ICM’s regular poll for the Guardian is out today and has topline figures of CON 43%(-2), LAB 25%(-1), LDEM 11%(+2), UKIP 11%(+1), GRN 4%(nc). The 25% for Labour equals the lowest in the ICM/Guardian series of polls, previously reached during the nadir of Gordon Brown’s government in 2009.

Looking ahead to the Brexit negotiations ICM also tested out some of the compromises that Theresa May may have to make in the years ahead:

  • By 48% to 28% people said they would be happy to give EU citizens preferential treatment compared to non-EU nationals when coming to work in Britain
  • People were also happy to accept, by 54% to 29%, continued freedom of movement during a transitional period
  • By 47% to 34% people said it would be not be acceptable to continue to follow ECJ rulings during a transititonal period (though given the widespread confusion between the European Court and European Court of Human Rights I do ponder how mant thought this was a human rights question)
  • The trickiest bits were, however, on spending – all three different financial settlements that ICM tested were rejected by the public: only 33% thought it would be acceptable to pay a £3bn “exit fee”, only 15% thought a £10bn fee would be acceptable, only 10% thought a £20bn “exit fee” would be acceptable. How and if the government manage to sell the financial settlement part of Brexit to the public is going to be interesting…

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759 Responses to “ICM/Guardian – CON 43, LAB 25, LDEM 11, UKIP 11”

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  1. ” She’s also globally successful, so her version of Britain is the way the world perceives us.”

    Yes full of wizards, magic and so on. Absolutely.

  2. @JOHN B

    “Why the UK chose to leave one of the world’s biggest trading blocks in order to face the economic and political storms ahead solo and isolated is still beyond me, despite what so many here have written over the past year or more by way of ‘explanation’.”

    Jingoism, that’s the main reason. This country still believes it’s a superpower, that’s the problem.

  3. @Hireton

    You are being deliberately obtuse – she’s shaped the way the world thinks of us in terms of manners, phrases, behaviour. The introduction of Englishisms back into American speech is down to her.

    Why haven’t the Scots produced someone similar? Liking Irn-Bru is not really a cuture.

  4. Joseph
    Nick Clegg has had a great deal to say about the Brexit negotiations actually. Since he knows more about how the EU operates than virtually any other British politician you might learn something from reading it…

    I am sure you will find plenty of statements to take out of context and use against him!

    http://www.libdems.org.uk/brexit-challenge-paper-negotiations

  5. @Guymonde

    That’s an interesting comment, is there something uniquely English about it? Don’t all nations have an exceptionalist myth at their core? Could you even say that nationhood relies on an element of exceptionalism?

    I’ll have a listen to that programme when I get the chance, I’d find it interesting if historically Anglicanism seems to have injected exceptionalist ideas into the national psyche. My natural assumption would be that it would be vice versa (i.e. inheriting that national exceptionalism through it’s place as the national church).

  6. @POPEYE

    “That’s an interesting comment, is there something uniquely English about it? Don’t all nations have an exceptionalist myth at their core? Could you even say that nationhood relies on an element of exceptionalism?”

    Exceptionalism is an essential part of nationalism – yes, of course. Saying ‘we are special’ is part and parcel of nationalist rhetoric, but other countries don’t let this take over every aspect of their foreign policy. There are as many nationalists in France, Italy, Hungary, Poland and Spain as there are in the UK, but this doesn’t stop them working together in the EU. I am puzzled as to why British (or more to the point, English) nationalism is so intensely anti-European. My perception is that this is because of the imperial legacy and the illusion that we can still get other countries around the world to do our bidding. Brexit will be a wake up call for the dreamers and a reminder that we need to be integrated in Europe.

  7. Candy:

    As a Lancastrian, I could suggest that Robbie Burns has had far more influence than Ms Rowling.

  8. @Candy

    ‘Auld Lang Sang’ sang around the world every new year and will no doubt outlive Harry Potter

    ‘drinking Irn Bru is not really a culture’
    again I am surprised that on a blog that is supposed to be about the non-partisan discussion of polls anti-Scottish statements are allowed.

  9. @Couper

    You prove my point – Scots are culturally insecure.

  10. @John B “If we wish to trade with the European Union in an open way (‘tariff-free’ as SC puts it) then the quid pro quo is the freedom of movement. These are the rules which the EU has. Free market equals free market – in all four categories. Anything other than that will not be tariff free.”

    This is simply not the case. There are plenty of free trade deals around the world that do not have free movement of people. Indeed the EU recently signed one itself with Canada that does not have freedom of movement.

  11. @Andrew111:

    Gosh, get to the end and there are fairly timid suggestions that the EU might be a little flexible. But €60bn described as the UK’s bar bill, so current demand swallowed. I guess the writer was casting around for balance, and remembered that the EU might up its demands. The accusation about bad tone is addressed solely to the UK. It is written by someone who sees the UK as the aggressors the in leaving the EU, by which token the EU is being incredibly generous just turning up. There is no cautioning the EU against a punitive approach, or trying to make an example of the UK – although you’d hardly want for examples of such talk particularly from the EU Parliament.

    It is less rhetorical than a TimFarron press announcement, but it reads overwhelmingly as “why the UK should concede the EU’s position”, with a few token words of caution for the EU.

    I still cannot imagine Clegg chatting with friends in Brussels, trying to preach compromise. I can imagine him discussing the odds of a UK climb down if the EU says, “EEA or nothing”. He may be doing neither.

  12. @Candy

    I think you are correct because we have had our culture denigrated by our larger neighbour next door.

    I am not sure if it has been discussed but 50 EU politicians have signed a letter welcoming an independent Scotland into the EU. So soon Candy we will be your larger neighbour next door – happy days

  13. @ Sea Change

    I don’t believe the Canadian agreement with the EU is a free trade agreement: its a trade agreement with various clauses as to tariffs and regulatory requirements as I understand it.
    My understanding is that there a very few strictly “free” trade agreements because of the regulatory regimes in the various countries in the world that enter into such agreements.
    I fully understand that within the EU there is a regulatory regime which affects the UK, but in the last forty years and in the time until we leave we have an influence over what those regulations provide.

  14. @WB

    Well it will be 99% Tariff-Free, I believe there are a few caveats around agriculture to placate the French (quelle suprise). The main purpose of these agreements these days is reducing the barriers to trade as you rightly point out. As has been stated before the fluctuations in currency are often greater than the WTO tariffs themselves (agriculture being an exception) and it is in regulatory matters that much of these agreements focus upon.

    As there is already regulatory equivalence between the UK and the EU what will need to be agreed is a way forward, this is much easier than starting from completely different positions.

    The issue as I see it and one that I have never seen a good argument against is why tie 100% of our economy to the rules of only 12% GDP (trade with Europe) just so we can have a say on those rules! Far better to have little or no say on those rules and free up the other 88%.

  15. @Seachange

    If UK is to have any trade with the EU it will have to meet EU legislation. UK won’t miss 12% of its trade?

  16. Having had a read of the CETA summarisation it appears that:
    – the tariff free content will rise to a maximum f99% of exports in either direction
    – Canada will impose the EU regulatory regime in full in terms of product quality, specification and testing regimes to ensure equivalence
    – there are no requirements to free movement or for financial contributions mentioned.

    It also makes clear that the driver from the EU side is the combination of :
    – increased access for the EU members to a large, relatively protected export market
    – easier access for Canada to supply the EU with highly desirable raw materials.

    It is also not entirely clear to what extent Canada avoids regulatory, customs and inspection scheme constraints, as opposed to tariffs.

    The main difference with the UK’s situation is that Canada is – generally – seeking to export to the EU something that the EU cannot supply for itself and therefore desires.

    The question then is what is the UK offering to the EU above and beyond access to its markets in order to get special treatment?

    Canada offered liberalisation of access to its public sector markets, plus improved access for the EU to raw materials – what is the UK’s equivalent?

    However it does demonstrate that the EU argument of ‘free trade only comes with the four freedoms’ is a bit flaky….

  17. @SAM

    I’m saying we should comply with EU regulation for our exports to the EU but that we shouldn’t bind the rest of our business to that regulatory framework which becomes possible once we are out of the auspices of the ECJ.

  18. Interesting leader ratings from the respondents in Scotland to the Ashcroft poll with Sturgeon rated best.

    Results (% rating above 50 with 100 being excellent, % rating below 50, net rating)

    Sturgeon 53%, 42%, +11%

    Davidson 33%, 54%, -21%

    May 35%, 58%, – 23%

    Dugdale 20%, 61%, -41%

    Corbyn 20%, 71%, -51%

  19. @BFR “However it does demonstrate that the EU argument of ‘free trade only comes with the four freedoms’ is a bit flaky….”

    It does indeed. Which is why we did not see anything in the EU Council draft principles demanding the continuation of free movement post-Brexit.

    “The question then is what is the UK offering to the EU above and beyond access to its markets in order to get special treatment?”

    Well, continued access is a powerful motivator. It takes a huge amount of effort to set up new trading links.

    However, I think the City of London is the main reason they will want to continue. It is the main capital raising market that both EU states and companies rely on for funding. Not to mention all the ancillary services it offers. Even Barnier has come out and said as much in January.
    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/jan/13/eu-negotiator-wants-special-deal-over-access-to-city-post-brexit

  20. @Hireton

    Corbyn blazing a trail and creating new milestones. Surely no Labour leader has ever hit -51% in Scotland before.

  21. @candy

    As usual.you are a little.confused in your argument. You said originally:

    “so her version of Britain is the way the world perceives us. ”

    Now you are saying that Rowling’s impact is the introduction of Englishisms (sic) to America.

    Anyway I will.leave you reading juvenile magic books under the bridge.

  22. @BFR “However it does demonstrate that the EU argument of ‘free trade only comes with the four freedoms’ is a bit flaky….”

    Thanks for that honest assessment, which confirms my thinking about this. I agree with Sea Change that this is an area of potentially fruitful negotiation. As I said in an earlier post, I envisage a bespoke agreement for the UK that will build on the sound basis for trade that we already have.

    I do think many commentators are making this more complicated than necessary. Its not easy, but I think it is ‘doable’. There are a number of templates available that, in simple terms, need ‘tweaking’.

    I am becoming increasingly confident that common sense and mutual interests will secure a good outcome.

    But I’m in a good mood, as a glorious weekend has brought in a multitude of ‘staycationers’, and Devon has rarely looked better.

  23. I am surprised that only 10% of those polled were prepared to accept a £20 billion exit fee. In my pub, this is considered chicken feed. Spread over, say, five years, it is hardly an insurmountable burden. I think this can be sold to voters.

    I have always admired the way Cameron stuck to the 0.7% overseas aid budget, but it will be attractive to some to take some of that money and use it for a different form of aid to the EU.

    Personally, I would get it by abandoning HS2, which I see is having further problems.

  24. Interesting response on identity in the Ashcroft poll between Scotland, England and Wales

    In Scotland:

    57% saw themselves as more Scottish than British

    23% saw themselves as equally Scottish and British

    14% saw themselves as more British than Scottish

    In England:

    30% saw themselves as more English than Scottish

    43% equally English and British

    19% more British than English

    In Wales:

    34% more Welsh than British

    27% equally Welsh and British

    31% more British than Welsh

    Unweighted samples but it could point to May’s “four nations, one people” line on Brexit being a hard sell in Scotland.

  25. Hireton

    I presume the –

    “In England:

    30% saw themselves as more English than Scottish”

    should have been “more English than British”? :-)

    These Moreno questions are always interesting, since many peoples’ responses aren’t fixed. Perceptions of the more dominant identity in the multi-layered pattern of identities that we all have, can both drive and be the result of constitutional issues coming to the fore, and requiring folk to re-examine attitudes that they previously took for granted.

  26. @oldnat

    Indeed it should have!

  27. @PETE B “there were plenty of missionaries from other denominations as well”
    There were indeed, but they didn’t have bishops in the House of Lords, with close relatives who were generals and admirals. the established church had a much stronger political influence in the 1800s and before.

    @CANDY “Dave – “Which came first, the chicken of English nationalism, or the egg of the Anglican church?”

    The church of course. And it has nothing whatsoever to do with Empire. It is to do with language. Language is at the root of all nationalisms, and the Anglican church helped raise up the English language.”

    My point was the Empire helped establish the worldwide Anglican Communion, and shaped some attitudes of the Anglican church. The nationalism chicken and church egg era predated ‘Empire’ by a couple of centuries at least.
    But language driving nationalism is an interesting idea. The church (the King James Bible and the Book of Common Prayer in particular) certainly helped raise up the English language, but so did Shakespeare, and changes in the legal system. but I suspect language is used and encouraged to foster a pre-existing development, rather than being the root itself. Translating the Bible into the vernacular was a phenomenon of the Protestant reformation, rather than English nationalism.
    Are the Welsh road signs all over Wales there by popular demand, or in order to promote the idea of Wales a separate country? They and official forms in both languages and Welsh lessons in schools are not cheap, but act a bit like a flag as a rallying point.

  28. @Hireton

    Books are more than the surface story. They serve as metaphors, and the language, the characters, the behaviour are all reflections of society. In plays like The Tempest as well as in Harry Potter.

    You have to be very culturally insecure to reduce both to fiction about magic in order to pretend to yourself their success is no big deal. :-)

  29. Dave – ” The church (the King James Bible and the Book of Common Prayer in particular) certainly helped raise up the English language, but so did Shakespeare, and changes in the legal system.”

    My point was that Shakespeare and co came after English became the language of the church. It’s only when English achieves supremacy in church, courts and palace that people seem to gain confidence to express themselves in it.

    If you look at places like Ireland, they’ve been trying for a century to revive Gaelic, but the language of the church was Latin till the 1960’s, and the language of commerce was English, and they’ve not made any progress.

    If you look at other parts of the world, commerce is done in English because it is the language of the current superpower (USA) and the previous one (Britain), but local languages and culture persist because they pray to their various gods in their local tongues.

    It is only when you cede the spiritual space that the local culture recedes. Take Mexico for example – after the Spanish conquest, they were forcibly converted, so they prayed in Latin and did business in Spanish. The old Aztec languages disappeared. But in the high Andes, in places like Bolivia, conversions didn’t happen on the same scale, which mean the old languages still survive, because they use them to pray to the old gods, even as they conduct business in Spanish.

    So it isn’t schools that ensure languages and culture survive, it’s churches and temples and the spiritual space in general.

  30. @Sea Change
    The problem with the only follow EU regulations for exports to the EU’ is that you have to be able to demonstrate that anything going to the EU has met those regulations.

    The easy way is to have matching standards (which means everyone in that industry in the UK still following EU standards)

    The harder way is to have some kind of identification mechanism that allows us to prove that anything being exported to the EU has been produced through a process that meets EU standards

    To give a couple of examples – if we want to continue to export high value lamb to Europe we are going to have to continue to follow Eu rules on tagging and sourcing for ALL lamb – otherwise we can’t prove that the lamb in a particular truck has been produced to EU standards.

    If we want to produce cars for export to the EU then they must meet EU engine standards; it would be highly inefficient to produce car engines for the UK or export outside the EU to one, lower emission standard and those for export to EU to a higher standard – the reality is that any engines produced will have to meet the predominant standard, which will be the EU’s.

    This debate about EU standards is a bit daft – we will still be required to comply in 98 or 99% of cases. Especially because most of the cases of EU standards being complained about before the referendum turned out to be either fictional or due to UK ‘gold-plating’…

  31. @BobinNorfolk

    PR

    Voted against in 2011 referendum and would again – weak governments – if the LD or Green policies are so good or any other party they should be able to win a General Election on their policies alone.

    You didn’t vote against PR in 2011 – no-one did. AV was on offer, not PR.

    :-)

  32. CMJ

    “You didn’t vote against PR in 2011 – no-one did.”

    True – though in 2010 Clegg “voted” against any chance that we might! :-)

  33. @candy

    As I said you changed your argument and are now changing it again. And by the way I’m English and not at all culturally insecure. Your stridency on the other hand speaks volumes about you.

  34. Apologies – it is a kind of off topic, but it is still polling, and at least from my perspective it is related to Brexit.

    The Hungarian government sent the following questionnaire (with the title, “Let’s stop Brussels”) to every citizen (some citizens somehow got more than one copy), and it can be filled in online (the data is collected by the Russian intelligence service – it is not a joke).

    So it is a poll.

    About a year ago I said that I would have voted Brexit had I had a voting right because I didn’t think that Britain should be in a club where Hungary could be a member. Then Brexiters caught up with the Hungarians, some even overtook them.

    Anyway, if you think that the campaign and since then Brexit was bad, here is the full survey questionnaire of the Hungarian government (the comments in squared brackets are mine).

    1) Brussels is preparing a dangerous step. It wants to force us to abolish the reduction in energy bills [The Hungarian government started to regulate 49% of the energy bill and left 51% unregulated, as a result, the energy bill of an average household actually increased}. What should Hungary do?
    a. Let’s defend the energy bill reduction. Let’s insist on determining the Hungarian energy prices in Hungary
    b. Let’s accept Brussels’s plan, and allow the large energy companies to determine the bills.
    2) Recently there have been terror acts one after the other in Europe. In spite of this Brussels want to force the Hungarian government to let in illegal immigrants [Of course, this is a washing over between various kinds of people moving across borders, the language gives everything away}. What should Hungary do?
    a. For the safety of Hungarians, the illegal immigrants should be put under supervision until authorities decide about them [and according to all reliable sources, beat them up, and demean them regularly]
    b. Allow the illegal immigrants to move freely in Hungary
    3) Today it is known that, apart from smugglers, illegal immigrants are also encouraged to illegal activities by certain international organisations [of course, financed by the Jewish Soros, the expression is merely a Hungarian version of polite antisemitism]. What should Hungary do?
    a. Those activities that encourage [popularise in original] illegal acts, such as illegal immigration, must be penalised.
    b. Let’s accept that there could be international organisations that could encourage the breaking of Hungarian laws without consequences.
    4) There are more and more foreign organisations that operate in Hungary with the objective to intervene in Hungary’s internal politics in a non-transparent way. The operation of these organisations threaten our independence [These are civil service organisations]. What should Hungary do?
    a. Let’s force them to register for which country’s interest and for what goal they act.
    b. Let them continue their risky activities without control
    5) Job creation has been successful in Hungary in the last few years because we followed our own path [and because half a million people at the minimum disappeared from the Hungarian labour market, but work in the EU]. Brussels now attack our measures to create jobs. What should Hungary do?
    a. On the future of the Hungarian economy, we, Hungarians must decide
    b. Brussels can decide on this.
    6) Hungary is determined to reduce the tax burden. Brussels is not attacking Hungary for this too. What should Hungary do?
    a. Let’s insist on the principle that the reduction of the tax burden is determined by the Hungarians.
    b. Let Brussels decide on this.

  35. Laszlo
    Very interesting. The results won’t be so interesting because of the way the questions are framed and Russian involvement. It does give credence to the idea that Russia is seeking to undermine and ultimately destroy the EU. I can see why they would want to.

  36. Laszlo

    Is this kind of Government “survey” a one-off in Hungary, or have their been similar ones before?

  37. cougar2802

    I just love your posts. You attack TM and then object to anyone who says anything about your wife NS.
    Sensitive or what?
    The difference between Brexit and Scottish Nationalism in hyperbolic terms is that the uk is seeking to free itself from slavery whereas Scotland merely wants to change its slave master. But remember even on your own terms you remain a slave.You will just have to remember to call Merkel the “Massa” from hereon in.

  38. Ashcroft poll – “Do you think Britain is on the right track, or heading in the wrong direction?”

    Geographic crossbreaks at best, can only be pointers, but there seems a considerable degree of consistency across England that “Britain” is on the right track – 44% to 37% – (only London and the NE dissenting, and the NW only marginally agreeing).and England’s “fringe nation” of Wales pretty much in agreement with England.

    One part of Britain, seems less convinced. Only 27% of Scots responded that the track was correct, while 55% thought Britain was heading in entirely the wrong direction.

    The views of those in the more isolated part of the UK – in the other main island of the archipelago – are ignored, as per usual, as there is little interest as to what goes on there.

    Due to the way Ireland was partitioned, that is unlikely to change – even as the potential of the “fractured basement” becomes clearer :south of Scottish waters, the remaining oil repositories are for the benefit of the Republic.

  39. On the Ashcroft Poll and weighting – he gives the demographic breakdown by region – so we could reweigh and get a proper sample for Scotland. It is already weighted to Scotland’s GE 15 vote and EU Ref vote.

  40. Couper

    I said earlier that the Scots sample in Ashcroft was a little SNP heavy.

    While “all respondents” match the GE15 figures, the ones for those who actually voted are a bit too high for SNP.

    Since the sample is small, there is far too big an moe for any adjustment to be worthwhile.

    The numbers are indicative, rather than precise and, if they don’t vary too much from Full Scottish polls, are worth noting.

    I wouldn’t want to push a subset of a GB poll any further.

  41. OldNat

    They had a number of them of these (the third one is particularly interesting, because from the barcode the campaign officer could identify the respondent, as a result of the complaint by the Data Protection of Ombudsman, the Ombudsman’s position was abolished).

    All of them had the same pattern in terms of questions and answers. The returned surveys are around 700,000 for each.

    2010: on pensions and benefits
    2011: on constitution
    2011: on reduction of energy bills, educational subsidies, helping people who borrowed mortgage in foreign currency (SFR)
    2012: taxation, NIC, energy bills, mortgages in foreign currency, corporate tax
    2015: terrorism and migration

  42. Laszlo

    Thanks. Government by Daily Mail?

  43. Pete B

    Yes, creating discord is the main thrust of the Russian policy currently (but it is true for the generic US one too) – it is evident from the alt-fact Russian sites (actually they are factual, just they are framed, and don’t really reflect the real priority of the day).

    The unusual pattern in this is the combination of the policy with huge Russian investment in Eastern Europe (but Chinese investment is growing there exponentially too, and very little is written about it, especially about its combination with policy).

  44. OldNat

    DM is a sophisticated, discerning, analytical newspaper compared to the leading Hungarian ones.

    In terms of questioning any government policy, even the most peripheral ones, there is really only one weekly left (with daily updated website – HVG), two news portals (444 and index), and one confused daily – Nepszava).

    The main opposition daily was sold to a close-to-government investor, who after the purchase recognised that it was not viable, so it closed it down, and removed past articles from the web (the same happened to one of the weeklies), while the leading newsportal was just transformed by replacing the staff.

    Without paying extra, you can only watch government channels on TV and listen to government radio (if you live outside of large cities and towns).

  45. “Why the UK chose to leave one of the world’s biggest trading blocks in order to face the economic and political storms ahead solo and isolated is still beyond me”

    @john b April 10th, 2017 at 12:19 pm

    Oh come on. It’s obvious. We are British. We had an Empire. Most of the world speaks English — well they do in New Zealand and Australia, two massive economies. And also in much of Canada and (perhaps) in the USA. We have even taught many Indians to speak a sort of English.

    And you know what, they are a growing economy. So they obviously will want to trade with us when we don’t have to kowtow to the Europeans. (We may have to kowtow to the Chinese, though — hehe. No, only kidding, we are English and kowtow to no one.)

    But we ARE the nation of free trade. We invented it. We have always based our economy on it, because we are an island race whose trading instincts are in our DNA. It’s all about trade you see. (I know our economy is about 80% services, but that aside, it’s about trade.) Trade means shipping physical things around the globe. We used to do that and we can again.

    Of course there are some who say we will have to let lots of other (undesirable) foreigners in if we turn away from the EU. Lots of Indians and Chinese, they say. But that is just scaremongering. The Indians and Chinese will want to trade with us precisely because we are no longer tied to the EU. And they won’t mind when we tell them they can’t send their people over here, but the can send their money. Yes please, we will be happy to get lots of money.

    I forget what the UK’s bank account number is, but someone will know the six digit sort code, and eight digit account number.

    Yep, the future’s really bright as the Hong Kong company Hutchison Whampoa used to say. We have nothing to fear. Indeed I can’t see any downside. As I said at the start, we are British. More importantly than that, most of us are English.

    What can go wrong?

  46. @OLDNAT

    I’m not sure it’s just the Daily Mail, but it’s certainly not government by the BBC as any more.

  47. @BFR

    I definitely agree with you that in some industries it will make sense to have uniform standards.and so I believe a sector-based approach will be taken concerning regulations.

  48. @AL URQA

    Brilliant post!

  49. Sea Change 3.25 p.m. yesterday

    @John B “If we wish to trade with the European Union in an open way (‘tariff-free’ as SC puts it) then the quid pro quo is the freedom of movement. These are the rules which the EU has. Free market equals free market – in all four categories. Anything other than that will not be tariff free.”

    You wrote in reply: “This is simply not the case. There are plenty of free trade deals around the world that do not have free movement of people. Indeed the EU recently signed one itself with Canada that does not have freedom of movement.”

    You (intentionally?) miss my point. The deal with Canada is not ‘free trade’ in the sense intended by the term ‘Single Market’. Brexiteers seem to be living under the illusion that the UK can maintain its ‘Single Market’ access whilst picking and choosing what to agree to.

    Canada has a ‘free trade’ agreement with the EU in certain goods and services – I don’t have the full agreement to hand so am writing as I understand the situation – but Canada’s access to the EU Single Market is nothing like as full as that which Brexiteers want for the UK, at least as far as I can judge from what I read.

    Were the UK to end up with a deal similar to that of Canada, the UK’s financial and industrial access to the EU would be severely diminished in comparison with the current situation.

    Of course, should anyone here know better I would be delighted to learn more!

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