Thursday 16 August 2018 - People's Vote

Thursday 16 August 2018

Morning briefing: Scotland backs People's Vote - Hunt-ing for no deal - why EU hates Chequers

Support for a People’s Vote in Scotland is even higher than in the rest of the country, reveals a bumper new poll by the People’s Vote campaign. The YouGov survey of 2,000 Scots - twice the normal size - showed 48% of voters are in support versus 31% opposed.

For SNP voters support rises to 66% and for Labour voters 64%. This suggests both parties’ leaders - Nicola Sturgeon and Jeremy Corbyn - are out of step with their supporters, as neither has so far backed a People’s Vote. The Labour leadership is also under pressure today from Gordon Brown. Recent polling shows a million Labour supporters nationwide have turned their backs on Brexit, the former prime minister told the Edinburgh International Book Festival.

The people of Scotland are also even more keen to stay in the EU than they were back in 2016. The new poll showed a 66% to 34% split, compared to the 62-38 result in the referendum.


This is hardly surprising when you consider some of the other findings from the survey:

  • Barely one in 10 Scots think the government will get a good deal;
  • Almost two-thirds say Westminster is ignoring Scotland’s concerns on Brexit;
  • 80% think it’s likely many promises made during the referendum will be broken;
  • 56% think Brexit will make Scotland’s economy weaker;
  • 46% think the NHS will be worse off;
  • 42% think their families will be poorer thanks to Brexit;
  • 53% think their children will be worse off than their parents if Brexit goes ahead.

Scotland never thought Brexit was a good idea, and the way this government has carried it out is confirming their worst fears. No wonder opposition is rising. Scots have a chance to register their unhappiness at a big People’s Vote rally in Edinburgh on Saturday.


Quote of the day

“The leaderships of both the SNP and the Labour Party are in the wrong place with most of their supporters. There may be an electoral dividend in Scotland for one of these parties if they strengthen their position.

“For instance, by a margin of three to one Labour supporters want Jeremy Corbyn to campaign for a public vote while Nicola Sturgeon may yet want to move faster than she has in backing such a route on Brexit.”

Pollster Peter Kellner, former president of YouGov

Graphic of the day

An overwhelming majority of doctors think that Brexit will hurt the NHS, a poll from the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health reveals. Let’s have a People's Vote to protect our health service and those who depend on it!


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No-deal latest: plunging pound and pandemic problems

The pound would plunge, making us poorer, and the public would face the risk of pandemics. These are just the latest warnings about what crashing out with no deal would mean.

The first is from our own foreign secretary. Jeremy Hunt admitted the market reaction to “no deal” would see a “significant short-term impact”. Ominously, at the same press conference in Latvia, his counterpart said he thought the chances of no deal were now “50:50”. The warning about pandemics is from the BMA. The body which represents doctors is concerned about not being able to coordinate responses with the EU as easily after Brexit.

Meanwhile, the pro-Brexit transport secretary doesn’t seem to have a clue about what no deal would mean for his sector. The road haulage industry has told The Telegraph it is concerned about Chris Grayling’s lack of knowledge.

Tweet of the day

Astounding account of a meeting between road haulage industry leaders and transport secretary Chris Grayling, from the Telegraph's James Rothwell. You can read the entire Twitter thread here.



EU really hates Chequers - now we know why

The risks of no deal are rising, because Theresa May’s botched Chequers proposal has no support - either in her party, the country or across Europe. That has become evident in reports of a European Commission briefing leaked to the Telegraph. During the presentation on July 5, a top EU economist described how May’s plan to keep the UK under EU regulation for goods but not services posed a risk to the EU’s single market. She warned it would hand the UK a competitive advantage. For example, 20-40% of the value of a car is in services (IT, R&D, financial, distribution, etc.) on which the UK could diverge and undercut the EU.

Separately, the EU suspects the UK intelligence services got hold of this briefing by bugging the meeting, according to the Telegraph. It’s not a great context in which to be starting talks again today. And it’s certainly no way to build the goodwill to turn next month’s informal Salzburg summit into a negotiating session between Theresa May and other leaders, a UK proposal which the Guardian reports has been flatly rejected.

Video of the day

Actor and comedian Tracey Ullman plays politicians on TV, but rarely speaks out on politics. But Brexit is too big to ignore. That's why Tracey is backing a People's Vote on the final Brexit deal.


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More Brexit news…

Minister Alistair Burt canvasses constituents on views over EU deal referendum (Sky)

Boris Johnson to push pro-Brexit agenda from Tory conference sidelines after blasting PM’s ‘Chequers plan’ (Sun)

Brexit could 'hugely damage' the Premier League warn top club bosses from Leave voting areas (Mirror)

Leading Brexiteer invested £70,000 in firm advising clients to buy gold to avoid impact of a no-deal Brexit (Business Insider)

Don’t copy Brexit, Hunt urges the Danes (Times £)

Top Brexit comment

Franz Fischler: A no-deal Brexit will be a disaster for the UK’s young people (Guardian)

Layla McCay: Brexit is a public health hazard in Europe and the UK (FT £)

Martin Kettle: Will a second referendum be just another Brexit fantasy? (Guardian)

Graphic of the day 2

Here's a fun spoof from Another Europe Is Possible, slamming pro-Brexit Labour MP Kate Hoey for propping up the government in Parliament. You can visit Hoey's full "campaign" website here.


Looking forward...

Today, Thursday 16 August

- Parliament in recess
- Brexit negotiations in Brussels: technical talks on Northern Ireland
09:30 ONS: Retail sales figures published

Tomorrow, Friday 17 August

- Parliament in recess
- Brexit negotiations in Brussels: technical talks on future relationship