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Han de Jong, chief economist at ABN AMRO, notes that British PM Boris Johnson has so far failed to produce Brexit proposals to the rest of the EU that are acceptable in the eyes of the European parliament.

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“I wonder if he intends to produce proposals that the EU can agree with and I also wonder if the European parliament will agree anything the UK government comes up with. And even if Johnson’s intentions are positive and constructive and the EU is equally constructive, how likely is it that a deal will be greeted positively by the UK parliament? Not very, I would think.”

“We continue to think that elections are highly likely, but that the outcome is hugely difficult to predict. According to opinion polls, support for the Conservatives is edging higher and they have a 12 point lead over Labour. What is interesting is that support for the Lib Dems is rising.”

“As the election may effectively become another Brexit referendum, it is not impossible that the Lib Dems will continue to rise as they have a very clear position on the issue: they are against Brexit. That can’t be said about Labour. Therefore, Labour voters for whom trying to prevent (a hard) Brexit is important may flock towards the Lib Dems. This also creates a new perspective for Tory voters who do not like the idea of (a hard) Brexit.”

“What is very unfortunate, it seems to me, is that the Lib Dem’s new leader, Jo Swinson, is relatively unknown. According to http://www.yougov.co.uk 10% of surveyed people approve of her, whereas 33% approve of Boris Johnson. The difference is explained by a large number of people not knowing Swinson: only 37% of surveyed people say they know her, against 98% in the case of the prime minister. The positive of that is that relatively few people say they disapprove of Swinson: 10% against 48% in Johnson’s case.”