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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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  #141  
Old 16.02.2016, 17:44
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

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When you look at history and the frequency of wars in Europe, I think the forerunners of the EU must get all the credit for keeping the peace.
Or maybe nuclear weapons.
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  #142  
Old 16.02.2016, 18:00
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

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Or maybe nuclear weapons.
I think we lost the appetite for war. Hiroshima and the Holocaust were a huge wake up call.
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  #143  
Old 17.02.2016, 18:02
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

Interesting Dutch perspective on The EU, The Brexit and All That.

This doesn't 100% match my own perspective of what's going on in The Netherlands, but it makes some interesting points.

http://carnegieeurope.eu/publications/?fa=51637#
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  #144  
Old 17.02.2016, 23:53
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

Sorry this is a long post, but a few thoughts.....

I'm old enough to have voted in the original "Common Market" referendum in 1975. The package we were sold back then was essentially that joining the Common Market (as it was actually called) was all about 2 things:

1. Free movement of people. Very few ordinary people worked outside the UK in those days so the idea seemed a bit remote, but we wouldn't need work permits if that chance ever arose. And no visas or much paperwork for holidays (though to be fair I can't recall if and when we ever needed a visa to travel around western Europe on holiday).

2. Free trade. No variable taxes or import/export duties. Sounded like a good thing.

And that was pretty much it.

Remember in those days, before we joined there were only 6 countries in it -- France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Netherlands, Lux. Apart from the latter, these mostly felt like roughly similar countries to ourselves in terms of economic standing, salaries, influence, history, size/population density, education and so on.

Moreover, there was no EU parliament and no euro courts to overrule UK judges. It felt like a cosy club that all members benefitted from.

Things have changed a lot. We now have 28 (I think) members of hugely varied size, economic strength, political history, salaries and so on. It's become rather chaotic.

I'm in two minds over the referendum. It has to be right that we should be able to revisit the issue of membership after 40 years, and there is much about the EU's processes that is wrong, undemocratic and inept.

It's incredible that Merkel, a politician I previously admired, could just stand up and invite the population of Syria to Europe without even chatting about it with her own party, never mind the German government, never mind the EU at large.

It's even more incredible that once the massive migration began (about 1.5 million since last summer and still going strong), our EU leaders have been like rabbits caught in the headlights. We employ them to manage the interests of the EU, yet they appear paralysed by indecision and by the fear of being branded racist and xenophobic if they try to suggest a policy of managed immigration.

All of that makes me want to leave. AND YET.... there is an apprehension about leaving for the simple reason that no one can tell us (because no one has worked it out) what exactly will happen if the UK leaves. Unlike most decisions in life, where you can make a list of pros and cons and make a balanced decision, I see no such lists available here.

So it all comes down to how much risk I feel able to handle, and that's something I've not reached a conclusion on though my instincts push me slightly closer to the LEAVE side.
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  #145  
Old 18.02.2016, 00:55
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

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Sorry this is a long post, but a few thoughts.....

I'm old enough to have voted in the original "Common Market" referendum in 1975. The package we were sold back then was essentially that joining the Common Market (as it was actually called) was all about 2 things:

1. Free movement of people. Very few ordinary people worked outside the UK in those days so the idea seemed a bit remote, but we wouldn't need work permits if that chance ever arose. And no visas or much paperwork for holidays (though to be fair I can't recall if and when we ever needed a visa to travel around western Europe on holiday).

2. Free trade. No variable taxes or import/export duties. Sounded like a good thing.

And that was pretty much it.
That is my understanding as well, although I wasn't born when it all happened. It seems to me that the original idea of the common market was great, but what we've ended up with is an undemocratic and unwieldy political union run by unelected and unaccountable idealogues for whom the EU is something of a vanity project. If Brexit is what would bring Brussels to its senses, then I'm all for it.

To me, it seems absurd that someone working in one EU state can claim child benefit for children living in a different EU state. I presume that each EU country must have their own reasonably decent child benefit system, so does this mean families where one member works abroad are effectively able to claim child benefit twice? It sounds a bit like inverted tax avoidance to me, if you understand my meaning.

With regard to the arguments against leaving, I find it hard to believe that businesses would suddenly forget about the 60+ million-strong customer base in the UK. I also find it hard to believe that EU countries would suddenly impose visa requirements on British citizens or vice versa. The UK is already outside Schengen, so we would lose nothing in that regard.

I appreciate that ease of travel is not quite the same thing as freedom of movement, but I don't see a problem here either. The EU system could be replaced with one where companies looking for skills in short supply at home can recruit abroad, and only individuals with a confirmed job offer would be granted residency. This is surely better than just allowing anyone to turn up with little more than a vague hope of finding a job at some point.
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  #146  
Old 18.02.2016, 01:09
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

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That is my understanding as well, although I wasn't born when it all happened. It seems to me that the original idea of the common market was great, but what we've ended up with is an undemocratic and unwieldy political union run by unelected and unaccountable idealogues for whom the EU is something of a vanity project. If Brexit is what would bring Brussels to its senses, then I'm all for it........
Agree with most of your post.

I somehow doubt that Mercedes and BMW (et al) will decide to stop selling their cars to the UK after a Brexit.

The unknowns for me are about things like property purchases. Not that I own any property outside the UK but I have often thought about buying a place in Spain or Germany. Would owners have the same protection as previously? Would there be punitive taxes?

Regarding employment I'd presume it's the same as now. I moved here with my company as there was no one locally available to do the job. That wouldn't change if the UK and or CH were in or out of the EU.

Re child benefit, no, my understanding is that they can't claim it twice but as UK CB is much higher than in some countries e.g. Poland, Romania etc, they can leave their kids behind but claim the UK level of CB to send home. Ethically dubious but all people must be treated the same so it's allowed.
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  #147  
Old 18.02.2016, 01:47
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

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all about 2 things:

1. Free movement of people. Very few ordinary people worked outside the UK in those days so the idea seemed a bit remote, but we wouldn't need work permits if that chance ever arose. And no visas or much paperwork for holidays (though to be fair I can't recall if and when we ever needed a visa to travel around western Europe on holiday).

2. Free trade. No variable taxes or import/export duties. Sounded like a good thing.
I think a lot of people would want this leaner version of Europe.

I would agree to the EU 4 freedoms:

The free movement of goods.
The free movement of services and freedom of establishment.
The free movement of persons (and citizenship), including free movement of workers.
The free movement of capital.

And the necessary harmonisation that comes with a commitment to those 4 freedoms. (yes the anti-immigration crowd won't like it)

i would also support some kind of free trade agreement. whether as a simple free trade agreement or within the EU customs union should be up for analysis. perhaps being already in the customs union, the simplest would be the status quo.

but after that, i guess the real consideration is whether there is a huge difference between in/out at that stage.

perhaps a 2 speed europe may be the best option. just have 4 freedoms and customs union for those countries who want to be in what is primarily a trade bloc and a fast speed for those who want europe to be a federated states of europe.
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  #148  
Old 18.02.2016, 08:32
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

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I think a lot of people would want this leaner version of Europe.

I would agree to the EU 4 freedoms:

The free movement of goods.
The free movement of services and freedom of establishment.
The free movement of persons (and citizenship), including free movement of workers.
The free movement of capital.

And the necessary harmonisation that comes with a commitment to those 4 freedoms. (yes the anti-immigration crowd won't like it).
Which seems to be where we were at before the Maastricht Treaty was signed according to Wiki.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internal_market#History

Perhaps we should go back to that stage of things, i.e. lose the Euro.
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  #149  
Old 18.02.2016, 10:40
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

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Which seems to be where we were at before the Maastricht Treaty was signed according to Wiki.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internal_market#History

Perhaps we should go back to that stage of things, i.e. lose the Euro.
I believe Maastrict was an error. Such a transfer of power should not have taken place without a referendum (in the UK). Perhaps even some of the pro- side now recognise the creation of the single currency as a mistake.
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  #150  
Old 18.02.2016, 10:48
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

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The unknowns for me are about things like property purchases. Not that I own any property outside the UK but I have often thought about buying a place in Spain or Germany. Would owners have the same protection as previously? Would there be punitive taxes?
I think not.

A great aunt of mine bought a house in Spain in the 1960s. At the time it was still quite an unusual thing to do, Spain was only just beginning to capitalize on tourism and infrastructure was very different. Furthermore, Franco was still in power, albeit getting a bit doddery and no longer in absolute control, but there were still restrictions on moving currency and lots of quaint rules and formalities on how to get things done. These rules were not specifically made to annoy foreigners as they applied to Spaniards too. Of course the up side to all that was that you could pick up prime beachfront land for ridiculously small sums and the people who did that back then later discovered they were sitting on properties worth multiple millions by the early 2000s, and still at least half of that today.

Today the biggest driver of the re-growth of the Spanish property market is from non EU buyers. Loads and loads of Russians are going in, but so are Arabs and Chinese to a lesser degree. So I don't think being non EU is a big deterrent or is hurting that market.

There are also lots of British expats who have houses in Morocco. Countries that depend on tourist dollars would be crazy to hit hard at tourists.
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  #151  
Old 18.02.2016, 21:58
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

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Re child benefit, no, my understanding is that they can't claim it twice but as UK CB is much higher than in some countries e.g. Poland, Romania etc, they can leave their kids behind but claim the UK level of CB to send home. Ethically dubious but all people must be treated the same so it's allowed.
I understand why it's allowed, and it could never be stopped on the basis of a claimant's nationality (at least while the UK remains in the EU), but I don't think there's anything discriminatory about requiring proof that the child resides in the UK before any payout. At least David Cameron is trying to get it pegged to the cost of living in the child's country, although I understand there is plenty of opposition from eastern European leaders.
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  #152  
Old 20.02.2016, 11:51
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

Looks like there are still no limits in EU citizens moving to the UK but they can't apply for social benefits etc upon arrival.
I don't even understand how people do this.
I have moved twice to a country without having a job contract, once my second time in Switzerland and once in Germany. Both times I supported myself with my own means until I found a job.
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  #153  
Old 20.02.2016, 14:17
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

So Brits still allowed to claim benefits throughout EU but other EU citizens can't claim for 4 years when they go to the UK?

The whole thing is a joke. Only 130,000 EU claimants in the UK against 4.9m UK citizens.

On top of that, there are more brits claiming benefits in the EU than foreigners in the UK claiming.


Spoiled brats country having their way again with another 'special' status based on comical reasons because they don't want to reveal the true problem of their backyard: chavs who have 10 kids and live 3 generations on dole and pensions taking over 50% of the social benefits budget.

I was against Brexit at the beginning but not anymore. The UK should be like Switzerland, outside the EU and with treaties clarifying the relationship. It has it too good for what they provide, they are exempt from almost everything but want their finger in all the decisions too.

Let them leave, then Scotland leaves too and England becomes its own state again. Extremely insignificant but hell, they will get exactly what they want right now. Their own freedom and sovereignty.
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  #154  
Old 20.02.2016, 15:41
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

The best (and sad) thing about political programmes such as Yes Minister and West Wing that even though they were produced years ago, they are still relevant today, showing that we made no progress on the same issues.





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  #155  
Old 20.02.2016, 18:25
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

As I understand it the referendum result wouldn't be legally binding. There was a proposal that it should be but I don't think this has been included in the revised agreement.

If the UK votes to leave it could be that the EU offers more concessions to persuade the UK to stay. That would be a dangerous game for anyone to play if they want to stay within the EU, but under more favourable terms.

The possibility is that the terms are not forthcoming and we are left out in the cold.

I would prefer to be in an EU with more control and influence for the UK. It certainly is a very different set up to the Common Market that I voted for all those years ago.

Whilst leaving the EU may be better for the UK in some areas, the risks that it isn't would be much greater. Perhaps it is a case of 'better the devil you know'
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  #156  
Old 20.02.2016, 18:37
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

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I would agree to the EU 4 freedoms:

The free movement of goods.
The free movement of services and freedom of establishment.
The free movement of persons (and citizenship), including free movement of workers.
The free movement of capital.
The free movement of capital was not a requirement when the UK joined the Common Market. Mrs Thatcher removed exchange controls, which no doubt could be reintroduced at anytime.
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  #157  
Old 21.02.2016, 09:54
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

The EU project will collapse if the UK leaves!

With the cost of all the new 'visitors' and the PIGS on the verge of doom once more, the money magicians cannot keep pulling money out of the hat to sustain the weaker parts, the devalued €uro will hinder things further.

A northern alliance lead by France and Germany may arise from the ashes but in time that could cause problems and aggression, the main reason for the zone originally was no more war, a Germany on Steroids and a France with a BMW backbone might cause grief in the future.

The UK like Iceland will be fine, it had an empire, I'm sure it hasn't forgotten to make trade deals...

And the consolation prize, we could get to beat up the Germans again
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  #158  
Old 21.02.2016, 10:57
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Brexit avoided ??

Saw the Live coverage from Downing Street 10 yesterday morning in BBC.

Has there been a discussion about this joke from David C ??
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  #159  
Old 21.02.2016, 11:02
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Re: Brexit avoided ??

Type "brexit" into the little search box top right

The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in CH
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Old 21.02.2016, 14:13
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

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The free movement of capital was not a requirement when the UK joined the Common Market. Mrs Thatcher removed exchange controls, which no doubt could be reintroduced at anytime.
I should tell you about the time I tried to leave Britain via Eurostar with 600,000 Belgian Francs in the early nineties. All of my mates still laugh at the two days I had to spend in custody.
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