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View Poll Results: What would you personally prefer to happen?
I want the UK to stay in an ever-closer union 49 23.11%
I want the UK to stay in a loosely connected EU 68 32.08%
I want the UK out because the EU is bad for the UK 22 10.38%
I want the UK out because the EU is a bad thing 23 10.85%
I want the UK out because this would be good for the rest of us 17 8.02%
I don't really care 33 15.57%
Voters: 212. You may not vote on this poll

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  #341  
Old 01.03.2016, 17:44
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

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I'm completely sick of the British press and how they misrepresent the facts time and time again for the sake of headlines.

I spent 8 years as a union rep in the UK, at the time when the European Working Time Directive was being introduced. We had to be intermediaries between the management who were belligerent but resigned to it, and an 800+ workforce who were choosing to believe the negative tabloid press over the actual directive.

Once we'd established the common ground between both parties, it was remarkably easy to 'sell' the terms of the directive to both. Management were better able to predict workforce availability to meet market / order demands, and the employees were able to manage their commitment to working overtime to meet those needs. It was a huge win / win.

The successful implementation of this directive, became a key point selling point for the company when submitting tenders. This snowballed into management asking the union to find the common ground on other EU employment initiatives, the union putting them to the workforce, etc...etc... But if you pay too much heed to the British media, it's a totally different story.
While I think the headline measures of the WTD are sensible. I'm still not clear why it was necessary for the EU to introduce this rather than leaving it in the hands of individual member states to decide what is appropriate?

Also the UK controversy was that because the WTD was on working conditions it would have been a matter that the UK had veto powers over. However, the tricky Eurocrats classified it as a health and safety measure which only required QMV - an early taste for the UK on how EU rules could be abused to take away sovereign powers that had not been voluntarily given away to Brussels.

I believe social/work conditions should be the prerogative of member nations. However, it is also sensible to have some cooperation and alignment on this. But any such agreement, IMO, should be a unanimous decision, not one forced on minority members via QMV.
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  #342  
Old 01.03.2016, 17:46
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

Where is the sheep?
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  #343  
Old 01.03.2016, 18:01
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

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While I think the headline measures of the WTD are sensible. I'm still not clear why it was necessary for the EU to introduce this rather than leaving it in the hands of individual member states to decide what is appropriate?
I can only speak from personal experience on this, but the UK wasn't addressing the issue. Management were using strong arm techniques and mild blackmail to get employees working overtime. Unions were going at management like a bull in a china shop, and nothing was being accomplished. I'm not a Labour voter, or a traditional trade unionist, but I really wanted to find a new way of doing things.

This directive was almost like an off the shelf remedy that worked both ways. I remember when we (the 10 union reps) were given our copies to take home and read. We all thought "That's the weekend gone!". I took it round to my brother, because he was the head of a legal team in the public sector and had already implemented the directive. He spent hours going over it all with me, high points and possible pitfalls, but all in all, it's an excellent piece of legislation.

A couple of years later, I did a training course with the (then) Department of Trade and Industry advisor to No.10. It was a mixed class of union and management from my company and spread over 6mths. One section of the course that both sides could agree on 100% was what EU Employment Law has done to improve our working lives and the future of the company as a whole.
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  #344  
Old 01.03.2016, 18:27
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

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I can only speak from personal experience on this, but the UK wasn't addressing the issue.
Then I would take issue with this. If the UK votes in a conservative government, then it is even more egregious for the EU to override the will of a member state expressed through national elections by imposing more socialist laws simply because other member states have more socialist governments/viewpoints.
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  #345  
Old 01.03.2016, 18:46
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

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Then I would take issue with this. If the UK votes in a conservative government, then it is even more egregious for the EU to override the will of a member state expressed through national elections by imposing more socialist laws simply because other member states have more socialist governments/viewpoints.
But if you remember, it wasn't the case at the time. This was early days of Blair's time in office, and in the manufacturing sector, there was a residing schism between management and unions and employees. The government were also doing a bit of a pick and mix on what they wanted to adopt.

This legislation allowed the unions to actively unite the management and employees in achieving common goals for the benefit of the company, management and employees alike. It gave a huge degree of clarity and went a hell of a long way to taking the antagonism out of negotiations. If you ever have time to read the key notes, or even a little more in depth, you'll see that it's based upon a common sense approach to working lives, particularly with regards for the demand for 24/7 production.
.

Last edited by Blueangel; 01.03.2016 at 18:51. Reason: Correction: It was under Major's time as PM.
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  #346  
Old 01.03.2016, 18:54
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

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But if you remember, it wasn't the case at the time. This was early days of Blair's time in office, and in the manufacturing sector, there was a residing schism between management and unions and employees. The government were also doing a bit of a pick and mix on what they wanted to adopt.

This legislation allowed the unions to actively unite the management and employees in achieving common goals for the benefit of the company, management and employees alike. It gave a huge degree of clarity and went a hell of a long way to taking the antagonism out of negotiations. If you ever have time to read the key notes, or even a little more in depth, you'll see that it's based upon a common sense approach to working lives, particularly with regards for the demand for 24/7 production.
.
Like I said, I have no qualms over the general WTD provisions themselves, I just don't see it as an area where EU should impose on sovereign powers - even if local government is being useless...

Last edited by Phil_MCR; 01.03.2016 at 19:13.
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  #347  
Old 01.03.2016, 19:02
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

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Like I said, I have no qualms over the general WTD provisions themselves, I just don't see it as an area where EU should override domestic law - even if local government is being useless...
You've got me thinking now.

Wonder if there are any particular areas of law where the UK hasn't bothered creating legislation because it was already covered under EU legislation? How long will it take to correct that along with the estimated 6yrs to negotiate all the treaties?
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  #348  
Old 01.03.2016, 19:04
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

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You've got me thinking now.

Wonder if there are any particular areas of law where the UK hasn't bothered creating legislation because it was already covered under EU legislation? How long will it take to correct that along with the estimated 6yrs to negotiate all the treaties?
If they are EU directives, then they will have been written into national law. Theoretically you could go back and repeal these laws.

EU regulations apply directly. You can find a summaries here:

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/browse/summaries.html
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  #349  
Old 01.03.2016, 19:23
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

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Like I said, I have no qualms over the general WTD provisions themselves, I just don't see it as an area where EU should impose on sovereign powers - even if local government is being useless...
What do you mean by the "EU".

EU laws have to approved by the Council of Europe where UK is represented. Most decisions have to be unanimous; for some topics a majority is sufficient.

It is difficult for the UK to say something is "imposed on sovereign powers" when they voted for it
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  #350  
Old 01.03.2016, 19:54
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

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What do you mean by the "EU".

EU laws have to approved by the Council of Europe where UK is represented. Most decisions have to be unanimous; for some topics a majority is sufficient.

It is difficult for the UK to say something is "imposed on sovereign powers" when they voted for it
Read my earlier post. Here, I quote part of it for you:

"Also the UK controversy was that because the WTD was on working conditions it would have been a matter that the UK had veto powers over. However, the tricky Eurocrats classified it as a health and safety measure which only required QMV - an early taste for the UK on how EU rules could be abused to take away sovereign powers that had not been voluntarily given away to Brussels."

I think a major concern the UK has with the EU would be resolved if the EU institutions to a conservative approach to the scope of its authority esp. when a member state disagrees that power over a certain area was handed over! But the EU courts have taken some interesting interpretations to widen their powers and scope.
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  #351  
Old 02.03.2016, 02:10
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

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Then I would take issue with this. If the UK votes in a conservative government, then it is even more egregious for the EU to override the will of a member state expressed through national elections by imposing more socialist laws simply because other member states have more socialist governments/viewpoints.
It is not about imposing socialist polices etc.. It is about trying to provide reasonably fair market place, preventing economic dumping and ensuring that people are not being exploited.
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  #352  
Old 02.03.2016, 02:20
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

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It is not about imposing socialist polices etc.. It is about trying to provide reasonably fair market place, preventing economic dumping and ensuring that people are not being exploited.
All may be laudable goals, but not those which would fall under the topic of 'safety'.

I guess it is a different topic, but some may be keen on the EU as a way to get socialist policies, I mean, fair non-exploitative deals for workers, through the backdoor via the EU even if it is at the expense of sovereignty.
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  #353  
Old 02.03.2016, 09:58
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

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All may be laudable goals, but not those which would fall under the topic of 'safety'.
Working conditions are most definitely Health and Safety issues.

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I guess it is a different topic, but some may be keen on the EU as a way to get socialist policies, I mean, fair non-exploitative deals for workers, through the backdoor via the EU even if it is at the expense of sovereignty.
Are you aware of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union? The part the UK opted out of. The other are already committed to social polices and objects for some time now. UK citizens seem to be unaware of the objectives of the club their government committed them to.
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  #354  
Old 02.03.2016, 10:07
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  #355  
Old 02.03.2016, 10:48
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

If this has been covered before, then apologies, I simply couldn't be bothered to wade through countless pages of posts.

Seems to me that the thought of this "one off" British direct democracy referendum is scarier to most than the outcome. Not being used to doing much else than wasting their votes with the terribly undemocratic "first past the post system", Joe Public is rather taken back by the thought his / her vote will be meaningfully counted and may actually mean something.

Spare a thought for those poor politicians whose powers are being usurped by the population and that they'll have to live with the wishes of the peasants.

If the UK had a democratic and well balanced electoral system that actually better represented the wider political spectrum, then this whole Brexit furore never would have happened. That the media is so involved, makes me wonder if anyone can really have an independent overview of the proceedings.
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  #356  
Old 02.03.2016, 13:41
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

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If the UK had a democratic and well balanced electoral system that actually better represented the wider political spectrum, than this whole Brexit furore never would have happened.
This is the one thing that is not coming out in the current debate - the reason the UK got into this situation in the first place. People keep claiming that they did not vote for the EU and how undemocratic it all is. But the fact is that they voted in PMs that have power to commit them to such agreements without consulting the electorate. And this referendum will not change that. There is in fact nothing stopping a PM from doing the same or something similar again!
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  #357  
Old 02.03.2016, 14:24
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

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This is the one thing that is not coming out in the current debate - the reason the UK got into this situation in the first place. People keep claiming that they did not vote for the EU and how undemocratic it all is. But the fact is that they voted in PMs that have power to commit them to such agreements without consulting the electorate. And this referendum will not change that. There is in fact nothing stopping a PM from doing the same or something similar again!
At the same time, if the UK had a more "normal" system of representation, would the main parties not be the same?
Would they not have applied to join the EU?
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  #358  
Old 02.03.2016, 19:08
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

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At the same time, if the UK had a more "normal" system of representation, would the main parties not be the same?
Would they not have applied to join the EU?
But that is the point in the UK the elected government has total control without any guidance from the public as to what they can and cannot do.

By contrast, if you look at Denmark or Ireland: their governments can negotiate treaty changes all they want but they have no power to commit the country, the people have reserved that right to themselves.
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  #359  
Old 02.03.2016, 21:33
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

A decent speech by David Davis, former Minister of State for Europe.

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  #360  
Old 02.03.2016, 21:39
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

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Not at all what Sbrinz said, is it? There is no reason why Europe could not work on the same model as the USA- as Sbrinz says.

Was listening to Swiss radio in the car yesterday - and they were joking about BREXIT and the UK always wanting to have their cake and eat it. One guy explained that this is the reason the USA flag as an extra spare *- so that when the UK leaves Europe, it can become part of the USA! I'd much rather be part of a united Europe, than a small and insignificant appendage to the USA, like a puppet on a string - especially if Drumpf becomes President.
So anti-Americanism drives your EU-centrism. Not really a positive argument for the EU.
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