The leftist hijacking of Brexit, and your views on Brexit

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Probably_Drunk
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21 Jan 2018, 6:22 am

I'm curious of how people here view Brexit, here I have posted my personal views on Brexit which coincides with the views of the vast majority of other Brexit voters I have talked to.

Politically I'm middle-left, I disagree with allot of general views on both sides, but always vote left during political votes here in the UK, but I also voted for Brexit which is held up as a very right-wing thing to do, the implication from the left being that everyone who voted for Brexit did so out of racism in an attempt to stop mass immigration to the UK, where actually most people I know who voted for Brexit did so for the same reason I did, for British independence from Europe.

Everybody on the left gets enraged when some drunk pisses on a war monument, but then ignores the fact that the millions of British soldiers who fought and died for our country did so for British independence and freedom, something that British government and politicians gave away to Europe without any public vote because they knew that we would have never voted to join, and now that the majority of British people have voted for British independence from Europe this is still this is touted as very right-wing thing to have done.

Anyone who publicly speaks out for Brexit is instantly labelled a racist and a conservative, and anyone who disagrees with that is shouted down by the far-left, they harp on about how Britain will now face financial ruin, it won’t but they don’t let facts get in the way of a good story, they make out that one campaign about lack of funds for the National Health Service somehow swayed the vote, I know no-one who voted over this issue, we all know the NHS is doomed under conservative rule and is a leading reason most people who are middle-of-the-road politically vote left in the UK.

The left-wing agenda has hijacked Brexit to try and push the racist-right image and ignores the fact that allot of left-wing voters actually voted for Brexit, the simple fact of the case being that Brexit is not a liberal or conservative vote, it’s not about immigration, it’s not about racism, it’s not about money or trade, it’s just about British independence from Europe.



The_Walrus
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21 Jan 2018, 6:56 am

I think it's pretty widely acknowledged that the far left (McDonnell, Skinner, etc.) are some of the worst Eurosceptics out there. But they're also conservative, even regressive. The Corbyn lot basically want to overturn the last forty years of progress. Being left wing doesn't stop you from being conservative.

It's also acknowledged that ordinary Labour voters, generally thought to be persuaded by people like Gisela Stuart, Frank Field, and Kate Hoey, were crucial in the referendum. But most Labour voters are conservative. Voting Labour doesn't stop you from being conservative.

Probably_Drunk wrote:
then ignores the fact that the millions of British soldiers who fought and died for our country did so for British independence and freedom, something that British government and politicians gave away to Europe without any public vote because they knew that we would have never voted to join,

We did vote to join. Quite overwhelmingly.

I think it is completely insensitive and disrespectful to compare the EU with the Nazis or the Kaiser or Napoleon. The EU is a group of countries working together for their mutual benefit, including peace. Making out that it's anything like the people who tried to invade Britain is a slap in the face of the people who died fighting for peace in Europe.

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Anyone who publicly speaks out for Brexit is instantly labelled a racist and a conservative, and anyone who disagrees with that is shouted down by the far-left, they harp on about how Britain will now face financial ruin, it won’t but they don’t let facts get in the way of a good story,

It is clear that Britain will have a much tougher time financially if we leave the Single Market and Customs Union. "Financial ruin", probably not, but things will get worse.
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they make out that one campaign about lack of funds for the National Health Service somehow swayed the vote, I know no-one who voted over this issue,

Polling by the Vote Leave campaign told them that their best chance of winning and swaying over undecided voters was emphasising £350m a week for the NHS and the possibility of Turkey joining the EU. See here. Point being: one person's friends are rarely representative of the country at large.
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the simple fact of the case being that Brexit is not a liberal or conservative vote, it’s not about immigration, it’s not about racism, it’s not about money or trade, it’s just about British independence from Europe.

"British independence from Europe" is a conservative cause. It's chauvinistic - what's wrong with working with our allies? Why is "independence from Europe" a good thing? Why is "independence of Europe" worth harming our trade, damaging our economy, reducing immigration, taking away our rights, tying up our government for several years, messing up the Northern Irish peace process, and ignoring the wishes of half the country?



Probably_Drunk
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21 Jan 2018, 7:33 am

The_Walrus wrote:
We did vote to join. Quite overwhelmingly.

there was never a vote to join, there was a vote to remain in the common market after the UK had joined, this was touted on solely on international trade and financial reasons, it was very much kept from the British public that we would be living under European Law, hardly an open vote on joining Europe.

The_Walrus wrote:
"British independence from Europe" is a conservative cause. It's chauvinistic - what's wrong with working with our allies? Why is "independence from Europe" a good thing? Why is "independence of Europe" worth harming our trade, damaging our economy, reducing immigration, taking away our rights, tying up our government for several years, messing up the Northern Irish peace process

for me personally it's nothing to do with any of these issues, I have no problems with working with our allies, the problem I have is having the laws of our country being ruled from outside of the UK, it's like telling Canada that it has to live under USA Rule, and live by USA laws. A country should be able to live by it's own laws.



blitzkrieg
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21 Jan 2018, 7:51 am

Probably_Drunk wrote:
I'm curious of how people here view Brexit, here I have posted my personal views on Brexit which coincides with the views of the vast majority of other Brexit voters I have talked to.

Politically I'm middle-left, I disagree with allot of general views on both sides, but always vote left during political votes here in the UK, but I also voted for Brexit which is held up as a very right-wing thing to do, the implication from the left being that everyone who voted for Brexit did so out of racism in an attempt to stop mass immigration to the UK, where actually most people I know who voted for Brexit did so for the same reason I did, for British independence from Europe.

Everybody on the left gets enraged when some drunk pisses on a war monument, but then ignores the fact that the millions of British soldiers who fought and died for our country did so for British independence and freedom, something that British government and politicians gave away to Europe without any public vote because they knew that we would have never voted to join, and now that the majority of British people have voted for British independence from Europe this is still this is touted as very right-wing thing to have done.

Anyone who publicly speaks out for Brexit is instantly labelled a racist and a conservative, and anyone who disagrees with that is shouted down by the far-left, they harp on about how Britain will now face financial ruin, it won’t but they don’t let facts get in the way of a good story, they make out that one campaign about lack of funds for the National Health Service somehow swayed the vote, I know no-one who voted over this issue, we all know the NHS is doomed under conservative rule and is a leading reason most people who are middle-of-the-road politically vote left in the UK.

The left-wing agenda has hijacked Brexit to try and push the racist-right image and ignores the fact that allot of left-wing voters actually voted for Brexit, the simple fact of the case being that Brexit is not a liberal or conservative vote, it’s not about immigration, it’s not about racism, it’s not about money or trade, it’s just about British independence from Europe.


This is an excellent post and contains a lot of my initial views on why I voted 'leave', despite having some left-wing views in general.

The European Union is inherently undemocratic and essentially has an unelected ruling class by which countries of the European Union are influenced in terms of legislation and political/economic direction, without recompense in the way of accountability from the citizens of member states.

Add to that the fact that the European Union and its history is steeped in Nazi ideals (sounds like a conspiracy theory but a 'unified Europe' was actually one of the third reich's goals) and you can see why it is so undemocratic and most importantly, rigged in a way to benefit Germany above all other countries in terms of trade, where decisions are made as part of the EU's institutions and so forth.

Then there is the tariffs that are levied on countries outside of the European Union bloc, essentially making it a protectionist zone whereby countries in African for example are punished for wanting to trade with us and can't get a fair deal and which is often a poor deal for the UK, too, such are the terms of the EU and its economic rules.

Mass immigration is a bad thing too. I personally support limited immigration since it allows us to import people who are beneficial to the economy rather than unnecessarily burdening the economy at the detriment of public services like the NHS.

The only issue I have with the pro-brexit side is a lot of them are old people who are genuinely bigoted and rotten/racist.



The_Walrus
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21 Jan 2018, 11:41 am

Probably_Drunk wrote:
The_Walrus wrote:
We did vote to join. Quite overwhelmingly.

there was never a vote to join, there was a vote to remain in the common market after the UK had joined, this was touted on solely on international trade and financial reasons, it was very much kept from the British public that we would be living under European Law, hardly an open vote on joining Europe.

OK, fair enough - we overwhelmingly voted to stay in after we joined.

The benefits on the trade side of things arise from regulatory harmonisation (i.e. "living under the same laws"). I wasn't alive at the time so can't really comment, but that's the central logic underpinning the argument.
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The_Walrus wrote:
"British independence from Europe" is a conservative cause. It's chauvinistic - what's wrong with working with our allies? Why is "independence from Europe" a good thing? Why is "independence of Europe" worth harming our trade, damaging our economy, reducing immigration, taking away our rights, tying up our government for several years, messing up the Northern Irish peace process

for me personally it's nothing to do with any of these issues, I have no problems with working with our allies, the problem I have is having the laws of our country being ruled from outside of the UK, it's like telling Canada that it has to live under USA Rule, and live by USA laws. A country should be able to live by it's own laws.

But they were our laws. Just as the town you live in is part of the UK, so is the UK part of the EU - one of the most powerful and influential members, too. We didn't have laws imposed upon us any more than your town has British law imposed upon it. Indeed, Britain was responsible for moving away from unanimous decision making and towards qualified-majority decision making.

When you voluntarily collaborate with other people then the outcome of the collaboration is as much yours as anyone else's.
blitzkrieg wrote:
The European Union is inherently undemocratic and essentially has an unelected ruling class by which countries of the European Union are influenced in terms of legislation and political/economic direction, without recompense in the way of accountability from the citizens of member states.
Not only is this not true, it also displays incoherent priorities.

The EU's decision making bodies are the European Parliament, which is directly elected using a proportional method (i.e. it's more democratic than the British Parliament), and the European Commission, which is comprised of individuals appointed by democratically-elected heads of state. Some strategic decisions are also made by the European Council, consisting of the democratically elected heads of state or heads of government, and the Council of Ministers, which consists of relevant national ministers from each country (e.g. when agriculture is being discussed them the Secretary of State at DEFRA will be sent from Britain). It cannot reasonably be described as undemocratic relative to the member states, who are all democracies in their own right.

Furthermore, if we did introduce greater democracy (for example, directly electing the Commission), then this would take power away from the member states. I thought the whole point was to give more power to Westminster?!
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Add to that the fact that the European Union and its history is steeped in Nazi ideals (sounds like a conspiracy theory but a 'unified Europe' was actually one of the third reich's goals)

Hitler was an artist. Does that make art bad?

Hitler was a vegetarian. Does that make vegetarianism bad?
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and you can see why it is so undemocratic and most importantly, rigged in a way to benefit Germany above all other countries in terms of trade, where decisions are made as part of the EU's institutions and so forth.

Eh, if any country had the system rigged in their favour it was Britain. We had opt-outs for anything we didn't like, and a huge great rebate. The detailed agreements of the EU also favoured Britain's service-based economy more than Germany's economy which relies more on manufacturing, which is usually the focus of a bog-standard free trade agreement.

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Then there is the tariffs that are levied on countries outside of the European Union bloc, essentially making it a protectionist zone whereby countries in African for example are punished for wanting to trade with us and can't get a fair deal and which is often a poor deal for the UK, too, such are the terms of the EU and its economic rules.

This sounds compelling at first, but doesn't actually make sense. For starters, the EU is itself the largest free-trade area in the world, in terms of countries participating. It's also the most comprehensive. Leaving the EU is the protectionist move.

The EU aggressively pursues free trade deals. As well as the wider members of the EEA and customs union (e.g. Turkey), it has active bespoke deals with South Korea, Chile, Mexico, and South Africa. The Euro-Mediterranean association agreement links it with most of north Africa as well as Israel, Lebanon, and Palestine. It has Stabilisation and Association Agreements with most of Europe, and is part of a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area with the European former Soviet states that aren't Belarus, Russia, or in the EU. It has agreements being phased in with Canada, the CARIFORUM, Central America, the Eastern and Southern African states, the South African Development community, Peru/Colombia/Ecuador, Ghana, Cameroon, and the Ivory Coast. It has finalised agreements with the ECOWA, Japan, the Eastern African Community, Singapore, and Vietnam. It is pursuing with Mercosur, remaining parts of ASEAN, India, the US, and New Zealand. An agreement with the Gulf States was being worked on but negotiations collapsed in 2008.

Now I know I can't keep up with all that and I wrote it, so I'll summarise: in Africa, the only countries the EU is not pursuing a FTA with are Libya, Somalia, South Sudan, and Angola. In South America, only Venezuela and Bolivia. The Asia-Pacific region is poor, so I'd quite like the EU to join TPP.

The common external tariff is relatively low. I'd rather not have it, but the UK will keep it when it leaves, as well as falling out of the EU trade deals with are being signed or negotiated.
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Mass immigration is a bad thing too. I personally support limited immigration since it allows us to import people who are beneficial to the economy rather than unnecessarily burdening the economy at the detriment of public services like the NHS.

I strongly disagree with the premises. Firstly, I think all immigrants are beneficial to the economy. More people means more demand, more jobs, and more tax takings. Studies consistently show that immigrants to the UK contribute more to the economy than natives. Immigrants are also disproportionately likely to work in public services such as the NHS, and leaving will make it harder for them to come here, putting extra strain on services.



blitzkrieg
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21 Jan 2018, 7:05 pm

We actually voted to join the EEC back in 1973, an economic, not a political union. The European Union was formed after the Maastricht treaty was passed without the vote of the British public, that made the EEC turn into a political as well as an economic union (in 1993 I believe), run by a group of unelected potentates - the 'EU commission' and the other German-led institutions of the EU.

The European Union is inherently undemocratic.



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21 Jan 2018, 7:13 pm

Isn't it true that the European parliament holds essentially no power and the true nexus of power lies within the European Commission which oversees decisions derived from both the European parliament and the Council of the EU?



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22 Jan 2018, 12:35 pm

The European Commission is "unelected" in the same way that the Cabinet is "unelected". The Prime Minister chooses who to appoint.

If you'd rather not have Prime Ministers and Presidents appointing people, then it would make more sense to campaign for Commissioners and Cabinet members to be directly elected by the people rather than campaigning to leave the EU altogether.

Of course, that would inherently mean transferring power away from Westminster.

blitzkrieg wrote:
Isn't it true that the European parliament holds essentially no power and the true nexus of power lies within the European Commission which oversees decisions derived from both the European parliament and the Council of the EU?

Like a lot of Brexiteer rhetoric, this isn't entirely untrue, but is still wrong.

The Parliament holds most of the power. It elects the President of the Commission, it can reject the appointment of Commissioners, and it can force the commission to resign. No reciprocal power exists.

Again, a reasonably good analogy is to the House of Commons (with the Commission being the Cabinet again). Parliament represents the people and nothing can be passed without it (except in some circumstances where the Council can act), and is ultimately superior. The Commission has much less power to act independently than the Cabinet.

The big power that the European Parliament does not have that the Commons does have is the right of initiative. All bills must be submitted to the Parliament by the Commission - Parliament can't propose something on its own. This ensures that national governments don't have to sacrifice their sovereignty to the EU. However, Parliament can ask the Commission to submit something, and as the Commission answers to Parliament, it could be forced to submit it. In practice, about 20% of bills are original proposals by the Commission, with the others either coming directly from member states or the Parliament.

So it's not a straightforward question. There are lots of checks and balances to make sure that no branch has too much power, but ultimately Parliament is sovereign.



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22 Jan 2018, 12:53 pm

I don't think being for or against Brexit is left or right wing. The majority of labour seats voted for Brexit, in the North that was absolutely because of immigration and in no way is that racist. Never in our History have so many been foreign born not even during times we have been invaded of course people are going to have a problem with that.