Survation’s Brexit deal results show Corbyn’s plan can unite the country


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Survation – the most accurate polling company at last year’s general election – has published results of its survey of sentiment toward Theresa May’s Brexit deal among UK voters. Its results may surprise some, given the dismal nature of May’s proposal:

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The numbers among Labour and remain supporters may well reflect the May’s relentless scare stories about a no-deal Brexit if her deal is rejected by MPs, which has of course been picked up and amplified by the mainstream media.

But the numbers also show that not only has Jeremy Corbyn’s handling of the Brexit issue so far been as intelligent as the SKWAWKBOX and even on occasion the BBC have observed, but also that Corbyn’s and Labour’s proposed way forward for Brexit is the only one that could realistically unite a majority of people in the country behind it.

Labour’s plan, with its permanent customs union, holds all the advantages of Theresa May’s deal – but without its hideous and glaring weaknesses and dangers.

The ‘backstop’ and the need for unique regulatory alignment in Northern Ireland, the difficulty getting out of unique arrangements for Northern Ireland without creating an ‘Irish Sea’ border and so on are all erased by a permanent customs union for the whole UK.

As well as avoiding serious risks and disadvantages, Labour brings far more positives to the table in its plan, which is stronger on workers rights, human rights, employment protections, the environment and more.

It also avoids tying the UK into a situation where the nationalisation of rail and utilities – massively supported by a huge majority of the population across the political spectrum – would be blocked, as May’s deal proposes.

The Bank of England’s dire-seeming – though not as bad as they’re being presented – post-Brexit predictions today are likely to have increased support for May’s deal among a section of the public, simply because people will fear apocalyptic ‘worst case scenarios’.

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Bank of England graphic: all routes lead to growth, although rates may differ

But Labour’s deal would be far better – and far more popular in a big majority of the population. The greater simplicity of the plan would mean that the UK would have a quicker transition, saving tens of billions of pounds – and at the same time avoiding the damage to the UK economy that May’s deal or no-deal would do.

Yet it would still mean the UK leaving the EU, bringing more leave voters in Labour’s heartlands and elsewhere onside, while remainers would be attracted to the stability and closeness of a positive relationship – and formal trading status – with our EU neighbours.

The numbers in the final column also demonstrate the delusion of the “people’s vote”-obsessives, who continue to insist that all problems would be solved via another referendum.

Significantly more remain voters support May’s deal than oppose it – a greater number of remainers still envisage the UK’s future outside the EU than see Brexit being overturned. A new referendum would be no less divisive and damaging than the last one – and quite probably more so.

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  1. Whistling in the dark.

    Please don’t polish a turd – the numbers simply reflect the misguided strategic decisions made early on that have gifted despairing credibility to the Tories.

    There’s a point where wish-fulfiment departs from reality.

    1. You should take your own advice, you are the one who has departed from reality.

      As 17,400,000 people voted leave any party which fails to deliver Brexit will be committing electoral suicide.

      By inciting Labour to ignore the votes of 17.4 million people you are campaigning for the Conservative Party.

      1. As 17,400,000 people voted leave any party which fails to deliver Brexit will be committing electoral suicide.

        In which case you will welcome a People’s Vote. Recent polls (this month) clearly indicate that now that they are better informed about the realities of Brexit the mood of the country has changed and the majority of the electorate now want a second vote . A People’s Vote with 3 options using STV would have a unifying affect on the country.

        Surely you wouldn’t wish to be associated with any move to deny people the opportunity of another vote because that would be thwarting the ‘will of the people’ and a denial of democracy.

        As for your thoughts on it being electoral suicide not to implement Brexit this is difficult to reconcile with the fact that Labour would go into a GE (if there is one) with a clear manifesto detailing their position on Brexit and would therefor have a mandate to carry out that policy so your argument doesn’t really really hold water.

        It is also worth noting that recently there has been substantial increase in electoral roll applications, particularly from under 45 year olds.

        ps Of course there will be absolutely nothing to stop your 17.4 million voters from voting for Brexit again IF they haven’t changed their mind.

      2. In round figures, only one third of the electorate voted to leave. If we side with the Tories on ANY version of Brexit it will be electoral suicide.

      3. “By inciting Labour to ignore the votes of 17.4 million people you are campaigning for the Conservative Party”

        Now that is twisted logic – by opposing Tory policy, I’m ‘campaigning for the Conservative Party”.


        The essential problem is, of course, the original Cameron decision to set up a mickey-mouse referendum in nthe first place.

        For Labour, the problem has been the inability to distinguish itself from the Tories. It has continued to indulge in the ‘followership’ of the Blair years, rather than taking the lead – trying to be all fictional things to all fictional men.

        The first ‘fail’ was the inability to oppose a referendum

        The next’ fail’ was to endorse a minority result as the Peeple Swill’. (Actually 37% of the electorate – with major exclusions).

        The third ‘fail’ was to support an unseemly rush to Article 50.

        The tactical ambiguity after that was fair enough – as a tactic – but not as a strategy.

        So – as said, the Party is now in a position where the wider public, worn down by mind-boggling governmental incompetence and sick of the whole bloody business, is – like the beaten prisoner – ready to support any crap idea that seems to stop the beating. Forget tomorrow. The Party provides no clear alternative.

        We are now in a position where the populace has been shoved into a dead end by an inadequate parliament. It was forseeable.

        No – at this stage I have no simple solutions, although a second vote – with all its problems – may be the best way out -failinfg parliament finding its arse and balls with two hands.

        What grieves me, as a consistent supporter of the change in direction of the Party, is that this hands the high ground to the right of the PLP, and alienates many real supporters.

        Corbyn has done well in many areas, but this one is a major strategic mistake, as is the same timidity shown by not facing down the IHRA nonsense (another ‘fail’ that is already reaping consequences).

  2. ….. but I still strongly support a People’s Vote leading to us staying in the EU. This recent survey indicates that the majority now wish to remain in the EU.
    Regardless of whether Labour get in next time does anyone really trust a future Tory government free of the constraints imposed by our membership of the EU not to decimate or rights and freedoms.
    I also value my current status as an EU citizen and the freedoms, opportunities and protections this gives.

  3. One thing in particular Carney said today that rang hollow – he praised the measures BoE had taken to ensure banks had the reserves to survive another recession and made the point they’d have the liquidity to continue lending this time.
    More to the point is whether they would, not whether they could lend to British SME’s whatever the scenario – my bet is the banks would undervalue SME assets again, cover their own arses again and keep their hands in their pockets again.
    Except for investing in foreign markets – that would look much more attractive to them.

    1. Further to your post I repost this link to a conversation with Prof. Richard Werner at Rhodes forum earlier this year. It is long, including Q&As which are well worth watching, at 1hour.20mins approx. Very interesting and thought provoking points made. I am a little familiar with his work but for those who are not I highly recommend watching and I suggest more than once.

      Many of the points you raise are covered in this video including Prof. Werner’s suggested solutions formed out of his research and experiences.

    1. ron 28/11/2018 at 8:33 pm · · Reply →
      this site is biased

      That’s hilarious…

      SteveH 28/11/2018 at 8:04 pm · · Reply →
      decimate or rights and freedoms >>>>decimate our rights and freedoms

      Better te od tyop than obsessively proof-reading everything ten times ‘~’

    2. Ohhhh Pleeeeaseee !
      go and read the Daily Hate and Excess / S*n if you want examples of bias.If you don’t like it here then don’t read it .

  4. my bet is the banks would undervalue SME assets again

    You’re right, the banks will put their own interests first and foremost. How long will it be before we see the activities like that of RBS’s Global Restructuring Group resurrected.

  5. Two things apparent from today’s data: There is no such thing as a good Brexit and there is no policy which can unite the country.

    The only democratic option now that the situation is clearer is to ask the people if they wish to stick to or change their original vote.

  6. SB, I’m startled to hear from you that Corbyn’s plan: “avoids tying the UK into a situation where nationalisation of rail and utilities … would be blocked”. If you, or somebody, could provide a touch of supporting/explanatory detail, that would be quite a thing. I want to support that plan, so no irony intended!

  7. You can have nationalised railways in the EU. France, Belgium, The Netherlands and Germany manage just fine.

    1. I am not sure that you can , actually , they had state run utilities before the inception of the EU ( 1980 ish ) and to a degree that legacy continues today.
      But since then the EU main thrust has been to advance and protect private business and private ownership . In fact the German Rail is at present undergoing creeping privatisation , I know I’ve used it on their local service lines and the EU will and does limit the amount and level of state aid to nationalised industries.
      This is why Corbyn wants out and I have to agree with him .
      At least under Corbyns deal we could expect protections from the ravages of unfettered Capitalism, whereas , May’s is open season on everybody and everything post Brexit.
      A peoples vote is not the way to go , it leaves the highly destructive Tories in charge .By all means use it to precipitate the demand for a GE that is the constructive and all encompassing solution to the entirely Tory generated mess ( that doesn’t even begin describe it ) that they have tossed / lied /blackmailed , this entire Nation into.

      1. Pretty much agree with all of rob’s comments above and Maria makes apposite comment, as always.

    2. The question for UK is can nationalisation of essential public services be reinstated within or tied to EU a la May’s ‘deal’?

      I am not even sure what the position on that would be with Labour’s proposals to be honest if it came to trying to do it under a Corbyn led government. I expect concerted and ruthless corporate and banking/financial services resistance with blanket establishment and corporate media support.

      1. Ohh there will be massive resistance to any Nationalisation you can count on it , but one hopes that Labour will have enough of a mandate / seats / MPs to overcome this and push thro its agenda. If not then the country is xxxxxd and it’s well and truly stuffed right now under this shower of shite that dares to call itself a Govt .

    3. As Rob and others point out, the legacy survives in countries like Germany etc. but re-nationalisation and significant state intervention is another story.

  8. Another Peoples Vote?
    We have had one and it was not the wrong people.
    I voted Remain as a last throw of the dice with our EC socialist and trade union partners to try to break EC and Tory Neo-Liberalism but I accept the result.
    If we can get back (with JCs Labour) democtratic control of labour and capital supply (as Pre Neo-Liberalism) and other countries follow our example then it could be argued we can break the Neo- Liberal chain and have every chance to transform society for and with diverse working people.

    1. Bazza, I think Brexit is a long way from being the last throw of the dice for the EU and UK.
      If not for their current infatuation with neoliberalism wouldn’t socialists everywhere support co-operation with our neighbours?

      The old boy network used to mean that even peccadilloes like Profumo’s wouldn’t always make the papers – now Tories real and pseudo aren’t safe asking the wife/husband/brother/tenant to own a speeding fine or boning the wife’s sister or being over-friendly with the little boys of the parish.
      Hard times for a Tory and getting harder as their support base – the wrinklies who pay £11 for directory enquiries and send money to Nigerian princes are -erm- “leaving the party” in droves.

      EU policy is no more set in stone than UK’s – their demographics are in flux just like ours and their wealth gap must be rising out of control too.
      I also suspect the rise of the far right is just a non-verbal expression of the same deep resentment we feel at the weakness of our leaders – rather than any real commitment to Fascism.

      Possibly the EU’s ‘centrists’ did a better job than ours of blaming the left for everything – but when we kick Blairite and Tory arses down the road the far right bully boys will back away into the bushes like Homer Simpson.

      1. @ for the state.
        Yes, we can stop this now – until the next time you try to paint me as a Blairite or any other obnoxious piece of ordure by ascribing to me statements I didn’t make and views I violently disagree with.

  9. There’s not enough time to organise “A people’s Vote” before march 2019

    The EU has said “This is it” –

    Why does anyone think they will grant an extension of B DAY to organise “A people’s Vote” that could swing either way?

    can the UK revoke and remain? – We’ll know shortly

    Otherwise – the people who voted Leave have won!

  10. On the subject of the European Union, and the neoliberal project that it is, can I recommend this novaramedia interview by Aaron Bastani of Costas Lapavitsas, professor of economics at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, and former member of the Hellenic Parliament for Syriza. This is as detailed and as accurate a summation of the EU’s economic agenda as you are likely to hear:


      1. EXCELLENT article , I would urge all to listen and view it .

    1. Prof. Lapavistas skipped a couple of things.
      He neglected to mention that EU neoliberals joined forces in a desperate bid to jump on the runaway gravy train of Reagan/Thatcher’s Big Bang Bubble – later to turn into the Big Burst of ’07 – because, like the rest of the world’s capitalists, they feared missing out on what looked like a magic money tree.

      The UK and the US are the real bogeymen, not the EU.

      To paint German hegemony as being weak because it relies on suppression of labour doesn’t he have to explain how China (and every developing economy) fits his theory?

      He used the supremacy of EU institutions and law (created as they admittedly were to reinforce neoliberalism) as proof of the EU’s immutability – an argument that could equally be applied to the Tory, its law and its institutions.

      If there was some actual insight in the piece somebody’s going to have to point it out to me because I didn’t see it.

      Whether democratically or otherwise the people will have the final say – the 1% will either give in gracefully or they’ll cease to exist.

      1. ps. Prof. Lapavistas didn’t mention the main advantages the rich have that they believe guarantee their continued supremacy – control of the media and free movement of capital.

        So I won’t mention them either 😉

      2. “The UK and the US are the real bogeymen, not the EU.”

        What rubbish. Tell that to the Greeks, who saw a bailout that destroyed everything but the elite – wiped out the middle class – and bailed out nothing and no one except Deutsche bank. To pretend that austerity is not EU policy is desperate. Sick to death of hearing this nonsense.

      3. And the notion that the EU somehow represents a bulwark against a world otherwise dominated by a neoliberal economic agenda is, frankly, bizarre. Please explain what economic policies other than neoliberal are promoted by the Eurogroup? Can you name a single EU country that has been allowed to adopt an economic agenda other than neoliberalism? Of course you can’t.

        Finally, to all those who argue that the EU is a bulwark against the kind of forces that produced two world wars, how is it that we are currently witnessing the steady rise of fascism throughout it? That fascism is a reaction to neoliberal economic policies that have created, and continue to create, massive inequality, and it has stepped into the vacuum created by the left who have no credible response to them, having
        abandoned socialist economic policies in favour of those of their erstwhile right wing opponents – I’m thinking of Blair, Hollande and every other pseudo left winger now out in the cold or struggling, like the Labour centrists, to retain some vestige of power; the same goes for the Clintons in the US. Thatcher and Reagan may have been the architects of neoliberalism, but Blair and Bill Clinton did far more to implement it through deregulation. If you can explain how the EU deviated from this agenda, please do so.

        (By the by, his name is Lapavitsas, not Lapavistas.)

      4. Nowhere did I claim that neoliberalism’s discredited ideology enforced by a pitiless and corrupt EU didn’t wreck Greece – or that capitalists haven’t repeatedly wrecked our economies and our lives throughout history for that matter.
        It just makes no sense to blame everything on the EU or to think leaving will make our lives better when neoliberalism is global.

        My points were that the EU didn’t initiate neoliberalism, we did – and that in or out of the EU we’re in a global fight.

        In a capitalist world determined to crush us we need allies and they need us – Labour isolated and alone starting from now with the MSM in place would be lucky to survive a parliament or two – unless AI job losses put capitalism’s failure beyond doubt in the meantime or we win in the aftermath of an even bigger crash than ’07.
        I want the Tories and the 1% gone for good, not just for a generation.

        Either by evolution or in revolution we’ll win in the end – but the sooner we understand that only by uniting globally can we overcome a globally united enemy – the sooner our victory and the less the wreckage.

      5. Thatcher and Reagan’s governments were totally responsible. The big bang was entirely their project.
        That deregulation was what turned sober bankers into reckless gamblers with a bottomless poke.
        Vast, automated, unearned plunder meant neoliberalism was set in concrete long before Blair or Clinton.

        When abandonment of caution is a proven route to riches beyond even a merchant banker’s wildest dreams – who can advise caution and expect to be heard?
        Given that their profits are private and their losses nationalised why would they ever consider stopping?
        At the very least that safety net needs to be pulled out from under them – and right now.
        Excitement in some quarters is already rising as the next crash jamboree is already anticipated.

        Incidentally I believe the US poses a far greater threat than the EU to Labour or anyone else with ambitions to tackle unequal wealth distribution.

        And another thing – given the timescale of the effects of Brexit I don’t think it would be unreasonable to positively weight the votes of the young – say the under 25’s – in any future vote.
        Or discount those of old folks like me…

        How d’ya like them apples? 🙂

      6. David, it appears there’s no way to reply directly to your last posts, but here goes. I take your point on the first, but disagree; on the second, not sure what your point is. Of course Reagan and Thatcher were responsible for launching neoliberalism. Bill Clinton and Blair inherited the ideology and pursued it vigorously. It was Clinton who repealed the Glass Steagall act in 1998, ten years before the financial collapse, along with so much more regulation introduced after the Wall Street crash of 1929. Don’t want to argue for the sake of it, but that NewLabour and the Democrats were as committed to neoliberalism as Thatcher and Reagan is indisputable.

      7. “David, it appears there’s no way to reply directly to your last posts, but here goes.” Blimey, how did I do that? It looked like I was replying to your first post. The technology around here is impressive, and way beyond me!

      8. Forthestate (for the state or fourth estate misspelling?) by ‘set in stone’ I meant it was unstoppable as soon as the money started rolling in..

        When the magic money tree has been fruiting constantly for a decade expressions of doubt about its ability to produce indefinitely are dismissed as scaremongering by the greedy.
        Doubters were derided as cranks and hounded from the field by the same profiteers who squealed “Save us, save us – nobody could have known” when the shit hit the fan.

        Of course BlairBrown should have re-regulated but next to impossible while everyone’s still coining it in, you think there’s magic in your fingers and you’ve sold yourselves as Tory Mild.

        I’d dump them in a ditch for a hundred reasons but not for the crash – that wasn’t their fault.
        Letting the Tories get away with blaming Labour for it WAS and IS their fault though, especially Brown’s.
        He knew better by then but cowardice and shame stopped him. Shame over his boastfulness and not man enough to admit his mistakes.
        Blair was just the face – a vapid, inconsequential prettyboy.

        Thanks, by the way, for not putting other peoples’ words in my mouth this time 🙂
        I’d rather be hung for my own.

      9. “Forthestate (for the state or fourth estate misspelling?)” It’s a pun, David. The Fourth Estate is for the state, and no longer a watchdog on our behalf.

        “Of course BlairBrown should have re-regulated but next to impossible while everyone’s still coining it in”. This suggests that Blair had any inclination to regulate. He didn’t. I repeat, he was and is an enthusiastic neoliberal. For goodness sake, Thatcher cited him as her greatest legacy for a reason. The notion that he would love to have regulated but the current climate just wouldn’t let him is fantasy. Really David, this is nonsense. If you don’t know that Blair is a champion of neoliberalism, as are the Clintons, then we really don’t have anything else to discuss.

      10. Pun… right. You’re not a journalist (sports writers don’t qualify) so either you’re a big fan of the state or you’re an idiot.

        Only a Tory troll or an idiot would try to twist any part of a post containing “I’d dump them in a ditch” into a defence of Blair or Brown.

        Most here don’t need every little thing explaining to them as one would to a three-year-old but the Tories always need more nitpickers – you should apply if you’re not already on the payroll.

      11. “Pun… right. You’re not a journalist (sports writers don’t qualify) so either you’re a big fan of the state or you’re an idiot.:”

        David, I’m sorry. I thought we were having a reasonable discussion. I am not a big fan of the state. Neither, with all respect, am I an idiot. The pun simply means that the fourth estate – our billionaire owned press – is a mouthpiece for the state. It’s a simple criticism of the press.

        I haven’t abused you, and I’m sorry you feel it necessary to abuse me. Can we stop this now, please?

      12. @Paulo

        And thank you for your kind words (not sure where this will appear…).

      13. It landed in just the right place – always a gamble for the likes of me too, esp. on a thread this long.

  11. The tabulation of Survation’s findings that you present is a bit odd. It shows figures for the two extremes of “Total support” and “Total Oppose” and then it groups all other variants of those views into “Neither” (excluding the DK’s).

    A conventional Likert Scale would have offered respondents the additional options of “Support” and “Oppose” to reflect the views of those who hold a qualified support or opposition for the proposed withdrawal agreement. In my experience it’s never the case in any attitudinal survey that respondents either hold an absolute belief for or against a proposal or none at all.

    We can’t tell what proportion of the “Neithes” simply “Support” or “Oppose” the withdrawal agreement but have been obliged to select “Neither” because they have been denied a suitable option that reflects their actual opinion.. The picture that has been presented might have been very different had those in favour – the “Total Supports” plus the “Supports” been compared to the “Total Opposeds” plus the “Opposeds” . I dare say there would have been far fewer respondents who actually fell in to the “Neither” category which rather suspiciously presently contains an unusually large number of people.

    In my view the table that has been published is seriously flawed. It would be unwise to draw any real conclusions from it as it is clearl that it is providing only part of the story.

    1. As said on may occasions the only poll of any validity is the GE , so lets work and support the calls for a GE . GTTO

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