Should the UK leave the European Union?

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Belindi
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Re: Should the UK leave the European Union?

Post by Belindi »

International crime is increasing, notably involving extreme right wing organisation, drugs gangs, people trafficking, wild life crimes, sexual crimes, and so on. The British police needs to be free of red tape to work with police in the rest of Europe.
Steve3007
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Re: Should the UK leave the European Union?

Post by Steve3007 »

We're now just over a week from the date of 29th March 2019 when (as things stand right now) the UK is due to leave the EU.

The Prime Minister is in the process of asking the EU for an extension to that date. The third "meaningful vote" on her Brexit deal has been stopped by the House of Commons Speaker unless the proposed deal can be shown to be significantly different to the other two (presumably on the basis that doing the same thing but expecting different results is not a good use of the House's time). US President Trump, and his son, have said that if only the Prime Minister had taken the president's advice to sue the EU (in which court and for what, is not clear) then things would have gone differently and been resolved very quickly. Trump junior, in an article for the Telegraph, goes on to claim that democracy in the UK is now dead. The terms "constitutional crisis" and "parliament in chaos" have been used so frequently now as to have lost their impact.

Before the referendum, various pro-Brexit politicians stated that as soon as we vote to leave the EU, we (the UK) "hold all the cards" (and therefore, presumably, that the rest of the EU hold none), that this would be the easiest deal in history and that all of the EU's 40-ish trade agreements with non-EU countries, negotiated over many years, would easily be replicated in UK law before the 29th March.

How do we think it's all going so far?
Belindi
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Re: Should the UK leave the European Union?

Post by Belindi »

The people's blood pressure is increasing overall and Mrs May's philibustering is the cause.
Steve3007
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Re: Should the UK leave the European Union?

Post by Steve3007 »

I don't think it's possible to simply state one cause like that. There are so many contributing factors. I think one of the major factors getting to us to where we are today was Theresa May's decision to call a snap general election in 2017. Clearly she did that with the expectation of increasing her party's majority, consolidating her party's power, and making it easier to negotiate from a position of strength, without having to rely on compromises with others. As we know, the opposite happened. She ended up having to try to bribe the Ulster Unionists to support her.

Another contributing factor, which unlike the result of the 2017 General Election was always there for all to see, was the intractable problem of the border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic. For various reasons, no Tory government could ever countenance the idea of a united Ireland, and when the DUP's support became critical to them this simply because even more true. So the border between northern and southern Ireland was always destined to be part of the border between the EU and a non-EU country (the UK). Therefore the Good Friday Agreement had already, long before the 2016 referendum, made Brexit impossible. We can have peace in Northern Ireland and the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland" (to give it its fuill name) can continue to exist. Or we can have Brexit and no UK. But we can't have both.

One could argue that Theresa May should not have called that attempted Tory power grab of an election but should immediately have reached out to Labour and the other opposition parties to work out how to deliver Brexit together, as a cross-party issue. But I'm reluctant to do that, because hindsight is a wonderful thing and it's easy to be wise after the event. I stick to the view that the whole ongoing slow-motion car crash that is Brexit is a tragedy in which no individual player is wholly to blame.
Belindi
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Re: Should the UK leave the European Union?

Post by Belindi »

Steve wrote:
One could argue that Theresa May should not have called that attempted Tory power grab of an election but should immediately have reached out to Labour and the other opposition parties to work out how to deliver Brexit together, as a cross-party issue. But I'm reluctant to do that, because hindsight is a wonderful thing and it's easy to be wise after the event. I stick to the view that the whole ongoing slow-motion car crash that is Brexit is a tragedy in which no individual player is wholly to blame.
David Cameron was entrusted with the safety of the country but he preferred to increase the safety of the Tories. Theresa May paid the DUP for the safety of her own party. The 2016 referendum was not legally binding but the Tories pretend that it is. Meanwhile, with the exception of Caroline Lucas and the Greens, MPs attend Brexit meetings but ignore climate talks which matter much much more. Greta Thunberg has more gumption than most MPs.

Tories are mostly to blame for increasing the wealth differential combined with austerity. The wealth differential caused and causes the Brexit divide among the people.
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Teralek
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Re: Should the UK leave the European Union?

Post by Teralek »

Steve3007 wrote: March 20th, 2019, 5:20 am How do we think it's all going so far?
Like a bad taste Mexican soap opera. I thought politicians were a bit better here, it seems not.

Trump's opinion doesn't matter, really, in the same way my I ignore my drunk uncle's opinion.

Mrs May is as guilty as everyone else here, not more or less. She took the sinking ship when no one else wanted it, brave thing to do. But she is guilty of all the red lines she imposed on herself, such as refusing to keep the UK in the common market.

This is stupid for 2 reasons:

1. The permanence of the UK in EU common market was not on referendum, only the membership. She is just making stuff up by claiming that the 52% who voted to leave, all of them, voted to leave the free market and stop continental Europeans to freely move here. This is clearly not the case. The question was about membership of the EU, any other inferences are speculative.

2. A Norwegian style deal is clearly the best choice for the UK both because it respects the result of the referendum and minimises the economic impact. She should know the most important market for the UK is the EU. This is beyond any doubt. The EU is fast becoming one of the most important market blocks in the world, because of the collapse of the Pacific trade partnership and the new trade deals between the EU, Canada and Japan. Protectionism is gaining track all over the world except the EU so far. This will very beneficial for the EU in the medium to long term.

Like I heard somewhere else, she isn't going to take the UK out of the EU without a deal because politicians may be incompetent but they aren't complete retards, like the one in Venezuela, fortunately. If you don't understand that crashing without a deal would be catastrophic for the UK there is nothing else to talk about really... Someone like that has the same understanding about economy as Trump or my drunk uncle.

I don't know what will happen really. This has become an unpredictable circus. We have been talking about it for 2 years after the leave campaigned lied and convinced people illiterate in economy or just masochistic to vote leave. You may believe brexit is the best for the UK, but if you don't want to see the lies of the leave campaign in retrospect there is no difference between you and a religious person.

We been talking about this for the last 2 years, nothing has been done in this country in the meantime. The parliament is paralysed, the economy is stagnated. Everything is on hold while the NHS and education suffer.

In principle I don't agree with enforcing permanent and deep changes on a country based on simple majorities. The public has whims, a close vote today might have a completely different outcome in 2 months. This isn't like voting for PM where you can change your mind every 4 years, this will have a lasting impact for generations. A decision as such put on referendum should only pass with 2/3 majority. I don't even agree to put such a thing on referendum, some things should be left for the experts. Most of us, me included, aren't experts in economy or even on how to run a country.

To put in referendum the UK membership of the EU, with all the caveats included, such as membership of the single market, is like me putting on public referendum my doctor's diagnostic and prescription... silly.
Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong, have governed my life: the longing for love, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind. ~Bertrand Russell
Belindi
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Re: Should the UK leave the European Union?

Post by Belindi »

Teralek, I agree with everything you wrote. You live in Edinburgh I note.
Steve3007
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Re: Should the UK leave the European Union?

Post by Steve3007 »

Teralek: Several very good points.

I think your last point was a particularly good one. Basing a massive, irreversible and hugely complex decision like this on a snapshot of public whim on a particular day in 2016, and making it all turn on a simple majority, where possibly the decision of a single drunk Uncle could swing it, is perhaps the most insane part of the whole process.
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Teralek
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Re: Should the UK leave the European Union?

Post by Teralek »

Belindi wrote: March 20th, 2019, 7:09 am Teralek, I agree with everything you wrote. You live in Edinburgh I note.
Yes, but I am not a native from here, if that matters. I am Portuguese by birth and passport.
Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong, have governed my life: the longing for love, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind. ~Bertrand Russell
Steve3007
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Re: Should the UK leave the European Union?

Post by Steve3007 »

Teralek wrote:Yes, but I am not a native from here, if that matters. I am Portuguese by birth and passport.
Unfortunately, to some people I think it will indeed matter. One of the surprising things, to me, that has come out of this whole Brexit thing is the extent to which many British people still appear to be under the impression that we're still fighting the Second World War, and various other intra-European conflicts. Given that we voluntarily entered the EU and that it acts, on the whole, as a conduit for peaceful cooperation and mutually beneficially exchanges of goods and labour, as well as magnifying our negotiating power in trade deals with the rest of the world, it seems bizarre to me that lots of my fellow Brits, including co-workers with whom I occasionally discuss Brexit, often use allusions to the "Blitz spirit" of the second world war to boldly declare that we won't give in to those continental "bullies" any more than we did in 1939. There's much talk of stoic self-reliance and allotments with home grown potatoes, and the like.

I guess folk memories are strong, even after 70 years.
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Teralek
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Re: Should the UK leave the European Union?

Post by Teralek »

Steve3007 wrote: March 20th, 2019, 7:29 am
Unfortunately, to some people I think it will indeed matter.
That's like saying I cannot live with a woman unless I marry her and our son cannot go to public school unless we marry. The marriage certificate is just a paper and my commitment to her doesn't change. My responsibilities are the same. If I spend 1000 pounds to get the British passport it suddenly changes?! No, I am the same person. Just because I have a paper saying I am a British citizen because I passed a simple test and gave 1000£ to the government I can now vote?! Ridiculous.

But this is a general way of thinking, not just in Britain unfortunately. If you live settled in a country with the same duties and same responsibilities as everyone else, obviously you should be allowed to vote and have a say. How do you expect communities to integrate fully if you deny them simple democratic rights, such as voting?

My dedication to the UK and Scotland is the same.
Steve3007 wrote: March 20th, 2019, 7:29 am boldly declare that we won't give in to those continental "bullies" any more than we did in 1939. There's much talk of stoic self-reliance and allotments with home grown potatoes, and the like.

I guess folk memories are strong, even after 70 years.
I find this hard to believe, not only because there was a great reckoning after WW2 both in Britain and Europe to never let this great tragedy happen again. The UK helped build the European institutions, the UK can help it reform from the inside if it finds necessary. Not to mention that the UK were fighting against Germany and Italy, not the whole of Europe...

Most people who remember those times are dead already. What's at play here is some kind of cognitive bias, like rosy retrospection, or declinism, so they think this will somehow bring the British empire back. :roll:
Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong, have governed my life: the longing for love, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind. ~Bertrand Russell
Belindi
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Re: Should the UK leave the European Union?

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Steve, I doubt very much that people you work with would be so sentimentally insular if you worked in Edinburgh or in Scotland as a whole.
Jklint
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Re: Should the UK leave the European Union?

Post by Jklint »

If another referendum were allowed it's almost certain to reverse the first one. For something as monumentally important to the UK and to a lesser extent the EU, empowering one referendum with the final say is pure idiocy.
aveenire
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Re: Should the UK leave the European Union?

Post by aveenire »

It's looking now as though a second referendum is actually a distinct possibility, since the thing that seems to unite more people than anything else is that the deal still being championed by Theresa May is worse than staying in the EU. So we might yet see the strange spectacle of Remainers and hardline Brexiters both voting to stay in the EU.
Steve3007
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Re: Should the UK leave the European Union?

Post by Steve3007 »

It's looking now as though a second referendum is actually a distinct possibility...
Perhaps it's important to remember that it would actually be a third referendum. The first one was in 1975, when the EC (as it was then called) was less of a political union than it is now. One reason for the second referendum in 2016 was that the situation changed. So one reason for a third referendum is that it has changed again. I don't think many people, three years ago, predicted that we would be in the position we're in now, 2 days before the original leave date.
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