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News BREXIT - more good than bad or more bad than good?

  1. Jun 18, 2016 #1
    I guess the question is moot, being that most things in politics are good for some and bad for others. Anyway, I'm still undecided. What do you think? And if you're not voting, why not?

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    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 21, 2016
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 18, 2016 #2
    I think you should leave the EU, but I’m not a citizen there so maybe I shouldn’t talk. Anyways here is why I think you should leave

    * Democracy - Your vote is worth more if you aren't part of the EU.
    * National Sovereignty is a big plus.
    * The EU wants an Army.
    * The EU makes 60% of your laws for you (Exact amount debated).
    * The EU wants to censor the internet.
    * The EU Commission is Unaccountable, Unelected and Anti-Democratic.
    * NATO stops Wars not the EU.
    * You have no control over immigration numbers.
    * Cheap Labour is hurting the Native working class.
    * The Swiss have the highest standard of living, they're outside the EU.
    * The EU Commission can't be removed via Vote.
    * The EU costs the Private Sector £600m per week in regulations.

    Here are some videos on the subject I liked.

    Well that how I see it at least. Hope things work out well for you guys whatever you choose.
  4. Jun 18, 2016 #3
    I personally don't think you should leave.
    What good can you see or extract from your Conservative party ? They have been always well-known worldwide for their "conservative" ideas, conventional thoughts to preserve traditional values etc but they are truly an indispensable competitive opponent in the country.
    You would lose also a lot of free trades and rights within current EU community.
    You have to wait up until probably ~2030 to be richer than you are now. If you now decide to leave, you may likely get the confirmation in 2018. Within the next 10-15 years, what else of the possible consequences will you probably face with ?
    Do you really want that ?
    I don't think the immigration issue can't be resolved by further law extension and enforcement within the country. I would like to enter England only when England has some seriously good values that can be of help to light up my future. It should be a pride for you isn't it ?
  5. Jun 20, 2016 #4


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    Here is Last Week Tonight with John Oliver's take on BREXIT:

  6. Jun 21, 2016 #5


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    I'm voting Remain. It's ridiculous to leave, it would be economic suicide. Not to mention that the leaders of the Leave campaign are just banging an ideological drum of "Immigration! Sovereignty! Nationalism!"
  7. Jun 21, 2016 #6


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    Switzerland and Norway are still breathing, and then some.
  8. Jun 21, 2016 #7
    It's the elites fomenting fear mongering about economic upheaval. The UK was just fine on its own before the EU, they should be just fine if they decide to leave.

    Personally, I don't cotton to supra governments, so I don't abide the EU any way.
  9. Jun 21, 2016 #8


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    mheslep, I have seen Switzerland and Norway used as examples for those in support of the UK leaving the EU. However, can't one argue that the fact that Switzerland and Norway never joined the EU to begin with make a difference? That it would be far more damaging economically for an existing member such as the UK (whose economy is closely tied to the rest of the EU) to leave the EU? And I don't see how leaving the EU will provide much in terms of gain to the UK.

    I personally have no "skin in the game" either way -- it is up to the British people to decide what is in their own interest.
  10. Jun 21, 2016 #9

    Vanadium 50

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    Is the UK dropping out of the EEA as well? Of course, the remaining EU members could always kick them out as punishment.
  11. Jun 21, 2016 #10


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    Granted there might well be an economic difference between countries that never joined and one that leaves the EU even though Britain has its own currency. But I object to the extreme claim that leaving is "economic suicide", especially without any exploration of cases presented by the strong economies of Switzerland and Norway
  12. Jun 21, 2016 #11


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    Last edited: Jun 21, 2016
  13. Jun 21, 2016 #12


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    Evo pulled the previous thread because it was off topic and argument. If she meant badtempered, ill informed, opinionated, and not factual then it was faithful to the debate that has taken place in the UK! But it is not possible to debate this question without injecting opinion.
    Are perhaps what we say on this thread should take some account of the fact that the majority here at this site is not British or European. They may even be a bit bemused.

    British exceptionalism

    With this in mind I might offer some potted history of why this debate is taking place, of why Britain has this peculiar position and attitude in Europe. Why the British standout as exceptional, laggards, foot-staggers and sulkers, in the process of European integration. Then to explain one thing I needed to explain or justify by another, and the thing got too long but here you are:

    One fundamental is WW2 from which most countries came out having suffered physical destruction, dislocation and traumas of populations, institutional discredit and radical change, and the humiliation of foreign occupation.. This led the elites of the key continental West European nations to a vision with sufficientpopular understanding support or acquiescence, to not repeat mistakes and not be imprisoned by the past, forming the core European Community, a new but permanent and practical institution of European collaboration as a habit. This then exerted attractive power to more peripheral nations suffering from Dictatorship, instability or in any case backwardness, as a way out of all that. Detente and the end of the Cold War the way was open to neutrals the such as Austria and Sweden, Finland to join. And then with the collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe. So the EU unlike previous empires expended by attractive power not conquest or subversion. It's now exerts this strong attractive power to the next neighbours Ukraine and Turkey in particular, but also others.

    Britain on the other hand did not at first feel this attractive power, or that it had any need for a European Community. Of which it was it first scarcely aware. Its institutions were stable and not discredited, the war though a tragedy had been weathered well and with pride. (We even imagined for a long time we had won it!). Other was world-leading, technologies that seemed of the best, I see seemed there should have been worrying signs. In many ways consumption and the standard of living was higher than in much of Europe still in to the 60s. In international relations the exemplar and Commonwealth seen the more important to many then Europe.

    However although Britain shared the western world's post war miracle boom, and started from a higher level than the war-torn countries, the actual rate of increase of GNP et cetera was less and we were being overtaken. Institutions rather than discredited by wartime collaboration with the invaders were simply outdated And industrial management. Labour relations or infrastructure for example seemed stuck in a bygone era, education was a problematic and controversial area , balance of payments was chronically in deficit, there were various financial crisis and the stop-go economy. Serious problems could go reactively unnoticed by the average person – a rising tide of floats all boats if somebody else's is being floated faster than yours though starting lower you don't particularly notice. In particular throughout the period there was full employment which cushions.

    But the structural problems were very much noted by the commentariat, the books and newspapers that the educated person would read. By the late 50s the phrase the phrase 'the British disease' was coined and heard. The front of the self-styled thoughtful, radical, progressive thinkers convererged on one consensus: that membership of the European Community, aka Common Market was the only solution. This is the thinking was accepted by the whole political leadership spectrum, conservatives, most of labour, and especially liberals, Liberals and Social Democrats. Sometime in the 60s for the Conservative party Common Market entry became practically its only policy: on which everything else depended.. Received humiliating rebuff from de Gaulle. Then for the commentariat the problems of Britain for some years were caused by the British disease plus de Gaulle.

    but once he was out of the way It happened. Disappointingly not much else did, not much seemed to change and a lot of things still went downhill. I am reading comments these days that Common Market membership is not what turned Britain around, but rather the Thatcher free market reforms. And even that rather than the common market rescuing Britain it was the Thatcherite Britain that rescued Europe, certainly changing something in its initially heavy statist and corporative baggage. It was noticed that the subscription fee was still very stiff, did not always pay for the most rational of ends (you may have heard of butter mountains and wine lakes).

    So a very broad brush paints a picture of a different experience by Britain and most other countries. For these others feel they were saved by, or saved themselves by the European Union, Britain not. It is often said that the relation seen by the Brits is "transactional” - what do we give and what do we get? - while for the continentals it is more spiritual, emotional, existential, that sort of word. It is true that this is wearing off for many of the Continentals this these days as earlier times are forgotten, and they look more to what they give and get out of iton; the other fand for youth a European dimension is more part of their ordinary experience.

    One aspect of the stand offish detached, sceptical transactional British attitude Is that you cannot blame the public all that much when their leaders are no different. They are dead scared of leading, for this is of getting ahead of the public - which has risks. I can think of a hardly any exception among leading politicians, none who describe the EU in positive terms. As most recent example of a long list, in a debate with the public a couple of days ago, Cameron’s most frequent verb was "fight". Apparently we are in the EU to fight it, or at least to fight better there for our own British interests in a zero sum game than we can from outside. Though his audience could well have said, if only! If only he had put up some sort of a fight in the negotiations with European partners. But that was impossible for reasons I explain shortly.

    .The fee is still stiff, (at least it's spent more rationally these days, for example the second biggest expense of the EU is on sclence) but Cameron and Osborne justify membership not for any good it does to Europe as a whole, but as a price worth paying in the transaction which keeps a market open for our goods and services.

    I should explain to, that although the British are not Europe's most enthusiastic fans, you should not get the impression which you might easily do from reports of the campaign that they are hostile either. As for most of the rest of Europe, traditional National emnities and hatreds are a thing of the past fortunately, Well, maybe excepting football matches. There was no present public issue or crisis that caused this referendum. Caused by a promise that Cameron made for internal party reasons (too insignificant to recount) before an election he didn't expect to win, and so to have to redeem the promise. All soundings have always shown Europe always well down the list of British people's political concerns. So maybe the efflorescences you are seeing are the flourishing of dormant spores disturbed by an unnecessary plough. Ah yes, unnecessary. There had been a charade of the referendum being about something, and so Cameron went through the motions of negotiating a reform of the EU. If only because his political imperative is to have the unwanted the referendum out of the way in the first year of the new government, otherwise it would have overshadowed and blighted the rest of his years of premiership. Under these conditions it could not challenge anything important.

    Just one thing connected with Europe excites the public - immigration, which was always going to take over the debate. The economy features too, I am surprised that the themes are that many. Well maybe they are slightly connected, in that the booming British present economy (whether soundly based or not is irrelevant now) only adds to the attraction of Britain as an immigration target. It used to be difficult to cross national borders and find work or right to residence. Now the EU has created a right of free movement within the Union. During a transitional period notoriously Britons were told that something like 10,000 might arrive from East Europe. Instead of phasing in the free movement as it had the right to Britain (Blair) simply lifted restrictions before it was obliged to and about half a million Poles arrived in a year or two. Britain, or at least England, is already the most densely populated country of Europe. Cameron spectacularly failed to live up to promises he made to limit immigration bus from outside and inside the EU is running at a total of more than 300,000 a year , Putting pressure on housing, job market, school places and health services.. The strongest and frequently repeated argument of the Brexiters is is that immigration cannot be controlled as long as we are inside the EU with this unchallengeable principle of free movement. The constant refrain is "take back control of our frontiers”.

    To this the Remain side has frankly never produced and any answer. Cameron’s answer has been the same as the one that allowed him to scrape through the last election, talk about the only other issue, the economy stupid. Nor I have not heard them clarify whether they think suddenly that the immigrants are a positive factor for the economy propelling economy. Or whether it is price paid justified by the staying in the Single Market which is the real benefit Since in there in reality very few people can evaluate or grasp of the economic arguments, the Remain side Is reduced to Authority – statements by heads of banks and industry and academia etc. even President Obama (which rebounded) are paraded.
    This is contrasting a tangible fear and damage on the one hand with a rather Abstract calculation no one can understand on the other. Because of that and what I hear generally I weeks ago resigned myself to Brexiit being inevitable and have rather been thinking about what happens next. But that would be another long post
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2016
  14. Jun 21, 2016 #13


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    A YouGov Poll on the Brexit suggests a strong lack of faith in the fairness and transparency of the upcoming referendum:

    "There are plans for further EU integration and enlargement that the EU are deliberately not announcing till after the referendum"
    Probably True among intention to vote Leave: 75%

    "It is likely that the EU referendum will be rigged"
    Probably True among intention to vote Leave: 46%

  15. Jun 21, 2016 #14

    Vanadium 50

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    I found more impressive those numbers for people who intend to vote Remain: 25% and 11%.
  16. Jun 22, 2016 #15


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  17. Jun 22, 2016 #16

    Jonathan Scott

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    Many aspects of EU membership are infuriatingly bad, but I'm voting to remain, mainly because leaving will definitely break useful things but most other possible aspects of the outcome are very unclear, with both sides exaggerating wildly.

    The thing which disturbs me most is that both sides seem to be mainly arguing the case based on what's in it for the average British person, not on what's best overall; we seem to be joining in the same "selfish" politics as a certain US presidential candidate.
  18. Jun 22, 2016 #17


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    An interesting article, and probably the most thoughtful and persuasive set of arguments I've seen yet in support of "Brexit" that I've read or heard (far better articulated and thought out than the arguments that most of the pro-Brexit camp in the UK have posed thus far, which has been predominately about immigration).

    As a counterpoint, please see the following article from the Economist:

  19. Jun 22, 2016 #18


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    Look to your own, e.g Rotherham.
  20. Jun 22, 2016 #19
    You - the USA- always want to make things (e.g the ongoing election) big but you don't want people to have any ideas about it and its candidates. I think he made a very good comparison (in that e.g most presidential candidates show people their various degrees of selfishness in supporting one or several particular groups and ignoring the rest; also in a recent event of senators voting against background check query for firearm purchase which I never think they already "collected" their people's ideas before making their decisions, is that called democracy ?) and he doesn't point out directly who that selfish candidate is.
  21. Jun 22, 2016 #20


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    We should really have discussed Brexit and Science here. I should have started a discussion here earlier and never got around to it.

    Every now and then during the recent campaign it was brought up in by scientists in television programmes. And there has been a flurry of letters in the press signed by big-name scientists.

    UK scientists are in large majority very much pro Remain.

    There was an article last January in the Times by Jo Johnson.Who he? He is the UK Minister of Science. And just happens to be the elder brother of Boris Johnson.

    He states that the "European research funding offers an example of how the EU can get it right.”

    They are a success story. In fect the European research programmes have changed science in Europe out of recognition. Before these programsme, if ever say a French and a Dutch scientist collaborated in research, it would be when they both happened to find themselves together in the same laboratory in America. When they got home there would be no machinery, no finance for it. About half of UK research publications now involve collaborations with other countries, he points out. It is one area that the UK get some more out of financially then it puts in.

    Possibly some people could be cynical. Research programs are a great success if scientists say they are. These programmes give a lot of money, and flattery in the form of functions in the design of the programmes etc. to the top rank scientists.

    And I found strange the idea that in fact British participation will stop if Britain exits the EU. I would expect them to continue just as at present. There is ample precedent for countries which are not members of the EU to be fully associated in the scientific research programmes. From the point of view of the average scientist, the change would not make any difference. Maybe just a bit at the level of the scientific policy stratosphere, though I doubt even that.

    Perhaps Johnson’s intervention should be read as politics. Perhaps he wanted to recruit support for Remain, putting frighteners onto the scientists.

    A reason scientists love these international programmes is that they are more stable – they make it more difficult for governments to make cuts when they're looking to save money.

    And although the development of the programmes should continue could and should continue unmodified by Brexit, maybe Johnson in government knows something that we don’t. And another reason for scientists to hate the idea of Brexit is that that they, like markets, hate uncertainty.

    I invite anyone in interested, concerned, or with experience to discuss.
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