Just catching up on YouGov’s latest poll for the Times yesterday. Topline voting intention figures were CON 39%(-1), LAB 42%(nc), LDEM 8%(+1), so didn’t show any meaningful change. The two findings that got rather more attention were on best PM and Brexit.

On who would make best Prime Minister Theresa May has now lost her lead over Jeremy Corbyn, with both of them now equal on 33%. 35% of people said they weren’t sure, meaning that actually came top – the first time I recall seeing don’t know/not sure ahead on the question. The clear implication is that a very significant chunk of the public aren’t enamoured of either of the main party leaders.

Also notable was YouGov’s regular tracker on whether people think Britain was right or wrong to vote to leave the European Union. 42% of people now think that Brexit was the right decision, 47% think it was the wrong decision. The five point lead for “wrong” is the highest that YouGov have shown in this question since they started tracking it after the referendum. All the usual caveats apply – all polls have a margin of error, and it’s wrong to get too excited over small movements in a poll that may be no more than normal random variation. The important thing to do is the watch the trend, and while the country is still quite evenly divided over the merits of Brexit as I wrote last month, the regular trackers do appear to have started to show some small movement towards regret.

Full tabs for the YouGov poll are here.


413 Responses to “Yesterday’s YouGov poll”

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  1. TREVOR

    Thanks.

    Yes-action needed to replace that funding pronto.

  2. @ BZ – yes, Norway is perfect for Norway. Take at look at their trade relationship with EU!!

    I understand STV – I’m not sure 90% of UK electorate would and pretty sure a Leave lawyer would argue that case especially given the ‘business as usual’ option is contingent on EU27 acceptance.

    However, happy to accept some form of 1st ref on the terms may occur. Not overly bothered about the detail. Happy to let democracy decide if and when we get to 1st ref on terms.

    NB I don’t see this as the most likely outcome by any means. I’m just getting myself comfortable with how it might work, if/when that situation arises.

  3. @SEA CHANGE

    “@R Huckle
    You are right that the crown must seek new sources of finance through Parliament- no taxation without representation. However revoking A50 is another matter. Foreign affairs are the preserve of the Queen and thus is for the PM + Cabinet. Yes money is required to prepare for a no deal. Government could reallocate finance from other areas if need be or raise debt through Issuing gilts.
    October 16th, 2017 at 1:03 pm”

    Any foreign affairs issue that affects finance or existing acts of parliament, has to go through Parliament.

    For example, the Prime Minister could not use prorogative to withdraw A.50 notice by consent, without Parliament confirming this. If Theresa May did take such an action, you would point to the A.50 court case.

    Another example, the PM agrees to pay the EU a £50 billion divorce settlement and £5 billion a year for tariff free access to single market. Any such deal would have to be sanctioned by Parliament. Whilst RP might allow a PM to conduct foreign affairs, it does not provide a blank cheque.

    Any Brexit deal will have to go through Parliament. A vote against the finance would be a vote of no confidence and the Government might well fall.

  4. Labours position seems to be as follows.

    1.We support the national referendum to leave the EU.
    2. We will demand a vote in Parliament and if we don’t get a deal which we like we will try to overturn the national referendum result .
    3.Corbyn has a long political history of being anti EU and has stated we can’t stay within the trade/custom union after brexit.
    4.Corbyn states he voted remain and will oppose any deal which excludes any trade/custom type deal.
    Well that’s ok then the government is divided over brexit but at least Labours view has remained constant under Corbyn .

  5. The Labour front bench position means not one damn thing, as with the previous Brexit debates there should be enough hard Brexiteers from Labour to offset any who defy the 3 line whip, the bill will pass without significant ammendment.

  6. @ MRQUEUE
    “The Labour front bench position means not one damn thing, as with the previous Brexit debates there should be enough hard Brexiteers from Labour to offset any who defy the 3 line whip, the bill will pass without significant ammendment.
    October 16th, 2017 at 1:46 pm”

    Votes would be very close. There are probably about 10 hardline Labour Brexiteers who would vote with Government on some amendments.

    It really depends on how many Tory backbenchers would for vote for amendments and also whether DUP would vote if there were issues they were unhappy with. If the border issue is not sorted out, then the DUP are unlikely to be supportive. They would lose too much support.

    Many of the amendments that might succeed are from backbench MP’s.

  7. Patrick Brian
    “They’ve never heard of the EIF, the EMA, Euratom, and don’t know the difference between the ECJ, the ECHR, or the CJEFTA (and why would they?”

    Yep! What is CJEFTA? Is that like JEFTA?

    My bro is an obsessive Brexiteer. In one argument he shouted at me “I don’t care about evidence or facts, only about emotions”.
    You can’t argue with emotions. He thinks the 3 Marx Borthers – as they were described in the Guardian today – are making a complete hash of it. Why he does I don’t know as the subject can never be raised bewteen us!

    I think the 3 Stooges would be better — they were never in the least bit funny.

  8. Robbie Alive

    :)

  9. SEA CHANGE

    “If little old Iceland can agree a trade deal with China – I suspect we can too.”

    Absolutely, the rubbish some people come up with is unbelievable IMO.

  10. Colin,

    Yes the MP did not seem to understand the policy or at least the intention.

    This is to pass an amendment so that HMG just can’t put to the HOC this deal or no deal take it or leave it but means it has to be willing to facilitate meaningful scrutiny by MPs allowing for the possibility of amendments.
    Also more specifically, for no deal not allowing the Government to call for acceptance of the deal it negotiated or no deal by default, in other words they have to spell out what no deal means which they have not done.

    For example a ‘no deal’ would in Labour’s view mean unilaterally allowing EU national to remain whereas a simple accept or reject doesn’t.

    So Labour aiming to prevent HMG from presenting a simple binary choice again.

    Finally, even a no deal reached with the EU would require a settlement or agreement to have matters settled via some sort of International arbitration, hence no deal is just posturing, all imo of course.

    Turk better tell Kier Starmer that he doesn’t know what the LP policy is as they have made clear several times that they will not seek to overturn the referendum result.
    Also, I really don’t get why people cant understand the difference between A and THE? (In ref to CU of course).

  11. ROBBIEALIVE

    “I think the 3 Stooges would be better — they were never in the least bit funny.”

    The three stooges are Barnier, Juncker and Tusk surely. :-)

  12. @THE OTHER HOWARD

    “SEA CHANGE
    “If little old Iceland can agree a trade deal with China – I suspect we can too.”
    Absolutely, the rubbish some people come up with is unbelievable IMO.
    October 16th, 2017 at 2:06 pm”

    Trade deals are two way as you know. China would look to get a lot more from UK, than they would Iceland. Chinese would look at investment opportunities in the UK, City of London trading in Chinese investments etc.

    I made the point the other day that a trade deal with China might include fewer restrictions on subsidised Chinese goods/materials, that undercut existing UK based companies. There might be more visas for Chinese to come to the UK to set up businesses. It could be positive, depending on ability of UK Government to stand up to any unfair practices.

  13. It always surprises me that those who claim the UK is a “vassal” of the EU have no qualms about us being a client state of the USA, post-Brexit; grateful for any crumbs Trump may throw our way.

    So much for the UK’s status a sovereign state!

  14. Good afternoon all from a very warm Central London.

    I always thought Aloe Vera was something you would find in shampoo or along with cucumbers, something you would mash into your face before bedtime. .

    Well apparently you can also drink the stuff. A colleague handed me a bottle of Aloe Fresh strawberry flavour which contains real “aloe vera bits” (how about that) and I have to say it’s quite a pleasant refreshing drink.

    I’m really beginning to have a craving for this stuff so I just hope that lot who are doing our Brexit negotiations don’t do something silly and push the price of aloe vera up.

  15. Valerie

    “It always surprises me that those who claim the UK is a “vassal” of the EU have no qualms about us being a client state of the USA, post-Brexit; grateful for any crumbs Trump may throw our way.
    So much for the UK’s status a sovereign state!”

    Could you help, I have not seen any posts that say that here, could you give references please.

  16. @valerie

    Yes it seems that some Tory hardline Brexiteers are now proposing that after the UK has left the European Medicines Agency it should simply follow the policy and rulings of the USA’s Food and Drug Administration.

  17. VALERIE

    Absolutely..

  18. @trevorwarne

    “Why has HMG not promised to set up replacement to EIF. UK investment bank seems the obvious solution and would be huge political PR win.”

    Well it would almost certainly require primary legislation so any “promise” would only be delivered after the absolutely essential issues of law, customs, immigration, agriculture etc have been settled which is enough legislation for one Parliament, possibly more.

    It would, of course, require public expenditure and it is difficult to know how many times the Government can spend the “brexit dividend” (if it is realisable) without becoming an object of ridicule. And what about the promise to fund the NHS with it?

    And finally it is interesting that so many Brexiters who it seemed wanted to set UK industry and commerce free from the” shackles of Brussels” are now so keen on significant state intervention and management.

  19. The student loan issue is very complicated. I’ll fully admit to really not understanding how serious it is until recently, nor how reliant the whole thing is on dubious assumptions.

    The whole thing seems to rest on SLC trying to make some ‘profit’ from higher earning graduates to offset ‘loses’ on those that will never repay some of all of their loan. This is all fudged in the short-term budget numbers by a 30y write-off date and keeping ones fingers crossed!

    The conference tweak on the repayment threshold was an accounting trick. It seems these tricks have been going on before with changes in the discount rate applied to RAB (write-offs) charge, etc.

    I’m not sure how familiar people are with student loans but I’ll just grab a possible budget headline:

    “Change in loan interest rate saves graduates £40,000”

    Now the maths behind that is complex. It would mean a fiddle to lower the RAB % hit (ie less default) whilst clearly earning less ‘profit’ from higher earning graduates. You can make it appear as budget neutral in the short-term very easily but IFS will raise alarm bells about the long-term cost. Given no one will care about the IFS reaction, it would IMHO be a vote winner amongst the young – probably need much more incentive but one small step and far more dramatic than the hike in the repayment threshold that got zero +ve spin yet seriously damaged the long-term costs via higher IFS assumption for RAB.

    What alarms me most about the current system is:
    a/ the very high debt levels people are taking on
    b/ the incentive to be a ‘low earner’ in the current system
    c/ the accounting tricks that can fudge the short-term budget numbers

    If your not too familiar with the system then this is a good primer:
    https://www.ifs.org.uk/uploads/publications/bns/BN211.pdf

    I fear Hammond will be tempted by spreadsheet tweaks that will have limited voter impact but significant long-term debt consequences to both the graduate and the taxpayer (the repayment threshold being case in point).

    The change of rate to CPI rather than RPI+3% sounds much better and given the correct spin might have a bigger impact on youth vote – especially recent graduates – but will it be enough?

    I think we need a better long-term solution that addresses my three points above by offering better choices to taking on such large debt for future low earner graduates:
    a/ more apprenticeships, etc (funded by converting the future cuts in corporation tax to corporate incentives to train employees)
    b/ incentives to take courses that have more potential to generate higher earners (STEMM bursaries)
    c/ change the whole thought process on SLC to focus on societal needs and levelling the playing field (return of maintenance grants, cumulative write-off of debt for lower paid public sector graduates, etc)

    Lots of research on the web about the best and worst paid graduate jobs. I have no issue with someone wanting to study for a degree that offers low job and pay potential but as a taxpayer I’m not keen to fund that young adults decision – hence my concern with LAB’s zero fees plan. It might sound harsh but if you want a 3y gap year then fund yourself, or ask your parents but don’t ask the taxpayer!

    Over supply of graduates is already an issue as this Guardian piece shows – cutting fees to zero will make that situation much worse, crowding out better choices and costing the taxpayer 11bn/year:
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/may/03/the-guardian-view-on-graduates-and-employment-degrees-but-not-destinations

  20. THE OTHER HOWARD

    I think the proof can be found in the relationship we have with the US over foreign affairs and military adventures. We are like a little poodle panting to ol Uncle Sam.

    Why we at this side of the pond suck up to the yanks so much is crazy. Even in our greatest hour of need during WW2, the yanks would only lend us their support. We only stopped paying for their support a few years back.

    Mind you they do make cracking cookies so hopefully one of the 3 stooges can get us a favorable trade deal on cookies.

  21. Valerie, I agree too, very much.

    And.

    People in favour of Brexit appear to be making an impression in the virtual world of Zombie Slaying.

    My partner plays an online game where people co operate to kill zombies, recently however gangs have started appearing asking players if they voted remain, say yes and they kill you.

    Anyone want to fess up?

    https://www.dayz.com

  22. @ TOH
    “I think the 3 Stooges would be better — they were never in the least bit funny.”
    The three stooges are Barnier, Juncker and Tusk surely. :-)

    A Brexiteer with a sense of humour: et alors! sachen gibt’s!

    It makes a change from yr optimising rhetoric (some would say information-free verbosity, but my new Jesuit confessor has counselled me not to be rude about people on this site) concerning post-Brexit trading prospects.

  23. TREVOR WARNE @ BZ

    Norway is perfect for Norway.

    Not sure what that’s supposed to mean. Its EEA membership is not considered perfect by many Norwegians including my daughter-in-law and about half of her family but pretty much everyone there likes Schengen & European citizenship yet recognises that another EU referendum would probably fail.

    At least for the next decade, much the same could apply to the UK.

    I understand STV – I’m not sure 90% of UK electorate would

    If 90% of the E & W electorate can’t count up to three, perhaps the E & W education systems are in need of a major overhaul.

  24. @ HIRETON – I’m all for free markets but as you well know I’m also very keen on photocopying!

    No one seems to know or care about the EIF so it has great spin capacity to come out and say ‘UK Investment Bank’ when all your really doing is taking back control of something from the EU.

    It would have zero budget impact if you structure it as an investment (another idea copied from LAB)

    Of course, when I say photocopy the EIF I’d want to give it a little tweak – just to keep you happy ;)

  25. @ Allan Christie
    “Even in our greatest hour of need during WW2, the yanks would only lend us their support. We only stopped paying for their support a few years back.”

    Ok. But if the isolationalists had had their way, no help would have arrived at all. & no two nations have ever merged their political, economic & military resources as the USA & UK did 9941-45. If the Axis powers collaborated effectively they would have won.

    As the American General commented in ’46 when De Gaulle said: ” I shall not be happy until every US soldier has left French soil. ” “Does that include the ones buried 6ft under?” [De Gaulle replied– do you mean 1.8 metres — I made that bit up.]
    As Stalin said about WW2: GB supplied the time, the US the money, & the Soviet Union the BLOOD.”

  26. @ BZ – check Norway’s trade with EU, they pay to access

    We pay to BE accessed and then we also pay a little extra (on GDP/capita basis) so we can feel all warm and fuzzy helping E.Europe to take UK jobs via THE CU. Oh and this before we pay a divorce bill which has a massive contribution to EU’s unfunded budget!

    Could you ask your daughter-in-law to comment on Nei til EU and recent Norwegian opinion polls?

    It appears Norway doesn’t even like the Norway model!

    I’d be v.v.v.happy to put Norway v No Deal out to the electorate. I’m fairly confident that Norway is the deal the EU will offer us but hope to be proved wrong – I’d still prefer a fair deal.

    I’ll leave the STV outcome to a parallel universe or when the time comes I’m sure Leave lawyers will make the case just as Remain lawyers have about the very simple last referendum question.

  27. Auto-mod killing me today. Here’s a very brief attempt at a longer post:

    “Change in loan interest rate saves graduates £40,000”

    The change of rate to CPI rather than RPI+3% sounds much better than the hike in repayment threshold and given the correct spin might have a bigger impact on youth vote – especially recent graduates. It’s an accounting trick but short-term budget neutral and Spreadsheet Phil might take in on board after the conference flop on repayment threshold.

    If your not too familiar with the SLC system then this is a good primer with quick to read Exec Summary:
    https://www.ifs.org.uk/uploads/publications/bns/BN211.pdf

  28. “Change in loan interest rate saves graduates £40,000”

    The change of rate to CPI rather than RPI+3%

    https://www.ifs.org.uk/uploads/publications/bns/BN211.pdf

  29. Above is highly edited from a longer post stuck 3x in auto-mod. Giving up on the longer version.

  30. @COLIN

    There seems to eb some confusion about The divorce bill. I do not believe the basisi of the divorce bill is for the future relationship I believe it is for past agreements. It is the UK government that wants to muddy the waters here and I believe that leavers are helping the confusion along although I am not sure why

    I believe the divorce bill iis essentially current account and RAL. both of which were agreed before the UK decided to leave..

    I think the problem that the Uk goernment has is that it is saying that paying for past obligations is dependent on what deal they get. My view is that if the countries are woed the money and we signed up to pay then we should pay. The UK government seems not to want a legalistic view of this because of the politics rather than the amount. I think the reason why the EU will not budge is that it is a rules based club. the Uk wants a nebulous deal.

    I believe a trade deal with the EU will be zero cost it may not deliver everything the UK wants but it will not cost anything and any EU institution we would want to join we will pay a fee for as per normal.

    This is an issue of the optics of an agreement rather than an agreement itself and the Tories are ting themselves in knots over this.

  31. @RHUCKLE
    “Any Brexit deal will have to go through Parliament. A vote against the finance would be a vote of no confidence and the Government might well fall.”

    No, under the FTPA only a vote of no confidence is a vote of no confidence. (and even under the old conventions, losing a government bill wasn’t a confidence issue just because it had financial provisions, losing a finance bill was a confidence issue.)

    A lot of this would be petty procedural pedantry but for one thing. There’s a fixed deadline out of UK hands, and a world of difference factually, and therefore potentially legally, between UKG trying to withdraw the Notice by March 2019, and UKG/ Parliament merely being deadlocked up to that point.

    It is true that one weapon by which that deadlock comes about is in the government’s need for supply. On the subject of supply though, it’s worth pointing out that the budget next month and the finance bill it presents is essentially the supply measure that takes us past that A50 deadline.

  32. T Warne
    “Above is highly edited from a longer post stuck 3x in auto-mod. Giving up on the longer version.”

    I was thinking of publishing yr collected posts, but my agent says that two-volume works don’t sell v well these days.

    I have used up my 5 matches — thank the lord.

  33. @Sea Change

    “I hardly think a trade deal with the likes of China will entail us paying them 10 billion a year. Having laws made in the Chinese Congress being supreme over U.K. Law, having open borders or being subject to rulings of the Chinese Supreme Court! ”

    I think the very first time we have any kind of dispute with them over any aspect of trade will come as a very, very nasty shock to you then.

  34. To the increasingly silly fanatics here: of course we can make a trade deal with China. It would be incredibly easy. Pretending that anyone is suggesting that is fatuous.

    It might not be so easy to make a *good* trade deal with China that genuinely benefits us. ‘Benefit’ being defined not simply as ‘a deal that allows Brexiters to temporarily save face’.

    ‘Good’ would be, here, defined as ‘a deal better than one we could have made as a member of the EU’.

    And I am sure you’d agree no deal is better than a bad deal.

  35. TREVOR WARNE @ BZ

    I thought that everyone* was aware that the EEA countries pay for access to the single market, albeit at a lower rate due to being outwith the CAP & CFP.

    You still haven’t explained what Norway is perfect for Norway means or why emergency funding isn’t needed for the 90% of the E&W electorate who are unable to count to three, but I see that you checked in to Brexit Central and are regurgitating their conclusion from last May’s article on Norway Today. Neither site has produced any update since, it appears. My Norwegian in-laws think an EEA referendum is unlikely, in part because most are in favour of Schengen and the success of of Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA in providing cheap flights to both the winter sun and the summer sun, and whose flight arrangements might be compromised by leaving the EEA.

    * At least of those who post here, but perhaps not the 90% of the E&W electorate who are limited to one, two, many.

  36. @ PETERW

    Yes i understand FTPA no confidence issue, but a Government being defeated on finance bills would be in trouble.

    Those MP’s worried by Brexit finance issues, could try to amend the finance bills that come after the budget, to tie the Governments hands requiring Parliament to decide costs associated with Brexit by say November 2018.

    There are ways in which Parliament can block Brexit, as confirmed by John Bercow in a recent speech. They need to defeat Government on amendments to bills.

  37. TOH: Could you help, I have not seen any posts that say that here, could you give references please. (re Valerie’s “those who claim the UK is a “vassal” of the EU”)

    Happy to oblige. The last one was, oh, just under 4 hours ago:

    Sea Change: I personally think the idea of being a vassal state with no control over anything and no political influence is the worst of all worlds
    October 16th, 2017 at 12:23 pm

  38. @ RHUCKLE
    “Yes i understand FTPA no confidence issue, but a Government being defeated on finance bills would be in trouble.”

    Agreed it would. If the current Finance Bill fails to pass, the government will almost certainly fall.

    But if it does get this one through, as timetable, next spring, there won’t be another one that will need to be passed until after March 2019. This is why the procedural matters and timescales are critical. Assuming the government gets its next finance act, there won’t be any more finance bills for your prospective amendments to be pinned on in such a way that they could be decisive before the clock runs out.

    “There are ways in which Parliament can block Brexit, as confirmed by John Bercow in a recent speech.”

    If you mean his speech to the Hansard society (or more strictly, the Q&A afterwards, it wasn’t in the speech), he didn’t explore any mechanisms at all.

  39. JIM JAM

    Thanks -so what happens next if TM cannot get a deal-and HoC reject that status ?

  40. Yes Chris,

    The Chinese Government have recently broke Gatt rules in respect of notice period for changes to imports of recycled raw material.

  41. @Chris Riley

    Re: whether people see others concerns or not regarding things like being able to get on the property ladder etc.

    It’s one of the interesting things about places like this. It gives info. on that score, if one tracks changes over time, looks between the lines a bit.

    (One can also look at one’s own changes and consider what stopped one from seeing something for a while, or led to seeing something).

    Obviously at times you can see people switching arguments, doing the Macchiavellian thing, to avoid something uncomfortable, but you can also see instances where they are trying genuinely understand and still struggling, this is particularly notable when they’re trying to understand other family members for example.

    One thing I have tried to do in the past, is just utterly blat it. Pile all the stuff up at once. You might think this would work and sometimes it does, but sometimes it doesn’t, and when it doesn’t, you then get to see the thinking.

    For example, in the past we’ve chatted about whether it’s possible to live on JSA. Once challenged provided a breakdown of how they’d do it, buy healthy food, second hand clothes. I’m like ok, what about things like bulbs, razor blades, and bills like leccy?

    The response was that they found some bedsit with bills thrown in. And others congratulated them on having proved it was possible.

    The problem of course is that such arrangements are limited in number and wouldn’t suit a family. Nor did they cover non-food things like bulbs and razor blades and shoe polish etc.

    But none of that mattered it seemed. You can see similar things if you pile up all the current disadvantages of the young, from property prices to zero hours reduced career paths, tuition debt, inflated bills and transport costs etc… some will resort to some attempted catch all solution that doesn’t really solve the problem.

    One example is the idea that if they themselves were in that situation, they would somehow find a way to prevail. Thus if others are not prevailing, it’s just their own fault.

    That those making this judgement may have had loads of assistance in comparison is immaterial. They might even consider themselves held back by it!!

    (That’s one of the benefits of something that some complain about: people flying kites and exploring ideas at some length. Yes, this can involve some errors and some noodling down blind alleys. But you get to see how group positions on things are forged and evolve over time and in getting to see the working you get to see how people address problems and form opinions, which can be very useful. Especially given that polling is also concerned with gauging opinion and how it shifts over time).

  42. Carfrew, I recall some of those JSA challenges with some sadness.

  43. PTRP

    @” The divorce bill. I do not believe the basisi of the divorce bill is for the future relationship I believe it is for past agreements.”

    It is -thats what I think too-and TM/DD.

    @”I believe the divorce bill iis essentially current account and RAL. both of which were agreed before the UK decided to leave..”

    If by “current account” you mean contributions to Budget 2014/2020-yes it is an item on EU’s list-& DD has agreed to complete our committment to it.

    RAL has certainly been “agreed” in the sense that Member States who have started these Projects or intend to do so, have been promised that a future EU Budget will fund them-they WILL be repaid. As to who agreed this ever increasing unfunded future liability , I’m not sure. I have no idea whether RAL featured in DD’s response to the EU list as Not a Legal Liability, or whether TM/DD accept our “share” of it ( ? how to calculate that ??) is a Legal Liability, but are haggling over methodology until Trade talks start.

    I think we can be reasonably sure that RAL-being the biggest financial black hole EU faces post Brexit -features strongly in DD’s hand of cards as a point of leverage.

  44. @Sea Change
    “I personally think the idea of being a vassal state with no control over anything and no political influence is the worst of all worlds and would be a very hard sell indeed in a Referendum.”

    I remember sitting out in the garden having tea with family and friends pre referendum and describing how this was precisely how I imagined a leave vote would work out, and that given our history of preventing or undermining every progressive and socially decent proposal the EU try to introduce that this, with our ending up as a member in all but name with no influence could actually turn out in the end to be the best possible result in the long term.

    Now that everything project fear predicted either has or will come to pass, it is almost gratifying to watch that which seemed inevitable if we were going to be so stupid and self defeating rolling down the hill at us as the gravity defiers imagine that simply saying that we are not going to end up being squashed means that it will not happen.

    I always adored the three Stooges, they used to run their films at the kids Saturday morning movies at the classic in Hastings, and I’ve watched them again with the boys and still consider them to be splendid entertainment. Could never stand the Marx brothers though, and watched a couple recently to see if I could work out what I’d missed. Still find their appeal utterly baffling. Their humour seems harsh and cruel, winking at the audience as they hurt those around them. The Stooges very rarely damage anyone but themselves, to me they are laurel and hardy taken to their logical conclusion, although I understand entirely why others don’t enjoy their humour.

  45. @MarkW

    Yes, but one can’t always go by initial responses, including one’s own. Some of stuff can involve numerous elements and takes time to filter through to us.

    Incidentally, I forgot to thank you for welcoming me back a little while ago, and while I was away busy I found that you’d had an exchange with Alan over virtual particles which piqued my interest so thought I’d chip in a bit.

    Alan pointed out that virtual particles aren’t real particles, which is true, but that doesn’t mean one should ignore virtual particles. They have their own properties – e.g. can have negative energy unlike real particles – and are useful in explaining things like those quantum energy fluctuations.

    Regarding the electron hole thing, you’re correct that they bear some comparison with positrons, however, not in all respects. For example, if an electron falls into an electron hole, it doesn’t annihilate with a big release of energy the way an electron would if coming into contact with a positron.

    Alan said he wasn’t happy with the electron hole thing, couldn’t see how the absence of something could have spin, but that didn’t render your point spurious because of course holes can indeed spin and if you google it you can see assorted papers on the dynamics of such spin.

  46. PTRP

    I this article about the escalating gap between EU “Committments” & “Payments” you will note that commission spokesperson Jakub Adamowicz is reported as saying -“Some of the commitments are on paper only and can be written off.” !

    Presumably DD has asked Barnier for a line by line project list of RAL committments & a statement as to which are :-

    * Started already
    *Not yet started but cannot be “written off”
    * Not yet started but can be “written off”
    *”on paper only” and to be discounted.

    I would be asking him those questions.

    https://euobserver.com/economic/126667

  47. Strange yellow sky & weird red sun this afternoon.

    Lots of pics on Facebook. Its to do with saharan dust & Ophelia.

    ……………though I think it may be an Omen !

  48. Assuming nothing is ever released from moderation:

    SEA CHANGE

    “If little old Iceland can agree a trade deal with China – I suspect we can too.”

    THE OTHER HOWARD

    ‘Absolutely, the rubbish some people come up with is unbelievable IMO.’

    Except it;’s not quite that smple is it?

    Daily Telegraph 15 Apr 2013

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/9995525/Iceland-first-European-country-to-sign-free-trade-agreement-with-China.html

    ‘Iceland has unique importance to China as it attempts to gain a foothold in the Arctic’

    The Spectator 1 Apr 2016

    https://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2016/04/boris-and-the-brexiteers-are-talking-nonsense-about-britains-trade-policies/

    ‘Like Iceland and Switzerland, post-Brexit UK could do a trade agreement with China, but do Brexiteers really want to copy these agreements? Have they even read them?’

  49. ROBBIEALIVE

    I’ve no doubt had the isolationists gotten their way then we would had been in some serious trouble. I was just pointing out that the support the US gave us was like giving someone a payday loan with high interest. Not a great way to treat your best friend.

    The Yanks also didn’t quite stick up for us during the Falklands war. In fact going by the program I watched you get the impression they wanted us to fail.
    …….
    “As Stalin said about WW2: GB supplied the time, the US the money, & the Soviet Union the BLOOD.”

    Never a truer word spoken.

  50. Colin – ‘so what happens next if TM cannot get a deal-and HoC reject that status?’

    I think she has to spell out what no deal actually means as whilst we all of course know that no deal means nothing agreed wit the EU regarding a future relationship there can not be no agreement on how to settle obligations, assets etc.

    Failure to do so could well lead to the deal put to the HOC which may be a no deal without content being voted down; there are more Tory Euro-philes than Labour Eu-sceptics imo. Could this lead to a VOC? maybe and then what to rebels on either side do, probably fall in to line but would be a shambles and May would have to go.

    FWIW, I can not conceive of a situation whereby a 2 year (at least) interim position is not agreed while substantive negotiations continue.
    The only issue for me is what ‘operating as now’ actually means in terms of jurisdiction, new directives and possibly regulations during the 2 years.

    BTW, IMO Labour’s real position is to stay in THE CU but they can’t say it not yet anyhow; especially as who knows, however unlikely, HMG may be able to strike a deal with the EU that gains all the access Labour desire without requiring membership of the or a CU.

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