On 23 Nov 2011 at 8:52am Paul Newman wrote:
Ondrej Soucek( of Pastorale Antiques.. ) did everyone a service organising this event.The question could scarcely be more urgent. Greece, Italy and next Spain, are ruled by their German creditors. Germany wants to continue to keep its undervalued currency and dump half price BMWs. Merkel is pushing for full fiscal Union but Germans are not up for paying.Wobbly Cameron looks more like Heath every day.
The illusion that the European project can go on without a fundamental cost for democracy and sovereignty is shattered. How much of our money has been promised this time ?
80% of our trade is internal and of the remainder about half is with the EU .We are the largest market and the EU has a Trade surplus with us (last year £37,billion). The world economy is growing at 3%, whilst the aging Euro model, of over regulated high spending states , is faltering, even in Germany. There are dangers either way but my view is that we should repatriate large swathes of power, as promised, do the best deal we can ,(even if it means leaving ), and look outwards to the world as the 54th Country with a Free trade Agreement.
Others disagree. Our Liberal Mayor, John Stockdale made, in my view ,dated points about the EU sustaining peace. Lord Renton was a kindly relic of Tory Europhiles past. The Ukippers were perhaps a little shrill but were at least democratic. One Liberal woman suggested that we would be better off with a benevolent dictatorship, as Yugoslavia were under Tito.Eeek !
All views, even that one, are welcome. The creation of a 17 strong super state utterly alters our relationship with the EU, giving us less say than ever whilst subservient to foreign decisions.The politicians cannot be allowed to slither out of this one with some torturous treaty free formulation. We must have a referendum, and a National debate on the costs and advantages of continued membership.
On 23 Nov 2011 at 9:04am DFL wrote:
Interesting points, and thanks for taking the time to give us this feedback Paul. From a commercial and security perspective I think we should stay in, but, as we are seeing, things are not quite stacked up properly in the EU at the moment. My worry is if we go out of the EU and stand alone, we'll end up with no "bargaining power" commercially, and our border security could become quite a challenge, even more so than now.
On 23 Nov 2011 at 9:52am Vulture wrote:
Since it has been our EU membership that has CAUSED the recent influx of immigration from new EU member states in Eastern Europe I fail to see how your last point 'stacks up' DFL.
I too attended this debate, and what struck me ( apart from N. Baker chickening out of coming after initially promising to attend - running scared of meeting the voters Norm??)- was the paucity of arguments from the pro-EU side. We had Mayor John on the tired old theme that the EU prevented WW3 ( Ahem, what about NATO?); we had yeoman farmer Steven Carr on how much better life was for chickens since the EU issued a directive on the subject ( which only GB is obeying, natch); and finally we had dear old Lord Renton opining that we were in such a hopeless mess because of the Euro (A 'mistake', apparently - now they tell us); that we had better stick together to get out of it again.
As a final point he invoked Glyndebourne as an example of an EU benefit - obliviouys apparently that it started in the 1930s, and I hardly think German baritones will boycott it if/when we choose to leave.
If this is the best these numpties can come up with as reasons for sticking inside the madhouse that is costing us all billions, then the sooner we are out the better. Einstein's definition of insanity was to do the same thing repeatedly and expect a different outcome and by this definition the Europhiles are absolutely barking. If they were wrong about such a fundamental as the Euro, why should we listen to them now?
Incidentally the audience voted by some 3-1 to leave - a figure that would have been reversed ten or twenty years ago. People are waking up to the disaster we have sleepwalked into, and the political class of all three parties don't like it.
The EU is an idea whose time has come - and gone.
On 23 Nov 2011 at 11:01am DFL wrote:
Everybody is entitled to an opinion Vulture, whether you agree to it or not. As for our membership causing the influx of EU immigrants, well, why didn't the government(s) of the day do something about it ? and is immigration the real issue (for you maybe) ? I still think we'll be better off in rather than out - I'm getting bad vibes on commercial isolation....
On 23 Nov 2011 at 11:37am Vulture wrote:
DFL _ no I'm not bothered by east European immigration as it happens. Mr Soucek, convenor of the debate, is a fine example of an east European immigrant who not only knows whereof he speaks regarding the dreadful EU but has enriched his host country immeasurably.
What most bothers me about the EU is its utter lack of democracy. It doesn't seem to bother many that within a fortnight two democratically elected Prime Ministers have been ditched in a silent coup and replaced by EU-appointed stooges who no-one has voted for.
And please don't worry about commercial isolation when we leave. We are the 2nd biggest EU country in population and will soon overtake even Germany. They will go on selling their goods to us whether we are in or out. 'Commercial isolation' really doesn't seem to bother Norway and Switzerland - two of Europe's remaining free ( ie out of the EU) countries, and two of the wealthiest too. Leaving the EU will save us a fortune.
On 23 Nov 2011 at 11:50am DFL wrote:
Mmmm, still like to see a "kosher" list of pros and cons.....
On 24 Nov 2011 at 11:55am Mercian wrote:
Norway and Switzerland are not really relevant. BOth have small populations; the former is pretty much an oil state and the latter is prosperous mainly because of its dubious banking laws, which continue to support all manner of dubious behaviour around the globe.
In any case, I don't see how we could become either, unless you envisage us becoming some sort of huge Jersey / Ilse of Man offshore centre, with limited taxation, little workplace regulation and strict immigration controls (which is what I suspect some on the right would aim at), which would hardly endear us to our trading partners on either side of the Atlantic.
In terms of "overregulated, high spending states", criticism of this perhaps explains why, in every single survey I have seen, the most competitive economies are almost always Finland, Sweden and Denmark, those models of low-tax, low-regulation countries. The problem in the Euro area is the difficulty southern europeans appear to have in collecting tax, while simultaneously overcoddling their public servants. IT is the efficiency of the public sector, not its size, which appears to be important; the NOrdic Countries are great examples because they generally stay out of the market and keep their economies open and flexible (unlike the South), while simltaneously providing their citizens with the highest standards of education, healthcare and welfare 'safety net#.