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. 70% of Labour supporters favoured remaining in the EU. Jeremy Corbyn has long been hostile to the EU and there are Labour constituencies with large Brexit constituencies.

    Starmer’s position is not to say that it is in the interests of the UK to stay in the EU, though it clearly is. To that extent, the position of Labour is not honest.

    Both Con and Lab want a transitional period. That is acceptable to the EU, presumably, only in that it prevents the greater disruption to the EU that a more chaotic, disorderly departure would involve. Inevitably, any transition will be on EU terms.

    The end point of Brexit under Labour is as unclear as that of Conservatives. Starmer talks about the possibility of “some form of customs union”. The manifesto at the GE said that the party seeks a long term arrangement which “retains the benefits of the customs union and the single market.” Sounds like having your cake and eating it. I may have missed something that distinguishes Lab from Con. What is it?

  2. @ SEA CHANGE – agree your timeline but I’d add to 2/ and offer and alternate afterwards

    1) No deal and we leave in March 2019
    2) Tories call an election before the fallout hits in a major way.

    ** the trade deficit in goods with EU would suggest we’d have an inventory build-up (cars, manufacturing components, etc), need to fast track implementation, etc. Without exaggerating this is like build-up for war – large short-term boost to the economy. Services are harder to drop overnight. If ECB think the EU economy would survive breaking from London clearing Euro deals under a cliff-edge then good luck to them.

    3) Remain vote blame both CON and LAB but since most of their VI is with LAB then little downside for CON.
    4) The short-term boost of leaving doesn’t crush consumer confidence and any dynamic effects are buffered by fiscal headroom (Hammond has mentioned this before). Unemployment will be 0%, wages will be on fire and let’s hope Carney for once has an important role as a politician!
    5) Tory narrow win in 2019
    6) as the short-term GDP boost of cliff-edge subsides, the lack of EU payments give 10bn/y to help out (add around 4bn from EU tariffs in the short-term as well) and gradually non-EU trade takes over the drop in EU trade.
    7) Despite a bitter divorce we negotiate a new EU-UK FTA from outside. If only a few years have gone by then regulatory drift will be minimal.

    Not my preferred option as it will almost certainly end up with a GE and I fear your scenario from 3)-5) but then 6) being all the cr4p is blamed on Brexit and hence blamed on CON. Far-left govt for next 3 parliaments

  3. by wages on “fire” I mean “rising rapidly”

  4. P.S. The tricky issue is making it look like the EU tried to screw us. In that regard their straight-forward Prussian approach is going to be their downfall (IMHO). The more I think about it the more I think Barnier seriously messed up not acknowledging the 20bn bung May just dangled.

    I’m mid-40s but I’m sure some peeps think the old folks will all die off quick enough to ensure the young control the agenda. IMHO the young should look at why momentum kept Brexit off the LAB agenda if they are serious about Remain :)

  5. @ PETER CAIRNS

    Agree on your post @12.02pm, but the reason Davis wants to move on to trade, is that there are issues with the 3 initial topics he can’t strike a deal on.

    Tories won’t commit to divorce bill at the moment, as too difficult politically and they see it as their best card to play.

    Northern Ireland likely to be soft border between north/ireland and a hard border between north/ireland and the UK. DUP, N,Irish parties and many Tories won’t accept this. Tories need DUP votes in HoC.

    EU citizens rights in the UK is quite complex and the EU still want ECJ to have oversight, not UK Supreme Court. The issue will touch on immigrant rights of family members to join EU national living in the UK. If you are say a Romanian living in the UK with full rights and go back to Romania to have a baby with support of wider family, the baby would need an immigration visa to come to the UK. There will be a huge range of issues.

  6. @R Huckle

    “I doubt many believed the £350 million a week extra for the NHS”

    This is undoubtedly true, but that’s not the point. What a very large number of people undoubtedly did/do believe is that membership of the EU costs the UK a large sum every week (even if not £350m), and that withdrawal from the EU will give a net fiscal benefit. That was the essense of the l!e, not the precise sum.

  7. s.thomas:
    “b There is no tangible bad deal to be attacked by remain.”

    au contraire, I think leaving with no deal would be tangibly bad to virtually all remainers and a significant number of Leavers, probably at least 70% of voters..

    However I do agree that the Tories will try and pin the blame on the EU for that and indeed the implausible arguments for this are already being rehearsed both on here and especially in the Europhobic Press.. Some of that blame will stick, but some of it will rebound.

    Voters have always been keen on the “cake and eat it” deal with “full access” to the Single Market while getting rid of various things they don’t like, still being promoted by both Labour and the Tories. I think realisation is beginning to dawn with a growing proportion of people that such a deal was ruled out in the EU before we all voted, and they have maintained a consistent stance ever since in the face of barrages of wishful thinking. The EU might be prepared to substitute one unpopular thing with another (eg. no Freedom of Movement but a bigger payment), but they have been 100% consistent in saying that whatever deal we get will not be as good economically as EU membership, unless perhaps it is an off-the-shelf deal like Norway.

    People who like the Swiss “bespoke deal” should note that it includes Freedom of Movement but NOT financial services, probably because like us the Swiss have a particularly strong financial sector… Financial services are also particularly easy to hamper with a bit of well-drafted regulation designed to get firms to relocate into the Euro zone.

    In these negotiations and in what will follow we really are like Tranmere Rovers trying to compete with Liverpool…..

  8. Colin: 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 :-

    * I 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?

    * II .1 (1), (3) & (4) are legal liabilities for UK and if so on what basis? ( (2) has been accepted by TM )

    * III, V & VI ;

    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 ?

    Them being the likes of me I presume. Reformatted the above to make sense

    First. This actually refers to a 2 page list of different bodies to which we have commitments. There are no specific costs listed, but I 2 and I 3 outline the principles for defined term programs which are hard to argue with. For ongoing and permanent bodies, in principle, we should be paying deferred costs for benefit we have derived, for example our share of pensions. We should also be paying for restructuring costs necessarily incurred due to Brexit, such as redundancies

    Second. (1) I have no idea what the RAL is. (3) a. certainly and the rest also if the principle is similar to a. (4) yes, unless there are specific arguments as to why the liabilities are not in part a UK responsbility.

    Third. III Paid in capital should be reimbursed as the present portfolio is amortised, not at final amortisation. Guarantees should be maintained, but the capital should not be held as security for the guarantees. V Yes but only in respect of monies already disbursed or promised. Commitments already made to the UK under these funds must be honoured. VI Yes, we made an undertaking.

    Finally. The UK team are duty bound to the UK to consider the legality of each item raised and to challenge those items where there is reason to believe there is no legal liability. Where legal liability is not certain, but moral obligation is clear, this should be accepted as a matter of good will. Foreign aid commitments are most likely to come under this head.

    Now, this is my best guess on this. I am not up for arguing specifics, because I have no accountancy type background.

  9. @R Huckle (& @Peter C)

    “Northern Ireland likely to be soft border between north/ireland and a hard border between north/ireland and the UK. DUP, N,Irish parties and many Tories won’t accept this. Tories need DUP votes in HoC.”

    No it is extremely unlikely that there is a hard border between N.I and the UK. Firstly there is almost 400% more trade with the UK rather than with ROI. Secondly the DUP would not wear that.

    I’d also point out it is ludicrous of the EU to demand an answer to the Irish question with no reference to the terms of trade.

    “EU citizens rights in the UK is quite complex and the EU still want ECJ to have oversight, not UK Supreme Court. The issue will touch on immigrant rights of family members to join EU national living in the UK. If you are say a Romanian living in the UK with full rights and go back to Romania to have a baby with support of wider family, the baby would need an immigration visa to come to the UK. There will be a huge range of issues.”

    It is politically impossible to give EU Citizens greater rights than UK Citizens in the UK after Brexit. Plus the idea that the ECJ would hold sway over the rights of non-citizens in the UK after we leave is also politically impossible.

  10. R Huckle,

    “Agree on your post @12.02pm, but the reason Davis wants to move on to trade, is that there are issues with the 3 initial topics he can’t strike a deal on.’

    Not their Problem.

    If HMG can’t address these issues because of domestic political difficulties then tough. In the past the EU has taken due consideration of the domestic agenda in the EU, but no longer.

    In their eyes we are defacto no longer a member so if agreeing a deal means a UK government falling so be it.

    People are right to point out that no deal and the so called cliff edge would be damaging to both, but they seem to be pinning their hopes on that alone being enough to get the EU to back down or change Tack.

    My view is that the EU will approach both a negotiated deal or a no deal in terms of mitigating damage to themselves while securing long term advantage.

    I’ve long held the view that from an EU perspective much as the want us to be a vibrant market for their goods and a nice cheap place for holidays their long term interest will be to see the UK diminished as a trading nation at their expenses.

    We are both trading partner and trading rival and it may well be that the rivalry is seen as more of a danger than losing the partnership.

    EU businesses might not want to have to relocate or sell us fewer cars, but EU politicians and workers may well see it the other way round as not a loss of trade but a chance to poach UK factories and jobs.

    Brexit supporters see great opportunities for the UK to trade globally out with the EU but I suspect the EU sees equally great opportunities to globally expand trade at our expense once we leave.

    If not already I suspect Politicians, diplomats and business people will soon be travelling the world whispering the Uk is a busted flush; It can’t offer as good a deal or as large a market as the EU, Sterling will be bouncing about like a yoyo, most of what it sells we can make better, most of what it makes are made with our parts so cut out the middle man.

    As I have said before, I think we are being played. The want the divorce settled first because once it comes to trade that is when the gloves will come off.

    Their idea of a good trade deal is to see the K politically, economically and diplomatically as no different or important than Turkey.

    An important but essentially inferior and largely dependant market.

    Peter.

  11. @ Robin,

    The UK payments to the EU were never properly broken down before the referendum to explain to voters why they would be worse off on leaving.

    There was an assumption that the difference between our annual UK payment to the EU and the receipts to UK in farm subsidies, university grants, development contributions, etc, was money the UK could put to the NHS etc.

    But it wasn`t available. Much of it paid for central EU functions, what some would call bureaucracy, like running the EU Habitats Directive, supervising medicines, food standards so we could trade without checks, farming payments, etc.

    If our own bureaucrats were having to do these jobs it would cost a lot, and probably more since London public-sector workers are expensive. And outwith the capital the Tory limits on public-sector pay have left a demoralised inefficient workforce that recently hasn`t delivered.

    Just look at the fiasco of farm payments in Scotland – many farmers getting what they are owed many months late.

    The Tories cannot keep the 1% limit any longer, and taxation will have to rise.

  12. Sea Change: I’d also point out it is ludicrous of the EU to demand an answer to the Irish question with no reference to the terms of trade.

    In the terms you present it, it is ludicrous. But the EU is expecting an answer where the UK is straight about intentions relating to SM and CU which provide a requirements specification for the NI border plus an outline proposal which meets the requirements.

    What we have is a lot of ‘how’ we will do the border in terms of electronics and as yet uninvented gadgets. But not a lot of ‘what’ the border will be in terms of the differences between jurisdictions.

    May blethering on about ‘deep and special relationships’ is just making the problem harder. The EU know that the public declaration is that we come out of the SM and the CU. But May seems to be saying we want to be in Schrödinger’s Cakeland with all the benefits of the SM and CU, but able to report that we are not in the SM or the CU.

  13. Going back to east Germany, there seems to be some consensus on this board that the the östies have shown themselves to be ungrateful for the increase in their fortunes by voting for radical parties. If that’s the view that West Germans have then I’m surprised that the vote for die linke and AfD wasn’t a lot higher, people tend not to like being told they are second class citizens l

  14. @Sea Change

    ” it is extremely unlikely that there is a hard border between N.I and the UK”

    Unlikely perhaps, but all other arrangements seem impossible unless we retain an arrangement identical to the SM/CU. SO by SHerlock Holmes logic, whatever remains, no matter how unlikely…

    Without a hard border at *some* point, how do we not have de facto freedom of movement via NI? Given that a hard border between NI and RoI is illegal under international law by way of the GFA, what other possibility is there?

    If the Tories weren’t in hock to the DUP, maybe we would by now have seen a position paper saying something like “if the precise final trade and customs arrangements do not permit an open border, we will put in place customs and immigration controls across the Irish Sea, and we will seek special status for NI”.

    But that’s not possible if the Tories want to stay in power. And while they remain dependent on the DUP, it seems impossible that there can be any progress.

    I’m wondering what happens to NI if there is still no arrangement if we ever actually leave the SM/CU. It could be very dangerous.

  15. @Sea Change – I’m again with @MO on this.

    It really is very straightforward. May has aid we will be outside the SM and CU, so thgere will be a border in Ireland of some description. It doesn’t matter what the new relationship will be in precise terms – only that it won’t be the CU.

    So the UK needs to describe carefully how we see that border working. Then we can talk about the detailed terms.

    There is already a self imposed certainty here – one that says a border of some type will be required. It’s up to us to now define that.

  16. @ ANDREW111 – Lots of polling evidence to suggest their would be a bad enough deal for Remain to accept no deal. Refer to the 1st post on the 1st page. Let’s dig back into Survation poll Q22:

    “Recent estimates put the net bill at 55–75 billion euros. Which of the following is closest to your view”

    Fair 14%
    Too High 42%
    Pay nothing 33%
    DK 11%

    Ignoring DK the “too high” and “pay nothing” add up to 84%!!!

    Take just the Remain crossbreak:

    Fair 21%
    Too High 45%
    Pay nothing 21%
    DK 13%

    Again adding “too high” and “pay nothing” and ignoring DK gives a whopping 68%

    If you see any polling evidence that suggests a “believable” deal is meeting with high support from either “total” or “remain” only crossbreak then please share the info.

    I doubt Barnier follows the mighty UKPR but if he did he might look at some UK polling data and see that if he pushes HMG too far he is not going to spring a GE that gives him a far more complicit UK negotiating team – no way Corbyn wants to take this mess over, that much has been made very clear by LAB conf (for those that hadn’t already worked that out).

  17. MO

    @”I have no idea what the RAL is.”

    Then you haven’t been reading my posts ! :-)

    -but more significantly you haven’t bothered to find out what the single most important & costly item in Barnier’s list, and the EU’s Brexit related fiscal concerns is.

    @” I have no accountancy type background.”

    I understand -but it doesn’t require accounting knowledge to research the meaning of Reste a Liquider, how it arises, how much it currently stands at, what its significance for Member States is-and crucially whether it seems to be as much a part of the EU BUdget process as the Multi Annual Financial Framework , which UK has conceded as representing a five year funding committment.

    In essence there are two time frames:-

    The Current Budget Period-2014-2020.

    TM has accepted our liability to complete our contribution to this.

    The Period after 2020

    RAL , and the other items Barnier lists are costs which have not been funded prior to 2020, but which arose and or were committed to prior to 2020.

  18. test

  19. @ SEA CHANGE

    Think the Irish issue alone would take quite a while to negotiate. I don’t think the EU would allow Ireland to have some separate trade zone with the UK, while maintaining the same position with the EU. You might then see EU mainland companies seek to trade with the UK via Ireland.

    In the talks between UK/EU, officials have gone through quite a lot of technical information looking at different economic sectors. If the UK/Irish position was easily resolved, i am sure it would have been. Yes difficult when trade is not yet part of the current main discussion, but i think if you included trade now, it risks making the negotiations even more prolonged. The UK is not committed to EU single market tariff free access beyond March 2021.

    Legally, creating a new status for EU nationals living in the UK, subject to only the UK Courts, is very difficult for the EU countries to accept. UK nationals living in the EU may well still have rights of address to EU countries courts and the ECJ. I am not sure EU countries have said they will alter the legal status of UK nationals after Brexit.

  20. Peter Cairns (SNP): As I have said before, I think we are being played. The want the divorce settled first because once it comes to trade that is when the gloves will come off.

    Their idea of a good trade deal is to see the K politically, economically and diplomatically as no different or important than Turkey.

    All the more reason to use the NI border to lay down what kind of deal we want, rather than ducking the question and stalling NI to the trade talks.

    On the whole, the UK is negotiating itself into a Turkey shaped hole out of choice rather than due to the EU.

    Rather ironic really, that it was fear of Turkey joining the EU which put us out and now we are going to join Turkey.

  21. @Sam. “The end point of Brexit under Labour is as unclear as that of Conservatives. Starmer talks about the possibility of “some form of customs union”. The manifesto at the GE said that the party seeks a long term arrangement which “retains the benefits of the customs union and the single market.” Sounds like having your cake and eating it. I may have missed something that distinguishes Lab from Con. What is it?”

    At face value you are right, but the reality is very different. Almost all Labour MPs are entirely out of sympathy with Brexit. Labour puts everything on the negotiating table, and its instinct will be to agree every time the EU says, “We’ll have that.” It may ask for some meaningless concessions to be given for the sake of appearances, but that is all.

    Of course, Labour will not be at the negotiating table except in a scenario where the government has fallen. What will cause it to fall? Failure in Brexit negotiations. So Labour is only likely to be at the table negotiating terms for surrender.

    Currently its position is to avoid creating any point of meaningful agreement with the government such that the UK ends up with any sort of unity. In contrast Starmer was very happy with an endorsement from a atiner.

    So, the answer is that Labour will in practice seize any opportunity to defeat Brexit. In this case, it is like Bernard Woolley said: you have to get behind someone to stab him in the back.

  22. RAL,

    If you sign up to buy a car before you get a loan from the bank and the bank turns you down….You’ve still signed to buy a car!

    Peter.

  23. @MO

    “May blethering on about ‘deep and special relationships’ is just making the problem harder. ”

    It’s actually just deluded. We have placed ourselves in the position of being competitors instead of partners. The Brexit negotiations are like a peace treaty in reverse – we are agreeing the terms of war. The result of ‘no deal’ will be outright war.

    In the case of NI, this may not only be economic war.

  24. Brexit bill

    will barnier go to international arbitration on the brexit bill? We can then move onto trade. only problem is that arbitration makes him redundant and there is no glory for him.

    he has already / presumably without consulting the 27 decided that in any implementation period the the uk will implement eU rules under the jurisdiction of the ECJ

    However, this is the gaping hole in the TM transition period

    If the withdrawal bill comes into effect when we leave the EU on march 29th 2107 then subsequent EU laws/regulations will not automatically apply even though we are in the implementation part. it would seem that therefore logically that we need to pass legislation giving effect to eU law during that period (which would never pass) or we are not subject to new eU laws and regualtions This latter approach is logical as the period is one in which we are leaving and it seems odd to continue to accept laws etc of someone we are leaving and then have to pass a subsequent withdrawal act to incorporate the new Laws in to UK law.The Boris approach is more sensible than the Hammond approach.

  25. @ ALEC – the CU requires adopting the Common External Tariff (CET). If we leave the EU but keep CET that is leaving in all but name. Now we can be in “a” customs union just not “the” customs union. We have a monster trade deficit in goods – that is high economic currency in trade deals. Paying 10bn/yr to have a 140bn/yr trade deficit in goods with EU on trade is preposterous. Make more at home and buy a lot of it elsewhere (cheaper once out of the CET of course!)

    It’s all about access to “a” CU rather than membership of “the” CU.

    There is no reason why 99% of “the” current CU can’t be photocopied into “a” new CU so no visible borders are reqd. From a regulatory and standards perspective this is easy as we meet all current standards. We have also inferred we would look at new EU law and consider it or voluntary adopt it (as the Swiss do). We’d have to sort out TRQs and a lot of other issues but ideally that can be discussed during transition.

    CTA covers free movement of people and no illegal immigrants are going Romainia-RoI-NI-GB when they can get a travel visa and fly straight to GB. There is a difference between rigid straight-forward approach and realistic pragmatism which requires a bit of flexibility on both sides.

  26. SEA CHANGE

    @”It is politically impossible to give EU Citizens greater rights than UK Citizens in the UK after Brexit. Plus the idea that the ECJ would hold sway over the rights of non-citizens in the UK after we leave is also politically impossible.”

    Yes-unless you have a mindset of continuity of EU law for all EU Citizens in UK after Brexit.

    It is , to me, a strange dichotomy in which EU & it’s spokespersons here constantly emphasise that the UK cannot expect any form of continuing relationship from pre Brexit days-that we chose to leave and so everything changes-on EU’s terms-but when it comes to EU citizens in UK , no change is to be countenanced-everything must be as it was.

    EU citizens in UK must somehow represent a bit of EU still left here…………after a Brexit in which we have abandoned all rights to a continuing relationship.

  27. Colin: MO

    @”I have no idea what the RAL is.”

    Then you haven’t been reading my posts ! :-)

    -but more significantly you haven’t bothered to find out what the single most important & costly item in Barnier’s list, and the EU’s Brexit related fiscal concerns is.

    @” I have no accountancy type background.”

    I understand -but it doesn’t require accounting knowledge to research the meaning of Reste a Liquider, how it arises, how much it currently stands at, what its significance for Member States is-and crucially whether it seems to be as much a part of the EU BUdget process as the Multi Annual Financial Framework , which UK has conceded as representing a five year funding committment.

    In essence there are two time frames:-

    The Current Budget Period-2014-2020.

    TM has accepted our liability to complete our contribution to this.

    The Period after 2020

    RAL , and the other items Barnier lists are costs which have not been funded prior to 2020, but which arose and or were committed to prior to 2020.

    Like so what. I think I made a very good go at engaging with your post, and if you want to give me a good hiding about not knowing what RAL is, go ahead. If you wanted an answer of RAL specifically, well you should have made your post about RAL specifically, particularly if that one is the big deal for you.

    AFAIAC, RAL is part of the bill for Stupidity. And I acknowledge that I have to pay my part of an expensive bill for Stupidity But I console myself that I had no part in the Stupidity myself.

    No doubt the Brexiteers costed the RAL into the equation which tells us we get £350 million A WEEK for the health service and we are all going to be richer and we won’t be in the same league as Turkey. So if leave voters were not supposed to worry about RAL before the referendum, why are you worrying about it now and more importantly why are you asking me to answer for it? It is your mess, it is your democracy which raised the question, suck it up.

  28. P.S. If peeps think goods will be shipped continent-RoI-NI-GB to avoid small tariffs then show me some examples where that is economically and logistically rational.

    The highest tariffs (and strictest quotas) are on food items which are by their nature perishable.

    The additional cost (in hard $$ but also a time component in JIT stock logistics) of non-perishable goods is higher than the small WTO tariff – continental suppliers of goods to UK will have to suck up the tariff as a margin hit (or try and pass it on to UK consumers in a more open global market).

  29. PETER CAIRNS

    Well , allowing for the over simple nature of your grasp on the topic, at least you are trying to ask the right questions about EU’s biggest Fiscal black hole, and who exactly “signed up” to it.

    ………..or indeed whether these “committments” exist at all-see Commission “spokesman” in this report who says :-

    “Some of the commitments are on paper only and can be written off.” !!!

    https://euobserver.com/economic/126667

  30. Alec

    “@TOH – Very good – whatever keeps you happy.”

    Glad you agree that basically I am correct the Government has not moved its position from its red lines.

    Interestingly I agreed with this line in your 10.48 post last night:
    “I said at the time that Florence doesn’t move anything forward, and it didn’t.”

    Of course it didn’t , other than provide a more pleasant tone from May. We have our red lines as do the EU and it would appear that they can never meet, which is why I have said for months now that no deal is likely.

    Perhaps we are approaching agreement at last.

  31. @ ALEC – I meant staying in all but name in first reply. Blood pressure rising, time for some fresh air me thinks!

  32. MO

    @”AFAIAC, RAL is part of the bill for Stupidity. And I acknowledge that I have to pay my part of an expensive bill for Stupidity But I console myself that I had no part in the Stupidity myself.”

    Well we can agree on the Stupidity of being a part of an organisation with such an approach to fiscal matters.

    Its great that you can sit there and console yourself-but David Davis & his team have to respond to the problem on behalf of UK taxpayers & voters.

  33. On the issue of break-up cash David and Barnier appear to me to be carrying out a fairly standard business process, i.e. the remaining party listing all the conceivable shared obligations that are open, and the leaving party narrowing down a sub-set that are contractual obligations in the narrow sense. This is all very natural jockeying, and will eventually end up with a compromise position between the two extremes.

    The bigger problem with this negotiation is that BoJo and other ‘hard’ Brexiteers have sold the UK public the line that no payment will be made / is necessary, which is palpably untrue and bound to cause major unhappiness amongst the public with any conceivable outcome.

    The UK public will presumably blame some combination of the Tory negotiators and the EU for eventually paying more than they were ‘promised’.

    Equally, presumably, BoJo and the ‘hard brexiteers’ are focused on pushing the ‘no deal’ scenario and don’t really care if the public blames the EU or May/Davis if the bill is agreed but comes in higher than the public are happy with – any of the three likely outcomes strengthens their position in the Tory party.

  34. Interesting development, Sadiq Khan has suggested Labour may back a second referendum on the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union.
    Whatever the result anyone who thinks the Labour position on Brexit is settled is mistaken.

  35. @Robin @MO @Alec – Ireland

    The UK has put up a paper and described how they imagine it to work, which would not be too dissimilar to the Norway/Sweden border.

    Without reference to whether we will have some kind of bespoke customs arrangements or not I can’t see how the government can move that debate any further forward.

    My personal opinion is I would prefer to see the Unification of Ireland with popular consent – but as stated, that ain’t happening during the Brexit negotiations.

  36. @TOH – “Glad you agree that basically I am correct the Government has not moved its position from its red lines.”

    You do rather astonish me sometimes with your pathological inability to understand.

    As I say, whatever keeps you happy.

    @Trevor W – I note you often get hung up on tariffs, which really aren’t much of an issue. Even outside any CU, these wouldn’t be a major problem. The critical issue really is the border process and how future standards are dealt with.

    Nissan have said that a 2 minute delay in port handling would be of critical consequence to their business, so how we deal with physical flows is of much greater significance in many ways than tariff costs.

    In terms of the second issue you say – “There is no reason why 99% of “the” current CU can’t be photocopied into “a” new CU so no visible borders are reqd. From a regulatory and standards perspective this is easy as we meet all current standards.”

    There remains the issue of future standards, if we are to deviate how will this be policed (the physical controls) and if we don’t then what’s the point. You then need to address third party products. EU companies currently can’t transfer data to another non EU country unless they meet strict data handling equivalence tests, as defined (in part) by ECJ case law. Similar requirements are in place for goods.

    If UK wants free trade deals outwith the EU, how are we going to manage any divergence in standards between these goods, that might enter the UK and then head onto the EU.

    These things aren’t simple, and this is why the EU wants detail, quite reasonably, in my view. We are telling them what we don’t want to accept the ECJ, for example, yet we want a seamless border with a type of CU equivalent to what we have now, when all matters of trade are overseen by the ECJ.

  37. @ Colin

    “Its great that you can sit there and console yourself-but David Davis & his team have to respond to the problem on behalf of UK taxpayers & voters.”

    I think that was MO’s point, it was the “stupidity” (his opinion) of DD et al. and those who voted leave that led to this, so why should he have to do the explaining as to how to get out of it.
    I consider the pejorative a step too far, but I do agree with MO that those who voted remain have no responsibility in providing solutions to Brexiteers on how to conduct a successful negotiation towards a situation they would not countenance and if the negotiated result or a failure to achieve a negotiated result proves a disaster maybe the UK can then pick up the pieces and at least try to make a success of what is left: but the disaster should be owned by those who created it.

  38. @seachange

    “I’d also point out it is ludicrous of the EU to demand an answer to the Irish question with no reference to the terms of trade.”

    It really isn’t. The ROI wants the Irish border question to be settled as a special case irrespective of the terms of trade with the whole of the EU. On the latter, the UK Government has already made clear that the UK will be outside the Single Market and the Customs Union which even if there are no tariffs means that there will be a hard border of some degree between the UK and the EU.

  39. @Sea Change – “The UK has put up a paper and described how they imagine it to work, which would not be too dissimilar to the Norway/Sweden border.

    Without reference to whether we will have some kind of bespoke customs arrangements or not I can’t see how the government can move that debate any further forward.”

    Again, that’s just simplistic nonsense I’m afraid.

    Norway
    – pays into the EU budget
    – cannot strike it’s own trade deals
    – is completely subject to the ECJ in all relevant matters

    We have explicitly rejected the Norway model, so please go away and explain how we are going to deal with these three specifics, and then come back with a plan for the Irish border.

  40. SEA CHANGE @ R HUCKLE & PETER CAIRNS (SNP)

    I fully agree that there is no way the DUP would accept a maritime border with the UK. They certainly don’t want a hard land border either, since it would guarantee that Stormont doesn’t get going again, although there’s a chance that with a Con SoS they could effectively call the shots from Westminster and outflank SF. That would rely on the Cons remaining in office, of course, which is at the very least not a given.

    We don’t agree on your:

    I’d also point out it is ludicrous of the EU to demand an answer to the Irish question with no reference to the terms of trade.

    It was the DExEU position paper that was ludicrous, asking as it did for a magic, invisible border controlled by technology that doesn’t yet exist with an interim arrangement including an entirely new customs union. A commitment to remain in the existing customs union for as long as it takes to create a demonstrably working magic border would be the only way it could be acceptable to the EU27, I suspect. I have little doubt that Lab would do that, but equally May could dust off her “precious union” rhetoric as cover.

    If nothing else, it would give GB the time needed to build the infrastructure which WTO terms will require.

  41. TrevorW
    You’re at it again, predicting a narrow Tory win in 2019 based on at least 4 other imponderables happening.
    :):):)

  42. @TW

    Why is everyone so obsessed with tariffs. These are really only a tiny and relatively insignificant part of the picture.

    The justifiable concern the EU have is of a Tory “low regulation low tax low standard of living” regime that gives a competitive advantage, where whole reams of EU standards can be bypassed and undermined by shipping from the UK through NI and RoI. For example, how will the EU prevent e.g. chlorinated chicken that we import from the US (under a future one-sided trade deal) from entering their food supply?

    Belfast would likely become a major international shipping terminal as a backdoor route for goods that don’t comply with EU standards.

    If there is no agreement for policing UK-sourced or UK-transited goods, the EU will be forced into one of a limited set of options:
    1. breach the GFA and police the NI border
    2. alter RoI status, breaching the fundamentals of the EU
    3. seek international action against the UK through e.g. the WTO
    4. any other options?

  43. Colin: Well we can agree on the Stupidity of being a part of an organisation with such an approach to fiscal matters.
    No, we can’t agree, because you are twisting my application of the word Stupidity away from the vote for Brexit

    Its great that you can sit there and console yourself-but David Davis & his team have to respond to the problem on behalf of UK taxpayers & voters.
    Well, they should know the answer already. Or are you telling me that Leave’s arguments from before the referendum as to why there was no RAL have been demolished. Or worse, are you telling us that they calculated £350 million a week for the health service, they missed this out.

    Come on, only last week Boris told us there is definitely £350 million a week, so he must have taken RAL into account. Oh wait, it’s Boris. He said the EU can whistle for the money. That must be right, what’s wrong with me sitting here consoling myself it is Stupidity when David Davis & his team have to respond to the problem on behalf of UK taxpayers & voters. Boris already has the answer.

    And we are all going to trade with places we have never heard of in Unicorns and Pixie dust and keep it all to ourselves and become rich enough to pay RAL 7 times over. So tell me, why should anyone waste their time on it.

  44. Good afternoon to all at UK Polling.

    Whilst leaving the EU is an ongoing issue, we really need to see the bigger picture here and accept that the majority of the British people have accepted the result and want us out as soon as possible.

    Their are great debates to be had about unfairness, injustice and poverty that exist throughout the kingdom, not to mention what sort of foreign policy we should have.

    Last night’s Stop the War event at conference was inspiring and lots of fresh ideas were discussed.

    When Jeremy crosses the threshold of No 10. British foreign policy will look a whole lot different to the “managed decline” we have seen since the end of the war and the retreat from Empire. At its heart will be fairness and equality for all.

    So I say to you all, the EU argument is over, let us all, whatever our political hue, prepare for life after. No longer will we be looking over our shoulder at EU commissioners, our MPs will answer to us, the people.

    As it should be.

  45. WB

    But of course MO isn’t just saying-not me guv-your problem.

    He says UK must pay up-whatever is asked of them. I have tried to demonstrate that what I believe to be the single biggest fiscal item on Barnier’s list -RAL- is , to say the least subject to a number of questions.

    Even Remainers of the determined variety should support DD in not paying for things which are unreasonable-or non-existent.

    Unless of course, they are so full of resentment at the Referendum result that UK’s interests post Brexit are now of secondary importance to those of the EU.

  46. Alec

    “You do rather astonish me sometimes with your pathological inability to understand.”

    We are back to the ad hominems I see. Well I answered all your points and you don’t have a leg to stand on. I am happy to leave it at that.

  47. @Colin – “Well we can agree on the Stupidity of being a part of an organisation with such an approach to fiscal matters.”

    Does my memory serve me well here, but I do recall you making much of the UK’s unfunded state sector pension liabilities once upon a time, saying they really should be counted as part of government debts?

    Sauce, goose and gander again, perhaps?

  48. @Rudyard

    “the majority of the British people have accepted the result and want us out as soon as possible”

    I think a better wording would be “the majority of the British people are completely fed up with Brexit and just want it to go away as soon as possible.”

  49. RUDYARD

    @” our MPs will answer to us, the people.”

    Which “people” though

    Mine will be answering to his voters-hopefully.

    But I have feeling that the one in the neighbouring constituency might be answering to Momentum. & Labour Members.

    :-)

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