The British European Referendum

Should Britain leave the EU?


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Martin Mayers

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Why don’t you guys just leave the EU and then quickly rejoin? Sounds like a good compromise to me.
Well. We absolutely could re-join in a few years.

But, as things stand, it's leaving it which is the problem.
 

Martin Mayers

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What I find quite astonishing that even with hindsight, 40% still believe it is the correct decision to leave the EU.

For that same reason, as much as I would like the UK to remain in the EU I now think it must leave.

Polls go up and down 5 percent rather easily over the time. All the more in a populist environment. So basically, the UK is still fundamentally divided upon the issue.

It does not really matter whether 50%, 45% or 40% are for leaving the EU. What matters is that despite hindsight, more or less half of the population believes leaving is better for their country. In other words, nothing but experiencing what will happen will change their minds.

The UK is an important country. But an important country which might switch from an anti-EU attitude complete with blocking EU policies from within to a pro-EU attitude bringing things within the EU forward is not an asset for the EU. As much as it hurts to say it - under such circumstances, it is a liability for the EU.

So those 40%, 45%, or 50% that want to leave must live through the consequences of leaving. You might be able to ignore anything - but not reality. So I reckon only the reality of the concequences of leaving might change their minds.

If they live through the consequences of leaving being bullshit, then (and only then), maybe 30%, 35% or max 40% might still think it was a good idea to leave, i.e. the shift of opinion within the population might become so substantial, that you cannot call it a divided population any more. This way or the other.

If - after living through it - they still want to stay outside. Fine with me. Then the EU is not burdened with a member that does not want to be a member. If they want to return - as I said before - I would welcome them anytime, but only on equal terms without any cherrypicking, without reduced contributions, without any special treatment.
Whilst I'm a remainer I have to say, with all due respect, I've heard this word 'liability' bandied around quite a bit by some of the EU guys and it irks a little bit.

Liabilities are countries such as Italy, Greece and their likes. Countries who take, take and take some more without giving too much back. Whereas we've always been in a net loss position with our investment in the EU and, furthermore, I think are STILL the only country in the EU (forgive me if I am incorrect here) who pay the agreed allocation of GDP to defence to help defend the EU.

The above sentiment (that we're a liability because we stand up for ourselves and perhaps feel a little 'special') is a large part, in my opinion, as to why we are, as a country, where we are.
 

von Marwitz

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Whilst I'm a remainer I have to say, with all due respect, I've heard this word 'liability' bandied around quite a bit by some of the EU guys and it irks a little bit.

Liabilities are countries such as Italy, Greece and their likes. Countries who take, take and take some more without giving too much back. Whereas we've always been in a net loss position with our investment in the EU and, furthermore, I think are STILL the only country in the EU (forgive me if I am incorrect here) who pay the agreed allocation of GDP to defence to help defend the EU.

The above sentiment (that we're a liability because we stand up for ourselves and perhaps feel a little 'special') is a large part, in my opinion, as to why we are, as a country, where we are.
I agree to you that coutries as Italy, Greece and their likes are liabilities, too. Greece should never have been admitted at the time it was and the same is true for a number of other countries. I cannot see at all why one should make offerings to countries such as Albania or, God beware, Turkey...

With regard to the defence budget, I think there are some very minor nations that also pay their due - Estland I believe. Notably, Germany does not. But it should. Or rather it MUST if you ask me. The state of the Bundeswehr is an embarrassing joke: Hardly any major weapon system does not work properly, or is only partially operational: A fraction of the Eurofighters, merely one or even not a single submarine of the submarine flotilla, tha A-400M military transport plane is ridden with technical problems, the attack helicopter Tiger does not even have a gun, the assault rifle G-36 is said not to shoot true. And Germany will never get enough boots on the ground - ridiculously you can take that literally: The army is to be issued new combat boots but it has been recently announced that there will be years (!) of delay in delivery.

However, if you add up the defensive budgts of the EU countries (even without the UK which has one of the largest of them), the sum is remarkably high. However, the EU countries do not make much of that money because weapons, systems, and structures are too diverse and split up. The money is not spent efficiently. In part, the UK bears responsibility for that, because it has always blocked notions for more integration towards European Armed Forces. The UK is one (not the only one) of the countries which blocks better control of the financial industries, protecting various tax paradieses under its control, mostly located on various islands. These loopholes cost the states of Europe billions over billions of Euros of taxes evaded. This list could be extended by numerous other points.

I am not saying that only the UK is blockading things or preventing efficiency and reform. Usually it is a number of countries blockading things together. And in this context, of course it did not help to admit countries such as Romania und Bulgaria where corruption is rampant for example. Anyway, you will find the UK in the blockading or cherrypicking position within the EU rather often if you ask me. This was before Johnson and his ilk. And as such, I think under the current circumstances, the UK in fact is more a liablity than not. Among other EU countries.
 

Mister T

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Liabilities are countries such as Italy, Greece and their likes.
Neither Italy nor Greece are a liability.

Italy is a founding member of the EU and benefits from a sizeable trade surplus. Unlike the UK they enjoy a competitive manufacturing base and some of their industries are world leaders, for instance in machine tools. Some italian regions have living standards equivalent, if not higher, to German regions.

Greece's economy is much weaker than the EU average, but that does not prevent 45 million German tourists and 25 million Brits to come every year (numbers inflated as there are double counts but you get the idea). They found there decent infrastructure compared to neighbouring countries. Greeks have paid a heavy price for their previous poor handling of the economy in terms of high unemployment and lost income. The competitiveness story is therefore as relevant as for Florida or Puerto Rico. US can afford Florida, Europe can afford Greece provided they improve their domestic policies, something they have slowly started to do. And they spend more, in relative terms, on their defence than the UK he he.

By the way Poland receives much more than Greece, so you can complain about that to your favorite plumber/seasonal worker/bartender LoL.
 

Martin Mayers

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Neither Italy nor Greece are a liability.

By the way Poland receives much more than Greece, so you can complain about that to your favorite plumber/seasonal worker/bartender LoL.
And nor is the UK...was my point. I'll accept what you say about Italy but it is a surprise to me.

I use a Stopfordian plumber. We follow the same football team. I don't use any seasonal workers. And my bar tenders tend to be English landlords as I frequent pubs rather than the swanky places who would employ a 'bar tender'.
 
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von Marwitz

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Neither Italy nor Greece are a liability.

Italy is a founding member of the EU and benefits from a sizeable trade surplus. Unlike the UK they enjoy a competitive manufacturing base and some of their industries are world leaders, for instance in machine tools. Some italian regions have living standards equivalent, if not higher, to German regions.

Greece's economy is much weaker than the EU average, but that does not prevent 45 million German tourists and 25 million Brits to come every year (numbers inflated as there are double counts but you get the idea). They found there decent infrastructure compared to neighbouring countries. Greeks have paid a heavy price for their previous poor handling of the economy in terms of high unemployment and lost income. The competitiveness story is therefore as relevant as for Florida or Puerto Rico. US can afford Florida, Europe can afford Greece provided they improve their domestic policies, something they have slowly started to do. And they spend more, in relative terms, on their defence than the UK he he.

By the way Poland receives much more than Greece, so you can complain about that to your favorite plumber/seasonal worker/bartender LoL.
Greece has provided the EU with false data based upon which it was accepted into the EU in the first place. Not to forget, the EU elected to "believe" that false data against better judgement. I do not know how many billions of of Euros we had to pour into Greece to prevent it from collapse due to their mismanagement. I do know that we won't see that money back.

Indeed, Italy is a founding member of the EU. And it is a country with an industrial base. While there are regions in northern Italy that might be on par with some of the most developed regions in Europe, there are also regions in Italy that are notorioulsy underdeveloped and ridden with organzied crime - for decades. Italy is in debt like no other industrialized state. If it weren't for Draghi, it might well have been bankrupt and dead in the water by now. Italy has NOT - repeat NOT - taken the chance to implement reforms that would have been made possible by the financial leeway created by the 0% interest-rate policy adopted by Draghi then and Lagarde to be. The time bought by this policy is wasted. Sooner or later, crisis will strike and then the European Central Bank will not have any means to counter it with "whatever it takes". Because 0% interest-rate policy and absurd scope bond purchases that in practice are nothing else than governmental finance, which is BTW illegal for the ECB to undertake. When the time comes, it will be once more those that adhere to the rules and limits of governmental deficits who will pay the price for the mismanagement of others. I already hear them calling that Italy is "too big to fail".

It is a liability in my book when those not responsible for decades of mismanagement have to bail out those responsible for it. No matter if it is the dot com crisis, the crisis of 2008, the crisis of Greece or a crisis in Italy or some f***ing banks.
 

von Marwitz

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To elaborate by means of an example:

The wall fell between West-Germany and socialist East-Germany almost 30 years ago to a day. Back then, in internal evaluations, the socialist SED regime of East-Germany predicted an economic meltdown for their part of Germany that would lead to a 30% decrease of the standard of living of 15 million inhabitants from what it was at that time.

The economic base of East-Germany was rotten to the core with few exceptions. In the past 30 years since then, VAST sums were invested in the eastern parts of now reunited Germany. East-German pesions were switched from the East-German Mark to the Deutsche Mark on a 1:1 basis whereas shortly before, you could trade the currencies on the black market easily at 10:1 East German Mark to West German Mark. Wages were switched from the East-German Mark to the German Mark on a 1:1 basis. Grave mistakes were also made. Reforms have been too neo-liberalist in part. Millions lost their jobs and their lives were overturned in a traumatizing way. Even after 30 years, wages are higher in the Western parts of Germany compared to the Eastern parts of Germany (albeit cost of living there is lower as well). There might still not be the blooming landscapes that Chancellor Kohl had promised in 1990.

However, looking at the gap that existed between West-Germany and East-Germany in 1989 and the gap that exists today, there can be no doubt whatsoever about the progress that has been made. Not to mention personal liberty and freedom. If I compare that to the difference of the gap between Northern Italy and Southern Italy in 1989 and today, then we cannot help but to acknowledge, that Germany has achieved a whole lot more than Italy has.
That of course came at a cost for every German. For example, West-German pensions used to be "safe" and sufficient. Having to finance pensions for complete East-Germany that were based on basically worthless East-German Marks has made them "unsafe" and insufficient for the large majority. Millions of Germans will personally "pay" for that effort during retirement by being rendered to the brink of poverty. Chancellor Schröders "Agenda 2000" imposed painful reforms on millions of Germans with regard to wages and social security.

It should not be hard to follow, why many Germans abhor the current policies of the European Central Bank, why they oppose Euro Bonds, dump billions of Euros on Greece to prevent private banks from failing, etc. In short many Germans have personally dearly paid or will pay upon retirement for the position that our country currently holds. You cannot explain to them, why they should in the end also personally pay for other countries that have shunned reforms. And the more tighter the belt needs to be drawn, the less acceptable it will become to tolerate the ever increasing gap of wealth between the top 5% or maybe 10% of the population and the rest.
 

Paul_RS

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Maybe the polls aren’t as accurate as they should be?

 
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Martin Mayers

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Maybe the polls are accurate as they should be?

I suspect the mandate would be no stronger to remain as it was to leave. Which makes the position we're in even worse.

Anyway. I've come to the conclusion, probably wrongly as I usually am, that we can't leave the EU anyhow. I think the Irish border issue has us effectively trapped within it. Unless these Tory psychopaths are willing to throw NI under the bus, which they possibly are given that they're loons.

Course, the majority of the population outside NI couldn't give a shit what happens to NI. Which explains the insouciance which they have towards the entire situation over there.
 

Juan SantaX

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I dont like to speak of things that I dont know... But at tbe financial crisis, If a greek bank was going to go bankrupt, which banks were going to lose lended money? German ones? They sell the rest of europe sun, olives, olive oil, figs, etc, and they buy cars, machinery, trucks, airplanes, etc... And it is a fair exchange i think.... By the way... Who are the real owners of the flowers farms in there? Ducth ones? And the sherry wineries? Or the hotel chains?..... Please stop using the nationality as a stain... I hope that my children childrens see just one country, Europe, that is a heaven for liberties and laws, after thousands of years of war and famines. Yes... There were famines in Europe not far away in time...even in Germany or Holland... And european wars are just a few years ago in time. Europe can be a vaccine for all that.

I dont belive they allowed Greece, or Spain, or Poland, in the EU, if it was a bad deal.
 
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Paul_RS

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Viagra is made just outside Cork I believe. They'll be a lot of limp dicks in the UK in the event of a no-deal.
 

Juan SantaX

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Viagra is made just outside Cork I believe. They'll be a lot of limp dicks in the UK in the event of a no-deal.
They can get the Chinese viagra under WTO rules... or maybe its a opportunity to start a career as a smuggler...
 

von Marwitz

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I don’t I’d put the situation as organised as that, even on a good day
Well, as Johnson has "illumined" us, it is all Merkel's fault with her "new" ( 🤪 good one...) position during that phone call.

Oh boy, how lame is that? How many days left until the UK tabloid newspapers at long last photoshop Merkel's head on some Hitler figure and blather about the Huns and the Battle of Britain? Yawn...

What a pathetic and embarrasing liar attempting to put the blame for his thorough failure as others' doors...

The position of the EU has remained the same for years now. The UK has been told countless times what the position is, there's nothing new to it. Besides it was clear from the start that it would be completely illogical, detrimental, and harmful for the EU to compromise its common market at the cost of all its members just to cater to the capers of the UK leaving.

Now I am waiting for Johnson to break the law. This might give the British a chance to get him before court to let him bear some of his responsibility.
 

von Marwitz

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We’d need to negotiate a trade deal first. Not sure limp dicks could wait 5-7 years.
Don't worry, mate. Remember, the NHS will be swimming in millions over millions of British Pounds saved by the Brexit. Johnson will be able to throw out Viagra to the people by the handful.
 

Paul M. Weir

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Don't worry, mate. Remember, the NHS will be swimming in millions over millions of British Pounds saved by the Brexit. Johnson will be able to throw out Viagra to the people by the handful.
That's all assuming that the English Pound is not trading at something like £100 = 1 Rouble. There were many times when the Irish Punt (IR£) traded at about £0.85. It's now reversed with the English Pound trading at 0.87 of the Euro equivalent of the old Punt.
 

von Marwitz

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That's all assuming that the English Pound is not trading at something like £100 = 1 Rouble. There were many times when the Irish Punt (IR£) traded at about £0.85. It's now reversed with the English Pound trading at 0.87 of the Euro equivalent of the old Punt.
Well, in that case Johnson needs to throw out blue pills by the handful that promise much but achieve nothing.

Hm, wait... :unsure: That's what he is actually doing...
 
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