There have been three GB opinion polls published over the last few days –

YouGov/Times (4th/5th Nov) – CON 35%(-3), LAB 40%(+2), LDEM 7%(+1) (tabs)
Opinium/Observer (5th/6th Nov) – CON 38%(nc), LAB 42%(+2), LDEM 7%(+1) (tabs)
Survation (5th/6th Nov) – CON 39%(-2), LAB 37%(nc), LDEM 9%(+2) (tabs)

YouGov and Opinium both have Labour clearly ahead (in Opinium’s case that’s confirming the lead in their previous poll; for YouGov it’s the first Labour lead since the election. They come after a ComRes poll last week showing the parties equal and an Ipsos MORI poll that also had a five point lead. While there will always be some volatility in individual polls, looking at the average across all of the polling companies it now looks as if Labour have moved into a small lead.

Back in the summer the Conservatives had a consistent lead averaging around five or six points – since then Labour have been chipping away at it. The most obvious explanation is the generally negative perception of the government’s handling of Corona and Boris Johnson’s leadership, married to the generally positive public attitude towards Keir Starmer.

Despite the timing I would be cautious about reading too much into the impact of Labour’s internal battle and the expulsion of Jeremy Corbyn – while the polling certainly suggested that it had boosted perceptions of Keir Starmer, that increase was largely among Tory voters. In reality, most of the daily soap opera of politics doesn’t have a noticeable impact on voting intentions (especially if it is so rapidly pushed off the front pages by events across the Atlantic) – my guess is that this is more just the continuation of a trend that has been apparent for months, which happened to reach the crossover point in this past fortnight.

Does it matter? In a predictive sense of course not – there are years until MPs have to face the electorate. In terms of it’s impact on politics? Of course – it strengthens Keir Starmer’s hand in internal party fights if he is the man who put Labour back ahead. Equally, it weakens Boris Johnson if he is no longer seen as a popular election winner, something that was once his main selling point to the Tory party.


4,182 Responses to “Labour moves ahead in the opinion polls”

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  1. Neil J

    Thanks for posting that poll.

    In a sense, it’s really not all that surprising, because if Con and Lab are tied, that would be a 6% swing across GB compared to GE2019, when the Tories led by 12 points. And we also know that Labour have made little to no progress in Scotland, and appear to have achieved only a more modest swing in Wales.

  2. Charles
    Glad you liked the link. You’re about the most reasonable poster on here, so I hoped you’d appreciate it.

  3. The Trevs,
    “Obviously not all farms can do that but we currently export a lot of lamb and import a lot of beef. TBC on upcoming deal/no deal on trade but more cattle, less sheep is going to happen.”

    Hmm. Sheep farming and cattle farming are not necessarily interchangeable.

    Colin,
    ““In Asia, meanwhile, the numbers are relatively low because “people are fully engaged, they take on behaviors that make it difficult for the virus,” said Nabarro.
    “They keep their distance, wear masks, isolate when they’re sick, wash hands and surfaces. They protect the most endangered groups.””

    Thinking of Japan, the evidence we discussed before certainly does suggest they distance automatically, but it also suggested most people have had covid. Just no deaths. So the point about distancing might be to ensure a low dose infection and therefore a mild case. If so, then lockdown is rather counter productive because it is preventing all cases. It simply puts the disease into suspended animation to resume once lockdown is lifted, as we have seen.

  4. John B: Will the new Brexit year do something similar, and on a wider basis? Perhaps the South the of England will experience something of what others suffered forty years ago. We shall see.

    I agree 1980 saw a huge shock to the UK economy, starting the destruction of much of the manufacturing base and the shift to a services-based economy (which is why we have such a huge deficit in goods these days).

    I think brexit will be an even bigger shock, but this time as well as knocking out a lot more industry, it will clobber services and especially financial services. To that extent, yes, I think it will visit on the south something of what happened to the manufacturing heartlands under Thatcher.

    Some will disagree with that apocalyptic vision, but none of us knows for sure, not least because so much is unknown about the terms of brexit. As I said, it’s going to be absolutely fascinating to see how it plays out.

  5. @ JJ – We obviously don’t know if we’ll get a deal[1] let alone the details of the deal but FWIU the discussion within PLP is ‘aye’ v ‘abstain’ (with a few ‘noes’). A ‘free vote’ would seem the obvious way to go with Sir Keir abstaining but I bow to you internal knowledge.

    Dodgy source perhaps but the ‘names’ seem to match with comments and ‘location’ issues (eg Nandy v Thornberry)

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2020/dec/02/keir-starmer-faces-shadow-cabinet-split-on-support-for-brexit-deal

    For CON and ‘Spartan’ risk then that will depend on the details but as we’ve seen in C19 votes then CON whip is more of a ‘tickle’ at the mo. There are also quite a few ‘Spartan’ types in cabinet and on the ‘payroll’ and Boris will need ‘cabinet collective responsibility’ and serves at the pleasure of CON MPs, many of whom will certainly be interested in the ‘details’ (and more than ‘fish’)

    NB Boris doesn’t need to hold a HoC vote on any ‘deal’ [1 again] but for legitimacy or ‘mischief’ he likely will. In the scenario where he might think he can sign off a ‘bad deal’ by himself or rely on LAB MP votes to avoid splitting his own party then he’ll have been reminded what happened to the Mayb0t.

    [1] As we see with the ‘money bill’ that will take care of the legal issues of GB-NI trade then ‘no trade deal’ will create some HoC votes. Any legislation related to a ‘deal’ is TBC on the ‘deal’. The ‘process’ aspect of any legislation also depends on the terms of the ‘deal’ (ie a lot of it might be secondary legislation authorised via previous primary legislation).

  6. Colin,
    “Failing to accept personal responsibility for the infection and death of others. Old people die anyway.”

    I understand modern society believes it is exceptional and all the old realities no longer apply. Unfortunately it is not true. People do get old and die. In this epidemic we have believed we knew better and could prevent death, but it has not worked out. I have posted a paper arguing lockdown cost more life than it saved.

    It is irresponsible to go around claiming to save lives when you are doing the opposite. It is equally irresponsible to spend a vast proportion of total national resources tilting at windmills saving a few lives at huge cost (even if you dont accept the argument in the paper lockdown was a net loss of life) This is not affordable. We could have increased NHS spending by a fraction of this amount on an annual basis and saved more lives, if that was the goal. This has become a political stunt, not a rationl national decision.

    Sweden didnt just choose to avoid disruption and minimise interventions. It made an active choice to safeguard the future of the nation.

  7. The ‘money bill’ I refer to in 7:32pm was covered by Faisal Islam a few days back

    “Will there be a further Brexit breach of the law?”

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-55144313

    or the Groan version:

    “UK likely to axe finance bill clauses if Brexit trade deal made”

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2020/dec/01/uk-likely-to-axe-finance-bill-clauses-if-brexit-trade-deal-made

  8. and Mon 7Dec order paper

    from 3:30pm “United Kingdom Internal Market Bill: Consideration of Lords Amendments ”

    https://commonsbusiness.parliament.uk/document/43575/html

    Tick tock…

  9. @Colin

    Thank you. I will use single inverted commas in future.

    I would still like to understand why you think the EU but not a future UK government will guarantee your ‘values’.
    =======================================================

    I think it is a useful distinction but I only became aware of it when corresponding with a logician. My guess is that the wisest course is to assume that most people don’t distinguish in this way but that one or two may. I didn’t misunderstand you and was trying to make a joke.

    On the values point, it is obvious that no government in going to endorse my values in all respects. Insofar as values are enshrined in trade negotiations (e.g. through rules about welfare, antibiotics or whatever) I think that the EU package is closer to my values than the ones we are likely to get. Time will tell, but I would like the Labour party to spell out the principles that they feel should underlie trade deals. There will be compromises and people will legitimately differ on them (e.g. there is the long running saga of selling arms to Saudi Arabia and buying from China when they do things to which we strongly object) but at least the issue of values will be on the table, The argument of course is that if we boycott China because of (say, the Uigurs or Tibet or Hong Kong, it will make no difference at all to their behaviour but have a considerable influence on our jobs. Unfortunately this becomes more difficult to counter outside a large trading block than in it.

  10. Charles.

    Thanks.

    I think we are at cross purposes. I was talking of the broad application lovelies in the sweep of government policy.

    Trade arrangements are something narrower.

  11. Nandy – simply OK but not that good and Thorberry to overtly ambitious will imo nit be the next leader after Kier.

    Who is will depend to large extent on how he and the party do at the next GE but for me Louise Haigh is the most likely nest Labour PM; as whilst I hope I am wrong wrong I think Starmers’ role is to get Labour back in contention, like Kinnock.

  12. Oh oh. Sky / BBC reporting the dastardly Mr. B has thrown a new hand grenade in.

    UK side pretty glum.

  13. JIM JAM.
    Thanks very much for your post at 8.44
    Do you think some sort of electoral pact is a runner?

  14. “The ‘money bill’ I refer to in 7:32pm was covered by Faisal Islam a few days back….”

    The designation of a bill as a Money Bill is determined by the Speaker on advice from the Clerk of Legislation according to the criteria set out in the Parliament Act 1911 and is done at the end of Commons committee stage. It is not a matter for the Government to decide. The criteria are specific and narrow. It seems at least questionable that a bill containing clauses to disapply treaty provisions would be designated as a money bill. In any event it is surely already too late to pass a money bill without Lords agreement if it is to be ineffect by 31 December.

  15. “The ‘money bill’ I refer to in 7:32pm was covered by Faisal Islam a few days back….”

    The designation of a bill as a Money Bill is determined by the Speaker on advice from the Clerk of Legislation according to the criteria set out in the Parliament Act 1911 and is done at the end of Commons committee stage. It is not a matter for the Government to decide. The criteria are specific and narrow. It seems at least questionable that a bill containing clauses to disapply treaty provisions would be designated as a money bill. In any event it is surely already too late to pass a money bill without Lords agreement if it is to be ineffect by 31 December.

  16. Got it first time thanks.

  17. :) (forgot that bit)

  18. NEILJ

    The JLPartners poll looks promising for Labour.

    A sample of just 500 voters.

    The pollsters are members of the British Polling Council.

    Be interesting to know AW’s views.

  19. @Steve – Iceland has tested 55% of their population to date and they have indeed found a covid IFR of 0.3%.

    However, that is in a country with a young population (median age 37) and access to good health care, which was never overwhelmed as they had an excellent response to the pandemic.

    Studies elsewhere are converging on an IFR of 0.5 to 1.0%, so between 5 to ten times worse than normal flu.

    This is aparently better than Spanish flu, which is generally reckoned to be 2.0 -2.5%, but…..I think it’s a stretch to pretend that we would have accurate statistics on the total number of unfections from 1919. Death counts could be reasonably accurate in many of the more developed countries of that time, but I suspect cases would be very difficult to count, with the old problem of mild cases likely to be missed, especially in the era before wholesale healthcare.

    The other point to bear in mind is that Spanish flu was a century ago. Do we really think that modern medical techniques developed over the last 100 years would not reduce the fatality rate from a Spanish flu outbreak today?

    So my view is that comparison to Spanish flu isn’t really very useful for covid, because there were likely more cases in 1919 than are assumed and more deaths through less effective treatment, poorer living conditions etc.

    Covid is a serious disease, much worse than flu, and really needs to be taken seriously.

    Also – the link I posted to the Iceland experience references data from Iceland and New Zealand which shows just how effective lockdowns are at suppressing covid. In New Zealand, by 98%.

  20. Brexit talks clearly not in the tunnel. Interesting apparent dynamics though.

    EU sources saying that the UK made a significant move on LPF yesterday, and the talk is now around the enforcement mechanism. There also seem to be concerns over states aid, which again is an issue the UK has previoulsy accepted needs to be addressed within the deal, but where the argument is now on the enforcement.

    Several observers are suggesting that the UK’s chargrin today is because they made their move and expected the EU to do likewise. Instead, the EU kept on asking for vigourous enforcement measures.

    The ghost of the IMB continues to haunt these negotiations.

  21. Frosty should just walk away. Typical EU tactics to bring up new things at the last moment. That’s how they stole our fish in the first place.

  22. @Pete B – “That’s how they stole our fish in the first place.”

    No it isn’t – don’t be silly.

    The UK and EEC basically agreed to continue with decades old patterns of fishing. The second and third Icelandic cod wars then removed much of the UKs traditional fishing grounds, but the EEC agreements were not revised to take account of that as these were baked into the accession treaty.

    We gave away our fish, decades before the EEC, and then we didn’t have the foresight to identify Icelandic ambitions sufficiently clearly, thus giving away our fish fir a second time.

    I think it was Chales 1st who granted Belgium the right in perpetuity for 50 boats to fish in British waters.

    Giving away our fish is something of a British tradition. I thought you folks liked the tradition thing?

    :)

  23. With regards fish, it is British quotas sold to the highest bidder that have led us to despair.

  24. @PETE B

    ‘Frosty should just walk away. Typical EU tactics to bring up new things at the last moment. That’s how they stole our fish in the first place.’

    Mum, Mum, the EU are being horrible to me….

  25. Pete B is wrong. It was in the first plaice.

  26. PeteB
    “Frosty should just walk away. Typical EU tactics to bring up new things at the last moment. That’s how they stole our fish in the first place.”

    Agree with you Pete.

    One way out of the fishing quagmire though would be to give the eu the right to catch as much fish as they like in British waters. Just one condition though…they can only use rods and line. :)

    Fish was the great giveaway by Heath in 1973. He was so desperate to join the EU. However we should of course honour the grant by Charles I on the 50 boats (of the size of 1632 or whenever it was.)

  27. I wonder if in the Scottish independence negotiations, should such come to pass, the Westminster government will negotiate with Hollyrood in good faith, or in the Continental manner?

  28. Alec
    “The UK and EEC basically agreed to continue with decades old patterns of fishing. ”

    Not true.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_Fisheries_Policy

    A quote:
    “The first rules were created in 1970. The original six Common Market members realised that four countries applying to join the Common Market at that time (Britain, Ireland, Denmark including Greenland, and Norway) would control the richest fishing grounds in the world. The original six therefore drew up Council Regulation 2141/70 giving all Members equal access to all fishing waters,[31] even though the Treaty of Rome did not explicitly include fisheries in its agriculture chapter. This was adopted on the morning of 30 June 1970, a few hours before the applications to join were officially received. This ensured that the regulations became part of the acquis communautaire before the new members joined, obliging them to accept the regulation. In its accession negotiations, the UK at first refused to accept the rules but by the end of 1971 the UK gave way and signed the Accession Treaty on 22 January 1972, thereby bringing into the CFP joint management an estimated four fifths of all the fish off Western Europe.[32] Norway decided not to join.”

    Yes, I agree that Heath should have walked away, but it was the same tactic Barnier is doing now, bringing last minute demands which he thinks we have to accept because a deal is supposedly close. I just hope Frost and Johnson are made of sterner stuff than Heath.
    —————————-
    ON
    :)

  29. Robert Newark

    Liked the bit about rod and line, and the 17th Century size ships. :)

  30. It’s nice to have a bit of support. It’s usually a lone battle against the forces of evil at this time of night.

  31. PIP

    Fee77 wrote: »
    So I have written 7 pages for my Mandatory Reconsideration, I have taken the 3 points I am disputing the most, and explained in detail why I can not do these things on my own with just the use of the aid as they claim I can. I have gotten a report from my specialist nurse, about the care I need, a statement from my sister, a new letter from my GP and I am going to see the CAB on Thursday. Fingers crossed all of that is enough, but who knows, I really feel though I can do no more.

  32. Alec,
    “quick thought about covid fatality rates, and those who once said that covid is no more lethal than ‘flu. Seasonal flu normally has an IFR of around 0.1%. We’ve had nearly 60,000 confirmed covid deaths. As a proportion of the UK population, that’s 0.1%, rounded. So if we assumed that 100% of the population has contracted covid, that would mean that it is as lethal as flu. But we all know that we are nowhere near 100% infection. ”

    Alec, you are a smart guy, so why do you post mistakes?

    Link to the wiki article on Spanish flu. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_flu

    The munbers are quite vague, but they suggest around 500 million cases with 50 million deaths. 10% death rate. Thats a lot more than covid.

    Thats what flu does to a naive population.

    Seasonal flu is flu AFTER we all attained immunity to it by having it. It STILL kills the annual allocation. But notice who it is killing, and why they are susceptible. It no longer kills the young and healthy. It has the same pattern of deaths of the weak as does covid.

    Best data available is that nowhere has covid killed more than around 0.1%. Thats a fact. The number may yet go up, but I do not believe every country in the world has contained it with measures. Even so it has stopped at this sort of number by itself. The recent northern outbreak in the Uk has pretty much stopped by itself, and we have had only 1/4 the number of cases this time as in the spring. It is dying out.

    Once we have as much immunity to covid as to flu then death rates will fall. They might still be higher than flu, or they might be as low as they are to other corona viruses which cause colds. I have not seen anyone commenting on that. its probably a verboten subject for any experts advising the government.

    You say you do not believe we have significant immunity. If that is so, then you believe Covid is currently doing the very worst it can, which is 0.1% compared to the 10% from flu in a naive population. By that logic, flu is massively more dangerous.

    I think we had a lot of immunity at the start, and if we had not then it might indeed have performed more like 1918 flu. Yes, i think it potentially very dangerous. We know it is, because it has gone through hospitals and care homes like a knife through butter. But it has NOT done this in the general community. The obvious reason for this is existing immunity.

    you argue we are nowhere near 100% infection. i dont agree. I think by now every person in the country will have breathed in some covid. If they had no pre existing immunity, then most of them would have become ill. They did not become obviously ill because they had that immunity. Enough to fight it off.

    I dont say they are perfectly immune, not at all, but they are sufficienty immune to fight off a mild exposure, and in the process probably build their immunity ready for the next time. A slow natural process of vacination is underway.

    The explanation I see why hastings and Japan did not have waves of deaths when infected is because they had a low scale outbreak. Exposures were mild enough they had few symptoms and went through to the building immunity stage. The weakest will have died, and i know of a couple in Hastings, one who died from pneumonia and one very ill with it with doctors scratching their heads. Thats last year.

    The virus typicall sits in a community for months before it is noticed. we debated before whether that might be because most people who catch it first will be young. But I think it is also because as the total of cases builds, then the average infecting dose increases, and so infections become more dangerous. It has to hit a certain concentration before it starts throwing off lethal cases. We have seen this in action in hospitals and care homes where uninfected people have been locked in with infected ones.

    M expectation is that we will in the future find the impressive effectiveness rates of the bew vaccines is due in part at least to pre existing immunity. So they werent dose 1 and dose 2 in a scheme to build immunity, but dose 2 and dose 3, or maybe dose 20 and dose 21.

  33. Alec,
    ” Iceland has tested 55% of their population to date and they have indeed found a covid IFR of 0.3%.”

    Which is nowhere near enough testing to find all the cases. if they were testing 55% per week they might do better.

    “Studies elsewhere are converging on an IFR of 0.5 to 1.0%, so between 5 to ten times worse than normal flu.”

    Classically, you would mark a proportion of the population as never becoming infected because it died out. This becomes more complicated once we start to consider the degree of immunity people have, not whether they have either sterilising immunity or none. If 60% of the population was sufficienty immune from the start that they would never exhibit symptoms, you need to add them to the total of cases in your calculation of IFR.

    Alec,
    “The other point to bear in mind is that Spanish flu was a century ago. Do we really think that modern medical techniques developed over the last 100 years would not reduce the fatality rate from a Spanish flu outbreak today? ”

    there was a documentary about sanish flu recently. A nurse described healthy young men coming in and just dying. drowning. turning blue from oxygen deprivation. Just what is happening with covid. Just what is happening to 90 year olds with complex health issues..with covid. The difference is the youngsters are not now in the hospitals at all.

    Pete B,
    “Frosty should just walk away. Typical EU tactics to bring up new things at the last moment. That’s how they stole our fish in the first place.”

    The Uk accepted bad terms for membership because it needed that trade deal. History will repeat itself. A bad deal is better than no deal. As May did not say. Johnson too will come round to the inexorable logic.

    Alec,
    “We gave away our fish, decades before the EEC, and then we didn’t have the foresight to identify Icelandic ambitions sufficiently clearly, thus giving away our fish fir a second time. ”

    Surely that would be their fish the second time?

    JIB,
    “With regards fish, it is British quotas sold to the highest bidder that have led us to despair.”

    Cant help thinking that if the Uk does increase its share of catch, this will then be auctioned to the highest bidders again and bought back by the Europeans.

  34. Danny
    I don’t know enough about it to be certain, but you do seem to make a reasonable case. I think potentially vulnerable people should be very cautious, and rules on masks and social distancing etc should stay, but otherwise let it rip. Even for oldies like me it’s getting tedious in the extreme. If I live as long as my dad I’ve got about 16 years or about 190 months left. I’m likely to lose at least 12 from being locked down. That’s between 5 and 10% of my remaining life. Better than dying, but I could drop dead tomorrow anyway.

  35. Pete
    Did you post your 12:04 am by mistake? Otherwise I’m baffled.

  36. @PETE B

    I believe PETE is following a certain PIP case. I beleive every year people have to prove they are disabled enough to get disability allowances and so you go throuhg certain procedure. it is a painful process

    @DANNY

    I try not to debate your approach to epidemiology because I find it so wrong that it is difficult to find an common ground to even start the debate. It reminds me of our frequent arguments on Brexit that basically you held a position which was so left field.
    But I am going to keep this simple

    The style of lockdown that we have committed to in the Uk will not stop the virus. That was never the intention it is not the EHO approach to use lockdown to stop the virus. The aim is to keep the virus in check until such time as a vaccine was available.

    Now the virus spreads on interpersonal contact. So all lockdowns do is stop a lot of inter personal contact by law indeed as we come out of the lockdown we will still have lots of restrictions.

    The problem has been that we have had a major problem with deaths and illness and with capacity and that is why wwe have ended up with lockdowns and restrictions

    In the end if ou look at where countries have had stricter lockdown or have differen t cultures regarding social activity you have seen different level of virus spread so Italy which has a high proportion of multi generational living together has had higher incidence than say sweden which hs=as a higher proportion of living alone, At the same time that Norway that has had stricter lockdown protocols have had less deaths than Sweden

    Basically lockdown do arrest th e spead of the virus. it allows a pause it means you can handle a backlog better and reset for the next round. In another age we would have had a proper lockdown and I have argued if this was ebola we would definitely not call what we have just completed a lockdown in any shape or form so in one sense I personally don’t believe any of the ‘lockdowns’ have been LOCKDOWNs in the true sense of the word

    Wuhan had a lockdown we less so. China economy has recovered as have others ours less so.

    The real proble is that we have concentrated on the word lockdown without the understanding of what the hell the details are. and it is that why I think you have missed the boat spectacularly.

    In many ways I think that the government has been behind the curve and have essentially just reinforced what people were doing in terms of the first lockdown what I think they did which was wrong was basically try and signal an all clear without the requisite warning it was a poor communication and I think actually very similar to that of Trump across the water.

    I have sympathy for the view that rate of infections were falling bbut as I said previously people were already making individual decisions before the lockdowns happened we were told that the rates were ging up and that in itself would trigger behavioural change rather like a shark moving through a shool of fish, the fish would move out of danger as a group we humans do herd mentality as part of our survival mechanism

    if there was no vaccine available or no cure available I believe we would have had proper lockdown as had happened with Ebola this it was not is a blessing since I am not sure we would have handled it well.

    The argument I see raging is one of do we use data to control the virus assessing the risk of contact and dynamically trying to control the level of contact to match the risk or do we just ignore the fine grain control and basically use basic epidemiology. I personally favour the latter we are now as a society rather dynamic. Consider a journey of 200 miles was in the 70s a real road trip now we worry that EV do not have enough range to perform that sort of journey. and we have not even talked about air travel

    So why I am in favour of the basic epidemiological approach over the fine grained control? the simple answer is that the fine grain control has not worked and UK society would break out of the rules are the time when they should not if left to their own devices

    Is this illiberal? yes but having had knowledge of the effect of things that are just a tad more potent than covid I think the safety first approach is best until we get a vaccine and to me it is not even a close call

    I am sure you are going to write a long a detailed rebuttal but I think part of your problem is that you miss the point we need to control the spread in a systematic manner and less the restrictions the less the control I agree that whack-a-model is disruptive but that is a compromise and while I personally would have gone harder for longer which would allow for a lower number of pockets and more importantly I would have limited travel out of region I know that there is a economic argumet for not doing such thing

    The point is the risk reqard metrics are pretyy clear those that handled this early will have a better chance of getting out of it quickly once the vaccine is available those that pushed the suppression hard seem to be the winner here. The US is a great example of you view whereby people opened up and it went badly wrong

  37. Brexit Dilemma

    I think the argument over fish is overblown I am not sure that this has ever been about fish I suspect the EU understands that they do not gain anything is arguing over fish. es it is emotive but there would be a level of sympathy for the likes of EU fishingtown if they get a level of support even disproprotionately

    So if it isn’t fish then what is it? Well most importantly it is about trust. I think part of the problem is that the view was that the EU would be mercantile and throw whom so ever they needed under the bus to get a deal.

    I remember TREVOR WARNE calling the RoI ‘eejits’ for the issue of the RoI/NI border and how they would be thrown under the bus. In the main I think the WA issues have been soeme what overblown too the issue is to define a set of products that are not at risk and the is what the joint Committee is supposed to do. Is it boring an technical? yes but that is the point of the se deals they are boring an technical and sometime to the point of absurd.

    I noticed no one was saying ho mad it is that we cannot define what a substantial meal is (one scotch egg or two) I am not sure PETE B has written anything about that because I suppose it is not the EU so it clearly is not a absurd debate.

    The truth of the matter and the reason I have argued that there will be no deal is that we have a lack of trust and more importnat a lack of common principles as to what a deal should be. The UK’government narrative is that the EU is a controlling mechanism and that we are now free of it so any deal that point to the gravity of our relationship is basically a loss of sovereignty, The EU have argued that UK was fully integrated in t the single market and thus to remain integrated with zero tariffs zquotas then there needs to be a LPF abd governance regime and mitigation. The argument that agreed gains should not be pulled away at the whim without repercussions.

    If the UK wants sovereignty to that level then I think there cannot be a deal of any kind. I dn’t think that there is a level of trust and I am not sure that a simple call from Macron to Johnson solves this. Indeed there is no incentive for Macron to call and do the Leo walk because in the end there is such a lack of trust.

    How you aportion blame is not really the point at this juncture I think there have been missteps on both sides. I suspect Leo wihes he got more guarantees and a governance an restitution system that was harder on the WA. However I think in reality the super markets are going to pivot to a all Ireland supply chain approach which again is literally the unionists accelerating reunification stealth. I bet you see Aldi taking advantage of it local supply chain and pushing home it advantage and the big stores following suite

    The real issue for me is what is there to be gained, Well the big surplus the EU has is in goods and funnily enough that is the most protected by WTO. Services less so and now having lost SM access the real issue is what do you do when essentially regulations basically peal away your best gains.

    if we are arguing about regulations mos of the changes are on the margins albeit soem most welcome and I suspect in certain aspect I believe we will see a competitive streak in both parties t show that they are better than the other. We had that with the neurotoxins ban to protect bees where the Tories had to change whipping orders to their MEPs at the last minute after years of denying science.

    On a personal level how we engage in Europe in the future is going to be of major interest to me since basically it represented 70% of my income and I am not sure how I recoup that. I don’t believe the UK will generate enough income for me and the roles available will be curtailed

  38. Alec
    I did try to indicate the importance of medical improvements.
    Regarding the Spanish flu comparison I think the most important comparator is that the average age of people dying then from flu was 28 covid 19 average age around 82.

    The Spanish flu was a multi generational mass killer of both those with and without prior health conditions.
    Some estimates place the total mortality rates as high as 5% of the world’s population. Some indications as low as 2%.

    However whichever is more accurate it’s really outside of the realms of possibility that covid will kill a similar percentage amounting to somewhere between 160 and 400 million given the current official death toll is just over one and a half million with vaccines likely to be in wide use within three months.

    I’ve never downplayed the seriousness of covid 19 but it simply isn’t the mass killer of the young and middle aged that some previous pandemics have been.

    For which we should be grateful as it at least tells us those at greatest risk.

  39. @BritainElects·
    9h
    Westminster voting intention:

    CON: 39% (-)
    LAB: 38% (+1)
    LDEM: 8% (+1)
    GRN: 3% (-1)
    BREX: 3% (-)

    via
    @SavantaComRes
    , 27 – 29 Nov
    Chgs. w/ Nov

  40. PASSTHEROCKPLEASE. Not quite. Different cases different people but the same sh!t the disabled/ill have to go through just the get a few bread crumbs from the table.
    And we the people sit back and do nothing and demand nothing from the millionaires who govern us.

  41. Pete

    Be fair I am sure our chancellor a multimillionaire with a wife richer than the Queen feels the pain of a poverty he’s never remotely experienced.

  42. Full name is : “Taxation (Post-Transition Period) Bill”

    Published Thursday, 03 December, 2020

    “Leader of the House[1] announced that the provisional date for both the second reading and committee stage of the Taxation (Post-Transition Period) Bill 2019-21 would be Wednesday 9 December. Prior to this, on 8 December the House would consider a motion to approve Ways and Means Resolutions related to the Bill”

    https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/research-briefings/cdp-2020-0164/

    [1] One Jacob Rees Mogg, former chair of ERG, Arch Brexiteer and a True BrLeaver (as is our current AG – Braverman).

  43. @Pete B – “Yes, I agree that Heath should have walked away, but it was the same tactic Barnier is doing now, bringing last minute demands which he thinks we have to accept because a deal is supposedly close.”

    I’m not sure that ‘last minute’ fits very well with your quote from Wiki.

    They initiated a rule change before we applied to join, and three years before we agreed and actually joined.

    OK – I can agree that the EU saw us coming and looked ahead and outflanked the world beating Brits, but that just goes to show that perhaps we aren’t always as world beating as we think.

    :)

  44. @Danny

    “Cant help thinking that if the Uk does increase its share of catch, this will then be auctioned to the highest bidders again and bought back by the Europeans.”

    Unless there is a significant reform of the way quotas can be traded – or not – :you are probably correct.

    If you are sitting on a nice quota and want to retire, who wouldn’t sell to the highest bidder?

  45. @Danny – “The munbers are quite vague, but they suggest around 500 million cases with 50 million deaths.”

    I think that makes my point quite well.

    ‘The numbers are vague’, ‘they suggest’.

    In virtually all pathogenic infections, enhanced data brings lower fatality rates, because we discover many more mild/asymptomatic cases than hidden deaths.

    Seasonal flu has an asymptomatic rate of around 70% (have posted the link for this previously, can’t locate it now). We have no idea of asymptomatic proportion for Spanish flu, but it will have been there.

    Covid is a much more serious disease than seasonal flu, and may potentially be on a par with Spanish flu, if we had the data to compare.

  46. PETE B

    “Frosty should just walk away. Typical EU tactics to bring up new things at the last moment. That’s how they stole our fish in the first place.”

    Totally agree, there has never been any sign that the EU is negotiating in good faith.

  47. @JIB – “Unless there is a significant reform of the way quotas can be traded – or not – :you are probably correct.”

    The problem here is that the UK (alone) defined quotas as property, thereby bestowing rights on the holders. I’ve read various legal experts musings on this, but repatriating quota shares that have been sold off looks like being legally rather difficult for the government.

    That’s not to say that new quota allocations can’t be established on a different footing.

  48. @Alec

    I agree. This is the fundamental issue, I imagine what has already been sold (I. e. UK quota “owned” by a Belgian) will have to be respected or otherwise or otherwise bought out with compensation.

    There is no guarantee that the “new” repatriated quota won’t be sold off in the same way unless there is significant reform.

    The situation in Wales is no better either. I think that 95% of Wales’ offshore quota is owned by a single Belgian operation.

  49. Alec

    We do have some details is to compare.
    The Spanish flu killed between 20 and 50 million.(possibly double that with associated deaths)
    At the very lowest estimate this is equivalent to 100 million+ of the current world population.
    Current confirmed covid 19 deaths around 1.6 million

    We also know the average age of confined deaths, 28 around 50 years younger than the average covid 19 death.

    No one is disputing novel covid is serious but it simply isn’t remotely the mass pan generation killer of the Spanish flu.

    At current mortality rates it would take 20 to 40 years for covid 19 to kill the equivalent number as the Spanish flu killed in18 months.

  50. I suspect these final negotiations will polarise opinion between those who are committed Brexiteers and those who tend to take the EU at face value.

    My – somewhat cynical – view lies rather in the middle… my suspicion runs along these lines:

    – both sides expected a flurry of activity late in the day where the remaining three issues: fish, LPF and enforcement, got wrangled out.

    – fish is an issue because both France and UK see it as an area on which they can get a political ‘win’; the only real answer here is compromise and then dressing that compromise up as a win for both sides. If this is the only remaining area of contention then I believe it gets fixed pretty quickly.

    – the UK has always known it would have to give on LPF; otherwise why write similar LPF provisions into new treaties with Japan, etc? However the UK thought (until yesterday) that they could get concessions on enforcement in return.

    – the UK made a huge error in bringing forward the IMB; we have lost a lot of trust amongst EU leaders and opinion makers, and as a result the hawks are in the ascendant in Brussels and there will be few if any concessions on enforcement.

    – it doesn’t appear that the EU has presented anything very new yesterday, despite UK briefing to that effect; rather that the UK has proudly presented its concession on LPF and sat back expecting a concession in return on enforcement, only to get ‘thanks, now what about enforcement?’

    – it may be that Barnier had led Frost to think that a concession would be reciprocated, but the recent days have seen Barnier’s wings clipped by the 27 nations, and his freedom to offer concessions beyond his negotiating remit is now pretty minimal.

    It feels like the UK has played a difficult hand rather scrappily – some decent bluffing at times but overall failing to understand the opponent’s style of play, despite years of acquaintance.

    Just 27 days to go, and I still have no idea how this will turn out… pity our poor exporters!

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