Brexit, aka, the UK Shoots Itself


#1

Cameron has announced that June 23 will be the great vote on whether the UK sticks with the EU (with a lot of new concessions hammered out in the past week to address British concerns) or whether it pulls out entirely.

The great irony is that it seems like Great Britain just went through this with Scotland, but the issue is that while Cameron and his party supported keeping the Union together, all the pressure for ditching the EU is coming from his party. And he’s got at least 6 of his own cabinet backing Brexit openly. Polls indicate it’s very close. The newest update is that Boris Johnson, conservative mayor of London and potential future PM, just threw his weight behind Brexit.

It’s hard to see Brexit passing without all the constituent parts of Great Britain wanting to do the same thing. The Scottish independents will want another go, and god help them if Northern Ireland and Wales start feeling the tug.


#2

That’s fair - but with the way the EU undermines national sovereignty, and strengthens local identities, I would be worried about staying in.

That’s assuming that you want to preserve the United Kingdom.


#3

I think due to the migrant crisis they’re gone. Scots will want another go at independence, but it won’t happen.


#4

This whole thing is really weird.

I hope we stay personally speaking, but i do know that the british-psyche has this real problem with understanding we do not rule the world anymore. And that attitude is completely not related to class, wealth or the usual things that help more easily define british people.

For David Cameron (and the rest of the Royal Family (except Prince Philip off course!)) most of them are pragmatic and see the advantages of staying in the EU. There is whole raft of rich elites that do not however, and many of them are in the Conservative Party, so that is David’s dilemma in terms of the politics.

For the white van-man Sun newspaper (Daily Mail etc) reader, he will have the same views as that section of ultra-right Conservative supporters. Britain is an Island separate from Europe and we are Great enough (as in Great Britain) to rule ourselves as we see fit, without any outside influence etc etc. All rubbish off course (America has been greatly influencing us since we owed them debt for WWII etc), but certainly a divisive issue for the british as a whole.

I think if we did get a vote, we would probably stay in the EU, but it would be close and maybe as much as 25-30% of the population are just blind-rage Britain is sacred about this, but in general more (sensible) people do understand the benefits of being in a big block like the EU, in terms of business prospects and the economical advantages (maybe only The City is not happy about that union as it interferes in their game).


#5

Well, from here I’m actually pissed off at the concessions. I’m a 100% supporter of the EU, and I believe Britain staying under this conditions actually undermines the EU.

I do want the UK to stay, but at the same terms as everybody else.


#6

All I ask is the next time a country considers it, can we skip the “__exit” moniker? It grates on my nerves almost as much as “__gate” whenever there’s a political scandal. /rant


#7

Dan Theman does not like Portmanteaus. Look out, Basselope!


#8

LOL - alas, I am discovered


#9

Some political stuff about the problem inside the Conservative Party about this:

‘Revealed: how Tory grassroots split over EU could see party implode’:

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/feb/21/how-tory-grassroots-split-eu-party-constituency-cameron

I agree with Juan, we should stay in the EU (as american spy-allies if nothing else) on the same terms as other bigger-economy members, William the Conqueror was French (and spoke only French), and before him it was all German (Saxon and Anglo-Saxon) Kings and rulers for a good long time. The british people are as european (in their dna) as europeans, we even had the Romans too. I wish people were more educated about where they come from, it would save many problems like this one.

The main real difference, and the reason why the anti-euro group get all in a huff about the EU is that they are the types that get bonerz about the world map when it was mostly pink, and pine for those days like a Parrot pines for the Fjords.


#10

So as an American with no real knowledge of the situation, vis a vis concessions, what are they that has you mad about it?

So what is it that is driving all this rage for the Brits to leave? The EU is an idea that seems to be having issues, whether it be the situation with Greece, somewhat exacerbated by German policies, or the Brits clamoring for an exit. Is it just that one of the cultural drivers, the destruction of the World Wars and a desire to avoid such conflicts, is fading from living memory?

I wonder if things will stabilize, or if we are seeing the beginnings of the EU experiment fraying. Or is this just the Brits being difficult…


#11

Most British people are happy enough with Europe as a loose federation, the general worry is that the EU bureacracy is tending towards the creation of a superstate like the US. Some people want that, others don’t. The recent concessions being so shitty is tending to give ammo to the sceptics.


#12

Problem is the economic unity without political unity causes a lot of trouble. And Britain only joined because it fears an EU superstate.


#13

Didn’t the 13 American Colonies establish that pretty cleary like 200+ years ago?


#14

Looks bad for the Conservatives right now, with all these treacherous front-benchers. It almost seems like Cameron is only supporting continued membership as a gesture because you’d think otherwise he’d do a better job of controlling his own people. They don’t get to stay on as ministers if he doesn’t want them, after all. But I think despite that the UK may stay in with Labour’s help so long as a reasonable chunk of Conservatives also go that way.


#15

Heh, the current Royal Family was the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, and became the House of Windsor when that sort of became embarrassing during World War I.


#16

Others have answered but:

The UK has been normally against further political union in the EU. It’s the only one of the big countries that has regularly sustained that position and it has already slowed the unification process. When all your other partners agree on something and you don’t, you either accept the majority or you leave. Trying to force the majority to accept your conditions is not right. In my opinion, the mere fact of giving special concessions to the UK damages the EU even more than the financial crisis did.

As for the specifics concessions: they are structured to keep the free flow of capital and merchandise while trying to limit the free flow of labor. Basically pushing back into a pure trade union, something I don’t support and would vote against if the EU ever became.

On a more personal level, the concession of the UK denying benefits for a while to EU citizens is discriminatory, and it does not have provisions the other way. If we are doing this I would also want for UK citizens to be denied access to Public Health and benefits here and in other countries chosen for retirement/cheap living.

So, since this forces the Union into a path that I think is not good for the rest of their members, I’d rather see the UK go under these terms. Although that would also have negative consequences, I believe it’s easier to recover from that situation.

But there’s a little bit of frustration in my reaction. In all honestly, I think they will stay. It would be extremely damaging for the UK to leave (more so than for Europe), specially mid-long term. If import tariffs UK-EU are reinstated it’s a whole new game.


#17

My job and career is dependent on the EU regulation (more importantly, regulation standardisation) and the ability of the UK to engage in crossborder trade throughout the EU.

But as this is now being put to the public, who face it, haven’t a clue on how the EU affects business, I can’t see us staying. The vote will be on immigration and decades of anti-EU nonsense from the press, terrorist cats, banana straightness rules etc.


#18

Why do you think this is so? I would say here most people realize the fundamentals of what no trade barriers meant for our local businesses. But, of course, the opening to Europe benefited us a lot, so probably people saw the positive influence vs. in the UK?


#19

It’s an endless stream of ignorance and misguided patriotic fervour.

This is useful for glimpse of what the Tory grassroots are saying, and I would say they are better educated than most of the trade aspects of the EU.

NYE Cologne killed the EU dream. The stay argument might have worked if not for those events.


#20

At this point, Britain staying or going is irrelevant with regard to it being a blow to the EU. If they go and don’t fall into anarchy like the EUcrats like to predict, it will weaken the EU. If they stay with a whole bunch of concessions, every other nation will wonder why [I]they [/I]aren’t getting special deals. This will also weaken the EU.

The project is doomed in any case, anti-EU sentiment is ever rising in most member states and with good reason. Look at what’s happening here. The Geenpeil advisory referendum has been met with nothing but disdain by the established political order, who works against it blatantly through petty tricks. It all breathes an air of 'We like democracy, but only if it’s [I]our[/I] brand of democracy." This is basically the sentiment all the EUcrats have.

The EUcrats completely fail to understand that you can’t force so many different cultures into a cohesive whole. The fact that they call for ‘more integration’ as a solution to every major problem that crops up just underlines that. The entire EU needs to be torn down and rebuild from scratch, with a far looser arrangement between nations.