YouGov’s regular voting intention poll for the Times has topline figures of CON 41%(+1), LAB 42%(+1), LDEM 7%(-2). Fieldwork was Tuesday to Wednesday and changs are from early January.

The regular tracking question on “Bregret” finds 45% of respondents saying Britain was right to vote for Brexit, 44% think it was wrong. This is the first time YouGov have found more people saying right than wrong since last August, though I would caution against reading much into that. On average this question has been showing about 2% more people thinking it was the wrong decision than the right decision, but normal sample variation from poll to poll (the “margin of error”) means that with figures that close random chance alone should produce the occassional poll with “right” ahead, even if public opinion is actually unchanged. As ever, don’t get too excited over one poll, and wait to see if it is reflected in other polls.

Full tabs are here.


602 Responses to “YouGov/Times – CON 41, LAB 42, LD 7”

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  1. Laszlo,

    Interesting and I would like to see the wording that led 90% of LP members to say Brexit is compatible with membership of THE single market.

    Corbyn has never said that Brexit is incompatible with membership of a single market and I suspect semantic differences exaggerate the undoubted difficulties Labour has with Brexit.

  2. Millie

    If there was a prospect that there was no possibility of a satisfactory deal and if public opinion moved decisively in favour of remaining is the answer.

    Both are unlikely in my view – but that is not to say that they are not possible,

  3. Colin (with apologies to other posters) I did not ignore your question the other day about the centre of influence in the LP, I am just not sure how to answer with any degree of confidence.

  4. JIM JAM

    Thank you.

    That is a very honest answer-about which I am not surprised.

    If I may-the reason might be that it isn’t clear whether the influence of Momentum activists within Party structures will be directed by the Party Leader , or the Chair of Momentum ; and whether the objectives of the current two incumbents will always coincide in the future.

  5. Millie

    I must say I found your 12.36 refreshing and probably an accurate reflection of public opinion and agree with you except for the last two paragraphs.

    My own view is that we will break free and cut much red tape as we seek to expand our economy in the right direction away from the EU a declining sector of World Markets.

  6. JIM JAM

    ………..and for balance, I would say that the direction of & influence upon Conservative Party policy is no less uncertain.

    As exampled by opinions like this-the thrust of which I agree with:-

    https://www.conservativehome.com/thetorydiary/2018/01/last-junes-election-has-transformed-the-debate-about-capitalism-may-needs-a-strategic-response.html

  7. Barbazenzero

    Well, I am not sure of much. It is possible the UK and EU will not get out of Stage 1. The transition will not be discussed unless that happens, I assume.

    This blog post continues to hold interest as a reminder.

    http://www.centreonconstitutionalchange.ac.uk/blog/brexit-deal-kicks-can-down-road-%E2%80%93-and-not-towards-soft-brexit

  8. @CATMANJEF

    “AW is busy, so what is the point in him duplicating what is freely available elsewhere?”

    And I will repeat a similar reply to my comment of a few weeks ago. If blog readers have to go elsewhere to see latest update on a feature of this site, take the damn table off here and just put a link in it’s place. Easy.

  9. Henry Bolton:

    “There’s no more party but I’m still El Presidente.”

    [I paraphrase – but only slightly….]

  10. Colin,

    Corbyn was never meant to be leader it was his turn to stand to present a platform and as we know circumstances propelled him to the LOO.

    There is not the vitriol between McDonnell and Corbyn that there was between Blair and Brown but the ‘should have been me’ factor is inevitable and to be truthful McDonnell is cleverer than Corbyn.

    I also think that Corbyn is genuinely more inclusive of the broad church within the party and less driven in his views by economic analysis.

    The real battle is about the successor but so far no-one suitable and acceptable has emerged from either within the 2015 Corbyn MP base or the 2016 wider base which includes people like Raynor and Thornberry. None of the 172 2016 anti-Corbyn MPs has a chance, maybe for the leader after next but not next time.

  11. The feeling you get from the ongoing UKIP saga is of last days of a failing soap opera, where the writers have given up any attempt at plausibility and are just going ‘for the LOLZ’.

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/jan/21/ukip-leader-henry-bolton-unanimously-loses-confidence-vote

    The members presumably elected the outsider Henry Bolton because he looked like a solid respectable type from a military background and so on[1] who would keep UKIP’s line-up of prima donnas in order. So the writers arrange for him to run off with a blond model half his age with a penchant for racist social media. I’m not sure whether the next plot twist will involve armed sieges or alien invaders[2], but they seem to have long ago ‘jumped the shark’ here.

    That doesn’t mean that it will disappear though. One thing that seems constant about UKIP is that no matter how bizarre the goings on among the leadership and MEPs etc, it seems to have little effect on whether people say they will vote for them or not. This may be because their voters are more likely to be ‘low information’ voters and so not notice (though polling doesn’t support that) or that they regard such personal stories that obsess the media as unimportant, PC-gone-mad trivia[3].

    This may be reinforced by the media bubble that those on the Right tend to inhabit. Media bubbles are usually denounced as being artefacts of social media and the liberal elite, but actually those who are most influenced are consumers of conventional media dictated to by the non-liberal elite[4]. These are the people that believe what they read in the papers and if the papers continue to emphasise certain topics, then there will always be a place for UKIP or a UKIP-like Party.

    [1] One of the amusing details from that article I didn’t realise, was that he was actually living in Vienna at the time. It’s funny how many anti-EU politicians seems to like living in what they claim is an evil hell-hole. Maybe they feel they’re allowed to love it, but it’s too good for the working classes.

    [2] Obviously UKIP are always going on about alien invaders, but we talking flying saucers here.

    [3] In this they may be like Trump supporters in the US. During the recent fuss over describing certain countries in a non-PC way, his actual poll ratings improved to higher than they have been for several months. There are Americans who like what he says, it’s only when he starts to do things they recoil.

    [4] Current evidence for this is summarised in a recent Twitter stream by the FT’s John Burn-Murdoch:

    https://twitter.com/jburnmurdoch/status/953543832100134912

    it’s mostly US-based, but there’s nothing to suggest that the same doesn’t apply in the UK. Indeed you would expect it to be more powerful because newspapers are so much more widely read.

  12. Roger Mexico
    ” It’s funny how many anti-EU politicians seems to like living in what they claim is an evil hell-hole.”

    I’ve never seen any quote to this effect. Do you have a reference? Your posts are usually very impartial.

  13. So while we all discuss politics and politicians as if they are old friends, meanwhile out there in the real world….

    A question on Pointless today was name any politician in the 2016 Cabinet.

    One contestant said Nigel Farage.

    Out of the hundred people asked, Theresa May scored 18, Philip Hammond 18, Jeremy Hunt 12, Amber Rudd 8 and Damian Green 0.

  14. Norbold
    I’m surprised at May’s low score, but not particularly the others. You’re right to redraw our attention to just how low down the priority list politics is to most people.

  15. @ Jim Jam @ Laszlo,
    “Interesting and I would like to see the wording that led 90% of LP members to say Brexit is compatible with membership of THE single market.”

    It’s 90% of MPs. And I suspect it doesn’t matter what the wording is. People hear what they think the question is however it is asked.

    I suspect the problem is that people are using identical language to answer two different questions, while also applying two different definitions.

    First we have the Labour front bench preferring a strict legal definition, as the Commission and the Treaties use the term, that the SM is the Internal Market of the EU, but the media and public at large tending to apply some vague wider political definition that encompasses at least participation in the EEA agreement and sometimes other as yet undreamt of arrangements too.

    Then we have the two different questions on whether “membership” is “compatible” with Brexit.

    The first is the legal one as to whether it is legally possible to be a “Member of the SM” but not a member of the EU. This is a clear no by the legal definition (which is perhaps the only proper one for the legal question) but an evident yes for the political definition.

    The second question is a political one, as to whether it is democratically consistent with the Leave vote to be a “Member of the SM”.

    Again by the narrow legal definition of SM, no, since we could only do so by not leaving. By the broad political one, we have a political argument. The likes of ToH would say no, as it’s not really leaving. Others would say yes, as we would have left, and the “leave the EEA” mandate wasn’t on the ballot.

    It is unhelpful that on an issue as central as this, we can’t even agree the question. Or the terms of the question. No wonder we can’t agree the answer.

  16. @JIM JAM

    I am not sure I agree with what you are saying here. I believe for the progress element in the Labour party and for some that wanted a debate about policy Corbyn’s inclusion was meant to show the validity of the other participants in the leadership contest. In that sense I think none of them thought of him as a leader. Hell they thought he waas unelectable.

    The real issue came when they debated policy. I went to a husting expecting a policy debate. Indeed what we got was mood music and no policy. The only one who had an idea as to what h e would do in power was Corbyn. I remember his policy ideas actually sparked huge debate amongst commentators in the FT. The idea of People QE even had 4 articles in FT something that would have been unheard of until Corbyn decided to stand. Janan Ganesh’s moniker for Labour party is now that they are the hard left.

    The point was nayone who could have put a set of policy ideas that masde more sense than the current set of ideas floating around would instantly become LOO. It is just that there was no one doing that for fear of apparently frightening the voters. Ed MIliband comments about Corbyn would be a pointer to Labours fears of the electorate when he said he wished he was more radical. The reason he is LOO is that he was the only one who had a policy that would make him the LOO.

    As to his successor I am not sure that Thornberry does not have an inside track, her twitter gaff aside. For labour blairites they need someone that does well in the commons, and for labour traditionalists they need someone whom can be cleverer than those seen as the metro elite and more importantly it does break the old man network of leadership hopefuls

    As for the anti corbyn MPs they need policies since they will only win the membership with policies. Electability alone does not create enthusiasm these people are like us policial junkies

  17. @MILLIE
    @THE OTHER HOWARD

    The problem to my mind that the when we do a bonefire of regualtions what we end up doing is removing the safeguards and enforcements. Grenfeld Tower is a great example of how the safeguards were weighed as part of the regulations. The point being that regulations will be bypassed when there is no enforcement.

    YOu can have all the rules you like if there is no referee. The point it seems to me is the bonefire of regualtions often start with the sacking of the referee and the idea of people policing themselves.

  18. JIM JAM

    Thanks for those thoughts.

    Really interesting.

  19. @PETERW

    Technically brexit is about leaving the EU. There was no manifesto about what it meant and many people made up what it meant to themselves. My view was that many people said it meant keeping all the ‘good’ bits of the EU and ditching the rest.

    Now one could argue that could mean being in the EFTA or the EEA since both would mean leaving the EU.

    May set her stall as to what leaving the EU meant. her 4 red lines but if someone else was PM they could have pushed another set of redlines. The point is that Brexit is complex. We could leave the EU and still be effectively in the EU orbit. Adopting the rules accepting FoM in all but name. (unlimited visa for the EU nationals is an option for example) and that will stil meat the mandate. WE will be in control.

    The point is that control issue was not about contrl in itself it was to do something different. The problems are they are coming up against the reality of situation we find ourselves in. Which may mean starker choices than ‘we’ originally intended.

    Now I actually agree that Leaving the EU should mean leaving the Eus orbit, it is intellectually sound but I think economically a poor position.

    @THE OTHER HOWARD

    I am always surprised at the idea that the EU has stopped us from trading with the rest of the world. Indeed the services has less WTO restrictions than cars. Most of the barriers are non tariff and in the main are there to keep the competition out, so either we would need harmonisation. The growth of places like SE Asia is something that we could gain a share of their success but I do not think the price of that access would be cheap or either inconsequential. it is part of the dichotomy of brexit (Anti Globalists and Free marketeers)

    My argument about brexit is pretty much summed up by the problems of the NHS. We seem to think that it is somehow connected with the EU but actually it is our very own policial structures together with our very own electorate thta have fashioned the NHS as it stands. Now will brexit miraculously change our perspective on the NHS? i doubt it. I can extend that to many parts of our politics. the EU is a convenient scapegoat for issues that actually when put to any form of test would divide us. In many ways it is weakness within ourselves and our politics that allows for us to use the EU as the thing that hinders us. What would be interesting is that whether we will ever acknowledge this as a people once we’ve left.

  20. Passtherockplease,
    ” it basically duped left wing voters which is why they are at 7% now.”

    I dont think its just that. Libs have always been recipients of protest votes. There is surrently just one issue domonating politics, two sides (notwithstanding leave is a house divided) anda two political party system naturally gravitates to them taking one issue each. A lib vote is a wasted vote whether you are leave or remain.

    ” few people are voting Tory or Labour because of brexit only”

    If there is polling which sheds light on this, I dont know what it is. But Brexit massively dominates as top concern amongst tories, and is still pretty big amongst labour supporters. It isnt a coincidence that tories have aligned leave and labour remain, because it is more natural to the grain of the parties, but I think if May had gone for soft Brexit and labour for hard brexit (for example), there would now be a big tory majority, Corbyn would be gone and the libs back at 50+.

    Millie,
    ” my central point is that different outcomes will not have much economic impact.”

    I dont agree. Before this Brexit farce took over, for most of my lifetime there was systematic agreement that being a member of the EU aided British industry, and indeed we would not have a lot of it except for being EU members. That position must unwind if we cease to be members. The industry we gained will go. The basis of my position is experience of being a member.

    Colin,
    “Picking up the pieces”
    Arent these companies contractually obligated to do so? Whether can afford to do so is another matter.

  21. PTRP,

    I wouldn’t disagree with the thrust of your post.

    I think the point is that JC was not a main mover in the campaign group but it was his turn to stand and lose.

    Events, the other candidates etc made a victory possible but had victory for a campaign group candidate been seen as possible at the outset McDonnell not Corbyn would have been the candidate, although less PLP members would have lent him their nomination perhaps?

  22. DANNY

    I assume they are-yes.

    Hopefully thats how the system is meant to work in these circumstances.

  23. crofty,
    “If there was a prospect that there was no possibility of a satisfactory deal…”

    But what consitutes a satisfactory deal?

    The government is aiming to make a functional soft brexit arrangement preserving the economy but not Uk sovereignty. Is anyone going to think that is satisfactory?

    Sam,
    did you notice the article you linked claiming support for hard Brexit is dated 2016?

  24. ROGER MEXICO

    ” It’s funny how many anti-EU politicians seems to like living in what they claim is an evil hell-hole.”

    Anent some Brexiters – is this what you had in mind?

    http://chrisgreybrexitblog.blogspot.co.uk/

  25. @DANNY

    It depends on what you are protesting does it not? I think brexit has little relevance to the LD plight as it stands now.

    LD were acceptable because they were not Tory or Labour. As soon as they entered a coalition they became responsible for the policies even if they opposed them. In truth they were really out of their depth or they really enjoyed the Tories shafting them. (I point o the leadership here rather than the members or indeed their voters) The ambiguity gone it mean that if you wanted real tories you voted for them if you wanted real Labour you voted for them, more importantly if you anted to protest and voted LibDem there was a fear of getting what you were protesting against.

    The libDems problems predate brexit when you look at the polls they were pretty much halved their vote share when they went into coalition.in 6 months.. Just look at the polling data on this very site. brexit has not changd their relevancy as a protest party since they now seen by those on the left (in fairness their main gain in terms of vote share as somehting that you would not touch.) In the GE2015 constituiences in the South West struggled because labour voter whom would vote for LD to keep the Tories out would prefer to ‘waste’ their vote on a Labour candidate you saw Labour vote share increase in seats that were impossible to win.

    As to Millies conjecture that UK will not see much effect. I think that is somethign that we will not see in terms of dramatic changes For example I don’t see Nissan upping shop and moving into EU but we have already seen investment moving Easttwards before Brexit and I fear that will be exacerbated in the future. it will slow and relentless. AS happened to my industry and then before you know it it will be gone.

    What I think will happen is that bits will fall off, so for example we will still assemble product but we may not make all the value parts.

    As to the PFI issue and contracts it really depends on the contract. Some of them are just ridiculous since at the time there was no real competition and the government of the day said basically if you wanted a hospital or whatever it was PFI or nothing. the tendering was poor and the companies knew that very few of them could deliver the projects even then.

  26. i am not sure who posted the survey of MPs opinions, but surely there is an obvious problem with any such survey. They arent going to tell the truth!

    Normal surveys rely on anonymous respondents who have little motivation to lie. Presumably pollsters try to catch any who systematically give suspect answers and remove them from polling panels. But MPs are a fixed group all of whom are identifiable, None can be eliminated from a panel. All would be subject to disciplinary action if they are found to have said the wrong thing to a pollster!

    If the tory MPs had unanimousy decided to ensure the Uk remains (or indeed put through hard Brexit), they are not going to tell us!

  27. DANNY
    @”there was systematic agreement that being a member of the EU aided British industry, and indeed we would not have a lot of it except for being EU members.”

    Other opinions are available :-)

    http://www.civitas.org.uk/content/files/mythandparadox.pdf

  28. @MILLIE

    Ok I may be splitting hair but I don’t think MacDowell wanted to be the spokesperson or sacrificial lamb. Secondly I believe as soon as they felt they were in the race they actually fought it as if their lives depended on it. Corbyn campaigned. Whilst everyone was ignoring him.Would McDowell had been as good? I am not sure. A friend put £10 him winning after going to a meeting with him (he is a on the right wing of the party,) he said no one likes him but not liking him is not enough, saying it is back to the 70s is not enough because our policies are back to 00s and they;’ve failed.

    I did not believe he could win until I went to a hustings and basically the Anyone But Corbyn candidates just had nothing to say.

  29. Blimey-what is Henry Bolton playing at?

    Who gets the 3 % or 4% VI when UKIP folds?

  30. PTRP

    @”MacDowell”

    Who is he ?

  31. @COLIN

    I mistyped it is McDonnell

  32. Laszlo

    Thanks for the link.

    What surprised me was this bit.

    “In 2016, just 6% of MPs believed it was ‘very likely’ that the EU would succeed without Britain. That number has risen to 31%.”

    Either figure suggests a very high level of belief in the importance of the UK. “They can’t manage without us”.

    Whether that sense of self-importance is exaggerated or justified, we will no doubt discover in due course – as a “UK-less” EU fails or succeeds after Brexit.

  33. @TOH – “My own view is that we will break free and cut much red tape as we seek to expand our economy in the right direction away from the EU a declining sector of World Markets.”

    The view of the CBI this week is interesting, saying to May in no uncertain terms that not remaining in the CU or having full access to the SM will not be a good deal, and that they firmly believe we need to stay in these EU structures even if it means not being able to make our own trade deals elsewhere. These are the people who run our exporting businesses, and they are firmly dsagreeing with you.

    @Millie – I think you are wrong when you say that Brexit won’t have a noticable effect. Too many people seem to conflate small percentages with limited impacts.

    If, for example, we really are 3% worse off in 2030 after Brexit, I tire of pointing out that this would be a huge impact. It’s getting on for the equivalent of the loss of the entire defence budget from government coffers (assuming a fixe percentage of GDP taken in tax). My personal view is that people who keep saying this kind of impact would be minor either haven’t checked the numbers or are statistically illiterate.

    I also found the O’Neil (I think?) comments were subject to some really poor analysis. The fact that Brexit impacts might be outweighed by other factors isn’t particulalry relevant – we are still suffering after Brexit. I was also baffled as to why no one seemed to challenge the ideas being made about productivity gains or gains from global growth.

    If true, these things are happening anyway. If global growth is boosting UK GDP, then clearly being in the EU can’t be all that bad. Likewise, where was the analysis showing that his expected productivity growth was contingent on Brexit? In effect all he was saying was that we will be worse off under Brexit, but that there is a general increase in growth so we won’t notice it.

    If he is correct, all it means is that we will fall further behind other nations with Brexit, possibly not actually going backwards, but just not going forwards as fast as we should be going.

  34. PTRP
    “Technically brexit is about leaving the EU. There was no manifesto about what it meant and many people made up what it meant to themselves. My view was that many people said it meant keeping all the ‘good’ bits of the EU and ditching the rest.”

    That’s fair comment, but it doesn’t alter that fact that what many people have made it up to mean themselves, including it seems 90% of the PLP, can still be demonstrably untrue or impossible.

    Three of my four questions have simple yes/ no answers
    (Is Brexit legally compatible with Internal Market menbership, undoubtedly no;
    Is Brexit legally compatible with UK participation in the EEA, undoubtedly yes;
    Is Brexit politically compatible with Internal Market menbership, in practice no, as it’s not possible).

    The only arguable one is the fourth, whether the result is politically reconcileable with UK participation in the EEA, which is what you are in effect arguing on.

    I think a number of politicians, the Labour Remain Rebels chief amongst them although the SNP and LibDems are systematic Humpty Dumptys too, deliberately obfuscate as between these four questions by using vague and sloppy made up definitions. A leading example being calling participation in the EEA “Membership of The Single Market”. I assume they do this deliberately either to pick artificial fights or to hide their true intentions.

    There are three reasons this should be properly picked up on by the media and it is unfortunate that it is not.

    First, as it is now an area of political controversy, especially within the Labour Party, it should be pointed out that one side is using legally correct language and the other is making it up.

    Second, legal precision is kind of important when it comes to Treaties between states.

    Third, these people are legislators. Legal precision is centrally important when it comes to their day job. Most of the Committee Stage amendments to the Brexit bill fell down on this. Again one suspects at least sometimes deliberately. Amending a bill to introduce a condition that is actually impossible because of the words you have chosen isn’t a bad way to wreck it.

  35. @Passtherockplease.

    It is entirely correct that the Leave campaign had no manifesto. The Leave vote did not mandate that the UK left the EEA, or ended freedom of movement.

    However…

    Subsequent to the referendum, there was a general election campaign. In that campaign, both the Labour party and the Conservative party stood on manifestos that pledged that Freedom of Movement would end when the UK left the EU. Labour of course went full cake-and-eat-it by also stating they wanted all the benefits of the single market, but the end of Freedom of Movement was in there – clear as day.

    UKIP, naturally, stood on a platform of “Leave means Leave”. The DUP too pledged to end Freedom of Movement.

    So, although interpreting the Leave vote as a mandate for ending Freedom of Movement wasn’t inherent in the vote itself, it is inherent in the legitimacy of the current parliament.

    I don’t remember if you’re one of the “referendums are a bad idea – that’s why we have a parliament” advocates, but whichever way you cut it, the electorate have given a massive endorsement to the notion that exiting the EU means ending Freedom of Movement. The EU themselves have made clear that ending Freedom of Movement means exiting the other three “Four Freedoms” too.

    Ergo, there is a course set, and parliament cannot really change course without admitting that they were telling the electorate massive steaming porkies in their manifestos.

    Now of course, it wouldn’t be the first time (“No top down reorganisation of the NHS”, anyone?) but we shouldn’t pretend that the idea that leaving the EU automatically means ending Freedom of Movement is some baseless hallucination dreamed up by some far-right zealouts. It is, quite unambiguously, what the country has voted for.

  36. @DANNY
    But MPs are a fixed group all of whom are identifiable, None can be eliminated from a panel. All would be subject to disciplinary action if they are found to have said the wrong thing to a pollster!

    Isn’t the case in point something of a counterexample though.

    Of course, what the question was matters (as does what the MPs think the question meant) but in the instance quoted 90% of Labour MPs gave the answer that was at least on its face contrary to (or at least capable of being spun as contrary to) Labour’s official position.

    Depending on the question it was quite possibly contrary to reality as well.

  37. @Alec
    “The view of the CBI this week is interesting, …These are the people who run our exporting businesses…”

    As far as I can see, you are quoting a speech by Carolyn Fairbairn, the Director-General of the CBI. According to her Wikipedia entry she has worked for all sorts of people including the BBC and McKinseys, but the nearest she seems to have come to a job in a private company that exports anything seems to have been a stint at ITV for 3 years.

    “If, for example, we really are 3% worse off in 2030 after Brexit, I tire of pointing out that this would be a huge impact.”

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe that this figure (even if we believe it) is to do with us being 3% worse off than we would have been. So if for example the economy grows at 1% a year from now till then it will have grown 12% (ignoring compounding issues). They are saying I believe that if we hadn’t left the EU it would be 3% more – i.e. 15%. Do you think anyone would notice, or whether it could be proved that we would have done better by 3%?

    “If he is correct, all it means is that we will fall further behind other nations with Brexit, possibly not actually going backwards, but just not going forwards as fast as we should be going.”

    I’d replace ‘should’ with ‘could’ (even if these dodgy forecasts are true), but when the Treasury and others issued reports that said there’d be immediate economic meltdown if the referendum went the way it did, why should we believe these much more minor prophecies of doom?

    @PeterW
    “A leading example being calling participation in the EEA “Membership of The Single Market”. I assume they do this deliberately either to pick artificial fights or to hide their true intentions.”

    Or because they’re not very bright or as well-informed as they should be.

    @Neil A
    “…we shouldn’t pretend that the idea that leaving the EU automatically means ending Freedom of Movement is some baseless hallucination dreamed up by some far-right zealouts. It is, quite unambiguously, what the country has voted for.”

    Bang on.

  38. Neil A

    “It [ending Freedom of Movement} is, quite unambiguously, what the country has voted for.”

    If that assertion were true, then it would also be true, for example, that the Scottish polity voted for independence in 2011 and 2016.

    Your argument either needs to be universally true for all elections (which it clearly isn’t), or it has no validity at all.

  39. Peter W

    “I think a number of politicians, the Labour Remain Rebels chief amongst them although the SNP and LibDems are systematic Humpty Dumptys too, deliberately obfuscate as between these four questions by using vague and sloppy made up definitions.”

    You might want to avoid using “vague and sloppy” definitions yourself!

    The SNP has always been clear that it’s preference if for all parts of the UK to remain part of the EU (and thus part of the developing project that the EU calls “The Single Market”)

    https://ec.europa.eu/growth/single-market_en

    If the UK parliament pulls us out of the EU, then the SNP’s (and SGP’s) preference is for the least disruption to that Single Market, through the mechanism of the EEA.

    https://www.snp.org/the_single_market_explained

  40. Colin,
    “Other opinions are available”
    I refer to the existence of the long term consensus that being a member benefits Britain, and you respond linking a paper written in 2016 as part of the campaign now? That rather makes my point.

    I looked up civitas on wikipedia, where it is described as a ‘right of centre think tank.’ (by the times and telegraph). ‘Independent’ think tanks seem to be a means of propaganda for all and sundry.

    Neil A,
    ” Labour of course went full cake-and-eat-it by also stating they wanted all the benefits of the single market, but the end of Freedom of Movement was in there – clear as day.”

    Clear as day they said they would put the interests of the economy first. Only secondary and thus ‘if possible’ were the bits about leaving this and that. They also talked about ‘respecting the result of the referendum’, which I would also interpret as a second get out clause, because it implicitly suggests that if the public changes its mind, they would respect that too. But even if it doesnt, their manifesto reseves the right to not leave anyway.

    ” the electorate have given a massive endorsement to the notion that exiting the EU means ending Freedom of Movement.”

    This is all too ‘angels on the head of a pin’. Although parties claim that voters have endorsed everything in the manifesto (except the bits which later prove embarassing), the truth is they have done nothing of the sort. You could write out a list of 1000 points drawn from a manifesto and ask each voter which bits they approve and which they reject, and whatever the result it would not be every box ticked by every person who voted for that party. Its perfectly possible more points would be rejected by voters than agreed!

    ” parliament cannot really change course without admitting that they were telling the electorate massive steaming porkies”

    haha, now there you are on stronger ground. But MPs are very god at changing course without admitting they lied. Why do you think I keep arguing the tories are saying one thing (leave) and doing another (remain)?

  41. @NEILA
    @PETERW

    Both side have said they will end FoM. I agree neither have a system of replacement as yet. Indeed no one has dare said what the replacement plan is for fear of telling the voters what the issues with limiting immigration is.

    Now of the political statements May has said limiting immigration to less than 100K is her goal. However this has been the goal of May since 2010 and the immigration that we control is greater than that.

    Labour has said that FoM will end but it appear whatever is in its place would essentially mimic it. You will have visas but people will still be here the end results is I would reckon that people that want a job and employees that want to give them a job will still be able to do so.

    My point is as I have said many times before is that what we believe we have voted for and what our politicians have interpreted what we voted for can in many way be spectacularly different. For example £20 Billion in welfare cuts comes to mind. In that it was very clear what we voted for but it seems that in the end people did not exactly vote for £20B in cuts.

    @DANNY

    I am not so sure that the Tories are going to lie it is that they will suddenly see the necessity of a more liberal immigration policy. It is interesting that no one has said anything about immigration and the fact that the home office waited for so long to even do a repot on the issue. has been surprising

    Do I think that immigration is high on Tory voters agenda? Very much so, do they have a solution I am not sure they do.

    As I think you will agree May is very much into mood music. her pronouncements are very reactive but as you will notice the policy stays the same. In the end the policies of 2015 will still be here in 2022. Tories will be arguing about the policy changes that should happen and yet there will be none. There base will vote for them no matter what. There is less pressure for them to change.

  42. I see Boris is up to his usual sniping and promoting himself with his latest idea for £100m a week for the NHS being widely circulated in the press.
    Would love to be a fly on the wall at the cabinet meeting, can’t believe May will be happy.

  43. @Pete B – “Do you think anyone would notice, or whether it could be proved that we would have done better by 3%?”

    Absolutely – very much so indeed.

    This is where I really don’t think people understand the numbers – even those who profess it is there business to do so.

    If, by 2030, the UK ends up 3% behind our competitors in GDP growth, believe you me, we will notice this. The entire government financing will be harder, the NHS will be worse, we will see other countries having far higher standards of living than we do, and this will be on a repeating annual basis, getting worse as each year ticks by (if the forecasts are correct).

    Then, when we hit a global recession, we will start from a far lower base, see deeper spending cuts or tax rises, and generally have far less room for manouver.

    Whether this gets pinned on Brexit is another question entirely, but if we really do see a comparative loss of GDP that is being widely predicted, then yes, you will notice it, unless you’ve died in the meantime, which is par for the course for many Brexit supporters I gather.

    Once again, those people arguing a 3% relative loss of GDP will not be noticable are statistically illiterate or simply unaware of how GDP works.

  44. @NEILJ

    In fairness to him the real issue he is facing is to be seen to be firstly relevant and secondly right. The argument that was made was that we will have more money for the NHS and that we could prioritise thing now that Brussell have been told to go forth and multiply.

    The point is that in truth the NHS has been starved of cash mainly because the budget is not keeping up with our ageing population and hence the problems every year when we have a spate of winter illness.

    he is trying to be a populist in government but apart from it. So whilst I think he is right I think his motives are pretty much in the same mould as they were when he joined leave.

  45. @neil A – “It is entirely correct that the Leave campaign had no manifesto.”

    No it isn’t.

    See here for their manifesto – http://www.voteleavetakecontrol.org/our_case.html

    It’s as clear a manifesto as you could ever want.

    In terms of what was promised, there are some interesting points on slide 11.

    This promises that we will be in a free trade zone from Iceland to the Rusian border and Turkey. It also promises that “Taking back control is a careful change, not a sudden stop – we will negotiate the terms of a new deal before we start any legal process to leave”.

    We’ll they’ve l!ed about this one aleady, as A50 has been activated without any deal, and the promise to stay in a free trade area rubs up against your point about all the other meanings that are now being assigned to the leave vote.

    I think this is a bit like the 3% impact on GDP thing. Lots of people are going round saying Leave didn’t say this or promise that, when in fact they did – it’s just that people either didn’t read or didn’t understand what they promised.

    In point of fact, they promised pretty much everything, even though this was clearly completely impossible. They are now claiming a mandate only for those bits they want to push through, while pretending they didn’t promise those things that remainers want to keep.

    This reached it’s low point yesterady when IDS published an article in the Telegraph denying that no one had explained that Brexit means leaving the CU and SM. His defence was that the remain side explained this! In effect he is saying that leave l!ed about this, but that it’s OK because the other side told the truth. It’s a defence that is contingent on leave voters disbelieving what leave told them. Absolutely barking mad, but that’s the world of Brexit for you.

  46. @PASSTHEROCKPLEASE
    he is trying to be a populist in government but apart from it. So whilst I think he is right I think his motives are pretty much in the same mould as they were when he joined leave.

    Agree

  47. DANNY

    @”That rather makes my point.”

    No it doesn’t.

    What would make your point is a credible refutation of the numbers & statistics set out in the Civitas analysis.

    Pending which I am faced with a broad, unsubstantiated claim vs a statistical analysis with references. :-)

  48. PTRP
    “I am always surprised at the idea that the EU has stopped us from trading with the rest of the world.”
    I have never said that. However, if we leave the EU in the fullest sense, the incentive to take the trouble to seek out new markets will be much higher as we move away from our current dependence on the EU marketplace, was my point. The EU is growing slower than the rest of the World and its share of World trade is declining steadily. Nor Have I ever said it will be easy, but I have faith in the British as a people, something which seems lacking in many Remainers.
    “My argument about Brexit is pretty much summed up by the problems of the NHS. We seem to think that it is somehow connected with the EU but actually it is our very own policial structures together with our very own electorate thta have fashioned the NHS as it stands.”
    I find that comment rather surprising as like you I think that the problems of the NHS have nothing to do with the EU. Indeed, I would agree with your analysis of why the NHS has problems. Part of the problem is the concept that it is “free”, its nothing of the sort of course. As for Brexit people voted for “freedom” in my view. We probably have very different views on what “freedom” means in this context.
    Alec
    “The view of the CBI this week is interesting,”
    You might think so but I think they are talking cr*p and they have a good track record of so doing. The CBI just want a quiet life, Brexit is just the shake up the UK needs to get the economy really motoring.

    Have a good day all

  49. NEILJ

    @” can’t believe May will be happy.”

    Given her preference for empty rhetoric rather than action & results you are probably right.

    But she will have to address his case-which is so blindingly obvious politically:-

    From the YouGov Times Poll ;-

    Cons’ best VI age group-( 66% of over 65s)- think NHS is the 2nd most important issue facing the country after Brexit.

    Nearly as many of Lab’s best VI age group -( 68% of under 24s)-think NHS is the most important issue facing the country as think Brexit is.

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