ICM’s regular poll for the Guardian came out today, topline voting intention figures are CON 42%(nc), LAB 27%(+1), LDEM 10%(nc), UKIP 12%(-1), GRN 4%(-1). There is no significant change since a fortnight ago and the Conservatives retain a formidable lead.

The poll also asked about expectations of Brexit. People tend to think it will have a negative impact on the economy (by 43% to 38%) and on their own personal finances (34% to 12%), but on the overall way of life in Britain they are slightly more positive (41% expect a positive impact, 36% a negative one). All these answers are, as you would expect, strongly correlated with referendum vote – very few Remainers expect anything good to come of Brexit, very few Leavers expect any negative consequences. Full tabs are here.

For those who’ve missed it, I also have a long piece over on YouGov’s website about the Brexit problem facing Labour and how to respond to it. Labour were already a party whose electoral coalition was under strain, with sharp divides between their more liberal, metropolitian middle-class supporters and their more socially conservative traditional working class support. Brexit splits the party right down that existing fault line and their choice on whether to robustly oppose or accept Brexit will upset one side or another of the Labour family.

More of Labour’s supporters backed Remain than Leave and a substantial minority of Labour voters would be delighted were the party to oppose Brexit. However, such a policy would also drive away a substantial chunk of their support. 20% of people who voted Labour in 2015 say they would be “angry” if Labour opposed Brexit. In contrast, if Labour accept Brexit but campaign for a close relationship with the EU once we leave then while it would delight fewer voters, it would also anger far fewer voters (only 7% of Labour’s 2015 vote would be angry). If Labour’s aim is to keep their electoral coalition together, then a “soft Brexit” would be acceptable to a much wider segment of their support.

Of course it’s more complicated than that. This is only how voters would react right now. Labour may want to gamble on public opinion turning against Brexit in the future and get ahead of the curve. Alternatively, they may think Brexit is such an important issue that Labour should do what they think right and damn the electoral consequences. That’s a matter for the party itself to decide, but in terms of current public opinion I think Jeremy Corbyn’s position on Brexit may actually be the one most likely to keep Labour together. Full article is here.


637 Responses to “ICM/Guardian – CON 42, LAB 27, LD 10, UKIP 12”

1 9 10 11 12 13
  1. @MRJONES

    i’d like spaceports…

    ————-

    They are wondrous things…

  2. @PETE B

    “I want a space elevator in my back garden.”

    ——–

    Might not be much fun if the cable breaks, and you’ve got thousands of miles of cable whipping around at very high speeds…

  3. “Tim Farron lacks the personal appeal and charisma of Clegg, but he is the best of what’s left. I would have liked Simon Hughes to follow Clegg as leader, but he lost his seat and was also probably too old anyway. Farron, to his credit, has tried hard and may be yet in a position to spring a surprise in 2020. Local government is the first way to plant grass roots that can help to bring success at the Westminster level.”

    ———-

    If they keep patiently building, trying to get people to think they’re quite left wing and stuff, the Lib Dems might eventually make it into government as part of a coalition, which would change everything…

  4. Syzygy,
    “I thought Gorsuch was favoured because of his stance on abortion”
    It needs to be born in mind that Trump is not a republican. I have no idea what he really believes and I expect very few do. He has made certain campaign promises, not normal republican views, and seems keen to carry them out, but otherwise he could believe or do anything. He might not choose judges actual republicans would consider ideal. Or he might. Rather the same problem as what May really believes about Brexit.

    Oldnat,
    “The polling still tends to concentrate on the (now rather irrelevant) question of whether the UK should be in the EU or not”
    You are, of course, writing from a scottish perspective, but I am sure Scots will to some degree be influenced by this too. If Brexit is demonstrated to be a disastrous failure, or looks set to become one because of events, it is entirely possible for the UK to do a last minute about turn. Or even if summarily ejected from the EU to have a consensus to rejoin. It is hard to place a probability on this but it is not zero. May would appear to have positioned herself as well as is possible to carry out a U turn on this if necessary.

    Similarly, I would not rule out yet a third Scottish referendum if events now cause a second one in a couple of years, either if it is narrowly lost or won, should England then have a change of heart or a bad Brexit.

    Referenda with narrow results settle nothing, because one side digs its heels in because it won, while the other demands a repeat because it nearly did. What they definitely do is set a precedent for holding another.

    Mr Jones and Carfrew,
    The economy had relied upon massive bank lending, which is also an inflationary process which creates new money. This halted abruptly in 2008, did create a liquidity crisis for all sorts of people including the banks, and shrank the money supply. Whoever may benefit most from QE, it injected money to replace that which the banks were no longer creating, and indeed were fast taking out of existence as they began a program of debt recovery.

    Sea Change,
    “Which politician (or group of politicians) from the last 50 years most closely resembles your beliefs would you say”
    It is so difficult to tell what a politician believes when they seem to believe the same as the last opinion poll said the public believes.

  5. @Danny “It is so difficult to tell what a politician believes when they seem to believe the same as the last opinion poll said the public believes.”

    – I take your point, however there have been many conviction politicians in the last 50 years. And even conviction politicians can change their opinions when they see that perhaps their beliefs have been proved by experience to have been incorrect or unskilful from a national interest perspective.

    We are often too hard on people who take up this mantle. Great politicians require some flexibility due to the nature of events and at the same time need to have a backbone of conviction to be taken seriously.

    I’m certainly interested in which kind of people in politics or history represent people’s convictions on this forum. And I asked Tancred because I find his particular matrix of beliefs as interesting and unusual.

  6. There might be conviction politicians, but there seem to be precious few in the commons right now, since they all seem to have changed their minds just because some of the nation disagrees with them.

    As a case in point I was just catching up on ‘This week’ and they showed a clip of Theresa May responding to Jeremy Corbyn that it is only possible to spend more on the NHS if there are policies in place to boost the economy, and only her party can provide these. Yet all the moves coming from government indicate they intend to proceed with Brexit, and they expect it to negatively impact the national finances. May would therefore appear to be guilty of some sort of hypocrisy. I do not wish to make this party political, because it is a typical situation for a politician to be in, brexit is merely our current crisis. Politicians are seldom ones of real conviction.

  7. Danny

    You seem to be confusing pragmatism – which includes facing up to current realities – with a lack of conviction.

    Some politicians may well have little true convictions – but to be a great politician you have to have the convictions and the pragmatism, recognising what you can achieve and not achieve in the current climate as well as seeking to influence the agenda and public perception. And also recognising the changed circumstances that events create.

    For instance, if I were an MP today I would be in the situation of having voted Remain – does this mean I should vote against A50? No. Does this mean then that I’m not a conviction politician? NO. Here’s why. There were essentially 3 possible outcomes to the EU referendum:

    1. Remain wins and we stay in the EU – basically end of story, despite ongoing grumbles and further campaigns to leave no doubt.

    2. Leave wins and we leave the EU by whatever process(es) the current government, with consultation, can best work out. etc etc blah blah blah.

    3. Leave wins and the government / Parliament rules it’s not in our best interests so we Remain after all.

    This is obviously a bit simplified, but not much tbh.

    My best option was 1 – but it didn’t happen. My 2nd best option was 2. The absolutely TERRIBLE option, which would give us the worst of all worlds (I most definitely include economically in this, even though I thought we should have stayed in the EU for economic reasons), due to the utter confusion and also social unrest it would unleash, is Option 3.

    The current danger is from ardent Remainers still in denial about the result, and therefore threatening 3 as an outcome – although I’d add I don’t think the PM will be pushed about by them. Still, even if she’s not, it unleashes other consequences – such as playing straight into SNP’s hands and their desire to stir this whole thing up as a justification for seeking Independence again ASAP. Just the instability we don’t need right now, quite frankly.

    It’s not that difficult to see why you can be a conviction political who supported Remain but is committed to seeing the referendum result through, if you take ‘events’ into account.

  8. @BT

    I couldn’t have put that better. Totally agree.

  9. @Danny
    ”1. Remain wins and we stay in the EU – basically end of story, despite ongoing grumbles and further campaigns to leave no doubt.
    2. Leave wins and we leave the EU by whatever process(es) the current government, with consultation, can best work out. etc etc blah blah blah.
    3. Leave wins and the government / Parliament rules it’s not in our best interests so we Remain after all.”

    Think you have left out he obvious,
    4. Leave wins and we leave the EU by whatever process(es) the current government can achieve that has the agreement of Parliament.

    Parliamentary democracy must prevail, otherwise what have the leave supporters been fighting for.

  10. @ Colin

    “Trump nearer to the European public mood than Merkel it seems !”

    Nice to see the diverging worldviews.

    My Republican friend posted the following on Facebook this morning:

    “70% now oppose a ban on refugees from Iraq and Syria. 60% now oppose the suspension of all refugee admission. By 50-44, most say they oppose the immigration order and more say it makes us less safe rather than more safe. This is a change from public opinion just two weeks ago.
    This is all by way of saying that what you’re doing is working. Keep at it.”

    This is from the Quinnipiac poll.

  11. @danny

    Sure, the banks create new money, but you will note that despite this, before the crash, inflation was hardly out if control. Because we didn’t have full employment.

    Yes to some extent QE was compensatory, but there was so much of it, hundreds of billions, because it wasn’t just about compensating but also getting rid of toxic debt, and getting the banks to buy government debt and so on. Hence according to BoE, QE did contribute to growth, but again, not much inflation. Hundreds of billions of QE, and hardly any inflation.

    In the Sixties, with full employment, was much easier to get inflation…

  12. @ Tancred

    “I wouldn’t celebrate yet. Gorsuch will join the Supreme Court soon and Trump will have a Republican majority there. Trump will stall until Gorsuch joins and then appeal to the Supreme Court.
    I still believe Trump will get his way in the end.”

    That’s not how the legal system works.

    @ Old Nat

    Would Thatcher have been nearly as effective as she was if the United Kingdom had federalism? Could you imagine Scotland filing suit every time she did something objectionable?

  13. @NeilJ: “Parliamentary democracy must prevail, otherwise what have the leave supporters been fighting for.”

    The answer is that Leave supporters want the country ruled by a Parliament and government that they elect.

    But that doesn’t mean that they want that Parliament to decide whether or not that Parliament should rule or whether EU institutions should rule.

    In contrast, many on the Remain side are indifferent to Parliament being cut out of the picture when it comes to making European laws, but talk of nothing but Parliamentary Sovereignty when it comes to overruling public opinion.

    The oddity in all this is that, were an election held, it is quite possible that we would have a Leave (or rather leave plus “respect referendum”) majority, on a minority of the vote for parties with that position. This would quite likely happen if Labour defected – we really don’t know from the polls how much more movement to UKIP there might be from hardcore Labour voters. There is not the Scotland style tipping point yet, which could happen any time or never.

    I wonder whether on this scenario many who currently emphasise Parliamentary Sovereignty would switch to counting electoral votes nationwide. It would not be an unreasonable position – factoring in how much people care enough about Europe to change their vote.

  14. “Barclays said official production and services turnover data showed growth in the second half of 2016 was “driven primarily by export-led demand”, with domestic growth “broadly flat” over the same period.

    “Exporters appear to be in the driving seat,” said analysts Andrzej Szczepaniak and Fabrice Montagne.
    Martin Beck, an economist at Oxford Economics, said there were signs that growth was becoming a little less reliant on consumer spending.
    “The week offered some glimmers that a rebalancing in economic activity away from consumption and towards production and exports may be in train,” he said.”

    DT

    Here’s hoping !

  15. With the implosion of Fillon & rise of Macron, the test bed for Populist Politics turns to the Dutch Election , where a plethora of parties & rise of PVV threatens to produce an unstable coalition.

    http://www.economist.com/news/europe/21716643-geert-wilders-dragging-all-dutch-politics-nationalist-direction-netherlands

  16. @BT

    Pretty much how I feel. Parliament decided to have a referendum, the Tories won an election with it in their manifesto, Remain lost. We leave. As Dimbleby said ‘We’re out’.

    So best to get on with it, and do the best you can to achieve a mutually satisfactory exit.

    Likewise with the Scottish Indy Ref. It was held, and the Scots voted to remain in the UK. Those wanting away lost. So that’s that for a considerable period of time. Ten years at least, in my view.

    I’m not a big fan of referenda, but if you have one, you must abide by the result for a significant period of time, imho.

  17. CARFREW

    What I can tell you is that my carrot crop was the best ever last year and we produced about 4 months supply.

    :-)

  18. S THOMAS

    Your 5.54 post on Germany was very accurate. Yet another reason for leaving the EU.

  19. Can anyone explain to me why the Govt cannot make the Brexit bill a Manifesto bill for the Lords?

    It would certainly be a reasonable thing to do. The Manifesto said the Conservative govt would present a straight in/out referendum to decide our future in Europe. The referendum was held, and the govt document sent to all voters said that the vote would decide whether we stay or go (regardless of legalistic arguments about documents lodged in the HoC library – relevant for the law but not for politics. Further it is long established that a Manifesto bill need not be specifically quoted in the Manifesto, only that it is reasonably implied by the Manifesto. The Brexit bill easily passes that test.

    Further, this discussion of the Salisbury Addison convention https://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/jt200506/jtselect/jtconv/265/26506.htm
    sections 100 onwards make it quite clear that it is up to the Commons what is a Manifesto bill and the Lords get no say in the matter.

    So why haven’t they?

  20. OLDNAT

    “That May intends to do precisely that, seems clear from her non-response to the Scottish Government’s compromise proposals.”

    I have not seen any compromise proposals that would meet the UK wide vote to leave the EU. I have seen proposals which keep us in some parts of the EU but that is not really a compromise.

  21. @ CARFREW
    “If they keep patiently building, trying to get people to think they’re quite left wing and stuff, the Lib Dems might eventually make it into government as part of a coalition, which would change everything…”

    I genuinely thing it’s going to be a long, long road for the Lib Dems, a large % of the “third way” voters feel / felt sold out by the 2010 coalition in exchange for power and not much to show for it….

    One has to ask the question, had the Orange Books not signed on the line with Cameron and Osborne, where would this country be now? Would we have Brexit, would we have a massive political rebellion in Scotland?

    Had they held back and cynically allowed the Tories in 2010 to limp into minority rule, then they could have actually gained a lot more of their aims through a new election that would have followed within a year…..

  22. Re the LD’s and why they are winning local by elections but only rising slowly in nationwide polls. There is an interesting piece on the PB site which covers this ground and makes sense to me. In 2020 I am sure the LD’s will target recovering seats they lost in 2015, especially those seats with a strong remain vote.

  23. @jonesinbangor

    well, my comment might have been a trifle tongue-in-cheek, but yes, it’s interesting to consider what might have happened. But they so badly misread the electorate and their political opponents that they might easily have made a horlicks of whatever situation they were in.

  24. @toh

    “I have not seen any compromise proposals that would meet the UK wide vote to leave the EU. I have seen proposals which keep us in some parts of the EU but that is not really a compromise.”

    Then you should read the Scottish Government’s proposal. Unless you think Iceland is in the EU. Or you have a unique definition of compromise.

  25. TOH: ” the UK wide vote to leave the EU. ”

    I assume this is deliberately provocative as you must be aware that Scotand and NI voted to remain.

    If I were a native of one of the non-English parts of the UK, I suspect this sort of (seemingly) deliberate belittling of national aspirations is the sort of thing that would make me want to see the back of the arrogant English. I wonder if there is any polling of how people in Scotland, N Ireland and Wales perceive the English? And whether the English really do see the other constituent parts of the UK as inferior and faintly comical?

  26. @Pete B

    “I want a space elevator in my back garden.”

    Unless you live on the equator that’s not going to be possible.

  27. @ JOSEPH1832

    ‘The answer is that Leave supporters want the country ruled by a Parliament and government that they elect.
    But that doesn’t mean that they want that Parliament to decide whether or not that Parliament should rule or whether EU institutions should rule.
    In contrast, many on the Remain side are indifferent to Parliament being cut out of the picture when it comes to making European laws, but talk of nothing but Parliamentary Sovereignty when it comes to overruling public opinion.’

    Neatly put.

    For some reason, I keep thinking of parallels with the internal travails of the LP :)

  28. Some quite interesting Brexit related news coming out of Brussels this morning.

    Guy Verhofstadt has been politely telling Davis where to get off after he told the HoC that the EU Parliament would only have a ‘peripheral’ role in the Brexit negotiations. GV pointed out in rather understated terms, that the constitution requires parliament to approve any deal, so Davis appears to be seriously off beam in his assessment.

    More relevantly, GV stated that there would be insufficient time to negotiate a trade deal before Brexit, and that the EU would not do this, with a transitional deal from 2019 once detailed trade talks commenced. Interestingly, he also thinks the EU will insist on the UK remaining under ECJ adjudication during this transitional period, which may be problematical.

    Elsewhere, it is being reported that the EU has agreed a £49b payment will be required from the UK as part of the divorce settlement.

    These are clearly pre negotiation noises at present, but ones that need to be listened to. It looks like the EU parliament will be the first EI institution to respond to the formal A50 triggering, which again is significant, as their demands will have to be placed before the negotiators for the deal to have any chance of success.

    We are very shortly going to start to see the real position now, and this is going to concentrate quite a few minds within the UK. Regardless of the political scene, businesses will be watching this very carefully, and this, more even that what goes on in parliament, will be what may needs to keep an eye on.

  29. @JOSEPH1832 “‘The answer is that Leave supporters want the country ruled by a Parliament and government that they elect.
    But that doesn’t mean that they want that Parliament to decide whether or not that Parliament should rule or whether EU institutions should rule. In contrast, many on the Remain side are indifferent to Parliament being cut out of the picture when it comes to making European laws, but talk of nothing but Parliamentary Sovereignty when it comes to overruling public opinion.’

    That sums up the situation we find ourselves in. A Parliament that has representatives that do not representative the country’s wishes on this point.

    The Tory high command realises this and is ensuring Brexit goes ahead unfettered. Credit to Corbyn as well who also realises the same.

  30. Somerjohn

    “I assume this is deliberately provocative as you must be aware that Scotand and NI voted to remain.”

    No slur was intended to either Scotland or Northern Ireland. If people take it like that then I apologise. All I was trying to do was to state a fact. The referendum was a UK Vote and the UK voted to leave.

    As it happens Northern Ireland and Scotland voted to remain as did most of Surrey where I live, London, and other places, but that doesn’t matter IMO , it was a UK vote. I like to deal in facts and that is a fact..

    I have great regard for Scotland, and I have an interest in it’s history as I am sure OLDNAT would confirm. I also have a great regard for Northern Ireland which I have visited many times especially during the troubles, and for Wales, as well as England. I am a quarter Welsh as it happens.I am a Unionist and I hope the Union stays together. I rather suspect it will despite all the talk at present.

  31. Back to polling.

    Central to Paul Nuttall’s pitch has been that UKIP can take working class voters away from Labour.

    In this blog post, researchers from the LSE argue, from polling evidence, that this is unlikely, using a longitudinal study of a long-term voter panel, and more detailed analysis of social class than is feasible in the usual opinion polls.

    For more detail and rigour, the authors include links to the formal academic studies that form the basis of their reasoning.

    http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandpolicy/working-class-votes-and-conservative-losses-solving-the-ukip-puzzle/

  32. Also useful from the LSE politics blog, is this discussion of party loyalty and vote switching behaviour.

    http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandpolicy/55285-2/

  33. Alec

    Davies position is quite understandable. The Commission and the Council have both made it clear that the negotiating team appointed by the Commission will conduct all negotiations, and no one else. For the time being, that is how it stands.. Verhofstadt made clear his anger at this at the time, but I doubt that it means very much. In fact, IIRC you yourself have criticized May for ‘going behind the back’ of these negotiators by talking to individuals outside that team. Verhofstadt is one such individual; he doesn’t like being sidelined and is trying very hard to work some space.

    His remarks were I suspect more addressed to the Council rather than Davies. He doesn’t approve of the Council constantly ignoring the Parliament, and I can’t say I blame him. It doesn’t mean anything though, the Parliament have yet to find a way to acquire any power or real influence in these matters. They will get to vote on the final deal, which will be the choice “this or argmageddon”. The same as our Parliament.

    His remarks about the ECJ are just another kite. He has been saying that the UK will be subject to the ECJ for years and years for a while now, and he keeps coming up with different ‘reasons’. It looks more like political positioning than anything real.

  34. @Alec

    Well Davis was only expounding the situation in Europe. Verhofstadt was sidelined by the Commission and the Council and was furious about it. It’s true that the EU Parliament has to ratify the agreement but the Parliament does not negotiate. In this case that will be a mixture of the Commission and the Council. If the leaders of the Council are happy with the deal they will instruct their parties in the Parliament to vote for it. The biggest hurdle is the Council and Commission not the Parliament.

  35. Carfrew,
    “Sure, the banks create new money, but you will note that despite this, before the crash, inflation was hardly out if control. Because we didn’t have full employment.”
    I don’t have the figures, but I strongly suspect UK cash was bleeding abroad. This would be consistent with the long term trend of a steadily falling pound. Demand was being met by a very ready supply of cheap imports.

    BT Says,
    I think the reasoning and decision making about what happens after the referendum result went on well before the decision to place it in the manifesto. In many ways what we got was the worst possible result, not because of which way it went but because it was indecisive. The conservatives were poised to jump which ever way as necessary, but the huge risk with the indecisive result is that the public may change its mind. Its no good making arguments abour democracy in action if the public doesnt agree with what is being done in their name.

    So far there seems to be some reluctant acceptance of the result by remain, but fundamentally they still believe we are better off in. Moreover, the leave camp is plainly divided on how hard a brexit they fancy. There continues to be no national consensus.

    I dont think this demonstrates any conviction by politicians whatsoever, except to get reelected by whatever route presents. Conviction is demonstrated by Ken Clarke, who also admitted it is easier for him to stick by because he is retiring anyway.

  36. A brief observation on a possible benefit of a little inflation: it can allow house prices to fall in real terms without trashing the banks.

  37. Millie

    I remember the head of the Danish Central bank, at that time the longest serving Central Bank head, saying that the jury was out on whether very low inflation was a good thing. He went against the prevailing tide of ‘0% inflation would be wonderful’, and expressed the view that about 2% is probably where you want it. I think he was right.

    That fits very well with the realisation (at least in some quarters) that once you get below about a 2-3% Bank rate, cutting the rate doesn’t in fact stimulate the economy, and according to some (e.g. Janet Yellen) has a negative effect.

  38. Roger

    Your post to Alec. Well said I was about to post somehing similar.

    Your post to Millie. Again I agree I think the BoE’s target of 2% is one of the better financial targets.

  39. TOH

    Thank you for your kind remarks. As my post seems have aroused no interest, do you have any idea why May is not making the Brexit Bill a Manifesto Bill?

    My only suggestion is that, looking at the previous remarks from Lord Fowler, he has agreed that it will be treated as a Manifesto bill, but both parties would rather not see that mechanism actually used.

  40. RODGER

    @” It looks more like political positioning than anything real.”

    Absolutely-VH is a rent-a-mouth for the worst aspects of EU sanctimony. The other side of the coin to Farage as it were.

    I can’t see the National Leaders letting go of key decisions on Brexit.

  41. OLDNAT @ SEA CHANGE
    2018 referendum?

    Re indyref2, surely the SG will not bring the legislation forward before HMG trigger A50, as they will be legally entitled to do, if or when the HoL vote in favour of the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill 2016-17 at third reading. Whether HMG decide or become entitled to pull the trigger within May’s timescale remains to be seen, of course.

    Even once the trigger is pulled, the Dublin court action on the ability to withdraw A50, may influence the timing of the SG, and in the meantime HMG might even read the SG paper and agree with it.

    In practice, I suspect the earliest time the legislation can sensibly be brought forward by Holyrood will be late this year, with the referendum date being set either for late October 2018 or early March 2019.

  42. Colin,

    Yes, I have long thought that the Brexit negotiations will go round in circles until 1 minute to midnight, when the most powerful voices (and who will they be at the beginning of 2019?) on the Council will step in and decide what’s what. Why do I think that? It’s what they usually do.

    Not that the previous work will be wasted. It will give a useful crop of ideas, positions and possible mechanisms from which the deal will be built. Unless of course they just decide to let it all go pear shaped. That’s what Juncker wants.

    BTW I have long thought that Juncker was in favour of Brexit from the start and did his best to bring it about. After all, he won’t get his European Army without it. Where does he want it to fight? Why is that question so funny?

  43. Rodger

    She may be giving them enough rope to hang themselves.Although abolition is not yet on the cards a timely reform (in broad outline) until the next election would be to restrict the number of voting peers to 200 and divide them in direct proportion to the national vote percentage. She might think of appointing some UKIP peers before hand.

    Alec

    as to this £49bn so called leaving bill. This was suggested by our friends Germany and France as an appropriate sum. It is ,of course, described as the leaving bill but represents, in fact, Liabilities incurred by the UK during the currency of its membership. I would be interested to see where these liabilities that w e have allegedly incurrred appear recorded in our National debt or the national debt provisions of Germany and France?
    no doubt if we stayed we would still be liable for these sums but they would get bigger. Who authorised the EC to commit Members to unfunded liabilities outside the agreed budget. ?

  44. I would agree with the various posts regarding GV, except that to draw parallels with the take or leave it offer to the UK and EU parliaments is to miss the point.

    The prevailing mood in the EU is certainly not that no deal would be armageddon for the EU. Even in finance, where there are some concerns, these are not as great as made out by some, and certainly less than the concerns in the UK.

    It is true that the EU negotiators have rather shunted the parliament aside in terms of the actual negotiating team, but their views still need to be considered, as there really isn’t a great deal stopping the parliament from votong down the deal if they don’t like it – unlike Westminster, where that really would be a nuclear option.

    The response to this on hear does smack of the innate sense among many Brexit supporters of ‘they’ll do what we want’ kind of complacency.

    A few shocks coming, I feel.

  45. @Rodger ” the Parliament have yet to find a way to acquire any power or real influence in these matters. ”
    and they are the people we elect as MEPs.
    That I believe is one reason against being in the EU.

  46. RODGER @ TOH
    [D]o you have any idea why May is not making the Brexit Bill a Manifesto Bill?

    See the 2015 Conservative Party Manifesto, where it can be donloaded in PDF.

    P74 of the PDF includes 5 bullet points under the heading Our commitment to you:

    We will
    * give you a say over whether we should stay in or leave the EU, with an in-out referendum by the end of 2017

    * commit to keeping the pound and staying out of the Eurozone

    * reform the workings of the EU, which is too big, too bossy and too bureaucratic

    * reclaim power from Brussels on your behalf and safeguard British interests in the Single Market

    * back businesses to create jobs in Britain by completing ambitious trade deals and reducing red tape

    Perhaps HMG’s current apparent disdain of the Single Market is the problem. That commitment seems to have been forgotten and might seem somewhat conflicting if that bit of the manifesto has to be argued.

  47. Alec

    I suggest that if the Parliament votes down the deal, the Council and Commission will just proceed with it anyway and ignore the vote. That is what they have always done when the Parliament has voted down the budgetary changes, and the ECJ will support the Council, if asked. It would all phrased as ‘interim measures’, ’emergency procedures’ etc, but it would come down to the same thing.

  48. Saffer

    Thanks for the links.

    I’m not too surprised by the first one (actually what I expected and experienced, but good to see the data.

    I have some reservations about the second one, but I guess they will try to validate the propositions.

  49. @Mrs Thomas – “Who authorised the EC to commit Members to unfunded liabilities outside the agreed budget. ?”

    Ummm – we did.

    Incidentally, this wasn’t what the Germans asked for – they wanted a higher figure.

    No idea if this shows on national debt accounts. Probably not, which puts it the same bracket as UK pensions, PFI etc.

    Haven’t we got a useless government, not doing their sums properly.

  50. Barbazenzero

    Fair comment about the Single Market undertaking in the Manifesto, I hadn’t noticed it. However, it would not be the first time that one Manifesto commitment has turned out to be in conflict another, and that has never stopped govts saying “it’s in the Manifesto”. As it seems to be the govt, and the govt alone, who decide what is a Manifesto bill it would not stop them.

    I remember when Osborn had his Statutory Instrument on Welfare spending overturned in the Lords, the Commons speaker pointed out that had it been a Bill, he could have forced it through, but not a SI.

1 9 10 11 12 13