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yoshi

UK. EU. Yes? No? Referendum 23 June.

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Think it's fair to start a dedicated thread for this:

So after much wrangling in Brussels the Prime Minister has got some kind of deal on the UK's status within the EU. Some people think it's the best thing since sliced bread, others think it's changed not much at all. On June 23, we're all going to vote on whether to stay in the EU or get out of it - a big decision. Add in the huge internal fight within the Tory party between David Cameron (who is Prime Minister, and wants to stay in the EU) & Boris Johnson (who wants to be Prime Minister, & wants to leave it), & you have the recipe for the political fight that'll consume this country for the next 4 months :o

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My main knowledge of this is that Boris and a certain architecture fan want out. So staying in has got to be the the right course. no?

I suspect this will be like the Scotland thing. Seemingly 50/50, lots of talk, then a vote for the status quo in the end.

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how it hits your pockets rather than how it affects your heart - this is what will guide the British public.

the european project is heading for collapse... it has been on a rollercoaster that only heads one way for several year now.

I hope the markets do not dictate how the brits will vote - but indeed, when it is time to vote,how the pound is doing and how the Scots are feeling will weight heavy over the vote.

And in the end, the Brits will vote to stay. Ah well. The idea was nice.

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I did a very unscientific straw poll in my area for work the other day and Out supporters outnumbered In by nearly three to one. However, Don't Knows made up nearly as big a group as the Out group and it's these people who will be crucial when we get to June 23. I'm very much in that category as well as, for all my natural scepticism about the institution, I have yet to see a convincing case for Brexit. I suspect I'll only make up my mind when I'm staring at the ballot paper.

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At least we know when the drama will end. It is shameful how the idea of peaceful prospering and united Europe is being sacrificed for egocentric party in-fighting.

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At least we know when the drama will end. It is shameful how the idea of peaceful prospering and united Europe is being sacrificed for egocentric party in-fighting.

That's certainly part of why the referendum is happening, but its not as simple as that. I think the reaction of the Brits to the EU is just politics catching up with economics, as it is in the rest of the EU where there is also deep dissatisfaction. The financial shock of the "great recession" has changed the way people look at the EU - they feel disempowered by it and estranged from its decisions. The answer is not to leave though and I will certainly be voting to stay in. If other Europeans think this is just UK exceptionalism and egocentricity they are very wrong - its not how it feels to me at least. I am glad we're asking the question, but I'm very afraid of the answer. The EU needs to change into a core of Eurozone countries and those outside who have a kind of associate membership. This needs to be done soon and in a way which people will recognise it when it happens. The Eurozone countries need to effectively pool their democracy and live with the consequences and the others need to support that process (inc the UK).

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^^ Indeed, and I think whatever is worked out with the UK can form the basis for that. Whatever is offered to the UK should also be on offer to other EU non-Eurozone countries who are jittery like Denmark - kill two birds with one stone. It is telling that 7-8 years ago the anti-EU argument could be summed up by silly stories like "Faceless Eurocrats Ban Bendy Bananas" whilst today it's a movement which encompasses the left in Greece all the way across to UKIP here. And it's now about the effect a fundamentally flawed currency union has had on the entire continent. I'll vote to stay, but the EU needs to work out what it is going to be in the future and how it can encompass both nations with and without its beloved currency.

Edited by Rob.
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The euro zone has to eventually either fall apart or become a single state. One currency across multiple governments with different interests & economies = recipe for disaster.

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I think its also easy to see why Germans are mystified by this referendum - years of benefiting from an under valued currency leading to an export boom and economic growth. This is not the experience of the vast majority of Europeans inside and outside of the Euro zone. For most people Europe is a miserable place at the moment in terms of personal and national fortunes. The German experience is warped and out of synch with just about everyone else. Don't get me wrong, Germany has earned its success - but not all of it... The refugee crisis need to be viewed in that context too.

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Get out. The EU is dead, especially given how a stay in vote will only reinforce Germany's idea that there is nothing wrong with the EU.

Either the EU becomes a federation or a simple free trade alliance, not some strange suedo-hybrid they have currently.

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Either the EU becomes a federation or a simple free trade alliance, not some strange suedo-hybrid they have currently.

Probably the latter, given that thousands of years of separate cultural development are a very strong factor against US or Australian style federation.

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Probably the latter, given that thousands of years of separate cultural development are a very strong factor against US or Australian style federation.

I agree.

Free Trade is the best and most realistic option.

The current EU is a terrible leftover from the "New Millennium"/End of Cold War fantasy that the world could be united and peaceful.

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The current EU is a terrible leftover from the "New Millennium"/End of Cold War fantasy that the world could be united and peaceful.

I don't think this is fair on either end. The EU's problem is that it is a lot of different visions for a united Europe cobbled together into a dysfunctional system (it is a currency union without a fiscal union, a political union without sovereignty, etc) rather than being a product of the 1990's. (If anything it was a product of the aftermath of the horror of WW2 rather than the utopia of the 1990's.) Meanwhile there are plenty of peaceful countries operating multilaterally such as Canada, Costa Rica, New Zealand, Norway, etc.

I think it is pretty telling for the future of the EU that the Germans, ostensibly the ones keeping the EU together, are the ones most adamantly opposed to the unionist reforms required to make it function. If Germany is opposed to pan-European budgets and debt sharing, the only way to keep the EU together is to go "backwards" and drop the common currency.

Edited by Nacre
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I don't think this is fair on either end. The EU's problem is that it is a lot of different visions for a united Europe cobbled together into a dysfunctional system (it is a currency union without a fiscal union, a political union without sovereignty, etc) rather than being a product of the 1990's. (If anything it was a product of the aftermath of the horror of WW2 rather than the utopia of the 1990's.) Meanwhile there are plenty of peaceful countries operating multilaterally such as Canada, Costa Rica, New Zealand, Norway, etc.

I think it is pretty telling for the future of the EU that the Germans, ostensibly the ones keeping the EU together, are the ones most adamantly opposed to the unionist reforms required to make it function. If Germany is opposed to pan-European budgets and debt sharing, the only way to keep the EU together is to go "backwards" and drop the common currency.

I think Germany is frightened of its history with trying to "unify" Europe. I think that's why they are holding back from going to a fully fledged union even though that's what they want deep down.

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Yeah, Germany always gets it wrong, no matter what...

What about the fact that 10-12 years ago, Germany was called "sick man of Europe", leading to extensive reforms that cost Gerhard Schröder his job, but led to propering economy that Merkel benefitted from? The miserable state of France, Italy or Greece is at least partly due to failure/unwillingness to tackle necessary reforms, Eurozone or not.

If the majority want out, so be it. But they must know it won't come without a price tag.

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It is not a question of blame.

In true states, the wealthy regions partially subsidize those regions which are poor. In Germany itself, the west subsidized the east after reunification. And currently Munich contributes more taxes than Berlin. For a currency union with a single central bank for the whole of Europe to work, there needs to be a single budget at the highest level, with some regions paying more than others.

So very simply, does Europe want that or not? If not, then the Euro needs to be abandoned and a new vision of the EU needs to be developed. If it does, then Europe needs to become a federalist state with a single supra-national budget.

The fact that Germany does not want to say "yes" to the federalist model of Europe at the same time it is arguing that Britain should stay in the EU is really, really bad news for people arguing for "one Europe." If Germany does not really want a united Europe (and to bail out Greece, Portugal, etc) then why should the British?

Of course the Euro is not the reason the British want out. I suspect it makes it a lot harder to sell the British public on freedom of movement for Europeans when the Eurozone is in economic difficulties, though. When unemployment in the Eurozone is so high it naturally increases immigration to the areas using the pound, franc, etc.

Edited by Nacre

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It's certainly not Germany's fault the EU is fractured and disheartened at the present time. The EU project is drifting and that is a collective responsibility to fix. Ideology has driven the EU ahead of what people are willing to accept in the UK, Germany and elsewhere. It time to step back and reimagine the project along more pragmatic and democratic lines. Nobody objects to supporting poorer countries but the EU can,t just be a wealth transfer union. People in north and west Europe need to see the value in the EU also and it's not very apparent what the benefits are. The EU doesn't fund big infrastructure and transformational projects in the UK and neither should they, however, people are asking why when the bulk of EU funding and activity is concentrated in south and east Europe why so many of them come here to work - something isn't working properly. The UK is a small collection of Islands and there are 65 million people squeezed on to them, rising to 72 million by 2030 on current trends. We may be the largest population in the EU by then. British people wonder how long we should live with unchecked population growth which is affecting our quality of life and environment. The EU has no answer to that other than a slight change to benefit entitlements for EU citizens who come here. I will be voting to stay in but I want to see fundamental change.

Edited by Ripley

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The biggest non-story of the year!!! Why should the British public who are only really interested in maintaining their standard of living and making sure the economy is running well care two hoots about the Tory Party's weird obsession with Europe? :rolleyes:

Have any of these Brexit fanatics come up with a convincing case for how and why the UK would be better off by breaking the Treaty of Rome and unilaterally wandering off by ourselves other than to feed their own narrow and, I suspect, strongly xenophobic obsessions? <_<

I realise it's not much of a choice but if I HAVE to decide whether to trust the political and economic instincts of Cameron as opposed to the ramblings of Boris The Buffoon, there's not much doubt where I would pitch my tent and I can't understand why any other sane and clear-headed UK citizen could ever decide differently! -_-

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Well, the moment of decision has almost come to us and I remain as deeply torn now about how to vote as when we first discussed this issue earlier in the year.

As many of you will know, my instincts are Eurosceptic. I believe the European Union, in its current form, is in need of radical reform and that feeling was summed up very well for me in a tweet I saw from John Cleese a few days ago in which he said: "If I thought there was any chance of major reform in the EU, I'd vote to stay in. But there isn't. Sad."

And yet, in a referendum situation, it seems to me that the onus ought to be on those who propose change to set out precisely why and how the change they desire will benefit the nation. I do not believe the Leave campaign has yet done that and yet the Remain side has also failed, in my view, to make a positive case for us to stay in. I think my decision will ultimately come down to a gut feeling when I fill in my postal vote paper and I suspect the same will be true for many millions of others when they go to the polling stations on Thursday.

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It's been dire, from both sides but I will be voting REMAIN.

Both sides have run negative campaigns - the Remain side with their projections about what would happen if we left and the Leave side with outright lies about how much money we lose to the EU, how much the EU costs the NHS, and their constant references to Turkey becoming a member (which they never mention the UK has a veto against).

That said, whilst negative in tone and not selling the EU, I'm not particularly sceptical about the Remain camp's claims. The same people made projections about Scotland's finances if it voted YES to independence and, as it turns out, their projections were too optimistic!

On the other hand, Faisal Islam of SKY News was told in an interview an independent audit of Leave's numbers would come in due course. It hasn't come. And he's been diligently pursuing that for the past month, but it seems they'd rather fanny about on boats than prove their numbers stack up.

And I hate to bring up what happened last week with poor Jo Cox because I don't think it's in any way reflective of how most Leave supporters see things, but I hope it does at least lead to UKIP's tone on immigration being seen as the nasty bigotry it is.

I've naturally got more sympathy for the Remain camp. I think if the EU didn't exist we'd need something like it. The trouble is, the Eurozone complicates things. What we should be pushing for, inside Europe, is a Europe which gives those inside the Eurozone more leeway to integrate (they need to) whilst allowing countries like ourselves, Denmark, Sweden etc to trade and work with Europe on other collaborative things (the EU's joint science budget gives us a huge amount, for example and a large number of leading scientists have signed a letter saying it'd be a huge loss to us to turn our backs on Europe).

Lastly, to be frank, the idea of Boris, Farage, Gove, Grayling and co gaining more influence in British politics scares the bejesus out of me. They say any savings made (and since they won't audit their numbers I'm doubtful that savings will happen) will be pushed back into the areas where the EU spends in the UK. Do I trust any of them to do that? No. I really don't.

Edited by Rob.
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Passions running high here in NZ as expat UK residents with voting rights have been vocal on both sides.

A reality check for NZ was forty years ago when UK joined the EEC and primary exports collapsed. UK was our number one export nation, and imports as well...(all those sh!tty Leyland built monstrosities). NZ rebuild and now exports 90% to the Asia/Pacfic region...like it always should. Its our trade bloc.

Nowadays UK exports barely register 3% and that still has to pass through Brussels for taxes etc. UK out of Europe would require a whole new set of trade deals to be signed. That will cost UK a fortune in amongst the natural recession that would hit after full uncoupling.

Best to stay IN and kick heads in Brussels than to be cast out into the cold.

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I'm in favor of whichever decision weakens the British pound. I want to visit England, but everything is ridiculously expensive there lol

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