Good name for it.
I like this tweet: History of Europe: War War War War War War War Arguments about bananas. To be honest, I'll probably go with banana arguments. #remain — Pavilion Opinions (@pavilionopinion) 29 April 2016 Never mind any arguments about the UK being sucked into a superstate and whether that's a good thing or the …
I'd just like to point out the we Brits invented the Banana.. ( cue gooey eyed minions)
No honestly we did. Nearly all commercially grown bananas are descendants of ones grown by the Dukes of Devonshire at Chatsworth House Derbyshire, in a spiffing little greenhouse designed by that Paxton fellow, the bloke that did the Crystal Palace.
Which is why the cultivar is called the Cavendish after the family name of the Duke..
Any organisation only changes for one of two reasons:
- it has too
- it wants too...
Clearly the EU isn't overly fussed about fixing the glaring flaws: CAP, absurd unemployment in southern states, mass emigration, innappropriate effective costs of money, causing mammoth f'ups that only benefit people trackers & Vladimir Putin
So why would it want to change then, unless it is FORCED too?
Btw I love Europe, can get by in French & German, had my recent honeymoon in Paris, I love german cars & beer, adore french food & wine.
My family a few generations back are from Irish & Dutch stock, my mother-in-law is American, so lest anyone think otherwise I believe my self by thought and action to be as far away from a stereotypical 'little Englander' as is possible!
Europe is great, next year I expect to be selling lots of stuff I am currently developing to our european cousins.
BUT I have an MP and a monarch, my fundamental belief is that they should basically 'run' our country, not folk we have never heard of, voted for and can't kick them out of office if we want to...
And as to a European Army? If it wasn't so scary it would be bloody hilarious!
For those that wish to carry on rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic, go for it, I'm voting for leaving before we all drowned.
Could be, how well do you think the EU and the folk that 'run it' are performing at the moment?
As an aside, my previous career was Risk Consulting, hence one of my favourite subjects is the law of unintended consequences...
Thanks for your input anyway.
"BUT I have an MP and a monarch, my fundamental belief is that they should basically 'run' our country, not folk we have never heard of, voted for and can't kick them out of office if we want to..."
You maybe want to read that back. See if you can spot just where the fundamental contradiction in your thinking lies.
I did! Which is why there are quotes around 'run'...
I readily acknowledge what we currently have is a long way from perfect, but steadily hurtling into a Federal EU oblivion is unlikely to improve matters!
What do you think should be done differently?
I didn't vote for Liz in 1952, the primary one being I hadn't been born yet, plus my dad-to-be would have been five at the time....
More to the point matey I didn't actually state that I HAD voted for my MP, or whilst clearly not having the option, HM herself either....
Hence methinks the logical fuckups are elsewhere my friend!!!
Also who is this 'Jeremy Cockson' you allude to???
Chill out a bit eh???
"I didn't vote for Liz in 1952, the primary one being I hadn't been born yet, plus my dad-to-be would have been five at the time...."
I assume "one" means "reason". Actually the primary reason is that nobody gets to vote on the monarch, that's one of the defining characteristics.
indeed, had to scoot out sharpish...
I sought to make clear[er[ to our fellow Commentard that I hadn't voted for either my MP or HM, the former because I am not overly fond of the party, the latter because we can't.
On the whole methink Liz does a pretty good job!
So you admit that you didn't vote for your MP either?
So basically you have zero control over _either_ the Monarch, or your MP!
The idea that the electorate can 'get rid of' people they don't like is complete tosh.
The First Dave,
I'll take my time, hopefully it'll sink in....
At the last general election, there were more than three candidates (I don't recall the precise # and can't be arsed to look it up).
Candidate A was previously elected to the previous sitting of parliament.
Candidate B wasn't quite my kettle of fish
So I voted for Candidate C!!!
Candidate A got the most ticks in the box, so he was elected, which is fine by me!!
So to summarise:
- I did vote
- but for someone who regretably didn't get enough # to become my MP.
Would you be so kind as to clarify how me choosing which candidate I voted for somehow results in me having 'zero control' over who is elected as my MP, as clearly I am missing something eh?
Also if you actually READ my post, nowhere does it state, hint, generally point in the direction of me (or anyone else!) Being able to CHOOSE our Monarch, that's why it's called a MONARCHY!!
Is that clear?
'For those that wish to carry on rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic, go for it, I'm voting for leaving before we all drowned.' - which is basically jumping off a ship, in the night, in the middle of the Atlantic, and watching it sail off in the sunset, smugly thinking how you avoided hitting an iceberg, before quitely drowning because the life boats and the radio are still on the ship.
It's an analogy, based on 'progress' over the last ten years, do you think the EU as a whole (which IS NOT the same as Europe) is:
- getting worse
- staying the same
- getting better.
Pls put a little effort in next time eh?
- staying the same
Certainly not perfect, can be improved on. But anyone who believes that turning our back on Europe will automatically make things better is dreaming. In the chaos, things will get worse, guaranteed. And in the meantime, all the advances that the EU *has* made in things like social justice, personal rights and equality will get flushed down the toilet. I simply do not trust the UK government to replace these. The opportunity will be taken by Boris and his ilk to dilute them all down, and all the while diverting attention by crying "Immigrants!"
// And in the meantime, all the advances that the EU *has* made in things like social justice, personal rights and equality will get flushed down the toilet. I simply do not trust the UK government to replace these.//
I think you trust them too far.
This is from a Leave campaign pamphlet I was sent:
::Does the EU keep us safe?
::"Brexit would bring two potentially important security gains: the ability to dump the European Convention on Human Rights ... and, more importantly, greater control over immigration from the European Union." (Sir Richard Dearlove, former chief of MI6)
Bear in mind that Sir Dearlove was head of MI6 when it was busy abducting people and their families and renditioning them to places where they could be secretly tortured.
(see for example : https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/jun/01/mi5-chief-right-to-be-disgusted-over-mi6-role-rendition-blair )
I find it very interesting that this seems to be practically the one point that both sides agree on.
"BUT I have an MP and a monarch, my fundamental belief is that they should basically 'run' our country, not folk we have never heard of, voted for and can't kick them out of office if we want to..."
I've got some good news for you! You can vote for an MEP and no laws can be passed without their agreement.
There's also something called the "Council of Ministers" where our government also gets to sign off (or not). You may recall Dave C threatening to veto various things in the past.
The Commission (the civil service if you like) can't make laws, are appointed by our elected representatives and can be dismissed by our MEPs if they get too far out of hand.
The Eurozone (of which the majority of key EU members are a part) is basically following the Japanese model for recovery following a recession where low interest rates were (and still are...) used.to try and allow the economy to grow out of recession. It hasn't lead to good times for the Japanese economy over the last 20 years...
What happens to the EU when Merkel is no longer leading Germany as seems likely in 2017?
What happens to the UK if we vote Remain and the EU realise the threat to leave is no longer real?
More unintended consequences?
And as to a European Army
We have worse. You have Euro-Turko-American Army. With LOTS of emphasis on Turkish viewpoint, some on American viewpoint, but not European viewpoint and European (as a whole) interest.
It is hilarious how Cameron and Co used the referendum to bury an interesting piece of news. The latest round of bear bating by aforementioned Turko-Euro-American army had to be canceled. It took a Eastern European premier minister to tell USA, Baltics and Turks to f*** off and take their bear baiting exercise elsewhere and that he is not keen on rehearsing WW3 on his territory.
Which Eastern European premier minister and which NATO excercise was cancelled - you can Google it.
>Clearly the EU isn't overly fussed about fixing the glaring flaws: CAP, absurd unemployment in southern states, mass emigration, innappropriate effective costs of money, causing mammoth f'ups that only benefit people trackers & Vladimir Putin
All, with absolutely NO EXCEPTION, due to British MEP's ... good riddance !
"BUT I have an MP and a monarch, my fundamental belief is that they should basically 'run' our country, "
Ermmm, I'm a bit hazy on constitutional law, but I'm pretty sure you don't get the chance to vote for the monarch (of immigrant stock anyway :). And unless you're in a swing constituency your parliamentary vote doesn't count for much. Oh, and you only get an indirect vote for the Upper House, and then only for the life peers, not the hereditary ones and the Lords Spiritual.
"not folk we have never heard of, voted for"
Well you do get to vote for the European Parliament, and as others have pointed out here, in some cases your vote counts for more in those elections. (E.g. UKIP are much more fairly represented in the European Parliament than in Westminster.)
"And as to a European Army? If it wasn't so scary it would be bloody hilarious!"
I'm not familiar with the details, but as far as I'm aware there isn't a European Army as such, it is purely a term to describe military cooperation. But I'm sure others more familiar with the matter will provide more details.
CAP is expensive because the UK government vetos any changes to it. Basically in the UK most farming is done by half a dozen conglomerates they aren't based in farmhouses they are working out of swish London offices. These companies gobble up 90% of the CAP subsidies. The EU have proposed a limit on the subsidy that any farmer can get. So that there is a cut off at say £30-50K which would benefit the small farmer but screw over the big companies. The UK has always opposed such changes, moving out of the EU would not reduce the amount of subsidy, the UK government would simply pay it directly to their city mates.
Part of the expense of CAP is the use of set-aside to give over some of the land to preserve wildlife insects like bees and wild flowers. You can reduce the cost of CAP if you give those up and allow persistent pesticides to be sprayed across the country.
I think it was the Chinese who used to refer to Europe as the warring continent.
Now however southern Europe is teetering on the brink of economic collapse (to be followed by political collapse) caused by greedy bankers, wonky accountants & Syria. Weakening one of the main institutions that can help stop that is reckless.
And, honestly, do we really want The Boris as PM?
Now however southern Europe is teetering on the brink of economic collapse (to be followed by political collapse) caused by greedy bankers, wonky accountants & Syria.
Tsk, tsk. Apparently, the idiot politicians trying to centrally plan the economy are blameless then? #smh
"Tsk, tsk. Apparently, the idiot politicians trying to centrally plan the economy are blameless then? #smh"
No, I think they are human, but polititians; who, for instance, have made laws about free movement and suddenly there's a load of other people who are not in the club, but are trying to get in, the leaders who should lead, are not sure what to do. That's not too bad, surely thay can manage, but then everyone around them is shouting at them to do something and let them in and keep them out and turn them back into the sea and feed them and let them drown and help them and ignore them and give then hope and let them die in war and....
What would you do?
What would you do?
I'm not worried about the free movement of goods, services, and people about the EU. The problem that I have is that the politicians in these southern EU states can't help but spend their country into oblivion. And the Euro prevents them from using the usual devaluation tactics of the UK, US, or other countries with an independent currency.
I find many aspects of the EU admirable, but my biggest objection to it doesn't apply to Blighty since Brits can still use HM pounds. No question that idiot politicians exist in both scenarios.
Err no matey, the primary reason for the state of many southern european economies is that the Euro simply does not match their economic requirements, this allied with the Franco/German solution for a starving economy to starve it even faster clearly hasn't worked!
Of course there is also the issue that the EU knew that about their relative fiscal cycles and day-to-day tax related issues, but let them all join the club anyway...
But hey, if we had a common tax base, unified laws, common treasury functions and a full banking union (plus our own army), it would all be fine eh?
Err no matey, the primary reason for the state of many southern european economies is that the Euro simply does not match their economic requirements
Neither did repeated devaluations.
Greece is a special case, partly due to the massive levels of "creative accounting" by Goldman Sachs effectively defrauded itself into the Euro area. Southern Europe does not suffer from the exchange rate but from low productivity and high public debt.
At the moment all of Southern Europe is being hosed in Northern cash by holding down interest rates. This has meant hundreds of billions in savings for countries like Italy and is supposed to oil the political wheels so that much needed labour market reforms can be introduced which will hopefully help reduce un- and underemployment among the young.
Returning briefly to Greece: the country does provide an object lesson in the illusion of sovereignty. Last year the government ran a referendum against the offer from its creditors. It won the referendum but sill had no choice but to accept the offer from its creditors. This was a humiliating and unnecessary climbdown from an untenable, maximum position.
"the Euro simply does not match their economic requirements"
This, so much this! I'm very much in favour of remaining in the EU, because while it does have a myriad of problems, none of them are insurmountable with the right legal and political reform, except the Euro.
The single currency is the biggest problem with the EU, you can not have a single currency and interest rate for so many countries with vastly different economies in terms of both their size and strength as well as in nature in terms of service vs manufacturing etc, that will actually work.
By their very nature the stronger and larger economies in currency will tip the trade value of the currency and interest rates in their favour, not intentionally but simply by the weight of their economic effect on the currency.
The required political reforms will inevitably happen for the EU to survive, and in fact to some degree already are.
Despite what the Leave campaign say about Cameron getting nothing from his EU negotiations he actually got a lot more than some expected and the fact that he got what he did has really paved the way for more reform in future.
Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, was recently quoted as saying the EU needs to abandon it's ideal of ever closer union due to the tide of eurosceptic feeling not just from the UK but in other major EU countries such as Germany as well.
Change in the EU is not only coming, it's already started.
Could it all go wrong and make the EU even worse than it is? Yes.
Could it all go well and make the EU more like people really want it to be, a close political and trade alliance that keeps like minded countries united in the face of destabling forces like Russia and China (and even the USA, in a different way)? Yes.
N.B. If I hear one more person say we have to "take back control" from the unelected EU commissioners I have shall have to beat them to death with a beginners guide to the structure of the EU government.
I remember when the Euro was launched and the British media said it would fail quite quickly. I remember the BBC saying that if we'd joined the Queen's face wouldn't have been on the coin and then a reporter looking a bit surprised when national images appeared on the coins....
When I go back to the UK I get the impression from the UK media that the Eurozone is in terrible difficulty and that life there is very bad. Yet what I actually see is that life in the parts of the UK I visit (mostly the south) is no better than where I work in the Eurozone. In fact life in the UK seems worse for the average person.
I'm not saying there aren't problems in the Eurozone and nor am I saying life is peachy in the whole Eurozone (I don't live in a rich area but nor do I live in the poorest part of Greece either). I am saying that the reality is quite different from what I read in the papers.
"I'm not saying there aren't problems in the Eurozone and nor am I saying life is peachy in the whole Eurozone (I don't live in a rich area but nor do I live in the poorest part of Greece either). I am saying that the reality is quite different from what I read in the papers."
Are you on drugs? The Euro currency is a huge success?
Life isn't so bad?
Wow. I travel to Southern Europe too and see 50 per cent youth employment and the rise of extreme right parties. There's none so blind as those who don't want to see.
"Could it all go well and make the EU more like people really want it to be, a close political and trade alliance that keeps like minded countries united in the face of destabling forces like Russia and China (and even the USA, in a different way)? Yes."
Top marks PW. Top marks.
So how exactly will this reform take place?
The European parliament is powerless and capable of little more than claiming expenses.
The council of ministers is dominated by Germany who operate using 19th economic theory driven by thier race memories of hyper inflation. The second most dominant member is France where Napoleon and Louis 14th are still regarded as role models.
Add to this the fact that in the next five years a majority of EU counties will have nasty right wing leaders, Poland and Hungary are there already, Austria is getting there, France is likely to elect Madame Le Pen (one of the few French politicians with a detectable pulse).
So thie choice is for an "Ever Closer Union" of people who hate each other, or, keeping a reasonable distance from the forthcoming mess.
All problems in every set up... in or out can be fixed.... but ONLY when someone wants to fix it. The EU does NOT want to change. When the Irish said no to the constitution they were asked again and told to say yes... When they thought we would say no the renamed it and didn't even ask.... no, the EU is NOT democratic, it is NOT going to change and it IS a very very very expensive club with NO benefits to us at all.
UK is the thing that needs fixed. It's UK that runs at a trade deficit and inflates its currency by burdening its people with a lifetime of debt. It's UK with the ridiculous unsustainable housing bubble. It's UK undermining the privacy right. It's UK that treats its people like criminals waiting to happen. It's UK that brings a lot of the anti-terror-be-afraid, shit to Europe. Bank of England holds 25% of government debt, yet your signed a treaty not to buy government debt by printing currency... aka Maastricht. You're another Greece waiting to happen, a funny money economy run by rich people for rich people.
EU is not perfect, but please UK, go, or fix yourself. If Theresa May thinks your criminals who the fuck is Europe to think you're European citizens worthy of rights?! If you're so worthless as to have no rights, why shoud the EU bring you rights? If you're worth so little that to simply have a roof over your head puts you into debt for a lifetime, who the fuck are the EU to assign a positive value?, when the UK assigns you a negative value.... a wage slave till you die just to pay for a basic life.
Please BREXIT already. Take your snoopers charter, Cameron, May, GCHQ and nanny state with you. EU will have a higher trade surplus and lose a 5 eyes spy from its midst. Good riddence....
Quit blaming the EU for problems. Your problems are your government, and it just voted to spy on your web browsing without a warrant... to make UK safe... safe from you. If you're such a danger to UK, what are you to EU?
Returning briefly to Greece: the country does provide an object lesson in the illusion of sovereignty. Last year the government ran a referendum against the offer from its creditors. It won the referendum but sill had no choice but to accept the offer from its creditors. This was a humiliating and unnecessary climbdown from an untenable, maximum position.
A humiliation brought about by the stupid decision to hold a referendum on something over which they knew they had no choice, as they were bound by the Eurozone rules which a previous Greek government had signed the country up to. Sovereignty had nothing to do with it. They wanted a bargaining chip and the referendum failed to provide them with one.
The UK is a member of NATO. NATO binds its members to support each other and not attack one other. If a UK government ran a referendum asking the electorate whether or not to nuke Denmark, and in its wisdom the Great British Public replied "Fuck, yeah!", you'd hardly be surprised if the government then decided not to carry out the will of the people because it ran contrary to the country's international treaty obligations. However if the referendum was on whether or not to leave NATO, they would be able to carry it out because the UK has the sovereignty to do so. Do you see the difference?
Have a look at Michael Moore On Guns, Trump And The EU With Piers Morgan:
It reminds me that perhaps it's often easier to look at something from a slight distance. I would assume that most Europeans look with horror at a guy like Trump. Still millions of Americans will vote for him. And to some extent I can understand them.
People vote with their emotions and not so much based on the reality, dreaming is sort of nicer than the damned reality.
That happened in one European country too, not that long ago. The result was not all that stellar,
Those type of guys have been popping up all over Europe. I would claim there is hardly more than some twenty all together forming some protest party.
They are all so very similar, sniffing power, and the mantra is always the same. Typically nobody wants to work with them and they have no solution to anything.
I have no difficulties in comparing Farage and Boris to Trump.
And why all that bluffing, why claim Britain is the fifth biggest economy in the world when nine is the number. Look it up, it's all over the web like here:
And then there is the pound and they will never mention that the Danes have their DKR and the Swedes their SKR and not worried at all.
Turkey, oh dear, there is not one country in the EU who wants Turkey to join, The EU is not in any position for any expansion and Turkey is in no shape to join, just a fact, and should that ever come to a vote the decision has to be unanimous.
Poor Cameron cannot say it as he is the Prime Minister and he cannot speak for other EU members nor does he want to offend Turkey as they are part of a refugee solution perhaps,
And as for looking from some distance, the Commonwealth countries are not keen on any Empire replay and suggest Britain should use its strength within the EU rather than outside it.
There is not one country in this world that will find Britain stronger if a Brexit. And non of those countries are in the top 10 for British export or import.
Some stuff to like in here, but some of it is plain stupid.
You want eventually something like the Euro, but not much more political union. Meanwhile, European governments are pushing towards tighter political union in order to deal with the problems caused by the Euro. Y'see, currency unions don't work very well without corresponding fiscal unions, and since one of the big jobs of governments is still taxing and spending, for the Euro to work then major portions of government policy have to be decided at the European, not national, level. Hmmm.
You see the EU as "a defence against local knee-jerk narrow-mindedness at Westminster." Well, at least it's _honestly_ anti-democratic. You're saying, in about as many words, that you prefer to be ruled by unelected bureaucrats than by an elected government. Why not abolish parliament and bring back the personal rule?
"Why not push more of the enterprise and creativity (and probity and humour, even!) of the UK into EU institutions and make it work better for everyone?" Because we tried that; look at exactly what Cameron won. If this whole exercise has shown us anything, it is that the EU is unreformable because those who run it don't want change.
Because we tried that…
We didn't. Call-me-Dave found he was in a spot because of a stupid manifesto promise he decided he'd have to keep (the manifesto is normally ceremonially burnt on the night of the election) and asked the other member states what they could give him quickly. Quickly meant no treaty change, so nothing substantial could be offered. Even then, there must have been some impressive arm-twisting to come up with what they did.
But for the previous 5 years the UK government had plenty of chances to push for reform. Instead it chose to isolate itself such as when it came to the Euro area fudge.
Leaving means having to renegotiate from the start most of the deals we already have with our major trading partners. Except that the UK won't have the right of veto any more. It's a bit like voting to leave the UN but expecting to keep a seat on the Security Council. Well, it's worth a try, I suppose.
"We didn't. Call-me-Dave found he was in a spot because of a stupid manifesto promise he decided he'd have to keep"
You're blowing smoke. Call-me-Dave tried to gain more influence and failed miserably. He pulled out all the stops and all he got was a worthless piece of paper. This is what "pushing for reform" means in practice - a kick in the nuts.
You are starting to sound a bit deluded: QMV replaced the veto for most things after Lisbon, so we can't really veto anything. I suppose you already know the EU doesn't actually have a free trade agreement with either the US or China? Switzerland does.
You are starting to sound a bit deluded
Deluded and blowing smoke? Wow. I wonder what was the stuff you put in your tea? Enough of the ad hominem.
QMV does not apply in most areas and in any case the UK shouldn't find it hard to find allies in the council to veto anything. Thus far it's still not been required to enact legislation that it opposed.
I suppose you already know the EU doesn't actually have a free trade agreement with either the US or China? Switzerland does.
What's that got to do with it? The EU doesn't consider China a market economy. How can you have free trade with someone who doesn't compete freely? Oxymoronic if you ask me. And wasn't Switzerland forced to cede sovereignty to the US when it came to banking secrecy for suspected tax evaders?
That aside the EU trades heavily with China, the US and India (Germany exports far more to all three than the UK) under existing WTO rules, which means few areas are excepted. TTIP is supposed to mean free trade with America but is pretty much dead in the water on both sides of the Atlantic. In Europe because of the secrecy that the Americans demand, in America because an anti-trade Congress don't negotiate, never, no sir, get out the gun boats.
When it comes to who we should improve our trade relations with, I'd much rather the EU started to focus on how a more equitable trade with Africa can benefit both sides: let us please stop dumping surplus agricultural production and thus putting African farmers out business.
" I'd much rather the EU started to focus on how a more equitable trade with Africa can benefit both sides: let us please stop dumping surplus agricultural production and thus putting African farmers out business."
That too. But it's not going to happen because the EU was founded around the idea of protectionism. (Long before it was the EEC, even).
"How can you have free trade with someone who doesn't compete freely? Oxymoronic if you ask me."
But nobody's asking you. When you're Emperor of the World, you can get to redefine terms like free trade I suppose.
China dumps steel on us and the EU talked a lot and did nothing. The US very quickly pushed targeted steel tariffs through Congress. Emergency tariffs are legal under WIPO. So EU membership cost us our steel industry.
"China dumps steel on us and the EU talked a lot and did nothing. The US very quickly pushed targeted steel tariffs through Congress. Emergency tariffs are legal under WIPO. So EU membership cost us our steel industry."
Those buying and then using this steel to produce things seem happy to do so, though?
Perhaps it would be better if they were forced to buy more expensive raw materials?
But then those products wouldn't be possible to sell, and there would be no more buyer of the more expensive steel.. Darn.
Why on earth would the EU renegotiate?
Britain subsidises the EU for little or nothing in return -- why would they give that up?
If the UK leaves we hold all the cards on trade negotiations. 130 billion imports from the EU vs 78 billion exports to the EU. So in any tariff war the EU would be the loser.
@ James Anderson
No it's a lot more complicated than that. Products produced in Britain are, I would guess, mostly products also produced in the rest of the EU. Those companies in the EU who have had to compete with British products will now have an advantage. Regardless of Brexit or not you will still have to import what you don't produce. Then there are the multinationals who produce products in Britain for the EU. Take cars for instance, why would they continue producing them in Britain, except for the ones for the British market.
You, and you are not alone, in overestimating Britain's industrial value alone. Then consider the fact that both France and Germany have a higher percentage of people working in the industry. Which leads us to the financial sector. The idea that London would gain and Frankfurt would lose is just ridiculous.
And I seriously wonder if you could come up with similar positive advantages you seem to believe in if it was about France. As an economy France is very much on pair with Britain. You find it here:
You are letting your national feelings run away with your common sense, My advantage as not British is that I do not need "feelings" when pondering about this,
I read an article the other day that went into the economics of trade with the EU in vs out. Apparently we pay the equivalent of a 7-8% tariff on goods for our membership of the club. Tariffs on traded items when outside the EU would equate to around 3-4%. Oops.
Lamont is quoting a piece by an LSE academic.
130 billion imports from the EU vs 78 billion exports to the EU. So in any tariff war the EU would be the loser.
The EU collectively, yes, but individual countries will be better able to handle it. Spread amongst EU countries it's not a lot for each of them and they may well see it as a price worth paying to give the UK a post-exit kicking.
When we analyse impact on individual countries of the EU, and how they would be able to cope and adjust to tariffs and trade wars, things look a lot more riskier for the UK than when we consider the EU only as a bloc.
At what point on the channel tunnel does a bureaucrat become 'un-elected' when heading South - and presumably 'elected' when going North? Last time I looked we don't elect dog -catchers in either London or Brussels. We do in both tiers elect representatives who, loosely, employ bureaucrats to enact our democratic wishes.
Now if I had a choice I'd quite like a benign social democracy with legislative boundaries on the parish boundary. Then I wouldn't be dictated to by un-elected bureaucrats in my town hall, Westminster, or Brussels. I do however recognise that a small rural parish is probably not a viable political economic entity, given as how Luxembourg and Lichtenstein have corned the world's supply of brass nameplates.
Re:at which point do bureaucrat's become elected/unelected
The point at which an existing democracy is altered is when the individual voters rights are watered down to the point where your ability to alter deeply unpopular government policies by protest or referendum vanishes.
Yes, the EU is democratic, its just that it pools such large groups that it's no longer as representative of the UK as the existing UK democracy by a factor of about 10:1 (i.e. EU has around 500 million voters vs 50 million in the UK).
Is this just theoretical?
It depends what the UK/EU do in the future - the TTIP for instance...
"when the individual voters rights are watered down to the point where your ability to alter deeply unpopular government policies by protest or referendum vanishes"
Because in our current democracy, we've been WILDLY FUCKING SUCCESSFUL in altering deeply unpopular government policies by protest or referendum.
"prefer to be ruled by unelected bureaucrats than by an elected government"
@Tom7, which unelected Bureaucrats do you mean? In the three tiers of EU government, only one of them is unelected and that's the EU commissioners who have no power at all and only exist to come up with ideas to pass to the EU Parliament.
The EU Parliament is made up of MEPs from each country, who are elected by the public of that country. We actually have more MEPs in the EU Parliament (73 I think it is) than any other country besides Germany and France, because the number of MEPs you get is determined by population (and also previously the founder members got extra I believe but I think that has been balanced out since).
The fact that only 20-30% of UK voters actually bother to turn out to vote for their MEPs probably makes you feel like it's undemocratic, but it's not the EU's fault that you choose not to engage with it. The low turnout is also why we have a number of UKIP MEPs who don't want to be there and don't bother to turn up some of the time.
The EU Council makes all the major final decisions anyway, and this is made up of the leaders of each member state. Since all member states are democracies all of these people are elected by their countries to, just like we elected Cameron who represents us in the EU Council.
The majority of EU Council decisions require a unanimous vote, effectively giving the UK a veto over decisions we don't like, such as the formation of an EU army, Turkey (or anyone else) joining the EU, increasing our EU budget contribution or reducing/removing our rebate.
So basically if any of these things happen while we're in the EU it's because the Prime Minister you voted for agreed to it.
> The fact that only 20-30% of UK voters actually bother to turn out to vote for their MEPs probably makes you feel like it's undemocratic, but it's not the EU's fault that you choose not to engage with it.
Maybe voters consider that the European parliament is a powerless talking shop, or don't want to give it an undeserved air of legitimacy?
Anyway, I think people would be a lot happier with the EU if it:
* had about a tenth of the budget and a tenth of the staff (and a single headquarters)
* existed to serve national governments, rather than vice versa
Hard to see how to achieve that though - it would be turkeys voting for Christmas.
"* had about a tenth of the budget and a tenth of the staff (and a single headquarters)"
EU total staff just under 40,000 I think.
For 500 or 600 million citizens (can't remember the right number).
That's fewer than 1 civil servant per 10,000 citizens I think (long day and been up a ladder repointing a wall for hours, please point out any glaring errors of magnitude.)
UK public sector employees (not all of whom are civil servants): 5,300,000
For around 60 million citizens, so around 1 per 10 citizens.
(Does anyone know how many of the 5.3 million are civil servants comparable with those in Brussels?)
Thank the lord some else understands how it really works.
Just a shame it's never explained properly. Not that I would imagine it would have any effect on the bigoted xenophobes out there :-)
If you stick your head deep enough in the sand you can't hear a thing.
Worst of all the outcome, if Leave wins, will probably be due to a large section of the 'grey' community (like my bigoted xenophobic bloody parents) who are probably retired, won't really be affected, and will be dead and beyond caring in 10 years. Thanks.
Even if Remain wins, their vote means the UK will be tearing itself to bits for years to come.
I believe that a large section of the 'grey' community (elderly parents) will vote for Brexit as they were probably the ones who voted against joining the 'Common Market' because they knew how a vast bureaucracy would pan out (corruption, power-grabbing, lack of accountability), and have spent 40+ years saying 'I told you so' .
"On top of everything else, I'm disturbed by the correlation between those supporting "out" and those that have a habit of ignoring inconvenient science and facts, for example around climate change. There are some honourable exceptions, but unhappily few." I don't know anyone who's a climate-change denier, and yet the majority of folk I know favour leaving the EU out of the two options we've been given.
I've found it interesting that I can agree with a lot of both this article and the one posted earlier by Mr Orlowski. But as I've said before, I think that
(a) Cameron has been so blind to the social effects of mass immigration and the fact that people really do care about more than just finances that that's why the way things are going with this wretched referendum has surprised him, and
(b) ideally what we'd be having is a multiple choice questionnaire about which bits of the EU do we want to fix, rather than a stupidly over-simplistic in/out referendum.
(c) idiots that shout 'racist' at people who try to point out their concerns over the cultural effect of having sizable numbers of people in the country who clearly reject our laws, customs and mores and wish to impose theirs on the rest of us aren't helping matters. If folk won't let people have a reasoned discussion on the matter but instead descend into hurling undeserved invective merely for bringing a subject of importance up, then there dies democracy and the very tolerance of our society that we're presumably all trying to defend.
I still think teh referendum should be scrapped and replaced with a more constructive one.
" ideally what we'd be having is a multiple choice questionnaire about which bits of the EU do we want to fix, rather than a stupidly over-simplistic in/out referendum."
You have an optimistic view of how that would go. The "debate" leading up to this referendum has demonstrated that most people haven't a clue what the EU does or how it works, never mind having a sensible opinion on how to fix it. And politicians are happy to exploit that with bare faced lies about it.
I've got a better idea; we vote for people whose job it is to know about these things. And all those who didn't vote at the last EU elections (i.e. most people) get automatically banned from having any opinion on how it's going.
"(c) idiots that shout 'racist' at people who try to point out their concerns over the cultural effect of having sizable numbers of people in the country who clearly reject our laws, customs and mores and wish to impose theirs on the rest of us aren't helping matters."
I don't think there is a "sizable number" who "clearly" do anything of the sort. And who are you including in that "our"? The racism lies directly at that point; your acceptance of scare-mongering as fact and eagerness to claim *your* customs and mores as "ours".
I'm not optimistic in the slightest - I'm quite a cynical old bat in that regard, m'dear.
As for the racism - well, perhaps you haven't had the experience of being spoken to as if you were a prostitute simply because your hair wasn't covered or your arms bare in the summer - I have. And what of 'honour killings', and women that have lived here for many years that can still barely speak English because of families trying to prevent them from doing so?
I'm not in teh least racist - I've friends of quite a variety of skin colours and backgrounds, and it's been my experience that there's a lot of immigrants unhappy about the immigration situation, too. Many of them have come to Britain because of our generally tolerant society, and don't want to see that changed; they would happily see those who reject our customs and mores told to shape up or ship out too. You can call me 'culturalist' if you wish, and that;d be accurate, but racist? Never. I don;t care what colour anyones skin is or where they were born - if they accept the laws of this land and the culture of the country - in particular , of being tolerant of those who are different or from differing backgrounds - then they're British so far as I'm concerned.
So again - throwing the word 'racism' around when it isnt warranted is entirely unhelpful.Ditto 'scaremongering'. It's bloody scary not knowing whether a bunch of men are going to behave civilly as you;d expect or if they're going to start behaving inappropriately due to cultural differences because they havem't integrated into our society well. Accusing folk concerned about that sort of thing of being 'racist' simply shows lack of understanding on the part of the person using it, and infuriates those who are not racist but genuinely concerned about problems with some immigrants but lumping them in with idiots like the BNP. And, ironically, it tends to turn attempts at debate into slanging matches because you;re ignoring a genuine issue of concern by trying to paint it as a different and more objectionable one - which is both incorrect and dishonest.
"[...] the cultural effect of having sizable numbers of people in the country who clearly reject our laws, customs and mores and wish to impose theirs on the rest of us aren't helping matters"
The largest immigrant group from the EU are the Polish. As a nation they are more religious and socially conservative than England, Wales, and Scotland. Most of the immigrants from the EU are from cultures somewhere between the two.
There was a similar position after the war when Poles and Ukrainians chose to remain in the UK rather than return to their USSR controlled countries. I went to school with some of their children and have friends with that heritage. Apart from unspellable names they were as English as the rest of us.
One recent young friend says he is - "half Danish, half Kurdish, three-quarters English". His Kurdish father came to England as a refugee and now runs a successful hotel business - and he has become very Anglicised.
The BREXIT campaign might want to reduce EU immigration - but some of their persuasion see it as an opportunity for the Commonwealth to provide a future increased source of labour to compensate. Those immigrants will be more religious, from all denominations, and more socially conservative than the Polish.
"the cultural effect of having sizable numbers of people in the country who clearly reject our laws, customs and mores and wish to impose theirs on the rest of us aren't helping matters"
Not sure how much this is true or that I agree with it, however the groups that this is mostly associated with are the Middle Eastern refugees from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan etc. Primarily Muslim (not that I have anything against peaceful Islamic beliefs) countries, whose entire cultural history is quite different to ours, unlike the EU member states (like Poland where most of the EU economic migrants in the UK come from) who's cultural backgrounds are to some extent similar to ours.
Refugees coming into the UK from these Middle Eastern countries have very little to do with the EU, although we have an agreement in place with the EU to take a certain number of them this is to ensure that they are spread fairly across the EU member states and other member states actually take in as many or more than we do, if for no other reason than that their country is physically larger.
If we were not in the EU we would still be taking in these refugees, possibly in even greater numbers, because we take them in out of a caring and humanitarian nature (after bombing the shit out of their countries) not because we have to because the EU makes us.
> ideally what we'd be having is a multiple choice questionnaire about which bits of the EU do we want to fix, rather than a stupidly over-simplistic in/out referendum.
The question wasn't put to find out what you think about the EU. The referendum's sole purpose was to get Dave out of a hole with a large and vocal minority of his backbenchers. That it is so close to turning round and biting his arse is /almost/ reason for backing Brexit.
In fact the best response might have been to simply ignore it. There should have been a third option on the ballot: I want nothing to do with your cynical exercise in party management. Alas, since that isn't on the cards, please, please hold your nose and vote Remain.
'On top of everything else, I'm disturbed by the correlation between those supporting "out" and those that have a habit of ignoring inconvenient science and facts, for example around climate change.'
smacks of the "Clerisy" outlined here http://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/06/22/andrews_three_fabulous_reasons_to_leave/
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"......given how brutally Soviet citizens suffered under the USSR with none of the protections afforded by the EU....." True, whilst not as extreme as some of Stalin's measures, you might find a lot of Greeks would like to disagree about the "protections afforded by the EU" after the economic hardships introduced by Greek participation in the EU. The biggest complaint I hear from Greek friends is that the baillout makes the Greek people feel literally enslaved to the German-led EU, like some indentured slave state, with zero control of their own future. Even the idiotic Greek policies that led to their economic downfall were a direct result of the EU's encouragement and policies, and the lackadaisical accounting and oversight that worsened the mess are definitely the fault of the EU's politically-inspired blinkers. The rise of both far-Right and far-Left parties across Europe (especially in the PIGS countries) is a sign of just how unpopular the EU's "protection" has become, especially as it seems to leave them unable to do anything other than follow the diktat of unelected officials in Brussels (rather like the USSR of old).
I wish both sides would give it a rest, most people knew which way they would vote before both sides started lying their posteriors off. As for the people wearing badges stating which they were voting, who cares? Do you think that people will go "oooh, he looks educated and he's voting in/out, perhaps I'll vote that way", douchbaggery of the highest order.
"I also feel that being in the EU benefits me personally, for instance, as a defence against local knee-jerk narrow-mindedness at Westminster, as well by promoting positive aspects of culture, friendship and common cause."
whats more to be said.... Have a beer (Kasteel Rouge) on me Sir!
Indeed, any curbs & balances on extreme gov policies (whatever party) is a good thing, e.g. would either Con or Lab have raised issues over safe harbour with the US ...
Without the EU, I hate to imagine the state of our air, rivers & beaches, so some of those regulations help our health.
If brexit happens, expect to see any pro worker EU regs burnt on the fire as soon as the govt. can - e.g. working hours directive, decent maternity / paternity leave etc.
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Can we hear from someone who doesn't have a vested interest?
Oh I see, so if someone has a vested interest (and they even go as far as declare it), they're not entitled to their opinion? Would you like to prevent them from voting as well?
Can we hear from someone who doesn't have a vested interest? That disqualifies you, @Charlie Clark.
Oh? I have more of a vested interest that being a citizen of the United Kingdom? Please tell us more. Even better, picket my local polling station so that I can't vote.
The wrong question is being asked.
What many people are really using the vote for is to register if they are for or against the current path and operation of the EU.
I doubt we will be leaving whichever way the referendum falls, however individual politicians must know that they will lose the votes of those that previously voted for them, but disagree with their EU stance. The question then is who will the voter then choose, a candidate from the opposing party they would never normally vote for, but that has the same EU stance or someone else entirely?
Politics in this country is going to get messy.
prepare to kneel down before Emperor Boris.
We are far better off inside the EU than out of it. IT is more than just the economics of who benefits most and all that.
I don't trust the BREXITeers one bit and that includes my local MP.
Little Englanders the lot of them. The world they want has long gone if it ever existed in the first place.
Don't worry, I've already voted so nothing anyone can say here can make me change my mind.
The EU ideological utopia:
● Is a collectivist union run mainly for the benefit of Germany.
● Has only one elected body called the European Parliament; whose role is to rubber stamp the decisions proposed by the European Commission (a self-perpetuating body unaccountable to the people, whose decisions de facto has the force of law.)
● The President of the European Commission is theoretically elected, but in practice only one candidate is proposed and the chamber just validates him.
● Uses conformity pressure on the people to control them, and suppress free speech.
● Has a policy called "Affirmative Action" where if you belong to a protected group, qualifications and merit does not matter when it comes to employment.
The USSR ideological utopia:
● Was a collectivist union run mainly for the benefit of Russia.
● Had only one elected body called the Supreme Soviet; whose role was to rubber stamp the decisions proposed by the Politburo (a self-perpetuating body unaccountable to the people, whose decisions de facto had the force of law.)
● The Chairman of the Communist Party was theoretically elected, but in practice only one candidate was proposed and the chamber just validated him.
● Used conformity pressure on the people to control them, and suppress free speech.
● Had a policy called "Having a Politically Healthy Origin" where if you belonged to a protected group, qualifications and merit did not matter when it came to employment.
It was poor the first time it was posted - it is no better even with the typo's corrected.
In a direct EU/USSR/Russia link.....
I suspect that the Baltic states who are now members of the EU were more than a little grateful that they had those ties in place when Mr Putin was flexing the muscles of Russian military might on the Ukrainian border.
I will readily acknowledge that the EU is not without issues, many serious that need to be fixed. I do not believe however that it is as yet irredeemably damaged beyond recovery. I do believe that such a recovery is better assisted by us staying inside and working from within to rectify the problems.
Is it more difficult than tearing the whole edifice down and starting again - certainly.
But in the period of fixing it, we maintain the relative peace that has characterised the last 50 years in Europe - we hold Mr Putin in check.
".....I suspect that the Baltic states who are now members of the EU were more than a little grateful that they had those ties in place when Mr Putin was flexing the muscles of Russian military might on the Ukrainian border....." No, membership of NATO was what they were glad of, not the EU. NATO membership guarantees mutual defence, not the EU. The EU's Common Security & Defence Policy makes zero actual guarantee of mutual defence, it is just another bit of airy-fairy gobbledygook which "strives to have a future common EU military force" but is completely reliant on NATO. This is just another bit of Remain propaganda. Without NATO (and that really means the US) Pootie could swallow each of the Baltic states at will and the EU would be able to do nothing other than issue strongly worded letters of condemnation. Indeed, the economic pain of a US-led banking embargo is much more of a deterrent to Pootie's ambitions than the collective whining of the EU.
No, membership of NATO was what they were glad of
Know many people in the Baltic states do you? While it's true that NATO and the EU are entirely separate organisations (Finland and Sweden are both neutral), the principles underlying both are related: security for our main trading partners.
Hence, while it's mainly American boots on the ground, the Baltic states have also asked for German troops. Given the history, this is more than astonishing. They have also now all adopted the Euro as their currency, even though it means that they are lending money to Greeks who earn more.
Indeed, the economic pain of a US-led banking embargo is much more of a deterrent to Pootie's ambitions than the collective whining of the EU.
The US has very little trade with Russia so the embargo costs the US little. Some EU countries trade a lot with Russia. But then again, Russia was boycotting Polish produce even before invading the Crimea. In its own way, the US is as dependent on the soft power of the EU as the EU is upon the US military.
'Little Englanders'... really... for considering the status quo may not be all its cracked up to be?
You state we are better off in, but provide no examples, and say you don't trust Brexiteers one bit... again an opinion based on such huge amounts of unbiased information you cannot possibly share here...
Yes there are some complete tools in the exit camp, but there are just as many in the remain.
The EU was a good idea, and well sold. What we have now isn't close to what it should have been. Yes we can stay in and try to fix from the inside, but at what cost? If we leave, do you honestly think we are suddenly not going to trade with countries who rely on our money?? Germany's car market is built to send 20% straight to us, as we love a German motor... You think there is any chance they will jeopardize that money? Even if the German Government did, the solution would be for the manufacturers to start manufacturing in the UK again...
Spain, France etc etc, the revenue from our holidays, business travel etc - do you think they will be willing to loose any of this? They wont impose Visa's - people would simply go else where. Have a look at the value of the British tourist to some of these countries.
Don't forget our exit is going to leave a fairly big financial hole, that the remaining members will have to cover (taking the total of contributing countries down to 10). Are they really going to turn their noses up at our cash with their bottom lip quivering because we hurt their feelings?
I do think as a nation we are in a far stronger than we or anyone else gives credit...
I work in an incredibly multi cultural office, and we are in many countries around the world. You know what will change about that if we leave? Nada...
@ themunkey - I agree, too many people missing the point of this referendum
Flinging insults is the last resort of the desperate without a good argument or indeed any respect for an opposing argument. It is happening on both sides of this debate. It seems bizarre to dislike or insult everyone holding a particular view just because you dislike someone else due to specific personal characteristics that also espouses that view.
Not to mention the logical fallacy-
This person believes A and B therefore everyone that believes A also believes B.
To put it another way, voting Out is simply that, not a vote for or agreement with the reasoning of any person or party that is also voting or campaigning for Leave.
Then again I may be voting out to kick our government for not using the last six years to try to turn the EU into something I can vote to stay in. Which I would really like to be able to do.
Yes - we are strong enough, democratic enough, to work within the club. Why leave?
I love how Brexit assume that we can retain free movement, free trade etc, but do it without having to accept that it comes with a price tag, and reciprocity. If nothing is going to change wtf leave?
1. I am not 'Brexit' I am in favor of leaving the EU - Brexit is a bullshit name created by an incompetent media system to turn an important political debate into a pissing competition.
2. I never mentioned that we would retain anything - I asked if you would honestly expect other countries to willingly throw away very large sources of income to their own countries by stopping free movement? I am certain there will be a price tag, and there will be governance for us to follow. But we will be in a position to take or leave them. Right now we don't have that option...
Germany's car market is built to send 20% straight to us, as we love a German motor... You think there is any chance they will jeopardize that money?
Ah, the trade straw man argument: we have a trade deficit so everyone else has more to lose.
The Germans will be more than happy to continue to sell cars to the UK. But the terms of trade might make it a less attractive market: tariffs may be introduced or the UK might not be as rich, though we can expect the ruling British elite and the international denizens of Knightsbridge, etc. to continue to buy them in volume.
Anyway, where did Bojo pull that 20% from? Looks a lot like this article from July 2015 in the FT. Worth reading in detail because it was written before the hyperbole really got out of hand. The Germans expect difficulties but nothing they're not prepared for. But in 2011 cars to the UK only made up about 10% of German car exports. Looks to me like the Germans are rather good at finding new markets, ie. selling more cars to the UK when exports to Russia slumped.
Totally agree - when all the companies that build cars in the UK in order to sell them in Europe (which is all of them bar niche companies like Morgan) have pulled out then the choice will be buy a more expensive car from Europe (or elsewhere) or buy a second-hand one.
The sort of people who buy Audis, BMWs etc probably aren't going to worry that their car costs 10% more because of the tariff on EU goods; so the chances are those German manufacturers will notice very little difference if tariffs are imposed.
'...something like the Euro...
... not much more political union...'
Optimal currency area anyone?
'The EU is a fixer-upper...'
Not sure I go with this argument. I keep hearing how we should reform the EU. It's almost like we're supposed to assume that the rest of Europe is incapable of creating the institutions it wants and it needs us to sort things out.
Maybe the EU is like this because this is what the member states want it to be like.
I'd prefer something like a United States of Europe, but that's not an option.
We are not the only country in the EU with a large Eurosceptic contingency. I have friends in Spain, Italy and Germany and many of them are as worried about "ever closer union" as a lot of Brits are.
Euro Politicians all refuse to even entertain the possibility that the road they are intent on travelling might not be what ordinary people want. This is a political project, its driven by politicians many of whom are failed politicians in their own countries but have found a "safe harbour" in the workings of the EU.
There is a lot of good about the EU. A lot of good but there is also a lot of dodgy or bad. How are we to force *our* politicians (who are mostly for the EU) that a good number of people have some reservations?
Anywho, one way or another there are gonna be a lot of pissed off people on friday morning and they're all gonna be bitching about it on social media, in the papers, on the TV..... that's when teh real nightmare begins!
@ Levi Trumpet
Sorry I think you might have missed the gist of my comment. You say its remain or be America's bitch. By being America's bitch typically means doing what they want and what they say. What their president has told us to do is to remain. So we are America's bitch if we remain.
Basically I stated that you had it wrong, to remain is to be America's bitch.
UK has been voted down to the extent voting has even been allowed.
They are net payers into the EU.
No one will stop trading with UK who already is, in fact many of us (I'm a Yank) will increase trade with UK when a few obvious barriers are gone.
Perhaps most important - look at the list of who is begging you to stay - in other countries that benefit hugely from your net contribution and are afraid they can't carry their own weight without your help.
Sounds a bit selfish at face value, but this is truly a case of a kid (EU) whining about having to get out on their own because their parents (UK) are wanting to not support them forever and want to resume their own lives.
in fact many of us (I'm a Yank) will increase trade with UK when a few obvious barriers are gone.
Many of us - I'm not a Yank - worry that these barriers are all that's preventing a race to the bottom. For as much as it is loathed, EU regulation has broadly driven improvements in environmental protections, consumer protections, data protections.
Those regulations are sometimes seen as a barrier to trade by others - indeed TTIP seems intent on trying to scrap or circumvent as many of them as possible.
So - sounds a bit selfish at face value - but those who want those barriers to trade eased can shove it up their collective arses, get their act together and raise their standards to the level that the EU has given us cause to demand as reasonable.
Indeed - I don't want all the GM food, additives and other sh1t that is allowed in food in the USA but which is banned by the EU. However in the event of Brexit I am sure Gove and his pals will be only to happy to repeal these "inconvenient" rules in order to "open up trade"....
I declare a vested interest. I receive no EU grants but I expect a large recession especially in enginering and development services if we leave. That will hurt me directly and indirectly.
Almost everything we develop is for a european market and there has already been a marked slow down and postponing of projects until after the referendum. If we leave this will get much worse with the inevitable uncertainty. Once we are in a recession money will be tight for everything and the people who suffer most will be those who have the least. That is probably not in the main register readers. In the long term, and it will take a long time to even know how long that is, the impact will depend on whether we join the EEA. If we do , not much impact long term, but a completely pointless move as we will be subject to exactly the same rules but have no influence over them. If we do not join the EEA then we will permenantly suffer with hampered market access and hugely reduced leverage and bargaining power everywhere.
The thing I suspect but I am not sure about is that leaving the EU will mean far more bureaucracy. I work with EU regulations all the time and they are generally reasonably small and focussed on sensible minimum requirements. The few times I have worked with UK originating regulations it has been a nightmare at least 10 times as many words to cover a similar area.
Surely there comes a point at which it is fair to say that we have been trying to reform the EU from within, but have not managed to do so and have no new ideas on how we might? Even the (dubious) changes agreed are conditional on the UK staying, .i.e. were not accepted as worth doing anyway. We gave it a good try, and, as Churchill said, we wish it well.
Those who lead saying it's the wrong time chose the time. Gus OD thinks two years is not long enough, but what was his job when the Lisbon treaty was signed? People could do silly things and over-react; some of the threats have been quite creative, but the EEC banana problem dates from 1956.
Why did we need a referendum?
Well Dave the Dim got frit by UPRIK taking all the votes, so lets beat up the EU and scare them with a Referendum
Boris the Untrue decided to switch camps, yes there is a video of Boris exalting the EU in 2013 and go for a power play to become PM.
In grown up politics then the politicians would have sorted it out, but when have politicians (with a few notable exceptions) acted as grown ups.
Don't believe me, well watch PMQ's (really should be on CBBC)
All this of course is 'allegedly' to keep the lawyers happy.
War used to happen because one bunch of rich people wanted another bunch of rich people's treasure. Once the technology got so good that you broke the treasure when you tried to steal it, all the rich people got together and realized it was easier to take all the money off the proles instead. And hey presto I give you the EU. ( I'll be voting remain but I'll be holding my nose whilst doing it)
We'd still be scuppered for plumbers if it wasn't for Poland. Mind you, drowning in their own shite would be a fitting end for the like of the BNP and UKIP.
Immigrants don't come here and take jobs from British people, they come here and do the jobs entitled, yobo British wastrels would never do in the first place... and pay the tax needed to keep those entitled, yobo British wastrels on the dole too.
Why would someone work for a pittance when they can live on the dole and be better off ?
If you invite unlimited numbers of people from poorer countries in that are happy to work for lower wages then it isn't surprising that local labour will take the easy and often more profitable option than to try and compete for the jobs.
British people are perfectly capable of doing the jobs - they just lack sufflicient incentive to do so. Whether you reduce the dole to force the slackers into work or reduce the drag on wages to make working worth while is the question.
I know which I think is more humane for society as a whole and to do so requires us to first leave the EU.
Would you be so kind as to clarify why my voting for UKIP should result in me 'drowning in my own shite'?
Also i quite agree with you about the 'immigrants keep pinching our jobs' whining, some people do genuinely seem to think that the world owes them a living...
Were it nor for (astoundingly irritating) Mr Farage, do you think we would be having the opportunity to vote today?
With your statement in mind, of course you will be presumably not voting on principle eh?
I look forward to your considered reply.
If we could vote on “common market” and “ever-closer political union” separately then I suspect the entire discussion would be very different and much less fraught.
We are attempting to do that in two stages. The first is to leave the EU, which dumps the political union part. Then, assuming reasonableness all round (hah!) we can negotiate a sensible common market agreement.
Much of the Remain argument has been about how the EU is going to be nasty and mean to the UK in the event of a Leave vote. Do we really want to be associated with such a group of people? I'd rather leave on principle if they're that obnoxious. On the other hand, if they are indeed sweet and reasonable people (see above) then there's nothing to lose and everything to gain from voting to leave.
"Much of the Remain argument has been about how the EU is going to be nasty and mean to the UK in the event of a Leave vote."
No, that I have seen only among commentards. Suppose you are a member of a Golf Club but a pal of yours decides to stop paying for his membership and then turns up demanding his old "advantages", Would you not smile and say - Sorry, members first. That's not nasty nor mean. Perhaps you should be a bit reasonable. Eating the cake and all that.
It's not quite that one-sided. The rest of the EU may wish to trade into the UK so we have rules too, that's why negotiation and reasonable attitudes are required. If a forest of red tape and tariffs suddenly hits UK business when trying to sell into the EU, there may be a trade war where all the EU imports get hit by equivalent red tape and tariffs. Business leaders won't want that, it'll only be the politicians trying to maintain their egos.
The EU cookie law.
How did it come about? Where did the proposal come from? Who voted for it? And why is the EU pressing trivial totally pointless directives over big stuff like fixing it so that people can work and earn a living wage without reams of government administration and interference designed to protect incumbents and pals.
If we were to leave the EUless it could force companies importing goods here to have a real presence in this country and not in some tax haven or country where the tax rates are lower and legal issues are well, ambiguous at best to say the least.
That would depend entirely on our government having some bollocks, it really hurts to say this but I think Thatcher had a bigger set than moron.
Maybe even pay some flipping tax too, and employ more people here, if I'm dealing with an UK company I want to speak with someone from here and you know I mean that in the kindest way.
The carbon footprint which motorists are constantly harassed and taxed with should be applied to things we import that can be grown or farmed here instead, NZ lamb's nice but It's a fooking long way away just to throw on the barbie and a lot of fuel to get it here, seems a bit of a waste to me!
A nationalistic attitude to our economy would be a good move for all of us, even if it took a bit of time to implement and I think in the long run, could possibly reign in the abusive nature of some industries to our benefit.
No UK jobs have been saved under EU rule and none of them are safe, they care about them and it is a them and us scenario.
Citizen Smith has invaded my head again, SORRY!
You do understand that the EU is trying to bring in country by country tax reporting, to clamp down on avoidance. You are also aware that the British Government is trying to scupper it?
Who tried to limit bankers bonuses? I'll give you a hint, it wasn't us. I'll tell you what we did do though. We (George Osborne) mobilised an army of lawyers to get it scrapped.
I don't ever hear this mentioned, but I think the UK has a responsibility to actively participate in helping shape the continent to be that which we would wish as our neighbour. Nobody ever talks about how lucky we are to have such benign neighbours these days. But honestly, the stuff we whinge about when elsewhere in the world there are actual wars or dictators making a misery of the local region...
In addition, I actually think that being a net contributor is a good thing. We are actually one of the wealthier spots in Europe, and us and other countries in that lucky position should lend a hand to help less fortunate neighbours - precisely the same way that money rightly moves around the UK. It doesn't work out that much - the price of a packet of crisps a day for the average taxpayer. I like the idea that we might help our neighbours develop... who knows if we'll need their help in decades to come...
The best way to do those things is by being a part of a political european organisation, or "EU" as it's known.
' I like the idea that we might help our neighbours develop"
Yes! I would rather have reasonably prosperous, democratic neighbours - less likely to give problems. Anyway, helping neighbours is encouraged by all major religions and non-religious teachings, so we can feel virtuous for less than a quid a day.
What price our willingness to help others ?
If there was even the slightest indication the EU was genuinely reformable it might be worth a shot but even then .. What if it doesn't work ? What is plan B ?
The arguament here is to give up our abily to decide our own future and suborburnate our decrocracy in order to help others that consistently prove themselves not willing to listen - with no way out if it doesn't work (there is no chance of another referendum, short of civil insurrection forcing one). That's not so much wishful thinking as willful negligence. Doing a business merger with such uncertainty and no contractual way out would be unthinkable.
If the EU was truly democratic or stood a realistic chance of reforming and accepting our help then the referendum probably would not even of happened. Most leavers are not anti-Europe they are anti-EU and pro-democracy.
A leave result may well just push the rest Europe into rejecting the EU - making way for a better union and a better, more democratic Europe. A remain result will strengthen the anti-democtratic nature of the EU, emboldening it to ignore reform even more.
If there was even the slightest indication the EU was genuinely reformable it might be worth a shot but even then .. What if it doesn't work ? What is plan B ?
We leave! That's a reasonable Plan B; it's just not a good Plan A.
I know; "Cameron tried and failed". But that's because he's an arsehole who only got himself and everyone else into this mess because he was trying to save his own skin and that has remained his priority.
Boris was probably right, waking the EU up, with the real threat of leaving if nothing changes, would have been the best way forward, but that wasn't what was on the cards when Cameron went to the EU to seek reforms. He had put himself in a very weak position.
And let's not forget that Leave doesn't even have a Plan B.
Personally, I have no idea if the UK would be better of "in" or "out" of the EU. Based on info I've got right now I could argue both sides. Poorly, perhaps, but I could argue both sides. UK in has serious drawbacks and many benefits. UK out has many problems but also many benefits. I could probably argue them at the same time. Hey, loony is as loony does.
However, to me one thing is clear. If the UK votes to leave, they should leave COMPLETELY. No keeping the profitable bits and ditching the bits where you have to pay the piper. No keeping the bits and pieces that make life easier, but refusing to accept the bits that make life less easy. "Out" should mean just that, OUT. All the way out. Completely out. All previous treaties revoked. Want to go your own way, fucking do so. Stop whinging about it, just get out. That's really the only way to break a relationship - cleanly. Finally. Completely.
Probably never happen that way though. The politicians and oligarchs are going to want to keep all the bits where the UK benefits while getting rid of any responsibilities that aren't profitable.
Oh, and the UK is having trouble now not because of the EU, but because it's had crap government for a while that has cut back on everything that's necessary for a civil and comfortable society while keeping all the bits that are profitable for the oligarchs but hell on earth for anyone else. IMHO. HAND.
@raving angry loony
- I'm happy to agree with you about the crap government we've had for decades now, but the amount of treaties involved and the work involved in undoing them (never mind replacing them with some kind of alternative) - it's humungous. If attempted it'd probably take decades, rather than years, to finally sort out. So even if the result is to leave, I can't see very much changing quickly, for purely practical reasons.
You can't have a common currency without a common fiscal policy. It is inevitable you will have problems like Greece otherwise. You hold up the US as an example, but there is a single fiscal policy for the country, the states cannot set their own. If they did, states like Mississippi and Illinois would be the Greece of the US, in similarly dire circumstances.
Greece was the result of a right wing government being induced by Goldman Sachs to hide billions in debt using means that would be fraudulent if anyone else had used them. Without the scam created by Goldman Sachs, Greece would never have met the fiscal conditions set for joining the EU without cheating by that government and Goldman Sachs.
It had nothing to do with EU fiscal policy, and everything to do with yet another multinational being too big to shoot and bury.
Actually, it has to do with both. Even if Greece was admitted on the basis of cooked books, there have been years of obvious fiscal mismanagement which Greece would have been obliged to remedy had there been a solid EU fiscal policy in place. From the very start, the attempt to integrate the currencies of such vastly disparate business, political and economic cultures as Germany and Greece (to name but two) seemed like madness, and the current situation should be no surprise to anyone.
"You hold up the US as an example, but there is a single fiscal policy for the country, the states cannot set their own."
Much of the fiscal policy is still decided by the states. See California and its boatload of local taxes/regulations.
"If they did, states like Mississippi and Illinois would be the Greece of the US, in similarly dire circumstances."
Bailouts for financially weaker states are quite routine in the US. 10 billion handout wouldn't create much ado over there. When Greece crisis hit, US financists commented that Eurozone should have had a rapid bailout mechanism in place from the beginning, and started administering handouts way before the full-scale panic.
" my a la carte EU feast ..."
There is no prospect that the EU will reform itself to correspond with any of the ideas to which you aspire.
Anyone you ask will agree that regularly moving the European Parliament between Brussels and Strasbourg is silly and a huge waste of effort and money - but the same people also say that it cannot be changed "because it is in a treaty". If the EU cannot change something on which almost all EU politicians agree, what chance is there to address any of the more difficult issues?
For example, recent moves to make lobbying (of the European commission by multinational corporations) more transparent, along the lines of US rules, have been quashed. The EC's position is that there is no hard evidence of the sort of corruption that brought about the transparency rules on lobbying in the USA (as if the Santer Commission never existed). All the while, the majority of EU citizens are unaware of lobbying or of the associated transparency issues.
"Before the Cold War ended I was regularly scared about the four-minute warning, and my parents' generation were tangled up in WWII, foreigners were frightening, different was bad."
The EU had nothing to do with the end of the last Cold War, just as they have little to do with the new Cold War that is now in the making.
The end of the Cold War came with the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact, as they were unable to match the defence spending of the USA.
Mikhail Gorbachev said of the EU "The most puzzling development in politics during the last decade is the apparent determination of Western European leaders to re-create the Soviet Union in Western Europe."
"Mikhail Gorbachev said of the EU "The most puzzling development in politics during the last decade is the apparent determination of Western European leaders to re-create the Soviet Union in Western Europe.""
Gorbachev also wanted to keep Sovjet united.
Of course, the EU doesn't have 5-year plans and laws against private ownership. It's not a communist country. It doesn't totally lack a working legal system, and rights for individuals. It doesn't have a ban on free speech. It doesn't tend to hush down mass-starvation due to incompetent management.
It's main members have a long and proud tradition of democracy.
Gorbachev simply had his red goggles on, and his communist marinated brain in gear, tainting his view. He simply couldn't understand what it is all about.
With respect,Gorbachev makes more sense than you do.
The 'Labour Party's political position on the centralisation of power in the E.U is ILLOGICAL.
Why? Because, in the U.K, New Labour brought in 'devolution', AKA 'decentralisation',because 'centralised' power at Westminster, was detrimental to prosperity in the regional countries of the U.K.
That being the case,why would they want the opposite in the E.U,where GERMANY is the equivalent of Westminster,being at the power centre,Brussels being the bureaucratic centre.
WEALTH in such circumstances is not going to be shared equitably around the E.U.
AGAIN, " It doesn't have a ban on free speech",which is NOT in any way different than when one cannot(without few exceptions) access the media to articulate 'freedom of expression' & when they do it is duly monitored by the state security apparatus(GCHQ).
My summary of your argument is that because politics is a nasty, horrible, ugly business we should vote for the status quo. Not good enough. I'm typing this wondering which way to vote before 10pm today and have read your comments hoping they may have offered a persuasive perspective but, alas, from my point of view, it just another status quo argument.
Is the status quo - with the possibility of it getting better and the option of leaving if it does get worse - better than abandoning ship with no idea if things will be better or worse and being stuck with having done that?
I don't play Russian Roulette, aren't willing to gamble "all or nothing" on something so important as the future of Britain. In that respect I admit I am 'risk adverse' and the status quo seems to be less risky and has better options if that turns out to be wrong.
I like the concept of the EU but I would jump ship if I truly believed that was in the best interests of Britain. I don't buy the nonsense that if we stay now we could never leave. I'm voting Remain because I see that as offering me the best options for the future.
@ Jason Bloomberg
"Is the status quo - with the possibility of it getting better and the option of leaving if it does get worse - better than abandoning ship with no idea if things will be better or worse and being stuck with having done that?"
No. The problem is the bad framing of the issue. We are in a wreck that we can see coming (and has actually already hit). The only choice is huge change regardless of remain or leave. Unfortunately there is little desire to change (to fix the problems) within the EU so such change isnt really an option. There is no reform or correction without political will and the EU has opposing wills not collective. The outlook for leaving has so far all been positive apart from the EU possibly acting like children and blaming us for the breakup of the EU.
"I don't play Russian Roulette, aren't willing to gamble "all or nothing" on something so important as the future of Britain."
Both sides believe this. Those who want to remain fearing change, those wanting to leave fearing the catastrophe going on and coming. Do we fear hitting the wall we approach or turning away from the wall?
"I don't buy the nonsense that if we stay now we could never leave."
Interesting problem here. The narrative of the remain campaign is that we are too weak, incapable and reliant on the EU to survive without it. The aim of the EU being ever closer union. How many years has it taken to actually get a vote at all on the EU? And even then it was by accident. Look at the state of the EU. Economic crisis, migration crisis, political crisis, employment crisis and most of these have been dragging on for a long time. Iceland has a trade deal with China yet this amazing trade block with huge and mighty power cant. This club of friends is beating to death Greece and will do so for the others in crisis. And they want to do more of this!
What do they need to do to count as bad? Kill your pets? Put you out of a job? Start another war?
"Look at the state of the EU. Economic crisis, migration crisis, political crisis, employment crisis and most of these have been dragging on for a long time."
Don't see much if that. Perhaps just looking at the bad news give a somewhat distorted picture. Also, if someone is actually fleeing for their life (those pesky brown-skinned people walking in long rows), isn't it good if they get some protection? Or are you thinking of the 300 000 that look just like us and come here to work from far away exotic places such as Latvia or Poland?
"Iceland has a trade deal with China yet this amazing trade block with huge and mighty power cant. This club of friends is beating to death Greece and will do so for the others in crisis. And they want to do more of this!"
Greece can leave if they don't like it. I honestly don't see what that has to do with the UK staying or leaving? Greece sure as hell has already over-used the friendships, and now have to make amends. Perhaps the current solution isn't optimal, but the EU surely didn't bring Greece's problems about.
Trade block with China? OK... I'm sure the UK will sell a lot to China...
@ anonymous boring coward
"Perhaps just looking at the bad news give a somewhat distorted picture"
Or looking at the actual data on the very people not necessarily noticed in business activity. The distorted picture being the unmeasured perspective of someone who lives and interacts with a small group.
"Also, if someone is actually fleeing for their life (those pesky brown-skinned people walking in long rows), isn't it good if they get some protection?"
Very good point. Totally excludes anything I said but yes they should.
"Greece can leave if they don't like it."
Absolutely. They nearly did but the threats they got were persuasive. Didnt they also get in trouble for planning to print Drachma due to the Eurozone buying Greek debt and then crushing them with it?
"but the EU surely didn't bring Greece's problems about."
Well the Euro did. Granted they overspent and so should now be dealing with it. But they cant because the Euro rules stop them from taking any corrective action apart from crash. Their debt cannot be paid which is why the debt has a long maturity at below interest rates so their debt devalues over time. But they still require the bailouts and are being beaten with them.
"Trade block with China? OK... I'm sure the UK will sell a lot to China..."
Trade block with China? Who said? The EU is still trying to set up a trade deal an apparently they give more influence and power to trade. Iceland rejected the EU and has already got such a deal while the EU has yet to create deals with the growing world.
Every person who wants to remain goes on about the benefits to them. Its the "ME" culture.How about thinking of everyone else? Bananas used to come from the Windward Islands a UK protectorate, it is what kept them alive, The EU wont allow it, then there is Kenyan flowers New Zealand butter. Stop thinking "ME" firts, think about "Them" and that leads to "US"..
As a Yank, I must say that freedom of movement is a glorious thing. Many of you lot over there might not realize that while from without, the US appears to be one homogenized unit, from within it is actually 50 individual states each with their own culture and unique characteristics. The overarching Federal government structure gets all the press but, a huge amount of the governmental load-bearing is done at the state level - each with its own bureaucracy, etc.
As to the subject at hand, freedom of movement, this affords us the opportunity to see a wide variety of different areas and people where the only common denominators are language and currency. Perhaps this is why we frequently get such a bad rap as tourists abroad - we are so used to going wherever we like and getting what we want when we get there that when we don't we become obnoxious about it. I freely admit to being a sterotypical Yank tourist and unapologetically so. I am, however, actively trying to tone it down and play nice with others... Cheers.
""Also, if someone is actually fleeing for their life (those pesky brown-skinned people walking in long rows), isn't it good if they get some protection?"
Very good point. Totally excludes anything I said but yes they should."
Well, no, if Farage is to be believed (horrid thought), those darker skinned people represent a real threat, and needs to be compared (in numbers) to the 100s of thousands coming to work from EU regions such as the Baltics.
I didn't hear Farage say anything about helping them? Despite them being in obvious discomfort. Who wouldn't be? But Farage probably has never walked very far in his life, so can't really know what it's like to flee.
"Well, no, if Farage is to be believed (horrid thought), those darker skinned people represent a real threat, and needs to be compared (in numbers) to the 100s of thousands coming to work from EU regions such as the Baltics."
Very sorry to tell you but you have been lied to. What he says and what is reported are often amusingly polar opposite. This is why I point out that it is amusing to hear globalists being called little Englanders, the welcoming (within reason) the racist and insisting adequate infrastructure to be the loon.
"I didn't hear Farage say anything about helping them?"
Have a look. And no this stuff isnt widely reported because if it was he wouldnt look like a racist and a loon. How is anyone supposed to have an informed opinion or discussion when the conclusion is written before the facts are gathered?
"What he says and what is reported are often amusingly polar opposite."
Oh.. How stupid of me to believe that a massive blow-up photo was some kind of statement.
I guess I shouldn't take the clearly visible rethoric at face value, and instead look for an "inner, hidden" Farage? The more vulnerable and caring side of him, perhaps?
Sorry, I just prefer to see the visible side, as that's what everyone else sees. Call me shallow.
@ anonymous boring coward
"Oh.. How stupid of me to believe that a massive blow-up photo was some kind of statement."
Do you mean the one where he was mocking the EU crisis brought on my a member of the EU and the EU then trying to spread the problem to members who didnt cause the problem? The crisis that wasnt until it was created?
"I guess I shouldn't take the clearly visible rethoric at face value, and instead look for an "inner, hidden" Farage?"
Why make it complicated? It only leads to misunderstandings as above where you read what you want to read (or have been 'guided' to). Make it easy. Go look.
"Sorry, I just prefer to see the visible side, as that's what everyone else sees. Call me shallow."
Not at all. A lot of people will read whatever is in front of them and not really question. Its much simpler to shout racist or xenophobe than to look at what someone said. As I pointed out with amusement about the leave campaign being globalists yet called racists or little Englander. Its probably not because your shallow but because the lie is shouted loud and wide. But look at what he actually says. Hell if you believe everything your spoon fed do you believe we will have WW3 if we leave the EU?
"I can recognise a demagogue scumbag when I see one. But thanks anyway."
You made a comment about him rejecting darker skinned people fleeing for their lives-
As I said, just look. Dont just accept the lie but look. Its easy to call him names and dismiss him without even listening. Unfortunately both official campaigns have gone with name calling and have given us shockingly little worth listening to.
I remember that. And remember applauding him for that. But it was just a day later, when he realised what he had said or became aware UKIP members were not at all happy with what he was saying, that he clarified what he meant, that he was only talking about saving Christian refugees.
What an incredibly smug article - classic "I'm alright, Jack" or "I've got mine" commentary by someone who just can't resist reminding all us plebs about his successful business and life of travel on the Continent. It's like when Newt Gingrich came out of a hospital after getting the type of medical care reserved for the rich, powerful and famous and pronounced the American health care "system" to be excellent.
Unfortunately, it doesn't really hold together in terms of logical argument.
As for NATO, that has nothing to do at all with the EU. (Reality check: the USA is in it, too! And Turkey!)
I remember well how this country operated before we joined.
The funny thing is,politically,the TORY Party has not changed it's spots one iota.
I do not give a toss about busineses & how it fares, inside or outside of europe.
I have only ever voted once,which I regret ever since.
This referendum is a 'political' event though, one that everyone should vote on.
It is the 'PEOPLE'S' chance to have a ,'GLORIOUS REVOLUTION', a chance that will not come around again in your lifetime.
I have voted 'LEAVE', because I hate the way that Gordon BROWN copied 'TORY' behaviour & recruited 'business' people into 'OUR' democracy, in order to destroy our 'democracy'.
The idea that government's recruit profit motivated business people into government,in order to steal taxpayers money directly or indirectly,whether by 'out-sourcing' NHS services, or paying 'private' AMERICAN businesses to get unemployed\disabled people off the state payroll, by using the claimants benefits to provide the profit is IMMORAL & WRONG IMHO.
I look at business as the (capitalist)horse that should pull the (social)cart, NOT vice-versa,on that basis alone, I find the incestuous relationship between gov't-business to be absolutely corrupting & not to be supportive of by voting for.
Bring on the 'leave' GLORIOUS REVOLUTION & let the Westminster\Brussels crowd go & suck eggs.
The completely vacuous argument that the EU "saves us from endless European wars" is probably the stupidest amongst all the stupid Remain arguments. Post-WW2, the fear of the USSR and resulting Cold War stopped European bickering, not the EU, the EEC or any other European talking shop. The current re-emergence of that threat due to Pootie's carefully calculated actions will be met by NATO (US-led so hated by the Fwench), not the EU. Prior to WW2 the European wars were just that - Continental European, and not anything much to do with the UK (pretty much since Napoleon's time). Indeed, the UK got sucked into the Great War ("World War One" for Septic readers) when it was actually a continuation of the Franco-Prussian (where the Krauts regularly kicked the Fwenchies a new one) and Central European (Austro-Hungarian Balkan) wars. WW2 was simply a continuation of WW1. Without the Triple Entente the British Empire would probably have been a very profitable observer of the Great War, and would actually have been more like to supply arms to the Kaiser's Imperial Germany than the Fwenchies (whose overseas empire was more of a trade competitor than the tiny German Empire). Any highly unlikely and completely hypothetical future Continental wars being frothed about by the Remain crowd as the result of Brexit and EU break-up would actually leave the UK better positioned to pick up global trade the EU countries would miss due to in-fighting! Sure, you might claim it would be heartless to consider profiting from any future Continental conflicts (as the neutral Swedes did very successfully during both World Wars), but it would seem rather obtuse to claim we should therefore tie ourselves more tightly to the EU disaster simply because the rest of Europe might throw a tantrum and start killing each other again some time in the future.
History is not written in advance. Nothing is inevitable, neither the EU, nor globalisation or big government. We are free to change course anytime. This is a victory for free will.
Human institutions are created by people but if they don’t respond to meaningful concepts, they attract no real attachments and are ultimately abandoned. The EU is a cultural aberration and a political failure. Nation states are much closer to people’s hearts and their own institutions are far more legitimate. This is a victory for culture.
Patriotism, the love of the land is a source of real meaning. We are tellurian creatures as well as intellectual beings. This is a victory for the understanding of man as flesh and mind and a defeat for intellectual constructs that think you can remake man against his nature and create meaning out of nowhere.
We are trailblazers now. the EU will disintegrate and nobody will mourn at its funeral. The Tory party will go into the wilderness alongside Labour and the Libdems, either they abandon the PC narrative or they will eventually go as well. Everything is up for debate now and the elites no longer control what can or cannot be discussed. Suddenly it’s the Guardian that’s obsolete.
None of us predicted this, but now freedom is here and it tastes sweet.
And how's that working out for you now?
The pound has slumped against the dollar, but not so much against the euro, because we dragged that down with us. The FTSE 250 has sort of recovered, but mostly because the pound has dropped so far. The entire Brexit "winners circle jerk" has vanished - even farage has given up, having "won" without the slightest shred of a plan.
I've already seen prices pushed up - steel? We barely make any, so all this won't save that industry, and your hand-hewn artisanal coal that you are planning on selling for 3x the price of everyone else? Well, that's not going to save you either.
It's like a dog chasing a car, then, one day, it catches the car, and gets it's jaw ripped off.
"The pound has slumped against the dollar, but not so much against the euro, because we dragged that down with us."
If you think we drag down the Euro then your in for a bit of an upsetting surprise. Brace yourself. It does however show how much we propped it up with our over strong sterling which was advised to drop anyway.
"The entire Brexit "winners circle jerk" has vanished - even farage has given up, having "won" without the slightest shred of a plan."
Really? Boris did get knocked off his perch but didnt the remain argument stand on how terrible he was and we wouldnt want him? Gove who knocked him off has been offed for his role in it at least. On another topic I am in discussion with people crying that Farage hasnt gone, instead he is actually remaining in the EU as an MEP because he has been blocked from the negotiations. Do note his complete party is the only one willing and prepared to lead a brexit. So unless you have some scientific proof of Schroedinger's Farage he is still there and trying to ensure our referendum result isnt ripped off and ignored by people opposing democracy.
"I've already seen prices pushed up - steel? We barely make any, so all this won't save that industry"
The tata steel plant sale is on hold as a valuation is difficult. It might be worth more, may be worth less but it isnt dead. The sale being of the parts of the plant that are still useful and not obsolete on a world stage due to our high energy costs, high labour costs, high climate tax's and general direction of wanting to recycle.
It's one thing to coordinate radio frequencies, agree on safety standards, and have trading agreements and quite another to be caught in the horrible EU politics. Leaving the EU doesn't mean that a company will have to submit to 28 different testing companies to certify a new product IF each country doesn't insist on creating their own standards. Politicians handle technical subjects very poorly. The world gets by on weights and measures without having to form a one world government. Yes, the US still uses silly inches, miles and pounds, the UK thinks that the weight of a human must have its own scale all when something much more rational as the metric system is available and widespread.
I was very happy when the UK voted to leave the EU. Traditions and culture were getting swamped out by immigrants that were never going to assimilate and there wasn't much Parliament could do about it due to the requirements of the EU.
BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, has warned that proposed changes to Britain's data protection rules must not put the flow of data between the EU and the UK at risk.
The professional body said the supposed benefits of a leaner data protection regime – something the government promised last week – should not come at the expense of the UK's current "data adequacy" arrangement with the EU.
The UK remained compliant with the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) when it formally left the EU at the end of 2020. Its interpretation of EU law meant that the trading bloc gave the UK an "adequacy" ruling, permitting data sharing across the border.
Updated A system vital to the flow of goods across the UK's border has suffered a devastating outage following a rush to implement it in time for the Brexit deadline.
Last night, the UK's tax collector's technical teams were struggling to resolve an outage affecting the goods vehicle movement service (GVMS), introduced to help managed customs tariffs after the UK left the European Union.
Dover District Council, the local authority in the busy port town that is closest to the European mainland, is preparing to declare a major incident as a 23-mile (37km) stretch of the multilane M20 highway remains closed to accommodate queuing freight.
UK minister for science and research George Freeman has admitted that vital EU funding for research is in limbo while the nation continues to negotiate Brexit sticking points, namely Northern Ireland and fishing rights.
Speaking to Parliament's Science and Technology Committee late last week, Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy minister George Freeman said the geopolitics of Anglo-European relations – in particular Anglo-French relations – around fishing and the Northern Ireland Protocol were complicating the decision over "association" with the European Commission's €95bn Horizon research programme.
"I think it's pretty clear that we're in a holding pattern, with our association not being granted," he told the committee.
The UK's European Scrutiny Committee has published the government's response to concerns over the Brexit divorce bill and the impact on the UK's participation in EU programmes.
The original report turned up in October 2021 and highlighted the costs incurred as Brexit negotiations went on. The UK was given the nod for participation in the likes of Horizon (the EU's big research fund) and Copernicus (the EU's Earth Observation programme), however approval allowing UK entities to actually bid is still lacking.
The maximum financial endowment of Horizon Europe is €95.5bn. Copernicus was reported as being €5.4bn in the original report. The majority of the UK's contribution to these and other programmes would normally have been expected to flow back into Blighty's coffers. But these are not normal times.
The UK government is having a second pass at flogging the benefits of Brexit, as much as they exist, in a new bill that promises to accelerate work on AI and gene editing.
The so-called Brexit Freedoms Bill — its actual title will be decided by Parliamentary clerks — will also offer a "more agile way to regulate new digital markets and AI and [create] a more proportionate and less burdensome data rights regime compared to the EU's General Data Protection Directive."
The bill promises to make it easier to amend or remove "retained EU law" which was left in place following the UK's departure from the political and trading bloc.
Glitches in IT systems designed to manage the movement of goods from the EU to the UK are holding up shipments.
According to Bloomberg, problems with the Goods Vehicle Movement Service (GVMS) – a UK government IT platform for moving goods into or out of Northern Ireland and Great Britain – have meant hauliers have not been able to load shipments onto the system and get their reference codes accepted.
The news outlet cites three organisations, including auto manufacturer Honda, as having been hit by difficulties with the system, causing shipments to be held up at the UK border.
A report from the UK House of Commons' European Scrutiny Committee has blamed delays in Brussels for choking off revenue streams to British institutions and businesses.
The UK departed the European Union following a 2016 referendum. One of the results was that UK businesses were no longer able to tender for lucrative contracts within the bloc.
The Brexit Divorce Bill uncomfortably laid out the facts back in 2018. The satellite navigation system Galileo was one victim despite substantial involvement from the UK in its development. Another was the Copernicus Earth monitoring programme; the UK was infamously snubbed when the European Space Agency (ESA) handed out six juicy contracts to institutions from the Continent.
One of the consequences of Brexit came back to bite a Seagate customer in the UK who was forced to pay import VAT and brokerage fees on a replacement drive still under warranty that was this month shipped from the Netherlands.
Tom Parkinson, CEO at New State Entertainment, a group of labels specialising in dance and club music, said the business has four Synology NAS units that each house 10TB, 12TB, or 16TB drives.
"Occasionally bad blocks will rise on a particular drive and before failure it's advisable to swap out for a new HDD," he told The Register. "Having done this a few times over last three years since install and having five year return to base swap with Seagate – [it was] always super smooth."
IBM reckons both the pandemic and Brexit could play to its strengths in 2021 – making a claim about turning threats into opportunity in the latest profit and loss accounts filed for its loss-making UK operation.
According to the financial document for the year ended 31 December 2020 [PDF] - filed at Companies House on 18 August - Big Blue said of its principal risks and uncertainties:
"Specifically, in the coming year the key business risks will still be about the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact on the economic environment. The end of the Brexit transition period and the new working relationship with the European Union will also have a short-term impact."
No 10 Downing Street - the home of the UK Prime Minister - is looking to hire a big cheese at the Brexit Opportunities Unit to bring a fresh new oomph and zing to Whitehall.
The 17-page job spec (downloadable here) – with perks including hybrid working, childcare benefits, a generous pension, and a loan to buy a bike – is brief.
In a nutshell, it’s this: “The Director, Brexit Opportunities Unit is a high-profile role. It needs someone who can change existing thinking, working across all government departments, developing partnerships with senior stakeholders, including the Prime Minister, to ensure ministerial priorities are met.”
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