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blandy

Should I stay or should I go now - U.K. in/out of the EU (contd.)

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23 minutes ago, tonyh29 said:

is it appropriate for companies  to get involved in politics ?

Companies have always been involved in politics. So have unions.

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44 minutes ago, tonyh29 said:

Apparently BMW UK have written to all their employees telling them all the bad things that will happen if they vote to leave , Tariffs etc and how jobs will be at risk if the UK vote to leave

is it appropriate for companies  to get involved in politics ?

I think it's appropriate to let staff know the consequences of what happens both ways.  If there is an agenda (there probably is), then no, it's not appropriate.

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If your happy with the way your life is now then vote to stay in, if you want change then vote out. From a personnel point of view I want to stay in. My income is related to exports, JLR. I wouldn't want to risk the recent success by anything changing, they have already laid the foundations of a new plant in Slovakia that could be used if the UK plants being out of the EU becomes an issue.

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13 minutes ago, lapal_fan said:

I think it's appropriate to let staff know the consequences of what happens both ways.  If there is an agenda (there probably is), then no, it's not appropriate.

to my knowledge they haven't  , I heard it more as the usual scaremongering ( it was on the radio so I haven't seen the exact text used)

 

 

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Just now, tonyh29 said:

to my knowledge they haven't  , I heard it more as the usual scaremongering ( it was on the radio so I haven't seen the exact text used)

 

 

Then no, it's not appropriate.

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I think I am voting in as I can only see see more negatives for us leaving than staying in. Think be a hell of a lot of job losses and the pound will be weak for a long period. Its (already happening and we havent even left!)

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5 hours ago, tonyh29 said:

to my knowledge they haven't  , I heard it more as the usual scaremongering ( it was on the radio so I haven't seen the exact text used)

 

 

Why inform people what will happen if nothing changes and we vote to stay as we are. The results of that are self evident. Only a vote to leave will potentially change things . I work in the Auto business, at JLR, if we pull out of Europe then tariffs will be reintroduced. Major foreign owned manufacturers in Britain who build much of their production for export to the EU will certainly reassess their long term plans for future investment, and may well seek to relocate to within the EU. It's not scaremongering, a term freely used by Brexiters to avoid any detailed response to a very real possibility. It's simply informing people of the potential consequences of pulling out of the largest free trade market in the world.

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I think the 'in' campaign need to be very careful of receiving 'support' from German businesses or French politicians.

Nothing will persuade the average punter to vote leave like a German and a Frenchman saying stay in or there will be 'consequences'.

 

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6 hours ago, meregreen said:

if we pull out of Europe then tariffs will be reintroduced

Says who ? Have the EU openly come out and said this ? What about the 50 (?)  non EU countries that currently trade with the EU without tariffs ?

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12 hours ago, tonyh29 said:

Says who ? Have the EU openly come out and said this ? What about the 50 (?)  non EU countries that currently trade with the EU without tariffs ?

To do that, they were involved in many years of negotiations. Canada is still negotiating after 7 years of talks. They also had to agree to abide by th EU's rules, including, in Norways case, free movement of labour. So what's the point of having to abide by EU regulations, yet have no say in setting them. 

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18 hours ago, chrisp65 said:

I think the 'in' campaign need to be very careful of receiving 'support' from German businesses or French politicians.

Nothing will persuade the average punter to vote leave like a German and a Frenchman saying stay in or there will be 'consequences'.

 

To be fair,  putting Cameron at the front of the Stay in campaign was not the brightest move ever.  He will probably cause a leave vote just becasue he said stay in.

The BMW thing is also counter productive I would think. If Germany and France said "Leave,  we will be a lot better off"  you can bet the vote will be stay.

 

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How about we all vote to leave and see how it goes for a year or 2. Then, if its not all its cracked up to be (by the leave campaign) we'll ask to rejoin. I reckon they'd take us back.

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17 minutes ago, Genie said:

How about we all vote to leave and see how it goes for a year or 2. Then, if its not all its cracked up to be (by the leave campaign) we'll ask to rejoin. I reckon they'd take us back.

Sure of that are you. Our application would have to be voted on by all the EU member states. Any decision to readmit us  would have to be unanimous. Thats 26 countries who would have to say yes. Good luck with that. France blackballed us for years under DeGaulle. Don't think many EU members would take too kindly to being F####d about like that. Plus, and I may be wrong about this, I think any new members have to agree to adopt the Euro.

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12 hours ago, meregreen said:

Sure of that are you. Our application would have to be voted on by all the EU member states. Any decision to readmit us  would have to be unanimous. Thats 26 countries who would have to say yes. Good luck with that. France blackballed us for years under DeGaulle. Don't think many EU members would take too kindly to being F####d about like that. Plus, and I may be wrong about this, I think any new members have to agree to adopt the Euro.

You're right that if we left and rejoined then adopting the Euro, the economic equivalent of committing of hair kari, would be forced on the UK. However as the EU's second largest net contributor of funding they would be falling over themselves to get us back in.

On the issue of BMW and tariffs etc it's an obvious attempt to put the wind up voters.

UK is Germany's largest single export market and that includes German cars. With German economic growth down to 0.3% (that marvellous Eurozone again) their industrial barons wouldn't allow tariffs against the UK market which would then be reciprocated. A simple free trade agreement is in the best interests of both parties, but even if the EU decided to be stupid about it (and it is the EU so logic dictates nothing) I think the UK would still be better off out in the medium term.

UK exports to the EU were about 75% of the total during the 1980's, 55% of the total about 10 years ago and about 45% today (38% if you take out the Rotterdam effect). You don't need a graph to see the trend.

Meanwhile UK exports to the rest of the world are growing year on year, under the WTO trade rules, complete with the dreaded tariffs.. Clearly they are not such a disincentive to trade, but accepting political union with the EU in order to stay within a club that is dying on its arse? Bonkers.

The head of the Remain campaign Sir Stewart Rose (Marks & Sparks) gave a revealing answer to a Parliamentary Select Committee a few days ago, stating that Brexit would reduce the pool of labour in the UK pushing up wages for the lowest paid. The spin doctors released a clarification that night stating that the lowest paid would be worse off.

That's the level of spin involved by Cameron and Co. Downing St drafting letters of doom from the CEO's of the FTSE 100...that 66% of them refused to sign. Doing the same with former Generals who then condemn it or whose names are attached without consent. The security and counter terrorism case systematically dismantled by the former head of counter terrorism... and on it goes.  It's a reflection of their desperation to win - and save their own careers.

If by some miracle project fear fails and we vote out on June 23rd, Cameron and Osborne are gone. Having talked down the UK so comprehensively "too weak alone, the world is a bit scary, etc." and persuaded foreign leaders to do the same,  they cannot possibly be trusted to handle subsequent negotiations. That would be the cherry on the cake.

Brexit would drive a coach and horses through the US/EU corporate project pushed relentlessly for decades. Others would follow, pulling the hand break on what Peter Mandelson candidly named the "post democratic age." That's what frightens them, the UK is not just going off script, it's threatening to set it on fire and pee on the ashes. 

If you believe the people who make your laws should be democratically elected and accountable then vote leave.

If you want to nationalise the railways (impossible under EU competition rules) vote leave. 

If you're not politically aligned but recognise the Eurozone is dooming the EU to economic and social strangulation, vote leave.

The good ship EU is farked and the real risk is staying aboard as it sinks. Europe is the only continent in the world that is not growing economically (except Antartica) and is still pretending the problem is liquidity, when it's actually insolvency.

Greece is bust, Italy is bust, France isn't far behind. Unemployment in Southern Europe averages 20% and is much higher for young people. It is incapable of meaningful reform as shown by Cameron's joke renegotion. 

The alternative to being in the EU is not being in the EU, like most of the rest of the world who are getting on rather well. That Remain have managed to persuade people this is so terrifying is remarkable. 

 

 

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14 hours ago, meregreen said:

To do that, they were involved in many years of negotiations. Canada is still negotiating after 7 years of talks. They also had to agree to abide by th EU's rules, including, in Norways case, free movement of labour. So what's the point of having to abide by EU regulations, yet have no say in setting them. 

Doesn't that just demonstrate how bad the EU is at negotiating free trade deals? The UK has always had an open economy and liberal approach to trade, the opposite of the EU position worrying about the Gerard Deapardeu French film industry and the Eastern European turnip monopoly. 

I reckon we could knock out a free trade deal with the US, Canada and New Zealand over a brew, Japan over dinner and even Iceland (population 320k) has free trade deal with China. Is anyone seriously suggesting we can't manage to do the same?

As for the Norway model, or the Swiss model, why do Remain maintain we'd have to adopt their terms? Both (small) countries negotiated a bespoke deal that worked for them. The UK will negotiate its own position by give and take from within the EU during the two year divorce process.

From outside any UK exports to the EU would have to comply with EU regulations, the same as exports to the EU from any outside country. Equally exports to the US must comply with their regulations, and so on.

The difference is the 85% of UK businesses that do not trade with the EU would be freed from EU regulation giving a huge boost to SMEs where most British people are employed. 

The EU benefits big business which can afford the huge compliance bills and disadvantages smaller companies. That, IMO, is not an accident. The multinationals have lobbyists in Brussels full time ensuring the system is weighted in their favour. It stinks.

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3 hours ago, Awol said:

The UK will negotiate its own position by give and take from within the EU during the two year divorce process.

The UK may negotiate its own position with the EU during that process (or it may take longer with an EU that, as per your first line, is demonstrably bad at negotiating free trade deals).

You make a lot of good points in your two posts but there does seem to be too much certainty on your part about what happens next (and that goes for a lot of those arguing on the other side of the discussion, too).

3 hours ago, Awol said:

38% if you take out the Rotterdam effect

3 hours ago, Awol said:

the 85% of UK businesses that do not trade with the EU

From where do these figures come (I think the latter is possibly on the low side)?

The former appears to come from a 'Global Britain' briefing paper and the latter from the Earl of Dartmouth (though his source may well be someone else). I may be wrong, though, so it would be interesting to know the source(s).

Edit: Apologies if it seems that I am just picking on you or on some of the figures that you've used - by mentioning 'those arguing on the other side of the discussion', I hope I've made it clear that I think there's a problem with all use of figures and stats and not just in the EU referendum debate (especially those that are arrived at by interpretation, i.e. not immediately apparent from the base data).

Edited by snowychap

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35 minutes ago, snowychap said:

Finitely The UK may negotiate its own position with the EU during that process (or it may take longer with an EU that, as per your first line, is demonstrably bad at negotiating free trade deals).

You make a lot of good points in your two posts but there does seem to be too much certainty on your part about what happens next (and that goes for a lot of those arguing on the other side of the discussion, too).

From where do these figures come (I think the latter is possibly on the low side)?

The former appears to come from a 'Global Britain' briefing paper and the latter from the Earl of Dartmouth (though his source may well be someone else). I may be wrong, though, so it would be interesting to know the source(s).

Figures just from memory having read around the debate. The 38% I picked up from Daniel Hannan who to be fair is painstaking in his research and knowledge of detail. The 85% may be wrong now you mention it, I think that may be the total contribution to GDP from the internal UK economy, with 15% coming from exports. In which case you'd be right and the % of trade with the EU would be less than 7.5% of total GDP. 

I'm no expert on trade statistics but I've definitely read that in or out would make a marginal difference either to overall trade figures in the short term, it's the medium to long term that brings the advantages of being outside the EU. 

FWIW I don't think it's an argument that revolves around pounds, shillings and pence anyway. The core is the political project of EU integration and whether we want to be in it or not? Cameron's deal secured nothing in law (no treaty change as he had promised) so it's not really relevant to the actual decision. 

I respect that people can holdeither position from a purely principled stance, it's just a pity there is so much mud slinging involved which obscures the real debate - as it is intended to, IMO. 

I happen to agree with some good posters on here that key critical national infrastructure should be under some form of state control, like railways, nuclear power, steel manufacturing and others. For me that is a national security argument.

In the EU none of that is possible, yet those same posters are pro-EU membership to a man and I can't quite figure out why.

EDIT:

Sorry to add I'm not certain what post Brexit UK would look like except for two issues: 1) we would be out of the EU and become a sovereign nation again, free to plough our own furrow politically, and 2) we would have literally a world of opportunity in terms of making our own trade arrangements. The latter I believe will be worth more economically in the medium to long term than EU membership.

I also think Brexit would inevitably lead to a constitutional rearrangement of the way the UK works internally. The Scots wouldn't vote to leave the UK post Brexit, economically it's impossible. However I think we would need to find a way to structure governance in a federal manner, with greater autonomy to the nations of the UK. 

It's a chance to make the UK fit for purpose for the 21st Century, not adopting anyone else's model but designing one that works for us. The revolution in technology, computing and communication that is coming towards us like a train will favour nation states that are adaptable and responsive, able to evolve rapidly to a changing world. Small will be beautiful again - as I always remind my wife.  The EU has no chance to deal with that without full economic and political integration, which it will have to pursue.

So we go full circle, do you want to live in country called the United States of Europe or not? That's the real question facing us.

 

Edited by Awol
Addition

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I agree with you that it's about much more than pounds, pence, euros and cents but when both sides of the public debate are presenting those things as of major importance then the figures that they each quote need to be questioned and the source(s) need to be shown for them to carry any weight or for us to decide on how unbiased and or accurate they are.

At the risk of being accused of engaging in mudslinging, I almost spat my breakfast out when I read 'Daniel Hannan who to be fair is painstaking in his research and knowledge of detail'.

Please don't mistake this and my other comments as a cynical dismissal of all the arguments you've made on behalf of your case as I stress that I'm still undecided (though with a slight leaning towards remain) and have some sympathy for some points you've put forward.

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4 hours ago, Awol said:

Doesn't that just demonstrate how bad the EU is at negotiating free trade deals?.....

I reckon we could knock out a free trade deal with the US, Canada and New Zealand over a brew, Japan over dinner and even Iceland (population 320k) has free trade deal with China. Is anyone seriously suggesting we can't manage to do the same?

As for the Norway model, or the Swiss model, why do Remain maintain we'd have to adopt their terms? Both (small) countries negotiated a bespoke deal that worked for them. The UK will negotiate its own position by give and take from within the EU during the two year divorce process.

From outside any UK exports to the EU would have to comply with EU regulations, the same as exports to the EU from any outside country. Equally exports to the US must comply with their regulations, and so on.

The difference is the 85% of UK businesses that do not trade with the EU would be freed from EU regulation giving a huge boost to SMEs where most British people are employed. 

The EU benefits big business which can afford the huge compliance bills and disadvantages smaller companies. That, IMO, is not an accident. The multinationals have lobbyists in Brussels full time ensuring the system is weighted in their favour. It stinks.

This post isn't meant as a counter you yours, but as some questions in my mind. 

Firstly, if as you say, the EU is terrible at negotiating (taking ages) then as we do about half of all our exporting to the EU currently tariff free, would we not suffer extended problems with tariffs to the EU until we went through whatever extended "terrible" process to get a new Deal?

In terms of Norway, Switzerland etc. It is the case that they have to adhere to the EU regs, Norway contributes financially to the EU etc. Maybe UK (or UK  minus Scotland) possibly might get a "better" deal, because of our size, maybe not. Who knows. The leave campaign don't know. Once we've left as much as German and French companies will want good trade terms, French and Spanish politicians, plus others will want to demonstrate to other nations that leaving doesn't pay, to prevent the whole thing breaking up. In other words there are genuine strong reasons why the UK would definitely not get everything we want out of any negotiation and would more likely than not get a worse situation than the current one on trade.

I read somewhere that one of the articles of the EU constitution says that if a nation votes to leave, it is not permitted to be involved in setting the terms and conditions. The remaining members would decide our settlement. Once we've left and are a non member, then another part of the EU constitution says the EU has to play nice with neighbouring countries.

It's untrue that all of the 85% or whatever the figure is, of businesses who don't trade with the EU would benefit from us leaving. Some probably would, to a degree. Many workers might be negatively impacted by weaker rights, weaker safety. A company making door handles for mini may not export to the EU, but mini does. So if mini cars get a tariff and fewer and are sold, the handle company suffers. As does the shop selling things to mini workers at dinner time....you get the picture - there's a cascade effect.

The state control argument is partly untrue. There are state controlled railways in many EU nations, for example. Ditto energy. Nationalising privately owned companies is probably not allowed, but returning franchises to publicly run ones is definitely permitted.

Tthe EU is flawed, as is the alternative. This whole referendum is a poorly timed sop for tory party purposes. There's one side saying leave and everything will be brilliant, with absolutely no evidence to support their assertions, and there's the other side saying leaving would be terrible, which in all likelihood is an exaggeration. It would be bad in the short term, but long term not so much, possibly.

Personally, sovereignty arguments  are specious, immigration is as beneficial as harmful, cost v benefit sums lead me to think membership is worth it, and while it's flawed, it's not as flawed as the alternative, and those flaws it has should be things the UK and other nations work together to fix.

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@blandy Sure they could drag out the negotiations beyond 2 years if they wished and all agreed to do that, so both parties revert to WTO tariffs. As the trade deficit between UK and the EU (Germany in particular) massively favours them it would be an act of economic self harm that made no sense. Is it possible, yeah of course. Likely? I doubt it. Even if that's what happened it's not a show stopper for trade. 

Do we know for certain what the reconstituted terms of trade would be? No, otherwise there would be no need for a negotiation. It would seem Cameron doubts his ability to do very well for the UK in that process hence why he needs to exit stage left on 24th of June - if we vote leave.

It's possible that politicians on the continent would be prepared to harm their own economies in order to try and punish the UK for daring to leave the political union, but that wouldn't be a very clever way to start a relationship as good neighbours with the a major economic, diplomatic and military ally. For that reason I think pragmatism would win the day, but maybe not.

one definite "not" is the idea that the EU dictates terms of deal to a leaving member. Were that the case the Remainians would be shouting it from the rooftops, instead all discussion is set in the context of post Brexit negotiations i.e. two parties!

On nationalisation it is definitely not allowed to take private companies into public ownership, is rail track (or whatever it may be now) in private or public hands? I believe that entity owns the infrastructure since privatisation. Steel etc is all off the table for nationalisation or even state aid due to giving a private entity a competitive advantage. Outside the EU that would change.

I'm intrigued to know why you think being an independent country is a flawed model, logically every country outside the EU has a similarly flawed system of governance in your view?

Sovereignty is specious?! Blimey, how so? 

Brexit has been described by some in the EU as an existential threat, even then they couldn't face giving Cameron some modest concessions. Subsidiarity is king. If the UK votes to remain how and why would the UK be able to reform the EU from within? 

Seems to me the EU is explicitly un-reformable in its current configuration and is focused entirely on the survival of the single currency which has a built in QMV advantage over non-Euro using members.  Cameron couldn't even get them to state that the EU is a multi currency union!! As a result the UK will become ever more disadvantaged in the EU with absolutely no recourse.

Immigration, sure it has benefits but also disadvantages. Again Stewart Rose said to MP's that EU migration will be overwhelmingly a one way flow in numbers terms for the next decade. On current 'official' figures that's another 2.5-3 million people over the next decade. Based on national insurance numbers issued to EU citizens last year it could mean over 6 million. How can local councils plan service provision, hospital capacity and school places when they have no idea how many people they have to cater for? We need immigration but why should it not be planned and controlled so the country at large can successfully absorb it without damaging the lives of the people who already live in the UK?

Two questions if I may, do you acknowledge that the EU has no choice but to integrate fully (politically and economically) in order to survive? Do you want the UK to be part of that and live in a country called Europe? 

 

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