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Old 22nd Feb 2016, 16:28   #1
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E.U: Leave or Stay? Your thoughts.

As you already know, the United Kingdom will held a referendum in June 2016, you'll be tasked to decide wether or not should the U.K stay in the European Union. As a foreign observer, I would be interested to know your views on this matter.
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Old 22nd Feb 2016, 16:58   #2
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To use some quotes from the discussion so far in the uk

"My starting point is simple. I believe that the decisions which govern all our lives, the laws we must all obey and the taxes we must all pay should be decided by people we choose and who we can throw out if we want change. If power is to be used wisely, if we are to avoid corruption and complacency in high office, then the public must have the right to change laws and Governments at election time.

But our membership of the European Union prevents us being able to change huge swathes of law and stops us being able to choose who makes critical decisions which affect all our lives. Laws which govern citizens in this country are decided by politicians from other nations who we never elected and can’t throw out. We can take out our anger on elected representatives in Westminster but whoever is in Government in London cannot remove or reduce VAT, cannot support a steel plant through troubled times, cannot build the houses we need where they’re needed and cannot deport all the individuals who shouldn’t be in this country. I believe that needs to change. And I believe that both the lessons of our past and the shape of the future make the case for change compelling.

The ability to choose who governs us, and the freedom to change laws we do not like, were secured for us in the past by radicals and liberals who took power from unaccountable elites and placed it in the hands of the people. As a result of their efforts we developed, and exported to nations like the US, India, Canada and Australia a system of democratic self-government which has brought prosperity and peace to millions.

Our democracy stood the test of time. We showed the world what a free people could achieve if they were allowed to govern themselves.

In Britain we established trial by jury in the modern world, we set up the first free parliament, we ensured no-one could be arbitrarily detained at the behest of the Government, we forced our rulers to recognise they ruled by consent not by right, we led the world in abolishing slavery, we established free education for all, national insurance, the National Health Service and a national broadcaster respected across the world.

By way of contrast, the European Union, despite the undoubted idealism of its founders and the good intentions of so many leaders, has proved a failure on so many fronts. The euro has created economic misery for Europe’s poorest people. European Union regulation has entrenched mass unemployment. EU immigration policies have encouraged people traffickers and brought desperate refugee camps to our borders.

Far from providing security in an uncertain world, the EU’s policies have become a source of instability and insecurity. Razor wire once more criss-crosses the continent, historic tensions between nations such as Greece and Germany have resurfaced in ugly ways and the EU is proving incapable of dealing with the current crises in Libya and Syria. The former head of Interpol says the EU’s internal borders policy is “like hanging a sign welcoming terrorists to Europe” and Scandinavian nations which once prided themselves on their openness are now turning in on themselves. All of these factors, combined with popular anger at the lack of political accountability, has encouraged extremism, to the extent that far-right parties are stronger across the continent than at any time since the 1930s.

The EU is an institution rooted in the past and is proving incapable of reforming to meet the big technological, demographic and economic challenges of our time. It was developed in the 1950s and 1960s and like other institutions which seemed modern then, from tower blocks to telexes, it is now hopelessly out of date. The EU tries to standardise and regulate rather than encourage diversity and innovation. It is an analogue union in a digital age.

The EU is built to keep power and control with the elites rather than the people. Even though we are outside the euro we are still subject to an unelected EU commission which is generating new laws every day and an unaccountable European Court in Luxembourg which is extending its reach every week, increasingly using the Charter of Fundamental Rights which in many ways gives the EU more power and reach than ever before. This growing EU bureaucracy holds us back in every area. EU rules dictate everything from the maximum size of containers in which olive oil may be sold (five litres) to the distance houses have to be from heathland to prevent cats chasing birds (five kilometres).

Individually these rules may be comical. Collectively, and there are tens of thousands of them, they are inimical to creativity, growth and progress. Rules like the EU clinical trials directive have slowed down the creation of new drugs to cure terrible diseases and ECJ judgements on data protection issues hobble the growth of internet companies. As a minister I’ve seen hundreds of new EU rules cross my desk, none of which were requested by the UK Parliament, none of which I or any other British politician could alter in any way and none of which made us freer, richer or fairer.

It is hard to overstate the degree to which the EU is a constraint on ministers’ ability to do the things they were elected to do, or to use their judgment about the right course of action for the people of this country. I have long had concerns about our membership of the EU but the experience of Government has only deepened my conviction that we need change. Every single day, every single minister is told: ‘Yes Minister, I understand, but I’m afraid that’s against EU rules’. I know it. My colleagues in government know it. And the British people ought to know it too: your government is not, ultimately, in control in hundreds of areas that matter.

But by leaving the EU we can take control. Indeed we can show the rest of Europe the way to flourish. Instead of grumbling and complaining about the things we can’t change and growing resentful and bitter, we can shape an optimistic, forward-looking and genuinely internationalist alternative to the path the EU is going down. We can show leadership. Like the Americans who declared their independence and never looked back, we can become an exemplar of what an inclusive, open and innovative democracy can achieve.

We can take back the billions we give to the EU, the money which is squandered on grand parliamentary buildings and bureaucratic follies, and invest it in science and technology, schools and apprenticeships. We can get rid of the regulations which big business uses to crush competition and instead support new start-up businesses and creative talent. We can forge trade deals and partnerships with nations across the globe, helping developing countries to grow and benefiting from faster and better access to new markets.

We are the world’s fifth largest economy, with the best armed forces of any nation, more Nobel Prizes than any European country and more world-leading universities than any European country. Our economy is more dynamic than the Eurozone, we have the most attractive capital city on the globe, the greatest “soft power” and global influence of any state and a leadership role in NATO and the UN. Are we really too small, too weak and too powerless to make a success of self-rule? On the contrary, the reason the EU’s bureaucrats oppose us leaving is they fear that our success outside will only underline the scale of their failure.

This chance may never come again in our lifetimes, which is why I will be true to my principles and take the opportunity this referendum provides to leave an EU mired in the past and embrace a better future."

err so OUT, before it destroys itself and takes us with it.

As "nuke it from orbit, it's the only way to be sure" is apparently not an option.
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Old 22nd Feb 2016, 17:52   #3
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I'm an outsider, but if I could vote for leaving the EU in Finland I'd definately vote for it.

The EU was a good idea, but the way it's progressed is totally undemocratic and nothing to be desired.

First of all, all EU-members should have the same laws and rules. Be it economically, socially or whatever. The current situation of all members differing heavily in taxes, healthcare, etc, etc, etc is absolutely unacceptable.
Second. We can't elect the EU-government directly. We can only vote for parties, who then send their chosen ones to the EU-parliament, without the citizens having a say about the persons sent.
Additionally the EU-parliament doesn't have any power. The power is with the EU-committee, which we can't elect at all.

So yeah, fcuk the EU in it's current state.
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Old 22nd Feb 2016, 17:55   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrs77 View Post
I'm an outsider, but if I could vote for leaving the EU in Finland I'd definately vote for it.

The EU was a good idea, but the way it's progressed is totally undemocratic and nothing to be desired.

First of all, all EU-members should have the same laws and rules. Be it economically, socially or whatever. The current situation of all members differing heavily in taxes, healthcare, etc, etc, etc is absolutely unacceptable.
Second. We can't elect the EU-government directly. We can only vote for parties, who then send their chosen ones to the EU-parliament, without the citizens having a say about the persons sent.
Additionally the EU-parliament doesn't have any power. The power is with the EU-committee, which we can't elect at all.

So yeah, fcuk the EU in it's current state.
yeah and what jrs77 said
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Old 22nd Feb 2016, 21:22   #5
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Anyone who thinks that the UK leaving the EU is a good idea does not really appreciate what EU laws have done to protect UK citizens in terms of consumer rights, employee rights, human rights and also in terms of environmental policies, food health policies and trade policies. Not to mention the ease with which the British can move, work and study abroad and with which expats are guaranteed that their pension stays in step with UK inflation.

Seriously, the consequences will be huge. I think you really need to fire up the old Google and have a good search.

You all want to vote for centralising power further into the hands of a government that has been screwing the population over with austerity measures and is firmly in bed with big business interests. Frankly I want that power spread. I don't care that the EU is bureaucratic and inefficient. It is a brake on the UK government turning this country into the 51st state of America.
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Old 22nd Feb 2016, 21:41   #6
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Personally I couldn't give a **** either way, and don't expect to be casting a vote. No change there.

Not particularly stimulating input, I know, but OP wanted to know where we stand...
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Old 22nd Feb 2016, 22:15   #7
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Leave it definitely and will be voting. Boris for Prime Minister as well.
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Old 22nd Feb 2016, 22:25   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo View Post
Anyone who thinks that the UK leaving the EU is a good idea does not really appreciate what EU laws have done to protect UK citizens in terms of consumer rights, employee rights, human rights and also in terms of environmental policies, food health policies and trade policies.
In many cases our UK safety laws go much further than the EU varient. And as for the totally abused Human Rights Act, while I agree with it's founding principle, it is now a legal mess the the EU have perverted to cover & include such outlandish claims of, "for example the right to family life, because of a cat, or you may be a known terrorist but you can't send him home." etc, that it is no longer fit for purpose and so conviluted and corrupted now that it's meaning is lost in the world of legalease.

are we inacapable of making our own laws or trade/food/safety/employment policies?

Quote:
Not to mention the ease with which the British can move, work and study abroad and with which expats are guaranteed that their pension stays in step with UK inflation.
Is this a right? are these really important? would the UK stop because you would need a passport to travel and visas/permits to work/school aboard (like we used to).

Want to retire abroad, make sure you can afford to first. (not my job to fund it).

Quote:
Seriously, the consequences will be huge. I think you really need to fire up the old Google and have a good search.
Sorry i disagree, I am not saying ther will not be bumps in the road both large and small, but to say " to leave is to be doomed", is just plain wrong, it is not going to be easy, either in a europe that wants closer reform, or outside of it.

The choice is to continue on as we are, knowing the final goal, or get out now and find our own path.

Quote:
You all want to vote for centralising power further into the hands of a government that has been screwing the population over with austerity measures and is firmly in bed with big business interests. Frankly I want that power spread. I don't care that the EU is bureaucratic and inefficient. It is a brake on the UK government turning this country into the 51st state of America.
That type of arguement could be used against many govements over the years depending on your political slant.

For the record i an neither left or right winged and agree/disagree with policies from all of the major parties in the uk. Quite frankly I would rip it all up and start again but that is not an option at the moment.
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Last edited by aramil; 22nd Feb 2016 at 22:43.
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Old 22nd Feb 2016, 22:33   #9
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I guess it hinges on three things.

1) The flow of money from the UK to the EU needs to reduce. It's £12.8 billion per year right now, although the net flow after we get our various rebates and fundings back is around £4 billion. It's still a big chunk of money going out.

2) Whether or not the UK can be (perceived to) regain control of it's borders in or out of the EU. This has been bubbling away since 2004 when Poland/Lithuania joined and half a million Poles and Lithuanians showed up in the UK inside nine months, along with various Eastern Europeans of unknown origins.
Angela Merkel kicked it right back into the spotlight when she declared Germany's border open to all comers, leaving Hungary, Italy, Turkey and Greece to figure out how to cope with the massive burden she just placed on them and handed the people traffickers a blank cheque. I suspect this one will be the one that decides the vote.

3) Another perception that the EU interferes too much with the UK legal system and public services. Given our current government's hard on for selling the country to their old school buddies for a song and successive governments interesting records on human rights, this one's probably the strongest reason to stay in the EU to me.

The (possible) impact on our economy is too enormous for most people to really take in. I wouldn't like to guess on the outcome but I'm expecting the more emotive subjects to swing the vote.

On the same note I've no idea which way I'm voting yet. The push for political union in the EU is dumb, but I'm not sure downing tools and abandoning it to France and Germany is much smarter.

I quite like the irony that this more or less hinges on the same arguments that cropped up in the Scottish independence referendum too.
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Old 22nd Feb 2016, 22:46   #10
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Tbh we'll still have unelected committees pushing though barely-scrutinised bollocks whatever the outcome...

Also seems pretty hypocritical of Cameron singing the praises and bigging up the benefits of something he's spent most of the last decade trying to undermine...
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Old 22nd Feb 2016, 23:22   #11
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I haven't really thought much about it tbh but decided to take the approach that I'm voting out until I hear a compelling argument to stay in beyond "business leaders" telling us the world will end. I mean a hard analysis not what our overloards proclaim.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo View Post
Anyone who thinks that the UK leaving the EU is a good idea does not really appreciate what EU laws have done to protect UK citizens in terms of consumer rights, employee rights, human rights and also in terms of environmental policies, food health policies and trade policies. Not to mention the ease with which the British can move, work and study abroad and with which expats are guaranteed that their pension stays in step with UK inflation.

Seriously, the consequences will be huge. I think you really need to fire up the old Google and have a good search.

You all want to vote for centralising power further into the hands of a government that has been screwing the population over with austerity measures and is firmly in bed with big business interests. Frankly I want that power spread. I don't care that the EU is bureaucratic and inefficient. It is a brake on the UK government turning this country into the 51st state of America.
While the European union has brought us many good things, did we really need them to get there? Are we incapable of making and passing those laws ourselves? I do agree tho that currently the government in the UK and especially NI are slowly destroying the place.

I think the biggest issue is that it's hard to know where one elected official begins and the other elected official from [insert country here] ends. There is no accountability and a feeling of hopelessness that your government can't change anything because Europe has tied their hands and when they make a decision that isn't popular, Europe is the fall guy or "we have no power over that".

I guess a vote for stay is for things to continue, a vote for out is the first movement in shaking things up to try and get some form of government we want.
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Old 23rd Feb 2016, 00:09   #12
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Get Britain out !!
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Old 23rd Feb 2016, 00:32   #13
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Leave for many of the reasons in the long quote in aramil's post:

Quote:
Originally Posted by aramil View Post
"long quote"

The EU suffers a major democratic deficit which has no indication of changing and looks set to stay. Within the Eurozone this has even resulted in the effective undermining and rejection of democratically elected governments in the name of virtuous thrift and the interests of German hegemony.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo View Post
Anyone who thinks that the UK leaving the EU is a good idea does not really appreciate what EU laws have done to protect UK citizens in terms of consumer rights, employee rights, human rights and also in terms of environmental policies, food health policies and trade policies.

You all want to vote for centralising power further into the hands of a government that has been screwing the population over with austerity measures and is firmly in bed with big business interests. Frankly I want that power spread. I don't care that the EU is bureaucratic and inefficient. It is a brake on the UK government turning this country into the 51st state of America.

This country created the NHS, engaged in massive post war housebuilding, created a welfare state, the equal pay act (1970), the still minimum wage (no way am I ever calling Osborne’s increase the living wage), freedom of information act, gay marriage to name a few.
All that and more without the benevolent omniscience of the EU to guide us, so it is not beyond the people of this nation to elect governments that operate in the interests of the people as a whole.


And as far as trade policies, environmental intiatives and consumer rights we all have TTIP and TISA to look forward to from the EU.


And yes this ****house of a government could negotiate the same or worse or legislate the same or worse but:

At least that government will have no “the EU made us do it” to hide behind.

At least we can vote these ****s out by a landslide every 5 years or maybe less.

At least we don’t have to wait 43 years to get another say on these matters.

Many comrades on the left believe that despite the EU being undemocratic it offers them security in those areas so the Tories can't take them away, well to paraphrase "Those who would give up essential democracy for security, will get neither democracy or security"

Also couldn't resist:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo View Post
Seriously, the consequences will be huge.




Last edited by Disequilibria; 23rd Feb 2016 at 12:06.
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Old 23rd Feb 2016, 00:36   #14
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I'm out
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Old 23rd Feb 2016, 08:49   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aramil View Post
are we inacapable of making our own laws or trade/food/safety/employment policies?
The question is whether the government is willing.

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Originally Posted by javaman View Post
While the European union has brought us many good things, did we really need them to get there? Are we incapable of making and passing those laws ourselves?
Again, the question is whether the UK government is willing.

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Originally Posted by Disequilibria View Post
This country created the NHS, engaged in massive post war housebuilding, created a welfare state, the equal pay act (1970), the still minimum wage (no way am I ever calling Osborne’s increase the living wage), freedom of information act, gay marriage to name a few.
All that and more without the benevolent omniscience of the EU to guide us, so it is not beyond the people of this nation to elect governments that operate in the interests of the people as a whole.
And right now this country is working towards dissolving the NHS, establishing the Draft Communications Data Bill, and breaking down the welfare system. The visionary and idealistic post-war Britain is long gone. TIPP is going to happen with or without the EU.

Basically centralisation of power is never a good thing.
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Old 23rd Feb 2016, 08:58   #16
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100% stay, or seriously consider moving to Canada instead of returning to the UK. Frankly I look at what it's becoming and more and more can't bare to bring a family up there.
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Old 23rd Feb 2016, 09:34   #17
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The question is whether the government is willing.
For me its not if the government is willing, its what, who, and how those laws effect us, in the examples you give of the NHS, Draft Communications Data Bill, and breaking down the welfare system i would say it's not that the government is or isn't willing to pass a law but how the laws often have a detrimental effect.

Anyhow isn't this whole in/out referendum more about the internal politics of the Conservative party and Mr Cameron's legacy, it just seems daft to say an organisation we're a member of isn't of benefit to us so lets make a few changes an then decide if we should stay or go.
IMHO you either stay and keep working to change things for the better or you just leave, Mr Cameron has negotiated some changes to the relationship we have with the EU under the threat of an EU referendum but it really shouldn't take the threat of leaving for the other party enact change.

It seems like saying to your partner to stop smothering you or being so controlling and them only changing their behavior when you threaten to leave, if it takes a threat to get them to change you either need to sit down and have a serious talk or just leave.
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Old 23rd Feb 2016, 10:35   #18
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My preference has always been to stay but to use Britain's influence in the EU to pull it towards being an outward looking free-trading group with an open internal market and reducing barrier to the rest of the world. Now obviously that isn't quite what we have and definitely not where France and some others want to see it going but without the UK, France and others with similar views gain influence and we can expect more regulation, trade barriers and general decline, arguably increasing the danger of the EU falling apart itself.

What worries me is inter-EU free movement of labour , benefit rules and external migration and asylum have gotten mixed up into a mess of fear, scaremongering and bad policy that will divert the whole debate.

I'm intensely relaxed about jobseekers moving within the EU. Motivated people coming to this country looking for work is good for the economy. However it's plain bizarre to start paying child benefit for children outside the UK and there is also a huge problem that EU rules ignore the fact that most in the UK we pay welfare and other benefits without any link to previous employment unlike most other countries. If this issue had been addressed several years ago the debate would perhaps now look a lot different.

The "renegotiation" has been a bit weird and I'm not sure it's been that valuable, but at least it looks like they have got something to protect the city from "rules" that will applying to all members only affect one in reality and are actually attempts to sabotage one country's economy. You may dislike "bankers" for what every reason but if you want them paying income tax in Frankfurt (or more likely Zurich instead of London) then vote leave and make some french leftists very happy.
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Old 23rd Feb 2016, 14:18   #19
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Voting out.

The EU is not what it should be. We joined under the principle of becoming part of a large single market, which at least made some economic sense, however it's since become just a large pile of steaming bureaucracy, which doesn't benefit us more than it costs us.

We've lost local control over many areas, some of which are truly outlandish. The common fisheries policy is a joke, it's simply left our own waters and stocks to be depleted, what advantage does this provide for the UK specifically? Same deal with the Common Agricultural Policy.

We weren't supposed to be part of some larger political union, it was supposed to be purely economic.
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Old 23rd Feb 2016, 14:42   #20
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For Gods sake let us take our country back from the criminals in The Private Central Bank. We are all debt slaves to these people and it has to end!


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