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

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

  1. Potemkine Silver badge

    Did UK make ever something positive to make EU stronger?

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

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

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

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

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge
      WTF?

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

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

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

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

      1. Potemkine Silver badge

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

        "despite them obviously not being good things."

        This is an opinion, not a fact.

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

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

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

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

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

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

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

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

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

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

          1. styx-tdo

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

            @dan

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

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

            1. martinusher Silver badge

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

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

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

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

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

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

          2. LDS Silver badge

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

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

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

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

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

            1. Dan 55 Silver badge

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

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

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

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

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

              1. LDS Silver badge

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

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

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

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

                1. subject

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

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

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

                2. JEDIDIAH
                  Linux

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

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

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

                  1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

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

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

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

          3. GrumpyOldMan

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

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

            1. LDS Silver badge

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

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

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

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

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

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

        2. Known Hero

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

          @Potemkine

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

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

        3. Darren B 1

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

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

          Not quite, almost but not quite.

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

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

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

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

          So IMO Schengen has advantages but also disadvantages.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

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

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

        4. Tom 38 Silver badge

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

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

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

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

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

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

          1. Dan 55 Silver badge

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

            Fine, but EEA != EFTA. See here.

          2. JEDIDIAH
            Devil

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

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

        5. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

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

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

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

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

            " I wish that UK was part of Schengen."

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

      2. daemonoid

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

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

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

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

    2. MyffyW Silver badge

      Positive effect of UK on EU

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

    3. Graham Marsden
      Boffin

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

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

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

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

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

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

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

        What have you been drinking or smoking.

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

        It is quite the opposite.

        Sir cheaper pound means more affordable exports so more exports.

        1. Indolent Wretch

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

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

        2. Uffish

          Re: "cheaper pound means more affordable exports"

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

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "cheaper pound means more affordable exports"

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

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

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

            3) Do your homework.

        3. Graham Marsden
          Facepalm

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

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

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

          (Slaps self on forehead) Duh!

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

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

        4. Ignorance is bliss

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

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

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

      2. StomperUK

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

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

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

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

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

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

        1. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

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

          We CAN'T make a positive contribution to the EU

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

        2. heyrick Silver badge

          (read 'dilution of national identity')

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

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

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

          1. Xamol

            Re: (read 'dilution of national identity')

            I second that. Very embarrassing.

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

      3. Ian Emery Silver badge

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

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

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

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

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

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

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

          @Ian

          "Turkey are being "Fast-Tracked";"

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

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

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

          "The EU Army"

          Que!???

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

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

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

    4. WatAWorld

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

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

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

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

    5. dajames Silver badge
      IT Angle

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

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

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

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

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

      (See: There is an IT angle!)

      1. RegGuy1

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

        Oh, fuck.

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

        Brilliant. Well done.

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

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

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

        As I said -- oh fuck.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

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

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

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

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

    6. Dr Stephen Jones

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

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

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

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

      1. H in The Hague Silver badge

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

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

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

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

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

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

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

        2. LDS Silver badge

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

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

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

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

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

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

          1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

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

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

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

      2. uncle sjohie

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

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

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

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

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

      What did your rich uncle ever do for ypu?

      Paid for everythng.

    8. R3sistance

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

      If the UK never joined the EEC then I doubt the EU would have even lasted this long. Sure the UK doesn't like dealing with the EU but the EU depends on money that it gets from the UK. The UK never needed to join the EEC in the first place, certainly there was no economical requirement for it since the UK already had strong trade networks within the commonwealth already and the Commonwealth threatens to dwarf the EU in terms of economic power in the long term.

      The biggest question isn't what the UK has done for the EU (which is a lot), it was the EU has done for the UK (which is little), it still makes no real sense for continuation of EU membership in the UK. People focus so much on the "economic" side of the EU that they forget the UK has alternatives and that leaving the EU does not require the end of free trade between the UK and the EU. Free trade benefits both the UK and EU whereas EU membership does not benefit the UK at all, it benefits the EU.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

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

        Actually, thanks to Ms. Thatcher, UK gets more money from EU than those it pays. AFAIK there are only three states the pays more money then the amount they get back, and they are Germany, France, and quite incredibly, Italy (thanks to its advanced, productive and rich North....)

        Don't worry Britain will be bought from its ex Commonwealth, especially India, which will dwarf it soon, especially once outside the EU.... once the roles will be reversed, enjoy it...

    9. naive

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

      Great comment. After centuries of warmongering across Europe, costing millions and millions of Europeans their lives, it is good when England removes itself from interfering with the business of Continental Europe.

      Just vote to leave, sit straight on the back legs when the White House tosses a cookie, and all will be good.

      1. RegGuy1

        it is good when England removes itself from interfering with the business of Continental Europe.

        No doubt pronounced Ingerland (= Angles land; Angles, obviously coming from Angela Merkel).

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: it is good when England removes itself from interfering with the business of Continental Europe.

          Indeed. If we removed ourselves from interfering with the business of Continental Europe - that would be very sad. More than five centuries of English grand strategy down the toilet. Back to the 15th century, after we were finally kicked out of Europe... and we didn't even have Scotland. Boom boom!

    10. Lars Silver badge
      Happy

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

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nBULldFtLvk

      Perhaps this will help.

    11. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      Facepalm

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

      "....What UK wants is a common market, not a political union....." Exactly! The problem is that you Europeans just can't seem to understand why anyone would be reluctant to be forced into your EUSSR after we originally only signed up for a common market.

    12. collinsl

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

      I think it's worth noting that almost every other country has negotiated opt-outs or amendments with the EU - admittedly we're one of the "worst offenders" for this, but we're not the only one.

      IMO the European flag is a ring of stars to represent the opt out stars on all the treaties and laws.

    13. Xamol

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

      Didn't British lawyers draft the original European Convention on Human Rights back in the 50s?

      On other points, things have to change on both sides. I'm against a move to a federal Europe and ever closer ties. I think ties are, broadly speaking, quite close enough. Why try to deny the nature of Europe which is ingrained with a deep sense of sovereinty and means that creating a federal Europe or moving towards it is simply increasing the pressure to the point of rapid unscheduled disassembly (IT angle?). The UK is merely the closest member state to that point.

      Drive the EU towards what it should be which is an organisation that makes life easier for European citizens and businesses and forget about becoming some huge self serving political entity. Then, in return, the UK should promise to stop electing dickheads like Farage as MEPs. That way the UK might have some chance of being a positive force from within.

      1. subject

        Re: Didn't British lawyers draft the original European Convention on Human Rights back in the 50s?

        @Xamol: SPOT ON. Drafted at Churchill's instigation by the Scotsman David Maxwell Fyfe, later Tory Lord Chancellor, formerly Britain's chief Nuremberg prosecutor, the man who found the way to rip apart Herman Goering's defence in cross-examination.

        The ECHR is English natural justice in drag, rammed down the throats of the European nations' legal systems so that fascist governments in Europe could never rise again. The UK was the founding signatory. Stuff like Right to life. Right to Property. Non-confiscation. Non-enslavement. non-torture. Even fair trial! Freedom of expression! Privacy! How refreshingly novel!

        Cute irony isn't it? Both parties, under Thatcher and Blair, tore up English natural justice along with what was left of the constitution. Now they chafe under our last brake on tyranny, the ECHR. Churchill's greatest legacy. Well done, Conservative Party! Slow handclap!

  2. ZSn

    Repeating history

    "something about Britain historically had allowed it to avoid the dark places Europe had gone" - have you read any history? Irish potato famine? Letting a million starve to death to India. etc etc. No country is above a spot of mass murder/genocide when it suits their purpose and they can get away with it.

    Sorry after this howler I didn't have the heart to read the rest of this. In contrast I am voting in and am happy to stand by that.

    1. emmanuel goldstein

      Re: Repeating history

      I think he meant that from the point of view of an immigrant from central Europe in the 30s and 40s, Britain was indeed a relatively civilised place. The horrors you mention were dreadful and wicked but were either too distant in time or space so as to render them not really germane to a discussion about European union today.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Repeating history

        With the far right close to winning elections all over Europe I don't agree that these horrors are wicked or distant at all. Wait for the next big economic shock and see how distant they really are.

        1. JEDIDIAH
          Linux

          Re: Repeating history

          You already have Fascism versus Communism playing out in the US. The growth of either are fueled by economic shock.

    2. conel

      Re: Repeating history

      "No blood had been shed here affecting change for a very long time. "

      That's as far as I got through the article as well, bizarre claim. The year before joining Europe was the height of the troubles, 500 killed in one year.

      1. Titus Technophobe

        Re: Repeating history

        Looking at the statistics for 1974 casualties in Northern Ireland there seem to be 294, and of those 73 were probably army.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Repeating history

          There was a habit of moving (no doubt for perfectly good medical reasons) seriously wounded servicemen in Northern Ireland to military hospitals in Germany and then lumping deaths in with road accidents to servicemen serving in Germany. When the sudden upturn in Army deaths in Germany was noticed, the figures stopped being published.

        2. conel

          Re: Repeating history

          "Looking at the statistics for 1974 casualties in Northern Ireland there seem to be 294, and of those 73 were probably army."

          The UK joined Europe in 1973 and according to the below data 479 people were killed in 1972. Not that the exact numbers really matter, the point is the UK wasn't a utopia immune to internal strife as Andrew is trying to make out.

          http://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=phNtm3LmDZEM2Jpkp5e0ldQ

    3. Bumpy Cat

      Re: Repeating history

      An incompetent or callous response to natural disaster is not the same as fascism, mass murder or genocide. Conflating the two is a very good example of "the frightful inferiority complex of the English intellectual".

      1. Stork Bronze badge

        Re: Repeating history

        @ Bumpy Cat: OK then - I seem to remember that concentration camps were invented for the Boer's families, right?

        Most nations tend to have patchy memories regarding the less palatable parts of their histories. The main exception AFAIK is Germany.

      2. JEDIDIAH
        Linux

        Re: Repeating history

        English policy led to the famine and English policy made it worse. It's on par with the famine in Ukraine triggered by Stalin.

    4. MyffyW Silver badge

      Re: Repeating history

      Potato famine. Flipping heck, has it really come to this ...

      The famine was caused by potato blight but made a damned sight worse by the Corn Laws which put a tariff on food imports [Lesson: Free trade is a good thing].

      The famine caused a large scale migration, to Scotland, England and the United States [Lesson: Free movement of people is nothing new. And it's generally a good thing].

      Now land acquisitions and absentee landlords certainly didn't help. And most of the owners were rich Brits [Lesson: The rich won't do anything to help the poor until the problem starts to bite them on the arse].

      1. ZSn

        Re: Repeating history

        @MyffyW Flipping heck, has it really come to this ...

        Just off the top of my head:

        Cromwellian conquest of Ireland: over 200,000 civilian casualties

        Irish potato famine: there was enough food in Ireland, but strangely the British Empire was indifferent to the starvation of one million of its own subjects. Just mother nature to you it seems.

        Second Boer War concentration camps: 24,074 children died in British concentration camps. Not the scale of the German camps, however is that really something to be proud of?

        @Bumpy Cat

        "the frightful inferiority complex of the English intellectual" When you are not a jingoist "patriot" who can see their own nation for what it is you have an "inferiority complex"? You misuse the quote in its entirety, Orwell was critiquing the fact that Britain expected the other nations of Europe (read Russia for that) to do the fighting for us in world war II. This is *precisely* what we expect to do with Europe now, withdraw when the going gets tough and let others shoulder the burden. Perhaps when you use quotes you should understand their context.

        1. Bumpy Cat

          Re: Repeating history

          C...Cromwell? Something that happened over 300 years ago? I think you are having to stretch quite far for examples now.

          Can you summarise what you see your own nation as? I see a nation which has generally been ahead of the curve in individual rights, personal liberty and democracy, compared to most of Europe and the world. Shameful episodes exist - no nation is perfect - but they are smaller and rarer than other nations, especially empires on the same scale.

          What do you see?

        2. MyffyW Silver badge

          Re: Repeating history

          @ZSn that our country has made mistakes, has not always followed the noblest of intentions nor done the noblest of deeds are established facts. That should not detract from the truth - that in the past 100 years we have stood twice against autocratic continental regimes, and have sheltered those fleeing from persecution.

          For those reasons I'm voting Remain. And for the same reasons I respect, and am friends with, those who vote Leave.

    5. This post has been deleted by its author

    6. Bloakey1

      Re: Repeating history

      <snip>

      "Sorry after this howler I didn't have the heart to read the rest of this. In contrast I am voting in and am happy to stand by that."

      I thought it looked good, saw the author and skipped the article knowing i could get more from the comments by 'tards than else where.

      i speak quite a few European languages and live in the deep south of Europe. I do not care what politicians do or do not do, I like it here and not the UK and here I intend to stay come what may.

      So put me down as a don't care and one who will only vote when they have "None of the above" on their form'.

  3. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    So where is the post to balance this out?

    Remember

    The grass is not always greener on the other side

    and

    Better the Devil you know than the devil you don't know..

    Wanna got to spain/italy/greece on your hols? Better get used to paying £100 per person for your visa in future. Not possible? don't put it past the French especially to put all sorts of hurdles in the way of people/goods going through or over France.

    Sadly, I get the feeling that we will vote to leave. BJ will become PM and what then? Depression more like.

    1. gazthejourno (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: So where is the post to balance this out?

      Britain has visa-free travel agreements with something like 170 countries around the world. That was in place decades before the EU was even thought of, and it would be perverse if the self-proclaimed believers in free movement in the EU decided to re-erect those barriers after we leave.

      1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

        Re: So where is the post to balance this out?

        But don't put it past the EU to get all sinffy about a leave vote and decide those agreements are null and void. What then eh?

        1. rh587

          Re: So where is the post to balance this out?

          But don't put it past the EU to get all sinffy about a leave vote and decide those agreements are null and void. What then eh?

          Well BMW, Mercedes and Volkswagen Group will all start laying off German workers for one - 20% of cars made in Germany are sold into the UK.

          Yes, we rely on European markets. 50% of our exports go to the EU, compared with 15% of Continental Europe's exports coming to us. But although we arguably have more to lose, the pain for the EU if they decided to be punitive would be immense.

          Let's not be alarmist here - if we leave, we will take two years to do it and there will be a raft of agreements in place. And they won't be terrible. I note with interest that although many people have bemoaned "the Norway solution" as encumbering us with EU laws which we have no power over, it can't be that awful - Norway is a stable economy which would easily qualify for entry to both EU and Eurozone, but they choose not to. Interesting.

          I'm still on the fence. Andrew's notes about Africa and the EU's negative impact on developing nations are well-expressed points that I've not seen raised by anyone in the last few months and are tugging me that way. A 100million person EEA could be hold good clout as a trade movement minus the politics.

      2. Cynical Observer
        FAIL

        Re: So where is the post to balance this out?

        Visa Free Travel is not the same as the right to live and work.

        Conflating the two does not make your argument valid.

        1. gazthejourno (Written by Reg staff)

          Re: Re: So where is the post to balance this out?

          Yer man said visas. Try reading the argument before wading in.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: So where is the post to balance this out?

        The EU doesn't believe in free movement, it believes in free trade, of which freedom of movement is a key and indivisible component.

        I wouldn't expect visas for leisure travel, but you can kiss your transferable pension, healthcare and voting rights goodbye. Go find a friendly expat in Australia or NZ and find out how much of their pension pot they had to give up when they moved. Eye watering stuff.

        1. JEDIDIAH
          Devil

          Re: So where is the post to balance this out?

          Losing pension bennies for moving out of the country? That doesn't sound terribly civilized. In fact it sounds a lot like American horror stories.

      4. Simon Watson

        Re: So where is the post to balance this out?

        Visa free is not the same as free movement of labour. We can go visa free to many countries, but those visas rarely allow work.

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: So where is the post to balance this out?

        A great example of Brexit fallacy Number 37. The EU are so horrid that we cant't trust them and have to leave, but if we leave they will be sweetness and light, and won't do anything retaliatory.

        If I joined a golf club, and had a reciprocal agreement to play at other group clubs, in what world would I expect to still have that free access if my club left the group? It might mean the other golf clubs lose out on my 19th hole spending - but if there aren't benefits to being in a club, everyone would leave.

        1. gazthejourno (Written by Reg staff)

          Re: Re: So where is the post to balance this out?

          It's the battered partner's worst fear.

          "What will he/she do to me if I do walk away? I'd better stay here just in case."

          1. MyffyW Silver badge

            Re: So where is the post to balance this out?

            I think the balance is being played out in the comments section.

          2. Charlie Clark Silver badge
            FAIL

            Re: So where is the post to balance this out?

            It's the battered partner's worst fear.

            So, you're now stooping to comparing international agreements with domestic abuse? 'Nuff said.

            1. codejunky Silver badge

              Re: So where is the post to balance this out?

              @ Charlie Clark

              "So, you're now stooping to comparing international agreements with domestic abuse? 'Nuff said."

              To be honest its not really stooping. More a fairly good comparison. By international agreements I assume that is the many which are breaking various countries. Mainly the Euro which has been an amazing catastrophe and managed to reduce the living standards and employment of many. I remember the enforced austerity against Greece and then the threats that followed any suggestion they may leave.

              1. H in The Hague Silver badge

                Re: So where is the post to balance this out?

                "Mainly the Euro which has been an amazing catastrophe"

                Well, I mostly do business in EUR, and a bit in GBP, and I haven't noticed anything catastrophic.

                "and managed to reduce the living standards and employment of many."

                That I think has more to do with the way some countries ran their economies. But they can recover - a few decades ago "Britain was the sick man of Europe" and later "Germany's economy is a basket case", both are now running successful economies.

                1. codejunky Silver badge

                  Re: So where is the post to balance this out?

                  @ H in The Hague

                  "Well, I mostly do business in EUR, and a bit in GBP, and I haven't noticed anything catastrophic."

                  The Greeks did. Italy and a few others have too. Unemployment is bad and youth unemployment is awful. If thats not a catastrophe what is?

                  "But they can recover"

                  If they leave the EU. Or if the EU changes so as the wealthy countries pay off the poorer ones debts. As it stands the actual problem causing the countries to crash and is making the eurozone a huge threat to global financial stability is the Euro.

            2. Cari

              @Charlie Clark - Re: So where is the post to balance this out?

              Survivor here who had the same realisation herself. It's not "stooping", it's a valid and accurate comparison.

          3. Cari

            @gazthejourno - Re: So where is the post to balance this out?

            "battered partner etc."

            Spot on!

            Likening our relationship with the EU to an abusive domestic relationship will likely seen distasteful or hyperbolic to some, but it is actually incredibly accurate.

            As well as the classic threats of retribution if one party leaves, there is:

            - consistently undermining of confidence, repeatedly asserting the party who doesn't want to leave can't possibly cope or survive outside of the relationship.

            - controlling every little aspect of the one party's life. Victims get "vetos" and "opt-outs" at first, total control is rarely taken straight away. It's done over time, little by little.

            - the promise of change and reform if one stays, or the suggestion that there is a likelihood for change in that event. "if I stay, they will change"/"i can only change then if I stay" - said every victim and survivor everywhere ever. Only most of us have been fortunate to be able to get out before things got really ugly, and didn't take 40-odd years to do so.

            - coercion of one party into doing something they don't want to do, ignoring "No", and badgering to get their way. Like completely disregarding member state's democratic processes and ignoring referendum results, or implementing things behind the scenes regardless, or reholding referendums until they give the right result.

            - gaslighting and manipulation when one party realises what's happening, or starts to question what's going on. When the proof is in the mirror, or in our case, on Europa.

            - isolating one party from their friends and family so they become dependent on the other.

            - a slow erosion of one party's capabilities and means to be independent should the need arises, because the other party provides and does everything. We don't have experienced trade negotiators because the EU does it for us.

            There are more, but these really jumped out at me over the last month or so of seeing Remain's excuses that are straight from the Battered Spouse's script, of reading the discussions in the commons on Hansard, of reading info on Europa, and mulling over my own experiences of such a relationship.

          4. Bloakey1

            Re: So where is the post to balance this out?

            "It's the battered partner's worst fear.

            "What will he/she do to me if I do walk away? I'd better stay here just in case."

            Christ you have some kind of chip on your shoulder!!! How can you denigrate a battered partners 'travails' by conflating their problems with your perception of how your country is treated in the EU. One is brutality and the other is mere politics and the two should not be confused.

            Cheap journalistic crap and you should be better than that.

          5. J.G.Harston Silver badge

            Re: So where is the post to balance this out?

            "It's the battered partner's worst fear."

            We've already getting that. Osborne has promised that if we leave him, he'll beat us black and blue (put up taxes) and diss us to the neighbours (act so horribly to ensure the EU put up trade barriers).

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: So where is the post to balance this out?

          Well let's just say if the EU is to be judged by the actions of its supporters here and in the media over the last 5 days, leaving it is more important than anything else, and to hell with the consequences.

          And today I see that Google, has Jo Cox on a button? WTF is that all about?

          And while we are regaled with the story of Alan Sugar, saying in a racist sort of way 'how dare a German born person have the nerve to tell us what to do (because she says leave) President Obama, and a dozen other Glorious Leaders from other nations, tell us what to do, and that's basically OK, because they are on the side of the White Helmets, ( which sounds like some sort of racist perverted sex club).

          Orlowski has it bang on the button.

          Noblesse oblige.

          The new ruling class has no class. It plays the plebs heartstrings like a fiddle and sells them down the river like a 19th century slave trader. And if they complain, they get dumped into sink estates and a whole new bunch of slaves imported, who will do the work for even less.

          You think you are safe from this? Think again. The demands for software guys is not inexhaustible.

          You think you are a good virtue signalling liberal left middle class person with a conscience?

          Well then, watch out. The people you vote for are the exact people they warned you about.

          And dont say you haven't been warned.

        3. JEDIDIAH
          Linux

          Re: So where is the post to balance this out?

          The problem with your country club analogy is that the club in question is not an exclusive members only club but is open to the public as are all of it's affiliates.

      6. zebthecat

        Re: So where is the post to balance this out?

        Perverse it might be but that is exactly what the leave campaign implies

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: So where is the post to balance this out?

          Simply, if both the EU & the UK erected equally large tarrifs then as we import more from the EU than we export to it, the EU would come off worse, and Great Britain PLC would do nicely out of the additional tax income.

          Therefore, there is no benefit to the EU for putting in tarrifs and this is obvious to anybody who thinks about it. If it would hurt us more than the EU then it would be a credible threat and nobody would have any doubts that our fraternal EU comrades would hesitate to do it. Otherwise, it just sounds like it's scaremongering.

          It would be politically impossible in the EU to force the Germans who more or less run the EU's economics into a recession because Britain PLC just stopped buying German Porche, BMW's, Audi, Voltwagens etc because the price just went up by $tariff %. If this it did happen, then Nissan, Mitsubishi etc in Japan would celebrate and try to expand market share, as would Hyundai who are just trying to break into the UK market.

          Since once somebody else gets their foot in the door it's hard to dislodge them, how hard do you think Germany would be pushing against the EU imposing trade barriers...? It's really not plausible that the EU would shoot themselves in the foot like this and the arguments result in people beleiving broadly one of the following messages:-

          1) Politicans are lying to us (leave)

          2) Politicians are telling the truth that evil Jonny foreigner in the EU is out to screw the UK over. (remain)

          The Remain campaign has been (at best) a shambolic mess that scores painful own goals against the EU when it does get it's points across.

      7. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: So where is the post to balance this out?

        Obviously, living on an island that requires to travel a little by ferry/plane/train to move in and out, makes more difficult to understand how much Schengen simplified the life of people moving across borders without queues for controls. Visa-free doesn't mean "without border controls".

        Living nearby the Swiss border, and sometimes taking vacations than may make me move across Austria/Germany/Swiss/France even more than one time in the same day, I learned to appreciate how better it is. Same for many intra-EU flights, they became more alike domestic flights.

        Previously I didn't need a visa, still I had to enqueue at border controls and wait. I can also enter visa-free in the US, but it still means I have to fill their survey, and sustain those nice US border controls every time I enter.

      8. Bloakey1

        Re: So where is the post to balance this out?

        Britain has visa-free travel agreements with something like 170 countries around the world. That was in place decades before the EU was even thought of, and it would be perverse if the self-proclaimed believers in free movement in the EU decided to re-erect those barriers after we leave."

        You seem to be sure that you will leave as you seem to be stating it as a 'fait a compli'. I personally believe that you will not leave and all this rubbish will be last weeks news before we know it.

        I know that people with a traditional English name such as Orlowski might well believe that their sceptered Isle, their Jerusalem as one might say should be cut off from Europe and should not take any more of Johnny foreigner. I would say that historically the English and by extension the Brits to some extent used to visit Johnny foreigner 'en masse' whether he liked it or not.

        I am a European and whether the UK is in or out I care not one jot. I do however take exception when I hear Johnny foreigner in the UK deprecating Johnny foreigner in Europe. My parents were Johnny foreigners in the UK, I was born there but am now a Johnny foreigner elsewhere.

    2. damian Kelly

      Re: So where is the post to balance this out?

      The French will certainly be as difficult as possible, as pointed out the whole thing is modelled on their way of doing things and they focus on their own self interest. However its the Germans who are most in trouble if we leave. They have been sending all sorts of lovely Porsches, BMWs, Mercs and Audis here for years and for this reason alone they will want free trade to continue. The Germans are also looking at picking up the fat end of the €8-11B (depending on which bullshitting politician you believe) that Europe will be down.

      In terms of visas I have travelled to over 40 countries outside the EU and North America in the last and the only visa I needed was China. It cost be fifty quid and I got in a couple of weeks. Never needed a visa anywhere else and not even the EU will not be that daft or petty.

      I find it hard to agree with a point of view that says we have to remain with an organisation because they will enforce petty and small minded revenge if we leave. If any argument would make me vote leave then its that.

    3. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: So where is the post to balance this out?

      Here's a visa requirements map for a British Passport.

      1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

        Re: Here's a visa requirements map for a British Passport.

        That map's wrong.

        Australia requires a visa

      2. James O'Shea Silver badge

        Re: So where is the post to balance this out?

        "Here's a visa requirements map for a British Passport."

        Interesting. That thing says, for example, that it's 90 days on arrival into the US without a visa. I know damn well that the last time I came in on a UK passport I got 180 days even though I told the immigration officer that I'd only be in 3 days. Wave one of HM's passports at 'em and they go all soft and stamp lots and lots and lots of time into the passport. It's been a while since I entered on a UK passport (August of 2004) so perhaps things have changed. Doubt it.

    4. Bumpy Cat

      Re: So where is the post to balance this out?

      This visa nonsense is an annoying sign of dishonesty or ignorance by the Remain campaign. I traveled for years on a South African passport (I only became a British citizen a few years ago) and went into several countries visa-free. Visa-free travel is nothing special and the EU is not the reason for visa-free travel by UK citizens.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So where is the post to balance this out?

      Spain in particular is not doing very well economically at the moment. Would they really forego the Brit tourism and associated alcohol spending, just to prove a point?

      There are plenty other countries that would be happy to take up the slack in that situation.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: So where is the post to balance this out?

        Margallo (Spanish foreign minister) let slip something last week... he's sure that in the end there'd be a bilateral trade agreement between EU countries and the UK without any tariffs.

        1. rh587

          Re: So where is the post to balance this out?

          Margallo (Spanish foreign minister) let slip something last week... he's sure that in the end there'd be a bilateral trade agreement between EU countries and the UK without any tariffs.

          Course they will. Tourism is responsible for 10.5% of Spain's GDP and 12% of employment, and 25% of visitors are British.

          If the EU did anything stupid to stop the millions of sleazyjet vacationers piling in, Spain's GDP would literally tumble 2.5% overnight, and GDP is going to have enough on it's plate without having to finance an ECB bailout of Spain.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: So where is the post to balance this out?

          In the end being in 10 years. Meanwhile others will have happily stepped in to fill the market gap, so we'll have free trade and no buyers. But why do you care, because you are going to sell to Australia. I asked an Aussie civil servant about that recently. He laughed so hard he choked on his Martini.

        3. Indolent Wretch

          Re: So where is the post to balance this out?

          And the French will drag that out for as long as possible and demand every possible concession in the book. It will be a nightmare.

          In order to gain absolute sweet FA, except for giving people like BJ more power and less restraint.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: So where is the post to balance this out?

        Oh yes, because no politician/country ever did anything dumb just to prove a point?

        Spain might want us, but Spain will have to abide by the decision of the 27. I am sure they'll give us visa free travel for our raves in Ibiza, not so sure they'll welcome us to work or live, unless we offer reciprocal agreements (again at EU level) so basically we are back where we started, just without the opportunity to influence. Worst case - a half million wrinkly orange expats arriving back in the UK with a sombrero and a cask of Watney's Red Barrel, and who could ever want that?

        And yes, I hear Tunisia and Egypt are cheap at the moment.

        1. JEDIDIAH
          Devil

          Re: So where is the post to balance this out?

          So, you're saying that the EU is full of Donald Trumps... because punitive VISA policies are on the same level of stupid as anything Trump has ever come up with.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "There are plenty other countries that would be happy to take up the slack"

        Which ones? Turkey? Egypt? Tunisia? Good luck...

        1. Captain Mainwaring

          Re: "There are plenty other countries that would be happy to take up the slack"

          " Which ones? Turkey? Egypt? Tunisia? Good luck... "

          You left the rest of the world off the end of your list. I take your point about the fear of terrorism in some countries though. I certainly wouldn't like to holiday in France and Belgium at the moment.

          1. LDS Silver badge

            Re: "There are plenty other countries that would be happy to take up the slack"

            The rest of the world may be quite more expensive.

            British going to Spain are the ones looking for a cheap country nearby, and may have little other choices today.

            Those who can afford Hawaii or Seychelles or the like easily will of course have less issues.

    6. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: So where is the post to balance this out?

      Better the Devil you know than the devil you don't know

      I think that's the point. We know what we've got. but everyone wanting out has a different view of the sunny uplands that apparently would await us. UKIP - and large chunks of the population - want an end to immigration, but I've got a "Vote Leave" leaflet from James Dyson and the Bruges Group who want us in EFTA (which means reciprocal freedom to live and work with EU citizens just as does the EEA). A large section of the Conservative leavers seem to be more concerned about moving the domestic government to the right than they are with international trade - the EU is simply a proxy for opposition to Thatcherite economics.

      And I'd like to see the evidence that immigration is pushing down wages for those at the bottom of the pile - the minimum wage keeps going up. It's the "squeezed middle" that are suffering from wage stagnation. The pressure on housing and services is real - more so in some areas than others - but that's at least as much a result of a failure to invest in affordable housing and public services over decades as it is of recent migration patterns. Tellingly, it's the areas with least EU migration (like the North East) that are most concerned about it as an issue.

      Membership of the EU isn't stopping us doing many of the things that need to be done in Britain - it's mostly down to a failure of public policy and an electorate who complain they can't get GP appointments and that their children are living at home but vote for the party that's promising further cuts. In or out, that's going to be the situation and all the fabulous plans of the leavers will crumble to dust when they're exposed to the poisonous atmosphere of British politics.

      Leaving the EU would just be a hissy fit - it doesn't actually address any of the issues, it's just an attempt to deny any domestic responsibility for them. In some ways, it would be worth leaving just to see the gradual meltdown of politics as the grandiose promises fail to materialise. But it would be an expensive way of learning a lesson.

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So where is the post to balance this out?

      if people want to pay to visit "Spain / Italy / Greece" then THEY SHOULD PAY FOR THEIR VISA TO VISIT , NOT THE REST OF US PAY FOR THEIR "FREE" VISA THROUGH 20 BILLION PER YEAR OF EU CONTRIBUTIONS (WHICH WILL SHORTLY RISE TO OVER 22 BILLION PER YEAR).

      The old saying that my parents taught me well as a child "Nothing in life is free, somebody, somewhere pays for it" (Usually yourself through some back-handed tax system - and a hell of a lot more than the "free" item cost).

    8. Captain Mainwaring

      Re: So where is the post to balance this out?

      Millions of UK tourists make their way to Europe every year, spending billions of Euros in the local economies of member states. Does anyone seriously think a post-brexit EU would introduce an expensive visa requirement to millions of casual holiday makers just out of plain political spite? Money shouts louder than most things in the modern world, and I can't see the EC putting up barriers to much needed income to its poorer Mediterranean constituents. There are plenty of other countries around the world who would welcome the billions of British tourist dollars that are up for grabs. In a globalised world, Europe isn't the only shown in town, and I'm not just talking about the tourist trade here either.

    9. Frank Fisher

      Re: So where is the post to balance this out?

      Why on earth would visas be reintroduced? We have not needed visas for travel in western Europe since 1945. Your claim about Spain is just more dishonest Remain scaremongering.

    10. You Are Not Free

      Re: So where is the post to balance this out?

      "Wanna got to spain/italy/greece on your hols? Better get used to paying £100 per person for your visa in future."

      "Is that what you want, cos that's what'll 'appen?"

      Yeah, cos I'm sure the Spanish are just desperate to reduce the numbers tourists spending their money in Spain.

    11. AndrewDu

      Re: So where is the post to balance this out?

      I visited France, Italy, and Spain many times before we joined the EU (or rather before we joined the Common Market, which etc etc etc); I never needed a visa, and I don't expect I will in future - this assertion is just another iteration of "Project Fear" and can be ignored like the rest of it.

      And so what if BJ becomes PM? We can always vote him out. Remind me again who voted for Tusk or Juncker, and how we get rid of them?

      1. Andy Mc

        Re: So where is the post to balance this out?

        The MEP you elected voted to allow Tusk and Juncker into their positions. You voted for an MEP to represent you in decisions in Brussels, as you vote for an MP to do likewise in Westminster. You don't like your representative's decision? Elect a different MEP next time. This is how the system works at home as in the EU.

        Four years of BJ government without the EU to keep him slightly sane is a frightening concept....

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Voting for Eurocrats

          "The MEP you elected voted to allow Tusk and Juncker into their positions. You voted for an MEP to represent you in decisions in Brussels, as you vote for an MP to do likewise in Westminster. You don't like your representative's decision? Elect a different MEP next time. This is how the system works at home as in the EU."

          How many times have UK MEPs votes made any difference? It's like all the people berating Farage for not bothering to attend Fishing debates - anything he said would be ignored and why should he waste taxpayers' money claiming for going to meetings when the results were already decided by the rest?

          And when was the last time an MP or an MEP did what they are being paid to do properly? When we elect an MP (or an MEP) we vote for someone who will vote a particular way on major issues, as defined by their political affiliation. If, on the other hand, the majority of their constituents said "we want you to vote this way instead on this issue" then party lines are supposed to be forgotten and the elected REPRESENTative is supposed to represent their voters.

          Instead we get the same lame excuses about "you know I'm a member of that party so of course I'll do what I'm told". The worst of it is that there are few alternatives, and most of those get shouted down by the main three parties because, after all, we all know a politician would never lie to us about how evil anyone else is, would they?

          1. gazthejourno (Written by Reg staff)

            Re: Re: Voting for Eurocrats

            This again. You vote for a party list in EU elections. You do not vote for an individual, as you do in British parliamentary elections. The party holds the seat and the candidate answers to them, not to voters.

            1. H in The Hague Silver badge

              Re: Voting for Eurocrats

              "The party holds the seat and the candidate answers to them, not to voters."

              Yes, in theory. But I get the impression that in practice in the UK the candidate also listens to their party, esp. as they need to toe the party line to become a candidate in a constituency where they have a chance of winning.

        2. Cari

          @Andy Mc - Re: So where is the post to balance this out?

          Presidents and commission are chosen by the Council made up of our heads of state or governments. The treaty is easily accessible, and the articles you'd want to look at regarding how the EU is made up are Articles 9 through to 19.

      2. jonfr

        Re: So where is the post to balance this out?

        Then UK had earlier agreements with those countries. If it falls to them if the UK leaves then visa free travel for some number of days would remains. Since once the UK membership treaty stops being valid, UK goes back to whatever was before that time.

        You can read the UK accession treaty here.

        http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=OJ:L:1972:073:TOC

    12. itzman
      Coat

      Re: So where is the post to balance this out?

      Always keep ahold of Nurse

      For fear of something even worse.

      Yeah, some of us grew up tho.

    13. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So where is the post to balance this out?

      If Italy and France do not need my tourism AKA money let them suffer.

      Vatican has 40000 visitors per day on average spending 200-300 euro in Italy.

      let Italy stop them and go poorer

    14. Uffish

      Re: So where is the post to balance this out?

      "don't put it past the French especially to put all sorts of hurdles in the way of people"

      or remove them perhaps, especially around Calais.

    15. JEDIDIAH
      Devil

      Re: So where is the post to balance this out?

      I don't pay that as an American, what makes you think you will as a Brit?

  4. Rono666

    Fixed

    I was 15 last time the vote happened, so i got no say. I can remember my dad voted to keep out and when the country voted in, he said i have not met one person who voted in. Let me be the first to say it has already been fixed and we will not leave, you heard it here first.

    1. Clockworkseer

      Re: Fixed

      No, not first. There's a poll making the rounds from yougov that suggests that 40%+ of brexit supporters polled believe that the whole thing is going to be fixed.

    2. Simon Watson

      Re: Fixed

      Say what you like about the honesty and integrity of the campaigns, I will not believe our democracy is so broken that the result will be rigged. Given that the government in place don't want to leave, they could have just not held the referendum at all. To rig a vote is a whole different ball game.

      The fact that you don't know anyone who voted in doesn't mean those people don't exist, it just means you don't know them. I've been annoying the hell out of my Facebook friends over the last few weeks, even though I don't actually seem to know anyone who's voting the other way. I know those people exist, I just don't know them.

    3. bombastic bob Silver badge

      Re: Fixed

      "Let me be the first to say it has already been fixed and we will not leave,"

      hmmm, with all of the downvotes on any post so far that favors "independent Britain" I have to wonder if the 'howlers' are actually the ones downvoting, in an 'astroturf' attempt to undermine the 'independence' campaign... ?

      My ten cents' worth from across the pond is that independence is probably BETTER than being told how to run your country and enforce your laws from Brussels. And propping up the 'bailouts'.

      I heard a nice quote from Thatcher (from 1992) this morning on the radio, regarding the EU membership. It sounded to me like she was 100% right.

      1. AndyS

        @Bombastic Bob

        This comment, right here, sums up the full problem with this referendum - uninformed speculators repeating lies and exaggerations to back up views which have no bearing on reality, to make a decision which most certainly will.

        "hmmm, with all of the downvotes on any post so far that favors "independent Britain" I have to wonder if the 'howlers' are actually the ones downvoting, in an 'astroturf' attempt to undermine the 'independence' campaign... ?"

        Conspiracy theory. Good start.

        "My ten cents' worth from across the pond is that independence is probably BETTER than being told how to run your country and enforce your laws from Brussels. "

        We aren't. We are a powerful member of a union with other nations, with an equal voice and ability to elect representatives according to democratic rules which we negotiated and signed up for. Would you make the same argument for any of the states in the USA? Because it is much, much more centralised than the EU.

        "...And propping up the 'bailouts'."

        False. We aren't in the Euro, we have nothing to do with the euro bailouts. Even if it was true (which it isn't), should Texas secede because the US Federal government bailed out the Michigan based auto industry?

        "I heard a nice quote from Thatcher (from 1992) this morning on the radio, regarding the EU membership. It sounded to me like she was 100% right."

        Great. You're obviously well informed then.

        1. Justthefacts

          Re: @Bombastic Bob

          We aren't in the Euro, we *should* have nothing to do with the euro bailouts.

          Actually our "full whack" of the UK subscription funds that were supposed to be in ring-fenced funding to isolate us, have been used by the back-door by creative accounting. The bailout was structured into a CDO, such that the C- rated debts have been labelled as ECB debts, hence AAA.

          The UK subscriptions were then placed into a holding account, and while there they can be placed into any AAA-rated fund, which happens to be that collateralised PIIGS debt. So the UK gov currently owns exactly its "fair share" of PIIGS governmental bailout debt as any government within the Euro, just re-labelled.

          "Should Texas secede because the US Federal government bailed out the Michigan based auto industry?"

          This goes to the heart of the matter. Michigan & Texas fought a war to decide that fact, one of the relatively bloodiest in human history, the American Civil War. That is what it takes. Now they have decided to be one nation, and stand and fall together. Just like London & Liverpool.

          1. bombastic bob Silver badge

            Re: @Bombastic Bob

            " Michigan & Texas fought a war to decide that fact, one of the relatively bloodiest in human history, the American Civil War."

            All very true, and it was essentially over the '10th ammendment' issue of STATE SOVEREIGNTY. Our constitution is SUPPOSED to prevent federal intrusion into states' rights. Well, it's gotten too big for it's britches, in my view. You guys in the UK are having your own election regarding the very SAME kind of thing. So on our end, we have a presidential election of "more of the same" (Clinton) vs "turn the barge around" (Trump). On your end, you're voting as to whether or not to be a member state of the EU. But it seems to me there are common themes here, that start with "too much centralized power" and "not enough sovereignty". Laws against 'vaping' for example, mentioned in the article (as I recall, I read it yesterday, long read, skimmed a few sections), were decided in the EU capitol instead of in London, and not in the fairest way, either. "Already decided" I think was the phrase used to describe it, so that the hearings were just a formality.

            When I mentioned 'bailouts' with respect to the EU it was for depressed economies like in Greece. The EU has to cough up the cash for all of that, ultimately. Those countries NOT being bailed out ultimately pay for it all with higher taxes, less benefit from being an EU member. I personally don't like bailing out Michigan's auto industry with my tax dollars (nor the trillion-per-year debt rackup by the current administration).

            But this is why we all have ELECTIONS. Right?

            (think how nice things could be if 'federalism' gets its reigns tightened this year, and the concept of individuality wins over collectivism, even if 'individuality' means the sovereignty of individual states within a 'united' nation)

            Anyway, I'm not hiding the fact I'm not British. But I think we have a common problem. "Too much central control".

            1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

              Re: @Bombastic Bob

              " But I think we have a common problem. "Too much central control""

              It's the central control (away from the island) that keeps the toffs (think posher version of Trump) a little bit in check. UK is, even when in the EU, a really nice playground for the landed gentry.

              Out of the EU, it will revert, once again, to a paradise for the already wealthy.

              Good for some, but not so good for a majority -but who really cares about the plebs anyway?

              Boris sure as hell don't. The other Etonian, David Cameron, does seem a lot less narcissistic. But he doesn't pretend to be "down to earth"/"your best buddy", unlike Boris.

    4. Dr. Mouse Silver badge

      Re: Fixed

      "he said i have not met one person who voted in"

      This is because, just as now, the votes are mostly along socio-economic, as well as age, lines.

      I know people intending to vote each way, in roughly equal numbers. Personally, a great many of the leavers I know are outright racist, although I know this is not the case for all. I also know clever, rational people who intend to vote to leave, and have rational and well thought out arguments.

      I'm very close to the fence here, but what pushed me to the remain side was mainly risk. Having just recently gone self employed, I am not in a position to withstand an economic downturn, and there is a reasonable chance of that happening purely from the shock to the markets and uncertainty that a leave vote will bring. A remain vote carries fewer risks, at least in the short term.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Fixed

        "This is because, just as now, the votes are mostly along socio-economic, as well as age, lines."

        Exactly.

        Remain largely consists of people who are two or more of the following:-

        1) self define as being "middle" class and think they speak for the working class.

        2) Earn more (probably much more) than the £26,500 average wage.

        3) Spend a low percentage of their wages on housing and have a good disposable income.

        4) have a buy to let house or housing portfolio which they make good money out of and are worried about decreased competition for housing leading to house prices falling (hence the Remain campaign warning that leaving the EU would cause house prices to fall)

        6) Benefit from high competition leading to other people having low wages, either as an employer or being a houseowner who benefits from cheap building/plumbing/tradeswork

        7) Think they are going to be better of financially with a remain vote.

        Leave generally consists of people who are or agree with two or more of the following:-

        1) Self define as working class

        2) Earn at or under £26,500 (the "average" wage)

        3) Spend >50% of their (low) wages on housing and have virtually no disposable income

        4) Have worked solidly since leaving school but still live with their parents because they can't afford a house, let alone afford to have a family.

        5) have lost out on immigration due to house prices being pushed up out of their reach because of a gap between the number of additional people wanting a house to the number built running at about half a million every year...

        5A) ...while similtaniously having their wages depressed due to high competition and low/no training being provided by employers because it's cheaper to let go/make redundant/sack existing employees on some pretense and hire an immigrant who says that they already have the training, leading to a lot of people being stuck in jobs that used to be entry grade where you could work up from with hard work, but which are now dead end jobs with no career progression or prospects beyond the bottom rung of the ladder.

        6) Have been radicalised by politicans ignoring them, deriding their problems and then silencing them through adhomium arguments without addressing their problems, hence the increasing rise of "far right" groups representing these people in virtually every first world country on the face of the planet.

        7) Think they are going to be financially better off, or can't be any more screwed if they vote leave.

        8) People who think that the last referendum on EU membership was in the 1970's and that the next chance to vote out will be around 2055 if they don't seize the chance now.

        So each socio-economic group is largely going to vote for it's own interest apart from a few people either side on political beleifs such as "it's better to be a european citizen" or "we just want to be an independant country" and the referendum largely comes down to "which group is larger".

        Remain could have easily have won this referendum with a large majority by:-

        1) Accepting that people who disagree with a middle class agenda that does not do anything but make their problems worse are not rabidly evil, and refrain from insulting them or their intelligence.

        2) Promising to address the problems and concerns that the working class have.

        3) Offering another referendum in 2025 based on how they have done in the promised pending reforms of the EU, and fixing the housing/population crisis.

        That not one of these things has either been done (or even considered) is a sign of how inept our existing batch of politicans are, IMO.

        1. Dr. Mouse Silver badge

          Re: Fixed

          So each socio-economic group is largely going to vote for it's own interest apart from a few people either side on political beleifs such as "it's better to be a european citizen" or "we just want to be an independant country" and the referendum largely comes down to "which group is larger".

          I agree, but think you have been rather unfair on the remain group in your assessment.

          While my own choice for remain is mostly selfish, there is also an element of thinking of the greater good. This some of the points you raise on the leave side are applicable, many of them would very well continue after a leave vote. I seriously doubt house prices will fall significantly, unless an out vote causes a recession. If it does, wages will not rise at the bottom, and will probably fall. If it doesn't, wages will *still* probably not rise.

          IMHO the potential for harm across the entire population does not balance the potential benefits, especially with the economy (UK and global) still being so fragile. But that's just my opinion, anyone is perfectly entitle to disagree with me :)

    5. Bloakey1

      Re: Fixed

      I have never voted for various reasons mainly because I hate politicians and want to vote none of the above to register my displeasure and not be considered a numpty for spoiling my ballot.

      Along the lines of what you are saying, I have never ever met anyone who admits to having voted in Maggie Thatcher, yet she got in all the same.

      I think you are right and Kronenbergs and Vino, Vinho s all round.

    6. Patrician

      Re: Fixed

      "Fixed

      I was 15 last time the vote happened, so i got no say. I can remember my dad voted to keep out and when the country voted in, he said i have not met one person who voted in. Let me be the first to say it has already been fixed and we will not leave, you heard it here first."

      So if Brexit win it will be a fair and honest referendum; if "Stay" win it will be a "fix"? Wow, talk about sour losers!

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If Britain leaves the EU what will happen when those in power start to pass draconian laws that destroy human rights? Who will the British turn to to fight back? Winter is coming.... if we leave.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Conversely, when the EU start passing those laws and we are unable to resist them because our membership has been confirmed and committed.......?????

      Those in power don't want to destroy the country, funnily enough, because a destroyed country limits their power / influence on the world. The one thing that people in power want is more power! A stronger, better country enables that.

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: "when the EU start passing those laws"

        The EU is the only political body in the entire world which has had the guts to stand up and denounce the surveillance society we are heading full speed towards. Whether you want to leave it or not does not change that fact.

        As such, your argument seems profoundly without merit to me.

        1. Bloakey1

          Re: "when the EU start passing those laws"

          <snip>

          "As such, your argument seems profoundly without merit to me."

          Et alors Pascale? Je pete dans votre direction generale!!

          Sidles off singing a separitist song called Le Boudin!

    2. TheProfessorY

      That is democracy. If you don't agree with the laws then you vote out the lawmakers.This is only possible if we leave the EU.

      Inside the EU, the laws being passed are proposed by un-elected commissioners , voted on by MEPs from 27 other countries of which the UK has around 7% of the vote, and once the law is passed it can never be revoked or modified.

      I much prefer the first option.

      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge
        Thumb Down

        Inside the EU, the laws being passed are proposed by un-elected commissioners

        This is a gross misrepresentation.

        All EU laws require the support of the member states through the body known both as the Council of Ministers and the European Council. There are now some areas where a majority vote (of member states) can lead to new laws but the UK has opt-outs for most of these.

        The facts are, as Ken Clarke has pointed out, no British government has ever been forced to adopt legislation that it opposed in the Council of Ministers.

        Facts, hey, who needs 'em?

        1. Justthefacts

          So you're saying that UK MEP's *do* have the power to make a real difference to our lives?

          Remainers are talking about the short-term risk if we Leave. Well, short-term we have the MEP's that we have. UKIP is a major, if not the dominant, force there. In my region, 3 UKIP, 3 Tory, 1 Labour; and that's fairly representative.

          So, if you feel that UKIP are a bunch of odious, ignorant racists (which I do as it happens), and you also claim that Remaining leaves significant powers in the hands of UK MEP's, then surely you should support Leave?

          You mention that the UK has opt-outs in "most" areas of QMV. Apart from the one about there being an EU Army. That is now QMV, and some of us think it's quite important. And all the support monies for the Euro near collapse, we also pay for despite opt-out, by a bit of creative accounting using CDO's an re-labelling PIIGS debt as ECB debt. So no veto on that, then.

          Facts, my dear boy, verifiable facts

          .

          Specific examples being conspicuously missing from your post.

          How many times exactly in the five years has the QMV opt-out meant that the UK has *successfully* not implemented the item that the QMV passed?

          AFAIK there's been only a couple, and within a couple of years a euro-fudge has been found to circumvent it. Please present your specific example of "successfully opted out", for inspection by the internet!

      2. AndyS

        "Inside the EU, the laws being passed are proposed by un-elected commissioners , voted on by MEPs from 27 other countries of which the UK has around 7% of the vote, and once the law is passed it can never be revoked or modified."

        Ignoring the bullshit about unelected blah de blah (the only truely unelected people with a say over our laws are the Monarchy and the House of Lords - both British through and through), I've never understood this "only X%" argument, which was used in the Scottish campaign too.

        Why should the fact that you are a small part of something bigger automatically be seen as a bad thing? It is the fundamental definition of democracy and shared decision making.

        Should Cornwall leave the UK? After all, they've got less than 1% of the MPs in parliament. They're hardly represented at all! How can that be fair? The UK is so undemocratic!!

        1. Dr. Mouse Silver badge

          "Inside the EU, the laws being passed are proposed by un-elected commissioners , voted on by MEPs from 27 other countries of which the UK has around 7% of the vote, and once the law is passed it can never be revoked or modified."

          Issues for Leeds are decided in Westminster, voted by MPs from various cities and areas around the UK, of which Leeds has only 8 (1.2% of the vote). Leeds should leave the UK!

          In addition, we would have more influence in Europe if our MEPs actually bothered to turn up, and weren't members of a party who wanted nothing to do with Europe.

          I have as much faith in European democracy as I do in UK democracy... Not very much!

        2. JEDIDIAH
          Linux

          Bad analogies are... bad.

          Cornwall is not as nearly alien as the rest of the EU or even the UN. It's not always in your interest to be part of group that doesn't match you, may hate you, and be successful at passing measures that take advantage of you. Something like the US works because we aren't that different from each other and those parts of the country that want to "get bossy" are counterbalanced by the fact that our factions cross all borders and roughly balance each other out. It doesn't always work out but we're far less heterogeneous than even northern vs southern Italy.

          Our Italians and Brits and Greeks and Turks and Germans are all mixed together in all of the states rather than be concentrated in states of their own.

    3. Bloakey1

      "If Britain leaves the EU what will happen when those in power start to pass draconian laws that destroy human rights? Who will the British turn to to fight back? Winter is coming.... if we leave."

      Sir,

      I believe that you have been watching to much Sky TV and in particular Game of Thrones.

      Perhaps the Wildlings will help the UK fight or if not the Icelandic Army might be up for it as they inhabit a similar climate and dress in similar attire.

      1. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

        You will vote them out. That is allowed in Britain. It's not allowed in the EU.

  6. pinkmouse

    Thoughtful article. However, it gives me no reason to change my Remain vote, all of Andrew's points are equally as applicable to British society and governmental bureaucracy. We need to change that before we can criticize others - first remove the plank from thine own eye, etc. etc.

    1. gv

      The bureaucrats in Whitehall are no better or worse than the bureaucrats in Brussels. I take my cue from the newspapers owned by the oligarchs and the non-doms --- and then do the opposite.

      1. gazthejourno (Written by Reg staff)

        Rupert Murdoch's paper The Sun backs Leave.

        Rupert Murdoch's paper The Times backs Remain.

        Did I just see you vanish in a puff of logic?

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. gv

          "Did I just see you vanish in a puff of logic?"

          Not at all. Which one claims the bigger readership? His ownership of both allows him the opportunity to appear unbiased.

        3. Bloakey1

          "Rupert Murdoch's paper The Sun backs Leave.

          Rupert Murdoch's paper The Times backs Remain.

          Did I just see you vanish in a puff of logic?"

          Not really. Murdoch is catering and pandering to his readership.

        4. Naselus

          "Rupert Murdoch's paper The Sun backs Leave.

          Rupert Murdoch's paper The Times backs Remain.

          Did I just see you vanish in a puff of logic?"

          I'm sorry, did you just mistake the Sun for a newspaper?

    2. itzman
      FAIL

      Re:Andrew's points are equally as applicable to British society and governmental bureaucracy.

      With one massive total exception.

      WE can vote out a British government. every 5 years or less.

      WE cant vote out the EU leadership. Ever.

      All power corrupts.

      Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I've got a horrible feeling about this

    The referendum seems to have given the masses a socially acceptable way to demonstrate their wish to not be part of a multi-cultural Britain. Call it job protection or racism the result is the same - a sudden open door to not have to vote UKIP or BNP, but get what they want.

    Not socially acceptable enough maybe to tell the pollsters... hence the surprise landslide tomorrow ?

    An (educated professional) man at work came up to me today and said 'the greatest threat to our society is political correctness and multi-culturalism - I'm voting leave'....

    As Andrew points out however - immigration is the one thing least likely to change!

    1. they are predominantly complaining about those already here and no one is seriously considering 'sending them home'

    2. we'd have to keep high immigration as part of any re-negotiated trade deals

    3. it won't make a blind bit of difference to 'brown immigration'... which seems to be the ones anti-immigration people like the least.

    It's a great example of why giving a decision like this to the unwashed public is a bloody stupid idea. Even if there are good arguments most people lack the logic to see whats true and lies - politicians are not even trying to quote true stats, etc now - they know most people can't follow basic logic.(the 350million is a basic example of this)

    Personally I'm voting stay - but I've also got a 100 quid bet on leave so at least if it happens, I've got some cash to drown my sorrows.

    1. H in The Hague Silver badge

      Re: I've got a horrible feeling about this

      "An (educated professional) man at work came up to me today and said 'the greatest threat to our society is political correctness and multi-culturalism - I'm voting leave'....

      Funny thing is that the UK has long been both a union (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland) and multicultural because those constituent countries have their own cultures and even languages. We have public radio and TV broadcasts not only in English, but also Gaelic and Welsh. Lowland Scots, Ulster Scots, Irish Gaelic and (I think but not sure) Cornish also have official status. On top of that citizens of another country, Ireland, can vote here in parliamentary elections, etc. Personally, I think that multiculturalism (and recent additions to it) make this country stronger. Perhaps you could mention that to your colleague.

      1. Peter2 Silver badge

        Re: I've got a horrible feeling about this

        "The referendum seems to have given the masses a socially acceptable way to demonstrate their wish to not be part of a multi-cultural Britain. Call it job protection or racism the result is the same - a sudden open door to not have to vote UKIP or BNP, but get what they want."

        I would call it "Democracy".

        If you have ~50% of the population telling you that they don't want something then at a minimum you need to stop and listen to them.

        The very fact that parties such as the BNP & UKIP exist is a warning sign that a section of the population feel that their views are not being listened to. Not addressing the concerns and greivences of a large section (~50%?!) of the population is a sign of a deeply unhealthy democracy.

        If the concerns of this portion of the population are addressed and dealt with by mainstream parties then any political parties around these issues will collapse as their support base is eroded. If the discussion of the problems these people raise is continually suppressed, dismisssed and misrepresented then this will only cause radicalisation, and the dminishment or elimination of existing power structures such as Labour/Conservatives and election of representitives these people trust will represent their interests.

        The working classes protesting that a middle class agenda for the country is badly hurting them does not mean that the working class is evil. You will not resolve such issues by telling literially half the population that they don't understand enough to vote the way that you want them to, and therefore they shouldn't have the right to vote. The problems won't go away if ignored, they will multiply.

  8. JimmyPage Silver badge
    FAIL

    Curious timing ...

    Just long enough since 1973 for everyone to recall the 50s and 60s with rose-tinted glasses. As survivors generally do.

    The general thrust to the Brexiters seems to be that you'll also be able to leave your front door unlocked, bread will be delivered by boys on (Boris) bikes, and the postman will wear a peaked cap and whistle a jaunty tune as he delivers your dole cheque. Basically, a past which never existed.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Curious timing ...

      Thank you for elucidating the utter bigotry with which the average remainer thinks he understands the average leaver.

      1. JimmyPage Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: utter bigotry

        except I did it while named ...

  9. Cynical Observer
    Stop

    Please - read the history

    Why give up independence for a club which never really wanted us, and whose rules already appeared rigged to constrain us?

    Europe did want UK participation - right from the start. But the powers that be in the UK at the time decided to turn their backs on this venture and walk away. Until years later when the error of their ways was realised.

    They say that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat their mistakes. Turning our backs on Europe and walking away would the most colossal of mistakes to repeat.

    1. Walter Bishop Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Please - read the history

      We were promised economic prosperity when we joined the 'Common Market'. We didn't get it, in fact we got the exact opposite, to paraphrase the movies, we didn't sign up for this shit!. And for that reason, I'm out.

      1. Cynical Observer

        Re: Please - read the history

        @Walter

        Promises may have been made, promises may even have been broken. But joining any enterprise and expecting it to be beneficial without putting any effort into it seems to be somewhat delusional.

        It is like joining a club - you can pay your membership and be a consumer, getting some of the benefits that have been secured though the hard work and sterling efforts of the committee.

        Or - you can roll up your sleeves, and muck in with shaping the club. You might not get everything you want, but the odds are that you will get more of what you want than you would if you just sat back a let everyone else take the lead.

        The UK formerly prided itself on its outstanding diplomacy - yet wrt the EU, it seems to have just decided not to play to its strengths. It seems to be always at odds with every other country, never building the necessary support BEFORE launching an offensive.

        And the fact remains - if post a Brexit, we want access to the single market, it is inconceivable that it will be possible without free movement and payment of a membership fee. So we will carry all of the burdens with even less of the opportunity to influence the direction.

        In my analogy - we've gone from club member to pay and play - and as such we have absolutely no say in what happens to the club rules. I can't see any logic in that.

      2. AndyS

        Re: Please - read the history

        So, because you haven't "seen" economic prosperity (you've obviously not looked at any statistics or facts - our country is recovering extremely well from a global economic recesion), you are going to vote the way which everyone, including Farage and BJ, have stated will cause actual worsening economic conditions?

        "My foot hurts. The doctor said putting it in the meat grinder would make it worse. But it hurts, so I'm going to put it in the meat grinder. It's bound to make it better."

        1. codejunky Silver badge

          Re: Please - read the history

          @ AndyS

          "So, because you haven't "seen" economic prosperity (you've obviously not looked at any statistics or facts - our country is recovering extremely well from a global economic recesion)"

          And surely that would mean the EU would be too? At least the Eurozone where they are even tighter with their shared currency? Erm, it looks like the EU has been good for us but only because their money flocks here to avoid the Euro.

          "you are going to vote the way which everyone, including Farage and BJ, have stated will cause actual worsening economic conditions?"

          Scratch the official leave campaign (and the official remain campaign too), they are both shameful and the FUD should be embarrassing enough for the EU to throw us out. However the better economic conditions seems to be from leaving (according to both stay and leave). It is then the political choices made after that which decides if things are better or worse. We already know the EU is collapsing with up to 60% desiring to leave and countries positioning to do their own vote if we do leave (and maybe if we dont). Remaining is going against the tide. Iceland rejected the EU, Switzerland has just pulled its application, anti-EU parties are gaining a lot of support and here we are finally having a democratic choice after all this time.

          As for your last line I am reminded of the cartoon of the sinking ship (EU) complaining as we escape in a life raft, or even the crashing plane with us parachuting to safety as they shout 'your tasking a huge risk'.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Please - read the history

        "We were promised economic prosperity when we joined the 'Common Market'. We didn't get it"

        And whenever have the many promises for politician's been honoured?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Please - read the history/The gGreat Lies

          I'll love you in the morning

          The cheque is in the post.

          I am not trying to destroy national sovereignty

          I won't come in your mouth.

          1. Bloakey1

            Re: Please - read the history/The gGreat Lies

            Ahhh, but if you came in the post and were in France why then you would have a French Letter!!! err or is that a Capote Anglais?

            See there you have two countries divided by the name of a condom but united in their subsequent use.

            Now why did you take these silly little jokey lies and add in a load of old crap in between? Were you intending to show some sign of fantastic intellect and erudition or were you just over taxing your brain and making nurse jolly batey to boot?

    2. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

      Re: Please - read the history

      If this was on the back of decades of the UK governments trying to reform the EU from within, I'd say "vote leave - you've done your best; they're never going to learn".

      But it isn't; the UK most definitely hasn't; and I hope you stay. Be part of the solution, rather than walking away.

      Andrew's article is probably the most reasoned, thoughtful argument for a leave that I've seen, although he makes the common mistake of imagining that all of the UK is like England. Others have pointed out what was happening in Northern Ireland while the UK was joining the EEC. I lived there at the time, although very young, and I'm glad that the Westminster government stepped in, rather than walking away and leaving NI to its own evil devices - as bad as having the British Army pointing guns at British citizens was, it was better than the alternative.

      Stepping in, rather than walking away.

      This piece gets to the heart of the problem with the EU -it's out of touch. A cosy cartel of middle-class "right-on" self-interests that has alienated the working classes to the point where only the far-right hatemongers can offer them anything. Very few in 1930's Germany would have put the NSDAP's stringent anti-Jewish policies at the top of their reasons for voting, but they certainly appreciated the ideas of "more jobs, more security, less vested interests, less corruption" and "making Germany great again" enough to enable the worst episode in Europe's history.

      If we all let things as they are, we will sleepwalk into hatred. But that doesn't mean that the UK should walk away. Walking away won't fix the disease, because the UK has a bad case of it already...

      If you're not a Labour or Conservative voter, do you really have any say in how your country is run? Worse: as both of those parties are on a knife-edge, they're afraid to take any kind of meaningful stand for fear of handing power completely to the other (Labour are particularly guilty here). The electoral system creates reactionary politics. Nobody will lead, and everyone defines themselves by who they're not.

      Also, I'm no fan of UKIP, but an electoral system that gave 12.9% of the voting public just a single voice in a 650-seat parliament is hard to describe as "democratic". I don't care that theirs is a voice I strongly disagree with - all that matters is that over one in ten people who voted in the UK wanted it heard. In the long run, it's better for the more extreme viewpoints to get a good airing, because it robs them of their moral high-ground of being "persecuted by the system". Calling them "racists and bigots" is deflection: democracy is about accepting the decision of all the people, not just the people who went to the same kind of school as you did.

      The European Parliament is elected on a more representative system, so the irony is that a pro-Leave party like UKIP gets its only significant say in how the UK is governed by virtue of its 9 MEPs (from 73). Its single MP (from 650) has practically no power.

      So, yes, the people of the UK are living under a democratic deficit, but leaving the EU will probably magnify it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Please - read the history

        You make a singular and very very unsound assumption.

        That by leaving the EU, we are in any sense walking away from anything.

        It is a massive statement of no confidence in a political structure that is ossified, incapable of change, and relies on 19th century views of economics and politics to formulate an ideology that is so dysfunctional its not far short of criminal.

        The New Emperors have no clothes, and the most profoundly socially beneficial thing Britain can do for Europe, is to demonstrate this clearly

        My Leave vote is as much for the Greeks, the Portugese, the French and the Italians and te Swedes and the Danish labouring under the burden of a misguided concept that claims its IS Europe, rather than just a rather inept neo communist polituburo, with no apparent responsibility for the welfare of the citizens it lays claim to.

        Can we afford to leave? That is the wrong question.

        Can we afford NOT to leave?

        We are not leaving Europe. We are not turning our backs on our fellow Europeans,

        We are setting an example, standing up to the bully, and saying 'enough is enough'.

        If the EU collapses, so much the better, we can then sit down with fellow nations on a basis of equality and sovereignty and decide between us what things are obviously mutually beneficial, agree to differ on things that are obviously not, and send a few useful idiots to a table once a year to argue over the merits of the 50 shades of grey in between which really don't matter anyway.

        The vote is not about leaving Europe.

        It's about leaving the EU.

        Despite what people would have you believe.

    3. M7S

      Re: Please - read the history

      "But the powers that be in the UK at the time decided to turn their backs on this venture and walk away,"

      That would be when De Gaulle said "Non", twice, would it?

      1. Cynical Observer

        Re: Please - read the history

        M7S

        http://lmgtfy.com/?q=britain+rejection+of+european+coal+and+steel+community

        The declaration led to the Treaty of Paris (1951) forming the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), it was formed by "the inner six": France, Italy, the Benelux countries (Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg) together with West Germany. The United Kingdom refused to participate due to a rejection of supranational authority. The common market was opened on 10 February 1953 for coal, and on 1 May 1953 for steel.

        In fact the UK was so dismissive of the initiative that instead of sending ministers to the negotiations as the other nations had, it sent civil servants who were perceived as relatively minor.

        Yes by the time the error was seen, de Gaulle was behaving like an arse - that only reinforces my point - that being outside a club, banging on the door for admission places you at a disadvantage.

    4. Cari

      @Cynical Observer - Re: Please - read the history

      Our government was mixed on joining a united Europe fully, the debates and arguments we are still having now have been going on for 66 years at least. And Churchill (in opposition at the time) thought we were better of outside of a united states of Europe because it would be to the detriment of world unity. I.e. Our place in the world and the relationships we had meant we were better placed outside a federal Europe, while cooperating and trading with it, to ensure a worldwide unity. I've seen Remain using him as a poster-boy for staying...

      Instead, we got suckered into integrating further and further with the EEC/EU, isolating ourselves from the rest of the world, and are having to fight to hold on to what little we have left.

  10. David_H
    Flame

    Out

    The Common Market was a good idea. In general just about everything else from the EU and predecessors is bad for the UK. Political Correctness is stopping us from having a proper debate.

    My local MP was an MEP for 10 years, so he should know it inside out. http://www.heatonharris.com/news/10-brexit-myths-debunked

    A (long) article on how and why the EU is broken

    http://hurryupharry.org/2016/06/20/why-i-am-voting-leave-by-professor-alan-johnson

    and from that:

    "As Jan Zielonka, Professor of European Politics at the University of Oxford puts it – in the essential book Is the EU Doomed? – ‘the EU has turned into an embarrassment … a symbol of austerity and conflict’ and despite ‘obtaining ever more powers at the expense of national parliaments and governments’ when the 2008 crash hit ‘proved unable to cope’."

  11. happy but not clappy

    I'm voting out

    Just saying. I won't bore you with why, but it is nothing to do with Farage and everything to do with the contents of the book "23 Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism" and a belief that small is beautiful.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Remember Social Solidarity

    Addressing your first argument - in what world would a resurgent libertarian right wing, cruising on a Brexit mandate, improve social solidarity? Notable that when pushed the out side won't actually commit to immigration targets because why would they? They are champions of businesses right to employ minimum wage labour. If I had to trust Brussels or Westminster to look after my rights as a worker, I'll take Brussels ty very much.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Remember Social Solidarity

      employ minimum wage labour

      And just how long do we expect the minimum wage to survive in a Bojo-Gove-Nige coalition?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Remember Social Solidarity

      Its not that small is beautiful, is that for any given system, there is an optimal way to chunk it into quasi autonomous parts that have internalised feedback and are therefore able to respond to local conditions much faster than by having every input passed up to a huge monolithic piece of code that takes years to process it before coming back with a decision that is, whether right or wrong, simply hopelessly out of date.

      The EU was not designed by system engineers. It was designed by political ideologues. Many of them out and out Marxists, and if there ever was a bad way to design a system, its using Marxist principles

      I dont care how well meaning they were or how many good intentions they may or may bot have had., they built a 'design by committee' monster, and all its good for is sucking up wedges of cash in attempts to patch the fundamentally flawed design to the point where it exists entirely independently of he needs of Europe it was supposed to address, as merely a way to employ thousands of bureaucrats and lobbyists, whose actual output is imperceptible.

      The only things the EU is even halfway good at, is promoting its own survival.

      If this was an IT project, we wouldn't hesitate. We would cancel it.

      Dilbert works for the EU.

  13. Wilco

    I don't think that the "oeriod of air turbulence" as you call it will be short, and is quite likely to result in the the wings coming off the plane.

    While I have some sympathy with your arguments, it's simply not worth the recession, the nosedive in the value of the pound , the inflation, the rise in interest rates and the additional unemployment that will inevitably follow for the at least a couple of years until the divorce is finalized.

    There are lots of positive reasons for remaining in - trade, the economic benefits of migration, solidarity and common purpose with our neighbours - but fundamentally the main reason for staying is that we will all be poorer if we do.

  14. emmanuel goldstein

    We need to start again

    I'm voting "Leave" to try and hasten the end of the EU in its current trajectory of failure. Like a badly constructed building, sometimes it's better to pull the thing down and start again. Brexit could bring a timely opportunity for Europe (including the U.K.) to build a union that actually works.

    1. Graham Marsden
      Facepalm

      Re: We need to start again

      Pulling down the building you're living in with some vague hope that, somehow, after you do, a bright, shiny new one will magically appear in its place seems a rather short-sighted strategy...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: We need to start again

        Is not living in a leaning tower with dodgy foundations and continuing to build on top of it hoping everything will be ok also a short sighted strategy?

      2. Vinyl-Junkie
        Mushroom

        Re: We need to start again

        "Pulling down the building you're living in with some vague hope that, somehow, after you do, a bright, shiny new one will magically appear in its place seems a rather short-sighted strategy..."

        Especially if you're in the building at the time!

        1. Bloakey1

          Re: We need to start again

          "Especially if you're in the building at the time!"

          Drinking a café Latte and eating a croissant whilst sitting on your best Ikea sofa.

        2. Anonymous Coward Silver badge

          Re: We need to start again

          ""Pulling down the building you're living in with some vague hope that, somehow, after you do, a bright, shiny new one will magically appear in its place seems a rather short-sighted strategy..."

          Especially if you're in the building at the time!"

          Sounds like a good enough reason to get OUT then. Be on the outside when everything collapses, then help rebuild on our terms.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: We need to start again

        Except of course, we aren't living in it.

        WE live in Britain, which is part of the continent of Europe. WE live in houses designed by architects built out of bricks made on factories designed by engineers running off gas coal and nuclear power. WE travel to work along roads and to the supermarkets, where we buy food.

        WTF has the EU got to do with any of that?

        Have they mesmerised you with their smoke and mirrors into thinking that they actually do ANYTHING of value, that somehow without them the whole infrastructure of civilised life will collapse?

        Belgium was without a government for 6 months. No one noticed.

        You remind me of a pair of 6th formers I met at a UKIP meeting:

        "I think we should stay in the EU"

        "Oh, why is that?"

        "Well if we left, we couldn't buy stuff could we"?

        I would be Paris Hilton, to emphasise the utter naïveté of your point, but since admitting to have been to a UKIP meeting is likely to get you shot on the street by Hate No Hopers, I'll stay anonymous.

        1. Naselus

          Re: We need to start again

          " but since admitting to have been to a UKIP meeting is likely to get you shot on the street by Hate No Hopers, I'll stay anonymous."

          Actually, IIRC the only people who've been getting shot in the street recently were on the Remain side of the fence.

  15. David Roberts Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Good arguments, but.......

    .....who is going to implement the changes if we leave?

    Noting, of course, that the whole thing is just a political barney amongst the rich and that any vote is not legally binding on the Government.

    The article seems to be a call for the workers to rise against their rich oppressors but doesn't explain why we have to leave the EU to make this possible. Or provide any evidence that this will happen if we do.

    Most of the issues quoted by both sides seem to be solvable inside or outside the EU.

    The big problem I see is the lack of viable alternatives in UK politics. Cameron, Boris, Farage?

    It should be noted that despite the left wing claims in the article, the lefties lefty Jeremy Corbyn who has my approval (for the little that it is worth) for sticking to his long term principles seems to favour Remain.

    TL;DR our problems are due to our Government not the EU. The referendum isn't going to fix this.

    1. Ucalegon

      Re: Good arguments, but.......

      "The big problem I see is the lack of viable alternatives in UK politics. Cameron, Boris, Farage?"

      Hence the referendum I thought cynically. It's almost as if Cameron manufactured a "crisis" to win something tangible, distract the voters, whilst at the same time finishing off any remaining political credibility left in his opposition.

      Genius?

  16. ChubbyBehemoth

    Ehm,.. Britain had those visa free arrangements with the EU countries, but no doubt those arrangement got superceded by the newer arrangements through the EU. Hence you can expect it to take a while to reinstate those old arrangements.

    And on accord of your safe Africa topic, what makes you think that a Brexit would change that? The EU has its protections , largely for local political reasons and I cannot see anything much changing there unless the whole EU implodes. Considering the to be expected economic mayhem that a Brexit is supposed to experience, I would expect if any the rest of the EU to insert more protectionism as one of the bigger players against that has left the building.

    But true, there certainly is a positive side to Brexit for the rest of the EU if the obstructionist that would find any excuse to reject further integration are out. That said, it will be a sad day if the UK leaves. You're funny if a bit silly people.

  17. IHateWearingATie
    Pint

    Spiked, Gisela Stuart & George Galloway - left arguments for exit

    Although many on the Left no longer consider Spiked a 'Left' publication, it does make one of the best Leave arguments you can read. Also George Galloway's speech at the launch of Leave.EU is excellent Left Leave stuff. Also have a look at Gisela Stuart's stuff (Labour MP, born in Germany, chair or Vote Leave) is generally good.

    I'm voting Remain, but I appreciate a well argued and delivered political point :)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Gisela Stuart

      is my MP. Having had reason to engage with her on several matters, I place no value whatsoever on her - or her opinions.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Gisela Stuart

        So you didn't get your own way then?

        1. Bloakey1

          Re: Gisela Stuart

          "So you didn't get your own way then?"

          He should shoot back up there and have another stab at it.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dyson spin

    Oh, if James is out I am in.

    Purveyor of over priced plastic. If he made a Dyson stapler it would staple amazingly, as long as you only wanted to staple two sheets of paper together and your eyes loved shades of grey and yellow. It would also cost about £200 and be made in Singapore. Of course he wants out of Europe - he likes cheap labour, and he wouldn't have people pointing out that maybe he sells over priced tat.

    1. Merchman
      Flame

      Re: Dyson spin

      The same James Dyson that cares so much about Britain and its workers that he moved all his factories to Malaysia,

    2. itzman
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Dyson spin

      OTOH if Geldof is in, I am out.

      Life is so complicated

    3. Bloakey1

      Re: Dyson spin

      I have one of those and it leaks.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Dyson spin

      Hear hear.

  19. H in The Hague Silver badge

    Just a few thoughts

    Too much stuff to digest and reply to in detail, as I do have work to do. But here goes.

    “As I see it, the UK's indigenous working class were simply replaced with a cheaper, imported version.”

    Not sure about that. At the bottom there is always the minimum wage which caps wage competition. I gather that Brits have little taste for essential but less skilled work (e.g. harvesting in agriculture). A friend recently had to employ a herdsman from Poland because the locals simply weren’t interested. In the construction industry we suffer from the fact that Brits don’t seem to be interested in this kind of work, or don’t have the skills/training – which had led to significant wage increases (6% in the last year, according to Construction News), despite immigration.

    Incidentally, a few decades ago, when the UK construction industry was flatlining, many British construction workers found jobs elsewhere in Europe. Even now I come across them in NL, I gather wages are higher here.

    “It's no accident that our civil servants "gold plate" EU regulations”

    Well, you might want to address your complaints to Westminster, etc. – that’s hardly the EU’s fault.

    “The argument is the same: the middle class abandoned social solidarity, and dumped on the proles.”

    In my view “proles” is a rather disrespectful term. But I do share your concerns about solidarity. However, that’s something which is perhaps easier to address at the local and national level, it’s not necessarily related to staying in or leaving the EU. And I fear that any economic upheaval following a Brexit is going to hit those at the bottom hardest.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Just a few thoughts

      So the minimum wage means there's no difference between someone who's housesharing in the UK for a few years and saving every penny they earn to someone who was born in the UK and who's trying to buy a house and start a family?

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Peace for the past 70 years.

    Decisions about Syria and Iraq? How did the EU stop these decisions? Seems to me UK can make some decisions on it's own.

    The problem with this "process" is the lack of facts. Is migration spoiling the NHS or is it down to lack of funding and a changing, ageing society? No one is capable of telling the electorate, who should be treated better.

    If the most annoying things are cucumbers and pillows then things must be pretty good.

    1. rh587

      Peace for the past 70 years.

      One of the most odious lies. Syria and Iraq you mention. Closer to home, the EU did little good in Northern Ireland, Kosovo or Bosnia. I guess the Srebrenica Massacre didn't happen?

      Of course the EU didn't exist 70 years ago. Or even 25 years ago. Attributing "70 years of peace" to the EU is ludicrous. Certain of their constituent bodies such as the WEU (who have merged into the EU) have contributed to a relatively stable Western Europe, but no more.

      1. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

        The "EU" didn't exist 70 years ago, but it originated in the ECSC, a transnational trading bloc to prevent future trade-wars over access to commodities (in this case coal and steel, it still being the 1950s). The redrawing of Germany's borders after WW2 left a lot of potential for regional disputes to flare up, and it was the Treaty Of Rome in 1950 that defused most of them before they could start. That's where the "70 years of peace" claim comes from, and it has only ever referred to Western Europe - those national empire-states that spent most of the previous millenium killing each other.

        "the EU did little good in Northern Ireland"

        Hardly a surprise. Not just because the EEC had no such powers at the time, but even if it had, member countries of the EU are sovereign, and thus "Europe" cannot intervene in their internal affairs. Mostly, though this is because the Northern Ireland crisis predates the UK's relationship with the EEC.

        The whole Northern Ireland thing kicked off in 1968 (the only surprise was that it had taken so long). The situation peaked in late 1969, and it was only the deployment of British Army troops in the province to protect the Catholic population that stopped the province descending into civil war (I say this even with the memory of Bloody Sunday; without the troops, things would have been far, far worse). Before this, things were so bad in early 1969 that the Irish government actually considered the possibility of having to stage a military intervention in Northern Ireland to create a protected enclave for Nationalist refugees within the province. (The Irish government papers are brutally honest about the slim chances of such an operation succeeding, but it had been planned for)

        By 1973 when the UK (and also the Republic of Ireland and Denmark) joined the then EEC, the crisis had been largely averted. What remained was a domestic UK law-and-order issue, and as a domestic issue, the EU could do nothing about it. However, common membership of the EEC did give the Irish and British more opportunities to cooperate on resolving the problems - the fringes of EEC meetings allowed the governments to meet and talk about this without it carrying the weight of a "summit".

        What the EU did do later was fund infrastructural links between Northern Ireland and the Republic - the opening up of access between Dublin and Belfast has done more for peace in Northern Ireland than most will give credit for.

        I hope the UK votes Remain. We actually like our next-door neighbours more that we'll ever let on, and we really don't want to have to live with border checkpoints again on what would become the frontier of the EU in the event of an exit vote.

    2. Bloakey1

      "Peace for the past 70 years."

      <snip>

      I thought we were talking about Europe and not another planet. Our times have never been as turbulent, no peace there and as for Malaya, Borneo, Suez, Oman, Northern Ireland etc. no sign of peace there either.

  21. Triggerfish

    The same is true in politics. If you lubricate a politically active member of the Left today with some beer, and ask them why they believe what they believe, you're likely to get a heartfelt speech about how the other lot (Republicans, Tories, libertarians, etc) is evil, while their lot is shoulder-to-shoulder with the people. Or something like that. Their motivation isn't greed or self-interest, like the other lot, but defending the common man.

    Bit of a narrow minded judgement there.

  22. WatAWorld

    Readers in North America should be aware of the differing UK terminology

    In the UK "middle class" has a different meaning than in Canada or the USA.

    Here in Canada the middle class is pretty much anyone whose income is between the bottom 25% and the top 1%, maybe top 0.1%. And your occupation doesn't matter. You can be a tradesperson. A professional. Or living off of an inheritance.

    In the USA the middle class is pretty much anyone whose income is between the bottom 25% and the top 0.01%, maybe top 0.01%. (Some multi-millionaire business owners consider themselves middle-class.) Again, occupation doesn't matter.

    In the UK tradespeople used to be -- and apparently still are -- excluded from the definition of middle class. So no electricians. No technicians. No plumbers. Rather than the middle class being the middle 80% of the population it is maybe 40%, maybe less?

    Maybe Andrew could clarify his definition of middle class for us in a boot note. Is it people who neither sweat for a living nor inherited a title?

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Readers in North America should be aware of the differing UK terminology

      I don't sweat for a living, but I do have a large heatsink stapled to my head to cool my brain down a bit - does that count?

      1. itzman
        Coat

        Re: Readers in North America should be aware of the differing UK terminology

        I do have a large heatsink stapled to my head to cool my brain down a bit - does that count?

        Dunno, if its got a CPU and an arithmetic processing unit bolted to it, and is running the right software, I guess it does?

        1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: Readers in North America should be aware of the differing UK terminology

          It has got a maths co-processor attached, but it's that one with the floating point error.

    2. JEDIDIAH
      Linux

      Re: Readers in North America should be aware of the differing UK terminology

      That was made pretty clear by the article. It's also actually a more reasonable definition of middle class. I think the version that America uses is "pants". It obscures the difference between wage earning and wealth generation (and probably intentionally so). You shouldn't be called middle class unless you own income generating property. Middle class originally meant merchants and such, not affluent workers.

      If you have no income generating property, you're just "working class" regardless of how large your debts are.

      As a plumber, you should only be considered "middle class" if you own your own shop. Otherwise, you're just another employee. Tradesmen who are business owners can make mad money exploiting the labor of others.

      Regardless, the definitions should not be engineered to include certain percentages of the population.

  23. Mr Finance

    On this argument we should form self governing regions on the basis of football clubs

    If you can put aside your football club nationalism for one second, perhaps someone can tell me what exactly are the key values that Brits hold that Europeans don't? I may have been born in the UK, but I grew up considering myself as a European first and Brit second and am not the slightest bit ashamed of that.

    While I understand the selfish case for a Brit builder to vote out to avoid being priced down by an unemployed Pole builder. I don't see how I am being an immoral middle class European to see no problem in that. Shall we chuck Northern Ireland out of the union also to avoid cheap builders from over there? Why should I prioritise the economic welfare of the Brit who holds my values over the Pole or Northern Irish that holds my values. The consequence of even trying to do so is largely pointless in a globalised world. If a Brit builder starts charging £25 an hour for low skilled work, we'll just buy more pre-fabbed stuff from China. Or a tory government will just allow adjacent immigration anyway on economic grounds (better pre-fabbed in Britain than in China). Witness the import of so many cheap bus drivers from Pakistan/India in the 60's. And I certainly don't share so many values with Pakistan as I do with Europe. The answer for the working classes is not nationalistic protectionism and a bunch of nannying liberals telling them that their contribution to society is 'just as valuable' as anyone else and they should keep doing what they are doing. They need just enough social support via the minimum wage to live in dignity, but not so much that they don't feel the strong motivation of envy to go upskill themselves, or more practically their children (where today's middle class should feel a strong moral and logical case to help). I shudder to think of a future 50years hence where our economy is dictated by the children of £25 an hour builders thinking £25 an hour building is an acceptable educational or social ambition in a world where £0 per hour robots will be doing the vast majority of today's working class jobs in economy with any pretentions to the word 'advanced'.

  24. WatAWorld

    EU migration policies are far more racist than anything the UK ever had

    IF you think racism should play a factor, remember that the EU practices systemic racism -- regarded in North America as one of the worst forms of racism -- in its immigration practices.

    Yes, under North American definitions, those 'elites' calling you 'plebs' racist are amongst the most racist people in the developed world.

    The EU's immigration systemically discriminates against non-whites because we EU citizens are overwhelmingly white. Yes quite convenient that.

    We grant free immigration to EU citizens and it is "purely coincidental" that 99% of the time that means whites.

    EU system rules that systemically create a race-based immigration system that fulfills racist objectives, without the need for individuals to take racist actions on their own.

    And these EU racists have the gaul to claim that those who'd prefer the UK set its own immigration policy are racist, despite the fact that the pre-EU immigration policy was far less racist.

    1. AndyS

      Re: EU migration policies are far more racist than anything the UK ever had

      @WatAWorld

      Wow. A whole new level of made-up bollocks. If your world view is really so devoid of any factual reasoning that you have to resort to inventing new levels of bull to back up what you want to believe, would it not eventually be easier to realise your world view might be at fault?

      Most US passport holders are white. Does that mean the US is systematically racist when it allows special privileges to their own passport holders?

      Zimbabwe is a majority black country, so most Zimbabwean passport holders, who get special treatment by Zimbabwe, are black. That is not racist. Robert Mugabe systematically applied policies to strip white Zimbabweans of their citizenship. That is racist.

      Guess what? A union of countries, for the benefit of those countries, benefits the citizens of those countries. Since Europe is mostly white (after all, it's the continent that white people came from), of course most people in that union are white.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: EU migration policies are far more racist than anything the UK ever had

        Most US passport holders are white. Does that mean the US is systematically racist when it allows special privileges to their own passport holders?

        By the Liberal Left's definition of racism, yes.

        See also the Black Lawyers association/ The association of Black police officers...the list is endless.

        Discrimination by organisations on the grounds of race or skin colour is endemic and systemic. The nation state itself is an example of systemic racism, in that it gives privileges to its own membership over others.

        Of course what the Left cant get their pretty little heads around, is that discrimination is the most powerful tool we have to actually stay alive. WE make decisions based on discrimination every day of our lives.

        Discrimination is the algorithmic compression of experience into useful categories.

        "All toadstools are poisonous" Wrong, but a very good place to start as a general rule for the ignorant.

        Personally I think Kenyans are over represented in the Olympic runners. We should have more white people. :-)

        Bigotry is merely discrimination that is past its sell by date. 100 years ago 'black people are uneducated and can't handle Western society' was an approximately true statement. Today its patently rubbish, and to cling to it is bigotry, and because its a dysfunctional discrimination based on a skin color or ethnic origin, we call it racism.

        However, if we insist on allowing immigration based on a points system that essentially reflects our societies self interest in attracting skilled professionals that will contribute to the net wealth of the nation, and disallowing people with no skills to offer bar a propensity for law breaking, as a means to survive, then that is without doubt discrimination.

        It is not however racism. And yet, apparently, if we stop one illiterate 3rd world peasant from gracing our sceptred isle, we are racist.

        According to the Left.

        Well if that is racism, I think we need a lot more of it, frankly.

  25. Ian 55

    Dear Andrew

    How much of your money are you betting that there will not be a serious recession in the UK as a direct result of Brexit?

    Futures markets make it easy to do, and because virtually everyone except Mrs Thatcher's second favourite economist says that there would be one, you can get really good profits if you're right.

    If the answer is 'none', why?

    1. Seajay#

      Re: Dear Andrew

      Futures markets don't really make this easy to do because there's no difference between the recession failing to materialise after an out vote and no recession because we vote Remain.

      If you think that Leaving wouldn't lead to a recession but that we're likely to vote Remain. How do you make that bet?

    2. rh587

      Re: Dear Andrew

      and because virtually everyone except Mrs Thatcher's second favourite economist says that there would be one,

      Yeah, but all those people - the IMF, ECB, etc all failed to see the 2008 Crash coming, failed to properly regulate the securities market, and the ECB failed to properly vet and regulate the nations being admitted to the Eurozone, with the result they let basket cases like Greece come and play in a common currency with Germany, with a result that was obvious to anyone who knows their Cold War history and the events leading to the financial split of west and east Germany when maintaining a common Reichsmark became untenable.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Dear Andrew

        You must be really rich, because obviously as all economists are always wrong, you just ignore them and coin it in by doing the opposite. All doctor's probably once mis-diagnosed an illness, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't listen when all doctors tell you to stop smoking.

        1. itzman

          Re: Dear Andrew

          All economists are nearly always wrong because they have learnt the theories of Marx and Keynes. Which were approximately true during a brief phase of industrial expansion, but have ceased to be true for the last 15 years or so.

          The Austrian school have somewhat better models, but they are not taught at the LSE.

          1. Cpt Blue Bear

            Re: Dear Andrew

            "All economists are nearly always wrong because they have learnt the theories of Marx and Keynes."

            Where is the button so I can vote this for the funniest thing I've read all week? Its even funnier than our fat, white, male, protestant, conservative Australian treasurer complaining about how much he's been discriminated against.

        2. JEDIDIAH
          Mushroom

          Re: Dear Andrew

          Smoking you say? I got cancer from 2nd hand smoke but the person who exposed me to all of that 2nd hand smoke is fine. Not a trace of cancer.

          Reality can be terribly unpredictable.

      2. JEDIDIAH
        Linux

        Re: Dear Andrew

        I saw that crash coming. I saw it in the adjustable rate mortgages. My corporate cynicism made it painfully obvious. If nothing else, those loans would get adjusted to the point where mass foreclosures would occur because the executive class really are greedy enough to saw off the branch they are sitting on.

        Plus it was a bubble. All bubbles pop. Don't need to be a quant to figure that out.

  26. Hugh Pumphrey

    I'm In

    It is a change to see an "out" piece that is impenetrable lefty political theory TLDR stuff; usually they are over-simplified xenophobia for Sun-readers. I don't accept either type of argument and am voting "remain". The overall reasoning is that I do not like any sort of politics which likes to draw a line on the ground, point to the people the other side, and say "Those people over there are your problem. We can fix it by walling them out.". All the politicians that I have seen peddling this sort of politics have been lying scoundrels

    Really, my main reason for saying so in here is

    (*) This thread is the first place I have been in real life or online where there seem to be some "leave" voters.

    (*) Many leave voters say that their main reason for voting "leave" is that they don't know any "remain" voters. You do, now.

    1. rmason Silver badge

      Re: I'm In

      Hugh,

      If you've not seen or spoken to any "leave" voters i'm guessing you're not a user of social media, The vote will be much closer than you think.

      Similarly, as Andrew mentioned his dad in the article never meeting a single person who voted the other way, this is because his dad (like you) tend to only interact with people of a similar age, income, political leaning etc etc

      This is why so many people on BOTH sides will claim "fix" or "conspiracy" should the vote not go their way. Because they surround themselves with that many people who lean the same way, they genuinely believe their viewpoint represents the majority, or even what everyone is thinking.

      Five minutes on *social media platform of your choice* will show you very numerous and vocal *leave* voters. Both in person and online the majority of people I've spoken to are voting leave. There are polls running in various facebook groups i'm a member of (hobbies/interests etc) in the ones running in Vaping groups, and reptile keepers groups "leave" is winning by a wide margin. BOth these groups cover both sexes and a wide range of ages/backgrounds.

      Similarly in my local pub it seems about 50/50 split, and in my work place. Try asking 5 people older than you, 5 younger and 5 randoms in a pub. I guarantee you'll come across someone voting "leave".

      The problem comes when people only interact with similar people, leading them to believe everyone is like them. There are loads of people my age (I'm 33) who genuinely believe the general election was a sham because "they don't know anyone who voted conservative". The same thing will happen after the referendum.

      "I don't know anyone who voted (remain/leave), further proof it's rigged!"

      1. styx-tdo

        Re: I'm In

        facebook and social media tends to reinfoce your views, based on your friends having similar opinions and sharing others with similar opinions. I think it's called group dynamics ;)

        http://www.livescience.com/50766-facebook-news-bias.html

        1. H in The Hague Silver badge

          Re: I'm In

          "facebook and social media tends to reinfoce your views, based on your friends having similar opinions and sharing others with similar opinions."

          Just as well then that we have these lively discussions on El Reg, and are exposed to different opinions!

        2. JEDIDIAH
          Devil

          Re: I'm In

          I call it "the echo chamber". People will even censor you for suggesting a contrary opinion. That's even before you drop them or they drop you.

          Most people aren't interested in multiple viewpoints. They won't see them out. I have all kinds of wing nuts on my feed. It's wild. It's far more entertaining to step out of your echo chamber.

      2. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

        Re: I'm In

        @rmason

        This isn't right:

        "As Andrew mentioned his dad in the article never meeting a single person who voted the other way"

        That wasn't written or even implied. Most people he met were pro-Common Market. Most of our neighbours and his colleagues were pro-Common Market. He wasn't, and the Doctor wasn't.

    2. dajames Silver badge

      Re: I'm In

      Many leave voters say that their main reason for voting "leave" is that they don't know any "remain" voters.

      Really? "I'm going to jump off this cliff into that tank of electrified piranhas because I don't know anyone who says they won't" -- if that's a common way of reaching a decision on an important political issue among the great British electorate where you are then people are more stupid than I thought!

    3. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

      Re: I'm In

      Well, I'm voting leave for two main reasons.

      1. We don't get a say in who runs the bloated labyrinthine bureaucracy over in Brussels - so if they decide on something we don't like - how do we address that? We can't (if we stay in the EU).

      2. Red-tape stifles innovation and growth, and the EU generates more red-tape than I can readily measure. I'm not advocating the removal of *all* rules (there are a lot of rules that are there for our protection after all) but there is a lot of stuff that seems to be added without any valid reason.

      I get the distinct feeling that if we don't raise our voice as a people now and vote leave, it will be the last time our voice is heard and democracy will have croaked its' last. At that point we are all well and truly owned by the powerful corporations who are pulling all the stings.

      Perhaps someone could tell me why the TTIP was drawn up in secret and the only people who got to make amendments were the very corporations who stood to gain from it being a total power-grab from our national governments?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I'm In

        We don't get a say, except in voting, appointing commissioners and vetoing and opting out of stuff we don't like. I am fairly sure your personal influence over a Brussels bureaucrat and a Westminster bureaucrat is for all intents and purposes equal.

        And in what world do you think that TTIP won't be signed up to by a post Brexit government? Ads much as Brexit supporters have any economic arguments, they are all based negotiating TTIP style treaties. Do you think BoJo is going to say boo to a US corporate goose?

        1. Dr. Mouse Silver badge

          Re: I'm In

          And in what world do you think that TTIP won't be signed up to by a post Brexit government? Ads much as Brexit supporters have any economic arguments, they are all based negotiating TTIP style treaties. Do you think BoJo is going to say boo to a US corporate goose?

          And, IMHO, we are likely to end up with something even worse. The US is more interested in free trade with a large block of countries than a single, pretty small, nation. If we were to apply to get a free trade agreement with the US (as many of the Leave leaders suggest), and they fast tracked the process, do you think they would give any better conditions, or even the same conditions, as they give to a large group of rich countries?

          IMHO It is likely we would try to negotiate a US/UK FTA, it is likely it would be worse than TTIP, and it is likely that the UK govt would accept it. In the end, we would likely be handing power over to large, US corporations (with them suing the govt if any decision going against them) after just pulling it back from the EU.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I'm In

        "We don't get a say in who runs the bloated labyrinthine bureaucracy over in Brussels - so if they decide on something we don't like - how do we address that? We can't (if we stay in the EU)."

        With the UK First Past The Post System only a few swing voters actually have any influence on whether Labour or Tories get a majority in Parliament. Even then they have no choice in who the parties elect as their candidates. Independent candidates are rare these days. Look at the Police Commissioner candidates - usually party hacks.

        "Red-tape stifles innovation and growth"

        Too often the UK Government takes an EU directive and adds to it. Laws nowadays are rushed through Parliament with poor drafting - often done by committees containing co-opted single issue lobbyists with an axe to grind.

        Successive England & Wales Governments of both persuasions for several decades have appeared to be intent on criminalising the population in the belief that to solve a problem you only need to pass a restrictive law.

        The populace disliked the LibDems for not blocking all the Tory policies . So they voted out the LibDems to allow the Tories a free hand to implement their policies. EU or ECHR blocks on those excesses annoy both the extremes of Labour and Tory parties - so again people are possibly going to vote to effectively let those extremists have a free hand.

      3. H in The Hague Silver badge

        Re: I'm In

        "Red-tape stifles innovation and growth, and the EU generates more red-tape than I can readily measure."

        Well, as I illustrated with examples in a different thread UK bureaucracy (in Whitehall and in businesses) is quite capable of coming up with lots of red tape. Quite often by unnecessarily gold-plating EU regs.

        Can you give some examples to support your argument?

        "At that point we are all well and truly owned by the powerful corporations who are pulling all the stings."

        If it's corporations pulling the strings (which I don't believe), then there wouldn't be all that red-tape which you claim comes from the EU, would there?

        "Perhaps someone could tell me why the TTIP was drawn up in secret and the only people who got to make amendments were the very corporations who stood to gain from it being a total power-grab from our national governments?"

        Good question. Very unhappy with that myself. Perhaps because the Americans don't want it out in the open? Anyway, a power grab by corporations is different from a power grab by the EU - you can't have it both ways.

    4. Bloakey1

      Re: I'm In

      Good show sir, I am a don't care but can well see that a man with a Hugh Pumphrey is bound to be in , in more ways that one.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I'm In

      "(*) This thread is the first place I have been in real life or online where there seem to be some "leave" voters.

      (*) Many leave voters say that their main reason for voting "leave" is that they don't know any "remain" voters. You do, now."

      Does. Not. Compute.

      You haven't met any 'leave voters', but the 'leave voters' you know of give some bullshit reason???

      By the way, I know plenty in both camps. Perhaps you need to expand your social circle a bit?

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In the ditch

    On the fence anyone?

    ..more like in the ditch where the horizon is obscured by an ever increasing mounds of bullshit from both sides.

    Not voting, don't care for catch 22 situations.

    1. Seajay#

      Re: In the ditch

      This is not an election, you're not voting for the Leave Campaign or the Remain Campaign. You're voting for Leave or Remain.

      So however much you dislike the campaigns, it shouldn't factor in to your decision on which way to vote.

      1. Bloakey1

        Re: In the ditch

        "This is not an election, you're not voting for the Leave Campaign or the Remain Campaign. You're voting for Leave or Remain."

        I am standing up for my right to not give a shit and never get involved in politics and what they want me to do.

        I also avoid journalists, estate agents and lawyers but rent boys, prostitutes and drug dealers are ok.

    2. Bloakey1

      Re: In the ditch

      I am a don't care person and I do not like all the underlying nastiness from either camp.

      I see good and bad in both arguments.

  28. Ginolard

    If the Leave camp wins I sincerely hope the following happens :-

    Leadership challenge from Boris and his cronies

    Cameron is ousted

    General election called

    Labour win

    Labour say "Well, we never wanted out anyway so, yeah, we're staying in thanks very much"

    1. Seajay#

      But to do that, Labour would really have to declare in advance of the election that they were planning to ignore the referendum. Doing that is likely to kill their chance of winning (and it wasn't good to start with).

  29. kmac499

    Reboot the Working Class?

    Sorry I don't see a traditional blue collar working class existing anymore. My definition of a working class person was they "clocked in" and were paid weekly in cash. Even if that person was a skilled tradesmen. The jobs were fairly manual with hIgh levels of trade union membership in the private sector.

    The good thing was, that there was 'almost' free educational routes for bright kids to gain academic qualifications to the white collar world. Sadly the apprenticeship schemes to skilled blue collar jobs had a much lower status.

    Now our time keeping tends to be on trust, and we are all paid monthly by EFT into a bank account. Union membership is more heavily in the public sector.

    The majority of permanent jobs now, are what I would term open collar neither blue nor white, but based on soft skills with job entry limited to 'graduate' level candidates even if the degree is useless. The rest are short term contract jobs mainly caused by a culture of outsourcing non core operations. (Don't you just love the MBA gurus)

    We also have much hgher level of home ownership which make people really think twice before going on strike.

    So what we have now is a huge new group of people that undeniably work for a living, but compared to their traditional working class parents would have qualified as middle class. (me included).

    I don't see this electorate as being ripe for a new Red Dawn..

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Reboot the Working Class?

      "Now our time keeping tends to be on trust, and we are all paid monthly by EFT into a bank account. Union membership is more heavily in the public sector."

      Don't work in a call centre then?

  30. WatAWorld

    EU is that it is in many ways more Scandiavian than European.

    One of the reasons that the UK doesn't fit in well to the EU is that it is in many ways more Scandiavian than European.

    The benefits levels are too high. The assumed 'work ethic' is too high.

    This BBC article explains it:

    http://www.bbc.com/news/education-35374822

    Possibly the UK, Finland and Sweden should leave the EU and join with Norway and Iceland to create a new union.

    1. Robigus

      Re: EU is that it is in many ways more Scandiavian than European.

      Good idea; we could call it the Nordic League : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nordic_League

      Cheap shot, sorry.

      As a remainer (with much of my work coming from EU funded projects), I'm pragmatic enough to accept that if we're out, things will be different and we'll just get on with it. If we're in, things will be different, but differently.

      Having watched the BBC debate last night, I felt somewhat short-changed by the Remain reps who seemed to engage in far more ad-hominem attacks.

      Polarisation of these issue doesn't help anyone; entrenchment ensues with it's shortcuts to Godwin's Law made so much more predictable.

      Whatever happens, the future isn't what it was going to be, so embrace it and crack on.

      1. itzman

        Re: EU is that it is in many ways more Scandiavian than European.

        Naughty!

        Hanseatic league perhaps?

  31. Baldy50

    Great article BTW

    I'll also cast my futile vote tomorrow as well bud.

    Maybe the conversation went something like this:- Moron calls in all the MP's from all parties and says "Shit we're going to have to have this EU referendum after all, BUGGER!"

    "OK we all have a lot of our investments linked to staying in so we'll draw straws for in or out and divide the parties, to cause even more confusion and just basically run a monumentally piss poor campaign on both sides to really put the voters heads in a spin, OHHHH! yes plenty of spin please"

    Doris is first to go and picks a short straw, moron spins round giggling and palms the straws into his pocket taking the piss out of Doris all the time and gets out the real bunch of straws for the rest of the motley crew out of the other pocket.

    And thanks again to Citizen Smith for the article.

  32. wolfetone Silver badge

    EU Problems Are Closer To Home

    Preface: I haven't decided whether I'm voting to Leave or to Stay. My backside has many splinters from sitting on the fence.

    TL;DR: Flip a coin and vote that way. If it lands on its side, do the lottery.

    All of the problems the UK have with the EU stem from our own apathy towards it and us not holding those responsible to account.

    The turnout for European elections are always lower than that of the General Election. Why is this? The usual reason is down to a simple case of the UK public not giving a damn what happens in Europe. This is compounded over time through more sensationalist headlines breeding a feeling of the UK is powerless to do anything with Europe.

    Our biggest representative in the EU is UKIP. The UK public - those who voted anyway - decided it was a brilliant idea that a Euroskeptic party should go to Brussells on our behalf and work with the EU. What exactly have they done though? UKIP have always been very quiet about what they have done in Europe, how they have voted etc, and what they have done to reform the EU. Quite simply, they couldn't give a toss about the EU, they just want out of it. Fair enough, but they still go to Brussells, still pick up the wage (£100k per MEP?) plus expenses. Aside from UKIP the BNP were our representatives, Labour and the Conservatives. I would ask the same question to them, what have they done?

    It's an easy thing for MEP's we send over to come back and say "it's undemocratic" and "it doesn't work for Britain". If you attend a meeting when every single person knows you don't like them and don't care very much about them, how likely are they to take your side on matters that are important? I think if we're talking about undemocratic processes then we need to question our MEP's first before we blame the MEP's of Europe.

    And on this subject of the unelected, undemocratic system that the EU is - will the UK become a republic? Our house of Lords is unelected, the head of state is unelected. At least in the EU the positions which aren't elected are at least discussed and one is appointed. The monarchy runs on the rule of whoever the current head of state gives birth to first is then the next head of state.

    Our relationship with the EU is also flawed, but could it be argued it's an extension of the national feeling that the UK still owns 25% of the world. During this referendum hate campaign (and that's exactly what it's been like on both sides) is that the EU takes etc from the UK and we get nothing back. This in itself is wrong. Yes we pay money to the EU which is about 0.5% of our GDP, which allows companies in the UK to deal with other European countries on a fairly cheap and easy basis. Norway, who has long been pointed at as a country that prospers outside of the EU, have an incredibly raw deal. They pay £190 million a day to the EU (which once our rebate is removed is what we pay) yet have absolutely no say on what happens inside of it, even if it affects them. Their PM even said that Britain would hate to have the Norway situation, although that makes me think why can't Norway negotiate a better deal for themselves?

    From what I have read you would be forgiven to think that Brexit's view on the EU is something we should be a member of but cream off all the good bits of it and leave the bad bits. When really our relationship with the EU should be viewed as an office. There will be people we don't like, people we do like, bosses we don't get on with and wonder how they got there, but if you don't pull your finger out collectively the whole company falls down.

    And that brings me on to another point, there are 27 other countries we deal with daily in the EU. We have been told we'll still have great relations with those countries if we leave. As much to say we're leaving the party but we'll still chat on Facebook. The UK leaving the EU will cause those countries a load of shit. It will. The economies of those countries will suffer (who knows to what degree), the EU itself will be cast in to chaos as other countries will then think "Well if the UK can leave then we will too". In stead of leaving the party on good terms, we've effectively smashed a box of stink bombs in the middle of the room.

    If France decided to leave the EU, and we didn't have this referendum, yes the people here would want to follow France's lead and vote to leave. But if France left long before that notion got to be discussed, our economy would suffer and we'd have to deal with the problems the EU would then face. What would our opinion be then? "Bloody France causing us a load of problems, selfish bar stewards". Would we want to deal with them after they left? No. Why? They caused us problems. To think the other countries would view us differently to this is pure fantasy.

    Ultimately though, this referendum isn't legally binding. It's not like on Friday we're going to wake up to news that Cameron has gone to Brussells to and told them we're leaving and we'll be back to split the CD collection. All it will achieve is the markets will react, the TV channels will be flooded with analysis, social media will be full of the Leave people saying "YES WE WON" or "BLOODY FIX THIS IS RIDICULOUS" with the Stay people saying the same thing in appropriate response. From a poll I saw the other day it was split 44%/44% in favour of leaving/staying. With something that close to call, will those who have lost the referendum accept it? Of course they won't. Recounts will be demanded, a new referendum demanded, all the time showing that those who believe in democracy and the right of the people not the elite actually don't give a single damn about any of that. They want to win at all costs. If the Stay vote get 49% of the vote, they'll demand all of this. Likewise if Leave get the same number.

    But those who are on the winning side, how will they feel when the referendum result is passed to Parliament and they vote on it? Oh yes, this has to be done to make it valid. If the MP's vote against the result of the referendum, what then? The people you elected only 18 months ago have gone against what you want. What are you going to do about it? Kick off? Start smashing the place up? Flood social media with hateful messages condeming those who thought differently to you?

    It's democracy, and it's ugly.

    Personally, I know what I have said may seem I'm on the side of staying but I'm not decided. The EU has major problems. It does need to be transparent and accountable. But the people of the UK also need to be smart enough to hold it to account, not to just view at something silly like The Voice on TV. We need to elect people who will do a proper job of representing us and working with the EU to fix it and to make it better. We can't do that outside of the party. We can't do that by sending someone in to the party who hates parties. We need people we can trust, however rare they are they do exist. You might be one of them reading it, stand for election maybe?

    If you're undecided, there's only a handful of things you can do. Look at what's being said, look for the evidence to back it up. Make sure it's something that actually does affect you, because there seems to be a lot of people from predominantly white areas complaining about immigration and that those lazy people who come over here from Syria are taking all the cleaning jobs from people in this country, even though they work at a Renault dealership somewhere.

    For me it's down to the economy. How will we cope or prosper if we leave/stay in the EU. As nice as it might be to think we suddenly have £190 million to spend on the NHS (which will NEVER go there - hello TTIP), it's cold comfort to me if in 6 months time the place I work for goes under. I have a house, I am planning to get married, I want to have kids. I want an easy life free of hatred, free of agro. Everything, to me, was fine before this referendum started. Since then my bills have gone up as the pound has suffered in the markets, I come home to see stories of total bullshit on my TV screen. I go outside and my neighbour has a massive "We Want Our Country Back, UKIP" outside his house. I go to work and I see that Farage has promoted that dreadful poster of "Breaking Point".

    I have said it before, but it might just be better for everyone if a coin was flipped and you voted that way. If it lands on its side, don't vote but do the lottery.

    1. Paul Shirley

      Re: EU Problems Are Closer To Home

      UK voters also need to get smart enough to stop electing governments that equate 'fixing/reforming the EU' with grabbing power back for parliament. I don't remember a single gov since we joined with any genuine interest in fixing problems. The idea of making the EU more democratic makes for great rabble rousing sound bites but get's blocked at every chance, making it accountable to the voters is a distant second to retaining closed door influence by ministers and civil servants.

      Want to complain about our relationship with the EU? Elect better UK politicians and kick out the self serving bottom feeders we keep electing.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A lie got us into Europe at the last referendum

    And I fear that lies will keep us here!

    Back in the 70's the government lied to the public when they mis-sold the uk voters that the common market was just a trade agreement.

    How can the EU claim to have any shred of democracy when a nation that voted for membership of the EEC (as it was back then) joined under false pretences and ignorance. How could the EU sit by quietly smiling watching what had transpired. It sounds very similar to to a rogue travelling salesman sitting quietly grinning to himself whilst an old dear with "few marbles in the jar" signs over her life savings.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A lie got us into Europe at the last referendum

      Bollocks.

      If you choose not to read what you sign up for, and just believe what the nice man with the pen tells you then you deserve all you get for your moronic behaviour.

      ESPECIALLY when you regularly pronounce how much you distrust politicians and can't believe anything they say (which we did in the 1970s as much - if not more - than now).

      The direction of the EEC was clear to all who actually engaged with the political process, and read what was there at the time. Yes, maybe the political TL;DR was misleading. But when isn't it ?

      I suspect the people who think we were "lied" to will be in a Venn diagram along with "people who are surprised their endowment mortgage didn't make them millionaires".

      I sadly overheard a conversation last week where an older person sincerely told our GPs receptionist (who was born in Walsall, but has Indian parents) that it's be a shame she'd be sent home when we leave the EU. *THAT* is the level of debate and understanding at the "grass roots". And anyone who thinks it rises much above that is deluded.

      1. wolfetone Silver badge

        Re: A lie got us into Europe at the last referendum

        "I sadly overheard a conversation last week where an older person sincerely told our GPs receptionist (who was born in Walsall, but has Indian parents) that it's be a shame she'd be sent home when we leave the EU. *THAT* is the level of debate and understanding at the "grass roots". And anyone who thinks it rises much above that is deluded."

        Well of course she's going to go home after they leave the EU. She doesn't live at the Doctors surgery does she?

        1. Bloakey1

          Re: A lie got us into Europe at the last referendum

          "This is not an election, you're not voting for the Leave Campaign or the Remain Campaign. You're voting for Leave or Remain."

          When she gets there she will tell her girlfriend, hi honey I'm homo.

  34. Seajay#

    Power to the workers, but which workers

    It's undeniable that the wages of those on the bottom end of the income scale have been held down. It's very likely that free movement of labour within the EU has contributed to that. However there are two questions to address before we conclude that the solution is to leave the EU.

    1. Why do you care about the wages of workers from other parts of the UK so much more than you care about the wages of workers from poorer EU countries?

    2. If we leave (and substantially reduce immigration, otherwise what's the point), will that lead to higher wages for UK workers or would that simply make the UK less competitive? It seems fairly likely that this will just lead to a further hollowing out of middle income jobs leaving only Finance, Law, very specialist engineering, etc at the top end which we have a competitive advantage over much of the rest of the world in and geographically-fixed service industry jobs (things like hairdresser or waiter which can't be outsourced) at the bottom. We don't have an inherent advantage in those but if we keep low-skilled immigrants out they will continue to provide minimum wage jobs. The only way to protect middle income jobs would be to put up trade barriers to go along with the immigration barriers. At that point we're just as bad as the EU, just smaller and more insular.

  35. Custard Fridge

    Reboot Europe?

    Brexit would not reboot Europe - it would probably break it.

    Rebooting Europe now would be like pulling the power out of the server whist the RAID array is still rebuilding itself and the second PSU is probably faulty.

    Don't bloody risk it.

    If you must reboot Europe, do it when Europe can cope - right now it cannot.

    Greece, Spain and even Italy teeter on the brink of democratic collapse with mass youth unemployment and pressure from migrant populations stuck with nowhere to go.

    Democracy can quickly be swept away by desperate people ready to listen to the fascists and communists of old - FFS don't go there...

    1. rh587

      Re: Reboot Europe?

      If you must reboot Europe, do it when Europe can cope - right now it cannot.

      So, in like 30 years? Greece is in a positive-feedback loop of debt. Simply punting them €100Bn every 18 months isn't going to fix it (obviously we're not paying that directly - it's mostly Germany and France - but it's dragging the entire region down with it). The EU needs a shake-up and the leadership appears to be totally disinterested in doing so. Certain countries need throwing out to their own currency until their economies are managed to a state where they can coexist under the same fiscal policy as countries like Germany and France.

      The EU is stagnant, lurching from one bail-out to another. The growth markets are BRIC (maybe not so much Russia at the moment).

      The EU has had years and is sitting on it's hands because they're all too embarrassed to admit they grew too big too fast and need to prune their ambitions for the good of everybody. I'd say this is the perfect time to walk away before it falls over on it's own.

      We can leave a note saying "See? I warned you - and here's the email trail - that you needed redundancy and a proper backup solution. I tried. I did. But you just weren't interested. You didn't want the redundant PSU or the second array to failover to. Now you get to start again."

      I'm not even entirely convinced by my own argument. But sometimes people won't be helped and you walk away before you get sucked into an even bigger mess. This might be one of those times. The EU needs to boot Greece and a couple of others out of the Euro. Not the common market or EU, but out the Euro. The fact they have not been willing to do so tells you that they are bull-headed and unwilling to accept the truth in front of them. Which means we should leave them to it and watch from a safe distance.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Reboot Europe?

        "The EU has had years and is sitting on it's hands because they're all too embarrassed to admit they grew too big too fast"

        Yes the Torries pushed the expansion thing to break EU power and make it more unwieldy to their advantage, but it appears a great number of them think it's been pushed too far and may break, so they're on the "in" side, the right wing of the party and new chums of the far right have been working on this for years.

  36. Frenchie Lad

    Attacks on those who think Differently

    I'm surprised that no one has mentioned in these Brexit debates the scandalous way the EU has attacked the Hungarian & Polish for daring to prefer national interests to EU ones. It seems that there's one set of rules for the big countries and another for the little ones. Whilst the UK is clearly in the bigger league, those exceptions made to accommodate the UK are all in the firing line. These exceptions are short term arrangements.

    Out is the best solution in the current context.

    1. wolfetone Silver badge

      Re: Attacks on those who think Differently

      Why is out the best solution? As far as I know every time there has been a problem where a dictator has told their people or other countries that it should do what it's told and not the other way round, the dictator has been brought to task and sorted out by dealing with the problem.

      Turning your back on the problem, holding your hands up and saying "Nothing to do with me we're off" doesn't deal with it.

      1. gazthejourno (Written by Reg staff)

        Re: Re: Attacks on those who think Differently

        "Dealing with the problem" is a fantastic euphemism for violent revolution and killings. Ask Ceausescu.

    2. GrumpyOldMan

      Re: Attacks on those who think Differently

      It seems that there's one set of rules for the big countries and another for the little ones.

      Nope it's one set of rules for Germany and France and one for everyone else.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Attacks on those who think Differently

      @Frenchie Lad

      How nice to hear your concerns. I look forward to seeing you start to navigate the greener grass on the other side of the fence and see it turn in to be a pig sty under your feet.

  37. You Are Not Free
    Go

    One non-obvious reason that should be the most obvious of all but for obvious reasons is not at all obvious.....

    Do we want a government that we people of this country elect and hold accountable ruling over us, a government that we can remove if we want to. A system of government that we fought a civil war to establish and has maintained this green and present land since the 1600's.

    Or

    Do we want to give that up to replace it with a government that, as a people, we do not elect and cannot hold to account?

    It's that simple.

    1. AndyS

      Presumably by the "elected and removable" option you mean the EU, with it's members all directly elected or appointed by directly elected members?

      And by the non-democratic, non removable option you're talking about the UK, with non proportional representation for the only pseudo-democratic house, a second house made up of various life-long peers (many hereditary), and Monarch topping the whole thing off?

      The EU as a whole is actually vastly more directly democratic than the UK.

      1. You Are Not Free
        Go

        "Presumably by the "elected and removable" option you mean the EU, with it's members all directly elected or appointed by directly elected members?"

        Do we as a people elect all of the government that rules the EU? No.

        Can we as a people remove this government who for the most part we have not elected to power? No.

        This way no one has control, but all are UNDER control, and under the control of something that is not elected and is unaccountable. Do you not see the danger of that, where that path will take us?

        If you can't see this, how can you truly understand the benefit of having an elected and accountable government in the first place.

      2. JEDIDIAH
        Linux

        States versus Feds

        That approach to the argument really misses the point. Bearocracy doesn't scale well and problems are best solved in the most local terms possible. The EU is already a pre-constitution style confederacy. Making the central government stronger is probably not the brightest idea. Quite often the "national" politicians are grossly out of touch with local issues and frankly quite hostile to different regions of the "country". I see recent US attempts at solving problems in the most disruptive way possible and think that LESS centralized is far better than more centralize.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      satanic mills

      I will not cease from Mental Fight,

      Nor shall my Sword sleep in my hand:

      Till we have built Jerusalem,

      In Englands green & pleasant Land

      Blake didn't think we were there yet. But keep up the good fight.

      1. Bloakey1

        Re: satanic mills

        Interesting to note that England is not good enough and you want to build Jerusalem there with all its inherent problems twixt Arab and Jew. What would you do with all these foreign coves?

        Why not go one better and build a Beirut or a Baghdad in there as well.

        Is it just me or do these exit people like to throw in meaningless quotes from dubious sources and think that they stand in their own right?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: satanic mills

          Hey I resent that - I am the ac who made that comment, and i'm for in. It was meant to be a subtle dig that England's Green and pleasant land wasn't all that pleasant. And I like the hymn and am dammed if I'll cede it to Brexit.

    3. wolfetone Silver badge

      "Do we want a government that we people of this country elect and hold accountable ruling over us, a government that we can remove if we want to."

      Which country can you do this in? Because you can't do it in the UK. The Queen is the only one who can "get rid" of a Government. And we the people can only change the government every 5 years.

      And Nigel Farage was elected to go to Brussells, yet aparently, we didn't elect him.

      1. GrumpyOldMan

        Didn't elect Neil Kinnock either but the EU did him ok! The UK rejected him 3 times.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @GrumpyOldTwat

          "Didn't elect Neil Kinnock either but the EU did him ok! The UK rejected him 3 times." Yet he was proposed by a UK Labour Government elected by the people in a landslide election. Stop spouting shit.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @You Are Not Free "Do we want a government that we people of this country elect and hold accountable ruling over us"

      No, we voted against PR when asked, amid the same sort of lies we are receiving now.

  38. John Miles 1

    Some EU law helps when the individual needs it.

    Initially I shared AO's concern about EU law imposition ( and some of it is unwelcome). However the only time I've actually been affected by it was when made redundant without statutory notice. In that case "EU information and consultation Directive" of 2002, as eventually implemented in UK law 5 years later turned out to be very helpful in achieving justice. I'm wondering whether Brexit 'red in tooth and claw' would have given similar employee rights so readily in the absence of a push from the EU.

    In economic terms I don't know whether the UK might be better out of the EU in the long term (though I rather doubt it). But I suspect the period of economic disruption and initial decline would persist for so long that people of AO's and my generation might not see benefit in their lifetime.

  39. dajames Silver badge

    I won't dwell on the cliches the two sides have engaged in, or comment on the wretchedness of their campaigns.

    Oh, go on, Andrew. You know you want to.

    Both sides have behaved so outrageously badly, with such wilful lack of respect for the truth - and for the intelligence of voters - that I wish there were some way (apart from spoiling a vote, which I will not do as it smacks of contempt for democracy) to register my utter contempt for them all.

  40. Daz555

    Britain's problems are home grown - nothing to do with the EU.

    But hey let's put the blame on Johnny Foreigner. Blaming him - well it's just British isn't it.

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

      That's just it, if our politicians can no longer say 'EU told us to do it' then *they* are once again accountable - but only if we *Leave*

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Filter out the noise

    Key points in an AC's head:-

    Leave:

    - Immigration is probably a bit high, leaving will help control this.

    Remain:

    - EU is unlikely to sign a balanced trade deal with the UK as it would want to set an example to prevent other countries doing the same. (Yes, you can buy our BMWs, no we will put high tariffs on your services)

    - Scotland will likely demand a second referendum, leave and join the EU

    To me, a bit of a queue at A&E seems to outweigh a financially broken, smaller UK.

    1. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

      Re: Filter out the noise

      If we can't stop immigration in the EU, workers from countries with lower pay expectations will arrive here in large numbers. Everyone in the EU speaks a bit of English. Unfortunately, our workers don't speak much Dutch/French/German...

      ...(Yes, you can buy our BMWs, no we will put high tariffs on your services)...

      Then we will put high tariffs on BMWs. I would be amazed if a reasonable trade deal could not be worked out. I looked up the 'threats' which the papers published - they do not come from reputable politicians, but rather from maverick minority parties in the EU, and are not going to happen in practice.

      To me, freedom seems to outweigh everything. The 'financially broken' threats are both exaggerated and temporary, but freedom.....

  42. DrStrangeLug

    Independence Day

    Brexit will be a British Independence Day.

    A big explosion that causes a lot of damage and pain followed by fight and a long recovery until somebody does it all again 20 years later.

  43. markowen58

    If this referendum was called by a left government that sought to reform the EU or save democracy then I support the authors view of exiting. However. We have a right wing government that will lean only further to the right if we chose to leave.

    That won't rescue the unwashed masses, it will only seek to screw them over further in the pursuit of profit and shore up the elites money and power even further.

    I'm not denying the EU is broken, but we're better off from emerging from this with a remain vote and a mandate to fix the EU from within, and to fix our own democracy that has quite rightly pointed out abandoned the working class, who feel disenfranchised and have turned to those throughout history who promise to expel the foreigner, the other, 'them that don't even learn to speak proper English'

    1. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

      ...I'm not denying the EU is broken, but we're better off from emerging from this with a remain vote and a mandate to fix the EU from within, and to fix our own democracy that has quite rightly pointed out abandoned the working class,...

      If we are out, we get the change to fix out democracy once every 5 years at election time.

      We have tried to fix Europe for 40 years, and it has simply got worse and worse. It has now got an established conservative bureaucracy which is never going to change, or be voted out....

  44. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

    Dyson

    When I read the account in the article of the Dyson case I lost interest because it was so biased. At the time I looked into it and decided that Dyson had far less of a case than he claimed. But then Dyson was the one who claimed he couldn't recruit engineering graduates in the UK and it turned out that might have been because he didn't pay very well.

    However...

    I spent some considerable time before sending in my post vote trying to make my mind up. There are a lot of things I don't like about the EU; on a Corbyn scale I give it closer to 5 than to 7. But what made my mind up was this; UKIP has been going for years. It has had plenty of time to make policies, build alliances, and present a vision, with proper plans and budgeting, for life post EU. Instead, Farage has done things like release a manifesto and then reject it. UKIP seems to me to be purely a reactionary protest party. And people like Johnson and Gove are in it purely for themselves.

    If we were being presented with a genuine choice and a plan for future policies following a general election, I could weigh it up. But on the one hand I have the status quo and on the other nothing but hand waving. As a former technical director, if I was presented with a proposal which said "if we stop doing X it will in some way which we can't explain make things better", I would be sending it back whence it came with some heavy hints about career prospects. So I voted Remain. If there had been a proper referendum with both sides clearly making both the economic and social cases, I might have voted leave. But the idea of handing the country over to Johnson, Gove and Farage is just too much.

  45. Grikath Silver badge

    Bollocks.

    Potemkin has a point. UK politics has always suffered from a severe case of Islander mentality, if not post-empire delusions of grandeur, and has always fought tooth and nail against anything it considered "non-British" when it came to compromise on matters political or economical. Criticism is a healthy thing, but the UK has always behaved as a petulant child, throwing tantrums if it doesn't get its way in the european theatre. This is a matter of record, and no amount of smooth-talking can hide this.

    The notion that the UK is the least racist of the lot is one of the most conceited notions of them all. If anything, it is more racist than most, with some great festering boils waiting to rupture, hidden from the Public by enforced Political Correctness by all the british media and institutions. It's a disease not unique to the UK, but the UK is one of the most profound examples of how Nanny State tries to control some serious problems in society by Legislation and Propaganda, while completely ignoring the root causes. Put on the paint extra thick, and eventually you won't see the rot underneath...

    There's plenty of good reasons why Brexit is a good idea, but playing the Holier than Thou card? Really Bad Idea. Especially when you realise that the UK is the one nation in Europe that uses 1984 as a manual, not as the warning it's supposed to be.

    Bring on the downvotes, but unpleasant truths must be stated once in a while to remind people it's not all Fluff and Rainbows. A Brexit is a much-needed first step to let matters get worse before they can get better. In the UK as well as the EU.

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What's in the box?

    I've still not seen anyone make a good argument of what's in the box, what happens next week if we vote to leave?

    If we are voting to leave the EU because we think it is broken, we first need to think what do we replace it with.

    I've yet to see a good argument/framework/vision of something that could replace the EU and be better than what we have, anyone voting to leave is gambling that we'll somehow stumble into a solution and people voting remain are hoping to find the solution through the existing system.

    Until someone comes up with a creditable alternative, I remain an in (and we can do this vote again in 10 years time if we don't like the way it turns out).

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    the issues in play are all needless - this is essentially a symptomatic vote

    I am an ex-pat. I left the UK in 2008 and have since then lived in various European countries. I am free to move at will within the confines of the EU. Upon the day of the UK vote, should the majority of those voting choose to leave, it may well come to be that I, entirely separate from the UK, with a life and an arrangement of my own affairs governed entirely by mutually agreed contracts between private individuals, will find MY ability to move and live within the EU removed.

    Why should the choice of thirty-odd million individuals currently about two thousand miles away whom have nothing to do with my life, and I nothing with theirs, affect MY life? what business it is of theirs?

    The answer of course is that by the current arrangement of affairs, where countries exist and assign membership to individuals, and where countries require all individuals to possess such a membership and assess to give or withhold from them permissions based upon the country which provides that membership - wholly independent of whatever voluntary and well-informed private contracts these individuals would otherwise make - means that indeed, countries possess the power to impose themselves upon my life and indeed the lives of all.

    The issues we're all facing, and this problem of the majority imposing their will upon the minority, are all completely needless and arise only because we are using this method of one-size-fits-all, mediated by States, to manage these matters.

    It doesn't have to be like this.

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

      Re: the issues in play are all needless - this is essentially a symptomatic vote

      The bigger the political union, the more sidelined minority views will become.

      Having more local control is what will bring politics back to the people in a more meaningful way.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: the issues in play are all needless - this is essentially a symptomatic vote

        Well so what policy does the Brexit campaign propose for more localism and direct democratic control of our affairs? ..... watches tumble weed blow up the street....

        You can just as powerfully argue that being part of a large and culturally diverse union of fiercely patriotic nation states and cultures helps give minorities a voice. You might be England's only member of 'Fox hunters fort the abolition of marmite, but you can probably join the Polish equivalent.

        1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
          Unhappy

          Re: the issues in play are all needless - this is essentially a symptomatic vote

          I was thinking more in terms of UK interests being sidelined as a minority as part of the larger EU block - something which I believe has happened on a number of occasions and I don't expect will change even if we vote overwhelmingly to stay in.

          I'm not going to argue that leaving the EU will be simple or without problems, because that's one of the reasons why I want to leave.

          Give people a comfy sofa, cheap junk food and some mindless drivel and they will happily sit there letting their brains rot.

          Placing someone in a situation where they *have* to make an effort to make things work often brings out the best in people - I live my life from one challenge to the next. I don't expect this point of view will be widely held or popular, but I think we are heading down a gently sloping path, with elevator music in the background whilst soothing voices are telling us that everything will be all right, just let them deal with the 'difficult' things and we can go about our somnambulistic lifestyles.

          Where that gentle path leads I don't know, but considering the kind of people who are whispering in our ears I don't believe for one minute it's anywhere good (for us).

          So, vote leave, enter a world of uncertainty, get up off your arse and get involved in making your local world better for yourself and others around you. Use it or lose it, no-one is giving anything away for free - you have to fight for everything you have tooth and nail.

          If you don't, someone will just come along and take it all away :(

          1. What_Does_Not_Kill_You_Makes_You_Stronger

            Re: the issues in play are all needless - this is essentially a symptomatic vote

            Sir Runcible Spoon, Well done!!!

            Could not agree more.

            The general 'Remain' case is stay in and nothing will change, while we fight to correct all the 'Bad' things from within.

            The reality is that there are a raft of changes being held back until after the UK votes.

            Cameron has demonstrated that the UK cannot negotiate the change promised and once in we are in the minority.

            Change from within is beyond 'Pie in the Sky', it is totally dishonst.

            Fiddling at the edges will not effect any great change and the UK will be pulled further down the slippery slope by the majority.

            The EU can only succeed, by its own measures, if there is further integration into 'United States of Europe'.

            This is what you are really voting for !!!

            I hope we leave the EU but fear we will remain by a very small margin and then we ALL will moan and gripe for the next few years saying "I told you so !!!" when the change from within does not happen.

            P.S.

            On the immigration front, for clarity, I don't care !!!

            I am not xenophobic and see immigration as one of the UK's strengths.

            I would like the rest of the world to be treated more fairly, though.

            Dealing with the issues in the UK would be better than building walls but I can see that some people are under pressure, as they see it.

            Good luck to everyone in this vote, as the UK will need it !!! :)

  48. TeeCee Gold badge
    WTF?

    Rant?

    Rant away about the "EUSSR".......

    I'm not entirely convinced that's a rant. It's got a PolitburoCommission of appointed cronies surrounded by their toadies that wields all the real power and stamps on anyone or anything that threatens it. It has a DumaParliament that exists only to rubber-stamp its superiors' decisions while its members draw a "greedy banker" style salary and benefits package to ensure they STFU and toe the line.

    It also has a secret police forcesomething called "Eurojust" to step on any journalists, auditors or anyone with a sense of decency who get close to the truth and destroy any vile bourgeois recidivist liesevidence while they're at it.

    The resemblance is actually uncanny, to the extent that I reckon anyone who hasn't spotted that the EU is hell-bent on becoming a totalitarian oligarchy must be blind, stupid or both.

  49. N2 Silver badge

    Vladimir Putin

    Wants Britain out of Europe

    That alone is a good enogh reason to vote to remain in.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge
      Stop

      Re: Vladimir Putin

      And Soros wants the UK in.

      Or does he?

      Nope, better look at the issues instead of the bogeyman.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Vladimir Putin

      Do you really think Putin expects the UK to take his advice ?

      He does expect your response.

      It would serve Putin very well to have the UK acting as a fly in the ointment to confound and annoy the EU. (Not that it would effect much change)

      The EU fighting itself is a good way to take the eye off the ball. (That is Putin's aim)

  50. fangster

    Shocked, shcoked I tell you

    AO is coming out for Leave? I'm shocked I tell you. Next you'll be telling me The Sun has also abandoned it's long-held ambivalence...

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Xenophobes are all on the Brextreemist side, here's a Xenophobe in argument.

    If you vote leave, you will swap christian white immigrants for Muslim and Arabs.

    Now where's that 'duck & cover' pamphlet?

  52. Nixinkome

    Optional

    I posted my vote over a fortnight ago and am not swayed by arguments pro or agin any more.

    That's not true - I regret and then am vindicated by my unchangeable vote or, more keenly, the standalone arguments proffered daily.

    We cannot know the future but we can judge whether we want to dump or keep what has existed so far.

    CU on Thursday afternoon.

    N.

  53. Desidero

    Safe European Home

    Living here in Rumsfeld's "New Europe", I don't find the EU project "crashing" at all. It could be better, I suppose, if there weren't so much euroskepticism, but then again, it's that freedom to be luke-warm and whining that probably makes it acceptable even if not all it could be with enthusiastic participation.

    Still, all the bit about immigration flabbergasts me - there's not terribly much - certainly not by American standards - and most of the racism is homegrown towards locals. And I thought that UK had exceptions to most anyone coming in anyway, while Germany et al. tightened up the rules during the worst of the Syrian boat crisis. Was that tough?

    The supposed Nazi laws from Brussels are overall not terribly odious - I think they had us slow our escalators down a bit and helped clean up some pollution, but I'd have been quite happy for them to be *stricter* in getting rid of corruption. But that's a sop to self-determinism as well.

    In short, most of the problems I see are by design to keep from being too controlling. Should the UK want more efficiency, they can pitch in and make the agreement more rigorous. Otherwise, I think the convenience of Brits living in Malaga, trashing the countryside on the way to Paris matches or holding wicked bachelors weekends in Prague, along with ahem the simplicity of doing business across 25 aligned EU markets well make up the price of EU entrance and any kind of inconvenience you've suffered because.

    And for us, the SmartWings/EasyJet over has us feeling rather close (my daughter's touring London with her class as I type, and I'm pretty sure they're not on GCHQ's watchlist nor causing havoc at the local mall aside from spending too much of my converted money). Should UK exit, I imagine there will some small tip in preference to holidays in Spain or Holland - mostly psychological, but that's what most of this is about anyway.

    Anyway, here's hoping for some Remaining clarity before we take Leave of our senses.

    1. JEDIDIAH
      Mushroom

      Re: Safe European Home

      It's not quantity it's quality. In Europe you have signs in bathrooms telling people not to squat on top of toilets. Although some parts of Europe are seeing MUCH MORE immigration relative to population. These are also people who have no interest in assimilation and can't get along with the also not-quite-assimilated previous immigrants. Many of us may be xenophobic about our immigrants but they generally seek to be one of us. Even the more numerous ones don't want to destroy or replace what's already here. That would defeat the point of coming here.

      Europe has a huge "don't want to assimilate and never will" problem.

      Whatever the Germans did to "tighten things up" was at best a late reaction to p*ss poor planing and not thinking sh*t through. The whole mess has to be embarrassing to Germans everywhere.

  54. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is why the EU is important.

    Trzemeszno Lubuskie, Poland

    Nagyvazsony, Hungary

    Haapsalu, Estonia

    Misov, Czechoslovakia

    Plokštinė, Latvia

    Never mind 'leaders' like Francisco Franco, Georgios Papadopoulo, Josip Broz Tito and a whole pile of Portuguese dictators.

    I don't say these will return post Brexit, but people who work together, trade together and talk together don't war together.

    1. Justthefacts

      Re: This is why the EU is important.

      Viktor Orban, Norbert Hofer

      And in ten years time: Recep Erdogan, Marine Le Pen

      I certainly don't think they are better inside than out

  55. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

    Three simple points.

    1 - the fundamental reason for leaving is that, for a democracy to work, you need to be able to elect the people who have the real power. And that is not true in the EU. And never will be. It is an open and shut argument.

    2 - the people of Britain will, however, vote to stay. Because it is less frightening. The frog will boil because jumping out can be made to look SO cold when Project Fear is running...

    3 - IF only the people vote to leave, we will not leave. Because the only way we could leave is if the governing body in Parliament had a majority for leaving. So long as most MPs want to stay, we will never get through a leave negotiation...

    1. chr0m4t1c

      Re: Three simple points.

      1. I don't fully understand how the European Parliament works either, that's *my* fault, not the fault of the EU. I did, however, vote in the European Elections - unlike 65% of the UK. You're right that it's an open and shut argument, but you're wrong that it's undemocratic. Sometimes when people vote you get results that you /personally/ don't like. Tony Blair, David Cameron, take your pick. The results don't suddenly become undemocratic just because you don't like them or if you didn't bother to vote in the first place.

      2. When the choice is between something that people know (but may not like 100%) and an unknown alternative, they do tend towards sticking with the existing situation - exactly like they did with the Scottish referendum. But you're right, we shouldn't boil the frog slowly, we should straight into the mincer.

      3. I you really think that's what's going to happen, then don't bother voting at all as it won't make any difference.

  56. LDS Silver badge

    Real problems, wrong solutions.

    Mr Orlowski identifies real problems. But the solutions?

    Will British have more jobs, or still cheaper immigrants will take them away, EU or not EU? It doesn't look to me that Indians, Pakistanis and many Far East people and Africans are there because of the EU rules - maybe more because of an old empire, and cheaper travels? Or Orlowski talks about highly skilled people? I can't see British companies stop looking for talent abroad, if they need it, EU or not EU. US is not in the EU, and still many Europeans go to work there, because there are companies that wants their skills.

    Also, EU custom protections are there actually to protect some EU workers. It is highly debatable why some sectors like agriculture are (too) heavily protected (and many farmers reap the benefits, US is no different) while others are not - and that require a huge revision.

    But, yes, those protection may make Africa poorer. Yet, what about if removing them makes European farmers go out of business, and unemployed? And agriculture is not the only sector that benefits from protections - and workers as well.

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Five Positive Reasons to Remain

    I've heard a lot of comments that there are no positive arguments for remaining in Europe.

    So here's my top five. In keeping with the original article, I think at least #3 is not obvious to most people and #2 is not in many people's radar, either.

    1. Stability.

    Europe is run by a parliament of 28 countries - including the UK, at the moment - which has an averaging effect on the policies approved, meaning they are in general well balanced and not too far from the centre ground - despite the claims of some of the press.

    This means that Europe, and the European Court of Justice, can curb the excesses of political parties of any colour - I don't want to live in Boris and Theresa May's capitalist police state, and nor do I want to live in Jeremy Corbyn's communist fantasy land - and as long as we have human rights, privacy laws and economic partnership with Europe, neither outcome is truly possible.

    Europe keeps our politics from going off the rails even when a weak opposition cannot. And political stability is a Good Thing. It enables long term investment, the growth of pension funds, the ability to plan for life.

    So please, keep our safety net intact.

    2. Great Things

    No country in Europe could afford to build the Large Hadron Collider alone. No one country has the talent needed to build the Joint European Torus fusion research project. The UK could not replicate the workings of the European Space Agency. We need to pool together to achieve great things.

    And it's not just at the intergovernmental level. World class companies need world class talent - and they can find it here in Europe - but they find it across Europe. Look in the top businesses and universities of the UK and you will find that a significant proportion of the talent is from other countries, because excellence needs to draw from a large talent pool.

    Stopping that talent, or making it feel unwelcome in the UK, will not result in those businesses just fishing in the UK. It will result in them moving to where it can find the people they need - and ironically, our best and brightest might follow them in a new Brain Drain.

    So please, help us do more great things together.

    3. Free People!

    I hear how economic migrants come here to sponge off benefits, and no doubt there are a few people whose life ambition is to leave their families, native language, culture and home to come and live in a council flat surrounded by disapproving strangers, but I think most come to work, even if they initially need a few months of aid to find their feet.

    Any you know what? They are a total bargain. We are getting working age, educated taxpayers from Europe for free. We haven't had to pay for their lifetime of education, healthcare or child benefit - they just turn up, ready to work and pay taxes. If we stop them doing so it's our own stupid fault.

    Quite a few of them eventually return home too, meaning we don't have to support them in old age. We get a sweet deal from inward migration, getting people in their productive years without the associated costs at either end. Meanwhile those who stay have children, who watch Peppa Pig and Blue Peter, learn to queue properly, and end up as British as any other kid.

    Don't confuse European migrants with refugees or other migrants who often do need a lot of state aid - they come from the rest of the world, so leaving Europe solves nothing. Thanks to a peaceful Europe, no European needs to claim asylum in the UK.

    So please - recognise European workers for the net benefit to our country that they are.

    4. Wealth

    Britain is (currently) the 5th largest economy in the world and the second largest economy in Europe - largely because it is the English Speaking Doorway into Europe. Pretty much every aspect of our economy benefits massively from the fact that English is the first or second language of almost everyone else, and is the language of business and science.

    We hardly make anything anymore - and Brexit won't suddenly make us competitive with Chinese labour (unless the economy totally tanks). Our strength lies in the services we provide, and so many of those relate to us serving up Europe to the rest of the world. We are a doorway into business for so many international firms who have headquarters or specialist units here to facilitate business with Europe - the third largest block of people on Earth after China and India.

    If we then turn our back on Europe, we will lose our relevance in the eyes of so much of the rest of the world. And Brexit is not a one-way phenomenon - the day after a Brexit vote, the airports of Europe will be thronged with business people flying to every corner of the world to tell our customers - in perfectly adequate English - that we are no longer relevant, no longer reliable, no longer a safe place to put bricks and mortar and money - and a lot of our customers will believe them, whether it's true or not. No accountant ever got promoted for being brave.

    So please, help to keep us relevant on the world stage, and run our businesses at the doorway to Europe.

    5. Peace.

    Let's end with the big picture - the history of Europe is a history of war. However the last 70 years have bucked that trend and are the longest period of general peace in European history. Why? Because the people we bombed are now the people we do business with. Countries we invaded using swords, and then guns, we now invade with suntan lotion and cameras. A co-operative Europe is a peaceful one.

    But peace is not guaranteed. The rise of the far-right in many countries shows tensions with Europe (which ironically will probably result in some restrictions on immigration Europe-wide, if only we are patient); meanwhile Russia and the Middle East put pressure on Eastern Europe, and a recession caused by unregulated US banks has weakened Europe's economic fabric. This is a time to pull together, not walk away like quitters and cowards.

    In the longer term of our children's lifetimes, there are bigger challenges. The demographic shift to a smaller working population supporting an ever more elderly population in some countries will create tensions. Oil will inevitably become scarce or expensive to obtain, and create economic upheavals. There will be other recessions, some severe. Any of these could easily cause a nation in a weakened Europe to crack, break ranks, call in debts, call on demagogues, and call out soldiers.

    Please don't damage the peace created by Europe.

    There. Five positive reasons to Remain.

  58. deathchurch

    If you are not voting leave consider yourself a national disgrace, and should leave these shores to go live amongst the krauts and frogs...

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

      Obvious troll?

      Really?

      I'm voting leave, but your comment does nothing but put peoples' backs up about the leave campaign message - unless that was the intention?

    2. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

      There's nothing like good old xenofobia!

      Get in there, you! I mean get out.. Eeeengerland! I mean Briiiitain!

      Shame we can't score goals.

  59. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

    Has anyone pointed out...

    ...that the 'leave' negotiations are specified as taking 2 years. More if necessary. And that at any point, if we find that the negotiations are not going to our liking, we can just stop and say 'OK, we won't leave after all"?

    So arguments that we will be jumping into the unknown are missing a critical point - we will be jumping into the unknown with a firm safety line....

  60. disgruntled yank Silver badge

    Don't have a dog in this fight, but

    "Britain is the least racist country in the world (No one berated my Dad for not singing the National Anthem - whereas in the USA, immigrants have to wrap themselves in the flag and sing louder than anyone else."

    I don't remotely begin to understand this. Immigrants to the US are of all complexions and backgrounds, and except at brief periods of hysteria feel chiefly internal pressure to conform. The US is anything but a post-racial paradise. But how many cabinet members--of serious departments--of color have British governments had over the last thirty years?

    "the frightful inferiority complex of the English intellectual"

    I gather this is purely in respect to the continent. Americans who pay attention to the matter would rejoice to see modesty in the English intellectuals we meet, let alone an inferiority complex.

    1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

      Re: Has anyone pointed out... - Article 50

      "3. The Treaties shall cease to apply to the State in question from the date of entry into force of the withdrawal agreement or, failing that, two years after the notification referred to in paragraph 2, unless the European Council, in agreement with the Member State concerned, unanimously decides to extend this period."

      If the agreements are not reached and the EU will have not kindly agreed to give us more time - we'll be automatically kicked out in 2 years after we file the Notice of Intention to Leave...

  61. Count Ludwig

    Our place in the world

    It's taken us ages to get here, but at the moment we have / are:

    - 5th largest economy in the world

    - clear access to the huge EU trading block

    - head of the Commonwealth (cheers Brenda)

    - an ancient democracy

    - a special relationship with the US (unless Trump gets in)

    - a cracking time-zone

    - Trident (for better or worse)

    - one of 5 permanent members of the UN Security Council

    We have political and economic clout out of all proportion to our size because of al of these conditions.

    We are a global nexus, let's not damage it. So I vote* to KEEP THE TIMEZONE THE WAY IT IS!

    *Oh, and to stay in the EU.

  62. jzl

    The Register

    The Register is starting to piss me off. First, the climate change denial, despite the evidence.

    Now this ridiculous pro-Brexit stance, also despite the evidence.

    Go back to reviews of computers and talking about Microsoft.

    1. gazthejourno (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: The Register

      "Why you should vote Remain"

      Klicken ze hier, mine heer, we published that a couple of hours after this one.

      Blowhard commentards who haven't read what they're whining about make me laugh.

      1. jzl

        Re: The Register

        Fair enough. My point about the climate change denial stands though.

        1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

          Re: jzl

          We haven't run a climate story in a long while.

          C.

          1. Blitheringeejit
            Headmaster

            Re: jzl

            http://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/1/2016/06/07/britain_not_windy_enough_wind_energy_says_windy_bloke/

            I guess two weeks is a long while in journo-land...

            1. gazthejourno (Written by Reg staff)

              Re: Re: jzl

              If you think reporting the words of the wind industry trade association's boss is "climate change denial", we're done here.

        2. Naselus

          Re: The Register

          "Fair enough. My point about the climate change denial stands though."

          Since Lew Page got fired a while back, El Reg has started being sane on that side of things (i.e., either reporting climate scientists who say it's getting worse, or keeping it's trap shut on the issue altogether because it's flamebait).

    2. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

      Re: The Register

      "The Register is starting to piss me off. First, the climate change denial, despite the evidence.

      Now this ridiculous pro-Brexit stance, also despite the evidence."

      Don't forget the incessant Apple bashing!

  63. zxcvb

    Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

    In the EU ideological utopia:

    ● Is a collectivist union run mainly for the benefit of Germany.

    ● Has only one elected body called the European Parliament; whose role is to rubber stamp the decisions proposed by the European Commission (a self-perpetuating body unaccountable to the people, whose decisions de facto has the force of law.)

    ● The President of the European Commission is theoretically elected, but in practice only one candidate is proposed and the chamber just validates him.

    ● Uses conformity pressure on the people to control them, and suppress free speech.

    ● Has a policy called "Affirmative Action" where if you belong to a protected group, qualifications and merit does not matter when it comes to employment.

    In the USSR ideological utopia:

    ● Was a collectivist union run mainly for the benefit of Russia.

    ● Had only one elected body called the Supreme Soviet; whose role was to rubber stamp the decisions proposed by the Politburo (a self-perpetuating body unaccountable to the people, whose decisions de facto had the force of law.)

    ● The Chairman of the Communist Party was theoretically elected, but in practice only one candidate was proposed and the chamber just validated him.

    ● Used conformity pressure on the people to control them, and suppress free speech.

    ● Had a policy called "Having a Politically Healthy Origin" where if you belonged to a protected group, qualifications and merit did not matter when it came to employment.

    1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

      Re: Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

      Didn't Boris Johnson, The Blubbering Whale, go to the same toff-production facility as David Cameron? (But didn't do as well there.)

      Isn't there a House of Lords in the UK? Peers, lords, what-have-you. All a nice little incestous (not literally, of course) bunch.

      It's just pure fantasy to belive that the UK is much better than the EU.

  64. TwoWolves

    Great Article BTW

    Shame about the comments.

  65. chr0m4t1c

    >Ask Sir James Dyson if justice can be seen to be done

    Can I ask him why he expected the testing to be changed when he couldn't prove that he had a test that gave consistent reproducible results to replace it with instead?

    I've just read the ruling, it basically says: "Yes, bag-less cleaners are objectively different and the Commission should consider treating them differently, but your test didn't provide repeatable results from different laboratories".

    I'd say that was quite reasonable, TBH.

    Oh and the UK leaving the EU wouldn't change things for Dyson's sales in Europe, so you've picked a terrible example there Andrew.

  66. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    There's a concept in engineering called the Second System Effect. It's where you build a first working system, and then a second system is built by bolting on loads of extras onto it, making the second version over-featured and under-performing. Good engineering practice is to learn from this second system to build a working third system from scratch. Excellent engineering practice is to /know/ that your second system is going to be rubbish and use the development of the second system as an internal project to provide the basis for building the third system.

    This happened with IBM's 700 series mutated into OS/360 and it's death throes created Unix. John Harrison's first three marine clock suffered from this, patch after patch after patch applied to the design to compensate for earlier problems. When he started again from scratch using what he'd learned from the earlier versions he was able to create the H4 no bigger than your hand. I have myself created software that has got to this stage and had to be abandoned and restarted.

    Even political systems like the American Continental Congress, Confederated States, United States; the German Empire, German Republic, Federal Republic.

    This has happened to the European Project. It started with the EEC as a working system, then bells and whistles have been bolted onto it creating the lumbering behemoth of the EU. We need to document what has happened, work out what functionality we need and want for the European Project, throw away the current version and start again from scratch and build the third version.

    This is why I have voted Leave. We need to recognise that the EU has been mangled to a point where it is not practical to develop it further from this point. When need to throw away the current system, pick up the pieces and build a better system.

    Leaving gives the UK the tools and flexibility to work out exactly what it wants from its relationships with Europe and the rest of the EU and the rest of the world.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Well you didn't vote to reform the EU, you voted to leave, so you voted to have no influence. In no conceivable variant of reality are Europe going to listen to our opinion on their organisation when we are out.

      1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

        Correct, I didn't vote to reform the EU. I voted to put the EU down, stand back, and start afresh. Sometimes, that's what's needed. Was the American Confederation fixable? No, the Founding Fathers threw it away and created the United States. Would John Harrison have managed to make H3 into a workable ship-bound chronometer? No, he threw it away and built H4 from scratch.

      2. JEDIDIAH
        Mushroom

        Doh!

        Clearly you did not read the post you responded to.

    2. J.G.Harston Silver badge

      I managed to chop half a sentence out of my post. It should be obvious to techies that the second paragraph should start:

      This happened with IBM's 700 series mutated into OS/360 and got mired in development hell, Multics was buried in features and it's death throes created Unix.

    3. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

      Well, you are voting to leave the entity that is working on the system/device.

      So basically you are not involved, AT ALL, in the design of the grand and elegant third system.

      Neither will you benefit from it, as it's not for sale. Especially not to those who abandoned the effort.

  67. Naselus

    Is anyone else as stunned as I am to discover Andrew honestly believes that he's a lefty?

    I mean, he's opposed to regulation, he's obsessed with seemingly endless extension of copyright, he hates ad-blockers, the EU and the BBC, and he has no major problem with massive conglomerates (he's on Google's side in the current Android monopoly lawsuit)...

    Frankly, he's about as typically left-wing as Boris Johnson wearing a David Cameron costume at an Old Etonians-only fox hunt.

    There's genuinely good reasons to remain, and there's some genuinely good reasons for leaving. Neither have been used much by either campaign.

    For Remain, you have the fact that if the UK stops this endless will-they-won't-they Ross and Rachel bullshit, we might actually be able to reform the EU and make it less of a Franco-German dominated club for screwing Southern Europeans and keeping German currency values down. There's enough trade and investment advantages to make it a decent economic deal, and there's enough diplomatic advantages to make it a good deal on that side too.

    For Leave, you have the fact that yes, the EU IS an undemocratic institution with serious structural problems, which is currently disintegrating like a Balkan nation in 1991 anyway. The Greek experience, where the Troika completely overruled a democratic government and imposed a ludicrous austerity regime, complete with loans that could not be paid back under the measures being enforced, really kills any argument that 'oh, it's really democratic'. Sorry guys, but it does. It's just a neoliberal watchdog which follows typical Washington consensus policies, regardless of the absurdity of the situation, and it's attempts to react to the crash have been the most crass transfer of money from the poor to the rich in 3 generations.

    Ultimately, either way, we're stuck under a distant neoliberal elite who will continue to screw over anyone earning less than £100k a year for the forseeable future, and it doesn't make a great deal of difference if that elite is in Brussels or Westminster. So really, may as well do whatever directly benefits you in the short term, and in most people's case that's going to be a Remain vote - at least then there's no short-term economic pain for what is basically gonna be the same result.

    1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

      "The Greek experience, where the Troika completely overruled a democratic government and imposed a ludicrous austerity regime, complete with loans that could not be paid back under the measures being enforced, really kills any argument that 'oh, it's really democratic'."

      Hello! Stop there for a second will you!

      How do you use democracy to bail out a failing economy?

      Vote to print more money?

      1. fajensen Silver badge

        How do you use democracy to bail out a failing economy?

        You don't. First, you scope the problem. Then you apply the relevant tool to the problem domain.

        The problem with Greece was not a "failing economy" (that is just the problem we have NOW).

        No, the main problem back in the naughties was mainly Stupid Banks using Greek Bonds as reserves because Basel 2 rules sey that OECD-member government bonds are as good as cash - Ignoring that "the markit" was probably trying to tell them something about the quality of that assumption with Greek EUR-bonds yielding about 10% and German EUR-bonds were sitting at 3% -> Borrowing hugely in Germany at 3%, Investing in Greece for 10%, clearing 7% net without currency risk?

        Profits without *any* risk?! Markets do work like this for very long!! And they didn't, Greek bonds tanked to 80% yield, blowing up bank reserves. Deservedly so.

        *Then* the German "Ackermänner" got all prissy & moral over all that egg on their stupid faces and abused the EU to force all the debt of the retard banks (Greek and German) onto the wider economy - which is why we are stuck were we are now. Ready for Round Two, now with EFSF as damage multiplier, to *really* make the shit fly all over.

        Since this is a Finance Problem, the proper tool would be Capitalism. The old principle that "stupid people eventually loose their shirt in the market" is particularly relevant here. That would have prevented the present mess AND cleaned out some of the very worst retard "investors", like Deutsche Bank.

        Bankruptcy clears the debt overhang, making room for new growth. We don't have to "print more money", the cash flow is created from not having to pay useless debts. This worked for centuries, before the EU.

        What the EU / ECB is doing with Greece and EFSF, is placing Democracy below the interests of Finance. If that is not crooked (and doomed to fail to boot), I don't know what is.

        PS:

        A country that controls it's own currency can indeed "vote to print more money". Of course there are consequences to this.

        PSS:

        What I do blame Greece for is that the Greek government did not seize the opportunity to bring down the full force of the law onto the Greek tax frauds - which is pretty much the entire Greek "elite" - and pushed to confiscate their offshore accounts. They didn't even "out" the bastards in the media; many of these crooks have German and Swiss accounts, the scandals could at least have been used as leverage against Germany for a better deal ... " ... aiding and abetting ... etcetera ...". The Greeks were totally disorganised and useless, presenting Zero threat to anyone, which is why they get raped!

      2. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

        "Vote to print more money?"

        Yes.

        Greece, if they had exited, would have defaulted on their EU loans and started printing their own money again.

        In the short-term, a lot of pain as their credit rating tanks, but then again - what is it now? At least they would be in control rather then the IMF.

  68. jonfr

    Enojy visa application to Spain, Italy (Schengen Area)

    I hope the people enjoy the new visa arrangements to the Schengen area once they enter into force. I guess Ireland will be joining soon (unless the common travel area between Ireland and the UK holds, its passport free travel zone, just like Schengen). Anyone from Europe would also need visa to enter the UK, even if the UK already has the power to deny EU citizen an entry into the UK (I think this might be an opt-out of a rule from the common rule of free movement of people).

    I also hope the UK enjoys the new roaming chargers on their mobile. It's going to be like 3,6p/m (based on Switzerland roaming rates). Data is 3,6p pr MB.

    There is a long list of what is going to go away if the UK leaves the EU. I'm not just talking about Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland (it might stay a little longer due to complexities).

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Enojy visa application to Spain, Italy (Schengen Area)

      Yeees*. Only visa-free travel was a thing way before the EU and Three did free European roaming before the EU mandated it.

      * Paxman.

      1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

        Re: Enojy visa application to Spain, Italy (Schengen Area)

        "Yeees*. Only visa-free travel was a thing way before the EU and Three did free European roaming before the EU mandated it."

        Sure it was. However, due to the UK demanding tougher border controls, and due to the UK not being an EU member any longer, visa-free travel has unfortunately (for UK) been scrapped.

        It's on top of that scrap heap over there, along with the torn up ESA, CERN, and other scientific cooperation agreements.

        1. The Other Steve

          Re: Enojy visa application to Spain, Italy (Schengen Area)

          CERN is not and never has been an EU project. It will not be effected in any way. Are you a liar or simply an ignorant fucktard?

          1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

            Re: Enojy visa application to Spain, Italy (Schengen Area)

            It's "affected". And if I were you I would wash that mouth.

          2. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

            Re: Enojy visa application to Spain, Italy (Schengen Area)

            Nuances...

            http://information-technology.web.cern.ch/about/projects/eu/eu-funded-projects

            You should adjust the way you address people when you are among grownups.

    2. fajensen Silver badge

      Re: Enojy visa application to Spain, Italy (Schengen Area)

      Try going to Sweden without your passport and observe what your belief in Schengen gets you!

  69. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Do you even proof read read bro?

  70. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Boris

    I just shudder at the thought of the bloated hunchback Boris becoming the next prime minister.

    A clown for leader of the country? No thanks.

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

      Re: Boris

      Boris' clown act is just that, an act.

      He's probably a lot brighter than you are.

  71. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Succession

    Here is hoping that the UK leaves and then Scotland can become free from the corrupt political union inflicted upon it by bribes in the 18th century.

    The "leavers" will whinge and whine about Scotland becoming free, but that it just what one would expect of the English exceptionalism being expressed.

    1. Vinyl-Junkie

      Re: Succession

      If the UK votes Leave & Scotland votes for independence prepare to receive a large influx from below the border. They can keep their Brexitland and stew in it!

  72. jc-chester

    The evils of not doing research as a journalist.

    Another view with no evidence to support your case, watch this and tell me what you do not understand about the madness of leave. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=USTypBKEd8Y&feature=share

  73. Sirius Lee

    Thank you

    Andrew, I rarely agree with your point of view but as someone looking around to find a positive reason to vote one way or another before 10pm today, I thank you for your exposition. My wife (a leave campaigner) was at our local Surrey station this morning handing out leaflets alongside a clutch of middle-class women who called her and the mixed race man she was with racist. These are presumably acolytes of the Clerisy you reference. I assume they, or their kids or their partners have the most to lose from any change.

    1. JEDIDIAH
      Linux

      Re: Thank you

      I find it intriguing that the middle class aren't more conservative and more prone to want more localized government versus a federal government in Brussels. I would expect that class of voter (myself included) to tend more towards the "leave" camp just based on basic Republican/Tory sensibilities.

  74. Ian Cunningham

    Don't agree but at least it's intellectually valid

    This is about the first leave argument I have read that seems to have some thought. I don't think we should for lots of other reasons but at least this not just the misinformation that is propelling most of the leave voters.

  75. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Isn't it ironic..

    Isn't it ironic that the need to sell low-brow worse-than-toilet-paper tabloid "newspapers" in order to enrich a few (Murdoch), has led to a distorted view of the dangers for the British?

    Fear-mongering and playing on people's most basic, uninformed instincts, may lead to a hasty uninformed decision.

    I realise that a few have well reasoned reasons (sorry) to vote Leave, but the vast majority of the Brexiters just seem to know the one magic word "immigration". That's it. The Sun said so, so it must be so.

  76. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The first part of your article makes a lot of sense (thanks for the Kotkin link). However it seems to omit discussion of why anti-migration hostility, which has been strong for centuries, is suddenly becoming politically important now. (Tribalism? An accidental manifestation of the elites' worldwide loss of credibility? etc)

    (your views on EU law, along with your earlier article on copyright, remain unattractive: too many fundamental errors of fact)

  77. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A helpful leaflet just arrived

    It very helpfully has a map showing where Albania, Macedonia, Montenergo, Serbia and Turkey are, and how many people live in those countries (very few as it turns out, apart from Turkey).

    All combined, excluding Turkey, were similar to the population of Sweden, to my surprise!

    On the back it also helpfully shows how to put a cross in the "Leave the European Union" box. That's so thoughtful of them!

    Lot's of advice too to call your friends and make sure they are going to vote Leave today. I'm sure that will go down a treat!

    I should let EVERYONE know that I am going to vote Leave -email, change Facebook status, display a poster in my window!

    Gosh! This is increadible! I had NO IDEA that I was this influential and important!

    Seeing how many on my street are likely voting leave (according to the leaflet), I simply MUST go along with the sheep. There is simply no way I can make up my own mind now when I have seen this!

    Thank you so much, the Leave campaign, for, yet again, appealing to my lower instincts! Wouldn't want that pitchfork piercing my but now, would I?

    1. fajensen Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: A helpful leaflet just arrived

      Don't get too excited. This is Democracy 2.0 EU-style: If the people vote the wrong way, the people will certainly get another opportunity to get it right later. Or maybe not, it's become quite the fashion to just to ignore the whole thing and pretend the bad, bad, vote never happened.

      Vote "NO" and see what they come up with to make it a: "Yes Sir, can I please have another, Sir"

      1. What_Does_Not_Kill_You_Makes_You_Stronger

        Re: A helpful leaflet just arrived

        How right you were/are !!!!

        I did not believe we had lost ALL pretence to being a Democracy but it seems you are 100% right.

        It was not made clear that 'Remain' votes counted as 2 'Leave' votes, but this is now clear in the way a second referendum is being asked for (no matter that it is legally a 'No go')

        The Remain elite are now wrangling to declare the result is only Advisory.

        (Even though Cameron standed that it was going to be acted upon immediately the result was known)

        If that does not work, that they will simply vote the resulting negotiations as being 'Not good enough'.

        This will be self fulfilling as if the EU Leaders know that the negotiations cannot result in any agreement from our Govt, at the end of the day, they will ensure that the UK gets the worse possible deal they can contrive.

        All this is ignoring that fact that our 2 main parties see fit to kick off leadership contests BEFORE dealing with the result of the Referendum.

        (This is possible because Cameron throw a 'Political Grenade' over his shoulder as he slinked off when he lost, so to speak. Such grace in losing !!!)

        If it was possible to enact a 'No Confidence' vote in our Parliament, I would. !!!

        They are all a disgrace. They are more concerned in their own careers and the so important fight to get further up the greasy pole of Political life.

        There is a petition worth voting for !!!

        Instead of the useless whining of the 'People that could not get their own way'. (Remain Voters) !!!

        We do seem to have created quite a 'entitled generation' who cannot understand our system of Democracy and feel that everything they want is a given.

        I thought only children asked for 'Do-overs' !!!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A helpful leaflet just arrived

      but -> butt

      (Why can't we edit after 10 minutes?)

  78. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We have very few major UK based businesses that are not either majority or wholly foreign owned.

    They are here for two reasons, first is relatively cheap labour, second is we are a gateway to the EU and a market of 500 million people. Take the EU away and these businesses have very little reason to be here.

    For example Ford recently announced that if we leave the EU they would have to "re think their presence in the UK", another example HSBC have stated they have plans to relocate at least a quarter of their jobs to the EU should we leave, given they employ 16000 people in the UK that's 4000 people suddenly on welfare, and you'll pay for them out of increased taxes.

    Forget this fictitious £350million a week figure that I received in the post this morning despite it being proven to be a lie months ago, your council tax, VAT & income tax are going to go through the roof, public services are going to disappear and supermarket shelves will be empty, and thousands if not millions will be out of work within months of a leave vote

    A major part of our economy is derived from being a gateway to the EU for foreign businesses, as we make damn little ourselves, we leave, they leave, our economy crashes and if you think our politically driven austerity is bad try living on an island that suddenly has to negotiate a hundred trade agreements before the food stocks run out, when the civil service probably has the capacity to negotiate a handful of such agreements in a year.

    People will starve, people will riot & it won't do any good as there still won't be any food.

    Of course I could be wrong on this, but if you are a Brexiter, and we leave the EU and I turn out to be right, please send me your name and address so that when I run out of food or money I can come to your house and share your food & money, after all if I'm starving or homeless it's your fault and it's only fair you should share my problems as you will have caused them.

    Staying in the EU, is not perfect I'll admit but we can't change it if we leave, better to be in the tent pissing out than outside the tent being pissed on.

    If you can't prove 100% that the UK will be better off outside the EU and I do mean prove not just telling me I'm talking bollocks, then kindly don't fucking gamble with other peoples lives. If it's only going to affect you if you lose a bet then fine you do what you like it's your risk and your loss, but this gamble affects everyone, if you fuck it up you fuck it up for everyone, don't expect a pat on the back for your principles.

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

      "but if you are a Brexiter, and we leave the EU and I turn out to be right, please send me your name and address so that when I run out of food or money I can come to your house and share your food & money, after all if I'm starving or homeless it's your fault and it's only fair you should share my problems as you will have caused them."

      That will be hard to do, since you posted AC.

      However, if we do leave, and people do end up starving on my street and I have enough to spare - then I will be sharing what I do have. Having principles means that you stand by them, even when the chips are down, otherwise they aren't principles are they?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Good for you, I'll be doing he same, I won't watch people go hungry, I just hope everyone else will do this.

        Nice to see Farage has finally admitted the £350 million figure was wrong https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0ktojE6WQA

        And I believe the leave campaign has asked the PM not to invoke article 50 so we're still part of the EU and still subject to it's rules including free migration of EU member citizens, though I sincerely doubt they'll want to come here now our economy has evaporated

  79. john devoy

    shot yourself with vaping

    Your vaping argument was weak, it isn't sold as a health product, it's generally being sold as a nicotine delivery system.

  80. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I wish we could vote for Frexit - The EU would be so much better without France... IMHO

  81. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    What a day!

    First the Brexiters, lead by a Toad and a Hog, ruins it.

    Then Trump arrives.

    And finally the kitchen sink drain clogs up.

    Oh, and almost forgot, the pound predictably tanked.

  82. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    Sexit

    If there is a "Sexit" I might just move to Scotland.

  83. Over50 but still here
    Thumb Up

    Excellent article

    What a measured, reflective, and insightful post this is. I only saw it today post-referendum. But I am pointing my many left-leaning acquaintances to it as a useful explanation of why their tendency to self-righteous belief and their disregard and disdain for the working class has led to this kind of reaction and result. Most appear (without any apparent sense of irony) to have resorted to petulant complaining about democracy ('this is what happens when you let people make decisions', 'I didn't vote for this so it's wrong', etc.), blaming racism, and advocating that over 50's should not have been given the vote.

  84. tom dial Silver badge

    I'm an American, but grew up hearing of British determination from my parents, who sailed to Britain in September 1940 to join the American Hospital in Britain, near Basingstoke. I doubt the terrifying predictions of Britain's demise, as they doubted it would fall to the German military onslaught; I wish you well.

  85. What_Does_Not_Kill_You_Makes_You_Stronger

    I agree but we have our own politicians talking the panic up.

    There is a sense that some of the Remain Supporters in the 2 main parties are now prepared to encourage the worse possible consequences to prove a point.

    I wait for someone with a level head to show some leadership and to accept the democratic decision of our people.

    The UK can survive outside of the EU and trying to evoke a crash is not to anyones advantage..

    I am losing any remaining respect for our politicians if this is the best they can do. (Not that there was much left after the Referendum Campaigns by both sides !!!)

    1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

      Are you saying the Remain side isn't working hard enough to implement the Leave side's wishes? Where is Boris hiding then?

      1. What_Does_Not_Kill_You_Makes_You_Stronger

        Your question highlights the point.

        After the Referendum there is not a Remain or Leave side !!!

        The decision has been made and there is a 'UK side' that has to accept the result and deal with it.

        The two sides are still in battle IF the result is going to be contested against the original intent to follow the result, as expressed by Cameron.

        It would appear that the intent as expressed was ONLY valid if the result was to remain !!!

        This is not the democracy that I believed existed in the UK.

        Disagree all you like but accept the result is all I ask.

        I would have accepted the Remain result if that was the case but I seem to be in the minority that understood how the Referendum worked !!!

        The key point is that the people who are making the most noise are the group that made the least effort to vote.

        You cannot complain about a result in a vote you could not be bothered to partake in.

        Being vocal does not make you any MORE right.

        Just as in all votes we have in the UK, a no-vote effectively supports the other side (whoever that may be).

        Just as the 'great unwashed' are being blamed equally the 'great indifferent' are to blame also.

        Ask the question 'Why are there so many people who could not be bothered to vote ?'

  86. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    "The decision has been made and there is a 'UK side' that has to accept the result and deal with it."

    Nah. If you vote Labour, and the Tories win, you don't become a Tory supporter.

    Nigh on 50% voted to stay, and Leave lied their rather ugly heads off to get a win.

    I'd say the legitimacy of the vote is in doubt.

    The Falklands (Malvinas?) becoming Argentinian, Gibraltar becoming Spanish, Scotland becoming Scottish, and Northern Ireland becoming Ireland may be the fallout of all this. Some good, some not so good.

    U.K. becoming England and Wales -not so good. Quickly, someone, make Wales independent too!

    Looks like vote 2 should be:

    1. Pretend it was all a bad dream, and never invoke article 50. Or:

    2. Dissolve the United Kingdom, finger up to the EU, and put the Queen on the dole.

    1. What_Does_Not_Kill_You_Makes_You_Stronger

      Looks like you still don't get how a referendum works !!!

      The referendum is to get an answer that is the end of the process.

      It was not framed as a best of three or any other fudge.

      RE: "Nah. If you vote Labour, and the Tories win, you don't become a Tory supporter."

      I did not say anything about changing who I support but simply that the result is the end of the fight.

      If the Tories/Labour/LibDems/etc win an election I don't get to keep contesting the result no matter how much I don't like the result.

      Likewise for a referendum.

      The only valid way would be if there had been some limits, as per the infamous 'Petition', which had been clearly stated BEFORE the referendum campaigns had been started.

      You have a right to be upset if you did not win but that is all, the result has been reached and the result stands by the original definition of the process.

      If you don't like the process then change it via the existing rules BUT this still does not have any impact on anything that has been done in the past.

      I cannot understand why anyone thinks that Petitions & rallies etc will make any difference.

      The referendum is not an internet poll where to can debate the question and/or the result ad infinitum.

      It is just a lot of entitled spolt people who cannot understand they cannot get their own way.

      No matter who you count it 52% > 48% hence the result stands.

      1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

        "The referendum is to get an answer that is the end of the process."

        If you haven't noticed, the process is just about to begin. Stalled by massive fights in the two main parties.

        If the people changes its mind, it would obviously make sense to have a second referendum.

        Why would you go ahead with a irreversable change if the apetite for it is gone?

        Given that none of the fairytales told by the Brexit camp seem possible, a vote on the actual possible results should be held. Be it a referendum or a general election.

      2. fajensen Silver badge
        Facepalm

        You have a right to be upset if you did not win but that is all, the result has been reached and the result stands by the original definition of the process.

        Well, the powers that be are working on that "process". First off, Boris didn't want to hold the grenade after pulling the pin, now Nigel Farage is quietly slinking away "Mr Farage said his "political ambition has been achieved" with the UK having voted to leave the EU." --- Never Mind that stuff about *leaving*, "getting our country back", eh, nah, "voting" was good enough and all!?

        They are walking it all back. After the summer holidays, this unfortunate incident will be totally erased.

        Except ... Now that Britain has been called and folded, it's negotiating hand is not all that great any more and it has better lube up for the rogering that is coming.

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