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Poll
Question: How will you vote on June 8th 2017
Conservative - 30 (28%)
Labour - 37 (34.6%)
Lib Dem - 13 (12.1%)
UKIP - 1 (0.9%)
Green - 1 (0.9%)
Nationalist party eg SNP, Plaid - 10 (9.3%)
Don't intend to vote - 4 (3.7%)
I really don't know yet - 11 (10.3%)
Total Voters: 107

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Author Topic: The UK Politics and EU Referendum thread - merged  (Read 850035 times)
mulhuzz
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« Reply #45 on: May 15, 2015, 01:41:35 PM »

also, I guess this is important. I've touched upon it before a little bit, but Adz has brought it up in the thread.

Human Rights.

There are so many myth surrounding this it is absolutely unbelievable.


The EU and the Council of Europe
Firstly, it's important to note that a Brexit would not change anything as far as human rights are concerned. Not a single thing. This is because the Court of Human Rights (as it's so often called) is borne out of the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR) which is part of the framework of the Council of Europe, a totally separate, independent body, with more signatories than the EU, and observers from all over the world outside Europe.

It's often said that the Council of Europe is Churchill's idea, btw, and dates back to 1949, with the ECHR beginning to be drafted a year later.

It is true that these days the EU and the COE (note: this is different to the Council of the European Union, or European Council, which is a part of EU) cooperate on various shared initiatives. The Maastricht Treaty (Treaty on European Union/TEU) gives special significance to the COE and the ECHR in Article 6(2):

Quote
"The Union shall respect fundamental rights, as guaranteed by the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms signed in Rome on 4 November 1950 and as they result from the constitutional traditions common to the Member States, as general principles of Community law."

The ECHR name has changed since the TEU was signed in 1991/92. It was previously the ECPHRFF.

Note particularly, that the European Union is not a signatory to ECHR, so if you feel the EU has infringed your rights, your recourse is found at the European Court of Justice (ECJ), not the Court of Human Rights ECtHR. There have been some stumbling blocks in EU accession to ECHR, but this is something which is quite likely to happen within the next decade.

Not that it matters : if you're affected by human rights and go all the way to the top, the ECtHR is your recourse. Of course, if the issue is about more than HR, and you are in general seeking remedy from ECJ, the ECJ will also have a firm committment and obligation to give 'special significance' to the ECHR and decisions of the ECtHR as a 'guiding principle'.

Britain loses HR cases all the time!!
No, we don't. There are roughly 1500 brought per year, and we lose 10 of them on average. Nonsense to think that Europe is 'imposing' some Human Rights on us when a) we don't lose very often, and b) we've had these obligations about 20 years longer than we've been a part of the EU. Nonsense.

They won't let us jail criminals for life!!
Not true. They said in one case the order wasn't specific enough, but again in Feb this year reiterated their stance that 'whole life orders' were consistent with Human Rights of the prisoner.

A British Bill of Rights would be better than the HRA because then it's not dictated to us by Europe!
There can be no doubt that the ECHR is almost by definition a 'British' bill of rights. It was an idea born in England, drafted by British lawyers (mainly) and signed in London.

A Tory plan to scrap the HRA wouldn't release us form those obligations anyway, and nor should we want to be.

Myth Busting
I think, along side immigration, 'Human Rights' is where the battle ground will be for this referendum. So if you think you've found a case where 'human rights' has led to some sort of ludicrous decision, pop it in here, and I'll bust that myth for you.
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BigAdz
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« Reply #46 on: May 15, 2015, 02:29:21 PM »

However eruditely Mullhuzz speaks, while he has a green an orange man, I keep thinking must be him, as his avatar, i find it hard to take him seriously! Wink
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doubleup
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« Reply #47 on: May 15, 2015, 02:35:09 PM »

Thanks Mullhuzz, I was completely wrong about all the human rights stuff

fixed
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BigAdz
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« Reply #48 on: May 15, 2015, 02:41:59 PM »

Thanks Mullhuzz, I was completely wrong about all the human rights stuff

fixed


I think we learnt during the election, Mullhuzz has his sources of info, and so does the real world.... Grin
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mulhuzz
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« Reply #49 on: May 15, 2015, 02:53:33 PM »

Would definitely be backing myself as a source over the Daily Mail and the Sun mind Adz.

Which is obviously where most people who bang this 'Ridiculous Human Rights from Europe' drum get their information from.

Unfortunately when two of the largest newspapers in the country don't know the difference between CoE and EU I don't know how we're ever going to have an informed debate about Europe.
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DungBeetle
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« Reply #50 on: May 15, 2015, 03:02:41 PM »

I believe it is known as "Yuman Rites" in the Mail.

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mulhuzz
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« Reply #51 on: May 18, 2015, 01:41:25 PM »

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-32775396

Lord Bamford of JCB thinks Britain has 'nothing to fear' from an EU exit and backs that up by saying we're the 5th or 6th economy in the world anyway.

He doesn't mention that we've achieved that status whilst being a member of the EU, mind...

He doesn't also mention that he's a Conservative peer and a large donator to the party, either.

I think this is the start of a moderate approach to sway those undecideds by telling them there's 'nothing to fear' about Brexit. Which seems disingenuous at best. Any time you're going to ask the electorate to make, en masse, a large decision about the future of the nation, it's right and proper to have some fears, especially when it's not as is every study says Brexit would be an unparalled success. Similarly disingenuous would be the 'pro EU' side (and I've yet to meet anyone who is both 'pro EU' and 'anti EU reform', btw...do they exist? I suppose they must) side saying 'Brexit causes the sky to fall down!!' -- it obviously doesn't -- many models show a significant hit to the economy, but most agree these would be relatively short term and by 2030 or 2040 we'd be in a better position regardless of EU membership. Indeed, there are some other, models which don't foresee any GDP contraction at all - although they are too optimistic for my taste, they could certainly be correct.

There is, of course, a wider perspective here. There is movement in much of Europe for some fundamental reform of the EU (last tried and failed with the Constitution!) and Britain is hardly alone in wanting to renegotiate. For that reason I think there will be a level of flexibility and an appetite for reform not seen since the late 80s/early 90s internally in Brussels. The battlegrounds are drawn : force reform and vote to stay (which probably 'leads' the polls right now, if you took one) vs 'nothing to fear, let's be independent'.

A related note: I remember talking to some Spanish friends years ago about Barcelona and Catalunya ceding from Spain. The Spanish government didn't want to allow it because it would weaken their position on Gibraltar (I think given than Catalunya is responsible for a large part of Spain's GDP also helps mind!). With that in mind, given that Scottish Independence is now a much bigger prospect in the next 25 years than it was in the last 25, do the chances of Brexit increase? I'm not sure, but there definitely feels like a national splice into an international (or supranational, if you like to sound like you work for the EU) debate.

I think it's worth noting as well that the EU is sui generis which reform quite likely, such institutions tend to, even when they seem to lack bias for action.
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DMorgan
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« Reply #52 on: May 18, 2015, 03:01:16 PM »

Really good stuff Mulhuzz, been a very interesting read so far
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david3103
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« Reply #53 on: May 18, 2015, 03:19:20 PM »

Mulhuzz, you are clearly well informed as to the arguments on this issue. You also seem pretty certain that you hold the right opinions on the matter. You may well do so, but it would perhaps be helpful if you shared some background on yourself and established some credentials to give your viewpoint some added weight.


Ninja edit: I'm curious rather than doubtful.
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mulhuzz
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« Reply #54 on: May 18, 2015, 04:15:47 PM »

Really good stuff Mulhuzz, been a very interesting read so far

Mulhuzz, you are clearly well informed as to the arguments on this issue. You also seem pretty certain that you hold the right opinions on the matter. You may well do so, but it would perhaps be helpful if you shared some background on yourself and established some credentials to give your viewpoint some added weight.


Ninja edit: I'm curious rather than doubtful.


thanks, I'm trying to be more objective than I was in the General Election thread Wink

Since you asked nicely David, a little bit about my background.

'By trade', I'm a lawyer. I read Law with European Legal Studies at Durham, spent a year doing a 'Magister' at the Uni. Leibniz in Hannover and wrote my final year dissertation on the EU's relationship with the World Trade Organisation. For my magister I wrote a dissertation (well, that oversells it, it wasn't that long, but was the 'main assessment') on EU Accession from a Comparative Law perspective. Some of that is more interesting than the rest imo Wink

Worth noting though, whilst in Germany studying I decided that I basically didn't like Lawyers and didn't want to be one --> so although I'm still very interested in the field, and like to keep pretty up to date (I had to in my last job working in Energy, this one not so much...) I'm not actually a lawyer. Smiley

I would like to think I'm pretty well informed on the topic and in general the machinations of the EU apparatus. At the time I was studying proposals for a new Constitution for Europe were being drawn up, so if there was ever a time to be excited about studying the EU, that was it!

All of this doesn't really make my opinions any more valid than your average educated (in the sense of well researched) layman. There are plenty of people who are a) smarter than I and b) have thought longer and more deeply about this topic than I and who have reached a different conclusion. I'm currently scouring those materials and their opinions because, as an old Teacher of mine said, 'even if you're a Guardian man, read the Telegraph as well. It's important to know how the other half think. They might just be right'

In that regard I've long since vanquished from my brain the idea that Brexit would cause the sky to implode. In all honesty, every model is pretty damn close (with a swing either side of NULL of no more than a couple of percent - edit : although let's rememeber 2% is a LOTT in real terms) - it's just that it seems to me that we'd be permenantly risking (once you decide to leave, you must do so within 2 years!) a lot of benefit for some pretty limited or even (imo) non-existant upside. I guess that makes me risk averse - although it's probably more to do with my own personal feeling towards the EU and the good it does, rather than any pure economic consideration.

That said, I, and pretty much everyone, accepts there are some problems with the EU - expansion has caused issues; that's to be expected in unique organisation. What's important is what reforms we can agree on. Because I think with the appropriate number of effective reforms in key areas, there is no debate economically (only politically). A reformed EU absolutely smashes the needle way past 'current EU' or 'Brexit' on the GDP scale, whichever flavour you like.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2015, 04:17:40 PM by mulhuzz » Logged
david3103
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« Reply #55 on: May 19, 2015, 09:47:48 AM »

You've obviously studied the subject far more deeply than most Mulhuzz.

Serious questions
 - - If the UK leaves, what happens to the EU without us?
Would the burden be spread more thickly between France and Germany which surely won't be popular in those countries?
Would the European Defence Force die a death?
Would the EU just march on without us?

 - - If we vote to stay
 will that kill the debate? Doesn't seem to have done in Scotland.
 Is it possible that we end up with a massive number of UKIP MEPs?

 - - What does the EU look like in terms of harmonised foreign and fiscal policies in 15 years time, with and without UK membership?

 


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mulhuzz
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« Reply #56 on: May 19, 2015, 10:04:36 AM »

You've obviously studied the subject far more deeply than most Mulhuzz.

Serious questions
 - - If the UK leaves, what happens to the EU without us?
Would the burden be spread more thickly between France and Germany which surely won't be popular in those countries?
Would the European Defence Force die a death?
Would the EU just march on without us?

 - - If we vote to stay
 will that kill the debate? Doesn't seem to have done in Scotland.
 Is it possible that we end up with a massive number of UKIP MEPs?

 - - What does the EU look like in terms of harmonised foreign and fiscal policies in 15 years time, with and without UK membership?

those are questions which require way more time than I have to answer them today. Will start drafting something this evening though, and post tomorrow or day after I guess.
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« Reply #57 on: May 21, 2015, 12:02:52 AM »

I think this vote will be closer than people imagine because a lot of folk vote based on feelings rather than logic. This might be interpreted as stupid but it is what it is. In the recent domestic election it's fair to say feelings of nationalism swept across the UK, in some cases producing dramatic and surprising results. Moving onto yo Euro debate the logic of shared values might be solid but this is an island nation so I wonder how people will innately feel when push comes to shove?? We know we are unpopular in Europe. We like the concept of the underdog. We are an island nation. What will people feel??

I mean it's like using great logic to explain how the fat girl at the bar is the better choice over her sexy, blonde, ample-chested friend. Fat girl has a great personality, well funny, good job, loves animals etc but I'm still feeling the friend more based on no logic at all, sorry. It's difficult in my mind to conjure up Europe as the beautiful blonde in this scenario, it's more akin to a fat dungaree wearing lesbian who teaches geography. I think Euro needs sexing up for sure and how people feel about their identity will be a bigger factor than the more minor immigration issue.

Ultimately I think I will weigh up all the variables before deciding, I will listen to the arguments on both sides before probably concluding staying in Europe is a wise decision. Then I will probably vote to leave due to the fact that I'm British. Those bastards never give us any points for Eurovision and I think that would go a long way.
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« Reply #58 on: May 21, 2015, 07:16:05 AM »

I think this vote will be closer than people imagine because a lot of folk vote based on feelings rather than logic. This might be interpreted as stupid but it is what it is. In the recent domestic election it's fair to say feelings of nationalism swept across the UK, in some cases producing dramatic and surprising results. Moving onto yo Euro debate the logic of shared values might be solid but this is an island nation so I wonder how people will innately feel when push comes to shove?? We know we are unpopular in Europe. We like the concept of the underdog. We are an island nation. What will people feel??

I mean it's like using great logic to explain how the fat girl at the bar is the better choice over her sexy, blonde, ample-chested friend. Fat girl has a great personality, well funny, good job, loves animals etc but I'm still feeling the friend more based on no logic at all, sorry. It's difficult in my mind to conjure up Europe as the beautiful blonde in this scenario, it's more akin to a fat dungaree wearing lesbian who teaches geography. I think Euro needs sexing up for sure and how people feel about their identity will be a bigger factor than the more minor immigration issue.

Ultimately I think I will weigh up all the variables before deciding, I will listen to the arguments on both sides before probably concluding staying in Europe is a wise decision. Then I will probably vote to leave due to the fact that I'm British. Those bastards never give us any points for Eurovision and I think that would go a long way.

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« Reply #59 on: May 28, 2015, 12:56:13 AM »

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/lets-imagine-the-uk-votes-to-leave-the-eu-what-happens-next-9249248.html
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