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Author Topic: EU Referendum / BREXIT  (Read 9194 times)

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Offline HairyHeretic

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Re: EU Referendum / BREXIT
« Reply #100 on: June 25, 2016, 06:30:30 AM »
And that's not going to happen.

England is going to get hammered HARD for this, because if they aren't, it's going to give other leave movements in other countries the idea that they can do this too.

The way things look now there's a good chance that Scotland may go for independence in order to remain within the EU, and can use the same arguements as England did for leaving it. You also have the majority of Northern Ireland voted stay, and some rumbling about making it part of the Republic again. That could potentially see a flare up of trouble again along sectarian lines, though I'd like to hope peace has had enough of a chance to sink in that it wouldn't.

There's also news stories saying some of the larger multinationals are uneasy about this, and while they may not openly pull out, there may be a surprising lack of new (or even renewed) projects in England, as opposed to other counties.

Offline Nachtmahr

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Re: EU Referendum / BREXIT
« Reply #101 on: June 25, 2016, 06:35:02 AM »
The fastest route to applying some kind of damage control, once they start negotiating (in July or in a few months time?), might be to go for putting Britain inside the EEA sphere, like Norway and Iceland. A kind of margin "quarter-member status". But it would really mean most of the supposed goals of the Brexit campaign - taking back a firmer control of what laws apply in the UK, cutting red tape, stopping free movement of people with Europe - would effectively vapourize. Norway is a rich country because of its oil fields, but it still has to accept a lot of what the EU decide about trade and economy, without much of a chance to pitch its own demands. If they pushed their feet into the ground and made definite demands, the EU would just be able to threaten cutting down on their EEA status and the trade agreements they are enjoying. Plus the UK, as an EEA but non-EU country, would still be paying most or all of its EU membership fee, but getting no investments, no support in return. That would be a real nail in the eye to Farage, Boris and most people from the Brexit campaign.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2016/06/24/the-sky-has-not-fallen-after-brexit-but-we-face-years-of-hard-la/

I believe that it's been said by EU officials that this is very unlike to happen, if not entirely ruled out at this point. The problem is that if this referendum ends up only having the one consequence that the UK "Takes back control" of it's laws and such, then a dozen other countries are going to start replicating it, and the EU will break regardless. If the UK really wants out, it has to accept the consequences of this decision and get out, or they can choose to stay in and be a member on the same terms as other member countries, and help shape upcoming EU-reforms that will solve of the perceived problems with the EU as it is now.

Special treatment really isn't much of an option, and as others have pointed out in this thread (At least I seem to remember that it was pointed out at some point) Norway is still bound by the majority of the same rules and laws as other EU countries.

It seems like the issue people have with the EU is that it's leadership is too centralized and has too much authority, and yet people also want the EU as an organization to take full responsibility for anything bad happening in a member state. It's like people are asking for the EU to actively just be a scapegoat, as they want them to be responsible and keep everyone safe and happy while not making any executive decisions on anyone's behalf, which is never going to work out. It's like asking the centralized government of the U.S.A. to not make laws on behalf of individual states and uphold the constitution, but still accept full responsibility of any negative event whilst powerless to do anything about it.

I think it's very important that members of the EU retain their individual cultural identity, and I think it's slightly hyperbolic to imagine a "United States of Europe". Such a thing would hardly be possible, and it would be inherently undemocratic as smaller countries would stand to have less authority than larger ones, making full cooperation almost impossible. And would everyone have to be taught English or German as a first language, with their own being secondary? The political micro-management of such an undertaking would be beyond anyone, especially with nationalism and right-wing tendencies on the rise. But if we want to be progressive and move forwards then we have to work together on a global scale. We have to accept that we can't keep clinging to all our values for all eternity, and eventually we will all have to give a little in order to take a little. We're probably never going to be all the same, but we need to work on the radical barriers between cultures and accept that some people and some regions don't think or feel the way we do.

Or maybe that's all just me and I certainly won't claim to be an expert of any kind. I just think we need more cooperation and teamwork to overcome the problems we're facing, not less. I think we need to be careful with decisions like the one the UK just made. It might end up going well or it might turn out to be a catastrophe, we can't really do anything but guess and look at predictions right now. I'm sure a lot of people are hoping it goes wrong just so that they can have their "Told you so!"-moment, but I don't think that's a healthy attitude.

If one thing worries me about the UK right now.. It would probably have to be the very public presence of people like Boris Johnson who frankly seems to have little to no idea what he's doing. I don't think the comparison to Donald Trump is entirely unjustified.

I hope this wasn't too sentimental?

Offline Stan'

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Re: EU Referendum / BREXIT
« Reply #102 on: June 25, 2016, 07:16:00 AM »
The "exit" vote is a surprise.  For years, the EU has been a sinking ship (looking at the likes of Greece, etc) and it's quite obvious that there needs to be major changes to the way it is run.  If not, then there will be many more countries starting to question their membership.

The "out of touch" bureaucrats in Brussels certainly didn't help their cause by promising to make it as difficult as possible if Britain decided to leave.  Anyway, good to see the "remain" side have lost the vote with dignity, and haven't resorted to name calling, respecting people's opinions by not calling them stupid and demanding a second, third or fourth vote until they get their way... oh wait...

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: EU Referendum / BREXIT
« Reply #103 on: June 25, 2016, 07:19:22 AM »
Yes, I agree many of the problems the Brexit voters felt caught up in are really about globalization rather than just the EU. Globalization of work, free-moving capital streams in and out of Europe and eroding local industry/business, the loss of political initiative and so on. And how it's become much harder to keep up a sensible tax policy, because most big corporations can relocate to some other place, or they'll have leverage over the government anyway. It's about China and the global economy as much as it is about the EU - but the bumbling, heavy-handed politics of the EU over the last ten years haven't been helpful. I don't think the idea of a "united federal Europe" (a hardline USE in some form) has strong popular support anywhere, except in a few countries where the national government has traditionally been the weak boy and Brussels, then, is seen as the big guy who can actually get things done, who does the heavy lifting, but the UK is not that kind of a country. It has a huge amount of pride and belief in itself, and cabinets that are actually used to getting something done, moved into reality from their own ideas.

The EU inner circle really needs to pull back on some of its bold assertions of where they are planning to go; they feel old, the whole idea of a centralized and quasi-infallible Euro government has smelled of dead fish for quite some time now. Also, I think there's a north-south cultural divide here. French and Italian politicians and thinkers are used to making bold, sweeping overstatements and sounding like they are standing with the carved tablets of the law in their hands when they discuss Europe and politics, there's that kind of high-flying, Latin rethorical style, and well, Germany has adopted that manner sometimes too. They don't always mean what they say as literal fact statements or even as bids for what they expect to get, it's more for show, a wall of theatrical talk. This is really confusing to many of us from "northern " cultures 'cause we're used to a more matter-of-fact approach in politics and law, a bit more sober and with much clearer lines separating the lofty ambitions (or theories) and the actual things that people are trying to achieve.

Offline Nachtmahr

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Re: EU Referendum / BREXIT
« Reply #104 on: June 25, 2016, 09:15:26 AM »
Anyway, good to see the "remain" side have lost the vote with dignity, and haven't resorted to name calling, respecting people's opinions by not calling them stupid and demanding a second, third or fourth vote until they get their way... oh wait...

Pardon me, but wasn't this the tactic of the "Leave" campaign from the beginning? At least, that's my impression from what I've heard coming from them.

Offline Khoraz

Re: EU Referendum / BREXIT
« Reply #105 on: June 25, 2016, 09:21:24 AM »
I think that whichever way the vote went, the 'loosing' side would react badly - it's been a really important vote that's affected everybody, so obviously there'll be heated reactions.

I also think that it would be wrong in any election or vote to demand another one just because you didn't get the result you wanted - that's how democracy works. I didn't want a conservitive government, but that's how the votes were tallied.  That's how it goes sometimes.

Offline Nachtmahr

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Re: EU Referendum / BREXIT
« Reply #106 on: June 25, 2016, 10:01:29 AM »
I don't think this whole thing with wanting another vote is just up to people being displeased that they didn't get the result they wanted. This is a monumental decision that's been made, and the winning side won with less than 2% which really isn't a convincing victory. It would also seem that a lot of people made an uninformed decision or voted against their own interests out of spite, assuming the "Leave" side was destined to loose.

Having another vote probably wouldn't be entirely amiss in a situation as tense as this one. If "Leave"-enthusiasts are confident that they've won this, then I don't see why they wouldn't want another vote. (I mean, other than the obvious answer.)

If I were a UK citizen I would probably have voted to stay, and you might argue that I'm biased because of that.. But I think a second vote to confirm the result now that people have an increased awareness of the potential ramifications would be sensible. If it turns out that the "Leave"-majority was a fluke then.. Yeah, there's really no way to just annul all of this.

Even if it doesn't come down to a vote, then at least a national poll of some kind wouldn't go amiss once everything that's happened has settled in and the potential consequences (Both good and bad) appear more clear.

Offline Khoraz

Re: EU Referendum / BREXIT
« Reply #107 on: June 25, 2016, 10:07:58 AM »
I can see your point, but whichever way the vote landed you could always say that some people made an uninformed decision - you can't go through every household and make sure that everyone knows what they're talking about. True, 2% isn't a lot, but over a million people is a fair few.

And again, whichever way the vote landed, it would always be wrong to have another vote because it didn't go the way you wanted it to. It's like in general elections people don't demand second votes because their party didn't get in, unless there's suspected altering of ballots or something.

And I don't think that the potential ramifications can be judged yet, it's barely been over 24 hours and everything is still up in the air, in full panic mode and nothing has had chance to even remotely settle yet.

If there was to be another vote (and I still don't think there should be) then there needs to be time at least for the climate to calm down slightly - adding yet another slew of uncertainty into the mix right now wouldn't help matters.

Offline Khoraz

Re: EU Referendum / BREXIT
« Reply #108 on: June 25, 2016, 10:08:48 AM »
Also just a PS to the general thread, I hope I'm not coming across as rude. Politics are dirty and hard to discuss, but I definitely don't want to offend/upset anyone or whatever.

Offline Nachtmahr

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Re: EU Referendum / BREXIT
« Reply #109 on: June 25, 2016, 10:28:12 AM »
I'm the same as you: I'm not here to upset or hurt anyone. Even if the two of us do disagree on this issue, it's nothing personal. :)

Anyways, back on topic..

Well.. No, you can't really go around and making sure that everyone has all the facts and statistics at hand before making any political decision, but this is not a general election, and thus I feel like it's not a very relevant comparison? If you elect a government that the majority of the people later distrusts or dislikes, said government can be removed by the people.

This decision to leave the EU doesn't come with a panic-button or an ejector seat. If you're out you're out. I think, if anything, something as dramatic as this would be a good excuse for implementing a "Failsafe" vote of some kind. Having a second vote in a year or so just to make sure that people still want this probably wouldn't be a bad idea.

Less than 2% of a 72% turnout just doesn't feel like enough to justify making this decision in my mind. If another vote was had and the same result occurred with "Leave" taking winning by a similar amount, then sure, they've one. But this? This honestly feels like it's within the margin of error. It's hard to say how they remaining 28% of voters would have voted, and it's their own fault for not showing up.. But I just feel like this is too dramatic to just go "Well, 1,5-2% said out, so we're out!".


Offline Khoraz

Re: EU Referendum / BREXIT
« Reply #110 on: June 25, 2016, 10:37:04 AM »
The thing is the issue is so divisive. It is something that seems to be genuinely split down the middle, so I honestly think that the results would never be by an overly significant margin. How many times would you want to hold a vote before saying enough is enough? What's would you define as a definite margin?

What if it was held again, and this time the Remain side won by 2%? Would that suddenly be fine because it's Remain? Would there then need to be yet another one because of slim margins? It could go on forever.

Offline Kurzyk

Re: EU Referendum / BREXIT
« Reply #111 on: June 25, 2016, 10:49:23 AM »
I read today something about how there was a petition to parliament, with already over 100k votes to put together a referendum that if a vote like this was less than 60%, to do a second vote.

I could be wrong about that, I only skimmed the article, but it's interesting.

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: EU Referendum / BREXIT
« Reply #112 on: June 25, 2016, 11:08:39 AM »
I read today something about how there was a petition to parliament, with already over 100k votes to put together a referendum that if a vote like this was less than 60%, to do a second vote.

I could be wrong about that, I only skimmed the article, but it's interesting.

How many popular referendums in a hot question *ever* got settled with more than sixty percent on one side? Gee, I'd say it's almost normal that the margin turns out to be fairly slim when it's a heavyweight issue. The very dynamics of a direct appeal to the people on a single question seems to drive it that way.

Offline Lilias

Re: EU Referendum / BREXIT
« Reply #113 on: June 25, 2016, 11:32:47 AM »
If one thing worries me about the UK right now.. It would probably have to be the very public presence of people like Boris Johnson who frankly seems to have little to no idea what he's doing. I don't think the comparison to Donald Trump is entirely unjustified.

Both Johnson and Farage seemed completely bewildered by the result; after all, neither actually expected to win. Farage has bounced back to his usual triumphalist self, but Johnson is probably realising that this is no longer something to gripe around the dinner table about. Now he has to deliver, and he's in over his head.

Offline Nachtmahr

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Re: EU Referendum / BREXIT
« Reply #114 on: June 25, 2016, 11:59:11 AM »
The thing is the issue is so divisive. It is something that seems to be genuinely split down the middle, so I honestly think that the results would never be by an overly significant margin. How many times would you want to hold a vote before saying enough is enough? What's would you define as a definite margin?

What if it was held again, and this time the Remain side won by 2%? Would that suddenly be fine because it's Remain? Would there then need to be yet another one because of slim margins? It could go on forever.

That wasn't the point I was trying to make, that if Remain won by 2% it would be fine and dandy and we should just leave it at that, but that we should keep voting over and over if Leave wins by the same margin. But fact of the matter is that it is a split down the middle, so what's fair? Is it fair to dramatically alter the lives on one side because the other is looking for some new adventure, or is it fair to ensure that everyone stays the same way they are now because one side doesn't want this change?

As said, my point isn't that we should leave it at that if Remain won by 2% or less, but it feels like your argument is that the UK should definitely eject itself from the EU no matter the cost because Leave won by that margin.

If a second referendum was had and Leave yet again won, even with as tiny a margin as they have now, then it would be decided: The UK leaves the EU because the Leave-side has won twice in a row, proving that there are indeed more people dedicated to that cause than to the other. On the other hand, if Remain wins by a similar margin or less, then it's proof that this issue has divided the UK to the point where some kind of alternative solution is required.

This really is a prime example of perhaps the biggest issue with democracy: What is fair?

But leaving the EU is such a drastic choice that it hardly feels right for me to say that the UK should just go ahead with it, even if it potentially won by a fluke or because a bunch of Remain-supporters felt confident enough in victory that they didn't bother heading out in the rain to deliver their vote. This is extremely serious, and I don't think that such a tiny lead is convincing enough in the grand scheme of things to just forge ahead.

I think enough Leave-supporters have been sufficiently alarmed by, for example, the comments made by Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson immediately following the Leave victory to have second thoughts. If, by the time push comes to shove, the majority feels it's not the right thing to do.. Then what? "Oh well, too late! You set out on a ship with no rudder and now you'll just have to see what happens."

Yeah, this is the sort of big change that's legitimately scary. I have a lot of dear friends who are UK residents and some family who are all Remain-supporters who have no idea what to do now, because this is going to fundamentally change their lives and they basically have to either get out and leave said life behind or stay on for the ride. You really can't compare this to a general election, because it's so much bigger than that.

Thus my point is that leaving all of this to a single vote that was almost a tie just seems irresponsible and haphazard. I know that you might argue that Remain would get the long end of the stick by waiting, because they get to be a part of the EU for longer, but all the Leave-supporters can't just regret this and annul it if the worst case scenario turns out to be the case. I feel like the UK has to be sure that this is what it wants, and a less than 2% win doesn't feel much like certainty to me, with Northern Ireland and Scotland ready to consider jumping ship at this point.

Offline Khoraz

Re: EU Referendum / BREXIT
« Reply #115 on: June 25, 2016, 12:32:38 PM »
Okay so if there was another vote and it was remain by the same margin, what then?

What alternative is there? Negotiations with Europe have always been difficult, made even more so by the fact that we've voted to leave in the first place. I don't see much of an in between really - it's in or out.

Though I do agree that Boris and Farage have handled it badly. Never thought I'd say this, but Cameron has taken the whole thing with more grace.

Offline Nachtmahr

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Re: EU Referendum / BREXIT
« Reply #116 on: June 25, 2016, 12:45:35 PM »
Well, this has proven to the EU that lots of countries are demanding reforms. I doubt that the EU is not going to change after all of this, and it might be that the rest of us end up seeing solutions to the problems that the UK are having with the organization as a whole. As I stated in an earlier post, the UK will also still be required to live up to it's obligations and such while the whole process of negotiating their goodbye and before that. A lot of people will have voted leave because of key issues such as immigration, and it's hard to say whether or not there will still be a migration-crisis by the time the UK finally leaves, meaning that one of the reasons why a lot of people wanted to leave might not exist by the time that this would actually occur.

But if there was another vote and Remain won by the same margin, then obviously the country is so split that neither option (leaving or staying) is actually fair. But what if there was another vote and Remain won by 5%? 7%? 10%? If a whole lot of Leave-supporters decided it wasn't what they wanted after all? People voting against their own interests out of spite, people voting because of the NHS-stuff that's apparently all built on lies, people who didn't realize what the EU is actually about until after it was all settled.

Returning to the question of Remain winning by the same margin though, would you still say that leaving is the right thing to do then? That it's somehow more valid in a tie than staying? The UK would remain for a while longer and the EU would likely have to start working on reforms that will benefit all members.

Sure, it's speculation, but whether or not the UK stands to benefit from leaving the EU and setting out on it's own is also speculation, and I choose to believe that the safer option is the better option in this case.

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: EU Referendum / BREXIT
« Reply #117 on: June 25, 2016, 12:56:03 PM »
Of course Westminster could declare "this was only an advisory referendum, not a deciding one, so we'll void it" - like in many other countries, the Uk doesn't have legally binding referendums on matters of state - but many of the electorate would probably explode at that kind of stance. The loss of credibility for many politicians (and for the government!) would be devastating...and many people would read it as the final example of Westminster having ben pulled by a hook in the nose by EU bureaucrats.  ::)
« Last Edit: June 25, 2016, 12:59:47 PM by gaggedLouise »

Offline Khoraz

Re: EU Referendum / BREXIT
« Reply #118 on: June 25, 2016, 01:04:03 PM »
Oh the EU will definitely change after this, but it seems that the leave vote has exposed even more division in the EU than before - half of them are saying they want to rush through the leaving process (which they shouldn't be able to do according to their own laws) and the other half, Germany included, wants to negotiate. They have no idea what to do now that this has happened.

I wouldn't blame other countries for thinking about leaving as well. The EU hasn't been right for a long time, but that is just my opinion.

I think it's too soon to judge how the leave game will play out - things need time to settle before calling for another vote rather than doing all this knee-jerking and panicking.

The idea that the EU is going to miraculously and suddenly start negotiating reforms is just not going to happen. They're in a mess and in state to discuss anything without flying off the handle.

The safer option is to stay, but the safer option isn't always the best. People are scared by change, but change has to happen or else nothing would ever progress.

Of course Westminster could declare "this was only an advisory referendum, not a deciding one, so we'll void it" - like in many other countries, the Uk doesn't have legally binding referendums on matters of state - but many of the electorate would probably explode at that kind of stance. The loss of credibility for many politicians (and for the government!) would be devastating...and many people would read it as the final example of Westminster having ben pulled by a hook in the nose by EU bureaucrats.  ::)
I don't think they will, especially after Cameron resigned and said that it would be done. I think it's the EU bureaucracy that has driven most people away from it.

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Re: EU Referendum / BREXIT
« Reply #119 on: June 25, 2016, 01:07:50 PM »
I don't think they will, especially after Cameron resigned and said that it would be done.

I am not sure I'd give that credit - I mean, Farage said a lot in his propaganda and then denied it hours after final count. Once one side plays the bait and switch, what stops the other side?

Offline Stan'

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Re: EU Referendum / BREXIT
« Reply #120 on: June 25, 2016, 01:10:56 PM »
Look at it this way.  I voted for Scotland to become independent.  We lost, and I didn't demand another referendum even though it was as close as 55%-45%.  This is the risks involved with democracy.  Even if it's a 99%-1% split, there will always be someone disappointed.  However, being a UK citizen, the majority of the public for YEARS have been talking about leaving the EU.  This isn't a sudden decision, it's been brewing for more than a decade.

The problem with the world is every one is afraid of change.  For most generations, they're used to being in the EU that they don't know what it would be like without it.  It's not the be-all-and-end-all.  Unfortunately, any one who dared to vote "out" has now been branded stupid, a racist and other nonsense.  The vote has sparked a debate, but it's more down to the fact that for once, Britain has actually followed up with it's threats.

Offline Khoraz

Re: EU Referendum / BREXIT
« Reply #121 on: June 25, 2016, 01:14:30 PM »
I am not sure I'd give that credit - I mean, Farage said a lot in his propaganda and then denied it hours after final count. Once one side plays the bait and switch, what stops the other side?
True, but would he go back on a resignation? Seems like political/reputation suicide.

Look at it this way.  I voted for Scotland to become independent.  We lost, and I didn't demand another referendum even though it was as close as 55%-45%.  This is the risks involved with democracy.  Even if it's a 99%-1% split, there will always be someone disappointed.  However, being a UK citizen, the majority of the public for YEARS have been talking about leaving the EU.  This isn't a sudden decision, it's been brewing for more than a decade.

The problem with the world is every one is afraid of change.  For most generations, they're used to being in the EU that they don't know what it would be like without it.  It's not the be-all-and-end-all.  Unfortunately, any one who dared to vote "out" has now been branded stupid, a racist and other nonsense.  The vote has sparked a debate, but it's more down to the fact that for once, Britain has actually followed up with it's threats.
All of this. Though I wouldn't be surprised if there had been a petition or two to have another referendum.

Out of curiosity, would you vote for independence again if it was up? Sturgeon(sp?) is going for it.

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: EU Referendum / BREXIT
« Reply #122 on: June 25, 2016, 01:16:50 PM »
Yeah, I read somewhere that at the summit of foreign ministers from the six founder members today, they wanted to push even more for a firmer union, more steps towards a real federal state level for the inner circle of countries, but it's completely up in the air if they can achieve that for now. Both Merkel and Hollande are up for reelection next year and it's going to be tough campaigns, they won't want an even bigger load of heavyweight EU issues hanging over them by then. And you don't win an election in tough times by saying "I'm going to give away more of national powers and prerogatives to an EU level".  :D

Also, the way they phrased that, it meant a tacit admission that they might have to accept more of a "two-speed Europe", since many member countries are simply not interested in big radical schemes with ever more stuff getting decided or pushed at the Brussels and EU council level. That kind of admission has been something they really didn't want to make for a long time.

Offline Nachtmahr

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Re: EU Referendum / BREXIT
« Reply #123 on: June 25, 2016, 01:22:40 PM »
To be fair, 5% isn't close in a vote, whereas less than 2% is definitely not a convincing victory for either side. And I definitely do not buy the whole "Most generations don't know what it means to not be in the EU"-thing. I mean, so what? I don't see what that's got to do with it. The older generations shouldn't be allowed to just drag the youth out of the EU because they're dissatisfied after all.

And let's just be clear that this doesn't appear to be about the UK "Following up on it's threats" as much as it's about Cameron getting elected on terms that would eventually come around to bite him. As seen by the near-tie result, half the country would disagree that it was even necessary to make those threats in the first place.

But you're right: Change has to happen for things to evolve and progress to happen. But then why is everyone so opposed to the idea of a second vote? Would it not be an evolution of the democratic system to not let decisions stand or fall on what's almost a tie, and instead check and make sure the result is genuinely representing the will of the people?

I just don't believe we're in a situation where EU-reforms is an impossible goal. I disagree with loads of stuff relating to the EU, but I also disagree the leaving is the right option. If this whole thing has not been a wake-up call for those in the EU that are willing to try and make it work, then sure, it's a sinking ship. But I refuse to believe that it would let itself be buried in bureaucracy to the point where where we wouldn't see any results for 20 years.

Offline Khoraz

Re: EU Referendum / BREXIT
« Reply #124 on: June 25, 2016, 01:26:22 PM »
Quote
I just don't believe we're in a situation where EU-reforms is an impossible goal.

I think that's the crux of the argument. I think the EU is just a mess - maybe that's cynical, but yeah... I just didn't see any chance in the EU. Got to try out of it.