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Old 22.03.2017, 00:42
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

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Sorry to burst your bubble, but it is. It is exactly what is stated in the treaties that the member states are committed to, it what the majority of voters voted for in parliamentary elections - parties that support a more integrated EU, it's why they have Junker as head of the commission and until the people actually vote for something different it is how it will remain.
It's not my experience that most "ordinary citizens" of the EU want to be part of a formal supranational federation. I see plenty of affection for Europe (which I share), but very little love for the European Union.

I sense that mainland Europe, and especially nations that suffered most during the world wars, don't want the uncertainty that leaving the EU might mean, but have no desire whatever to lose their self-identity, and are very wary of the EU ideologues.

You are right that the Treaty of Rome refers to "ever closer union", but this is a very woolly phrase. When we joined the EEC, it was a group of 6 prosperous countries -- all NW Europe apart from Italy. All with healthy GDP, and very little migration. It was a free-trade bloc that promised much less admin and documentation when we wanted to go on holiday.

I was happy with that arrangement, as were most people. I voted Yes in 1975. A bit later on, and suddenly there's an overarching parliament and superior courts and a common currency and an anthem and flag and 28 members of the organisation, many of them relatively poor. Naturally, they want to take advantage of freedom of movement.

In short, it's a totally different organisation from the one we joined, yet until last year, we were never asked whether we wanted this superstate/federation arrangement. If you're saying that Euro-elections were an opportunity to show support for this marvellous project, I'd remind you that turnout barely reaches 35% in the UK, and most of those seem to be UKIP voters, who actively wanted to leave the thing.

Personally Id have happily stayed in the EU if wed stayed close to the original deal we thought we were getting -- free trade and freedom of movement within a small bloc of similar-size economies. That worked pretty well. This massive federation of wildly diverse economies is a non-starter for me and many others, as we saw last June.
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