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The Elliquian Herald & Post
Issue 74 (Autumn) ~ August thru October 2017

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Author Topic: EU Referendum / BREXIT  (Read 17480 times)

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Offline Strident

Re: EU Referendum / BREXIT
« Reply #25 on: June 05, 2016, 09:03:42 AM »
On a website like this, I would have thought one arguement that would hold a lot of weight is defence of freedom of speech.

Freedom of speech always goes hand in hand with having the most robust and accountable democracy you can muster.

It's true that one particular group of unelected people *might* make a nice law that defends personal freedom and liberty.

However, the next lot of unelected individuals may not. And if they are not elected they can't be fired by the people.

British democracy is far from perfect. It is, however far more democratically accountable than the EU.

The EU is not static. It's direction of travel is towards being state.  Over the past 20 years it had acquired a currency, a president, an anthem, a flag etc...

It seems very likely it will aquire some form of army fairly soon (Although I suspect it will initally be called something like a "joint defence force")

The direction of travel is towards a single state. I estimate it will get there in between 30 to 50 years.

And when it gets there, what kind of state will it be?

It will not, by any reasonable measure be a democratic one.

Yes, there is a parliament, which is the only elected part of the whole thing. The  parliament merely votes through legislation handed to it by the unelected Council and commission.

Their deliberations are often held in secret. As indeed, are their deliberations by which they appoint the presidents. Surely, a country appointing it's president by secret deliberations of an unelected Council is....troubling?

Some would argue the Parliament is democratic. Well, first, the Parliament lacks much real power, but, even leaving that aside, it isn't really democratic at all.

People vote for parties, not individuals. The national parties of each Nation then appoint members of Parliament of THEIR choosing and can appoint a number of them proportionate to the percentage of the vote they got.

However, different MEPs from the same party may have wildly differing views, so, in what sense, have you voted for a representative of your opinion? You havnt.

Not only that but the parties don't sit individually. They form blocks with parties of similar ilk from different countries.

And not only that, but apart from those who are effectively protesters against the whole Euro project, nearly all votes are passed with agreement from all sides. There is no true oppositional democracy at work here. Your vote does not really say anything or influence anything.

This is in why I will be voting out. I think most people who enjoy the freedom to write and publish freely on the Internet (I.e. Members of this kind of forum) should consider the democratic accountability argument very carefully before voting.

Offline RedRose

Re: EU Referendum / BREXIT
« Reply #26 on: June 05, 2016, 01:29:16 PM »
I have a number of continental friends who moved to UK for various reasons (from job, to security), and are quite worried about what's going to happen. None of them are a burden to British society, some even really contribute to it. Granted I'm not as up to date as I should be on this topic.

Offline Kythia

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Re: EU Referendum / BREXIT
« Reply #27 on: June 05, 2016, 05:35:05 PM »
Again, a few problems there, Strident. 

First, there's no such thing as the EU president.  Amusingly, Wikipedia's page on President of the EU comes straight off the bat:

Quote
President of the European Union (or President of Europe) does not exist

So we can dismiss all of your claims about the president.  They're wrong.

Second, as Neroon pointed out the EU government is considerably more democratically accountable than our own government.  Specifically, the Council which you claim is unelected is in fact elected.

Third, all of your complaints either hold equally true for our own national government or are untrue:

Quote
People vote for parties, not individuals. The national parties of each Nation then appoint members of Parliament of THEIR choosing and can appoint a number of them proportionate to the percentage of the vote they got.

Sort of.  We have MEPs.  They are elected directly using proportional representation.  The ballot paper quite clearly indicates the names of the individuals.  Here is an image of the ballot paper and here is a video explaining how it all works.  In essence, you're wrong on the order (members are chosen by the party before the election, not after) and I really don't see what's so suspicious/objectionable about it?

Quote
However, different MEPs from the same party may have wildly differing views, so, in what sense, have you voted for a representative of your opinion? You havnt.

And that differs from our own government how?  To take an a propos example, the Conservative party is bitterly split on the leave/remain issue.

Quote
Not only that but the parties don't sit individually. They form blocks with parties of similar ilk from different countries.

Not at all like the coalition government we had recently, then.

Quote
And not only that, but apart from those who are effectively protesters against the whole Euro project, nearly all votes are passed with agreement from all sides. There is no true oppositional democracy at work here. Your vote does not really say anything or influence anything.

No, this isn't true either.  Here is a list of recent EU parliament votes.  As you can see, there is far from a unanimous decision on them, and the stats helpfully give the percentage of people who voted along "party lines" which is regularly less than 100%

You're free, of course, to vote leave and I tend to agree with you that the trend is for greater federalisation/centralisation.  I'm not sure I agree with your assessment that the EU is a threat to free speech per se (and, frankly, I personally don't care if it is - but that's a different conversation entirely) but if you feel it is then sure.  But some of the basis for your argument is wrong and some I don't think I understand - your objection to proportional representation specifically.  I voted against PR in the referendum but I don't think it's some massive confidence trick - you seem to assert that it's a problem but never explain why.

Offline Scribbles

Re: EU Referendum / BREXIT
« Reply #28 on: June 09, 2016, 05:41:10 AM »
I'm begging my family over there to vote to stay, mostly because I believe that Europe, united, is stronger. I'm tired of silly disagreements between nations tearing everyone around them down and while I know that the EU has a lot of kinks it needs to knock out, I feel that it's nothing that can't be worked out over time.

I know that's mostly rhetoric but I've been discussing this for awhile now with friends and family and am completely drained regarding this topic....

Offline hamish1024

Re: EU Referendum / BREXIT
« Reply #29 on: June 10, 2016, 12:49:18 PM »
I'm slightly embarrassed that we're even *having* a referendum on this. I do wonder what it looks like to non-Brits. Feels like Cameron threw it into his election pledges without expecting to actually win a majority and have to carry it out! Most experts and business leaders seem to be pro-EU. The anti-EU arguments feel like a grab-bag of vague discontentment with the modern world that won't actually be fixed by leaving.

The anti-EU argument started with an economic and world influence focus, humming 'Rule Britannia' to itself with increasing insistence. Then basically every expert pointed out that leaving wouldn't help those things at all. So, over the last few weeks, the anti-EU side has found more traction by switching it's focus to immigration. It's a sensitive subject, and difficult to talk about objectively, but one thing seems to have been overlooked - the majority of immigration into the UK is from outside of the EU!!

Basically, a large portion of the British electorate are going to vote Leave Europe on the basis that they don't like Asian immigrants. It would almost be funny, if it wasn't also quite terrifying.

Offline Khoraz

Re: EU Referendum / BREXIT
« Reply #30 on: June 10, 2016, 01:15:41 PM »
As someone voting Leave,  it's a bit insulting to read people saying how we're all haters of immigrants and don't actually know what's going on on the world.

Offline hamish1024

Re: EU Referendum / BREXIT
« Reply #31 on: June 10, 2016, 01:43:00 PM »
I'm sorry if that's what you took from my post Khoraz, but that's not what I meant.

I *knew* this was going to cause problems, I *said* it was a sensitive subject... but here goes... A dislike of immigration is a valid position. It's not one I share, but it is valid.

However, the lengths to which the pro-Leave newspapers are going to link the issues of Brexit and immigration in the public psyche, when in reality they are hugely separate issues... well, that *is* pretty insulting.

I don't think anyone would argue that the level of information in this debate, from both sides, has been particularly honest. It actually *is* pretty hard to know what is going on!

Online Vergil Tanner

Re: EU Referendum / BREXIT
« Reply #32 on: June 11, 2016, 06:12:15 AM »
Well, I disagree that Brexit and Immigration are two separate issues, seeing as how the EU actively tells the UK that we have to have open borders within Europe, so we - to a certain degree - can't control our own borders.

That being said, I don't even think there is a sense of "Anti Immigrant" in the majority of the Brexit camp (of which I am a member). Immigration demonstrably makes the economy stronger...but only when it's controlled, and it's uncontrolled immigration that I have an issue with. I don't mind Immigrants who come in, work hard and use their skills to contribute to the economy; my next door neighbour is a North African immigrant (I don't think I've ever asked which specific country and if I did, I forgot (I haven't got the best memory when it comes to facts like that), but I know he's from the north of Africa) who is a taxi driver, and he works about 9 - 12 hours a day. He works hard, he's a lovely, friendly guy and I get on REALLY well with him. It's the immigrants who wander in, get set up in a council house and then just...don't do anything, living off of the benefits that I have an issue with.

Plus, there's the fact that uncontrolled immigration puts us at risk from external terrorists who can just come in with minimal checks; the amount of immigrants saying that they're Syrian who are actually from other middle-eastern countries that have nothing to do with the Syrian conflict is staggering, and the problem is that the EU hamstrings our ability to enforce our own borders. Add onto that that we have barely enough jobs and housing for the people who are ALREADY here, I don't think the UK economy can - at the moment - handle the amount of refugees that the EU wants us to take. Yes, the immigrants come from outside the EU, but they tend to enter the EU elsewhere, and then use the Open Borders to move from country to country, and the UK is unable to stop them.

Then there's the matter of the EU courts overruling UK Parliament decisions, imposing tariffs on our dealings with countries outside the EU, the fact that the EU is always trying to pressure us into adopting the Euro despite its abject failure, the fact that we have to keep paying money that we don't have to keep propping up failing economies, the fact that we pay in more than any other country to the EU and we get the least out...I think those are all valid reasons to not want to be part of the EU any more, since it simply isn't worth it any more. The fact is, the majority of our exports are to non-European countries - like the Commonwealth - and whilst the Eurozone Economy is shrinking, we have trading partners who want to establish links with us whose economy is growing, like China, Australia, Canada and India who we can't make our own deal with at the moment because the EU has rules against that.

Similarly, for anybody saying that the EU would stop trading with us...well, they wouldn't. First off, Angela Merkel of all people has stated that if the UK leaves the EU, she will use her Veto to stop any sanctions against the UK in retaliation (ok, I trust Merkel as far as I can throw her, but it's the fact that she was willing to come out and state it on the record that counts), and secondly, the UK buys FAR more than it sells to the EU under the rules of WTO, so the chances of them refusing to deal with its biggest buyer? HELL No. The UK has Buying Power, and the other countries in the EU would come off far worse if they opted to refuse our business. And yes, economic strength WOULD come from leaving, especially considering that the UK economy grew last year, whereas the EU's shrank. Plus the alarming trend of EU countries collapsing into bankruptcy, and the demands from the EU for us to spend MORE money than we already are on other countries.

And on the subject of jobs, well, Honda and Toyota and a bucketfull of other big international companies have stated outright that they'll be maintaining their HQ in the UK regardless of whether we leave or stay, and we'd have final control over our own taxes and VAT, so we might even be able to tempt MORE businesses in. As for Obama's threat? Well, tough shit, Obama, you're not gonna be in the office after the end of this year, and since right now it looks like your people have a choice of either Corrupt Clinton or "Build a Wall and make the Mexicans pay for it" Trump, you got your own issues to deal with right now.

The simple fact of the matter is that outside of the EU, the UK would have more freedom in its decisions, it would have independence to make its own rules, wouldn't have to answer to the EU Courts - which the UK never agreed to in the first place; we joined back when it was simply a Free Trade Agreement, not the League of Nations 2.0 - and we'd have MASSIVE freedom to trade with economies MUCH stronger and MUCH more consistent than the EU. Honestly, the best case scenario is if we strike a deal similar to Norway; that is, we're outside the EU, but within the EFTA (European Free Trade Association). Worldwide, Norway has among the highest capita per head and the highest standard of living and one of the strongest economies, and it's got nothing to do with the EU past the EFTA, which should serve to blow the "Stay" Campaign out of the water. The "Stay" Campaign has been one giant Fearmongering attempt, and - if recent polls are to be believed - people ain't buying it any more.

Honestly, I think the UK is better off outside the EU (though ideally still within the EFTA, but we can do well outside the EFTA as well if we have to, just by trading with China and The Commonwealth, and if you think the USA will stop trading with the UK when we're one of their biggest buyers, you don't understand business or how American Capitalism works) and it is a bit insulting to read the posts and articles claiming that Brexiters are just "Scared of immigration" or are just "Nationalistic assholes who don't know what's going on in the world."

I agree that neither campaign has been particularly honest in its tactics, however; I wasn't convinced by either of them. I've held this opinion for a long-ass time, longer than this whole referendum thing has been being planned.

Also, I can't recall who I saw say it, but...no, "most top economists" aren't on the side of Remain. As I recall, the supporters for Brexit and Remain are fairly evenly split; if I'm correct in my recollections, about half of the top economists and businesses support Remain, and the other half support Brexit. Of course, some companies don't care either way. :P

Here's the thing: It's a sensitive issue, and neither side has been completely honest with the facts, but if we don't leave now, the EUC is gonna want more and more powers, and that's something the UK public should be very concerned about, considering what it's done already over the past few years. Their economy is failing, they want us to pay MASSIVE amounts of money into the EU while getting very little out, and they consistently overturn our parliamentary decisions or enforce new and more and more intrusive rules into the country. Considering that we never really agreed to it prior to joining the EU, and considering how much authority they're willing to exert over us and our democratically reached decisions...well, leaving is the best thing for the UK, and leaving won't hit us anywhere near as hard as a lot of Remainers are trying to make out. Hell, in some ways, we'll be better off since we can set our own Tariffs on trading with countries not in the EU, and since we buy and sell more to countries outside the EU anyway, well...I fail to see how our economy would be destroyed when it has been growing in recent years despite the EU, rather than because of it.


But that's my spiel. I'll be voting to leave the EU, since I honestly think it's what's best for this country, and I do find it rather insulting when I hear people belittle my position by stating that I'm just an anti-immigration nationalist who is largely ignorant of world events. It's kinda like how I feel when I explain my rationale for not believing in God, and then being faced with people saying "Oh, you just want to sin" or "Why do you hate God?" Or when I express my doubts about 3rd Wave Feminism and get met with "You're just a misogynistic Anti Feminist, so shut the fuck up and go away." I just wish people would engage with the arguments rather than erecting a strawman of the position to beat up on before declaring that the opposition is a horrible person, so must therefore be wrong. It's demeaning to both parties, it's frustrating to people who just want to have an honest discussion, and it's dishonest to assert that your opposition is "only" something negative. Declaring that the Brexit campaign is just made up of racist xenophobes...well, it's intellectually dishonest and helps nobody get to the nub of the matter, and I just wish people would stop instantly using Ad Hominem attacks as arguments against peoples positions.
I know you said you didn't mean that, Hamish, but...well...

"Basically, a large portion of the British electorate are going to vote Leave Europe on the basis that they don't like Asian immigrants."

That's precisely what I'm talking about. Instead of actually engaging with the arguments, you simplify and exaggerate and then use that to denigrate the opposite position. Again, it might not be what you meant, but it's certainly how it looked. I believe I've laid out my reasons for wanting to leave the EU up above, and where did I once state that it was because I dislike Asian immigrants?

I'm just bored and tired of people simplifying positions with Ad Hominem Attacks instead of engaging with the actual arguments. It isn't even an Internet Problem, it's a Human Problem, and I'm getting sick of it. >.<

Offline Kythia

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Re: EU Referendum / BREXIT
« Reply #33 on: June 11, 2016, 04:58:20 PM »
Plus, there's the fact that uncontrolled immigration puts us at risk from external terrorists who can just come in with minimal checks; the amount of immigrants saying that they're Syrian who are actually from other middle-eastern countries that have nothing to do with the Syrian conflict is staggering, and the problem is that the EU hamstrings our ability to enforce our own borders. Add onto that that we have barely enough jobs and housing for the people who are ALREADY here, I don't think the UK economy can - at the moment - handle the amount of refugees that the EU wants us to take. Yes, the immigrants come from outside the EU, but they tend to enter the EU elsewhere, and then use the Open Borders to move from country to country, and the UK is unable to stop them.

Do you have any citation about the fake-Syrian claim?  I've had a quick google and found nothing.  Further, the UK doesn't have an Open Borders policy.  The policy in question is called the Schengen agreement and the UK isn't a member.  Unlike...

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Honestly, the best case scenario is if we strike a deal similar to Norway; that is, we're outside the EU, but within the EFTA (European Free Trade Association). Worldwide, Norway has among the highest capita per head and the highest standard of living and one of the strongest economies, and it's got nothing to do with the EU past the EFTA, which should serve to blow the "Stay" Campaign out of the water. The "Stay" Campaign has been one giant Fearmongering attempt, and - if recent polls are to be believed - people ain't buying it any more.

...Norway.  Which is a member of Schengen.  That is to say, it has considerably less control over its borders than the UK does and in fact has literally no say over its EU resident immigration policy. Norway has a higher percentage of immigrants than the UK,

While "nothing to do with the EU beyond EFTA" is technically correct, it doesn't mean what you think it means.  Norway has to abide by EU Common Market rules.  Again, to be clear, Norway has to follow the bulk of the rules (it's around 75%) that the UK does wrt trade and the like but has no say over what those rules are.  It doesn't make it's own trade agreements, EFTA make them.  EFTA contains more countries than the EU. 

I am constantly amazed by claims we should adopt the Norwegian model.

Online Vergil Tanner

Re: EU Referendum / BREXIT
« Reply #34 on: June 11, 2016, 05:15:25 PM »
Ah, hang on, found it....it's not specifically "Fake Syrians" but "Fake Asylum Seekers" in general, but this article - and a host of others - reported on it at the time.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/eu/12123684/Six-in-ten-migrants-not-entitled-to-asylum-says-EU-chief.html


And no, we don't have fully open borders, but we are significantly hamstrung in what we can actually do by the European Free Movement stuff. And the longer we stay in the EU, based on past behaviour, the more the EU will try to extend its influence into day to day lives...and, inevitably, the budget will increase, meaning we'll have to pay increasingly more for something that doesn't really benefit us all that much.

Well, I said that we should aim for an agreement similar to Norway, not that we should completely adopt their model.
That being said, you're right in that I wasn't entirely clear on how the EFTA worked; in that case, we're probably better off outside the EFTA as well. If we can get a Free Trade Deal, then brilliant, but considering that the majority of our imports and exports are from outside the EU either way, we'll be fine if we decide to leave.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2016, 05:17:37 PM by Vergil Tanner »

Offline Kythia

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Re: EU Referendum / BREXIT
« Reply #35 on: June 11, 2016, 05:33:42 PM »
And no, we don't have fully open borders, but we are significantly hamstrung in what we can actually do by the European Free Movement stuff.

That's not the European Free Movement (which is Schengen).  That was a specific screw-up by the government of 2004 which failed to impose transitional arrangements for the EU expansion.  We are in no way hamstrung by Schengen.  We are not part of it.

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Well, I said that we should aim for an agreement similar to Norway, not that we should completely adopt their model.
That being said, you're right in that I wasn't entirely clear on how the EFTA worked; in that case, we're probably better off outside the EFTA as well. If we can get a Free Trade Deal, then brilliant, but considering that the majority of our imports and exports are from outside the EU either way, we'll be fine if we decide to leave.

You're comparing apples and oranges here.  About 1/3 of our trade is with the EU (and so 2/3 with non-EU countries).  However, it's not correct to directly compare these two cases.  The EU trade can be lumped together, non-EU trade can't.  So, for example, our biggest single trading partner is the US, but our trade with France and Germany alone - ignoring the rest of the EU - is larger.  The key thing to remember is that we need to look at trade with each entity and "not a member of the EU" isn't, for these purposes, an entity.  Long story short, our major trading partner is overwhelmingly the EU - precise stats seem to vary wildly for some reason but taking a rough back of the envelope average about 33% of our trade is with the EU with the next highest (the US) being about 10%.  We really need a trade deal with the EU and that will take a non-zero amount of time to sort out in the event of us leaving.

Online Vergil Tanner

Re: EU Referendum / BREXIT
« Reply #36 on: June 11, 2016, 05:57:24 PM »
I'm not specifically talking about the Schengen, I'm talking more about the general EU rules and regulations that they impose on all the EU members, and the powers that they've effectively supplanted and taken away.


And honestly? I disagree. The fact that "Non EU" can't be lumped together is irrelevant; the fact remains that only a third of our trade is with the EU CURRENTLY, which means that we would only lose a third of our trade IF the EU decided to stop trading with us entirely....which is impossible, since we're one of THE biggest buyers in the world. As the main buyers, WE have the power, and we can easily buy anything made in Europe elsewhere. The ONLY reason we don't trade with a single entity more is because of the EU tariffs. China and The Commonwealth, for example, WANT to trade with us because we're such massive buyers, we just can't come up with our own Trade Deals because of EU legislation. And anybody who claims that the USA will stop trading with us if we leave the EU....well, again, we're one of the biggest buyers. So..unlikely, to say the least.
The thing is, Kythia, it doesn't matter whether non-EU countries are a unified block or not. It really doesn't. They're our single largest partner, yes, but that's because of the free trade agreement and the fact that they impose tariffs on external-EU trade. If we were to leave the EU, we would find other suppliers for our needs on our own terms in a snap because - in any market - the BUYER has the final power over who to buy FROM. How about the Commonwealth? They are extremely eager to trade with the UK, and their economies at the moment - by and large - are MUCH stronger than the EU's, India and Canada's specifically.
So really, I fail to see your point. So what if the EU is the single biggest trading partner? The fact remains that it's still the minority of our overall trade, and I highly doubt our external-to-EU partners would stop trading with us if we left Europe. Let alone the fact that the chances of the EU stopping trade with us altogether are astronomically tiny, since - if we do so much business with them - THEY would be hit harder than US if they stopped trading with us, considering the states of their economies. In a European Recession, they need to sell to whoever buys to make money, and not trading with the UK would be cutting off their nose to spite their face. They'd come off worse from that, and they know it, hence why they're so desperate to keep the UK in.

The simple fact of the matter is that since the UK does a lot more importing goods than exporting - we tend to export workers more than actual goods - WE have the power in terms of trade deals, since WE'RE the ones buying it, so we can simply go elsewhere. Saying "Oh, the EU is our biggest single trading partner, ergo, we need to stay in" is missing the fact that the ONLY reason they're our biggest trading partner is because they are a Free Trade Area, and they impose tariffs on external-EU trading. Without those two factors, we have MUCH more choice in the matter than you seem to be implying.

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Re: EU Referendum / BREXIT
« Reply #37 on: June 11, 2016, 06:53:38 PM »
I'm not specifically talking about the Schengen, I'm talking more about the general EU rules and regulations that they impose on all the EU members, and the powers that they've effectively supplanted and taken away.


And honestly? I disagree. The fact that "Non EU" can't be lumped together is irrelevant; the fact remains that only a third of our trade is with the EU CURRENTLY, which means that we would only lose a third of our trade IF the EU decided to stop trading with us entirely....which is impossible, since we're one of THE biggest buyers in the world. As the main buyers, WE have the power, and we can easily buy anything made in Europe elsewhere. The ONLY reason we don't trade with a single entity more is because of the EU tariffs. China and The Commonwealth, for example, WANT to trade with us because we're such massive buyers, we just can't come up with our own Trade Deals because of EU legislation. And anybody who claims that the USA will stop trading with us if we leave the EU....well, again, we're one of the biggest buyers. So..unlikely, to say the least.
The thing is, Kythia, it doesn't matter whether non-EU countries are a unified block or not. It really doesn't. They're our single largest partner, yes, but that's because of the free trade agreement and the fact that they impose tariffs on external-EU trade. If we were to leave the EU, we would find other suppliers for our needs on our own terms in a snap because - in any market - the BUYER has the final power over who to buy FROM. How about the Commonwealth? They are extremely eager to trade with the UK, and their economies at the moment - by and large - are MUCH stronger than the EU's, India and Canada's specifically.
So really, I fail to see your point. So what if the EU is the single biggest trading partner? The fact remains that it's still the minority of our overall trade, and I highly doubt our external-to-EU partners would stop trading with us if we left Europe. Let alone the fact that the chances of the EU stopping trade with us altogether are astronomically tiny, since - if we do so much business with them - THEY would be hit harder than US if they stopped trading with us, considering the states of their economies. In a European Recession, they need to sell to whoever buys to make money, and not trading with the UK would be cutting off their nose to spite their face. They'd come off worse from that, and they know it, hence why they're so desperate to keep the UK in.

The simple fact of the matter is that since the UK does a lot more importing goods than exporting - we tend to export workers more than actual goods - WE have the power in terms of trade deals, since WE'RE the ones buying it, so we can simply go elsewhere. Saying "Oh, the EU is our biggest single trading partner, ergo, we need to stay in" is missing the fact that the ONLY reason they're our biggest trading partner is because they are a Free Trade Area, and they impose tariffs on external-EU trading. Without those two factors, we have MUCH more choice in the matter than you seem to be implying.

I didn't intend to imply we had no choice in the matter, we do for the reasons you point out and others.  But.  We, the UK, don't have a trade deal with the US or any Commonwealth nation or China or India or literally anywhere.  When we leave the EU, we will have nothing on that front.  Sure, it's not like we have the referendum and then that evening when the votes are counted we're out in the cold - there will be some period between us deciding to leave and actually leaving when we could start trying to build that.  The minimum period is two years but I guess the precise timeline isn't sorted yet.  However, trade deals take a lot longer than that to set up.  So at the point at which we leave we'll have nothing.  "We could set them up at some point in the future" doesn't help our economy today.  Sure, there's the principle of continuity which would help us - I exaggerate when I say "nothing" - but the fact remains that our economy will be severely weakened until that happens and it's not even clear that Vienna applies to the EU.

You claim that being a bigger buyer means getting a better deal: the EU as a block is about three hundred times a bigger buyer than we are (in monetary terms).  By your own logic our trade deals negotiated on our own will be worse.  We will be a much much smaller buyer than we were before.  Further, you're only looking at this from one side.  Yes, we are a major buyer on a worldwide scale.  That doesn't make us a major receiver from the other country's point of view.  We account for only 6% of EU "exports" for example and that figure will crash once we no longer have a free trade agreement with them (which we wouldn't when we left the EU and no realistic chance of us getting one).  We account for 2% of US exports.  2.5% of Chinese.  You are massively overstating the case by only considering our view of a country, not their view of us.

EDIT:  To clarify a point I'm not sure I made well - other countries are overwhelmingly the buyer in our relationships with us, not us.  By your logic, they hold the power.

Incidentally, you claim that "anyone who says the US would stop trading with us... etc" . Well, no one's saying that they'd stop trade, of course. The US has repeatedly made it clear it's not interested in a FTA with the UK though. 

Much of your post seems to be based on hope, to be honest. 
« Last Edit: June 11, 2016, 07:03:05 PM by Kythia »

Offline Khoraz

Re: EU Referendum / BREXIT
« Reply #38 on: June 11, 2016, 07:01:17 PM »
Quote
Much of your post seems to be based on hope, to be honest.

Just to jump in, I would much rather vote on the lines of hope, than on fear. Which is all the Remain campaign has been providing. Just a constant stream of how everything will collapse and fail if we leave the EU, which just isn't true.

People are terrified of big change and like to maintain the status quo, which is why this fear mongering will probably be successful.

Offline Kythia

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Re: EU Referendum / BREXIT
« Reply #39 on: June 11, 2016, 07:04:01 PM »
Just to jump in, I would much rather vote on the lines of hope, than on fear. Which is all the Remain campaign has been providing. Just a constant stream of how everything will collapse and fail if we leave the EU, which just isn't true.

People are terrified of big change and like to maintain the status quo, which is why this fear mongering will probably be successful.

What makes you think it isn't true? 

If I say "smoking substantially increases your chances of getting lung cancer" am I fear mongering or pointing out a fact?

Finally, let's not claim this is one sided.  I received this monstrosity the other day.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2016, 07:06:42 PM by Kythia »

Offline Khoraz

Re: EU Referendum / BREXIT
« Reply #40 on: June 11, 2016, 07:11:15 PM »
It's just taken to extremes - obviousky it will take time to reestablish trade and alliances and laws, but there are so many countries that aren't in the EU who miraculously haven't imploded.

Also yeah, that is utterly ridiculous - both sides are extreme, but it feels like the Remain is a lot more fear-ish than Leave. Maybe I'm biased, but that's how it feels to me. And certainly a lot of people I know have decided on Leave purely because of how sick they are of the Remain tactics.

Offline Kythia

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Re: EU Referendum / BREXIT
« Reply #41 on: June 11, 2016, 07:16:02 PM »
And certainly a lot of people I know have decided on Leave purely because of how sick they are of the Remain tactics.

Wow...

Seriously?

They've decided how to vote on an incredibly important decision based solely on the fact they don't like the way an argument is presented.  That's...I have no words.  That is, just, unbelievably irresponsible and childish. I hope to god you've tried to beat some sense and basic responsibility in to them.

Offline Khoraz

Re: EU Referendum / BREXIT
« Reply #42 on: June 11, 2016, 07:20:08 PM »
... its a bit more than that. People have been caught out in lies, and there's been some very undiplomatic practices going on by the government to try and tell people how to vote. That isn't right.

But still, I think I'm going to leave it there since you've just insulted pretty much my whole family.

Just because people form their opinions in different ways and based off different things, that doesn't mean they're childish or irresponsible. It representitive of a bigger problem that people are becoming aware of. That's all.

Online Vergil Tanner

Re: EU Referendum / BREXIT
« Reply #43 on: June 11, 2016, 07:25:36 PM »
I disagree that it's based on hope. Yes, our economy will be weaker in the short term, but in the long run? We're better off, simply because we get more power over what deals to strike. And as you point out, two years would be the minimum amount of time between us voting to leave the EU - hypothetically, of course - and the chances are that any big seller will want as many buyers as possible, so to refuse a big buyer like the UK would be silly. Here's the thing; we might not account for a large percentage of exports relatively speaking, but considering we are actively penalised for external-EU trade, is it any wonder why the US and China don't export as much to the UK? That number would inevitably increase if we left the EU, since we would be able to set our own tariffs on our trade, and we'd have the freedom to make our own terms and make our own deals. The EU trade would crash, yes, but the Commonwealth number would soar because we would just turn around and buy from THEM instead. The other fact of the matter is that the EU costs us several billion a year in membership alone, accompanied by the extra fees we pay in for various services, with the addition of the Rebate that Blair gave the EU access to. With that amount of money freed up, we'd then be able to reinvest it sensibly and repair our economy that way, too.

Thing is, all of the fine numbers are only a small part of the issue; this part of the discussion is about whether the UK would survive leaving the EU, and though our economy might well weaken a little in the short term, we'd be better off than the EU in the long term simply because we wouldn't be tied to a sinking ship. The Eurozone is in crisis, and the fact that our economy won't be tied as closely to the EU's plummeting economies and collapsing countries as well as the soon-to-be-soaring budget...well, that's GOOD for us. Our trade would take a hit, yes, I'm not denying that, but it wouldn't be a crippling, fatal blow. We'd have to tighten our belts for a few years, perhaps, but we'd recover, get on our feet and come out the other side overall better off because of the money that WOULD have gone to the EU that we get back into the economy, the ability to control our own trade policy and the fact that a lot of limitations on our agriculture and fishing industries would be lifted so we might actually be able to start exporting again. The fact is, the trade is a small part of why people want to leave the EU, and is only really relevant in a discussion as to whether we could survive outside the EU; I think that despite the short term hit, the UK has the buying power to see it through. Despite "only" being a certain percentage, that's still a decent sized percentage when you consider how many trading partners - for example - China has.

Also, on a side note, where did you find that percentage for China ---> UK? I've been looking, and the only figures I can find lump the UK in with the EU, so how did you work out that figure?

In any case, as I say above; most of my position isn't based on hope, it's based on cause and effect. We're still a fairly big buyer, and we have a lot of historic tradelinks that we simply need to resume. We're part of the Commonwealth, for example, so organising a trade deal with those countries should be - comparatively speaking - trivial. Again; our economy would be hit, but not irreparably so, and focusing solely on the Economic side of things is kinda missing why people want rid of the EU in the first place. So the question is really "Would our economy survive / recover from leaving the EU," and I think the answer is "Yes."



Also, alas, Horseshoe Theory is a thing; the extremists on either side of an argument end up being extremely similar to one another.

Also, Kythia, the UK won't crash and burn if it leaves the EU. We were fine (relatively speaking) before the EU came along, and we'll be fine without it. The Remain Campaign is claiming that the economy will dunk into the toilet and we'll have anarchy in the job market and trade sectors when that just isn't true. Will we take a bit of a short term hit? Yeah. Will it be permanent and will we be unable to recover from it? No.

[Also, I kinda do agree with Khoraz; just because you disagree with their process on making decisions doesn't inherently make you superior, and you should probably be careful of who you insult in that way. The fact that several big Remainers have been caught out in lies and the campaign has been fearmongering, I don't think it's unreasonable for people to say "Well, they're obviously unreliable, so I can't believe anything they tell me in good faith now, so I'm going to go to the side that hasn't been trying to scare me into falling into line." On the flip side, I do agree that making a decision based on "I don't like their tactics" when it's such a big decision is iffy, to say the least...but you might want to be careful that you don't come across as sneeringly superior and self-righteous, since that is kinda how you came across. Probably not your intention, but still]

Offline Kythia

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Re: EU Referendum / BREXIT
« Reply #44 on: June 11, 2016, 08:18:09 PM »
First off:  China stats  My apologies, I should have explicitly linked it in the first place.

A side issue - it was Thatcher who negotiated the CAP rebate, not Blair.  I think that's what you're saying there?  Honestly not sure precisely how that clause was intended.

Anyway:

It's far from clear the EU is a sinking ship - at the moment EU economic growth is considerably higher than the UK's or the US's at the moment.  Making economic predictions is a notoriously black art and I'd hesitate to commit to that in either direction though.  With a similar caveat for the UK economy in the case of Brexit.

Our economy would certainly "survive" leaving the EU.  I don't think anyone is claiming we would be plunged back in to tribal hunter gatherer status.  That's not the question though - as you indicate the question is whether we would be better served by leaving or staying. 

I believe the Commonwealth is a bit of a red herring.  First, look at the countries we're talking about.  I'm culturally Pakistani but even I admit there's frankly very little of theirs that we want.  You say (earlier) that we can get the stuff we need from "anywhere" but that's not true - to take an over-blown example, we won't be buying bulk condoms from the Vatican any time soon and our attempts to source Saudi bacon are doomed to failure.  We can only buy what they're selling and I'm not clear that the Commonwealth can provide to our needs as well as the EU can.  More importantly, though, do we actually want closer links?  Like, some of those guys are just awful.  We're a first-world liberal democracy - how well do our interests overlap with some of the disreputable fringe?  There's an interesting analysis here.  There are other potential trading blocks, etc, out there - BRIC countries for example, that I think we should look at long before the Commonwealth.

I'm not precisely clear what you refer to in the "EU's soaring budget".  Administration costs are about 6% which is comparable to our 4.6% (calculated from here and here).  As to non-admin costs the important point to note is that we get something back.  We are, in essence, purchasing a wide array of services from the EU.  Sure, there is sensible debate about whether what we're getting is worth what we're paying but an increase in the EU budget means an increase in EU investment in the UK because investing in member countries is literally the only thing the EU does other than administrate itself (and I'm casting the term "investment" quite broadly, including legal issues through Strasbourg for example).

I dunno.  To me, a lot of your argument seems to depend on a...well, as I say a "hope" that the UK will weather the storm of a potential loss and emerge from the other side stronger.  And sure, per above economic predictions are roughly on a par with chicken entrails in their accuracy.  Maybe it will.  Maybe it won't.  To me, the economic arguments aren't the main ones in forming my decision for exactly this reason. We do definitely know it will get worse, though, and I'm not sure we should be trading a hoped for future gain for a certain present loss.  It's the equivalent of making our savings plan "the National Lottery". 

As to your parenthetical comment - I don't terribly want to get in to this as its off topic but I will quickly say that you've fallen what a friend of mine calls a "has-a is-a" trap.  I didn't say that those people were childish and irresponsible, I said that particular action of theirs was childish and irresponsible.  In other aspects of their life they may be the very embodiment of sensible maturity.  If you brain-farted and said the capital of the UK was Birmingham I would say that was a stupid thing to say, that's in no way the same as saying you're stupid.  You (and Khoraz for that matter but I don't particularly want to drag back in someone who has left the conversation) seem to be trying to apply personality traits here when in fact we all do stupid, intelligent, childish, mature, irresponsible, responsible things at different times in our life with no lasting effects on our worth as people.  You with me?  Not sure how well I've explained that.  I do, for the record, feel "superior" is an appropriate way to feel about our respective ways of making that decision.  That is, again, not the same as saying I feel superior to them.

Online Vergil Tanner

Re: EU Referendum / BREXIT
« Reply #45 on: June 11, 2016, 08:23:35 PM »
Well, you have your opinion and I have mine...we evidently disagree on a fair few points, and I do think I can justify my position that we're better off out than in (well, duh, otherwise I wouldn't hold my position; for example, though it depends on how you look at it, the EU economy isn't nearly as strong as they like to say and it's in an extremely precarious position right now, especially with the various economically weak countries in it that the stronger countries need to keep propping up). I know that's a trite thing to say and I could go further into detail about why I think what I think with specific responses to the points you've made, but at this point, it's about 2:30am in the morning and I didn't want to REALLY get involved in a Europe debate in the first place, I just...have poor impulse control sometimes. >.> I'm gonna head to bed, and I Miiiiiiight come up with a proper response for you in the morning. I guess my overall point in joining the thread was that "Anti Asian Immigration" isn't the reason most people who want out of the EU think that way, and the economic talk just kinda dovetailed off of that. But, my initial point being made, I'mma go to sleep now and possibly come back to this in the morning. I might not, though...I try to avoid this board since I can and probably would spend ENTIRELY too much time on it. >.< So I thank you for the discussion, and bid you good night!
« Last Edit: June 11, 2016, 08:30:15 PM by Vergil Tanner »

Offline Kythia

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Re: EU Referendum / BREXIT
« Reply #46 on: June 11, 2016, 08:39:50 PM »
Good night

Online Vergil Tanner

Re: EU Referendum / BREXIT
« Reply #47 on: June 14, 2016, 11:08:26 AM »
Okey dokey, don't wanna get into another debate, but I thought this was relevant:

Spoiler: Click to Show/Hide


Since I came in underprepared, this was part of what I was getting at with the European Powers being overly intrusive, and the beginning does talk about our economy. It makes some decent points that I had rattling in my head after I left, but decided not to mention. So I shall leave that video there for discussion and *poof* I'm gone!

Online Vergil Tanner

Re: EU Referendum / BREXIT
« Reply #48 on: June 14, 2016, 11:26:15 AM »
Okey dokey...I don't want to get into a debate - waaaaay too busy at the moment - so this will be my last post in this thread for a while, but I thought this was relevant and helped me sort out some of the various reasons I have for wanting out of the EU that I wasn't able to put in order when I was writing late at night off the top of my head. They aren't the only things, but it IS the most important reason I want to leave the EU, and the beginning talks about the economy a little, which does address your "based on hope" thing. I mean....it isn't based on hope alone if there's strong precedent for it elsewhere, correct? Of course, people will likely disagree with the video in various ways, but that's usually the case with anything.

Spoiler: Click to Show/Hide


Anywho, that's it from me for the time being! Just figured I'd leave it here to spark discussion. And *poof* I'm gone"

Offline Kythia

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Re: EU Referendum / BREXIT
« Reply #49 on: June 21, 2016, 12:09:06 AM »
Wow, that goes radically downhill after 2:10.  It starts getting a bit tinfoil hat after that point don't you think?