European Referendum

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European Referendum

Postby UnhappyRightFoot » 11 Jun 2016, 20:47

I thought I'd start this up so as not to clutter other threads with it should anyone want to discuss, debate or rant away!

As I posted earlier this year, my brother has produced a website with 6 essays on (mostly) the economics of the EU, but also Obama's involvement and a bit on the rise of Liberalism. He's also written a piece for the Australian Stretegic something or other which is being published on Tuesday. I've asked him to ping it over when it's done so I can have a read!

Anyways, for those who wish to read it - www.nothingtofear.co.uk

Happy for you to discuss/disagree (though it's mostly fact/stats based and not an emotional rant) but I warn you, I'm like a prowling lioness around (some of) my family so be careful.....!!!!! :wink: I hope you find it interesting/thought provoking, whichever side you are supporting!
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Re: European Referendum

Postby emzit » 12 Jun 2016, 00:43

Can I get back to basics and ask why is there a referendum?
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Re: European Referendum

Postby sabrina fair » 12 Jun 2016, 06:40

Emzt - there's a referendum because a section of the Conservatives are obsessed with, and hate, the EU. The rest of the country care far less about it, but as a sop to his party, Cameron promised them a referendum on whether we would stay in the EU if they won the election. They didn't expect to win, but they did. Hence an expensive and (IMO) unnecessary referendum on the issue.
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Re: European Referendum

Postby sabrina fair » 12 Jun 2016, 11:02

https://www.timeshighereducation.com/fe ... nst-brexit

An article with a perspectives from a few scholars (historians, economists, etc) in case anyone's interested.
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Re: European Referendum

Postby UnhappyRightFoot » 12 Jun 2016, 11:07

Sort of SF!

Labour actually promised a referendum when they were in government if there was a "treaty change". There was (the Lisbon Treaty), but they sold it to the UK public as something else in order to squirm out of holding a referendum.

I think there is a huge appetite for it amongst the general public. I'm not sure it's the best timing but it was promised and I'm delighted that politicians have stood by that promise at long last. We have a general election every 5 years to vote who runs the country, I do think it's only fair for us to have a say over whether we want the sort of EU we have running us (instead of those elected to the UK parliament). It is so far removed from what was set up 30 years ago, it needs revisiting.

I said it on the other thread, the electioneering has been dire and, from what I have heard on the TV (rather than what I have researched for myself) I have learned nothing, which is such a shame. They could have really engaged us, on both sides of the arguments, instead they have just come up with increasingly outlandish threats and forecasts which everyone is just bored of. I'm disappointed at how stupid the politicians are taking us for.

ETA - I also think that Labour would quite happily tear their party apart over this issue too. But they aren't really poking their heads above the parapet - instead, just letting the conservatives do all the legwork. Then, whichever way the vote goes, they won't look bad. Jeremy Corbyn certainly isn't a true believer and a lot of the EU goes against the grain of hard line labourites. It would be no bad thing if the conservatives do split, and the same goes for labour (I think, had their not been a referendum to distract everyone, this would be further down the track than it is). There should be New Labour, Old Labour, Conservatives and another party in the middle - perhaps a more effective and true liberal party, perhaps a New Conservatives, without the "Nasty Party" policies and reputation. 4 party politics would be far more interesting than what we have at the moment.
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Re: European Referendum

Postby LucyLastic » 12 Jun 2016, 16:27

Not a direct response to anyone, just a rant :-)
I've been getting increasingly annoyed at references to the EU being 'undemocratic'. We *did* vote for our MEPs, although not many people bothered rocking up to express their allegedly heartfelt opinions then, though. In my honest opinion, if you didn't vote then, you shouldn't be allowed to vote now.
The EU originates from a desire to establish peace, to work in our collective interest in a bid to avoid yet another repeat of the atrocities seen during the wars of the 1910s and '30s.
I believe that the people who should be deciding on our future in the EU are those people who were duly elected and are paid and hopefully qualified to make such decisions. The EU represents a hugely complex system and anyone who chooses to boil that down to just economics and free movement is deluded. I consider myself to be relatively bright and I have time to read and research but I am not really any the wiser. Lies, damn lies and statistics. You can find a number to suit any argument. I don't feel qualified to make a truly informed decision in this instance so will have to vote according to my gut feeling and the views of others that I respect. However, I do feel like we're the petulant spoilt teenager of Europe, who thinks they know best, thinks everything is so unfair and they just wants to go and sit upstairs in their room on their own. If you're not in the room, you don't get to decide what's happening.
Also, if we are that converned about self-governance, then maybe we should start looking at the House of Lords which has the power to make decisions that directly affect our daily lives and yet were never elected.
I am currently in France and given the actions of some of 'us' in Marseille over the past week, I am ashamed to be associated by nationality to them and could fully understand if other European nations were happy to see the back of us. Now, how are those plans for a BLW commune in Canada coming along?!

...and breathe :-)
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Re: European Referendum

Postby mamapup » 12 Jun 2016, 16:47

Ll thanks for saving me having to write every word you just wrote. In complete agreement.
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Re: European Referendum

Postby Ali70 » 12 Jun 2016, 16:58

LL you saved me a lot of words there, completely agree.
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Re: European Referendum

Postby pimento » 12 Jun 2016, 17:50

Ditto what LL said!!!
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Re: European Referendum

Postby emzit » 13 Jun 2016, 11:14

LucyLastic wrote:I believe that the people who should be deciding on our future in the EU are those people who were duly elected and are paid and hopefully qualified to make such decisions. The EU represents a hugely complex system and anyone who chooses to boil that down to just economics and free movement is deluded.


This is kind of why I was asking. Surely the typical person in the street doesn't have sufficient knowledge of the intricacies of the EU to make the best decision?
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Re: European Referendum

Postby mummybear » 13 Jun 2016, 16:48

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Re: European Referendum

Postby UnhappyRightFoot » 14 Jun 2016, 08:44

I don't really see what is petulant about wanting to review what you believe is right for you and your country. Yes, we have elected officials to do that, but I very much doubt there are many people who sign up to a political party because they agree with 100% of their policies - there are usually a few that you don't think are right, but, on balance, you feel a particular party better represents your views than another one. So (for example) you may vote Labour as you feel the best represent you, but you wish to leave the EU. You'll still vote Labour, despite that, because there is more to it than 1 single policy.

I always vote (with the exception of the recent Police Commissioner - I forgot!), because I feel very strongly about exercising my democratic right, especially as a woman. But I don't vote for my MEP because I want him to have a job - I don't. But I vote in the hope he will represent my views in the EP. But I do agree, those who don't vote (in any election) have nothing to complain about.

We joined the EC (as it was then) when it was a very different beast to the one it is today, so I think it is only right that we review our position within it, as well as our place in the world - any every other country should do the same. I don't think we should stick with it simply because we signed up to it and that's where we are. We should look at all the arguments and decide, on balance, which we feel is right for us. I don't think people are too stupid to make an informed decision - but I do think the politicians have treated us as stupid and not actually given us the information we should have. It's been up to us to go and research it. I have rarely been talked into looking into a particular point by either campaign as I think they have reduced themselves to talking in scary soundbites - it is neither informative or appealing - probably why many votes are switching off from the whole debate. It is such a wasted opportunity. I wanted to learn more about what the EU does for us that is positive, but no one has communicated anything worthwhile.

The UK isn't the first country hold a referendum on the subject and we won't be the last. There are plenty of other disgruntled people across Europe who are chomping at the bit for change, in whatever form that might take. I neither think that staying in is a guarantee of peace nor voting out will bring anyone closer to conflict.

I agree that our constitution needs a good look at - something that is on-going because of devolution, which isn't ideal because it's a cobbled together rush-job, which isn't much good for anyone! It's not ideal, no, but I still believe it is better than EU governance.

ETA - The "football supporters" are neither representative of the UK or of football but a small minority of idiots. As a footy fan, it breaks my heart to see scenes like this in the name of the beautiful game. (will concede it appears that organised Russian "thugs" are behind much of the problem. Again, they are not representative of fans or their nation).
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Re: European Referendum

Postby Where'stheMistletoe » 14 Jun 2016, 20:53

I hoped there'd be a thread on here about this with some sensible discussion and links! I just don't think we're (as in anyone at all!) qualified to make a decision as no-one really knows what will happen whether we stay or go. I feel like I can read and read and still be no closer to knowing which way to go so it really seems to come down to going with your gut feeling. Thanks to people for posting the links though and I shall go and have a read later and see if my gut is swayed!
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Re: European Referendum

Postby Kitcameron » 16 Jun 2016, 11:30

I feel the same WtM
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Re: European Referendum

Postby sabrina fair » 20 Jun 2016, 15:55

A post has being doing the rounds on Facebook where someone called Calvin Morris listed a bunch of people who are for and against remaining in the EU. I can't manage to cope and paste the list on my iPad but you can access the post here:
http://www.gq-magazine.co.uk/article/eu ... -opponents

(I'm aware that this isn't the most scholarly link but the points being made are deliberately simple and I've linked to more intellectual stuff further up!)

To that I would add that people under 35 are far more likely to support remain than leave, and they're the ones who will be living with the consequences for the longest. If you're on the fence then I urge you to come down on the side of remain...pretty much everyone who knows anything about the economic and political realities of this country -across both sides of the political spectrum - consider leaving the EU to be a MASSIVE risk to our economic and social prosperity. The polls indicate that result will be very close and every vote matters, and if we get it wrong, that's it for a generation.

In response to URF's point about parties tearing themselves apart, it is definitely very likely that Cameron will be out straight away if there's a leave result, but what we'll end up with is a trinity of Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and Rupert Murdoch running our country, minus the EU laws that protect, for example, workers rights and the environment.

I've described in another thread my positive views for why we should remain in the EU. But what is terrifying me is the fall out from a possible leave vote.
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