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If there was an 'In/Out' referendum on Europe, how would you vote?

(153 Posts)
CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 21-Oct-11 07:20:14

I've always been a pro-European and think that leaving the EU would present more problems than it would solve. But recent events have thrown up some fundamental questions that make me less confident in that opinion. Which way would you vote if a referendum was held and why?

EdithWeston Fri 21-Oct-11 07:53:55

I have generally been anti, and would vote "out", especially as recent events have highlighted the dysfunctions.

I would however seek to remain in EFTA and EEA - which provide a model much closer to the "Common Market" (which was how EEC was presented to the public at the time of the last referendum).

scaryteacher Fri 21-Oct-11 10:42:07

I would vote out, but would want either to to remain in EFTA and EEA, or forge better trade links with the Commonwealth and English speaking nations.

I see the waste and expensive pointless vanity projects living near Brussels. I am also aware of the futile move of the parliament to Strasbourg once a month (a city like Brussels that exists on the back of EU expenses), just to keep the French happy.

I have also seen the motorway in Spain built exits that go nowhere (just in case there's ever a town at the end of one of the exits) with EU money, and the motorway in Bulgaria that went nowhere, again built with EU money. It is a wasteful, opaque, and overly bureaucratic organisation that does nothing to improve ordinary lives, but meddles because it can, and because it's fonctionnaires need to justify their existence somehow.

MrPants Fri 21-Oct-11 11:45:14

Assuming it was an option, I'd vote for a European Free Trade Area, AKA 'the common market', and ditch everything else.

I would do this because EU law is, amongst many things, stifling British businesses leading to higher than necessary unemployment - such as the Agency Workers Regulations, the Carbon Trading scheme and the proposed Tobin Tax.

Solopower Sat 22-Oct-11 10:49:54

I think it depends on whether you think big or small units are the way to go.

At the beginning of all this (I was an adult in 1896) I thought bigger was better; that the Europeans were generally more humane (than Mrs Thatcher's government), and that caring and sharing was what it was all about. But now I understand the horrors of globalisation, I'm not sure that these huge entities work.

What we need to do is look back over the last 20 years or so and see the effects that Europe-wide policies have had on fishing, farming, banking, employment, education, etc. But even if we broke away, I doubt that would break the power of the banks and global companies.

I do like the fact that we have the right to go to universities and get jobs in Europe. All that stuff makes us better at understanding each other.

Solopower Sat 22-Oct-11 10:50:49

AArgh! Not free trade, Mr Pants! That's pants (couldn't resist it, sorry).

claig Sat 22-Oct-11 11:03:59

'(I was an adult in 1896)'

That was indeed a historic year. It was the year that the 'Daily Mail' was founded. How was it greeted? Was it with the same rapturous approval as today?

Solopower Sat 22-Oct-11 11:13:20

Oops! blush

scaryteacher Sun 23-Oct-11 16:33:22

Had a discussion on this the other day with a group of international mums.

The American married to a European said larger was better, and that it worked in the US. I disagreed (for Europe) and pointed out that Europe is actually all nations states so perhaps there are more barriers there than in the US. It also took a civil war in the US to get the groups (north and South) together in any meaningful way.

I am wholly unconvinced that deeper integration is the way to go. What happens when it all fractures apart, as it did in Yugloslavia? Kosovo is just about to kick off again, and there are and will be tensions depending on if Turkey is allowed to join.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 24-Oct-11 07:20:32

I've generally supported the UK 'expansionist' policy.... widening the borders of the EU to encompass as many countries as possible, investing in those countries to get them up to speed as trading partners and improving the affluence of Europe as a whole. I think this should carry on. I don't support the 'centralist' strategy of limiting membership and greater integration of the core countries. Sadly, I think we got both at the same time ie. attempting to integrate a large, economically varied group of countries within the Eurozone, and world events are showing up the inevitable cracks of that strategy.

scaryteacher Mon 24-Oct-11 10:08:47

Cogito - look at the expansionist problems though. The flood of beggars in to Belgium is enormous, and many of them are obviously used by gangmasters. The value of an Albanian or Romanian child in begging and benefits can total up to a £100k for someone. Do we really want that?

Add to this the culture they bring with them - bloodfeuds, the Bulgarian mafia, that wasn't what we signed up for.

niceguy2 Mon 24-Oct-11 10:27:39

Personally I think that Europe as a common market is a good thing. But it seems over the last 15-20 years certain countries (namely France & Germany) have wanted a European superstate. And that was never going to work and now it appears true.

So on that basis I'd probably vote we come out unless they commit to stop slowly encroaching on our national interests.

That said, timing is everything and right now is not the time to come out of the EU. It would utterly destroy what fragile confidence remains in the economy.

I'm a bit meh about the EU but I certainly don't want to commit economic suicide.

rycooler Mon 24-Oct-11 10:36:37

I'd vote out - no one under the age of 54 has had a say on Britian's membership of the EU - that's not democracy.

OTheHugeWerewolef Mon 24-Oct-11 11:08:07

I'd vote out. The EU is profoundly undemocratic, stifles individual nations' ability to adjust their economies to reflect local conditions, is wreaking havoc in less solvent EU nations and seems to exist largely to support a caste of unelected bureaucrats at the centre while doing very little for ordinary people.

I was in Istanbul at the weekend. Having grumbled for ages about being refused membership of the EU, Turkey is currently thanking its lucky stars that they dodged that bullet - their economy is going great guns while the rest of Europe stagnates while EU governments keep pumping fake money into the economy to prop up the monster they've created.

A Foreign Office friend of mine says it's been an open secret at the FO for some time that they refuse to do a cost/benefit analysis of the UK's EU membership, as it's such a knife edge. The constant demands for bailout money recently have clearly tipped that balance. Even before we get onto the matter of the conflict between UK common law and European Napoleonic law, to me it seems that the EU has run its course. I think we should leave.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 24-Oct-11 11:33:16

@scaryteacher. Obviously I don't condone criminal human trafficking. But Albania isn't in the EU so, if children from there are being brought in by gangs anyway, their membership isn't the cause. It could be argued that, in a wider EU area, it would make cross border policing easier.

OTheHugeWerewolef Mon 24-Oct-11 12:13:54

Great, yes, more cross-border policing. Let's allow UK citizens to be extradited to other EU countries on trivial charges under the European Arrest Warrant, while the European human rights court stops us deporting rapists in case it breaches their human rights. hmm

scaryteacher Mon 24-Oct-11 12:51:16

Cogito - no, the Albanians aren't yet, but will be soon I think, and have visa liberalisation, and it doesn't look too hard to get a document saying why you want to come to Europe (and then can travel freely within Schengen countries) and the Romanians are already in and causing problems.

TheBrideofFrankenstein Mon 24-Oct-11 13:36:18

I'd vote in (reluctantly) because if we are outside the free trade block of Europe we're screwed as all our exports will be subject to import tax.

However, I hate what the EU has become- an unwieldy and bureaucratic gravy train

OTheHugeWerewolef Mon 24-Oct-11 14:11:22

Bride OTOH if we didn't have to give zillions to the EU to fund the expense account of a legion of faceless paper-shunters we might be able to drop business taxes enough to make up the difference, and possibly encourage a bit of job creation outside Brussels in the process. Not to mention handing a small fortune back to businesses by reducing the amount of useless red tape hmm

mousyfledermaus Mon 24-Oct-11 14:14:30

definately in.
think of all the pensioners in spain, which is only possible because of the european union.

razors Mon 24-Oct-11 23:17:23

I'd vote out. The amount of money wasted in the EU is a disgrace. The MP's have voted NO to a referendum - when 63% of the voters want a referendum - how is that democratic? I don't buy this bollocks about now is not the time - ok if not now when? just tell us when we will get the chance to have a say about our membership - what we voted for back in the 70's is not what we have today. I heard on the news this morning that we are not allowed to trade with African countries because it will mean the French will lose out wtf???

Out of Europe - Norway and Switzerland seem to be doing OK. I'm sure we will be too - we can protect our borders, have some control over immigration and £40 MILLION a day to spend!

The fact that they have never submitted their accounts makes me want to spit. It' rotten to the core and I don't want to be a part of it.

rycooler Mon 24-Oct-11 23:22:35

There isn't go to be a referendum - what a surprise.

AnnieLobeseder Mon 24-Oct-11 23:23:44

Out. I confess I don't know much about trade, but some of the over-arching employment and 'elf and safety laws they've imposed are ludicrous. I'm all for protecting the employee from unfair dismissal, but under EU laws you can't seem to fire anyone at all ever, no matter how crap they are at their job. So unfair on bosses (like my DH) who then have to unfairly pile more work on the good employees while the slackers/incompetents do nothing and can't be chucked out.

razors Mon 24-Oct-11 23:33:11

rycooler yeah surprise eh? I wonder if those 70 MP's did rebel and vote yes? I'll read up on it tomorrow - time for bed now

WetAugust Tue 25-Oct-11 00:33:39


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