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. Jacob Rees-Mogg, a devout Catholic, has previously supported Boris for PM.
    He has also said that he could not support gay marriage or abortion, even if necessary to save the woman’s life or in the case of rape because of his beliefs.
    It will be interesting to see if he renounces his support for Boris.

  2. Foreigners, foreign trade and British jobs to British workers (mind, this is from.Germany).

    https://vimeo.com/274324263

  3. NeilJ
    Even though Boris’ extra-curricular transgressions are a matter of public record I’ve always ascribed the reluctance of his journo mates to bring them to wider notice to their not wanting to fall out with him, nasty piece of work or not.

    I have a sense with this announcement that regardless of ConHome or other polling the timing of this will serve as a warning that there is more than enough of this backed up in the system to make an almighty mess all over Boris if a potential opponent for the leadership senses the race may be close enough to need to pull the stopper out.

    I also doubt that even JRM and Davis are dim enough not to realise this, and to seek a champion with a trouser fly less prone to unguarded mishaps in mixed company.

  4. “We should be cooperating with Russia to bring peace in Syria and surrounding region, not deliberately provoking them for political gain.”
    @davwel September 7th, 2018 at 10:07 am

    Don’t forget Syria is really a proxy war between Iran and the Saudis. And exists because of the schism in Islam — Sunni and Shi’a. To try to understand that think of Protestants and Catholics. And if you think about that, that was a power struggle.

    Russia is simply an opportunist. Oil plays a big part, and alas we have muckied our ticket as far as that is concerned, so it is not easy for us to get back involved (like Russia, we tried to take advantage once). Then there is Turkey who has it’s own agenda.

    Iran is plum in the middle of a very important strategic area, and is responding in part to the attempt by the West to isolate it.

    Yes many actors need to get together, but there are too many vested interests for this to be quick and easy. But then again there is Trump, and he can’t be trusted to hold a position for more than ten minutes, so we may have to wait until he’s gone before any progress can be made.

    Just to help make this clear (not) let me quote this letter again:

    http://www.buzzfeed.com/andrewkaczynski/the-middle-east-explained-in-one-excellent-letter-to-the-edi
    Sir, Iran is backing Assad. Gulf states are against Assad!
    Assad is against Muslim Brotherhood. Muslim Brotherhood and Obama are
    against General Sisi.
    But Gulf states are pro-Sisi! Which means they are against Muslim Brotherhood!
    Iran is pro-Hamas, but Hamas is backing Muslim Brotherhood!
    Obama is backing Muslim Brotherhood, yet Hamas is against the US!
    Gulf states are pro-US. But Turkey is with Gulf states against Assad; yet
    Turkey is pro-Muslim Brotherhood against General Sisi. And General Sisi is
    being backed by the Gulf states!
    Welcome to the Middle East and have a nice day.
    KN Al-Sabah, London EC4, U.K.

  5. As a Northern Ireland person I have no problem in Karen Bradly being honest and not surprised at what she said.

  6. THEEXTERMINATINGDALEK
    Even though Boris’ extra-curricular transgressions are a matter of public record I’ve always ascribed the reluctance of his journo mates to bring them to wider notice to their not wanting to fall out with him, nasty piece of work or not…
    I also doubt that even JRM and Davis are dim enough not to realise this, and to seek a champion with a trouser fly less prone to unguarded mishaps in mixed company.

    You could well be right

  7. @ Laszlo

    Enjoyed your video link although didn’t quite have the tension of The Walking Dead- definitely needed some zombies in it.

  8. PROFHOWARD

    I agree.

    It must be a shock to anyone who , for the first time, is forced to experience the deep chasm of hatred and distrust which seemingly separates every aspect of the lives of NI residents on the basis of their religion.

    One sees this medieval adherance to religion as a primary identifier in The Middle East & in Asia & the heartless sectarian brutality which accompanies it . But to see its manifestations in a part of UK-be that in the Polling Booth with a pencil, or on the streets with a gun , is always a shock.

    I don’t begin to understand how any Westminster Politician can begin to arbitrate in all of that.

  9. @ CARFREW – MMT (and its further “evolved” form of Overt Monetary Financing)

    Quick wiki link for those that don’t know what it is:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modern_Monetary_Theory

    Firstly giving it a new name does not make it modern, although Turkey, Venezuela, Zimbabwe, etc show folks still think it might work. History is littered with examples of debasing your currency followed by collapse of your economy from the days of “clipping” gold coins onwards. Fiat currencies are not really that different.

    I do not disagree with the premise that a sovereign country with its own currency could TRY this (as above examples have) but IMHO it would be a disaster for UK. I’ll expand on my two concerns as to why multiplier can be less than 1 (exaggerating for the purpose of illustration on #2):

    1/ Japanification
    Ingredients: asset bubble (check), ageing population (check)
    Catalyst: burst of bubble (narrowly avoided in 2007-10 but since pumped back up)
    Boomers are using property as “savings”, if those “savings” come under threat of -ve returns (as Nikkei and property did in Japan) then for every extra 1k you pay a state employee they might save 1.2k (ie MPS can be greater than 1 and round2 of multiplier is less than round1)
    Large net immigration and keeping the bubble going simply delays the underlying problem. Letting the air out of UK debt-fuelled bubble economy is going to be a challenge!

    2/ Leakage
    I’ll keep it simple and show in numbers.
    Round1: pay state employee extra 1k/annum
    The UK debt junky uses that as a deposit to buy a 20k car with 4k/annum payments (replacing an old car that was still working just fine and had 3k/annum payments with most of depreciation absorbed)
    Most of that money flows out of UK (importantly the value-add bit goes to Germany and the “distributed” bit is all that stays in UK)
    Round 2: The german car worker saves the money, the UK car salesman goes on holiday to Spain (exaggerating to make the point). Very little makes it to round3 in UK

    Even worse in say 3yrs time the UK debt junky now has a car worth say 5k (ie not only wasted the extra 1k/annum but in terms of “savings” has lost money as well)

    Although it is true we can just print money (or create out of thin air) unless you are making gains in productivity and investing in productive assets or savings (ie NOT depreciating cars or QE inspired rent-seeking buy-to-let) then in order to maintain competitiveness your need either an external devaluation (a little bit OK but you do not want it to go out of control) or an internal devaluation (ie -ve real wages to regain competitiveness)

    With great power (ie sovereign currency issuance) comes great responsibility!

    The issue with “modern” folks corruption of Keynesian ideas is the believe that if a little Keynes doesn’t work then you need to do more Keynes and just keep going until it works (by which time inflation is totally out of control, your currency is in a vicious spiral, “trust” in money starts to disappear and the very fabric of your modern fiat money based society is at risk of collapse).

    The “textbook” examples of OMF “working” are Germany and Japan in 1930s – massive military spending. We know how they tried to pay for that debt fuelled “growth”.

    If you/others have any other examples of “success”, in any country at any time in history please let me know (modern day N.Korea is close but some differences).

    I have no issue with Keynesian policies just used in moderation and if they don’t work quick try a different mix
    (ie right now we should do a bit more fiscal and a bit less monetary Keynesianism)

  10. and for the opposite view to mine containing other examples of monetary “snake oil”:
    http://positivemoney.org/publications/guide-public-money-creation/

  11. I’ve been reading through M. Barnier’s contribution to the select committee, and thought I would share a couple of key points he made – this is a brexit thread after all!

    http://data.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/committeeevidence.svc/evidencedocument/exiting-the-european-union-committee/the-progress-of-the-uks-negotiations-on-eu-withdrawal/oral/88890.html

    1. Brexit means Brexit

    Mr Pat McFadden: Thank you for your time, Monsieur Barnier. I think you have told us two significant things today about the White Paper. The first is that the proposals on customs are not acceptable to the EU, and the second is that the proposals on the common rulebook for goods are not acceptable to the EU for reasons set out by you and Ms Weyand. Just for our understanding, you said there are other good things in the White Paper but without the proposals on customs and without the proposals on a common rulebook the White Paper is basically dead, so what should our conclusion be as to the likely trade agreement?

    Looking at this slide in front of you, it looks to me like we are back to a Canada-style agreement with the added provisions around security co-operation and so on. Have I summarised your remarks correctly and drawn the right conclusion if we go away with that at the end of today?

    Michel Barnier (Translation):

    I am a bit surprised to see you focusing so much on the economy. When it comes to the economy I have been saying the same thing for the last two years. You are leaving the European Union. Theresa May has said on several occasions, in Florence and elsewhere, “We are leaving the single market. We are leaving the customs union”. She said that as a result of the referendum outcome, so leaving the EU, leaving the single market, leaving the customs union, there are consequences.

    I work on the basis of the European Council guidelines and basically we are not going to weaken or undermine the single market just because you are leaving. We are not entitled to do that. We cannot do that. We cannot weaken the best thing we have, really, something that we built together with you. That is why I very much regret that you are leaving the single market. All this has to be seen as a whole and it is going to require a lot of work.

    Mr Pat McFadden: I accept the significance of the security co-operation. I am just trying to understand, so, at the risk of maybe being direct again, on the trade front, should our understanding of what you have said today be that on the trade pillar, your number 1 of the 4, what we are looking at is, in terms of the existing models, is closer to a CETA Canada-style agreement than anything else? I just want to understand, is that correct?

    Michel Barnier (Translation): But that is the logical consequence of the red lines that your country set itself and that some of you here support: no Court of Justice, no payment, no European regulatory framework, no European trade policy and no freedom of movement for persons. I have listened to you. I will be taking that into account. We are respecting your red lines but you in turn have to respect who we are.

    2. No Deal means No Deal

    Michel Barnier (Translation): In all areas, if the outcome of these long negotiations were to be no deal, then measures would have to be taken on both sides, contingency plans in this area as in any other. Then it would be a unilateral decision on each side because there would be no further discussions between us.

    Chair: One very final quick question from me: Michel, you said if there is no deal there will be no further discussions between us. Can I just check that does not mean that if we are trying to sort out in the event of no deal—aviation, medicines, driving licences—that there would be no discussion because, if you read the papers that Dominic Raab has published about preparing for no deal, as you will have noticed a lot of it assumes that there would be co-operation between us to sort out matters, so I think it would be quite helpful to the Committee to be clear what exactly you meant when you said, “In the event of no deal there will be no further discussions”. Does that exclude all discussions, including on what on earth do we do about planes?

    Michel Barnier (Translation): Hilary, we want to settle all these matters in agreement. That is why we are negotiating. Now if there is a no deal there is no more discussion. There is no more negotiation. It is over and each side will take its own unilateral contingency measures, and we will take them in such areas as aviation, but this does not mean mini-deals in the case of a no deal. We want a deal. We want an overall agreement; otherwise each will take their own contingency measures on their own side. That is why I want an agreement. I know full well, the worst scenario is indeed the no-deal scenario.

  12. the ED

    “Absolutely desperate stuff, it must be utterly soul-destroying for them that all the muck the Blairites and Right Wing “Moderates” continue to shovel day in day out has made not a single percentage point of difference in the polls since last June.”

    Not sure whether both main parties haven’t dropped slightly anyway but, as always, the problem with your statement is that you have no proof at all that Labour VI would not have been higher, if not for the recent problems Labour has had.

    Common sense would suggest that, typically, an opposition faced with the floundering government we are currently experiencing, should be far ahead in the polls.

  13. ROSIE & DAISIE

    Blair’s conclusion seems to be that you will never find out now -the Party is lost ( nearly said “over” )

    If you watch the Iranian State TV channel-where this process is keenly followed-you will have a front row seat:-

    https://twitter.com/Presstvuk/status/1037806260450742277/photo/1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1037806260450742277&ref_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww2.politicalbetting.com%2Findex.php%2Farchives%2F2018%2F09%2F07%2Fsurely-labour-mps-wont-go-quietly-with-deselections-set-to-be

  14. R&D
    Yes, that’s a valid point, my perception is that those whose opinions are not already fairly firmly entrenched already are just ignoring the political noise, thus ensuring political stalemate and making it all the harder for either of the main parties to attract the very people they need in order to defeat the other side.

  15. Its like watching that thing where Sadam Hussein named his opponents at a meeting & they were dragged out of the room by a bunch of heavies.

    https://twitter.com/gavinshuker/status/1037962321321226240

  16. YouGov have just sneaked out some more Brexit polling from London and Wales. The Wales stuff is quite old actually, maybe we’ve seen it before, though I don’t remember it.

    http://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/92ofbq76tq/PeoplesVoteResults_180824_Wales_w.pdf

    http://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/30tafmcnkc/PeoplesVote_LondonMerge_180905_w.pdf

    I have no intention of analysing it in great detail, but a quick look suggests it makes grim reading in terms of people’s view of Brexit negotiations. Not surprisingly.

  17. What Some People Find Refreshing

    Re Ms Bradley
    “but isn’t it quite refreshingly frank of her …”
    “in one sense this is refreshing ..”
    “I have no problem with K Bradley being honest ..”

    Oh knock it off boys! When Healey became Shadow Chancellor he admitted he knew little about finance. To admit to ignorance of technical matters is one thing; to admit to an ignorance of the most basic facts of British politics and culture, which would be within the grasp of a bright 14-year-old, is quite another.
    T May has lost a good many cabinet ministers & this nonsense is what we end up with. That a person of this calibre (a Brexiteer of course!) is one of our most senior rulers can be called many things, but refreshing?!

  18. @robbiealive

    Exactly. I’m not sure what is worse Bradley’s basic ignorance of such a simple political fact or her naivete in broadcasting it to the world.

  19. @ HAL – so to summarise:

    Chequers is dead but Canada+(++) MIGHT work (we knew this back in March)

    In event of no deal, no further discussion MIGHT be because we’ve already discussed a lot of the other areas, security etc, and those COULD be put in an association agreement IF the EU Council instruct Barnier to do so.

    I respect that is a lot of MIGHT, COULD and IF!!

    P.S. Hilary does tend to ask very loaded questions, some might even go as far as saying planted questions (Hilary visited Barnier earlier in the week as reported by Peston!)
    http://www.itv.com/news/2018-09-04/david-davis-may-win-his-canada-style-brexit-deal/

  20. @colin

    “One sees this medieval adherance to religion as a primary identifier in The Middle East & in Asia & the heartless sectarian brutality which accompanies it . But to see its manifestations in a part of UK-be that in the Polling Booth with a pencil, or on the streets with a gun , is always a shock.”

    Except the religious divide involved economic, social and political discrimination imposed by the Protestant minority in Ireland for a long time which exacerbated any purely doctrinal differences. The exasperation of the English would be more credible if they had been as concerned about those issues and the impact on Catholic communities before the civil rights movement brought it to the fore.

  21. @ ROBBIEALIVE – You mean a Remainer of course!!

    If you want the “Whose who” in the cabinet:
    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/feb/07/whos-who-in-the-divided-cabinet-brexit-subcommittee

    “Bradley was strongly pro-remain”

    Some reluctant Remain have converted to the winning team (e.g. Javid, Hunt). Some Arch-Leave have gone strategically Soft (e.g. Gove, Cleverly, Raab) but most are either keeping their heads down and their mouths shout while sticking with their prior beliefs.

    Bradley pays lip service to the referendum and her constituents who voted 65% in favour of Leave but she is still very much Remain at heart and either thick as mince or acting for poorly hidden ulterior motives (being a Remainer probably both!)

  22. Trevor,

    I think you have misunderstood Barnier’s remarks on No Deal. He is saying if there is no Withdrawal Agreement, there would not be any other discussions before leaving.

    And I don’t think this is just Barnier’s opinion. There is no other mechanism (outside of the A50 process) for agreements between the EU and a member state.

  23. The religious divide in other regions also involves politosocioeconomic issues. The religion itself is rarely more than a badge. The main reason people outside NI perhaps don’t realise it’s pretty much the same as other regions is that it simply doesn’t get any news coverage anymore.

    “imposed by the Protestant minority in Ireland for a long time”.. blah blah etc

    and that is exactly why the cycle continues, an influential minority on both/all sides hold stupid pointless grudges about whatever some ancestor or other did in the past and pretty much define their life by it. They won’t let go because they have defined their existence by it, hence often more violent reactions to those who attempt to breach the divide than simply be on the/an other side.

  24. HIRETON

    Yes-agreed.

    History has a sranglehold there.

  25. @ HAL – I did state “a lot of MIGHT, COULD, IF!”

    I know a lot of Remain think Barnier is God and we must capitulate to EC Dogma. You’ll probably find a lot of Leave think EC+Macron (formerly Merkel) run the EU with EP as rubber stamp!

    Most people, including our PM it seems, forget this a negotiation and Barnier’s mandate is set by the EU Council (with Macron is current Primus inter pares)

    All I’m saying is that a lot of the WA is in green highlighter, the transition agreement is good to go which means a lot of discussion has taken part and hence COULD be used.

    I’m not saying they will, with 100% certainty, I’m just saying they COULD. I’m HOPEFUL we MIGHT:

    – agree a slimmed down WA with payments to Dec’20 in return for a BrINO transition, kick the NI can.
    – backstop of WTO after Dec’20 HOPEFULLY agreeing Canada+(++) and the residual divorce bill. This could be either before or soon after Mar’19 (framework COULD be largely in place soon but we have to wait until 3rd country for finalisation and ratification)
    – many other important issues, already discussed and agreed upon, COULD be supported by an association agreement at Oct EU Council meeting (later added to a broader agreement if that transpires)

    IMHO we need to ask for this, asap (back in Oct’17 would have been even better). I’d personally go further and start stating various unilateral moves (e.g. citizens rights, recognition of EU food regs, no intention to do harden anything on NI border no matter what, economic counter-measures, etc).

    IMHO if we take the “moral high ground” into Sep EU Council meeting that MIGHT get EU Council to “tweak” Barnier’s mandate and get talks moving again.

    Probability is low but it is zero if we don’t even ask for it!

    NB. We are into “least bad” scenarios with the clock running out. We all know “fudge” and “can kicking” has worked before!

  26. P.P.S. For a comprehensive list of EU Association Agreements, FTAs and other agreements:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Union_Association_Agreement

  27. And for a comprehensive list of all UK Association agreements, FTAs and other agreements come 29 March 2019:

    :-(

  28. “Blair’s conclusion seems to be that you will never find out now -the Party is lost ( nearly said “over” )

    If you watch the Iranian State TV channel-where this process is keenly followed-you will have a front row seat…”

    ——

    Well, Blair’s temporary takeover and all that parachuting is being reversed. For now at least. It was never their party to begin with, they have their own party. They just didn’t want to be on the sidelines.

    Meanwhile Blue Momentum et al. are trying to do similar for Tories. Tricky though. Some Tories wonder at the mess over Brexit, that results from trying to keep business backers happy, and keep the immigration that funds the growth, necessary to make up for the cuts.

    Immigration is the price paid to shrink state provision.

  29. Hmm, I think there’s some unfairness to Bradley here.

    I agree that one would expect anyone going into parliament to have at least an “Idiot’s Guide to….” knowledge of all of the UK’s many policy issues, from taxation to defence to devolution and transport. But there are quite a few things to say in her defence.

    1) She came into politics quite late. This is not a PPE graduate who worked as an political intern from the age of 21. I think awareness of Northern Ireland amongst those not immersed in politics is quite low.

    2) @Trevor – She’s definitely not thick as mince. She’s a very clever woman who gave up a much more lucrative career to go into politics.

    3) Having read the full article from which her comments were taken, I think they are being interpreted slightly wrongly. I don’t think she is saying that she didn’t know the difference betwen Unionists and Republicans or that there was conflict between the communities. I think she was saying she didn’t quite appreciate how deep-seated it was and how little cross-cultural voting there is. It’s a bit like someone being aware of Jewish people mostly voting Tory and Bangledeshis mostly voting Labour and then arriving somewhere where 99% of Jewish people vote Tory and 99% of Bangladeshis vote Labour. Just people you didn’t realise what it was like doesn’t mean you knew nothing about it at all.

    4) I think the idea that NI history and politics is completely black and white and that Bradley is a fool for not knowing that all Catholics are Republicans and all Protestants are Loyalists in itself displays a pretty poor grasp of the complexity. There is a long history of Republican protestants (Wolfe Tone and the United Irishmen etc). There is a long history of Catholic Unionism as well. Whilst very few vote for the sectarian parties of the other side, quite a few Catholics vote for the Alliance party and polls (at least until recently) showed large numbers of Catholics support the Union (if not the “Unionists”).

    As I have often said, I see the true purpose of Republican violence in Northern Ireland as the maintenance of sectarian political loyalties and a fight against Catholics moving away from traditional enmity for the UK (particulary in the face of the declining role of the church in people’s lives and the tendency for Catholics to ignore it’s teachings on social issues). I see the Good Friday Agreement essentially as “Phase Two” of their game-plan. Keep the Catholics sectarian until they outnumber the Protestants then smooth things over and gradually edge towards Irish Unification.

    Two other points. Is there such a thing as someone who is an expert on Northern Irish politics who is also truly neutral? Isn’t there some benefit in having someone who has no preconceptions about the situation there coming in to the role of Northern Ireland which seems to me more one of Referee / Playground Assistant than one of a political master?

    Secondly, Bradley was talking about the state of her knowledge before she became SoS. Some have suggested she should have studied up on NI before taking up the post. But is that realistic? That’s not how reshuffles work. Brokenshire quit for reasons of ill-health. May needed a replacement. Bradley agreed to do it. Bingo she was SoS. So any cramming would be after she took up the post, and as I said, in her interview she referred to her knowledge before she took it up.

  30. @Neil A

    “1) She came into politics quite late. This is not a PPE graduate who worked as an political intern from the age of 21. I think awareness of Northern Ireland amongst those not immersed in politics is quite low.”

    ——

    Lol, so if a Doctor “came into medicine quite late”, would you accept this as a defence if they cut your leg off when you were supposed to have your arm amputated?

    If you know you’re coming into it late, surely that’s a reason to make sure you know the essentials.

    Meanwhile, we can give you some time off Neil and domyour job for you. We’ll take it in turns, obviously we might make some basic errors, but it’s ok because we’re coming into it late!!

  31. @Hal – I really have to laugh sometimes. Now we have leavers like @Trevor Warne claiming…..

    “…….a lot of the WA is in green highlighter, the transition agreement is good to go which means a lot of discussion has taken part and hence COULD be used.”

    Once upon a time, these people were telling us ‘nothing is agreed until everything is agreed’.

    Hom hum – as reality dawns, the desparation to cling onto some kind of agreement is telling.

  32. “Most people, including our PM it seems, forget this a negotiation…”

    ——-

    She’s coming into it late though.

  33. @Trevor – ps – the transition is contingent on the WA. No WA, no transition.

    Stop kidding yourself.

  34. Latest YG is out:
    https://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/j73mcdcj1w/Times_180904_VI_Trackers_W.pdf

    @ ALEC – Congrat on proving, yet again, that it is Remainers that are thick as mince!

    @ CARFREW – Well if she wants to keep her job she has a choice. This will be seen as “Brexiteers holding her hostage” by those in the snare of the corporate elite of course but will Soubs+co vote her down knowing what the alternative is?

    Who knows, hence why always good to state things like IMHO and COULD.

  35. Trevor,

    By the way, Benn’s meeting with Barnier “earlier in the week”, as mentioned by Peston, was the select committee meeting I quoted from. Since that was on Monday, there can’t have been any other meeting even earlier in the week!

  36. NeilA

    Good points.

  37. @ NEIL A – I did state two options on Bradley. For sure it might be 80/20 bias towards:
    “acting for poorly hidden ulterior motives”

    The move to the more extreme Unionist and Republican parties has been going on for some time. In 2000 DUP moved ahead of UUP and 2005 SF moving ahead of SDLP (MP seats)

    The pre-existing move to the more extreme parties has been discussed before on UKPR so it is beyond credible belief that she was “unaware” of the situation in NI that existed BEFORE Brexit until today – the day Barnier is in town! It is more credible that she was “opportunistic” on the timing of becoming “aware”.

    I’m sure this will sound like conspiracy theory nonsense but Hammond dropping a turd in the No Deal plan punchbowl etc looks like a coordinated strategy on the part of CON-Remain faction.

    Was Boris’s timing of divorce announcement purely coincidental? I’m sure folks speculating on the timing of thatt!!

    We can’t be sure of course, hence this is IMHO, but you would certainly need to be as thick as mince to believe politicians (and Eurocrats) were not beyond carefully picking the wording and timing of various statements for maximum impact in the belief it helps their not so well hidden objectives.

  38. @ HAL – ???

    your link was published on 4Sep, they met BEFORE that on 3Sep.

    I’m aware it is now 7Sep. Most folks caught up with the Canada+++ story earlier in the week (as per Peston link).

    You’ll note today a bunch of stuff from the new news about linking a deal, etc. (Barnier dangling faux carrots IMHO but think what you like).

    I’m sure ALEC and yourself will eventually catch up with events until then it’s good night from me!

  39. Latest YG at odds with Survation.. Con 4 ahead and LD up to 11. We seem to have two ends of the spectrum.

  40. PROFHOWARD

    As a Northern Ireland person I have no problem in Karen Bradly being honest and not surprised at what she said.

    I agree that, as yet least, Karen Bradley has done nothing wrong, but she certainly needs to get up to speed with her brief PDQ. In particular, she needs to be ready to deny or agree to a border poll should the die be cast for the UK to leave the EU completely.

    Slugger is generating articles faster than usual at the moment, but has a related and interesting article well worth reading [including the comments]:
    The time has come for the next Assembly to vote on a border poll

  41. @Trev

    “@ CARFREW – Well if she wants to keep her job she has a choice. This will be seen as “Brexiteers holding her hostage” by those in the snare of the corporate elite of course but will Soubs+co vote her down knowing what the alternative is?

    Who knows, hence why always good to state things like IMHO and COULD.”

    ——

    Yep, there are pressures both ways. Which will win out, is the thing.

    Of course, there’s another pressure: they’re supposed to be Conservatives, who, you know, “conserve”.

    Given that lots of immigration has been pretty much the norm for half a century now, you might think Conservatives would be looking to conserve this as the status quo.

    But of course, it is COMMONWEALTH immigration that mostly goes back that long. Hence perhaps why some Tories seem happy to swap EU immigration for the Commonwealth kind.

    But of course, there are other questions. There is what amount of immigration will satisfy various elements in the party, including the environmentally conservation-minded.

    Then there’s the question of what’s the ideal amount from the point of view of integration, preserving culture etc., and then, there is what’s the right amount in terms of giving some respite to those whose stress response gets triggered by foreign peeps.

    It’s pretty clear though, that the ideal amount from that perspective is complicated by the media etc, which can heighten susceptibility to being triggered, stoking fears etc.

    Immigration has a lot of advantages in terms or keeping business happy, ensuring some growth, having foreign peeps to blame for stuff, and in growing the economy also giving more clout on the world stage. So they won’t give it up lightly.

    Anyways, have a good weekend Trev, I’ll give some respite and not respond on the fiat money etc. thing for a couple of days. Quite like the way you structured it btw!

  42. @TW

    @ ALEC – Congrat on proving, yet again, that it is Remainers that are thick as mince!

    Can you explain to a thick as mince Remainer why Alec is wrong?

    I quote from Exiting the European Union Committee: Oral evidence: The progress of the UK’s negotiations on EU withdrawal, HC 372

    One very final quick question from me: Michel, you said if there is no deal there will be no further discussions between us. Can I just check that does not mean that if we are trying to sort out in the event of no deal—aviation, medicines, driving licences—that there would be no discussion because, if you read the papers that Dominic Raab has published about preparing for no deal, as you will have noticed a lot of it assumes that there would be co-operation between us to sort out matters, so I think it would be quite helpful to the Committee to be clear what exactly you meant when you said, “In the event of no deal there will be no further discussions”. Does that exclude all discussions, including on what on earth do we do about planes?

    Michel Barnier (Translation): Hilary, we want to settle all these matters in agreement. That is why we are negotiating. Now if there is a no deal there is no more discussion. There is no more negotiation. It is over and each side will take its own unilateral contingency measures, and we will take them in such areas as aviation, but this does not mean mini-deals in the case of a no deal. We want a deal. We want an overall agreement; otherwise each will take their own contingency measures on their own side. That is why I want an agreement. I know full well, the worst scenario is indeed the no-deal scenario.

    Seems Alec is just repeating what Barnier said – No deal is no deal.

  43. TrigGuy

    Thanks for the link to that Welsh poll. Since Scully made no mention of it on his blog, it seems entirely possible that whoever commissioned it in early August, did not publish the results (hence YG couldn’t either).

    Since the VI figures are suppressed one could speculate that the poll was commissioned by a body that supported a party doing badly in that poll.

    They may, however, have now decided that the Welsh shift to remain was worth putting into the public domain at this time.

  44. @ TW

    “@ ALEC Congrat on proving, yet again, that it is Remainers that are thick as mince!”

    Given that this is a polling site, I’m beginning to wonder about your grip on statistics. On observing a post from Alec, you could no doubt (rather unkindly) observe that Alec is “thick as mince”. But to extrapolate from one post that 16 million people in the UK are as thick as mince is perhaps putting a little too much weight on one data point.

  45. Goodnight @Trevor – sleep tight.

  46. @ BazinWales

    “We seem to have two ends of the spectrum.”

    Yes, this is very interesting point. Roger M has pointed this out in the past. There’s clear systematic differences between the polling companies, which must be down to their sampling techniques. Presumably all of them are worrying about which one is doing a better job, and trying to fix biases. But at the moment they seem to be drifting even further apart. And none of us really has any idea which is closer to the truth, though no doubt some people will claim one is right because it’s closer to what they want to believe.

  47. BMG have Lab 1 ahead but also have LD on 11. Lab and Con both near average.

  48. I see from their website that the Boundary Commission has presented its final proposals to Government.

    I assume the Government can’t suggest a tweak here and a tweak there.

    Politics being what it is I guess the tory whips will be trying to see whether this process can be made to add to the votes in favour of a Brexit deal as they know Chequers is dead.

    At what point do the proposals go to the opposition parties.?I assume they ave to be presented to Parliament and then we can all speculate on the fun and games.

    Labour prob know they have to have a political strategy to protect Corbyn and friends.So what happens to the Conference discussion on mandatory reselection -which is not recommended in the internal democracy review and stands only in the name of five constituencies.In the bin i reckon.

  49. Brilliant Smith

    All 4 Boundary Commissions submitted their final proposals to the relevant UK SoS simultaneously on 5 Sept. The timing of when (and if) the combined set of proposals are laid before Parliament is up to the UK Gov.

    “On 5 September 2018 we submitted our Report for the 2018 Review of UK Parliament Constituencies to the Secretary of State for Scotland. We will publish our Report when it has been laid before Parliament. The exact timing of this is a matter for the UK Government.

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