This discussion is closed.
Birchington
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 4 years ago
#1
The Big Referendum Debate 2015

Hello and welcome to the Big Referendum Debate.

The Model House of Commons is due to hold a referendum to decide Britain's membership of the European Union in a week's time.

This debate will bring together the people leading our campaigns, and will allow you a chance to ask questions before making your final decision: should Britain stay in the EU, or should it leave?

The debate will take place as follows:
Firstly, 3 questions will be asked of both campaign leaders.
Secondly, 3 questions each will be asked of the stay and leave campaign.
Finally, everyone will have the opportunity to ask their own questions over the next week.

Introducing your campaign leaders:
Fighting for your vote to stay in the EU:
(Original post by Saracen's Fez)
The leader of the 'Stay' campaign
(Original post by Rakas21)
The deputy leader of the 'Stay' campaign
Fighting for your vote to leave the EU:
(Original post by Nigel Farage MEP)
The leader of the 'Leave' campaign
(Original post by Jammy Duel)
The deputy leader of the 'Leave' campaign
Each campaign leader may answer any question as they see fit.
Replies to the first 9 questions are open for 48 hours to allow greater flexibility - the thread will then remain open until voting commences on the 28th.
0
RayApparently
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#2
Report 4 years ago
#2
Isn't anyone leading the 'Stay' campaign? :')
0
Saracen's Fez
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#3
Report 4 years ago
#3
Birchington
I don't think I'm leading the leave campaign...
0
Jammy Duel
  • Political Ambassador
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#4
Report 4 years ago
#4
And Rakas is Deputy is he not, or do you have rejected the concept of a Deputy and are both Leader?
0
Birchington
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#5
Report Thread starter 4 years ago
#5
Questions to each campaign


1) Both sides support reform within the European Union. However, can meaningful reform realistically take place?

2) Where does Britain's future lie: with the emerging economies of the Commonwealth or within the EU as it stands?

3) In an increasingly globalised world, does the EU offer British workers more opportunities for prosperity, or does access to a huge labour market simply drive down wages and damage their prosperity?
0
Saracen's Fez
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#6
Report 4 years ago
#6
1) Both sides support reform within the European Union. However, can meaningful reform realistically take place?
As long as there is support for reform across Europe it can happen. The reform is likely to be fairly minor, at least in the eyes of the sceptics, but there are plenty of people across Europe that want some changes made.

Is being in an unreformed EU better than being outside the EU though? Absolutely.

2) Where does Britain's future lie: with the emerging economies of the Commonwealth or within the EU as it stands?


This photo is taken at Dover Castle. Look in the distance. That is mainland Europe. As our nearest neighbours it's always going to be important to have close economic links. When multinational companies produce a product, they generally produce a standard version for all of Europe. Our economies are so intertwined that leaving the EU will not significantly limit trade with the EU, but will make it harder and potentially more expensive.

Now compare this with the Commonwealth, our former empire. By virtue of the fact that European countries were the colonisers and not the colonised, the major Commonwealth countries are a long way away in other parts of the world. I've got up for enough All Blacks matches to tell you that things like time zones mean it is harder to co-operate with countries a long way to the east or west.

On the topic of emerging markets, these do not tally very well with the Commonwealth. Countries like Brazil, China, Russia and Mexico are not Commonwealth members. India and Nigeria (and South Africa at a push) are the only major emerging markets within the Commonwealth that spring to mind.

3) In an increasingly globalised world, does the EU offer British workers more opportunities for prosperity, or does access to a huge labour market simply drive down wages and damage their prosperity?
The market will eventually sort itself out as there are more positions that need filling across Europe than there are workers who are willing to do them for a low wage. If we want to combat wage deflation, however, we should introduce a high and well-enforced minimum wage. I was proud last term to put before this House a bill to raise the minimum wage to a proper living wage, and that is the way to go.

There's also the possibility of multinationals moving their facilities to Eastern Europe to make use of cheaper labour were Britain to leave the EU. Surely it's better to have Eastern Europeans living and working in Britain, paying British taxes and spending their money in British shops, than contributing instead to the economies of Eastern Europe?
1
Birchington
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#7
Report Thread starter 4 years ago
#7
Questions to the Campaign to Leave the European Union


1) Scientific development is a fundamentally collaborative process. Does the Out campaign not accept that removing the UK from all the EU's scientific institutions is an isolationist step, which could significantly harm the UK's research and development sector?

The member who submitted this question has provided additional background information here, for everyone’s reference.

2) In an increasingly globalised world, how will Britain continue to maintain an influence over global military, economic and geopolitical decision making if it stands alone and arguably isolated, outside the European Union?

3) How can anyone guarantee the security of jobs in economic sectors heavily interdependent with the EU, such as aviation and the motor industry, were Britain to leave it?
0
username1524603
Badges: 14
Rep:
?
#8
Report 4 years ago
#8
1) Both sides support reform within the European Union. However, can meaningful reform realistically take place?

No. The leader of the most dominant nation in the European Union expects Britain to back an EU army if reform is wanted; Austria will block reform if Britain does not accept more asylum seekers; Germany supports reform but only on a Europe-wide basis because Britain is not a special case; Finland, Romania, Spain and Belgium have rejected Cameron's plans to reform in-work benefits for migrants; France has rejected the suggestion Britain can choose regulations to opt out of; and the President of the European Commission is not taking reform seriously believing it is a ploy to tie Britain to the European Union.If the major players in the European Union reject a renegotiation of Britain's relationship with the EU, a renegotiation is not possible on the scale Cameron would like. The only way to achieve the levels of reform we desire is to leave the EU but opt-in to the things that benefits Britain. An independent Britain with a trade-based EU relationship is a better option to a Britain in a European Union dominated by countries on the continent with completely different needs to Britain.

2) Where does Britain's future lie: with the emerging economies of the Commonwealth or within the EU as it stands?

The EU accounts for 36% of Britain's trade but this figure is declining every year, and the economy of continental Europe is in economic decline. The 28 EU countries amount to only 19 percent of world Gross Domestic Product (GDP), meanwhile the Commonwealth is only slightly behind on 16 percent but the Commonwealth GDP is growing. By 2025 it is predicted the Commonwealth will have surpassed the EU in GDP. More importantly, the Commonwealth has a population of over two billion people which is four times the population of the EU; the Commonwealth presents Britain with a much bigger market to trade in. the distance to the Commonwealth is of little importance when there is cheap air travel, cheap shipping, e-commerce, and the internet. Companies already effectively communicate between their different global markets over large distances; the global popularity of the Coca Cola company is evidence of this.

In the age of cheap sea trade and e-commerce this presents an enormous, largely unrealised market for British business. If Britain has to choose between Europe and the Commonwealth, the best long-term economic choice is clearly the Commonwealth. However, Britain does not need to choose; Britain can have both by leaving the EU. An independent Britain would be able to negotiate a free trade agreement with the EU, just as the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) states have; Capital Economics has already said Britain's trade would be largely unaffected by a Brexit. Britain's economic clout as the second largest economy in the EU after Germany, and the large market Britain is for exporters in the Eurozone makes a free trade deal with the European Union a certainty. The Lisbon Treaty allows us to remain within the EU as long as we like whilst we conclude our exit negotiations, allowing Britain to secure a free trade agreement with the EU and the Commonwealth before withdrawing. A trade agreement with the EU and the Commonwealth would give the UK unrestricted access to 32 percent of world's GDP, when EFTA countries and the USA are included this rises to an astonishing 52 percent of the world's GDP. The overall figure will be higher when Britain starts forming trade agreements with emerging markets in the Far East and South America.The future for Britain's economy is with the other 64% outside of the EU but Britain can only adopt an independent foreign policy on trade when the EU is not dictating terms.

Britain's future never lies in the smaller market, it lies in the 2.3 billion people-strong market of the Commonwealth that is represented in every continent of the world.3) In an increasingly globalised world, does the EU offer British workers more opportunities for prosperity, or does access to a huge labour market simply drive down wages and damage their prosperity?

To suggest that being part of the EU is not depressing the wages of native Britons, especially those in low skilled jobs, is absolutely ludicrous. In the UK we have just shy of two million people from the EU in employment, so we have more EU migrants working in Britain than we do unemployed individuals. Naturally, there are going to be Britons who are working in the EU, but the fact of the matter is that there are more EU migrants in employment in Britain than there are Britons in the rest of the EU, and that is before considering almost a quarter of those Britons are claiming state pension, and many more have likely retired but are not yet of pension age.It is clear, therefore, that if all EU citizens were to return to their home nations, and all Britons in the EU were to return to Britain, our unemployment rate would fall, in fact, it would fall by about half a million, or a drop from 5.6% to 4.1%, which means we have to start taking into account natural unemployment rates which are estimated for Britain, like much of the developed world, to be in the region of 5%. A decline in unemployment to below the natural rate naturally leads to increased wages as competition for workers increases, as well as increases in the rate of inflation, which helps drive growth and perhaps leads to earlier increases in the Base Rate from the Bank of England, all in all, good for British workers. The most important part here is the lower unemployment, as with lower unemployment comes a lower benefits bill, and a lower benefits bill gives more money to invest in vital services like the NHS.
7
Birchington
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#9
Report Thread starter 4 years ago
#9
Questions to the Campaign to Remain in the European Union


1) How do you defend trying to apply essentially the same sets of rules and regulations across a continent as diverse in culture, circumstances and requirements as Europe?

2) From it's inception the Euro was based on hope rather than economic sensibility with the zone it covers lacking the adequate labour movement due to different languages and cultures for the idea to ever work correctly, which due to transfer of funds but not labour significantly added to the huge housing bubbles seen particularly in Spain and Ireland leading to the recent recession. However due to these countries not having their own currency they were unable to take action to devalue their currency or to use quantitive easing to speed inflation to tackle the debt crisis or as They are nations they could not rely on the payments to be sent from a central region like what would happen in the US which is a succesful example of a currency union. This on top of the ECBs dangerous delusion that as Greece caused it's crisis via overspending everyone else did leading to it enforcing a policy of deficit control above economic growth which endsngers the economy. It is due to this that I come to the conclusion that the eurozone is an unstable area particularly in times of recession.

How can you suggest shackling the United Kingdom economy to ones based on such an unstable currency system via the European Union be good for the economy?

3) What is the point of the UK courts when our rulings can be overruled by the European Court of Human Rights?
0
Saracen's Fez
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#10
Report 4 years ago
#10
1) How do you defend trying to apply essentially the same sets of rules and regulations across a continent as diverse in culture, circumstances and requirements as Europe?
It makes things a lot easier for everyone concerned. Rather than having 28 potential sets of regulations there is only one. If you're operating as a business across multiple countries it's a lot less bureaucracy to deal with, and if you're only based in one country there isn't necessarily any more.

I don't think there is as much of a difference between European countries, certainly in the areas where the EU legislates, as there is made out to be.

Furthermore, they seem to be letting the UK do its own thing to avoid having further arguments, as evidenced by the European Commission's (disappointing) U-turn on compulsory metrication.

2) How can you suggest shackling the United Kingdom economy to ones based on such an unstable currency system via the European Union be good for the economy?

I return to my answer to Question 2 above. The Eurozone is on our doorstep. We share a land border with the Eurozone, let's not forget. Our fortunes are to an extent interlinked. We're not however economically integrated with or shackled to the Eurozone by anything other than geography. We won't, as I understand it, be contributing to further bailouts.

It's also hardly the most unstable economy that we trade with.

3) What is the point of the UK courts when our rulings can be overruled by the European Court of Human Rights?
The European Court of Human Rights is nothing to do with the EU, and were we to leave the EU we would remain under its jurisdiction.

I do however, in defence of the Court, believe that it is important to have a central body to provide a consistent ruling for all adherents to the European Convention on Human Rights. The alternative is to have conflicting interpretations in different member states guided by the political beliefs of their governments.
0
Saracen's Fez
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#11
Report 4 years ago
#11
I'm sure Rakas21 will have more to add when he is online.
0
newpersonage
Badges: 6
Rep:
?
#12
Report 4 years ago
#12
(Original post by Saracen's Fez)
On the topic of emerging markets, these do not tally very well with the Commonwealth. Countries like Brazil, China, Russia and Mexico are not Commonwealth members. India and Nigeria (and South Africa at a push) are the only major emerging markets within the Commonwealth that spring to mind.
Here is the balance of trade with EU and non-EU countries (goods AND services):

eunoneutottrade.jpeg
(Click on thumbnail)

Here is the growth in trade by region:




There's also the possibility of multinationals moving their facilities to Eastern Europe to make use of cheaper labour were Britain to leave the EU. Surely it's better to have Eastern Europeans living and working in Britain, paying British taxes and spending their money in British shops, than contributing instead to the economies of Eastern Europe?
The trade balance between the UK and the EU is atrocious. It is a result of adverse foreign investment, the investment itself is providing funds for EU imports (LIDL, ALDI etc) and the interest and profit payments are now disastrously high leading to a huge balance of payments deficit:

Attached files
0
newpersonage
Badges: 6
Rep:
?
#13
Report 4 years ago
#13
(Original post by Saracen's Fez)
It makes things a lot easier for everyone concerned. Rather than having 28 potential sets of regulations there is only one. If you're operating as a business across multiple countries it's a lot less bureaucracy to deal with, and if you're only based in one country there isn't necessarily any more.
If this were true then non-EU countries would find it much harder to grow trade with the EU than the UK does. What actually happens?

whobenefits.jpeg

Click on thumbnail to enlarge.

In fact non-EU countries find it easier to export to EU than UK does! Many non-EU countries have Free Trade Agreements with the EU and can export freely to the EU without having to suffer EU regulations.

That UK exporters are easily capable of doing as well outside the EU as other exporters is shown from where the growth in UK trade is occurring:




I return to my answer to Question 2 above. The Eurozone is on our doorstep. We share a land border with the Eurozone, let's not forget. Our fortunes are to an extent interlinked. We're not however economically integrated with or shackled to the Eurozone by anything other than geography. We won't, as I understand it, be contributing to further bailouts..
Grand rhetoric but totally untrue, our trade is healthier with the world in general than with the EU and the EU Treaties affect everything. It is only the UK opt-outs that have protected us to some extent and these will go if there is an "IN" vote.
0
Saracen's Fez
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#14
Report 4 years ago
#14
(Original post by newpersonage)
It is only the UK opt-outs that have protected us to some extent and these will go if there is an "IN" vote.
No they won't...
0
Computernerd1810
Badges: 9
Rep:
?
#15
Report 4 years ago
#15
We should LEAVE the EU.
4
Joleene
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#16
Report 4 years ago
#16
How will an "OUT" vote affect Brits who live and work in places like France and Ireland
0
jshipman4
Badges: 5
Rep:
?
#17
Report 4 years ago
#17
now Germany and other e u countries are taking in all ,these migrants if we stay in does this mean that once registered there they will be able to all come over here with the free movement rule
0
Jammy Duel
  • Political Ambassador
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#18
Report 4 years ago
#18
(Original post by jshipman4)
now Germany and other e u countries are taking in all ,these migrants if we stay in does this mean that once registered there they will be able to all come over here with the free movement rule
Of course, this is something that has been happening for a long time, current estimates are that there are approximately 264,000 people working in the UK who have come from outside the EU by getting an EU passport already. Naturally, this figure will only increase if hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees and/or economic migrants are offered citizenship in the future.
0
Saracen's Fez
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#19
Report 4 years ago
#19
(Original post by Joleene)
How will an "OUT" vote affect Brits who live and work in places like France and Ireland
For a start we will not be able to have the UK-Ireland border open, unless we were to retain free movement by remaining within the European Economic Area. (I will presume that the Out campaign support withdrawal from this.) This is because Ireland will continue to enjoy free movement with the rest of the EU, so anyone from the EU would be able to enter the UK via the undefended UK-Ireland border.

As regards people who live in the EU currently, they will be allowed to stay, as will all EU citizens living in the UK. It will however remove the automatic right to live and work within Europe currently enjoyed by British citizens, who will become subject to the immigration policy applied to non-EU citizens. We can safely assume, for example, that France and Spain will no longer take any of our OAPs.

It's also worth bearing in mind (this being The Student Room and all) that in the event of a Brexit UK students would no longer be able to receive funding under the Erasmus scheme for study in other European countries.
0
Rakas21
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#20
Report 4 years ago
#20
1) Both sides support reform within the European Union. However, can meaningful reform realistically take place?

The simple answer to this yes. It is entirely possible for example that we could negotiate our withdrawal of the Common Agricultural Policy and Common Fisheries Policies (far more important than destroying workers rights by negotiating labour regulation) by committing to a trade of powers. Right now for example we have an opt-out on most Justice laws but we opt in anyway (one example being the European Arrest Warrant), let us cede to those powers permanently in return for something like withdrawal or reform from CAP or CFP.

2) Where does Britain's future lie: with the emerging economies of the Commonwealth or within the EU as it stands?

A loaded question. This question predisposes that the two are mutually exclusive, this is not the case given that the EU is negotiating trade deals with Canada for example. The EU is currently the largest market in the world and at worst will fall to 4th. While i do think their should be an increased trade focus on parts of the Commonwealth, the EU does not hold us back here.

3) In an increasingly globalised world, does the EU offer British workers more opportunities for prosperity, or does access to a huge labour market simply drive down wages and damage their prosperity?

More opportunities.

EU workers are largely educated and have a very impressive work ethic, studies suggest that only the most unskilled suffer wage compression and that on net, EU immigrants create demand and make a net contribution allowing lower taxes and higher spending than would be the case. If somebody born in the UK and educated in a British school cannot compete in the labour market with somebody from a former Soviet country then i would say that the fault is our own education system.

Additionally, the EU is a market of around 500 million consumers with many trans-EU corporations offering opportunities for skilled staff to move to the likes of Germany. The media paints a very poor reflection of events.


1) How do you defend trying to apply essentially the same sets of rules and regulations across a continent as diverse in culture, circumstances and requirements as Europe?

Consent.

Quite simply, the EU does not force nations to join it. The people of these sovereign states agree to join a European Union and cede power. While it is true that entry requirements have been lax, that is no reason to leave. I'm sure i'm not alone in taking the view that the UK should exercise it's power to veto the entry of poor states in particular until Europe has its house in order and improves its entry requirements.

At any rate, i consider this more an argument against joining the Euro (not something advocated by this campaign) than joining the EU.


2) From it's inception the Euro was based on hope rather than economic sensibility with the zone it covers lacking the adequate labour movement due to different languages and cultures for the idea to ever work correctly, which due to transfer of funds but not labour significantly added to the huge housing bubbles seen particularly in Spain and Ireland leading to the recent recession.

However due to these countries not having their own currency they were unable to take action to devalue their currency or to use quantitive easing to speed inflation to tackle the debt crisis or as They are nations they could not rely on the payments to be sent from a central region like what would happen in the US which is a succesful example of a currency union. This on top of the ECBs dangerous delusion that as Greece caused it's crisis via overspending everyone else did leading to it enforcing a policy of deficit control above economic growth which endsngers the economy. It is due to this that I come to the conclusion that the eurozone is an unstable area particularly in times of recession.

How can you suggest shackling the United Kingdom economy to ones based on such an unstable currency system via the European Union be good for the economy?

To move backwards, we would be no more shackled to the EU if we voted to remain than we are today. We are still growing on trend despite these illusionary shackles.

To address the further points..

- These bubbles in the property market occurred in most developed property markets as a result of Hydraulic Keyensianism (the belief that infinite growth of the credit supply would lead to infinite growth of GDP). There is categorically no evidence that the Spanish or Irish central banks would not have adopted a similar approach to laizee fair personal credit. Indeed, the base of this assertion is entirely incorrect. The Euro-zone was no more responsible for inflated property prices than it was in the US or currently Australia.
- To address the second part of the question much of this post is correct however there are two points to make here. The first is that this happens in the USA as well (some states would independent have lower/higher interest rates), indeed notable examples of this include New York in the 1980's and Michigan today. The second is that the solution to this is not less Europe, but more. Issuing collective debt (Euro-bonds) would allow the market to take an aggregate view of Euro-zone debt (relatively fine) as opposed to a state by state view, this would also reduce the level of austerity needed for states like Greece.


3) What is the point of the UK courts when our rulings can be overruled by the European Court of Human Rights?

Given that the European Court of Human Rights is distinct from the European Union, this is relatively unimportant to the issue of EU membership. With that being said i will say that in average year the ECHR rules with the UK on around 90% of occasions (or more often throws the cases out of court).

I will say however that some of us in this campaign would support renegotiating certain treaty articles. This is not a reason to leave the European Union however.
2
X
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

Did you vote in the 2019 general election?

Yes (279)
47.94%
No (67)
11.51%
I'm not old enough (236)
40.55%

Watched Threads

View All