To Leave Or Not. Thoughts On Brexiting

Am Really Trying For Fairness and Balance

  • … so have read vast amounts about the #EUProject, its economics,, politics, social and cultural aspects; What will happen if we #Leave and what might our negotiating position/s be. And also what might happen if we #Remain?
  • BUT there is really only ONE point you and I should be asking ourselves as we stand in the voting booth:  WHY would we want to give up the right to kick out a government we don’t like every 5 years in favour of a one nation superstate of ‘ever closer union’ which we have almost no control over? One that will inevitably see Parliament reduced to nothing more than a rubber stamper of EU policy.
  • This referendum boils down to one thing only – whether we want to make decisions that suit us, or have them made for us – whether we want them or not.
  • It is not thinking of the immediate possibly uncomfortable period while treaties are being renegotiated but of the bigger, long term, picture.
  • So I repeat, when you and I vote, we are voting for whether  we *really* want to live in a one nation superstate run by people we do not know, have not elected and cannot get rid of, who make rules that have to be adhered to by 28 (and growing) disparate ‘nations’.

Aside Re This Doc

  • My earlier aim of putting this in a logical order has not quite gone to plan with stuff more or less spilling out at will. So it has ended up in an A-Z stylee
  • Oh and don’t expect politesse. Need to make points briefly & forcefully.

43 years and what have we got?

  • After 43 years we still stringently obey all diktats while our EU brethren pick and choose which to follow and happily ignore anything they find offensive to their nation despite threats of fines and withdrawal of grants. How come in 43 years of ‘co-operation’ some of that guile hasn’t rubbed off on us?
  • Britain has had a balance of trade deficit with the EU meaning for 43 years we have been funding other member countries and getting little back in return.
  • In 43 years, we got: less democracy; Greece was allowed to fiddle its books to join; no trade flexibility; we are less competitive because everything to do with trade has to be decided as an EU trading bloc; VAT cannot be removed from a product due to the EU cf tampon tax;
  • In 43 years, the EU Project has expanded with Germany bossing us when we are supposed to be equals. The more the EU has expanded the more problems have come to light.
  • Why is Germany in charge when we are supposed to be a union of common interests and common good. Who gave them overall power?
  • In 43 years we got a single market with consumer protection, being able to shop anywhere in Europe and get greater protection from cyber-crime. Yes, true, but technology probably would have enabled that anyway.
  • In 43 years we got easier travel – even for criminals, paedophiles, terrorists, people traffickers and any odd sod and bod who wants to live off welfare in the Western world under the misnomer of ‘refugee’.
  • In 43 years the EU has given itself unbelievable power but with no accountability.
  • In 43 years the EU has given us the kind of security where a township of illegal migrants can be built illegally in Calais with not a finger lifted to stop them. The kind of security that allows waves and waves of human misery to keep crossing oceans and sovereign territories without even waving an identity card. Some security!
  • After 43 years of petty diktats it was people that broke the camel’s back. People notice where welfare inc housing is going. People notice changes to their way of life. Like nearly a million Poles and other Eastern Europeans. Sympathy and compassion gave way to fear when the mass of mostly Muslim migrants showed no sign of stopping. And, Schengen or no Schengen, once Germany gives them a passport they can all head here. And their extended families.

According to the BBC,

  • …the EU’s chief cheerleader: easy travel, living abroad, equal pay and non-discrimination, paid leave, foreign study, cheap flights, cheap telephone calls, consumer protection, food labelling, clean rivers and clean air. Yet all of these could and would have been achieved by ourselves at some point without giving up our control of our own country and peoples.
  • Plus some we had before like holiday pay and maternity leave.
  • And most of these serve big business rather than individuals or SMEs.

Banks & EU

  • Goldman Sachs gave one million to the REMAIN campaign. Banks have caused problems to EU members specifically Greece yet have profited enormously. Some common good, eh?

Big Business Benefits

  • …most from the EU while making it harder for smaller businesses to really grow and thrive. It’s beyond me how any leftie would support something that clearly undermines the lower skilled, wrapping it up with maternity pay, working time directives and similar on the one hand and zero hours contracts on the other. Meaning it gives with one hand and takes with the other. And unions are pro-EU. Most odd.

Borders Schengen or no Schengen,

  • we cannot control our borders while being part of the EU Project whether we are part of Schengen or not.

British Business

  • The Royal Mail – sold because of EU Postal Directive 2008/6/EC, brought in by the last Labour govt
  • The EU Project forbids state aid hence not being able to help our steel and other dying industries; not sure how Northern Rock and RBOS got it though or why Britain vetoed tariffs against China.
  • The EU Project enforces competitive practices & enables Corporation Tax avoidance because the Single Market allows companies to be based anywhere in the EU for tax purposes. Juncker has form on allowing this.

British Industry

  • … may not be the same as it was but it is not declining. Says The Manufacturer: “Manufacturing contributes £6.7tr to the global economy. Contrary to common belief, UK manufacturing is strong with the UK currently the 11th largest manufacturing nation in the world. Manufacturing makes up 11% of UK GVA and 54% of UK exports and directly employs 2.6 million people.”

British Law

  • The Communities act gives EU law dominance. We could repeal it but we would be in breach of various treaty obligations.

Common Market

  • I doubt we’d have even signed up for that if we knew we’d be doling out money to an ever-increasing bunch who want to join for their freebies. Like those under European Union Association Agreement and the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP). A European Union that includes Africa and Asia and the Middle East and all parts in between.

Common Good Common Goals Commonality of Purpose

  • Well events have clearly kiboshed these. The EU ideology can only work if everyone shares the same language beliefs fiscal views etc. and mass (predominantly Muslim) migration has revealed what members really think – and will do. The Law of Unintended Consequences has seen Schengen shelved, Western security threatened massively but cultural suicide a given now.
  • …often described as a marriage – but a marriage between 28 members? A Common Good that benefits big businesses more than the workers? A Common Good where our mainland members often bend or break the rules while we Brits are rather too law-abiding? cf Germany’s double standards creating a second Russian pipeline.
  • …can only work with one language, one currency, one law, one system of taxation, and even one culture. Nationhood, as we are discovering with the migrant crisis, is not an easy one to kill off and one size does not fit all.
  • The Common Good of One Nation may be admirable (though how does that work with diversity & multiculturalism?) but in practice our UK good habits have to pay for the debts & slack financial management of countries like Greece and Italy and the money-grabbing Visegrads.
  • Plus some are more equal than others with German exporters benefiting from EU more than others – and at cost to the Greeks. And who wants a continent of homogeneity where everyone and everything looks and feels exactly the same? Quite apart from how one would homogenise 28+ separate nations. Levelling the playing field removes all the vibrancy of individuality and enterprise and will impoverish our spirits to boot. Mass migration has shown our neighbours revealing their true colours and mostly it is not pretty. No Common Good there.
  • No Common Good with money either as Mediterranean nations are beggared to keep the Bundesbank happy.
  • No Common Good with voting either as not all members are equal. Smaller nations have fewer votes than the “major” nations such as Germany.
  • No Common Good with security and sharing intelligence as the events in Paris and Brussels have confirmed. Even health and safety and farming standards suffer for many for the benefit of a few. Just ask the Greeks Or French farmers rewarded for their inefficiency and throwing giant strops. Greece? Who would want that kind of membership? Not much of a Common Good when they need us more than we need them And they have said as much.

Cost of Living

  • With flexible self-determination, savings could be achieved. Prices may well go up but without EU tariffs, we can negotiate our own trade deals.

Crime

  • European Arrest Warrant Out means innocent till proven guilty instead of being charged for crimes in foreign courts and held in foreign jails including Turkey, if it gets its way and joins.
  • But we can be signed to the EAW without being part of the EU Project.

Customs Union

  • Technology and worldwide use of the internet is already handling paperwork easier & therefore cheaper

Defence

  • Why an EU Army when there is NATO? An EU Army further erodes independence and defence capability.

Democracy? A semi-corrupt Eurocracy

  • …EU-stylee means a European Parliament, European Council, European Commission, Council of European Union and 4 presidents… + how many MEPs? Of those only the European Parliament is elected. Plus the Court of Justice of European Union, the European Court of Auditors & the European Central Bank. An infrastructure in pursuit of the Holy Grail of One Nation Statehood.
  • The EU version of democracy is they know best what is right for all, and if you vote giving the wrong answer, you have to vote again till it’s in agreement with theirs. If you do not agree, they threaten you with withholding grants and funding. Bullies and no accountability either.
  • ..meaning they bend the rules to suit themselves while insisting the Greeks and poorer members follow them to the letter. I have NO idea why we Brits slavishly obey them.
  • The Project is fundamentally anti-democratic, bloated, wasteful and protectionist; only the Committee Procedure Treaties currently limits EU ambitions for statehood; the EU has made no secret of wanting to erode national identities in the cause of creating a superstate;

Democracy finished if we Remain

  • Ever closer union means being a poky part of some humongous social experiment; do you want the EU to decide everything for us or to be able to make our own decisions?
  • Plenty of argument for an Executive Government but it’s rather like owning a house and needing consensus from every person in your road plus everyone in the roads and towns nowhere near if you need to paper your own walls or weed your own garden!
  • Increasing influence of European courts and the growing impact of human rights laws… we will not have had any say in who is changing our laws;
  • Individualism will out; it’s not left v right, this is about democracy and being in control or waiting to be controlled by an outside organisation with no concerns about our needs and wants;
  • One Size Does Not Fit All; Political interference in local affairs; Ponzi-like EU benefiting the bigger players to detriment of poorer countries;
  • Remain = carte blanche that all is okay and no reform needed;
  • Still subject to an unelected EU commission new laws every day

Divorce Terms > Lisbon Treaty Articles 50 & 8

  • Article 50 defines the terms of exit – but plans cannot be properly formulated pre this and it could take 2 years before we actually put in our notice. Even then it could be waived or the basis for other negotiations. So, yes, a period of uncertainty. But Article 50 also means continuing full access to the Single Market for 2 years, possibly longer. So minimal disruption.
  • Article 8 indicates favourable trade agreements could result sooner rather than later
  • We already have common standards so negotiating ‘divorce’ settlement & unpicking various agreements probably not as disharmonious or complex as Remainians would have it.
  • Yes, they could be awkward & make it difficult for us to trade but it would affect their trade too and to repeat they export more to us.

Economy

  • Will our economy suffer if we leave? (It might slow down while trade agreements are finalised.)

ECJ & European Arrest Warrant

  • Innocent Brits can now be detained overseas without trial
  • ECJ 55 clause Charter of Fundamental Human Rights

Employment:

  • “Women in the UK are entitled to 52 weeks maternity leave. The EU says we should offer 14.” Ah. so not better then?

Energy

  • Coal fired power stations were closed due to EU requirements. Time to re-open them?
  • Gas is this being phased out by EU?
  • Green energy costs a lot and achieves little and do NOT save any energy. (How does taking longer to boil a kettle or make toast SAVE energy?)
  • Wind farms cost more are unreliable & need coal backup supplies.

Environment

  • Birth-rate shooting up = environmental impact.
  • Mass immigration comes with huge impact on resources.
  • Environmental standards should be to suit our landscape and needs. We should set own laws re water and planning to avoid flooding

EU Aims

  • …include a lot of nebulous stuff like an area of freedom, security and justice without internal frontiers, combat social exclusion and discrimination, promote social justice and protection; social market economy – highly competitive and aiming at full employment and social progress; solidarity between generations and the protection of children’s’ rights. sustainable development based on balanced economic growth and social justice; the promotion of peace and the well-being of the Union´s citizens;
  • Plus Common Foreign and Security Policy
  • and more worrying ones like economic and monetary union with embassies, an army, single currency, common citizenship and even three space programmes.
  • The Lisbon Treaty  includes an even wider range of objectives.

EU failures

  • control of the supply of labour UK reliance on foreign workers (why?);
  • freedom of movement does not necessarily give us the labour supply we need or want.
  • currency a disaster
  • Putin aggression
  • migrant crisis
  • Greece – as well as austerity it has now become the holding centre for every migrant who feels the Western world owes them a free pass (they ceased to be refugees once they left their safe havens).
  • collapse of Mediterranean economies
  • ‘civilising effect’ – you mean razor wire across the mainland?
  • many of the so-called benefits either existed before in some way, or resulted in law of unintended consequences ie zero hour contracts re employment rules

EU v Europe

  • I love Europe. (The EU Project is NOT Europe which we are still friendly with and will continue to be.)

Euro -inevitably will have to join if we Remain

  • Do Remainians realise that we will have to join the euro at some stage?
  • Trying to save the Euro has crippled countries like Greece.
  • And not much better in countries like Spain and Italy
  • Those in the Eurozone have much higher rates of unemployment than those outside.

Exit Painless or Painful?

  • We pay a lot of money into the EU pot. No doubt we will be squeezed for more to agree terms.
  • But will it be painless? Initially, little difference but probably some uncertainty until trade agreements are found, agreed and finalised

Exiting Article 50

  • The EU is not under any obligation to negotiate terms until we have invoked Article 50.

Exiting Article 50 Clauses

  • Any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements.
  • A Member State which decides to withdraw shall notify the European Council of its intention. In the light of the guidelines provided by the European Council, the Union shall negotiate and conclude an agreement with that State, setting out the arrangements for its withdrawal, taking account of the framework for its future relationship with the Union. That agreement shall be negotiated in accordance with Article 218(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. It shall be concluded on behalf of the Union by the Council, acting by a qualified majority, after obtaining the consent of the European Parliament.
  • The Treaties shall cease to apply to the State in question from the date of entry into force of the withdrawal agreement or, failing that, two years after the notification referred to in paragraph 2, unless the European Council, in agreement with the Member State concerned, unanimously decides to extend this period.
  • For the purposes of paragraphs 2 and 3, the member of the European Council or of the Council representing the withdrawing Member State shall not participate in the discussions of the European Council or Council or in decisions concerning it. A qualified majority shall be defined in accordance with Article 238(3)(b) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.
  • If a State which has withdrawn from the Union asks to re-join, its request shall be subject to the procedure referred to in Article 49.”

Exiting Article 50 when?

  • Probably need a Commission and Minister to focus on which agreements suit our current needs but which we can move forward from that already have precedent/s set.
  • The UK would still retain a seat on the Council of the European Union.
  • Article 50 could/should then only be triggered when a plan is worked out and presented to the Council as the PM would be excluded from the Council after the declaration.
  • Nothing happens until Article 50 is invoked. Once it has we will be outside the tent so to speak though still part of the Single Market for 2 years.
  • That said there is a school of thought for invoking Article 50 straight away if it causes economic uncertainty for any lengthy period of time.

Exports

  • But what of our exports? There is the a global market to focus on which the EU has not managed to get agreements with. eg 10 yrs & still no agreement with India.

Farmers & Fishermen

  • Leaving will be good for farmers and fishermen: reclaim EU quotas and reclaim our industry
  • Regain control of our fishing grounds. Create a UK policy to benefit our fishermen and not factory ships from the continent.
  • But farmers will suffer! They are already suffering with diktats telling them what to grow or bin. Yes, bin! Remember those mountains of butter, or wine lakes or fish thrown away?

Fears

  • Loss of jobs, increased prices of goods and services, weak pound, increased holiday and air fair prices, closed door to retiring abroad, less cooperation with France on our borders, visa requirements for travel to Europe.

Finance

  • London currently remains a strong financial centre.

Flexcit

  • A 421 page document which I haven’t got round to reading but a flexible exit seems to make sense.

Free movement & freedom of movement

  • – is not great for the low-skilled. Over supply of labour = wage stagnation = housing shortages = higher rents and mortgages, leading to food banks
  • And potentially 743 million EU people could move here if they so wish.
  • Sharing cultures is good. Except that is not the aim of the EU Project. Homogeneity rules!
  • Inequality between Southern, Eastern and Western Europe means there is the rich man-beggarman imbalance.
  • It sounds good to be able to swan into another nation state start a business, buy a home, claim welfare and live there easily. Except EUcrats didn’t factor in how many would come at any one time making resource planning a nightmare as well as creating the continuing antagonism to even much-needed migrants or needy refugees.
  • Foreign Travel Visas will it be made more difficult with multiple visas? Didn’t stop we oldies before so why should it be more difficult for younger Europhiles now?
  • Population is uncontrollable with freedom of movement with negative impact on NHS, schools, housing and infrastructure.
  • RIP Schengen began when Eastern Europeans took it to a whole other level. They swamped our small island in their hundreds and thousands, but when the same thing started to happen to them, with predominantly Muslim migrants, they rushed through laws (to protest from EU leaders which they ignored) and covered their borders with razor wire, no doubt with land mines on back order!
  • Although Schengen Agreement does not apply to the UK any migrant given an EU passport can treat the UK as a new home including welfare
  • While plenty of people travelled freely pre-1973, there might be a case to slow things down if only because of the environmental impact.
  • Freedom of movement may sound wonderful but in practice it will kill off the welfare state (which of course big business would rather you and I paid for).

Free Trade Agreement

  • (FTA) FTAs eliminate tariffs though not necessarily individual customs controls

Future Possibilities

  • alliances with Canada Australia China, India Brazil.

House of Cards

  • The Project is already crumbling. A house of cards only kept together by fear and financial obligations. By leaving first, we are being proactive not reactive so should be in a better position to be in control. And like any divorce it is only made easier based on how much erstwhile love there was between the partners. Not a lot for us it seems. I expect it will be a PITA.

Goldman Sachs

  • The EU’s eminence grise They seem to be pulling the strings so if you do not love bankers vote OUT.

GPS

  • It’s expensive, not fully operational and probably be used for warfare as in guided missiles.

Grants & Subsidies?

  • It’s our own money we are getting back.

Green Farce

  • Ed Milibands Climate Change Act dogmatically implemented in line with EU policies is helping to kill off our steel industry and add to cost of living. And why do our stupid politicians implement the law to our own detriment?

Human Rights

  • – often mean infringements of other people’s rights
  • Yes the ECHR is not the EU but it is linked to it and overrules ours.
  • And it was written in part by Brits post WW11 yet some think British courts suck at justice?!

In Their Own Words:

  • “The Council is not legally obliged to take account of Parliament’s opinion.” “Elections change nothing” Wolfgang Schaeuble EU Aims “There can be no democratic choice against the European treaties.” Jean-Claude Juncker EU Aims “We need a political union, which means we must gradually cede powers to Europe and give Europe control.” Angela Merkel The EU should “do its best to undermine” the “homogeneity” of its member states, said the UN’s special representative for migration.

Influence

  • Some influence when we have to ask 27 others with more to come – too many cooks etc. Anyway, we should not have to ask another EU member who may not have our best interests at heart.
  • It is still possible to be a significant player even as a small island outside the EU. Our British Bulldog grit will continue to influence. Even Germany thinks the EU will have less clout if Britain leaves.
  • In the EU we have been outvoted many times over the last 20 years and been forced to accept those laws we did not like. At least outside we would not have to be dependent on the whims of 27+ other disinterested members.
  • We are no longer “the sick man of Europe.” Thatcherite reforms helped to steer us to high growth and low strikes. With business confidence comes influence. However we are not very influential within the EU probably due to being outside the Eurozone. And being law-abiding.
  • Being in is like wanting to paint your house and needing the approval and consent of 28 neighbours to not only do it but what colour to paint it and when to do it and what to pay for a tin and where to buy it from.
  • There are worldwide trade and standards organisations which we could & should have a seat at.
  • Under Qualified Majority Voting (QMV) our influence is not as good as some might think.
  • Unlikely to be a superpower again but small can be beautiful. Small can pack an enormous punch. Ask a mosquito. Professor Minford the importance of being unimportant part of global market very small
  • We should be able to veto any proposal for a new law or a new tax that is against British interests.
  • We’d be isolated. Like…. Australia Brazil Canada Indonesia India Japan South Korea Mexico Malaysia New Zealand Peru Philippines Singapore Sri Lanka Thailand etc
  • What does the EU do that the UK cannot do for itself?

Instincts

  • …work for me. I am instinctively against the EU Project. Although this doc may be light on facts, practically all is verifiable with a quick google.
  • I instinctively recoil from tiers of unelected EUrocrats laying down the law from a distance, outvoting our Brit representatives and, more to the point, having, in my view, a malign end goal.

Isolated

  • You’ll Be Isolated. Hardly. Still have seat at NATO, Commonwealth, UN The UK will retains her seat on the Security Council of the UN. And a leading role after the USA in NATO. Many decisions in the EU are now taken by majority vote, where the UK can easily be outvoted. We have no influence with the EU.

Jobs Protection Creation Enterprise

  • Big business is the lynchpin of the EU
  • EU migrants claim far more than Brits abroad espec Polish nationals
  • Jobs are dependent on our export trade with other EU countries, not on our membership. New trade deals would have to be negotiated.
  • CBI says 3.1 million jobs linked to exports to EU; says SMEs think it’s had a positive impact. Except SMEs disagree. We import more than we export and most of our exports are to RoW.
  • With an expanding population more jobs will have to be created but the environmental impact will be huge not forgetting the potential for social disorder.
  • The EU smothers enterprise at even a basic level eg paper rounds
  • Equal pay? I have had that all my working life. For those with long memories Pre-EU I was able to have three jobs at the same time. I could walk out of job and straight into another.
  • Most EU diktats appear to give with one hand but take away with the other.
  • Europhiles were also wrong saying we would suffer job losses if we did not join the Euro currency
  • David Davis has suggested funding a new Board of Trade specifically aimed at “helping British businesses create new links to countries with which we achieve trade deals.”
  • Highly unlikely that 3 million of our people will lose their jobs when over 5 million jobs on the continent are due to links with trade in Britain.
  • Handing over power to others makes us lose our creative skills and entrepreneurial instincts.
  • Paying a higher minimum wage is good but also means businesses might hire fewer.
  • Pooling industries benefits workers in whichever is the host country to the detriment of others.
  • SMEs are already burdened with red tape.
  • More people in the jobs market = cheap labour and who benefits? …big businesses. And politicians. And possible lawyers.
  • Workers’ rights – most of which have been circumvented by zero hours contracts, use of agencies and working time directive waiver
  • If the EU is such a force for good why is youth unemployment at 30% +in places like Spain, Italy, France, Greece, Macedonia, Kosovo, Croatia, Portugal, Ireland and Serbia – all of which will increase with Merkel’s Mass Migration?

Law

  • European Court in Luxembourg extends its reach increasingly using the Charter of Fundamental Rights.
  • The EU is a constraint on ministers’ ability to do the things they were elected to do.
  • The only elected part of the EU is the European parliament.
  • Bemused that some Brits prefer rulings made by Strasbourg and not our elected Government.
  • ECHR rulings do not make us more free.
  • Co-signatories of ECHR are beacons of morality like Albania, Russia, Azerbaijan.
  • New Labour opted to turn the Convention into British law.
  • European Arrest Warrant exclude UK courts extradition requests. Brits taken from the UK left in foreign jails till taken to court with no legal aid or free translators.
  • The European Court of Justice is an EU institution
  • ECHR is primarily concerned with natural/human, political and civil rights
  • ECJ is primarily concerned with economic and social rights (pay pensions work hours)
  • We have lost many cases at the ECtHR and have been obliged to amend British law.
  • Refusal to amend our laws when directed means expulsion from Council of Europe. But how can human rights be universal? What is right for say a criminal is clearly not right for the victim?
  • No civil law protection from failures or criminal acts by EU lawyers re due diligence. We have Law Society. Current & previous UK Govt lost 75 per cent of all court cases it has taken to the EU courts.
  • Restore our legal system without final say being ECJ
  • We are clearly not self-governing with the Court of Justice in Luxembourg having the final say.
  • Too many of Britain’s laws are overseas rulings. 70% of our laws are made by EU so we are no longer either a sovereign not a democratic nation
  • Taxes should be decided by people we choose and who we can throw out if we want change.

Leaving & Life Outside the EU

  • Leaving is more a political decision rather than an economic one. Trade will probably carry on almost as before. We however can make our own decisions. Leaving will not be painless, but I doubt it will be as bad as painted. And, like I said, those of us with long memories remember a reasonable life outside the Project
  • The idea that there is no life outside the EU is laughable. There is. We had a good one 43 years ago. Paid holidays. Actually they came with the Holidays with Pay Act 1938. With the EU came zero hour contracts under the guise of giving protection for agency and temporary workers. Maternity and paternity leave? Our National Insurance Act 1911 included a universal maternal health benefit. Loss of workers’ rights, the erosion of benefits and a serious increase in unemployment due in part to Greece’s financial problems. But at least it allowed people to live, work and retire anywhere. Which of course they could do before too.

Left v Right

  • This is not a left v right thing. And why has Comrade Corbyn, pre-leader, deleted all his vehemently anti-EU articles? Has he had a Damascene conversion to capitalist bankers dogma? Because the EU has a Goldman Sachs thread running through it.

Loyalty

  • Other Financial Incentives Another EU diktat negative changes to loyalty schemes cf M&S

Manufacturing Industries

  • Cars Aerospace Banking Science and technology According to The Manufacturer: “Manufacturing contributes £6.7tr to the global economy. Contrary to common belief, UK manufacturing is strong with the UK currently the 11th largest manufacturing nation in the world. Manufacturing makes up 11% of UK GVA and 54% of UK exports and directly employs 2.6 million people.”
  • British Industries Top 10 :Unilever – Rio Tinto – GlaxoSmithKline – Anglo-American – AstraZeneca – British American Tobacco – Imperial Tobacco – Associated British Foods – Rolls Royce Industries doing well include food and drink, electronics, defence, furniture, nuclear, plastics, steel, textile, chemical and pharmaceutical… a few are foreign-owned or with international partners but they won’t be moving abroad in a hurry. It’s only been poor union negotiations that have forced businesses to move in the past

Migrants

  • Uncontrolled freedom of movement means building yet more houses – till when? Uncontrolled freedom of movement means death to the welfare state Uncontrolled freedom of movement means low-skilled will suffer most.
  • Treaty of Rome meant free movement of workers not mass migration of nations.
  • With a British Bill of Human Rights EU numbers could be restricted & a points system put in place so we can fast track skilled immigrants.
  • Improved lives for asylum seekers often leads to decrease in QoL for host countries
  • Large corporations love this constant source of human toil but they drive down wages for all. Make our own couch potatoes learn and earn instead of importing workers.
  • “Oh but we need young migrants to pay for older pensions.” Assuming they have the skills including language, but people are living longer; chances are state pensions will disappear and people will have to fund their own through insurance. Plus asylum seekers and migrants take more in total package than they put in unless selected on a skills basis.

Money Money Money

  • We pay a huge amount of it for the privilege of not being able to rule ourselves fully – just to be able to trade in EU-land. That is the things the EU allows us to trade.
  • If we’d listened to ‘them’ re the euro we would be up the Swanee now.
  • Accounts 18/19 years’ saga of the books not being signed off not entirely accurate. It has but only in parts trusting fraudulent elements to put it right.
  • And grants. In 2015 our net contribution to the EU Budget was £14.3bn. And the EU owe us at least 10 billion in trade expenses that they have not paid.
  • But Mark Carney Said… beware of financial instability, higher interest rates and capital flight. Always possible but more than likely there are contingency plans to stabilise the economy, keep interest rates down and offer sweeteners to those with a lot of capital.
  • Cost of living will go up? No. Prof Minford states the cost of living will fall by 8% post-Brexit.)
  • money EU Subsidies (It’s just our money coming back to us – well a little of it it.)
  • Euro fans swore we would lose inward investment that manufacturers would leave causing job losses but that never happened
  • Funds have been wasted or used in error or fraudulently for many years by member states They have not rectified the errors or recouped the monies prior to filing their accounts. Still sounds corrupt to me
  • How much? c £55 million per day, £385 million per week
  • Used wisely? Hardly. Moving EU Parliament every month costs €12.6 million)
  • If we think it’s tight now and we give too much, staying in will mean supporting yet more poor countries who join – meaning even less to go round at home.
  • Joining EU = increased bills
  • Pound Deflating This is good, no? We can export more.
  • EU rules mean new taxes have to be agreed unanimously by all members but VAT can become law with a simple majority. Also called a “tax on the City of London” some common good! We are just seen as cash cows to our EU brethren.
  • If we stay in, the EU is bringing in a financial transaction tax on all financial transactions in the EU and it could be imposed without being ratified by a vote.
  • Wages will go up without cheap migrant labour & yes, goods may well increase too.
  • We are economically integrated in the Eurozone though, even if we do not use the euro.

NHS

  • Article 168?? NHS possibly undermined by TTIP so not safe with EU who would have ratified it under the table if sharp eyes had not read the small print.
  • The EU has increased Health Tourism and along with pandering to every non-essential whim is killing off the NHS we know and love.

Old v young

  • “But you’re old looking back.” Actually most oldies are doing it *for* our young who don’t know what it was like without endless rules and tiers of unelected bureaucracy. It is our duty to share – then, if they still want to Remain, it’s their problem and they cannot blame us.

Open Borders

  • Criminals are free to come here no matter how dangerous and we cannot seem to get rid of them.
  • But even in mainland Europe, borders are being re-imposed. Events tend to get in the way of fine aims.

Ownership

  • Brit Companies Many utilities owned by European companies – how will that effect domestic fuel prices?

Peace and Stability

  • NATO (and nuclear weapons) keep the peace. Merkel, Juncker, Hollande and co seem to be doing their best to create a new world war. Massive demographic changes are now inevitable due to EU’s continuing ineptness.
  • Forced integration and unsustainable migration at even more unsustainable levels = rise of far-right Some now believe European military conflict is inevitable. So much for the EU Project maintaining the peace.
  • Political/monetary union is not necessary to keep the peace. If anything it is more likely to cause wars.

People/Ex-Pats/Pensions/Voting Rights etc

  • Pensions go further in some of the poorer, warmer EU states. No reason for things to change apart from extras like winter fuel allowance and so on.
  • They’ll probably be invited to take up Britcit. If not will be given a reasonable time frame to return. I imagine the same will apply for Brits abroad – though many have been out of the country for longer than the EU has existed.
  • Of the 4.5m Brits living abroad, c1.3m live in Europe. Will they become illegal immigrants overnight? Will they have to pay for healthcare? While anything is possible, it’s unlikely as most Brits pay into the economies of the countries they are in. Plus what they can do we can do back with bells on. And there are considerably more of them (3m) in the UK. So unlikely to see much change.
  • Hugely unlikely any will be deported. If everyone deported their illegals, the markets would panic.
  • And having lived in a country for a number of years Brits will have ‘acquired rights’ based on the Vienna Convention of 1969
  • They wouldn’t lose their homes but they might have to pay more taxes. But then if you own 2 homes, you can afford it!

Perception

  • … and stats. Arguments grind to a halt when perception meets stats. Most people make decisions based on feelings no matter what stats may say.
  • ‘Leaving the EU would risk lots of the rights at work we all rely on – like paid holidays and breaks, parental leave, health and safety and equal treatment for part-time workers.’ Frances O’Grady TUC Gen Sec <<Some of those pre-date the EU so clearly not true.

Why a Political Body?

  • Good legislation could & should be created through mutual cooperation between nations not a Superstate Political Body.
  • We joined a Common Market, a free trade area,– not a political union. We cannot even agree with opposing views on this island where we share space and culture, so why on earth would we – could we – do with 27 (and probably more) totally disparate countries?

Post Brexit Benefits in Short/Longer Term

  • PwC report economic growth will be higher in the long term if we leave the EU because higher costs through taxes and regulatory compliance make us less competitive than we should be.
  • Post-Brexit the UK will automatically save £12bn net per annum in EU membership fees
  • Open Europe has calculated that the most wasteful 100 EU regulations cost over £33bn each year
  • Regulations can be kept or dumped if they benefit trade and prosperity. The EU affects our economic growth negatively between 4-12%.
  • The CBI, an EU Project cheerleader, got it wrong – very wrong – about the euro.
  • Despite presumed uncertainty, Avon and Boeing are putting their faith in Britain. Even the Pentagon is with its new European Intelligence Centre in Northamptonshire.
  • A post-Brexit prediction: even if Remain wins the vote, I think the EU Project is going to collapse. There is usually some pesky unknown that brings things crashing to a halt.
  • Post-Brexit Timescales likely to be 2 years so also unlikely to see any big changes on 24th
  • Post-Brexit we would be Europe’s largest export market, worth at least £289 billion.
  • Post-Brexit Will leaving solve all ills? …probably not but will make it easier to keep our politicians in check. At the moment they can blame their spinelessness on the EU
  • Post-Brexit Focus on RoW Trade Targets US, Canada, China, India
  • Post-Brexit Made in Britain to counter poverty of spirit which is the real EU inheritance.

Pre-EU – *we* did/had/created

  • Holidays with pay came courtesy of the 1938 Pay Act
  • We created the NHS, state pensions, welfare state, trade union movement
  • We even passed the Equal Pay Act in 1970

Prisons

  • are full we can’t deport non-EU criminals or even to send EU criminals to prisons in their homelands

Procurement Laws

  • Not hamstrung by rules on technology/innovation

Project

  • Terrible name but very effective as an insult. We are all part of a ‘project’ that in less than 50 years has built up to the mess we read about every day and will read even more about in the coming months and year if we Remain.

Quality of Life

  • Leaving the EU Project is about so much more than trade. It’s about quality of life, it’s about our history and pride in our achievements as an island nation.
  • …is more important than just an increasing pay packet. With the EU and TOO MANY PEOPLE that will never happen simply because of their impact on resources, space, the environment and so on…
  • Good neighbours are great until they want more land, more parking and so forth. Our EU neighbours are no different as recent events have shown. Anyway most of our EU neighbours are erstwhile communists, fascists and/or Nazis They don’t really understand what democracy is.

Railways

  • We need to present a case to EU to modernise and use digital technology for our own railways.

Reform

  • We haven’t managed to change it inside in 43 years so may have more luck outside turning it back into a Common Market – but this time one that doesn’t hurt Third World countries
  • “Ah but the EU can be changed.” Clearly not – and it’s getting worse. Ask Greece.

Remain

  • If nothing else, it will be seen as carte blanche for further integration
  • To Remain/In is all about fear – and I am a ‘face your fears’ kind of person’.

Rights

  • ECHR gives rights to migrants & criminals that border on the insane for a country’s health & security.

Rivers

  • EU diktat re dredging and being forced to build thousands of new houses…

Rules

  • Between 15 & 50% of UK legislation comes from the EU.
  • These laws are irreversible – unless repealed by the EU itself.
  • Employee rights? You mean the ones that came wrapped in zero hours contracts?
  • EU policies include telling us what to eat, how to grow our vegetables, what to teach, lighting to use..
  • EU Regulations pass directly into UK law. No Parliamentary discussion, Bill or voting is necessary.
  • EU Rules are irreversible ie ‘ratchet’
  • Even Remainian Stuart Rose says EU is “maddening…bureaucratic…and sluggish.”
  • Big business uses EU rules to crush competition
  • Under EU laws the UK cannot take its seat at the WTO
  • National Health Service must comply with the Working Time Directive
  • Paid holidays? (The Holidays Act came before we were part of the EU)
  • EU trading block is a protectionist block
  • Retailers are affected by the Agency Workers’ Directive.
  • Some rules are good but many are daft or annoying – way too many to list them all – taken to the extreme making them either more ridiculous than ‘straight bananas’ or a recipe for social chaos.
  • The EU cutting bureaucracy is an oxymoron. It exists IMHO to create hurdles and red tape.
  • Any good rules would have been implemented here in time.

Science

  • In 2015 the UK contributed £13 billion to the EU budget, and received £4.5 billion in return. Science might well get much more in grant from our net contribution of £8.5 billion a year to Brussels.

Scotland

  • Sabre-rattling. Unlikely it will leave the Union. Oil prices are plummeting and Scotland can no longer rely on North Sea oil. Fracking, if it happens, will kill it still further.

Security

  • Security a benefit? How does that factor in the waves and waves of human misery and entitlement pushed their way through border after border with no checks at all as they head for their personal utopias?
  • Brussels, France, Sweden, Germany … all have areas that even the law cannot control
  • Easy travel via Eurotunnel or illegally climbing into lorries brings them straight into London – yep, some security!

Single Market inc Norway

  • We can be like Norway which can be in and also join other alliances against the EU. It controls its immigration and have trade talks with other non-EU nations. On virtually every level it has its cake and it can eat it.
  • Yes, sure it pays to be a member of the club. But nothing as much as the EU’s ravenous greed demands. And it cooperates with Interpol.
  • So Brexit does not mean leaving the single market.
  • Special Benefits
  • All those labour rights and entitlements we had before in some way and could be tweaked to meet current standards. ie none a gift from the EU. Pensions can and have been picked up from anywhere and will continue as such – well as long as pensions exist. With such a massive rise in population, who knows?
  • Sharing of vital information can still continue and with the internet there is no need for it not to. So why need a political union to do so?
  • Catch-22 re privacy laws as rising terrorist threats will make some kind of surveillance inevitable
  • The single market is not a free trade area per se but a customs and political union with a load of rules and regulations aimed at harmonising the market for 28 countries

Self-Belief Needed ..

  • ..but also some continental guile, no more going above and beyond the legal parameters
  • Britain is the fifth largest economy, we have brilliant armed forces, more Nobel Prizes than any other European country (do we?), world-class universities and a fighting spirit – probably why our EU brethren only tolerate us and usually out-vote us.
  • The EU needs us folks!. We have a 14 per cent share in their bank, underwrite their debts, are a major intelligence provider, we import £90bn more than we export to them. We take practically all their low-skilled unemployed.
  • Our cost of our living will drop a lot because we can buy cheaply from a global market.
  • Any tariffs they impose on us we could double back on them – which would hit them harder so it’s doubtful they would be so stupid.

Self-sufficiency

  • Post-Brexit we need to re-discover our self-sufficiency in key industries

Small Govt

  • allows us to formulate our own policies inc energy etc
  • leaving = one less layer of government
  • means our vote might actually mean something

Sovereignty

  • Ask yourself: Do you want someone unaccountable making rules and enforcing them on you but you cannot ever vote them out?
  • Parliamentary sovereignty has been reduced due to the dual impact of EU law and the ECHR
  • We might be controlled by multinational corporations and bankers But EU is in hoc to them whereas we could still be a small thorn in their sides.
  • EU Commissioners are NOT elected. There are 750 MEP representing a European population of 503 million people. A lot of power in the hands of few people. And we cannot vote them out.
  • Sovereignty may not be totally all it’s cracked up to be but we would still have more control than under the EU regime.
  • Not a right or left or centrist referendum but one of making our own rules to suit our country and its peoples and which we cannot do that while the EU dictates terms.
  • By voting to remain you are voting for the EU party.

Stability

  • “EU gives up stability,” Events, etc…

Stronger Together

  • Till push comes to shove then national interests take precedence despite Commission threats. In my book being self-centred is not a good basis for working together let alone being ‘strong together’.

Superstate

  • … is their stated aim. However those pesky nationalists are making that difficult – and that is not including the even peskier Brits who are never happy with the EU Project.
  • Do I want to be part of an EU Superstate? (No)
  • EU laws overrule the parliaments of member states with a Commission, Parliament and 4 European Presidential posts

Supremacy

  • one of the planks of Britain’s membership, agreed in 1972, that any question involving the EU must go to Luxembourg, to be adjudicated by the European Court of Justice.

Surviving Outside EU

  • We did before and we will again.
  • The EUzone is struggling with migration, a sluggish economic growth.
  • Yes there will be some disruption to trading but civil servants no doubt have had a fallback plan in place to minimise that.

Tax?

  • The cost of living should fall still further without EU VAT tax.

Technical age

  • innovation trade everything easier
  • Technology? EU juggernaut impedes progress while technology makes it easier.

Terrorism

  • Yes we have home-grown jihadis but Merkel’s Mass Migration has almost certainly increased instability, lower standards of living – all fuelling terrorism.

Trade

  • The EU negotiates trade on our behalf whether we want it to or not.
  • It’s time-consuming, inflexible, expensive & invariably does not meet our real needs.
  • We already have a place on the global stage. The UK is the 5th largest economy in the world and is a standing member of numerous global forums such as the G7, G8, G20, UN Security Council.
  • A free trade agreement (fta) like that with Columbia and Canada sounds like something to aim for. And it would also allow us to trade with the US.
  • Access to EU markets would stay. They have too much to lose. Besides the WTO has banned punitive tariffs.
  • Time to focus on quality not quantity. The environment will also thank us. Trade treaties prevents us from doing so on our own.
  • Trade via single market would not mean having to accept EU immigration or pay them vast amounts. They need us to buy from them. Yes there would be some tariffs and regulations but we’d be back in the negotiating seat as opposed to letting EUcrats do it for us and we’d save over £6billion pa
  • We are successful despite the many obstacles the EU puts in our way.
  • We are trading more with the RoW and should build on that.
  • We buy more from EU members than they buy from us
  • Trade is better than aid. And aid often goes to support the corrupt.
  • We have a trade goods deficit with the EU at least 7.6 billion pounds so have a reasonable hope for getting the FTA
  • We thrived as a trading nation for over 400 years
  • Instead of the EU negotiating with WTO on our behalf we would get that right back
  • 90% of world trade and growth will come from outside of the EU says EU council.
  • The Common Customs Tariff is a barrier to trading freely.

Trade Agreements

  • But EFTA will still mean freedom of movement. Not for Canada or Switzerland. They can force us. Why? We buy so much from them why would they?
  • EU Trade Agreements help us. But penalise third world countries.
  • We can opt for post-Brexit and STILL pay less in contributions, if we are hit with vengeful tariffs. And of course we could do the same in return since we buy much more from ‘them’ than they buy from us. Our trade is increasing to the RoW and decreasing to our EU brethren.
  • Anyway the Lisbon Treaty requires cooperation with neighbouring countries
  • As 5th biggest economy in the world we can and should create a model to suit our needs.
  • Trade potential = 88% of the globe that is not the EU.
  • Australia can have free trade with the US, so why can’t we? South Africa, Switzerland, Canada & South Korea also have free trade agreements with the EU.
  • Many mega corporates that have invested in Britain have stated that Brexit will not change anything
  • Competition is good. It makes us more flexible and hungrier.
  • EU competition rules prevent member states governments from assisting industries that are in trouble like cars, steel, shipbuilding, airplanes, engine production.
  • Countries where the EU has no FTAs US, India, China, Japan, Australia, New Zealand
  • EU has contributed to the destruction of British trade inc fishing industry
  • Disentangling existing trade agreements regulatory trade barriers would be a problem if we just repealed the ECA 1972
  • All businesses have to obey EU rules even if they trade predominantly with the RoW
  • Leaving would be a gain in control.
  • Some large companies favour remaining because of protectionist practices.
  • More likely aim for a single trade agreement covering all other 27 members rather than individual ones.
  • EU Trade imbalance works in our favour. Importing gives us power. We are the EUs biggest trading partner. We have excellent buying credentials.
  • In the last 10 years the EU has secured only 2 free trade agreements with the rest of the world
  • Trade is guaranteed because we’ve signed up to EFTA, the EEA, GATT & other trade agreements
  • Trade is not free as we pay a daily huge amount for the privilege of belonging – before all the other added extras
  • We are selling more to RoW so can disentangle expensive ones even if it risks EU sales
  • Least option of WTO agreement would still be less than the savings in contributions
  • Mainland Europe trade is convenient but not vital to our economy in the longer term.
  • Nearly 60% of Britain’s exports go to other EU countries
  • Negotiating trade agreements … is like chucking 28 balls in the air and hoping ours hits the mark.
  • No more asking permission to go after business opportunities.
  • Existing FTAs can & should be used as basis for negotiating an agreement that suits us not for blindly accepting whatever agreements are available.
  • What we have to offer is the best financial hub in the world with quality goods and services.
  • Our business leaders have or are experienced trade negotiators, so we can make stronger trade deals with other nations. They will have to work with the Foreign Office whose skills may be in other areas
  • We are the European, if not the world, leaders in so many sectors of the 21st-century economy; not just financial services, but business services, the media, biosciences, universities, the arts, technology…
  • Out of the EU we can join/form a Commonwealth Trade Agreement
  • Trade protectionism hurts poorer countries while increasing bureaucracy.
  • Successful businesses create jobs – not the EU

Tariffs on Goods

  • Three quarters of all the UK’s economic activity is in the services sector yet trade agreements do not include them.
  • …unlikely to happen with global trade agreements more commonplace now. They could also hurt their own people rather than ours.
  • There are no tariffs on services

Travel

  • may have appeared to be easier and cheaper but with millions taking advantage – plus illegals trying to pull a fast one, travel is not the pleasurable pursuit I used to love.
  • Ryanair boss usually out to make a fast buck says there will be little change to air travel.
  • Yes it’s easier but in these high security times a bit of border control wouldn’t come amiss.
  • People have been living abroad since way before the EU was thought up. They just had a job to go to or money to live on and had to show their papers to the equivalent of local council offices. Probably not such a bad thing to stop welfare migrants.
  • Live abroad? You won’t have to leave. And we won’t get rid of any living here (yes I know some of you would like a clean sweep but it ain’t gonna happen!)
  • Travelling when we feel like it We already have to show passports. Ditto EU visitors. Doubt there will be any changes as visa-free arrangements are in place with many countries.

Two-speed Europe

  • If Britain stays in and demands exemptions ie euro and Schengen, our influence such as it is would fall even further as trade would favour the Eurozone first.

UK

  • Disastrous for Ireland? How?
  • Scotland would leave the UK? Doubt it – the Scots are nothing if not pragmatic when push comes to shove.

Uncertainty

  • Yes – for both sides – especially with big changes on mainland
  • …inevitable for a period as treaties need to be unpicked and re-negotiated

United States of Europe

  • Even without the totally different cultures and ways of living, there is the issue of language.
  • We won’t become the 51st State of the USA either which seems to be a reason for remaining for some

US dominance

  • The EU seems to be helping US big business inc with TTIP which they tried to slip in under the radar.

Value

  • UK contributions this year 11% of the EU’s budget £4.6 billion

Visa-free travel?

  • Never stopped fun travel Even single women travelled alone across the Middle East.

What else have we ceded?

  • Sovereignty, defence, security, energy, justice legal and even Parliament (so what the heck are we paying those useless oafs yet more to do?)

Welfare

  • cannot cope now and significant changes are overdue or it will collapse altogether
  • Our very generous non-contributory welfare – and for extended families and their families
  • The welfare state was never intended to support Uncle Tom Cobley & all for life.

Windfarms…

  • I loathe them, full stop. Ugly, not cost-effective, kill birds and animals and possibly other side effects on humans yet to be recognised.

Working Together

  • Why do we need a political union in order to work together for the common good? Surely we should do that anyway?

Young people

  • …know only life in the EU; they’re told we would be isolated, can’t travel, take jobs abroad, move to live in other countries etc. Untrue. We oldies have done that and people before us have done all those and in conditions far worse than now.
  • The young in the UK have NEVER known an independent Britain but have been force-fed tales of our awfulness, grabbing resources, colonialism and so on. Probably true in parts, but that was then. We have paid our dues.

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