back to article Tech biz bosses tell El Reg a Brexit will lead to a UK Techxit

Immigration is one of the main concerns for advocates of Brexit. Some IT firms from Britain and abroad who we spoke to share this concern – but in the other direction. One UK tech firm has told The Register it could be forced to leave the country if Britain votes to leave the European Union on June 23 – a Techxit, if you will …

  1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

    its not the Berlin wall FFS

    “If I was limited in the people I could bring into the business, yes, we’d have to seriously consider where our home was,” Lask told us."

    Well maybe after we've pulled up the drawbridge and barricaded the beaches , if you ask Big Dave nicely he might let your guy in if you vouch for his job

    1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

      Re: its not the Berlin wall FFS

      Britons could cross the wall relatively easily due to the Viermächtestatus of Berlin. Not that many wanted to, though.

    2. whoelse

      Re: its not the Berlin wall FFS

      The run on Irish passports from Britons looking to maintain freedom of movement undermines your argument, and may presage a run of companies migrating functions from the UK to IRE if Brexit actually happens.

      1. Eric Idle

        Re: its not the Berlin wall FFS

        Well not quite true, unless you think a few hundred extra people represents a "run" on passport applications, in the face of the net influx of 300k economic migrants we've received into the UK from the EU (mainly) who obviously aren't worried about a Brexit. ...and by the way the original article is from the Guardian not known as a Brexit supporter.

        "Between 2014 and 2015, the number of adults born in England, Scotland or Wales applying for their first Irish passport on the basis of having an Irish-born grandparent increased by more than 33%, from 379 to 507. Applications from those with one or more Irish parent rose by 11% in the same period, from 3,376 to 3,736. In the previous year, the total applying in both categories fell slightly."

        Given that only British born citizens with an Irish parent or grand parent can apply for an Irish passport, it is far, far, more likely that the numbers have been driven by the flood of Irish Citizens who came over to the UK from the 1930s onwards, and continue to come over, especially after the bubble that built up around the Celtic Tiger Myth burst in a busted flush, and who have had children in the UK.

        1. Ken 16 Silver badge
          Trollface

          Do you think there will be EU infrastructure funding

          to build a Berlin type wall along the Irish border? I can think of lots of benefits.

          1. disgruntled yank Silver badge

            Re: Do you think there will be EU infrastructure funding

            Won't tide and currents be a problem?

    3. streaky Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: its not the Berlin wall FFS

      Yes. This stuff is utterly illogical.

      Here's where it gets silly:

      Others reckon leaving the common labour market would slow their ability to move rapidly against rivals and to bring on talent in a competitive field.

      The reason? The end to freedom of movement that being a member state of the EU has provided.

      Why's this silly? Because the EU freedom of movement makes the UK implement harsher controls on immigration from outside the EU. Granted it's a matter of personal opinion if those controls have to be there, but there they are. This means it's more difficult to recruit tech talent from the US, from India, from China, from Japan (the list goes on).

      See the problem here? Germany isn't exactly known for being forwards thinking when it comes to the digital economy so what good is being in the EU doing any of this - the answer of course is the UK's tech industry is being actively harmed by it.

      And yes not for nothing but being outside the EU doesn't mean people can't be recruited from in the EU, just they'd have to justify their employment in the UK - that shouldn't be difficult; although I personally know a lot of well qualified experienced people who can't get tech jobs because they have to compete on pay with people who are less qualified and less experienced who aren't from the UK who will take nonsense wages..

      1. toughluck

        Re: its not the Berlin wall FFS

        I'm a foreigner and I don't live in the UK, so I don't know, but are you sure about the difficulty when recruiting talent from India and China (well, Hong-Kong)? Isn't there a rule about Commonwealth citizens that Britain freely admits?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: its not the Berlin wall FFS

          "I'm a foreigner and I don't live in the UK, so I don't know, but are you sure about the difficulty when recruiting talent from India and China (well, Hong-Kong)? Isn't there a rule about Commonwealth citizens that Britain freely admits?"

          What, you mean discrimination?

          Yes, very probably. It's a core British value :/

        2. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: its not the Berlin wall FFS

          "Isn't there a rule about Commonwealth citizens that Britain freely admits?"

          Britain has been tearing that rule up for years. The barriers are now significantly higher than even a decade ago.

          Commonwealth countries trading with Britain got well and truly shafted when it joined the common market. They'll be looking for payback if Britain has to go to them cap-in-hand for trade as it did in 1939-1949.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: its not the Berlin wall FFS

        Re "[you] know [many good] people who can't get tech jobs because they have to compete on pay with people who are less qualified and less experienced who aren't from the UK who will take nonsense wages.."

        You are talking about, effectively, one place: India. And from my observations in many I.T. shops around the U.K., it is trivially simple for any number of Indian onshorers to migrate to the U.K., where their numbers dwarf all other nationalities put together; in particular these numbers must be over ten times that of EU citizens working here. I can think of four U.K. financial institutions where I was literally one of perhaps only two or three non-Indian techies on the floor. It is simply wrong to suggest that intra-EU migration is some sort of flood. But there is obviously an uncontrolled flood from India, and it has nothing to do with the EU, but simply with HMG's inability to enforce its own laws.

        1. organiser

          Re: its not the Berlin wall FFS

          And the Indian outsourcing companies' astuteness in circumventing the laws.

          The intra-company transfer rules they rely on are only meant for internal work, not for people doing work for other companies.

    4. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

      Re: its not the Berlin wall FFS

      "its not the Berlin wall FFS "

      Yeah, you could cross the Berlin wall. All you had to do was dodge the barbed wire, the guards and their bullets. If only negotiating the bureaucracy was so easy.

  2. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

      Re: Freedom of movement.

      Isnt that the reason most of the "out-ers" want out? If theres freedom of movement all our less well off neighbours will come over here and work for the opportunities they never had at home, thereby putting us slackers, who expect ridiculous wages, out of work.

      1. Andy 73

        Re: Freedom of movement.

        As an 'out-er' I don't feel the issue of immigration is about 'stopping foreigners', and those that characterise the debate that way are only doing so to make a complex issue seem reassuringly simple.

        The case for coming out seems to me about one of self determination and the democratic process. Under our own control, we would be in a position to decide how immigration should work in our specific case. I would hope that the democratic outcome would still allow for compassionate treatment of disposed people, and expect that it would also positively encourage immigration by much needed skilled workers.

        The point here is that 'out' is not about pulling up the drawbridge or some xenophobic reaction to foreign nations. Britain outside the EU would still have the same deeply multicultural and broad political mix of people, and a democratically elected government that on the whole reflects the population. The discussion is not (and should not) be treated as though it were magically politically polarised.

        1. gv

          Re: Freedom of movement.

          "Under our own control, we would be in a position to decide how immigration should work in our specific case."

          You mean under the control of the incompetent buffoons in Westminster. I doubt very much the control will extend to the rest of us.

          1. Andy 73

            Re: Freedom of movement.

            > You mean under the control of the incompetent buffoons in Westminster. I doubt very much the control will extend to the rest of us.

            Very true, but I'd rather the incompetent buffoons be local ones who you might occasionally look in the eye. There's no evidence that their European equivalents are any less incompetent or self-serving.

            1. wikkity

              Re: I'd rather the incompetent buffoons be local ones

              Good job you aren't a Steel worker then, Europe seems to be wanting to help more than the UK government.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Freedom of movement.

            @gv

            "You mean under the control of the incompetent buffoons in Westminster. I doubt very much the control will extend to the rest of us."

            Part of the case for remaining is to ensure those buffoons have less and less power. They do not represent UK citizens, only their own interests.

        2. Pete4000uk

          Re: Freedom of movement.

          Its not who you are or where you're from its what you offer us.

          You can't roll up at most borders with no skills and expect to get in.

          We need smart people. Like you lot!

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Freedom of movement.

            "You can't roll up at most borders with no skills and expect to get in.

            We need smart people. Like you lot!"

            I have a wife and children. Unless you let them in too, I'm not coming.

            1. Number6

              Re: Freedom of movement.

              "I have a wife and children. Unless you let them in too, I'm not coming."

              That usually happens - someone comes in on a visa and their family comes with them. I know people who've moved from the US and the whole family is allowed in.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Freedom of movement.

                >> "I have a wife and children. Unless you let them in too, I'm not coming."

                >> That usually happens - someone comes in on a visa and their family comes with them. I know people >> who've moved from the US and the whole family is allowed in.

                And frankly, that's the way it should be now. If a rich banker from France, or a builder from Bulgaria comes in, they should be allowed to bring their families and they should have access to health care and schools as long as they pay their tax, which is what pays for those things. In other words, they're a contributor, as most of them are. This shouldn't extend to benefits: if you're worried about losing your job, get insurance.

                Rather than actually fixing the problem, which Cameron has failed to do along with years of sending Eurosceptic morons to the European parliament, the eurosceptics think that getting rid of the jobs altogether is a better option.

                My gran thinks that voting UKIP will force the Pakistanis to go home. FFS.

                1. organiser

                  Re: Freedom of movement.

                  Benefits would not be a problem if UK benefits operated in the same way as in other EU countries. But they don't.

              2. organiser

                Re: Freedom of movement.

                That is not the way it is anymore and the are going to make it a lot worse in September. Retroactively.

          2. organiser

            Re: Freedom of movement.

            Given the choice between a country where they can move to easily by just.... moving, and a country where they have to go through all sorts of bureaucracy, require the sponsorship of the employer (thereby forcing them to stay with that employer unless they can find another 'sponsor'), why would they choose the latter given similar opportunities?

        3. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken
          Coat

          Re: Freedom of movement / Andy 73

          "The case for coming out seems to me about one of self determination ... "

          Yes, it usually is. However, in the context of a possible Brexit, you might consider re-phrasing that.

      2. Number6

        Re: Freedom of movement.

        Isnt that the reason most of the "out-ers" want out? If theres freedom of movement all our less well off neighbours will come over here and work for the opportunities they never had at home, thereby putting us slackers, who expect ridiculous wages, out of work.

        It means the UK can be a bit more selective about who it lets in and who gets thrown out, and the terms under which they're allowed in. All the fuss about benefit eligibility would go away, the UK could simply say "you can come in but you don't get any government money for ten years". That's pretty much how the US system works - if you arrive on a work visa then you have to leave the country if the job goes away (or transfer your visa to another job PDQ) and if you're on a permanent resident visa then you're not suppose to claim government benefits until you've contributed 40 quarters (i.e. ten years) to the social security system.

        At the moment it's all scaremongering - there is no reason why the UK can't agree a streamlined visa process for members of other EU states in return for the same going the other way. If the EU wants to slam the door then does the UK really want to be part of the club, and if the UK wants to slam the door, the EU is probably better off saying "bye".

        1. organiser

          Re: Freedom of movement.

          There is a very good reason why a 'streamlined visa process' is not going to happen, at least not bilaterally. It is either the free movement of people or the standard visa process. The EU itself doesn't have much to say about it - it is each and every one of the member states that decides it, as it is a matter of control of national borders.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Freedom of movement.

      Agreed. I think Worstalls article a while back was pretty persuasive to me on what would happen, economically: We'll loose some things, we'll gain some things. Besides, I don't think that the businesses within the EU would like to loose the UK as a customer regardless of what it chooses and vice-versa. It makes no sense for the EU to engage in spiteful acts and petty revenge and sounds like, to use a Cliche, cutting off your nose to spite your face.

      However, in the end, I'm voting leave not for economic arguments, not for immigration, but simply because of this report. It spells out, in remarkably simple language, what the EU's long term goal is and what's planned: So, for me, the question on Brexit becomes: Do you want to be part of the The United States of Europe? And for me, the answer is No.

      It is a pity that Cameron just farted about Grandstanding his way around the EU. It's a real shame he never even pushed for and secured real reform. He had the opportunity to implement some sort of, for example, Pick and Choose model for the EU (A bit of that, but none of that) but ended up fiddling in areas that will have no impact. I'm pretty sure he'll find out that emergency break is made of blancmange!

      One thing is for certain, there'll be a bloodbath in the Conservatives after the referendum regardless of the outcome: Leave will result in those backing remain to be given the boot. Remain will result in the local Conservative Associations deselection of MP's especially those who got in on EUsceptic tickets.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Freedom of movement.

        " It makes no sense for the EU to engage in spiteful acts and petty revenge and sounds like, to use a Cliche, cutting off your nose to spite your face."

        pour encourager les autres.

        There must be some sanction imposed for leaving. Applying a sanction will encourage EU consumers and businesses to purchase whatever it is they want from somewhere else that has remained in the EU.

        Leaving hurts us more than 'them'. You can't walk out of a party and yet expect to continue to enjoy the party from the outside. If you want to enjoy the party, stay at the party, even if you do find the host eccentric and some of the nibbles and music not to your taste. The sign of a successful party is how much everyone enjoys it, it's not about how everything is tailored exactly to what you personally want.

        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          Re: Freedom of movement.

          Leaving hurts us more than 'them'.

          That depends on how you slice it. Ireland would suffer massively if the EU chose the nuclear option. It would be so bad for their economy that they'd have an appalling choice of quite the Euro and leave with us and suffer a huge recession, or stay in and suffer a possibly huger recession for longer.

          We have now overtaken France as Germany's number two export destination (after the US). While we export a lot less to Germany. We have a trade suprlus on our non EU trade, and trade surplus on our services industry (the second biggest in the world after the US), but a trade deficit with the EU because they sell their goods to us but keep the trade barriers up against our more competitive services. Also because the Euro is still in depression due to pisspoor policymaking, and so their imports of goods have collapsed, while they try to export their way out of trouble.

          Before the crash 60% or our exports were to the EU. Now it's down to something like 42%. Imagine how much faster our recovery would have been, had the rest of the EU tried a vaguely competent economic policy... Osborne made spending cuts (well actually lowered the rate of increase), partially offset by QE and low interest rates. The Eurozone made much deeper cuts (27% in Greece!!!!!!!), and the ECB actually raised interest rates in 2009! And didn't start QE until last year.

          As for the argument that they'll punish us if we leave, there is certainly a risk of that. But I'd argue that with friends like that, who needs enemies. Either they're our allies or they're not. Germany in recent years have shown a distressing tendency to fuck over their supposed allies for short-term gain. Such as opposing the Southstream gas pipeline to Russia, on the legitimate grounds that it was a way to screw over Ukraine and divide the EU attempts at a commone energy market. Then secretly did a deal behind the rest of the EU's back to expand Nordstream (a competing pipeline that just so happens to screw over both Ukraine and Poland). Not to mention Germany's treatment of Greece, Cyprus and to a lesser exrtent Spain and Ireland. And Germany's continuing flouting of Eurozone rules by running a 7% trade surplus, while preaching loudly to everyone else about sticking to the fiscal rules. Not to mention the continuing attempt to make a unilateral German Syrian refugee policy for the whole of the EU.

          I expect tough negotiations in peoples' own national interests. That means we'll lose things as well as winning some. And it'll be unpredictable. If they try to fuck us over - they risk a recession that will finally destroy the Eurozone, and possibly the EU. And an attempt to destroy say our car industry, does as much damage to their own, given how integrated it all is. Same with aerospace, pharmaceuticals, even to some extent banking and insurance.

          1. Kristian Walsh

            Ireland (Re: Freedom of movement.)

            Ireland already has a series of bilateral trade and free-movement treaties with the United Kingdom that predate the EEC, and many newer ones (e.g. Good Friday agreement) that are not conditional on EU membership. Brexit won't affect these. The fact that neither Ireland nor the UK has a land frontier with any other EU member would make it possible for the UK and Ireland to continue to honour those treaty obligations even if one nation left the EU.

            The economic effects are generally considered to be neutral to Ireland overall: negative in the short term, but potentially positive long term as the UK effectively removes itself from the EU foreign direct investment competition. Short term, an exit will increase the administrative cost of trade, but not necessarily its volume. Ireland's main exports to the UK are in sectors where sourcing a non-EU substitute would be problematical (in order of revenue, those are: Pharmaceuticals/cosmetics/ingredients, then food/dairy, then plastics/machinery/electronics - only the last of these is easily sourced from other countries). Plus, aside from the big pharmaceuticals companies, these aren't big deals, but thousands of small to medium sized companies trading with each other.

            Longer term, Ireland has a small possibly of benefitting economically from a Brexit, particularly in Financial Services, although not anywhere near as much as a Brexit would benefit Frankfurt. A City of London that's outside the EU loses one of its big advantages to external investors.

            Now tho the "Stay" campaign's scare-tactics: In the event of an exit, the UK cannot rescind residency to EU citizens already in the UK - doing so is against international law, it is a bureaucratic nightmare (especially in a country like the UK that does not track the residency of EU passport holders) and it would also cripple the country's economy for a generation. Many could choose to leave, but they couldn't be forced to.

            Ireland has a good lesson to give here on the dangers of sending people "back where they came from": in the 1930s, many of the Anglo-Irish were "encouraged" (often violently) to leave the newly-independent Ireland, and it resulted in a country whose economy was on par with Denmark's in 1922 falling to the bottom of the European league table by the late 1950s. (Northern Ireland's status as the UK's economic basket-case is similarly founded on the misguided belief that national identity is somehow related to effectiveness as a worker)

        2. Dr Stephen Jones

          Re: Freedom of movement.

          "Leaving hurts us more than 'them'"

          It depends who the "them" is. Not the citizens in the EU. The EU is in a lot of trouble - the Eurozone is in depression and right-wing/fascist parties are on the rise.

          If Brexit makes halts the march to an "ever closer union" and makes it more democratic and accountable, then the UK leaving will have done the other 27 members a massive favour. Britain has saved Europe from fascism before.

        3. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

          Re: Freedom of movement. @AC "Cutting your nose off to spite your face"

          Totally agreed - but I don't think you have gone far enough. There is no good outcome. Regardless of whether the UK stays in or goes out, there is going to be backlash from the EU and many other groups - NATO and the Council of Europe, for instance. What the Little Englanders have done is prove that "With friends like Britain, who needs enemies?" No-one is going to trust a country that, at a time of integration around the world, wants to rely on past glories, instead of looking to the future and co-operating. The country is going to have to beg and plead for everything, which is a poor negotiating position. Even becoming the 51st state of the USA, which is the best that can be hoped for in the next 20 years following an exit from the EU, will involve great loss at the negotiating table.

      2. Jagged

        Re: Freedom of movement.

        " It's a real shame he never even pushed for and secured real reform."

        - To be fair to Cameron, I think he did try but realised pretty early on that we wasn't going to get anywhere with EU reform and rolled back to just treaty exemptions for the UK.

        1. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge

          Re: Freedom of movement.

          I cannot vote (reason obvious from my name) and even though I benefited from EU movement rules I would now advice (to anyone interested in my opinion) to leave. The reason is simple - EU is driven by bureaucrats and, as we know, the main purpose of bureaucracy is to extend. EU bureaucrats are particularly dangerous, since they also motivated by the ideology of States of Europe - which makes them no different from apparatchiks. This will not change for EU no matter what UK votes for - that is in case of "remain" win, UK won't be able to reverse the tide. The only choice is - does UK want to be a part of this, or pursue a different treaty.

          In case of "leave" vote win, I would think that EEA is actually realistic choice, since in the 2 years after the vote where will no time to prepare and sign another treaty, and EU countries will want to continue trading with the UK under any rules.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Freedom of movement.

        @AC

        "One thing is for certain, there'll be a bloodbath in the Conservatives after the referendum regardless of the outcome"

        Nasty party turns nasty on itself.

        Excellent news - something to look forward to for the summer.

        1. Longtemps, je me suis couche de bonne heure

          Re: Freedom of movement.

          And Boris, Osborne and Gove duking it out for the PM role (though likely in practice to be the Leader of the Opposition role). My money's on Gove...(in Euros)

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Freedom of movement.

          "Nasty party turns nasty on itself.

          Excellent news - something to look forward to for the summer."

          Yeah, that's what we really need - a Tory party engaged in a bitter civil war, a Labour party led by a useless, unelectable leader, and a LibDem party nobody wants to vote for any more.

          May you live in interesting times.

      4. organiser

        Re: Freedom of movement.

        It appears that almost half of the Scottish don't want to be part of the United States of Britain either.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Freedom of movement.

          >> It appears that almost half of the Scottish don't want to be part of the United States of Britain either.

          Actually you'll find that a lot of them just don't want to be ruled by self-serving tories like David Cameron or Tony Blair.

    3. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: Freedom of movement.

      UK will almost certainly negotiate to join the European Economic Area

      When asked, the prominent members of the "Vote Leave" campaign have stated specifically that they don't want either the EEA or EFTA model of EU association but some as-yet-undefined model that offers free trade benefits without the obligations that presently go witth them.

      The entire case of "Vote Leave" is predicated on there being an alternative in which there is freedom of movement for goods and services but not for people.

      I'm not proferring an opinion about whether the UK population would prefer EFTA or EEA to the EU, or as to whether in practice these would be the only practical alternatives, but "Vote Leave" wants no part of any of them.

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Re: Freedom of movement.

        I'm tending towards supporting Brexit, but haven't decided. My anger over the appalling treatment of Greece and Cyprus, and belief in democracy are currently trumping the desire for an easy life. I still believe we'll vote to stay in, so hope it's a close vote or we might suffer political revenge for staying - which is a minor threat also if we leave. There are some things that annoy me about the EU, some that are good, and bits in between. But I'd say it's almost a nailed on certainty that little will change in the short-term, whichever way we vote. Unless common sense does break down, and everyone decides to start a trade war. There was a perfectly acceptable compromise deal to do on Greece (and particularly Cyprus), and yet Merkel's government, and others, chose to posture and grandstand and totally fuck over their economies, to no purpose.

        I'd love us to have a free trade deal, with limited freedom of movement much more under our own control. And the EU to complete the single market in services (France, Germany and Italy in particular were much more eager to nail down free trade in goods, where we have a trade deficit with the EU, and have continually blocked/slowed freedom for services exports back to them from us). I'd also like to have seen some sort of associate membership for Turkey to tie them in as a democratic ally (looks too late for that now), and an end to the Common Agricultural and Fisheries Policies. Plus the EU to either get serious about a common security/diplomatic policy, or leave it to NATO. Sadly a bunch of those are mutually exclusive, and not all available if we leave, or if we stay.

        Even if the rest of the EU were willing to grant us our fantasy, perfect deal, it'll take years. I read a piece on this that said the EU takes 4-10 years to negotiate a trade deal, the more complex the longer. And we're wanting something incredibly complex in a part of the EU that is still mostly done by unanimous voting - so if you don't get everyone on board, it gets vetoed. And there's going to be some natural resentment that we've buggered off, and that we're forcing hard negotiations on governments that they didn't want.

        Additionally, the civil service have been more europhile than the politicians in every government except early Blair and Heath. And they're doing the negotiating.

        So our choice is leave the EU without much of a trade deal, and suffer tariffs and discocation of trade while we slowly grind through sorting it out. Or do a deal where we do a quick and dirty shift from EU members to EFTA or EEA (there are technical differences which always confuse the hell out of me) - with the intent to slowly negotiate a few changes. Presumably once out of the EU we can discriminate on benefits against EU citizens, even though they get access to the country to work, which is a better balance than we have now. But while the Eurozone is so utterly fucked, we're going to get skilled migration from the EU, as well as unskilled, and short of deploying the army to the coasts and introducing ID cards, that's unstoppable anyway.

        1. organiser

          Re: Freedom of movement.

          If things gets bad in the UK after a Brexit, people in the UK can exercise their right to free moveme... nevermind.

    4. Yes Me Silver badge

      Re: Freedom of movement.

      " Brexit is basically an exit from the farming and fisheries part of EU law, and everything else will stay pretty much the same as now..."

      That is delusional thinking. Have you any idea how hard and long Switzerland had to negotiate to get those conditions? Don't you realise that it costs them a lot of money, that they had to change many national laws to match decisions in Brussels over which they have zero influence, and that they are now likely to lose most of it anyway because of knob-headed right-wing anti-immgration bigots?

      If you get your way and Brexit occurs, be prepared for the Dark Ages.

      1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

        Re: Freedom of movement.

        Don't for get we get Boris as PM. IMHO, Call me 'Dave' will resign as soon at the vote OUT is announced as the winner. Boris will get what he craves and that is to be PM. Voting No is just about the only way he could ever become PM.

        Please stop the world, I wanna get off (or at least out of anywhere run by Citizen Boris).

        IMHO, he would be almost as bad as the current leader of the Labor party would be were he to become PM.

        YMMV and probably will.

    5. CCCP

      Re: Freedom of movement.

      But, Brexit is basically the finger to any EU citizen living and paying taxes in the UK. That includes mid and high-earners too, remember.

      After 20 years in the UK, if Brexit happens, I'll reluctantly pack up the family and leave.

      I don't know the size of this effect, but you may want think about which nationalities you want to replace the gap.

      1. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge

        Re: Freedom of movement.

        But, Brexit is basically the finger to any EU citizen living and paying taxes in the UK

        I count in their number and do not understand where did you get that idea from. I also do not understand why, even if true, that would actually matter - do you want to play on English feelings "I hate to be considered rude" ? If you have a family here, especially children who do not know much about living in other country, you should apply for British citizenship for their sake. No matter whether UK stays in EU or not.

        1. Dr_N Silver badge

          Re: Freedom of movement.

          The idea that people could lose the right to residency/work (both EUers in the UK and UKers in the EU) is a point that is being ignored.

          The fact that expats have no say or rights in this whole debate/referendum is disgusting.

          And suggesting we have to give up our birthright goes against all of the freedoms the EU stands for, in my opinion.

          1. Mark 65

            Re: Freedom of movement.

            Ex-pat UK citizens do have a say in the referendum provided they've been registered to vote in the UK in the last 15 years.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Freedom of movement.

              "Ex-pat UK citizens do have a say in the referendum provided they've been registered to vote in the UK in the last 15 years."

              Don't you be coming round here with your facts ruining the argument.

              1. speedbird007
                Thumb Up

                Re: Freedom of movement.

                if I could upvote more than once I would AC, but the facts are dismissed as scaremongering aren't they. Shame if we exit on a tissue of misinformation and jingoism. Still my mum was from Dublin so there is an escape route.

            2. Dr_N Silver badge

              Re: Freedom of movement.

              "Ex-pat UK citizens do have a say in the referendum provided they've been registered to vote in the UK in the last 15 years."

              Incorrect. You have a right to vote in the referendum or general election if you have been out of the country for less than 15 years on the day of the vote. (And are, obviously, registered to vote.)

              You'd be surprised how many that rules out.

              There was a private members bill late last year to remove the 15 year rule (which the conservatives had promised to do in their manifesto) but the MP I wrote to refused to back it on the grounds that the government had a bill that was mentioned in the Queen's speech last year but will not be tabled until after the referendum. (If at all.)

              But don't let facts get in the way of a good rebuttal.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Freedom of movement.

      "If there is a Brexit, the UK will almost certainly negotiate to join the European Economic Area..."

      If there is a Brexit, the UK will almost certainly try to negotiate to join the European Economic Area...

      TFTFY. Because European treaties are just so easy to come by, aren't they Dave?

      And whilst the French & Germans may have economic reasons for supporting British EEA negotiations, many countries won't, because we're telling their citizens to "expletive deleted" in no uncertain terms.

    7. Mark 65

      Re: Freedom of movement.

      Social marketing startup Buyapowa’s chief executive Gideon Lask told The Register that in the event of a vote for Brexit: “I think we’d be forced to go.”

      “If I was limited in the people I could bring into the business, yes, we’d have to seriously consider where our home was,” Lask told us.

      The irony here is that some fly-by-night fucktard with a social marketing startup is so retarded he thinks his employees need to be in one physical location and hence he'll be limited as to whom he can employ. It's an IT business in 2016 you fucking idiot, try collaborating online.

      1. organiser

        Re: Freedom of movement.

        Collaborating online is never as effective as collaborating onsite.

  3. Smooth Newt
    Flame

    Referendum

    Everyone in the UK is going to be reduced to penury, and the country to Third World status, if we leave the EU. Or if we stay in it. One or the other.

    The in/out campaigns aren't an informative debate at all, they are just a childish competition about who can sow the most fear and panic. So can we please have a third box on the referendum form labelled "I really don't give a shit anymore" and I'll tick that.

    1. SundogUK

      Re: Referendum

      "I really don't give a shit anymore" means staying in, idiot.

      1. Smooth Newt
        Meh

        Re: Referendum

        "I really don't give a shit anymore" means staying in, idiot.

        At least the in/out campaigns haven't descended to the level of personal abuse, although I guess there is still plenty of time.

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Referendum

      You could of course ignore the campaigns, and do a bit of reading about it yourself. And form your own conclusions.

      The problem with taking the attitude that if you ignore politics it'll go away, is that it doesn't go away. There's decisions to be made between competing interests in society, that means politics. You can ignore it, but it assuredly won't ignore you.

      1. Rich 11 Silver badge

        Re: Referendum

        You could of course ignore the campaigns, and do a bit of reading about it yourself. And form your own conclusions.

        Yes, everyone certainly could. The problem is that the vast majority definitely won't, and will vote according to the latest hyperbole from their favourite tabloid or gobshite politician (Cameron, Farage, whoever). Your well-considered vote -- as much as it's the right thing to do -- will be lost amongst the votes garnered by playing upon peoples' ignorance and emotions.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Referendum

          "Your well-considered vote -- as much as it's the right thing to do -- will be lost amongst the votes garnered by playing upon peoples' ignorance and emotions."

          In other words, mob mentality rules. Great.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A false argument

    If we do leave (in my view, we should stay), what is to prevent those workers from still working in the UK? Nothing from the EU side of things.

    It would only be an issue if a post-EU UK government refused work visas for those it currently allows in under the EU’s freedom of movement rules.

    And why would they do that?

    1. Terry Barnes

      Re: A false argument

      "If we do leave (in my view, we should stay), what is to prevent those workers from still working in the UK? Nothing from the EU side of things."

      It's pretty clear that for most people wanting to leave, immigration is the key factor.

      If the exit campaign's stance is that we'll still allow free movement of people after an exit it rather suggests that they are conning people.

      If exit means "still have to pay, no longer have a say", the Norway model if you like, it looks pretty daft.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: A false argument

        Actually, it's not immigration per se, but uncontrolled immigration. Having a say on who we do or do not allow in is the issue.

        Allowing skilled workers in and keeping "scroungers" out is the issue for most for whom this is an issue.

      2. Jagged

        Re: A false argument

        "It's pretty clear that for most people wanting to leave, immigration is the key factor."

        Not sure that's true. Immigration is one of the most talked about, because its the current example of the EUs inability to come to a decision about anything. A year or two ago, the big issue would have been the economic collapse of the euro zone.

        Anyhow, the main issue for me is sovereignty and not wanting any part of a european super state.

        1. organiser

          Re: A false argument

          What you mean by 'sovereignty' is probably not what sovereignty actually means.

    2. Jess

      Re: refused work visas .. And why would they do that?

      The outcome of a brexit is totally unknown. The first big issue is whether the whole UK votes the same way, if it doesn't that could cause serious issues. (e.g. the end of the UK, unless they come up with some part in part out by region fudge, which I wouldn't put past them).

      What is known is that there will be a two year period of negotiation, during which new arrangements need to be agreed. This could be membership of the EEA, which won't really please the Kippers, or something else. Of course no agreement might be reached, in which case then our membership is cancelled and everything to do with it is void. (Or all 28 parties involved can if unanimous keep the negotiations going, not sure how likely that one is.)

      The rest of the EU is going to try and ensure that the part of our economy that is EU business remains within the EU. (Tax sweeteners for relocation costs caused by boundary changes, I'm sure). They are not going to be negotiating for the good of England, (and why should they?)

      If no agreement is reached and we are just out.(Which would seem to me to be of benefit to the remaining EU.) Then all the rules for EU citizens here will be the same as for non-EU citizens. (the earn £35K or you're out, earn £18 or your foreign spouse is out, etc.) And anyway, why would they choose to stay?

      I would expect during the two years notice period, when we still remain in the EU, that there will be a huge market for IT contractors helping relocation projects. Probably earn enough to retire in the sun. Oh.

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Re: refused work visas .. And why would they do that?

        Jess,

        One of the problems is that the outcome of staying in is also totally unknown.

        The Eurozone is utterly doomed, unless something radical is done. Italy, Portugal, Greece and Finland can't survive in it, as currently constituted, and France, Ireland, Spain and Belgium (also possibly the Netherlands) can stay in, but at the cost of every boom being too big and inflation-y or bust being deeper than need-be. Or both.

        Either there needs to be a solution involving pooling more sovereignty and some tax, spending and government debt - or a managed break-up losing some countries. Or it'll collapse - causing a hideous global recession, and possibly taking the whole EU with it.

        The public are becoming more anti-EU in almost every country.

        Cameron tried to get the EU to agree to take ever closer union out of the treaties. No one cares about it anymore. There are very few Federalists left in power. Almost no-one is working towards an EU superstate, the public no longer believe in it, and that generation of politicians have mostly retired or died. Germany are one of the most pro-Federalist countries, and certainly the only big country left with that opinion being mainstream. The polls still show this. Even though lots of them are unhappy with the Euro. Yet the whole tone of the debate about bailing-out Greece, or even Cyprus, Portugal and Ireland was bitter and very unpleasant. And showed that neither the people or the governments really believe they're part of the same group.

        And yet they wouldn't give it to him, because that would imply a 2-speed Europe. Which we've already got of course. Us and the Danes aren't joining the Euro, we have opt-outs. Sweden promised to, but keeps losing the referendum and the Poles aren't even pretending to join anymore. Schengen is collapsing, and the core countries can only save it by kicking out the peripheral ones.

        And yet apparently Cameron couldn't get a simple, basically non-controversial change through that would have made winning the referendum quite a bit easier. And that suggests that we'll again be faced with a bunch of new regulations to save bits of the EU that are currently in crisis - and told if you don't sign up we're screwing them all over. And forced into an unwilling choice to torpedo neccesary reform, or sign up to stuff we don't want.

        Not that Brexit isn't also a large risk. But with the EU in it's current state, I'd argue there are no safe choices. And no ideal ones either. It's messy compromise all the way. At which point, I'm tempted by the messy compromise that involves more democracy, where if politicians screw up we can kick them out and get new ones who'll reverse it. The EU is good at new regulations, but quite bad at fixing broken old ones.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: refused work visas .. And why would they do that?

          "The Eurozone is utterly doomed,"

          The euro is steadily increasing in value against the pound. That smart money is betting on the euro having a better future. The early years of the US dollar were 'difficult' - but it now works fine, even between states with wildly different economies.

          1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

            Re: refused work visas .. And why would they do that?

            The euro is steadily increasing in value against the pound.

            Temporary fluctuations in foreign exchange rates are not a substitute for economic analysis.

            That smart money is betting on the euro having a better future.

            Smart? Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Wheeze! If smart money always knew what it was doing, please explain the recent global crash?

            The Euro, in it's current form, is doomed. That doesn't mean it'll collapse, just that it'll have to change, or some countries will have to leave.

            Ireland's GDP is predicted to grow at 8% next year. Greece will be minus something, France and Italy will stagnate, Germany is predicted to get about 1.2% growth. Riddle me this: How is the ECB supposed to set the correct interest rate?

            What do you think caused the last Eurocris? In the last boom, Germany was barely growing, as they'd decided to fuck over their fellow currency users by cutting wages for export companies (Hartz IV). This increased their exports, but at the cost of domestic demand - and with the hang-over from the unification with East Germany it left the economy very sluggish. It was also a breach of the Growth and Stability Pact, which was supposed to stop governments over-spending (France and Germany first broke that in 2003), and also to keep intra-Euro trade surpluses down and stop competitve devaluation.

            Meanwhile Ireland and Spain (for 2 examples) were growing much faster. France was also growing slowly, as it has consistently done since joining the ERM (precursor to the Euro).

            The ECB set interest rates quite low, to help France and Germany. Spain and Ireland were therefore saddled with interest rates lower than their inflation rate! During a boom. Thus making borrowing money effectively free. Can you see how this might go wrong, and lead to a huge speculative housing bubble? Well, guess what happened...

            Germany, and the other trade surplus states, had a surplus of cash. The reason the rules on stability were there. BTW Germany's intra-Euro trade surplus has been over the 6% limit for the last 6 years. The European Commission haven't even written them the mandatory letter to tell them off, let alone taken the actions to start punishing them for their breach of the Eurozone rules. Funny how they're so great at preaching about budget deficits though...

            Anyway a country with a trade surplus by definition isn't spending enough internally. So they're not buying exports from their target markets, and have cash left over. But with insufficient demand in their economy (else they'd have balanced trade), they will have excess savings. Excess savings won't find anywhere to be invested internally due to low demand, so get invested abroad. This funds the trade deficit of the other countries). Hence German banks lent loads of money (very badly) to Greece, Spain, Ireland etc. - which pumped up their booms even higher, and then made the inevitable crash far more devastating.

            This is called an asymetric shock. And is what was predicted by the economists before the Euro came into being. Policy cannot be coordinated, because now Germany is growing, but Italy's economy is smaller than it was when it joined the Euro.

            The correct policies for different bits of the Eurozone bugger up the other bits. This is also true of any single currency area, though the US and UK have more convergent economies than the Eurozone does. But also we have fiscal transfers. Hence we spend more on Scotland than it raises in tax, and this makes up for the oil shock. And saves Scottish workers from all having to take pay cuts (like Greece) or move South. The US Federal government also sends more cash to those states with greater needs. I quote from Tim Worstall, formerly of this parish, for the graph at the top - though I'm sure the article is also good: Torygraph linky.

          2. Yes Me Silver badge
            Facepalm

            The euro is steadily increasing...

            "The euro is steadily increasing in value against the pound."

            Well duh! The £ is going down because currency traders fear Brexit. The Euro is relatively healthy at the moment because, well, people still believe that it's really the DM. And so what for the UK if the Eurozone breaks up? As it turns out, the UK was wise not to join the Euro. That's irrelevant to the decision to stay in the EU.

      2. The Axe

        Re: refused work visas .. And why would they do that?

        @Jess said "The outcome of a brexit is totally unknown."

        True. But also the outcome of staying in is totally unknown too. Do you know what regulations the EU will create next month, next year, next decade? If you asked someone in the 70s if there would be stability because of the EU, you'd probably get an affarmative but the reality of all the petty gold plated regulations and banning everything such as imperial measurements means that the everything was unknown by being part of the EU.

        1. organiser

          Re: refused work visas .. And why would they do that?

          @The Axe: "But also the outcome of staying in is totally unknown too."

          Uncertain, but not totally unknown. There is a difference.

    3. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge

      Re: A false argument

      If we do leave (in my view, we should stay), what is to prevent those workers from still working in the UK? Nothing from the EU side of things.

      I think you are mistaken. I am allowed in the UK under current rules, but if the rules change and I want to have a guarantee that I can still work here, I will have to apply for British citizenship or work visa, or rely on some other deal in which I have no say (but HM Government will) - all of which will subject to me stricter checks than quick look into my current passport. Currently few EU citizens working in the UK bother with citizenship, since it is not needed for anything. With UK leaving, this will change - and personally I think that's a good thing.

    4. Yes Me Silver badge

      Re: A false argument

      "It would only be an issue if a post-EU UK government refused work visas for those it currently allows in under the EU’s freedom of movement rules

      And why would they do that?"

      Beacause of bone-headed right wing immigration opponents. That's exactly why Switzerland is in all kinds of trouble right now.

  5. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

    "He [Ross Mason] doesn’t buy the argument that a UK outside the EU could emulate countries such as the US, given a much smaller domestic market.

    And neither do I. The UK on its own couldn't emulate California.

    1. Andy 73

      But neither does it emulate California whilst in the EU. The UK's interests are not the EU's interests as the derisory renegotiations have shown. However, being part of the EU means that being an agile business partner is made more difficult by the increased regulatory burden imposed by Brussels.

      1. DrXym Silver badge

        "However, being part of the EU means that being an agile business partner is made more difficult by the increased regulatory burden imposed by Brussels."

        Europe does not go away for any business just because the UK leaves. It just means two sets of diverging red tape to deal with instead of one and all the added costs and delays incurred for freight, business travel etc. How does that make a company more agile?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          How does that make a company more agile?

          As Uber has shown us, being agile means breaking a few laws. The more laws here are to break, the more agile a company can be.

        2. Blank-Reg

          Because, a business operating exclusively in the UK with UK customers won't have to adhere to EU regulations that they currently do? Same if they deal with non-EU businesses. The burden will only come into place if you wish to deal with EU businesses.

          1. Terry Barnes

            "Because, a business operating exclusively in the UK with UK customers won't have to adhere to EU regulations that they currently do? Same if they deal with non-EU businesses. The burden will only come into place if you wish to deal with EU businesses.!

            You're going to reduce red tape by having two completely separate regulatory regimes? The first time my UK widget factory sells a 2p widget to France I have to completely change the entire set of regulation my business operates under?

            I'm not sure you've thought that through.

            1. Blank-Reg

              I don't think you've read my comment properly.

              Lets use a simple example shall we: if a UK company operates in the UK it doesn't have to abide by SOX. However, should it wish to operate in the US, then it does have to abide by SOX. The UK Gov doesn't need to enact SOX, just the company needs to follow it.

              Same for the EU. If a company operates in the UK but wishes to do business in the EU, they'll need to follow the rules laid down. Again, why would the UK Government enact those rules unless otherwise forced or agreed through some trade agreement? As for the company itself, if it is operating in multiple countries, the company would enact the rules needed within its own structure to ensure compliance in the most cost effective manner. If they want to produce a widget, they'll produce it to a standard that meets all rules required. They could go bonkers and try to create different versions of the same widget to meet different rules, but that'd be madness, unless there's a saving to be had...

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                I don't think you've understood the point properly.

                While the UK is in the EU, any legit UK company will already be abiding by EU rules. The barrier to enter the EU market is essentially zero. All a business would need do is add the country to the delivery address.

                1. Blank-Reg

                  No, I understood what he was saying, and that brings us back to the original point in question in that, should the UK choose Leave and should it choose to repeal unwanted EU legislation, then the regulatory burden for businesses wanting to do business with non EU nations is lower and then it does have the potential to make them more agile and competitive.

                  For example, a company in the UK free of EU rules, not wanting to deal with the EU nations because of the expense of adhering to said rules, would potentially have an easier time competing in the international markets simply because the burden to their business from regulation would be lower.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    @Blank-Reg: That is the same argument...

                    ...we heard when it came to taking lead out of petrol - having lower standards would make us more competitive. But the real world doesn't work like that. Just like subsidies or tariffs, anything that feather-beds your own industry tends to make it lazy and complacent, and generates resentment and demands for action against 'unfair competition' from voters in the countries you export to.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            " business operating exclusively in the UK with UK customers won't have to adhere to EU regulations that they currently do? "

            You've just made it very.very hard for any business that wants to export to Europe to be competitive in the domestic market as well. Are you sure that's what you want to happen?

      2. Jagged

        derisory renegotiations

        The "derisory renegotiations" are another reason why I want to leave. Apparently Cameron's new deal means that if 54% of governments decide to vote against something, it will be stopped.

        Prior to Cameron's deal I would have thought it just took the most votes. Foolish me. But now I know better.

        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          Re: derisory renegotiations

          The 54% is for National Parliaments. Sadly it's basically a non-event - though it gives legal force to an exisiting system, where if enough parliaments get together they can forced the Commisison to reconsider a measure they don't like.

          In normal Qualified Majority Voting - which is what happens in the Council of Ministers (when they're not doing it by unanimity) the blocking minority is something like 35%. Both voting systems are done by population, So Germany, Britain and Poland together are a blocking minority in QMV.

          For the Parliamentary red card, I think that means if the British, German, French and Italian Parliaments were to get together, they could block any Commission regulation. Of course that would mean Parliaments defying their governments, so it's sadly a good idea watered down to be mostly ineffective.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Solved the real problem

    Whatever all these silly businessmen and workers think, the main thing is that the referendum has prevented Tory voters choosing UKIP, which is the reason we are having it.

    After all, what's more important: keeping Poshboy Pig F&%kers in parliament, or the UK economy ?

    1. GitMeMyShootinIrons

      Re: Solved the real problem

      The EU referendum divides opinion whether on the left or right (Good examples - Tony Benn and Enoch Powell both opposed the EEC in '75 - against the Tory and Labour party lines). So, in the interests of impartiality, let me edit the last line for you. given the same could be said of Comrade Corbyn's New Old Labour (after all, the once anti-EU activist is now towing the pro-EU line).....

      Whatever all these silly businessmen and workers think, the main thing is that the referendum has prevented Labour voters choosing UKIP, which is the reason we are having it.

      After all, what's more important: keeping delirious left-wing EUtopians in parliament, or the UK economy ?

    2. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: Solved the real problem

      To be fair to Cameron, he was probably advised that owing to the popularity of Farage's blokishness it would be a good idea if he was seen more frequently in the Boar's Head...

  7. James 51 Silver badge

    I wonder if Dublin would pick up a lot of the business. Same language (mostly), not a million miles away and firmly inside in the EU. Even (the country) shares the only land border with the UK. The Common Travel Area would probably survive a Brexit and would allow firms based there to enjoy the same talent pool with roughly the same paperwork as London does now.

    1. Jess

      I wonder if Dublin would pick up a lot of the business.

      Yes, assuming Scotland doesn't quit the UK to remain in the EU and take it first.

      1. James 51 Silver badge

        Re: I wonder if Dublin would pick up a lot of the business.

        Both are processes that would take years unless Scotland stays in the UK and the other parts leave though every time I suggest that I do tend to get a few down votes. It would allow everyone to get what they want in that scenario though.

    2. DrXym Silver badge

      Scotland would almost certainly hold another independence referendum following a brexit and it would pass too.

      I expect if the UK left that many multinationals would move their European headquarters out of England / Wales and into Ireland or Scotland. Oh they might leave a rump staff behind to deal with the UK but it would be cold comfort for those whose jobs were transferred elsewhere.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "I expect if the UK left that many multinationals would move their European headquarters out of England / Wales and into Ireland or Scotland. Oh they might leave a rump staff behind to deal with the UK but it would be cold comfort for those whose jobs were transferred elsewhere."

        My employer has already shifted focus and new kit and jobs are mostly now going to the continent and not here. That's having a knock-on effect on the smaller businesses that we buy stuff from because that business is now going to the continent too. Power, air-con, lifts, fire suppression, comms, metalwork, cabling, security - the risk of Brexit is costing British businesses that supply that stuff money and jobs right now.

        If you were going to open a datacentre this year, where would you put it given the risk of Brexit? The EU is a much bigger market than the UK and putting it here risks a stranded asset that can't be used by EU customers if data protection rules play out badly following a Brexit.

        Even if some kind of favourable trade deal could be workd out post-Brexit, I can de-risk my investment completely by shifting that spend away from the UK and to France or Belgium or Germany. Why do you think the Euro is continuing to gain in strength against the pound? Follow the money.

  8. Ironclad

    Devaluation might be good?

    Full disclosure, I'll probably vote to stay in the EU but I have to take issue with a couple of the statements in this article.

    1) "Yet, with a technology staff from EU nations including France, Poland and Portugal, Hale is enthusiastic about skilled migration to the UK. He says there are far too few home-grown computer experts and he is actually angry that one of Cameron’s reform aims sought to reduce EU immigration by reducing access to benefits"

    If you're talking about recruiting skilled IT staff then surely you should be paying them enough that they would not need to draw on the UK's benefits system to any great degree?

    My suspicion when bosses talk about a 'lack of skilled workers' what they really mean is a lack of cheap(er) workers.

    2) One of the biggest costs for an IT company is staff salaries. It typically dwarfs any expenditure on hardware or energy costs.

    So a devaluation of the pound vs the euro should actually make software development cheaper in the UK if you're selling in dollars or euros.

    1. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

      Re: Devaluation might be good?

      In the short term, yes. But devaluation would probably cause wage inflation. (The cost of living would increase because the balance of stuff we buy comes from aboard.)

    2. SA_Mathieson

      Re: Devaluation might be good?

      I'd be interested in talking to you for a Register article relating to your comment. If you're interested, email me via mail [AT] samathieson.com - thanks.

  9. The Travelling Dangleberries
    Facepalm

    Brits who live in other parts of the EU...

    Too many of my dear countrymen seem to forget that there are people with British passports who, by dint of EU rules have been able to migrate to other EU and EEA countries. In nearly 20 years of living "on the continent" I have seen the administrative demands on internal EU migrants drop from having to re-register with the police once every three months/six months/once a year (The Netherlands) to registering with the local police once, a few years ago when I first moved to Norway.

    No-one on the "Out" camp seems to give a toss that new and unusual bureaucratic contortions might be foisted on people like me as a result of a "Brexit". The only bright point is that I am married to someone who has a non-British EU passport which might make things a little easier in the worst of the worst case scenarios.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Brits who live in other parts of the EU...

      Net migration to the UK from the EU has been something like 2-3 million, over the last ten years. I seem to recall it's averaged something like 500k in to 200k out. So yes, there's plenty of Brits in the EU - but then there's plenty of EU citizens living here. That's a good incentive to do a deal - which looks mostly like what we've got now, but probably with less benefits on both sides. It also might make it more attractive to seek citizenship, if you're throwing your lot in with another country in the long term.

      But this is politics. You have your concerns. And I believe you get a vote too. Others have their concerns. And we get to find out what the majority of people are most worried about. Other peoples' interests are harmed by the EU, and where's your concern about them?

      This is what the political process is about. Resolving disputes between competing interests.

      1. The Travelling Dangleberries

        Re: Brits who live in other parts of the EU...

        I won't get a vote, I have been off the electoral register for too long. The right to vote on such issues should be governed by the passport you hold, not by your status on the electoral register.

        As for interests being harmed, will Brexit make it easier to resolve child custody cases across UK/EU borders? Will it make it easier for you to access pension entitlements that you have built up in the various countries you have lived in? How about getting your British Masters Degree validated in the EU country you where you are looking for a job? If you as a Brit suffer a job related injury will you still retain your right to get sick pay from the German authorities? If you are assaulted in Norway will you still have rights to a payout from the victim support agency? How about getting emergency healthcare in France while on holiday when you need it? As a British family living in Britain both adults working, how will your life be improved if you can be sacked for refusing to work more than 48 hours a week?

        As for net immigration to the UK, does this mean that unemployment has gone up by 2-3 million in the last ten years or so or have a couple of those 2-3 million new arrivals actually found paying jobs?

        1. noboard
          Thumb Up

          Re: Brits who live in other parts of the EU...

          Errrmmm so your point is basically "Britain shoud stay so I won't have to fill out a few extra forms"?

          Well you've convinced me

          1. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge

            Re: Brits who live in other parts of the EU...

            If you indeed live in Norway, that is rather contrary to the title - Norway is not part of the EU. Perhaps that explains less bureaucracy.

            Just like international trade depends on treaties, so does freedom of movement. Perhaps joining EEA would not be such a bad idea.

            1. The Travelling Dangleberries

              Re: Brits who live in other parts of the EU...

              @ Bronek Kozicki

              "Perhaps that explains less bureaucracy."

              No, it is mainly that the rules have been "harmonised" over the years. After five years in the Netherlands I was told I did not need to register any more at the foreigners department of the local police. Norway otherwise is the most intensely bureaucratic country I have lived in, it trumps even The Netherlands in that respect.

              Whilst being outside the EU allows Norway room for manoeuvre in terms of farm subsidies the rights of free movement of workers are pretty much the same as in EU countries. Norway is a Schengen country for starters. You have a right to come here for a period of three months to look for work. If you find it then you can stay. Suffice it to say Norway is not free from the "bloody Johnny Foreigner taking our..." debate. It is raging nicely here too.

              Norway implements pretty much every EU directive that comes its way (the only one I can think of that they didn't implement was the Data Retention directive (RIP)). This actually causes problems in the cattle dairy farming sector. EU regulations for milking new parlours combined with Norwegian building regulations and hence building costs mean that it is not economic for smaller farms to build new facilities. They would never get a meaningful return on their investment. Many dairy farmers choose to shut up shop or move into other types of farming.

              So I doubt that EEA membership would change much for the UK. Apart from that it would make a packet for the postal services and Customs and Excise. Everything you order from EU countries would be liable for import duties/VAT etc plus the obligatory service charge from the postal company. That would make everyone happy wouldn't it...

  10. ChubbyBehemoth

    I guess that a Brexit would degenerate English football back to the old kick the bladder level of before Schengen. I think that that alone would scare the hell out of anyone in Blighty. Nor does it spell much good for the quality of weed if the Harwich to Hoek ferry has to unload with increased customs attention. Granted, the Brits never experienced the benefit of the Eurozone as much as I did on my many travels out of my minute country, but looking at the quality of the political debates in most EU countries I would state that the EU institutions are an absolute bliss to overcome the xenophobic neuroses that have gotten hold of them.

    Now surely there is a lot amiss with the amount of democracy in the institute and as such it is a bit far fetched to have much confidence in federalisation of the EU. But the alternative of going back to medieval city states and Swiss model valley clans doesn't appeal much either. The desire for cultural inbreeding may be strong, especially in the land of Cheddar and Marmite, but surely some of you Brits have enjoyed some of the benefits of the EU.

    On accord of the fear for Federalisation I'd say, take a look at the US and China. Both are inhabited by populations that don't care much about foreign policies as long as they're happy enough. They are ruled by incompetence on all levels and still manage to amaze the world. Neither is all that liberal on immigration, but freedom of movement internally has clear benefits, though the Chinese migrants are clearly worse off as migrants are second class citizens to the local City dwellers (no benefits, no school for their kids). Both states have clear cultural differences internally albeit not as strong as in the EU for the most part, but that has more to do with ethnic cleansing in certain periods of their ongoing history. That however is not very likely to happen in the EU any time soon. Last time it was tried it hardly made an impact on diversity of cultures, though some cultures suffered horribly.

    And if you Brits feel unimportant in the EU as it is, what do you think will happen once you have become the North Korea of Europe? Trade agreements? Sure... but don expect much of it as there has to be a certain price for leaving the EU to prevent further disintegration, even if it comes at some economic cost. The latter not all that significant in many respects either from the continental side and some states will see the opportunity to increase internal exports that are now in UK statistics. Nor do I expect the UK to survive very long as a British federation. There are quite some voices in it that are less than pleased with their overlords implementing insane rules and having quirky manners.

    It's a can of worms that has been opened,.. enjoy.

    1. a cynic writes...

      "...North Korea of Europe..."

      Like Switzerland that well known third world country?

      This is getting silly.

      From the top - if we vote out we've 2 years to negotiate all this stuff. I expect some of it to pass on the nod (because it's in no ones interest to fuck it up completely) and some of it will turn into a right pigs ear (because the people involved have previous). Neither the rose tinted wish fulfillment of the 'leavers' not the dire predictions of the 'remainers' will come to pass.

      Yes there may be some countries that want to cut up rough - I expect that the self defeating nature of doing so will be pointed out to them by wiser heads. In the event of a close vote (and given the EU's behaviour to previous referendums) I would not be surprised for there to be an attempt to move the goal posts. I realise that would be against its own rules but that has never been an obstacle in the past and doubt it would be in this case.

      1. Chemist

        Re: "...North Korea of Europe..."

        "Like Switzerland that well known third world country?"

        Switzerland gets rather a mixed deal from the EU, that have to accept migration, payments into the EU funds without representation and ~ 200 other rules/regulations etc.

        A rather limited BBC analysis : http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/uk-politics-eu-referendum-35603388 or better : http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-eu-referendum-35615604

        And if Scotland splits and joins the EU are we really going to have border controls ? (We don't with Ireland AFAIK)

        1. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge

          Re: "...North Korea of Europe..."

          Oh how surprising. BBC published articles on how bad Switzerland have it outside of EU. They have to implement only 200 regulations? I would say that's a very good deal. There are now more than 40,000 legal acts in the EU. And UK is currently subject to large proportion of them.

          Here is something for balance: A Brexit paradise: How Iceland's 'Project Fear' backfired , Brexit: what if the UK left the EU and could be more like Norway?

          1. Solmyr ibn Wali Barad

            Re: "...North Korea of Europe..."

            Switzerland, Norway and Iceland are quite good role models. If that's the goal, honestly, then go for it.

            But these 3 countries have some rather important qualities in common. In contrast with, say, North Korea. They respect and value their citizens. And they do not fancy spying on everybody.

            Still feeling brave?

          2. Chemist

            Re: "...North Korea of Europe..."

            "what-if-britain-left-the-eu-and-could-be-more-like-norway/"

            Thank you for this ref. It is quite detailed and needs close scrutiny. However ...

            Have you actually read it?

            Far from supporting exit it gives a considerable number of reasons for staying in as well as for leaving. One quote from it :-

            "Part of Rognan wants to join the EU to open up the market, which he says is the ultimate driver of the economy.

            Two of the EU’s biggest members, France and Germany, have already warned Britain that it would be denied access to the single market if it did not accept free movement of labour.

            The EEA agreement does allow members to restrict movement on the grounds of “public policy, public security or public health”, but only on a temporary basis."

            1. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge

              Re: "...North Korea of Europe..."

              Yes I did read it (although I've forgotten some bits since). I recon temporary restriction of movement on the basis of public policy would be enough to slow down the level of migration. There is little reason for permanent restriction. Just long enough for the poorer EU countries to improve their economy would be enough (so the economic pull of migration get smaller).

              On the second though, if EU is indeed going down the economic black hole, this pull might only become stronger. Nevertheless even in this case, it would be probably wise to be out. Unless of course UK wants to be a Messiah for the Europe - in which case who am I to argue.

      2. Yes Me Silver badge

        2 years to negotiate all this stuff.

        " if we vote out we've 2 years to negotiate all this stuff."

        It's taken Switzerland 40 years and they aren't settled yet. Sorry, but it is utterly delusional to imagine that a few blokes in a room in Brussels can settle all these issues under the gun in 2 years. Actually, the EU officials would most likely stall for 2 years because their hand would be much stronger after the actual exit had occurred.

        1. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge

          Re: 2 years to negotiate all this stuff.

          They will have to - given current trade balance between UK and rest of EU, they have much more to lose. Also, EEA is perfectly good treaty on the movement of goods, services and people, of which UK is already part - there will be no need to write new treaties from scratch to cover these areas, only join to EFTA next to Norway and Iceland (and Liechtenstein). If you follow the news, these countries will be happy to have Britain in EFTA. Since Switzerland is not part of EFTA, they have to negotiate by themselves. EEA does not cover all aspects of live, but that is actually why many want to leave the EU in the first place.

          1. Chemist

            Re: 2 years to negotiate all this stuff.

            "Since Switzerland is not part of EFTA, they have to negotiate by themselves"

            Switzerland is not only a member they were a founding member of EFTA !

            http://www.efta.int/about-efta/the-efta-states

            1. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge
              Facepalm

              Re: 2 years to negotiate all this stuff.

              Do'h

  11. Panicnow

    Removing the special treatment for eu

    By far the biggest problem is getting visas for non-EU staff.

    With the tidal wave of migration from EU under control. Recruitment from US Canada, India, Russia etc can restart on an equal footing to those still in the EU!

    1. Terry Barnes

      Re: Removing the special treatment for eu

      Your solution to having a group of people it's easy to recruit from and a group of people it's harder to recruit from is to make it harder for the easy group?

      Given that your 'tidal wave' don't require visas or permits, what possible difference does their removal make to the people and processes used to recruit outside of the EU? If anything, isn't it going to increase the workload as those EU inhabitants will now need to do something other than just accept the job offer and move.

      Removing ourselves from a pool of potential overseas recruits doesn't make recruiting people from overseas easier.

    2. Just Enough

      Re: Removing the special treatment for eu

      What? The problem you have recruiting people from "US Canada, India, Russia etc" is down to the fact it's too easy to recruit a "tidal wave" from the EU?

      Have you thought this through?

      "I find it's difficult to get Pickled Onion crisps. The obvious solution to my problem is to reduce the supply of Ready Salted. They're too plentiful and easy to get."

  12. The Axe

    FUD

    Fear Uncertainty and Doubt.

    The remainers are playing up the scaremongering to extreme hype levels because they don't have any real facts that are totally down to the EU doing something good. Many of what they spout could just as much happened if the UK was outside the EU. Look at all the other countries in the world, they aren't part of the EU, but have they suffered? Sure some have (mostly socialist despot ridden countries, a bit like the EU :-) ), but overall the world is a better place than when the EU was created, and it isn't down to the creation of the EU.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: FUD

      "Fear Uncertainty and Doubt.

      The remainers are playing up the scaremongering to extreme hype levels "

      You seem to have a pretty low opinion of the leaders of the industry sector that I presume most of us work in. If there was no good reason to stay do you not think that logically they might just say that? Presumably they mostly make sound, logical decisions based on evidence, experience and knowledge, and yet mysteriously they all seem to be lying and spreading fear when it comes to the EU.

      Occam's Razor would suggest it's you who is wrong.

      1. The Axe

        Re: FUD

        A small number of the leaders of the IT industry. There are many other leaders in many other industries and not all of them are for staying in the EU. I suspect all of them will make sound logical decisions based on what they think and perceive and believe will help their personal interests. I also suspect all of them will make their decisions based on what they are told to say to keep the the status quo so that their personal interests are maximised.

        Occam's Razor and all.

        Or am I being a bit too cynical?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: FUD

      And the leavers are doing exactly the same - spreading fear uncertainty and doubt and telling the children to hide under the bed in case the Brussels bogeyman gets them, except of course this Brussels bogeyman will turn all cuddly and friendly the day after we leave. I haven't seen many positive and logically thought through arguments for staying, but I haven't seen ANY positive and logically thought through arguments for leaving. If we leave though, I am sure Donald Trump won't mind cutting us a deal, he has to replace his Mexican sub-minimum wage no health care fruit pickers from somewhere.

  13. Cynic_999 Silver badge

    I am certain only of one thing: No matter which side wins, the reality will be completely different to their predictions.

  14. itzman

    The end to freedom of movement that being a member state of the EU has provided.???

    Er no, that has NOTHING to do with the EU. We aren't even IN Shengen.

    And there is nothing to stop a simple rubber stamp 'you have a job, here is a work permit' type arrangement.

    Al this FUD that assumes the EU will behave like a sulky teenager and refuse to deal with Britain at all, is incredible.

    1. Yes Me Silver badge

      Re: The end to freedom of movement that being a member state of the EU has provided.???

      "We aren't even IN Shengen."

      That isn't what it's about. Free movement of labour is the right of any EU citizen to work in any EU country. Schengen is about passportless travel and a single travel visa for non-EU citizens.

  15. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    Flame

    Reading the article

    and looking between the lines gives me this statement from the IT bosses

    "We dont want the UK to exit from the EU because it will make it harder and more expensive to get skilled staff"

    Well..... if you want skilled staff............... WHY DONT YOU TRAIN THEM?

    Or do you think knowledge falls from the tree in the center of the garden into our heads by means of magic pixie dust?

    Oh sorry I forgot... training staff takes money and time....... silly me... the bosses want it now and dont want to pay for it.

    Anyway.. I'm voting out... because like Tony Benn I have 2 questions for the EU government... Who put you there? and How do I get rid of you?

    1. Yes Me Silver badge

      Re: Reading the article

      " I have 2 questions for the EU government... Who put you there? and How do I get rid of you?"

      Those are good questions. Except that there isn't an EU government. There's an EU parliament, and presumably you voted in the last MEP election, since you care about this. There are EU Commissioners, and they're appointed by national governments, and presumably you voted in the last UK election.

      Tony Benn knew all this perfectly well, of course.

      1. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
        Flame

        Re: Reading the article

        BS

        I can vote in a national election, my party may or may not win, but the winning party can be dumped out at the next election.

        Remember Neil pillock sorry kinnock... twice defeated in UK elections.... suddenly hes EU commissioner for the UK.. I distinctly remember not voting for that windbag (along with a lot of other people)and suddenly he has power?

        EU president? well heres a turn up.... someone nobody in europe has voted for and hes got the job by a bunch of backroom deals among the governments of the EU.. sorry that aint a democracy.

        Sure you can vote for an MEP... but they're not likely to upset anything, and in any case power resides with the EU governments and the officials they appoint to be in charge of us

        PS I'm not the downvoter either

        1. Terry Barnes

          Re: Reading the article

          Guess which national government vetoed making the EU president electable directly by citizens? I'll give you a clue - two words, first word 'United'.

    2. SA_Mathieson

      Re: Reading the article

      I'd be interested in talking to you for a Register article relating to your comment. If you're interested, email me via mail [AT] samathieson.com - thanks.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The main reason I'm voting 'In'...

    Is simple - without Europe, all of our basic human rights will be in the sole control of Theresa May for the foreseeable future.

    / 1984 was a warning, not an instruction manual

    1. Bigg Phill

      Re: The main reason I'm voting 'In'...

      Which is why she's a vocal part of the leave campaign?

      Oh, hang on..

    2. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

      Re: The main reason I'm voting 'In'...

      ...without Europe, all of our basic human rights will be in the sole control of Theresa May for the foreseeable future...

      That sound as if you're voting IN because you want to travel to Paris in August without needing a passport...

      Couldn't you take a bit more long-term view? Perhaps one based on fundamental principles? Of is the most important driver for the future of the country the fact that you can buy paint 15p cheaper in Calais hypermarket because they have a sale on...?

  17. All names Taken
    Paris Hilton

    You know ...

    ... how easy it is to get to, for example, Manchester.

    And to work in Manchester, go shopping there, see friends and relatives there ...

    Well imagine:

    the only people who could work in Manchester had to live in Manchester

    the only people who could shop in Manchester had to live in Manchester

    the only dah-de-dah-de-dah ... Manchester

    That's the future folks but UK power people aren't bothered because as all the stats and anecdotes suggest; folks in upper income brackets are more insulated against such shocks?

    Jus askin that all.

    1. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

      Re: You know ...

      ..the only people who could shop in Manchester had to live in Manchester....

      I wonder how Britons ever managed to go abroad before the EU was invented...?

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ibsen

    Reading the articles' title made me think how many trolls be here. Perusal confirms my worst suspicions.

    Don't feed 'em

  19. Tromos

    Social marketing company threatens to leave

    Sounds like a good incentive to vote out.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm voting for out, the EU is not the EEC we voted for in the 70s.

  21. Aurelian2

    The EU is not the EEA

    The EU is not the EEA, and leaving the EU does not necessarily entail leaving the EEA. It's a matter for negotiation.

    Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein are members of the EEA despite not being members of the EU.

    Norway's representation on world bodies upstream of the EU means it has a say which Britain no longer has in the formulation of regulations.

    Brexit will be a gradual process and there'll be little if any visible change during the early years. Forty-plus years of integration cannot be undone at a stroke.

    For the full story, see "Flexcit: The Market Solution for leaving the EU", available as a free download from both EUReferendum.com and LeaveHQ.com.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Speaking from personal experience

    I upped sticks from working for a UK company and moved to Amsterdam, where I had got a job working in IT. The job was working providing software support for a UK retail chain, so as a British native it was easy to get the job.

    I spent 5 great years in The Netherlands, although not at that one job, as the company took the work in-house in the UK, and I only came back to the UK because of family issues. If we leave in the EU, and I get tied to this island because I can't just up and work in another country off the cuff, I am going to be an angry resident.

    People also forget the British migrant workers who will be forced back to this country if Britain leaves the EU. Roughly 2 million+ net British people left these shores, so you'd have those active workers being forced to return to this country.

    How do you think Britain would cope with a massive influx of people who don't want to be here, who have become accustomed to a more relaxed and liberal way of living? One thing is for sure, it won't be a happy country.

    1. pompurin

      Re: Speaking from personal experience

      > People also forget the British migrant workers who will be forced back to this country if Britain leaves the EU.

      There is absolutely no evidence of that. FUD.

      1. Dr_N Silver badge

        Re: Speaking from personal experience

        The fact that people could end up having to return to the UK, if there is an "out" result doen't even get a look in.

        Why should EU countries grant or renew residency and work permits to non EU citizens?!

        Should play well to the far right in many countries:

        Damn British, coming over here, stealing our jobs, taking our child benefit....

        Prepare for the tidal wave of returning expats!

        I, for one, will be wanting my free house and benefits on arrival.

  23. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

    In a nutshell:

    At present, the EU won't give us the rules we want but, if we leave, suddenly the people who won't give us the rules we want will decide to give us the rules we want because if they don't give us the rules we want then there won't be any rules to give us and the people who give us the rules we don't want will be out of a job so they damn well better give us the rules we want if they want there to be any rules to give us at all.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: In a nutshell:

      Well put Sir Humphrey.

      1. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

        Re: In a nutshell:

        We definitely need a Sir Humphrey icon.

  24. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

    Why do we get such misinformation?

    ...The reason? The end to freedom of movement that being a member state of the EU has provided...

    Why do these lies gain such credence? The 'Remain' crown seem to assume that, if we leave the EU, then ALL EU Legislation will automatically be immediately reversed! So, for instance, I have heard otherwise intelligent people arguing that, if a substance is deemed to be dangerous to eat and an EU directive has banned it, when we leave the EU we will have to start eating it again...!

    What planet do these people inhabit? When we leave the EU we will be in charge of our own laws. If a substance is dangerous, it will be our decision to ban it. If we want to let the French or Germans work here freely, we can easily let them. The point is that it will be OUR decision, made by considering what is BEST for US. At the moment, if something is seen as good by Brussels, but is obviously bad for us, we are forced to accept it.

    As an example, what happened to our fishing fleet...?

    1. Terry Barnes

      Re: Why do we get such misinformation?

      "The point is that it will be OUR decision, made by considering what is BEST for US. At the moment, if something is seen as good by Brussels, but is obviously bad for us, we are forced to accept it.

      As an example, what happened to our fishing fleet...?"

      You should probably read up on the Tragedy of the Commons.

      If we hadn't have been in the EU and if our fishing fleet hadn't have shrunk, those fish would be extinct. Humanity has to take long term decisions that deliver the best results for all of us, else we all lose. Doing what's right for Britain alone is blinkered and ultimately harms us.

  25. Esme

    Does not compute

    Disclaimer - I am, I know, politically naieve. But I do at least try to keep up.

    OK, what's puzzling me is why companies automatically seem to think that they won't be able to get the right kind of staff from within Britain if Britain leaves the EU. This begs the question of what is happening elsewhere such that people with the right skills ARE being trained. And in the IT industry, I gather from colleagues who are specialists (remember, I'm a lowly helldesker, not an IT specialist) most meaningful training comes on the job. So does that mean that companies in the UK can't be bothered to train folk locally? If so, why not?

    With regard to Brexit, I think the EU is a great idea implemnted about as badly as is possible, and that we do need to be able to control immigration better (and I'm a green-tinged lefty, please note, not a right-winger) simply because what 'multi-culturalism' seems to be doing is to encourage folk to not bother trying to fit in with British cultural and social norms.

    Accusations of racism against those wanting to slow down immigration and give us chance to absorb the immigrants we already have are greatly missing the point; it's not racism that is the issue, it's culturalism - we want to preserve ours, and welcome immigrants into it, so that we are all part of the same culture and our mutual culture changes (partly due to the immigrants we welocme) for all of us together as the years pass. What we emphatically do not want is for immigrants coming here to simply decide to ignore the local social norms and try to carry on according to the norms of wherever they came from no matter whether that is offensive or illegal by local norms. And that kind of thing is happening enough to make a great many people uneasy.

    It's like inviting visitors into your home who demand that they behave as they wish in your home, irrespective of it offends you. No, that's just not on. And there are plenty of immigrants here who feel much the same way - they came here as much because of our society as because of any perceived hope of a financially improved life. What they don't want is folk coming here wanting to turn UK culture into something foreign - sometimes because that's exactly what they've come here to get away from!

    Folk expecting completely free movement of people to not cause problems are, frankly, off in cloud-cukoo land, and could do with a better understanding of human nature. I'd thought that only the sociopathic could fail to see that.

    Immigration - sure - just not untrammelled, please. EU - yes, please - but can we rewind back to when there were just 7 in it, then carry on form there doing it SENSIBLY this time?!

    I might just not vote for the first time in my life. To me the situation re this is a bit like being asked whether I want my left or my right leg broken. I don't want EITHER broken, I want some more sensible options, please!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Does not compute

      "OK, what's puzzling me is why companies automatically seem to think that they won't be able to get the right kind of staff from within Britain if Britain leaves the EU. This begs the question of what is happening elsewhere such that people with the right skills ARE being trained."

      You are missing the point, it just about numbers.

      The UK had a total employable population of around 32 million people in 2014. Out of those only a % will ever work in IT, and as IT grows, it needs more specialists. The more specialists you need, the lower % of the population is available.

      Compare this with being in the EU, where the free transfer of skilled work means there is a total employable workforce of around 242 million. Sure there are additional % reducers such as language, if you work strictly with UK, though these are % increases when you deal with EU.

      "I gather from colleagues who are specialists (remember, I'm a lowly helldesker, not an IT specialist) most meaningful training comes on the job. So does that mean that companies in the UK can't be bothered to train folk locally? If so, why not?"

      On the job training is provided, but ironically, to get the kind of role where you will get training, you need to have shown evidence of that you are willing to invest in training for yourself. This is largely because companies want to know their investment in you is worth while, and that you have shown you have the understanding to pass a professional qualification, so the study isn't a problem. Of course, having a degree shows the study side isn't a problem, and a relevant degree of course doubly so. In the EU, you have access to more Degree students in pure numbers than you do in the UK alone.

      I always advise people to pay for their first professional qualification, if they don't have a degree. Better jobs and more qualifications soon follow.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Terry Barnes

        Re: Does not compute

        "If it was, as some evidence suggests, designed by Nazi industrialists to dominate Europe after defeat in WW2, it has delivered."

        It was Churchill's idea. He called for a "kind of United States of Europe" to end the almost perpetual state of war between European nations. It seems to be working according to Churchill's plan.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Xenophobia is at the root of it all..

    British are like that

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Naked capitalist self interest (profit) is at the root of the economic case for the EU.

      A lack of patriotism (national social concern) is why the EU project has progressed so far without a democratic mandate (the only democratic mandate is for a free market).

      Satanism is the driving force behind why people's morals and values have been inverted. Xenophobia is natural and necessary for the division (creation) of life .

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    100% of the people consulted thought their business needs were more important than the collective needs of the British people.

    100% of the politicians argue for business needs, rather than the interests of the people who they represent, most of whom are not business people.

    There is obviously too much employment in Britain which is why we have so many foreigners living here. If some of these business leaders moved their businesses abroad (or just moved some jobs abroad) that would be good for Britain in the long term. When the foreigners leave, housing costs will fall allowing British people to afford to live in their own country again, and less competition for jobs will end the cycle of increasing inequality. A lower cost of living will allow Britain to compete internationally in a wider range of industries.

    The purpose of a country is to provide a decent affordable place to live for the people of that country, not to sell out to the richest international buyer.

    The purpose of business is to provide goods for people's needs. When technology replaces people, will business serve only the super rich with the masses relegated to Third World subsistence living?

  28. Grubby

    Where is the positive argument to stay

    I haven't actually heard a single positive argument for staying in the EU so far. I've heard a lot of statements as to why going will be bad but no-one has stood up and said this will happen if you stay, it's all, you'll lose this if you go, and this, and this.

    I don't believe there's enough information out there about the pro's and cons and the government are hiding the facts to make it an emotional vote rather than an informed one. Both sides of the argument are guilty of it. Show me the facts in pounds pence and everything else and I'll make a decision, in other words write me a business case and I'll decide if the case stacks up. Change is definitely needed but in or out is like saying my car isn't working properly, sell it or keep it. Well you can't keep a broken car, but you can fix it, and if you sell it you have no car so what's the alternative?

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Um.

    Am I the only one who notices it's all the rich business owners hiring non-UK workers that's against Brexit?

    I'm a 40 year old still living at home with parents because my housing list position kept getting lower and lower while all the refugees, immigrants, etc all got housed immediately. I was unemployed for years after I was made redundant and found it difficult to get back in to work. My hospital and doctors appointments are now getting weeks and weeks apart as there's a massive waiting list. I have no problem in people getting help when they desperately need it but I've lived here all my life and payed my taxes, etc but now feel I'm not getting what *I* need when *I* need it. It's time to limit immigration to a sustainable amount, stop getting involved in wars, stop sending so much aid to foreign countries while cutting our services and options for help. The government isn't very big on aid to it's own UK "refugees" who live on the streets with no food and no money. Yes, some of them may be there of their own accord but there's many who are there through no fault of their own. Charity begins at home and all that.

    These rich business owners and politicians can't see the real issues with all the free movement; they already have their big houses, their private medical care and their fancy jobs. They don't have to wait in line to get what they "need". Try living in the housing schemes where it's hard to get a job, appointments, housing, etc.

    Then they wonder why there's so much depression and suicides. Been there, tried that. Now I'm thinking for myself, about myself. Those from abroad that depserately need help should get help, but all this free movement nonsense has to stop.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Um.

      "I'm a 40 year old still living at home with parents because my housing list position kept getting lower and lower while all the refugees, immigrants, etc all got housed immediately. "

      Liar.

      1. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

        Re: Um.

        Families get housed ahead of single individuals. And the OP is in stable accommodation, rather than flitting between homeless shelters or B&B. Of course, they don't see all the immigrants who aren't getting housed because they, too, are single. But I can believe the OP is moving down the list; there just aren't enough houses being built and it's a vicious game to decide who gets what limited resources we have.

    2. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

      Re: Um.

      @OP

      If we leave, what's to stop the house builders reducing the rate of housebuilding in order to maintain their profits? And who's going to do all the building if most of the builders are as, often portrayed, immigrants?

      You're aiming your ire at the wrong target. The real problems are the policies of this government and their phallic fallacy of balanced budgets. That's why homelessness and hospital waiting times are increasing.

  30. ben_myers

    As an outsider

    As an outsider weighing the hypothetical gains v losses from a Brexit, the UK would lose a lot and gain little. In other words, I agree with Cameron, who has stated his position very eloquently.

  31. Peter Johnston 1

    One big wrong assumption

    The Stay campaign makes one big assumption - that the EU will go on, totally unchanged, if there is a British withdrawal.

    The reality is that it will be holed below the waterline.

    It will lose its second highest net contributor and 10 billion euros in income.

    This means many of its projects will be unaffordable and many countries asked to pay more.

    It will give a lead to many of the northern countries, less than committed to EU membership.

    Brexit would be followed by at least 3 other Exits.

    It is already clear that the Euro remains in trouble and on a downward trajectory. This will lead to a crisis in 2017 or 18. France and/or Italy will fail.

    The real question is do we want to strap ourselves into this car crash about to happen?

    And tie ourselves to a zero growth stag economy for the next decade?

    Or should we tie ourselves to the higher growth economies we have special ties to.

    Commonwealth countries, antipodean countries and Asian countries, with 5%+ growth?

    1. small and stupid

      Incompetent Diplomacy and pandering to fuckwits

      The fact is there is significant anti-further-integration opinion throughout the EU, and the EU superstate can easily be derailed, but cunning diplomacy in smoke filled backrooms doesnt impress the Daily Failtards. For whom the EU has become a scapegoat for every ill under the sun. And of course the EU is nice smokescreen for the idiocy of the day from our ruling caste.

  32. James Anderson Silver badge

    Competition for the most illogical reason to stay or leave.

    The proponents on both sides are coming up with some bizarre and spurious arguments for staying in or leaving.

    There are numerous examples such as how leaving a organization with no military or law enforcement arm would "harm our security".

    Or how leaving a club of counties with the highest youth unemployment in the developed world would "be harmful the future of British youth".

    It would be nice if El Reg would award one of its Vulture droppings to the silliest "reason" of the week.

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