/ Cameron - That Euro Speech

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bluebealach - on 23 Jan 2013
It seems that at the heart of this speech will be a clear message to the electorate that the next General Election will be based solely on the Europe debate.

If you want the in/out referendum then vote the Tories in as a single party government. Any other government/coalition will not deliver it.

A gamble on his part??
Enty - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to bluebealach:
>
>
> A gamble on his part??

Yes - there's enough stupid people out there to vote the tories in for a second term on the strength of a Euro referendum - scary!

E

J Brown - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to bluebealach:
Apparently he's said there will still be a referendum if he's PM of a coalition Government.

It all seems to me to be a bit of an attempt to placate his back benchers, and outflank UKIP.

I hope it backfires, but then I don't know just how deep anti EU sentiment really runs across the country.
paulcarey - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to J Brown:

I think its deep. But a lot of seems to be based on not really knowing how the EU works.
Sir Chasm - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to J Brown:
> (In reply to bluebealach)
> I hope it backfires, but then I don't know just how deep anti EU sentiment really runs across the country.

We could find out by asking people, possibly in some sort of referendum.
Postmanpat on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to paulcarey:
> (In reply to J Brown)
>
> I think its deep. But a lot of seems to be based on not really knowing how the EU works.

Unlike pro Europeans? They presumably also know how it is going to work in 4 years time?

paulcarey - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Postmanpat:

You could apply that equally to any political entity! Do we know exeactly how the UK will work 4 years time? Probably not...
bluebealach - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to J Brown:
> (In reply to bluebealach)
> Apparently he's said there will still be a referendum if he's PM of a coalition Government.

Didn't hear that bit and not sure how it would work unless it was in coalition with UKIP!

graeme jackson - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Sir Chasm:
> (In reply to J Brown)
> [...]
>
> We could find out by asking people, possibly in some sort of referendum.

Like :-)
Postmanpat on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to paulcarey:
> (In reply to Postmanpat)
>
> You could apply that equally to any political entity! Do we know exeactly how the UK will work 4 years time? Probably not...

We know that Europe is undergoing a process of radical change that will fundamentally change its nature. Were this to be the case in the UK there would also be a case for a referendum.
Incidentally the EU has already changed radically since we voted to join it.




dissonance - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to bluebealach:

> Didn't hear that bit and not sure how it would work unless it was in coalition with UKIP!

seems to work ok for him now with the lib dems.

tactically seems relatively smart move.
a)anyone pro tory but pro europe will still probably vote for him (and work on the theory of winning the referendum) whereas he might get some others across.
b)he is probably hoping it will shut up the backbenchers and party activists.

2017 seems a somewhat random date though.
Enty - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to graeme jackson:
> (In reply to Sir Chasm)
> [...]
>
> Like :-)

Really - when vast swathes of the UK population will be basing their opinion of Europe on what they read in the Daily Mail and The Sun?

E
graeme jackson - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Enty:
> (In reply to graeme jackson)
> [...]
>
> Really - when vast swathes of the UK population will be basing their opinion of Europe on what they read in the Daily Mail and The Sun?
>

You don't believe everyone in the country has the right to vote on what happens to their own country then?
Enty - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to graeme jackson:
> (In reply to Enty)
> [...]
>
> You don't believe everyone in the country has the right to vote on what happens to their own country then?

Something we have to live with I guess. It's the problem with the political system - needs a different thread ;-)

E
Postmanpat on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to graeme jackson:
> (In reply to Enty)
> [...]
>
> You don't believe everyone in the country has the right to vote on what happens to their own country then?

Only those who get their views from the Grauniad obviously :)

Mike Stretford - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to bluebealach: I'm beginning to think Lord Atlee and Thatcher were right when it came to referendums.
dissonance - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to graeme jackson:

> You don't believe everyone in the country has the right to vote on what happens to their own country then?

making sure people will have an informed opinion will be tricky since the amount of FUD from both sides is going to be insane.
maybe add a law allowing any journalists found being inaccurate to be stuck in the stocks. deliberate repeating of falsehoods increase the time.
EeeByGum - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to paulcarey:

> I think its deep. But a lot of seems to be based on not really knowing how the EU works.

I think that is a main problem with the EU. I don't really know what to think. On the one hand, I think it would be suicide to leave, but on the other hand, the EU is this exceedingly expensive project that has no accountability to anyone and is riddled with corruption and gravy train riders. Every so often it makes life a little better but most of the time it spews out legislation that no one asked for.
graeme jackson - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to bluebealach:
I was wondering this morning how anticipation of this referendum might affect Alex Salmond's referendum on an independant Scotland.
Sir Chasm - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Enty:
> (In reply to graeme jackson)
> [...]
>
> Really - when vast swathes of the UK population will be basing their opinion of Europe on what they read in the Daily Mail and The Sun?
>
If only we had a system where people could only vote for the correct choice. Where's shonanaedangerworkingclasslass when you need her?

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knthrak1982 on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Enty:
> (In reply to graeme jackson)
> [...]
>
> Really - when vast swathes of the UK population will be basing their opinion of Europe on what they read in the Daily Mail and The Sun?
>
> E

IMO the only people putting forward an objective argument on the subject are the eurosceptic politicians and press. So if there were a referendum tomorrow, I would probably vote to leave.
If a future referendum enhances the debate so that the pro-eu side move beyond simply brandishing people "bigots, middle-englanders and Daily Mail readers" then that can only be a good thing.
Cú Chullain - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Postmanpat:
> (In reply to graeme jackson)
> [...]
>
> Only those who get their views from the Grauniad obviously :)

Indeed

Can't trust those thickie commoners to vote the right way, best leave these important descions to people who know best.
jkarran - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to graeme jackson:

> (In reply to Enty)
> You don't believe everyone in the country has the right to vote on what happens to their own country then?

To be honest, I don't feel qualified to decide responsibly.
jk
Mike Stretford - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Cú Chullain: Fed up with reprasentative democracy... fancy going Swiss?
mypyrex - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to bluebealach: I think Cameron knows that he will not win the next election. Therefore, by "promising" a referendum in 2017, he is washing his hands of it.
Postmanpat on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Cú Chullain:
> (In reply to Postmanpat)
> [...]
>
> Indeed
>
> Can't trust those thickie commoners to vote the right way, best leave these important descions to people who know best.

My proff at university told me that he voted in the 1975 referendum on the basis that "I didn't know much about the issues but I'm very partial to French cheese and a glass of beaujolais so I voted "in" "

So obviously academics shouldn't get the vote.



Enty - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Postmanpat:
> (In reply to graeme jackson)
> [...]
>
> Only those who get their views from the Grauniad obviously :)

Not me!!

E
Sir Chasm - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to jkarran: That's ok, voting isn't compulsory.
MG - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to graeme jackson:
> (In reply to Enty)
> [...]
>
> You don't believe everyone in the country has the right to vote on what happens to their own country then?


I am not convinced by the trend for more referendums. If we going to have them for major decisions, it seems to me we should at least have a requirement for say a 60:40 vote to effect change, and perhaps a minimum turnout requirement too. Otherwise we end up potentially making major, irreversible decisions on the basis of a very small number of swing votes. You can imagine a situation when if an election was held a day later or earlier, a different result would occur. Seems reckless.

Enty - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to bluebealach:

Quite amusing the way this thread has gone since I posted. UKC is normally a forum of daily Mail and Sun haters - but now everyone's a fan.

E
Sir Chasm - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to MG: Which trend is that? When was the last national referendum? When's the next one scheduled?
bluebealach - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to dissonance:
> (In reply to bluebealach)
>
> [...]
>
> seems to work ok for him now with the lib dems.
>
Not sure that the Liberals would be too happy with Cameron wanting to overtly give us the only chance of a referendum that takes us out of the EU??
knthrak1982 on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Enty:
> (In reply to bluebealach)
>
> Quite amusing the way this thread has gone since I posted. UKC is normally a forum of daily Mail and Sun haters - but now everyone's a fan.
>
> E

That certainly describes me. I become a fan of the DM on Europe alone. They put forward a convincing eurosceptic argument. I'd love to read a good pro-eu article somewhere but, to date, I haven't found one.
Robert Durran - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to graeme jackson:
> (In reply to bluebealach)
> I was wondering this morning how anticipation of this referendum might affect Alex Salmond's referendum on an independant Scotland.

The worrying prospect of a UK outside Europe might, even more worryingly, be enough to make people consider voting for a Scotland outside the UK but in Europe.

Postmanpat on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Enty:
> (In reply to bluebealach)
>
> Quite amusing the way this thread has gone since I posted. UKC is normally a forum of daily Mail and Sun haters - but now everyone's a fan.
>
>
You seem to be confusing the concept that in a democracy everyone has a right to vote with agreeing with their opinions.

Sir Chasm - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Enty:
> (In reply to bluebealach)
>
> Quite amusing the way this thread has gone since I posted. UKC is normally a forum of daily Mail and Sun haters - but now everyone's a fan.
>
Perhaps the general liberal leaning feeling is that you shouldn't deny people the vote based on the paper they buy.

Mike Stretford - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
> (In reply to graeme jackson)
> [...]
>
> The worrying prospect of a UK outside Europe might, even more worryingly, be enough to make people consider voting for a Scotland outside the UK but in Europe.

Depends who you are. The SNP will be cockahoop!
Edradour - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Sir Chasm:
> (In reply to MG) Which trend is that? When was the last national referendum? When's the next one scheduled?

I wouldn't call it a trend but we had one to decide whether to change the voting system in 2011 and I think there's a fairly well known one about Scotland being independent coming up...

bluebealach - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to mypyrex:
> (In reply to bluebealach) I think Cameron knows that he will not win the next election. Therefore, by "promising" a referendum in 2017, he is washing his hands of it.

Aye, but could this be Cameron's Falklands??

Cú Chullain - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Postmanpat:
> (In reply to Cú Chullain)
> [...]
>
> My proff at university told me that he voted in the 1975 referendum on the basis that "I didn't know much about the issues but I'm very partial to French cheese and a glass of beaujolais so I voted "in" "
>
> So obviously academics shouldn't get the vote.

Its a compelling argument though
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dissonance - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to bluebealach:

> Not sure that the Liberals would be too happy with Cameron wanting to overtly give us the only chance of a referendum that takes us out of the EU??

i am sure cameron would offer them something lightweight in return.
possibly promise not to take cleggs lunch money.

Any coalition would have to take it into account and have it clearly marked as an item to, violently, disagree on. As opposed to the united front approach.
As per the electoral reforms the libs wanted (although possibly not as sabotaged).

Robert Durran - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Papillon:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
>
> Depends who you are. The SNP will be cockahoop!

Yes. Very worrying!

Al Evans on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Enty:
> (In reply to bluebealach)
> [...]
>
> Yes - there's enough stupid people out there to vote the tories in for a second term on the strength of a Euro referendum - scary!
>
> E

That would be sad, I was hoping I would never see another Tory government as I am closing on my three score and ten, I would so like to outlive Thatcher though.
Cú Chullain - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to mypyrex:
> (In reply to bluebealach) I think Cameron knows that he will not win the next election. Therefore, by "promising" a referendum in 2017, he is washing his hands of it.

Would not be so sure, it is foolish to use midterm opinion polls as an indicator of actual voting preference.

The main problem is that Labour have not actually offered any coherent argument as to why staying in the EU is in the best interests of the UK. Lots of talk about 'sleepwalking towards the exit' but no explaination as to why that is a bad thing. We need a proper debate on EU membership yet so far the loudest people have been UKIP and Tory Eurosceptics.
Mike Stretford - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Cú Chullain:
> (In reply to mypyrex)
> [...]
>
>
> The main problem is that Labour have not actually offered any coherent argument

... on anything!

And I'd like to vote for a left of centre party :(
bluebealach - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to dissonance:
> (In reply to bluebealach)
>
> [...]
>
> i am sure Cameron would offer them something lightweight in return.
> possibly promise not to take Cleggs lunch money.
>
True words and jest come to mind!!
paulcarey - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to knthrak1982:
> (In reply to Enty)
> [...]
>
> That certainly describes me. I become a fan of the DM on Europe alone. They put forward a convincing eurosceptic argument. I'd love to read a good pro-eu article somewhere but, to date, I haven't found one.

And what was this argument?
elsewhere on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to bluebealach:
The uncertainty about UK leaving Euro in 2017 that may push the Scottish referendum towards independence within EU in 2014. Not good for me in Scotland as I'm pro UK & pro EU.
EeeByGum - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Postmanpat:

> My proff at university told me that he voted in the 1975 referendum on the basis that "I didn't know much about the issues but I'm very partial to French cheese and a glass of beaujolais so I voted "in" "
>
> So obviously academics shouldn't get the vote.

Why not? That is a better reason to voting in because you believe in standardising the definition of a banana.
EeeByGum - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Papillon:

> And I'd like to vote for a left of centre party :(

I don't believe we have such a party in the UK any more :-(
neilh - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to bluebealach:
It will be based on the old Clinton adage of "it's the economy stupid".

Yesterday there was a big announcement that Germany's biggest trading partner is now the ...........UK!!!

The Germans are very pragmatic when it comes to trade.Depsite the political rhetoric they will want us to stay in, so expect alot of neogiations to ensure that we do.

Any way it's not only the Uk which is unhappy about the EU's performance.

WE are just a bit more abrasive upfront about it, which reflects the nature of our politics/democracy.
Sir Chasm - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to neilh: If the Germans are pragmatic about trade then they will trade with us whether we're in the EU or not.
paulcarey - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Sir Chasm:
> (In reply to neilh) If the Germans are pragmatic about trade then they will trade with us whether we're in the EU or not.

Or because it may become more difficult to trade with us outside of the EU, they may trade elsewhere?

Who knows....
Mike Stretford - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Sir Chasm:
> (In reply to neilh) If the Germans are pragmatic about trade then they will trade with us whether we're in the EU or not.

Sure, but trade negotiations may become a little one sided.
Sir Chasm - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to paulcarey: Why would it become more difficult?
knthrak1982 on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to paulcarey:
> (In reply to knthrak1982)
> [...]
>
> And what was this argument?

No one argument in particular. For example, cost. Not just for membership, but welfare spending and public services. Spending which the government is attempting to cut in order to reduce the deficit.
Leaving the EU would allow for an immigration policy based on the individual migrant's circumstance and contribution to the economy, which we do for non-eu migrants.
As I say, I would really like to hear of the benefits of remaining a member.
EeeByGum - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to bluebealach: Just read the key points of his speech:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-21158316

It hurts me to say that I agree with most of what he says.
paulcarey - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Sir Chasm:

The point is no one, whether you are pro or anti EU, can say with any huge amount of certainty what the effect of leaving the EU will be. There will always be unintended and unforeseen consequences.

Will a sudden reduction in regulations mean Uk business is more competitive?
Will investors in in Europe start to look elswhere to invest now we are no longer in the EU?
Will it stay much the same, the difference being being we are in the EEA but have a reduced ability to frame the laws on the single market?
John_Hat - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to bluebealach:
>
> A gamble on his part??

Well, it's either certain defeat for the tories or try and nick the UKIP vote, so he's trying to nick the UKIP vote..
Martin W on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to dissonance:

> making sure people will have an informed opinion will be tricky since the amount of FUD from both sides is going to be insane.

Much like the last referendum we had, on the voting system. If nothing else, the FUD (and the anti-FUD) caused a great deal of confusion. A lot of people I spoke to about it said basically: "I don't understand the pros and cons so I'm just going to vote for what we've already got."
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neilh - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Sir Chasm:
Who knows. But they use our finanical markets in London alot....
neilh - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to paulcarey:
There are some who already consider the UK to be outside the EU trading block as we are not in the Euro. There are those who argue that are unemployment is less already because of this.When you look at Spain, Greece etc, they have a point.
Sir Chasm - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to neilh: Why would they stop?
Hirosim - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Enty:
> (In reply to bluebealach)
> [...]
>
> Yes - there's enough stupid people out there to vote the tories in for a second term on the strength of a Euro referendum - scary!
>
> E

Thats me.

Mike Stretford - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to John_Hat:
> (In reply to bluebealach)
> [...]
>
> Well, it's either certain defeat for the tories or try and nick the UKIP vote, so he's trying to nick the UKIP vote..

He'll probably get some Labour voters too... depending on Millibands response.
cuthill76 - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:

"In reply to graeme jackson:
> (In reply to bluebealach)
> I was wondering this morning how anticipation of this referendum might affect Alex Salmond's referendum on an independant Scotland.

The worrying prospect of a UK outside Europe might, even more worryingly, be enough to make people consider voting for a Scotland outside the UK but in Europe."

Let's hope so.
aln - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to MG:
> (In reply to graeme jackson)
> [...]
>
>
>You can imagine a situation when if an election was held a day later or earlier, a different result would occur.

That's a good point. Why do elections have to take place on one day? Couldn't they be spread over say, three days? It would make it easier for people to fit it round their lives and maybe encourage the switherers to vote.
BONG123 - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to bluebealach: Good to read a variety of views from the outdoors people.. not just a bunch of sweaty armpits at all....just a few words of caution 1. Do not believe anything which is stated as policy.It is impossible for any politician to give a straight answer... to do so requires personal integrity,honesty and committment to the public.
2. Remember the politician who stated that he would not vote in accordance with his constituents/electorate wishes if it looked as if it would damage his career! He later tried to retract the comment on the basis that he made the comment in private. Always be careful what you wish for!! For all the hairys' & scarys'keep huffing, puffing & graunching! Happy New year
Alkis - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to bluebealach:

This may well prove to be damaging for the economy, for the very plain reason that it introduces uncertainty for quite a long period of time. IMHO, he should have either announced a referendum for, hmmm, soon-ish, or not even mention it. As Greece found out in 2009, when the Greek crisis first started rearing its ugly head, politicians introducing uncertainty to investors and creditors by not being careful with what they talk about in public can be more dangerous than any deficit...

I hope I'm wrong.
Eric9Points - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to bluebealach:

When the last referendum on the Common Market, as it was then, was announced about 2/3 of people were against joining. By the time the referendum had taken place the proportions had reversed IIRC. Right now things seem to be swinging pro Europe: http://yougov.co.uk/news/2013/01/21/eu-vote-stay-40-leave-34/ so I expect the vote will be substantially for staying in which will stuff UKIP and shut up the whingers in the Tory party, all 40 of them I believe.


I expect that support for remaining in the EU will rise as the debate proceeds but it does give the UK a good negotiating position over changing the way the EU is going. The Eurocrats over the North Sea who seem to be trying to steamroller Europe into a United States of Europe will need to take into account that in the UK at least they will have to answer to the electorate and not just politicians.

My reservation about the referendum is that it is so far away and agree with Labour that years of uncertainty will damage our economy by discouraging businesses from overseas who want a base in the EU from investing in the UK.
Bimble on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Sir Chasm:

> We could find out by asking people, possibly in some sort of referendum.

What, and let people decide for themselves such important decisions about how their own country is run & governed? The horror!
jonfun21 on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to bluebealach:

A key issue is we already have a 2 step Europe, those who are in the Euro and those who are not.

Those who have the Euro face two choices:

- Let it fall apart and revert to national currencies (highly unlikely)

- Closer integration and pan national regulation (likely)

The later presents problems for countries like the UK who are already concerned about regulation and levels of integration, and get no benefit (e.g. saving the Euro) from higher levels of both.
Mike Stretford - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Eric9Points:
> (In reply to bluebealach)
>
> When the last referendum on the Common Market, as it was then, was announced about 2/3 of people were against joining. By the time the referendum had taken place the proportions had reversed IIRC. Right now things seem to be swinging pro Europe: http://yougov.co.uk/news/2013/01/21/eu-vote-stay-40-leave-34/ so I expect the vote will be substantially for staying in which will stuff UKIP and shut up the whingers in the Tory party, all 40 of them I believe.
>
>
> I expect that support for remaining in the EU will rise as the debate proceeds but it does give the UK a good negotiating position over changing the way the EU is going. The Eurocrats over the North Sea who seem to be trying to steamroller Europe into a United States of Europe will need to take into account that in the UK at least they will have to answer to the electorate and not just politicians.


I'm not sure about this, they may just call our bluff. The Euro will have to mean further intergration.... they've realised the UK will never join so I wouldn't be suprised if there happy for us to leave. Frankfurt will be eyeing London's position of a finicial centre.

Lord_ash2000 - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to OP:

Why do people assume having a referendum on Europe means an exit of Europe. They could just as easily be offering a referendum to cement in our nations desire to stay in the new Europe. If people are assuming that giving the people a say is an automatic 'OUT' then they presumably believe a large majority don't want to be part of Europe and fear that their own seemingly minority desire to stay in Europe should be protected regardless of what the people want.
cander - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Papillon:

Actually the smart move for Milliband would be to support Camerons move to have a referendum - that takes the issue out of the election argument and removes a potential for the Conservatives to be distinctively different from Labour on this issue.
Mike Stretford - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to cander: Already ruled out according to the Guardian. Tricky... the right thing for them to do is to point out that Cameron has very little too negotiate with, but that can be seen as talking Britian down.
Cú Chullain - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Papillon:
> (In reply to Eric9Points)
> [...]
>
>
> I'm not sure about this, they may just call our bluff. The Euro will have to mean further intergration.... they've realised the UK will never join so I wouldn't be suprised if there happy for us to leave. Frankfurt will be eyeing London's position of a finicial centre.

London's status as europes financial centre will not change one iota if the UK left the EU.
elsewhere on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Cú Chullain:
> London's status as europes financial centre will not change one iota if the UK left the EU.

Do non-EU institutions have the same access to EU markets as we do?

Mike Stretford - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Cú Chullain: Much as I like to respect other posters, I have read similar and different views from people with credentials, mostly expressed with caution. I don't doubt your credentials but your certainty makes me a little skeptical.
cander - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Papillon:

I reckon Milliband has made an error then - Cameron will attract the eurosceptic vote from UKIP and he'll keep his own troops in line. Additionally if he makes the election campaign about Europe he might win over some floating Labour voters - a well judged move by Cameron by the looks of things - But more importantly he's made the referendum vote a lever so he has a chance of getting a renegotiated deal that takes the wind out of the eurosceptic vote. Put to one side the French rhetoric - no one in the EU would want to lose the UK as a member, our economy is just to important.
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EeeByGum - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Lord_ash2000:

> Why do people assume having a referendum on Europe means an exit of Europe. They could just as easily be offering a referendum to cement in our nations desire to stay in the new Europe. If people are assuming that giving the people a say is an automatic 'OUT' then they presumably believe a large majority don't want to be part of Europe and fear that their own seemingly minority desire to stay in Europe should be protected regardless of what the people want.

You make a fair point, but I think the idea of having a referendum to some is a risk, especially given how anti-Europe most of the red tops are.
Enty - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to knthrak1982:
> (In reply to paulcarey)
> [...]
>
>
> As I say, I would really like to hear of the benefits of remaining a member.

Well - an exit will probably be a catastrophe for British industry and manufacturing (what's left of it). Massive EU taxes on British exports.
The UK car industry would probably start to move out - Nissan and Toyota sell most of their UK produced cars in Europe.
Probably be a disaster for the aerospace industry too.
Just minor issues though when compared to headline grabbers like bent bananas the ECHR and MEP's expenses which are the issues that will probably win a vote to exit the EU.

E



Sir Chasm - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Enty: So if the uk leaves the eu the eu is going to put massive taxes on our exports to the eu? Is that their official policy? Some sort of sour grapes tax because we don't want to be in the club any more?
Postmanpat on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Enty:
> (In reply to knthrak1982)
> [...]
>
> Well - an exit will probably be a catastrophe for British industry and manufacturing (what's left of it). Massive EU taxes on British exports.
>
>
You think? We are Germany's biggest trading partner. Are they likely to initiate a trade war?

Eric9Points - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Sir Chasm:

IF we left the EU, and I don't believe that's at all likely, we'd no doubt join the same free trade organisation that Norway belongs to. So, I doubt that deterring UK exports would happen in such a blatant manner but have absolutely no doubt that our European cousins would get up to all sorts of tricks to make sure they developed a competitive edge over the UK.

Further I'd expect to see a lot of multi national companies start to move out of the UK and into Europe. Why would you stay here?
Postmanpat on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Eric9Points:
> (In reply to Sir Chasm)
>
>
> Further I'd expect to see a lot of multi national companies start to move out of the UK and into Europe. Why would you stay here?

More flexible labour laws? More attractive tax regime? Same reasons they do now?

dissonance - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Eric9Points:

> IF we left the EU, and I don't believe that's at all likely, we'd no doubt join the same free trade organisation that Norway belongs to. So, I doubt that deterring UK exports would happen in such a blatant manner but have absolutely no doubt that our European cousins would get up to all sorts of tricks to make sure they developed a competitive edge over the UK.

thats a different argument though from the one Enty was putting forward. One of the strongest counter arguments for complaints about EU laws is that at least the UK gets a say in them at the moment, unlike other countries such as Norway whose influence is even less but still have to comply. However going for the all out "doom" message is just FUD and for the referendum to be useful both sides need to get beyond it.

Enty - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Sir Chasm:

From the Economist, ok so not manufacturing or heavy industry but you get the point:

the impact on industries such as food and textiles, where tariffs are much higher than the average, would be far from mild. British dairy exports would incur an import tax of 55% to reach the EU market, with tariffs on some items of more than 200%.
Average tariffs on clothing would push up their price in European markets by 12%.
Parts of Britain’s car industry would move out. British-based producers would face a 4% tariff on car-equipment sales to the EU.


There's not an insignificant number of people employed in the above industries.

E

Jim C - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to bluebealach:
I travel with a chap (In Scotland ) who thinks Alex Salmond delaying a vote on independence for 2 years is damaging to Scotland, and is for the Union, but he is also a Conservative voter who wants out of Europe, but does not think the delay that Cameron is proposing in the Euro Vote, is damaging. He also believes that the Scottish Government was 'fixing' the Independence question, and believes Cameron was right to step in on that,

However, he is apparently quite happy to let Cameron pick HIS OWN time for the Euro vote, and no doubt Cameron will phrase his own question on the Euro vote. He cannot see the inconsistancy/hypocracy in this view .
Mike Stretford - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Eric9Points:
> (In reply to Sir Chasm)
>
> IF we left the EU, and I don't believe that's at all likely, we'd no doubt join the same free trade organisation that Norway belongs to.

I'd like to hear more from the 'leave' camp on this. If oil rich Norway feels obliged to be in the EEA, it must be a necessity to trade with Europe? If you have to be in the EEA then you might aswell just stay in the EU?

AJM - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Papillon:

The economist did a feature on Britain and the eu recently and one of the things that struck me was that Norway and Switzerland can survive in their current limbo in part because there are EU members who agree with them on issues and give them the negotiation voice they otherwise lack - on several issues like offshore drilling and finance respectively the UK was that voice in Europe. Be interesting to see how attractive life would be for us in that limbo world, who would argue our corner?

The other thing is who on earth would want Norway's lot? They pay into the coffers like an EU state, implement the rules like an EU state but have no influence in their drafting. If that's the free-trade compromise that some folk want us to end up in, frankly that sounds like the worst of every world!
neilh - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Enty:
You would just negotaite a UK - EU free trade agreement. as by the same token the major European countrys do alot of business in the UK, and we would no doubt impose simialr dutys on their goods.

Its not really a difficult one to resolve on manufactured goods.
Sir Chasm - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Enty: Not insignificant at all, but a quick google suggests that we import more dairy than we export (not all from the eu, i accept), so how much would the eu want to harm their own exports when we could set our own tariffs?
And "parts of Britain's car industry would move out" is a guess rather than a fact.
Douglas Griffin - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to bluebealach:

Cameron's position re. the timing of the referendum is in stark contrast to his position re. the referendum on Scottish Independence. It's striking to see what he said 12 months ago: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/david-cameron/9002320/Downing-St-Scottish-referendum-uncert...
“One thing business never likes is uncertainty, whether that is legal uncertainty, political uncertainty or economic uncertainty.
“The feedback he [the PM] has had and the Chancellor has had suggests that this uncertainty around Scotland’s place in the union is having an effect.
“The Chancellor was talking to some of the largest companies in the world and this is what they were saying to him.”
The spokesman added that the “uncertainty can have a detrimental impact on the economy, that is why we need to get on with this sooner rather than later”.


If a 2-year period of uncertainty over its future was damaging to Scotland's interests then, why is a period of 4 years of similar uncertainty not damaging to the U.K.'s interests now? Either Cameron was lying about what he saw as the implications to Scotland of a delay in the referendum, or he's prepared to live with similar damage to the U.K.'s interests in an attempt to secure a return to No. 10 in 2015.

Sir Chasm - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Douglas Griffin: Do you think there's no demand for a referendum? Or is there a demand that Cameron should ignore?
doz generale - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to knthrak1982:
> (In reply to paulcarey)
> [...]
>
> No one argument in particular. For example, cost. Not just for membership, but welfare spending and public services. Spending which the government is attempting to cut in order to reduce the deficit.
> Leaving the EU would allow for an immigration policy based on the individual migrant's circumstance and contribution to the economy, which we do for non-eu migrants.
> As I say, I would really like to hear of the benefits of remaining a member.

Not having to agree individual trade agreements with all EU countries. And if we still trade with the EU we would still have abide by the EU law but we would have no say in what that law. Also the freedom of movement you point out goes both ways. Plenty of UK citizens migrate to live and work in the EU this may become difficult.

dissonance - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Sir Chasm:
> (In reply to Douglas Griffin) Do you think there's no demand for a referendum? Or is there a demand that Cameron should ignore?

surely if there is a demand then it should be met sooner than four years time?
Mike Stretford - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Sir Chasm: I thought this was intresting

http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/

I agree with the writer, I'm sure referendum are popular with people when asked. Time for some Swiss style direct democracy?
Sir Chasm - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to dissonance: I guess it's so it can be a manifesto commitment.
Sir Chasm - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Papillon: The author seems to concentrate on the tories and ukip, do you think people can be divided by party lines with respect to their views on the eu?

Absolutely, we can do it by phone after x dancing stars jungle diving.
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Eric9Points - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Papillon:
> (In reply to Eric9Points)
> [...]
>
> I'd like to hear more from the 'leave' camp on this. If oil rich Norway feels obliged to be in the EEA, it must be a necessity to trade with Europe? If you have to be in the EEA then you might as well just stay in the EU?

Well yes except that you don't have to accept mass immigrations from other parts of Europe and probably other things that I can't think of right now. Economically I don't see an argument for leaving, it's things like social policy and sovereignty that people find objectionable.

My feeling is that there are a few emotive issues that annoy people about the EU. Immigration being No.1, especially in the Tory heartland of SE England. If David can get some concessions on limiting free movement across borders with access to social security and health care then the referendum is in the bag. For the sake of the UK though I'm sure there are other things he should be talking about as well which I'm only vaguely aware of, the financial services tax being one of them.
Mike Stretford - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Sir Chasm:
> (In reply to Papillon) The author seems to concentrate on the tories and ukip, do you think people can be divided by party lines with respect to their views on the eu?
>

No, but I think tory voters are more likely to hold a strong opinion.

Neil Williams - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Eric9Points:

I can see a lot of similarities between what the Swiss want and what the majority in the UK seem to want. Perhaps we should have gone that way in the first place (it certainly doesn't seem to have harmed Switzerland!) but I doubt we'd be allowed to now.

Neil
Eric9Points - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Postmanpat:
> (In reply to Eric9Points)
> [...]
>
> More flexible labour laws? More attractive tax regime? Same reasons they do now?

Well yes but they favour the UK over other EU countries at the moment. If we left the EU then more flexible labour laws and tax regimes would have to be balanced against potential difficulties in being competitive in the EU while trading from outside it.

If I were a Chinese entrepreneur wanting to get into the European market it would seem like a curious choice to set up an HQ just outside it's borders than inside.
ebygomm - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Eric9Points:

> My feeling is that there are a few emotive issues that annoy people about the EU. Immigration being No.1, especially in the Tory heartland of SE England. If David can get some concessions on limiting free movement across borders with access to social security and health care then the referendum is in the bag.

I'm not sure how you would go about limiting free movement when there are huge numbers of EU migrants already living and working in the UK. Weren't they saying that London is France's 6th biggest city?

Mike Stretford - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Eric9Points:
> (In reply to Papillon)
> [...]
>
> My feeling is that there are a few emotive issues that annoy people about the EU. Immigration being No.1, especially in the Tory heartland of SE England.

Good point. It leads to some interesting thoughts on the practicalities though. We'd have to abide by all EU rules untill we have negotiated our withdrawl... could actually lead to a spike in immigration before the vote. Then come the tricky question of do we start turfing people out?

Douglas Griffin - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Papillon:

> It leads to some interesting thoughts on the practicalities though.

Such as "who gets to vote"?

Again, to draw a parallel with the Scottish Referendum situation - we've heard calls for everyone in the U.K. to be given a vote, on the basis that it affects everyone, not just those in Scotland. Presumably the same people who suggested this also feel that everyone in the E.U. should get a vote on whether to allow the U.K. to remain in the E.U.? :-)
Sir Chasm - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Douglas Griffin: I imagine so, just like the people who want the Scots to be able to vote on independence will also be in favour of the Brits being able to vote on eu membership.
Postmanpat on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Douglas Griffin:
> (In reply to Papillon)
>
Presumably the same people who suggested this also feel that everyone in the E.U. should get a vote on whether to allow the U.K. to remain in the E.U.? :-)
>
The EU is already a nation a State. When did that happen?

Postmanpat on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Douglas Griffin:
> (In reply to Papillon)
>
> [...]
>
> Such as "who gets to vote"?
>
> Presumably the same people who suggested this also feel that everyone in the E.U. should get a vote on whether to allow the U.K. to remain in the E.U.? :-)
>
>
The EU is already a nation a State? When did that happen?


Ramblin dave - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to neilh:
> (In reply to Enty)
> You would just negotiate a UK - EU free trade agreement. as by the same token the major European countries do a lot of business in the UK, and we would no doubt impose similar duties on their goods.
>
> Its not really a difficult one to resolve on manufactured goods.

Wouldn't this basically be saying "hi, can we continue to play your game but not have to follow the rules?"
brokenbanjo - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to bluebealach:

Oh well, I do hope that if Cameron is willing to give the General Ignorance, I mean population, the vote on something as trivial as staying in the European Union, he will also give a referendum of Fox Hunting with dogs & Vicarious Liability of Grouse Moor Owners...

No, oh. Isn't that funny...
Jim C - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Sir Chasm:
> (In reply to Douglas Griffin) Do you think there's no demand for a referendum? Or is there a demand that Cameron should ignore?

What SC and I (at 16:06) pointed out was the double standards Cameron has re the delay, in having the vote,4/5 years , immediately after laying into the SNP for a much shorter delay for their vote which Cameron claimed was damaging Scotland due to the uncertainty it caused,

NOT that there was no demand for the vote
Postmanpat on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Jim C:
> (In reply to Sir Chasm)
> [...]
>
> What SC and I (at 16:06) pointed out was the double standards Cameron has re the delay, in having the vote,4/5 years , immediately after laying into the SNP for a much shorter delay for their vote which Cameron claimed was damaging Scotland due to the uncertainty it caused,
>
He pointed out, quite reasonably, that it would not make sense to have a vote about membership of something which is in the process of rapid and unpredictable change. The UK is not in that situation.
John2 - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Ramblin dave: 'Wouldn't this basically be saying "hi, can we continue to play your game but not have to follow the rules?"'

Not at all. We would have to pay a fee to export to the EU without paying export tariffs, and anything we exported to the EU would have to comply with EU manufacturing standards. The real question is whether we should be regarding the recessionary EU as an important export market, or whether we should be attempting to export more to the expanding markets of the BRIC nations.
Bob Hughes - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to John2:
> The real question is whether we should be regarding the recessionary EU as an important export market, or whether we should be attempting to export more to the expanding markets of the BRIC nations.

Surely you'd want to be doing both. Turning your nose up at the €12.629 trillion market just over the channel seems churlish. And if you want to sit at table to negotiate a free trade agreement with China, do you want to do that alone as the UK or together with the rest of Europe?
John2 - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Bob Hughes: What I'm suggesting is that the UK needs to turn away from the delining old world markets and make the efort to sell the the markets that will become increasingly important as time goes on. The Germans are already doing this.
Bruce Hooker - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to bluebealach:

If Labour were any good they could clobber Cameron on this. For a start deliberately, or by inadvertence, which would be even worse, he's given the British economy 5 years of uncertainty, both for existing companies and those looking around for a country in Europe to invest in.

Secondly the way he's presenting it looks very much like blackmail in other EU countries - either accept my demands or we'll leave. Really playing into the hands of the anti-British lobby... they're lapping it up!

But the strongest argument for Labour must surely be that to envisage Britain leaving the EU after what has been a pretty successful period of membership just to improve Cameron's chance of being reelected is so irresponsible as to disqualify him from being a Parish Councillor, let alone Prime Minister.

It remains to be seen whether the present Labour leadership are capable of doing this - done intelligently it could be a winner for Labour, the majority of British voters realise what reality is, as they did in 1975, when faced with the crunch.
Postmanpat on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> (In reply to bluebealach)
>
> If Labour were any good they could clobber Cameron on this. For a start deliberately, or by inadvertence, which would be even worse, he's given the British economy 5 years of uncertainty, both for existing companies and those looking around for a country in Europe to invest in.
>
He hasn't "given it uncertainty". He has acknowledged the uncertainty. If the popular Euro sceptic element were supressed it would just pop up again probably in a more explosive form. We're not in Stalin's Russia. He can't just send the sceptics to the gulag.
Enty - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
>
>
> !
>
> But the strongest argument for Labour must surely be that to envisage Britain leaving the EU after what has been a pretty successful period of membership just to improve Cameron's chance of being reelected is so irresponsible as to disqualify him from being a Parish Councillor, let alone Prime Minister.
>
>

This is what disgusts me more than anything over this issue.

E
ads.ukclimbing.com
Eric9Points - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to ebygomm:
> (In reply to Eric9Points)
>
> [...]
>
> I'm not sure how you would go about limiting free movement when there are huge numbers of EU migrants already living and working in the UK. Weren't they saying that London is France's 6th biggest city?

Well you could give out work permits to everyone who's working here just now and then limit their availability after such and such a date. There's also the idea of not paying benefits to anyone in the first two years of their residency here.

I'm not necessarily advocating these measures but I'm sure that where there's a will there's a way. Given that immigration is such an emotive issue in the UK at the moment (always has been?) the prize for any party that finds a way of limiting it is very big. Further, I wouldn't be at all surprised if a lot of other European leaders would privately welcome the UK pushing for some restrictions of this sort regardless of what they say publicly.
Eric9Points - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Postmanpat:
> (In reply to Bruce Hooker)
> [...]
> He hasn't "given it uncertainty". He has acknowledged the uncertainty. If the popular Euro sceptic element were supressed it would just pop up again probably in a more explosive form. We're not in Stalin's Russia. He can't just send the sceptics to the gulag.

You don't believe that this issue is much more damaging to the Conservative party than the Labour party and he has been compelled to act in this way in order to keep his party intact?
Postmanpat on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Eric9Points:
> (In reply to Postmanpat)
> [...]
>
> You don't believe that this issue is much more damaging to the Conservative party than the Labour party and he has been compelled to act in this way in order to keep his party intact?

Possibly, although I suspect the Labour party could become equally split if push comes to shove. Obviously Cameron has these party issues to deal with but the country as a whole also faces and is split over the crucial issue of whether it wants to be part of a European State. Cameron is reflecting that.

john arran - on 23 Jan 2013
Whatever became of the idea that if you don't like something you should campaign to amend it? The Euro-sceptics sound like they've found a few things to quibble about (which is hardly surprising really given the number and scale of the issues involved) but then instead of working through the proper channels to improve them across the whole of Europe (using its influence as one of Europe's major players) they're throwing their toys out of the pram.

Nothing will ever work if there's no desire to see it succeed, and I personally believe there's an overwhelming desire among the British people to be part of an effective EU but that they're being let down by politicians who continually appear to suggest the best way to solve every problem would be to run away from it rather than to address the issue properly within OUR European institutions.
Postmanpat on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to john arran:
> Whatever became of the idea that if you don't like something you should campaign to amend it?
>
>
Isn't that what Cameron is saying he'll do?
Sir Chasm - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Bruce Hooker: But he isn't saying we'll leave, is he? He's saying that if the tories win the next election there will be a vote. Surely you're not saying that the outcome is a foregone conclusion? That most people would, if given the chance, vote to leave the eu?
Alternatively we can just say that the issue is far too important and we can never ever have a vote on the issue. You were around at the time, was entering the common market sold as a 'til death us do part deal?
Mike Stretford - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to Postmanpat:
> (In reply to Eric9Points)
> [...]
>
> Possibly, although I suspect the Labour party could become equally split if push comes to shove. Obviously Cameron has these party issues to deal with but the country as a whole also faces and is split over the crucial issue of whether it wants to be part of a European State. Cameron is reflecting that.

I don't think so, this is a much bigger issue for the Tories than Labour or the country as a whole. There is no need to announce a referendum 4 years before you intend to have it.

He should be working with the second grouping of European countries not in the Euro (Sweden, Denmark, Czech Republic ect) so they have a strong voice, but that sort of diplomacy wouldn't get the sort of headlines he needs. For all his faults Blair was much better at this sort of thing.
john arran - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to Postmanpat:
> Isn't that what Cameron is saying he'll do?

Not really, no. By the sound of it he's like a school team footballer who thinks he always should be able to play whichever position he wants and insists they let him have his own way; then when the other players decide that wouldn't be best for the team he threatens to take his ball into a corner and play keepie-uppie instead, persuading himself that it could be just as much fun.

;)
cragtaff - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to graeme jackson:
> (In reply to Enty)
> [...]
>
> You don't believe everyone in the country has the right to vote on what happens to their own country then?

Enty is clearly one those typical socialists who really do believe that anybody who doesn't share their opinion is an idiot.
Postmanpat on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to Papillon:
> (In reply to Postmanpat)
> [...]
>
>
>
> He should be working with the second grouping of European countries not in the Euro (Sweden, Denmark, Czech Republic ect) so they have a strong voice, but that sort of diplomacy wouldn't get the sort of headlines he needs.

His speech, particularly the concept that nations should have more flexible relationships with Brussels, has been welcomed by many of the second group countries such as the above. He focused on Britain's relationship with the EU because he is British PM but he outlined a different vision of the EU with which many of these countries sympathise(and even the Dutch responded quite positively).

Do we know that there is not cooperation with this "second grouping"?

Enty - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to cragtaff:
> (In reply to graeme jackson)
> [...]
>
> Enty is clearly one those typical socialists who really do believe that anybody who doesn't share their opinion is an idiot.

Ha ha - never been called a socialist before. Cheers.

E
Postmanpat on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to john arran:
> (In reply to Postmanpat)
> [...]
>
> Not really, no. By the sound of it he's like a school team footballer who thinks he always should be able to play whichever position he wants and insists they let him have his own way; then when the other players decide that wouldn't be best for the team he threatens to take his ball into a corner and play keepie-uppie instead, persuading himself that it could be just as much fun.
>
>
Or like a senior player in a team doing badly in which he and many other players are disillusioned with the team tactics so he says to the other senior players "let's sit down and see if there isn't a better way of doing this because I can't justify playing in this failing team for ever".....

Enty - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to cragtaff:
> (In reply to graeme jackson)
> [...]
>
> Enty is clearly one those typical socialists who really do believe that anybody who doesn't share their opinion is an idiot.

If you read the redtops and your decision on whether the UK should leave the EU is formed from stories regarding bent bananas, stories from the European Court of Human rights and stories regarding MEP expenses - you're an idiot.

I have a few friends and family members who fall into that category - Idiots but I still love them ;-)

E
Mike Stretford - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to Postmanpat:
> (In reply to Papillon)
> [...]
>
> His speech, particularly the concept that nations should have more flexible relationships with Brussels, has been welcomed by many of the second group countries such as the above.

Really? Most of what I've seen have been negative reponses.


>
> Do we know that there is not cooperation with this "second grouping"?

We don't know because Cameron isn't talking about it (othere than the brief metion you alluded to). He's pandering to a section of his part and UKIP. And if this means so much to the public why haven't UKIP got a single MP (even the Greens have on!)
Postmanpat on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to Papillon:
> (In reply to Postmanpat)
> [...]
>
> Really? Most of what I've seen have been negative reponses.
>
>
Czech:positive

Sweden (PM):"He's not the first leader to express doubts about where the EU is headed. We are very close in the view that we need more free trade agreements..."

Netherlands (foreign minsiter): "The EU must be reformed. The Netherlands and the UK are agreed on that point.....the UK and the Netherlands are allied n almost all these issues"

Hungary (Europe minister) "More and more European citizens are sceptical bout the EU truly representing the interests of the people..." therefore the union has to regains their trust.

Denmark (trade minister) "I've listened with great interest...it is important to keep the UK close to the EU"

Don't sound negative. The Concerns voiced by Cameron clearly rings bells in many other places.
Bob Hughes - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to John2: Germany is selling well to China and India, but they are also selling well to the US, The UK, France, Italy, Spain etc. i.e. they have not "turned away from declining old world markets" they have added new markets.
Mike Stretford - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to Postmanpat: Oh come on Pat... that's the sort of shameless cherry picking even I couldn't bring myself to! But now you've started

http://www.euractiv.com/uk-europe/cameron-comes-fire-referendum-sp-news-517286

:)

Ok.. I hadn't seen some of thoses quotes, so lets say it's a mixed response.
Mike Stretford - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to John2:
> (In reply to Bob Hughes) What I'm suggesting is that the UK needs to turn away from the delining old world markets and make the efort to sell the the markets that will become increasingly important as time goes on. The Germans are already doing this.

The idea that some regions are on a meteoric rise while others are going down the pan is pure fantasy, as is this idea that the UK could go around the world negotiating trade agreements from a position of strength (the latter a Daniel Hannan wet dream).
Mikkel - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to Postmanpat:

One thing to keep in mind is that the different parties in Denmark are quite divided internally about the EU.
Postmanpat on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to Papillon:
> (In reply to Postmanpat)
>
>
> Ok.. I hadn't seen some of thoses quotes, so lets say it's a mixed response.

Yes, I'd absolutely agree with that. I'd also agree that the British should work with other countries over common concerns-although we will then be branded as trouble makers of course.

Personally I suspect the Foreign Office is deliberately undermining efforts to cooperate for change. They are desperate to be seen as good Europeans.

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Mike Stretford - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to Postmanpat: TBH i thought a lot of what Cameron said made sense, be he knows as well as everybody else it's the referendum that made the headlines. Completely unnecessary at this stage.
Cuthbert on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to Jim C:

Good points, the EU referendum utterly blows away many, if not all, the reasons that the Tories and Labours came up with about not having the Scottish referendum.

The funny thing is that the Scottish Labour are 100% behind the tories on this (they can't say that though). I mean whilst they don't want a referendum on the EU, they fully support the Tories and their system in having one despite having only 1 MP in Scotland.

Overall I think it's good news as it will get more people to think about whether they want Scotland to be independent or not.
Sir Chasm - on 24 Jan 2013
Oh no, the thread keeps getting hijocked.
neilh - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to Postmanpat:
We will probably always be branded as trouble makers. I put it down to the way our democratic institutions run. Its a first past the post system, so we have tough adverserial politics. Alot of European countrys have PR etc so they have had historically to develop coalitions etc. The nature of the seating in their parliaments is different ( look at how and where politicans sit in the German parliament. I have never even seen the inside of France's parliament- I think its a senate- and how they discuss these things.

So we have a very traditional historical way of doing things, which is different to most European countrys.

I see Bild in Germany as said "we need the UK in the EU".Good on them, and I agree
MG - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to neilh: Hmmm. The Italians have stand up fights sometimes in their parliament!
Bruce Hooker - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to Postmanpat:

> but the country as a whole also faces and is split over the crucial issue of whether it wants to be part of a European State.

What's this "European state"? I must have dozed off or something as I didn't know they'd gone and made one.
Postmanpat on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> (In reply to Postmanpat)
>
> [...]
>
> What's this "European state"? I must have dozed off or something as I didn't know they'd gone and made one.

Evening colonel! No, you just can't even read and understand a simple sentence. I'd thought it was paragraphs that troubled you. Quite worrying.
Bruce Hooker - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to Postmanpat:

So you really think there is a European state then? Never mind, best try to avoid cheese in the evening though.

Concerning your misinformation about how Cameron's speech was taken in Europe yesterday, and also concerning his speech in Davos today, it seems he does have one supporter in Angela Merkel, in terms of the substance of his positions. The main objection is to the way he is seen as wanting to cherry pick Europe, stay in it only at his conditions.

It may be a cunning negotiating ploy in Cameron's head (and doubtless yours) but it comes across as clumsy and arrogant, a weak man trying to play tough.
Postmanpat on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> (In reply to Postmanpat)
>
> So you really think there is a European state then? Never mind, best try to avoid cheese in the evening though.
>
No, you muppet. See my post of 18.24. The EU is explicitly moving in the direction of "ever closer union" ie. a State, in the FUTURE.

I have no idea if you are stupid or just playing games but if somebody said X was white you'd ask why they said X was black. Not worth bothering with.

altirando - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to bluebealach: Just thought I would mention EFTA, that is, the European Free Trade Area. Never heard of it? I only have because as a young copywriter I actually wrote some ads for it. It was an attempt to set up a rival organisation to the EU when we were originally rejected, and included countries like Sweden and Denmark. A complete flop. So don.t be influenced by the UKIP delusions.
stroppygob - on 25 Jan 2013
In reply to bluebealach:

get us out of it for god's sake. It's propped up the narrow minded bigoted left and their attempts to spend everyone else's money, while bankrupting the country, for too long.

One only has to look art the paucity of thought displayed here by the pro-Europeans to see what a mendacious organisation it is. Not a scintilla of rational argument for it, just the usual anti-Tory anti-Thatcher clichés.


Votes for prisoners now!
What do we want?
To spend your money!
When do we want it?
Now!!
Bruce Hooker - on 25 Jan 2013
In reply to Postmanpat:

> No, you muppet. See my post of 18.24. The EU is explicitly moving in the direction of "ever closer union" ie. a State, in the FUTURE

I'll skip the "muppet", it doesn't help your argument much, but coming to your point, in fact there is very little sign of Europe moving towards a State. Many regret this but the feeling is that the moment has been missed. The political desire to take in so many new states from E Europe broke the dynamic towards this and now in many countries governments and elites in general are faced with too much popular resistance. Add the economic crises and the European superstate seems to be on hold for the foreseeable future.

Some old tories come closet Ukippers still like to wave the threat like a red flag to a bull but no one pays any attention to their geriatric antics anymore... poor wee things!
Postmanpat on 25 Jan 2013
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> (In reply to Postmanpat)
>
> [...]
>
> I'll skip the "muppet",

Pity you also skipped the last two sentences but no surprise. Anyway, maybe you can invieigle Toby or Coel into writing simple sentences that you'll bother to read and understand.

You appear to have been asleep through most of the the Euro crisis.
Rob Exile Ward on 25 Jan 2013
In reply to stroppygob: Using (relatively) large words doesn't add anything to the rationality of your argument.

The EU is one of the boldest and most ambitious peaceful enterprises to have ever been undertaken - ever, anywhere. And with what goals? To create economic prosperity without war, and with fundamental commitments to human rights, international development and the environment - our legacy to our children - at the heart. Where else in the world is such an enterprise being undertaken? The EU is setting the standard which other geographical groups are watching and will ultimately aspire to.

It's not perfect - wow! There's some corruption involved, and some of the bureaucrats and politicians are less than snow white - extraordinary. But there's a lot who are committed from the best possible motives. Maybe it's only right 51% of the time. In most human enterprises that's a good percentage.
Bruce Hooker - on 25 Jan 2013
In reply to Postmanpat:

> You appear to have been asleep through most of the the Euro crisis.

What makes you think that? Or do you just paste standard sentences at random?
Bruce Hooker - on 25 Jan 2013
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

It's been done before though, by Charlemagne, Napoleon and Hitler for example. Not peacefully, granted, but in the present case one could argue that the fighting took place beforehand in WW1 and 2 - the bloodiest wars of human history - which led to the the desire for "never again" and European Union.

Let's see if it lasts longer this time.
Rob Exile Ward on 25 Jan 2013
In reply to Bruce Hooker: 'Let's see if it lasts longer this time.'

It already has, hasn't it? When did Europe last enjoy 68 years of peace?
Postmanpat on 25 Jan 2013
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> (In reply to Postmanpat)
>
> [...]
>
> What makes you think that?

Because you haven't noticed what's going on. Now, off you go Colonel. TobyA awaits you.


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