The quiet summer rolls on – for once we have a proper silly season with barely any domestic political news. I’m off for the next week, so won’t be updating even if there are any chunky polls to write about. In the meantime Opinium released their regular voting intention poll last night, which continued to show a small Labour lead – CON 40%, LAB 43%, LDEM 6%, UKIP 4%. Full tabs are here.


795 Responses to “Opinium/Observer – CON 40, LAB 43, LDEM 6”

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  1. TOH: The people in the UK affected by the damage caused will be told repeatedly it is all the EU’s fault and no doubt this will cause anger and hatred which I suggest will last for generations. Even Somerjohn has agreed with that last sentence.

    Hah! The only bit of that sentence I’ve ever agreed with is “people in the UK affected by [anything adverse] will be told repeatedly it is all the EU’s fault.”

    As Danny has very cogently put it:

    There is a firm menu of available options for relationships with the EU, but Leave and of late conservatives have argued it is possible to create a new option.

    If you, TOH, want to define the EU’s failure to create a new cake-and-eat-it option as their showing “no sign of any desire on the part of EU negotiators to actually negotiate” then I would suggest that reflects your inadequate understanding of the EU’s position which was always clear, consistent and – as Danny has pointed out – defined by the rulebook that we helped create.

    Whether people continue to swallow the “it’s all the EU’s fault” mantra is debateable. At some point, people will surely see that Brexit has indeed meant Brexit.

    As for your “anger and hatred which I suggest will last for generations,” I think that will rightly be laid at the door of those who bamboozled the country into voting for Brexit.

  2. The Other Howard: I have seen no sign of any desire on the part of EU negotiators to actually negotiate. I suspect the plan is to give us no acceptable deal which will of course cause significant damage to the UK in the short term as well as substantial damage in the EU. I think they calculate that this is a price worth paying to prevent other defections by EU members. The people in the UK affected by the damage caused will be told repeatedly it is all the EU’s fault and no doubt this will cause anger and hatred which I suggest will last for generations.

    Well, the only obligation on the EU to negotiate is in Article 50:

    2. A Member State which decides to withdraw shall notify the European Council of its intention. In the light of the guidelines provided by the European Council, the Union shall negotiate and conclude an agreement with that State, setting out the arrangements for its withdrawal, taking account of the framework for its future relationship with the Union. That agreement shall be negotiated in accordance with Article 218(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. It shall be concluded on behalf of the Union by the Council, acting by a qualified majority, after obtaining the consent of the European Parliament.

    As far as I can see, they are doing that negotiation. As far as it goes, ‘taking into account the framework of the future relationship’ to me means that the UK has to be clear about in vs out on SM and CU, so that the Irish border is addressed under Article 50.

    As for any negotiation beyond that on Prosecco and Mercs for example, there is no obligation on the EU to ever negotiate and we should not expect it as a right. They will only negotiate if there is something they want. And if they don’t want to sell us Prosecco and Mercs or even talk about it, then we have to suck it up.

    If, for not negotiating on Prosecco and Mercs, the UK decides it is being punished, then that is a problem for the UK alone. And if the UK decides to have a tantrum of anger and hatred which lasts for generations, given that the EU is not our parent, nor in the position to give us a good slapping, then the appropriate course for the EU is to ignore us and leave us alone until the UK gets over it.

    I would think, ToH, that you are sufficiently old to understand all this and that you would deploy your mature understanding to defuse the tantrum which is undoubtedly being stoked up.

  3. BREXIT EFFECTS

    The German Chamber of Commerce is reporting that many of its members are already switching investment away from the UK because of the fear that Brexit will lead to higher costs and more bureaucracy (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-41069458).

    It certainly seems to be true that the economic disadvantages of Brexit are arriving before the advantages (if any). So the crucial factor will be: how much economic pain, and for how long, will the Great British public put up with before it starts changing it’s mind.

  4. @NEILJ,

    Too right. I find it crazy how nobody has mentioned the energy cap at all? This could be a huge policy that would help many of those ‘just about managing’.

    It shouldn’t even matter what the relative merits of the policy are – it’s about the fact it was a manifesto commitment, which the government could implement easily if it wanted to. But we know the real reason why this isn’t happening: the energy cap, along with all the other worker-friendly policies that you mentioned, were really essentially a bribe to the labour heartlands. But they snubbed May, so now they won’t follow through on these policies. They never believed in them anyway and their only use was to win over Labour voters.

    It’s absurd. The Tories are in government and they’re just flouting manifesto commitment after manifesto commitment. Meanwhile Corbyn is lambasted for apparently going back on promises he never made – and even if he had, they weren’t manifesto commitments, so their value would be worth much less than the numerous commitments May made in her manifesto, which she is happy to throw into the dustbin without even giving excuses (they can’t even argue that it’s because they don’t have a majority – it’s quite clear that the DUP would happily agree to these market interventionist policies).

    As you say, it’s just lie after lie after lie. But political debate in this country is a series of absurd double standards – so what did we expect….

  5. @Analyst
    It’s absurd. The Tories are in government and they’re just flouting manifesto commitment after manifesto commitment. Meanwhile Corbyn is lambasted for apparently going back on promises he never made – and even if he had, they weren’t manifesto commitments, so their value would be worth much less than the numerous commitments May made in her manifesto, which she is happy to throw into the dustbin without even giving excuses (they can’t even argue that it’s because they don’t have a majority – it’s quite clear that the DUP would happily agree to these market interventionist policies).

    Agree

  6. This piece of news could be a problem for a party I don’t support:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Khadki

  7. An interesting take on Labour’s Brexit announcement.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/keir-starmer-brexit-jeremy-corbyn-vince-cable-single-market-a7915626.html

    Can’t escape the feeling that there is a party political element to this announcement. Its a huge issue to play political games with.

    Amused by this :-
    ““In security terms, a failure to reach agreement would mean our cooperation in the fight against crime and terrorism would be weakened.”

    Michel Barnier

    First reaction-so who’se issuing threats now.?

    Second reaction: -This guy is talking about the UK missing out on the “co-operation” in security which failed in Belgium & Catalonia because their regional agencies don’t talk to each other-let alone UK!! .Catastrophic failures of security “co-operation” for the citizens of & visitors to Barcelona, Brussels & Paris.

    Sometimes these Brussels types really show what a bubble they live in.

  8. Re Hurricane Harvey where I live we did not suffer much structural damage but the flooding has washed out some of our farm land and that of our neighbours with more rain to come things are fairly strained at the moment.
    Those of us that are able have got together to assist our neighbours who have lost just about everything including there homes so I won’t be posting again to things settle down all the best .

  9. @COLIN

    We had two attack during the election period. I am not sure the failure you had described can not be related graphed on our own incidents. The Article 50 letter mention security interest more times

    http://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/785389/Theresa-May-Article-50-letter-explained-Brexit-talks-two-years-divorce-bill-Scotland

    this is a direct quote from the letter

    “In security terms a failure to reach agreement would mean our cooperation in the fight against crime and terrorism would be weakened.”

  10. @COLIN

    We had two attack during the election period. I am not sure the failure you had described can not be related graphed on our own incidents. The Article 50 letter mention security interest more times

    http://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/785389/Theresa-May-Article-50-letter-explained-Brexit-talks-two-years-divorce-bill-Scotland

    this is a direct quote from the letter

    “In security terms a failure to reach agreement would mean our cooperation in the fight against crime and terrorism would be weakened.”

  11. @HIRETON

    You keep demonstrating why I said what I said. let me go through it slowly

    1. SNP as the government have very little room to maneuver over budgets. Money is a key to getting political change, even in rich countries as you need money for investment

    2. SNP have followed similar policies to other governments, many of which are seen as negative. Sturgeon’s confrontation with a nurse (which to be fair to her was a right wing wet dream of a situation, a left wing party doing essentially austerity for the government

    3. This has led to them losing votes irrespective of the the voting system (of which I believe the FPTP is a corruption of democracy). they are down in two years from 50% all scottish vote cast to 38%.

    I agree with you they have less room to maneuver, it is not clear what they would do with the extra powers proper devolution would give them but you can make decision that would put you in a different place and they did not.

    I accept that does not mean that a large proportion of people will support them not that because of the FPTP system they can get squeezed by an independence voters but the figure show something different and there are many articles on this some of which are bias as usual This one has the usual issues of course but many of the facts remain:

    http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/june2017/2017/05/nicola-sturgeons-snp-tony-blairs-new-labour-heading-crash-landing

  12. @COLIN

    ‘….these Brussels types…’

    Interesting how you can tell people’s political views just from the language they use!

  13. PTRP

    @”We had two attack during the election period.”

    I know-why mention it ! ?

    I wasn’t proposing a balance sheet of terrorist attacks.

    I was pointing out the irony of a senior EU official suggesting that “failure to reach agreement” ( incidentally-something which both sides in the negotiation should be trying to avoid) would result in EU security co-operation with UK would be weakened, when set beside the reports & analysis of catastrophic failures in internal co-operation in Belgium & Catalonia.

    If that is a direct quote from TM then, imo it is a stupid as Barnier’s. This is FAR too important a subject to play negotiation games with. Security co-operation across Europe is important in its own right-whatever the membership. of the EU from time to time.

  14. TURK

    Glad to hear you are safe.

  15. TONY EBERT

    @”nteresting how you can tell people’s political views just from the language they use!”

    Yes-I’ve noticed that too :-)

  16. @COLIN

    But maybe it would be better, and more persuasive, to write using value-neutral language?

  17. Toby Ebert

    “But maybe it would be better, and more persuasive, to write using value-neutral language?”

    Then it would become more difficult deciding which posts to ignore!

  18. @Alan

    Well yes, but, however painful it is, it’s surely better to engage with your political opponents than ignore them.

  19. Somerjohn, Monochrome October, Danny

    You seem to have missed the point that I do, and always have understood the EU’s position. It’s why I have said for a long time now that the most likely outcome will be that the UK will leave without a deal. It’s a sad reflection on the unbelievable bureaucratic nature of the EU. [Yes Somerjohn I know there has been a UK imput into the EU structure and rules and I condemn those of all parties responsible . We should have left years ago].

    What I was trying to get across to you what ordinary people in this country, both Leavers and the Remainers who have accepted our decision to leave( that’s about 70% of those who voted), will feel when this happens. I was also trying to get across to you the real damage and danger to the EU itself which is the likely outcome.

    I am old enough and wise enough to understand exactly where we and the EU stand, hence my post. As to the bit about the tantrum from Monochrome October, I’m certainly not having one. I was just responding to Danny politely. However looking at the responses to my post just confirms my long held view that there is no point in detailed responses to those with closed minds. It’s just a waste of my valuable time.

    There is no likely hood of my having a tantrum at all on Brexit or any other political issue of the day since whatever the outcome my wife and myself and our children are unlikely to be seriously affected, if affected at all. I do worry for the grandchildren though, and for future generations in the UK if by chance we do not leave as I have posted many times. I also have some sympathy for those who will be affected in both the EU and UK by the EU’s approach and the damage it will produce both in the UK and Europe in the short term.

    Hireton
    You’re asking me to prove something which hasn’t happened yet. I think that’s a rather silly question if you don’t mind me saying so, so I will ignore it.

    Good day at the allotment and in the garden. Cricket getting exciting.

  20. Interesting, short piece by Mike Smithson:

    http://www2.politicalbetting.com/index.php/archives/2017/08/28/it-is-a-mistake-to-assume-that-lab-leave-voters-feel-as-strongly-about-brexit-as-con-ones/

    So it looks like Labour’s Brexit voters are much more supportive of an economy-first (i.e. soft brexit) approach to the economy. Seems like their more moderate stance is a win/win, in that case.

  21. *approach to Brexit, I meant.

  22. Turk

    Glad to see all is well with you personally. Hope things improve soon.
    Best wishes
    TOH

  23. Toby Ebert

    “‘….these Brussels types…’
    Interesting how you can tell people’s political views just from the language they use!”

    Or the vegetables they eat?

  24. TOBY EBERT

    @”But maybe it would be better, and more persuasive, to write using value-neutral language?”

    Al that is required here on UKPR is to comply with the owners “Comments Policy”.

    He says that the site is “a site about politics, not a venue for politics.”.

    So he, very sensibly imo, doesn’t object to “values” being espoused-just as long as one doesn’t attribute all the “good” ones to one political party, and all the “bad” ones to another political party.

  25. @toh

    “You’re asking me to prove something which hasn’t happened yet. I think that’s a rather silly question if you don’t mind me saying so, so I will ignore it.”

    No I’m asking you whether you can substantiate your view that:

    “I think they calculate that this is a price worth paying to prevent other defections by EU members.”

    by pointing to which members “they” are so concerned will leave that it is shaping “their” negotiating position in the way you say as some sort of evidence for your assertion. Silence will indicate that you can’t.

  26. Hireton

    “I think they calculate that this is a price worth paying to prevent other defections by EU members.”

    Just my view if that helps you, but can you supply evidence to prove that I am wrong in my view?

  27. @passtherockplease

    I’m beginning to think that you are Carfrew in disguise!

    I doubt whether it is worth prolonging the discussion as this is so internally contradictory:

    “I agree with you they have less room to maneuver, it is not clear what they would do with the extra powers proper devolution would give them but you can make decision that would put you in a different place and they did not.”

    and clearly does not show any knowledge of what the SNP government has done with the powers they have.

    By the way referencing an article by Chris Deerin ( ex Daily Mail) on the SNP is a bit like referencing an article on Labour by Norman Tebbitt.

  28. Reading TOH’s discourses on the EU I am constantly reminded of Vernon Bogdanor’s astute point in his recent Brexit piece:-

    “Some British politicians suffer from an imperial reflex, however. For them, Britain lies at the centre of the world. We only have to state our aims and other countries will be generous enough to help us achieve them. Last year Brexiteers argued that Britain should leave an EU composed of ill-intentioned foreigners whose interests were in conflict with its own. This year it has been magically transformed into a charitable institution that can be relied on to safeguard our interests”.

  29. Norbold

    By and large I eat very fresh picked organic vegetable, what do you eat? Do you eat vegetables at all?

  30. Apologies for not having responded to people yesterday due to unexpected family issues – ie emergency grandchild entertainment….

    ANALYST

    Ultimately, although polls show that the public hasn’t really changed it’s mind about Brexit, the one area where there is a clear trend is the type of Brexit

    The Opinium poll on which this thread is based [Fieldwork 15-18 August] included the question: If there were another referendum on whether or not the UK should leave the European Union, how do you think you would vote?

    The results were: Remain 47%, Leave 44%, WNV 3%, DK 5% [see table EUR6 of the XL]

    Agreed that it’s within MOE but pretty promising I’d have thought.

    I posted this somewhere quite early in the thread.

  31. PASSTHEROCKPLEASE @ CAMBRIDGERACHEL

    [The SNP] could increase taxation by 1p too help cover the shortfall in education and the like it would be a bold thing to do but they are banking on someone else doing the heavy lifting.

    They would have had other options than putting a burden on the poorest taxpayers had Miliband’s Lab not voted with the Cons against the FFA which the SNP proposed. The devolved administrations all still have much less fiscal autonomy than the smallest Swiss canton.

    As HIRETON has pointed out to you, very few fiscal levers are available to the Scottish Government.

  32. OLLYT

    “Last year Brexiteers argued that Britain should leave an EU composed of ill-intentioned foreigners whose interests were in conflict with its own. This year it has been magically transformed into a charitable institution that can be relied on to safeguard our interests”.

    I love this sort of post, can you please supply the evidence for both those statements>

  33. @toh

    “There is no likely hood of my having a tantrum at all on Brexit or any other political issue of the day since whatever the outcome my wife and myself and our children are unlikely to be seriously affected, if affected at all.”

    As I have said before although you deny it, you and many others like you believe that the cost of Brexit is a price well worth someone else paying.

  34. SAM @ BZ

    It seems clear from the problems identified by Professor Gribben that the governing parties in NI are doing very little with their powers to govern effectively and the Sec of State is content with that. the result is sterility and factionalism.

    Agreed.

    Scotland would benefit from more powers. NI would benefit from the absence of a Sec of State.

    Agreed again. To be fair, the SoS for NI is usually pretty junior in the hierarchy and the current one rather new in his post. Maybe HMG should switch someone who is a guaranteed disaster to the post to encourage the NI factions to sort out their own mess. Hunt or Rudd, perhaps?

  35. JONESINBANGOR @ PASSTHEROCKPLEASE

    NI Border …. The vast majority of goods going to and from the EU and Republic already does so across the physical UK.

    A fair point re traffic from RoI to the mainland EU, although presumably the EU would re-direct regional funding to support improved services from RoI to the Brittany ports if the border closes. That might well be cheaper and quicker than waiting for HMG to build the facilities it will need if it’s out of the customs union.

    The real problem is with livestock and dairy products often crossing the borders multiple times, including on the hoof. Added to that is the probability of significant smuggling of cheap, non-compliant goods into the EU from NI if or when the UK is no longer bound by EU rules.

  36. R HUCKLE

    So i would argue that Labour in making this announcement have actually helped remove some of the political tensions on Brexit and could lead to a cross party Parliamentary position on a practical Brexit, which most MP’s could support.

    That’s feasible, certainly, and should provide great entertainment when the Con bunfight takes place in October. May might have to sack most of her cabinet first, though.

  37. Hireton

    If you think that then I don’t mind, its not true, but then its the sort of post I would expect from you.

    I am more interested in the answer to my question to you at 7.06

    I said

    “Just my view if that helps you, but can you supply evidence to prove that I am wrong in my view?”

    Since you did not reply in your subsequent post If you don’t reply now I will assume you cannot produce any evidence.

  38. @COLIN

    This was in Mays letter she talked about security several times in it even the express picked up on it . I am surprised you did not or forgot.

    It was pretty much ignored by Europeans whom felt it was for the UK electorate and due to some of the security issues being beyond the EU sphere.

    My point is that terrorist actions happening are first no new and security apparatus cannot stop them all.

    Barnier word mirrors exactly that of May go back and read the letter

    I would have thought you had but it would be good to have a refresher.

  39. The Other Howard: There is no likely hood of my having a tantrum at all on Brexit or any other political issue of the day since whatever the outcome my wife and myself and our children are unlikely to be seriously affected, if affected at all.

    Far from suggesting that you might have a tantrum, I am suggesting that you would be the person to diffuse the tantrums of others about the EU allegedly punishing us or not negotiating on Mercs and Prosecco, particularly as you acknowledge that you and yours will not be affected.

  40. Can we play what does £12.60 buy these days?

  41. PTRP

    …….I have already responded to you -at 3.45pm

    In short-it is bl**dy stupid of any politician to put trans national security co-operation into the arena of Brexit Negotiating. It is an absolute necessity-for all of us -and to speak of “weakening” it is unforgiveable.

    …….particularly given the cost in innocent lives of the dreadful LACK of co-operation reported in respect of Belgium’s multi-layered government arrangements, and the “turf wars” between Catalonia’s Mossos d’Esquadra & the Spanish National POlice & Security agencies.

  42. @HIRETON

    Go back to my original post

    it talked about the popularity of the party going down, it talked about why the popularity went down (policy failures amongst them and need for more money to implement change). The decisions they made in terms of policy and finance is what leaves them in trouble.

    You have argued that it is not the SNP fault, They could have raised money they could raised it via income tax that would have been seen as a fair way of raising money for a better NHS and better schools which should be a winner for SNP but they have decided against this.

    They accepted the 1% pay rise for Nurses because they say they cannot raise money for it.

    I pointed out they are waiting for a Labour government to bail them out of the situation they are in at the moment.

    And yes I took a article that was not going to be pro SNP as I pointed out it was biased but I think some of the points he makes were valid.

    lastly if it was all good why did the SNP drop 12% of the vote. The seats I may understand.

    yes we are arguing at cross purposes, because I suspect you are an SNP supporter. and You never answered my points in whole.

    I believe you are arguing it is not the SNP fault it is governments yes it is a valid argument as to there is not enough money, many Labour councils use this argument. but then if they do things that undermine it they lose support and enthusiasm and I would believe that is what the SNP being in government has done. It needs more than independence to win that is all I am saying and I feel that they were attacked on selling independence and not attacking austerity or at least shifting the blame of austerity on to the UK government.

  43. @COLIN

    You prefaced you comment with if she said that, my point to you was she did. I do not remember you saying it was stupid

  44. @Colin – “Can’t escape the feeling that there is a party political element to this announcement. Its a huge issue to play political games with.”

    To be honest, coming from a mainly Conservative supporting poster, I had to smile at this.

    Like, the referendum and all the choices made on Brexit have nothing to do with um, Tory party politics?

  45. Toby Ebert

    I was more thinking along the lines that certain people who use certain terms related to Brexit are a complete waste of time debating anything with due to entirely differing viewpoints of the world.

    I’ve made my personal conclusions regarding Brexit, there is little point me engaging on which side is right or wrong as due to the radical differences in the way our brains work, there can be no understanding of the other side.

  46. Politico’s new Brexit talks hit Groundhog Week is well worth a read, albeit not containing any surprises.

  47. More disappointing trade deal news for the UK Government:

    https://amp.ft.com/content/0047b3c2-8b1e-11e7-a352-e46f43c5825d

  48. Forgive me I don’t understand the reporting of a shift taking place in LP policy. This is merely a fleshing out and enunciating a position regarding what a transitional deal should look like.

    Prior to the Government stating that an ‘interim’ deal would be required why would Labour give more detail than saying they believed one was necessary?

    The position is also consistent with what some elements of the Government would appear to want?

  49. ALEC

    I agree that Cameron’s decision to hold the referendum was party political.

    Which decisions by May -since the Referendum Vote-with regard to Brexit do you think have been party political?

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