What sort of EU do you want?

Discussion in 'Every Day Debating' started by ~Elladan~, May 9, 2015.

  1. ~Elladan~

    ~Elladan~ A Elbereth Gilthoniel

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Messages:
    4,908
    Likes Received:
    215
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    England
    Ratings:
    +225 / 0 / -0
    Fresh from the UK's election which returned a majority Conservative government the EU now faces the possibility of a Brexit (British Exit) as well as a Greek one, Grexit!

    I'd be interested in views from other, particularly European, posters as to the shape of EU you want. The EU current direction of travel is steaming toward statehood, a USofE if you like, with full political and monetary union, it's own flag, anthem, diplomatic service, army etc and diminishing powers of nation state. Is that what you want and/or feel is right and have given your electoral consent for?

    The EU sits uncomfortably for many Brits. When the vote to join was taken in the mid 70s it was on the basis of a trading area not political union which is why the UK has perhaps never fully engaged and public opinion has been heavily eurosceptic. The Euro crisis and the mass movement of peoples (c4m to UK since 2003) has just worsened that anti-EU feeling.

    The UK will now present it's list of 'demands' for reforms before the in/out referendum takes place in 2017. If there's little change I'm pretty sure there will be a fair chance of UK voting out.

    There are a multitude of areas where the British have issues (not all can/will be changed) including ~

    1) Political union ~ no thanks, the UK wants powers to come back to national level, less integration which is probably opposite to what EZ needs.
    2) Free movement of people ~ UK wants limits/rules on free movement where migrant does not have a job offer and also limits of their rights to benefits/services to which they have never contributed unless migrant has financial means to support themselves and family.
    3) Trade ~ the UK is the rEU 's biggest trading partner but the single market has not been fully implemented for decades with many nations still pretty protectionist, particularly in services. If the EU is serious they need to fully implement the single market. Why should the UK be totally open if other member nations put up barriers?
    4) CAP/CFP ~ these do not work for UK. CAP protects inefficient farming whilst creating barriers to trade from outside the EU. As one of the EU's net contributors we get to pay for this farce albeit a reduced amount because of UK's rebate. The CFP ~ the UK only has a 20% quota of fish caught from it's own territorial waters ~ the UK pays £billions for fish caught in our waters by other EU nations which is ludicrous. I believe the UK should be demanding that we have full control over our own territorial waters, other EU nations can butt out :)
    5) EHCR ~ not strictly EU but the UK will opt out and introduce own Bill of Rights which will have supremacy irrespective of EU membership
    6) Membership of the Euro ~ never :) Will require safeguards for non-eurozone nations. Our financial services industry would be disproportionately impacted by proposed EZ FTT tax even though we're not EZ members ~ if the EZ wants it they can tax & collect it themselves on EZ transactions not make our services industry uncompetitive!
    7) Small business ~ EU regulations are choking the growth of small business ~ they should be exempt altogether if they operate purely at national levels and have a small workforce. Most jobs in the economy are created by small not multinational businesses. The EU is over regulated, very uncompetitive and is pretty much the only economic area with no growth.
    8) Financial accountability ~ the EU hasn't been able to sign off its accounts for 19 straight years with admission of widespread fraud and waste. There should be no more contributions increases until EU gets its house in order
    9) Democratic deficit ~ we can get rid of national of local politicians and EU MEPs but have no voice in the creation of EU laws or it's executive. Sorry we didn't sign up for a USSR lookalike.
    10) An EU tax to replace national contributions ~ quite frankly there'd be riots if not an outright revolution in the UK if this came to pass but EU keeps pushing for one!

    From a personal perspective I don't see any merit in paying a net c£10bn contribution to do trade we'd largely do anyway or to be members of an undemocratic, over-regulated, non-competitive, dying customs union or some wannabe superstate. The UK has only had a positive trading balance in one of the 40+ years we've been members and have seen a flow of monies from the UK to other EU states ~ hardly a positive reason to retain membership. The British people will never (IMO) vote for political & monetary union so it'd be better to stand aside and let rEU get on with it if thats what they want. The UK is still the 6th largest trading nation, 8th largest manufacturer and yet we don't even have a voice at the WTO. Many say the UK will suffer if we leave the EU but that will only happen if they put up barriers with their largest trading partner (see 3) above) which would be a ridiculous scenario given that EU has dozens of free trade agreements with other non-EU countries. I'd prefer UK to be look globably not just towards Europe even if our economy took a short term hit. If we did I'm sure our relations with our neighbours would be all the better for it as we wouldn't be saying no all the time!
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2015
  2. grumpycroc

    grumpycroc Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2014
    Messages:
    83
    Likes Received:
    25
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Ratings:
    +31 / 0 / -0
    I have relatives that live 800 miles (1287 kilometers) away from me, and when I visit them I just drive there. No passport, no language barriers, no check points, no currency exchange, I just drive. That's the freedom that comes from being part of a large country.

    My country of America was formed when many different European peoples decided to come together, and I can assure you that our over two hundred years of unity, though tenuous and imperfect, has not cost us our freedom. To the contrary, our unity has given us the power protect our freedoms, both from foreign invaders and from enemies within.

    I understand why becoming part of a larger country can seem frighting. I know from our own history that uniting many peoples is a daunting task, fraught with hardships, some of which we face to this day. But please don't leave the EU. Stay and work with it to make it better, and please believe me when I say that unity is hard, but makes for strong nations that are wonderful to live in.
     
  3. ~Elladan~

    ~Elladan~ A Elbereth Gilthoniel

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Messages:
    4,908
    Likes Received:
    215
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    England
    Ratings:
    +225 / 0 / -0
    Grumpycroc the EU has more in common with the former USSR than the USA. I doubt, and history has shown, they shared your view of value of unity. Nor did they in Yugoslavia, many Middle East nations or any other artificial national construct indeed the trend is towards smaller not larger nations.

    Given the choice of full political & monetary union vs independence from the EU I have little doubt there would be an overwhelming majority in the UK (& many other EU states) for the latter and yet EU / political class is hell bent on the former without asking for the consent of the people.

    Without consent this whole EU project will end in tears and violence. Politicians are frightened to ask because when they have ~ for example for the Lisbon constitutional reforms ~ it was rejected by those nations which had to hold a referendum (France, the Netherlands & Ireland). So what did the EU do after they were rebuffed, they implemented changes anyway by calling the new constitution a treaty (Lisbon Treaty) which didn't require a referendum other than in Ireland. They bribed the Irish and told them to vote properly this time (ie vote Yes) or they wouldn't get a much needed financial bailout!

    Even the UK in/out referendum will be fixed when it happens ~ the true extent of integration will not be the question asked, nor will it be a true in/out choice it will be whether we agree to (any) changes negotiated or not.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2015
  4. grumpycroc

    grumpycroc Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2014
    Messages:
    83
    Likes Received:
    25
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Ratings:
    +31 / 0 / -0
    I have indeed noticed the trend to smaller nations, along with the wars, attempted genocides, and refugees that come with them.

    Still, if the EU is as oppressive as you say then there is no faulting people for wanting out of it, but I nevertheless will suggest a compromise.

    Schedule a referendum to leave the EU for 2018 or maybe even 2017, but in the meantime make a final effort to reform the EU so that it represents people, and respects individual liberty. EU political elites would be stupid not to make concessions to the people of England, since the country is one of union's strongest memebers. Further more, if England allies with other Europeans who demand more representation then surly those elites would cave in. If not then England is gone.
     
  5. ~Elladan~

    ~Elladan~ A Elbereth Gilthoniel

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Messages:
    4,908
    Likes Received:
    215
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    England
    Ratings:
    +225 / 0 / -0
    That's the proposal ~ have a renegotiation, see what there is a willingness to change, then have a vote by end 2017. That said EU / other member states are already drawing red lines so it looks like minor tinkering only will be achieved.

    Reality is that UK is one of the few members who really believe in an open market economy. Cooperation between European nations is fine but even the politicians know it'd be a hard sell to get majority support for political union which is why they lied about it when UK joined in the 70s and have proceeded with a drip drip erosion of sovereignty since.

    For the record there's pretty much nothing that would convince me to vote to remain part of the EU, I think many of us have a totally different mindset to the continental view :)
     
  6. grumpycroc

    grumpycroc Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2014
    Messages:
    83
    Likes Received:
    25
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Ratings:
    +31 / 0 / -0
    My state paid $30,000 to have it's sovereignty taken away.
     
  7. Mad hatter

    Mad hatter Old member, New account

    Top Poster Of Month

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2014
    Messages:
    1,036
    Likes Received:
    122
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Ratings:
    +233 / 4 / -0
    I'm still trying to get to grips with all of the facts, though most sources are all speculative. As a Brit living in another EU country, it would be nice to find some solid information about this
     
  8. Midnattblod

    Midnattblod Ranger of Shadow

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2014
    Messages:
    6,002
    Likes Received:
    365
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    Ulfgard
    Ratings:
    +528 / 3 / -0
    I bet that would be good for the mind lol. I've actually not been keeping up with all that's going on, but that's because I hear enough about my crummy country's leader that I stay away from the news most of the time
     
  9. Mad hatter

    Mad hatter Old member, New account

    Top Poster Of Month

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2014
    Messages:
    1,036
    Likes Received:
    122
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Ratings:
    +233 / 4 / -0
    I tend to avoid your countries news also, when I can. It's just downright depressing.
     
  10. Midnattblod

    Midnattblod Ranger of Shadow

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2014
    Messages:
    6,002
    Likes Received:
    365
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    Ulfgard
    Ratings:
    +528 / 3 / -0
    Yea it is. And it's everywhere too. Can't get away from it
     
  11. Mad hatter

    Mad hatter Old member, New account

    Top Poster Of Month

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2014
    Messages:
    1,036
    Likes Received:
    122
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Ratings:
    +233 / 4 / -0
    Yep! Though, politics is all a shady game. It's just about who can do it "shadier", I think.
     
  12. Midnattblod

    Midnattblod Ranger of Shadow

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2014
    Messages:
    6,002
    Likes Received:
    365
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    Ulfgard
    Ratings:
    +528 / 3 / -0
    as my mom says. they're all crooks
     
  13. Mad hatter

    Mad hatter Old member, New account

    Top Poster Of Month

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2014
    Messages:
    1,036
    Likes Received:
    122
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Ratings:
    +233 / 4 / -0
    Crooks is a light word!
     
  14. Midnattblod

    Midnattblod Ranger of Shadow

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2014
    Messages:
    6,002
    Likes Received:
    365
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    Ulfgard
    Ratings:
    +528 / 3 / -0
    yea I know. my mom doesn't usually use not light words though. only when she's really pissed
     
  15. Mad hatter

    Mad hatter Old member, New account

    Top Poster Of Month

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2014
    Messages:
    1,036
    Likes Received:
    122
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Ratings:
    +233 / 4 / -0
    Oh, then you know it's really gonna go down
     
  16. Midnattblod

    Midnattblod Ranger of Shadow

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2014
    Messages:
    6,002
    Likes Received:
    365
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    Ulfgard
    Ratings:
    +528 / 3 / -0
    luckily, I'm not on the receiving end of it too much anymore lol. she gets scary when she's mad
     
  17. Mad hatter

    Mad hatter Old member, New account

    Top Poster Of Month

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2014
    Messages:
    1,036
    Likes Received:
    122
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Ratings:
    +233 / 4 / -0
    Hah, only person I get scared of when they're mad is my other half!
     
  18. Midnattblod

    Midnattblod Ranger of Shadow

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2014
    Messages:
    6,002
    Likes Received:
    365
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    Ulfgard
    Ratings:
    +528 / 3 / -0