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Brexit. Why do Brits want Out of the EU?

 
 
Olivier5
 
  3  
Reply Mon 24 Jul, 2017 09:46 am
Anyway, back to Brexit with this interesting hypothesis:

Brexit is the child of complacency, not pain
by Janan Ganesh for the Financial Times
https://www.ft.com/content/8d511dd4-7049-11e7-aca6-c6bd07df1a3c

In short, Britons would have had it a bit too good over the past 40 yr, and would have forgot the kind of soberness and cautioness that comes with experiencing loss.

I happen to think this is true far beyond GB.
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Jul, 2017 10:02 am
@Olivier5,
I think that's an argument that could be used with some merit on both sides of the Brexit issue. Very hard to know the truth. Worse still is that history doesn't reveal its alternatives.
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Jul, 2017 12:09 pm
@georgeob1,
Brexit means leaving the single market and the customs union. Here’s why

An opinion in The Guardian, by Barry Gardiner, the shadow trade secretary.
I share most if not all what he writes there.

Quote:
[...]
Of course we must try to retain the economic benefits of the single market when we leave the EU: some argue this means we should negotiate to stay inside the European Economic Area (EEA), which would retain the friction-free trade not only in goods but also in services, upon which the bulk of our economy is based.

However, the political price to be paid for such access is correspondingly high, and runs directly counter to the leavers’ four objectives. In the EEA, Britain would be obliged to keep the four freedoms, including the free movement of people, so no regaining control of our borders; align its regulatory regime with the EU’s – so no regaining sovereignty (in fact we would no longer have a seat at the table so there would actually be a reduction of sovereignty); follow ECJ rulings; and still pay into the EU budget.

The UK would technically not be a member of the EU, but we would in effect become a vassal state: obliged to pay into the union’s budget while having even less sovereignty than we do now – no longer able to appoint commissioners, sit on the EU council to have a say in how we determine our regulations and laws, or appoint British judges to the ECJ to adjudicate disputes. The 52% would almost certainly consider this a con.

Some have suggested we should retain membership of the customs union, the benefits of which extend to goods rather than services, and establish common import tariffs with respect to the rest of the world. But that is not possible. The only members of this union are the member states of the EU, and they alone have negotiating power.

Other countries such as Turkey have a separate customs union agreement with the EU. If we were to have a similar agreement, several things would follow: the EU’s 27 members would set the common tariffs and Britain would have no say in how they were set. We would be unable to enter into any separate bilateral free trade agreement. We would be obliged to align our regulatory regime with the EU in all areas covered by the union, without any say in the rules we had to adopt. And we would be bound by the case law of the ECJ, even though we would have no power to bring a case to the court.

As a transitional phase, a customs union agreement might be thought to have some merit. However, as an end point it is deeply unattractive. It would preclude us from making our own independent trade agreements with our five largest export markets outside the EU (the US, China, Japan, Australia and the Gulf states).

More important, were, say, the EU to negotiate an agreement with the US that was in the union’s best interests but against our own, our markets would be obliged to accept American produce with no guarantee of reciprocal access for our own goods into the US.

Turkey faces precisely such an asymmetry with Mexico, with which the EU negotiated an agreement 20 years ago. Turkey still faces a 20% tariff on its clothing goods exported to Mexico, while it imports Mexican cars on a tariff-free basis.
... ... ...
0 Replies
 
Olivier5
 
  2  
Reply Mon 24 Jul, 2017 02:51 pm
@georgeob1,
I find hard to take Brexit seriously anymore. The UK government certainly does not.... If they have any sense they'll do a second referendum in 6 month. Much ado about nothing then. Now if they're truly bent on cliff jumping, it could be an interesting jump.
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Jul, 2017 05:09 pm
@Olivier5,
Perhaps so. I don't detect any serious effort in the UK to rescind the decision of the electorate. My knowledge of the contemporary political climate there is limited, but, with the history of the last six centuries in mind, I never imagined the UK would want to become a part of a sovereign European Government, as opposed to a member of a federation. The steadily increasing reach of EU policy and judicial oversight appears to be near or past that line ( "ever closer union"}, and Brexit now fits a long historical pattern.

My hope is that both sides have the foresight and wisdom to avoid retribution and harsh actions.
Olivier5
 
  3  
Reply Mon 24 Jul, 2017 11:53 pm
@georgeob1,
I make a different reading of the anglo suicide. Sorry for stating the obvious but jumping off a cliff REQUIRES a lack of wisdom and very poor foresight. The UK just went too far in the path of disinforming and dumbing down its electorate. They followed the US on that path. Trump and Brexit are clearly linked. They are the effects of the same con job, the symptoms of the same syndrome, that mixes disinformation and parochialism. IOW, the descent of the UK-US political culture into rash stupidity and prejudice is what explains both votes.

I look forward to an interesting jump. Or not. Maybe they'll come to their senses. But it's important to realise that THEY will decide what happens to them, and they will bear the entire responsibility for it. Darwinism at work.
centrox
 
  4  
Reply Tue 25 Jul, 2017 05:25 am
@georgeob1,
georgeob1 wrote:
Perhaps so. I don't detect any serious effort in the UK to rescind the decision of the electorate.

I keep pointing this out - the 'electorate' of a country is the sum total of all the citizens who are entitled to vote. In the referendum, very slightly over one-third of the electorate voted Leave and very slightly under one-third voted Remain. So it is either mistaken or dishonest to call the referendum 'the' decision of the electorate'.
0 Replies
 
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Tue 25 Jul, 2017 08:00 am
@Olivier5,
Interesting. My recollections and impressions are that Britain was always a somewhat hesitant and reluctant member of the union, embracing association, but hesitant with respect to the "ever close union" postulate it included, That clearly was a factor (probably along with long term memories of the "sterling zone" in their decision to reject the Euro as their currency (as did some other EU members).

I'm not sure I accept your "jumping off a cliff" metaphor. The UK survived and prospered for a very long time on the other side of that cliff: the situation now is, of course, different in that almost all of her her European neighbors are now part of the EU, however, the UK has an history of economic relations all over the world, as, of course also does the EU.

I don't claim detailed knowledge of the process leading up to the Brexit vote (or of the various ratios of votes cast). I'm aware there was vigorous campaigning on both sides of this issue, and that it, and other EU issues, had been a part of the ongoing UK political debate for some time before PM Cameron put the issue before the voters ( expecting, it appears, a rejection by them).

By law,he British Parliament is the ultimate authority on such issues, and is empowered to overturn the previous vote. I'm not aware of any effort on their part to do this or even conduct another referendum. I suppose either is still possible and don't know the likelihoods involved.

Brexit was a political issue in the UK long before Trump entered the political scene. I recognize that Trump is the contemporary American boogey man in the European political scene, however there is no direct connection. I do believe that there are likely a few common factors behind public support for opposition parties ( and some in office) across Western Democracies, from Poland, to Hungary, France, the Low Countries and across the Southern Tier of the EU, however there is no organized conspiracy, if that is your point. Indeed many of the issues that appeared to motivate the Brexit vote in the UK also appear in the rhetoric in these other EU countries. They are all democracies and it is no surprise that such debates occur.
Walter Hinteler
 
  2  
Reply Tue 25 Jul, 2017 09:18 am
@georgeob1,
The former British EU negotiator says Brexit was a 'terrible idea' and even the Government doesn't understand how bad it will be. Steve Bullock also accuses government ministers of an ‘appalling dereliction of duty’ over a failure to understand the complexities of Brexit:
As a British EU negotiator, I can tell you that Brexit is going to be far worse than anyone could have guessed

georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Tue 25 Jul, 2017 10:09 am
@Walter Hinteler,
Whether separation from the EU is, for the UK a good or bad idea is something for them to decide, with their own long-term interests in mind. The quality of the process for separation is something that those involved on both sides have the ability to control. It should be no surprise to anyone that some, who oppose the separation itself, should add unnecessary complications or difficulties to the process.

Who was the "former British EU negotiator" and why was he removed? It appears there may be more to the story than you have revealed.

My impression of the multiple partly overlaying treaties involved in European Union is that they are indeed complex, likely offering a multitude of often hard-to-anticipate side effects and interactions. (A feature that itself could be a growing threat to sovereignty, and therefore a motive for leaving).

If one accepts that Brexit will become a reality ( and that is for those involved to decide), then it is clearly in the interest of both parties for both to emerge on amicable terms with the maximum ability to function as good neighbors and trading partners. Deliberately making the terms punitive seems ( to me) to defy the rational interests of both parties.
Olivier5
 
  4  
Reply Tue 25 Jul, 2017 10:50 am
@georgeob1,
Quote:
I'm not sure I accept your "jumping off a cliff" metaphor.

Keep an eye on the UK post Brexit. I'd be very surprised if they do well.

Quote:
the "ever close union" postulate

That's a US postulate, not a EU one. Nothing in the EU treaties requires an "ever closer union".

Quote:
I'm aware there was vigorous campaigning on both sides of this issue, and that it, and other EU issues, had been a part of the ongoing UK political debate for some time before PM Cameron put the issue before the voters

Long story short, the UK political establishment was never convinced about the EU but wanted to be in as a better alternative to being left out of it. But they never really adhered to the fundamental vision of the EU as a team of nations facing the same challenges together, ergo with team spirit, with a sense of "being in the same boat", and treating other team members as your equals. Maybe they did not feel European (at least not all of them did); or they thought of themselves as superior to other European nations, or entitled to more than the others, for some bizarre reason.

Whatever the reason, UK politicians and journalists have tended to treat the EU as a mere zero-sum game in which each member nation tries to extract the biggest advantage from it, at the expense of other member nations. So Cameron tried to bluff his way to a better deal, threatened to jump off the boat if he couldn't get a better deal, and the other member nations quietly called his bluff...
Walter Hinteler
 
  3  
Reply Tue 25 Jul, 2017 11:01 am
@georgeob1,
georgeob1 wrote:
Who was the "former British EU negotiator" and why was he removed? It appears there may be more to the story than you have revealed.
Well, he has been the Permanent Representative at UK Representation to the EU - diplomats in Europe usually change their posts after a certain period at a certain station. (He had worked before for the European Commission and the UK's Department for International Development’s Europe Department.)

And "the story" is told by him - I haven't seen the printed version but don't think that there's more in it.
0 Replies
 
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Tue 25 Jul, 2017 11:04 am
@Olivier5,
Well I hope both the UK and the EU both do well in any event.

I agree with your estimate of the apparent UK approach to the EU. The "ever closer union" aspiration may not be explicit in the various treaties, but it certainly appears to be an extant and long-standing aspiration of many EU advocates, and, as well, an often implicit assumption in many actions of the EU governing apparatus. It certainly appears to have been an issue in the UK Brexit debate.

With respect to the UK Brexit vote, it appears to me that it was the British voters who called PM Cameron's bluff in the referendum, and his resignation was a direct consequence.
Olivier5
 
  3  
Reply Tue 25 Jul, 2017 12:10 pm
@georgeob1,
Quote:
Well I hope both the UK and the EU both do well in any event.

Hope springs eternal. This is a train wreck IMO.

Quote:
The "ever closer union" aspiration may not be explicit in the various treaties, but it certainly appears to be an extant and long-standing aspiration of many EU advocates, and, as well, an often implicit assumption in many actions of the EU governing apparatus.

It's a very French idea, and one that is now a minority view even in France, let alone elsewhere. Making the current level of integration work is a big enough challenge.

Quote:
it was the British voters who called PM Cameron's bluff

Well, some of them, too.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  3  
Reply Wed 26 Jul, 2017 12:20 pm
blatham has just posted that saab passed away on the weekend.

farewell to a feisty lady

a smorgasbord to share in her honour

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/1e/Swedish_buffet-Sm%C3%B6rg%C3%A5sbord-01_%28cropped%29.jpg/1200px-Swedish_buffet-Sm%C3%B6rg%C3%A5sbord-01_%28cropped%29.jpg
ossobucotemp
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 Jul, 2017 12:32 pm
@ehBeth,
Oh no! I am so sorry, I have liked her a lot, lots of conversations on the boards & occasional pms. We could differ and not be bothered about it..
0 Replies
 
Ragman
 
  0  
Reply Wed 26 Jul, 2017 01:33 pm
@ehBeth,
So sorry to see the sad news about her recent passing. She will be missed. Sincerest sympathies extend to her family
0 Replies
 
Olivier5
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 Jul, 2017 03:14 pm
So sorry to read that. I always liked her even when (or especially when?) we argued about something.
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 Jul, 2017 05:40 pm
Osso created this thread:

Rest in Peace, Saab.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  2  
Reply Thu 27 Jul, 2017 08:43 am
http://i.imgur.com/mbhqVFb.png

 

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