Another week, another Brexit poll for partisan twitter to get overexcited about. In this case the fuss was caused by a YouGov poll that appeared to show people backing Brexit by 48% to 39%. This survey was actually the GB answers to question asked to several EU countries – the intention of it wasn’t to measure UK support for Brexit, but to see whether or not the public elsewhere in Europe still wanted Britain to stay, or whether we’ve got to point that they’d really just like us to hurry up and go away (for the record, most of the German, Danish, Swedish and Finnish public would still like Britain to stay. The French are evenly divided). There was also a question earlier in the survey about Martin Schulz’s vision of a federal Europe which may or may not have influenced answers – however, this post isn’t about the specific question, but about all the Brexit surveys we tend to see.

As ever, when a poll comes out that appears to show public support for Brexit it is excitely retweeted and shared by lots of pro-Brexit voices. When a poll comes out that appears to show public opposition to Brexit it is excited retweeted and shared by lots of anti-Brexit voices. Both of these create a deeply misleading picture. To start with, there are three different questions about current attitudes to Brexit that people often treat as being measures of public support for Brexit which don’t always show the same answers…

1) Questions asking how people would vote in a Brexit referendum tomorrow
2) Questions asking whether people think Brexit was the right or wrong decision
3) Questions asking whether people think we should now go ahead with Brexit or not

Starting with the first type of question, BMG and Survation both ask EU referendum voting intention regularly, and ICM, Opinium and YouGov have asked it on occassion. BMG’s most recent poll showed a ten point lead for Remain and got a lot of publicity, but this was something of an outlier. Typically these polls have shown a small lead for Remain of between one and four points.

Any question asking about voting intention in a referendum or election is really two questions – it’s working out who would vote, and then how they would vote. When polls ask how the public would vote in an EU referendum tomorrow they tend to find not much net movement among remain and leave voters, the Remain leads are down to those who didn’t vote in 2016. This raises all sorts of questions about whether those past non-voters would actually vote and whether they are actually representative of 2016 non-voters, or are too politically engaged and likely to vote.

There’s also a question of how useful a referendum voting intention question is when there isn’t actually a second referendum due. The most likely route to a second referendum is a referendum on the terms of the deal…which obviously aren’t known yet. In my experience, most people who contact polling companies asking whether we’ve asked a Brexit referendum question aren’t primarily interested in how people would vote in a second referendum, but really want to see if the public have changed their mind about how they voted in the first one…

YouGov regularly ask a direct “Bregret question” to get at that question, asking whether people think voting for Brexit was the right or wrong decision. The results here are quite similar to referendum questions, but because it is a question about public attitudes as a whole rather than voting intentions concerns about likelihood to vote don’t arise. Looking at the regular YouGov tracker, there has again been a slow movement towards Regret, meaning that for the last three or four months the poll has consistently shown slightly more people thinking Brexit was the wrong decision than the right decision.

The final group of questions is “what do we do now” questions. No company asks a regular tracker along these lines, but there are several questions asked on this sort of basis. By stating with “at this point” the question in the YouGov poll this week tilts toward this sort of question, but there are other more explicit examples asking what people think should happen next – for example, YouGov have a semi-regular tracker that asks how the government should proceed with Brexit, which this month found 52% thought the government should go ahead with Brexit, 16% that they should call a second referendum, 15% that they should stop Brexit and remain in the EU. The reason for the difference in these questions is that a substantial minority of people who voted Remain in 2016 consistently say that the government should go ahead and implement Brexit (presumably because they see them as having a democratic duty to implement the referendum result).

It is true to say that more of the public now tend to think Brexit was the wrong decision than the right decision, and say they would vote against it in a referendum. It is also true to say that most of the public think that Brexit should go ahead. Neither measure is intrinsically better or worse, right or wrong… they are just asking slightly different things. If you want to understand public attitudes towards Brexit, you need to look at both, rather than cherry pick the one that tells you what you want to hear.

1,317 Responses to “On measuring support for Brexit”

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  1. Allan Christie,
    “Trimmed roon the edges but still rotten in the middle.”

    Interpretation is wrong. If the reshuffle changed nothing, then no changes were needed. The party and PM are united.

    Re the Orb poll posted earlier,
    I see that the government agreeing to a 50bn divorce bill was if anything greeted by a modest increase in their approval rating re handling Brexit. Simultaneous with a modest fall in numbers thinking she will get the right deal.

    So, a step in the right direction, but people more convinced she will not get to the right destination? 2/3 think negotiations handled badly, half think there will be the wrong result, only 31% think she will get the right result.

    Slow trend across 15 months of more people moving from dont know to thinking they will be worse off after Brexit. Those thinking will be better off holding about the same at 41% but now equalled by those disagreeing. But pretty small considering poll-poll fluctuations or errors.

    Similarly no real change of 15 months on expectations re immigration. Overall, pretty much level pegging on whether free trade or controlling immigration is more important (though I’m not sure in what situation these are real tradeoffs?)

    Maybe the largest change overall is a slight fall in those reporting ‘dont know’. Are people making up their minds?

  2. @Sea Change – “Next…”

    What you are ignoring is the simlpe fact that remain took leaving the SM to mean a loss of trade and other economic opportunities, while leave clearly meant that this would lead to a loss of immigration while maintaining free trade.

    It’s this cherry picking of benefits by leavers is the reason why Hannan was clear that we would still be in the SM, and other leavers perpetuated the myth that even if we left what is called the SM, we wouldn’t notice any difference except in those things that we don’t like.

    It’s pointless trying to argue against this. How many times did you hear leavers tell us that;

    – we would continue to trade with the EU as now because it’s in their best interests
    – we will get a special deal for the city
    – we will get a special deal for the auto industry
    – we will get a comprehensive deal covering services
    etc etc

    You are quite wrong. We were perpetually promised all the benefits of the SM, minus the payments and immigration.

  3. @PETE B

    it always is said that Tories are a the party of economic competence but Labour are now seen as the party of living standards. S to Labour always TRASHING the economy. Both conservatives and Labour go through recessions. Indeed the reason that I believe that the Tories were kicked out in 1997 was that they trashed the economy and had to trash services in an attempt to ‘restore’ the economy. I believe the Tories are going through the same issues and indeed if you read COLIN and TREVOR WARNE post on the economy they are arguing for spending increases to resolve this and abandoning the current set of cuts that are currently government policy


    Please look up nationalisation and the EU since I believe you are pretty much running on spin in terms of the what is and is not allowed in terms of nationalisation in the EU and the rules surrounding it.

    The UK nationalised the RBS with no issue from the EU indeed most EU countries have had banks were nationalised without any problems at all. The debate regarding the italian banks was not the nationalisation but the risk to tax payers money it could be tested in ECJ but it would render all other nationalisations ultra vires, since they were not contested, so it will be interesting to test,

    There are several articles which show that nationalisations go on all the time in addition germany provisions 3 times more state aid than the UK does again with not issue, The aid has to have a purpose and cannot be a general subsidy hence my view was that TATA Steel could have been helped for example the government taking over the part of the pension liability in order to facilitate a sale as an example A state actor can indeed buy and or create companies under EU law.

    It is worth reading the rules as at some point there is a lot of confusion as people only read one clause and not the whole set. while is is clear the overall aim is to allow for more competition it also is rather flexible as to take into account strategic aims.

    What I do find interesting is that the EU is moving to a system much like the UK indeed praising the UK system when most of the electorate think that the railway system should be nationalised.

  4. Even this morning we see Hammond and Boris appealing to German business leaders, arguing for a deal that covers financial services as well. Their line is the same old guff that we had during the referendum campaign – that it’s in Germany’s interests to keep the UK free trading in all sectors.

    The only proble is that it isn’t. @Trevor Warne is very keen an ‘reshoring’ for the UK, but leavers seem to have less understanding that reshoring works potentially in two directions. We can reshore if we like, but so can Germany and the UK.

    Of al the industries, finance is one of the easiest and quickest to reshore, which is why the EU sees our insistence on various red lines as a golden opportunity for them. It’s really not in their best interests to allow the city to maintain it’s dominance in the financial sector. That’s just another l!e.

  5. Same old Brexit guff I see which I shall ignore for now.

    The reshuffle was handled badly but I was verypleased with two appointments. Good to see Esther MvVey back in cabinet and I was delighted with the appointment of Suella Fernandes an ardent Eurosceptic to the Brexit Department.

  6. @Alec

    You seem to be keen to carry on digging yourself a hole after your amusing post last night. Nobody has presented any evidence that any of the Leavers said we must stay in the SM (or the CU). Hannan quite clearly did not say we were staying in the SM. Repeating it continually doesn’t make it so.

    You may be right that a bespoke trade deal is not possible because the EU has to agree to it. The Leave position is it is in their interests to do so. Which it is. Whether politics intervenes and derails that we will have to wait and see.

  7. Alec/Seachange
    I think you are talking at cross purposes.
    There is a difference between membership of the single market, which all prominent remainers made clear we would have to leave if the vote was out and having access to the single market via a trade deal, instead, as proposed by prominent leavers, because that would be in the interests of the uk and the eu.
    The latter does not involve freedom of movement or the ECJ, the two red lines.

    So like the Canada deal. Canada has not accepted freedom of movement or accepted the primacy of the ECJ over its own Supreme Court but has access to the single market. The ++ just adds in services as well.

    Meanwhile, Jeremy Corbyn rules out being a member of the SM and Emily Thornbury says we will remain in it. So which is it? Or is he talking about membership and she is talking about access, in which case she is supporting TMs position?

    Most confusing.

    In other news, Bloomberg is reporting that a Spanish bank is relocating its HO from Madrid to London. (Because of Brexit?)

  8. TOH
    I agree with you on the re shuffle and on the two appointments you specifically mentioned. But there were others too, including the new party chairman.

    Yes, badly handled but It was never the case that the big jobs would change hands, so not sure what all that fuss was about. This was about changing things in the lower order. If Greening does go off to the LDs I hope she has a chat with Mark Reckless first. His hissy fit didn’t do much for his career did it?

    As ever of course time will tell but as 99% of the population has probably not heard of any of them, bar the PM and the Chancellor, it will all have gone over the heads of the public, despite the best efforts of the BBC to spin it negatively.


    As usual we agree Robert, there was a desperate need to change the Chairman and she made a good choice.

    Very amusing report from Bloomberg.

    The Labour position (morecrrectkly multiple positions) is what you get if you try and be all things to all people. Corbyn is not a Remainer in my view and never has been.

    Have a good day all.


    I think that the fact that none of the main figures have changed is interesting since the chatter was that there was going to be big changes. The fact that Hunt for example stay in place and that Greening was being moved was surprising. Indeed for so little change May could have controlled the narrative better and things would not have been so poorly done.

    It does feel Corbyn’s problems in that he could not get a reshuffle correct.

    As how it comes across? Well you are correct in that it could be ignored but I fear that the drip drip of news of this kind would mean there will be a loss of confidence at the margins of her vote and at this point it could mean the difference between having enough seats to form a coalition or not.

    As to Brexit, and Labours views on brexit, they are supposed to be confusing as far as I can tell. It is supposed to be ambiguous since they have both hardened remainers and hardened leavers. They cannot lose either set of voters because it is ever so tight in terms of the votes

  11. Andew111

    “That is why Leavers are so desperate to decry any more voting on this issue as “undemocratic””

    But we don’t as I have explained many times. I for one am totally happy for a referendum on rejoining the EU once we have left. To have one before we have left would not be honouring the first referendum result which was quite clear. I have also suggested purely on the basis of fairness to all, that any referendum to rejoin the EU should be delayed by 40 years from the date of leaving, so we really get the feel of how good or bad being outside the EU is.

  12. @ PRTP / ALEC – you both raise good points but my replies in auto-mod and too busy to see which wrong word I picked, I might try again later if time.

  13. The Other Howard: Same old Brexit guff I see which I shall ignore for now.
    At least you have stopped your guffish countdown of the number of days to go till brexit day.

  14. @Sea Change – lets have a look at this in detail.

    @Guymonde said “I think you’re wrong to say that staying in the SM and CU would disrespect the referendum. Neither was on the ballot paper and it’s well established that a number of prominent leave supporters were clearly saying we would stay. ”

    You then said – “Can you point me to any interviews where these leading lights of Brexit are demanding we leave the EU but remain in all their trade structures with no say, please?”

    Neither post detailed any time frame for when such statements were made, although to be fair, @Guymonde’s original post did imply that he was talking about what the referendum result actually meant, which could reasonable be taken to mean he was refering to promises made before the vote.

    It’s also worth noting that you didn’t stick to the strict definition of the SM and CU – you refered explicitly to “all their trade structures”. You could argue that this means the same as the SM and CU, but you did leave some room for interpretation.

    Various people then posted links to a clip that clearly showed multiple senior leave campaigners making a variety of statements about how we weren’t going to leave the SM and varius other statements. This appeared to completely contradict your point.

    You then replied with a further clip claiming this debunked those statements. You also posted quotes from leavers stating we would be outside the SM, said during the campaign. Your video evidence appears to be presented on the basis that these statements were not made during the campaign itself, but that doesn’t debunk @Guymonde’s original statement – he didn’t place a definitive timeframe on his claims.

    However, there is further straightforward evidence from the campaign itself that Vote Leave officially took a position that supported retaining our de facto membership of the Customs Union.

    If you have a look at page 11 of the manifesto presentation on the Vote Leave website (‘Vote Leave – our Case’ – you will see that it states:

    “There is a free trade zone from Iceland to Turkey and the Russian border and we will be part of it”.

    Now I can agree that this promise to stay in the CU is inconsistent with other promises made in the same manifesto document, but that is a matter for Vote Leave. If you are claiming that the referendum campaign was not based on the fact that the UK would “leave the EU but remain in all their trade structures with no say”, then you are wrong, as this was one of their key promises.

    You could try to counter this by saying that Vote Leave was arguing only for a comprehensive free trade deal, but you would also then have to admit that Vote Leave knowingly l!ed, as the abundant evidence from multiple sources was clear that we couldn’t remain in the CU or negotiate a free trade deal on the same trading terms.

    This brings us to the nub of the question, which was what was actually promised by the leave campaign. On this, the answer is clear, and we don’t need video clips or arguments about when and what was said by whom – Vote Leave promised voters that we would stay in the free trade structure established by the EU.

    They didn’t promise we would “remain in all their trade structures with no say” – they actually promised that we would remain in their structures while retaining complete freedom from EU rules, laws, regulations, obligations and costs, but they definitively did promise that we would retain all the trading advantages of the CU.

    Given this, @Guymonde is perfectly entitled to point out that there is no settled interpretation of what the referendum result actually represented, and neither can you.

    The promises made were completely contradictory, and if you want to claim that one set of promises, was what was promised, then @Guymonde and others are perfectly entitled to point to another set of promises that were made and demand that these are adhered to.

    Logically, Vote Leave could just as much tell voters that they have decided to remain within the CU as this is what they promised, as they could leave the EU entirely without a free trade deal for goods and services. Such was the contradictory nature of their promises, and this you can’t escape from.

  15. Sea Change: @Alec …. You may be right that a bespoke trade deal is not possible because the EU has to agree to it. The Leave position is it is in their interests to do so. Which it is. Whether politics intervenes and derails that we will have to wait and see.

    In the short term, the leave position may be right, for economics only.

    But what is the point? In political terms it is not in the interests of the EU to start dishing out bespoke deals, else the EU would consist of no members and a heap of bespoke deals in the ultimate, which would mean that anyone could get any bespoke deal they wanted with nobody and you would come down to a situation of n * (n – 1) / 2 bilateral deals for everyone to get their own access to everyone else’s bespoke deal with no one. I cannot imagine that the EU or its members would see this as being in the interests of anyone.

    Ultimately as despised EU figures keep on saying, the best deal is membership. It is as bespoke as you can negotiate from the inside, which is far more negotiable than you could negotiate from the outside.

  16. @ PTRP – you need to convince Corbyn not me! I’d be quite happy with a SM-CU deal which is basically Canada+. It’s the +CU that I want out of. i have no major issue with FoM, I think we could tighten up on immigration using existing EU rules (and letting economics do the work). EFTA court instead of ECJ and care on what we agree to regarding broader ECJ. This could be stepping stone to future divergence and although a little deceitful on intent – that’s politics for you!
    At the end of the day we’ve appointed our agents (MPs) to get us the best deal possible and I’d simply like to give them the ability to do so. I doubt anyone will be happy with every aspect of the deal – no one leaves negotiations happy.

  17. @ ALEC (from 8:45) – I’d agree that financial services could be ‘reshored’ quicker than manufacturing hence the need for a short transition period and ‘no deal’ if EU try to shaft us. Note also discussion with BFR/SJ y’day about risk of Corbyn!

    A long transition period with a fuzzy ending suits the EU as they can and will take back EU clearing, etc when they are ready (as they probably would have done in time anyway – see 2015 court case and the whole agenda of Macron and Junker). Counter that with EU based companies exporting to UK hold off on setting up/expanding in UK and non-UK companies based in UK selling to UK+EU hold off on investment awaiting clarity.

    I’ve said many times that the initial ‘flow’ that is directly linked to Brexit will work against the UK (the ‘dip’ that we are mid-way through) but it is the long-term potential that will result in a net increase to UK (our overall trade deficit is 100bn per annum with the EU!!).

    Of course UK domestic trade and non-EU trade are major factors that will dwarf the Brexit effect (domestic in the short-term and both aspects in the long-term). This is why taking one short-term aspect and straight line interpolating that for a little under 12 years to generate a scary sounding number doesn’t deter those that seek the best long-term future for UK.

    (part2 coming subject to auto-mod)

  18. @ALEC

    I think the UK will get a deal it will mean being in the EU orbit, The EU will be happy because essentially that means abiding by EU regulations in all but name. The Government will be happy because it means effects on the economy will be minimal since that is a real issue. We will end up with a visa system that will basically mean FoM since it will guarantee anyone with a job coming to the UK and that will not change we will have more bureaucracy and everyone will just say that is what they wanted. Ardent brexiteers like Farage will be unhappy, ardent remainers will be unhappy the rest of us would have moved on and us that write comments on blogs if we are remain supporting will say was it really worth this and those that support the government will find a way to support it as they did the document to move to phase 2.

    In simple terms I think that people would have move from brexit to realising that the EU was not the reason why we have people having 4 hour waits in ambulances waiting for hospital beds and all the other issues

    What I think is clear that if you read much of what most people that support brexit say is ‘when we leave we can do………’. My concern is that the all the things they are saying have nothing to do with the EU and everything to do with government policy. it is why I think that although I am an ardent remainer I am also a person that believes that come the end leaving will expose the fact that the decisions that have been made on our behalf we the electorate voted for them. The fact we do not like the compromises that we have made says a lot about ourselves as a collective and also points to the divisions

    I often use this as a pointer to how we are clearly not policy driven but party driven I find it hilarious not because I am a Corbyn supporter but that it clearly shows because of our political system we act more tribally than we do on policy

    It is funny that what you have is people like TREVOR WARNE saying arguing I want freedom if my tribe wins but freedom needs to be curtailed if he other side wins if you follow his CON Leave LABOUR remain. Yet if you look at policies he is proposing it is closer to Labour than it is to Tories.

    but as I said… is funny to watch.

  19. @ ALEC (pt2 reply from 8:45) – Instead of DD moaning about EU sending out ‘no deal’ info to EU27 businesses his department should be sending out ‘no deal’ info to:
    1/ the majority of UK business is domestic so save some postage/email typing there but where relevant maybe suggest they look to steal business (politely worded of course) from EU based competitors
    2/ UK exporters to EU: a/ focus on finding more domestic customers (especially those that import from EU) and b/ non-EU customers although highlight still hopeful of a good deal.
    3/ UK importers: a/ look to find cheaper domestic suppliers or b/ move down the supply chain and start up/expand own production in the supply chain (vertical integration) or c/ buy-out EU companies that have UK operations that might sell out cheap if they have fallen for project fear
    4/ EU exporters to UK: come and start up/expand in UK! Lower taxes, more flexible work force, quality not quantity for regulations and likelihood of expanded global reach once we’re free of the sloth like EU trade team.
    5/ Global companies: as above

    Most well run companies don’t actually need a letter to work this stuff out for themselves but as I noted above the initial flow works against the UK and a large part of getting a good deal is to show we won’t accept a bad deal by planning for ‘no deal’. Most of the above company suggestions are valid even if we get a ‘good’ deal and tweaking the tax incentives to stimulate domestic manufacturing expansion and training are good ideas regardless of Brexit. As I’ve said many times – Brexit should be the excuse to fix our current account deficit, a lot of those problems have been kicked into the long grass too often and an event like Brexit was required to focus HMG on the task. If we’d taken the approach of RoI or Germany in bending EU rules and adopting policies that stole trade from other EU members we might never have had Brexit but we are where we are – the past can not be changed and the future looks bright!

  20. @Robert Newark – “So like the Canada deal. Canada has not accepted freedom of movement or accepted the primacy of the ECJ over its own Supreme Court but has access to the single market.”

    This is mistaken. Canada does not have accdess to the Single Market. It has a free trade deal, but, for example, there are still quotas in place, it has no access to the banking passport system, and has no say on development of EU regulations. As one Canadian official said of CETA –

    “How they [UK Leave supporters] think Ceta is the panacea, I’m confused. We still don’t get complete access to the EU market the way the Brits currently have as a member state. So I don’t understand this looking towards Ceta as the answer to Brexit when they will be taking a 43-year step backwards in terms of the current access they have to the European Union.”

  21. @TW – “(as they probably would have done in time anyway – see 2015 court case…..”

    This court case specifically states that the EU ECB do not have the legal power to dictate that Euro clearing is undertaken within the Eurozone under the Single Market rules. Whatever Macron and Merkel might want, they can’t do this without a treaty change that UK could veto.

    You regularly misquote this court case without seemingly understanding what it actually means.

    Once we leave, of course, that’s different. We will lose Euro clearing for sure.

  22. Pete B

    Prof Howard:
    “This resolves the border issue since nobody takes services over a physical border”
    Pete B:

    But you don’t need physical infrastructure on a border to check people are bringing in banking to the country – that bit about physical infrastructure is one of the big issues in Ireland.

    So staying in the CU and SM for goods only – but not services – is a potential way through.

  23. @ PTRP – can’t make sense of your last post but I’d very happily be called a Red Tory (or Blue Labour). Corbyn’s views on Brexit are so close to May’s that it is tough to differentiate but Corbyn is more pro-FoM as am I. “Easy” access could simply be applying existing EU rules and bending a few others – feel free to pass that view onto Corbyn!

    The big issue is what is done with the freedom of leaving the EU and it is there where the big differences lie. Corbyn would use the powers to turn UK inwards, reduce flexibility and competitiveness lowering aggregate wealth – but distributing the shrinking wealth more fairly in a vicious circle that ultimately makes everyone poorer. May (or hopefully her replacement in 2020) would use the powers to open UK outwards, increase flexibilty and competitiveness increasing aggregate wealth – and hopefully enhancing trickle down with a virtuous circle that ultimately increases everyone’s standard of living.

    Again, if we have a Corbyn govt I’d rather have that outcome whilst in the EU (even if as a colony) than outside of the EU. One term of Corbyn so folks can see how inappropriate a 1970s model is for 2020s UK and CON could come back in to finish Brexit properly.

    Domestically I’ve agreed with many Corbyn policies, watered down in several cases. i’d happily see taxes up a little and more spending on NHS, etc. I disagree strongly on free uni fees, although favour means tested maintenance grants, and my worry with nationalisation is more to do with ‘awkward squad’ union control that a state player or state control of natural monopolies. It would be very unlikely that any party offers a full suite of policies that match any individual’s desires – you have to pick the one that is closest or sadly these days the one that is least worst!

    Leaving the EU is not about turning our backs on the EU, it is about turning to face the faster growing economies of the World. Whether we can keep a foot in the EU while we re-orient is up to them – I’m a firm believer in reciprocity so if they try to punish us then why would we go out of our way to help them? Obviously in negotiations both sides will try to cherry-pick but good to see DD has turned that one back on the EU and stated they can’t cherry-pick from UK either.

    I’ll put it simply – no deal is better than a bad deal!

  24. The Times today reports Labour to announce by the spring that it wants to stay indefinitely in a modified version of the ESM. Britain to be excluded from own trade deals , but EU would be asked to gove us a “seat” at their trade negotiations.

    On DP today AN asked Debbie Abrahams how Labour would get that when Merkel had discounted it. She said Merkel isn’t secure-we would negotiate it.

    DP’s political news analyst said Starmer “walked out” of a LP meeting after JC said UK could not stay in the SM. ??

    Constructive Ambiguity coming under strain a little ?

  25. @ ALEC (11:39) – ?? I’m not sure how one misquotes a fact but I mention the 2015 court case as proof of EU intent (action). I’ve also mentioned things like EU army (even though they don’t pay their way in NATO) and developing an EMF (because they don’t like IMF involvement but for now need IMF money and approval). The message, via their actions should be clear – EU want to take back control to the core countries. They feel threatened by reliance on others and want to isolate themselves from this reliance and in doing so will step back from involvement with the rest of the World – unless it suits the core interest (e.g. massive German trade surplus in goods).

    QMV changed on 1April’17 which is important. However, to force Euro clearing within the Eurozone only they also need to tackle clearing in other centres (e.g. NY and Singapore – which are not and will not become colonies). We have some time to replace that lost business and provided we stay the Global financial capital by avoiding an anti-bank Corbyn govt then I’m very optimistic about UK’s financial services sector’s future.

  26. @COLIN

    As I have said eventually reality takes care of itself. I would have thought that currently the polls would suggest anything that is too far from where we are now will mean problems. The point is that labour is not exploring this with Barnier and the Tories are.

    What I think we would agree on is that to get to phase 2 there was an enormous fudge at best and climb down at worst. which is why I think there was a lot of spin. Ilike many people of the leave persuasion think that unless you blur the red line it is no deal as soon as you blur the red lines then anything can happen.

    it is what it is currently and like I have said I would not have had the red lines in the first place but then again I would have gone for the Norway option and started work on ,the real issues that ail the UK since my feeling on this are whatever we do with the EU we need to do….. rather than now that we have left the EU we can do ……….

  27. PTRP

    @”. I would have thought that currently the polls would suggest anything that is too far from where we are now will mean problems.”

    For whom?

    You think that EU Free Movement & EU Legal Sovereignty ( ie “where we are now” ) have become a net majority desire of the electorate since the Referendum ? What makes you think that?

  28. @ OLDNAT – thanks for the poll link. Very wordy and didn’t seem much of value in it though. We know Scotland was more Remain and hence comes out more Remainy? You could credit the canny/dour Scots with more foresight as they have led UK on pessism!

    It is a shame Curtice doesn’t supply X-breaks at party level to see if any significant differences on the battle for the Left vote. The small drop in Yes for IndyRef2 (No lead x-DK has gone from +6 to +12 from Feb to Oct) combined with general desire by Scots to get same deal as UK suggests Sturgeon needs to be careful bringing IndyRef2 back into play? What would be more interesting is to know why No has strengthened the lead – is this because they see negotiations are difficult and fear the optimism of SNP or some other reason such as timing of IndyRef2 (eg No is benefiting from ‘Not yet’), a sub question could discover the ‘Not Yet’ element within ‘No’ (other polling co.s sometimes break the timing issue out but I don’t think we’ve seen one for a while)

    NatCen do ask about EU side (don’t think anyone has?) and interesting to see a majority of Scottish and UK voters both see EU as handling Brexit badly. For UK as a whole 61% see UK as handling Brexit badly but that is very close to the 57% that see the EU as handling Brexit badly (69% and 55% respectively for the more EU friendly Scots)

    I’ll cherry pick one quote to save people reading the whole thing:
    “Even though Scotland voted very differently in the EU referendum, attitudes towards Brexit are notable for their similarity to those in the rest of the UK rather than for their difference”

  29. TW: Leaving the EU is not about turning our backs on the EU, it is about turning to face the faster growing economies of the World.

    So what’s stopping us facing “the faster growing economies of the World” right now?

    Nothing but our own inadequacies, is the answer. We shouldn’t need the kick up the backside, cold shower or whatever brexiters like to call the shock of leaving the SM to make us exploit the opportunities which already exist, completely unaffected by EU membership.

  30. @TW – “….I mention the 2015 court case as proof of EU intent…..However, to force Euro clearing within the Eurozone only they also need to tackle clearing in other centres…….

    The point I was trying to make is that the EU wanted to foce Euro clearing into the EZ, but it it can’t, because that is against EU treaties on the Single Market.
    My understanding is that they would be able to bring it into the EU, but beyond that they have no authority.

    QMV has nothing to do with this as this is a Single Market issue, and therefore covered by the treaties. Any change would require unanimity.

  31. @Somerjohn – “We shouldn’t need the kick up the backside, cold shower or whatever brexiters like to call the shock of leaving the SM….”

    Ever get the feeling that this Brexit lark is just another manifestation of the privately educated Conservative elite simply harking back to their (expensive) school days?

  32. @ SJ – CET, ECJ over regulation (quantity and extent of, not quality) but certainly much of the blame lies with UK as we’ve allowed our current account deficit to get totally out of control.

    @ ALEC – they could achieve it in many ways, most likely IMHO would have been EC push a financial transaction tax and after the usual sloth like progress of EU it goes through with UK using our veto to stay out (this assume Corbyn not PM of course). EC then rerun the court case and win. Brexit has almost certainly brought that date forward although EA enforcing a financial transaction tax would come in before the court case so UK could possibly clean out Dublin’s banking sector and poach back any non-EU business that exists in other EA financial centres
    For me where there is the will, and EC certainly have the will so they would have eventually found a way.

    It is more about ‘intent’ than anything else though. I could drone on about the way they aim for huge trade surpluses (forcing others into trade deficits – willingly in UK’s regard!!), the flaws in the Euro and resulting divergence and punishment of weaker countries, Macron+Junker’s view for future EU, etc, etc but enough from me today.

    P.S. I went to a pretty awful state school. You might be thinking about the likes of Osborne, Blair, Clegg, etc – none of whom represent UK in any elected capacity anymore. Brexit may seem a lark to you but rest assured most Leave take it seriously and want to get the best deal for UK.

  33. @TW – “EC then rerun the court case and win.”

    They wouldn’t, and that would be pointless. The ECJ ruling has established this as the law, so unless there is a treaty change there would be no further legal case.

  34. Interesting to see Canada taking on the USA at the WTO, over its overbearing, heavy handed imposition of self-adjudicated punitive tariffs (around 300% in the case of airliners deemed to undercut Boeing) whenever its big companies feel the slightest draught of competition from north of the border.

    I wonder if, in our brave new global-facing, taking-back-control, free trading world, we would ever have the balls to do what Canada has done? (The US reaction was to call the challenge ‘ill advised’. Which I guess translates as: don’t mess with us, buddy, or you’ll regret it. Big time.)

  35. Never look a Gift Horse in the mouth :-

    “The European Commission has proposed a new EU-wide tax on plastics to help plug a £20bn shortfall in the bloc’s finances after Britain leaves and stops making budget contributions.
    Günther Oettinger?, the Commissioner for the EU’s Budget, said the tax would be part of “new financial resources” available to the union and that the EU would also be making cuts to expenditure to finance new commitments and the revenue shortfall. Member states will also be asked to contribute more.
    In additional to the new environment tax, officials are also suggesting moving the income from the bloc’s emissions trading scheme from member states to Brussels, arguing that this would be “logical” because the policy is set at the EU level.
    We have two main problems – we have a gap on the revenue side, and a gap on the expenditure side. The revenue gap is because of Brexit: following a transition phase, we will have a situation where the UK, a large country and net contributor, are leaving the EU,” Mr Oettinger told reporters in Brussels.
    “Then we have the expenditure gap, which is due to tasks not covered by the existing budgetary framework, which was decided in 2011, 2012, 2013. We have areas such as border control, defence, migration, internal and external security. We also have other areas such as development cooperation and research.”


    As someone said upthread-“reality takes care of itself”


    Neither the passtherockplease party or the trevorwarne party exists let alone the policies. I personally feel that neither Tories or Labour begin to address the issues at large and to be fair neither do you. Essentially you believe in Reganomics, the problem with trickle down coupled with flexible labour is that capital sweeps up all the gains which is why the US is in an advanced form of what we are heading towards. median wages not really getting any of the productivity benefits and NMW basically become the new normal wage as it sweeps up more people.

    My view is that you are asking our investor class and our entrepreneurial class to make fundamental changes into how they approach risk and investment, Return of Investment and time to profit on investment expectation. My point would be good luck with that.

    Simply put the changes I believe we need to make requires a huge mount of capital and that different type of investor. Think South Korea, Japan Germany and West coast USA. Notice the first three are mercantile governments and the last set are guys with huge amounts of capital and they often basically buy the market (essentially buy in to all the players and see which one wins)

    The second point that many of our problems requires huge restructuring of government services and again often that requires massive investment in order to move the problem. As an example we have a NHS system that is overloaded. We are treating ever more people with the same resources. May even said we are treating 2.9 million patients up from 2.0Million and in all fairness our increases in cash has not matched that change. What is clear is a move to preventative measures basically GP centric however we have half the number of GPs per head than most of the EU which is why even trying GP centric operations tend to fail and we even closed walk in centres. We have failed to increase the budget inline with either medical costs or even growth of population we have constantly asked for efficiencies and because these have to be immediate we cut the easiest thing beds and rely on throughput to cover the fact were a pretty screwed. it means that you have better than 95% occupancy on normal days and why flu bug would mean massive problems. This is not an A&E problem or a waste problem (although I am sure you can find waste in any organisation) it is a problem of not having the staff where they could do the most good for preventative medicine it is a absolute disaster and has been since Health and Social care bill and the reduction of money for social care

    I use the example because I believe that the NHS is fundamentally broke and you need many more GPs but that is not going to happen without a huge increase in supply of GPs which is not really happening and the same of other staff. essentially the problems of the NHS mirror that of UK economy and basically we are doing the wrong thing because that is all we can do short term. What is needed is a 25 year plan which is given minimum funding with a view of increasing the funding as the metric requires. However no one has that as a policy and that is why I think it all turn short term and counter productive.

    It is interesting that hunt is looking at a 10 year funding plan but in my view that the funding will not provide enough money after all they appoint people they can trust to run the NHS and they seem to go native pretty quickly. I fear Greening suffered the same fate.

    To that end I prefer Mcdonald, he is talking the right sort of figures to change the economy doing it piecemeal only makes it worse.

  37. @Colin

    I’d have thought you would approve a tax on plastics, given your views on the pollution of the seas.

    Whether we will enjoy our new-found independence of EU-wide measures to tolerate tax-free, UK-friendly plastic pollution remains to be seen. But it would seem a rather sad thing to celebrate.

  38. Alec
    “Canada does not have accdess to the Single Market. It has a free trade deal, but, for example, there are still quotas in place, it has no access to the banking passport system, and has no say on development of EU regulations”

    So it’s a free trade deal with the single market but they are not allowed to access the EU single market in order to exercise that trade deal. I’m missing something here?

    If they are selling product to the countries of the EU under a trade deal, then by definition, they are accessing the single market because those EU countries are the single market.

    The banking access is the ++ part that we want, as I understand.

    No say on EU regulations – so what? You meet the regulations of any country you trade with.

    I get the impression from your response to me and others recently, that you just enjoy arguing semantics for the sake of it.

    Sorry but I have better things to do.

    At least you will be pleased that manufacturing is booming at last, as reported on the Beeb at 6pm.

  39. @Robert Newark

    Any country in the world (with the possible exception of North Korea) can sell into the EU single market, and therefore has ‘access’ in your definition.

    So your point that: “Canada has not accepted freedom of movement or accepted the primacy of the ECJ over its own Supreme Court but has access to the single market,” falls a bit flat, n’est-ce pas?

  40. Robert Newark: [@Alec] “Canada does not have accdess to the Single Market. It has a free trade deal, but, for example, there are still quotas in place, it has no access to the banking passport system, and has no say on development of EU regulations”

    So it’s a free trade deal with the single market but they are not allowed to access the EU single market in order to exercise that trade deal. I’m missing something here?

    If they are selling product to the countries of the EU under a trade deal, then by definition, they are accessing the single market because those EU countries are the single market.

    What you are missing is that there is some fluidity in the terminology of ‘access to’. It can mean any of 3 things
    [1] Ability to sell into the single market, but with tariffs – which is global except for the case of sanctions
    [2] Ability to sell into the single market, under a trade deal with reduced or zero tariffs
    [3] Participation in the single market to the fullest extent with freedom of movement of goods, capital, services and people

    Only in the 3rd case is it accepted in any participating country that anything produced in another participating country is compliant with SM regulatory requirements buy virtue of being produced in a participating country, in much the same way that anything produced in Scotland is accepted as complying with regulatory requirements in England without inspection on import.

    In the first 2 cases, Customs inspections are required for regulatory compliance, eg to keep out chlorinated chickens. In the 3rd case, as regulations are converged to prevent chlorinated chickens being produced and sold, regulatory convergence is achieved by a Trading Standards type operation rather than by border control.

  41. COLIN

    Interesting comments about Starmer walking out after Corbyn confirmed Labour would not seek for the UK to remain in the Single Market. Stormer has been nuanced and skilful in his handling of Labour’s Brexit portfolio. Corbyn has not been and his comments on Monday night were in my view unhelpful to the party.

  42. I heard Andrew Gwynne on R4 today once again making it absolutely clear that Labour is committed to leaving the EU. The window of opportunity for a U-turn seems to be closing.

    It was interesting hearing Tory and Labour frontbenchers (Leadsom was also on) arguing acrimoniously, but essentially in favour of the same thing.

  43. I thought it was Chuka Umunna who walked out.

  44. Mike pearce

    Yes Honesty is just sometimes inconvenient.

    At least Jezza is a man of principle unlike Starmer who is lauded by posters for his dupliciity.

  45. Trade deals

    if the uk entered into a free trade /customs union with the US as we will be able to do by statutory instrument the public ought to be polled:

    Unlimited immigration or chlorinated chicken? let the nation decide.

  46. David Colby

    The reports that I saw said it was Ummuna.

  47. S Thomas

    You are limiting the options available to the electorate.

    What about unlimited chicken and chlorinated immigrants?

  48. I was thinking more along the lines of unlimited chlorination and immigrant chickens

  49. TO

    Since chickens are all descendants of the red and grey junglefowl, they are all Asians, and therefore immigrants to all decent people who demand pure and undiluted British ancestry.

    Only some lichens and Toby Young, however, match that criterion

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