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So, then: in or out?

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by Agent_W, Feb 21, 2016.

  1. Agent_W

    Agent_W Active Member

    For those of you looking for a thread on belly buttons, I think you're gonna be disappointed.

    If you're into talking about the Europe thing though, you may be in the right place.

    I must admit, I'm dithering like a shitting dog about this. I've talked to a few people and read a few things and they all make convincing arguments. Are you in or out? And why?
     
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  3. leedsman1954

    leedsman1954 Member

    I'm with the "out" camp. For a start we are paying 10 billion pounds a year in membership fees along with all the money going abroad in child benefits. They say we can't afford a particular drug , have more nurses, teachers or whatever, but 10 billion would pay for all that.
    The scaremongers say that 3 million jobs depend on the EU. Where do they get this from? If a country wants to buy whatever we make then they'll buy it regardless of membership. There won't be any tariff wars because that works both ways. Can you see Mr.Volkswagen, Mr.Renault etc. letting them impose tariffs when we would make their cars more expensive? And apparently exports to the EU are down but up to the rest of the world.
    Norway and Switzerland aren't members and they are two of the richest countries.
    Being out would let us get proper border controls. At the moment anyone can just turn up and we have no idea who they are.
     
  4. tome

    tome Active Member

    I'm for out.

    I can't believe Jeremy Corbyn can achieve most things on his wish list whilst we stay in the EU. It would be impossible to renationalise railway and utility companies under current EU regulations. Furthermore, the increasing privatisation of the NHS would also be impossible to reverse.

    I can fully understand people's indecision. OUT campaigners quote facts about what EU costs but not facts about the benefits. IN campaigners are for the most part basing their arguments on scaremongering with innuendo.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2016
  5. Agent_W

    Agent_W Active Member

    For the sake of debate, some of the answers I am about to give may not necessarily reflect what I believe. Some of it is what I've heard other people say and I've not been able to answer.

    I believe this is what people refer to as a "false binary". It's not a straight choice between one or the other. Scrap Trident and we'd have way more money to spend. Doesn't necessarily mean we'd spend it on drugs, nurses or teachers. More likely it'd go on tax breaks for the rich. Remember, the Tories' plan is the full abolition of all state provision of public services. Francis Maude said so in (I think) 2013.

    Good question, and also nicely illustrates the problem we all face in making this decision. Expect to be lied to constantly for the next four months

    As we've seen this week, Europe can change. At the moment we're kind of part of a club that makes it easier to buy each other's stuff. There is nothing to say that, if we vote to leave, in a year's time (or whenever), the rest of Europe will get together for a chat and say "Guys, we should be buying each other's stuff, not stuff from Britain, otherwise what's the point of being in this club?". They then negotiate, between themselves, an EU-wide deal that makes it more attractive to buy stuff from other club members than from Britain. We would have absolutely no say in that negotiation, but we could get stung by it.

    The UK isn't Norway or Switzerland. Norway is very wealthy because of state-controlled oil revenues. They also have high wages, high prices and high taxes. Switzerland has the legendary Swiss banks and the dubious morality that goes with them. The UK doesn't have what Norway and Switzerland have. What works for them wouldn't work for us. It's comparing apples and oranges.

    What would that look like in practice? What would we be able to do differently? I'm only asking because I hear this said a lot, and I've never had answers to those questions from anyone.
     
  6. alfonse

    alfonse Member

    In. If anyone really thinks working conditions are going to improve for folk outside the EU, then it'd be wise to remember that all of the progressive worker/general populace laws that we have now (working time directive, sick pay during holidays (i.e. you get your holidays back), Human Rights Act,etc) have all come from the EU. Now that in itself isn't enough to consider staying in for the sake of it. The EU is overall a horrible neoliberal mess, there's no doubting that. There's also no doubting that if we leave, then IDS and horrible twats like him will get rid of all progressive social things that the EU currently protects - there is no doubt about that - he wants rid of the HRA. The Tory equivalent of this will be much much worse than you can ever imagine. Also, leaving the EU because of TTIP will not stop Hamoron poodling along with it Blair style to the US corporations - we've see how the Tories have dealt with privatisations over the past 6 years and that will continue and continue shifting money from us to big US Corporations. All environmental concerns will be scrapped by the Tories if we leave, witness the fucking over of renewable subsidies for fracking and nukes to please both Gidiot's father in law and NATO in effect.

    There's arguments on both sides in or out. If I was being flippant, I'd say anything that pisses off Nigel Farrige, i.e. staying in the EU, is to be applauded. It's more complicated than that of course.

    I'm too scared to contemplate us being separate from the EU whilst the Tories are in charge…..
     
    Croggy likes this.
  7. Agent_W

    Agent_W Active Member

    With regard to the railways, I would say this: other countries within the EU have state-run railways, so my hunch is that renationalisation could be done. Utilities might be a different matter, but EDF, for example, is largely state-owned. So maybe that could be done too.

    I fear your point about the NHS is largely moot. It's going to be privatised anyway, in or out of Europe.
     
  8. tome

    tome Active Member

    Here is some info from Brendan Chilton's blog.

    "In his August 2015 policy document ‘A People’s Railway’, Jeremy Corbyn proposed ‘an integrated publicly owned railway network that is run by the people for the people.’ He promised a new Railways Act in 2020 to bring the railways back into public control.
    An ‘integrated publicly owned railway network’ is illegal under EU law. Directive 2012/34/EU establishing a Single European Railway Area provides that there must be a considerable degree of separation between track and rolling stock. Nor can railways be run for the people by the people. They must be managed independently of government. Train companies must be run according to commercial principles. Competition must be accepted in freight and international passenger services. Competition cannot be precluded in principle for major domestic passenger services.
    The European Commission has proposed further measures to extend competition. If they are adopted and, as planned, enter into force in 2019, Jeremy Corbyn’s policies for an integrated publicly owned railway run by the people will be entirely illegal under EU law. Total legal separation of the track and infrastructure will be mandatory. Competitive tendering of all major railway franchises according to EU public procurement law will also be compulsory. Every railway company in the EU will have a right to compete for all rail services, and to lease rolling stock for the purpose of doing so.

    2.Ending the privatisation of the National Health Service
    Jeremy Corbyn has stated that he wants to ensure that the NHS is ‘completely publicly run and publicly accountable.’ The UK’s ability to make health policy is, however, increasingly constrained by EU law. For example, the Patients’ Rights Directive 2011/24/EU (codifying earlier case law of the Luxembourg-based European Court of Justice) makes detailed provision about the ability of patients to seek treatment elsewhere in the EU.
    Removing the private sector from the NHS will be very difficult to reconcile with certain fundamental principles of EU law, including the freedom to provide services, EU public procurement, competition and state aid law. This is admittedly an area of considerable legal complexity, meaning that conclusions cannot be stated with complete certainty. Leaked legal advice to the Department of Health in November 2006 on this topic (when EU law was less developed) ran to 44 pages.
    That legal advice suggested that private companies could have the right under EU law to sue the NHS for ‘abuse of a dominant position’ or ‘collusion’ in the single market and that GPs constitute economic ‘undertakings’, making them subject to EU competition law. It concluded that the Department of Health and the NHS will ‘continue to be exposed to the risk of investigations, possible damages actions and even, in serious cases, fines under [EU] competition law.’ It also questioned whether NHS trusts’ ‘exemption from corporation tax’ was compatible with EU law, stating that ‘the State aid rules may apply to the grant of funding and other benefits from State resources to public healthcare bodies.’
    EU law constitutes a serious obstacle to the return of the NHS to public ownership. Any attempt to do so while the UK remains in the EU will be challenged in the UK and EU courts by well-funded private healthcare companies who stand to lose lucrative contracts as a result. If such challenges succeed, companies might win damages out of the NHS budget and the UK could be fined by the European Commission and Luxembourg Court for attempting to return the NHS to the public sector. This danger will only increase if the EU’s proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is agreed to.

    3.Public ownership of the energy companies
    On 7 August 2015, Jeremy Corbyn stated:
    ‘I would want the public ownership of the gas and the National Grid . . . [and] I would personally wish that the big six were under public control, or public ownership in some form… energy should be publicly owned, whether that’s at community, municipal or national level’.
    This policy would encounter serious obstacles under existing EU law. Two EU directives (2009/72/EC and 2009/73/EC) on the ‘internal market’ in natural gas and electricity constrain the ability of the British Government to undertake radical reform of the energy market. Both commit member states to competitive markets, and give customers the right to change their supplier, with that provider’s assistance, within three weeks. Non-household customers have the right under these directives to contract simultaneously with several suppliers. Member states are also required to ‘unbundle’ transmission systems and transmission systems operators, allowing for third party access to the distribution system to be progressively rolled out by 2017."
     
  9. Agent_W

    Agent_W Active Member

    Interesting stuff.

    There'd be nothing to stop a government setting up two different companies to run rail infrastructure and to run trains, I'm assuming - that's what SNCF does in France, according to this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SNCF

    "In the past SNCF also owned the tracks, but this has changed due to EU Directive 91/440. Since 1997 the tracks and signalling have belonged to a separate government body, Réseau ferré de France; this change was intended to open the market to independent train operating companies, although few have yet appeared. RFF contracts all track maintenance and the operation of signalling to SNCF, which also retains ownership of all the stations."
     
  10. tome

    tome Active Member

    Any more for any more?

    In, out. Shake it all about!
     
  11. eggle

    eggle Member

    Favourite Bands:
    Fred The Oyster
    It's a bugger of a dilemma - support Cameron or (Brutus) Johnson, odious Gove, IDS, Farage et al. Still not that hard really - I'm for staying in - Human Rights Act for one of the many other reasons as said above. Never thought I'd support those I've fought against over the years :(
     
  12. Hairyloon

    Hairyloon Active Member

    I am minded to campaign for a third option on the ballot: to shake it all about.
    Specifically to go back and propose some proper reform to address the real issues, and not pander to the pathetic protestations of the petty proletariat.
    I don't doubt that the people of the rest of Europe are as fed up or more so than us about the problems of the EU, particularly the undemocratic unaccountability of it, so they should all be keen to sort it out.
    Unfortunately I suspect that their politicians are not much less out of touch than ours, so perhaps that is a non-starter.
     
  13. Agent_W

    Agent_W Active Member

    Or, to put it another way, if the EU is imperfect, do we try to change it by staying in, or ditch it altogether?

    To go back to Norway and Switzerland, they are bound by some EU rules if they want to trade with the EU. That's where we'd be if we left: bound by some of those rules, but without any say in how they're formed, or how they're changed. That's where the "sovereignty" argument falls down a bit.
     
  14. Hairyloon

    Hairyloon Active Member

    The sovereignty argument falls down a lot when you look at some of the things they complain about: most of them are either made up by the tabloids or they are entirely sensible regulations implemented with the added spin of an incompetent bureaucracy.
    Look at Council Regulation (EC) No 73/2009 as a good example...
     
  15. Agent_W

    Agent_W Active Member

    Iain, Duncan and Smith live rent-free in a house owned by their collective father-in-law, who gets shitloads of cash every year from the EU in farm subsidy money. Yet Iain, Duncan and Smith, collectively, think that we're better off out.

    Pardon my French, but what the **** is that about?
     
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  16. Stardust

    Stardust Registered User

    I'm tempted to say out.....mostly because I can't bring myself to agree with anything that David Cameron wants. But to be honest I am still on the fence. I certainly need to look in to it more before I decide.
     
    Croggy likes this.
  17. Agent_W

    Agent_W Active Member

    It's weird. I can totally understand the "company you keep" argument. Cameron's an out-and-out shithouse, obvs, but if you look who's in the other camp (Farage, Galloway, Johnson, to name just three), it's also a collection of shithouses. It's like we're being asked to choose the least worst option, rather than the best.

    It's also astonishing (to me at least) that people who broadly agree on things (I'm particularly thinking about Michael Howard and David Cameron here - they go back a long way) can take the same information and come to completely different conclusions. Hard facts are in short supply, because everyone in the debate is trying to make their point. There was a wonderful half-hour on the radio the other day where people were taking arguments from both sides and taking them to bits. They were really knowledgeable about European law and stuff, and it made me wish that there was more of that sort of thing about.

    I also had a thought about how Corbyn's shadow Cabinet reshuffle was reported, and about how if the same standards were applied across the board, the headlines in all the papers, every day, would be along the lines of "TORY PARTY RIPS ITSELF APART ON EUROPE. AGAIN."

    The relationship between politics and the media is fucked. We're being asked to make a decision that has massive consequences, and we're mainly being given opinion to work with. We're not being given the material to form our own opinions, and it is boiling down to who we think is the bigger c***, and choosing the other side.
     
  18. Croggy

    Croggy Cereal Forumer Staff Member

    Although I am loathe to agree with Cameron, I think I'll be voting to stay in.
     
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  19. bongobenny

    bongobenny Well-Known Member

    Agreed Croggy. It's a horrible feeling. I'm in as well, I just hope he doesn't make a pigs ear of it.
     
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  20. Agent_W

    Agent_W Active Member

    That should be "a pig's mouth", surely?

    Must admit, I'm now leaning towards voting for in.

    I don't fancy some of the stuff they'd be able to get away with if we voted for out. Working hours, maternity/paternity leave, environment stuff, quality controls on stuff we buy - there's some European legislation there that's actually quite good. It's not "communist" (as some would have it) to look after your workers and stop them buying shoddy, dangerous shit.

    As a human (some days at least), I quite like the idea of human rights, too.

    The EU is by no means perfect, but it does some good stuff. The world is very, very uncertain. I'm not 100% sure that we'd be better off going it alone, and all the arguments I've heard so far for going it alone seem to be a bit gung-ho. I was reading a thing earlier, written by an economist, about a currency union in Africa, and how it would share risk and reduce the impact of economic shocks. I can't share it because it's behind a paywall. I'm not suggesting we should join the Euro, but it did strike me that if the rest of the world is thinking of joining (or making) trade blocs, it'd be a bit daft to leave one.

    There's still three and a bit months to go, though. There's plenty of time for each side to argue their case.
     
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  21. Croggy

    Croggy Cereal Forumer Staff Member

    I haven't read all theinfo on the link but it seems to be facts, without the spin. Decide for yourselves. https://fullfact.org/europe/

    "The EU referendum
    Full Fact is factchecking the EU referendum.

    Ahead of the vote on 23 June, we’ve started putting together a collection of impartial answers covering things like themembership fee, EU immigration and the number of laws“made in Brussels”.

    Let us know what else we should be factchecking or explaining about the EU. You can get in touch by email, Twitter orFacebook.

    Whichever side you end up on, get the facts."
     
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