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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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  #21  
Old 05.02.2016, 12:28
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

Britain must remain within the EU, to leave it is a fantasy put about by irresponsible people. Nearly half the trade is with the EU, so how would the UK compete in a world against China?
****************
Of Britain’s 4,100 businesses with more than 250 employees, 41% export and 52.5% trade. These firms alone likely account for at least 20% of UK employees.

44.6% of Britain’s exports in 2014 were destined for the European Union and 7 of the UK’s top 10 export markets are in the European Union. Because of transportation costs, the large size of the EU, and our similar economic structure and level of development, it is likely that there will always be a propensity to sell heavy or perishable goods to our
neighbours.
53.2% of Britain’s imports come from the European Union, and 7 of the UK’s top 10 import sources are EU nations. Tariff-free trade with the EU reduces
costs and increases choice, which benefits UK consumers and businesses.

Source, Confederation of British Industry CBI,
http://news.cbi.org.uk/news/?tagThem...and%20the%20EU
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  #22  
Old 05.02.2016, 12:31
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

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Britain must remain within the EU, to leave it is a fantasy put about by irresponsible people. Nearly half the trade is with the EU, so how would the UK compete in a world against China?
****************
Of Britain’s 4,100 businesses with more than 250 employees, 41% export and 52.5% trade. These firms alone likely account for at least 20% of UK employees.

44.6% of Britain’s exports in 2014 were destined for the European Union and 7 of the UK’s top 10 export markets are in the European Union. Because of transportation costs, the large size of the EU, and our similar economic structure and level of development, it is likely that there will always be a propensity to sell heavy or perishable goods to our
neighbours.
53.2% of Britain’s imports come from the European Union, and 7 of the UK’s top 10 import sources are EU nations. Tariff-free trade with the EU reduces
costs and increases choice, which benefits UK consumers and businesses.

Source, Confederation of British Industry CBI,
http://news.cbi.org.uk/news/?tagThem...and%20the%20EU
Just because the UK won't be in the EU, it doesnt mean to stay it would stop trading with it altogether. What it does mean is that the UK would be free to open trade agreements with other markets on its own, without EU interference.
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  #23  
Old 05.02.2016, 12:32
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

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My main gripe is that the EU leaders are not elected, but are appointed by the EU governments. This often results in a poor choice. The UK sent the communist ex coal mining union leader, Kinnock, to Brussels to become the EU transport minister. For the UK he was out of harm's way, but was this the best choice?
Kinnock wasn't the NUM leader. That was Scargill.

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Which is why Greece is in such deep s..t. You don't need a Nobel in Economics to see that.
But perhaps you need a cousin whose an interpreter at high level International business meetings in Greece. Greece will work it's way out of the 'crisis'. I have little doubt of that.

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Reasons to stay:
  • Peace in Europe
Reasons to leave:
  • Likely accession of Turkey
  • Cost of membership
  • Europe wide migration disaster
  • EU economic time bomb
Peace in Europe is my No.1 reason to stay, and it will always be so.

Turkey will not be granted full membership until Erdogan is long gone.

Cost of membership is a valid point.

The migration is the result of a disaster and should not be seen as a disaster itself. It's the issue that sorely needs a E.U. solution.

I wonder if the EU economic timebomb has any grounds in fact and not supposition.


I want the U.K.'s relationship with the E.U. to stay exactly as it currently is. The best thing we did is stay out of the Monetary Union, but we've reaped the benefits of the rest of the deal in personal and business terms.

I was in Athens in December 2014 for the first round of the Greek Presidential vote and sat through the results with my OH's mum whilst she told me about Tsipras and how he is a good man.

At 86yrs old, she's lived through Nazi occupatipon and fascist dictatorships. Her second husband (my OH's father) was held at Makronisos concentration camp for four years for being a member of Epon - the Greek communist party who were in the Greek resistance. They met and married after emigrating to South Africa.

My OH was raised to believe that you fight the things you disagree with from the inside out, apartheid and facism being prime examples. It's damned useless being ostracised from an institution and trying to change or fight from a distance.

I was back in Greece for my OH's mother's birthday on July 5th 2015, which some of you may remember was also the day of the Greek bailout referendum and in the middle of the financial freeze. We stayed on Aegina for a week before moving on to Athens on the 3rd, then later to Chania for a week. We talked to a hell of a lot of people over that period, literally hundreds, and only met one family who were planning to vote 'Nai' and not one single person who wanted out of Europe! We were even interviewed on the matter by a Norwegian newspaper.

So what is the point of my prattle.....? Simply this.

We have very few people left amongst who lucidly remember what life was like in WWII. My mother outlaw is a fierce woman with a heart of gold one moment and steel the next. She would scare the poop out of anyone when she's angry, but I saw her cry like a baby at the thought of Greece being forced, or choosing to leave the EU. OH's nephew is in the Greek Navy and was vehement in his arguement that it's his parents' generation that got Greece into this mess, and it's his generation's responsibility to repay the debt to the E.U., but under no circumstances should Greece leave the E.U.

You can all make whatever points you like, but the fact that we have maintained peace between our nations for 71 years means more than any of that.

I'm proud to be British, but I'm even prouder to be European!
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  #24  
Old 05.02.2016, 12:37
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

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Peace in Europe is my No.1 reason to stay, and it will always be so.
Ensuring peace in Europe may be the #1 reason to dismantle the EU. Well, maybe #2.

http://www.conservativehome.com/thec...ut-the-eu.html
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  #25  
Old 05.02.2016, 12:39
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

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Is cheap Eastern European labour a bad thing for the UK (not the British people)?
Let's ask a banker.
Its good for the economy along with falling prices in general. What's not to like ?
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  #26  
Old 05.02.2016, 12:41
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

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Peace in Europe is my No.1 reason to stay, and it will always be so.
With what's going on at the moment there's a chance peace may not be ensured within Europe. Whilst the last World War was fought across borders, the next one may well be fought within them.
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  #27  
Old 05.02.2016, 12:50
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

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With what's going on at the moment there's a chance peace may not be ensured within Europe. Whilst the last World War was fought across borders, the next one may well be fought within them.
In the immediate post war period the predecessor organisations of the EU definitely did contribute to peace. Getting deGaulle and Adenauer to be chums and work together rather than allowing their countries to slip back into their old patterns was a great achievement. People like Robert Schuhmann and Otto von Habsburg also made huge contributions to securing peace between nations. Today we may take this for granted but the world was a fundamentally different place then.

But what is a Juncker compared to an Otto von Habsburg? What is a Merkel compared to an Adenauer? The sons have taken the acheivements of their fathers for granted and are letting the power get to their heads rather than using it wisely. This is undermining the very concepts the European Ideal was about.

There is a time and a place for everything and the EU had its place and time but for the future we need to be asking some fundamental questions. I do believe in European countries working together on an institutionalized level for the common good. But I don't think the EU in its present state is the vehicle for that any more.
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  #28  
Old 05.02.2016, 13:00
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

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Hmm, but with the billions the EU has put into Greece, will the countries that contributed the billions ultimately see every penny back plus more?
At this stage no one expects they will get that money back, at the moment is get the Greek economy on a footing so that it can move forward. Once that happens you can expect to see the majority of that debt will be written off.
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  #29  
Old 05.02.2016, 13:02
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

My problem is the motivation of various EU members to be in the EU.

1. France, Germany and the BeNeLux started the whole show and yes, genuinely want a closer bond. Not just for trade, but in every aspect.

2. Most Eastern European countries joined for two reason: to make sure they are out of reach for the Russians and for VERY generous benefits for agriculture. The benefits were designed at a time where the member states like France or Germany have 2-3 percent of their GDP coming from agriculture... but countries like Bulgaria have farming sectors that are 3-4 times as important to the country as in the west...

3. Some countries like the UK, but also Poland or Austria joined while clearly not liking the idea of an unified Europe. After joining, they immediately started slowing down any reforms or improvements to the EU.

Long story short: The EU in its current form does not work. It has rules that worked for a small number of countries that in principle agree on one direction, but stuff like veto rights and mandatory unanimous votes won't work in a diverse group of over 20 member states. Unfortunately do those countries that don't like the EU too much do everything in their power to keep it in this useless status-quo. Not since yesterday, but for over two decades by now. I visited Brussels as a teenager with my school somewhen in the 90s and well, even then did the Dutch MEP we met show his frustration about the situation and explained the concept of the "Europe with several speeds" to us. It made perfect sense: An opt-in system with large building blocks. Every state can join as much or as little as they want. Want free movement and free trade, but no Euro? No problem. Want a tighter integration with your neighbours? No problem as well.

Back then just as much as today is the UK a cornerstone of the problems of the EU, not the solution: The UK is making decades long dramas weather or not it should be in... and at the same time rejects any proposal for change in the fear of either having to pay something or being left out. You want in? Great. You want out? That's a pity but at least stop holding the others back.
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  #30  
Old 05.02.2016, 13:12
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

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3. Some countries like the UK, but also Poland or Austria joined while clearly not liking the idea of an unified Europe. After joining, they immediately started slowing down any reforms or improvements to the EU.
I disagree with this. I think Ted Heath was just as much for Europe as say, Willy Brandt. There may have been some individuals even then who spoke against Europe but Euroscepticism in the UK didn't really turn into a bigger thing until under Thatcher. Initially the anger was really just because "we are paying too much". The other stuff developed gradually. Actually I remember at the time we had a German family visiting us and they were saying, in Germany people largely think the same as in Britain but the German government is too shit scared to talk about it. They said that Germany needed a Maggie Thatcher too. I was a kid at the time so maybe I missed some nuances, but this was definitely the tone of the conversation. And they were not some right wing conspiracy yahoos but he was a university professor and she was a dentist. This was in the mid 1980s. I guess when the really crazy stuff started that they changed their minds. But that's a different story.
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  #31  
Old 05.02.2016, 13:21
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

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My problem is the motivation of various EU members to be in the EU.
....
Long story short: The EU in its current form does not work.

It seems to miss historical perspective. It was meant for peace between Germany and France, but the UK won, Switzerland was neutral, and some of the others were innocent bystanders. But now to try put everyone under the auspices of Germany and France, it kind of..... doesn't make sense. I think there is some subconscious issue with this setup that regurgitates itself in "sentiments".
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  #32  
Old 05.02.2016, 13:29
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

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It seems to miss historical perspective. It was meant for peace between Germany and France, but the UK won, Switzerland was neutral, and some of the others were innocent bystanders. But now to try put everyone under the auspices of Germany and France, it kind of..... doesn't make sense. I think there is some subconscious issue with this setup that regurgitates itself in "sentiments".
Nobody forced anyone to join the EU. Countries were so much in favour of getting their share of the billions for their farmers they lied as hard as they needed to in order to get their EU ticket.

The problem is that it went both ways: countries like Poland are clearly not ready to be part of a strong EU. At the same time was and still is the EU not ready to have member states with completely different agendas like Hungary or Poland. Yes, the EU should have first fixed their system and then expanded. I already learned this in school and I am not too young anymore. But that's not an excuse to not fix the situation for decades on end. As much as I'd hate the UK to leave... I'd prefer a stronger EU without the UK over a rubbish EU with. Overall am I still for the Thatcher era concept of a layered EU, but that's not an option in the poll above.
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  #33  
Old 05.02.2016, 13:43
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

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None of the above require the EU so, there are really no reasons to stay.
CH was suspended from Eurasmus for much less.. If we want European research funding and movement of academics and students, then that has to go with free movement of people, as shown a couple of years ago.
We can not have our cake and eat it.
The Netherlands are going to really cash in if we leave the EU, so many multinationals have distribution headquarters here for access to Europe, US, and Africa, they are also buying up office space in Holland because if the UK leave the EU they want their Western distribution centers in the EU. No company is going to think that it's good economics to have two distribution centers... right next door to each other. We will really lose out on a lot of trade, because much of our US and Africa trade centers will go together with the EU.
Plus, I am a foreigner taking advantage of the free movement of people in the EU and CH, the UK would be a 3rd country if it left the EU and I'm not the kind of person that relishes closing the door behind me on other peoples faces.
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  #34  
Old 05.02.2016, 13:52
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

Is cash flow really everything? A mentor told me early on that wealth is not how much money you make, but what you own and keep. If the UK were to lose cash flow in one place, they could gain it in another. I'm sure the UK can generate wealth outside of the EU.
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  #35  
Old 05.02.2016, 14:37
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

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Is cash flow really everything? A mentor told me early on that wealth is not how much money you make, but what you own and keep. If the UK were to lose cash flow in one place, they could gain it in another. I'm sure the UK can generate wealth outside of the EU.
Another obvious argument that conveniently doesn't address the real question:

Of course any country can generate wealth in many ways, inside and outside trade agreements and unions.

The matter is what is the state that would allow it to generate the maximum amount of wealth.
This it the discussion.


Of course the UK will not go belly up if it leaves, it's not the end of the world. But the dilemma exists because people are looking for the optimal situation, not one that will just "make do".
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  #36  
Old 05.02.2016, 14:46
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

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CH was suspended from Eurasmus for much less.. If we want European research funding and movement of academics and students, then that has to go with free movement of people, as shown a couple of years ago.
That's just a political manoeuvre. It is quite possible to create an Erasmus-like structure which doesn't require commitments beyond those necessary to achieve its aims.
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Old 05.02.2016, 15:17
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

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Is cash flow really everything? A mentor told me early on that wealth is not how much money you make, but what you own and keep. If the UK were to lose cash flow in one place, they could gain it in another. I'm sure the UK can generate wealth outside of the EU.
What about the hundreds of thousands of Brits currently working within the EU who will be forced to return to the UK?

What about the many Brits who've retired to countries within the EU who will also be forced to return?

My old college friend runs an ex pat site in Spain, and it would be devastating to thousands upon thousands of people there.
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Old 05.02.2016, 15:18
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

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The matter is what is the state that would allow it to generate the maximum amount of wealth.
This it the discussion.
Is it really necessary to always and at all cost generate the maximum amount of wealth?

Is this really the goal of society? If so, why?

Or is it good enough to generate sufficient wealth so that "life, liberty and the purusit of happiness" become viable?

And should not each and every nation be allowed to decide what their objective is?
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Old 05.02.2016, 15:21
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

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What about the hundreds of thousands of Brits currently working within the EU who will be forced to return to the UK?

What about the many Brits who've retired to countries within the EU who will also be forced to return?

My old college friend runs an ex pat site in Spain, and it would be devastating to thousands upon thousands of people there.
There were man expats in Spain long before Spain joined the EU. I have relatives who moved there in the 1960s even.

There are also many British expats in non EU countries. I know plenty in the USA for example.
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Old 05.02.2016, 15:24
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

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The Netherlands are going to really cash in if we leave the EU, so many multinationals have distribution headquarters here for access to Europe, US, and Africa, they are also buying up office space in Holland because if the UK leave the EU they want their Western distribution centers in the EU. No company is going to think that it's good economics to have two distribution centers... right next door to each other. We will really lose out on a lot of trade, because much of our US and Africa trade centers will go together with the EU.
Why aren't these companies already there if its so great? Wouldn't it be better to have those distribution centres on the continent already? I also don't believe that businesses are buying up office space in the Netherlands as some sort of insurance policy. Way too expensive and early to see what will happen following a leave vote. The most likely outcome following leave is a reversion to EEA/EFTA, which keeps all the good stuff and gets rid of the odious undemocratic aspects:
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