kaitak
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Britain And The EU - What Does The Future Hold?

Tue Jan 15, 2013 8:43 pm

The last few months have seen the "jungle drums" beat louder on the whole issue of Britain's place in the EU. There is a lot of public antipathy towards the EU in the UK, with a significant (if not necessarily a vast) majority seeing the EU as interfering and meddling. Judgements of the ECHR (European Court of Human Rights) are regularly seized upon by the right wing press as evidence of this - for example the ruling in favour of giving prisoners voting rights (supported by the court, but strongly opposed by public opinion and the govt itself).

The PM, David Cameron, is due to give a speech in Amsterdam in the near future, which is expected to spell out the government's position (although is more likely to see more prevarication and a very woolly, obfuscating approach, such as that seen with LHR). The likelihood is that there growing demand for an "in or out" referendum will be denied - for now; the govt wants to renegotiate Britain's position and repatriate powers and have a referendum on that basis.

The big issue is that although Britain had a vote on joining the EU in 1972, it has not had one since (while Ireland, due to its constitution, has voted on every new treaty, sometimes twice - when we didn't provide the right answer first time out!); the result is that the EU has changed significantly since then, so opponents of the EU see that what it has become is a lot different to what they were originally asked to vote on; successive PMs have denied a vote, but now - with the aforementioned jungle drums beating a lot louder, it remains to be seen what will happen.

What do our UK members think? Would you like a vote? If you were PM, would you grant a referendum? How do you see things panning out?
 
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DeltaMD90
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RE: Britain And The EU - What Does The Future Hold?

Tue Jan 15, 2013 8:48 pm

Well, I don't pretend to know a bunch about EU politics, but I try. Despite the troubles the UK has with the EU, I'm sure they still benefit greatly from a lot from the EU. And the EU undoubtedly benefits from having the UK in.

That being said, the direction the EU is going and the direction the UK is going seems to be different, and there is no problem in that. I see them get demonized for that, which is unfair IMO because every culture has different needs. Maybe the UK won't be the most involved player, but barring some new EU 'law' that forces full participation or no membership, I see the UK associating with the EU in many regards, but doing their own thing on others.

Then again, I could be completely clueless on all this...
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oldeuropean
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RE: Britain And The EU - What Does The Future Hold?

Tue Jan 15, 2013 8:56 pm

If they want, if there is a majority in the UK, let them leave.

But when they want to come back, because they realize, that leaving the EU will destroy the rest of their economy and political influence in the world, they shouldn't receive the special benefits again, which no other EU member has today, other than the UK.  

And beside of their special benefits (reduced membership contributions et.al.) there are the following general benefits of a membership they enjoy:

http://www.euromove.org.uk/index.php?id=15296
http://www.euromove.org.uk/index.php?id=17942

[Edited 2013-01-15 13:10:10]

[Edited 2013-01-15 13:15:11]
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Aesma
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RE: Britain And The EU - What Does The Future Hold?

Tue Jan 15, 2013 9:09 pm

Well I don't know what will happen as frankly I don't understand the British mind (and am not living there, surrounded by media funded by one Australian guy), but attempts to "get a better deal" from Cameron will not go anywhere, that's for sure.
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Doona
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RE: Britain And The EU - What Does The Future Hold?

Tue Jan 15, 2013 9:18 pm

Quoting kaitak (Thread starter):
Judgements of the ECHR (European Court of Human Rights) are regularly seized upon by the right wing press as evidence of this - for example the ruling in favour of giving prisoners voting rights (supported by the court, but strongly opposed by public opinion and the govt itself).

The European Court of Human Rights has nothing to do with the European Union. It follows the European Convention on Human Rights, and was established by the Council of Europe, which nowadays consists of 47 member states, compared to the EU's 27. The Council of Europe does, however, utilize the EU flag and anthem, but is an entirely separate organization.

The European Convention on Human Rights is in a way superior to the laws of a member state and convention signatory. An individual can appeal to the ECHR if one has exhausted all national avenues of appeal, and feels that one's rights, as laid down in the convention, have been violated by the state.

The Court determines if the articles of the Convention are being followed, articles that the member states/signatories (and by extension, their respective governments and the people) have themselves already agreed to.

Cheers
Mats
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SuperCaravelle
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RE: Britain And The EU - What Does The Future Hold?

Tue Jan 15, 2013 9:21 pm

As soon as economic benefits do not outweigh the negatives, Britain should leave. I would advice them to do as Switzerland: apply for Schengen membership, but don't bother with the EU. At this moment, I simply do not see any benefits (for Britain, the Netherlands or Greece alike). Many of EU rules are fiddling with national rules and often cost money due to unnecessary demands. To give a small example: a recently opened railway stretch in the Netherlands features a fully functional ERMTS safety system, as well as our national safety system. We don't use ERMTS and on that stretch we will not, if ever, use it for at least another 10-15 years. Still, EU decided we should install it nonetheless. This is just a small example of the idiocy that is the bureaucracy of Brussels, with probably a lot of business interest involved as well.

I simply don't see how economic benefits (many of which will not disappear without EU membership) outweigh the non-transparency and bureaucracy of a non-elected government (only a parliament without actual influence is elected).
 
offloaded
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RE: Britain And The EU - What Does The Future Hold?

Wed Jan 16, 2013 12:26 pm

As a long time resident (and business owner) of Portugal you'd think I'd be pro-EU, but I vote OUT in a UK referendum any day of the week.

What my parents voted to join was a free trade area, the European Economic Community. There were 6 countries in it at the time. With Britain, Ireland and Denmark joining in 1973 that made 9. They didn't vote to have EU law take supremacy over English law, they didn't vote for a myriad of directives and rules that leaves no stone unturned in some vain attempt to harmonise everything. In short, they, unlike the Germans for example, were kept well in the dark as to what was on the horizon.

Quoting SuperCaravelle (Reply 5):
Still, EU decided we should install it nonetheless. This is just a small example of the idiocy that is the bureaucracy of Brussels, with probably a lot of business interest involved as well.

Big business is pro-EU, to small businesses like mine it is generally more costly and bureaucratic. Last year for example we binned perfectly good SAÍDA (EXIT) and other safety signs as they were not EU approved pictorials, and replaced them with EU approved ones.

Quoting oldeuropean (Reply 2):
reduced membership contributions et.al

Due to the Common Agricultural Policy. £50million a day is our current rate.

Quoting oldeuropean (Reply 2):
that leaving the EU will destroy the rest of their economy and political influence in the world

Actually, I'd bet the exact opposite.

Quoting oldeuropean (Reply 2):
there are the following general benefits of a membership they enjoy:

My favourite benefit is yellow ambulances. Before the EU decided ambulances had to be yellow, I used to often confuse white vehicles with red stripes, blue lights and loud sirens as ice cream vans. Now wherever I go in the EU, I can always spot an ambulance. It's been such a relief.
To no one will we sell, or deny, or delay, right or justice - Magna Carta, 1215
 
na
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RE: Britain And The EU - What Does The Future Hold?

Wed Jan 16, 2013 12:41 pm

I do think that the UK wouldnt be better off if they leave the EU. I recently saw a TV program about the pro´s and con´s and there was quite a clear verdict.
 
CaptCufflinks
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RE: Britain And The EU - What Does The Future Hold?

Wed Jan 16, 2013 1:02 pm

Quoting oldeuropean (Reply 2):
they realize, that leaving the EU will destroy the rest of their economy

Rubbish, frankly.

The British economy has for a long time been going digital, and towards a service based economy. Leaving the EU will probably expedite the adoption of the revenue streams to their full value.

Quoting offloaded (Reply 6):
My favourite benefit is yellow ambulances. Before the EU decided ambulances had to be yellow, I used to often confuse white vehicles with red stripes, blue lights and loud sirens as ice cream vans. Now wherever I go in the EU, I can always spot an ambulance. It's been such a relief.

  

Don't forget that we now have to disrupt everyone on the Internet by placing alerts on our websites telling them stuff about cookies that no one needs to know, wants to know or even understands by large.

I'm so thankful that our contributions meant most websites I visit, I now have to confirm what was already tacitly agreed before.

It really was a great use of money. Thank goodness there was nothing else the money could have been used on.

...oh, wait!
 
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OA260
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RE: Britain And The EU - What Does The Future Hold?

Wed Jan 16, 2013 1:03 pm

The UK will not leave but there may be some renegotiations on the powers that are brought back home.
 
NAV20
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RE: Britain And The EU - What Does The Future Hold?

Wed Jan 16, 2013 1:45 pm

I'm no longer young - so I can claim to have been 'in at the start' of the European Union thing. What's more, as an economist and a chartered surveyor, my job was mainly organising and building things - particularly factories.

The original 'European Common Market' worked fine, in my view. Useful trade increased Europe-wide, I helped set up Dutch and German factories in Britain and British and American ones all over Europe. Which increased prosperity and cooperation all round, and did no harm at all to anyone.

But then came the Euro. That, to my mind, was the 'step too far.' A free trade area was fine, and worked well; but, given the enormous gap between the industrial efficiency of places like Germany, compared with that of places like Greece, the eventual outcome could be predicted as soon as the 'common currency' process began. In the words of the old song, "The rich get rich and the poor get poorer......."

Later on, family considerations plus a good job offer caused me to move to Australia; and I've never regretted the move. But I've always retained fond memories of the good people I met, from all over Europe, in the early 'Common Market' days, and the things we achieved through friendly and professional co-operation.

I try to keep my posts short - so I'll only say one more thing. In my opinion, the basic 'wrong turning' that the EU took was the introduction of the Euro. Thanks to the economic strength of several leading European countries, particularly Germany, it rapidly became one of the 'hardest' currencies in the world. And a 'hard currency' is the last thing that under-developed countries like Greece and Portugal can live with..........

So, if I was still advising European organisations on 'the next step' in terms of European cooperation, my recommendation would be, "There's no future in a currency union unless you also have a 100 per cent political union. The latter just isn't going to happen. So take steps to phase out the Euro and encourage all but the very strongest countries in economic terms to re-adopt their own currencies, which they can devalue or revalue as needed to ensure that their economies do not collapse."

[Edited 2013-01-16 06:04:34]
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sebolino
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RE: Britain And The EU - What Does The Future Hold?

Wed Jan 16, 2013 2:30 pm

Quoting offloaded (Reply 6):
My favourite benefit is yellow ambulances. Before the EU decided ambulances had to be yellow, I used to often confuse white vehicles with red stripes, blue lights and loud sirens as ice cream vans. Now wherever I go in the EU, I can always spot an ambulance. It's been such a relief.

Ambulances are still white in France (red when it's the fire brigade's rescue vehicles).
 
sabenapilot
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RE: Britain And The EU - What Does The Future Hold?

Wed Jan 16, 2013 4:27 pm

My bet: A whole lot of talk on 'getting a better deal from Europe' is going to end nowhere as Germany has already made it clear there are not going to be accepting any special cases any longer, after which Cameron will find himself cornered and with only one escape: a referendum.
Given the British media are completely out of their mind on Europe, that will mean Cameron will have to come to Brussels to discuss the UK exit and future access to the common market, and the conditions for that are already set: full acceptation of all EU legislation, without any more representation in it, simple as that.
Great outcome isn't it?
Out are the whiners and they'll have to do as decided anyway, or they shoot themselves in the foot.
Lets get the referendum and vote like Rupert wants you to, guys!

[Edited 2013-01-16 09:02:40]
 
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eurowings
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RE: Britain And The EU - What Does The Future Hold?

Wed Jan 16, 2013 5:15 pm

Frankly, in Britain there is a lot of hysteria about the EU in general, which is strongly fueled by the right-wing press. A lot of people with anti-EU views will simply not accept that Britain does gain something from EU membership, even to the slightest extent. They only see the headlines in the Daily Mail or the Daily Express, which have undertones of trying to blame the EU for just about all the ills in society.

With the Euro crisis, these opinions have become increasingly widespread. The BBC is frequently accused of being biased to the left because it doesn't dedicate time to criticisms of the EU.

I'm more neutral to the issue, there are certainly advantages and disadvantages, but for the now I see the advantages outweighing the drawbacks

Quoting sabenapilot (Reply 12):
and the conditions for that are already set: full acceptation of all EU legislation, without any more representation in it, simple as that.
Great outcome isn't it?

Well, quite. This is what so many don't consider.
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RussianJet
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RE: Britain And The EU - What Does The Future Hold?

Wed Jan 16, 2013 5:23 pm

The problem is that an awful lot, in fact I would say 90% or so, of the British public's animosity towards the EU has arisen from the fact that we got absolutely hammered with immigration from the new accession states when the Union virtually doubled in size overnight. I realise that most countries in western Europe had significant influx, but it is estimated that a million came to the UK from Poland alone, before we even start counting the others. We have seen large numbers of nasty cases of serious criminality trumpeted in the press (genuine cases of course, but hard to say whether there were proportionately more from the nationalities concerned than from the local population), whipping up yet more fervour against the already very obvious mass migration. And, of course very real criminal problems such as Romanian organised cash machine fraud. Official sources (Police) have publically stated that over 90% of cash machine crime in the UK is perpetrated by Romanians, and of course we are now on the cusp of Romania and Bulgaria achieving full rights to work and live freely in the UK without restriction (although in reality that is practically the case now, with a poorly-enforced registration requirement), which is being focused on in various media at the moment.

Of course, there has always been the issue of whether the UK is fully-committed to Europe or not, with the Euro not being adopted and the treaty of Schengen not signed, but in many other respects the UK has practically demonstrated full commitment. In reality, there is a reasonable amount of diversity in integration levels across Europe, with Ireland not in Schengen but in the Euro, and other countries like Sweden also keeping their currency like the UK did. Then, there is Norway which is not in the EU at all, but in the EEA and Schengen.

THE POINT of all this, is that I think the public are foolishly being guiled into believing that a vote to leave the EU would suddenly given them the right to boot out large groups that they consider to be undesirable for various reasons. In fact, it is not even remotely likely that the UK would leave the EU without at least remaining in the EEA, and therefore retaining all migratory issues relevant to the EEA regulations, or more extremely and even less likely having some kind of individually-negotiated agreement (a la Suisse) which would no doubt still retain free movement obligations.

The end result of this nonsensical idiocy that is playing out in the media is that the debate the public largely think they are having is in fact not the debate that actually exists. It's a farce, and I hope we stay in.

Having said that, I can't pretend that I myself don't think that EU expansion has all been too much and too quick. There is still far too much of an east-west disparity, though of course in some cases this is starting to even itself out. One or two at a time, with economies more rapidly brought up to speed would have been preferable I think, rather than spreading more gradual support far more thinly. This is what worked in the past.

Anyway, here's hoping that the public realise what they would actually be voting on and do the right thing.
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Aesma
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RE: Britain And The EU - What Does The Future Hold?

Wed Jan 16, 2013 5:47 pm

Quoting sabenapilot (Reply 12):
Brussels to discuss the UK exit and future access to the common market, and the conditions for that are already set: full acceptation of all EU legislation, without any more representation in it, simple as that.

Well, they would have more control about their laws not pertaining to the common market, but of course all those regulations they complain about (size of fruits and vegetables, etc.) would definitely stay.

Quoting RussianJet (Reply 14):
I realize that most countries in western Europe had significant influx, but it is estimated that a million came to the UK from Poland alone

This is an intended consequence of the Bolkestein Directive, a directive that is in total "anglo-saxon freedom" spirit and which was pushed by the UK above all else, against many including France.
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par13del
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RE: Britain And The EU - What Does The Future Hold?

Wed Jan 16, 2013 5:59 pm

Quoting kaitak (Thread starter):
If you were PM, would you grant a referendum?

The key to the entire problem, there is some talk that he will grant the referendum in 5 or 6 years time or never. Granting the referendum should be a decision made by the legislature versus the individual and his political party.

If a referendum were held today or within the next 6 months my money would be on the UK population voting to stay in the EU, they have long since "sidelined" the Commonwealth so they already made that decision to be closer to Europe.

However, if the referendum if granted is put off for the next 3 or 4 years, the vote when it comes will not be about the EU and the UK's place in it but on the handling of the entire process by the political elite, which would be the tragedy.
 
RussianJet
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RE: Britain And The EU - What Does The Future Hold?

Wed Jan 16, 2013 6:01 pm

Quoting Aesma (Reply 15):

This is an intended consequence of the Bolkestein Directive, a directive that is in total "anglo-saxon freedom" spirit and which was pushed by the UK above all else, against many including France.

Indeed it was pushed by the UK Labour government of the day, much against the greater wishes of the man on the street, and the party have now admitted that they got it all wrong on immigration.
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CaptCufflinks
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RE: Britain And The EU - What Does The Future Hold?

Wed Jan 16, 2013 6:30 pm

Quoting par13del (Reply 16):
so they already made that decision to be closer to Europe.

If by "they" you mean the British, then no - no decision was ever made about our status within Europe.

To my knowledge, the public have never been consulted about the whole thing - which might suggest why we're all so keen to finally have a referendum.
 
DNDTUF
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RE: Britain And The EU - What Does The Future Hold?

Wed Jan 16, 2013 6:53 pm

As a Scot who has been living and working in France for the past 4 years, I sincerely hope that the UK doesn’t pull out of the EU. I think many of the consequences of such a separation have not been fully disclosed by the Eurosceptics. Day after day in “news” papers such as the Sun and Daily Mail and the Telegraph to a lesser extent, there are numerous negative stories about the EU and how it is destroying Britain. For people who only get their news from such sources, it’s no wonder that a large proportion of the population has been hoodwinked into believing that the EU is eroding British sovereignty. If you were to believe the Daily Mail, you’d think that Britain was awash with criminals who have come from mainland Europe to cause havoc and abuse the benefit system!

If Britain were to leave the EU, the country would still be bound by the same trade rules and directives but would have no influence whatsoever in the creation of such rules. I reckon that would be a bigger loss of sovereignty than if the UK remained part of the Union and had a say in the legislation. The renegotiation of trade links and export and import links would be a mammoth task to undertake and during the process, confidence in the British economy would take a battering! Being part of the EU is a major advantage for companies who decide to locate to the UK and we would be in danger of losing them if trading with Europe was made any harder.

I agree that certain aspects of the European Union should be scaled back across the continent as a whole. I think that it should primarily be a union based on the free circulation of goods, services and citizens. The idea of the Euro was made with good intentions, but I struggle to understand how anyone thought it possible to harmonise monetary policy amongst such a varied continent!

Basically, if Britain feels it needs a “better” deal from the EU, the only way to achieve this would be to remain at the heart of it and be a part of reforming it into an organisation ready for the future. I personally think that a lot of Euroscepticism in the UK comes from the same people who mourn the loss of the empire and who have a hard time accepting that Britannia no longer rules the waves! Who knows, maybe after 2014, if Scotland, which has always been significantly more pro-EU than its southern neighbour, breaks away from the UK, we might have a split in EU membership between the British Isles!

Just my 2 centimes!  
DNDTUF
 
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par13del
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RE: Britain And The EU - What Does The Future Hold?

Wed Jan 16, 2013 6:57 pm

Quoting CaptCufflinks (Reply 18):
If by "they" you mean the British, then no - no decision was ever made about our status within Europe.

I agree no vote was held, I am looking at it from the trade perspective, the reality is that trade with the Commonwealth is shades of what it used to be, trade with the EU on the other hand has continued to grow. Trade is one of the "talking ponits" on this issue, the other items such as "clawing back" powers is another story, obviously those were given over / away.

In the whole EU debate especially when there is talk about "taking back" authority granted to the EU I get lost when some state a referendum is needed, if the authority ceeded to the EU was not done via public vote, why is one needed now?
If a public vote which one are we talking about, the initial Common Market or the new EU?
 
RussianJet
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RE: Britain And The EU - What Does The Future Hold?

Wed Jan 16, 2013 10:43 pm

Quoting DNDTUF (Reply 19):
If you were to believe the Daily Mail, you’d think that Britain was awash with criminals who have come from mainland Europe to cause havoc and abuse the benefit system!

While it's true that the situation is not as serious as some papers would have you believe, there is little doubt that the migration we have undergone since EU enlargement happened has aided SOME serious criminality. There are undoubtedly very serious questions that need to be asked about why we should put up with extended families from some corners of Europe moving over to the UK with no money, no plan, no skills, children who need schooling immediately, elderly relatives who need free healthcare immediately, and in general have little or nothing to offer to our country except being a huge drain on resources of all kinds. It may sound harsh, but in too many cases this is what we face. This, in contrast to a young Polish couple, for example, who move over with skills to offer and a plan to work and generally be as productive as possible. In theory controls exist, but in reality border control is utterly powerless to turn back arrivals who clearly have nothing to offer but everything to take, as EEA regulations insist they be allowed three months from any arrival regardless of their means. This is not right, certainly not at a time when economies are suffering, and unfortunately these legitimate questions provide massive fodder to the red-top press to exploit in conjunction with the inherent prejudice towards Europe that they garner from a significant portion of their foolish readership.

I'm sorry if this is uncomfortable reading for some, but this is the reality caused from the overnight doubling in size of the EU - which was a very foolish move, in UK terms exploited purely for exceptionally short-term gain and at the serious expense of the country's wellbeing - evidenced not least by the fact that we now find ourselves where we do as a result; facing an ill-informed and very unfortunate prospect of a fallacious referendum on EU membership. This in a nutshell was the true hallmark of the Labour government who promoted this course of action - anything for immediate economic gain, regardless of the long-term potential for harm to both the UK and the essential institution of the European Union. For shame.
✈ Every strike of the hammer is a blow against the enemy. ✈
 
ozglobal
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RE: Britain And The EU - What Does The Future Hold?

Thu Jan 17, 2013 5:04 pm

Sigh no more, ladies, sigh nor more;
Men were deceivers ever;
One foot in sea and one on shore,
To one thing constant never;
Then sigh not so,
But let them go,
And be you blithe and bonny;
Converting all your sounds of woe
Into. Hey nonny, nonny.

Sing no more ditties, sing no mo,
Or dumps so dull and heavy;
The fraud of men was ever so,
Since summer first was leavy.
Then sigh not so,
But let them go,
And be you blithe and bonny,
Converting all your sounds of woe
Into. Hey, nonny, nonny.


- William Shakespeare
When all's said and done, there'll be more said than done.
 
U2380
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RE: Britain And The EU - What Does The Future Hold?

Thu Jan 17, 2013 5:40 pm

In the past I have been staunchly eurosceptic. However, my opinion nowadays is that it would in fact be costly to leave the EU and leave our self unprotected against the French (and Germans in some regards) who will continue to attempt to reduce our and our capitals influence, using their 'standing' in the EU, regardless. Also, I cannot see how leaving would be in any way positive for our economy.

However, I believe that a referendum at this point would see us packing our bags. In my opinion that is mainly due to the ECHR. The general public lump the hideous inadequacies and corruption of the ECHR with the EU and boy does the ECHR get some (rightly deserved) negative press in the UK.

So if anything, thumbs up to the EU and kick the ECHR and everything that comes with it to the curb.

My opinions of course.
 
Doona
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RE: Britain And The EU - What Does The Future Hold?

Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:10 pm

Quoting U2380 (Reply 23):
However, I believe that a referendum at this point would see us packing our bags. In my opinion that is mainly due to the ECHR. The general public lump the hideous inadequacies and corruption of the ECHR with the EU and boy does the ECHR get some (rightly deserved) negative press in the UK.

Again, the EU and the ECHR are not the same thing! See post #4.

http://hub.coe.int/

http://europa.eu/index_en.htm

Cheers
Mats
Sure, we're concerned for our lives. Just not as concerned as saving 9 bucks on a roundtrip to Ft. Myers.
 
RussianJet
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RE: Britain And The EU - What Does The Future Hold?

Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:18 pm

Quoting Doona (Reply 24):
Again, the EU and the ECHR are not the same thing! See post #4.

I believe it was clear he knew that from his post, but was rather trying to point out that unfortunately large swathes of the UK population do not make any such distinction in their perceptions - it's all Europe to them.
✈ Every strike of the hammer is a blow against the enemy. ✈
 
sabenapilot
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RE: Britain And The EU - What Does The Future Hold?

Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:42 pm

Quoting Doona (Reply 24):
the EU and the ECHR are not the same thing!

That's the funny thing: many people in the UK think a NO vote will somehow bring them back almost mythical sovereignty which will somehow solve all their worries: reality is it is only going to take it away even more than it currently is.

Like it or not: Europe-wide rules and regulations are the norm and that won't change in future, regardless whether the UK is 'in' or 'out'; it just can't be done otherwise in an ever more globalised world; voting NO will simply take away any current British influence on any of those EU rules and regulations which will have to be applied in and by the UK, regardless.

Today, London gets all draft versions of EU legislation and may have its say on them first.
In future, London may only get the final version of EU legislation and will just have to comply with it.

Believing the EU will make great concessions to the UK is a daydream: you can bet your life Frau Merkel and certainly the French are going to see to it any exit scenario will look extremely sobering: in fact, Angela Merkel has already said as much only a few days ago during a CSU/CDU election rally: no more exceptions or additional opt outs: when in Europe, you either sign up to the full package, or nothing.

Frankfurt must love the prospect of becoming the leading financial city in Europe in a couple of years time. 
 
U2380
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RE: Britain And The EU - What Does The Future Hold?

Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:48 pm

Quoting RussianJet (Reply 25):
Quoting Doona (Reply 24):
Again, the EU and the ECHR are not the same thing! See post #4.

I believe it was clear he knew that from his post, but was rather trying to point out that unfortunately large swathes of the UK population do not make any such distinction in their perceptions - it's all Europe to them.

Absolutely. Exactly the point I was trying to make, I just made a mess of making it  

Thanks RussianJet and sorry for any confusion  
 
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Aesma
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RE: Britain And The EU - What Does The Future Hold?

Sat Jan 19, 2013 10:00 pm

I guess Cameron at least is fine with the ECHR :

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...A-bullying-lawyers-I-God-side.html

Quote:
After losing a string of hearings in Britain, she took her case to the European Court of Human Rights, and on Tuesday its judges found in her favour.

‘On the day of judgement there was a meeting at our church and we had a glass of bubbly and I said: “Thank you God!” I think I went a bit over the top actually,’ she says, half-apologetically.
...

Nadia, 61, later got a tweet from David Cameron saying he was ‘delighted the principle of wearing religious symbols at work has been upheld’.

Once again I don't really understand what's going on in the UK, with on the one hand BA banning her from wearing that tiny cross, while on the other hand police officers wear Muslim scarves or turbans, medical burqas are introduced in hospitals, etc.
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RussianJet
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RE: Britain And The EU - What Does The Future Hold?

Sat Jan 19, 2013 10:59 pm

Quoting Aesma (Reply 28):
Once again I don't really understand what's going on in the UK, with on the one hand BA banning her from wearing that tiny cross, while on the other hand police officers wear Muslim scarves or turbans, medical burqas are introduced in hospitals, etc.

Yeah, we're all wondering the same thing - and we live here.....
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baguy
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RE: Britain And The EU - What Does The Future Hold?

Sat Jan 19, 2013 11:07 pm

Hey RussianJet - don't forget.. it's ok! we're more than welcome to go and live in Poland if we want...

Look.. I don't like the EU, and I'm by no means left wing. However, if we leave the EU, we're on our own.. you can go back as far as the ERM or look at how well the cuts are working to realise that we don't really have that much control over our economy. Therefore, the way I see it is that if we leave we get no say whatsoever - at least if we stay we can have at least some control and influence in Europe - otherwise France and Germany are going to run the show even more than they already do! The days of 'splendid isolation' are well and truly over!

And for one other thing, I think President Obama (a man who I actually rather admired until he started sticking his oar in!) has made it quite clear that, whatever people say, there is no such a thing as a 'special relationship' - it only exists because by being pally with Britain, the USA gets a bit of representation in the EU. If we leave the EU, I have a feeling the 'special status' will switch rather rapidly to Berlin....

Just my 2 cents!

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RE: Britain And The EU - What Does The Future Hold?

Sun Jan 20, 2013 2:25 am

Quoting baguy (Reply 30):
And for one other thing, I think President Obama (a man who I actually rather admired until he started sticking his oar in!) has made it quite clear that, whatever people say, there is no such a thing as a 'special relationship' - it only exists because by being pally with Britain, the USA gets a bit of representation in the EU. If we leave the EU, I have a feeling the 'special status' will switch rather rapidly to Berlin....

You've nailed the vast, huge, gaping hole in the Euro-phobia argument, since as much as any of them ever articulate any alternative ideas it's usually around joining the North American Free Trade Agreement'.
But Obama is not 'sticking his oar in', the State Department is merely reiterating what has been the US view on the UK and EU for 55 years! Longer than Obama has been alive.
Sure they are worried about any UK estrangement from the EU, it's bad for Europe, worse for Britain and very unhelpful for the US.

'The Special Relationship' is neurotically reported in the UK media with a self flagellation that bewilders many Americans.
It's not about any PM's relationship with any President, it's in the nuclear weapon and even more deeply, intelligence gathering areas. Those two areas ARE a unique relationship between the US and UK, the first also dating back 55 years the second since WW2.

But all this stuff with Cameron is not about the UK and Europe really, it's about managing the Tory Party.
Cameron, when he became leader, asked his party to stop 'banging on about Europe'.
Understandably, it helped to end Thatcher as PM, destroyed John Major's premiership (after he won an unexpected election victory in 1992 thus saving the seats of many of the MP's who would go on to torment him on Europe).
It hardly helped them after their 1997 crushing either, Thatcher - only just retaining her faculties by then, used her influence to get the very unsuitable William Hague as leader, who was himself corralled into fighting the 2001 election on a wholly spurious 'save the £' based campaign.
Like it or not, the £ had already been saved, by the Labour Chancellor Gordon Brown who prevented Blair from trying to include the UK in the single currency.
So the Tories suffered a second very heavy defeat in 2001.

For all of Cameron's attempts at some pragmatism on the Europe issue, he'd made a Faustian pact to get elected as leader of a now terminally Euro-phobic party, basically it went 'calm down on Europe and let me get us back into power'.
But of course, not getting a majority in 2010, worse still, having to go into coalition with the most pro Europe UK political party, the Lib Dems, when he faced a broken PM, an exhausted government and the worst recession living memory, did not endear him to large parts of his own party.
Including those who have the equally batty idea that they could get their policies, including many they had promised NOT to do when in opposition, as a minority government. Good luck with that.

The whole 'referendum on changes with our relationship with the EU' line is his attempt to hold the line against his fractious, often irrational party.
As a Parliamentary Democracy, referendums are not part of the political process, except in one circumstance - when a PM is in serious trouble with his own party.
That is the only reason we ever had one back in 1975, back then Labour PM Harold Wilson had many in his party, a few in his Cabinet, who wanted out of the EU. Mostly on the left.
Then as now it was about party management.
Then as now is was sold as 'renegotiating our terms of membership'.
Then as possibly in the near future, it won't be called unless the PM is as certain as he can be about his position winning it.

We do like to laugh, or just be shocked, at the level of political debate in the US on things like gun control, taxation, health-care, even the basics of science, where the Republicans, in the eyes of many over here, cannot be rational about these issues. Where moderates in that party are an endangered species.
Well the modern Tory Party is the same about Europe, moderates on this subject are thin on the ground here too.
Try getting selected as a Tory candidate by a constituency Conservative party by saying you are basically in favour of the UK being in the EU.
The US Republicans have their 'Tea Party', our Tories have their tea and biscuits party - likely condiments at interviews for potential candidates as their MP.
Both parties being dominated at the grass roots by the elderly, the narrow minded, the nostalgic.

As for the Tories claim to have their fingers on the pulse of the business community, well they don't seem to listen too much to what the heads of major - and not so major - companies think about their increasingly hostile stance on Europe.
They won't keep quiet in the hope it all dies down forever, not just UK business either, all this will soon, if it hasn't already, have a detrimental effect on foreign companies considering the UK for major investments.

If Cameron really is concerned about the UK's place Europe and the world, he needs to grow a pair and tell his party some home truths.
Cameron once said that he would rather have only one term in office where he got the leglisation he wanted passed than a longer period but with fewer of his policies being enacted.
If he wants to stop his parties seemingly inexorable slide towards having a policy of leaving the EU altogether, he might have to stress test that statement.
He cannot say 'back me on this or I'll resign' since too many of his most anti EU MP's would say 'good riddance'.
 
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RE: Britain And The EU - What Does The Future Hold?

Sun Jan 20, 2013 8:02 am

Quoting kaitak (Thread starter):
There is a lot of public antipathy towards the EU in the UK

-
there is a lot of public antipathy towards the EU in most EU countries nowadays. The French philosophy of centralism has captured the EU, while Britain failed to keep up more federalism. The only British Prime Minister who showed some understanding for federalism and federal structures (he called it "subsidiarity") was John Major.

Quoting kaitak (Thread starter):
The big issue is that although Britain had a vote on joining the EU in 1972,

-
Negative, Britain had NO vote on joining the EU, except a vote in parliament. I happened to live in London Oct/Nov/Dec 72 and can well remember those times. I each evening watched the news of BBC-1 or BBC-2 plus the ones of ITN/ITV

You see, there were reasons why your Mr Eamon de Valera turned the Irish Free State into the Republic.
 
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RE: Britain And The EU - What Does The Future Hold?

Sun Jan 20, 2013 10:16 am

Quoting ME AVN FAN (Reply 32):
You see, there were reasons why your Mr Eamon de Valera turned the Irish Free State into the Republic.

Ironic that you mention de Valera, despite having him nothing in common with the British Tory Party of the last 20 or so years - in his day they were his enemy - there is something similar with his policies of economic and political isolation, which stunted Ireland's develop for many decades and the 'ourselves alone' stance of UKIP and increasingly the Tories.
UKIP and the Euro-phobic Conservatives are the British 'Sinn Fein' in this respect.

We didn't 'have a vote' on joining NATO in 1949 either, since we are this Parliamentary Democracy, if you don't like it then vote for a party that opposes it.
Back then it was the British Communist Party.
But with NATO Britain had a major role in forming and shaping this organisation, under the formidable Ernie Bevin, Foreign Secretary of the post war Labour government.

Had we joined the then EEC in the mid to late 1950's the UK would have had much more influence in it's subsequent development.
Better yet would have been in the late 1940's but it was politically untenable then, since the UK still thought of the Empire as it's economic bloc even as it was rapidly becoming the Commonwealth and though strong ties largely remained the economic ones were loosening, inevitable in the Post War would now dominated by two superpowers.

But after 1958, with De Gaulle in power across the Channel, the UK's persistent attempts are applying to join from the start of the 1960's were to be rebuffed while he was alive.
Since he knew that having the UK in the EEC would have a great influence, undermining his stance of pretending to speak for and influence the EEC when he was only ever speaking for, influencing for France.

Once De Gaulle was gone from power, then from the world, the UK's application, now by Tory PM Ted Heath, was eagerly accepted.
Heath was passionate about this, many modern Tories and UKIP call him a 'traitor'.
A disgusting slur by the ignorant, Heath's passion for the EEC was based on two events in his life, in the 1930's as a student, he cycled across much of Europe running into Nazi rallies and even meeting Hitler and his inner circle.
He came back thoroughly opposed to appeasement.
The next time was as an officer in the British Army, fighting across France and into Germany, seeing all the horrors along the way.
 
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RE: Britain And The EU - What Does The Future Hold?

Sun Jan 20, 2013 11:50 am

Quoting Doona (Reply 4):
The European Court of Human Rights has nothing to do with the European Union.

Put Euro in front of almost anything and the Brits will hate it and blame "Brussels"...

Quoting SuperCaravelle (Reply 5):
I would advice them to do as Switzerland: apply for Schengen membership, but don't bother with the EU.

I can't imagine the UK applying for Schengen membership in my lifetime (and I hope to be around for several decades still). Beyond that, Germany and the rest of the EU are on a campaign to, at best, tone down, special relationships such as Switzerland's in favor of a simple in-or-out model. I therefore can't imagine that the UK would be offered anything but a binary choice.

Quoting offloaded (Reply 6):
As a long time resident (and business owner) of Portugal you'd think I'd be pro-EU, but I vote OUT in a UK referendum any day of the week.

Your right of residence in Portugal would end if the UK left the EU, unless the UK signed a bilateral treaty with Portugal to allow you to stay. If that treaty were not forthcoming, would you go home or try and take up Portuguese citizenship? That is a matter you, your fellow Brits in Southern countries and millions of EU citizens in the UK would have to think hard about...

Quoting offloaded (Reply 6):
Actually, I'd bet the exact opposite.

How would the UK's political influence benefit from leaving the EU? Take the "special relationship" with the USA, for instance. It is special because, chief among other things, it gives Washington an indirect insider's view on the workings of the EU. That "special relationship" will be less special once that view is blocked. I would expect Washington to spend a little more time courting Berlin or Paris at the expense of London.

With export-driven manufacturing such as the auto and aviation industries and international banks moving out to remain within the EU, I can't imagine the economy to be doing much better.

Quoting OA260 (Reply 9):
The UK will not leave but there may be some renegotiations on the powers that are brought back home.

I don't think it is going to happen. Germany has a lot to gain whatever the outcome of a straight in-or-out choice, not so much with a a-la-carte approach.

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 10):
In my opinion, the basic 'wrong turning' that the EU took was the introduction of the Euro.

I slightly disagree. The "wrong turn" was fiddling with statistics and economic figures to accept dubious countries such as Greece and Italy into the Euro zone.

Quoting RussianJet (Reply 21):
In theory controls exist, but in reality border control is utterly powerless to turn back arrivals who clearly have nothing to offer but everything to take, as EEA regulations insist they be allowed three months from any arrival regardless of their means.

So perhaps the question ought to be why they're not asked rather firmly to find a new country of residence after three months. Other countries have ejected EU citizens from their borders because they refused perfectly suitable work. If the UK won't do it, shouldn't the focus be on London, not Brussels...
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RE: Britain And The EU - What Does The Future Hold?

Sun Jan 20, 2013 12:29 pm

Quoting blueflyer (Reply 34):
Quoting NAV20 (Reply 10):
In my opinion, the basic 'wrong turning' that the EU took was the introduction of the Euro.

I slightly disagree. The "wrong turn" was fiddling with statistics and economic figures to accept dubious countries such as Greece and Italy into the Euro zone.

More or less comes to the same thing, in my view, blueflyer.

Oddly enough, I first visited Germany in 1958, as a reserve soldier. In those days it was 'notable' that even then, when buying the (truly excellent) beer available there in our off-duty hours, we could quite often get a discount by offering the odd pound note instead of marks (I should perhaps mention that average weekly wages in Britain at that time were only around seven pounds a week).

Thing is, if even Germany had a weak currency at that time, most of Europe was even worse off. The old joke back then was that Britain used to run 'The Changing Of The Guard' every week, and the French used to have 'the changing of the government' at more or less similar intervals.......  

As I've said, in my view the Euro isn't just part of the problem - it IS the problem. Places like Greece, Portugal, Spain, and even Italy used to devalue their currencies pretty well every week back in those days; and, even nowadays, they simply can't live with the Euro:-

"The euro-area jobless rate rose to a record in November as the fiscal crisis and tougher austerity measures deepened Europe’s economic troubles.

"Unemployment in the 17-nation region rose to 11.8 per cent from 11.7 per cent in October, the European Union’s statistics office in Luxembourg said today. That’s the highest since the data series started in 1995 and in line with the median estimate of 27 economists in a Bloomberg News survey.

"The euro-area economy has shrunk for two successive quarters and economists foresee a further decline in gross domestic product in the final three months of last year, forcing companies to cut costs by slashing jobs. The European Central Bank estimates contractions of 0.5 per cent and 0.3 per cent in 2012 and 2013.

“In the southern areas of the eurozone, demand is very weak and therefore there is no way to see fundamental improvement in labor-market conditions,” said Uwe Duerkop, an economist at Landesbank Berlin. “There might be some stabilization in the labor market in the second half of the year where one can expect this trend of growing unemployment numbers to stop, but that’s not the story for the moment.”

"Today’s jobless report showed that 18.8 million people were unemployed in the euro area in November, up 113,000 from the previous month. At 26.6 per cent, Spain had the highest jobless rate in the currency bloc. Germany’s jobless rate was 5.4 per cent and France’s stood at 10.5 per cent. Austria had the lowest rate at 4.5 per cent.

"The data also showed that youth unemployment was at 24.4 per cent, with Spain’s rate more than double that at 56.5 per cent."


Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/business/world...-20130109-2cff9.html#ixzz2IWAOgv8B

Phase out the Euro and let every EU country revert to its own currency, which it can devalue or revalue as necessary, and everything will 'come right.' There's no other solution.......
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RE: Britain And The EU - What Does The Future Hold?

Sun Jan 20, 2013 1:34 pm

Quoting blueflyer (Reply 34):
So perhaps the question ought to be why they're not asked rather firmly to find a new country of residence after three months. Other countries have ejected EU citizens from their borders because they refused perfectly suitable work. If the UK won't do it, shouldn't the focus be on London, not Brussels...

The problem is - after they leave, the second they come back, even the following day EEA Regs demand that they have three months again regardless.
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Dano1977
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RE: Britain And The EU - What Does The Future Hold?

Sun Jan 20, 2013 2:36 pm

David Cameron keeps on plugging about going to Europe and renegotiating our position within europe.

What would be on the table that needs changing?
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RE: Britain And The EU - What Does The Future Hold?

Sun Jan 20, 2013 5:41 pm

The UK needs to stay in the EU, whatever its drawbacks.

There has always been a fundamental difference betw how Brits and Germans want the EU to proceed: Brits see the EU a a loose group of free-trade partners, while Germany wants to create a European federal state. The UK should stay in the EU to maintain the trade benefits while fighting against the creation of more EU bureacracy and the creation of an EU federal state.
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RE: Britain And The EU - What Does The Future Hold?

Sun Jan 20, 2013 5:46 pm

Quoting GDB (Reply 33):
de Valera, despite having him nothing in common with the British Tory Party

-
NO, he clearly had nothing in common with the UK Tories ...... he would revolve in his grave if anybody said so

Quoting GDB (Reply 33):
we are this Parliamentary Democracy, if you don't like it then vote for a party that opposes it.


-
as I am not a UK citizen I cannot vote in the UK. I however very often think that British democracy is a good thing. Strangely enough, I in Nov 72 was one of the 12 signatories who brought the Green Line Bus system into Westminster. The thing was instructive and impressive to me. I NEVER had as much influence in Switzerland than within 10 minutes in Britain. But right here you put me into a problem. I still might like to see the UK to have more direct popular votes about things of relevance. And I clearly prefer a proportional voting system which not only gives small parties a decent chance but makes it impossible that a large party with 35% of the votes gets an absolute majority in parliament

Quoting GDB (Reply 33):
Ted Heath, was eagerly accepted.
Heath was passionate about this, many modern Tories and UKIP call him a 'traitor'.

As I knew that I was to go to Britain to learn decent English, it was Teddy Heath who just in time changed the currency to a system I was able to understand. And so, the man stays in my memory as the chap who solved a serious problem for me
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N_K7W3-3ECc

Quoting blueflyer (Reply 34):
Germany and the rest of the EU are on a campaign to, at best, tone down, special relationships such as Switzerland's in favor of a simple in-or-out model.

Switzerland is a full member of both the Schengen and the Dublin agreement and of ECAC. Germany cannot "tone down" anything

Quoting Dano1977 (Reply 37):
David Cameron keeps on plugging about going to Europe and renegotiating our position within europe.

My proposal is that the UK quits the EU and re-joins EFTA. And then goes into some BIlateral Agreements with the EU. The EFTA with then Iceland, Norway, Britain, Switzerland and Liechtenstein as members would be a factor again
 
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RE: Britain And The EU - What Does The Future Hold?

Sun Jan 20, 2013 6:57 pm

Quoting ME AVN FAN (Reply 39):
NO, he clearly had nothing in common with the UK Tories ...... he would revolve in his grave if anybody said so

Fine by me, but putting to one side his 'issues' with the British, his isolationist stance in general bedevilled Ireland for a long time beyond his tenure. Hence my comparison with isolationist Tories today.
Good for us since the UK was probably the major beneficiary of the immense human talent of Ireland, not just in culture and way beyond construction workers.

And this is a world so much less interconnected than today.
The Tories should also heed the warnings of Norway, they are by geography and economics, subject to many EU regulations but with none of the influence.

Closer to home, to appease the anti EU nutters, even the more rational Tory ministers like Teresa May, are throwing bones to them such as seeking to withdraw from agreements on Justice, trials, extradition within the EU.
Much to the horror of senior Police Officers, lawyers/legal activists - don't see those two groups agree on much - the Intelligence services and those have have seen justice delivered for them or their loved ones by the current agreements.
When the self declared 'Party Of Law And Order' starts doing such potential damage to crime prevention and justice, for ideological/party managed reasons, you know they've started to abandon reason.
 
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par13del
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RE: Britain And The EU - What Does The Future Hold?

Sun Jan 20, 2013 7:27 pm

Quoting baguy (Reply 30):
Therefore, the way I see it is that if we leave we get no say whatsoever - at least if we stay we can have at least some control and influence in Europe - otherwise France and Germany are going to run the show even more than they already do! The days of 'splendid isolation' are well and truly over!
Quoting yyz717 (Reply 38):
The UK should stay in the EU to maintain the trade benefits while fighting against the creation of more EU bureacracy and the creation of an EU federal state.

Well, other than Thatcher negotiating the discount and the funds that the UK pumps in, the French and Germans seem pretty intent on running things their way, the last debates on the influence of the city on EU financial rules and regulations were telling.
So far, no olive branch has been forthcoming from the EU so, let's hope the optimism is warranted.
 
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RE: Britain And The EU - What Does The Future Hold?

Sun Jan 20, 2013 8:32 pm

Quoting DNDTUF (Reply 19):
If Britain were to leave the EU, the country would still be bound by the same trade rules and directives but would have no influence whatsoever in the creation of such rules.

If Britain were to leave the EU, the country would occupy the same pointless (IMO) position as Norway complying with all the rules but with no influence.
 
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RE: Britain And The EU - What Does The Future Hold?

Sun Jan 20, 2013 11:44 pm

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 42):
If Britain were to leave the EU, the country would occupy the same pointless (IMO) position as Norway complying with all the rules but with no influence.

THIS exactly is why I would see Britain to stay INSIDE the EU. Norway and Switzerland even when giving up EFTA anf joining the EU would not have much influence due to lack of people but Britain already now would have a lot of influence if using its power. John Major was very influential within the EU to an extent none of his predecessors or successorfs ever had. His secret ? Simple. HE used the power available. His noble three successors never used the available powers
 
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Aesma
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RE: Britain And The EU - What Does The Future Hold?

Mon Jan 21, 2013 12:12 am

Quoting par13del (Reply 41):
Well, other than Thatcher negotiating the discount and the funds that the UK pumps in, the French and Germans seem pretty intent on running things their way, the last debates on the influence of the city on EU financial rules and regulations were telling.
So far, no olive branch has been forthcoming from the EU so, let's hope the optimism is warranted.

Why should there be an olive branch about the City, when the UK is not part of the eurozone ? Why isn't the UK public demanding more regulation of the City when it's clearly out of control ?
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par13del
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RE: Britain And The EU - What Does The Future Hold?

Mon Jan 21, 2013 3:08 am

Quoting Aesma (Reply 44):
Why should there be an olive branch about the City, when the UK is not part of the eurozone ? Why isn't the UK public demanding more regulation of the City when it's clearly out of control ?

There should be none and there is none, so those who talk about the UK being able to influence the general trend of the EU away from the desires of France and Germany are as I said optimistic.
As for regulation of the City, France and Germany believe that the City is out of control, and since that is their believe they will assist in correct the problem.
 
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RE: Britain And The EU - What Does The Future Hold?

Mon Jan 21, 2013 1:52 pm

Interesting snippet from the British press:-

"And we've got confirmation that David Cameron's speech on Europe will take place in London on Wednesday morning. Just to recap, Cameron delayed the speech on Friday, after abandoning a trip to the Netherlands to deal with the Algerian hostage crisis.

"The prime minister had been due to warn his fellow European leaders that British membership of the EU could be put at risk unless its membership terms are changed. We already have an idea of what he is going to say, as some of the speech was leaked last week. So we can expect the following quotes:

"If we don't address these challenges, the danger is that Europe will fail and the British people will drift towards the exit. There is a growing frustration that the EU is seen as something that is done to people rather than acting on their behalf. And this is being intensified by the very solutions required to resolve the economic problems.

"People are increasingly frustrated that decisions taken further and further away from them mean their living standards are slashed through enforced austerity or their taxes are used to bail out governments on the other side of the continent."


http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2...ive-finance-chiefs-vote-new-leader

Must admit that that's pretty well the way I see things. In fact, it's one of the reasons why, after working hard to establish the ECM ('European Common Market') in the first place, I eventually decided to move my family to Australia years ago.

The Eurozone is now operating in a completely illogical way. The only way the stronger Eurozone countries can go on selling exports to the weaker ones is to lend them the money to buy the stuff with. Money which they must know can never be repaid. But they go further - imposing 'austerity' on the debtor countries; which, of course, means that, sooner rather than later, those countries will, quite soon, face such widespread poverty as to be unable to go on importing stuff from the wealthier countries anyway........

I repeat what I said earlier on this thread - that the 'super-hard' Euro is the problem, not the solution - and that phasing it out as quickly as possible, in all but a very few wealthier Eurozone countries, is essential if any sort of equilibrium is to be restored.

What Britain does or doesn't do about EU membership is irrelevant in that context. Britain (and other non-Euro EU members) will be fine anyway; because they are 'Euro-free.' The priority for the Eurozone HAS to be to free places like Greece, Spain, Portugal, and Ireland from the 'tyranny' of the Euro, and give them half a chance of economic survival.......

[Edited 2013-01-21 05:55:44]
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RE: Britain And The EU - What Does The Future Hold?

Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:05 pm

Quoting par13del (Reply 45):
the UK being able to influence the general trend of the EU away from the desires of France and Germany are as I said optimistic.

"desires of France and Germany" '? This is simply wrong. The desire of France and Germany are very different, but Germany since the days of Konrad Adenauer had to find ways to compromise with France in order preserve its own interests. Very often the "desires" of Germany are far closer to the "desires" of Britain, but with Britain practically not participating the Germans have to work with France ever again.
 
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RE: Britain And The EU - What Does The Future Hold?

Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:27 pm

Quoting ME AVN FAN (Reply 47):
but with Britain practically not participating

Explain please, and using facts, not just relying on the euro and Schengen.
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RE: Britain And The EU - What Does The Future Hold?

Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:43 pm

In some ways, Merkel should be quite close to Cameron, though the UK centre right party differs in many ways from that of a very different nation like Germany, at heart they do occupy some of the same political ground.
Markel will likely do what she can, within reason, to help Cameron in the EU.
But here's the rub, that just inflames his now very large Euro-Phobe wing of his party, Cameron's speech is far more about trying to calm them down than the reality, the pragmatic arguments, about the UK and the EU.

Merkel however does have rather a lot on her plate, on the one hand if she and other EU leaders think the UK is the most problematic member of the organisation, that probably only lasts as long, seconds probably, until they remember the travails of some of the EU members in the South, Greece, Spain, Italy, Portugal.
Whenever Merkel comes to the UK, she won't be met with demonstrators depicting her as the Heir To Hitler, put it that way.

But these huge challenges cannot be too distracted by trying the impossible, by acceding to the time wasting demands of the Euro-phobe element in Cameron's party, besides, even if they do throw them a bone, they soon are back barking for a bigger one, as has happened before and so on until they make the UK's position in the EU untenable.
This is their tactic, this is where Cameron will have to, like it or not, draw a line at some point.
This is where he'll have to be a Statesman, but country above party - or just his job if it comes to it.

It might do that too, some of his Euro-phobes will happily destruct their own government in pursuit of their obsession, as they did with John Major who was in a much stronger position after the 1992 election than Cameron was after 2010.
Presumably, the most bloody minded ones are in safe Tory seats so less likely to be a direct victim of an election defeat, certainly many are the same old names, same old pinched, bitter faces, going back some 20-25 years.

Referendums are, in our system at least, cop outs for those who seek to be seen as major international statesmen but who cannot manage their own parties.
That was Wilson's problem in 1974/5 too.

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