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Ripley

UK in / out referendum

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I'd rather we were inside reforming than on the edge opting out here and there which seems to be Cameron's preferred approach. I'd rather we were a pain in the arse for good reason, than being a pain in the arse for the sake of placating the Fresh Start Club and those voters who might have drifted towards Farage.

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Im really at a cross roads with all this... and very confused. My instincts tell me we're economically better off in the EU, but the political side of my brain thinks I'm bored to death with the whole debate and with the uncertainty. Are we prima donnas resentful of the Franco german engine of Europe, or does Cameron have a valid point to make about the EU not being a one size fits all Union?

On the one hand I can understand other members states annoyance with the referendum "threat", but on the other hand would Cameron's views about the EU have been listened to without that sting in the tail?

I think Cameron is right about one thing, for many EU member states the EU is a political and social ideology.... I like most Brits view it in more practical terms. I would be intersted to see whether a brit exit from the EU would result in a coming together of the EU, or whether it would highlight the tensions between the centre (France and Germany) and countires that are more sceptical, but who are currently able to rely on the UK to ask the awkward questions?

Edited by Ripley

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:huh: My opinion from an outsiders perspective is - STAY IN!

The UK is the stabilising force for Europe's global outreach. UK is STILL a superpower in an overall sense.

Nations find it is too difficult to deal with France and...sorry to those that may be offended...still have a wary 'lack of trust' issue with Germany.

When UK joined the EU in the 70's, New Zealand was devestated but soon found the UK to be the portal into Europe for trade which is what the EU is all about. Germany at the time was still divided and France was doing it's best to shut the rest of the world out.

Nowadays it's Germany in control and trying to keep the ship upright on an even keel. The last thing it and the rest of Europe needs is for one of the stabilisers to drop off...and then over it turns. :(

You have got untill 2017 to discuss what is a very serious issue and David Cameron is right in giving UK the choice of in or out.

For the sake of the World at this difficult time - STAY IN! :mellow:

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:huh: My opinion from an outsiders perspective is - STAY IN!

The UK is the stabilising force for Europe's global outreach. UK is STILL a superpower in an overall sense.

Nations find it is too difficult to deal with France and...sorry to those that may be offended...still have a wary 'lack of trust' issue with Germany.

When UK joined the EU in the 70's, New Zealand was devestated but soon found the UK to be the portal into Europe for trade which is what the EU is all about. Germany at the time was still divided and France was doing it's best to shut the rest of the world out.

Nowadays it's Germany in control and trying to keep the ship upright on an even keel. The last thing it and the rest of Europe needs is for one of the stabilisers to drop off...and then over it turns. :(

You have got untill 2017 to discuss what is a very serious issue and David Cameron is right in giving UK the choice of in or out.

For the sake of the World at this difficult time - STAY IN! :mellow:

Austrlia and NZ seem to survive quite nicely without being in a federalist trading block... and Canada is in NAFTA which is a very loose alliance by EU standards... in that context why does the UK "need" to be in the EU? We're a country of 63 million people, I'm sure that we can survive outside the EU after a period of difficult adjustment. The UK can't endlessly be the counterbalance to Germany and France... and to a lesser extent "club med", it's not a constructive or sustainble position. We would probably have better realtions with the EU from the outside in some respects than we do being in it.

On the other hand, how painful would that period of adjustment be and would we deny future generations the clear tangible benefits of being in the EU such as strong environmental and social protections.... and being able to live and work in a different coutry without the need for visas. How cruel would a miffed EU be with the Uk and what kind of trading realtionship would result?

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This is just another example of political parties in the West doing what is expedient for their election futures but bad policy.

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the UK doesn't need the EU like Germany doesn't need the EU too, but in the world of globalisation or internationalism a country with 80 Mio inhabitants has not an impact in a global world anymore...

I think you're right but the EU looks inward and not outward. It's frightened of globalisation rather than trying to take advantage of the opportunities.

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The Uk is not a superpower IMO. China and the USA are. The rest like France, UK, Japan are on the next level imo.

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It's not about the UK walking away...It could, with ease.

Its what follows, and as mentioned in ripley's reply, the enevidable retaliation by the EU trading bloc on future generations of Britons. Also as mentioned, the EU is rather inward looking when it comes to Globalization. For the rest of the world, the UK is seen as the safe pair of hands in dealing with the awkward Brussels machine...The United States would have a real hard time dealing with the EU's not insubstantial apathy towards it without UK. (although US hypocracy in dealing with tariff free global trade doesn't help its cause much <_< )

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I think you're right but the EU looks inward and not outward. It's frightened of globalisation rather than trying to take advantage of the opportunities.

... the EU doesn't have the structure to talk/to negogiate with one voice - respectively the EU-members don't want that the EU has this structure. Therefore the EU looks inward at the moment, since we are living in a global world, which is changing faster and faster. I don't mean it in the economical sense only, but politics and socialwise, too, since economics are connected with politics and social issues. By the way I don't mean social not in the context of social services only, but in the meaning of lifestyle, our lives all and sundry...

The longer WWII is in the past the more people are not aware anymore how important the EU was/is for the fact that the political mean of war isn't in the heads of the European policitians and European citizens anymore - Norway is gladly aware of it and the Norwegian Nobel Prize committee did a great thing last year to bring this fact back into the minds of the Europeans and the whole world.

But I repeat it again the UK doesn't need the EU like Germany doesn't need the EU, too, but both countries are well advised to stay in the EU

Edited by Citius Altius Fortius

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If ASEAN and UNASUR become more integrated and coherent in the next few decades, the current EU would have difficulty doing business on level terms. Let a lone a small, declining island in the North Sea by itself.

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... the EU doesn't have the structure to talk/to negogiate with one voice - respectively the EU-members don't want that the EU has this structure. Therefore the EU looks inward at the moment, since we are living in a global world, which is changing faster and faster. I don't mean it in the economical sense only, but politics and socialwise, too, since economics are connected with politics and social issues. By the way I don't mean social not in the context of social services only, but in the meaning of lifestyle, our lives all and sundry...

The longer WWII is in the past the more people are not aware anymore how important the EU was/is for the fact that the political mean of war isn't in the heads of the European policitians and European citizens anymore - Norway is gladly aware of it and the Norwegian Nobel Prize committee did a great thing last year to bring this fact back into the minds of the Europeans and the whole world.

But I repeat it again the UK doesn't need the EU like Germany doesn't need the EU, too, but both countries are well advised to stay in the EU

CAF, I think its clear the EU is not interested in competing with the BRIC economies or any other... the instinct is to protect out dated industries and inefficient agriculture to the detriment of the EU and the wider world. Its a neurotic French socilaist reaction to the world which belongs to another age. The british left this kind of economics behind in the 1980s. If that is the prevailing wind in the EU, then it'll die a slow death with or without Britian. Perhaps without Brtitian, that death will happen more quickly. Germany has already set itself apart from this mess to a certain extent by increasing trade on more bilateral terms with china and similar fast growing economies. The share of German trade with the EU is falling relatively sharply.... althought ironically the UK is one of Germany's fastest growing export destinations. I think thats speaks volumes about the future, or not, of the EU. You might say that all this has happened with Germany being in the EU, but if the countries around you are of a different mind-set and continue to decline in relative terms, you will become even more locked into a role subsidising club med and potentially France. I don't think that's sustainable either.

its not a case of convincing brits to "join the party"... we don't want to. What is there left for countries who don't agree with the direction the EU is going in? Its understandable that there has been a pre-occupation with the Eurozone, but there is another part of the EU which is drifting away, and its not just the UK.

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If ASEAN and UNASUR become more integrated and coherent in the next few decades, the current EU would have difficulty doing business on level terms. Let a lone a small, declining island in the North Sea by itself.

I don't know about the UNASUR, but for the ASEAN, I think it's still a long way to be more integrated. The economic in each member is separated in different levels,I don't get any idea, will the Singapore agree to make a one currency with Indonesia (Although Indonesia will do redenomination for IDR, make 1 SGD about 8 IDR, instead of 1 SGD = 8,000 IDR)? Let alone with Vietnam or Timor Leste :)

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UNASUL is more a project than a practice. Countries of Mercosul still need to get their act together and stop the Brazil-Paraguay vs. Argentina-Uruguai commercial bickering and diverging international policies. Let alone the Andean Community and Chile, which is 'not even there' for this idea of a block. Mercosul seems to be better comparison (for now) with the regional model of EU...

BTW, how does a UK retreat affect the independence debates in the British nations or the Scotland case in particular?

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You've asked the question the wrong way round. The Scottish referendum will be 2014 whilst the EU referendum - if it happens - will be 2017. It's highly likely in my opinion that Scotland will vote to stay in the Union and that the Tories will lose the next General Election. That means the status of the UK won't be changed radically and we won't end up having an EU referendum anyway because only the Tories are promising one in the next Parliament.

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You've asked the question the wrong way round. The Scottish referendum will be 2014 whilst the EU referendum - if it happens - will be 2017. It's highly likely in my opinion that Scotland will vote to stay in the Union and that the Tories will lose the next General Election. That means the status of the UK won't be changed radically and we won't end up having an EU referendum anyway because only the Tories are promising one in the next Parliament.

by the way what is the opinion of the Liberals, who are in the current government together with the Tories, about the referendum? I thought they are very EU-friendly...

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CAF, I think its clear the EU is not interested in competing with the BRIC economies or any other... the instinct is to protect out dated industries and inefficient agriculture to the detriment of the EU and the wider world.

The time will come - the world will witness huge changes in the next twenty/fifty/hundred years...

And we Europeans are part of this world - we don't live on an island of blissfulness, which is called "European Union" - the strength of the European Union is on one hand it diversity at its unity at the same time...

The changes won't be economical only, but nature (climate changes, fossil fuels will become more and more less), social (e.g. means of communication) etc. etc.

Europe should learn to keep its diversity and its common sense at the same time, since there is no single European state, which will be heard in the world of tommorrow...

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by the way what is the opinion of the Liberals, who are in the

current government together with the Tories, about the referendum? I

thought they are very EU-friendly...

They are, but I don't know how much noise they'll make about it. Cameron's promise is for a referendum after the election if he wins it, and that's probably not likely anyway. The Lib Dems will fight the next election as a pro-European left-of-centre party as always and the Conservatives as a Eurosceptic, right-of-centre party. Nothing's changed there.

And yes, the Lib Dems are part of the current government, but they're a small and meek voice within it. Their pro-Europe stance won't carry much weight or put off the Prime Minister from his current course.

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They are, but I don't know how much noise they'll make about it. Cameron's promise is for a referendum after the election if he wins it, and that's probably not likely anyway. The Lib Dems will fight the next election as a pro-European left-of-centre party as always and the Conservatives as a Eurosceptic, right-of-centre party. Nothing's changed there.

And yes, the Lib Dems are part of the current government, but they're a small and meek voice within it. Their pro-Europe stance won't carry much weight or put off the Prime Minister from his current course.

I just wonder what would happen if the Lib Dems left the government right now? Would there be elections right afterwards?

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I think that it would only damage themselves, they agreed to the terms and said they were committed to a stable government. Breaking it now would only be damaging.

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Why a referendum in 2017? I want it this year! If the UK doesnt give up the rabate, doesnt join the Schengen-Area and join the Fiscal Pact, throw them out! I know, it is not possible, but who is taking the UK seriously anyway? Who is taking this government seriously? All Cameron wants is to protect the FI! I cant believe it. The FI is responsible for many problems we had and still have. For me, it is like a cancer and Cameron is protecting it! Apart from the FI the UK is only successful in Entertainment and Military. I can live without tanks and without the Australian jungle ;)

The EU has 28 members and the UK would be at 25th rank, when it comes to influence.

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Thanks for the answer, Rob. :) I had the impression the Scottish parliament had a more pro-EU stance than the English politicians. I asked that because I imagined the recent events could sharpen the opposing views inside UK.

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The Scottish Government does have a pro EU stance and does want to be a member state in an Independent Scotland. It does not want to join the Euro.

I find it very ironic and hypocritical that the Westminster Government and Pro-union groups have been scaremongering the people of Scotland that becoming independent would not guarantee a place in the EU and that would result in losing financial subsidies and employment opportunities that the EU brings, BUT then they decide that they want to hold a UK referendum to decide if they leave the union or not.

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