European Union Referendum

How do you see yourself voting?


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A

Alty

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So Cameron has started traipsing round Europe as the starting point in his bid to renegotiate the terms of British membership.

Mixed messages from other EU leaders ranging from the lukewarm (Germany, Netherlands) to totally unimpressed (France, Poland).

The question to appear on the ballot paper has been announced: Should the UK remain a member of the European Union? The theory goes that this should be an advantage for the 'In' side as they can campaign positively for a 'Yes' vote.

Interestingly, and I think very sensibly, Labour MP Kate Hoey is being lined up as a potential leader of the 'Out' campaign.

In terms of eligibility to vote, it'll be British, Irish, Cypriot and Maltese voters resident in the UK (and UK nationals abroad). Other EU citizens will not get a vote.

Thoughts? Predictions?

I think a well-fought campaign with a non-Tory/UKIP person at the head of it could make it close, but ultimately I expect us to stay in as the bulk of the establishment parties and big corporations get the scaremongering going. I'll say 61% - 39% on a (respectable in modern day terms) turnout of 69%.
 

silkyman

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#2
So there'll be no scaremongering from the out campaign?

This is something I worry about in this referendum. The 'facts' are going to be few and far between, hidden in a sea of agenda riddled bullshit and manipulated statistical evidence.

We should really just save all the hassle and ask Rupert Murdoch what he thinks.
 
A

Alty

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So there'll be no scaremongering from the out campaign?

This is something I worry about in this referendum. The 'facts' are going to be few and far between, hidden in a sea of agenda riddled bullshit and manipulated statistical evidence.

We should really just save all the hassle and ask Rupert Murdoch what he thinks.
Far less scaremongering. Not because everyone involved will be far more scrupulous, but simply because they'll be the ones advocating a radical change and as such they'll be seen as the 'risky' option. The 'In' campaign will be arguing for the status quo (or something pretty close depending on whatever changes Cameron can secure), at least in the short-term, so it's difficult to see how the 'Out' side can use scaremongering particularly effectively. Maybe people will get worried about Ever Closer Union, a European Army or the possibility of Turkey joining in the future, but I can't see it being as effective as the "THE ECONOMY WILL COLLAPSE" which I'm sure the Cameron, Osborne and a whole load of Chief Execs will claim.
 

Cheese & Biscuits

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#4
Silky's post sums up why I don't want a referendum. Nobody will be in a position to make an informed choice one way or the other because there'll be no real verifiable facts.

It's going to be a mess and I can't wait for it all to be over.
 

mowgli

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#6
Cameron won't let us vote on this in 2017 anyway as he wants us to stay in and doesnot trust the electorate, he promised a vote in his manifesto in 2010 but dropped it straight after the election so don't be surprised to see it happen again. For myself i'd vote to leave as it's not as if The EU will stop trading with us and they need us more than we need them.
 
A

Alty

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Thread starter #8
Cameron won't let us vote on this in 2017 anyway as he wants us to stay in and doesnot trust the electorate, he promised a vote in his manifesto in 2010 but dropped it straight after the election so don't be surprised to see it happen again. For myself i'd vote to leave as it's not as if The EU will stop trading with us and they need us more than we need them.
I don't think even he can wriggle out of holding a referendum from this point!
 
A

Alty

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Silky's post sums up why I don't want a referendum. Nobody will be in a position to make an informed choice one way or the other because there'll be no real verifiable facts.

It's going to be a mess and I can't wait for it all to be over.
What makes you say that? Why will it be different from a General Election? Or the Scottish Referendum?

I appreciate a lot of EU stuff is extremely technical and bureaucratic, but there's plenty to be said about the history of the orgnisation and its overarching principles and ambitions in the present.
 

SUTSS

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#10
Far less scaremongering. Not because everyone involved will be far more scrupulous, but simply because they'll be the ones advocating a radical change and as such they'll be seen as the 'risky' option. The 'In' campaign will be arguing for the status quo (or something pretty close depending on whatever changes Cameron can secure), at least in the short-term, so it's difficult to see how the 'Out' side can use scaremongering particularly effectively. Maybe people will get worried about Ever Closer Union, a European Army or the possibility of Turkey joining in the future, but I can't see it being as effective as the "THE ECONOMY WILL COLLAPSE" which I'm sure the Cameron, Osborne and a whole load of Chief Execs will claim.
You're missing the biggest scaremongering that will come out of the out side which will be about being flooded with immigrants.

I don't think the economy will win it from the in side alone. The emotional and social argument needs to be made as well for the in side to be successful.
 

Modernist

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#11
Got to be in, let's not isolate ourselves even more, and let's not kid ourselves we'll suddenly be free to trade with anyone anytime we wantleading EU nations would never allow Britain a "pick and mix" approach to the bloc's rules. EU trade is essential, infact over half of all trade is with them, this could be destroyed if we pull out leading to years of renegotiating will them. Access to the single market is one of the main reasons why companies decide to invest in the UK.

Makes me laugh when UKIP talk about Norway and switzerland like its some of Non EU trading paradise despite the fact they have to abide by many EU regulations yet have no say on how those laws are formed.

Even the eurosceptic think tank suggests we should actually stay in the EU, as well as the vast majority of UK businesses and thankfully (if polls are to be believed) the majority of Brit's too.

As for immigration There is some evidence that immigration has pressured the wages of low-wage workers, but it’s not obvious that tighter controls on immigration would help. Immigrants have been proven to pay more taxes and claim less benefits than native brit's and that overall our Economy cleary benefits from freedom of movement. Unfortunately immigrants are an easy target for the misinformed.

Funny to see Cameron desperate to get leaders to re-negotiate EU terms, he had to support a referendum for his re-election but now is absolutely desperate for the British public to vote to stay in. And for the first time I hope Mr Cameron get's what he wants.
 
A

Alty

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Thread starter #12
You're missing the biggest scaremongering that will come out of the out side which will be about being flooded with immigrants.

I don't think the economy will win it from the in side alone. The emotional and social argument needs to be made as well for the in side to be successful.
That's not really scaremongering though, is it? Migration from EU countries has been running in the hundreds of thousands for years and we have no control over who comes.

I think the 'In' side will avoid emotional and social arguments for the ost part because they'd get into terrible difficulty on the subversion of British democracy and the fact that uncontrolled low-skilled migration is most damaging to those already struggling at the bottom of the income scale.
 

Cheese & Biscuits

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#13
What makes you say that? Why will it be different from a General Election? Or the Scottish Referendum?

I appreciate a lot of EU stuff is extremely technical and bureaucratic, but there's plenty to be said about the history of the orgnisation and its overarching principles and ambitions in the present.
A general election is based on a set of promises that you vote for. You choose to believe what you want and vote for what you think is best. There's multiple choices and you have a set of manifestos to read if you so wish. It's also only a 5 year pledge.

Each side for this referendum will use half-truths and manipulate the statistics in order to get your vote. You only have to see the claims from UKIP over the immigration numbers to see that.

It's also a long term decision. A yes or no decision here will stick for a couple of decades probably. I'm not sure I trust myself to be fully clued up on all aspects before casting my vote and I have an interest in knowing. There will be millions of people voting who have no idea what they're voting for because they either don't care to find out or the information isn't there for them. To be brutally honest, I don't think this decision should be made by Joe Public (I'm not convinced it should be made by the politicians either).
 
A

Alty

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Got to be in, let's not isolate ourselves even more, and let's not kid ourselves we'll suddenly be free to trade with anyone anytime we wantleading EU nations would never allow Britain a "pick and mix" approach to the bloc's rules.
The EU has free trade agreements with loads of countries and is in the process of negotiating more (including with Japan and the US). On what are you basing the idea that the UK wouldn't get one? It'd be economically damaging for them to lock us out.

EU trade is essential, infact over half of all trade is with them, this could be destroyed if we pull out leading to years of renegotiating will them. Access to the single market is one of the main reasons why companies decide to invest in the UK.
If the political will is there, especially between parties extremely familiar with each other, a deal can be reached quickly. Anyway, have you not noticed that there are rather a lot of countries all around the world that have been very successful at attracting investment without being EU members? How precisely do you think the US, Canada, Japan, Australia etc. survive?

Makes me laugh when UKIP talk about Norway and switzerland like its some of Non EU trading paradise despite the fact they have to abide by many EU regulations yet have no say on how those laws are formed.
Norway and Switzerland are cited because they're on the European landmass and have proved it's quite easy to prosper without being full members. That doesn't mean the UK would seek to negotiate a deal that resembles the ones those countries have.

Even the eurosceptic think tank suggests we should actually stay in the EU, as well as the vast majority of UK businesses and thankfully (if polls are to be believed) the majority of Brit's too.
"The Eurosceptic think tank" :lol: There are a whole host of think tanks with differing views. I suspect you may be referring to Open Europe who favour radical reform but not British withdrawal. Look around. There are many others making different suggestions.

As for immigration There is some evidence that immigration has pressured the wages of low-wage workers, but it’s not obvious that tighter controls on immigration would help. Immigrants have been proven to pay more taxes and claim less benefits than native brit's and that overall our Economy cleary benefits from freedom of movement. Unfortunately immigrants are an easy target for the misinformed.
But this is the weakest argument going. Leaving the EU does not mean halting immigration. The Aussie points system is often cited. Correctly IMO. They welcome quite high numbers of immigrants. But the point is that they choose the quantity and quality, thus meaning they get the right sort of people for their needs and can plan for the numbers. Why can't we do that?

Funny to see Cameron desperate to get leaders to re-negotiate EU terms, he had to support a referendum for his re-election but now is absolutely desperate for the British public to vote to stay in. And for the first time I hope Mr Cameron get's what he wants.
Does it not make you stop and think when you see David Cameron so passionately in favour of staying in?
 
A

Alty

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Thread starter #15
A general election is based on a set of promises that you vote for. You choose to believe what you want and vote for what you think is best. There's multiple choices and you have a set of manifestos to read if you so wish. It's also only a 5 year pledge.

Each side for this referendum will use half-truths and manipulate the statistics in order to get your vote. You only have to see the claims from UKIP over the immigration numbers to see that.

It's also a long term decision. A yes or no decision here will stick for a couple of decades probably. I'm not sure I trust myself to be fully clued up on all aspects before casting my vote and I have an interest in knowing. There will be millions of people voting who have no idea what they're voting for because they either don't care to find out or the information isn't there for them. To be brutally honest, I don't think this decision should be made by Joe Public (I'm not convinced it should be made by the politicians either).
So we need a load of senior civil servants/technocrats to have a look and make a decision for us?
 

silkyman

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#17
That's not really scaremongering though, is it? Migration from EU countries has been running in the hundreds of thousands for years and we have no control over who comes.

I think the 'In' side will avoid emotional and social arguments for the ost part because they'd get into terrible difficulty on the subversion of British democracy and the fact that uncontrolled low-skilled migration is most damaging to those already struggling at the bottom of the income scale.
That's the thing about 'scaremongering'. If you agree with the argument, you don't see it as scaremongering in the first place.

Look at the lies that the Mail etc have pissed out about the Human Rights Act (thus helping their preferred party win the election with a pledge to scrap it before dropping that as the unworkable mess that it is).

All propaganda has to have a kernel of truth. And the problem with this referendum is that those kernels will be lost, like sweetcorn in a diarrhetic shitsplosion.
 
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#18
Well Cameron keeps telling us how well we're doing, and this is while we are still in the E.U. For me the country is ever more divided, but this isn't down to Europe, its down to our own politicians. Withdrawing would see us drift even further to the right, which is not something I would welcome.
 

silkyman

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#19
To be honest, I don't know what the best option is.
Some form of neutral organisation who have to vet all statements and where lies and innacuracies can be reported.

If The Mail says 'EU MEMBERSHIP MEANS MUSLIM LESBIANS CAN EAT YOUR CAT' on the front page one day, they have to follow it up later with 'NO CAT EATING FOR LESBIAN MUSLIMS - OFFICIAL'.

If nothing else it might make the press think a little before going out to be so partisan.
 
A

Alty

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Thread starter #21
That's the thing about 'scaremongering'. If you agree with the argument, you don't see it as scaremongering in the first place.
But saying freedom of movement means we have no control over EU migration and pointing to the figures from the last 10 years is just a statement of fact. Predictions about economic collapse are not.

Of course if the 'Out' campaign predict 2 million people will come in the next 3 years or something then that's different. But I don't think they'd be stupid enough to do that.
 
C

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We'll stay in because Britain is ultimately quite a conservative country, not in the narrow sense of being Tory but in the broader sense that people are very reluctant to opt for significant change unless the status quo (however imperfect and frustrating) has been proven a disaster.

To stand any chance, the "Out" campaign can't just bang on about immigration and the democratic deficit (though the latter is , to my mind, the most important point). What most people will be principally concerned with is what will happen in the case of withdrawal. The "No" side have to have an informed, coherent and convincing vision in that respect. It needs to be positive and internationalist in outlook.
 
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Frealaf

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#23
I studied the EU a bit in my Business degree 15 years ago specifically on economics and I came to the conclusion then that the EU would never work and we would be better off out of it, while I haven't really taken a lot of notice about the EU since I finished Uni, nothing has really shaken my view since then. Certainly glad we never joined the single currency for one thing, what a disaster that would have been.
 

silkyman

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#24
But saying freedom of movement means we have no control over EU migration and pointing to the figures from the last 10 years is just a statement of fact. Predictions about economic collapse are not.

Of course if the 'Out' campaign predict 2 million people will come in the next 3 years or something then that's different. But I don't think they'd be stupid enough to do that.
Again, that's the thing about scaremongering. The 'out' campaign might not go to the extreme of claiming every person on the planet will want to live in Croydon, but do you really think they won't massage the figures, cherry pick the statistics to suit and ensure every possible anti immigration line is spun as much as it can be?

And the 'in' campaign won't be claiming that the UK will end up a bankrup dystopia. (And there is evidence that huge firms will pull out of the UK if the UK pulls out of the EU)
 
M

Martino Knockavelli

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Thread starter #25
I studied the EU a bit in my Business degree 15 years ago specifically on economics and I came to the conclusion then that the EU would never work and we would be better off out of it, while I haven't really taken a lot of notice about the EU since I finished Uni, nothing has really shaken my view since then.
#realtalk
 
A

Alty

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Thread starter #26
Again, that's the thing about scaremongering. The 'out' campaign might not go to the extreme of claiming every person on the planet will want to live in Croydon, but do you really think they won't massage the figures, cherry pick the statistics to suit and ensure every possible anti immigration line is spun as much as it can be?

And the 'in' campaign won't be claiming that the UK will end up a bankrup dystopia. (And there is evidence that huge firms will pull out of the UK if the UK pulls out of the EU)
They will cherry pick stats. Of course. But choosing to highlight stats that support your argument isn't scaremongering.

Well we don't know yet, do we? This is what we'll have to wait and see. The evidence of huge firms being willing to leave will probably come down to those firms threatening to do so. Because big business likes stability and doesn't like having to tailor its operations to individual countries when it can treat 28 as one and the same. Economic and political union helps the company, not the individual citizen. Whether they'd actually go ahead and spend a huge amount of time and money uprooting is a moot point. I suspect not.
 

AFCB_Mark

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#30
I've never agreed with the whole "we mustn't let the public vote on it because they've no idea what they're talking about" argument.

We don't know the ins and out of how the UK government works, and we only get rhetoric and fairly vague overarching ideas about what each camp stands for in a general election. But of course we should vote in the general election for the outcome we feel is best.

Yes we're not going to be able to get into deep technical understanding. It's likely that not even politicians have that level of knowledge. It's likely that only unelected bureaucrats who work within the EU actually grasp everything, the EU Civil Service equivalents. However that mustn't prevent the public from having it's say one way or the other - and thus actually giving our participation in the EU or exit from it a strong justification.

And then whatever we end up going to the EU with, be it a withdrawal or to stay and rubber stamp any tweaks and changes, they know that it's come from a majority of the UK people. Europe now know that they're not just negotiating with Cameron and his Tory mates. They know they're negotiating with the UK public.

Personally speaking: Ultimately I want us to stay in and participate because I think the UK is better off that way, but it's far from perfect and I'd like some better terms regarding stuff I disagree with, such as the frankly scary founding principle of working towards ever closer integration of member states. I want us to stay and participate with a good backing and mandate from the UK public, to put the whole issue to bed for a couple of decades.

It's a debate we need to have - and settle.
 

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