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

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    (Original post by 999tigger)
    Not trying to insult you and respect thats your view but am a bit more of a realist. Your politeness and the way you state your case is refreshing and does you credit, which is a compliment and not menat to be patronising.

    There is a big unknown, but they are likley to find it more expensive and difficult to cnduct trade becayse there will be a greater amount of checks and more regulations to comply with. Expense means less competitiveness. theres also a big chance a lot of business placed here might move to the continent to be within the EU.

    Personally I will be glad when its all over.

    ps assuming you are from HK presumably you are happy to be British chinese rather than Chinese?
    I am glad we are able to draw our differences. It's good to know where others stand on this, even though we do not agree.

    I have been in the UK for a large proportion of my life so I consider myself British. The democratic movement in Hong Kong is still largely a work in progress and I have thought of getting involved and openly supporting them, but I am afraid of causing inconvenience to my friends and family who might decide to live or work in Hong Kong in the future.
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    (Original post by CherishFreedom)
    I am glad we are able to draw our difference. It's good to know where other stand on this, even though we do not agree.

    I have been in the UK for a large proportion of my life so I consider myself British. The democratic movement in Hong Kong is still largely a work in progress and I have thought of getting involved and openly supporting them, but I am afraid of causing inconvenience to my friends and families who might decide to live or work in Hong Kong in the future.
    I'd be careful, it seems a regime not to be messed with.
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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 trade more than the UK needs them. 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.

    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.
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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.
    Thanks for your reply.

    1. You are correct as in the UK does not have a fully proportional representation system however the fact remains that the UK is still 100% responsible for electing its government and in deciding its local policies. Being under-represented and with only 10% of the voting power, I don't think it is in our best interests to remain subjected to EU parliamentary system. We cannot rely on the remaining 90% to support us all the time.

    2. You are also correct that EU has played some parts in withholding peace in Europe. However I do not think in the current state, the UK leaving the EU will endanger peace. Given that most European countries are members of the UN, and 4 of 12 countries in the EU are members of the United Nations Security Council, I believe that there will be very little impact on peace, if any. Even if the EU is unable to sanction a hostile country, the UN have power to impose greater punishment even beyond the EU's capability. Also 26 countries in the EU are also members of NATO, which provides military peace-keeping solution in case sanctions is not enough to withhold peace.

    3. In my opinion the situation you described is exactly the reason why we should oppose remaining in the EU. Economic freedom is a fundamental element of Freedom and something Britain should fight for, although I doubt that EU will resort to such childish retaliatory measures at the first place given the importance of British exports. Such aggressive response will also damage the EU's credibility and further intensify Euro-Sceptic sentiments.

    4. I do not consider leaving the EU as a money-saving move and if any, this will be a bonus to the cause. As I said on my original post, my case for leaving is mainly on its structure and its accountability.

    5. The fact that our existing Democracy is not perfect does not mean we should not seek a fairer and a more representative system to govern us. I'm sure more work needs to be done however I think the EU impedes us in making the best decisions on the UK as a whole. I believe accepting a knowingly less-than-perfect democratic system as a step-down is far from a logical solution to an important issue.

    6. To my knowledge, the term 'Euro-scepticism' originated in the 1980s when there were signs that the European Commission was seeking a more centralised power base and progressing towards federalisation. Naturally many politicians before this era had supported the EU. Coincidentally to your post, Margaret Thatcher have also famously rejected federalisation. I believe the 2008 financial crisis had tested the EU's ability to cope with financial instability, but is not directly a source of Eurosceptic sentiments. I believe many Leave voters, like me, are concerned about more fundamental issues such as Freedom and Democracy than being actually annoyed at individual events.

    7. Being a self-governing country does not isolate it from the world. Countries like Canada, Japan, Norway, Switzerland are perfect examples of this. Being the 5th largest economy in the World I am sure that we are capable of establishing the same trading status as these countries.
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    (Original post by CherishFreedom)
    I am glad we are able to draw our differences. It's good to know where others stand on this, even though we do not agree.

    I have been in the UK for a large proportion of my life so I consider myself British. The democratic movement in Hong Kong is still largely a work in progress and I have thought of getting involved and openly supporting them, but I am afraid of causing inconvenience to my friends and family who might decide to live or work in Hong Kong in the future.
    That's a real shame and shows how a lack of democracy affects your freedom of speech. You sound level headed and able to contribute to the debate and this is an example of someone who does not take democracy for granted through experience.
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    (Original post by 999tigger)
    There is a big unknown, but they are likley to find it more expensive and difficult to cnduct trade becayse there will be a greater amount of checks and more regulations to comply with. Expense means less competitiveness. theres also a big chance a lot of business placed here might move to the continent to be within the EU.
    You are indeed right in stating that there will be a big unknown but I would argue that change is not necessarily a bad thing.

    The E.U. has admitted that it would not reform and many of its current procedures remain undemocratic (for example, the commissioners are not elected). Economically, the E.U. has the advantage of being able to negotiate on behalf of a large number of countries instead of a single one. But when we discuss Britain's case, it has far more leeway than other European nations and this is to its advantage. Should the U.K., therefore, be bogged down by a central government that might not have its individual interests at heart? Remember that there are a lot of restrictions on trade negotiations for E.U. member states.

    All in all, this referendum is about letting Britain decide for its future rather than rely on Brussels. It would make sense to remain in the E.U. if significant reform was brought about and the institutions that constituted the union were 'democratised'. Unfortunately, I don't see this happening.
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    (Original post by Aceadria)
    You are indeed right in stating that there will be a big unknown but I would argue that change is not necessarily a bad thing.

    The E.U. has admitted that it would not reform and many of its current procedures remain undemocratic (for example, the commissioners are not elected). Economically, the E.U. has the advantage of being able to negotiate on behalf of a large number of countries instead of a single one. But when we discuss Britain's case, it has far more leeway than other European nations and this is to its advantage. Should the U.K., therefore, be bogged down by a central government that might not have its individual interests at heart? Remember that there are a lot of restrictions on trade negotiations for E.U. member states.

    All in all, this referendum is about letting Britain decide for its future rather than rely on Brussels. It would make sense to remain in the E.U. if significant reform was brought about and the institutions that constituted the union were 'democratised'. Unfortunately, I don't see this happening.


    Of course the commissioners are not elected, they are civil servants, not elected representatives. We don't elect civil servants in Britain either, does that mean Britain is not democratic.
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    (Original post by Maker)
    Of course the commissioners are not elected, they are civil servants, not elected representatives. We don't elect civil servants in Britain either, does that mean Britain is not democratic.
    You are correct that strictly speaking the Commissioners are civil servants, but they are also responsible for proposing laws, and pre-screening legislations. Therefore they have influence over the legislative process and can affect the outcome of policies. This is different to the definition of 'civil servants' in the UK.
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    (Original post by CherishFreedom)
    You are correct that strictly speaking the Commissioners are civil servants, but they are also responsible for proposing laws, and pre-screening legislations. Therefore they have influence over the legislative process and can affect the outcome of policies. This is different to the definition of 'civil servants' in the UK.
    Commissioners are selected by governments that are elected, if you don't like Britain's commissioner, vote for a different party.
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    (Original post by Maker)
    Commissioners are selected by governments that are elected, if you don't like Britain's commissioner, vote for a different party.
    The problem is not specifically the person selected to become the Commissioner for the UK, but the likelihood the system will produce officials which are not representative to the people of the country. This is not just an issue for the UK, but concerning every countries in the EU.

    It is not sensible to accept a leveraged representative system which is remotely derived from democracy, and use it as a step-down to give an illusion of true democracy.

    Looking from your perspective I can understand your argument but I think our expectations are different. I think you believe that a derived representation is sufficient to govern the EU. In my view the EU must be more democratic, at least in terms of proportionality of representation. I do not think this will happen if we choose to stay.

    Despite all this, the European Commission is not one of my main concerns which is why I have omitted from my original post for easier reading.
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    (Original post by CherishFreedom)
    On the basis of representation, isn't it better for UK to represent itself rather than relying on a leveraged representation of just 10% voting power?

    Some may say the EU has represented us extremely well (although I do dispute this), however do we know whether its direction will change in the future?

    Will it be far too late and far more damaging to us if we continue to accept federalisation, and try to leave the Union in the future?
    Hear, hear!

    Those who vote to stay in are literally spitting on the graves of our ancestors. They fought and died to bring us our freedoms, yet the EU supporters are letting corrupt outlanders rip them all away from us. I'll tell you this now, the in camp are really going to regret it once Merkel ruins our country as well. Of course by then it'll be too late to fix. Prevention is better than cure.

    (Original post by reinaadira)
    Do you think the UK should make it harder to immigrants to take benefits? Now it is only four years but maybe add on the extra two? Or I hear things about immigrants taking Council Houses when a lot of people have been on the list for years- is it true? Apparently 1/8 of those in social housing is an immigrant
    It's all true. My aunt and her 2 kids were almost made homeless because the council decided to give their house to an immigrant at very short notice. It was completely unjustified, completely out of the blue and if our appeal hadn't been accepted she'd be feeding my cousins out of rubbish bins right now. None in my family have the space or money to put them up, so the council would've ruined my cousins' futures. All in the name of "multiculturalism," it's sickening how our government values the EU and immigrants above it's own citizens. IMO no immigrant should be given benefits or free health care. That's payed for by British people for British people.
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    (Original post by Peroxidation)
    Hear, hear!

    Those who vote to stay in are literally spitting on the graves of our ancestors. They fought and died to bring us our freedoms, yet the EU supporters are letting corrupt outlanders rip them all away from us. I'll tell you this now, the in camp are really going to regret it once Merkel ruins our country as well. Of course by then it'll be too late to fix. Prevention is better than cure.



    It's all true. My aunt and her 2 kids were almost made homeless because the council decided to give their house to an immigrant at very short notice. It was completely unjustified, completely out of the blue and if our appeal hadn't been accepted she'd be feeding my cousins out of rubbish bins right now. None in my family have the space or money to put them up, so the council would've ruined my cousins' futures. All in the name of "multiculturalism," it's sickening how our government values the EU and immigrants above it's own citizens. IMO no immigrant should be given benefits or free health care. That's payed for by British people forBritish people.
    One of my relatives live in a rented house and it has a really bad condition with mould etc. but they clean it every week, but it keeps coming back and the landlord keeps increasing the price. Their town council tells them that there are no houses available but I know a few immigrants who have arrived at that town from my town and they claimed housing
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    (Original post by CherishFreedom)
    Thanks for your reply.

    1. You are correct as in the UK does not have a fully proportional representation system however the fact remains that the UK is still 100% responsible for electing its government and in deciding its local policies. Being under-represented and with only 10% of the voting power, I don't think it is in our best interests to remain subjected to EU parliamentary system. We cannot rely on the remaining 90% to support us all the time.

    2. You are also correct that EU has played some parts in withholding peace in Europe. However I do not think in the current state, the UK leaving the EU will endanger peace. Given that most European countries are members of the UN, and 4 of 12 countries in the EU are members of the United Nations Security Council, I believe that there will be very little impact on peace, if any. Even if the EU is unable to sanction a hostile country, the UN have power to impose greater punishment even beyond the EU's capability. Also 26 countries in the EU are also members of NATO, which provides military peace-keeping solution in case sanctions is not enough to withhold peace.

    3. In my opinion the situation you described is exactly the reason why we should oppose remaining in the EU. Economic freedom is a fundamental element of Freedom and something Britain should fight for, although I doubt that EU will resort to such childish retaliatory measures at the first place given the importance of British exports. Such aggressive response will also damage the EU's credibility and further intensify Euro-Sceptic sentiments.

    4. I do not consider leaving the EU as a money-saving move and if any, this will be a bonus to the cause. As I said on my original post, my case for leaving is mainly on its structure and its accountability.

    5. The fact that our existing Democracy is not perfect does not mean we should not seek a fairer and a more representative system to govern us. I'm sure more work needs to be done however I think the EU impedes us in making the best decisions on the UK as a whole. I believe accepting a knowingly less-than-perfect democratic system as a step-down is far from a logical solution to an important issue.

    6. To my knowledge, the term 'Euro-scepticism' originated in the 1980s when there were signs that the European Commission was seeking a more centralised power base and progressing towards federalisation. Naturally many politicians before this era had supported the EU. Coincidentally to your post, Margaret Thatcher have also famously rejected federalisation. I believe the 2008 financial crisis had tested the EU's ability to cope with financial instability, but is not directly a source of Eurosceptic sentiments. I believe many Leave voters, like me, are concerned about more fundamental issues such as Freedom and Democracy than being actually annoyed at individual events.

    7. Being a self-governing country does not isolate it from the world. Countries like Canada, Japan, Norway, Switzerland are perfect examples of this. Being the 5th largest economy in the World I am sure that we are capable of establishing the same trading status as these countries.
    1: I think our primary interest is in shaping the continent and being part of the single market. I can't think of any particular single interest worth sacrificing that for. Is there anything that we are currently prevented from doing in our interest in your view?

    2: I'm something of a UN sceptic. I have little faith in an institution that sees brutal dictatorships as sovereign states. The EU isn't oerfect but it is leagues ahead of the UN.

    3: economic freedom is determined by factors far outside our control- and even then we are still bound by things like WTO rules and will have to comply with other trading blocs not to mention we will be increasingly at the mercy of multinationals. As to the childish point- pot kettle black- look at Scotland. All states will put pressure on regions attempting to secede.

    4: na

    5: where has the EU impeded us? On important matters such as foreign policy, defence and macro economics we give greater power to our citizens by being part of a greater power.

    6: euro scepticism had indeed had a long history. But like the tea party it only exploded on size due to economic fallout.

    7: Canada and Japan aren't in our neighbourhood and our ultimately client States of the U.S. Switzerland and Norway are tied to the EU massively.
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    (Original post by Davij038)
    1: I think our primary interest is in shaping the continent and being part of the single market. I can't think of any particular single interest worth sacrificing that for. Is there anything that we are currently prevented from doing in our interest in your view?

    2: I'm something of a UN sceptic. I have little faith in an institution that sees brutal dictatorships as sovereign states. The EU isn't oerfect but it is leagues ahead of the UN.

    3: economic freedom is determined by factors far outside our control- and even then we are still bound by things like WTO rules and will have to comply with other trading blocs not to mention we will be increasingly at the mercy of multinationals. As to the childish point- pot kettle black- look at Scotland. All states will put pressure on regions attempting to secede.

    4: na

    5: where has the EU impeded us? On important matters such as foreign policy, defence and macro economics we give greater power to our citizens by being part of a greater power.

    6: euro scepticism had indeed had a long history. But like the tea party it only exploded on size due to economic fallout.

    7: Canada and Japan aren't in our neighbourhood and our ultimately client States of the U.S. Switzerland and Norway are tied to the EU massively.
    1. I think our ambition is to shape our own market and policies, not to shape others. To me this is exactly where I think the problem is, we have an emerging European superstate trying to shape every countries inside the EU, regardless of the will of its people. We have no business interfering in other countries, nor should they to us.

    2. I do not share your scepticism of the UN. Its purpose is to promote global peace and serves it well. Sanctions can be imposed by the EU, UN or individual countries. For example, Russia was sanctioned by the US and EU in 2014. US is not a part of the EU but chose to impose the sanction as an individual entity. The sanction on North Korea this year was imposed by the United Nations Security Council, but not by the EU. With its wider membership base, the UN can replace the EU's role in sanctions.

    3. A country's trade is first and foremost driven by the quality of its export and its external demand, conversely for imports. Countries are not require to be a member of WTO to trade, however most countries have joined because of its limited restrictions. It is merely an organisation aimed to introduce international standards to trades and commodities so that trades can be streamlined. The EU however has greater power upon its member states, often imposing direct policies such as bans, quota and regulations. As I said on my original post, economically I believe the EU has benefited UK as a whole. If the UK is to leave the EU, I strongly support the UK to become part of the European Economic Area under similar entity as Norway. This means we still adhere to the UK's economic policies, but not to its legislations.

    5. The point of the argument is not focused on whether the EU impedes us, but whether they are representative and accountable to us. What is best for the EU as a whole, may not be the best for the UK. As a single entity we have no obligation to defend the interests of other countries. Under the EU parliamentary system with only 10% voting power, it is likely that we will have to frequently accept legislations which are not approved by the British people. Many Leave voters, like me, are concerned about the overall flaws in the parliamentary system rather than nitpicking on each individual result it produces.

    6. Considering this is your own assumption, I respect our differences.

    7. As previously said, I hope that we can achieve the same status as Switzerland and Norway.
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    (Original post by Peroxidation)
    Hear, hear!

    Those who vote to stay in are literally spitting on the graves of our ancestors. They fought and died to bring us our freedoms, yet the EU supporters are letting corrupt outlanders rip them all away from us. I'll tell you this now, the in camp are really going to regret it once Merkel ruins our country as well. Of course by then it'll be too late to fix. Prevention is better than cure.



    It's all true. My aunt and her 2 kids were almost made homeless because the council decided to give their house to an immigrant at very short notice. It was completely unjustified, completely out of the blue and if our appeal hadn't been accepted she'd be feeding my cousins out of rubbish bins right now. None in my family have the space or money to put them up, so the council would've ruined my cousins' futures. All in the name of "multiculturalism," it's sickening how our government values the EU and immigrants above it's own citizens. IMO no immigrant should be given benefits or free health care. That's payed for by British people for British people.
    People from dozens of countries fought in both WWI and WWII including Poles, Czechs, Russians, Jamicans, Nepalese, Indians etc. Btritain should be more grateful to the people from these countries instead of whining about how they are taking British jobs and British houses.

    Immigrants are not responsible for the crazy way house prices have been inflated due to the British obsession with owning a house and the availability of unsustainable mortgages making houses too expensive even for average earners.
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    (Original post by Maker)
    Of course the commissioners are not elected, they are civil servants, not elected representatives. We don't elect civil servants in Britain either, does that mean Britain is not democratic.
    In its purest sense, absolutely. The question, however, is not whether individual countries are democratic or not but whether the election process gives individual citizens the necessary representation, as CherishFreedom has already said.
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    (Original post by CherishFreedom)
    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?
    I don't think that the ratio of population to MEPs is "fundamental", I agree that it is an issue, but I agree with others that this is a marginal issue rather than a fundamental one. That is, I believe that this is something that we should be looking to revise in negotiations, rather than LEAVE.

    If you take a look at this document you will see that variance in the ratio of voters to representatives is also a problem within UK parliamentary constituencies:

    http://www.publications.parliament.u.../600/60007.htm

    What it seems to say to me is that of 650 UK constituencies 187 have a variance of population of greater than +/- 10%. Or to put it another way, there are constituencies in the UK that are more than 20% larger than others. These out of bounds constituencies represent more than a quarter of all UK constituencies.

    However, we don't say that our democracy is fundamentally flawed due to this.

    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.
    I think you are not understanding the nature of the deals these countries have with the EU. EEA states have to pay the EU to be members, and have no seat at the table when decisions are being made. At the same time they are subject to the same rules and regulations as the member states (free movement of goods/services and people, etc).

    Norway and Switzerland (as well as Iceland) are also in the Schengen area.

    I heard some statistics yesterday about Switzerland compared to the UK. Where around 4% of our population is EU citizens in Switzerland that figure is 15%.

    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 trade more than the UK needs them.
    I think this is a kind of false argument - what you are essentially saying is that the more powerful group, economically speaking, are in a weaker position to negotiate. I think this argument also completely ignores the potential hit on the UK compared to the EU. If the EU loses 8% of its exports, then that is going to hurt. If the UK loses 44% of its exports then that is going to be devastating (I don't think this could come to pass, but I think your point is fatally undermined). To be clear, I think you are looking at the equation the wrong way around.

    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.
    There are two main points to be made here: the first is that there is no Federal Europe and there is no plan for a Federal Europe - and even if there were it would need to be substantially different to the institutions we currently have in place. So you are effectively worrying about the democratic representation of something that does not actually exist.

    Secondly, it is a complete fallacy to try to argue that the laws, ideals and cultures of the countries of Europe are not intertwined and closely linked. For the thousand years (and more) prior to the formation of the EU/EC/EEC Europe was in a state of almost continuous war. Thankfully that period seems now to be behind us. Some put this down to NATO. I think this is a spurious argument - NATO may have discouraged external enemies, but how does it prevent the internal disputes that razed our continent for millennia? The truth is that closer economic ties make war a futile venture, and those closer ties have been fostered by the EU.

    I also agree with what Eddie Izzard said on "Have I got new for you" last night, which was effectively that the EU is the cornerstone of global justice, and we cannot expect a fair and equitable world if we let that opportunity slip away.

    Where else can we expect these ideals to originate: an isolationist USA, Russia, China?
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    (Original post by CherishFreedom)
    The problem is not specifically the person selected to become the Commissioner for the UK, but the likelihood the system will produce officials which are not representative to the people of the country. This is not just an issue for the UK, but concerning every countries in the EU…
    The problem with your argument is that the Eurosceptics have undermined efforts to create greater democracy in the EU, eg the EU Constitution.

    Your argument is also fallacious in the sense that you seem to believe that any government or official is representative of the people. In the UK nothing like a majority of people voted for the government. Is the UK system fundamentally flawed?

    Is a Conservative minister with a constituency in the SE of England representative of the people of Belfast, Swansea or Shetland?
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    (Original post by CherishFreedom)
    2. You are also correct that EU has played some parts in withholding peace in Europe. However I do not think in the current state, the UK leaving the EU will endanger peace. Given that most European countries are members of the UN, and 4 of 12 countries in the EU are members of the United Nations Security Council, I believe that there will be very little impact on peace, if any. Even if the EU is unable to sanction a hostile country, the UN have power to impose greater punishment even beyond the EU's capability. Also 26 countries in the EU are also members of NATO, which provides military peace-keeping solution in case sanctions is not enough to withhold peace.
    The UN has no direct power, it relies upon the implementation of member states. We have also seen time and time again, in the Security Council, some of the permanent members (ie China, USA, UK and France) use their vetos to prevent resolutions from passing.

    Additionally, nearly every nation in the world is a member of the UN (the only non-members are territories controlled by other states - eg Western Samoa (USA), Bermuda (UK), etc - and the following: Taiwan, Kosovo, Palestine, Northern Cyprus and Antarctica), it therefore follows that almost all the current international and civil wars in the world, and the various territorial and border disputes are between members of the UN. That's some achievement, don't you think?

    The UN also has a 100% democratic and judicial deficit: there is no representation for citizens within the UN and there is no citizen accessible court system.
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    (Original post by typonaut)
    The UN has no direct power, it relies upon the implementation of member states. We have also seen time and time again, in the Security Council, some of the permanent members (ie China, USA, UK and France) use their vetos to prevent resolutions from passing.

    Additionally, nearly every nation in the world is a member of the UN (the only non-members are territories controlled by other states - eg Western Samoa (USA), Bermuda (UK), etc - and the following: Taiwan, Kosovo, Palestine, Northern Cyprus and Antarctica), it therefore follows that almost all the current international and civil wars in the world, and the various territorial and border disputes are between members of the UN. That's some achievement, don't you think?

    The UN also has a 100% democratic and judicial deficit: there is no representation for citizens within the UN and there is no citizen accessible court system.
    I was referring to the recent sanctions on North Korea by the United Nations Security Council, which voted unanimously impose the sanctions. The UN is a voluntary organisation and does not impose legislations on its members, except on areas concerning human rights. As such there is not as much need for a fully democratic representation.

    You must also understand there are events in which sanctions will not be enough to ward off an aggressor. You will find that in these events the aggressor would have already been sanctioned. Any form of punishment other than sanctions is beyond the capability of the UN or the EU. It is then the role of NATO and for individual countries to intervene militarily.
 
 
 
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