The latest YouGov poll for the Times has topline figures of CON 43%(+1), LAB 39%(-3), LDEM 8%(+2). Fieldwork was Monday to Tuesday, changes are from last week. The full tables are here.

The big risk when watching opinion polls is to pay too much attention to exciting looking outliers and not enough to run-of-the-mill polls showing not much has changed. Polls have a margin of error, and normal sample variation spits out unusual results sometimes even when public opinion is actually unchanged. Before one gets too excited about an unusual or interesting looking poll one should wait to see if it is replicated in other polls or is just a blip. Sure, this could be the start of the Tories opening up a lead, but it could just be random noise. Given the government’s current travails, I think it’s more likely to be noise, but we shall see.

As ever, the thing to watch is the trend across the polls as a whole. So far 2018 has produced two polls showing small Tory leads, three polls showing the parties equal, five polls showing small Labour leads, suggesting that the actual picture is that the Conservatives and Labour have very similar levels of support. That itself is interesting – the Conservative government often seem paralysed by infighting and are doing very little except for Brexit (which most people think they are doing badly). Yet they remain equal with the opposition when past governments stuck in similar mires – such as those of Gordon Brown or John Major – trailed badly. I can see a couple of possible explanations – it could just be that the public aren’t paying attention, there is so little happening in politics and they are so turned off that they aren’t noticing this stuff. Alternatively, it could be that people are just lined up along EU divisions – for now, the Conservatives are the party that’s delivering Brexit, so those who want Britain to leave are sticking with the Tories. A third possibility is that Labour have reached a ceiling in their support – Jeremy Corbyn may be very popular among Labour supporters, but he is anathema to others and the alternative of Corbyn’s Labour is propping up Conservative support that might otherwise be faltering. Naturally, these are not mutually exclusive.

Meanwhile, in the interests of reporting the non-exciting poll figures, the YouGov tracker on whether Brexit was the right or wrong decision has returned to normality after an unusual figure last week. 43% think it was the right decision, 44% the wrong decision – typical of recent months.


553 Responses to “YouGov/Times – CON 43%, LAB 39%, LDEM 8%”

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  1. First one today: it seems some remain voters r switching to liberal Democrat. How long will that last.

  2. First one today: it seems some remain voters r switching to liberal Democrat. How long will this last.

  3. On the Brexit forecasts

    Alberto Nardelli (the journalist who got the original leaked report and has presumably read the whole thing) says

    “Assuming this is the same document/analysis we have seen, worth noting that in the regional analysis, the “no deal” scenario is a mitigated WTO option – i.e. an actual no deal would be even worse, and Northern Ireland figures assume no hard border”.

  4. “.. it could just be that the public aren’t paying attention, there is so little happening in politics and they are so turned off that they aren’t noticing this stuff. Alternatively, it could be that people are just lined up along EU divisions – for now, the Conservatives are the party that’s delivering Brexit, so those who want Britain to leave are sticking with the Tories.”

    https://ucl-brexit.blog/2018/02/07/brexit-and-british-politics/#more-3285

    ” And, on top of all this, there is identity. NatCen found that 66% of those with social conservative views voted Leave, and just 18% of social liberals. It is interesting that, by looking at data from the British Electoral Study, some 80% of the votes cast in June 2016 could have been anticipated by voters’ stance on the European Union when asked in 2010.

    This has to a degree engendered a post-referendum politics in Britain based on social identity, hinging in part on voters’ attitudes to Brexit. Labour gained most strongly in areas – most emblematically, Canterbury and Kensington – that backed Remain.

    Conservative gains, where they were, were in areas with large Leave votes – most notably, Mansfield, which had voted 70.9% for Leave. Given that, it is unsurprising the British Election Study found Brexit was the most important factor identified by voters in the 2017 general election.

    And these attitudes may well prove sticky. Opinions about the European Union were fundamentally about people’s identity. For the moment – as Sara Hobolt, Thomas Lepper and James Tilley show – the referendum has provided each side with a new tribe – Leavers and Remainers. And one thing we know about identities is that they do not easily shift. Eighteen months on from the referendum, its effects on our politics show no sign of dissipating.”

  5. http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/brexit/2017/08/13/the-british-are-indifferent-about-many-aspects-of-brexit-but-leave-and-remain-voters-are-divided-on-several-key-issues/

    “While there appear to be few aspects of the negotiations that Leave and Remain voters demand at all cost or reject at all cost, there are aspects of the negotiations that are very important to them. Leave voters are particularly concerned about control over immigration and opposed to deals that give Britain less than “full control” over immigration. They are similarly concerned about legal sovereignty and any “divorce bill”. They also strongly prefer scenarios where EU citizens are able to apply for residence more than scenarios where all must leave. Remain voters care much more about the rights of EU citizens – indeed, no other aspect of the negotiations appears to matter more to them. They also agree with Leave voters that trade terms with fewer barriers and lower tariffs than a “no deal” scenario would bring are preferable to a hard break from the common market. Yet, ultimately, citizens are indifferent about many aspects of Brexit.”

  6. Yougov latest

    with the current polls I would tend to stick with the aphorism
    “Nothing is quite as good, or as bad, as it first appears”

  7. WB – I would stick with that twice.

  8. Sam`s extracts (11.21 am) on attitudes to immigration are helpful in trying to understand the polls being so static.

    Also the exchanges last night between ON and Neil A were illuminating: Neil A was surprised at unemployment being as low as 2% and admitted that this helped to explain our serious problems of recruitment to a whole range of jobs in the North.

    The area with full employment is large but has a relatively small population. So its problems simply don`t get reported by our Home-Counties-focussed media.

    I feel sure that many wanting cut-backs to immigration simply don`t realise what problems this will cause to many parts of the UK, and many organisations both private- and public sector.

    It is sad to see so many nice properties around us that have remained unsold for a year plus, and now stand empty. Sorting this for the NE needs pay sufficient to top the very high cost-of-living, and improvements to travel links, internet/phone reception, hospital patients being treated locally not 100-plus miles away, etc, etc.

  9. Reports that the PM is thinking of blocking the takeover of GKN.

    I sincerely hope so. The days when Government waved through the loss of our national industries ought to be over, and if the Tories are moving away from their penchant for flogging off the family silver to any passing spiv then that is a long-overdue and very welcome change.

  10. @ Jim Jam

    Ah Hah! You did not notice my trap for the unwary, I changed the last word from seems to appears, because it seemed to me that I would appear to be posting twice otherwise :-)

  11. A number of posters seem to be confident that, having made such advances against the polls in the last GE, Corbyn/Labour will do so again.

    I am less certain about that. Last time he was a relatively unknown figure with a negative and hostile press working against him [and his own MPs !] The GE allowed his voice to be heard properly.

    That situation can only be true once. As a left of centre voter it concerns me that, as things stand, a similar fight back may not be so successful.

    Indeed, factor in an end to brexit and a new Tory leader and it could very easily all slip away.

  12. Should know better that try to get one over a legal mind, smiley thing.

  13. From the LSE report that Sam linked to –

    Indeed, they appear to be almost completely indifferent over some aspects of the negotiations (such as the status of the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland and the timeline for agreeing any deal).

    That’s not surprising. On any subject people are unlikely to be concerned about matters that (they don’t think) will affect them directly.

    Equally, they can be very concerned about other issues which don’t affect them either – but they have been persuaded, by media concentration on them, to think that they will!

  14. @ Jim Jam

    Terry Pratchett would have it that the Nac Mac Feegle
    like “verra com-plic-at-ed documents” I wonder if I am descended from such types! :-)

  15. DAVWEL

    Sorry, you may already have seen this -if not may I ask if you are interested in attending?

    https://www.abdn.ac.uk/news/11542/

  16. Comparing the crossbreak changes with the previous Poll ( 42/42)

    Labs biggest losses are :-
    Leavers
    Women
    London
    Over 50s
    Scotland.

  17. the FT reports ” profound disagreement over the Irish border among the 11 members of Theresa May’s Brexit cabinet ahead of their meeting on Wednesday to discuss the UK’s negotiating strategy. Philip Hammond, chancellor, is expected to be among the ministers at the meeting arguing that only close regulatory alignment and a tight customs arrangement with the EU can prevent a hard border in Ireland, an outcome the government has already promised to avoid. Other ministers believe that any technological solution to remove the need for border checks in Ireland will take time to develop, strengthening the case for an extension to the current customs union. “It will take years to introduce,” said one. But prominent pro-Brexit ministers, including Boris Johnson, the foreign secretary, and Michael Gove, the environment secretary, think that technology can be used — including “trusted trader” schemes and number plate recognition — to remove the need for a hard border.”

  18. The Irish Times says this about the “technical” solution.

    “This would mean the return of a trade Border on the island, albeit that there is argument about how visible or intrusive it would be. This has been ruled out by the Irish Government, which has pointed to the political dangers of reimposing a Border and the threat it could pose to the Peace Process. It is also far from clear how some checks on good movements could be avoided if the UK does leave the EU trading bloc. Under rules set by the World Trade Organisation, both Britain and the EU would be obliged to have sufficient controls at their borders on goods movements. This route would also seem to provide new opportunities for smuggling and criminality.”

    I think it is obvious there will still be EU Border Inspection Posts.

    https://www.gov.uk/guidance/importing-live-animals-or-animal-products-from-non-eu-countries

  19. Matt Singh in the Staggers on the BES:

    Warning: no UKPR posters will like all of this article, but all will like some of it. Try not to cherry pick the bits you do like and marginalise the ones you don’t. It’s all important.

    https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/staggers/2018/02/don-t-mistake-british-public-s-leftie-economic-views-liberalism

  20. Replies from previous thread and above.

    @ CARFREW – I’m very impressed with your game theory knowledge! I’ve learnt something new today! The equivalence+ regime is more like a ‘negative TFT’. There are actually two ways you can start the process by hurting yourself more before TFT begins (if it begins):
    1/ EU -ve: The unilateral announcement by one player (e.g. EU) that another player (e.g. UK) is no longer equivalent and if the UK is nihil mutata you’re gonna have a difficult issue explaining in court why it is only the one player (UK) and not all players. Probably a bilateral TFT involving a court case as other players watch from sidelines and operate a ‘vulture’ strategy. UK banking system would survive (passing very tough stress tests), EU banking system might not (some countries’ banks barely pass very soft tests and EU’s bank bailout days are over and no transfer union).
    2/ UK -ve: UK unilaterally starts a ‘race to the bottom’. UK in this case is the negative first mover (although Trump has made a move already). This was covered in my ‘manifesto’ ;)
    I don’t know if that fits an existing game theory model. It’s a small tweak on ‘Generous TFT’ to impose a -ve first move but it also requires multiple players and a power relationship (UK is in theory the most powerful by critical mass, US next, Asia centres 3rd, EU way behind). Hence why #2 route would be stupid of UK and #1 route would be stupid of EU.
    Just IMHO. This is very interesting. Please help further my understanding and consider the scenario I’ve suggested.

    @ DANNY – above should answer your point. Any legal input valid (e.g. WB) greatly appreciated but let’s just say I’m no Walt when it comes to financial services and banking ;)

    @ JIM JAM – I’d love to ignore the numbers in these leaked economic impact reports but they clearly influence the debate so the numbers must be ripped apart, the assumptions must be questioned and the other issues taken into account. See next post specific to Nissan and N.East.

    SMogg’s attack on civil service was questionably justified/unacceptable (two sides to that).

    @ OLDNAT – It does seem Scotland and new UK models have similarities. Productivity is a cop out. The equation allows it to be both the ‘error’ element (as used by OBR’s rear view mirror on past GDP data and in this case a catch-all for NTBs etc) or the ‘influencing part’ if your politically weaponising economics.

    @ COLIN – I suspect Clegg is about to release a new book? ;)

  21. Sam @ 1.13 pm

    I did see your link, and would be interested in finding out Prof Garcia`s views on trade negotiations.

    But to attend would take at least 4 hours for me, plus worries about getting parked up at King`s mid afternoon in term time and walking icy pavements to get in.

    So I`m more likely to be toiling at botanical databases, like trying to sort out why a whole load of interesting records have been dumped on us for an unlikely coastal situation in the far NE – perhaps someone at RSPB headquarters in the deep south has thought that many years of recordings across a 1000 ha protected area can happily be simplified into a big batch and given a 1 ha. 6-fig gps.

  22. SAM

    Of course the RoI could always join a customs union with the UK. We are one of their biggest export markets, and the goods that will suffer most under a hard Brexit are the ones which they send to us. That probably lies at the heart of why the Irish government are pushing for BINO.

    CHRIS RILEY

    None of it surprises me much, I can say that at least.

  23. Brexit case study (brief version): Nissan and “affecting the weather”.

    History: Why did Nissan build a plant in Sunderland?
    – supply domestic UK market (X%)
    – ‘gravity’ access to large EU marker (Y%)
    – other special factors (Z%)

    X-Y-Z interact so you shouldn’t try to assign fixed %s. Let’s ignore X for now (you could look at total production and %UK sales if you want).

    Y is a purely academic view as used in economic models. After removing X these models assign the remaining 100% to Y alone.

    Z is a realists view that ‘other factors’ (see next post) are important (Y0. How big a sweetener? How big is Z? Who knows.

    P.S. Sam and I discussed NI beef farmers on a previous thread. N.East England is less politically charged but individual case studies are important as understand the political factors involved helps to understand the veiled face of the Janus head lobby groups whispering into the ear of the heads of state in each country.

  24. Mohi,
    can’t check the stats yet, but if the libs have gone up a notch at the expense of labour, that wouldn’t surprise me, because labour is very lacklustre remain. But it might be setting up exactly the same situation which pertained at the last election, that at election crunch time remainers piled behind labour. Though they would have to differentiate themselves as more pro remain than the tories, who have moved considerably more remain themselves. Remains to be seen how the posturing will play out.

  25. One point to think about. May and Davis have been promising frictionless trade and no hard borders to all and sundry as part of their ambition for Brexit, but it’s worth noting what they are actually proposing.

    In their Future Customs Arrangments discussion paper, there are two options, one of which is a new ‘customs partnership’ with the EU. They say this would remove the need for customs checks at the border, and would involve the UK applying precisely all EU conditions for imports into the UK for any goods being re-exported into the EU. The document states that this would include anything entering the UK supply chain ultimately destined for the EU.

    This is interesting, as it would mean that we wouldn’t be able to secure free trade deals with other countries in the sense that we understand these, as these deals would only apply to goods exclusively bound for the UK. Any materials or components that are forwarded on in assembled products to the EU would have to be handled in the same way as now, in terms of tariffs, quotas etc. Complex, and limiting the potential benefits of new trade deals.

    The second point is the enforcement element. At present, we apply EU rules at the point of entry, and then forget about everything as the goods trade across internal EU borders. Under May’s proposals, the document states;

    “There would need to be a robust enforcement mechanism that ensured goods which had not complied with the EU’s trade policy stayed in the UK. This could involve, for instance, a tracking mechanism, where imports to the UK were tracked until they reached an end user, or a repayment mechanism, where imports to the UK paid whichever was the higher of the UK’s or the EU’s tariff rates and traders claimed a refund for the difference between the two rates when the goods were sold to an end user in the country charging lower tariffs. Businesses in supply chains would need to be able to track goods or pass the ability to claim a repayment along their supply chain in order to benefit.”

    If we think about this, it’s pretty awesome. The ‘robust enforcement mechanism that ensured goods which had not complied with the EU’s trade policy stayed in the UK’ would have to be sufficiently robust to ensure no non-compliant goods cross the UK/EU border. Can that be managed without logging every item that crosses the border, and even if we use the ‘tracker system’ mentioned, but not defined or designed, without hard border checks how can this be policed? This dual arrangement would necessitate a hard border, just to ensure it was properly policed.

    The alternative suggestion was the repayment system, where UK importers pay whichever are the higher tariffs of the EU and UK rates on entry into the UK, and then claim a refund if those goods are sold to an end user in a lower tariff area. This is going to be great news for importers! Dual tariffs, cash flows, reclaiming excess tariffs post sale – this is going to be an administrative nightmare.

    The best bit though is that the paper is so cock eyed it only talks about imports to the UK. Maybe it’s arrogance, maybe it’s stupidity, or maybe they knew they had something to hide, but if we need to initiate a dual tariff system with later refunds for goods entering here and being sold on the the EU, then the whole of the rest of the EU needs to do the same things for goods that enter there and end up in the UK. Because of our demands for frictionless free trade between the UK and EU after we’ve decided to leave, we are asking EU businesses to shoulder all that cost and time burden just to help us.

    Clearly this is uniquely unnacceptable, unless we agree to compensate for all additional costs throughout the EU and for whatever new system would be needed, and for this reason, amongst others, the EU has already shot this down as being unworkable.

    I remain stunned at just how poorly developed our government’s stance is on this. It is the equivalent of watching government ministers howling at the moon, and I’m not surprised that the EU is beginning to lose patience with us.

  26. I may be being stupid, but I think on the previous thread TW has got the ‘compound versus cumulative’ bit wrong again…

    If EU grants are 0.2% of North East NVA in 2018, they will still be 0.2% of 2019 NVA, and 2020 NVA, etc. In fact unless you assume that the grants will rise in cash terms, their proportion of GDP will gradually decline.

    What certainly won’t happen is for the EU grants to be 3.4% of NE NVA in fifteen years time – not unless there was some massive EU plan to regenerate the NE!

    I’m afraid I believe TW’s analysis is totally wrong, sorry.

  27. @Chris Riley “Warning: no UKPR posters will like all of this article, but all will like some of it. Try not to cherry pick the bits you do like and marginalise the ones you don’t. It’s all important.”

    It’s a good write up. The general thrust confirms that the UK majority are conservative with a small “c”.

    Not surprising then that the Conservative Party have controlled Government for 67 of the past 100 years.

  28. I think people are generally missing the point about reaching trade agreements WTO or otherwise including the impact on Northern Ireland. It is clearly not beyond the wit of man to make arrangements which will meet the requirements of frictionless borders and trade agreements around the world, what it is not possible to do is put them in place by March 2019, there is simply too much to negotiate with too many parties. Having now done some research into WTO I am not even sure it will be accepted by the WTO that the UK is a member, even if it is there is the vexed question of the share of EU/UK rights under WTO rules.
    I am sorry to say that I expect the wheels to grind to a halt in April 2019 and in Terry Pratchett’s words the “midden to hit the windmill”

  29. Trevor Warne,
    Not quite understanding your meaning but you seemed to imply you know something professionally about finance.

    Given events of recent years a firm grounding in the system as it is commonly believed to work by insiders might be no recommendation at all. Or maybe they just appear as divorced from reality as an explanation of their actions.

  30. WB, I often wish that TP were still around to satirise the world right now. Then I think about how he’d feel about the world right now and wonder if he’s better off out of it after all.

  31. Deck Chairs and Icebergs – is the playing field level?

    The EU are fantastic at specifying the exact requirements of deck chair exports, how to arrange them on deck, correct spacing, etc although rumours of ‘bendy’ chairs or bananas are false (it is only buses that bend). The EU even do a league table to show who is cheating on deck chair manufacturing or not arranging them correctly according to EU law and regulation regime (even if you just want a home built deck chair in your own garden you must obey EU law and full regulatory alignement):
    http://ec.europa.eu/internal_market/scoreboard/performance_by_governance_tool/infringements/index_en.htm
    Guess who has their towels down on the most dodgy deck chairs?
    (OK, in fairness you should GDP or per capita adjust the raw info)

    Icebergs are trickier. EU have a chequered history on using sonar and some icebergs are well, let’s say harder to see! Examples:
    – Tax reasons: RoI (I think we all know Amazon, GAFA+, etc) but let’s stick with goods as most folks understand those better. Look at the amazing growth in Pharma:
    https://www.siliconrepublic.com/careers/biotech-pharma-companies-ireland
    Does anyone know what happened regarding the ‘wire taps’ on our friend Juncker as former PM to Luxembourg?
    – Labour laws (rigidity is a barrier to exit but also a barrier to entry – Germany/France apply former, UK relies to some extent on the latter)
    – Labour costs (why did Nissan build most recent plant in Turkey? Gravity? A cynic might wonder why Turkey was “promoted” to THE wonderful CU but allowed no further)
    – Trade Surplus (this is even stated in SGP as 6% – what is Germany’s trade surplus in goods?) Clearly the sonar system for that iceberg was not built by the top engineers at Siemens!

    So, let’s stop pretending the playing field is level and start tipping the field a little towards team UK (all within WTO limits of course).
    [NB. I will admit US and China are a league above in ‘field tipping’ and EU are trying in many areas to relevel the playing field. UK plays some games but generally we play pretty fair – some would say too fair!]

  32. @Trevor Warne – struggling to understand what you are saying on equivalence.

    I assume you are talking about the financial sector, and you seem to now have dropped talk of passporting. I posted yesterday that passporting cant’ happen unless we are in the EEA – there is no legal basis for it under EU law unless this is the case, so it isn’t going to happen.

    I’m not really interested in game theory, only how Brexit works. You seem to be suggesting in your post above that the UK could start a race to the bottom, which I assume is meant to be looser financial regulation?

    In terms of equivalence, this would pretty quickly lead to a loss of equivalence, as a move to liberalise regulation that doesn’t meet with agreed EU regulation would mean we were no longer equivalent, and no amount of court cases could overturn this.

    I’m just not quite sure what you are trying to say, and as a result not entirely sure if you are fully understanding of equivalence etc.

  33. Alec,
    Sometimes it can be instructive to consider the alternatives open to a person, or in this case to may and her cabinet. Either they entered negotiations bullish for a special deal, or accepting that it is impossible. The result might be the same, but at least they can say they tried. Some modest political cover for what is likely to be an unpalatable result.

  34. Just for clarity’s sake:

    Compounding of a measure is appropriate when there is a change in the value of the integral of that measure.

    Eg, you compound a change in velocity of an object when looking at the change in the position of the object during a unit of time; you compound a change in the rate of growth of GDP when considering its effect on GDP in a given future year.

    It is wrong to either compound a change in the measure itself or to NOT compound a change in the integral of the measure – either will produce a meaningless result.

    Sorry to be dull…

  35. @ BFR – I agree with your first comment ;)
    Any update on DB’s Brexodus by the way?

    @ ALEC – your so close to seeing that it is not all about UK exports but imports matter, we’ll get you to see that in the end (although probably not SJ and let’s not get our hopes up that any Remainer ever understands net numbers, the important differences between goods and services or that their beloved EU might not be operating a totally level playing field).

  36. @ BFR – If we need to remove a base GDP rise number of say 2% then I’ll redo the maths:

    (1.02^15) – 1 = 3.4%

    1.02 – 0.002 = 1.018

    (1.018^15) – 1 = 3.1%

    Would you accept 3.1% instead of 3.4% based on a 15yr projection?

    Let’s also consider that you are suggesting EU wouldn’t raise payments to UK regions in the future? Do you want to go down that route?

    EU’s budget drafts for 2020+ next cycle have been published. UK’s gross contribution is planned to rise.

    If your aim to is to help the Leave on WTO terms cause them please by all means keep digging.

  37. A legal view of the NI/Ireland border possibilities.

    http://qpol.qub.ac.uk/brexit-will-irish-question-be-solved/

  38. WB

    @”It is clearly not beyond the wit of man to make arrangements which will meet the requirements of frictionless borders and trade agreements around the world, what it is not possible to do is put them in place by March 2019, there is simply too much to negotiate with too many parties. ”

    I agree.

    I have been expressing the view for some time that the Transitional Period will not commence for UK plc with a clear picture of what they must prepare to transition to at the end of it.

    The TP will in part or in whole be just a continuation of where we are now-talking. So for UK plc , whilst it will provide the comfort of no-change until transition, it will fail to provide what they need even more-a status to plan for transition to.

    It is no surprise today at all to read reports of an extended TP.

    Presumably Rees-Mogg & co will throw another ever so gentlemanly wobbly. if that is agreed by TM.

    So May will finally have to face her biggest choice-keeping Rees-Mogg happy-or British Industry.

  39. @TW
    It doesn’t compound – full-stop!

    You can only compound the EU grant amount if you see this value as a measure of the RATE OF CHANGE in NVA, not as a contribution TO NVA.

    You appear to totally misunderstand the concept of compounding, which is odd for someone who talks about creating complex statistical models, as it is pretty basic and fundamental.

    The alternative is that you are assuming that each year’s EU grant creates a PERMANENT increase in NVA equal to its value. I.e. that this is an investment which generates a 100% annual return. Which would be pretty impressive if true and I’d be baffled why we would want to stop getting EUI grants if that were true!

    Please take a look at your logic – if you still don’t understand the error then I will try to set it out it in words of one syllable…. but it will be boring for everyone else.

  40. @Trevor Warne – “@ ALEC – your so close to seeing that it is not all about UK exports but imports matter, we’ll get you to see that in the end…”

    A puzzling observation, as I’ve been highlighting trade complexities, imports and exports, relating to Brexit (and the Scottish referendum vote, as it happens) since before you started posting here on UKPR. (Years before, in fact).

    @BFR (and @Trevor Warne) – I’ve not examined the original post, but I would tend to agree with @BFR that anticipating a big increase in the proportion of a UK regions NVA from EU grants wouldn’t be appropriate, if that is indeed what was stated.

    Structural funds are allocated by the EU to member states, based on population, national prosperity, regional prosperity and unemployment levels. The member states then apportion that between the regions. Unless we expect the UK to get relatively much poorer than the EU27 and the given region to get relatively less well off than other UK regions over the given timeframe, then it’s hard to understand how such a big increase can reasonably be anticipated.

  41. @ ALEC (your 2:42pm) – firstly apologies for my 2:58pm, two posters are throwing stones and I threw two back but the one that hit you was a mistake. Let’s try to be civil today as you raise important points.

    “You seem to be suggesting.. that the UK could start a race to the bottom (in banking and financial services), which I assume is meant to be looser financial regulation?”
    Yes, we could start (or join) that race but I clearly stated that we should not do that as it would backfire (the Negative TFT is something I hope CARFREW comes back to me on – I love behavioural models and enjoy discussing them).
    In fin.services we are #1 globally. If you’re #1 you don’t need to start the race to the bottom. Expanding on this our role as #1 should really be to drag others up.
    I’m not meaning to be deliberately obtuse, but I really can’t give examples of the kind of rule bending we might get away with. However, some do make the financial press and I’ll pick an old one just to be safe:
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-01-11/barclays-ceo-is-said-to-urge-u-k-s-may-to-cut-taxes-post-brexit
    With ‘inspired’ search terms on google I expect you can find a lot more examples just watch out for political bias (Bloomberg is a little pro-Remain)

    Passporting v Equivalence+ v Equivalence.
    Subtle but important differences I agree (Passporting covers a lot of stuff but not everything and is permanent, slides down in scope and reliability as you drop lower to Equivalence).

    IMHO it is important to recognise some UK companies will lose out but get a handle on the magnitude and relative impact.
    EG:
    1/ A UK SME that exports non-fin.services solely to the EU would be badly hurt by lose of passporting. Export fin.services OK in Equivalence (although a bit more nervous for sure). HMG should seek to help these companies. Transition will help but we could be much more creative given sufficient energy to do so.
    2/ UK-UK or UK-nonEU SME would benefit from less EU red tape, small drop in UK domestic regulations (keeping UK domestic and international regulations different is possible, the US and others do this. Within SM you have to apply same rules domestically as you do on exports)
    3/ Large companies can adapt easily, most have EU offices already and the financial and technical ability to operate across multiple jurisdictions. They are playing both sides of the game! (Janus head)

  42. @ BFR – Shall we decompound back to today then? I’ve always prefered to that but others object.

  43. @trevor warne

    You don’t seem to understand the concept of compounding and what should be compounded or not. You don’t compound the 0.2% of NE GDP which you calculate is due to EU funding because it is not a rate of change like a growth figure of 0.2%.

  44. 1-(1.16^(1/15)) = 1%

    * side note, why did they go to 15years?? Everyone had been going out to 2030. Obviously no bias in doing that.

    What should be used is an estimate of long-term trend growth (at full employment with stable inflation) and how that is impacted by different Brexit scenarios but that isn’t giving an impact that would actually make an “impact” is it!

  45. @Alec
    TW said that the loss of a 0.2% of NVA grant would lead to a 3.4% reduction in NVA after 15 years.

    It’s not about whether the EU grant would rise, its that the loss of an annual grant of 0.2% of NVA would result in the loss of ….. 0.2% of NVA in year 2030.

    You could argue for also adjusting for the theoretical growth impact of those investments: if we assume a 6% annual return in perpetuity as a result of every grant (pretty generous) then these grants will generate 0.02% x 1.06 / 0.06 of cumulative return, or 0.35%

    So a REALLY generous assessment of the impact of withdrawing a 0.2% of NVA grant would be a reduction of NVA of 0.55% by year 15

    Not 3.4%…

  46. or more strictly and to 2dp you should do
    1 – ((1-0.16)^(1/15) = 1.16%
    (not the 1% rounded number I gave at 3:59pm)

    decompounded net impact on N.East v base in today’s terms.

  47. @Hireton
    Thanks – I was starting to think that I was going mad.

    @TW
    Unless you make some effort to get your basic maths right no-one is going to take anything that you say seriously…

    I don’t know if this is because you don’t understand – which is worrying given your claimed expertise – don’t care, or are deliberately trying to mislead people.

  48. @ALEC
    “Can that be managed without logging every item that crosses the border, and even if we use the ‘tracker system’ mentioned, but not defined or designed, without hard border checks how can this be policed? This dual arrangement would necessitate a hard border, just to ensure it was properly policed.”

    I would be the first to concede a huge quantitative difference, but qualitatively is the problem really any different to that already faced in respect of the movement of excisable products such as tobacco, alcohol and fuel oils?

    Presumably, these must be controlled at present, by a mixture of tracking and punitive sanction for breaches. And these are almost by definition the areas where the differences in duty were so great we couldn’t harmonise and so the profits to be had are at their greatest too. Indeed we know that low level offending is significant. But still tolerated in preference to a hard border.

    The difficulty of extrapolating, the scale of the problem, I’d accept, but the technical impossibility of doing so I don’t really see.

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