Two new voting intention polls this week showing very similar figures. YouGov‘s latest poll was actually conducted last week, but was only released today and has topline figures of CON 41%, LAB 42%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 4% (full tabs are here.

The regular ICM poll for the Guardian, conducted over the weekend, has extremely similar topline figures – CON 42%, LAB 42%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 3% (full tabs are here).

ICM also asked about people’s attitudes towards Britain paying a financial settlement as part of our Brexit negotiations (a so-called “exit fee”). ICM asked similar questions back in April and found very little support – only 10% thought paying a £20bn settlement would be acceptable, 15% a £10bn fee and 33% a £3bn exit fee. This time the figures suggested in the question were changed to what are probably more realistic figures and with interesting results – now 9% think a settlement of £40bn would be acceptable, 11% a £30bn settlement, 18% a £20bn settlement, 41% a £10bn settlement.

On the face of it this one might think this is a startling change, a few months ago only 15% thought it would be acceptable to pay a £10bn settlement as part of Brexit, now 41% think it’s acceptable. I think it’s probably actually a good example of the importance of context in a question. Most people are really not that good at putting figures of billions of pounds in context – any sum that involves the words billion is a huge amount of money to begin with, so what would be a relatively small settlement? A moderate settlement? A huge settlement? The only thing respondents have to scale it by is the question itself. In April £3bn was implicitly presented as the small option and £10bn was presented as the medium option. In this poll £10bn is implicitly presented as the small option and £20bn or £30bn are presented as the medium options – hence why a £10bn settlement suddenly seems to be so much more paletable.

That’s not to say the question doesn’t tell us anything at all – there’s still an interesting increase. In April only 33% thought a “small” financial settlement would be acceptable as part of the Brexit deal; now that figure has risen to 41% (despite the actual figure quoted tripling!). It looks as if the public may be moving towards accepting that a financial settlement may be an inevitable part of Brexit.

798 Responses to “Latest YouGov and ICM voting intentions”

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  1. COLIN

    It goes a lot deeper than that with Hoey. She is a strident Brexiteers and lover of blood sports amongst other things. She is the one Labour MP I would have been delighted to have seen lose her seat at the General Election.

  2. PTRP

    You mean agree to disagree? I’m sorry, but I can’t agree to that…

    Joking, of course, but doubt that good intentions of reconciliation and respect go very far ATM.

  3. WB

    THe Henry V111 powers are time-limited……………but having scanned a few legal opinioins on this Bill I accept that it is controversial in its scope & power to change law.

    A right old punch up will ensue presumably.


    A bit of a rebel then-like her Party Leader.?

  5. Interesting Day


    what do you think Sturgeons plans ( I believe they are much more radical than her manifasto and I feel vindicated in what I said about the fact that she was not bold enough in the GE2017 I know that HIERTON seemed not to agree with me but I think this flies for her I think Corbyn has permissioned them to be bold which may save them against Labour I am not sure what it does against the Tories though


    I think the immigration policy leak is going to be interesting. I can see it stifling growth myself. ( I still use the Bristol versus Stoke conundrum )

    As to DD performance, i think that the leavers will be happy and remainers will be happy. Leavers because he is still positive and reamainers because they will think he is certified mad (obvious leave and remainers will never agree)

    What all the does tell me is that I can see a no deal and us in WTO
    What I do not understand is which North Sea countries would be worse off compared to the UK. At best the largest export per GDP is around 10% or so. The UK exports are 4) WTO has no services included. And the EU can now change the rules to it’s harts content
    DD seems to think we will not buy cars from Germans, I think we will but we wiill be buying less cars as we are poorer and can’t get enough credit.

    I am not sure what the hell to make of it all but I suspect it will be interesting.

    In other news I still think the most interesting thing is the climbdown on public service pay een though I fear that only a select few will get the pay rise. I think it will be too little too late. After all you only have t go magic Money Tree.

    Simply put I see nothing to break the division in the country. I see nothing that gets us through Brexit such that we are not at the bottom of J curve at best come 2022.

    I reckon Labour will still be there or there abouts because they will not get to stop Brexit thereby abidcating responsibility for it to the Tories.

    If I was a betting man I would put a £100 on Labour running a minority government in 2022,

  6. We are not amused.

  7. Jonesinbangor,
    “No one is arguing that Brexit will be an instant success. It’s a long term change with a probable short term negative consequence but longer term benefits. ”

    Lots of questionable assumptions there. Some are arguing it will be an immediate success and gave that impression before the referendum. It may prove to be a quite short term change, or indeed very little change at all. I wouldn’t diagree about short term negative consequences, but some would and probably most leave voters believed its effects would be immediately either positive or neutral (based on the polling published). How they might react in light of your now suggesting short term negatives, and if you manage to convince them that is likely, I dont know.

    As to long term benefits? What are these supposed to be?

  8. @Danny

    I think there’s a theme developing here.

    To JiB’s ““No one is arguing that Brexit will be an instant success.” we can now add DD’s ““Nobody has ever pretended this would be simple or easy” in the Commons today.

    As Keir Starmer pointed out, that’s exactly what a lot of Brexiters have been pretending, citing Liam Fox’s assurance that a deal with the EU would be, “one of the easiest deals in human history” to negotiate.

    It’s all getting a bit difficult, isn’t it? Perhaps when the history is written, now will be seen as the moment the wheels started coming off the Brexit wagon.

  9. The Times: another boundary review incoming, based on 650 seats rather than 600. Colour me surprised.

  10. @Danny

    Well if you take the immigration policy leak, albeit not agreed yet, I see only benefits for lower skilled workers in the UK who currently have to compete against cheaper imported labour.

    Yes, more costs to sone businesses, and there will be a disadvantage tgere in the short term.

    However, I see this as beneficial in the longer term as UK businesses will invest in and wish to retain workers as they becone skilled.

    We may even start to able to reduce tuition fees instead of subsidising family allowances outside the UK.

  11. @Colin – “THe Henry V111 powers are time-limited…”

    Two points:

    1) Under this bill there is no fixed timeline for the sunset clauses and no mechanism established to determine this. ‘Exit day’, when the clock is meant to start ticking on the time limitation will be set by ministers, so t could be the date that the bill becomes law, the date we officially leave the EU, the date that any agreed transitional arrangement ends, or some other date decided by ministers. Indeed, different ministers can apply different starting dates for different regulations under this bill.

    2) This act gives ministers the power to pass into law new statutes that won’t be covered by the time limitation, so there is no point in talking about the time limitation anyway.

    Nothing more than the rolling back of democracy, all in the name of restoring the sovereignty of parliament. Brexiters should be appalled at this, but they won’t be, because they don’t do detail.

  12. Whether you support Brexit or not, 2018 may go down as one of the most difficult years in UK politics.

    In my opinion, i don’t think there will be any deal with the EU in regard to future trading arrangements after March 2019. I don’t think there will be any transitional deal either, as the UK is unwilling to pay the EU any money in regard to commitments it agreed to fund.

    It will get to the stage by Spring 2018, where there is gathering opposition to Brexit and the Government is forced to respond. By this time it may be official Labour policy to offer a second referendum and i think there will be a lot of support for this. It would not surprise me, if the Government were forced to conceed a second referendum or face an early election.

    If the second referendum confirms a majority in favour of staying in the EU, then Theresa May would face the nightmare of having to write to the EU asking to withdraw from the A.50 process. At least half of the Tory party are going to be very unhappy with the position they have ended up in.

    Another big issue that might well happen next year is a Banking crash caused by a large number of defaults. There are already signs of major issues, with credit levels exceeding those in 2008 at the time of the last crash. If the economy were to suffer such a big event, i think Brexit would be put on hold. Taking the UK out of the EU during a financial crisis would not be something Government would be willing to risk.

  13. @RHuckle

    I think you’re talking down the strength of our hand.

    There’d be immediate and significant impacts to the EU if we left with no deal, and I think this scenario is not going to happen.

  14. PTRP

    far as this site is concerned, the Scottish Legislative Programme is only relevant in as far as it affects Westminster VI – which is probably not much!

    The actual programme for legislation

    is largely non-controversial (and thus will be ignored by the media!)

    A minority Government needs to have a programme that can persuade sufficient other MSPs to support the proposals (Greens are particularly happy about a number of issues that they have been pressing, being included).

    However, it is also about having an impact on VI. I’m particularly interested in Derek McKay’s proposal for cross-party discussions on tax policy (Imagine that at Westminster!)

    Soundbites about taxing the rich are easy (it’s what politicians do), but some on here will know that the devolved power over Income Tax excludes NI and tax on investment income is a potential timebomb.

    It’s a highly technical area and putting other parties into the position of looking seriously at the issue, or refusing to take part in discussions might be a clever political ploy [1]

    Proposals for encouraging entrepreneurs won’t just be difficult for Tories to oppose, but will also be well received by many on the Scottish Left, such as Common Space.

    Early days, but it might be clever positioning with regard to VI.

    [1] It would also be very sensible, though I doubt that that is McKay’s principal motivation!

  15. Those of us who doubted that the new Boundaries would see the light of day appear to have been vindicated!

  16. Ok, I’m being dragged into the interminable Brexit discussion again. I agree with a lot of Alec’s earlier post where he said that the two sides can’t even agree the basic terms of discussion. I do agree with Michael Caine’s recent speech when he said that he’d rather be poor and free than a rich slave (or words to that effect).

    There will be some economic effects, which are largely unknowable except that low-paid British workers should benefit, at least in the short term. But to me, it seems that Remainers are obsessed with the economics, even though all the forecasts of immediate economic Armaggedon were completely false. Why should we believe the current round of economic pessimism?

    Many on the Leave side take a broader view, which embraces such concepts as faith in one’s fellow countrymen, resilience, independence and even the ‘Dunkirk spirit’. Oh, and let’s not forget the famous Agincourt salute.

    I fully expect to be mocked and reviled for these views but I am not alone in holding them.

    G’night all.

  17. WB
    ” I treat any assertion of absolutism as merely wishful thinking or desparate pessimism”.
    So you may, but in real life policy making or investment we start with a given, logically a hypothesis around which evidence is clustered. So, for example, the pressure from private enterprise and the care services to have recognition of, the need for a migrant work force, is based on the given that market forces govern the pull of international labour, and that;s what you;re hearing from Starmer and from the CBI and TUC,, thankfully with a welter of well tested evidence.
    Thus,when LASZLO on syllogisms asserts that “There is simply no solution in the Leave-Remain, because none of the issues discussed trigger mediation” the proposition is no longer sound when it is broken down to to read “there is no solution to the migration-no migration because now there is the given “migration is needed for the continued growth of the economy, and its acceptance will accord with continued membership of or access to the Single Market”.
    The miasma surrounding the concept of a controlled migration merely serves to separate off any element of absolutism in the acceptance of the given,migration is good for and necessary to the economic well being of the UK.

  18. PETE B
    :Many on the Leave side take a broader view, which embraces such concepts as faith in one’s fellow countrymen, resilience, independence and even the ‘Dunkirk spirit’. Oh, and let’s not forget the famous Agincourt salute.

    I fully expect to be mocked and reviled for these views but I am not alone in holding them.”

    Of course you won’t be mocked and reviled for holding these views – though you might justifiably be so for reverting to hyperbole instead of defending them. The fact that they are b-ll-cks does not in any way deny you the right to hold them.


    I think you misunderstand the UK problem. Protect low skill jobs will require simple basic protectionism. This is why I think there is a problem with the argument on low skilled workers.

    Raising the price of a mcDonald’s worker means that you will have less McDonalds worker in the end or more likely less shifts for McDonalds workers. It has been tried before. In states which cracked down on undocumented immigrant in the US. basically the low skilled jobs have to compete with what they add value to and who will pay for it. . This is our problem. picking Strawberries is labour intensive but if you double the price of strawberries you sell hell of a lot less of them. You sell less of them you either stop growing them or you grow less. basically you lose jobs. There have been countless studies about this. The FT had an article regarding this.

    The only way you can protect low skilled jobs is basically protectionism. Which is part of the conundrum that I have talked about previously. Spouting Free trade and protectionism at the same time basically contradictory. Indeed the the reality is people want to win where they have been losing to competition.

    What is interesting is that Outside the major conurbation the low skilled jobs are being done by white british people. inside the major conurbations they are being done by EU workers. The reality of the problem is we are scrambling to create a lack of competition in low skilled jobs rather than trying to create higher skilled jobs. No economy has ever grown by creating low skilled job it make no sense but we do not have the investment culture to do high skilled jobs which is why all our car industry is foreign owned as an example

    I keep on at this but it is the Stoke versus Bristol argument, where would you put your money. patriotism aside I would not be putting by children’s future in Stoke over Bristol. a place where the skill level is low compared to the country’s average versus a University town with higher skill levels and a more dynamic economy better industrial connections and technology hub and a start up culture. Since we do not do the investment and we allow foreigner to do the investment they have don’t even have patriotism and emotion to fall back on to make the decision it is unfortunately a cold calculation.
    making low skilled worker pay better is actually counter productive pay a burger flipper 20% less than a fully qualified nurse is bonkers.

    As to the point that other countries will be hurt. That may be the case. What you are arguing is that you is that you don’t care about being hurt because you believe in some dream and yet other cannot have a dream that is as important to them as the dream or ideal you have. if you are prepared to pay the cost well would you not think other are prepared to pay the cost or are we brits just so unique.

    Lastly as a point of how much germany was prepared to suffer for an ideal, The paid for unification all by themselves. it was a huge cost to them and resulted in stagnant wages for almost a decade as they absorbed the unification costs. Khol is seen a great Chancellor and in comparison to Merkel is seen a a colossus in many was Merkel is seen as reaping the sacrifices that were made.

    We are not the only ones with dunkirkesque ‘spirit’. it was not that which won the war it was having numbers (and indeed numbers matter more than anything else ) money, technology that won the war. It was a bloody version of Bristol versus Stoke.

    I think you’re talking down the strength of our hand.
    There’d be immediate and significant impacts to the EU if we left with no deal, and I think this scenario is not going to happen.
    September 5th, 2017 at 11:12 pm”

    Does the UK have a strong hand to play ?

    When you look at the large number of companies in the UK that are making contigency plans to move operations to EU countries, then the EU will not have been blind to this. The EU countries will also themselves see a potential increase in UK based factories/offices looking to relocate. And countries like Poland who have seen their citizens move to the UK will welcome these back home.

    The City of London does very well being within the EU and faces losing a lot of work to EU financial centres after Brexit. You will have seen reports of Banks already starting to move staff to EU countries taking business with them.

    The UK imports more than it exports, so if imports from the EU are subject to tariffs, then you will see an increase in price of goods and inflation. UK producers faced with WTO tariffs on their exports will see a fall in trade to the EU, as their produce becomes uncompetitive. And of course the problems at borders with customs issues delaying goods.

    When i look locally within 10 miles, i see a large number of companies who are part of an EU wide distribution network. They receive parts/materials from the EU and elsewhere. They manufacture the completed product or part, which is then sold to UK, EU and worldwide customers. There are two companies that produce food packaging for the UK and EU markets. Both of these companies also have factories in EU mainland countries. If Brexit causes these companies a problem, they could well shift production outside the UK. That means a loss of UK jobs.

    The EU has over 400 million consumers and the UK 65 million consumers. The UK does not have as strong a hand to play as some believe, for the reasons explained above. The EU knows the UK needs a Brexit deal that protects UK interests, but the EU has their eye on the big picture. The EU has already been involved in trade negotiations with US, Japan etc for years. Countries outside the EU, see a 400 million consumer market that they can trade with.

    I can understand the heart over head decision of desiring independence and trying to preserve Britain, but this is not the world we live in. We are involved in a global challenge where size matters. EU membership was always about being part of a large trading bloc, where you have the negotiating power of 28 countries and 500 million consumers. If you reduce in size, then you have less negotiating power and have to make up for this in some way. The UK can’t turn itself into some offshore tax haven for long, without seeing other centres taking action to protect their interests.

  21. @OLD NAT

    I believe yes there are potential problems but the point I see is that without the SNP being somewhat bold they will end up being a me too party. there are two thing in terms of winning power the first is enthuse your supporters, I do not think that the SNP enthused their supporters at all during the election secondly take the initiative. The point was because they offered not much it allowed the Unionist parties to take the initiative. The SNP became about the independence referendum. They could have said that they were break the cap of public sector pay or a myriad of other thing that they are doing now. and I believe they would lost less seats it would be come a issue where I think most scots would have said I may not like them but they are standing up for scots in their daily life.

    Now is there legislative difficulties ahead, obviously but I bet most SNP supporters will feel better for the announcement which is actually much more important at the moment.

    What will be interesting is whether Labour voters will prefer SNP to Tory next time around.

  22. Is there trouble ahead? Little progress seems to have been made on the important issues to be settled under Brexit. One way to deal with the contentious issue of how much money the UK pays to the EU is to agree to arbitration. The sum involved seems to lie somewhere between £25 and £55 billion. Neither side seems to want arbitration. Both want to use the issue of payment as leverage.

    Now Mrs May wants more “rolling” talks. The EU presumably will want to stick with its own timetable and presumably will argue that the issues set out at the start must be resolved. It looks like there could be a collision of wills – again. Might the talks break down at that point? I think there are some Brexiters who continue to think that no deal is better than a bad deal.

  23. @Sam

    Have faith. We must await the outcome of the German election and Mr Barnier will be told to compromise and achieve a friendship Brexit.

  24. Colin
    Yes I thought Davis on good form yesterday.

    Yes, looks as though you were correct. I think it’s a shame but that’s life.I would rather we had less MP’s to pay for.

    Pete B
    “I fully expect to be mocked and reviled for these views but I am not alone in holding them.”

    As expected you were, but that doesn’t make you wrong in any way. It would be nice to see a poll on the subject. I think you would get majority support. You have to remember that the majority who post here consider themselves Europeans rather than British judging by what they post here.

    Like me, you are in a minority here, but in the country at large I suspect we are not.

    Have a good day all.

  25. jonesinbangor: Have faith. We must await the outcome of the German election and Mr Barnier will be told to compromise and achieve a friendship Brexit.

    Faith in the Prosecco and Mercs argument

  26. @Passtherockplease

    You answer much of the conundrum in your post.

    Firstly, we are talking of throttling unfettered immigration. Not making it impossible for EU migrants to come here.

    However, businesses that choose to employ those individuals should contribute more in terms of National Insurance penalties.

    Secondly, those individuals will no longer be eligible for tax credits and family allowances etc, which are effectively subsidises from general UK tax payers to low waged employees. Indirectly these are also subsidies to employers who pay rock bottom wages. A move away from the George Osborne “gig economy” / JAM model.

    The revenue HM Government saves from reducing the leaching of revenue in this fashion can be used instead to pay nurses, teachers ans kwy public sector employees better. It can also be used to train UK nationals in akill shortagea and even reverse the scandal of tuition fees.

    Misunderstand? No I don’t think I do, thank you.

  27. SAM

    “I think there are some Brexiters who continue to think that no deal is better than a bad deal.”

    Yes indeed, from memory the last time that was polled the majority of voters in the poll supported that view. If my memeory is faulty on this occasion, I am sure somebody will correct me.

  28. TOH

    Thanks for the information, Howard. Do you have a view on Mrs may’s proposals for more “rolling” talks – their purpose and the potential outcomes? By that I mean what might happen – particularly to Mrs May’s position and the Brexit talks. i assume the EU will stick to its timetable and resolution of the A50 issues.

  29. JonesinBangor

    Thanks – I don’t have that faith, though.

  30. Oldnat

    Well, the SNP ‘s plans will not be viewed as uncontroversial by its political opponents and may be considered weak by its political ally. I remain unconvinced by its education reforms. I am not disagreeing with the idea of devolving out power and money. But the problems in the education system relate to a failure to embed the New Curriculum (so said the last OECD review) and I am not aware of anything being done to address those concerns.


    @”The fact that they are b-ll-cks does not in any way deny you the right to hold them.”

    I feel sure that the old men who were involved know exactly why they hold that view-and can think of a range of appropriate responses to your condescension.

  32. Anyone considered that the immigration info leak was stage managed?

    1/ The EU have been sent the message of what might happen if they refuse to negotiate on future arrangements (at some point we have to pass legislation and if they don’t want to be part of that then that is their decision).
    2/ Given Macron’s (others?) desire to revisit free movement it’s clear Davis is speaking above Barnier (but with some much needed subtlety)
    3/ The leaked draft is basically LAB policy (or it was, hard to keep up!). If LAB want to fight immigration legislation when it comes to parliament then it puts further pressure on LAB far-left/Blairite split.

    Sure, it was more likely leaked to try and make some CON MPs squirm/rebel but judging by the Q&A session after DD’s speech I can see Clarke putting up a fight on amendments but Soubs, etc don’t look remotely like backing LAB.

    My expectation for the Withdrawal (Repeal) Bill is a tough debate (but as we saw y’day LAB have re-opened themselves to CON counter-attack), some irrelevant amendments for the press to feast on (this Bill is nothing to do with trade arrangements during a transition period) but moves to HoL unamended. I do expect May will have to give another promise statement about limited use of Henry Viii clause, etc. Basically a rerun of the Notification Withdrawal Bill

    Public polls not especially relevant at the moment. I’ll be keeping an eye on CON (with DK’s rebalanced) staying within 5% of LAB but otherwise quite happy that the poor polling enforces internal discipline on CON to push past LAB’s fake frustration tactic. If I’m wrong (ie LAB are serious about wanting to take over during Brexit negotiations) and the chain of events eventually moves on to a confidence vote and new GE then I’d rather have that sooner than later.

    Any Rise Against fans? Survivor Guilt, Endgame has some great lyrics. Just swap US relevance to EU! Momentum/Activate will love that track, the whole album and pretty much everything Rise Against have ever written in fact! Fodder for the playlist!

  33. Interesting stuff this morning. It seems increasingly apparent that for many leavers, like a side battling relegation late in the season, the target has shifted from ‘things will be fine – I guarantee’ to ‘we’ve just got to win every game and hope other results go our way’.

    So @Joneinbangor now assures us that our future depends on the outcome of the German elections and his/her hope that Merkel will be nice to us. Similar assumptions apply on multiple fronts from the leavers. For example, the US has to agree to maintain the 19 separate trade agreements it has with the EU with a newly free UK, just so we can stand still.

    The entire approach of the UK trade negotiating team is simply to carbon copy existing deals that the EU has and hope that no other country seeks to use our discomfit to apply pressure for their own benefit, and all of this not to make life better – only to maintain what we already have.

    Similarly, we are dependent on the EU to accept a deal, because they need it more than we do etc etc.

    For anything in life, once you place dependence on actions of others, you are taking a risk, and it’s interesting to me how the line tajken by many leavers has subtely shifted, even if they don’t themselves realise of accept that they have moved.

    And then we have @Pete B’s intervention, summoning the spirit of Agincourt and Dunkirk. Barking, irrelevant and highly emotional, but not unexpected. I’m still trying to work out what relevance events at Dunkirk seventy years ago have now. It was the culmination of probably the worst land campaign the British army ever engaged in, with a disastrous humiliation exposing the uselessness of our military planning, political leadership, equipment, tactics and fighting abilities. Abject failure in Europe. Perhaps that’s the lesson?

    It was so bad that we needed massive US bailouts, men, machines and money, and Dunkirk should really be argued as the point when the UK lost it’s Empire and it’s claim to be world leader. Shameful that some should dredge up such a shocking defeat to summon our great national spirit.

    On Pete’s sunstantive points, yes, I would agree that the claims of instant Armageddon from some remainers were a terrible mistake. This is a millstone around remainers necks now, even though there were very substantial instant effects that are hampering the economy now, and vast sums of money were needed to stabilise the economy post June 23rd.

    The fact is that people didn’t see or feel these impacts and responses, so to the average voter everything was fine, even as inflation started to ramp up and investment collapsed. It’s coming, but it will be gradual, and it won’t be Armageddon, and as a result the credibility of remainers comments in general becomes degraded.

  34. TOH

    He was.

    I watch him as much as possible. If there was ever a key player in this business he is it for us. Si look for signs of burn out-his health is an important issue !

    But-yes-he answered every question in detail. Never once said I’ll get back to you on that. His confidence over electronic borders was backed up by describing his visit to the Canada/US border. etc etc.

    So , if he does pull of an exit which “works” & is seen as acceptable in UK, his political stock will be stratospheric.

    If it all goes pear shaped he will be just another delusional blustering politician-the one who cocked up Brexit. Oblivion awaits in that case.

    Still-I’m glad he is in our corner on this.


    I think you have missed the point. The problem with low skilled work is that it makes money it is easier to set up and scales very well. reducing the number of low skilled jobs will not turn those missing jobs in to high skilled jobs. it is a matter of value add. hence my point about Bristol versus Stoke.

    if there are no low skilled jobs then immigrants will not come to do them. Indeed there are low skilled jobs in Stoke and it is not immigrant that are doing them. So the issue isn’t immigration or low skill on their own. our problem is that of investment and when you look at the big investors in this country they are foreign. So they make their calculation on availability and cost of labour and return on investment and if they are Uk based often how quickly they can get that return. So if you take a farmer selling soft fruit, he’ll make the determination as to what he an get for his soft fruit in the market and pay accordingly. hence the price of labour. if the price of labour goes up then either he has to find people willing to pay the price or he get out of the market into something less labour intensive such as moving to cereals or indeed he get outs because it is unprofitable.

    My point is that we do not create enough high added value jobs hence we need tax credits take away the tax credit and you get more unemployment but you get greater productivity. Immigration curtailment is not the issue. it is a red herring investment is the issue and long term investment at that. Germany has as many immigrants as the UK it has Eastern Europe on it’s doorstep yet it does not have the issue of low skills that we have because they create higher added value jobs.

    saying that the supply of labour in itself leads to low wages is farcical. Our recruitment shortfall of teacher is at 25%. Immigration curtailment does not solve that issue lack of skills is where we are at and lack of pay for these skill is part of the problem and much of that is due to how and what we invest in not who come into the country or else germany would be like the UK.

    In or out of the EU our problems will remain we have too many low skilled people and therefore can’t pay enough tax to keep the services we need to be the foundation of the economy going. As I pointed out if you start to pay a burger flipper similar money to a person that has spent 4 years becoming a nurse your economy is screwed. No one is addressing the UK’s economic failings which is why I think Brexit will not work. because we are trying every else first before we work on the reason that we are in this position in the fist place.

  36. @ SAM – Here is what a “bad deal” would look like:

    1/ Unilaterally agree EU citizens rights in UK. Then have EU diktak that ECJ still hold supremacy and abandon the 1mm UK citizens in EU.
    2/ Agree (and pay) a huge settlement bill before agreeing a future relationship.
    3/ Agree to stay in the CU (unable to strike our own trade deals) for at least 4yrs past exit (ie at least 2023)

    Sound like a certain parties approach??

    I’d prefer a deal (polls for “walk now” type answer score low) but it is very easy to imagine a deal so bad that we’d be better of walking with no deal (by no deal I mean pay absolute minimum (20bn-ish), push for legal enforcement of equivalence rules on services, be free to start our own trade agreements with non-EU, be free from ECJ on Mar’19, etc)

    AW constantly points out the phrasing of questions for polls is very difficult as it would take several pages to truly phrase a package question but just taking the money side people are not keen to pay much so paying 100bn to drop to CU membership would surely score very low in the polls.

  37. TOH / COLIN – your view on Henry VIII clauses

    This does seem like the genuine sticky part of the Withdrawal (Repeal) Bill.
    Lawyers I know (from both sides!) all agree the Bill is essential to ensure continuity of law after Mar’19 but don’t see any way to achieve that without the Henry VIII clauses.

    I’m not a lawyer but it seems to me the solution is to offer a verbal promise regarding brevity, limitations, etc. Any attempt to try any put in an amendment that specifies the exact limitations of the powers would be enormous in itself.

    Interested to hear if either of you have a different opinion.

    Thanks in advance


    I have tried to get into the legal implications but I’m not a lawyer either & my brain soon shuts down on this sort of stuff.

    As I understand it, the problem resulting from the obviously sensible intention to replicate all existing EU law/regulation in UK law at the same time as repealing ECA 1972, is some of those regs will contain references to EU INstitutions , or other EU Law which no longer apply. eg the requirement to keep THe Commission updated on all laws concerning banana regulation.
    So the Bill gives Ministers powers to overide thousands of regs like that which would tie up Parliament forever.

    Clearly though, these “correcting powers” can be misused .

    I heard DD in HoC make pledges about Primary Legislative change but didn’t quite understand him.

    There is a problem of scrutiny here. The Times Leader suggests a House Committee to sift through all ministerial rule change , identify those that matter-and subject them to Parliamentary srutiny.

    That seems pretty sensible to me.

    As I understand it though there is a Ministerial power proposed to implement the Brexit deal in UK Law. That looks much more controversial & flies in the face of “restoring sovereignty”.
    On the other hand it is one big coat hook on which to hang all sorts of ammendments about the Single Market & Customs Union.

    As DD said-no one ever claimed this would be easy !

  39. @toh

    “You have to remember that the majority who post here consider themselves Europeans rather than British judging by what they post here.”

    Actually the majority regard themselves as both ( and English, Scottish, Welsh, and Irish too as well as for some probably Indian, Pakistani, Caribbean etc too!). It’s only the isolationist (generally white and of riper years) British nationalists espousing British exceptionalism who espouse single narrow identity politics.

  40. @Trevor Warne

    The slogan “no deal is better than a bad deal” has been around for a long time, well before Brexit.

    But of course its traditional meaning is what it suggests: you’re better off sticking with the current situation than agreeing a new deal that makes you worse off.

    Polling has shown that most Brexit supporters voted in the belief that the benefits they believed would follow, would come at no significant cost or would make us better off (to the tune of £350m a week).

    Amongst those supporters, that belief seems to have held up quite well. But as the true costs of brexit become apparent, and are increasingly conceded (“no-one said this would be easy”, “of course there will be short-term pain” etc), that might well change. At which point, the “no, you can’t change your mind, that would be undemocratic” argument could become a tricky one to defend.”

  41. Re Henry 111 clauses, are these not just for Ministers to issue statutory instruments to change primary legislation ?

    If so, all SI’s go through a committee that has the job of looking at these and the committee won’t have a Tory majority. Well House authorities are currently telling the Tories they won’t have a majority on the committee, as the DUP deal is not a coaltion giving them a majority on such Parliamentary committees. That means the committee can take action that the Tories might not want, to require a debate and a vote of the whole house.

    The reason many MP’s are unhappy about this, is the large volume of changes via SI’s and being able to properly scruntinise them. If the Government staff that draft these SI’s get the legal language wrong, then rights can be taken away or legal complications created. It is not a case of just removing EU x law and replacing with UK x law. The language used in SI’s can be very confusing and if they are later wrongly interpreted by Civil Servants, then you might well have problems.

    I think Brexit won’t be achieved within the A.50 period. If a longer period had been allowed, then you might have seen a less pressured negotiation and a more orderly process with ongoing trade being part of it. At the moment it is designed to fail and in my opinion won’t happen.

  42. Alec
    Interesting post from you this morning, I can agree with some of it but I would make the following points.

    “The entire approach of the UK trade negotiating team is simply to carbon copy existing deals that the EU has and hope that no other country seeks to use our discomfit to apply pressure for their own benefit, and all of this not to make life better – only to maintain what we already have.”

    The word “entire” makes that paragraph factually incorrect. I agree that the UK plans to carbon copy many existing deals but that is not the entire strategy. From what I have seen and read it is clear that we are also talking to others about future trade deals which are not just carbon copies.

    “Similarly, we are dependent on the EU to accept a deal, because they need it more than we do etc etc.”

    I have certainly never said that. I hope and suspect that both parties would like a deal on trade. Whether or not it is achievable on terms acceptable to either the EU or UK depends initially on Bernier’s brief being changed by EU leaders. I cannot see the UK government shifting its position on not agreeing money until a trade deal is available. If EU won’t talk trade of course no deal is possible. If we leave without a deal there will be significant damage as I have said many times, both to the UK and to the EU, or more accurately some EU states. All will recover although as you know I feel it may hasten the breakup of the EU in the longer term.

    I am sure Pete B can speak for himself but in evoking those memories I think he was pointing out that the British are at their very best when under any sort of threat. I don’t think that Dunkirk was the worst land campaign we ever engaged in but I agree with most of your analysis, and of course the campaign in France and the Low Countries in 1940 was an even greater disaster for France. I would also add it was perhaps the first of many abject failures by Hitler and the German High Command. Why did they stop the tanks when they could have wiped out the entire expeditionary force?

    I would remind you that Dunkirk gave up the opportunity to rearm and re-equip, of course with much aid from the USA as you point out. We then went on as junior partners with the USA and especially the Russians to destroy Hitler’s Reich, and Japan’s Co-prosperity Sphere, something I think we should both be proud of.

    I don’t’ agree with your linking Dunkirk to loss of Empire, I think Empire was on its way out long before then. However I really don’t think this is the place for a long debate on the loss of Empire.

    We have agreed before that the instant Armageddon was just plain wrong. We also both forecast that there has been the devaluation of the £, and a reduction in investment due to market uncertainty. Where we disagree is that on the devaluation of the £ is I think partly a temporary phenomenon, and partly long overdue. As a result growth has dropped somewhat although we again disagree, in that I think the main cause of loss of growth is the reduction in consumer spending brought on in the main by high debt levels. Looking forward 10 -20 years we totally disagree about the economic prospects of the UK, but that is just our differing opinions at this moment in time.

  43. New thread

  44. “I’m not a lawyer but it seems to me the solution is to offer a verbal promise …”
    @Trevor Warne September 6th, 2017 at 9:26 am

    I’m not a lawyer either, but I seem to recall someone promising ‘there will NOT be an early election.’

    I just can’t recall who it was.

  45. @ptrp

    I agree with Oldnat’s comments ‘re the SG’s legislative programme.

  46. COLIN
    Actually I had passed over @PETE B’s references to Dunkirk and Agencourt (except to wonder what would be included in his Henry V clauses) and was responding to his “There will be some economic effects, which are largely unknowable……”

    The effects of the loss of care workers, medical staff, and skilled technical and management staff in industry and commerce are well known, in terms of the calculated benefit of EU migrants to the current economy. That they are not known to Michael Fallon, Liam Fox and David Davis merely confirms what is increasingly apparent to the electorate.

  47. I’m getting the impression more and more leavers are hedging their bets.
    Seems to be a lot more its going to be great, eventually.

    i can’t wait. Less workers rights, retire even later, less money in the pocket and prices going up. Yep, it’s going to great down here in the coal face.

    So which countries are we going to trade with, more than we do now, wthout them wanting greater immigration?

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