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EU membership referendum debate thread

Posted: Tue Oct 13, 2015 3:53 pm
by UndercoverElephant
OK...so I am genuinely undecided about which way I am going to vote in this referendum. Would anybody like to try to convince me to vote in or vote out?

Posted: Tue Oct 13, 2015 4:08 pm
by adam2
I can see the arguments both ways, but on balance I favour leaving the EU.

I feel that EU regulation and control is often excessive, and often seems to be designed to favour France and Germany.

Posted: Tue Oct 13, 2015 4:10 pm
by PS_RalphW
Although I don't think the EU is going to survive the end of BAU for long, I think that leaving it now will give the current government free reign to rip apart whatever is left of employment rights, human rights, environmental protection, etc. etc., and sign up for even more (US) corporate control over the state. If we stay in and get a Corbyn government, we at least can lobby from within to control the corporate steam rollers.

We are far better in whilst we have a Tory government.

Long term it is going to fold anyway.

Posted: Tue Oct 13, 2015 4:21 pm
by UndercoverElephant
PS_RalphW wrote: We are far better in whilst we have a Tory government.
I'm tempted to agree with this.

Posted: Tue Oct 13, 2015 5:18 pm
by Little John
I would have once said that it was better for us to be in while we have a Tory government. But, from what I have read about the EU being mostly on board with TTIP, I am not so sure of that benefit anymore. Either way, the Tories are going to try and rip up what collective structures we have left. So, from a long term strategic perspective, I would like us out of the EU despite any short term risks vis a vis the Tory party.

Posted: Tue Oct 13, 2015 6:02 pm
by biffvernon
In.

Obviously.

Unless you support UKIP/BNP/NF or whatever the far right call themselves this week.

Posted: Tue Oct 13, 2015 6:05 pm
by kenneal - lagger
Biff, for a supposedly intelligent person you certainly have a knack for reducing the intellectual content of a thread!

Posted: Tue Oct 13, 2015 6:11 pm
by biffvernon
Oh if you want to increase the intellectual content you need words from folk who are really intelligent, not merely supposedly so.
Jonathan Freedland (Opinion, 10 October) is right to warn that a “remain” vote in the forthcoming EU referendum is by no means a foregone conclusion, not least because some will doubtless use it as an opportunity to show two fingers to likely “in” supporters Cameron and Osborne, rather than as a chance to express a view about the future of Britain in Europe. That makes it even more important that those of us on the left build a positive inspiring case for staying in, on the basis that we are stronger when we work together, while at the same time redoubling our campaigns to make the EU more democratic and accountable, with social and environmental justice at its heart.

After 10 years working as an MEP in the European parliament, I’m in no doubt that the EU is in need of far-reaching reform. Too much power is held in the hands of the elites, and not enough by the people, who too often feel shut out from its decisions. It’s easy to blame the EU when free-market economics tramples across our rights and freedoms, but in reality it’s rightwing governments like our own which have taken a lead in seeking to make the EU a vehicle for greater liberalisation, deregulation and privatisation. Indeed, when the EU has attempted to regulate finance, it was the UK government leading the charge to protect the interests of the City of London. When the EU proposed a “Robin Hood tax”, it was our chancellor who launched a legal challenge to it. Similarly the UK government rose up in bitter opposition to the EU-wide cap on bankers’ bonuses.

Our response to a Tory government in Britain isn’t “let’s do without parliament”, it’s “let’s win it back and reform it”. The same principle should guide our response to the EU. We need to work with pro-European allies like Syriza in Greece and Podemos in Spain to build the case for reform of the EU that promotes social solidarity and protecting our shared environment. Implementing that reform requires fighting and winning at the ballot box at European and general elections across Europe. A new EU is possible – but only if we stop leaving the case for Europe to the establishment and instead build an EU-wide progressive movement for the kind of Europe we can believe in.
Caroline Lucas MP
http://www.theguardian.com/politics/201 ... abandoning

Posted: Tue Oct 13, 2015 7:25 pm
by biffvernon
Furthermore, she just sent me an e-mail (me and thousands of others, I expect).
Dear Biff,

The battle over Britain's place in the EU has now truly begun. Yesterday the 'In' campaign officially launched - bringing together voices from across politics and business. I'm the first to admit that some of the other people involved with the 'In' campaign aren't natural allies, but Britain's future within Europe is far too important to be left to be argued about without input from a broad range of perspectives.

I want Britain to remain a part of the EU because I believe that we are stronger when we work together on the shared problems we face.

Will you join me in campaigning to be part of the EU?

Ten years working as an MEP in the European Parliament was more than enough to convince me that the EU is far from perfect. Too much power is held in the hands of the elites. It's not as democratic or accountable as it could be.

It's easy to blame the EU when free-market economics tramples across our continent's people and environment, but it's governments like our own which continually attempt to make the EU a vehicle for greater liberalisation, deregulation and privatisation. In a world where capital crosses borders freely we need international rules to protect us from the dangerous speculation and reckless greed in our financial centre.

But to make the EU better for every European we need to stay in and reform it.

Let’s not leave the argument to big business - the campaign for an EU that works for all of us begins here.

It's not just the regulation of finance that requires cross-border working. From protecting some of our most threatened birds, to shutting down our dirtiest power stations and forcing our Government to act on air pollution - the EU is vital in safeguarding our environment.

It’s only by working closely with our neighbours that we stand a chance of tackling the greatest challenge of our times: climate change. Like every other country in the world, Britain's future security relies on a global agreement on climate change - and we're in a far stronger position to make that happen if we're part of the EU.

For more protection of our environment, and for cross-border work to tackle climate change, we need to fight for a greener EU.

I would be lying if I said that recent events in Greece didn't made me think twice. But when times are hard we should be reflecting on the bigger picture: the real value of Europe is about working together to solve the problems we face. The imposition of austerity across much of our continent should drive us towards greater solidarity, not less. Greece is suffering largely because of Germany's intransigence.

Britain can be freed from the forces of globalisation and elitism, but walking away from the EU won't help us do that.

If we want to stop damaging trade treaties like TTIP, we need to continue to build resistance across borders, not withdraw from Europe so that our own government can unilaterally negotiate far worse deals.

A new EU is possible: one where power is held locally wherever possible, where citizens have a real say in decisions made in Brussels and where corporate lobbyists are banished from the halls of power. It's time that we stop leaving the case for Europe to the establishment and build a cross-country progressive movement for another kind of Europe.

Together let’s make the case for a better EU. Join the fight here.

Caroline Lucas
MP

Posted: Tue Oct 13, 2015 7:32 pm
by biffvernon

Posted: Tue Oct 13, 2015 8:16 pm
by Potemkin Villager
Be carefull, be very carefull what you wish for.

Posted: Tue Oct 13, 2015 9:38 pm
by raspberry-blower

Posted: Tue Oct 13, 2015 9:43 pm
by UndercoverElephant
biffvernon wrote:In.

Obviously.

Unless you support UKIP/BNP/NF or whatever the far right call themselves this week.
Very poor post. Does not contain an actual argument. UKIP voters aren't all "far right". Labour lost quite a lot of votes to UKIP. And just because UKIP contains some nutters with very strange views, it does not follow that only a nutter would vote to leave the EU.

In short, you need to offer an argument of why we should stay in the EU, not simply point to some people who are going to vote no and say "obviously you would vote the opposite to the way they will." Not least because somebody else could point to some pro-corporation, pro-big-business, pro-establishment figures who will campaign to stay in and say "obviously you would vote the opposite to the way they will."

Posted: Wed Oct 14, 2015 12:14 pm
by emordnilap
Up to recently (particularly because my chosen country has benefited, plus the top-down environmental regulations) the EU has had many positive aspects.

Weighing very heavily on the negative side are (a) CAP, (b) the EU Commission and (c) the whole bailout/Greek/austerity/QE fiasco.

So, although I'm not in the in/out debate, I wish the EU would continue down its previous route and all countries work for collective good. Still, peak oil is the bugbear and will prevent that reversion.

It's hard to know what to say, UE. We've had a 'debate' here about whether to keep or get rid of our seanad ('senate'). Little debate about whether to reform it and keep its good aspects. Likewise the EU.

Posted: Wed Oct 14, 2015 12:53 pm
by clv101
The EU is pretty shocking, especially recently there's been a lot not to like. But it's nothing to the disaster that would befall this country were Westminster given a free hand.

I'm on the side of "stay in and reform it."