UK Referendum re the EU Watch

uktotalgamer
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#21
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#21
(Original post by michael321)
I don't think you're really getting my argument. I used to be more pro-EU than I am now, but simple cost-benefit analysis tells me it's a bad idea. The fact is that in terms of downsides, you have:

- Excess (and unwanted/uncontrollable immigration).
- Undemocratic tendencies.
- Long term goals non-aligned with Britain's interests.
- Increasing and unwarranted political union.
- Direct cost of membership.
- Unnecessary red tape and bureaucracy.

On the upside, you have:

- Free trade.

My point is, we can get free trade without being in the EU. We have alternatives (which I have suggested above). Leaving the EU would harm our trade temporarily, but if we maintained free trade with Europe from within the EEC or the EFTA, or by individual treaty we would suffer no long term effects.

So if we negate the major positive of the EU (free trade) by saying we can keep it if we leave, what does a cost-benefit analysis suggest? That it's overwhelmingly bad. The British people don't WANT greater union and integration. They don't WANT mass immigration at a time of mass unemployment. They want a productive and cordial relationship with our European neighbours which does not sacrifice Britain's sovereignty or subordinate our interests and goals to those of others.

Economically, would we be better off as a member of the EU as well as of the EEC/EFTA? No, probably not by much. But even if it would be slightly to our detriment, the downsides would be outweighed by the benefits of leaving.
I do get what your saying, however I think it's me that hasn't made themselves clear, so I apologise.

You make fantastic points in your post. The CBA is spot on, however, one benefit you forgot was perhaps a safety net.

Being a member of other organisations would be beneficial to us, however, I still feel that being a member of the EU would be even more beneficial, financially. However, what I failed to make clear in my previous posts is that it would also be a fantastic benefit, politically.

My immediate problem with us leaving the EU would be politically. Like it or not, countries are petty,extremely. It would certainly not international relations with European countries and would certainly count against us. Absolutely no doubt. The political benefits cannot be outweighed. It's alright saying well, we'll be a member of the WTO, but that wouldn't be enough. Us leaving the EU would sicken relations, that would count against us.
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michael321
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#22
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(Original post by Erich Hartmann)
Sorry it should have been EEA, not EFTA.

Yes you are right that there are many free trade agreements with countries out of the EEA, joining it would still mean that those from the EU countries will be allowed to come in, EEA = free movement of people, goods and capital. You will still need to allow that Pole to work in Britain just like how today citizens of Norway have the right to live and work in UK despite Norway not being a EU member. Same as per Swiss nationals.

How exactly do you plan on controlling immigration while remaining in the EEA or as per the Swiss just within the EFTA but not part of the EEA?

Hate to burst your bubbles and vacuums, but Norway and Switzerland already implements the vast majority of EU laws done in the name of economic matters.

The Tobin tax, as much as I'm against it, unless Britain somehow manages to do an exit minus the EEA and EFTA, there would be no room to circumvent it either.

Re : voting blocks, yes the Conservatives are now part of a different group than the UKIP.... the UKIP remains among the far-right of EU such as the True Finns and Danish People's Party..... no one pays any attention to what they say, just look at the faces of the MEPs when Nigel Farage speaks. Either way IMO the Conservatives are doing the right thing to be among a larger bunch of allies that have similar policies rather than being at the extreme odds which is generally contrary to their own policies.
I stand corrected. But I was not aware that the EFTA also requires unrestricted immigration? Are you sure this is the case? If so, then we should revert to negotiating individual treaties: the EFTA has free trade agreements with non-member states; the WTO promotes free trade across the world; it is written in EU treaties that it has an obligation to foster good relations and open trade with non-member nations. There are plenty of opportunities out there; remember that in a few decades, the EU will have shrunk massively as a trading bloc compared to the rest of the world.

But EFTA members and EEC members still do not have to implement the most draconian elements of EU law - interference in social policy, for instance. But I would be quite happy to be further out and negotiate individual trade agreements.

Yes, you can see the disparaging looks on the other MEPs' faces as Farage lambasts them about such minor issues as not giving a **** for democracy (the EU's good at that). But my point here still stands - in the long run, when we are even more integrated and the EU has further control over a wider selection of policies, will its parliament vote for Britain's interests? No, it will vote for the interests of Europe as a whole, which will very probably be against the interests of countries such as Britain (i.e. richer countries and Eurosceptic countries).

Basically your whole argument seems to me to be based on fear of a bullying EU that will give us the cold shoulder if we leave its little club. Frankly, if the attitude of such a purportedly noble organisation is that bitter and self-promoting, I'd rather be out than in.

Besides, you neglected my point about this being a subjective political decision as well an objective economic one.
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michael321
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#23
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#23
(Original post by uktotalgamer)
I do get what your saying, however I think it's me that hasn't made themselves clear, so I apologise.

You make fantastic points in your post. The CBA is spot on, however, one benefit you forgot was perhaps a safety net.

Being a member of other organisations would be beneficial to us, however, I still feel that being a member of the EU would be even more beneficial, financially. However, what I failed to make clear in my previous posts is that it would also be a fantastic benefit, politically.

My immediate problem with us leaving the EU would be politically. Like it or not, countries are petty,extremely. It would certainly not international relations with European countries and would certainly count against us. Absolutely no doubt. The political benefits cannot be outweighed. It's alright saying well, we'll be a member of the WTO, but that wouldn't be enough. Us leaving the EU would sicken relations, that would count against us.
So we should be part of a supernational political and economic union because we're scared of leaving? Sounds rather like the attitude of the USSR's satellite states to me.

We should be prepared to brave the relatively short-term downsides of the EU in exchange for listening to Britain's people and maintaining our sovereignty and control over our own future. Ask yourself, would German, French, Italian businesses be for or against free trade with a country which exports less to them than it imports from them? World trade tariffs are rather low and worries about retaliatory protectionism keeps them that way. The "oh no it would kill our trade" argument is over-hyped. As for the political one - it will pass, and as I said to Erich above, I'd rather not be part of such a petty, bitter organisation.
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uktotalgamer
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#24
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#24
(Original post by michael321)
So we should be part of a supernational political and economic union because we're scared of leaving? Sounds rather like the attitude of the USSR's satellite states to me.

We should be prepared to brave the relatively short-term downsides of the EU in exchange for listening to Britain's people and maintaining our sovereignty and control over our own future. Ask yourself, would German, French, Italian businesses be for or against free trade with a country which exports less to them than it imports from them? World trade tariffs are rather low and worries about retaliatory protectionism keeps them that way. The "oh no it would kill our trade" argument is over-hyped. As for the political one - it will pass, and as I said to Erich above, I'd rather not be part of such a petty, bitter organisation.
It's not about being part of a "petty, bitter organisation." That isn't the cusp. The reality is that it's a petty, bitt world, not just an organisation. Doing anything to bridge that works in our favour. Keeping a few countries happy to me is important.

It's a far fetched comparison, but look what happened prior to World War One, ne, World War Two. Treaties after treaties with different countries. The point of the EU is one big treaty. Keep everybody happy. Us leaving would be detrimental to that.
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michael321
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#25
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#25
(Original post by uktotalgamer)
It's not about being part of a "petty, bitter organisation." That isn't the cusp. The reality is that it's a petty, bitt world, not just an organisation. Doing anything to bridge that works in our favour. Keeping a few countries happy to me is important.

It's a far fetched comparison, but look what happened prior to World War One, ne, World War Two. Treaties after treaties with different countries. The point of the EU is one big treaty. Keep everybody happy. Us leaving would be detrimental to that.
Yes but you still aren't getting my point. Keeping everybody happy is, in my opinion, far less important than getting the benefits which leaving would bring us. Surely the end goal of any government policy ought to be to accept the wishes of UK citizens and maximise the benefit to them and to Britain; keeping everybody happy does not fit into this if it comes at the expense of all the downsides of EU membership which I mentioned above.

The negatives outweigh the positives, so we should get out.
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Erich Hartmann
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#26
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#26
(Original post by TShadow383)
I'm sorry, but this is just wrong.
The euro simply will not work in its current form. Not without ECB money printing (which the Germans won't allow) or full fiscal union of the eurozone with the democratically elected governments of the member countries being effectively powerless to enact real reforms.
I'm beginning to sound like a cracked record, but I've been saying this since early 2010, and frankly I've done very well out of the euro crisis so far - investment account up 59% for 2011 - result!
Sorry missed your post earlier.

Correct for there to be a future with the Euro it will need full fiscal union and it is definitely what the Germans want and they want it rather badly tbh, there is a reason ECB isn't in Brussel or Paris or anywhere else other than in Frankfurt. There is nothing more that irritates and irks the Germans more than financial irresponsibility....... remember it is still largely a calvinist society. In reality the crisis is here because the big players let it happen rather than anything else.



(Original post by TShadow383)
-How can you justify the assertion that germany will pay indefinitely to maintain the euro?
In essence the financial bill for this crisis isn't that big for them, they have had bigger ones in history....the reunification with East Germany for example. That they had to pay themselves, this crisis on the other hand their net contributions to fix the problems won't be as much.

The weaknesses in the Eurozone right now is actually very beneficial for Germany, it is keeping the Euro low without them needing to resort to any actions to keep it artificially low... low currency for the case of Germans is only a good thing.... they are an exporting nation and many of their exports go out of the Eurozone. Funny enough the weak currency isn't affecting their inflation figures all that much, unlike the weakening of the sterling and it's effects of inflation in Britain. Something to do with vast majority of their goods and services coming within the single market which can be had without any currency exchange.

The crisis remains a politically problematic one, but the main difference between Germany and Britain is politics tend to be long term focused rather than short-term.... considering they never told the East Germans to get lost for over 20 years, they certainly won't be telling the rest of the Eurozone to go considering most believe the problems will be over within 5 years. 5 years is generally short term in German business and politics.

In any case, the crisis now is largely seen by German politicians as an opportunity, the opportunity to get what they wanted from day one, full integration and it looks like finally they might just get it, maybe in as little as 6 months time.... this time there will be nothing David Cameron can say or do that will prevent it.

(Original post by TShadow383)

-How do you think the crisis will be resolved and lead to stability, with italian and spanish government debt yields rising, the ECB bankrupt if marked-to-market and the entire continent slipping into recession (check out the latest industrial output figures, they're absolutely shocking).
The ECB isn't bankrupt...... not yet at least.... eventually they will have to recapitalize it. Probably the crisis will lead to better disclosures and much better governance. As they say you normally need a crisis to get things going.

You do realize that Spain was the only country in the Eurozone that actually adhered to the Stability requirements of being in the Euro? Not even the Germans or the Dutch could say the same..

Spain and Italy have different problems, Spain has both high government and household debts, it will eventually be like Greece.... it isn't to the point of being dangerous yet as the new government will be able to get things done and it would be a matter of national shame if they have to ask for help.

Italy, the reality of it... their entire economy has always been that way, it's always had budget deficits and they have yet to have problems paying back their debts. The main difference is while government debts are high, household debts are minimal and they still have plenty of industries that can help to get out.


(Original post by TShadow383)
-In what way do you suppose that the germans are benefiting from the current crisis? They benefit from being in the single currency, since they are able to maintain an over-weak currency at the expense of the southern eurozone countries, but if you think they're benefiting from the debt crisis of italy, spain, portugal, ireland, greece and soon possibly france then I'd like to see how that's justified to you.
Let's see :-
1) Makes their exports extremely competitive. It is estimated that if they were using the DM today, 1DM=US$1.85 at bare minimum, some even put a figure as high as US$2.5
2) Their industries can largely go unchallenged due to the good efficiency of it and won't be out-competed by the lower cost economies who are using the Euro also.
3) It's exactly the fuel they need for further integration, and yes they do want it.

The debt from PIIGS, you are assuming they didn't know of it's existence... they knew all along this will happen. How are they going to benefit? More than likely eventually once it gets to the point where the only way out will be for Germany to guarantee a bunch of new loans.... that guarantee will come at a very high price for all the PIIGS more than likely told to back what the Germans are demanding or else you fail....if these countries agree to it will essentially mean Germany controls the economy of ALL these countries and will be told to shut up or else.

(Original post by TShadow383)


One way or another, this crisis will cost france and germany A LOT. Look at how over-exposed their banks are to southern europe, and the perilous state of the balance sheets of some of those institutions. Either they're going to have to subsidise half a continent at great cost to their own citizens for a long time, or they're going to have to recapitalise their banks (assuming the bond markets will lend them the money to do so).

The next six months will be very interesting indeed.
Recapitalization will be the only way.
6 months time we will know what they will do.
5 years time we would probably see the full effects of it.
10 years time...... most people will be asking "What crisis?"
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Erich Hartmann
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#27
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#27
(Original post by michael321)
I stand corrected. But I was not aware that the EFTA also requires unrestricted immigration? Are you sure this is the case? If so, then we should revert to negotiating individual treaties: the EFTA has free trade agreements with non-member states; the WTO promotes free trade across the world; it is written in EU treaties that it has an obligation to foster good relations and open trade with non-member nations. There are plenty of opportunities out there; remember that in a few decades, the EU will have shrunk massively as a trading bloc compared to the rest of the world.

But EFTA members and EEC members still do not have to implement the most draconian elements of EU law - interference in social policy, for instance. But I would be quite happy to be further out and negotiate individual trade agreements.

Yes, you can see the disparaging looks on the other MEPs' faces as Farage lambasts them about such minor issues as not giving a **** for democracy (the EU's good at that). But my point here still stands - in the long run, when we are even more integrated and the EU has further control over a wider selection of policies, will its parliament vote for Britain's interests? No, it will vote for the interests of Europe as a whole, which will very probably be against the interests of countries such as Britain (i.e. richer countries and Eurosceptic countries).

Basically your whole argument seems to me to be based on fear of a bullying EU that will give us the cold shoulder if we leave its little club. Frankly, if the attitude of such a purportedly noble organisation is that bitter and self-promoting, I'd rather be out than in.

Besides, you neglected my point about this being a subjective political decision as well an objective economic one.
I'm generally not too interested in the politics behind the EU.... to me I place more importance in economic issues behind it..... and for the most part for the vast majority of people whatever the politics it's just a same crap different day, EU or no EU.

There is actually a difference between EFTA and EEA.... the EEA is what is often referred to as the "Single Market" which is the important one. EFTA is where Norway, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Iceland are.. it is the body that governs their access to the Single Market. Now only Switzerland isn't a participant to the EEA despite EFTA membership, they didn't join it due to the tax harmonisation issues which well... they said no to because they didn't think it was necessary.

To be in the Single Market or the EEA you will need to have free movement of labour, UK is a member of this currently you can't be an EU member without being in this and unlike France, Germany and most other EU countries instead of closing the stupid gates, Britain left it wide open for everyone and their grandfather to come over enmasse from all the new EU members states like Poland etc...... where other countries utilized provisions within the ascension agreement that allowed them to prohibit citizens from new member states right to work for up to 7 years..... only UK, Ireland, Sweden and Finland didn't use that and well the rest is history half of Poland has migrated to Britain as a result Stupid Liebour.

Norway and Switzerland implements the vast majority of EU Laws, in addition they pay quite a bit of money in contributions towards the EU budget for the privilege of not being in the EU. The only policies they aren't bound by are the agriculture and fisheries policies.

The main difference of being in the EEA... any goods or services from Britain can move freely without any tariffs or duties. However any goods from out of the EEA will be subject to the same import duties as they have a harmonization. This is automatic..... so any regulations must be automatically enacted. Being out, then everything will need to be done by treaty.

As with any supranational (not supernational) organizations, everything will be to the benefit of the whole area.... and unfortunately it won't just be in Britain's interest alone. Good or bad? Hmmmmm..... Britain still has a veto on a lot of things and has a right to opt-out from many things.... to remain in the EEA but not be in the EU would pretty much mean the next time they say you need regulations on the size of condoms.... then while the French, Germans and Swedes and the rest of them go talking on penis sizes, Britain will have to shut up and either wait at the door or sit in some corner being ignored. Once they are done talking on penis sizes, the French and Germans will tell the Brits over some champagne on how big the condoms will need to be and Durex still has to manufacture it to what was agreed in that meeting.... on top of that Britain would still need to pay to just be at that corner.
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michael321
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#28
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(Original post by Erich Hartmann)
I'm generally not too interested in the politics behind the EU.... to me I place more importance in economic issues behind it..... and for the most part for the vast majority of people whatever the politics it's just a same crap different day, EU or no EU.

There is actually a difference between EFTA and EEA.... the EEA is what is often referred to as the "Single Market" which is the important one. EFTA is where Norway, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Iceland are.. it is the body that governs their access to the Single Market. Now only Switzerland isn't a participant to the EEA despite EFTA membership, they didn't join it due to the tax harmonisation issues which well... they said no to because they didn't think it was necessary.

To be in the Single Market or the EEA you will need to have free movement of labour, UK is a member of this currently you can't be an EU member without being in this and unlike France, Germany and most other EU countries instead of closing the stupid gates, Britain left it wide open for everyone and their grandfather to come over enmasse from all the new EU members states like Poland etc...... where other countries utilized provisions within the ascension agreement that allowed them to prohibit citizens from new member states right to work for up to 7 years..... only UK, Ireland, Sweden and Finland didn't use that and well the rest is history half of Poland has migrated to Britain as a result Stupid Liebour.

Norway and Switzerland implements the vast majority of EU Laws, in addition they pay quite a bit of money in contributions towards the EU budget for the privilege of not being in the EU. The only policies they aren't bound by are the agriculture and fisheries policies.

The main difference of being in the EEA... any goods or services from Britain can move freely without any tariffs or duties. However any goods from out of the EEA will be subject to the same import duties as they have a harmonization. This is automatic..... so any regulations must be automatically enacted. Being out, then everything will need to be done by treaty.

As with any supranational (not supernational) organizations, everything will be to the benefit of the whole area.... and unfortunately it won't just be in Britain's interest alone. Good or bad? Hmmmmm..... Britain still has a veto on a lot of things and has a right to opt-out from many things.... to remain in the EEA but not be in the EU would pretty much mean the next time they say you need regulations on the size of condoms.... then while the French, Germans and Swedes and the rest of them go talking on penis sizes, Britain will have to shut up and either wait at the door or sit in some corner being ignored. Once they are done talking on penis sizes, the French and Germans will tell the Brits over some champagne on how big the condoms will need to be and Durex still has to manufacture it to what was agreed in that meeting.... on top of that Britain would still need to pay to just be at that corner.
Well I agree with you entirely that Labour is excellent at ****ing things up. But all countries will have to accept the regulations on free movement after the grace period is up (which it probably is by now).

As I said in my above post, well if the EEC is as draconian as you say, it should be EFTA or individual treaties. If the EFTA is also too imposing, we'll just have to negotiate things on an individual basis. We import more from Europe than it imports from us, so it's really in their favour to allow us free trade.

See, you trivialise the political aspect, but I think it's vitally important. Britain is one of the EU's richest countries. As states are increasingly drawn into political and economic union, it will be the wealthier ones who lose most. This is a natural part of being a rich element of any country: London and the South-East, for instance, finance a disproportionate amount of UK spending. If the EU draws closer, Britain will become the EU's London - possibly along with France and Germany, but as countries that have thrown themselves wholeheartedly into the European project, they are better placed to resist. Our veto will not stand up for long: the EU's history has ever been one of closer integration and greater autonomy; we're already hearing worrying whispers of a devastating transaction tax being drawn up in such a way that it would circumvent our ability to block it; we're seeing internal German government memos suggesting how to make treaty changes and push for greater EU power without provoking referenda in countries such as Britain.

But more than this, I simply think it's better to make some economic sacrifices to keep control of our own future. Politicians will always share some attributes, yes, but I'd much rather be part of a democratic country where British people determine the UK's future than part of an EU superstate where our rules are made as much by the French, Germans and Poles as by us. In the long run, being unable to have a say in our own direction, along with the economic contributions we make to the EU, will far outweigh the benefits of preferential trade, much of which we can get anyway. There must be thousands of free trade/low tariff agreements between countries across the globe at the present time. The UK still trades heavily with the US, China, Japan and so on; leaving the EU and setting up individual treaties would hit us to some extent, but when you consider the long run benefits (both politically and economically) of an exit, to me it seems that the choice is obvious.

He who sacrifices a little liberty for a little security deserves neither and will lose both. Being lured deeper into European statehood by the promise of economic gains will be to the long-term detriment of Britain, democracy, and self-determination.
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