The ICM/Guardian poll today has topline figures of CON 41%(+1), LAB 41%(-1), LDEM 7%(-1). Fieldwork was Friday-Sunday, and changes are from ICM’s poll before the Labour conference. As with the polls at the weekend, there’s no significant change here. Theresa May’s conference speech obviously didn’t go as she would have hoped, but it doesn’t really appear to have changed levels of support: 17% of people told ICM her speech had improved their perception of her (mostly Tories who probably liked her anyway), 17% told ICM her speech had damaged their perceptions of her (mostly Labour supporters who probably didn’t like her anyway). Most said it made no difference.

ICM also asked about possible alternative leaders to Theresa May, underlining one of the problems the Conservatives have – in every named case (Johnson, Rudd, Hammond, Rees-Mogg, Patel and Green) people thought they would do worse than Theresa May would at the general election. The only person who the public thought would do better than May was a generic “someone quite young and able who is not currently in government”… which, of course, is a recipe for respondents to imagine an ideal candidate who may very well not exist, especially not among the select group of people with a reasonable chance of winning the leadership of the Conservative party.

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799 Responses to “ICM/Guardian – CON 41, LAB 41, LDEM 7”

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  1. Colin

    Personally, I think a “mixed economy” is what we need. What that actually looks like will move up and down a scale according to whatever is going on in the world!

  2. @ COLIN (from y’day) – apologies, I meant ‘one’ or ‘the public’ rather than ‘you’. CON’s issue is mostly a PR/brand issue IMHO. They ended the public sector pay cap when they allowed police and prison officers pay reviews to go over 1% – but no spin, so the narrative was ‘begrudingly given’ not ‘generously offered in recognition of the valued efforts’. We don’t need Alastair Campbell style but we do need someone to sell the +ve aspects of CON’s policies. Brown, Darling and Osborne were fairly good at selling the merits of their policies – at the time at least.

    The questions about who would be best at X,Y,Z are alarming. Either the policies need a big improvement in marketing effort or they need to be changed – IMHO a bit of both of those approaches.

  3. “One idea for the North that has been floated in recent months – including by Fianna Fáil – is the creation of a special economic zone (SEZ).”

    It seems to me that the SEZ option only solves the problem if it involves twice as much magic thinking as even the UKG’s cake and eat it option.

    An SEZ status doesn’t in itself remove the issue of how NI interacts with the two “normal” economic zones with which it has its most significant trading relationships and which are, absent a contrary arrangement, heading for being in different customs areas.

    Is the SEZ going to have “magic borders” with both of them?

  4. To show the complexity for pollsters in asking ‘package’ questions on Brexit, here’s the only highly detailed polling questions that I’ve seen that look at the multiple dimensions. They pick 8:

    (1) immigration controls
    (2) legal sovereignty
    (3) rights of EU nationals
    (4) ongoing EU budget payments
    (5) one-off settlement
    (6) trade terms
    (7) status of the Republic of Ireland/Northern Ireland border
    (8) the timeline for Brexit.

    Within each dimension they take several options. They don’t seem to rank the priorities which is a flaw as some would rank some items as very important and others of little importance.

    http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/brexit/2017/08/13/the-british-are-indifferent-about-many-aspects-of-brexit-but-leave-and-remain-voters-are-divided-on-several-key-issues/

    P.S. I don’t like posting blogs. My interest here is the method and simply to show now complicated package questions are. Sometime in late 2018 parliament will get a vote and it won’t be on multiple dimensions with scaled options so although the basic ‘deal’ or ‘no deal’ question obviously has room for a subjective opinion of those outcomes both options will become clearer as talks progress and ultimately will be the simple question put to parliament. If anyone wants to explain if or how a ‘go back and renegotiate’ response from parliament would work please go ahead.

  5. NICKP

    @”Personally, I think a “mixed economy” is what we need. What that actually looks like will move up and down a scale according to whatever is going on in the world!”

    Can’t disagree with that at all. :-)

  6. This from yesterday’s Guido Fawkes blog.

    “The government has just announced publicly for the first time that DExEU minister Steve Baker has been given responsibility for “contingency planning”. DExEU sources say he has held the brief since the start of his appointment but this is the first time it has been confirmed.

    He is essentially the ‘Minister for No Deal’ that Brexiters have been calling for. Baker is a true believer – positive news which the government clearly hopes will reassure Brexiteers after this week’s skirmishes…”

  7. @ SAM – Eeyore won’t like that!

  8. On Sep 26th I posted about a Perth Tory councillor, who resigned.

    “Expect a low-turnout, cold weather by-election, with much mud slinging.”

    To be honest, I expected 1st or 2nd week of November, however, it will happen on the 23rd of November – http://www.pkc.gov.uk/media/40462/Notice-of-By-Election-Ward-10-Perth-City-South/pdf/Notice_of_Election

    So expect very cold weather, even lower turnout, and as little publicity as possible.

  9. Mr Martin said an SEZ could be recognised by the EU as being distinct from the rest of the UK in terms of Single Market and Customs Union access.

    He pointed out that the terms of the Good Friday Agreement set Northern Ireland in an EU context.

    “It should not be hard to design a mechanism for certifying that Northern Ireland businesses conform with EU standards relevant to market access.

    “UK sovereignty would remain intact – in fact it is the UK government’s official policy to support such zones in countries with structural development issues in defined regions,” Mr Martin said.

    https://www.rte.ie/news/2017/0909/903425-brexit/

  10. Trevor Warne

    I’m not sure about that. Boris will have known this for some time. Mr Baker is a “true believer” but has he ambition to be PM?

  11. Carfrew
    “Andrew, you’re back!! Gonna tell us about the proof thing??”

    Sorry, I have this annoying “job” thing that means I rapidly lose track of discussions on here!

    It is a while ago now but as I recall you implied that some hypothesis in Science had been “proved” (or possibly proven!). Don’t ask me to find that post or even say exactly what you were talking about! My short term memory is shot to pieces these days and includes a strict triage…

    Whereas I was taught (possibly at some eminent University or other!) that things can only be disproved. An experimental result or observation that agrees with a hypothesis does not prove it because the next observation may yet disprove it.. This tends to lead to the cautious statements by scientists that create such confusion in the media, especially in areas such as climate change..
    Of course every observation that agrees with a hypothesis increases the probability of it being correct (probably! That is a bit of a hypothesis in itself!).

    Proof in mathematics is a very different concept of course..

  12. @ SAM – Baker’s role hasn’t changed but the timing of the announcement is interesting. I might have this wrong but I suspect the following:

    – with EU Council meeting next week, HMG are upping the pressure and showing we would seriously consider a no-deal outcome: this is going around Eeyore’s approach which has been to avoid the risk of souring the talks if UK starting enacting no-deal plans
    – the ‘b4r stewards’ as Major called them might have done a deal with May to keep quiet if she makes concessions. Having Baker effectively running a separate Treasury function with a brief to enact the no-deal plan feels to me like the kind of concession that might keep the Leave ferrets quiet in the sack for now. Boris mentioned putting the Tigger in the tank but has otherwise been very on-message since the conference.
    – Eeyore will be alert to the possible shift from May and hence should be more accommodative in the budget or risk being fired as the b4r stewards demands force May’s hand.

    The CON-DUP govt is extremely fragile internally and May has an impossible task keeping everyone happy all of the time. My long held view is that the b4r stewards are the most difficult to please and would put their party and the country to the sword to get their way if it came to it – why the 40+ majority was so important. Remember they actively want a no-deal Farage style Brexit!

    Although that sounds horrific I can’t see the electorate accepting the kind of deal the EU are going to offer and hence moving on to Boris style no-deal is a matter of great urgency as a lot of the downside economic risk can be offset if plans are put in place quick enough.

    i expect ‘no deal’ will involve a Brexit date of 2020 to match budget commitments so we have a bit of time, but the lead-time on much of the no-deal outcome involves skills training, increasing customs capacity, etc. all things that take 2y+ IMHO.

    Other important aspects of a no deal will be citizens rights which I think we’ll have to just announce unilaterally a some point, possibly after Dec EU Council meeting. We are actually very close on a deal there so it might happen in time but if we’re not then we should just implement the UK side taking note of all the agreed compromises to date. The issue with a unilateral declaration (as LAB have wanted all along) is that you either have to accept a EU dictated outcome (full ECJ, etc) or declare your own plan and risk upsetting the EU.

    Timing wise the layering of the EU is important. The EC have the brief to conduct negotiations and both HMG and EU Council can blame EC if talks break down. This brings EU Council into the negotiations properly which was DD’s plan all along – talk to the organ grinder, not the monkey.

    It’s important to note a sizeable difference in potential no-deal outcomes ranging from Farage walk now and Minford Project After (the no deal most people are assuming) to something more sensible which I’m calling the Boris no-deal and Fox Project After (what I hope will be the outcome).

  13. “Mr Martin said an SEZ could be recognised by the EU as being distinct from the rest of the UK in terms of Single Market and Customs Union access.

    He pointed out that the terms of the Good Friday Agreement set Northern Ireland in an EU context.

    “It should not be hard to design a mechanism for certifying that Northern Ireland businesses conform with EU standards relevant to market access.

    “UK sovereignty would remain intact – in fact it is the UK government’s official policy to support such zones in countries with structural development issues in defined regions,” Mr Martin said.”

    But isn’t this going to lead to a customs border in the Irish Sea? Something that the DUP is dead against, isn’t it?

  14. P.S. Baker doesn’t want to be PM in the short term, possibly never but he is ambitious and will want a major cabinet role post Brexit IMHO. James Cleverly is the ‘Leave’ PM in waiting IMHO. Boris, SMogg and even DD are too toxic to win a GE it needs to be a fresh face, baggage free candidate and CON are seriously lacking in good candidates.
    Eeyore might have to resign or be fired soon in which case he might be a martyr/lightening rod for CON-Remain but he is deeply unpopular – mostly by his own doing – so will never make CON leader even if he made it to the final two.

  15. I don’t think I posted the latest CON leadership poll, so here it is:
    https://www.conservativehome.com/thetorydiary/2017/10/hes-back-from-his-lowest-total-ever-johnson-springs-to-the-top-our-our-next-tory-leader-survey.html

    Boris is back in the lead but ‘other’ is close behind and would include Cleverly who I think would be the compromise candidate to make it through the early rounds and be put out to members versus a lame duck Remain alternate choice. The members will pick a Leave leader but the Remain MPs can make sure that neither Boris or SMogg that make it to the final two when the members vote.

    @ SAM – I hit auto-mod if I post it for some reason but on Conhome you’ll find a few piece on Baker

  16. RM

    My point was May was elected in her post of PM by the UK voters when she put her party up for GE they made the decision whether she remained in that post .Junker has never submitted himself to a democratic election whilst President of the EU being content to be supported by his euro elites.
    Not bad for a man who had to stand down because of a security scandal whilst President of his own country nice to have friends in high places.
    Ps
    Sorry it takes so long to reply bit of a difference in time zones.

  17. “If anyone wants to explain if or how a ‘go back and renegotiate’ response from parliament would work please go ahead.”

    Revoke A50 and start over or just abandon the endeavour.

    Obviously a legal argument to be had there in the ecj (though no shortage of lawyers who think it’s possible) but there’s nothing to stop parliament adding that as an option to the vote on deal or no deal, or simply telling the government to do so at any other time.

    Not sure it’s that likely mind given parliament still seems to be rather petrified of the concept that it is, in fact, sovereign.

  18. @TW

    As far as I can understand your prescription for a successful brexit, it is to counter the post-brexit economic decline with a substantial Keynesian boost – a New Deal for a New Britain, perhaps, if you’re looking for a slogan.

    This appears to accept that deficit and debt targets will have to be abandoned (in the short term, at least – I’m not sure if you maintain that additional growth will eventually more than compensate in revenue terms). You also highlight the need for extra training, skills etc to boost productivity.

    If I’ve understood and summarised your position correctly, the obvious question for a Keynesian like me is this:

    Why not implement the same programme anyway, to gain real extra growth, not just to mitigate the brexit crash?

    I guess your answer will be that the other brexit aims – being able to do totally our own thing, control immigration etc – come at a cost and this is how to mitigate that. But I haven’t seen anyone else on your side of the brexit debate advocate a massive debt-fuelled splurge. I think you might struggle to get TOH onside, for instance!

  19. Found an interesting opinion about yougov on another website,

    “Yougov is a totally slewed platform anyway and they do not give poll size or source figures, interestingly I joined it about a year ago and gave false answers to surveys and found I was “targeted” with surveys which fitted my answers, when I started answering from another angle the surveys offered changed with the new view, it’s all crap”

    Dont think the guy liked your results.

  20. @ turk

    We do not elect PMs in this country. The PM is whoever can command a majority of ejected representatives in parliament.

    Given that the preferred candidates of the EU wide parties were announced before the last European parliament elections and that any commission president must get majority support of elected meps then it doesn’t strike me as all that different.

    On they one hand May was actually elected, but for the bay majority of us not living in her constituency that is irrelevant. And if you’re going to argue about indirect support then juncker arguably has more. Meps are all elected by fairly proportional systems so junckers majority support in the EP translates to an absolute majority of European voters. The Tories only gained 42% of the UK vote due to the non proportional fptp system.

  21. TREVOR WARNE

    To show the complexity for pollsters in asking ‘package’ questions on Brexit, here’s the only highly detailed polling questions that I’ve seen that look at the multiple dimensions.

    Thanks for the link, but the trouble with the blog you linked to – The British are indifferent about many aspects of Brexit, but Leave and Remain voters are divided on several key issues – is the very first comment upon it, the afternoon it was published:

    This analysis seems to assume that all outcomes are somehow neutral in terms of consequences outside the outcome of the preference itself.

    Every single one of the “options” on offer has consequences which are not even described in the most general of senses, yet the authors state: [B]ecause the features that are shown to respondents are fully randomized in the design, we ensure that respondents do not infer or attempt to infer how different aspects of negotiations might be tied to others.

    Without putting the options in context of how much they are likely to cost, the data is meaningless, and all the more reason why the Good Law Project is crowdfunding a legal challenge in the hope a judge will order the release of the secret studies on impact of Brexit reported in most of the media yesterday.

  22. Northern Ireland could be outside the EU but in a customs union agreement.

    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/jul/20/half-in-half-out-eu-territories-show-way-northern-ireland

  23. BZ

    One can see why (for entirely partisan reasons) Westminster is reluctant to publish the studies. As they explained themselves –

    In response to a subsequent Freedom of Information request, the department yesterday said it would neither confirm nor deny it had undertaken such analysis because to do so could undermine the Brussels talks and provoke a “reactionary” response from stakeholders north of the Border, which could damage Britain’s economy.

    Have you seen Kirsty Hughes analysis of the difficult political positions faced by all parties, in the context of each of the 4 possible Brexit outcomes?

    https://www.scer.scot/database/ident-3545

    Publication of HMG studies may make political choices in Scotland and NE England a bit easier.

  24. Trevor Warne

    ” EU Council meeting next week, HMG are upping the pressure and showing we would seriously consider a no-deal outcome”

    In showing that, Trevor, is HMG creating momentum for a no-deal outcome?

    “The CON-DUP govt is extremely fragile internally ”

    It may soon become a little more fragile. https://www.theguardian.com/global/2017/sep/08/court-to-hear-challenge-to-theresa-may-1bn-deal-with-dup

    Are you concluding there will be no deal done? How will that come about if there fewer hard Brexiteers in Cabinet than soft brexiteers?

  25. Could “no deal” bring down the Government? And just what might happen in the subsequent election then?

    No deal is just too risky for the Tories (as well as the Country)

  26. SOMERJOHN

    ” I think you might struggle to get TOH onside, for instance!”

    Your correct, I wouldn’t be onside.

  27. @ SOMERJOHN – “Why not implement the same programme anyway, to gain real extra growth, not just to mitigate the brexit crash?”

    Exactly!! Now you see my frustration with Eeyore as CoE.

    I’m not fully embracing a go-stop 1950-1970s Keynesian approach. It should be a short but sharp engagement of the thrusters to realign our economy as we shift orbit.

    Carney in BoE is equally frustrating. In the short dip as we realign that would have been the time to give a little monetary boost but instead he fired his very limited thrusters too early and now has no fuel left.

    The short-term risk is demand side shock and the medium-long term risk is a supply side issue but BoE and CoE seem to be trying to do each others jobs.

  28. @trevorwarne

    “i expect ‘no deal’ will involve a Brexit date of 2020 …”

    But that is a deal as it will require agreement from the rest of the EU.

    “Although that sounds horrific I can’t see the electorate accepting the kind of deal the EU are going to offer and hence moving on to Boris style no-deal …”

    The electorate aren’t on current plans going to have a choice. The question is whether Parliament will accept it.

    “so we have a bit of time, but the lead-time on much of the no-deal outcome involves skills training, increasing customs capacity, etc. all things that take 2y+ IMHO.”

    Without agreement from the EU the no deal option would have to be in place in not much than a year assuming that emerges as the option by early 2018. The Brexiters are going to have to explain how a new immigration system, customs system, a flights agreement, agricultural policy and so on are going to put in place.

  29. @ SAM – Eeyore does seem to believe that by showing we are planning a no-deal it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. That relies on the belief EU would give UK a ‘good’ deal out of sheer kindness. Most Leave knew that was never going to happen and that we’d have to stand up to a bully and maybe even land some low punches if we had to. IMHO we’ve played extremely fair, compromised as much as we can and polls show on issues like the divorce bill that the electorate might well get behind a no deal outcome. May is too weak to land the low punches so the bully will win the battle but not the war. IMHO. Eeyore is Remain trying to do a Leave job, maybe deep down he believes he is trying to put country before party and bring the govt down? The Hammond of Jan-April has vanished, corrupted by the hard core Remain in Treasury perhaps?

    No deal is the default option and the risk is that die hard Remain lawyers and/or LAB frustration tactics result in the very cliff-edge no deal outcome that they profess to want to avoid. The 30+ Extreme Brexiteers in CON would be very happy with a ‘Farage’ outcome. I think people are missing this very real risk. EU might tolerate a no-deal outcome as well. Not all EU27 leaders but EC might go for it and we’d need all EU27 to block the no deal to stop it resulting from default.

    The electorate might very well come into play in late 2018.

    The two important questions are:
    1/ Will LAB-Leave MPs make up for any drop in CON or DUP MPs and effectively keep HMG in power through negotiations?
    2/ If HMG falls what will be LAB’s approach to Brexit? Will they have a manifesto pledge to overturn EURef1 with EURef2 or will they just trade places with HMG and face the same no-deal or bad deal dilemma but with virtually no time left. Will they need SNP C+S and will that create a get-out-of-jail for free card for Corbyn to change policy in order to form a govt (that is Remain’s dream ticket)? Does Corbyn really want to stay inside ECJ jurisdiction though and if that is a condition for SNP C+S will he go it alone and rely on CON-Leave to get us out of EU?

    We can make inspired guesses on 1/ and 2/ but until they happen its guesswork.

    IMHO the EU think they have the upper hand due to May’s weak govt and their usual sheer arrogance. However, if they give us a deal so bad that no deal looks better then either the current govt or the next one will take the no deal option because too many of their constituencies would vote for the ‘no deal’ party versus a neverendum party.

    Lots of IMHO in there but generally takes polling info into account.

    @ BZ – I did mention not to put much weight into it. I was only trying to show how difficult it is to ask a full package question and hence why a simple ‘deal’ or ‘no deal’ is probably the least worst polling question to ask.

  30. @ HIRETON – I’m assuming the talks have made some progress away from a Farage ‘no deal’. I’m taking an inspired guess that the outcome of Florence and next week’s EU Council meeting will be Barnier is allowed to discuss transition and we’ll get EU27 agreement on some extension prior to needing it – both sides need the extension, EU will want to kick the budget can down the road and we are clearly nowhere near ready.

    2020 is end of EU budget and I don’t see us avoiding our budget commitments hence I think that is the earliest we will leave. We might leave in ‘name’ in Mar’19 but SM, CU, ECJ all stay until 2020. All IMHO, we might get some clarity after next week’s EU council meeting.

    I expect we’ll probably stay until 2021 in a Boris or Corbyn ‘no deal’ scenario but since that is after 2020 it becomes more complex due to the new EU budget that would have kicked in by then.

  31. TW: Exactly!! Now you see my frustration with Eeyore as CoE.

    And with Osborne before him, presumably.

    I’m with you on the need for government to get stuck in and make things better, rather than having spending less as their only real goal. You only have to go to France or Spain to see what a difference state spending can make – or to the USA to see the opposite.

    But this really has nothing to do with brexit.

  32. TREVOR WARNE

    @”Lots of IMHO in there”

    Yes – Lots & Lots. ! :-) :-)

  33. @TREVOR WARNE

    ‘The questions about who would be best at X,Y,Z are alarming. Either the policies need a big improvement in marketing effort or they need to be changed – IMHO a bit of both of those approaches.’

    This is why I believe that the Tories have a problem. Take the issue of public sector pay. There have been 6 years of public sector pay real terms cuts. it was a huge issue during the lection in which people were told there was no magic money tree. All of a sudden 1% becomes 1% a bit more (Still be,ow the rate of inflation and no where making up the losses they have suffered)

    This is not a PR problem it is a real terms pay cut problem trying to sell it to people whom believe it is not raining on their heads it is something p155ing on their heads is how Leave managed to persuade people whom were losing out to vote Leave.

    it does not matter what policy they produce, no one believes that the Tories believe in these policies as they could have pushed them at any time.

    lastly They tried to sell the increase pay rise to the public and the Police federation rubbished it completely. In response they said told police men about a PC starting in 2010 was 32% better off (only 4% met that criteria)

    I believe there is not the debate I feel you want happening in the tory party and more importantly the debate has moved away from where the Tories were on strong ground. They have rightly summarised that more social housing makes for more labour party supporters and are not sure how to change the dynamic of the situation

    brexit just makes the issues worse, why I believe you recognise with the view that from voting leave to having a rethink of it, but like Iraq we’re committed now. The time for good decision making is past. Everything else is some from of damage limitation, and I think that goes for tory domestic policy as much as what the hell we are doing with Brexit

  34. @ JAMESB – I’m sure we’ll continue with a never ending stream of crowd funded lawyers fighting Brexit but to revoke A50 without either EURef2 or a GE, probably both, is really grasping at straws. To do a U-turn on implementing Brexit would destroy CON so they aren’t going to do it and it would severely reopen a wound that LAB have been very successful at avoiding since about this time last year.

    Also, don’t forget Leave can apply their own lawyers in due course if they need to. Any attempt to revoke A50 will have a lot of Leave folks digging deep to fund a legal challenge. Then consider that EU27 need to unanimously allow A50 to be revoked – possible but what terms would they demand to let us back in?

    IMHO the EU want to pop us in the political purgatory of EEA – pay but no say would be the perfect outcome for them. Lost in transition of EEA is a very real risk. A LAB govt requiring SNP and possibly LDEM C+S might well give us that outcome. I expect we disagree on what that would be like for our economy.

  35. ANDRE111
    “. An experimental result or observation that agrees with a hypothesis does not prove it because the next observation may yet disprove it.’
    Would that be true of the observation that no deal is likely to be similar in its relationship to post Brexit planning to being eaten by a crocodile – especially if Boris is still in the vicinity?
    I ask because of the reported crocodile management plan announced by Abigail Noli, the deputy mayor of the local council near Port Douglas, where an elderly lady has, it appears, been eaten by a crocodile. The plan “would need time to take effect.” I quote: “It involves trapping any crocodiles that exhibit unusual behaviour.”
    Opponents of the plan are said to have argued that its efficacy would not have been proven, even if all crocodiles exhibiting unusual behaviour had been trapped before the unfortunate lady had been eaten, since one would never known if crocodiles which had not hitherto exhibited unusual behaviour might thereafter have begun to do so.

  36. would never have known…

  37. OLDNAT @ BZ

    Thanks for the link to Kirsty Hughes’ Brexit Uncertainty paper of yesterday. Well worth a read, and mostly agreed, at least by me.

    However, I think there are 3 areas omitted:

    1st the information on the 50+ “secret” studies on the impact of Brexit which HMG admits to may well come in to the public domain following the Good Law Project’s legal challenge. Assuming that HMG feel they don’t make happy reading for quitters, if the challenge does get them published PDQ then all bets on what follows will be off.

    2nd the DUP may move sooner rather than later. If you didn’t watch it live, I strongly recommend you watch last Thursday’s BBC Question Time from Belfast. For once, the BBC managed what seemed to be a very balanced audience which didn’t much like the idea of hard borders, and was fairly forthright on abortion law, equal marriage and a very basic Irish Language Act. We’ll know more when the LucidTalk results come out later this month, but the last 2 such polls have shown very different results on these issues, especially anog younger voters and I’d be surprised if the trend didn’t continue.

    3rd although Hughes recognises that the DUP may resile from the C&S deal, she assumes that will arrange in an early UK GE. The June UK GE was supported by Corbyn because he needed to be seen by the electorate and indeed profited greatly from being seen. But this time the boot would be on the other foot. Would enough Cons vote for an early election to reach the two-thirds majority needed to call an early UK GE? Just possibly they might if a new leader is in place, but I suspect they would be less happy to have round 2 of the May v Corbyn show.

    That should still allow the formation of a minority Lab HMG with rainbow C&S from the smaller parties. They would barely have a majority but OTOH, there are enough Con remainers who would be likely to be prepared at least to abstain provided that a sensible ultra-soft Brexit was mooted, possibly with an indefinite remaining in the Customs Union until someone invents the magic technology to be able to move to a regular Norway-style option.

    Much as I personally would prefer the UK to stay in the EU, I think that there is little choice but to leave the EU proper for now, with the reconquista campaign starting around 2025 having given the quitters the dose of reality they demand.

  38. TURK

    My point was May was elected in her post of PM by the UK voters when she put her party up for GE they made the decision whether she remained in that post .Junker has never submitted himself to a democratic election whilst President of the EU being content to be supported by his euro elites.

    Ps
    Sorry it takes so long to reply bit of a difference in time zones.

    Oh I wasn’t expecting a reply straight away (I’m not exactly speedy in responding to things myself) and I imagine that on a farm you’ve got more important things to do when you get up! But you missed my point about Juncker. Because he was elected in a very similar way to May. From the Wiki article:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Parliament_election,_2014

    It was the 8th parliamentary election since the first direct elections in 1979, and the first in which the European political parties fielded candidates for president of the Commission. The candidates, sometimes referred to by the German term Spitzenkandidaten (‘top candidates’), were Jean-Claude Juncker for the European People’s Party, Martin Schulz for the Party of European Socialists, Guy Verhofstadt for the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, Ska Keller and José Bové jointly for the European Green Party and Alexis Tsipras for the Party of the European Left. The Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists and the European Alliance for Freedom declined to nominate candidates.

    There were the equivalent of leaders’ debates between these candidates (Wiki lists ten) and EPP ‘won’ the election by getting the highest number of MEPs elected across the EU, just as May got the highest number of MPs. It was clear to EU voters that Juncker would be President if the EPP did best. What you said might have been justified in earlier EU elections but not in 2014.

    This barely got noticed in Britain because of the insularity of the British media and because the Conservatives grouping (ECR) didn’t have a candidate in the debates (they were only standing in a minority of countries and so couldn’t have come first). But it still happened and means that Juncker has the same sort of legitimacy as May. Of course if Cameron hadn’t pulled the Conservatives out of the EPP in the first place, Juncker probably wouldn’t have been their candidate.

  39. @ JOHN PILGRIM

    Very funny re crocodiles.

    I reported earlier that a cabinet minister had briefed friends in the media, that Theresa May had not yet involved the cabinet in discussion about EU regulatory compliance and market access after 29th March 2019.

    This is said to be because, some in the cabinet might not be happy that it is likely the UK will have to sign up to many current EU regulations as part of market access. And more concerning for some Brexiteers will be the UK agreeing to implement many future EU regulatiions and mostly pay for market access. The transition period just being a delaying tactic to avoid dealing with tricky divisive issues is unlikely to work.

    Nb. If you have ever been to the Northern part of Australia, it can be quite worrying to read the signs on the beaches, listing all of the creatures that could kill you. You can only swim in small netted enclosurers.

  40. @ SAM

    I guessed that would be the case. So the so called SEZ is not special at all, just plain vanilla Customs Union with the EU.

    The downside to placing NI in a simple Customs Union with the rest of Ireland with a hard customs border with GB is often trivialised as merely upsetting a few DUP politicians. It isn’t. The downside to placing NI in a simple Customs Union with the rest of Ireland is the placing of a hard customs border across what is by a factor of several time its main current path for external trade.

    You don’t need politics to dismiss the option. If we list the possible arrangements you could have for NI in terms of impact on existing trade, it comes bottom of the practical ones.

    Ranked by impact on current NI trade, with least at the top (and the third and sixth included merely for logical completeness as neither is a remotely possible outcome of this process), we clearly have:

    1. For the whole UK to be in Customs Union with the EU (no trade impact);
    2. A genuine “special” arrangement in which barriers go up between EU and rUK but are somehow minimized for NI (the one I think requires double magic borders, but does offer minimal trade impact);
    3. A hard customs border at the English channel and a single zone for these islands (affects only a small minority of NIs external trade, but not on the table politically);
    4. A hard customs border with the rest of Ireland (affects a larger minority of NIs external trade);
    5 A hard customs border with GB (affects a substantial majority of NIs external trade);
    6. Hard customs borders with both (as I said, for completeness, as it’s possible I suppose).

    It’s fair enough for the RoI to wish for NI to remain in the CU. If Brexit must happen it’s the option that minimizes damage to existing trade for the RoI. But it’s the option that maximizes damage to existing trade for NI.

    You don’t need DUP politics to oppose it, you just need to be able to read trade figures and work out that a bigger number is bigger than a smaller one.

  41. Video of the Prime Minister speaking earlier, who will deal with Brexit properly at some point during 2018,

    https://mobile.twitter.com/PA/status/919215577226412032/video/1

  42. I lurk on this site and occasionally post in the hope that someone will persuade me that Brexit will not be an economic disaster for my grandchildren, Answers I get are a) don’t worry sovereignty trumps economics b) don’t worry they need us more than we need them, wise heads will prevail c) don’t worry freed from the shackles of the EU we will miraculously convert to keynsianism, make a bonfire of all unnecessary regulations, start selling to parts of the world where we have been spectacularly unsuccessful heretofore d) don’t worry ….

    I do worry. Can anyone explain to me why on earth the economic future outside the EU is going to be so bright? And if it is why couldn’t we have had it without all this disruption?

  43. @Sam

    Interesting. Steve Baker is that rare combination of hardcore Leaver but with a functioning brain and a personality that does not immediately repel all but the true believers. If anyone can make a success of the job, he can.

    I can believe he has leadership ambitions but he’ll need to hold his seat to do it, which I do not believe he will. James Cleverley is a much better bet to lead whatever emerges from the Tory rubble post-Brexit as he has what passes for a safe seat.

  44. @PASSTHEROCKPLEASE
    PLEASE stop using the word ‘whom’. It’s only used in the accusative, and you really don’t understand how to use it. Just say ‘who’!

  45. “PLEASE stop using the word ‘whom’. ”

    Aha, the Paul Croft gambit.

    New thread by the way.

  46. Charles
    I am slightly younger than you I believe (59). I’m a bit worried about what happens if there is a WTO Brexit.
    What I am increasingly fascinated by is the assumption by the RoC posters on here that it is back to ‘business as usual’ vis-a-vis party politics. Princess Rachel, somewhat gnomically, thinks the pollsters are understating Labour VI.
    Also, I see no reason why LDs will not vote tactically for Labour in most constituencies. So, on that basis, I’ll do a T.Warne type extrapolation and say that Labour are probably 3-4% ahead of where the pollsters have them.

  47. There are imaginative ways for NI, Scotland and London – stay in the EU while England and Wales leave – the reverse Greenland

  48. I for one think a post Brexit UK/ China deal will be one of the first and easiest.

    Looked at logically;
    From the UK side

    The U.K. will want a big early deal.
    The free market Brexiteers will be to the fore.
    The size of the deal will be to tempting to ignore.
    We will want to send an open for business message globally.
    At least some will want to get one up on the EU!

    From the China side;

    They will want free unfettered access to UK consumersbecause they think they will sell more.
    They will want to weaken the EU and want to pull us away from it.
    Closer links to the UK will in general terms weaken and divide the West.
    Access to the best of UK technology will benefit them.
    Closer links to the City will enable them to pursue their long term objective of supplanting it as global number one by Hong Kong and Shanghi.

    We need a deal in the short term they will do one for the long term.
    We will claim it as a success but very much live to regret it.
    We leave the shelter of the EU for the embrace of the dragon.

    Peter.

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