Just to catch up, YouGov put out new voting intention figures yesterday (though the fieldwork was from last week). topline figures were CON 39%(nc), LAB 28%(+2), LDEM 11%(+1), UKIP 13%(-1). While the changes since the week before are not significant in themselves, eleven points is actually the lowest Conservative lead YouGov have shown for several months. It’s also worth a glance at the “most important issues” question in the tables: the NHS has risen ten points since YouGov last asked the question back in November, making it the second most important concern after Brexit. It’s possible to interpret that as health rising up the agenda and helping Labour’s support… but it’s equally possible that the changes in voting intention are just normal, random sample variation. Still, worth keeping an eye on it. Full tabs here.

There was also a Survation poll for the Mail on Sunday at the weekend. Their topline figures were CON 38%, LAB 29%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 13%, GRN 2%. Tabs are here

315 Responses to “YouGov/Times – CON 39, LAB 28, LDEM 11, UKIP 13”

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  1. John B

    You need to stop going on that BNP website so often!

  2. UK exports to the EU are £233bn while corporation tax receipts are £48bn, so for tax purposes how much do we need to cut corporation Tax by to get companies to come here or to stay.

    Presumably if we go down the “No Deal” route we are cutting corporate tax to make Britain more attractive to investors so that they can export globally and to the EU more profitably than exporting or selling from within the EU.

    Regardless of how it’s done, long before we see the benefits of more investment (if and when they come) the biggest beneficiaries will be existing companies paying less tax on their existing businesses (including overseas earnings) with an equivalent fall in government revenue through lower corporate tax receipts.

    We could even see lots of companies still free to pack up and move production to within the EU and pay less tax on the profits they bring home.

    We have been cutting corporate and business taxation for years anyway so this would have to be something much deeper to amount to anything and as we are free to do it within the EU anyway it kind of begs the question why we haven’t done it before now.


  3. And it’s not as if the Chancellor doesn’t need those tax revenues…




    There’s not much that can be said about Brexit in terms of positive economic impact. We’re losing having favourable trading terms with the second largest economy in the world; we would be hard pressed to match that income from India or China, and countries such as Canada and Australia have much smaller populations. Our main option would be a tilt toward the U.S., but I think suggesting there might be some political risk on that front would be uncontroversial.

    May’s confirmation that the approach is going to be as hard a Brexit as possible cements these fears rather than assuaging them.

    As for myself, I’m thinking along similar lines to Alan. I imagine many of us who can move will be considering the option, and even Scottish independence has started to look a lot better to me than it did.

    I’m reminded somehow of cases I’ve run into in the past of companies that have decided to reduce their staffing levels by offering redundancy to volunteers; the volunteers in such cases are of course largely made up of those who find it easiest to find work elsewhere…

  5. @Peter Cairns

    Here is Bloomberg on why our system and corporate tax attracted Snapchat:



    Snap is setting up its European headquarters in London, which makes sense given that the U.K. is Europe’s biggest online ad market. But instead of putting its people in London and its legal HQ in the usual low-tax country such as Ireland or Luxembourg, as other tech giants have done, Snap will play it straight. It’ll book all its sales to British customers and revenue from any country where it has no local presence through the U.K. subsidiary, it told the FT.

    Before we laud Spiegel as a paragon of virtue, let’s remember the tide’s turning against tax avoidance. Facebook Inc. and burger chain McDonald’s Corp. have read the tea leaves and rejigged their European structures to rein in more aggressive practices that re-route sales through more amenable countries.

    The Brits are lining themselves up to profit from all this in a post-Brexit world, as they flirtatiously lower their corporate tax rate from 20 percent to 17 percent by 2020. McDonald’s, for one, plans to switch its non-U.S. tax base to the U.K. from Luxembourg, where its affairs have attracted legal scrutiny.

    end quote

    Lots of other businesses will be thinking on similar lines. The EU spooked them by going after Apple retrospectively. The virtue of the UK is that it has never done anything retrospectively, and is therefore seen as fair.

  6. The important note there is *European* HQ. Snapchat need a European HQ, they probably don’t need a UK only HQ.

  7. Anyway, now that Theresa has re-clarified her position (I agree with TOH that it has been clear for some time), perhaps more people will see her in her true colours, rather than the cloak of invisibility she wore in the referendum campaign…

    Nigel Farage can you come out from behind the Punch and Judy stall now?

  8. @Jayblanc

    They made the decision post Brexit, and they will be booking all revenue from places in Europe where they don’t have a physical prescence, through their UK company and paying tax to our Treasury on it.

    If Brexit was terrifying them, they’d have gone to say Ireland or Estonia. But it is the EU that is scaring them which is why they came here. Ditto McDonalds.

    And that is why Hammond’s threat to cut corporate tax was so effective – it is because lots of businesses are rethinking whether they want to subject to the caprice of the Commission, and if corporate tax here is low, why not rush to friendly Britain?

  9. Tancred
    A bit OTT? I’m just interested to see if the polls react as dramatically as the £ has.

  10. Candy,

    “And that is why Hammond’s threat to cut corporate tax was so effective ”

    A tad early for that claim seeing as since Sunday no new corporations have declared they are coming to the UK or have abandoned plans to leave.

    “and they will be booking all revenue from places in Europe where they don’t have a physical prescence, through their UK company and paying tax to our Treasury on it.”

    If the EU legislates that profits made in the EU must be Taxed in the EU all this falls apart.

    If it decides that they way to deal with overseas profits made out with the EU is to have them paid direct to the EU rather than member countries to fund EU regional assistance at say 10%, we might find it difficult to compete.

    I don’t think those boldly proclaiming that “Britain won’t Lie Down” should be so confident in thinking the far EU will blink first.

    One of the reasons EU trade deals take so long and attract such criticism from Free Traders is that the EU drives hard margins and is good at squeezing good terms from other Nations.


  11. The SNP know where they stand now. Hard Brexit surely means another independence referendum.Still can not understand how the Irish border will work and the Scottish border if independence was gained .

  12. The tricky part is the customs union. The EU will never agree to any customs agreement with the UK unless the UK agrees to apply the common EU tariff to products from other countries. Otherwise, those other countries would have a low-tariff, backdoor entry into the EU for their products. As an agreement is not possible, I suppose the UK will have to go it alone, accept tariffs on its exports to the EU and try to reorient its trade to other countries like the US or Australia with which the UK might strike better trade deals. In the short run, British businesses will probably suffer.

  13. If we do go for INDYREF2, it won’t be till at least mid 2018, if not this time 2019.

    This does move things forward a bit and Holyrood just voted 86 to 36 to support Scotland remaining in the Single Market, so we have a clear line drawn.

    Mays line seems to be;

    You can’t stay in the EU even though your electorate voted to remain, you can’t stay in the single Market even though your Parliament has voted to remain, but now is the time to all come together to strengthen our Precious Union.

    Can’t say I am buying it!


  14. @Peter Cairns : once again though, you are ignoring that, in order to be in the single market, an independent Scotland will have to apply for EU membership and that might take many years of negotiations. Indyref2 within 2 years might mean Scotland being simulatneously out of the UK and out of the EU, i.e. the worst case scenario.

  15. Any form of Brexit still needs to be approved by the European parliament and all 27 states – it’s not a decision for the UK government alone. And of course, it’s looking on the cards that there will be a vote in parliament now, one that might be rather too close for May’s comfort as some Tory MPs start to reflect. Neither will the House of Lords simply cave in to the government’s demands.

    It’s looking ugly and it will get uglier still.

  16. @Tancred: the way Theresa May framed the argument, she actually blamed the EU for the UK being forced to leave the single market. First, it was EU “inflexibility” as she put it that led to David Cameron’s less-than-ideal deal and, hence, the ‘Leave’ win in the referendum. Then, it was the EU’s insistence on the 4 pillars as preconditions for being in the single market that forced the UK to abandon single market membership as a negotiating position.

    Although I’d rather see Britain remain in the EU and in the single market, I agree with the PM that , by shutting down any possibility of negotiation on freedom of movement, ECJ jurisdiction and compliance with EU regulations, the comissioners in Brussels left Downing Street with no other option but ‘hard Brexit’, They probably made an incorrect bet that the UK would not have the courage to go for it, which actually might have been true two or three months ago. I suspect Trump’s election in the US is what ultimately changed the equation and emboldened the UK government to take a more adversarial position vis-a-vis the EU.

    Chances are the EU will react negatively and the UK might not even get a free trade deal now. Either way though, even if it manages to shut the door on the UK, the EU will probaly emerge as a likely loser in this “divorce” and, dependinng on how it goes, it might be the beginning of the end of the federal European project,

  17. In other news, Donald Trump is being sued for sexual assault.

  18. You really go through the looking glass with this Brexit thing don’tcha. Kinda like when you get into synths, only without all the cabling…

  19. So what’s gonna turn up more surprises? Trump or Brexit?…

  20. Carfrew I would have thought Trump as it seems we are leaving the EU. Trump has more access to suprises.

  21. @Dez

    But we might be joining Trump in a trade deal…


    @”there will be a vote in parliament now, one that might be rather too close for May’s comfort ”

    I don’t think May sees it that way at all.

    She told us again today that she campaigned to Remain, but she lost & now heads the government which has to take us out.

    In my view-once she has the best deal she , personally ,can get & puts it before Parliament , I reckon she thinks thats job done.

    If Parliament votes it down I wouldn’t be surprised to see her resign without a second thought.

  23. @mbruno

    To be in the Single Market, you are ignoring that Scotland can become an EFTA member of the EEA ( and possibly out of the Customs Union like Norway).

  24. @ Tancred

    Any form of Brexit still needs to be approved by the European parliament and all 27 states – ”

    Not quite.

    The ‘divorce’ deal needs approval by qualified majority voting, plus the European Parliament. However, a future trading deal – i.e. free trade beyond 2019 – actually needs the approval of all national and regional parliaments in the EU – of which there are 38.

  25. @MBRUNO

    I don’t accept this argument. The British government always had the option of an initial brake on immigration but chose not to use this option – one of few nations to do this. It seems a bit rich to blame the EU for not changing its rules to suit Britain.
    I also don’t believe that the US will offer anything like as good a deal as the EU. There might be some deals on individual areas but no sweeping free trade offer. After all Trump was elected on a nationalist ticket and he will want to protect key industries.
    I certainly don’t see the end of the EU project – quite the opposite. Britain’s [exit] will strengthen the hand of federalists.
    Only Australia and New Zealand could offer free trade deals – and even this is far from certain. Hardly giants of the global economy.
    I don’t yhink it will be the e

  26. DEZ

    “The SNP know where they stand now. Hard Brexit surely means another independence referendum.”

    I suspect that is actually quite unlikely at least for several years. At the moment my guess would be that such a referendum would be lost by as least as much as last time.

  27. If Independent, surely Scotland could do a trade deal with Trump. He likes Scotland, his mum was Scottish, he’s built golf courses there, it all fits…

  28. @JAMES E

    In which case we can forget about ANY trading deal!

    We will be like Russia to the EU.

  29. AC

    Re: your point on Scotland going indy to get away from the Tories.

    I agree that’s the main reason support for independence would go up. Brexit does a great job of bringing this point into sharp focus: the overwhelming majority of Scots voted to remain, as did Scotland’s parliament. Despite this, Scotland will be leaving the EU, Common market, and gets no say in the triggering of article 50. There will be a vote on the deal, but as TOH put it, that vote will likely be ‘take this or get nothing’, which is hardly a choice. All this is being pushed through by Tories with effectively no input from Scotland.

  30. @TOH

    There will be an independence referendum, though not until after Brexit has happened. As for the result, you may be unpleasantly surprised. Many Scots had assumed that Brexit would be soft, but faced with the hardest possible Brexit they may now reconsider.
    The result will be much closer.

  31. Colin

    I think there would certainly be an election if parliament voted down the negotiated deal, but as I pointed out earlier it would be very surprising if parliament did so because we would still leave the EU and if the deal was voted down we would leave with no deal at all ie the worst option. Fallon realises that which is why he is so keen on a second referendum.

  32. Tancred

    I think that is quite unlikely, certainly in my lifetime.

  33. Dez

    Well we could start by rebuilding Hadrians wall, then recruit 1000’s of customs officers to man it! Win, win, win, win!

  34. TOH

    Yes I think I share that view-the Lawmakers who voted to leave UK in that position would face many questions.

  35. Tancred

    Sorry I misread your post, you were talking about a second Scottish indepemdance referendum and i thought you were talking about a second EU referendum.

    On a second Scottish referendum as I say I don’t think it will happen for some time and i suspect it would be lost again. I would not like to see Scotland leave the UK but that is up to the Scottish people. I would not be unpleasantly surprised if they voted to leave. I would be a just wish them well.

  36. TOH you could be correct about Scotland but it is hard to see the SNP and Nicola Sturgeon waiting several years after a hard Brexit.If they do their dominance could wane.

  37. @ Tancred

    The CETA deal with Canada took 8 years (and nearly got derailed ) so a realistic target for a UK/EU deal would be 2027 – 8 years after we exit.

  38. MBRUNO,
    If Theresa is basing her policy on getting a favourable trade deal with arch-protectionist Donald Trump, she could have just made a colossal mistake!

  39. So we are ensuring the restoration of the sovereignty of the British Parliament by constructing a situation where Parliament’s vote is meaningless (vote for this deal or reject it and get nothing at all).

    Makes as much sense to me as most things these days…

  40. TOH,
    I know you are dyslexic, but can you set your spell check to Farron, not Fallon please?

  41. Artair very true an open border in the north of Ireland would be a magnet for illegal immigration smuggling etc.Hardly take back control .

  42. I think Sturgeon is playing a canny hand, and today’s speech does make the break up of the UK much more likely. That is one of the 12 points predictably still born…

    I think Tancred is right on this one. She will pick the moment of maximum betrayal by the English in general and the Tories in Westminster in particular, and pick that moment to call another independence referendum.

    Of course, that is high risk. The last referendum was called by the British government and it is not clear what would happen if Scotland declared UDI

  43. @JAMES E

    And stalling as long as possible may the strategy that the EU may wish to adopt. The longer the process goes on the more pointless Brexit will begin to seem.

  44. @DEZ

    There won’t be an open border with Ireland – it is simply not possible with a hard Brexit. […]

  45. The correct way to describe the Scottish cross-breaks is to say that previously there was a margin of error difference between SLAB and SCON, and now there is a margin of error difference between SLAB and SCON.

  46. Tancred I would agree.Could be a further step to a united Ireland in the long run.

  47. @ TOH

    I don’t agree that if Parliament votes against the Government Brexit deal that Brexit will happen anyway. Parliament would instruct the Prime Minister to withdraw Article 50 notification and maintain the UK’s membership of the EU. No Prime Minister could refuse to act on this, as they could be found in contempt of Parliament.

    Yes a Prime Minister could trigger a vote of no confidence, after their Brexit deal was rejected by Parliament, but it is not certain a general election would follow. There could be a grand coalition of pro EU MP’s forming a government purely in regard to EU membership, stopping Brexit, before then triggering an election. Yes this would be a very messy state of affairs, but given the circumstances, it is not impossible.

    I would not rule out Brexit being blocked well before it got to a deal being actually negotiated, either due to court actions or politicians against Brexit working together to pause the process.

  48. @Andrew111

    If Theresa is basing her policy on getting a favourable trade deal with arch-protectionist Donald Trump, she could have just made a colossal mistake”

    Particularly as Trump was elected NOT to provide other countries with preferential access to US markets.

  49. @dez

    Re border issues in Ireland I think you may be conflating border controls for people and those for trade.

    May’s speech focused on the CTA with Ireland which concerns people and dates back to 1923. . If Ireland retains its Schengen exemption it is difficult to see why there should be any significant problem with maintaining the CTA.

    The difficult issue is the trade border and it is clear from May ‘s speech that the UK Government is no further forward on that as she used the old “noone wants to return to the borders of the past” mantra.

  50. Better Together’s tweet from September 2014 – “What is the process for removing our EU citizenship? Voting Yes. ” – is getting a lot of ironic retweets tonight!

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