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    (Original post by pothead1)
    You are making the assumption that European Union directives will always be for the benefit of our society.

    What you have failed to explain through out your contribution to this thread is, how it is logical for an institution with member states as varied as the European Union to create 'one size fits all' legislation? The socio-economic characteristics of the UK are completely different to that of many other member states, a directive that may benefit us, whether it is us as citizens or businesses in the UK - may very likely be a negative addition to their society. And ofcourse, the opposite also applies (as is often the case).

    This project is doomed to fail, however our politicians, with their minds stuck in puddble of denial, want to drag us along. I can't believe there are only a handful of MPs amongst the three main parties willing to openly denounce the European Union political project. They all seem to be just turning a blind eye because the wider constitutional implications aren't at the forefront of Joe Public's mind.
    I think that is a possibility of European Union - one size fits all legislation. Wasn't that the trend leading to the draft EU Constitution that failed in 2005?

    As for EU Directives not contributing society - I'm sure you will find English statutes on the English law statute books that have received their fair amount of criticism; think sexual offences, for example. There are controversial statutes there; e.g. criminal liability for using a brothel that employed trafficked sex slaves, without knowing that those employees had been trafficked.

    What's more is that a Directive does not have direct effect - so it's pretty easy for it to slip by into the zone of unimplementation. A state may be liable for unimplementation if the Directive is invoked after the transposition period; but until the issue is raised before ECJ, the unimplemented Directive may go largely unnoticed. Since 1991 when state liability was introduced with the Francovich case, 10 Member States have never had state liability for failing to implement a Directive correctly; either the individuals in the Member State were happy with the Directive or nobody cared about it so it slipped into obscuredome.
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    (Original post by lesbionic)
    Lol, hello Nigel Farage.
    Hi there.

    European Union has not 'got rid of parliamentary sovereignty.' European Union law will only cause our national courts to set aside (not repeal) national laws where they are incompatible with EU legislation. I think this is fantastic and why anyone wouldn't is beyond me. European Union protects our fundamental Community rights in ways our own national parliaments may fail to do so.
    Please be clear, in one breath you have contradicted yourself. In one sentence you are saying that parliamentry soverignty still exists, the next you are saying EU law causes our courts to 'set aside' laws enacted by our parliament. Also, the term 'set aside', in real, day-to-day terms is a false dichotomy. It means citizens of the UK, cannot go into a court and rely on laws enacted by our parliament. Instead, they will be subject to the laws of what I deem to be an outside body, regardless of whether in your opinion that law is better or not - what I am saying is a fact.

    Also - ECJ is not the highest court in the land. It is a court of last instance where cases cannot be decided in the UK because of conflicting EU law and appeals which concern EU law. Why is this a problem for you? I'd rather have a specialist court such as ECJ deciding important legal and constitutional matters than our Supreme Court that may not have the competence to judge on EU matters.
    Ok smart ass, 'highest court in the land' was just a throw away phrase I used. It doesn't take away the point I was making that UK courts are bound by ECJ decisions. This is a problem because of above point I made about the law not being democratically enacted.

    I think your anger at European Union is the result of a lack of information and education on the subject. Most average citizens unfortunately do not receive much education in European Union, which is a crime because of its sheer importance in our national day to day business. European Union is not a top down system. It's rather horizontal when you consider the ECJ ruling are mostly important academic matters or interesting points of law; very much how the United Kingdom Supreme Court operates.
    I have no anger towards the EU. Also, I don't lack information on the subject - I actually consider myself fairly well read on the area. What makes it horizontal due to ECJ decisions, care to clarify this part of your argument?

    On top of that, the EU is a top-down system. Who is suffering from a lack of information now? Compare the power of the Commission to the EU parliament?

    As for being unelected - why would ECJ be elected? Courts up and down the country, whether you're at the Old Bailey or in county court in Bradford do not have elected judges. :rolleyes:
    I wasn't talking about the ECJ specifically being unelected, but the whole body generally being unelected (except for the MEPs).
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    (Original post by pothead1)
    On top of that, the EU is a top-down system. Who is suffering from a lack of information now? Compare the power of the Commission to the EU parliament?

    I wasn't talking about the ECJ specifically being unelected, but the whole body generally being unelected (except for the MEPs).
    Since the Lisbon Treaty, European Parliament emerged as the institutional winner. It's powers were increased and in a sense it's now on an equal footing with The Commission. Here's some media you can watch for your information

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OCUF5t1kRlI

    The whole body except for MEPs are unelected? The MEPs are rather important in the legislative process, if you didn't know...
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    (Original post by damos92)
    Not really. Your wording makes it seem as if Yorkshire wont have to adopt what it has suggested for Cornwall, when this is not the case.

    Not that i'm for the EU.
    This isn't really the point. The yorkshire/cornwall example is an illustration of the blue river argument used in favour of the EU.

    The argument is best explained using this story:

    People in country A don't care about the environment. They chuck all their waste into Blue River. Blue River flows into country B. People in country B really care about the environment and want to clean up Blue River - or, as they know it, Brown River. But there is nothing they can do to clean it up because they have no say on the political and legislative process in country A.

    Basically, in a small space like Europe, what people do in one country often affects other countries around it. It's quite possible that country B does stuff which affects country A in a way which they don't like. So, the people in both countries need to have a way to affect the legislative process in the other country, this is best done through have some organisation that lets them discuss the cross border issues together and then come up with some legislation which takes account of all their respective interests.

    It's a good argument for the EU, and personally I think it's right that we should have an institution which takes care of this kind of stuff and looks after the internal market as a whole. The problem is that the EU is not democratic - it is about as representative as the tree in my back garden. It also essentially decides the limits of its own power which is clearly problematic.

    Studying EU law makes you realise how much of a big mess the EU is, and how much of it is the way it is because of behind the scenes political trade offs.
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    (Original post by lesbionic)
    Since the Lisbon Treaty, European Parliament emerged as the institutional winner. It's powers were increased and in a sense it's now on an equal footing with The Commission. Here's some media you can watch for your information

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OCUF5t1kRlI

    The whole body except for MEPs are unelected? The MEPs are rather important in the legislative process, if you didn't know...
    MEPs are much less important than you think. I don't have the stats on me, but a huge amount of EU legislation is delegated to the Commission, which basically means the EP and Council pass 'legislation' which says that the Commission is allowed to make law concerning a particular area, such as consumer regulations or whatever, and then the Commission just makes up the actual law itself (without it going back to the EP and Council).

    Edit:

    (Original post by lesbionic)
    Also - ECJ is not the highest court in the land. It is a court of last instance where cases cannot be decided in the UK because of conflicting EU law and appeals which concern EU law. Why is this a problem for you? I'd rather have a specialist court such as ECJ deciding important legal and constitutional matters than our Supreme Court that may not have the competence to judge on EU matters.
    This is completely wrong. Have you ever read an ECJ judgment? They are incredibly shallow. Half the time they do not give any proper argument for why they decide the way they do. Usually you can look at the Advocate General's reasoning, but that isn't binding and the ECJ sometimes decides the case differently, without giving any argument for doing so.

    Also, the ECJ doesn't really work the way you described. Private citizens can't bring cases directly to the ECJ, they have to go through the British system and ask for the UK courts to make a preliminary reference to the ECJ who then decide the particular question at hand (not the whole case) and then the UK courts use that decision when deciding the case. However, it's very easy for UK courts to not make a reference (there's no punishment for not doing so, and it's at their discretion until the claimants reach Supreme Court which is very expensive).
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    (Original post by Lemons)
    This isn't really the point. The yorkshire/cornwall example is an illustration of the blue river argument used in favour of the EU.

    The argument is best explained using this story:

    People in country A don't care about the environment. They chuck all their waste into Blue River. Blue River flows into country B. People in country B really care about the environment and want to clean up Blue River - or, as they know it, Brown River. But there is nothing they can do to clean it up because they have no say on the political and legislative process in country A.

    Basically, in a small space like Europe, what people do in one country often affects other countries around it. It's quite possible that country B does stuff which affects country A in a way which they don't like. So, the people in both countries need to have a way to affect the legislative process in the other country, this is best done through have some organisation that lets them discuss the cross border issues together and then come up with some legislation which takes account of all their respective interests.

    It's a good argument for the EU, and personally I think it's right that we should have an institution which takes care of this kind of stuff and looks after the internal market as a whole. The problem is that the EU is not democratic - it is about as representative as the tree in my back garden. It also essentially decides the limits of its own power which is clearly problematic.

    Studying EU law makes you realise how much of a big mess the EU is, and how much of it is the way it is because of behind the scenes political trade offs.
    Good eloquent post, care to offer some real life examples where a country's decisions are affecting another, helpless, country's quality of life?
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    (Original post by Lemons)
    Have you ever read an ECJ judgment?

    Also, the ECJ doesn't really work the way you described. Private citizens can't bring cases directly to the ECJ, they have to go through the British system and ask for the UK courts to make a preliminary reference to the ECJ who then decide the particular question at hand (not the whole case) and then the UK courts use that decision when deciding the case. However, it's very easy for UK courts to not make a reference (there's no punishment for not doing so, and it's at their discretion until the claimants reach Supreme Court which is very expensive).
    Yes, I have read an ECJ judgment. Don't get smarmy on here darling, it won't work in your favour. I think as law students, we naturally read judgments all the time. ECJ judgments may be automaton sounding and unbridled, but they cover important legal points. You don't honestly believe they spend YEARS producing such short and uninspiring judgments do you? They spend large amounts of time doing the academic research etc. Just because out own judgments take the long hike up and down the mountain does not mean European Union must follow suit.

    And I know exactly what the process is. I didn't suggest an individual can 'bring a case to ECJ.' How dare you suggest such stupidity. I know Member States make preliminary references to ECJ. Hence why a case can take years from our own national courts to arriving at ECJ.

    I think you're wrong about the powers of European Parliament - did you even read the Lisbon Treaty?
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    (Original post by damos92)
    Good eloquent post, care to offer some real life examples where a country's decisions are affecting another, helpless, country's quality of life?
    The environment is an obvious one, but think about legislation relating to employee rights, company taxes etc. That kind of thing clearly affects the decisions of businesses as to which countries to operate out of, and therefore the economy of other countries (as well as more personal issues, like employment). Laws providing subsidies to certain producers affect the market, which, if large enough, will affect the economies of other countries; etc.

    Clearly, if you don't give a crap about the countries your laws are adversely affecting then you wouldn't want to coordinate with them. But the point of the EU is that we do care, and that the best way for all of us to do well, is if we're doing well together.
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    (Original post by lesbionic)
    Yes, I have read an ECJ judgment. Don't get smarmy on here darling, it won't work in your favour. I think as law students, we naturally read judgments all the time. ECJ judgments may be automaton sounding and unbridled, but they cover important legal points. You don't honestly believe they spend YEARS producing such short and uninspiring judgments do you? They spend large amounts of time doing the academic research etc. Just because out own judgments take the long hike up and down the mountain does not mean European Union must follow suit.

    And I know exactly what the process is. I didn't suggest an individual can 'bring a case to ECJ.' How dare you suggest such stupidity. I know Member States make preliminary references to ECJ. Hence why a case can take years from our own national courts to arriving at ECJ.

    I think you're wrong about the powers of European Parliament - did you even read the Lisbon Treaty?
    Who's being smarmy now?

    Yes, I have . At least the parts on the powers of the EP (amongst other bits - has anyone read the whole thing?). What I said is essentially a paraphrase of lectures on the subject given by Weatherill, and what I was told by my tutors after handing in an essay in which I said, like you, essentially that actually the EU isn't so bad because the EP has to approve the law and the MEPs are democratically elected and so it's all hunky dory. I'm willing to bet that I was wrong, that you are wrong, and that they are all right (considering they've devoted their lives to the subject).

    Saying that ECJ judgments cover important legal points is correct - but they often give little or no reasoning behind it. I'm sorry, but that's a fact. Actually spend some time going through the argument in an ECJ judgment. The reason why UK judgments are so long is because they explore all the avenues and (usually) give a full argument for why they are deciding X. I'm not sure why you are so optimistic about ECJ judgments. If they do so much academic research, where does it all go? The ECJ is obliged to give it's reasoning, just as any court. If they've worked out some great argument for why they are deciding X, then they should say it, not just give a couple of copy pasted sentences from the last judgment on the subject.

    The reason why I spoke about preliminary references was because I wanted to make the point that the ECJ isn't a court of last instance in the normal way. You don't have to go all the way up to the Supreme Court to go there, but on the other hand, going up to the Supreme Court in no way guarantees that you will then go to the ECJ. Calling it a court of last instance instead of 'the highest court', as you did, doesn't really illustrate the difference between its relationship to domestic courts and say, the Supreme Court's relationship with the courts below it.
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    (Original post by HJV)
    Same principle as people from Yorkshire having a say to what happens in Cornwall. Just a bigger scale.
    Is it true that Yorkshiremen are generally cheap *******s? Serious question, here. *intrigued face*
















    And if it is, the metaphor would then make sense to those who are not from Yorkshire or Cornwall (looking out for the rest of the world here, my man :wink2:)
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    At the moment it's easy to criticize the EU:
    It's been shown to be wasteful with it's budget, a budget provided by a proportion of taxation from all it's member states.
    It is seen to be interfering with national judicial matters.
    The Euro is close to collapse and consequently all the members that use this currency are bickering, this makes the institution look weak.
    Immigration is very unpopular at the moment and the EU promotes, or at least allows immigration between member states.
    The wealthier and more influential countries- Germany, France, the UK are perceived to be propping up weaker countries and there is a belief (at least in Britain) that they would be better off acting unilaterally.

    Of course there are obvious benefits which are usually overlooked:
    There hasn't been any European wars since it was established.
    There hasn't been any significant arguments between neighbouring states about natural resources (if you look at the disputes between China and Japan this can get very nasty indeed).
    Good for consumers: certain regulatory laws and consumer rights established, trading standards established.
    Establishment of certain favourable western ideals: democracy, end of capital punishment, economic modernization, social liberalization.
    Improvement in environment- EU enforces laws upon member states regarding pollution etc. Also helps member states to establish common policy towards preventing global warming.
    Free basic healthcare when travelling to any member state.
    EU oversees all judicial activity and is able to 'speak out' against laws being made which will have a significantly damaging effect on human rights, also on the environment, the preservation of wildlife, and consumer rights. It does not have absolute power as many eurosceptics think, this would be too much power, but it helps prevent abuse of power by merely being willing to draw attention to abuses of power.

    This is certainly an important time for deciding what direction to take as an institution- if it is to become a political institution then it needs constitutional change to make it more democratic, it needs to boost its membership so it carries more clout on an international level, it needs to attract more prestigious spokesman, it needs to spend its money better.
    If it is to be merely an economic union then the whole issue of the Euro must be sorted out and perhaps the lesser economies might be shifted to a different currency.

    I personally favour the former, and think it will benefit Britain. Britain can only become less and less influential on an international level, but as part of the EU it can maintain its influence.

    Finally, it's unfashionable at the moment, but I think the influence of the EU on member states towards enforcing human rights is a good thing. All too often we see politicians trying to influence the judiciary at the cost of certain human rights. The very point of human rights is supposed to be that they are an entitlement to all, and subsequently the EU is an a good position to maintain this principle. I'm unashamedly liberal in this view and I make no apologies for that.
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    I'm a massive Europhile but I don't like the EU, purely because it seems hell-bent on agressive neo-liberal, free market policies. I'm all for some way to learn from our European brothers and sisters and for them to learn from us in turn but I don't want some obscure parliament placing a grossly consumerist economy above the rights of working men and women across Europe. I want to note, though, that I totally don't mind the immigration thing, I think immigration is a good thing that encourages cultural exchange between nations that otherwise have little contact with each other.
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    It's a stupid organization and the public should get to vote on being in it or not, what is the point in electing a goverment when a bunch of french and germans can overule this and make decision that the country doesn't want. We have to pay billionns for this privalidge of being told what to do by countries who are nothing to dowith us and then bailout countries who have massively over spent, we have far more people immigraiting here than leaving, more eople studying here from other countries.
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    (Original post by wildrover)
    It's a stupid organization and the public should get to vote on being in it or not, what is the point in electing a goverment when a bunch of french and germans can overule this and make decision that the country doesn't want. We have to pay billionns for this privalidge of being told what to do by countries who are nothing to dowith us and then bailout countries who have massively over spent, we have far more people immigraiting here than leaving, more eople studying here from other countries.
    Feel free to join TSR UKIP to express you views. Click on the banner in my signature to join.
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    (Original post by Komakino)
    At the moment it's easy to criticize the EU:
    It's been shown to be wasteful with it's budget, a budget provided by a proportion of taxation from all it's member states.
    It is seen to be interfering with national judicial matters.
    The Euro is close to collapse and consequently all the members that use this currency are bickering, this makes the institution look weak.
    Immigration is very unpopular at the moment and the EU promotes, or at least allows immigration between member states.
    The wealthier and more influential countries- Germany, France, the UK are perceived to be propping up weaker countries and there is a belief (at least in Britain) that they would be better off acting unilaterally.

    Of course there are obvious benefits which are usually overlooked:
    There hasn't been any European wars since it was established.
    There hasn't been any significant arguments between neighbouring states about natural resources (if you look at the disputes between China and Japan this can get very nasty indeed).
    Good for consumers: certain regulatory laws and consumer rights established, trading standards established.
    Establishment of certain favourable western ideals: democracy, end of capital punishment, economic modernization, social liberalization.
    Improvement in environment- EU enforces laws upon member states regarding pollution etc. Also helps member states to establish common policy towards preventing global warming.
    Free basic healthcare when travelling to any member state.
    EU oversees all judicial activity and is able to 'speak out' against laws being made which will have a significantly damaging effect on human rights, also on the environment, the preservation of wildlife, and consumer rights. It does not have absolute power as many eurosceptics think, this would be too much power, but it helps prevent abuse of power by merely being willing to draw attention to abuses of power.

    This is certainly an important time for deciding what direction to take as an institution- if it is to become a political institution then it needs constitutional change to make it more democratic, it needs to boost its membership so it carries more clout on an international level, it needs to attract more prestigious spokesman, it needs to spend its money better.
    If it is to be merely an economic union then the whole issue of the Euro must be sorted out and perhaps the lesser economies might be shifted to a different currency.

    I personally favour the former, and think it will benefit Britain. Britain can only become less and less influential on an international level, but as part of the EU it can maintain its influence.

    Finally, it's unfashionable at the moment, but I think the influence of the EU on member states towards enforcing human rights is a good thing. All too often we see politicians trying to influence the judiciary at the cost of certain human rights. The very point of human rights is supposed to be that they are an entitlement to all, and subsequently the EU is an a good position to maintain this principle. I'm unashamedly liberal in this view and I make no apologies for that.
    Pretty reasonable post since you do accept many of the flaws of the EU. But I would question some of the benefits you've given. I'd say that with WW2 being pretty recent and especially given the holocaust - people just want to avoid big wars in Europe. I doubt the EU has anything to do with it. Nuclear weapons could also be something to do with it.

    Also things like regulatory law to protect consumers, I'm sure a national government can handle that stuff. I also trust the UK to protect human rights, by and large. I know we're involved in extraordinary rendition etc - but what has the EU done about that anyway? But on issues like free speech, I feel pretty secure anyway. We know our rights in this country and we're willing to defend them ourselves without a centralised institution doing it on our behalf (quite ineffectively and expensively). When it comes to stuff like "democracy" you're really clutching at straws, I don't think we have the EU to thank for being a democratic state, if anything they undermine democracy by having an unelected council.

    CFP, CAP ... need I say more? The fact both of these policies have lasted for so long shows how imcompetant the EU is. I hardly see it as our chance to be a great nation, its a sinking ship and we need to hop off!
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    (Original post by CandyFlipper)
    Pretty reasonable post since you do accept many of the flaws of the EU. But I would question some of the benefits you've given. I'd say that with WW2 being pretty recent and especially given the holocaust - people just want to avoid big wars in Europe. I doubt the EU has anything to do with it. Nuclear weapons could also be something to do with it.

    Also things like regulatory law to protect consumers, I'm sure a national government can handle that stuff. I also trust the UK to protect human rights, by and large. I know we're involved in extraordinary rendition etc - but what has the EU done about that anyway? But on issues like free speech, I feel pretty secure anyway. We know our rights in this country and we're willing to defend them ourselves without a centralised institution doing it on our behalf (quite ineffectively and expensively). When it comes to stuff like "democracy" you're really clutching at straws, I don't think we have the EU to thank for being a democratic state, if anything they undermine democracy by having an unelected council.

    CFP, CAP ... need I say more? The fact both of these policies have lasted for so long shows how imcompetant the EU is. I hardly see it as our chance to be a great nation, its a sinking ship and we need to hop off!
    Perhaps 'people' want to avoid wars, but 'people' don't usually start them, it's usually their government. People showed in the most explicit way possible that they wished to avoid a war in Iraq, but their voice was ignored. Nuclear weapons could be a factor, but then again most EU countries don't have them.

    Consumer rights- regulatory laws for consumers have been expanded on a huge scale under the judiciary of the EU, and I see no evidence to suggest we would have so many under national governments.

    I question whether that many people in the UK or anywhere else in the EU are aware of their rights, and as we've seen also these rights have been more firmly entrenched since the EU took responsibility for them. It's not in the governments interest to focus on rights if people don't kick a fuss about them.

    As for free speech, we have the worst record in the world for libel prosecution and to me this is certainly an infringement on free speech. The EU has publicly questioned this scenario and no doubt had lots of closed-door discussions.

    The reference to democracy was aimed not so much at us but more towards Europe as a whole and indeed the world, I think it's in our national interest to establish democracy and more importantly to do so without military action.

    I cannot defend the EU's lack of transparency and democratic structure, and this is a big concern to me. Of course given it's size it is in a way understandable, but not forgiveable.

    The EU is in some ways incompetent, I don't doubt this, this is why it's so crucial to decide exactly what matters should be appropriate for the EU to discuss and decide upon.

    As an example, banking regulation. It has targeted hedge funds as there is lots of evidence to suggest they are very risky, however the political consensus in the UK is that it is not in our interest to regulate them. There are arguments on both sides- on the one hand that they help us attract business and boost our economy, on the other they make our economic growth very contingent as we have all our eggs in one basket.
    Perhaps the EU shouldn't enforce laws but it should certainly use it's collective influence to encourage reform, I think reform or strong regulation is a good idea.

    But then I'm not fond of our dependance on the City, and think this is fundamentally damaging to our democracy.
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    The Daily Telegraph loves the European Union. William Hague does too. Check this out!
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sponsored...paign=jobs0702
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    (Original post by twl)
    The Daily Telegraph loves the European Union. William Hague does too. Check this out!
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sponsored...paign=jobs0702
    Amazing! Double standards or what.
    Although Hague to be fair has handled relations with the EU very well, perhaps Clarke has won him over to the EU.
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    The EU has the inevitable potential, yet that potential can turn out bad as much as good. So there must be scepticism as much as optimism in this regard when it comes to the decision making regarding the EU.

    Personally, I don't believe that the EU is a "doomed project" and rather contrary to that, I believe that the EU as an entity is vital if the west culture is to have a say in future with the emerging potential that is China, among others. It is just that the EU mustn't become what it shouldn't be.
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    I see the EU as a fantastic idea but unbelievably badly executed, essentially.

    You do have to wonder who thought giving German, or France, and Portugal or Estonia for example the same currency was a good idea. Likewise though, UKIP's "QUICKLY JUST LEAVE, JUST LEAVE" 'solution' is hardly the answer.
 
 
 
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