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EU In/Out? Is a referendum the best way?


spider9
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I'd always thought we were a Parliamentary Democracy, and, as such, we elect paid representatives to take difficult decisions on our behalf.

Membership of Europe is a difficult , complicated topic, and most people (including myself) would be hard pushed to appreciate all the pros and cons - so the populace will now be bombarded by media propaganda aimed at the lowest common denominator, I suspect.

Loads of 'crazy' EU stories will emerge and be fed to the Great British public, with 'good' EU stories being more difficult to show. Hence the media barons will, once again, get their way and politicians can then 'blame' us if it turns out bad.

Weak leadership I'm afraid.

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Flak999

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Gentlemen! I feel like we are debating at cross purposes here. (My fault! I should not have introduced the Telegraph link) What I am saying with regard to whether we should or should not vote to leave the EU is that one of the major reasons we should, is so that we can curtail the influx of immigrants from the poorer states of the EU.

I freely admit that immigrants from India Pakistan and the Caribbean have not been controlled by successive Governments and do not fall within the purview of the EU. Except that immigrants from these countries that enter the EU via other EU states could then travel onward to the UK.

I sense that I am not convincing you of my argument! But that is the nature of debate, I will keep trying.

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fourm member

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Flak999

But there's a flaw even there. The number of immigrants admitted from former colonies was reduced to take account of free migration. If those controls were relaxed it was by a UK government.

So, in theory (and I grant theory is just that) EU migrants should have replaced Commonwealth migration.

In 2008, I believe, a large number of Poles returned to Poland because times had got tough in the UK and they could do better at home.

Though some Commonwealth citizens do return to their birth countries most are here to stay and sit out the bad times.

So, in theory, membership of the EU means we can still get the workers necessary for the economy without such a burden on the benefit system when times are tough.

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Flak999

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I must admit that much of my antipathy towards the EU is based around the loss of sovereignty (real or imagined) that I see happening. I am totally against becoming part of an EU federation, I feel that we have stood as our own country making our own laws for the best part of a thousand years, why do we need to surrender our independence to the EU?

I have no objection to being part of a trading bloc, but that is as far as I am prepared to go. I will never ever vote to remain in an EU whose sole aim is to become a federated United States of Europe.

Nothing that I have seen of the EU or the way it works (or does not work) recommends itself in the slightest. perhaps those who are willing to surrender our independence will give their reasoning as to why they consider that to be worthwhile choice?

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Forum Editor

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"I feel that we have stood as our own country making our own laws for the best part of a thousand years, why do we need to surrender our independence to the EU?"

We don't, and we haven't - that's the myth put about by those who want us out of Europe at any cost. What has happened is that the Europe we knew in 1945 has changed, and we've become a part of it in many ways. We've changed as circumstances have changed, and not all that change has necessarily been good.

That, however is the way it is, and it's the way it has been for all of that thousand years you talk about - there have been changes throughout that period, not all of them good. My contention is that the alternative to EU membership is far worse; people talk of us regaining our independence, but at what price?

Remaining in the EU, and arguing our case with the other EU member states is the way forward. It isn't going to be easy, but we've handled difficult international relationships before, we're past masters when it comes to diplomacy. We have the goodwill of many European countries on our side - they want us in the EU - and that can be turned to our advantage, if only we as a people can have enough foresight not to turn tail and run because we don't like some of the European institutions or their rules and regulations. Lots of people in Europe don't think much of us as a nation, but they're prepared to put that aside for the common good of the Community. Perhaps we should consider being real Europeans,instead of wanting to cling into our fading dreams of a glorious past. Perhaps we should understand that we can still play a very important role in Europe if only we could stop thinking that we know better than everyone else all the time.

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Woolwell

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"we're past masters when it comes to diplomacy." - Past masters at getting it wrong too eg Suez, the lead up to the Falklands in 1982, lines drawn in the sand for Middle East boundaries, Ecuador and Assange.

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spuds

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Surely this all comes back to the same subject that's being discussed here?.

When all this started at the very beginning, it was the 'Common Market' that was originally proposed as a trading barrier,and people were informed about this on those terms, but that as now gone into a far wider and perhaps more sinister political circle, now called the European Union. Two totally different things, unless I and other like minded people are wrong?.

It wasn't all that very long ago, when the likes of English was being dropped in favour of European, including having a one currency to perhaps confirm or force this issue. Some countries adopted the Euro, others didn't, and the UK was one of them. We only need to look no further than the countries that adopted the Euro, and those that didn't, to see who as faired the better. But again, no doubt someone will state that I am wrong there as well?.

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Quickbeam

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It strikes me that the strong 'we must remain in Europe' camp are clutching to the comfort of the status quo, because they know it, and fear the unknown.

Yet, there are prominent Eurosceptic politicians, senior civil servants, industrialists and professionals. Are these people also unqualified imbeciles like us ungrateful hoi poloi that are not capable of assessing and making decisions of great importance to the future of the country?

Or are they a forest of unacknowledged visionaries that the lovers of the status quo cannot see for the dead wood before their eyes?

This get out argument is not just the small folks rebellion because it's the flavour of the day.

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fourm member

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Quickbeam

'cannot see for the dead wood before their eyes?'

At the risk of making this 'my dad's bigger than your dad', I'd have to say that there are plenty on the 'out' side who are blinkered to the truth. See spuds still claiming no-one mentioned a federal Europe when we joined as just one example.

Or Flakk999 talking about 'we have stood as our own country making our own laws for the best part of a thousand years'.

That ignores the fact that, in 1688, a foreign prince invaded this country and imposed his view of what the law sgould be.

But, of course, that's the one point that no-one wants to talk about. Being in the EU is not about a trading partnership and it is not about building a superstate with centralised control. It's about Europeans not killing each other and invading each other's territory.

After the dreadful events in former Yugoslavia it was essential to ensure that other former communist states did not collapse into anarchy. The expansion of the EU in 2004 was about stabilising the eastern edge of Europe.

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Quickbeam

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fm

As Asterix the Gaul once said of the Roman invaders, 'we'll never be in Concord over this'.

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spider9

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fourm member

Methinks you are flogging the proverbial deceased equine, as it is obvious "there are none so blind....".

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