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EU Referendum

...on serious topics that don't fit anywhere else at present.
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Altfish
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Joined: March 26th, 2012, 8:46 am

EU Referendum

#1 Post by Altfish » June 16th, 2015, 12:34 pm

Thought we probably need a new thread.

I'm pro-Europe but the EU has its problems and changes are needed but I don't want to leave as you can effect change from the inside.

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Alan H
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Re: EU Referendum

#2 Post by Alan H » June 16th, 2015, 2:25 pm

Altfish wrote:Thought we probably need a new thread.

I'm pro-Europe but the EU has its problems and changes are needed but I don't want to leave as you can effect change from the inside.
The problem is many have been saying it has problems for decades (CAP anyone?) but I agree that the change has to come from the inside.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

Nick
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Re: EU Referendum

#3 Post by Nick » June 16th, 2015, 9:53 pm

Any suggestions about how such a change may be made? Maybe it is only by threatening to leave that change can be achieved. I don't think Cameron is being tough enough in what he wants to see changed, while the EU grandees think (probably rightly) that their best bet to preserve the (dreadful) "European Project" is to be fundamentally undemocratic and do nothing.

I also wonder quite what might happen before any referendum takes place. Greece may be out of the Euro, maybe even the EU, France may have voted in a government which wants out of the Euro, maybe more. Italy may have fallen apart (again). Finland (IIRC) already has euro-skeptic government. Germany won't acknowledge the advantage it derives from the Euro, at the expense of millions of unemployed, and refuses to cut Greece any slack. And most governments are scared of asking the people, fearful of the "wrong" answer.

Nick
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Re: EU Referendum

#4 Post by Nick » June 16th, 2015, 9:53 pm

Any suggestions about how such a change may be made? Maybe it is only by threatening to leave that change can be achieved. I don't think Cameron is being tough enough in what he wants to see changed, while the EU grandees think (probably rightly) that their best bet to preserve the (dreadful) "European Project" is to be fundamentally undemocratic and do nothing.

I also wonder quite what might happen before any referendum takes place. Greece may be out of the Euro, maybe even the EU, France may have voted in a government which wants out of the Euro, maybe more. Italy may have fallen apart (again). Finland (IIRC) already has euro-skeptic government. Germany won't acknowledge the advantage it derives from the Euro, at the expense of millions of unemployed, and refuses to cut Greece any slack. And most governments are scared of asking the people, fearful of the "wrong" answer.

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Ninny
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Re: EU Referendum

#5 Post by Ninny » June 17th, 2015, 8:59 am

I am so against referenda/referendums! Why do we vote for MPs if we cannot leave such important decisions to them? We should take our concerns to them, not to an anonymous ballot box.
I suspect many of the people who want a referendum on, for example, capital punishment never vote in local or general elections. They want to "have their say", but are too lazy to engage with politics.

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animist
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Re: EU Referendum

#6 Post by animist » June 17th, 2015, 9:28 am

Ninny wrote:I am so against referenda/referendums! Why do we vote for MPs if we cannot leave such important decisions to them? We should take our concerns to them, not to an anonymous ballot box.
I suspect many of the people who want a referendum on, for example, capital punishment never vote in local or general elections. They want to "have their say", but are too lazy to engage with politics.
I agree with you - granted it is a very important issue, but why should constitutional issues have this special treatment? An unenthusiastic vote to stay in (the most likely result) will not mean the end of Ukip or the Tory Eurosceptics any more than the NO vote in Scotland meant the end of SNP. With any luck, though, the campaign will damage the Tories :wink:

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animist
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Re: EU Referendum

#7 Post by animist » June 17th, 2015, 10:03 am

Nick wrote:Any suggestions about how such a change may be made? Maybe it is only by threatening to leave that change can be achieved. I don't think Cameron is being tough enough in what he wants to see changed, while the EU grandees think (probably rightly) that their best bet to preserve the (dreadful) "European Project" is to be fundamentally undemocratic and do nothing.

I also wonder quite what might happen before any referendum takes place. Greece may be out of the Euro, maybe even the EU, France may have voted in a government which wants out of the Euro, maybe more. Italy may have fallen apart (again). Finland (IIRC) already has euro-skeptic government. Germany won't acknowledge the advantage it derives from the Euro, at the expense of millions of unemployed, and refuses to cut Greece any slack. And most governments are scared of asking the people, fearful of the "wrong" answer.
the EU will not change itself much in order to please Cameron. I suppose that I am in favour of staying in for the sake of my younger acquaintances, who might risk suffering the unpredictable results of leaving in a huff and puff, but the anti-immigration gang should take heed from the fact that it would be tough for a ex-EU state like Britain to insist on trading with the bloc while rejecting its basis tenet of free movement of labour. OTOH, I don't think that Britain inside the EU is especially influential because of the sheer size of the thing - and why the hell should we expect to be especially influential?

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Altfish
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Re: EU Referendum

#8 Post by Altfish » October 12th, 2015, 12:35 pm

The problem with the referendum (which currently seems to be running away from Cameron) is that it is a lose-lose situation.

We, allegedly, are trying to renegotiate our membership and then Dave will put it to the vote. If we vote NO we are out, I'm not sure that is good for anyone. If we vote, YES, we are by implication voting to say the EU's fine and we don't believe it needs anymore changes.

Then we have Blair, Brown and Major in the YES camp...you couldn't script it.

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Alan H
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Re: EU Referendum

#9 Post by Alan H » October 12th, 2015, 1:08 pm

It's been brewing in every decade since the seventies but this time, with a bit of luck, the Tories will disintegrate in an internecine war and disappear up their own backsides.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Altfish
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Re: EU Referendum

#10 Post by Altfish » October 12th, 2015, 4:03 pm

Alan H wrote:It's been brewing in every decade since the seventies but this time, with a bit of luck, the Tories will disintegrate in an internecine war and disappear up their own backsides.
We live in hope

Nick
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Re: EU Referendum

#11 Post by Nick » October 13th, 2015, 7:31 pm

If only they had the unanimity of the Labour Party...... Oh wait...

:yahbooh:

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animist
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Re: EU Referendum

#12 Post by animist » October 13th, 2015, 8:32 pm

hey Nick, though I often disagree with you, you do, I must say, seem to be among the more informed contestants on this here forum. l have mentioned this point before, and cannot find an answer searching the net, so here goes: let us assume that the referendum votes to leave the EU. That in itself does not fuel a decision to leave, I assume, because Parliament is sovereign and has to frame appropriate laws for such a momentous decision. But Parliament is made up of MPs who, in theory, are independently minded representatives of their constituencies' electors. So let's assume that, even with a bit of a Tory majority, the MPs are not inclined in aggregate to accede to the popular will. What is the constitutional position?

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Altfish
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Re: EU Referendum

#13 Post by Altfish » October 13th, 2015, 9:08 pm

I know I'm not Nick but I understand a referendum to be binding on Parliament. It is instead of a vote in the House and cannot be over ruled by a vote of MPs.

Nick
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Re: EU Referendum

#14 Post by Nick » October 14th, 2015, 9:54 am

animist wrote:hey Nick, though I often disagree with you, you do, I must say, seem to be among the more informed contestants on this here forum. l have mentioned this point before, and cannot find an answer searching the net, so here goes: let us assume that the referendum votes to leave the EU. That in itself does not fuel a decision to leave, I assume, because Parliament is sovereign and has to frame appropriate laws for such a momentous decision. But Parliament is made up of MPs who, in theory, are independently minded representatives of their constituencies' electors. So let's assume that, even with a bit of a Tory majority, the MPs are not inclined in aggregate to accede to the popular will. What is the constitutional position?
Thank you for your kind remarks. I do try to be informed to support my arguments. :)

Constitutionally, Parliament is sovereign, so it can do what it likes with any referendum result. It might seem strange to ignore a result, but arguably this has happened in Europe with referendums over the Euro, though further referendums were held to keep to form. In practice, in the UK, I don't think a government would survive such a decision. This especially true because it is a binary decision: stay in (with reforms) or leave. If there were more than two options, things can be very different. For example, there is a large majority for House of Lords reform, but, with multiple alternatives, none of them has avoided being defeated.

Nick
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Re: EU Referendum

#15 Post by Nick » October 14th, 2015, 10:10 am

animist wrote:
Ninny wrote:I am so against referenda/referendums! Why do we vote for MPs if we cannot leave such important decisions to them? We should take our concerns to them, not to an anonymous ballot box.
I suspect many of the people who want a referendum on, for example, capital punishment never vote in local or general elections. They want to "have their say", but are too lazy to engage with politics.
I agree with you - granted it is a very important issue, but why should constitutional issues have this special treatment?
Because they are constitutional. It's an altogether different magnitude of change. Also, in the context of the EU, it is because there is not a mainstream party in favour of leaving. Of course, it may be argued that it has more to do with the Tories trying to cope with divisions within the party, (and there are differences in the Labour Party too), but with the polls indicating that around 45% wanting to leave, not to allow a referendum seems somewhat undemocratic.

Having said that, I would not want to see a referendum on capital punishment (and a whole host of other issues, especially economic ones!) because matters are rather more complex than can be decided by a simple yes/no question.
An unenthusiastic vote to stay in (the most likely result) will not mean the end of Ukip or the Tory Eurosceptics any more than the NO vote in Scotland meant the end of SNP. With any luck, though, the campaign will damage the Tories :wink:
Hmmm... dunno. UKIP may be passed its peak. And a damaged Tory party, where different members want different things, is not as damaged as a Labour Party where not only do members want different things, but cabinet members want different things, and even single people, even including the shadow chancellor, the deputy leader and the disloyal leader, want different things from one week to another. Labour is toast.

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animist
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Re: EU Referendum

#16 Post by animist » October 14th, 2015, 2:12 pm

thanks, Nick - yes I knew that it was the constitutional nature of the issue that has been the reason for putting it to a referendum, although one might still argue that constitutional issues are not necessarily the most important (but the EU issue certainly is very important). Anyway, good point about House of Lords reform; there would need to be some agreed alternative to the status quo, as you say, in order for the referendum instrument to be used. The Blair government IIRC made several quasi-constitutional changes, however, with no referendum backing?

(I just asked Emma W via Facebook whether she has any knowledge about this hypothetical question)

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Altfish
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Re: EU Referendum

#17 Post by Altfish » October 14th, 2015, 8:16 pm

Altfish wrote:I know I'm not Nick but I understand a referendum to be binding on Parliament. It is instead of a vote in the House and cannot be over ruled by a vote of MPs.
I love the way that my comment is ignored :laughter:

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animist
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Re: EU Referendum

#18 Post by animist » October 14th, 2015, 8:29 pm

Altfish wrote:
Altfish wrote:I know I'm not Nick but I understand a referendum to be binding on Parliament. It is instead of a vote in the House and cannot be over ruled by a vote of MPs.
I love the way that my comment is ignored :laughter:
oh my poor Altfish. What you said was what I myself have kind of been assuming, which is why I asked the question

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animist
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Re: EU Referendum

#19 Post by animist » October 16th, 2015, 8:54 pm

animist wrote: (I just asked Emma W via Facebook whether she has any knowledge about this hypothetical question)
nothing yet from Emma - I wonder if she is furiously researching the topic, and also whether, if she (and I) finds that nothing has been written on this scenario, whether this could be an inconvenient lacuna in the thoughts of our political masters. On the general topic of referenda, SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon has graciously accepted that it is not yet appropriate for another referendum on Scottish independence, but I wonder if referendum scheduling should not follow that for general elections: ie one each five years. The exception, going back to the OP, is that a vote on the part of UK-heavy to leave the EU would reasonably justify another Scots independence referendum

Nick
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Re: EU Referendum

#20 Post by Nick » October 18th, 2015, 1:38 am

Jus' wundrin' how the Scots would react to a referendum repudiating the Barnett Formula......

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