Can the E.U. be reformed or should it disappear?

Page 2 of 2 [ 29 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2

Tequila
Veteran
Veteran

Joined: 25 Feb 2006
Age: 33
Gender: Male
Posts: 28,897
Location: Lancashire, UK

20 Jul 2013, 4:21 am

petitesouris wrote:
I also think this is the only sound solution. Yet, I also agree with thomas81, since I do not see why one must be against cooperation between our countries (as long as any integration is democratically supported otherwise it cannot function without intrinsic support), especially considering that it is more desirable to trade and cooperate with relative allies than with entities that are either against us or merely self serving.


I'm not against co-operation, not at all. I want friendship, free trade, and mutual good relations with all European countries, indeed all countries of the world. However, I do not want to be governed by an unelected supranational system that we never voted for and can't remove. To keep thomas81 happy, I would support a referendum in each country of the United Kingdom, asking if the country concerned wishes to keep the United Kingdom. In practical terms though, England would have the final say. If England decided to end the UK and Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland wanted to keep it, the Union would of course not be sustainable.

I also want major decisions put to the people in binding referendum. I would like to see a Swiss-style half-direct democracy system in Britain. The Swiss like their system of referendums, but they don't want to vote on absolutely everything. They have turned down an initiative to put all international treaties before the people, as they already vote enough (there were twelve referendums last year) already.

When I say "co-operation", I mean governments coming together to tackle things of mutual concern, to agree minimum standards on things, to discuss environmental, policing and justice issues. But with the understanding that each country is an equal partner, and that supranational law cannot simply overrule a democratically elected government. There's nothing stopping closer integration from happening, so if Luxembourg wants to become part of Belgium (for example), I don't see anything wrong with that. But in general, independence is the way to go.

A common European alliance could have worked had it stuck to free trade and friendship and it made a commitment to the democratic wishes of the people from the outset. Now we know it's poison and we want rid of it, and that's a shame.



ICY
Pileated woodpecker
Pileated woodpecker

User avatar

Joined: 17 May 2011
Age: 33
Gender: Male
Posts: 192
Location: Hertfordshire England

21 Jul 2013, 5:45 am

Tequila wrote:
I'm not against co-operation, not at all. I want friendship, free trade, and mutual good relations with all European countries, indeed all countries of the world. However, I do not want to be governed by an unelected supranational system that we never voted for and can't remove.


How many Brits have ever been able to vote on the monarchy, or the bishops in the House of Lords, both of which UKIP supports. http://www.general-election-2010.co.uk/ ... archy.html and http://www.ukip.org/newsroom/blog/entry ... -the-lords

Tequila wrote:
To keep thomas81 happy, I would support a referendum in each country of the United Kingdom, asking if the country concerned wishes to keep the United Kingdom. In practical terms though, England would have the final say. If England decided to end the UK and Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland wanted to keep it, the Union would of course not be sustainable.


Why couldn't the other members make arrangments for a post England union?

Tequila wrote:
I also want major decisions put to the people in binding referendum. I would like to see a Swiss-style half-direct democracy system in Britain. The Swiss like their system of referendums, but they don't want to vote on absolutely everything. They have turned down an initiative to put all international treaties before the people, as they already vote enough (there were twelve referendums last year) already.


Given British voter turnout, how would this be more prepresentitive of the peoples' wishes. http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/f ... -elections

Tequila wrote:
When I say "co-operation", I mean governments coming together to tackle things of mutual concern, to agree minimum standards on things, to discuss environmental, policing and justice issues. But with the understanding that each country is an equal partner, and that supranational law cannot simply overrule a democratically elected government. There's nothing stopping closer integration from happening, so if Luxembourg wants to become part of Belgium (for example), I don't see anything wrong with that. But in general, independence is the way to go.


Yet UKIP don't support Scotish independance, or even the Scotish Parliament. http://www.opendemocracy.net/ourkingdom ... talk-about and http://tattie-scones.blogspot.co.uk/201 ... -will.html

Tequila wrote:
A common European alliance could have worked had it stuck to free trade and friendship and it made a commitment to the democratic wishes of the people from the outset. Now we know it's poison and we want rid of it, and that's a shame.


Who is this "we" you think speak for, are you elected?

This is from the BBC today regarding what the Japanese Government think of the UK leaving the EU (for those unaware, Japanese car companies have set a number of factories in the UK). http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-23393856

There's also the EU-US trade deal under discussion. https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/ ... -agreement

No offers of a US-UK trade deal from the USA for some reason....

While I agree that the EU dsoes need reform, for all the EU-skeptic talk of freely trading outside of the EU, the evidence shows who the other big players in the global economy are looking towards.



Last edited by ICY on 22 Jul 2013, 12:18 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Enc
Blue Jay
Blue Jay

User avatar

Joined: 13 Jun 2013
Age: 39
Gender: Male
Posts: 95

21 Jul 2013, 7:28 am

I wished they made several counties to one big nation. And then start a currency. This doesn't work at all.

Eventually Europe should become one big power, both rich and poor nations. But this way, it is to much forced into peoples mouth. It will never work.



ruveyn
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 21 Sep 2008
Age: 84
Gender: Male
Posts: 31,502
Location: New Jersey

21 Jul 2013, 8:25 am

Enc wrote:
I wished they made several counties to one big nation. And then start a currency. This doesn't work at all.

Eventually Europe should become one big power, both rich and poor nations. But this way, it is to much forced into peoples mouth. It will never work.


What would be the common language of this "super one big nation"?

And how would one reconcile the cultural differences?

ruveyn



ICY
Pileated woodpecker
Pileated woodpecker

User avatar

Joined: 17 May 2011
Age: 33
Gender: Male
Posts: 192
Location: Hertfordshire England

21 Jul 2013, 10:57 am

ruveyn wrote:
Enc wrote:
I wished they made several counties to one big nation. And then start a currency. This doesn't work at all.

Eventually Europe should become one big power, both rich and poor nations. But this way, it is to much forced into peoples mouth. It will never work.


What would be the common language of this "super one big nation"?

And how would one reconcile the cultural differences?

ruveyn


This is one of the reasons I doubt EU will ever become a true one nation superstate, you can't have that many languages in one country unless one lanuage is made preeminant. That said, the European Commision uses English, French and German as procedural languages and Belgium manages to get along with 3.

Culture is another issue, for example the more Protastant North and West compared to the more Catholic East and South. This is before you even mention the French....

For these reasons I think the most federal the EU could ever become would be (to borrow 2 American terms), these united states, rather than the united states.



The_Walrus
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator

User avatar

Joined: 27 Jan 2010
Age: 26
Gender: Male
Posts: 7,567
Location: Reading, England

21 Jul 2013, 11:23 am

Tequila wrote:
I also want major decisions put to the people in binding referendum. I would like to see a Swiss-style half-direct democracy system in Britain. The Swiss like their system of referendums, but they don't want to vote on absolutely everything. They have turned down an initiative to put all international treaties before the people, as they already vote enough (there were twelve referendums last year) already.

That sounds like a terrible idea.

Look at the last referendum we had, where the electorate (or at least, those who turned out) voted against replacing FPTP with the superior AV. Binding referendums just allow money to run over the interests of the people.

In any case, polls generally put the percentage of people who wish to leave the EU at a little below half (there are some outlying polls giving figures like 28%, 55% and 78%, but most are from 45-49%). In the event of a referendum, it strikes me as likely that the pro-EU arguments, so far drowned out, would receive more airing and that figure would drop. So your call for a referendum could easily backfire.



Tequila
Veteran
Veteran

Joined: 25 Feb 2006
Age: 33
Gender: Male
Posts: 28,897
Location: Lancashire, UK

21 Jul 2013, 12:43 pm

The_Walrus wrote:
Look at the last referendum we had, where the electorate (or at least, those who turned out) voted against replacing FPTP with the superior AV. Binding referendums just allow money to run over the interests of the people.


This didn't work for several reasons:

1. The electorate were deliberately given two really very poor choices. There are much better electoral systems out there than AV.
2. The pro-AV people were part of the metropolitan set, and they deliberately chose to make the voices in support of it very leftish and pro-establishment. For example, UKIP and other political parties supported an AV system, but they basically shoved people like Farage (and others on the right who also supported a change out of the way).
3. The referendum was extremely poorly marketed and promoted (see the PCC elections also) and the actual AV system was very, very poorly explained to the electorate. It's more complicated than FPTP to begin with, and it's a system that the UK public is extremely unfamiliar with.
4. To add to that, you have a rather disinterested political culture to begin with, so most people were turned off from the outset.

I can remember how I voted. I voted for AV. In fact, I was in a small minority, as I remember that the only people in the country that had a majority of the people voting for AV were the metropolitan London set. Everyone else either abstained or voted FPTP (both my parents voted for FPTP, mainly because the vast majority of the country "understands" FPTP, even though it's a system that is really quite bad).

At the very least, the electoral boundaries could do to be changed. Labour and the Liberal Democrats have an unfair advantage in this country over the Conservatives.

The_Walrus wrote:
In any case, polls generally put the percentage of people who wish to leave the EU at a little below half (there are some outlying polls giving figures like 28%, 55% and 78%, but most are from 45-49%). In the event of a referendum, it strikes me as likely that the pro-EU arguments, so far drowned out, would receive more airing and that figure would drop. So your call for a referendum could easily backfire.


Can you name them? 3 million jobs will go if we leave the EU, that sort of thing? We need a dirigiste supranational entity with scores of different voices running our trade?

How much of taxpayers' money will the EU put into haranguing the electorate to stay in? (Yes, I know that the tiny smidgeon of money for the 'No' campaign in Ireland for Lisbon came from the EFD, but the 'Yes' campaign spluttered millions and millions into that campaign.

If the pro-EU arguments are so good, why isn't the likes of Verhofstadt, or Barroso, or van Rompuy assailing Farage with these arguments in the EP? When you look at these people, you sense that the game is up. They're reduced to attacking Farage's mere presence in the parliament.

In any case, the EU has already said to us that they will happily organise a trading relationship with us were we to leave the EU. It's now all a matter of when.



The_Walrus
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator

User avatar

Joined: 27 Jan 2010
Age: 26
Gender: Male
Posts: 7,567
Location: Reading, England

21 Jul 2013, 5:38 pm

Tequila wrote:
I can remember how I voted. I voted for AV. In fact, I was in a small minority, as I remember that the only people in the country that had a majority of the people voting for AV were the metropolitan London set.

Oxford and Cambridge too.
Quote:
The_Walrus wrote:
In any case, polls generally put the percentage of people who wish to leave the EU at a little below half (there are some outlying polls giving figures like 28%, 55% and 78%, but most are from 45-49%). In the event of a referendum, it strikes me as likely that the pro-EU arguments, so far drowned out, would receive more airing and that figure would drop. So your call for a referendum could easily backfire.


Can you name them?

For starters, there's that old saying about tents and urinating. Better for us to have influence in the EU than none. EU laws will still affect us even if we leave, but we won't be able to influence the creation of those laws.

More specifically:
WTD (which the Westminster elite hate)
Loss of freedom of movement and potential issues for ex-pats in Europe
Loss of influence, as shown by appeals from the US and Japan for Britain to remain in the EU
The ban on neonicotinoids (which Patterson tried to block)
The EWA (though of course this is a mixed bag)

And of course we would risk losing out on foreign investment. I am not sure about the "3m jobs", I imagine that's a wild exaggeration, but I also don't buy the claims that there will be no loss of investment.



Tequila
Veteran
Veteran

Joined: 25 Feb 2006
Age: 33
Gender: Male
Posts: 28,897
Location: Lancashire, UK

21 Jul 2013, 6:02 pm

I'm tired and going to bed but one quick point.

As for the argument about Japan telling us not to leave the EU...

...this was the country that told us to join the euro forthwith.

I think we can ignore their 'advice'.



The_Walrus
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator

User avatar

Joined: 27 Jan 2010
Age: 26
Gender: Male
Posts: 7,567
Location: Reading, England

21 Jul 2013, 6:21 pm

Tequila wrote:
I'm tired and going to bed but one quick point.

As for the argument about Japan telling us not to leave the EU...

...this was the country that told us to join the euro forthwith.

I think we can ignore their 'advice'.

[UKIP members] wants us to leave the EU
UKIP is a party of climate change deniers

Therefore, we should disregard the opinion of [UKIP member].



ICY
Pileated woodpecker
Pileated woodpecker

User avatar

Joined: 17 May 2011
Age: 33
Gender: Male
Posts: 192
Location: Hertfordshire England

22 Jul 2013, 12:27 pm

Tequila wrote:
I'm tired and going to bed but one quick point.

As for the argument about Japan telling us not to leave the EU...

...this was the country that told us to join the euro forthwith.

I think we can ignore their 'advice'.


That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.” – Christopher Hitchens.



Tequila
Veteran
Veteran

Joined: 25 Feb 2006
Age: 33
Gender: Male
Posts: 28,897
Location: Lancashire, UK

22 Jul 2013, 12:50 pm

ICY wrote:
Tequila wrote:
I'm not against co-operation, not at all. I want friendship, free trade, and mutual good relations with all European countries, indeed all countries of the world. However, I do not want to be governed by an unelected supranational system that we never voted for and can't remove.


How many Brits have ever been able to vote on the monarchy, or the bishops in the House of Lords, both of which UKIP supports. http://www.general-election-2010.co.uk/ ... archy.html and http://www.ukip.org/newsroom/blog/entry ... -the-lords


I don't agree with every UKIP policy. A lot of people will, say, agree with leaving the EU, but might not agree on their immigration stance (or want something tougher). Other people might not care about wind farms but will really like UKIP's policy on grammar schools. The issue of the Lords isn't a major concern to me at the moment,

Basically, I agree with keeping the Monarchy but otherwise I don't care too much about the Royals. I don't agree with UKIP's wish to keep the Bishops in the House of Lords. I want that part of our anachronistic past abolished. But I don't want to see the House of Lords wholly elected as I think that, at the moment, it will simply lead to a replication of the House of Commons. If you want that, might as well abolish the Lords and have a unicameral system. I also dislike the idea of political appointees getting into the Lords.

The idea of a kind of sortition appeals to me, in that there is a genuine mix of people taken from all sections of society in the Lords. To be honest, both Houses seem to be a bizarre and inaccessible anachronism that comes across as irrelevant to the lives of modern people.

I would actually be in favour of having a national debate on both issues. I am Monarchist, but I would not want to keep it if a clear majority of the country wanted rid. Similarly, I think Lords reform should be done by actually listening to the people.

As I've explained to you before: I would like to see reform of the Lords, but to me it's an issue that can wait for another time. It's not important right this minute, but it does need attention eventually.

ICY wrote:
Why couldn't the other members make arrangments for a post England union?


It's theoretically possible that they might want to do this, but I consider it unlikely. England is the powerhouse and the heart and soul of the Union; the other three countries are much smaller, though no less important.

I can't see the UK carrying on without England.

Tequila wrote:
Given British voter turnout, how would this be more prepresentitive of the peoples' wishes. http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/f ... -elections


You're proving my point for me. We don't have any real influence in our decision-making any more. There's little point in voting for the big three major parties, because their policies are largely identical.

In addition, this would give even more power the media moguls.

ICY wrote:
Yet UKIP don't support Scotish independance, or even the Scotish Parliament. http://www.opendemocracy.net/ourkingdom ... talk-about and http://tattie-scones.blogspot.co.uk/201 ... -will.html


No, it doesn't. It is a political party that has a position on the constitutional question. It's a Unionist party that believes in democracy. UKIP would be anti-democratic if they thought that Scotland, Wales or NI should be forced to remain in the UK.

If they then choose independence from the UK through a referendum, we wish them well. No country in the UK has a percentage of the population anywhere near that for there to be a 'Yes' vote to Independence.

The Union can only work through mutual consent. UKIP understands this. As a UK-wide party, it is campaigning for Scotland to remain in the UK (as it would for Northern Ireland) but in the end that choice isn't up to UKIP, the SNP, or Labour or the LDs.

Tequila wrote:
Who is this "we" you think speak for, are you elected?


A majority of the UK public and withdrawalists inside and outside UKIP.

Tequila wrote:
This is from the BBC today regarding what the Japanese Government think of the UK leaving the EU (for those unaware, Japanese car companies have set a number of factories in the UK). http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-23393856


If the Japanese government told you to jump off a cliff, would you do it?

As for Japan: I would politely listen to their opinion and then simply ignore them and proceed regardless. I would expect them to do the same.

Tequila wrote:
There's also the EU-US trade deal under discussion. https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/ ... -agreement


So? The US will arrange free trade deals with countries outside the EU - which it does all the time! - just as well as it will countries inside it. Switzerland has recently been signing trade deals on its own with China.

Hell, even Hong Kong can sign its own trade deals. A territory that isn't even a country can arrange its own trading deals but one of the largest economies in the world cannot? I mean... what the hell?

Tequila wrote:
While I agree that the EU dsoes need reform, for all the EU-skeptic talk of freely trading outside of the EU, the evidence shows who the other big players in the global economy are looking towards.


We're not EU-sceptics or eurosceptics. We don't want to merely criticise the EU. We want out of this anti-democratic mess. And this sentiment isn't restricted to Britain by a long way.

Switzerland does alright. I'm not suggesting we become Switzerland, but the EU does not run its trade deals. Oh, and by the way - die Schweiz trades four-and-a-half times per capita more than we do with the EU and the Helvetic Confederation isn't even in it. The Swiss people have overwhelmingly rejected EU membership in the past by referendum.

Ask yourself this: how come that none of the non-EU countries in Western Europe (Switzerland; Norway; Iceland; Liechtenstein) show any interest in joining the EU? And that have populations that are often quite passionately against any form of EU membership? Iceland recently re-elected a staunchly anti-EU negotiation government a few months back that was kicked out of office due to the financial scandal of 2009. Iceland has recovered from that and their economy is now booming again, at a rate that no doubt drives Bruxelles insane with jealousy.

The EU won't reform. It has been set up to deny reform to the people. History shows the way EU institutions and officials behave towards the people they purport to represent.



ICY
Pileated woodpecker
Pileated woodpecker

User avatar

Joined: 17 May 2011
Age: 33
Gender: Male
Posts: 192
Location: Hertfordshire England

22 Jul 2013, 1:42 pm

So many words, so little information to back it up, here we go again....

That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.” – Christopher Hitchens