back to article Three non-obvious reasons to Vote Leave on the 23rd

I'm just about old enough to remember the 1975 Europe referendum. Old enough to remember leaflets thudding onto the doormat (for every 'NO', there were three for ‘YES’). Most vividly of all I remember my father and our Austrian GP, who lived a few doors down in Teesside, discussing the EEC as he walked his dog past our house. …

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  1. Potemkine Silver badge

    Did UK make ever something positive to make EU stronger?

    Not that I recall.... a Brexit would be the first occurence of a positive action of UK for the EU.

    The biggest mistake made by european leaders was to accept UK in the EU, Brexit is a way to correct that.

    Since its entrance, UK always negotiates exceptions, refuses to be part of any reinforcement of european integration (schengen, euro zone, charter of fundamental rights...) and is the biggest 'slowdown force' into the EU to stop integration and progress among the other members.

    What UK wants is a common market, not a political union. That's why it will be best as for UK as for the EU if there is a Brexit.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: Did UK make ever something positive to make EU stronger?

      Perhaps you could explain why the UK should have accepted Schengen and the Eurozone despite them obviously not being good things.

      "Because everybody else does it" is not generally a good reason.

      Why does everybody have to be the same and do the same things in this club? I still find it very difficult to decide which way to vote but there is a huge democratic deficit in the EU and a load of things that have been kicked over to the other side of the referendum (EU Tax ID number, EU Army, Spanish budget after their elections on the 26th, bigger EU budget, further expansion, and so on). That ain't cricket.

      1. Potemkine Silver badge

        Re: Did UK make ever something positive to make EU stronger?

        "despite them obviously not being good things."

        This is an opinion, not a fact.

        Schengen helps for the free circulation of people and goods across Europe, favoring business and mind opening. It helped around 2 millions european workers to move across Europe and bring their competences where they were needed.

        For the Euro, as a European citizen, I enjoy having the same currency than our neighbors: no more banks taking their parts when converting money, no more harsh conversion to calculate the price of an item, no more unchangeable coins when getting back home...

        Also, Schengen and the euro are bold steps for a greater integration, the only way to make the EU strong on the world stage and to prevent instability across Europe.

        Should UK join Schengen and Euro (and the Charter for fundamental rights, and the membership to the Area of freedom, security and justice, follow the targets for waste recycling...) ? I don't care but if it doesn't want to, I say UK has no legitimate place in the European Union and should go out. You cannot be part of the club if you don't want to follow the common rules.

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: Did UK make ever something positive to make EU stronger?

          1. You're confusing freedom of living and working for EU citizens and border control. Being out of Schengen did do a lot to stop the effects of the refugee crisis reaching the UK. Is that racist? I don't know, but is it wrong to not want people just rocking up?

          2. It's nice that you don't have to change money if you want to go on holiday to a neighbouring country, but perhaps you don't live in Southern Europe or you do but you're sorted for a job, unlike possibly over 50% of young people. Southern Europe never had the chance to control its currency to mitigate the economic crisis and it's still paying for it.

          There is instability across Europe now. Precisely because the UK is taking up so many unemployed people from other EU countries and other EU countries are hamstrung in the face of the crisis.

          Your response is "the UK should follow the common rules because if you're in our club you follow our rules" without a single thought about if the rules are right or wrong. This is why there's referendum polls are still 50/50, why France is more eurosceptic than Britain, why Eastern Europe is turning to the far right. But what's more important is the coins look nice in your wallet. Try arguing for a change in the rules instead of arguing that countries should leave because they've found out that the rules don't work.

          1. styx-tdo

            Re: Did UK make ever something positive to make EU stronger?

            @dan

            1) less refugees does surely not have anything to do with geography and the UK not telling people to come over, like germany and sweden.. no - it was schengen.. sure.

            2) It is a bit naive to think that thes southern countries would have been better off without the EU. Spain and the other one.. Ireland? managed to get out of their debts and were actually quite vocal against a haircut for greece.. greece is another topic, that went a bit south.

            1. martinusher Silver badge

              Re: Did UK make ever something positive to make EU stronger?

              >Spain and the other one.. Ireland? managed to get out of their debts and were actually quite vocal against a haircut for greece

              Ireland is a case against the current EU. Ireland and Luxembourg are two countries that have the economic clout of a mid-sized American city but have found a way to prosper by selling themselves to multinationals as tax havens. So, for example, everyone thinks that Apple is an American company. Its not, its Irish. The only two viable states for the EU are a customs union or a full federation. The latter is going to take some time to implement but will happen -- small countries are meaningless these days -- but for now the current "we're a federation but we're not" is not doing anyone any good.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Did UK make ever something positive to make EU stronger?

                This thinking is a case for small and big countries to leave the EU. Ireland borrowed at German interest rates and risk profiles, just as all the PIIGS did. A bit like the drunk that wins the lotto. Now the money has to be paid back - no punishment at all for the banks that leant it to them, they are bailed out by the EU taxpayers, and these are paid back by the Irish taxpayers, on the hook for €100 billion. The "bailout" is portrayed as some sort of favour, when the sensible option was to default and leave the EU. The EU can regulate the shape of a banana but can't regulate it's banks !!!

          2. LDS Silver badge

            Re: Did UK make ever something positive to make EU stronger?

            While you're correct Schengen is only about removing border controls *for people only*, it helped anyway a lot to move across Europe with less issues. It really had no real impact on the refugees crisis. It was just the scapegoat. The real problem is how to protect the *external EU borders* of those countries under refugees pressure. If Britain would have been in the place of Greece or Sicily, it would have had the same problems regardless of Schengen. Just look at the US and the Mexican border.

            No EU leader took a stance about how to really control immigration across the Mediterranean. They all, including British ones, just hoped it could stop by itself, or the most exposed countries would have been forced to sustain all the issues. A pure "mors tua, vita mea" attitude. Just, some are able to reach the Channel as well... just as you can't sink them at sea, you can't really fire at them later. Nor you can't believe to jail them all.

            It was far better some countries like Italy couldn't control their currencies. They have far deeper problems (huge debt, high gov expenses to buy consensus, corruption, high taxes and evasion, low productivity, organized crime) than the value of the currency. Depreciating their money would have been just a cheap short term solution (useful for politician who can't see past the next election, and some exporting companies), which would have *increased* most people problems long-term, and lead to more emigration from those same countries.

            Meanwhile, a lot of British immigration comes from countries *outside* the EU. From the ex-empire, for example. Will it stop as soon as British leaves the EU? No, Indians, Pakistani, Africans, etc will still arrive. Most of them arrive sitting on a plane, with a valid visa. Good luck, with them.

            1. Dan 55 Silver badge

              Re: Did UK make ever something positive to make EU stronger?

              It really had no real impact on the refugees crisis. It was just the scapegoat.

              Those makeshift shanty towns near Calais are only there because there are border controls.

              The real problem is how to protect the *external EU borders* of those countries under refugees pressure.

              Build a wall like Trump? Pay off countries with very distasteful regimes so they can do the dirty work? Expand the EU so much that it becomes academic? None of them are particularly good solutions but the EU is currently engaged in all three.

              1. LDS Silver badge

                Re: Did UK make ever something positive to make EU stronger?

                No, just because there's the Channel, and French don't setup boats to smuggle them in like Libyans do. What Britain would do if that happened? Sink them?

                But you say border controls are ok to keep immigrants in Calais, but they can't work on the EU southern borders? Many of those immigrants comes also from ex British colonies, ruled by governments often with cozy relationships with Downing Street. And who created havoc in Libya, without any realistic plan for the post Gheddafi?

                And there are really no plans to extend the EU for a while. Erdogan's Turkey has no chance. Nor other countries in East Europe.

                1. subject

                  "Erdogan's Turkey has no chance." ?????????

                  @LDS: That's only half true. Because actually Turkey has EVERY chance to join the EU. Simple mathematics. They started ONLY 29 years ago, and they've ALREADY satisfied one of the key Chapters (on science and technology research iirc?). So they ONLY have 34 chapters to go. At that rate they'll be done in JUST... 34 x 29 = 991 years! So they'll be swarming our borders as early as January 3007! We must stop them! Start the clock! Lock up your women and children! Arm yourselves! Vote Leave!

                  But, unless he adds a bit of future medical technology, or brings some Romanian ancestry to the party, Erdogan might not live to see it. So, in fairness, what you said was half true.

                2. JEDIDIAH
                  Linux

                  Re: Did UK make ever something positive to make EU stronger?

                  I don't see the Greeks or Turks being terribly motivated to control their borders on this issue. If anything, it's the intervening countries between Greece and France that seem to be putting up any resistance. Of course people are going to go in droves when they hear that there will be no resistance to them. They will even risk the lives of their children during the crossing.

                  From where I sit, Greece is welcoming the Syrians with open arms. The Brits seem a lot less enthusiastic.

                  1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

                    Re: Did UK make ever something positive to make EU stronger?

                    "Of course people are going to go in droves when they hear that there will be no resistance to them. They will even risk the lives of their children during the crossing."

                    Of course. And all that life-risking just for a holiday.

          3. GrumpyOldMan

            Re: Did UK make ever something positive to make EU stronger?

            We go to Italy a lot. A few years ago I bought a shirt in Pescara - a nice Italian blue one - and while doing that engaged the young couple running the shop asking them what they and the average Italian though of the UK's position. They said, 'Envy". They were 50% better off again under the Lire - even at its worst. There is no work, youth unemployment as 40%, they had a small baby and he was a graduate engineer, she was a graduate lawyer. They wanted to come to the UK for work and for freedom. Their words, not mine. Personally, I love Italy and although 52% a 'Leave' voter if we stay I have the stuff it, I'm going somewhere hot mentality. If we have to have free movement then I'm freely moving over there.

            1. LDS Silver badge

              Re: Did UK make ever something positive to make EU stronger?

              You actually don't know there are two Italy. There's the North with very low unemployment rate, and a thriving economy comparable to Germany, and the South which is very much alike Greece, if not worse, because of the mafias.

              With the Lira Italy had a two digit inflation that was eroding salaries and savings quickly. We had 500,000 Lire banknotes. My grandmother used to change Lire into Swiss Francs to avoid inflation and sudden devaluations. Just like in some countries they change their local currencies into dollars or euro.

              Interests on debt were crazy. Taxation grew exponentially to sustain that and the state expenditures to buy electoral consensus. That lead to a huge debt, at 120% of GDP.

              Italy has a huge number of lawyers also, more than any other EU country, no surprise many of them can't find clients. Law schools can't find seats for all the students (state universities have to accept anybody)

              Some people like to believe it was a Golden Age, just it was built on an ever increasing debt, political subsidies, growing taxes, corruption,

        2. Known Hero

          Re: Did UK make ever something positive to make EU stronger?

          @Potemkine

          You cannot be part of the club if you don't want to follow the common rules.

          Im guessing your not from France or Germany otherwise your closing comment is very hollow.

        3. Darren B 1

          Re: Did UK make ever something positive to make EU stronger?

          "Schengen helps for the free circulation of people and goods across Europe, favoring business and mind opening. It helped around 2 millions european workers to move across Europe and bring their competences where they were needed."

          Not quite, almost but not quite.

          Schengen is a way to allow freedom of movement for anyone with the right to remain within the Schengen zone(either short or long term). By its nature of removing boundaries it allows the easy moment of goods within the zone.

          I do not need Britiain to be part of Schengen to allow me to work in Germany that is covered under the EU rules. Yet Switzerland is part of Schengen (not EU) but EU citizen or not I cannot just appear and start a year long stay without getting a visa of some description (the Swiss are not very forgiving if you break the rules and take the piss).

          As a member of the EU, Britain does not stop EU citizens from entering the UK and in most cases from working, what it does do is stop non-EU citizens from entering the UK without valid visa even if they do have a Schengen visas. This has been the problem with visitor from the Chinese middle classes who go the "Grand Tour of Europe" but need to apply for 2 visas rather than one. This has meant that many do not bother to come to Britain as it is too difficult.

          And for an alternative case look at the Russian football hooligan who was deported from France last week but came back 2 days later. He said as his Schengen Visa was not cancelled he was still able to travel back to France without any problem.

          So IMO Schengen has advantages but also disadvantages.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Did UK make ever something positive to make EU stronger?

            @Darren B 1 I think you may be confusing Schengen with the EFTA?

        4. Tom 38 Silver badge

          Re: Did UK make ever something positive to make EU stronger?

          For the Euro, as a European citizen, I enjoy having the same currency than our neighbors: no more banks taking their parts when converting money, no more harsh conversion to calculate the price of an item, no more unchangeable coins when getting back home...

          "Lets all be in a currency union because it makes it easier to buy things when travelling" is a ridiculous argument because it ignores the fact that currency union implies a lack of control over the levers of the economy, like currency and interest rates. See how Spain, Greece and Portugal have faired when they are forced to operate within what German industry wants. It is utterly simplistic and childish to think of the Eurozone in terms of buying pizza and beer on holiday.

          Similarly, Schengen makes absolutely no sense for UK travellers, it's a big fucking island. You will be checked coming in by boat, plane or train regardless of UK's participation in Schengen, the current border controls being a minuscule part of that process. There is no facility gained in our participation.

          A vote to "Remain" is not a vote to join either of those two barmy schemes, whilst voting to "Leave" will have us at best end up in EFTA with FSM knows what tariffs on our goods and services. Norway is a member of EFTA, they have to obey all the EU rules and regulations with no say on how they are implemented, and they still have massive tariffs on one of their largest exports (fisheries), are required to be in Schengen and have free movement of people.

          Friday cannot arrive quick enough, thoroughly sick of all this.

          1. Dan 55 Silver badge

            Re: Did UK make ever something positive to make EU stronger?

            Fine, but EEA != EFTA. See here.

          2. JEDIDIAH
            Devil

            Re: Did UK make ever something positive to make EU stronger?

            I'm from the other side of the pond and I don't care who has what currency. The notes and coins are fun to collect but that's about it. Most of my transactions are handled in plastic. Exchange fees are a minor nuissance. Compared to all of the taxes you lot pay, it doesn't seem to be that big of an amount really.

        5. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Did UK make ever something positive to make EU stronger?

          As a South African passport holder that visits multiple European countries many times a year for business and holiday, Schengen and a single currency make visiting Eu an absolute pleasure. Applying for a visa is still a pain in the *rse, but it's a helluva lot better than having to apply for multiple visas and carry multiple currencies. I wish that UK was part of Schengen.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Did UK make ever something positive to make EU stronger?

            " I wish that UK was part of Schengen."

            Absolutely. I've nearly ended up in a Spanish jail once, international travel is hell between my UK base and everywhere else in the EU. Despite my right of free movement as an EU resident. All because the UK isn't part of Schengen...

      2. daemonoid

        Re: Did UK make ever something positive to make EU stronger?

        "Perhaps you could explain why the UK should have accepted Schengen and the Eurozone despite them obviously not being good things."

        Schengen is a rather good thing - it means that I can happily pass an arbitrary invisible line in the ground without a whole load of rigmarole just because the people in charge of one side of the line want me to pay my taxes to them rather than those on the other side of the line.

        The eurozone is similarly rather useful - I buy stuff without being charged a fee / uneven exchange rate. I get to pop across the borders without pre-planning and a whole load of faffing.

    2. MyffyW Silver badge

      Positive effect of UK on EU

      We are the petulant child in the class, always trying the teachers patience, sometimes making our peers laugh, other times making them look away. We are the original awkward squad, and long may we be that way. In my opinion we'll have more influence inside, but I respect there are honourable reasons for wanting to leave.

    3. Graham Marsden
      Boffin

      Re: Did UK make ever something positive to make EU stronger?

      Politicial union or a "United States of Europe" is one of those bogeymen that the Out campaign like to trot out to try to scare people into supporting them, just like the £350million figure (or 30 pence a day) or the millions of cheap workers who are going to flood in when countries like Turkey join the EU (well, if they ever do, given they are at least 20 years away from qualifying for membership if they ever manage to do that at all).

      The fact is that there is a *LOT* of resistance to further union, even (or especially) in places like Germany and France and even if there was more than a vague statement of "ever closer union", consider that it took the USA over 100 years to achieve its complete union, so the idea that we'll suddenly have this foisted on us is nonsense.

      To use this as a reason to vote Out is to throw the baby out with the bathwater and grandiose claims of "taking back control" (to give to whom? Boris, Nigel, Michael and Rupert Murdoch?) or some putative new "golden age of prosperity" (sterling will tank, the markets will probably take a massive hit, exports will become more expensive so our trade will drop and we'll have to renegotiate lots of trade deals which will *not* be to our benefit) or cutting down on immigration (which is about 0.5% of our total population) are all very well, but not backed up by facts.

      This entire referendum is an internal squabble in the Tory Party which has somehow managed to suck the whole country into taking sides and Leaving in the hope of some pie-in-the-sky better future would be economic suicide.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Did UK make ever something positive to make EU stronger?

        What have you been drinking or smoking.

        Pound will tank so "exports will become more expensive".

        It is quite the opposite.

        Sir cheaper pound means more affordable exports so more exports.

        1. Indolent Wretch

          Re: Did UK make ever something positive to make EU stronger?

          That really depends on what we are making those exports out of doesn't it.

        2. Uffish

          Re: "cheaper pound means more affordable exports"

          Sir, so why hasn't the Bank of England already been ordered to cheapen the pound?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "cheaper pound means more affordable exports"

            > Sir, so why hasn't the Bank of England already been ordered to cheapen the pound?

            1) The 2008 crash wiped a lot of value off the Pound already.

            2) It kind of has with it's quantitative easing scheme since 2008

            3) Do your homework.

        3. Graham Marsden
          Facepalm

          Re: Did UK make ever something positive to make EU stronger?

          >> Pound will tank so "exports will become more expensive".

          > It is quite the opposite. Sir cheaper pound means more affordable exports so more exports.

          (Slaps self on forehead) Duh!

          That's what I get for writing that in a rush and editing on the fly (changing from imports to exports) without proof-checking :-(

          The point I was aiming to make is that we, of course, import *more* from the EU than we export, so *imports* will become more expensive, which will have a deleterious effect on our balance of trade.

        4. Ignorance is bliss

          Re: Did UK make ever something positive to make EU stronger?

          Well, if U.K. exported items made mostly from indigenous materials (sourced within U.K.), then export would indeed become cheaper as the currency devalued. But, that is NOT the case. The U.K. imports most of the raw ingredients it adds value to (e.g., manufacturing), so those prices will rise, and therefore would have to be passed on for the enterprise to make money. This isn't theory, it's extremely likely, based on the data gleaned from previous sterling devaluations. Exports generally slowed down (permanently) each time there was a devaluation because export prices ROSE, not fell, because the prices of imported inputs rose.

          This is part of the reason the U.K. came to be so dependent on financializing 'everything'. Manufacturing became hollowed out. But the financializing of 'everything' is just a huge con, a criminal enterprise really, a grand scheme of looting, so we have to relearn how to make things that other people really want and NEED. During this process (decades, at least), the U.K. will have to make do with less—a.k.a. a reduced standard of living. The only question is, will we share the pain equitably? Brexit merely brings the day of reckoning closer; staying in the E.U. just delays the inevitable—IMHO.

      2. StomperUK

        Re: Did UK make ever something positive to make EU stronger?

        When the baby is as ugly as the EU, maybe it is the best thing to throw it out with the bath water.

        The stated aim of the instigators of the EU experiment IS to create a federal states of Europe. They have completed many pieces in the puzzle ('free' movement of people (read 'dilution of national identity'), single Euro currency, the imposition of un-elected Commissioners who have huge power and influence, etc.)

        What next? An Euro Army (yes - planned), a single tax system (yes - planned), the relegation of countries' parliaments to become nothing more than regional councils - significant progress.

        Be not mistaken - the aim remains the same. To quote Viviane Reding, Vice-Commisioner of the EU,

        “At Maastricht people wanted to have us believe that we could irreversibly establish a monetary union and a new world currency without creating a United States of Europe at the same time. That was a mistake, and now that mistake needs to be corrected if we want to continue to live in a stable, economically prosperous Europe.”

        1. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

          Re: Did UK make ever something positive to make EU stronger?

          We CAN'T make a positive contribution to the EU

          Because, if you want to point out what the EU are doing wrong, you are not allowed to work in the EU. A precondition for working in the EU is to believe that it's perfect. And you get sacked if you say otherwise....

        2. heyrick Silver badge

          (read 'dilution of national identity')

          I live and work in France. Been here a bit over a decade but denied the chance to vote in this referendum as I last voted in '92 (I think).

          Like most people I have idealised memories of my childhood and it is getting harder to reconcile what I remember about growing up in England with what is going on now.

          Been watching the whole performance on TV and online and frankly losing my "national identity" is not even slightly concerning. This whole charade is absolutely fucking embarrassing.

          1. Xamol

            Re: (read 'dilution of national identity')

            I second that. Very embarrassing.

            I now live and work in Europe and the whole debate makes me cringe and slightly ashamed of a lot of the views expressed by fellow Brits. Small consolation that the Germans and Dutch I work with sympathise and tell me that there are plenty in their own countries that would express similar views. Overall I think that makes things worse...

      3. Ian Emery Silver badge

        Re: Did UK make ever something positive to make EU stronger?

        Turkey are being "Fast-Tracked"; and their appalling human-rights record, and totalitarian government issues are being ignored (see Private Eye - ad nausium)

        The EU Army WILL effectively make it "The United States of Europe"; but without all the democratic protections of the US version..

        The mainland Europeans distaste for us can be seen every year in Eurovision, so why not just admit they dont like us and go back to our old club - the Commonwealth. Many of our old colonies have at least the POTENTIAL for economic growth, the EU economy is moribund and likely dying under the weight of arbitrary EU regulations.

        BTW I have first hand experience of the UK following an insane EU directive that cost thousands of jobs, and had a huge, negative environmental impact, while the French government publicly admitted they were ignoring it.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Did UK make ever something positive to make EU stronger?

          @Ian

          "Turkey are being "Fast-Tracked";"

          Yep, All they have to do is relax the criteria, say double the processing speed. After just 29 years they've already satisfied one of the chapters. So: double the speed say 14.5 years each for the other 34 chapters. Oh my God! They'll be swarming our borders in just 445 years!

          "and their appalling human-rights record, and totalitarian government issues are being ignored (see Private Eye - ad nausium)"

          Seriously, you're dead right. And that's precisely where they come up short on most of the other 34 chapters, big time. Winston Churchill's greatest legacy, his European Convention on Human Rights, where he rammed English natural justice down Europe's throat. The EU imported the same human rights, that same English natural justice, into the Treaty of Lisbon. So it'll be the same if the UK left the EU and tried to rejoin. Too late folks, we'd get Churchill's English natural justice rammed down our throats too, an exquisite irony for the Conservative party. (Unfortunately for Scotland, they'll have to start from scratch too, the EU has said it won't give them any concessions just because it's all the Sassenach's fault)

          "The EU Army"

          Que!???

          "WILL effectively make it "The United States of Europe"; but without all the democratic protections of the US version.'"

          Right. Apple v FBI. And all the rest. We have the data. Compare the way the British trust the USA democratic protections over that of the EU. And, oh yes, compare the way the British trust the British government protections over those of EU governments: http://www.cbronline.com/news/cybersecurity/data/brits-trust-eu-over-uk-to-store-their-data-in-the-cloud-4928625 ..............:)

          Never mind, the USA has already started playing the post-referendum Brexit Consensus Song (exactly 14 minutes into https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iAgKHSNqxa8)

    4. WatAWorld

      Re: Did UK make ever something positive to make EU stronger?

      Potemkine your comment makes me wonder why the French and Polish fought the Germans in WWII.

      I mean, if you want an undemocratic mindless bureaucracy that endorses socialism and state intervention in the economy at every step, the enforces allowing big business to create standards to exclude small business, and that has a racist immigration policy, you could have had it decades earlier.

      Subtract the death camps (which I will admit is a really big subtraction) and the EU is not that different that what you would have had. The old nationalism of Germany being replaced with the new nationalism of free migration for white Europeans.

    5. dajames Silver badge
      IT Angle

      Re: Did UK make ever something positive to make EU stronger?

      What UK wants is a common market, not a political union.

      It's what I want, certainly. I think it's what most people in most European countries want, too.

      The question is: Can we destroy the EU more effectively from within or from without, because until it is destroyed there is no chance that it can be replaced by something that the European people actually want.

      The Powers that Be are behaving like Microsoft with Windows 10, here: "We don't care what you want, you're going to get what we want you to have".

      (See: There is an IT angle!)

      1. RegGuy1

        Can we destroy the EU more effectively from within or from without

        Oh, fuck.

        You don't seem to know much history. The EU exists because of history, because of competition and nationalism. So let's think this through. You get your way, and the EU is destabilised. It falls apart. Everyone wants their own things and so competes against each other, with beggar-thy-neighbour policies (probably protectionist -- no immigration, devaluing their currencies, etc). We end up in a mess, with everyone piled up at the bottom.

        Brilliant. Well done.

        Life gets really tough. Things escalate and we may get back to real conflict (look at how Poland or Hungary are behaving; it doesn't take much for tempers to rise, and with lots of national centres rather than one main focus accidents can happen).

        Conflict may not happen. But look at Europe's experience over the last 1000 years. What's madness? Doing the same thing and expecting something different.

        The EU is the solution. It really is. Throw that away and you are back to square one.

        As I said -- oh fuck.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "We don't care what you want, you're going to get what we want you to have"

        Au contraire, in your same context, that's why I decided finally to abandon Windows. Having been through a bad patch a year ago as one of the unfortunates who acquired a Windows machine loaded with Lenovo's malware, Microsoft malware was the final straw: I've been migrating systems to Linux. During the transition I refuse to permit Windows Update to update anything at all until I've checked out each and every update for Windows 10 malware. The problem is it has to be done manually by browser searches on the KB identifier - a great additional way to ensure I'll never go back to Windows sclerosis.

        I recall a parliamentary committee meeting in which a certain company's general counsel argued that the solution to hackers putting malware payloads on customer machines was 20-year custodial sentences, rather than the company bothering to secure its operating systems. Since the Lenovo and Windows 10 episodes I imagine an riposte might be "so is it your CEO? Directors? Managers? Which of your client's executives do you suggest we should extradite and jail?" A lot of people have been hurt by the malware crashing their machine in the midst of something critical, and then force-installing W10 against their will. So sooner or later there'll be a class action in which the plaintiffs allege that Microsoft's public statements about Windows Update amount to representations they make knowing them to be false, or not knowing them to be true, or recklessly, not knowing them to be true or false - pretty much the most vicious pleadings available.

        And so with this parable I return your context to the Brexit debacle. Regrettably however with Brexit it's not just the one side that's been lying to us.

    6. Dr Stephen Jones

      Re: Did UK make ever something positive to make EU stronger?

      I agree Potemkine, but your insistence on conformity and rules reminds me why people do not like the EU. The financial rules imposed on Italy, Spain and Greece has condemned a generation.

      Like Andrew, I'm not against an EU, I'm against THIS particular EU and the only way it will ever change is by member states voting to Leave. If the UK does many more will follow.

      There are many models of co-operation this one looks like it's had its day.

      1. H in The Hague Silver badge

        Re: Did UK make ever something positive to make EU stronger?

        "The financial rules imposed on Italy, Spain and Greece has condemned a generation."

        Think it's more like: the mismanagement by their national governments (right wing ones: not collecting enough taxes from the rich; left wing ones: not providing a flexible enough labour market) condemned a generation.

        I rather get the impression that without EU support these countries would have gone bust - not v good for the present and future generations either. As far as I'm aware "the financial rules" made their bailouts possible.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Did UK make ever something positive to make EU stronger?

          Sorry fellow AC but repeating the 350 number won't make it come true.

        2. LDS Silver badge

          Re: Did UK make ever something positive to make EU stronger?

          You're right, but the situation was, and still is, even worse than you write. Actually, at least in Italy, there is almost no difference between left and right parties. The former ones still with a strong communist influence, and the latter made often by people from the left, or from fascist-inspired parties. Both more interested in buying consensus through state expenditures and backing powerful lobbies (including unions, and even organized crime), than fixing issues. Taxes became high while wages are below the "euro countries" average. Tax evasion and corruption are also very high, one feeding the other.

          Actually it was the EU that forced and still forces some changes, and gave a little hope to future generations.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Did UK make ever something positive to make EU stronger?

          This is not a correct analysis. Being a Euro member allowed these countries to borrow money at German interest rates and risk profiles, which was clearly a bad idea. If they had not been in the euro, they would have been unable to borrow the money, and would have printed it instead.

          1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

            Re: Did UK make ever something positive to make EU stronger?

            "If they had not been in the euro, they would have been unable to borrow the money, and would have printed it instead."

            Sure. And hyper-inflation is no better than what they have today. Probably worse, in fact.

      2. uncle sjohie

        Re: Did UK make ever something positive to make EU stronger?

        The fact that the babyboomers in Greece have been (successfully) avoiding paying taxes since the colonels went their merry way, and consistently voted for the politicians with the best promises, is what has condemned not just their own, but the next generation as well..

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Did UK make ever something positive to make EU stronger?

      Well I dunno. for £350m a day we ought to get some kinda recognition?

      What did your rich uncle ever do for ypu?

      Paid for everythng.

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