Brexit, aka, the UK Shoots Itself


#21

This is not exactly true. While trust in the EU has certainly gone down from the pre-crisis highs, it has gone significantly up from the 2012 lows. Still, in most EU countries there’s more positive sentiment towards the EU than negative.

Not saying it might not get there, but we are not there yet, and things might change.

BTW: The data is interesting. People tend to trust slightly more the EU than their own governments and national parliaments.

I disagree with this. I think it requires a generational jump. Young people tend to be much more willing to walk and accept further integration.


#22

Not when it’s the young who feel like they’re going to be the victims of said integration. Is there any sort of refugees/immigrants taking our jobs vibe in Europe like there is in the US?

A big reason Sanders and Trump are doing well here is because the youth are increasingly desperate in the US.


#23

Not really…


#24

In a way that perfectly encapsulates the kind of identity crisis the british people have had since the end of the Empire. For a certain (decent sized, maybe the majority even) section of the british public we like to think (celebrate even) that we are ‘different’ from the rest of the EU zone, and that is about making us feel better about the fact we are not the world leader anymore (coming out of being a Super Power status does have a psychological effect on the people).

Deeper down it is about an inferiority complex (that is just compounded by our change in status in modern history) that you can trace back to 1066 when William the Bastard (as the french like to call him) finding himself frozen out of power at home in france decided to take the island of britian as a substitute for what he could not get claim too in france (the frence crown).

And all that emotional baggage is really the root cause of why the british feel they are different (superior even) from the rest of the european countries. The disrespect for france in particular is a cultural hang-over from Williams own difficult relationship with his mother country. And the white-van-man and ultra-right-wing upper class Tory alike carries that tradition on with aplomb to this day, without (for the majority of them) actually knowing the real background as to why they ‘hate’ europe so much.

But the reality is that we are actually europeans and without the Germans and French in particular there would be no ‘England’, no English language, no Chaucer, Shakespeare, Wordsworth etc. We owe them thanks for their input into the (fairly recent) creation of our current identities. So thanks Europe for beign there for us whenever we have need you, from that time after the last ice age when your people re-settled our island, to the last proper invasion of uk soil under William the french dude. I really wish groups like the BNP/Brexit fans would study their actual history a bit, it would save a lot of confusion and mistakes.


#25

Of course national parliaments are distrusted more. They’re mostly pro EU. So they get the same amount of flak the EU gets in addition to whatever national things piss of their electorate.

I disagree with this. I think it requires a generational jump. Young people tend to be much more willing to walk and accept further integration.

Young people accept further integration because they don’t care about the EU or what it does. And why would they? It’s nearly invisible to them. And even the visible parts are only shrug worthy. When I was in highschool the late nineties, I did a presentation about the upcoming Euro with the goal to inspire discussion in the class. The national currency was going to be retired after all, so surely there would be a heated argument there right? Wrong. Nobody cared. Young people don’t feel European now, and they won’t in the future. There is no ‘European culture’ and there will never be one no matter how much time passes by. The individual members states are too different.

And generational jump? The ones pushing the whole ‘more integration’ agenda are babyboomers who grew up during the Cold war and thus still fear the Ruski. There are a myriad of things wrong with the upcoming Ukraine–European Union Association Agreement, but the EUcrats bull ahead anyway because they need the Ukraine as a bufferzone with the Soviet Union Russia. It’s the same thing as it was with the attempt at a European Constitution. Once that was shot down, they just changed a few things, no longer calling it a constitution and went ahead with it anyway. The advisory referendum about the the Ukraine agreement here in the Netherlands is going to end the same way. A majority of the population will vote no and the establishment will make all the right noises about respecting the outcome while at the same time finding a loophole somewhere to push it through.

I’m certainly convinced that EU integration is needed, but not of the sort that currently exists; a democracy in name only.


#26

Well, there absolutely is in the UK - it’s what drives most anti-EU feeling - it’s just not particularly concentrated among the young.


#27

The data says those who support further integration skew young. There’s a whole generation of University students of which a majority have lived at least one year abroad in another EU country, and that have very different feelings of national identity than older people.

Most importantly: Young people do feel more European than older people. The data is out there, sadly the more comprehensive study is outdated, but the British example I quoted above should be enough.

You can also read the latest Eurobarometer (76% of citizens 15-24 feel EU like citizens vs 68% 40-55. Also 58% of young people feel the EU states are close in shared values, and the single item most mentioned by citizens as creating a feeling of community is Culture -here again the youngest bracket is higher, but not by big margins-)


#28

Yeah, I was replying mostly to the young part of the statement. In no way would I imply that’s not part of the rhetoric of the anti-EU side.


#29

Thank you Juan. I know the rough outline of the British economic separation, and resistance to further integration. I did not, however, know about those new changes for the unbalanced treatment of EU citizens in Britain, and so I can understand your frustration. That was the part I was missing, and it totally makes sense why you would not be on board with that.


#30

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).

I’d say that,for the most part, the City is very strongly for “in”. Financial institutions may moan about the EU quite a lot, but that’s just because they don’t like regulation, and most regulation at the moment is coming at the EU level. Even with that backdrop, most of them would rather have one set of regulations at the EU-level than have to comply with 28 different sets of regulations, or in the case of Brexit, losing the various passporting and similar rights they have as part of a member state. There are relatively few regulations that the EU is doing that the UK wouldn’t in some form or another on its own (eg hard banker bonus cap, financial transaction tax), and Brexit would increase the compliance burden for internationally active firms rather than decrease it.


#31

Also, to be clear, there’s nothing EU-level stopping Cameron from legislating on in-work benefits. Lots of EU countries require people to pay in to the system for years before being able to receive benefits. The only issue is discriminating against EU residents. That said, some of the complaints from other member states ring a little hollow when you look at the hoops they make non-citizen residents jump through to be treated on a par with citizens.


#32

Yeah, it’s about treating EU residents different than your own citizens after the initial months until the residence is active.


#33

I have no idea what these things are. Yet, I can imagine exactly what they must be, based on the fearmongering, xenophobia and unprincipled propaganda so common in the US press. Same bullshit, different accent.

Good luck.


#34

One of the depressing things about this referendum is that, because of the disingenuousness of Cameron’s position, he’s tainting the “in” campaign with a bunch of fearmongering propaganda too. The idea that leaving the EU would, for instance, make us materially more at risk from terrorism, is nonsense. And yet he’s made it almost the centrepiece of his campaign.


#35

One of my takes on this (and of course, not being British I could be very wrong) is that the campaign would have gone the same way it will (hopefully a stay in vote) without the recent concessions. That is, that the British public don’t consider them enough or were already willing to vote to stay. Which means the union got weirdly weakened just because Cameron wanted to make some theater.

Would you think this is a feasible viewpoint or am I far off?


#36

Yup. This weekend saw…

Ian Duncan Smith (Tory Minister) - “staying in the EU is a terror risk”
Phillip Hammond (Tory Minister) - “leaving EU is a national security risk”

Of course, ignoring both is the solution, but this is the message from our sitting govt.


#37

From an outsiders perspective, the concessions (while undermining the common bond of the EU) seemed fairly paltry and could only undermine the Pro-EU cause.


#38

Sorry. I can’t consider a report requested and coordinated by the European Commission as proof of anything.


#39

You know they publish all the data and methodology so you can run your own statistics, don’t you? Or you just don’t trust polls depending on who makes them (regardless of methodology)?

Because that would be nuts.

They do a couple dozens of thousand face-to-face interviews for each of these.


#40

One of my takes on this (and of course, not being British I could be very wrong) is that the campaign would have gone the same way it will (hopefully a stay in vote) without the recent concessions. That is, that the British public don’t consider them enough or were already willing to vote to stay. Which means the union got weirdly weakened just because Cameron wanted to make some theater.

I really can’t imagine the deal makes much of a difference to anyone’s vote, though it might conceivably have influenced a few high profile campaigners to opt to publicly go for the out camp. The concessions aren’t going to persuade anyone who’s anti-immigration, which makes the whole situation all the worse as some of the other provisions have the potential to seriously damage the EU as a political union and single market. And that’s even setting aside the human cost for those directly affected by the immigration provisions.