While there hasn’t been a lot of voting intention polling in recent weeks, there has been quite a lot of Brexit polling – those organisations campaigning for or against it used the summer holidays to get a good bite of publicity. This included some large polls from YouGov for Hope Not Hate and the People’s Vote campaign showing Remain at 53% and Leave at 47% if there was a referendum now. Today there was a new NatCen poll that showed Remain at 59%, Leave at 41% (though do check the important caveat from John Curtice’s report that the sample itself had too many 2016 Remain voters, so it actually implied a position along the lines of Remain 53/54%, Leave 46/47%) and a Survation poll showing Remain at 50%, Leave at 50%.

In terms of what to make of this, I’d give the same advice on support or opposition to Brexit as I do on voting intention. There are an awful lot of polls asking about support for Brexit, and a lot of people inclined to cherry-pick those which they agree with. Don’t pay too much attention to individual polls (especially not “interesting” outliers), watch the broad trend instead.

There are four regular tracking polls that people should look to to judge whether or not the public have changed their minds (the data is all nicely collected on John Curtice’s WhatUKThinks website here. First there are polls that ask how pople would vote in a referendum now – regularly asked by both BMG Research and Survation using the original referendum question, and using a more generic version by YouGov in their Eurotrack series of polls. BMG have been asking this since late 2016, and where early polls tended to still show more people would still vote Leave, that has gradually changed and since 2017 they have consistently shown more people would now vote to stay. Their EU referendum polls this year have averaged at Remain 49%, Leave 44% (Remain 53%, Leave 47% without don’t knows)

instead.

The Survation series didn’t start until 2017 – since then their polls have varied between neck-and-neck and small leads for Remain. On average this year their referendum polls have shown Remain 48%, Leave 46% (51% Remain, 49% Leave without don’t knows). Unlike the other two referendum polls Survation weight their referendum question by likelihood to vote which, given that previous non-voters tend to split in favour of remain, probably explains the slightly lower remain lead.

The YouGov Eurotrack poll is part of a regular poll across several EU countries on how people would vote in a referendum on their country’s membership of the EU, so doesn’t use the British referendum wording. Nevertheless, the results show a similar pattern to the BMG polling – results late in 2016 continued to show Leave ahead, but since then Remain has been fairly consistently ahead. The average across their five polls in 2018 is Remain 45%, Leave 41% (52% Remain, 48% Leave without don’t knows)

The most regular comparable poll isn’t asked as referendum VI, but is YouGov’s tracker for the Times asking if people think Britain was right or wrong to vote to Leave the EU, normally asked weekly. The pattern should be familiar – in late 2016 the poll consistently showed people thought Britain was right to leave, in early 2017 it began to flip over, and it now consistently finds more people think Britain was wrong to vote to Leave. On average this year 46% of people have said Brexit was the wrong decision, 42% the right decision (without don’t knows, it would be 52% wrong, 48% right).

So while the movement across the polls has not been massive (was are generally talking about a swing of 3 to 5 points from the referendum result), given the closeness of the 2016 result that is enough to mean polls are consistently showing slightly more people opposed to Brexit than in support of it. There is one important caveat to add to this. If you look at the breakdown by 2016 referendum vote you will often find the number of Leave voters switching to Remain is that that much larger than the number of Remain voters switching to Leave (if it is larger at all!), this is because polls generally find those people who did not vote in the 2016 referendum tend to split in favour of Remain.


270 Responses to “Bregret – an update”

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  1. Helpful analysis. On the basis of the polls then, it seems substantially more likely than not that the UK is being taken on a course of action that is no longer supported by the electorate. If so, this brings us very close to framing Brexit as an undemocratic enterprise.

  2. So how much of the swing toward remain is down to demographic changes, oldies popping off to join that great big polling booth in the Sky etc.

  3. IIRC, polls in Scotland and NI have shown an increase in support for Remain, while in Wales opinion seems to have shifted to a small Remain margin.

    However, in reality, only opinion in the English polity is likely to persuade most UK Parliamentarians.

    What is really needed is a Full English poll.

  4. @ Alec

    “this brings us very close to framing Brexit as an undemocratic enterprise”

    No, it’s only extreme – no compromise – EU remainers that fit that bill.

  5. In 2016, the people spoke.

    And now they want to say something else.

    But no one is listening!

  6. David in France

    Or (possibly more accurately) –

    In 2016, (some of) the people spoke – but they were saying lots of different things so, like the Delphic Oracle, only those with power (and access to the right drugs) could accurately interpret the meaning.

    And as in Delphi, they pronounced that “a mighty empire will fall”, and Croesus-like they strode into battle with neither preparation, care, nor understanding.

  7. “It looks like the Russian poisoning news was put out today as a spoiler to spare Theresa May from more lambasting on her Brexit plans.“

    ———

    Yes but what if Brexit is a spoiler to spare a lambasting on other things?

    Nice to have a thread about Brexit btw, gives everyone a chance to scratch that itch.

  8. I don’t dispute that the polls show a clear, if small, swing from Leave to Remain. But since when did opinion polls represent a democratic mandate for anything?

    If an elected government falls behind in the polls, we don’t automatically demand another general election.

    If Remain had narrowly won and then the polls had swung the other way, only the most most glassy-eyed UKIPpers would have been demanding a re-run. And those currently supporting one would be making my exact point back at them.

  9. “The YouGov Eurotrack poll is part of a regular poll across several EU countries on how people would vote in a referendum on their country’s membership of the EU, so doesn’t use the British referendum wording. Nevertheless, the results show a similar pattern to the BMG polling – results late in 2016 continued to show Leave ahead, but since then Remain has been fairly consistently ahead. The average across their five polls in 2018 is Remain 45%, Leave 41% (52% Remain, 48% Leave without don’t knows)”
    …………..

    That’s not very encouraging for the EU project. Jean-Claude Juncker would have us believe that everyone felt privileged to be in the EU.

    The problem the EU faces is its unwillingness to reform and it’s one shoe fits all approach to member states. It’s just a matter of time before the whole thing crumbles into a soggy mess.

    [Those are the UK figures Allan! Other countries support is obviously far, far higher – AW]

  10. “The YouGov Eurotrack poll is part of a regular poll across several EU countries on how people would vote in a referendum on their country’s membership of the EU, so doesn’t use the British referendum wording. Nevertheless, the results show a similar pattern to the BMG polling – results late in 2016 continued to show Leave ahead, but since then Remain has been fairly consistently ahead. The average across their five polls in 2018 is Remain 45%, Leave 41% (52% Remain, 48% Leave without don’t knows)”
    …………..

    That’s not very encouraging for the EU project. Jean-Claude Juncker would have us believe that everyone felt privileged to be in the EU.

    The problem the EU faces is its unwillingness to reform and it’s one shoe fits all approach to member states. It’s just a matter of time before the whole thing crumbles into a soggy mess.

  11. @Jones in Bangor; it’s all very well to blame no compromise Remainers but the initial framing of what Leave meant, by May from the early autumn of 2016 was so extreme and so intolerant of dissent (go back and read her speeches) that a strong reaction was inevitable.

    I was a very reluctant Remainer (ultimately I wasn’t going in the same camp as Banks and Farage) and would be quite happy with EEA but the hardline stance started with Leave not Remain. When you win a polarising unclear vote by a narrow margin some degree of magnanimity in victory is always wise and its absence has managed to leave us in the extraordinary position where PM Corbyn is quite possible because so many people feel they have nowhere else to go

  12. Neil A

    The UK referendum on leaving the EU wasn’t for any particular version of it. There was no specificity.

    It would be bizarre to argue that leaving the SM & CU were part of a “democratic mandate”. No such proposals were embodied in the referendum question.

    Lots of people have claimed that they “know what the UK voters” chose – but their interpretations are totally meaningless. Their assumptions are based on (guess what?) polling!

    While the Scottish Parliament (not just the Government) recognised that E&W had voted to leave the EU, their compromise strategy of remaining in the SN & CU, matched the “democratic mandate” of the Brexit referendum.

    The choice isn’t simply a binary Remain/Leave one – though that’s how the pathetic excuse for governance that is the UK strategy when the ruling party can’t make up its mind – but a much more complex one of relationships between countries in an inter-dependent world.

    Still, when the UK strategy is to be divisive, rather than seek consensus, all one can expect is division, resentment and probably chaos.

  13. @ Allan Christie

    “That’s not very encouraging for the EU project. Jean-Claude Juncker would have us believe that everyone felt privileged to be in the EU.”

    I think you’ve misinterpreted the statement. The numbers are for people in the UK, not for other EU members, so it’s not surprising that there isn’t a great deal of enthusiasm, though it’s still net positive to stay, unlike back in 2016. If you look at the figures for other countries, the numbers are generally more positive. I’m not sure if it’s the latest, but this one:

    http://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/dg0rjrkwsz/Eurotrack_July18_w.pdf

    shows remain/leave as:

    UK 47/41
    Germany 55/23
    France 49/26
    Denmark 60/26
    Sweden 56/28
    Finland 53/28
    Norway 20/62

    Seems strange to have Norway in there. Would be nice to see some of the Meditteranean countries too, maybe someone else can dig them out from previous results.

    So yes, there are others out there unhappy with the EU, but UK is, and probably has always been, on the more negative side than most.

  14. Someone else might also have a better chance of spelling “Mediterranean” correctly too.

  15. Anthony
    A small typo in the leading article?
    “Leave voters switching to Remain is that that much larger”

    Should that be ‘not that’ rather than ‘that that’?
    ———————–
    Allan Christie
    “The problem the EU faces is its unwillingness to reform and it’s one shoe fits all approach to member states. It’s just a matter of time before the whole thing crumbles into a soggy mess.”

    Well said. If they had been willing to reform (or even to grant Cameron his very small requests), none of this would have happened. Now Italy, Hungary and others are considering whether it is worth staying in. Unfortunately for us, that means that the EU will be as tough as they can in order to ‘encourager les autres’.

  16. @Oldnat,

    My point wasn’t really a “Brexit right or wrong” one. More looking askance at the idea that opinion polls carry any kind of constitutional weight.

    People are only calling for a second vote because they think the polls show they’d win it.

  17. Neil A

    No, people are calling for a second vote because polls suggest (not show) that the “will of the people” may have changed. Less democratic people are opposing it because they are afraid they might lose.
    Only another referendum would show what people currently want. It might well still be Leave, but at least people would know this time if they were going for the Farage/Mogg version or the Hannan version of Brexit. (Or the Johnson/Patel version of undeliverable promises…)

  18. From last thread re. Skripals

    I saw the claim that photos had been doctored on the Craig Murray site, so I checked on the Independent website where they were billed as “CCTV footage released by the police”

    Two photos of the suspects separately going through an airport security gate have identical time stamps to the second, which is obviously impossible. If it was Russian trolls they managed to hack images in the hands of the police, or on the tiny amount of time the Indy had them before publishing. I have not attempted to look at all the versions of these images but maybe the BBC ones were just cropped a bit.

    This is one of those times where the police really need to come up with an explanation…

  19. @neila

    “If an elected government falls behind in the polls, we don’t automatically demand another general election.”

    We don’t have to as there will be another one.

  20. @Neil A – “I don’t dispute that the polls show a clear, if small, swing from Leave to Remain. But since when did opinion polls represent a democratic mandate for anything?

    If an elected government falls behind in the polls, we don’t automatically demand another general election.”

    This is why I phrased my post carefully, but there are other significant considerations here as well. Firstly, a general election has constitutional meaning, with election terms defined by law, such that electors understand in advance the terms and condition under which they are voting. Elections in the intervening 5 years are permitted, but only under strictly defined circumstances.

    This referendum actually carried no constitutional authority, although that isn’t to say it didn’t represent a democratic mandate – it’s just that we can’t compare a referendum result with a GE in constitutional terms because they are on a completely different basis.

    Aside from the issues of whether or not we knew what we were voting for (obviously we didn’t) the argument that we don’t throw out a government if the opinion polls turn just isn’t valid. The referendum was an advisory vote to determine what the country thought about something, and if that view has changed, then yes, the evidence is that Brexit is now an undemocratic enterprise.

    Doing something that the majority are opposed to is the definition of undemocratic, and while governments can do this under a GE mandate, that’s because that is the settled way our constitution works – it doesn’t mean that it is democratic.

    On the issue of what leavers would be saying had the result been the other way round, I for one would support some form of regular vote on continuing EU membership, because conferring legitimacy on such an enterprise is important. A vote every 10 years on continued EU membership would place membership of the EU on the same legal basis as GE’s.

    And to the notion that I’m only calling for another vote because remain are now ahead – I can’t speak for anyone else, but I hope people can remember that my position has always been completely consistent – going back to before the Scottish Indy referendum – that a vote to leave the UK/EU should always be followed by a confirming vote to accept the final deal, which, by definition, could not have been known by the electors at the time of the initial decision.

    Indeed, my overarching reason for taking this view is nothing to do with overturning a previous referendum result. My concern, as with regular confirming votes if we had stayed in the EU, is to ensure the country confers legitimacy on whatever course of action is taken. Without this, we are presenting our democracy with enormous risks.

    Seen in this light, Brexiters should be asking for a second vote themselves. If Brexit is forced through against the wishes of the people, and it turns out the way many people think it will, Brexiter leaders will never be forgiven.

    They, more than anyone else, need the fireproof cover of democratic legitimacy, else they will be consumed by the anger that follows.

  21. Advocates of a second referendum always invoke the “anger” of supporters of Remain after a Brexit which follows an OP Remain lead.

    They never mention the anger & bitterness which Leave supporters will feel if Brexit is cancelled.

    There is simply no way of resolving the deep national divide on this issue . Ref2 will certainly not do it.

    A politician of stature, maturity, honesty & authority might just do it-but where do we find one of those at this late stage?

  22. @Andy111,

    Look at the comments section on Craig Murray’s blogpost. The answer is in there.

    The two men are travelling down different but virtually identical channels in the exit gate.

    If you can stomach the DM (and I can understand if you can’t – I hate the thing, but its the best link I found) they have published the Met’s rebuttal.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6136439/Russia-accuses-Britain-altering-CCTV-Gatwick-images-UK-police-rubbish-claims-instant.html

  23. @Alec

    I remember well your even handed deliberations in the run up to the referendum and recognise that you, like me, were quite conflicted it about – albeit we ended up jumping to different sides of the fence.

    My comment wasn’t aimed specifically at you, but I think we all know that probably 80% of the contributors here have called for a second referendum so it was a more general observation.

    Again it wasn’t a “right or wrong” point, just an observation. Opinion polls are not official in any way. They are private projects, carried out by private companies, for private clients, with varied methodologies and varying results, with a known history of “getting it wrong” (although less than they get it right).

    It might seem a strange thing to say on a psephology site, but I almost feel as if the debate about whether to have a second referendum should take place without any reference to the opinion polls at all. Either it’s right (as you believe) to have a second one on principle or it isn’t. It particularly interests me that many of those who want one are people who objected to the use of a referendum to resolve the issue in the first place (or to referendums full stop). Surely if one’s position is that it should be a matter for parliament, and that the referendum was non-binding and advisory, and that a referendum isn’t the right way to address the EU question, then what one should be campaigning for is for parliament to ignore the existing referendum result not for it to legislate for a new one?

  24. @ Neil A:

    Thanks for giving us the Daily Mail link with the police explanation of the identical times for the two suspect photos.

    When I saw the two pics in the Craig Murray link given last night on the previous thread, it was obvious to me that they had come from two different cameras – the vertical corridor sides have different verticality in the two.

    Hence I wrote at 11.19 pm “that there are claims that the pictures have apparently been doctored …”

    The exact similarity in the times should have been explained in the original briefing, but the Tory government statements have several more unsubstantiated or unlikely claims.

  25. @ Neil A

    “but I think we all know that probably 80% of the contributors here have called for a second referendum”

    Agree with most of your post, but on this one, I think you’re being a bit over-dramatic. If looked at objectively, I think the balance is a lot more even than that on this site, but people tend to get paranoid that they are outnumbered by the ‘others’. Maybe there are some very loud voices for a 2nd ref, so by weight of posts, it may be a majority that way, but I’m not sure it is by person.

    I, for one, am a remainer who very much regrets the referendum decision, but I don’t think a second ref is a good idea (neither was the first one). I agree with Colin, what we need is good leadership from someone (anyone), and it seems a remote possibility right now. I suspect I’m not the only remainer here who is not at all keen on a second referendum, so don’t assume all remainers want it.

  26. Neil A
    Yes, that is a more plausible explanation of the simultaneous timing that the idea that is was doctored by some unknown reason.

    Certainly more plausible than that the GRU train their agents exhaustively in the use of Novichok but don’t teach them how to leave no trace of it in hotel rooms and how to avoid being filmed multiple times on CCTV wandering around together and catching direct flights to and from Russia. I guess it must have been a “cunning plan” of some sort since we are so afraid of the competence of these agencies… (or possibly they were not GRU agents at all…)

  27. I want the UK to remain, and am not keen on a second referendum.

    It would cost money, at least as much as we are now wasting on stockpiling and preparing for no deal. It would waste time, and make the EU uncertain and annoyed.

    What we need is a strong UK leader who will announce that the Labour and SNP leaders will become part of the UK negotiating team, and more importantly that the UK will retain its membership of the SM and CU. That is the only feasible compromise.

  28. I have a post in moderation – heaven knows why – that explains my reasoning but suffice to say, I think the first referendum was a bad idea and a second one would be no better. MPs on all sides need to pull their fingers out!

  29. ANDREW111

    Perhaps you are confusing GRU with the KGB.

    Perhaps covert operations are less important to a Military Insurgency organisation than successful operations-“taking chances and breaking rules” to Kill people & create Terror. ?

    https://abcnews.go.com/International/russian-spy-agency-election-meddling/story?id=56688353

    They don’t seem particularly shy when on active service :-

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/08/28/surveillance-photos-show-russian-intelligence-officers-plotting/

  30. Failure to integrate large numbers of immigrants from very different cultural backgrounds is a common theme in the loss of support for mainstream politicians in Italy, Sweden & Germany.

    France, as ever, stands aloof from these chickens coming home to roost, as it Imperial President lectures everyone else on the subject from his throne on Olympus.

    Dig a little and you find the usual hypocrisy.

    https://unherd.com/2018/09/french-elite-ignores-apartheid-
    banlieues/

    The trouble with Moral High Ground is that it so often disintegrates catastrophically beneath the Moralist.

  31. Good-news story of the week, this:

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-45429664

    Of course, legalisation does not immediately end casual bigotry, but millions of people will now be able to do whatever they want, with whomever they want, without fear of government persecution. And stories like this are crucial to remind us that, in the long run, things really do get better.

  32. “I have a post in moderation – heaven knows why – that explains my reasoning but suffice to say, I think the first referendum was a bad idea and a second one would be no better. MPs on all sides need to pull their fingers out!”

    ——

    Yes, but on a polling site one might argue that we don’t have nearly enough elections or referenda. Two or three a day should suffice (unless the cricket’s on)

  33. “A politician of stature, maturity, honesty & authority might just do it-but where do we find one of those at this late stage?”

    ——-

    Well if we are struggling as it is, if we upped the immigration a bit more we’d have a better chance of finding one from among them. (So long as the immigrants aren’t already politicians of course)

  34. Many thanks to AW for setting out a detailed overview of EU polling – only yesterday there was one poster on here claiming that ‘recent polling’ put Leave ahead!

    @OldNat
    Surely there is little need for specifically English polling on the issue when GB polls are around 84% English? Given that the June 2016 result in England was 1.5% lower for Remain in England than for the whole of the UK, it would be reasonable to use this as a guide. So if Remain are 5 points ahead across the UK (i.e 52.5:47.5), that would probably be 2 points in England (51:49).

    Alternatively, it is worth looking at the YouGov poll last month, which produced estimated results at constituency level.

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/aug/11/more-than-100-pro-leave-constituencies-switch-to-remain

  35. (to add)

    In fact, the YouGov analysis linked above shows more movement in England and Wales than in Scotland.

  36. Neil A,

    I too don’t support the notion of a second ref but accept that either that or another GE might be the only way of moving forward at some point.

    As to the principle – I don’t agree with referendum on complex issues (Scottish Independence is not complex) but accept that I lost the argument and by extension think the HOC was right to act on the clear majority for leave in the advisory referendum.

    Now that the principle that our relationship with the rest of the EU will be informed by referenda has been established it is not hypocritical imo to advocate another vote on the terms, even if it is not my personal view.

  37. Just like to say I have not been calling for another referendum on this blog, mainly because I don’t think anybody else is that interested in my opinion.

    Obviously what to do is a matter for Parliament and HMG in the first instance. Referendums tend to be used when the politicians can’t/don’t want to decide for themselves.

    Since there is no consensus on how to proceed with brexit, I am thinking it is quite likely Parliament will ask for another referendum in order to resolve what to do.

  38. Colin

    “A politician of stature, maturity, honesty & authority might just do it-but where do we find one of those at this late stage?”

    Well, I must admit I have been biding my time, but if you really think it’s time, I am ready.

  39. Colin

    Yes, I see you subscribe to the “cunning plan to be discovered” hypothesis

  40. @Andrew111
    I don’t think you appreciate just how low the levels of detectability are. Once you know what you are looking for there are some incredibly sensitive detection means available. Back in the 1990s I was working on a project in immunology using fluorescent antibodies and showed that we could measure the fluorescence of just 50 molecules of antibody in a table-top experiment.

    ISTM that the GRU agents weren’t bothered about being photographed as they were out of the country before the authorities even knew what the Skripals had been poisoned with (just like the Litvinenko poisoning with Polonium-210) and the UK has no extradition treaty with Russia. Their ability overtly to project military power might also be seen as a warning to the other emigre opponents of Putin’s regime in the UK, many of whom have suffered suspicious deaths in the last few years.

  41. –From previous Fred–

    “I do wonder if there’s any way to convince some people on this case. Minds have been made up it seems.”
    @Neil A September 5th, 2018 at 10:52 pm

    These Russians are very clever. The Beeb says the two guys named are not using their real names but aliases. That’s sneaky of them. But they can’t be that clever, because they should be using a passport of a different country, shirley?

    They come into our country with the aim of killing an old Russian spy (and his daughter). They bring in a super-duper techy poison, which can only be made using government resources, we are told, but fail to kill either of them. They are seen leaving the airport (those pictures with the same timestamps are those non-reversible doors you go through (‘Once you have passed here you cannot go back’-doors). A choke point. But these guys are clever, sneaky, they don’t wave at the cameras.

    They do their thing and fly back to Russia — presumably on direct flights again to help us know they are Russian.

    It’s a good job they didn’t pay some criminal or other in the UK to do their dirty work for them. After all, I understand there are a few black kids in the capital with big-ish knives who have some experience with death. They might have killed the pair.

    Ye gods these Russians are incredibly incompetent! We clearly have nothing to fear from Russia.

    Yeah, I believe it.

  42. I noticed on the last thread some leavers are saying any pain will be short term something not mentioned in the referendum campaign. How long is short term? You do know if people lose money/rights/NHS they’ll probably never get it back? Any polling saying the majority will accept this?

  43. Good afternoon all from Central London…

    AW & TRIGGUY

    Thanks for pointing out my mistake…I read that part of the article as being a poll conducted across the EU rather than the UK…

  44. Colin

    While the large number of migrants arriving (and they didn’t look particularly well after their journey – they looked distinctively alien) is a trigger (I’m not sure about the integration – the Swedes just give a lip service to it – There are some strange anomalies in the Swedish welfare state), but it is deeper.

    After WW2 (perhaps not surprisingly as they were “neutral” meaning helping both sides) Sweden had the strongest fascist party in Europe and remained so for a long time). And a couple of years after Willy Brandt announcement in West Berlin in 1964 that fascism has completely disappeared a new fascist party was born.

    Looking at polling figures (well, for Germany and Austria) the rise of the radical right is more about the increasing fragmentation of the traditional parties (including factions) which creates identity problems (which is probably the basis of the argument that left and right are outdated categories). This could help to explain the simultaneous rise of the radical left. Plus there is a generational element (the 50,000 demonstrating against the AfD in Karl Marx Stadt were mainly young, but there were many youngsters on the other side), and elements of metropolitan areas versus smaller towns (Vienna didn’t vote for the right).

    SO, I think the migration was more of a trigger, and the necessary myth for the trigger (Just as the taking back the control is a necessary myth to create a numerically larger support as we still pretend the strength of the liberal democracy). While I find Nietzsche rather boring (and flawed) on the importance of myths he is right – it doesn’t require thinking, only experiencing or even imagining the experience.

    France is different in their institutional system, but their problem is much deeper than either Germany or Sweden and they haven’t yet found any decent solution at least for 40 years.

    If a recession hits (or a new liquidity crisis which seems to be building up) it could go either way, but not for the centrist parties.

  45. NORBOLD

    Nice try.

    ANDREW111

    Nope-I just tend to believe our Security people more than Putin.

    As Leftie Liberal so eloquently explains-they didn’t need a cunning plan-in/out/job done-untouchable back in Mother Russia.

  46. @ OLDNAT (last thread) – my apologies, I should have stated rUK if I was to separate out Scottish law, courts.

    We both want Scottish independence but it perhaps wasn’t clear that I was talking about the future situation at/near the time we do take back control of our laws and courts (Mar’19 or Dec’20).

    We both hope that at that point, or soon after, Scotland will no longer be part of UK.

    To be strictly correct I should then say it will depend on Holyrood and Scottish voters as to whether it is Scottish law-courts, EU-EFTA or EU-ECJ.

  47. LASZLO

    @”SO, I think the migration was more of a trigger, and the necessary myth for the trigger”

    Of course it was-and continues to be.

    But it is no myth.

    On France, I had a wry smile when I read that UnHerd article on the Paris ghettos. London is a shining light compared to that. Macron & his ilk are sitting on a powder keg. He had better not have a recession.

  48. PETE B

    Allan Christie
    “The problem the EU faces is its unwillingness to reform and it’s one shoe fits all approach to member states. It’s just a matter of time before the whole thing crumbles into a soggy mess.”
    ……..
    Well said. If they had been willing to reform (or even to grant Cameron his very small requests), none of this would have happened. Now Italy, Hungary and others are considering whether it is worth staying in. Unfortunately for us, that means that the EU will be as tough as they can in order to ‘encourager les autres’.
    __________

    Indeed, I was even considering changing my mind to remain in the EU if Cameron came back with tangible results but instead he came back with a biscuit tin with a few crumbs in it and something about an emergency handbrake.

    The EU are making it as difficult as possible for us to leave to deter others from bolting, they even said it themselves. If the voters in Germany or France start to flirt with the idea of bolting from the EU then it really would be game over.

    Interesting times ahead for Hungary and Italy and the Italians are already showing their no nonsense approach to having to accept wave after wave of migrants which is at the core of much of the discontent raging around other EU member states.

  49. “It particularly interests me that many of those who want one are people who objected to the use of a referendum to resolve the issue in the first place”

    ——-

    Equally, those objecting to a referendum now were keen to have one in the first place. Once they get what they want it’s like “no more Referenda! We have Decided!”

    What we need is some polling on the bigger question: how likely are we to rejoin, perhaps under terms brexiters wouldn’t like, and therefore how pointless is all this?

  50. COLIN

    “Failure to integrate large numbers of immigrants from very different cultural backgrounds is a common theme in the loss of support for mainstream politicians in Italy, Sweden & Germany”

    “France, as ever, stands aloof from these chickens coming home to roost, as it Imperial President lectures everyone else on the subject from his throne on Olympus”

    “Dig a little and you find the usual hypocrisy”
    ___________

    I see what you mean…

    “What we don’t have, however, is a map of the ethnic and religious divide – because in France the state is legally prohibited from collecting statistics on the basis of ethnic or religious identity. In theory (there’s that word again), everyone is equal and being French is all that matters. The reality, however, is one of segregation along racial lines”
    …………..

    “The trouble with Moral High Ground is that it so often disintegrates catastrophically beneath the Moralist”
    ________

    Absolutely :-) :-)

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