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Bilateral EU-US trade agreement "biggest in history"

(9 Posts)
AndHarry Tue 18-Jun-13 09:25:05

Story here: BBC News

A free trade deal between the EU and USA would be hugely beneficial to both regions' industries but I read this with an odd feeling of sadness. We seem to be doing all we can to shut out developing countries forever. What hope for a prosperous future can they ever have?

somebloke123 Tue 18-Jun-13 13:28:59

If we were not in the EU we would be able to negotiate our own trade relationships, in particular with developing countries.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Tue 18-Jun-13 13:36:24

I was going to say that too smile Seems this agreement is going to be pretty irrelevant if the English vote to leave the EU.

niceguy2 Tue 18-Jun-13 13:41:00

Yes in theory we could. In practice though would we?

Economically speaking surely it's better to promote trade with other large economies and the US is still the world's biggest.

What I mean is, there is more benefit to the UK to have a free trade deal with the US than say...Nigeria or Chad. It's fine in principle to say we should promote trade with them but the reality is that their economies are so far from ours than there's little benefit in trading with them.

And this potential trade deal is for me a big reason why we shouldn't leave the EU. Do you think the US would be bothered about a free trade deal with the UK alone? No not at all. They are interested in getting access to the EU since combined we're the biggest market around.

flatpackhamster Tue 18-Jun-13 14:50:29

niceguy2

Economically speaking surely it's better to promote trade with other large economies and the US is still the world's biggest.

What I mean is, there is more benefit to the UK to have a free trade deal with the US than say...Nigeria or Chad. It's fine in principle to say we should promote trade with them but the reality is that their economies are so far from ours than there's little benefit in trading with them.

That does also make us dependent on one trade partner. As we've seen from our membership of the EEC/EU, that is to the detriment of other trading partners. You might want to have closer trading relations with the country with the largest amount of debt on earth but I'm more interested in up-and-coming nations.

And this potential trade deal is for me a big reason why we shouldn't leave the EU. Do you think the US would be bothered about a free trade deal with the UK alone? No not at all. They are interested in getting access to the EU since combined we're the biggest market around.

This trade deal applies to all nations within the EEA. So assuming the UK would remain in the EEA (and there's no reason why it wouldn't unless the EU is seriously considering cutting its nose off to spite its face) we'd still be able to take advantage of this, without having all the attendant economic and social disasters the EU brings us.

somebloke123 Tue 18-Jun-13 16:12:43

Australia has had a free trade agreement with the USA for several years and New Zealand is negotiating one, so maybe everything might be alright?

niceguy2 Tue 18-Jun-13 16:26:00

I've never really understood the whole obsession with leaving the EU but staying in the EEA. What's the HUGE benefit?

I mean ok, we get to set our own laws in certain areas where the EU is now in charge. But by the same token we're tied into a lot of EU rules & regulations which we no longer have any say over. Certainly I've seen articles from various politician's in Norway and Switzerland warning that all that glitters isn't gold. Let's say the EU develop a new standard on car emissions. We'd have to follow if we want to sell cars to EU countries.

And let's be honest eh? Which rules are really THAT bad that we must overturn completely and wouldn't replace with one as near as dammit the same. Health & safety? Is anyone going to seriously water those down? Human rights? We're going to just chuck the lot in the bin? No of course not. The reality is that we'd just replace them with slightly tweaked versions.

The only thing we'd be able to do something about is immigration. And that scares me because most of the anti-immigration arguments seem to be based upon fear, rumours and peddled heavily by the far right.

It seems to me that the UK is trying to cherry pick the rules we like in the EU and not want those that we dislike. But being part of a club isn't like that. It's probably a good reason why most EU countries are a bit sick of us.

Lastly interesting analogy about cutting off nose to spite face. It looks to me like we're the ones doing that. In fact it's more akin to "Well if you don't do what I say then I'm taking my ball home". There comes a point where people just go "Meh...whatever"

flatpackhamster Tue 18-Jun-13 17:27:53

niceguy2

I've never really understood the whole obsession with leaving the EU but staying in the EEA. What's the HUGE benefit?

I mean ok, we get to set our own laws in certain areas where the EU is now in charge. But by the same token we're tied into a lot of EU rules & regulations which we no longer have any say over. Certainly I've seen articles from various politician's in Norway and Switzerland warning that all that glitters isn't gold. Let's say the EU develop a new standard on car emissions. We'd have to follow if we want to sell cars to EU countries.

What you may not have realised is that many of those laws are now set at a level above even the EU. Cars are a good example.

Rules on vehicles are now set not by the EU but by UNECE and the World Forum for the Harmonisation of Vehicle Regulations. UNECE has been doing this for 50 years.

UNECE carries out its work through representation from countries.

As an independent nation, Norway represents itself in the committees and votes on its own behalf. Despite having no indigenous manufacturing industry, it takes an active part in the proceedings.

The UK, as a member of the EU, does not. It is represented by the EU.

And let's be honest eh? Which rules are really THAT bad that we must overturn completely and wouldn't replace with one as near as dammit the same. Health & safety? Is anyone going to seriously water those down? Human rights? We're going to just chuck the lot in the bin? No of course not. The reality is that we'd just replace them with slightly tweaked versions.

The point is this. We, the British people, would be in a position to alter that legislation through pressure on our government in Westminster. It is a fantasy to imagine we can do the same at a Commission level. If Britain decided to scrap the HRA, then that would be a decision for our elected politicians.

The only thing we'd be able to do something about is immigration. And that scares me because most of the anti-immigration arguments seem to be based upon fear, rumours and peddled heavily by the far right.

Your problem, I think, is not that you love the EU but that you fear the average voter. Look at the comedy language you use in this paragraph. Anyone opposed to mass immigration isn't doing it from a rational perspective, according to you, but through ignorance and fear. Whereas those like you in favour of mass immigration is doing it from a thought-out, considered, rational point of view.

You see the EU as a tool to keep the masses in check. And that is precisely why the EU will fail. It has no democratic mandate, no demos. It is unsupported from below.

It seems to me that the UK is trying to cherry pick the rules we like in the EU and not want those that we dislike.

Why shouldn't we cherry pick? Is it wrong for Britain to choose the rules that suit Britain?

But being part of a club isn't like that. It's probably a good reason why most EU countries are a bit sick of us.

Do you mean like France threatening to veto the free trade talks unless DVDs and 'cultural products' are removed from the discussions? I am tired of this fallacy peddled by EU fanatics that we are 'bad Europeans'. We are signed up to every bloody treaty, and our enforcers cross every T and dot every I. Take the smoking ban. Go to France, Germany, Spain, wherever. Everybody smokes where they like. Not in Britain. And that applies to every silly, meddling little rule. Britain is a far better EU member than France.

Lastly interesting analogy about cutting off nose to spite face. It looks to me like we're the ones doing that. In fact it's more akin to "Well if you don't do what I say then I'm taking my ball home". There comes a point where people just go "Meh...whatever"

They can't afford to. We pay in too much money for them to just toss us out. Not that they could, anyway, because as I'm sure you know there's only one way out and that's through us invoking Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty.

niceguy2 Tue 18-Jun-13 23:54:25

Well thought out reply FPH. And you make some interesting points.

But I certainly don't think the EU is some tool to keep the masses in check at all. I don't see why you don't think it has a mandate. We have European elections of which the UK is part of.

Let me be more specific about cherry picking. France is/was threatening to veto a deal which was under negotiation. As annoying as it is, it's less annoying than us trying to renegotiate some fundamental concepts of the EU and threatening to take our ball home if we don't get our own way.

I certainly don't favour mass immigration. I just believe there is a lot of misinformation out there. There are many who genuinely feel that immigrants have come to steal their jobs. It seems often against those from Eastern Europe who seem to have replaced the Pakistani's and Indian's who used to be blamed.

The EU is not perfect. Of course not. Just in the same way that the US government isn't perfect. Their political system also has deep flaws. But I do believe that with regards to our membership of the EU, the pro's heavily outweigh the cons.

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