Brexit

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Re: Brexit

Postby V » 20 Feb 2016, 21:01

All valid possibilities, but the EU would not look too impressive allowing sour grapes to prevent a deal already approved for other neighbouring states. UK may not be the only applicant either, if other nations followed their course.
The far east is the emerging market for quality products, where I'm sure UK would do just fine.
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Re: Brexit

Postby Malevolence » 20 Feb 2016, 21:24

joe92 wrote:Agreed. But also, the US should be accepting way, way more Syrian migrants than they are. It is their failed and downright dangerous foreign policy which has created this fiasco. Arming the "rebels"? Training "rebels" who just join groups like Al Nusra immediately afterwards? Luckily, they have an ocean between them and the problem. An ocean most migrants can't afford to cross.



I feel the need to defend here (the ME policy of the past decade, not the conclusion about taking more refugees, on that we can agree). Had the UK been hit by the worst terrorist attack in history and found out that a known state sponsor of terrorism was pursuing biological weapons (I know, he wasn't, but the intelligence, admittedly faulty, portrayed that he was), you would be hard pressed not to act to prevent an even worse tragedy than 9/11. Did it work? No, of course not, but the policy, from the perspective of the time, was entirely rational, and the alternative would have been considered dangerously irresponsible.
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Re: Brexit

Postby bindlestiff » 20 Feb 2016, 22:14

Senlac wrote:You make very valid points that our politicians have often been at fault, allowing EU problems to become ours as well, but will that ever change?
I don't think UK membership has been by definition a bad idea, but just now (& I fear the future) it offers more deficiencies than benefits.
British products & services have improved beyond measure since the 70's & there are many lucrative markets to exploit, other than the EU (were we to lose some trade).
Norway & Switzerland are the examples I look at, to see what is possible without them.


Speaking from the perspective of a US citizen, the situation seems analogous to our own system of states in some ways, or perhaps more akin to the assemblage of former colonies that made up the Confederation before we created a true federal union by adopting our Constitution. The Confederation was a failure, precisely for the reason the EU will fail - it is too easy for individual members to go their own way when asked to act in a way that is against the member's immediate self-interest. Our success, on the other hand, derives from every member recognizing that, while it might do better in some ways on its won, there is, on balance, more value to be had from belonging to, and contributing to, a union. That's not to say, of course, that the US is without its problems - far from it. But we do profit from the strength that comes from unity, however, fragile that unity appears at times

I'll be sad to see the EU disappear, as it will likely then return to its historic condition of bickering powers, no longer of the first rank, striving for temporary advantage, when the alternative, a strong, federal Europe, would be a powerful player on the world's stage.
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Re: Brexit

Postby joe92 » 21 Feb 2016, 00:36

Malevolence wrote:
joe92 wrote:Agreed. But also, the US should be accepting way, way more Syrian migrants than they are. It is their failed and downright dangerous foreign policy which has created this fiasco. Arming the "rebels"? Training "rebels" who just join groups like Al Nusra immediately afterwards? Luckily, they have an ocean between them and the problem. An ocean most migrants can't afford to cross.



I feel the need to defend here (the ME policy of the past decade, not the conclusion about taking more refugees, on that we can agree). Had the UK been hit by the worst terrorist attack in history and found out that a known state sponsor of terrorism was pursuing biological weapons (I know, he wasn't, but the intelligence, admittedly faulty, portrayed that he was), you would be hard pressed not to act to prevent an even worse tragedy than 9/11. Did it work? No, of course not, but the policy, from the perspective of the time, was entirely rational, and the alternative would have been considered dangerously irresponsible.


Yes, but that has nothing to do with Syria. Right after a failed policy in Libya (which for some mad reason is considered a success by some American politicians *ahem* Clinton) the US pursued the exact same policy of arming rebels in Syria. It was opposed by all rational thinking human beings. The only support they had for doing so was from disgruntled farmers in Syria who thought the government was badly treating them. Please find a single country in the world which doesn't have a rural community opposed to it's current government and I'll give you a medal. Disgruntled rural communities are everywhere and is no fair reason for supporting the overthrow of a functioning government. Albeit a dictatorship, but if that was the criteria for arming rebels we (the US and the UK and many other western powers) wouldn't be selling arms to the House of Saud now would we. It was an extremely ill thought out plan which has resulted in a years long civil war and millions of displaced lives. The UK has it's share of the blame, don't get me wrong, as does France particularly and several other European nations, but it was a US led initiative to arm those rebels.

I am not talking about the foreign policy that led to the invasion of Afghanistan, or the Iraq war. I don't like Bush but with intel at the time he made a decision that many in his position would have. With the benefit of hindsight we can all criticise him but at the time, as you rightly say, he was acting on the best intelligence that he had. Anyhow, this refugee crisis is little to do with Bush and mostly to do with Obama / Clinton / Kerry.
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Re: Brexit

Postby Malevolence » 21 Feb 2016, 00:43

Oh, if we're talking that recently, then American involvement is actually tantalizingly irrelevant.

If you look at who the Americans have actually supported most, its the Kurds, not the disgruntled rural population. THAT group has Turkey and Saudi Arabia to thank for its funding, who, if you recall, both want to oust Assad because he is an Iranian ally. The US is remembered as abandoning said rebels, not arming them beyond simple small arms and even then, most shipments didn't get through.
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Re: Brexit

Postby joe92 » 21 Feb 2016, 00:48

Malevolence wrote:Oh, if we're talking that recently, then American involvement is actually tantalizingly irrelevant.

If you look at who the Americans have actually supported most, its the Kurds, not the disgruntled rural population. THAT group has Turkey and Saudi Arabia to thank for its funding, who, if you recall, both want to oust Assad because he is an Iranian ally. The US is remembered as abandoning said rebels, not arming them beyond simple small arms and even then, most shipments didn't get through.


I'm talking about as recently as when the rebel uprising began. It did not begin because of Turkey and Saudi Arabia. It began because the momentum of the Arab spring caused demonstrations across Syria. Syria tried to stamp down on the demonstrations, with lethal force in some case, at which point the rebels were armed. The rebel uprisings in Saudi Arabia, as small as they were, were ignored and very effectively culled.

If we skip past the beginning of the uprising and jump to today, then yes it is mostly Turkey and Saudi Arabia sustaining the rebels. By the way, the US and UK support the Kurds in words only. We do nothing to actually help them in real terms.
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Re: Brexit

Postby V » 21 Feb 2016, 00:50

I agree Bindlestiff. Sadly.

Living in USA for many years, lots of my friends would ask, "Why the USA did so well"? Over 100 years of Peace & Unity sure helps, I would reply.

However "One Nation under God" is beyond European nations. They come complete with unique language, culture, heritage... To be subservient to a Federal power? I don't think so, despite many possible advantages.
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Re: Brexit

Postby joe92 » 21 Feb 2016, 01:04

Senlac wrote:I agree Bindlestiff. Sadly.

Living in USA for many years, lots of my friends would ask, "Why the USA did so well"? Over 100 years of Peace & Unity sure helps, I would reply.

However "One Nation under God" is beyond European nations. They come complete with unique language, culture, heritage... To be subservient to a Federal power? I don't think so, despite many possible advantages.


That is regrettably an extremely accurate point. Europe with it's many cultures, it's history rich with war between feudal powers, has historically struggled to coexist. However, that doesn't always have to be the case. The EU has done a lot to bring us closer together and could do more.
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Re: Brexit

Postby super_dipsy » 21 Feb 2016, 02:10

I admit to being terribly confused over the question of leave or not. I think the main reason is there are a LOT of red herrings and unfounded claims on both sides that only confuse the majority. For a start, I personally do not put any credence in economic arguments for and against, because frankly noone knows what will happen if we leave. One argument put forth by the stay camp is that Europe is our largest customer for goods and services, and being outside Europe would leave us with huge barriers to trade an punitive tariffs. But then, as the leave camp points out, we are a huge customer for goods and service produced in other parts of Europe and therefore it is almost certain there would be huge pressure on the remaining Euro governments to quickly set up trade agreements so they can continue sellling us stuff; and of course this works both ways.

My own approach is to instead look at the broader and more long term question of what do you want to be. Starting from first principles, the major architects of the European project were unashamedly clear that they wanted to achieve 'ever closer integration'. Much of this integration is evident in the various treaties that underpin the project. That is why the Euro was created, it is why there is pressure from the European Parliament for a European army and a European President and for Europe to sit on the Security Council etc.. This desire for closer integration is built into much of what the EU does. However, the first step on the journey was the idea of a common market across Europe (the European Economic Community) and this was a clever strategy because almost noone could argue that this was desirable at some level. British politicians have been good at trying to argue away the subsequent steps leading down the path of ever closer integration by saying that the best place for us to be to ensure the EU is what we want is from the inside, and we will work to change it.

Where we stand now though, we have learned some lessons. Even with the polls showing Brexit is a real possibility. the European governments and in particular the behemoth that is the European Parliament have fought every inch of the way and have given a fraction of what Cameron originally wanted. It has been made very clear that those bodies have no intention whatsoever of allowing the UK to disrupt their plans for closer integration. In a nutshell, the UK tried (pretty incompetently it has to be said) to inch the Euro project agenda back to just being a free trade EEC, but it has been unanimously rebuffed.

So I think what people have to decide is do they want to end up in a federalized Europe under a single currency where the laws and regulations are set by the Eurocracy, or do we not. It is not about economics in my mind, but purely and simply where do we want to end up. But people need to be clear on what the future will be; there should be no pussyfooting around. We can no longer pretend that we can get what we want changed, because it wont happen. Do we want to have the Euro as our currency, and have all the 'federal' government done from Brussels / Strasbourg, with the national parliaments playing the 'local government' role? Or do we want Britain to remain a sovereign power with its own government calling the shots, even if this means we become a tiny country with little international influence and a weakened economy? Note I am not saying we WILL be weakened in these ways, I am simply saying that it is a definite possibility.

I've said enough (or probably far too much ;) ). Just my personal view. Decide on the question based on what you want the UK to be as a nation, and don't get bogged down in arguments that are built on ifs and maybes.
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Re: Brexit

Postby V » 21 Feb 2016, 03:13

Super_Dipsy.

A splendid piece. Well put. Wish I could write like that.

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