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It's hard enough to construct a scenario as to how the principle actors will behave over the next two years without trying to predict how public opinion will swing as well. As you say, polling on whether the UK should leave the EU since the referendum has been broadly stable and it is only in recent months that a slight swing in favour of remain is detectable.

As you know, opinion polls on contentious issues are often a proxy for general happiness/unhappiness with how things are going, and so this may simply reflect disillusion with how the government is handling the negotiations.

It is by no means certain, based on that data, that a referendum held now would reverse the original result.

I have little doubt that public opinion may well develop in the direction you suggest, but without another general election or referendum there is no direct way that any swing in opinion can re-structure how the talks are being conducted. The Tory government can carry on regardless unless it losses it's Commons majority.

If the Brexit talks were to break down completely and Theresa May's leadership was in imminent peril I could imagine her calling another snap general election to ask whether the people wanted a "clean break" from the EU without any deal. I could see her losing that election and Corbyn resetting the talks provided he had enough time to do so before the A50 period expires.

In that scenario he would look to remain in the Single Market and Customs Union and avoid many of the complications bedevilling the current talks.

My problem with that relatively benign scenario is that (in my view) the talks are unlikely to break down completely until we get much closer to March 2019 and by that time there will be all the problems I instanced above about time extensions requiring unanimous approval.

Unlike fjallstrom , I don't believe the EU Council would simply accept a revocation of the A50 notification if the intention was simply to delay leaving and start Brexit talks all over again. The EU27 have had quite enough of Brexit already.

So if Corbyn tried to revoke the A50 notification, they would ask him simply, "are you in or out?" , and if he wants to stay in they will insist that the UK commits to not invoking A50 again for at least another 10 years.

Would Corbyn be agreeable to that?

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Oct 18th, 2017 at 04:00:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
they will insist that the UK commits to not invoking A50 again

And even if he is, what about his successor?

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed Oct 18th, 2017 at 04:22:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Personally, I think he could be letting everyone off the hook and putting them out of their misery by revoking A50.  No one will one to go there again for at least 10 years...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Oct 18th, 2017 at 04:43:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No parliament can bind a future parliament.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2017 at 09:19:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ha. With public opinion evenly split and static, the referendum result looks to be cast in concrete.

But if that favourable/unfavourble split goes to 30 points or more, which is entirely possible if that bad news keeps coming, then the Titanic post-iceberg will be more likely to keep floating.

No MP has a political principle so profound it is resistant to the threat of losing their seat at the election. Maybe Jacab Wheeze-Moggadishu or John Redwood, but I bet there's a lot of anti-EU MPs who can and would far prefer their seats inside an EU than be removed from Parliament outside it. After all, if the City goes to Dublin, all those lucrative directorships go west as well. At which point brexit means brexit may become the we tried our hardest but the terms simply were unacceptable so we're punishing them by staying.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Oct 18th, 2017 at 04:44:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe Jacab Wheeze-Moggadishu or John Redwood can't read polls,...

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Oct 18th, 2017 at 04:46:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They're ideologues. They couldn't care less about polls. The people are there to be led. By them.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Oct 18th, 2017 at 07:22:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
as I say, the ideologues might not read polls but there are plenty in the Parliamentary Tory party who will be reading them and chewing their fingers if things get noticably worse.

And they will panic and they will start making representations to number 10 about reversing policy.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Oct 18th, 2017 at 07:50:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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