There were two polls in the Sunday papers. ComRes had a poll conducted for BrexitExpress (a pro-Brexit pressure group) prominently but poorly reported in the Sunday Telegraph. The voting intention question included The Independent Group as an option, producing topline figures of CON 36%(-2), LAB 34%(-3), LDEM 8%(-2), TIG 8%(+8), UKIP 6%(nc). Most polling companies are not, at present, including the Independent Group in polls – something that will presumably change as they take steps towards actually forming a party and clarifying their future intentions. The tables for the poll are here.

The Sunday Telegraph headlined on a finding that 44% of people agreed with a statement that “If the EU refuses to make any more concessions, the UK should leave without a deal”, suggesting rather more support for no deal than almost all other polls. I would advise a lot of scepticism here – agree/disagree statements are a rather suboptimal approach towards asking polling questions (I’ve written about them before here) that tend to produce a bias in the direction of the statement. The problem is they give only a single side of the argument – the question only asked people if they agreed with a statement supporting leaving with no deal in those circumstances. It did not offer people alternative options like a delay, or accepting the deal, or having a referendum. One can imagine that a poll asking “In the event that the EU does not agree to further changes to the deal, what do you think should happen?” would have produced rather different answers. Indeed, later on the survey asked which outcomes people thought would be best for the UK economy and best for UK democracy, which produced rather more typical results.

Note also that the Sunday Telegraph’s claim that the poll showed an increase in support for No Deal is not accurate – the poll back in January asked a differently worded question (it was structured as support/oppose, rather than an agree/disagree statement, and was in a grid along with other options) so they are not directly comparable.

As well as the ComRes poll there was a BMG poll hidden away in the Independent. The figures were unusually reported without excluding don’t knows or won’t votes, with the Conservatives on 31%, Labour on 27% and 8% for the Liberal Democrats. According to the Independent the Conservative lead is five points once don’t knows are excluded – that implies something along the lines of Con 40%, Lab 35% and Lib Dem 10% – though the full figures are yet to appear on the BMG website.

870 Responses to “Catching up on the weekend polls”

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  1. Reports that the ERG’s “Star Chamber” has concluded thst the WG’s supplementary advice on Art 62 of the VC is “badly misconceived”.

  2. @SORBUS

    My MP is independent and inactive to the point of inertia, but thus far he’s showed up to all the Brexit votes (I’ve been checking) and voted with Lab. His website says he supports a People’s Vote.

    Tonight he didn’t vote. No explanation on his website or Twitter. Any suggestions as to how the lazy so-and-so can be held to account?

    I guess email him in the first instance asking for an explanation, and if he doesn’t reply try to get a local paper to ask him instead? With an imminent General Election a constant background threat, not many MPs would fancy being seen to not be doing their job at the mo…

  3. Britain Elects has a “new” BMG poll:

    Westminster voting intention:

    CON: 39% (+1)
    LAB: 34% (-1)
    LDEM: 12% (-)
    UKIP: 5% (-)
    GRN: 4% (-1)

    via @BMGResearch, 04 – 08 Mar
    Chgs. w/ 08 Feb

    Given the dates, this is presumably just a different way of presenting the numbers AW already stated above.

    Looking at these numbers again in this form, compared to 8th Feb, it occurs to me they can be summarised pretty much as ‘nothing has changed’, despite the fact that TIG declared themselves between the two dates. Looking forward to seeing if the last few days have made any difference. Could be bad for either or both main parties I suppose, but who knows these days.


    Now here’s a thing. If the EU refuse an extension and May’s deal does not pass, is she obliged (or duty bound) to withdraw art 50 notice to leave to avoid a no deal brexit in accordance with the parliamentary vote?

    I’d argue not – I think she could give herself enough cover with her own side by saying “Parliament persistently voted against every option, so this is the default”.

    Whether she’d be inclined to take that decision, I don’t know, but if she wanted to I think she could reasonably do so.

  5. @ Hireton

    ‘ Reports that the ERG’s “Star Chamber” has concluded that the WG’s supplementary advice on Art 62 of the VC is “badly misconceived”. ‘

    Thanks – so the ERG want Cox to agree with them that the UK could use Art 62 of the Vienna Convention to withdraw unilaterally from the backstop. This could form the basis for their doing a complete U-turn and deciding that the Withdrawal Agreement is preferable to No Deal after all.

    Seems a bit disingenuous to say that they want Cox’s legal advice to be ‘clearer’. What they really mean is that they would like it to be ‘entirely different’.

  6. @Trevs – forget ‘TRAP’s – that’s just total nonsense. We aren’t ‘legally leaving’ without a WA, and then getting a WA. Barking. We either leave with a WA or without one.

    After three years of fun on here, it’s time to stop inventing completely nonsensical scenarios that can never happen.

  7. @Hireton – I think this focus on the legal advice, and the apparent changing of it, is a demonstration of how low the Conservative Party is falling today.

    It’s also a terrible, terrible indictment of the integrity of Cox. Nothing whatsoever has changed in the WA, yet apparently today he has new legal guidance that differs from his legal guidance of Tuesday.

    He is either a total incompetent or a charlatan – in either case, he should not be the government’s senior legal adviser.

    I will await his actual ‘new’ guidance with interest, but I sincerely hope he rediscovers his personal and professional integrity and refuses to change his view. The entire point of an AG is that she gives advice on what the law means, not sullied by politics.

  8. @ALEC

    After three years of fun on here, it’s time to stop inventing completely nonsensical scenarios that can never happen.

    Are you going to tell Mr Corbyn or shall I? ;-)

  9. @Nearly French – “Now here’s a thing. If the EU refuse an extension and May’s deal does not pass, is she obliged (or duty bound) to withdraw art 50 notice to leave to avoid a no deal brexit in accordance with the parliamentary vote?

    This really is the only question left to answer, in many ways. A refusal to extend is at present highly unlikely, although it remains conceivable, but if we still have failed to agree anything by June, then the idea of another extension gets us much closer to this kind of scenario.

    Parliamentary procudure would play a part in this, but the overriding issue would be the politics. To go for a no deal by default will destroy the Conservative parliamentary party. There would be an exodus of ministers, and it would be civil war. Revoking could well have a similar impact, but would at least garner the support of business and lead to an immediate economic stabilization.

    I don’t actually think there is a clear answer here, but I suspect it won’t actually come to this – in such an event, the deal would pass.

    @Edge of Reason – think you’re being a tad unfair on Corbyn there!

    As far as I can tell, Labour’s stance is logical and theoretically and legally possible. I don’t think there is much doubt that if the UK signalled it’s intention to enter a customs union and close SM alignment, the EU would agree an extension of whatever length would be required to reopen the WA and negotiate a sensible deal.

    What I find somewhat irksome are the posters and politicians who constantly come up with scenarios that can’t happen. For example, we’ve thankfully put to bed the dreadful rubbish that we could leave without a deal and invoke Artcile 24 of GATT. That’s just not possible – it’s legal gibberish, but it’s taken a good two years to get people to realise this – and even so, up until last week some MPs were still repeating this myth as an actual proposal.

  10. AC

    “Now all those who have anything to do with Brexit are being branded as idiots, racists, bigots and so on.”

    Well, the vast majority of the Leavers (be it right of the centre, or so-called left – Corbyn is extreme right) I have come across would fit one of those categories. There are exceptions.

  11. @ Alec and Hireton

    There seems to be a complete dichotomy between what is being reported in the Telegraph and the Guardian about the AG’s advice on article 62 of the Vienna Convention.

    The Telegraph has Cox changing his advice and various lawyers in the ERG & DUP doubting his new view that Art 62 might become relevant. The Guardian has the ERG telling Cox that he needs to advise them that Art 62 can apply, in order for them to back May’s Withdrawal Agreement.

    To me, the Guardian’s view makes more sense if you take into account what prominent members of the ERG have said in public – for example Steve Baker on Radio 4’s today programme yesterday, and Mogg mentioning Article 62 in the Commons, at a time when it formed no part of Cox’s legal advice on he Backstop.

    Can you – or anyone – shed more light, please?

  12. One of the oddities of the Brexit game that Labour plays is ignorance.

    The vaste majority of Leave voters were from safe Tory seats (about 60% of all leave votes). That in some Labour dominated administrative district 72% voted leave is not particularly important, as in terms of numbers they are outnumbered by the mildly leaver areas in the south). Effectively the Tory South with a little help from Labour Midland and NE dominated the outcome.

    If it wasn’t serious, one would be amused by the ignorance and the narrative led by ignorance. But as it is serious, it is despair.

  13. @ALEC

    Yeah, I know you were making a serious point and it’s one I agree with. MPs and journalists advancing arguments and positions that show them to be either actively dishonest or staggeringly ignorant is something that winds me up too.

    As for Corbyn, I guess it depends whether you believe the EU are sincere in the “this is the only Agreement, it cannot be reopened, renegotiated etc” thing. And it does feel sometimes like this is argued two ways at once; to be a fundamental red line that May and Cox are buffoons for thinking they can get any movement on, and simultaneously clearly just a political stance that would evaporate away if Corbyn and Starmer asked nicely.

    And regardless of what you think on that point, would you agree that standing up to reaffirm support for a second ref immediately after running a (pretty unsuccessful) whip against voting for a second ref is the kind of strategy he should probably avoid if he ever wants to get elected?

  14. Vince to stand down as Lib Dem leader after the May Council elections

  15. Alec
    “The entire point of an AG is that she gives advice on what the law means, not sullied by politics.”

    So Cox has gone transsexual? News to me.
    “…Corbyn is extreme right)..)”

    I don’t think many would agree with you.


    From YouGov 12th/ 13th March 2019
    Imagine that the final outcome of Brexit was Britain having a new referendum and voting to remain in the EU after all. Would you consider this to be…
    A good outcome 37% (-1)
    A bad outcome 44% (+3)

    […] I wonder which of us that post here are most in tune with the views of voters?

    As people from both sides are busy offering cherry-picked version of this poll, it’s probably worth looking at how all the options for “the final outcome of Brexit” that YouGov offered in their poll got on:

    in order they were:

    [a]Britain leaving the European Union without any

    Good outcome 20% + Acceptable 15% = 35%
    Bad outcome 50% (Not sure 15%)

    [b]Britain accepting the negotiated deal and
    leaving the European Union on those terms

    Good outcome 13% + Acceptable 24% = 37%
    Bad outcome 40% (Not sure 24%)

    [c]Britain leaving the European Union with an
    alternative deal that included remaining in the
    single market and customs union

    Good outcome 26% + Acceptable 22% = 48%
    Bad outcome 30% (Not sure 22%)

    [d]Britain having a new referendum and voting to
    remain in the EU after all.

    Good outcome 37% + Acceptable 7% = 44%
    Bad outcome 44% (Not sure 12%)

    So nothing had a majority but [a] was definitely the least popular and most unpopular while the most popular was either [c] or [d] depending on how you look at it[1].

    YouGov also asked for each whether “this outcome would or would not respect the outcome of the referendum?”. Logically [a], [b] and [c] should get 100%. After all they all contain the word “leave” and Leave Means Leave, right? But the public don’t see it like that: they score 44%, 34% and 30%. And [d] gets 22% and that specifies remaining. Even among those who voted Leave the figures are 65%, 30% and 17%. Clearly words have ceased to have any meaning and individuals are convinced that only ‘their’ Brexit is the true one.

    So not only would Brexit take place against the current wishes of the UK (polling is pretty conclusive on this), but even among those who still support it there is no consensus about how it would be delivered and some would clearly feel they were being betrayed. That’s before the reality of whatever version of Brexit happens starts to disillusion those who supported it. People complain about the House of Commons being unable to decide on anything, but the truth is that they are only reflecting the public.

    And it won’t get any better. YouGov also asked for each of its four options: Do you think this outcome would help bring the country back together, or make it even more divided?. The percentage that said each would bring it back together were 16%, 14%, 18% and 17%. Nothing will work – you just shouldn’t start from here.

    [1] It’s worth pointing out that there may be other options, for example those backing only Labour’s version of Brexit – though most such would presumably find [c] at least acceptable. In particular some would support remaining in the EU without bothering with a referendum (ie simply revoke). 16% of 2016 Remain voters in this poll thought [d] was a “bad outcome” and, given that only about 7% of 2016 Remain have switched to Leave, maybe around 8-9% of Remain object to the referendum rather than remaining. It’s not a big group (4-5% of all voters if you allow for some others now feeling like that), but it puts more weight on the Remain side of the scales and adding it to [d] explains the Remain majority now seen in all polling.

  17. Thanks Roger
    Sometimes you have to post in black and white the things that are being wiffully misrepresented.
    As I said yesterday, if MPs actually want to follow “the will of the people” they will start thinking about the Scottish option of full membership of both THE Customs Union and THE Single Market.
    Unlike the Labour Party version this comes virtually off the shelf and is surely the alternative deal to Theresa’s that could be negotiated most quickly

  18. Edge of Reason
    He won’t be standing again. I did email him and in return got the most astonishing stream of consciousness rant about how unfair parliament is to him and how much he hates being an MP. His excuse for not voting – he slipped in the shower and ‘strained’ his back (requiring no treatment other than ibuprofen). To be fair he has mild cerebal palsy, but even so, I’m not convinced.

    I wonder if the HoC will take another look at its proxy voting scheme, since it seems Andrew Gwynne (absent because grandson taken into intensive care yesterday) wouldn’t have been eligible (not sure how that would have worked logistically either, but you’d imagine ways could be found in C21st) as it’s very narrowly drawn (but working – Tulip Siddiq used it).

  19. If MV3 passes before the EU council meeting next week, it would be reasonable for the EU to grant a short extension to allow Brexit to be completed in an orderly manner.

    If not, surely the EU won’t want an interminable delay. It would be best for them to put perfidious Albion on the spot by forcing Westminster to choose between a no deal Brexit and revoke, knowing that the majority of MPs have already voted against the no deal option. I would expect a revoke decision very close to 29th March in that situation.

  20. @jamese

    Not sure I can shed more light.

    Cox seems to have issued more advice during the mv2 debate on Tuesday when Rees Mogg intervened to ask Barclay about it which prompted Barclay to read out a prepared text. Joanne Cherry raised two consecutive points of order as to whether the AG had changed or added to his published advice and did not get an answer. Grieve intervened to explain that a62 of the VC could only be used to terminate the entire treaty in circumstances which neither party could have anticipated at the time.

    I expect Rees Mogg – who has a track record as a barrack room lawyer- alighted on a62 as a means to take himself and the ERG off the hook they have impaled themselves on and is now confronting legal reality.

  21. Pete [email protected]: “The entire point of an AG is that she gives advice on what the law means, not sullied by politics.”

    So Cox has gone transsexual? News to me.

    I am fairly sure that when they looked in his codpiece they found nothing.

  22. @Pete B – “So Cox has gone transsexual? News to me.”

    Don’t worry (of that kind of thing worries you) – Mr Cox is still Mr Cox.

    I sometime throw in ‘she’ when talking about people or posts in general, just to remind myself and others that women could do these roles as well. I’m actually glad you noticed.

  23. @HIRETON

    I believe that even the DUP have said that the VC will not work. Cox has used the issue of increased violence as a consequence of backstop being permanent as the get out clause if anyone goes and reads the ICJ judgements the collapse of the warsaw pack USSR and the czech and slovaks split was not enough to be seen as unforeseen events so I suspect the IRA and the UVF restarting terrorism which has been an issue that has been aired and discussed would be even considered as an unforeseen event. That Cox’s is being leaned on again reminds me of Iraq

    I suspect there will an inquiry about this is 10 year time.
    I am wondering what the hell people will think.

    They have impaled themselve on the hook good and proper. I point back to the staircase slide that Barnier presented and has been the basis of the EU negotiation. The problem has always been that the UK really want is unobtainable and that is why there is no majority for any leave and more over everyone will feel somewhat betrayed

    Leaving the EU was not difficult indeed legally the UK has basically provisioned laws for leaving the EU the problem has never been the leaving it has always been the consequences and if walk down the street in Port Talbot those that voted leave don’t care or don’t believe in the consequences. Indeed what has been funny is that how the UK has been prepared to throw whom ever they deem a problem under the bus. Whilst the EU whm we seem to suggest are c0wards seem to have the balls to defend one of their own.

    I suspect there are 20 or so ERG who won’t change their mind I suspect JRM is not amongst them, It is clear that David Davis believes the game is up. I have to admit I did not see them all being rather spineless and so transparent. The DUP will prefer no deal because the logic of their situation is that backing down now would leave them more vulnerable amongst their voting base than not. They have been the party of unionist leave and that has left opportunities of UUP. What has been interesting is that SF seem to come out of this smelling of roses. They have keep a pretty low key approach after all they and the everyone but the DUP seem to think that the backstop is the way forward

  24. The European Council arec going to apply conditionality.

    If TM gets her WA through -Yes-a short extension to hold REF2-WA vs Remain

    If TM fails a third time-Yes-a long extension , including an EP election in UK. so your public & economy will be so worn down by Brexit they will demand you revoke it.

  25. As I see it unilateral revocation hence 2 years is the ‘threat’ hanging over the EU27 if they did not grant 12 months in the event of MV3 not passing.

    I remain of the view that if the DUP acquiesce May’s deal will pass.

    How Historians will view the power a tiny part of the UK electorate on such an important issue will be interesting?

  26. TIMES reports TUSK pushing for Long Extension on condition UK Brexit is “softer”.

    Code for emasculating UK -stay in CU & SM , but lose your vote & influence over rule making & forget an independent trade policy.

    The ultimate ignominy & warning to others -like those dead crows which farmers hang on their fences.

    “USA would eat us for breakfast (which they’d supply, and it would be chlorinated).”

    Well as someone who has eaten many breakfasts in the USA, they can keep them coming as far as I am concerned. My usual breakfast was lashings of freshly pressed orange juice followed by eggs, bacon and hash brows with a side plate with a stack of blueberry pancakes and ice cream. The whole washed down with delicious fresh coffee.

    So Lewblew: I suggest it helps if you actually know what you are talking about.

    “Unfortunately, they’re also well versed in using them too, as indeed, you have proved.”

    Indeed, most who post here are good at it including me.
    “ Perhaps the HoC is being quite representative in rejecting every option.”
    I think we can agree on that one although of course in doing so it is being totally undemocratic.

    TW & Bantams
    “and at least May’s deal is no longer the worst option I guess, she only lost by 149 where as new ref lost by 249 (even more than MV1)”
    Good to see that voted down that strongly, totally undemocratic idea. No doubt they will try again given the chance. The LibDems seem to be leading the charge………………………. from a long way down the road! :-)

    “Tonight, he didn’t vote. No explanation on his website or Twitter. Any suggestions as to how the lazy so-and-so can be held to account?”

    Don’t vote for him next time and encourage others to do the same.

    Edge of Reason
    “I’d argue not – I think she could give herself enough cover with her own side by saying “Parliament persistently voted against every option, so this is the default”.

    I would hope so, but for voting to stop a No Deal exit May has shown herself to be a hypocrite.

    “We either leave with a WA or without one.”

    Exactly, it seems a lot of people still do not understand the position. My goodness we agree on another Brexit related issue. That’s twice in a week.

    Roger Mexico
    Well thanks for posting all the options from the YouGov poll of the 12th/13th which was what I was talking about. However, all it shows is, as I said, the only option that voters think honours the referendum is leaving without a deal. In this respect I find myself agreeing with the voters as I pointed out. Of course, all the options show the country divided, it is!

  28. David Liddington on the Today programme spelled out the Government position. If they get May’s deal through they will ask for a short extension of a couple of months. If they don’t a much longer extension will be asked for. From the noises coming out of the EU I suspect they will agree either one, if they agree the latter it would mean that we would take part in the upcoming EU Elections.

    I think the real target of what Liddington was saying is the ERG and DUP, vote for May’s deal or we will be in the EU a lot longer. The question is will the ERG and DUP blink?

  29. passtherockplease:

    Certainly the last week in Parliament makes SF’s policy of “we’re not getting any of *that* on us” seem very sensible.

  30. @CARFREW

    Nice quote, but shame that we’ve been waiting for a strong leader since the financial crash and Brexit!


    I am actually offended by your use of ‘she’. Not because it excluded men but because of your shameless political correctness ;)

  31. The last few weeks have seen the HoC at its undemocratic worst. However, there are a few democrats remaining and I applaud those who voted against both the Spelman/Dromey amendment and last night’s government amendment to delay Brexit.

    I am more than ever convinced that we should leave without a deal, an option which remains the default although I accept there is momentum against it. I say that because it is clear that the EU will not accept any trade arrangements which does not effectively include the backstop. It is the device they have opted to use to try to keep us from being able to trade freely.

  32. @ ALEC – “We aren’t ‘legally leaving’ without a WA,”

    OMG you’re back to thinking No WA = Remain ?!? :-) :-)

    Without a WA we will be legally leaving, please actually try reading and understanding A50.

    However, as usual, you totally miss the point.

    We can still agree something, either soon or during extension, just not the current WA (this is also Corbyn’s plan of course)

    “Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed”

    so since not everything is agreed (thanks again to Grieve for s13) we could agree something else, ranging from a “slimmed down WA” to a hasty packaging of all the side and mini deals already agreed. EC-EU27 love a bit of “fudge” and since all this is unprecedented can make stuff up as they go (as they did with EZ bail out etc) – or not, up to them!

    One thing for sure, plenty of Brexiteers do not fear a long extension “forced” upon them by the EU27 and a Remain led parliament. We’ll send the nuttiest of nutters back to EP if we’re “forced” to stay for 21mths longer and I’m sure EC-EP-EU27 know that (Farage has his uses!)

    I’m sure you won’t see it like that but we won’t be after your vote in a GE will we! You can choose between LAB, TIG, LDEM, Green (and if in Wales or Scotland one of the NATS).

    Anyone who actually wants to Leave can vote for CON under a new leader, assuming CON Remain MPs want to turf their own party out and TIG MPs want to try their luck in a GE.

    We have lots of options and understand the future depends on “events”. Events we anticipated as possibilities a long time ago and have been happy to see the clock tick down while they play out.

  33. @ DANNY – “Why would anyone in their right mind want to reduce the leverage available to the UK?”

    Err.. I can think of 27 people who would and they’ll be into a mass groupthink session next week (although the sherpas led by Team Juncker will be setting out the options).

    May then has to sell whatever they offer us back to MPs.

    Yeah, good luck with that.

    Still, I’m sure she’ll enjoy her walking holidays. She looks totally exhausted. Job done (within FTPA distance of 29Mar), time for her to let someone else take over.

  34. FWIW Betfair already has MV3 up. Implying around a 25% chance of success, which I think is optimistic and am again positioned accordingly (money where mouth is).

    NB If the vote doesn’t happen all bets are void, but always ensure to read the small print.

    Elsewhere, new In/Out ref implied probability had a quick drop to only 20% after y’days vote (sorry if folks missed that) but has settled back at around 25% (from 33% or 1in3) before LAB mass abstention. The number of LAB against and subsequent resignations showed how unlikely “Kyle” will be but 25%ish seems reasonable given you get until 31Dec19.

    Revoke about the same at 25%

    Delay briefly dropped to under 10% but has recovered a bit since. Ensure you read the small print on that. Some difference opening up between “extend” and “actual date” as people consider the two are not necessarily the same thing.

  35. TW

    @”I can think of 27 people who would”

    Absolutely-maybe not all of them though.

    Reports that Germany at the helpful end & France at the punishment beating end.

    Commission reported more amenable than The Council.

    Their objectives will be two fold:-

    * Make UK take a decision and stop this never ending distraction.
    * Take commercial advantage of UK’s weakness.

  36. “…France at the punishment beating end…”

    What exactly do you mean by ‘punishment’ here?

    If our leaving is delayed, my understanding is that we would need to continue EU financial contributions, hold European Parliament elections, and would not be able to bring new external trade deals into force. So in all respects other than the negotiation of our own departure from the EU, we’d continue as we have done for 40 or so years.

  37. Good morning all from a grey and breezy Central London.

    Remainers really are confused. When parliament voted against May’s Brexit deal and just about everything else that would had delivered Brexit us Brexiteers were told this was democracy in action.

    Then when parliament rejected the idea of a second vote they complain democracy was stolen from them!!

    Oh dear oh dear…..

    btw, has anyone tried Nescafe’s gold Irish latte coffee? I’ve got a few extra sachets on my desk if anyone wants one…Pure gold…Pure gold man,…

    @Allan Christie
    So everyone you don’t like is a Liberal., and everyone who is a Liberal you don’t like…

    I guess that has a certain internal consistency at least.

    I suspect that you wouldn’t like me much then… :-)

    Aww you’ve made me feel really bad now…Boo-hoo )-:

    To put my grown up hat on for a second (I do mean for a second because I don’t like putting it on, it makes me look older) it’s not a case of not liking people but rather disliking some of what they stand for.

    ol Vince, truly nice individual but I don’t always like what he says on many issues.

  39. Many thanks to Roger Mexico for his post above at 2:17am –

    As always, a clear and comprehensive explanation of what current polling actually shows.

  40. COLIN
    Reports that Germany at the helpful end & France at the punishment beating end.

    I would think Spain will find it just too tempting not to extract a major concession from the UK re Gibraltar as their price for not vetoing an extension.


    Yes -I agree. But the WA is not reopened so maybe they won’t get any support for a Gibraltar alteration.

  42. COLIN

    “The ultimate ignominy & warning to others -like those dead crows which farmers hang on their fences.”

    Exactly Colin why leaving with No Deal is the right option. I accept you won’t agree with me on that.

    If the government won’t do that, and No deal exit can be achieved by bringing the Government down then so be it. I would support those Conservatives MP’s prepared to do that. I say that in sorrow as a Conservative member.

  43. For many brexiteers no deal is as good as a complete break (assuming that is possible in the modern world). It is at least coherent.

    A visitor from Mars might (or not) conclude that no deal could be as good the EU membership we have now.

    May’s deal is neither flesh nor fowl.

    Labour’s proposal or the similar Common Market 2.0 would satisfy that group of people who said ‘I voted to join the common market but not a political union’, but how could that proposal get on the table as Hilary Benn’s proposal to take control lost by two votes?

    Perhaps private remainers might consider rejecting MV3 and 4 alongside ERG, and then remain and no-deal could argue it out through a referendum, general election or a two-year EU extension for debate?


    “I would think Spain will find it just too tempting not to extract a major concession from the UK re Gibraltar as their price for not vetoing an extension”

    I’m not a great fan of the UK having obscure outposts dotted all over the planet, however what concessions could Spain extract from the UK over Gibraltar? and any concessions from the UK to Spain over the rocky outpost would surely have to be put to a peoples vote for the people of Gibraltar to decide upon!!

    Personally I would give the Spanish they Barbary monkeys back and tell them….there don’t ask us for anymore pee off.

  45. I meant to add to my 9.28 am post t to add to my 9.28 am post

    Good to see:

    Stephen Barclay, Penny Mordaunt, Andrea Leadsom, Liz Truss, Alun Cairns, Gavin Williamson, Chris Grayling and Liam Fox all voted against a motion in the Prime Minister’s name seeking an Article 50 extension until 30 June if her deal is passed by MPs by next Wednesday.

    A host of junior ministers also voted against the extension, while chief whip Julian Smith was among those who abstained. In all, 188 Tory MPs opposed Mrs May’s motion.

  46. JAMES E

    The latest YouGov polling shows the only option that voters think honours the referendum is leaving without a deal.

    You are just in denial.

  47. @ COLIN – It is also worth highlighting that it is the EU28 that must unanimously agree and thanks to Grieve that will mean May has to come back and sell those terms to HoC with only a few days left.

    Several things could still happen but lets look at the most plausible situation:

    1/ Kyle amendment to MV3 fails
    2/ MV3 fails
    3/ May goes to EU Council with some vague mandate
    4/ EU27 “groupthink” believe they have us over a barrel so give her “bad” terms for an extension, possibly a choice of:
    a/ 2-3mths to agree to May’s deal or leave with No WA (that is going to cause legal issues on EP election but is long enough for a GE, not a new ref)
    b/ Long extension to end of MFF Dec’20 (which happens to be the “agreed in principle” full BrINO transition anyway)
    c/ “fudge”

    Everyone OK so far?

    There are other possibilities of course but fundamentally all routes will end up at the same place. b/ is a risk to May not to CON MPs who want her out – it is hence an idle “bluff” that she will be called on (also note Corbyn, SNP, Remainers would all want b/)

    At some point, soon, May is going to have to stretch the patience of the majority of her MPs beyond breaking point or resign.

    So for #4 it doesn’t really matter if its a/ or b/ or c/. Any route to “soften” or “Remain” is more likely to end in a GE than May capitulating and keeping her party together.

    Now of course she might want to split her party, that is possible. It’s also possible MPs strip authority from her and the last act of this parliament is to Revoke A50, that is also possible and will certainly lead to a GE.

    There are no certainties but it is possible to work through scenarios and anticipate how other parties will act/react.

    In this regard (and IMHO):
    a/ EC-EU27 will operate with groupthink arrogance
    b/ Corbyn (and SNP?) would be happy with a GE
    c/ TIG, LDEM will fight with LAB about who did/didn’t do whatever to stop Brexit
    d/ UKIP / BXP will want to return unless there is no reason for them to return.

    In the mean time EC-EU27 will certainly step up “No WA” mitigation and the current various mini deals and side deals, most of which are time limited, will hopefully develop further.

    I’m aware above is a lot of IMHO and speculation but happy to discuss routes and plausible scenarios that others anticipate.

    The one I think is v.v.unlikely is May either revoking A50 herself or opting for a new ref instead of a GE (assuming she is even still leader at that point).

    NB We have been deep in “less bad” options since the 2017 GE. No option is “good” but some are “less bad” than others.

  48. @ The other Howard

    To which of my posts are you responding?

  49. @ TOH – You do have to start to wonder if Julian Smith is not as stup!d as he seems. Perhaps he could always count and understands the concept of time? ;)

    I should correct some earlier post. May has one last job. Come back from EU Council meeting with something MPs don’t like. Given EC-EU27 arrogance I think that is a fairly safe bet!

  50. @ToH
    ‘Well thanks for posting all the options from the YouGov poll of the 12th/13th which was what I was talking about. However, all it shows is, as I said, the only option that voters think honours the referendum is leaving without a deal. In this respect I find myself agreeing with the voters as I pointed out. Of course, all the options show the country divided, it is!’

    Well actually that poll shows that even ‘No Deal Leave’ has only 44% of voters thinking it honours the result of the referendum – presumably many voters (like me) think that this is not representative of the goal people voted for, hence the majority of voters do not think it honours the result of the referendum.

    It is both the option that is least acceptable to the voters but scores highest on respecting the referendum.

    Which encapsulates the problem – as a generality people think politically we should honour the referendum result but practically don’t want to leave except on the softest of terms, an outcome which is both pointless and deeply offensive to the most committed Leavers such as yourself.

    I can see no way to close this without doing something which most people deeply object to…

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