back to article 'Leave' or 'Stay' in the referendum? UK has to implement GDPR either way

“In” or “out”, the UK has to implement the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This is important given that some organisations might think that a “Leave” vote might change matters with respect to the GDPR compliance (especially as the Cabinet minister responsible for GDPR implementation, John Whittingdale, is a prominent …

  1. quattroprorocked

    LEAVE EU would actually STAY in the EEA

    At least that's my understanding. Willing to stand corrected....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: LEAVE EU would actually STAY in the EEA

      That's what I was going to ask as Norway, Iceland and Lichtenstein are not members of the EU but are members of the EEA. Of course it then also may become like Switzerland who is a member of neither, but still still has the benefits of it.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: LEAVE EU would actually STAY in the EEA

        If the UK were to move from the EU to the EEA they'd need to implement practically every EU directive anyway. Norway calls this fax democracy.

        I don't think that is what the outers want. They'd want something more like Switzerland's status.

        1. Chemist

          Re: LEAVE EU would actually STAY in the EEA

          "I don't think that is what the outers want. They'd want something more like Switzerland's status."

          Suggest they might be in for a shock - see today's item on Swiss position

          http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-eu-referendum-35615604

          1. Dan 55 Silver badge

            Re: LEAVE EU would actually STAY in the EEA

            In that article, there's just one company's position (assuming the manager speaks for the whole company). There is no Swiss position though, that's direct democracy for you.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: LEAVE EU would actually STAY in the EEA

          I think what the "outers" want - similar to what scottish independence people wanted - is all the benefits of EU membership with none of the obligations.

          In other words a fantasy where they keep the "good" stuff and ditch the inconvenient other stuff.

      2. Loyal Commenter

        Re: LEAVE EU would actually STAY in the EEA

        I think maybe there are several reasons that Switzerland gets a special seat at the European table, and why we would not. Not least of which is being physically located bang in the middle of the continent, which last time I checked, we were not. Add to that the 'convenience' of their secretive banking system.

        1. Chemist

          Re: LEAVE EU would actually STAY in the EEA

          "I think maybe there are several reasons that Switzerland gets a special seat at the European table"

          I think if you read the BBC article you'd find they don't think they have. Our conditions might be even worse - who knows. But if you look at the list of conditions I don't think many of people here would prefer them to our current status.

          "Add to that the 'convenience' of their secretive banking system."

          No so secretive these days. I have to give my Swiss bank permission to share data with HMRC and that's on a current account.

    2. SolidSquid

      Re: LEAVE EU would actually STAY in the EEA

      As I understand, staying in the EEA would require negotiating something similar to what the Scandinavian countries have, but wouldn't be automatic and what we got out of such an agreement would depend on how the negotiations with the EU went after we left

      1. Len

        Re: LEAVE EU would actually STAY in the EEA

        Norway is the only Scandinavian country not in the EU. The others are EU members.

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: LEAVE EU would actually STAY in the EEA

          Well there's Iceland as well, but that's properly called Nordic.

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    3. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: LEAVE EU would actually STAY in the EEA

      Nope.

      Freedom of labor movement and primacy of the ECHR and Eu convention of human rights applies to the whole EEA, not just Eu. In fact, Eu has more options to restrict labor movement (f.e. the whole new-joiners do not get X), then a non-Eu EEA member.

      So UK if it wants to restrict it will not be able to stay in EEA. If all wishlists of the "leave brigade" (labor, human rights, etc) are complied with It will have to leave out of _ALL_ European mechanisms - EEA, ECHR, etc and join Belarus in the pariahs of the continent club.

      Any hopes that the Eu will somehow compromise on this are unwarranted as the first country to leave will be made an example of so others do not get any funky ideas. We can only hope that Switherland's decision to restrict labor movement will force the Eu hand to put them in the naughty corner first so everyone sees exactly what happens if you do not listen in class. Unfortunately, that hope is not warranted any more.

      1. Jagged

        Re: LEAVE EU would actually STAY in the EEA

        "Any hopes that the Eu will somehow compromise on this are unwarranted as the first country to leave will be made an example of so others do not get any funky ideas"

        - Won't happen. German trade, Frances trade and others are all extremely dependant on selling to us. Which is why Merkel has been so uncharacteristically willing to agree to Cameron's wish list. The EU can't afford to get into a trade war with the UK any more that we'd want to get into a trade war with the EU.

        1. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: LEAVE EU would actually STAY in the EEA

          The EU can't afford to get into a trade war with the UK any more that we'd want to get into a trade war with the EU

          I would like to hope so should we end up leaving, and the leave campaign seem to be banking on it, but I am not so confident, especially if we drift further apart in the future, which seems more likely than not.

          I do imagine Germany and France will want to keep things sweet until they are back in control of the game; which was exactly what happened over Greece. Once the EU have secured their position it will matter far less what Britain chooses to do; like Greece we will lose what leverage we had.

          I actually expect it will be Britain which derails any relationship with the EU which remains, arrogantly insisting they must do as the UK says, with the EU finally having enough of that and casting us adrift.

        2. graeme leggett

          Re: LEAVE EU would actually STAY in the EEA

          Re German and French trade, is any of that comparable to the Rotterdam Effect*, the UK is effectively a port before the goods are sold on to other nations. Or is it that we are incorporating French and German products before selling on within the EU, and that in the case of Brexit, there would no longer be an advantage?

          *http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/uktrade/uk-trade/december-2014/sty-trade-rotterdam-effect-.html

        3. strum

          Re: LEAVE EU would actually STAY in the EEA

          >Won't happen. German trade, Frances trade and others are all extremely dependant on selling to us.

          Wishful thinking.

          They sell to us - because we want their cars, their wine, their etc. Do you think the Merc drivers will be put off by 5% duty? Do you think the Germans will be put off Nissan cars with 5% duty?

      2. John Sanders
        Unhappy

        Re: LEAVE EU would actually STAY in the EEA

        ""The first country to leave will be made an example of so others do not get any funky ideas."""

        Of course, how could any country willing to exercise their sovereignty think they could go away with such a preposterous idea.

        ""We can only hope that Switherland's decision to restrict labor movement will force the Eu hand to put them in the naughty corner first so everyone sees exactly what happens if you do not listen in class.""

        Of course not, wait for us (EU) after class at the back of the school, we'll teach you a lesson you will never forgive...

        EU = Self feeding bureaucratic monster = NWO

  2. James 51

    Another reason the Tories want out of the EU, to stop Brussels tapping them on the shoulder and asking what are they doing to their citizens subjects?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I thought the leader of the Tories wants to stay in. Just saying.

      And how easily we forget Labour's National Database, sorry ID, scheming.

      1. Paul Shirley

        Strangely the Tories seen happy to ignore eu rules when it concerns the rights of their uk serfs, all the while whining about other eu countries ignoring other less important rules, especially the idiotic ones originating in the uk!

        Europe: the last non violent line of defence against our own state. Courts they cant easily override and ignore at great risk.

      2. James 51

        But everyone who wants his job is jumping on the no out bandwagon.

        There's nothing to say that because you don't like what one party (or the what one part of a party) is doing you have to like the other. A pox on both their houses (when it is required).

      3. Jess

        Re: I thought the leader of the Tories wants to stay in.

        You believe that?

        All that is certain is he wants to appear to be in favour. So that in the event of a no vote, he can negotiate as someone forced to leave and get more sympathetic terms.

        He wouldn't have gone there asking for such irrelevant nonsense, and come back in a triumph that appears to many as a complete failure, if he really wanted to stay. (He is a weasel, look at how he played the Lib-Dems to take the blame for the bad parts of the coalition, and how he convinced Ed to hand him the election on a plate).

        I think his aim would be for EU to be a trade agreement more like the TTIP, (removing the elected element).

        Being in the EEA, especially if he can negotiate a better degree of influence than default would suit him fine. (I do not believe we will be asked the question 'do we want to be in the EEA?'.)

        Just scraping a stay vote would also suit him fine.

        The interesting part is the Scotland and NI situations. The peace agreement has quite a big EU component. Pulling out might make things tricky there. (Presumably why NI is something like 3:1 in favour of remaining in the EU). Scotland rejected leaving the UK, and a big point was the worry they would be chucked out of the EU as a result. I think it pretty likely they value their EU membership more than their UK membership.

        Cameron (and Boris) must know this. So what are they playing at?

        Some sort of deal where England pulls out of the EU but the rest of the UK remains? (There is a precedent of sorts, Greenland pulled out of the EU, but remains part of Denmark.) Unlikely, but the other alternative is the break-up of the UK.

      4. Loyal Commenter

        And how easily we forget Labour's National Database, sorry ID, scheming.

        Ah yes, but those particular 'socialists' were essentially Tories, and anyway the whole ID-card spy-on-everyone thing doesn't come from the Commons at all, it comes from Whitehall, and those in Whitehall remain after a general election whoever wins.

    2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Stop repeating rubbish please

      There is only one reason for Tories to be out of the EU.

      It is money. The primary financial sponsors of the "leave" brigade are either hedge funds operating in mortgage derivatives or people with direct interests in real estate. That market in the UK is presently DEAD. Totally. All means to defibrillate it which the Torys tried in order to satisfy their sponsors have failed. There is simply not enough local money in circulation and the Russian and Saudi money which was flowing into the very few "live" areas like London is now on the wane because of petrol prices tanking and taking these with them.

      So, unsurprisingly, the rather enterprising brigade financing the leave movement has turned their eyes to the 2 million or thereabouts of Brits which either live abroad or have property abroad or both. The whole "law, human rights, labor", etc is a sham to get UK out of the EU so it forces these 2M to divest of their properties abroad and reinject the money into the otherwise moribund local real estate market.

      2 million by 100K or therabout each - that is 200 Billion pounds. For that amount of money people will not just beat nana out of her lifetime savings (in the form of a one-bad flat in a swamp in Murcia). They will start Third World War.

      Similarly, any expectations that Britain will attempt to stay in any Eu mechanisms are unwarranted. Staying in them means that the 200Bn (lower bound estimate) of money will not come home to warm the hands of the real estate speculators while the rest of the economy crashes and burns. So, the leave brigade will continue the hard line to ensure that the 2M UK people who have a property and/or a job in Europe will be forced to abandon it to feed the real estate agents and mortgage industry in the UK.

      1. Gordon 10 Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: Stop repeating rubbish please

        @Voland

        Hello sir I have that size XXXL tin foil hat you ordered.

        In a more formal rebuttal - annual house prices rises are still flying along at 9.7% pa according to Halifax which rather puts paid to your conspiracy theory that the property market is dead.

        There might be shadowy financial backers behind the leave campaign but I doubt its because they bet their profits on Mortgage derivs.

      2. eesiginfo

        Re: Stop repeating rubbish please

        >There is only one reason for Tories to be out of the EU.

        It is money. The primary financial sponsors of the "leave" brigade are either hedge funds<

        The thinking behind this post is not realistic.

        The expats abroad are not going to be forced out of their houses.

        What country is going to kick out an important cash rich population from their economy?

        It's just not going to happen.

        Are you seriously suggesting that the 'leave campaign' has been launched on the back of this concept?

        It's just nonsense.

        There are three primary reasons for the 'leave campaign'.

        1) Basic jingoism amongst a certain section of society (including immigration)

        2) Political idealism vis a vis sovereign decision making

        3) The potential to hammer out trade agreements ie. to be in the economic club, without the general political baggage, that results in costs.

        From a 'leave perspective' it makes sense to combine these different driving forces into a cohesive message, as each camp wants the same conclusion.

        Apparently, this combination is not easy to achieve, as it means getting into bed with people who you would not want to be seen dead with.

        Plus there are contradicting needs, as the trade bods are quite happy with cheap work hungry labour entering the country.

        My personal assumption, is that we'll 'stay in'.

        The majority of people will accept the €8b membership fee on the basis that Britain is doing quite nicely out of the deal, as is evidenced by the UK's vibrant economy.

        In effect... why fold a winning hand?

        We'll then see the Swiss card being played, with details of the fact that it is not all roses.... many Swiss companies having had to establish factories in the EU in order to fully benefit from the internal market.

        On top of that, pretty much every other country on the planet will be saying "we have no wish to influence the views of the British people - but we would really prefer it if you stayed in".

        Of course the arguments will be made, that Britain will anyway need to maintain many agreements that will be driven without their full seat at the table, but...

        ...Funnily enough... the final blow may be the timing of the vote.... just when all the Brits are paying for their holiday, and finding it so much more expensive with the pound on the floor (due to the risk of leaving).

        Yes.... my guess is that this will be Scotland all over again.

        1. Chris G

          Re: Stop repeating rubbish please

          I am an ex-pat, sitting having lunch and typing this by the sea in Ibiza.

          Myself and probably most of the other 1999999 expats are where we are because we don' t want to live in the UK, and good luck with the UK gov getting what money we may have from foreign banks, let alone the reduced funds we would all have after being forced to sell two million properties overnight, just the Spanish contingent whose houses are aleady undervalued compared to the original purchase prices would be giving them away, so not much mazooly to bring back to good ol' Blighty there.

          Have a rethink Volands.

          1. IsJustabloke
            Stop

            Re: Stop repeating rubbish please

            "just the Spanish contingent whose houses are aleady undervalued compared to the original purchase prices"

            or to look at it from another perspective

            just the Spanish contingent whose houses were already overvalued compared to the current actual value

          2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

            Re: Stop repeating rubbish please

            I am an ex-pat, sitting having lunch and typing this by the sea in Ibiza.

            Sure.

            Now, how does that work if you just lost your:

            1. Right to residence and right to work.

            2. Medical cover

            3. Insurance cover

            4. In some Eu countries - right to own real estate altogether (it was limited to local subject pre-joining, Eu forced to extend it to all Eu subjects, but non-Eu subjects are still not entitled).

            If UK leaves EU fully, _EVERY_ single one of these will have to be renegotiated as these are presently part of UK being in the Eu. UK leaves - they are all null and void overnight. Even things like car insurance are void.

            Disclaimer - I have more than one property abroad, but I also have a valid Eu passport so I am going to get a HUGE bag of popcorn, sit back, relax and observe all the smug expats claiming that they do not give a f*** dealing with things as trivial as their utilities bills and insurance once UK exists.

            Where did that popcorn bag go. And the white cat that was next to it.

            1. James 51

              Re: Stop repeating rubbish please

              Most people on the el reg forums probably wouldn't have too much trouble getting a passport from another country (highly skilled professional in a modern industry, here's the forms and don't forget to learn the local language, makes life a lot easier). It's everyone else who's stuck here if things go pair shaped I feel sorry for.

            2. Dan 55 Silver badge

              Re: Stop repeating rubbish please

              I don't agree with the more tin-foil hattery parts of Vorland's post but I am very well aware that Spanish bureaucracy could make life quite annoying for expats during the transitional period, and they're very fond of dinging people with retroactive laws applied to some arbitrary date or bringing in legislation without warning and only those married to a local or an EU citizen would have an easier time.

              I would dare say the same could be true for most of southern Europe and France.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Stop repeating rubbish please

          "1) Basic jingoism amongst a certain section of society (including immigration)"

          ...And this is what annoys the majority of people who are going to vote to leave. Many if not most of these people have perfectly reasonable concerns. Yet, these concerns have not been addressed, and are in fact systematically ignored by mainstream politics.

          Rather than addressing concerns an awful lot of people have argumentemium ad homium is profusely deployed to tar people as being bigoted, racist, xenophobic, jingoistic, anti-europeon, etc. These people then stop arguing with you. Not because you have won the argument, but because you have demonstrated that you meet the dictionary definition of bigoted, namely "a person who is intolerant towards those holding different opinions."

          Running a "Pro EU" campaign on the basis of threatening that the EU will collapse our economy if we leave doesn't go down well. One person I spoke to likened it to making an argument that a woman with a controlling and abusive husband ought to stay with him because if you leave him then he might kill you. What would you say the chances of this argument winning anybody you label as "jingoistic" over to your point of view is? I think it's quite well calculated to redouble resistance, personally.

          These people have quietly been simmering away in a very British way when told "Oh, we can't do anything about that because we are in the EU" and have a simple solution of "then leave the EU".

          And I think that we might well end up leaving the EU unless the Pro EU camp can quickly rediscover that civilisation starts with civility, and democracy involves debate. Especially with people that you don't agree with.

          1. Patrician

            Re: Stop repeating rubbish please

            "Running a "Pro EU" campaign on the basis of threatening that the EU will collapse our economy if we leave doesn't go down well."

            It might not "go down well" but it is a very likely outcome; I find that the "Outies" have no answer beyond "it won't happen", but with no actual economic examples as to why it won't. Much like the SNP's answers when asked about losing the pound in the Scottish referendum; they had no answer beyond "we won't" despite being explicitly told by the Bank of England and the UK parliament that they would.

            40% of UK overseas trade is to EU countries; watch that disappear overnight if we vote to leave, simply because human beings are involved and we, as a race, don't like having our clubs criticised.

            1. Lars Silver badge
              Happy

              Re: Stop repeating rubbish please

              "40% of UK overseas trade is to EU countries". it's actually more like 50% and used to be more like 60%.

          2. eesiginfo

            Re: Stop repeating rubbish please

            > ...And this is what annoys the majority of people who are going to vote to leave. Many if not most of these people have perfectly reasonable concerns. <

            I don't think there can be any doubt that many people have legitimate concerns, but perhaps you are missing the point of the post?

            The three primary reasons for the 'leave campaign' were stated because they are individually cohesive forces, either angry or calculating, but all 'vocal'.

            You may not (do not) like this scenario, but this is how it largely plays out.

            How many times do we hear statements like "we are a proud nation, with a history of standing on our own (etc. and variations on the theme)"?

            I heard it again, just this morning on Sky news, and it won't be the last time!

            It doesn't mean that these spokesmen are speaking to you, but the 'out campaign' know they have to use jingoistic statements because they tap into a potentially serious voting block.

            They can't build a campaign on somebody being annoyed about certain packaging or harmonised safety legislation etc.

            There are any number of regulations that will be irksome to some people, but in a public debate these issues have no traction, and anyway, can be easily dismissed as 'being for the greater good'.

            I'm just being realistic... and check Trumps campaign if you want to see how jingoism is being constantly used:

            "I'm gonna make America great again... etc. etc. etc."

            No sensible policies.... primarily, abuse your opponents, and appeal to American jingoism.

            Hey... and it's working for him (sadly).

      3. Lars Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: Stop repeating rubbish please

        "Running a "Pro EU" campaign on the basis of threatening that the EU will collapse our economy if we leave doesn't go down well."

        That sentence is a bit funny as the EU is not forcing Britain out of the EU. What ever the result of a Brexit the result is self inflicted. I also think this referendum is much like the one in Scotland. The OUT was about feelings related to words like "independence", "national pride" and so forth. I had no problems understanding it but I won my bet as I came to the conclusion that the economical reality will be of more importance.

        I have placed my bet on Brexit for the same reasons. There is no way Britain cold gain economically skipping the EU. And again I can understand the "feelings" behind it and I think one problem is, what I would call, a post "Empire Trauma", still alive among some Brits. In your history the reality of having to deal with other countries on a level ground is a very new reality.

        As we know there are similar feelings in other EU countries but I would like to point out that behind all of those political startups are just a small number of people who want political power and they know very well that the only part of the population they can attract are those who need a common enemy like emigrants, moochers, bureaucrats in Brussels (or on Capital Hill). There is no other way to start a new political party to day in Europe. This is very obvious in the Nordic Countries.

        Just listen to Trump, he knows his audience, and he plays it well, like did Hitler. now I do not consider Trump a Hitler (Crux is a lot more Hitler like) but he sings the same song and attracts the "same" people with the same "feelings".

        And I must admit that when at a Trump rally people shout USA, USA, then I think it must have been very similar at a Hitler rally when they shouted Sieg Heil, Sieg Heil, which with my rubbish German translates to Victory, Victory. See my point.

        Typically those guys have absolutely no solution to anything, just hot air.

        Then there is this very funny idea that the EU would become something more United States like. Funny because Europe is a lot more united in so many things like social security, health care, education and why not the death sentence even religion. We have nothing like the trash that US state lawmakers produce. And still all countries in the EU have their own history, characteristics and languages. The EU will not change that, but as separated countries we will not be able to compete with the US and China.

  3. Gordon 10 Silver badge
    FAIL

    Fail

    in 99% of cases German workers councils already ban most/all of their personal data leaving the country. The U.K. Is not alone in that regard.

    Most of the rest of article is good though.

  4. kmac499

    The Tracer Bullet Effect

    Good article;

    As I expect it will become increasingly clear over the next few months sovereignity like tracer bullets work both ways. No doubt if the EU or individual governments start laying out their terms for relationships with the UK post Brexit, the outers will start screaming unfair meddling in an internal matter.

    This is a kingsize replay of the Scottish divorce\independence referundum of 2014, one side saying we want to go but we want the car the house and the credit card. The other side saying your choice to go but you'll only get what we give you.

    The UK EU divorce will be just like that, and it will be the intangibles like Data Policy that will have effects far beyond their public visibility.

    Just a final thought; the Scots are saying if the English takes us out they want a second referendum. What should the English response be If it's The Scots vote that keeps us all in?

    1. Len

      Re: The Tracer Bullet Effect

      Re: your final thought. England could always leave the EU. Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales would overwhelmingly to stay in. If England votes Leave while others vote Remain two things could happen. The remaining nations hold their own referendum to leave the UK or England can decide to leave the UK. Which scenario will depend out the overall UK outcome to see who is the dissatisfied party.

      Obviously, neither is very likely to happen as the UK will vote to remain in the EU and England won't have the balls to leave on its own.

      1. P. Lee

        Re: The Tracer Bullet Effect

        So what happens if the popular vote is to leave? Will the politicians ignore it?

        Most voters are hardly going to consider what happens to "the rottenest bits of these islands of ours."

      2. James 51

        Re: The Tracer Bullet Effect

        I made a similar post recently. England should leave the UK. There is no way that the other three nations would get the opt-outs and other benefits the UK currently enjoys if they had to apply for membership on their own.

      3. S4qFBxkFFg
        Boffin

        Re: The Tracer Bullet Effect

        To those mentioning the possibility of the Scots/English voting differently on EU membership:

        Look at Greenland and the Faroe Islands, (still) part of the Kingdom of Denmark, but unlike the rest of Denmark, not in the EU.

        It is therefore theoretically possible (ISTR some EU officials stating this recently) for England and Northern Ireland (for example) to leave the EU, Scotland and Wales (for example) to remain in the EU, while all four parts of the UK remain in the UK.

        This may be messy, but would obviously be more respectful of the democratic wishes of the voters in June.

    2. Richard Jones 1
      Flame

      Re: The Tracer Bullet Effect

      If England votes to leave the EU, Scotland will vote to leave the UK and try to stay in the EU.

      If England votes to stay in the EU, Scotland in the form of the Sturgeon will vote to leave the UK and try to stay in the EU.

      When will England get a vote on Scotland and the Barnett Formula ?

      1. AbelSoul
        Headmaster

        Re: When will England get a vote on Scotland....

        The same way as the last referendum and the approaching one came about; when enough people vote for a party that has that in their manifesto.

      2. S4qFBxkFFg

        Re: The Tracer Bullet Effect

        "When will England get a vote on Scotland and the Barnett Formula ?"

        As another commentard implied, you specifically, or the English in general, are perfectly free to make this happen. It works as follows:

        1. Identify party with the policy you want (e.g. scrapping Barnett, turning the population of Scotland into Helots, establishing an English parliament (I suggest Birmingham), etc.)

        (If this party doesn't exist, then start it - how about the "English National Party"?)

        2. Vote for them.

        I want Scotland to be independent, so I joined the SNP, donate to them, and vote for them. It's probably more effective than doing what I'm doing right at this moment (typing stuff that only the people who read El Reg, read this article, and click on the comments button, will ever see).

        1. Jess

          Re: I want Scotland to be independent

          I do not find the current situation acceptable, where Scotland has opt outs from all the garbage the rest of the Island has to take.

          I see three acceptable solutions.

          1, Scotland becomes an independent country,

          2, England gets regional councils with the same powers as the Scottish Parliament.

          3, Devolution is removed.

          Obviously no 3 would not be acceptable to the people of Scotland, no 2 would be a lot of faffing around so I would agree.

          (Had they jumped when they had the chance, I don't think leaving the EU would be on the cards at all.)

          1. Jagged

            Re: I want Scotland to be independent

            "2, England gets regional councils with the same powers as the Scottish Parliament."

            - I don't consider that practical as all the regions are not financially healthy enough to have pseudo independence. One English Parliment in Westminster please.

        2. Jagged

          Re: The Tracer Bullet Effect

          "I want Scotland to be independent"

          So do I. Unfortunately being English and living in England I didn't get a vote. Maybe we should start a national "Independence Party" for England and Scotland? Just as long as the figurehead isn't Mel Gibson. Maybe Jeff Goldblum?

          1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Re: The Tracer Bullet Effect

            >Just as long as the figurehead isn't Mel Gibson. Maybe Jeff Goldblum?

            Benedict Cumberbatch surely ?

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The Tracer Bullet Effect @S4q

          If Scotland goes independent then Orkney and Shetland could also dump Scotland. Our combined territorial limit would include a big chunk of oil and gas reserves. We could employ the Norwegian navy to protect us from the Scots when they try to steal our fish. Good luck with the SNP, you'll need it.

      3. Jagged

        Re: The Tracer Bullet Effect

        "When will England get a vote on Scotland and the Barnett Formula ?"

        As bad as the Barnett Formula is for the English, far worse is the boundary issue and the disproportionate number of MPs Scotland returns to Westminster. Worse for democracy anyway.

    3. Sir Alien

      Re: The Tracer Bullet Effect

      What would be more funny is that if the Scots actually vote to get us out of the EU even though Sturgeon is preaching to stay. That would be a massive slap in the face to her though she will probably paint it in some amazing light.

      - S.A

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The Tracer Bullet Effect

      "Just a final thought; the Scots are saying if the English takes us out they want a second referendum. What should the English response be If it's The Scots vote that keeps us all in?"

      I believe that's what the SNP call a win-win scenario.

  5. Unep Eurobats

    Sounds complicated

    And food for thought for those who say leaving the EU will cut red tape.

  6. Warm Braw Silver badge

    This is the problem with blind separatism

    I'm all for a referendum when we're asked to choose between two comparable alternatives. The problem with the "seperatist" referendums is that we're asked to choose between something concrete and something abstract.

    If Cameron genuinely wanted the country to make a decision, he would have secured agreement with the EU on at least the outline of a possible future British relationship outside the club. We would then have a real choice.

    Instead, our choice will be between something specified and something unspecified. Noone has the slightest idea what life outside the EU would look like at this point and the consequences won't become clear for a long time after the choice has been made.

    The "sovereignty" that Westminster politicians seem so determined on appears simply to consist of their being allowed to meddle constantly in the lives of other people without any restraint of constitution or conscience. We may look disparagingly on the government of the US, but frankly impotence looks like the best of the bad options out there...

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    More importantly

    Would a Brexit mean the UK would be shown the door at Eurovision?

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: More importantly

      Israel and Turkey still have to suffer it - so probably not

    2. kmac499

      Re: More importantly

      Damn at last a possible positive... Mind you if we're stuck with it we could always form a block with Australia against those pesky Eastern Euros..

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: More importantly

        The commonwealth song contest ?

  8. Loyal Commenter

    A better referendum

    How about a referendum for the City of London (and also Westminster) to leave the EU, the UK, and the planet, preferably directly on course for the sun?

    All the jingoistic morons with arguments like, "immigration innit"*, and "we want to make our own laws"** can join them if they like.

    *Immigration from within the EU is quite balanced with emigration to places like the Costa del Sol, and whether we are in the EU or not will make no jot of difference to people entering the country illegally.

    **We don't make our own laws, our government does. See what a bang-up-job they're doing of that. The EU provides oversight to make sure that when they do so, they don't do naughty things like removing basic human rights, which I absolutely do not trust the Tories, or indeed British politicians of any colour, with responsibility for. But especially Tories.

    1. Jagged
      WTF?

      Re: A better referendum

      "The EU provides oversight ..."

      What?

      Of all the claims I have heard so far, accusing the EU of providing oversight of anything is the most far fetched.

      1. Loyal Commenter

        Re: A better referendum

        Of all the claims I have heard so far, accusing the EU of providing oversight of anything is the most far fetched.

        Did you read the actual article?

        It's about how we would deal with the fallout of implementing something that is a direct result of EU oversight of the DPA.

        There is also oversight of basic human rights in the form of the ECHR, which whilst not technically an EU body, comes as part of being a member state of the EU.

        My point is this; those who wish to be out of the EU either have ulterior motives (e.g. are very rich and stand to become richer, or wish to do naughty things with less regulation), or fall prey to facile arguments that do not stand up to scrutiny, either because they do not bother to think them through, or because they have been force-fed them so much by those with the ulterior motives (for example, the mainstream UK press which has been recognised as the most right-wing in Europe).

        1. Jagged

          Re: A better referendum

          I utterly disagree with your conspiracy theory and would rather put my faith in British Judges than the European Court of Human Rights, based upon just about every decision they have ever made.

          And as for your comment about the papers, well I hate to point this out but we ARE more right wing country than the rest of Europe. Always will be.

          1. Mark Exclamation

            Re: A better referendum

            Have an upvote, Jagged! The EU is full of far-left-wing nutjobs, so it's not surprising the UK is considered more to the right. I'm no longer a UK resident, but if I were to vote it would a resounding LEAVE!

          2. Loyal Commenter

            Re: A better referendum

            I utterly disagree with your conspiracy theory and would rather put my faith in British Judges than the European Court of Human Rights, based upon just about every decision they have ever made.

            I agree with you; the British judicial system is one of the best in the world. But that's not what I was referring to. It's the ones making the laws that are the problem, not the ones applying them. Our politicians like to draw power to themselves, away from the people (e.g. right to protest), away from the judiciary (antiterrorism laws where people can be spied on or detained without a warrant, only with the say-so of the Home Secretary - an unqualified politician not a judge), and away from Europe (which currently provides some oversight of their lawmaking by means of various treaties and conventions such as the European Convention on Human Rights which currently prevents them from taking away things like employment and maternity rights). Politicians doing this is good only for them, and bad for everybody else.

        2. Jagged

          Re: A better referendum

          " those who wish to be out of the EU either have ulterior motives "

          As do those in it. Which is ever increasing political union.

          The desire of the EU political elite for an ever larger political institution is consistently their downfall. The inability to come to a unanimous decision about anything paralysis its institutions while political dogma makes it repeat the same mistakes again and again. We must have open borders despite all the evidence of the harm it is doing. The wilful blind eye turned to financial irregularities and human rights violations of new and prospective members. The Euro fails due to the intrinsic unsuitability of one currency for such a diverse economic area but the answer to that failure is more and stricter integration. All due to blind political ambition.

          Small democracy good. Large democracy bad.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: A better referendum

      "and whether we are in the EU or not will make no jot of difference to people entering the country illegally."

      It might if the French decide that having a foreign, non EU border force on their soil is no longer a palatable option. From a French point of view, refugees and migrants *leaving* France is not an issue, especially if they end up in camps on the UK side of the channels rather than in France.

      (Only half joking here)

  9. tony2heads

    The Clash summed it up very well

    Should I stay or should I go

    I think the line 'this indecision's bugging me' is particularly apt.

  10. IsJustabloke
    Big Brother

    I think you're all making some big assumptions.... I doubt that just because we happen to vote "leave" means we will actually leave.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The major problem with voting to leave is the people who are exhorting you to vote to leave.

    .

    1. Jagged

      Totally agree. I've thought we should leave the EU for years so I find myself extremely surprised and delighted that we are actually going to be given the choice!

      Far less delighted that Gove has stepped up to lead the out campaign. If you find yourself on the same side of an argument as Gove and Farrage then that can really undermined your confidence that you've made the right choice :(

  12. nsld

    The aging elephant in the room

    Is all the pensioners who enjoy the benefits of EHIC coverage whilst sitting in the sun.

    If we exit to stop those pesky hardworking, taxpaying foreigners coming here we will then see an influx of the elderly, non contributing pensioners needing to get back for NHS treatment.

    The key problem is that as we get older we have more healthcare demands so young, working, tax paying immigrants are less of a burden on the NHS than elderly, low income, low/non tax paying pensioners.

    If you think the NHS is struggling now, just wait for all those returning pensioners!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The aging elephant in the room

      And their pensions, what's to stop the government cutting off their state pensions now that they are ex-pats?

    2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: The aging elephant in the room

      See we don't need none of them foreign criminals coming over here when we can have proper British criminals from Spain.

      And as the recent Hatton Garden robbery showed - our criminal pensioners are prepared to work for a living rather than demanding hand outs.

  13. BurnT'offering

    Suggested referendum methodology

    Count the number of voters with convex or concave belly buttons. Majority wins

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Given that governments are actually run by their civil servants, maybe we should simply compare the corrupt and mendacious eurocrats with our own, err, oh; nope, thats not going to help make a choice.

  15. Cynic_999

    What will our government use as an excuse for unpopular policies when it cannot say, "The EU forced us to do it"?

  16. VulcanV5

    WTF has happened to El Reg subbing? I gave up on reading something after publication that El Reg hadn't bothered to read before.

  17. EnviableOne Silver badge
    Stop

    Options

    Stay EU - like now - Cost-Laws-Votes-Influence

    Move to EEA or EFTA - like Norway or Iceland - No cost - Most laws, no influence

    Move to Bilateral agreements like Swiss - Many (120) individual treaties - most laws

    Move to Customs agreement - like turkey - Not subject to EU law, but equivalence needed to trade

    So basically wether we Stay or Go we have to Abide by GDPR and only by staying can we influence or change anything

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