At midnight on Monday the Boundary Commissions release revised recommendations for the boundary review. A few notes to aid in understanding what it means.

Firstly, and probably most importantly, they are still pretty unlikely to happen. The Boundary Commissions are obliged by law to continue with the review, it doesn’t mean the government have the support to implement it. When the review produces its final recommendations next September the recommendations need to be approved by Parliament before coming into force. This would have been tricky for the Conservatives to do with a small majority (there were a few Tory MP threatening to rebel), it will be all the harder to do without a majority at all. They cannot currently rely upon the support of the DUP to push them through – the initial recommendations in Northern Ireland were very favourable to Sinn Fein, very unfavourable to the DUP, and the DUP were very critical of them. Of course, it’s possible the revised recommendations may be less offensive to the DUP, but we shall see – in that sense, probably the most interesting recommendations will be those for Ulster.

Two – this is not a new review, it’s a revised version of the one that started in the last Parliament. The current rules for the Boundary Commissions require them to deliver a review every five years, the fact that there has been an early election doesn’t affect this at all. The recommendations published today are based on the ones from last year, taking account of all the comments the Boundary Commissions recieved during their consultation period.

Three – they are still for 600 seats. There were reports in the press that the government were intending to scrap this review and start again with a new review based upon 650 seats. These reports have not been confirmed and at the moment the old 600 seat review is going ahead. Neither the Boundary Commissions or the government have the power to change the rules from 600 to 650 at will; it is set in law. If the government do want to change the rules and go back to a 650 seat review, they’ll need to get primary legislation through Parliament (and then the Boundary Commissions will have to start all over again).

Four – I will, as ever, seek to work out notional figures for what the 2017 election would have been on the proposed boundaries. That will, however, take a couple of days. I can tell you now that the changes will almost certainly favour the Conservatives, at least a little. This is not because the Boundary Commissions are partisan – they are resolutely and genuinely neutral. However, the pattern of population movement in Britain means that boundary reviews almost always favour the Conservatives. Generally speaking, the population in Northern inner cities (that tend to vote Labour) is falling relative to commuter areas in the South (that tend to vote Conservative). Therefore over time the electorate in the northern cities falls, the electorate in the home countries rises and we end up with Northern urban seats having lower electorates than Southern commuter ones. That means when boundary reviews take place, it tends to result in seats in northern cities being abolished and new seats in the south being created.

Fifth – MPs whose seats are “abolished” are not necessarily in any trouble. When boundary recommendations come out the first thing lots of people look for is big name MPs who appear to have lost their seats. It’s normally more complicated that that – parts of their seat will have gone into neighbouring seats and it will often be easily to work out a place for everyone to stand with a few retirements or peerages to help ease the way. While the reduction from 650 to 600 would make this review a little more challenging than usual, in the case of past reviews the vast majority of MPs who have seen their seats “abolished” have actually ended up staying on in a neighbouring seat. In short, Jeremy Corbyn is unlikely to struggle to find a Labour seat willing to take him.


1,017 Responses to “Some notes on tomorrow’s Boundary Review recommendations”

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  1. @Pete B

    We may indeed be better off than many elsewhere. In terms of polling, it comes down to expectations. Will young people be happy with the new reality, or would they prefer a situation closer to the past where there were technological gains as well as healthier financial gains?

    And there is also the level of risk and uncertainty people are prepared to tolerate. If now you have no secure career or your home is at the whim of a landlord etc. Not only do they see their career path suddenly disappear they see the EU options suddenly vanishing too.

    Perhaps ironically, whether equipped for it or not more young people are being obliged to take the risk of starting a business as the traditional career paths dry up without enough to replace. I get to go to some of the openings…

  2. Pete B

    Well, according to the list you link to, we’re seventh (or were in 2014). 5th is for total wealth of country.

    Not that this affects your point, of course.

  3. Not all careers were stable in the past. I worked in IT from the early seventies. I likened it to the early days of the car industry (1920s) when firms came and went all the time. Singer, Riley, Trojan etc etc.

    I was made redundant 3 times when firms folded and went on to run my own business for 15 years and then finished off with a stint in the NHS to get a bit better pension than I’d been able to save for. There may be secure careers in IT now in the giant worldwide firms, but not so much in my day. It was government jobs that were secure. Manufacturing and nationalised industries were secure at one time but most of that stopped in the eighties. NHS jobs are now less secure than they were. I don’t know so much about other branches of government. Anyway, the point is that the reality of insecurity that was always around has now become more the norm in government employment. Is this better than having featherbedded jobs for life? IMO yes. People should find their own way.

    I’m off to bed now. Have a good night.

  4. OK one last post-

    PatrickBrian
    Sorry if I was unclear. I was looking at the table for 2016 November, and median wealth per adult, though as you say the basic point that we are far wealthier than most people in the world is true. We are 5th, the USA is 13th in that particular list for instance. We are 4th to their third in wealth per adult (which I presume is the mean rather than the median)

  5. The Other Howard,
    “I prospered during the 80s, but then I prospered during the 70s as well.”

    Then EU membership has not proven a handicap to you.

    Peterw,
    “The DUP and other Remainers in parliament can’t at that point manufacture a deal out of thin air however much they dislike the consequences of not having one.”

    I think the idea is that being aware how much they would dislike no deal as a future event, they would not allow such a cicumstance to arise. I heard they are are good at such planing?

    Trevor Warne,
    “The EU have UK over a barrel but do they want to punish us or give us a route out of the impasse”
    I am sure they will be delighted to shepherd us to one of the available options which have always been available. Membership, Norway, third party status. Take our pick.

    Be a full member. Trade according to the standard terms. An outsider nation. It is extraordinary to me that this is still an issue, because the options have been plain since before the referendum, well before.

    Passtherockplease,
    ” they were small statist. i fear that is the fuel that drove austerity. Not balancing the books”
    Yes. Precisely the same applied to closing down the rump of the coal mining industry. Little change there.

  6. @Pete B

    Sure, not all careers were secure, but it’s a bit like saying people had high interest rates on their mortgages in the Seventies. Sure, it was a difficulty, but if it’s just for a few years, and house prices were cheap and you could support a family on one wage so your partner can go out to work to make up the gap, and the house only cost twice your annual salary in the first place, it’s not quite the same as never being able to get on the ladder to buy a house, because the affordable ones aren’t where the jobs are, and the deposit is huge and you can’t save for it anyway because rent and bills are so high and you’re on zero hours.

    So yeah, there was dome insecurity but in an era of full employment more security was the norm because employers had to compete for employees, and it was easier to find other jobs. Things are obviously different now and you can see it in the rise of zero hours and the problem of wages not rising.

    You have to compare the whole thing. Otherwise it’s like going to someone who’s just lost a leg “well we used to have difficulties too, sometimes we grazed our legs!

  7. The comparison of wealth with other countries is the same kind of problem. If you go “look, some people are really poor, what are you complaining about?” they might find this unsatisfying, if they know you had it rather better. If you say they should be happy with sour milk because others don’t get milk at all, they might not be happy if you yourself had double cream. If you then complain that you had it tough too, sometimes you only had single cream, this might only compound the error.

  8. CHARLES
    ‘ It will be interesting to see if such soft data is the harbinger of more objective change or simply a will o; the wisp.”
    A factor in the referendum campaign and result,generally regarded as distorting the result, was the failure to provide adequate information about the functions and benefits of the EU and actual and deliberate misinformation about the expected benefits of leaving.
    The drawn out experience of Brexit negotiations, as information and more balanced views about the benefits and defects of the EU have surfaced, particularly its relevance to terms of trade and economic performance, and with real effects of pending exit becoming apparent – in the response of industry to the loss of EU labour and skills, or the loss of value of the pound for example – have been a learning process.
    Hence what I think has been a measurble trend. The effect on voting intention and on attitudes to Brexit are becoming apparent, both in public debate and in the polls.

  9. Pete B,
    “One possibility is that the radio station deliberately stuffs the audience with Remainers.”

    I doubt they do. Probably more a question of who wants to go along. So in that sense it might work as a poll of the motivated.

    “, it was older people who were most strongly in favour, and younger ones who were against. Does this mean that youngsters are more risk-averse? ”

    Leave voters thought there would be no economic loss. remain voters thought there would. People voting leave thought there was no risk. People voting remain thought there was. On the whole, everyone reacted to economic risk by voting against it.

    Then, the question is why more older people did not think there was risk and younger ones did?

    Perhaps they had a totally different perception of where the risk lies? Younger and older groups have different economic interests and therefore different views of what might be a risk. Suppose older people have built up assets and a secure pension. Younger have none, and now start in debt. The young need work opportunities, the old dont?

    Pensioners voted to leave because they already have all the wealth they need and dont went to be engaging with foreigners? If thats the case, what on earth will they now be thinking of all this talk of expanding our relationships with countries we have never heard of, and all round the world?

    If this is the case, then the leave vote, by a group who are strongly conservative voters, was a vote against expanding Uk relations with anyone. All this talk of new relations with countries outside the EU must be playing very badly. Oops.

  10. “Perhaps they had a totally different perception of where the risk lies? Younger and older groups have different economic interests and therefore different views of what might be a risk. Suppose older people have built up assets and a secure pension. Younger have none, and now start in debt. The young need work opportunities, the old don’t”

    ——-

    Well quite. Many pensioners with good pensions, house paid for and inflating nicely, triple lock and winter fuel, no need to pay inflated rail fares to commute, no tuition fee burden, no need to look to the EU for work if it’s just zero hours here, etc. etc. are relatively insulated from the economy and associated Brexit impacts. And if things do go awry a bit, as the powerful voting block they know they’ll get looked after. Until they no longer are so powerful…

    If polling did demographics along those lines, degree of insulation etc….

  11. @Pete B – The show was in the New Forest which apparently voted 57 per cent for Brexit. I doubt the BBC deliberately stuffed it with remainers. although it is obviously likely that the audience was not representative of the population, My point was that it used to be the case that in more or less any audience the Brexiters seemed to be more passionate and noisy and my impression is that this is no longer so. I also feel that on this site they are less self-confident than they were and one or two of them are having doubts (Tevor Warne) or even changing sides (Allan Christie).

    @Davwell. I would like to think that you were right and that there is a shift in public opinion fuelled by better information on the likely consequences of Brexit. But more or less all the analysis has always been that Brexit would cost us money. Brexiters have been inoculated against this and see it as project fear, As a serious investor TOH should be studying links such as the one you put up but I doubt that he or other brexiters will read it or believe it if they do. (I repeat the link below just in case they do).
    https://economics.rabobank.com/publications/2017/october/the-permanent-damage-of-brexit/

  12. DANNY
    ‘Pensioners voted to leave because they already have all the wealth they need and dont went to be engaging with foreigners? If thats the case, what on earth will they now be thinking of all this talk of expanding our relationships with countries we have never heard of, and all round the world?”
    And what will they be thinking of switching the make-up of the migrant work force from Poles and Bulgarians to Bangladeshi and Nigerians? I’ld hate to think that it is against political correctedness, or worse, to even be stating that reality. Do we as loyal citizens of Mrs May’s governments have to go along with that and other denials of inconvenient reality?

  13. Good cartoon from the Independent explaining the current Brexit negotiation.

    https://mobile.twitter.com/JohnReid16/status/921554471200612357/photo/1

    On this issue, i think Macron is correct. Those who sought Brexit never explained the cost issues to the UK public and neither is the UK Government doing so now. The Brexit vote was basically a blank cheque that Philip Hammond and any other decent CoE should refuse to sign. If the cost of Brexit is say £50 billion settlement and still an annual EU single market fee in lieu of no tariffs, then people who support Brexit or not, will ask what is the point ?

  14. @ DANNY – my mistake I meant the EU has May over a barrel.

  15. “‘Pensioners voted to leave because they already have all the wealth they need and dont went to be engaging with foreigners? If thats the case, what on earth will they now be thinking of all this talk of expanding our relationships with countries we have never heard of, and all round the world?”
    And what will they be thinking of switching the make-up of the migrant work force from Poles and Bulgarians to Bangladeshi and Nigerians? I’ld hate to think that it is against political correctedness, or worse, to even be stating that reality. Do we as loyal citizens of Mrs May’s governments have to go along with that and other denials of inconvenient reality?”

    The depths you people descend to is quite amusing really.

    Your country isn’t populated by millions of blazered racists. You really should get out more. Put those Lefty political tracts down once in a while -go & have a good walk.

    Today on the South Coast is going to be spectacular. I’m off at high tide to watch nature do its worst against the impregnable bastion of Old Blighty’s cliffs.

    :-)

  16. Will the German Car cartel finally be exposed?

    https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-eu-antitrust-bmw/bmw-raided-in-cartel-investigation-as-daimler-claims-immunity-idUKKBN1CP26U

    The S.Koreans invented the term Chaebol back in the 1980s, the term morphed into Cabal: added a heavy political influence supporting the network of industrialists and dropped the family aspect.

    EEC-EU has never been a level playing field IMHO and I fully expect the latest German cartel probe to fizzle out pretty quick but I hope to be proved wrong.

  17. Regarding some of the comments above it might be worth going back to the Yougov poll from July.

    https://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/6z56phuq56/InternalResults_170421_BrexitExtremism_W.pdf

    Then, 61% of leave voters thought that significant damage to the UK economy was a price worth paying, and 50% of over 65s effectively regarded multiple members of their family losing their jobs as a price worth paying for Britain leaving the EU.

  18. @ R HUCKLE – ” If the cost of Brexit is say £50 billion settlement and still an annual EU single market fee in lieu of no tariffs, then people who support Brexit or not, will ask what is the point”

    By that I assume you mean what is the point in continuing to negotiate? Glad you’re starting to see it from the other side!

    Now since EU are being so accommodating on Brexit what do you honestly think they would offer us if we stopped trying to leave and instead begged to return? Keep the rebate? Keep our long list of vetoes on items such as tax harmonisation? Veto joining up to EU army?

    I’m fully on board for putting this back to the people once we have a deal on the table and some honesty about what Revoke+Return would probably mean!

  19. COLIN
    “”The depths you people descend to is quite amusing really.”

    “You people”, Colin?
    I thought myself that what I wrote was unpalatable, but that, in the light of an anticipated net migration of 200,000, of which about 150,000 is already from the rest of the world outside the EU, and of the realities of the push of migrant numbers, predominantly of the educated young seeking permanent employment or of seasonal labour in the agricultural sector, if EU labour is now to be substantially reduced, the reality is as I have stated it.
    I was not, and am not conscious of sinking to any depths, except to that of despair at the irresponsibility and ineptitude of the government.
    By all means dispute my statement with any evidence you have that any aspect of it is wrong, but do please, not categorise me with any supposed faction for the sake of a spurious argument based on a poorly considered and muddled prejudice.

  20. “Now since EU are being so accommodating on Brexit what do you honestly think they would offer us if we stopped trying to leave and instead begged to return? Keep the rebate? Keep our long list of vetoes on items such as tax harmonisation? Veto joining up to EU army?

    I’m fully on board for putting this back to the people once we have a deal on the table and some honesty about what Revoke+Return would probably mean!”

    ——–

    Are any leavers worried that a little while after leaving we may vote to rejoin, only with all those things leavers hate, like foregoing the opt outs and joining the Euro etc.?

    It would be kind of ironic if voting to leave eventually meant integrating more closely with the EU.

  21. @Colin

    “Did you mean the Liberal Open
    or the 70s Special Invitation ?”

    ———

    Sorry to bring you bad news but I’m afraid he left your post hanging in the void there Colin, but then the question may have been too hard for him…

  22. @Charles

    “As a serious investor TOH should be studying links such as the one you put up but I doubt that he or other brexiters will read it or believe it if they do. (I repeat the link below just in case they do).”

    ——–

    Well some investors might be looking to profit from Brexit, betting that the pound would fall etc. etc.

  23. COLIN
    “You really should get out more. Put those Lefty political tracts down once in a while -go & have a good walk.”
    i don’t usually succumb to a natural inclination to the ad hominem in the face of blatant dissembling and bigotry, but, since you ask, yes, \\actually and really) I do get out about twice a day with the dog in the bracing air of the Pentlands. Perhaps closer to the argument, am going to Cambodia and Laos in a week’s time to engage in discussions on research and a seminar on populaion displacement. Not on my own ideas, you’ll be glad to know, but on research evidence from work over the past twenty years, including that on migration in Cambodia. It is predominantly internal, that to the city of educated youth primarily to the garment industry (which, for all its faults, provides 85% of industrial development in Cambodia, and about 15% to the rural economy (hence relatively minimal migration to Europe by contrast, for example, with Nigeria which has lacked similar industrial development..)
    Internal rural to rural migration and land transfers have,however, been grossly distorted by globalisation, putting unearned wealth in the hands of officials and an entrepreneurs, and creating a poor landless rural class – mainly through the impact of idustrialisation in China and the West (rather than the Khmer Rouge).

  24. Moving on

    it now looks like the EU impasse has been broken. TM has seen the light and grasped reality. There is a deal to be done at about 40bn .or a s Macron said 20bn is halfway there! The UK will do that contingent on a trade deal which as Merkel says is now inevitable. Those talks will start in the new year. The extra 20bn represents contingent liabilities and can be spread over 10 years.
    Now the hard work really starts However the flashpoints are political rather than economic .

    a. There is no economic reason why trade between the EU and the UK needs to have tariffs. Indeed it would be stupid to move from free trade to unfree trade.It would be economic madness.
    b. There is no economic reason why a satisfactory customs arrangement cannot be arranged

    The only thing that interferes with the above is the political argument that the UK cannot be seen to be rewarded for its betrayal of the EU ideal.The battle ,and it is an internal EU one, is the strength of that against commercial interests.my sense is that the pendulum is swinging towards commercial considerations helped by the visible chaos that Brexit has inflicted on the UK political class.

    c. ECJ .Some court has to oversee the trade deal.The EU baulks at the supreme court and the UK does the same about the ECJ. Some EEA minus compromise is well capable of being agreed.

    d. Freedom of movement. Politically there has to be an end to free movement as far as the UK is concerned.However, having regained control of our right to oversee our own immigration policy we could out of self interest agree very generous reciprocal arrangements but not a s part of the treaty without safeguards for change.

    e.Fisheries. Some posters might say that this is minor but politically it is a major and the one are where betrayal can be shouted in the UK. In the EU there are strong political pressures to maintain the status quo especially in the Euro parliament which might kick up rough about this. The UK minimum is that the UK achieves primacy over he control of its waters to 200 miles Subject to that transitional joint boards, transitional arrangements, historic rights are all up for negotiation.UK political red line is that UK has final control. It could be a hot potato and require the Gove to be there.

    f.Divergence.We are at present not divergent from the EU as far as regulations etc are concerned. There are two approaches. The first is that we mirror the EU in all things. This simple but incompatible with our future economic development. The second is to accept that there will be divergence but manage it within the trade dispute/ agreement and adjust on a continuing basis. There isa deal to be done here.

    g. City of London

    h. services.The UK needs to press for the full array of services to be included.

    i. continuing payments. If we want a trade deal we will need to pay something setting principle aside. The issue is how much and how one dresses it up for the Public. For many reasons probably about 4-5bn?.

    Many Brexiteers will huff and puff but the gains are massive fro m the starting point of being in an ever closer political union and with sovereingty restored to parliament. Many ardent remainers will also object because all said and done we will have left the EU and as we know on this site many posters are emotionally attached to the concept.

    but if TM can pull it off 2022 is no forlorn hope for her

  25. @ TREVOR WARNE

    To make it clear, i support staying in the EU on existing terms and i think if there were a second referendum based on facts, then a majority would agree to maintain EU membership.

    The point i was making is that the likely deal of a large divorce payment and continued annual fees is not going to be popular with either those who voted leave or remain.

    Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn currently rule out holding a second referendum, because of how this makes the UK look as a democracy. But i would argue that a vote on the outcome of the EU negotiation, would be something that a democratic country should do. The first referendum was not based on any genuine leave option that was costed. Those who support Brexit say it was an instruction of the British people to leave the EU instituitions at any cost. I am not sure this is true, as if it were then that would be something Government never intended people to believe.

    I would argue that triggering A.50 is only the start of the withdrawal process and it can be revoked by consent of the EU, without losing any of the existing membership terms. Of course, once the A.50 period expires, the EU would be be free to look at the UK’s application under A.49 to return to the EU. Then the terms of any membership might well change.

  26. @S Thomas – As someone who normally disagrees with your posts, I have to say that I find your last one very impressive and well worth discussing in detail. I await with interest what others have to say about it.

  27. @JOHN PILGRIM

    It’s because I agree so strongly with your first paragraph that I have reservations about your second.

    No doubts a factor in the referendum campaign, and an ex post facto criticism of the Remain campaign, was its failure to provide adequate information about the functions and benefits of the EU. Arguments focussed only on the economic, and couched in negative terms (that is, they always felt like “Brexit bad” never “EU good”).

    This created a disconnect between the two cohorts of voters last year. Those for whom both the fact and the significance of the economic downside were persuasive were overwhelming for remain, the flip side being that those who were for leave were predominantly those who were either not sold on the fact of the economic downside or factored it in as price worth paying for their own personal view of the upside.

    The drawn out experience of Brexit negotiations feels to me just more of the same. And for me that’s why the polls have NOT shifted much.

    For Leave voters, the prognostications of economic doom were already in the price, either because they were not believed or because they were believed to be worth paying. If I am right, then hat the same people are still saying the same things is not much of a story.

    Starting from this analysis, I would expect to see what we have seen from eighteen further months of the same as what we had for two months in the campaign. A combination of a little chipping at the edges of the Leave vote, an increased polarisation at its committed core, and a “are you still going on about that?” disinterest from its bulk. I see all three of these in the current poll evidence.

    Then data at present probably fit both hypotheses. And even if one is nearer the underlying truth now, it doesn’t stop the other ending up being true after another series of events, dear boy. Which one you cleave to might affect your strategy if you’re pushing for a real change of heart in the electorate though.

  28. JOHN PILGRIM

    @” if EU labour is now to be substantially reduced,”

    First -Control of all inward migration .
    Next-Immigration Policy development over time , related to economic need,and social cohesion.
    Last-the Effect on immigration numbers.

    Thats the way it will work John.

    Open Borders is not Control. Is not democratic, is not conducive to political accountability.

    You always seem to start from the wrong end John. Its as though you believe that large scale, uncontrolled, unmanaged immigration is-in itself-a “good” thing. If anything qualifies as ” a spurious argument based on a poorly considered and muddled prejudice.” -that is it.

  29. S THOMAS

    INteresting post. Sets out the agenda nicely.

    It will certainly be tough.

    I don’t agree with your last sentence though.

  30. @RHUCKLE
    ” I am not sure this [that a leave vote was an instruction to leave the EU instituitions at any cost] is true, as if it were then that would be something Government never intended people to believe.”

    As a matter of history I think this is plain wrong. The then government, and the PM in particular, chose to portray a Leave vote as exactly that, both as a campaign strategy and more fundamentally by insisting on a single once for all vote in the face of arguments that there should have been the two stage process you advocate from the outset.

    In fact, the leaders of both sides preferred a single once for all vote, presumably presumably as both felt it maximized their chances of achieving clear victory for their primary objective by eliminating from the table those wishy-washy middle way compromises that they feared might appear for the second vote.

    Mr Cameron bet the farm on one hand, and lost.

    I won’t buy the Leavers’ argument that this means there cannot be another vote. A previous PM’s tactical choice, even if endorsed by a previous Parliament, does not bind its successors indefinitely. After all, if it did we couldn’t have had the 2016 referendum in he first place. Campaign for another vote by all means (not that you need my permission!). But its a distortion of history to say the government never saw this coming. To the contrary, they invited it, albeit in the hubristic belief that the public would never vote for it.

  31. Colin

    I am not a fan of tM as i have posted before but just as we overestimated her in the past so we may be underestimating her now.

    In 2022 voters and the media will be expecting a TM car crash and a corbyn victory lap.Expectations are everything. .

  32. @ R HUCKLE – “To make it clear, i support staying in the EU on existing terms”

    That ship has long since sailed!

    Do you honestly think the following (political dimension):
    – Juncker wants Farage+co reelected as MEPs in 2019?
    – Verhoffy chappy thinks we’d have the same door back in as we left on the way out?
    – Macron wants UK interfering with his plans for the EU?

    Then on the actual terms do you honestly think the following (economic dimension):
    – we’d keep our rebate?
    – we’d keep all our vetoes (the tax veto is the one I’m most concerned about and it is already fairly weak)?
    – we’d be able to veto any future federal plans (e.g. army)?

    at least you acknowledge DC’s terms are off the table so we wouldn’t even be voting on those being part of staying in EU

    If Remain (which is really Revoke+Return) go into a new ref with the pitch that we can stay on existing terms then bring it on!! Even Clegg isn’t that naive – he thinks we’ll rejoin a reformed EU and I’d agree with that. Clegg is a little light on what that reformed EU would look like of course as I suspect he knows it only appeals to a very small hard core Remain group.

    I’m not naive, I’m totally aware the likes of Tusk will say “the door is always open” but I fully expect EU will adopt a phased approach to Return in which we settle leaving bill first then apply to rejoin on terms agreed by the 28. If we rejoin full EU then they’ll reimburse the exit bill.

    I can also see how Project Hope will lie in the next one. They’ll have to do a better job spinning the NHS bus lie but let’s look at the maths from a ‘creative’ perspective:

    50m is roughly 3% of GDP (that roughly matches the ‘dip’ in most economic models but they assume a static govt response) – show upfront where that would be spent, better yet start spending it, better to spend it at home than hand a cheque to Brussels
    [ignores what we’d have to pay anyway but doubt most people will pick that up]

    Without our rebate we’d be up to (almost) 15bn/yr payment which is almost 1% of GDP. Most static models again would turn a +1% boost to GDP into a +ve forward scenario (if the money was wisely reinvested in UK). A dynamic model would show it enhances forward potential (if spent wisely).
    [some models do consider the current UK payments but no one considers a new EU scenario with lose of rebate – folks won’t understand the details but they’ll understand “losing our rebate”]

    The key for Leave next time around is having a CON leader and CoE that believe we can succeed outside the EU and are prepared to invest in the UK and do whatever it takes to get through the ‘dip’. Brexit will be a far smaller hit than the financial crisis and this time we have the benefit of being able to plan in advance. Assuming we have govt that can makes those plans in advance of course! Also all IMHO of course :)

  33. COLIN

    ” I’m off at high tide to watch nature do its worst against the impregnable bastion of Old Blighty’s cliffs.”

    Racist !

    Re the Boring Open – it seemed to become moribund with only one peep playing – but then, that’s typically the way I suppose….

  34. S THOMAS

    @”t just as we overestimated her in the past so we may be underestimating her now.”

    I hope so.

    I noted from this mornings reports that the Maltese PM had said TM’s speeches & contributions had been “her best yet” in Brussels.

    Maybe she is learning on the job :-)

  35. CATMANJEFF
    Many thanks for your generous comments; clearly you have a better understanding of me than many. One of the reasons I like this site is that the views seem come from all classes of society and all angles which is interesting. Unfortunately Brexit engenders very passionate and opposing views (including my own) and this has had a negative effect on the site. It’s good to be able to disagree without rancour as clearly you and I do quite often.

    Mike Pearce
    Thanks to you as well. It doesn’t bother me, and I certainly am never going to back down when attacked unless I think I am in the wrong, but thanks anyway. My last comment to CATMAN applies to you as well.

    Paul Croft
    Thanks to you as well Paul. It seems have a tendency to provoke obsessive behaviour in a few others, I can think of two who post here who have shown similar behaviour in the past. To be frank I worry for them, I suspect it’s not good for their health.

    On a more pleasant note, my youngest daughter, who is a trained Opera singer, loves the Kirkby/Lindberg recordings. She finds the combination of the lute and that crystal clear voice a delight, as I do.

    Carfrew
    Thanks for pointing out that interesting study.

    PeteB
    Yes it is an interesting study. I thought you comments again very balanced, many improvements, and some deterioration sums it up well.

    Danny
    “Then EU membership has not proven a handicap to you.”
    For me personally no, but I think it has for the country at large it may well have held us back economically. Just IMO of course.
    “Pensioners voted to leave because they already have all the wealth they need and don’t went to be engaging with foreigners? If thats the case, what on earth will they now be thinking of all this talk of expanding our relationships with countries we have never heard of, and all round the world?”

    There are many reasons why pensioners voted to leave. Since I have visited many, many places in the World and mixed with the locals in the countryside, much less so in the towns, one of my reasons is very much about expanding our relationships with countries we do little trade with at present.

    Colin
    Your 7.31
    Yes some views expressed here beggar belief as I just rather tamely pointed out to Danny.
    I can understand your enthusiasm for the elements but do take care.

  36. S Thomas
    I’m with you on this one! Although I don’t think it will save Mrs May.

  37. S Thomas: The only thing that interferes with the above is the political argument that the UK cannot be seen to be rewarded for its betrayal of the EU ideal

    Firstly, it’s good to see an outbreak of realism and loss of hyperbole in your post. Someone earlier was talking of a change in the loudness and self-confidence of brexiteers both on Any Questions? and UKPR. Peering over a cliff edge that was always there does eventually undermine confidence in the ability to fly. Or – perhaps a better analogy – the appeal of bungee jumping diminishes when you step up and finally see how thin and frayed the rope is…

    Nevertheless, in your quote above I think you’ve got it the wrong way round. What makes your outlined deal (which looks remarkably like EEA membership, refined to Norway less Schengen) problematic for the UK is our self-imposed and stridently proclaimed red lines.

    A deal similar to what you suggest has always been one of the available options, give or take a bit of haggling. It’s taken 17 months (so far) to get ourselves psyched up to accept that. Perhaps it was always going to take that long to show that the hard-brexit emperor had no clothes, in which case it’s possible May will in retrospect be judged to have played a blinder in letting her gung-ho faction and voters down gently.

    Of course, as @TW likes to inform us, EEA membership is just EU-lite without the influence and control (Brexit – handing back control! would be the slogan). So we could end up in a less advantageous position than if Remain had won. But, hey-ho, if that’s the will of the people, so be it.

  38. Anyone know anything about the Isle of Bute/Rothesay – from the point of view of a holiday?

  39. PAUL CROFT

    An Echo chamber for one :-)

    Off to see what Brian is doing at Rock a Nore now. Another bit of England slipping into The Channel?
    I quite like the metaphor of England retreating from the French; cubic metre by cubic metre :-)

  40. Cheers Howard, that’s nice to hear.

  41. @ R HUCKLE
    “i think if there were a second referendum based on facts, then a majority would agree to maintain EU membership.”

    Holding one referendum was hugely damaging to Tories, I don’t think they’d have any chance of surviving a second.

    If the Labour party publicly committed to hugely poisonous re-referendum, they would immediately go from c.42% to c. 25% in the polls!

    Ain’t happening. As Dimbleby said on the morning after “We’re out”.

  42. PAUL CROFT.

    Never been to Bute. Kept meaning to-its the home of my Clan :-)

  43. Clan Colin?? What’s the tartan like?

  44. @ S THOMAS – your point g – London

    EU tried to pull Euro business back to EA19 in 2015 but ECJ ruled in favour of UK – it was considered quite a win for UK back at the time! IMHO ECJ understood the timing was wrong as Frankfurt wasn’t ready and they’d have to risk snubbing NY, etc at the same time

    Does anyone seriously think that won’t come up again no matter what kind of Brexit we get? Even if we stay in the EU that business will be gone IMHO.

    – EFSF is morphing into EMF so EA19 won’t need IMF next time.
    – Trump and Putin combined have alarmed EU into need to create their army, etc.
    – QMV voting rules changed on 1April

    The EU was reforming to become more self reliant well before Brexit and we’ll lose some EU service business regardless. The key is to make up for that lose elsewhere:

    – reshore some manufacturing (boost domestic economy and be less dependant on EU imports)
    – increase service and other exports to non-EU
    – ensure a stronger WTO is prepared to tackle EU cheats
    – ideally all of the above!

    We should have been doing all of that years ago of course – its not the EU’s fault we’d been naive and lazy!

    We need to stop crying over spilt milk, see the EU for what they are and avoid the obvious trap of being dumped into the EEA where we’d not only lose a chunk of London but we’d be unable or unwilling to respond with either a drop in EU imports or an increase in non-EU exports.
    (the only +ve in EEA is fishing rights are different to EU)

    Sprinkle in some IMHOs!

  45. COLIN

    Let’s hope she is learning. It has taken long enough. It will be interesting what the divorce bill ends up being. Johnson can then perhaps explain where that extra money for the NHS is going to come from.

    We are miles away from any kind of settlement and although a no deal looks less likely May is no closer to pulling off a deal that will bridge the gaping divisions within her own party. There will be a heavy price to pay for any trade deal and I am far from convinced many Leavers will be happy about it.

    S THOMAS

    2022 is a long way away. Even if May negotiates a deal with the EU it is highly unlikely to make us better off as a country. Besides it’s not just about Brexit. We still have targeted austerity and a lot of anger in the country towards the Tories. If she does survive until 2022 I doubt she will be facing a Corbyn led Labour anyway.

  46. JinB

    ” As Dimbleby said on the morning after “We’re out”. ”

    Well, last time I looked – we weren’t.

  47. Last post for this morning: 2nd Ref

    I’m coming at this from a completely different perspective to Remain, assuming following:

    – CON currently really don’t want it
    – Corbyn wants it even less than CON
    – The EU ‘deal’ terms will be punishing and May will not be able to sell those to her own back bench
    – HoC deadlock and a new ref might be the only way CON can avoid Brexit ripping their party apart, they survived the immediate aftermath of the last one better than LAB!
    – LAB would have to go along with a new ref and hence Corbyn would be flushed out

    To get to this point LAB would have to have blocked CON in HoC so LAB would be obliged to formally support “deal” terms. I doubt May would still be around but if it is her or someone else they’ll support “clean exit”. Corbyn might do a “no show” of course and CON could conceivably place a little ambiguity in their argument but that would risk UKIP resurgence so I think CON would have to be full-on clean exit and make sure CoE is onboard!!

    Can’t be bothered multiplying out the cross-breaks again but CON-Leave and LAB-Remain are by far the two biggest groups. CON-Remain is a political impossibility but LAB-Leave is probably the default if DD-Barnier are still deadlocked in Dec and May just keeps her fingers crossed that Merkel will come to her rescue.

    I’d like CON-Leave with a workable mandate. Since CON-Remain is politically impossible the next option for me is LAB-Remain. Very few people, apart from LAB front bench, want a LAB-Leave outcome.

  48. S Thomas

    “Fisheries. Some posters might say that this is minor but politically it is a major and the one are where betrayal can be shouted in the UK. In the EU there are strong political pressures to maintain the status quo especially in the Euro parliament which might kick up rough about this. The UK minimum is that the UK achieves primacy over he control of its waters to 200 miles Subject to that transitional joint boards, transitional arrangements, historic rights are all up for negotiation.UK political red line is that UK has final control. It could be a hot potato and require the Gove to be there.”

    While I agree that politically it is appealing, it could end up in a huge problem.

    1. Quite a few fishing companies transferred their fishing vessel licenses to EU fishing companies (often remaining a silent partner without any equipment as those were transferred). This is because otherwise they cannot sell their catch in the Uk.
    2. If you visit any of the southern fishing wholesale markets,you will see that many of the buyers (especially for higher value fish) are from the EU.
    3. So the date of the industry will depend on the trading agreements on fish. It could create a massive shift in demand and supply, or even moving some of the inland wholesale markets to the Continent.

    And just to add: Continental buyers tend to pay in cash (instant payment rather) while British buyers 30-90 days later. Considering the cashflow problems in the industry, a trade agreement with restrictions may give a sharp shock to the industry (destroying the livelihood of smaller fishing companies).

  49. @trevor warne

    EU tried to pull Euro business back to EA19 in 2015 but ECJ ruled in favour of UK – it was considered quite a win for UK back at the time! IMHO ECJ understood the timing was wrong as Frankfurt wasn’t ready and they’d have to risk snubbing NY, etc at the same time

    ECJ is supposed to be a court. Are you suggesting that this decision was simply influenced by politics?

    As I understand it, London is supposed to be a world centre of finance. It is much bigger in financial terms than Frankfurt or Paris and it has a lot of expertise and advantages. I can see that Frankfurt, Paris and Dublin and indeed Hongkong, Singapore etc would all be keen to get a bit of London’s action.

    But are there any advantages to the EU in being closely connected with a truly world centre as well? I would have thought there might be and that this might help in getting a deal. I can certainly see that they might not be able to do the things they want to do (e.g. have a Tobin tax if they want that) without having London on side.

    So from what seems to be your expert knowledge of financial matters can you sketch out any kind of way in which S Thomas;s point G might be the basis of a mutually advantageous deal.

  50. This line from Laura K on the BBC website:

    ” Number 10 is well aware of this.
    One insider told me “it’s all about the quantum,” what “the party would swallow’. ”

    convinces me even more that, since these negotiations are actually about the UNITED KINGDOM leaving the EU – and not just the soddin’ Tory Party – that, from the outset, all political parties and regions should have been represented in such negotiations: with a final choice then being offered to the electorate.

    And Cameron should have been the one to make that clear at the outset – before nicking off for his well-paid private work, to supplement his meagre pension.

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