back to article Brexit: Time to make your plans, UK IT biz

The Brexit debate continues and, with the Leave and Remain camps neck and neck, it looks likely that the undecided few will carry the result. It seems that we can expect more headline-grabbing soundbites until the vote on June 23. The polarised nature of this debate is throwing up some interesting oddities, so you might be …

  1. Dan 55 Silver badge
    Alert

    And on the other side of the channel...

    The UK government will likely follow the model adopted by British colonies as they gained their independence by preserving most existing laws until they are specifically replaced.

    But what about other EU countries? What happens if some of them start treating the UK as ex-EU right away or make a retroactive change at some point in the future from some arbitrary date? If this happens and you're an expat or a British company with an office abroad, you could suddenly find yourself doing something illegal.

    1. DavCrav Silver badge

      Re: And on the other side of the channel...

      "But what about other EU countries? What happens if some of them start treating the UK as ex-EU right away or make a retroactive change at some point in the future from some arbitrary date?"

      If the UK leaves the EU then it will only do so in 2018, not 2016, and it would be illegal for other countries to just treat the UK as if it had already left. As for retrospective changes in law, these are generally frowned upon by most countries' courts, and if you are in a country where the courts don't mind retroactively making something illegal, then you might want to leave anyway.

    2. JimmyPage
      Thumb Up

      Re: And on the other side of the channel...

      Indeed. This was one of the most striking things about the Scottish independence "debate" of 2014. Which was the sight of Alex Salmond telling everybody what *England* would do, what *the EU* would do, what *the US* would do.

    3. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: And on the other side of the channel...

      No need for this kind of scaremongering: legally nothing will have changed on June 24th. Ex-pats probably have little to worry about, though applying for dual nationality might not be a bad idea where possible (permanent residency has been granted).

      However, what we are already seeing is investors trying to deal with the uncertainty will no doubt accompany the process.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: And on the other side of the channel...

        I'm not scaremongering, I'm not particularly pro-EU... I am familiar with laws used to 'regularise' whatever it is that suddenly needs regularising this time around.

      2. organiser

        Re: And on the other side of the channel...

        Two years after, things may suddenly change drastically regardless of the UK itself taking a slow approach. That is what the posting is about. Some countries are particularly known for dealing with legal matters to the letter.

    4. Mbvdk

      Re: And on the other side of the channel...

      In the legal sense, nothing should happen (outside of administrative hasles; existing expats are allowed to work and would likely have to go through the working permit paperwork like non EU nationals.

      Bit will your company keep an office in that country? Or in the UK for that matter? Your UK office will no longer be your European office; this wil be the main change.

    5. streaky

      Re: And on the other side of the channel...

      But what about other EU countries?

      In EU countries EU law will stand. Not sure what you're asking, the law isn't going to change in these countries simply because the UK left, and it's probably going to take decades for UK law to diverge too much.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Time to make your plans

    I made my plans about 2 years ago, and left.

    If you're planning to leave now, it may be too late (because your freedom to live & work in Europe will likely vanish overnight if Brits vote for BRExit).

    I wanted to guarantee my family the protection offered by ECHR rights, including right to privacy/freedom of expression/freedom of association/right to effective remedy.

    The Home Office/Police/Security Servics seem to regard human rights with complete contempt; they will ensure a British Bill of Rights is simply a worthless sham without enforcement.

    I fear for the future of freedom in the UK. I don't expect I will ever return [voluntarily] sadly.

    Anonymous because... I fear the UK Government.

    1. SkippyBing

      Re: Time to make your plans

      Whereas no EU member country has ever shown a tendancy to treat human rights with contempt...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Time to make your plans

        I don't think there's another EC member that has made such a determined effort to roll out mass surveillance, allow undercover police to shag/marry/impregnate law abiding campaigners, censor lawful communications, torture prisoners, arrest & intimidate opposition MPs, allow corrupt police to protect murderers & child molesters from justice, to highlight but a few recent examples.

        That's not a place I would choose to live, without the protection offered by the ECHR.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Time to make your plans

          You can be certain that the ECHR provides no protection whatsoever in most parts of Europe. Sadly, corruption exists everywhere.

          The dreadful abuses of process, the corrupt, feckless and stupid police "services", the open-armed welcome for the bogus "refugees" from Islamic countries, the misuse and misappropriation of public funds, the outrageous taxation charged to support the whole rotten mess.... Europe? You're welcome to it.

          Any British Government with any guts should secede immediately from the EU on the basis that it's "too expensive" (a great excuse) and become a Free Port for Europe. The British economy would boom. Businesses could be attracted by lowered taxation, so manufacturing could start again and be competitive - with a primary market just 22 miles away. Britain could stop paying out to support lazy French farmers and Greek "retirees". Britain should also stop paying out "Foreign Aid" (I still can't understand why Britain pays Billions each year to India - a country with a space programme and nuclear weapons!)

          Britain would have to rid itself of the "gimmegrants" that are bleeding the Social Security system dry - free repatriation with a small payment would persuade most to leave, and the ones who won't go voluntarily can be removed - none of them have "rights" to live in Britain. The drawbridge would have to be drawn up. The "religious militants" would have to be told to shut up or leave - their choice!

          AC because I'm a "government" employee in the UK!

          1. fwadman

            Re: Time to make your plans

            Hi Boris ...

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Time to make your plans

            Many "would" and baseless assumptions made in in this post.

        2. fwadman

          Re: Time to make your plans

          Really?

          All politicians these days seem to want the nanny state. It may not be idle - but the UK is a lot freer than most of the rest of the world.

          Really, be happy, nothing to see here ... you can trust me .....

    2. DavCrav Silver badge

      Re: Time to make your plans

      "I wanted to guarantee my family the protection offered by ECHR rights, including right to privacy/freedom of expression/freedom of association/right to effective remedy.

      The Home Office/Police/Security Servics seem to regard human rights with complete contempt; they will ensure a British Bill of Rights is simply a worthless sham without enforcement.

      I fear for the future of freedom in the UK. I don't expect I will ever return [voluntarily] sadly.

      Anonymous because... I fear the UK Government."

      I assume you moved to another ECHR signatory, like Russia for example?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Time to make your plans

        >I assume you moved to another ECHR signatory

        Correct. There are quite a few to pick from :) .

    3. JimmyPage
      Facepalm

      Re: Time to make your plans

      I wanted to guarantee my family the protection offered by ECHR rights

      You did know that the EU has nothing - absolutely *nothing* to do with the ECHR before you moved, didn't you ?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Time to make your plans

        "You did know that the EU has nothing - absolutely *nothing* to do with the ECHR before you moved, didn't you ?"

        Strictly, you're correct... the question posed will be "Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?".

        However, practically? I suspect when/if the UK votes to leave Europe,... the pressure on politicians to derogate from ECHR will become completely intolerable. Many of the complaints about Europe centre on ECHR cases.

        The British Bill of Rights - nb, a Conservative Manifesto commitment - will be a watered down, unenforceable, vacuous sham that will replace it.

      2. organiser

        Re: Time to make your plans

        ... aside from that away treaties require member states to be a signatory of the ECHR and to follow its judgements.

        People who don't like the ECHR would feel right at home in Belarus, the only European country that is not a signatory and where the security services is still called the KGB.

    4. Bluenose

      Re: Time to make your plans

      But the ECHR has nothing to do with the EU! It is part of the Council of Europe which is made up of 42 European states includng Russia.

      Most European countries treat their citizens rights with contempt apart from Belgium who don't appear to bother spying on anyone, even the criminals.

    5. streaky

      Re: Time to make your plans

      because your freedom to live & work in Europe will likely vanish overnight if Brits vote for BRExit

      Funny I'm not actually sure voting "get out, get out now" by a convincing margin will actually be enough to extract us from the EU - but even if it was there's no immediate legal or practical effect - all that's happened at that point is a vote has taken place. Government has to give notice and there's probably a period before that takes effect and even when it does neither side is going to boot out people working legally in-country.

      For workers there's going to be compliance periods where they can apply for visas and I'm 99% sure on both sides there will be some sort of automatic right for people working there already.

      Either way this will all be decided and won't happen "overnight".

      I wanted to guarantee my family the protection offered by ECHR rights, including right to privacy/freedom of expression/freedom of association/right to effective remedy.

      The Home Office/Police/Security Servics seem to regard human rights with complete contempt; they will ensure a British Bill of Rights is simply a worthless sham without enforcement.

      But funny how the ECHR and ECJ has taken zero steps to remedy any of this contempt that the security services and government treat those documents with. Almost like they're not worth the paper they're written on.

      Be fascinated to learn what country you're living in given most of the EU operates with similar contempt for privacy and security of the person.

  3. W Donelson

    This is ONLY about a few rich people lying to racists and little Englanders.

    This is ONLY about a few rich people, who stand to benefit handily, lying to racists and little Englanders.

    It's Boris Johnson's (the British Trump) shortcut to being P.M.

    It will result in "The Greek Model" of an economy. Mark my words now.

    1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      Re: This is ONLY about a few rich people lying to racists and little Englanders.

      It will result in "The Greek Model" of an economy. Mark my words now.

      I'm half inclined to say that the 'Greek Model' is preferable. If you ignore the fact that previous Greek governments were helped to cover up their national debt by multinational corporations, in an effort to join the Euro, and this is essentially the cause of their problems, then you'll see that the likes of Yanis Varoufakis, who made a valiant effort to extricate Greece from imposed 'austerity' from Germany, are at least intelligent and qualified economists, rather than ideologically led unqualified buffoons like own own beloved Gideon.

      1. DavCrav Silver badge

        Re: This is ONLY about a few rich people lying to racists and little Englanders.

        "Yanis Varoufakis, who made a valiant effort to extricate Greece from imposed 'austerity' from Germany, are at least intelligent and qualified economists"

        Qualified economist he may be, but he was a terrible politician. Hence he fucked it up, and Greece is even more screwed than before him.

        He had the dual properties of being an insufferable git and holding out the begging bowl; you can't generally get away with both of these. He pissed off all the other Eurogroup members by telling them what they had to do, which apparently was gift a few hundred billion Euros to Greece, in return for which they would get...nothing. Not even any guarantees that Greece wouldn't piss that lot up the wall as well.

        That might even make the most sense, especially from Greece's point of view, but was a complete non-starter. It was never going to happen, and trying to lecture the other Eurogroup members into giving Greece the money was never going to work. He should have been benched after about the first couple of days of talks. But Mr Tsipras didn't do that, and so they ran out of money.

        1. kmac499

          Re: This is ONLY about a few rich people lying to racists and little Englanders.

          "Yanis Varoufakis, who made a valiant effort to extricate Greece from imposed 'austerity' from Germany, are at least intelligent and qualified economists"

          "Qualified Economist". That'll be the 'science' where the economics teachers are still spouting the same theories that prevailed before the last crash which they didn't see coming and can't explain. Hence the current uproar of some students who have realised that what they are being taught may be complete bollocks.

          In similar breaking news Phlogiston to be reintroduced to the chemistry syllabus and the four humors to be taught in med school.

          1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

            Re: This is ONLY about a few rich people lying to racists and little Englanders.

            "Qualified Economist". That'll be the 'science' where the economics teachers are still spouting the same theories that prevailed before the last crash which they didn't see coming and can't explain.

            I won't argue the point that economics is a science, because it isn't. However, a qualification in economics qualifies one to be an economist (I thought I'd state that tautology to make it obvious). Our current Chancellor of the Exchequer has no economics qualifications; he did a degree in modern history and trained as a journalist. He has an 'O' level in maths. I'd be more inclined to listen to Yanis, especially as he appears to be more erudite in English than Gideon, who I'd love to hear interviewed on Greek television, in Greek.

            Economics may not be scientific, but some principles hold nonetheless. Austerity being bad for a country's economy is one of those, which can be seen by the constant downwards revision of our country's growth.

      2. Potemkine Silver badge

        Re: This is ONLY about a few rich people lying to racists and little Englanders.

        Did Varoufakis help Greece, because I didn't notice he did, rather the opposite!

    2. inmypjs Silver badge

      Re: This is ONLY about a few rich people lying to racists and little Englanders.

      The UK rich like the EU. It gives them cheap labour for their businesses and cheap servants for their homes.

      The equalisation of living standards across the EU (due to free movement of goods and workers) disproportionately hits the working classes in the countries having them lowered.

      1. TheOtherHobbes

        Re: This is ONLY about a few rich people lying to racists and little Englanders.

        >The UK rich like the EU. It gives them cheap labour for their businesses and cheap servants for their homes.

        The UK rich can always get cheap labour from other countries, including the former Commonwealth, whatever is left of the Middle East, and the less developed countries in Asia.

        They can also allow special residence for qualified Europeans.

        If Brexit happens watch the howls of outrage when any or all of the above follow in short order, a flood of immigration continues, and even the most stupid little Englanders start to wonder if perhaps they were played.

        However, I'm not expecting Brexit. I'm expecting a very close campaign with neck and neck polling, followed by a small but unexpectedly definitive win for Bremain, followed by questions for the pollsters asking how they got it so wrong.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The UK rich can always get cheap labour from...... Middle East,

          And of course those from outside the EU are more likely to be immigrants rather than migrants (little point for EU citizens unless the country leaves the EU) and also will contain a higher proportion of the radical extremists that many of the exit campaigners are so worried about. (Can't see the logic myself 'send all the nice Europeans home so there's lots of space for all the radicals.')

        2. Jess

          Re: I'm not expecting Brexit..but unexpectedly definitive win for Bremain

          It would be a relief if that were to happen. I hope you're correct. I am concerned that there is a big chance of an English exit. (I think Brexit as a whole is very unlikely.)

          I would expect that give two years of opportunity (relocating all the EU headquarters back into the EU), but after that, not much.

          I wonder how hard it will be to get Scottish Citizenship.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: This is ONLY about a few rich people lying to racists and little Englanders.

      How to lose at arguing on the internet:

      1: Google up some stuff that confirms your view on a difficult problem.

      2: Stick your guns.. you're right after all!!

      3: If you can't get your way shut down the conversation by accusing everyone that doesn't agree with you of being racists.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: This is ONLY about a few rich people lying to racists and little Englanders.

      FYI: Boris (who I know personally, alas) Is an idiot pretending to be an intellectual pretending to be a buffoon. He should never be allowed anywhere near serious power - he's already screwed things up enough in London!

      The EU club costs the UK (roughly) £55bn each year. Add to that the inordinate amount paid out in "Foreign Aid" (the UK even financially supports Mugabe FFS) and the Social Security payments to the unemployable "gimmegrants"....

      If the UK cuts off these three wastes of their resources and actually has the guts to deal with the religious extremists, it'll become a nice place to live again. At the moment it's descending rapidly to 3rd-world shithole status......

      AC because I'm a UK government wage slave.

    5. Ginolard

      Re: This is ONLY about a few rich people lying to racists and little Englanders.

      Not really sure why you're getting downvoted.

      I'd wager the vast majority of people in the "Leave" camp have little to no understanding of how the EU legislative process actually works.

      Being "dictacted" to by Brussels is laughable when you realise that it's each Member State's government ministers that decide which EU laws and regulations get adopted

      1. Jim_JS

        Jean Monnet's vision was of bureaucracy, not democracy

        Jean Monnet's vision was of bureaucracy, not democracy. That was deliberate.

        The EU today keeps his vision intact. He would be very happy with its ability to resist public influence via the medium of elected politicians functioning en bloc. Elected politicians functioning as a national bloc cannot alter the EU, which precisely matches M. Monnet's vision.

        You're obviously in favour of his vision, which is fair enough. Personally, I prefer working towards democracy, not bureaucracy. The EU cannot ever convert itself to democracy, because democracy was precisely what it was invented to avoid.

        Read some history books before 23rd of June please.

      2. lorisarvendu

        Re: This is ONLY about a few rich people lying to racists and little Englanders.

        "Being "dictacted" to by Brussels is laughable when you realise that it's each Member State's government ministers that decide which EU laws and regulations get adopted"

        I think it's in the British nature to distill everything down to "Them and Us". In the case of the EU, there seems to be this vague idea that the UK stands alone against the huge faceless mass of Brussels Bureaucracy, whose only function in life is to give good old Blighty a tough time. However there are three things to remember here.

        1. Most laws are passed in the EU by unanimous (not majority) decision. All countries (including the UK) have a veto. If one person says No, the vote doesn't go through.

        2. All countries are in the same boat, so Germany could also see themselves at the mercy of the rest of the EU, or Belgium, or France.

        3. Like all other countries, the EU elects ministers to Brussels, so some of those faceless bureaucrats are our faceless bureaucrats.

      3. Andrew Meredith

        Re: This is ONLY about a few rich people lying to racists and little Englanders.

        "I'd wager the vast majority of people in the "Leave" camp have little to no understanding of how the EU legislative process actually works.

        Being "dictacted" to by Brussels is laughable when you realise that it's each Member State's government ministers that decide which EU laws and regulations get adopted"

        You need to seriously clue up on how the EU actually works before it's too late friend.

        If were down to the national governments that wouldn't be *quite* such a disaster. it isn't. When the directive is passed there is an obligation on the national governments to integrate it into their national law. There is no choice. If there was, what would be the point anyway.

  4. Naselus

    ECHR

    "It is worth remembering that the data protection laws stem from the European Convention on Human Rights which Winston Churchill was heavily involved in devising and drafting. It’s unlikely the UK would even want to abandon data laws upon Brexit"

    Would that be the same European Convention on Human Rights that Michael Gove and Theresa May were desperately trying to leave last year? The one that Cameron had to personally overrule them on? The same Cameron who's career is basically finished if he loses the referendum, leaving him likely to be replaced by either Boris Johnson or the same Theresa May...?

    1. Can't think of anything witty...
      Alert

      Re: ECHR

      Cameron is in trouble whichever way this goes.

      If he looses, then there will probably be a vote of no confidence in him due to his inability to seal the deal that he has invested so much in.

      If he wins, then there is a real possibility that there will be a large split in the conservative party and if that cannot be reconciled, then there will probably be a vote of no confidence.

      In either case, he has a tough job ahead of him.

      on the flipside, Boris has a great opportunity to exploit. if Cameron is booted out (for whatever reason) then he can either claim to represent the voice of the people (if we vote to leave) or the voice of the conservative party members who wanted to leave, but were ignored / hard done by / etc if we vote to stay. The conservative party has always been split on this issue and it's something that they have never really got to grips with. Boris knows that and wants the top job.

      Personally, i don't really like Cameron, but i give him credit for taking this on and i would rather have him than Boris as PM. I'm fairly certain that Cameron wasn't expecting to win the general election in 2015 quite as conclusively as he did and he might have included this referendum as something to get the vote out in the short term and that he could bargain away to the lib dems if they had to form another coalition. No thaving it would be something else that they could blame on the Lib Dems. Unfortunately for him, they were too good at that last time around meaning that all the current lib dem MPs can get to westminster in a small minibus...

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    From Conservative Manifesto;

    "Our reforms will mean that:

    • The European Court of Human Rights is no longer binding over the UK Supreme Court.

    • The European Court of Human Rights is no longer able to order a change in UK law and becomes an advisory body only."

    1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      Exactly, and AFAIK, being an EU member prevents the Tories from taking away these rights from us*. For now.

      *The ECHR isn't an EU body, but the ECJ is, and this gives 'special significance' to the ECHR, which basically says that ECHR rulings should be obeyed. Withdrawing from the EU would mean withdrawal from the ECJ, and therefore the end of this obligation. An obligation which most people who actually think about it, believe to be a good thing.

      1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

        ...an addendum to the above...

        To help put in perspective the relationship between the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and the European Court of Justice (ECJ), the ECHR places not only obligations but protections on its signatories.

        If we were to leave the European Court of Human rights (confusingly, also known as the ECHR) without leaving the EU, the ECJ would still be able to impose the restrictions of the ECHR upon us, but without being signatories, we would have no recourse to the convention ourselves.

        On the other hand, if we were to leave the EU, we could also leave the ECHR. This would then mean that our citizens would no longer get the protections from it in the UK. We would be relying on our government to provide legislation to re-implement those protections.

        I'd recommend everyone go and read the Convention, at least in summary. These are the protections it gives us. Think how our Gov't might subvert one or more of these with their own weasel words:

        - Right to life

        - Prohibition of torture

        - Prohibition of slavery and forced labour (Dept of Work and Pensions I'm thinking of you).

        - Right to liberty and security

        - Right to a fair trial

        - No punishment without law

        - Right to respect for private and family life

        - Freedom of thought, conscience and religion

        - Freedom of expression

        - Freedom of assembly and association

        - Right to marry

        - Right to an effective remedy (the right to be heard under the provisions of the ECHR)

        - Prohibition of discrimination

        - Prohibition of abuse of rights

        There are also some provisions to restrict or reduce these rights in time of emergency, etc. in article 15, and to restrict the political rights of aliens in article 16.

        1. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

          Re: ...an addendum to the above...

          What the hell are you on about?

          We had plenty of those in your list BEFORE we joined the EU.. heck before most of europe for a couple.

          You're falling for the scare mongering that says our country is so weak and badly led that it wont be able to exist with big mommy EU holding our hand.

          1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

            Re: ...an addendum to the above...

            @Boris - Have you been watching our government recently? Do you honestly think that they wouldn't try to take away several of those if they could?

            Yes, we had freedoms before the ECHR. We had a big part in writing it to make sure everyone else gets those freedoms too. Being a signatory to the ECHR means we get to keep those freedoms even when our own government tries to remove them.

            Might I remind you at this point, that the government we have now bears little resemblance to the post-war ones that drafted the ECHR. Our current government is on the record as stating that they wish to withdraw from the ECHR and replace it with some nebulous and no doubt poorly worded 'Bill of Rights'. Might I also remind you of the adage, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it". If we withdrew from the ECHR, but not from the EU, we would still be subject to the ECJ, which - tada! essentially enforces the ECHR, so in reality withdrawal properly from the ECHR would also require withdrawal from the EU.

            Now take a look at those members of the Tory party who are anti-EU, and look at their stance on Human Rights. It doesn't fill me with confidence, and the thought of relying on their good nature for the rights that the whole of Europe (and the rest of the world) had to go through a long a bloody war for doesn't fill me with glee.

            In reality, leaving the EU would also mean one of two things regarding all the regulations and trade agreements we inherit from that body:

            1) Re-negotiation. How do you think that will go when we try to re-negotiate trade deals with the EU as a whole? What bargaining positions do you think we would have against the rest of the EU? I've not heard a good answer to this from the anti-EU crowd other than "scaremongering", which is the logical equivalent of sticking your fingers in your ears and going la-la-la.

            2) Keep the same regulations. Fine, but don't expect to have any influence on them, or their enforcement. "Dictated from Brussels" is exactly the argument given for leaving the EU, but in this scenario, this is what you would get (as opposed to being in the EU and actually having representation in Brussels, assuming your local MEP isn't one of those UKIP ones who takes the money and doesn't bother to sit in the EU assembly. You only have yourself to blame if you cry about lack of representation and then elect someone who has stated that they'll take the seat but not represent you.)

            Nobody is claiming the European system is perfect - no political system is, but as the saying goes, "It's better to be on the train pissing out, than on the platform pissing in". Resorting to rhetoric, accusations of scaremongering* and name-calling doesn't strengthen the argument for standing on the platform getting wet.

            *The only actual scaremongering I've heard is the anti-immigration stuff we've heard for years about immigrants coming here and taking our jobs. I've never met anyone who has lost their job to an immigrant, but oddly enough I have met plenty of hard-working individuals from Europe (and other parts of the world), who make a net contribution to the British economy. We see large numbers quoted in the right-wing press (I think we all know which publication I'm talking about here) in big headlines exactly designed to scare people. In reality, most immigration is a positive influence on national productivity, and pushes up standards of living.

            1. Peter2 Silver badge

              Re: ...an addendum to the above...

              The main problem with the ECHR is that it is drafted from a completely different tradition of law at odds with our own.

              We start off with the assumption that you a free to do anything, but those things that are restricted by law.

              The ECHR was written for restrictive contentinal systems of law largely written by an emperor who conquered the majority of europe, and it starts from with the assumption that you have no rights other than those granted by his laws.

              The two cannot reasonably co-exist which is why so much of the ECHR is a problem when things that create rights such as "you have the right to a private life" is dropped into UK law where it is assumed that you had those rights.

              Frankly, if the politicans were sensible then they'd draft two sets of every law for the differing legal systems. But they don't, and then gaze at the horrific mess it creates in surprise.

              1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

                Re: ...an addendum to the above...

                The two cannot reasonably co-exist which is why so much of the ECHR is a problem when things that create rights such as "you have the right to a private life" is dropped into UK law where it is assumed that you had those rights.

                Why is that a problem? At worst, it has no effect. That's not the case, however, because it does have an effect: It prevents our government from passing a law that takes away the right to a private life. Maybe this is why Ms May wants out of the EU?

              2. John Hughes

                Re: ...an addendum to the above...

                The main problem with the ECHR is that it is drafted from a completely different tradition of law at odds with our own.
                No it isn't. It was largely drafted by the UK.

                1. organiser

                  Re: ...an addendum to the above...

                  Even better, it was largely drafted by the Tories. In the UK.

            2. Jim_JS

              Re: ...an addendum to the above...

              The Conservatives aren't to be trusted, but that's no argument for remaining in the EU.

              You haven't elected the Commission, nor have you given them a policy of remaining a signatory to the ECHR. Nor can you. It's impossible.

              The people you are trusting to safeguard this are not able to receive a mandate from you.

          2. Ally 1

            Re: ...an addendum to the above...

            The tories are clammering to take them away. At least the EU provides some protection from the Tories..who are also gerrymandering away to ensure they stay elected for the forseeable.

        2. Mark Bertenshaw

          Re: ...an addendum to the above...

          The irony of this is that the UK had all these before the ECHR - in fact our freedom has been based on our Common Law. If we removed ourselves from the ECHR, things would be unlikely to change very much. I prefer that we were able to legislate for reasonable measures, e.g. preventing prisoners from having a vote, rather than having this blocked by an unaccountable figure from an alien justice system.

      2. Bluenose

        No it doesn't

        The UK is a signatory to the Eurpean Convnention on Human Rights. The British Govt has been bound by the decisions of the Court of Human Rights since day 1. Why do you think the Tories got so annoyed when it banned the use of corporal punishment in British schools. It also banned the Isle of Man from whipping criminals and they aren't even part of the EU.

        The purpose of the ECJ is to interpret EU law (including the EU Charter of Fundatmental Rights which includes the rights dealt with by the ECHR). To the extent that an element of Human Rights law is applicable to the EU then it would have to give it special significance because TADAH every EU member state is a signatory to the ECHR treaty therefore to ignore the rulings would result in the EU member states being fined or whatever the sanctions the ECHR has.

        We can only get out of being bound by the ECHR rulings if we decide to derogate our agreement to the Treaty that puts on the Council of Europe. That would make us the same as Belarus and even the Tories are having a hard time figuring out how that little PR trick will work.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ECHR

    plenty of informed (i.e. not from politicians) debate before the election comprehensively rubbished the notion that the UK could magically pull out of the treaty it unveiled over 50 years ago.

    Quite aside from the spectre of Russian demonstrators placarding Call-me-Dave (or whoever inherits his chalice) at Moscow central (no doubt handsomely paid by a mischevious Putin) calling on the UK to "recognise Human Rights", there's the nitty-gritty of unpicking it from successive court rulings.

    It's also worth noting (as Teresa May hasn't) that the ECHR also places *limits* on Human Rights. Limits which a "British Bill of Rights" will manage to fuck up.

    Bluntly, the chances of the UK leaving the ECHR are vanishingly small. And DC and chums knew that before 2015.

    Politicians being dishonest. Now there's a thing.

  7. RyokuMas Silver badge
    Devil

    Nothing to worry about...

    We're staying in.

    It'll probably be by a very narrow margin, and there will almost certainly be some dubious loss or finding of postal votes and ballot boxes, but we'll stay in.

    Either that or it'll be like Ireland - repeated ballots until they get the result they want.

  8. Stern Fenster

    Whose agenda?

    I'm puzzled as to why so much so-called EU "debate" in the media is so utterly focussed on immigration.

    The EU has a built-in, right-wing, neo-liberal economic agenda; a string of directives promote privatisation of national assets. Remember what Greece was forced to do :- "now that we've tied you to the Euro by ignoring the entry conditions for you - ensuring you're economically non-viable in perpetuity - you can only have a bail-out loan if you privatise your ports infrastructure" (what connection is there between these, save an ideological one?) The utterly opaque, unaccountable non-democratic structure (four chambers, only one of them elected, with MEPs who do not have equivalent powers to Brit MPs) is perfectly calculated to support this.

    Being concerned about this is not a matter of being a "little-Englander". I'd guess the slogan "a vote for the EU is a vote for NHS privatisation" would help a lot of those "dont-knows" make up their minds pretty sharpish. But I ain't holding my breath for the necessary media coverage.

    1. Bluenose

      Re: Whose agenda?

      Why was Greece forced to sell state assets? Because by doing so they received something called money which can be used by the State to pay pensions, the interest on loans and lots of other wonderful and worthwhile things that all Govts need to do. Kind of like why you have to sell your house when you can't afford the mortgage.

      The EU does not have directives that force privatisation it does have directives that strive to create a level economic playing field for businesses. State owned business skew that playing field as they can keep going back to the Govt to get money when they lose money undercutting other businesses (Air France was a great example of that).

      As for undemocratic, compared to what the House of Lords? The Council of Ministers contains elected officials from every Member State and at the end of the day those elected ministers can decide whether to suppor or reject the suggestions of the European Commission whch in some ways is like the House of Lords being made of personal appointees of the relevant member states leader (Dave Cameron in the UK's case). And then MEPs. Not sure where your fourth chamber comes from because last time I checked the treaties all EU law goes from Commission to Parliament to Council of Ministers.

      As for being right wing neo liberal agendas, have you looked at the UK govt recently? In fact the biggest threat to the NHS remains the British Govt not the EU or even TTIP. But then if you are American, the EU is the communist replacement for the old USSR what with its social welfare and health for all ideas.

      The reason why immigration is the focus is pretty simple. No one knows what will happen if the UK votes to leave (well other than the economy will suffer from a short to medium shock of major consequence for business and citizens alike) or stay (other than things will go as before). Therefore the Brexit bunch have identified something simple to understand, "the EU lets in lots of foreigners and they are all coming to the UK" and then complains when those who want to stay say "its more complicated that that".

      I do agree about it not being an issue of "little-Englander" mentality though. It is significantly more complex than that. Europe is riven with massive problems not all of which the UK is immune to. Those cracks need to be addressed, if we are outside we cannot do that, if we are inside we will have to use diplomacy (not somethng we are very good at) and all the while we have the media constantly making out that everything is simple and can be fixed with a quick wave of a magic wand (talk about dumbing down the population). Whatever the decision on 23rd June, the consequences will be massive and no one in the media is telling anyone the truth about that.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge
        Stop

        Re: Whose agenda?

        Greece was forced to privatise €50bn of state assets. That is a) forced privatisation, b) undemocratic, and c) a right wing neo-liberal agenda whichever way you look at it.

        1. Potemkine Silver badge

          Re: Whose agenda?

          Greece was forced of nothing, it could have refused the plan and let its population fail into a greater poverty.

          Greeks are the first responsible for the state of Greece. They chose for decades to cheat and spend more than they earn. The rest of the Union had to pay € 240,000,000,000 to bailout Greece, it does not seem nonlogical it asks Geece to stop to be a Danaides barrel.

          1. Dan 55 Silver badge

            Re: Whose agenda?

            That's as sensible as holding you responsible for the pork barrel that is HS2.

      2. GeneralDisaster

        Re: Whose agenda?

        They very much do force privatisation, I live in Ireland and the introduction of water meters here has been very contentious. The latest missive from the company Irish Water is that if they don't do as ordered by the troika there will be fines and court cases.

        Sovereignty went out the window with the EU.

    2. Mark Exclamation

      Re: Whose agenda?

      "The EU has a built-in, right-wing, neo-liberal economic agenda" - Which planet were you born on? The EU is a bunch of far-left egotistical morons, who think that the only way they can become famous is by introducing some ridiculously stupid law.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Whose agenda?

        Which planet were you born on? EU directives and regulations are not created out of thin air. They are always proposed by national governments.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Whose agenda?

      While I have concerns, Greece took the money. They didn't have to take the bailouts.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I am not sure how I will vote but I will make a point on the fear-mongering by the In crowd.

    This is the country that survived World War II, the Blitz, rationing, end of Empire and the Oil Crisis. Trying to scare the population into voting in a particular way will not be well received, and could easily get lots of people to vote Out just because of bloody-mindedness. Even more stupid is to get a coalition of big businesses and banks to tell us plebs how badly we will be hit by exit.

    1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      Here, fixed that for you:

      Trying to scare the population into voting in a particular way will not be well received, and could easily get lots of people to vote in just because of bloody-mindedness.

      I hear lots of scaremongering from both sides to be honest.

      Personally, I've lived my whole life in the EU and never had a problem with it. I have travelled to several EU countries, some richer than others, and can see that people everywhere are just that - people. I think we have bigger problems at home to deal with, like our own corrupt political system and island nation attitude towards the rest of the world.

  10. PaulAb

    Game of darts, anyone?

    Just like the test a few years ago when a bunch of dart players played darts and purchased fictional shares, etc, based on the outcome of the numbers hit, and as I recall the experts were stunned to find that their special 'financial' skills were only just a match for some blokes with darts, - in the same way, we can all gabble on incessantly (including me), as to the outcome of the referendum. No one knows, not the experts, not me, not you, but, leaving the EU (in my opinion) would at least be a brand new start, an adventure, from the grey goo of slow inevitable decline that the EU has become and, by it's very nature incapable of changing away from.

    Bring on the vote - lets be a little braver and get out and enjoy the adventure.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It seems like the UK is so dependent on the EU that if we left, every aspect of our lives will be affected negatively... Jobs, trade, youth employment, football, gaming, currency swings, prices of food and goods etc. In the IT industry, over reliance on an entity - the EU in this case - is called "single point in failure" and is a risk that needs to be mitigated. We mitigate by voting OUT!!

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Do the Hokey Pokey!

    Don't ever listen to Mad Boris.

  13. Potemkine Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Please leave! (and good riddance)

    UK never did anything positive for the EU, never helped to built it, on the contrary, ever tried to weaken it. It's a dead weight, and a US trojan: EU will be much better without UK.

    Also, this will give another opportunities to our Scottish brothers and sisters to become free again from London's rules.

    So please, for the brexit vote 'yes' !

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Please leave! (and good riddance)

      >UK never did anything positive for the EU, never helped to built it,

      If the UK never did anything for the EU why are EU countries rolling out their scariest threats to scare the UK population from voting to leave? One or a mix of these is my guess A: They need the UK's contributions, B: They need to keep the UK in the EU to avoid it becoming a threat, C: The EU actually values the UK. My gut feeling is mostly A and B, a tiny bit of C.

      1. Potemkine Silver badge

        Re: Please leave! (and good riddance)

        UK's contributions? Seriously? Which ones?

        Nah, I don"t think most countries fear UK leaves, but some of their leaders do. IMHO political leaders are afraid that Brexit could lead to another rise of right and left-wing populism whose main argument is to accuse EU to be responsible for everything bad.

        I also believe they may have some interests in keeping the City into the EU. Personal interests, I mean.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Please leave! (and good riddance)

          >UK's contributions? Seriously? Which ones?

          The millions of pounds of tax payer money that goes to prop up bankrupt nations in the eurozone.

          1. Potemkine Silver badge

            Re: Please leave! (and good riddance)

            The tax payer money you're mentioning is not given to bankrupt nations but lent, with interests.

            UK pays less than Italy, with a stronger economy: a clear demonstration how UK see the Union, a way to get without giving.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Please leave! (and good riddance)

              >UK pays less than Italy, with a stronger economy:

              Italy pays slightly more than the UK but then takes most of the money it paid in back out so it's net contributions are far less than the UK.

              The fact is that the EU is pissing it's pants about what happens when the UK leaves because they won't get be getting money from the UK and the UK won't be restrained by EU meddling designed specially to hurt the UKs services sector.

      2. Mbvdk

        Re: Please leave! (and good riddance)

        I live in mainland Europe, and honsestly, there is almost no press coverage on Brexit. No one feels threaned by Brexit. if the UK leave the EU, there will be financial complications and some extra legal hasles, but noone really cares - the UK is making a big fuss about their own worries and decisions.

        It's like the 15 year old boy who screams and shouts in the house that he is leaving, and he starts packing a suitcase. - do his brothers ans sisters care? Not really, they may even be looking forward to it as to share the room or he toys ...

  14. Armitage Shanks

    "a skills gap with key workers barred from the UK"?

    The UK is hardly likely to bar those with skills it needs is it? How about having our own rules and recruiting talent from the whole world, not just the EU?

    1. I am the liquor Silver badge

      "The UK is hardly likely to bar those with skills it needs is it? How about having our own rules and recruiting talent from the whole world, not just the EU?"

      It's an externality. Right-wing politicians receive the electoral benefit from being tough on immigration, but it's businesses, not the politicians, who bear the cost.

    2. Jess

      How about having our own rules and recruiting talent from the whole world, not just the EU?

      In case you'd not noticed, we do.

      All the EU(/EEA) does is to make visa free travel and the right to work and live in the same way as within your own country. Leaving the EU (and EEA) will remove this right and mean the rest of the world rules apply. (Unless something is agreed in the 2 year exit negotiations).

      Leaving gives us NOTHING. It just makes it more difficult for us to work in Europe and vice versa.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: How about having our own rules and recruiting talent from the whole world, not just the EU?

        "Leaving gives us NOTHING. It just makes it more difficult for us to work in Europe and vice versa."

        If you could get a *skilled* job in the rest of the EU right now I suspect you would be eligible for a visa sponsored by your employer and the UK not being in the EU any more wouldn't matter much.

        I don't think any off the RACIST XENOPHOBES^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H out camp care about skilled people coming into the UK. They care about mass migration of uneducated unskilled people from poorer nations, the direct effects (no jobs for native uneducated unskilled peoples) and the indirect effects (paying for translators etc at schools for their kids).

        1. Mbvdk

          Re: How about having our own rules and recruiting talent from the whole world, not just the EU?

          "If you could get a *skilled* job in the rest of the EU right now I suspect you would be eligible for a visa sponsored by your employer and the UK not being in the EU any more wouldn't matter much."

          Don't kid youself, before EU, even and especially skilled workers, you had to prove that noone in your country has the skills you are looking for ... Tougher than you think.

  15. Al fazed
    WTF?

    End of ESF grants

    As one of the poorer people in UK today, because I have a long standing disability, my observation is that the first thing which Brexit will Break is any European Social Funding that the voluntary sector and depreived areas of Britain have enjoyed as a means to bolster the lack of investment from the UK Govermins.

    I think about things like the river Taff barrage and other major ESF contributions made to the communities in south Wales and the other (none London) regions of UK. I think about the ESF grants that I and others have received, which have allowed us to take NVQ and other qualifications, specifically designed for managers working in the voluntary sector. I think about the grants I received for the specially adapted office furniture which means I can still work even though disabled. I also think about the office equipment which, as a disabled person returning to work I also received ESF grants for.

    I think that I can safely say that, without these ESF grants I would have a BSc in IT but be unable to work as there is no other way I could have got the very expensive specialist equipment that I needed. The UK Govermin had made no such provisions to help people back into work and in recent years what ever grants were once available have dried up since the Tories gained power.

    Next things taken away will be our rights to free speech and lawful assembly and any disabled people will be turned into Soylent Green which will be fed to the few remaining workers who are unable to afford vegetables and meat imported from Europe and beyond.

    ALF

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: End of ESF grants

      While I would feel sorry for you if you were worse off if the UK left the EU I think you, like many others, are trying to make out that their single issue should be a big enough reason to stay.

      There are going to be losers and winners either way and I think it's fairly selfish to suggest that a whole nation of millions of people should buy someone's sob story about how it'll hurt their lifestyle, wallet, business etc and vote to stay in out of guilt. Equally I think it's selfish for people to complain that some Polish guy stole their job so everyone should vote to leave.

      You might be receiving grants from the EU at the moment but maybe if the UK isn't paying child support for children that have never stepped foot in the UK any more then UK tax payer money could go to fund grants for people that need them in the UK? Maybe the grants you are receiving aren't really financially viable in the first place and the only reason the EU can grant them is because it has no idea what the books look like?

    2. Jim_JS

      Re: End of ESF grants

      I sympathise with you about UK government policy but I'm afraid you are falling for the EU's sleight-of-hand tricks. Why do you think the UK doesn't fund these things? So that it can create a space for the EU to do them and get the credit for it. You've fallen for it, I'm sorry to say.

      The money you were given is UK taxpayers' money. The Labour government prior to the Conservative government was attacking the disabled and the ill with just as much heartlessness. It was under the Labour government that I started fighting it, so I know.

      The money that Wales, for instance, has received was always UK taxpayers' money. It is not EU money. EU VAT is one of the things that has made the cost of living in the UK go up, not down, including in Wales. I'm afraid that you have the UK public to thank for your bridge. We not only paid for it with our money, we also paid for it with our sovereignty.

  16. Paul IT
    Alert

    The Problem with the EU

    My issues with the EU include...

    Allowing UK child benefit payments to kids who don't even live in the UK

    Unlimited migration from any EU nation into the UK

    The EU does not know how it spends the money it receives for its budget, something like 4% is unaccounted for.

    The EU MEP's shuffle between Brussels and Strasbourg and is a waste of time and money, something that EU parliament should stop.

    Voting for prisoners and many other rules should not be dictated by Brussels, and as such if we stay in, every looney EU rule will be voted in by majority voting and we just have to take the hits.

    These are some of my reasons for not staying in the EU and if Brexit happens, then David Cameron should be kicked out and get someone in who can negotiate a new deal with Europe.

    1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      Re: The Problem with the EU

      Allowing UK child benefit payments to kids who don't even live in the UK

      That's a new one I've not heard before. Is it the latest from the Daily Mail?

      I wonder how many zeroes there are between the decimal point and a non-zero digit when we see what percentage that is in the relevant figure? I'm going to go ahead an guess that it's something like 0.0001% of the benefit budget. Can you quote the actual figure for me?

      1. Paul IT
        Happy

        Re: The Problem with the EU

        Been known for a long time..

        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/11139515/600000-a-week-paid-out-in-child-benefit-to-parents-overseas.html

        quote "In 2014, Figures show that £31million was paid to families of children living overseas last year. In all 20,400 Child Benefit claims were made, covering 34,268 children – two thirds of whom are living in Poland. "

        Although the child benefit cost is around £11 bn and my maths may be a bit wrong, around 0.002% goes abroad, wouldn't it better to spend it on people who need it in the UK?

        1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

          Re: The Problem with the EU

          Although the child benefit cost is around £11 bn and my maths may be a bit wrong, around 0.002% goes abroad, wouldn't it better to spend it on people who need it in the UK?

          Sounds like it's not a real problem then. £31M might sound like a lot to you an I, but when we have a budget deficit of £69B, a number more than 2,000 times bigger, I think we can safely say it's not a significant issue when it comes to the UK's finances. We could probably account for that number if we wanted to, by making one medium sized multinational corporation pay their taxes properly.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The Problem with the EU

          @Paul IT

          Remember... Brits (like me) living on the continent receive child benefit in the country where they work / reside.

          You won't see that in the - one sided - figures you quote, because though British children are the beneficiaries... it is not a cost to the UK Government.

          So here's a suggestion. From your "0.002% goes abroad" number, subtract the amount paid by European governments to Brits working/residing in Europe.

          1. lorisarvendu

            Re: The Problem with the EU

            Remember... Brits (like me) living on the continent receive child benefit in the country where they work / reside.

            You won't see that in the - one sided - figures you quote, because though British children are the beneficiaries... it is not a cost to the UK Government.

            So here's a suggestion. From your "0.002% goes abroad" number, subtract the amount paid by European governments to Brits working/residing in Europe.

            I don't know how outdated this is (it's 2013) but the Telegraph helpfully listed benefits available in other EU countries, and yes it does appear that in a lot of cases Brits working abroad are also claiming Child Benefit for their dependents who live in the UK. Sauce for the Goose etc.

            http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/10391238/Benefits-in-Europe-country-by-country.html

    2. Jess

      Re: The Problem with the EU

      > Allowing UK child benefit payments to kids who don't even live in the UK

      Our failing. Why should English people get it if their kids don't live here? Fix that and the problem is gone.

      > Unlimited migration from any EU nation into the UK

      But we are allowed to go in the other direction? To be honest this is the one thing I totally want to keep. I want to be able to work and live anywhere in the EU. It's hardly the EU's fault if our businesses only want to pay wages that only migrants living 4 couples to a house for a couple of years can build a future on.

      > The EU does not know how it spends the money it receives for its budget, something like 4% is unaccounted for.

      Needs fixing, but all sorts of crap goes on in Westminster too.

      > The EU MEP's shuffle between Brussels and Strasbourg and is a waste of time and money, something that EU parliament should stop.

      Agreed, but like the previous, not enough for me to sacrifice my EU passport for.

      > Voting for prisoners

      I don't have a problem with the concept, however I would prefer that all prisons are treated as one single constituency and elect 1 MP. (otherwise it could skew elections).

      But that actually comes from ECHR which we are NOT voting on. Our vote is whether we are to remain in the EU. (The EU is also subject to the ECHR).

      1. billse10

        Re: The Problem with the EU

        Jess,

        a reasoned and thought-out argument. You'll never get a job as a journalist :-) Especially not on this issue - just read the AutoTrader article referenced by someone further up! - if you start thinking about things - but thanks :-)

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The Problem with the EU

      "The EU does not know how it spends the money it receives for its budget, something like 4% is unaccounted for."

      Central EU accounts are correct and signed off every year, the issue you mention is due to grants given to individual Governments which often do not submit detailed accounts of how they spent the money in time (Apparently the UK government is among the guilty) or contain errors in the submission (this is where a lot of the "corruption" claims come from, it's not corruption as such it's some local admin filling the form in incorrectly or incompletely), it is this that the brexiters and the press are constantly screaming about when they mention "unaudited accounts", they are audited but not signed off at the appropriate time because of the problems with the returns from some countries.

      When you look at the size of the EU, getting accurate returns from 29 countries on time and in the correct format must be like herding cats.

  17. whoelse

    Imports will get expensive

    Expand the view to 1 year, and look what Brexit fears have already done:

    http://www.x-rates.com/graph/?from=GBP&to=EUR&amount=1

  18. fritsd
    Paris Hilton

    what kind of people do you want to make the rules

    Maybe I'm about to say something really stupid because I don't have enough information.

    I believe that, ultimately, the EU is governed by its people, and the UK is governed by the City of London Corporation.. So Brexit would be better, because then CoL opposition to a Tobin Tax can't spread beyond the influence sphere of the UK, and won't be able to poison the wider EU and Eurozone systems.

    We need a stable financial system; Europe (incl. UK) is still bleeding from 2008.

    1. Jess

      Re: what kind of people do you want to make the rules

      I take it you mean Brexit better for the rest of the EU, not us?

      If so, I have sympathy for that viewpoint, however, self interest means I'm not about to run with it.

  19. Brian Allan 1

    "The Leave campaign points to the trade deal that Canada reached and postulates that the UK could do the same. The Remain campaign points out that this took Canada several years to negotiate and it is still not in force."

    And I truly hope our new Canadian government scraps this trade deal. It is probably one of the worst things that could happen to Canada!! The former Conservative government must have been on drugs when they were negotiating the deal!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "former Conservative government must have been on drugs when they were negotiating the deal!"

      A Canadian politician on drugs? No - it could never happen. ;)

  20. Howard Hanek
    Big Brother

    I Was Looking Elsewhere....

    .....and here I thought that giant Google Cloud about to envelope the Earth was the real threat......

  21. Mbvdk

    Why are you so worried about legal matters?

    I don't understand why you are worried about legal matters. Laws don't change overnight, and they are certainly not revoked.

    I would be much more worried about the change: North American companies that have their European HQ in the Uk will have to change their organisation. The UK offices will only work in the UK.

    1. annodomini2

      Re: Why are you so worried about legal matters?

      Most of them are in Ireland, for tax reasons.

    2. Jess

      Re: Laws don't change overnight, and they are certainly not revoked.

      That is exactly what could happen.

      If no agreement is reached after two years, our membership is terminated. This means EU laws do not apply here, unless they are adopted by act of parliament.

      I am not sure it would even be viable to adopt the whole lot, I suspect each law would have to be looked at and judged adopt/replace/drop.

      It will certainly keep our civil servants busy, re working 40 years of law.

  22. Jim_JS

    EFTA countries are not subject to the ECJ

    The author of the article - Frank Jennings - is a legal expert, but this part of what he says needs some clarification:

    "With a Norway-style agreement, the UK would still be part of the EEA and would therefore have to comply with many EU laws, including the data protection ones – covering the new General Data Protection Regulation. In that case any law that potentially conflicts with GDPR – such as the UK Snoopers' Charter (aka Draft Communications Data Bill) – will be scrutinised directly by the EU Court of Justice and the UK will have to suspend non-compliant laws."

    Norway isn't subject to the ECJ.

    The court for the EEA agreement is the EFTA Court, not the ECJ. The ECJ has no jurisdiction over non-EU countries, including over EFTA countries. The EFTA Court was created expressly for this purpose.

    It is true that the EFTA Court must take into account and in some cases directly follow ECJ case law (due to the 'principle of homogeneity' - NB according to the EFTA Court there is such a thing as 'creative homogeneity', and the EFTA Court mostly has to tackle fresh legal questions where there isn't case law'; also, the EFTA equivalent of the EU's Commission is not as eager as the EU Commission to bring legal proceedings so there are fewer cases at the EFTA Court), however one of the differences between the ECJ and the EFTA Court is that the EFTA Court has no power to fine the EFTA countries for non-compliance, whereas the ECJ does. Another is that the EFTA Court follows a different judicial style from that of the ECJ (the ECJ having elements of the French model).

    EFTA countries have other, substantial advantages over EU countries.

    For the UK to have a 'Norway-style agreement' is more or less code for 'If the UK rejoins EFTA' (the European Free Trade Association).

    The EFTA was co-founded by the UK in 1960. EFTA members adopt approximately 10% of EU laws (not 'many', as Mr Jennings claims), and retain their sovereignty in all other areas. EFTA countries can freely enter into trade agreements with non-EU countries, either alone or via EFTA functioning as a group, as well as having access to the EU's 'Single Market'. This gives the EFTA countries far more agility, flexibility and strength than EU countries. They participate in things like EHIC and Erasmus, but they do so by free choice, they are not compelled by law.

    EFTA isn't an ideal solution for the UK (there are no ideal solutions available to any country) but it is a massive improvement on being in a Customs Union (i.e. the EU), and a political project to create a new country out of the continent of Europe. Being in a Customs Union has meant that for 40 years the UK has not had an independent trade policy - we have had no sovereignty on trade policy for nearly half a century. If we'd stayed in EFTA, that wouldn't have been the case. We've also decimated our fishing industry; if we'd stayed in EFTA, that wouldn't have been the case either, as British waters would not have become Community waters (yes, that's right, there is no such thing as British waters anymore).

    Some see rejoining the EFTA as providing a safer stepping stone out of the EU, on the way to a longer-term, ever better arrangement. The downsides in the EFTA-EU relationship are ones which Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and Liechtenstein would also like to change, and if the UK leaves the EU and rejoins the EFTA those changes become much more likely.

    Sources:

    1 of 2. EUR-Lex website (official EU website of legal topics)

    "European and international courts: There are many courts that operate at international level, and it is not always easy to distinguish their jurisdiction. The aim of this summary is to present the European courts and to distinguish between those which are part of the European Union and those which belong to other international organisations.

    International Courts: There is a wide range of courts and tribunals that hear disputes at international level and which have their headquarters on European territory. However, these courts do not come under the auspices of the European Union. They are:

    ~ the courts of other European organisations, in particular the European Court of Human Rights and the EFTA Court (European Free Trade Association);

    ~ the courts created under the auspices of the United Nations;

    ~ the independent dispute settlement bodies of the United Nations.

    Courts of other European organisations: Neither the European Court of Human Rights nor the EFTA Court is a European Union institution.

    The EFTA Court enforces the Agreement on the European Economic Area (EEA)."

    2 of 2. EFTA Court official website:

    "The EFTA Court fulfils the judicial function within the EFTA system, interpreting the Agreement on the European Economic Area with regard to the EFTA States party to the Agreement. At present those EFTA States are Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway."

    "The EFTA Court has jurisdiction with regard to EFTA States which are parties to the EEA Agreement (at present Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway)."

  23. Ozwest

    As an Australian, we welcome immigrants, provided they meet strict criteria and are able to contribute. Europeans must be rolling in money with a social services infrastructure the envy of the world, jobs aplenty, and budgets in surplus. Wish we could be so generous...

  24. Eurocynic

    There is a Brexit plan - Flexcit - to ensure an orderly withdrawal

    The government may not have produced a Brexit plan, but this has not beaten experts in areas such as regulation, ICT and fisheries. There is a very detailed paper 'Flexcit' on the EUreferendum dot com website, and also a cut down version explaining the process, 'Flexcit - the Market Solution', also available on the Bruges Group website.

  25. lorisarvendu

    Going it alone...too alone?

    I have a growing concern that if we do vote to exit, it's rather a bad time to be doing it. We've pissed off the probable next P.O.T.U.S. and we'll be on the outside of Europe. I know Brits make a big thing about standing alone against the rest of the world, but really?

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