Ipsos MORI’s monthly political monitor for the Evening Standard came out earlier today. Topline voting intention figures are CON 40%(-3), LAB 29%(-2), LDEM 13%(+2), UKIP 9%(+3). The Tory lead remains pretty steady (note that the increase in the UKIP vote is probably largely a reversion to the mean following an anomolous 6% last month).

Satisfaction ratings with the party leaders are plus 17 for Theresa May (53% are satisfied, 36% are disatisfied) and minus 38 for Jeremy Corbyn (24% satisfied and 62% disatisfied). That includes 22% of Tory voters who say that are “satisfied” with Corbyn’s leadership… I suspect they don’t mean that in a complementary way.

Nothing else has been published yet (MORI normally ask a few other questions, but I expect they’ve held them back to give the Standard another story), all the details so far are over here.


538 Responses to “Ipsos MORI/Standard – CON 40, LAB 29, LD 13, UKIP 9”

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  1. Jim Jam: ” I took Somerjohn’s Laggards to be non-EZ members, Denmark, Sweden etc not weak Economies within the EZ Zone”

    Indeed. The first and second divisions of the same league, with relegation and promotion possible. And a strong and democratic FA in charge!

    So I think that Greece, for instance, could opt out of the first division, while still retaining use of the euro.

    And I think that some taxation and spending could be done at EU level, allowing for transfer payments to support weaker regions, without it seemingly so obviously transfers from the richer countries.

    A favourite candidate for me as an EU-levied tax would be one on fossil fuel imports (oil and refined products; coal; gas etc).

  2. This is far more useful as it’s per capita GDP per state and shows it’s more than twice as high for the top states as the lowest.

    See if you can guess where all the politicians and lobbists to live?

    Peter.

  3. EU citizens

    It is all very well to emote about them and engage in virtue signalling but TM is correct to adopt a cautious approach:

    1. When is the cut off time? the date ref was called; the 24th june;A50 day?
    2. Should it be for people in work or/and those related to UK citizens or everybody;
    3. Should it include persons who have been convicted of serious criminal offences, those currently serving prison sentences or those who have been deported but have returned illegally:should it include those currently engaged in organised benefit fraud who are currently living outside the uK but to whom benefit is being paid but collected by crime rings?
    4.If they are given a right to stay does that alter their status in the UK? Do they acquire voting rights? Are health charges still recoverable from their country of origin? Does it alter their rights to benefits?
    These are complicated questions easily answered by those who have not thought about them (if that is not illogical)

  4. @S Thomas

    There is also a discrepancy in the numbers. There are 3.15 million EU citizens in the UK but only 900,000 Brits in the EU. See

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/jan/27/fewer-britons-in-rest-of-europe-than-previously-thought-ons-research

    If we’re going to accept more than three times the number that they are, we need compensation for it. Such as them waiving all those eurocrat pension liabilities they want to stick on us.

    And I expect if there is no deal, we keep 900,000 EU citizens automatically based on seniority (how long they’ve been here), and the rest are subject to the rules we apply to non-EU citizens. So a bunch of people will get denied residency, and Mrs May gets a win on the immigration front even if she gets no trade deal. But that of course would be the nuclear option.

  5. S Thomas,

    “These are complicated questions easily answered by those who have not thought about them (if that is not illogical)”

    Not illogical just crass!

    They get the same rights as everyone else from the day we decide!

    We don’t restrict the rights and benefits of those convicted of serious crime.
    We do convict them and send them to prison but on release they are treated like anyone else.

    People who return illegally are committing a crime and therefore can be deported, if they are an EU citizen they aren’t here illegally. But we can deport them and then if they return that’s an offence.

    We can refuse entry to anyone even EU citizens now, if we have just cause.

    Organised benefit fraud is a crime and you can be arrested and charged and have your benefit entitlement restricted or removed, that applies to everyone.

    None of these are “Complicated” questions, except perhaps for you!

    Peter.

  6. S Thomas

    I think Candy answered your complicated question: exchange 3 potatoes with 5 broccolis and you are in balance.

  7. I have stumbled across some interesting analyses of Brexit by Kirsty Hughes. from the Centre on Constitutional Change. She is also a Fellow on Friends of Europe.

    This post, ” After Brexit: The English question surfaces” seeks to explore the tensions that are likely to arise in the UK after Brexit begins to happen. Not only is Scotland involved but the two sides to English nationalism.

    “In making restricting migrants a red line in its current negotiating position, and seeking to remove the UK from the Single Market, the May government appears to be ready and willing to heed the voices of the dispossessed of England. And yet it faces immense obstacles in delivering on this promise. This version of Brexit requires a re-assertion of the powers and ethos of the unitary state which are in profound tension with the multi-tiered, asymmetric polity that the UK has turned itself into, since devolution. It looks likely to generate profound conflict with Scotland, and may pave the way for a further Independence Referendum, and also with London and its financial services industries, a vital source of tax revenue for a state still seeking to reduce its public spending.”

  8. More on Universal Basic Income (UBI) / Citizens Income (CI) – take your pick on terminology.

    First, a good rundown of arguments, both for and against. Note that it has some support from both left and right of the political spectrum – and also opposition on both sides. In the UK, it is attracting from some in the Labour Party and unions – and also opposition. (I think the Greens have formally endorsed it as policy, but that is not referred to in this report).

    https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/feb/19/basic-income-finland-low-wages-fewer-jobs?

    Also, not that Glasgow is reported to be “considering” a pilot, and funding an initial study into “how it might work”. (But at just £5000, that initial study can be no more than very preparatory indeed).

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-38991320

  9. STHOMAS

    I think you’re right that there are difficult questions – but they are as much about ‘How’ as ‘what’. How do we register 3 milllion people in a short period of time? How do we apply different rules (if that is what is required) to them without registering everyone else as well?

    So far the Home Office has shown itself to be totally incompetent. And it’s a big job.

    CANDY

    If they do start splitting families to send people back – the ‘nuclear option’ you suggest – it will also split the Tory Party. But I don’t think you’ve thought about it very deeply.

  10. @TOH – “I’m trying but when you and others write stuff that I think fundamentally wrong I feel it necessary to put the other view.”

    So stop complaining!

    Jeez.

  11. Colin

    Thanks for the link to the LSE/De Grauwe paper.

    it’s interesting, and essentially says that for the eurozone to work, the ECB needs to be strengthened and become a lender of last resort; some portion of national debt needs to be pooled; and central institutions need to be created for some portion of tax and spending.

    I think that ties in pretty well with the two-speed EU I was advocating. Doing the things De Grauwe suggests will take political will and commitment. It can’t be forced on reluctant members. So do it with those willing and able; the others can hop aboard later if and when they want to. And who knows: the second division may one day welcome back a club that opted for non-league status!

  12. Dr Hughes post “Canada Dry” seeks to shed light on how UK/EU discussions will go, on what we know so far.

    From her post I take it that:
    there will be great difficulties for Northern Ireland and Ireland:

    if there is a customs co-operation agreement, those companies that operate on a “just-in -time” system will have to re-locate. Does Nissan car building operate on that basis?

    The time scales may mean an “end of cliff” scenario

    http://www.centreonconstitutionalchange.ac.uk/blog/canada-dry-where-next-uk-eu-brexit-talks

    But Brussels knows very well how to negotiate a basic third-country trade deal; it’s just done that – after seven years – with Canada (amongst many others). And if that’s the end goal, then there is, at least, some clarity there.

    Of course, the Canada trade deal barely covers services. And anyone hoping for a ‘Canada-plus’ deal that gives the UK a better services deal than Canada is likely to be disappointed. The EU27 may offer some form of ‘regulatory equivalence’ to different service sectors. But this is unilateral – a one-way offer from Brussels which can be withdrawn. The EU deal on regulatory equivalence with the US on financial services took four years to sort out.”

    “Barriers to trade will abound: Currently, forty per cent of UK service sector exports go to the EU. With new barriers in place, these exports will surely fall.

    Non-tariff barriers, rules of origin and other customs procedures will undermine those sectors that currently rely on cross-border supply chains, especially those that depend on low cost and just-in-time connections from the UK to other EU member states.

    Some sort of border between Ireland (in the customs union) and northern Ireland (outside the customs union) is inevitable – even if it can be managed to the level of camera checks on lorries’ number plates and some random pull-over process on some but not all traffic (as at the Norway-Sweden border – but those two countries are both in the single market).”

    ” There is no special customs deal available: The UK as a third country outside the EU cannot be part of the EU customs union, and May says she doesn’t want to be anyway but she will explore some partial deal. The EU view is clear – an individual customs union deal, like Turkey’s could be feasible. But outside the EU’s common external tariff and common trade policy, there is no special deal to be done – just a standard customs cooperation arrangement. Companies with just-in-time supply chains will need to relocate.”


    “Getting to a transitional deal looks tricky: Both sides are admitting in occasional statements that some sort of transitional period will be necessary. The EU27 are unlikely to agree this early on – so uncertainty will continue. A transition requires an idea of the final trade deal aimed at; and it requires the divorce deal to be complete.

    The EU27 will demand that if the UK wants to stay inside any EU programmes or areas for a transitional period that they will fully respect EU rules, including the role of the ECJ. Will the UK sign up to this or not?

    The transitional period might also be staggered – for instance it could take a year for economic actors on both sides to get ready for new customs and rules of origins rules. But it could take four years (or longer) to negotiate a Canada-dry trade deal – and if that deal included tariff-free trade in goods, there would be no point putting tariffs on in the interim period from 2019 on.

    The EU will want a clear end-point on transitional arrangements, probably at most four years. So if a free trade deal takes longer than that to negotiate, the UK could still face a cliff-edge, where it has to revert to WTO rules for a few years.”

  13. Peter Cairns

    so for example a Latvian man convicted of child murder in this country should under a sweeping undertaking be given a “right “to remain in the Uk on the same basis as everybody else.
    An arrangement can be made but these need to be considered properly. Good luck when lords propose this and the newspapers start putting examples to them and get them to justify this to to families.If you think the High court got it in the neck i predict you aint seen nothing yet.

    Still simple minds rarely see the issues.

  14. @Patrick Brian

    Remember the nuclear option only comes into effect if there is no deal.

    Voters will understand, as will the Conservative Party. They’ll simply say, we tried, but those Europeans don’t give a toss about their own citizens, what could we do?

    Like I’ve said before, any European who wants to stay here needs to lobby their own govt to make a deal with us. Otherwise their govts will assume that their citizens don’t mind being chucked out and will negotiate accordingly.

  15. I find any talk of sending “back” EU citizens that are presently resident here absolutely abhorrent, and I’m sure there is no intention whatsoever amongst serious politicians to even go there.

    There are issues to resolve, but it’s a matter for civilised negotiations, not rhetoric and rabble rousing that’s causing completely unnecessary anxiety for real people who will continue to be our fellow citizens after Brexit.

    It would also be political suicide to enact such cruelty.

  16. S Thomas,

    I think Peter is saying what I am that we should make it clear that EU Citizens living in the UK will have the right to remain without waiting for the reciprocity in the negotiations.

    All the PM would be doing for now is saying that we will do the right thing whatever the EU decide (we all know they will reciprocate in the end anyhow) but it easy to add that precise details who, how long etc still need to be worked out. Criminals would be part of the detailed negotiations.

    Giving certainty as early as possible to many law abiding EU citizens who in most cased have contributed positively to our society is a moral issue for may of us.
    Perhaps this is the kind of matter that distinguished left and right or (my admittedly biased view) progressives and reactionaries.

    I would be interested to hear the views of moderate Tories on this board on this?

    I think this along with the child refugee back-tracking is the kind of thing that signals that a politician once identified as giving the impression that the Tories are the nasty party.

  17. JonesinBangor
    “It would also be political suicide to enact such cruelty.”

    I wonder. It might lose the government your vote, but I suspect they may never have had it anyway.

  18. SOMERJOHN

    Two Speeds is clearly on their Agenda-but not everyone is happy about it.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/feb/14/plans-for-two-speed-eu-risk-split-with-peripheral-members

    It could easily end up as just more factions & fudges. But that would certainly be the EU way of doing things.

    In fairness they have no choice but to take these sticking plaster solutions. There is no political mandate for Total Fiscal Union. The stresses between economic & fiscal imperatives; and the will of voters must be at their greatest just now.

  19. S THOMAS

    @”These are complicated questions easily answered by those who have not thought about them ”

    With our Civil Service that could certainly be true !

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/feb/18/eu-citizens-right-to-stay-britain-chaos

  20. CANDY

    I can assure you, EU citizens certainly are lobbying their own governments. But those governments tend to react with shock at the sheer incompetence of the Home Office and the apparent indifference of the Government to a lot of very genuine distress. The fact is, it’s mainly OUR problem.

    I think you’re wrong about the ‘nuclear option’ anyway. If we can’t do a deal with the EU as a whole on this, it will be up to each individual country, as countries in the EU control their own immigration laws. Spain has loads of old Brits on pensions. Poland have almost a million here, and almost none of ours there. With France, Germany, Holland, there’s a rough equivalence of numbers here and there. Sounds like a lot of work for our plucky negotiators!

    If we end up with tit for tat expulsions, a lot of people will suffer. And the economy of course.

  21. Colin: “In fairness they have no choice but to take these sticking plaster solutions.”

    Well, I think going for a two-speed Europe is rather more fundamental than a sticking plaster. And anyway, isn’t all politics about compromise, incremental change and finding the least-worst option? We’ll see plenty of that as we in Britain work our way through the next three or four years.

  22. S Thomas,

    Your hypothetical child murderer would be covered by the rules that apply now, namely that even after 10 years or more they could be deported on grounds of Public policy such as ;

    “Public policy or public security decisions to deport someone should be “proportionate”, and based exclusively on the behaviour of the individual involved!”

    Deportation of a Child murderer is clearly a “Proportionate” response!

    Denying equal rights to over 3m people because at some future date one might turn out to be “A Wronging” is little better than Trumpism!

    You are right about the tabloid response as like benefit fraud it’s a classic wolf whistle wedge issue. You highlight and hype the acts of a small unrepresentative sample and use that against the vast majority who have done nothing wrong.

    What’s your next plan, make them wear arm bands.

    Peter.

    Peter.

  23. PatrickBrian – “I can assure you, EU citizens certainly are lobbying their own governments”

    In that case a deal will be done and you have nothing whatsoever to be worried about.

    I think that lots of the “fear” comes from the belief that the European countries will put the EU and the Commission’s views above that of the needs of each country.

    That is not the case. For example, take Poland. They have approx 900,000 citizens here. And they also want us to be both committed to NATO and to use our influence on Trump (it hasn’t escaped anyone’s notice that ourselves and Canada are the only countries he hasn’t dissed, he was even disciplined enough not to respond to Bercow’s announcement!). Will they jeopardise that to pander to Merkel? I doubt it, given how they’ve faced her down over the migrants.

    Similarly with Spain. According to the link I posted further up, there are approx 309,000 Brits in Spain, of whom about 108,000 are pensioners. Britain also buys a lot of Spanish agricultural produce and sends a lot of tourists. Spain can’t afford for us not to buy their stuff, so they will likely pressure the negotiators to keep trade open and offer to keep the Brits in return.

    And so on and so forth.

    There is a deal to be done that makes everyone happy if the govts are in control of the negotiating. If the Commission is in control and it puts it’s survival ahead of all other considerations, then of course all bets are off. But I expect they’ll get pushed back sharply if it looks like they are jeopardising the interests of the member states.

  24. for the avoidance of doubt and having a number of europeans as close family members i am in favour of a swift resolution to this matter but to think it is all as simple as TM saying all EC citizens here now have the same rights as Uk citizens would not be a preservation of rights but an extension of rights. if TM were to say that all EU citizens were to retain their existing rights then would that preclude the Cameron benefit changes which restricted rights.Perhaps she ought to say that an EU citizen in the uk will enjoy the same rights as a UK national in that country.Remenber the EU is not one entity for these purposes. For instance a Uk worker in Poland does not acquire the rights for his children living in the uk that a polish worker in the uk does for his children in Poland. Each country is different but in general because our benefit system is non contributory it is more easily accessed then other Euro systems.

    the English people would not put up with expulsions (except if it were the scots) :-)

  25. @sam

    Most large scale manufacturing operates on a “just in time” approach as it reduces working capital requirements.

  26. P.S. I should have added, the success of our negotiating hand depends on them thinking that we really will play hardball.

    If the Poles don’t really believe that we will send Poles back if the talks fail then they will think, we don’t need to pressure Germany to do a deal, we can please Germany and we will secure the status of the Poles in Britain.

    Ditto with Spain. If they believe that we won’t walk away from a trade deal and think we will continue to buy their agricultural produce anyway, they may say, we don’t need to secure the Brits in Spain, we can instead charge them an annual residency charge and health insurance across the board.

    Etc etc.

    In order to get something out of the Europeans we need to take a hard line now. People who do things unilaterally get walked all over.

  27. Peter Cairns

    I think that you have dined rather too well this sunday and you need t o read my posts again.
    I am in complete agreement that the issue needs to be resolved but what i said was it needs a thoughtful response rather than a slogan.we agree on end result but i can see why a more cautious approach might be appropriate.

    i hope the cote du Rhone was excellent by the way.

  28. @Candy – “In order to get something out of the Europeans we need to take a hard line now. People who do things unilaterally get walked all over.”

    Unfortunately, this only applies if you maintain the fiction that sending back these workers is something that works to our advantage.

    I’m sure the EU will look at the facts and conclude that sending back the EU citizens will actually harm the UK’s economy, and so they may well think that holding out for this eventually themselves could actually help there own negotiating stance.

    It certainly isn’t something I would like to present to the British electorate as a ‘good thing’ if I were PM. Every community will have examples of the inhuman nonsense that will come if this were to happen.

  29. @Alec

    It depends entirely on whom we send back, doesn’t it?

    Those who earn over £35k will qualify to remain under the rules we apply to non-EU citizens, and most professionals fall into the category. These people pay a lot of tax and are not a drain on the system, so we’re happy to have them.

    As for those who don’t earn enough, if they are claiming in-work benefits and housing benefit, they are a net loss to our system and we would be better off if they weren’t here.

    And if returning low-paid workers forced businesses to automate, productivity would improve. We’ve been suffering from lack of investment precisely because some businesses have thought they could employ cheap europeans, subsidized by the taxpayer. If that mentality ends, our economy will be better off.

    We’ve been in the EU for 41 years, and the only negotiating style that has worked has been Margaret Thatcher’s brutally combative one. All the rest of the PMs got walked over. If we’re taking a hard line it is because the Europeans have trained us to understand that it is the only thing that works.

  30. @jonesinbangor

    “It would also be political suicide to enact such cruelty.”

    Would it?

    I believe there has been polling which suggests thankfully that most people in the UK want this issue resolved in a sensitive and timely way.

    But will that last? A number of posters on here say that the UK Government can simply blame the rEU if it cannot negotiate a good exit and trade agreement. That seems entirely plausible as a reaction by a failing UK government but will that also lead to more hostility to “european foreigners”especially in England which we even see on here from certain posters already?

    I wouldn’t be so sure that this relatively benign period will last.

  31. @Candy – actually, John Major secured far, far more concessions in much tougher circumstances that Thatch did.

    You’re right though – we can finesse who we sent back, but again, I wouldn’t like to be the PM trying to justify the breaking up of families for a negotiating position. Especially because they aren’t earning enough.

    The politics of that would be awful – right up ‘the nasty party’s’ street.

  32. Oh – of course, it also means that the EU might keep all our young professionals and send back the old codgers just waiting to start needing costly hospital and care treatment.

  33. S Thomas: ” it needs a thoughtful response rather than a slogan.”

    Is this the sort of thing you mean:

    Candy: “we need to take a hard line now. People who do things unilaterally get walked all over.”

  34. @Alec

    We’re already paying for our “old codgers” as you put it. The countries hosting them bill the NHS.

    And most of the low-paying workers we’d be sending back arn’t families, they are single people.

    We’re already getting stories about people being denied residency and the public is taking a very pragmatic “rules are rules, if you fall foul it is your own fault”, so I don’t think the govt will take a hit at all. Especially if it is a slow bleed of people being returned.

    This is all hypothetical. You obviously believe that the Europeans are so keen on the EU that they will sacrifice the rights of their own citizens for The Project and refuse to do a deal.

    I think that they will concede something that we want, in return for allowing their people to stay. and a deal will be done. But it depends on them believing we will take a hard line.

  35. @Somerjohn

    A bit of terror on the part of your opponents does wonders for softening them up to do a deal.

    Donald Trump has been a massive help in this instance. I expect after meeting Pence they are busily calculating how much they need to spend to meet their NATO commitments and how much other spending they need to cut to accomodate the EU’s mad fiscal rules.

    Getting into a war with us on top of all that will send them over the edge. The more pressure we put on them the better. We need to keep it up relentlesly, Mrs T simply wore them down, and I hope Mrs May takes the same attitude. The meek get walked all over as Cameron proved.

  36. Alec etc,

    As I posted above this is one of those issues that defines us and indicates a core philosophy.

    Neither of us are obviously right or wrong it is imo about what kind of country we want to be.
    Candy’s is entitled to her ‘hard-nosed’ opinion and we are entitled to think her view is from the nasty party manual.
    She is entitled too think we are well meaning but naïve if I may paraphrase.

  37. On the defence front, we’re already seeing a reaction. Germany is trying to negotiate a bilateral defence deal with us:

    https://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2017-02-19/germany-forging-post-brexit-defense-road-map-with-the-u-k

    quote

    Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen said she’s working with U.K. Defense Secretary Michael Fallon on a bilateral project for the two North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies.

    end quote

    If I was the govt, I’d keep talking to them, but defer the final agreement to after the Brexit deal is finalised, to keep the pressure up.

    We need to thank Trump for this, hardball pays off.

  38. @Candy: “There is also a discrepancy in the numbers. There are 3.15 million EU citizens in the UK but only 900,000 Brits in the EU. See
    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/jan/27/fewer-britons-in-rest-of-europe-than-previously-thought-ons-research
    If we’re going to accept more than three times the number that they are, we need compensation for it. Such as them waiving all those eurocrat pension liabilities they want to stick on us.”

    Economically, the deal may be worse. An awful lot of 900,000 British expats are pensioners. Their consumption in, say Spain, is paid for out of UK pensions – a transfer of resources out of the UK.

    In contrast, those who move to the UK are supported from income generated in the UK, and will send a lot of it out of the UK, including pension built up. So even if we accept that the average migrant produces more value than the average local, and an awful lot are in local service jobs that don’t really fund the country’s consumption, we are not necessarily up on the deal.

    I think the real point is that the countries that have benefited from the arrangement hardly want to have he same opportunities to enter as someone from the third world. They benefit from money sent home. They benefit from their local unemployed having opportunities elsewhere.

    Poland and Spain are not going to be exactly happy if France says “no deal” on the basis that free movement must be absolute to have any sort of deal on trade/free movement (a) knowing that French bankers will still be welcome in the UK, and (b) hoping that jobs will move to France which won’t wind up in Poland and Spain.

    But, we shall see. Nothing said about what the EU can negotiate or might agree is really based on principle.

  39. @CANDY

    “And I expect if there is no deal, we keep 900,000 EU citizens automatically based on seniority (how long they’ve been here), and the rest are subject to the rules we apply to non-EU citizens. So a bunch of people will get denied residency, and Mrs May gets a win on the immigration front even if she gets no trade deal. But that of course would be the nuclear option.”

    It’s completely irrelevant that there are far fewer UK citizens living in the EU than EU people living here. The EU is comprised of 27 states (+UK for now), the UK is only one. How many UK citizens live in India or Pakistan? Or Nigeria? By your maths if we applied your rule to every country in the world whose citizens are here then we would have to expel many millions of people. Nonsense.

  40. @CANDY

    “We’ve been in the EU for 41 years, and the only negotiating style that has worked has been Margaret Thatcher’s brutally combative one. All the rest of the PMs got walked over. If we’re taking a hard line it is because the Europeans have trained us to understand that it is the only thing that works.”

    Thatcher was combative but she never wanted exit from the EU because she knew the advantages. Even after the Bruges speech she did not want Brexit. Thatcher’s concern was primarily about value for money and ensuring that our membership was going to bring benefits to us, that’s why she made such a big fuss about the rebate etc. Brexit is a completely different kettle of fish.

  41. @CANDY

    “In order to get something out of the Europeans we need to take a hard line now. People who do things unilaterally get walked all over.”

    Take a hard line and you will get a hard line in return.

  42. @HIRETON

    “But will that last? A number of posters on here say that the UK Government can simply blame the EU if it cannot negotiate a good exit and trade agreement. That seems entirely plausible as a reaction by a failing UK government but will that also lead to more hostility to “European foreigners”especially in England which we even see on here from certain posters already?”

    I completely disagree. People like Candy are a minority (thankfully) and generally have some kind of agenda behind the rhetoric. On the contrary, I think that people will eventually get tired of the whole Brexit idea provided that it is shown to be unworkable and disadvantageous to us. The government can play the tabloid jingoism card and blame the EU for any obstacles or delays, but I believe that most people will see through this.
    Looking at it from the EU side, their priority is firstly to maintain a united stand and then ensure that the UK government is clearly shown that the costs of Brexit greatly outweigh the benefits. I also believe that May’s hard line approach is a front – many conservative MPs do not agree with this and would prefer some kind of fudge, keeping us in the EEA and customs union. May is only concerned about the reaction of voters and hostility from the tabloid press if she does not get her way, but if the EU stays united her position will eventually crumble. Time is her enemy – she needs a deal pretty quickly, and this is something that the EU leaders will take careful note of.
    She will try to divide the EU by appealing to the right wing members such as Hungary and Slovakia, but these countries have many citizens living here and will not take kindly to bribes or blackmail.

  43. Candy,
    ” the success of our negotiating hand depends on them thinking that we really will play hardball.”

    Not necessarily so. There is a distinct danger that there will be no negotiations further than our side stating the things they regard as impossible, the other side doing the same, and then both imediately concluding no deal is possible and going home. hardball guarantees failure.

    As to buying Spanish lettuces, post Brexit Uk farming and food industry will be operating outside the EU protectionist zone. If they want to sell to us they will need to compete with world markets and quite possibly will be outbid. Maybe not, because distance might be an issue with perishables. But it isnt clear to me any kind of half way trade deal will save that relationship. There is no deal Spain could press for if its producers are simply too expensive. Uk farmers are equally likely to find themselves priced out of their home market.

  44. Britain Elects have updated their polling averages. On this measure, in addition to the well-known steady Labour decline, Conservatives are off their late 2016 peak.

    From the Twitter feed:

    Con 40.1
    Lab 27.3
    UKIP 12.2
    LD 10.1
    Green 4.2

  45. ‘As to buying Spanish lettuces, post Brexit Uk farming and food industry will be operating outside the EU protectionist zone. ‘

    Funnily enough ‘Farming Today’ covered exactly this example. The company interviewed used home grown, Spanish and Morrocan lettuces, according to season which meant importing from within and without the EU. Tbh the details escape me but the company representative was very sanguine about overcoming the changes wrought by Brexit.

  46. @Saffer

    Thank you for posting that information.

    Things are looking quite locked in at the moment.

  47. Cripes,if leaving the EU means no more Spanish lettuce, then we have to stay.

    How on earth would we cope ?.?

    Let’s have another vote.Nobody mentioned lettuce during the referendum campaign…..

  48. First they came for our pounds and ounces, then our jobs…..now they won’t give us lettuce.

    Enough I say. Pleas let us stay…seeing off Adolf was nothing to this!,

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