Saturday’s Times had the latest YouGov voting intention results, which were CON 40%(nc), LAB 42%(+1), LDEM 8%(nc).

It also had results from a poll asking about the media allegations about Jeremy Corbyn having met a Czech spy in the 1980s, which clearly illustrated why such things make very little difference.

To start with, most people pay very little attention to the day-to-day soap opera of politics. 40% of people said they had been completely unaware of the story until taking the survey, a further 31% said they had noticed it, but hadn’t really paid it any attention. That leaves less than a third who had actually taken it in. Obviously things that no one notices have no real impact, especially since those people who do watch political news stories will disproportionately be those who are interested in politics and have firm political allegiances.

Asked if they thought the allegations were true, the results were as you’d expect. A large majority of Labour voters thought that Jeremy Corbyn probably had a perfectly innocent meeting with someone he thought was a diplomat, and that he probably didn’t give any information to any Czech agents. The only people who believed it were Conservatives. This is typical of such allegations: people view them through the prism of their existing political allegiences. If it’s an allegation against a party you support, you are likely to view it with scepticism and give the politician concerned the benefit of the doubt, if it’s an allegation against a party you dislike then it will confirm all the negative things you thought already.

Finally, YouGov asked if the spy allegations and the way Jeremy Corbyn had responded to them had changed people’s opinions of Jeremy Corbyn at all. Only 8% of people said it had made them think more negatively about him (and they were mostly Tories to begin with). 6% said it made them think better of Corbyn (and they were mostly Labour voters to begin with). A hearty 64% said it made no difference at all.

Full results for the voting intention are here, and the Corbyn results are here.


1,679 Responses to “Why the Corbyn spy allegations made no difference to public opinion”

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  1. Re: Corbyn’s version of Cakeism

    So if we stay in a customs union, we get to avoid erecting some barriers to trade, but on the other hand we have more flexibility regarding things like nationalisation and migration etc.

    So, would this be considered hard or soft cakeism?

  2. @colin

    “What is relevant now , as some of those people prepare to enter Downing Street , or move into positions of influence & power around the Leader & in the key institutions of the Labour Party, is whether they still believe what they believed back then.”

    Yes they still believe what they believed back then – democratic socialism.

    You seem to be implying that people connected to corbyn were soviet assets/informers – with absolutely zero evidence. Unless you give any credence to the czech spook who claims that he learnt thatchers wardrobe plans and breakfast menu from corbyn.

  3. There are some things that democratic socialists believe in, which were also believed by those who were more Soviet about things.

    There’s also a lot over which they differed. One way of appraising things is to hype the similarities while glossing over the differences. (Not that I’m saying Finkelstein did this. I’m not saying he didn’t either…)

    And in this way you try and make it seem like in effect, the democratic socialists are really just Soviets. When they’re not.

    Right wingers get very annoyed when others pull the same trick and try to equate them with fascists.

  4. Bit of a side track but this graph shows the 2018 investment priorities across EU nations.
    http://pdf.reuters.com/pdfnews/pdfnews.asp?i=43059c3bf0e37541&u=2018-02-23T025150Z_GFXEE2N15AEL4_1_RTRGFXG_BASEIMAGE.PNG

    “Replacement” is cheaper than “streamlining” and also does nothing to improve productivity.

    This is the problem with dragging out negotiations and talks without giving business clarity on the final outcome. My estimate was we’d lose 0.5% of GDP/annum during this stage of talks due to lack of investment. Some of that would never be made back but some of it represents a backlog. I don’t do 0.1%s but the graphic clearly shows this stage of Brexit is holding UK back. Happy to concede this problem goes far beyond Brexit. There was/is lots we could be doing to incentivise productivity enhancing investment regardless of the Brexit outcome.

    @ TRIGGUY – lack of ‘revision’ (preparation) on UK’s part for sure but the questions need answering not deferring. EC have made it clear that if we don’t answer they will answer for us.

  5. TW: As an arch-remainer I’ll suggest…

    You’re an arch-remainer? Welcome to the bright side.

    Re: the SM in services.

    It’s partially complete, but a work in progress. In many areas of services it’s extremely difficult to get common standards so that professional expertise is easily transferable – think different legal systems, accounting conventions etc, and then there’s the big problem of languages. But the low hanging fruit has been picked and there is steady progress.

    As an example, I recenty took out an annual car rental excess policy from a UK-based company. The small print says it:

    Is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (firm reference number 466942) for the sale and administration of general insurance products in the United Kingdom and throughout the Members of the European Economic Area (EEA).

    …….This policy is underwritten by EUROP ASSISTANCE S.A, 4th Floor, 4-8 Eden Quay, Dublin 1, D01N5W8, Ireland, registered in the Irish Companies Registration Office under number 907089 and managed by Linkham Services Limited.
    Benefits under this policy are provided by EUROP ASSISTANCE S.A, a French stock corporation, regulated by the French Insurance Code, having its registered office at 1, promenade de la Bonnette, 92230 Gennevilliers, France, registered in the Register of Commerce and Companies of Nanterre (Reference number 451 366 405) acting through its Irish office (trading as EUROP ASSISTANCE S.A., Irish Branch)

    So, UK, Ireland and France involved here. Looks pretty much like a single market in action in this particular area of services.

  6. @trevorwarne

    Since I have no interest in a Turkey option, I will decline your kind offer to speculate about it.

  7. “It’s partially complete, but a work in progress. In many areas of services it’s extremely difficult to get common standards so that professional expertise is easily transferable – think different legal systems, accounting conventions etc, and then there’s the big problem of languages. But the low hanging fruit has been picked and there is steady progress.”

    ——–

    One cannot help thinking that there is some self-interested credentialism artificially maintaining barriers here so the elite can keep finding cushy protected numbers for their offspring. Is there a fundamental reason you can’t harmonise accounting standards the way you can harmonise other procedures?

    Languages don’t stop harmonising highly technical environmental and other standards. Why should it be different with accounts?

  8. CARFREW

    I’m not giving anyone a free pass, but to immediately point at other people when I say that Corbyn’s populism is similar to Trump’s is partisan whataboutery of the purest sort. I’m not saying breaking promises is the similarity, I’m saying that Corbyn makes wild promises in the same way that Trump promised prosperity for all and a big wall. Like Trump’s opponents the Tories and Corbyn’s opponents within Labour were trying to argue in an economic reality when their opponent had decided to leave that reality behind altogether. Then there’s the personality cult, and the airy dismissal of valid criticisms as evidence that the establishment is running scared. There’s the insults directed at the press and aggressive tone towards them in public appearances, the claim to speak for ‘the many’, even things like taking questions from fawning sycophants rather than reporters. May wasn’t exactly better on that last one during the election, but if anything her lack of personality, inability to articulate a policy platform, and throwing away of an election which should have been in the bag makes her more like Clinton (a person who I regard as a self-interested failure, in case you see that as some sort of praise).

  9. @somerjohn

    It’s worth remembering as Brexiters tend not to that aviation, road transport and public procurement have all been substantially liberalised within the EU ( the UK led the liberalisation of aviation and transport services).

  10. @Garj

    “but to immediately point at other people when I say that Corbyn’s populism is similar to Trump’s is partisan whataboutery of the purest sort. I’m not saying breaking promises is the similarity, I’m saying that Corbyn makes wild promises in the same way that Trump promised prosperity for all and a big wall.”

    ——–

    Well you claim this, but like what? What has Corbyn promised that is anything like the scale of the LD u-turns? Or even the 2017 GE u-turns.

    And to ask you to compare with other parties is not “whataboutery” but just asking for fair comparisons. To just moan about Corbyn without fair comparisons is just noise.

    You seem to think asking for fairness is some huge injustice!!

  11. @Garj

    “Then there’s the personality cult, and the airy dismissal of valid criticisms as evidence that the establishment is running scared. There’s the insults directed at the press and aggressive tone towards them in public appearances, the claim to speak for ‘the many’, even things like taking questions from fawning sycophants rather than reporters.”

    ——–

    Where do you get this stuff! Yes, it’s really bad, all his supporters go around claiming Theresa is a spy! Oh no wait that’s the wrong way around innit…

  12. Welsh Government says it will introduce legislation today in the Assembly to enable continuity of EU law in Wales after Brexit signalling that it will ask the Assembly to withhold legislative consent for the UK Government’s EU Withdrwal Bill. The FM of Scotland indicated this morning that it seems unlikely that the SG will be able to recommend to the SP that it should give legislative consent as matters currently stand and will introduce its own Continuity Bill if necessary.

  13. @TREVOR WARNE
    “What do you think of Corbyn’s new policy? As an arch-remainer I’ll suggest a scale of 1-10 with 10 being Remain on DC’s negotiated terms and 1 being WTO but pick whatever measure or phrases you want.”

    All a bit arbitrary, but Remain on DCs terms is pretty much the softest possible remain, so it’s pretty ludicrous to make that your 10. That would presumably make all of your 1-9 Leave positions, which is hardly balanced.

    If you have 1-5 as Leave positions, and 6-10 as Remain positions, I’d say DC remain was a 6, EEA with Customs is a 5, and Labour is about at 4.

    That no serious U.K. politician could currently argue for 7 or above at present does not mean those positions don’t exist.

  14. The SG has said it will introduce its Continuity Bill into the Scottish Parliament this afternoon with or without a certificate from the Presiding Officer regarding legislative competence. The Lord Advocate will address MSPs tomorrow. Looks like a co-ordinated move by the Welsh and Scottish Governments.

  15. @Garj

    You make an excellent point when you correctly point out the similarities between Corbyn and Trump.

    The Left hate it being pointed out for obvious reasons. The Right hate it being pointed out because they keep naively thinking that populism will only ever works in their favour.

    Post-Brexit they are going to find out how wrong they are in a very big way.

  16. CARFREW

    “What has Corbyn promised that is anything like the scale of the LD u-turns? Or even the 2017 GE u-turns.”

    ——–

    Oh, nothing like the largest spending hike in peacetime history, either paid for completely by taxing someone else, or unfunded? I know, you’ll come back and say that there were unfunded promises in the other parties’ manifestos, but there’s a bit of a difference between a few billion of extra spending and a few hundred billion. There are also certainly not the personality cults around any other politician that there are around Corbyn, and I can’t think of a single leader of either main party who has had that kind of hero-worship in decades, or did I miss the crowds of Tory activists booing BBC reporters at their election events? The only person who comes to mind is Farage, and that’s not exactly flattering.

    Part of Corbyn’s whole schtick is that he’s not ‘politics as usual’, that he’s an outsider. The way he came to lead the Labour party is almost an identical mirror for Trump’s rise to the top of the Republicans, for god’s sake. You’re still banging on about other parties without making any attempt to refute the charge that Corbyn shares a lot of similarities with Trump. If you If you can’t see those similarities then you’re blinded by your tribalism, because they should be evident to anybody even slightly impartial. If you think that’s not the case then refute it without referencing other parties. They might be Trump-like populists too in some ways, but that doesn’t mean that Corbyn isn’t in most ways.

    Anyway, if you’re not willing to then I’m done with the subject. It’s like talking to an evangelist who won’t stop banging on about how awful Muslims are when you tell them you don’t share their faith in Jesus.

  17. TREVOR WARNE

    @”Does he not understand the important differences in EU’s ‘off the shelf’ deals or is he deliberately trying to weaken UK’s negotiating hand?”

    Fox gave JC some stick in his speech this morning.

    In short-if you join a CU you don’t get to choose -you just get told. And if they decide on some TTIP type deal thats what you get whether you like it or not.

    I think JC -as I have said before-was playing pure politics. Most of his speech wasn’t about Brexit-it was the usual Corbyn domestic agenda & list of capitalist baddies.

    In so far as he does understand what he has now stated as Labour’s position, it derives from a protectionist anti-globalism outlook. -pull up the drawbridge-tax the rich – give to the poor-create a Socialist Nirvana at home.

    re @”IMHO May now needs to take a calculated gamble “.

    There was a very intriguing throwaway in the Q&A after Fox’s speech referring to May’s upcoming speech.

    Lets wait & see.

    But we have clear red water now I think & Fox sets out the Brexit vision on Trade very well.

  18. @Garj

    “Oh, nothing like the largest spending hike in peacetime history, either paid for completely by taxing someone else, or unfunded? I know, you’ll come back and say that there were unfunded promises in the other parties’ manifestos, but there’s a bit of a difference between a few billion of extra spending and a few hundred billion.”

    ——–

    Oh, so you just made something up without any details!

    And completely ignore the massive racking up of the debt by other parties, the hundreds of billions of QE too!!

    And, he hasn’t been proven wrong yet. While the actual u-turns, are proof they messed up.

  19. I wonder how all of this will play out on VI? ANy thoughts? After all that is why we are all here :)

  20. @Garj

    “Part of Corbyn’s whole schtick is that he’s not ‘politics as usual’, that he’s an outsider. The way he came to lead the Labour party is almost an identical mirror for Trump’s rise to the top of the Republicans, for god’s sake.”

    ——

    Yes! He got to lead the party… by winning a vote! Just like Trump! It all fits!!

  21. REGGIESIDE

    I refer you to that Guardian article -and the stuff which you & I can both read about people like Seamus Milne , Andrew Murray etc.

  22. @Garj

    “Anyway, if you’re not willing to then I’m done with the subject. It’s like talking to an evangelist who won’t stop banging on about how awful Muslims are when you tell them you don’t share their faith in Jesus”

    ——

    Nah, look in the mirror Garj. You’re an evangelist who’s talking to an atheist. I don’t think much of Corbs either. I just think one should be fair.

  23. Colin

    Yes, I think he was bang on this morning and rightly gave Corbyn stick for his cynical approach.

  24. Irish PM is calling for SF to take their seats in Westminster and vote for the CU amendment, says they should do what’s best for the whole of Ireland. Tricky spot for SF, they have become a major political force in the south and are within spitting distance of being part of a future Irish govt. Refusing this chance will play badly in the republic but agreeing to take their seats risks alienating their core support in NI and removing their main difference with their nationalist rivals.

  25. @colin

    seamus milne was a soviet asset then?

    And the favourite to replace may as prime minister recently gave a speech at dinner hosted by far right organisation – some people might find that slightly more concerning then the fact that 30 odd years ago corbyn met a diplomat who turned out to be a czech spy.

    I mean if corbyn had been having Christmas dinner every year with – oh – i dont know – jimmy saville? – then that really would have been a scandal …

  26. @Colin

    Just read that article and as with Finkelstein, can’t find anything definitively damning of Corbyn.

    It reads like the Finkelstein article, vague allusions, but when it gets to anything specific… Actually it tends to back Corbyn as being anti-Soviet!

    E.g. …

    “His defenders point out that Jan Kavan, a leading light in Charter 77, regards the Labour leader as a friend, something that would be difficult to square if he saw Corbyn as a Soviet stooge. In December 1989, Corbyn was one of only four MPs to sign a parliamentary motion congratulating the “magnificent outburst” by striking workers in Czechoslovakia “against the corruption and mismanagement of the Stalinist bureaucracy”.

    “Corbyn was mentored by Tony Benn,” Lilleker said. “And Benn was very smart. He knew exactly what the Russians and satellite countries’ secret service people were after. Benn was very much the Marxist but very anti-Soviet.”

    Still, one is open to persuasion, Colin! Could you cite something in particular from the article that is definitely problematic?

  27. Carfrew: Is there a fundamental reason you can’t harmonise accounting standards the way you can harmonise other procedures?

    I probably shouldn’t have used accounting as an example as I’m no expert and I don’t know what, if any, progress has been made towards harmonising standards. You’d think it would be one of the less difficult areas, but as you suggest, professional bodies can fight fiendishly hard to protect their cosy monopolies through local standards as a barrier to competition. I’m sure there are UKPR posters who know a lot more about this than I do, though I vaguely recall that some years ago a Eurocompany standard was agreed, so that companies could be incorporated at an EU rather than national level. If that’s so, it seems to have been a bit of a damp squib.

    As @Hireton points out, aviation and road transport are fine examples of single market services (from which the UK has greatly benefited, of course – Easyjet could not exist as a pan-European operator without the SM in aviation) and I should have picked one of these rather than accounting.

  28. @Colin

    From the Finkelstein article you were in about…

    “In view of the allegations of collaboration by Mr Corbyn and his colleagues with the Czechs, it is worth noting the significance of Czechoslovakia for the new left. It was the suppression of the Czech communist reformers during the Prague Spring of 1968 that persuaded the new left that the Soviets had become irredeemably authoritarian. The new left is anti-imperialist and rejects the idea of everyone eating breakfast on Moscow time.

    In a speech made to a conference organised by the communist newspaper Morning Star shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, Mr Corbyn put it this way: “If there are two areas where I think grave mistakes were made by the Soviet Union,” he said (an eyebrow-raising way to express things. If? Two?), “it was the ability of the system to recognise the importance of the national question and the way in which the Communist Party of the Soviet Union became an extremely elitist body”.”

  29. @Somerjohn

    It’s ok, you don’t have to be an expert on accounting! We’ve lost folk like Amber where accounts were their thing, maybe someone else knows.

    One can see harmonisation can be challenging. I just can’t help thinking that in certain sectors, where the elite tend to stash their offspring in fault-tolerant careers in areas like law and accounts, harmonisation might not actually be that difficult. Accounts are not like aerodynamics, incredibly complicated and a life-and-death issue.

  30. REGGIESIDE

    @”seamus milne was a soviet asset then?”

    I doubt it.
    An asset of Mr Putin possibly :-)

    But you can read about his activities & statements as well as I can.

    Did Jimmy Savile have a significant geo-political influence???

  31. TOH

    Yes

    We should hear more stuff like that from Cons.

  32. PR, given that Sinn Fien pretty much have the power to block a hard Brexit and bring down the government, I do find it very weird that they’re not taking the opportunity. If I was one of their MPs, just the look on Arlene Foster’s face when they walked into the commons would sway it for me.

    Not sure how it would play in the wider world though. Terrorists Thwart the Will of the People! would look good on the front of the Daily Mail.

  33. Finally, YouGov asked if the spy allegations and the way Jeremy Corbyn had responded to them had changed people’s opinions of Jeremy Corbyn at all. Only 8% of people said it had made them think more negatively about him (and they were mostly Tories to begin with)

    ———————————————————–
    I think a good few of the 8% probably hang out on these threads

  34. @ SJ – as HIRETON points out ” the UK led the liberalisation of aviation and transport services”

    It’s been painfully slow process on the things that matter most to UK but with UK taking the lead the EU has liberalised some service sector areas. Just imagine what we could have done if we’d stayed with EFTA back in the 70s or left in early 90s before Maastricht Treaty.

    HIRETON ducked the arch-remainer view on Corbyn’s plan. What do you think of Corbyn’s plan?

    @ PETERW – the ‘Remain on DC’s terms’ represents the ‘hindsight’ option that YouGov ask in polling. It no longer exists as DC’s concessions went with the Leave vote. Attempt to revoke and try and keep most of our vetoes and rebate might be say an 8 (with cake of course as they could deny us vetoes and rebates)? I’m just asking some of our arch-Remainers their view of Corbyn’s ‘new’ policy. We haven’t even mentioned the need for a GE and/or new ref to get Corbyn in power. Of course LDEM resurgence might yet happen :-) :-) More likely SNP start posting candidates doon South or this Renew party gains traction. (More likely as in a cat’s chance in hell rather than hell freezing over!)

    @ COLIN – Fox made some excellent points but he speaks to the converted. Boris is a bit of a liability! May’s Friday speech should hopefully be good but lots of folks see her as being held ‘hostage’ by ERG (bit OTT but just trying to see it from the other side). P.Hammond or any of the other CON-Remain names can do a much better job rallying the CON-rebels back on side and showing marginal voters how important services are to not just whatever deal we do with EU but how freedom from CU would enable UK to ensure they get increased focus on new trade deals (and tweaks in the copy+paste of existing EU deals). Gardiner made a terrible effort to justify LAB’s new policy but clearly if your trying to persuade one wing of the party it is best to use those from that wing (although hopefully CON-Remain Hammond makes a better job of it than LAB-Leave Gardiner!)
    https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-britain-eu-hammond/hammond-says-will-speak-next-week-on-brexit-deal-for-services-idUSKCN1GB1ME

  35. @Reggieside

    “And the favourite to replace may as prime minister recently gave a speech at dinner hosted by far right organisation – some people might find that slightly more concerning then the fact that 30 odd years ago corbyn met a diplomat who turned out to be a czech spy. ”

    Anyone sane would. The head of UK counter-terrorism has not just given a speech warning of the rise of Czech terrorism in the UK, has he?

  36. @Reggieside “Irish PM is calling for SF to take their seats in Westminster and vote for the CU amendment, says they should do what’s best for the whole of Ireland. Tricky spot for SF, they have become a major political force in the south and are within spitting distance of being part of a future Irish govt. Refusing this chance will play badly in the republic but agreeing to take their seats risks alienating their core support in NI and removing their main difference with their nationalist rivals.”

    I can’t think of anything more likely to unite the Tory party than Sinn Fein turning up at Westminster.

    In any case, SF have made an announcement: “This is not even a topic of discussion within the party, we are an abstentionist party, and we are mandated to abstain from Westminster by the people who vote for us.”

  37. @Colin

    “Fox gave JC some stick in his speech this morning.”

    I don’t think being mocked by a credibility and integrity void like Fox will give Corbyn sleepless nights.

  38. TREVOR WARNE

    Thanks for the Reuters link.

    Now that will be an interesting intervention. I agree with you that it could be very helpful.

    ( fingers crossed :-) )

  39. Hireton

    Mike Russell be making his statement introducing the Continuity Bill at 4.15 today.

    (Live on Holyrood TV https://www.scottishparliament.tv/ )

    The leaked (by the Scot Gov, I presume) Briefing Paper is here –

    https://twitter.com/HTScotPol/status/968468826907201536

  40. Carfew and others.

    Having had a chance to assess a little more, I think Labours cakeism is around the issue of trade deals. Being in A Customs Union might give a UK Gov’t an opportunity to review and make suggestions re future trade deals but the idea of a meaningful say is far fetched imo and members getting little say beyond veto as it is with the commission leading negotiations.
    Additionally, the freedom to strike deals with other countries would be negligible if available at all.
    Personally, I could care less about this but I am not the floating part of the audience (wording for Colin’s benefit) and think that this is just a sop to keep some people on board, maybe Gardner for example.

    I don’t believe that being in A C.U with the EU will place any constraints on domestic activity beyond entry rules for imports. This is what matters to McDonnell and others and SM membership would place some restriction, although not as many as sometimes suggested, on domestic industrial policy. SM access may not and I think special access, which might be cakeism at some point, is where Labour are heading.

    NB) That last point re SM is a view not an informed piece of knowledge.

  41. @JimJam

    Yes, unless someone has an answer to Colin’s point about having to accept TTIP in a customs union, it does suggest limitations in Corbyn’s stance.

  42. @ANDREW MYERS

    ‘I wonder how all of this will play out on VI? ANy thoughts? After all that is why we are all here :)’

    It may have a significant effect. Yet more Remainers from LIBDEM/Green/DK may come over to LAB, even some strongly Remain CON voters (encouraged by the CBI and IofDirectors stance).

    I doubt if there would be much traffic the other way. As ANALYST pointed out, the BES survey shows that LAB Leavers are not much interested in Brexit either way.

  43. CHRIS RILEY

    I don’t think JC will have any sleepless nights-however much people point out the lack of credibility in his statements.

    He has said what he has said & that’s it.

    Faisal Islam tried asking if he really thought he could get A CU with EU plus vetoes on Rules & Regs & Trade Deals he doesn’t like.

    He just said that would be for negotiation. But they are all saying that so he’s no different in fairness.

    But that shouldn’t stop Cons critiquing his policy .

    As for the voters-I should think its all white noise to them.

  44. Trevor,

    Just fyi Barry Gardner voted remain but is certainly on the harder Brexit edge of Labour’s leadership tent.

  45. Sea change

    More interested in how the Irish PM’s manoeuvre will affect Irish politics, will SF get the blame for the damage that brexit will do to the Irish economy? Will the SF vote share drop so far that an SF/FF coalition is no longer feasible. Will the Irish labour party recover and take back the voters it’s lost to SF?

  46. Sea change

    More interested in how the Irish PM’s manoeuvre will affect Irish politics, will SF get the blame for the damage that brexit will do to the Irish economy? Will the SF vote share drop so far that an SF/FF coalition is no longer feasible. Will the Irish labour party recover and take back the voters it’s lost to SF?

  47. JIM JAM

    @” This is what matters to McDonnell ”

    Couldn’t agree more-which is why Corbyn went to such lengths to spell out red lines on State Intervention , Competition Directives, Posted Workers Directive etc etc.

    Can I ask your view-I was surprised that he raised that bundle of EU regs as red lines. Aren’t they only applicable if we are in the SM?
    I wondered whether him saying those were problematic for Labour was a n unintended disclosure that acceptance of the Acquis & membership of SM is an undisclosed Labour Policy.

    Have I got that wrong do you think ?

  48. TW: Just imagine what we could have done if we’d stayed with EFTA back in the 70s or left in early 90s before Maastricht Treaty.

    HIRETON ducked the arch-remainer view on Corbyn’s plan. What do you think of Corbyn’s plan?

    I don’t understand your first point. If we’d stayed in EFTA or left the EU we’d have had precisely zero input into the SM in services.

    As for Corbyn’s plan, I see it as just political manoeuvring by a Eurosceptic. For me, the two best outcomes are (1) remain or (2) brexit on WTO terms. The latter to demonstrate the reality of life out in the cold and give the brexit tendency enough rope to hang itself.

  49. Carfrew

    An obvious one would be to walk away at that point (and let the EU know that consequences of signing up to TTIP would be us walking away). Remain in a CU is not remain in a CU no matter how that evolves. The UK will have have walked away from having direct effects of controlling what trade deals the EU signs up to and would be left with indirect effects.

    The UK will be “free” to choose who they cosy up to in future, taking their rules with its only power being the freedom to cosy up to someone else if they do something the UK doesn’t like. Presumably once the UK has ruled out the EU and the US for being too TTIPy, the only port left will be Asia.

    Colin

    I don’t think it’s a bad strategy when faced with “cake and eat it”. You aren’t going to win by being more realistic so why not go for the “even more cake, with whipped cream and a couple of scones on the side”. We’ll have to wait and see if this moves the polls but it’s certainly taking the initiative ahead of Mrs. Mat’s speech on Friday. If it proves popular (among the right groups) it opens the way for “evolving” policy further.

  50. On DP today a RoI MEP debated with DUP’s Sammy Wilson about the formal EU document enshrining the phase 1 agreement.

    The MEP seemed pretty clear that on NI, the legal version would refer essentially to option 3 of Para 49 of the Joint REport.

    Wilson retorted that if Para 50 was not written into the legal text ,neither DUP nor TM would sign it.

    https://ec.europa.eu/commission/sites/beta-political/files/joint_report.pdf

    DT has just reported as follows :-

    “Guy Verhofstadt declared on Tuesday the European Parliament would fight to ensure that Northern Ireland remains subject to EU law after Brexit”

    !!!

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