EU Referendum

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tom_cas1
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Re: EU Referendum

Post by tom_cas1 » 14 Jun 2016, 14:36

I've hardly used my mod powers for evil, just deleting spam. Putting "stay" 50 times in a row achieves nothing, just makes this thread more difficult to read.
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Caitlin
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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Caitlin » 14 Jun 2016, 23:06

:lol:

I want to understand more of peoples thinking on this, regardless of how you're voting. I understand leaving would strengthen (hopefully) the pound and government, cut back on migration, etc. But wouldn't staying be better for citizens hoping to move around/travel within Europe? And for trade deals?

Bonus points if your response is more than two words long.
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Re: EU Referendum

Post by 101reykjavik » 15 Jun 2016, 13:20

Here's a few summary points:

• UK is net contributor to the EU coffers of about £20bn a year (arguments over whether this is value for money as being one of the larger economies most of that gets distributed elsewhere. Counter argument from Remain supporters is that we get some back in EU projects, funds and so on). My feeling is in the grand scheme of things £20bn isn't actually SO much. NHS currently costs the UK £116.4bn a year. I rather feel it might be better spent here though...

• Trade - tricky one this, and no one really seems to know. Remain camp tells us to be scared, if we leave the EU, it will take us many, many years to negotiate a new trade deal with the EU and that they would play hard ball with us to teach us a lesson and warn other nations off doing similar. They cite how long it took Norway or Canada to strike a deal. Thing is, the counter argument is the UK is the fifth largest economy in the world, and that will count for something. i.e: the EU nations wouldn't dare mess around TOO much as our trade counts for a lot. For example, we have a trade deficit with the EU, meaning we buy more from them than we sell. So there's IN THEORY more for the EU to lose by not striking an early deal with us. We buy more German cars for example than any other nation in the EU. Remainers will tell you that business will flee the UK though and the economy will suffer from the shock. Probably most people agree some short to medium term economic downturn is likely. Although, breaking from the EU would allow the UK to trade freely and strike deals as we choose - China, India, USA whatever without having to go through the EU funnel. The EU isn't very healthy financially at the moment though, the UK has easily out-grown the Eurozone countries (that use the Euro) since the recession with lower unemployment and the argument goes that being tied to the likes of failed economy Greece etc, and having to prop them up could harm the UK longer term.

• Democracy and bureaucracy - the EU is a huge thing and pretty unaccountable from a financial point of view. It has 1000s of bureaucrats and the leave side will tell you this is a huge waste of money and lacking any real transparency. In terms of democracy, we get to elect MEPs once every four years and a number sit in the EU parliament based on weighting of your nation and checks and balances allow for smaller nations to have a voice. However, the leave camp will tell you that the EU commissioners hold the REAL power and nobody gets to elect those - they are simply appointed. The remain side will say the commissioners are simply civil servants but it's true to say that the direction and proposals come from them, for the parliament to then choose from. So, the argument goes, if the general direction of travel and policy from the commissioners isn't something the people of EU likes, what can we the people do? We can't chuck the EU commission out, there's no mechanism to do so. Generally speaking, there has been a flow of decision making taken away from national parliaments to the EU - a large part of UK law for example now comes directly from the EU. Hard to define how much as a percentage, mind you.

• Ever closer union - not everyone thinks it will happen, but the general direction and indeed original treaty of Rome back in 1950-whatever stated 'ever closer union' as the purpose of the European project. In essence we become the United States of Europe one day (there's already mutterings of an EU army etc). Some countries like this more than others - often the poorer nations that benefit prefer the thought but the UK in particular has always been a very unhappy bedfellow in general within the EU. The UK seems to always see the EU as a trading project and much of continental Europe views it as a political project. This may be an effect of history - war ravaged mainland Europe needed to find a way to stop fighting itself after WWII and the European project was, and still is in some eyes, seen as the right thing to do to bring the nations together.

• Immigration - a hugely contentious issue. One of the principals of the EU is free movement of people - this works both ways, so the remain camp will tell you it's good for UK people too as you can go and work in Germany or whatever too. The leave camp would say that reality will see people from the poorer parts of Europe drawn to the richer parts through free movement which is hard to sustain both economically and socially. The remain campaign will also point out that migration is actually necessary with an aging population, so we'd have to be bringing more migrants in anyway, though being outside the EU would give the UK the control it doesn't currently have to decide a little more on where and how people come - for example the UK could encourage more from the places beyond the EU say, if we felt certain highly skilled people could be encouraged.

It's a hugely complex issue and I don't really understand it, other people could explain a lot more than me and probably contradict some of what I've said (!), but as I stated before, by main concern revolves around democracy. I'm choosing leave.
Last edited by 101reykjavik on 15 Jun 2016, 15:03, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: EU Referendum

Post by 101reykjavik » 15 Jun 2016, 16:38

This is a useful diagram I saw someone else post on another forum last week, clarifying our current status within the EU. Found it quite useful myself. The general consensus seems to be that if we vote to leave, we would either end up being in the EEA or the EFTA. My, admittedly hazy understanding is that lots of the remain campaigners suggest we'll have to retain the vast bulk of EU regulation anyway if we want to be in the EEA, so their argument runs that you'll be left with all the regulations but locked out of the room where the decisions are made. Without wishing to be overly flippant, 40 years of experience seems to indicate the UK gets little it wants even when it is at the table! But more seriously, Switzerland is sometimes mentioned as a potential model for a post-EU UK - they sit in the looser EFTA grouping yet seem to do all right for themselves, and without wishing to sound condescending, that's a country the size of Switzerland standing on its own two feet (though I admit that two very well heeled, financially well placed feet what with their banking sector). Still, the UK has the City, the trading hub of the world...

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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Caitlin » 15 Jun 2016, 23:37

That is a brilliant post! Thank you for it - as an outsider it's quite hard to get a grasp on things only reading crappy news articles, so this definitely shed some light on thinga for me.
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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Indiana » 16 Jun 2016, 10:07

Right, I have to admit I haven't been following this too closely as I can't vote anyway, and I find the whole thing upsetting.

I was born in Spain. I came to the UK straight out of university (many years ago) due to the high rates of youth unemployment (even then) in my country and the lack of prospects of any kind. I studied English at University so my languages skills allowed me to get a job within a week of arriving and I have never been unemployed, or claimed any benefits, ever.

All of a sudden, I am now made to feel by a, perhaps small, sector of the population very unwelcome in this country. I have lost count of the amount of times I have overheard conversations on the bus/shops/restaurants/cafes about bloody foreigners coming here and taking jobs and how the UK needs to vote Leave. I am one of those bloody foreigners, and I can tell you it bloody hurts.

I am not a British Citizen and if we leave the EU I will be left in limbo, would I have any rights anymore? What would happen if I lost my job? What about the life I have fought hard to build for myself in this country? What about the thousands and thousands of pounds I have contributed in taxes for the collective good over the years? I really wish the Leave campaign would address people like me in their speeches instead of demonizing us, what are they going to do with us? I appreciate none of you know how it feels for us foreigners at the moment, let me tell you that the uncertainty and the feeling of rejection from a society we have contributed to is absolutely awful.
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Re: EU Referendum

Post by tom_cas1 » 16 Jun 2016, 11:47

^ When people talk about "foreigners coming here and taking jobs" the vast majority are talking about the unskilled from (for example) Eastern Europe who then send a lot of their pay checks back home to their family members who aren't here in England with them.

You've got to remember that there are thousands of skilled workers from abroad living in the UK and not only from Europe like yourself, but America too. The only change I can see happening is that you'll need a visa to work and live here, basically like workers from non-EU countries need now. But as you've been here straight out of university and have contributed like you mentioned in your post then I don't see there being any issue because all of that will be taken into account when the time comes. Just because we're going to leave the EU doesn't mean we're going to kick everyone non-British out. Remember - America isn't in the EU and American workers live here perfectly fine, they just need a visa as we would need if we went to work in America.

In other words, you should have nothing to worry about. :)
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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Indiana » 16 Jun 2016, 13:39

tom_cas1 wrote: The only change I can see happening is that you'll need a visa to work and live here, basically like workers from non-EU countries need now. But as you've been here straight out of university and have contributed like you mentioned in your post then I don't see there being any issue because all of that will be taken into account when the time comes.
I appreciate your reply but this is just guesswork, no one has given a firm promise of what will happen to us if the UK leaves the EU, basically because they can't. They are just guessing, there is no plan B for us or any safeguards as far as I know, and that's the problem. They would just make it up as they go along.

The Leave campaign members are not a government in waiting, they can't say for sure what they might do to people like me, who, as EU citizens, would suddenly be stripped of any rights in post-Brexit England. What would happen if we were to find ourselves out of a job at some point down the line, for example? Will they then be able to get rid of us more easily? However unlikely this might seem to some I certainly wouldn't rule it out.

Sadly, it seems obvious to me that Brexiters don't really care what happens to us, nevermind that we have been paying into the kitty for years, they have their own agenda and to hell with everyone else.
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Re: EU Referendum

Post by tom_cas1 » 16 Jun 2016, 14:22

With all due respect though it is pretty straight forward. Remember, there are thousands of non-EU citizens currently living and working in the UK who are all here with a visa. That's how it works because they aren't a member of the EU OR British citizens. So when/if Britain decides to leave next Thursday the same thing WILL happen with EU citizens like yourself - you'll need a visa to be here. But remember, that won't happen immediately. Leaving the EU will probably take a couple of years (at least) to happen so we can untangle ourselves from Brussels, as it were. And in that time visas for EU citizens will be installed and that whole thing will come into effect at some point during the untangling from Brussels.

This whole thing isn't guesswork, it's happening right now. Thousands of Americans work and live in Britain, each of them with a visa to do so. The EXACT same system will be applied in the future for the rest of Europe when/if we leave.
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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Indiana » 16 Jun 2016, 14:49

The EXACT same system will be applied in the future for the rest of Europe when/if we leave.
With all due respect as well, were does it say that though? Where does it say on either camp that this is what will definitely happen to EU residents in the UK if Brexit wins? If you could post a link I'd really appreciate it because I seem to have missed this announcement.

I realise this is the current situation for non-EU residents in the UK, but that doesn't mean this is what will definitely happen to people like me. Unless I have missed something, of course.
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Re: EU Referendum

Post by tom_cas1 » 16 Jun 2016, 15:36

Well it's the logical thing to happen isn't it? They aren't going to ban all Europeans and they aren't going to continue to allow everyone over without a visa. There doesn't need to be an article written on it a this point because it's what WOULD happen. It just would. It's just how it would be. It's the ONLY thing that would happen if we completely left Europe.

EDIT: It would be the same for a British citizen who wanted to (for example) live and work in Italy if we leave the EU. We'd need a visa to do so. We don't at the moment obviously, but if/when we leave we will. It's just how it would be.
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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Foggy » 16 Jun 2016, 16:05

Tom, Indiana's got a point, and though you're probably right you're definitely being a bit presumptuous.

I was checking into a campsite a week or two back and the guy in front in the queue was giving his details. He was a teacher, obviously smart and educated. When it came to 'nationality' he said "I'm Polish, I guess you hate me now?' Obviously no one did, but he wasn't joking. I guess he'd suffered enough of the casual prejudice Indiana spoke of to feel the way he does.

I do think there are one or two strong arguments from the 'exit' side, but for the best part I think they're wrong.

Safety in numbers and all that.
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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Indiana » 17 Jun 2016, 12:49

tom_cas1 wrote: There doesn't need to be an article written on it a this point because it's what WOULD happen. It just would. It's just how it would be. It's the ONLY thing that would happen if we completely left Europe.
Tom, I believe you are wrong, there are no "absolutely woulds" here, no one knows. Not even Oxford University, from their migration observatory centre:
Will free movement come to an end if the UK votes to leave the EU?

Perhaps the most important question about a post-Brexit immigration policy is to what extent policies towards EU citizens seeking to live and work in the UK would continue to be shaped by our relationship with the EU or individual EU member states.

Following a vote to Leave, the UK would need to work with the European Union to negotiate the terms of the UK-EU relationship. Free movement would undoubtedly be on the table for discussion, and it is possible that the UK might agree to continue to allow free movement in return for access to the single market by joining the European Economic Area (EEA). Predicting how this negotiation would unfold is, naturally, difficult.

If the future EU-UK relationship did not include free movement, bilateral immigration agreements with specific EU countries might also be possible. The most obvious candidate for a new bilateral agreement is Ireland, whose citizens have had a special status in the UK for decades.

Would there be an Australian-style points system and what would this mean?

If free movement did not remain in place after Brexit and the UK introduced admission criteria for EU nationals, there are many different ways these criteria could be designed, making it hard to judge beforehand exactly how they would affect immigration to the UK.
Source http://www.migrationobservatory.ox.ac.u ... ter-brexit" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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Re: EU Referendum

Post by tom_cas1 » 17 Jun 2016, 15:44

I guess we'll have to wait and see but a visa system for those wanting to work/live here would be the most LOGICAL move, let's put it like that. :)
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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Caitlin » 17 Jun 2016, 22:33

Logic and politics are two things which rarely go hand in hand.

Out of interest, when do you guys have your next election?
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