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. @ BZ – Norway have a trade surplus in goods with EU, mostly oil, which outside EEA would be 2.5% tax I believe and very close to what they net pay EU. I’m away from desk so that is from memory. Basically they pay for access and if they were not in the EEA then the net cost to the country would be similarish.

    UK has a 140bn trade deficit in goods with EU – hence we are paying to BE accessed. The Rabobank info showed they calculated the tariffs from that trade deficit would be worth just under 1% a year, 15bnish. Rabo go on to make the HIRETON claim of perfect competition meaning the UK consumer would bear the full cost of the tariff which with a bit more assumption on full inflation pass through etc means you can effectively ignore the revenue gain from tariffs and instead solely focus on the dead weight loss, born conveniently entirely by the UK!
    That, along with several other convenient cherry picking of economic principles, is where I take issue with virtually every published model.
    Of course if we fail to react to the tariff by increasing domestic capacity then my Leave argument runs into trouble – hence my current concern about why the J-Curve doesn’t appear to be working, why investment needs a govt boost, why unemployment is probably below NAIRU, etc. Some of it might be a lag, a store of 1-2% investment backlog by my guesstimate, etc. A kick-start from Brexit clarity and govt leading by example would help.

    Can you give some examples of STV being used in referendums. I think there was some talk of a second question approach to IndyRef1 in Scotland but can’t exactly remember the arguments for/against and why they were thinking 2nd question rather than 3 choices to 1 question.

    However, you still haven’t got around the chicken+egg conundrum of do you ask EU27 if you can revoke first or after the referendum? The ‘business as usual’ option I assume would be phrased as ‘Remain’ so given the fuss over the last referendum I think voters (and lawyers) would want to know that was even a valid option before you then tried to convince them that the way SNP+Greens are gaming the Scottish STV system wouldn’t be a problem when you present 2 Remain options and only 1 Leave option a 3 option form.

  2. CARFREW

    Excellent post. Some people are detached from reality and really don’t know what it would be like to live on JSA or equivalent benefits.

  3. @ BZ:

    1. Remain
    2. Accept deal
    3. Leave with no deal

    I’ll just make up some numbers
    1. 27% (and 36% via STV)
    2. 25% (and 40% via STV)
    3. 48% (and 10% via STV)
    (NB a second choice is from what I understand not a requirement hence column2 can be <100% and probably would be as many Leave would not pick 1 or 2)

    Can you see the issue? We're not picking 1 of many candidates in 1 of many MSP seats here, this is a single answer referendum.

    FWIW If I accepted 1 was possible I'd pick 3 then 1 but I can't see this happening so clearly were talking hypothetically here and while this ballot was being printed I'd already be donating to a crowd funded lawyer to block the result on grounds that it is biased.

  4. @SMOERJOHN

    “Yup. The great example of that is Rolls Royce (aero engines, not cars). It was the original lame duck, when its ground-breaking RB211 engine hit development problems (its revolutionary carbon fibre fan blades proved unable to digest chickens). Fortunately, Ted Heath had the gumption to abandon doctrinaire free-marketism and bail the company out. Since when, of course, it has become a huge success.”

    ————

    Soz, I missed this at the time! Interesting about the chicken thing… I have occasionally wondered what plagued the RB211… Quick searches on the web didn’t seem to throw up much. State funding of course helped Whittle develop the jet engine in the first place after the visionary private sector money fizzled out and failed to provide enough funds to continue. (Then they gave it to Rolls. Whittle wanted it to stay in public hands…)

  5. @COLIN

    My presumption was that the EU were given them full list to which they said they will only pay the current account. The idea that they will pay any RAL has not really been said indeed the only concession I have seen and heard is that of the current account and current account during the transition

    I fear the ECJ issue over the EU citizenship is associated with the fact the the Home office has lot of form of defying the Courts

    https://lawmostly.com/2017/09/04/home-office-indemnity-costs-defying-high-court-orders-immigration-detention-amber-rudd/

    it is just not a good look….personally I would have thought that the accepting the jurisdiction of the UK courts would have been fine but you get the feeling that the EU now does not trust the government and in fairness these ‘foreigners’ speak and read enough english to understand the daily mail headlines and the governments feableness in defending the judiciary.

    I believe the NI border is actually a stop gap position such as they will allow negotiation of a customs agreement, again disengaging before reengagement. I could see this one being moved into the next phase and I am not sure about the defying the court thing though and I wish that had not happened along with all the other mishaps that the Home office seems to be able to do. ButI think the money could be solved I just don’tthink May has the policial clout to do so and BoJo and the brexiteers have pushed to much crap under the bridge for there to be a amicability to forge a relationship to make that happen in my view

  6. Carfrew, yes, that convo with Alan and others was interesting, it appears not all virtual particles are created equally.

    Different areas of science have different meanings, and iirc the phrase ‘ behaves like ‘ was the crux of it.

  7. @DANNY
    @TREVOR WARNE

    Some should tell me what would be worse than a no deal.
    Do people think that the EU will not try and get the RAL via other means? I am just curious because I thnk it may be that the EU (and by this the Council of Ministers be happy to go no deal since they keep their rules intact.

  8. Somerjohn

    To give you clarity I was asking Valerie about this part of her post:

    “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!””

    She was obviosly unable to answer.

    As to vassal statehood I agree with Sea Change, it’s why we must leave the EU in the fullest sense even if that means without a deal. IMO of course.

  9. PTRP

    I think anyone who’s been on the receiving end of the HO’s ‘hostile environment’ , which includes now most EU citizens and their families, is going to be very suspicious of any ‘special status’ administered by the HO with only the British Courts to appeal to, and probable repeal of the Human Rights Act. The European Parliament in particular are very aware of this. We are keeping our fingers crossed that the EU *don’t* hand over our futures to the British Courts. And they know it.

  10. @MarkW

    “Different areas of science have different meanings, and iirc the phrase ‘ behaves like ‘ was the crux of it”

    ———–

    indeed, looking at the similarities and also the differences can be revealing.

  11. JIM JAM

    And what happens when No Deal is voted down by HoC?

  12. PTRP

    @”My presumption was that the EU were given them full list ”

    This is EU’s position paper.

    You will find the five categories on p3

    https://ec.europa.eu/commission/sites/beta-political/files/essential-principles-financial_settlement_en_2.pdf

    There are no details-just category heads.

  13. I think I suggested a VOC may follow.

    But frankly it is not clear which is why imo HMG would need to make clear what they mean by ‘no deal’ and what mechanism was agreed to deal with EU/UK disputes which as no deal would exist.

    I assume you mean vote down No Deal in Oct/Nov 2018 not voting to prevent a no deal option in the coming months which is somewhat different?

  14. JIM JAM

    I really meant what happens to the Brexit process if no post leaving trading arrangement with EU has been made-May brings that to HoC as the result of “The Brexit Negotiatons”-and the HoC rejects that position.

  15. Boyfriend is spitting and swearing at the TV, he doesn’t like Philip Hammond’s idea about taxing oldies to fund tax cuts for the young. Normally only gets this excited about Brexit. I think Hammond might be in trouble with this one

  16. Colin – My guess would be VOC followed by Cons majority as Tory remainers vote in line (opposite of Maastricht).

    DUP may abstain but can’t see voting Tories out so unless defections or 3 By-Election seat losses Tories hang on.

    Think May would go at that point but II think she will go in spring 2019 anyhow after transition agreed and let someone else take the substantive negotiations further forward.

    But, my predictive powers are rather poor

  17. Farmers leaders are being very trenchant and outspoken about Chris Grayling’s typically idiotic remarks today.

    That gang of Remoaning socialists, the Agriculture and Hortiuculture Development Board, have produced a detailed paper on the likely effects of various forms of Brexit on farming.

    I expect Leavers, who are all experts in everything, will find a large range of methodological and ideological issues in the paper that renders it entirely worthless except, coincidentally, for the effects on the pork industry which largely does reasonably well and which will be the only bit they ever cite.

    The rest….well, the rest is a lengthy explanation of how the Tories will lose the countryside and with it all real identity.

    The gentle rural Conservatism of tradition, of the church and the village fete that the hatchet-faced sharp-dressed urban commenterati that have colonised the Conservative Party like lampreys on a river dolphin only ever see when they go to their country cottages so they can write Spectator columns about their rural lifestyles, well, that Conservatism is being sold down the river. Those people and the values they represent will struggle on for a little out of tradition but the loss of the industries they served and the knowledge that they had been betrayed for the convenience of rich men who cared nothing for them will wither them away.

    My constituency of Macclesfield will go Labour. Many in rural Cumbria, Northumberland, the south west, Shropshire, will revitalise the Lib Dems. The Tories will cling on, for a while, as a party of Home Counties retirees, but once they die and the Daily Express and Daily Telegraph die with them, the party will fade away.

  18. Here’s that paper on the effects of Brexit on UK Farming.

    https://ahdb.org.uk/brexit/documents
    /Horizon_BrexitScenarios_11oct17.pdf

  19. Somebody at work suddenly started to spout the party line that you had to prepared to accept No Deal in order to negotiate – he went on to say if you are getting divorced you don’t just give up all your assets on demand.

    But you can’t have it both ways, can you? If you want a divorce you have to reach an agreement – no deal is not an option.

  20. JIM JAM

    Thanks :-)

  21. There is an ongoing investigation into the source of the anonymous donation from England of £435,000 to the DUP which was then used to fund Leave campaigning in the rest of the UK. Election eules in NI have meant that such donations can remain anonymous (although that is set to change) and this provided a means for routeing money through NI evading GB donation declaration rules.

    It’s an interesting read :

    https://www.opendemocracy.net/uk/adam-ramsay-peter-geoghegan/pro-union-donors-deny-brexit-dark-money-involvement

  22. @ NickP

    “But you can’t have it both ways, can you? If you want a divorce you have to reach an agreement – no deal is not an option.”

    Yes, I’ve been musing along the same lines recently. I guess it’s partly because I haven’t been bothered to work out what ‘no deal’ really means, and what happens afterwards. To look at it another way, what happens after ‘no deal’? Does that mean we’ll be on particularly unfriendly terms with what’s left of the EU for the foreseeable future? Do we then try to go back and make trade deals with them after we’ve broken up so badly? Since we want to make trade deals with the rest of the world, presumably at some stage we’ll want to make a deal with EU too. How well is that likely to turn out?

    Oh and since I’ve been tempted into a post re the B-word (against my better judgement), I’ve never believed the German car manufacturer argument. If certain UK people already want to pay riduculously large sums of money for Mercs and BMWs etc when you can buy a perfectly serviceable car for far less, then I don’t see that an extra 10% or so is going to stop them continuing to buy these German status symbols.

  23. Terminology pickiness here but you cannot use stv for a referendum. Stv is where multiple winners are required.

    For a single winner then the system of ranking is called AV or instant run off (IRV).

  24. TREVOR WARNE @ BZ

    I’m well aware that Norway have a trade surplus with the EU – as you say mostly in oil. Unlike Norway, if the UK no longer wishes to participate in the JIT process which sends value in all directions across the EEA then the EU will adjust and move the production to member states. Without such a deal as Norway has, rights to trade with the EU in services will also likely be moved to the EU27. I find it hard to imagine that UK businessses will be happy to see these opportunities lost.

    On referendum questions, the 1997 Scottish Referendum asked two separate but related questions:
    1. I agree there should be a Scottish Parliament vs I do not agree there should be a Scottish Parliament
    2. I agree that a Scottish Parliament should have tax-varying powers vs I do not agree that a Scottish Parliament should have tax-varying powers

    Although both questions related to the same topic, this wording seems reasonable to me.

    Re STV, you clearly have not understood that each participant in an STV contest has only one single vote yet as you quite rightly say, there is no requirement to list all the choices. Where you are mistaken is that any vote gets counted twice.

    So the questions might be as follows, with some numbers for vote count 1
    1. Accept HMG’s negotiated deal : 31%
    2. Leave the EU but join the EEA : 40%
    3. Leave the EU with no deal : 29%
    Result of count 1 : No winner

    Second preferences of option 3 redistributed:
    1. Accept HMG’s negotiated deal : 15%
    2. Leave the EU but join the EEA : 10%
    3. No second preference specified: 4%

    Result of Count 2 :
    1. Leave the EU but join the EEA : 50%
    2. Accept HMG’s negotiated deal : 46%

    Winning option: Leave the EU but join the EEA

    If you look on any NI or Scottish council site, you can see the detailed results for every STV election and by-election in a very similar format to the above.

  25. Passtherockplease.

    There are umpteen possible outcomes which are worse than ‘No Deal’. How can ‘No Deal’ be worse than a Bad Deal?

    You don’t hear anyone in any other walk of like trying to obtain ‘deals’ all over the place regardless of whether the deals are more disadvantageous than having none at all.

    Two years ago someone tried to offer me 60% of the market value for my House which I was trying to sell urgently. He wouldn’t offer any more. I rejected it. ‘No Deal was better than a Bad Deal’.

    This is typical British defeatism. You don’t hear anyone on the continent saying that a ‘Bad Deal’ (for them) is better than ‘No Deal’.

    If we leave with No Deal however, and WTO Tariffs are introduced, the EU will be the loser. The EU bureaucracy’s budget will immediately implode without our money, All 27 would have to agree unanimously to pay more money into it.

    More importantly, they export far more to us than we do to them.

    The Tariff won’t bother businesses here, because the £ has already fallen by far more than the amount of the tariff, and if we leave with ‘No Deal’ the £ will probably fall some more, making us even more competitive.

    One very severe EU loser of a ‘No Deal’, will be the Republic of Ireland, which is hugely dependent on Trade with us, and won’t be able to sell anything to us without the tariff. They are already affected by business failures there because of the fall in the value of the £.

    Irish people are used to moving to and from Britain unimpeded.We even let them vote here, And does the rest of the EU really want their 4 Million Migrants back?

    The UK has all the cards in this negotiation. ‘No Deal’ is worse than a ‘Fair Deal’, but is better than a ‘Bad Deal’. The biggest losers from No Deal however, will be the EU itself. Not us.

    It’s also not often commented upon, that when we Leave the EU, the EU’s own Trade Agreements including, WTO agreed quotas will be invalidated, because they were concluded on the understanding that Single Market access included access to the UK, which, for most of the World, is a disproportionately large, part of the EU Single Market .

    If the EU doesn’t have free access to the UK market, it will liable to be sued at the WTO for default in its’ agreements, and liable to immediate sanctions from the rest of the World. I can’t see Australia, the USA and Canada putting up with it.

    All the major economies in the WTO were sabre rattling about this only last week. They are not even willing to agree that the UK and the EU can divi up the existing quotas between us, Given that fact, they are NEVER going to allow the EU to simply carry on trading as normal if the UK part of its’ Single Market disappears from their Global Trade Deal altogether.

    All concerned will have to start from scratch, and it’s far easier for the UK to negotiate replacement agreements with the rest of the World, than it is for the EU to do so.

    The UK has more friends in the World than the EU has, and for various reasons, our market, is more lucrative for them, than is the EU’s.

    It’s also far easier for one country to conclude a Trade Agreement than it is for 27 to to unanimously agree one. Which is why the EU is so useless at getting agreements with anyone.

  26. Passtherockplease.

    There are umpteen possible outcomes which are worse than ‘No Deal’. How can ‘No Deal’ be worse than a Bad Deal?

    You don’t hear anyone in any other walk of like trying to obtain ‘deals’ all over the place regardless of whether the deals are more disadvantageous than having none at all.

    Two years ago someone tried to offer me 60% of the market value for my House which I was trying to sell urgently. He wouldn’t offer any more. I rejected it. ‘No Deal was better than a Bad Deal’.

    This is typical British defeatism. You don’t hear anyone on the continent saying that a ‘Bad Deal’ (for them) is better than ‘No Deal’.

    If we leave with No Deal however, and WTO Tariffs are introduced, the EU will be the loser. The EU bureaucracy’s budget will immediately implode without our money, All 27 would have to agree unanimously to pay more money into it.

    More importantly, they export far more to us than we do to them.

    The Tariff won’t bother businesses here, because the £ has already fallen by far more than the amount of the tariff, and if we leave with ‘No Deal’ the £ will probably fall some more, making us even more competitive.

    One very severe EU loser of a ‘No Deal’, will be the Republic of Ireland, which is hugely dependent on Trade with us, and won’t be able to sell anything to us without the tariff. They are already affected by business failures there because of the fall in the value of the £.

    Irish people are used to moving to and from Britain unimpeded.We even let them vote here, And does the rest of the EU really want their 4 Million Migrants back?

    The UK has all the cards in this negotiation. ‘No Deal’ is worse than a ‘Fair Deal’, but is better than a ‘Bad Deal’. The biggest losers from No Deal however, will be the EU itself. Not us.

    It’s also not often commented upon, that when we Leave the EU, the EU’s own Trade Agreements including, WTO agreed quotas will be invalidated, because they were concluded on the understanding that Single Market access included access to the UK, which, for most of the World, is a disproportionately large, part of the EU Single Market .

    If the EU doesn’t have free access to the UK market, it will liable to be sued at the WTO for default in its’ agreements, and liable to immediate sanctions from the rest of the World. I can’t see Australia, the USA and Canada putting up with it.

    All the major economies in the WTO were sabre rattling about this only last week. They are not even willing to agree that the UK and the EU can divi up the existing quotas between us, Given that fact, they are NEVER going to allow the EU to simply carry on trading as normal if the UK part of its’ Single Market disappears from their Global Trade Deal altogether.

    All concerned will have to start from scratch, and it’s far easier for the UK to negotiate replacement agreements with the rest of the World, than it is for the EU to do so.

    The UK has more friends in the World than the EU has, and for various reasons, our market, is more lucrative for them, than is the EU’s.

    It’s also far easier for one country to conclude a Trade Agreement than it is for 27 to to unanimously agree one. Which is why the EU is so useless at getting agreements with anyone.

  27. From @TOH –

    “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.”

    What neither of these two posters raised were the facts that even though the trade between these two nations is very small (c £40m Icelandic exports to China, half of which is fish, and c £240m imports, mainly manufactured goods) this deal still took 5 years to complete.

    That’s 5 years to negotiate a tiny deal with a nation China is desperate to court favour with because it wants access to the Arctic for oil and gas exploration, and so was prepared to throw concessions to secure the deal.

    Even if we can secure a trade deal with China within 5 years, that’s still an awful long time to be out in the cold with all the damage but none of the benefit from Brexit.

  28. The interesting thing about these polls since the General Election is now static they are.

    Regardless of day to day events, the parties’ relative positions barely change. Even when Mrs May all but fell of the Platform whilst making her speech, there was no effect whatsoever on the Parties relative standings.

    It appears to me that politics in the UK has settled down into a new paradigm,which is more or less a reversion to where it was in the 1950s.

    This situation, has been helped in no small measure, by the fact that the Lib Dems and the Greens are now little more than a laughing stock, the purpose of voting UKIP has gone away, and the SNP has lost much of its’ appeal.

    People seem to have concluded that they have to make their choice between the big two, and as a consequence the big fluctuations in the share of the vote for the parties’ and, apparent, fluid movement in relative levels of support, have stopped.

  29. At her dinner meeting tonight Mrs May is reported as saying that she could not make any more concessions than she already had at Florence.

    If that is so do the talks continue?

  30. RO:

    What a strange and wrong argument, on export percentages.

    You treat the EU as one country, but each country operates independently and on average only sends 5% of its exports to the UK. This amount can easily go to another country.

    Whereas for the UK to find new markets for its c. 30% of exports going to the EU will be more difficult.

    And obviously you know little about Scotland when you say “the SNP has lost much of its appeal”

    And what a strange and ignorant word I spot: its`. This is for the genitive of “it”!!

  31. @ronald olden

    Hopefully you feel a little bit better after your rant. In practice, it’s little more than the “they need us more than we need them” argument which so far hasn’t seemed to work so far.

    One or two little factual errors in your post. Ireland’s biggest export markets are by far the rest of the EU and the USA. The UK has already said it will maintain the CTA with Ireland ( although your attitude to Irish people in the UK is noteworthy). And UK citizens have reciprocal rights to vote in Irish elections and also have rights to live and work there over and above those of other EU citizens.

    Presumably, you have links to legal, other professional or governmental sources to verify your assertion about all the EU trade deals being invalidated by Brexit otherwise we can put it firmly in the “they need us more than we need them” category.

  32. CHRIS RILEY
    You are probably much better informed on the agricultural and horticultural industries than I. I wonder if you have done more analysis on the background and history of the industry and its representatives v-a-vis the EU than I.

    In particular, the AHDB’s introduction to its report on the impact of Brexit reads; ““Average farm profitability could drop from £38,000 to £15,000 a year in the worst-case scenario as a result of policy and performance challenges that come from Brexit”.

    The summary introducttion to the report itself reads:

    Whichever scenario is chosen, higher-performing farms remain profitable in every sector. These farms are best placed to weather the negative impacts of any of the Brexit scenarios. They are capable of generating positive ncomes when the lower-performance farms are making losses. This suggests taking steps to improve productivity and performance would enable farmers to mitigate potentially negative impacts of Brexit, even before details on agricultural trade or policy emerge.
    On the evidence of similar selective bullishness of the NFU at the time of Maastricht, the AHDB is willing to take into account the virtual destruction of sectors of small farming whose members’ incomes already fall well below the current annual 38,000 profitability – including,, for example, smallholder berry producers, or small herd sheep farmers, who will not have the reserves or potential for technical and management change, and who, on having their returns reduced by 50 to 60%, will – after a lifetime of trying- eventually go to the wall. This will be not because they have not adapted to the EU but because they have, and will now be ruined by a Brexit brought about by business rather than farming interests.

  33. SAM
    “At her dinner meeting tonight Mrs May is reported as saying that she could not make any more concessions than she already had at Florence.”

    Would you pass the vinaigrette,please.

  34. RONALD OLDEN

    It’s also not often commented upon, that when we Leave the EU, the EU’s own Trade Agreements including, WTO agreed quotas will be invalidated, because they were concluded on the understanding that Single Market access included access to the UK, which, for most of the World, is a disproportionately large, part of the EU Single Market.

    Should that occur, as it may well do, what a boon it will be to our retention of trade with the EU 27, and why are you so sure that only the EU27 need be concerned. As the UK were party to the agreement we are likely to be in the dock as well, at a time when our WTO representatives – assuming we have hired some by then – will be negotiating with all the other 161 WTO members.

    There were a number of good articles published around the time of the EU ref. I suggest this one from a former WTO official is well worth a read.

  35. Trevor Warne,
    “UK has a 140bn trade deficit in goods with EU – hence we are paying to BE accessed.”

    Er, no. Do try to apply a bit more logic to posts. We pay for a better relationship. We do not pay for a guaranteed trade surplus. Just think how bad the situation could be without the benefits the EU provides.

    A friend of mine works for the UK subsidiary of an EU company. Its a distinct Uk company, just foreign owned. So he works in part of UK industry which supposedly will react to the new circumstances and source goods in the Uk, or maybe from the rest of the world?

    Er, no. Already the price paid by the Uk company is a fiction unrelated to the cost of goods. It is just set to optimise the profits of the entire chain, so the money ends up where they want it. Its a marketing department for the european company. The european parent might one day move its production to china, but untill it does the UK company will only ever buy from the EU and sell here. Its luxury goods, and the market pays a healthy price on reputation. A few tariffs isnt going to change their operation.

    I expect as the uk economy deteriorates and continues the split between rich and poor, the rich will continue merrily contributing to the trade deficit. The poor, who never bought the luxury products anyway, will find austerity biting.

    Whatever the theoretical benefits of a free market, this isnt one. Its totally stitched up.

  36. Good evening all from a very mild Winchester.

    RONALD OLDEN

    “Two years ago someone tried to offer me 60% of the market value for my House which I was trying to sell urgently. He wouldn’t offer any more. I rejected it. ‘No Deal was better than a Bad Deal”
    ……….

    Ok so you rejected a bad deal but presumably you persevered and negotiated a better deal in the end and sold your house to someone else?

    If the UK gets a bad deal from the EU then as a UK taxpayer I would expect our highly paid civil servants to persevere and negotiate for a deal that will suit both sides.

    A no deal is a bad deal and will put hundreds of thousands of UK jobs at risk and plunge the economy into recession. If the Tory BREXIT trio can’t deliver the goods then they along with TM will have to explain to parliament and those of us who voted to leave why they can’t deliver on the promises the BREXIT bit of the Tories offered and promised us during the referendum.

    After that…A fresh referendum should be called whether we remain part of the EU or leave with a no deal.

    At no point was a no deal on the original ballot.

    BoJo and Co….over to you!

  37. passtherock please,
    ” I am just curious because I think it may be that the EU (and by this the Council of Ministers be happy to go no deal since they keep their rules intact.”
    I have always thought that. Perhaps not happy exactly, but the rules are the rules. And those rules have served the EU very well indeed.

    princessrachel,
    ” I think Hammond might be in trouble with this one”
    The irony, of course, is that Corbyn will be much better placed voter wise to tax rich oldies to benefit his voter base.

    Ronald Olden,
    “More importantly, they export far more to us than we do to them.”

    More importantly, they will still do so whatever the result of Brexit. Nothing said so far is going to change the fundamentals of why they are selling us more than we are selling them. All it will do is reinforce their edge.

    “The interesting thing about these polls since the General Election is now static they are.”

    Whereas during the campign labour’s lead went up 1 point per week? Your conclusion is that in ordinary times they hold their ground, during a campaign they make gains?

  38. @allan Christie:

    You blame HMG for not delivering success in the negotiations. But you don’t question the extraordinary nature of some of the EU demands. ECJ to retain jurisdiction in the UK – the sort of thing the Tsars demanded from the Ottomans and we extracted from those we were going to colonise? The Brexit bill – not even Osborne predicted anything like that. Started off at £40bn, now at £60-100bn – but whatever it is, apparently we are utterly untrustworthy not to agree it.

    It might comfort you to blame your change of heart on the government’s failures – but the reality is that the EU are just not negotiating. And it is quite possibly a fantasy to imagine that there will be anything than more similar demands if we get to the next stage. (Even as May and Juncker give a positive sounding communique, EU sources are saying, “It was pointless, no one wanted to go, but hard to call off.” That is not a remotely normal way for the EU to go about negotiating, and if you think that there is a politician on earth who could get past such an attitude – well, fantastic for whichever country they come from.)

    The EU’s allies in the UK talk of hospitals starved of radioactive material for cancer treatments, and it being impossible to even leave the UK by air – all the while exploding in rage at any suggestion we might be less inclined to defend the Baltics against Putin in such a situation.

    So, by all means change your mind. There are rational grounds for doing so. I disagree that “no deal” was never on the table – it was always taking a chance with a negotiation, and I do not any people anticipated the EU’s approach pre-referendum. But it is quite rational to say, “If I knew it would be like this, I’d have voted the other way.”

    But it will because the EU choose to give us a kicking, and we decided to ask their best terms for surrender.

  39. I asked our Brexit friends to tell me what was going to be so great about leaving the EU. As no one has so far answered this question I have tried to list below the arguments I have heard. Please let me know if I have missed any or presented any unfairly.
    1) We will no longer be under the rule of unelected bureaucrats (or the Germans or Mrs Merkel
    2) We will control our borders and the number of immigrants will fall. British wages will rise and British workers will be more likely to be employed
    3) We will take control of 350 million a week that we currently send to Europe
    4) We will strike new deals with the rest of the world which is growing much faster than the EU. Exports to the rest of the world will rise commensurately
    5) We will make a bonfire of regulations which will enable British industry to thrive
    6) We will drastically cut all tariffs thus benefitting consumers and delivering a healthy shock to producers
    7) The fall in the pound will be such that it more than compensate for the tariffs
    8) The possible downsides will be negated as the EU needs us more than we need them and in the end they will cut us a good deal.
    9) There will be an upwelling of confidence and self-assertion and shear animal spirits.
    10) We will cease to be tied to a moribund and sclerotic institution that is in any event in its death throws

    What have I missed out?

  40. @John Pilgrim

    The report suggests that ‘high performing’ farms will do well (as will pig farms) without defining what ‘high performing’ means. Certainly it paints a bleak picture for ‘low performing’ farms, none of which will survive by the looks of things, and it also looks as if lowland beef farms, sheep farms and cereal will all struggle very badly. IN one scenario (Hard Brexit), all three industries are essentially wiped out as they can no longer turn a profit. As these three forms of farming constitute the three largest sectors of the industry, this is a very, very serious cause for concern.

    Some dairy might be ok, but margins in that industry are thin-to-non-existent already. Spud farming might be ok.

    The report is also careful to stress that ‘high performing’ does not necessarily mean ‘large’. I suspect ‘high performing’ means diverse farms with alternate or bespoke revenue sources – the sort of place that makes high-value products from their livestock and crops, so bespoke cheese or ice-cream makers and the like.

    It’s clear that a lot of farmers will go to the wall and entire sectors could become uncompetitive. It also does not talk about competition from overseas merely home revenue.

    It’s also clear that labour shortage is a serious issue.

    None of the hard-faced zealots will care. They all shop in Waitrose and will pay an extra 40 quid a week on their shop quite happily as the price of Brexit. Farmers will complain but a series of snide columns in the Spectator about how they’re all just moaning yokels and a few opinion pieces in the Telegraph about how great it is that you can buy an authentic farmhouse at a knockdown price now (once you’ve scrubbed the bloodstains out of the barn wall where the farmer blew his brains out) and that will sort it all out.

  41. @Joseph1832

    I’m afraid simply repeating that the EU are not negotiating does not change the reality that they are. It does however provide another fascinating insight into the mentality of Brexiters.

  42. joseph1832,
    “the sort of thing the Tsars demanded from the Ottomans and we extracted from those we were going to colonise”

    Haha, but of course! The great game is not dead. Strong nations always extort good terms from weak ones. Of course they have big demands because they have big leveage to ensure they get them. The reason for becoming a member of the EU was so that they could not use their power against us, because as members we could prevent it. This is precisely what we are planning to give up! Of course we are going to be slaughtered!

    You dont find that rather funny? That leave have created what they sought to prevent?

  43. JOSEPH1832

    I know the EU are playing hardball with us and I also know the EU can be quite undemocratic if you cast your mind back to poor ol Greece.

    However despite the EU playing hardball I really do expect our government to negotiate a deal that will not harm the UK economy and if that means stumping up some extra cash then so be it. TM only has herself to blame. She called a UK election because the polls were hinting at a Tory victory.

    Now fast forward. ..TM and her 3 stooges are in a very weak position at home and abroad because of the Tories disastrous election result.

    The EU can smell a crumbling Tory party so they do have the upper hand but that doesn’t mean we can’t get a favorable deal with the EU. It might mean that we will have to give up on some areas but at least that should be enough to safeguard our economy and lots of jobs.

    I don’t expect our Brexit strategy to hinge on some trade deal with that nutcase Putin put into the Whitehouse.

  44. Chris Riley,
    ” a few opinion pieces in the Telegraph about how great it is that you can buy an authentic farmhouse at a knockdown price now”

    You are behind the times. My local council commissioned a report on the sustainability of their planning policy for the local plan maybe 20 years ago. It reported that its was not clear what impact the policy would have on the countryside, but they could not be sure it was sustainable. The policy, essentially, was no one was allowed to build any houses anywhere. The local farmers sold off their farm houses years ago and live in a cottage built with an agricultural occupancy condition. The only ones not occupied by stockbrokers already.

    Part of what makes a farm sutainable now is economies of scale. Traditional farms will divide between amalgamation and division into pony paddocks or estate gardens for that farmhouse. Probably using a german robotic lawnmower.

  45. Quite clearly after Brexit the UK can keep the Saharan sand out and those foreigners won’t have access to the benefit of the British Sun (which obviously won’t be red ever again).

  46. @Joseph1832 – “There are rational grounds for doing so. I disagree that “no deal” was never on the table – it was always taking a chance with a negotiation, and I do not [think] any people anticipated the EU’s approach pre-referendum.”

    Beg to differ, and I would suggest you could spend a fruitful few hours looking back over UKPR posts during the referendum.

    Whether here or elsewhere, very many people did try to point out that:

    – the A50 process was designed to create time pressure on the departing member
    – that the UK had far more to lose than the EU (in relative terms)
    – that no deal would be a disaster for the UK
    – that the EU would hold a much stronger hand in the negotiations

    All of this was discussed at length pre vote, so please don’t pretend people couldn’t guess how the EU would approach this. Many people were telling you as much, but Brexiters insisted they were wrong, telling us instead that the deal we want is in the EU’s best interests.

  47. Allan Christie,
    “TM and her 3 stooges are in a very weak position at home and abroad because of the Tories disastrous election result. ”

    No. People just dont get this. May was in a weak position because whether or not she had called an election, we know what the result would have been. Not enough support to push through her chosen course of hard Brexit. She is in a better position now because at least she knows the country does not support that policy.

    It isnt about what a government could force through in the British system of majority of 1 means absolute power. It is about the long term consequences of pushing a policy with massive impact on voters without public support.

  48. @Charles

    You could add…

    – Less pressure on housing
    – less pressure on services
    – less pressure on the environment
    – the EU is going to break up anyway…

    Not that I’m saying I agree with all these…

  49. I’m not saying I disagree either.

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