerogative) may have backfired.

  22. @jasper22

    “They put tariffs on us, we do the same to them.
    We gain.
    We reduce taxes to help consumers- and we start making more stuff here again.”

    So the reduction in taxes will offset the increased revenue that consumers are paying in tariffs. So UK exporters will not be able to be compensated. Thanks for clarifying that.

  23. There was an interesting set of by elections in Scotland last night:

    https://twitter.com/britainelects/status/794522248493363200

    “Inverurie (Aberdeenshire) result: CON: 38.8% (+21.4) SNP: 34.6% (-2.5) LDEM: 22.5% (+5.1) LAB: 4.1% (-9.1) GRN & two INDs stood previously.”

    Also Banff

    https://twitter.com/britainelects/status/794521723664207872

    Banff & District (Aberdeenshire) result: CON: 44.0% (+20.9) SNP: 36.2% (-19.2) LDEM: 19.8% (+8.7)

    Aberdeenshire going blue?

  24. @oldnat

    Well that’s interesting. I expect we may soon hear something similar from the Lord Advocate!

  25. Five stages of grief for remainers – a third stuck on Denial:

    https://yougov.co.uk/news/2016/11/03/five-stages-grief-most-remain-voters-are-stuck-den/

  26. Colin,
    “@” Why should Britain be treated any differently.”

    Because it has some leverage.
    Because it has some bargaining chips ( unless they are compromised)
    Because We are actually going to try & get a bespoke deal.

    If we all followed your logic-The Rules are the Rules. -there would be no point in negotiating at all.”

    Indeed. And no point whatever in keeping secret the negotiating position of the UK beforehand. The terms on offer have been repeated ad nauseam by the EU and they are not going to back down. The bargaining chips of the Uk are negligible.There is no reason for them to back down. The report from german economists posted some place earlier says it all. The EU should not compromise. The Uk should be welcomed back if it decides that is preferable to the terms on offer, but the terms are the terms. The two years was conceived as time in which to tidy up loose ends for the transition from one situation to another, not for devising new deals.

    Parliament has to decide which of the deals on offer it is going for, because that is the only issue to be decided. Parliament needs to do this before it gives notice to quit, because realising it is forced to accept something because May has ruled out a better deal is rather too late.

    May’s reasoning for not discussing this is because of the impact it will have in her suport. As soon as any option is discarded, the faction of the electorate rooting for it will cease to support her and likely support someone else. Quite possibly not support leave at all. Her disaster scenario is to end up pushing one model of Brexit the nation rejects, and it is pretty likely to be the case whichever Brexit model she alights upon. Because half the nation is for remain anyway, and the rest is divided on possible leave options.

    Jasper22,
    “They put tariffs on us, we do the same to them.
    We gain. We reduce taxes to help consumers- and we start making more stuff here again.”

    Hello again. As posted above, the tariffs are paid by UK consumers not best pleased by the rise in price of goods they want. Despite this, it is questionable whether they will stop buying german goods they want and instead buy English goods they dont want. If indeed there are any similar goods made in the UK. Nor would any company necessarily move into the UK to make them, since overall they would be better off based in the EU. Unfortunately leaving the EU makes the UK a manufacturing pariah for global companies. The EU has no need to fear Uk tariffs and instead looks to benefit through industry relocating out ot the UK.

  27. DANNY

    @” The terms on offer have been repeated ad nauseam by the EU and they are not going to back down.”

    Nope-the existing rules of membership have been repeated.

    @” The bargaining chips of the Uk are negligible”

    How can you possibly know that?-its called “in my opinion”

  28. TOH

    Thanks !

  29. @CANDY

    I am stuck between anger and denial, I suppose. But mostly anger.
    What is true is that I have by no means accepted defeat, and those weak willed remainers who have decided on ‘acceptance’ need a powerful kick up the backside. I am no more likely to accept a ‘leave’ result than King Charles I was to accept a parliamentarian victory.

  30. @ Candy

    “It is a pity the Remainers won’t accept the result, but Brexit has to happen, not least to restore confidence in the system.”

    The same could also be said of the need to elect Trump, whose proportion of the vote is unlikely to be much below that achieved by Brexit. Your point about ‘biros to the polls’ is also well made but could be matched by Trump’s exhortations to his followers to exercise vigilance against the rigging that he says is taking place.

    Sadly neither the election of Trump nor the triumph of Brexit will do anything to fix the problem. The final basis of the distrust is that for some people through no fault of their own the times are out of joint and politicians promise to fix it for them. This does not occur. Trump will not fix the problems of the rust belt and Brexit will, if anything, leave Sunderland worse off.

    The failure to fix the problem of itself breeds mistrust. However, this is compounded by politicians who blame others for this state of affairs. Sometimes the scapegoats are scroungers, Jews or the Catholic church but sometimes also it is the ‘establishment’ – bankers, the political elite, etc etc. And hence the biros and the would be vigilante squads at polling stations.

    Sadly too although it is extremely difficult for politicians to make anything better, it is possible for them to make things spectacularly worse. Hitler was an example. Hopefully Trump is not another.

  31. @SOMERJOHN

    “I think getting control of the situation is beyond the government’s capabilities. Just letting A50 takes its course, leading to hard Brexit, will be the easiest, and indeed only achievable, option.”

    The even easier option is to jettison Brexit once and for all. Just stand up and say it’s unworkable and too damaging to the country – this is what the government should do. You will have the tabloids screaming ‘treason’ etc but tabloids don’t have an army at their disposal. There would demos and perhaps rioting, but that would be dealt with by the Police in the same way that it was dealt in the summer of 2011.

    The referendum, despite all the lies and rhetoric from IDS and others, was not legally binding and never meant to be. There is absolutely no obligation on the government, let alone parliament, to invoke article 50 at any time. Most Labour MPs don’t want Brexit, most Tory MPs don’t want it and certainly most SNP and Lib-Dem MPs don’t want it either. Just abandon the whole thing. There is still time to do so.

  32. Candy @ 9.22pm

    No, Aberdeenshire is not turning blue because of love of Tory policies and Theresa May, but due to anger at the SNP.

    The shire has been hard hit by the decline in North Sea gas and oil, but also is suffering due to the SNP policy of centralising public services on the Central Belt. So our local fire and police control rooms are being closed – there is a general perception that folk in Dundee etc won`t know our geography, understand our speech.

    Then there has been the timid approach of Nicola Sturgeon in opposing UKexit. Alex Salmond would have done a far better job at showing the hypocrisy and lies of the Tory government.

    People are angry about UKexit and many worried about their jobs or right to stay in the UK. We have a large proportion of non-UK EU nationals living here – 11%, which is more than anywhere else in Scotland, and likely more than in most of England.

    Unless Sturgeon shows some fight and derails the May-led hard-right crusade, the SNP will lose many more seats here.

  33. @COLIN

    “If we all followed your logic-The Rules are the Rules. -there would be no point in negotiating at all.”

    There is a point in negotiating – over the minor aspects which are outside of the broad set of rules. But rules, once agreed, need to be sacrosanct, otherwise what’s the point of having them?

    As I said before, we are not in 19th century ‘great game’ of international diplomacy any more. Those days have gone.

  34. @Charles

    The American constitution constrains the actions of the President severely. People put so much emphasis on the President, but apart from in foreign policy, where the president is in full control, most of the real power is in Congress. And of course the states also have considerable control over their jurisdictions.

    This is going to be a big test of whether the founding fathers did their checks and balances correctly.

    Of course Mrs Clinton may sneak through, but whether she gets anything done also depends on whether she has an amenable congress.

  35. Charles,
    “Sadly neither the election of Trump nor the triumph of Brexit will do anything to fix the problem. The final basis of the distrust is that for some people through no fault of their own the times are out of joint and politicians promise to fix it for them. This does not occur. Trump will not fix the problems of the rust belt and Brexit will, if anything, leave Sunderland worse off. ”

    Spot on.

  36. Valerie

    “Er I thought you lived in France. Doesn’t that make you an expat who hasn’t lived in the UK for years??”

    You have a good memory and yes you are right to a degree. I am currently not tax resident in the uk but soon will be again, having been away a few years. It’s a good time to bring euros back and buy a nice cottage somewhere.

    However I do not think that it is right that a small group of people, living in nice part of the continental countryside, or even on the other side of the world, should have the ability to thwart the will of the vast majority of the British people still living in the uk. They really do want their cake and to eat it as the reasons they left the UK in the first place, are probably the same reasons most people voted for Brexit in the referendum. Most of them also complain that they don’t get their winter fuel allowance now as well.

    Their action has nothing to do with the legality of whether the PM can use the PA or not (that is just a means to an end) and has everything to do with being as obstructive as possible.

  37. Amid all the hysteria about Brexit, sight of what the “negotiations” between the EU and the UK will actually be is often lost.

    They are a matter of EU (not UK law) and, as such, can only be definitively defined by the CJEU [1]- and their interpretation may be influenced by the terminology of the German or French versions – not just the English one.

    However, in the English version

    http://www.lisbon-treaty.org/wcm/the-lisbon-treaty/treaty-on-european-union-and-comments/title-6-final-provisions/137-article-50.html

    “the Union shall negotiate and conclude an agreement with that State, setting out the arrangements for its withdrawal, taking account of the framework for its future relationship with the Union.”

    Obviously, that includes various somewhat prosaic matters such as settling the financial accounts, deciding whether any ongoing legal disputes require to be settled. the date at which the EU Treaties are no longer deemed to be applicable in the UK, etc.

    If the Union wishes to agree a “framework” for a future relationship with the UK, then that can influence these matters – for example an agreement in principle on continued membership of the Single Market and/or the Customs Union would involve continued contributions to the EU Budget by the UK, which the EU might take into account in settling the account.

    Of course, any such framework agreement would be conducted under Article 218(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union

    http://www.lisbon-treaty.org/wcm/the-lisbon-treaty/treaty-on-the-functioning-of-the-european-union-and-comments/part-5-external-action-by-the-union/title-5-international-agreement/506-article-218.html

    which apart from requiring that the UK needs to continue to accept the authority of the European Court of Human Rights, also allows any EEA state (or relevant sub-state) to have a veto over any aspect that, under EU rules, requires unanimity.

    In other words, any wish of the UK to have any kind of arrangement with the EU that is different from any other state that has not yet entered into some form of Association Agreement, is something that the EU can choose to progress or ignore.

    [1] It isn’t the “ECJ” (European Court of Justice) any more, but the “CJEU” (Court of Justice of the European Union).

  38. Tancred
    “rules, once agreed, need to be sacrosanct, otherwise what’s the point of having them?”

    You are presumably aware that there are a number of precedents of the eu bending the rules are you? I’m glad you weren’t in charge in 1940, you would have surrendered before the battle even commenced.

  39. Robert Newark @ Tancred

    “I’m glad you weren’t in charge in 1940, you would have surrendered before the battle even commenced.”

    Probably a good thing that Tancred wasn’t C-in-C or PM in 1940, as he wasn’t born then.

    Still, your comment is a useful reminder of the hysteria that the more extreme wing of the UK/English Nationalists can whip up.

    Even if your comment made even the slightest bit of sense in the context of the point you were making. it would still remain irrelevant, inept, inappropriate and incomprehensible.

    You could have simply made the perfectly reasonable point that the EU (like the UK and every other government) bends the rules from time to time – though unless they are wholly undemocratic, don’t actually break them

    In a democratic society, courts of law exist to ensure that laws that legislatures create are followed by the executive.

    Totalitarian societies have different rules, which sadly some on the British Nationalist extremes (eg mainstream London papers) favour.

  40. It is very disheartening to see how quickly the idea of “purging the Judiciary and Parliament of Remainers” has become an acceptable thing to talk about.

    Are the 48.1% who voted remain now loathsome enemies of the state? Is rule of law to only apply if the Daily Mail approves?

  41. Now here is an interesting question I have seen raised about polls. How easy is it to rig one?

    Getting all your supporters out to vote is critical in many elections, and if they see a poll suggesting their side has already won, then they are more likely not to bother. Equally the other side will be more motivated to make an effort.

    So would it pay political parties to infiltrate their own supporters into long term polling panels and express support for the other side at critical points? Or indeed for their side when a poll boost seems helpfull.

    Is there any evidence in the collected data for swinging voters, so for example the current high tory ratings might be from long term sleepers, tasked with making the party look popular now, but as a vote approaches they would switch to someone else, giving the impression of tailing off support and encouraging any lazy voters to turn out for the party in the final vote?

    Would this explain effects such as ‘shy tories’, who turn out and vote on the day, but in polling say the opposite?

    Might this help explain anomalous results in actual by elections, where parties do not do nearly so well as polls suggest? Is there any systematic difference in this respect between the effect for different parties, which might reflect real world differences between how members behave in different parties, but it also might reflect poll rigging by just one side?

    And then another question. Quite possibly such a network would be expensive to maintain for the political party. Should this money be counted against election expenses, because it is being spent to influence voters in those elections, just as are leaflets through the door?

  42. TANCRED

    @”There is a point in negotiating – over the minor aspects which are outside of the broad set of rules. But rules, once agreed, need to be sacrosanct, otherwise what’s the point of having them?”

    I don’t think Trading Relationships are “minor aspects”.Nor do I think that National Economic Interest is something which has been entirely subsumed by the Greater Europe Project.

    As for “19th C diplomacy” played by a handful of powerful countries imposing their will on the lesser fry of the European Continent, perhaps you should read Renzi , Tsipras & others on its modern equivalent in the European Union. It hasn’t gone away you know.

  43. OLDNAT

    @ 11.54pm

    I alluded earlier to the much ignored role of the EU in the upcoming negotiations , so was interested in your comments.

    Quite how much flexibility they have within the Treaty wording ( are are minded to find) remains an absolutely key issue.

    http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/BRIE/2016/577971/EPRS_BRI(2016)577971_EN.pdf

  44. @Oldnat – “[1] It isn’t the “ECJ” (European Court of Justice) any more, but the “CJEU” (Court of Justice of the European Union).”

    Technical correction (which I think I’ve done before);

    The ECJ (officially ‘The Court of Justice’) is the body that interprets EU law. The ECJ is part of the CJEU, which is the whole judiciary of the EU and consists of three separate courts: the Court of Justice, the General Court, and the Civil Service Tribunal.

    The General Court hears issues around trade, while the Civil Service Tribunal deals with issues of EU staff. Here, we are only interested in the European Court of Justice, which is it’s correct name.

  45. Whether you favour Brexit or not, if you are a sensible person believing in a democratic legal system, with an independent Judiciary overseeing the application of law, you will be alarmed by media and some politicians, who are trying to ramp up pressure ahead of the Supreme Court hearing.

    I don’t think these senior Judges will take kindly to some of what has been said and it might just get them in the mood to hear many cases brought about constituitional matters. There are reports that N.Ireland, Scotland and Wales will be looking to bring cases in the near future, about how they are affected by decisions made in Westminster, against the consent of their devolved Parliaments and their people.

    Theresa May would be sensible to start turning the heat down and to engage more with Parliament about the Brexit process. It would be better to try to gain cross party consensus about the way forward, so they can try to unite the country behind common objectives. If the Government want to make Brexit a success, they cannot do this alone for party advantage and must put the interests of the country first.

  46. R Huckle

    I agree 100%. Theresa May should have come out straight away and condemned the Press attacks on judges. By not doing so she is condoning an extremely dangerous strand of opinion which is also exemplified by Trump supporters in the USA. Condemning people who disagree with you as “enemies of the people” is such Stalinist rhetoric! That desire to control opinion is always under the surface but the resilience of the British people against such totalitarianism is for me the cornerstone of Britishness… But it needs to be nurtured by political leaders of all persuasions.
    Equally, for MP’s to refuse to trigger article 50 would be another huge mistake, which is why they will not do that. If there is a bit of delay while Parliament discusses what we need from Brexit, that is not the end of the world. But surely if May wants to stick to her timetable she should get on with it rather than wasting taxpayers money on an Appeal…

  47. Taking “it” out of my previous post, we should be able to edit our comments!

  48. bantams,
    “Does anyone know which chief numpty was responsible for drawing up the terms of the referendum originally and making it the result advisory?”

    Parliament! I expect one person or a small team produced the text, but a huge majority of MPs voted for a non binding advisory referendum. Because they intended the authority to do anything as a result should always remain with them.

  49. I’ve seen some legal scholars question whether the UK can actually have binding referendums at all, because of the basic Diceyan principle that Parliament cannot bind itself. The AV referendum seems to have been the most watertight, because the 2011 Act gave the executive the power to implement AV, and legally obliged it to implement it or not given the result of the referendum, which meant that Parliament was simply binding the executive, which it does all the time; but even then Parliament would have been within its powers to repeal the 2011 Act before the responsible Minister could have made the executive order, thereby stripping him of the power to do so (although in this case it would have required absence of legislation, whereas Brexit proceeding requires presence of legislation).

  50. OldNat
    My tongue in cheek comment to Tancred about 1940 was merely a quip about his surrender and don’t even try to negotiate mentality. You totally missed that and introduced a lot of other stuff.

    On the issue of the legal ruling, no I’m not happy it went that way but I fully accept it although I do hope the Supreme Court may find differently. If it does not and the HoL plays silly bu..ers then that would concern me.

    The only answer then would be a GE fought on the issue of Brexit and HoL reform.

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