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British EU Referendum Thread

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Taure, Oct 13, 2015.

  1. Taure

    Taure Magical Core Enthusiast Prestige DLP Supporter

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    It all depends on Brexit. No one wants to take responsibility for it, nor responsibility for scuppering it by unseating the government, so for as long as Brexit negotiation stretches out (through a transition period, or an agreed extension to negotiations), I think May will stay in power.
     
  2. blob

    blob Fourth Year

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    So there's finally some slow progress. ~£35-40bn divorce bill, no hard border @NI, citizens' rights between EU and UK will be protected if you moved before March 2019 (with a potential 2 year extension).

    Not sure what's the deal with Ireland<>NI<>UK to be honest.

    I'm also still uncertain as to what the UK actually gains from the entire debacle except less Eastern Europe immigrants (and how much of a win that is, I leave up to you). Could be that Brexit turns out to be a blessing in disguise if EU were to continue to integrate, although who knows what the future will bring.
    OTOH EU already has a replacement lined up - we just signed a decent trade agreement with Japan today, so we still have a quasi-xenophobic island buddy, but with waifus and tentacle porn.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2017
  3. Sesc

    Sesc Slytherin at Heart Moderator

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    As far as I can see, May just bet the house on getting a deal. Because the "in absence of ..." means nothing else than that Britain will follow EU rules exactly if there is no deal, so some sort of weird, self-imposed quasi-EU-membership. If they honour this, hard Brexit just died in a corner. Even if May isn't saying that (yet).

    Says who? They'll be "free" to come into the country still, for example via the Irish border. You just can't square "get back control of our borders" and "no hard border", and so the former was nixed in favour of latter. It's the ultimate revenge of reality: If you promise contradicting things, one of them has to give. In what's surely the weirdest development of the year, May is now getting congratulations for surrendering, essentially -- but the fact that she had to was only because she struggled against it to begin with, and what keeps her in office is that no one is calling it that.

    I wonder what happens when, in the coming negotiations, the soft Brexit she just committed to without admitting it -- in fact, without even discussing it, the government literally don't know what they want -- becomes a de-facto reality. Her hardline-Brexiteers aren't going away just because now there's a deal.
     
  4. Taure

    Taure Magical Core Enthusiast Prestige DLP Supporter

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    Yes and no. The entire document is explicitly subject to a final deal being agreed. It's not itself an agreement. So something that is explicitly not an agreement outlining what happens if there's no agreement is somewhat pointless - it's similar to the fact that an "agreement to agree" is not enforceable.

    If no agreement is reached then May can completely renounce the current document, "exit bill" and all. Nothing is really agreed until everything is agreed.

    What's the point of this document, then? It allows those issues to be "put to rest" for the remaining negotiation period.
     
  5. Sesc

    Sesc Slytherin at Heart Moderator

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    So, given all the recent developments ... @Taure, better reading of it than I had. Except for the fact that the limits of this "agreement to agree" mean that precise problem hasn't been solved, and therefore keeps popping up. We're just arguing the same thing one level higher, so to speak. The EU will insist that the exit bill include provisions for what happens if there is no customs agreement, as detailed in the "option three" thing from last week (NI remains de facto part of the EU).

    I think we can safely say that the Narnia option (some fancy whizbang tekkie gizmo that solves all customs problems that existed ever) does not exist, because if it would, it would have been found by now. So we need the four core points:

    Ireland isn't part of Schengen, so the fourth is actually the easiest: All persons going to and arriving from Ireland already need passports. Hence, they could travel on the entire island freely -- as far as the EU is concerned. Britain, of course, has the problem of not wanting Poles, which are free to enter Ireland which would be free to enter NI which would be free to enter England. Unless it does some checks of their own ... somewhere. Maybe with their to-be-developed technology.

    For the third, the "regulatory alignment" could be enough ... if Britain decided to mirror every EU standard that exists and will ever exist. Which is a somewhat funny idea, since the gain in "freedom" is not being forced to abide, but now forcing yourself to abide, except you no longer can decide what you want to abide by. It's dictated from the outside. Not a problem for the EU, except, of course, that they'll want a clause that stipulates what happens if some future parliament does not mirror a certain standard, but a hard (and deeply ironic) sell to Brexiteers.

    The second thing is something that no one understands anyway, so it can be done quietly (unless the Sun discovers BILLIONS PAID INTO EU BUDGET and it's just one of those days).

    Which leaves the first, and that's the problem. Granted, May hasn't said exactly what she want the FTA to look like, but it's not supposed to look like Norway, which would be the summary of points three and one: Norway follows all EU regulations without a say, and is a member of the customs union. Unless she is hoping to negotiate something that looks like Norway, while making a lot of noise, in order to be able to say it's not Norway, I just don't see how the three positions can be squared. No border checks on the island, no border checks in the Irish Sea, and no customs union. You can't get around it -- even the (pretty smart) "shared space" idea involves checks (though no restrictions) on goods and people leaving the island. I don't see the DUP agreeing to that; Ireland and the EU might.

    Apparently, one idea seriously is to simply do nothing. As in, no agreement, but no enforcement of the border of any kind.

    That, indeed, would be unprecedented, as far as I am aware. Just not in the way I think most people thought of "unprecedented". A border for which no shared set of rules exist and which is also not enforced. At this point I'm getting out of my depth as to what this means, so if anyone has insights (historians? international law experts? economists?) -- do share.

    It does seem like smuggler's dreamland, for one thing.
     
  6. Darth_Revan

    Darth_Revan Secret Squirrel Prestige DLP Supporter

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    The sneaky alternative option is growing silently in the back of everyone's mind: Stop this idiotic madness and just don't Brexit.

    The fact of the matter is that whatever the Telegraph might print every day, the EU position has been clear and unequivocal: You cannot have your cake and eat it too. Meanwhile, May and the Tory government have been trying desperately to prove to everyone that they not only can have their cake and eat it, but also shit gold and breed unicorns.

    Britain must either learn what Brexit actually means, which is out of everything because you can't have things if you aren't willing to take what comes with them, or Britain resigns itself to the fact that if it wants things, it has to take what comes with them, and for that, it's really better to stay in after all, because then you have a say.
     
  7. Dark Belra

    Dark Belra Minister of Magic

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    The latest news from Theresa May is to model the Irish border after the US/Canada border. It was pretty much shutdown by the Taoiseach instantly. Honestly I don't think the Irish border is solvable for May, not with the DUP working with her.

    There is also a different option. Northern Ireland rejoins Ireland. That would solve things quite neatly for everyone except for unionists up north.
     
  8. Taure

    Taure Magical Core Enthusiast Prestige DLP Supporter

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    The thing that the EU, and especially the Taoiseach, are consistenly misjudging is the British order of priorities. The UK political establishment is more commited to Brexit than they are to a) avoiding a hard Irish border and b) Irish peace in general. If the EU continues to insist that the only possible solution is an intra-UK border down the Irish sea, then the UK will absolutely refuse to sign the deal, there will be a cliff-edge Brexit, and the hardest of Irish borders will appear.

    There has to be some kind of compromise. But the EU has shot down every single compromise suggested by Britain as "having cake and eating it", a tiresome phrase which has been used to disguise all manner of negotiation failures.

    At this point, unless the EU give way on the inseperability of the 4 freedoms (possible, given that it was a new doctrine invented specifically for the Brexit talks, but unlikely), or otherwise come to some custom FTA that would allow a seemless UK-EU border, some kind of Irish border is inevitable.
    As far as May is concerned, this is what the British people voted for: she explicitly stated, before the referendum, that Brexit would mean a hard Irish border, and then the British people voted for Brexit anyway.

    In unrelated Brexit news, here's something that's actually a rather good idea:

    https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/the-future-for-food-farming-and-the-environment

    Currently, EU farming subsidies are paid to landowners on the basis of the size of the land they farm. More land = more subsidy. It's effectively a significant transfer of money from the taxpayer to wealthy landowners and creates some peverse incentives besides (one of the reasons why the UK negotiated its rebate).

    Anyway, the paper linked is essentially an ideas document for different ways to support farming post-Brexit, and it looks much better than the EU's CAP system. The central idea is replacing subsidies with paying farmers (not landlords) for “public goods” such as improving soils, keeping rivers clean, planting woods and ensuring public access to land.

    This feeds into the misunderstanding above. To expand the analogy:

    There used to be four cakes. When Brexit started, the EU decided that in fact there was only one cake, which you had to eat in its entirety or not eat at all.

    Britain keeps going on about the old four cake system and trying to say "okay, we won't have any cake, except a portion from each". The EU has maintained their "all cake or none" position.

    And here comes the misunderstanding: the UK absolutely prefers no cake to all cake. Your post floats the idea of abandoning Brexit but this is completely divorced from political reality. Brexit still has overwhelming support in the UK. If anything, it is more popular now than it was in 2016. Not because the idea itself is attractive, but because the referendum is considered so binding. To abandon Brexit would be to abandon democracy itself. It's not happening - support for Brexit remains about 50-50, but the proposition "we must respect the referendum result" has over 70% support. Any political party which went against that would be slaughtered at the next election, not least because most constituencies are majority pro-Leave. Nigel Farrage would come racing back to the UK and would have a chance of actually becoming Prime Minister.

    So the inevitable and only possible result of the EU insisting "all cake or none" is in fact "none" i.e. very hard Brexit. But the EU don't actually want that. The EU desperately wants an ordered Brexit, not least so that they get a shitload of cash off the UK for years to come, but also to avoid chaos in things like aviation. It's for this reason that the EU has rushed to produce a first draft of the withdrawal agreement. The idea of exit without agreement terrifies them. But their own negotiating position, with a lack of flexibility which is unprecedented in the history of international negotiation, all but guarantees it.

    The UK is guilty of floating unrealistic ideas - the idea that technological solutions can solve the Irish border issue being a prime example. But in the event of a cliff edge Brexit and a hard Irish border, the EU will be equally culpable.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2018
  9. Darth_Revan

    Darth_Revan Secret Squirrel Prestige DLP Supporter

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    No, it doesn't. And it never did. A 52-48 result is a win, but it's not a landslide. Abandoning Brexit isn't abandoning democracy if you approach it correctly; the referendum was never legally binding, it was only binding politically, and only for the time when it holds sway. The solution is simple: When the British public is inevitably faced with the stark reality of what Brexit will mean, which could be anything from diminished trade opportunities on the Continent, the loss of City finance to Frankfurt or Paris or Dublin, a hard border in NI, etc., give them another vote for 'Is this really what you want?' They'll say 'no', and then the farce is over with.

    I also think your characterization of the EU position is disingenuous. They have no incentive at all to demonstrate to their membership that you can have benefits of the Union without accepting the consequences that are laid out by the corresponding treaties. If the UK wants no borders, they have to accept Schengen. If they want market access, they have to accept free movement. If they want x, they must accept y. That has always been very clear.
     
  10. Sesc

    Sesc Slytherin at Heart Moderator

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    Well, yes, the EU has no incentive to carve out special deals that undermine its principles. It does have an incentive to help a member state, though. Ireland wants no hard border, so the EU is probably willing to go some way towards compromise in order to make that happen.

    What I'm not sure about is that everyone means the same things even if they use the same words. "Customs union" means FTA plus common external trade policy (tariffs, making deals). May doesn't want the latter, which is why she wants to leave the customs union. The obvious thing to do, then, would be to re-join EFTA which is a free trade area (Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, Liechtenstein) but not part of the customs union ... except that May doesn't want the "Norway model", either, whatever specifically she means with that.

    Then there is the EEA or "single market", which includes the free movement of goods, capital, services and labour, of which May only wants some. This, realistically, is not happening. If the EU underestimates May's commitment to "Brexit means Brexit", Britain appears to underestimate this. Switzerland is part of EFTA, but not in the EEA, having bilateral treaties instead. Which sounds like what May would want, except that Switzerland raised the exact same concerns re: immigration as the Brexiteers did; did, in fact, vote to cap immigration, to which the EU said, that's nice, but we don't want to. The end.


    However, having read more about the NI border, it seems we have to include the power of the factual here. And that is that (unless you go full North Korea) you just can't control it. Too long, too winding. You can make it highly inconvenient to all legal traffic, but you can't prevent illegal traffic.

    And that means that if May or any future government wants to control immigration, there is a de-facto border in the Irish Sea. It appeared the moment Britain voted for Brexit, and you can't get rid of it. Ports and airports on the British isle will be staffed with border security. But if that is the case regardless of what happens, then you can just accept this, not even try to enforce the NI border, and do the Shared Space model.

    "Shared space", because it would make the Irish isle simultaneously part of two trading regions -- the EEA and Britain. And the tracking tags make sure you don't get people who think they're clever by importing using South rules and exporting using North rules or vice versa. Ireland and NI would love this, I'm pretty sure. It's very attractive, because once you refine a product on the island, you will, in fact, be able to pick whatever is the most favourable import/export rule. Companies would come and settle there for just this purpose.

    If Arlene Foster puts more than just blind ideology and nationalism on the table for her party, she really should be able get on board. Or the opposition needs to step up and help out May here for a deal that fundamentally makes sense ... we're getting into dreamland again, aren't we? :|


    Edit: The one possible problem this causes is naturally Scotland. What NI wants, Sturgeon wanted yesterday, and if they get it, you most definitely will have one angry Scotswoman on your case. But of course introducing the same special status for Scotland makes the entire thing absurd, because the whole idea was to avoid a hard land border to Britain, and not create an additional one. The moment Scotland somehow is in the EEA and/or secedes, Brexit is probably over.
     
  11. Taure

    Taure Magical Core Enthusiast Prestige DLP Supporter

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    To be blunt, you don't know what you're talking about. What you're writing is completely divorced from the public discourse in Britain and is ignorant of basic facts which have formed a fundamental part of the political landscape since 2016. It reads like you've looked at some surface level articles, mostly from an "international news" perspective (i.e. basic reporting without significant detail or analysis), and are now trying to present yourself as an expert.

    Fact #1: half of people who think Brexit is a bad idea (i.e. remain voters) strongly believe that the country must now enact Brexit. This group of people has been labelled the "releavers" and have formed a major part of all political analysis of Brexit from the perspective of whether it could be reversed. The fact that you are ignorant of this is telling. Contrary to your ex cathedra declaration that this has nothing to do with democracy, the vast majority of the British voting public disagree with you. Despite Leave vs Remain split sitting at 50-50, the group that believes Brexit must happen is 68%. When you take "don't know" into account, only 22% of British people believe Brexit should be stopped.

    Every politician who has suggested that the referendum was not binding, when literally every political party and institution agreed that it would be, has been rightly crucified in the press. The EU has accepted the result and did so the day it happened, it's time for delusional liberals to do the same.

    Fact #2: Even from the perspective of the 52-48, Leave has a massive political majority in any general election. 406 constituencies have a leave majority, compared to 242 with a remain majority. That means 63% of MPs must support Brexit or be thrown out of their seats. This is the fundamental reason why both major political parties support Brexit. Going against Brexit is political suicide.

    Fact #3: Literally no one is suggesting a re-run of the referendum. There has been talk on a second referendum, yes, but contrary to what most people believe (who only read the headlines), these proposed referendums are not Leave vs Remain. They are "accept the withdrawal agreement" vs "reject the withdrawal agreement" referendums, i.e. between soft(ish) or hard Brexit. Remain is not on the table. We've activated article 50 and while the issue is legally untested, common consensus is that it cannot be revoked, and definitely not unilaterally.

    These are three basic facts which everyone who talks about Brexit should know (and most in fact do).
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2018
  12. Darth_Revan

    Darth_Revan Secret Squirrel Prestige DLP Supporter

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    To be perfectly frank, bugger off. I may not be as versed as someone on the ground with their ear to the floor, but I'm not nearly so ignorant of Brexit's finer point as you're implying.

    My stance, however, is that much of the current political paradigm on this issue in Britain is built whole cloth from pure fantasy.

    I'm on the train home from work right now, I'll address the rest later.
     
  13. Invictus

    Invictus Fourth Champion

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    That's not what the EU wants. The EU doesn't know what it wants. No one in the world does. That's what happens when you have special interests and competing parties from 27 different countries in control. Bureaucrat EU will keep in control while things are in autopilot, but don't expect for it to be calling the shots when the big chips come down. Then you will have from countries like France that wants to pillage everything it can from the UK to Poland who desperately wants to keep as close as it can from ante-Brexit period. In the end, it will be up to how the political mood and who has the strongest influence at the time each decision is made, or not made at all if they're all spending the entire time bickering. See migration.

    It wasn't the EU that 1- Voted to become part of the EU. 2- Tie a peace agreement to some of the EU core provisions. 3- Voted to leave the EU, which meant, among other things, explicitly dismounting one of aforementioned basic core provisions in the pacified region. 4- Then wants a completely unrelated third party to said peace agreement to bend itself over to it's needs after all that because it doesn't want to compromise politically.

    Truly this post proved that. Such rich knowledge.
     
  14. Darth_Revan

    Darth_Revan Secret Squirrel Prestige DLP Supporter

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    To pick up where I left off...

    The quoted poll is from before the 2017 general election, and its numbers are woefully off base. Why should we assume its evaluation of Brexit attitudes are accurate? Even if we do, it's not even the latest in this polling series. This one is newer, and it shows a decided shift away from the position you quoted. A majority still profess some level of 'Keep on keeping on' attitude, but it's a scant majority, and if the trend continues, it won't last.

    It's also clear that if the 'soft' option is removed, the constituency for keeping going with the 'hard' Brexit is by far in the minority.

    Only if you assume opinion is static, and there's no reason to assume that's the case. Since Brexit, there was a general election in which the Tories lost their working majority. Don't get me wrong, Labour did its best to pay lip service to Brexit and avoid providing a solid position on the issue, but I think the shift is at least emblematic of the fact that the political ground is volatile. The fact that recently, Labour has been moving closer to pledging some sort of customs union is, I think, a part of that.

    Sure, the Brexit vote is the only solid piece of measurement we have on the topic at the ballot box, but if the YouGov polling is even close to reality, if the ground has shifted from a 52-48 Leave majority to a 55-45 Remain majority, then if you apply that 7 point swing across the board, those constituency totals look a lot different.

    I heard a couple politicians debating exactly that on some recent episodes of Westminster Hour, so I'm not going to bother taking your word on it. Their stance seemed to be that if a second referendum were held, the choice wouldn't be 'leave with an agreement' vs. 'leave without', but more along the lines of 'do you want to leave with this, or stay.'

    Yet the EU leadership seems to be suggesting that Britain could simply change its mind. That would imply that Article 50 isn't final, and that they would be happy for Britain simply to say they'd rather not.

    Clearly, they're subject to change, these "facts".

    --
    My stance on this is that democracy must be respected, and insofar as the Brexit vote is the only explicit direction on the issue, then it continues, but I don't see why it shouldn't be acknowledged by the political climate that Brexit opinion has shifted, and politicians could credibly make the argument that they are still carrying out the will of the people if the people are in some way consulted on the matter.

    The argument that Brexit is and will ever be the only consultation on the issue, and that everyone else just has to be quiet is rather like saying 'Donald Trump one this one election, so everyone else just has to do whatever he wants.' No. People are allowed to change their minds, be consulted, and have that reflected. Democracy doesn't just happen once and then stop.

    --
    Uhh, bullshit, everyone knows what the EU wants: Institutional survival, longevity, and strength.

    What part of "I'm on a train, I'll do this later" is so hard for you to understand?
     
  15. Invictus

    Invictus Fourth Champion

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    "why should we assume your poll is right? Now MY POLL is right"

    That's a lot of ifs for no actual fact brought by you, just conjecture.

    Anedoctal evidence and arrogance... for nor reason? "I won't take your word for it. Some unamed politicians talked about it so NANANANA you're a wrong and stupid" - solid argument. Since the key thing here would 'anyone important' because the city council of nofuckinwheresville or the great bucket lord suggesting it doesn't actually mean anything.

    Oh dear, did no one told you? They've been saying that since day one. 1 2 3 4

    Sure. Since you didn't you actually prove that change, point is kinda moot though.


    Yeah, that's right. That's why democracies have a second/third turn six months after the elections called "Ya really sure ya want this dude in power? Really really? Reaaaaaaaaaaaaaaally sure?"

    And everyone wants to be rich, famous and respected. What do they immediately wants that guides their actual actions instead of nebolous intagible objectives? Oh wait. That Migration debate sure did good for EU. Lots of strengthening for the EU from it.

    The part of instead just posting later, you did an entire post just to tell someone to fuck off. That part.
     
  16. Oment

    Oment The Betrayer

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    More recent polls probably do reflect current attitudes of the public more accurately, given no cataclysmic event to shift opinions on a literal dime. As tough points are identified and seemingly not resolved in the favour of the UK, it stands to reason that more people should be more reluctant to see the entire thing through. It also does not help that the die hard Brexit camp - not May and compatriots, but the Tory backbenchers and a few newspapers - hasn't really had anything new to add to their playbook from what I've seen. (Granted, I've not been following it too closely.) Old news and all that.
     
  17. Invictus

    Invictus Fourth Champion

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    Had he stuck with that point, it would've been fine. Yet he tried to outright dismiss Taure's poll. Why? No idea.

    And yet none of the political parties are actually defending a second Brexit referendum, because people don't want another year or decade of indecision and back and forth. A lot of people would like to magically do away with it, but the actual political process would be such a nightmare and likely to set an awful precedent, that it isn't a popular option. For now. The UK is still in the delusion mode thinking it will keep it's privileged position. Reality shouldn't take that long to crash in.
     
  18. Sesc

    Sesc Slytherin at Heart Moderator

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    The EU published its negotiating guidelines some hours ago, and it's exactly what May asked for (minus the parts that can't be reconceiled, such as full openness for financial services, without common regulation, or the right to shape policy in EU agencies, without being governed by them): CETA++. A simple FTA, albeit with zero tariffs across the board, augmented with a few specific elements such reciprocal access to fishing waters. This, realistically, can happen. Combined with a special status for Ireland and/or NI (because, of course, "no tariffs" still mean custom checks and border security -- just like with Canada). Details will be negotiated, of course.

    What I'm wondering now is, despite having literally said she wants CETA++, whether May actually does. If I'm reading Philip Hammond just now
    I'm wondering. Because, y'know, this "different type of trade" was the very reason to stay in the customs union and the single market, because being part of it was reason this trade developed in the first place.

    Is he trolling, or does he indeed confuse cause and effect here? The outcome of "no customs union, no single market" will be precisely that the nature of the trade approaches that of Canada: large containers that make custom clearances more efficient because it happens batch-wise. "Roll-on, roll-off" is equal to open borders. That's absurdly obvious.
     
  19. Darth_Revan

    Darth_Revan Secret Squirrel Prestige DLP Supporter

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    Because that poll's predictions on the 2017 GE were just plain wrong, and wildly so, so there's no reason to suspect the rest is any more accurate. The state of British polling over the last five years has been shown repeatedly to be not worth the paper it's printed on. I don't even really trust the poll I posted.

    You would know this, if you could read.
     
  20. Invictus

    Invictus Fourth Champion

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    I did. I answered to it. I actually pointed out the problems one by one. British polling has plenty of problems, but you still reverted back to them when you tried to make a point, because it's by far the best we have regarding gauging public opinion. Which is why Taure posted it. Don't be intellectually dishonest, by doing exactly what you're criticising for the same reason the person you're criticizing did.

    You didn't stop using American polling/data institutes after they predicted a Clinton victory by 98,1%.

    Btw regarding YouGov polls, online, most of them performed by YouGov, actually got Brexit quite right. Here.

    I'm also gonna ask you to stop with the need to do hit-and-run posts just insulting other people when you don't have a point.