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. @Guymonde

    “I feel envious of Scotland. London voted strongly Remain. Can we secede and become a province of independent Scotland?”

    I rather think it would be the other way round! Though I’m not sure OLDNAT will dig a Tartan T-shirt with Tower Bridge on it.


    That could be covered by Transfer Pricing rules to ensure that fair profits would have to be invested or divested in Freedonia. There could also be a withholding tax on the transfer of Royalties and Interest.

    If the Freedonia company purchases legitimate assets from outside of Freedonia, it still owns those assets. There would need to be a fair market test as there is for Transfer Pricing. So Spiffy Spindles would have to be bought at something approaching its true value.

  2. Peter Cairns,
    “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”


    “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”

    There was already a post by someone quoting a reaction by, was it Netherlands, that any suggestion of aggressive tax competition would scupper all negotiations. This is a promise of a trade war if the Uk does not get its way.

    I don’t see how the EU could allow the UK to get away with it, so it will not. If EU negotiators have it in the back of their minds that the UK may behave in this way regardless of whatever deal, any deal may be immediately stillborn because they will see a future need to be imposing sanctions on the Uk rather than deals. If anything, I see this as further posturing intended to push the EU and UK further apart while purporting to do the opposite.

    The fight for Britain to remain or Leave is far from over. We don’t know if the legal difficulties have been overcome yet, but May has given in to her falling ratings on handling Brexit and finally staked a much firmer position. This now invites firmer positioning by others. However, it seems very likely indeed that unless negotiations break down totally within three months because of irreconcileable differences, we will be virtually none the wiser as to outcomes for another 18 months. In any event, that would seem to be the government plan.

    I would predict a burst of pickup in support for government handling of Brexit, which might help tide over the winter NHS crisis, but then falling support once again in light of inaction.

    I would predict the EU refusing to negotiate on anything more than transitional periods for winding down UK membership. Trade deals will then wait upon Britains reaction to being outside. If the EU believes in its own position, then they must believe this would strengthen their hand.

    “They made the decision post Brexit,”

    Maybe so, but its still two years or maybe more away. It might pay them to shift HQ annually, like Brits chasing interest rate deals. I imagine they could structure a company so it was easy to move elgal HQ with minimal effect upon personnel.

    “Or the EU might just decide to chuck us out on the worst possible terms.”
    I have always thought there are significant pluses for the EU in losing its most equivocal member. Although they might feel the fiasco of a failed attempt to leave as sufficient object lesson.

    ‘The other bugbear I have is taxing Public Servants. What’s the point of taxing their pay? Their pay comes from private taxation. So all we are doing is paying them with other people’s taxable private income and then taking away some of that tax income’
    Agreed, but that would be an even more difficult sell no matter how forcefully you were to explain that salaries had been adjusted accordingly. EU civil servants in Brussels don’t currently pay sales tax on white goods, TV’s, cars etc. Typically they chose the worst possible tax relief they could find (other than just offering them duty free cigarettes).
    Your complicated corporate plan does indeed avoid corporation tax in Potsilania, but that just brings it into line with the zero rate in Freedonia. The only advantage would be if Potsilania was a TAX HAVEN (a designation that both The Press and Jeremy Corbin seemed to be struggling with yesterday). As long as income/dividend tax rates are comparable in the two countries, the management would have gone to all that trouble for nothing. At the very least, the executives would have to move to the tax haven. (Or buy a yacht and raise a flag on it) whereas nowadays they can just send the money there and stay put.
    SAM S
    True, but the beauty of SEA CHANGE’s proposition is that you could implement it unilaterally without damaging your tax receipts.

  4. @Candy – “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”

    @Danny mentioned my response to this. The Dutch have already signalled their intent to veto any deal that permits the UK to aggressively undercut taxation on profit, so if this is the intent of the UK negotiators, then there would be no trade deal.

    Worse, if we accepted the deal, with limitations on CT rates, Ireland would remain within the EU but not subject to controls of CT rates, as to enact these the EU requires unanimity. It’s a strange prospect that outwith the EU the UK will probably find Brussels has greater control over our CT rates than if we remain inside, and on this specific issue it’s likely that our ability to adjust rates will be limited, while having an English speaking neighbour who can happily undercut us.

    The alternative sounds like total freedom under WTO tariffs. As CT is ~20% of profits, so possibly 4% or less of gross turnover, I suspect many companies would find tariff losses as greater than CT gains even if CT was completely abolished, so I suspect this is a battle we don’t really want to fight.

  5. I am a bit concerned that the debate airly states we could default to world trade terms. Might it be the case that even doing this is not so simple as stating it, but would be subject to negotiations and potential vetoes by other nations?

  6. ANDREW111

    I suggest you read your own posts clearly again and then reassess who are actually behaving like a spoilt children. Why start name calling his site is better than that. It’s not like you.

    Those of us who have always been clear in our aims for Brexit have also been very clear on the attitude of the EU. It’s why so called “Hard Brexit” has always been the most likely option. Yes it will cause some damage to the UK in the short term but it will cause more to the EU both in the short and long term IMO.

    Anyway enough of Brexit this is a polling site and we need new polls to discuss.

  7. Some adverse economic news this morning with the Markit HFI Survey of Household Finance.

    “The first HFI survey of 2017 suggested that mounting price pressures pose a threat to UK households’ financial wellbeing. Current finances deteriorated in January amid the sharpest rise in price perceptions since early-2014. “As well as signalling the fastest inflation for three years, the survey (which was conducted before Tuesday’s release of the Consumer Price Index) pointed to widespread expectations of further price hikes. ONS data, which yesterday showed the largest increase in consumer prices since July 2014, is likely to highlight rising inflation in coming months amid sterling weakness and higher material costs. “Price pressures were accompanied by slightly lower pay rates in January, meaning that households’ financial outlook remained downbeat. “With regard to monetary policy, the consensus among households appears to be that tightening to curb inflation is more likely than loosening to stimulate growth. Around 62% foresee a rise in the Bank of England base rate this year, the highest proportion since January 2016.”

    On the currency markets the £ has eased back against the $ and the Euro after the markets over reaction to May’s speech yesterday.

  8. I think one point that is being missed about trade negotiations in the discussions on this site. Here reference is made constantly to tariffs, however it is regulations that will form the biggest stumbling block. To exemplify the approa the EU might say we will give you low tariff access to the single market, however you have meet our regulatory requirements on manufactured/financial products, we will not allow you to manage that regulation you will have to pay our regulatory organisation to approve your products/services.

  9. On the other hand the latest employment figures (Nov) were good.

    “Unemployment has plunged to its lowest total for more than a decade, but the number of people in work has also fallen.

    The jobless total was 1.6 million in the quarter to November, down by 52,000 on the previous three months to its lowest since early 2006.

    The UK now has one of the lowest jobless rates in Europe at 4.8%, the latest data from the Office for National Statistics showed.

    But the numbers in work fell by 9,000 to 31.8 million, the lowest since last autumn, although the employment rate of 74.5% is the joint highest level on record.

    The number of people classed as economically inactive has increased by 85,000 to almost 8.9 million – the biggest quarterly rise since 2014.

    The figure includes students, people looking after family, on long-term sick leave, or who have given up looking for a job.

    The economic inactivity rate increased by 0.2% to 21.7%, the highest since last spring.

    Average earnings increased by 2.8% in the year to November, up by 0.2% on the previous month.

    David Freeman, senior statistician at the ONS, said: “While employment is little changed on the quarter, the rate remains at an historic high.

    “The rate at which pay is increasing continues to pick up in cash terms, though it remains moderate.”

    There were 1.15 million people in part-time jobs who wanted full-time work in the latest quarter, an increase of 7,000 over the previous three months, but down by 99,000 on the year.

    The claimant count fell by 10,100 last month to 797,800, the lowest since last September, although it increased by 600 among women.

    More than 23 million people work full-time, 209,000 more than a year ago, while part-time employees have risen by 86,000 to 8.5 million.

    The number of job vacancies in the economy fell by 5,000 to 748,000.”

  10. WB

    In which case no doubt we would do the same.

  11. @TOH,

    I wasn’t suggesting that there would not be quid pro quo on regulatory matters simply suggesting that is what makes trade talks so complex not tariffs alone.

  12. WB

    In which case we agree.

  13. My first Essay on Management of the National Economy whilst at College in the mid 1980’s was
    “UK unemployment between 1921 and 1939 was at its highest nearly 23% and only in 1939 fell to 6%. Between 1940 and 1974 unemployment never rose above 3% and since then as ranged between 4% and 13%. Broadly account for these changes?”

    The reason for the reminiscence is that I read TOH’s post and realised that since the1980’s we have been prepared to accept 5/6% as a good rate of unemployment. Isn’t it curious that the aim of full employment has never been pursued by any party since Foot in the 1980’s: will Corbyn announce that next perhaps?

    By the way I have a good but not eidetic memory, the reason I remember the question vividly is that I committed it to memory was so horrified at the breadth of the question I was supposed to answer it in 1500 words.

  14. toh

    i fear that the brexit debate was so fierce that to some it became personal on both sides. The losers clearly did not have the victory to assuage their strong feelings and emotionally are unable to get closure. This is the only explanation for some posts on this site where one detects that a financial/industrial collapse of the uk economy is almost desired in order,somewhat illogically, to show that brexit will bring about a financial /industrial collapse. I fear that to some posters such a disaster is the only vindication for their strongly held current positions on Brexit.

    On a more positive note the punitive position of the EC to the uK departure is in the long term is a mistake and will probably melt like snow in spring. Surely, it is in the interests of the EC to be seen in the world as a confident and open body which can deal with the departure of a member with grace. At present it is in danger of sounding like a stalag where a prisoner has escaped and if recaptured the prisoner will need to be punished to stop others trying the same thing. The image of the EU as a prison camp in which countries who would like to leave are prevented from doing so through fear is not perhaps the image it wishes to promote.
    It is unnecessary as well because apart from Eire i do not think other countries would wish to leave the single market. I do not think that any other nation would do what the uk did. The EC is therefore being pointlessly defensive about this.

    There has also been debate about the role of parliament down the line. I think it is a shrewd political move. In 2 years time Brexit will be the status quo, the EC will be seen and portrayed by the popular press as the enemy and certainly not as allies we are keen to rejoin. On top of that the Government will be in a position to redistrbute a substantial proportion of our net contribution. I speculate that if the `government proposed funding a national care plan for elderly Britons and either free or reduced university education from those funds which mP is going to vote to send it to Brussels instead? The thought of nick Clegg saying that he wants to send money to the EC rather than a national care plan is one that i will enjoy seeing. In short many things are possible and speculation about 2 years hence is probably futile. But Hey! when has that ever stopped us.

  15. Sorry Alec and everyone for losing the plot a bit a few days ago.

  16. Polling on trust in Politicians is an interesting subject because i am never quite sure how people reach their judgements. I suspect many people responding don’t actually know much about the Politician they are being asked about or they reach a conclusion based on one issue.

    In regard to say a subject like Brexit, i suspect most of the publics opinion on Theresa May will be about the speeches she gives on the subject. It will be such a dominating subject, that the approval polling on her as PM will be mostly about Brexit. I am not sure the NHS problems have really affected Theresa May so far as the focus is on Brexit. If Brexit was not going on, then there would be much more attention paid to NHS and other issues.

    Brexit is a real problem for Jeremy Corbyn and Labour, as it means that they will find it very difficult gaining any attention on other issues. Everything is related to Brexit, as it affects the economics going forward. Very difficult for Labour to come up with a different economic vision for the country, as they don’t know what Brexit deal is likely and how it would affect the economy. Therefore any Labour leader, whether it is Corbyn or a replacement would find it very difficult to gain the trust of the public.

  17. As I said, I don’t think the EU will agree to a customs arrangement with the UK unless the UK agrees to apply the EU’s commons external tariff to non-EU countries, Likewise, I doubt the EU will consider negotiating a free trade deal with the UK before Brexit is finalized. In any case, though, even in the worst case scenario where the EU shuts the door on the UK and May gets nothing in the return, the final outcome will be seen in the continent as a political defeat for the European Commission.

    In fact, any deal that ends up with immigration controls for EU nationals entering the UK, no significant UK payments to the EU, and tariffs on EU exports to the UK means that all of the initial objectives the Commission thought they could bully the UK into accepting will have been frustrated. Also, if the UK is able to rebalance its economy in the future as a low-tax global trader, other countries in the EU, especially Ireland or maybe even Sweden and Denmark, will start considering if it is worth staying in the Union at any cost.

  18. S Thomas,

    “The image of the EU as a prison camp in which countries who would like to leave are prevented from doing so through fear is not perhaps the image it wishes to promote.”

    No, it’s more like a survivor has jumped out the lifeboat and the rest on the lifeboat have decided not to stop rowing to safety to go back and get them!”

    Meanwhile the one in the water is shouting;

    “Come back come back, I don’t want to get back in just hang on the side while you all do the rowing!”


  19. Peter Cairns SNP

    ““Come back come back, I don’t want to get back in just hang on the side while you all do the rowing!”

    Very few seem to be doing that in the UK.

  20. @ Peter Cairnes

    Wry grin

  21. @WB

    I hope you allowed for changes in definition of the unemployed. Did you investigate the role of the nationalised industries, especially the National Coal Board and British Railways, who ’employed’ thousands of people who clearly did no useful work at all in order to make the unemployment figures look much better than they actually were.You can see this in the 1956 results of British Railways when the Government told them to employ as many people as possible with extremely damaging effects.

  22. S THOMAS

    Interesting post and much I agree with there.

    “But Hey! when has that ever stopped us.”

    That’s fine until it gets boring and having had a clear view that corresponds very much with the PM’s I am happy to let the Government get on with it. I got very tired with speculation from Remainers which to date has mostly proved to be incorrect. So I shall go back to posting on polling only until there is something new to talk about.

  23. @ Wolf

    Give me a break. It was my first week of college, I barely sobered up with all the Freshers events, I think I sort of mentioned Classical economic theory and the Gold Standard versus Keynesian Demand Management. All I remember is when Peter Donaldson was listening to me read it out in Tutorial was that it seemed very thin to me; he agreed and gave it short shrift.

  24. peter

    your choice of the images of a lifeboat,survivor and safety speak volumes about your sub-conscious view of the EC.

    Think more of the Cooler king in the Great Escape

  25. “The BBC’s political editor, Laura Kuenssberg, inaccurately reported Jeremy Corbyn’s views about shoot-to-kill policies in the aftermath of the terror attacks in Paris, according to the BBC Trust.”

    There’s a shock.

  26. nickp

    I dont know why they they have picked out that particular example. There were so many to choose from.

  27. S Thomas

    It didn’t actually turn out too well for him (or many of them) in the end though did it?

    If that’s the model, I think I’m going to walk off set and join another film!

  28. alan

    well better than for the guards by 1945.

  29. @alan

    well better than for the guards by 1945

    This is a little cryptic for me I’m afraid

  30. sorry

    that was @ S Thomas

  31. Alec – “The Dutch have already signalled their intent to veto any deal that permits the UK to aggressively undercut taxation on profit”

    You mean a dutch deputy from the Socialist party made the threat, and he is not likely to be in govt after their elections in March giving how poorly his party is polling.

    Would you like a laugh? A few weeks ago the Dutch economic affairs minister, from the Liberals was saying that raising corporate tax was a threat to jobs. See



    Kamp, speaking on a trade mission to the US, said low corporate tax was essential to attract foreign investment. Non-Dutch companies employ some 900,000 people in the Netherlands where corporation tax is now 25%.

    There is, Kamp said, a global trend to lower the tax. It is set at 12% in Ireland, 9% in Hungary and there are movements to reduce the tax in Belgium, Denmark and the UK.

    ‘I think we have to be very careful about going against the trend and threatening jobs in the Netherlands.’

    end quote

    There isn’t any way the EU can stop us cutting corporate tax without tackling the 12% rate in Ireland and the 9% rate in Hungary…

  32. S Thomas

    Depends how you wish to measure it but as I recall 80% of the people on that side of the fence suffered a sudden, significant and permanent drop in their quality of life.

    As I said, I’m be looking for another ‘film’ if the model is going to be “Who loses out more?” as a definition of success. Preferably one with lots of robots.

  33. I still think the elephant in the room is the Lib Dems.

    Going by the size of the swings we have seen towards the Lib Dems in all elections since the referendum, it’s clear that their actual ballot box support is far greater than 11%.

    The question I have is are the Lib Dems the new opposition party? In Parliament, not yet obviously. And in the polls, also no. But in terms of ballot box results, they appear to now be in second place by a country mile.

  34. S Thomas,

    “Think more of the Cooler king in the Great Escape!”

    At what point did Steve McQueen turn his motorbike around so he could settle down on the other side of the Camp fence and trade through the wire?


  35. “How can I reconstruct the decking in my daughter’s garden, that simultaneously accommodates the new bike shed for her husband, and the need for maximising the play area for the grandkids?”


    There seem to be numerous opinions. Clearly we need polling on the matter…

  36. Or maybe they just need a bigger garden…

  37. Candy: “There isn’t any way the EU can stop us cutting corporate tax without tackling the 12% rate in Ireland and the 9% rate in Hungary…”

    I think Alec’s point was that, while the Commission has no power to force a reduction in CT on a member state, it is free to make any stipulation as a condition for a trade deal with a non member state.

    Whether the UK would choose to accept such a condition is another matter, but we are likely to find that all the new trade deals we are eager to sign will contain unpalatable conditions. For instance, any trade deal with the USA is likely to be conditional on our allowing in US food containing hormones, growth promoters, GMs etc, and produced with lower animal welfare standards. Either we then keep our own standards high, allowing continued food exports to the EU, or we reduce our standards to allow UK farmers to compete with the USA, losing the EU market. I feel sympathy (and a touch of schadenfreude) for Brexit supporting farmers who are surely in for a rude shock.

  38. Another aspect of the post Brexit deal that seems to have gone undiscussed is the European Energy market…all that Gas from Russia and the Electricity that goes back and forth between the UK and France.

    Will it be business as usual after Brexit and what will the rules be.


  39. MBRUNO

    @”I don’t think the EU will agree to a customs arrangement with the UK unless the UK agrees to apply the EU’s commons external tariff to non-EU countries”

    Common sense-and current practice -tell you that will certainly be their opening gambit.

    Turkey has been a member of the European Customs UNion ( excluding agricultural products) since 1995.& so must be an interesting & relevant case to look at.

    Membership requires Turkey to apply the external tarrifs.

    WIKI contains this comment:-
    “Turkey’s main exports to EU and imports from EU are dominantly industrial (95% of all its imports and exports).[2] Since 1996, Turkey’s gross domestic product has increased 4-fold, making it one of the fastest growing economies in the world. At the same time, however, the foreign trade deficit of Turkey (between EU) has increased 2 fold and 6 fold with non-EU countries (the rest of the world), between 1995–2008. The Customs Union is a large factor in both of these developments. Some commentators have pointed to a vicious circle that the profits generated from imports are being used to buy raw materials and assembly parts again from Europe. This shows that Turkey is dependent on European raw materials and parts.[2]

    Some argue that the customs union treaty is quite like the Capitulations of the Ottoman Empire.[3] It was giving economical and political powers to a union (EU in this case) which the signing party (Turkey) was and still is not a member:

    Turkey, by accepting the customs union protocol, was giving the EU the power to manipulate the foreign relations of Turkey. Turkey was accepting all the treaties between EU and any non EU country (i.e. all the other countries in the world) by precondition. (16th and 55th articles[4] )
    Turkey, by entering to the customs union, was accepting not to do any treaties with any non-EU country without the knowledge of EU. Otherwise, EU had the right to intervene and annul that treaty. (56th article[4])
    Turkey, by entering to the customs union, was unconditionally accepting to make laws which are parallel to the newer laws made for the customs union by EU. (8th article[4])
    Turkey, by entering to the customs union, was accepting to obey the all laws and decisions of European Court of Justice, where there is no single Turkish judge, insofar as the customs union decision is identical to EU law, but the tribunal is independent of the ECJ. (61st-64th article[4][5])
    Turkey, by entering to the customs union, was opening its own market to European goods. The domestic goods of Turkey were in a great difficulty to compete against these due to a difference in quality. The European goods would flow into Turkey without any customs fee.”

    This academic study in 2009 concludes with these words:-

    ” Thus, it became of utmost importance to emphasize the fact that the CU between Turkey and the EU is not a kind of relationship in itself, but should be regarded rather as an integral part of a gradual process of integration, the origin that goes back to the initial phases of the relationship between the partners. Therefore, it is only by means of total integration that such a relationship could be sustainable in the long term”


    I wonder if TM was really signalling in her comments about a “bad deal” being worse than “no deal” , that she believes that we will be trading with EU on the same terms as every other country outside the CU/

    In her speech, and in everything she says about Brexit, if there is one thing which gets mentioned more than Immigration Control or the ECJ -it is UK as a global Free Trading Nation. Any accord with the EU which stops us being so must be counted a “bad deal” against that criteria & I don’t see how she could put it before the HoC or the People.

  40. @Sea Change

    “Any increase in Corporation tax is paid by the individual in the end anyway. Companies raise their prices to make a return on investment after tax. The consumer pays for that increase, so they are simply being taxed in a circular manner.”


    Only if you believe the fairy story that competition will necessarily drive down prices. That can happen, but all too often competition is thwarted – patents, buying up rivals, regulatory barriers to entry, network effects etc. etc. – so prices can rise to whatever the market will relucrantly bear.

    In which case, in creaming off the tax you are creaming off some profiteering. Which might otherwise have been spent hoovering up more of the market and hiking prices further.

    Alternatively, you might then offer a tax break if they invest in summat worthwhile so they still get a benefit but so do we.

  41. Why are peeps so convinced we will get good trade deals? They weren’t very happy with the one we got from the EU. TTIP had its issues. Surely one would look forward to a trade deal the way one looks forward to a test match: hoping for the best but fearing the worst…

  42. @Sebastian
    I agree about the Lib Dems. it looks like they may have local spikes, certainly in areas of previous support, but maybe elsewhere too. If there are 4 main parties in England, then currently only one appears on the side of remain. If they can get close to that 48% they could be in government.

    Note, in practice I see that polling puts the strong remainers at around 30-31%. Still good enough for a strong showing and a parliamentary breakthrough, if they can keep Brexit as the only issue to vote on. The Conservatives will want to present it as a done deal by the next election.

  43. @MARKW – You’re passionate in what you believe, and I’m pretty sure most people won’t hold that against you.

    @SEBASTIAN Libs in 2nd

    Way too early to make that call IMO. Local by-elections on very low turnouts are not representative. Let’s see how the next two by-elections (plus any other Labour quitter by-elections) and then the local elections go before making any bold assertions.

  44. Just seen that the Supreme Court decision will be handed down next Tuesday 24th at 9.30 a.m

    I’m still confident that Sturgeon’s part of the challenge will be summarily thrown out.

  45. @Carfrew

    I don’t think many people even on the Leave side were unhappy about the “trade deal” with the EU. It was the other aspects of EU membership that caused the irritation (rightly or wrongly).

    Had Cameron come back from his renegotiation with an exemption for the UK from the universal free movement of people within the EU, I think Remain would have scored a handsome victory in June.

    I do agree that it will be hard going, with difficult political choices ahead. I suppose it all depends on one’s definition of “good” – which is ultimately what politics is about. Particularly in a very polarized political climate such as the UK appears to be weathering, where parties pull in opposite directions rather than competing to be the one that pulls in the same direction the most efficiently.

    On agricultural products, which seem to be one of the likeliest bones of contention, I can see a possible “good” outcome in which the old Empire countries provide large quantities of cheap produce, and UK agriculture specializes in high-margin, organic, non-GM and luxury brands. For this business it would be competing with EU providers, but the imposition of high tariffs (if that’s what the EU insists on) would give UK farmers a substantial advantage at home. It would of course kill off large amounts of UK exports to the EU, which would hurt. However, as we import much more than we export, there may be scope for some fairly radical import substitution, with farmers making a living from their home market that they cannot make from the EU. The removal of tariffs on luxury/speciality items sold to the US would also help.

    It is far too early for anyone to know how this will all go. We are talking about the UK government’s negotiating stance, not the outcome of those negotiations, still less the actual effect of the new situation on the real economy. People on one side of the debate are insistent on seeing absolutely 100% of the other sides debating points as utterly wrong and seem incapable of predicting any countervailing benefits to their own concerns.

    My underlying view hasn’t changed. Brexit will be bad for the UK economy, but probably not that bad. Life will go on. We will not become a poor country.

  46. @SORREL

    The only problem with that plan is polling puts those who want to see the vote implemented on 68%.

    Which means there are approx 32% hard core remainers.

    When you stack up a large proportion of those in London and Scotland in Labour and SNP strongholds, you are not left with anything like a tenable path to government for the Lib Dems.

    The Farron plan is a strategical dud on a constituency basis. It may get him a few more seats in the short-term. But it will only really bare fruit (possibly) if Brexit is an unmitigated catastrophe.

  47. @Neil A

    “I don’t think many people even on the Leave side were unhappy about the “trade deal” with the EU. It was the other aspects of EU membership that caused the irritation (rightly or wrongly).
    Had Cameron come back from his renegotiation with an exemption for the UK from the universal free movement of people within the EU, I think Remain would have scored a handsome victory in June.”


    But that’s the point. Sure they may have liked the trade terms but it’s the bundling in of other stuff in trade deals that is worrisome, from free movement to dropping food/environmental standards etc., Aside from any financial impact…

  48. Good afternoon all from a sunny central London.

    Banks are threatening to leave London.

    “Since then, there has been widespread speculation that many financial jobs based in London might migrate to cities in the rest of Europe, such as Dublin, Paris or Frankfurt, so that the banks concerned could continue to offer their services to EU clients”

    The majority of the public would be glad to see the back of the spivs and speculators who trashed the economy. Bankers also make rotten commuters taking up 2 seats so they can read their broadsheets. You should see them on the Winchester to Waterloo service in the morning… Class A …a-holes

  49. peter cairns

    you must have missed the sequel!


    “I still think the elephant in the room is the Lib Dems.
    Going by the size of the swings we have seen towards the Lib Dems in all elections since the referendum, it’s clear that their actual ballot box support is far greater than 11%”

    “The question I have is are the Lib Dems the new opposition party? In Parliament, not yet obviously. And in the polls, also no. But in terms of ballot box results, they appear to now be in second place by a country mile”

    If you really support what you’re saying then do you expect the Lib/Dems to win both the upcoming Westminster by-elections?.

    I put the recent modest Lib/Dem revival down to mitigating circumstances and the public will again ignore them when real elections come along.

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