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. Sorbus tells us he has an inactive MP, not voting in the current key divisions, and who won`t be standing again for the HoC. He asks for advice on how to push his MP to attend the debates on the EU, and to actually vote.

    ToH springs into action, and advises Sorbus not to vote for his MP in the next general election.

    It`s another classic example of ToH`s sheer failure to read simple messages, apply logic, and show any understanding of problems outwith Epsom and his allotment.

  2. TOH

    @”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.”

    Well you would certainly have plenty of sorrow to enjoy as McDonnell imposed his policies from No. 11

  3. Is the Chancellor of the Exchequher trying to deceive voters in Northern England that he cares for the region? Or is he unaware where Hinxton is.

    “””A further £45 million from the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF) would go to Europe’s flagship life sciences laboratory, the European Bioinformatics Institute, based at Hinxton, Cambridgeshire.

    The institute, located on the Wellcome Trust Genome Campus, supplies free information to scientists from DNA and protein databases.””

    It looks to me like a carelessly-crafted wording in a dithering financial statement. Similarly it was stupid of Hammond to grumble at Scots for not giving him thanks for fair treatment. Fair treatment is what should go to every part of the UK, not just to parts and polities who shower the chancellor with thank-you messages.

  4. NearlyFrench,

    You are right that if we reach the point that there is no longer any possibility of a MV passing or an extension, then it is the will of the House of Commons that the UK does not leave the EU, according to the Spelman amendment which has been carried twice now. Therefore it would be the duty of the PM to write to Tusk informing him that the UK no longer intends to leave the EU.

    However there is nothing to compel the PM to do this and it is perfectly possible she could ignore the will of the HoC and try to sit it out for No Deal. That would be profoundly undemocratic, of course, and would invite the HoC to contemplate drastic measures to either order her to do so or replace her with someone else.

  5. @TOH

    Opinion polls don’t matter do they. What matters is that leave voters were lied to and told they could have their cake and eat it. The ‘risk’ of leaving with no deal was talked down and pushed aside so enough people justified voting for it, thinking they’d be safe from any harm. Reality is now dawning on (some of) these people, and I doubt they’d vote the same way.

    Shame you think the HoC is so undemocratic and yet seem perfectly happy with a rigged vote, the winning side peddling so many lies and helped on by bags of foreign cash. Doesn’t seem very patriotic to me.

  6. @ Davwel

    “based at Hinxton, Cambridgeshire”

    Well spotted. That’s not even north Cambridgeshire, it’s about as southern as you can get without encroaching on Essex.

  7. @ COLIN – May’s deal will lead to McDonnell in #11 (IMHO)

    I disagree very slightly with TOH in that I think we need a 2mth technical extension and/or pay for the full implementation to get to a “Clean Brexit” (its not a “No Deal” its simply not the current WA, “No WA” if we have to)
    That is pretty much the main CON Leave (and DUP?) view.

    We have to knock UKIP/BXP out of the picture otherwise we are split.

    If we lose a few Remainiac MPs but then face a split opposition then we have more chance of winning a decent majority than limping on for years while EC-EU27 “punish us”.

    They are already making moves on Euro clearing again. With/without Brexit that was going to happen.

    If we walk into the “cage” of the WA backstop we’re f&#ked – by EC-EU27 and then double f&#ked when the Brexit disaster opens the door to the Socialist Revolution.

    Sure the EC-EU27 will try to punish us in a “Clean Brexit” as well but we’ll be better able to defend our own interests once we’re free.

    It’s all getting a bit serious so I’ll be cheeky and suggest we then get US to join in and break-up Holy Roman Empire v5 – late as usual of course ;)

    EU will never thank us of course but the World will be a better, safer and more prosperous place (in the long-term) if the EZ is broken up – and the sooner the better for that!

  8. Another timely “reminder” post from Ashcroft. CON’s job is to address the underlining reasons for folks voting Remain,

    ““the risks of voting to leave the EU looked too great when it came to things like the economy, jobs and prices”

    ie End Project Fear.

    it is certainly not wise for them to “betray” Brexit.

    https://lordashcroftpolls.com/2019/03/a-reminder-of-how-britain-voted-in-the-eu-referendum-and-why/

  9. @ Colin

    My question of 10:20am still stands. What do you mean by ‘punishment beatings’ in the context of possible terms of an Article 50 extension?

    We’d obviously be expected to continue to abide by the current rules, make financial contributions as we do now and send MEPs to the European Parliament, but is there any real indication that the EU27 would add anything other than this – and if so, what is it?

  10. JAMES E

    Sorry-missed your post.

    I was referring to France’s objectives. From what Macron is reported to have said , one could conclude that it is to grant no extension and make UK face a No Deal exit.

    I agree that my characterisation of such a policy as “punishment beating” can justifiably be rejected because that outcome would result from decisions of the UK Parliament.

    But I was contrasting such a stance ( if indeed that turns out to be France’s position) with the reported views of Tusk & others that an extension would be forthcoming.

    Even if it is, I expect conditionality which will narrow our options. And those conditions will favour them , not us-which is “our” fault.

  11. TW

    Not sure what you are driving at there.

    You seem to be saying a GE would be good because Cons would win AND would lose some Remain inclined MPs.

    If so -all I can say is don’t bet on it.

    Obviously I would expect ANY Con MP who voted with an Opposition VONC which caused a GE, to be junked by their local party .

  12. @Trevors – “@ 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.”

    Are you actually serious about telling other posters to read and understand?

    What I actually wrote was –

    “We aren’t ‘legally leaving’ without a WA, and then getting a WA.”

    If you think it’s clever to edit someone’s post such that it appears to mean something entirely different, then bully for you. Everyone else just thinks you’re being a bit thick, but if it keeps you happy….

  13. Sadly, more evidence today from Christchurch of the global threat from the far right.

    Very difficult to know what to say, other than observing the grim stupidity of a white Australian-born murderer claiming New Zealand mosque-goers are ‘the invaders’.

  14. TOH

    Is this the latest YG polling you referred to at 11.16
    YouGov Retweeted

    YouGov
    ?
    Verified account

    @YouGov
    Mar 13

    More
    SNAP POLL: By 46% to 33% Britons want MPs to vote against a no-deal Brexit tonight.

  15. “…Corbyn is extreme right)..)”
    “I don’t think many would agree with you.“

    ——

    That doesn’t mean he’s wrong though. The majority have at times gone along with some rather disconcerting things.

    (It doesn’t mean he’s right either).

  16. the other Howard,
    ” as I said, the only option that voters think honours the referendum is leaving without a deal”

    The problem with the question is that 100% of voters might think a certain outcome does not honour the result. However, it could still also be true that 100% of voters believe the outcome should NOT be honoured.

  17. @COLIN

    It does suggest the EU Commission is trying to do it’s job that is try and allow the interests of all the members to be considered. However it is also clear that CoM run the show and that at this point it does not take much to stop the UK in it’s tracks.

    I suggest that Germany are hoping that the UK would come to a conclusion with regard brexit and France believes we cannot come to any sane conclusion

    Our options were pretty clear when all this started Barnier actually laid it out for the UK with his staircase of options. the problem is the UK does not want any of those options and yet cannot define what it wants in a legal manner.

    May’s deal for me is unacceptable for two reasons, we end up in the EU orbit and yet we lose our ability to influence.

    To my mind one of the problems of this whole affair has been the fact that we have looked stupid and if I was an EU country I would be rather cautious in terms of having the UK back. We have seemingly piled all our problems and indeed our solutions on leaving the EU. This is such a disingenuous position to take our problems are mostly home grown and our solutions are mostly going to be home grown. Such for me that we have placed brexit on the alter of everything I suspect we collectively will be disappointed with the result, whether you are a leaver, remainer or NOTA

    What is sad is that we have years of negotiations to go and hard choices to make. I suspect Tusk comment about a special place in non-heaven for those that promised so much crap will mostly hold true but as I have said we voted for this sh1t , we the electorate need to own it and confess we were stupid. Most people felt nothing would change and it was going to be easy that was so wrong.

    I suspect if the UK was swapped with let say France I suspect we would be saying that they were mad and needed to kicked out so I find it ironic that we are being ‘punished’ after all isn’t this what we voted for

  18. Independent reporting that “Philip Hammond is leading government talks with the Northern Irish DUP in a bid to win their support for Theresa May’s Brexit deal.”

    Could it be that our lovely govt suddenly realises NI is short of investment? Again.

  19. @Roger M

    “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.”

    ——

    No Rog, you can’t consider all forms of leaving to be inevitably 100% equivalent.

    Because clearly, they aren’t. Theresa’s version of leaving is rather different to No Deal, say, and it’s logically possible for voters to consider one form of leaving to better honour the referendum result than another.

  20. @THE OTHER HOWARD

    I think that everyone agrees that no leaving the EU on march 29th will mean that the referendum result was no honoured. Every party said that they would respect the result, as I do but I suspect that all parties involved believe there is a problem with the implementation of the result. You can respect the result and not implement it.

    Now one could argue about the democratic deficit and I agree that there would be which is why I am in favour of a referendum confirming we really want to do this.

    I believe we need this for two reasons:
    Firstly it is rather clear that May’s red line were not red lines because if we were to honour them it would mean a border between NI& RoI as a starter as such May speechwriter (he who wrote both the citizens of no where speech and the red line speech) said that aim of the speech was not to set out red lines but negotiation points.

    It is why I believe from that moment we were heading for no deal May was not honest in the fact of what she wanted to achieve and essentially gave leavers the red meat they wanted. it is hard to remove promises made especially contradictory ones.

    simply put Tory MPs are now stuck with a deal that breaks their promises a no deal which screws the economy (and this is their view not mine) and pretty much an anathema to those that voted to remain

    A referendum with May deal, Remain and No Deal looks like the only way to break the deadlock.

    The alternative is actually an acceptance of something that there is not a majority for which I believe is as much of a democratic deficit and ‘betraying’ the EU referendum vote of 2016.

    have roots in West Africa it strikes me as people saying that being able to vote again is undemocratic have no real concept of democracy or the word democratic. It appear democracy ends when my side wins….It is Mugabe’s one man one vote once sort of rubbish which really should be put to bed.

  21. @Roger M

    “So not only would Brexit take place against the current wishes of the UK (polling is pretty conclusive on this)”

    ——

    The problems with this Remainer meme were pointed out before Xmas.
    Briefly…

    – polling can be wrong

    – even if polling isn’t wrong, the true position of the electorate comes out on polling day, once we’ve had the campaign. This is because the media are forced to be more even-handed, and people pay more attention to the arguments. (This is how people like Corbyn can confound expectations. In fact Leave confounded some expectations too).

    – conventionally, the result of the previous vote is enacted before having another. This gives people a better idea of how the alternative does in practice

  22. @ JAMES E – How France (EC-EU27) could “punish” UK during an extension. This is just 2secs worth:

    1/ Push through various “rules” that are against UK’s interests but good for them (everything from financial services to EC-only trade deals like the EU-Japan one that we could not have vetoed even if we wanted to)
    2/ Agree on a new MFF budget that locks us in to higher future payments (the 39bn is a vague formula)
    3/ Push more towards EU army etc, diluting NATO and damaging global peace and safety
    4/ Various other QMV related areas where they can look after themselves at the expense of the country they need to make an example of

    EP elections are coming up and they seem to think by bullying and humiliating UK they’ll encourage folks to vote for “federalist” parties.

    They want us, in fact need us, to be placed on the “naughty step” while they rifle through our pockets and strip away our competitiveness, locked inside their protectionist wall unable to do trade deals that work for UK.

    The final humiliation being we elect Corbyn+McDonnell and then whatever “mobile” sectors (financial services, etc) they haven’t stolen or poached from us then willingly leave as the Marx Bros attempt to turn UK into Venezuela (but without the oil reserves or weather!)

    NB Bit of banter in above! Aka – exaggeration for the purposes of illustration.

  23. @Roger M

    Further to the issue of “Leave meaning Leave”, to explain more fully.

    The referendum asked people whether they wished to remain a member of the EU, or leave the EU.

    Crucially – It depends very much on how one interprets “Leaving” membership of the EU. If it means just leaving the formal membership that’s one thing. If it means ALSO leaving membership of EU structures like the Single market, customs union, etc, that’s another thing entirely.

    Do we leave minimally, or maximally? (One might use the divorce analogy again. Some couples remain living under the same roof. Others have nothing more to do with each other. Both are divorced, but they are two very different kinds of divorce”).

    Because Cameron, the referendum wording is vague on what leaving the EU means, it leaves interpreting the matter of “leaving” as being rather vague.

    This is exemplified by the fact that if we do have another referendum, quite a lot of people are keen to have a three-way question, or even more.

    (It is further complicated by the fact that such polling questions invite voters to guess at the motives of other voters, guessing at what those voted Leave really wanted. If voters think that Leavers wanted more of a “No Deal” outcome, it is consistent for them to pick No Deal as honouring the result.)

    In fact, we see such arguments happening on here too.

  24. @PTRP

    “I think that everyone agrees that no leaving the EU on march 29th will mean that the referendum result was no honoured”

    I don’t agree at all. The referendum didn’t say when we would leave, or even that we definitely would (the question was “SHOULD the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?”) and the it was only advisory.

    All kinds of leave were promised (including many impossible ones). No kind of leave was chosen and put on the ballot paper.

    March 29th was chosen by Theresa May. It means nothing.

  25. @James E – I too am slightly bemused by the idea that France will punish the UK during any extension.

    It’s as if some folks don’t think the UK retains full membership rights during this period, vetoes and all.

  26. Anecdotal alert:
    My brother, an ultra- Brexiteer , feels that the game is up and that we should remain, living to fight another day.

    May’s deal is the worst of all worlds. We will be bound by EU rules but have no role in making them.

    He recognises that No Deal could be catastrophic for the UK economy and it is too big a gamble.

    Here’s hoping Smog and co. feel the same way. I voted Remain without much enthusiasm. Now, however, I am convinced that we should Remain and be more forceful and resolute in fighting our corner. On our own, the UK will just be hung out to dry.

  27. James E
    Your 10.42. It appears you just cannot accept the point I have been making which is based on evidence from the YouGov poll of the 12th and 13th of March.

    BFR
    “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.”

    Yes, that sums it up very well. They know what is the democratic thing to do but have frightened by the orchestrated and grossly exaggerated Project Fear 2 which started the day after the referendum result.

    Sorbus
    Davwel is quite correct I misread your post as I was in a hurry. My apologies, as somebody else advised you could lobby said MP which is relatively easy to do as long as you follow the rules. Just Google “how lobby your MP”.

    Davwel
    Well spotted, I have apologised to Sorbus. Of course, you yourself show no understanding of logic when you suggest I cannot “apply logic, and show any understanding of problems outwith Epsom and his allotment.”
    All your doing is expressing your anger that somebody has the temerity to have a different view to your own. I would suggest you are being a bit childish really. Incidentally, spell checker does not like your rather quaint use of “outwith”.

    Colin
    “Well you would certainly have plenty of sorrow to enjoy as McDonnell imposed his policies from No. 11”

    I don’t actually think that the Conservatives would necessarily lose the election in those circumstances.

    Even if they did, at least at some point in the future a new Conservative Government would be able to undo the mess left by McDonnell although I accept it would probably take two or three parliaments, like the Thatcher period in the 80s.

    If we sign up to May’s WA, we are permanently locked into being a non-voting vassal state of the EU.

    Hal
    “However, there is nothing to compel the PM to do this and it is perfectly possible she could ignore the will of the HoC and try to sit it out for No Deal. That would be profoundly undemocratic, of course, and would invite the HoC to contemplate drastic measures to either order her to do so or replace her with someone else.”

    Well there we disagree. The Spelman amendment is advisory. The fact that it has been carried twice by the votes of MP’s, who show little signs of being democratic by doing so, does not mean that the PM cannot justifiably ignore it. Of course she can, as you admit, and I would consider that the correct and democratic thing to do as it honours the result of the referendum.

    No doubt you will tell that the referendum was advisory but Cameron made it clear before the referendum was run that he would accept the result, as May and Corbyn have done since. Both party manifestos support leaving the EU.

  28. Lewblew
    I agree with you there were attempts to rig the vote at the referendum and lies were told by both sides. In fact, if you care to look at the propaganda at the time the biggest attempt to influence the vote was by the Government with Osborne’s Project Fear 1 and the Government leaflet sent to every UK household advising us to stay in the EU. That does not make the referendum invalid.

    TW
    “I disagree very slightly with TOH in that I think we need a 2mth technical extension and/or pay for the full implementation to get to a “Clean Brexit” (its not a “No Deal” its simply not the current WA, “No WA” if we have to)”

    The problem is I don’t think the EU would agree to that because we no longer be in their control. Hence my stance.

    BAZINWALES
    I was referring to the YouGov Tracker Poll, polled on 12/13 march No 190313.

    Danny
    “However, it could still also be true that 100% of voters believe the outcome should NOT be honoured.”
    Well that question has not been asked and I was referring specifically to the above poll. It would be interesting to see what asking that would produce. I don’t think you would like the answer.

    PTRP
    Many thanks for you post, as always interesting.

    “Now one could argue about the democratic deficit and I agree that there would be which is why I am in favour of a referendum confirming we really want to do this.”

    I disagree totally, it would be profoundly undemocratic a view it appears shared by the majority of MP’s (for what that is worth) and voters (in that poll).

    “It is why I believe from that moment we were heading for no deal May was not honest in the fact of what she wanted to achieve and essentially gave leavers the red meat they wanted. it is hard to remove promises made especially contradictory ones.”

    I read it differently, I think in defining her red lines she really did understand what leaving the EU meant. You are correct that it confirmed to people like myself that our already formed understanding was correct.

    I agree that her red lines meant that we would reach an impasse with the EU. She seems to have failed to understand that, if she had, we would be much better prepared to leave on WTO terms on the 29th March. A huge failure of understanding on her part.

    “The alternative is actually an acceptance of something that there is not a majority for which I believe is as much of a democratic deficit and ‘betraying’ the EU referendum vote of 2016.

    I cannot agree with that at all, nor the rest of your post.

  29. TOH

    @”If we sign up to May’s WA, we are permanently locked into being a non-voting vassal state of the EU.”

    I disagree

  30. TOH

    @”Even if they did, at least at some point in the future a new Conservative Government would be able to undo the mess left by McDonnell although I accept it would probably take two or three parliaments, like the Thatcher period in the 80s.”

    But I don’t want to have to live through it.
    “After three Parliaments ” is a period of time to which I find it difficult to attach any significance……….!!!!

  31. Colin

    “I disagree”

    So how do we avoid it Colin? The EU have shown no sign of being prepared to give us a reasonable trade deal and voting for the WA locks us in.

    ““After three Parliaments ” is a period of time to which I find it difficult to attach any significance……….!!!!”

    Well we can probably agree on that.

  32. Trigguy @ 12.15 pm

    Hinxton wasn`t hard for me to spot, having had a girl friend at college in Saffron Walden. It is/was a very pleasant and interesting area, but doubtless things have advanced since Premier Travel buses and that single-track branch railway..

  33. “After three Parliaments ” is a period of time to which I find it difficult to attach any significance……….!!!!”

    ——

    You might take comfort from the fact they might be really short, Theresa-style parliaments! Caneron’s second term didn’t last long, and she might be leaving soon… (and Corbyn might retire early and hand over to Thornberry.)

  34. I’ve been unwell – still am. Been dreaming of Brexit. Mrs May wants an extension for No 10 with an Irish border. i suppose that might mean orange lilies, a Killarney strawberry tree and potato patch. The EU won’t give planning permission without a bung of course.£39 billion in brown envelopes.Of course, the HoC wants its deal. Why not. The Labour party wants old money, the Tories prefer art and cases of wine while the Liberals want packets of Haribo sweeties. The DUP does want a deal but wants to be coaxed by a fat man with a loud voice. Wonder why. Foreign holidays will do – excluding Ireland. The Urrrgh group wants money to build hedges for the Irish border. That Jake Ap Rhys is no mugg.

    Who are the 75 that are going to change their minds about the deal they want in a short time? I bet Mrs May can’t decide what sort of extension she wants

  35. Good afternoon all from a mild and breezy Central London.

    CARFREW

    “and Corbyn might retire early and hand over to Thornberry”
    ______________

    Well if this wee clip is anything to go by then Thornberry gets a thumbs up fae me.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DyC0n2tRmAI

    Quite a performer our Emily :-)

  36. I’ve found myself too busy over the last few days to come and comment on the drama, suffice to say I thought the vote on the WA would be closer. May has the problem that few people in the ERG or on the opposition benches want to stick their neck out for a vote that looks like a done deal. I still suspect she’ll get there in the end, if the current chats with the DUP prove sufficient to bring them and a chunk of the ERG on board we may see that wavering support or abstention from some Labour MPs finally manifest.

    TOH

    in the future a new Conservative Government would be able to undo the mess left by McDonnell although I accept it would probably take two or three parliaments, like the Thatcher period in the 80s

    Blimey. My son can’t even walk yet, he might have managed to complete a PhD by then!

  37. ToH is clearly fixated in having full control for his region of England, but doesn`t seem to realise that this inevitably means other parts of the UK do not have control over their affairs.

    In the thread above, he grumbles at me for using words spoken daily by many millions of UK citizens, but which are infrequently heard in his part of Surrey. Next, he will be telling us that only the Oxford dictionaries are what people should use in the whole UK.

    Outwith is a preposition that has a usefully different meaning to its sometimes-thought equivalent “outside”.. To me “outside” means near or within a few miles of, rather than “beyond”.

    This need for power and control possessed by many in the South has long annoyed rUK, whose citizens generally tolerate regional variation. To me it is part of the explanation of the thinking of Leave voters.

  38. @TOH

    “That does not make the referendum invalid.”

    Yes it does. Doesn’t matter whether both sides told lies, the vote was close enough to be invalidated by dirty play. They promised cake which doesn’t exist and never did. People swallow cake. They were all at it – Boris, Farage…. Hundreds of thousands, if not millions, would have potentially changed their vote if they had known the truth.

    And don’t forget all the sheep who Googled ‘what is the EU’ the day after being told to vote leave by their friends and family, and all the ones who only voted to stick one to Cameron and co.

    Also, I don’t recall any Russian or other dodgily-derived money giving money to remain. I don’t recall the mass media campaigning for remain either. FIX.

  39. @PTRP
    It’s also about materiality.

    The point about the Czech-Slovak split and the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact was that neither of them had any bearing on the course of the Danube so neither of them had any materiality in relation to a treaty about the Danube.

    By contrast, since the purpose of the backstop is to prevent a collapse of the peace process, that the peace process has collapsed anyway (in your hypothesised scenario) is evidently far more material.

    That said, I still think the Vienna Convention argument is largely nonsense. But there could be events egregious enough to trigger it.

  40. “Incidentally, spell checker does not like your rather quaint use of “outwith”.

    There’s a man who doesn’t know hs own language.

  41. @ Davwel

    “…Saffron Walden. It is/was a very pleasant and interesting area”

    I haven’t been there for years, but I can certainly agree it used to be lovely, and I suspect it still is. I stayed in the Youth Hostel once, which was marvellous. The boy’s dormitory was a huge room under a traditional thatched roof. Probably freezing in the winter, but lovely in the summer. As an Essex boy (originally), it’s one of a few places in Essex I could be proud of. My own home town is definitely not in that list! North Essex is a very different place to the Thames Estuary.

  42. In the last thread (March 10th) I mentioned the BBC 2 doc, This Farming Life, and was pleased to find it was being transmitted and enjoyed throughout the UK – thanks EOTW and TobyEb.

    Livestock farmers across the UK could be much impacted by Brexit, and their circumstances in Northern Ireland and Scotland are especially threatened, yet not widely appreciated. So the BBC production team has done a useful service to farming, besides making enjoyable documentaries for once not focused on a presenter.

    This type of programme with footage accumulated over long periods sometimes turns out not to satisfy those involved in its creation. Choir singers have told me of having to take a day off work and sit in cold churches for 2/3 hours of intermittent recording, only to find their hard work and care is reduced to 2/3 minutes of broadcast, and worse, talked above by the presenter.

    This hasn`t happened in This Farming Life, and has probably benefitted at least one of the characters. We have a choir singer who is friends with the Cairngorms farmer running 800 hill sheep and pioneering the Swiss Valaise breed – from what she tells, it seems the pretty looks of these sheep has attracted buyers.

  43. I think the DUP and ERG are beginning to blink, time will tell if there will be enough of them who accept May’s deal

  44. TOH

    @”The EU have shown no sign of being prepared to give us a reasonable trade deal”

    I don’t know why you think so. Both parties are committed to a FTA in the PD.

    @” voting for the WA locks us in.”

    I don’t think the EU wants the backstop to operate that way any more than we do. In any event we have a detailed report from EG on how “Alternative Methods” will work-so the parties will not need the backstop.

  45. @Neil J

    Sounds like another £billion will make them blink!

  46. @Colin – “[@TOH]”The EU have shown no sign of being prepared to give us a reasonable trade deal”

    I don’t know why you think so.”

    I rather think we do.

  47. @JONESINBANGOR
    Sounds like another £billion will make them blink!

    But of course the money wont be the reason why they sell out:-)

  48. @ ALEC – :-) :-)

    I’m more than happy for you to consider me th1ck – I’ve been called a lot worse and in your book insults mean you’ve lost (but I accept it as banter)

    You’ve never seemed to understand the concept of time. Today you show you don’t seem to understand the difference between:

    A
    The
    No

    in regards to WA

    All to play for! Enjoy your evening and don’t forget to put today’s gold star on your star chart. I’m sure you think you earned it ;)

  49. Sam 4.36

    What a lovely post! Hope you’re better soon.

  50. @ TOH – Our disagreement is extremely minor in the big scheme of things. I wrote a more detailed post but must be picking up a new word on the “naughty” list or something (or the delay issue has got worse).

    Anyway, enjoy your evening. Looking forward to the rugby tomorrow. The one time I’ll be supporting Ireland over Wales ;)

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