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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 883896 times)
Woodsey
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« Reply #15 on: May 14, 2015, 06:48:03 PM »

Without being pedantic, I'm not sure what being pro-European even means

Are Norway and Swtizerland anti European, would we necessarily be anti European by not being a member of the EU ?

It's this kind of nonsense as well as daft statements about free trade renegotiations (just scare mongering nonsense - every country wants to trade with the UK, ldo) that will turn a lot of people pro the out campaign.

I'm not pro leaving the EU (I just don't care either way really) but as soon as I hear a ridic doomsday scenario about what will happen if we want to leave my blood literally boils and I want to leave immeds

Dear Red Dog, good news, whatever happens you'll still be a citizen of Europe, even better, you'll still be a citizen of the world


Exactly, if we make good shit people will always buy it. Also they need our trade as much we need theirs.
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vegaslover
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« Reply #16 on: May 14, 2015, 06:51:51 PM »

For the question of in or out as a European nation, It's an out for me. Never felt European anything like compared to English or British.

Would also be out for all the EU regulation bullshit.

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mulhuzz
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« Reply #17 on: May 14, 2015, 08:22:40 PM »

Without being pedantic, I'm not sure what being pro-European even means

Are Norway and Swtizerland anti European, would we necessarily be anti European by not being a member of the EU ?

It's this kind of nonsense as well as daft statements about free trade renegotiations (just scare mongering nonsense - every country wants to trade with the UK, ldo) that will turn a lot of people pro the out campaign.

I'm not pro leaving the EU (I just don't care either way really) but as soon as I hear a ridic doomsday scenario about what will happen if we want to leave my blood literally boils and I want to leave immeds

Dear Red Dog, good news, whatever happens you'll still be a citizen of Europe, even better, you'll still be a citizen of the world


Exactly, if we make good shit people will always buy it. Also they need our trade as much we need theirs.

It's about common tariffs though, if our stuff suddenly gets way more expensive (which it would, save for the negotiation of a tariff we then couldn't later control by not being a drafting party) then nobody will buy, or certainly fewer.

About the 'what it means to be European' - will write more on this when at PC but for me it's about shared values and the advancement of those values to create better conditions for everyone. It's about choice, cooperation and togetherness. It's about solving tough problems and, I think, taking the lead on issues that affect the whole world. In an age where the 'British power' on a world scale is clearly diminishing, being part of the EU still gives us a seat at the table and a voice, even if 'internally' we've handed off to France and Germany's leadership (particularly that of Merkel) in recent times.

There is no doubt being part of the EU has delivered a lot to me personally. I've spoken about it before, but I'm currently living in my 4th EU country after the UK, the EU gave me the chance to study abroad which changed me as a person 100% for the better -- previously I wasn't so much a little englander as a little Geordie. People may not like me now, but they'd have hated me then! Cheesy

 And by the way, it costs - according to even a eurosceptic - just 0.6% of our GDP to be part and even I think the meanest or most critical economists would say we get way more than that in value.

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nirvana
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« Reply #18 on: May 14, 2015, 08:54:43 PM »

It's about common tariffs though, if our stuff suddenly gets way more expensive (which it would, save for the negotiation of a tariff we then couldn't later control by not being a drafting party) then nobody will buy, or certainly fewer.

About the 'what it means to be European' - will write more on this when at PC but for me it's about shared values and the advancement of those values to create better conditions for everyone. It's about choice, cooperation and togetherness. It's about solving tough problems and, I think, taking the lead on issues that affect the whole world. In an age where the 'British power' on a world scale is clearly diminishing, being part of the EU still gives us a seat at the table and a voice, even if 'internally' we've handed off to France and Germany's leadership (particularly that of Merkel) in recent times.

There is no doubt being part of the EU has delivered a lot to me personally. I've spoken about it before, but I'm currently living in my 4th EU country after the UK, the EU gave me the chance to study abroad which changed me as a person 100% for the better -- previously I wasn't so much a little englander as a little Geordie. People may not like me now, but they'd have hated me then! Cheesy

 And by the way, it costs - according to even a eurosceptic - just 0.6% of our GDP to be part and even I think the meanest or most critical economists would say we get way more than that in value.

I find this an interesting discussion so if I look at things differently, currently, and challenge views it isn't borne out of dogma but out of trying to learn so to some of your points.

Britain remains a major global trading power, somewhat diminished by our casual disdain for manufacturing but there is no doubt we could obtain tariffs at a level comparable with the EU and the point is probably moot anyway since we'd almost certainly remain part of the EEA if we were to exit the EU ?

I don't see Britain's role in the world as diminishing - the major powers 50 years ago, are the major powers still - there may be some slight re-ordering at the very top depending on whether you view things from an economic or areas of influence perspective but our role is much the same as it has been since WWII, arguably.

About advancing values, co-operation, togetherness etc - yep, I can buy this ticket but the EU isn't the only route to this and personally, I'd be just as concerned (notionally) about Africa, South America, Asia as I might be about Greece, Portugal or Ireland.

We play a decent role within Europe already in terms of supporting poorer European nations and whilst the cost may be small, I agree, we are a net contributor and many countries aren't. Many of these countries enjoy far better social benefits and employment protection than we do.. and this after being members for a long time with both shades of UK Government.

It's not that difficult to argue that any benefits that accrue from our geography and 'status' in the world could accrue whether we are in the EU or not. If you set aside supply side economics and the gains we might make from helping poor European states be more prosperous, then arguably the contribution we make in the world could be enhanced by improving the lot of the people in the UK and that of much poorer nations outside Europe ahead of (still rich) poor Euro states.
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« Reply #19 on: May 14, 2015, 08:55:21 PM »

Ill be voting for an exit.

Unelcted people manipulating economies to their own ends.

The referendum is the only time I will ever have a chance to remove these people. After the referendum I will go back to living in a democracy where there are people making laws that govern me that I have no mechanism to remove from office.

I will not mis my one chance to vote on the power the european commission has over me.
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mulhuzz
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« Reply #20 on: May 14, 2015, 09:19:51 PM »

It's about common tariffs though, if our stuff suddenly gets way more expensive (which it would, save for the negotiation of a tariff we then couldn't later control by not being a drafting party) then nobody will buy, or certainly fewer.

About the 'what it means to be European' - will write more on this when at PC but for me it's about shared values and the advancement of those values to create better conditions for everyone. It's about choice, cooperation and togetherness. It's about solving tough problems and, I think, taking the lead on issues that affect the whole world. In an age where the 'British power' on a world scale is clearly diminishing, being part of the EU still gives us a seat at the table and a voice, even if 'internally' we've handed off to France and Germany's leadership (particularly that of Merkel) in recent times.

There is no doubt being part of the EU has delivered a lot to me personally. I've spoken about it before, but I'm currently living in my 4th EU country after the UK, the EU gave me the chance to study abroad which changed me as a person 100% for the better -- previously I wasn't so much a little englander as a little Geordie. People may not like me now, but they'd have hated me then! Cheesy

 And by the way, it costs - according to even a eurosceptic - just 0.6% of our GDP to be part and even I think the meanest or most critical economists would say we get way more than that in value.

I find this an interesting discussion so if I look at things differently, currently, and challenge views it isn't borne out of dogma but out of trying to learn so to some of your points.

Britain remains a major global trading power, somewhat diminished by our casual disdain for manufacturing but there is no doubt we could obtain tariffs at a level comparable with the EU and the point is probably moot anyway since we'd almost certainly remain part of the EEA if we were to exit the EU ?

I don't see Britain's role in the world as diminishing - the major powers 50 years ago, are the major powers still - there may be some slight re-ordering at the very top depending on whether you view things from an economic or areas of influence perspective but our role is much the same as it has been since WWII, arguably.

About advancing values, co-operation, togetherness etc - yep, I can buy this ticket but the EU isn't the only route to this and personally, I'd be just as concerned (notionally) about Africa, South America, Asia as I might be about Greece, Portugal or Ireland.

We play a decent role within Europe already in terms of supporting poorer European nations and whilst the cost may be small, I agree, we are a net contributor and many countries aren't. Many of these countries enjoy far better social benefits and employment protection than we do.. and this after being members for a long time with both shades of UK Government.

It's not that difficult to argue that any benefits that accrue from our geography and 'status' in the world could accrue whether we are in the EU or not. If you set aside supply side economics and the gains we might make from helping poor European states be more prosperous, then arguably the contribution we make in the world could be enhanced by improving the lot of the people in the UK and that of much poorer nations outside Europe ahead of (still rich) poor Euro states.

Firstly, I don't think I'm dogmatic about 'pro'-Europe either, I would certainly be in favour of some pretty wide ranging reforms but Brexit for me is definitely one of those 'red lines' we heard so much about when we all thought we were going to get a coalition government lately. Comparing the debate about the election on here to the debate had e.g. in comments sections or the internet at large, I think it's clear there's an opportunity for everyone to learn from different perspectives and make the choice everyone who reads here a lot more informed.

Personally, I think whilst we are a major 'trading' power, a lot of that is derivative from membership of the EU. I think you only need to look at e.g. financial services (certainly a very large contributor to our economy!) to see that membership is a 'good thing'. Cf RBS who would have moved their to London had Scotland left the Union (and thus the EU). There exists a risk, imo, of a great deal of capital flight in leaving the EU.

As far as 'comparable tarrifs' goes, we might well be able to negotiate those with non-EU partners, I don't see that necessarily being a blocker - although certainly there's some time lag, but it's the tarif with the EU which would be the concern. The EU themselves are certainly rather dogmatic about this as well, and there's a whole gamete of regulatory hurdles, levels of association, etc etc to be negotiated. As it exists in the current treaties, there is no direct right of EEA membership just because you were once in the EU. That's to be negotiated and in general the political federalism which in general is advanced by the EU doesn't really allow for an 'EU-lite' option of associate membership. I think even the costing of leaving the EU, especially with no clearly defined mechanism, is difficult as well.

I am also notionally exactly as concerned for Africa, South America et al as I am for the citizens of Greece, Ireland and Portugal. I just think that EU membership allows us to generate change at larger scales. I can absolutely promise you that an isolated Britain - certainly a danger of Brexit, but I'm trying not to be chicken little bemoaning the falling of the sky here -- wouldn't have the same seat at the table internationally. I'm not saying we'd be some sort of international pariah, but we'd certainly be speaking as a nation of 60m, rather than the representative of 500m+.

In terms of improving the lives and lots of British people, I tihnk that's also, on a purely economic basis, better done in a European framework. From fire saftey regulations to the free movement of capital and workers, the EU has done a lot to improve our lot. It's the reason many countries still want to join.

Re social benefits and employee protections -- are you referring just to poorer EU nations here? Because if so, Germany is stronger on both counts and still has a strong economy, having seen 'both and all' shades of their versions of red and blue over time in governement. apologies if I've misunderstood the point here.

Ill be voting for an exit.

Unelcted people manipulating economies to their own ends.

The referendum is the only time I will ever have a chance to remove these people. After the referendum I will go back to living in a democracy where there are people making laws that govern me that I have no mechanism to remove from office.

I will not mis my one chance to vote on the power the european commission has over me.

This really displays one of the myths that needs to be busted in the run up to this referendum. There exists a real problem with the image of how the EU actual works. Is it perfect? No. Is it democratic? Certainly.

There's a really good, but long, paper here: https://www.princeton.edu/~amoravcs/library/myth_european.pdf

If you'd prefer something more bite sized:

Quote
EUROMYTH #3: RULE FROM BRUSSELS

British critics of the EU like to argue that Britain is losing control to unelected bureaucrats in Brussels (by which they mainly mean the European Commission). While the senior staff of the Commission are indeed unelected, so are bureaucrats almost everywhere, including those in Whitehall. And those staff – as well as being appointed by the elected governments of the member states, and being subject to confirmation in their positions by the elected European Parliament, and having to report regularly to the EP – cannot make final decisions on EU law or policy. Those decisions are made by the Council of Ministers (consisting of ministers from the elected governments of the member states) and the elected EP. Furthermore, the general direction of the EU is guided by the European Council, consisting of the elected heads of government (or state) of the 28 EU member states. And all the EU institutions are accountable to the treaties and the European Court of Justice. The idea that there is a European government in Brussels with independent powers is nothing more than a myth.

Sauce: http://johnmccormick.eu/2014/05/three-of-the-most-persistent-myths-about-the-european-union/
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david3103
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« Reply #21 on: May 14, 2015, 09:24:02 PM »

I see the EU as being a bit like Communism in that it sounds good, but doesn't work out the way it was intended to.

I'm unconvinced of the benefit and find it difficult to see why we continue to send money to an organisation that is either incompetent or corrupt. €7bn unaccounted for in one year is pretty bad.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-29916707


I do see that there may be advantages in that our membership makes UK a viable place for Toyota and Nissan to build cars, or for Hitachi to build trains. But exports to Europe are falling in % terms whilst exports to the USA are rising.
I don't feel closer to the French the Germans or the Dutch because we have some form of common flag.
I certainly don't feel that the UK is seen as being 'bigger' for it's membership. We are a fixture in G8 meetings and members of the UN Security Council in our own right. No doubt Esstonia and a few others feel this benefit, but I can't see it s being applicable to us.

My vote is a long way from being won by either side, but a substantial renegotiation is definitely needed.

I'm also interested to know where the 0.6% of GDP figure that Mulhuzz quoted earlier can be found.
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mulhuzz
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« Reply #22 on: May 14, 2015, 09:31:09 PM »

apologies, didn't source it because it comes from Tighty's link in OP:

Quote
There is similarly a more nuanced analysis from economist Roger Bootle in his book, The Trouble with Europe (2014). His perspective is that the EU is not worth staying in without fundamental reform. But Bootle cautions against boiling the argument on either side down to numbers. His useful analysis on the UK money flowing to Brussels underlines that warning.

In 2012, the UK economy made payments of £16.4bn, just over 1% of GDP , to EU institutions, says Bootle. On the other hand, the UK government received a rebate on its contributions to the EU budget of £3.1bn and £0.9bn in other receipts. The private sector received £2.9bn from EU institutions. So overall, the UK paid a net £9.6bn into the EU, about 0.6% of nominal GDP. He concludes:

These are not the sort of sums on which the fate of great nations depends – nor on which momentous decisions about EU membership should be made.

Sauce: http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/may/14/brexit-what-would-happen-if-britain-left-eu-european-union-referendum-uk


Re balance of trade:

 Click to see full-size image.


I'm interested David - what specifically are you looking to reform? (btw: I already stated that I'm in favour of some wide ranging reforms, just interested to see if we'd reform the same things!) Smiley
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teddybloat
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« Reply #23 on: May 14, 2015, 09:33:36 PM »

The commission are no mere bureaucrats

They are a legislative executive with direct power over me.

I have no democratic means to remove or elect any of them.

Painting them as a glorified civil service is disingenous in the extreme.

Europe has a huge say on how our public services are run and constrains law and policy making in this country. Whilst I think the human rights act is a towering achievement of civilisation, the eu is an undemocratic self serving snouts-in-trough-fest. And I want no part of it.

I cannot wait to finally have my say on the powers they hold over me.

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nirvana
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« Reply #24 on: May 14, 2015, 09:37:11 PM »

Re social benefits and employee protections -- are you referring just to poorer EU nations here? Because if so, Germany is stronger on both counts and still has a strong economy, having seen 'both and all' shades of their versions of red and blue over time in governement. apologies if I've misunderstood the point here.

How could you misunderstand such a concise and clear point :-)

Was just trying to say, irrespective of whether we've had overtly pro, or more sceptical Government here, we haven't been advantaged by some of the best bits of Europe - ie the protection workers get in so many of the European countries like Germany, France, Sweden.

So, in a roundabout way, was alluding to the fact that any downsides seem more apparent than the upsides to me and probably the average UK resident - our philosophy here in the UK, particularly with respect to business short termism and social responsibility is quite distinct from most of the other major European states.

Lol, no clearer I'd say
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mulhuzz
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« Reply #25 on: May 14, 2015, 09:41:06 PM »

The commission are no mere bureaucrats

They are a legislative executive with direct power over me.

I have no democratic means to remove or elect any of them.

Painting them as a glorified civil service is disingenous in the extreme.

Europe has a huge say on how our public services are run and constrains law and policy making in this country. Whilst I think the human rights act is a towering achievement of civilisation, the eu is an undemocratic self serving snouts-in-trough-fest. And I want no part of it.

I cannot wait to finally have my say on the powers they hold over me.



is that the HRA which has basically nothing to do with the EU? The Council of Europe - still today a definitely distinct organisation from the EU - drafted this in 1950, a full year before the European Coal and Steel Community was founded in 1951 which most would consider the origins of the EEC, EC and finally EU.

please give me one example of the EU Commission having legislative direct effect (that's a very specific term when you're talking about the EU and the way EU law is transposed at a state level, but let's assume you were using it in it's literal meaning) over you.

An example of them constraining policy in this country would also be welcome.
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mulhuzz
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« Reply #26 on: May 14, 2015, 09:43:04 PM »

Re social benefits and employee protections -- are you referring just to poorer EU nations here? Because if so, Germany is stronger on both counts and still has a strong economy, having seen 'both and all' shades of their versions of red and blue over time in governement. apologies if I've misunderstood the point here.

How could you misunderstand such a concise and clear point :-)

Was just trying to say, irrespective of whether we've had overtly pro, or more sceptical Government here, we haven't been advantaged by some of the best bits of Europe - ie the protection workers get in so many of the European countries like Germany, France, Sweden.

So, in a roundabout way, was alluding to the fact that any downsides seem more apparent than the upsides to me and probably the average UK resident - our philosophy here in the UK, particularly with respect to business short termism and social responsibility is quite distinct from most of the other major European states.

Lol, no clearer I'd say

I'd argue you have Ms Thatcher to thank for that Wink (edit: and, in fairness, Mr Blair)

Additionally, in terms of worker's rights/employee protections, Britain has opted out in some instances -- like Working Time Act, etc.
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nirvana
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« Reply #27 on: May 14, 2015, 09:45:40 PM »

Re social benefits and employee protections -- are you referring just to poorer EU nations here? Because if so, Germany is stronger on both counts and still has a strong economy, having seen 'both and all' shades of their versions of red and blue over time in governement. apologies if I've misunderstood the point here.

How could you misunderstand such a concise and clear point :-)

Was just trying to say, irrespective of whether we've had overtly pro, or more sceptical Government here, we haven't been advantaged by some of the best bits of Europe - ie the protection workers get in so many of the European countries like Germany, France, Sweden.

So, in a roundabout way, was alluding to the fact that any downsides seem more apparent than the upsides to me and probably the average UK resident - our philosophy here in the UK, particularly with respect to business short termism and social responsibility is quite distinct from most of the other major European states.

Lol, no clearer I'd say

I'd argue you have Ms Thatcher to thank for that Wink

Additionally, in terms of worker's rights/employee protections, Britain has opted out in some instances -- like Working Time Act, etc.

Yep, very aware of that but none of it was reversed when Labour were in power, ie we're fked in or out of Europe, whichever Government we have

Anyway, figured out what I'm really trying to say - I wish we were Germany

Ha, like your ninja edit
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mulhuzz
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« Reply #28 on: May 14, 2015, 09:58:30 PM »

Open Europe bullish on chances of reform:

Barometer at 17% to leave in current parliament, but 41% would leave today if you offered them.

http://openeurope.org.uk/today/open-europe-alert/

See also their 'road to referendum'.

http://openeurope.org.uk/blog/road-to-referendum/

If you don't know open europe, they are probably the best independent think tank on everything european. even George Osbourne endorses them Wink
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teddybloat
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« Reply #29 on: May 14, 2015, 10:00:56 PM »

The commission are no mere bureaucrats

They are a legislative executive with direct power over me.

I have no democratic means to remove or elect any of them.

Painting them as a glorified civil service is disingenous in the extreme.

Europe has a huge say on how our public services are run and constrains law and policy making in this country. Whilst I think the human rights act is a towering achievement of civilisation, the eu is an undemocratic self serving snouts-in-trough-fest. And I want no part of it.

I cannot wait to finally have my say on the powers they hold over me.



is that the HRA which has basically nothing to do with the EU? The Council of Europe - still today a definitely distinct organisation from the EU - drafted this in 1950, a full year before the European Coal and Steel Community was founded in 1951 which most would consider the origins of the EEC, EC and finally EU.

please give me one example of the EU Commission having legislative direct effect (that's a very specific term when you're talking about the EU and the way EU law is transposed at a state level, but let's assume you were using it in it's literal meaning) over you.

An example of them constraining policy in this country would also be welcome.
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