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So - Mr Cameron is going to offer a referendum

Who really cares? 2015 onwards

Yorkshireman
post 23.Jan.2013, 03:12 PM
Post #16
Joined: 22.Nov.2011

QUOTE (byke @ 23.Jan.2013, 03:04 PM) *
The dynamics of a trade agreement are morphing into something much greater due to debt and problems caused by poor foresight and past bad management. Who in turn continue to l ... (show full quote)

Good Golly, the trade agreement boat sailed away decades ago ... it has been about structural harmonisation for many many years.
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byke
post 23.Jan.2013, 03:20 PM
Post #17
Location: Europe
Joined: 28.Oct.2008

Based on the ideals of trade.
However, such harmonisation now spans across the political divide - looking to encapsulate an ever stronger hold in times when financial insecurity caused by past mistakes creates ever greater scepticism.
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Nomark
post 23.Jan.2013, 05:00 PM
Post #18
Joined: 25.Sep.2006

Politics becomes interesting again.

I'm far from being Eurosceptic - I think European integration is great idea. However, I am sceptical when it comes to the EU. There are several reasons behind this

(1) Democracy. The EU comes out with fine words about democracy but then ignores the results of referenda by making the naughty public vote again until the answer is yes or simply sidestepping a no vote administratively. Add to that the corruption within the EU institutions (it wasn't so longer that the commission had to resign because of this) and one is left with an unappealing vision of leadership within a future Europe.
(2) Disconnect with reality and published historical fact. I'm more than a bit fed up with EU spokesmen talking about EU being responsible for the peace in Europe during the last half of the 20th century. For a start, the EU didn't exist during the cold war. Instead it was organisations like the EEC i.e. dominantly trading bodies which bound Western Europe countries in the non-military sphere. Second, it wholly ignores NATO, possibly the greatest factor determining Western Europe's security. Third, the fact the people in power make such arguments and believe them (and I suspect these people do believe them) shows how disconnected they are from accountability. It smells of propaganda.
(3) On the topic of propaganda, the EU spends a fortune advertising itself within Europe. I've had to sit through Q&A sessions at Stockholm central station, all funded by the EU. The only problem with this is that they don't give a fair set of questions. For example, I'd ask "For how many years of the EU accounts not been signed off?" in addition to the questions showing the EU in a good light.
(4) The Euro. Taking economic decisions for political reasons is madness, as current events are now showing. The EU had an effective common currency in the sense that the rates were fixed (the ERM). This system also allowed countries to come out if circumstances demanded it. Removing that flexibility accounts for many of the problems of Euro states.

Democracy and government works best when it is as localised as possible - though there is still very much a big role for central government. The EU model is centralisation and that it is quite a mistake in my opinion.

That said, I think the EU has done some very good things, not least bringing in the Eastern European countries and thereby preventing a set of impoverished east of Germany. Its forerunner also played its part in peace in Europe during the Cold War. Furthermore, some of the common standards it sets have been useful (eg environmental regulations) though others are simply red tape.

These are interesting times. I've no idea how I'll vote (I think I'm still eligible as a UK voter) should the referendum take place. On a selfish level it might mean more red tape for me as an expat so I guess I'd vote to stay in should it come to it...
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skogsbo
post 23.Jan.2013, 05:19 PM
Post #19
Joined: 20.Sep.2011

For me,a slow measured exit from the EU. How can any organisation that hasn't balance it's books ever, asked for 8% budget increase, whilst at the same time telling everyone they need to make cuts etc.. ever have a long term future. Most countries within the Euro are living in a dream land, if they think this gravy train will last. But that's the problem, the EU pension bill for Ex EMPs is growing every year, if it collapses where will their huge pensions come from? So none of them will ever say it didn't or doesn't work. All the countries who make a net gain from the EU won't complain and because of the way EMP seats are issued, the big countries, who pay the big mone in, don't even get a proportional say in matters. It's just one big farce.

The EU could heal itself, but it needs to clear out the deadwood, lower salaries, change the pension deal, only have 1 HQ, kick greece out, it needs to streamline, like any loss making business would try to do.
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Nomark
post 23.Jan.2013, 05:22 PM
Post #20
Joined: 25.Sep.2006

Skogsbo

I think your point meshes with mine i.e. the disconnect from reality and lack of accountability.
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entry
post 23.Jan.2013, 06:38 PM
Post #21
Location: Västra Götaland
Joined: 1.Jul.2007

It seems a total disconnect for me that European people of any country would be granted the opportunity on fair ground to determine their own destiny.

It is my belief that every individual in the UK will be paying taxes through the nose to fund bureaucrats and aristocrats that directly benefit from EU programs and UK quangos that actively work against the interest of the average UK citizen. Those self-interested parties will continue to feather their nests.

Are there any Scottish people here at the local that do not have polluted minds that can chime in on this topic as the Scots have been double billing to tilt with wind mills at the dire expense of the average man?
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byke
post 24.Jan.2013, 12:57 AM
Post #22
Location: Europe
Joined: 28.Oct.2008

http://blogs.wsj.com/davos/2013/01/23/swed...endum-decision/
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byke
post 24.Jan.2013, 12:58 AM
Post #23
Location: Europe
Joined: 28.Oct.2008

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-01-23/r...-to-sweden.html
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entry
post 24.Jan.2013, 01:27 AM
Post #24
Location: Västra Götaland
Joined: 1.Jul.2007

Yes, outside people are always in favor of lining up their ducks in a row.
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Hede
post 24.Jan.2013, 01:36 AM
Post #25
Location: United Kingdom
Joined: 29.Nov.2012

So what are the benefits for UK to leave the EU and what are the setbacks ?
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byke
post 24.Jan.2013, 02:28 AM
Post #26
Location: Europe
Joined: 28.Oct.2008

The short version in regards to benefits, is to repatriate powers back to Britain.
And to reduce overhead costs related to their membership (including welfare, healthcare costs etc relating to non British nationals).

Setbacks, is reduced euro trade and influence on politics in Europe.
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byke
post 24.Jan.2013, 02:58 AM
Post #27
Location: Europe
Joined: 28.Oct.2008

"What most sensible people want is to belong to the single market but to lop off the irritating excrescences of the European Union". - Boris Johnson
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sushipeas
post 24.Jan.2013, 12:52 PM
Post #28
Joined: 21.Dec.2009

Trade - This is something I'm a little hazy on if the UK leave the EU.

If we became part of the EFTA (European Free Trade Area) like Norway, Iceland, Switzerland then would we really be missing out on the custom of the EU? Doesn't sound like it to me.

Plus we would be free to trade with the rest of the world directly.

I don't see a down side as far as trade is concerned
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skogsbo
post 24.Jan.2013, 01:43 PM
Post #29
Joined: 20.Sep.2011

QUOTE (sushipeas @ 24.Jan.2013, 12:52 PM) *
If we became part of the EFTA (European Free Trade Area) like Norway, Iceland, Switzerland then would we really be missing out on the custom of the EU? Doesn't sound like ... (show full quote)

There is not a down side, we would also be able to set our own UK market conditions within the UK, subsidise some items, perhaps tax others more heavily, which as a full EU member we are not allowed to do, because that could make unfair to other EU nations, classic one still doing the rounds in EU courts is the UK governments VAT reduction on house insulation, technically illegal under EU law.

The only loser by going purely for a EFTA is the EU, as it doesn't get the UK's money, hence why they are moaning, and push come to shove, they'll give the UK concessions rather than lose the money. They can't afford not too. Merkels reluctant agreement with the UKs election decision proving such, as she knows the EU is pretty much F****ed anyway, with or without the UK.
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Taxalien
post 25.Jan.2013, 10:14 PM
Post #30
Joined: 24.Dec.2009

The ideal would be if the UK completely left the EU. No EES or similar.

Then all of Europe would benefit from a sizeable country being outside of the EU.

I don't think the UK would suffer anything from being outside the customs union because most favoured trading nation rules within the WTO apply anyway and if you take a little time and have a look at what import duties are, then you'd find that almost everything is zero rated.

For the UK the benefit would be that they could take off in any direction they fancy and not have to look over the shoulder wondering what opinion the EU red tape and corruption machine had to any of the political ideas the UK would have.

If that came to pass I think it would not be long before it was obvious to everyone that all the EU does is allowing a minute minority a number of priviledges that cost a fortune and yield no benefit to anyone whatsoever.

The key strength of Europe has always been diversity and 20+ nations trying and testing out new ideas and new ways of making their economy grow. It has never been about conformity, one way fits all and overbearing administration.

The EU today has a lot more in common with Napoleonic Europe, Austrian Empire, Ottoman Empire and Nazi occupied Europe than it has anything to do with promoting the creativity that made Europe so great.

And the key problem is that the EU is effectively putting a stop to the exploration, elaboration of new ideas.
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