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Discussion > EU must be joking

Mike Jackson on (Unthreaded) Apr 20, 2016 at 3:56 PM
"I'm afraid the average Brit seems to be woefully ignorant of the political system he lives under"

Britons are, or were, born free, and could lead their lives without needing to interact with the Political System for most of the time. Agreement between two individuals was enough: an Authority wasn't needed. The fact that we couldn't buy/sell a pound of bananas without being taken to task by officials highlights the philosophical gulf between us and the Continentals. It is just power politics which Continentals, without fixed borders, love to play. It helped the Germans rise to power in the 18th century, with a customs union:
German Zollverein, 1834–1919

More recently, we were lied to when we entered the Common Market 'Union of Ever Closer Union': our Industry wasn't as bad as made out, our Fishing Industry was sacrificed, we wouldn't lose our sovereignty, only share it :) , and the CAP has been a thorn in our side as we had already modernised our farming. We were whinging about it a year after we joined! Blair gave back some of our rebate in order for CAP reform to take place - a Euro-promise: we are still waiting for CAP reform, yet our rebate was reduced immediately!

Also, we are generally better in services than goods, yet we have a common market in goods but not of services, after over forty years! It could be that our negotiators are not up to it but I remember when there was a move to restrict the nitrate content of lettuces, effectively banning the greenhouse grown crop from Northern Europe: there was no safety angle, just plain sabotage of the Northern countries, including Britain! Isn't that just abuse, and boring abuse at that?

Why get involved with people such as these? Life is too short, too complicated. If we leave and take our place at the WHO table, we will be able to discuss issues alongside the other countries of the world, apart from the EU members who will receive any directives handed down by the German/French agreed authorities, to be obeyed!

While the economic/financial aspects are important, it is the surrender of our sovereignty to a detached, alien elite that will be difficult to reverse. Hannan puts it very well (the DT? article has disappeared but has been reproduced by many):
“Shall I tell you the worst thing about the EU? It’s not the waste or the corruption or the Michelin-starred lifestyles of its leaders. It’s not the contempt for voters or the readiness to swat referendum results aside. It’s not the way that multi-nationals and NGOs and all manner of corporate interests are privileged over consumers. It’s not the pettifogging rules that plague small employers. It’s not the Common Agricultural Policy or the Common Fisheries Policy. It’s not the anti-Britishness or the anti-Americanism. It’s not even the way in which the euro is inflicting preventable poverty on tens of millions of southern Europeans.
No, it’s something more objectionable than any of these things – and something which, bizarrely, doesn’t exercise us nearly as much as it should. Put simply, it’s this: the EU makes up the rules as it goes along.

Just think, for a moment, about what that means. It means that any deal you’ve signed can be arbitrarily altered later. It means that any plans you’ve made, on the basis of what you took to be binding agreements, can be retrospectively destroyed. It means, in short, that there is no effective rule of law.”

There is no effective rule of law: dysfunction, over a continent, or is that incontinent?

From the Euro, Schengen, Merkel's invitation to everyone and his dog, the diesel emissions scandal, the German Energiewende and the Euro-Youth unemployment, the scene isn't very inviting, yet it isn't that mistakes have happened that are so objectionable, it is that the political system is too complicated to do anything and too remote for any measure to be sensible! And five Euro-presidents? You must be joking!

I don't think understanding the current Euro-political system would help: as Hannan says, 'the EU makes up the rules as it goes along', and usually 'influenced' by the German/French elites. That only makes us fed up, ' sick of the whole farce'. (c) MJ , and will lead to subservience, no matter who is the cause: Euro initiated and Whitehall exacerbated? Instead of repeating what we have done over the last forty years, trying to fix the problem, we need to leave. If the great negotiator :) , David Cameron, cannot do it, no one can.

Apr 20, 2016 at 7:02 PM | Registered CommenterRobert Christopher

Robert Christopher, the clear evidence from all EU insiders is that being inside the EU is a good thing.

With such a consensus of idiots, we need to leave.

Apr 20, 2016 at 7:10 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Robert Christopher
Thank you for using my quote to start your thread and then going on to prove my point!
Forgive me for not joining in; the EU debate has every possibility of being as divisive as the Scottish referendum debate, as biased, and as unreliable in its facts.
Families are still not speaking to each other in places north (and in some cases south) of the border and as far as I am concerned I want a few friends still left to me (including here) on June 24th!
One point only I will make: we were not lied to when Britain joined the Common Market. The parliamentary debate was detailed and lengthy, the Treaty of Rome was available for all to read, the national press reports were copious. I was certainly not alone in understanding what the long-term aim was. The EU can hardly be blamed because the population of Britain chose to stick its collective head in the sand and wave the whole thing off with "it'll never happen".
As for the "United States of Europe" it will never happen because that is not what "ever closer union of the peoples of Europe" means. Read the Treaties.
We say a lot on this site about facts and about looking up references and doing research. Stop listening to the Europhobe activists and stop assuming that because the EU says something it therefore cannot be true. Do your own research and find out the facts for yourselves. There is a case to be made for leaving but I haven't heard it made yet. All I get is the same old second-hand pseudo-facts. Exactly what we criticise the warmists for doing, no?

Apr 20, 2016 at 7:57 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

" Being a member of the European Union has benefited environmental protection in the UK, a group of MPs has argued.

The Environmental Audit Committee said efforts to reduce pollution and boost biodiversity had happened "faster" than otherwise would have been the case. "


The only conclusion to be drawn from this statement is our Westminster politicians and officers gifted with the responsibility for the UK's Environment have deemed themselves too irresponsible to care adequately for the UK's environment. In which case one has to question why they are still in their positions.

The vote in June is about responsibility - 'the ability to respond' . If our civils are not up to the job we should be voting them out. Not accepting their inadequacies (as they appear happy to do) because the EU will make up for their failings.

In the same post last week came two items I paid for, the UK government's EU propaganda pamphlet and a 'Brexit' car sticker. The latter adorns the rear screen of my Germany subsidised 'Das Auto'.

I have no idea where the pamphlet ended up. But at least it was posted and not dropped out of a plane:-)

Apr 20, 2016 at 10:14 PM | Registered CommenterGreen Sand

Mike, I knew then that the 'Common Market' was a 'bit of a simplification', but in those days there were many ideas floating around and no time scale. So much was undefined and Britain had helped resurrect most of Europe as they were, at the time, all defeated countries. So why not join the party? We were misled in that British Industry was made out to be much worse than German or French Industry: we had to catch up, somehow!

Here is the pamphlet, reproduced the style of the original pamphlet:

But the first lie was a lie by omission: our fishing industry, doomed, secretly. It only needs one lie for there to be a lie, especially when my grandparents lived in Grimsby!

We then have, in the 1975 pamphlet:
"The British Parliament in Westminster retains the final right to repeal the Act which took us into the Market on January 1, 1973. Thus our continued membership will depend on the continuing assent of Parliament."

So, it wasn't in perpetuity, and at the time, we thought that Parliament represented us: what a mistake!

Today, it is difficult to determine whether it is the Brussels initiators, the Whitehall gold platers or the Westminster troughers perpetuating the Euro-disasters. Just think how the EU directives/policies and the Environment Agency, working together :) , couldn't prevent floods that had been prevented for many generation before. And we had national
based government Scientists being ignored over the diesel emissions scandal.

There is also the puzzle of how a Eurosceptic Party and its leader can be so Euro-loving. ConservativeHome has a good article on this:

As has been pointed out elsewhere, the failure of the Euro isn't the record unemployment or the debt mountain, bad though that is, it is that the European economies were supposed to gradually synchronise - and they have done the opposite, making the Eurozone 'unpredictable' and dysfunctional. It looks like the Schengen Area is being dismantled because of weaknesses inherent in its construction while various Eastern European countries have defied Germany's, sorry, the EU's migrant policies, the Irish Accord for acceptance of refugees has been thrown out, without any due process and the love of windmills and the related EU policies is deindustrializing Western Europe.

Given some common sense, many of these problems could be fixed, but after forty years, we haven't found it. Not even David Cameron, threatening Brexit, has managed to squeeze any of his demands from the Euro-elite. Just look at the ConservativeHome link for the misrepresentation. Look in the media for the Euro-nastiness! I don't blame them, but I cannot understand how Cameron can think that we can avoid joining the Eurozone, the Schengen Area and the Euro-Coastguards when we accept that we want to remain in a 'Union of Ever Closer Union'.

Negotiation for Brexit will take place AFTER a Brexit result, given Cameron's disastrous attempts, so you will be disappointed if you are expecting any details before the vote. It takes two to Tango, though having plenty of suggested options beforehand will help the process.

Lastly, for this post anyway, the Government's policy is to have a referendum, so an even handed approach should have been the deal. If its policy was to Remain, there was no need for a referendum. Because of Cameron's underhandedness, the Brexiters have had, and will have, no help from Whitehall. Those within the Tory Party were prevented from entering the discussion and those outside have had to wait for the lead organisation to be chosen by the electoral commision, a group where 30% weren't allowed to vote because of strong links to Euro-friendly organisations and another 30% who were allowed to vote because their links were considered 'weak'. It has meant that the Remainians have had little opposition and, while the Brexiters have many ideas, they are now being led by the group that wasn't allowed to voice any opinion until recently. With that settled, I expect clarification by the Brexiters in the near future.

Apr 20, 2016 at 10:34 PM | Registered CommenterRobert Christopher

John Redwood has some questions for the Remainians:
What does “Remain” look like? 4 scenarios that Remain needs to answer.

At least, outside the EU, we will be free as many other countries are, but inside, we will be at the mercy of Martin Schulz and Jean-Claude Juncker, the man who said, 'When it becomes serious you have to lie'!

Apr 20, 2016 at 10:43 PM | Registered CommenterRobert Christopher

MJ: for once, I disagree with you – not about the daft interpretations that the media (and our own bureaucrats) have put on the plethora of regulations emanating from Brussels, but the concept that those who feed us these regulations have so little accountability. This is not because of the size of the Union – the USA manage to keep their elected reasonably accountable – but the structure of it: who makes the regulations? A predominantly secret, totally detached cadre of commissioners; when challenged about being corrupt a few years ago, responded with (in effect): “Yeah? So what? Sack us… if you dare.”

With Westminster, we do have individuals who are identifiably involved in the decision process. Exiting the EU would remove a vast, overbearing, over-priced, over-productive legislative body off the back of the tax-payers; we can then work on trimming down the various other layers of “government” that wants to tell us what we should eat, drink and generally do with our lives.

The EU is doomed; should Britain vote to leave, it will be the start of a slow breakdown of the EU, for which the principle victims will be those fat-cats in Brussels; the average European will just shrug their shoulders, and carry on with their lives.

Should Britain vote to remain, though, the EU will eventually implode, with a lot of collateral damage with the main victims being Jo Publique. The Brussels elite will put into effect the exit plans that they already have, and will skip off to more conducive climes. The average European will suffer, possibly for generations, as Europe will never be the same.

Apr 20, 2016 at 10:47 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

I do not know how I will vote, my heart says remain, my brain says leave and my wallet has not spoken yet but is being preached at by all. I fully recognize the ghastlyness of EU governance, but also see its benefits. When I returned to the UK after 17 years in North America I possessed a very simplistic view of Europe. I knew of the internal strife within the differing regions of many European countries (UK, Spain, Belgium) and (falsely) believed that an ever more powerful and compehensive EU would cause national boundaries to fade away releasing true groupings of people (the regions) to flourish. That fantasy of course never had a chance.

On the other hand national boundaries have become less important and that is the one unchallenged success story of the EU, it has seen the end of war between its members and of hatred between its populations. That alone, my heart says, is worth the UK's continued membership.

I consider myself to be a European and as such I do not question the value of the imbalance between what the UK pays into the EU and what it gets back. This difference helped bring back impoverished former great European states back from the brink. Spain for example was a politically feudal country held back by a lack of infrastructure. Membership of the EU tranformed it. A few years ago I visited Poland, and saw the same transformation occurring now. I believe our participation in Europe's revival through some of our excess payments to be something to be proud of, rather than a matter of griping.

Note well this is only my heart talking, not my head.

Apr 21, 2016 at 7:32 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Kendall

MJ, It's odd - I nearly always agree with you on every post - except the EU. Quite simply I think you are wrong. I used to be a fervent Europhile myself and I know that it's often more of an emotional attachment than a reasoned position. A case of simply hearing what one wants to hear and dismissing everything else. The opening post here sets out the position very well and clearly. I have arrived at my present stance (Leave!) after a lot of soul searching. I recognise it will cause disruption, probably hardship, but I also believe that it is an opportunity to rise to the occasion and perhaps even replace the second rate EU managers with true leaders. What were Pitt's words - England has saved herself by her exertions and I believe will save Europe by her example. Or something.

Apr 21, 2016 at 8:41 AM | Unregistered Commentermike fowle

Read an article in the Times this morning, its in the Irish section and is Brexit from the Irish view, they also assumed when they joined they were joining a free trade area. The contents to the knowledgeable at the time may have been that there was more to it but the tin label when read by the public said European Common Market.


'On the other hand, the EU was first and foremost a single market that was supposed to deliver increased wealth to countries that joined. It was never about closer political integration.'

Apr 21, 2016 at 9:04 AM | Registered CommenterBreath of Fresh Air

As you can probably tell from my comments on Unthreaded I'm in general agreement with Mike Jackson.The major bits of legislation laid at "Brussels" door are in fact UK self inflicted wounds, or UK legislation improving directives from the EU. These include things like
1. The Climate Change Act
2. The Human Rights Act

It;s my belief that the EU/Brussels makes a very useful get out of jail card for UK politicians.

The Exiteers say things like "BMW will still sell cars in the UK" which is true; but what they don't say is that "BMW will continue to invest in the manufacture of The Mini in the UK" they can't because they don't know. The same is true for Nissan, Toyota and Honda with at least one other manufacturing unit on mainland Europe. Why would you continue to invest in the UK outside the EU when you have established factories in the EU and the UK will happily import from them? The EU gets at least some of the blame for the demise of the British steel industry in recent years, but German and Dutch steel aren't affected to the same extent.

Is the fact that food additives, electrical goods, car fuel economy and many other things are standardised across Europe such a bad thing, even if the tests don't reflect real life use? For example if you have an allergy to Monosodium Glutamate knowing that e numbers in the 620 range are to be avoided makes life much simpler when traveling in Europe. Knowing that the mpg data for a diesel Golf and an Astra were done using the same test should give the potential purchaser some idea which is most economical. I'm sceptical of claims that the UK would continue use these systems post exit, given the majority of the public's view on "e-numbers".

Alan Kendall has made a good summary of the unsung benefits the EU has brought to Europe as a whole. The corollary for the UK is that by substituting "London" for "Brussels" the Nationalist Parties have a lot of ready made arguments for further a referendum, particularly when an exit makes the UK's position in the world radically different.

Whatever the result there is going to be a legacy, as there is in Scotland, of a polarised population of inners and outers for a number of years, not a good thing.

I'm pro-European, perhaps coming from a part of the UK which historically has had long ties with various countries in Europe, such as France (Ecosse stickers on cars); William Wallace writing to the Hanseatic League asking for trade to be re-established as one of his first acts in 1297. For many centuries Scots soldiers, mercenaries, fought across Europe as members of the army of one nation or another. Those fighting in the French army during the Hundred Years War and after are well known, not so well known are the thousands who served in the 30 Years War under King Gustavus Adolphus. Between the 1650s and 1700s there were fifteen Russian generals of Scottish provenance. In contrast to England who was either an invader or an ally which gives a subtly different view. There have been 70 years of peace in Europe since the end of the Second World War, interrupted only by relatively small scale wars caused by the breakup of the Soviet Block and the Troubles in Ireland. The EU goes a long way to preventing a lot of unfinished business kicking off again, I for one am happy that unemployed Scots don't have the opportunity to sell their military skills across Europe anymore.

All of which doesn't mean I think the EU is perfect, far from it, but the alternative if much worse in my view.

Apr 21, 2016 at 9:14 AM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

I think it essential that the UK leave the EU. There are many economic reasons but the main reason is to regain our democracy.

Vote Leave is a disaster; Cummings made a fool of himself at the Treasury Select Committee yesterday.

There is only one way to leave - The Market Solution

Richard North and Christopher Booker are having a meet in London on Saturday afternoon. I'm going.

Apr 21, 2016 at 9:37 AM | Unregistered CommenterDavid Jones

Apart from the economic arguments, important though they are, it seems to me that the EU is fighting yesterday's wars. The EU was intended to end aggressive nationalism. (Leaving aside that our experience of "nationalism" was the benign patriotism that inspired us to triumph against tyranny), the greatest threat now comes from international terrorism, and perversely the EU makes it so much easier for terrorists to travel, carry out their outrages and disappear.

Apr 21, 2016 at 9:55 AM | Unregistered Commentermike fowle

SandyS on Apr 21, 2016 at 9:14 AM

"The major bits of legislation laid at "Brussels" door are in fact UK self inflicted wounds, or UK legislation improving directives from the EU."
As I said, they are initiated by unelected EU officials, usually exacerbated by Whitehall/Westminster, and often implemented by incompetent QUANGOs, so why not remove the initiators from the loop? The exacerbators and implementers are probably trying to prove how EUrophile they are in order to climb the greasy pole; competency in their job is secondary at best. They will fade after the initiators and their power structure is dismantled. No one can serve two masters.

"It;s my belief that the EU/Brussels makes a very useful get out of jail card for UK politicians."
Probably true, but acknowledging that will make no difference. It is the exacerbators and implementers at work!

"BMW will still sell cars in the UK"
Trade patterns will change, but we will be able to trade, directly, with the economically expanding part of the world. The EU was giving grants/subsidies to one of the Chinese steel importers (to save the world?) as well as encouraging the regulations that makes our energy expensive.

The EU fraction of world trade has diminished and distance isn't the problem that it once was. John Redwood has a good article about it:
Leaving the EU will be good for our trade

"German and Dutch steel aren't affected to the same extent"
Probably true, but just acknowledging that will make no difference. With majority voting, and the German/French/et al block, can we change it? The Euro-leaders gave every sign of not wanting to collaborate with David Cameron's renegotiation and, after forty years of trying, I think we should call it a day and leave.

"Is the fact that food additives, electrical goods, car fuel economy and many other things are standardised across Europe such a bad thing"
They are NOT standardised across Europe. They are standardised across the world! Most countries have a seat on the WTO where they are involved in FULL discussions so they can suggest options in the original document. The EU has a seat, dominated by Germany/France, but not Britain. Any agreement is passed down to the EU countries, without any options allowed. Another 'gold plating' exercise.

"I'm pro-European"
So am I, but a EU-phobe as well. Europe doesn't deserve it.

"70 years of peace in Europe"
NATO has kept the peace, with its armed services, so the people of Britain and Europe could create wealthy communities.
We need to keep our own army. The Dutch are losing theirs:
SECRET PLOT EXPOSED: EU in stealth plan to set up ARMY by merging German and Dutch forces

I thought the Belgian Army didn't go out in the rain, but now we have the German Army downing tools:
German army quits NATO training exercise after exceeding Merkel's bizarre overtime limits

Instead of creating wealth, prosperity and happiness, the EU has created national youth unemployment of over 50%, warring factions (eg: Greece/Germany), allowed an alien invasion that is still continuing(Germany, Hungary, Austria, Switzerland, etc), strangled country's economies (Greece, Portugal, Spain, Italy and Ireland), and made countries (France, Germany, Belgium,Sweden, etc) and cities (Brussels, Malmo, etc) unsafe, where women cannot walk alone at night, and destroyed nations(Greece). Quite a feat!

It has created a peace, the sort of peace - without any laughter!

"All of which doesn't mean I think the EU is perfect, far from it, but the alternative if much worse in my view."
The alternative is freedom to influence the future, change the government, make new trade deals, make our own laws, negotiate with other countries. In fact, that is what made Europe great and has done for centuries.

Give people responsibility and they will become responsible.

The converse is true as well.

Apr 21, 2016 at 11:45 AM | Registered CommenterRobert Christopher

Alan Kendall on Apr 21, 2016 at 7:32 AM

"... and (falsely) believed that an ever more powerful and comprehensive EU would cause national boundaries to fade away ..."
But if we stay, we will be in an "ever more powerful and comprehensive" 'Ever Closer Union'. Cameron's renegotiations have shown that to be the case.

If it gets worse, will you be able to bale out, back to North America?

I won't be able to, or want to.

"On the other hand national boundaries have become less important and that is the one unchallenged success story of the EU, it has seen the end of war between its members and of hatred between its populations. That alone, my heart says, is worth the UK's continued membership."
With the terrorist threat and alien invasion, national boundaries are becoming more important! Just look at the News! National boundaries are being resurrected!

"I consider myself to be a European and as such I do not question the value of the imbalance between what the UK pays into the EU and what it gets back."
We are getting our local libraries closed and our houses flooded while we are financing flood defences in some far away EU provence and you don't care about the financial imbalance? No comment!

"Spain for example was a politically feudal country held back by a lack of infrastructure."
Spain was a politically feudal country held back by its political immaturity, but it still managed to use EU funds, given by British taxpayers, to buy fishing vessels that destroyed the fishing stocks in seas that were British! I doubt that the boats were made in Britain either.

"A few years ago I visited Poland, and saw the same transformation occurring now."
I have been to Poland and seen the progress, but what does that have to do with losing our ability to control our borders, expel foreign rapists and murderers, make trade deals, decide on the power of our vacuum cleaners and kettles?

The same result could have happened with a collection of sovereign nations, but without the dysfunctionality and without the vindictiveness. Poland was happy being given money, but isn't so happy when offered Germany's invitees: neither are Hungary. And Turkey, who are wanted in the EU by the Elite (and Cameron ) ) are not being cooperative:
Turkey in new THREAT: Give us VISA-FREE travel or we'll rip up deal to take back migrants

And you think that staying in will be safer and more prosperous?

Apr 21, 2016 at 12:22 PM | Registered CommenterRobert Christopher

…that an ever more powerful and compehensive EU would cause national boundaries to fade away…[sic]
It is a curious thing that people seem convinced by the lie that it is the EU that has caused such a long peace; it really is NATO that has done that. The EU has helped eliminate border and border controls, though NATO might have had as much of an influence in that, but the EU also encourages fragmentation within each country – the elicit support of the SNP, the creation of English regional authorities (yes, we do have them; who voted or can vote for them? Another layer of well-paid government, this one particularly beholden to Brussels), and within Europe, as well, such as the Basques or the Bretons; most countries are being actively encouraged to break down into smaller regions, the administrators (I cannot call them “leaders”) of which will most likely to be constantly reminded that they can thank Brussels for their no doubt well-paid positions) – divide and conquer. Now, with the blatant and active support of the EU, the seeds of our doom have been planted, as we allow in more and more Trojan Horses. You think Paris or Brussels or Cologne was bad? There may come a time when we wish it was so minor.

Apr 21, 2016 at 12:59 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

RR, some people would even go so far as to say it is the United States that kept the peace in Europe. As a US friend once pointed out to me: 'Spare me the lectures. Europe's record of keeping peace in Europe is not very good last century.' [*]

And he was right. In recent memory, the breakup of Yugoslavia was accompanied by a rapid recognition of Croatia by Germany, pre-empting proper consideration by the rest of the EU. It has been argued that this may have caused many many deaths. At the time, I didn't fully realise what a historical hornet's-nest was stirred by that action.

[*I'm American, by birth-place, so I get to sit on the fence ;) ]

Apr 21, 2016 at 1:43 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Robert Christopher. Once again I find that discussion threads here are proposed by individuals who seem only want to pump out their own particular philosophy. No attempt is made to understand or sympathize with another's point of view. Instead immediate attack, grind your opponent's argument or beliefs into the dust, by fair means or foul.. If you can't refute, distort. You guys play rough.

Not for me. Perhaps, as some kind soul in another thread advised, I should "grow some", or "stop being a drama queen". Further evidence of the complaint I make.

Robert, I pity you if you can find nothing of value about the EU. You come across as a proper little englander. The world has moved on, the UK is small beer and declining rapidly. You seem so sure that Brexit will open up opportunities, some of us worry the opposite will happen. There are valid points to be made on both sides of the argument, I don't think you want to acknowledge any in support of staying. Why bother with you?

Apr 21, 2016 at 1:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Kendall

Alternative to 'Brexit'?

" SIR – I find Brexit a most unattractive name for the campaign. May I suggest Eurevoir?"

Linda Loftus
London SW3

Apr 21, 2016 at 1:50 PM | Registered CommenterGreen Sand

MJ said:

The EU can hardly be blamed because the population of Britain chose to stick its collective head in the sand and wave the whole thing off with "it'll never happen".

I'm not at all sure that sure that Britain as a whole didn't know all along that this would lead to closer union.

I have a number of friends and relatives who despite the occasional hickups with rules from Brussels think that overall our own politicians are more than capable of screwing everything up without EU help and that the EU may well have been a moderating influence on some of our more loony leaders from both parties.

Apr 21, 2016 at 2:34 PM | Registered Commentersteve ta

Alan Kendall:
Robert, "I pity you if you can find nothing of value about the EU."

A strange statement Alan.

Europe is a beautiful place with many interesting peoples and cultures ( I would love to live in France but my other 1/2 does not)

The EU however, is a corrupt and corrupting place.

If British people were informed at the time of initial entry that we would pay substantial sums as membership fees, they would not have voted to join.

As the UK is in debt, the £55 million per day (or there about) has to be borrowed to be paid back by our children and children's children. That is some legacy you wish to force upon the people of Britain.

As we are a net contributors to the EU, we, the UK taxpayer are paying for every bit of EU funding that comes our way.

All of EU science research funding spent in the UK comes from us, unfortunately it is the EU that decides who and what it is spent on (framework 7, 2020 etc).

Experience shows in graphic detail that we have been unable to influence and legislation emanating from the EU.

We have unelected commissioners who are the only people who can invent new laws, no one else.

The accounts have not been signed off for 20 + years.

Why would anyone seriously offer support for such an organisation?

Re the BMW mini question. We agree that if it is in Germans interest to sell their cars to us now, it will be in the future, but would they be interested in maintaining production here of the mini?

Well, after 1 seconds of thought, if they make more money doing it (or anything here currently) then they will continue doing here after the split, if it continues to make economic sense.

Arrgh big question, will it make economic sense?

Well, whilst our trade imbalance with Europe means they sell more to us, then yes, it will continue.

But we will be free to setup our own deals with the rest of the world.

Business would increase, jobs will increase etc etc.

Apr 21, 2016 at 3:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterSteve Richards

Steve Richards of such stuff are dreams made.

If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.

Don't clear out the stables, all are promises and unsubstantiated.

Interesting you conflate the EU with Europe. There is a difference.

Apr 21, 2016 at 4:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Kendall

R4 Inside Science„„„„
To debate the ins and outs of being in or out of the EU, Adam is joined by Viscount Matt Ridley, a member of the committee, and Professor Paul Boyle, the Vice Chancellor of Leicester University and former president of Science Europe.

Apr 21, 2016 at 5:33 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Alan Kendal on Apr 21, 2016 at 1:46 PM
"No attempt is made to understand or sympathize with another's point of view."

I value the nations and the people on the Continent, as I have always done, from well before 1975! The Common Market/EEC/EC/EU is a different matter.

The Remainers do not understand that anything that they think is an 'EU positive' would probably have been done anyway by the collection of the nation states. It might have been done differently, but only because national governments are more accountable to their own people. I have seen the magnificent roads in Corsica, that is a positive, for them, but for those in Britain, who contributed to their cost, after a large cut for the Brussels bureaucrats, it is a negative. I think that it is for the British people to question that policy when we have such a big national debt.

I remember Britain before the Common Market, so I know that we can work with other countries of the world much better than we can with 'Brussels', a supra-national entity. I know that our History, with being an island, with Magna Carta and having hardly been defeated, being better at services than goods, has been very different from the Continent. I know that Britain approaches issues in a different way and we have had over forty years of trying to be in an 'Ever Closer Union Club', yet not wanting to be 'Ever Closer'. It is madness to continue pretending that we are the same. Even Continentals have raised this with us!

There was a man who enjoyed a pint, or two, and moved into a new area. He heard that the local golf club had a good selection of beers. Although he didn't like golf, he joined to savour a good pint. As he walked up to club house he was aghast at the land that was put towards the clubs main purpose, with fairways, putting, even a practice bunker. Fair enough, he thought, it is a golf club. Anyway, he headed straight for the bar and downed a pint: it was good! Well, it would have been if everyone around him hadn't been talking about golf! In fact, he found that even at meal times, and evening dos, the talk was all about golf!

What should he do? :)

I can remember before the Common Market. The sky didn't fall in, and we could throw out the government if we didn't like it: it was where the buck stops, either the Minister or the PM. Ever since we joined in 1974 it is now, invariably, an anonymous EU directive or its equivalent in the way. To get anything changed requires years of political effort, involving those with little interest, and other agenda. Recently, the EU was trying to take over the H&S of the North Sea Oil Industry. It had been working OK for years, building up experience in the unique environment, yet the bureaucrat wanted the POWER to meddle. There is no positive here, apart from the confession:
EU Has Meddled Too Much, Admits Boss Juncker

They meddled in the Ukraine, yet don't have an army! (The answer isn't 'get an army', it's don't meddle in the Ukraine!) They invite over a million economic migrants, of whom two thirds are illiterate, yet have no thought as to what they will do when they arrive. They created the Euro purposely BEFORE the political framework was created. There is no positive side any of that.

After forty years, and the mess we see on the Continent that encourages the view that it will explode (metaphorically one hopes), no wonder the Brexit supporters are 'motivated'. They have had enough!

I have resided in the UK since the last referendum, so I have seen the current 'discussion' develop over that time. Too many 'go native' because the rewards for following the party line are immense, but it doesn't help the ordinary man or woman in the street. The policies remain: the answer to any problem is 'more EU'! It is an institution for the established elites to become even more alien than they were to start with.

You guys play rough.
Not as rough as the migrants invited in by Merkel, without ANY warning!

Steve Richards on Apr 21, 2016 at 3:53 PM
"Well, whilst our trade imbalance with Europe means they sell more to us, then yes, it will continue."
Alan Kendall on Apr 21, 2016 at 4:10 PM
"Interesting you conflate the EU with Europe. There is a difference."

I don't think Steve conflated the the EU with Europe. When the EU collapses, we will still be trading with Europe!

As Steve Richards says, 'The EU however, is a corrupt and corrupting place.'

And we are fed up with it!

Cameron wanted big changes and didn't get them. The problem we have is that he should have admitted that. It wasn't a failure on his part. There was just no meeting of minds.

It was, although, a failure of his to pretend that all was well, to 'persuade' most of his cabinet to join in the pretence and to expect the British people to join in.

Apr 21, 2016 at 6:48 PM | Registered CommenterRobert Christopher

Robert Christopher. It is increasingly difficult to follow logic streams here (actually illogic streams). Two ecamples:

1) you don't think Steve conflated the EU and Europe. I wondered if he could offer anything of value ABOUT THE EU. His response was to praise the countryside and its peoples, which to me is EUROPE and NOT the EU. Hence use of that word conflation.

2) you wrote in reply to my statement "You guys play rough" -"not as rough as the migrants invited in by Merkel, without ANY warning". What is the logical connection? Its something a verbal bully might interrupt in a bar-room argument. This leaves aside the matter of whether Chancellor Merkel needs the approval of one Richard Christopher.

All this disentangling of illogic is doing my head in and wasting my time. I just cannot be bothered to address everything going on here. Enjoy your echo chamber. I'll keep a watching brief and will only appear if my views are deliberately misinterpreted, as they have been repeatedly (see 1 above as an ecample).

Apr 21, 2016 at 7:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Kendall