Three new polls over the last few days. Firstly, the regular ICM poll for the Guardian has topline figures of CON 43%(+1), LAB 40%(+1), LDEM 8%(nc). Fieldwork was over the weekend and changes are since the start of the month. There is no signficiant change from last month, but it is the fifth ICM poll in a row to show a (very small) Tory lead. The full tables are here.

The ICM poll also contained a couple of Brexit questions. By 43% to 38% people were opposed to the idea of extending the transition period beyond 2020 (as you might expect, this largely split along Remain/Leave lines). On the customs union, 35% of people wanted Britain to Leave the customs union, 24% wanted Britain to stay, 26% wanted a compromise. I suspect many respondents do not have a good idea what the Customs Union is, and that questions like this are heavily influenced by the wording. As it is, it once again splits very much down Remain/Leave lines – the reason that leaving the customs union came up ahead was because most Leavers picked it, while Remainers were more evenly split between staying and a compromise.

Secondly there was a new BMG poll for the Independent. Topline figures there were CON 39%(nc), LAB 39%(+1), LDEM 10%(-1). Fieldwork was right at the start of May, before the local elections, and changes are since mid-April. Full results are here

Finally, at the weekend there was a new online Survation poll. Fieldwork was Tues-Thurs last week and topline voting intention figures with changes from April were CON 41%(+1), LAB 40%(nc), LDEM 8%(-1). As regular poll-followers will know, Survation tend to produce figures that are more favourable to Labour than average, so while this poll too shows Labour and Conservative neck-and-neck, it’s very much in line with the trend that most other companies have shown. Essentially, Survation have gone from showing a Labour lead of around 5 points late last year, to showing the parties neck-and-neck now. Companies who were showing the parties neck-and-neck last year are now showing the Tories with a small lead. The overall leads are different, but the trend is the same. Full tabs for the Survation poll are here.

Survation also asked voting intention in a hypothetical second referendum (the only company who regularly publishes this with proper likelihood to vote) – topline figures there were Remain 50%, Leave 50%.


643 Responses to “Latest ICM, BMG and Survation polls”

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  1. “EXCLUSIVE Britain to tell Brussels it is prepared to stay tied to Customs Union beyond 2021 after Brexit War Cabinet reaches agreement over new Irish backstop”

    “Government sources say that the new Irish backstop will allow Britain to implement trade deals – but eurosceptics fear it could see Britain tied to the Customs Union indefinitely”

    “Theresa May will present the new Irish backstop in Brussels next month. Critical question now is will the EU actually accept it? Especially the new caveat that the UK should be allowed to implement free trade deals?”

    Steven Swinford
    DT
    Twitter

  2. EOTW,
    “they are the driving force behind the EU negotiators inflexibility.”

    No. The EU cannot negotiate in the way leave want. The EU is a club designed to help its members as opposed to non members, or it is nothing. If it had happened that the interests of ireland over the border diverged from the interests of the EU, then we might be seing a rather different EU position, but it happens they align. The Irish situation is only really soluble if the Uk accepts an essentially off the shelf Norway style or closer non-membership.

    The EU has not changed its position, the UK still has the right to go for hard Brexit which implies a solid border. However, the Uk has already agreed it will not do this and negotiations have proceeded on that assumption.

    If the Uk intended all along to go for hard brexit, it was pretty stupid negotiating on the basis that it was not.

    Polltroll,
    ” It’s going badly because Brexit is an impossible challenge”

    I think so too. And I think the tories also reached this conclusion before they called the election, and this was precisely why they called the election, to try to create a way out. It partially succeeded.

    Politicians often fail to deliver on promises, but in this case they clearly believe the consequences of pressing ahead will be so horrendous that massive voter desertion is to be expected.

    Joseph1832,
    “for Ireland “no deal” is actually their absolute worst case scenario for the border ”
    No, it isnt, because they do not believe it will stand. The N irish will tear it down. But also, the news of the Reuters move to Dublin explains why they will be compensated for losses.

    Brexit is designed to tear apart the last vestiges of the british empire, the financial services centred on london.

    Polltroll,
    “Turk: actually I’m not a remain fanatic, and I accept that Brexit is going to happen. We have no choice in the matter,”

    We do have a choice, people always have a choice. And the sooner we make that choice the sooner we stop the harm to the UK. Doesnt really matter whether it proves to be simple or difficult to implement, it has to be done.

  3. It seems that not all Irish citizens will necessarily have a right to remain in the UK under CTA rules.

    Under current immigration rules, only those Irish citizens arriving in the UK via a “local journey” (one originating in the CTA) is exempt from having to apply for settled status.

    As the specialist immigration lawyer notes “an Irish citizen who last entered the UK from France (having taken a break from their continuous residence in the UK for a holiday) does not have a CTA entitlement.”

    Of course, the UK could legislate to remove this, but that would require a government that was aware of, bothered enough about it, and competent, to legislate accordingly.

    None of these conditions seem likely at the moment.

    https://www.mcgillandco.co.uk/blog/brexit-eu-migration/brexit-and-the-common-travel-area.html

  4. Neil A

    “How about “UK abolishes thousands of cr*ap jobs on appalling wages and conditions that noone in the UK wants anyway”.”

    it’s about 15 million jobs in the UK according to the statistical evidence ..

  5. @Nick 6.53 pm

    Totally agree with your comments re the Israel situation. While I can’t condone some of the “apparent” comments directed at Jewish MPs, they pale into insignificance compared with the murder of 50+ and wounding of 2000+ unarmed Palestinians. Where is the outcry from the Jewish leaders in the UK and those who supported them againt Corbyn. Unfortunately antisemitism accusations have become a smokescreen in preventing negative comments re Israeli actions

    PS just watching a transmission from Gaza on Sky news. It is the people from Gaza we should be supporting. IMHO the British government should immediately withdraw any support for Israel and instead provide support to the prison camp that is Gaza.

  6. @Charles: “IMHO Labour party should say that we have tried long enough. It Is obvious that negotiations are going nowhere and it’s time to call the whole thing off, IMHO they won’t/”

    Alternatively: The EU have refused to start the negotiations proper, and we in the Labour party have supported them every step of the way. We are shocked and appalled that the government has done so badly, and should admit defeat.

    The fear from the Leave side from ever since the referendum was that Remain would encourage the EU to precipitate precisely the scenario you outline.

    I think people may think that there has been more than a little bit of manipulation going on.

  7. The UK has again put forward the idea of the UK as a whole maintaining alignment with the EU as the backstop to resolving the NI / Ireland border.

    The idea is put forward as a time limited solution. This part will not run with Ireland or the EU. The Brexiteers will see the idea as a means of staying in the customs union.

    Mr Coveney wants any crisis over the border issues to be confronted in June to leave some possibility of resolution by October/November. Crunch time, perhaps.

    RTE covers it here.

    https://www.rte.ie/news/brexit/2018/0516/963831-eu-customs-union/

  8. I should have added that the UK parliament is unlikely to want to permit a “no deal” outcome. If that is so it might be expected that the EU will get a really bad press very soon.

  9. LASZLO

    @”it’s about 15 million jobs in the UK according to the statistical evidence ..”

    Which statistic is that please ?

  10. @ HAL
    “I’ve had a look at the EFTA treaty, and it seems joining is really quite simple! It is done by the unanimous agreement of the EFTA council, at which each of the four EFTA states (Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, Leichtenstein) has one vote. And that’s it.

    So the formalities could be done at the last minute. Of course conditions would have to be negotiated first, but I’m sure that could be done quietly in advance by a few officials, just in case.

    The bonus to joining EFTA next March would be retaining membership of the EEA. This is because membership of the EEA is contingent on membership of either the EU or EFTA.

    The government did not give the required one year’s noticed to leave the EEA, saying we didn’t need to as leaving it would be automatic. But (maybe no-one noticed at the time) this was also a cunning ploy to retain the option of staying in it. All the UK needs to do is join EFTA.”

    EFTA does seem to be a natural fit, and would (in my opinion) deliver Brexit.

    It gives the WTO option time to be developed, and a possible future referendum along the lines;

    “Do you want the United Kingdom to remain part of the European Free Trade Area?”

    The only concern is that we will dominate and skew EFTA, and a EFTA clone – BrEFTA? -might be more appropriate?

  11. Turk,
    “, two entrenched views both convinced they are right and are willing to go to the Enth degree to prove there right”

    I would regard myself as long term pro EU, but I started before the referendum seriously trying to find evidence the Uk would be better off out of the EU. There just wasnt any. Still now, I and others here have asked for evidence to show how the Uk could be better off outside the EU. There simply isnt any.

    I was taught to approach black box problems like this from boundary conditions. We dont know how the Uk economy works, its a black box from which stuff comes out and stuff goes in. All I can look at is what changes are proposed and whether they seem likely to help or hinder the economy. And they all hinder the economy.

    The economy has a guiding internal mind of some sort, but nothing about Brexit is going to change that for the better, and it will make the same foolish mistakes out as in.

    Its obvious the government agrees and has no idea how to make Brexit work. Its a no brainer in a situation like this to unite behind a successfull implementation of Brexit. But they arent. It means they cannot find one.

    For *@~ sake! At the moment they the cabinet is arguing about two methods of retaining links with the EU, both of which have already been ruled out by the EU. Could there ever be anything more insane?

    Polling suggests the public made its decision based upon economics. So we now argue economics. But before any of this began there was the real reason the EU was founded, which was to prevent future war in Europe, and indeed unite Europe so it could become a world power once again. Both these objectives have been achieved, so much so that we seem to take this totally for granted once again.

    The UK is today incapable of surviving a war such as WW1 or 2, or even something much much smaller. The Uk could readily be rendered uninhabitable by attacks on a few nuclear power stations, just look at what happened in japan with the Tsunami. Yet at such a moment we no longer think about our biggest defence, which is a peacefully united Europe.

  12. Technicolour October,
    “I have no time for Corbyn on brexit. It is dereliction of the duty of opposition to let the government get away with the current shambles.”

    But how to stop the shables, surely that is their duty? The shambles is because voters have asked politicians to implement a policy which one faction proposed, and others agreed to follow if the voters asked. But the politicians understand -always understood – that the policy was not viable and could not be implemented.

    In a democracy, the way politicians exercise power is by taking voters with them, and this means persuading voters brexit is impossible. Which is precisely what the tories are doing. The shambles is proof they cannot find a way to advance Brexit.

  13. @ Danny

    “brexit is impossible”

    No it ain’t.

    There are 3 scenarios:
    1. EEA / EFTA (or BrEFTA)
    2. Max Fac Shadow Customs
    3. WTO

    I don’t think 2 will float, 3 will probably sink us.

  14. Danny
    “I would regard myself as long term pro EU, but I started before the referendum seriously trying to find evidence the Uk would be better off out of the EU. There just wasnt any. Still now, I and others here have asked for evidence to show how the Uk could be better off outside the EU. There simply isnt any.”

    Having been called an embittered remainer and told I need to get over it the day before yesterday, I again asked for this rich seam of evidence to be revealed to the likes of you and I who have pleaded daily since well before the referendum to be allowed at least a glimpse of the clarity afforded those individuals grooving on a higher plane to ourselves.

    I note that my request, like yours, appears to still be under consideration, but hope that when it finally happens I will be able to joyfully cast the veil from my ears in order to hear the message of Nigel the Baptist as if for the first time, and trip joyfully in the footsteps of Boris “Moses” Johnson as he leads his happy people into the wilderness.

  15. Colin

    I see Somerjohn at his/her childish worst in posts to you last night. People who try and pose as intellectuals look incredibly stupid sometimes. It must be that rigorous analytical evidence based approach he/she claim to use.

  16. It seems the level of Remainer panic on here is growing at rapid pace as they realise is is about 10 months until we leave.

    My forecast of exit on WTO terms is coming nearer every day due to the stupidity or lack of patriotism of Remainers who have played into the hands of the EU, who now think that the UK can be brought to heel. I think they are in for a shock.

    Have a good day all.

  17. @TOH – “It seems the level of Remainer panic on here is growing at rapid pace as they realise is is about 10 months until we leave.”

    Do you have any evidence for the assertion of panic, or is this just another of your mindless posts?

    All I see is a mixture of amusement and a certain level of schadenfreude, as pretty much everything that was patiently explained to Brexiters would happen is coming to pass.

    In terms of the crash out option you keep referring to, did you actually read the link that @Sam posted? It details how May is now offering a third option, which is to keep the entire UK in full customs alignment for an extended but time limited period, while a permanent arrangement is worked out.

    This doesn’t sound like HMG is thinking of crashing out in 10 months time, and rather smacks of panic on the Brexit side at such a prospect.

    I do think that at this point it might be worth your while trying to ease yourself back into the real world.

  18. Colin

    Try this: https://www.unison.org.uk/get-help/knowledge/pay/low-pay/

    Laszlo’s post also got my interest

  19. ‘My forecast of exit on WTO terms is coming nearer every day due to the stupidity or lack of patriotism of Remainers who have played into the hands of the EU, who now think that the UK can be brought to heel.’

    I note with amusement that ToH is going full in for the ‘blame Remainers and the EU for the failure of Brexit negotiations’ ploy….

    If ‘the UK holds all the cards’, ‘they need us more than we need them’, ‘German car manufacturers will be knocking on the Chancellery door to demand a trade deal the day after a vote for Leave’ then a few whinging Remainers would make no difference, yes?

    C’mon ToH, you’re better than that… whether for or against Brexit, you can’t seriously blame the current farce on anything except the total incompetence of this government’s attempt to implement it.

  20. jonesin bangor

    “There are 3 scenarios:
    1. EEA / EFTA (or BrEFTA)
    2. Max Fac Shadow Customs
    3. WTO

    I don’t think 2 will float, 3 will probably sink us.”

    Precisely! And that’s been obvious since the beginning – all the wiggle ways proposed by both parties have always been fantasies (including Max Fac) – as is the idea of another referendum. And the only way WTO – at present the most probable – won’t sink us is by immaculate preparation by a focused government with a superb civil service. The signs are not promising so far.

    Otherwise, it’s not just the economy, it’s everything from air travel to cancer treatment to massive queues at ports to rotting veg and bare shelves in supermarkets……Oh and USA and China moving in for the bargain basement sales.

    I don’t think people are going to like it, but of course that’s just my humble opinion.

  21. @Joseph1832

    ‘The fear from the Leave side from ever since the referendum was that Remain would encourage the EU to precipitate precisely the scenario you outline.’

    I am sure that is a genuine fear. Equally there is a great deal of shifting of blame. Boris wants to blame Mrs M for any shortcomings of Brexit (ideally from his point of view she sacks him and he is then totally in the clear and able to make a run for power). Mrs M is trying to keep conservatives together by adopting a hard Brexit stance and then blaming parliament or EU for any compromises she has to make. Labour want to avoid blame for anything and adopt an ambiguous position that will hopefully allow them to blame everyone else.

    In practice I see no point in blaming the EU. It is what it is and not another thing. And one of the things that should be clear to anyone reading Varoufakis’s books is that it does not really negotiate. Having with great difficulty got agreement with 27 states that fits its rules, it just sits there and waits to see which of the various options it sees as available we are willing to take.

    As none of these options command majority support over here, the result Is impasse and we have no negotiating position whatsoever,

  22. The Other Howard,
    “It seems the level of Remainer panic on here is growing at rapid pace as they realise is is about 10 months until we leave.”

    I’m not panicking Howard. I am too young to have experienced WW2, but I lived through Thatcher. Not to mention the IRA setting off bombs where I lived in London. Did we have three? Oh those days before the irish settlement, what fun!

    Possibly the tories are panicking. Does look like it.

  23. patrickbrian/ jonesin bangor
    But you are missing the option to simply remain. leave repeatedly say your option1, soft leave, is worse than staying a member.

  24. @Danny – I agree that staying in would be best. In practice I think that Patrick Brian and Jones in Bangor have the real options spot on and Hal has pointed out that EEA/EFTA is relatively simple and could be done in time,

    Patrick Brian seems to me to make an undeniable case that EEA/EFTA is the only practical option that won’t sink us. The issue is whether politicians have the courage and realism to stand up and say this is the way we have to go.

    Agreeing that staying in the EU would be what you and I would like, can you see any remotely plausible scenario that would bring it about?

  25. @ Nick P

    Don’t think it is entirely fair to call out John Mann and Chuka Ummuna on this as both of them have some degree of condemnation on their twitter feeds. The same does not apply to some UKPR posters who were all over Labour anti semitism like a rash and not heard a peep from them on what they feel about the totally unnecessary use of live ammunition and what we should be doing about it (re arms sales etc).

    I do think your main point is perfectly valid though. I don’t see why it is unreasonable to assume that a group of people with strong political views on Israel would not seek to exaggerate allegations and try to discredit someone who is likely to take a harsher view of the Israeli government’s actions were he to be in power. Or that some MPs who have been attempting to undermine the Labour leadership since day one would not also wish to exaggerate the seriousness of the problem.

    That’s not to excuse the speed and failings of dealing with anti semitic cases within the Labour Party but I don’t think the extreme level of criticism is appropriate to those relatively minor failings.

  26. Sounds like an extended implementation/transition period is under serious consideration?

    Whose policy was it to suggest around 3 years, ah yes that Starmer fellow.

  27. OldNat,

    Presumably (if the CTA continues post-brexit) Irish Nationals that fall foul of the immigration law can just take a trip to Dublin and back and then their settled status in the UK will be assured?

  28. @DANNY

    Brexit is obviously possible in the sense that the state of affairs in which a functioning European country exists outside the European Union is obviously possible. It is the state of affairs that applies to about two in five of them.

    What you mean is that a Brexit that is economically better for the U.K. than its current membership is not possible. That’s your opinion, it’s one that I probably share, and it’s one that I suspect is indeed shared by most of the political establishment. Which is probably why, even if I don’t always see the grand conspiracy that you do, I do see many parts of that establishment desperately trying to get out of the corner they’ve backed into.

    But fundamentally, being possible and being economically beneficial aren’t the same thing. In no small part this isn’t at the root of the disconnect between Remain and Leave. Remainers thought and still appear to think that “economically beneficial” should be enough to clinch the deal. It wasn’t then and there is scant evidence that it is doing so now.

  29. This is at the root of the disconnect I mean of course

  30. @ Old Nat

    “Belgian court throws out the Spanish attempt to apply the EAW to 3 Catalan politicians.

    Hopefully, the Scottish and German courts will do the same.”

    Good. I’m with you there. The actions of the Spanish government were outrageous.

  31. “There are 3 scenarios:
    1. EEA / EFTA (or BrEFTA)
    2. Max Fac Shadow Customs
    3. WTO

    I don’t think 2 will float, 3 will probably sink us.W
    @jonesinbangor May 17th, 2018 at 8:10 am

    You are aware that if we join EFTA we must still retain FOM?

    I thought half the country were racisists[1] and want to see an end to FOM. EFTA is the correct answer, but then we become a vassal state like Norway.[2]

    http://www.efta.int/eea/policy-areas/persons

    [1] Sorry, protectionists.
    [2] But Norway has a secret weapon in its sovereign wealth fund, that gives it a hearing everywhere:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Government_Pension_Fund_of_Norway

  32. PeterW

    “But fundamentally, being possible and being economically beneficial aren’t the same thing. In no small part this isn’t at the root of the disconnect between Remain and Leave. Remainers thought and still appear to think that “economically beneficial” should be enough to clinch the deal. It wasn’t then and there is scant evidence that it is doing so now.”

    This seems to me to state the position very well. But why don’t leavers simply see the light of day? Two reasons, I suspect, a) as you point out, they put a different value on and attach a different meaning to ‘independent existence’ b) they don’t believe that the economic consequences will be anything like as bad as the leavers portray. in doing so they are following a similar psychological law to the one that decrees that left wing and right wing economists almost always believe that the policy that fits their political beliefs is also economically beneficial,

    If they genuinely shared the leavers’ economic analysis I suspect that enough of them would change their minds to make leave an undemocratic option. As it is, they will not know how things will turn out till after we have left, Cognitive dissonance will then ensure that they either say that things are going well, or that they would have been even worse but for Brexit, or that it is all the fault of Mrs May, Jeremy Corbyn, Monsieur Barnier or anyone else but them,

  33. ToH
    On me ‘ollidays up in the North West Highlands, have seen: Oystercatchers, Cormorants, Arctic Terns, a Heron, Red deer, Common Harbour seals, Grey seals and much other glorious stuff.
    EFTA always was the only sensible option !

  34. Hal

    The problem (as with Windrush) will be people not knowing what the rules are, and a government implementing a “hostile environment” noting that their last entry to the UK was from outwith the CTA, declaring that they are here illegally, and deporting them.

    Safest course of action for Irish citizens in the UK wishing to travel outwith the CTA would be to fly/ferry via RoI, before returning to paranoid UK.

  35. The Other Howard: I see Somerjohn at his/her childish worst in posts to you last night. People who try and pose as intellectuals look incredibly stupid sometimes.

    The Other Howard: It seems the level of Remainer panic on here is growing at rapid pace as they realise is is about 10 months until we leave.

    My forecast of exit on WTO terms is coming nearer every day due to the stupidity or lack of patriotism of Remainers who have played into the hands of the EU, who now think that the UK can be brought to heel. I think they are in for a shock.

    If I wanted them, I’d take lessons from you in looking incredibly stupid.

  36. SAM

    Thanks.

    Lazlo claimed 47% of the UK workforce is employed in “cr*ap jobs on appalling wages and conditions”

    I asked for the “statistical evidence” he cites.

  37. Charles,
    ” The issue is whether politicians have the courage and realism to stand up and say this is the way we have to go.”

    Yes but it is not the way we have to go. Just about everyone here agrees that soft brexit is worse then proper membership.

    “, can you see any remotely plausible scenario that would bring it about?”

    yes I can. It requires honesty on the part of politicians,however, which is something they dont like.

    The tories are steering away from any kind of hard Brexit because of the economic consequences, which will turn into loss of support. They have clearly concluded the voter loss from hard brexit will be worse than the voter losses from soft Brexit.

    The question is, have they concluded the voter loss from soft Brexit will eventually be worse than the voter loss from remaining?

    But all the groundwork has been put in place. Once it has been concluded that soft brexit is the only viable kind of Brexit at all, then all we need is to remind leavers that they have already agreed remaining is better than soft Brexit.

  38. BFR

    “C’mon ToH, you’re better than that… whether for or against Brexit, you can’t seriously blame the current farce on anything except the total incompetence of this government’s attempt to implement it.”

    While I agree that the Government appears to be incompetent, the current problems are due to a number of things.

    1. May should not have called an election, it was a distraction and it weakened her hand. I think we can all understand why she called it at the time.

    2. The UK’s approach to the negotiations has been far to reasonable. May made clear the correct position to take on Brexit but was then very weak in the negotiating stance adopted. She should have made absolutely clear to the EU that when she said “no deal is better than a bad deal” by taking on the extra border staff and training them, building the lorry parks etc. We would thus be well placed by now if this had been done. She should not have asked for a transition deal or agreed to some of the things she did like the nonsense about Ireland and the Irish Border as Garj has pointed out a number of times.

    3 The appalling undemocratic behaviour of Remainers, especially Remainer MP’s and Remainer Lords. They should have accepted the result and got behind the Government. They to my mind are particularly blameworthy.

    I could go on but I want bother. As we leave on WTO terms any increased problems due to lack of preparation will be rightly the governments fault.

    However, if my scenario comes to pass it remains my view that in the long term history will show that the British people were correct to vote to leave.

  39. Jimjam,
    “Whose policy was it to suggest around 3 years, ah yes that Starmer fellow.”

    Its cat and mouse. Labour moves a little towards remain, and the tories follow. It is important to the tories that it is not them originating remainish steps. but equally labour do not wish to abandon any leavish voters if they can help it, by moving too fast themselves.

    Peterw,
    “What you mean is that a Brexit that is economically better for the U.K. than its current membership is not possible”

    Actually, I mean more than that. The UK will lose prestige and soft power from Brexit which it values, and is in part the sort of nationalistic sentiment behind leave. I mean that having obtained a position of splendid isolation like norway or switzerland, the british will hate it. Norway might be content to be part of a market it has no control over. Britain will not. (it is, after all, madness to resign from the management aspects of the EU market but stay in the market itsel, with no control over its future course. Just less mad than leaving both)

    “Remainers thought and still appear to think that “economically beneficial” should be enough to clinch the deal.”

    Having read lots of polling on why people made their choices, it still looks to me like a decision tree of 1) will we be worse off. If no, will there there be other benefits to leaving: if yes, vote leave.

    I dont believe there is such a huge difference between most remainers and leavers. Both lots have reservations about the EU and might choose to leave because of these. But the remainers almost all agreed leaving would be economically harmful. By contrast a significant minority of leavers didnt care about the money and these are the hard leave exception who will not be convinced.

    The problem is that the economic consequences of Brexit will roll in slowly and take years to get a final accounting. Little evidence for the average person to base a decision on, and no politicians to speak of publicly arguing that there will be negative consequences.

  40. The Other Howard,
    “May should not have called an election, it was a distraction and it weakened her hand. I think we can all understand why she called it at the time.”

    yes, she WANTED to weaken her hand. (or win handsomly, either would do)

    “. May made clear the correct position to take on Brexit but was then very weak in the negotiating stance adopted”

    So do you not see a pattern here?

    “The appalling undemocratic behaviour of Remainers, especially Remainer MP’s and Remainer Lords. They should have accepted the result ”

    Democracy means the right to stand up and object to a policy you do not like. They are called “HM opposition” for a reason, because they are supposed to oppose the government.

    We operate consensus government in the Uk where on almost all issues the two leading parties agree on policy. However, Brexit is not susceptible to consensus. It always needed a big majority of solid support to make it viable, and the referendum did not achieve this. On trying again with an election, the result was even worse. Its like deciding to drive from lands end to john O’groats, but knowing when you set out you have only enough petrol to get half way.

  41. @ CARFREW – “Beef for services”, simplistic but basically that is comparative advantages in a nutshell.

    IMHO the UK can and should be in more that one “fair” trade block – either as a direct member or some kind of “associate”, CPTPP, NAFTA, Mercosur, EFTA, etc.

    We joined a slightly lopsided trade block in 1973 and although I’m annoyed about the slow pace in removing the lopsided nature via the liberalisation in services the general idea of EFTA and then joining EEC was fine – a trade block between nations with similar wage levels. “Ever close Union” and this fixation on a common currency were things we could veto out of but that game is over (and was doomed IMHO before Jun’16)

    The birth of the EU via the Maastricht Treaty changed the trade block to a political project and the E.European expansion changed the dynamics regarding similar wage levels. No other trading block has such deep political ambitions or freedom of movement.

    I don’t see the EU reverting to just being a trade block but if it did then I’d happily rejoin but that is not relevant today.

    @ DANNY – CARFREW addressed the bilateral issue but if you want examples beyond dieselgate then:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/2467523.stm

    back to cars then the reason German car jobs are staying in Germany is not to do with productivity of the German worker it is simple bribing to encourage them to stay
    https://global.handelsblatt.com/companies/germanys-pampered-car-industry-dont-publish-770085

    The UK has been too n4ive for decades. The playing field was never level. We bought into the ne0-liberal belief and trusted the other members of the EU to play “fair”.

    Corbyn understands this and this is why he needs to ensure we are outside ECJ jurisdiction. If you don’t understand it then support the break-up of LAB and the return of a Blairite party.

  42. So we have some progress on Brexit, albiet minimal and muddled. The EU has stated that it doesn’t want the backstop to define the permanent trading relationship, and now we have talk from both sides about a lengthier transition period leading to something closer to max-fac once the technology is established. A sensible approach, and hopefully one that can be agreed upon. Mogg and co aren’t very happy at the prospect, but that’s par for the course, and May could be hoping that the extended not-transition will get her (or whoever) past the next election and out of the clutches of the DUP. The Irish have been complaining too and seem to be pushing for a Norway-style arrangment, but the French were quick to slap that suggestion down, keen as they are to poach British business. I suspect that has a lot to do with why Vradakar has been pushing for capitualtion from the UK before the summit in June, because other EU nations will force him to compromise to some extent if we get to then without something. We shall see.

  43. @Trevor W

    Yes, there are attractions to joining several trade blocks if possible.

    The difficulties seem to be, if trade blocks set up barriers to joining other trade blocks, and if increasingly, a condition of joining these trade blocks becomes accepting free movement.

    Agree that regarding EU, we did tend to be a bit naive in playing by the rules more while maybe others didn’t as much.

    However, on the other hand, we did break ranks with other EU countries and let the Japanese car firms inside the walled garden!

  44. Seems to be lots of variations of the “extension” to CU from y’day. As with everything in Brexit we’ll have to wait and see.

    @ JONESINBANGOR

    WTO is the default outcome and whilst it will represent the biggest change and hence riskiest outcome as others have pointed out all other outcomes have serious issues (FoM, vassal state, etc).

    Both sides have economic and political reasons to ensure transition goes ahead (it is not part of A50 and can be stand alone if we fail to agree on the WA). That gives UK until Dec’20 to prepare for WTO outcome and with that as the backstop we can build on top of that – maybe ending up with Canada+ deal (or maybe not).

    If anyone brings up NI again then LAB’s Kate Hoey covered that in HoC y’day. It will become an issue of “blame” there and DUP are past masters of that game.

  45. Danny

    No I do not see a pattern and in all other respects we disagree fundamentally.

  46. Trevor warne,
    ” “Ever close Union” and this fixation on a common currency were things we could veto out of but that game is over”

    because we DID veto out of them, surely?

  47. The forgotten issue of services, not covered by CU and not fully covered by EEA either!

    https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-britain-eu-clearing/uks-risk-of-losing-euro-clearing-after-brexit-eases-idUSKCN1IH1OD

    if you read between the lines just a tiny but you’ll see the EU know they are not ready yet. They are buying time, ’tis all.

  48. RJW

    Yes, i love that part of Scotland, Enjoy.

    Off to Dorset next week for a walking holiday. Will do a bit of birdwatching as well as RSPB Arne is near us.

  49. @TOH – that red mist descends again!

    If you had your wish, then you really would be starting to understand by now what a hard Brexit would mean.

    To be honest, it’s only the transition option that has spared the UK from a major economic tumble, which May understands, which is why she is doping everything possible to ensure we get a transition. Indeed, this is why she called an election, because she knew she needed a bigger majority to face down the hardliners.

    Also – a minor technical point regarding lorry parks. Many UK ports don’t physically have the space for these. Dover is a case in point. For about two years now the Freight Haulage Association has been quietly pointing out that there is physically no space at Dover for an expansion of the processing area – unless you wish to blast a massive hole in the white cliffs.

    You are simply living in a dream world, where blindingly obvious practical problems, like geography and geology, become subsumed by some kind of fanatical hatred of those mythical ‘remainers’.

  50. TOH –

    “lack of patriotism of Remainers”

    This continued implied accusation that half the country are unpatriotic is extremely divisive.

    You can carry on thinking and saying things like this, but deep in your brain I would like you to mull over the consequences for your country of doing so.

    You’re the unpatriotic one for claiming it is about love-of-country, rather than a political disagreement.

    I thought when you worked you had leadership positions. Did you used to just randomly insult half your workforce when a difficult decision was being carried out?

    I’m seriously disappointed in you for being so divisive at a time when we need leadership and support from people who can see the sunny uplands of Brexit, to unify us.

    Humour us, answer our questions, give details, reassure us!

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