Yesterday I got a few questions about a new BMG poll in the Independent that had voting intentions in a hypothetical EU referendum tomorrow at 52% remain, 48% leave. The Indy wrote this up with a pretty hyperbolic “Majority want to stay!!!”. The full results – along with a fair more reasonable and caveated write-up by BMG themselves – are here.

So, what is the bigger picture in terms of attitudes to Brexit, and is there any sign of people changing their minds?

I should start by pointing out that how people would vote in a hypothetical referendum tomorrow is not necessarily the same question as what people think should happen now (perhaps surprisingly!). If you ask people what should happen now, a clear majority say Britain should leave the EU. If you ask people how they’d vote in a referendum now, they are split down the middle between Remain and Leave. The difference appears to be because there is a chunk of people who personally favour remain, but think the government has a duty to leave following the referendum. Neither of these is necessarily a “better” measure of public opinion, opinion is best understood by looking at both: that is, the public are split equally on what they’d prefer, but some remainers think that the referendum means Brexit should go ahead anyway.

If we do look specifically at how people would vote in a referendum tomorrow, there is comparatively little change since 2016. Most Remain voters would still vote Remain, most Leave voters would still vote Leave. People who did not vote at all in 2016 tend to split in favour of Remain, meaning that the overall figure tends to be around a 50-50 split. Polls, of course, typically have a margin of error of around 2 or 3 points. This means if the actual position is a 50-50 split, then normal sample variation will inevitably spit out some results that are 52-48, or 48-52, or whatever. This is the unavoidable result of normal statistical variance, however, it does mean that now and again there will be a poll showing Remain with a small lead, which pro-Remain sorts will get wrongly overexcited about.

In terms of a trend, my impression is that there is some small degree of movement against Brexit… but it is very small. It is hard to discern a trend from questions asking the referendum question because they are infrequent, different companies use different methods and there may be different “house effects”. BMG have probably asked it more regularly than any other company, and looking at just their figures (in the link above) there is a slight trend towards Remain.

YouGov regularly ask a question about whether Britain was right or wrong to vote to Leave the EU (below), which also shows a very tight race, but a slight trend towards Remain. Last year it tended to show slightly more people thought it was the right decision than the wrong decision, now it tends to hover around neck-and-neck.

In summary, there hasn’t been any vast sea-change in attitudes towards Brexit. Most people who voted Remain would do so again, most people who voted Leave would do so again. There is some movement back and forth, but it mostly cancels itself out. If you look at the two most frequently repeated questions, the BMG question on referendum VI and the YouGov question on whether the decision was right or wrong, then there does appear to be movement towards Remain… but it is as yet pretty small and pretty slow. In short, there are some “bregrets”, but not enough to really get excited about. If there is going to be a big change, I still wouldn’t expect to see it until the leaving deal (and the consequences of it) become a bit clearer.


428 Responses to “Bregrets, there are a few… but then again, too few to mention”

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  1. TOH – thanks. link here to save folks some time and increase worker productivity on a wet Monday:
    http://survation.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Mail-On-Sunday-September-23rd-Data-Tables-1.pdf

    Some newer questions in there I think so well worth exploring if peeps have the time. Picking out Q14: has Brexit process been problematic.

    More 46%
    Less 8%
    about same 40%

    The crossbreaks show little difference between the parties and surprisingly very little difference between Remain and Leave voters with 39% Leave and 43% Remain thinking the process is moving forward similar to their expectations.

    My general sum up of a lot of the other questions is that expectations for Brexit are modestly on the low side but most people don’t think it is that off a biggy (e.g. Q15, 28% think they will be worse off v 13% better off but 38% think no different).

    Also same pattern as we’ve generally been seeing that people don’t think May will get a good deal (Q17: 51% v 34%) but would still prefer her to lead negotiations (39% for May v 27% for Corbyn although that is distorted by a high DK in LAB crossbreak).

    Anyone have a different read on the poll info?

  2. @TOH – “Glad to see the ad hominem rant from you has ceased at last.2

    Stop being silly. You’re embarrassing yourself.

    “… [I] repeat I do not think that the Governments position has changed to any significant degree since the White paper and I do not accept your arguments at all.”

    Again, this is quite embarassing for you as you expressly said the government wouldn’t do two specific things that they have just done. I even provided you with your own quote for one of them.

    Most of the rest of us are content to accept when we got something wrong – it really isn’t the end of the world you know. I just find is really strange that you can’t even see that you have make a false judgement even when your own words contradict you. There’s something wrong here.

    “I am more interested in dealing with facts when it comes to accessing what happened during the Brexit negotiations.”

    Don’t kid yourself. You have little interest in the facts that don’t suit your beliefs. That’s why you are struggling to understand the very significant changes in the government’s position on two very major issues.

    “I noted earlier that you referred to an article in the FT. It’s a paper I only read for Company information and numbers. I trust it’s political and economic articles about as much as you do the Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail.”

    That’s good, because the link I posted was a legal expert, nothing to do with politics or economics.

    Don’t. Do. Detail.

  3. SEA CHANGE

    Yep-it won’t be easy & both the Greens & the Liberals are making uncompromising noises.

    Could take months.

    The air of superiority in Berlin will be a little less evident for a while :-)

  4. @ MONOCHROME OCTOBER – your correct about the hard core leavers. Good write-up with poll info here:
    https://yougov.co.uk/news/2017/08/01/britain-nation-brexit-extremists/

    61% of Leave think significant damage to the UK economy would be a price worth paying!

    Personally I think the long-term economic argument for Leaving was stronger than Remain but the poll shows that for most Leave the passion for leaving is very high.

    No attention was paid to the Remain side at the time but they seem a less fanatical bunch with only 34% prepared for UK economy to take significant damage if it meant Britain could stay – personally I think attempting to stay now would certainly involve significant economic damage.

    Summary by splicing a few polls (bunch of caveats in that)

    Die-hard core Leave – 32%
    Core Leave – 13%
    Re-Leavers – 17%
    (sub-total 62%)

    Core Remain – 15%
    Die-hard core Remain – 12%
    (sub-total 27%)

    NB no offense intended using the terms fanatic and die-hard, used for both sides for purpose of illustration only.

  5. JIM JAM

    Thanks

    I was commenting on the Momentum E mail shown on tv news.

    There is some clever tightrope walking going on on Brexit at present-but for anyone who watches ALL JC’s interviews, the doubts expressed in @MONOCHROMEOCTOBER -12.22am might begin to appear.

    I can’t really judge how much of Labour’s VI is floating on a wave of “OOOOh Jeremy Corbyn” cultism. And even if we knew that , there is a question for me about its motivation-is it uncritical adoration, or “values” based? If the former ( in which some of my own grandchildren are immersed) then it won’t matter how equivocal or evasive he is. If the latter we could see some resntment from Remainers.

    There is so much which is difficult to fathom in the “populist” upsurge -in USA, Germany & UK.

    Speaking of populism I was open mouthed at a Times article today-Labour will “cap” credit card debt-at a cost to “the banks”.

    I await further details !!!………………as on so much else :-)

  6. @Danny – I’m with @MO. I don’t think the EU will put any real barriers in the way of a transition period if that is what the UK wants, with the only caveat that they will need some idea of what comes after this – what are we transitioning to?

    I also think that the transition deal will be in effect identical to current membership. I can’t see the EU agreeing to the ending of free movement nor the dropping of ECJ membership, and these are things that May probably already and is inching towards accepting – this is really what the transition period request is all about.

    Politically I suspect most people would accept this, with leavers needing to be reassured that it really is just a transition, and not the basis for a less clear cut departure. However, the reality of the negotiations is such that elements of the transition deal will almost certainly feature in the final deal, including payments and a role for the ECJ.

    The transition deal is about softening up hard core leavers so that a more appropriate deal can be struck in the end.

  7. HIRETON

    No.-I don’t

  8. unchanging world

    1. TOH and Alec continue their love in;

    2. Huckle and Danny renew their subsciption to the flat earth society;

    3. Labour seeks to allow tories to stew in Brexit

    4.Tories cannot decide whether to pay 60bn to eu and get talks started or not pay them and have a no deal brexit on 29th th of March 2019.The eU will not open trade talks unless we promise 60 bn.

  9. @ COLIN – “cap on credit cards”

    Times a little sensationalist as you’d expect. Pay-day loans, etc are a big issue (IMHO) and glad LAB are looking into it (CON obviously wouldn’t).

    It would be watered down via parliament but one of my pet gripes is the legalisation of loan sharks.

    I’m deeply concerned about other areas where LAB want to interfere with free markets (e.g. Uber) as I see the dark hand of the awkward squad behind those moves but regarding the need to regulate the “dealers” in our “debt junky” culture I’m on-board.

    If Carney was more central banker and less politician he should be on top of this issue as well

  10. Alec

    “@TOH – “Glad to see the ad hominem rant from you has ceased at last.2
    Stop being silly. You’re embarrassing yourself.”

    No, I was just commenting factually about a previous post of yours to me. If anybody is embarrassing themselves it’s you. You actually repeat the ad hominem nonsense at the bottom of your latest post. You keep repeating yourself over and over again. It seems to me that you are becoming obsessive about my views. It’s not healthy. If you don’t like what I post I suggest you don’t read it. I remember another poster who went on and on because he did not like my posts. I became really worried for his health.

    I am happy to accept that I am wrong when I am. I have seen nothing to convince me that I am wrong to date on Brexit. When I do I will be happy to do so. I hope you will be prepared to do the same. We don’t agree, I suggest you leave it at that. No doubt we are already boring the others who have something more useful to post on here.

    As to lawyers opinions it depends which lawyers you want follow. You were quick to criticize Lawyers for Britain I noted recently.

    My position is quite clear, if you post again, repeating your same old nonsense I will ignore it. I have better things to do than continue this pointless dialogue any further.

    Trevor Warne

    That was my reading of the poll as well. No great changes in voters views on Brexit and the negotiations.

    Ronald Olden
    Totally agree with you.

  11. It seems to me that a Brexit transition is only useful to both sides if the UK knows its final destination. It does not and there is a strong possibility that will continue.

    From the EU point of view a transition period might prevent the hardest of crashes that an incompetent UK government could manage – such a crash would disrupt the EU as well.

    A transition that allows the UK a more favourable position than it would have had within the EU will not happen. The choice is compromise and face the wrath of critics in the party and press or press ahead toward the breakdown of talks.

    Nothing about Ireland. The various agreements that led Ireland out of conflict will wither. Attention to building more North- South integration might mitigate some of the effects of the hard Brexit. The political consequences of using NI as a bargaining chip and ignoring where common ground can be had with Ireland will be seen.

  12. TREVOR WARNE

    @”Times a little sensationalist as you’d expect. Pay-day loans, etc are a big issue”

    I wouldn’t actually-it never is in my experience. Which is why I read it.

    Anyway-rechecked the article.As I said-it is about “Credit Cards”-not Pay Day Loans.:-
    “McDonnell will today promise that no card holder will be forced to repay in interest payments more than the sum they initially borrowed”.

    REport says FCA estimates 3 million Credit Card holders are in “persistent debt”.

    Estimated cost to lenders is stated at £13 bn over 12 years.

    Re UBER-I don’t know the details of its alleged infringements -and a report that Inspectors at TfL gave them a clean bill of health between 2013 & middle of this year makes you wonder what is going on.

    More interesting, for me was an article by Mark Littlewood of IEA:-
    ” Technology is radically changeing our understanding of what constitutes employment ………….They are placing in the hands of the consumer hundreds of thousands of whom have signed a petition calling on the Uber ban to be overturned. With a couple of clicks on a smartphone ordinary citizens can now directly secure a widening range of services from fellow workers & agree a price.
    A world in which the consumer is increasingly the boss makes it hard-even suicidal-for a self styled People’s Party to side with workers against these new bosses. It is increasingly common to be a boss, directly procuring services for some of the day and a worker providing them for the rest of it. If Labour cannot adapt to this new reality its policy platform risks sounding irrelevent & even alienating to a greater slice of the electorate”

  13. SAM

    I don’t see how a solution to the Irish issue is possible until it is clear what the trading relationship with the EU is after Brexit. The Governments current position seems as far as it is possible to go at the moment. Over to the EU for some suggestions.

  14. I suppose referencing Guido here will send some into outrage-but this is interesting :-

    “Labour’s “Shadow Minister for Peace and Disarmament” Fabian Hamilton has recounted the tale of what happened when Emily Thornberry met the Foreign Office permanent under-secretary Sir Simon McDonald during the election to discuss the event of a Labour win. The plan for day one: appoint a Cabinet minister with responsibility to disarm the UK…

    “Just before the General Election on June 8th, Emily Thornberry and Jennifer Larbie, Head of International Policy for Jeremy’s Office, they went to see Sir Simon McDonald who is the Under-Secretary at the Foreign Office, that means by the way that he is the boss, he’s the senior United Kingdom Diplomat… When Emily and Jennifer put to Sir Simon that the idea that if we won on Thursday and if we win in the future – when we win in the future – we will create, because it’s in the manifesto, a Minister, a Secretary of State, a Cabinet role, for Peace and Disarmament, and that would include the Ministry of Defence and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. And McDonald’s reply was: ‘Brilliant, that’s a really good idea.’”

    So-Unilateral Disarmament as UK Government Policy under a Corbyn Government?

  15. Colin

    Interesting piece, and no surprise with Corbyn’s track record. That would thrill the voters!

  16. @ S Thomas

    Flat earth society ?

    At least Danny and I, plus others who think Brexit is unlikely to happen, will be happy when we are proved correct during 2018.

    Those that think a version of Brexit is100% certain to happen are just relying on the argument that once A.50 is triggered that it cannot be stopped. All the current Government have to do is ignore Parliament and just allow the clock to tick past 29th March 2019.

    Remember that A.50 requires a country to have gone through all its constituitional processes. A Government without a majority ignoring a Parliament voting on amendments against a Government position or in favour of a vote of no confidence, is unlikely to last. The chances of an election and court cases during 2018 about the Brexit deal process are quite high.

    Do you think Theresa May will last very long as Tory leader, if she agrees to a Brexit deal that does not safeguard the red lines she promised ? If there is continued free movement, ECJ involvement, a large payment to the EU etc after March 2019. The Brexiteers in the Tory party are likely to want a leadership contest.

  17. The current labour Leaderships cake is keeping SM/CU access and allowing free movement not much different to as now, as that is where their instincts lie on immigration matters.
    The eating it bit is to be free of the EU restrictions on re-nationalisation, state subsidies etc.

    By the time real decisions have to be made (2020/21) either Labour will be in Government due an early GE in which they are successful; or, there will be a new leader due to JC standing down for a new leader to be in place ready for the 2022 GE (or later if one held in he next year or 2).

    For the time being adopting a softer Brexit than the Tories approach is enough to hold things together and focusing on a domestic agenda where the Government are vulnerable.

    Other than 10 or so leavers MP (Stringer, Hoey etc) and perhaps 30 or so strong remainers who want SM/CU membership (access not enough for these it seems) commitment beyond the transition period this policy and approach is acceptable and to the bulk of the membership as well.

    The access not membership distinction is vital to the current leadership due to the ‘eating it’ bit re freedom to act without EU restrictions on Economic matters.

    I am sceptical that the EU will allow Labours version of cake and eat as well but imo the policy is credible at least if optimistic and will hold the party together.

  18. Regarding Labour’s Brexit position –

    If there are two ice cream stalls on a beach, the sunbathers would rather they were spread 1/3rd and 2/3rds of the way along. In practice, they end up next to each other – as that way the second one that set up gets half the customers.

    Similarly, under FPTP, on a major political axis like the internationalist/nationalist one, it makes sense to be just slightly next to the opposition, to sweep up the most voters.

    Labour is *ever so slightly* more pro-Remain than the Tories. And luckily for them, the Tories are over to the right on that axis, so Labour can hook substantial voter preference on the issue for them that way (more than half), and did at the 2017 General Election. Does the polling show that is working, i.e. whether people prefer Labour or Tory Brexit policies?

    BTW, there is one other significant axis too (the economic one), that’s just not where the debate is focussed right now. It is however where the action is focussed – the irony is that when the apparent argument is on one axis (Brexit now, economic 10 years ago), the parties actually have very similar policies on that axis. And the real choice for voters is over on the other axis (economic now).

    This, of course, makes it absolutely right for Labour internally to concentrate on non-Brexit matters right now. And keep playing the blinder they are – be just *ever so slightly* more pro-EU than the Tories. But only slightly.

  19. @S Thomas

    The EU is *not* specifying a figure, £60bn or anything else. They are seeking an agreed basis for calculation.

    This is crucial for a transitional deal, because we need to know whether or how much of the £20bn for single market access in included in the (for the sake of argument) £60bn. This would only be possible if the basis for calculating the £60bn is agreed. But DD seems to be refusing the engage with this discussion at all, instead trying to buy off the EU with arbitrarily identified bags of cash. It just won’t work.

    If we reach a cliff edge without agreement of the basis for a divorce settlement, the only way a transition deal will be possible will be if it is on the *exact* equivalent of continuing EU membership – i.e. ensuring that EU citizen’s rights and the NI border are protected, and with all new EU regulations adhered to (else it won’t be a single market), and paying precisely what we would have paid. And negotiations will then have to continue concerning exit liabilities etc.

  20. TOH

    I don’t think voters -at least the younger ones-have any idea of the sort of policies which will be unveiled after he is in No 10.

  21. “I suppose referencing Guido here will send some into outrage-but this is interesting :-

    So-Unilateral Disarmament as UK Government Policy under a Corbyn Government?”
    @Colin September 25th, 2017 at 10:37 am

    Haha, very funny. But you missed out what really happened — the current lot have given us an aircraft carrier WITH NO AIRCRAFT!!!

    Stunning.

  22. THE OTHER HOWARD to ALEC

    “You keep repeating yourself over and over again.”

    Oh, the irony!

    I may agree with your position on Brexit, if not your broader politics, but for God’s sake, man, pull your socks up and have a good, hard look at yourself!

  23. Nicely put Francis and in E&W there are only 2 ice-cream sellers; Scotland trickier of course as to an extent Labours ice-cream stand is in the middle of 2 others with more space on the beech beyond the SNP and Tory stands than there is between them and closer to the central stand for Labour to scoop up (bad pun intended) customers.

    Don’t mention queue length differentials please!!

  24. ROBIN

    @” how much of the £20bn for single market access”

    It isn’t any such thing.

    What has been accepted from Barnier’s list of Financial “Liabilities” is continuing payment of UK’s net contribution to the EU BUdget to the end of the current cycle-2014-2020. -around £10bn pa.

    What EU continue to demand is a contribution to unfunded committments of the EU for projects to be commemnced and/or funded after 2020. Most importantly the £200bn + Reste a Liquider so-called “black hole”

    DD will have to come off the fence on this at the next meeting.

  25. “I noted earlier that you referred to an article in the FT. It’s a paper I only read for Company information and numbers. I trust it’s political and economic articles about as much as you do the Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail.”
    @The Other Howard September 25th, 2017 at 8:15 am

    Then throw it away and just use the RNS feeds on https://investegate.co.uk/

    You will get more information there than you ever need to know! Just learn the EPIC codes (eg RDSA) and click the search button. Now that IS simples!

  26. TOH

    This is what I am talking about. This principle of further integration between the two parts of Ireland comes from the GFA. If the UK government was interested in this as a means of mitigating the effects of a hard Brexit it could say so and discuss how it could be done in these negotiations.

    “When it comes to economic, social and civic integration on the island of Ireland, the European Union has provided a decisive legal framework since 1973, i.e. for more than 40 years. The specific quality of European Union law has been particularly relevant for the relationship between these two countries because of the way the Irish written Constitution and the UK’s unwritten constitutional arrangements classify public international law: both countries do not grant any Treaties or other arrangements under public international law direct effect internally. The importance of the European Union going beyond mere intergovernmental cooperation cannot be underestimated. The direct effect and supremacy of substantive European Union law within national law and over national law ensures that the European Union is much more than a negotiation space between governments. It creates a new legal space, which in the words of the European Court of Justice is autonomous from national law and enables transactions between economic, social and civic actors to take place in a larger space –both physically and metaphorically -than the nation state. This legal space can be used by individual citizens, businesses and local and regional governments as well as civil society organisations for overcoming the division between separate parts on the island of Ireland…….

    Overall, it is suggested that there is merit in working for a sustained future of substantive integration on the island of Ireland. For more than 40 years, the law of the European Union has offered a functional legal framework for this endeavour. Maintaining the inclusion of Northern Ireland as a territory where the law of the EU applies would appear the least disruptive option. This does not mean that there are no disruptions. This does not mean that the UK’s departure will not create any disruption – the disruption resulting from a border between Great Britain and Northern Ireland are all too obvious. Further, there will be immense political difficulties in convincing the UK government in Westminster to continue contributing to the EU budget and enduring relevance of ECJ jurisdiction for the sake of maintaining an all island perspective for Ireland. Political difficulties will also abound from the Republic of Ireland, in particular around accepting that any solution will have to be negotiated with
    the whole of the EU-27 with priority, instead of relying on post-colonial bonds to the UK. It is possible, however, to craft a solution that does not disrupt all-island perspectives in the same way as it is possible to disrupt integration by foregoing this opportunity.”

    https://blogs.qub.ac.uk/tensionatthefringes/files/2017/02/Schiek-Brexit-and-the-UK-Ireland-relationship-CETLS-TREUP-occasional-paper-2-20171.pdf

  27. TOH
    “Amazing and very amusing post’
    All true, but mild stuff compared the reality, Howard. The serious point behind this, however, is that you underestimate the hybrid nature of Britishness and you debase debate if you deride the sincerity of those whose experience may be that of a national interest and identity which is entwined with Europe or has been enhanced by membership of the European Union and partiipation in its development. That does not preclude – indeed I think it requires – a demand for the radical reform of the EU which is on the record as policy aspect of Remainers, notably that stated in Labour policy

  28. @Colin – that seems a neat summary of the current payments issue, although in terms of realpolitik, yes it is a de facto payment for access to the single market for the transition period.

    The acceptance of our ‘moral obligations’ was also an interesting point for me, and made me wonder why they had spent so much time and effort attempting to pick apart the legal basis for our liabilities, only to then announce that we weren’t bothered about the legal basis – only the moral element. The end result of where we will end up on the payments front was never and won’t be about technical legalities, and we simply soured the negotiating mood by doing this, for no net gain.

  29. @ COLIN – I should have put more emphasis on the need to water the policy down. My issue is more with Carney TBH. He is the Jose Mourinho in the world of central bankers.

    OECD data on household debt is misleading. In many continental countries there are reasons why people appear to have far more debt that they really do. If you go to places like Austria and Germany credit cards are still quite a rarity.

    If you open the attached link and move the scale on the right below the graph to show a time series you then click on various countries and see the debt issue. Canada (legacy of Carney) is probably the worst in terms of growth in household debt.
    https://data.oecd.org/hha/household-debt.htm#indicator-chart

    Carney talks about avoiding the sins of the past but Canada had oil so they skipped the whole financial crisis. Like Mourihno, Carney was briefly in the right place at the right time but is a narcissist – too busy lining up his next job to focus on his day job. Sadly, May missed the oppo to fire him and even let him extend his contract!

    He’ll probably need to write an open letter soon explaining why he has rates super accommodative when inflation has broken over 3%. The Smoggster has dragged Carney over the coals in the past but the whole Treasury Select Committee really need to ramp up their game going forward – time for a yellow card and make sure Carney knows he’ll get the red if he doesn’t start doing his job.

    BoE need to start easing consumers off OPM (Other People’s Money). The aggregate UK number doesn’t look too bad but it masks a deep societal split and unchecked it falls to the likes of Momentum and McDonnell to gain political capital from the issue. A small hike in rates will not tackle those hooked on Wonga and the other legal loan sharks. BoE might not have the direct tool to deal with it but if they don’t they need to ask – it should be their job to tackle the issue with a range of tools.

    NB probably should be a whole bunch of IMHOs in the above, as you might have guessed the red mist comes up when I start talking about Carney. If I can find a half decent article on the social split of debt I’ll post it.

  30. al-urqua

    To be correct it was labour who ordered 2 aircraft carriers without ordering the aircraft to fly from them.
    the Tories decided not to fill that lacuna that labour had arranged by not allowing obsolete harriers to fulfill the role.

  31. Good morning all from a rather disappointingly damp and grey PSRL

    @Sea Change

    Over the last few years, I have been reading much more Eastern Philosophy. Vedanta and Buddhism come at the same issues often from different angles. It all comes down to the nature of consciousness and dissolving the fetters that bind us.

    In the last few years I’ve been filling some gaps – Ottoman Empire and Early Arab history. Also interested in some of the recent theories looking at the links between antiquity and early oriental history.

    I read Liddell Hart and Churchill when I was a kid (my grandfather was a history lecturer and he lent them to me). I periodically pick up a book on WWII era to keep up with recent historiography.

  32. “The remarkable thing these polls in the past 15 months since the Brexit vote is how stable they have been and how resolute the Nation has been in sticking to its’ decision.”
    @Ronald Olden September 25th, 2017 at 9:09 am

    Nothing has changed. Nothing.has.changed.

    Those that believe there is a New Jerusalem hiding behind the EU (if only it would get out of the way) still feverishly hold on to that belief. Those that thought as life is bad I’m going to kick someone to see if it gets better will have noticed that it hasn’t got better.

    And do you still expect those Remainers who have seen the 15 months of farce we have now had wanting to change their minds and join the sunny uplands camp?

    It’s a delicate balance so the government’s staying on the fence. I see no sign of anyone trying to climb down. Maybe after next week the mud will be clearer — but I wouldn’t hold your breath.

    Indefinite transition deal (ie no change but with loss of sovereignty) is still looking the likeliest outcome.

  33. LONDONLEAVER

    Done that, and still think I am the same logical, well read, good music, cricket and rugby appreciating right of centre chap I have always been. My wife agrees. How about you?

    :-)

  34. Interesting example today of how the press manage to distort public debate and can lead to false conclusions.

    We recently had a case of a cyclist who collided with a pedestrian who wasn’t paying attention while stepping out into the road. The case created a great deal of coverage, mostly negative towards cyclists, and the cyclist received a lengthy jail term based on a Victorian era law.

    Today saw the beginning of the court proceedings against a driver who struck and killed Chris Boardman’s mother while she was out cycling. Both the driver and his partner are also charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice in relation to the deletion of mobile phone data from two phones.

    We can’t comment about this latter case as yet, but the first case led to an urgent review of the law on cycling with the government raising the possibility of a new offence of causing death by riding dangerously. It will be interesting to see if there is a similar level of coverage and calls for more action on cyclists deaths caused by drivers arising from this case. I suspect not.

    There are approximately 1,750 road accident deaths per year, with around 2.8 pa of these being pedestrians hit by cyclists – around 0.17% of the total.

    Many people say that the power of the press is waning, but there is still an ability to direct the agenda, and this has impacts. Just as many people believe the EU legislates to unbend bananas and cucumbers, many people now believe that cyclists are a real threat to innocent pedestrians safety, almost totally down to distorted media coverage.

  35. Trevor [email protected] MONOCHROME OCTOBER: – your correct about the hard core leavers. Good write-up with poll info here:
    https://yougov.co.uk/news/2017/08/01/britain-nation-brexit-extremists/

    61% of Leave think significant damage to the UK economy would be a price worth paying!

    Personally I think the long-term economic argument for Leaving was stronger than Remain but the poll shows that for most Leave the passion for leaving is very high.

    No attention was paid to the Remain side at the time but they seem a less fanatical bunch with only 34% prepared for UK economy to take significant damage if it meant Britain could stay – personally I think attempting to stay now would certainly involve significant economic damage.

    There is some considerable asymmetry in the application of the ‘prepared to see significant damage to the UK economy’ criterion to leave and remain.

    For leavers, this is an optional ‘no pain, no gain’ choice, even if it is only a temporary state in their world view. For remainers, for the most part, remaining is about avoiding the pain of leaving, both temporary and steady state, so remainers will have a much lower pain threshold on this sort of question. But this view of remainers is complicated by the belief that leaving will inevitably cause pain which could cause the question posed in the poll to be taken 2 different ways. Some remainers may discount the pain of the brexit process as being already incurred and answer that they do not want pain. Other remainers, such as myself may take a more utilitarian view that as the pain is already incurred we should derive benefit from it by letting leavers see their error.

    Given these factors, I think that using this criterion to define hard core for both leave and remain is producing comparable metrics. In essence it compares dlooby mindedness, maybe as a proxy for tenacity. In looking at the long term prospects of opinion shift, I think a measure of tenacity which is more directly comparable between leave and remain is required.

  36. On Uber – it’s not clear if the motivation behind the decision is a result of objective concerns as to Uber’s activities or a successful attempt by the black cab lobby to remove a competitor. However public opinion may be on Uber’s side – but not sure if this could have any real impact on VI (personally I doubt it will). Personally it does play to my concerns over powerful international corporations posturing as the ‘good guy’ but ultimately operating in a ruthless manner which may go against the interests of workers and consumers.

    On Labour conference and Brexit, I think the current line is probably optimal in terms of VI and gives the flexibility to shift position either way in reaction to events.

    Compared to the Tories Lab looks relatively united atm, and one can’t really begrudge Corbyn’s attempt to strengthen his position.

  37. SAM

    Personally the last thing I want is more integration between Eire and N. Ireland. I would suggest the DUP and the Government agree with me.

    AL URQA

    Thanks for the advice, butI was merely commenting to Alec on the FT. As you would expect I use a number of sources when making investment decisions.

  38. @ FRANCIS – I posted link on last page. Surprising for a forum on polling, we do actually have polling info to check if our n=1 views are representative.
    http://survation.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Mail-On-Sunday-September-23rd-Data-Tables-1.pdf

    May is 12% ahead of Corbyn on who is trusted over Brexit (39% for May v 27% for Corbyn) which considering the overall +Corbyn/-May opinion polling would strongly suggest that the majority of voters want CON to continue with Brexit. IMHO of course!

    As you point out the LAB policy is basically the same as CON – try and get the best deal but with a clear exit. Hence questions on who has the best policy aren’t going to make much sense. I expect we’ll see some polls about whether the Florence speech info was good/bad but there is always a bit of a lag and phrasing the questions is difficult. About the only difference in CON v LAB policy might be do you think 2y or 4y is a suitable transition?

  39. “To be correct it was labour who ordered 2 aircraft carriers without ordering the aircraft to fly from them.
    the Tories decided not to fill that lacuna that labour had arranged by not allowing obsolete harriers to fulfill the role.”
    @s thomas September 25th, 2017 at 11:47 am

    So you are saying the Tories thought it was a stupid idea, but you know what, we’ll go along with it anyway.

    I understand — everyone are fools. Good to know.

  40. Alec,
    “I also think that the transition deal will be in effect identical to current membership.”

    Then its a bit of a misnomer to call it a transition, since it isnt much of a change. More of a simple delay. Regarding the money, it might be considered as serving out our notice to pay it off, and I can see how that might simplify matters.

    S Thomas,
    “The eU will not open trade talks unless we promise 60 bn.”

    ..ever.

    while the numbers would be subject to negotiation no doubt, if the EU considers this a liability due, then presumably no kind of deal could ever be struck until it is settled. So not coming to an agreement means no trade deal of any sort with the EU. That would be quite challenging for the Uk economy.

    R Huckle,
    “At least Danny and I, plus others who think Brexit is unlikely to happen, will be happy when we are proved correct during 2018.”

    I’m not sure I think it unlikly to happen. There is an almost infinite gradations of what might happen now, and then the potential backlash after it has, calling for an immediate reversal. I think in the longer term the Uk will be a member of the EU.

    I am not sure I think anything much will have happened by 2018, we seem to be aiming towards extending our current membership while talks continue. So I guess I do think we will in effect be members in 2018 and 2019, and i think the economy will be stronger because of this. But the real damage from leaving will be long term, if we do, and if we are still heading for a leave at this time then this will be hanging over the UK economy.

    “Do you think Theresa May will last very long as Tory leader, if she agrees to a Brexit deal that does not safeguard the red lines she promised”
    Provided the tory party is united on this course, yes. I think splits amongst tories are exaggerated by them to further their main purpose of continuing to be elected.

  41. @alec

    “We recently had a case of a cyclist who collided with a pedestrian who wasn’t paying attention while stepping out into the road. The case created a great deal of coverage, mostly negative towards cyclists, and the cyclist received a lengthy jail term based on a Victorian era law.”

    Although the cyclist in question was riding a bike which was illegal for use on public roads because of the brakes it was fitted with ( or more to the point not fitted with). And the other issue was that he had to be charged using a mid nineteenth century law.

    So it seems to me that as cycling grows in importance ,especially in towns, not only do we have to ensure that vehicle road users drive responsibly for cyclists and are held to account when they do not, but we also have to ensure that law governing cyclists is fit for purpose. One does not preclude the other however the press chooses to cover the issues.

  42. I like this world that Len Mclusky inhabits at the Labour conference. Labour won the election in 2017. I am shocked by the constituitonal outrage. How can it be that the tories are still in power if they lost?

  43. @ MONOCHROME OCTOBER – your original comment was:
    “Firstly, how hard the various strata of Leave are – I would think that by the time Leave is whittled down to 36%, most of those left would be rather hard to convince.”

    I thought providing polling info to support your claim would have been useful. AW (and CC) focussed on the remain side but like you, I thought it worthy to consider the “various strata of Leave”.

    “no pain, no gain” is a stretch. It is probably fairer to say “the end point is worth the journey, even if it is a little bumpy”. I’m sure this gets picked up in the demographic aspects as well – instant gratification tends to be less of an infliction for older folks – but now I’m just wildly speculating and I’m sure you can say “They just don’t get it do they” :)

  44. @ALEC
    Interesting example today of how the press manage to distort public debate and can lead to false conclusions…’

    Yes but that is the press, they pick on the unusual/unpopular. and it sells newspapers.
    For example they have been less than 70 deaths due to terrorism in the last 15 years, but every year around 100 women are murdered by their partners.
    People would have no idea of that from the amount the latter receive in terms of press attention compared to the former

  45. Just caught Thornberry making a very poor and very long “joke” about Johnson/brexit and cackling her head off continually at her wit, as though she hadn’t already heard and rehearsed it previously.

    It was really excruciating and I felt that even the Labour conference were embarrassed and only uttered a few laughs because they felt it would be more embarrassing if they didn’t.

    Whilst I am supportive of many of Labour’s policies I am not convinced at all by many of their leading figures. They also appear over-confident to me – which is never a good sign in my opinion.

  46. @ S THOMAS – McCluskey’s re-election numbers were interesting. n = just over 1million of registered members and
    Votes cast in the election were as follows:
    Ian Allinson 17,143
    Gerard Coyne 53,544
    Len McCluskey 59,067
    Turnout in the election was 12.2 per cent.

    I’ll be generous and round up, McCluskey represents 6% of his members!!! That will be worth remembering when he calls for illegal strike action.

  47. Trevor Warne,

    David Cameron’s Party got the support of just 24.5% of the British electorate in 2015.

    I suppose you would say that gave him four times the legitimacy of Len McCluskey. But still not very legitimate, objectively…

  48. Trevor Warne: @ MONOCHROME OCTOBER – your original comment was:
    “Firstly, how hard the various strata of Leave are – I would think that by the time Leave is whittled down to 36%, most of those left would be rather hard to convince.”

    I thought providing polling info to support your claim would have been useful. AW (and CC) focussed on the remain side but like you, I thought it worthy to consider the “various strata of Leave”.

    You are right, it is evidence of strata of different hardness. I just don’t want to inadvertently be seen to buy into your concept of the 27% on the remain side, nor do I want to have an argument on that topic. I would accept there are strata on the remain side too, but I don’t accept the available metrics as comparable between sides

  49. The Indy are reporting that Davis will have a sleep-over in Brussels tonight.

    Perhaps he is beginning to realise that there is much to discuss.

    If the talks go badly, we’ll soon be hearing about the emergency plans for getting customs processing ready for WTO rules. We haven’t heard from our Devonian NEIL lately [apologies for not remembering the initial] but I anticipate that he’ll not be best pleased at the amount of green belt which will be lost.

  50. @Colin – German Elections.

    Merkel is in a real bind. The SPD will not go into another coalition with her because if they do the AFD become the official opposition with all the concomitant priveledges and political oxygen.

    Somehow she has to get the FDP and Greens to work together.

    It’s the worst result for the CDU since 1949. The blowback is not exactly surprising when she unilaterally ripped up the Dublin agreement and exacerbated the biggest mass migration since WW2.

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