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. @Danny (and others) – this is the evidence for ‘flu being largely asymptomatic – https://www.jwatch.org/fw108600/2014/03/17/most-flu-asymptomatic

    Turns out flu is far more asymptomatic than covid. The study found no difference in the asymptomatic proportion between normal seasonal flu and pandemic flu.

    I can’t find anything with specific data on asymptomatic proportions in Spanish flu, but I did find this https://www.eurosurveillance.org/content/10.2807/esm.07.12.00391-en which may be of interest.

    It’s a study into the 1918 flu in Geneva, and for those who think lockdowns and restrictive measures are a modern thing, it says –

    “Both the measures taken and the bans were severe: no leisure activity involving group of people was authorised. In some districts, cafés and restaurants were imposed restrictions on opening hour’s. Theatres, cinemas, dancing halls were temporarily closed, shows and concerts were cancelled. Even the churches were closed. In Lausanne, some religious services were proposed in public parks, but these gatherings were quickly forbidden. In Geneva, two priests were fined for preaching despite the ban on gatherings. Funerary processions were limited to five persons.”

    This idea that we dealt with disease in the old days without severe public health measures is just plain wrong.

  2. @Steve – “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.”

    Given that treatable (today) secondary bacterial pneumonia was the major cause of death in Spanish flu, and it’s likely that if there were hundreds of millions of asymptomatic or uncounted very mild cases in 1918/19, as seems to be the case with all pandemic flu’s, I really don’t think you can say this.

    If we had Spanish flu today, we would both find a hugely increased number of cases via modern antibody testing and we would keep millions of people alive with antibiotics. On top of that, Spanish flu had a rapid incubation period of around 3 days, whereas Covid is 5 days median and up to 14 days, so far harder to control.

    I think that those assuming Spanish flu was much worse than covid are forgetting the basic facts of a far more limited data gathering capacity in the early C20th and a medical armory that is almost medieval compared to what we can deploy now.

    With respect, you are trying to compare apples with oranges, but you don’t even have the correct data to do that.

  3. Does the panel think the sudden flurry announcements around green and other environmental issues is a sign of the top dog at No 10 pushing her agenda?

  4. Just to clarify, I am heartened by the announcements, am just amused by the timing.

  5. TOH: there has never been any sign that the EU is negotiating in good faith.

    Unfortunately for the UK, the EU is far from the monolithic independent actor of brexiteer imagination. In reality it’s a membership organisation of sovereign states, who are the ones who pull its strings.

    It appears that one or more of those states is exercising its sovereign right to do a bit of last-minute string-pulling.

    If we’re undone by last minute stiffening of resolve, it will be the product of old-fashioned sovereign pursuit of national interest, not corporate duplicity from the EU. The words hoist and petard come to mind.

  6. Alec
    No one is disputing changes in medicine protect many more people.
    However there has been no medical treatment for covid until the last few months, the techniques of social distancing hand washing and masks haven’t changed.

    In addition millions of fit and healthy young people died as a result of the s Spanish flu.

    There are also detailed records of mortality in some countries.
    In the US 675000 died from Spanish flu the equivalent of 2.2 million in the current USA or about 9 times the rate from covid.

    The vast majority were underb50.

    It’s comparing Apples with apples.

  7. @ PETE B / TOH – Better ‘optics’ if we make them spit the dummy and walk away (see the UKIM Bill returning on Monday and the Taxation Bill for Weds).

    They hoped to use the WA to force us into vassaldom but we have to now assume ‘no trade deal’ and hence..

    They’ll assume we’ll crawl back after 1Jan’21 but once some ‘goods’ pass across GB-NI and both-ways over NI-RoI then ‘precedent’ has been set and we’re not going to break the GFA.

  8. @JIB – agreed. Also worth noting that 75% of the UK fleet does not operate under any form of quotas. This is an aspect of the fisheries debate that is usually overlooked by Brexiters.

    @BFR – also agree. All trade deals involve trust, because long term application of the terms is based on the assumption that each party wants to move towards fewer restrictions, for mutual benefit.

    The dynamics of this negotiation are completely different, in that the stated ambition is to move away from free trade and to erect an agreed level of barriers. This has never been attempted before in the history of trade talks, and the failure to understand this dynamic led to the Brexit la-la land stuff about ‘the easiest deal ever’.

    Trust was even more important in this case than normal – and it is normally vital, so the IMB tactic was a seriously mishandled tactic. It forced the EU to forego trust in relation to enforcement, demonstrated the UK could not be trusted, and ensured that any deal now has an imperative to include strong and well defined enforcement measures.

    @TOH – “Totally agree, there has never been any sign that the EU is negotiating in good faith.”

    Go back and check Art. 77 of the Political Declaration (it’s in Section XIV entitled “LEVEL PLAYING FIELD FOR OPEN AND FAIR COMPETITION”) and then look at the law breaking clauses in the IMB. Then try to be a bit more neutral and look at how you might behave if someone you were negotiating with tore up heads of terms that had been agreed and signed and then went back on legally binding agreements that had been accepted and commended as a great agreement.

    You strike me as an honourable bloke, and I think I know how you would have viewed such behaviour.

  9. I’m herring that Frosty is fighting for the sole of the nation ;)

  10. I don’t understand the argument that the EU are not negotiating in good faith.
    In any negotiation each party is attempting to achieve an outcome which is to that party’s best advantage. They enter with scope for compromise but applying parameters beyond which their are not prepared to compromise. Those parameters are usually kept secret in order to optimise the prospect of achieving their best outcome. Good faith in negotiations is based on (a) genuinely attempting to achieve an outcome within those parameters (b) intending to stick to any agreement finally reached. The fact that a party is not prepared to move beyond a parameter as in (a) in order to achieve an agreement is a sign of good faith not the opposite, because the alternative is undermining the purpose of (b).
    We have a prime example of this in our own government’s approach to the withdrawal agreement, compromise at Christmas undermined by the Internal Market Bill objectives. If this was agreed deliberately by the Government last Winter with intent to breach this year, then that was not negotiating in good faith (of course it could just have been incompetence).
    The Government compromised outside its parameters in the withdrawal agreement (TM’s famous red lines), the EU clearly isn’t in terms of this negotiation.
    The third absence of good faith is having no intention to reach an agreement at all, if that is the basis of the argument that the EU is not negotiating in good faith then I simply don’t agree.

  11. Poverty is spread across the UK and Ireland. Poverty causes stress in families and individuals. Stress can alter biochemical processes in the body.

    Inequalitiy in mortality in Scotland (and other UK areas) starts upwards in the teenage years, is highest in the 20s and 30s and starts ro decline in the 40s. These early, premature deaths are not due to stroke, heart disease or cancer. The causes are suicide, violence, drugs and alcohol and accidents.

    Wellness (see upthread) depends on life having meaning and purpose having control of one’s life and the ability of people to see and overcome problems.

    These causes of death in younger people in the UK are also seen in middle-aged, white, blue-collar workers in the USA. The deaths are called the “deaths of despair”. Their incidence in the USA coincides with the areas which voted Trump as president.

    Adverse childhood experiences occur in families due to, for example, dysfunctional families, physical abuse, sexual abuse, drug and alcohol problems. If a child has enough of these experiences, it can result in permanently uprated levels of cortisol. This affects the ability to learn, resulting in the inability to find a good job and the children of such people are likely to be born onto poverty and repeat the cycle.

    Longitudinal studies show that children who suffer adverse events are, if female, more likely to have an early pregnancy. If male, they are more likely to carry a weapon and be violent. Permanently elevated levels of cortisol will lead to early heart attacks and strokes.

    This gives the story better.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XHgLYI9KZ-A

  12. Alec
    “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.”

    Not so much the world beating Brits, more, one of the worst leaders the Tory party has ever had, who would have joined at any price. Our success over the last 40 years has had more to do with the radical policies of the Thatcher governments (many of which the EU has subsequently copied) than membership of the EU.

    Barnier recognises this, which is why he is trying to put the U.K. in a trading straight jacket for the future. Had we never joined the EU our economy would have grown much more, once the over powerful trades unions had been encouraged to behave more responsibly. (IMO)

  13. ALEC, WB61

    You have both persuaded me.

    Apologies I withdraw “not in good faith”. Wrong phrase to use, perhaps “to punish the UK for leaving the EU” is a better expression of what I believe they are trying to do.

    Alec, Thanks for you kind words, as you know i would never have signed the WA and the political statement associated with it had I been PM.. The sooner we pull out of thse negotiations the better IMO.

  14. Talks are floundering, Barmier is crabby. Eel need to change tack and stop carping as his approach is ‘all at sea’

  15. If a woman’s nutrition is not optimal before conception, none of the organs of a child she has will develop to their full potential. The trajectory that a life will take can be determined before conception.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5765853/

    “Effects of poverty on brain development start early and are seen in infancy. In a longitudinal analysis of 77 children participating in the National Institutes of Health (NIH) MRI Study of Normal Brain Development and seen between the early postnatal period and age 4 years, those in low-income or poor families were found to have total gray matter volumes that were nearly half a standard deviation smaller than their better-off counterparts. These reductions were particularly large in the frontal and parietal regions associated with executive function abilities.7 Growth modeling indicated that these associations are developmental, with reduced growth trajectories for total, frontal, and parietal gray matter volumes that were most pronounced for children in poverty.”

  16. ROBERTNEWARK

    Great to see you posting again. Best wishes to you and yours i was
    a little worried that we had not heard from you for some time.

    “Our success over the last 40 years has had more to do with the radical policies of the Thatcher governments (many of which the EU has subsequently copied) than membership of the EU.”

    Absolutely, indeed I believe our membership has meant that we have done less well over those years than we would have done if we hd remained outside.

  17. Good to see you posting again Robert.

    Times reported yesterday France had intervened & believes a No Deal would =continued negotiation whilst Brits suffer pain=large concessions by UK.

    Barnier & vdL have to make the final call now before thelast EU Council this year-on thursday.

    BJ to talk to vdL this weekend.

    Breaking News-Barnier staying in London.

  18. TOH
    Thanks. Yes all well just a combination of other distractions and a problem getting back into WordPress which I’ve managed to resolve.

  19. @@robertnewark

    “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?”

    Well, let’s contrast and compare.

    EU: consistent objectives, transparent, objective assessment of negotiating position, honouring agreements freely entered into, subject to EU and member state oversight and approval.

    UK: 3 Prime Ministers, 2 General Elections, unlawful prorogation of Parliament, intention to break international law, no consistent negotiation position, no settled policy in governing party, unrealistic assessment of negotiation strength, and ignoring constitutional conventions.

    So from a Scottish perspective the continental manner would be far preferable.

  20. Colin
    Thanks. Yes this is make or break. I wouldn’t put money on the outcome but if it is no deal, then presumably the French and others get no fishing rights in British waters. 20% of something is always better than 100% of nothing. Wonder when Macron will realise that?

  21. My problem with all these negotiations about fishing – nobody has interviewed the fish. Had they done it, it would have been easier.

    Cod: We want to get on British plates.
    Skate: Sorry, but we prefer French stomachs.

    And so on. After all, they are very seriously affected.

  22. @ COLIN – “Barnier & vdL have to make the final call now before thelast EU Council this year-on thursday”

    They can always hold an emergency summit. However, UK side has pushed the agenda with the HoC order paper for next week.

    If there is still ‘no deal’ by Monday then we’ll effectively be proceeding on the basis of assuming an FTA (‘Canada’-style deal) is dead (ie it becomes ‘Australia’ or bare bones WTO)

    EC has a large number of areas over which they have competency and do not need the unanimity of the squabbllng 27 or the EP to ‘sign off’. However, that certainly doesn’t mean they will start agreeing mini-deals, MRAs, etc (ie ‘Australia’) they really could be so stubborn as to agree nothing (ie ‘bare bones WTO’) on the belief that we’ll crawl back to them very soon after 1Jan’21 (the two bills in HoC will ensure NI is not ‘starved on’ and after 1Jan’21 will force then to decide between breaking GFA or breaking the WA – we’ve chosen the latter[1])

    Barmier won’t want to look a fool and agree ‘a deal’ unless he knows we’ll pull/amend UKIM Bill part5 and ensure the Taxation Bill ‘honours’ the WA so we have a ‘sequencing problem’.

    [1] They wanted the WA+PD approach (May capitulated on that very early on) but they also wanted/want ‘nothing is agreed until everything is agreed’. That paradox is now back front and centre as either the GFA or the WA will need to breached by both sides in the event of a ‘bare bones WTO’. TBC what choice EC-EU make but I’d guess Macron+co care more about their ‘precious’ than they do about RoI. If/when RoI need a bail out then Macron+co will have a ‘price’ for that multi-billion aid package. UK being a sovereign nation with it’s own independent central bank and currency can bail itself out (and it will a lot cheaper than C19) – IF that is the path we end up going down (deliberately or by ‘sleep walking’ to the default)

  23. Passtherockplease,
    “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.”

    That is the stated rationale, but it was not when we started. It seems mostly to be where we have ended up because the epidemic has not otherwise been ended, before vaccines become available (or in sight).

    “In the end if you look at where countries have had stricter lockdown or have differe 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, ”

    The amount of virus spread is very very difficult to compare, because we dont know what it has been!

    ” In another age we would have had a proper lockdown”

    In another age I dont think we would. More weight would have been given to the economic cost of lockdown, as indeed has been the case in some less developed and poorer countries now. No one is willing to lock down and starve. Lockdown has been a luxury which could not have happened were we not so rich. Even so it is not clear we can afford to have done it.

    ” I have argued if this was ebola we would definitely not call what we have just completed a lockdown”

    I agree with you if this had been a really dangerous disease we would have behaved differently. But I think if this had been really dangerous it would also have been easier to detect and therefore contain. Killing people is bad for a virus. had it been dangerous, it would either have run away and been over, or it would by now be contained and be over.

    “Wuhan had a lockdown we less so.”

    i hesitate to make any conclusions about china. There are suggestion Italy had covid last september, maybe 5 months before it was officially detected. That pattern applies everywhere and obviously more so before we knew it existed or developed lab testing. Add in chinese secrecy, and it could have started early 2019, bubbled on quietly through the year before they finally officially recognised it.

    I dont know the details of the lockdown conditions, how well it was observed, whether in fact the epidemic might have been largely over before they formally acknowledged it existed.

    In the UK probably 20% of people minimum must continue to work and circulate to maintain essential functions. Might be more. Hard lockdown is not possible, and this second one was way less locked down than the first. I posted here at the time of the first, go walk down the middle of the streets right now, because you wont get another chance.

    “I have sympathy for the view that rate of infections were falling but as I said previously people were already making individual decisions before the lockdowns happened”

    I understand your point, but I also think there are enough discrepancies of situations where you might have expected changes of behaviour to have occurred but disease rose anyway, and cases where it failed to rise. For months exhortations and escalating measures in N England did nothing whatever to prevent rise…and then they suddenly did. While simultaneously much lighter restrictions and presumably much less pressure to change behaviour in the S did not lead to faster rise, but very slow rise.

    “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 dont so much miss the point as disagree the point. I see this as a disease which has already peaked and is in deep decline because of developed immunity. The government still portrays this as an epidemic which has hardly started.

    How is it possible so few people died in China if it is so dangerous and went undetected for months?

    “The US is a great example of you view whereby people opened up and it went badly wrong”

    On the contrary, deaths in the US remain on target for 0.1%. The ceiling however badly you manage the epidemic. See https://ig.ft.com/coronavirus-chart/?areas=gbr&areas=swe&areas=e92000001&areas=bel&areas=nld&areas=usa&areasRegional=usca&areasRegional=usfl&areasRegional=ustx&areasRegional=usny&byDate=1&cumulative=1&logScale=0&per100K=1&values=deaths

    Look at the curve for the US…its all wrong! There is always a fast attack to an outbreak. Look at individual states and you will see one. What has happened in the US is the UK experience on a much bigger scale. We had a spring southern epidemic and an autumn northern one. They are infecting states which then become immune one by one.

    Testing is useles to assess the state of the disease, because the number generated is always more about how much testing you do, not about how much covid there really is. The only real metric we have is deaths, or where governments have now set up proper balanced polling style sampling. I dont see any world comparisons for that?

  24. Hireton
    Well no surprise in that answer from you but I think you are being a little unfair. Most of what you describe was a result of remainers in Parliament refusing to accept the result of the referendum. Add in a biased Speaker allowing happenings that should never have been allowed and we ended up with a fist fight. Had there been an 80 seat majority for the government in 2016, I suspect it would have been much more clear cut.

    Thanks for enquiring after my well being some pages back. You stimulated my return to the fray.

  25. ROBERT NEWARK.

    Yes. If that report is true then I think Macron has got it very wrong.

    Any failure to agree now at this eleventh hour will be followed by deep acrimony & a collapse of any civilised relationship.

    It is for that reason that I cling to the belief that they really can’t fail now.

    The dynamics on their side must be fiendishly difficult for Barnier. Balancing mulltiple national priorities which will be in conflict-is Fish more or less important than Cars or Wine?. Trying to eliminate a future competitive edge for UK whilst responding to the new concept of UK as a Third Country. etc etc.

    For Frost this must be very frustrating when he can respond so much faster.

  26. @ LASZLO – UKippers: ‘no deal, no problem'[1] ;)

    A lot more fish will live longer lives in the event of ‘no deal’ so all the vegans types should be happy about that.

    If your pro-crustacean then you’d want procrastination after 1Jan’21.

    PS I’ve got 4.5yrs worth of offal meat yokes ready to repeat as well ;)

    [1] ‘Let’s go WTO’, etc.

  27. passtherockplease,
    ” I am not sure that this has ever been about fish”

    Someone said the fishing industry is less significant than the lockdown bankrupted high street shops?

    “So if it isn’t fish then what is it? Well most importantly it is about trust.”

    No. Its about the conservatives having promised to deliver Brexit despite knowing it is economically a disastrous mistake. It is simply can kicking at every conceivable step to confuse the impact of brexit and hide that it is impossible to satisfy brexit promises without severe and voter frightening economic loss.

    The government line now is comletely bonkers. It demands the right to be recognised as a sovereign state able to choose what rules it will aceept. But the EU is not disuting this. It is offering a deal on the same terms it did 5 years ago, take it or leave it. The Uk government cannot take it and cannot leave it. Johnson is going the same way as May. He has done nothing different to May. His appointment simply re-booted the promise to leave. it didnt make it any more possible.

    Con know brexit is disastrous and have tried everything possible to stop it. Lab , whatver they acquiesece to in parliamentary votes need to be aware the conservatives main aim now is spreading blame to anyone else they can.

    “If the UK wants sovereignty to that level then I think there cannot be a deal of any kind.”

    Indeed. But nor are deals possible with the US, Vhina, India, an other trade block. That is the logic of brexit. we stay home and starve.

  28. TW

    :-)

    Well, offal prices should fall in no deal (which lifted my mood), but I like it with imported vegetables (although tomatoes are technically fruits), so prices to increase in no deal, and I am stressed by the thought. Maybe I will make some financial options (including forward deals) to manage the risk.

  29. TW

    @” If/when RoI need a bail out then Macron+co will have a ‘price’ for that multi-billion aid package.”

    If folk think UK has a Future problem, they should ponder that of RoI.

    This is from one Global Risk Assessment source :-

    Included in “Strengths”:-

    *Presence of multinational companies, particularly from the United States, which account for 22% of employment and 63% of value added in the non-financial market sector
    *Presence through multinationals in high value-added sectors, including pharmaceuticals, IT and medical equipment ”

    Included in “Weaknesses”

    “*Dependent on the economic situation and tax regimes of the United States and Europe, particularly the United Kingdom
    *Vulnerable to changes in the strategies of foreign companies”

    And then there is Brexit.

    !!

  30. @RN
    Welcome back, by the way!

    This game of blaming Remain supporters for the fundamental weakness of Brexit thinking – the incompatibility of the Brexit demands of absolute sovereignty and access to the EU market – is part of why we are in this position now IMHO.

    Until this incompatibility is acknowledged, understood and addressed by those in control of the negotiation from the UK side then a deal cannot be achieved.

    The Tory’s problem is that they have spent four years telling their supporters that these aims are not actually incompatible, so it is impossible to explain this to the British public without humiliation.

    We will overcome this cognitive dissonance by either ceding some sovereignty in the form of LPF and enforcement provisions which we pretend don’t really have the effect that they actually do, or we will proceed to the logical conclusion of ‘no surrender’ on sovereignty, which is WTO terms.

    There are no other choices once the red line is drawn, and – as PTRP has eloquently and frequently stated – there never were…

  31. Trade expert?!? “A surprising amount of trade between the UK and North Macedonia, which has become an automotive sector player. So quite an important one.”

    https://twitter.com/DavidHenigUK/status/1334779387426770944

    if that was an attempt to claim ‘balance’ (in the same way Groan employ Larry Elliott) then clearly he hasn’t got a scooby doo (clue) about actual trade

    gov.uk ‘spin’ (which if anything would want to make it sound better than the reality) “Meanwhile top imports to the UK from North Macedonia were metal ores & scrap (£49m), clothing (£16m) and furniture (£13 million)”

    Exports are distorted by gold (which is a “non-ferrous metals (£1.1 billion)” )

    https://www.gov.uk/government/news/north-macedonia-and-uk-sign-partnership-trade-and-cooperation-agreement

    N.Macodenia isn’t even a minnow, more like plankton in terms of trade with UK but their is some minor geo-political angle (NATO member, etc)

    PS That is but one example of the drivel that Henig chucks out, but as what might have appeared to be a pro-UK ‘balance’ tweet then I picked that one out.

  32. @ COLIN – Ironically, due largely to ‘inertia’ then if/when EC-EU close down RoI’s ‘tax haven’ status then RoI will, in the short-term at least, get a huge boost in tax revenues (eg from Apple, one of the A’s in GAFA)

    How long that lasts is TBC and certainly the ‘incentive’ for the next-future GAFA+, Pharma, Fin.services, to HQ in RoI will have gone.

    So sad, too bad..;)

  33. JIB,
    “If you are sitting on a nice quota and want to retire, who wouldn’t sell to the highest bidder? But what is the point of staking the UKs future on some fishing rights we simply intend to sell back t othe europeans?

    Alec,
    “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. ”

    Well yes, but the proportions would have been very different. Same disease, different outcome. Reaso nis we have all been vaccinated against that flu. Naturally, through exposure.

    Consider the situation post a vaccination program as compared to pre vaccination program. After exposure to sufficient dose of the pathogen, are there more asymptomatic cases post vaccine? Yes of course, thats the whole idea.

    Why do these recent vaccines show such high antibody creation rates? because they are simply acting as a booster to what was already there naturally.

    Bigfatron,
    “– the UK made a huge error in bringing forward the IMB;”

    They did not. That is, the goal has never been the best outcome for the UK. obviously, that would be EU membership. The goal has been survival of the conservative party. The proper question is, is conservatve survival improved by the legislation?

    Conservative MPs decided a year ago they could not break faith with leave and survive. Therefor there has to be a brexit on leave terms, which means no deal.

    All that remains is to obfuscate that this was deliberate choice by the UK and could never have ended otherwise. Blame the EU.

    The goal of the legislation is to make sure a deal is impossible.

    Its like the fishing. This has always been ridiculous considering the size of the industry, and in all probablity UK fishermen will end up worse off after brexit. Because they will lose trade even if they have the fish. The whole thing is simply a smokescreen to hide the blunt facts about brexit that it can never improve any aspect of the UKs trade or sovereignty.

  34. @BFR
    ‘This game of blaming Remain supporters for the fundamental weakness of Brexit thinking – the incompatibility of the Brexit demands of absolute sovereignty and access to the EU market – is part of why we are in this position now IMHO’.

    Agree, all the things coming to pass were predicted by the remain side of the referendum, to now seek to blame them is a little silly

  35. @colin

    Surely all Macron is saying ( if indeed he is) is that no deal is better than a bad deal?

  36. @robertnewark

    “Most of what you describe was a result of remainers in Parliament refusing to accept the result of the referendum.”

    That’s quite a rewriting of history.

    The problem which May had was within her own party with the ERG and her inability to produce a compromise policy because of that.

    Sorry but Brexiters are going to have to live with the consequences of their actions.

  37. From @TOH to @Robert Newark –

    ““Our success over the last 40 years has had more to do with the radical policies of the Thatcher governments (many of which the EU has subsequently copied) than membership of the EU.”

    Absolutely, …”

    Interesting. Is this the first admission from two leading UKPR Brexiters that the EU isn’t all that bad?

    I mean, how could they be, if they are following the Thatcher mantra?

    :)

  38. @Trevs – “Trade expert?!? “A surprising amount of trade between the UK and North Macedonia, which has become an automotive sector player. So quite an important one.” ”

    I really think that’s your problem. In your desperation to hold the line and paint anyone who has ever said anything critical about Brexit as a [email protected]/whatever, you just end up looking silly.

    I think you were quite keen to flag up the Ukraine continuity deal as a Brexit achievement, with UK/Ukraine trade worth £1.5bn a year, yet now when someone else flags up the good news of a UK/North Macedonia trade deal, worth 20% more in total trade at £1.8bn, you claim it’s drivel.

    Like I say, you just end up looking an angry and rather silly poster.

    And yes, Henig really does know far more about trade than you do. By multiple orders of magnitude.

  39. @Hireton

    “Sorry but Brexiters are going to have to live with the consequences of their actions.”

    Indeed. So will Remainers though.

  40. @Danny

    ““If you are sitting on a nice quota and want to retire, who wouldn’t sell to the highest bidder? But what is the point of staking the UKs future on some fishing rights we simply intend to sell back t othe europeans?”

    We must wait and see if we just revert back to the same old ways.

    Investing in some fishing infrastructure could be a big part of levelling up though.

  41. @Steve – “No one is disputing changes in medicine protect many more people.
    However there has been no medical treatment for covid until the last few months…”

    Hmmm…..no I can’t agree with that.

    In most western countries, hospitalized covid patients have undergone massive levels of treatment, even though none of this offers a guaranteed cure.

    In 1918, severely sick people were put into tents, with no antibiotics for bacterial pneumonia, no oxygen for assisted breathing (that’s a massive treatment) no blood thinners for low oxygen blood clots etc etc.

    The presence or absence of effective covid 19 treatments isn’t the issue here. What we are looking at is how much more effectively we could have dealt with Spanish flu, in terms of keeping seriously ill people alive, given 100 years of absolutely startling advances in medical science and critical care methods.

    On top of that, like I said previously, the fact that Spanish flu killed mainly through secondary bacterial pneumonia, which is now eminently treatable via antibiotics. Given this, Spanish flu IFR would be much lower if it occurred today.

    I really don’t think we can validly compare death rates from two pandemics a century apart, and attempting to do so will naturally downplay the relative severity of covid. That so many have died with all the modern medical methods at out disposal is the issue – not what happened a century ago.

  42. Financial Times reports that a number of states have thought that Barnier was making too many concessions. Their particular fear is that the UK will unfairly advantage its industries and that the remedy for this will apply too late to save the companies on their side from going bust. They therefore want a check to come in before subsidies are paid while we see this as an infringement of our sovereignty.

    The article’s overall assessment of the state of play is given below.

    ‘The EU has come a long way from demanding “dynamic alignment” on state aid, which explains the jitteriness of some member states, but also sets out a potential path to a deal based on pragmatism and focusing on “remedies” that would give EU member states the confidence to do a deal.

    Those sceptical EU states still want non-regression on current social and environmental standards as a minimum floor and a nimble “cross-cutting” retaliatory dispute mechanism that allows an aggrieved party on either side to hit back swiftly in a sector where it hurts the other.

    All that late-night pizza is there to fuel the race to find a sufficiently robust blend of measures that will satisfy both sides in the respective core interests — the EU’s desire to constrain the UK as much as possible in exchange for “zero tariff, zero quota” access to its single market; the UK to minimise those constraints.

    A very delicate balance remains to be struck. Sceptical member states fear that getting it wrong will lead to buyers’ remorse in the decades to come. But if both sides come off their ideological red lines, and focus entirely on remedies and outcomes, they should be able to get there. In any case, the “deal” will evolve over time.

    Expect a successful result, if it comes this weekend as some expect, to elicit howls from ultras on both sides. Boris Johnson will have to face down the hardline Brexit caucus in his party, just as Ms von der Leyen may at some point have to isolate French-led opposition to a compromise that some in the EU may still feel breaches red lines.

    But as one experienced negotiator puts it, to get there, the overriding focus now will have to be on getting over the line — there will be details that some are unsettled by and do not like — but they cannot get in the way of the overarching objective: to get a deal.’

  43. @jib

    Except the Remainers – even the Scottish Government and the SNP- offered compromise proposals for Brexit. These were rejected ( in the case of the SG proposal without discussion) as the extremist Brexiters in the Tory Party rejected them.

  44. Alec,
    “Given that treatable (today) secondary bacterial pneumonia was the major cause of death in Spanish flu,”

    looks like cytokine storm to me. wwiki spanish flu article, “Some analyses have shown the virus to be particularly deadly because it triggers a cytokine storm, which ravages the stronger immune system of young adults.”

    ” On top of that, Spanish flu had a rapid incubation period of around 3 days, whereas Covid is 5 days median and up to 14 days, so far harder to control. ”

    I dont dispute covid is harder to control, and indeed the fact it is milder with less symptoms makes it so. Where are the bodies of these young people dying from covid on the scame scale as the adults? They arent hidden in the basement of No. 10, or secretly cremated as some have claimed in China. There are no waves of young people in hospitals whose lives are being saved by these modern medical interventions you claim are making the difference now.

    Face it, the pattern of this disease matches that of seasonal flu and does not match that of 1918 flu.

    “I think that those assuming Spanish flu was much worse than covid are forgetting the basic facts of a far more limited data gathering capacity in the early C20th ”

    They were perfectly capable of counting the bodies and noting their age.

    EOTW,
    “Does the panel think the sudden flurry announcements around green and other environmental issues is a sign of the top dog at No 10 pushing her agenda?”

    No. It is simply a distraction from more difficult topics. Moreover, it wont come to a crisis this parliament.

    JIB,
    “We must wait and see if we just revert back to the same old ways. ”

    This morning’s news had a story about a £1 bn cut in rail investment. reversion to type has already begun.

  45. Hireton
    I agree Mays other problem was the ERG but they simply wouldn’t vote for her non deal. It was the extreme remainers, particularly on her side but very ably assisted by Labour who, with very few exceptions, had no intention of honouring the referendum result and who were cooking up schemes in conjunction with a biased Speaker.

    So the problem really was the remain MPs not so much blocking a deal but actually trying to thwart the referendum result itself.

  46. Colin
    “ Any failure to agree now at this eleventh hour will be followed by deep acrimony & a collapse of any civilised relationship.
    It is for that reason that I cling to the belief that they really can’t fail now.”

    James Forsyth writes about this in the Times. He seems quite bullish that a deal will be done Monday before the bills scheduled for next week in the HoC. So I hope he’s right that both sides will come to a compromise but if EU still expects all the compromise to be by the Brits, that won’t happen.

  47. @Robert Newark

    Don’t you think that part of the problem was that the referendum result showed that a small majority of us wanted less ‘close’ relationships with the EU but there was no majority for any realistic way of doing this? A referendum that had clarified this and offered realistic options would almost certainly have resulted in a victory for remain and that is why Cummings in particular advocated that the final outcome desired should be left obscure.

  48. @ ALEC – “I think you were quite keen to flag up the Ukraine continuity deal as a Brexit achievement”

    :-) :-)

    Nope, not moi.

    However, thank you for yet another example of you making stuff up or do you want to down that fabricated and projected nonsense down to your ‘memory’ issue ?!?

  49. ROBERT.
    Indeed. It was his article which informed my thought.

    The vibes from newscasts does seem positive.

    I don’t think they care fail now.

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