Brexit, for once some facts.

flecc

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Oct 25, 2006
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I am saying that you can't predict what will happen if we leave,

My guess is that we can maintain a friendly and peaceful relationship with Europe whilst selling to the countries which want our goods and services.
Yes we can predict what will happen if we leave, for two reasons:

The first is the proven Swiss example of what trying to restrict free movement results in.

The second is our UK proven one "Been there, done that, failed". I mean of course what happened to David Cameron when he tried it. He went to the EU countries to negotiate a better deal, particularly with reference to gaining control over free movement. As you Brexiters said, he failed miserably. He got a metaphorical bloody nose, with leader after leader absolutely refusing to budge on free movement. Some made it very clear, bluntly saying if we don't like it, leave the EU. It's really an absolute, not only for the Swiss but also proven for us.

So if we want to trade without barriers with any EU countries, we will still have freedom of movement.

So I turn now to the Brexiter argument that the EU trade with us is too valuable for them to lose, so they'll make concessions. Wrong again, the EU has never done a single euro's worth of trade with the UK, our trade is with member countries, and individually many of them couldn't care less about trade with the UK since they either sell us little or nothing.

And that is crucial, since to get anything agreed, right down to each item, all the other 27 countries have to agree. That's never going to happen for an outsider to the EU, as the Swiss example has shown. Seven long years of negotiation and then an agreement only with total capitulation and still paying in to the EU.

For us if we vote to leave that is a disaster, since we will be even worse off. Not only will we have agreed to Shengen, we'll also have lost our current generous rebate.

The alternative of many Brexiters is to say to hell with the EU and trade with the rest of the world. All I can say is best of luck. The commonwealth countries have never forgiven our betrayal when we joined the EU and stopped buying their produce. Since then they've found more convenient and often lucrative markets to trade with, so our chances there are negligible.

African trading has beeen sewn up by the Chinese with their generous construction projects buying favour. The Falklands issue fouled our relations with Argentina and Brazil and the rest there are basket cases. Russia is sanctioned and in any case unreliable, and we've got as much as we'll ever get with the USA.

So that leaves China as the only market big enough to replace our EU trade. Well goodness knows we've tried hard enough there, constantly sending prime ministers, trade secretaries and members of the royal family, but in the end about all we sell them is a few luxury cars.

Ergo, if you persuade the public to vote us out, it will either mean crawling to the EU or be an isolated disaster.

But do you know what, I almost hope you succeed, because then you'll finally be forced to open your mind to the truth.
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Kenny

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Great post Tony. Really enjoying the debate on here.

As someone who has little knowledge of politics, it's given me a lot of insight.

The argument for remaining seems by far the stronger to me.
 
Mar 9, 2016
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Flecc your summation missed out 7th largest economy in world ( its actually ranked 3rd by direct spending power within country)India.
European Union cane 140th in GDP growth in 2015. Those countries below 180th saw drops in GDP.
Your entire argument is speculation. Yes we might see short term gdp drops but world is a big place with plenty of untapped markets. Its very short sighted to assume UK cant compete on its own, as it did for a thousand years, without paying for bureaucratic nonesennse from EU.
Our real cost remaining in EU is £250kk per WEEK. , this will rise with reduction in rebates over next ten years. We are not part of Europe,never have been,and culturally never will be. I,ve lived in France/ Northern Spain last 10 years and witnessed the money thrown away on roads,local infrastructure and facilities we could only dream of.Our cash had been used to keep Spain,s head above water,give it a road network it cant use and facilities it cant. Just pay a visit to Northern Spain and have a look.
You would change your mind if you had seen in detail where our £350 kk a week is going.
Exactly why do you want to pay £250kk a week to stay in a marriage you get little from apart from loss of control of borders, rules about Hoovers,what units we must use and what we can and can not buy.
Its barmy and staying in shows lack of faith in countries real assets and qualities.
The French could not organise a proverbial in a brewery without writing a tome about it. ( Estate agents charging 6% for selling property and they wonder why housing market is in state of collapse) Rule after stupid rule. ( 3 certificates to scrap a car) France is a beuratic nightmare and we are aligning ourselves with them and worse...
We will live to regret staying .
Folk from UK undersell themselves all the time. We work hardest, organise things better and have unbelievablely skilled workforce, despite all the BS saying otherwise. We should have faith in ourselves and confidence to tackle future without interference from France/ Germany.( which we pay for)
Yes it might be racist and massive generalisations but my travels , and living, around Europe really make me think generally the French are lazy and love beurocracy, the Italians are corrupt and bankrupt, the Greeks don't pay tax but demand handouts from EU ( specifically Germany , who wanted Greek islands for themselves for hand outs.) I,m telling you Europe is in a mess, yes us leaving might make it worse.
 
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flecc

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Flecc your summation missed out 7th largest economy in world ( its actually ranked 3rd by direct spending power within country)India.
I was aware of that and India wasn't the only area I left out, but I was only including those with enough potential for our purpose. I cannot see India as remotely having the potential to replace our trade with the EU, given our cost base. India's large buying potential is with countries that can supply at cost levels compatible with their low wage economy.

Your reference to us managing on our own for a thousand years is the barmy element here. The only history that counts is the very recent and current situation, and our decline has been throughout that period. In 1922 we made the most disastrous set of five political decisions that any modern country has ever made, leading to most of the western world's recent and present troubles. So politically we showed ourselves no longer competent.

Then our industrial decline began from about 1930, was hidden by WW2 but became very apparent after that war. In quick succession we lost our bicycle, motorcycle, car, lorry and bus, shipbuilding, railway manufacturing and almost our entire aircraft industries, the latter being left as a parts maker.

Then we moved onto losing some key international commerce functions, such as going from the world's onetime largest maritime nation to losing all of its world shipping.

With what manufacturing we have largely owned by others and producing for others, we are mainly left now with being a services provider and tourist centre. So I see rather limited remaining potential on our own, without the muscle of a big bloc protecting us.
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I was aware of that and India wasn't the only area I left out, but I was only incuding those with enough potential for our purpose. I cannot see India as remotely having the potential to replace our trade with the EU, given our cost base. India's large buying potential is with countries that can supply at cost levels compatible with their low wage economy.

Your reference to us managing on our own for a thousand years is the barmy element here. The only history that counts is the very recent and current situation, and our decline has been throughout that period. In 1922 we made the most disastrous set of five political decisions that any modern country has ever made, leading to most of the western world's recent and present troubles. So politically we showed ourselves no longer competent.

Then our industrial decline began from about 1930, was hidden by WW2 but became very apparent after that war. In quick succession we lost our bicycle, motorcycle, car, lorry and bus, shipbuilding, railway manufacturing and almost our entire aircraft industries, the latter being left as a parts maker.

Then we moved onto losing some key international commerce functions, such as going from the world's onetime largest maritime nation to losing all of its world shipping.

With what manufacturing we have largely owned by others and producing for others, we are mainly left now with being a services provider and tourist centre. So I see rather limited remaining potential on our own, without the muscle of a big bloc protecting us.
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But we are a net provider for EU ??? ( We put far more in than take out).
And yes our GDP has changed in uts character and arrives from different channels but we still have a skil base envied throughout world. ( ask Rolls Royce, Toyota, all F1 development,)
I dont see how our change in revenue streams changes our ability to be independant from EU . Those same changes have affected most western world, yet we have emerged in a better position than any others ( few exceptions because of oil revenues)
Yes trade surcharges could be introduced on UK goods in Europe, but as you have already said we are not a major goods supplier..
Don't get me wrong Flecc ,I,m not saying your points are totally wrong, U,m saying nobody but nobody really knows.
What we do know is we are losing control of borders,the eu are hitting all with stupid rules. ( you cant buy a 1000w hoover anymore) and we are putting far more in than taking out.
Exactly what are the real net benefits of being in eu. Nobody knows.
Will Toyota and RR move aeay from Derby if we leave ? I doubt it.
Will we have better control of borders ? I suspect so.
Will we loose Gibraltar? Yes?
Will we be better off financially ? Yes ?
Will I lose money on house abroad ? Yes definitely. The housing market in Europe is way worse than ours and its only going to get worse stay or not.
Our image of Europe is Monaco,Paris and autobahns. The reality is Sangette, migrants,unsold empty houses ;robberies in Northern Spain and unfortunately terror attacks in Belgium.
I really think we are better on our own, but Cameron and co have got so much invested interest I cant see it happening.
 
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trex

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flud, you should visit our top universities, their research teams are all multi-national. I am sure we'll do well as a country whatever the outcome but I do think Brexiters are short-sighted.
 
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flecc

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But we are a net provider for EU ??? ( We put far more in than take out).
I agree, and that urgently needs correcting since it continuously adds to our excessive national debt. But I cannot see how abandoning ship will help. Spending the next ten years in frustrating negotiations with the infuriating EU to leave, ending up either being effectively still in or out with nothing makes no sense. Better we concentrate our energies on getting more business from wherever we can find it. The money we give the EU is trifling in comparison, millions are irrelevant, we need at least tens of billions coming in to cope with our national debt and become the stronger country we once were very long ago.

I don't see that the EU is stopping us doing that, it's our lack of inclination, effort and ability that is. After all, Germany suffers exactly the same EU rules and restrictions as us, but that hasn't stopped it becoming the world's most economically and environmentally successful nation.
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The eu cant afford for us not to be a net provider.
Its been accepted for years Portugal,Italy, Greece and Spain are a sneeze from oblivion. France is in a slightly better situation and Germany would fine if it were not unification which has cost, is costing billions.We are aligning ourselves not with the powerhouses but the poorhouses..we will always pay more , EU cant cope without our contribution. That's why Greece and Italy are moaning most. They know without us their payouts would go.We have access to a market that's actually going bankrupt..Drive through massive swathes of Europe and you realise it.
The possible additions will only make situation worse.
 

trex

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flud, I don't know where you've got your facts from, but our net contribution to the EU is a tiny 0.05% of our GDP, litterally a tiny drop compared to the economic power of the single market. Sure, the EU will lose one of its most important members and the EFTA countries have the most to gain with Brexit but wake up, we need the EU more than they need us. What we pay them to stay in the club is small beer compared to the cost of finding new markets.
 
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Trex
We can all read what various economists have to say. Those hub very same economists 15 years ago saying exactly same about not adopting euro,which has proved a marvellous bonus to our economy and was totally against many so called experts advice.
I think the stayers should wake up and do some real research,not the stuff fed to us. Read about Italian banking. Mafia control of ports. Greece and tax. France and beurocracy. Germany and its motives. Likely effect on single market when borders are closed. .
Europe is in a massive mess. The uk less so.
Read " The economic impact of Brexit. Woodford Investment."
They know more than all of us put together. They don't offer answers.
 
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trex

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flud, 9 out of 10 economists will tell you that Brexit is bad for the economy. They don't predict that we are about to go bust or anything like that, just slow growth until we sort ourselves out. That may be 10 years, probably more like a generation. Slow growth affects disproportionally the poorer classes. Also unlike you, I don't think we couldn't join the Euro then because the Euro was bad but because our problem then was (and still is) over borrowing. We constantly needed a higher interest rate to attract foreign money.
If we had joined, perhaps we could have vetoed the decision to force the new accession countries into adopting the Euro and Schengen.
 
Mar 9, 2016
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Edited late Trex. Read the report and then Google some of things I mentioned.
For virtually every possible loss there is possibility of bigger replacements. The single market works both ways.
Don't really think its a worthy argument anyway. There is no way on earth Cameron would survive an exit. We wont be leaving. Too many politicians with vested interests in businesses needing to stay.
Blair with his crony Campbell convinced nation it made sense to go to war with a lunatic ( Bush), Cameron convincing a susceptible public to stay is easy. He,s even got folk doing work for him now...
 
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trex

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flud, I have just read that report that you mentioned.
https://woodfordfunds.com/economic-impact-brexit-report/

It's pretty much middle of the road, and I broadly agree with its conclusions.
Without getting into a specialist economists debate, I refer to a useful plot at the end of that report:
That plot clearly shows that our economy is utterly linked to the EU's and we've done very well inside.



the extrapolated portion of this plot is for a remain outcome.
If Brexiters win, there will be a drop in GDP while we adjust to the loss of investment and trade, the so called 'self inflicted technical recession' that Osborne talked about. I can't tell you what percentage of drop in GDP that will be (I guess about 1% to 2%), so you need to add a 'nike' section to the projection and slide the dotted plot to the right maybe by 5 to 15 years.
 
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oldgroaner

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Nov 15, 2015
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Both options, Leave or Stay are a step into the unknown. I am saying that you can't predict what will happen if we leave, you can guess but that is all. Your forecast is no more certain than any other prediction.
My guess is that we can maintain a friendly and peaceful relationship with Europe whilst selling to the countries which want our goods and services. Similarly, we can buy goods from those countries which offer something appealing to us. That has happened since the beginning of time and it will continue with or without the EU, history is on our side.

The EU stance seems to indicate that friendship, cooperation and trade will be stamped out, extinguished and not be allowed to flourish unless we surrender increasing amounts of our independence to this faceless system which no one seems to identify with. It does not have to be like that, we can be friends with the EU after Brexit. Of course, if another EU nation repays our friendship and help with acts of open hostility and aggression in the form of an invasion (as seems to be prophesised by the IN Campaign), we have our Trident missile system with which to defend ourselves.
If I was an aggressive power mad European dictator threatening to invade the UK do you think I would believe that the UK Government would employ Trident against me?
I would simply call its bluff, knowing that any Tory Government would do as it did in 1939 and try to surrender.
Remember then that we had "Doomsday" weapons like Anthrax, gas, plague and other equally foul weapons, at that time but sensibly did not use them for fear the enemy would retaliate in kind.
So what is different now? Absolutely nothing, and the decision not to employ WMD's would be exactly the same.
if it hadn't been for Churchill allying with the Labour party we would be speaking German now.
As to these "New Customers" we would end up dependent on them instead of the EU, so much for "independence"
 
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flecc

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Oct 25, 2006
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Europe is in a massive mess.
Flud, you've concentrated on the failing countries and disregarded the successful ones. Germany, The Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden and Austria are all successful under EU rules, exporting and fiscally buoyant. The new entrants from the Eastern bloc all have growing economies, some rapidly.

Now I have no objection to us being successful outside the EU if we can, but there are both silly and sensible ways of going about it.

The silly way is to jump ship now into the unknown, given our record of failure over many decades.

The sensible way, if you believe we can make it, is to first find the world markets we need to become independently viable long term and successfully create product for them. The EU isn't stopping anyone doing that, as the successful countries I listed above have shown. All we need do is to work as hard and creatively as they've done.

Then, when and if we achieve that success, leave the EU with the assurance that we will succeed. If on the other hand we can't make it, we can just stay safely as we are.
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lectureral

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Apr 30, 2007
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I am pleasantly surprised by the nice debate here. I don't often now look at the the Electric Bike forum but I did yesterday and was astonished at how mean-spirited it was (I bought my dream bike - haha, it's going to break - did you lose a relative in the war??)
I keep a close eye on exchange rates, and the GBP has crept up again in the last couple of weeks which suggests that the market anticipates an IN vote.
Because of an accident of birth (like Boris) my children could not get British nationality (they were born abroad as well) and instead take French from their mother. It would be nice, though, if they could live and work in the UK at some point - so my vote is an IN.
I also have a postal vote in the US Presidential election which must make me a member of a small group with votes in each - especially out here in the middle of the Pacific.
 

oldtom

Esteemed Pedelecer
As one who has been on the streets of Herts and Essex, leafletting and canvassing support for the 'Remain' camp, I think I have heard probably every argument from the anti-EU lobby and I'm bound to say, the vast, vast majority that I have engaged with sound dangerously close to the ultra-fascist, Britain First grouping, masquerading as a political party.

Other than a contribution in the early days of this thread, I have deliberately abstained from further comment but I'd just like to formally acknowledge my empathy with 'oldgroaner' and 'flecc' who seem to have a better, more informed grasp of the pros & cons than most of those who have populated the thread.

In my travels disseminating the 'Remain' message, the biggest problem I have faced is trying to get people to understand the difference between the policies of the tory party and EU initiatives. The tories love this deliberate blurring of distinction and their media wing has created and taken great advantage of this myth that everything is the EU's fault.

I am not going to regurgitate material that has been covered in many areas previously, other than to state that an awful lot of people simply fail to recognise, (or are in denial), that the demise of Britain's industries, particularly the exporting ones, and the diminished effectiveness of our great institutions like the NHS, rail, power and other public utilities has nothing whatsoever to do with people in Brussels. All these things result from the very deliberate policies of tory government.

If the 'Brexit' camp were to triumph in the referendum, what would we do? Would we embark once more on over-fishing; set artificial territorial limits to keep out those fishermen from other countries? Start another cod-war with tiny Iceland?

Were it not for the EU, there would be no control over fishing quotas and it wouldn't just be a handful of Icelandic trawlers we'd be competing with; the Russians would step in, taking advantage of any perceived split in the EU. It's the same EU that has provided the means through sensible control and a compensation system by which farming right across the community has been able to continue in a meaningful way.

Nothing is perfect but the strength of any collective or union lies in unity. Outside of the EU, the UK has very little bargaining power and no means at all of being heard in debate. There is no going back - we've been there and it wasn't really all that good. The world has changed, continues to change and the future of our children is unlikely to be best served as an independent, non-exporting country, unable to free itself of a self-developed, post WW2, superiority complex.

All the jingoism and xenophobia which colour the Brexit campaign are exactly the same mantra we have come to expect from England football fans and its worth can be measured in the number of world cups and European championships won by the country over the last half-century.

Sadly, the most telling thing I have learned on the streets is that a great number of people don't understand the difference between migrant and refugee. A common qualification in speech patterns goes along the lines of, 'I'm not racist but.....'. There is also a perception abroad that the UK has already taken on more than its fair share of 'these people' and we should slam the door on any others headed our way. That misconception becomes so exaggerated in the minds of some people that they don't understand and seemingly cannot accept that many other countries, even less affluent and much smaller than the UK, have absorbed far more immigrants than us.

So, while we seem able to overcome the language barrier inevitable when discussions between more than a couple of dozen countries occur, we seem to have a real difficulty with our own language - migrant/refugee, xenophobia/racism.

In a little over three weeks time, we shall have an answer to the great question but, much as I dislike 'Ca-moron', I hope the 'Remain' camp wins the day and perhaps brings an end to the political aspirations of the buffoon, Johnson, and the two disloyal and despicable, opportunist, fascist Scots, Gove and Duncan-Smith. Whether in or out of the EU, Britain deserves better than than these self-serving individuals.

Tom
 
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flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
45,246
21,809
As one who has been on the streets of Herts and Essex, leafletting and canvassing support for the 'Remain' camp, I think I have heard probably every argument from the anti-EU lobby and I'm bound to say, the vast, vast majority that I have engaged with sound dangerously close to the ultra-fascist, Britain First grouping, masquerading as a political party.

Other than a contribution in the early days of this thread, I have deliberately abstained from further comment but I'd just like to formally acknowledge my empathy with 'oldgroaner' and 'flecc' who seem to have a better, more informed grasp of the pros & cons than most of those who have populated the thread.

In my travels disseminating the 'Remain' message, the biggest problem I have faced is trying to get people to understand the difference between the policies of the tory party and EU initiatives. The tories love this deliberate blurring of distinction and their media wing has created and taken great advantage of this myth that everything is the EU's fault.

I am not going to regurgitate material that has been covered in many areas previously, other than to state that an awful lot of people simply fail to recognise, (or are in denial), that the demise of Britain's industries, particularly the exporting ones, and the diminished effectiveness of our great institutions like the NHS, rail, power and other public utilities has nothing whatsoever to do with people in Brussels. All these things result from the very deliberate policies of tory government.

If the 'Brexit' camp were to triumph in the referendum, what would we do? Would we embark once more on over-fishing; set artificial territorial limits to keep out those fishermen from other countries? Start another cod-war with tiny Iceland?

Were it not for the EU, there would be no control over fishing quotas and it wouldn't just be a handful of Icelandic trawlers we'd be competing with; the Russians would step in, taking advantage of any perceived split in the EU. It's the same EU that has provided the means through sensible control and a compensation system by which farming right across the community has been able to continue in a meaningful way.

Nothing is perfect but the strength of any collective or union lies in unity. Outside of the EU, the UK has very little bargaining power and no means at all of being heard in debate. There is no going back - we've been there and it wasn't really all that good. The world has changed, continues to change and the future of our children is unlikely to be best served as an independent, non-exporting country, unable to free itself of a self-developed, post WW2, superiority complex.

All the jingoism and xenophobia which colour the Brexit campaign are exactly the same mantra we have come to expect from England football fans and its worth can be measured in the number of world cups and European championships won by the country over the last half-century.

Sadly, the most telling thing I have learned on the streets is that a great number of people don't understand the difference between migrant and refugee. A common qualification in speech patterns goes along the lines of, 'I'm not racist but.....'. There is also a perception abroad that the UK has already taken on more than its fair share of 'these people' and we should slam the door on any others headed our way. That misconception becomes so exaggerated in the minds of some people that they don't understand and seemingly cannot accept that many other countries, even less affluent and much smaller than the UK, have absorbed far more immigrants than us.

So, while we seem able to overcome the language barrier inevitable when discussions between more than a couple of dozen countries occur, we seem to have a real difficulty with our own language - migrant/refugee, xenophobia/racism.

In a little over three weeks time, we shall have an answer to the great question but, much as I dislike 'Ca-moron', I hope the 'Remain' camp wins the day and perhaps brings an end to the political aspirations of the buffoon, Johnson, and the two disloyal and despicable, opportunist, fascist Scots, Gove and Duncan-Smith. Whether in or out of the EU, Britain deserves better than than these self-serving individuals.

Tom
A masterful post Tom, packed with many excellent points.
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