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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    In 1997 HM Treasury asked the question "in summary will joining the EMU promote higher growth, stability and a lasting increase in jobs?" and answered "no". In 2003 it asked the same question again and on this occasion answered "yes but only if sustainable and durable convergence between business cycles and economic structures was achieved and that had not yet been achieved".
    That is not the question I asked.

    You know and I know that HM Treasury will have returned the answer desired by Tony Blair for political reasons. I am not disputing that there was substantial public opposition to Euro membership which made joining the Euro politically dangerous, and ultimately resulted in our not adopting the Euro. In particular Blair had promised a referendum that he would lose and therefore did not want to hold.

    I am disputing that the apparently independent experts now being cited by Remain, and apparently spontaneously endorsing Remain, stated that Euro membership would be bad for Britain.

    The Economist magazine considered the same question in 2002 and came to the conclusion "no". I cannot find anyone purporting to do an economic analysis between 1997 and the present day who has answered the Treasury question as an unequivocal and unconditional "yes".
    Here is The Economist in 1999: http://www.economist.com/node/199382



    This looks exactly the same as what we see now: a large majority in favour of the Euro, which gets larger with more relevant specialism, with an eclectic opposition of extreme free marketeers and Marxists.

    The article actually gives a pretty nice summary of the objections to the Euro, and foreshadows the devastation it caused in the crisis, but the message is clear: academic consensus is to join, and refuseniks are disproportionately crackpots.

    I do not think that any Soviet leader after Stalin was unaware of the economic failings of his country due to an inability to model those failings. The position with Stalin was somewhat different, but executing people who bring you bad news tends to distort statistical results.

    In 1912 Thomas Andrews accurately modelled the effect of the collision of a large passenger liner with an iceberg. What good did it do?
    I am not suggesting they were unaware of the current effects of past policies (they often were but not for this reason). I am suggesting that they planned their economy - made decisions - on the basis of supposedly predictive mathematical models, and that those decisions tended to be poor. Economies run in this way were only really able to copy established practices from free market economies. As Khrushchev said, "When all the world is socialist, Switzerland will have to remain capitalist, so that it can tell us the price of everything.".

    You think that it is devastating for the EU that an EU member not very typical of the UK underperformed a non-EU microstate utterly untypical of any EU state other than (at a considerable stretch given its lack of seaboard) Luxembourg?
    Yes. The objections you are making are superficial and irrelevant and I suggest you have not logically explained their relevance for that reason. You have said that the UK would have to adopt pretty much the same policies whether inside or outside the EU. If it is obvious that Singapore has and can have radically different policies to Portugal, which result in its radically different performance, then you have conceded on that point.

    The fact that Singapore is a small state (it's not a microstate, more populous than Scotland or Ireland) and otherwise untypical of the EU and the UK makes my position stronger, because Singapore differs from the UK and the EU in lacking precisely those things - scale and power - which it is argued the EU is valuable in providing. The things that make Singapore atypical should harm its performance.
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    (Original post by Observatory)
    That is not the question I asked.

    You know and I know that HM Treasury will have returned the answer desired by Tony Blair for political reasons. I am not disputing that there was substantial public opposition to Euro membership which made joining the Euro politically dangerous, and ultimately resulted in our not adopting the Euro. In particular Blair had promised a referendum that he would lose and therefore did not want to hold.

    I am disputing that the apparently independent experts now being cited by Remain, and apparently spontaneously endorsing Remain, stated that Euro membership would be bad for Britain.


    Here is The Economist in 1999: http://www.economist.com/node/199382



    This looks exactly the same as what we see now: a large majority in favour of the Euro, which gets larger with more relevant specialism, with an eclectic opposition of extreme free marketeers and Marxists.

    The article actually gives a pretty nice summary of the objections to the Euro, and foreshadows the devastation it caused in the crisis, but the message is clear: academic consensus is to join, and refuseniks are disproportionately crackpots.


    I am not suggesting they were unaware of the current effects of past policies (they often were but not for this reason). I am suggesting that they planned their economy - made decisions - on the basis of supposedly predictive mathematical models, and that those decisions tended to be poor. Economies run in this way were only really able to copy established practices from free market economies. As Khrushchev said, "When all the world is socialist, Switzerland will have to remain capitalist, so that it can tell us the price of everything.".


    Yes. The objections you are making are superficial and irrelevant and I suggest you have not logically explained their relevance for that reason. You have said that the UK would have to adopt pretty much the same policies whether inside or outside the EU. If it is obvious that Singapore has and can have radically different policies to Portugal, which result in its radically different performance, then you have conceded on that point.

    The fact that Singapore is a small state (it's not a microstate, more populous than Scotland or Ireland) and otherwise untypical of the EU and the UK makes my position stronger, because Singapore differs from the UK and the EU in lacking precisely those things - scale and power - which it is argued the EU is valuable in providing. The things that make Singapore atypical should harm its performance.
    You are not comparing like with like and you are doing that in various places in your comments.

    Your reference to the Economist was to a poll of economists, not the product of their research. Whilst The Treasury research was undoubtedly commissioned with an end in view, it is stuffed full of data and no-one ever suggested that the data did not support the conclusion reached.

    How much wine was grown in Singapore last year? How many shipping lanes converge on Lisbon? They are so distinct as to make comparison ridiculous.
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    This has got lost in the noise. Anyone who is offering economic modelling is coming down firmly against Brexit.
    That isn't strictly true, but I don't place stock in this for three main reasons. Firstly because economic forecasters have an appalling track record, secondly because it is likely that many of this majority have vested interests in us remaining in the EU (such as the IFS) and thirdly because I have a functioning intellect and want to make use of my vote based on the arguments and consider this sort of association tactic a sign of a losing argument.

    I have yet to hear any convincing reasons for why we should remain in the EU for the sake of our economy. We are a net contributor to the EU, and the £4bn we get back in the rebate is controlled by Brussels. What exactly do we get for this other than the erosion of our representative democracy that we cannot replace in the event of a Brexit? We are the fifth largest economy in the world and I have confidence that we will be more than able to maintain and increase the strength of our economy outside of the EU while also regaining control of the laws that govern us and the accountability of our elected representatives.

    You have got various people offering different views on the political future, but you might as well look in a crystal ball because the external variables are vastly more significant than whether we stay or go. Both sides are playing this game and both sides are vastly overplaying the political risks.
    I don't know what you mean by 'external variables' or the obscure last sentence. However currently a large bulk of our day to day legislation is being conducted by people in another country who we do not elect and cannot hold to account. That is fundamentally unacceptable.

    You then have a few economists who are basically wishing to change the economy, usually, but not exclusively, in a radically deregulated direction who see Brexit as an opportunity to do so. If you are a revolutionary, wanting to remodel society, you need some kind of discontinuance in the established order and Brexit is more likely than an armed uprising in Goldalming.
    This sounds to me like ambitious speculation but as before I don't care what DC or BJ's ulterior motives are but what their arguments consist of.

    But every economic forecaster, extrapolating from the present and crunching the numbers says we will be significantly poorer if we leave.
    Do you believe that, and if so can you please explain in plain English why you do?

    The BBC gives this analysis:
    • The UK is a net contributor to the EU budget
    • The gross contribution in 2015 was £17.8bn but the UK rebate was worth £4.9bn
    • £4.4bn was also paid back to the UK government for farm subsidies and other programmes
    Leave arguments
    • The gross cost works out at £350m a week
    • If the UK left, billions of pounds would become available for other priorities
    • The UK would also be able to decide how to spend the money that the EU transfers back to it
    Remain arguments
    • Economic benefits of EU membership easily outweigh the cost
    • Other countries contribute more per person than the UK does
    • After Brexit, the UK would still have to contribute to the EU budget to retain access to the single market
    To me, the Leave arguments are clear and strong, although I understand the 350 figure is a little bloated. The Remain arguments as they have been throughout the entire campaign are unclear and/or crap. I don't care if other countries contribute more than us, and I have yet to hear any competent, half-intelligible explanation of what 'economic benefits' these are and why they are especial to the EU and not accessible in independent negotiations with the world. Finally, contributing a smaller amount to be in the single market without the political bullying seems to me much more sensible than the status quo.

    You are still looking at a theoretical model of sovereignty.

    To all intents and purposes the EU has banned capital punishment in America and the United States has banned the original Land Rover. The EU has introduced VAT in West Virginia and the United States has outlawed non-electronic passports in the rest of the world.

    Globalisation diminishes sovereignty. If the EU bans a food additive after Brexit, that food additive will disappear from the UK market regardless of public opinion unless Parliament decides to create a siege economy about that item by requiring (not merely permitting) its use and subsidising its production.
    Please explain what process you refer to in your examples, for example how the EU has 'banned' capital punishment in the US without having done so at all.

    You seem to be suggesting that economic and political decisions by other countries and trading blocs influence individual countries outside those blocs but this has always been the case and is presumably unavoidable. It does not at all persuade me that we should give up on the idea that our formal day to day legislation should be conducted by our own elected representatives who we can hold to account, the most important cornerstone of liberal democracy, out of an irrational Enoch Powell-style absolutism that something once diminished should be discarded entirely.

    This is really Cameron's one and only victory in his re-negotiation. "Ever closer union" isn't an issue at the political level in the EU Council but it is significant at the administrative level in the Commission and more so at the judicial level. Stopping a single direction of travel in EU decision-making will have an effect.


    Could you re-phrase this in language that does not entirely consist of buzzwords and references which humble plebs like myself are not familiar with?

    Everyone in the economy is both a giver (either by directly providing services or by paying taxes) and a receiver of services and the present state of the economy is the net result of all that giving and all that receiving. Each individual person in the economy doesn't contribute equally at any moment in time or indeed over a lifetime.

    If we suddenly add a lot more economically active, working age people in good health for whose childhood we have not had to pay to the economy, it is ridiculous to say that this will add a net burden to the economy. If that was the case, the UK should have been encouraging economically active, working age Brits in good health to emigrate, because it would have made those of us who stayed richer.
    For starters you fail to remember that many of these immigrants have and will go on to have children whose education and healthcare we do have to pay for.

    You also fail to apprehend that the rewards and drawbacks of immigration do not simply fall into how much money we get from or give to them. There is already in this country a serious housing crisis which is going to make it very difficult for the vast majority of people who use this forum to buy a home before they are really getting on. There is a limit as to how much government can do to attempt to remedy this situation every year, and if hundreds of thousands of migrants are entering the country then it is going to be very difficult to ever remedy at all. There is a base line of immigration we can healthily tolerate and above this whatever the immediate monetary rewards our public services are going to suffer. This baseline has been ignored by the EU.

    I am still open to being persuaded otherwise but for the time being I plan to vote to Leave. I don't really care about immigration but I think that the EU is disgustingly wasteful and shamelessly arrogant. I think that we have gone too far in surrendering much of our day to day government to Brussels in the name of being at the negotiating table when we are one of the world's most successful economies and can - like others in Europe have successfully done - make our own trade agreements with the world on our own terms.
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    I think less since the Scottish elections. If the SNP had done better, Nicola would have used a Brexit vote opportunistically to lobby for another referendum.

    However, with SNP support past its peak and the Tories playing a more explicitly Unionist card than did Labour, it is a dangerous game.

    Independence is inherently more risky for Scotland if there is Brexit, because then who is looking out for Edinburgh in any negotiations between London and Brussels/Paris/Berlin?

    Frankly there is much more likelihood of a second Brexit referendum to overturn a vote to leave.
    (Original post by Jammy Duel)
    Scotland almost certainly wouldn't leave. You have to remember two things: first they're in a worse state fiscally than last time round; second that they aren't as europhilic as people make out making it a relatively minor issue.

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    (Original post by Fullofsurprises)
    My point is what if it's not clearly expressed, or can be arguably said to be not clearly expressed? Either way actually - I'm quite sure if it's 55:45 to Remain or something like that (as seems likely) that Farage, Gove, Boris and Duncan-Smirk will be back on the boil demanding another referendum about a week later.
    Which is much less honourable than demanding the government to simply ignore the result
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    (Original post by Fenice)
    Do we stand by these comments today?
    Not them, but yeah.
    Opinion polling is showing the Scots don't really have an appetite for another referendum.
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    Yayoo. We shall leave Scotland now.


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    (Original post by EuanF)
    Not them, but yeah.
    Opinion polling is showing the Scots don't really have an appetite for another referendum.
    I can relate.

    After ~4 years of run ups to referendums/elections it would be kinda nice to not worry about matters for a short while. I feel politically fatigued and I don't think it's in any way bigheaded for me to say I have much more tolerance and appetite for politics than your average joe.
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    (Original post by Fenice)
    Do we stand by these comments today?
    The short answer is that I do not know and what I think today may not be what I think tomorrow. Everything is moving so fast.

    EuanF and Elivercury make sensible points.

    There is one respect in which my previous comments were wrong and one in which I had not anticipated the way in which a Brexit vote might go.

    What is wrong is that I had assumed some form of London Brussels negotiation starting immediately. As it happens, Nicola may end up speaking to Brussels before Gove does.

    Secondly the English and Scottish referendum votes (excluding London) really shows their differences. This wasn't a vote where the Western Isles voted Leave and Yorkshire and the Humber voted Remain.

    In 2014 Scotland heeded Cameron's call to vote with the head and not the heart wrapped in a saltire and screaming "freedom" in an Australian accent. In 2016 England, faced with the same question, didn't. What is more outside London and a few other wealthy urban centres rejected common sense in favour of a Romantic and. for some backwards looking, nationalism.
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    Hopefully, there is something that the UK can offer Scotland to keep the Union between them despite the Exit. I would be sad to see them go after centuries of being part of the UK. The countries in the EU aren't that close to each other culturally or historically.

    It's a sad age we live in, when everyone is willing to sacrifice identity, history, and principles, for money and market access alone. Nothing is sacred anymore, I guess. Every nation and every person is seen as some kind of impersonal, generic, and interchangeable abstraction without historical context or significance. That's at least a part of what I hate about the EU and the kind of postmodern, post-structuralism it stands for.
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    (Original post by jeremy1988)
    Hopefully, there is something that the UK can offer Scotland to keep the Union between them despite the Exit. I would be sad to see them go after centuries of being part of the UK. The countries in the EU aren't that close to each other culturally or historically.

    It's a sad age we live in, when everyone is willing to sacrifice identity, history, and principles, for money and market access alone. Nothing is sacred anymore, I guess. Every nation and every person is seen as some kind of impersonal, generic, and interchangeable abstraction without historical context or significance. That's at least a part of what I hate about the EU and the kind of postmodern, post-structuralism it stands for.
    This is really quality stuff.
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    (Original post by jeremy1988)
    Hopefully, there is something that the UK can offer Scotland to keep the Union between them despite the Exit. I would be sad to see them go after centuries of being part of the UK. The countries in the EU aren't that close to each other culturally or historically.

    It's a sad age we live in, when everyone is willing to sacrifice identity, history, and principles, for money and market access alone. Nothing is sacred anymore, I guess. Every nation and every person is seen as some kind of impersonal, generic, and interchangeable abstraction without historical context or significance. That's at least a part of what I hate about the EU and the kind of postmodern, post-structuralism it stands for.
    You teach me how to turn identity, history and principles into food on the table and provide a modest living and I'll concede the point.

    The reality is that we need to survive in this world and we all vote in our best interests where that be remain or leave. The whole lets hold hands and support each other sentiment never gets very far.
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    (Original post by Elivercury)
    You teach me how to turn identity, history and principles into food on the table and provide a modest living and I'll concede the point.

    The reality is that we need to survive in this world and we all vote in our best interests where that be remain or leave. The whole lets hold hands and support each other sentiment never gets very far.
    Is leaving the EU going to cause you to resort to food banks?
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    (Original post by Fenice)
    Is leaving the EU going to cause you to resort to food banks?
    Possibly, we'll find out. I mean the current. Tory government has already made foodbanks a staple of many communities. I can't see how shafting the economy and potentially putting import fees on food is going to improve the situation.

    Politics should serve a purpose and history/tradition are not a purpose. They're nice things to analyse and evaluate when we're in good times but are in no way a solution for the modern world's problems.
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    (Original post by Elivercury)
    You teach me how to turn identity, history and principles into food on the table and provide a modest living and I'll concede the point.
    If food is the deciding factor for you, then that point isn't for you. You have every right to your worldview. I was just expressing my lamentations more than anything else. But I do have a more practical argument that you might be interested in.
    The reality is that we need to survive in this world and we all vote in our best interests where that be remain or leave. The whole lets hold hands and support each other sentiment never gets very far.
    Perhaps. But look at the state of the EU. France and the Netherlands are thinking of voting out. Suppose that they do, and more states follow them. The EU will be rather weak, if it even continues.

    So essentially, because the UK and the EU will now be separate, you have to choose which one to bet on. If you stay in the UK, you help Britain have a better chance at surviving without the EU, and what little England and Northern Ireland have will be shared with you. England needs Scotland a lot more than the EU needs Scotland, so you may have a better bargaining position with them than with the EU, even if they have less to offer.

    But if you leave the UK to join the EU, you're actually taking a bigger risk for a bigger reward. You'll be a small fish in a big pond, unlike in the UK. Without England's clout, you won't have nearly as much say in what happens in Brussels, and they'll be able to push you around like they do Greece and all those other smaller Mediterranean countries. That's one risk. If you're right, you get to be part of a huge economic block and avoid many of the consequences of Brexit, which is what you're aiming for.

    But If you're wrong, then you run the risk of the EU collapsing and then Scotland being left with neither the UK nor the EU after the fact. Imagine being just Scotland, with neither the UK nor the EU. If that position is untenable... then staying in the smaller, older union that the UK represents is at least worth considering.

    Ultimately, from a purely pragmatic stance, it comes down to whether you want to bet on the EU or the UK as being the best Union to be a part of.

    I think that it would be wise to at least wait for the other shoe to drop and see if other states start leaving the EU. If they do, then the UK might be the better bet.

    At this point, the future of both Europe and Britain is so uncertain that it might not be a good idea to throw away a bird in the hand hoping to get two in the bush.
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    (Original post by Fenice)
    Do we stand by these comments today?





    Which is much less honourable than demanding the government to simply ignore the result
    Absolutely. The union is more important than the EU to Scotland. The polling on independence is only giving a narrow majority for independence despite emotions running high and the argument for the union not having been made yet, that is the 14bn deficit, not going straight into the EU, then having difficulty getting into the EU; although they should be spun to make staying in the Union a positive thing where possible instead of saying about how leaving is a bad thing

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    (Original post by jeremy1988)
    Nothing is sacred anymore, I guess.
    In that sense nothing was ever sacred.

    The England of highly decorated churches, monks, nuns and masses for the dead vanished in 25 years.

    Handloom weavers and spinners bitterly opposed the building of the dark satanic mills but there is no doubt that the workers of the industrial revolution were materially better off as a result of that change.

    Look at England of the early 1950s and that of the late 1960s.
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    (Original post by jeremy1988)
    France and the Netherlands are thinking of voting out.
    There has always been a problem with reporting "Europe" in the UK in which very fruitcake's view is awarded the same respect as a solemn decision of the European Council.

    Today papers are reporting that English may disappear as an official language of the EU...because of the comments of one mayor in southern France.

    Is there any evidence whatsoever that anyone's view of the EU in France or Holland has changed? The Euro was opposed by a majority of the French since its creation. How many elections have passed since then? Someone reports that such and such a percentage of people are opposed to "Europe". What was the figure 5 years ago...10 years ago...30 years ago?
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    There has always been a problem with reporting "Europe" in the UK in which very fruitcake's view is awarded the same respect as a solemn decision of the European Council.

    Today papers are reporting that English may disappear as an official language of the EU...because of the comments of one mayor in southern France.

    Is there any evidence whatsoever that anyone's view of the EU in France or Holland has changed? The Euro was opposed by a majority of the French since its creation. How many elections have passed since then? Someone reports that such and such a percentage of people are opposed to "Europe". What was the figure 5 years ago...10 years ago...30 years ago?
    The big difference now is the rise of parties that overtly support exit, with a chance of winning power. The French far right were small and quarrelsome in the past - now they threaten to take the presidency.
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    There has always been a problem with reporting "Europe" in the UK in which very fruitcake's view is awarded the same respect as a solemn decision of the European Council.

    Today papers are reporting that English may disappear as an official language of the EU...because of the comments of one mayor in southern France.

    Is there any evidence whatsoever that anyone's view of the EU in France or Holland has changed? The Euro was opposed by a majority of the French since its creation. How many elections have passed since then? Someone reports that such and such a percentage of people are opposed to "Europe". What was the figure 5 years ago...10 years ago...30 years ago?
    The views on the EU haven't really changed, it's more that we've shown it is possible to leave, the Netherlands are strong soft Eurosceptics and it's a pretty common view in France.

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    (Original post by Jammy Duel)
    The views on the EU haven't really changed, it's more that we've shown it is possible to leave, the Netherlands are strong soft Eurosceptics and it's a pretty common view in France.
    But nonetheless a minority view. The most Euro-sceptic nation in the EU by far has been the UK and Leave just limped over the line.
 
 
 
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