In or Out?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Chat' started by Mesmerist, May 11, 2016.

  1. Mesmerist

    Mesmerist Well-Known Member

    So which way do you think the vote about the EU is going to go and what reasons do you consider to be either valid or compelling on either side?
  2. Jack E

    Jack E Well-Known Member

    I think it's very close at the moment, and I think the turnout could be a deciding factor. But, as far as I can see, the balance has been slowly shifting towards 'Out' for several months, now - and I don't think the 'Remain' camp have done themselves any favours with their over the top scare stories ("Brexit could bring on World War III!", for example), nor by Cameron inviting Obama to come over and lecture us on what was best for us (i.e., what was best for Cameron, and the Democrat Party in the US).

    For me, it's dead simple. When the British electorate have the power to hire and fire those who make our laws, we have some sort of democracy - even if far from perfect. If we don't have that power, however good the original intentions of the founders (and I have my doubts about that) it will inevitably slide towards a dictatorship.

    For example; take the way the EU bosses deposed the democratically elected President of Greece for daring to suggest that he should allow his people a referendum on the economic measures demanded by the EU and IMF before imposing them; and the way the entire Italian cabinet was deposed, and replaced by foreigners chosen by the EU, and over whom the Italian people had no say.

    In our current situation, an ever increasing majority of our laws and regulations are decided by the Council of Ministers and EU bureaucrats. Apart from the single British member of the Council, the rest are ministers from other countries over whom we have no voting powers at all. Voting rights in the Council are weighted by population, and we now have 13% of the total vote. In the event of Turkey joining the EU, I can only assume that share will fall still further, as Turkey's population is larger than ours.

    We do have the right to elect MEPs to the EU Parliament, but - again - we only have a small fraction of the total votes. In any case, regardless of the theory, in practise the EU Parliament does only what the Council of Ministers says it can. The Parliament cannot even debate a topic without the express permission of the EU bosses. To me, it's no more than a pointless talking shop, designed to give an appearance of democratic process to what is an undemocratic oligarchy (government by a small group of self-selected people).

    As for the laughable claim by the 'Remain' camp that "poor little Britain cannot possibly survive outside the protection of the EU, and we'll be left out in the cold, cut off from the world!" - yeah, right . . .

    Our economy is 200 times the size of Iceland's, yet "poor little Iceland" has recently signed a trade agreement with China - and on terms which the Icelandic government and people are happy with. Can anyone seriously suggest that, after that, China would not be willing to sort out a trade agreement with us? The second largest economy in the EU, and the sixth largest in the world?

    Yet, as long as we're in the EU, our government is not allowed to negotiate a trade agreement with any country; that is done by the EU, and imposed on us, whether the terms suit us or not.

    As for the other claim, that we will lose access to that big market if we leave, phooey. We are in trade deficit with the EU (they export more to us than we do to them). If they embark on a trade war with us after Brexit, they will lose more than we will - and with the massive levels of unemployment across the EU, they cannot afford to make things worse by losing their export sales to us.

    In any case, the size of that market has been in decline for years. Countries with 50%+ unemployment do not buy any more than bare essentials; it's economies outside the EU which are growing, and where our exports have been increasing. Our sales to the US have been growing at about 5% per year for the last 18 years, and show no signs of falling off.

    A final point; between 80 and 90% of companies in Britain never have and never will supply goods and services to other EU countries, yet every one of them has to cope with a constantly growing mass of red tape, in the form of EU regulations - a constant drain on their finance and man-power. After Brexit, the only companies having to comply would be the minority who do deal with EU countries - exactly as happens with companies which export to America, or any other country outside the EU.

    No prizes for guessing that I'll be voting for Brexit on 23rd June.
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  3. Tom-King

    Tom-King Well-Known Member

    On this point I generally agree with you - I'm not sure I'm completely convinced by either side right now (and not sure I'll even vote at all), but you're right that these factors do seem to have been pushing people towards "out".

    The other thing that seems to be a common theme is distaste at the "in" campaign openly gaming the system - especially when it comes to spending public money on marketing only one side of the issue rather than giving the taxpayers a fair and balanced view (and on a personal level, regular "uk government" posts coming up on facebook telling presenting a clearly one-sided and balanced account do not instil trust).
  4. mikelyons

    mikelyons Supporting Member

    If we had a true labour government I would not hesitate to vote 'out'. I agree with much of what has been said above.

    As it stands, I feel that the EU is the only brake on Camoron and his fascist friends. I think they will take us out and then we will cease to be a democracy at all. Working people's rights will be taken away and we will become little more than serfs. All this fuss over a split on the tory party is just flim-flam designed to confuse and distract the electorate. I firmly believe that this government is as sinister and corrupt as many of those it denigrates for the same behaviour.
  5. Vegasbound

    Vegasbound Active Member

    Beware the TTIP agreements, that is what has prompted Obama and others to tell us to stay in....if you are concerned about workers rights then TTIP will destroy those and a whole lot more like allowing the big food corporations to use GMO without labeling etc etc...if you are not aware of the TTIP then war on Want and Greenpeace have stuff on there website but do some research!

    Also you are not voting for the status quo, a lot of EU legislation is being held back until after June 23rd, and the 5 Presidents report also is binding on ALL member countries!
  6. ari01

    ari01 Active Member

    I'm with Jack all the way....

    To me it's not about the finances. Even if GB becomes financially poorer (which I very much doubt) at least we take back control of our laws and borders.....It's a small price to pay.

    There are already plans in place to break Europe into "regions" thus eroding the sovereign states even further....In fact I've read about this happening before.....oh yeah, George Orwells 1984!!!
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  7. ari01

    ari01 Active Member

    @mikelyons - It looks like we are doomed either way then.......

    The Guardian reports that according to the critics, TTIP would undermine job security as well as current minimum labour standards agreed in the EU.[76] British Labour Partypolitician John McDonnell, Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, has described TTIP as resulting in a huge transfer of powers to Brussels and corporate interests that will bring about a form of "modern-day serfdom".

    (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
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  8. Vegasbound

    Vegasbound Active Member

    Furthermore the EU wish to see an end to Govt control over things like the NHS and to see them opened up, TTIP is to allow access to the NHS and other countries health systems to American insurance companies!
  9. Vegasbound

    Vegasbound Active Member

    Courtesy of @euroguido

    Christine Lagarde is making yet another doom-mongering ‘major intervention’ at 10am, with that €400 million fraud trial still looming over her. The IMF chief will again warn against Brexit during a meeting with Osborne at the Treasury, a geo-political courtesy return favour to the Chancellor, who campaigned hard for her to get the job. Like pretty much every group Remain have wheeled out, the IMF has received funding from the European Commission. Pro-Remain groups which have made referendum interventions have received €160 million from the Commission in the last nine years:


    PwC warned leaving would cause a “serious shock” – no kidding, they’re bankrolled by the Commission to the tune of €16 million. LSE say we’re better off Remaining – they certainly are having received €18 million. The WWF says EU membership “benefits our environment” – it benefits theirs by €46 million.

    Remain have barely named a group supporting them which hasn’t received huge amounts from the Commission. He who pays the piper…

    UPDATE: RSPB get in touch to stress they do not have a position on the referendum because neither side is campaigning on the environment.
    Last edited: May 13, 2016
  10. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    Well, this is a bit of an 'out out out' cheerleading session thus far, isn't it... Depressing stuff.

    I'll be voting 'In'. It is to me one of the most complete of no-brainers I've ever been asked. Some reasons:

    1) Philosophically, those that seek to change the status quo must make a compelling case, otherwise the default is to continue as before. The Out campaign haven't. All the Out arguments I've seen have been far stronger on rhetoric than unarguable substance, a solid sign that they recognise that they must appeal to emotions rather than logic to win; this is a tactic guaranteed to turn off anyone who has rightly learned to mistrust a dodgy sales pitch. You don't roll the dice to gamble on something this big when the outcome is unclear - this is pretty basic, logically.

    2) Scientific research is one of the few major fields in which the UK maintains a world-leading presence. Much of our system is EU funded, particularly junior research posts, which would immediately be imperilled. Do you trust our government to match the EU contributions to UK science out of saved fees? I do not even slightly - even supposing that we save anywhere near what optimistic Out cheerleaders promise (on the inaccuracy of which more below) . Collaboration in general would become immediately much more awkward -we would be competing across barriers that most of those that we compete with do not have. A vote to leave is a vote to deal massive blows to one of our strongest industries.
    2a) I work here. Until ITER comes online, this is the most prestigious international fusion collaboration in the world, a top-rank EU project situated in the UK, where it has for over 30 years provided stable and stimulating local employment. If we leave, nothing like this will ever come our way again, and how long do you think JET will stay open for? A vote to leave is a vote to threaten the personal employment circumstances of my colleagues and I severely.

    3) We would not save much if indeed any money overall (we might lose some, in fact), while throwing away our current sizeable influence within the EU, and any goodwill that we have there. And that's not an argument that depends on trade figure changes. The UK annual contribution to the EU pot, after the rebate and the money we get back is subtracted off is about £7.1B/year. Outside the EU, we would interact with it in the manner of countries such as Norway and Switzerland, subject to many of its rules, but without the ability to influence the setting of those rules. Norway pays in approximately €866M/year, which equates to about £680M. Sound relatively small? But Norway's population is only 5.1M, compared to our 64.1M. Per capita, that's £134 per person per year for Norwegians currently. In contrast, the UK currently pays £111 per person per year. Each Norwegian currently pays more in than each UK citizen.

    4) Leaving would destabilise us internally, for at least two reasons: i) Northern Ireland's been quiet recently, hasn't it? How well do you think that currently-placated Republicans will react to the border with the Republic becoming a real border again? A coincidence that the threat level to the UK mainland from dissident Republican terrorists has just been raised? I wouldn't bank on it; ii) Scotland have just voted to stay with us, but in no world are they going to vote to leave the EU in this referendum. A second Scottish independence referendum will become an inevitability if we vote to leave. Remember how well the first one turned out? How everyone felt energised and positive after it? No, me neither. And we didn't even have to go through the colossal PITA faff and stress of the actual separation after that one - a second vote after a vote to leave the EU would be nailed on for a 'yes' to secession.

    There's some really solid show-stopping objections for you that ought to make anyone ponder before voting to roll the dice and gamble on uncertainty. Here's some more that offer pause for thought for those that like rhetoric:

    1) Where is the world going? The sweep of history has been a movement from smaller to larger organisational levels., driven by the advantages created for those that have clumped together more. Those countries that have moved from large to small have swum against the tide, and been made to work extra hard for it.

    2) The EU has coincided with and can quite plausibly take credit for a period of sustained peaceful relations in Western Europe unparalleled in history. At a time when the kind of frightened nationalist sentiment that results in wars is on the rise all over the continent, is it really any kind of a good idea to give this strong stabilising force a destabilising kicking?

    3) Rupert Murdoch wants out. While I stand above (and urge you all to do the same) the trivial personality politics that have blighted this and every other public argument for donkey's years, this toxic and immensely powerful individual bears thinking about. This odious man who has devoted his life to being able to pull the puppet-strings of our government in the name of his highly regressive views said: "When I go into Downing Street they do what I say; when I go to Brussels they take no notice". He wants out because he'll find it easier to make us all jump to his vile tune via Cameron and the rest of our political class that live in his pocket.

    4) Picking up on Mike's point further up the thread, one has to ask oneself whether one's views are better represented by the EU political class (who have bequeathed us various worker-protecting directives) or the UK political class (who currently seem obsessed with using the failed dogma of neoliberalism to dismantle and sell off for personal profit various long-cherished parts of the state built with the money of the people). Based on past and recent form I would far rather take my chances with the EU able to call some shots than with the UK abandoned to the Tory party for possible decades to come.

    There are plenty more explicit useful things that we'd be throwing away (e.g. ease of international pursuit and justice), but I think that's enough for now. I hope this provides some kind of counterpoint to the thoughts above, the unanimity of which rather horrify me.
    Last edited: May 13, 2016
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  11. Vegasbound

    Vegasbound Active Member

    Sorry Dave but fundamentaly disagree with everything you have said, and more importantly for me it is about self determination,it is also a case of taxation without representation. we are not voting to stay in the EU as it is now, there are a whole raft of things that it is admitted have been held back until after the UK votes.

    The EU has shown it's total lack of will to change, it is not reformed, it will not allow reformation. Cameron 's so called deal was taken apart by the commons select committee.

    The major worry for the EU is that when we vote to leave other countries will follow and their whole house of cards will collapse!

    I do not wish to be part of a country called the united states of europe, and that is the end game for those who created it with the 1957 treaty of Rome, and it is what we will be voting to be apart of it if we do not leave now!
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  12. John Brooks

    John Brooks Well-Known Member

    Mike, I just have to ask.......Camoron.......was that a legit typo? LoL

    Interesting reading through the above. The majority of comments clearly don't like the existing situation, but it's impossible to go back to what was before. The EU influence has placed an indelible footprint that will continue to impact regardless of the outcome.
  13. Vegasbound

    Vegasbound Active Member

    Thing is Ca-moron wants us to stay in I have mentioned the TTIP agreements that he said 'would be good for Britian' in his dismantling by the Commons select committee!
  14. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    Chris, I fundamentally disagree with your position too. It completely skates over the showstopping practical objections that I've raised above, dismissing them in the most handwavingly superficial of terms, and I have trouble respecting what you replace them with: talk in terms of rhetorical buzzwords designed to carry the argument emotionally. Self-determination? We vote for MEPs. Taxation without representation? We still vote for MEPs...
    And what's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander: You can wheel out the deliberately divisive "Project Fear" rhetoric as you did above about Christine Lagarde, but what you are doing in your post here (e.g. "not voting to stay in the EU as it is now") is exactly that. You cannot have it both ways as a rhetoritician.

    Talking about TTIP as a threat to the NHS is to miss the crucial point. We are able to specify it as an exemption as other countries have. But our Conservative government does not wish to. In fact, it fits quite neatly with their general plans for it, does it not? So the UK government waives its right to help, laying it out in front of the US healthcare corporations and then says "Oh no, the naughty EU made us do it". It is highly disingenuous. It is not the EU that threatens the NHS, but the Tory party. Once again their manipulative games for personal profit risk breaking something good. As it is, the objections of the French to TTIP look likely to remove those nasty sharp edges that the Tories are banking on being able to use as a scapegoat later for their NHS privatisation agenda, so the EU may yet rescue us from Cameron's plans.

    If the EU ever goes so far as a USE, neither you nor I will be around to see it. The wheels of integration move slowly. You need not worry about this. I have a hard time seeing what would be so objectionable about this as an outcome, however. National boundaries are pretty arbitrary things, that landed due to historical accident. There's nothing special about the area we have here, however fond we all are of its regional quirks.
    Last edited: May 13, 2016
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  15. Vegasbound

    Vegasbound Active Member

    The major decisions are made by the UN-ELECTED council of ministers led by an unelected President of the council, so yes taxation without representation!, the plans for the EU army are in place, the EU now has embassy's a foreign minister and a seat on the Security council side of things, the 5 Presidents report applies to all 28 (although 5 more from eastern europe are about to join) plus Italy's finances are toppling and Greece is about to default again.

    NATO not the EU (which whenever it has meddled has made things far worse in eastern europe) is responsible for holding 'peace' in europe.

    Your point on Murdoch, govt's of all colours have as you said given him too much credit, no one more so than B-liar but to vote in with him as one of the reasons, good grief!

    TTIP is about far more than the NHS, it will change working in the UK beyond all recognition as the equivilant agreement between US/Mexico/Canada has been catastrophic for workers there.

    Previous Govt's have given away our veto on most things.

    I read your 'showstopping' objections, but I am not willing to sell my right to self determination!
    Last edited: May 13, 2016
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  16. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    Out of my first post, the one point you pull out from way down the list is the deliberately marked "rhetorical" one about Rupert Murdoch, included to match your debating style, which you then mock as if it were my primary reason? Hmm. How about some of the substantive points I made? You want to scorn science? Scotland? Peace in Ireland? But I am strongly getting the flavour that you have little interest in seeing any point of view other than the one that you are expressing so forcefully here.

    The council of ministers is made up of ministers from the individual countries. Members of which, in the UK at least, are elected by us the people... To call it "unelected" just baffles me. What are you saying?
    To raise the idea of an EU army as a bogeyman to scare us with does not seem to be grounded in reality.

    Another buzzphrase: "sell my right to self determination", with a dramatic exclamation mark to boot. Self-determination applies to countries. Its nature is already so impossibly politically distant from us individuals that it makes little difference whether it takes place at city level, English/Scottish level, UK level, European level, or some other level way above our heads. I surmise that you trust our UK government more than the collective will of the EU governments, despite your open disdain for recent PMs of both parties. I do not - our UK politics is rotten right now, and a more representative balance of views is available in the EU. You maintain your part in a self-determining entity in the EU - the stumbling block is that the UK is being thought of as an entity that cannot be treated as anything other than a top level entity. Why should it be special?
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  17. Ianroberts

    Ianroberts Well-Known Member

    Its just amazing how the in's seem to know that everything will go sour if we leave. They are guessing end of !

    What has it to do with the Yanks ? Bugger all !

    Just yet another gravy train we are expected to pay out for in my opinion. They talk about all the laws that have benefited the UK that have come from Europe. If they are that good surely we can make them ourselves. Isn't the whole point of government about making laws (apart from the nest feathering, expenses and home flipping)
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  18. Vegasbound

    Vegasbound Active Member

    I agree with you that we should not trust politicians full stop! I do not trust govts of other countries to act in the best insterest of anyone other than their own!

    I do not scorn science, that is your area of expertise and I would bow to your superior knowledge on things in that area! Scotland should have voted for independence, peace in Ireland well there is an oxymoron, Pira are on the rise again and the sectarian violence hasn't gone away in fact the threat level for an attack on the mainland by irish republicans has today been raised to substansive.

    The quandry and internal battle about the EU has gone on since Heath took us into the then EEC without asking the people, then back door horse trading got it through parliament, during discussions on that hath told the EEC the British fishing industry was 'Dispensable'. 1975 referendum again Govt papers show that the country was not given the truth on to stay in or leave!

    succesive govts have slowly sold the country out each step claimed to be nothing more than economic, until we stand on the point of no return, so I will vote out as is my right just as you are strongly remain!

    You & I Dave will never change each others mind, and must agree to differ on in or out....but let me ask you your thoughts on the new European prosecutors office, and full impimentation of it will see the removal of the right to trial by jury?
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  19. John Brooks

    John Brooks Well-Known Member

    Not sure about the UK but in Canada (and the U.S.) it appears to be more about getting re-elected than doing anything for the good of the country. I always vote and will never become apathetic personally, but the older I get the more I come to understand apathy.
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  20. DS2014

    DS2014 Active Member

    There was an interesting representative of the North Sea fishermen on the radio the other day, and he said "It wasn't the EU that told the Herring not to come into the North Sea"
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