Brexit

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Re: Brexit

Postby V » 03 Oct 2016, 20:55

Dear Beowulf7

Time overseas! 12+ years resident in southern African nations, 12+ years resident in California, 4+ years resident in Costa Rica. Sufficient time "overseas" possibly?
I used the BBC as my main source of news in all that time (habits are tough to break) but have noticed a recent sharp decline in journalistic standards & I don't think I am alone. It is turning from amongst the best to amongst the mediocre.

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Re: Brexit

Postby joe92 » 04 Oct 2016, 15:32

super_dipsy wrote:I'm trying to remember what media outlet Martin Bashir was working for when he did that explosive interview with the late Princess Diana...perhaps Joe can help me ;)

Hahaha, yeah, an interview with a woman who died almost 20 years ago is a great example of lack of bias ;)
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Re: Brexit

Postby Carebear » 04 Oct 2016, 15:33

Has the Chunnel been filled with concrete yet?
You can have my last supply center, when you pry it from my cold dead hands.

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Re: Brexit

Postby beowulf7 » 05 Oct 2016, 16:01

Dear Beowulf7

Time overseas! 12+ years resident in southern African nations, 12+ years resident in California, 4+ years resident in Costa Rica. Sufficient time "overseas" possibly?
I used the BBC as my main source of news in all that time (habits are tough to break) but have noticed a recent sharp decline in journalistic standards & I don't think I am alone. It is turning from amongst the best to amongst the mediocre.

Senlac


Then you should know better! (lol) Stop comparing it to some misty eyed memory of a bygone age (which may, or may not, be accurate but is nevertheless unobtainable) and instead compare it to CNN, Fox, CCTV (China). Its glass half full time

PS: I don't remember pointing my comment at you in particular - sure some people travel more than others and not all will agree with me but I stand by my comment that the Beeb is by far the best tv I have seen anywhere. And I don't plan waving my passport to try and make my point. Always room for improvement though
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Re: Brexit

Postby joe92 » 03 Aug 2017, 16:17

What's going to be the final cost of Brexit?

In the news today is the talk of relocating the European Medicines Agency. The EMA and some other European agencies are located in London. They are all obviously relocating. The EMA is a particularly contentious one as when they located to London no break clause was signed into their tenancy agreement, which is in the Canary Wharf no less. They must continue paying rent till 2039.

Who signed the tenancy agreement and who forgot to include a break clause is irrelevant. Since we will no longer be a part of the EU, there is no reason why the EU should pay the Canary Wharf rent until 2039. Therefore we will have to pay the bill. Roughly £520m.

Before the referendum, we had very low inflation and our GDP growth rate was the highest of the 28 nations. Now we have inflation of 2.6% and we are at the very bottom of the GDP growth rate table, even below Greece. Every day we hear of more companies relocating to the Continent or Ireland. Naturally, brexiteers blame the EU.

Refusing to honour our obligations to the EU is only damaging our image further around the world. We are not only seen as unhinged for wanting to leave the largest and richest free market on earth, but we are also proving to be unreliable and unwilling to honour our contractual obligations. It's doing damage to the good reputation we have for never once defaulting on our national debt. Who is going to want to trade with us in such circumstances? I've not yet seen this queue of countries waiting to trade with us as was promised. In fact, I've not heard one country declare they are going to trade with us. I've only heard the arrogant Davis, Fox et al declaring it's going to happen. I've not seen any money ploughed into the NHS as promised either - to the contrary, it's being further underfunded with a growth of investment far below growth of cost/population. Refusing to assure the rights of EU citizens who already live here and using their lives as bargaining chips is even worse.

Weirdly though we're not allowed to criticise the Brexit decision. A decision made in large by soon-to-be-dead pensioners and Daily Mail readers. A post like this attracts yells of "Remoaner!" and several eye rolls as well as the blood vessel in a nearby Brexiteer popping. The costs are mounting up. The EU is playing a hard game. France is blatantly trying to poach our scientists with generous grants. Several banks and investment firms such as JPMorgan and Chase have announced they intend to relocate their headquarters to the continent to remain in the free market.

So it begs the question. Is it going to be worth it?
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Re: Brexit

Postby V » 02 Oct 2017, 01:42

Folks, I thought I'd try to reawaken this splendid thread that was originally about Brexit, but has veered wildly at times.
Quick disclaimer, before I make comment inviting debate. I'm retired, no longer resident in Britain, so thankfully removed from the potentially painful results of current UK politics & I celebrated the Brexit vote outcome.
However is the following a perfect storm that Britain is sailing towards?...

In the 70's I remember the "Sovereignty" debate that accompanied entry into the EU. I remember my view at the time "they can't be worse than our lot". Consider our recent premiers had been Wilson, Heath, Callaghan, our trade unions were diabolical (I was an enforced member of one as a "closed shop" within the NHS). Britain was the "poor man of Europe" hopelessly uncompetitive, archaic in just about every way, compared to advanced progressive Europe. Join, quickly! They'll drag us into the 20th Century, kicking & screaming probably!

Well they did & 40 years on, Britain is undeniably in better shape, however people have been a bit frustrated by a European control of British matters resulting from membership. Which brings me to the crunch concerns that I see ahead. Yes, in a few years Britain will inherit far greater control to go in any political direction & do whatever it likes within the world community, free of European constraints (& moderation). About this time the government faces an election against a political movement that could have stepped straight out of the 70's described above.

If Brexit lead to a high tech, innovative, financially powerful, dynamic, leader of world prosperity as was suggested during the voting, I'd be delighted for Britain to be free & pursue such a vision. But if Britain is headed to attempt a rerun of the 70's, lead by a 70's reject that miraculously is uniting the disenchanted, then a bit of a European leadership & moderation would be much appreciated & "freedom" to follow any path could well lead to economic disaster, as it did last time.

I never thought I'd see the day when there was a real chance Britain would regress back to 3 day weeks & other nonsense I witnessed as a schoolboy, but we now have cheering crowds baying for a chance to give it a try. If it were to happen we might well regret not being part of a larger community that could put a handbrake on the worst excesses. We didn't have it available last time & we might not next time either.
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Re: Brexit

Postby StarWatcher009 » 02 Oct 2017, 02:19

My opinion on Brexit is that it is a really terrible idea and its most likely outcome is that we will make be worse off.

To add to that, British politics is in a really bad place at the moment. The centre ground has been radically abandoned and we are now faced with different brands of socialism and authoritarianism. The very real prospect of Corbyn in power is terrifying to say the least, and frankly May is really bad as well.

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Re: Brexit

Postby BlunderCity » 04 Jan 2018, 03:10

super_dipsy wrote: Many European countries have populations that do not have majority support for the EU.


Please provide some data to support that claim.


super_dipsy wrote:There is a massive democratic deficit between the politicians and the civil populations.


By that you mean the type of deficit that exists in the UK democratic system? Just a reminder of the situation in the UK, which IMO has the most horrifically unfair election system in the democratic world:

In more half of the seats, no one but the incumbent has any realistic chance of winning. They're so called safe seats, some of them have been represented by the same party for more than a century.

Less than 100 seats decide the UK general election so the vast majority of people have no power to remove the government. In 13 of the last 19 post war general elections, less than 1 in 10 seats swung from one party to another. Roughly 100.000 voters in marginal seats decide who forms the government.

In roughly 30% of the seats for the House of Commons, the result is such a foregone conclusion that there is literally no campaign and no money spent.

UK upper chamber (House of Lords): Entirely unelected. Some seats are inherited through membership of the nobility and 21 seats are reserved for members of the clergy.

- UK government: Unlike European Commissioners who are subject to confirmation hearings at the European Parliament at the beginning of each legislature, UK ministers are appointed by the prime minister and citizens get notified by watching the news on TV.

Is that the kind deficit you are talking about?
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Re: Brexit

Postby BlunderCity » 04 Jan 2018, 04:02

super_dipsy wrote:I raise one final academic thought that I find fascinating. For those who do not know the EU, it decided to invert the traditional British structure of government, and I wonder how much that has had to do with the way the project has developed and the high degree of Euro-scepticism across the EU as epitomized by the Leave vote in the UK. The UK structure is two houses, one elected and one appointed. The elected house sets the agenda, comes up with the legislation and then passes it through the second house where it is refined and possibly returned for rework. In the EU, this is the other way up. Although the elected European leaders do meet to try to agree on major 'agenda' items, the 'house' controlling the vast majority of the agenda and drafting all the legislation and directives is the appointed one, while the reviewing house is the elected one. My own opinion is that this is at the heart of the democratic deficit often discussed by the European populations today. The problem is that the people coming up with and crafting legislation are not serving an electorate; they do not have to worry about getting voted out, only about not getting replaced by those who appoint them. So it is natural for them to make the most of their job, and with a subliminal federalist drum-beat from the senior EU players it is natural that they will want to reach deeper and deeper into national issues to drag control into their own sphere. It almost seems that a lot of what the EU has become has stemmed from this basic structure of having the unelected running the legislative show and the elected simply reviewing / stamping the outcome.


You are simply wrong. The notion that UK laws are drafted by the House of Commons is laughable. Most bills are government bills and so are nearly all bills voted into law. It is true that the Commons has a "right of initiative", something that the European Parliament does not have, but that only concerns a tiny percentage of all bills proposed. Those so called "private member's bill" (the only ones initiated by the Commons) almost never pass and are merely used as a publicity stunt to raise awareness of some issue.

The reality is that, nearly all bills whether in Europe or in the UK are drafted by unelected officials called ministers in the UK and Commissioners in the EU. It works like that in every country, the executive is unelected and drafts the majority of the bills. To claim that the EU and national parliaments work differently simply because a tiny and statistically irrelevant right of initiative exists in national parliaments is disingenuous and is a classic of the type of euroskeptic propaganda that is so prevalent in the UK.

As a side note, remember the EU constitution? You know, that evil piece of legislation that was going to usher the second coming of the Soviet Union? It was going to give the European Parliament a right of initiative. Did eurosketics champion the constitution? Of course not. That would make intellectually honest.
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Re: Brexit

Postby BlunderCity » 04 Jan 2018, 05:28

LBS wrote:Hey Peyton, thanks for your post, here's my reply.

PeytonManThing wrote: [...] sources that prove my major points that: 1) the European Union would eventually become the nation, and nations, such as England, would become states, in a very similar way to how the United States works; and 2) that one of the ways you can see that is from the EU trumping member State laws, or dictating goals member States must achieve or be fined.


the ongoing process of “Europeanization”: the creation of a shared European identity that augments (and one day, some argue, might even transcend) nationalism. Viewed from this perspective, the EU strives to be an entirely new mechanism, developed as a direct response to the ravages of World War II, for major European nations to yield some of their sovereignty to a single political and economic union as a means of preventing future wars. Under this last definition, and in contrast to the UN (founded in 1944, the same year Monnet began sharing his dream), it is not enough for the same old European nation-states to develop shared political institutions for collective security. The traditional balance-of-powers arrangements had led repeatedly to wars that left much of Europe devastated. Instead, the fundamental nature of those nation-states had to change. Therefore, today, the most zealous supporters of the EU assure others that they are Europeans first and Italians, Spaniards, or Germans second.” This, while merely a secondary source, shows I am not making up this idea that the EU is designed to be the Nation with member States really being more like member states (losing the capital S because they’re not sovereign, but subservient).


It all depends on how you view sovereignty. What is your definition? The ability to make your own laws and the right to the use of force to enforce said laws on your territory I suppose? If we take that as a definition, two things can be said with regards to the text you mentioned in the above quote:
- Nations that are at war, lose a big part of their sovereignty.
- The EU has effectively prevented any and all wars among its members.

So one could argue the EU actually provides more sovereignty. The question really is: what sovereignty do you value? The real, proof-able sovereignty I identified above? Or the theoretical sovereignty of 'being able to decide for yourself', with the underlying implication some other nation will inevitably, at some point, not agree and impede on your sovereignty? I would go for the first one.

The author goes on to cite a specific example: “Recently, while visiting the home of a senior Danish diplomat living in Brussels and serving on the staff of the European Commission (see below), this author experienced this attitude firsthand. The diplomat and his Danish wife were raising their young children to speak English and French, but not Danish. “English and French are the languages of Europe,” the diplomat stated. “We are from Denmark but our children will be Europeans.” He might have added German or Spanish to the list of languages, but the point was made: allegiance to Europe may someday, for some people, trump nationality.”

Is allegiance nationality? Is a catholic American not American anymore? Is someone enjoying the benefits the EU provides its (member-states') citizens not loyal to his/her government anymore?
Moreover: what is the exact value of nationality?

Again, this shows that it is very much intentional, especially on the part of those working in the EU government, that the EU should be a ruling nation.

So because a diplomat chooses to teach his children English and French, the EU is intentionally, by design, seeking to be 'a ruling nation'. Is this not a bit of a weird conclusion here?

British people absolutely have every right to reject this, and vote for their own sovereignty.

Again: what brings that sovereignty. I argue states in the EU got more sovereignty to decide their ways than those left outside with little political influence and little choice but to follow suit, something Britain will have to do if they exit.

Globalism is wrong because what is right for the Danish may not be right for the British, but having that has people from both groups making law that would universally apply to both groups interferes with both group’s abilities to order society the way they see fit.

Is one Dane equal to another in opinion on laws? Why should a Dane be happier with a law made by a fellow Dane than by a Briton? (I know quite a few Englishmen right now are not so very happy with the decision making capabilities of some countrymen...) Why should it be more right to have a couple of Danes democratically decide on a law than a mixed group of Danes and Brits? Your reasoning is blinded by nationalistic tendencies.

You might argue that if there’s disagreement then the UK could simply veto the law and member state laws would govern, but you would be wrong for two reasons, which I will get into more later, suffice for here that “at least some aspects of a rejected treaty may later re-emerge through European policy decisions made by EU officials in Brussels.” The EU government can have non-democratically elected officials that are not beholden to the citizens of member states create laws that were specifically rejected when proposed in a treaty. The other reason that argument is wrong is that even if the UK agrees today, it doesn’t mean they agree tomorrow, but tomorrow they can’t do anything to withdraw their agreement, except leave entirely, it appears to me.

Twofold wrong. First, the EU cannot pass any laws without consent from the European Council/Council of the European Union and the Parliament. Which both have elected officials from member states in them, be it they are elected in a different way. Second, the UK government can, if it disagrees with something they passed in the future, re-table a discussion on said issue and propose a new initiative to replace the respective law(s).

How can you tell me this doesn’t sound like the start of the creation of federal government? “The European Single Act, together with the 1992 Treaty of Maastricht (see below), established the phased-in process for full Economic and Monetary Union (“EMU”), including coordinated national economic policies; the creation of a centralized European banking structure and financial markets; harmonized trade duties and tariffs for EU members; and a European single currency, the Euro.

Again: is it inherently sacrificing effective sovereignty if you decide to design a form of federal/supra-national structure to deal with affairs single states simply cannot deal with? I would argue states actually gain sovereignty here. They avoid losing sovereignty due to something we might call (depending on what subject you look at) a 'tragedy of the commons', a 'prisoners dilemma' or simply uniting against a greater force (financial markets for example).

On January 1, 1999, the Euro became the single currency for eleven EU member states tied to a common exchange system.” And: “Treaty of Maastricht (1992) Besides continuing the EMU process, the Maastricht Treaty established “the Three Pillars,” an architecture for the future development of the EU:
1. Pillar One incorporates founding treaties and sets out institutional requirements for the EMU. It also empowers EU institutions to pass laws and regulations in various areas, including the environment, education, and research. Unlike Pillars Two and Three, Pillar One operates through EU supra-national institutions instead of through inter-governmental co-operation.
2. Pillar Two establishes the CFSP. This pillar is designed to enable the EU to take joint action in foreign and security affairs.
3. Pillar Three creates the Justice and Home Affairs policy, dealing with asylum, immigration, judicial cooperation, drug control and interdiction, and customs and police cooperation.
What is really key here is that “Pillar one operates through Eu supra-national institutions” and not “inter-governmental co-operation.” So with regards to “various areas” including “the environment, education and research,” the EU can pass laws that trump member state laws and you can just deal with it.

Yet this is not true. A member state can always object. Sometimes they do not though, because they won't find a majority to support their objection or because they agree to disagree but do not feel it worthy to make a big deal out of it.

It’s also important to note that, while the European Council is the most powerful body, and is composed of the heads of states, and most decisions require unanimity, that that still isn’t a particularly democratic system. The British people have no direct say. If their head of state votes in favor of it, they could kick him or her out, but it wouldn’t change the result. The Treaty would still be binding. And as I’ve said before, I do not know of a way in which a member state can revoke its agreement to a treaty at a later date without penalty. If you know of a way, enlighten me.

Okay this is taking way too long, and I have work to do, I will work on this more later.

Not direct democracy, no. But that is simply impossible to achieve in international affairs. It would make any country incredibly unreliable and therefore international accords neigh impossible.

You do touch another point here though: British officials are inherently not elected in a very democratic way, just like in America. But that is not by any means the EU's fault. Interestingly enough, the EU parliament actually enabled UK citizens to vote more democratically for those officials than they can for their national parliament! :roll:

Will get to the newer posts later.


This has got to be, by far, the best post in this thread.
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