Survation have a poll in today’s Mail on Sunday. Topline figures are CON 37%(-1), LAB 45%(+1), LDEM 6%(-1). Fieldwork was Thursday and Friday and changes are since early October.

The eight point Labour lead is the largest any poll has shown since the election, so has obviously attracted some attention. As regular readers will know, Survation carry out both telephone and online polls. Their telephone method is unique to them, so could easily explain getting different results (Ipsos MORI still use phone polling, but they phone randomly generated numbers (random digit dialling), as opposed to Survation who phone actual numbers randomly selected from telephone databases). However, this was an online poll, and online there is nothing particularly unusual about Survation’s online method that might explain the difference. Survation use an online panel like all the other online polls, weight by very similar factors like age, gender, past vote, referendum vote and education, use self-reported likelihood to vote and exclude don’t knows. There are good reasons why their results are better for Labour than those from pollsters showing the most Tory results like Kantar and ICM (Kantar still use demographics in their turnout model, ICM reallocate don’t knows) but the gap compared to results from MORI and YouGov don’t have such an easy explanation.

Looking at the nuts and bolts of the survey, there’s nothing unusual about the turnout or age distribution. The most striking thing that explains the strong Labour position of the poll is that Survation found very few people who voted Labour in 2017 saying they don’t know how they would vote now. Normally even parties who are doing well see a chunk of their vote from the last election now saying they aren’t sure what they would do, but only 3% of Labour’s 2017 vote told Survation they weren’t sure how they would vote in an election, compared to about 10% in other polls. Essentially, Survation are finding a more robust Labour vote.

Two other interesting findings worth highlighting. One is a question on a second referendum – 50% said they would support holding a referendum asking if people supported the terms of a Brexit deal, 34% said they would be opposed. This is one of those questions that get very different answers depending on how you ask it – there are plenty of other questions that find opposition, and I’m conscious this question does not make it clear whether it would be a referendum on “accept deal or stay in EU”, “accept deal or continue negotiations” or “accept deal or no deal Brexit”. Some of these would be less popular than others. Nevertheless, the direction of travel is clear – Survation asked the same question back in April when there was only a five point lead for supporting a referendum on the deal, now that has grown to sixteen points (50% support, 34% opposed).

Finally there was a question on whether Donald Trump’s visit to the UK should go ahead. 37% think it should, 50% think it should not. This echoes a YouGov poll yesterday which found 31% think it should go ahead, 55% think it should not. I mention this largely as an antidote to people being mislead by twitter polls suggesting people want the visit to go ahead – all recent polls with representative samples suggest the public are opposed to a visit.

Tabs for the Survation poll are here.


1,082 Responses to “Survation/Mail on Sunday – CON 37, LAB 45, LDEM 6”

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  1. 1. Alec at 8.28: I agree, absolutely spot-on!
    2. I listened with some amusement to Govey on R4.
    a) we will pay our contribution as now for the 2 year transition deal, which will effectively be Single Market and CU membership
    b) after that it will be sunlit uplands for the NHS because after that we will just be making a few small Divorce Bill payments
    c) we will secure a comprehensive trade deal with everything we want from the EU
    d) we have guaranteed “the UK will maintain full alignment with those rules of the Internal Market and the Customs Union which, now or in the future, support North-South cooperation, the all island economy and the protection of the 1998 Agreement.” According to Govey the free trade deal will supersede this, but of course in reality avoiding a hard border in the Irish sea will mean keeping to Single Market rules on everything of any significance, otherwise chlorinated chickens will be flooding into Europe from the US via Northern Ireland.

    So what do we have? The softest of soft brexits that will lead to Single Market and Customs Union membership in all but name. Very limited room to negotiate freetrade deals outside the EU framework. AND (what is not mentioned by Govey) a big yearly fee if we want a free trade deal anything like this, which will be in addition to the divorce bill. Freedom of movement in all but name. The ECJ in all but name because we have to make sure we would not fall foul of its rulings. Well, as a Remainer I am happy to be avoiding the economic catastrophe of a hard brexit! But slightly less sanguine about the abandonment of the democratic control of our future that we currently have in Europe through membership

    So we get most of the disadvantages of the EU (from the viewpoint of Leavers) without the slightest influence over what happens. I think the campaign now has to be “if that is what Leave means, lets just withdraw Article 50 and save all the trouble and expense”

  2. The Shulz “plan” for the future of the EU is not a surprise.

    It is but one more voice in the endless discussion about how the EU should function.

    In a recent Der Spiegel article a speech by Macron was analysed :-

    ““We will have to wait and see if he is able to fulfill the “social-liberal” promise, that difficult balance between social justice and economic productivity. As a leftist, I’m no “Macronist,” if there is such a thing. But the way he speaks about Europe makes a difference. He calls for understanding for the founding fathers, who established Europe without citizen input because, he says, they belonged to an enlightened avantgarde. But he now wants to transform the elite project into a citizens’ project and is proposing reasonable steps toward democratic self-empowerment of European citizens against the national governments who stand in each other’s way in the European Council.
    As such, he isn’t just demanding the introduction of a universal electoral law for the EU, but also the creation of trans-national party lists. That, after all, would fuel the growth of a European party system, without which the European Parliament will never become a place where societal interests, reaching across national borders, are collectively identified and addressed.”

    Note:-” self-empowerment of European citizens AGAINST the national governments ” !!!

    The creation of a country called Europe-something Shulz now merely calls by its name.

    The piece was written before Coalition #1’s failure , but I love this encapsulation of the Merkel faction’s antipathy to Macron’s vision :-

    “. In a “non-paper” for the Eurogroup of finance ministers from the common currency zone, the erstwhile finance minister ( Schauble) drafted a plan designed to block every compromise with the forward-looking initiatives put forth by the French president. In the paper, Schäuble links the establishment of a European Monetary Fund, as proposed by Macron, to the favorite ordoliberal dream of precluding democratic participation for those affected by withdrawing financial and economic policy from the realm of politics and placing it under the control of a technocratic administration.”

    …and this too :-

    “She ( Merkel) too is fully aware that the European currency union, which is in Germany’s most fundamental interest, cannot be stabilized in the long term if the current situation – characterized by years of deepening divergence between the economies of Europe’s north and south when it comes to national income, unemployment and sovereign debt – is allowed to persist. The specter of the “transfer union” blinds us to this destructive tendency.”

    With Merkel now in a less powerful position than when the Spiegel article was written, and Shulz demanding a Macronian approach as the price of her continuation in power, one can only watch in fascination as the EU stumbles towards its inevitable final stage of metamorphosis.

    Neither UK nor any member of the EU outside the Eurozone has a future in Macron’s Europe- Der Spiegel gives us the Macron quotation which spells it out :-

    “Only the eurozone with a strong and international currency can provide Europe with the framework of a major economic power.”

    Shulz merely starts to but structure on the Macronian frame-whilst Juncker has already floated increased powers for the Commission which encroach on the Council’s territory.

    It isn’t just in UK that these deep debates about the role & meaning of the European Nation State are taking place. It is a Europe wide debate.

    WE are just a little ahead of the game.

  3. @ COLIN – busy and being auto-modded but what do you think of #49 in the text

    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/joint-report-on-progress-during-phase-1-of-negotiations-under-article-50-teu-on-the-uks-orderly-withdrawal-from-the-eu

    “full alignment” if no deal is met (ie EEA+CU for whole UK)?

  4. TREVOR WARNE

    From 49 :-

    “The United Kingdom’s intention is to achieve these objectives through the overall EU-UK relationship.”

    FTA deal-problem goes away

    ” Should this not be possible, the United Kingdom will propose specific solutions to address the unique circumstances of the island of Ireland. ”

    No FTA- we will sort it out via e borders & regulatory “equivalence” ( we don’t want to undercut their farmers with cheap food anyway )

    “In the absence of agreed solutions, the United Kingdom will maintain full alignment with those rules of the Internal Market and the Customs Union which, now or in the future, support North-South cooperation, the allisland economy and the protection of the 1998 Agreement.”

    S*it Creek-but a) it won’t happen & b) if it does “alignment ” just means same objectives / similar approach………..etc etc.

  5. Desperate stuff from remainers claiming that we are in fact remaining so victory to them.
    We are not remaining. we are leaving the EU and CU on brexit day. The role of the ECJ in our legal system disappears after r8 years when all EU citizens in the UK are governed by the home legal systems.

    On day one we have full alignment with the eU but we are not restricte d to continuing alignment thereafter save it seems to me where there is an irish dimension and other courses cannot be agreed.We have not adopted the EU aquis into our law which regulatory alignment might have meant.

    Further, there is a caveat to this: the document re-iterates that nothing is agreed unless everything is agreed.

  6. S THOMAS

    @” the document re-iterates that nothing is agreed unless everything is agreed.”

    It does indeed.

    Probably the most important bit-provided at the very start of the document :-

    “The positions detailed in this report form a single and coherent package. Agreement in principle has been reached on the package as a whole, as opposed to individual elements.

    Under the caveat that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed, the joint commitments set out below in this joint report shall be reflected in the Withdrawal Agreement in full detail. This does not prejudge any adaptations that might be appropriate in case transitional arrangements were to be agreed in the second phase of the negotiations, and is without prejudice to discussions on the framework of the future relationship.”

    We DO need to get that transition announced to Businesses VERY quickly though.

  7. So let me get this right…

    We originally said:
    – no ECJ jurisdiction
    – no confirmation of EU citizens rights in UK
    – no payment beyond legal obligations (‘go whistle’ – BJ)
    – no special status for NI
    – no membership of CU and SM

    After fifteen months of prevaricating our government has:
    – given way on the order of agreement
    – given way on the methodology by which payments are calculated
    – given way on EU citizens rights
    – given way on the Irish border
    – given way on ECJ jurisdiction in all but name
    – conceded that any trade deal will necessarily look just like being in the CU and SM for practical purposes

    On the way we have insulted our allies and behaved like incompetent children in front of the world.

    And this is a victory according to the muppets running this process?!

    What has actually happened Is that the UK has spun its wheels for fifteen months while the right wing of the ‘party before country’ tendency in the Tory party have been forced to realise that hard Brexit will be unmanageably damaging to the Tories, such that they are prepared to back a ‘soft’ brexit over the desires of their members, many voters, and the hard right led by JRM and IDS.

    Massively damaging for the UK both in terms of prosperity and credibility…. but, hey, the Tory party is better placed so that’s what matters, right?

    Absolutely appalling…

  8. @S Thomas

    We will be maintaining full regulatory alignment across a large swathe of the economy (with more specific restrictions to come as part of the trade talks, I’m certain) and this means that de facto we will be beholden to future ECJ interpretations, even though we do not technically operate under EU law. The text hands the EU total advantage in the trade talks, as if there is no agreement we default to the existing position. It’s a wipe out for May and her red lines, and everyone and their dog knows this.

    However, if you are happy with the text, then it’s done it’s job. Personally, I thought it would be a little harder to fool Brexiters, but then again……

  9. @Colin and @Millie – In general terms I also agree with your assessments of this. I think it will be more or less popular, and as I said when we thought May was about to do a deal on Monday, I suspect she will reap some political benefit from this, even if people remain tired and cynical of the whole process.

    Clearly, the government has ditched it’s hard red lines, but it was always going to have to be this way. Those who maintained that no deal was likely and we should be prepared to walk away were always delusional – there was never any chance that the UK would hold out and actually close the talks down.

    I would also suggest that the whole EU approach has been by and large extremely helpful to the UK (except for a few odd outbursts from Junckers here and there). The money side is the most obvious expression of this. We will end up paying exactly what the EU demanded, but there won’t be a final number, so Brexiters can pretend it’s only £40bn (remember the days when they were saying ‘not a penny more than £10bn) but as you say, the calculation method is fair. We pay only our share, and only when it’s due.

    The trade alignment issue is going to lead to more concessions from the UK, as the EU’s negotiating stance makes clear. The entire way this has been structured by the EU ensures that staged concessions are made, and hard line Brexiters get used to these as the process goes along, so that by the time the final deal is on the table there is too much invested in it to tear it all up.

    I am pleased that sense is prevailing, and no deal was always a frightening prospect, and while I will give May credit for perservering and managing a very difficult political coalition, the truth remains that the EU negotiators saw us coming and have had the UK government on toast throughout the process.

    I don’t particularly blame May for that – this was the poison chalice the voters handed her.

  10. ALEC

    THere is no doubt that Trade talks will be very very tough-and NI/RoI will always be a difficult sub-text.

    But I wonder whether the tussles which these two teams have had in reaching this agreement will have helped in the dynamics for phase2?

    Still concerned until a specific Transition period is announced.

  11. @Colin – “But I wonder whether the tussles which these two teams have had in reaching this agreement will have helped in the dynamics for phase2?”

    I think it will. Basically the EU knows that May will concede on many points, and I suspect that they are experienced enough to know when they can push her and when they need to make a show of supporting her to protect her back at home.

    “Still concerned until a specific Transition period is announced.”

    Me too. In many ways, this really is the critical part – we need a couple of years with no real change to give time to adjust to any future arrangements.

    However, I suspect the transition is now effectively a done deal. Once you have Gove on the radio singing the praises of a deal where we will be accepting ECJ rulings for the next 8 years and paying into EU budgets untill long after he himself is dead, the idea of keeping everything the same for a couple of years isn’t going to cause any problems.

    As that Independent article you linked to shows, many Tories will be unhappy about this, but May has at last shown her ‘buccaneering spirit’ and stuck two fingers up to her hardliners.

    They can resist if they like, but May has a majority in the commons for this.

  12. @LEAVERS

    I think that simply put you should be happy we are getting to stage 2.
    as COLIN said #49 is interesting some people will say it means nothing but I think ROI got what it wanted and the DUP got what it wanted and the EU got what it wanted

    As I said people will point to something in this document and state it is a success for their side

    @REMAINERS

    I am sure that many of you will have a wry smile #49 says we will be part of the EU I have always said that stage 1 is the baseline minimum deal that COLIN and TREVOR WARNE have been talking about.

    I still remain skeptical because unless the brexiteers forget about their red line (which are decidedly pink at the moment) It seems that the FTA we will be creating will essentially need to mirror what the EU does in terms of trade.

    It appear that we are still in the EU orbit but not really in control. my is that this is as soft a brexit as you could get and that we might as well remained but hey as a colleague once said to me nobody is really happy

    ;-)

    I do stand corrected though I did not think that May would cave in like she did I am presuming that everyone recognised there is no real choice unless we leave with no deal and that is as bad a deal as you could get.

    @COLIN

    remember the EU versus the Swiss and the EU versus the Greeks. We were as bad as the greeks, punishment beating, WWII analogies, Nigel Farage,

    I am not sure that it really matters because I think that the EU is a machine it is rules based. We put a red hot poker up our ar5e trying to show how hard we are and nobody took a blind bit of notice.

    #49 says we are in the EU orbit no matter.

  13. @ COLIN – Of the two sets of rumours going around on Monday it seems to me the ‘Remain’ rumours were correct. On item 49 I was expecting to see wording about sector based, phased implementation, etc – certainly not the addition of the adjective “full” ahead of alignment
    Maybe the DUP secured the word “full” and May agreed on it to stop the revolt of Scotland, London, etc? It looks like a total sell-out to me.

    The key phrase is ““In the absence of agreed solutions…”

    Clearly the EU will have no incentive to agree any solutions (ie compromise) on transition or final arrangements. They will stall and then dictate an EEA+CU outcome. #49 offers very little wriggle room (fudge) IMHO.

    Phase2 is going to be a waste of time. We know the outcome already and it is leaving the EU in all but name, no further say and paying the full whack of the divorce bill to do so. Oh and probably then having to pay for ongoing full CU exploitation.

    Also I was expecting at least a nod towards quick agreement on transition and future arrangements. Business and the investment community seem to have concluded we’re basically staying in the EU in all but name so little need for transition – the small short-term upside is maybe that delays banks implementing full worst case plans, but the moves will still be almost exclusively 1-way (ie no reshoring)

    IMHO this is perhaps short-term good but our fat, lazy economy is going back on the sofa and in the long-term all of UK’s real issues will stay unresolved – ironically this best serves the older voter and sh4fts the younger voter who will have to deal with the issues when the music box finally stops playing – I fit somewhere in between and my kids can be geographically mobile so selfishly neutral but this is very bad for long-term future of UK economy and will not help CON in the polls or next GE either – double whammy!

    I’m going to make some hay while the sun shines as I can’t see SMogg, etc buying this. Investors seem to be very happy and I’m going to take advantage of this window of opportunity – busy day ahead!

  14. @TREVOR WARNE

    I thought the Tories had the answers to our fat lazy economy and that had nothing to do with the EU?

    or is it all the EU’s fault?

  15. @TREVOR WARNE
    @S THOMAS
    @COLIN

    Remainers by and large think that this is soft brexit but there seems to be considerable differences between leavers at the time

    I am interested in why there is such a variance of opinion when previously you were all aligned I would love to see SOMERJOHN’s and THE OTHER HOWARD interaction on this

  16. @colin

    A FTA in itself won’t achieve the objectives the UK Government has set ‘re the Irish border. So unless the invisible hard border technology is made a reality we are at full alignment for the cross border issues but even that does not necessarily deal with third country origin goods.

  17. “We aren’t being led by ‘buccaneering spirits’ but by people who are so lacking in confidence and frightened that they fear the alliance with the friendly and culturally similar EU.”
    @alec December 8th, 2017 at 8:28 am

    I am reminded of this quote from Tim Smit (of Eden Project fame):

    Britain is crap at being entrepreneurial because (a) it’s a risk averse country, and (b) the stigma of failure is so high that if you fail you’re considered to be a loser. Entrepreneurism is a word that has been stolen by people who don’t understand it. The truth is that people who are entrepreneurial take risks, and risk is something that is un-British, and if you’re successful with it they’ll hate you for it.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tim_Smit

    So perhaps it’s for the best that Brexit is now cancelled.

    Today is turning out to be a great Friday — as discussed yesterday NI Unionism is on the cusp of becoming a minority sport and we are (not really) leaving the EU. I’m going to open the Christmas whisky early.

    Woo hoo!

  18. PTRP

    @”#49 says we are in the EU orbit no matter.”

    It clearly doesn’t.

    Only if there are no “agreed solutions”.

    And even then the agreement says :-

    ” In the absence of agreed solutions, the United Kingdom will maintain full alignment with THOSE rules of the Customs Union & Single Market WHICH now or in the future, SUPPORT NORTH_SOUTH CO_OPERATION , THE ALL ISLAND ECONOMY AND THE PROTECTION OF THE 1998 AGREEMENT”

    THis is Ireland Specific-IF NO deal of any other kind is reached.

    BUT-what can reasonably be asked is -if , in the event of No deal, NI continues to observe EU trade regs across the border- what regs are acceptable within an agreed deal ?

    We shall see.

  19. TREVOR WARNE

    Thanks

    I understand the concern about EU incentive to take us to the wire.

  20. The positive reaction from Gove, BoJo et al reflects, I think, a sense of relief that they’ve been let off the hook on which they’d impaled themselves. The more those involved in the brexit process realised what it would actually entail, as opposed to the myths they had sold (and maybe believed), the more they needed a get-out. But political pride made a U-turn impossible, leaving them potentially stuck with inflicting a catastrophe. So, sighs of relief all round.

    I think this actually ties in quite well with the Schultz discussion. For some time the obvious way to resolve the tensions over further integration has been a two-speed Europe. It seems to me that Schultz is just sketching out how he sees the fast-track group crystallising: basically, the EZ less any who want to opt out. The rest then form a second tier of those not ready, or willing, to enter a federal arrangement. The UK would fit naturally in that outer group: some countries would see it as a waiting room, others as a permanent ‘thus far and no further’ arrangement.

  21. BRITAIN ELECTS

    Tories lost another Disctrict Council seat to LibDems last night in North Devon; there was another one a few weeks ago. Looks like the anti-Tory vote here is coalescing.

    Local Tory MP lacks charisma, and not local. May be in trouble at next GE.

  22. I am surprised that people think still this is a negotiation.
    The EU 27 agree a position and then the commission have to deliver that. They give the negotiators no flexibility whatsoever and have said don’t come back until the UK agrees to their position (which Theresa May just has).
    The interesting point will be the details of the position the 27 give the commission over the terms of any trade deal.

  23. “I am reminded of this quote from Tim Smit…”

    He sounds a bit forrun. What’s he doing here? Haven’t they all gone home yet?

  24. PTRP: I would love to see SOMERJOHN’s and THE OTHER HOWARD interaction on this

    Yes. I’m intrigued to see how TOH, and other true believers in the brexit project, will react. The obvious reaction is to say they’ve been sold down the river: that the UK will remain tied to the EU as TOH’s “vassal state”.

    The alternative is to go down the Gove route and hail it as a triumph.

    As TOH never spelt out his vision of how full brexit would work, he will have some flexibility in choice of response, from ‘woe is me’ to ‘I told you so’. But in general, I think we can expect a stab-in-the-back narrative to take hold.

    On the wider question of phase 2, I expect that a somewhat chastened UK negotiating team will want to move forward with less prevarication. Key to that is getting cabinet agreement on what they want, and then of course reconciling that with what EU27 is willing to offer. In view of the quasi customs union flavour of today’s agreement, I think we could be looking at Turkey 2. Well, it’s what we voted for, and it is nearly Christmas…

  25. I a surprised that the posters who comment in the remain interest are o churlish about things.

    if they are correct then they have everything they desire. They ought to be congratulating tM on playing a blinder. But they are not. Why are they no? because they see now that brexit will happen. We will eave the EU and Customs union and the ECJ will cease to have jurisdiction generally over us. Worse still the impossible hurdles have been jumped.

  26. “He sounds a bit forrun. What’s he doing here? Haven’t they all gone home yet?”
    @alec December 8th, 2017 at 12:15 pm

    Sounds like he doesn’t need to now. We will probably get rid of freedom of movement, and instead implement the British Free Movement Requirements so as long as you comply with our rules (you will do) you can come here. There you go, the EU has let us take back control.

    Win-win!

  27. @Somerjohn – “The positive reaction from Gove, BoJo et al reflects, I think, a sense of relief that they’ve been let off the hook on which they’d impaled themselves. The more those involved in the brexit process realised what it would actually entail, as opposed to the myths they had sold (and maybe believed), the more they needed a get-out.”

    I think there is a fair degree of truth in this.A lot of the positioning in Tory circles was for personal gain, with the idea that leave would never win, and we all remember Boris’ ashen faced look when he realised what he had done.

    There are other genuine leave supporters with a logical and principled approach, but it sounds like this group are much the less happy of everyone at this turn of events. These are the ones who tend to want to leave regardless on any cost.

    I still have unresolved issues with some people’s assessments, however. I’ve tried repeatedly to understand @Trevor Warme’s point regarding the apparently minimal loss of GDP, for example, but I just can’t reconcile what I think his logic is and what my maths is telling me if I take his figures.

    The pattern on this, as with many other areas, seems to be to make reassuring statements, chuck in a few numbers, and then disappear when questions are asked.

    In that, it’s not so different from the official leave campaign.

  28. ST: Worse still the impossible hurdles have been jumped.

    What impossible hurdles? From the EU’s point of view, this agreement could have been struck 9 months ago.

    As for having “everything they desire”, clearly that is nonsense. The clue is in the name remainer.

  29. Meanwhile in the real of the world.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-42282116

    Peter.

  30. Alec: There are other genuine leave supporters with a logical and principled approach, but it sounds like this group are much the less happy of everyone at this turn of events. These are the ones who tend to want to leave regardless on any cost.

    I think that group – those who want brexit even if costs are high to crippling – is shown by polling to be quite small. The small brexit majority depended heavily on those who had been persuaded that brexit would come at no cost, or a gain.

    Will those who voted for a no-cost brexit be happy with today’s agreement? I think it will depend on the media narrative: if DM, DT, Sun and Express shout ‘betrayal’ long and hard enough, that will shape the mood. It will be fascinating to see how this pans out.

    For me, though, it’s clear that from the UK perspective, whatever deal we end up with will be worse than remaining. For the EU, on the other hand, things look good. Politically, they get the UK awkward squad off their backs, and economically they get their money and the prospect of a CETA-style deal that protects their goods exports while giving a big boost to their service/finance sector.

  31. StH
    “Desperate stuff from remainers claiming that we are in fact remaining so victory to them. We are not remaining. we are leaving the EU and CU on brexit day.”

    “I a surprised that the posters who comment in the remain interest are o churlish about things.”

    Since you wrote it and therefore possibly even believe it to be true, your first comment I’ve quoted would explain your second.

    I wouldn’t agree with the first of your comments, I think that if you replaced “o churlish” with “basking in the happy glow of having now been proved to be correct all along” you might be closer to the mark, since that is what I have been doing ever since waking this morning.

  32. There’s a surprise-UK officials have priced the divorce bill & released the numbers :-

    Current Budget round contributions -€17 billion to €18 billion

    RAL as at @ 2020-€21 to €23 billion

    Future Pensions etc-€2 to €4 billion

    =€39 to €45 billion = £34bn to £39bn.

    EU will repay our investment in the European Investment Bank’s capital, which is around €40 and €45 billion, “over the long term.”

  33. “@Pete B – “I do like to think one of the differences between Remainers and Leavers (IMHO) is that Leavers are more in the buccaneering spirit of Grenville, Drake, Nelson, Winston Churchill, Jack Churchill, David Sterling etc etc, whereas Remainers are risk-averse accountant types who are afraid that their incomes might be slightly adversely affected by Brexit. I expect to be howled down or pompously ignored, but there it is. ”

    Absolutely right again Pete!

    I read Alec’s response to you and as usual I totally disagree with his view, including his historical analysis and I suspect I have read a great deal more English and European history than Alec from what he say’s later on.

    S Thomas –your 10.12

    As you can imagine I am not particularly happy with some parts of the agreement which I have read although I have not yet read the report in full. From what I have read so far I think you summary seems sound .

    Colin – Your 10.17
    Yes, it’s the most important part of the whole paper for me

    Alec
    “.Clearly, the government has ditched it’s hard red lines, but it was always going to have to be this way.”

    Since I have not read the report in full I cannot comment on your rather self congratulatory post of 10.22 other than to say well done if you are right. If I think you are wrong I might take the trouble to point out why, but I am very busy at the moment so I cannot guarantee that. Certainly from what little I have read so far I am far from happy.

    “Those who maintained that no deal was likely and we should be prepared to walk away were always delusional – there was never any chance that the UK would hold out and actually close the talks down.”

    I actually agree that the UK won’t walk away. I have never thought they would, my own strategy would have been to continue talking even when the trade talks end in deadlock, until time runs out. I still expect no trade deal and a return to the original red lines in October 2018 or later if some sort of a transition is agreed. We will know who is correct within a year.

    COLIN

    “EU will repay our investment in the European Investment Bank’s capital, which is around €40 and €45 billion, “over the long term.”

    Are you surprised at that? I think legally they are as obliged to pay that as anything we are obliged to pay. It has always been my view they would pay that back.

  34. “I do like to think one of the differences between Remainers and Leavers (IMHO) is that Leavers are more in the buccaneering spirit of Grenville, Drake, Nelson, Winston Churchill, Jack Churchill, David Sterling etc etc, whereas Remainers are risk-averse accountant types who are afraid that their incomes might be slightly adversely affected by Brexit. ”

    To summerise;

    Remainers can count and insist we do so!
    Brexiteers can also count, refuse to do so.

    Remainers say; “This will cost more than you think, Brexiteers say; “It’s not about the cost!”

    Remainers say; “This doesn’t add up.”
    Brexiteers say; ” It doesn’t have too!”

    Remainers say; “This deal is what we thought we get and what you didn’t want.
    Brexiteers say: “We never told you what we wanted so we can say that what we get is what we wanted all along!”

    Peter.

  35. Colin – 11.41

    You quote: “in the absence of agreed solutions, the United Kingdom will maintain full alignment with THOSE rules of the Customs Union & Single Market WHICH now or in the future, SUPPORT NORTH_SOUTH CO_OPERATION , THE ALL ISLAND ECONOMY AND THE PROTECTION OF THE 1998 AGREEMENT”

    You then go on to write: “This is Ireland Specific-IF NO deal of any other kind is reached.”

    You seem to forget that the DUP’s winning strategy this week was to make sure that whatever happens to Northern Ireland must also happen to the rest of the UK. So we are all gong to be bound by the rules which will apply to Northern Ireland – otherwise the DUP pulls the plug.

    Suits me fine, of course, but it is hardly what you seem to be implying in your post. Or have I misunderstood the DUP’s position?

  36. ‘going’, rather than ‘gong’, of course

  37. @Colin
    Be careful not to compare apples and pears…
    The funds we are paying are an expense – they cover current and future costs.
    The money coming back from the EIB is for the sale of our investment.

    Matching the two off is like flogging some shares while going on a fancy holiday – yes the cash in and cash out have balanced off, but you have got rid of a source of long-term income.

  38. @johnb

    Yes, your interpretation re Ireland is the right one. Since a FTA can’t solve the Ireland issue by itself (unless may concedes further red lines and stays in the SM and CU) the only way to avoid the “full alignment” for those areas covers by the GFA is for the magic technology solutions to work and be accepted by the EU ( in effect, it seems, Ireland).

  39. @colin – it’s interesting that the EU is remaining very tight lipped about the bill, save for a number of comments to the effect that the UK figures are too low.

    I suspect Brussels is happy to let HMG brief everyone on how surprisingly small the final bill will be, even though it’s going to be years until anyone actually knows the figure.

    The EU aren’t completely stupid, I suspect.

  40. COLIN

    There’s a surprise-UK officials have priced the divorce bill & released the numbers

    It was already known that the EU would turn a blind eye to UK announcements of the ‘true’ value of the committment. Of course the agreement to pay the bills as and when they arise, rather than a lump sum up front makes it much easier to do this[1]. It’s a perfectly sensible way to do things and it makes May’s job of selling the deal a bit easier.

    The vast majority of the Brexit-inclined media seem only too keen to help her out, despite the fact that she has just done the exact opposite of everything they have been demanding forever. So despite having given in to practically everything the EU asked for[2], they are now clinging on to the fact of Brexit as their ‘triumph’ – even if Brexit ends up being the same as staying in the EU, but more expensive and less convenient[3].

    It all goes to illustrate my long-held contention that Brexit was all about rhetoric. It was all about making a certain sector of the electorate feel good about themselves and feel powerful. Reality didn’t come into it.

    But getting back to reality, you’re right about the urgency of getting the transitional period sorted. Given the flakiness of the UK on these issues so far, business needs all the reassurance it can get. Despite the talk of “Nothing being settled till everything is”, security is exactly what is needed, which is why today’s deal will end up being committed to, come what may[4].

    Though the danger of a transition period is that the Uk will simply use it to repeat the behaviour of the last 18 months and do nothing, then ending up having to do exactly what it is told to by the EU.

    [1] Given all the perpetual complaints about the size and expense of the EU bureaucracy, it’s interesting how low the pensions contribution is forecast to be. Though this may be an area with the potential for big fiddle factor, which has been used to keep the numbers down.

    [2] Hence this lovely little tweet:
    https://twitter.com/JenniferMerode/status/939062741318455297
    Asked to name a concession EU has made, Barnier says he is not “at this stage insisting the UK should repay the removal costs” for EU agencies.
    which is a bit like saying “We’re still going to shoot you, but we haven’t decided to bill you for the bullet yet”.

    [3] It wouldn’t surprise me if the UK ended up signing up Schengen for example. Indeed they have already lost one of the few concessions that Cameron got on his negotiation.

    [4] Of course any government can tear up any agreement at any time, but it’s rather self-harming behaviour if you’re then about to try to negotiate a lot of treaties with other people.

  41. I suppose you could argue that older people have been happy in aggregate to risk youngsters futures – if that is a sign of a buccaneering spirit so be it.

    I wonder if they would have been so buccaneering in their youth?

  42. @Alec

    Yes, I think TM will get a bit of a boost. Most voters are not that interested in Brexit and indeed are already bored with it. They do not expect life to be very different after Brexit, and if it is, they won’t be able to say whether Brexit was the cause.

    They are simply pleased that progress has been made, so that the news can return to soap stars, football and Strictly.

    Somerjohn is right, it is particularly interesting now to see noises emerging from France and Germany regarding a ‘United States of Europe’. Now that really does stick in the throat of your average UK citizen, and is probably one of the big core visceral reasons for voting Leave. Thanks to Colin for keeping us particularly well informed on this side of things. He is correct to regularly point out the fundamental tension within the EU of a fiscal set-up that does not marry with a political structure.

    Which leads me to say; we might be better off out of it when the internal arguments within the EU really develop.

  43. @SOMERJOHN

    I do not agree that Gove Johnson et al are very happy. They have been forced to agree that the red lines have been made pink but the alternative is to not agree and resign and try and force May out. That is not going to happen since the Tories want to keep in power so if you were a Tory MP you would stick to May like glue unless you are a true believer.

    The point is that the true believers have the members on their side which is why there is talk of JRM for example. but Toris like winning so it would be interesting whom the push. last time they chose Cameron over Davis which in fairness was an inspired choice for the Tories. I am not sure that david Davis gets Lib Dems to agree to a coalition which basically screws them over.

  44. I am breathing a sigh of relief: I would have preferred to remain but that ship has sailed. This is better than I could have expected, article 49 of the agreement commits the UK government, no matter what, to maintaining “full alignment” between NI and the RoI, the promise to the DUP means that the UK as whole must maintain the same thing. Essentially that means no WTO exit even in the absence of an agreement, “no deal” is therefore off the table, no wonder the FTSE and £ are up

  45. @Millie – agree, again.

    Aside from some of us on here, there really isn’t that much interest in Brexit. It’s also true that any talk of US of E and deeper integration is driving many UK voters away from the EU.

  46. PTRP: I do not agree that Gove Johnson et al are very happy.

    I think these two – certainly Boris – were opportunistic brexiters, calculating what worked best for their PM prospects. Actually having to implement a full brexit, and take responsibility for the ensuing catastrophe, was not – in my view – in their game plan.

    The small number of head bangers, aka Major’s b****ds, who share the out-at-all-costs mentality, are a different kettle of fish. Can you imagine a government led by JRM, with Owen Patterson, Bill Cash and – to make it a national effort – Kate Hoey?

  47. It seems like only the other day that “true leavers” were telling us that May now had no choice to walk away and be a martyr or carry on and be a Petain. May having conceded more since then ……

  48. JimJam,

    I think your right. It’s not so much that they are “Principled” as “Comfortable”. For many of them particularly a particular well off pensioner on here who can’t wait to open the champaign when we finally leave, the cost of Brixit is a price worth it but he himself is won’t feel the impact.

    Its like Lord Farquad in Shrek;

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hiKuxfcSrEU

    Peter.

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