CityCyclingEdinburgh Forum » Debate!

Do we need an EU referendum thread?

(947 posts)
  • Started 2 years ago by I were right about that saddle
  • Latest reply from LivD

  1. I were right about that saddle
    Member

    I'm ambivalent and conflicted on this subject. I appreciate greatly the absence of war in Western Europe in my lifetime, I have personally profited greatly from freedom of movement, but I'm very, very skeptical of the existence of the pan-European demos that would need to exist to justify ever closer union, European armies and a single economic and political model for the whole continent. But some issues require Europe-wide action. Like fishing.

    I can't imagine myself lining up with the kippers, and splittism demands a vote to stay in, as do my domestic arrangements. But the EU is in dire need of reform.

    Thoughts, bicyclists?

    Posted 2 years ago #
  2. chdot
    Admin

    Need isn't the issue.

    We're getting one.

    All parties apart from UKIP likely to be Yes.

    Cameron may or may not be able to say 'I've got important concessions'.

    A lot of half-truths and unfulfillable promises will be uttered.

    Assuming UK stays in, won't make a lot of difference.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  3. gembo
    Member

    Quite often we cite Europe as a good example - drivers being courteous to cyclists, good infrastructure, trams, city centre traffic free areas. Of course you don't need to be part of it. Apparently a lot of our trade goes through Rotterdam. Again that could still happen. Any ultra separatists looking for a free Scotland outside of Europe?

    David Cameron keen on reform, maybe sepp blatter could help?

    Posted 2 years ago #
  4. crowriver
    Member

    I'm in favour of staying in.

    I wonder if the referendum question will be a yes/no choice? Will it be 'yes' to leaving? Or 'yes' to staying in?

    Posted 2 years ago #
  5. gembo
    Member

    I heard the question was Should the UK stay in the EU? Might just have been chat on radio.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  6. Min
    Member

    It will be Yes to staying in. I saw on the BBC that they decided they had to put the bit about the UK remaining in the EU (rather than just being) because of all the voters who don't know that we are already in..

    Posted 2 years ago #
  7. chdot
    Admin

    "because of all the voters who don't know that we are already in"

    Yeah I heard that.

    Was a bit surprised.

    Then I thought about it...

    Posted 2 years ago #
  8. Stickman
    Member

    @IWRATS:

    Thanks, you've pretty much saved me writing out my thoughts as they match yours.

    I guess it's similar to the IndyRef: many will want changes to the current set up without the full step of independence/Brexit.

    Reform of Westminster/Brussels is probably most people's desire.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  9. wee folding bike
    Member

    As far as I could tell nobody on Question Time, Thursday, asked the interesting question.

    What happens if Scotland votes to stay, England votes narrowly to leave but the balance of the UK as a whole is to stay? Would the squires from the shires be up in arms at that? It's even worse than clapping.

    No valid passport, not been outwith the UK in 19 years and it was 5 years before that for the previous time, so the travel thing makes no difference to me but it's nice being able to order stuff from Rose Cycles if I can't get it here.

    And I only went to NL in '96 because I had a cousin studying there for a summer and it seemed worth going to see him for a weekend.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  10. The Boy
    Member

    @crowriver

    The wording of the referendum q:

    "Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union?"

    Last time's Nos are this time's Yesses.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  11. wee folding bike
    Member

    Some might be Yes both times.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  12. Morningsider
    Member

    IWRATS - absolutely agree that the EU institutions need reform. However, leaving the EU would be madness. At present the UK has a seat in the Council, a commissioner, a large number of MEPs and (if the UK Government could just behave sensibly) real clout in the EU. We would lose all this if we leave - and for what? If we want access to the EU market then we have to abide by all those EU regulations the anti-Europeans so hate, including free movement of people and involvement in Europe wide Total Allowable Catches for fish. We would also have the pleasure of paying for this access, as Norway etc. currently do.

    So the vote is really just to remove any UK influence from the EU, with no obvious benefits to UK citizens. Can't say that I see the attraction myself.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  13. The Boy
    Member

    @wfb, I was meaning those leading the campaign rather than the voters.

    ie Labour, Tories etc.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  14. gembo
    Member

    Nicky S has spoken. EU is essential for jobs. Thus, if you know what is good for you, vote Yes.

    Should have gone with the word stay in the question though as remain is going to fox the people who do not know whether we are in the EU or not? Timing wise will we get the referendum at same time as the holyrood election?

    Posted 2 years ago #
  15. gibbo
    Member

    "I appreciate greatly the absence of war in Western Europe in my lifetime"

    There are periods of war and there are periods of peace.

    I know that EU supporters like to attribute peace to the existence of the EU, but it's worth noting that, in the time the EU has existed there hasn't been war between the US + Japan, US + China, US + Canada, Brazil + Argentina, Japan + China...

    (And prior to Sweden joining in the 1990s, there were no post 1945 wars between Sweden, Norway and Denmark.)

    Posted 2 years ago #
  16. I were right about that saddle
    Member

    @Morningsider

    Madness? People round my way don't like having to compete with bright, educated, articulate and energetic eastern Europeans for work when David Cameron and his pals don't have to do the same. I'm not sure they'll be a pushover for Yes.

    The points you make are of course quite correct. I do wonder though if the scope of your analysis isn't a bit limited. UK exit from the EU would have huge consequences elsewhere - the EU would not just sail on undaunted. I know enough about French politics to be certain that the Front National would be exhilarated and energised in their push to remove that country from the EU, which would be a mortal blow for the whole thing. We might well see that as a catastrophe of course, but the situation wouldn't then be the one you describe.

    Also, shouldn't we allow ourselves to imagine radical political solutions that are possible with border controls, such as a citizens' income? The main drawback of EU membership to my mind is that it closes off so many such possibilities as a price for European peace (I acknowledge @gibbo's good points) and commercial convenience.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  17. Morningsider
    Member

    IWRATS - Very interesting. I think a UK exit would actually be welcomed by some sections of the French political elite - as it would remove the main English speaking, US influenced nation from the EU.

    Would enough French citizens favour an EU exit for this to ever happen? I imagine the European Commission would work very hard to prevent this happening, as there is a large French staff contingent and its structure is based on the French civil service. Also, French agriculture and certain other industries are heavily reliant on EU funding. Genuinely interested in your views, as you know far more about France than me.

    I'm dubious as to whether a non-EU UK would go down the route of citizen's incomes or the like. Call me a cynic - but EU-offshore sweatshop seems more our kind of thing. Personally, I think the EU has been a civilising influence on the UK - particularly on things like environmental protection, workers rights and product safety.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  18. ih
    Member

    Surely this thread needs a brief revisit. It's only 9 days away.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  19. chdot
    Admin

    "Surely this thread needs a brief revisit."

    Had forgotten this even existed. Clearly not as 'interesting' as some other threads!

    This is what I wrote a year ago. Seems the word remain hadn't been uttered.

    "

    All parties apart from UKIP likely to be Yes.

    Cameron may or may not be able to say 'I've got important concessions'.

    A lot of half-truths and unfulfillable promises will be uttered.

    Assuming UK stays in, won't make a lot of difference.

    "

    Looks like a questionable assumption.

    If UK votes out (what Scotland does is a minor distraction) it certainly won't unfold the way the most gung ho Brexiteers imagine.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  20. I've changed my mind since I didn't comment on this thread a year ago!

    I'm very much in favour of bi and multi lateral trading and deals on, well anythi ng that would benefit from a bi or multi lateral deal.

    However, I've now come to the conclusion that the EU, like Westminster, like The Labour Party, is broken beyond repair. I no longer buy nor believe the "its beter to fix things from the inside" outlook.

    So, despite my general principled support for a "common market", I'm voting leave. The EU doesn't need a few repairs, it needs dismantled and rebuilt from scratch. Perhaps the UK's exit could be the catalyst for that.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  21. Min
    Member

    Is anyone able to explain why the SNP loathe and abominate the idea of being ruled by Westminster but love the idea of being ruled by Brussels? I genuinely can't manage the cognitive dissonance.

    As a current example why doesn't Scotland have minimum alcohol pricing?

    All the legal wrangling is no doubt costing enormous euros to the Scottish/British taxpayer.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  22. Well 'control' by Westminster and Brussels are very different things. Though I suspect Scotland would be very much a minor voice on its own in Europe, I think there's generally a thought of Europe issues guidance, which Scotland can implement in its own way, whereas Westminster simply rules. Though obviously not on devolved matters.

    I'm one of those guilty (it's not really an 'SNP' thing, as I'm not SNP) of voting Yes to independence, but I have already voted (postal) to Remain.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  23. Min
    Member

    guidance

    I really don't believe that is the case. Otherwise we could just ignore the EU on anything we didn't like and there would be no problem.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  24. Well, no, it's not quite guidance. Some of it is directly applicable, other things are for individual member state implementation, following issuing of what is effectively the framework to operate from.

    The problem is I think this debate, as with the referendum one, has been mired in both sides being rather fast and loose with the 'facts', so it takes a while to get to the bottom of things yourself.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  25. Min
    Member

    Huh yes, I don't know anyone who isn't confused, even if they have already decided.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  26. chdot
    Admin

    Some facts amongst the half-truths.

    There is no static Status Quo to be an option.

    Lots of ill founded opinions and wishful thinking along the lines of 'when you vote to leave AND I'm in charge' (thinking Johnson, Gove and Patel - aka the alternative Tory gov).

    It's all about 'faith'.

    Things can only get better (in or out)

    Things can only get less worse (in or out)

    It's the economy stupid (in or out)

    It's 'the other' (aka immigration) vote leave and be surprised.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  27. kaputnik
    Member

    What it all seems to boil down to is a big debate about the relative legal and constitutional details of how the EU actually works - and would this result in a better (or worse) future. But to most people who aren't legal or constitutional or political experts (I count myself firmly in this camp), it's not really scintillating stuff. What the official campaigns appear to have degenerated into, on both sides, is not really understanding (or, if they do know, not bothering to try and explain) how the EU works or even what it really is, so they're just making up ever more shrill proclamations (and downright lies) in an attempt to win it by slinging enough sh** that some of it will stick and they'll grab the headlines and get the Murdoch press on side.

    I really don't want to mentally go through the "am I on the same side as Blair, Cameron, Osborne and Major, or am I with Boris, Nigel, Hopkins, Murdoch and Gove" arguments in my head, so I'm not going to.

    Is anyone able to explain why the SNP loathe and abominate the idea of being ruled by Westminster but love the idea of being ruled by Brussels? I genuinely can't manage the cognitive dissonance.

    Well I think the root of it is a stated aspiration to be "independent in Europe", to the same extent that say Germany, France, Spain, Italy or any other nations forming the core of the EU are also independent nations.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  28. Baldcyclist
    Member

    I'm going to vote remain as I have my flat in Livingston up for sale, and don't really fancy any financial shocks at the moment, although last time we tried to sell it was 2008...

    Some of my own musings...
    - Britain would do just fine (after initial adjustments etc) if it left Europe.
    - Fishing industry would likely be ecstatic at an EU exit.
    - Farmers wouldn't receive a single penny from a UK govt to replace subsidies if we left. I suspect the industry would collapse
    - Immigration isn't really an issue, however I find the constant calling of UK emigrants, 'ex-pats' quite amusing.
    - The UK is Sovereign.
    - We have plenty of 'control'.
    - The EU is 'accountable'.
    - The Euro project which has failed, is not the single market.
    - Boris will not be the next PM.
    - There are 90 European parliament buildings, there are 17,000 Govt buildings in the UK.
    - Why do they have to move an entire Parliament to Strasbourg every year. Change the treaty ffs!

    Posted 1 year ago #
  29. paddyirish
    Member

    Min

    AFAIK, the number of laws which Europe can influence is a pretty small percentage of the total statute book and most of them (especially relating to rights of the small guy) are ones I subscribe to. In the event of Brexit, I think the small guy will go to hell on one of Boris' Superhighways...

    Within the UK, the number of laws is much larger, but falling due to devolution.

    There are going to be costs and benefits of membership as of any organisation- you don't get something for nothing.

    If you go to the West Coast of Ireland there are signs everywhere where infrastructure has only been built as a result of EU funding. The same is true all over the UK, but the developers have "forgotten" to put the signs up, even happy to pay fines for not doing it.

    As you can probably guess, I'm in the Independence and Remain camp. I'd rather Britain be in Europe trying to make it work, rather than aspiring to be Donald Trump's gimp...

    Posted 1 year ago #
  30. kaputnik
    Member

    I like your musings, Baldcyclist. An important one I learned was.

    - the European Court of Human Rights, as loathed by certain segments of the Brexiteering classes, is not part of the EU, it is part of the Council of Europe and upholds the European Convention of Human Rights. Voting out of the EU does not vote you out of the CoE or from the ECHR. It should not be confused with the European Court of Justice (which is the highest court of the EU and upholds EU law).

    Posted 1 year ago #

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