In the run-up to the referendum on 23 June 2016, we’re looking at how Brexit could affect (positively or negatively) life in the UK and Britain’s relationship with Europe and the world.

Have you already made your mind up which way to vote? Do YOU think Britain should leave the European Union? Let us know what you think in the poll below:

To kick off today’s debate, we had a question sent in from Brian posed to people in favour of leaving: “Do you REALLY think the UK will be able to have influence over Russia, China, the US? REALLY?”

To get a response, we spoke to Christopher Chope, the Conservative Member of Parliament for Christchurch. How much influence did he think the UK would have it it left the EU?

chopeThe United Kingdom would have an enormous amount of influence if it left the European Union. The UK is a member of the UN Security Council, the fifth largest economy in the world, a member of the G7, and a leading member of NATO.

Membership of the EU actually diminishes our global influence. For example, quite often when we’re negotiating issues related to Russia we’ve been inhibited due to our membership of the EU. Particularly in relation to Ukraine, where the EU behaved in cack-handed way and provoked Russia [by offering Ukraine an EU Association Agreement].

For another perspective, we also spoke to Dr. Yu Jie (Cherry), China Foresight Project Manager and Dahrendorf Senior Research Associate at the London School of Economics’ foreign policy think-tank, IDEAS. As somebody researching China’s foreign policy and direct investments in Europe, how would she respond to Brian?

jieI do not think Britain could keep its influence. Through its European Union membership, Britain is a member of one of the most important trade clubs in world. If the UK leaves the EU, I think Chinese investments will transfer to somewhere else. Based on the data I’ve received in the last few years, most of the Chinese companies want to invest in the UK because they see it as an entry-point into the EU Single Market.

How would Brexit affect Britain’s global influence? Does membership of the EU diminish the UK’s international standing? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below, and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!

IMAGE CREDITS: CC / Flickr – Jacopo Romei

215 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

  1. avatar
    David Petty

    It would do us the world of good, we would be at the table having a say, unlike at the moment we have someone from ‘Luxembourg/Poland/Hungary/Czech Rep( put appropriate member of the Commissions country here)’

    • avatar

      When you make a global pact and sign to be in EU 28 States , and share one of the biggest Market in the World with its advantages, you cannot only take as usual ,, you have to give part of your sovereignty. Either you agree or not.

    • avatar
      EU reform- proactive

      Hi Jose, “……make a global pact”. With whom & what was the “pact” about in 1973? There is too much inaccurate & emotional clatter (rubbish) being distributed- please get seriously informed first! The UK in 1973 joined a group of “6 ECSC members”- not 28 EU members!

      Sorry, this is very untidy thinking! You and so many make the common mistake to state something simply based on wrong historical facts, leading to disastrous wrong assumption!

      To help and update your muddled information please study the historical facts in the link below:

      In short:

      Six European core members formed the “ECSC” (European Coal and Steel Community) to integrate the coal and steel industries of Europe on the 23 July 1952. A pure “economic treaty to bind “THEIR” economies together to prevent a future war” On 1 Jan 1958 the Rome Treaties changed the ECSC into to EEC (European ECONOMIC Community)

      During the 1960’s France demonstrated it was against the “supranational power idea” and rejected the membership of the United Kingdom- hence their- no love lost “historical relationship”!

      On 1 Jan 1973 the name changed to “EC” (European Community) and the UK, Ireland & Denmark (3) joined the “6 EEC founders”- to make it 9 members!

      In 1975 the United Kingdom finally held the EEC referendum- also known as the “Common Market referendum.” The name says it all! It was not a question to form a political nor a social union but join an ECONOMIC one! This “divergent political turn” is the point- and seemingly unknown to many, since it was “too long ago”!,_1975

    • avatar

      We would be strong again and not have ridiculous rules and regulations dumped on our doorsteps and yes the possibility of no vat ha ha .. We are great Britain and not an avenue for people to line their pockets from our coffers we need to have and protect our sovereign rights to stand firm VOTE LEAVE

    • avatar

      MAKE A GLOBAL PACT? the british people never made a pact for any of the thousands of laws and regulations , trade tariffs on importing or exporting with non eu countries, fishing restrictions and so on, did you vote on those things? did your parents? … no the eu just made the laws and tariffs restrictions and told us thats how it is! and most important i and no other should ever give sovereignty away to anyone, u are sovereign and you no whats best for you better than any goverment!

    • avatar

      The EU is not simply a trade group of 28 Nations, the EU aspouses to be a Uinted States of Europe thats the reason for a Parliament, Executive, anthem, flag, diplomatic immunity etc. etc.
      The UK needs to decide if it is prepared to be part of a European superstate or not.

    • avatar

      The arrogance on this comment (and one of the common agenta pro Brexit) has hit Everest levels. Luxemburg, Poland, Hungary, etc are equal members in an equal Union, its one giving what they can… that is the definition of democracy. This statement indicates a superiority fantasy…. Noone is telling you what to do, but after the WW2 (of which the british were a great part) europe came to a consencus that they should put aside the feuds and talk around the table. But the UK every now and then feels disatisfied and wants to leave. Thats at least arogance and ungreatfulness at its highest…. If it was not for the EU there would not be the economic benefits that led the dying economy of the UK. If you left, actually Luxemburg of which you refer to it just because it is small, will have a greater grip of economy than the UK. Do not forget also, you are not a country you are also a union. And you will force a whole bunch of countries to leave all together. How are you planing to deal with that?

    • avatar

      i’m sorry but being free has nothing to do with the queen, you are not her subject, you are sovereign and she is your equal

    • avatar

      Democracy is only a political ideology while economic well beings of the British people are real. If the British people vote to leave the EU, ideology wins over reality.

  2. avatar
    Joseph Stack

    It would amplify our influence and give us greater control over our own affairs. It disgusts me the way that some remainians are perfectly happy to relinquish control of the law-making, financial operations and policy control that affects our country so much. They have no pride whatsoever. The EU has proven itself time and time again to be a completely farcical operation. Unable to deal with the Ukraine situation, the refugee crisis or the financial crisis that primarily affects Greece, but also continues to negatively impact all this poor countries tied into the dreadful EU currency. One of the main reasons the remain campaign gives for staying is the importance of trading of goods and services. The EU is a declining trade bloc with declining influence throughout the world, and Britain has a huge trade deficit with the EU. The EU would have no choice but to do a trade deal with Britain if we left, too many of their jobs, goods and services rely on it, and being spiteful to us would only cripple their dreadfully undemocratic organisation even further. Leaving the EU would also enable us, finally, to sort out our countries dreadful immigration mess, so that we can remove discriminative barriers that have been erected to non-EU countries in favour of EU member states, and so that we can choose the people who come here, correspondent with the skills and abilities that the services and industries in our country require, rather than having to allow continued, uncontrolled EU migration, which floods the employment market with cheap labour, causing uncertainty in employment for workers, and a drastic drive-down of wages.

    • avatar

      Our influences will become greater again because we show that we are a strong nation without spending £350 million a day for nothing.
      Britain has always stood strong and independent without outside influence and will do so again.
      The EU has demonstrated time and time again that they cannot resolve serious issues as we have seen recently in the migrant crisis and the Currency so called the euro whereby we stood firm and said no.
      Germany wants the power through the EU to take over yet again as we have seen recently in the financial markets whereby they have signed up to a joint venture with London FTSE this in my view is their first step to take control of the financial industry and yet again we the Tories are encouraging this venture, why should we sell off another industry like we have done with the cotton mills, shipbuilding, miners, manufacturing and now british steel do they think we are just a shop for the world without any gdp hardware.
      We have the strength and depth of the commonwealth to trade with and this will be extended by closer links to China, India, USA, Canada, Australia, and so on the list is endless.
      The establishment are scaring people with all the idle threats we have heard of recently and yet again they all want to remain why I ask, is it because the EU are afraid to loose our incomes or is someone getting paid to promote remain in this fashion???

  3. avatar
    Stefania Portici

    l’Inghilterra non lascierà la UE ci sono troppi interessi in mezzo. Il referendum è un bluff , gli accordi sono già stati presi per RESTARE ( non per uscire) e a meno che non succeda un evento straordinario imprevedibile che cambia le cose ., l’Inghilterra resta nella UE

    • avatar
      Martin Unterholzner

      Non starei così certo siccome è un referendum. Certamente ci sono tanti interessi in mezzo, ma in questo caso non decideranno solo le banche o la classe politica.

    • avatar
      Chris Brown

      Se le forze nascoste stanno cercando di prendere accordi, ignorando gli elettori, l’unica cosa che gli elettori possono fare è votare a lasciare.
      Cedere offre nient’altro che persone poco trattati come pecore.
      Una possibilità. Ora o mai più.
      (Google Translate)

      If hidden forces are trying to make arrangements, ignoring voters, the only thing the voters can do is vote to leave.
      Giving in offers nothing but little people being treated as sheep.
      One chance. Now or never.

  4. avatar
    Martin Unterholzner

    Firstly, I support the fact that the British people vote on this important issue. Even though I think that Britain would benefit staying in the EU, leaving is the right choice if the comments here so far are representative to the perception of the EU in Britain.
    In my opinion the effect on Britain’s influence will not be predictable at all. Of course we can speculate what will happen, but it depends very much on the outcome of negotiations with the EU and other political events. For instance, will Britain still have full access to the single market? What effect would a Brexit have on internal cohesion in the UK? There might be strong political pressures to let the Scottish people vote again on independence. Will there be again years of “the troubles”?

    • avatar
      rosina forlenza

      I would as an Anglo Italian prefer the UK to stay. However some of the points that the Leave Campaign make regarding the direction the EU is taking is surely worth debating very loudly. Stop regarding expansion and let’s sort our house out is desperately needed. The current set up needs an overhaul. I am not talking about trade per se. I think the UK will trade in or out. Better constitution that guarantees better accountability, the commission should not be making all of the decisions, Juncker is a democratic disaster area, everytime he opens his mouth I am sure there is an ‘undecided’ that gets alarmed. The eurozone needs an overhaul and a shift away from Austerity. It needs to demand member states promote small businesses and start ups. Italy is a disaster for this and a few changes and tweeks of tax bands (widen them), proper citizens’ information, and a bit of creativity, would transform the country tomorrow. It’s regional authorities need to be heavily penalized for the level of confusion and paralysis they create as the are anti-growth. Eurozone ecomonies need to equal not ‘hanging out of Germany’ which is creating resentment on the one hand over a perceived dominance and rule by Germany (rightly or wrongly) and I am sure resentment of the German tax payer too. Such a lack of willingness by Draghi and Juncker to respect the EU’s own rules on basic humanitarian concerns of its people is breeding dissatisfaction, one way immigration and so on. No wonder countries like the UK with a robust health and welfare system are resentful.

    • avatar

      @Rosina: I agree that many arguments of the leaders of the Leave Campaign are valid. From my point of view, currently the main problem of the EU is that the level of democratic control does not correspond to the level of legislative power. In other words: Many laws and regulations have their origins in the EU institutions. However, the path that leads to those laws, decisions, regulations and treaties is not democratic enough and lead to much by intransparent decision-making processes like meetings of the members states’ (prime) ministers, where big countries have a lot of informal power.

    • avatar
      Peter Brown

      @Martin Unterholzner
      I am please that you consider that the British have the right to decide their right to self determination. I agree that the effects of Brexit can only be speculation and that we shall have to evaluate the situation based on probability. Nobody on either side of the referendum deny that there will probably be some short term instability in the event of Brexit.

      However, for many on the leave side of the argument, the risks are too great to stay in the EU. On the one hand, there is the lack of financial viability within the medium to long prospects of the EU with its irrational support of the Euro currency. It just cannot be sustained within the existing structure of the EU. The massive unemployment in the Southern Member States coupled with near bankruptcy cannot be sustained indefinitely by the ponzi scheme that is the ECB. It is generally considered that we are all heading for another World financial crisis and it is highly unlikely that the ECB can weather another storm of the magnitude of 2006/8. The only possible route for the EU to survive is complete federalization .which will involve the total homogenisation of the European States by equalizing the economies up and down of existing states. The richer states will not like the lowering of their living standards to a common denominator.

      Cameron is trying to convince the British People that (1) we will be exempt from this homogenisation programme and (2) should that occur, we would be able to function in what would be ‘second tier’ membership.

      Neither of those two scenarios are acceptable

      You are under a couple of misapprehensions concerning the United Kingdom. Apart from the fact that Nicola Sturgeon no longer has a majority in the Scottish Parliament and is unlikely to be able to call another ‘independence’ referendum, she also knows that she does not have a hope in hell of gaining a vote to leave as the Scottish People are now all the more aware that Scotland just does not have the resources to be independent. Especially so as 24% of Scottish employment is in the Public Sector (much of it from Union wide institutions) and to break away will cause massive unemployment in Scotlan and secondly, the bottom having dropped out of the oil market shows the Scottish People that their reliance on the price of oil is far to volatile.

      For your edification, ‘the troubles’ did not occur in Scotland but in Northern Ireland.

  5. avatar
    Paul X

    It all depends on whether you consider Britain has much influence at the moment?

    Currently British influence is diverted through the EU where it gets blended in with 27 other countries (often conflicting) interests and presented on the world stage by a bunch of second rate diplomats

    At least any global influence from an independent Britain will be 100% British and 100% in British interests

    • avatar
      Paul English

      The EU is a totally undemocratic body. It is run by rich power hungry people who want to keep all the workers in their place. The best way to do this, is to keep letting poorer countries join and their workers flooding into the EU .Will depress wages and keep people worrying about, paying their bills and eating. This stops them looking up and asking questions of the ruling elite. Amazing isn’t it, how all the leaders and organizations. That are part of the ruling elite, are keeping the ball rolling with new daily scare stories of pest and famine if we dare leave.

    • avatar
      Peter Brown

      If Britain is so ineffectual, why then, is every other Country in the EU clamouring to keep us in?

    • avatar
      Peter Chapple

      How can we even consider staying in such a corrupt parliment and dictative Union Its the working people who pay for their exstravigant way of life.I know my parents did not expect us to end up like this after the war.

      How can we even consider staying in such a corrupt unions. It is the working people who pay for the exstravigant way of life these people have. I know my parents did not fight a world war for this and it is not what we were told it would be when Heath took us in .

  6. avatar
    Mike Chambers

    Britain will not leave the EU. This referendum is ridiculous. The British people will vote to stay in the EU.

    • avatar

      No we wont ,it cannot come quick enough to get out of this joke.Its no benefit to us at all,plus mass immigration of low skilled foriegners that are unwanted but we cannot stop.

  7. avatar
    EU reform- proactive

    Seeking asserted & affirmative influence or fair & honest partnerships? Fear nobody! Although without voting right in the UK/Brexit- a fellow member’s opinion:

    It is of no long term consequence- (except for those who’s political livelihood depends mainly on their pro EU bet)- because the whole EU concept will sooner or later require a thorough “EU panel beating”; to be re-engineered and rebuild in stages with the democratic consent of the involved communities & voters, not the EUSSR elites who pretend to know better! Yes to OUT!

    A much brighter future can be achieved based on the well proven principles of a greater common trading market- bigger than the present (restrictive & soon by US/TTIP dominated) EU 500mio one.

    Its aim should rather be to enlarge & include all 47 Members of the Council of Europe- practicing & utilizing fair “TRADE only” between all 800 mio Europeans! A social union can emerge later, separate, in parallel and lead by a core of a small advanced group, who combine similar visions & interests, are deserving equals and share a close cultural inherited history- without a complex bureaucratic “Bully EXTRAORDINARY” as conductor.

    A Brexit opens the way to initiate a reform process- to unwind from all the unnecessary baggage of social & political constraints, dangers, the ceasing up & divided relations, introduced by the Neocon globalists and undo all unworkable regulations, treaties & laws contained in “Brussels Jungle Book”.

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @EU Reform- Proactive
      Well said mein Austrian/Dutch friend! :)

    • avatar
      Peter Brown

      I largely agree with what you hypothesize but I believe that it will be impossible to rid the EU of political control if for no other reason that there will have to be some sort of controlling body that can decide standards for trade. Any form of political working would invite the Elite to corrupt the system yet again.

      The only workable solution would be to cease trying to establish EU wide standards and instead, revert to National import standards under a Free Trade Agreement and in their own currencies. However, this Utopian idyll will never occur because the Corparative Oligarchy that is the present EU will allow it to go to ruin rather than relinquish the power that they now have.

  8. avatar

    How would Brexit affect Britain’s global influence?

    It will regain a lot of lost prestige and world admiration, besides much-needed sovereignty and independence.

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      Well said!
      Even a former Aussie PM and the current Kiwi PM agree!

    • avatar
      Paul X

      Anything with Peter Mandelson’s name on it will be nothing but propaganda.. he’s made a career out of it

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar


      Anything involving the ‘Prince of Darkness’ lacks credibility.

    • avatar
      Jane Osborne

      Thanks for link. Can’t believe how fatuous and wasteful tv co’s in UK are being with their airtime when interviewing Michael Gove, Boris Johnson et al. We are being denied the true facts and figures. Why are proramme producers allowing this to happen?

  9. avatar
    Richard Renckens

    The EU is being build on a rotten foundation. Britain has the strength to break it down. Maybe then it will change for the better

    • avatar
      maude elwes

      Not a hope in hell of staying. Unless it is a rigged vote. And this time they will have to rig it so big it will be difficult. The people want out. Britain will not be dominated by the German and French Eurocrats who are led by the nose through their banking friends, the globalist banking partnership. The only people for out are those who have big money gain from us being in.

      Just look at who is asking us to stay in. The rot from 2008 and the Blarite traitors. Watch these links.

      And the film we have been waiting for:

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @Andrej Němec
      Wisdom no, fear more likely!

    • avatar

      We will not stay ; why the hell would we.The EU is no benefit at all to us and mass immigration is killing our services,all that has done is made us detest other poorer EU countries and its people.Vote Leave

    • avatar
      EU reform- proactive

      Sorry (Catherine?), please accept my well meaning correction of:

      “The only people for out (surely meant to read “IN”) are those who have big money gain from us being in.”

      It is the global “establishment”- representing the influential IN campaign- that will move heaven and earth, rev up their efforts- will out speak, out spend & out maneuver the “leavers” & try to buy any available “marketeers”- to overwhelm & crush the OUT camp! Similar as the shell shocked US Republican establishment does- to discredit & destroy outsider Trump. And the effect is….?
      How else to break loose from the shark’s mouth (treaties)- when they are designed as “NON NEGOTIABLE”?

  10. avatar
    Tarquin Farquhar

    The UK will ARGUABLY suffer a bit of a dip c1% of GDP BUT it will soon recover that in spades within a few years!

    BTW, the EU will become increasingly unstable whether the UK stays in or out of the EU, because:

    Greece will have another crisis soon.
    Italian banks’ bad loans will come home to roost.
    Portugal’s economy is dead in the water.
    Spain’s economy is on the crest of an abyss.
    Several German banks (according to Max Keiser) are bankrupt.
    France can no longer abuse its position in the EU to siphon funds from the EU to support its ailing economy.
    Sweden’s suicidal immigration policy is about to bear its fruits.

    As the renowned flatulent Joseph Petomane once recanted:

    ‘Better out than in!”

    • avatar
      catherine benning

      EU reform- proactive

      Yes, you are right, it meant to say only those who want ‘IN.’ Don’t know why I missed it.

      However, you are right and wrong. The more those who wan in speak, ie: Obama, Cameron, Legarde, the more the people realise they are being duped. Out problem lies in the millions of European workers who now have Nationality and work legally. Then of course all those immigrants in general. It isn’t simply the British in this vote.

      However, the media is filled with lies, those in government who want out are afraid to speak, except a few. Most as you will see from the movie are on the take in one way or another and don’t want to lose that gravy boat.

      I still believe that they will have to rig it though as the hostility to Europe here is growing by the day and intense. I honestly feel if the vote goes for IN there will be riots. Not on the same week, or even month. But the non acceptance will change our tolerance levels and the rise in the lack of social cohesion will bring about a kind of civil war. We are being pushed to the wall there will be no alternative.

      Listen to this guy. He is very popular here. And Cameron is all but hated.

      Here is is again, very humorous.;_ylt=A9mSs2hfSzdX5YYAiDFLBQx.;_ylc=X1MDMjExNDcxNzAwMwRfcgMyBGZyA21jYWZlZQRncHJpZANKWDdLT0Y1NVEybUNOUndudHdKWExBBG5fcnNsdAMwBG5fc3VnZwMwBG9yaWdpbgN1ay5zZWFyY2gueWFob28uY29tBHBvcwMwBHBxc3RyAwRwcXN0cmwDBHFzdHJsAzUzBHF1ZXJ5A3ZpZGVvJTIwb2YlMjBCb3JpcyUyMEpvaG5zb24lMjBvbiUyME9VVCUyMG9mJTIwRXVyb3BlBHRfc3RtcAMxNDYzMjQxNjE2?p=video+of+Boris+Johnson+on+OUT+of+Europe&

      Mind you his Papa is strongly IN and part of the show. So is he genuine? Who can say.

    • avatar
      EU reform- proactive

      Hi Catherine,

      * …re the “IN salesmen”:……..the more the people realize they are being duped!”
      A: Not sure. One can only “realize being duped” by something you have obtained convincing certainty beforehand – not retrospectively. Their targets are the many still ill or uninformed, hesitant & frightened voters. Who knows the stats- how many are around & easily swayed? However, one can tell for sure who’s is “convinced”- the one or another way!

      * “It isn’t simply the British in this vote.” Is there uncertainty?
      A: This is not an EU election but a British based referendum about the EU- subject to your British rules & limited to British, Irish & Commonwealth citizen living in the UK. Details here:

      * your last link is not accessible. Please check.

  11. avatar
    Rémi Martin

    If you’re leaving Perfide Albion(Perfidious Albion), I’ll do my best to learn again your language, maybe take lessons again!!! ;)

  12. avatar
    Tarquin Farquhar

    @Rémi Martin
    Anglophobic comments from a Francophilic drunk!

  13. avatar

    Our global influence is certainly diminished within the EU , MP Chope is correct in what he says and I would agree with his stance .
    The UK is unique among EU members in that we have global ties within the successful and emerging economies of the Commonwealth . We would not be alone or little Englanders outside the EU . We would regain our seat on the WTO , we are a member of NATO . we have the Worlds major financial centre ,how much influence do we need ?
    The World is a far bigger and exciting place than 28 European states , the question should be how would Brexit effect the EU’s global influence , How will the EU cope without the UK at the table ?

    • avatar
      Peter Brown

      Kevin, that is entirely the problem.with Britain and the EU. Britain never really bought into the EU Project, we saw it as a means to an end whereas Germany has used the project to dominate in a more civilized manner than it has before and France, ever conscious of its perceived place in the World hangs on to keep a place on the top table. France has never forgiven the World and especially Britain for English to be the Lingua Franca of World commerce.

      When I was much younger and before I really understood such things, I was mightily peeved that DeGaulle continued to veto Britain’s accession to the European Market even though I, even then, was against Britain joining (I voted ‘No’ in 1975). However, it seemed to me that DeGaulle was being extremely churlish and lacked any kind of gratitude for both the sacrifices that Britain made for France during the war and for giving him, personally, sanctuary.

      It was not until much later that I realised that DeGaulle was being a realist rather than Churlish. In the same vein as Churchill with his statement that Britain was in Europe but not of Europe, DeGaulle realised that its (Britain’s) fully established legal and Governmental system; its global ties; cheap food and Worldwide Diplomatic status would not sit easily with becoming part of Europe.

      Britain really did need to grow up and that is probably the only real benefit of our membership. As a rebound from the tight (and necessary) Governmental restrictions during the War, the Unions were allowed to cripple Britain. We were described as ‘the sick man of Europe’ and the ‘structure’ of the European Market helped pull us out of that malaise and we began, once again, to achieve our own integrity.

      Had we been aware at the time of joining that the real intention was an ideological one designed as the first step to a ‘Global’ Government system, the British People would never have allowed us to be part of it. But, things became worse, much worse.

      Though the warped ideology of a ‘European State’ is still prevalent, it has been subverted by a succession of corrupt and ambitious politicians who have been busily changing the basic ideology into a plutocratic oligarchy controlled by Corporate interests.

      Britain, too, has been the victim of this treachery with its own crop of treasonous politicians who, despite their machinations, have been somewhat restricted by the innate sense of fairness and patriotism of the British People and avoided many of the excesses perpetrated onto other Member States by their own politicians.

      This sense of being ‘different’ to the other Member States meant that Britain has never really been invited to the ‘top table’ and therefore Cameron’s claim that Britain must continue to stay in Europe to be at that same ‘top table’ is a completely inappropriate and disingenuous thing to say.

      Despite being deliberately and severely restricted by the EU, Britain has continued in its historical role as a trading nation to the point, that despite those restrictions, now finds itself having more trade with the rest of the World than with the EU with its Customs Union that made trade with the rest of the World more expensive.and difficult. That trade with the rest of the World has the complete potential to expand exponentially once we remove ourselves from the moribund and corrupt EU. As so many Europeans in the know have come to realise; that Europe needs Britain more than Britain needs Europe but such is the mindset of the EU, they find themselves unable to adapt or relinquish any control even if it is to cause their own demise. The EU is simply analogous to a bunch of Lemmings queuing up to jump off the cliff.

      Britain can and MUST vote to leave the EU on June 23rd.

  14. avatar
    Danny Boy

    A Brexit would effect Britain’s global influence about the same as it would if Britain voted to remain.

  15. avatar

    A letter to my children: I am a 60-something who will vote leave. I would like my 20-something children to do likewise (they are inclined to remain), and so have written the following letter to them to present my case:

    “The economic arguments:
    • Economics is not a science, it’s informed guesswork/predictions… Just 16 years ago (during your lifetimes) many major organisations were saying the UK must join the Euro currency union and the consequences would be terrible if we stayed out. It’s uncomfortable to swim against the tide, it requires courage, but we did stay out and the consequences have been good for the UK and terrible for many EU members – the Euro has been a key component of the disaster that has befallen countries like Greece and Spain whose youth unemployment hit 56% in July 2013. Notice any similarity to the collective pressure being applied on us today?
    • Large “expert” organisations (the IMF, etc) are again telling us their opinions – in this case that it will be a disaster to ‘Leave’ the EU. Conversely there is a group of independent economists (who get much less airtime) who argue we will be better off Leaving. Don’t believe experts either way quoting numbers for or against Leave because nobody knows.
    • The UK magnet: The huge pull-factor of the new Living Wage (£9+) by 2020 will pull in vast numbers of extra people from poor EU countries and we cannot stop them. It is obvious that this will happen.
    • Trade Agreements: You don’t need an agreement to trade with another country. Also, we buy lots of food from France, equipment and cars from Germany, etc. Why would these countries decide to stop selling us stuff in order to stop buying our stuff – it’s cutting off their noses….
    • Public Services: There is huge financial pressure on Schools, Hospitals, etc as uncontrolled increases in demand exceed supply. ‘Remain’ say these services will collapse because they depend on foreign workers. Why would that happen? I see no problem allowing in the people we want to work in these service sectors, while Leaving the EU.

    Better off Remain/Leave?:
    • No one knows – it’s just a guess either way.
    • The Remainers say Leave is dangerous because the Leavers cannot describe what Leaving will look like. But neither can Remain describe what Remain will look like. A vote to Remain will seem like keeping the status quo, but the world is changing all the time and the EU plans to change too with/without UK approval – several more countries (Turkey, Albania, Bosnia HZG, Serbia, Kosovo..) are planning to join. Turkey has 77m people any of whom can decide to come to the UK after joining the EU. What other crazy ideas will Brussels decide in future that are apparently good for all of us?
    • The day after Remain wins we will have lost ANY negotiating power to change the EU because it is impossible to negotiate with 27 other countries while we remain in – it’s too hard and slow which is why we have lost patience after 44 years. We are not having a referendum for fun or because some UKIP ‘nutters’ made some good headlines, but because there are serious issues with the structure of the EU.
    • If we vote Leave then the power will be in our hands because I firmly believe the EU will then sit up and think hard about what to do next – currently they are calling our bluff (and making no real changes) and with fingers-crossed, hoping we Remain so that the day after we do so it will be business-as-usual and we will be lost in the fog of 28 countries. However, there is a real chance that vote Leave will cause other EU countries to re-evaluate their membership (Holland for one). The EU will then run scared and quite possibly propose a revised EU structure (note in 2008 Ireland said “no” in a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, so the referendum was re-run in 2009 – you see the pattern?). In difficult negotiations you have to put pressure on people, and Leave will do just that.
    • The UK is a phenomenally inventive place – it is incredible what this country has achieved. From the discovery of DNA, the invention of the Internet, leaders in car design (Formula 1), the most admired independent broadcaster in the world (BBC), the music and entertainment industry, the list is endless…. And yet we are suffocated inside the bureaucracy of the EU/Brussels. I have no fear in Leaving – it will be a great opportunity for the 5th largest economy in the world. The day we Leave will be exciting and full of opportunity v the day we Remain will be ordinary, stagnant and without any momentum for progress.

    Workers’ Rights:
    • I cannot really comment since this has never affected me and I don’t think, as professionals, it will affect you guys either.

    • Brussels is a gravy train of corruption and dodgy dealing. The UK is probably similar, but at least it’s our corruption.
    • There have been years when the financial accounts of this bureaucratic machine have not been signed off! Incredible – it means they cannot be sure where our money went. That would cause a scandal in a corporate company. These people in Brussels live wonderfully on your taxes.
    • One interesting point made by a member of the Question Time audience recently was that Labour leader Neil Kinnock lead the Labour party through 2 general election defeats, and having been twice rejected by the British public went on to get a huge, unelected job in Brussels paying handsomely, while wielding enormous power over the UK who had rejected him – is that democracy?

    • Put to one side the migrant crisis for a moment, which is a humanitarian disaster, and consider that today our border is actually not national (around the UK), but consists of the outer edges of all the member countries, where the weakest link/national border lets in people who then settle for a few years, get an EU passport and are then free to travel and work anywhere.
    • This highlights another occasion when the UK went in one direction while everyone else went the other. We did not join Schengen in 1990 (passportless movement across borders) and that turned out to be a great decision. Our world did not fall in, we have done well economically, and we benefited from having at least some control over our borders whereas EU countries are now scratching their heads and thinking about how to re-impose controls and manage free movement. There’s a pattern here – Schengen, the Euro – we go in one direction while everyone else goes in the other!
    • Returning to the migrant crisis: it’s a moral issue, but at least the decision is in our hands whether we let people in – staying out of Schengen has given us that power whereas the moment migrants arrive in Italy or Greece they can go anywhere in the EU, except the UK.

    • When outsiders (President Obama, the IMF, etc) & insiders (UK politicians, Corporate CEOs) tell us we need to Remain, they are not doing it for our sake, they are doing it for theirs. All these ‘voices’ are successful, senior people from the political and corporate world who are all doing very nicely and would like to keep it that way.
    • In particular, Obama is advocating we Remain in an environment that he & the USA would never tolerate.
    • The 27 other countries tell us they want us to stay – are they concerned about our welfare or theirs? I would vote Remain if the EU removed its requirement for free movement of people (don’t mix this up with going on holiday wherever you want), but they insist we stay and at the same time they refuse to reform. Many Leave campaigners say the EU is unreformable whereas the 27 countries ask us to stay and help them reform themselves, like an alcoholic who promises that this time they will change if only we help them.
    • I sense a feeling from the 27 that they know they are failing and it feels more comfortable if we fail collectively.

    Political Correctness:
    • The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby said recently that it was ‘entirely reasonable’ for people to fear mass migration amid the debate on the EU. This was very helpful as it moved the debate onto neutral ground where anyone can express the view that the UK cannot accept 300k new immigrants/year. The strain is too great.
    • Leave is not about UKIP and Farage – the people lining up in favour of Leave comprise a wide spectrum of sensible, articulate, clever, ‘middle of the road’ individuals – Gisela Stuart, Kate Hoey & Jeremy Corbyn, though he is uncomfortably backing Remain because he has been forced to – notice his silence (Labour), Jenny Jones (Greens), Lord Owen (Lib Dem), Priti Patel, Jacob Rees-Mogg, Liam Fox, Chris Grayling, John Redwood, Ian Duncan Smith, Lord Lamont & Lord Lawson both former UK Chancellors (Conservative). Listen to all these people and you will note they are not raving, racist nutters – they are intelligent people who explain their reasoning rather well.

    A close union or just trading partners?:
    • In 1972 the UK voted to join the European Economic Community (or Common Market) – it was a trading arrangement. 44 years later it looks very different, and so a huge number of people want out.
    • It’s interesting that the oldies like me, who voted in 1972, seem to want to Leave (not all of them of course), whereas the young I think want to Remain because they have never known anything else. The oldies feel let down because we voted for A and got B.
    • But the oldies have the benefit of perspective, having seen these other events, like the Euro & Schengen, and realising that swimming against the tide has been the right decision. We ‘dodged some serious bullets’ in the past and we can do it again.

    Stability & Security:
    • I do worry about this one. The world is a dangerous place and getting more so. There are 2 main threats or perhaps 3 – Russia, terrorism and the contagion of general instability in Europe.
    • Terrorism is everywhere and in particular home grown. Certain past heads of MI5 have said we will be worse off if we Leave. Logic tells me that does not make sense and that these ex-heads are perhaps pro-Remain anyway. Terrorism does not respect borders so why would we stop cooperating with our neighbours to fight terrorism if we were no longer in the EU?
    • Russia: The EU is busy isolating Russia by encouraging the ex USSR countries to join the EU club. As a result, we have seen Russia invade Ukraine and the EU has been powerless to do anything. I see the EU’s strategy of encouraging these countries to join as dangerous, and is actually making matters worse with Russia.
    • Instability in Europe: It was only 70 years ago that Europe had a terrible war. However in 1949 NATO was created which is entirely separate from the EU and one can argue that it has helped to keep the peace.

    • Even if you want, or think you want Remain, then vote Leave and you will get a better deal.
    • I may not know much, but I do know about the art of negotiating and this IS a negotiation.
    • Vote Remain and we will be treated even worse by the EU than we are today because we will have lost a once-in-a-life time chance to shake things up. At this point in the process voting to Remain is a wasted vote, whereas voting to Leave buys us a ticket to the next round.
    • There are moments in history when the herd makes stupid decisions – Alan Greenspan (US Head of the Federal Reserve for 20 years) called it “Irrational Exuberance”. It happened to millions of people in the year 2000 with the boom when 10s millions of people invested in stupid things because everyone was doing it, and so it had to be right, and lost loads of money. The Remainers sound like the safe option because it feels neutral and it’s what ‘everyone’ else implies they are doing. It’s all over again.
    • The corporate voices are loud and yet one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the UK, Peter Hargreaves (Hargreaves Lansdowne) is a Leaver.
    • Just because the world says we are wrong to Leave (because of their own self-interest) does not mean they are right – we have proved this several times already with great decisions swimming in the opposite direction.”

    • avatar
      Peter Brown

      I agree with everything that you have written here Stephen. It may be because we are of a similar age and, consequently, we DO have a greater perspective of the situation having lived before, during and after the metamorphosis of what we were told was purely a trading bloc but has since become a Corporate controlled oligarchy.

      Your Children could do well to watch ‘Brexit – The Movie’ together with many other films and publications compiled by various other ordinary people such as you and myself. If you can find no other source, both ‘The Movie’ versions (including the animated version) are available in the ‘Video’ section of There are also various documents from various sources including the EU itself, Major Think tanks and even a copy of the legal advice given to the Government (FCO 30/1048: 1971) by the Solicitor General that states quite plainly that to join the then, European Market alone would result in massive loss of sovereignty. but Heath had the document archived under ‘the 30 years’ rule and went ahead anyway.

      If the prospect of losing sovereignty was so great back in 1971, imagine what sort of advice would be given to the Government now?

    • avatar
      EU reform- proactive

      Hi there, …..a great effort Stephen!

      Those who love Europe and wish to CONTINUE to build an even greater European economic block & against the stealthily evolving, never voted for, greedy banking, social, political and ever growing bureaucratic, dictatorial, elitist & expensive Brussels empire- have a golden opportunity to vote leave! It will eventually save the whole of Europe from a disaster to ghastly to contemplate- including the IN folks!

      The provision of FIREWALLS is an accepted practice & necessity- be it in IT, buildings, space exploration or prudent finance. Modern Euro-crates however find them unnecessary when building new empires by relying on unworkable paper treaties! Where are all honest & sensible leaders hiding?

      Some politicians have become so smart & clever to think that even bees must be forced to build supra sized honeycombs & leave all comb walls out!

      The Burgers of Schilda are back!

    • avatar
      Katja Stevens

      This is the single most succinct overview I have seen so thank you. It’s honest, clear and gives me confidence in your argument.

  16. avatar
    Katja Stevens

    I don’t believe anyone can accurately predict what will happen either way. That said, weighing up the opinions stated here I would have to side with Dr Yu Jie. Outside of the EU, Britain would lack the economic influence it currently has and would become a small fish in a very large sea.

    • avatar
      Peter Brown

      I can find no reference to a Dr Yu in these posts, so to whom are your referring?

      Britain has its position of being the 5th largest economy in the World DESPITE the restrictions of the EU rather than any benefit to trade (other than the EU itself) that, as you suggest, it may accrued by membership.

      Britain’s trade with the rest of the World has been greater than that with the EU since 2008. Once delivered from the absurdity of 100% of British companies having to comply with EU Regulations despite only 5% of those companies actually having to deal with the EU.

      When we leave the EU, those same 5% will have to comply with the EU Regulations but only in trade with the EU itself. The whole 100% will be free to drop the onerous regulations and allow us all to become more prosperous without pettifogging rules to hold us back and release the vast amounts that it costs business to comply to make it available for increased production.

      Nobody denies that there may be a short term blip in the economy when we leave but that will quickly be offset by increased trade, and hence profit.

      As to being a small fish in a very large sea, Britain has always been a small Nation but it ended up controlling the commerce of 1/5th of that very large sea. It is that trading expertise and World-wide contacts that we still retain that will bring us back once again to even greater prosperity rather than the heavy anchor of the rapidly declining EU.

    • avatar

      Katja Stevens The UK may be a small island, but it had never been a small fish, there are plenty of other countries willing , no not just willing, keen to trade with us, who cannot do so except through the EU

  17. avatar
    Rui Correia

    Stupid EU… do you know how many Non-Europeans are wandering around in the UK, coming via Continental Europe and even Ireland sometimes (and throughout all Europe, mostly within the Schengen area) without legal right to do so?? Do you have any idea of all the disruptions and all the related distortions these issues raise, particularly the impact in the European economies, in Europe as a whole??? I don’t think so… “Immigration/Border controls” are certainly a big part of the Brexit debate, and it wouldn’t even be an issue if the EU + different European countries did a good job looking after our external borders… Nowadays, and since years and decades ago, litterally “half of the planet” wants to get into Europe via “whatever country they can get into first”… wether it’s via southern European countries, or others… and this keeps standards low, it pushes us all down… Enough for me!!! The main reason for my relocation within Europe was to GET OUT OF THE SCHENGEN AREA – sorry!!! I don’t feel safe anymore… and with all due respect: Mrs. Merkel needs a few lessons on “How to manage borders” too… :-(

  18. avatar
    Katja Stevens

    Peter Brown…my reference was to the opposing quotes at the heart of this debate. I believe the idea of this site is to gain the views of the experts in order to weigh up the argument. Comments from Joe public can be thought provoking but I certainly wouldn’t base a decision on them, particularly when they’ve not actually read the article.

    • avatar
      Peter Brown

      So, you are happy to base the the rest of your life on what is written in one article? I am a member of ‘Joe Public’ but I run a website with the sole intention of ridding this country of the cancor of the EU.

      I do not run the site out of any sense of egotism. I do it because, unlike you, I do not rely on the opinions of (frequently biased) individuals. I am not by nature a political activist but I know the EU to be intrinsically wrong for Britain because I have take the trouble to actually read through the many treaties that have been foisted upon us by our treasonous politicians. Make no mistake, I do not invoke the word ‘Treason’ lightly. What Westminster politicians have been doing for several decades is actually indictable under British Treason Law. It is only because so many of the High Court Judges have their own agenda that so many private Court cases have been unsuccessful.

      If you really wish to have some definitive information as to the lack of efficacy of the EU for Britain, you could do worse than go to my website (address in post above) and read my compilation called ‘Democracy in a Federalised Europe’/ The information is by no means exhaustive but it is entirely factual as the information is gleaned from official EU documents and respected think tanks. I do not believe in ‘conspiracy theory’ and although I have read much of it, it has led me to actually find out the facts for myself. Some of it, if you should read between the lines, is truly frightening.

      If you have a brain in your head, please stop trying to get the truth from the myriad of newspaper comments, most of them are completely biased in one way or another. Instead, find out the facts from source, not hearsay.

    • avatar
      EU reform- proactive

      Hi there, ………… “the experts”:

      ……..all paid “experts” should be taken with caution & critique- nobody in the service of someone & getting paid by someone can be taken as “independent”!

      Joe public: Ever observed a “state visit” to Europe- never mind EU- from a major power? Do they visit the EC president in Brussels Mr JCJ- or bypass him- and visit & negotiate directly with “The real McCoy”- being Germany, the UK or France in Berlin, London or Paris? And your deductions are……………………?

      People must take time & (self) educate themselves much more. Please do not hang on the lips & words of all these “experts”! Trust yourself & your judgement!

  19. avatar

    Who cares….
    Let them leave. They will adopt EU laws whether they like it or not afterwards and I won’t have to deal with the constant whining from the kipper brigade.

    • avatar
      Peter Brown

      Oh you poor little man Adrian. Life for you must be such a bore. I hope that there are many more like you because you appear to be far to complacent to get off your fat A**e to understand what you (or they) are talking about. A few hundred thousand additional people like you will win us the Brexit simply because they are too complacent to go to the bother to vote.

      However, just remember, those that do not engage themselves in the democratic system will ALWAYS get the Government that they deserve.

  20. avatar

    Hi Peter Brown, Thanks for the link to ‘Brexit – The Movie’. I know it’s preaching to the converted (ie, me), but I found it quite shocking and was left with a real sense of anger that the country may sleep-walk into a continuation of EU business-as-usual. It prompted me to write another letter to my three 20-something children:
    “You probably are aware, but in case you are not, your vote in the EU referendum is much, much bigger than any vote you will ever cast in a UK election, for 2 reasons.
    1. Unlike UK elections, where votes are split into 100s of local constituencies which are then further diluted by voting for a party, there will be just 2 numbers in the whole of the UK – Remain and Leave. So each vote will have a massive impact. This is a huge day.
    2. UK elections are every 5 years, sometimes less, so if you made a ‘mistake’ last time you can vote for someone else next time. If you vote Remain you won’t get another chance for 30 years – we have been waiting 44 years for this one. If you vote Leave you will get another chance to vote in the next 2 years.

    This is incredibly important because the EU exerts such enormous unseen power over us, which is what makes it so problematic because you don’t know what they do.
    Example – we hated Nicky Morgan’s stupid Academisation-for-all idea proposed just a few weeks ago. Importantly, the idea was clearly publicised and we knew who was to blame for proposing it. Various bodies started to complain and Nicky Morgan found it too hard to defend and backed down. That’s control in the hands of the people at a local (UK) level.

    How often do you clearly hear about EU plans/rules/changes? Never.
    How often do you know who is responsible for proposing them? Never.
    Does that mean nothing is happening? No, lot’s is happening behind closed doors, without any visibility, spending huge sums of UK taxes and imposing ideas we often don’t like.

    If you watched the video I sent you, you will have seen the huge empire of buildings and beautiful facilities in Brussels where 10,000s of people earn enormous sums for producing….?
    ‘Turkeys don’t vote for Christmas’ so anyone connected with the EU machine, and anyone currently benefitting from it (which is not Joe Public), will be fighting hard to keep this arrangement, not saying ‘please fire me – I am a waste of space’.
    Because the EU is not visible to us, and for you guys it’s always been invisible because it started before you were born, the 20-somethings are in danger of sleep-walking into a huge mistake. It’s like the Truman Show where you don’t know the world is different ‘outside’.

    This is a big moment in your lifetimes.”

    • avatar
      catherine benning

      If you are shocked by Brexit the Movie, then wait until you receive The EU voting guide from The Electoral Commission.

      Under How Do I Vote: You will see under 1. You will receive a poll card telling you where your polling station is. YOU DON’T NEED YOUR POLL CARD TO VOTE AND IF YOU LOSE IT YOU CAN CONTACT YOUR LOCAL COUNCIL TO FIND OUT WHERE YOU POLLING STATION IS.

      They are open form 7am to 10pm.

      Worry deep and hard. This is a set up at the very beginning.

      The public should insist on an armed police guard at every polling station across the UK in order to watch and follow the boxes from the station to the counting house and stay with them until the count is declared. At the same time, they can watch who comes in without a polling card or with a polling card that has gone to a dead man or woman.

      Scotland referendum was so clearly fixed from the filming we saw. Every station must now be filmed scrupulously.

  21. avatar
    Peter Brown

    Personally, I believe that the whole Electoral system has been so corrupted by the politicians in their pursuit for more votes is broken beyond redemption.

    I baulked at the suggestion of ID cards but now believe that there is so much fraud from people not entitled to vote that it has become imperative that ID cards should be carried by those wishing to vote.

    I am awaiting a FOI Act question from Bristol City Council Electoral Officers asking them what arrangements are being made to ensure that only those that are entitled to vote in the referendum do so. The deadline for a response is tomorrow but I am not holding my breath. I know from experience of Bristol Council that they are often tardy in responding within the statutory period.

    I know from personal experience in local and general elections that they (and probably most Councils) rely exclusively on the integrity of the single person that fills in his family’s voting registration form to indicate whether the person named is entitled to vote. I very much doubt that they have taken extra precautions with a much reduced entitlement criteria.

    If the Electoral Commission actually wish to do something useful instead of siding with the Government on the referendum, they should indulge in some root and branch reform of the Electoral System as it affects all of us.

    • avatar
      Peter Brown

      I have since received a reply from Bristol City Council in response to an FOI request. It is appended below:

      Freedom of Information requests regarding information from or about the Register of Electors, or about Elections, may not be granted. This is because the information is held by the Electoral Regstration Officer or the Returning Officer respectively, and not the District Council, and the Officers themselves are not subject to the Freedom of Information Act.

      An example of this is where the Electoral Registration Officer is appointed by the Council to hold the Register of Electors:

      “The registration of electors is governed by the Representation of the People Act 1983 (as amended). Under Section 8 of the Act, the council must appoint an officer of the council to be the registration officer for any constituency or part of a constituency coterminous with or situated in the council’s area. The appointment as Electoral Registration Officer is a separate appointment and, although appointed by the council, the Electoral Registration Officer’s responsibilities and duties are personal. An example of this is that the register of electors is deemed to be the property of the Electoral Registration Officer, not the local authority. The Electoral Registration Officer does not carry out the duties on behalf of the local authority but in his own personal capacity.”

      However in the interests of transparency

      When the Electoral Registration Officer (ERO) receives an application to register to vote for any election or referendum the statutory requirements are followed. This includes ensuring that the elector meets the criteria to register to vote in the UK and that all details have been provided to comply with the additional requirements of Individual Electoral Registration.

      The elector, upon completing an application online or as a paper form declares that the information they have provided is true and accurate.

      The bottom line that I have gleaned from this reply is that Bristol City council is reluctant to admit that they have made NO special arrangements to ensure voter admissibility and is no doubt true around the majority of the Country.

      The man in the street is being indeterminably sidelined by all levels of Government and though I am no advocate of anarchy, there must come a time when the people will not accept any longer there usurpation of there democratic rights.

    • avatar
      Peter Brown

      I finally got a reply to my FOI request asking what special arrangements were being made to separate those not eligible ot vote in the EU referendum ffrom the Genera/Local Electoral roll

      This is the reply that I received::

      “Dear Mr Brown

      Please find the text of the response below.


      FOI Team

      Freedom of Information requests regarding information from or about the Register of Electors, or about Elections, may not be granted. This is because the information is held by the Electoral Regstration Officer or the Returning Officer respectively, and not the District Council, and the Officers themselves are not subject to the Freedom of Information Act.

      An example of this is where the Electoral Registration Officer is appointed by the Council to hold the Register of Electors:

      “The registration of electors is governed by the Representation of the People Act 1983 (as amended). Under Section 8 of the Act, the council must appoint an officer of the council to be the registration officer for any constituency or part of a constituency coterminous with or situated in the council’s area. The appointment as Electoral Registration Officer is a separate appointment and, although appointed by the council, the Electoral Registration Officer’s responsibilities and duties are personal. An example of this is that the register of electors is deemed to be the property of the Electoral Registration Officer, not the local authority. The Electoral Registration Officer does not carry out the duties on behalf of the local authority but in his own personal capacity.”

      However in the interests of transparency

      When the Electoral Registration Officer (ERO) receives an application to register to vote for any election or referendum the statutory requirements are followed. This includes ensuring that the elector meets the criteria to register to vote in the UK and that all details have been provided to comply with the additional requirements of Individual Electoral Registration.

      The elector, upon completing an application online or as a paper form declares that the information they have provided is true and accurate.”

      Exactly as I suggested. The Electoral Officer is using the exact same Electoral Roll for the referendum. This will include many who are not entitled to vote as European Citizens and those deliberately making a false statement that they are British Citizens.

      As I have said in a previous post, I was originally against the concept of universal ID cards but the situation has become so bad that I have since changed my mind. The Passport Office now makes in depth investigation when someone applies for a passport now, it would be a small step for it to be extended to include ID cards. The original planned charge of £40 was far too expensive. The excuse given was the administration and the cost of biometric information. That no longer applies. Biometric information need only be restricted to a simple retina scan of both eyes that can be encoded immediately by the electronic systems that take the picture and reporduced automatically onto an embedded chip on the card. Unlike a passport, the retinal scan would last a lifetime unless massive trauma occurred to both eyes. There are approximately 10 million non-British born people in this Country now and it is high time that the Government introduced for both ID cards and for immigration control. There have been too many mistakes made by the UKBC where arrivals have managed to bypass the system using someone else’s documents (even someone of the opposite sex) but a retinan scanner could be placed at every point of entry. We would then know who exactly is entering or leaving the Country but, most of all, we would know who is voting in a system that has the potential to completely change the democratic makeup of this Country.

      I do not care if anyone thinks that these measures are over the top, experience has shewn that they are necessary.

  22. avatar
    Peter Castermans

    They are not the empire anymore they used to be. Even within their national borders they almost lost 1/3 th of their territory. And with a Brexit the call for indepence for this pro-EU country will further increase. If that should happen, well thant it’s over and out for their global influence.

  23. avatar

    Being part of the EU will and does diminish our international standing because it means we cannot make decisions without the EU being involved and if we continue the let our powers go to the EU then we will have sold everything off to the world

  24. avatar
    Maia Alexandrova

    To me Brexit is like jumping off a big old ship out of panic that it is sinking, and believing that you will be saved by a luxury cruise liner. In reality, what happens is you become obsessed with fear and jump off the ship, even though it is not yet sinking, but is just damaged and in need of repair, and find yourself in a small life boat, all on your own, in the vast ocean. What is better? To stay on the ship and try to repair it together with the rest of the crew (even though you are not much of a team worker and don’t like doing anything with those people because you think they are too stupid and stubborn), or take the plunge, go on your own and try to save yourself on a small life boat taken from the ship, not knowing what will happen to you once you leave?

    On the question of global influence, the answer is in this question: which vessel has a larger water displacement – a large ship, or a small life boat?

    • avatar
      Paul X

      Quite an interesting nautical analogy, on the same theme…

      The EU has been driven like Captain Smith sailed the Titanic, full speed ahead ignoring all the warnings of icebergs and without a decent lookout….and now the EU is like the band on the Titanic, playing on regardless trying to give the impression that everything is going to be ok

    • avatar

      well miss alexandova,
      when it costs £350 million pounds a week to try and repair would you not consider the ship “BEYOND ECONONICAL REPAIR” and that it is sinking quicker than any repair can do eh ??? ask yourself this

    • avatar
      Peter Brown

      What the hell are you taking Maia? Your allegory is completely irrelevant and so far from actuality as to be laughable. However, in deference to your over fertile imagination, I shall try to explain the situation to you in a similar theme.

      Some 40 odd years ago, Britain set out on a voyage. The ship we set sail in was small but in a reasonable condition. We were promised that the ship was only temporary and that as years went by we would be upgraded to that luxury cruise liner that you mention.

      The problem was, the crew were incompetent. They were so bad that after being rejected by all other employers, they found that the ship’s owner was the only one that would employ them. However, as time went on, this same crew found that they were actually onto a good thing.

      Because the ship was completely at sea all of the time, they found that they could do very well for themselves . The crew soon found that as they were not directly controlled by anyone, that they could take more and more privileges until, eventually, they were living to a far better standard than the passengers who were providing the money for their wages.

      As the years went by, instead of being transferred to that luxury liner that they were promised, the passengers were kept in the same, by now, rusting hulk that they started the journey in. Due to the incompetence of the crew, the ship had many collisions which, in turn, caused the ship to leak badly. As soon as one leak was patched over, another occurred.

      Then, the Captain had a super wheeze. “Instead of having the ship properly repaired, why don’t we take on more and more passengers so that there are more hands to bail out the ship”. By this time, the Captains (there were now many more of them as they simply appointed themselves to the position) that they had no thought that the additional burden of more and more passengers were increasing the problems with the leaking ship and causing it to sink further and further into the water.

      Another problem for the original passengers was that the newer passengers were very poor and could not pay for their tickets. “Not to worry” said the Captains, we will just put a premium charge on the richer passengers to pay for them. The Captains knew that though there would be protests, but so many of the younger passengers had grown up on this leaky old tub that they thought it was normal and, in any case, were too afraid to get off the ship because they had been told that World was sinking away beneath them.

      As time went by, many of the newer, poorer, passengers realised that they could better themselves by joining the crew. After all, by this time, the crew were living to a better standard than the passengers who were forced to pay for them. Better still, as there were by now far more newer passengers than the old, in their new kind of ‘democracy’ that they had invented, they found that they could outvote all of the people that were forced to pay for them.

      The British passengers, in an effort to get some semblance of reality into this leaking and overcrowded ship made a number of proposals over the past 20 years. Of the 72 proposals made, not a single one was accepted. The British, by this time, were getting completely fed up with the futility of the exercise and many decided that they wanted to get off. This caused an immediate panic in the crew. The Captains all chorused “but we need the British passengers to stay and maintain some sort of balance as the British were more sober in their thoughts than the crew and the new passengers”. “We want you to stay but we will not change anything because the course has been set”.

      The children that grew up on the ship knew there was something wrong with the ship but thought there was no alternative. The British passenger’s forebears however, had been sailing the World’s Oceans for Centuries. They knew that there were bigger and better ships than the one they were on. Especially as now one of the less stable Captains had taken it upon herself to take on millions more passengers making the ship dangerously overloaded. Worse, this Captain knew that many of the new passengers were saboteurs who were intent upon sinking the ship. She did not care though because these additional passengers were, she thought, the solution because additional passengers would help pay for the ship that they were on and not caring that the burden would, very soon, sink the ship. Unfortunately, like the Titanic, there are far too few lifeboats. Probably just enough for the crew but nowhere near enough for the passengers.

      The British passengers have realised that they have to leave this sinking ship before they, too, are sunk with the ship. Now the older British passengers and many of the younger ones realised that they could transfer to a much bigger ship that was in far better condition than the one they were on. It was realised that there may be a small transfer fee but that would be quickly recouped from the money being saved by no longer paying for the sinking ship and by the fact that the newer ship would take them on to greaser prosperity and freedom.

      Now Maia, I may not be as good at writing about fantasy as you, but I think that you might get the gist of what I am saying.

      As to your final question; “On the question of global influence, the answer is in this question: which vessel has a larger water displacement – a large ship, or a small life boat?”, I suggest that you may have got the correct answer from the survivors of the Titanic disaster. Despite its massive size, the Titanic, once ‘holed’, displaced far less water than the lifeboats that carried the survivors to safety. The ‘SS Europa’ is seriously ‘holed’ and the answer from the crew is to make more holes to let the water out.

    • avatar
      Maia Alexandrova

      Mike and Paul X, EU has problems, but is not sinking yet. Even if the Schengen agreement is scrapped, this is still not enough to break the union apart because not all EU countries are part of Schengen at the moment, but EU still exists. You should jump off the ship only when it is in such a bad shape that there is nothing that can be done to save it and it is definitely going down. I don’t think the situation is like this at the moment. So is it worth risking going on a life boat on your own where a storm can easily knock you down in the water and a shark can bite off your arm, for example? What I mean is the possibility of Scotland leaving the UK. Another possibility is for the British pound and stocks to lose their value due to the instability ahead which in our analogy means you will be losing blood. How long can you stay alive like that – on your own, without any help? Would you be able to stop the bleeding yourself, before it is too late? Many unknown and unexpected things can happen until you reach a safe shore and it is all because you jumped off too early, thinking the EU ship is sinking when it actually got repaired and continued on its journey, but without you.

      On the financial point, everyone needs to give something, before they take. Consider it your ticket for the EU ship. Everyone has to pay it, you can’t have a free ride. It may be 350 million a week, but UK has the lowest membership fee per person, compared to all other countries, including the poorest ones. This is a special privilege to you that was agreed some time ago. Yet you are still greedy for more and throwing tantrums… You don’t want to help those in need… You want it ALL for yourself… What does that sound like? To me it is Titanic. UK is behaving like Titanic which sank purely because of greed and the desire of those responsible for it to prove they are better than everyone else. This is the temptation of power, but it is only an illusion. Unfortunately, Captain Smith believed in it and it took him to the bottom of the ocean.

    • avatar
      Paul X

      I’m enjoying Nautical analogy time….. :-)

      Maia, the EU will never sink, there are too many stubborn captains and first mates on board to let it go completely. But neither will it ever be the luxury liner they dream of, it will always be a badly navigated second rate cargo vessel lurching from one storm to another, and anyone who suffers from seasickness is advised to get off as soon as they can

    • avatar
      EU reform- proactive

      Apropos “sinking” & “displacements”…. a lovely story! Reports vary- e.g.:

      Communist Mao Zedong sank 45 Million; fascist Hitler sank 11 Million; Communist Lenin sank 3 Million; Communist Stalin sank 27 Million; Barbarian Attila the Hun sank 12 Million; Communist Pol Pot sank 2 Million. The Communist by far hold the world record in sinking! But historical sinking was wide spread:

      EU unity cannot be dictated, bought or pretended; it can only be achieved between equals by real democratic consent.

      ”some people think it’s holding on that makes one strong- sometimes it’s letting go.” Is it sinking or thinking?

    • avatar
      Maia Alexandrova

      EU Reform- Proactive, the dictators you have mentioned are not relevant to the situation we are discussing. The EU has not invaded its members. It has a parliament and decisions are taken after voting. Countries have voluntarily subscribed to the EU rules. It is another question that the rules might become outdated at a some point and might need changing. This is the task of the members – to work together to achieve that, or if they don’t want to work together, to change the rules in order to reflect this possibility.

      It depends what you are holding on to and what you are letting go. If you don’t believe in something, you should not hold on to it against your will – this is true. But the danger here is acting on an impulse, without thinking. Are you doing this for the right reasons? Is it really for freedom, or is it because you don’t like changes such as the fall of the iron curtain and the ensuing contact with Eastern Europeans, so you want to push them back behind a new iron curtain? To me all the talk of sovereignty comes down to one thing – you want to be able to introduce immigration rules that would isolate Eastern Europe from the rest of the continent like it was during communist times and because the other EU states do not agree, you want to leave, in order to pass these laws anyway. It has nothing to do with being free because you are already enjoying freedom and independence. It has nothing to do with pressures on the schools, health and social systems because non-EU migrants are putting much more pressure on these services, but they will even be allowed to vote in the referendum, let alone limited in numbers. It is not about controlling your borders, because non-EU immigration is even larger than the EU one and far above the government’s targets, but nothing is being done to reduce it to say, 50,000, if those large numbers were such a genuine concern. It is not about saving 350 million a week from EU membership, because you are giving 230 million a week to non-EU countries, filling the pockets of their “fantastically corrupt” government officials, and receiving nothing in return.

      Admit it – it is about new people coming, new things to learn, about cultural exchange and mutual enrichment. This is what you are against, just like 200 years ago you hated the native people in the lands you invaded and treated them horribly, just because you didn’t know who they were and did not want to accept their different cultures because of your superiority complex. It seems this part of your mentality has not changed much since then, sadly.

    • avatar
      EU reform- proactive

      Dear Maia,- my viewpoints are not meant as personal attack (maybe inspired by your analogues- to play the “mickey”) but targeted to expose the way the EU has evolved from the ECSC, EC, EEC to the EU under disguise of pure economical reasons. During the cold war hardy anyone in Western Europe suspected that the good idea of an “economic union or block” might lead to the total loss of our sovereignty- while the political elitists & their global masters were already stealthily planning a centrally lead supranational European state.

      Unknown to many, their aim was to abolish all participating members’ sovereignty and have deliberately mislead the voters, misused their trust and democratic power. Nowadays, their scheme becomes clear- the chicken coming home to roost!

      The east of Europe was never party to- or involved in that evolving “democratic fraud” (by Brussels) – only lucky & “useful” beneficiaries. It is obvious that the “east” today is in celebratory mode & the staunchest supporters of the EU concept. No wonder why! They obediently follow the honey trap! There are 12 members dressed as father X-mas, the other 18 are the happy children, singing praise, endlessly supportive & grateful! Not to the 18, but (mistakenly) to our collectors & master clerk in Brussels- the Commission & EU.

      The actual debate revolves around the newly evolving idea held by the so called “modernists” (internationalism, globalization & corporatism) trying to abolish the historical principles of “Westphalian” sovereignty, by interfering in the internal affairs of others. The primordial school of thought of “Westphalian sovereignty” is under attack by the EU concept! It is still the principle in international law that each nation state adheres to non-intervention into the internal affairs of another state (“meddling”). This however never meant to preclude to grow economic cooperation & trade!

      China is a good example- who so far practices “none interference” in its global economic endeavor, the US the opposite, are hypocrites, are undermining the whole world & are masters of subversion under the pretense of human rights & democracy to gain global domination!

    • avatar
      EU reform- proactive

      ………..addendum: sorry, the “number 18” is of course “only 16”- higher math! Alarmingly, Princess “Ευρώπη” is continuously pregnant. She has to be stopped!

    • avatar
      Peter Brown

      Maia, you write the following in a later post (there is no facility to reply on it) “The EU has not invaded its members. It has a parliament and decisions are taken after voting. Countries have voluntarily subscribed to the EU rules”

      This is simply not true. ‘Countries’ are the Citizens as well as the land mass that comprises a State. It was warped and greedy politicians that brought Britain into this mess that is the EU without the consent of the People. In fact, in the case of the Lisbon Treaty, we, the People were ignored by our politicians and they simply signed us up to Lisbon without our consent. It was rejected by France and the Netherlands in referenda because Lisbon was in all respects the rejected European Constitution that the EU stated as being ‘shelved’ and thereby negating any further referenda on the subject.

      The whole process, certainly in Britain since around 1971, has been one of subterfuge designed to lead the the British People into joining what was then cutely called the ‘European Economic Community’. We were assured that we were just joining a ‘trading bloc’ and that there was no question of Britain losing ‘any significant part of our Sovereignty’. In fact, that was a gross lie. The intention by our leading politicians was to bring Britain (and Europe) into a supra-National, single state as a prelude to eventual ‘World Government’

      The British Solicitor-General warned the Government that even joining the EEC would cause a massive loss of sovereignty. He wrote a letter to the Government entitled ‘FCO 30/1048: 1971′ setting out exactly how this loss of sovereignty would occur. It was immediately suppressed by the Government and placed out of reach in the Government Archives under the ’30 years’ rule. If you are interested, there is a facsimile of the actual document in the Archive section of my website: theunituk dot org dot uk.

      This subterfuge was continued in 1975 under the Premiership of Harold Wilson in which, he too, continued the lie. Because of those lies, the British People voted in a referendum to stay in the EEC which was already thoroughly undemocratic but it became much worse as the European Union evolved from the EEC.

      In 1975, there was no internet as there is today, nor any other effective means by which the People could be made aware of the true intent of British and European Politicians. Nowadays, things are entirely different and the People are much more aware of the lies being told to them. One of the effects of this new found knowledge is to be able to, if anyone has the desire, actually know from EU documents what is being done behind their backs.

      It is a much repeated fact in the EU that it intends to become a Federal State. Yet, there are still so many gullible People in Britain that believe Cameron when he says that Britain will be excluded from participating in joining this Supra-National State. That is simply yet another lie.

      The Spinelli Group inaugurated by Guy Verhofstadt in the European Parliament are a fanatically ‘Federalist’ Group who have published a proposal for a replacement to all existing treaties but is fact a proposed ‘blue print’ for the Country: ‘Europa’. Among the many things proposed are that existing National Parliaments become ‘European Parliaments’ with no more influence than the ‘devolved’ Parliaments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and that the unelected European Commission becomes the actual Government of the European Super State. If you were to take my recommendation to read FCO 30/1048 on my website, you might also visit the download section and read ‘A Fundamental Law’ which is the whole text of the Spinelli proposal. That ‘Fundamental Law’ has since last year being scrutinised by the European Treaty Change Committee.

      If that document should be adopted, then under existing Qualified Majority Voting, the whole of the EU could easily become that Federalised Country including Britain. It is exactly at that point that Europe becomes a Dictatorship because the present pretense of democracy will be completely eradicated.

      Remember, though your prison may be a Palace; it is STILL A PRISON.

  25. avatar

    The latest leak speculation says it all the establishment has made deals before we started this so called debate and tis could be true as it seems that the remain campaign seem to get more airtime and press coverage that the leave campaign so do we think the deal is done by the establishment mmm?????

    • avatar
      Peter Brown

      Britain has a bloody sight more influence that Greece old son.

  26. avatar

    I am sure the Greek prime minister would have liked to have had more influence, but was sadly excluded from the discussions, between the EU central bank representatives and Greek banks. That was a bad day for democracy, if you needed one.
    Perhaps our global influence will change to some extent should we vote to leave, as ‘change’ is the one true constant of life.

    Maia, it is not the fear of people coming to the UK, it is simple numbers that concerns people. Back to the nautical theme, which seems to work rather well for us all, being in the same boat so to speak. Your life boat or Country, manages with 100 people on board. You pick up another 25 people, who you are happy to share water, food and blankets with, you can manage. Another 85 people turn up, they hear you have food, water and blankets which is what they need, and because you have a good heart, you take them on board also. The word is out, this lifeboat has food, water and blankets, 200 people turn up. Do you capsize the lifeboat trying to save everybody, or say we do not have the resources to cope with any more? A dreamy, blue sky thinking part of me says, I would try. However, in the real world, how would I cope when the water and food start to run out, the judgments and fights start for survival, now, we are all in jeopardy again.

    I have been quite ignorant of the EU in recent years, waves of ‘jaw boning’ washing over me, until in conversation, someone asked me to name one European Commissioner. I had no idea, because I had not been asked to vote for one… right, OK, I get it.
    The referendum is akin to being asked, ‘do you want to buy shares in this company?’
    Lets take a look at the business model, first, who elects the Directors? Not you.
    OK, so, if the business starts to lose money, where do I stand as a shareholder? You take a ‘haircut’ financially, possibly your whole investment. OK, based on that statement, may I see some financial records of the company’s activities ? Yes and no, we have had audits, but no one has been willing to sign them off as correct for 18 years.
    One final question, could this company reform into something more transparent for investors? You would need to be a Director to do that…

    I have walked a mile in both directions, it’s time to leave.

    • avatar
      Maia Alexandrova

      Mike, I understand your concern about the numbers of people coming, but isn’t it fake? The reason for this is that even more people from outside EU are coming to UK every year, not mentioning the uncontrollable number of illegal non-EU migrants (God knows how many million they are), but the British government is not doing anything to limit that number, if indeed there is such a pressure on schools, hospitals and social services (also having in mind that non-EU migrants have considerably more children per family than the European ones). Instead, the blame for all the problems is conveniently put on Europeans, especially from Poland, Romania and Bulgaria and we have even seen some really disgusting smear campaigns from UKIP supporters (such as the one at the end of 2013 where under pictures of gypsies there were articles with false facts, predicting invasion of Britain by millions of “impoverished Bulgarians and Romanians” and the end of your country as it is known. Of course, this turned out to be a lie). So, my point is: if numbers are the problem, then why is the focus only on EU as the only reason for the pressure on your services? This means that the real reason is not the numbers, otherwise non-EU migrants would have been limited immediately to no more than 50,000, but this has not happened. At the moment, even if all EU citizens were banned from entering UK, your net migration would still be around 200,000 due to non-EU migration. Isn’t the talk against EU migration then just empty talk, nothing more than bubbles popping in the air?

  27. avatar
    Rui Correia

    Some European countries (some more than others) have this annoying trend of saying their achievements and victories are “national only”, while their problems and setbacks are “European” or “Europe/EU is to blame for that”… Britain also does this, maybe more than quite a few others, depending on the subject… it seems to be a “pride” thing, I don’t know…? – anyway, moving forward… a further integrated EU economically/financially separated from Britain might/could be a good idea, everybody stays happy, we all get along as dear friends and neighbours, etc… all good… But there’s still the issue of border controls, immigration into Europe from all parts of the world, legal/regular and illegal/irregular, and all the disruptions and economic/social distortions it causes in our societies on so many levels, etc… One cannot forget that, even if a country is out of the Schengen area, by being inside the EU, the EU’s free movement rule somehow “overwrites” the Non-Schengen status, and that country has to allow in a significant number of people from outside the EU, born somewhere else in the world, as long as they have EU passports, nationalities/double-nationalities, and/or specific EU-country-issued documents, or even some specific nationality/status they might have inherited from the past, since European countries used to be colonial powers (in a past long gone!!)… The big question is: Do you (Britain) trust all other EU member countries in terms of border controls, issued documents and travel/migration rules on a national level, that afterwards extends throughout all the EU/Europe?? – I don’t… and unfortunately, my own native country is not a good example… You have to bear in mind that some European countries were colonial powerhouses in the past, and have/had already Visa-free travel arrangements with “half the planet” or so… Others, are simply corrupt… So, when Britain signs a deal with a bunch of countries considering they have a population of aprox X million people, they’re not taking into account that many XXXXXX millions more will come, via that country, or via that country’s prior arrangements somehow… it’s just plain dishonest and disruptive… One example? Well… if you only speak English, sometimes you won’t be able to tell the difference between foreign languages or regional accents… But I can tell you this much: judging by the number of people I see and hear, claiming they are from Southern European countries… wow… places like Italy, Spain, Portugal, or even Greece, should all be completely empty by now, a big desert there… and they’re not… Which makes me believe that large migration numbers within Europe is more of a big overrated myth!… but on the other hand, immigration from the rest of the world INTO Europe, into different European countries, and into Britain and Northern Europe via Southern and Eastern European countries will be the real issue… and the British are just scared because, unfortunately, they can’t see the difference at so many levels!! It’s understandable… but wrong. Note: this is not racist, etc etc bla bla bla… I don’t care about race/ethnicity, religious beliefs, or whatever… this has to do with SUSTAINABILITY AND NUMBERS ONLY.

  28. avatar
    Peter Brown

    ” but wrong. Note: this is not racist, etc etc bla bla bla… I don’t care about race/ethnicity, religious beliefs, or whatever… this has to do with SUSTAINABILITY AND NUMBERS ONLY”

    No. It is not just about numbers any longer. It is about the complete demolition of our National Cultures. Britain, like many Northern European countries has had a considerable number of migrants from a totally different Emotional/theological/Social structure. Many of those migrants have tried to assimilate with their host culture, others, the majority have not. Even those that have endeavored to become assimilated still have an underlying sympathy with their own historical and theological forebears. Britain, like many Northern European countries are now in the situation where they have 4th, 5th or even older generations of migrants, the overall consensus of those migrant groups is for the host country to change to THEIR way of thinking rather than the other way around. It has been openly exclaimed by those immigrants.

    Yes, it is true that Britain as a former Colonial power is used to having migrants in our midst but it is an anathema to ANY established Country that due to the unprecedented number of migrants coming to Britain with the ESPOUSED intent to attempt to change the basic culture of the Country to suit them. That, by any logical definition is invasion. The fact that it is condoned by politicians with Treasonous ambitions to their own agenda or by ideologues that cannot see further than their noses does not make any less so.

    Britain is more fortunate than most European States in that we have a clearly defined border.(the sea) but most do they are encumbered with open borders all around them.. Worse, their external borders are also porous at the design of the European Elite.

    When both Germany and France (the mainstays of the EU project) both have a majority call for their own referendum to exit the EU, does it not occur to those that support the project that something is seriously wrong? Especially so as there is a likelihood that referenda will be called for in Sweden and the Netherlands as well.

    At what point will of those in the general population of Europe say to their political leader that the concept of the EU is simply unsustainable especially when they finally realise that the EU is entirely to the benefit of the rich and the Corporations but in no way beneficial to the person in the street.

    So many people in Britain realise that there is no benefit worth speaking about with respect to the EU. British Europhile politicians continue to provide scare stories that will terrify some of the more gullible but, the majority by far realise have realised that what the Europhiles are saying is just a tissue of lies simply because the politicians cannot give any viable reason why we should stay in the EU except that it will only benefit those who already have more than enough money than they will ever need or even be able to spend in a thousand lifetimes.

  29. avatar

    All this exit discussion sounds quite weird to me. Vote leave if you really think that would improve your lives. After that you could start a referendum on leaving the earth or maybe just the city you live in… Maybe some not so educated Brits read too much tabloid propaganda of some certain Australian guy, and in the end UK has to follow the exit example of Algeria. Good luck and cheerio. A little bit sad for the other Europeans, though, and also cut their own throat for the British people.

  30. avatar
    Peter Brown

    @Peter Had it not occurred to you Peter that you are the one that is weird? There is absolutely nothing wrong with having the People of a Country wishing to be free of a supra-national, completely undemocratic form of Government that we never asked for.

    It may be true that many of the less educated place too much stock in newspapers but there are a great many who take the time and trouble to read and understand the actual Treaty documents and their impact on the People.

    As to the other European Countries; what they think or do is entirely their own matter. They must do what is best for their Country. Having said that, there is just as much antipathy towards the EU in many of the other EU Citizens. In some cases, more so as they become more and more affected by disastrous policies of the EU and certain other politicians who take it upon themselves to make decisions that adversely affect the whole of Europe, not just the EU.

    Although primarily concerned with the welfare of Britain, I sincerely hope that the current ‘European Project’ fails because of Brexit. It will be painful for many but they will have the chance, if they really wish to form a Union, to start again but this time, not allow it to be changed from its original, more ideological, intentions only to become another thoroughly corrupt and Corporate run oligarchy. The EU has had ample opportunity to change for the better yet it refuses to do so. It is completely beyond redemption in its current form if it is the desire of the European People to live in a democratic society.

    • avatar

      @Peter Brown You make the assumption that you have an influence on national politics but not on European. That’s where I do not follow. That’s what some national politicians want us to believe to have a narrative for their own importance. Actually, it’s one by one the same people doing decisions on national and European level as there is no European government making it’s own decisions. In the end there is only national governments (European Council) … of course, influenced by lobbyists but also polls … that do European politics. Without a really European constitution and Europe-wide discussions this will not change in the near future.

      I hope that we can built some legitimate government for the Eurozone or at least for all people that are interested in.

      Do you think Mr Cameron or these UKIP guys are less corrupt than other politicians? In my view they are even much closer to the ‘Corporate run oligarchy’ as you write. The thing is: they do not want regulation of the financial market that – no question – is very important for the British economy. Personally, I am very much convinced that there is a need to have regulation of some financial transactions. Otherwise these loan market proplems will repeat. This looks to me to stand in the core of the whole debate about ‘independance’ British right wing politicians are quite successful teaching their audiance. Do you think you profit from unregulated financial markets? If so you should vote leave.

  31. avatar
    Peter Brown

    The trouble is Peter, that those things you espouse are not possible under the existing structure. National polls make no difference because the Council Members are appointed by National Governments who have their own agenda and it would take at least 55% of each Council to bring about the changes that you would wish. It just is not going to happen any time soon. So many People in Britain are simply not prepared to wait for that Utopia.

    As to British Politicians, most of us do not trust them as far as we can pick them up and throw them. However, outside of the EU, we have the ability to throw them out of Office at each General Election. That simply cannot happen with EU politicians and bureaucrats because they are not elected by us in the first place.

    Please do not say that we have elected members of the European Parliament because they are so heavily outnumbered when pushing for British interests. Over the past 2 decades, Britain has put forward 72 Resolutions and has been outvoted in every single one.

    That may be your idea of democracy but it certainly is not ours.

    • avatar

      I agree with most of your points, Peter, especially with not reelecting bad politicians, but you are arguing in quite a black and white manner. The existence of ‘Eurocrats’ is quite a myth to me. Why do I think so? Most regulations they seem to suggest are actually either based on the demands of national governments or those of some lobby group demands. This is not different from national institutions. And: you also do not elect bureaucrats of local or national institutions.
      Probably, national politicians will not give up power to a democratic European government in the near future because of all these right wing pressure groups they always can point at in excuse.
      In my view many problems need answers that could better be solved on an international level than on a national one (educational, environmental and economic standards, a platform for the exchange of views and ideas, the nonsense of these huge 28 armies – what a nonsense; why do we need more soldiers and generals than the US? Russia and islamists cannot be that dangerous; …). The people of different nationalities have much more in common than politicians are trying to tell us. We should demand democratic representation on the European level instead of playing ostrich with focusing only on our national surrounding.
      If we would give up the very imperfect European institutions of today, how long would it take until national governments would start working against each other again? I don’t say that they don’t do that right now, but I am quite certain it would increase with less exchange.

    • avatar

      On the ‘pushing through problem’ with your 72 ‘British’ resolutions: OK, but that is rather the problem of national party lists and thinking, respectively, the European politicians are elected on. European politicians should be elected for a European agenda, not for a German, British or Greek as they are now. I know, that also may sound like utopia at the moment, but our national democracies also did not form in one day (although, admitted, most had the ‘advantage’ of previous revolutions and complete reset of structures).
      Otherwise I can only say: democracy, off course, means that you have to accept decisions against your will up to some extent. I never voted for Mrs Merkel’s party and I think non of my friends did so neither, but they won all past 3 elections in Germany. In my view, she does terrible politics, especially concerning European integration. I could say: oh, there is some conspiracy going on, rigged ballots etc. Instead I would rather say that’s just a disadvantage of democracy ;-)

  32. avatar
    Peter Brown

    ” I never voted for Mrs Merkel’s party and I think non of my friends did so neither, but they won all past 3 elections in Germany.”

    There you have the crux of the matter. Nobody in Britain voted for Merkel either yet she is carrying out actions to her own agenda that badly affect everyone else in the EU and for that matter, Europe as a whole. She is carrying out an EU migration policy and she is not even a member of the EU in her own right. Instead, she has the collusion of Martin Schultz and Juncker (more unelected officials) to push HER policies through.

    The British People were NOT asked if they wish to join a political Union, and no, we do not have to accept decisions that are neither democratic in any sense of the word as all edicts come from the unelected Commission and are ratified by the only Parliament in the World that is not allowed to legislate.

    As to National Democracies, Britain has the oldest surviving democracy in the World. We did not go through a succession of potentates who wrote the law for their own benefit. Instead, back in the 11th Century, King Alfred wrote the beginnings of British Common Law which gave rights to the People, this was followed in the 13th Century by the signing of the Magna Carta which considerably reduced the power of the King to make laws and made Parliament supreme. By the same token, because of Magna Carta, Britain escaped most of the ‘Inquisition’ that plagued Europe with Papal diktats.

    Britain has exported British Common Law as the basis of jurisprudence in all of the English speaking Countries. We have the right of ‘Habeus Corpus’ which ensures we are brought to trial and advised of the charges as soon as possible. We also have freedom from ‘Double Jeopardy’ that is practiced over much of the EU and is part of the proposed ‘Corpus Juris’

    Why on earth would the English People wish to give up all that just to make some Corporate ‘fat cats’ even richer?

    • avatar

      British parliamentary tradition is a great asset in Europe (maybe except from the House of Lords, but I don’t know too much about that). I am quite glad, that the people in most European countries ended the rule of the so called ‘nobles’ or ‘communists’. It would be great, if British politicians would try to push for a strong parliament on the European level, too. I would vote for such a push.

      By the way: The British people were also not asked whether they wish to join the UN, the NATO, the UK itself, etc. Holding that referendum is an expression of democracy, sure. I just have the impression that the vast majority of the British people will not benefit from leaving, only some banks and large companies will (or ‘fat cats’ will get richer as you say) that fear European regulation.

    • avatar
      Peter Brown

      0735 GMT+1

      @Peter This forum has a most peculiar format. Some posts have a ‘reply’ facility and others do not. They also do not have a time stamp and therefore, it is also more difficult to ensure that the posts are in the right order and when written. I am forced to use that facility on one of my own posts but am replying to your post that starts with “British Parliamentary tradition”

      Allow me to start off with a word or two about the ‘Lords’ in the British Parliament. Initially the Lords was inhabited purely by hereditary peers and were part of the ‘3 way protection’ of British Common Law. The 3 were The Commons, the Lords and the Monarch.

      In what is now a ‘Constitutional Monarchy’, the Queen plays mainly a ceremonial role. She is the titular Head of State and all Law in Britain is given ‘Royal Consent’ but she has no official power of her own. To refuse to sign a Law from Parliament, though possible, would probably cause a Constitutional schism.

      Since the English Civil War under Cromwell, the Commons was established as the supreme Law making body. The Lords are considered a ‘revising’ body. Either House may propose Laws but they are then passed backwards and forwards to the other House several times to allow proposed amendments to be debated and voted upon. However, as the Commons is supreme it has the final say. In the early part of the last Century, the Commons passed the ‘Parliament Act’ which gives them the right to overrule the Lords if they should attempt to mischievously delay a Law unnecessarily.

      Unfortunately, most but not all of the various European Parliaments are not democratic they are ‘Elected Oligarchies'(Switzerland among a few others are a notable exception). Parliamentarians, once elected consider themselves ‘Delegates’ rather than ‘Representatives’. They do what they or their Party wish rather than follow the will of the People. The Members of Parliament enjoy that freedom so much, that in Britain during the last half of the Century, they set out to diminish the power of the Lords. They started by removing most of the Hereditary Peers (who, incidentally, were generally of much greater integrity of many that replaced them). The remaining Peers were allowed to remain until retirement. The Commons Parties then indulged in a race to fill the Lords with Cronies and Party apparatchiks in order to gain their own advantage. It has come to a point now, where there are over 100 more ‘Lords’ than MP’s

      You say that it is a good thing to rid Europe of ‘nobles’ (and ‘Communists’). Many of us here do not. Apart from removing yet another of the 3 ‘Protections’ of Common Law. Bearing in mind, that it was the Nobles that forced King John to sign the Magna Carta and thereby giving us all Protection in the first place. The result is that any Party in power at the time has the ability to erode those freedoms. Though, it must be said, that unlike the EU, no new Government in Britain can be held to a decision of a previous Government and has the right to repeal Law previously enacted.

      In any case, though you might not see it, the EU is replacing ‘nobles’ and ‘communists’ with an edifice that is just as, if not more so, insidious. The EU has total control over he lives of more than half a billion people. Both by unelected officials and by Corporations who have absolutely no conscience in their pursuit for power and money. I would say that to vote to stay in the EU is a prime case of Turkeys voting for Christmas.

      “By the way: The British people were also not asked whether they wish to join the UN, the NATO, the UK itself, etc. Holding that referendum is an expression of democracy, sure. I just have the impression that the vast majority of the British people will not benefit from leaving, only some banks and large companies will (or ‘fat cats’ will get richer as you say) that fear European regulation.”

      Your examples of British People not being asked if they should join the UN or NATO are disingenuous. Neither of those bodies have any control over the democracy (sic) of the British People. As to being asked to join the UK, as most of it occurred many hundreds of years ago, it would be rather difficult to change the concept now. Though, since you asked, there are two examples of a plebiscite to stay in the UK during my lifetime. In 1973, the People of Northern Ireland were asked if they wished to stay within the UK and in 2014, the People of Scotland were asked the same thing. In both cases, there was a resounding vote to stay. Do not believe that nonsense from Nicola Sturgeon that she would call for another referendum if Britain left the EU. For one thing, she no longer has a majority in the Scottish Parliament and would face defeat if she tried to call for one. For a second point, she knows and we know that it is pure Party rhetoric on her part. There would be no appetite at all for Scottish secession because even more Scottish People realise that Scotland does not have the resources to ‘go it alone’. Almost 25% of Scottish Employment is in the ‘Public Sector’ much of it being part of the National infrastructure and so there would be massive unemployment, Far more important is the realisation that their greatest resource would be North Sea oil. Since the bottom has dropped out of oil prices, there would be a massive black hole in their finances. Though oil prices may rise again, but not to the levels they were before due other forms of energy, the majority of Scots are heaving a sigh of relief that they are not in that situation.

      You also say that you have the impression that the majority of the British People will not benefit from leaving. I do not know where you get that impression from apart from EU propaganda and the fact that your Country is a prime mover of the project. Quite apart from the complete loss of our democratic birthright (notwithstanding what is written above), Britain is the 5th largest economy in the World. In previous times, we provided Government to over one fifth of the Planet and we still have many commercial and cultural ties with them. Our food would be considerably cheaper as it was before we entered the EEC and its protectionis Customs Union, not to mention the scandal of CAP that protects French and Eastern European rural economies. We would be free once again to trade with the rest of the World instead of having all trade deals carried out by a single Commissioner for the whole EU and takes decades to finalise those deals. We would once again have control of our fishing policy that has been decimated by EU fishing fleets (that are also doing the same to West African Nations). We would have control once again of our Agricultural and environmental policy That causes vast areas of our land to be flooded on a regular basis because the EU has decided that the natural drainage system of rivers is made too expensive to dredge clear. In their wisdom, the EU has decided that once silt leaves the water, it automatically becomes ‘toxic waste’ (though the rivers are perfectly healthy before the silt is removed) and the silt cannot be used to reinforce the banks of the river to prevent further flooding but must be removed to an approved waste dump. I could go on and on with further examples but I believe that these make a good start.

      If that was not enough, the EU itself is rapidly declining in terms of percentage of World trade. In the 1980’s the EU accounted for 38% of World trade, it is now around 20% and expected to fall to 15-17% by 2020. Most of the economies of Europe are moribund or failing and even Germany despite its massive advantage of an undervalued Euro came close to a ‘double dip’ recession a couple of years ago. In the mean time, Britain alone managed to grow its economy once again, albeit slowly, after 2008.

      Britain has a massive trade deficit with the EU and it is increasing year on year because many EU countries do not have the money to buy our exports. We have exported more to the rest of the World than we have to the EU since 2008 and that is despite not being allowed to make trade deals.

      Peter, the foregoing are not ‘impressions’, they are facts so what is not to like about them from the British point of view? I have no idea how old you are but I am old enough to remember the time before the EEC. It was not entirely Utopia because the Unions were running rampage as a response to post war austerity but food was cheap (albeit much of rationed for some years after the war). However, we could trade with the Commonwealth and the rest of the World witout having to worry about tariffs and restrictive practices. It is estimated that we have lost several Billions in trade with South America alone because of EU restrictions.

      Britain would probably have been happy if we had been given what we were promised, an EEC that provided a purely trading bloc without any form of political union. But it has not and consequently, we are NOT happy with it and that is why so many of us want to get the hell out of the EU.

  33. avatar
    Stephen Liebmann

    I caught the last few minutes of this programme on BBC One today (Sunday).
    The top 7 EU bureaucrats are so ‘faceless’ they are even unknown to key remain campaigner Harriet Harman – gob smackingly frightening that these people are taking decisions on our behalf.
    Watch the last 5 mins.

    This is incredibly important because the EU exerts such enormous unseen power over us, which is what makes it so problematic because we don’t know what they do. In contrast, I and many acquaintances hated Nicky Morgan’s stupid Academisation-for-all idea proposed just a few weeks ago. Importantly, the idea was clearly publicised and we knew who was to blame for proposing it. Various bodies started to complain and Nicky Morgan found it too hard to defend and backed down. That’s control in the hands of the people at a local (UK) level.

    • avatar
      Peter Brown

      That is one of the major problems with British politics. It is entirely too Partisan. Most of these politicians will speak quite vehemently about the pursuits of their party without an inkling of what truly is about and whether it is to the benefit of Britain. As you say, it is truly frightening that they are in power without actually understanding the issues. What is also frightening is that Harman was not in the least embarrassed about her lack of knowledge. I hope for the sake of her previous clients that she was a better Solicitor than she is a Parliamentarian.

  34. avatar

    We need something like the Magna Carta for Europe and a single referendum on that for all Europeans – no national ones (Bavaria also voted no on the German Basic law but still is a member of Germany). That could help ending the legitimacy crisis of the EU.

  35. avatar
    Peter Brown

    hat is exactly the Utopia I am speaking of. The original aims of the Iron and Steel treaty was to ensure that European nations were too interested in commerce to go to war again. Others like our Anthony Eden and Edward Heath saw it together with monnet as a prelude to World Government. Neither succeeded because the whole scheme has been morphed into a gigantic Corporate Oligarchy. Anyone that can see that if they have eyes to see. There is no control over the EU simply because there is no electoral check on them.

    It is composed almost entirely by politicians that have previously been rejected from electoral Office. The People of Europe did not want them in National Governments but the EU was happy to take because there was no such electoral control. The EU politicians have come from being rejected by National Governments into an edifice that is not in the least concerned with public opinion. The previous ‘High Representative’, Catherine Ashton was not ever an elected politician. Her most prominent role previously was to be involved in the British Campaign for Nuclear Diaarmement. So many of the others are dyed-in-the-wool communists/Mayoists. Perhaps that is why the structure of the EU is exactly the same as the old Soviet Union. If you do not believe that, then you would be advised go to my website, and download an ebook that I have compiled. It is called ‘Democracy in a Federalised Europe’. the first page shows a diagram comparing the structure of the EU with the USSR. If you should download the PC executable file, you will see a very interesting video on the opposite page. I do not deal with conspiracy theory, all of the information is from official EU documents and respected think tanks. I have not added to it since January and so it is al little out of date, but what is there shews how insidious the EU is becoming.

    The fiscal corruption of the EU is legendary. It has not had its accounts signed off by Auditors for 20 years, and the only Auditor that complained was sacked. Virtually every Treaty or edict since Lisbon and every department in the EU has in its charter has a clause for legal immunity for life for any wrong doing that they may do whilst in Office. They may not have their offices raided by the Authorities, nor any of their files investigated. All Europol operatives carry ‘Diplomatic’ passports that protect them from any wrongdoing outside of the EU. Not even National Heads of State get this level of protection.

    It has been decided by the ECJ that it is illegal for anyone to critisize the workings of the EU (look up the recent ruling of the EU v Connolly). Does this remind you of other totalitarian States previously mentioned?

    To get back to your suggestion that Europe needs a ‘Magna Carta’. You are living in fantasy land should you believe that the EU is capable of such a show of democracy. It has been definitively shewn that the EU, once it seizes a power, will never relinquish it.

    In many ways, I have sympathy for the German People. I spent 2.5 years there back in the 1960’s as a soldier and found the German People to be genuinely friendly with the exception of some older People that lived as adults in the Nazi era. I made some great friends there and was often invited back to meet their families. The dilemna for many of the ordinary German is to try and alleviate the problems of the last Century and the martial inclination. The trouble for Germany, and now for the rest of Europe, there is still some people, especially from the previously totalitarian East that still wish to dominate. Frau Merkel is one of them. In her pursuit of personal power under the auspices of the multi-national Corporations, she is endeavoring to achieve the total dominance of Europe. That is megalomaniacal.

    In the pursuit of this, she declared that Germany would accept 800,000 migrrants to overcome the lack of birth rate in Germany. She ostensibly suggested that it was an humanitarian gesture to allevieate the problems of Syrian refugees. This coould have been acheved by a programme of airlifts from the Refugee camps which could have provided for reasonable security checks of those immigrants and directed them straight at Germany. Instead, she manipulated the EU to extend the Geneva Convention to allow ANYONE regardless of status to come to Europe by whatever means they could.

    The result has been total forment in many EU states that find themselves overwhelmed by migrants of a totally different culture of behaviou to European Law. That very much includes Germany who in there initial innocence, invite the migrants but soon found that it was to their social detriment. In not only Germany, but so many Coutries in Europe, immigrants bring with them a total disrespect for the law that governs us as civilised people.

    I am happy to debate with all ‘thinking’ people. I will not do so with pedants who will not listen to a counter argument and not give it its proper import. Participants in a debate requires that they do not rely on pedantry but make an hones endeavour to try to see the argument from the other side.

    I have spent the last 4 years trying to understand the psyche of those that advocate the EU but I find it impossible given an in=depth desire to find the truth. Will you step outside of your emotinal attachment to the EU and honestly evaluate it with all the information available if your really wish to try?

    • avatar
      Peter Brown

      What is this nonsense about moderation and who are the moderators? What is their stance on the debate? The contributions to date appear to me to be moderate and considered, so why treat us as children, Moderation is not even consistent as some contributions are allowed straight away and others are not.

    • avatar
      EU reform- proactive

      Dear Peter Brown,

      you have my sympathy. You spent quite some energy, seem frustrated & a more recent visitor to DE? A hint- please go to the bottom of the website & check under: a) “Privacy Policy”, b) “Terms of use” (“Code of conduct”) & c) “Partners”. The “fine print” explains enough.

  36. avatar
    Peter Brown

    The most peculiar part of this ‘debate’ is why it requires moderation. Why can it not be subject to censure by popular vote?

    • avatar
      Peter Brown

      1810 hrs 01/06/16
      Dear EU R-P,

      I am not sure of the relevance of your post. Are you referring to my query as to why moderation is necessary? If so, I do not see why you asked me to look through the various ‘terms’ of this site.

      I am aware that some sites required moderation, but I am confused by the fact that some postings here require moderation when others do not. Surely there could be some mechanism for correspondents to flag breaches of the terms of service which could then be deleted by the moderators should they judge the posting in question to be in breach of the terms.

      I am somewhat frustrated in my inability to reply to some postings and not to others. It would also be helpful if there was some indication of the time of posting as otherwise, it can be difficult to follow the thread of conversation especially as there is no hierarchical form to replies.

    • avatar
      EU reform- proactive

      ……….P.B- simple- the “relevance” was your “frustration”. From my experience (assuming you did not know yet)- the automatic moderation program freezes a comment when certain words, outbound references & links are flagged as probable “EU suspect” (freedom of speech)- to allow certain control over our opinions. Good luck!

  37. avatar

    2 of my comments here are still ‘awaiting moderation’. Later comments are accepted. Interesting. Is it mentioning a NATO membership referendum in the UK? Or the reduction of military in a smaller European army?

    • avatar

      Ok – it is not. Just partial moderation. :)

  38. avatar
    Michael Huss

    Since Turkey successfully blackmailed the EU into giving them billions to close their borders to immigrants seeking to enter the EU how can you possibly prevent them from doing the same regarding their entry into the EU? We would be forced to agree to their joining wouldn’t we?

    • avatar

      1- This immigration agreement is under strong critics in Turkey, as well. Like Europeans saying that Turkey blackmailed them, Turks also say that Europe blackmailed/cheated/used them in return for uncertain promises. They criticize that the country is willingly becoming the “border station of EU”.

      2- Turkey has already spent, I think, an amount about 10 billion. When Turkey was spending this money, she was not expecting any support (any appreciation and any thanking) from EU or anyone else.

      3- The money promised is three billion, and I think another 3 billion in case. This is just a promise or a plan, and EU has already infuriated Turkey by asking to bring “projects” to release the money.

      4- Turkey has no touch with this money. It is supposed to spend directly over the needs of refugees.

      5- Why has Europe made herself fall in this situation, “blackmailed”? Where was Europe when Turkey was accommodating 2.7 million refugees alone? Where was EU money when Turkey was spending her own billions? Why did Europe not say to Turkey that “Oops, what are you doing there alone?” Why did Europe not take initiative from the beginning? Was Europe considering that she could keep herself away from the problem and enjoy her prosperity? Is it realistic?

      6- Entering EU is no more popular among Turks either, do not worry. It is no more a thing that is worth “blackmailing”. I really wonder if there is anybody left believing in Turkey’s accession in EU, both on EU and on Turkey side. The parties, however, are remaining on the process because being an “applicant” gives a status for both sides to formalize their relations. Nothing more than this, to be honest.

      7- The visa liberalization in return for the refugee agreement is a shame in such a sense that this should have been done long time ago and should not have been waiting for such an humanitarian issue. It is rather something technical. 99 % of visa applications of Turks are granted positively. It is no more advantageous for Turks to move to Europe. It could be so if it were in 80’s. It is nothing but a torture, especially for people traveling a lot like me, to prepare so many papers and apply for a process just for a few-day travel, completely nonsense. For my part, I am trying not to go to the countries requiring visa for my official passport. Bargaining this issue within the refugee problem was completely unnecessary.

  39. avatar

    Dear Peter, thanks for your elaborated reply. You are very deligent in discrediting the EU institutions ;-) and I even share several of your arguments, but if I may say so, I think your conclusion is a bit illusionary. I doubt there is some blue-sky EU-abandoned country. And: Britain 2020 will probably not be the Britain of 1960.
    You only count disadvantages and neglect all the positive aspects of the EU. That is too much black-and-white crusade for my taste, but I know, that is part of the British culture ;-) and I saw on your webpage that you are campaigning for the ‘leave’ vote. I am as ‘eurosceptic’ as you are, when it comes to the ‘corporate oligarchy’ and the lack of checks and balances and citizens representation on the European level, but why give up this instrument of promoting citizens rights, teasing national governments trying to find common problem solutions (tackling international organized crime, the climate change, having a stronger voice in foreign policy, developement of low-income-areas, promoting student and workers exchange, science networks, free place of living and travelling, no money exchange in most countries). I could go on, but my point is that there is also a lot of let’s say light grey that should be considered in the ‘remain’ or ‘leave’ decision. Apart from its ‘real’ disadvantages, the EU has also a terrible disability of communicating its benefits. For me the benefits outweigh the disadvantages. The direction towards more responsibility of the elected parliament went in the right direction in the past decades and will hopefully further develop after the Brexit referendum, starting with a new debate on a Lisbon treaty follow-up.

    Now let’s start with the arguments in detail:

    You write that the House of Lords is considered a ‘revising’ body in the UK constitution with many members following the will of a party rather than that of the people and you imply that you do not agree with removing hereditary peers. How democratic are hereditary peers? How representative for the voters is the majority vote in the House of Commons?
    When the EC was formed the founding fathers implemented the ‘ever closer Union’ because forming a European federation was far from reality in those nationalist times. From treaty to treaty peoples representation shifted more from intergovernmental (European Council) to citizens representation (European Parliament), but still the supreme chamber is the intergovernmental Council. That should change with the next treaty in my view. There is no black in European and white in the British system of representation. Both are more or less grey – certainly the British is lighter grey, true.

    You say that the EU has ‘total control over the lives of half a billion people’. I don’t know what you mean with that but personally I can live my life quite well without any permission from Brussels.

    Britain exported the parliamentary tradition to its former colonies. I am sure that British politicians would be welcomed by most other European leader if they would do the same in Europe. In reality, it was rather the other way round since Mrs Thatcher.

    I will have a break here. More tomorrow. Best wishes.

  40. avatar

    Alright, here’s the second part:

    Britain managed to grow (economically) since 2008 while Euro-states did not (that’s what you imply). That is not correct. The economy in countries with the Euro as their currency only contracted in 2012 and 2013 as a whole. Much of that is influenced if not caused by the too strict austerity policies following the massive tax-paid bail-out for the European banks. Today, there are it least rules that instead owners and savers (above 100 TEUR) will be liable for future losses, and there are the rescue fonds working. State depts are still not back on the pre-crises level (around 90% today against 60% of GDP in 2007), though they did not rise in recent years. Why care about the state dept? Because much tax money is lost for interest and repayment that could be used to invest in infrastructure otherwise. I think there will be some bail-out for the Greek and maybe the Portugese debts, but todays politics sadly is: ‘discipline’ before bail-out. Let’s see what will happen the next months.

    EU is declining in world trade. True. If you look at German or British trade, for example, they will not return to their dominant role of the 19th and 20th century. But is it not better to pool European trade interests? Do you really think that British interests will be protected better in a trade deal e.g. with the US if it would negotiate separate? I doubt that. There would be almost only US regulations.

    You say that there is no control over the EU because there is no electoral check. That is exaggerated. There are several checks but too few. That must change in the next European treaty.

    The EU has in your view the same structure as the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union was a centralized one-party state. EU is very decentralized. Actually, it is basically still an intergovernmental institution not so much different from the UN or WTO with some additional policy coordination, but far away from e.g. the US. In your Soviet picture it would mean that all 15 member states would have had quite some influence in Moscow. That was not at all the case and this also contributed to the dissolution of the S.U. Journalists like to simplify that French and German governments would ‘rule’ the EU. The reality is much more complex. Many policies have veto rights for every single country.

    You write that employees of the European institutions would have legal immunity for life for any wrong doing. Could you please cite the regulation(s) that protects them? If that is really so, that is clearly something to stand up against. I know there are several institution against fraud (OLAF, European Court of Auditors, departments in within the directorates of the Commission).

    You refer to a 2001 ruling of the European Court of Justice that it is illegal to critisize the workings of the EU (EU vs. Connolly case). I googelt He was fired from the EU Commission in 1995 because he published a book about his perceived working experience in the EU. The court ruled that it was legal to fire him because he actively worked on discrediting his employer. That sounds like a poor decision in that single case. But as I have no interest in reading his book at the moment, I cannot say much on that. Only that this case is no general ruling against speaking up against an employer.

    You say that Mrs Merkel with her socialisation in Communist Eastern Germany wishes to dominate the EU and cite her immigration policy as an example for that. Do you really think so? Although I do not stand behind most of her politics, I would say that she has quite a democratic spirit in German national politics and truely wants to develop the EU into a democratic federation (in the sense of more cooperation of national ministries but also citizens representation). Merkel is in no way the ‘strong woman’ behind the scenes some media want to see her. Off course, the German government has some influence in Brussels, but an image of Schultz and Juncker and the whole European Council as Merkel puppets is as far from reality as Boris Johnsons Hitler-Napoleon-EU comparison. If you would closer look into the processes of decission-making on the European level you would clearly see that.

    • avatar

      Sorry, seriously? Do you really believe in that conspiracy and white supremacy stuff? We had that in Germany. Thanks, not again. That’s pure ideology. And as you wrote yourselves that totalitarian ideologies lead to the worst crimes in the past. What else is the separation of our societies?
      Let me quote just one passage of this confuse webpage that speaks for itself: “The plague of interracial marriage produces each year thousands of young people of mixed race: “The children of Kalergi». Under the dual pressures of misinformation and humanitarian stupefaction, promoted by the MSM, the Europeans are being taught to renounce their origin, to renounce their national identity.”
      That is simply complete nonsense. Not only in the condemnation of ethnical mixture, but also in the claimed loss of national identity. Nationalities on the contrary are the core of the European unification process. How could they not be? We are all raised in a mainly national surrounding. That’s not at all a bad thing. National identities also did not eradicate the local ones when the nation states formed. Why should European identity extinguish the national one?

  41. avatar

    With the exception of the Visegrad countries (Poland, Czechia, Hungary, Slovakia) most EU states are more or less immigrant societies with significant ethnic minorities. The majority of 300.000 immigrants to Britain, e.g., stems from its former colonies, representing its global influence up to today. The EU-freedom to chose the place of working and living everywhere in the EU adds an ‘immigration’ of EU-citizens.

    Maybe we should discuss (1) how that effects non-immigrants, (2) that our European civil rights are out of discussion, (3) how these rights could be better communicated to immigrant groups that do not respect them, and (4) how fears of alienation by non-immigrants can be met by politics without a general discrimination of immigrants as it happens today by right-wing populists.

    • avatar
      Peter Brown

      0645 GMT +1, 03/06/16
      @ Peter. It is becoming more and more difficult to reply in this thread because there is no ‘time stamp’ to individual posts and it does not follow any hierarchical structure and most contributions to do have a ‘reply’ facility attached and I must, therefore pick a posting almost at random in order to be able to use a ‘reply’.

      In a later posting by you, you quote the following:
      “And more: If someone labels racial mixture as a ‘plague’, as the author stated on the webpage Peter Brown was linking to, I am getting really sceptic. That is pure racist hate speech.
      But please correct me, if I should misunderstand something.”

      I will attempt to correct your misunderstanding. You accuse the concept described and the use of the word ‘plague’ as being pure racial hatred and therefore ‘racist’; why is it racist?

      Let me give you an analogy. Grasshoppers in a meadow are seen by many as part of a rural idyll. The sound of grasshoppers when lazing in a field on a Summer’s day is considered by many as part of the joy of the countryside. Children will play at catching the creatures and studying them. They are a welcome part of the countryside and cause no great harm to agriculture. Yet; when millions of these grasshoppers gather together in a swarm as they sometimes do, they are no long grasshoppers, but become a ‘plague’ of locusts and wherever this swarm lands, it completely changes the original state of the land.

      Europe, for centuries has been quite happy to accept immigrants from disparate States and cultures. Those migrants were assimilated into the society of their host Nation reasonably effectively. However, the strategy described in the linked article describes a deliberate policy of creating a ‘swarm’ of migrants from a totally different culture and ideology to come in their millions in a very short time frame and in that context, it becomes a plague in the same way that it is actually designed to completely change the structure of the host Country.

      Merkel, you say, has very little influence even in Germany. Yet, she was able to influence the whole of Europe (not just the EU) by her precipitous call for an ‘humanitarian’ influx of Syrian refugees. Leaving aside the fact that very few of the migrants were not refugees as they were embarking from a ‘place of safety’ according to the 1951 Convention on the Status of Refugees, Merkel, if she had been honestly intent upon an humanitarian cause could have realised it without a deliberate attempt to destabilise the whole of Europe by instigating a series of airlifts and/or passenger ships directly from the refugee camps after first checking the validity and background of the migrants for security purposes. Instead, she deliberately let it be known that ALL migrants were welcome. The result was that millions arrived in a very short time and that the vast majority of the migrants were not Syrian at all but economic migrants.

      One thing that I have never accused Merkel of was stupidity. She must have known, as any reasonable person would, that opening the floodgates to immigration from surrounding, poorer continents would result in a massive invasion into Europe to the detriment of so many European countries without consulting them and without their agreement. Even many Germans, who though originally welcoming, now finds itself ‘plagued’ with a massive increase of lawlessness perpetrated by large groups of these migrants which has caused a swing to the ‘far right’ in many EU States.

      It is true that Germany, due to its low birth rate, needed to increase its population but they could have done so by controlled means directly to Germany as I have described above. Instead, she deliberately caused this massive influx that has been to the detriment of the whole of Europe. This strategy has only been to the benefit of the Corporate interests in Europe as it is the basis of a glut of unskilled labour that will help to provide a cheap, homogenised labour force that will massively increase their profits but to the detriment of the income of the lower paid indigenous workers and the culture of the Host Nations. It is not these Corporate and Political Oligarchs that will bear the brunt of this policy as they have the means to be above the upheaval. It is no accident that Merkel received the Coudenhove-Kalergi prize in 2010 followed by Van Rompuy in 2013.

      Your use of the word ‘Racist’ in such a cavalier fashion does nothing for your obvious intelligence as the word is so often used as a ‘blunt instrument’ by those left wing radicals who have no coherent argument other than to dengrate their opponent. In the vernacular of the linked article, it is obvious to those who have not closed their minds that the word ‘plague’ was not being used to describe the immigrants themselves but as a description of a deliberate policy to allow an influx of millions of disparate cultures with the sole intention of wiping out the cultures of the individual Member States.

      Slightly off topic. You frequently speak of the likelihood that future EU Treaties would rectify much of what they have done to cause the sublimation of the various cultures within in Europe. Have you read the proposal from the Spinelli Group of the European Parliament? It is entitled ‘A Fundamental Law’ and is described as a new Treaty to bring together all previous treaties into a single entity. It is not. It is in fact a blueprint for a Federal Europe which places the unelected Commission as the ‘Government’ of a single European State. The document has been under the scrutiny of the EU Treaty Change Committee since last year and could easily be adopted. If you have not read it; google ‘fundamentallaw.pdf’ for a copy. If you cannot find a link (I found it difficult) you can download a copy from my website.

    • avatar

      Dear Peter Brown,

      thanks for your reply. Please be clear, I wrote that the author of that conspiracy webpage labeled interracial marriage a plague, not (only) mass immigration as you accidentally changed my wording. That is racist. I would say this reveals his background and intention very well. That’s quite different from your view that immigrants to Europe were more or less successfully assimilated in the past centuries but only last years’ immigration was too high.

      But let’s go on to the ‘swarm of migrants from a totally different culture and ideology to come in their millions in a very short timeframe designed to completely change the structure of the host country’ as you summarize that webpage’s content.

      I concur that it was not pure Christian greatheartedness of Merkel and her comrades to temporarily abandon the (quite unfair, but that’s another topic) Dublin system last August, resulting in combined hundred thousands of non-EU immigrants instead of the tenthousands esp. German/Hungarian/Swedish societies (that accepted most of last years asylum seekers) were used to. I never said that Merkel has very little influence, I just stated that she is in no way the strong woman the media wants to see her (check my words), meaning that she does not rule/dominate the EU or EZ, she even relies very much on several councillors in German national policy (I think that esp. Schäuble has quite an influence on her). I can’t read her thoughts ;-) but I would assume that apart from potential future taxpayers and workforce, true humanitarian intentions, and the relief of the Levant countries, her policy also aimed at pressuring for a better coordinated European immigration policy. Certainly not at fighting German or other Europeans identities by mass immigration. I would even argue that the contrary holds: pressuring for more effective European border management. But also for a reformed Dublin system that would not leave the complete burden of asylum decisions to Greece and Italy which themselves already deal with their bitter internal problems. So much on reading Merkel’s tea leaves.

      One of the main EU policies towards Turkey and the northern Arab states aims at the reduction of immigration to the EU (the dirty deals). Already that does not go along with this ‘Kalergi-plan’. If there would be something like this webpage claims, dozen millions of Asians and Africans could have easily been invited in the past decades. Instead only some thousands (maximum ten thousands) used to immigrate to the mainly Western EU states in the past. Most countries had rather European immigrants from not so different cultures. Following 9/11 all these forced upon ‘democratization of the mid-East’ started (btw always with British prime ministers at the forefront, while most other Europeans were sceptic; sorry to point that out ;-)), destabilizing many countries and causing millions to flee. Last year saw a record influx of more than 1 million registered refugees (maybe some of them registered more than once…) but certainly also additional ‘unregistered’ people that came to the EU with its >500 million inhabitants. That’s still bearable for the whole EU I’d say, but even the most burdened German districts did not collapse in the heated up weaks of last October. With quite high probability, last years development will not repeat in the future if you look at the decisions of the last months (many closed borders, strongly increased border patrols, declarations of ‘safe’ EU neighbour countries in order to send asylum seekers back there). I don’t understand, why Cameron is not talking about that.

      Today, refugee camps including fast track asylum decisions in Greece and Italy are installed, strengthened EU border patrols are active and the ‘deals’ with Turkey and Arabian countries reduced immigration to much lower levels than last year. I feel like some EU media spokesman here, but that is just the facts (e.g.

      So, love, peace and harmony? Of course not. The high immigrant numbers of the last years mean a huge effort for esp. the Western European high-income societies which accepted the vast majority of those refugees from quite different cultures. That cannot be afforded every year, for sure, but certainly the Rubikon was not crossed 2015 as some esp. Russian media but also certain British love to make people think. Crime rates changed much less than many were afraid of (almost no change in murder and rape rates, yes – there was Cologne – unacceptable, but also some not so clever police action there, burglary and theft rose moderately in the last few years, true, also inter-ethnical/-religious/-gender conflicts occured to some degree within the overcrowded refugee camps), language and integration courses have been made obligatory for immigrants, the next step, some immigration system besides asylum, is in discussion, maybe some point-based system tailored for the labour markets. Integration yet is a huge task, but we are far from e.g. the French suburb riots of 2005.

      My point here: immigration is manageable. But also here holds: it is much easier in a European cooperation.

      I will answer on the Spinelli proposal (as soon as I have read it) better in another thread. We are already quite far from Brexit impact on global influence…

      28/02/2017 Elizaveta Khan, Managing Director of Integrationshaus e.V., an organisation committed to greater participation and fairness in society, has responded to this comment.

  42. avatar
    John Kelly

    The fact the UK is a member of the EU exposes it to the threat of subsidising the failing economies of Italy, Spain, Portugal who’s national debt has surpassed their GDP and perhaps even more seriously France who’s banks are overstretched with Greek debt which if Greece defaults will cause the French economy to crash.
    The EU is fixed on a course of political expansionism towards the East, this means absorbing all the former Warsaw pact nations including Georgia, Ukraine and Belorussia, which would mean that the Russian Federation would if this continued be surrounded by the EU from the Arctic Ocean to the Black Sea which if the EU mandarins have their way would also include an EU army drawn from all EU nations under a central command structure outside of the control of Nationally elected Governments.
    The power behind the EU is the industrial and commercial power of Germany who now dominate the lives of everyone living in the EU, names like Bayer AG, AGFA, BASF, RWE, SIEMENS, VAG, Bosch, Krupps-Thysen, Mercedes-Benz, BMW! This then is the driving force of the EU today! They have attempted to achieve this domination on two previous occasions, first in support of imperial Germany and the Kaiser and again in support of the Nazi party, but they are not political or nationalist idealists, just greedy businessmen.

    • avatar

      ‘Expansionism’ could also include Russia if a majority of the people in Russia wish so. Back in the 90ies there was once the policy of building a common house Europe open to any member state of the Council of Europe (, not to be confused with the European Council, the main legilative of the EU. Much has changed since in general perception, but also in actual politics (shift of geopolitics towards Eurasia by Putin with non-approved interferences in Moldova/Geogia/Ukraine, non-approved interferences of Western governments in Kosovo/Iraq/Syria, not further approaching European values by Erdogan). Meanwhile the EU did not change its open door policy resulting in the recent association agreements, but also contributing to the sad developement in the Donbass. This ‘Russia encirclement’ argument sounds quite strange to me. Neither EU nor NATO enlargements are a threat to the Putin administration. Yet, it is used by the Russian government to justify its own interference in other souvereign countries.

      If the power behind and driving force of the EU today would be a few German companies dominating the lives of every EU-citizen, I would agree that it would be very reasonable to leave the EU. But that is not the reality. Lobbyism includes many companies from all member states and from outside the EU, NGO’s and other interest groups trying to influence politics in Brussels. That is the same as in national capitals.

      We could suggest a debate here, whether EU-lobbyism produces regulations that ‘dominate the lives of everyone’ as you write. Lobbyism could be an important part of the next EU treaty debate. British experience and arguments could help there very much. I hope for British bulldog spirit, combined with French sense for protest and German stubbornness, to fight this through together with the other Europeans.

    • avatar
      EU reform- proactive

      Peter, in “shorter” but broader terms- there are those who (consciously or unconsciously) follow the nearly ONE century old concept of various shades of Pan European ism- while others do not- due to “conscientious ” reasons!

      The present EU ONLY allows pan European parties to participate in the present undemocratic EU & EP- which confirms its roots. First presidents were Count of Coudenhove-Kalergi & Otto von Habsburg (Austria made him to renounce all titles to the crown of the (past) “Holy Roman Empire” etc).

      A quite fitting quote:

      “We are experiencing the most dangerous revolution in world history: the revolution of the State against man.” Maybe or not- intentionally?

      Isn’t it time to get a better grasp & understanding about “recent” (100 years) PAN-European developments & its history?

    • avatar

      Dear Proactive, I consider the present, past and hopefully future European cooperation, whether it is labeled ‘Pan-European’ or not, as a valuable contribution for peace and stability, exchange of ideas and balance of national powers. There has never been a longer period of peace and wealth for the majority of the people in the ECSC/EEC/EC/EU member states than in the past generations with significant exceptions, e.g. victims of the austerity policies. The EU has many flaws, but it is no anti-democratic dictatorship as some like to blame its multi-institutional decision processes.
      Some people love conspiracy stories like the secret world government by masonries or jews. Believe me, that’s nonsense. It’s just the wish to explain complex coherence with simple answers. Personally, I have a problem with simple world explanations, but everybody is free to believe in what he/she wants as long as there is no harm to others. I especially have problems with missionaries that do not accept other peoples opinions or values, but actually I like to debate (that’s why you read this).

      Alright, now some final statement on Pan-Europeanism in the context of Britain’s global influence? Um, the idea of democracy is minimum 2500 years old and still is a valuable concept of peoples representation. Pan-Europeanism is a much younger idea, that brings together people from several national and local backgrounds. Pan-European democracy means the representation of Europeans from all kinds of backgrounds of our continent with its hundreds of millions of individuals. British people’s representatives could be valuable pan-Europeans if they would wish so. Some do not wish. That’s fine. Whether that has an impact on Britain’s global influence will the years after a Brexit show if a majority of British people should decide so. The Lisbon treaty gives every EU member state the right to leave. Britain is, maybe, the first country to choose so. Probably, there will be only a minor setback for Westminster, after the Brexit shock is digested, but maybe there are further consequences.

      On your quote: I don’t share that statement that there is a revolution of state against man. On the contrary: the state retreats more and more in most countries with the consequence that only the rich live a life in unbelievable wealth. So it is rather a revolution of the rich against the state and the not so rich. Personally, I don’t like anarchy because for me it means that there is no care for the weak. Insofar I am a pro-state person ;-)

    • avatar
      EU reform- proactive

      Hi Peter,

      Q: Does the agenda, world perception & thoughts of (global) “leadership” differ materially from that of the rest or masses?

      If yes, history & present reality should inform some of us, there is (should be) actually much less “conspiracy theory” involved than prominently stated. Is it genuine defense or ignorance? While complex, one shouldn’t bother using existing “clichés”- even if it is to the annoyance of others.

      If not, all should agree, be happy & experience that a concoction of Multi Culti, monetary, fiscal, social & last not least maybe economic pan supranational or global- paradise has arrived or is arriving and sovereign nations are becoming obsolete in Europe & globally. But are they & who decides?

      Isn’t the destruction of a basket of traditional values in full swing- despite all the HR & democratic pretense- by all these well known “self- righteous & self appointed” leaders- planing the next supranational move? Who still remembers what traditional values are? All conspiracies?

      By comparison, the power & influence- of the already “have all society” (cliché- 1%)- is by far not equal to the influence we ordinary (dumb) voters have- or?

      Although, we the dumb, (~99%) would be able to outnumber & outvote “them” by far. Not having been granted access (“refused”) to “direct e-democracy” (which could easily be implemented today) the power of the 1% remains save & guaranteed to infinity. With direct democracy do THEY fear- the dumb 99% would destroy & gobble up all their assets, privileges, everything- like the old barbarians?

      Brexit is a choice between a direct “sovereign democracy” and a far away out of reach diluted supranational democracy! Not, or hardly not the fear about either existing or perishing!

      To genuine reform the present system, a Brexit (later followed by others) is the ONLY (would be my) choice. Therefore, all these (massive) attempts to remain are to perpetuate & entrench the status quo by spreading threats & fears. Not the other way around. Understandable? Alternatives & different meaningful systems are not even mentioned here- but they do exist!

    • avatar

      ‘Proactive’, in your opinion: what is THE agenda, THE world perception and THE thought of (global) “leadership”? I think, there is nothing like that. Only bloody dirty politics with diverging interests, compromises, power play, etc. of different figures the media love to picture as “leaders” to make things let’s say acceptable for non-involved “masses”.

      The Brexit campaigners, e.g., are quite successful in making some people think, the referendum would be a choice between “democracy” and “dictatorship”, paradise or hell. Their masterminds imply that national politicians represent your will while the devilish complex system in Brussels is against the indivuum.

      Do you think, Westminster speaks for “the people”? I do think it’s some system of indivuals’ will representation, with advantages and disadvantages, just as the EU system or your city or rural council is. And no question, there are many groups trying to influence politicians on all levels. You will always find a lot of things you did not vote for even in the best e-democracy you can imagine. How many lobbyists are there in London (or Berlin/Paris/Athens/…)? How democratic were Westminster decisions of going to war several times recently, raising students’ fees, cutting NHS, etc. I don’t follow British politics that regular, but you will know several additional examples, where “THE will” of the majority of the people was not represented in Westminster. None of that had anything to do with Brussels.

      I certainly don’t think that the EU system is better than any national European democracy. My point is, that many people are mislead in an either … or decision. Only good or evil. I am just sceptic on that blue-sky national souvereignty talk, free of “eurocrats”. I think it’s only in the interest of national politicians that fear that their importance (and maybe with that perks and pensions) is waning, not in the people’s interest. It is always easy to tell the people: look, these outsiders want to cut your rights. Go, fight against that! If EU defenders were a bit more clever, they easily could argue the same way. My impression is, however, that there is no real debate in Britain. European cooperation has no real lobby in the big parties (except for liberals and SNP). EU politicians decided not to interfer in the British debate. Cameron and Corbyn seem not convinced of what they are saying. People become confused and start to trust some nationalist backbenchers. Did you consider that?

    • avatar

      @ Proactive: By the way, thanks for the link on globalization. Very nice overview.

    • avatar
      EU reform- proactive

      @ Peter

      Peter thanks; I am afraid, this debate leads to nowhere. It appears you enjoy a debate for debate’s sake, dismiss & are fond to label historical facts- unfortunately- as conspiracies etc. Maybe better suited for student- led debates! Here is my last “conspiracy” and one out of many other (reserved “conspiracies”) reasons to support a Brexit. Especially for you:

      BTW, i am not British, but support and see “Brexit” as saving grace & an opportune sensible “Anti EU euphoria act”- to prevent a future- yet not foreseeable- but costly disaster.

      Similar (to the disbelief of probably the majority EU lovers) but comparable to the German euphoria in the 1930’s- where NOBODY (except later & clever HINDSIGHT) considered and foresaw that the road “paved with good intentions” of the German Workers Party (DAP) later the NSDAP would eventually end in global tragedy. Same Europe, great concept, even greater projects, same countries, different elites, different epoch- different generation- infallible?

      It was the youthful euphoric generation of the 30’s then, which gave way to the 1960’s (the “economic builders of a prosperous Europe”) followed by the new 1990’s EU born- who show an alarming loss of memories, disregard, no appreciation of the past or lessons learned throughout history- or? Good luck!

    • avatar

      “Similar (to the disbelief of probably the majority EU lovers) but comparable to the German euphoria in the 1930’s- where NOBODY (except later & clever HINDSIGHT) considered and foresaw that the road “paved with good intentions” of the German Workers Party (DAP) later the NSDAP would eventually end in global tragedy. Same Europe, great concept, even greater projects, same countries, different elites, different epoch- different generation- infallible?”

      No system is infallible. Certainly not our present ‘free market’ system. I don’t know which alternative concept you have in mind, but I think we agree that the actual system produces the recent growth of right-wing populism, almost everywhere in Western states, having the potential to return to 1930ies nation states. Following some period of peoples separation, it is not that difficult to imagine new mass crimes (e.g., in Germany the AfD recently anounced that Islam ‘does not belong to Germany’, historically true but far from present reality, and in future consequence maybe not so different from NSDAP antisemitism; NSDAP was voted by only one third of the electorate in the last free election, offering their populist answers and an alternative for some ‘rotten system’; AfD today stands at ~15% in polls).

      I am not sharing my views here because I like to write, but to maybe make one or two readers think a second time about the present popular Brussels ‘scepticism’.

      “It was the youthful euphoric generation of the 30’s then, which gave way to the 1960’s (the “economic builders of a prosperous Europe”) followed by the new 1990’s EU born- who show an alarming loss of memories, disregard, no appreciation of the past or lessons learned throughout history- or?”

      Today, there is almost no euphoria among youth as elders for the European project. That could even be helpful for more reasonable discussion. But actually, I think that most people are simply not interested because they think that they are not concerned by European politics.

      European cooperation was quite successful (at least until the financial crises) to deal with all the enemities among the nation states elites, because they had to work together for common goals, and no longer against each other. For me, that’s the simple and still valid fact, why I support the EU idea. No emotional attachment. But in order to survive, EU has to tackle its legitimacy crises, or nationalist parties will abandon the cooperation and 1930ies history may repeat.

    • avatar

      @ Proactive: Could you briefly list which ‘historical facts’ I dismiss & am ‘fond to label conspiracies’? Do you mean that ‘Kalergi-Plan’ to exterminate national identities? Let me explain, why I consider that a conspiracy: this Coudenhove-Kalergi may have had and stated this idea to abandon national identity (I did not read his book, did you?), and European federalists base themselves on his authority. So far, I go along with that. But then, in my view, the conspiracy part starts: European heads of state/government and other ‘eurocrats’ would swear on these 1920ies ideas for as their bible, meaning that they start fighting national identity. That sounds very unrealistic to me.
      And more: If someone labels racial mixture as a ‘plague’, as the author stated on the webpage Peter Brown was linking to, I am getting really sceptic. That is pure racist hate speech.
      But please correct me, if I should misunderstand something.

    • avatar
      Peter Brown

      5th June, 2016 1200 hrs GMT+1


      Peter, I do not have time to write a long treatise on this and so I will comment on your last post.

      I wrote that the author of that conspiracy webpage labeled interracial marriage a plague, not (only) mass immigration as you accidentally changed my wording. That is racist. There you go again using the ‘racist’ bludgeon. Certainly in the context of individual interracial marriage, to label it a ‘plague’ is racist but not in the context of my analogy when a few innocuous interracial marriages is deliberately transformed into a policy of Europe wide assimilation with the object of replacing national heritage. I am surprised that you failed to point out a truly racist remark earlier in the article that referred to the creation of a ‘sub-human’ culture.

      I concur that it was not pure Christian greatheartedness of Merkel and her comrades. If you concur, then what motive do you place upon her actions?

      You then, in the same sentence go on to say temporarily abandon the (quite unfair, but that’s another topic) Dublin system last August, resulting in combined hundred thousands of non-EU immigrants instead of the tenthousands. The abandonment of the Dublin Agreement is definitely not another topic as it is part and parcel of the strategy to flood Europe with migrants. Of course it is unfair on the inhabitants of the Southern European states to carry the whole brunt of the mass immigration but it is the deliberate policy to destabilise the demographics of the whole of Europe by the EU that is the crux of the matter. You are perfectly well aware, as I am that the EU States are in position of having sufficient technology to surveille the potential embarkation points of the migrants before they depart and be able to turn them back to where they set off from. They deliberately choose not to but instead provide naval transport for the majority of the migrant’s journey into Europe and thereby present a fait accompli. You criticise Cameron later in your posting as though I would wish to defend him. I do not. He is as much a traitor to the European People as Merkel, Verhofstadt, Schultz,et the problem is now transferring to the English Channel with illegal migrants being smuggled by boat to England from the coasts of Northern Europe. Cameron has just cancelled a contract with a private maritime reconnaisance firm that would have been able to detect these migrants before they entered British Waters just when they were needed most. At the time, the Dublin Agreement was perfectly adequate and in line with the 1951 Geneva Convention when immigration was in reasonable numbers before this deliberate policy of encouraging mass immigration from not only refugees but also those economic migrants that represent the bulk of the influx.

      her policy also aimed at pressuring for a better coordinated European immigration policy. Certainly not at fighting German or other Europeans identities by mass immigration If you should believe this, you are being incredibly naive or that you think that we who believe it to be just that are foolish. Nobody with Merkel’s obvious intelligence and political savvy could do this by mistake. Her policy was, and is, deliberate. She merely underestimated the reaction of the Countries involved and is now trying to pressure other sovereign states to comply with her policy, often by the use of blackmail. The EU have threatened Britain that if they do not take ‘a quota’ they will be denied the legal facility of returning illegal immigrants back to Continental Europe. Yet another example of the EU riding rough-shod over the very Law that they have produced when it suits them. That is the practice of a totalitarian state and we wish no part of it.

      Crime rates changed much less than many were afraid of (almost no change in murder and rape rates, yes – there was Cologne – unacceptable, but also some not so clever police action there, burglary and theft rose moderately in the last few years, true, also inter-ethnical/-religious/-gender conflicts occured to some degree within the overcrowded refugee camps). Please do not insult my intelligence by such a dismissal. Despite the deliberate news blackout by the Police and the media, the information does come through. Even with such a blackout, news is constantly coming through about women and children being raped and molested in the camps, Swimming baths and other public places. One migrant even put forward the ‘defense’ that he was sexually frustrated after 4 months of not having sex when being prosecuted for raping a 10 year old boy. It is not just Germany, though you mention only Cologne when there are reports that sexual assaults are taking place all over parts of Germany, there are reports that it is happening over much of Northern Europe. Especially in the previously peaceful and welcoming Sweden that is now labelled the ‘Rape Capital of Europe’

      The truth is that many, though not all, of these migrants are wandering around in large groups and creating mayhem simply because they are able to do so with little chance of police detection. They do it because they are of a culture with little respect for the Law and it can only get worse as more and more are allowed into Europe.

      There are around 6000 migrants, mostly young, unaccompanied men, who are mostly armed and physically attack truck drivers who try to prevent them from being ‘stowaways’ into Britain on the trucks. There is also a great deal of resentment from both the People of Calais and Britain as to the sense of ‘entitlement’ when the migrants refuse food that has been donated to them and insist that they have ‘their own money’ to buy food in the shops. They have NO entitlement, they are supposed to be supplicant not demanding of the facilities that others have worked to pay for.

      Article 2 of the Geneva Convention of the Status of Refugees makes it encumbent on the migrant to respect the rule of Law and Public Order of the host Country even though most are NOT refugees. Yet, the EU refuses to round them up and repatriate those that so blatantly breach those requirements. I do not care if you call me racist for wishing to protect my way of life and that of my family from those that wish to change it to suit their own culture and by those politicians that positively encourage it.

    • avatar

      @ Peter Brown

      I neither think that you are racist nor that you have unreasonable concerns about last years mass immiration. It is not acceptable if we would change rules or even only look away when discriminations/crimes happen, only because we don’t want to overexert the people coming here to seek shelter/work/marry/whatever.

      But please mind the danger of labeling Asians/Africans as subhuman or take for granted that they are not able to adapt to our society!

  43. avatar

    Britain’s understanding EU is similar to that of Turkey, a country on the opposite edge of Europe, which British politicians are now grounding on to justify their excuses to leave EU; an EU that one day will may include Turkey.

    Of course it is not only Turkey. As stressed above, UK initially joined a 6-member union, and today there are 28 of them, as EU has moved eastwards in the continental direction which UK has a limited interest in.

    Both countries, UK and Turkey, tend to stress the non-European references of their identity and their trans-European connections: for the British, Anglo-Atlantic world and commonwealth community; for the Turks, Islamic world, Eurasia, Balkans and beyond…

    Both countries have a wider aspect of international relations, political and commercial, cultural and historical, being not limited to continental Europe. Their digesting European identity (or the European side of their identity) has never become at the same level as their Central-European partners.

    Both countries have been on a stage that they could practice a more global or regional influence than EU does. EU, contrary to its economic capacity and social development level, displays very bad performance in diplomacy and leadership, in respect to responding to problems and to helping settling them down, as shown in the recent crisis such as Ukraine or Syria/refugees. However, the same EU helps a lot in settling the conflicts, establishing democratic values, decreasing tension and establishing the peace within the exclusive European environment, in rather an indirect way, what is called “soft power” of EU.

    EU is good at theory as there were many well-elaborated EU-financed projects on human trafficking and people smuggling to lecture the non-EU countries in its periphery, one of which was Turkey which today hosts 2.7 million Syrian refugees. I do not know what has happened to these projects while EU countries are now closing their borders and declaring their unavailability to accept refugees. There is a big space of what you can do when the problem non-exists.

    This now causes to question the limited leadership power of EU. Individualism traditionally is a high value in Europe. People tend to stress their similarities in the orient, but their differences in the west. Reserving oneself becomes more visible in such crisis period.

    I support EU because everywhere extremists are opposing it, in continental Europe. I think EU has covered a way to such a point as not to go back. Being effective within EU still depends on being in it.

    Is this a global effectiveness? This will depend on how EU perceives itself, if EU describes the European identity on a broader meaning. Till now, EU has had a concept “enlargement” as a replacement of the concept “external relations”, and has viewed every outside issue from this perspective, in its periphery. Unfortunately, EU cannot approach global issues in an effective way, not surprisingly. Therefore, countries such as China, Russia, Turkey and even Iran can behave more effectively and conclusively than EU which has several times bigger economic power than these countries. Why not UK?

    • avatar
      John Kelly

      I support Brexit, not because I hate the peoples of the Europe, but because the EU system only benefits two nations, Germany and to a lesser extent France while the rest of the smaller economies are only members because they have access to the single market as net beneficiaries and are able to reduce their exposure to funding social benefits for their unemployed citizens who they are able to offload to other richer member states who subscribe to the shengen agreement.
      As far as UK exports to other EU nations is concerned there is no advantage to the UK as the balance of trade with the EU is perennially in deficit while our trade with the rest of the world which is considerably greater than with the EU is always in surplus. EU trade represents just 13% of UK GDP but EU business regulations negatively affect 100% of UK businesses financially.
      EU law especially human rights legislation too frequently prevents justice for victims of foreign criminal’s and obstructs protection for British people from known terrorists who we want to deport.
      In the UK we elect our government by majority vote so that they can make our laws and protect us from harm, in the EU our Government cannot carry out that function.

  44. avatar
    David Briggs

    If it’s a good thing to have unelected people making decisions for us to obey, why do those who wish to remain in the European Union still recognise the word ‘democracy’? One thing is all but certain, the United Kingdom would never have entered into a political union with other European states back in 1974. The name ‘European Union’ came along later. Perhaps ‘European Economic Community’ (itself a rather silly name, European Economic Competitors would have been more appropriate) wasn’t flashy enough? ‘Common Market’ (a name that actually meant something) woul never do for them. Way too common.

  45. avatar
    average joe

    what global influence have britain right now?if europe or the world or buisiness likes it or not is irrelevant,its to do with britain,,see thats part of being a democracy, the people of that country has a say on their future by a vote unlike the eu which is an unelected body of nobodies

  46. avatar
    Ray Lee-Riley

    I’d like to vote for both in and out. However, vote I will. I’ve decided, unequivocally, In… All these arguments or discussions will culminate in the Vote.
    Vote and wait and see.

    • avatar
      Peter Brown

      The basis of this discussion is the effect of Brexit. Your writings add nothing to the debate.

  47. avatar
    Ray Lee-Riley

    Mr Brown, you must concede (if your believe in free speech) that every British citizen has the right to state their opinion. I didn’t know that you had the right to Edit.

  48. avatar
    John Kelly

    I see the choice between remaining in the EU or leaving it as a simple decision to make, if we are going to continue electing British MP’s to form our Government, to make our laws and to defend our freedoms then we need to vote leave, if we are happy to have unelected bureaucrats dictating 60% of our laws, some of which give biased advantage to offenders and disadvantaging victims of crime, and are in the process of amalgamating the armed forces of all member states into a single entity called the European Army to combat a possible threat from the East under a central command, then the need for a UK parliament becomes unnecessary and we vote remain.!

  49. avatar

    “How would Brexit affect Britain’s global influence?”

    Funny question. How would “Maxit” influence Massachusetts’ global influence?

    • avatar
      Peter Brown

      Funny answer on your part. The answer on my part is that there is no comparison between Britain and Massachusetts. If Massachusetts decided to leave the USA, there would be considerable upheaval but the US would survive. If Britain should leave the EU, there is a very real possibility that the EU would not survive. The US is a relatively democratic entity whereas the EU is anti-democratic. None of the EU Politicians are directly elected yet they have inordinate power over us. The only directly elected part of the EU has no legislative power. In fact, as far as I know, it is the only Parliament in the World that does not have legislative power of any kind.

      The dissatisfaction felt by the British with the EU is also felt by a considerable number of the population of the rest of the EU with a number of other states considering a referendum on secession. If that should occur, then it is entirely possible that a chain reaction would occur leading to the break up of the EU and with it, the Euro currency.

      As the Euro is one of the World’s major trading currencies, the repercussions would be felt all over the World.

      Does that make things clear for you?

    • avatar

      Even funnier reply. The question being asked here is not how much havoc the UK could potentially wreak and how much scorched earth it could leave by exiting the EU, and how big the chances of an EU breakup post Brexit are (imho, in that order: little, little and slim). The question is how influential Britain is in the world, both as an EU member and out of the EU.

      “EU is anti-democratic. None of the EU Politicians are directly elected yet they have inordinate power over us. The only directly elected part of the EU has no legislative power. In fact, as far as I know, it is the only Parliament in the World that does not have legislative power of any kind.”

      Still funnier. Again, how does all that pertain to the question at hand? But well: no, the legislative power in the EU is not the Commission. That they’re the ones who write the drafts and initiate the legislative process does not mean they rule us like some kind of collective monarch. Power of governance in the EU, such as it is, rests with a) the Council, comprised of elected governments and b) the elected parliament. There are the people who decide, they’re the ones who ultimately make laws in the EU sense. They cannot initiate legislation themselves, but once its under way, they can of course amend, modify and reject the legal act in question as they see fit. And because that is so, the commission must, in practice, coordinate its proposals with both institutions in the first place – there is no chance whatsoever of decreeing anything past the wishes of elected representatives. The commission’s powers really are quite limited.

      Is there room for improvement? Sure there is. Like everywhere else, including most member states themselves. The EU Parliament’s rights have been extended constantly with every new treaty, in accordance with extended powers given to the EU as a whole. It stands to reason that Parliament will eventually obtain the right to initiate legislation as well. That, though, is by no means the pivotal element actually needed to make the EU democratic.

      But claiming that the EU is “anti-democratic”, that “None of the EU Politicians are directly elected” and that the EU parliament is “the only Parliament in the World that does not have legislative power of any kind.” is just painfully wrong and absurd.

      Every single EU country has political players, most of them of little consequence, demanding EU exit and referendum to that effect. That’s a long shot from “a number of other states considering a referendum”.

      “Does that make things clear for you?”

      In order to be convincingly condescending, you’d really have to have some more insight.

  50. avatar
    Peter Brown

    1030 hrs GMT+1. 7th June 2016

    “Peter June 6th, 2016
    @ Peter Brown

    I neither think that you are racist nor that you have unreasonable concerns about last years mass immiration. It is not acceptable if we would change rules or even only look away when discriminations/crimes happen, only because we don’t want to overexert the people coming here to seek shelter/work/marry/whatever.

    But please mind the danger of labeling Asians/Africans as subhuman or take for granted that they are not able to adapt to our society!”

    Peter, it is neither right nor acceptable that a host country should modify its laws or culture to accommodate the culture of any supplicants. It is right to allow them to practice their own culture just as long as it does not encroach on the rights and privileges of the indigenous People of the host Country.

    If you should have read carefully the reference that I made with regard to ‘sub humans’, it was I that pointed out to you that you had omitted to pick up the point that it was indeed racist to refer to any non-European group as ‘sub-human’.

    I do not take it for granted that they are not capable of adapting to our Society, only that I take it for granted that far too many REFUSE to adapt to our Society because of the over lenient attitude of woolyheaded liberals that cannot see the harm that they are doing to the indigenous population. ‘Multiculturism’ has been shewn to not work but that is not to say that many cultures cannot live together if they all follow the same rules.

    • avatar

      Peter, that is a step in the right direction. Not all immigrants (not even the majority, but rather a tiny minority) are criminals.

      Immigrants face a huge pressure to adapt, be it from our administration, daily work/school/recreational surrounding, media, … As soon as we rather distinguish between criminals and non-criminals, we come to a much more helpful ansatz in our discussion, compared to labeling all immigrants as some alien body in our society.

      Certain people refuse to adapt. There are rules for crimes. If an immigrant commits a serious crime, he can be sent to his home country, otherwise there is punishment within our society – if the police catches him. You imply that our system is overchallanged. Partially, I concur. There is the European Arrest Warrant to sentence criminals within the EU. But police and judicial cooperation could certainly be enhanced. Also secret services of the European states still mistrust each other so much, that there is only limited cooperation. Sometimes you would think, we still have some war going on… But even national institutions may have too few personal or other resources. Maybe think of the additional taxes that immigrants pay while working as a contribution to fight ‘incoming’ crime. We should demand better security if there are real problems (and not just perceived problems that certain yellow press likes to point out).

      Now to the pressure that other cultures (within our legal system) exert on the indigenous population and to the ‘woolyheaded liberals’: on the long run, all societies changed their agricultural structure into our present diversified world. I can already imagine your face, right – on the long run, we are all dead, as some British economist used to say. But this change accelerated in the last decades with deindustrialisation of Western states, IT, rather low travelling costs and huge differences in income. The German society of 2001, e.g., was already quite different from that of 1991, even before there was any ‘mid-East democratization’. Also due to immigrants from the former communist states. Did that change German identity? I would say: Yes and No. The culture of the new Germans was not that different, and, with certain exceptions, the vast majority adapted very well and many even started to feel sorry for WW2 crimes ;-) (something more imprinted into the German soul than any Beer and Brezn). On the other hand, the ‘Russians’ and ‘Yugoslavians’ brought their habits so that partially, also indigenous Germans changed. There were some very sad murders of immigrants (btw mostly of Turkish origin) commited by nationalist Germans at the start of 1990ies, but eventually the society accepted the immigrants.

      Now, what about the mid-East immigrants of the last years, in their majority men who could afford the people smugglers’ fees? Is their cultural background so different that adaption is not possible at all? There are illiterates, patriarchic and tribal backgrounds, etc., and among them there are criminals, but there are also very well educated and open people. Although I don’t concur with most of Merkel’s politics, I personally support her last year’s decision. Apart from the above mentioned reasons, here is one additional explanation: Syrians only came in larger numbers after the UNHCR care was cut significantly in the Levantine and Turkish refugee camps. You say that it would have been easy to pick people there and offer them flights to Germany. Sure, backward-looking that sounds reasonable (that’s the present deal with Turkey), but actually, many people were already in Budapest last August, when Merkel made her ‘lonely’ decision (please check my arguments above – it seems, you misunderstood me in that point). Will those several hundred thousand Syrians destroy the German identity? Probably they will change it just as ‘Russians’ and ‘Yugoslavians’ did it in the 1990ies and Southern Europeans in the 1960/70ies. Will Germany become some Saudi-like sharia state? I seriously doubt that, but of course we have to be careful, which values we admit and which cannot be tolerated. Exactly that is, what jurisdiction is for and we have to make sure, that it will continue working. I am not as pessimistic as you are, but we have to stay realistic. The city I am living in accepted several thousand of immigrants last year and the city council spent millions to avoid Paris or Brussels suburb conditions. Most Germans are still much more open towards refugees than they were back in the 1990ies, although hundreds of nationalists attacks occured, gladly still without any murder as far as I know. But some Germans never change…

    • avatar

      Maybe you assume that the BBC is run by some ‘globalists’ or at least by the woolyheaded guys, but maybe just notice this article summing up the present EU policy towards restricting immigration from Asian/African countries:

    • avatar

      @ Peter Brown: For further debate on immigration please let’s change the thread.

    • avatar

      … two of my yesterday’s answers on your post are again ‘waiting moderation’ …

  51. avatar
    Peter Brown

    1425 GMT+1, 7th June, 2016
    @ Blugalf

    After that long winded and totally misleading tirade, answer me two questions:

    If the Commission are the ones that initiate the legislation, what happens if they do not as nobody can force them?

    If the Parliament is given all the facts upon when to ratify a Law or not, Please explain to me how ‘Parliament’ ratified the April 2010 Amendments to Article 2 of the Charter for Fundamental rights that allowed for the reintroduction of the Death Penalty and gave legal immunity for up to lethal force to put down rioting/insurrection and escaping from/resisting arrest (Convention_eng.pdf published by Are you telling me that MEPs are a blood thirsty lot or is it because the document given to Parliament only mentioned the full wording of the amendments in a footnote to another footnote in the document presented to them to vote on with no time for proper perusal, let alone debate?

    If you have trouble downloading ‘Convention_eng.pdf as it is a common occurrence for controversial EU documents to suddenly become unavailable, feel free to see it on my website: (The Article in question is on page 6)

  52. avatar

    What exactly it is that you consider misleading in my post remains your secret. As for ‘tirade’: pots and kettles come to mind.

    As for your questions: you could find out all this very easily by yourself, but here goes:

    If the Commission refuses to initiate legislation when instructed to by either Council or Parliament, there’s essentially two ways in which it will quickly learn its limits: first, it might find that both Parliament and Council are much less cooperative next time their approvals are needed on something the Commission wants. Second, if the Commission repeatedly ignores Parliaments’ requests, the Parliament might eventually decide to remove it from office by a vote of no confidence.

    That is why, in practice, the formally missing right to initiate legislation is largely just that: a formality.

    second question: first off, thanks, but the men in black must have been remiss, the document is still readily found on the CoE and EU web sites. Seems it’s ‘controversal’ only to some. The PDF you refer to is the “European Convention on Human Rights”, yet in your post you say “Charter for Fundamental rights”, which is a different thing. You either don’t know the difference, or such fine details don’t bother you much.

    The “European Convention on Human Rights” is an international treaty – totally independent from the TEU. Its signatories are the member nations of the Council of Europe, and it was ratified by national parliaments. The CoE has nothing to do with the Council of the European Union, or with the EU itself, for that matter – but I’m sure you know that. Specifically, the EU Commission has no role and no say whatsoever in all this.

    The EU itself, as a legal personality, was formally required to also ratify the convention, see Article 6 TEU. It has, to this day, not yet done so; hence the EU Parliament did not vote on this at all.

    As for the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU, which was subject to approval by the EU Parliament: if you look at the latest (2012) revision here,

    you’ll find that Article 2 does not reintroduce the death penalty.

    So, long story short, and in order not to be tiresome with too many facts again: no monkey business to be seen. But feel free to elaborate if you still think otherwise.

  53. avatar
    Peter Brown

    1620 Hrs GMT+1, 8th June, 2016


    Tsk, tsk. There you go again spouting the ‘Party’ line.

    “If the Commission refuses to initiate legislation when instructed to by either Council or Parliament, there’s essentially two ways in which it will quickly learn its limits: first, it might find that both Parliament and Council are much less cooperative next time their approvals are needed on something the Commission wants. Second, if the Commission repeatedly ignores Parliaments’ requests, the Parliament might eventually decide to remove it from office by a vote of no confidence.”

    First of all, the Parliament cannot instruct the Commission to produce legislation as there is no mechanism to do so. The Council can suggest that the Commission initiates legislation but the Commission cannot be compelled to do so. However, the Commission can initiate legislation should it do so without the requirement of the Council’s approval.

    You further write that the Commission will ‘quickly learn its limits’ by finding the Parliament and Council ‘uncooperative’. By this time, the Commission must be shaking in its boots. You go on to say that if it continues, Parliament may ‘eventually’ vote to remove it by a vote of no confidence. Would you not agree that there is a world of difference between, in your own words, ‘quickly’ and ‘eventually’.

    Do you mean by the same method that they got rid of the ‘Santer Commission’ (1995-1999) who were being investigated for irregular practices during the set up of the Euro currency? There was no vote on non-confidence. That Commission was allowed to resign en-masse without prosecution and with full pension rights and priviliges. This Commission included one Neil Kinnock who currently languishes on a pension of around £83,000 per year. I don’t know how the present Commission can have the courage to serve when such ‘draconian’ penalties are hanging over their heads. Especially when such ‘formalities’ must be initiated by well over 700 disparate members of the EP, most of which are ardently pro-European Union.

    “second question: first off, thanks, but the men in black must have been remiss, the document is still readily found on the CoE and EU web sites. Seems it’s ‘controversal’ only to some. The PDF you refer to is the “European Convention on Human Rights”, yet in your post you say “Charter for Fundamental rights”, which is a different thing. You either don’t know the difference, or such fine details don’t bother you much.”

    Sorry to disappoint you, but if that is the response that you get when searching for ‘Convention_eng.pdf’, it would seem that the ‘men in black’ have acted with their normal diligence. The document that I am referring to does not refer to the ECHR explicitly although it does refer to it occassionally in its connection to the European Charter for Fundamental Rights. I suggest that you download the ORIGINAL document of that title from my website to avoid any further obfuscation. For the record, I know both the difference and I bother very much to find out the details.

    “The “European Convention on Human Rights” is an international treaty – totally independent from the TEU. Its signatories are the member nations of the Council of Europe, and it was ratified by national parliaments. The CoE has nothing to do with the Council of the European Union, or with the EU itself, for that matter – but I’m sure you know that. Specifically, the EU Commission has no role and no say whatsoever in all this”

    The ‘European Convention on Human Rights’ is NOT an International Treaty. You are confusing it with the1948 Universal declaration of Human Rights which IS. The European version which was enacted in 2000 was incorporated into the 2007 Lisbon Treaty. Furthermore, the European Charter refers only to European Legislation. Quote: ” The provisions of the Charter are addressed to:
    the institutions and bodies of the EU with due regard for the principle of subsidiarity; and
    the national authorities only when they are implementing EU law.” Unquote. (

    “As for the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU, which was subject to approval by the EU Parliament: if you look at the latest (2012) revision here,

    you’ll find that Article 2 does not reintroduce the death penalty.”

    The link that you provide shews that Article 2 has exactly the same wording in 2012 as did the original in 2000. However, as in so many EU publications, there are the precised or redacted versions for public consumption that provide only basic headings for each Article, and then there are the ‘full text’ documents.

    If you should trouble yourself, the foreword of the version of ‘Convention_eng.pdf’ that I can provide is:

    “The text of the Convention is presented as amended by the provisions of Protocol No. 14 (CETS no. 194) as from its entry into force on 1 June 2010. The text of the Convention had previously been amended according to the provisions of Protocol No. 3 (ETS no. 45), which entered into force on 21 September 1970, of Protocol No. 5 (ETS no. 55), which entered into force on 20 December 1971, and of Protocol No. 8 (ETS no. 118), which entered into force on 1 January 1990, and comprised also the text of Protocol No. 2 (ETS no. 44) which, in accordance with Article 5 § 3 thereof, had been an integral part of the Convention since its entry into force on 21 September 1970. All provisions which had been amended or added by these Protocols were replaced by Protocol No. 11 (ETS no. 155), as from the date of its entry into force on 1 November 1998. As from that date, Protocol No. 9 (ETS no. 140), which entered into force on 1 October 1994, was repealed and Protocol No. 10 (ETS no. 146) lost its purpose.
    The current state of signatures and ratifications of the Convention and its Protocols as well as the complete list of declarations and reservations are available at ”

    “Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms
    Rome, 4.XI.1950
    THE GOVERNMENTS SIGNATORY HERETO, being members of the Council of Europe,
    Considering the Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaimed by the General Assembly of the United Nations on 10th December 1948;
    Considering that this Declaration aims at securing the universal and effective recognition and observance of the Rights therein declared;
    Considering that the aim of the Council of Europe is the achievement of greater unity between its members and that one of the methods by which that aim is to be pursued is the maintenance and further realisation of human rights and fundamental freedoms;
    Reaffirming their profound belief in those fundamental freedoms which are the foundation of justice and peace in the world and are best maintained on the one hand by an effective political democracy and on the other by a common understanding and observance of the human rights upon which they depend;
    Being resolved, as the governments of European countries which are likeminded and have a common heritage of political traditions, ideals, freedom and the rule of law, to take the first steps for the collective enforcement of certain of the rights stated in the Universal Declaration,
    Have agreed as follows:”

    Specifically for Article 2 (Page 6):

    Right to life
    1. Everyone’s right to life shall be protected by law. No one shall be deprived of his life intentionally save in the execution of a sentence of a court following his conviction of a crime for which this penalty is provided by law.
    2. Deprivation of life shall not be regarded as inflicted in contravention of this Article when it results from the use of force which is no more than absolutely necessary:
    (a) in defence of any person from unlawful violence;
    (b) in order to effect a lawful arrest or to prevent the escape of a person lawfully detained;
    (c) in action lawfully taken for the purpose of quelling a riot
    or insurrection.”

    Note the sentence in Clause 1 of Article 2: “No one shall be deprived of his life intentionally save in the execution of a sentence of a court following his conviction of a crime for which this penalty is provided by law.”

    Despite the fact that the EU has repeatedly decried the use of Capital Punishment and, indeed, has cited that the removal of Capital Punishment from the Statutes of individual Nation Member States as a prerequisite of Membership, the inclusion of that sentence provides legal precedent for those same Member States to reintroduce it in the future and for the EU to introduce it themselves in the event of federalisation of the EU.

    Note also that the same amendments to Article 2 in effect give legal immunity to the use of up to lethal force when dealing with riots and arrest.

    Now you Blugalf, are you ready to concede now that you have been taken in by the sanitized versions of EU documents available to the Public and that my rather more in-depth attention to detail is more relevant?

    • avatar

      @ Peter Brown: you are simply confusing the “European Convention on Human Rights” of the Council of Europe (including Russia, Turkey etc.), that is exactly the text you cite, an internationally treaty as Blugalf wrote correctly and which is not related to the EU institutions, with the “Charter of Fundamental rights of the EU” where there is no death penalty at all. No black men, no precised or redacted version. But I myself get sometimes confused, which European institution is EU and which is not. The important thing: there is protection from death penalty, also due to that European Parliament decission.
      There is so much conspiracy thoughts among ‘eurosceptics’. Sad claims only to discredit the greatest civilatory achievement of our continent because it seems to be too complex for many.

    • avatar

      After reading the EU-Charter Preamble a second time: you may refer to the passage, which says it reaffirms the rights of (among others) the European Convention on Human Rights which you cite. So there would be a conflict in affirming death penalty in the sense of that non-EU institution (‘CoE’) and forbidden death penalty in the sense of EU law.
      There is the principle that the more specialised law holds in case of conflict – meaning that the EU-Charter is the relevant law for all EU powers and tasks.

    • avatar

      The party line, uh-huh. What you’re offering here, on the other hand, I refrain from labelling with the appropriate term for the sake of decency.

      It’s really not all that difficult. If the Commission refuses to comply with the wishes of Parliament and Council, these institutions will simply stall other legislation currently under way; or announce that they will reject any future proposal until they’ve got their way; or they can make it clear that until they get what they want, new proposals will be rejected. There’s always enough leverage, with many proposals being under way at the same time. A vote of no confidence is the prospect that looms should the Commission prove very unreasonable. That it hasn’t happened yet may point to some shady underhanded plot or some other such dark conspirational business, or it may simply be that politics on that level isn’t conducted by children who think in terms of making one another ‘shake in their boots’, but by people who know their place and their range of influence and act accordingly. Your ‘mechanism’ is called ’email’, ‘phone’ or ‘letter’. That there’s no formal provision to do is a simple fact that I have mentioned and explained sufficiently, I believe.

      ECHR: what you’re trying to pull here is offensively and very transparently dishonest. Looking at your original post there can’t be a shred of doubt that you weren’t even aware of the difference, and freely mixed up unrelated issues in order to construct a grotesque scenario verging on conspiracy theory. Now you’re trying to wriggle out of this by offering a flood of words and tossing about the terms randomly – and if that weren’t enough, you have the unmitigated gall of using the word ‘obfuscate’.

      No, I’m not confusing anything, you were, and are.

      * Of course the ECHR is an international treaty. And it is totally separate from the EU. At least bother to look at the Wikipedia page. You will find the current treaty revision here: This document contains precisely the text you quote from your mysterious PDF. I’m not going to ferret around on your web site, the index page was more than sufficient, thank you. Provide a direct link to that PDF you think is different. You’ll find the current list signatories to the ECHR here:

      * This treaty was NOT ratified by the EU parliament. Your original claim that some controversial addendum was sneaked in by giving the EU Parliament too little time to debate it is simply absurd nonsense. However, this treaty WAS ratified by national parliaments. With the death penalty clause in article 2 and all.

      * This treaty was NOT incorporated into European Law.

      “Now you Blugalf, are you ready to concede now that you have been taken in by the sanitized versions of EU documents available to the Public and that my rather more in-depth attention to detail is more relevant?”

      This is laughable.

      No, I very emphatically will not concede anything like that. It is all plain as day, the document I pointed to is the legally binding, full text wording of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, which is most certainly NOT the same thing as the European Convention of Human Rights.

      Your “attention to detail” really is a total lack of insight and honesty, and thrives on mixing unrelated things at random, warping facts and ignoring reality in order to arrive at whatever suits your ideology.

  54. avatar
    Peter Brown

    @ Peter

    “Peter June 7th, 2016
    Peter, that is a step in the right direction. Not all immigrants (not even the majority, but rather a tiny minority) are criminals.”

    Peter, please do not patronise me with such self-evident admonitions.

    “Certain people refuse to adapt. There are rules for crimes. If an immigrant commits a serious crime, he can be sent to his home country, otherwise there is punishment within our society – if the police catches him. You imply that our system is overchallanged. Partially, I concur”

    This may be true in the context of individual migrants though I have considerable reservations. However, in the context of the discussion that we are now having concerning the influx of several hundreds of thousands, the situation is entirely changed. Whereas an individual may be persuaded by the force of the Law, large groups of migrants are not in the least intimidated due to the fact that they are overwhelming the abilities of Law enforcement to contain them. Even should the Police become effective enough to catch these criminals, the cost to prosecute and incarerate them is far too high a burden on any state.

    “But this change accelerated in the last decades with deindustrialisation of Western states, IT, rather low travelling costs and huge differences in income.”

    I do not understand the point that you are making with this sentence. I fail to see what connection there is with the “pressure that other cultures (within our legal system) exert on the indigenous population and to the ‘woolyheaded liberals’:”. I do understand that travelling costs have been reduced in connection with air travel but that is entirely due to competition between hudget airlines and certainly does not apply to public transport in Britain which increases year on year. As to the “huge differences in income”, you are certainly correct there. British wages are at the same level as they were in 2008, largely due to massive immigration driving down wages.

    “There were some very sad murders of immigrants (btw mostly of Turkish origin) commited by nationalist Germans at the start of 1990ies, but eventually the society accepted the immigrants.”

    I, in no way will I attempt to justify the actions of Militant Nationalists against the Turkish Migrants but I will make the observation that this relatively high influx of ‘Gast Arbeitern’ from Turkey in the 1990’s was seen as threatening to many low paid workers who saw them as a totally different and unwanted cultural change and threatened their livelihoods which resulted in several murders. Yet the numbers of ‘Gast Arbeitern’ was miniscule in comparison the numbers of migrants being allowed into Europe that you and Frau Merkel seem so keen on. Whilst in no way condoning it, do you not realise that the massively larger migration occurring now runs the potential for much greater violence, not just in Germany but over much of Europe. Especially so as the non-German States did not ask for nor want any part of Merkel’s precipitous actions.

    “Now, what about the mid-East immigrants of the last years, in their majority men who could afford the people smugglers’ fees? Is their cultural background so different that adaption is not possible at all? There are illiterates, patriarchic and tribal backgrounds, etc., and among them there are criminals, but there are also very well educated and open people.”

    I have no idea of your social status but I would guess from your liberal attitudes that you are either not in much direct contact with the immiggrants or, in fact, you are deliberately in close contact with them. In either case, you have exactly zero chance of changing the way I think on the subject. Your implication appears to be that because so many had money to pay the people traffickers that they must be largely ‘professional’ people who have earned sufficient money. This may indeed be the case for some but the sums demanded are not that high and could easily be raised by shop keepers, from life savings, some may even be criminals themselves who have stolen the money from others, there may be many otherwise poor people who have sold family ‘heirlooms’ that have been in their families for generations. Yet others may have been given the money by interested groups for nefarious purposes. Europol suggest that there are at least 5000 terrorists within the migrant groups and who is to say that there are not considerably more?

    In any case, for the British, it is not generally a xenophobic attitude. I live in an area where there are up to 13% immigrant population and strangely we all seem to more or less get along pretty well. Even more strange is that if there is any xenophobic feeling, it appears to come from a few of the migrants towards their hosts and their host’s culture. That aside, the main argument against mass immigration is that in recent years, the annual average is around 300,000 into what is already a densely populated Counnotry, far more so than France or Germany on top of which, the infrastructure is being completely overwhelmed and the threat of Merkel’s action is that many more additional migrants will be able to come to Britain, despite not being part of Schengen, when, in a few short years, will receive documents that will allow them into Britain legally.

    There is also grave disquiet that far too many of the migrants are Muslims of whom, by far the greater numbers fail to assimilate into British culture. They turn whole areas of our cities into virtual ghettoes. In fact, greater than 50% of our Nation’s capital is populated by non-British people. The stated intention of many Muslims is to turn Britain into an Islamic State according to the Koranic exhortation for all Muslims to do so. In fact, there are areas in many cities that have gangs of Muslims trying to force their Sharia Law onto non-Muslims. There are over 100 Sharia ‘Courts’ in Britain though the do not supercede British Law. The are registered as ‘Arbitration’ organisations but are run by Islamic Clerics. Due to cultural and family pressure, many Muslim women are denied their rights under British law as they are forced to go to these ‘Courts’ which are, of course, biased towards the man.

    This disquiet is justified. Although most do not fully realise the whole situation. Most Islamic migrants come from areas where large families are the cultural norm and far too many continue the practice once in Britain. Official figures tell us that now 8.3% of the people living in England are not British born though ‘Official’ figures have been shewn to be woefully ‘underestimated’ but it is the general belief that the Government has deliberately understated the level of immigration to avoid embarrassment. 26% of all births Nationally in Britain are from parents who are not British born. In London, this number explodes to 75%. At the current level of immigration (excluding the expected massive increase when the current influx to Europe become eligible), it is extrapolated that non-Muslims will be in a minority by 2050 and that is ignoring the fact that by that time, the National infrastructure will no exist due to the massive expansion of the population.

    This is further exacerbated by the knowledge that if Turkey should be allowed succession into the EU, apart from severely affecting the workings of the European Parliament by virtue of the fact that a Country that is not only 97% in Asia, its current population of 77 Million will give an increasingly fundamentalist Islamic State disproportionate ‘weighting’ under QMV on par with Germany and France (and Britain should we be foolish enough to vote to stay in the EU). A recent poll carried out in Turkey established that up to 12 million Turks would like to come to Britain.

    Peter, you are obviously, despite your protestations, ‘singing from the same songsheet’ as the EU federalists. You may be happy to sublimate your Country’s culture into a federalise Europe under the control of Corporate entities but I am not. My Country, more than any other Country in Europe has been able to develope our culture through over 1000 years. It is far from perfect, especially now that traitorous, self serving politicians have been allowed to hi-jack our Parliamentary system but out of the EU, we can work on that without the intermidable interference of the obscenity that is the EU but, most of all, we have the chance to take our Country back.

    I enjoy debate as you appear to do but I am no longer prepared to debate a lost cause. Therefore, I am terminating this part of the debate which is obviously from diametrically opposite views that will achieve nothing.


    “Maybe you assume that the BBC is run by some ‘globalists’ or at least by the woolyheaded guys, but maybe just notice this article summing up the present EU policy towards restricting immigration from Asian/African countries:

    I published a similar story from another source on my website ( but that story was not just a cheap abdication of Merkel’s culpability by intimating that this deal with the African States was the solution to the problem. In fact, it exacerbates it because by inviting immigration from the more ‘professional’ Africans, it will increase migration by legitimizing migration from people that have their qualifications guaranteed by States that are known to be endemically corrupt and do nothing to prevent the less educated Africans from attempting the crossing.

    Please do not consider this postscript as an invitation to continue the debate.

    • avatar

      As you do not wish to continue our debate, I just have some final plea for you: consider that your thoughts and concerns may be misused by a destructive political agenda that aims at dismantling an unprecedented era without major conflicts among Europeans. Only because the already larger-than-life piece of cake is still not large enough for certain elites.

  55. avatar

    I only hope that the actual Westminster power play against EU democratization (that’s what this referendum really is about in my view; many British elites are eager to prevent a democratic federal EU) will not have comparable destabilizing outcome as its catastrophic post-9/11 idea to force democracy upon mid-East countries, resulting in millions to flee their homes and uncounted dead.

  56. avatar
    Jane Tse

    If member states’ consideration is focusing on its own national interests rather than the collective interest of Europe, EU would be better off to remain a small union. Post-Cold War expansion of EU basing on the Cold War mentality has paved its way towards disintegration.

  57. avatar
    Jane Tse

    If Cameron wants the British people to vote against UK departure from the EU, he only needs to prepare a post-departure budget with all the lost of trade and other privileges UK has been enjoying, how much the government needs to spend on replacing all passports, the temperary suspension of travelling due to negotiation with the EU for a visa to enter the EU area, suspension of all trade deals which would be preventing entrance of UK products to the EU market, and other economic zones and vise versa, etc. The British people would be aware of how stupid they are to vote for departure when they are so much integrated with EU.

  58. avatar
    Jane Tse

    How would Brexit affect Britain’s global influence? The British people can only see how the global superpower US is doing, they would know that their global influence would never be as they were before. The US is now depending on courting small late developed countries’ support so as to strengthen its global influence. In what way the UK can compare itself with the US? In this global era, how can small countries like UK negotiate with giant economies such as China, Brazil, Argentina, Canada, Australia, India, ASEAN, EU, US, Russia, etc. ?

    • avatar
      Peter Brown

      If the World’s 5th largest economy cannot trade with the larger World economies, then explain to me how Iceland with its 320,000 population has a trade deal in place with China.

      Whilst on the subject, since when has Argentina been a large economy when it cannot even afford to buy obsolete aircraft from Russia. Russia’s GDP is less than the State of California for all its geographical size. Also, for the record, the UK’s largest trading partner is the US and has been for many years without needing a trade deal. As for India, Australia and Canada, we still have massive trade with these Countries also without having to bother with trade deals and have many contacts as they are all British Commonwealth Members. I suggest that you need to bone up a bit on your geography.

    • avatar

      In purchasing power parity (internationally better fit for comparisons), UK has the 9th largest economy in the world, and for the record: its main trading partner is not the US; I suggest that you bone up a bit on your economics ;-) e.g.

      But still, UK is and will be one of the most important economies in the world, irrespective of exit or stay party. And, of course, its government could itself negotiate trade deals. The question is: would that work out better for British customers and employees than the actual common negotiation? One of the main reasons why there is such a huge opposition to TTIP is the fear of abandoning EU workers and environmental standards. I am sure, a Tory government would immediately welcome to get rid of this ‘bad-for-business nonsense’ (in their sense, not mine). What would be the outcome? You can imagine yourself.

  59. avatar
    Jane Tse

    When people and enterprises cannot enjoy EU citizenship benefit, do you think people would still like to invest in the UK? Brexit would only be supported by conservative people who are still dream of its glorious era before the arrival of the global era.

  60. avatar
    EU reform- proactive

    Whenever my (EU) dog hears the words “EU enlargement or Euro”- he shows symptoms of fear and aggression & needs a vet! Call him- “Brexit”- he wags his tail in anticipation. Could it be his sensitive smell of self determination, doggy sovereignty & alternatives?

    “Another” conspiracy hub: “The European Financial review.”

    JCJ agreed, the EU needs its own army soon- to “contain” their 28 happy members & celebrate all annual birthday’s in style- like in the old USSR.

    • avatar

      Perhaps you could free your dog from his tight swastika collar and let him breath a bit. And stop feeding him all these brownies. He does not stomach everything. Think yourself of alternatives. Something closer to his self-determination would be some easy meat, but you wouldn’t want to pay for his bloodshed. I could recommend the golden star-spangled dog obedience school. They are quite the opposite of that rotten hammer-and-sickle school. Teach him some manners there and he will be fit for life again.

  61. avatar
    Peter Brown

    when I said that I would no longer indulge in this debate with you it was because I believe you to be an incorrigible exponent of the EU project. You are obviously intelligent and I believe you to be a dedicated proponent of the EU project rather than a ‘Troll’. However, I have no way of knowing the truth and decided not to waste my time in convoluted argument with you.

    Your latest post concerning the economic ranking of the UK, I cannot just allow without comment. According to wikipedia, in each of the listed rankings from the IMF, the World Bank, the UN and the CIA World Fact Book places the UK as in 5th place and NOT in 9th place as you suggest.

    Do not consider this posting as a continuance of our previous conversation but rather a rebuttal of your obvious bias despite your protestations that the UK is a significant ‘player’ in the World Economy.

    The British People have been inundated with erroneous information from the ‘Establishment’ in an effort to confuse them and it is for this reason alone that I will refute such typically crass statements on the viability of the UK economy.

    We do not wish to cut ourselves off from Europe as opposed to the obscenity of the EU political machine, there is mutual benefit. However, the trend in Britain is that the British People no longer believe in the lies and obfuscations of both the EU and our own traitorous politicians. It is entirely likely that Britain will vote for ‘Brexit’ and it is up to the EU politicians to decide whether they are going to attempt to penalise Britain in a fit of pique, but I am entirely confident that European manufacturers will take an entirely pragmatic attitude that will override the stupidity of politicians and their pathetic ego and recognise that the EU can indulge in trade with mutual benefit as it does with the most innocuous trade that it does with Vietnam with 99% tariff free trade. It is the EU’s choice, either live with or reject it. But should it do so, the EU is likely to be the ultimate loser. We can live with a short time loss of prosperity but can the EU win a trade war with its most lucrative customer when its own prosperity is declining dramatically in terms of World Trade? The truth is that the politicians in the EU are so tied up with their ideology that they cannot see further than the nose on their face. They do not seem to understand the movement from so much of the EU States the the ‘European Dream’ is not working and that a ‘Brexit’ will hasten their demise. Britain is likely to vote to leave on June 23rd and is likely to precipitate the collapse of the EU.

    There is an old English saying: there is none so blind as those that WILL not see. The choice is yours.

    • avatar

      I am sure there would not be any Russia-like trade sanctions between a post-Brexit UK and then smaller EU. There is nothing illegal or immoral in exiting the EU… Just ask yourself whether any future new trade deal with the EU would bring EU immigration restrictions (look at Switzerland or Norway, they both accepted free movement of EU citizens for access to the EU Single Market).

      On 5th or 9th largest economy: Purchasing power parity is used in economics to consider that you can afford different amounts of goods and services in different countries with the same amount of money. Taking that into account (that is ‘GDP in PPP’) and not just the average exchange rates against the dollar, UK is either the 9th ( or 10th ( largest economy in the world. If you do not consider what amount of services and goods you can afford and just use the dollar exchange rate, you will get to the 5th place which you cite, putting the UK economy above Russian, Brazilian and Indonesian economies. But actually, that’s just an illusion.

      On the ‘European Dream’: Personally, I neither think that the present EU is in good shape (e.g. the debt problems), nor that we will one day live in any unbiased direct EU democracy. But I do think that the coming EU reform will bring more democratic liability and transparancy (see e.g. the federalists proposal you recommended to me; I still only read the introduction and ‘Last Words’ and will comment on it later, but a central aim there is a remarkable shift from rather intergovernmental decisions of the elected national governments towards the directly elected members of the European parliament – quite promising in my view). The British people are free to say: ‘we don’t care what’s going on there behind the Channel. Let them do what they choose, we have our own affairs.’ But even in a post-Brexit dream world there would probably still be much more connections between British and continental Europeans than in any future (probably India-led) Commonwealth or in the ‘poodle relation’ ;-) to the US. EU offers a somewhat balanced concept (reducing the powers of the large states in favor of the less inhabited ones) where every voice could be heard in principle – also depending on bargaining skills. I think that especially the Cameron governments have simply been quite poor bargainers for their case (ask yourself why they formed their separate fraction in EU Parliament) and that’s the main reason why there is this referendum now. Not democracy, not even immigration or the state debts of Greece and Portugal. Sounds so much like kindergarden to me: as you don’t do what I want, I am out. No compromise. Goodbye.

  62. avatar
    Peter Brown

    when I said that I would no longer indulge in this debate with you it was because I believe you to be an incorrigible exponent of the EU project. You are obviously intelligent and I believe you to be a dedicated proponent of the EU project rather than a ‘Troll’. However, I have no way of knowing the truth and decided not to waste my time in convoluted argument with you.

    Your latest post concerning the economic ranking of the UK, I cannot just allow without comment. According to wikipedia, in each of the listed rankings from the IMF, the World Bank, the UN and the CIA World Fact Book places the UK as in 5th place and NOT in 9th place as you suggest.

    Do not consider this posting as a continuance of our previous conversation but rather a rebuttal of your obvious bias despite your protestations that the UK is a significant ‘player’ in the World Economy.

    The British People have been inundated with erroneous information from the ‘Establishment’ in an effort to confuse them and it is for this reason alone that I will refute such typically crass statements on the viability of the UK economy.

    We do not wish to cut ourselves off from Europe

  63. avatar
    EU reform- proactive

    Supporters of Pan or Pro EU’ism are unfortunately:

    • off target & prisoners of their doggedly one tracked believes-
    • placing ALL their bets on the one & only current EU concept-
    • mistaken by present supranational “EU democracy” as fully representative by a virtual 1 (one) “combined majority” Pro supranational EU party- using a protective filter & no real oppositions-
    • conceptualizing EU-skepticism or anti-EU’ism as radical right wing only- which is being disallowed-
    • lacking understanding by rejecting political nuances & variations.

    Conditional or compromising skepticism (“EU reform”) must be allowed as part of any honest democracy and its rejection suggests a tendency & love for totalitarianism- to achieve one specific end result. It encourages and leads to both sides using similar accusations in defense- being counter productive.

    In that spirit, let’s make the EU dog and pony show more entertaining & let’s honor Princess Europe and her Europhiles:

    • avatar

      Alright, what is your idea of how to come to good decisions for the society? I remember you mentioned something about e-democracy. How would you introduce it and e.g. make sure that there are minority protections. Or would you give everything to majority decisions? How would you make sure that there is a minimum of knowledge on the topics voted upon? How would you avoid that votes are not sold? I am just curious. What’s your ideas?

  64. avatar
    EU reform- proactive

    Q: How best to reform the present EU- driven by the ever mounting pressures from the owners of vox populi- while preserving stability, fairness & highest standards?

    To substantially reform or re-design the EU- top down- is impossible, prohibited by treaties and made illegal by its originators! The only way out of that “democratic misery” is from the bottom up- aka “Brexit” and/or more to come!

    Details are to numerous & complex to list or discuss here!

    Generally, it is an impossible task to be formulated by one person, one model, one concept, one opinion, one political party or trend, one think tank, one nation, one elite, one owner of capital, the owners of vox populi, the EU, the EC or the EP.
    Only through a honest, lengthy, multi layered, driven by several newly constituted consultative bodies & processes by the all willing & the all affected! Nobody arrogantly ruled too radical & excluded or banned- only by self exclusion! That what politicians should get paid for- diplomacy, nation & wealth building for ALL! E.g.:

    * an all inclusive European ‘parallel consultative process’ of deliberations with the following aims:

    * to plan, reform & build a more equitable, fair, happier but superior Europe for vox populi- (first on economic terms only- as priority) by inclusion of all 47 CoE members- using successful past experiences & considering all “material” grievances by ALL-
    * considering the importance of- & cooperating with capital in shared successes-
    * roll back state capture by capital and their rule over all, by destructive capitalism-
    * Everybody to start on an equal & sovereign footing- assuming Europeans of today will be able to find enough common ground and wisdom- since the old & narrow WWII reasons became obsolete in the meantime!

    Some links to (dirty in-out) current politics:

    “The European Parliament has very limited powers, virtually zero”:

    “Real internationalism comes from below”:

    If a top down reform is prevented & remains an illusion- than a “bottom up” will eventually correct it! A well deserved and “democratic” Brexit inspired chain reaction revolution throughout- by vox populi- “The End”!

    • avatar

      Brexit makes the following outcome likely:

      – continental European governments can eventually push through their (now more coherent) idea of European government
      – further exits are rather unlikely as most countries probably don’t want to imitate some British economical crash; they may happen occasionally after a longer period, but at least core EU countries would stay together so that EU regulations would remain intact; “the End” of the EU treaties is not likely
      – several company branches could move from Britain to Dublin, Frankfurt, Paris or Amsterdam so that non-British European economies could even benefit after a potential Brexit shock is digested
      – Brexiteers are mostly quite destructive capitalists themselves; Farage or Rees-Mogg are e.g. investment bankers; Britain would walk into some China- or at least US-like capititalism
      – open borders for EU citizens would either remain fully open in a new trade agreement or maybe only limited minimal

      There is still no ‘vox populi’, only quite diverging voces populi of all kinds of people (and lobbyists…). Bottom-up always sounds very nice but often fails when it comes to coordination. The ‘pirate parties’, e.g., almost disappeared with their idea of liquid democracy. And there are always vanities – we are just humans.

      Some mixed process of bottom-up influencing the top-down would be great. I hold it much more promising and relevant to change the EU treaties proactively than to hope for an unlikely complete EU destruction and only start afterwards anew, including the risk that nationlists or destructive capitalists cross your path again or are even more successful than in the past…

  65. avatar

    Those who support UK to leave the EU appear to be supported by the belief that the UK would be isolated from many problems confronting the EU such as the refugee issue and difficulties on recovery from the 2008 financial crisis. They might also be overwhelmed by UK’s speed of recovery from the 2008 financial crisis and its subsequent achievements, among which, the UK can surely proud itself to have been backing China in the internationalization of RMB. The UK is the first G-7 country to set up an official currency swap with China. Recently, the UK has also replaced Singapore as the second-largest offshore RMB clearing centre after Hong Kong. UK’s decision to join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank has triggered an irreversible rush request for membership. However, many of UK’s remarkable achievements are closely relating to the world’s second largest economy, China. Why China has chosen the UK as its strategic partner in Europe? I believe that China sees EU as the third power to balance the US. Being one of the three leading member states, UK top the priority as a strategic partner of China’s internationalization of RMB and stepping stone for stronger political and economic relationship with Europe. Without the EU membership, UK would lose its strategic importance.

  66. avatar

    Much concerns on the Brexit issue, I hope the UK will stay in and work on European future, we are Europe with the UK.

    When we in the Netherlands had the Ukraine referendum, ‘Geen Pijl’ the group leading the exit debate was feeding the media on purpose false information and dates, only to disrupt the system. And when asked about these false information, they did not argue this, they even confirmed this. It is not about the truth, only to be disruptive, no matter the consequences. This group is also in the Exit campaign, and we all know this.
    We so much hope a sensible outcome, based on vision & realistic data and remain as partner in the European community.

  67. avatar
    Sebastien Chopin

    Britain doesn’t have a global influence… neither does France… its something our populations have to get to grips with… Currently, if you’re not Russia, America, China or… the EU… you’re not leading…

  68. avatar
    Francio Marco

    They will let a weak EU and so they will influence also China, USA, Russia etc. and, just to survive, they will become the slaves of the USA.

  69. avatar

    EU has signed free trade agreement with 20 states. Including the 27 member states, all EU member states are enjoying free trade barrier with totally 47 states. UK leaves EU means that it would be exposed to trade barrier with 46 states instantly, at least, for some time before successful negotiation with other countries. Even worse, UK enjoys its WTO membership right as an EU member state. UK leaves EU means it has to negotiate with all WTO member states again to acquire WTO membership. China used 12 years to negotiate with all WTO member states. Would UK spend another decade to complete the negotiation and become WTO member? How much additional economic cost UK has prepared to bear? What I can say is that those politicians like Boris Johnson are putting their private political interest above that of the British people.

  70. avatar

    Just to remind you, you are also a union of nations. Don’t blame anyone if -let’s say- Scotland leaves the UK to be part of the EU instead.

  71. avatar
    Rosy Forlenza

    well, both France and the UK are permanent members of the security council with key nuclear capabilities within NATO, and key in the weapons manufacturing, so if they leave they will need money so weapons seems to be profitable. They will leave the EU weakened but I think they might be more weakened than they anticipate. FTSE is plummetting (affects pensions/investments), sterling is dropping, not so much against the euro, but will affect their national debt which is very high. The Scots have threatened to leave, the Welsh are concerned overall, and Northern Ireland is very nervous, there is now a generation of peace, people at 16/17/18 who know peace and who can travel to the Republic for jobs – The peace process in NI is very firmly underpinned by financial support from the EU. So…. I don’t think people will queueing up to trade with the UK because that argument is based on a strong economy and it won’t be if current indications of how the financial world is responding are to go by, the North will suffer badly in any recession and the whole of the UK is not the Home Counties ….but the stupid and the deluded seem to be winning.

  72. avatar
    Stefania Portici

    l’Unione europea è il più terribile mostro di un piano criminale creato da menti criminali e l’euro è una moneta sporca di omicidi ogni popolo europeo che la UE tocca ,lo uccide . Forse non sarà l’Inghilterra , forse non sarà la nostra generazione ma la storia insegna che i mostri vengono sconfitti . Non ho mai creduto a questo referendum ma l’assasinio di Jo Cox , povera donna mi dispiace, mostra che la tensione è alta e i criminali cercano di pilotare l’opinione pubblica inglese. In bocca al lupo agli inglesi e a tutti noi che abbiamo in comune questo lutto

  73. avatar

    Christopher Chope’s suggestion that membership of teh EU actually diminishes UK’s global influence is totally false. Firstly, we are in a post-Cold War global system. I do not see why UK needs to be treating Russia as an enemy. This is a Cold War mentality under the US influence. Without support of EU member states, I do not see how the UK can be more tougher in dealing with Russia, except the UK adopts its old foreign policy of the Cold War era i.e. following guidance of the US. If UK turns to the US, China would not have the confidence to maintain the strategic partnership established so far.

    UK’s UN Security Council membership can never act alone. It has been subject to order of the US. When China and Russia are also holding veto power, the UN Security Council seat serves nothing for small country like the UK and France. If UK lost its strategic importance by leaving the EU, China is obliged to find another strategic partner, UK would not be able to retain its fifth largest economy position. When new players are coming to the forefront of the global political economy, when the G-20 is formed, G7 serves nothing more than a political tool of the US and Japan. I do not see what is the use of this G7 membership. Finally, NATO is given a new lease of life after the Cold War, as a tool to sustain US global influence. Why UK tax-payers do not want to support Europe but turn to support the US? Without EU, the UK is obliged to form alliance with the US, Japan for the re-invention of a new Cold War era. Is this what the British people looking forward too?

  74. avatar

    In this global era, when problems and issues are growing global, when nations are growing interconnected and interdependent, when enterprises can only survive the turbulence of the era through merging and going global, when government autonomy and state sovereignty are compromising for economic growth, I do not see it a right way for the British people to leave the EU.

  75. avatar
    Jozsef Erös

    Britain can now influence EU and this way multiply its influence on the world. After the Brexit vill Britain stand alone. Or simple does not matter at all. I mean Britain can much more influance the EU as a member than the world alone :)

  76. avatar

    Instead, Dr Yu Jie (Cherry) can see the role of UK in the international and regional system more clearly. It is the EU membership which makes the UK the entry-point to EU member states. Same as HK, which served as the window of China before Deng Xiaoping’s open door policy. When China’s economy is fully integrated with the global system, HK’s importance has reduced. The decision of the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank to keep its HQs in London but open branches in big cities of China.

  77. avatar

    When the UK is an EU member state, investment compares UK with fellow member states and calculate the best interest. The UK would be the first choice. However, if the UK has left EU. Investment now needs to compare UK with EU. What is UK? Although the UK is the 5th largest economy, the EU is the second largest. The UK is smaller than Germany and similar to France only. Investing in Germany, France, even Italy and Spain would bring more benefit from investing in the UK because the formers are backup by a vast EU market. The competitiveness of the UK changes with time and space. Why the British people listen to lies of politicians rather than using their brain?

  78. avatar

    Britain’s global influence would be nothing after Brexit unless it submits itself again to US leadership like Japan. This problem is US leadership is a negative asset for many governments. Political leaders do not see taking a photo in the White House shaking hand with the US president is a must now!

  79. avatar
    Julia Hadjikyriacou

    The vast network of tax havens in overseas British territories will continue to enable poverty, public cuts and corporate welfare globally so the mega-rich can avoid and evade tax free from EU regulation.

  80. avatar
    Andrej Němec

    It will become a Russian protectorate and George Soros will break the Bank of England again. Scotland will demand and obtain independence, the Irish Republican Army will likely unbury the hatchet in Ulster.
    In a word it’s the End of the United Kingdom.

  81. avatar
    EU reform- proactive

    “Leaving the EU”
    RESEARCH PAPER 13/42 1 July 2013

    “Were the UK to withdraw from the EU, its new relationship with the organization could take several forms. A research paper presented to the Parliament of the United Kingdom:

    proposed a number of alternatives to EU membership which would continue to allow it access to the EU’s internal market, including continuing EEA membership as an EFTA member state, or the Swiss model of a number of bilateral treaties covering the provisions of the single market.”

    There’s always more than one way to skin a cat- even an UK cat!

    • avatar
      Jane Tse

      I t is stupid to think that EU would allow free meal to the UK. BREXIT is based purely on evasion of duty and responsibility of EU membership. Granting reaccess of the UK to EU’s internal market equal to encouraging further exit of member state. Once BREXIT becomes true, it is sure that its re-entering of EU market would be expensive.

    • avatar
      EU reform- proactive

      Emotional reactions to professional research will/can hardly be seriously considered by any UK government- only by equal emotional voters.

  82. avatar
    René Aga

    Inglés de brexit sentado sobre un león flamenco… o del Athletic Bilbao?😀

  83. avatar
    Jane Tse


    • avatar
      EU reform- proactive

      Using such a regrettable incident – committed by a crazed voter- only raises the emotional temperature!

      Such deplorable crime- which could come from any side- used as opportune argument by similar fanatics- might hopefully only sway & motivate similar crazed supporters from either side of the spectrum.

      It is the need of unfortunate political canvassing which bursts the brain of some low level sociopaths- the entrenched elites knows how to manage such disorders.

      It contributes nothing to make the fragile political dynamics of the E.U more understandable. Shame!

  84. avatar
    Peter Brown

    “Jane Tse June 19th, 2016
    I t is stupid to think that EU would allow free meal to the UK. BREXIT is based purely on evasion of duty and responsibility of EU membership. Granting reaccess of the UK to EU’s internal market equal to encouraging further exit of member state. Once BREXIT becomes true, it is sure that its re-entering of EU market would be expensive.”

    I shall tell you what is stupid, it is stupid to make sweeping statements that have no basis in facts. One big fact is that nobody knows for sure what the situation would be between Britain and the EU in post Brexit negotiation. A second big fact is that Britain is Europes biggest single customer with a massive trade debt which has been the case (except for a single year) since Britain joined the EEC and the application of tariffs upon Britain would not only be reciprocated but will cause considerable loss of profit to the large European manufacturers and consequent job losses and so it is not economically feasible. A final fact that illustrates your claim that it is ‘stupid’ is in its self stupid is to consider that there will be no tariff free trading with the EU: They have just completed an almost tariff free trade deal with Vietnam (99%) when Vietnam has very little to ‘bring to the table’ as Britain does.

    Perhaps you should reconsider your attitude.

    • avatar

      Tariff free trade deal with Vietnam is with EU, I suppose, not with the UK! If UK has suddenly lost its backup market of the whole EU, do you think others would give tariff free agreement to the UK? This needs to negotiate again but UK would definitely need some time to negotiate for before that they economy might fall into recession because all UK free trade negotiation has been in the name of EU collectively. It is the economic size of EU that give strength to EU free trade negotiation not UK. As I have already said before UK has been enjoying free trade with 47 countries as a EU member. Once UK leaves the EU, I do not see how many free trade privilege can UK can have without undergoing new rounds of negotiation. Without free trade agreements, all UK commodities would immediately expose to trade barrier. Don’t know how many UK enterprises can survive by waiting for the signing of new agreements.

  85. avatar
    Peter Brown

    All of you trying to scare the people into believing that tariff free trade with the EU really should read Articles 70 and 71 of the Vienna Convention on Treaties: 1969. This Convention was carried out under the auspices of the United Nations and is therefore International Law.

    @Jthk. If you had read what I have written properly, you would see that I have stated that the EU did sign a trade deal with Vietnam. What on Earth makes you think that Britain would need to do so on its own behalf? 56% of British trade is with countries OUTSIDE of the EU and all done WITHOUT having to enter into a trade deal as the EU denies us that right. Further more, with that 56% we are in a trade SURPLUS as opposed to a continuous deficit in trading with the EU. Once we are free of the EU, we shall be free to either pursue trade deals with other countries or not as we see fit. Should we do so, trade deals will be enacted far quicker than the EU does it simply because we will not be held back by the selfish attitude of 27 other Member States, For example the trade deal with Canada has still not been agreed after 7 years because Canada refuses to give visa-free access to some Eastern European states and the long running negotiations with Australia being help up by Italian tomato growers.

    Further more, those that wish to leave the EU do not want to be caught up in the inevitable catastrophe of their own making when Italy, Spain , Portugal and possibly even France when their economies under the Euro go bust as they are all very much in danger of it occurring. Not even Merkel would be able to persuade the Germans to pay for that kind of a mess.

  86. avatar

    If you have a good friend and you see that he is going to hurd himself and others badly by trying to proof that he is right. He was mislead by the Murdoch press and so you clearly see that he is wrong. What would you do to bring him to rethink? Would you let him run into the knife that is waiting for him?

  87. avatar
    Jane Tse

    As Hollande has expressed, UK must leave EU immediately, otherwise, EU would bear the cost of UK’s departure. This is essential for EU to isolate the chaotic situation the UK itself has created.

  88. avatar
    Jane Tse

    As Hollande has expressed, UK must leave EU immediately, otherwise, EU would bear the cost of UK’s departure. This is to isolate the chaotic situation the UK itself has created.

  89. avatar
    Jane Tse

    A Chinese proverb: when there exist a monk, he carries his barrel of drinking water. When there are two monks, they carry the barrel together. Where there are three monks, no one wants to carry the barrel. UK has always been a disintegration force of the UK, its departure might actually facilitate the solidarity of the EU.

  90. avatar
    Jane Tse

    Why small states of East Asia fail to prosper? Why regional powers Japan and South Korea become pawns of the US? It is because the US has been using a spoke and hub policy, which has been working like a wheel of a bicycle with the US as the hub, spinning each spoke to advance its national interest, while spoke are required to be divided and rule. UK has been traditionally isolated. It has been playing a “hit the mole” game, playing a balance of power in the European continent so as to prevent the rise of one single power, which would threaten its own survival. When UK joined the EU, it has eliminated its threat from European continent. Its “hit the mole” game is no longer relevant. As the UK left the EU, EU is no small separated states. UK has isolated itself at the very northern corner of the European continent and its old game cannot be played again because the small states have formed themselves a EU and it is a super mole now!

    • avatar
      Jane Tse

      What UK’s next prime minister can only do is to go to shake hands with the US president and ask for protection and support. The UK has just given up its leadership role in a big EU and turned itself into a pawn and protege of a military superpower. What is the result? Being tied to the chariot of war to fight against Russia and a rising China?

    • avatar
      EU reform- proactive

      @Jan Tse

      While one is astonished and respects China’s achievements to uplift 500-800 mio out of poverty in a short space time, some of your thinking is most confused & peculiar for a born & bred European to understand!

      How well do you know & understand European & EU history & the POWER PLAY’s you so liberally refer to? Please read your posted statements carefully- like:

      “UK has always been a disintegration force of the UK, its departure might actually facilitate the solidarity of the EU.” ????

      What are the connections between UK, US, small states of East Asia, “prosperous” pawns Japan & South Korea to do with the EU Brexit?

      Old WWII Allies like the UK & US and many Euro countries are members of NATO. Nothing will change & all remain united within NATO- which includes the US, UK, France & Germany- as strongest members.

      Please consider: try waffle less, since most is based on emotions & contradictions!

  91. avatar
    Peter Brown

    It may be coincidence but how strange that only postings from Jan Tse end up in my ‘Spam’ folder. Is it possible that the filters at AOL are more intuitive than we realised?

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