Join date : 2011-01-11
|Subject: So, the EU Referendum... Sun Mar 06, 2016 3:06 am|| |
Should we stay or should we go?
Honestly, I'm undecided, though slightly leaning in favour of leaving. I'd like to have all the facts before I commit to voting one way or another, though, and I figure most of you (those who care) will be in favour of us staying, so I'd like to hear some good solid arguments, rather than the usual scare-mongering propaganda about things that MIGHT happen if we leave (I'm well aware that the sky might fall and the ground might open up and swallow the British Isles whole if we do leave but sometimes one has to take such risks!
Join date : 2010-01-20
|Subject: Re: So, the EU Referendum... Mon Mar 07, 2016 12:41 am|| |
The thing is that no one has all the facts. Some of the facts that we do have:
- There will be no 'trade agreement'. A trade agreement would be a negotiated deal between us and the rest of the EU determining how both sides do business with each other. The way the treaties are framed, however, we don't get invited to the negotiations where the EU decides what sort of treaty they will have with us. What we get will be an EU diktat determining the terms under which we are able to move and operate in other EU countries, and another set of terms drawn up separately by our government determining how EU members can move and operate in the UK.
- Once Britain has declared it is leaving, it is unlikely that everyone else will wait to see what arrangements are drawn up by our government and the rest of the EU before reacting.
- The size of our EU 'membership' fee is linked to the size of our GDP.
- This, plus the threat of Scotland breaking off from the UK means that by voting to leave, we will be declaring ourselves politically and economically unstable. This will create a great deal of uncertainty.
- The most reliable way for EU business to protect themselves from the fallout of a vote to leave the EU will be to withdraw from the UK.
- What has happened historically in situations like this is that a small number of people start to leave, and others seeing the effects of this and people leaving decide to follow them. The whole thing feeds on itself until people are withdrawing on mass (think Northern Rock).
- Replacing large numbers of workers is hard. Doing it quickly is all but impossible.
- The French have told us that they intend to tear down border controls at Calais should we leave. This probably won't result in camps being set up in Kent, but only because keeping the migrants together on our side would involve very effective control of them once they reach here.
- The Germans have said they intend to block us from the single market.
- President Obama has said that it would damage the relationship between the UK and the US.
- Most EU migrants here have come here to work. Most British migrants in the EU are retired.
- Many of the issues facing us today, from the environment to terrorism, are more effectively handled at the level of the EU than at the level of the UK.
- When they talk about 'us' being in control of 'our' destinies, the 'we' is politicians and civil servants in Westminster. Ordinary people will have less say because our government will be less accountable if we leave the EU.
- Benefits from being in the EU don't just include business. In the aftermath of the 7/7 bombings we were able to get donated blood from all over Europe to help treat the wounded. This sort of arrangement is unlikely to happen if we leave the EU because it benefits us massively more than it does the rest of the EU.
- The UK is the ninth biggest contributor to the EU. The tenth is Norway, which isn't in the EU but pays up anyway in exchange for access to EU institutions and the single market.
- The UK is hugely dependent on imports, including those from the EU.
The truth is that the facts around leaving the EU are scary. There is a lot of wishful thinking that says we could be better off, but the studies I have seen saying that are based on some rather dubious assumptions. In particular the first three points on my list tend to get ignored.