EU Referendum - in or out?

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John McKenna
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EU Referendum - in or out?

Post by John McKenna » Mon May 09, 2016 3:24 pm

... Cameron is set to appeal to the nation’s nostalgia, harking back to pivotal moments in European history including Blenheim, Trafalgar, and Waterloo... (and the Spanish Armada and the Battle of Britain)

He’ll also remember how Winston Churchill “argued passionately for Western Europe to come together, to promote free trade, and to build institutions which would endure so that our continent would never again see such bloodshed." (Yahoo News)
Cameron delivered his message at the British Museum this morning, I believe.

The Churchill reference contains the words "Western Europe".

We're well beyond that now and the EU will drawn into expanding into Anatolia, Armenia, Syria, Lebanon and Israel - just as the Roman Empire was. Our EU and American friends in high places would like to include the Ukraine in that list, if possible.

Moscow and Tehran will, naturally, oppose such plans in western Eurasia and the Near East with everything at their disposal.

Beijing - with Moscow's support - will do the same in East Asia, in response to Obama's 'pivot' to that area in response to Chinese muscle flexing off the beaches of the South China Sea while building their new Great Wall around most of it to the chagrin of their neighbours.

The Great Game to define and carve out global spheres of influence will go on with or without 'Great' Britain, which is no longer a major player despite what certain people say about punching above weight. But, hang on in there GB if you want to shape it. Or would it be better just to stay at home and shape your own bit of it?
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

NickFaulks
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Re: EU Referendum - in or out?

Post by NickFaulks » Mon May 09, 2016 3:33 pm

I find Churchill being quoted as an example of someone who would happily have acquiesced to Britain being ruled from Europe the most repugnant element of Cameron's whole campaign. So far, anyway.

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: EU Referendum - in or out?

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Mon May 09, 2016 3:47 pm

John McKenna wrote:The Great Game to define and carve out global spheres of influence will go on with or without 'Great' Britain, which is no longer a major player despite what certain people say about punching above weight. But, hang on in there GB if you want to shape it. Or would it be better just to stay at home and shape your own bit of it?
It is depressing that the world is still divided up into competing spheres of influence. Will the world ever unify as a whole, or at least take proper steps in that direction? I know there are some good reasons to have competing regions, but where (outside the UN and some environment summits) are geopolitical decisions taken to benefit humanity as a whole?

John McKenna
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Re: EU Referendum - in or out?

Post by John McKenna » Mon May 09, 2016 4:41 pm

At the UN and some environmental summits? I doubt that decisions made there benefit humanity as a whole. They are the equivalent of intensive care in a hospital - there to keep the most ill patients breathing but barely alive.

The film Rollerball showed a future in which globalisation had left the world under the control of gigantic corporations.

With the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) and TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) trade agreements on the table in East and West we may be on the way to a scenario in which the nation state is of secondary importance on the world stage.

Edit: Even China may end up being run by the People's Lib. Army Inc. and Iran by Revolutionary Guards "R" Us.
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

John McKenna
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Re: EU Referendum - in or out?

Post by John McKenna » Thu May 12, 2016 11:26 am

"The Office for National Statistics is to publish figures at the heart of the controversy over immigration from the EU" -

https://uk.news.yahoo.com/row-over-eu-i ... 03154.html
A highly-anticipated official report examining figures at the centre of controversy over the scale of immigration from the EU will be released on Thursday in a potential flashpoint in the referendum campaign.

The Office for National Statistics will publish an "information note" on the difference between estimates of long-term international migration to Britain and the registration of National Insurance numbers to foreign nationals.

In the year to September, just under 655,000 NI numbers - which are needed to work in the UK - were registered to EU citizens.
Over the same period, immigration figures indicate 257,000 people arrived from the bloc.

The large gap has fuelled claims immigration may have been underestimated and scrutiny of the discrepancy has intensified in the run-up to next month's EU referendum...

The ONS report is expected to include figures on short-term migration, as well as previously unpublished figures on NI numbers that are actively being used.

Ministers have faced intense pressure to release the data on active NI numbers being used by EU citizens in the UK.

Overall international net migration was estimated at 323,000 for the year ending September - well above the government's aim of less than 100,000.
It has been argued by some that leaving the EU is the only way to reduce net migration from the EU, but others have argued that it will make little difference. While it is true that leaving the EU AND establishing strict border controls on all entry and exit from the UK would undoubtedly reduce all net migration the problem is that successive governments have steadily reduced those controls. Like so many other institutions in the UK the Borders Agency is not really "fit for purpose".

https://uk.news.yahoo.com/latest-rights ... 38951.html

From which -
The European Commission says it's ready to start negotiating an agreement with Nigeria to send back Nigerian migrants who do not qualify to stay in the European Union.
Given what David Cameron just said about Nigeria and Afghanistan and corruption one might ask if the number of people from foreign countries allowed entry into the UK should be inversely proportional to their place in the register of international corruption?

Edit -

http://www.nationsonline.org/oneworld/corruption.htm

And, that the background checking on people who apply to come from the most corrupt countries be made very stringent indeed. The number of foreign criminals in the UK prison system is disproportionally high, and they're not all wrongly convicted - they've been proven to be guilty under UK law.
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: EU Referendum - in or out?

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Thu May 12, 2016 12:11 pm

"Like so many other institutions in the UK the Borders Agency is not really "fit for purpose"."

They are probably hideously understaffed. It is all very well cutting costs by reducing staff, but then you have to cut services, as there aren't enough people there!

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Paolo Casaschi
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Re: EU Referendum - in or out?

Post by Paolo Casaschi » Thu May 12, 2016 2:25 pm

Can anyone here suggest a reasonable explanation to the disconnect between opinion polls and betting odds for the EU referendum?

Opinion polls suggest a very close referendum, for example see http://whatukthinks.org/eu/opinion-polls/poll-of-polls

Betting shops offer significanlty better returns for people betting on the leave option, see http://www.oddschecker.com/politics/bri ... hip-result

Why such a difference???

Phil Neatherway
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Re: EU Referendum - in or out?

Post by Phil Neatherway » Thu May 12, 2016 2:45 pm

If the Brexit campaigners win, it will be a disaster, both politically and economically. Boris Johnson as PM, who wants that?

All the Brexit campaigners do is harp on about how all the country's problems are due to foreigners.

If they win, I shall think seriously about emigrating to an independent Scotland.

P.S. I wouldn't bet against the bookies.

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: EU Referendum - in or out?

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Thu May 12, 2016 2:52 pm

There have been two recent (last 5 years) votes to change the status quo, one for the UK voting system as a whole and one regarding the status of Scotland:

United Kingdom Alternative Vote referendum, 2011 (42% turnout, 68% to maintain the status quo)
Scottish independence referendum, 2014 (84% turnout, 55% to maintain the status quo)

If you discount the 2011 Welsh one (extending existing powers), the last successful referendums in the UK were the Welsh Assembly one (1997), the Scottish Assembly one (1997), and the Northern Ireland Good Friday Agreement one (1998). I think the bookmakers have it right, and when push comes to shove, the vote will be to stay in (though I wouldn't bet against calls for another referendum if there are big changes in Europe that are proposed after the 2017 elections in Germany and France).

Is it true that this will be only the third-ever UK-wide referendum (after the first European one in 1975 and the AV one in 2011)?

John McKenna
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Re: EU Referendum - in or out?

Post by John McKenna » Thu May 12, 2016 4:08 pm

In answer to Chris K's question above - yes this EU Referendum will be only the 3rd UK-wide one.

There was a national one in Malta -
A UK integration referendum held on 11 and 12 February 1956, in which 77.02 per cent of voters were in favour of the proposal, but owing to a boycott by the Nationalist Party, only 59.1 per cent of the electorate voted, thereby rendering the result inconclusive.[15] (Wiki)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crown_Colony_of_Malta

My answer to Phil N's comments, further above, is as follows -

Yes Phil, if Brexit wins it will be a big shock (maybe even fatal), but a relatively short and sharp one (that may revive the patient) compared to the lingering death of a thousand cuts that will gradually be inflicted on the prisoner by remaining in the EU Inquisition's tortuous chambers.

As Kevin T hinted, further above, most of the problems in this country are created by the people in power - due to the way they govern, tax and spend. They are the Sultans of Spin and the Masters of Misrule. If you cannot see that then you are too close to them and looking the wrong way, too.

The 'foreigners' are just the base of cheap broken biscuits and the rich icing on top of this cake - with the MPs as the nuts and the monarchy as the cherry on top . If you are a currant, sultana, or some other goody sitting in the middle of the mixture then I understand where you're coming from, but none of the above are the basic constituents, which go to make it up.

During and after the English Civil War in the 17th c. there was an opportunity to make a plain and simple cake with no frills or decorations, but it was ruined by the religious maniac Oliver Cromwell and his rabidly anti-Catholic cabal. When it finally collapsed about a year after Cromwell's death the Royal Family Bakery returned to do business, as usual, but with some provisos. (As you can see I'm a Republican.)

In answer to Paolo's question about the pollsters and the bookies - doesn't it all sound like what happened in the run up to the Scottish Referendum and the last General Election - it's going to be very close so you'd better get voting, but don't bother betting on the outcome because it's already in the bag.

I agree that 'IN' will win, but that won't solve anybody's problems here and will saddle the UK with a whole lot more from you know where.
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

Phil Neatherway
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Re: EU Referendum - in or out?

Post by Phil Neatherway » Thu May 12, 2016 4:17 pm

I'm intrigued by the concept of a fatal shock which may revive the patient!
As long as the Tories are in power, the cuts will continue, whether we are in the EU or not. It is their ideological creed. The big problem with the UK economy is productivity. This is nothing to do with the EU.
It is the case that the Brexit campaign is focussing on problems perceived to be caused by foreigners, whether they are immigrants or EU functionaries.

Mick Norris
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Re: EU Referendum - in or out?

Post by Mick Norris » Thu May 12, 2016 4:28 pm

Paolo Casaschi wrote:Can anyone here suggest a reasonable explanation to the disconnect between opinion polls and betting odds for the EU referendum?

Opinion polls suggest a very close referendum, for example see http://whatukthinks.org/eu/opinion-polls/poll-of-polls

Betting shops offer significanlty better returns for people betting on the leave option, see http://www.oddschecker.com/politics/bri ... hip-result

Why such a difference???
Yes, I was at a lunch a few weeks ago with Henderson Fund Managers, who have done quite a bit of research as you might expect, and they confirmed the bookies thought Remain twice as likely as Leave

They said the reason the opinion polls didn't reflect this is partly a reflection of the recent polling problems (telephone v online), but mostly to do with what happens in the (very) late stage of referendum campaigns, when undecided voters go for the status quo

They also said that even if the bookies were right, the crucial thing is the margin - you would need about 58:42 in favour to avoid the issue coming up again, anything less meant the PM might go anyway
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John McKenna
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Re: EU Referendum - in or out?

Post by John McKenna » Thu May 12, 2016 4:35 pm

[Edit:
If the Brexit campaigners win, it will be a disaster, both politically and economically. Boris Johnson as PM, who wants that?
Give Jeremy Corbyn the job so he can try to prove he's not Islington's version of Yosser Hughes.
All the Brexit campaigners do is harp on about how all the country's problems are due to foreigners.
Well, I'm constantly being told now that we're all originally foreigners, so that's perfectly true!
If they win, I shall think seriously about emigrating to an independent Scotland.
Go to a bedsit in Edinburgh, Phil, and write real magic fiction - it can work wonders.
P.S. I wouldn't bet against the bookies.
PS I wouldn't bet against the books of J K Rowling being hugely successful, however, I've never read a word of any of the Harry Potter novels, apart from those on the lurid covers. I've never seen a minute of any of the films unless inadvertently, when a trailer appeared right in front of me and I couldn't avoid it. All those who read and watch such trite tripe deserve to stay in the EU fantasy land, forever. Just let me out!! End of edit.]
Phil Neatherway wrote:I'm intrigued by the concept of a fatal shock which may revive the patient!
As long as the Tories are in power, the cuts will continue, whether we are in the EU or not. It is their ideological creed. The big problem with the UK economy is productivity. This is nothing to do with the EU.
It is the case that the Brexit campaign is focussing on problems perceived to be caused by foreigners, whether they are immigrants or EU functionaries.
Phil, Phil, obviously if the patient doesn't die the shock wouldn't be fatal. But, what if the more productive parts of the EU and the rest of the world are exporting their low-productive jobs and workers to the UK as a sink hole.You seem almost to agree that the UK - despite being one of the largest economies in the EU - is also on the sick list, along with patients like the zombie Greeks and half-dead Spanish, Portuguese and Italians, but still behind the French who are only in rehab, while we're still taking dope from dopes.

Apologies for interrupting Mick's excellent answer (much more to the point than mine) to Paolo -
Mick Norris wrote:
Paolo Casaschi wrote:Can anyone here suggest a reasonable explanation to the disconnect between opinion polls and betting odds for the EU referendum?

Opinion polls suggest a very close referendum, for example see http://whatukthinks.org/eu/opinion-polls/poll-of-polls

Betting shops offer significanlty better returns for people betting on the leave option, see http://www.oddschecker.com/politics/bri ... hip-result

Why such a difference???
Yes, I was at a lunch a few weeks ago with Henderson Fund Managers, who have done quite a bit of research as you might expect, and they confirmed the bookies thought Remain twice as likely as Leave

They said the reason the opinion polls didn't reflect this is partly a reflection of the recent polling problems (telephone v online), but mostly to do with what happens in the (very) late stage of referendum campaigns, when undecided voters go for the status quo

They also said that even if the bookies were right, the crucial thing is the margin - you would need about 58:42 in favour to avoid the issue coming up again, anything less meant the PM might go anyway
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

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Matt Mackenzie
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Re: EU Referendum - in or out?

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Thu May 12, 2016 6:23 pm

Re the referendum polls, the difference between the online and phone surveys has been pretty stark.

Most punters evidently seem to think the latter are the more reliable.....
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NickFaulks
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Re: EU Referendum - in or out?

Post by NickFaulks » Fri May 13, 2016 10:32 am

An outcome which interests me is that England votes to leave, but we can't because of an overwhelming vote from Scotland to stay in. I think there would be calls for an English referendum on independence from Scotland - that's not a joke.

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