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nick sussex

EU Referendum

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Now that the dust has settled on the GE I expect much of the debate that will keep the political section of NW ticking over will be in relation to the EU referendum.

 

This is obviously quite an emotive issue so I expect some interesting debate depending on which side of the argument you're on.

 

In terms of the polling in relation to this there is a clear correlation between the UK's economic performance and voting intention.

 

Polling by YouGov since the start of 2015 shows an average  44 to stay in versus 35 to leave.

 

As the economy has moved out of the recession this has come in conjunction with a consistent lead in those voting to stay in. This lead increases greatly when respondents are given the added caveat below:

 

Imagine the British government under David Cameron renegotiated our relationship with Europe and said that Britain's interests were now protected, and David Cameron recommended that Britain remain a member of the European Union on the new terms.

 

In this case the average is 56 to stay in and 22 to leave.

 

Of course we don't know yet the outcome of the negotiations so even though I'm a Europhile the above might be over inflating the lead somewhat.

 

I think the current perceived wisdom is that voters in the UK will vote to stay in and regardless of the emotiveness of the debate on the EU the status quo option is likely to be the decisive factor. Fear of change especially when its perceived by an individual as effecting ones own personal situation does tend to move DK's into the safer perceived option.

 

For the out vote to gain any momentum it needs to connect in with the " identity" question. Be it by a perceived eroding of the British way of life through immigration, that this is fundamentally changing British values or that Brits feel like a foreigner in their own country.

 

Its hard to see any other scenario where leaving could win. Essentially the question is will Brits vote with their head or their heart.

 

This isn't to dismiss the possibility that the economy may well be fine if the UK leaves the EU, but for voters its impossible to roadtest this option. Essentially they'd need a huge leap of faith to make this choice.

 

And for that reason " fear of change" is likely to be the decisive factor especially if the economy continues to improve.

Edited by nick sussex
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I think the EU should say 'No pre-referendum negotiation; Britain should first vote to stay in our family of nations, then discussions can follow on where powers lie'.

 

I understand this to be David Cameron's stance when it comes to referenda on remaining in unions of countries.

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It's never been very clear what David Cameron is seeking from said negotiations. A potential problem I foresee is if the UK government manages to negotiate away UK citizens rights to freedom of movement, which is probably the change that would get some of the more excitable sections of the printed press to back the Government. However, such a scenario would mean corporations would still get some of the benefits of a trading block, but the citizens would loose theirs.

 

I imagine if freedom of movement is restricted, you may well actually find a section of pro EU voters deciding to vote out. Should there be a two question ballot asking a direct in/out question and a second whether to vote for the status quo or the new settlement. What if the UK Govt doesn't get anywhere, is the UK government then recommending people vote out?

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It's never been very clear what David Cameron is seeking from said negotiations. A potential problem I foresee is if the UK government manages to negotiate away UK citizens rights to freedom of movement, which is probably the change that would get some of the more excitable sections of the printed press to back the Government. However, such a scenario would mean corporations would still get some of the benefits of a trading block, but the citizens would loose theirs.

 

I imagine if freedom of movement is restricted, you may well actually find a section of pro EU voters deciding to vote out. Should there be a two question ballot asking a direct in/out question and a second whether to vote for the status quo or the new settlement. What if the UK Govt doesn't get anywhere, is the UK government then recommending people vote out?

I don't think theres any chance of freedom of movement changes being accepted by the EU. In terms of benefit restrictions that could be done whereby Brits abroad are subject to the same restrictions as apply to those moving to the UK.

 

Its unlikely the EU could implement a one size fits all benefits restriction. I think the EU will do what it can to help the UK as a UK exit will have at least a short term economic impact on the EU. I do think that DC will succeed to a point but won't get what his Eurosceptic wing would like to see.

 

The issue I have with this is whether Brits abroad will be told exactly what would happen if the UK voted out, I think its unreasonable for me to have no vote if there are negative repercussions.

 

The EU needs to clarify this before the vote, you would think the logical thing would be that any changes only effect those moving after the vote not before.

 

Theres a clear difference between the Scottish referendum and this one, Scots living in the rest of the UK would not be negatively effected if Scotland became independent, their EU rights would have remained, it wouldn't have effected their work status etc.

Edited by nick sussex

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I want full, accurate details of what Britain's economy will look like in 50 years if we leave the EU vs if we stay in.

 

Why can't Cameron provide clarity here? It's like he's making it up as he goes along.

 

#whatgoesaroundcomesaround

Edited by scottish skier
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On a serious note, a 'leave the EU vote' would likely end the UK. Scotland independence a high probability and a serious problem with NI. UK could essentially be ending an international peace treaty (Good Friday Agreement) and in effect removing its support for an end to the troubles / saying it no longer supported disbandment of the IRA and British Loyalist terrorists groups.

 

Real back of fag packet policy from Dave et al. Haven't thought anything through at all.

 

http://www.centreonconstitutionalchange.ac.uk/blog/british-withdrawal-eu-existential-threat-united-kingdom

 

British withdrawal from the EU: an existential threat to the United Kingdom?
 
...It is with the devolution settlement itself that an EU exit would wreak the most havoc, risking a constitutional crisis. Both the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and EU law are incorporated directly into the devolution statutes in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. For example, section 29(2)(d) of the Scotland Act 1998 (SA), provides that Acts of the Scottish Parliament that are incompatible with EU law or with ECHR rights are ‘not law’. Section 108(6) Government of Wales Act 2006 states that any act of the Welsh Assembly incompatible with EU law or the ECHR, falls outside its competence. Section 24 of the Northern Ireland Act prohibits any legislation contrary to EU or ECHR law.
 
Therefore, although the Westminster Parliament may repeal the Human Rights Act 1998 or the European Communities Act (ECA) 1972, this would not bring an end to the domestic incorporation of the ECHR or EU law in devolved nations. It would still be necessary to amend the relevant parts of devolution legislation. But this would be no simple matter and could lead to a constitutional crisis. Although the UK Parliament may amend the devolution Acts, the UK government has stated that it will not normally legislate on a devolved matter without the consent of the devolved legislature. This requires a Legislative Consent Motion under the Sewel Convention. However, the devolved legislatures might be reluctant to grant assent, especially as one feature of the ‘Vow’ made to the Scottish electorate was a commitment to entrench the Scottish Parliament’s powers, thus giving legal force to the Sewel Convention. So the need to amend devolution legislation renders a UK EU exit constitutionally highly problematic...
 
....The Belfast or ‘Good Friday’ Agreement of 1998, an international treaty signed by the UK and Republic of Ireland, enshrined North-South and East-West co-operation, effected constitutional changes and established cross-border bodies. It includes many provisions concerning EU and ECHR law, and the status of the UK and Ireland as EU member states is woven throughout the Agreement. Indeed, the section entitled ‘Agreement between the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Government of Ireland’ speaks of ‘close co-operation between (the) countries as friendly neighbours and as partners in the European Union’. The Good Friday Agreement required the British government to incorporate the ECHR into Northern Ireland law. Any amendment through changes to either the Human Rights or Northern Ireland Acts which did not meet the human rights commitments in the agreement would be incompatible with this international treaty. The peace process in Northern Ireland is unfortunately not irreversible, but it has been unforgivably ignored in UK discussion on whether to withdraw from the EU. It is also likely to be ignored in Brussels, where there is some impatience with British demands in any case....

 

Edited by scottish skier

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Although my feeling is that we should stay in, come the referendum, I will give my mind a clean slate and listen to detailed arguments and forecasts from both sides and then make my decision accordingly.

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Yes SS well I think its a 100% certain that if the UK left the EU Scotland would become independent in the interim period between the vote out and the official exit.

 

I think its obvious that DC would rather have not made this referendum pledge, it was a panicky step and now he's relying on the British public to vote to stay in.

 

My only concern re a referendum is voter apathy and a low turnout with those determined to leave being much more likely to get to the ballot box.

 

If the turnout is decent then I would be confident that the UK will stay in the EU. As I've said before a benefit of rampant capitalism is that people will vote with their wallets!

 

I should add re the head/heart side of the debate I'd vote to stay in even if my taxes went up. Fundamentally for me the EU is a heart issue and nothing about money. I'm not sure how many Brits fall into that category, I suspect more Brits are probably pragmatic and will vote for what they think will protect their lifestyle and job security.

 

I think for the majority it will come down to a head thing.

Edited by nick sussex

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I've got a load of Yes to independence stickers, posters, badges etc going cheap if any eurosceptics are interested.

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I've got a load of Yes to independence stickers, posters, badges etc going cheap if any eurosceptics are interested.

Great stuff SS, That really made me laugh.

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Assuming the question was worded along the lines of "Should the UK remain a member of the EU?", could we, ironically, see activists being bussed south from Scotland to campaign for a "No" vote in England?

 

(The above is based on the assumption that Scotland will vote to stay in, and by encouraging England to vote to leave the EU it forces another Indy Ref)

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I also expect the EU and UK press to publish the dire and catestrophic warnings about the dangers of leaving and how the UK is not strong enough nor capable enought to stand on its own two feet.

 

I all seriousness, there is no way the UK will vote to leave, but time will tell.

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If we could get a free trade deal with the EU then I would happily vote to leave the EU. I do worry that any EU  exit without a free trade deal in place might effect trade and jobs in a negative way and nobody wants that to happen.

 

Could we get a free trade deal? well I'm not so sure because if Britain was offered a free trade deal without all the other nonsense that you must sign upto to be part of the EU, it would open up the way for other countries to want there own deals too ( believe or not we are certainly not the only country that wants to re-negotiate there part in the EU) and if this were to happen I  think it would be the start of the break up of the EU. I have no doubt that the top brass in Brussels are aware of potential consequences of any news deals for individual countries!, but then again can the EU really afford to lose the UK?. 

I do not know the answer, it is a very complicated, delicate situation to be in, but certainly a very interesting one.

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Some of the 'baggage' that comes with the EU gets to me at times.

Examples are the overpaid Eurocrats, some undemocratic decisions that are made, the one-size-fits-all Euro (which just doesnt work without full fiscal equality across Euro nations), but......

I'd probably vote to stay in, as i think the 'unknown' aspect of leaving is a major decision factor.

I'd would also say that i've heard the argument about 'getting better terms for the UK by debating within as a fully paid-up member' for donkey's years now, and it usually seems we still get a rough deal as the Germans and French gang up, anytime our government challenges.

Maybe i'll vote to leave then......oh, i don't know.

Hopefully the UK govt can sort it out once and for all within next 18 months, otherwise there's a danger it will keep rearing its ugly head and prohibit effective govt, especially as the Tories will be governing with a wafer-thin majority.

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I think this is a decision I will have to stay out of, to really make the right choice for the country as a whole, people have to have the full information. Although I'm sure there will be plenty in the media, it won't cover everything needed to make the right decision. People need to do their own extended research into everything, and I do not think most will bother. The whole European Union needs restructuring in my opinion as for some countries, not just ours, it is not working as intended. Also I may be clouded by a dislike to our government, which is definitely not the right place to make such important decisions from. Unfortunately many may do just that.

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Surely the EU Government need to give permission for the the UK to hold a referendum on independence?

 

I believe that's Cameron's position on such things.

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In my life time there have been considerable change to life in this country, especially since we were at war with Germany at the time of my birth. We ruled probably what was the largest empire the world has ever known but by that time it was already on its last knockings - we had become so impoverished by the war that we could no longer afford to administer it, so over the next 20 years or so it disappeared to be replaced by the British Commonwealth.

 

Then in the 50's and 60's massive immigration from the Commonwealth began - the welfare state was firmly established but we could still call a digging utensil a digging utensil but the idea of political correctness grew and spread and everybody had to mind their P's and Q's, or otherwise risk getting sacked from work, or in extreme events risk being charged with a criminal offence. 

 

By this time the original Coal and Steel agreement formed between Germany and France had formed into the EC - believe we had the opportunity of joining at its inception but we declined, making an attempt at a later stage only to be rebuffed by De Gaulle.

 

We were able to join at a later stage with Ireland and some others - the effect of this, especially being a net receiver was to kick start the Irish economy but over the years our standards of living did improve to an extent which I would have thought impossible when I was young and this is now accepted as the status quo.

 

The fall of the Soviet Bloc meant that many east Europeans took the opportunity of joining also, so the EEC was enlarged and became the EU.

 

During the time of their membership the economies of these varying nations have converged to an extent and I see this as a process which will continue, especially as the different states become politically entwined which I am sure will happen, so the current criticism of 'one size fits all' will become less relevant with the passage of time. 

 

In the past few years the EU and the Euro have been going through something of a crisis economically but currently there are signs that we are over the worst of it and there is room for hope.

 

But the EU has given us a protective umbrella over these last few decades and various regions of our country have received re-development grants from the EU where traditional industries have gone t*ts up.

 

There has been criticism that the peoples of the individual states will have their individuality and traditions buried by the EU, but from what I see this simply isn't true - after all after a few centuries of rule from Westminster the Scots are still Scots as is quite obvious these days, the Welsh are still Welsh and the Northern Irish still Northern Irish (with some preferring Irish) but they are all proud of their different origins. So as it is with the UK, a microcosm of the EU, so it is with the remainder of the EU. 

 

We are part of an enlarged population of some 550 million people and as such companies from elsewhere in the world are anxious to get involved in our markets - by being a member of this 'club' the UK is attractive to overseas investors to set up shop here and gain access to EU Markets, not only that we have the advantage of speaking what is the lingua franca of the world, English together with a skilled work force.

 

Criticism is given to the number of regulations and laws coming out of Brussels but in the first place these come about as a result of suggestions from the various national parliaments and I the second they are brought about in order to develop conformity, especially where traded goods are concerned - even if we left we would still have to conform to these if we wished to continue to trade with the EU, though we would cease to have any part in their formulation.

 

As far as domestic matters are concerned and in this I am thinking of welfare payments to immigrants and others it appears that each member state is at liberty to devise their own rules. It would be fair to say that we have been over generous in this respect and this has attracted many people to our shores.

 

As far as crime is concerned, this is international anyway and will remain so even on our leaving and to combat this we really need to have a good working relationship with the other law enforcement agencies and the justice departments of the other member states. The European arrest warrant works both ways - just as some Brits who fall foul of the law in other parts of Europe can be extradited to face justice, so can the others who come to the UK also be brought back here to face justice. It will eventually mean that people who commit traffic offences anyway within the EU will not find their sins forgiven simply because they live in a different members state. Again it works both ways.

 

As does freedom of movement to work or live but I do not believe that this freedom of movement necessarily gives people the right to unfairly claim off the benefit systems of others and I believe this is a question which is under discussion at the moment with the likely outcome that such claims would be curtailed throughout all the member states. 

 

Then we have to consider economies of scale which is possible on a continental footing but can often be beyond the wherewithal for smaller countries when taking R & D into account. 

 

There are still things wrong with the EU at the moment especially as far as CAP and fishing policy is concerned and we need much more encouragment for entrepreneurs with the reduction of red tape where possible but by the UK only being a somewhat lukewarm member at the moment our influence is diminished. It is only by becoming a fully committed member that we can gain more influence and with others put right those parts we perceive to be wrong but with the right approach and attitude we are fully capable of doing this and where France and Germany are currently the chief honchos, our inclusion with these two will make a more healthy balance.

 

Otherwise what is the alternative, especially if Scotland devolves from the UK and there may even be other changes leaving us just with England which will become a minor nation off the coast of Europe - a quaint place for the Americans to visit but otherwise with diminishing influence and economic clout, hardly able to defend ourselves should another war eventually materialise, or perhaps we will have to become an additional state to the US - God forbid.

Edited by mike Meehan
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Some interesting posts so far.

 

IMO there is I think a misconception re the EU and whether its a force for good or bad. If you look at a lot of the legislation passed its often consumer friendly aswell as trying to protect workers rights. The level playing field is as much to protect UK businesses from unfair competition and to protect employees from being taken advantage of.

 

It could be said however that its approach has been too rigid and hasn't taken into account the specific needs of each nation within the EU.

 

Its a complex area and difficult to allow too many opt outs because then it becomes a rather cherry picking exercise. I think Brits might be looking for a perfect system and perhaps expectations have been too high which means its impossible to meet these.

 

I think its down to whether you accept the rough with the smooth and make a judgement  as to whether the pros outweigh the cons.

 

I would advise people to really look into some of the really positive things the EU has done in terms of equality, workers rights, the environment etc and have an open mind , compare that with some of the crazier legislation. Of course the biggest mistake ever was the Euro and I don't think you'll find even Europhiles defending that.

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Irrespective of what the media will say, or whatever scaremongering comes courtesy of politicians, I'll be voting to stay in the EU. I just hope that all those 'lazy Labour voters' who failed to vote last week turn out this time...

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EU pushes for the creation of an EU army to help make his Brussels 1% even more wealthy.

The british army cutbacks will eventually be taken over by an EU army who won`t care about us brits if we join.

http://redpilltimes.com/eu-ruling-oligarch-junker-pushes-for-the-creation-of-an-eu-army-to-help-make-his-brussels-1-even-more-wealthy/

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EU pushes for the creation of an EU army to help make his Brussels 1% even more wealthy.

The british army cutbacks will eventually be taken over by an EU army who won`t care about us brits if we join.

http://redpilltimes.com/eu-ruling-oligarch-junker-pushes-for-the-creation-of-an-eu-army-to-help-make-his-brussels-1-even-more-wealthy/

 

That website also has a story saying how mobiles cause brain cancer. I can't really take it seriously.

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That website also has a story saying how mobiles cause brain cancer. I can't really take it seriously.

Good point ....Snowy has a few "alternative" media sources apart from this one ....RT being top of the list

Edited by Kiwi
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I agree we need a proper referendum, its way overdue and I thank Nigel Farage for making it possible. I agree it has to be a fully informed debate, but am concerned that it will not be balanced one. I worry it will simply consist of we are better off in the EU or scary monsters will get you in the night, which is what we have basically had so far.

 

Even as a UKIP member if the terms of staying in the EU or being a part member were good, I would be happy to consider that, but so far I am simply told, 1 foot in whole self in, end of! That isn't good enough for me.

 

I have mentioned it before, there is a wider world out there than the EU, but at the moment it is extremely difficult if not impossible for us with small businesses in the UK to trade with India so argument sake.     

Edited by HighPressure
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I'll be voting to leave the EU, I don't buy the theory that we're doomed if we leave as we'll do just fine trading without any embargoes imposed and in an age of globalisation there's nothing to fear but fear itself.

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