ICM’s fortnightly poll for the Guardian has topline figures of CON 42%(+1), LAB 42%(+1), LDEM 7%(nc). As with other recent polls there is no sign of any obvious movement. The national polling position appears to be largely stable, the government may be struggling with Brexit, Theresa May’s approval figures may be falling, but voting intention is pretty static. The two main parties are both around 40%, with most polls showing a small Labour lead (ICM tend to produce the best figures for the Tories – hence the neck-and-neck figures in their most recent polls).

Today’s ICM poll also asked a couple questions about a “no deal” Brexit. 45% of people said they expected the Brexit negotiations will not conclude successfully (though I haven’t yet seen the wording of the question, so I don’t know if the question defined unsuccessful as meaning no deal at all, or included poor deals), only 30% expect them to be a success. ICM also asked how people would feel if Britain and the EU failed to reach agreement by the time Britain leaves the EU – the most common answers were those connected with doubt and trepidation – “worried” (50%) and “confused” (29%), followed by the more negative “furious” (24%) and the more positive “pleased” (14%).

Tabs to follow when available…


630 Responses to “ICM/Guardian – CON 42, LAB 42, LDEM 7”

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  1. ON @ 8.21 pm

    My comments expressing doubts about full devolution for agriculture applied to Scotland cf. England (or maybe E & W).

    I don`t understand the Ireland complexities and trade enough to make comments there, though I am sure a hard border there is bad. The UK government keeps saying that this won`t be set up, but in that case the UK or at least NI will have negligible scope for altering the present arrangements.

  2. ToH, Paul, and everybody except Sam.

    My father said “we are put on this earth to work” But this austere philosophy didn’t stop him being a staunch trade unionist, and organising to make others lives better. That’s fed into my life,to my great benefit I think.

  3. RJW
    “we are put on this earth to work”

    How depressing. I’d rather be an Eloi than a Morlock any day (though there are better choices than either!). That’s not to say I didn’t work hard in my career, but I always felt that I was doing it to support my family and not for its own sake or for ambition.

    I can counter your quote with “Work to live, not live to work”

  4. Davywel

    I brought in Ireland simply to highlight that what you were referring to with herbicides and devolution is just a land border issue. That there is a land border between 2 polities doesn’t require that the larger decides for the smaller unit.

    Such borders are absolutely normal through most of the world and places like Iceland are something of an exception – so your fears seem somewhat exaggerated, since the rest of the world sorts such matters out.

    As to the M74 management being handled from Warrington – are you sure you have that right?

    Of course, the English authority manages that section of the M74 within England, but Transport Scotland takes responsibility at the border.

    Obviously there was joint planning to fill the “Cumberland Gap” – and joint funding of the English section of the M74 as well, since the economic advantages to Scotland of filling the Gap were greater than for the English funding motorway expansion north of Carlisle.

    That problem existed before political devolution – and indeed it was politicians from both sides of the border who solved a problem that existed only due to UK bureaucracy, once political devolution happened.

    Even if your understanding was correct, what would be your problem with Transport Scotland commissioning an English based company from managing the maintenance of the M7??

  5. ” We used to have to get up out of the shoebox
    at twelve o’clock at night, and LICK the road clean with our tongues.
    We had half a handful of freezing cold gravel, worked twenty-four
    hours a day at the mill for fourpence every six years, and when we
    got home, our Dad would slice us in two with a bread knife.

    But you try and tell the young people today that… and they won’t
    believe ya’.”

  6. Whoa PeteB !
    Not my quote, my dad’s, offered in response to ToH’s dad’s “the world doesn’t owe you a living “. My dad spent 6 wartime years shovelling coal on steam locomotives, mainly troop trains from Liverpool to Euston. I think this probably explains his viewpoint to some extent. He, and thousands like him had little choice but to be Morlocks.

  7. RJW

    The assumption that trade unions make people’s life better is an interesting point, certainly they have increased the pay and working conditions of there members this was particularly true in past times, however in today’s world workers rights have become imbedded in law and as such it’s goverments and lawyers who manage those rights.
    As for pay over the last few years we have seen certain unions for example rail unions obtaining substantial raises for certain workers within those industries.
    Some might say this has resulted in higher rail fares and many millions lost to other employers and there workers through industrial action, we could also say so what the unions were set up to provide support to there members and to a certain extent I agree with that view. But that doesn’t give Unions any sort of moral high ground the actions they take don’t operate in some sort of vacuum were only there members benefit one persons pay rise can be another persons price hike.

  8. @Colin

    Ah, you were lucky…… :-)

  9. Hi Turk
    The point I was making was in response to ToH.
    My life has been better in my view because I sought to make things better for more than just me and my immediate family. On the whole I think trade unions are a force for good.

  10. The Other Howard: Technicolouroctober

    For somebody who says he or she does not read or reply to my posts I find it interesting that you have posted to me twice in the last couple of days.

    Incidently your maths seems worse than mine since I was born in 1940. Try again.
    No, I have not said that I don’t read or reply to your posts.

    As for the year of your birth, we established last week that you were born in 1935 based on the number of years you claimed you have been voting and that you were born in 1940 based on your age during the blitz.

    You having 2 ages makes you a very interesting person and I see no reason why a sock puppet should not have more than one operator.

  11. Obviously one might raise a cheer if someone works hard and gets their due. It’s just that on some planets, plenty of people work hard and do good stuff and get ripped off or screwed over by circumstance while others rip us off and even mess up the economy and get handsomely rewarded for it.

  12. @Carfrew
    I won’t quibble (to use your patented, lovely, term) about Blair/Brown and their calumnies. For an old socialist they were a huge disappointment, but they did some good things too – notably Sure Start (now being rapidly dismantled) and investment in health and education infrastructure modernisation and a general revival of public service spending.

    It’s also a bit rich to blame the Brown tax reforms for the demise of decent private pension provision, unless you’re the Daily Mail: I was heavily involved in management of a pension scheme at the time and the tax stuff was a minor element, with extended longevity being by far the dominant factor, though various technical matters like bond yields and expected inflation also played a part, as did a collective fit of the vapours by the actuarial profession.

    I rejoined the LP because I wanted no more of the downside (ie to avoid the elevation of Miliband,D), but I appreciate the upside more and more as I remember how the alternative government arrangement works.

  13. “As for the year of your birth, we established last week that you were born in 1935 based on the number of years you claimed you have been voting and that you were born in 1940 based on your age during the blitz.”

    ——-

    I don’t know that we should discriminate on the basis of being born multiple times. If he was borne twice it would explain a few things, like having two allotments for eggers…

  14. Carfrew: I don’t know that we should discriminate on the basis of being born multiple times. If he was borne twice it would explain a few things, like having two allotments for eggers…

    Absolutely we should not discriminate. And he should have 2 cakes and eat them both.

  15. @Guymonde

    I could give you a longer list of positives, like the Literacy and Numeracy hours, the anti-discrimination measures and more besides.

    I can give you a long list of negatives too!! The point is, what’s the overall impact and trajectory In terms of standard of living, from wages to accommodation to essential bills to tuition fees. Things like tax credits and minimum wage are a sop that wind up getting absorbed as capital raises prices on essentials or cuts wages to soak it up.

    Expenditure on schools sounds good until it gets handed over to the private sector cheap because Nulab set up the precedent for free schools.

    Then there’s the precedents set by the privatisations, ATOS, tuition fees, etc. Making it easy for other parties to take things further.

    As for pensions, already been hauled over the coals by Alec over this. Yes, it wasn’t necessarily Brown’s fault his perhaps good intentions got messed with, but he didn’t exactly race to fix the problem once it became apparent…

  16. I was borne in 1963 and but also yesterday according to some!!

  17. @Guymonde

    And I didn’t even mention him buying into the liberal stuff and being blindsided by the inevitable banking crash!!

  18. @Carfrew
    I’d prefer all schools to be local authority coordinated but at least we had academies with reducing class sizes and improving performance. Local schools round here – academies, free schools and LA schools alike – are facing large financial cuts and the LA can no longer afford to provide partial subsidy out of general funds, as they have been doing, so schools will be losing a lot of teaching as well as ancillary staff. I hear today that the number of cops will next year be the lowest since 2003 (spooky year). 3 years ago we had a sergeant, 4 PCs and 2 PCSOs per ward in the dedicated ward team. Now we have 2 PCs, 1 PCSO and 0.25 sergeants and crime, which had been decreasing, is on the way up.
    There has been some shocking outsourcing and ATOS is a good example but it was an attempt to address concerns about real or imagined abuse of sickness benefits. Certainly there was a rather starry-eyed view of the merits of outsourcers and consultants, particularly large expensive ones

  19. trevor warne,
    ” a few tariffs will somehow wipe us out!”

    I think you missed the point of the argument. The uK farming industry currently operates inside a protected ring fence and enjoys subdidies. If we leave this then we face both losing those markets and facing cheap imports.

    “So we’re agreed on the long-term benefits”
    I dont think we are, you know. And on this forum I dont think it helps to use rhetorical tools where an opponent seemingly agrees because of the phrasing which was used.

    That someone feels there is short term problem which might in a few years be fixed, does not mean they accept there is not also a long term one.

    ” the author likes copy+pasting EU regulations!”

    Some people keep going on about this too, and its like the argument about EU budget shortfalls if we stop contributing. Unless the UK maintains the same contributions forever, and keeps its regulations updated to match EU ones forever, neither one of these issues is a bargaining tool for the UK towards a long term agreement. And the main argument for leaving by hard leave supporters is to cease payments to the EU and cease following their rules. Cease using ‘have cake AND eat it’ arguments

    RJW,
    ” the various aspects of his life all have a moral lesson attached which point to the superiority of his narrow economically liberal view of things.”

    From a statistical perspective, one would expect outliers where random chance mean a whole string of events align a certain way which seems most unlikely. A person who was such an outlier might then conclude based upon personal experience that the world worked in a different way from those who experience a more statistically average existence. The outlier might indeed become more
    pro active in expressing his views because he is an outlier.

    I am reminded of something I heard once about a study of people from broken homes becoming more successful in life than the average. But I also have it in mind its a kill or cure experience.

  20. Guymonde,
    “at least we had academies with reducing class sizes”

    The private sector, where one is led to believe market forces weed out the ineffective, have classes half the size of state ones, say about 15 rather than 30.

    The question of having academies or local authority schools seems to miss the point. that their resource similarities are far greater than their differences.

  21. @Danny
    Yes – I think the point is about resource allocation. Free schools in particular are in some cases a shocking waste of resource and the danger with academisation is that (as one parent said to me of a free school – which automatically becomes an academy when it opens – it’s like private education for free) there is more scope to allow selection via dodgy admissions criteria (same goes for religious schools)
    Of course, I’d love state schools to have similar resourcing to private ones. Gordon Brown had that aspiration but it’s not going to happen when we have a government that asserts that we can’t afford universal healthcare.

  22. @DANNY
    The private sector, where one is led to believe market forces weed out the ineffective, have classes half the size of state ones, say about 15 rather than 30.

    But on average the private sector has 2-3 times more to spend per pupil than the state sector, It makes me laugh when people say it’s not about money/resources. Of course it is not all about that but if you have class sizes half of that in the state sector it is a big help

  23. TECHNICOLOUROCTOBER
    From the content of your posts i assume you are about 10 years old and angry with the World in general. That’s the third time you have posted to me recently, so you don’t even keep your word to yourself and others here. I’m sure you will feel a lot better when you grow up a little.

    OLDNAT
    “Then you should have no complaints about the doctor who chose not to do a biopsy, as his father had probably also taught him that you “didn’t deserve a living” :-)
    If you choose a dog eat dog philosophy, then sometimes you are lunch (apologies to Paul for the analogy).”

    Not actually very funny this time OLDNAT, I wonder how you would feel if it happened to you? As it happens the Doctor I question left the practice soon after. I didn’t complain but I assume some others treated similarly did.

    I don’t for one moment accept that I have a dog eat dog philosophy but I do consider competition a healthy thing, and I am right of centre. Is that how you describe all those right of centre?

    RJW
    “ That’s fed into my life,to my great benefit I think.”
    As my father’s did to mine.

  24. TECHNICOLOUROCTOBER

    I note you deny saying you would not read my posts or reply to them. Fair enough but since you don’t like them and it causes you to reply in a silly fashion I suggest it would be sensible if you did ignore them and did not post to me.

    Just trying to be helpful.

  25. I note the EU is going forward with the idea of Chancellor who can interfere with national budgets. We’re getting out just in time.

    First real cold snap thjis year. The sun is shining, the allotments call.
    Have a good day all.

  26. The Other Howard TECHNICOLOUROCTOBER
    From the content of your posts i assume you are about 10 years old and angry with the World in general. That’s the third time you have posted to me recently, so you don’t even keep your word to yourself and others here. I’m sure you will feel a lot better when you grow up a little.

    Did you get out of bed the wrong side or are you just taking yourself too seriously?

  27. RJW

    @”The point I was making was in response to ToH.
    My life has been better in my view because I sought to make things better for more than just me and my immediate family. ”

    I haven’t followed this exchange in detail , but there is an implication here that the philosophy TOH said he took from his father ( to which you are responding I think)-” The world doesn’t owe you a living “-excludes any possibiility of “seeking to make things better for more than just me & my immediate family”.

    I don’t know what evidence you have for such a proposition. It is, of course , commendable that you practiced such a philosophy. But , if Bill Gates ( For example) is anything to go by, there is no reason to suppose that someone with TOH’s philosophy, cannot also practice the one which you espouse.

    I think we all have to be careful of that modern habit of the social media age which has crept into our politics so-Virtue Signalling.

    Wouldn’t you agree?

  28. @Trevor Warne – ” “That [ value add ] business could ultimately be picked up in Northern Ireland after Brexit, but there was not enough time in two years to build facilities to replace those in the republic, he said.”

    So we’re agreed on the long-term benefits but as with everything else concerning NI the issue is transition and “special status” would allow that.”

    Your optimism is admirable, but ultimately pointless. Managing to paint a warning that the whole NI dairy sector could collapse as a great opportunity is faintly amusing.

    What the quote you cited actually means is that while there is a theoretical opportunity for more dairy processing to be done in NI after Brexit, the integrated nature of the all Ireland dairy market is such that NI producers are dependent on RoI processors, with 25% of their production going south for processing.

    If there are barriers to this – and note that we aren’t here talking only of tariffs or customs checks but “…of the burden of paperwork relating to issues including traceability, animal welfare and food standards….” then the author is explaining that the cross border trade dries up.

    He also states that two years (now just one year) isn’t time enough to construct the facilities needed in NI to process the excess production. This means that if there is a cliff edge Brexit with no transitional arrangements, the NI dairy market collapses. If they lose 25% of their market, then producers will go bankrupt very quickly and that’s that. I don’t know how the economics of this would work, but I would imagine the impact this would have on the entire UK dairy market would be pretty catastrophic, creating diving prices and loss making across the board in all probability, with my expectation that the industry would respond by shutting down production. This is the point of the article that you conveiniently skimmed over.

    Even under a transitional deal, time to develop the production facilities will be pretty tight – just three years from now, and shrinking all the time. Even if the facilities are constructed, the author explianed how tariffs will go up once we leave the EU to other export markets, which will kill off certain export markets, even if processing is reshored.

    Then you need to consider what is required to protect NI producers from this. The ‘copy and paste’ regulations idea is fine, and means that we haven’t effectively left the EU regulatory framework. Will that keep the John Redwoods and @TOHs happy? If we are in cut and paste land, the EU will expect that to be policed by the ECJ. May has rejected that.

    Take this as an encouraging sign if you want, but I sincerely hope that there are more sensible heads looking at this in Whitehall.

  29. @technicolouroctober – was that really from the man who pretends to be polite?

  30. The list Guido leaks today looks like another explosion under our accident prone PM.

    Could get seriously problematic.

  31. Colin
    Thanks Colin, you are of course quite correct that it’s perfectly possible to help others whilst having a political philosophy like my own.

    I helped many people who worked for me over the years with personal problems, having an open door policy in the office when I was an MD. Many became friends after I retired, sadly most are gone now. I could go on but I don’t need to justify myself and it would be boring.

    I have to say I get rather irritated by the “righteous” claims of the left. I am sure many on the left are “good” people, but many are not. The same is equally true of the right.

    I get a lot of flack here, I suppose because I am rather blunt and to the point, and more to the right than most economically. Fortunately I have a lot of patience, and only occasionally get irritated by it.

    Anyway I must get going, lots to do still. It’s been a wonderful growing season and I reckon my carrot crop will see us through until January.
    Have a good day, did you see the bit about the EU Chancellor?

    TECHNICOLOUROCTOBER

    No, I’m in a very good humour thank you.

  32. Quite a depressing outlook on the deficit from the IFS this morning.

    They are suggesting that if the OBR’s adjusted productivity gains are accurate, we can expect to see the deficit rise to £70bn in 2021/22, with no real prospect of moving into surplus by the middle of the next decade. Given that Osborne promised a surplus in 2015, this has to go down as an epic failure of economic and fiscal management.

    It also raises absolutely huge issues for Brexit. Even if we accept that the long term prognosis for Brexit is positive, there is, I think, almost no one left out there who thinks that leaving under any form of deal is going to be painless in the short term.

    We will be hitting all the turbulent financial waters at precisely the time of maximum public debt, still running a hefty deficit, after a very lengthy period of declining real terms wages, and with no sign that we have the capacity to improve productivity. Raising the money for major investments from markets at such a time is one thing, but having to raise money just to paper over the short and medium term cracks caused by leaving the world’s largest trading block, while companies make their own adjustments, is another thing altogether.

    Indeed, this was, ultimately, one of the primary reasons why I eventually decided to vote remain. We can always have another chance to leave, but to face all the uncertainty and disruption of leaving just when we are at our financially weakest didn’t seem sensible to my mind.

  33. Alec

    I certainly agree with you it’s not the best time to be leaving, you don’t even mention the trade cycle which is also not in our favour, but it seems to me it is the only opportunity we have. That to me is paramount.

  34. @TOH

    I certainly agree with you it’s not the best time to be leaving, you don’t even mention the trade cycle which is also not in our favour, but it seems to me it is the only opportunity we have. That to me is paramount.

    Wow. I did not expect you to say that. Kudos on the nuance.

  35. TOH

    Yes I saw the Juncker interview.
    It isn’t news really-all of this featured in his State of THe Union speech earlier this year.

    Macron has been making similar noises.

    The issue is at the heart of the What does THe EU Want to Be Question.

    We will see how the Germans react-they will be the paymasters under Fiscal Union .

    I think Juncker is right-this is the only sensible route for EU, given a pre-existing Monetary Union & Central Bank. The alternative is never ending pretence about economic convergence, and resultant bouts of “lend & pretend” to address imbalances between rich & poor Member States.

    But that road leads away from the Nation State towards the Union of Regions mentioned by Juncker-defined, managed & funded from Brussels of course.

    Are the voters of the EU’s national parliaments in favour of this destination?

    They seem to be getting a little restless at the moment :-)

  36. Old Nat @ 9.30 pm

    You questioned that the M74 was being managed from Warrington.

    Maybe I should have put up that it wa

  37. @colin – I haven’t seen the Juncker’s interview, but I had understood the talk of ‘EU’ chancellors etc to actually be ‘EZ’ only?

    I am aware that a recent speech by macron was reported widely in the UK as being behind the development of an EU state infrastructure, whereas what he actually said was that their needs to be greater fiscal integration of the Euro zone while accepting other EU members would form a looser outer zone, with less integration – much as now. He overtly stated his belief in a multi speed Europe, much as the UK wanted.

    Indeed, in this, he mirrored much of what George Osborne stated in something like 2012 when he talked on the need for more integration in the Euro zone and an alternative position for the likes of the UK.

  38. TOH

    More cracks in the facade:-

    http://news.sky.com/story/asylum-for-carles-puigdemont-in-belgium-not-unrealistic-11104132

    The superficiality of Ever Closer Union & Convergence is being exposed for what it is-a Top Down application of Sticking Plaster Policy to an unstable foundation.

  39. Old Nat @ 9.30 pm

    You questioned that the M74 was being managed from Warrington.

    Maybe I should have said that it was called the M6 at that time.

    I have dug out files with correspondence signed Lewis Macdonald and Mike Rumbles dated 2002, and have headed notepaper with address:
    M6 DBFO Project Office,
    Nethercleuch,
    Lockerbie.

    And when the Edinburgh parliament dealt with the re-construction and management the acts labelled the road M6. Also I remember making phone calls to a Warrington Dept of Transport (or equivalent name) office.

    I was told, probably in Mike Rumbles constituency office, that the M74 signs were merely a show to make Scots think they were in charge.

    I think having an SNP government now will have changed this set-up quietly.

  40. ALEC

    I don’t believe that the distinction between an EU of INS & OUTS is sustainable.

    imo it is just another sticking plaster to compensate for not getting the basics right. And the basics aren’t right because those annoying irritants, the National Parliaments include some who don’t want to join the Euro.

    The OUTS consist of Denmark with an Opt Out-and 7 members who are obliged to join the EZ after completing Convergence Criteria.

    If they do-EU will =EZ

    If they don’t, the whole Ever Closer UNion of Convergent Economies Project is shown to be a sham-a never ending pretence .And this won’t work because decision making will centre on the “Real” EU-the members of the Eurozone & the putative Fiscal UNion.

  41. ALEC

    …………and, as I suggested, JUncker & Macron can say what they want. But if Germany doesn’t buy it ( or pay for it might be a better expression)-it won’t happen.

    THe G. reported as follows after Macron’r speech :-

    “Christian Lindner, the FDP leader, remains fiercely critical of Macron’s ideas for eurozone governance, and hours after the election result said he would put the brakes on with “red lines” against Macron’s plans for a single eurozone budget.
    Lindner sought to hammer home German taxpayers’ fears that a more integrated eurozone with its own budget meant Germany being made to pay for bills left unpaid in other states, naming France and Italy. “For us, it’s unimaginable,” he said.”

  42. ON:

    I should have added that I think this Warrington management started just south of Happenden, where the 2-lane carriageways become 3-lane. And stay 3-lane all the way t Gretna.

  43. @Colin – “I don’t believe that the distinction between an EU of INS & OUTS is sustainable.”

    To be honest, I don’t actually think that’s the issue. A multi speed Europe is in many ways completely sustainable. In effect it could be viewed as nothing more than a series of alternative arrangements between states, in the same way that countries like Norway, Switzerland, Iceland or Turkey have different relationships with the EU. We don’t go around saying that these arrangements are unsustainable just because they are each different.

    For me, it’s the internal arrangement of the EZ that is the unsustainable bit, along with a little of the ‘ever closer union’ as applied to the other EU members. As you say, theoretically all EU members except the UK and Denmark should in theory be approaching EZ membership also, but they can put this off indefinately without any destabilisation of the EU as a whole.

    I have no wish to reopen a lengthy discussion on the mechanics of currency unions, other than to restate my view that there has never been a long term, permanent currency union without full political and monetary union.

    Ultimately I’m relatively relaxed about how democracy works in the EU in terms of scale and terminology. I suspect that much of the Brexit division comes from differing views of state and nationhood. I don’t mind if my nation operates under a different version of statehood, with some powers pooled and others dealt with more locally. Whatever kind of civic structures are in place, my sense of nationhood survives. ‘Subsidiarity’ is the key.

    As I have said often before, to survive, I believe the EU needs to set itself boundaries, both geographic and philosophical, and to define the extent of what it wants to do. Once it has done this, and these are agreed by all, we can then concentrate on doing those things well.

    I would agree that ‘ever closer union’ is an inappropriate and unhelpful stance to take, at odds with people’s sense of nation and state, and will ultimately engender greater instability than a clearly defined and limited mission.

    In my view.

  44. Right, on to the allegations going around, which ought to be of more interest since there is very much a non-zero chance they could lead to a change of Government.

    2 names come out so far, interestingly, both Remainers. One’s in a safe seat. But if there’s a bye-election in Preseli Pembrokeshire, we’re likely looking at a Labour gain.

    In addition, we all know of a very prominent Leaver who is infamous for his treatment of women.

    Do we think there might be a couple of symbolic sacrifices of Tory MPs – probably Remainers to stop the Tory Press getting whiny – to try to cool things down, or is this going to end up with 10s of MPs under investigation?

    Will we *cough gently* need a new Cabinet Minister or two? If – purely hypothetically, of course – anyone in the Cabinet were a colossal pain in the backside, this might be a way to bin them off.

    Will also be interesting to see what happens in Labour. They look unlikely to get off scot-free but it is actually in Corbyn’s interest to clamp down hard. But it might be problematic for him if any of his allies are implicated.

  45. ALEC

    @” I believe the EU needs to set itself boundaries, both geographic and philosophical, and to define the extent of what it wants to do. Once it has done this, and these are agreed by all, we can then concentrate on doing those things well.”

    Its signal failure to secure its external “boundary” whilst maintaining the Holy Writ of Schengen was the start of their problems., And as for ” once these are agreed by all”-that is a problem too isn’t it ?!-Wasn’t it always going to be for 27 Nations?

    @”I would agree that ‘ever closer union’ is an inappropriate and unhelpful stance to take, at odds with people’s sense of nation and state, and will ultimately engender greater instability than a clearly defined and limited mission.”

    JUncker/Macron have defined the Mission.

    We will see if Germany agrees. Because very little happens that Germany doesn’t agree with-except never ending talks.

  46. CHRIS RILEY..

    A great chance for TM to reshuffle & bring in new blood.

  47. Just a word on dealing with Trolls.
    They can get under one’s skin and it can be sooo hard to resist engaging.
    Like smoking that cigarette or giving in to a toddler having a tantrum.
    If you ignore them it does get easier and who knows, they may head off to pastures new.

  48. Just a word on dealing with Trolls.
    They can get under one’s skin and it can be sooo hard to resist engaging.
    Like smoking that cigarette or giving in to a toddler having a tantrum.
    If you ignore them it does get easier and who knows, they may head off to pastures new.

  49. Amidst all the stuff like Brexit and sex pest scandals that really don’t matter in the scheme of things, there is some really depressing news on carbon levels this morning.

    Figures just out show that the increase in CO2e in the atmosphere last year surged far beyond anything seen previously. In part the surge has been put down to an El Nino year, but it’s still 22% higher than the last record year following the 97/98 El Nino.

    On the brighter side, human based emissions have been flat for a third year, which has been put down to a drop in US coal production and the slow down in China, although it is too early to say whether emissions have peaked.

    Earlier this year there was some particularly alarming research from tropical rainforests, with the first detailed audit of emissions showing that many of the forests were not acting as carbon sinks as previously thought, but as net emitters, thought to be due to the thinning of the understory by human activity even as the canopy appears intake.

    I know that some simply don’t recognise the science on this, but revelling in one’s willful ignorance isn’t particularly impressive. I’m just hoping that we haven’t already reached the fabled and feared ‘tipping point’, when runaway emissions give a climate change scenario that is beyond our ability to adapt to.

  50. @COLIN & @ ALEC

    Surely there are some really tangible benefits to having the EU organise many aspects from the centre. Very helpful to UK and EU mainland businesses that trade outside of their home countries.

    For example, locally there is a packaging company that manufacturers plastic trays that are used to display meat products in supermarkets. They produce these trays for the UK market, as well as customers right across EU mainland. The same company has factories in several EU mainland countries manufacturing different types of packaging.

    I would ask that you look around locally and see just how many businesses you have that rely on import and export trade with EU mainland. All of the supermarkets will have such a relationship through their supply chain. Many of the vehicle dealerships will have parts that come EU mainland. You will come up with a huge list of companies, who rely on trade relationships with EU mainland.

    After you have come up with your lists, then think what it would be like for the EU to fail and go back to having 28 separate countries, all starting to change the way they handle matters e.g taxes, restrictions on materials, different standards etc.

    The EU can be used as a scapegoat for the failings of countries to deal with many issues e.g border controls, economic issues, immigrants claiming benefits. The UK has been able to require registration of EU migrants to the UK for years, but it has not implemented what many EU countries already do. A British person moving to Spain has to register with Spanish authorities within 3 months or they are not entitled to anything in Spain e.g healthcare, benefits.

    As for the EU becoming more federal because of Euro/financial stability issues, George Osborne said that this would make sense. Eurozone countries will have to be controlled tightly, so the excessive borrowing previously seen is not repeated. Countries sharing a currency have to live within their means. The UK would not allow Scotland for example to borrow tens of billions, without UK treasury having some controls in place.

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