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Paganbasque
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2016 3:10 am 
 

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-32810887

www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk.../eu-referend ... 16-7699714


What do you think about this? what do yo expect?


I hope that the UK stays but I would like to change things. The UK´s involvement in the EU has never been enough positive and proactive. It reminds me a group of friends who want to do something together and there is always a friend who says no to the majority of plans and he always want to do things on his way, never giving a ittle. Its like the UK(or its citizens) have never believed in the UE. I would like to see a change on this aspect because the EU would be stronger and the UK would benefit from this.

On the other hand I would like to see a true EU, with a true European government with similar laws but I guess people and countries are not ready for this.

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StainedClass95
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Joined: Fri Jul 04, 2014 4:14 am
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2016 3:41 am 
 

What in particular about a stronger union appeals to you? I don't have a stake in this, but I've been looking at it off and on, and I don't think I've happened upon an argument for a stronger union yet.

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RichardDeBenthall
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2016 3:49 am 
 

Although I understand the arguments of many of my peers for wanting to Leave the EU I do think that public opinion has begun to favour the case for Remain.

The core of the Leave argument for many people is the topic of immigration and the political leaders of Leave movement have not discussed in any concrete way how they will actually affect positive change once we leave the EU. Instead we are simply promised that things will get better and that it will be a new era for the UK. They never go beyond this. The only particular argument of the Leave side which does have any ring of truth to it is that staying in the EU compromises the sovereignty of the UK. As the EU Parliament trumps the UK Parliament, having EU wide laws enforced upon the UK population seems kind of undemocratic. However, I guess this is the principle of the Representative Democracy! We vote for people to represent our interests and they then go and vote in the EU Parliament. Still though, the way Germany sometimes refers to us these days it sounds like they don't want us in anymore anyway. As if we, the 5th largest economy in the world, are a burden to them.

However, I will be voting remain. For both pragmatic reasons and moral/gut reasons. Pragmatically, its frankly too bloody risky for us to leave! Leave seems certain that our economy will be better off in the long-run if we leave but this opinion doesn't seem to be shared by anyone in the know! Many companies (including the company I work for) are either owned by European firms or have a strong European basis. I don't want to throw my job away for some outdated, nationalistic vitriol. Morally as well, as much as I purport to be a moderate Libertarian, I do believe somewhat in the idea of Humanity and Global Unity. I feel that with organizations such as the EU and UN, while flawed, are our best bet to achieving some semblance of this. I consider myself European as well as British. In fact, I probably consider myself more European than I do British/English. Why would I vote to be separate from my own people?

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Paganbasque
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2016 4:22 am 
 

RichardDeBenthall wrote:
. Still though, the way Germany sometimes refers to us these days it sounds like they don't want us in anymore anyway. As if we, the 5th largest economy in the world, are a burden to them.

However, I will be voting remain. For both pragmatic reasons and moral/gut reasons. Pragmatically, its frankly too bloody risky for us to leave! Leave seems certain that our economy will be better off in the long-run if we leave but this opinion doesn't seem to be shared by anyone in the know! Many companies (including the company I work for) are either owned by European firms or have a strong European basis. I don't want to throw my job away for some outdated, nationalistic vitriol. Morally as well, as much as I purport to be a moderate Libertarian, I do believe somewhat in the idea of Humanity and Global Unity. I feel that with organizations such as the EU and UN, while flawed, are our best bet to achieving some semblance of this. I consider myself European as well as British. In fact, I probably consider myself more European than I do British/English. Why would I vote to be separate from my own people?


Well, France is being harder than Germany when its about stablishing the conditions for the UK it the brexit becomes a reality.

Economically the Brexit can not be good, because it would mean to break economic ties which would be harmful in a long term.

About the inmigration problem, its clear that the UE has not maintained a coherent position in this problem. Sadly, the political and public fight is being won by populist and racists parties which means that our politicians have made a terrible job.

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Lydster
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2016 7:48 am 
 

I'll be voting leave. I've searched for as many non-biased sources as I can trying to get a good estimate of how we'd fare economically if we left, and in all probability we'd be slightly worse off in the short term, but it would in no way be the disaster that many in the remain camp claim it would be (I've read claims that we'd see GDP drop by more than 10% per year, worse than the great depression... yeah, OK). There's also a good chance we would be better off in the long as we'd save billions of pounds that could be spent on public services and, if in the unlikely even that Europe snubs us, we could get better trade deals with growing economies elsewhere (China and India for example).

Sadly immigration is the main issue that the media is focusing on, portraying it as 'all or nothing' as if everyone on the leave side is a member of the national front. We've become so brainwashed by the new left thought police that we're not even allowed to have a discussion on whether allowing 300,000 new people every year to come and live on a tiny, overpopulated island with high unemployment and dire housing needs is a good thing. You can lose your job for having the wrong opinion on this issue nowadays, so the media (on both sides) are appealing to people's fears (both of mass immigration bringing down wages and of being seen as racist) rather than focusing on the complicated economic arguments which probably aren't going to sway undecided voters. I'm in agreement with politicians on the leave camp who say that a reasonable level of immigration is good for the economy, but think we should reduce the numbers and be more selective about who we let in. Seems like common sense to me....

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Paganbasque
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2016 9:25 am 
 

High unemployement? really? this is high for you? because I call it heaven.

http://www.tradingeconomics.com/united- ... e/forecast

The Brexit will damage your economy, obviously not at a rate of 10% but it will have a bad influence. I hate when people manipulate the data only to sound more convincing. EU membership has been beneficial for the UK. The inmigration politics are both responsibility of your government and the EU, to blame only the Union its an easy way to not face each lands responsability.

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aloof
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2016 10:34 am 
 

Paganbasque wrote:
It reminds me a group of friends who want to do something together and there is always a friend who says no to the majority of plans and he always want to do things on his way, never giving a ittle.


I generally avoid commenting on politics, but sometimes things get too wrong... the uk pays something between 35 and 50 million a day (read that again) to be in the EU, depending on who you believe. that's what kills the brits. their health system is struggling, that money could be spent there or anywhere else, yet they give it to the EU.

in return, they also get a lot (trust me, a lot) of people who come over just to get benefits (read: free money), never actually intending to work, and sometimes they don't even stay in the uk to spend that money (there's a documentary on youtube).

here are some links to support the above:

https://fullfact.org/europe/our-eu-memb ... 5-million/

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstop ... udget.html

so, please be a bit more considerate when relating the facts from your own twisted pov :)

either way, thursday is a big day. we'll see what happens.
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severzhavnost
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2016 3:24 pm 
 

Well... I hope Britain chooses to escape the Empire of Unfreedom. But I'm not very optimistic. Firstly, the pro-Union side will use sensationalism to portray the secessionists as *gasp* nationalists! Can't have that! This has already started in the aftermath o the murder of MP Jo Cox, where the killer's support for leaving Europe is being hyped up.

Secondly, this is part of the process of Article 50, on Withdrawing from the European Union:
Spoiler: show
2.11 ...The European Council, minus the departing State, then agrees by consensus the guidelines for the Commission to negotiate the withdrawal agreement. Consensus requires every Member State (minus the departing State) to vote in favour.
2.12 The final agreement would need to be agreed by both parties: the EU side and the departing state ... this would require an enhanced qualified majority among the remaining Member States. This means that no single Member State could veto the deal, but that it would need to reach a critical level of support. (Specifically, it would need to be agreed by 20 out of 27 Member States, representing 65 per cent of the population).
2.13 The European Parliament would also need to approve ... [by]a simple majority of its 751 MEPs. (MEPs from the departing Member State would probably be allowed to vote, because at this stage it would still formally be part of the EU).


As appalling as it may be, the fact is that a popular referendum in Britain in favour of leaving the EU, does not mean they actually get out! To even begin negotiations requires unanimous approval by all other member states. Then, the content of the final agreement, which may take two years to draft, requires 20 of 27 states to agree; along with 366 of 731 European MP's - which may not even include the British members at that point. o_O In short, whether Britain really gets out will be decided by other countries. Is there any more grottesque violation of national sovereignty than this?
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henkkjelle
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2016 6:34 pm 
 

As much as I want the UK to vote leave just to see what would happen, I don't think this is even the right kind of referendum to have. Yes I agree with a lot of what the leave camp is saying. Mostly with the argument that the EU in it's current form is far from democratic. But maybe we should organise referenda to change the current form of the EU instead of fragmenting it. I don't know how you would do that or if that's even possible considering we would have to change a fundamentally undemocratic system into a democratic one. And I also don't see how reverting back to pre EU times would get us any further in the grand scheme of things.

I'm very torn on the issue if you hadn't noticed yet.
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Morrigan
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2016 6:47 pm 
 

Obligatory

Youtube: show


;)

Full segment about Brexit here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iAgKHSNqxa8
Disclaimer, I'm Canadian and I don't know much about the EU in general and how accurate the points summarized in Last Week Tonight are, but they made a pretty strong case against leaving.
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Paganbasque
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2016 1:44 am 
 

henkkjelle wrote:
As much as I want the UK to vote leave just to see what would happen, I don't think this is even the right kind of referendum to have. Yes I agree with a lot of what the leave camp is saying. Mostly with the argument that the EU in it's current form is far from democratic. But maybe we should organise referenda to change the current form of the EU instead of fragmenting it. I don't know how you would do that or if that's even possible considering we would have to change a fundamentally undemocratic system into a democratic one. And I also don't see how reverting back to pre EU times would get us any further in the grand scheme of things.

I'm very torn on the issue if you hadn't noticed yet.


I am with you that many things should be reformed/changed in order to achieve a more democratic EU. But fragmentation or destruction are not they good ways to improve the current situation.

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Paganbasque
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2016 1:49 am 
 

aloof wrote:

so, please be a bit more considerate when relating the facts from your own twisted pov :)

either way, thursday is a big day. we'll see what happens.


I am being considerate, no intention to insult the UK, sorry if you have thought this.

I only have given this example because the UK has said "no" to many modifications and new decisions during the last years. The argumentation of "we dont want to loose our sovereignty(?)" can be apply to all the countries but it seems that some politicians in the UK think that they have more right than other countries to complain about that.

I will watch all your links ASAP, thanks for the extra info, I appreciate it because I want to know as much as possible about both sides points of view :)

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RichardDeBenthall
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2016 3:36 am 
 

Paganbasque wrote:
aloof wrote:

so, please be a bit more considerate when relating the facts from your own twisted pov :)

either way, thursday is a big day. we'll see what happens.


I am being considerate, no intention to insult the UK, sorry if you have thought this.

I only have given this example because the UK has said "no" to many modifications and new decisions during the last years. The argumentation of "we dont want to loose our sovereignty(?)" can be apply to all the countries but it seems that some politicians in the UK think that they have more right than other countries to complain about that.

I will watch all your links ASAP, thanks for the extra info, I appreciate it because I want to know as much as possible about both sides points of view :)


That's the right attitude to have^

My understanding is that the UK says no to a lot EU legislation but it occupies a key balancing role within the dichotomy of the European parliament, balancing out the machinations of France and Germany.

I do believe that we will leave the EU if we vote to do so. There's too much hype about it now. If the EU tried to stop us it would cause such a democratic uproar in the UK that it would do more harm to their credibility to stop us, especially in the eyes of other EU cynical member states.

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Paganbasque
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2016 4:53 am 
 

RichardDeBenthall wrote:

That's the right attitude to have^

My understanding is that the UK says no to a lot EU legislation but it occupies a key balancing role within the dichotomy of the European parliament, balancing out the machinations of France and Germany.

I do believe that we will leave the EU if we vote to do so. There's too much hype about it now. If the EU tried to stop us it would cause such a democratic uproar in the UK that it would do more harm to their credibility to stop us, especially in the eyes of other EU cynical member states.


Well, those machinations between the three countries are a basil part of Europe´s history hehehe.

I agree that if the UK decides to leave, all the countries should let you go but with no priviliges. I mean, I dont want a goodbye with bad blood but the future relations should be negociated following normal standards for a non member. Negotiatons which will last years so we will see.I hope whatever the result the result is it wont affect negatively your country or the EU.

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REQUIEM
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2016 5:55 am 
 

i hope the britons will leave and that the eu will crumble.

i'd like for countries to have trade agreements with each other and that's it.

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Paganbasque
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2016 6:12 am 
 

REQUIEM wrote:
i hope the britons will leave and that the eu will crumble.

i'd like for countries to have trade agreements with each other and that's it.


What about the freedom to go to another country without the fucking visa?
(though in practice I have at least the passport with me all the time)

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REQUIEM
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2016 8:03 am 
 

@paganbasque
yeah, that too.

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severzhavnost
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2016 3:50 pm 
 

henkkjelle wrote:
As much as I want the UK to vote leave just to see what would happen, I don't think this is even the right kind of referendum to have. Yes I agree with a lot of what the leave camp is saying. Mostly with the argument that the EU in it's current form is far from democratic. But maybe we should organise referenda to change the current form of the EU instead of fragmenting it. I don't know how you would do that or if that's even possible considering we would have to change a fundamentally undemocratic system into a democratic one. And I also don't see how reverting back to pre EU times would get us any further in the grand scheme of things.

I'm very torn on the issue if you hadn't noticed yet.


You are an example of how the generational divide on this issue is expressed, in the complete opposite way you'd think. Typically the younger people would be swayed by the romance of upending the current order and striking out on our own, right? Instead, my relatives in Britain tell me it's the reverse: older people are more supportive ofthe massive sea change of secession; while the younguns are saying, "I grew up in the EU. I've never known not being part of it!"
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quickbeam
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2016 4:12 pm 
 

Personally speaking, I'm a Scot who seems to keep moving back and forth between EU countries. Currently at home but would certainly be thinking about leaving if they voted out. Add to that the lovely situation we'll get if Scotland votes in, and England votes out; there'll be a big fight about that.

I think it'll be a bit of a nightmare. Leaving the common market, having to make all these new deals, it will take a vast amount of time and energy to get a new system sorted out. Job prospects will almost certainly suffer in the short-term (possibly long-term too but no-one really knows about that). The argument from sovereignty, I don't really get it: I have never felt that the EU is some foreign thing that imposes itself upon the UK. The UK is a part of that whole. And, internally speaking, there is just as much scope for people in power to dominate the ordinary citizens if the country wasn't in the EU.

There are so many more pressing problems that people in the country face; I can't imagine problems with the EU would even get into my top 20.

But if people really don't want to part of the EU, I'm not gonna despise them for it. I just personally like the idea of the EU, and think that it benefits the UK.

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henkkjelle
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2016 4:20 pm 
 

I came across an interesting video yesterday. For anyone wanting to know more about the economic side of the issue and what would possibly happen if the UK leaves.

Youtube: show


The dude is a professor of European Law at the University of Liverpool so I'd imagine he knows his stuff.
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severzhavnost
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2016 4:38 pm 
 

quickbeam wrote:
And, internally speaking, there is just as much scope for people in power to dominate the ordinary citizens if the country wasn't in the EU.


This is probably the only valid reason I've come across for not wanting to vote Leave. If there aren't any British parties who you feel would govern a post-secession Britain in the way you'd like, what's the point? To counter that, however, I'd say withdrawing from the EU at least makes it possible for someone you really like to come to power in the future; whereas that is more difficult with the extra level of continental government on top of your own local terrible polticians.
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quickbeam
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2016 5:01 pm 
 

The UK is basically run by the civil service anyway; that's just how the world works. Not sure why the 'unelected bureaucrats in Brussels' are any different (and what about the House of Lords and the monarchy?). I'm not saying there's no questions to be asked about sovereignty or democracy with the way things are currently; but these questions would hardly be resolved by faceless men in suits making the decisions in London offices instead of Brussels' offices; and I get the feeling that many people who want to leave the EU would be happy to stop questioning there.

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kluseba
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2016 8:33 pm 
 

Charles de Gaulle has always been right. The UK never felt European and should have never joined the EU. Over the past few years, they were much closer to the United States or to different countries of the Commonwealth than to any European country. They took enough advantages of the organization for different events and never shared their own strengths such as their military expertise that could have served the entire continent in a peaceful manner but used their expertise to support the United States in a war that has brought anything but despair and destruction. And now that some serious problems such as the refugees crisis and conflicts in Eastern Europe are on the horizon for the entire continent, they back-stab their partners and leave a sinking ship without an ounce of regret and out of pure egoism. Their lack of solidarity and departure will particularly affect the leading countries of the European Union which are Germany and France. Two big and strong countries can't run the European Union on their own. I suppose that the ambitious and promising project of this European Union will come to an end soon. If the consequence of this weakness might be a future war in Europe or another schism between Western and Eastern Europe, the departure of the United Kingdom will be evaluated as a key factor for these troubles by future historians. They will be the ones to blame. I hope they can live with that.
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severzhavnost
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2016 9:39 pm 
 

kluseba wrote:
If the consequence of this weakness might be a future war in Europe or another schism between Western and Eastern Europe, the departure of the United Kingdom will be evaluated as a key factor for these troubles by future historians. They will be the ones to blame. I hope they can live with that.


Must be hard work, mongering all that fear. Seriously, does the Remain side have any other argument beyond "Aww come on. It's not that bad!" and "There will be wars and rumours of wars. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places."?
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failsafeman
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2016 9:42 pm 
 

I'm pretty sure the main thrust of his argument was that it's shitty for the UK to drop out just when things get a little tough. Seems pretty cowardly, imo.
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iamntbatman
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2016 10:51 pm 
 

Very relevant:

http://www.stereogum.com/1884229/noel-gallagher-steps-into-brexit-debate-i-like-the-fact-that-it-sounds-like-a-cereal/news/
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Paganbasque
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2016 2:15 am 
 

[quote="kluseba"]Charles de Gaulle has always been right. The UK never felt European and should have never joined the EU. [quote]

Not supporting this idea at a 100% but I have always felt that the UK doesnt feel truly European. I dont know if the fact of being an island has some effect but my feeling is that they have always been reluctant to be part of the EU because of that. If you dont believe in something "no" will be always the answer. And when problems appear they rapidly want to leave.

The worrying aspect is that the most notorious politicans(at least some) who support the Brexit, are quite populist, do you really trust those guys? I wouldnt do it.

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RichardDeBenthall
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2016 4:46 am 
 

failsafeman wrote:
I'm pretty sure the main thrust of his argument was that it's shitty for the UK to drop out just when things get a little tough. Seems pretty cowardly, imo.


Because we've been made to feel so welcome haven't we. In the early 70's when we applied to join the European Community, Charles De Gaulle said no.

The EU response to many of arguments between the UK and other key EU nations, like Germany and France, have been disparaging and this comes across extremely negatively to the UK's population, which is for the most part quite Euro sceptic anyway. If they wanted us in they could bloody act like it they value our part in the organization that we helped create rather than acting like bitter pissants every time the topic comes up.

I'm voting remain but anybody that thinks the fault of the issues we've encountered lie solely with the UK are off their bloody heads.

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Paganbasque
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2016 4:51 am 
 

Sadly the "war" between France, the UK and Germany has never ended. The fight goes on....

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failsafeman
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2016 5:35 am 
 

RichardDeBenthall wrote:
Because we've been made to feel so welcome haven't we. In the early 70's when we applied to join the European Community, Charles De Gaulle said no.

Man, that was 40 fuckin years ago. Were you even born then?

RichardDeBenthall wrote:
The EU response to many of arguments between the UK and other key EU nations, like Germany and France, have been disparaging and this comes across extremely negatively to the UK's population, which is for the most part quite Euro sceptic anyway. If they wanted us in they could bloody act like it they value our part in the organization that we helped create rather than acting like bitter pissants every time the topic comes up.

Wow, the French and the Germans are being rude? I never would have expected that, it's just so out of character....
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RichardDeBenthall
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2016 5:57 am 
 

Yeah Failsafeman, you're right! The past doesn't matter does it....Can't believe I didn't think of that before. How could something that happened in the past possible affect a decision in the future. What a great argument.

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darkeningday
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2016 6:06 am 
 

This is probably the best and most balanced video I've seen on the EU referendum:

Youtube: show


TL;DW: it's pretty much a toss-up.
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Lydster
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2016 6:57 am 
 

Paganbasque wrote:
The worrying aspect is that the most notorious politicans(at least some) who support the Brexit, are quite populist, do you really trust those guys? I wouldnt do it.


The problem with that line of thinking is that if you look on the opposite side you there are plenty of disreputable people too (David Cameron, George Soros, Philip Green to name three of the worst) who probably have their own nefarious reasons for wanting to remain. Another fallacious argument I've heard is that since smart people like Stephen Hawking support remaining it must be a good idea, but one can equally appeal to the authority of many on the leave side who have more 'real life' experience dealing in business and the economy, as well as the fact that high-IQ academics aren't known for having good common sense, especially when it comes to politics...

Anyway, I just got back from voting. I voted leave and I was mainly swayed by the sovereignty arguments. Just because the UK is currently weak on democracy is not a good reason to vote for less democracy in my opinion. The constant lies and obfuscations from the remain camp, the way they shamelessly exploited Jo Cox's murder, the way they attacked and belittled anyone who expresses concern about uncontrolled immigration, all of these made me want to vote leave even more just to spite them. I have no doubt that big business rules the day and that neither options would lead to a utopia (in all likelihood things won't change much either way), but I think if the result is a leave vote then it'd be a good middle finger to the establishment and to globalism.

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AboveTheThrone
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2016 9:07 am 
 

I hope the UK leaves the EU, really. 5.67% of the EU's 2014 budget was used just to pay it's own staff.
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Paganbasque
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Joined: Thu Dec 24, 2009 9:28 am
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Location: Basque Country
PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2016 9:24 am 
 

Lydster wrote:
Paganbasque wrote:
The worrying aspect is that the most notorious politicans(at least some) who support the Brexit, are quite populist, do you really trust those guys? I wouldnt do it.


The problem with that line of thinking is that if you look on the opposite side you there are plenty of disreputable people too (David Cameron, George Soros, Philip Green to name three of the worst) who probably have their own nefarious reasons for wanting to remain. Another fallacious argument I've heard is that since smart people like Stephen Hawking support remaining it must be a good idea, but one can equally appeal to the authority of many on the leave side who have more 'real life' experience dealing in business and the economy, as well as the fact that high-IQ academics aren't known for having good common sense, especially when it comes to politics...

Anyway, I just got back from voting. I voted leave and I was mainly swayed by the sovereignty arguments. Just because the UK is currently weak on democracy is not a good reason to vote for less democracy in my opinion. The constant lies and obfuscations from the remain camp, the way they shamelessly exploited Jo Cox's murder, the way they attacked and belittled anyone who expresses concern about uncontrolled immigration, all of these made me want to vote leave even more just to spite them. I have no doubt that big business rules the day and that neither options would lead to a utopia (in all likelihood things won't change much either way), but I think if the result is a leave vote then it'd be a good middle finger to the establishment and to globalism.


So instead of voting thinking in what is better for your country , you vote because you dislike the others and you think that they have manipulated things? I would say that the "yes" campaign has manipulated things in a very populistic way(I love how they use the flag and national pride to sell populistic idas).

The inmigration and lack of democracy in the EU are problems which should faced in a different way and I agree that that the EU needs more democracy. The problem is that to reinforce the democracy in the EU would reduce the rate of sovereignty of each country. Because it should be a true European government, not a bunch of primer ministers discussing about their own interests.. But would the UK accept this? I guess not, like many other countries, sadly.

The more EU(with a true governmet and true European elections, common economic politics, etc) would mean less sovereignty for each country. Are we ready for this? no. (once again, sadly)

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kluseba
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2016 10:08 am 
 

The European Union is mostly about bigger and well-developed countries showing the way, making sacrifices and helping smaller and under-developed countries joining the community in order to progress in a peaceful way, to balance economic instabilities, to create common values and to make future generations feel more European instead of focusing on overtly patriotic values that have torn the continent apart during many wars before its foundation. You can see what overtly patriotic governments in Russia or Turkey are doing to the rest of Europe and one shouldn't follow them. I'm grateful to have grown up on a continent with open borders where many countries share the same currency and where I was able to learn five different European languages and get to know the diversity that unites Europe. I'm rarely a supporter of separatism because it has split Europe in the past and led to countless conflicts. It might seem like a cool idea to have your own country when you're a teenager but when you grow up, you should see the social, political and economic disadvantages if you don't close your eyes. I wouldn't have voted for the Scottish independence. I wouldn't support Basque nationalism. And I don't want the UK to leave the European Union.

Many people from the UK argue that they lose some money they invest in the EU because it's reinvested in regions that desperately need it like Greece. But that's exactly the same thing for Germany or France. If that was a valid reason, shouldn't they also leave the EU? Do you think it's pleasant for Germany to put billions of Euros into the struggling Greek economy just to see the German chancellor being compared to Hitler in the same country? Still, in a globalized world, countries are more connected than ever and if we don't help the Greek economy, it will eventually affect the German and European economy as well and that's why this sacrifice must be made. On the other side, if Germany was ever in a similar situation, it's reassuring to know that other countries might help one day. Helping other countries might not always make sense in the short run but it always does in the long run.

The problem is that a lot of people in the United Kingdom don't have that spirit and they seem to forget that the support of other countries from inside and outside of Europe is what actually saved their country and the entire continent a little bit more than seventy years ago. This referendum is also the chance for the UK to finally accept European values and to be more proactive instead of always complaining.

I remember when I went to a simulation of the European Union in Strasbourg and Paris with British, French and German students when I was in college a couple of years ago. I actually presented my school there and organized a discussion group and since we were in France and a majority of participants were French, I spoke French and not German or English. I remember that the British refused to speak French and didn't even try. I remember that while Germans and French often agreed on certain points, the British refused most propositions in the simulation. I remember one of their spokespersons said that he would support the idea of Turkey becoming a member of the European Union because Turkish immigrants would only make it to countries in mainland Europe and the United Kingdom would simply shut down its borders to potential Turkish immigrants and take advantage of the fact that their economy would remain stable while other European countries would have to adapt and face new challenges. Another spokesperson said that the United Kingdom would never share its military expertise with other countries and not even a part of it to prevent a war or develop common European armed forces because he didn't want other European countries to ''exploit'' their superior technology. I heard a lot of sentences like those and I can tell you that a lot of German and French participants were shocked. That's not the kind of spirit one should have in something which is supposed to unite people. I know that not all people in the UK are like that but I feel that many people misunderstand the values and intentions of the European Union. They should be told and taught accurately about it and make up their minds afterwards no matter what their final decision on the European Union may be but I get the impression that a lot of people in the UK see the EU as a restrictive organization led by potential opponents that might actually harm them which is definitely not the case.
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RichardDeBenthall
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Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2016 2:46 am
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2016 10:26 am 
 

Most leave advocates in the UK clearly highlight the 'Little Englander' mentality that has grown. It's mainly dominated by ignorant middle aged men and women who think that just because they grandparents fought for European freedom in the 1940's means that we are owed something as a nation.

In reality, I imagine that most of the British soldiers who fought in WW2 would be fairly big advocates of the idea of European peace and solidarity. I studied History at University and one thing that becomes apparent through the study of European history is how bloody similar we all are. I for one feel as much a part of Europe as I'm sure many do in Germany and France.

I'm voting remain so we can take a step forward instead of a step backwards.

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severzhavnost
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2016 11:56 am 
 

At the time, yeah, it seemed that the only way to keep the various nations of Europe from collapsing ito yet another big-ass war was to subsume them all under a single superstate. But surely that's no longer the case? I mean, how likely is it that a withdrawn Britain would fly off to reconquering Ireland? The European Union has achieved its goal of creating stable peace between its members. That won't be undone by Britain (or anyone else) leaving.
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kluseba
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Joined: Tue Sep 21, 2010 2:36 am
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Location: Germany
PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2016 12:28 pm 
 

The consequence is obviously not immediate. I don't see the United Kingdom as a danger for anyone but as vital members and partners in Europe. Their departure from the EU could be more like the beginning of a chain reaction. The weaker the European Union gets, the more other forces will try to take advantage of that situation. I'm rather thinking about Russia's interest in several Eastern European countries, the rise of a radical and religiously driven dictator in Turkey who doesn't recognize the biggest crime his country has ever committed and who continues to menace minorities or aggressive far-right movements in countries like Hungary or even France and Germany that are getting more and more influential. By the way, the idea that Europe is peaceful and stable nowadays is an illusion as the Yugoslav Wars have proven less than two decades ago. Europe's stability is based upon the desire to stick together in difficult situations, to learn from mistakes of the past and to develop common interests, rules and values.
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into_the_pit
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2016 2:53 pm 
 

even though I disagree with kluseba's assessment, he has a number of valid points.

what most people (everywhere) don't seem to get is that the EU is largely about power and money, not about democracy, solidarity or some obscure diffuse set of enlightened values. the future will have a lot more competition for all kinds of resources than ever before, and the EU's main function will be to provide a steady basis in the competition/conflicts/whatever with the other big blocs, mainly the US, russia and china. political, economic, geopolitical etc. stability is a myth, seriously. in general and in the EU in particular. which is why the EU has been doomed right from the beginning, but that's another story.

what most people in the UK don't seem to get is that they have lost a HUGE amount of power and money in the course of the 20th century. they're not the huge empire they once were anymore, and the commonwealth is a big joke nowadays. so it's up to them to decide who they want to form a bloc with: realistically speaking, it's either the EU or the US. their decision.

as for the current referendum: I as a german don't care, it's their decision. let them leave or remain. but: their special status within the EU is one of the (many) EU fault lines. they're not as special and important as they think, and I feel if they leave, it'll have way more disadvantages for them than they're expecting and than for the remaining EU states. we'll see. I doubt they'll leave anyway.
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