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. Paul croft

    I think the EU claiming 100bn is a bit much to cover the pension of Farage although on second thoughts if you add the kinnocks as well you could be right.

  2. @S Thomas – as with @Peter Cairns, I’m not quite sure what your complaint is regarding he EU negotiators?

    They have provided far more detail, far more quickly, regarding their position than the UK has done, even going to the extent of drafting extensive position papers which have been approved via an open democratic process by the European Council, the European Parliament and then the full governments of the entire EU27. They have a clear mandated position.

    Of course the UK has had a referendum, and the EU’s stated position reflects this, and their view of pretty much everything within the talks is really rather clear.

    Beneath all of this is the simple fact that it is the UK that wants to change things, so it really is up to the UK to come up with the changes they want. Why should the EU do the UK governments work for them?

  3. Alec

    Presumably if they did propose suggestions, no matter how sensible and workable they might be, they would be rejected out of hand by sections of the population based purely on the fact that the idea was generated from Europe.

    In that respect their best strategy is to keep quiet and hope the UK stumbles across a workable solution although as time goes on, it might descend into a game of “colder and warmer” with increasingly large hints being dropped.

    Meanwhile, Brexit Boy continues to play pin the tail on the donkey while being in the wrong room.

  4. Alec

    You have made my point for me. The EU position is the status quo pre-brexit.They have not advanced one positive change to that status quo.
    When they ask for progress before trade talks begin they are not talking about negotiating progress they are talking about uk progress in accepting the equivalent of the status quo.
    any proposal that the UK puts forward to deal with post brexit is by definition not progress as far as the EU is concerned since it detracts from the status quo.
    your position is that the EU does not need to negotiate with the UK it merely needs to wait for the supplicant uK to lay enough gold at its feet and even then it might not talk to it.

  5. The Other Howard

    “The Definition of Little Englander is (Oxford Dictionary): A person who opposes an international role or policy for England (or, in practice, for Britain).”

    Perhaps PC(SNP) prefers the Cambridge Dictionary definition: ‘An English person who thinks England is better than all other countries, and that England should only work together with other countries when there is an advantage for England in doing so.”

  6. @ Pete B

    “And what about the UK’s net contribution to the overall EU budget? Somewhat greater percentage than Scotland’s to the UK methinks.”

    According to this, it’s about 10%, so very comparable to the 8-9% of the UK’s tax revenues attributable to Scotland.

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

  7. S THOMAS

    @”your position is that the EU does not need to negotiate with the UK it merely needs to wait for the supplicant uK to lay enough gold at its feet and even then it might not talk to it.”

    A very accurate observation.

    But it really does epitomise the UK voter who not only wishes UK had voted Remain ( a perfectly reasonable stance) , but hopes that EU will make things so difficult that UK will -somehow-fail to leave.

    Thus an intransigent, inflexible, uncooperative EU , refusing to conduct Negotiation in the spirit of mutual best interest with a former member freely utilising Article 50 & offering friendship & continued co-operation short of membership-is an ally to be welcomed. Even if that means that the terms of Leaving are sub-optimal for that voters own country.

  8. A member of the SNP calling anyone a Little Englander is very amusing.

    And very Scottish :-)

  9. S Thomas

    “You have made my point for me. The EU position is the status quo pre-brexit.They have not advanced one positive change to that status quo.
    When they ask for progress before trade talks begin they are not talking about negotiating progress they are talking about uk progress in accepting the equivalent of the status quo.
    any proposal that the UK puts forward to deal with post brexit is by definition not progress as far as the EU is concerned since it detracts from the status quo.
    your position is that the EU does not need to negotiate with the UK it merely needs to wait for the supplicant uK to lay enough gold at its feet and even then it might not talk to it.”

    I believe you have just broken the world records for the use of both “status quo” and “progress” in a short paragraph, congrats!

    As to why the EU have not handed GB a “Leaving the EU 101” cheat sheet, perhaps it’s because they do not consider this a “positive change to th[e] status quo” in the way that you appear to. Why would they?

  10. @S THOMAS

    Is not the issues you talk about simply both sides talking past each other

    The UK wants an all encompassing deal so they can look good they can argue with leavers that they have traded off paying some money for a good trade deal which will resolve most issues.

    What the fear is that agreeing a methodology for financial payments will decouple this from the overall trade deal and that is why firstly the EU will concentrate on the methodology of the payments and secondly the UK will attempt to make this about a trade deal.

    In the end the Uk does not care about the methodology of the finance they have a figure in mind and pretty much want to be able to trade off the figure for access.

    The EU is being rules based and indeed not becuase of the UK per se but because if anyone else leaves the UK will be providing the template. therefore the Uk nebulous approach just will not fly. I believe there is a feeling that whatever the UK does will be ‘special’ in some way indeed before leavers were talking about other countries leaving the EU now some of the same people are talking about the UK being a special case (yet again)

    I find this interesting in that something has to give. Now do I think the EU will want to give the UK a trade deal? yes I believe they do and I think if DD was smart he would play game. for example I think preserving the current set of EU citizens their right does not hurt the UK either financially or sovereignty wise one could then argue about jurisdiction of ECJ and I would think that is something that the EU would concede, I would have also thought that the if there is a view that there is something to pay then we would have a position paper saying what we believe we owe. it could be a little as £10B but as I said the real issue here is for the UK is not the what we owe or do not owe but what we are selling to the UK electorate.

    Lastly the NI border paper was hilarious, you should read te Press in EU view of it and indeed the comments about it.

    As I said have visited a couple of EU countries since the referendum I have seen the mood go from disbelief and shock to a hardening of the pro EU stance in many countries to a view that the UK is either taking the mick or just mad. Soem are finding the UK positions hilarious. My view is that at some point the EU may just stonewall and accept the pain.

  11. @S THOMAS
    @PAUL CROFT

    The 100B claim was not from the EU it was from the FT, they said the made it up from all the liabilities they believe the EU had in their list. There was some argument that the Poles wanted to add more items which I found interesting in terms of hwere each party was in their thinking.

    Is the number credible, i do not know is the methodology sound again I do not know. The Uk original position and indeed one of the more interesting points of the leaked dinner was May tell junkers the UK owed nothing. As i have said elsewhere the UK do not want to have a methodological approach to the financial settlement because that is their trade off for a trade deal In the end methodology is unimportant the trade off is..

  12. PTRP

    @”As i have said elsewhere the UK do not want to have a methodological approach to the financial settlement because that is their trade off for a trade deal In the end methodology is unimportant the trade off is..”

    I agree that this is UK’s End Game on this issue-but disagree that the EU’s method is not helpful to us.

    It is. DD says his team are going through the list “line by line”.

    ie they will acknowledge the methodology, respond to it, and then say-none of this is a legal liability. Its mostly Commission spending Committments outside the agreed ( and funded) Budget .

    The EU’s methodological approach here helps us to refute all or most ( ?) of the total.

    …after which, as you say, we will talk about the “price” of achieving our trade & other objectives.

    I imagine too, that there will be “membership fees” for programmes for which we are interested in continuing membership.

  13. I’m so bored with reading all this Brexit stuff.
    Oh to be sharing a bong with Big Ben.

  14. Did someone mention Ed?

    *Red* Ed?

    Back in those heady days before The Corbyn when socialism meant nothing at all ;-)

    Ah how times change!

    Ok, as you were – back to neverendingbrexit…

  15. I wonder if Anthony would consider a separate permanent Brexit thread? Then the obsessives could debate all day and every day on there and the rest of us could stay on the normal thread until something significant happens regarding Brexit.

  16. A Brexit Megathread for the truly dedicated sounds like a great idea, but don’t think it would be possible on this WordPress setup which orders by date sequence.

  17. PTRP

    “Lastly the NI border paper was hilarious, you should read te Press in EU view of it and indeed the comments about it. ”

    I couldn’t find that source, do you have a link?

    I occasionally search for “Brexit” or politicians’ names on other nations’ Google pages; it is very enlightening…

    Google Ireland and Google France often report very interesting political views and media interpretations which are never reported in GB.

    English-language media outside Europe is not so perspicatious, re-reporting GB and (occasionally) Irish views, while not really grasping the key issues.

    If you speak good German, Dutch or Spanish, their print/internet media is often interesting too, though I lack the linguistic ability or free-time to plough through all but the most promising looking artticles (and even those not as often as I’d like to be honest).

  18. S THOMAS

    And that Junkers he was surely elected by..er… someone…. .No matter he is, because he is European, by definition a democrat due to Europe’s long history of committment to democracy as evidenced by…well.. as evidenced.

    Juncker was elected by his Party, the Europeans People’s Party, to be their candidate for President of the European Commission and after the EPP became the largest Party after the European Elections in 2014 “being the lead candidate of the party which won a plurality of the seats, [he was] given the first attempt to form the required majority to be elected Commission President”:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean-Claude_Juncker#Presidency_of_the_Commission

    So very similar to how May became PM. Except with a proper election for the leader’s position.

    Do the positrons have a view about brexit?

    Well Richard Feynmann once said “If you think you understand quantum mechanics, you don’t understand quantum mechanics”. The same is obviously true about Brexit.

  19. James E
    I was talking about net contributions, where we are the second largest after Germany.

  20. I was talking about net contributions too.

    But we’re actually the 4th largest net contributor.

  21. S Thomas.
    “how silly of me they have overlooked the referendum.”

    Unlike puppies, referenda are for Christmas and not for life. Democracy eh, who’d use it?

    “So for “progress” we should read no movement from the status quo.”

    Personally I have moved quite a bit over the Brexit question. I started being in favour of the EU, but open to anyone who could explain to me how we would be better off out. Unfortunately, no takers. Really it all comes down to prejudice and seems more tribal than lab/con is these days.

    The more I read about the issues involved in brexit, the more the whole nation learns about things never even mentioned before the referendum, the stronger has become my view the Uk has no choice but to be a member of the EU. Of course we could leave and we are free to leave at any time. But the cost would be very high indeed and I doubt the voters would be willing to pay it once they understand. There is going to be massive fallout from all this one day.

    The Other Howard,
    “I want the UK to reach out and engage in trade deals with the whole World, whereas Remainers seem to want to remain constrained from doing that”

    I fear I don’t see it like that. To my mind, the leave people are the ones refusing to be bound by international deals. The EU is a pretty complex deal, but that is really all it is. The leave logic is that they refuse to make deals, you cannot make a deal with anyone without losing sovereignty in the sense Leave mean it.

  22. I agree with Pete B, and Valerie (I think – was bong a typo?).

    It seems to be turning into an almost religious argument over the Reformation and very few people will change their mind.

    Can Andy Burnham ride down from Manchester and win lots of elections, like the figure he rather resembles – Harold Wilson? When might that be?

    Just a daydream,

  23. pete B,
    “I wonder if Anthony would consider a separate permanent Brexit thread?”

    We should have discussed the election without referende to leave voting labour and remain voting conservative? How?

    Its very odd why everyone keeps mentioning DD, which is the recognised abbreviation for Dumbledore. Has the ministry of magic taken over negotiations?

  24. @ DANNY
    “The more I read about the issues involved in brexit, the more the whole nation learns about things never even mentioned before the referendum, the stronger has become my view the Uk has no choice but to be a member of the EU. Of course we could leave and we are free to leave at any time. But the cost would be very high indeed and I doubt the voters would be willing to pay it once they understand. There is going to be massive fallout from all this one day.”

    I’d call that denial. The UK has always been a one foot in, one foot out member of the EU anyway! Sometimes it’s better to accept the democratic result. There won’t be a second referendum (perish the thought!), and there isn’t any turning back now unless we take shyster terms.

    Yes, it will be hard, but an UK outside the process driven & bureaucratic EU will thrive. Maybe not quite straight away!

  25. Valarie – who is this Big Ben you want to get to know intimately?

    Sorry I misread you said bong!

  26. @S Thomas – “You have made my point for me. The EU position is the status quo pre-brexit.They have not advanced one positive change to that status quo.
    When they ask for progress before trade talks begin they are not talking about negotiating progress they are talking about uk progress in accepting the equivalent of the status quo.”

    Sorry, but I simply don’t understand what you are saying here? The UK is leaving the EU by free choice, and as far as the EU is concerned, the status quo remains for the 27. The UK needs to work out how it wants to work with the EU, but this won’t be the status quo. In fact, the EU has made it abundantly clear that the UK will have a different relationship with the EU once it leaves (eg not the status quo) whereas it is the British government that seems intent on keeping as much of the status quo that it likes.

    As for @Colin’s point about “….an intransigent, inflexible, uncooperative EU , refusing to conduct Negotiation in the spirit of mutual best interest with a former member freely utilising Article 50 & offering friendship & continued co-operation short of membership….” again is equally baffling.

    All the EU have done is to politely ask the UK to provide details about the Irish border, agree a calculation method for the debts owing and come forward with some acceptable proposals for the protection for the rights of citizens living in other countries before we talk about trade.

    That is a perfectly reasonable negotiating position to take, and the fact that some see this as intransigence is bewildering. Even more so, when Brexiters like Davis were assuring voters that all these issues would be easily dealt with before the referendum.

  27. Jones in Bangor: “Yes, it will be hard, but an UK outside the process driven & bureaucratic EU will thrive.”

    Quite a few people say things like this, but very few (none, actually) explain how this thriving is going to happen.

    For instance, I’ve asked brexiters here to suggest with which countries they think we could do free trade deals that would result in an increase in net trade for the UK, ie our sales to them would increase more than their sales to us. So far, no takers. Perhaps you’d like to have a go?

    It’s easy to say, “the UK will thrive.” But it’s just a statement of blind faith unless you can explain how it could happen.

  28. @ ALEC
    “All the EU have done is to politely ask the UK to provide details about the Irish border, agree a calculation method for the debts owing and come forward with some acceptable proposals for the protection for the rights of citizens living in other countries before we talk about trade.
    That is a perfectly reasonable negotiating position to take, and the fact that some see this as intransigence is bewildering. Even more so, when Brexiters like Davis were assuring voters that all these issues would be easily dealt with before the referendum.”

    I think these points are fair, and do need resolving. The Irish Republic question is a very serious issue to resolve, and being very cynical, is probably advantageous for the UK. The EU know very well the impact of any massive bureaucratic queues at Irish Sea and English Channel points will affect Ireland badly.

  29. @ SOMERJOHN
    “Quite a few people say things like this, but very few (none, actually) explain how this thriving is going to happen.
    For instance, I’ve asked brexiters here to suggest with which countries they think we could do free trade deals that would result in an increase in net trade for the UK, ie our sales to them would increase more than their sales to us. So far, no takers. Perhaps you’d like to have a go?
    It’s easy to say, “the UK will thrive.” But it’s just a statement of blind faith unless you can explain how it could happen.”

    The UK essentially wishes to have a Free Trade Agreement first, and foremost, with the EU. I have no delusions that is our first and correct priority. I know you’ll say that we already have that as members of the EU, but the UK no longer wishes to adhere to the EUs socio-bureaucratic ways, and we have decided out. Free Trading with the EU is why we joined the EEC in the 70s, it’s just the project has now morphed into social unity beyond what we ever wanted to be part of. I believe we will secure amicable and favourable terms to continue our trading relationship with the EU. There will be token casualties like Euro clearing, but we will get terms.

  30. JimJam

    A bong* and then a bonk with Big Ben?

    I’m a poet and I didn’t know it.

    *every student had one of these in the 70s:-)

  31. @JiB

    I said: “So far, no takers. Perhaps you’d like to have a go?”

    That’ll be a no, then.

  32. Somerjohn,

    The problem those wanting to “make our Own deals” don’t seem to be able to come up with a solution too is that if we have a free trade deal with the EU we will have to agree to prevent no EU Goods and Services from Countries that don’t have a free trade deal with the EU from using the Uk as a conduit to enter the EU and thus avoid tariffs.

    We would either have to follow the likes of Turkey and agree to apply the EU’s external tariff regime to foreign goods entering the EU.

    However this would effectively means we can’t do free trade deals with other Countries.

    The second option is we would need, arguably at our expense, to establish tight border controls to prevent goods imported into the UK from the rest of the world entering the EU, which undermines free movement of goods to the EU.

    As the EU already has border controls and external tariffs, EU goods could flow into the UK unhindered, but if it was part of a Europe wide supply chain anything the became a part of would need to be checked for “foreign” content before it could return to the EU…Not great for the Car Industry.

    Peter.

  33. COLIN
    It’s probably worth while – since I value some broader common grounds in our and others’ exchanges – to continue to explain my “obsession with South East Asian communist countries”, since it contains the need for a research based understanding of globalisation and the inappropriate nature of interventions aimed at “development” and regime change – the Vietnam War being close in motivation in that respect to those in Iraq and Syria. Gray”s distinction between the concept of progress towards Utopia seen in the UK/American interventions in Libya and Iraq, and the linear ‘social time’ which underlies it, and thl risk management and sustainability which is expressed in a cyclical concept of time and social organisation of two-thirds of the world, is equally relevant to Europe.
    The relevance of central governments, and their basis in totalitarian or socialist structure and ideologies is less relevance than the viability of household structures based on half a hectare of paddy and one buffalo, and on the potential for migrant labour in the garment industry (in Cambodia, Laos and Bangladesh etc) to strengthen that stability.
    Centrally inflicted agrarian change from peasant to industrial cropping to meet the needs of Chinese industrialisation has its similarities in the EU in the forced imposition of the large scale agro-industrial systems which the CAP has inflicted on southern European family farm systems in Italy and on forty head beef and dairy farms in SW England.

  34. @PIEFACE

    http://www.rtvslo.si/evropska-unija/london-zeli-tudi-po-brexitu-carinsko-unijo-z-eu-jem-bruselj-to-je-fantazija/430081

    enjoy

    A friend from solvenia translated some for me I was actually rather surprised. I had another from Poland. I would agree they are self selected as I am not great with Polish or Slovenian other tha to say hello and good bye and thanks.

    As I have travelled some people have even asked me what I think about it. As I campaigned for Remain I tell them my view and point them to site which have a different view since they can read English better than most English I fear part of the problem for both ourselves and our politicians is that that our papers and our comment sections can increase the level of dismay amongst our european neighbours in a away that we pretty much are immune to being monolingual and secondly their politicians also speak English which means they see much of the public posturing which is often for domestic consumption and pretty much are unsure of what to make of it.

  35. @JONESINBANGOR

    If someone does no want to have a trade deal that is ‘mutually’ beneficial then what?

    I do not see Trump wanting a trade deal that advances the UK position per se. In the same way it is clear he wants a trade deal that benefits Corn producers whom are equally as well subsidised as any Agricultural producer in the EU for example. We seem to harp on about Free trade agreement when they are often not about free trade and sometimes hardly agreements or would you contend that renegotition of NAFTA is a good thing. The same could be said of China.

    FTA with thrid world countries would consign them to being third world countries for ever in my view there is no market force which would put a high tech company in mozambique for example as it will not be cost efficient so these places become agrarian. because that is all they can sell in an ‘open market’

    Simply put all side seek advantage in trade. So I feel we are being pretty disingenuous about the idea of what is called free trade. last the farmers voted for leave and supposedly free trade until they realised what free trade actually meant, We will have a free trade agreement with the US and whilst we will be reducing our subsidies to agriculture good luck persuading the US to do the same.

    Lastly FTA do not make the goods and services that people want to buy and blaming the EU that it stops people either making or purchasing those services never makes sense to me or the germans whom seem to be able to sell cars and goods everywhere both inside and outside EU, the Belgians whom seem to be able to out export to India, the Dutch whom have more their GDP in export than the UK and even France that centralist/socilaist backward state held up buy unions etc.

    Personally in the ed I feel this is an argument that remainer will lose but win rather like those people that were against Iraq in 2003. I remember the same sort of arguments being made let say the optimists versus the pessimists. it was obvious to each side what will happen since there is a point to what is limited evidence (on both sides I might add)

    We have seen this with lost of thing Corbyn’s rise (which personally is all about austerity and the lack of magic money tree). Leave which for many is about actually a power grab by proxy. half of all leavers believe they are losing and not competing is the way they can win. The problem is that by leaving they are actually opening themselves to more competition and some of the will not be winning often these are the people that voted leave.

    As to what we voted for in the original referendum. Since the day of the Coal and Steel trade deal there has alway been an aim of deeper integration and commonality. The German’s for example was against the Euro since they saw their neighbours devalue and using inflation to inflate away debt. If you talk to greeks as to why they are being hit they will tel you it is because they could not protect their citrus farmer and thei olive farmer and their industries. free trade is a double edged sword as the UK will find out.

    There are two interesting books about Free trade and capitalism Bad Samaritans and 23 thing they don’t tell you about capitalism both by Ha-Joon Chang

    They both make for a good read

  36. COLIN
    “A member of the SNP calling anyone a Little Englander is very amusing.
    And very Scottish :-)”

    As you say very amusing and very Scottish.

    PeteB
    “I wonder if Anthony would consider a separate permanent Brexit thread? Then the obsessives could debate all day and every day on there and the rest of us could stay on the normal thread until something significant happens regarding Brexit.”
    What a splendid idea.

  37. If you search online, there is a brilliant graphic chart of UK trade based on proximity to the UK. It shows that the UK trades more with neighbouring countries and as the distance increases the percentage of trade reduces. This makes sense, as the cost of transportation, ease of delivery, handling returns etc will be important factors. Australian or New Zealand companies for example are more likely to buy products from countries nearer to them.

    What has always puzzled me, is what trade the UK is expecting to be done outside of the EU, that is not currently possible ? Germany as one of the largest exporters, has not had any problems trading while being in the EU. UK companies such as Jaguar Landrover, Rolls Royce etc, have not been stopped from trading worldwide by the UK being in the EU.

    Brexit purely for sovereignty reasons might not lead to the paradise world some people think. No country can operate in isolation and foreign courts will always decide on things which the UK has to deal with. Just look at the huge fines US authorities have imposed on UK Banks and US prosecutors going after UK citizens for Banking issues, that UK authorities would not have touched. The EU will still take decisions about consumer protection etc, that the UK will end up implementing, as it will be part of any trade agreement.

  38. Jonesinbangor,
    “Yes, it will be hard, but an UK outside the process driven & bureaucratic EU will thrive.”

    erm, thats a self contradicting statement.

    ” it’s just the project has now morphed into social unity beyond what we ever wanted to be part of.”

    It has certainly changed since we joined it. It has become more integrated, though the Uk has opted out of everything it did not want to join. Thats the point really, we already have an a la carte relationship with the EU. But its one thing to opt out of verious parts we do not like and another to opt out of the entire structure of how these parts are administered. It is not possible to belong to parts without belonging to the administrative framework which regulates them, yet this is what leavers seem to want. People like myself see this as fundamentally impossible, and why hard Brexit as envisaged cannot work.

    I agree with comments above that the EU is rules based, as it has to be. Its a huge international treaty where everyone agreed the rules and has to stick by them. There cannot be changes to the rules just for one participant.

    The EU is a big group whose raison d’etre is to benefit its members as against all non members and we are transferring from the group of members to the group of non members. Everything which before was working to try to help the Uk as part of the whole will now be trying to disadvantage us as compared to the remaining members. That is the purpose of the EU. It bafles me how anyone can believe otherwise. Perhaps it is because leave campaigners have always viewed the EU as an enemy, whereas it is friend to all its members and enemy to those outside. Leavers seem to regard it exactly reversed to what it really is.

  39. Jonesinbangor,
    “There won’t be a second referendum (perish the thought!),”

    Interestingly while there is only a minority of the total poll wanting a second referendum, this has become a party split. Conservative supporters so not want one, while labour supporters do. Though probably these results are simply proxies for conservative=leave, labour=remain.

    But the implication is this might now become a party issue for labour to hold a second referendum. Who could oppose something so democratic?

  40. Danny
    “…………………international treaty where everyone agreed the rules and has to stick by them”
    Except some don’t stick by the rules when it suits them. For example back in 2003, both France and Germany flouted the conditions of the Stability and Growth Pact, after they ran budget deficits in excess of 3pc of their GDP.

  41. Danny

    “Who could oppose something so democratic?”

    Nobody provided the first referendum has been fully enacted and we have left the EU. Then it would be perfectly democratic to have another referendum to consider rejoining or not. That’s the only condition I can see one being held in future and the best of luck with that.

  42. R Huckle

    “What has always puzzled me, is what trade the UK is expecting to be done outside of the EU, that is not currently possible ?”

    Trade deals!

  43. jonesinbangor,
    ” The Irish Republic question is a very serious issue to resolve, and being very cynical, is probably advantageous for the UK.”

    Yes and no. I suspect both sides, by which I mean leave and the EU, are convinced of the rightness of their positions and that they have the advantage. However, the Uk government does not consist of leave supporters, and it seems widely accepted that the conservative party as a whole does not want to leave the EU at all. It is not clear that even people in the government negotiating process who were nominaly leavers accept the hard leave case or believe the basic economic reality is on their side.

    I suspect in fact that the bulk of the government believes that the economic effects of leaving the EU will be bad both short term and long term and they regard negotiations as a damage limiting exercise. They are split between those who want to conduct a propaganda exercise to encourage the nation to support Brexit, and those who want to present a reality check to limit future recriminations.

    The EU probably regards southern Ireland as potentially held hostage by the UK cutting off its transport routes to the mainland. Tunnel from France to Ireland anyone? Subsidised ferries? I imagine they have been working on all these options. The issue for the EU will be the form of British retaliation against ireland.

  44. For those wishing to understand why the ECJ should not be the final arbiter, as I have posted many times, I suggest you read the following on the Lawyers for Britain website.
    EU CITIZENS AFTER BREXIT
    A fair settlement, or a privileged caste with superior rights
    enforced by a foreign court?
    By Martin Howe QC, Francis Hoar and Gunnar Beck
    This site covers many other issues associated with Brexit in a sensible and detailed way.

  45. You could sum up most of the Remainers’ views on UKPR as :-

    * UK can’t leave the EU without being doomed .
    * If it persists in trying-the EU stance on everything will be reasonable & UK’s will be unreasonable.
    * So we must support the EU side in the negotiations.

  46. The other Howard,
    “Nobody provided the first referendum has been fully enacted and we have left the EU.”

    Ah but you see, that isnt democracy. Many governments come to power with a programme they fail to enact, only for it to be overturned and abandoned at the next national vote. It is an essential part of the democratic process that we can change our minds at any point in the process.

    If I might remind you of the recent election, where the conservatives started with a 20% lead. People changed their minds.

    If you actually believe leave would lose a new referendum, then surely you are defying the national will anyway by demanding we leave? You are trying to trick the nation into leaving when it doesnt want to.

  47. Danny: The EU is a big group whose raison d’etre is to benefit its members as against all non members and we are transferring from the group of members to the group of non members. Everything which before was working to try to help the Uk as part of the whole will now be trying to disadvantage us as compared to the remaining members. That is the purpose of the EU. It bafles me how anyone can believe otherwise. Perhaps it is because leave campaigners have always viewed the EU as an enemy, whereas it is friend to all its members and enemy to those outside. Leavers seem to regard it exactly reversed to what it really is.
    That is because they always viewed themselves as being outside and hate the EU for the disbenefits of being outside. For them, it is not enough to leave, they want the EU to fail or be destroyed, so that no one is better off for being part of it.

  48. @THE OTHER HOWARD
    “R Huckle
    “What has always puzzled me, is what trade the UK is expecting to be done outside of the EU, that is not currently possible ?”
    Trade deals!
    August 22nd, 2017 at 8:40 am”

    You could sign a trade deal the day after Brexit and never see any UK companies benefitting.

    As you will know, it is down to negotiations between companies or between companies and government procurement agencies. The UK could sign a trade deal with the US which includes defence equipment. It then depends on whether US wants to buy UK equipment or expertise. A trade deal does not offer any guarantee of increased business.

    I will not try to convince you that the UK is not held back by EU membership as you believe that Brexit frees the UK to strike trade deals that open up possibility of increased trade. I therefore won’t bother to get into the argument as it is pointless. My view is that the EU helps UK in regard to trade, due to the bargaining power of a 500 million consumer bloc of countries. Trade is a two way entity.

  49. The other Howard,
    “Trade deals!”

    But we already have trade dals with all the world, which were negotiated using the clout of the worlds biggest trading block, the EU. We cannot hope to get better deals and must expect worse ones.

  50. Colin – not fair most remainers on UKPR don’t post on it that often (Valarie and me to name 2) but many others probably just lurking for now or sadly departed.

    I may when an attitudes to Brexit Poll, terms ref shows something interesting but until then it is not worth it imo as no-one on here is going the change their mind about the substantive issues.

    I am sure the points made on both sides (if I can put it like that) are sincere for the most part but the issues being raised won’t cut through with the public this year.

    Next autumn as the initial negotiations get close to conclusion and the terms of the interim deal are known plus any transitional elements of that deal agreed is when polls will be more meaningful imo on these matters.

    FWIW – I think after a bit of bluster Labour will not call for a ref on the terms of the interim deal but may do on the final terms. They may of course see some amendments to the interim deal in the HOC but I actually think Starmer and Davis are not that far apart with their interim deal positions.

    Leadership Elections is either main UK wide party may affect things as well; I don’t expect these until 2019 but I have been wrong about many political events in the last few years.

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