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Discussion > EU must be joking

nn Sandy ^.^

Apr 23, 2016 at 9:00 PM | Registered CommenterDung

Mike Jackson on Apr 23, 2016 at 5:39 PM

Mike, if Britain "pretends that such principles don't exist and chooses to go the extra mile to prove what good Europeans we are", what are we, the public, to do? We have had forty years of it! Both legacy parties have been in power, to no avail, and the LibDems would only agree with all things EU! There comes a time when the problem needs to be dealt with at source. EU membership causes behaviour modification in British 'public servants' because it is impossible to have two masters. They are only human, like us. :)

"Leaving the EU will not make it any easier to deport those we would wish to."
But would 'leaving' the European Convention on Human Rights and the jurisdiction of the Court of Human Rights?

They and the EU are interconnected, in a way that everyone has a different view on how it could be unravelled:
"Opinions differ as to whether a Member State can withdraw from the European Convention and remain in the EU, given that the EU Treaties specifically refer to the human rights guarantees in the Council of Europe instrument."

Leaving the EU would, at least, simplify the problem. Our own laws could then be amended:
"The provisions of the European convention are already enshrined in British law in the Human Rights Act – but under Mrs May’s plan, the final right of appeal would be to the British Supreme Court, not Strasbourg."

"... the example quoted by Robert at 2.47 has bugger all to do with our membership of the EU ..."
Doesn't it depend on where the person was born, their nationality at birth, whether they have been 'adopted' by another EU country? Won't all those ME economic immigrants, of which two thirds are illiterate, armed with a EU-German passport, find it more difficult to enter Britain if she was outside the EU?

There does appear to be a concerted effort not to understand what is happening across Europe. The idea was that these economic migrants were going to be part of the future German workforce.

“I think you will be very hard pressed to turn these people into the kind of highly skilled individuals the labor market needs,” says George Menz, a professor of political economy at Goldsmiths College, University of London."

Too many go onto to benefits, to retire with an unearned pension! And what about our own youth? Don't they come first?

Mischief can be rewarded with a beheading, it has been true for 1400 years. It is why Asad Shah, a Ahmadi Muslim shopkeeper in Glasgow was brutally murdered::

Some migrants do take advantage of the training offered:

" And then ask why the principles of proportionality and subsidiarity apparently apply to everybody else and not the UK."
You imply that "the principles of proportionality and subsidiarity" affect our current situation. Out of the EU they will not.

Apr 23, 2016 at 9:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterRobert Christopher

You and I are in the minority I feel, but we can but try.
Once again I am breaking one of my own rules and will probably regret it.
Let me be clear. I have no particular love for the EU. I think the CAP is a disastrous bottomless pit and the CFP an embarrassment to any civilised organisation — in the way they have been run, not the principle. If anyone can convince me that in the present economic, political and social world climate Great Britain would fare better outside the EU than inside then I will vote to leave. So far no-one has come close or even looks as if they will.

Dung — I really am sorry, mate, but if you believe that the UK, or any country in the 21st century, can say that their future will be in their hands alone then you are simply mistaken. More than half the "rules and regulations" that come to us from Brussels originate from multi-national organisations like the UN, the WTO, and a dozen and more other agencies that set the standards for trade, pollution, environment, international law, maritime law, aviation, telecoms, and on, and on. Which is why I have said time and again that unless you want to cast the UK adrift from planet earth you will still be bound by most of what are usually considered to be "EU directives" and if you want to trade freely with the other 27 nations that make up the EU then you will be stuck with most of the rest of them as well!
I repeat, I can see no realistic, practical gain to be had by leaving the EU and certainly nothing that the Leave campaign has come up with as yet would go any way towards convincing me.
I'll see you all when the dust settles!

PS Robert — subsidiarity means that decisions should be taken at the lowest possible level; proportionality means that directives should not apply to a greater extent than necessary to obtain the desired effect (or words to that effect). The UK has a nasty tendency to take EU directives as they leave the Commission without adapting them to local circumstances and/or by carrying them out more strictly than the original directive, thereby breaching both of those principles.
Please do not insult my intelligence by trying to convince me that the average British bureaucrat would behave any less bureaucratically post-Brexit! Gold-plating is second nature to Whitehall.

Apr 23, 2016 at 9:20 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Mike & SandyS

Nothing either of you could say would shake my faith in you, I admire you both and so it will remain ^.^
However (as always) I speak my mind which is what I will continue to do.
Neither of you have yet told me what would be the downside of regaining our freedom and democracy?

Apr 23, 2016 at 11:03 PM | Registered CommenterDung

Mike Jackson on Apr 23, 2016 at 9:20 PM
"The UK has a nasty tendency ..."

In the real world, what you say makes sense. However, we are talking about the EU, Whitehall, our QUANGOs and more than a few very un-independent MPs. The fact that we have "the principles of proportionality and subsidiarity" on the table means that we can be misled, and we are. Without them, we have less to be misled by. So having "the principles of proportionality and subsidiarity" does affect our current situation. Not as any rational person would expect, but as the 'experimental data' of the last forty years shows, badly.

Rarely a day passes without a headline where aliens, those with no allegiance to Britain, are allowed to play the system, costing us money that we cannot afford, probably for decades, causing disorder and reducing our quality of life. It started forty years ago with the CAP and CFP and has escalated in the last fifteen years, as 'Ever Closer Union' would require.
Our protestations started a year after we joined, objecting to the Common Agriculture Policy! Cameron (or rather, we) had no joy in his recent renegotiations and the EU response has highlighted the gulf between us and them. In fact, the vindictiveness from the Continent to Cameron's meagre proposals has been quite frightening: do we really want these people with power over us?

By leaving the EU we will return to being a sovereign state where it will harder for 'the EU, Whitehall, QUANGOs and more than a few very un-independent MPs' to do what they used to do.

If problems persist, which I expect they will, we will be able to act without a supra-national power breathing down our necks and, as Hannan says, changes the rules as they go along. Leaving won't be the total solution, it will be the start of a long process to take responsibility for our destiny and reenter the rest of the world.

I remember it well.

Apr 23, 2016 at 11:49 PM | Registered CommenterRobert Christopher

May I try to take up your belief that freedom and democracy can only be regained by leaving an undemocratic EU? I have two main points to make.

The first concerns whether the EU is undemocratic. Note well I am not addressing the related question of whether the EU operates with the best democratic institutions. The statement that the EU is undemocratic is commonly made but after thinking about it over the years I have my doubts. I would suggest ( because I don't know it for a fact) that every EU official, from the highest mandarin to the lowest dogsbody, has been elected either directly (by either a national or the EU goverments, who are themselves democratically elected), or they are appointed by those who have been so elected. So for example EU commissioners are appointed from a pool of people identified by national governments (I'm uncertain if they are then confirmed by the EU government, or if I'm confusing this with the American system). I believe it is this second group, especially the more powerful members within it that you identify as undemocratic. But they're not, they are superpowerful civil servants.

In Britain we operate the same system. Parliament appoints senior civil servants, and they make decisions that affect our lives more immediately and intimately than the laws enacted by governments. Think about taxation, passed by parliament but translated into operational reality by HMRC mandarins. Naturally, because those same mandarins have the detailed and operational knowledge, they are consulted about new law. This influence, and very real power, they have is clearly not a consequence of them having been democratically elected, but is it undemocratic? If you argue that the power exercised by officials makes it undemocratic, then you must also conclude that all societies called democratic are, in reality not.

Every EU law we bitch about, our own governments have either accepted as the price of entry or has had a vote upon.

My second point relates to how far you wish to take this splitting away from others in order to gain freedom and democracy. Clearly you believe we should be separate from the rest of the EU, but what about those Scots who wish to be separate from the UK? Should they be allowed to leave? And the other parts of the UK? Then what about Cornwall, or Yorkshire? How far down would you go? Would you allow the City to separate itself from the rest of London? Answer this question and you may come to realize how those who consider themselves European feel about this issue.

Freedom and democracy are fine and good, but sometimes don't work. Then reliance has to be placed on institutions that can ride roughshod over people's rights for the common good. The best example I know of this was the city of Tulsa in Oklahoma in the 1970s. Tulsa is divided by a river spanned by several bridges. These were allowed to fall into disrepair bysuccessive city administrations and had to be closed to traffic. Finally only one bridge remained and was considered dangerous. Tulsa residents, exerting their democratic rights, repeatedly voted down tax measures needed to make essential repairs to that one remaining bridge, despite being told what damage was being done to the city's commerce and general wellbeing. In the end the federal government stepped in (or rather one of its unelected agencies did) and either repaired or built a new bridge (I don't remember which) because it carried an interstate highway.

Democracy and freedom are not always what they are cracked up to be.

Apr 24, 2016 at 6:25 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Kendall

Elected EU parliament doesn't do legislative initiative. The appointed E Commission does that.

Apr 24, 2016 at 8:32 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Reed

For those who support staying in the EU, do you see the UK joining the Euro and the EU super state? We have of course our veto but at some point we may have a PM and cabinet that are all pro EU. They could sign up to anything and just never use the veto. I doubt any government will put anything significant to the vote, ever again. Not on Europe anyway. What change would be too big for you to accept or are you up for anything?

Apr 24, 2016 at 10:07 AM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

Alan Kendall
EU Commisisioners are appointed by national governments and confirmed by the EU parliament which cannot refuse to confirm individual Commissioners but can refuse to confirm the Commission en bloc.

Alan Reed
The Commission proposes laws/directives but they must be approved by the parliament as well as the Council of Ministers. There is ample opportunity for any country to argue for amendment or a derogation and once approved the Directive is then supposedly implemented according to the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality which Robert Christopher appears to have some problem with and I'm afraid I can't see what he's driving at.
Conway quotes a couple of examples where the UK has quite clearly but for no apparently good reason chosen to go beyond what the Directives are calling for. I assume that that was either on the advice of civil servants who have deliberately misled ministers as to what the Directives were demanding or ministers engaging in a bit of 'virtue signalling' or 'gesture politics'.
Either way the blame does not lie with the EU and leaving the EU will not make things any better unless there is a seismic cultural shift in Whitehall or Westminster.
(It might be worth adding that in the case of one if those examples, as with the great-crested newt fiasco, the blame almost certainly lies with too much listening to our eco-fanatic friends!)

There is no question of the U.K. joining any EU superstate even supposing such a thing came to pass which it won't and the reasons why it won't are clear enough and far too lengthy to go into here. And it has already been made clear by the UK government and by the EU Commission that the UK will not join the single currency. I would seriously anticipate that any future government intending to do either of those things would call a referendum specifically to address that question or face the political wilderness for a generation and/or open rebellion. And I would be among the first to the barricades!

Thanks, mate! As long as we can shake hands at the end of the game we can safely try to claw each other's eyes out during it! Though I believe that can get you a 12 match ban these days.

Apr 24, 2016 at 11:43 AM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Alan Kendall

In reality we are no longer a free and democratic country, this referendum is about putting that right. What you have argued is that no democracy is perfect and Winston Churchill would agree with you. What Churchill said (and what I believe) is that Democracy is the best system available. Alan you seem to argue that since you find that democracy is not perfect then you will accept dictatorship and there we part company.
If you think that the EU system of law making is democratic then you must have been a big fan of the USSR system?

Apr 24, 2016 at 11:54 AM | Registered CommenterDung

Dung I was rational and non confronting with you, why didn't you respond in kind?

You haven't tried to address the two points I made. Why not try, I would be interested in your thoughts. Why, specifically, do you believe the EU is undemocratic, and how far down the chain would you devolve political independence? These are very real questions for me. I don't know the answers.

Please note 1) you have nothing to support your view that I would accept dictatorship (cheap short that).
2) insinuating that my views (you don't know them) means that I would be a fan of the USSR is without merit.

Apr 24, 2016 at 12:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Kendall

Mike Jackson "I would seriously anticipate that any future government intending to do either of those things would call a referendum".

You mean like the Maastricht treaty? Where countries voted 'no', they changed it a bit put a new cover on it and then pushed it through.

Would a new Tony Blair care or even believe he'd be in the political wilderness if he did what he believed was the right thing? It didn't even stop him becoming very wealthy. I'm sure the future PM would look soulfully into the camera as he explains why its necessary. I can even picture the detrimental effect of being in the EU but out of the ruling Eurozone, on our economy. The PM might not be lying that we couldn't carry on as we were doing. We can't be forced into the EU by the EU but we can be left with no choice. All the same arguments as Remain will be trotted out, as they were the last time they wanted us to join the Euro.

The EU isn't going to stop making rules and changing things. What parts of our self would we defend? Transition doesn't happen as one big shift, it's the erosion of decades. No one change will be big enough for you to erect the barricades. Just as it hasn't been over the past 30 odd years. If most of our rules and regulations are centralised, what would there be left to hold out on? It would just be a slight administrative change. We'd be able to keep the king (assuming we wanted him). He'd probably be all in favour. There will come a point where there will be nothing substantial left in the hands of the UK government, why keep paying them to do nothing?

Apr 24, 2016 at 12:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

Mike Jackson on Apr 24, 2016 at 11:43 AM
We have been told that "the principles of proportionality and subsidiarity" will ensure that tasks and responsibility will be done at the most local level possible. The evidence is to the contrary, as you point out.

Do we spend the next forty years trying to convince ourselves that what we have been told is true or do we do something about it?

We know that Whitehall, our QUANGOs and our more than a few very un-independent MPs are impervious to change, so what else can be done? Leaving the EU would at least force change. It won't magically create the instant perfect political solution, but it would the the first step.

Do you have any other suggestions? If those voting in 1975 for the Common Market should have known about the unpublicised agenda of 'Ever Closer Union', today, we should be in no doubt about the EU's ultimate goal. And, please, Cameron's 'Reformed EU' has already been shown to be an untruth with his feeble renegotiation.

"There is no question of the U.K. joining any EU superstate"
It already has! It controls vast swathes of Britain using legal instruments that cannot be changed without leaving.

"I would seriously anticipate that any future government intending to do either of those things would call a referendum specifically to address that question or face the political wilderness for a generation and/or open rebellion."
Will this referendum be as even handed as the current referendum?

We will have been subjected to even more 'Ever Closer Union', so I would expect the result will be a formality, as long as the Eurozone still exists!

Apr 24, 2016 at 12:31 PM | Registered CommenterRobert Christopher

Tiny. You seem to be implying that it would be better to leave the EU now because otherwise a future goverment might wish to join the euro or a future superstate without exercising its veto. Correct me if this is incorrect. But if it is correct you are arguing that the future duly elected goverment, with the support of the majority of the voting population should not be allowed to exercise its mandate. Serious implications there.

Apr 24, 2016 at 12:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Kendall

Alan Kendall don't tease.

Enoch had it years ago:

This is the first and last election at which the British people will be given the opportunity to decide whether their country is to remain a democratic nation, governed by the will of its own electorate expressed in its own Parliament, or whether it will become one province in a new European superstate under institutions which know nothing of the political rights and liberties that we have so long taken for granted.

Apr 24, 2016 at 12:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Reed

AK "But if it is correct you are arguing that the future duly elected goverment, with the support of the majority of the voting population should not be allowed to exercise its mandate. Serious implications there."

No, I think it will do exactly as it wants to and by then it might well be the right decision because our economy will be damaged by being half in and half out of the EU. In theory the government could ignore the results of this referendum, no matter how we vote.

Apr 24, 2016 at 12:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

Alan Kendall

Within the EU, we the people can not remove those who make our laws and replace them with others who represent our views. The EU is not a democracy, it does not matter who DOES select those who make our laws, it is not the people and so is not democratic.
For the above reasons, the EU is a dictatorship and since you support the EU I stated that you supported dictatorship. You seem to take arguments personally and yes depending on the question under consideration, they can become personal but as far as I know we are not getting personal ^.^

Apr 24, 2016 at 1:02 PM | Registered CommenterDung

I see most questions as black and white, right and wrong and I know that many see that as a naive attitude. What I see is many people frightened to speak the truth because of what others may think of them. I can honestly say that at least on political issues, I say what I believe to be right regardless of how many people ridicule my position.

Apr 24, 2016 at 1:18 PM | Registered CommenterDung

Robert Christopher / TinyCO2
There is no point in my continuing with this. I could quote Lily Tomlin in one of her best sketches: "Information cannot communicate with a closed mind" but instead I shall bow out gracefully.
We are not even going to agree the ground rules as far as I can see. We are talking past each other and naturally you think you are being quite logical and addressing my argument while I, of course, know that you are doing nothing of the sort! And doubtless vice versa.
The difference between us, as far as I can tell, is that I trust politicians (and civil servants as well) up to a point while you evidently don't trust them at all. If you see the EU as intrinsically evil and inherently anti-democratic and UK politicians as essentially subservient and corrupt then there is no point in even attempting to engage. I'm playing rugby while you're playing cricket.

Apr 24, 2016 at 2:13 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Dung, you now state "you seem to take arguments personally" but what else can I conclude when you wrote. "ALAN you seem to will accept dictatorship...., and "If YOU must have been a big fan of the USSR system". Is that not personal? Anyway forget it, its not that important.

I ask again if you want to answer my two questions? And I repeat I would wish to hear what you think.

Apr 24, 2016 at 2:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Kendall

MikeJ. Think I may have been playing lacrosse.

Don't leave, your comments are useful to those who perhaps still fence sit, or need some support to withstand the incoming tide of euroscepticism.

Apr 24, 2016 at 2:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Kendall

And I thought it was politics which is a much dirtier game with few set rules and no referees. I don't know why you two are upset, you're going to win.

Apr 24, 2016 at 3:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

Years ago, when I was a staunch Europhile I was a minor civil servant and often had to explain EU regulations to members of the public. When they said - as they often did - that's daft, I remained unperturbed. The EU was a Good Thing. I just knew it. Now my viewpoint has shifted 180 degrees. I could be wrong again. (But I don't think I am this time). I must confess that I adopted the if you disagree that's because you're a xenophobic Little Englander. Rather like the big oil argument used in the climate debate. In other words, there is an awful lot of emotional attachment and reason comes a poor second.

Apr 24, 2016 at 3:16 PM | Unregistered Commentermike fowle

Mike Jackson on Apr 24, 2016 at 2:13 PM
"The difference between us, as far as I can tell, is that I trust politicians (and civil servants as well) up to a point while you evidently don't trust them at all."

:) I think it is the position of that point that we differ.

Do you trust these politicians?

European Ministers Lay Out Explicit Plan to Create United States of Europe
European ministers have explicitly laid out their intentions to create a federal Unites States of Europe, directly contradicting the British Prime Minister, David Cameron’s claims that Britain will not be sucked into a European superstate should the people of Britain vote to remain within the European Union (EU).

Presenting his renegotiated deal on EU membership in February, Mr Cameron insisted: “Britain will be permanently out of ever closer union, never part of a European super-state.”

But the emergence of a declaration signed in Rome by European ministers five months previously to Mr Cameron’s announcement reveals that the intention on the continent is to press ahead with the creation of a federal Europe.

Not content with merely monetary union and free movement, the declaration, signed by the speakers of the national parliaments in Germany, France, Italy and Luxembourg states that they want to integrate a broad spectrum of policies. “It should include all matters pertaining to the European ideal — social and cultural affairs as well as foreign, security and defence policy,” the declaration states.

It adds: “We are convinced that new impetus must be given to European integration. We believe that more, not less, Europe is needed to respond to the challenges we face.

“The current moment offers an opportunity to move forward with European political integration, which could lead to a federal union of States.”

Mike, or anyone else, please explain how your statement:

"There is no question of the U.K. joining any EU superstate ..."

can be believable, given how the EU has morphed, against Britain's wishes, when it is reported that the speakers of the national parliaments in Germany, France, Italy and Luxembourg state that they want to integrate a broad spectrum of policies, "all matters pertaining to the European ideal", "social and cultural affairs as well as foreign, security and defence policy, “we believe that more, not less, Europe is needed to respond to the challenges we face", "The current moment offers an opportunity to move forward with European political integration, which could lead to a federal union of States.”

You say that those who voted in 1975 for the Common Market should have been more diligent in determining the agenda of the Continentals, yet this report is being ignored!

Do you really think we will stay out of the Eurozone and keep control over our national finances with this 'grassroots' support for 'Ever Closer Union'?

Who do you think will get their way? I'll give you a clue: if we vote to Remain, it won't be the independently minded!

This declaration was signed in Rome by European ministers five months before Mr Cameron’s announcement. Did he ignore it? Was he, with Whitehall's resources available, oblivious to this statement by senior politicians from Germany, France, Italy and Luxembourg, which are not insignificant EU countries? I think we need to know.

I think I would trust these 'Ever Closer Union' Continentals are telling us how they want it to be.

What about you?

Apr 24, 2016 at 3:31 PM | Registered CommenterRobert Christopher

And there is this, from nearly two years ago:
After 2020, all EU members will have to adopt the euro
Political union in the eurozone is an economic existential necessity, not a re-negotiable ambition
When British politicians propose that EU political integration should slow, that is not merely seen as unattractive — it is impossible

Recent events have made the British political commentariat more aware than before of just how committed European political leaders are to delivering political union in a Single European State.
It should now be clear that this is not the unlikely ambition of a few starry-eyed visionaries. It is the stated official goal of the Italian Prime Minister, the French President, the German Chancellor, the current and next Presidents of the European Commission, the President of the European Council, and just about every significant mainstream political figure in the Eurozone.

It is also, according to a Eurobarometer opinion poll in 2013, the desire of 60pc of Eurozone citizens.

'Remain' is not for the status quo. It doesn't exist. All the EU directives, policies that are being held back will be released and swamp Britain if we vote to Remain.

At least it will be easier for us to bail out the Eurozone!

Apr 24, 2016 at 3:49 PM | Registered CommenterRobert Christopher