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The EU

(53 Posts)
The80sweregreat Sun 10-May-15 10:56:27

These last few months and days have been gruelling with regards the election. Can you imagine how its going to be with the thought of months of debate over the EU? Surely this will detract people from whats really going on (welfare cuts NHS etc etc) and lead to all kinds of other problems with the yes and no campaigns trying to win votes. Its hard for me to get my head around and i do listen to the radio and watch political programes to try and educate myself a bit too. I just fear it will drag on and get people bogged down in political dogma. I am dreading it really.

Mistigri Sun 10-May-15 10:58:14

It's going to be brutal IMO.

I bet Cameron is ruing the day he decided to buy votes by signing a pact with the devil.

The80sweregreat Sun 10-May-15 11:01:25

Who did DC do a pact with? I think we will stay in myself.

Triliteral Sun 10-May-15 11:10:24

I didn't want to see a Conservative majority, however part of me was fascinated by the idea of watching David Cameron actually having to try to deliver on some of the more rash promises he was making. Honestly though, I found the result alarming overall as I feel the instability that will now be created is unlikely to be good for the United Kingdom. Businesses will not invest in a country they see as unstable. The situation is worrying, to say the least.

The80sweregreat Sun 10-May-15 11:13:52

Yes, he is on the backfoot really. He promised a referendum to stop people voting Ukip and then he won anyway.. A divided UK isnt good for anyone.

RedToothBrush Sun 10-May-15 11:33:29

This has come up on another thread because I am really worried about the UK leaving the EU.

However I think there has been a calculated gamble made by Cameron and Osborne here that doesn't change too much even with a majority.

The Conservatives have a massive problem within their own party because of the divide between the pro-Europeans and the Euroskeptics. Its dogged them for years. No leader has really been brave enough to tackle the infighting head on. Until now.

I do not believe either Cameron or Osbourne want to leave the EU. It will ruin their economic plans.

The big thing is in order to have a referendum, they need to get it approved by parliament. This will be a tough call. They could try and use the whip for this, however its likely to cause a massive problem. Osbourne apparently promised at the end of last year this would be a free vote. By doing that, he has appeased the pro-Europeans. It also means that if they loose the vote, the Leadership do not loose face.

Remember too Boris is pro-Europe.

In the meantime they plan to try and renegotiate the UK's relationship with Europe. This might appease a lot of the public and address some of the areas that people have the biggest problem with. The political mood in Europe is that they NEED the UK and don't want us to leave so will be more open minded to allowing this rather than in the past. They are aware of the need for reformation of the EU.

I'm not convinced it will come to a public referendum for that reason. And they plan to destroy the UKIP calls for one in the future through renegotiation.

Big gamble, but also quite an intelligent one.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Sun 10-May-15 11:42:10

I only hope he didn't gamble with the economy RedToothBrush. The level of uncertainty that's going to exist until we rule out a referendum can't possibly be good. Add another round of welfare cuts to that and it could be really bad.

The80sweregreat Sun 10-May-15 11:42:54

Ill be pleased when its done and dusted. Its going to be so difficult for people to understand it all. A bit like the Scotland promises and wrangling for them!

ShouldIworryornothelp Sun 10-May-15 11:46:47

One of the German papers headlines was their fear for the EU if we leave it.

We won't.

I reckon if Cameron is able to negotiate better terms for the UK under threat of us leaving people will vote to keep the EU. That's pretty much all people want is fairer treatment for the UK. Who said the quote "we want to be in the driving seat in Europe not just a passenger"

The powers that be know the EU will struggle without the UK so hopefully that's a pretty strong bargaining chip for us.

Fwiw I want us to stay in Europe.

Mistigri Sun 10-May-15 11:53:23

I think Cameron's hand is rather weak - Merkel will offer some crumbs but it will not go nearly far enough for the eurosceptics.

Big business in the UK is going to wake up at some point, hopefully not quite as late as it did in the Scottish referendum. I think that unless some serious money is spent on countering the bloody immigrants (UKIP) and bloody Eurocrats (Tory right) narrative, the UK risks sleep-walking out of the EU. The Tory party will be too divided on this issue and won't campaign effectively, Labour have just come out of a bruising election and won't want to make the same mistake they made in Scotland (plus they have their sceptical top).

Mistigri Sun 10-May-15 11:56:13

they have their sceptics too that should say!

ThinkAboutItTomorrow Sun 10-May-15 11:58:54

I don't think there is any question Redtoothbrush - the referendum will happen. I think if anything they might legislate to have it sooner than 2017 to minimise the uncertainty time for business investment and the political distraction it brings.

DC has an interesting juggling act in the next 5 years. He has committed not to run for a 3rd term so would need to step down in 2019 at the latest. 2 years of cuts and underinvestment from business wary of a UK exit from the EU will be brutal. It will be a very unpopular government arguing to stay in the EU in 2017. With a very vocal 'out' campaign from the looks of the UKIP result and the Tory back benchers.

There is a real risk that an anti- government protest vote mixed with those who genuinely want out of the EU will lead to us leaving. Which would be a disaster in my opinion, and that of the majority of business leaders, union leaders and economists.

RedToothBrush Sun 10-May-15 12:00:11

If we leave Europe, Germany ends up being the one with the most to loose in Europe. Their economy has tailed off and isn't doing quite as well as predicted. They have a bunch of bonds about to mature which won't make any money. If they had been in a boom period and the mood at home wasn't so hostile towards the fact they are having to deal with the new greek government trying to not repay their debts then Merkel would have a stronger hand. Its the best timing we are ever going to get.

As for Euroskeptics. There are some who don't want less than a full exit so won't be satisfied with any compromise.

The technical term for these is 'loons' I believe.

Mistigri Sun 10-May-15 12:04:11

ThinkAboutIt has it absolutely spot on IMO.

Apart from the business community, I'm not sure who is going to be capable of running an effective pro-Europe campaign. It's not in any party's interests except the Greens and left-leaning nationalist parties, whose supporters are gemerally pro Europe anyway, and who no one else will listen to.

namechange0dq8 Sun 10-May-15 12:15:14

Presumably, Labour supporters will be voting to leave Europe?

"Geography and history determine that Britain is part of Europe, and Labour wants to see Europe safe and prosperous. But the European Economic Community, which does not even include the whole of Western Europe, was never devised to suit us, and our experience as a member of it has made it more difficult for us to deal with our economic and industrial problems. It has sometimes weakened our ability to achieve the objectives of Labour's international policy.

The next Labour government, committed to radical, socialist policies for reviving the British economy, is bound to find continued membership a most serious obstacle to the fulfilment of those policies. In particular the rules of the Treaty of Rome are bound to conflict with our strategy for economic growth and full employment, our proposals on industrial policy and for increasing trade, and our need to restore exchange controls and to regulate direct overseas investment. Moreover, by preventing us from buying food from the best sources of world supply, they would run counter to our plans to control prices and inflation.

For all these reasons, British withdrawal from the Community is the right policy for Britain - to be completed well within the lifetime of the parliament. That is our commitment. But we are also committed to bring about withdrawal in an amicable and orderly way, so that we do not prejudice employment or the prospect of increased political and economic co-operation with the whole of Europe."

RedToothBrush Sun 10-May-15 12:17:48

When businesses start threatening to withdraw from the UK or threaten contracts, I think that might have a pretty big effect on voter feeling and their employees mindset.

It would get nasty.

ThinkAboutItTomorrow Sun 10-May-15 12:30:22

What are you quoting from namechange?

labour's manifesto on Europe said :
"Labour’s position on Europe is clear and principled: we strongly believe Britain’s future lies at the heart of a reformed EU. The benefits of being in the EU are strategic, economic and are about the character of our country – an outward looking, confident Britain."

Mistigri Sun 10-May-15 12:48:05

I imagine that namechange is quoting from the labour manifesto circa 1980 (in which case, s/he might want to consider quoting a source in order to avoid looking like a eurosceptic who plays fast and loose with the facts).

The80sweregreat Sun 10-May-15 12:48:42

Labour doesnt want to leave Europe. DC, George, Boris etc etc dont want to leave either , it is about the only one thing they have in common! ( i stress, i know nothing, but thats how I see it) not sure about the SNP, they just want an independent Scotland. Its a mess.

AggressiveBunting Sun 10-May-15 13:02:43

The SNP want Scotland to be independent within the EU so UK leaving the EU before they get their independence is not good for them.

I don't think we'll leave but I think DC should push them hard on the concessions, because outside Europe the view is that EU minus the UK is much less credible and the other leaders know that. Whatever people think, the UK is one of the stronger economies and is a massive net contributor. Also, UK as a net importer is in a good position to independently negotiate free trade treaties with other member states- e.g. it would be stupid for Germany to refuse a free trade agreement because they sell us much more stuff than we sell them.

I also disagree that this is a distraction. I think it's the main issue of this parliament and one that's been allowed to drift for way too long.

So basically my view is we should stay, but we should use our relatively strong hand to rewrite the rules a bit.

The80sweregreat Sun 10-May-15 13:09:11

Aggressiive, thanks for that. I did many years ago, think leaving might be a good idea. But now i know differently. If its up to the people to vote it will be interesting to see how that pans out, but i guess it wont come to that.

ThinkAboutItTomorrow Sun 10-May-15 13:17:42

Oh yes, the clue's in the reference to the EEC isn't it?!

I don't see that much openness to re-writing the rules in Europe? DC's attempts to negotiate in Europe in the last few years have fallen pretty far short of success. They have a bigger Eurozone crisis to worry about and won't want to risk major treaty revision. There can't be a leader in Europe keen to go through another round of ratification referenda?

To be honest I'm not completely clear what concessions we would be going after. The idea of a veto which I've heard mentioned seems ridiculous to me. Surely it would grind Europe to a halt if everyone had a veto on key issues?

BettyCatKitten Sun 10-May-15 13:19:34

One of DCs biggest headaches will actually be his own party. They are divided on this issue, always have been. It will be interesting to watch.

namechange0dq8 Sun 10-May-15 13:27:33

It's the 1983 manifesto, the one where the Labour vote crashed below 30%.

My point being (as a Labour voter and sometime member who is completely in favour of the EU, to the point of sometimes hankering after federalism) that people who talk about how Labour should go back to its roots conveniently forget what its roots are. Who called a referendum on EEC membership after we'd joined? Labour. Whose cabinet split in two with traitors Bennites arguing furiously for withdrawal? Labour. Which great party hero who died recently to choruses of praise from the party opposed the EEC/EU right until his last breath? Benn.

The reason why Cameron is keen on a referendum is that opposition to Europe is the stuff of his backswoodmen, and it's an opportunity to look modern while leaving nutters to look reactionary (see also same sex marriage). Cameron supports the EU, Osborne does, Johnson does: the only opposition will come from has-beens, no-hopers and fruitcakes. Labour, on the other hand, will tear itself to pieces again, because opposition to Europe will be seen as the sine qua non of "real Labour", with EU support being tarred with the brush of Blairism (the only Labour leader to win an election since 1974).

Mistigri Sun 10-May-15 13:38:18

The problem for Cameron is that a large minority of Tory voters - along with 100% of those who defected to UKIP in this election but that the Tories would eventually hope to win back if UKIP implodes - are in favour of an EU exit. Many of the newly elected Tories, as well as a significant number of the "class of 2010", are eurosceptics.

I think many are underestimating the task facing Cameron. His natural allies on this issue are the Labour party and the Liberals, even though the former has a significant sceptical wing. But having been shafted over the Scottish referendum I can see Labour refusing to take the lead on this, and no one is going to listen to the Lib Dems now most of their experienced politicians have lost their seats.

Cameron is really in a weak position here - opposed in the one hand by a significant, vocal and influential Eurosceptic minority in his own party, supported by two parties who are licking their wounds and who may have little appetite to fight Cameron's fight for him.

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