No Bregrets

Almost as soon as the referendum votes were counted people were asking for polling on whether people regretted their decision. There is still a certain audience who seem downright desperate to find polling showing that people do not, after all, want to leave the European Union (and, I suppose, a (slightly larger) audience who want to see polls showing they don’t!). I guess this is the curse of a referendum decision that takes a couple of years to actually implement.

The most straightforward way of measuring Bregret is to ask the referendum question again – how would people vote if the referendum question was asked again now. Several polls have done that:

YouGov/Eurotrack (20th-25th Oct) Remain 44%, Leave 43%
BMG (19th-24th Oct) Remain 45%, Leave 43%
YouGov/Eurotrack (21st-22nd July) Remain 43%, Leave 44%
YouGov/Eurotrack (3rd-4th July) Remain 45%, Leave 45%

All of these suggest a very small movement towards Remain, and given Leave’s lead was only four points that’s enough to flip the result in a couple of cases. However, I’d be a little cautious in reading too much into the results. All of these polls are just straight “how would you vote questions” with no attempt to account for differential turnout, when at the referendum Leave voters were more liable to turnout. If you look at the actual tables for these you’ll find there is very little movement between remain and leave, the shift is down to people who didn’t vote in the referendum claiming that in a referendum tomorrow they would vote in favour of Remain. That’s possible of course (perhaps people who assumed a Remain victory in June and didn’t bother to vote, now realising their vote really would count)… but I’m rather sceptical about people saying they’d vote in an EU referendum who didn’t bother to vote in the one we just had.

The approach alternative is to ask if people think it was the right decision and if they might change their vote.

Just after the referendum there was an poll by Ipsos MORI for Newsnight, which showed 43% of people thought Brexit was the right decision, 44% thought it was the wrong decision. Asked if they would change their mind in a new referendum, 1% of Remain voters said they would definitely or probably change their mind, 5% of Leave voters said they would definitely or probably change their mind. If those people all switched to the other side it would have just edged into a Remain lead.

In contrast YouGov have regularly asked if people think the decision to leave was right or wrong, and have tended to find slightly more people saying it was the right decision. The pattern of opinion is pretty consistent – movement between Remain and Leave is small and tends to cancel out, people who didn’t vote at all tend to split in favour of it being the wrong decision:

YouGov/Times (11th-12th Oct) – Right to Leave 45%, Wrong to Leave 44%
YouGov/Times (13th-14th Sep) – Right to Leave 46%, Wrong to Leave 43%
YouGov/Times (30th-31st Aug) – Right to Leave 47%, Wrong to Leave 44%
YouGov/Times (22nd-23rd Aug) – Right to Leave 45%, Wrong to Leave 43%
YouGov/Times (8th-9th Aug) – Right to Leave 45%, Wrong to Leave 44%
YouGov/Times (1st-2nd Aug) – Right to Leave 46%, Wrong to Leave 42%

Finally the British Election Study asked a question on whether people regretted how they voted or not. Only 1% of people who voted Remain said they regretted their vote, but 6% of people who voted Leave said they regretted their vote. Now, saying you’ve some regrets doesn’t necessarily mean that you wouldn’t, on balance, end up doing the same. For what it’s worth though, if those people who had regrets hadn’t voted the result would still have been leave; if those people had voted the opposite way it would’ve been Remain.

Looking across the board at all this polling, there is a suggestion that public opinion may have moved very slightly towards Remain, and with only a four point lead that’s enough to change the lead in some polls. However, in most cases that apparent movement isn’t people changing their minds, but is down to the opinions of those people who didn’t actually vote last time. That means if there was another referendum right now, if turnout was similar to June the result would probably be similar too.

My expectation is that, given time, we probably will see “Bregret”, simply because Brexit is going to be tested against reality while Remain isn’t. The road ahead has a lot of obstacles and some Leavers’ hopes and expections will be dashed (Remainers’ hopes and expectations of what would have happened if we’d stayed won’t, of course, face the same collision with reality). The lead at the referendum was only 4%, so it really won’t take that many people having second thoughts to flip opinion over. To those who really want to see evidence of Bregret in the polls – have a bit of patience. It will probably come in time, but the data really isn’t there to support it now.


814 Responses to “No Bregrets”

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  1. NEIL A
    Third picture down.

    Thanks for that link. I wonder if Truss and the Lord Chief Justice [who was the head honcho in the High Court case] are on speaking terms. Thomas’ smile looks somewhat more natural than Truss’ grimace.

    TTFN encore

  2. @Al Urqa

    If you’d addressed your brickbats at her political pronouncements then that would be fair comment (although this is the wrong place for it).

    But to think she looks stupid in the official outfit of her job, because you’ve previously seen footage in which you believe she looks stupid, is pretty much the definition of confirmation bias.

    No doubt you’d believe Sir Keir Starmer (or insert other Labour luminary here) would look like a supra-genius and very grown up, sensible person in the same clothes.

    @Richard,

    The Bank of England and the IMF are both forecasting growth this year and next, so if you believe the UK will be in recession in a year then you’re out on a limb

    But then, apparently, “we’ve had enough of experts”.

  3. Neil A

    “It appears that the EU have made their enquiry based on press reporting, which pretty much sums it up.”

    From a senior detective (who has much experience of how an investigation is announced) that seems a remarkably naïve comment!

    However, let’s assume you are correct, and the EU Commission doesn’t already have the precise details of the Nissan offer[1] .

    If there are reports of a deal which might break EU rules on equal competition, would you expect it to ignore them and not bother asking the UK Government to provide the details – to ascertain whether rules have been broken or not?

    That is, after all, a regular procedure for any body that has responsibility for enforcing rules to adopt.

    [1] kindly furnished by the French Government whose ownership of a large stake in Renault, which has a large stake in Nissan, even apart from its intelligence sources in the UK

  4. Oldnat

    Don’t worry, we told Nissan that it was a secret too.

  5. In answer to earlier questions, it would be possible to rely on new arguments in the Supreme Court.

    The English courts are better quipped to deal with disputes between individuals and the state than pure constitutional questions because proceedings are normally adversarial in nature. Thus once the applicants alleged article 50 was irrevocable, and the government agreed, the court didn’t need and couldn’t authoritatively decide the point.

    However, it is not hard to fathom is why the government accepted article 50 is irrevocable. If revocable, and given Europe view Brexit as unwelcome, it would be in their interests to offer as little as possible in the negotiations. That way Britain would be left with a choice of hard Brexit or no Brexit, and would be most likely to waver in their commitment to Brexit. Oddly, if article 50 is irrevocable, it is more likely it that sensible discussions take place and some form of soft Brexit results. ‘Punishing’ Britain wouldn’t bring them back, it would just push them further away.

  6. “Oops I meant this image http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-36857331
    Third picture down.”
    @Neil A November 6th, 2016 at 1:00 am

    Ah, got you. I think that’s her sister.

    [Imagine the person in my youtube clip speaking in that picture of yours? If you can imagine that, does not the word incongruous seem apposite? Now can you see why I though dressing up box?

    You might as well let my son’s pet dog become Lord Chancellor for all the good it will do. It’s a historic an important role. And the Daily Fail’s sniping needs to be stamped on. But while we are waiting for a real Lord Chancellor to come along, someone please give her a lollypop.]

  7. @Oldnat

    If they already have a copy of the agreement, why would they need to ask the government for it?

    Ricardo said that he made the enquiry because he read the press reports. Those press reports were speculation. None of the journalists have any information about what was agreed, they just assume it must be a large bribe because otherwise Nissan would have left.

    As a detective if I read a press report that said “Mrs Oldnat was seen in the High Street with a black eye this morning, so obviously Oldnat beats her” then I might well pop around and check that everything was OK. Doesn’t mean I think you’re a DV merchant..

    On Renault, it’s an interesting point, but I thought EU rules meant state owned companies had to be managed at arms length? I expect a demand from the French government to see, for political purposes, the contents of a sensitive business discussion might be against EU rules. Of course that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t do it, as they aren’t good little Europeans like us.

    But time will tell.

  8. @Alan

    As a lawyer she’s less than a minnow, she’s a non-person. But there’s a strand of government thinking that you don’t put poachers in charge of game-keeping any more (see the current Inspector of Constabulary, and quite possibly the next Commissioner).

    Personally I disagree with that, as I think you have to have at least a grounding in the subject that you are in charge of even if you don’t have to be the smartest practitioner in the room.

  9. Juvenis

    Thanks for that. I was hoping a lawyer would come along and answer the question.

    A further point, if I may.

    The Welsh government has said it will, and the Scottish government are considering, becoming parties to the Supreme Court case.

    If one or both ask for a ruling as to whether either the use of the Royal Prerogative, or Parliamentary approval for tabling Article 50 would affect the need for LCMs, would the Supreme Court have to rule on that – or could it simply ignore the issue as not being germane to the appeal?

    Were either position to be influenced by whether the tabling of Article 50 is revocable or not, does the SC need to make a ruling on that issue?

    (Please excuse the non-ltechnical nature of the questions. I’m sure you can divine what I mean)

  10. Neil A

    “As a detective if I read a press report that said “Mrs Oldnat was seen in the High Street with a black eye this morning, so obviously Oldnat beats her” then I might well pop around and check that everything was OK. Doesn’t mean I think you’re a DV merchant..”

    But what the Commission is doing in asking the UK for details is the equivalent of your “popping round and check that everything was OK”.

    I should add that if I had tried to beat Mrs Nat, you would need to visit me in hospital – where I would be in a very sorry state.

  11. Neil A

    When the Archbishop of Canterbury puts up a stronger defence of our judicial system than the Lord Chancellor, something is terribly amiss.

  12. @Alan

    Well he put “horrified” and “abuse” in his tweet, so yeah that’ll teach ’em.

    I personally agree that Truss could have added a line to her statement stating something like “British judges, like all other public servants, are entitled to be treated with respect when they carry out their duties on behalf of the country. I call on everyone on all sides of the debate to carry on this process in a civilized and responsible way”.

    I’d draw the line at the Lord Chancellor directly attacking the media. If the media have strayed from acceptable practice, that’s a matter for the regulator. If they’ve strayed from the law, that’s a matter for the police. If they’ve strayed from the truth, that’s a matter for (oh the irony) the courts.

  13. @Oldnat

    I agree that the enquiries are analagous. That was my point. The EU making an enquiry about an allegation doesn’t make it true. Whether it is true I can’t say, obviously, because like everyone else I don’t have any evidence either way.

  14. There are clearly votes in a pro-single market, pro-remain position, so Corbyn’s stance seems a logical one if he is to improve his party’s polling. However, the problem is that Europe and Brexit isn’t the only issue.

    The people Corbyn can realistically appeal to on other grounds (so not economic liberals) are not likely to be excited at following a Norwegian model with free movement. The Lib dems can safely follow a pro European stance, as they have enough votes to chase in that direction and don’t have to worry about offending their already pro-European base.

    In fact, May’s strong polling figures probably reflect the fact she has so many captive remain voters who are also decidedly anti left-wing and who therefore don’t have a party leader who reflects their position.

  15. @RICHARD

    I would agree with you. The happy economic forecasts may be valid for the next year or two but once the reality of brexit and its consequences kicks in the pain will start in earnest.
    I suspect that the referendum has been the nadir of remain support and from now on support for staying in the EU can only rise steadily, regardless of the fanatical hysteria from the Tory/UKIP press.
    There is a section of leavers who will carry on supporting this view even if we had 6 million unemployed and inflation at 10%, but in such a situation enough people would change their minds to significantly dent the leave support. Whether the government would take any notice, is another matter. But it would certainly impact on internal politics within the Conservative Party.

  16. @IUVENIS

    “In fact, May’s strong polling figures probably reflect the fact she has so many captive remain voters who are also decidedly anti left-wing and who therefore don’t have a party leader who reflects their position.”

    True, and also within her party. Tory remainers are a significant force in the party and, though most seem to have reconciled themselves to defeat, the loyalty of these MPs will be placed under strain if May decides to go for a hard brexit or ends up with one after negotiations that fail. I think the turmoil within the Conservative Party is far from over.

  17. Neil A
    Always good to find agreement (even if our politicians think the opposite).

    I made no claim that the Nissan deal did break EU rules. If it didn’t, then the UK will be able to reassure the EU on that point.

    Of course, (if we stretch the analogies with police work a little further) if you had a confidential source (Mrs Nat – pissed off that she wasn’t getting her share) that suggested that I was involved in money laundering, you might “pop round” but be a little bit more probing in your questioning. :-)

  18. OLDNAT

    It’s complicated, and the statements tthat have been made so far are either not couched in strict legal terms, or are not reported clearly. The Scottish and Welsh governments could intervene as interested parties if directly affected by the outcome of the case. However, they would then only remain parties to the extent they were directly affected, so it would be hard for them to ask the court to decide different issues, as opposed to running new arguments in the existing proceedings.

    They could instead start their own judicial review proceedings to decide the issues unique to them. As I understand it (although the legal system is different) that is what has happened already in Northern Ireland.

  19. TANCRED

    Turmoil in the conservative party is never far away! However, the oddity is that there is no real fault line in the party that neatly divides remainers from leavers. The basic spit is between the old tories (socially conservative, often surprisingly economically illiberal) and the liberals (economically and socially liberal) and the divide between remainers and brexiteers runs across that, with some in both camps. That makes it hard to see how there could be a real schism, although already the edges are beginning to splinter away.

  20. Juvenis

    Thanks again. Of course, the Welsh government have no recourse to any system other than the English & Welsh judiciary, so that may be why they have decided already to intervene.

    As for Scotland, I think there is a plausible (if not necessarily likely!) route to have the irrevocability of Article 50 raised in a way that might require the Supreme Court to ask the ECJ for a preliminary ruling.

    The Scotch Whisky Association is considering whether to appeal the Inner Court determination on minimum pricing per alcohol; unit to the Supreme Court.

    If both the SWA and Scottish Government felt that a ruling on irrevocability could be made relevant (and that it was desirable to do so) then the following chat might take place in an Edinburgh hostelry –

    SG lawyer : Another dram Alasdair?
    SWA lawyer : Just a double this time. So irrevocability?
    SG Lawyer : Aye. Who is going to insist it’s essential and who will oppose it?
    SWA lawyer : Mmm Hard one that. Maybe another couple of drams first?

  21. there is no reason why the short enabling act should not be laid before parliament immediately. if the appeal is successful then all to the good

    the sooner this ludicous IMHO pretence is exposed the better. We will not let you negotiate until you tell us the outcome does not seem a grown up approach. if all they want is the government to say there are no redlines and we will do the best we can then it is a pointless excercise.

  22. Discussion of “negotiations” rather misses out the substance of the half century of investment in EU structures aimed principally at interests and institutions, both ours and the EU’s, in which some at least on this site, me included, have been engaged. Remainers would indeed be willing to “continue to pay in money” and to engage in their development and reform: tarriff and custom and other barrier free trade, regulated commons standards, common protection of intellectual property, health and safety at work, working rights and access to social support in international movement of labour.
    Remainers, without exception, however, have demanded reform of the EU, particularly reform of structural funding, including the CAP , as complex as Brexit. But these elements of reform are founded in continuity and protection of the basis in international trade which the EU has afforded us, including access to the richest labour market in the World, on which UK and German economic success has been founded.
    The difference between the UK and German positions is the intention of Germany to continue to maintain its labour and skills base and to overcome demographic deficits in an ageing population by immigration based on an eventual EU wide labour market and external border and migration controls, while we, seeing difficulties or reform and domestic political unpopularity in that option, are abandoning the half century of investment and political contribution we’ve made towards it.

  23. …difficulties of reform..

  24. candy,
    “So why would good economic news compared to what the Remainers predicted change the minds of the Brexiters?”

    “Not quite sure which way round you mean, but the situation seems to be This: people who voted remain expected a bad economic outcome from leave. People who voted leave expected a good economic outcome from leave, or at least no difference. This division of expectations is huge. There are very few people who voted the opposite of their economic expectation. If this is the case, then reality being the opposite of the expectations of either side, one might expect a significant number of them to change their minds once they get over denial.

    At he moment all expectations are that the economy will deteriorate as brexit proceeds. I think even leave are predicting short term loss, but are arguingt it will become long term gain.

  25. Theresa May says that her hands should not be tied and the referendum result should be accepted, seems to me to be a statement designed to try to deal with the frustration of leave supporters. Following the Court ruling, Government must be concerned by some of the reactions of people, who have been egged on by some newspapers.

    I don’t envy being PM at this time, because they have such a difficult job, trying to find a way forward that does as little damage as possible, while helping their party retain or increase support. But Theresa May in trying to take all the power using Royal Prerogative and telling MP’s what they should be doing, to me seems illogical. Surely it makes sense for any PM to share responsibility with her Government colleagues and Parliament. Forget about some timetable because of the MEP elections in 2019 and general election in 2020. Start the Parliamentary process with Article 50 and see how it goes. Leadership is about taking people with you and not just telling them what they should do.

    As i have stated previously, it is up to Parliament to discuss the Brexit options and decide on what is not acceptable. They could rule out the hard Brexit option and say that the A.50 request must be withdrawn unless single market access on acceptable terms is part of the deal. That Parliament must agree any Brexit deal, before the UK is allowed to leave the EU.

  26. @ Neil A

    ‘putting poachers in charge of game-keeping’ is indeed out of fashion.

    I remember when they put a retired brigadier in charge of the Ombudsman of Corporate Estate Agents. I enquired why they hadn’t asked an ex-estate agent to lead the re-taking of the Falklands.

  27. IMO the remain game is easy. Delay A50/leave date for long enough so that they can call for a second referendum / general election by saying the original vote had become too old to be valid.Throw in the mantra that the ref. must,of course, be honoured but……

    However, Labour support for A50 looks certain. Of the 4 conditions 3 relate to internal matters and the other of trading with the single market as opposed to being in the single market is something we all sign up to.

    short Bill over the next couple of weeks would be good

  28. IUVENIS, my guess is those decidedly left wing are more decidedly anti Corbyn (as I am) than anti left wing. We’ll see how anti they are once their are hit and they realise it could take years to sort out.

  29. Is it not time that someone told remainers that you cannot apparently remain in the single market without unrestricted immigration. That is a perfectly valid position but many are shy of saying so

    What is dishonest IMO is for politicians to say that they want some restrictions on immigration (but decline to say what they are) but also want to remain in the single market.Boris is accused of cake and eating but is this not the same.

    so those who want to remain in the single market please be straightforward and indicate that this means you support uncontrolled immmigration so that at least everybody knows where you stand

  30. @ S Thomas

    Yes i am in favour of single market access and immigration from EU countries.

    There are 33,000 EU nationals working in the NHS. Next time any of your family or friends are in Hospital they might be treated by an EU immigrant. If you start messing around with visa applications from anywhere in the world, then you add delay in recruitment. Also some of these 33,000 might decide that without protections of being in the EU, that they will return to their home country.

    All around the UK, there are businesses which are owned by French, German etc companies and they export products back to EU mainland. Depending on the type of Brexit and how it affects their business, they might decide to move operations back to EU mainland.

    Most Tories in Parliament would not support a hard Brexit and full immigration controls.

  31. R Huckle.

    if you read my post you will see that i say that is a perfectly valid position.

    However, i do note that you do not say that you want to be in the single market as opposed to having access to it and say you are in favour of immigration without saying whether you are in favour of uncontrolled immigration.

    If you are in favour of uncontrolled immigaration you must logically be in favour of uncontrolled immigration from the rest of the world and if you are not then why not?

  32. Colin & Neil A

    I admire your ability to read pages and pages of anti,brexit posts. I’ve mostly given up for now and just waiting for it to happen. I was delighted with May’s piece in the Telegraph, she seems to me a true democrat swimming stongly in a sea of the backward looking metropolitan elite. She impresses me more every day.

    Enjoy your Sunday, I’m off walking in cold crisp sunshine.

    The rugby was fantastic yesterday, Harlequins winning well and a fantastic performance from Ireland beating the All Blacks for I think the first time ever. Great stuff!

  33. Lots of having cake and eating it here. This is probably what annoys me most about many leavers – the whole series of fundamental failures to understand what they are talking about, resulting in the false assumptions and pretended realities.

    Some on here seem to want to live under British law, without apparently understanding what that is. The ignorance regarding the Bill of Rights and Royal Prerogative is quite astounding. I can accept that there are areas where posters have limited knowledge, but we do have the internet, and once their lack of understanding is pointed out, to refuse to address this then pitches the individuals into full on ignorance.

    The judges were perfectly correct to give their judgement, and in doing so have helped uphold a critical principle of our democracy that is of the utmost importance.

    I’m also quite surprised at the discussion over the EU calling in the Nissan offer. Once again, having cake and eating it.

    This is the kind of thing the EU does all the time. We remain in the EU, and Nissan have made an investment decision for 2017 based on promises made by a member state. The EC has complete authority in such matters, because we gave them that power. If we don’t want the EC to meddle in our affairs, and specifically the promises our government is making to industry while we remain in the EU, then there is nothing to stop us revoking the various treaties unilaterally and telling the EU that we are no longer a member. Then, if they ask us what we said to Nissan, we can tell them to [email protected] off.

    The further point on this is that the EU has an interest in the promises made to our car industry post Brexit. Many leavers probably can’t understand this, but it is entirely possible that the EU will tell us that they won’t accept the deal made with Nissan, as this will become part of the whole A50 negotiations. After all, May may have promised Nissan a deal that disadvantages EU27 manufacturers, and so they may tell her that they aren’t prepared to agree a deal that included that promise.

    Again – cake having and eating. We may leave the EU, but that doesn’t mean that we can do what we like with no consequences.

    And on that note, worthwhile reading this – https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/nov/06/india-warns-uk-immigration-policy-wreck-post-brexit-trade-deal

    Brexiters tell us that a whole world of mega trade deals are out there which don’t lead to immigration, just waiting for us to leave the shackles of Brussells behind.

    But here we see India, one of those oft touted global partners telling us, in no uncertain terms, that if we want a trade deal with them, we will need to accept a more lenient immigration package. This time from dark skinned people who eat curry. Is this really what Brexit voters want?

    The big problem for Brexit is like the problems Trump will face if he wins on Tuesday. You can tell voters a pack of l!es and simplified claptrap if you like, and you may well win. You then have to deliver what you promised in a complex world, where the parameters in which you operate are often designed or influenced by others and out of your control. You will then need to find a way to explain to those voters that you whipped up into a frenzy of simplistic anger that you can’t deliver what they thought you promised.

    That’s the point when these Bregret polls might start to mean something. More worryingly, I suspect that this will be the point when we really start seeing sections of the electorate veer off into a Trumpesque conspiracy theory fantasy land, with potentially alarming consequences. Once you have unleashed the beast, and told it to ignore experts and dismiss facts, you might find that the beast turns on you.

  34. @BARBANZERO

    >OLDNAT
    http://www.politico.eu/article/commission-inquires-about-uks-offer-to-nissan/
    >We may find out the details, after all.

    That assumes that such “details” exist. The European Commission are following up press reports, none of which afaik have produced any evidence beyond a series of assumptions plus suspicions plus allegations. Is there evidence?

    I’d say we have a mixture of:

    1 – The Govt position is that they restated existing policies plus outlined an intention to maintain single market access.

    2 – There is a secret deal of some sort that nobody has seen or provided evidence for, and people such as Jeremy Corbyn and others have made clear they believe exists (see PMQ).

    Both positions may be exaggerations, whether it is a nod-and-wink in 1 or tactical mudslinging in 2.

  35. s thomas,
    “so those who want to remain in the single market please be straightforward and indicate that this means you support uncontrolled immmigration so that at least everybody knows where you stand”

    But they do not. Immigration form the EU is controlled by the fact people have to be able to get a job here, or leave. (or be rich enough to pay their way). We have not had a massive wave of immigration. What we have had is people arriving to meet demand for workers. The system has been beautifully balanced to provide only as much labour s the Uk economy needs. Thats the truth. The system contains automatic limits on immigration, because no one will come unless there is a job, and there is anyway an automatic bias towards UK workers, because of language, culture, difficulties uprooting to another country, etc.

    The EU is a protected pool of labour which already excludes the poorest areas of the world and means people coming here are very likely to choose to go home again after earning a bit of money. They are far more likely to do this because the informal immigration requirements allow them to come and go.

  36. @ S Thomas

    I am happy with current UK EU membership arrangements and would only seek some negotiated changes, as part of a new treaty.

    Farmers in parts of the UK are not happy with controlled migration from the EU, because they have 20,000 seasonal produce pickers, which they fear they will not be replaced by UK workers. These pickers live on site and start picking early mornings, so they can get the produce out to Supermarkets for the next day.

  37. Hmmm….So I wasn’t the first to introduce cake and eating it this morning.

    May be we should turn this into a hit TV show – The Great British Brexit?

  38. On the European Commission looking into the Nissan agreement, you do wonder if it will play out to Remain’s advantage if the EU brought down the deal. Remain have barely paid lip service to welcoming the deal.

    More usefully, the EU was very cross that the UK was going to insist on voting on things even if they were to take effect after we leave the EU. They are right, of course, it is none of our business.

    The same is true of any deal we make (with business or third countries) that deals with what happens after we leave the EU.

    Perhaps a deal could be done on this? Would make sense.

  39. BBZ
    How on earth do you imagine JC would end up in Downing Stree (other than as a tourist)? If May conspires to lose a vote of confidence, she will call a GE and it is stretching the imagination too far, to imagine JC will win. If as I hope Nuttall wins the UKIP leadership, I guess he will go for the northern labour vote, which will certainly take seats from them and help the Brexit cause.

    Given that Clegg is now being vocal about stopping Brexit in the HoL, it is clear that his and his party’s campaigning a few years ago, for an in out referendum was a total sham. They obviously had no intention of acting on a leave majority if there had been such a referendum then. More confirmation of what a weasel Clegg really is.

  40. @Alec: “More worryingly, I suspect that this will be the point when we really start seeing sections of the electorate veer off into a Trumpesque conspiracy theory fantasy land,..”

    Given that many Remainers are pretty open about trying to turn this around, it would hardly be “conspiracy theory fantasy land…”

    Clegg at al might say: “It is just as we predicted.” But Farage could correctly say, “It is just as you have been working towards.”

    It is not really whether people are trying to stab Brexit in the back – only a few like Lammy have the decency to be open about it – because that can hardly be doubted. It is whether you believe they are justified because you see it more as a mercy killing for something that will suffer a long, agonising death anyway.

    The referendum result was at the very least to hazard an uncertain negotiation. Those on the Remain side pretending to accept Brexit want that negotiation to take place on the basis that the negotiation must fail.

    All surreal.

  41. Danny
    “The system contains automatic limits on immigration, because no one will come unless there is a job,”

    I think you’ll find that our benefits system can pay some Eastern Europeans more than they would earn in their own country.

  42. @JOSEPH1832

    You seem to be assuming that there is some sort of secret “deal”.

    Can anyone point out evidence for that?

  43. OLDNAT

    Actually, there is a way the Scottish government could almost certainly have a decision on article 50 – it could join in support of the UK Government’s position but based on a new argument that article 50 is in fact revocable. A revocable article 50 would kill the case dead in the water, so it would no doubt be relevant to the case. Politically implausible of course!

    This does illustrate just how odd this court decision is. As R Huckle said above, it would be of interest to Remainers if it allowed parliament to specify a ‘soft’ Brexit. However, it disables this by being based on irrevocability, which means parliament is powerless to control what kind of exit takes place. It only gives hope to remainers to the extent they think parliament will block article 50 being invoked in the first place.

  44. I agree with those who say that the govt. should ask the ECJ whether Article 50 can be reversed once invoked, or not.

    The Article says that once the 2 years has expired then a state must go through a full re-application. That is taken by some to means that the desire to withdraw an Article 50 submission must similarly have the approval of all 27 remaining members and by others to mean the exact opposite, i.e. as the Article makes no provision form withdrawal, it can be withdrawn at any time within the two years cutoff. That seems to me a very British interpretation, quite frankly. I would expect the Germans to take the view that if it’s not mentioned, then you can’t do it. However you look at it, Article 50 is not well done.

    The ECJ is Court whose raison d’etre appears to be more towards supporting ‘the project’ instead of strict interpretation of law, so I would expect them to come up with a fudge that suits the ‘the project’. E.g. something like the state may withdraw its Article 50 in agreement with the Commission. Which would leave the HoC right back where it started.

  45. ROBERT NEWARK

    :-) excellent !

  46. If the High Court is correct a British Prime minister can declare war on another state ,use the nuclear deterrent etc leading to massive loss of life without asking for the permission of,say, nick Clegg because no statutory rights are lost but cannot use the same means to enact A50 because someone loses the right,conferred by statute, to vote in the euro elections etc.

    that seems logical

  47. NEILA

    @” I assume that most contributors think that all Tories are wrong about all things all the time, unless they are Ken Clarke, and even he is wrong unless he’s attacking other Tories or campaigning against Brexit.”

    In a nutshell Neil.

    Brinit means Brinit-for ever & ever & ever.

  48. @Robert Newark
    Clegg hasn’t said Brexit would be stopped in the HoL; he said Lib Dem peers would try to stop a ‘hard’ Brexit, presumably a Brexit that did not include some privileged access to the Single Market.

    Given that:
    – both ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ Brexits were proposed by Brexiteers during the referendum campaign
    – the vote itself was silent on which was to be adopted
    – a large part of the population (sometimes a majority, sometimes not depending on how you ask the question) prefer a soft to a hard Brexit,
    this approach is not remotely unreasonable.

    Since the referendum there is an ongoing attempt to portray ‘soft’ Brexit as not really Brexit at all – that’s a view, but it has no mandate, any more than ‘soft Brexit’ has a mandate either.

    Surely it is for parliament to decide between the options… that is what we elect them for.

  49. “”We are not challenging the referendum. We are not calling for a second referendum. We’re calling for market access for British industry to Europe.”

    J Corbyn

    No problems old son :-

    http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/docs/2006/september/tradoc_122530.pdf

    Next question ?……………..wonder if he really understands any of this stuff?

  50. Post #1: US polling
    (reposted from a dead thread’)

    I looked at the individual polls that are used to make up the realclearpolitics.com state and union averages and saw a much more disparate bunch of pollsters than the UK.

    Firstly, there is a much larger number of organisations involved than in the UK, even accounting for the different sizes of the countries. The type of organisations involved is more diverse – you don’t tend to get universities directly involved in polling in the UK, for example.

    Looking at the sampling techniques employed by US pollsters gives a wide variety of competence. The best are probably more sophisticated than anything in the UK. Others appear to make minimal effort to achieve a representative sample. A small minority of polls appear to set out to achieve a certain result.

    I don’t think that RCP weights polls by credibility in the same way that UKPR does. I’m not sure that if they did, it would make any difference.

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