/ EU referendum

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fxceltic on 24 Jan 2013
I kind of assume that, for the most part, the people who support leaving the EU, and would vote as such, are a vocal minority, hence limited interest in UKIP.

In order to put that to the test I thought we should have a quick straw poll.

Would you vote in, or out? Im saying "in".
MG - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to fxceltic: In
MG - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to MG: 100%, you're right.
fxceltic on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to MG: thought as much, glad thats sorted, Im off to call Dave to tell him not to bother...
Sir Chasm - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to fxceltic: Undecided, it'll depend on what the Sun is saying come referendum time.
Cú Chullain - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to fxceltic:
> I kind of assume that, for the most part, the people who support leaving the EU, and would vote as such, are a vocal minority, hence limited interest in UKIP.
>
> In order to put that to the test I thought we should have a quick straw poll.
>
> Would you vote in, or out? Im saying "in".

UKIP do not in anyway represent the majority of anti EU voters
Philip on 24 Jan 2013
In. Regardless of the change of terms. I'd even favour the Euro, with the caveat that the current problems would need fixing first, ie I agree with Brown that we shouldn't have joined, but with the federalists that we need move to more centralization. There is no point having the bureaucracy of Europe without the advantages of a pseudo-state.

Coel Hellier - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to fxceltic:

> I kind of assume that, for the most part, the people who support leaving the EU, and would vote as
> such, are a vocal minority, hence limited interest in UKIP.

I'm not sure this is a fair assumption. In the last European elections the party gaining the most votes were the Tories, with UKIP second, ahead of Labour in third (and the Lib Dems behind that). Thus the top two parties in votes were the ones most hostile to the current EU direction.

The reason UKIP doesn't do so well in general elections is that UKIP are a single-issue party and general elections are about many more issues than the EU. However, in a referendum, all about that one issue, the voting could be similar to the elections for the European parliament.

My guess is that there is a very real prospect of a "no" outcome, unless the renegotiations do change things a lot (and I really doubt that they will).

As for how I'd vote: on the current situation w.r.t. the EU I'd vote "out", but I'm willing to reconsider depending on what the EU offer.
Coel Hellier - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to Philip:

> ... the advantages of a pseudo-state.

Which are?
Alyson - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to fxceltic: In
Postmanpat on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to fxceltic:
>
>
> Would you vote in, or out? Im saying "in".

Doesn't this depend on the terms? You seem to have rather missed the point of the speech.

MonkeyPuzzle - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to fxceltic:

In. I think we're right to try and renegotiate, but, if that fails, to then vote out - and I'm ashamed to say it was Tony Blair on Radio 4 who made this comment - is like when the sheriff in Blazing Saddles holds the gun to his own head and yells that they better do what he says otherwise he'll blow his own brains out. I made careful note that Tony Blair didn't directly quote the film because I reckon one of the few things that could make him less popular is a liberal use of the 'N-word' on a popular news programme.
silhouette - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to fxceltic:
> we should have a quick straw poll.

My time machine is wonky and I can't get to 2017 just now.
999thAndy on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to fxceltic:
In.

Although I would vote UKIP if I thought it would assist in keeping Cameron out of No. 10 in 2017
fxceltic on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to Postmanpat:
> (In reply to fxceltic)
> [...]
>
> Doesn't this depend on the terms? You seem to have rather missed the point of the speech.

yes but im interested in current sentiment as an indicator for tghe likely vote in the future, while appreciating that could change.

It seems to me there might just be some fiddling around the margins on whether we can sell sausages by the pound, fishing quotas and how long we can force people to work each week, but if thats it then really, what is the point?
MG - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to Postmanpat: It seems unlikely that the terms will result in a suggestion of more integration.
stevieb - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to fxceltic:
In
How are we going to renegotiate anything from the sidelines anyway. The only way we will get significant changes is with the help of the other contributors, notably Germany.
and I think the vote should happen sooner. Uncertainty is hugely unhelpful.
cander - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to Coel Hellier:

+1 what he ^ said
Postmanpat on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to fxceltic:
> (In reply to Postmanpat)
> [...]
>
> It seems to me there might just be some fiddling around the margins on whether we can sell sausages by the pound, fishing quotas and how long we can force people to work each week, but if thats it then really, what is the point?

Yes, but the EU will probably look very different then. The status quo is not an option.

Were it a straight in or out now I genuinely don't know. Reluctantly In or abstain probably.

Jim C - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to MonkeyPuzzle:
> (In reply to fxceltic)
>
> is like when the sheriff in Blazing Saddles holds the gun to his own head and yells that they better do what he says otherwise he'll blow his own brains out.

There is a sort of parallel in Scotland where a Tory MP said just wait until Scotland Vote to stay WITH the UK, and then they will be able to cut their money, as Scotland have NOTHING then to negotiate with.

Salmond has raised the gun to all of Scotland's heads, but with a vote to STAY in the UK, London will be in the position be the one to pull the trigger .
Remember, there is no Devo Max option as a backup, and no promise of more powers.
If I were a gambler , I would not have played the cards this way.

London will then have Scotland by the short and curlys, and I personally do not trust this government not to punish the Scots for their (percieved) disloyalty)
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crabduck on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to fxceltic: in
Eric9Points - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to Jim C:

Jim,

If the UK government did the dirty on Scotland after a NO vote we'd just see the SNP returned to power with an increased majority and more calls for another referendum.

Further, the pro UK side will have to give some fairly concrete assurances of what will happen after Scotland votes to stay in the UK to make sure that this sort of accusation isn't able to be levelled at them.

Anyway, on to the matter in hand.

Voting today - I'd vote to stay in

Voting in 2017 - I need to see what the future of the EU is seen to be by then. Provided there is no further erosion of national sovereignty then probably "yes".
Lord_ash2000 - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to fxceltic: Hard to say at the moment, I'd be leaning on out at the moment but if they can some back with better terms that benifit us enough then I'd vote to stay in.
EeeByGum - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to Lord_ash2000: I'm with you. The concept of the EU is brilliant and I am fully supportive. However, the EU isn't about the people, it is about unelected quangos and the like doing their own thing. The more I learn about EU institutions, the more anti EU I am becoming which I find quite shocking.
Mike Stretford - on 24 Jan 2013

In reply to fxceltic: In. The EU is very flawed but we will never influence change from the outside, even though it would still affect us. To continue Blair's analogy, we need to build up a posse of likeminded cowboys, rather than holding a gun to our own head.






Coel Hellier - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to Papillon:

> ... rather than holding a gun to our own head.

And of course those nations not in the EU, such as Norway and Switzerland, really have shot themselves in the head, and they are in desperate straits -- income plummeting to third-world levels, people dying on the streets through lack of health care, mass migration out of the country because things are so bad there ...
Sir Chasm - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to Papillon: Yes, we've got to stay in so we can continue to reform the Cap amongst other things.
fxceltic on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to Coel Hellier:
> (In reply to Papillon)
>
> [...]
>
> And of course those nations not in the EU, such as Norway and Switzerland, really have shot themselves in the head, and they are in desperate straits -- income plummeting to third-world levels, people dying on the streets through lack of health care, mass migration out of the country because things are so bad there ...

Im not sure that your logic isnt flawed. Those countries are doing ok yes, but is the cause of their apparent success down simply to not being a member of the EU? I doubt it very much.
Coel Hellier - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to fxceltic:

> Those countries are doing ok yes, but is the cause of their apparent success down simply to not being a member of the EU?

No, of course it isn't, but they do show that not being in the EU is not "shooting yourself in the head", nor an automatic sentence to poverty and deprivation.
fxceltic on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to Coel Hellier:
> (In reply to fxceltic)
>
> [...]
>
> No, of course it isn't, but they do show that not being in the EU is not "shooting yourself in the head", nor an automatic sentence to poverty and deprivation.

I dont think that when Blair said that he meant it quite as literally as you have taken it.
EeeByGum - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> And of course those nations not in the EU, such as Norway and Switzerland, really have shot themselves in the head

I don't really understand why everyone keeps comparing us to Norway and Switzerland. Norway is a tiny country of 5 million that has massive natural reserves. They don't need to be chummy with anyone because they hold all the oil chips.

Switzerland on the other hand was busy looking after everyone's money whilst they were out playing empire building and have made it their business to be independent so as to stop others poking their noises where it is not wanted. You might say it is their USP.

The UK is like none of these. We are neither an industrial power any more nor a secretive finance centre. Historically we have always made it our business to have our fingers in everyone's pies. Being on our own really does not suit our way of doing things.
Mike Stretford - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to Coel Hellier: Both Norway and Switzerland have their own treaties with the EU that effectively mean they are part of Europe.... I very much doubt eurosceptics here would be happy with a relationship equivalent to either country (& the EU), if so they really are all talk and no trousers.

Both countries are very strong in certain sectors relative to the population of those countries (small), so can afford to benefit from the EU while having little influence.
Indy - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to fxceltic:

In
Coel Hellier - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to EeeByGum:

> Historically we have always made it our business to have our fingers in everyone's pies.

And if that gets us into wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and such forth then I'm not convinced it is what we should be doing.

> Being on our own really does not suit our way of doing things.

There's that myth that not being in the EU somehow means we would be "on our own" sulking away and talking to no-one. I was in Geneva recently, it's about an internationally oriented a city as you could get. We can be fully international and fully free-trading with the world and fully engaged with all our partners without being in the EU.
MG - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to Coel Hellier:
We can be fully international and fully free-trading with the world and fully engaged with all our partners without being in the EU.

While technically true, in practice being so will mean adopting most EU legislation and rules as Switzerland does.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Switzerland%E2%80%93European_Union_relations#Treaties

"And while the bilateral approach officially safeguards the right to refuse application of new EU law to Switzerland, in practice this right is severely restricted by the so-called Guillotine Clause, giving both parties a right to cancellation of the entire body of treaties when one new treaty or stipulation cannot be made applicable in Switzerland"
Mike Stretford - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to MG: .... and there's no way the Swiss would invoke the Guillotine Clause.
MG - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to Papillon: It is odd how people point to Switzerland as an example how being outside the EU is so great. Yet, they are de facto members, being in Schwengen, having a almost pegged currency and accepting the Euro, adopting all trade, technical etc. agreements and so on. They are also increasingly unable to plough their own path in the financial world by having to adopt anti-laundering and tax evasion policies developed elsewhere. Meanwhile, the UK either hasn't been forced to adopt these policies or has been instrumental in developing them and is in the EU.
Mike Stretford - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to MG: Yep. There is no comparisson and the results of leaving are unpredictable. The UK got an econimc boost for joining the then EC and since then the UKs economy has changed, probably in tune with being a member. I take comments from people who claim to know with a bucket full of salt.
Coel Hellier - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to MG:

> While technically true, in practice being so will mean adopting most EU legislation and rules as Switzerland does.

Switzerland seems to have signed up to a very bad deal with the EU, I'm not suggesting we sign up to the same.
EeeByGum - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> There's that myth that not being in the EU somehow means we would be "on our own" sulking away and talking to no-one. I was in Geneva recently, it's about an internationally oriented a city as you could get. We can be fully international and fully free-trading with the world and fully engaged with all our partners without being in the EU.

I don't disagree with you, but we are not a long established "independent" nation in the way Switzerland is. We are looking at going from a position of being very much at the heart of a club to a position of telling the club that they are bit sh1t and we are going to go it alone. In those sort of circumstances, the other members tend to be a bit upset by the whole thing. We are very much coming across as wanting our cake and eating it and if we don't get it, we will walk out in a huff.
Mike Stretford - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to EeeByGum: The Swiss are less 'independent' than us.... read the link!
Sir Chasm - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to EeeByGum: We're at the heart of the eu? I think that's a rather unconventional view of our relationship with the rest of the eu.
Coel Hellier - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to EeeByGum:

> ... but we are not a long established "independent" nation in the way Switzerland is.

Hold on, our historical links have been as much to various ex-colonies (Oz, NZ, USA, etc), as the EU.

> We are looking at going from a position of being very much at the heart of a club ...

We never ever were at the heart of the EU! We didn't join initially, only joining much later on fairly unfavourable terms, and the UK has never endorsed the central point of the EU, namely the "ever closer union" that everyone else regards as its central theme. And we stayed out the Euro, etc.

> We are very much coming across as wanting our cake and eating it ...

But there are very big areas of the EU that we *don't* want: the CAP, the Euro and "ever closer union" for starters.
toad - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to Coel Hellier:
> (In reply to EeeByGum)
>>
> But there are very big areas of the EU that we *don't* want: the CAP, the Euro and "ever closer union" for starters.

I think with CAP, there's a fair proportion of people who might disagree with you. It isn't really about subsidies for over production any more

EeeByGum - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to Coel Hellier:
>
> But there are very big areas of the EU that we *don't* want: the CAP, the Euro and "ever closer union" for starters.

Completely agree. Which is why I am torn between the concept of Europe which I think is a very positive thing for us and the implementation which is a nightmare. However, perhaps you just have to put up with one in order to gain from the other.
MG - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to toad: And we are not in the Euro and clearly aren't' going to be ever more closely unified. I think the objections are completely spurious.
Coel Hellier - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to EeeByGum:

> the concept of Europe which I think is a very positive thing for us ...

I'm interested in what people see as the good aspects of the EU.
Coel Hellier - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to MG:

> And we are not in the Euro and clearly aren't' going to be ever more closely unified.

Which means that, as decision making revolves more and more about the "ever closer union" Euro-core, we will inevitably be marginalised, and inevitably be in the position of having to tootle along with EU policies while having little influence on them. Those wanting out or a renegotiation are at least being honest about this.
MG - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to Coel Hellier: Free-trade, free movement of people, political stability, joint planning on major projects, peace, joint approaches to big challenges, clout in trade negotiations, cultural interaction...

Administrative simplicity - Switzerland has several hundred treaties with the EU, imagine how that would multiply with n countries forming bilateral agreements.

The only comparably successful area in the world is the USA, which is similarly integrated.
John_Hat - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to fxceltic:

IN.

We can bollix it up far more effectively from the inside.
Mike Stretford - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to Coel Hellier:
> (In reply to MG)
>
> [...]
>
> Which means that, as decision making revolves more and more about the "ever closer union" Euro-core, we will inevitably be marginalised, and inevitably be in the position of having to tootle along with EU policies while having little influence on them. Those wanting out or a renegotiation are at least being honest about this.


No there are many other countries in our position. Cameron's tactic is to isolate the UK as this suits many in his party. Blair had the right approach on this, he'd do diplomacy, get a consensus from allies, then negotiate from a position of strength. I'm suprised you are falling for Cameron's bullshit on this.
Sir Chasm - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to Papillon: Which successful negotiations by Blair are you referring to?
Coel Hellier - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to MG:

> Free-trade, ...

Doesn't need the EU, indeed the EU is a hinderance to proper world-wide free trade, since their insistence on the CAP and on subsidising their agriculture has stalled the Doha round.

> free movement of people, ...

Doesn't need an EU, you can make whatever visa rules you like (as shown by the fact that Switzerland participates in free-movement rules).

> political stability, peace ...

Looking at Greece, I don't see that the EU and the Euro have produced political stability. And I don't agree that peace is caused by the EU.

> joint planning on major projects, ...

Things like CERN, ESA etc work fine without being EU institutions.

> clout in trade negotiations ...

Not so good if they use it against what you want.

> joint approaches to big challenges, ...

That's very vague.

> ... cultural interaction...

Which of course could not possibly happen without the EU.

> , imagine how that would multiply with n countries forming bilateral agreements.

Treaties do not have to be bilateral! The CERN and ESA treaties are not, GATT is not, etc, etc! The alternative to the EU is *not* bilateral treaties only.

> The only comparably successful area in the world is the USA, which is similarly integrated.

It's notable how you only count something as "successful" if it is big and integrated. In what way is Canada unsuccessful at the moment?
MG - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to Coel Hellier: Yes any one of of those things *could* happen without the EU, but it is very unlikely that they all would to the same extent. And even if they did, it would be much harder to organise. The Canada/US relationship is very similar to EU countries in many respects.
Mike Stretford - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to Sir Chasm: He came away with what he wanted from the Nice and Lisbon Treaties, wether you agree with his aims or not is a different matter. The point is his approach was right.
toad - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to Coel Hellier:
> (In reply to MG)
>
>
> Treaties do not have to be bilateral! The CERN and ESA treaties are not, GATT is not, etc, etc! The alternative to the EU is *not* bilateral treaties only.
>
>Hmmm. And how many UK citizens working at CERN actually live in France. And why might that be?

Coel Hellier - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to toad:

> Hmmm. And how many UK citizens working at CERN actually live in France. And why might that be?

Because house prices and the cost of living are lower. Err, what's this got to do with anything?
Bjartur i Sumarhus on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to fxceltic: Regardless of what I think, thank god someone is trying to give us the opportunity to vote on it.

My view of the EU is an area increasingly of anti-democratic corporatism and social democracy. So I would say out please.But far larger forces are at work that will render this unimportant in the great scheme of things. I'm talking of the disastrous globalisation project that has seen Western countries outsource production and increase consumption on borrowed money. This will end very soon and it will be ugly. Very ugly. and will effect everyone of us in a way that frightens the politicians to their core.

Evidence of massaged data is so blatant now it is laughable. Nothing the Western Governments say regarding economics is remotely true. Inflation figures are massaged out of all context, same unemployment figures. Borrowing on a scale that is so large it is beyond the comprehension of most people. And the governments actually use the interest paid on bonds bought in QE as "profit" !

Sorry to put a downer on the thread. But all unfunded liabilities that are promised will not materialize, or if they do they will buy you next to nothing due to inflation. This is the future. If we are extremely lucky, we will manage to stumble through a "lost 20 years" of next to zero growth.

Being a member of the EU or not will make no difference.

On a lighter note, I saw Lee Hurst this morning in the news agents.


toad - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to Coel Hellier: You forgot the bit about being them being EU citizens living in another EU country.
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> We never ever were at the heart of the EU!

It depends what you look at - in some aspects of what the EU does, that's very true, in others its wrong. One of the biggest reason we know that most the of the EU wants Britain to stay in is because the UK is a central to the development of joint foreign and security (int. and ext.) policies. Much of why the EU as whole is treated as an entity in international life now is because of the French-UK cooperation within the union, just like the French-German axis is central to the origins of the economic nature of the union.
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Sir Chasm - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to Papillon:
> (In reply to Sir Chasm) He came away with what he wanted from the Nice and Lisbon Treaties, wether you agree with his aims or not is a different matter. The point is his approach was right.

Really? Both seemed to be an exercise in limiting how much would be given away. A bit like retaining some of the rebate was a success.
Trangia - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to fxceltic:

I voted "in" originally, but it's not the Union I voted for and memories of WW2 were a lot fresher then, so I reserve judgement until I know what I would be voting for following the renegotiations.
Coel Hellier - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to TobyA:

> One of the biggest reason we know that most the of the EU wants Britain to stay in ...

Do they really? I'd have thought many of them would happily see the back of us, as they proceed to ever close integration, knowing that we'd be at best very grudging participants in that.

Of course what they really want could be our financial contributions. Germany is the only bigger net contributor, but in return they get a massive trade surplus with the rest of the EU (a captive market that can't devalue). If you add together both net contributions and trade balance, we are by far the biggest funder of the EU.
Mike Stretford - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to Sir Chasm: Retaining 80% of the rebate wasn't a bad result under the circumstances. The original terms of the rebate no longer applied, many countries wanted it scrapped.

I'd say in general he frustrated the aims of Euro-federalists without falling out with them..... 'keeping the British end up' in other words.

In general I can't stand the guy but I think he did a good job in Europe.
RichardP - on 24 Jan 2013
In reply to fxceltic:
> I kind of assume that, for the most part, the people who support leaving the EU, and would vote as such, are a vocal minority, hence limited interest in UKIP.

There are wide reaching implications for both staying in and leaving the EEC.

I would like to reserve stating whether I would be in or out until I have more information of the implications for both the UK and the rest of the EEC, if we were to stay or leave.

Also it will be interesting to see what the Euro zone do about the mess with regards Greece, Spain, Italy and Ireland.
In reply to RichardP:

> There are wide reaching implications for both staying in and leaving the EEC.

The EEC hasn't existed since 1993 and the Maastricht treaty that made it the EU.

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