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Why I will vote to Leave the EU - From an alternative viewpoint Watch

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    (Original post by Davij038)
    I will try and be brief.

    Firstly, by your logic the UK is undemocratic as we do not have a proportionate representational voting system in the UK, where for instance a Tory vote is worth something 50 ukip ones. Additionally there are sound reasons why smaller states are given a slightly preferential treatment in the EU context.
    L
    Secondly: the chief purpose of the EU is to prevent states from declaring war on each other and in this it has been massively successful in ensuring a peaceful and beneficial solution. Whilst of course there are some constraints on states ability to act purely for their own self interest, this is mediated by the effects of the single market which prevents States for damaging rivals as it would drag them down too. Pooling our sovereignty is worth this peace, not including the massive benefits being in the EU brings.

    Thirdly: right wingers often fall into thinking out politics and economic affairs rationally which is a very foolish thing to do. Humans are not inherently rational and neither are their constructions be it states or institutions. From a rational case in point there was no reason for the US to intervene in Kosovo for instance. There is more than just economics at work here. The EU like any other state has a chief aim of survival. The thought that domestic states with eurosceptic movements are going to give us what we want is absurd, and they will gladly bear the cost as long as we are hurt more. Some see this as showing the EU as malicious or against us- but this is exactly the action the UK would take if Scotland left the UK. Survival is paramount.

    Fourthly: on your point about the money we'd save. There would be any: http://infacts.org/bbc-question-time-non-highlight/

    Fifthly: democracy is far more nuanced than you've made it out to be. Do we have an elected judiciary, head of state or second chamber? Total Democracies such as that which occurred in the French revolution inevitably fall to tyranny. Funnily enough Thatcher herself called referendums the tool of dictators as it essentially gives the illusion of choice

    . The EU is a form if mixed government with a democratic element but also checks and balances which prevent irrational impulses. Considering European history and the present political climate, moderation and consensus is no bad thing. It was a fully free and democratic Germany that turned to fascism.

    Lastly: no matter how much the brexit brigade deny it Britain has been instrumental in creating and shaping the EU. That's why it's voted pro EU parties for the entirety of its existence. Leaders have been open about it- Heath wrote a leading times column about how the ecc was more than just a single market and wrote if a political, social and environmental Union with Wilson doing the same. Creeping eurosceptic ism only veered it's head, just after the financial crisis which occurred in Wall Street. Which leads on to my final point- with our complete and irreversible degree of globalisation that has occurred the idea if being a sovereign self governing democracy is absurd when you are tied into globalised economic forces.
    1) you can argue all you like about the defects of British democracy, but that in no way justifies the imposition of even more undemocratic institutions on top what we already have.

    2) The chief am of the EU is to prevent war, but that doesn't mean that the UK leaving will undermine that--a cursory glance at European history will tell you that the main aggressors of modern European history have been France, Russia and the German states.

    3) Pooled sovereignty is a red-herring. It is a seductive term used by people to obfuscate the inherent loss of sovereignty that supranational EU institutions create. If you give legal and political powers to a supranational institution you are not 'pooling' sovereignty, you are diluting it--because that institution can use powers bestowed to it to act explicitly against your wishes and interests.

    4) Right-wing views on human nature tend to stress how human beings lack rationality: your argument is a mischaracterisation of most right-wing views unless you're talking about anarcho-capitalists or Ayn Rand libertarians. "Reason is the slave of the passions"--David Hume, Tory philosopher.

    5) Moderation or consensus are neither good nor bad. It purely depends on what the consensus is or what is in fact being moderated. That's what makes that point so platitudinous, it's like the silly cliche that compromise is a good thing.

    6) "no matter how much the brexit brigade deny it Britain has been instrumental in creating and shaping the EU. That's why it's voted pro EU parties for the entirety of its existence. Leaders have been open about it- Heath wrote a leading times column about how the ecc was more than just a single market and wrote if a political, social and environmental Union with Wilson doing the same."

    Heath was never open about what EEC/EU membership meant. Heath said: 'There are some in this country who fear that in going into Europe we shall in some way sacrifice independence and sovereignty. These fears, I need hardly say, are completely unjustified.' Most honest people would call that a fib.

    Your representation of history is flawed, I see it in quite a few of your posts. We did not vote for pro-european parties for the entirety of the EU's existence--Labour pledge to take us out of the EEC in 1983 without a referendum, they may have lost badly but it illustrates that euroscepticism has always been mainstream. In fact before we entered the EEC polls showed that the public was against it.
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    (Original post by typonaut)
    Sorry, my previous post was wrong. I used the Nice formula for calculation and this has obviously been superseded by Lisbon.

    The maximum number of MEPs is 751. The maximum number any state can have is 96. The minimum any state can have is 6. Other than that the proportions of members is "degressively proportional" to the population of each state.

    I do not know the rationale for the maximum and minimum numbers, but I think what I have suggested above is a reasonable interpretation (there may be others).

    Here is the entire list of MEP allocation:

    Germany 96
    France 74
    UK 73
    Italy 73
    Spain 54
    Poland 51
    Romania 32
    Netherlands 26
    Belgium 21
    Czech Republic 21
    Greece 21
    Hungary 21
    Portugal 21
    Sweden 20
    Austria 18
    Bulgaria 17
    Finland 13
    Denmark 13
    Slovakia 13
    Croatia 11
    Ireland 11
    Lithuania 11
    Latvia 8
    Slovenia 8
    Cyprus 6
    Estonia 6
    Luxembourg 6
    Malta 6

    The majority in the European Parliament is 376, this can be established by the six biggest states represented (421 MEPs), the five biggest is only marginally short of half the votes (370). Although it is unlikely that, given the divergent interests of national MEPs, they would vote in national blocks anyway.

    To put is another way, the nine member states who formed the EEC when the UK joined in 1973 have 52% of the vote (393 MEPs) and the EU15 (prior to members joining from eastern Europe) have 72% of the vote (540 MEPs).

    The nine smallest countries combined have a vote equal to that of the UK (73 MEPs).

    So, while there is overrepresentation of the smallest states in the EU it is clear that overall control is with the largest states (in the European Parliament).

    As everyone should know, this is only part of the story of EU decision making, the other part is the Council of Ministers. As my post above, the vote weighting in the Council of Ministers is directly proportional to the population of the member state. The UK's weighting is just under 13%.

    Before anyone goes off on a tangent, the European Commission is not part of the decision making process in the EU, it is merely the civil service arm of the EU. It employs fewer people than the DVLA does in Swansea.
    You are being totally disingenuous.

    This is the bit that is TOTALLY anti democratic to LARGE STATES:
    From wikipedia:

    Decisions made by the council have to be taken by 55% of member states representing at least 65% of the EU's population.

    If the UK, Germany and one other (65% of EU population) wanted to do something it could not - not without at least 10 two bit nations agreeing to it too.

    What sort of country is that .
    NOTHING WILL GET DONE.
    GET OUT WHILE WE STILL HAVE A DEMOCRACY.
    THIS EU IS A BAG OF NUTTERS
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    (Original post by FredOrJohn)
    You are being totally disingenuous.

    This is the bit that is TOTALLY anti democratic to LARGE STATES:
    From wikipedia:

    Decisions made by the council have to be taken by 55% of member states representing at least 65% of the EU's population.

    If the UK, Germany and one other (65% of EU population) wanted to do something it could not - not without at least 10 two bit nations agreeing to it too.
    Your maths doesn't add up on this, and your logic is flawed anyway.

    What you have given an example of is qualified majority voting. Before we had qualified majority voting in the EU we needed unanimity in order to do anything - ie any single nation dissenting could veto a move that 90+% of the other members had backed. This is a step forward.

    In the Council of Ministers voting weight is directly proportional to population. 55% of member states is 15.4 (16 for practical purposes). The UK, Germany and any other EU state do not have 65% of the EU population (three largest states by population):

    Germany: 15.97%
    France: 13.06%
    UK: 12.76%

    Total: 41.79%

    You would have to add:

    Italy: 11.96%
    Spain: 9.13%
    Poland: 7.48%

    To achieve: 70.48%

    In order to get over the 65% hurdle (these are the biggest member states ranked by population).

    No, this does not equate to 55% of members, but it's probably not safe anyway to believe that all of these members would always agree.

    I think it probably a reasonable way to build consensus on an issue to have the voting methods work in the way they do - you look at the issues, see what the likely outcome is, if it isn't going to pass then you try to work out how you can change it in order to bring in additional votes.

    If we had pure majority voting you could effectively have the four largest countries (53.75%) dictating to the other 24 how the organisation was going to work. Or you could have the four largest continental countries (Germany, France, Italy and Spain - 50.12%) telling the UK what to do all the time (as an example).

    Trying to build consensus is a much more sensible way to go. It doesn't mean that small member states get a veto, it would mean that at least 12 member states had to object to a measure (if they were the smallest states) or at least three (if they were the largest states).

    What sort of country is that .
    The EU is not a country, it is an association of nation states.

    NOTHING WILL GET DONE.
    GET OUT WHILE WE STILL HAVE A DEMOCRACY.
    THIS EU IS A BAG OF NUTTERS
    This is democracy, because the member states have collectively decided that this is how they want the association to run. If I remember correctly the UK was instrumental in getting qualified majority voting in the EU.
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    (Original post by typonaut)
    Your maths doesn't add up on this, and your logic is flawed anyway.

    What you have given an example of is qualified majority voting. Before we had qualified majority voting in the EU we needed unanimity in order to do anything - ie any single nation dissenting could veto a move that 90+% of the other members had backed. This is a step forward.

    In the Council of Ministers voting weight is directly proportional to population. 55% of member states is 15.4 (16 for practical purposes). The UK, Germany and any other EU state do not have 65% of the EU population (three largest states by population):

    Germany: 15.97%
    France: 13.06%
    UK: 12.76%

    Total: 41.79%

    You would have to add:

    Italy: 11.96%
    Spain: 9.13%
    Poland: 7.48%

    To achieve: 70.48%

    In order to get over the 65% hurdle (these are the biggest member states ranked by population).

    No, this does not equate to 55% of members, but it's probably not safe anyway to believe that all of these members would always agree.

    I think it probably a reasonable way to build consensus on an issue to have the voting methods work in the way they do - you look at the issues, see what the likely outcome is, if it isn't going to pass then you try to work out how you can change it in order to bring in additional votes.

    If we had pure majority voting you could effectively have the four largest countries (53.75%) dictating to the other 24 how the organisation was going to work. Or you could have the four largest continental countries (Germany, France, Italy and Spain - 50.12%) telling the UK what to do all the time (as an example).

    Trying to build consensus is a much more sensible way to go. It doesn't mean that small member states get a veto, it would mean that at least 12 member states had to object to a measure (if they were the smallest states) or at least three (if they were the largest states).



    The EU is not a country, it is an association of nation states.



    This is democracy, because the member states have collectively decided that this is how they want the association to run. If I remember correctly the UK was instrumental in getting qualified majority voting in the EU.
    ROFL...

    You call that democracy.
    Come on smell the coffee.

    Lets get out of this hell hole before its too late.

    democracy - one person one vote or death!!

    Lets take it too the barricades.

    smash the fascist/commi EU.
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    JIRAIYA-ERO-SENNIN


    1: democracy is not a static concept but shifts and expands over time- much like Liberty. Out so called sovereign nation states came about through violence- in that way the EU as a democratically chosen body is far more legitimate and our ancestors could well think us mad for jeopardising it.

    2: indeed-where we inevitably get dragged into it. Endless war and recession is not a price worth paying for an illusion of sovereignty

    3: well that's democracy for you!

    4: I am indeed referring to the Libertarians who are the strongest voice of the Vote Leave Camp- Hanaan, Farage, Boris etc

    5: think I've addressed that in my precious points

    6: again, I don't believe in this static definition of yours. The UK can opt out of the EU whenever it pleases. Strictly speaking I think the UK has only been sovereign in the period from late Henry VIII to the birth of global capitalism.

    Ok fine let me rephrase that- we've only voted into office pro EU parties and that when labour was eurosceptic it suffered its worst ever defeat. Hope this helps
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    (Original post by FredOrJohn)
    democracy - one person one vote or death!
    That's not really how democracy in the UK works. You vote once every five years or so. An MP, who you may not have voted for (and most likely 60%+ in the constituency did not vote for) makes decisions for you as to how the country should be run.

    Is that democracy?
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    (Original post by Davij038)
    JIRAIYA-ERO-SENNIN


    1: democracy is not a static concept but shifts and expands over time- much like Liberty. Out so called sovereign nation states came about through violence- in that way the EU as a democratically chosen body is far more legitimate and our ancestors could well think us mad for jeopardising it.

    2: indeed-where we inevitably get dragged into it. Endless war and recession is not a price worth paying for an illusion of sovereignty

    3: well that's democracy for you!

    4: I am indeed referring to the Libertarians who are the strongest voice of the Vote Leave Camp- Hanaan, Farage, Boris etc

    5: think I've addressed that in my precious points

    6: again, I don't believe in this static definition of yours. The UK can opt out of the EU whenever it pleases. Strictly speaking I think the UK has only been sovereign in the period from late Henry VIII to the birth of global capitalism.

    Ok fine let me rephrase that- we've only voted into office pro EU parties and that when labour was eurosceptic it suffered its worst ever defeat. Hope this helps
    1) Our explanation of democracy and liberty is just a vague play with words. Definitions of democracy differ, but some are some are more legitimate than others. I made no mention of liberty, so I do not know what you meant by its conception 'expanding' over time. Again, just as with democracy conceptions of liberty have varying degrees of legitimacy. For example, most people would agree and intuitively understand that negative liberty is a more fundamental form of liberty than postive liberty.

    2) There is nothing inevitable about war--You have not and cannot possibly explain how Britain leaving the EU would make war between EU nations more likely. Any reference to war on your part is the wildest speculation.

    3)You haven't even attempted to defend your idea of 'pooled' sovereignty, so I'll take that to mean you have little faith in it, ultimately.

    4) Your original point point was about right-wingers and their appeal to reason and economics. With the exception of Hanan, I don't think any one you have mentioned has a rationalist view of human nature. Plus, their opposition to the EU has very little to do with economics and everything to do with the character of European institutions--they stress legal and political sovereignty above all else.

    5) You haven't addressed anything in relation to moderation and consensus being good things other than in the post I quoted. You simply made a reference to the fact that the EU has 'checks and balances' and that it was 'a fully free and democratic Germany that turned to Fascism'.

    6) Again with this nebulous play with words. I didn't define anything as 'static'. The fact that the UK can opt out of the EU, only make makes it sovereign in that regard-- duh, no one doubts that, that's why we have a referendum. But being in the EU necessarily requires a strict subjugation of sovereignty in most policy areas given the fact that EU law is supreme over UK law, so any law parliament passes can be invalidated by the courts if it contradicts EU laws. This is a subversion of parliamentary sovereignty which I and many people in this country do not accept.
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    (Original post by JIRAIYA-ERO-SENNIN)
    1) Our explanation of democracy and liberty is just a vague play with words. Definitions of democracy differ, but some are some are more legitimate than others. I made no mention of liberty, so I do not know what you meant by its conception 'expanding' over time. Again, just as with democracy conceptions of liberty have varying degrees of legitimacy. For example, most people would agree and intuitively understand that negative liberty is a more fundamental form of liberty than postive liberty..

    Et Al .

    1: The two are intrinsically linked. I would argue that negative Liberty is worthless if you are utterly powerless.

    2: Britain leaving could precipitate the downfall of the EU- which most eurosceptics would see as a good thing. The EU makes war economically unfeasible. The death of the EU and the economic fallout from that is likely to heighten the risk of conflict and the next world financial crash will make it even likelier.

    3: No- I am making the point that on a polity you give up (willingly or not) your ability to do whatever you want. It's the same with pooling sovereignty- and just as we as individuals can get superior outcomes combining our power- so it is with states

    4: All are ardent free market capitalists which assumes a rational model- eg 'common sense' (when often things seldom work out that way)

    5: see 1

    6: the point is you have a static conception of democracy, as in its ties to the notion of nation- states. Do you really think that we have reached the end point of human civilisation with this medieval construct?
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    Just google:

    has the eu destroyed the british fishing industry?
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    (Original post by Davij038)
    1: The two are intrinsically linked. I would argue that negative Liberty is worthless if you are utterly powerless.

    2: Britain leaving could precipitate the downfall of the EU- which most eurosceptics would see as a good thing. The EU makes war economically unfeasible. The death of the EU and the economic fallout from that is likely to heighten the risk of conflict and the next world financial crash will make it even likelier.

    3: No- I am making the point that on a polity you give up (willingly or not) your ability to do whatever you want. It's the same with pooling sovereignty- and just as we as individuals can get superior outcomes combining our power- so it is with states

    4: All are ardent free market capitalists which assumes a rational model- eg 'common sense' (when often things seldom work out that way)

    5: see 1

    6: the point is you have a static conception of democracy, as in its ties to the notion of nation- states. Do you really think that we have reached the end point of human civilisation with this medieval construct?
    1) No one is completely powerless, everyone has an agency of some kind or another. If you were to ask people with no knowledge of enlightened liberal ideas about liberty, they will almost always define it in negative terms. Dictionaries always stress the negative definition because that is the most common sense and fundamental understanding of the term.

    2) Precipitating the downfall of the EU (something which I personally agree) need not be a cause for war. You contention is exactly as I predicted, a wild speculation based on nothing but a hunch. You forget that most EU states are members of NATO, an explicit security alliance (which the EU is not). You have not even ventured to explain between whom these hypothetical wars will be fought and over what. That is what makes this claim of yours (which is commonly asserted) so baseless.

    3) This is the fatal error of social contract theory. individuals cannot give away sovereignty which they have never held. Whatever community they are in, individuals are never sovereign. They are always subject to the laws and decisions of the wider community. And in respect to states, you are implicitly supporting my view, which is that when you 'pool' your sovereignty you actually weakening it.

    4) Believing in free-market capitalism does not mean one has a rationalist view of human nature. David Hume, the man I quoted to you proves the point entirely. He believed in classical economics but always believed in the limitations of human reason. You're just plain wrong on that.

    5) Firstly, nation-states are not a medieval construct, they are modern I don't know where you get your history from because no matter what you say, it always leads to a flawed view of it. I don't believe in the end point of human civilisation, don't confuse me with Fukuyama, Hegel, Marx or any other teleological thinker. European institutions undermine the principles of our constitution, that is why I am against them. If other states want to subject themselves to EU then they are free to do so, I simply care about the constitution of my country.
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    (Original post by JIRAIYA-ERO-SENNIN)
    1) No one is completely powerless, everyone has an agency of some kind or another. If you were to ask people with no knowledge of enlightened liberal ideas about liberty, they will almost always define it in negative terms. Dictionaries always stress the negative definition because that is the most common sense and fundamental understanding of the term.

    2) Precipitating the downfall of the EU (something which I personally agree) need not be a cause for war. You contention is exactly as I predicted, a wild speculation based on nothing but a hunch. You forget that most EU states are members of NATO, an explicit security alliance (which the EU is not). You have not even ventured to explain between whom these hypothetical wars will be fought and over what. That is what makes this claim of yours (which is commonly asserted) so baseless.

    3) This is the fatal error of social contract theory. individuals cannot give away sovereignty which they have never held. Whatever community they are in, individuals are never sovereign. They are always subject to the laws and decisions of the wider community. And in respect to states, you are implicitly supporting my view, which is that when you 'pool' your sovereignty you actually weakening it.

    4) Believing in free-market capitalism does not mean one has a rationalist view of human nature. David Hume, the man I quoted to you proves the point entirely. He believed in classical economics but always believed in the limitations of human reason. You're just plain wrong on that.

    5) Firstly, nation-states are not a medieval construct, they are modern I don't know where you get your history from because no matter what you say, it always leads to a flawed view of it. I don't believe in the end point of human civilisation, don't confuse me with Fukuyama, Hegel, Marx or any other teleological thinker. European institutions undermine the principles of our constitution, that is why I am against them. If other states want to subject themselves to EU then they are free to do so, I simply care about the constitution of my country.
    1: apart from children, severely disabled people and of course future generations. What's your point other than that most people out of convenience think that they're free to begin with. Your point is fallacious, ad populum.

    2: its base is rooted in 2000 years of European history. NATO is inefficient, includes Turkey and crucially is reliant upon the U.S. Who may not be willing to pay for European defence indefinitely. I propose that roughly the break up of the EU would precipitate a rerun of the 1930s. We've already seen this with the rise of far right parties who want to break up the EU. These groups have actively been funded by Russia.

    And no I believe even outside the EU extremist groups will find ways to blame their problems on other countries (and economically they would be right- see how the devaluation of the Deutsch mark would have crippled France in the seventies)

    3: so in your mind it is the people who are sovereign. Fine. We the people of Europe hereby recognise our sovereignty. Stop trying to break up the community.

    4: Hume died more than 200 years ago. full throated Toryism is pretty much dead ideologically. It is the libertarian element that is the ascendant Eurosceptic ideology.

    5: nation states were established in the treaty of Westphalia and universalised by the UN. A lot has changed since then. I simply care about what benefits the people that make up our population than on abstract and subjective claims of acting on behalf of 'the people'
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    (Original post by Davij038)
    1: apart from children, severely disabled people and of course future generations. What's your point other than that most people out of convenience think that they're free to begin with. Your point is fallacious, ad populum.

    2: its base is rooted in 2000 years of European history. NATO is inefficient, includes Turkey and crucially is reliant upon the U.S. Who may not be willing to pay for European defence indefinitely. I propose that roughly the break up of the EU would precipitate a rerun of the 1930s. We've already seen this with the rise of far right parties who want to break up the EU. These groups have actively been funded by Russia.

    And no I believe even outside the EU extremist groups will find ways to blame their problems on other countries (and economically they would be right- see how the devaluation of the Deutsch mark would have crippled France in the seventies)

    3: so in your mind it is the people who are sovereign. Fine. We the people of Europe hereby recognise our sovereignty. Stop trying to break up the community.

    4: Hume died more than 200 years ago. full throated Toryism is pretty much dead ideologically. It is the libertarian element that is the ascendant Eurosceptic ideology.

    5: nation states were established in the treaty of Westphalia and universalised by the UN. A lot has changed since then. I simply care about what benefits the people that make up our population than on abstract and subjective claims of acting on behalf of 'the people'
    1)Firstly, you clearly misused the term ad populum. I never said or even implied that most people believed they are free--how on earth did you infer that from what I wrote? I simply said that negative liberty is a more fundamental form of liberty than alternative conceptions like positve liberty, simply because it is the common sense understanding of liberty. This issue is in reference to the original point you made about the meanings of 'liberty' and 'democracy' expanding over time. My point is that you can define these concepts in different ways but some definitions are clearly better and more accurate than others.

    2) Your claim is based on 2000 years of history you don't even understand. Given that most EU member states belong to the exact same military alliance (NATO) it exceedingly unlikely that they would declare war on each other if the EU were to collapse. You still haven't mentioned between whom these hypothetical wars will be fought and over what. You make vague, unsubstantiated references to 'history' when you cannot even imagine the casus belli of this future war you mention. That's why you point is baseless, and you know it.

    3) You don't seriously believe in a 'European people', you're just being facetious. No honest person believes that there is a common European identity which in any way compares to the identities of its constituent nations. I said nothing about the people being sovereign, I specifically said that parliamentary sovereignty ought to be restored--for anyone who understands the British constitution, that is a crucial distinction.

    4) You said that believing in free markets assumes a rationalist view of man, I showed you that's wrong. Even the great free-marketeer of the 20th century, Friedrich Hayek wrote at length about the limitations of human rationality. You were just categorically wrong.

    5) Nation-states were not established in the treaty of Westphalia, the domestic sovereignty of states was recognised by Westphalia. But even so, Westphalia was signed in 1648, quite a while after the end of the medieval period. Your last statement in this regard really revealed your historical illiteracy.
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    (Original post by CherishFreedom)
    Since there are a lot of debate on the referendum (as the referendum date is getting nearer), I would like to offer my side of the argument - perhaps from a different viewpoint to most of you. I have included some important statistics in bold for easy reading because this thread is getting quite long as I type it.

    Firstly let me introduce myself and my background. My family emigrated from Hong Kong in 2003 when I was 9 years old under the British Nationality Selection Scheme. I am now studying at University and intend to stay in the UK in the future along with most of my family.

    The greatest problem to me is not an economic one, but its fundamental structure and its level of influence on its member states. The European Parliament consists of 751 members, of which 73 of them represents the UK. Considering UK's population of about 64m, this gives a population per MEP of 875,289. This places the UK with the 2nd highest population per MEP figure, meaning most countries have a higher representative in the EU when considering their populations. This is against the fundamental principle of Democracy, every person's vote should be the same and wield the same amount of power. My concern is that - how can we rely on the EU to represent our interests, when we are under-represented and only account to roughly 10% of the votes?

    Economically I believe the EU is beneficial to the UK, but our deals and treaties with them can be arranged with their member states externally - like Norway and Switzerland. About 44% of UK export goes to the EU and 8% of EU export comes to the UK. This means we export £226.7b to the EU and the EU export £288.3b to the UK. On a purely numerical basis, the EU needs the UK for export more than the UK needs them. This high level of export would also ensure that EU businesses will put pressure on EU states to form trade agreements with the UK. With this theory in mind, I believe the UK should have no problem with negotiating its deals with EU countries, considering smaller economies like Norway were able to do so. Also if we choose to leave the EU, the process will be gradual and stretched out to allow time for legislation (as confirmed by the government). We should have plenty of time to replace existing trade treaties, and if in doubt we can always reference off Norway and Switzerland to save legislative work. One further suggestion is that we can allocate the £8.5b net annual membership fees to offer as grants to help businesses with the transition.

    Unlike some Leave campaigners I actually have no issue with immigration. I believe the EU has been responsible in its immigration policy in general and I think that the UK will continue this if we end up leaving the Union and decide our own policy. If not I am confident that the government will consult the public on what is best for the country. I also disagree with some Leave campaigners on foreign labour policy. I think being an internationalised developed economy, it is important to our market dynamics to have the best labours in the World, albeit from other countries. This keeps us competitive and cost effective.

    As a child living and Hong Kong and now as an adult in the UK, I have been closely monitoring the progress of democracy in Hong Kong. I realised the importance of freedom and democracy, and the struggle many people had to suffer to obtain it. I am alarmed that the EU will continue to become federalised and we will reach a point of no return, when we can no longer maintain our laws and defend our ideals which the British people have fought so hard to obtain for centuries. I am not optimistic that reforms will be made in the EU if we choose to remain and subject ourselves to this continuous trend of federalisation.

    I think I have covered most of my viewpoints. Thanks for reading and I hope that you can sympathise with my concerns. Feel free to respond and I will try my best to answer.


    Edit: This thread was started because I felt it would be a good contribution to the debate to add my point of view on the referendum, and to see if some people can relate to my less-mainstream background. There are some replies I have received which I found helpful, and adds insight and understanding to both sides of the debate. However some members of this forum have demonstrated an inability to convey their views in a respectful manner. As such I have no further interest to reply to them, as they have no interest in the respectful spirit of debating. I urge you to not satisfy their needs to vent out their aggression in a political forum section.

    I hope this thread has been a good demonstration of some of the views both sides hold, and adds some mutual understanding in what forms our decision on the referendum.
    Its all well and good saying that the EU needs us more than we need them, so a trade deal is inevitable, but we make trade deals through the EU as an economic bloc. Leaving and yes continuing trade with the EU will mean we will have to make all of our trade deals from scratch which makes no sense. In the long run this could be okay once we obtain ALL of those trade deals but think about the uncertainty it puts on businesses around the country. You gotta think of the knock on effect, whats the bank of england gonna do , raise interest rates and it'll be working class people who have shot themselves in the foot.
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    (Original post by Ollie123x)
    Its all well and good saying that the EU needs us more than we need them, so a trade deal is inevitable, but we make trade deals through the EU as an economic bloc. Leaving and yes continuing trade with the EU will mean we will have to make all of our trade deals from scratch which makes no sense. In the long run this could be okay once we obtain ALL of those trade deals but think about the uncertainty it puts on businesses around the country. You gotta think of the knock on effect, whats the bank of england gonna do , raise interest rates and it'll be working class people who have shot themselves in the foot.
    Uncertainty always has a negative effect on the economy at least in the short term. We cannot simply refuse change just because of uncertainty, and indeed 52% agreed. As I have suggested on my post, it really depends on one's priority.

    I have highlighted many other things which are important to me, in addition to the economy. I have explained some of them qualitatively and others quanititatively such as the representational deficit we have in the European Parliament.

    To put it more simply, 52% of people voted to make a change while your assumption is that they are making the wrong decision based purely or mostly on economical terms. This is just inaccurate. As many remainers have said (and I agree), you cannot have the whole cake and eat it.

    It just happens that people have weighted the benefits and potential risk, and made a deicision upon it.
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    It's more a case of wondering what we GAIN from leaving the EU. Norway and Switzerland are the best models IMO but they're fairly similar to being in the EU, so that won't happen in the UK.

    Most of the arguments I've heard are immigration, on which I agree with the OP. And errr....sovereignty? The right of the UK government to supercede the EU decisions. Why?

    The EU has its faults and I am critical of the European Commission and the refugee crisis response, but I see no benefit to leaving. Plus there are already talks that to get back to where we are now, it will take minimum 10 years. 10 years of minimal growth/shrinkage as other nations boom.

    Plus, living in Northern Ireland I am hugely concerned about the border situation and how Britain really is ignoring it.
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    (Original post by That Bearded Man)
    It's more a case of wondering what we GAIN from leaving the EU. Norway and Switzerland are the best models IMO but they're fairly similar to being in the EU, so that won't happen in the UK.

    Most of the arguments I've heard are immigration, on which I agree with the OP. And errr....sovereignty? The right of the UK government to supercede the EU decisions. Why?

    The EU has its faults and I am critical of the European Commission and the refugee crisis response, but I see no benefit to leaving. Plus there are already talks that to get back to where we are now, it will take minimum 10 years. 10 years of minimal growth/shrinkage as other nations boom.

    Plus, living in Northern Ireland I am hugely concerned about the border situation and how Britain really is ignoring it.
    Corbyn couldn't even implement hos manifesto in the EU- and that trend will only get worse and worse as they take more and more of our democracy.

    We have just led the global democratic revolution against this neoliberal tyranny.
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    (Original post by SaucissonSecCy)
    Corbyn couldn't even implement hos manifesto in the EU- and that trend will only get worse and worse as they take more and more of our democracy.

    We have just led the global democratic revolution against this neoliberal tyranny.
    The debatably democratic (one non-binding marginal victory referendum with no vote on the outcome decision) not global (rejected by France, Austria etc.) revolution against a neoliberal tyranny so we can be ruled locally by a neoliberal tyranny.
 
 
 
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