This week Phil Cowley at Queen Mary University of London released some new YouGov polling of London. Topline voting intention figures for London are CON 34%(-1), LAB 37%(-7), LDEM 14%(+6), UKIP 9%(+1) – changes are since the general election in 2015.

The most useful way to interpret regional voting intention polls is to see whether it is behaving similarly or differently to the country as whole. Does it suggest that any change in support is the much the same as everywhere else, or does it show a party is doing better or worse than in other parts of the country? There is often an assumption that London is the core of Jeremy Corbyn’s support and that’s where Labour will being doing best. In fact the polling suggests Labour are doing about as well in London as elsewhere. YouGov’s GB polls tend to show Labour at around 25%, down six points since the general election. This poll suggests a very similar seven point drop for Labour in London.

The more interesting figures are the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats. Across the country as a whole the Conservatives have gained support since the general election, but this poll suggests that’s not reflected in London. Equally, while many national polls suggest an improvement for the Lib Dems since 2015, it’s not as much as the six point increase this poll suggests has taken place in London. It’s not particularly surprising to find the Conservatives doing worse and the Lib Dems doing better in the one region of England that voted to remain in the European Union, but it’s nice to have evidence to actually back it up.

Full tabs are here.


294 Responses to “YouGov/QMUL poll of London”

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  1. I’ve watched the Gibraltar debate play out on here in some amazement.

    What I have not seen anyone explain is how the EU’s statement that the UK’s exit deal will not be automatically extended to Gibraltar, over the head of the EU member with which it shares a border, has been blown up into a threat of annexation.

    What is the connection between the UK’s exit deal and the territorial integrity of Gibraltar? I genuinely don’t see the grounds on which the UK press are stirring up jingoism. Isn’t this a clear example of fake news?

    One point that is becoming clear to me, though, is that the seeming eagerness of much of the UK public to swallow this stuff bodes ill for the the government’s freedom to agree a compromise deal. The baying hounds of Brexit (for which, read DM, Telegraph and the dark metadata forces marshalled by Banks et al) will set upon any hint of reasonableness.

  2. @Saffer
    @JonesinBangor

    The recent fall in house prices is good news but the last thing we need at the moment is a house price collapse.

    Fortunately, more by luck than design, a lot of the numbers are going in the right direction.

    We are presently experiencing a dose of inflation, which is generally a good thing, as house prices can now drop in real terms without distress.

    Wages are not really responding, which again is good news: although this means short term pain for the working population, we don’t want inflation becoming established. It looks like it won’t.

    Meanwhile, a devalued pound benefits exporters, and that could be a longer term sustained advantage.

    We have a multitude of economic problems, and we are in a very precarious position, but we are leading a charmed life at the moment.

    The Housing White Paper is a dreadful document, but fortunately it is so useless that it will make almost no difference, other than to slightly increase house prices, the opposite of its stated objective.

    I see that house prices in Sydney have risen 20% in a year ( that’s a bubble ). We have something less bubble-like: long term sustained high house prices. We need them to come down, but gently. The way to do that is not to build all over the place, but change the taxation circumstances, which are presently over-generous towards home owners.

    The good news is that the number of people who own their homes outright, rather than via a mortgage, has increased a lot in recent years, so a rise in interest rates might not have the impact it would have had in the past.

    We are generally heading in the right direction, but we are still at great risk.

  3. @SAFFER

    The LibDems are doing much better than polls indicate and this bears it out. No surprises there.

  4. @MILLIE

    “We are presently experiencing a dose of inflation, which is generally a good thing, as house prices can now drop in real terms without distress”

    I am never in favour of inflation. Savings rates are too low and people with savings are losing money – how can that be good?

  5. @somerjohn:

    I can see why you might think that. It could certainly be worse.

    However, what Spain demands is that border workers in the frontier workers should not be part of the deal on accrued rights for those exercising free movement. We think of it in terms of living abroad, but it equally applies to someone commuting from the Irish Republic to work across the border, or getting Eurostar to their office in London. Excluding their position shows the unprincipled nature of the EU in these negotiations.

    Secondly, there is the history of harassment at the border. The need for customs checks is genuine, but rises to in humane lengths for political purposes. A PSOE government means less need for customs checks, apparently, while PP can have people boiling in their cars for eight hours. What Spain wants to secure is an absence of any EU restraint on harassing or even closing the border.

    Perhaps if Spain saidi it would start honouring its obligations under the Madrid Accord, all this would be different.

  6. @Candy – “Sure I do. The Remainers are willing to pander to the Spanish and remove the right of the Gibraltans to self-determination, to decide to be British.”

    In the spirit of negotiation, I’ll try to defuse this and see if we can get to some kind of mutual understanding.

    Your sentence above is completely wrong, because I believe you misunderstand the issues here. I am not aware of a single remainer thinking that we should gift Spain sovereignty of Gibralter unless the people of Gibralter agree, despite the fact that under UN resolutions, the Gibraltarians are a colonial population and so their views have (in theory) no bearing on territorial disputes.

    If we can start off by accepting that pretty much everyone will support the right of self determination for Gibralter, that would be a good start.

    Second, I think all sensible people can agree that there is no evidence from Spain or from the UK, outside of the mind of Michael Howard and the Daily Telegraph, that anyone has the remotest thoughts of military conflict over this. I think it important to recognise this to try to defuse the potential tension here.

    This brings us to the nub of the issue. What the EU actually said was ; “”After the United Kingdom leaves the Union, no agreement between the EU and the United Kingdom may apply to the territory of Gibraltar without the agreement between the Kingdom of Spain and the United Kingdom.”

    Spain will not have an absolute right of veto regarding the A50 leaving deal, as this is agreed under QMV (let’s not talk about that…..). However, a post A50 trade deal has to be unanimously accepted by the EU27, so Spain always did have a veto anyway. This clause is helpfully pointing the British negotiating team towards the fact that a trade deal may be subject to Spainish objections, and some of those may focus on issue around Gibralter. Nowhere in the EU document or Spainish statements is there any mention of soveriegnty. This was mentioned purely and solely by the British government in their response to the EU letter.

    I don’t believe Gibraltarian sovereignty is up for discussion by anyone, but there will be issues of trade and commerce that will be, I’m sure.

    We, and the people of Gibralter, will be entitled to take whatever view on these we like, and the Spanish (and therefore the EU) will do likewise. If we get to the worst case, it simply means that any trade deal won’t apply to Gibralter, although I suppose the very worst case would be that there is no trade deal at all.

    There will remain the option for Gibralter to have a referendum and decide whether they would agree to having access to/staying in the EU in return for agreeing to some kind of co-sovereignty deal with Spain, and the UK would accept whatever choice they made. If they chose to reject this kind of off deal, and lost all EU market privileges, then that’s fine – that’s what they wanted, so they, and UK Brexiteers, will accept the consequent economic damage.

    Nowhere in this is any scenario of a forced repatriation of sovereignty to Spain or any notion of military conflict.

    The entire issue is for Brexiteers to explain how Brexit will work to Gibraltarians. These issues were explained and raised in the referendum campaign, and Gibralter recognised the problems, with a 96% vote to stay in the EU. If Brexiteers didn’t see this problem coming, then that’s their problem. Talk of war and seizing of territory doesn’t hide that fact.

    You yourself have often said WTO terms and no trade deal would be fine for the UK, so it is encumbent on you to explain to the Gibraltarians how they fit in to that picture. If you think their lives without unfettered access to the EU market will be fine, explain that to them and don’t worry about what comes next.

    You said this would be fine, so this really is your problem to deal with and resolve.

  7. @Somerjohn – yes – it’s genuinely scary.

    There is a real fight going on for our country here.

  8. @Alec

    Your post on Gibraltar about the sanest I’ve seen.

    “The entire issue is for Brexiteers to explain how Brexit will work to Gibraltarians. These issues were explained and raised in the referendum campaign, and Gibralter recognised the problems, with a 96% vote to stay in the EU. If Brexiteers didn’t see this problem coming, then that’s their problem. Talk of war and seizing of territory doesn’t hide that fact.”

    Indeed.

  9. Superb post at 10:23, Alec.

    That ought to be pretty much the last word on the subject unless something significant changes.

  10. From what the Chief Minister is reported to be saying, they are British first and European second and despite the fact that they voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU, they accept the overall result of the vote to leave and will leave the EU along with the rest of the UK.

    Tusk is mischief making, no doubt having been pressured by Spain. Spain has no valid claim to the rock, it was legally ceded to Britain in a treaty and as someone pointed out on a previous thread, had been British far longer than it was ever Spanish.

    Maybe we should demand western France back, which was English until that other damn difficult woman, Joan d’Arc stole it back? Or maybe the French should be demanding the return of the Channel Islands.

    Let’s just get a sense of perspective here. Spain will never rule Gibralter until the Gibraltarians agree. So give them another referendum in which the choice is UK or EU. They can’t have both.

  11. I have a long reply in moderation – in essence though, I agree with Alec above, but further I believe that we are today seeing the first overt sign of the predicted deliberate and cynical attempt to bolster nationalist and jingoistic sentiment, with the aim that any negative consequences of Brexit and the failure to deliver on Brexit-based actual or implied commitments (more jobs for the indigenous, better resourced NHS, easier access to social/cheap housing, etc.) can be blamed ion the EU and not those in charge of the UK.

  12. @Robert Newark
    You’re tilting at a windmill – as Alec has shown, the EU statement says nothing at all about Gibraltar’s sovereignty, and any suggestion that it does is purely made up by the right wing press and politicians here.

    You are right that it is mischief-making, but the mischief is coming – very cynically and deliberately IMHO – from Howard, the Sun, Mail, Express and Telegraph, and for very clear political reasons.

  13. @ Alex, good thoughtful commonsense post 10.23am

    You are correct that it is up to those supporting or taking forward Brexit to come up with solutions to all of the issues that may arise. This not just Gibraltar, but Northern Ireland, Scotland, Channel Islands, Isle of Man, fishing rights, farming subsidies, rights of residency, ongoing UK financial contribution to EU liabilities etc etc.

    There will be a very long list of issues that will have to be dealt with during Brexit negotiations and beyond. Most of them would not be resolved by crashing out of the EU without a deal and might actually be made worse. When you actually think about, it is not in the interest of the UK not to negotiate a deal and therefore article 50 will be extended by consent for as long as is required. It might take 10 years, as some very experienced officials have stated.

    In regard to Gibraltar it is just a naval base, but it is also a major hub for financial services companies, who route international funding for various things through companies based there. If you look at a lot of UK consumer Insurance products particularly Travel cover, it is underwritten by money held through Gibraltar. I don’t think people realise why Gibraltar is doing so well compared other places. It is not just tourism and navel base spending.

  14. @Robert Newark – “Let’s just get a sense of perspective here. Spain will never rule Gibralter until the Gibraltarians agree. So give them another referendum in which the choice is UK or EU. They can’t have both.”

    I think you are absolutely right regarding a sense of perspective – this is why remainers are completely baffled about any talk of sovereignty. Only Brexiteers are talking about sovereignty – no one else. That’s where the sense of perspective is required.

    The choice is entirely for the UK, and depending what the Spanish demand, the precise choice may come down to the UK deciding how much they value the Gibraltarian’s ability to trade freely with the EU.

    If this is seen as an absolute red line by Westminster, then we might be prepared to revert to WTO rules for the UK as a whole.

    Alternatively, the UK might agree to a trade deal that doesn’t apply to Gibralter, thus condemning the Gibraltarians to a shattered economy and some pretty extreme poverty, with absolutely no implications for their sovereigty whatsoever.

    A third alternative is for the UK to negotiate a trade deal that applies to Gibralter, with various strings attached around issues specific to Gibralter. What these might be I have no idea, but they might involve measures to tackle criminality, smuggling and tax evasion, for example.

    Whether the UK accepts these is up to us, and whether we offer Gibralter an exclusive veto on the deal is also up to us.

    One point to note, however. I would imagine there would be a little consternation in Scotland (population 5 million) if May offers Gibralter (population 30,000) the ability to approve or reject any terms within the final deal. She has explicitly told Scotland that we voted as the UK to leave the EU, so she will negotiate a single deal for the whole UK, and devolved administrations will not have a direct say in the terms.

    Were she to backtrack on this and give Gibralter such a say, I would have to say that would be politically outrageous.

    Given this, Gibraltarians should be quite worried. In a couple of years time, when the distinction between no deal and whatever trade deal may be available is more apparent, I don’t believe the average UK citizen will give two hoots about what Gibralter thinks.

    If it comes to a choice of driving our economy into the wall just because Gibralter can’t accept a few clauses, or maintaining a reasonable trade arrangement with the EU and letting Gibralter take a bit of a hit, how do you think British public opinion would stack up?

    As I said before, you were warned about this specific isssue, Brexiteers chose to ignore it, and now those who support Brexit have to explain how this will be resolved to the UK and Gibralters satisfaction.

    The rest of us will maintain our sense of perspective as we patiently await this explanation, safe in the knowledge that Gibralter will remain at peace, and part of the UK, for as long as it wants to be.

  15. In other Brexit News;

    From 2019 we will see the return of the True Blue British Passport.

    From 2020 All UK maps will show the UK outside the EU in Blue and the whole of the EU as a single Red block baring the words “There be Dragons!”

    Peter.

  16. @alec:

    Gibraltar is currently to the EU laws on mutual assistance in tax and OECD standards. No one disputes Spain’s right to take measures against smuggling.

    It is lovely that you believe Spain will only impose conditions relating to legitimate national non-sovereignty related issues.

    But there is nothing in Spain’s behaviour to Gibraltar to support such optimism. They want to be in a position to ensure nothing crosses the border, and to make all flights go via Tangiers. They may be that they are thinking of less severe sanctions, but don’t want an agreement to restrict their free hand.

    And for Spain, Gibraltar is a sovereignty issue. They don’t create eight hour queues at moments of political tension because they suddenly remember smuggling of cigarettes by their own citizens.

  17. BFR

    @” EU statement says nothing at all about Gibraltar’s sovereignty, and any suggestion that it does is purely made up by the right wing press and politicians here.”

    But it has allowed Spain to use Brexit as a lever for its long campaign on the sovereignty of Gib.

    Gib’s Chief Minister explained on R5 Live this morning. They understand what Spain is up to only too well.

  18. PMI data out for manufacturing today. The picture suggests things on the turn, although it’s not completely clear cut.

    As ever, there are sectoral variations, with exports of intermediate and investment goods doing well, but consumer goods production rather hitting the buffers, with price pressures continuing at a high level. The overall PMI index is still above trend, but there has been quite a hefty drop, and the analysis indicates that the sector is weakening, while inflation remains, and that the primary cause for this weakening is weakness in the UK consumer market. Overall, that should be ringing some alarm bells in the wider economy.

    There are also some hints at EU wide comparisons. I had an exchange recently with @Candy regarding the superficial similarity between inflation rates here and elsewhere in the EU, with the case being made that a Brexit inspired devaluation couldn’t be the cause of our inflation as Germany had similar rates.

    My case was that the inflation number can look the same, but have different causes. This data tends to confirm that view, I would argue.

    We have inflation rising sharply, as the economy weakens. Europe also has inflation, but their industrial production and employment figures are strengthening. There will be some overlap with national inflation figures from rising commodity prices, but other elements are going to be more specific to individual economies, and if you have a weakening outlook but with rising prices, this tends to suport the classic theory of a devaluation inspired inflationary hike. EU inflation looks more likely to be coming from a strengthening econoy.

  19. RHuckle
    “…..it is up to those supporting or taking forward Brexit to come up with solutions to all of the issues that may arise.”

    Those taking it forward perhaps, but not supporters. That’s what politicians and civil servants are for.

    Alec
    “…..those who support Brexit have to explain how this will be resolved to the UK and Gibralters satisfaction.”

    See answer above.
    —————————————————-
    I must have missed the moment when AW said that this site should change from discussing polls to being a Brexit debating society.

  20. @Colin – “But it has allowed Spain to use Brexit as a lever for its long campaign on the sovereignty of Gib.

    Gib’s Chief Minister explained on R5 Live this morning. They understand what Spain is up to only too well”

    Yes, absolutely. This is what we would do if the boot was on the other foot. Spain wants to make life awkward for Gibralter in the hope that one day they might decide it isn’t worth the candle and agree to co sovereignty. So long as the measures are legal and peaceable, what’s the problem?

    The British electorate did have this explained to them during the referendum. From memory Gibralter was mentioned in one of the televised debates.

    The leave campaigns brushed the points raised aside.
    They now need to explain how they will resolve these issues.

    I really can’t see why there are any problems about this – it was known, and predicted, so let’s see Johnson, Davis and Farage deal with it.

  21. Good morning all from a very warm and sunny central London.

    CANDY

    I was using the term “creepy Transylvanian Michael Howard” not because of his background but rather to do with the fact the media call him Dracula. Nothing to do with where he or his family came from.

    I accept Gibralter has been through rough times and over the past 300 hundred years, the people of Gibralter have probably had a much better life under UK rule than if they were under Spanish rule but let’s not pretend here, Britain has not been a saint either on the global stage.

    A lot of the conflicts today in every corner of the World can be directly linked to our interference and drawing up of artificial borders.

    If Gibralter was uninhabited then it should be returned to Spain but it’s not so, therefore, it must remain under UK rule unless the people of Gibralter want to be part of Spain which is highly unlikely.

    Anyway, I’m just a bit peeved off with how we are portraying ourselves on the global stage. M Howard and the fact the government didn’t distance themselves from his stupid comments is a total embarrassment.

    If it came to a direct conflict between the UK and Spain, then I’m standing behind Micheal Howard, he can take the first bullet then the rest of us can clear his stupid mess up.

  22. Alec 10.23

    Thank you!!

  23. @ Allan

    Agree for the most part but the fact Tusk included Gibraltar at all in the EU reply is incendiary and he knew it.

    I was hoping we could get a deal to suit everybody but the early indications are the EU are intent on confrontation to prevent other members considering leaving the club.

    I said in an earlier post this all reminds me of the last two lines of Hotel California,

    “You can check out any time you like,
    But you can never leave!’

  24. TANCRED
    @SAFFER
    “The LibDems are doing much better than polls indicate and this bears it out. No surprises there”
    _____________

    The polls tend to overestimate the LibDem VI. We see it time after time whenever the exit poll comes out and Paddy reaches for a hat to chew on.

    The best part of election night is watching the LibDem response to reality when the exit poll comes out…. Pure primetime stuff. Pure mental, pure class…

  25. S Thomas
    ‘2. He has won 2 elections under a system devised by Milliband the second one with an increased majority’

    Not true. Corbyn increased his vote share in the second election , but his majority was much narrower than in 2015.

  26. @BIGFATRON You are right that it is mischief-making, but the mischief is coming – very cynically and deliberately IMHO – from Howard, the Sun, Mail, Express and Telegraph, and for very clear political reasons.

    I agree with you, this is a clear ‘Us vs Them’ strategy. But even The Mirror was in on the act.

    On the flip side, the EU must have known this was going to raise hackles on the Rock and in the UK.

    I am beginning to wonder if either side really wants a deal politically, though I still think economic self-interest will patch something together in the end.

  27. ALEC

    @”So long as the measures are legal and peaceable, what’s the problem?”

    Presumably you mean Legal & “peaceable” harrasment like this :-

    https://www.theguardian.com/theguardian/2013/may/06/gibraltar-rock-spain-british-sovereignty

    The “problem” can best be explained to you by the residents of Gibraltar if you don’t understand.

  28. Tancred
    ‘Gibraltar is a territorial conquest, not a lease, so Britain has no legal obligation to cede one square foot of Gibraltar.’

    Are you suggesting that Britain’s hold over Gibraltar is the result of past aggression?

  29. @BANTAMS

    “I said in an earlier post this all reminds me of the last two lines of Hotel California,

    “You can check out any time you like,
    But you can never leave!’”

    I honestly wish that the ‘leaving clause’ had never been included in the Treaty of Lisbon. Having a door simply encourages some people to open it, but with no door available there is no way out. You would have to stay in and make your case as part of the organisation.

  30. @BANTAMS

    “I said in an earlier post this all reminds me of the last two lines of Hotel California,

    “You can check out any time you like,
    But you can never leave!’”

    I honestly wish that the ‘leaving clause’ had never been included in the Treaty of Lisbon. Having a door simply encourages some people to open it, but with no door available there is no way out. You would have to stay in and make your case as part of the organisation.

  31. @GRAHAM

    “Are you suggesting that Britain’s hold over Gibraltar is the result of past aggression?”

    Gibralaltar was conquered by Britain in 1704 during the War of Spanish Succession and formally ceded to Britain in 1713 at the Treaty of Utrecht.

  32. ALEC

    “Gib’s Chief Minister explained on R5 Live this morning. They understand what Spain is up to only too well”

    “Yes, absolutely. This is what we would do if the boot was on the other foot. Spain wants to make life awkward for Gibralter in the hope that one day they might decide it isn’t worth the candle and agree to co sovereignty. So long “as the measures are legal and peaceable, what’s the problem?
    ___________

    The real problem with Gibraltar as with EU nationals living in the UK is that real people’s lives are being used as bargaining chips which cause uncertainty and anxiety.

  33. @Tancred

    In other words, it is effectively the product of past aggression.

  34. @Alec

    As you say, the position regarding the economy is confused.

    At the moment, I take quite a positive view. The rise in inflation could not have occurred at a better time; perhaps Tancred is right, and inflation is never desirable, but an exchange rate-based dose is best absorbed when inflation is at 0%. It looks like we might get away with a significant devaluation of the pound without significant inflation or a hike in interest rates.

    It seems to me that this represents a decent outcome: a lower and quite stable pound encouraging exports, and a controllable level of inflation that can hide a real decline in house prices. All this in the wake of Brexit, which might have been expected to bring immediate turmoil.

    But I do recognise that we are skating rather serenely on very thin ice.

    As for Gibraltar, it was probably an ill-considered attempt by the Spanish, but it is a storm in a teacup. Michael Howard at his worst, it has to be said.

    Btw, please don’t altar the spelling of Gibraltar…

  35. Corbyn is on past record as saying he’d “give back the Malvinas and Gibraltar in the morning if I had the chance”

    I imagine that will be happily used by the PM at the next Punch & Judy session if this row rumbles on.

  36. The latest YG survey…

    You can all take part in it.
    https://yougov.co.uk/opi/myfeed?shared=true#/all

    Gibraltar is a British territory that is run by its own government. Gibraltar was captured from Spain in 1704 and signed over to Britain by treaty in 1713. Spain claims that it should be part of Spain. Do you think that Gibraltar should…

    Remain a self-governing British territory
    62%
    Become a territory of Spain, but continue to have its own government
    7%
    Become part of Spain
    5%
    Become a joint territory of Britain and Spain, with its own government
    12%
    Something else
    4%
    Don’t know
    10%

  37. MILLIE

    “Btw, please don’t altar the spelling of Gibraltar…
    ___________

    Yes, that was me… )-:

  38. @ALLAN CHRISTIE

    I think the more relevant question is this one:

    “If the status of Gibraltar was the only thing preventing the UK from getting a much better Brexit deal, would you support passing at least some sovereignty over the territory to Spain?

    Yes I would 37%

    No I would not 46%

    Don’t know 17%”

    Obviously a lot more evenly split.

  39. @GRAHAM

    “@Tancred

    In other words, it is effectively the product of past aggression.”

    It is the product of a war – I refrain from using the politically charged word ‘aggression’.

  40. Alec

    A very nice, thoughtful comment on Gibraltar in the morning.

    ————

    In the meantime the UK government started to recruit consultants to manage the process of Brexit (perfectly sensible if the state of the civil service is considered).

  41. @Colin
    All Tusk has done is state the bleedin’ obvious – that Spain has a veto over the UK’s future relationship with the EU and will exercise that veto in respect of what it considers its legitimate sovereign interests in respect of Gibraltar.

    The issue here is that Tusk has pointed out that the Brexit emperor has – in this instance – no clothes on, and Brexit cheerleaders don’t like it.

    My personal view of the legitimacy of Spain’s perceived sovereign interest in respect of Gibraltar is not the point, and I suspect our views would not be that far apart; the point is that this problem was a 100% inevitable, telegraphed, reported and documented direct consequence of Brexit which the Brexit campaign told the public it could safely ignore.

    Now the problem has been referenced exactly as predicted it is suddenly the fault of the big, bad EU – which is 100% rubbish. This is a KNOWN consequence – one of many – of Brexit that we have to accept and deal with when we decided to leave.

    The reaction from Brexiteers to this (very small) splash of the cold water of reality makes me very nervous indeed for what the reaction will be when the bigger issues come to the fore….

  42. @LAZSLO

    “In the meantime the UK government started to recruit consultants to manage the process of Brexit (perfectly sensible if the state of the civil service is considered).”

    No, not sensible. How much are these consultants going to cost? A huge amount, I would reckon. The best thing would have been to recruit more civil servants and task them with the job in hand, not pay several times more for consultants. We will all pay for these consultants!

  43. Tancred

    It raises the issue as to how long the fruits of aggression have to be retained before it becomes unreasonable to seek to reverse them. Had Nazi Germany managed to hold its 1942 territories up to the present day would we all have to accept that they now belonged to Germany?

  44. @BIGFATRON

    “The reaction from Brexiteers to this (very small) splash of the cold water of reality makes me very nervous indeed for what the reaction will be when the bigger issues come to the fore….”

    And this is why I think that the Brexit fairytale will end with the big bad EU wolf eating everyone. We will either have to reverse Brexit or leave with no agreement. The nice, tidy plan that Davies has been saying he has will have vanished into thin air.

  45. Somerjohn – “What is the connection between the UK’s exit deal and the territorial integrity of Gibraltar? I genuinely don’t see the grounds on which the UK press are stirring up jingoism.”

    Apart from defending the rights of the Gibraltans?

    To put economic pressure on the Spanish of course.

    Look at the way everyone is now talking about harassment at the border and so on – things your average Brit wouldn’t have known about previously when they booked their Spanish holiday – but which they are now aware.

    If we see a drop in tourists going to Spain this summer, it should serve notice to them that a) trade with us is about more than legal agreements, it also depends on goodwill and b) it shouild serve as an early example of what happens if the EU does not come to terms with it.

    The Spanish have made a panicky response today, so it is working.

    It was very well played by Michael Howard.

  46. BFR

    @” All Tusk has done is state the bleedin’ obvious –”

    Was it “bleedin obvious” that Tusk would draw up Brexit negotiating guidelines for the EU which specifically introduced what you describe as “legitimate” Spanish territorial designs on Gibraltar into something to which they do not relate?

    By the way-how do feel about Spain’s attitude to Morrocan “legitimate” claims to Ceuta and Melilla ?

  47. @GRAHAM

    “It raises the issue as to how long the fruits of aggression have to be retained before it becomes unreasonable to seek to reverse them. Had Nazi Germany managed to hold its 1942 territories up to the present day would we all have to accept that they now belonged to Germany?”

    Not a good analogy as Nazi Germany lost the war. Had Germany won the war – extremely unlikely unless they had prioritised creating atomic weapons – then the 1000 year Reich would have become reality. There is no way that Germany would have given any territory back.

    A better analogy would be the conquest of German territory by Poland and the USSR in 1945. These illegal conquests were not recognised the (West) German government for many years – only in 1970 was the Oder-Niesse line formally accepted by the Bonn government, and even then it wasn’t until the 1990 2 plus 4 treaty that this was enshrined in the German constitution, legally preventing any further claims on the former German lands. This is still a controversial issue and many Germans still do not agree with this agreement.

  48. CANDY

    @”It was very well played by Michael Howard.”

    On R5Live this morning, the Gibraltar Chief Minister spoke highly of Howard. They have long memories. He wasn’t as complementary about about the British Labour Party.

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2002/sep/10/foreignpolicy.uk

  49. @Tancred
    My comment obviously was based on the assumption of Germany having triumphed. Whilst Germany would not wish to return such territories would it be reasonable after 75 years for the defeated countries to launch an attack on Germany to regain them?
    On the same basis would it be reasonable for Spain to launch an attack on Gibraltar to recapture territory lost to British aggression 300 years ago?

  50. Graham – “On the same basis would it be reasonable for Spain to launch an attack on Gibraltar to recapture territory lost to British aggression 300 years ago?”

    No – because they ceded the territory in perpetuity in the Treaty of Utrecht (which also provided independence for the Spanish Netherlands). It was signed by Queen Anne and Phillip V of Spain.

    As far as international law goes, that treaty is rock solid.

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