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


spider9
Resolved

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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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fourm member

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Flak999

I've been accused, before, of being the mouthpiece for Tory Central Office and now, it seems, I'm a Guardianista.

Calling someone a racist is not about stifling debate about immigration. If the only difference between the London this woman moved to and London now is that the skin colour of the unfriendly people has changed then the only basis of complaining now is racism.

But, as you say, let's keep the thread on track.

'to wrest control of our own borders back from Brussels.'

What does that mean? The UK has always maintained its own border controls. That's why you can't travel to Calais to do some booze shopping without a passport but you can cross from France to Belgium at 70 mph.

The decisions on immigration that you object to so much have all been made by British politicians.

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Forum Editor

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Flak999

It is the "get out of jail free" card that all Guardianistas use to stifle any debate on immigration.

Immigration? There was I, thinking you said **"Would you choose to send your children to school where English is a second language and 99% of the class where non white? Because I wouldn't!"**

That's not a debating point about immigration, it's about race. You're falling over your own prejudices.

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john bunyan

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"But I digress, let us keep the thread on track. One of the main reasons I wish to leave the EU is to wrest control of our own borders back from Brussels"

Whether on agrees or not with Flack 99 (I do not), as will be seen from the Citizenship quiz, the two biggest ethnic minority groups are from India and Pakistan, followed by the Caribbean. These were allowed in by British Governments - the EU had no part in it.Ie we have never had control of our borders in the sense that Flack99 means.

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fourm member

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john bunyan

Precisely. From the tone of the debate in the media, it seems some people think that, if we leave the EU, the PM will be round for a cuppa everyday to check that planned policies are acceptable.

It's all completely illogical. The same people calling for us to give up the ECHR so we can 'get tough on criminals' are exasperated that UK politicians deny the 'public will' by refusing to allow capital punishment.

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oresome

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That's not a debating point about immigration, it's about race

I think it's more about the practicalities of your child receiving a good education.

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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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