There were two new voting intention polls yesterday, plus ICM’s fortnightly poll this morning. Topline figures are

ICM/Guardian (22nd-24th): CON 40%(-2), LAB 42%(nc), LDEM 8%(+1)
Survation/Mail on Sunday (22nd): CON 38%(nc), LAB 42%(-1), LDEM 8%(+1) (tabs)
Opinium (19th-22nd): CON 42%(+1), LAB 40%(-1), LDEM 6%(+1) (tabs)

Changes are from a fortnight ago for ICM, last week for Opinium and the start of September for Survation.

One Conservative lead, two Labour leads and no consistent trend in either direction. Survation and ICM were both conducted after Theresa May’s Florence speech, so give us the first chance to gauge reactions to it. Survation asked about whether people supported or opposed paying £20bn to the EU during a transition period when Britain had access to the single market – 34% of people said they would support it, 47% said they would be opposed. ICM asked a similar question, but found 41% of people supported the idea and 31% were opposed – the ICM tables aren’t available yet, so I don’t know what the particularl wording was and whether it might explain the difference.


665 Responses to “Latest voting intentions from ICM, Survation and Opinium”

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  1. @DANNY
    “I think that is clear that they intend to negotiate a bespoke new trading relationship”
    The passage you quote sounds to me perfectly in tune with the manifesto. It doesnt say they want to leave the customs union/market

    Agree, I have read it and reread it and cannot see how it can be interpreted as ruling out membership of the single market.

  2. We know now that the Florence speech was a waste of time. M Barnier is yet again repeating the position of the EU. It is unchanged. The three subjects to be resolved at stage 1 have not been sufficiently well addressed. (Mrs May’s meeting today will not change the opinion of the EU.)

    Meanwhile David Davis is repeating that details of the divorce bill will be revealed as the negotiations over the trade deal proceed.

    Johnson thinks enough has been offered to settle the matter. of stage 1 and get negotiations going. “We are offering a great deal on citizens, a great deal on money and an unconditional commitment to the defence of Europe”.

    The Conservative Conference will be interesting. The Labour Party, it should not be forgotten, only looks unified on Brexit in comparison with the Cons.

  3. Correction 3% in the referendum still MOE

  4. @ToneofCat & MikePearce

    You are conflating the Referendum and a General Election. Referendums are all about percentages and there was only a 4% difference in that.

    General Elections are decided by constituencies. So seat numbers are what count.

    318 seats to 262 seats. Which is almost a 9% difference and a clear distant second with no hope of getting into Government.

  5. They are all couched in terms of possibilities Sea Change or some relate to transition period and others not.

    The policy is and has been clear for those who care to listen properly with the only development being the call for 3 years transition essentially based on the current arrangements and obligations.

    Once the policy is understood any remarks made can fit in to that frameworks very easily, unless of course one doesn’t want to.

    I did not want to but lets take your list

    Abbott supports Freedom of Movement. – that is in principle can be a policy decided by a UK Government not a consequence of EU Membership
    Mcdonnell says it must end. – The Freedom of movement within the EU as we would no longer be members.
    Gardiner says we must leave the Customs Union – as it is the EUs CU and we are leaving the EU, ergo we must leave the CU as currently is.
    Starmer wants to stay in – during transition, said nothing about long-term
    Watson wants to stay in the Single market forever – he said was an option and his only his view anyway
    And Mcdonnell says we must leave it, same as above

    None of the above know what offers the EU will make and if any changes to FoM for example might be possible by 2020/21 when the negotiations will be getting close to the end.

    The policy is clear and simple.

    CU/SM as now for a transition
    We will leave the EU
    Jobs and the Economy first and if this conflicts with FOM Jobs first, which leaves room for assessment and different judgements of course.

    Vague about long-term, yes and deliberately so to both keep the front bench united and not to restrict future possible negotiations (if Lab involved) or responses if in opposition.

    I am not saying it is a good policy or not I have not given an opinion either way.

  6. Ah Sea Change the vagaries of FPTP. ICM showing Tories a distant second if there was an election today and Survation a double distant second shows how silly that becomes – though Opinium show labour a distant second. We all know its nip and tuck and FPTP can throw up some silly result NOT the will of the people as your post implies. IMO.

  7. Called it. Tory councillor resigned in Perth yesterday. Expect a low-turnout, cold weather by-election, with much mud slinging.

  8. SEA CHANGE @ BZ

    The East German’s identity had been squashed for a couple of generations during the Soviet occupation. To suddenly be confronted with mass immigration without any discussion with the voters is likely to cause fear and resentment.

    Fair comment, and perhaps something Merkel should have more aware of than most given that she grew up in the GDR. It does seem odd, though, that having been treated to what would have been untold riches in the old GDR by their Western neighbours that they should resent others being rescued from even worse conditions that they “enjoyed” pre unification.

    Perhaps it’s just a demonstration of how close to fascism the GDR was in practice. Falangist Spain, right up to Franco’s death prided itself on the ¡Viva Yo! [=Long live me!] attitude and it is still not quite dead. The ex-GDR doesn’t seem very different.

    I think there was an element of it in the EU referendum vote, but I doubt we’ll agree there.

  9. Who will concede first, Barnier or Davis ?

    Davis won’t talk about divorce bill calculation method, until trade deal negotiations are started. Barnier won’t start trade negotiation, until the UK agress to divorce bill calculation bill method.

    Does the UK Government agree that there is any divorce bill to be settled ? I am not convinced that Theresa May is willing to allow Davis to even discuss divorce bills with the EU. There is brief mention about the UK paying any commitments it has already agreed to. But what they mean by this, is that the UK will pay the EU annual fee up to 29th March 2021, including the 2 year interim period. I am not sure there is any real thought about other sums that might be due. Certainly Theresa May won’t allow Davis to make any concessions before the Tory party conference.

    I have read a number of comments on here that the Irish border issue and UK/EU citizens rights after Brexit, are easy to resolve. I am not sure this is true, as both issues will have complex problems to resolve. For example, the UK might want to provide state aid to Northern Irish industry and this might conflict with Irish interests. How do you deal with such conflicts after Brexit ? In regard to citizens rights, even if UK supreme court agreed to apply EU/ECJ legal standards, there might well be conflict with EU mainland courts. How do you resolve this ?

    The 2 year A.50 period will prove to be a nonsense and if Brexit happens, i think the EU will look to change this. The UK is already looking for at least another 2 years paying into the EU without any seat at the EU ministerial table,

  10. JIM JAM – the key issue is whether or not LAB want ECJ jurisdiction to continue in the final arrangement (forget transition for now). I understand why LAB want to avoid the issue – it is tactically the right move, fair play and I respect that.

    EU state aid rules are fairly strict. Some countries seem to do a better job of bending the rules than others and in some cases (e.g. rail franchises) expiration of licenses would mean HMG could bring them back under state control over a lengthy time horizon at limited cost.

    Where a state player already exists (either in competition or as a monopoly) then it is harder for the ECJ to clearly show that state intervention has broken the rules. However, reversing the process and removing competition from the market (either through full nationalisation or introducing a state player) would be clear violation of EU rules and ECJ would intervene (not IMO, but in opinion of a lot of friends who work in the legal profession, most of whom voted Remain)

    A summary of state aid is here:

    http://ec.europa.eu/competition/state_aid/overview/index_en.html

    LAB obviously don’t want this issue discussed as it would force them to further clarify their position – fair play. If I was Starmer I’d be playing it exactly how he is.

    @ R HUCKLE, my answer would be “no” – if I had to answer the hindsight EU ref question today I’d be close to picking DK rather than Leave for the reasons you describe. In the 2D politics of Brexit v CON/LAB I’d pick the +/+ or the -/- options but since I don’t have a time machine not a lot I can do about my past vote and trying to stop/reverse Brexit now is somewhere between the rock of impossible and the hard place of very costly.

  11. @ R HUCKLE – my no was to quesiton on last page.

    Regarding Barnier v DD I see that as a staring contest. May is trying to go around the back. Meeting Tusk today.

    The issue is “sufficient progress”. Do you think Barnier is deciding that by himself?

    We are talking to the monkey when we need to speak with the organ grinder.

    NI is clearest example of where there is only so far you can go discussing the 3 withdrawal issues before you have to start talking about the future relationship.

    We compromised on “sufficient progress” (EU wanted fully sequential , UK wanted parallel).

    No one expects EU council to say sufficient progress has been met for Oct but we need to get a clearly picture of what sufficient progress means before we start dolling out the money otherwise EU will pop us in the naughty corner (EEA) for perpetuity and charge us 60bn+ for the pleasure – quite the deterrent on anyone else ever thinking about leaving!

  12. clearly = mix of early and clearer in above, slow fingers this morning :)

  13. Alec

    I have no desire to enter into a further lengthy exchange but I do want to correct something you said recently.

    In our previous discussion you posted these quotes from me:

    “Here we have @TOH claiming that neither he nor May have changed their stance.

    “Not a complete mess at all IMO, the governments positionhas not actually changed significantly at all.”
    September 24th, 2017 at 8:45 am

    Recall that May has offered perhaps £20b as part of a two year transition deal, in an ‘open and generous’ move, before any talks on a trade deal after even sequenced, let alone commenced.
    How do we square this then, from @TOH?

    “I cannot see the UK government shifting its position on not agreeing money until a trade deal is available.”
    September 6th, 2017 at 10:15 am

    Your original implication being that the Government had changed its position and I was incorrect. Well square that with David Davis who made clear yesterday that the UK would consider paying money only in the context of a future deal with the EU. I read it first in the Daily Mail, but since no doubt you would not like that as a source, I quote the Guardian:

    “Yesterday Mr Davis said that payment of the so-called Brexit divorce bill would be linked to a deal on future ties, in a challenge to Brussels, which has insisted that the money must be sorted out first.

    It’s obvious that reaching a conclusion on this issue can only be done in the context of, and in accordance with, our new deep and special partnership with the EU,” Mr Davis said as he began talks with EU counterpart Michel Barnier.”

    As I have repeatedly said, no real change in Government policy. No trade deal, no financial settlement other than that with legal backing which implies relatively small payments by both sides to each other. As to ECJ you heard Davis say it himself on Marr so no argument on what he has said.

  14. JIM JAM
    A long term Labour policy on a negotiated or regulated relationship with the Single Market has been clearly stated by Starmer as one of access – one which would permit tariff free trading and a flow of migrant labour unrestricted except for the requirement that it is primarily for employment. Secondly, as based on a structure to be determined, and regarded as secondary to the benefits of continued migration to the economy and to UK jobs.
    The deliberate omission of an agreement on a specific structure defining and regulating access, is linked to the proposed transitional period, one of the purposes of which is negotiation and the continued experience and testing of a workable structure.
    That appears to me to be good policy making, in the context of a continued evolution of the labour market and migration, both in the UK and the EU and in the influence on them of international markets and populations.

  15. s thomas: MO – i think that you mistake intransigence and a lack of freedom to negotiate with strength.
    If the EU does not want a trade deal with the 5th largest economy in the world, the 4th largest manufacturing economy in the world( w e over took france last week) then they ought to say so.

    This is typical Leaver misunderstanding. They are not intransigent and they are being simply straightforward and open with their position. Where it goes wrong is that Leavers as so full of memes about the EU doing Britain down that they interpret everything from the EU from a perspective of anticipated deviousness. So inevitably, there is no way that the EU can say no to a proposal without the likes of you thinking that they are only pretending to negotiate.

    The only reason that they might not want to negotiate with such a grossly self important party as ourselves is that we are too difficult. They will tell us if they no longer wish to negotiate.

    Being straightforward is a fiendishly devious EU tactic which the UK just cannot cope with.

    Where does it say anywhere that we have to make “progress” before they talk to us about selling more into our market than we do into theirs? A50 does not say that. It is a construct to make the uK pay money to them.
    Apart from them saying so can anybody tell me why they should all not be one set of negotiations. if they were we would be negotiating on everything by now.

    Tell us where A50 says that negotiations must be everything at once and not phased. A50 does not say that either.

    Negotiations are being conducted in 2 phases precisely because with 43 years of experience, they know that the UK has a propensity to cherry pick and because we have openly declared we want cake and eat it. They also know we have a terrible propensity to whine

    It is the EU that is wasting time and leads me to believe that there can be no deal between us. I wonde r whether TM knows this and the uK game is to put ourselves in the way of the wronged party.
    a no deal brexit with the blame on the EU would suit the EU org and the UK.

    The big problem is that the UK does not know at a basic level what we want, apart from cake and eat it. Asking for a bespoke deal is sending entirely the wrong message of cherry picking and cake and eat it. I think that the EU are entirely correct not to entertain this.

    If we could say something along the lines of ‘we would like a Turkey deal but with some adjustments on Agriculture’, things would move forward. The EU would say what is required for the Irish border and ask what items the UK intends to address under the divorce bill.

    Of course they are not going to negotiate a single sum of money. It has to be an open negotiation of a list of items to be paid for followed by agreement of the sums involved. Precisely because an agreement of an overall sum without agreement of a list is an open invitation to subsequent whining.

    If we are straightforward and say now what we want in terms of one of the existing deals, I am convinced we could get bespoke variations on that quite easily. But the EU are not going to put up with a Schroedinger’s Cat deal where we get the benefits of the SM and the CU, but we claim exceptions because we are not in the SM or CU every time the rightwing press run a story about bent bananas.

    The EU, as I said, are not intransigent. They are just tired and somewhat resentful of the UK’s on going game playing, so they are keeping us on a tight leash as to the process of negotiations.

  16. SEA CHANGE

    @” Merkel is in a right mess and Macron’s grand vision is now more stuffed than a bacon and egg croissant.”

    I have a feeling that Mutti has reached her Thatcher moment-the one where you have just been around a bit too long.

  17. Sam 10.14 p.m.
    Monochrome October 10.46 p.m.

    Many thanks to you both for spelling out the situation with clarity. If there are people who, after reading your contributions, still do not understand the position in which we find ourselves I don’t know what else can be done to help them.

    Have a good day, all, whilst you can……

  18. @ToneCat “Ah Sea Change the vagaries of FPTP. ICM showing Tories a distant second if there was an election today and Survation a double distant second shows how silly that becomes – though Opinium show labour a distant second. We all know its nip and tuck and FPTP can throw up some silly result NOT the will of the people as your post implies. IMO.”

    My comment was in response to Len M. saying they won the last election. Which of course they didn’t as the seats in the HoC testify to.

  19. Danny: I’m going to repost this one from the last thread, because I am interested if anyone has any comments
    OK, I’ll repost my argument here

    Basically, the generation which had to fight and experience the war voted to join the EU – I suggest because of their experiences. Younger people voted to remain because of their own experience of Europeans. The people who wanted to leave are those who lived through the experience of the Uk being declared the winner (but without experiencing the negative impact of the war itself), and then seeing many years of decline. Thus they feel cheated of their victory.

    Viewed this way, the demographic would be doomed to fade away as it ages. It is a group suffering a delusion of grandeur without the understanding of the price with which that grandeur had been bought or sustained in the past.

    Yes, it is my generation – born mid 50s and 10 years either side. Not that I am a Leaver myself. And away from here, I have often pointed to the difference between my father’s generation and mine as being very relevant to the EU question – more or less in the terms you use. Dad’s generation saw active service, Mum even suffered slight malnutrition due to rationing.

    I well remember at primary school on Friday afternoons, the other boys would always draw war pictures of one sort or another and we had a constant diet of WW2 war films on television continuing well into the 1980’s

  20. John B

    I didn’t need your references to see the position we are in. It has been my view for a long time that we are heading for an exit with no deal. Painful in the short term both for us and also for the EU. I would have preferred a deal which gives us a reasonable trading relationship whilst not crossing my and i think the Governments red lines, but since they wont negotiate in any meaningful way then so be it. We will ultimately be better off outside IMO.

    I echo your sentiments and wish all a good day but I do not limit that as you appear to. On the day we leave i will have a very good day, celebration already planned.

  21. VALERIE
    I am not sure who posted this link to Pope Francis’s message on the 104th Migrants Day. It is strikingly accurate on the detail of requirements for the effective support and management of migration, and, of course, superbly written

  22. Trevor Warne: Regarding Barnier v DD I see that as a staring contest. May is trying to go around the back. Meeting Tusk today.

    The issue is “sufficient progress”. Do you think Barnier is deciding that by himself?

    We are talking to the monkey when we need to speak with the organ grinder.

    NI is clearest example of where there is only so far you can go discussing the 3 withdrawal issues before you have to start talking about the future relationship.

    Er yes, I would think Barnier is deciding sufficient progress himself, but anyone can work out for themselves whether progress is sufficient. At the moment it is not. Apart from tea and biscuits, May will get nothing from Tusk, because going to Tusk demonstrates a total lack of comprehension.

    At the moment, the UK is not clear on what final arrangement it wants. When it can say that, NI becomes negotiable. At the moment all this drivel from May about “A partnership of interests, a partnership of values; a partnership of ambition for a shared future: the UK and the EU side by side delivering prosperity and opportunity for all our people.” does not help one little bit because it does not indicate a requirements specification for the NI border.

  23. @ TREVOR WARNE

    Re sufficient progress before trade talks can begin. I think Merkel and Macron in particular will want to UK to commit to continue funding large projects, emergency disaster aid funding, security, EU pension liabilities etc. There will be a long list of items which David Davis will have been given and i suspect that when Davis supplied this to cabinet colleagues, they were shocked at how much this might add up to. I doubt they will even contemplate agreeing to an independent assessor coming forward with numbers. Eyes closed, fingers in the ears time, hoping to avoid the issue for as long as possible. Of course they would rather talk about anything else.

    The German and French Governments know that if the UK is not funding the various items, that they are likely to have to increase what their countries pay in. Politically, it won’t be very popular, at a time when the EU is looking at trade deals with the US and others, which will open up the EU market to outside competition.

    The UK divorce settlement is a massive issue and UK/EU know this, which is why it is very difficult to see who will concede first. May has taken a first step in acknowledging payments after Brexit date, but it did not go far enough. Barnier has not blinked and is looking for more from the UK, which won’t be coming until after the Tory party conference. I suspect that then you might see Davis privately agreeing a way forward with Barnier.

  24. MO 9.29 a.m.

    Again, many thanks for your clear statement of facts.

    I mentioned a while back that I am applying for Italian citizenship, due to my wife being Italian. The Italian Citizenship request has now been forwarded to the competent authorities in Rome – though ‘competent’ is used in a technical way, of course, to indicate responsibility, rather than ability. But there we go….

    The Edinburgh Consulate informs me that many Italo-Scots are applying. A neighbour who works in the French Consulate says similar numbers are coming to them as well.

    A friend has a 90 year old mother, who happened to be born in Belfast but has lived in Britain since the age of 3. The mother is applying for RoI citizenship, furious at the result of the referendum. Her 60 year old daughter hopes to gain RoI citizenship as a result.

    I feel sorry for those who cannot look to family connections, or other possibilities to maintain their EU citizenship. Maybe the EU will offer a continuing connection to those who do not wish to cut themselves off.

    Have a good day.

  25. @ MO – Barneir REPORTS to the EU Council. You seem to suggest the EC run the EU – something a lot of Leave would agree with I might add!

    UK has been as clear as they can be on what they want – a bespoke deal. Since 100% of all UK law, regulatory standards, etc, etc already meet EU standards we are not entering a new relationship from scratch – it need not take 7yrs as CETA did.

    As Barnier himself has said:
    “The future trade deal with the United Kingdom will be particular, as it will be less about building convergence, and more about controlling future divergence. This is key to establishing fair competition.”

    “particular” is pretty close to bespoke – non?

    Note also two important parts “controlling future divergence” and “establishing fair competition”

    so whilst it is “(not possible) to have the same benefits as the Norwegian model but the limited obligations of the Canadian model” there is no reason we can not agree on something that has a bit of both – we’ll have to take some bad cherries with the good cherries, probably end up with more bad cherries than good but since each sides views the cherries differently both can come out of this better than no deal – which is the default and better than a basket full of very bad cherries.

    http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_SPEECH-17-3404_en.htm

    Barnier has also stated that once withdrawal terms are agreed a new deal can be agreed very quickly (different speech to the one attached)

  26. TOH 9.55

    It is not the EU which is refusing to negotiate but the UK. It is the UK which refuses to say what it wants, given the options available.

    It is the EU which has been patiently waiting for the UK to say what it wants to do about the issues which need to be addressed, such as Northern Ireland, and the payment of commitments already entered into. I just do not understand where you get this idea that it is the EU which is not negotiating. It is awaiting a clear statement from the UK about possible ways forward; and clear statements from the UK are things which have been totally lacking.

    It is the UK which wishes to change the relationship with the EU. So it is up to the UK to come up with clear proposals regarding the various issues which must be addressed; and this has to be done before we can start to discuss our future relationship. If the UK doesn’t wish to address those issues then that puts a full stop to future possibilities.

    If you cannot see that this is the situation, I just don’t know what more anyone can say to help clarify the issue.

  27. @danny

    I think as a broad generalisation that has some truth in it.

    My father who fought in WWII was a strong supporter of joining the various precursors of the EU and as a Labour voter never forgave Gaitskill for his “one thousand years of history” stance! My grandmother who lived as an adult in the City of London through WW I and II ( and the second Boer War!) was of a similar mind.

  28. A number of posters seem to take some perverse pride in the intransience of Barnier.They commend his digs at the UK and revel in the fact that he willl not recommend that trade talks start. It is very much a my EU right or wrong approach.
    I do note that no-one has yet produced any argument as to why there needs to be “progress” before trade talks begin apart from the fact that the EU wills it so.With the exception of citizen rights the divorce bill and Ireland are tied up with a final deal and should be treated as such.`if the sensible uK approach had been adopted we would now be talking about the whole range of matters as per A50.

  29. @ R HUCKLE – agree, it is mostly about the money. That is why I was so surprised Barnier didn’t take what amounted to little more than a bung and then accept we’re pretty close to sufficient progress so we could move along a little. He could come back for more cash later but would have kicked the budget issue down the road a little. Maybe he saw it as a trap? Maybe it was a trap?

    The UK side is worrying though. If it is mostly about the money then peeps are not keen on handing it over. That might become very important when we have a “take it or leave it” deal/no deal vote in HoC in late 2018. That is why I’m so interested in LAB position. Very good chance DUP freak out, SCON MPs not happy, CON-Remain not happy. Without some LAB-Leave we’re probably going to see the govt fall and default to the no deal outcome even if we don’t vote for it – Macron is going to say “non” to us trying to forget we ever voted Leave and triggered A50. The winners of this would be the far-right of CON. After a GE we might get a LAB hung parliament relying on SNP that push for new ref on applying to join EEA, finalise a big divorce bill under ECJ rules (100bn?) and then pay 4bn+/yr to do so and not be able to negotiate our own trade deals – i think that is as +ve an outcome as is likely from a Remain perspective given where we are today.

    If you see a different endgame please let me know. We disagree on many things but since we are approaching this from different perspectives I think we can help each out in understanding the possible outcomes.

  30. Gaitskell not Gatiskill in previous post.

  31. Stakeholder analysis.

    Simplest version: Dance with the monkey (DD v Barnier) – speak with the organ grinder (May v EU Council)

    Expanded version: several key roles:
    1/ The “deal makers” – HMG v 27 heads of state (within which different power brokers have different levels of influence)
    2/ The “deal breakers” – HoC/HoL v European Parliament (again different levels of influence within those groups).
    3/ The “communication channel” – DD v Barnier

    The electorate of EU27 and UK would be both deal makers and deal breakers if we had more time. UK electorate might still get in on the action but we have appointed “agents” to the above roles and without a new GE the UK electorate drop back to “deal influencers”

    That is still very simplistic but unless the EC have completed their very patient coup de grace, Barnier is nothing more than the communication channel.

  32. JOHN B

    @”Many thanks to you both for spelling out the situation with clarity.”

    You omitted the words “Official EU” between “the” and “situation”.

  33. @TOH – Very good – whatever keeps you happy. Once upon a time you assured us that we wouldn’t talk money until we were talking trade, but now it has moved to not agreeing to pay until we are talking about trade.
    Once upon a time, you assured us that on March 19th 2019 we would be completely free of the ECJ, and now we will take account of it’s rulings at best – and quite likely a whole lot more.

    Things are moving, as I expected, and there is a good deal further for them to move yet, but I’m sure you will find your excuses.

  34. “I do note that no-one has yet produced any argument as to why there needs to be “progress” before trade talks begin apart from the fact that the EU wills it so.”

    IIRC correctly the EU is the other negotiating party. Its member states have decided that they are the immediate issues which they wish to resolve first. Perhaps being deluded foreigners they haven’t yet realised they need the UK more than the UK needs them. Or perhaps because the UK is so eager to discuss trade that they have come to the opinion that the UK thinks it needs the EU more than than they need the UK.

  35. The Divorce bill

    Davis cannot now concede anything. Boris and the leavers (not some 60’s pop group) are ready to knife him and he knows any deal will scupper his leadership ambitions. So we meander aimlessly on reaching December of this year with no progress.That is “le Crunch” a as Macron might say if he is still in office.The EU will then have to decide whether they want a trade deal with us or not.

    For the Tories there are many political advantages in a no deal brexit:

    a.The Tories are not blamed for a capitulation by the leave voters

    b There is no tangible bad deal to be attacked by remain.

    b. Blaming the EU for intransigence will always find a ready market in the UK and will play into the narrative; The political line of “we tried but we all know what they are like” will play well;

    c.Labour can criticise that there is no deal but would be pressed on what they would have offered and what they will offer in order to negotiate a trade deal if they came to office. That is a lose lose for them

    d. Politically the least damaging political outcome for TM is to hang on for no deal. To get a deal is to incur the contempt of the Leavers without the gratiude of the remainers.

    by an election in 2022 she might have re-opened talks as a third country with the EU and who knows then ?

  36. Trevor Warne: @ MO – Barneir REPORTS to the EU Council. You seem to suggest the EC run the EU – something a lot of Leave would agree with I might add!

    Like so what? The Council will take Barnier’s advice because for the first part, they won’t waste time arguing with his recommendation. And if the UK goes bending the ears of ‘key players’ on the council in an attempt to circumnavigate Barnier, they will be even less inclined to question Barnier behind the scenes, simply because such ear bending will tend to confirm any negative from Barnier

    UK has been as clear as they can be on what they want – a bespoke deal. Since 100% of all UK law, regulatory standards, etc, etc already meet EU standards we are not entering a new relationship from scratch – it need not take 7yrs as CETA did.

    Oh, yes, the UK has been clear that we want a bespoke deal, but that is almost an antithesis of being clear about what we want. Effectively, we are rejecting the set menu and demanding that they bring out the buffet table.

    They want a decision out of us. No cake and eat it, no cherry picking. They are not having us in something not quite unlike the SM and CU, free to play Schrödinger’s Cat. If we carry on like this, they will just lose patience, offer us what they know history will judge a fair deal which they know will be rejected and wait for us to drop out. And they won’t start to build customs facilities for UK imports or recruit and train customs staff until after we drop out because the offer they make won’t need them.

  37. S THOMAS

    @”A number of posters seem to take some perverse pride in the intransience of Barnier.They commend his digs at the UK and revel in the fact that he willl not recommend that trade talks start. It is very much a my EU right or wrong approach.
    I do note that no-one has yet produced any argument as to why there needs to be “progress” before trade talks begin”

    Its not perverse to them-the EU IS “Right”-and will always be for them.

    You are correct-they never advance reasons to accept the EU version of “progress”-any more than they address the Legality or otherwise of Barnier’s list of UK Financial liabilities:-

    https://ec.europa.eu/commission/sites/beta-political/files/essential-principles-financial_settlement_en_0.pdf

    Do they agree that :-

    * 1.1 third bullet point ( accepted in TM’s speech) should be made in a single payment with the first bullet point ( accepted by TM ) -and if so why?
    *11.1 (1), (3) & (4) are legal liabilities for UK and if so on what basis? ( (2) has been accepted by TM )
    * 111 ; V & V1 ; are continuing liabilities for UK after Brexit-if so why & how should they be evaluated ?

    Finally, we were informed that the UK team provided a lengthy presentation to Barnier’s team explaining why some of his items are not Legal liabilities for UK-Do they agree that the UK team was duty bound to challenge the legal basis of Barnier’s list? If not -why not ?

  38. @Trevor W – “UK has been as clear as they can be on what they want – a bespoke deal.”

    Herein I suspect l!es the problem. Leavers think that saying we want a bespoke deal is being clear. Others understand that it simply isn’t good enough to say you want a bespoke deal – you need to start being specific about what that deal looks like.

    For me, if I was on the EU side the key issues I would need to understand would be something like;

    – Is the UK willing to pay on an ongoing basis to cover the costs of administering such a deal (developing standards, framing regulations etc)
    – if the UK won’t accept ECJ authority, what judicial mechanism are they proposing and how will they pay for it.
    – how does the UK plan to handle customs issues if they move to external free trade agreements. How can the EU be sure that third country goods entering the UK are handled properly before re-export into the EU
    – does the UK propose to accept all future relevant EU regulation as it affects cross border trade (to include labour regs, environmental protections, states aid etc) If not under ECJ juridiction, how will the UK guarantee these will be translated into UK law.

    These are just 4 basic questions that I’ve rattled off, but there will be many more. A ‘bespoke deal’ is meaningless – the UK needs to start spelling out what deal they want, and then the negotiations can start.

    @S Thomas – “I do note that no-one has yet produced any argument as to why there needs to be “progress” before trade talks begin apart from the fact that the EU wills it so.”

    Well to be perferctly honest, that’s absolutely obvious to anyone. It’s simply part of the dynamics of a negotiation – it is in the EU’s best interests to separate out the two strands (and legally all they are obliged to do under A50) so that what they are doing.

    Putting the boot on the other foot, when many remainers were saying May should simply unilaterally agree to uphold EU nationals rights in the UK, many leavers justified her decision not to do this by saying she would be throwing away one of her strong cards for nothing.

    Yet these same people are criticising the EU for keeping hold of one of their strong cards, and saying they should just throw this on the table to help us.

    Sauce, goose and gander, methinks.

  39. @Huckle @Trevor @Thomas – Re End Games

    Surveying the scene at the moment I would say the following is not totally out of the question:

    1) No deal and we leave in March 2019
    2) Tories call an election before the fallout hits in a major way.
    3) Labour win a majority or are the largest party and go into Government.
    4) Corbyn & Mcdonnell institute their fiscally interesting policies – 5 year tractor production plans etc (Blair has a stroke)
    5) No deal Brexit and Corbynomics create a perfect storm and truly tank the economy
    6) Tory landslide in 2024.

    And to @R Huckle – Is Corbyn worth Brexit? If it’s only 4/5 years, I would not be happy but I could live with it. I lived through the 1970s.

  40. @trevorwarne

    “NI is clearest example of where there is only so far you can go discussing the 3 withdrawal issues before you have to start talking about the future relationship.”

    I think this fundamentally misunderstands the Irish and hence the EU position (and possibly the UK position).

    The Irish Government wants the Border issue resolved separately from the wider UK/ EU deal. The UK Government’s position will have reinforced its determination. The UK Government has said that it intends to be outside the Single Market and the Customs Union and that no deal is better than a bad deal which means there will a hard border of.some degree which the Irish Government is determined to avoid in Ireland.

  41. s thomas: The Divorce bill

    Davis cannot now concede anything. Boris and the leavers (not some 60’s pop group) are ready to knife him and he knows any deal will scupper his leadership ambitions. So we meander aimlessly on reaching December of this year with no progress.That is “le Crunch” a as Macron might say if he is still in office.The EU will then have to decide whether they want a trade deal with us or not.

    For the Tories there are many perceived political advantages in a no deal brexit:

    a.The Tories are not blamed for a capitulation by the leave voters

    b There is no tangible bad deal to be attacked by remain.

    b. Blaming the EU for intransigence will always find a ready market in the UK and will play into the narrative; The political line of “we tried but we all know what they are like” will play well;

    c.Labour can criticise that there is no deal but would be pressed on what they would have offered and what they will offer in order to negotiate a trade deal if they came to office. That is a lose lose for them

    d. Politically the least damaging political outcome for TM is to hang on for no deal. To get a deal is to incur the contempt of the Leavers without the gratiude of the remainers.

    by an election in 2022 she might have re-opened talks as a third country with the EU and who knows then ?

    With the addition of the word in bold, I am not going to disagree.

  42. @ HIRETON/ALEC/MO – an oversimplifaction but options:

    1/ order from the a la carte and expect to pay over the fair price to do so
    2/ accept the fixed menu and pay what is a fairly high price for fairly sh1tty food (4bn/yr for EEA after paying a 60bn+ door fee)

    or

    3/ walk out of the restaurant

    I’d prefer 1/ but if it came to it then 3/ is better than 2/ (IMHO). Polling in the AW links suggests peeps might see 3/ better than 2/ as well.

  43. @TREVOR WARNE

    This is just the way i see it, based on the evidence i see.

    People voted Brexit for independence, control of immigration and all of the negative issues they perceive. In the main, it was not a positive vote for tangible things people knew would happen after Brexit. I doubt many believed the £350 million a week extra for the NHS.

    During 2018 it will become clearer what the consequences of Brexit are likely to be, that it will not appear to tackle the negative issues people wanted resolved and it might just lead to a less stable country/economy.

    On the right of politics, they see things through the prism of a permanent Tory Government implementing the free trade world, with the UK being the main driver hub. They don’t think that the UK electorate might just vote in a Socialist Government that increases the size of the state and looks to only strike trade deals with countries based on Socialist values. Brexit makes this increased state involvement possible, without the EU state aid/financial rules.

    I am repeating previous comments, just to make the point the Brexit talks are just part of the picture. People are discussing the day to day issues that affect them, their families and their communities. The Brexit divorce settlement is probably less of an issue to the public, than the consequences that Brexit might cause to the country. Some Politicians tend to become too involved in the political game, losing sight of the bigger picture.

    Stalemate in talks with the EU is probably more damaging confidence wise to the UK economy, than offering say £100 billon to the EU over 10 years. Of course many Brexiteers won’t be happy, but are they prepared to see Labour implement a Socialist agenda for the UK ?

    Answering your question more directly. I think DUP will move away from supporting the Tories, because they need to think about maintaing support in Northern Ireland. Corbyn will be forced into a position of agreeing to support Labours official policy agreed at the 2016 conference i.e a second referendum or general election offering a clear choice on Brexit. Many on the Tory backbenches will also support a second referendum and may vote for an amendment to legislation enabling this. The Government will then be forced to accept a second referendum or face a vote of no confidence. It would become a mess.

    Politicians are split, the electorate are split and trying to impose a version of Brexit in this situation is probably more risky, than offering a second referendum based on very clear options with factual information. By October 2018, there should be enough information on a Brexit deal, to take forward in a referendum.

    I see a second final decision referendum as a necessity, because it will decide the matter and the country will move on. Either they accept the Brexit version offered or they stay in the EU. The EU will accept A.50 being withdrawn by consent, if the UK changes its mind.

    Most Tories if they think about it should accept a referendum, rather than see the Government fall, Jeremy Corbyn in no.10, a general election during 2018. Whether the UK votes to confirm Brexit or not, the Tories could continue in Government implementing the decision.

  44. TREVOR WARNE @ R HUCKLE

    That is why I was so surprised Barnier didn’t take what amounted to little more than a bung and then accept we’re pretty close to sufficient progress so we could move along a little.

    What is so hard to understand in the 2nd sentence of para 2 of article 50?

    In the light of the guidelines provided by the European Council, the Union shall negotiate and conclude an agreement with that State, setting out the arrangements for its withdrawal, taking account of the framework for its future relationship with the Union.

    Has HMG agreed with Barnier on the arrangements for UK withdrawal or specified the future relationship it wants with the EU, if any? If so, we haven’t been made aware of it.

    It’s unsurprising that you’re nervous at what will happen next. For that you can blame Cameron & May for allowing an advisory referendum intended to thwart UKIP if it results in a Lab government which either remains in the EU or leaves into the EEA to mollify state competition rules. Personally, I don’t particularly want a Lab HMG but would at least be glad that the cunning Con plan had failed.

  45. @Jim Jam

    You are correct that the manifesto hasn’t been altered however it is incredibly vague and perhaps was designed to be to try and hold Labour together. That Brexit was not considered as one of the top 8 issues to discuss at the conference, is extraordinary, and is simply papering over the huge divisions that now exist between the North/Midlands MPs and the Metropolitan MPs.

  46. @Monochrome October “Yes, it is my generation – born mid 50s and 10 years either side. Not that I am a Leaver myself. And away from here, I have often pointed to the difference between my father’s generation and mine as being very relevant to the EU question – more or less in the terms you use. Dad’s generation saw active service, Mum even suffered slight malnutrition due to rationing.
    I well remember at primary school on Friday afternoons, the other boys would always draw war pictures of one sort or another and we had a constant diet of WW2 war films on television continuing well into the 1980’s”

    I’d agree with that. I’d also say that Gen X, for the most part, are not going to view the world that much differently from the Boomers.

    The Boomers voted to remain in the EU in 1975 in a major way. Yet they voted to leave in 2016. What’s left of the Silent Generation voted en-masse for Brexit.

  47. The current stalemate, or close to it seems to be between the EU that wants negotiations about our withdrawal in context of a final relationship and the Uk that seems to want to conduct negotiations about the negotiations.

    The EU wants firstly.

    A deal on NI that protects the peace process and the interest of the ROI.

    A deal to protect the rights of EU citizens currently in the UK now and into the future..

    A deal on what the UK is willing to contribute to the costs of the liabilities it believes we agreed to entered into.

    Then and only will it look at the future arrangement although their is crossovers o a limited degree over the ECJ as it covers both citizens rights and disputes between members and partners.

    The UK seems to want to talk about different things and so far has spent is efforts arguing we should be discussing something else rather than what is on the table.

    We voted to leave in June 16 and it’s now almost Oct 17 and we still haven’t got concert answers from HMG on the three issues the EU wants progress on.

    The negotiations so far can be summed up pretty neatly;

    EU;
    “Firstly, we’ed like answers to these three important questions.”

    UK;
    “We don’t like those questions!”

    Peter.

  48. @colin

    “Its not perverse to them-the EU IS “Right”-and will always be for them.”

    No, it’s simply a question of recognising the negotiating dynamics. The other member states of the EU have collectively decided their priorities and their preferred sequencing of the negotiations. If that is a rational and considered stance, it is presumably based on the premise that the three topics are firstly of major importance in their own right, secondly that they need to be settled in advance of negotiations about a future relationship both as they provide the essential background to it and thirdly that the EU can exert most leverage in settling them in this way. The question is not “right” or “wrong” but “effective” or “not.effective”.

  49. “Being straightforward is a fiendishly devious EU tactic which the UK just cannot cope with.”

    LOL.. Nice one Monochrome!

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