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Discussion > EU Brexit + Climate law issues


"Have you any evidence that factory closures wouldn't have taken place if the UK weren't in the EU? Have you evidence that these factory closures only take place in the UK and the rest of the world remains untouched? Have you any evidence that the flood of migrants from the Levant and North Africa wouldn't have arrived in Europe if there was no EU? Have you evidence that Greece wouldn't have screwed up its economy outside the Euro? Have you evidence that Spain's problems are solely as a result of being in the Euro and not down to mismanagement and investing in the wrong things?"

Due to policies of the EU 'open boarders within the EU' we have 4 million additional bodies in the UK, most of them working. Apart from the odd entrepreneur amongst them, it is one UK job position lost for each incomer.

Spain Greece - it is widely acknowledged that if the southern countries were not in the eurozone they could have devalued and saved their economies.

Immigrants from afar would not have been allowed into ANY of the EU states let alone travel far and wide unfettered.

EU is corrupt and bad for all involved except for those that run it.

Feb 20, 2016 at 6:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterSteve Richards

Not much earlier today at the BBC: "EU referendum: Cameron sets June date for UK vote"

~5:30pm "This entry is now closed for comments."

I guess they didn't get enough EU grants for have-your-say moderators to enable the comments to run until well after the day's FA Cup football matches ended.

Feb 20, 2016 at 7:35 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Robert Christopher
I don't think I'll be able to persuade you to change your mind as you have a deep conviction that the EU is the root of all Europe's in general and the UK in particular's problems. I don't think that I can persuade you to look at it in anything like a dispassionate way. Rather than beating my head on that particular brick wall further this'll be my last response.

Nations outside the EU make a pretty good job of screwing their economy, Iceland, Venezuela, Brazil and South Africa for example. It just takes some misguided politicians believing stories of untold wealth for a nation if we just do x,y and z.

Several members of the EU weren't over the moon about Angela Merkel's invitation, and probably say we told you so at every opportunity. Was the child grooming in Rochdale and other UK cities the result of Angela Merkel's folly. I thought the perpetrators were in the UK prior to the recent crisis and some had been in the UK a considerable time.

I don't think the decline in the Herring fishing can be laid at the EU's door as catches had been in decline for quite some time before the final collapse. Whitefish is an interesting story, in the late 60s early 70s there was a boom in catches which resulted in an increase in UK investment in boats, equipment and other related activities. There was also the problem that Scottish boats fished locally whilst English boats fished distant waters (Iceland for example). It's interesting that a 12km limit applies only in some Scottish waters and the English fleet was prevented from fishing in its traditional waters off Iceland. Scotland has the same limits as before entry to the EEC. Is it the fault of the UK or the EU that Grimsby suffered from a double blow?

How did Belgium and Holland get their way and not the UK on recycling? Hasn't Germany got a lot of open cast coal mining sites suitable for landfill and could have been brought on board, or is it that people in the UK aren't keen to have landfill near them. Do you actually think there'll be a rush to start it all over again welcomed by communities all over the UK on Brexit?

I didn't realise the BBC was financed by the EU, I thought it was funded by a UK tax, named licence fee but a tax none the less.

I understand the the Dutch still grow lettuces in greenhouses, and some are even using LED lights to reduce energy costs, possibly sourced from China but I can't find out if they are.

Surely French entrepreneurs moving to London is because of French legislation and taxes not EU ones, because otherwise they'd be going to a non-EU country? A lot of our French friends are aware of the problems with redtape and cotisations, they haven't twigged that striking to save jobs doesn't work though. The German economy seems to have grown in 2015, despite the ongoing Euro crisis, and as far as I'm aware not as many German entrepreneurs are moving to the UK.

A working time directive seems a sensible precaution to stop people working themselves into an early grave, remember people don't walk home after working a 60 hour week (average 48 hours plus 1.5 hours breaks per day), they usually drive and sometimes quite a distance. What do those motorway gantry signs say about tiredness - it kills. So yes it is a health and safety issue. But if you want to live in a country that allows 60 hour working weeks as the norm then I guess being out of the EU is the way to go.

England, as opposed to the UK, has never been an equal far less an junior partner in anything until late in the 20th century. It seems a lot of the population has yet to get to grips with the UK's place in the modern world where former colonies and minor players on the world stage are now more powerful economically and militarily and going it alone will result it being the junior partner in most agreements. Even the special relationship with the USA isn't as special as the UK thinks, after all France is the USA's oldest ally and America needs to cultivate friendships in Asia in the 21st century.

Please remember that everyone, but everyone, including those writing the business news in your favourite newspaper and me has an agenda. Mine is to try and use logic rather than emotion when deciding my future.

Feb 20, 2016 at 7:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

Steve Richards
There are 2.34 million unemployed in the UK, do those 4 million bodies pay tax, national insurance and shop in the UK? Do you think those 2.34 million would all be working and there'd only be the need for just under two million immigrants?

Did the EU get Greece into the Euro by devious means or was it Greek politicians and bankers? For Spain the situation is also down to local politicians doing their best to ruin their own country with the aid of willing bankers, as is the case for Ireland, Iceland and the United Kingdom for that matter.

Certainly there is a lot of corruption in the EU, are you suggesting that Britain isn't going to make trade deals and work in close cooperation with nations where corruption is the norm, Saudi Arabia and China and Taiwan for instance?

Feb 20, 2016 at 8:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

Rather than ask yourself what the EU has done so far ask what it will do in the future. What currency will the Eurozone protect come what may? What would we do if the Euro was suceeding and the pound was being strangled? Is our veto pointless because we'd have to join at that point anyway? As more and more poor countries are absorbed into the EU (it's not stated any desire to stop expanding) how will UK needs be measured against Turkey's needs or the Ukraine? Where next? Iraq? Syria? What if the balance of power shifts towards new Europe? What might a pact amongst certain countries do to the Eurozone outsider? How much money will the EU demand from successful countries? How many refugees will we be asked to take? Will the EU decide that the distribution be done by ability to cope financially? Do you think that idea might appeal to Greece and a large number of the poorer ones? If the EU insists, what could or would Cameron do about it other than cave in?

What could happen that would be too much? And what could we do about it since no politician less Eurosceptical than Farage would ever let us have another referendum on anything? If we decided that an entire government was bad, we could vote the lot out. The only thing we can do with the EU is change our own representatives.

Feb 20, 2016 at 8:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

SandyS on Feb 20, 2016 at 7:51 PM

I am not blaming the EU for everything, just highlighting that the EU is in a complete mess. Today, there is news that a senior German politician is threatening to punish countries not accepting economic migrants that Merkel invited into Germany! We really don't want to be involved with situations like that, or be liable for any fallout.

We are nearly always outvoted, so we very rarely get what we vote for, so it is hardly 'our fault' for the Euro, Schengen or lack of EU border control, yet we end up contributing to the funding. It is natural to look to those who have been in office for explanations and those who are now in office to improve matters, not those who don't get their ideas implemented. The EU elite should be responsible for what it has power over, but they don't care.
You appear to want to follow arrogant ill-informed eurocrats, without being able to properly question what they do, or force us to do. I have listed many examples already and more appear in the headlines every week, if not every day. The problem is that the EU continues making the same mistakes, on and on! They just keep on digging that hole! Britain is used to being able to get rid of a useless government, so that at least it makes different mistakes!

The BBC has accepted EU finances, even though it forces viewers to pay a licence fee. The licence fee is so it can be independent, except that it isn't when it receives money from a foreign organisation! It's agenda reflects that financial connection.

The WTD was not considered a H&S issue until they failed to get it enacted the first time: I was pointing out their underhandedness. It forced a lot of overheads, quite out of proportion to the benefit. It could have been tackled in a much more sensible manner, but that is the EU for you.

Many of the EU mistakes are eventually rectified, but it often takes a lot of effort, with many suffering in the meantime, and it only adds to costs and the general wear and tear of people who could be creating wealth. And this stream of political warfare hasn't stopped, so there is no reason to stay in. They just have a different view on the world.

Britain wants political independence from foreign powers (like the EU and Germany), not unlike many other countries, and wants to return to being an equal member of the world's nations where it can negotiate on an equal footing.

Gove puts the case very well.

Feb 20, 2016 at 10:25 PM | Registered CommenterRobert Christopher

"Ever closer union."

Fine words, but think about it in the sense of "ever closer language": I have not yet heard from a Continental-European politician whether the ever-closer language is going to be English, or American. The choice is simple, but nobody talks about it.

I am happy with either, but they need to make an explicit statement of intent if they want my vote.

Feb 20, 2016 at 11:58 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Perhaps I'm the only one who thinks that there'll be precious little difference in or out of the EU for the vast majority of people. Perhaps the biggest difference will be that a new bogeyman will have to be found to blame for "problems" and redtape. For example, I was watching a piece on East Midlands Today where the MD of David Neiper, in favour of exit, was being interviewed. He complained about red-tape from Brussels and gave the example of having to check and record the state of a step ladder annually. My first thought was that seems reasonable and in this age of We'll Sue Your Boss for any accidents adverts on TV. An annual check and recording seems the minimum, and not checking at all a cavalier attitude to employees well being, it shouldn't really need a directive but it seems that it does even in the UK. I also wondered why no-one asked him how many EU citizens worked on the shop floor and what he would have done had they not been available. In the same week there was also an item about Sport Direct's depot in Notts and the conditions "enjoyed" by their workers, it's not a place I'd choose to work if an alternative was available. I say that as someone who spent his entire working life in some pretty crummy offices close to factory shop floors and warehousing.

Most examples of It's all the EU's fault that I've read and investigated for myself turn out to be far more complex than the headlines suggest. One has to be truly sceptical of claims made by politicians, financiers, lawyers and newspapers probably the least trustworthy professions in the universe apart from climate scientists. This Discussion started off on flood defences and mitigation I'm just as unconvinced that it is solely the EU to blame as I was when we started. Just as I'm convinced that the legally binding Climate Change Act is a totally self inflicted wound, and down to the ego and stupidity of British politicians.

It did come as a surprise that the BBC had been funded by the EU, but like everything the devil is in the detail. The income from the licence fee is £3,700 million annually and EU funding from an internet search is about £3 million between April 2011 and November 2013, about 5ppm (pounds per million). So yes possibly a bit iffy, but not a hanging offence.

Personally I think that carried by the majority in England the UK will vote to leave, as a majority in Scotland will vote to stay Nicola Sturgeon will have a Scottish referendum which will vote to leave the UK and negotiate EU membership. Followed within a couple of years by a similar referendum in Northern Ireland with the same result, perhaps with union with the Republic of Ireland as a way of getting into the EU. Wales too will have a breakaway referendum but will remain united with England. Now that would make for interesting times. Whether any citizens of the UK end up better off as a result remains to be seen. The Utopia of being on an equal footing with global superpowers is never likely to happen.

Feb 21, 2016 at 12:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

Sandy S, is there no value in knowing who to blame? The EU is the bogeyman that gets all the blame. We need our side to have no excuses.

For what it's worth, I think the vote will be firmly to stay in.

Feb 21, 2016 at 1:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

I agree with Robert Christopher 100% but it is true that leaving the EU will not solve all our problems.
The welfare state is the reason for our unemployment problem, people have been educated to believe that the state will; solve all their problems. If we stay in the EU then the state will become the EU and all the things that made us great will be gone.
The population of the UK are not greatly interested in politics and why should they be? People should be able to rely on politicians to run the country in our best interests but sadly that does not happen.
Our population does not really understand the issues about the referendum debate because the media do not inform them and why is that?
I can not see my way through all the problems that we have in the UK but I do believe that we will never have a hope of solving them if we do not have the guts to govern ourselves.

Feb 21, 2016 at 4:28 PM | Registered CommenterDung

Tiny CO2
You've absolutely nailed it:

If we decided that an entire government was bad, we could vote the lot out. The only thing we can do with the EU is change our own representatives.


Feb 21, 2016 at 5:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterMessenger

I hope nobody really believes that Boris has any intention of voting to leave the EU? ^.^

Feb 21, 2016 at 6:34 PM | Registered CommenterDung

There will be another deal offered to the UK, Boris will 'see the light' and advocate remaining.

Feb 21, 2016 at 6:36 PM | Registered CommenterDung

If we want to be sour, Boris must know that Osborne is Cameron's natural heir. Those who will support the safe option of staying in would also choose Osborne. I don't get the impression that Osborne would even have Boris as a senior cabinet member.

Boris has got nothing to lose and a lot to gain by taking a different path.

I don't see anything wrong with people being conflicted over the EU, it's not a simple calculation. The only true liar is Cameron (almost typed Blair). He knew full well he wasn't going to get anywhere with the EU, asked for nowt and blew any chance of success by trumpeting his determination to stay in.

Feb 21, 2016 at 7:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2


You may well be right but I am (like you) so used to being lied to that I just do not believe what most politicians say.
I would not put it past Cameron to have agreed the current EU deal on the basis that the UK would not accept it, and that a better offer would be needed. Boris could change sides and vote for exactly what he has said he wants; a better deal, accidentally gaining Cameron's support as the next leader :)

Feb 21, 2016 at 8:41 PM | Registered CommenterDung

It isn't really a deal, as Richard North explains:
EU Referendum: the dodgy deal

and Mrs Boris Johnson, aka Marina Wheeler, has her say:
(£) The Spectator: why David Cameron’s EU deal isn’t enough

It is paywalled, but it is reported in The Daily Mail:
The Daily Mail: Boris Johnson's wife, Marina Wheeler QC, savages David Cameron's EU deal

I expect her husband has read her article, and understood it:
The Daily Telegraph: Boris Johnson exclusive: There is only one way to get the change we want – vote to leave the EU

Feb 21, 2016 at 9:47 PM | Registered CommenterRobert Christopher

When was the last time you voted out a UK Civil Servant?

Feb 21, 2016 at 10:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

A possible interpretation of the game :
..The secret leader of the Get Britain Out campaign is sacrificing himself pretending to support the EU, whereas the Cons have already decided they are getting out cos it's the trick of adopting the policies of your competing party (UKIP) to get relected.
- So Boris and Co get to win the referendum get th momentum to get relected..Cos what is Labour going to do "promise to go against the result) and bring the UK back in.
- Lord Sir Cameron will be OK cos he's already promised not to continue as leader.

* Downside is EU may try to kick British employees out of EU jobs, but that would be locking the door so they may not do that

(The joke option is that the UK does a deal to give Scotland to the EU then we electrify Hadrian's Wall.)

Feb 22, 2016 at 9:03 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Boris is finally 'outing' himself as just another lying politician who has a far nobler cause than telling the truth to us plebs. Boris makes it fairly clear in today's Telegraph that he wants us to vote leave so that he can get a better deal and then ignore our vote. Boris does not want to leave the EU.
Having already ruled out debating with his own party and sharing a platform with Nigel et al he will join the Voteleave crowd thus diverting attention from GO, what a nasty, scheming little man.

Feb 22, 2016 at 10:00 AM | Registered CommenterDung

Don't care Dung. One job at a time. Get the first Brexit vote before we worry about any more.

Feb 22, 2016 at 11:22 AM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2


Does it not bother you that our politicians believe they can decide to ignore our vote and follow their own judgement?

Feb 22, 2016 at 11:46 AM | Registered CommenterDung

If that's Boris' plan then it's quite a dangerous game. Already there's a fair amount of feeling that the UK has never been committed to the Common Market and it certainly isn't committed to the UK. being in the EU. Having voted to leave, despite what is seen as a special deal coming back and saying sorry we didn't mean it may well be met with we're sorry too but we like it better without your constant complaining.

Feb 22, 2016 at 11:53 AM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

Dung, "Does it not bother you that our politicians believe they can decide to ignore our vote and follow their own judgement?"

I'd be a basket case by now if I couldn't turn a blind eye because choosing a politician is always the best of a bad lot.


Your point is possible correct but the thought of losing large amounts of ready cash might make them hide their hurt feelings. Personally I think we should leave because we moan all the time. We'd be a better neighbour than life partner.

Feb 22, 2016 at 12:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

TinyCO2 on Feb 22, 2016 at 12:01 PM
Good fences make good neighbours.

SandyS on Feb 21, 2016 at 12:51 PM
"The [BBC] income from the licence fee is £3,700 million annually and EU funding from an internet search is about £3 million between April 2011 and November 2013, about 5ppm (pounds per million). So yes possibly a bit iffy, but not a hanging offence."

Either the BBC is independent or it is not. Here is a clue:
Cameron’s claim he has banished “ever closer union” is a legal fiction

Look at Exhibit A and Exhibit B.

It looks as though Cameron's argument falls before the first hurdle: his re-negotiation is a 'legal fiction'. Isn't that of interest, especially when so many lawyers in Parliament appear not to have noticed? :)

"The Utopia of being on an equal footing with global superpowers is never likely to happen."

Why have such silly aspirations?

Currently Iceland, a country with a population of 1/3 million people, has more representation at the WTO than we do and has made trade deals, which we cannot do. We don't get a chance to put our case if the other EU countries block us.

Feb 22, 2016 at 4:32 PM | Registered CommenterRobert Christopher

With so many pointing out that none of the renegotiation agreement is legally binding, Boris does have a point, but then the BBC bias gets in the way of any credible analysis:

DT reporter:
"But as the Prime Minister spoke, Mr Johnson could be seen uttering 'rubbish, rubbish'."

DT reporting a BBC 'reporter':
Laura Kuenssberg ✔ ‎@bbclaurak
Boris looks very cross - like a fourteen year old who has been told to stop showing off by his dad
3:49 PM - 22 Feb 2016

Feb 22, 2016 at 4:54 PM | Registered CommenterRobert Christopher