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Old 2016-06-11, 22:16   #1
only_human
 
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I didn't like it when the prime minister of Israel spoke to the US Congress shortly before the Iran nuclear deal and I imagine similar feelings may have been engendered when President Obama spoke about a possible Brexit.

Now that the referendum is close, I'd like to hear people's thoughts and I think we can do so somewhat respectfully even in the Soapbox. I'm not adding a poll because I've never made a poll here and I don't want want to constrict things to selection box items anyway.

I'm thinking that having stayed on the pound simplifies the the issue either way.

So the vote on the referendum will be on the 23rd of this month. It looks like oddsmakers and opinion polls are giving a fairly strong likelihood that the vote will be to leave the European Union.

The main polarizing issues that I see from here are immigration policy flexibility outside the union and trade agreement strength inside vs outside the union.

Last fiddled with by only_human on 2016-06-11 at 22:19
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Old 2016-06-12, 00:47   #2
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10k years ago our ancestors lived without a centralized government, and now we live within artificial/imaginary boundaries set by politicians.
It's only a matter of time before the whole planet is one country again. Any move away from that direction is futile and a losing battle.
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Old 2016-06-12, 08:00   #3
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For a long time, politics in the UK has been concentrated at the national level. Here in the Netherlands, for example, local government is also the local representative of national government. Whether you are applying for a passport or being awarded an honour, you go to the local town hall. Britain bends over backwards to avoid this, with various departments of national government even setting up their own network of offices all over the country (such as passport offices). It is almost as if the central government does not trust the local government, and it would appear that many of them do not trust international institutions either.

British politics is also primarily adversarial. A coalition government between the British Conservative and Labour parties would be unthinkable, but such coalitions are quite common in the rest of Europe (or "in Europe" as the British would say). We have one right now here in Holland. To be a successful prime minister here, you have to be good at building consensus and keeping people together, not aspire to be a powerful and radical leader. Viewed this way, it is hardly surprising that Dutch prime ministers find European politics easier than British prime ministers do.
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Old 2016-06-14, 08:18   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick View Post
A coalition government between the British Conservative and Labour parties would be unthinkable.
I think that I think, therefore I think that I am. In particular, I find somethings thinkable that you apparently do not.

Churchill's first government for a counterexample.
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Old 2016-06-14, 08:37   #5
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I'm in foreign parts and my postal vote didn't arrive in time so I can't directly affect the outcome. These meanderings may, but almost certainly will not, have an effect

41 years ago I voted to stay in the European Economic Community, as it then was. I would still vote to stay in a common market but I would vote to leave the European Union. I whole-heartedly support a free trade zone and the free movement of labour --- but not of people generally. I do not support the stultifying bureaucracy and needless meddling in affairs which, IMO, are properly the purview of national and/or local government. I do not support the sheer wastefulness of the European-level governmental institutions, such as the bizarre migration between Brussels and Strasburg. I find it offensive that the EC accounts have not been signed off for many years now; that so much money has simply gone astray.

I believe the Euro project to have been well-intentioned but fundamentally flawed in the way it was implemented. Currency unions almost always fail in the absence of a corresponding fiscal union. I'm surprised that this one has lasted as long and as well as it has. As for "ever closer union", let those countries who wish it (national governments, of course) unify in any way they wish. Don't drag the rest of us into it. Some countries, (UK/Eire for example) have very close relationships and had free movement long before Schengen. UK/Eire also had an effective currency union for quite a while, with parity between the Punt and the Pound, but the lack of fiscal union scuppered that arrangement in end. The two national governments made those decisions. Some countries, Belgium being the prime example, can barely hold themselves together.

Military and foreign affairs are another matter for another post.
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Old 2016-06-14, 08:53   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xilman View Post
I think that I think, therefore I think that I am. In particular, I find somethings thinkable that you apparently do not.

Churchill's first government for a counterexample.
Yes, but Churchill's party has changed somewhat. Right now, they appear to be in an unstable coalition government with themselves.

Maybe "unthinkable" was too strong. I was attempting to highlight the difference between contemporary British politics and our polder model:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polder_model
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Old 2016-06-14, 09:00   #7
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Paul,

Do you think qualifier workers will be at risk if UK citizens decide to leave European Union? From what I read that will be the outcome of the referendum, UK leaving.

PS( I don't have the right to vote on this referendum, I agree with that)

Carlos

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Old 2016-06-14, 12:44   #8
xilman
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Originally Posted by pinhodecarlos View Post
Paul,

Do you think qualifier workers will be at risk if UK citizens decide to leave European Union? From what I read that will be the outcome of the referendum, UK leaving.

PS( I don't have the right to vote on this referendum, I agree with that)

Carlos
My personal view is that non-UK/Eire citizens with permanent employment will be given the right to stay for at least several years, in much the same way that non-EU citizens working in the UK already have visas giving them that right.

However, what do I know? Almost anything could happen but I doubt very much that the UKL government would want to expel productive members of society without particularly good reason.

Tell me, were you expelled from Brazil, or did you choose to leave? I think that your future position may be similar but, in my lack of knowledge of what your previous experience may have been, I really can't tell.
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Old 2016-06-14, 12:56   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xilman View Post
...
I do not support the stultifying bureaucracy and needless meddling in affairs which, IMO, are properly the purview of national and/or local government.
...
One must not forget that the Commission is applying what the individual governments have agreed upon in the Council...The local governments use the European Union as a way not to take responsibility for the decisions they take.
With afterthoughts it seems obvious now that De Gaulle was right and that the United Kingdom should never been admitted to the EU.
A free trade and free movement of labour zone without at least some basic common fiscal and labour conditions is just the freedom of the free fox in the free hen.
Jacob
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Old 2016-06-14, 13:20   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S485122 View Post
One must not forget that the Commission is applying what the individual governments have agreed upon in the Council...The local governments use the European Union as a way not to take responsibility for the decisions they take.
With afterthoughts it seems obvious now that De Gaulle was right and that the United Kingdom should never been admitted to the EU.
A free trade and free movement of labour zone without at least some basic common fiscal and labour conditions is just the freedom of the free fox in the free hen.
Jacob
It appears that we are (probably) in complete agreement, though (again probably) for very different reasons!

I'm a confirmed free-marketeer. I believe that the replacement of mercantilism with free trade was of great benefit to the world. I'm not so naive to believe that there were not deletorious side-effects.

As a Belgian, do you have anything to say about my comment on your country's union or lack of it?
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Old 2016-06-14, 13:53   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xilman View Post
I'm a confirmed free-marketeer.
I once read a very convincing explanation about how the economic power of the European countries and the US was created by protectionism. That those countries now want free markets and impose it on the world would be a catastrophy for the poorer countries. But as always in economics every line of reasoning can be supported.
Quote:
Originally Posted by xilman View Post
As a Belgian, do you have anything to say about my comment on your country's union or lack of it?
Soap box style answer : I deplore the lack of union, the Flemish separatist party in power wants different social legislation in the different parts of the country. By splitting up you miss out on the strength given by solidarity. The irony is that Flanders, that was a net contributor to the social security, would be slowly turning in a net beneficiary due to the ageing of the population in that region. But since they choose to split the system they will not be. In my opinion a lot of politicians prefer to battle on the language and regional front instead of addressing the real problems. Those struggles also provide for a nice enemy to divert the attention.
Jacob

Last fiddled with by S485122 on 2016-06-14 at 14:47 Reason: every is not everything
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