We’re heading into Summer and the silly season now, so don’t necessarily expect much polling (August tends to be quite anyway…the month after a general election even more so). This is just a quick update on the latest YouGov voting intention figures, which are CON 41%(nc), LAB 44%(+1), LDEM 7%(+1). Fieldwork was Monday to Tuesday and changes are from a fortnight ago. Full tabs are here.


891 Responses to “YouGov/Times – CON 41%, LAB 44%, LDEM 7%”

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  1. COLIN @ BZ

    Presumably it would be academically embarrassing for both if they failed to produce appropriate credentials for their results ?

    Quite so. I was pretty that two of the researchers gave quotes to the media before the peer review which seems to be “nailing their trousers to the mast” in Sir Humphrey speak.

    On second thoughts, if, when it’s published, AW doesn’t agree with the weightings then another voodoo poll thread could well be on the cards. OTOH, if he accepts it as valid then by the time we get the full tables it will be very much yesterday’s news.

  2. @John Pilgrim

    Thanks for two excellent examples of the largely unseen and unappreciated UK government practice of promoting its own agenda against domestic opposition by blaming it on EU dictats against which resistance is futile.

    Did the UK parliament get stuck into debating these issues. Coal mining subsidies, probably yes, but against a backdrop of Thatcherism vs Socialism not ‘what can the EU do to help?’
    Meat processing? Too boring, old chap. Let’s leave it to those eurocrats.

  3. Hi, wasn’t there someone who posted recently saying they had done an odd poll on Brexit which they struggled to complete because none of the available answers were close to their opinion? Just wondering if they did this poll.

    Also, going to the buzzfeed article and looking at the diagrams shows that 55% of remainers favoured no divorce bill while about 48% favoured a £50 billion divorce bill?

    https://www.buzzfeed.com/jamesball/remain-and-leave-voters-are-surprisingly-united-on-backing?utm_term=.jprYvEGLz#.kk18PeMXN

  4. Death penalty

    It seems to me that the death penalty is too good to be wasted on murderers. After all we end up doing it to mental defectives and people who the media tell us were totally innocent. After all there are not many book sales in “hung man guilty” stories.
    No, we should think of entirely new categories of offence ,not necessarily criminal, that justify this sanction. There are any number of politicians who from time to time have annoyed me so much that the judicial sanction has fleetingly crossed my mind.Then there are flytippers. In fact the list is endless. The only group i would keep off the list is murderers because apart from revenge and cost cutting there is no point.

  5. BBZ
    @” if, when it’s published, AW doesn’t agree with the weightings then another voodoo poll thread could well be on the cards. OTOH, if he accepts it as valid then by the time we get the full tables it will be very much yesterday’s news.”

    A win-win then?

    Its either rubbish , or out of date. :-)

    SOMERJOHN
    @”if they often leave the Commission to get on with things, that’s because it’s easier that way (and convenient to have a scapegoat). That’s a failure of national governance, not the EU.”

    What you are describing is exactly the outcome of Top Down/One Size Fits All.

    The Member States have clearly all agreed with the central pillars of EU’s Supra-National governance & transfer of competencies/sovereignty to it. I’m not questioning that. It is clearly at the heart of the Union ( though I point to increasing disagreement among them about the pace & effect of Ever Closer UNion).

    But the Matrix of Law , Regulation, Treaty obligation etc etc which comes back down to them begins to erode the vitality of the National Parliaments. It produces , I would suggest, the very symptoms exhibited by UK LAs who feel they have become mere rubber stamps for Whitehall dictat. The result is the attitude you allude to.

    What I find more interesting though , is the lack of co-operation & dialogue between the Government Agencies of Member States when implementing pan-EU Regulation. The Brussels & Paris terrorist attacks were an example. Indeed the multi-layered political structures with Belgium itself produced barriers to communication & co-operation by Security Services. And once more with this egg insecticide scandal we have a row between Member States about who knew what first & why they didn’t communicate.

    It is as though the whole panoply of EU’s supra-national governance blueprint is completely detached from the modus operandi , culture & working practices of key agencies of the Member States.

    You say that this is not a failure at EU level. I suggest that it is a failure of the EU’s structure.

    Does there not come a point at which so much Regulatory & Legislative “competence” has been transferred to Brussels, that the National Parliaments & their agencies become mere rubber stamps for The Centre-and increasingly apathetic ones in the way you suggest. ?
    And is a point not reached when the corpus of EU Law & Regulation can only reliably be implemented / monitored/policed by EU institutions?

    At what point does the Nation State within EU become not just an neutered legislative entity-but a hindrance to the implementation of EU’s whole Governance Blue-print?

  6. SOMERJOHN
    “Meat processing? Too boring, old chap. Let’s leave it to those eurocrats.”
    I don’t know whether it was debated in Parliament, but for the Devon small farmers and the parish councils both the preservation of the Devon breed and availability in the local butchers and animal welfare were of passionate local concern – that is, these are factors which make up the structure of the farming economy and its culture and social organisation – not just to do with the aggregative financial returns to agriculture and food marketing. An instance, perhaps, of when the rural and local voice is not heard, but given the provision for subsidiarity, this was certainly the UK government that did not much bother. Odd to think that our view of Europe in this and other matters was determined by Harvard economists rather than Brussels bureaucrats.

  7. @Colin

    I can’t judge what others will think of your arguments, but with all due respect (and that’s not just formulaic: I do respect your views and willingness to respond substantively) and with apologies for the technical jargon: you’re away with the fairies, mate.

    * “The Member States have clearly all agreed with the central pillars of EU’s Supra-National governance & transfer of competencies/sovereignty to it.”

    It’s possibly clear to you, but to me and surely anyone looking objectively what has been agreed is a severely limited sharing of sovereignty in strictly delineated areas, where it is to mutual advantage.

    We could all sketch out truly effective supranational bodies. Maybe EuroSecure, an elite Commission-controlled counter terrorist paramilitary corps, with its own GCHQ-style intelligence centre, its own transport with rights to cross borders at will, its barracks in every country, its control of external borders.

    That’s the sort of thing your words describe. The reality is laughably different: 28 countries all doing their own thing with a sadly limited degree of effective cooperation and coordination.

  8. COLIN
    “What I find more interesting though , is the lack of co-operation & dialogue between the Government Agencies of Member States when implementing pan-EU Regulation. The Brussels & Paris terrorist attacks were an example.”

    The agriculture and food industries pose a different set of issues contributing to a lack of co-operation and dialogue, which is at the heart of failures in CAP and in food hygiene and animal health. E.g.dairy herd sizes in the 90’s were about 67 head per herd in the UK, six in France and 1.3 in Italy and Greece, in the latter the national dairy industry being based on the family cow. Similar differentialsexist for farm sizes and proportion of the work force in agriculture. In consequence only the EC could, largely artificially, provide a database on which to come up with a programme of, unrealistic, subsidies under the CAP..

  9. SOMERJOHN

    @”The reality is laughably different: 28 countries all doing their own thing with a sadly limited degree of effective cooperation and coordination.”

    Coming back to Security.-your perception of how things really work-shackled to open internal borders & zero control of external borders says it all about the EU.

    “EuroSecure “would at least recognise the problem.

    EU is neither one thing nor the other.

  10. Colin

    “I note that LSE & Oxford Uni are authors.”

    I must say I am really highly amused by the Remainers reaction to this report. It is exactly what I expected.

    I did see Jeremy Browne’s comments and was not in the least surprised. The EU is rotten to the core and getting steadily worse. Can’t wait for us to leave.

    Sea Change

    “The EU’s position is political and not on the basis of even basic accounting standards.”

    Always has been. If the EU was a business organisation most of the commission would have been jailed a long time ago.

  11. ToH

    “Always has been. If the EU was a business organisation most of the commission would have been jailed a long time ago.”

    Really, we don’t see a lot of business people going to jail

  12. CR
    “Really, we don’t see a lot of business people going to jail”

    if that’s true, it’s because we have a pretty good regulatory system in this country. How many years is it since the EU’s accounts were passed as kosher? No company could do that in this country.

  13. Absence of prosecution isn’t necessarily absence of crime

  14. Colin

    “UK LAs who feel they have become mere rubber stamps for Whitehall dictat.”

    I have long since ceased to be surprised that few (on any side, or in any of the UK na6tions) understand the EU, when so few understand how the state that they live in is organised! [1]

    The writ of Whitehall has never run in NI – which has had its own Civil Service since the inception of that enclave.

    Even before legislative devolution in 1998, the Civil Service Departments responsible for Scottish matters transferred to Edinburgh from London after WWI and the SoS for Scotland determined the policies they implemented. After 2000, control of them passed to Scottish Ministers.

    The Welsh Office wasn’t created until 1965, and even after legislative devolution, some matters that will affect LAs there will still be a matter for Whitehall “diktat”.

    Worse still, many (hopefully no one on this site) imagine that Mann and the Channel Islands are part of the UK!

    AFAIK, LAs throughout the UK complain of diktat from Whitehall/Belfast/Edinburgh/Cardiff, and the relevant governments feel entitled to make such diktats because they control most of the budgets for the LAs.
    If any part of the UK had the kind of decentralised taxation models that can be found elsewhere, then things may be different.

    As it is, you not only misunderstand the structure of the UK, but misread the causes of that of which you complain.

    [1] You may understand all of this, and simply be using the careless sloppy language that mar comments from time to time. In which case, the section on the inapplicability of “Whitehall” to much of the UK should be considered as directed towards those who were unaware of such matters.

  15. TOH
    “I must say I am really highly amused by the Remainers reaction to this report. It is exactly what I expected. ”

    I believe that if you checked you’ld find that all the comments on this thread on the Independent report on LSE Oxford study are from people who @Colin once referred to in my case as soi disant academics; that is people who, as a result of their training or professioanal work, tend to rely on scientific reporting. One of the rules of the game is that you don’t announce the results of a piece of research before it ispeer reviewed or published, especially not selectively and to press.
    Let’s wait and see the full report and whether they sustain the professor’s claimed results.

  16. Regarding the research info that Buzzfeed reported on. This is not the same as polling and data has not even been through any peer review.

    It was also miss reported and the following correction was issued.

    “CORRECTION
    August 11, 2017, at 5:17 p.m.
    The researchers collected six data points each from 3,293 people, resulting in a dataset of 19,758 choices. An earlier version of this story misstated that the researchers surveyed 20,000 people.”

    We will have to wait to see how UK public opinion changes as more information on Brexit is revealed. Still think a second referendum is inevitable.

  17. R Huckle

    “Still think a second referendum is inevitable.”

    Mebbes aye, meebes naw.

    If there is a 2nd Brexit referendum, I would think it will be called for precisely the same reason as the first one – to dig the Tory UK Government out of a self-created hole.

    Can’t see it working next time either.

  18. John Pilgrim

    If you will recall My son is a Professor doing scientific research so I am well aware of peer review. It’s not actually that uncommon for some indication of the work to be reported before peer review if the work is of some importance.

    I was just amused, still am. R Huckle as just added to my amusement as there was no error in the report in the Independant.

    I think the likelyhood of a second referendum on EU membership before we exit is very remote.

  19. here are some of the comments by Brian Walker at Slugger’s on the Buzzfeed poll.

    “Finding the public’s view on what Brexit should look like has proven a tricky task for pollsters and politicians, as many of the technical issues and tradeoffs are not well understood. As an example, one poll showed 88% of the public supporting free trade with the EU post-Brexit, while 69% wanted customs checks at the border – a directly contradictory position, meaning at least 57% of respondents had said they supported both open and closed borders.

    The academics tackled this by forcing respondents to choose between different plausible Brexit scenarios, then analysing the huge dataset this produced to find Leave and Remain voters’ priorities for Brexit.

    The Irish border

    The future of the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland is one of the key early issues in the Brexit negotiation, and one that many fear could be one of the most fraught – with some warning it could even lead to a reescalation of the Troubles.

    However, these fears have not broken through to most of the British public, who have very few strong views on the issue. Overall, Remain voters slightly prefer an open border, while Leave voters want both passport and customs checks.”

    https://sluggerotoole.com/2017/08/12/major-survey-shows-deep-confusion-in-uk-opinion-over-brexit/

  20. John Pilgrim

    Not entirely true, often (particularly in competitive scientific fields) preliminary results are presented in conferences before the paper detailing the work has been published, a process which can take up to a year. Getting your research out there as fast as possible can be important in terms of who is credited with the work. Often the scrutiny in a conference can be more detailed than that within a department due to the number of people sharing a particular specialisation who can cast their eyes over your work, or might be aware of related work which might be relevant.

    Of course this is a very different situation to releasing results to the media before the paper has been approved. Media is hopelessly ill equipped to report these things or scrutinise the work which they report.

    Also peer review is by no means a guarantee of quality and if using a papers findings you should review the paper yourself putting it into the context of your work and testing if there are any weaknesses in it rather than relying on “published = gold standard”. Editors are fallible and subtle errors can sneak through. I recently reviewed a paper and was astonished at how fundamentally poor quality the paper was, with its results completely flawed and yet it was published in a respected journal.

  21. OLDNAT

    Sigh-might have known I would get the usual lecture from you on NI/Scotland /Wales etc etc.

    Still-you did write this :-
    “@”AFAIK, LAs throughout the UK complain of diktat from Whitehall/Belfast/Edinburgh/Cardiff, ”

    which is what I was suggesting. :-)

    But I know you like to tell folk they don’t understand how Government in these Islands works -and that you do, and will correct their woeful ignorance .

    Whatever grabs your sporran old chap-if it makes you happy .

  22. Two books have been reviewed in the Irish Times today. One traces IRA violence while the other looks at UVF violence. Much of the content of both books consists of interviews with members of both groups. The review is (for some of the content) behind a paywall but there is a good deal to read before the subscription demand hits. Below are some extracts .

    “The books look backwards, recounting the history of rival republican and loyalist groups, but they each end with reflections on the future that should sound alarm bells.

    Since the 2016 referendum in which the UK – though not Northern Ireland – made the decision to leave the European Union, pro-Brexit voices have dismissed suggestions that the upheaval might damage the peace process.
    But anger over the prospect of a harder border on the island of Ireland has already contributed to the collapse of the North’s powersharing government.

    And even if a return to violence on the scale of the Troubles seems nearly impossible from where we stand, history warns against a cavalier attitude.
    White’s book begins in the year 1170 and shows how our past is littered with bursts of violence separated by peaceful pauses.”

    “In the closing chapters, unnamed interviewees are asked a series of questions about the republican movement, including the question: “Who won the war?”
    Contributors from Sinn Féin, which this year won record support in the North’s two elections, look to the political path ahead.
    ‘Is war over?’
    A dissident republican voice instead answers: “I’d say there’s no winner at the moment and, is the war over, is the other thing.”

    UVF: Behind the Mask offers a history of the loyalist paramilitary organisation, also told largely through interviews with its members.
    It recounts the turmoil of the 1960s and how in 1965 the paramilitary Ulster Volunteer Force was re-established to “put pressure on the ruling Unionist Party seen as weak on Irish republicanism and far too liberal in its views on northern Catholics and the Republic of Ireland”, but this was a “world of half-truths and paranoia” fuelled by mainstream unionists found to be at the centre of that genesis of modern loyalist paramilitarism.”

    “The book talks of “40 years of a paramilitary subculture” continuing to plague some communities. It recounts the stalled efforts to build a successful loyalist political party, plus criticism of the leadership role of the DUP.
    Despite loyalist paramilitary involvement in organised crime and violence, the wider government response has been to encourage loyalist groups to “apply for funding which would ensconce paramilitary leaders with more authority than they had previously enjoyed”.
    The author found a “sense of despair”, adding: “For many young men (and women) their role models were more likely to be Johnny Adair or Billy Wright than they were Rory McIlroy or George Best.

    The optimism of 1998 has long faded. Now Brexit has tempted some in the DUP to stave-off change by seeking to harden the Irish Border and to deepen Northern Ireland’s economic dependence on Britain. Republicans, meanwhile, seek to tap in to any chance to push for a new constitutional settlement.

    Brexit has landed at a time when large-scale republican violence has ended, though small and dangerous dissident groups remain. Loyalist paramilitaries are fragmented and volatile, while loyalist politicians who raise issues such as educational underachievement in their communities are ignored.

    In the absence of a formal process to deal with the legacy of the Troubles, we don’t yet have a full understanding of the factors that shaped the conflict or the peace. There is a failure to reintegrate paramilitaries, a failure to broker a deal to heal the legacy of the Troubles, plus a failure to make reconciliation in the North a shared priority for all political parties. Are those failures accidental? Whose interests did it serve to sustain paramilitarism and frustrate reconciliation?”

    https://www.irishtimes.com/culture/books/interviews-with-paramilitaries-histories-of-the-ira-and-uvf-1.3174613

  23. OldNat

    “However, its good to see that in a number of administrations, government statisticians [1] are seeking to improve the quality and usefulness of government statistics.”

    Indeed, government reports, although I would not like to generalise from my experiences, are often more reliable than academic papers.

    It is quite striking when one compares a paper written for the government and the One written for an academic journal on the same subject by the same author(s) (including my own work). The former is far superior by all meaningful measures (but the latter is necessary for the former – or deemed to be).

  24. TOH @ 8.58 am and 2.28 pm gives a very telling illustration of how some non-scientific people with closed minds can read a report (LSE/OxfordUni) and draw out from it only the “facts” they want to see.

    The report still has to be peer-reviewed and maybe the authors will rethink, but what they have shown is how divided both Remainers and Leavers (defined by vote in the referendum) now are.

    How does TOH react to the Indy`s sentence that 34% of Leavers would back a deal that gave Britain “no control over EU migration and similar levels of immigration to now”.

    Did you skip that finding TOH?

    So Leavers are just as soft on what they want from Brexit as Remainers are willing for Brexit to actually occur.

    And the only conclusion I can draw at this stage is that only a small minority in the UK want a hard brexit.

  25. “”Meanwhile, more than a third of Leavers — 34 per cent — said they would back a deal that gave Britain no control over EU immigration and similar levels of migration to now.””

    This is one of the sections of the preliminary LSE/OU report from which TOH averted his eyes, so that he can spin his customary one-sided messages.

    As for his claim that the EU is corrupt because it doesn`t pass certain levels of checking in audits, well then the UK government is just as corrupt because it too fails to reach the standard.

    The standard that these Leavers want would cause so much bureaucracy in checking both UK and EU accounts that taxes would have to rise.

  26. I see from that Independent report that 9% of Leave voters want to bring back proper currency. Just the ticket! That’ll confuse Johnny Foreigner!

    I wonder how many remember programming computers to work in £sd as I did?

  27. PeteB

    Was the computer on LSD – or were you? :-)

  28. I knew someone would make that crack which was why I used the £ sign. As it happens, I’ve never partaken. I was (and am) more a real ale and cider man.

  29. “”I must say I am really highly amused by the Remainers reaction to this report. It is exactly what I expected.””

    That`s what TOH said about the LSE/Oxford University poll on Brexit hopes.

    Well his interpretation of this preliminary report is exactly what most people on UKPR would expect – highly selective culling which simply omitting findings that don`t support his set-in-stone view.

    We can allow the Daily Mail to spin selectively, but we ought to have higher standards on UKPR.

  30. Pete B

    I wasn’t seriously suggesting that you did (though the £ sign is just an archaic L)

    I don’t know what the hallucinogenic equivalent for a computer would be – Maybe Internet explorer? :-)

  31. I remember a shareware program that generated swirling fractal patterns in multiple colours. I’m guessing that might be similar (though I bow to your greater expertise in such matters).

  32. “That’ll confuse Johnny Foreigner!”

    not really – they pay by contactless card or ApplePay, you see.

    It would be more difficult for kids: calculate the energy consumption of a person carrying two bushels of barley and three firkins of butter in calories for 11 furlongs (calculate the extra energy needed if an extra twenty-two furlongs needed to be made because of the enclosure of the previously publicly owned field).

  33. Saddening (but not in the least surprising) to see that the Nazis in Charlottville VA are using the same terrorist techniques as ISIS inspired folk – driving vehicles at people they disapprove of.

    Maybe there should be a “war on terror” – but on all kinds of it, from whatever source.

  34. Laszlo
    Nice try, but calories are of course an invention of the devil. The real unit is the foot-pound. :-)

  35. Pete B

    “The real unit is the foot-pound.”

    You taken up jogging?

  36. @S Thomas “i see the new party brigade are at it again. They want to call themselves the “democrats”; their main aim is to…er… overturn the democratic referendum decision.Shurely Shome mistake as private eye might once have said.”

    I’m sure the irony is lost on them. My favourite is the Cleggster. He was demanding an IN/OUT Referendum on the Lisbon Treaty in 2008 (and on the Constitution in 2005)

    “It’s been over thirty years since the British people last had a vote on Britain’s membership of the European Union.

    That’s why the Liberal Democrats want a real referendum on Europe. Only a real referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU will let the people decide our country’s future.

    But Labour don’t want the people to have their say.
    The Conservatives only support a limited referendum on the Lisbon Treaty.

    Why won’t they give the people a say in a real referendum?”

    He was very keen on them until he lost one on AV in 2011.

    Cameron’s 2013 IN/OUT real referendum pledge had suddenly become “a distraction” to Clegg.

    Now he appears to be awfully keen on them again even though the people have indeed “decided on our country’s future” – Apparently 41 years is too long to wait to have another go and one should be held again immediately!

    As Melchett would say “he twists and turns like a … twisty-turny thing!”

  37. Sea Change

    As Melchett would say “he twists and turns like a … twisty-turny thing!”

    True, but politicians do these kind of shifts quite regularly. May and Davidson moving from Remainer to Leaver would be other examples.

    Some do remain consistent, however. Trump advocated violence to his opponents at campaign rallies, and shows consistency by failing to condemn the violence of white supremacists.

    Consistency of supporting evil may be worse than vacillation over less important matters.

  38. ON
    I invented jogging. G’night all.

  39. Pete B

    :-) Just don’t try doing it in Charlottesville!

  40. @Oldnat

    I don’t think the analogy of Davidson or May is correct. They both say they voted Remain but accept that the People have decided differently and their duty is to find a way to make it work. As for Clegg’s 180s and violence in Charlottesville I think you’re really grasping!

  41. OLDNAT
    “May and Davidson moving from Remainer to Leaver would be other examples.”

    I rather think Davidson has moved to Poised

  42. ALAN
    Agreed, except that conference is a submission to dialogue (with peers) and publication in any scientific journal is different in intent from selective promulgation to the media – in the case of this research posing the question is it himself, the research methodology or Brexit and any of its many manifestations and interests that he is promoting?

  43. ALAN
    Relevant to the discussion of the use of statistics and statistical survey on this site, a further scenario on (which i exchanged views with @ syzygy and laszlo regarding my recent experience of conference and seminar discussion of research on social impact assessment) is that of a stated intention to apply research to practice or public policy – lazlo’s relevant point on the generally better quality of government over academic reports is relevant, partly reflecting their comprehensive nature and intention to advise politicians and senior civil servants about competing research (the Scottish Government Report to Parliament on Migration is a good example) and partly because they reflect long-term databases and testing of research hypotheses (policy ideas) against reality and the experience of application in practice.
    In the specific context of migration (the LSE/Oxford research seems to have been more to do with the authors’ interest in public knowledge and communication processes than with verifiable attitudes to migration) publicly sponsored research reports which are quasi governmental and which should have informed the referendum debate included the EC 2015 Ageing Report, based in respect of the UK on ONS and Treasury support and that of Eurostat research, and the UK Commission on Employment and Skills 2016 Working Futures Report, commissioned by UKCES and conducted at the University of Leicester.

  44. The Brexit divorce bill

    This IMHO holds the key to how the UK emerges from Brexit. Of the three pre-trade talk issues it is the most important to theEU. We are close on immigration and the Irish issue will be technical and/or the EU is not going to go to the wall over it.

    a.The legal position. The uK legally probably does not have to pay anything or if it does then some small payment in 1bn-3bn area. Both sides know the payment is political.
    b. The EU position..The eU has three drivers behind their position:

    1. Strategic. The payment is a visible demonstration of the pain of leaving the EU which the EU hopes will not be lost on other countries and will counter balance the creation of a pathway or roadmap to exit. our negotiating team may be in demand.About £60bn is the minimum for this.
    2. Reputational. Barnier will be solely judged on this. he knows it and the UK knows it.
    3. Financial.The EU budget is a mess . No-one wants to fill the hole created by the Uk departure. Some net beneficiaries will become contributors . The can must be kicked down the road.once again £60 bn perhaps spread over 5 years would seem a good EU target,

    The EU tactics are predictable. The Uk must be forced to make an offer. They will hope that the offer is about £30bn.That will described as inadaquate but a good starting point.It will probably be enough to go to into trade talks but the eU will re-iterate that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed.The final trade deal will require an additional payment by the UK of 20-30bn coming out at , guess what, about £60bn

    c. The UK position.The uK knows it will have to pay a political sum and the only game is as to how much that is.The tactic is to tie it to a satisfactory trade dealThey must not be lured into a provisional figure. there must either be no sum put forward or a final sum. There is no logic in it not being the final position since the arithmetic does not change. Why does the sum need to be subject to later review? so the uK position must be:

    1. A final sum;
    2. Subject to trade deal;

    I think a 5yr 30- 40 bn deal will be swallowed providing there is a very good trade deal.The UK will need to hold its nerve and stare down the threat not to open trade talks. I am afraid it will be who blinks first.This is as Cpl Steiner might say is where the iron crosses grow.

  45. S THOMAS
    Corporal Steiner? Who he? Waffling on about Iron crosses, in a most un- British fashion, if I may say so.
    But,we all know what Corporal Jones would say…
    DON’T PANIC!!!

  46. rjw

    for the culturally illiterate- sam peckinpah classic-Cross of `Iron A study of the German defeat in the Crimea.

  47. I knew that, I was just taking the p*ss! For the ever-so-slightly up themselves amongst us.

  48. rjw

    i knew that, i was just taking the p*ss.

  49. St T
    Ha!

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