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Originally Posted by FredDibnah View Post
In general, I would say that just about the worst way of deciding anything of National importance is to allow a public referendum.

I don't think people understand the concept of Democracy.

Democracy doesn't mean everyone has to get their own way. The whole point of a democracy is that you vote for REPRESENTATIVES who then REPRESENT the views of their constituencies in government. We vote for these representatives because (a) we look to get sensible people who can make a call on our behalf based on a collective understanding of the bias, nimbyism and prejudice that needs averaging out, and (b) they are supposedly dedicated to the task and can therefore spend the time and effort to study the subject and make the right decisions after discussion and debate.

By dropping back to plebiscites like this (and the Scotland debate) we are allowing our representatives off the hook. We let them say "ooh - it's complicated, there's too many different opinions and it's too hard to keep you all happy". If I wanted to spend my days/nights reading up on the pros/cons of EU exit I'd have become a politician. I didn't do that because I thought I didn't need to as I would vote in someone who could do that bit and represent the consolidated views of the people of my area. I would then live with the consequences of that because I am normal, and accept that is what happens in a democracy.

But oh no.... We can't possibly have to live with consequences any more. We all need to be heard. We stand posturing with our hands on our hips saying "I didn't vote for this. I thought we lived in a DEMOCRACY!!"

So that means that the entire spectrum of the Great British Public, from high falutin' country squire to lowly wandering village idiots and all flavours in between now get to tick a box and have a 'phone in' vote on something that the vast, vast majority won't understand or bother to research.

Why not just disband parliament and setup a phone line and an SMS centre and put every single decision required every day to run the country to a 50 million vote-off and see what sort of God-awful dogs breakfast we can make of the place.

Maybe at work I will try this. I will say that it's much fairer if the whole department makes every decision. I, as manager, have deemed myself incompetent (probably rightly so) and from now on every invoice for approval, every request for holiday, every enquiry about who can have a parking space and every decision on what project or activity we should do next will no longer be my job as manager to decide - but will in fact now be decided by all staff texting in A for Yes or B for No and then I can sit and look out of the window and when the place goes to pot I can look back across the department and say "Well it was you lot, not me".....

Brainless nonsense. God help us for what sort of precedent this sets. I used to laugh about The Peoples Republic of Surrey, but I genuinely wouldn't rule out even more nonsense of this sort after Scotland and now Brexit.

Can't someone just do their job and lead.
Good God, FINALLY someone with some sense!!

If it were possible to "like" this post more than once, I would do it.
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Define children?
I think he means 16 year olds as in the Scottish referendum.
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I totally agree with what Fred says in his post. I doubt that any govt wants to be the one that was judged by history to be the one that took the UK out of something that was actually quite good in retrospect. However, due to Cameron's weakness and desperation to get re-elected and to engage the right wing, the little Englanders he has made this promise of a referendum.

One of my main concerns is that the electorate will make their decision on xenophobic issues, immigration, and putting the GREAT back into Britain, reducing bureaucracy I guess the populist issues that the man/woman in the street understand and the real and more important issues will not get out and be explored.

I am not saying that the EU does not need reform I think that it does and my hope is that out of all this there are some reforms that benefit the EU as a whole and not just the UK.
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We live in an age of information, and sadly as a consequence misinformation. Couple this with the points raised by Fred and this how we have politics in the state we do, how the likes of Trump are doing so well, far right groups like Britain First have gained their massive following, and how a protest party like ukip has morphed into something hideous yet worryingly popular.

To me the EU debate and the points on a referendum raised by Fred are summed up by a comment I read elsewhere, where someone made the succinct point that if we left the EU BMW would still sell us cars. A comment that misses the issue by a wide margin. While I may not have all the facts myself the question to me really is; if we leave the EU then given time and using the car analogy, why would the likes of Toyota, Honda, Nissan want to continue to manufacture vehicles in the UK? If we are outside the EU, where is the incentive to continue here, and with real issues such as an exponentially rising global population what is to stop the EU legislation that has made it economically sensible to setup factories here cutting us off to ensure jobs are moved to the EU?

I don't think any of us whether intending to vote yes or no in the referendum can categorically state we understand the bigger picture.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EddieGTA View Post
We live in an age of information, and sadly as a consequence misinformation. Couple this with the points raised by Fred and this how we have politics in the state we do, how the likes of Trump are doing so well, far right groups like Britain First have gained their massive following, and how a protest party like ukip has morphed into something hideous yet worryingly popular.

To me the EU debate and the points on a referendum raised by Fred are summed up by a comment I read elsewhere, where someone made the succinct point that if we left the EU BMW would still sell us cars. A comment that misses the issue by a wide margin. While I may not have all the facts myself the question to me really is; if we leave the EU then given time and using the car analogy, why would the likes of Toyota, Honda, Nissan want to continue to manufacture vehicles in the UK? If we are outside the EU, where is the incentive to continue here, and with real issues such as an exponentially rising global population what is to stop the EU legislation that has made it economically sensible to setup factories here cutting us off to ensure jobs are moved to the EU?

I don't think any of us whether intending to vote yes or no in the referendum can categorically state we understand the bigger picture
.

Unfortunately I don't think most of our political representatives can either.
And most of them care more about pandering to popular opinion as they perceive it.
Most of us, including politicians, act out of what we perceive to be self interest, but calculating and predicting where this self interest might lie (both in terms of individuals and that of the UK as a Nation) in the medium to long term is fiendishly difficult.

That being said, I agree with Sterzo's earlier post that cooperation is almost always better than non-cooperation.
Better in with a voice and hope to be a positive influence imo.
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Well, I don't have a vote and this doesn't really affect me so that's okay then.

Errr...


Ahhhh..



!!!!!!


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Quote:
Originally Posted by FredDibnah View Post
In general, I would say that just about the worst way of deciding anything of National importance is to allow a public referendum...
...
Can't someone just do their job and lead.
It's a long time since I have seen a politician actually lead and try to positively shape public opinion (and I don't include Blair's lying about the WoMD in Iraq). Most politicians now react to public opinion. Unfortunately much public opinion forming is done by a select group in parts of the media. So prepare for many more inane headlines as the pubic opinion forming gathers pace ahead of the referendum.
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I think it is a good thing that the public are being consulted on this.

It makes a change from politicians totally ignoring what the general population wants.

If the politicians continually ignore the will of the population you then end up with extremist or fringe parties getting huge shares of the vote.


I don't agree that the population ins't smart enough to make such an important decision and that the politicians are elected to do it. After all we are smart enough to pay tax to keep the politicians in jobs, and if alll mainstream parties think the same way then we hardly have a choice.

Also saying that the public are not fit to choose the referendums outcome is only one step away from saying they are not fit to choose a government. Then before long you have a dictatorship.

There needs to be proper campaigning on both sides for this, if one side is suppressed, or if the other uses scare tactics then that really isn't fair campaigning.
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Originally Posted by symon View Post
I think it is a good thing that the public are being consulted on this.

It makes a change from politicians totally ignoring what the general population wants.

If the politicians continually ignore the will of the population you then end up with extremist or fringe parties getting huge shares of the vote.


I don't agree that the population ins't smart enough to make such an important decision and that the politicians are elected to do it. After all we are smart enough to pay tax to keep the politicians in jobs, and if alll mainstream parties think the same way then we hardly have a choice.

Also saying that the public are not fit to choose the referendums outcome is only one step away from saying they are not fit to choose a government. Then before long you have a dictatorship.

There needs to be proper campaigning on both sides for this, if one side is suppressed, or if the other uses scare tactics then that really isn't fair campaigning.
I am arguing that there's a big difference between "being consulted" - i.e. having your say through the normal democratic process (writing to your MP, supporting lobby groups, attending public debates etc) and having a referendum. Where do you draw the line? Do you want a referendum on the budget every year? What decisions do you entrust to your elected MP versus those you want a public referendum on?

Regarding this point:

"I don't agree that the population ins't smart enough to make such an important decision"

I'm afraid I disagree. I've met a few of the population. In general, the percentage who are both smart enough AND have invested the time and effort in evaluating the breadth of issues and making an informed choice is, I guarantee you, very small.

And finally....

"There needs to be proper campaigning on both sides for this, if one side is suppressed, or if the other uses scare tactics then that really isn't fair campaigning" -

Yes. That's the point of this thread. There won't be.
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Originally Posted by Tata4Now View Post
Prepare for the influx of booted out expats.

There'll be about 1,000,000 of us coming right atcha!!!

We won't have contributed jack **** recently, but will be expecting all
the goodies of the UK social security. House, Big TV, Free healthcare....

Now c'mon, we all know that is not going to happen, You can get residency permits for virtually everywhere in the world now. Dunno who's the biggest scare monger, You or Cameron.
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Why should EU countries suffer 10,000s
of UK citizens profiting from EU benefits
if the UK is no longer in the EU???


These are the effects that no one
wants to think about.

They just want to protect their British
heritage and values: The pint. The great British sausage. Being ripped off by big business.

"Expats. Thousends of 'em!"


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You can get residency permits for virtually everywhere in the world now.
No you really can't. The freedom of movement we
have throughout the EU just makes you believe
that it's easy to get a work visa workdwide. It is not
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Once again, Fred's words echo my own sentiments.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tata4Now View Post
Why should EU countries suffer 10,000s
of UK citizens profiting from EU benefits
if the UK is no longer in the EU???


These are the effects that no one
wants to think about.

They just want to protect their British
heritage and values: The pint. The great British sausage. Being ripped off by big business.

"Expats. Thousends of 'em!"


Mark.
My.
Words.




No you really can't. The freedom of movement we
have throughout the EU just makes you believe
that it's easy to get a work visa workdwide. It is not
This is an angle that is seldom explored, like never. What would the effect on expat Brits be on Brexit. Would they be expelled or would they have to reapply for residency in their country of current residence. What would we do with the thousands of Poles, Portugese and French that live and work here. Would they continue to work or would we send them packing?
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I guess I'm in the category of not really knowing which is best, in or out? One of the masses who is a bit of a Dumbo' all round when it come to politics and deep meaningful discussions thereof? :

But I feel that with certain nations beating war drums not too far distant from us Europeans, that being part of the EEC collective who are also part of NATO with US, is no bad thing?

Probabably not a very influencial view from the likes of meself, but I got along very well with all of our brothers in arms whilst serving in Europe?

Yep' underneath it all I am British/ English/ European, and have no problems with that being a simple minded fellow at heart?
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Originally Posted by FredDibnah View Post
I am arguing that there's a big difference between "being consulted" - i.e. having your say through the normal democratic process (writing to your MP, supporting lobby groups, attending public debates etc) and having a referendum. Where do you draw the line? Do you want a referendum on the budget every year? What decisions do you entrust to your elected MP versus those you want a public referendum on?

Regarding this point:

"I don't agree that the population ins't smart enough to make such an important decision"

I'm afraid I disagree. I've met a few of the population. In general, the percentage who are both smart enough AND have invested the time and effort in evaluating the breadth of issues and making an informed choice is, I guarantee you, very small.

And finally....

"There needs to be proper campaigning on both sides for this, if one side is suppressed, or if the other uses scare tactics then that really isn't fair campaigning" -

Yes. That's the point of this thread. There won't be.
Anyone who believes the general populous is capable of making a rational and informed decision, only needs check the comments on any online news story about Europe, Immigration etc. Reading the comments on the Kent Online news site and seeing how many thumbs up outright racist comments get, has me not only convinced that a large section the public cannot make an informed decision, but has me genuinely concerned for the future of humanity.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Dunamis View Post
This is an angle that is seldom explored, like never. What would the effect on expat Brits be on Brexit. Would they be expelled or would they have to reapply for residency in their country of current residence. What would we do with the thousands of Poles, Portugese and French that live and work here. Would they continue to work or would we send them packing?
I think it goes further than this. People like to see it as a one way street on so many levels, but it isn't. We are just as capable of working in the EU and I know many who have and are.
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Anyone who believes the general populous is capable of making a rational and informed decision, only needs check the comments on any online news story about Europe, Immigration etc. Reading the comments on the Kent Online news site and seeing how many thumbs up outright racist comments get, has me not only convinced that a large section the public cannot make an informed decision, but has me genuinely concerned for the future of humanity.
And yet we let them choose the government every 5 years. Crazy isn't it?
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And yet we let them choose the government every 5 years. Crazy isn't it?
It's becoming more worrying when you see extremes of the political spectrum gaining ground, but it isn't exactly comparable. Whatever government got in (even Thor forbid ukip) you wouldn't have an individual making decisions solely based on their own opinion, and it would need to pass though the parliamentary process, particularly in the case of any changes to law. That's not the same as letting an ill informed person who wants to blame the EU on their failings vote on the subject directly.
 
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It's becoming more worrying when you see extremes of the political spectrum gaining ground, but it isn't exactly comparable. Whatever government got in (even Thor forbid ukip) you wouldn't have an individual making decisions solely based on their own opinion, and it would need to pass though the parliamentary process, particularly in the case of any changes to law. That's not the same as letting an ill informed person who wants to blame the EU on their failings vote on the subject directly.
That is my feelings on the referendum to leave the EU. My feelings is that even should we vote to leave, it will still have to go through a parliamentary process. We'll still have to negotiate some sort of disengagement deal with the EU, and then I think while all that is going on, there will perhaps be a final very-best-offer to stay in the EU after all. And then there will be significant pressure for the people to have a choice to leave the EU on X terms offered, or stay in the EU on Y terms offered. Especially as the prime minister & chancellor are both pro-EU, they will take any chance to give another referendum until they 'get the right answer'. The current referendum is flawed, because we only know what the terms of staying in the EU is, not the terms of disengagement.

As for the EU itself, lets face it - if there was no EU right now and we had to build one from scratch, today's EU is very very far from how anyone would want it, unless perhaps you were a non-elected member of the political class or a high up bureaucrat of some sort. It does massively need reform and if the threat of a large nation leaving is what is needed to kickstart the process then I think it would be worthwhile. Those wanting to hold it together will not want to see the UK leave as that could be the beginning of the end for it.
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I think it goes further than this. People like to see it as a one way street on so many levels, but it isn't. We are just as capable of working in the EU and I know many who have and are.

Yes. And also this is part of the "positive" aspect of the EU story that
tax-dodging, off-shoring foreign owners of UK newspaper want to suppress.

There has always been an agenda set by the UK press barons
and it's nothing to do with what's best for the UK general population.
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As for the EU itself, lets face it - if there was no EU right now and we had to build one from scratch, today's EU is very very far from how anyone would want it, unless perhaps you were a non-elected member of the political class or a high up bureaucrat of some sort. It does massively need reform...
This has become a sort of mantra: the EU must change! But what I have barely seen anywhere is - what change? I'd be genuinely interested to see a list of examples of awful impositions by "them" but (even though I know two UKIP officials) nobody I know seems to be able to provide one.

Every organisation must have something wrong with it, but what are these disastrous things the EU is doing to the UK?
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Forty years ago we signed up to a Common Market which was an arrangement for two way trade among the nations of Europe. What this has morphed into, without the general public having any say, given that all shades of government in the ensuing years were pro EU, is a target of a United States of Europe with a single currency. This is fine if we are prepared to accept the necessary transfer of resources from the wealthy areas to the poorer ones either through taxes to pay benefits or more directly from transfer of labour. Also it will require the population in general to feel European first and whatever their regional allegiance is second. This works in the USA where they are Americans firstly and then Texan, Californian or whatever second. However I am not sure the population of Europe is ready for this yet. In Italy, for instance, the North is unhappy about funding benefits or jobs for the South. Will the French accept the more flexible labour laws that most of Europe prefer?

On a personal level I certainly do not feel European rather than British or even more so English. A Common Market I would vote yes. A United States of Europe (as suggested by the treaty aim for "Ever closer Union" I will vote no.
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That is my feelings on the referendum to leave the EU. My feelings is that even should we vote to leave, it will still have to go through a parliamentary process. We'll still have to negotiate some sort of disengagement deal with the EU, and then I think while all that is going on, there will perhaps be a final very-best-offer to stay in the EU after all. And then there will be significant pressure for the people to have a choice to leave the EU on X terms offered, or stay in the EU on Y terms offered. Especially as the prime minister & chancellor are both pro-EU, they will take any chance to give another referendum until they 'get the right answer'. The current referendum is flawed, because we only know what the terms of staying in the EU is, not the terms of disengagement.

As for the EU itself, lets face it - if there was no EU right now and we had to build one from scratch, today's EU is very very far from how anyone would want it, unless perhaps you were a non-elected member of the political class or a high up bureaucrat of some sort. It does massively need reform and if the threat of a large nation leaving is what is needed to kickstart the process then I think it would be worthwhile. Those wanting to hold it together will not want to see the UK leave as that could be the beginning of the end for it.
Kinda makes an "in/out" referendum pointless if you do that though.
 
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The problem with the EU as it is now is that it is half baked. You either go for full fiscal and economic union, or you go for as little as possible. The current situation of "freedom of movement" + "different rules in every state" leads to incessant arbitrage. If benefits, healthcare and taxation were identical in Romania and the UK, because they had effectively the same government, then that would solve a lot of problems. There would be no rush to leave one country and go to another, other than to work. Problem solved - only I don't think most people would be prepared to equalise our standard of living with a load of new entrants and the other obligations that full union would create.

The EU has demonstrated catastrophic economic incompetence in Greece, that problem is absolutely not solved (never was solved if you lived there), it is simply contained and will strike at the most inconvenient moment. Another reason why full union is certainly not on my agenda.

I can't get excited about the kilos and bananas and pints. I get mildly excited by the absurdity of the CAP and the waste of money + expenses fraud that is Brussels. Makes our MPs look like a bunch of saints.

I'm not worried about Brexit if it happens - the EU has far more to lose if the exit negotiations turn sour. In no way do the Germans want to lose access to "treasure island" where they sell vast quantities of product. Our trade deficit would be improved no end. Loads of scare mongering here, and I do think that if the population voted for Brexit, the EU would come back with a far better set of improvements.
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If benefits, healthcare and taxation were identical in Romania and the UK, because they had effectively the same government, then that would solve a lot of problems. There would be no rush to leave one country and go to another, other than to work.
I thought the various figures showed the benefits tourism thing to be a myth. The rush is to work, surely.

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The EU has demonstrated catastrophic economic incompetence in Greece...
It has? What did the EU, as opposed to the former Greek government, get wrong? I'm genuinely interested.

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Our trade deficit would be improved no end.
If we left???? A courageous view, methinks. Nobody can be certain but business and financial sector people have expressed views on both sides, but the vast majority who have spoken have called for Britain to stay in. Meanwhile the Bank of England's preparing for a collapse of sterling if we pull out, and no-one is doing anything to protect share values because no-one can.
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Outright benefits tourism is probably marginal. I would guess that low wage/hours working + tax credits is very attractive. Overall, if I was stuck in the back end of Romaina, I'd be looking at health care and standard of living in the rest of the EU and shipping out.

Greece? The problem is not solved or contained. Greece has several hundred billion in debt, zero chance of paying it back, and has rendered the ECB technically bankrupt. At the next whiff of a crisis, this will blow again. If they had lanced it 3 years ago, we would have had a 90 billion write off, it would have hurt, but it would have been controlled. Now it will be uncontrolled, because it will happen when the central banks are at their weakest. What they should have done is boot Greece out of the Euro, and taken the hit.

On the trade deficit, our balance of trade with the EU is a disaster. So there is zero incentive for the EU to cut us off - indeed, they will be desperate to keep us in. They have more to lose than us. I'm not saying it is all going to be easy, but the 'EU will cut us out and make trade really hard' meme is pure scaremongering.
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