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The EU is currently a failing organisation...

On 21 Jun 2016 at 1:14pm Fred2016 wrote:
By most measurements the EU has major problems that have over the last five years got worse. A number of countries are keen to have a vote like the UK as they want out. Countries want to get control of their affairs again. Even struggling economies want to leave as they are concerned about being treated like Greece who are desperate, having taken the EU bailout.
On 21 Jun 2016 at 1:52pm Zebedee wrote:
Please post some evidence for your assertions (and not from the Leave campaign). Thanks. But to respond directly, it looks like there must be every chance of reforming the institution, if we stay in. That's great.
On 21 Jun 2016 at 2:12pm Mavis wrote:
Get real Zebedee, most of the other 27 members still have peasants with donkeys and wells in their gardens ! They are loving having money thrown at their countries. That's the hook !!
On 21 Jun 2016 at 2:33pm Zebedee wrote:
Mavis. You really ought to get more.
Austria (1995)
Belgium (1958)
Bulgaria (2007)
Croatia (2013)
Cyprus (2004)
Czech Republic (2004)
Denmark (1973)
Estonia (2004)
Finland (1995)
France (1958)
Germany (1958)
Greece (1981)
Hungary (2004)
Ireland (1973)
Italy (1958)
Latvia (2004)
Lithuania (2004)
Luxembourg (1958)
Malta (2004)
Netherlands (1958)
Poland (2004)
Portugal (1986)
Romania (2007)
Slovakia (2004)
Slovenia (2004)
Spain (1986)
Sweden (1995)
United Kingdom (1973)
On 21 Jun 2016 at 2:47pm Clifford wrote:
Simply posting a list of EU members and their dates of joining is not a sufficient rejoinder to Fred2016's charge that the EU is a failing project, or to Mavis's description of at least some of them.
On 21 Jun 2016 at 2:53pm Zebedee wrote:
It's a perfectly adequate response to Mavis's blithe comment though: 'most of the other 27 members still have peasants with donkeys and wells in their gardens!'

Look down the list. 'Most' countries do not have peasants with donkeys (any more than the UK does). I'll give the 'well' bit a miss as its plainly silly. Many people near me have wells in the their gardens (even in their houses). I myself have two.

You'll note I've asked Fred2016 for more info, as I can't find anything impartial to back up his statement.

You really are scraping the barrel Clifford. Sad to see.
On 21 Jun 2016 at 3:05pm Level headed wrote:
Zebedee, if we WILL be able to have a major influence on the way the EU runs AFTER the referendum, then why haven't UK Government(s) already managed to influence it as much as that to date?
As one of 28 member state votes, then it seem very unlikely we will be able to "shape" the future EU in any meaningful manner. Under the veto rule we may be able to put a temporary stop on any change(s) we do not like, and force those advocating them to amend their plans, but that is very different to having a "strong role" in the negotiations.
Over time UK will come to be seen as an ever bigger pain in the EU backside if we simply keep veto-ing plans, and thus whenever we try and propose any change that is to UK's benefit, then the other members are unlikely to give it a fair hearing, having seen many of their wishes torpedoed by the UK along the way.
I believe that many other EU States' populations also wish to be allowed to vote on whether or not their country should stay in or leave, but their Governments will not allow them local referenda. If UK votes out this week, then that act may well trigger stronger calls for similar referenda in other States.
Hwoever, don't forget, taht whatever the outcome of the referendum on Thursday, it is NOT the population taht make teh decision, it will be the MPs who will have to vote any change through. So, even if 60% of the population vote to leave, Parliament could simply ignore that fact and decide/vote to stay in... so the whole referendum is little more than a barometer of the public's wishes, it is NOT actually the final "Remain" or "Leave" decision.
One might argue that Thursday is a complete waste of time, if the majority vote to reamin, then nothign chnages, if the majority vote to leave, then HMG can turn around and say, "Okay we hear what you say, so we will go back to the negotiating table in Brussels with your message", and we all know what happened when Cameron last negotiated, he promised loudly not to pay the levy we owed, yet he returned from Brussels and very quietly admitted that UK would still be paying the levy, in full, and all he had done was negotiate a two-stage payment for the same total amount... that's hardly a "win" as a result of a strong negotiating position is it?

Assuming there is a finite amount of wealth in the EU at any point in time, and that that wealth is continually redistributed to benefit the less well-off members, that can only mean that until the membership list is finally closed for good, the "richer" economies will continue to support the poorer economies, to the financial disadvantage of the richer economies in the shorter term.
In theory, in the fullness of time the collective EU membership should see benefits for all member States due to the larger market, but the problem is that the EU keeps admitting new, poorer, members, so the point of "greater collective wealth" never actually arrives as the new intake keep having to be supported by subsidies from the existing members.
An ever expanding EU will never benefit all members. Unless, and until, EU mmebership is closed to new applicants then the promised benefits will keep receding into the distance.
A cynic might say that if EU membership list was closed, then the real benefits (or not!) might quickly become apparent to everyone involved. The fact the membership list is still open to new members might suggest that this is one way of avoiding the lack of true benefits for all member states ever becoming visible.

On 21 Jun 2016 at 3:20pm Fred2016 wrote:
Level headed, thanks for spending the time expanding my opening comments. Also a fact that more than half of membership are not net contributors so your statements are validated as at today re EU future. I guess the vote will be marginally for in but my view (out voter) is that this will set in motion a chain reaction over next few years that will see the EU implode.
On 21 Jun 2016 at 3:43pm Jeff wrote:
The EU is not without its problems. But as a geo-political entity it is relatively young compared to other global economic superpowers (e.g. US, China etc). There are bound to be some teething problems joining 27 members states together into a single market economy, like we have seen in Ireland & Greece. However by working together we can overcome these issues and help shape the EU to become a safe, secure and prosperous place for this and future generations. A Leave vote is a HUGE gamble on the ability of the UK to prosper after isolating itself from its nearest neighbours. It plays roulette with the futures of our children and what seems to be driving support for it is a misguided and increasingly ugly sense of nationalism. I hope the common sense of the British people will prevail on Thurs and avoid the economic suicide of a Brexit vote.
On 21 Jun 2016 at 3:58pm leave wrote:
Actually Jeff it's your 'ugly sense' of European nationalism that is indicative of the remain crowd.
After all it's the EU is building a new country isn't it? And happily claims all the trappings of the nation state: army, currency, presidency, anthem, flag, supreme court.
'So, without admitting it, the EU really just wants to be a bigger nation-state with its citizens imbued with a European nationalism, all singing its national anthem and waving its national flag. After all, China, Russia and America—its rivals—are also large nation-states. The EU lacks any vision of a “postnational” world and represents merely European nationalism attempting to unify a continent as Italian nationalists once unified a peninsula during the Risorgimento.'
Rather lacking compassion aren't you to describe the utter destruction of southern Europe as 'teething problems'.
50% youth unemployment in Greece and Spain rather backs up the notion that the EU is failing doesn't it.
On 21 Jun 2016 at 4:37pm No thanks wrote:
Just vote "in" and then we'll be able to change things from the inside, no thanks...
Results will be as good as Camorons last concessions no doubt...
On 21 Jun 2016 at 4:57pm Jeff wrote:
As I said in my first post 'leave', the EU is not without its problems. But your statement that the EU is 'building a new country' is completely inaccurate. The EU project is about building a safe and secure geo-political entity where all member states can enjoy a shared prosperity while retaining their individual cultural identities. It is a work in progress, but there have been encouraging signs where member states in difficulty have been helped back to prosperity (e.g. Ireland). I see no reason to believe that the issues in Spain & Greece cannot be similarly helped given time. Your argument shows a lack of patience, an inability to recognise the benefits of being part of a global economic power, and a misguided suspicion of Johnny Foreigner and the EU's evil quest for world domination. It is in our national interest to remain part of the EU, and work towards building a better future as part of the co-operative rather than casting ourselves adrift and marginalising ourselves on the fringes which would be a huge step backwards for the UK and allow the likes of Farage and his cronies gain support hiding xenophobia and hate beneath the veneer of 'taking back control'.
On 21 Jun 2016 at 5:27pm Pete Manyata wrote:
Well said Jeff, especially the last bit about xenophobia and hate beneath the veneer of 'taking back control'. Never took that phrase on face value
On 21 Jun 2016 at 6:58pm Fred2016 wrote:
Ask those in Ireland how they feel about their bailout. They are a country in depression. Thousands of those who could have left for other countries including USA, Canada and Australia. They will suffer for a generation and most people wish they had never been accepted into the EU. Given the chance they would vote out. I understand similar but more extreme in Greece.
On 21 Jun 2016 at 8:50pm Hello.... wrote:
Eh? Ireland is booming, it's gdp grew by over 7% last year (we were slightly under 2)
Level headed, the U.K. Has significantly influenced the EU. The single market was largely a British push, as is the current model for services. A lot of directives start as uk initiatives. Meanwhile, we are the only European country - Norway and Switzerland included - which is outside both the eurozone and the schengen area.
On 21 Jun 2016 at 9:42pm Local wrote:
Ireland plc has been totally screwed since 2008, so one year of growth from a decimated economy is absolutely nothing to boast about, Hello.
On 22 Jun 2016 at 7:42am Zebedee wrote:
So not totally screwed then?
On 22 Jun 2016 at 2:05pm Hello wrote:
Far from being totally screwed. They've had several years of very high growth now.
Average GDP growth 2011-2015
Ireland 5.2%
United Kingdom 2.9%
Source: World Bank
So in other words, Ireland has been thriving. You're not "just a little bit" wrong - you are totally and utterly wrong.
On 22 Jun 2016 at 3:06pm Fred2016 wrote:
I think you don't understand the economics here. If GDP is low, as it was in Ireland, a growth rate that looks healthy is only against the previous year. If measured against the pre bailout for Ireland it is in fact a minus growth. You have to look at the bigger picture.
On 22 Jun 2016 at 3:55pm Zebedee wrote:
You appear to be talking for a whole country when you say most Irish people want out Fred2016. Do you have some evidence or are you going on hearsay? If hearsay, I have five close Irish friends, all want to stay in the EU and all who think the UK leaving will be disastrous. So I can just as easily say all Irish people want to stay in the EU.
On 22 Jun 2016 at 4:20pm And Fred. wrote:
And Fred, here is an Irishman, a leading EU law expert and Professor who does not want to vote Out. If you want to be informed and still have an open mind you must watch his video before you vote.

Check it out here »
On 22 Jun 2016 at 4:43pm Hello wrote:
I understand the economics. Yes, Ireland had it bad for a few years, but it is doing very well at the moment, and I suspect it will carry on doing so. It has a growing young, well-educated population - indeed, a better skills base than the UK. (The major thing holding the UK back is skills, education and infrastructure deficits - all home grown problems and nothing to do with the EU).
Here's an excerpt from an article written last year on Ireland's attitude to the EU
"In general, Irish people largely positive attitude towards the EU and European integration. Eurobarometer surveys prior to 2007 about people’s personal feelings towards the European Union consistently found that, at about 20-25%, the number of Irish people likely to feel “enthusiastic” or “very positive” about the EU was by far the highest in the union and more than double that of most other member-states. This number has declined quite dramatically in recent years, not surprisingly in light of Ireland’s current economic relationship with the EU, but results still indicate that Ireland is more positive towards Europe than most other countries. At over 60%, a higher proportion of people in Ireland are likely to see their country’s membership of the EU as a good thing than anywhere else except the Benelux countries."
On 24 Jun 2016 at 11:55am Fred2016 wrote:
Looks like I was right all along.

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