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"Closer EUnion"
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starshine 10 desperate attention whore postings
DAW Level: "Got Milk? Spokesperson"

02-06-14, 04:58 PM (EST)
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"Closer EUnion"
In another thresd Kingfish asked me (or maybe my twin Starshine) So how do you feel about the proposal that the UK exit the EU? in a frivolous manner. Unfortunately I seem to have answered mostly seriously.

for those of you not wanting to read the usual load of rubbish, pro with a lot of caveats.

______

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qVrN-gkzVYI

Funnily enough we never had a referendum to enter! Instead a couple of years after joining we had one to leave, which I was too young to participate in. Now I'm not saying that the people backing the stay campaign then were lying, however if not they didn't know anything about the EU and more specifically the Treaty of Rome

At the time of course there were a lot of people around who had fought and been bombed in the war, and a lot of bad feelings about Germany, Italy and France (and to this day there are a lot of people who won't touch anything Japanese), nationalism (stoked by the war) was a big thing, so had they admitted that the EU was aiming at becoming a "United States of Europe" we would have been out like a shot.

Now after 40 years of membership we are very tightly linked in to the system, we have squandered a lot of goodwill from the Commonwealth (things like the Lomé Convention) so if not Europe where? Is NAFTA going to change from North American to North Atlantic?

For myself I would prefer if the EU was a "Common Market" with the trading of goods and services being the limit of EU control, however I appreciate that this is not a pheasable solution given the current links.

Overall the UK contributes "more than it gets back" to the EU, although these things are fuzzy and it is quite possible to argue over the benefits accrued within the economy, for example if we leave the EU and its internal market then will foreign and for that matter British companies move to an EU state to keep the free market advantages?

Can Britain keep the trade links without being part of a "United States of Europe"? Not that easy to answer, at the moment the EU says NO, however if Britain were to seriously start negotiating a departure it is possible, but would presumably be for a limited period.

I don't want my country to be a part of the "United States of Europe", but I don't want my country to become a tin pot little state with no influence, whilst we do still punch well above our weight with the Asian countries maturing I would expect that our ability to lead the world in technology and leverage that will decline, so we will need to be a part of a bigger player.


Funnily enough my old job that I really miss was working as part of a pan European team, and probably wouldn't have been possible without the EU.

OK EEC pre Maastricht, however as it is the EU now it seems easier to just use one acronym.

Regarding the war, I found it somewhat bizarre that every German I have had long conversations with (OK there are only five of them) has personally apologised to me about it, although a few did make comments along the lines of ... used to be a lovely old town here... to be fair I may have made the same sort of comments about London.

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  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
 RE: Closer EUnion kingfish 02-06-14 1
   RE: Closer EUnion starshine 02-07-14 3
 RE: Closer EUnion Molaholic 02-06-14 2

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kingfish 16764 desperate attention whore postings
DAW Level: "Playboy Centerfold"

02-06-14, 05:05 PM (EST)
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1. "RE: Closer EUnion"
LAST EDITED ON 02-07-14 AT 09:31 AM (EST)

Just call me frivolous fish.

I've always thought of the EU as a confederation where the states have the ultimate power as contrasted to the US as a confederation where the central government has the upper hand. Two fundamentally different methods of confederation and governance. The EU is what the US might be if we had not adopted the US constitution and were still states united under the Articles of Confederation.

A worthy experiment. I think that it is or will be interesting to see which will be the more successful experiment, noting of course that it would probably take more time than I have on this earth to come to any conclusions.

Not that it matters, but when I think of the EU I think of it as beginning with the Maastricht Treaty in the early 90's under which many of the EU countries (but not the UK) started using a common currency, the Euro. Edit: I am wrong there, the EU began using the Euro in 2002, thanks Wikipedia)

So it’s educational for me to be reminded that the EU existed before then (wasn't it called the European Commonwealth, or something like that?), and that it is the longer term alliance that the UK is considering leaving.




A Tribal Whoopee! We're all gonna fry.

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starshine 10 desperate attention whore postings
DAW Level: "Got Milk? Spokesperson"

02-07-14, 04:27 PM (EST)
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3. "RE: Closer EUnion"
I did try and reply earlier but Firefox decided to crash on me ;-(

Short and sweet, the States only sort of have ultimate power, most major decisions are made by meetings of ministers of the EU states, however once the decision has been made the States are obliged to put it into their national law, and then the European courts etc. have the upper hand.

For example. In the UK people in prison are not eligible to vote, a couple of prisoners appealed this to the European supreme court as a violation of their rights under the Human Rights act, and the court has ruled that it is, and that the British Government must change this. To be fair the law hasn't been changed as the court wasn't against not allowing prisoners to vote, it felt that this shouldn't apply to all prisoners as a blanket rule.

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Molaholic 8708 desperate attention whore postings
DAW Level: "Playboy Centerfold"

02-06-14, 05:45 PM (EST)
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2. "RE: Closer EUnion"
As an outsider, I've found the relationship between the UK and EU very interesting. As many may know, I spent this past New Year's holiday in London and Paris. I noticed a clear nationalistic bent while in the UK, even taking note of items for sale marked "PRODUCT OF THE UNITED KINGDOM" (or similar language). This wasn't nearly as prevalent in France.

In 2010 I was on a tour through central Europe, visiting Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Italy, Austria and Switzerland. I was disappointed that there were no passport controls moving across these borders (we did have a passport check just before boarding the Eurostar train between London and Paris). Also, as a tourist, I found managing coins and banknotes in Pounds much easier than Euros (but the Swiss Francs were fun!).

As far as remembering the war -- one of the highlights last month was a tour to the beaches of Normandy. There is a strong presence throughout the region, with several German gun emplacements still standing. I had read that only in the last couple of years were tourists from Germany seen in Normandy, and very few of them actually visited the beaches.

Of course my experience doesn't involve any of the day-to-day financial impact of actually living in the EU/UK environment, so I'll leave that to your observations.


Ride, Moley, ride!

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