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    OK, I don't know much about the EU and even less about economics. So help me out here.

    What would happen if we left the EU but had a relationship with them (EEA? I think?) like Switzerland, Norway etc? Sounds like a plan to me.
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    Perhaps because it would be better to stay within the EU?
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    (Original post by hungryhamish)
    OK, I don't know much about the EU and even less about economics. So help me out here.

    What would happen if we left the EU but had a relationship with them (EEA? I think?) like Switzerland, Norway etc? Sounds like a plan to me.
    Given that most of Switzerland and Norway's export market is to the EU, they have by default to accept EU rules and regulations - otherwise they'd lose the markets. What they don't have is any say/influence in the development of those rules and regulations.

    So...feel free to be part of the EEA but not the EU, but be prepared to relinquish any prospect of influencing the development of regulations in lots of areas.
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    (Original post by Prince Rhyus)
    Given that most of Switzerland and Norway's export market is to the EU, they have by default to accept EU rules and regulations - otherwise they'd lose the markets. What they don't have is any say/influence in the development of those rules and regulations.

    So...feel free to be part of the EEA but not the EU, but be prepared to relinquish any prospect of influencing the development of regulations in lots of areas.
    We don't have any prospect of influencing the development of regulations any way, unless we think the way the majority does - qualified majority voting rules in economic issues, and much else.

    And Norway and Switzerland, despite not having any influence, have rejected EU membership more than once. Switzerland has a population of approx 7.5 million, Norway approx 4.5 million, and the UK more than 60 million. Which country do you think has the most lucrative market for the EU? Which country would have the strongest bargaining position in trade talks?

    Go Swiss? Yes please.
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    (Original post by Tamora)
    Which country do you think has the most lucrative market for the EU? Which country would have the strongest bargaining position in trade talks?

    Go Swiss? Yes please.
    You think this doesnt work both ways? :rolleyes: :rolleyes:
    If we were to do this and start getting favourable import terms you can bet the EU would respond with similar restrictions on our exports

    Which country would have the strongest bargaining position in trade talks?!
    I'm going to go with the EU > UK or at least enough to make the whole thing pretty pointless.
    :rolleyes:
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    (Original post by Chrrye)
    You think this doesnt work both ways? :rolleyes: :rolleyes:
    If we were to do this and start getting favourable import terms you can bet the EU would respond with similar restrictions on our exports

    Which country would have the strongest bargaining position in trade talks?!
    I'm going to go with the EU > UK or at least enough to make the whole thing pretty pointless.
    :rolleyes:
    Have you looked at the trade balance figures? The latest figures show that we have a deficit with the other EU member states running to billions of pounds each month. Are the other member states going to risk a trade war and put those sales at risk? I don't think so.

    Have you looked at what EU membership costs us as a country? Official figures state costs at £4.7 billion in 2008 in direct costs alone. And there is so much financial corruption in the EU it's very likely that an equivalent of our entire contribution is lost in fraud. Gerard Batten MEP's analysis is here. You can scoff at his figures if you want to, but the government refuses to carry out its own cost benefit analysis. Perhaps because it has nothing to gain by revealing the true costs.

    Have you looked at the position of Norway and Switzerland? They both get access to the Single Market, or as an EU Commissioner once let slip, they have "rights without responsibilities" and at a much lower cost.

    What do we get out of EU membership that they are denied? Professional politicians and commentators haven't managed to come up with anything, so I doubt you will. But please don't give me that hackneyed old "but we have influence" crap. :eek3:

    GO SWISS? Yes please.
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    (Original post by Tamora)
    GO SWISS? Yes please.

    Me too The EU is a beuracratic disaster zone.
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    (Original post by Tamora)
    We don't have any prospect of influencing the development of regulations any way, unless we think the way the majority does - qualified majority voting rules in economic issues, and much else.
    We do - some of the people I work with represent the UK on Europe-wide groups that develop regulations across the EU. Representatives from Norway and Switzerland are not.

    In government, if you want to have any influence, getting in there early helps a great deal. Trying to stop something once it has gained momentum is a damn sight harder.
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    (Original post by Prince Rhyus)
    We do - some of the people I work with represent the UK on Europe-wide groups that develop regulations across the EU. Representatives from Norway and Switzerland are not.
    So if all this "influence" is so worthwhile, why aren't Norway and Switzerland clamouring for membership? Why have they rejected it more than once?

    In government, if you want to have any influence, getting in there early helps a great deal. Trying to stop something once it has gained momentum is a damn sight harder.
    We won't have anything like enough influence. We can't stop the high taxes, the red tape, the corruption, the policies we don't like UNLESS WE HAVE THE MAJORITY ON OUR SIDE. Our "influence" won't extend that far.

    I'm not sure Going Swiss would be going far enough anyway.
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    (Original post by Tamora)
    So if all this "influence" is so worthwhile, why aren't Norway and Switzerland clamouring for membership? Why have they rejected it more than once?
    Mixture of reasons - a tradition of neutrality (esp Switzerland) to the problems that you've mentioned - red tape and corruption.


    (Original post by Tamora)
    We won't have anything like enough influence. We can't stop the high taxes, the red tape, the corruption, the policies we don't like UNLESS WE HAVE THE MAJORITY ON OUR SIDE. Our "influence" won't extend that far. I'm not sure Going Swiss would be going far enough anyway.
    Where we agree is that the EU has a huge amount of massive problems. Where we disagree is on what should be done about it.

    The way I see it is that the EU at present is a bad fudge - and doesn't know what it wants to be. Does it want to be a free trade area? A customs union? A single market? A political federation? It's trying to be all of these things and none at the same time.

    Personally I like the idea of a fully-constituted EU with very strict limits of competency on what it can and cannot do. I'd go for a separate legislature (with teeth), executive and judiciary - all three only having the competency in those areas set out in the constitution.

    Why?
    - If firms are multinational, their regulator needs to be
    - The European Commission needs to be held to account by a more powerful democratically elected legislature
    - Crime is multinational, therefore the response to it needs to be (and a more streamlined efficient EU could facilitate this)
    - We could potentially do away with the CAP and allow the French to do what they like with their farmers without the rest of us having to bear the burden of higher prices and subsidies
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    (Original post by Prince Rhyus)
    Mixture of reasons - a tradition of neutrality (esp Switzerland) to the problems that you've mentioned - red tape and corruption.
    But despite not having "influence" the people of Norway and Switzerland still do not want to join the EU. Their politicians are another matter.

    Where we agree is that the EU has a huge amount of massive problems. Where we disagree is on what should be done about it.

    The way I see it is that the EU at present is a bad fudge - and doesn't know what it wants to be. Does it want to be a free trade area? A customs union? A single market? A political federation? It's trying to be all of these things and none at the same time.
    It the overall governing body of the member states. I think it's being successful in that, even though I dislike its policies.

    Personally I like the idea of a fully-constituted EU with very strict limits of competency on what it can and cannot do. I'd go for a separate legislature (with teeth), executive and judiciary - all three only having the competency in those areas set out in the constitution.
    You might like that, but what you and I think doesn't count - the EU is not a democracy.

    Why?
    - If firms are multinational, their regulator needs to be
    I think the EU is much too close to the multinationals and other conglomerates than is good for the citizens of the UK. That many of them are now owned by foreign companies does seem to have insulated the people of the other member states somewhat. The cost of living has gone up hugely now that formerly state owned industries have been privatised, or "liberalised" as the EU sees it. As a "regulator" it sucks.

    - The European Commission needs to be held to account by a more powerful democratically elected legislature
    But that isn't going to happen. Even if it could, I'm not sure a real democracy could ever operate when it has to account for almost half a billion (and rising) people's views even when those views are condensed into support for political parties. Do you see pan-European parties ever taking off?

    - Crime is multinational, therefore the response to it needs to be (and a more streamlined efficient EU could facilitate this)
    Crime is often multinational, and co-operation between nations is a necessity, but the the EU system of justice does not offer nearly enough protection for the accused against the power of the state.

    - We could potentially do away with the CAP and allow the French to do what they like with their farmers without the rest of us having to bear the burden of higher prices and subsidies
    WE could but THEY won't. Attempts have been made to reform the CAP many times, but the other member states and the Commission will not risk French anger and will take the line of least resistance.
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    I honestly can't see what advantages the EU brings us. I can see the advantages to other countries that are a result of us being in the EU. All I can see is that it's making it much easier for businesses to move out of the UK (since they can go elsewhere in the EU where it's cheaper), and the fact we've basically signed over control of our country (since EU law overrides UK law)
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    (Original post by Prince Rhyus)
    Why?
    - If firms are multinational, their regulator needs to be
    ...
    - Crime is multinational, therefore the response to it needs to be (and a more streamlined efficient EU could facilitate this)
    Sounds like you'd be in favour of a Global Union?
 
 
 
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