YouGov’s latest poll for the Times has topline figures of CON 42%(+2), LAB 41%(nc), LDEM 7%(nc). Fieldwork was Sunday to Monday, and changes are from last week. While the movement from the last poll is well within the normal margin of error, it’s worth noting that this is the first YouGov poll since the election to show a Conservative lead.

Looking at some of the other results it does suggest a small boost for Theresa May from the progress on Brexit last week, but one that still shows the public judging the government’s negotiating efforts very negatively. 26% of respondents now think the government are doing well at negotiating Brexit (up five points), but 57% still think they are doing badly (down seven points). Asked who has the upper hand in the negotiations so far 50% think the EU are doing better and Britain are accepting their demands, 26% think there has been give and take on both sides and just 4% think Britain has the upper hand.

Of course, this is just one poll done just after some good news for the government. It remains to be seen whether it is replicated in other polls and, if so, whether it lasts or rapidly fades away.

The Times story is here, tabs should be up on the YouGov site tomorrow.


560 Responses to “YouGov/Times – CON 42, LAB 41, LDEM 7”

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  1. ho ho ho

    Polling companies completely discredited now

  2. The James Hutton Institute (www.hutton.ac.uk) is Scotland’s (and one of the UK’s) largest independent research organisation with a staff complement of 530 based predominantly in Aberdeen and Dundee…..

    The Strategic Research Programme (SRP) was co-developed by the Scottish Government (SG) and the institutes in consultation with stakeholders (including SNH, SEPA, and Marine Science Scotland), designed to be demand led and meet policy and strategic needs.

    The financial value of the SRP to James Hutton Institute has declined between 2011/12 and 2016/17.

    What is the anticipated impact of the UK exit from the EU on the capacity of your organisation to deliver the programme?

    While the exact nature of a UK exit from the EU is uncertain it is likely to have a major disruptive effect. …..
    However, there are risks to the programme, as the SRP is complemented by significant amounts of complementary EU funded collaborative research. This levers additional resources, extends the science, and brings tangible benefits from shared international experiences, opportunities to test scientific hypothesis under different conditions, and comparisons of regional differences in policy and societal priorities. EU funding is deeply enriching of our science, of which the James Hutton Institute has been particularly successful in securing such that it now comprises c.15% of our total income.
    Our research is delivered by a workforce drawn from across the globe. Taken over a few years, an average of 12% of our staff are citizens of other EU countries, many of whom are disturbed by events, some of whom have already left to posts in the other EU Member States. Over the last 18 months, there has been a decline in applications for posts at the Institute from EU researchers and students. Depending upon the final arrangements made for UK exit from the EU, there will be risks relating to the retention and recruitment of talented staff with scientific skills and from the other operational parts of the Institute that contribute to the SRP.

    http://www.parliament.scot/S5_Environment/General%20Documents/008_JHI.pdf

  3. Sorry about the previous submission lacking comment.

    My pasting was shunted in to UKPR before my comments that these extracts from the budget submission of the Hutton Institute to the Scottish Government for 2018-19 reflect a sense of dread. Big worries that the loss of EU funding will cause many redundancies of research staff, and much hinder research into agriculture, conservation and horticulture.

    There has already been big cut-backs by the UK and Scottish governments on research.

  4. Interesting that UKIP does not appear to have been boosted by any sense of betrayal.

  5. From recollection, recent polls have shown a relatively large number of people voted Conservative in the election but are now undecided. be interesting to see from the tabs if the change in VI is down to the number of undecideds getting smaller or to something else. No UKIP figure given but they can’t have gone up much, if at all, i guess enraged no-deal, hard Brexit now types were either already voting UKIP or are very small in number

  6. @Graham – says the same as me. An alternative i suppose is that UKIP aren’t seen as a credible force, maybe a few % more people would vote for them if Farage was leader?

    @Colin, yes it is the yougov poll. This site is run by yougov and i think it did mention in the header that this poll is from yougov/the times.

  7. The EU has been giving large sums to all the UK except for London and SE England.

    Brexiteers spun that our EU payments went to pay for EU bureaucrats and the CAP, and our leaving would free us to spend this money usefully.

    And now Theresa May has added to that view by saying that our EU contributions can now go the NHS.

    If that happens many farmers will be bankrupted and many dedicated researchers will be out of their jobs (see the worries of the Hutton Institute managers above).

    A responsible government would promise to replace that money, but from this hard Tory government there has been no hint of reassurance.

    Instead they are trying to make the NHS look safer, which should have been done in November`s budget.

  8. From the Sam Coates tweet:

    Progress on Brexit looks like it’s given May a boost over Corbyn:
    37% now think she’d be the best PM (up 3), ahead of Corbyn on 28%(down 2) and don’t know 35%(-1).
    That’s a 9 pt lead, and it was a 4pt lead last week

    The last thing Labour wants to see of TM looking more credible. Since the GE she has been the biggest weakness for the Government. If she can improve the situation, Labour’s job sure gets harder.

  9. CMJ

    Sure but the Brexit hard work has yet to begin. May will face her acid test in 2018

  10. @Mike Pearce

    Negotiating a Brexit that meets the totally contradictory ideas that the public think are possible is very, very hard.

    The critical test isn’t will TM do well, it’s also about do people think JC’s Team will do better?

    When offered a bad choice or an even worse choice, the bad choice can be attractive.

  11. BTW, I don’t offer an opinion on who is better, but the public will certainly decide for itself.

  12. But Corbyn is by far the better campaigner!

  13. @Graham

    He certainly is on the GE trail, but he does fade away a bit during the usual Parliamentary business processes though.

  14. Looking more and more likely that May is going to lead the Tories into the next election, isn’t it.

    I suspect this polling boost will be relatively short-lived, off the back of a feel-good news story, and May having the best week she’s ever had as PM. I wouldn’t get particularly excited by it. Given the almost heroic context this is taking place within (the likes of Soubry and IDS agreeing?!), the fact it hasn’t dented the Labour vote is actually a little surprising to me. It looks like it’s been taken from UKIP.

    What it does show is that, more than the actual deal that’s reached, appearing credible and on top of things is of paramount importance. I think if May delivered a soft Brexit well, she’d be re-elected, even despite the fact her support base wants a hard brexit.

    But reality will soon bite – the ‘deal’ was really a massive fudge, postponing actualy difficult decisions. But it was smart in order to reach the next phase of negotiations, I’ll give her that.

    Will be interesting to see how this develops.

    If May remains solidly ahead on the ‘best PM’ question, then Labour do have cause for concern, given it’s predictability for the outcome of general elections (that said, an election campaign can change all that…). I suspect Corbyn will be replaced by the I’m next election if it’s held in 5 years, though.

    And if that moment comes, I really think Labour have a PM-in-waiting with Starmer. If he had Momentum’s backing, he’d be a shoo-in.

  15. @Analyst

    I do think that what the polls read isn’t too critical really at this point.

    What TM needs is a change of mood music, a mood where she is seen as a better PM than anyone else, and winning.

    The Brexit deal so far may just do this.

    I think you are correct about Corbyn. Labour don’t have to rush, but they need someone to be ready to take over at some point in the next year or two.

  16. FROSTY

    From recollection, recent polls have shown a relatively large number of people voted Conservative in the election but are now undecided. be interesting to see from the tabs if the change in VI is down to the number of undecideds getting smaller or to something else.

    Actually in YouGov the numbers of Don’t knows and Would Not Votes seem to be fairly even (this doesn’t necessarily apply to other pollsters). For example in the previous poll to which this is apparently being compared with (f/w 4-5 Dec):

    https://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/b22zrk1yft/TimesResults_171205_VI_Trackers_w.pdf#page=2

    15% of 2017 Cons were now DK – but so were 13% of Lab and 12% of Lib Dems.

    But as Anthony says, these figures may well be no more than margin of error movement in any case. If there is a small Labour lead in ‘reality’ you would expect the polls to throw up the occasional apparent Tory lead.

    As for the Best PM question, May led by 8 points as recently as September:

    https://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/b2ivvft7ed/YG%20Trackers%20-%20Best%20Prime%20Minister.pdf

    there’s always a bias towards a sitting PM and she got a lot of favourable coverage over the polling period – though any coverage helps. The surprise is that she didn’t get a bigger boost out of it. But then, even in the rare cases where events do have a direct effect on polling, it always takes time to appear in the results. And by then other things may have happened or perceptions changed and it may not be so clear cut.

  17. I will say this is going to be like the early stages of the Iraq war every success will be talked up by oth side Remain/Leave and Tory/Labour

    Getting to stage 2 has been a success for may personally and those that support leave are selling it as a success. You have not heard JRM or any of the other Brexiteers they are not the story.

    So it has played well.however I and some thoter have said this is going to be close in terms of vote share.

  18. Havnt seen any numbers from the poll, but proceding in blindness (and certainly darkness at this hour)

    For months I have been posting that pro EU is a vote winner. Conservatives move more pro EU and vote goes up.

    Labour risks being left behind as the most pro EU party, whereas this positioning created the coalition which got it so close to conservatives.

    The tories ran an election campaign on hard Brexit. The recent agreement says the UK will continue as an associate member of the EU, following all its rules but not participating in its management. Huge reversal of policy.

    If you are a dedicated federal european remainer, that might just be your dream ticket. We will belong but shut up derailing progress.

    If you are a UK first remainer, we get to remain in the economic side, even if we lose the political power. Half a cake, and the more important half. Still the chance for progress.

    If you are a soft brexiteer, you might be worried you arent going to get something you wanted, but sounds like the Uk will be in the second track of political integration.

    If you are a hard brexiteer, it was becoming increasingly clear (election result, behaviour of parliament), that the Uk is not going to accept a clean break with the EU. So maybe better to settle for formally leaving. Its a massive step on the way which would be very hard for the UK to undo. Otherwise, there is a risk the whole thing might be cancelled. May has avoided that, at least fo the moment.

    If you are a russian spy, well the madder the Brits are looking and the crazier their politicians, the better. Dont know how many russian sympathisers are being polled, but it would be in their interest to get into polling panels.

    Thatcher et al. saw a wider EU as an alternative to a deeper EU. Maybe the EU sees this the same way. From the day after the vote when Juncker was as pleased as Farage about the result. The UK giving up political power over the EU now is the route to the UK eventually becoming a fully integrated member of a fully integrated EU state. The march of history says the UK will do this, its youth vote says it will vote to do this. But unless the Uk leaves now, there will not be an integrated EU for it to join because the Uk itself keeps blocking it.

    Labours success had two elements. Pro EU and Corbyn/left. I notice the attacks on Corbyn seeking to deflect him back to centre politics (where labour will lose) have also resumed.

  19. Us think tank says Britain will be 5% worse off by 2029 on best case scenario.

  20. Analyst,

    Agree Labour will have a new leader by 2022 but it will not be Starmer, AG or Home Secretary his aim.

    Also he came out against Corbyn in the second contest and the next leader will be someone who backed him but didn’t in the first contest as they are best placed to have appeal across the party.

    Emily Thornberry is the current favourite with Angela Raynor’s stock having declined a touch. Dawn Butler and Rebecca Long-Bailey would be more appealing to the more left-wing elements in momentum as opposed to those who where tired of the rightward triangulating drift.

    Finally unless a male candidate is exceptional the next leader will be a women which is long overdue.

  21. Clarification.

    A new Labour leader by 2022 if no GE until then, if one in 2019/20 which Labour win with working OM, JC would be PM until 2023/4 perhaps stepping aside before the subsequent GE.

  22. This poll isn’t surprising, and will give cheer to Tories. The Brexit process at one level appears chaotic, but then, all big negotiations are. It’s also true to say that the public are really largely uninterested in the process – so ‘getting a deal’ was probably seen as a positive for May, even if the majority of voters don’t bother with the detail.

    I suspect the key point will come when Brexit finally reveals itself and we see firstly the actual likely impacts, positive or negaitve, and then voters return to looking at the things that matter most to them at election time. One feeds into the other, in that negative impacts will make it much harder to meet other government targets that voters really do care about. I don’t believe anything is a shoe-in for either party – everything is up for grabs.

    On this morning’s news; The Rand Corporation’s assessment of Brexit is damaging. All the caveats regarding projections apply, but at heart, they are saying with numbers what many on here have said via intuitive logic; if you leave the world’s largest trading block, where goods and services have largely friction free cross border trade, you are going to suffer to some degree. As we have been discussing for some time, small divergences in outcomes compound to make huge holes in budgets over time.

    The new findings from this study are that a UK/US trade deal will not be sufficient to turn the UK impacts positive, and would be of almost no benefit to the US. There are no scenarios where Brexit is seen as positive for the UK, save one which they feel is politically impossible, which is a tripartite US/EU/UK comprehensive trade deal.

    Leavers will, of course, dismiss yet another independent assessment that suggests Brexit is economically damaging to the UK, but this is a high profile and respected group in the US. The problem (for all of us) with reports like this is that companies read this stuff. The danger is that memes take hold, and the forecast exert pressure on businesses making decisions themselves, becoming self fulfilling to some degree.

    This is where leave has failed completely to date. If we are not to have business leaders accept the conventional wisdom that the UK is about to suffer a Brexit shock, we have to have alternative, credible and reasonable scenarios before us that show a good chance of a positive post Brexit future.

    These are nowhere to be found, and putting aside whether the projections we do have are right or wrong, the lack of credible positive scenarios is now beginning to damage post Brexit prospects.

  23. @Alec

    “This is where leave has failed completely to date. If we are not to have business leaders accept the conventional wisdom that the UK is about to suffer a Brexit shock, we have to have alternative, credible and reasonable scenarios before us that show a good chance of a positive post Brexit future.”

    Exactly this. Leave have failed utterly so far. It’s all very well Howard et al stating repeatedly that they think it’s going to be ok. It’s not up to them.

    A great many influencers who are, bluntly, a lot smarter and better informed than Howard, have the opposite view and if business leaders think Brexit is going to be a failure and act accordingly, it will be a failure.

    And it will be a failure because of the failure of the likes of Howard and his fellow Leavers to convince. Hurling invective at unbelievers instead of showing them credible scenarios of success strengthens the informed judgement of those sceptics that the Leavers are selling a dodgy product.

  24. DAVWELL

    @”And now Theresa May has added to that view by saying that our EU contributions can now go the NHS.”

    She is referring to our NET contributions-not that part of our GROSS contribution which is repatriated by Brussels to UK.

    Do try to keep up.

    @”A responsible government would promise to replace that money”

    It has-until 2020, after which the regime in the upcoming Agriculture Bill will be in place

  25. DAVWELL

    @”The EU has been giving large sums to all the UK”

    Or to put it another way:-

    The EU has been given large sums of money, which it has returned to UK in subsidies which it decided on.

  26. It is an encouraging Poll & May deserves a bit of sunshine-however temporary.

    I fear the Brexit bounce will not last though. And my focus is on Timing.

    I watched the PM’s statement in HoC yesterday . I waited quite a while for my concern to be aired. It was covered in two questions & TM’s answers to them.

    IDS asked TM to confirm that the Implementation Period would be used for preparation-and not for continuing negotiation of our TA. She confirmed.

    Mike Gapes (?) asked when the Withdrawal Agreement would be concluded & brought to the House. She said asap & Barnier had asked for no later than October.

    So we could be tied up in translating the Joint Statement into a Legal Agreement until October. By March 2019 we will apparently have a finalised TA ready to sign. Thats 5 months.from start to finish.

    EU leaders have talked about “scoping” & ” framework” talks on the TA next year. The Times reports this morning that EU Officials have said there will be no detailed negotiations on TA until THe Withdrawal Agreement is signed & voted on.

    I cannot see how there will be enough time to get a TA ready for voting by EP/EC/HoC by March 2019.

    I don’t believe it.

    I think this will become a major issue.

    TM will have to concede leaving in March 2019 with talks still ongoing & she will have to tell IDS & his friends that the Implementation Period will be used for ongoing negotiations.

  27. Colin,

    ”TM will have to concede leaving in March 2019 with talks still ongoing & she will have to tell IDS & his friends that the Implementation Period will be used for ongoing negotiations.’

    Agree 100% with you.

  28. Graham
    “Interesting that UKIP does not appear to have been boosted by any sense of betrayal.”

    Why would they? Nothing is agreed as per “nothing is agree until all is agreed”

    Catmanjeff
    Agree a stronger looking may is not good news for Labour. Agree with your comments re Brexit as well.

    Danny
    “For months I have been posting that pro EU is a vote winner. Conservatives move more pro EU and vote goes up.”

    I have not seen any evidence of that, if anything the reverse. Just look at the recent Orb poll that Colin referred to yesterday.

    “Us think tank says Britain will be 5% worse off by 2029 on best case scenario.”
    More gloomy projections to be ignored. I will happily discuss how we are doing in 2029 with you assuming we are both still around.

    Alec
    Yes I do, my own view is we will be at least 5% better off by then, but just my forecast, not a fact as with all forecasts.

  29. Alec

    I should have added that my forecast assumes we exit on WTO terms.

  30. @COLIN

    This either means that we are going to have a standard EU deal or there is going to be no deal. I cannot see how you can get everything done on a trade agreement that includes complexities in terms of Financials and other services which is where the UK needs a good deal in terms of access. Most trade deal do not include services at all and so you suffer regulatory drag. A trade deal in goods is great it means that most manufacturers will stay in place but I fear we will be hit where we feel we have an advantage.

    The point is A50 does not say that there need to be a trade deal all that is needed is a framework so the I think that we will be negotiating for years and you are correct. It does make the whole point of waiting until now to agree something that could have been agreed back in the summer. As we would have had more time to negotiate the trade deal.

    It feels like as we go further through the process. The reality of who has the upper hand reveals itself.

    The fact that no one is really interested in the detail as brexit is rather toxic kind of leaves us in a position that this is the sort of thing which will hit come the next deadline.

    I believe the EP have said that the transition period (or whatever anyone wants to call it will be less that 2 years (21 months is what is being offered) I fear that this puts just more pressure on the UK

    Lastly I think a large section of the electorate will be glad when it is all over obviously I think both side will take comfort out of something but to me this has been a spectacular waste of time resources and energy and it does not fix any of the issues we have. This is what I am most disappointed about the whole affair.

    I keep asking the question why are we doing this and more importantly why are we doing this now.

  31. Tabs are up for new YouGov:
    http://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/5tu7akhw6z/TimesResults_171211_VI_Trackers_w.pdf

    As AW says:“Of course, this is just one poll done just after some good news for the government. It remains to be seen whether it is replicated in other polls and, if so, whether it lasts or rapidly fades away.”

    As well as the info AW mentioned lots of other bits of small good news for CON-Leave but I’ll stick with AW’s caveat!

    Regarding Brexit, the small bits of news I’ve been able to keep up with suggest EU folks are not happy with May+DD crowing over their optimistic read on the ‘fudge’ and are going to tighten up the 15Dec communique on ‘sufficient progress’. 1 step forward, 2 steps back perhaps? Although if this gives May+DD an ‘out’ to reset the talks then I’ll be happy chappy with that. Dragging the fudge into the new year is not to UK’s advantage. IMHO.

    Important votes in HoC tonight/tomorrow. How many CON rebels or do we see more fudge?

  32. There’s probably been enough polls since the GE to discern a trend now. It appears there was an immediate boost to Labour, but my feeling is that has slowly been wittled away, despite several Tory mishaps. Within MOE, it looks about even at around 40% for both now. The big question is, how much can we trust the polls? Are their methodologies picking up on what’s really going on? Only time will tell.

    In terms of last week’s events, May did come out rather well I feel. What’s puzzling me is the relative invisibility last week of DD. Isn’t he meant to be the one doing all the leg work and getting the glory? Is the perception now that he’s got nowhere much for several months and May comes along and has sorted it out? I’m sure that wouldn’t be an entirely fair reading, but it may be the message that has come across to the public.

  33. PASSTHEROCKPLEASE

    “I will say this is going to be like the early stages of the Iraq war every success will be talked up by both sides…”

    I have this image of you opening a speech at a wedding or a funeral and saying:

    “This all reminds me of the Iraq war… “

  34. some breaking news:

    3.1% inflation;
    Clive Lewis Cleared;
    Peston thinks Damien Green will be cleared;

    Perhaps our cleared politicians could concentrate on avoiding stagflation the risk of which appears to be increasing with each passing month.

    On the Yougov poll, isn’t this just polldrums? My own analysis is that 43% is the highwater mark for both major parties, the real question is not why isn’t Labour ten points ahead (achieving 50% of the electorate is not realistic in current politics) but why aren’t the Conservatives on 33%. Personally, without data, my own view is that a considerable group of people have come to recognise that voting for smaller parties in FPTP system is a waste. My analysis is that after 2015 GE those who had seen LD as providing a brake on extreme policies saw how swiftly that party could be decimated (almost literally) in Parliament and therefore how the ability influence policy was limited.

  35. RAND’s analysis and assumptions can be found here

    https://www.rand.org/randeurope/research/projects/brexit-economic-implications.html

    As you’d expect the Remain press have cherry picked the worst bits. I don’t have time to read it in depth today, they have run numbers for 8 different scenarios. Chlorinated chicken fans will note the US leaning bias, ex-EU but TTIP creates a +1.7% outcome, so no bias whatsoever there then :-)

    What they do have is a neat little calculator that allows users to adjust some of the assumptions – click on the calculator bit and select ‘create custom scenario’. Looks quite detailed.

    As usual the model assumes static govt, static supply chains, perfect competition (ie tariffs all pass through to consumer and zero is absorbed by the company exporting to UK), no gain from change in regulations, etc, etc. which IMHO is a tough to quantify +ve from Brexit but in range of +0.2 to +0.5% per annum once we’re out of transition (assuming a clean exit). The model does not allow you to adjust for any potential +ves.

    Challenge to SJ and ALEC – who can create the worst possible outcome scenario. I reckon both can find a -10% with a little time and effort on creating turbo Project Fear assumptions :-) :-)

  36. @PAUL CROFT

    The reason why I bring it up is that we have good polling data of the event. it was rather seminal in our approach. It made the situation whereby we went for a hands off approach to intervention i.e. we did not o it again

    I see the issue of brexit looking like the Iraq war because I fear there will be a point of regret and redirection of blame and a misremembering of how one voted. At the time people whom were opposed were in a minority leading up to the war and then it changed as thing went bad.

    My point that it will take a long time for it to be seen as a bad decision firstly and then secondly I don’t think it does any one any harm to be a brexiteer in the short term.

    :lastly we have tended to discuss the policy and not the polls. apart form the referendum this was the last thing that was a big influence on the country

    ;-)

    Anyway as to the point I made agree, disagree?

  37. @TOH – “Yes I do, my own view is we will be at least 5% better off by then, but just my forecast, not a fact as with all forecasts.”

    Lets be honest Howard – you aren’t presenting a ‘projection’. A projection generally means a modelled set of parameters applied to existing measurements, where there is a previous body of knowledge where the impacts of changes to the parameters determining performance has previously been measured, and where assumptions altering the operating parameters can be measured and tested against previously observed data and outcomes.

    With such a forecast you need to be able to describe what parameter changes you are predicting, and how these affect the overall model outputs.

    You aren’t forecasting – you’re guessing. Or more like wishing, as a guess in itself needs some evidential basis to be given any level of credence.

  38. @TRIGGUY

    I think that is my reading of events. There is an interesting piece in the FT. talking about a more civilised divorce. I think May had DD play bad cop and she played good cop. I think this is all for domestic consumption though

    I would not think that he would have said stuff that either she had not agreed. So the thing about his poor performance is basically he is being put out as a spokesman for the bad news. It is funny that his optics is suffering because of this but i suppose he is at the end of his political life so no harm done

  39. Alec: Leavers will, of course, dismiss yet another independent assessment that suggests Brexit is economically damaging to the UK, but this is a high profile and respected group in the US. The problem (for all of us) with reports like this is that companies read this stuff.

    TOH (on cue): More gloomy projections to be ignored.

    While gung-ho brexiteers may want to ignore research from bodies like Rand, as Alec points out, the rest of the world will take note. As far as our hoped-for future global partners are concerned, when it comes to decision making, Rand Corporation vs TOH can have only one outcome.

    The concerning factor I’d add to the economic projections, is the reputational damage UK is suffering.

    Intuitively, I would expect recent events would have made the rest of the world see us as less reliable, stable and well-governed than they formerly saw us; as well as with uncertain economic prospects.

    Anyone know of any overseas polling of business or popular opinion on this?

  40. Inflation increases to 3.1%.

  41. @Trevor Warne – “Challenge to SJ and ALEC – who can create the worst possible outcome scenario. I reckon both can find a -10% with a little time and effort on creating turbo Project Fear assumptions :-) :-)”

    I note the humourous emojis, but I will challenge you to find any numerical projection from me, gloomy or otherwise.

    I will repeat again, for the umpteenth time, my interest was not in the accuracy of the projections, but in your false reading of the outputs that you were presenting. At no point did I make any projection of my own, other than provide some illustrative figures that demonstrated that some of your posts were highly misleading.

  42. @Trevor Warne – just to correct something in your last post, the Rand projection for the TTIP scenario is for a combined EU/UK/USA TTIP, which would give the UK the best of all worlds. Rand says this is politically impossible.

    “As usual the model assumes static govt, static supply chains, perfect competition (ie tariffs all pass through to consumer and zero is absorbed by the company exporting to UK), no gain from change in regulations, etc, etc. which IMHO is a tough to quantify +ve from Brexit but in range of +0.2 to +0.5% per annum once we’re out of transition (assuming a clean exit).”

    Again, these assumptions within the Rand model appear reasonable. I appreciate your view that on leaving, the UK could adjust to the new realities in an attempt to change how beneficial/detrimental the new circumstances are, but that isn’t the point of the model.

    As I’ve said before, we can make all manner of adjustments if we stay, and the point of the model is that they are trying to understand what a ‘like for like’ world would be when only one paramter is altered (eg, leaving the EU). That’s the entire point of the models, and I believe that your approach is largely invalid, unless you also apply positive changes to the remain scenario. You are not comparing like with like.

    In your defence, you could argue (which I think is the nub of your point) that leaving the EU would allow more changes to be made that improve productivity, GDP etc. By leaving, we can free ourselves from restrictions on our productive capacity. That would be a logical line of arguement to take, but to make an effective case, I would counter that you need to demonstrate two things.

    Firstly, that it is specifically the EU and EU regulations that is reducing our productive capabilities. On this, the evidence is almost entirely absent. If the EU was solely responsible for any loss of production, we would expect to see this across every member state, and we don’t. The problems with productivity and balance of trade in particular appear to be far more UK specific. No plausible causal relationship that links membership of the UK to a relative loss of economic performance has been produced to my knowledge.

    The second point I think you need to demonstrate is that there is realistic scope to make such regulatory changes once we leave the UK. I remain unclear as to what changes you are proposing, and why we can’t do these things now. May has already promised that there will be no loosening of employment rights, environmental protections, and no ‘race to the bottom’ on regulation. I feel it is therefore an open question that you have to answer to provide examples of where we can make positive changes post Brexit that aren’t possible now.

    Does this qualify as ‘intelligent debate’ on your assumptions?

  43. To (partially) answer my own question about polling evidence for reputational fall-out from brexit shenanigans, I found this report:

    The United Kingdom, which fell five places in the rankings to number 18, was adversely affected by Brexit with the decision impacting supportive behaviours towards the country, with significant drops in people’s propensity to invest, work and buy from the UK.

    This is about annual country reputation rankings produced by the US-based Reputation Institute. You can download a pdf of a webinar following the research if you register with them. It was based on a March ’17 survey of 39,000 consumers in G8 countries. Slightly management-speak gobbldegookish, but lots of interesting stuff nevertheless:

    https://www.reputationinstitute.com/resources/registered/pdf-resources/2017-country-reptrak-most-reputable-countries.aspx

  44. @ALEC

    I think TREVOR has said several times that leaving the EU give the UK an opportunity to make changes because we would have no choice. he used the idea of the EU being a gym membership that we do not use and we just sit on the couch. If you get rid of the coach and the gym membership that might change our behaviour.

    My view is that behavioural change has nothing to do with the gym membership. The fact that we do not use it is the problem not the gym membership itself.

  45. Brighter news – Gove has approved the release of beavers in Forestry Commission land in the Forest of Dean. For the first time in the UK, beavers are being released specifically as a flood control measure, in order to alleviate flooding in a nearby village.

    Attitudes to controlled wildlife reintroductions in the UK tend to be based on unintelligent grunts more comonly associated with neanderthals (apoligies to any neaderthals reading this – this was inserted for humourous intent only) and the continued kneejerk objections of many landowners to any kind of rewilding efforts usually says more about the quality of private education in this country than the science behind the proposals. At least as far as beavers go, we are beginning to catch up with the 169 releases from every other mainland EU country that have gone perfectly smoothly.

  46. Somerjohn

    “Rand Corporation vs TOH can have only one outcome.”

    Yep, looks like another win for the Old Chap as you describe me (reasonably accurately)

    :-)

  47. @ Alec

    “Gove has approved the release of beavers in Forestry Commission land in the Forest of Dean. For the first time in the UK, beavers are being released specifically as a flood control measure, in order to alleviate flooding in a nearby village.”

    But this time we’ll be worried about them eating the goal posts, not just moving them, like the badgers.

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