EU referendum

Discussion in 'Off Topic Area' started by cloudz, Feb 23, 2016.

  1. cloudz

    cloudz Valued Member

    In or out, which way are you leaning?
    So we have a date 23rd June and the campaigning is underway.

    I favour coming out I think.. I think we can have trade agreements, free movement of goods and services. The best thing about the EU for me is how we can work in Europe with less hassle.

    This is actually something my business benefits from as my firm manufactures clothing in an EU country - though they still have their own currency. Our customers also have stores in different EU countries. Whilst there'll be some change, I think the fear pandering is over done. The prospect of some huge upheaval is never welcoming, but I think it'll be gentler than some might envisage.

    My wife is from another EU country and came here because of the free movement of people. I'm not against immigration at all. My family immigrated here before I was born, so how could I. I just think a Europe wide open door policy is too much for our situation. Some limits are needed. Or put it this way, I would prefer if we had our own immigration policy.

    I don't really want us to be part of this big group with ever more integration. I don't want a United States of Europe. I don't want people not elected by the UK voter making decisions that effect them. I don't care how mundane. I prefer more independence, in principle I favour small government over big government.

    Without fiscal and monetary union the EU will come unstuck sooner or later, and it'll never really work properly without it. We seem to be in a half way house that will torture and stagnate all the members in the end.
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2016
    windwalker likes this.
  2. Prizewriter

    Prizewriter Moved on

    Having worked in government for a time, I've witnessed EU bureaucracy at it's worst. Pointless restrictions made by committees that are borderline un-democratic. I also think successive UK governments have done well de-centralising power from Westminster to regions (although more could be done) such as NI,Scotland and Wales. All that hard work can be undermine by the EU who in many respects can (and indeed have) superseded decisions made by locally elected officials.

    As someone who may want to do a PhD, the reduction in funding for research might hit the UK very hard and the higher education sector is already hard pressed here.

    So in short I'm still on the fence lol
  3. embra

    embra Valued Member

    In the Scottish Independence referendum, there was a modicum of rationality, amidst a sea of largely baseless assertions without evidence, with a lot of overly emotive bogwash being spouted by all and sundry.

    In the Brexit referendum, the same seems to be taking place, but worse.

    Look for as clear evidence as is possible - projections into the future cannot by definition be definitive. There is no such thing as a 1 sided coin.
  4. cloudz

    cloudz Valued Member

    Yes, I think there are 2 sides to the coin. helping each-other, working together for common cause etc. Pooling resources can make you stronger in principle..

    I think we've seen the best of Union already that it can offer us. I think we can keep a lot of the good agreements without being in it. Norway has always remained outside of the EU, their people having rejected it twice in referendums. They seem to benefit from the best of both worlds so to speak. I think I would prefer to see us go that way. We're not Norway and it may not be easy.

    In the long run though I think we're better off.. But that's only a feeling or a guess; as you say, no one can tell the future very much.
    I'm still not sure. I guess I want to hear a compelling argument and strong reasons to stay. But what are they really?
  5. Prizewriter

    Prizewriter Moved on

    I'm trying, as embra suggests, to deal it facts. What will happen if we leave the EU. We aren't sure about a lot of that so far.

    I also think a lot of it will come down to personal circumstances. For example, if leaving the EU meant £1 billion of research funding is lost and it's harder to get funding for a PhD, that has obvious negative implications for me.

    I also know for a fact the agriculture community in the UK gets generous subsides from the EU. I know of one farmer in NI who gets £300,000 a year from the EU in grants due to the amount of land and livestock he owns. I doubt he'll be voting to exit the Union.
  6. embra

    embra Valued Member

    Can't spend too much time on this today.


    1) Major reason to stay - since the inception of the ECC in 1951 and it predecessor agreements post 1945, and subsequent renaming to the EU; there has not been a war in Europe. Pre 1945, the whole continent of Europe was embroiled in wars pretty much as far back as anyone cares to remember.

    2) Norway - they did ok, until the fall in the price of oil. The Norwegians pay a hefty price to access EU markets and have zero influence upon it. Now that their Oil Fund is coming under strain, it is reasonable to assume that they will change their relationship with the EU and adjust their economy away from an oil dependence. Switzerland is probably a better model, although they have to accept freedom of movement of migrants which they do not like and this is the No 1 reason I hear from pro-Brexit friends as to why they wish to leave - which is understandable as successive UK governments have done very little for those at the bottom end of society, education and wealth.

    3) Loss of sovereignty. There was a quote by Chuka Umunna that during the Cons/LibDem Govt 2010-2015, 102 acts of parliament were passed, 4 of which had anything to do with EU legislation - so it is difficult to see what the problem is that Bozo Johnson spouts about.

    4) Without a sound economic argument to stay or to leave, everything else becomes irrelevant, and as we have something like a £1.5 trillion debt and economics is not really a science, rather a somewhat Mathematical game of poker at best; so words and arguments should be chosen with some care.

    There are a few basic unescapable realities of Economics.

    4.1) We have to borrow vast amounts of money by way of Bonds. The froth of Brexit has dropped £'s value like a stone since the new year, but this may not be that significant, once we decide to leave or go (including a change of Tory leadership most likely in this case). Anything we/external events, do to weaken our currency and our ability to service our debt are not in our narrow UK interests. Lack of clarity about currency, debt liability and bonds are essentially why the Scottish Independence referendum failed.

    4.2) Trade is essential. We may be able to establish better trade agreements outside of the EU - but no examples have been presented at all. The UK's economy hinges on trade with the city of London - rightly or wrongly. So this is where the greatest evidence and detail needs to be determined in order to make sensible informed judgements - IMHO - not simple.

    A few final more general last points:-

    Early January there was a survey in the FT regarding Brexit being good or bad for the UK - 92 out of 100 leading UK Economists stating Brexit to be for the worse. They know more about Economics than me, anyone here, Facebook, the UK press, any UK Politician, or anyone spouting down the local boozer.

    Both the USA and China wants the UK to stay within the EU.

    All of this Brexit gubbinz is likely to take place to the backdrop of a worsening refugee crisis - although there do seem to be somewhat more determined efforts coming from the EU and NATO, to deal with these problems, possibly inspired/kicked-into-action due to the Paris Terrorist attacks.

    So I expect a lot of irrational Xenophobic rhetoric to come out in the coming months, possibly even internal to the UK - I read 1 comment on Facebook describing anyone voting to stay in the EU as guilty of treason. Remember the absence of War point at the top? During the lead-up and aftermath to the Scottish referendum, there was a lot of bad blood letting, though this has somewhat dissipated now.
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2016
  7. embra

    embra Valued Member

    Brexit is tinsel floss on the top of next year's Xmas trees.

    There are much more pressing problems for the UK.

    1) Our NHS is in real trouble and we have no solution to replace failing anti-biotics.
    2) The east and southern coasts of England and around the west country as well; is suffering subsidence; and our cities have Victorian drainage systems ill-equiped to contain and divert flood innundations from Global Warming.
    3) We have a chronic lack of next generation Electricity supply e.g.the 1 planned new Nuke at Hinkley Point is struggling to find funding.
    4) We have a chronic trade deficit imbalance, In or out of the EU, we really should be doing something about this, as this problem has beeen with us since at least the mid 1980s.
    5) Machine Learning threatens a lot of office based industries, and we will have to find ways of equipping our labour force to find employment and skills in this new world.

    All of this is much more important than the pontificating twizzled political arguments of Brexit IMHO.
  8. holyheadjch

    holyheadjch Valued Member

    I'm leaning towards remain, but largely because of the leap into the dark we'd be taking by leaving.

    Despite what a few people on the 'leave' side are whispering, I don't think there is a chance of a second referendum if we vote to leave. I'd expect A50 to be invoked as soon as a 'leave' result was announced.

    I think Britain could survive outside the EU, but I have no confidence that we would thrive. There is absolutely no guarantee that we could get a decent trade deal agreed in the 2 year negotiating period, and further, I think there is a real chance that the EU would seek to punish us as a warning to other eurosceptic nations like Denmark and the Netherlands, who would be watching the negotiations with interest.

    If another country had gone through the process and come out the other side with agreeable terms, I might be more willing to roll the dice. As it is, I see lots of risks and very vague rewards.
  9. Tom bayley

    Tom bayley Valued Member

    two reasons to stay -

    1. The markets think that its a bad idea to leave. Yesterday one of the largest drops in the pound against the dollar in a single day when Boris decided to head the no campaign.

    2. Rupert Murdoch wants Britain out.
  10. Southpaw535

    Southpaw535 Well-Known Member Moderator Supporter

    I'm yet to hear a reason to leave that is actually based in facts. Unfortunately I think leaving will win and it will be based on a bunch of bollocks that people want to believe, regardless of the facts.

    I'm in a rush so I can't delve into it properly, but an example is since this referendum was announced I've had 6 friends doing European Studies with me at uni all share stories of parents or friends saying we should leave for X reason, friends explaining why its not true, then being rebutted with some evidence from the Sun or the Mail or some other paper. Granted students have an over inflated sense of our own intelligence and expertise, but if our explanations are being hand waved away by some story from a tabloid then I don't hold much hope for a reasoned discussion about this referendum.
  11. cloudz

    cloudz Valued Member

    I guess whatever happens it could have been worse. We could have signed up for the single currency!

    I'm wavering now. The status quo might not be so bad. As long as we stay vigilant over Sovereignty.
    It'll be the Immigration debate that will get people worked up and tip this vote I think. It's maybe bad timing with all the Syria problems that might fuel some of it. It's a shame really.

    I think Cameron has done a decent job in all this and delivered something at least. Was delivering the referendum even such a great idea I wonder. It could get weird. The danger is this brings up more extreme and nationalistic feelings. The rise of UKIP and extreme politicians like Corbyn show that sentiment could be ripe for more extremist type policies and politicians to get a foothold here.
  12. Prizewriter

    Prizewriter Moved on

    Cameron had to do it in order to fight UKIP to an extent, and possibly appease eurosceptics in his own party. He may also have used it as a way to force change in the relationship between the UK and the rest of the EU. It's a gamble and it took guts. If the UK leaves the EU, the consequences will be felt beyond the UK and the EU potentially.
  13. cloudz

    cloudz Valued Member

    We have a pretty sweet deal all said and done. I do think it's something we should review every 5 years or so though. The risks of coming out probably aren't worth it at this point.
    I don't think you can underestimate the goodness from a free-trade zone. More Red tape and tariffs I could do without, but then not having Intra-stat to do would be rather cool.

    Whilst there'll be a lot more campaigning and arguments to hear. I think I'm now leaning towards "In".
  14. Prizewriter

    Prizewriter Moved on

    Filling in a visa every time I want to drive 2 hours to go to Donegal or Dublin doesn't appeal either, which will happen if the UK opts out.
  15. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool Spes mea in nihil Deus MAP 2017 Moi Award

    Every single politician who is in favour of leaving, are people I personally wouldn't trust to look after a particularly hardy a cactus.

    Im in favour of a united States of Europe eventually, and in the meantime having access to higher courts, and standardised workers rights etc, helps keep our elected national government in line.
    Because, lets face it, if they could hurt us any more, for their own benefit, they would.

    Also I'm currently looking at working abroad, Germany is looking particularly good at the moment.

    Theirs not many valid arguments for leaving really.
    Most are based on nationalism, which I find particularly odd.
  16. Giovanni

    Giovanni Well-Known Member Supporter

    i don't understand this part. you're for or against immigration? is it immigration, or is it just some immigrants?
  17. Southpaw535

    Southpaw535 Well-Known Member Moderator Supporter

    Not replying to anyone, but a list of what I see as the big exit reasons and why I think they're crap:

    Immigration: Other than wanting to share the "dey took our jobs" thing from South Park, all I have to say to this is there's studies saying immigration is a net win. All i need to know. Those are actual facts. I don't believe in any concept of "British jobs." As the famous joke goes, if a first generation immigrant with no gcses and not speaking the language took your job, then you're crap.

    Undemocratic: Member states have control over all 3 main institutions involved in the law making process and the European Parliament has been getting stronger and stronger in response to the democracy perceptions. But the fact the EU isn't as subject to public opinion as domestic governments is something I see as a plus.

    EU telling us what to do: Eh. Most of the ones people are angry about are either lies or misinformation. They haven't changed much really and what they have I have no issue with. And again, the UK has a voice in all of it. That we may dislike some of it is part and parcel with being in a place with shared sovereignty. When a government I don't like gets voted in I don't get to just say I don't want to follow their laws and do my thing.

    We can copy X country: Multiple problems. Firstly places like Switzerland have negotiated from the outside from the start and its just how it goes. Know that if I was a leader from another country and the UK left and then still wanted to play I'd have very little interest in being nice to them. Why should you say you don't want to play by our rules and then still want to play with our ball?

    The UK had a decent voice in Europe anyway. The reason its losing it now is because Cameron has been working so hard to wave his wang around to make a point he's alienated everyone. You can't be half in half out. And the partnership countries get crapper deals than they would if they were in, and by being a partner they have to conform to the same rules anyway. Much rather be able to have a say and influence in those rules.

    That'll do it for me, they're the main ones. I like the idea of the EU. I don't care about borders and I think the idea of hard nationalism and sovereignty and looking after your own borders and stuff is outdated in the modern world. Its not perfect by any stretch but its also fairly new. Why would it be perfect? The EU is made up of a bunch of tiny countries that get a lot more out of working together than they do existing apart.
  18. Ben Gash CLF

    Ben Gash CLF Valued Member

    So much this. The mere fact that Michael Gove supports Brexit makes me think remaining is the best option.
    Also, you can guarantee that the first thing they'll do is scrap EWTD, which again is reason enough for 99% of us to stay.
    Dead_pool likes this.
  19. embra

    embra Valued Member

    That the Brexit referendum will take place to the backdrop of the Junior Doctors new contract strike; there is every chance that it will be used as a pawn in this chess game.
  20. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool Spes mea in nihil Deus MAP 2017 Moi Award

Share This Page