Britain and the EU - What exactly is going on?

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Gwazi Magnum, Jun 18, 2016.

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  1. I've been trying to look into this... But everyone seems so angry about it that they're just demonizing the other side without actually addressing the oppositions arguments.

    So basically I feel the need to ask here, hoping such a conversation can be civil. What is it that makes the UK want to leave the European Union to begin with? Cause right now I'm just completely lost.
  2. I'm just as lost as you about the whole thing and, being a social hermit that doesn't check the news, I didn't even know about it until an ad telling people to vote to stay in the EU popped up on my youtube. I live in Britain so I should probably know about this but I don't.

    Honestly, it's probably just the British government being stupid or some other higher up being idiots, would not be the first time they tried to do something that would fuck everything up, I'm just hoping that we don't leave the EU because food shopping is tedious enough as is, I don't need the prices going up.
  3. Glad I'm not alone here. XD
    Even though I'm Canadian and not part of Europe myself.
    That's been my first impression seeing how anyone I've seen supporting seperation has just spouted stuff about "Freedom", "Democracy" or "Dem Muslim Immigrants".
    Which... What does that remind me of again?

    Oh yea...
  4. Ooh! I saw a very informative post about this somewhere. Let me see if I can find it, because their wording is much better than mine would be...
  5. Hoo boy. Brexit.

    A'ight, let me see if I can't summarise this massive clusterfuck in a nice, concise manner. Its a hugely important issue to be voting on, after all, but both sides of the debate have managed to condense all the nuance down into a shitflinging festival/name-calling session. Doesn't paint the best of pictures.

    Full disclosure; I'm probably (maybe possibly potentially) gonna be voting Leave for the referendum, and whilst I'll try to be even with both sides and their argument, my angle may well come across more strongly.

    So in essence, Brexit is a plebiscite to decide whether the UK should remain a part of the European Union or whether we should leave it. We've been a member of the EU since 1973 (and its been something of a hot-button issue ever since). We'll be voting on the 23rd of June so you fuckers from round these parts better have registered, and preliminary polls suggest its going to be pretty fucking close.

    To summarise the broader arguments (cos these things are nuanced as fuck), lemme start with Remain:
    • Remain campaigners argue that Britain is stronger both economically and globally by remaining part of the EU.
    • A common argument you'll see is based around the EU Single Market (probably the best thing the EU has going for it), allowing free trade within member countries and making it far easier for business to be conducted on a European level.
    • Remain campaigners often point out the numerous workers benefits and other bonuses that have come as a result of membership within the EU.
    • There's an element of "voting for the status-quo" in the Remain arguments as well, its important to point out. A lot of people are worried about the economic and political consequences of Britain departing the EU (financial downturn, a loss of clout and relevance on the global stage, etc.), and are thus voting Remain.

    Moving on to Leave:
    • A central argument (for me, at least) for Leave is that the EU is an extremely undemocratic institution. Its highly centralist, top-down and bureaucratic with its legislation, and often forces said legislation on countries against the wishes of the residents of that country (see our fishing policies, that have essentially fucking castrated the entire fishing industry here).
    • Many argue that we can leave the main EU, but negotiate to remain a part of the European Single Market (kind of like the arrangement Norway has going on). Trade is trade, at the end of the day, and errybody likes to make money, so there's no reason why EU countries wouldn't be willing to do this (so the argument goes).
    • And to address the elephant in the room, there is indeed a really nasty undercurrent of anti-immigrant rhetoric within the Leave campaign (its inevitable when you let Farage open his mouth at any point). Those calling for tighter controls for immigration believe that a Leave vote will allow this to happen.

    Those are some of the issues up on the block just now. I've avoided going into economic arguments too much, because those are a labyrinthine nightmare of claims, counter-claims, exaggerations and outright lies from both sides. But hopefully this at least gives you the jist of why all this is going down.

    I just hope to fuck that this is the last bloody referendum I have to deal with any time soon. I was already fed up of them after last year--

    *Sees the SNP gear up for IndyRef 2.0*

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  6. I've only heard bits and pieces about it, and really it's nothing that is very informative over reasons and issues. All I know is that a lot of corporations over here are bracing themselves for some downfall if they do leave, which doesn't sound very hopeful.
  7. My apologies for using Tumblr as a citation, but this is really the only big info dump I've come across about this issue. Hopefully the linked sources in the post itself are enough for people. And, yeah, it's a biased post, but, still, at least it brings a little more info to the table.
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  8. So if I'm following this right.

    1. Want's more direct control over their laws
    2. Believes they are losing money to the EU they don't see again
    3. Not that fond of the refuge situation going on
    4. Thinks they can keep a number of EU benefits after leaving because other countries will be logical and not change too much lucrative agreements
    1. Enjoys all the current benefits of the EU, and isn't so confident that they'll stay if we leave.
    2. As a result of said benefits, they believe the UK makes more money from better trade deals than they'd save from not paying the EU
    3. Vacations, Working/Education Abroad or simply Moving to new environments is far easier and simpler
    4. Desire both to keep helping refugees and concern for those UK citizens currently using EU rules to live elsewhere.
    Am I on the right track?
  9. Aside from all the issues Grumpy explained and the stuff in that Tumblr post Kaga linked, I've got a bit to add even though I'm an American dude and have no dog in this fight. I've been paying attention to this because it's neat, and from what I've seen the economic arguments are pretty important even though they're extremely complicated.

    Countries in the EU pay certain taxes and such to the EU, and when you add up all the money the UK pays to the EU versus what the UK receives from the EU they have a net loss of ~9 billion pounds per year (though I've also seen figures as low as ~6 billion per year because of silly financial things that make it complicated). This means that if they leave they can take up all the payments the EU was making to the British public and to private organizations in the country and end up with a net gain of money that can be spent on whatever they like. The Leave camp obviously says this is a great thing because look at how much money the country will save. The Stay camp says it's bullshit because the value of the things they'll lose will be far greater than the money retained.

    Trade is also a huge factor. Stay camp people say, to paraphrase horribly, "look at all this sweet trade we got with the EU bruh, look at all these trade pacts other countries have made with the EU, we're gonna lose it all and get fucked in trade if we leave!" Leave folks say that the UK will be able to make a perfectly good trade deal with the EU (possibly just like Norway with access to the EU Single Market without being a member) because they are such an important market for other EU countries (one commonly cited example is that the German car industry sells 20% of its cars in the UK, and they can't afford to lose that so they'll be lobbying the German government hard to make a trade deal with the UK to keep that market), and that they'll be able to make better trade deals with other countries when not constrained by the EU. There are also all the regulations that are forced upon the UK by the EU that screws with their local industries (like fishing, as Grumpy already mentioned), and the Leave folks say these rules are pretty stupid for their country because only 4% of British businesses actually do trade with the EU but 100% of British businesses are bound by the rules and regulations of the EU (whereas in trade with other countries the foreign regulations are only applied to things they want to trade with that country). The Leave folks argue that after a shaky period they'll be doing better financially thanks to their industries being able to operate much more efficiently and give them a lot more stuff to export to their trade partners in those hypothetically better-than-EU trade deals. I haven't seen any Stay camp rebuttals to the bit about revitalized industry helping trade and general economic growth.

    There's a hell of a lot more involved with the economic arguments, but the general theme is the Stay side says being in the EU is a boon for the British economy, and the Leave side says the EU is weighing the British economy down. It's hard to say who's right because a lot of it depends on what kind of trade deals they'll be able to make after leaving, but the general consensus from not blatantly biased sources seems to be that in the long term they'll end up being just as well off as if they'd remained in the EU or potentially be doing a lot better thanks to great trade deals.

    Also, on the non-economic side, if I were British I would absolutely vote leave because the EU is an undemocratic nightmare. They've got a ton of appointed officials (meaning people who cannot be removed by a vote of the people) making decisions that affect every single country in the EU. Imagine if in the United States each governor could appoint whoever they want to hold positions on a council that can create binding laws for the whole country. That's what the EU has going on, and uh, no thanks man, I'll pass on that shit. I like my lawmakers remaining at least nominally accountable to the voting public. :P
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  10. haha, BBC throwing scary numbers at people. A shame they don't disclose the fact that they directly benefit from the EU. Oops.

    Anyway, I'm a Canadian, so like @Jorick I have no dog in this fight. Though, I tend to lean pro-leave as opposed to pro-stay, for reasons of general political immortality more than anything else.
    1. The richest Western European country is the only Western European country not in the EU: Switzerland. It is entirely surrounded by EU states, yet maintains its steadfast neutrality, and per capita makes more money than any other EU country. Period. That should speak volumes.
    2. The EU attempted to proclaim that the Euro was the way of the future, and that the British should switch off the Pound to the Euro. Except, all they did, was created a currency that no one nation had any control over, meaning that you had local small economies like Greece and Spain being utterly fucking pummeled to death by Germany. Granted, Spain and Greece handle their money about as well as a four year old hyped up on enough caffeine to kill a small bear, but the Euro is not helping them. At all. Your economy crashes? You have no control over the value of the currency your people will use. Good fucking luck dealing with it.
    3. If Britain broke away now, it would easily be able to redirect its trade toward Norway, the Commonwealth, the US (which in spite of Obama's idiotic statements corporations of the US would fucking murder people to get their hands on easier trade deals with less regulations guaranteed like they already do with China), oh, and China too, duh. Right now, even if y'all wanted to, you can't make independent deals with the rest of the Commonwealth. No oil from Canada, no whateverthefuckAustraliaexports from Australia, et cetera.
    4. Of the nations in the EU, Britain pays some of the highest fees to even remain part of the damn EU. If anybody is codependent in this situation, it's the EU.
    5. The idea of Putin liking the idea of the EU falling apart is completely retarded. It's like everyone has forgotten that NATO exists. You know who's part of NATO? The US. You know who has a stronger military than the next twenty countries combined? The US. You know who would fucking love to have an excuse to slap at Russian aggression? The US.
    6. An EU army would be disastrous. The sheer number of regulations put upon it would make it absolutely useless. If you don't believe me, look at the UN: Also an international, regulation-happy political fuckhouse of largely unelected delegates who have their own army. It's called Peacekeepers. You know what peacekeepers managed to do in Rwanda? Fuck all. It's also a power grab, because the EU was originally founded as a trade agreement (oh the irony of saying that now), and so if it goes and takes military forces to represent an autocratic group not at all held accountable to the people they supposedly represent? I thought we fought two world wars to destroy autocratic military regimes, not build more of them.
    7. The people who are primarily pushing for the "stay" vote are some of the scummiest politicians your country has. Among their number is this asshole, who lies about the most integral of his campaign promises on a regular basis. He was even pro-Euro. Why the fuck would you listen to this moron? If he supports a cause, take that as a sign of a canary in the coal mine.
    8. The EU is trying to rush Turkey's membership in. Turkey. A country with human rights violations so frequent that if you tried to scrawl the names of the unjustly treated upon its soil, you would run out of soil before you ran out of fucking names. I thought the EU was supposed to be for democracy and civilization, not convenience for a migrant crisis that it's handling spectacularly awfully anyway.
    The only conceivable reason I can think of for staying in the EU is to keep those neat inter-continental trade deals you have going on, and because of symbolism. However, you don't need the EU to trade--you have tons of trading partners who would love to sign new deals with you outside of the EU, and the EU would have to be completely idiotic not to form independent treaties with GB anyway, considering GB is one of their strongest members, and completely losing their economic power would hurt them. You don't need the EU to have the idea of a united Europe: It's not like Britain would fail to answer the call to help Germany, or France, or other European countries in the event of an invasion by a foreign power.
    #10 Brovo, Jun 18, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2016
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  11. I've had my head deep in this for the last couple months, it's exhausting at this point so I'm going to refrain from posting much in here in terms of argument. Though I will say I'm voting to leave.

    Also, just to put this out there. Nigel Farage has been demonized by the 'In' campaign and placed on a pedestal that would suggest he's racist. It couldn't be further from the truth. He's pushing for a border system similar to Australia which I personally agree with, and he believes that our immigration policy needs to be more controlled and better maintained, which I also believe is right. Unlike Cameron, Nigel Farage does not come from a background where he's been taught how to circumvent discussion on a political level, nor how to approach controversial political topics. This is used against him frequently in slam campaigns and in the form of montages hosted by the 'In' campaign, building public image negatively to sway voters. On panels of debate he frequently defends against accusations of racism, but is often met with heckles or being disregarded entirely.

    ITV recently held a debate between Farage and Cameron, a debate where the audience is supposed to be unbiased public citizens. It was discovered after the debate that the woman whom accused Farage during the debate had been invited onto the audience due to her professional blog. You can probably imagine how this upset a great deal of people as it basically made the debate a farce and nothing more than another attempt from Cameron to manipulate the public vote. The mediator on the debate also appeared biased, having allowed the audience to continuously talk over Farage, while allowing Cameron to give his speeches uninterrupted. I'll provide the links bellow.

    ITV Debate (open)

    Reveal of the Blogger: REVEALED: Audience Member Who Harassed Farage Over Immigration Is HuffPost Blogger

    I would strongly recommend any English citizens to thoroughly do independent research before the vote on the 23rd, whether that research sway you towards voting to leave or voting to stay. Either way, where you can try to avoid the Vote Leave and Stronger In Eu campaign propaganda as it's massively misleading from both sides and demonizes. Watch videos of the debates for yourselves, it is the best you can do.

    /rant over.
  12. So John Oliver just weighed into this.

    Sharing this here cause I imagine people will want to hear (and debate if they support leave) his points.
  13. Saw this yesterday. He didn't actually make a reasonable argument against Brexit. The closest he got to an argument was pointing out that some of the citations in the Brexit movie thingy (which I hadn't watched because I had a much better way to spend an hour and something minutes of my life) were citations to things barely related to the subject matter... That still largely proved the point of massive over-regulation. (Why is there a regulation about inflatable foot pillows?)

    No, he spent most of his time in an off-topic tangent about how UKIP is solely responsible (ignoring the 44% of the population that is certain it's going to vote leave) and accusing them of racism. Yet, the closest he could get to that was a lady who didn't understand why she disliked negros (which sounded more fantastically ignorant than malevolent) and a guy who said a word apparently so bad that he dared not to utter it again, so I will: Chinky. Also ignores the fact that people have been turfed from UKIP for being too racist.

    I have no idea what these people's policies are professionally (I don't live in the UK), but I've never heard of a UKIP bill supporting racial discrimination. They were always simply anti-immigration to me, which is not an entirely unreasonable stance to hold and is one of the primary reasons far-right parties across Europe are starting to gain traction: Nobody wants the Common Market if they're going to be flooded with millions of refugees who become dependent on welfare. I can't imagine the UK--an island that is already dependent on food imports to live--would be overly thrilled with getting hit with that.

    Oliver also completely ignored the fact that the EU has steadily grown more and more in power over the years. It has its own justice system that subverts those of local governments, it creates laws that it forces all member states to follow with no chance of a proper veto. When nations hold referendums against EU policies, the EU either flatly ignores those referendums, or forces them to vote again until the referendum holds a result they like. None of the people who establish laws are democratically elected or held responsible by the electorate of any country. It is an autocratic regime in every reasonable sense of the words. They have a private fucking multi-floor shopping mall that nobody but the bureaucrats are allowed to use, and which is apparently necessary because the number of staff in Belgium has apparently grown enough to warrant one existing.

    He, nicely, brings up the EU as though it's a factor preventing World War III starting in Europe. Which is... Silly. NATO does that, the UN does that, globalized trade does that, the rebuilding period for West Germany & Japan did that. It's a wonderful obfuscation of history, and I'm sure it'll fool some people, but not me.

    Even if this caused economic troubles in the UK (of which I highly doubt because the rest of the world exists to trade with and the EU would have to be mentally handicapped not to want to continue trading with their largest export market), for the democracy point alone, the leave campaign ends up stronger than the remain campaign. This isn't even getting into the EU trying to fast track Turkey into the EU, which Oliver also ignored, because... Reasons, I guess?
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  14. Ignoring every point on both sides, I'm just going to pretend this means Britain wants to regain the glory days of the Empire. Tally ho! The sun never sets on the tea sucking empire.
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  15. You know why the sun never sets on the British Empire?

    It's because God doesn't trust the British in the dark.
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  16. [​IMG]

    I can't possibly imagine why...
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  17. As for the main topic of leaving the EU. John Oliver wasn't the only personality to give an opinion, there were others as well.
    For those who feel like either learning more and/or debating other points I'm going to list them below too.

    Note: I'm not agreeing or disagreeing with any shared opinions (including Oliver). I'm just sharing what I can to get more dialogue going.

    Milo Yiannopoulos
    Sargon of Akkad
    TL;DR Immigration and Border Control

    And apparently Thunderf00t just debated Sargon on it too (I haven't seen this one yet).
  18. The straw poll about this has a few hundred votes on it. Right now, "Hitler Did Nothing Wrong" is winning.

    The Internet: Where Innocence comes to Die.
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  19. I'm going to assume most of those are sarcastic. XD
  20. Oh god, let it end.

    Let it all end.

    I want Scotland to have some sort of referendum that makes us exempt from ever having to have another fucking referendum.
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