Let us start with the rhetoric. In January Theresa May said that “no deal is better than a bad deal”. When polls ask about that sentiment people generally agree with it. When Theresa May first made the statement, YouGov found 48% of people agreed that “no deal is better than a bad deal”, 17% thought a “bad deal was better than no deal” (34% agreed with neither or said don’t know). SkyData asked a similar question at the start of the month and found 74% of people thought no deal was better than a bad deal, 26% that any deal was better than no deal.

These two questions suggest that the Prime Minister has landed upon a message that chimes with the public, but we don’t know what respondents are thinking of as a “bad deal” or “no deal”, and whether they think a “no deal” is a good thing or just marginally less awful than a “bad deal”. More in depth questions asked around a “no deal” Brexit suggest it would not be widely welcomed.

Questions that have asked specifically about whether people see a “no deal” Brexit as good or bad have consistently shown a negative reaction. In ICM’s most recent poll they asked how people would react if “negotiations failed to reach agreement by Brexit Day, and the UK left the EU in a so-called ‘hard Brexit’?” 62% of people picked negative words, like worried (50%), confused (29%) and furious (24%), only 20% picked positive words like pleased (14%), proud (11%) or excited (11%).

YouGov asked if people thought it would be good or bad for Britain if we ended up leaving the EU without agreeing departure terms with the EU at all – 57% thought this would be bad, 10% thought it would be good for the country, 20% said neither. Survation asked a very similar question in June (but without a neither option) and found 58% thought it would be bad for Britain, 31% good for Britain.

Of course, this is somewhat missing the point. Given there is significant public support for the sort of Brexit that Theresa May has set out (of immigration controls *and* a trade deal with the EU), a “no deal” Brexit is unlikely to be seen as desirable by the public. It is more a case of whether it is seen as acceptable if negotiations for a better Brexit fall through.

Last week YouGov asked what the government should do if we get to the end of the two year negotiation period and the government have not managed to strike the sort of Brexit deal that Theresa May is seeking: 18% of people said we should stay in the EU after all, 17% that we should delay Britain’s departure in order to continue negotiations, 16% that Britain should accept some of the EU’s demands in order to reach a compromise, 32% that Britain should leave without a deal. Looking at those who voted to Leave in 2016 and those who voted Tory in 2017, a majority of both groups say Britain should leave without a deal rather than seek to delay Brexit or compromise with the EU.

Opinium’s last poll had a very similar question, but with slightly different options. They also asked what people thought should happen if we got to the end of the two year negotiation period without a deal – 15% said we should remain in the EU after all, 35% that we should have a transition deal while negotiations continued, 44% that we should leave without a deal. Again, a majority of Tory voters and Leave voters said that under those circumstances we should leave without a deal.

Summing it all up, a “no deal” Brexit is not something that the British public actually like the idea of – the majority tend to see it in negative terms or as being bad for Britain. However, placed in a position where negotiations for a better deal have failed, a sizeable minority of people (and a majority of Conservatives and Leave voters) would opt for a “no deal” Brexit. Put in that choice between a rock and a hard place, more people would opt for “no deal Brexit” than would opt for remaining in the EU, though a sizeable chunk would take the option of compromise or delay if offered.


1,441 Responses to “What the public think about a “No deal” Brexit”

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  1. Anthony Wells

    “However, placed in a position where negotiations for a better deal have failed, a sizeable minority of people (and a majority of Conservatives and Leave voters) would opt for a “no deal” Brexit.”

    it is probably true. However, if it is true, it becomes a political tool. Would perceptions of “fault” (for the failure) create different chain of logic?

    These isolated questions (I’m not complaining – at least we have the polling for them) reminds me to the testing the assertions that humans are the only animal with earlobes.

    I think the whole point is “events” which then changes the context in these isolated questions (the statistical parallel would be the Monty Hill problem).

  2. I suppose the other unknowable factor is what happens to the polling dynamics if we start to approach a potential no deal exit and we witness more actual evidence of what this means in practice.

    I’ve long felt that it would only take one or two bombshell announcements from high profile companies shutting down factories or HQ’s as a hard Brexit approaches for the no dealers to start losing support heavily.

    The other dynamic pulls in the opposite direction, where UK concessions are made and a deal approaches, will those Tory hard Brexiters gather more support among those upset at the compromises.

    Perhaps not, as most people want a soft Brexit it seems, but wanting something and understanding what it means to get it goes to the heart of the issue on all sides in this one I think.

  3. AW,

    Thanks for that. All quite interesting and the questions asked in polling do seem to be becoming more nuanced, but it is a pity that even the pro-remain press seem reluctant to ask the hard questions.

    We’ll be getting LucidTalk’s latest NI polling around next week-end, but it would be good to see some GB polling on the NI/RoI situation, of which to date date I have noticed none.

    What I’d like to see is something like:

    Unless the UK remains in the Customs Union, a hard border 300 miles long will be necessary on the island of Ireland and may require HMG to abnegate the Belfast [aka Good Friday] Agreement, despite NI voting to remain in the EU.

    Should the UK:

    1. Ignore the implications of the Belfast Agreement?

    2. Attempt to strike a deal with the EU which preserves the Belfast Agreement?

    3. Remain in the Customs Union to preserve the peace in NI?

    4. Don’t care.

    5. Don’t know?

  4. @BARBAZENZERO

    There are no conservative votes in NI so in reality it does not matter as a no deal suits the DUP over having a hard border in the Irish sea.

    Most people I spoke to did not care or did not know when I posed the question to them. Even people whom voted remain were unaware of the issue and I confess I only know about the detail of it because I worked in belfast and travelled to a head office in dublin

    it is not going to be the thing that changes peoples minds. The reality is that people will not think that this is a bad idea until it is way too late. A bit like Iraq (and OK I am sounding like a broken record but this does remind me of Iraq so much)

  5. I think most have accepted “no deal” actually means a “minimum deal” but I’m more curious how many people seriously believe remain in EU would be possible and more specifically if those people believe it would be remaining on the previous terms and with no return negotiations. I don’t think we’ve had. Single poll that really explores what people believe “remain in EU” would mean if talks fail to produce a “good” deal or whether EU27 would unanimously want UK back.

  6. I think any investigation into sexual harassment needs to go much wider.

    The issue for me is that M.P.’s staff, although paid for by the tax payer, are recruited and directly and only responsible to the M.P.
    In the past we have had issues about family members being employed and doubts as to how much work they do and payments received.

    A solution would be for all M.P.’s staff to be part of the civil service and so have a clear route to take up any grievances, whether sexual or otherwise.

  7. @TREVOR WARNE

    I think the problem is that there is no rationale for the EU to change the Uk’s mind. In terms of Ireland and Denmark when they voted no they did so with a strict set of issues which allowed them to vote yes. Both were within the treaties wiggle room. I think the real problem for the UK is that we were offered and given a set of thing before we voted and in truth for many people it was not important or interesting.

    Leavers are still in the ascendency for two reasons we voted to leave and there is a sense that since we voted for something it should be honoured and we are not really sure what we want from the EU anyway.

    The argument is not about whether we join the EU or not but actually what is an acceptable deal. We already believe that the voting to leave was a bad idea, I would propose that people are saying a no deal is one the deal where we look the least ‘stupid’ and a bad deal is one where we feel ‘stupid’.

    The paradox is that we already feel a majority feel it was a bad idea to vote leave in most polls so the argument of a bad deal or no deal to me is mute. We think a bad deal is bad because we feel stupid and a no deal is bad but we do give anything away which could be a real bad deal but it is about how one feels rather than what the effect is at this point.

    it is a bit like getting divorced

  8. “Delay” also needs exploring. Again EU27 would need to unanimously agree a delay and the default is “minimum deal” if EU27 refuse. IMHO the EU27 would allow us to move to EEA but no longer allow MEPs or a place at EU council meetings but that is a guess, lost in transition is a serious risk and offers no clarity to business of the eventual trading arrangements . FWIW I think citizens rights will be resolved soon, it looks like we’re caving in on some more issues there

  9. @Trevor Warne – “I think most have accepted “no deal” actually means a “minimum deal” …”

    Are we sure about that? Personally I don’t think very many people at all actually understand remotely what no deal would actually be. I suspect you are partially correct, in that most people currently think no deal means a minimal, but that is a false belief, and they will be utterly shocked if they ever did see what no deal really is. [Collapse of industry, ceasing of flights to and from the EU etc etc].

    Essentially it’s a meaningless soundbite, and a meaningless basis on which to ask polling questions. The responses tell us nothing about what people really think, other than they don’t understand what no deal entails.

    “…I’m more curious how many people seriously believe remain in EU would be possible and more specifically if those people believe it would be remaining on the previous terms and with no return negotiations…”

    That’s a more interesting thought.I think we can be pretty clear that what those people believe is that we would stay on existing terms, with the question being would the EU let us.

    I think it’s fairly clear that if the UK decided to walk away from Brexit and asked for the entire process to be abandoned, the EU would just agree. They lose something if the UK leaves, and given their other priorities, I can’t really see any appetite for demanding changes in our membership terms if we decided to stay. Legally they may well not be able to anyway.

    After we left – well that’s a different story, but it isn’t what the poll was asking.

  10. Laszlo: I think the whole point is “events” which then changes the context in these isolated questions (the statistical parallel would be the Monty Hill problem).
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monty_Hall_problem

    I really have to agree, except it has about 5 doors
    * SM + CU [with a no brexit sub option]
    * SM
    * CU
    * Canada Deal
    * No deal
    and the audience are just as confused as they are with the Monty Hall problem. But the additional problem that what is behind each of the doors can be perceived as either a goat or a new car when the door is opened, depending on who is looking. So even opening doors and letting people see what is behind the doors is going to increase argument rather than reduce it.

  11. The “no deal” narrative is just silly.

    In the event of no agreement then stuff will happen – which will be new for both parties. This is what would happen if we HAD an agreement also.

    The normal definition of “no deal” is – obviously – that things remain the same, whereas what is being discussed here is things both changing, becoming more complex and almost certainly worse.

    How has this question been allowed to develop in such a bizarre, 1984-esque manner???

  12. @ PTRP – any polling evidence? Who do you mean by “we” believe Leave was a bad idea? The hindsight question is still very close to even split but the question is flawed.

    I’d agree it is more like a divorce than Iraq war. Happily married myself but those I know that have gone through divorce often end up with a workable relationship a few years after an acrimonious but clean break. James Cleverly has suggested this. In simple terms we agree now that talks are failing, agree a 2y transition with “minimum deal” at end giving 3.5yrs to prepare for the “cliff edge” but at least some clarity and stop the relationship souring further. If during the next 3.5yrs the political will to improve on a minimum future relationship changes then both sides could restart negotiations with the minimum in place and still 100% regulatory alignment

  13. @ ALEC – Sir Ivan the Miserable has accepted no deal = minimum deal and he’s probably about the most negative person on the planet in terms of UK’s deal options! OK some might believe flights would be grounded but I’d guess that is a tiny %. However, I would add that to the growing list of polling questions that need to be asked. What do people believe would be the minimum future arrangement if talks fail: flights; travel visas; specific citizens rights such as settled status, etc. I’d guess high % would expect many items but some would be contentious and interesting info

  14. PASSTHEROCKPLEASE @ BZ

    There are no conservative votes in NI so in reality it does not matter as a no deal suits the DUP over having a hard border in the Irish sea.

    Agreed that there are very few votes for the Cons in GB which might be swayed by this, but businesses who donate to them would be a different matter altogether.

    We’ll know more from NI itself when we get the LucidTalk results, but I wouldn’t be so sure as you seem to be that the DUP would suit the DUP. Less awful from their point of view than having a hard border in the Irish Sea, certainly, but it would likely result in an early “border poll” [= reunification poll] with popularity falling. Remaining in the UK would probably win much more narrowly than before the EU referendum but put the DUP on notice that the next poll will likely win reunification.

    Soon after the EU referendum, Slugger posted on the issue [ex BBC Brian Walker, IIRC] and opined that SF would prefer the Irish Sea border but the DUP hadn’t expected to “win” and need a soft border.

    Time will tell, of course, but I think Slugger was correct and that predicting what the DUP will do if the negotiations fail is premature.

  15. “no deal” Brexit – I am confused:

    Do people think this means “no trade deal”? Is this what Theresa May means? Or does it/she mean – as I take it to – that we leave the EU and all its agencies 0n 29th March 2019, without any other agreed arrangements in place.

    So no EU internal flights, no EMA, Euratom etc, no shared security, and massive delays at channel ports on both sides, food rotting in lorries, serious shortages of some goods.

    Who in their right minds would see this as any other than the worst of all possible outcomes?

    Or am I missing something?

  16. “Summing it all up, a “no deal” Brexit is not something that the British public actually like the idea of – the majority tend to see it in negative terms or as being bad for Britain.”

    It was one of the master strokes of the Tory’s election campaign to take a truism (i.e. if you say you must have a deal, the other side can ask the earth) and make it sound as if “bad deal” and “no deal” were the only options.

    It created room for Labour to sound optimistic, “We’ll get a better deal than a bad one!!” When having no better plan than taking Merkel to an Arsenal match with Corbyn, smiling more, and all would be well.

  17. Lots of the “minimum deal” has already been agreed: security arrangements; 40+ of the 60 citizen rights issues; payments until end of budget commitments; etc.

    I guess in theory May could renege on some of those but youd have to be extreme hard core kipper or the other extreme to believe that would happen

  18. TECHNICOLOUROCTOBER

    I could have been clearer, but even with your points, the parallel remains valid.

    In Monty Hall (thanks for the correction, there must be a Month Hill my Fire tablet knows :-) ). It is the intervention of the game master that changes the probabilities (or chances to be precise). Here the events.

    However, your point about the audience is spot on.

  19. There are few better illustrations of how confused we are over what “no deal” means than this.

    One of the three You Gov options if we get to the end of the two year negotiation period without a deal is to extend the period. Which requires unanimous agreement of the 28. So one of the options in the event we don’t do a deal appears to be that we do a deal.

    A novel variation on having your cake and eating it. Having “no deal” and “a deal” at the same time.

  20. PASSTHEROCKPLEASE
    “There are no conservative votes in NI”

    In the interest of strict accuracy, there were 3,895 conservative votes in NI in 2017. Which is both very few and 3,895 more than voted Labour or Lib Dem.

  21. @BARBAZENZERO
    Surely no deal will mean a hard boarder on the Irish side but we want free trade so why would we impose a border?.
    Since more goods come from Europe to the UK than goes the other way the EU has a major incentive to come to an agreement.
    The majority of our exports are already subject to WTO rules or existing EU agreements which we would continue to honour.
    It would be spanish and french exports which might rot if they choose to impose restrictions!

  22. Laszlo: I could have been clearer, but even with your points, the parallel remains valid.

    In Monty Hall (thanks for the correction, there must be a Month Hill my Fire tablet knows :-) ). It is the intervention of the game master that changes the probabilities (or chances to be precise).

    However, your point about the audience is spot on.
    I think that the game master is part of the normal flow of politics, in opening a non chosen door to encourage a switch to another door.. The trouble is cart before horse – we are now trying to define brexit, having made our choice and gone through a door, only to be confronted with even more doors and a debate about whether going back through the door we came through is a legitimate choice.

    It has got beyond anything a game master can manage.

  23. It beggars belief that people are actively debating and polling whether the public would be happy with a ‘no deal’ Brexit.

    I would hazard to guess that the majority of those polled have not the slightest inkling what a no deal scenario might actually look like.

    Planes grounded, businesses in a state a paralysis, foreign nationals not knowing what the future holds. And, on top,of all this, Britain taken to International court for failing to honour our financial commitments with all Ge resulting impact of this to our national standing – not to mention our credit rating.

    How can this be better than a bad deal? If a bad deal is worse than that, then I can’t imagine what a bad deal might look like.

    I can’t believe that the government haven’t been forced to define what they meant by ‘no deal’. I agree with previous posts that the public widely associate no deal with only a partial deal. So the term is meaningless.

    I can’t believe that this government would leave in march 2019 with a ‘no deal’ in he truest sense. This would be the most infamous acts of national self harm ever committed by any nation in history,

    They just wouldn’t do it…. would they?

  24. tonybtg: They just wouldn’t do it…. would they?

    Well, they have lead us this far into the mire, so no guarantees as to how much further they will go.

    It just crosses my mind to wonder why and how the sex pest scandal leapt into Westminster. Perhaps the tories are looking at dropping the china and getting out of their mess by foisting it onto Labour.

  25. tonybtg: They just wouldn’t do it…. would they?

    Well, they have lead us this far into the mire, so no guarantees as to how much further they will go.

    It just crosses my mind to wonder why and how the seks pest scandal leapt into Westminster. Perhaps the tories are looking at dropping the china and getting out of their mess by foisting it onto Labour.

  26. Davywel (FPT)

    I think we are actually in agreement on the M74/M6 management issue.

    As to the labelling of the section of the M74 in England, it might have had something to do with the fact that the Scottish Government provided a large part of the cash for it.

    Seems a very trivial issue though. Calling it the M6 up to the Scottish border would seem more logical – but before or after indy, England can call it what it likes. :-)

  27. OLDENGLISH @ BZ

    Surely no deal will mean a hard boarder on the Irish side but we want free trade so why would we impose a border?

    Should the UK leave the customs union, a hard 500 Km border will be necessary at least until suggested magic technological solutions are discovered, at the latest immediately after any EU rule or regulation in the EU repeal act is changed by so much as a comma.

    Should the UK not want to pay for it, my bet would be that the mainland EU ports will pay not a €uro towards providing the clearance facilities needed to prevent the M20 & M2 becoming truck parks, along with all the main roads to more Northerly ports on the GB East coast.

  28. Let’s remember that the motivation for many Leave voters was (at least partially) to do with controlling immigration. If Southern Ireland stays in the EU and there is only a soft border between North and South, immigration control remains impossible because anyone wanting to come to the UK from an EU country needs only to get to Southern Ireland first.

    In fact in the case of illegal immigrants I’m surprised that more don’t already use that route, it would probably be easier than trying to hitch-hike from Calais.

    Or perhaps many already do come that way and the government doesn’t count them or doesn’t publicise the figures.

    I agree with those complaining about the vagueness of the terms ‘no deal’, ‘hard Brexit’, ‘soft Brexit’ etc. Whatever the final deal is, many Leave voters will be very disillusioned if immigration isn’t better controlled because that is what affects their daily lives the most.

  29. BZ

    “M20 & M2 becoming truck parks, along with all the main roads to more Northerly ports on the GB East coast.”

    My understanding of some of the Brexiteer arguments was that the UK would see a huge increase in exports to the world outside the RU.

    If they are correct, there would be no need for any lorry parks near east coast ports, but the UK should be investing in a massive expansion of facilities in west coast ports from Bristol to Greenock.

  30. “RU” in the above post might have been meant to be “EU”.

    Alternatively, I might have been thinking that the UK would turn its attention to servicing the needs of those towns where Rugby League is more dominant.

  31. “Surely no deal will mean a hard boarder on the Irish side …..”

    Ross Kemp getting on a train in Dublin?

  32. Alec

    Alternatively, “hard boarder on the Irish side” might mean Dublin boarding houses putting up signs saying “No British”.

  33. ON @ 9.16 pm

    Well I`m not sure we are in agreement on the management of most of the M74 being done from Warrington via an office in Lockerbie.

    I half expected that you as an SNP supporter would have grumbled about it, plus the deception of putting M74 on the signs when it was called the M6 even in the Scottish parliament discussion on it.

    Also from the internet I see it was a 30-year contract to Autolink, so still running.

    “”M6 DBFO project

    The 91 km section of M74/A74(M) between junction 12 (Millbank) and the Scottish border is a vital transport link between central Scotland and the south. This section of motorway is operated under a DBFO contract and for historical reasons is known as the M6 DBFO (design, build, finance and operate) project.

    The 30 year contract was awarded to Autolink Concessionaires (M6) plc in July 1997. This included the design and construction of some sections, as well as operations and maintenance of the whole 91 km length. This work included routine, cyclic, structural and winter maintenance.””

    As I said on the previous thread, the “English” management standards are expensive and much more damaging to the environment. There is much more mowing and use of herbicide than on other Scottish trunk roads.

    But fortunately the folk pushing for this guinea-pig management operation to be applied to the Bear and Amey trunk roads in Scotland didn`t win.

    N.B. Mowing contributes significantly to our total emissions, and if entire verges have to be mown there is a very large acreage in many Scottish trunk-road miles.

  34. OLDNAT

    “My understanding of some of the Brexiteer arguments was that the UK would see a huge increase in exports to the world outside the RU.”

    Surely we could export whatever we like to any country we like without leaving the EU.

    Unless you mean that we would be enjoying unlimited prosperity for all by exporting to all those countries queuing up for free trade deals….

  35. TonyBTG

    I should probably have put “Fe” (irony) at the end of my comment!

  36. @TREVOR WARNE

    We are on a site that talks about polls, most of the latest polls have the people stating that if they believe that Leaving was not a good idea. In the same way that most polls say that we should honour the results of the referendum. It feels like some people take half the fact to make their narrative and others take half the fact to make the counter narrative. I believe you happy leaver narrative is just wrong as the polls say that we have to leave because we voted to leave not because it was a good idea and this is taxing hard remainers because to them it does not make sense. Leavers are happy because it means we are leaving but again saying that people are not happy about it does not make sense

    The reason I use the Iraq war is because over time as we get more information of what the war entailed our view of the decision changed it was seen a sa good decision at one point and seen as a bad decision as the results came in.

    https://yougov.co.uk/news/2015/06/03/remembering-iraq/

    You could say that asking the hypothetical question is irrelevant but actually it is highly relevant. For example it is clear that lack of support for both Iraq and Afghanistan have essentially made our approach to Libya such a mess and created a more lawless country than we would have had. But I digress.

    Polls have shown a split but have also shown resignation to the situation. The problem is often shown in that people thinking it is a bad idea but believe that the result should stand the so called relievers.

    Cleverly argument that the EU will have changed it mind in 3 years over payments is interesting. If you look at what happens in divorces is the major items are actually sorted out first. The house the kids the money. The reconciliation happens after when no one has anything more to lose. Think China and UK over Hong Kong

    Think UK and any ex colony, the best one is think Zimbabwe and Thatcher. We believed that we could create an alternative to Mugabe which just made matters worse indeed we did not understand the numbers or the personalities involved. it basically defined our relationship with Zimbabwe and it also set Mugabe on a path whereby he had no decent opposition for years as they were seen as UK stooges.

    UK and EU will be considered rivals because basically we will be rivals for market access, for investment, hell you said yourself ‘If they don’t give us passporting then we won’t give them X’ in one of your posts. The UK will have to maintain regulatory compatibility because it is our biggest market.

    yes we are speculating what happens next but I am still seeing no deal or payment with Canada lite, I am seeing that we will be disappointed with the effects of our trade deals since when you strip out gold over half our trade is with the EU

    Look at what the CoM is doing and how they are acting and how they are organised compare what we are doing with the behaviours of Greece and Swiss. Think of the outcomes I fear we will have some leverage but no much it is what I think May understands the situation to be hence bluster and bravado and then the admittance that the approach was stupid.

    As always reality will take care of itself

  37. Davywel

    Unless I misunderstood your quote, it refers entirely to the section of the M74 in England.

    Local administrations frequently use different designations for parts of their road network.

    As an EU citizen, I’m also happy for the route from Greenock to Algeciras to be termed the E05.

    Why you should think I should care at all how the different authorities who run sections of it should matter to me, remains somewhat mysterious.

    As to the policy of English motorway verge management that you refer to, I agree that excessive mowing is not a good solution.

    In the Spanish section of the E05 there will, no doubt, also be excessive mowing – but that will often be of politicians that don’t share the Falangist concept of Spain!

  38. @PETERW

    Thanks for the literal correction, I think you’ll agree it neither changes my premise or the result

    The problem that we have deal or no deal is that there is nothing that people can relate to and indeed we have no metrics for what no deal costs so the no deal is an emotional response and a bad deal is another emotional response. A no deal feel like we are in control. whereas a bad deal says we are not in control. so the real issue is actually how much we feel in control of the deal.

    @BARBAZENZERO

    I believe that DUP are going to abstain and give power to London and attempt to do a labour party wanting to leave but no border. My view is that DUP will oppose anything that make EU seemingly better coupled to NI than the UK and will hope to play martyrs because that is what they can sell to their electorate. The problem is no so much effect of the border issue it is the symbolism, the DUP would have seen to have lost. it is hugely important in NI

  39. An Enquesta poll in the Kingdom of Spain being reported on Twitter (I have no details).

    “57% of Spaniards (and 80% of Catalans) in favor of legal, negotiated referendum on independence”

  40. Seems to me that adding stay after all and ‘wish for a transition’ together has a clear plurality.

    I would be amazed if we did not have 2 more years to negotiate and accepted pretty much everything as it is now, except we have no votes.

    Some clause ensure that any new spending commitments beyond 2o21 would not be including in the UKs obligations as we had no vote and may be a couple of minor figs leaves about ne regulations not automatically applying to appease the Tory right will be enough.

    NB) We will adopt anyhow but ‘independently’.

  41. Jim Jam

    “I would be amazed if we did not have 2 more years to negotiate and accepted pretty much everything as it is now, except we have no votes.”

    Wouldn’t surprise me – and probably a worse deal than the EEA one, where they at least have the right to be consulted on regulatory changes.

    Still, such a result would satisfy the terms of the incompetently worded and argued referendum on membership of the EU.

  42. I think that if Brexit happens, that the transitional deal will mean that the UK are almost members of the EU. Brexit means Brexit will in reality mean that the UK has some fudged arrangement to have full access to EU single market, without any changes to customs arrangements. The transition will then go on for years longer than the 2 years talked about previously. Eventually a long term UK/EU deal might be agreed.

    The Twitter feed from the Sky Political Editor highlights just how complex Brexit is. There are 88 Brexit impact assessments covering 88% of the UK economy and in each assessment there are very complicated issues that will need resolving at some point

    https://mobile.twitter.com/faisalislam/status/925049692685205504

    Meanwhile, the Government will have to try to get EU related bills through Parliament including necessary finance bills, when there is a majority of MP’s/Lords against Brexit. Also the Government is likely to be challenged in the courts.

  43. I heard a rumour that the government might lose the EU vote in the House of Commons and be forced to call another general election. Is there any truth in it? If it did happen would May be allowed to run another Conservative election campaign after what happened with her last one?

  44. Thomas
    Can’t see another snap election being called, personally, even if they lost the EU bill the DUP wouldn’t vote them down in the confidence debate afterwards as they’re still looking forward to that lovely money.

    The main reason, though, imo, has nothing to do with brexit. Even though naughtygate isn’t going to bring them down on its own, they seem to be showing their customary incompetence in understanding what they should be doing to not only deal with it, but more importantly to put it right.

    Unless they suddenly develop this understanding, which their calling of an inquiry demonstrates they don’t yet possess, they run the risk, for which read certainty, of some Neanderthal candidate becoming the whole story in the media during the campaign.

    The nature of their membership and supporter base would make it far easier for the media to find some lord or council leader or Anne Robinson to stand in front of a camera and say that these people should man up and think of England or something rather than go around destroying the careers and families of their betters, at which point Owen Jones and at least one lady who no sane person would deny has very firm ground on which to be very angry would be brought out to provide balance.

    Should this occur, Corbyn and Vince will point to those their parties have suspended, and quote speaker Bercow’s line from yesterday back at them and ask why the gentleman who went shopping with his assistant is still in post, and what about the others on Guido’s list?

    It would be interesting to see how little Nell would handle another snap election with all this, Brexit and UC going on were it to happen prior to the spirit of dear Oscar started to chuckle.

    And how appropriate, given how little, in some respects, we have come since he was driven to his end by the same types we see getting away with things they shouldn’t today.

  45. Good to see more very impressive eurozone growth figures coming in. Spain and Austria both reported 0.8% Q3 growth, and France 0.5%.

    It’s good for us because it creates more export opportunities for British exporters, though whether everyone will welcome evidence of the beneficial effects of EU membership is a moot point.

    I was particularly struck by a comment in El Pais (Spanish newspaper):

    “A stonking increase in productivity has allowed levels of production this year to exceed pre-crisis levels, but with 1.7 million fewer workers”

    (My translation: the Spanish word used for stonking was bestial!)

    This is the opposite of the UK position, where productivity is low but employment is higher (although the unemployment rate in pSain has fallen rapidly from 26% to 16%).

  46. @ Pete B

    “immigration control remains impossible because anyone wanting to come to the UK from an EU country needs only to get to Southern Ireland first.”

    That depends on how hardline you want the control of immigration to be. I’d suggest the issue is over right to work/claim benefits which can generally be dealt with in other ways via HMRC and employers. Real time information on tax and companies needing documented proof of someone’s right to work in the UK (normally a passport or work permit) as is already in place should generally deal with this issue.

    The only way I can think that this isn’t covered is if payments are off the books in cash and the only way that hard border helps this is for repeat offenders because in the first instance I assume that any EU citizen will just wave a passport at Heathrow or Dover and get in anyway. It would only be when their passport is flagged up after a first “offence” that hard border would help.

  47. OldNat @ 11.06 pm

    Well clearly you have misunderstood my posts about a length of trunk road entirely in Scotland being managed from northern England.

    Maybe I shouldn`t have assumed you knew the Scottish placenames thereon.

    I don`t say such trans-border arrangements and their associated package of standards are always wrong, but in this case I am sure it is a good thing that “English” management has been rejected for the rest of Scotland`s trunk roads.

    Also it would be good if England learns from Scotland, since I know the same package of management rules was applied to other roads being constructed in the 1990s like the M65 in East Lancashire.

    Given what we now know about emissions and our atmosphere, I don`t think the intensive management that was put into these DBFO contracts c.1995 would have been demanded c. 2015.

    Your earlier message (9.16 pm) saying that the Scottish Government put money into road constructions around Carlisle was news to me; welcome news.

    But how ironic that the Tory government`s EVEL means that the MPs whose constituents are c.40% of the users of these new roads don`t even get a say, whilst MPs from Dover to Penzance are able to swing votes.

  48. @THOMAS

    The question you need to ask is whether there are enough Tory MP’s against Brexit, that will vote against their party.

    If anti Brexit Tories don’t vote against their Governments position, then the Government will win any vital votes, because they will also have support of around 12 Labour MP’s as well as the 10 DUP MP’s. The problem might then come in the House of Lords, but if all the vital bills include a finance measure, the HoL cannot stand in the way for long. The convention on any bill including a finance measure is that the HoL can only ask the HoC to think again once. If it returned to the HoL unamended, then it would be passed.

    Most Tory MP’s against Brexit are not likely to want to see their Government fail and cause an early general election or Labour getting into Government. Even Ken Clarke has talked about what happens after 29th March 2019, if Brexit proves to be a mess.

    If i were to guess what is likely to happen, then i would say that the Tories against Brexit, will vote with opposition MP’s to amend bills to include a requirement for Parliament to consent to Brexit way before 29th March 2019. At the moment the Government are not being very clear about whether MP’s will get a vote that is binding on Government. If the Governments EU bill is amended to include a binding Parliamentary vote on whether Brexit should proceed, then the crux will probably be around this time next year.

  49. shevii: @ Pete B

    “immigration control remains impossible because anyone wanting to come to the UK from an EU country needs only to get to Southern Ireland first.”

    That depends on how hardline you want the control of immigration to be. I’d suggest the issue is over right to work/claim benefits which can generally be dealt with in other ways via HMRC and employers. Real time information on tax and companies needing documented proof of someone’s right to work in the UK (normally a passport or work permit) as is already in place should generally deal with this issue.

    The only way I can think that this isn’t covered is if payments are off the books in cash and the only way that hard border helps this is for repeat offenders because in the first instance I assume that any EU citizen will just wave a passport at Heathrow or Dover and get in anyway. It would only be when their passport is flagged up after a first “offence” that hard border would help.
    First off, this is not about EU citizens so much as about illegals [although EU citizens, after brexit, may be illegals].

    Essentially, illegals at present should be dealt with by HMRC and employers as you suggest. But the taking back control of the borders narrative is driven by the argument that these controls are not doing the job.

    PeteB is right on this, in that the border control which the leavers require is not going to be provided by brexit, because the Irish border will be open. And worse, any EU citizen who would want to become an illegal after brexit has right of movement right up to the Irish border.

    The silver lining to this dark cloud, of course, is that the UK will become poorer and no EU citizen in their right mind will actually want to come here as an illegal. [We will still get the ones who are not in their right minds of course, so the DM will still get their fill of mad axe murderers from the EU scandal stories]

  50. Thanks AW for an excellent summary of the current position as you see it.

    Having read all the contributions above it remains my view that the most likely outcome is that we will leave the EU in 2019 without a deal.

    The failure would be due to the EU’s attitude IMO but then I am biased like every other contributor I have read on Brexit.

    The Parliamentary sexual harassment issue seems unlikely to have any effect on public opinion IMO. It would be interesting to see polling on this subject. I find sexual attitudes in general rather strange these days but of course my own view on sexual morality were formed 60 years ago.

    Some more polls are needed.

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