The Sunday Times at the weekend had a Panelbase poll of Scotland, their first since the general election. It doesn’t look like Westminster voting intention was asked, but they have figures for Holyrood constituency vote intention, I think the first figures we’ve had from anyone since way back in March (and the first from Panelbase since the Holyrood election in 2016). Topline figures there are SNP 42%(-5), CON 28%(+6), LAB 22%(-1), LDEM 6%(-2). These changes are from the 2016 election. The SNP continue to have a solid lead, but it’s no longer those 20 or 30 point leads we used to see back in 2016.

On Independence the topline figures were YES 40%(-1), NO 53%(nc), Don’t know 6%(nc). Changes are since June, and obviously don’t suggest any meaningful change. NO seem to have consolidated a double digit lead, not the sort of lead that couldn’t be overturned in a referendum campaign, but not the sort of lead I’d imagine would encourage Nicola Sturgeon to push for one too early.

On that question of timing for a referendum, 17% of peple would like a referendum in the immediate future, while Britain is negotiating to leave the EU, 26% would like a referendum after Britain has finishing negotiating to leave the EU, 58% don’t want one in the “next few years”. As I’ve written before, questions like this are very vulnerable to the timebands you offer, but when you add up the pro and anti answers they tend to fall in similar proportions to support for independence – those who’d like independence tend to favour a referendum on independence sometime soonish, those who don’t want independence anyway don’t particularly want a vote on it either. Full tabs for the Panelbase poll are here.

There is also a new YouGov poll of Wales, conducted for ITV and Cardiff University, and also the first since the general election. Westminster voting intention figures stand at CON 32%(-2), LAB 50%(+1), LDEM 4%(-1), Plaid 8%(-2), UKIP 3%(+1). Labour have strengthened their position marginally from what was already a very strong position.

Voting intentions for the Welsh Assembly are:
Constituency: CON 25%, LAB 43%, LDEM 5%, Plaid 19%, UKIP 4%
Regional: CON 23%, LAB 40%, LDEM 5%, Plaid 19%, UKIP 5%
According to Roger Scully if these figures were repeated at an actual Assembly election then on a uniform swing Labour would narrowly regain their majority with 31 Assembly seats.


354 Responses to “New Scottish and Welsh polling”

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  1. Scotland Votes indicates this would.result in SNP 54 seats, SLab 31 seats, Tories 24’seats, LDs, 11 seats, S Greens 9 seats.

    So interesting that the Tories slip back to third place.

  2. @rjw

    :)

  3. @Sam

    It may be more of a question of what she can get the Cabinet to agree to. Possibly the most important Brexit negotiations are going on within the UK Government!

  4. Hireton

    Yes, I think Hammond may feel isolated

  5. ONS analysis of export data reported here:

    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/sep/15/uk-exporters-have-hoarded-gains-from-fall-in-sterling-says-ons

    Seems that exporters have mainly used the fall in the pound to push up prices and are sitting on the extra cash income generated given the uncertainties around Brexit.

  6. @hireton
    Thank you for the reply. It confirms my suspicion that tariffs are not the real issue, it is the total f****** that having to account for every cross border movement that will cause the problems.
    Sorry for the delay in the reply.

  7. @ SAM – great article, thank you. Remainers pay far too much attention to Farage, BoJo, SMogg, etc and misunderstand the concept of negotiating, from a firm starting point, with the intention to compromise to achieve a satisfactory outcome – nobody leaves a negotiation happy!

    As the article states “the sequencing can be fixed with a bit of creativity and goodwill from each side”.

    IMHO May will indirectly ask for sufficient progress sign-off next week (but be politely told “getting closer but not yet”) and we’ll miss Oct but hit Dec. This fits nicely with getting past conference season, German election, budget, etc. and the ticking clock will focus both sides to find the creativity and goodwill to compromise.

    Since the plan is to photocopy most of the current arrangements, the transition phase and future relationship should be relatively easy – assuming a modest amount of creativity and goodwill from both sides of course!!

    Cautiously optimistic :)

  8. @ HIRETON – there is a massive backlog in investment waiting for clarity on Brexit that grows by the day. Very few (but not all) GDP models/predictions allow for this :)

  9. Trevor Warne

    It is perfectly possible, Trevor, to read the same article and take a more pessimistic view, I think. What has not been shown is unity of purpose, more particularly in the UK side. That makes successful negotiation difficult, if not impossible. I do not see any reconciliation between the positions of Liam Fox and Philip Hammond bearing in mind that the EU has said that there is not time to negotiate a bespoke transitional arrangement.

  10. Hireton

    Thanks for the Survation link.

    The real surprise in there is SLD boosting to 10.4% on the List vote – presumably mostly from pro-EU folk who would vote SCon in the constituency vote.

  11. Trevor Warne

    This identifies not only issues but the personalities with strong views on those issues who cause problems for Mrs May and may continue to do so.

    https://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/uk/may-will-need-machiavellian-cunning-to-avoid-losing-her-way-in-florence-1.3221504

  12. Trevor Warne

    A combination of a lack of realism on what is available from negotiations and a ticking clock continue to weaken the UK negotiating position. Brexit means Brexit.

    https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/philip-stephens-merkel-s-message-to-theresa-may-brexit-means-brexit-1.3220948

  13. A great article by Fintan O’Toole on how the different “nationalisms” in the these islands (but especially in England and Ireland) are conceptually different, and how the conflict between more modern and more archaic concepts make the Irish border question exceptionally difficult for an Eng Nat UK Government to solve.

    http://www.nybooks.com/articles/2017/09/28/brexits-irish-question/

  14. The SLab leadership election might be quite interesting, after all!

    Maybe Sarwar’s comment about “parking his tanks” (with its resonance in Scotland of Davidson’s photo-op) may not, by itself, have attracted much comment.

    However, the revelations about the lack of union recognition in the firm that he has a multi-million pound stake, may raise more than some eyebrows in SLab circles.

    http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/15539296.Anas_Sarwar_confirms_no_union_recognition_at_family_firm/

    Leonard’s supporters, I imagine, will push this for all it’s worth.

  15. I wonder what the political ramifications of Scottish gaining full powers over agriculture after Brexit might be?

    It’s what the SNP and much of Holyrood wants but should it be careful what it wishes for.

    As I understand it, although I don’t have exact figures under Barnett Scotland gets about 9% of spending for 8% of the population, about 10% above the UK average.

    However due to it’s size and the nature of farming north of the border it actually gets a larger share of UK Cap funding.

    If Agriculture is devolved under Barnett then even if the UK government keeps it at CAP levels potentially Scotland (and the other devolved nations) face a cut.

    That might even let a UK Government cut overall Farm support while keeping it more or less the same for England.

    No doubt the SNP would blame May while Davidson would blame Sturgeon.

    However a quick look at the Panelbase tables, all be it cross breaks shows that the Tory vote is concentrated in the Rural areas.

    There aren’t many farmers in Glasgow where the SNP are ahead but a lot in the borders where the Tories are strongest.

    Do the Tories try to rally Scottish farmers behind a UK solution or give on devolving agriculture and let the SNP take the blame.

    On the one hand they could potentially gain support from angry farmers but how much more given their relative strength in rural Scotland.

    The converse is that if there are cuts it will be their supporters who suffer and they can’t guarantee Westminster won’t get the blame.

    Equally, and I’ll stress I am not one, there will be no shortage of SNP supporters happy to see what they see as Tweed wearing Tory toffs who cost them Independence who might see it as payback time.

    Add to all this the debate within the Tory Party (and wider) between free marketeers who favour free trade and fewer subsidies and traditionalists who want farming support to continue.

    In short if Agriculture is devolved post Brexit it could be a huge issue in the next Holyrood election.

    back to the old Proverb or as some say curse…

    May you live in interesting times!

    Peter.

  16. PETER CAIRNS
    “In short if Agriculture is devolved post Brexit it could be a huge issue in the next Holyrood election”

    Not least for a factor which has determined EU/Uk policy on farm subsidies and which your post may be somewhat missing – that of the use of subsidies to finance countryside management and for that purpose the non-cultivation of areas and estates, tree planting etc. This has permitted som very fortunate genlleman mangement and ownership of idle estates. It plays into law governing the relative rights of crofters,lairds and local communities, which may indeed evolve ffurther a major and specifically Scottish issue at post-Brexit Holyrood.

  17. Irish matters

    Did i miss a link to the legatum institute report on the Irish Issue?Very positive about an Irish solution.

    May Balls

    my dread increases about the Speech of May. She has a remarkable ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory and i fear that was indeed what the first draft contained. The second draft may incorporate the drift of the Boris Article.It will depend on who talks to her last i am afraid.

    Boris has a point about continiuing payments to the EU which in economic terms is bizarre.

    1. we have free access to the internal market along with the rest of the world;

    2. The eU has free access to the UK market which is the 5th largest in the world;

    3. The eU exports more to the UK than the uk does to to the EU and the balance of trade is in their favour;

    4.In return for them not imposing tariffs on our exports and frictionless customs they want:

    a. us not to impose tariffs on their exports to us and allow frictionless customs;and
    b. pay them for the privilege of exporting more to us than we export to them. We pay them to make money out of us. Brilliant.

    5. In a logical commercial world the EU should be paying us for entry into our market.

    We are led by little timid mice.

  18. peter Cairns,
    “That might even let a UK Government cut overall Farm support while keeping it more or less the same for England.”

    The current subsidy arrangement is basically a flat rate per acre. That has a certain fairness to it which can and has been argued. Against that, the two possible trends are capping suppport for those with very extensive holdings, and diverting money away from growing food towards prettifying the countryside.

    I doubt anyone is going to favour prettifying. Not enough green votes in this. But if they did, then likely scotland would fare as well as anyone else in a notional national allocation (ie even if the scots got a notional amount and then spent it as they wished).

    If there was a decision to cap big landowners -presumably would be unpopular amongst certain tory backers – that might hit the notional amount going to scotland. But would it really hit the scottish economy, or the bank accounts of the relatively privileged? Any changes aimed at diverting more money to small farmers…would presumably be welcomed by family farmers in Scotland as much as anywhere else. I dont know how the balance would come out. More likely, I see subsidy cut where it is least controversial and not reallocated to anyone, but not clear this would hit dcotland more. france always did well from the CAP, because it simply had more land.

  19. The Fintan link may still have some valid musings, but it supports them with some rather dodgy uses of statistics, ans that’s enough to put me off.

    Classic apples and oranges comparisons for a start. We remove London from England but treat Wales as a monolith to create polities that justify his conclusion that one vote was narrow and one overwhelming.

    Cardiff was more strongly remain than Gtr London though, so the “remove the cosmopolitan capital” analysis works with both or neither I’d suggest.

    Indeed, the whole “England outwith London” concept is an example of the London-obsessed journalism that British and foreign journos alike indulge in.

    Many large English cities were remain and almost all leaned about 10% more remain than their regions as a whole. Some, Manchester and Bristol for instance, were more strongly so than London.

    An urban v extraurban analysis of England would be justified and intelligent. A comparison of the demographics of the remain and leave provincial cities would be too. A London v extra-London one is just ignorant, and inclines me to assume the rest of the analysis is ill-considered too.

  20. S Thomas,
    “my dread increases about the Speech of May. She has a remarkable ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory and i fear that was indeed what the first draft contained”

    leave accused the EU of refusing to accept the result of referenda. Personally, I think trying to argue a referendum is a once and for all result is daft and fundamentally undemocratic, but that isnt my point now.

    My point is that the tories got the wrong result from the referendum and are seeking to change it. They asked once by means of a referendum. Wrong result. They asked again by means of an election. Wrong result again, the leave party still won albeit with a smaller margin and no overall majority. So now they are trying again. Boris has been tasked with again putting forward the extreme leave view, while May seeks support for the voice of Remain reason.

    Its not snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, but campaigning hard for defeat.

  21. Oldnat,
    I assume the government is picking a fight over payments to the Eu because peoples ongoing rights is relatively uncontentious, whereas the third Eu area wanting a solution for Ireland is very dangerously controversial and threatens to undermine Brexit rationale on many levels. Start fighting on that one and we might suddenly see Brexit is pointless.

  22. Danny

    Oh that they had the ability to be so devious!

  23. Oldnat

    Thanks for the link to an excellent piece of writing.

    At Slugger’s there is a response by Dr Hayward to the nonsense the Legatum Institute has been saying about the resolution of the NI / Ireland border issue

    https://sluggerotoole.com/2017/09/15/the-irish-border-as-a-brexit-bargaining-chip-a-rejoinder-to-legatum/

  24. @Danny

    “If there was a decision to cap big landowners -presumably would be unpopular amongst certain tory backers –…”

    IIRC the Scottish Government has already used the discretionary powers under CAP to limit payments to large landowners ( I think the Welsh Government may have done the same). The Scottish Government is also using the discretionary power to ban GM crops in Scotland.

    One concern about THe UK Government’s plan to reverse the devolution of agriculture in order to create uniformity across the UK “Single Market” is that it will restrict current discretionary powers ( IIRC Gove has refused to confirm that the UK Government will not impose GM crops on Scotland in response to a request the SG).

  25. @peterw

    “An urban v extraurban analysis of England would be justified and intelligent. A comparison of the demographics of the remain and leave provincial cities would be too. A London v extra-London one is just ignorant, and inclines me to assume the rest of the analysis is ill-considered too.”

    Possibly although your contention is debatable too and there are many Brexiters who do regard London as “another country” ( “Londistan” etc ). They may have similar views about other large urban areas. But since London is one of the UK Government’s official regions it is perhaps noteworthy as O’Toole suggests that is the only English region which voted to remain?

    Irrespective.of your view on that it seems to me that a careful and dispassionate reading of O’Toole’s article shows that his treatment of London is not really central to his argument, and as an Englishman living in Scotland, I personally see a great deal of validity in it, not least how it is mirrored in the view of Brexiters on here!

  26. @petercairns

    “It’s what the SNP and much of Holyrood wants but should it be careful what it wishes for.”

    But isn’t “full powers” a rather crude shorthand for the Scottish Government’s position at least?

    IIRC correctly the SG’s paper on Scotland’s place in Europe accepted that there would need to be some agreement on UK frameworks post Brexit including agriculture but these should be arrived at by discussion and agreement between the UK Government and the devolved administrations which would retain devolved competency. So that seems to me to be an issue about developing the devolution settlement into a more confederal arrangement for some issues.

  27. @Danny

    Meant to say ‘re CAP payments that again IIRC the UK Government chose not to limit payments to large landowners. I’m not sure of the position in NI.

  28. Peter Cairns

    There is a piece here on the potential complexities of policy on agriculture after Brexit.

    http://www.centreonconstitutionalchange.ac.uk/blog/brexit-devolution-and-agriculture-case-study-complexity

  29. When i read comments such as those by S Thomas, i start to wonder whether they place any value on the EU’s strategy of spreading the economic area to include other countries. Since the 1990’s and the end of the cold war, we have seen many countries join the EU and become part of a stronger Europe. The UK has benefitted from this bigger market place, with the EU organising a set of rules, that make it easier.

    If the EU were to split up and go back to 28 separate countries tomorrow, each with their own set of rules and laws, then it would be a pain in the backside to trade across mainland Europe. Companies that trade across Europe would have to get to grips with each countries rules/laws. The costs of employing extra staff would make some trading uncompetitive and you would see some loss of trade.

    I just think some people have a romantic view of the world 50 or more years ago, where Britain and other countries were proud independent countries, with their own ways of doing things. They just think that scrapping the EU would bring about their vision of the world, where everything would be great. But this totally ignores how trading relationships, international agreements and international law have developed. If you want to trade with other countries, then it tends to include complicated agreements on a huge number of different aspects. E.g India want more visas for their citizens to come to the UK, as part of a trade deal. China will want various terms in any UK trade agreement, that UK companies might not like.

    I hope that Theresa May does stand up for a ‘ sensible Brexit’, where she can agree support across Parliament. If this disappoints many on the Tory backbenches, then she would more than make up for it, with support from most Labour MP’s. The interests of the whole of the UK are more important than the Tory party.

  30. A relevant part of the blog post to which I linked is below:

    “The remainder of this blog attempts to explain the issues that must be resolved between the UK, EU and WTO in relation to agriculture and how these may affect the devolved territories. The less determined reader may wish to give up at this point and accept the conclusion that “it’s complicated”.”

  31. (BZ/others) – healthcare, etc. is devolved in NI

    Seems to be this thought that Corbyn can bring down the govt and cobble together something to become PM (BZ’s posts y’day and general rumbles in the Remain echo chambers!)

    Am I right in thinking the line of reasoning assumes DUP will rebel and join Corbyn on the pay cap vote and then a long sequence of events takes place that puts Corbyn in as PM (with/without a GE)?

    So, some points:
    1/ Pay cap has already been abandoned – police and prison officers
    2/ May can easily concede to the principle of higher pay rises and say that is something for the pay review panels (and the budget) – as she has already made clear
    3/ Even if DUP are still upset and annoyed about not getting the 1bn “bung” then SSNI Brokenshire can release some of the “bung” when NI comes back under direct rule – citing the unique circumstances of NI (open border to RoI, FX moves, higher cost of living in NI, etc)

    I’d expect CON to go down that list in order, giving as little away as they can but even if #3 goes then they have the embarrassment of having to go a lot further on pay than they would like to but I do not see a #4 where they turn the issue into a confidence vote and enter into a sequence of events that might lead to Corbyn as PM

    Please correct me line of reasoning if anyone sees it differently.

  32. @ SAM – I note your replies and all your links, I will try to read all of them (to the end!) in due course. I don’t think I’ve ever said implementation of Brexit would not create challenges, some which might cause complications that can not be fixed fully in the transition timetable. It is highly likely some issues will need short-term temporary fixes to continue functioning while longer-term solutions are put in place. I doubt we’ll end up with no trade deal but if goods at some point fell under a tariff regime then some shipping might chose to reroute to other ports and operation stack would probably be needed for Dover – some food might rot, some x-border suppliers will be upset.

    “Farmers” (via the lottery of birth!) might be upset to lose the 50k+/year some of them get from the EU to keep their fields empty (some farmers then use those same fields for pheasant shoots at 1k/person/day) – heaven forbid UK farmers actually use their land to grow crops and we have a UK/devolved policy that is fairer to all UK/devolved citizens and a policy that parliament have control over!

    Developing nations will be happy that we are no longer part of the EU agriculture dumping that occurs due to CAP.
    CAP and the Common External Tariff are IMHO the two biggest evils of the EU and ones we should ensure we no longer have any part of (after transition).

    Younger, liberal-socialist voters especially should be happy to take a few years of maybe not getting their favourite EU fresh produce on Waitrose shelves to know the eventual outcome is a much fairer policy for the UK and for our old/new partners in the World. The only long-term losers in UK will be rich, hereditary land owners – typically CON voters!

    The Sat shoot starts at 10am so its difficult for me to stay calm about EU agriculture policy when I see/hear the toffs out with their guns!

  33. @beekeeper1

    Re tariffs, if 10% is negligible in your view I will let you have my bank details so you can forward 10% of your income to me! :)

  34. hireton

    can you forward your bank details to me as well pleases.I have a cousin in Nigeria who needs your account in order to deposit the vast fortune of Colonel Gowan.

  35. @Trevor Warne

    1/ Pay cap has already been abandoned – police and prison officers

    There are issues with how the pay cap has been ‘abandoned’.

    As far as I understand, the budget to the services isn’t increasing, so the higher pay for Police Officers will simply be a cut to the funds available for the service in other areas.

    In addition, the claim that some Police Officers have seen increases of 30+% since 2010 is highly selective. Radio Four’s More or Less looked at this, and basically the number of Officers who meet all the highly selective criteria for this claim amounts to no more than 4% of Officers.

  36. @R HUCKLE – It’s not nostalgia, it’s free trade!

    Brexiteers want to move to freer trade set at a global level – a much bigger market than the EU and one that is growing much faster than the EU. Each of the remaining EU27 are democracies and can do as they wish. For some of the EU27 (mostly the earlier members) a push to a federal system makes economic sense and despite some political issues they have shown the economic/broader convergence that make its economically viable as an Optimal Currency Area (OCA) and, for a smaller sub-group, an Optimal Labour Area (OLA) also makes sense – I’m thinking Germany, Benelux, France and Denmark (although Denmark resist the Euro for political reasons the Euro with the cheats allowed in does not represent an OCA). To make it work honestly though, Germany needs to take on fiscal transfers of a much larger scale – something they obviously don’t want to do (something Westminster however does within UK)

    Remainers seem fixated on the nostalgia of the EU, assuming the peace achieved due to NATO holding back communism and then defeating communism was due to the EU which didn’t even exist before communism was defeated. Brexiters are looking to the future. We’ll photocopy a chunk of the EU relationships due to certainty and clarity for the short-term. Most of us hope the EU27 economies grow despite the self imposed handcuffs of the Euro, CAP, CET, etc – they will continue to be an important, although declining, trading partner and due to geography we really want the continental part of our shared continent to avoid future wars.

  37. @sam

    Thanks for the Hayward link which in turn led me to the Legatum Institute paper.

    Essentially the LI paper is not much more than the UK Government position which is to use the Irish border issue as a weapon in the broader negotiations with the EU with a reliance on technological solutions which although wrapped up in lots of exciting techie words are essentially empty and uncosted aspirations when unwrapped. At least it is honest in recognising that there will not and cannot be any such thing as “frictionless customs”.

    That the LI position is so close to the UK Government’s position is not that surprising. Although it claims to be politically neutral on Brexit ( as technically it has to be as a registered charity) the authors of the report can’t actually help.themselves not being that when they use the the Tory Party’s “Global Britain” slogan. The CEO of LI is Ian Duncan Smith’s former special adviser and Matthew Eliot, Director of Vote Leave, is a senior fellow. It seems that the LI is almost entirely funded by the Legatum Foundation which in turn seems to be wholly funded by the Legatum Investment Group.operating in Dubai. This perhaps explains why its trustees appear to be mainly investment asset managers.

  38. I see Bojo has issued what amounts to a Leadership manifesto concerning Brexit. There’s a long piece in the Telegraph which reads more like a speech than an article.

    I wonder if he heard what was in May’s Florence speech and has made a preemptive strike.

  39. Catmanjeff, yes, the pay progression ruse, just another trick that the gov also used in connection to nurses pay.

    I was surprised this was attempted again as it is misleading and easily debunked.

  40. @ CMJ – are police (public sector) getting a pay rise above 1% (the old cap)?

    The rest is politics.

    I expect May to fight but lose the political argument for #1 while digging the trenches in at #2 (awaiting pay review panels and the budget).

    11:30 so shooting stops for 1/2hr for a glass of sloe gin and cucumber sandwiches!! – chance to walk the dog. Chat later.

  41. hireton

    Presumably in the interests of fairness then we will see no link or article from you that emanates from any organisation which receives EU funding or any individual connected with the remain campaign and you will assiduously check on the same before you post.

  42. S thomas, it is helpful to look at sources when assessing evidence or opinion.

    There is no expectation for posters to pander to any other posters peccadilloes, so long as the comments policy is regarded.

  43. Sorry to grammarians, forgot a apostrophe above, oh nooooo.

  44. @sthomas

    Please feel free to do so if you have the intellectual discipline, research skills and diligence to do so.

  45. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/photo-id-identification-voter-fraud-pickles-review-a7949396.html

    Photo id, and non photo id, to be trialled as a solution to a problem almost no one is worried about.

    I don’t have a passport and don’t drive and as I prefer to remain disengaged from bureaucracies if possible I have no other photo ID.

    If I was in the photo ID group I would be annoyed.

  46. new thread

  47. @trevorwarne

    ‘re CAP payments and farm income, I am aware of the Full Fact briefing on CAP payments which shows that direct payments under CAP ( ie excluding CAP funded Rural Development Programmes although including agri- environmental payments) comprise a much larger % of small farm income than for large farms.

    But you presumably have links to the evidence which shows how far the Direct Payment system under CAP is being used to fund farmers to keep their fields “empty”? Or is that your description of the agri-environmental payments?

    Incidentally CAP already includes discretion for member states on about 80 issues which, in turn, are for the time being devolved in the UK. That is why Scotland and Wales have limited payments to larger farms although England decided not to.

  48. @trevorwarne

    “Brexiteers want to move to freer trade set at a global level – a much bigger market than the EU and one that is growing much faster than the EU”

    Some Brexiters do but are you saying that even the majority of people thought they were voting for “freer trade” at a global level? It is just as possible that a lot of Labour and UKIP voters that voted for Brexit expected a more populist protectionist approach in the manner of Trump. I can’t immediately recall any polling on free or freer trade as such as distinct from the power to make trade deals but it would be interesting if there were any.

    And “freer trade” is an interesting term. It suggests that you are not in the Mintford camp of unilaterally abolishing all tariffs and recognise that actually most countries are cautious about negotiating trade deals which is why they are complex and take time. In that respect, can the EU said to be against freer trade when it has over 50 FTA s in place and ,for example, is negotiating one with Japan and was negotiating one with the USA. It could be argued that the EU takes longer to do so than one country would ( I think there is contradictory evidence on that) and that an EU deal would be less tailored to the specific needs of one country but on the other hand the greater size of the market gives it more clout.

    And of course there is nothing stopping the UK being a much better exporter than it is now unless your view is that it is only the EU which is preventing it from being so.

  49. @ HIRETON – response on new thread

  50. @seachange

    I think that is a shrewd reading of the position regarding BoJo. As I have said upthread, the most important Brexit negotiations are taking place within the UK Government.

    Disappointingly his article doesn’t seem to have got much beyond referendum campaign mode although it is interesting that he has bowed in the face of reality and recognises that the £350m Brexiters dividend won’t be accruing any time soon. Equally it is interesting that he advances again a radical Atlanticist assertion that post Brexit deregulation can increase UK GDP by up to 7%. So his leadership positioning may be to try to ride two horses, pragmatic negotiator and also keeper of the true flame of free market Brexiters!

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