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scubawasp
21st Apr 2004, 14:09
Whilst the topic of the EU is fresh on Jetblast, does anyone want the Euro.

Or to put it another way, does anyone who is unfortunate to have the Euro, want their national currency back?

Jhieminga
21st Apr 2004, 14:11
does anyone want the Euro

Yes please, I'll PM you my bank details.

angels
21st Apr 2004, 14:15
Ah! This is my neck of the woods.

The euro is good in that there's no changing of currencies when you move about Europe (per se).

The euro is bad in that there is no possible way the ECB can set an interest rate that equates to all euro zone economies. And I'm talking about the present set-up. The 'one size fits all' attitude towards monetary and fiscal policy just doesn't work with such diverse countries/economies/economic cycles.

If we ever get a referendum on the euro, I will vote against.

Stockpicker
21st Apr 2004, 14:24
Yup, def with angels on this one. While it would take away a headache for those folk who export to or compete with European customers or competitors, you could pretty much guarantee that it would be set at an inappropriate level, and just LOOK at what's happening right now in terms of economic activity Germany or Frnace versus say Italy or even Spain?

Just say no!

Biggles Flies Undone
21st Apr 2004, 14:27
Spot on from angels. I’m just back from a week on Lake Garda in Italy and we travelled by train (VERY highly recommended). Stopped/bought beers along the way in France, Switzerland, Austria, Germany and Belgium. No need to change currency at all (€ accepted everywhere in Switzerland). The advent of the Euro must have been a massive boon for short-haul crews!

SO – we have the best of both worlds. Look after the £, keep a bundle of € for European travel. Happy days :ok:

Jhieminga
21st Apr 2004, 14:30
Allright, second attempt. Normal, reasonable personality talking this time.

As a dweller in one of the Euro afflicted countries, I must say that indeed travelling across Europe has gotten a whole lot simpler. The big complaint on the streets ever since we've had the euro is that everything has gotten so much more expensive. Many people still convert back to native currency and then stand shocked at how someone could ask that much for whatever cheap stuff they're trying to buy. What everyone seems to forget is that while the euro did drive up the prices, even with our old currency prices would've gone up. So converting back is not an option because the prices people remember are no longer valid today. Still, everybody and then some does it. The funny thing is that the numbers on the price tags are more or less the same again as two years ago, it's just a different currency symbol in front of it. (meaning that prices have gone up by a factor of 2,2, figured out where I live yet?)

So do I like it? Let's say I've gotten used to the euro. And knowing that a change back would get us another rush of inflated prices, I wouldn't want the change again.

Unwell_Raptor
21st Apr 2004, 14:42
I am no economist, as may be apparent. Can anybody explain why a single currency works across the federal USA? The states have widely different economies, so how does the single currency not cause problems? And if it works in the USA why not in Europe?

G-ALAN
21st Apr 2004, 14:50
I'm not up on economics so I don't know what the disadvantages would be (well I do now after reading the above posts) all I know is it would save me alot of hassle when travelling abroad. I hate arriving in foreign lands and searching for a bank that accepts my debit card (I refuse to exchange in robbing bastard travel agents y'see :* ).

If it makes no significant difference to my wealth, or lack thereof, then I'm all for it.

Ozzy
21st Apr 2004, 14:53
I am no economist either, no need to say more. But why do other countries outside the US use the US dollar as their currency or peg their own currency to it?

Ozzy

Stockpicker
21st Apr 2004, 14:56
No great expert on the US - I'm UK-centric in my job - but I suspect part of the reason may be in the "widely different economies" bit of what you say, U_R . In fact, there's a high degree of commonality across the US in terms of the key economic drivers - OK, there are state taxes and such but they are really at the periphary, and there's probably much less variance than you might think.

(I'm sure angels will give a more educated answer when he gets in tomorrow!

And the currency peg thing too - though that'll be a lot to do with how much of world trade is dollar-denominated - bear in mind all those commodity prices that are quoted in dollars.)

airship
21st Apr 2004, 15:12
Stockpicker maybe means stuff like oil, metals and cocaine... when she mentions commodities...! :E

Stockpicker
21st Apr 2004, 15:15
Confess I've never tried to buy snow, airship , so couldn't tell you what the right currency is ....:hmm:

Ozzy
21st Apr 2004, 15:18
And the currency peg thing too - though that'll be a lot to do with how much of world trade is dollar-denominated - bear in mind all those commodity prices that are quoted in dollars. And we are unlikely to see the Euro dominate world trade anytime soon.:E :E

Ozzy

EDDNHopper
21st Apr 2004, 15:20
Was against the Euro when it came, live happy with it now, would not want to change back again for the reasons Jhieminga stated.

(The bank notes look awful, though. The coins are ok.)

Biggles Flies Undone
21st Apr 2004, 15:20
stockpicker - I'm reliably informed that 'snow' is so 1990s - apparently the current soubriquet is 'The Devil's Dandruff'

Stick to beer meself :ok:

airship
21st Apr 2004, 15:21
That don't matter Stockpicker. However, on a recent thread, I got the impression that you were hinting that one should "short" advertising agencies...please PM me in future and not be so public about it...! ;)

BahrainLad
21st Apr 2004, 15:23
Unwell_Raptor, the main thrust of the EU constitution (that I support) is the harmonisation of tax, social and economic policies across the Eurozone. Ergo, the Euro then becomes as successful as the Dollar (as the US has this harmonisation).

Also, US states don't think twice before trading across state lines. European nations do; and this is in no small part because of differing legislation, regulation and even language.

Personally, for a currency so hobbled by the weight of the differences between say, Portugal and Germany, I think it has been remarkably successful.

Stockpicker
21st Apr 2004, 15:23
I stand corrected on all counts - now, who's for a pint - oops, sorry, litre?:}

airship
21st Apr 2004, 15:25
And we are unlikely to see the Euro dominate world trade anytime soon. Unless the Chinese and the Japs stop buying dollars tomorrow...! :E

BahrainLad
21st Apr 2004, 15:29
To hell with the pints, it's the lines I'm interested in..........

answer=42
21st Apr 2004, 15:32
Unwell raptor

Good question.

Whether a currency is a good fit or not is not a black or white question but shades of grey. If you examine a smaller geographical area, there is no more certainty that a currency will 'fit' than in a larger area. So, there are areas of the UK that sterling does not 'fit'. It is neither clear that the Euro fits or does not fit the UK.

All the studies have suggested additional economic growth from the Euro of about 1.5% of GDP - not a huge amount.

In the end, the decision is political. For many EU countries, the Euro is an opportunity for their policies not to be run by the Bundesbank.

ORAC
21st Apr 2004, 16:21
There is nothing wrong with a single currency, however.....

a single currency requires transfer payments between states. This is required to compensate for the differences between the income and expenditure of regional areas. This is achieved within the USA by the federal reserve and the federal budget through direct taxation and expenditure powers.

In the EU such transfers are made in the form of the structural and cohesion funds. The problem is that the present EU budget, at 1.2% of GDP, is much too small to permit the required level of transfer across the Euro zone. The required solution, known but little discussed, is the harmonisation of taxation, far greater powers to the European central bank and a far greater EU budget.

The structural changes should have been made before, or at the same time as, the introduction of the Euro, but were not, mainly because it would have been impossible to get people to accept them. Now, however, that the Euro is in place the changes become essential and can be gradually introduced as logical solutions to the problems that arise.

The recent proposals concerning such harmonisation and the requests from the commision for an increased budget are not a coincidence.

The result will be the establishment of a complete federal infrastructure gradually gathering more power from the member states. For those that doubt such a process is inevitable, I suggest they look at the history of the transfer of power within the USA.

The advantage held by the individual states in the USA is the existence of a clear constitution which has allowed them to hold onto some authority, i cannot say the same about the present EU document.

If an acceptable EU constitution is put in place and if the appropriate structural changes are made, then joining the Euro would seem sensible.

But in my uninformed opinion, I'd prefer to wait and decide on the first based on their merits, rather than join the Euro first and thereby be commited to accepting whatever was offered.........

answer=42
21st Apr 2004, 16:32
ORAC


You wrote
'a single currency requires transfer payments between states. This is required to compensate for the differences between the income and expenditure of regional areas.'

Surely this is achieved by saving, dissaving and asset purchase and sale, as it is within any national economy. There was no explicit transfer mechanism between the UK and Ireland, or between the USA and Argentina.

Of course public transfers do provide such a mechanism as well.

I'm ignorant of the monetary history of the USA. Any clues?

ORAC
21st Apr 2004, 17:57
Monetary Unification - Fiscal Unification (http://economic-research.bnpparibas.com/applis/www/RechEco.nsf/0/72BF6C1A6FF3F94FC12567F4002C5D8E/$File/C9909_a1.pdf?OpenElement)

Daysleeper
21st Apr 2004, 18:16
The reason the $ works in the USA is mobility of labour. If one state has a booming econ and shortage of labour people can move there and away from areas where the econ is stagnating. This is obviously helped by a common language and peoples attitude, many americans think nothing of switching sides of the continent. Common policies about taxation and work related benifits are a bonus too.

In europe very few people want to move country due to language and cultural difficulties and the very different standards of healthcare , pensions, education etc in member countries.

The latest DHL Quarterly Export Indicator shows a large drop in UK companies who want the euro. 41% think it would be helpfull , down from a 1999 peak of 71%. Those who think it would be unhelpful is up to 12% and the remainder say no difference.

http://www.dhl.co.uk/qei/


spelling mistakes are small child induced.

mini
21st Apr 2004, 18:45
ORAC, dream on re tax harmonisation. Another urban myth. Sovereign Governments rule supreme.

The EU in its current form bears no resemblence to the US, and will not for many generations. The political make-up of the EU prohibits this. The original founders have not yet reached a consensus, now they are all but doubling in size... think about it guys.

The aim of the EU is to bring about a strong trading block. OK you say, what was wrong with the old EFTA etc.

Easy, numerous countries, with differing legislation cannot compete together. Harmonise legislation, equal the playing field and the global market deals with us as a block. (ie recent WTO decisions) In short we bring weight to the table.

I'm all for an extension of this principle into currency, defence etc. It will take time to deliver results but I feel it has to happen.

The UK can stay out in the short to medium term but it will eventually be hit, don't ignore your business leaders, they are world players.

Bletchley
21st Apr 2004, 21:16
Q Would we lose out economically by leaving the E.U?

No, after more than 25 years in the EU it is patently obvious that we have suffered as a result. Since 1973, membership of the EU. has cost the U.K. £32 BILLION in net terms (around £3 billion a year). This is even after allowing for all E.U. subsidies, grants and regional funds (which is just some of our own money being returned to us when we beg for it). It has cost further untold billions by forcing us to adapt to European systems and standards of weights and measures - even though British systems led the world. Adopting these systems has made it more difficult for us to trade with the rest of the world. When we joined the Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM), it cost us billions more, including loss of jobs and loss of our national reserves. And future E.U. plans are undermining much of what is left of our economy.

The expansion of the E.U, and ever-greater bureaucracy, corruption and fraud will mean the annual cost of our membership will go up and up.


Don't we have to implement Euro-regulations to export there?

Yes - insofar as we do export there. But 90% of U.K. companies never export, yet still have to face crippling E.U. compliance laws - with criminal charges if they don't obey! And other companies could better adapt their manufacturing to export to world markets outside the E.U. If we left the E.U. we could easily renegotiate sensible trade and export agreements with all countries.


Does being in the E.U. give us more influence in the world?

No. In fact, exactly the opposite is true. At the moment the U.K. belongs to the U.N, NATO, the G8 Group and many other international organisations.

E.U. common economic, foreign and defence policies, where we are constantly outvoted and outmanoeuvred by other E.U. states, are already seriously undermining our influence and interests in the rest of the world.



Isn't almost two-thirds of our trade done with the E.U?

No. In fact it is only about one-half, and only about 35% of our "invisible" exports go to the E.U.

If trade with the rest of the world which first goes through European ports is also excluded, then the actual trade figure is nearer 40%. That is actually less than it was when we first joined the "Common Market"! It is also less than any time in our history - even in times of war!


Wouldn't Japanese and other investors pull out if we left the E.U?

No. They already say they wouldn't. There is every reason to believe them.

Outside the E.U, our costs would be lower, their profits higher. They need investments in an English-speaking country, a language which is used in half the world's trading. he are also attracted by our lower business taxes and fewer rules. "Harmonisation" up to E.U. levels may cost us this inward investment.

Investment is higher in the U.K. than in Euro currency zone countries because investors gain better returns in the United Kingdom.


What about the Euro?

The Euro is showing signs of being a failing or "soft" currency. It has gone down 10% or more against most world currencies since its launch. Joining the Euro would mean the end of our economic independence. We would not set our own interest rates. We would have to transfer 80% of our gold reserves to the European Central Bank, which we would never get back. We would have taxation rates set by the E.U, not by the British Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Look what happened to the U.K. when we were tied to the Exchange Rate Mechanism. The pound proved to be far more stable with the U.S. dollar than with any European currency - yet no one suggests we have to ditch the pound and join the dollar. A single European currency is, and always was, an E.U. political ambition. It has nothing to do with natural economics. Those behind the E.U. want it because it furthers their ambition for a Euro superstate.

Capt.KAOS
21st Apr 2004, 22:10
The Euro is showing signs of being a failing or "soft" currency. It has gone down 10% or more against most world currencies since its launch. Are you sure? USD fell 25% (http://finance.yahoo.com/q/bc?s=USDEUR=X&t=2y&l=on&z=m&q=l&c=) against the € the last 2 years as I'm unfortunately aware with my exports. USD fell 21% against GBP also. USD is on the rebound lately and higher interest rates could make things even better.

Those behind the E.U. want it because it furthers their ambition for a Euro superstate. EU is basically built around the German/France axis, although Robert Schuman was the architect, Mitterrand and Kohl were the boosters and Nice showed the attitude of France against the newcomers.

Wedge
22nd Apr 2004, 00:40
I'm firmly in the 'Yes' camp.

But I admit that I don't fully understand the possible implications of joining the Euro. Mind you, even a Professor of Economics would have a job doing the same.

In reality, no one knows the full impact of the Euro. Joining is not without risk for the UK. But I say take the plunge on the basis that the alternative(s) are certainly worse.

Animalclub
22nd Apr 2004, 01:44
I can't see the EU lasting.
What happens to the currency of any country if they pulled out?
Will countries be able to pull out?

BlueWolf
22nd Apr 2004, 05:43
The single dollar works for the US because it's one country. Even the Federal structure of the US was created with the knowledge that each individual State was part of a greater whole. One people, one language, etc etc.

The Euro won't work for Europe because it is many countries; many languages, many histories, many different values, and many peoples who never had the intention of being one people, despite what some grubby, empire-building, bureaucrats, bankers and politicians might prefer.

And the Euro won't last because when you have basket-case countries issuing the same currency as sensible ones, the value of the said currency must, by definition, fall to the standard of the lowest common denominator. Thus it will lose value both for the peoples of the sensible countries, and to those outside nations with whom they seek to trade.

Once it loses value for the wealth-producing nations, the Euro will no longer be viable, and that will very probably happen sooner rather than later.

What really puzzles me is how so many otherwise ostensibly intelligent people fell for the myth of the Euro in the first place...but then Europe has embraced some other fairly weird ideas this past century, so perhaps it's not so surprising after all.

maxy101
22nd Apr 2004, 07:34
Spot on Blue Wolf. I´m surprised no one has mentioned the ongoing pensions fiasco that is looming here on the continent. Unfunded pensions of up to 90% Final Salary for unproductive civil servants, as well as massive public infrastructure spending is going to cause BIG problems in the near future. This will all be reflected in the currency. One of the few countries without these problems? The U.K ,of course.
Having said all that, I choose to live here in Spain precisely because of the improved standard of living and better infrastructure. The Euro has helped me because I "think " in Pounds and then convert which is a lot easier now I dont have to divide by 225-250 (depending) ´
Is it a good idea? Yes ! Is it good for the U.K ? I don´t know

angels
22nd Apr 2004, 07:51
This has developed into one of the most cerebral threads I've seen on JB!

As has been noted, initially by Ms. Picker, one of the most
important aspects of the U.S. economy is mobility of labour.
Whenever you drive the Interstates, you are constantly
overtaking U-Haul punters.

The language in California is the same as in New York. OK
the accent is different but the unifying bond is a) language and
b) nationality. The distance from London to, say Madrid, is far
shorter, but the culture change -- not to mention the language
change! -- is profound.

Essentially Europe does not have the same mobility of labour
which can be hugely important for an economy. This does not
apply to many blue collar jobs such as the building trade etc.
Hearing an Eastern European accent on a building site is not
uncommon nowadays....

Ask civil servants who work in London to move to Leeds (a
distance of under 200 miles) and the bulk will refuse. Mobility
helps economies. But In Europe it is not prevalent.

As I said before I fully agree with the concept of the euro
being the national currency of Europe. But, the rub is that
economic cycles and economies are different.

In the UK some 70 percent of people own their own homes. The
figure for Germany -- a larger economy -- used to be around 50
percent (not sure what it is now). Therefore interest rate
movements tend to be more important for a Briton than a German.

Brits also account for around two-thirds of ALL credit card
debt in the EU. Brits are far more likely to spend on the
never-never than other European nations. So again, interest
rates -- and national cultures -- come into the equation.

The current ECB rate for the euro zone is two percent. The
next move may well be down since the German, Italian and French
economies are stagnating.

In the UK the Bank of England rate is four percent and is
almost certain to rise very shortly -- in May is our house view,
and probably that of Ms. Pickers' shop as well.

Sorry for the disjointed nature of this post, but it's taken
me an hour off and on. French consumer spending was down a
whopping 1.4 percent m/m in March, another sign that it's not
only the Channel (La Manche) that separates the UK and France
and rather proves my point I feel.

watergate
22nd Apr 2004, 08:02
I live in Denmark - that should say it all !

Groundbased
22nd Apr 2004, 08:34
Keep this stuff coming.

It is excellent to read this and the referundum debate. I have a limited understanding of the economic arguments and am very keen to broaden my knowledge of pros and cons for both the single currency and the constitution (I am currently reading the draft treaty). This kind of debate gives the lie to those people who say that the british public lacks the intelligence to understand or vote on the issue.

Most of the people I talk to are united in the view that it is crucial for the progress of this country that we get involved in the debate. Based on my upbringing I am pre-disposed to be Euro sceptic, however, I am determined to examine all the issues and come to a balanced decision based on the facts. I would certainly not rule out voting for if the arguments stack up.

I just hope that the question that we get to vote on is not some fudge to meet political ends.

answer=42
22nd Apr 2004, 10:46
Groundbased:

The new constitution does not mean much for the Euro.

angels

A interesting post but a few remarks are in order:

You wrote:
'Ask civil servants who work in London to move to Leeds (a distance of under 200 miles) and the bulk will refuse. Mobility helps economies. But In Europe it is not prevalent. '
Indeed. Is this an argument for having different currencies in London and Leeds?
Mobility is useful to a single currency area but I'm not sure what level of mobility Europe needs for a single currency. Perhaps the level required is fairly low.

'But, the rub is that economic cycles and economies are different. '
Two different points here.
economic cycles: generally agreed (see ORAC's link) that regional economic divergences within countries are as significant to currencies as between EU countries. If Sterling works, then so will the Euro. This argument holds for interest rate movements - parts of the UK economy would benefit from rates going down or staying the same.

Structure of debt. I think that your fact on the amount of credit card debt may be a little out of date but yes, the UK has much more credit card debt than Germany for example. There are differences in the structure of assets (houses in the UK; bonds in Germany) and debts (UK: mortgages and credit cards; Germany bank loans). But the UK is not very different from the rest of Europe in terms of the overall amount of personal debt. Consumer debt is more developed in Denmark, Sweden, Finland; France and the UK are about the same (as they always are!!!); somewhat less debt in Germany, Belgium and Ireland and a much less developed consumer debt market in Greece, Portugal, Spain and Italy. But Spain is changing fast. Dunno about the Dutch.

So the ol' UK aint so unique after all.


maxy

You are right to say that there is a problem of pensions in many continental countries, especially Italy and Belgium, then Germany and France.

There is also a problem in the UK - state pensions are 100% unfunded. It is not quite so urgent as it is in some other countries. However, because it is less evident, the political pressure to do something about it is less.

The reason why the UK is in a slightly better position is, ironically, because of the large numbers of young EU persons working there and paying Nat Insurance. Leave the EU, they leave and woomph, the situation would get much worse (but still not as bad as Italy).

angels
22nd Apr 2004, 10:56
answer - fair enough, but I would argue the UK has a typically different economic cycle to that of mainland Europe. This was why I pointed out the disparity in interest rates.

Just today we've had Richard Lambert (a voting member of the Monetary Policy Committee at the Old Lady) saying the housing market is the biggest domestic uncertainty facing the Bank right now.

The Bank has tried to cool the housing market by using the interest rate weapon. But what's happened? Data published by the BBA shortly after Lambert spoke shows that mortgage lending rose six billion sterling in March. The two rate rises haven't filtered through yet! There's more on the way.

Just imagine what mortgage lending would be like if rates were at two percent!

Re mobility, my point was the yanks are good at it, the Europeans not so. Price and wage disparities also play a role here. 300k sterling will get you my house in London, SE7. It'll get you a darn sight more in Calais, which is closer to me than Manchester. But am I going to move to Calais?

No.

answer=42
22nd Apr 2004, 11:13
fair points angels.

The UK has had property booms and busts for as long as I can remember: the Barber boom, the Lawson boom and so on. Now that the Bank of England is independent, maybe they'll manage to slow the boom down before it gets out of hand.

To link the two points together: there is a housing boom in France. For example, house prices are going up in Calais, partly fuelled by French people who want to live in France but work in London. Mobility is just starting in Yoorp.

'Buy to let' in the UK will eventually make the housing market more like elsewhere in Yoorp. Just because interest rates or exchange rates right now don't fit doesn't mean that there won't be a point - even in the fairly near future - when they do.

In sum, the UK's economic cycle has been different but there are good economic arguments - not linked to the Euro - for making it less different.

maxy101
22nd Apr 2004, 12:32
answer=42 The other thing about pensions here on the continent is that virtually nobody has a private one. It is only recently that some countries changed their laws banning them. They are 20 yrs behind the UK in that respect. Unfortunately , for them, with the demographic time bomb ( i.e it takes 18 yrs to grow a taxpayer) they wont have enough time to do anything about it except borrow. This assumes that immigration policies stay as they are. One of the few EU countries to allow freedom of movement welcolme newcomers? The U.K , of course. I think successive UK governments have seen this coming for years , hence the encouragement for private pensions and the willigness to allow both legal and illegal immigration into the U.K.

angels
22nd Apr 2004, 13:10
Been busy today and didn't have the time to discuss what is rightly called the pension time-bomb which maxy talks about.

There have already been strikes in Italy about proposals to water down their (highly generous) pension system.

When I worked in Singapore I was shown a private piece of research from within a major U.S. investment house which (and I obviously precis here) essentially said: 'To keep pension provisions at their present level GDP will have to quadruple in the next 30 years. The Japanese aren't having children -- who are the one's that pay for pensions.' The last I saw each married couple had something like 0.7 kids (please don't take the mickey, this is stats).

Since then GDP in Japan has contracted.

The UK is just about okay with pensions. The rest of Europe is in deep shite.....

answer=42
22nd Apr 2004, 14:23
angels, maxy,

Partly some clarification for other readers, partly some differences of opinion.

Yes, you're right to say that private pensions are generally speaking much rarer on the continent. But once again, this is generally a difference in how assets are held: not in the level of assets held by individuals.

For example, it's been a long time since anyone trusted the Belgian governments (note plural!) to maintain the value of the state pension. But there is very widespread asset ownership - indeed much more than in the UK; and the value of the assets held by individuals is quite high (This observation is not based on government statistics). I'm not saying that this is the right way to do things, just that both the assets and the intended use are there.

I note that angels mentions Singapore, which has one of the few funded pension systems in the world. Am I right to say that the population is falling?

There is a shortfall in the UK's projected balance in pensions, so things are not entirely tickety-boo there. Both Major and Blair have recognised this, though neither has done anything serious. The solution is not borrowing but saving (comes to the same thing in the end). I suppose I should have a look at personal savings data across the EU. I know that outside scandinavia, there is no data on personal assets.

Of course in the EU there is freedom of movement of labour. And the UK pensions system has gained from that by attracting more migrants from other EU countries proportionate to its size than most other countries, Luxembourg being an exception. And as Maxy was brave enough to point out, immigration from outside the EU has also helped the UK's pensions situation.

I don't believe that there will be a melt-down, even in Italy (which also has a very low birthrate, not coincidentally). Instead a combination of increased savings and lower pensions. Both of which are recipies for slow growth.

steamchicken
22nd Apr 2004, 14:31
Bletchley, where did you quote that from? I smell brochure.

BTW, I rather like the idea of imperial measurement "leading the world" - was - say - a 2ft piece of wood better than a 900mm one? Isn't it a little petty to base our economic and foreign policy on nostalgia about fluid ounces? What are the "future EU plans" that are jeopardising what's left of our economy? By'eck, if they were that evil and that certain you'd think they'd quote one!

Can you give any reason why "bureaucracy, corruption and fraud" should be ever-expanding?

I think it is a irresponsibly optimistic statement to say that we could "easily renegotiate sensible trade and export agreements with all countries". How do you know? What is "sensible"? Would these be anything like the US steel tariffs?



At the moment the U.K. belongs to the U.N, NATO, the G8 Group and many other international organisations. E.U. common economic, foreign and defence policies, where we are constantly outvoted and outmanoeuvred by other E.U. states, are already seriously undermining our influence and interests in the rest of the world.


Really? I wasn't aware that we are "constantly outvoted" in the EU whilst, apparently, we always get our way in Nato, the UN and the G8. That will be why the UN was so keen on invading Iraq, will it?

The Euro is showing signs of being a failing or "soft" currency. It has gone down 10% or more against most world currencies since its launch.

Whoops!

Joining the Euro would mean the end of our economic independence. We would not set our own interest rates. We would have to transfer 80% of our gold reserves to the European Central Bank, which we would never get back.

Why would we want gold reserves without a currency to back? What would be the point? They would still be just as useful as they are now, providing the same function for our new currency - they would not somehow magically vapourise out of the ECB's vault to be spent on beer by evil foreigners

We would have taxation rates set by the E.U, not by the British Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Simply not true.

All in all, nonsense, and I think I know where from. This is a UKIP leaflet, isn't it?

answer=42
22nd Apr 2004, 14:40
steamy

well done. he also quotes from the Daily Mail by the way. I have actually been to Bletchley, many years ago. There is a minor Slitherin in the Harry Potter novels by that name.

By the way, you forgot that the G8 isnt an international organisation, just a meeting. There, that's the cherry on top.

Capt.KAOS
22nd Apr 2004, 16:10
The rest of Europe is in deep shite..... Holland is ok too, fortunately.

Total Assets of Private Pension Funds 2001 (http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/20/41/2768608.pdf)

Of course in the EU there is freedom of movement of labour.except cheap labour from Poland of course...

maxy101
22nd Apr 2004, 16:52
Answer=42 I fear you may be right re: no meltdown in Europe. However, I do think it will be the financially prudent North European countries that will pay for the less prudent. In essence, the Scandis and ourselves will end up subsidising the overbloated civil services of Southern Europe where such jobs are a cushy number for life. (In Spain, they knock off at 1300. Many have second jobs)
It will be done , by giving away more fish, agricultural subsidies, VAT transfers, and eventually , some kind of direct taxation paid straight to the EU for them to dole out "where it is needed". Call it a "cohesion " fund.

BahrainLad
22nd Apr 2004, 19:02
Bletchley's cut and paste b____ks about imperial measurements reminds me of the people who thought British Leyland was the best car manufacturer in the world because, after all, it had "British" in the title..........

Why can't these people move with the times? Now, I would be the last person to argue about getting rid of our most sacred traditions, but this country today has so much more to offer than trading on some faded past glories.

Let's move on from this blinkered isolationism and the belief that "British is best" despite the fact that all evidence points to the contrary and become a modern, world leading nation once again.

Bletchley
22nd Apr 2004, 21:48
Gents (and Ladies)

If we can keep to the thread and dispense with the veiled insults please.

Steam Chicken

Corruption and fraud - I suggest you take a closer look at what is reported in the Press both here and Internationally.

Constantly Outvoted - I suggest again that you look at the voting records of the EU, or at least do a little research

Gold - The whole point was to demonstrate that we loose control of our economy. If you think that is a good idea then I suggest that you look at what is happening in Europe and the mounting swell of public opinion against the Euro...Even the French public now think it was a mistake.

Taxation rates - I suggest you take another look at the monetary principles underlying monetary union. You are wholly incorrect, just look at Ireland, who have been desperately trying to get their economy under control but are not allowed on the basis of the benefit for the greater good!

As you appear not to have realised....Interest Rates and economic policies are set by the European Central Bank

Answer=42

I haven't quoted from the Daily Mail. This paper appears to cause you a problem?

G8 Organisation - Yes it is a meeting...a meeting of an organisation. To help you out please look at this link

www.business-humanrights.org/Categories/UNintl.orgs./UNintergovernmentalorgs./G8 (http://www.business-humanrights.org/Categories/UNintl.orgs./UNintergovernmentalorgs./G8)

You may also care to do a search (of say Google) and you will see the G8 returned as an Organisation. The Government of Canada in its Legislation also refers to the G8 as an Organisation.

I note you feel that there is no problem in respect of Pensions in the EU. Not the view of a considerable number of economic experts..even in this Government who accept that the requirement for a standard national pension for all will have to be paid for. We will end up subsidising (as so often) other EU states who had made absolutely no provision for pensions within their own Countries. The Southern European states were originally seen as a major problem but that has now shifted with the Eastern European block coming on-board.

I note you post from Beneleux. I presume therefore that you do not pay taxes in the UK or reside here

steamchicken
23rd Apr 2004, 13:42
Interest rates are not a tax. You obviously do not know the difference between monetary policy (interest and the money supply) and fiscal policy (tax). No power in the EU could stop Ireland putting up income tax, say, to get their inflationary boom under control. They could not change the rate of interest. This is not the same thing.

Can you quote any of your groundbreaking research on votes in the Council of Ministers?

Well, I can quote some of mine. One survey concluded that out of 261 votes in the Council, the UK had been outvoted only seven times, less than 3% (this was less often than Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands). link (http://www.cec.org.uk/press/glossary.htm#22)

DeepC
23rd Apr 2004, 15:27
No power in the EU could stop Ireland putting up income tax, say, to get their inflationary boom under control. They could not change the rate of interest. This is not the same thing.

I think that the Irish Electorate could very well be the power that stops Ireland putting up Taxes. Putting up taxes and putting up interest rates have two different results. The people of this country and I suspect most other countries think that the goverrnment putting up taxes is because they are wasting even more of the peoples hard earned money. Adjusting interest rates has the effect of cooling or stimulating without doing much political harm to the government of the day.

DeepC

Bletchley
23rd Apr 2004, 20:24
Steam Chicken

I think I rather do know the difference between Fiscal and Monetary policy, having studied economics at University.

For your clarity I will explain.

Fiscal policy is the use of government expenditure and taxation to try to influence the level of economic activity.

Monetary policies are ones that use the level of the money supply and interest rates to influence the level of economic activity.

Definitions http://www.bized.ac.uk/virtual/economy/library/glossary/glossarymp.htm

When I studied economics the preferred method of controlling the economy of any country was by means of Interest Rates.

Taxation rates cannot control the inflow/outflow of money from an economy, neither can they attract/deter investment in general

The setting of Interest Rates in the Euro Zone is by the European Central Bank. Therefore a Country wishing to control its economy cannot do so by Interest Rates.

For an academic treatise on voting within the Eurepoean Union I prefer to look at research by people such as Simon Hix from the London School of Economics.

In collaboration with Abdul Noury, Free University of Brussels (ULB) and Gérard Roland, University of California, Berkeley he has undertaken some excellent work. I have set up a link to one.

Link (http://personal.lse.ac.uk/hix/HixNouryRolandEPdata.htm)

steamchicken
25th Apr 2004, 12:35
Taxation rates - I suggest you take another look at the monetary principles underlying monetary union. You are wholly incorrect, just look at Ireland, who have been desperately trying to get their economy under control but are not allowed on the basis of the benefit for the greater good!

As you appear not to have realised....Interest Rates and economic policies are set by the European Central Bank

So, why did you get it so catastrophically wrong? "Taxation rates - I suggest you take another look at the monetary principles.." You said it, not me. It is a matter of debate, not fact, that monetary policy is the only effective form of economic stabilisation policy. (What would Keynes have said? And why does the US Government apparently disagree, slashing taxes in the hope of a demand boost?) It is an unremarkable statement that interest rates are set by the ECB. Where did I dispute that? I stated that Ireland, had it so wished, could have increased taxes to damp down its boom, but could not have changed its rate of interest. These are facts. In fact, nothing would have cheered the monetarist-minded ECB and EU Commission more than seeing Ireland running a budget surplus. That Irish politicians found it scary is not an economic argument.

Bletchley
25th Apr 2004, 18:44
Thank you.

On checking my post I realise that I did say Taxation when it should have read Interest Rates.

Adjustments to American Taxation are intended to control consumer demand.

Standby for American Interest Rates to rise shortly.

All in all this is a complex subject and very difficult to discuss in this type of forum

mini
25th Apr 2004, 19:30
I stand corrected, but have recent inflation rates in Ireland returned to or below EU average?

Nobody died in the meantime and they still have effectively full employment.

Stand back and take a look, a single currency makes complete sense, not only for the EU ut eventually for every country that shares common trading laws, GATT etc.

No one country can stand alone in the long term, there is no other reason why the Euro happened.

Bletchley
25th Apr 2004, 20:43
I am not able to immediately bring to mind any group of Countries who have embarked on a programme of Economic and Political alignment of the nature of the EU.

You need to consider that the nature of Europe is disparate. There are massive differences in culture and approach to (for example) economic policy between the Richer Northern Countries and the comparatively poorer Southern ones.

Add to this the fact that as the former Soviet Block Countries join that there will be many different and opposing economic and political issues.

The EU and the Euro are a very large experiment in my opinion.

The battle lines as to the pro's and con's are cross-party simply because no one really knows whats going to happen if the UK joins.

The one thing that is clear is that there is no going back, so if it is decided that the Euro aint for us...........then tough.

Also it needs to be understood that joining the Euro and attaining FULL Union with the EU has very significant implications for the UK that the pro lobby really don't want to discuss.

This is why anyone who posts against the EU always runs the risk of being tarnished with some sort of 'Right Wing Looney' brush.

Interesting that Blair ( a right winger) wants the Euro....and Brown (a true Socialist) doesn't.

Wee Weasley Welshman
26th Apr 2004, 09:07
I don't want it as I think it is incredibily divisive.

The dollar works well in the US. But even there when individual States get into financial difficulty they start hurling abuse about how much they are paying to Washington and how little they get back. I am thinking specifically about California here.

There was a small element of mud slinging, we shouldn't have to subsidise those ******* in Iowa, give us back our money in the run up to electing Arnie.

And that is in the pretty much settled Federal US.

Fast forward to present day EU and it would be ten or a hundred times worse. If you really did try and make it all work by allowing State cross subsidysing to the tune of say 25% of GDP instead of the EUs 1.4% then there really could be riots.

If the UK put up my income tax by 10% and at the same time we were bailingout the Italian state pension fuund or some such then I would be fuming, I would be out on the street and I would be militant.

And if a bunch of poofs and political pinkos think putting a grass mohican on Sir Winston and smashing the windows in McDonalds is shocking stuff then they ain't seen nothing yet! The revolt of the working man and the middle classes would stop the country dead in its tracks and shake Whitehall to its very core.

Which is why I don't think we'll see the Euro for a very long time.

Cheers

WWW

Grandpa
6th May 2004, 21:07
According to the present rate, we are lucky to buy with our Euros the oil which price is set in Dollars.

"Pourvou qué ça doure!" as used to say Napoléon's mamma§

mini
6th May 2004, 21:32
Looks like TB's promised referendum will be a close battle. It will be interesting to see the EU fallout should the result be no.

Maybe a no vote will be the sobering shock the EU needs?

:suspect:

Teddy Robinson
7th May 2004, 11:12
With the way the Dollar has been performing of late ... I would not be TOO suprised if OPEC decides to deal in Euro's instead of dollars ... pigeons and cats come to mind suddenly.

desafinado
9th Jun 2004, 21:48
Most Brits seem to regard the EU as a bad thing for the UK. Only threats, no opportunities. The UK is the biggest payer into the Union. The EU makes all the rules and laws for the UK. With the introduction of the Euro British people will lose their national idendity. House prices would fall. France and Germany "created" Europe to suit their own needs, on the back of Britain. Joining the monetary union would bring even more immigrants into the country, taking jobs away.
Since the general/public opinion-building process involves fast-selling daily newspapers and nothing else (and in those papers you will find an awful lot of emotional anti-European gossip, but no facts), the vote on Europe can only end up being a complete farce. Possible opportunities wasted.

Bletchley
9th Jun 2004, 22:07
Fine rhetoric if a little short on facts.

can you name ONE area where the UK has actually BENEFITTED from EU membership, as opposed to the many factual instances where it hasn't?

tony draper
9th Jun 2004, 22:37
I agree with Bahrain Lad, we should stop this isolationism and move in 100% with the Good Old USA .
:rolleyes:

BahrainLad
10th Jun 2004, 11:16
.........um......!

ratsarrse
11th Jun 2004, 18:38
The Euro would probably have been a decent currency had the UK opted to join in the first place - I think that its credibility has been severely undermined by one of Europe's largest economies opting out. Actually, I reckon Europe would have been better off if they'd adopted Sterling as the single currency...just opinion of course.

A unified Europe is always going to be a pipe dream, isn't it? Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer is a phrase that describes most of the relationships between European states. The harder the Eurocrats strive for unity, the more countries will slip through their grasp. Indeed, the trend seems to be more towards separatist movements than otherwise.

airship
11th Jun 2004, 19:35
One assumes that there are many here who consider the €URO to be another 4 letter word...:rolleyes:

desafinado
13th Jun 2004, 18:40
The EU and the Euro are an experiment, no doubt. But it's a very long-running one already, and the question might not be where the UK would go without the EU, but where it would be without it? The UK dropping out as some suggest sounds like an even greater experiment. By the way, the enlargement of the EU zone to include the latest bunch of countries (Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary,...) was a direct result of the UK being a strong supporter of the idea back when the UK had the EU presidency. Although these new members are way off our standards in many respects, and a lot of EU money will have to flow into them, there is also a lot of potential and money to be earned in achieving that. I am sure that UK companies are more than happy to play their part. And that’s an area where the UK has hugely benefited already: trade. The EU is a huge market, and will be the largest single one in the world. Research suggests that UK GDP could increase by £1.75 billion a year (also, behind the financial scenes the dealing is done in dollars and euros). It is also good news for us as consumers. We will have more access to goods and services, and realise even more how we’re getting ripped off in the UK.
To be honest, I don’t really care whether the UK will join the Euro and become a full member of the Union or not, but the decision has to be made sometime. You can’t be a member of a team only enjoying the benefits and not claiming your part of the responsibilities. Obviously, a well-informed decision can only be made (if there was a referendum like in some other countries) by means of an objective, non-emotional flow of information on all aspects. And I think we’re way off that mark!

Astrodome
13th Jun 2004, 21:00
A fine post................but you know just a little more research into what you assert would perhaps have changed your view?

There are a number of statements that you make which are factually inaccurate. Worth chasing up?

Send Clowns
13th Jun 2004, 23:58
Kind of puts a comical perspective when Wedge says that he has no idea of the consequences, but we should join anyway. No attempt at any justification of assertion that alternatives would be worse. Very typically Europhile - a nebulous argument with no substance, just airy ideas and hand-waving arguments.

BlueWolf
14th Jun 2004, 06:30
You can’t be a member of a team only enjoying the benefits and not claiming your part of the responsibilities.

Does that mean France is going to have to start pulling it's weight in NATO?

P.S. I have forwarded this to Helen Clark;)

tony draper
14th Jun 2004, 10:35
Well well well!!, looks like quite a few peeps in the UK feel about the EU as Drapes does, jolly good show.
:E

surely not
14th Jun 2004, 18:14
I have just seen the Television interview with Kilroy-Silk, and he was very good at telling people what he didn't agree with, but he didn't say what the policies would be IF they succeeded in pulling the UK out of Europe.

In short UKIP appear to have a campaign based solely on negativity about the present, with no clear plans for what in heck happens if they succeed.

How will they ensure that our trade with Europe continues as strongly as it does now? How will they ensure that Japan and others continue to find the UK attractive to invest in if we are not in Europe and in the Euro? How will they stop Sterling becoming an irrelevance in world trade? How will they ensure that employment remains at its current high levels if the UK is seen as an irrelevance in World Trade. How will we remain part of the G9 group?

Kilroy Silk when asked how UKIP will work in the European Parliament says 'We'll wreck it' and laughs. What a fine attitude to have............if you are a juvenile.

Come on then those of you who voted for UKIP. Don't tell me how bad Europe is, tell me how UK will survive outside of Europe?

M.Mouse
14th Jun 2004, 19:08
The same way as we did before except this time we won't be paying for the bunch of freeloading, corrupt, power crazed weasels that currently run the bloated, nannying and expensive bureaucracy know as the EU.

Send Clowns
14th Jun 2004, 19:10
The idea is that little needs to be done apart from dismantle the regulatory structure imposed by Brussels. Sorry as I am to say it, being pro-Common Market (if anti-EU) I suspect he is right. Europe is our main barrier to competing in the world, with even the Labour-Party over regulation only coming in second.

If you look, on the other hand to the Lib-Lab position on Europe: we must be at the heart of Europe, we can't be left behind, we can only have influence from the centre of Europe. It ies all empty rhetoric. Where is the positive argument there? Where is the attempt to justify the requirement for closer integration that is only supported by a self-perpetuating, self-selecting political elite with no regard for the opinion of other people. Where is the justification for the "constitution" to exist at all, let alone for its more ridiculous, political, nebulous and ill-defined clauses? Why do we need the EU to be more than a trading partnership?

You can now also explain why the UK cannot compete outside the EU, as you imply you believe.

BALIX
14th Jun 2004, 19:30
Well I didn't vote for 'em but I can see the reason why people did. Yes, they are a single issue party but that issue is one that a lot of people can identify with. When they look at the EU, what do they see? A huge bureaucracy that costs billions. No shortage of corruption. Dominated by the French and Germans. Stupid laws obeyed by Britain and not by other countries. A common agricultural policy that serves merely to prop up French farmers. A fishing policy that is killing the industry here whilst Spain's fleets seem to be doing quite nicely. More and more sovereignty being lost. The potential loss of a currency that somehow symbolises national identity.

Now these might be simplistic arguments but it is kind of hard to argue against them. I'm all for European co-operation, but why do we have to have a United States of Europe which seems to be the goal of the Fedralists?

On the other hand, the 'Dream Ticket' of Kilroy-Silk and, erm, Joan Collins is enough to put anyone off. But the main parties are having to sit up and take notice.

LGS6753
14th Jun 2004, 19:53
Some of the less honest pro-EU politicians are suggesting that the UK will lose millions of jobs and thousands of companies if we withdraw from the EU.
That is simply scare-mongering. UK is a net importer of goods, i.e. they need our markets more than we need theirs.
Also, on the day we withdraw, orders will not simply dry up. Our companies will take on a new lease of life, spurred by the prospect of being freed from some of the EU-originated bureaucratic burden.
What may suffer (but not necessarily) is the prospect of inward investment. That was driven to some extent by a fear of 'fortress Europe' policies, which haven't happened, and which drove multi-nationals to establish a base inside the fortress.
Those multi-nationals are more likely to return to Britain if it is business-friendly, low tax, and lightly regulated because we also have a well-educated, flexible, mainly English-speaking workforce. On their 'downside' we will never join the Euro Zone, but that is a two-way bet.
Freed from EU domination, Britain could overtake Germany as an economic powerhouse, but we would need a determined, charismatic, eurosceptic Prime Minister to achieve that.

surely not
14th Jun 2004, 20:02
So the only answer so far that attempts to answer the question of how UK Plc will go forward if we pull out of Europe is a stunning

'The same way as we did before'

The rest is either anti European rant, or a re-iteration of some peoples view of the present and not necessarily accurate.

The world has moved on a long way since we entered the European Common Market, and at the time we entered we were beholden to the IMF because we had been unable to cope on our own. So I really don't see returning to the days and ways before we joined as being particularly appealing.

We had an insignificant level of trade with other European countries, who now provide the majority of our trade opportunities. A situation which can only grow as more members join.

Come on, what real policies do they have?

Caslance
14th Jun 2004, 20:15
Anyone who believes that the EU wouldn't impose swingeing tarrif barriers on the UK if it were to withdraw - pour encourager les autres - is, plainly and simply, deluding themselves and has a distorted view of the significance of the UK in the modern world.

Those who think that our "independence" would be magically enhanced by a free trade agreement with the USA are similarly deluding themselves - the sheer disparity in size between the two economies dictates otherwise.

The USA is far more interested in trade with the Pacific Rim, because that's where the real money is to be made these days - and who can blame them? Business is, after all, business.

Admit it, guys - some of you just don't like Johnny Foreigner. :E

tony draper
14th Jun 2004, 20:25
Who the hell does like Johnny Foreigner??:rolleyes:
The only worry I have is the new UKIP MEP members will fall for the pork barrel life syle, they will be won over by all the goodies coming their way, the bribes the inflated salary the oportunity to line their pockets in a the most corrupt undemocratic organisation ever put together by the hand of man.
The EU is onr the way down the tubes where it has belonged for the last thirty years because it not only the people of this country that loath it.
Let it get back to being a pure common market as was intended, or let it collapse, and the sooner the better
Let us get back to being Frenchmen, Dutchmen, Germans, and all the rest and bin this insipid Europeaness.

Caslance
14th Jun 2004, 20:29
Who the hell does like Johnny Foreigner?? Some of us, however, do not believe that Johnny Foreigner's domain begins on the South Bank of the Tyne.......:ooh:

Send Clowns
14th Jun 2004, 20:33
No, surely not, you are misunderstandsing. It is "the same as we do now" not "...as we did before". You have completely failed top back any idea that things moight change. Caslance has asserted one reason, but it does not stand up and he does not try to justify it.

The EU could not impose tarrifs. Not only would that be against WTO rules, and lead to retaliation, but as already stated we are a net importer and so can do more damage to the EU than they can to us. With more liberal employment laws and lighter taxation we could compete effectively.

Why can the US not trade with us and the Pacific rim, Caslance? Your argument does not make sense - the scale of the US and its trade interest in the world in contrast to a self-obsessed Europe are its advantages.

Surely - I note you still haven't said why you think we would have problems in trading, why we would need to change significantly, or have to drop out of G8/G9 (do you really think our economy would drop from 4th to 10th in the world? If so, you are way to obsessed with pro-EU propoganda).

Caslance
14th Jun 2004, 20:37
Caslance has asserted one reason, but it does not stand up and he does not try to justify it. Of course not,. SC - it does conflict with your Olympian certainties after all. :rolleyes:

Oh, and your usual Pavlovian desire to put words into the mouths of others seems to have led you to misread the part of my posting concerning US trade with the Pacific Rim - why not have another look?


The EU can impose whatever tariffs on non-members it chooses - all it takes is the will to do so. WTO rules notwithstanding.

Cripes, man!!! Do you really think that the EUs real major trading partners - the USA et al - would embark on a trade war with the EU for the sake of the UK?

Really?????

Send Clowns
14th Jun 2004, 20:41
Ermmm, why would the EU impose illegal tarrifs? I didn't make the original claim, you haven't bothered to justify it. I gave you two reasons why they wouldn't, neither of which need involve the US, against no reason they would from you. You also fail to justify why you think the US is reluctant to put up sanctions against the EU with WTO backing, when they do so against WTO rulings.

Caslance
14th Jun 2004, 20:42
You also fail to justify why you think the US is reluctant to put up sanctions against the EU with WTO backing, when they do so against WTO rulings. Clearly I am an evil man, SC.

But you know what? My opinion is worth exactly as much as yours, old boy! :ok:

Send Clowns
14th Jun 2004, 20:46
No, it is not, as yet. You assert your opinion. I argue mine in a reasoned manner. An unthinking prejudice can be asserted. It cannot be argued. If you are willing to justify your opinion, it will equal the worth of those of us that make the effort. You seem strangely unwilling to try.

Caslance
14th Jun 2004, 20:50
No, it is not, as yet. That's just your opinion, SC. I have nothing whatever to prove or justify to you! :hmm:

Send Clowns
14th Jun 2004, 20:51
Why bother to post the assertion that the EU will impose trade sanctions if you then refuse to say why you think so? That is just wild prejudice, within what might otherwise have been a reasoned debate.

surely not
14th Jun 2004, 20:53
Send Clowns I was quoting M.Mouse when I included 'The same way as we did before', so I wasn't misunderstanding anything.

If you read the question in my opening, I am asking the UKIP supporters for the policies that are going to ensure UK Plc doesn't get harmed by withdrawing from the European Union.

you state ' You have completely failed top back any idea that things moight change' (your sp). UKIP tell us things will change! if nothing is going to change why are we pulling out!!!

So, on this thread we are told that only the Brits comply with European legislation. Then you say that the EU cannot impose tariifs because the WTO will not allow it. So do they follow rules or not?? The USA ignores the WTO when it suits. If the EU did impose a tariif on the UK, I doubt they'd be seen quaking in their boots at the retaliation little ol' UK could use. Laugh, they'd have tears of laughter running down their faces whenever they looked at a map .

So what have UKIP identified as the down sides to leaving the EU? and what policies have they to counter these downsides?

Come on, I'm still waitng to hear something other than negative knocking drivel.

Send Clowns
14th Jun 2004, 20:54
If you really think that prejudice has as much weight as reasoned argument then why bother to argue at all? You have closed your mind.

Caslance
14th Jun 2004, 21:00
Seldom has Pot so loudly called Kettle black, SC!!!!!

Enough - we'll get the thread closed down if we carry on like this. No point in inconveniencing everyone for the sake of our private spat, eh?

You may continue by PM if you so desire.......:E

Send Clowns
14th Jun 2004, 21:01
Surely not why do you think it is worth answering your points when you won't put up to your own challenge put back to you?

Caslance
14th Jun 2004, 21:04
Oh well.........:}

Rant away then, I assure you I shan't rise to the bait. :ok:

Maxflyer
14th Jun 2004, 21:09
The same way as we did before except this time we won't be paying for the bunch of freeloading, corrupt, power crazed weasels that currently run the bloated, nannying and expensive bureaucracy know as the EU.

At that time we had a manufacturing industry that made goods for export. However, as I recall an anti european PM called Thatcher destroyed our manufacturing base whilst balancing the books.

I have no great love for bureaucracy, but I would rather be inside the system trying to change it, than outside shouting whilst no one listens. That does not mean wrecking as proposed by Mr Daytime Chat who happens to have a house in Spain!

surely not
14th Jun 2004, 21:11
Send Clowns, I haven't put anything up because it isn't about my opinions. Fer Cripes sake read the fecking thread will you!!

I want to know what UKIPs plans are for after they succeed in getting us out of Europe, how they propose to maintain our levels of trade with Europe, etc......as previously posted on P1.

So far it appears that either they haven't got any ideas as to what to do after the event; or those of you who voted for them voted only to leave Europe without thinking what policies they had to move UK Plc onwards without any hiccoughs.

This is your chance to tell me, so why not use it instead of asking for my opinion first?

tony draper
14th Jun 2004, 22:10
Always looks at the present EU in a simple way, if you have a small town with say thirty corner shops, all thirty in competition with each other,all loosing money by undercutting their competition, then say six of them get together, pool their buying power,buy in bulk and agree only to undercut the other shops not party to this agreement, this is a good idea,its a common market if you like, advantage is gained, money is made, and all six shopkeepers are very happy.
What is the point when all thirty shops in this town join this common market,what is the advantage they gain??none, so a couple of the shopkeeps brow beat the rest, shut all the shops down, with the exception of one which they convert into huge superstore that nobody likes including the customers and the people who previous managed their own shops.
Get back to being just a common market and a common market only.
Bollix to federalism and closer ties.
:*

Hoping
14th Jun 2004, 22:18
Hello all, particularly the euro-sceptics,

Personally I have not made up my mind. We are in a difficult position and we have to choose, in or out. Both sides of the argument hold up. Of course we will be subject to more EU buearocracy the further we move into the EU. Outside we run the risk of being isolated and de-valued. Just look at all the other countries of our size which aren't part of something bigger such as the EU. How are they doing?

I am extremely interested in hearing an answer to Surely Not's question. I don't want to argue and I am happy to be proven wrong. I don't know everything. So please SC and others, if you know the answer, tell it. But no ranting.

Cheers

Hello Draper, this is important to us all so I have no intention to offend. I just want to contribute.

Your example of 30 stores and 6 of them getting together and therefore out performing the other 24 is in my opinion not applicable to the EU. The reason is that the EU does not represent the whole market. The whole market (the 30 stores in your example) is the world market. The six that get together are the EU. I don\'t think anybody thinks the EU is going to expand indefinitely and become the whole world, so surely there is no need to worry that all 30 stores (the whole world) are going to get together and ruin the idea.

Do you see what I mean?

Kiting for Boys
14th Jun 2004, 22:37
Remember the day Britain left the EU?

GEORGE KEREVAN


THURSDAY, 6 October, 2005. The headlines said it all: "Blair’s EU referendum gamble fails"(Financial Times). "Britain opts for economic suicide" (Guardian). "VE Day!" (Express). "Sun-sets on Brussels" (Sun). "Brown handed keys to Number 10" (Times). "Perfide Albion" (Le Monde).

The rejection of the European Union’s constitution by British voters, shortly into Mr Blair’s rump third administration, had been forecast well in advance. He had insisted on turning the referendum into a vote on EU membership, thinking his powers of persuasion were still intact after Iraq, but voters asked for Brussels’ P45 instead. So ended Mr Blair’s career on a low note. Britain’s divorce from the EU followed quickly.

Technically, the constitution was supposed to fall if any one member state rejected it. But, with the likelihood of a British "non", the European Commission had already put in place a plan to get it ratified regardless. As early as May 2004, Romano Prodi, the then commission president, had argued for an EU-wide popular vote on the constitution to coincide with the British referendum. He reasoned - correctly, as it happened - that there would be a majority for the constitution across Europe, even if individual states registered a negative vote.

One irony of the British rejection of the EU constitution was that the latter contained, for the first time, a specific mechanism to allow a member state to withdraw from the union (article 59). Prior to Britain’s exit, the only territory to leave the EU was Greenland, in 1985, after a disagreement about fishing rights. At that time, every member had to consent to Greenland’s withdrawal to make it effective, though no-one was particularly bothered. However, the British rejection of the constitution came in a very different political climate.

Article 59 says a member state is free to leave but empowers the European Council to set out conditions for withdrawal. The French tried to use this procedure to make the United Kingdom sign the same agreement with the EU as has Norway. Though technically not a member, Norway is treated as one de facto, provided it voluntarily accepts all EU laws and regulations. The Brits rightly decided there was no point signing a deal that left them with no seat at the top table but still with the obligation to accept whatever Brussels dictated.

Once out of the EU, British politics found itself in a state of shock. The one issue that had dominated the national agenda for two generations was suddenly no longer relevant. With the EU question now settled, Britain was free to look to the future and consider the self-interest of the country in a fast-globalising international economy. Far from engendering a climate of parochialism, leaving the EU meant Britain could rejoin the world. Domestic political battle lines were quickly redrawn. Prime Minister Brown’s high tax regime was soon under massive popular attack while a renewed sense of national pride touched off a cultural revolution reminiscent of the 1960s and "Swinging Britain".

Furthermore, the economy did not implode. As the remaining EU countries exported more to the UK than Britain sold to them, there was no great rush on either side to restrict trade. True, the French manipulated the rules to make it difficult for British companies to buy French firms - but that had always been the case. The Brits were sensible and did not to retaliate in kind. If the French were silly enough to reject our cash but invest money in new jobs in Britain, so be it. French autarky never made economic sense at the best of times.

There were fears that Britain would lose substantial foreign investment as United States capital was attracted to the security of the Eurozone countries. In fact, the opposite happened. French political antagonism towards the US ensured American investment during the boom at the end of the first decade of the 21st century went largely to the UK or Asia. Besides, the creation of powerful international financial groups such as the Royal Bank, with its strong roots in the US, had already ensured that Britain remained at the centre of global capital markets. Switching control of Britain’s monetary policy to Frankfurt would have destroyed such a commercial advantage.

Shorn of UK membership, France and Germany first moved to consolidate their leadership of the EU. President Chirac, elected to a five-year term in 2002, had only a little time left in office to cement his place in history. He made use of another new mechanism of the constitution (article 43, "Enhanced Co-operation") allowing groups of member states to proceed faster towards political and economic integration within the EU framework. The "Charlemagne block" countries - cynics called it the new Napoleonic Empire - comprised France, Germany, Spain and the Benelux countries.

However, the rushed attempt to impose a Franco-German political and economic hegemony on the EU (sans Britain) soon unleashed a tidal wave of dissent among other member states that came to a head at the 2009 European elections with the election of an anti-integrationist majority. Curiously, a major element of friction inside the EU after Britain left was the question of the status of English. The French made cavalier efforts to remove it as a main language for EU publications. However, English had become not just the lingua franca of global business but also the second tongue for most of the smaller EU countries. They stoutly resisted the attempt to eliminate what was the main language of European communication - even without Britain.

Another crack in the edifice of the putative Franco-German confederation came from inside Germany. A decade of economic stagnation and an unemployment rate of 10 per cent finally led the German electorate to oust the socialists and elect the free-market Christian Democrats. Germany was in secular decline as a European and world power. Her population was predicted to fall sharply by 2050; Britain was poised to overtake her in economic strength; and hardly anyone outside Germany bothered to learn the language (not even the French).

For a time, it made sense to disguise economic weakness inside the shelter of a protectionist Europe. But the Chirac-Schröder pact only put off the day Germany would have to modernise or face economic ruin from cheaper, more entrepreneurial Eastern Europe and China. With Chirac and Schröder off to write their memoirs, the new Christian Democrat administration tore up plans to build a series of highly-subsidised European "champion" companies in favour of British-style deregulation of Germany’s arthritic labour market. As the economy started to recover, it was not long before siren voices were heard calling for Germany to take back control of setting her own interest rates. References to following "the British model" became common.

The world looked a very different place ten years after Britain’s withdrawal from the EU. The UK was the third biggest economy in the world (after the US and China). The Treaty of London had created a new framework for voluntary co-operation between the various European nations, based on the principles of free trade, the rule of law, decentralisation and minimum taxes. Britain was at the heart of Europe at last.

Sorry Chaps to post the whole article...nb Mods

The site requires a log-in - so i did it for you

Hoping
14th Jun 2004, 22:50
Kiting For Boys,

Thank you for your contribution. I'll be honest with you though, it is just a work of fiction and I'm sure a mirror image of this story could be made. Either way, propaganda, and in my opinion not getting us any closer to real understanding. Surely that is what we all really want. Understanding.

M.Mouse
14th Jun 2004, 22:53
My arguments are more fundamental than all the hypothetical arguments about trade tariffs and the EU freezing us into oblivion.

Name me a government department that is sleek, well run and efficient. Name me a government department that becomes more efficient and cheaper as it gets bigger. Name me a government department that spends all its time trying to become smaller and employ less (tax payer funded) civil servants. Europe is getting bigger more bureaucratic, more expensive and less efficient by the day.

It swallows more and more money. It churns out legislation by the truckload, much of it totally unnecessary, but all requiring much manpower, and cost, to implement, all translated during the formulation process into a myriad of languages.

How can an organisation that shows such contempt for proper accountancy and accountability be seen as anything other than untrustworthy. How can we trust a failed politician, like Kinnock, to deal with the corruption when all he appears to do is sack the whistleblower.

Show me a European who is not fiercely proud of their nation, culture and 'way of doing things'? Why do we need this headlong rush into a one size fits all European Federal State? Why has nobody amongst our own politicians had the decency to ask the population what they want? If the UKIP showing in the polls was not a protest vote by a sizeable proportion of the population I don't know what was.

Way back when we voted for entry into the EEC, as it then was, we voted for a trading partnership. Marvellous. When and why did it suddenly become the European Federal State project.

And finally, talk of being in thrall to the EMF and of Margaret Thatcher destroying our industry is simplistic in the extreme but to argue why would move away from the issues raised by the originator of this thread.

Hoping
14th Jun 2004, 23:15
M.Mouse,

I agree that government departments are not commercial enterprises. They have no "competition" and so they do not evolve into efficient entities. To make a government department efficient would require "unnatural" intervention not provided by any market.

However, I could say that the US government is a lot more sleek than the UK's (or any other small countrie's) government. Why? Partly because it is funded by many more tax-payers and so the cost of the government per-taxpayer is much lower (or sleek) than here in the UK. Surely then, as more and more of the governing of the EU is done by one central government (I'm talking years down the line here) the cost of that governing per tax payer will reduce? ie an EU government would be more sleek than the sum of all of our individual governments.

Do you think my argument holds water?

tony draper
14th Jun 2004, 23:16
Ah! but we were not asked or given a chance to vote on whether or not we should enter the Common Market, we were just taken in, four years later we were asked if we should stay in, and the government used it vast resources to make sure they got a stay in vote.
People will not fall for that again.
Incidently I voted to stay in, what a young fool I was then.
:(

Hoping
14th Jun 2004, 23:21
M.Mouse,

Your other question: "Why do we need this headlong rush into a one size fits all European Federal State?"

I don't actually think we DO need this rush. But we appear to have it none the less. The EU is getting bigger and it is heading into a "one size fits all" type situation. What we need to decide is not whether or not we agree with it but what we are going to do in the face of it happening regardless.

I think we need a plan of action in the face of these changes even if we don't like the changes.

Davaar
14th Jun 2004, 23:32
Mr Hoping:

Any answer to your question on sleekness (surely a bigger public service, spread over more tax-payers, will be more efficient?) must be speculative. I have some experience in the public service. That gives me no more wisdom than anyone else, but although it is a circular statement, experience does give experience. My speculative answer is: "No!".

I told my boss that my unit could increase, probably by 100%, the quantity and improve the quality of its output by either halving or doubling its staff.

I am not at all sure, furthermore, that anyone really needs a truly efficient public service. See what, inefficiently, it does to you. Imagine how much worse it would be if it were efficient.

If I gave examples, that would disclose what I did in those days, and do not feel free to do that; but I can think of policy after policy that was proved wrong by events.

I used to derive comfort from our limited ability to screw things up.

OneWorld22
14th Jun 2004, 23:54
I love the way the UK Euro-sceptics try and portray Britain as the only honourable member in sea of European corruption and that the UK pays for everything in the EU! What a load of balderdash!

And in economic matters I would simply divert peoples attention to this little island who is well entrenched in the EU, has adopted the Euro yet is free to pursue US style policies particulary in having the lowest Corp tax rate in the EU and encouraging entrepeneurship. And the best performing EU economy is Ireland I'm afraid not Britain. It hasn't hurt this country at all and the UK like Ireland is moving to a more services based economy.

Membership of the EU has not hurt this country's trade with the US. Where are the European bases for the US heavyweights like Intel, Microsoft, IBM, Dell, Pfizer, Google etc? Intel and IBM have recently announced huge capital injections into their facilities here which will mean even more jobs. Ireland's unemployment rate will move below 4% soon.

Lets get some facts straight, the EU does not dictate tax policies or other sensitive issues.

A whole lot of rubbish is talked about Britain and the EU. I'll turn the question around and ask what would the benefit be to the UK if you left the EU?

And Kilroy-Silk, what a tosser!! He's drunk on his ego, his comments today were ridiculous. Really, the UK anti-euro mob would be better off offering proper reasons why the UK should leave the EU rather than getting all emotional about the definition of a sausage or chocolate or getting outraged because of the "Metric-Martyr!" Theypve crated this nioce little fantasy world where Brussels is overun with scheming German and French bureaucrats who spend all day and tonnes of cash plotting ways in which to bring Britain down.

West Coast
15th Jun 2004, 05:12
"And the best performing EU economy is Ireland I'm afraid not Britain"

Wasn't always the Celtic tiger now was it? I wonder how much of a collective burden Ireland was even 10 to 15 years ago?

BahrainLad
15th Jun 2004, 06:19
Aren't UKIP simply the BNP in suits?

Llademos
15th Jun 2004, 06:30
BahrainLad ...

The UKIP is a non-racist, non-sectarian party. It includes British people of all backgrounds who value individual freedom, tolerance and our right to govern ourselves. The UKIP really believes in Britain and Britain's future as an independent nation competing in the world. We are not 'anti-European', but we oppose British membership of an EU that stifles our initiative and threatens our freedom. We do not seek to abolish the EU, for we believe that each nation in Europe should decide its own future. Britain has no more right to control them than they have to impose their will on us.

vs

On current demographic trends, we, the native British people, will be an ethnic minority in our own country within sixty years. To ensure that this does not happen, and that the British people retain their homeland and identity, we call for an immediate halt to all further immigration, the immediate deportation of criminal and illegal immigrants, and the introduction of a system of voluntary resettlement whereby those immigrants who are legally here will be afforded the opportunity to return to their lands of ethnic origin assisted by a generous financial incentives both for individuals and for the countries in question. We will abolish the ‘positive discrimination’ schemes that have made white Britons second-class citizens. We will also clamp down on the flood of ‘asylum seekers’, all of whom are either bogus or can find refuge much nearer their home countries.

I think that makes the answer 'No'.

Maxflyer
15th Jun 2004, 06:55
...so we've left the EU and life is great. Our fishing fleet are currently fishing 13 miles off the French coast in an area the EU have banned fishing because of low stocks. It doesn't matter though, does it? After all we're not in the EU. Hang on a minute what's that French gun boat doing there?

Cod Wars anyone?

DishMan
15th Jun 2004, 07:00
Under the Headline:
The true face of a party which wants us out of Europe
(Or 10 things the UKIP don't want you to know about them) (http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/politics/story.jsp?story=531702)

It would appear that the "Twelve Angry Men" who are now UKIP MEPs will have to turn their party's reputation on it's head if they are to be a credible voice in the EP.


Makes an interesting read.

DM

tony draper
15th Jun 2004, 07:13
It could be worse, they could be luvvies.
:rolleyes:

bigfatsweatysock
15th Jun 2004, 08:02
Most brits can't accept that they don't rule the world anymore therefore they have to have complete control over themselves, but they think they can't have that because we're a part of the EU. What UKIP does is it slyly appeals to fears of strangers: its publicity materials bangs on about asylum which appeals to the the Daily-Mail reader.

The EU really has very little power in changing what we do. The EU is not run by Germany and France alone. It's a democratic organization and everyone has the opportunity to get his say.

The type of media that paints the EU as being dominated and run by France and Germany is just feeding off old resentments and preaching to the choir of ignorant fools who still need a focus for their prejudices or the Little Englanders who still think Britain is fighting the Napoleonic Wars. I have been to Waterloo in Belgium and trust me, there are no cavalry charges going on there.

The EU is a beureacratic monster and that has to be changed, the organisation of the EU has not really changed since the mid-1980's and the structure has simply expanded and inculded all the inneffencies and corruption.

The EU has kept Europe peaceful for over 60 years now, which if you look back in european history is a pretty significant achievement. The UK is now connected to Europe physically by the umbillical chord of the Channel Tunnel (oneof Thatchers prize projects if I remember correctly) and because of the EU you can now catch a train in London's city center and arrive in Paris or Brussels with very, very few hassles. You can now drive across mainland European borders at 120 kph with no irritating border controls or passport checks - this can also be seen as an analogy for business in the EU as well.

All in all, Britain has more to gain from being part of the EU and trying to make the changes it sees as neccessary to improve the workings of it than it has being outside it.

On a final note, given that Robert Kilroy-Silk has a house in Spain, and Joan Collins lives in France, you do have to wonder what the hell they're talking about...

Kiting for Boys
15th Jun 2004, 08:16
Europe not equal to EU

EU not EC not EEC not Common Market (EEC) for which I voted when we were last asked.

tony draper
15th Jun 2004, 08:18
The United States Of Europe is more about the French desire to swagger in the world than the UK's, after all we have been there, done that and bought the tee shirt,the French haven't, and that they can never forgive, all the USE would be as I said on other occasions, is a large dung hill for the cockeral France to crow its hatred of the USA from, especialy now they have the Germans kissing their gallic arses.

Teddy Robinson
15th Jun 2004, 08:38
I tend to get suspicious when politicians start wrapping their policies in national flags. UKIP is no exception.

The 'logic' of their arguments dates back to the tabloid banner headlines of a decade and a half ago which stated that the reason for holding back from full engagement with the EU was that "they" wanted to take the queen's head off the UK currency.

Informed debate, especially in the press has been conspicuous by it's absence.
TB's campaign to sell full membership has been severely compromised by his rather unpopular adventures in the middle east .. ergo there will be no informed debate and the rise of parties like UKIP/BNP assisted by voter apathy is enevitable.

I can only deduce that people in the UK prefer the sweat shop style of work ethic, and paying 6.5% on their mortgage as opposed to the Eurozone rate ie. about half, and what has happened to all those "rip off Britain" headlines ?.

As the saying goes, "Don't knock it till you have tried it".
What this party is saying is " Don't try it .. you won't like it"

While the metric martyr is still held up as an example of enlightened thinking, the UK remains in the dark ages, and is likely to remain there for some time to come.






:sad:

Send Clowns
15th Jun 2004, 08:49
Surely not

It is about your opinion. It is about your opinion that something needs to change if we leave the EU, beyond the natural changes of us not having to obey Brussels diktat, not having to pay for other nations inefficiencies and over-bearing welfare systems and not being pushed further into a quagmire of integration (a cease of change being the most important part to many people). That is an assumption of your comment about UKIP having "... no clear plans for what in heck happens if they succeed". My suggestion is that this is not the case. Before anyone can be expected to answer your opinion, surely we need to know what you think will have o change and why, otherwise we have no serious point to address.

bigfatsweatysock
15th Jun 2004, 08:52
Mr Draper with your last post you prove my point about prejudices.....

Abeam Points, good point, The EU has certainly helped to keep the peace in partnership with NATO and countries like Portugal and Ireland have been immeasurably helped by EU membership.

Owning property in another country is one thing, but Ms Collins lives in France full time.


It's good to see the Mosleys in full flow again.

Rugz
15th Jun 2004, 09:32
From an article in the Express & Star (Midlands) on May 25th 2004, there is an interesting sentance that perhaps sums up the reasons why there is a lack of policy for what the UKIP will do if they get into power:

"The master plan is to get Britain out of the EU, wind up UKIP and go home."

To read the full article:

http://www.expressandstar.com/artman/publish/article_59059.php

BillHicksRules
15th Jun 2004, 10:34
SC,

Contrary to what you think, what you have stated is simply your opinion of what might happen in the future should we the UK come out of the EU. Since it has not happened “yet” no one know exactly what may or may not happen. Your opinions hold not more weight than anyone else’s no matter how conceited you may be.

You have made several sweeping statements with no corroborating facts to back them up. You have then followed this up by attacking anyone who does the same. Where I come from they have a word for that.

Your “opinions” may come true and they may not but why not try reining your neck in a couple of notches and realise that the people on here are not evil, stupid or out to get you.
Cheers

BHR

surely not
15th Jun 2004, 10:57
Wow, 4 pages into this thread and still not 1 answer on what plans UKIP has to protect the UK if it achieves it's aim of withdrawal from the EU. A lot of the usual anti EU rant quoting generalisations, emphasising only the bits which suit their argument.

I am genuinely interested as to whether the UKIP party has policies other than to be a thorn in the backside of the established parties? As this thread has shown, you can be very loud and vociferous if all you need to do is throw negativity and generaisations around, but can UKIP do anything other than this?

M.Mouse
if you can show me a Govt. that isn't unwieldly your argument would have more weight. I believe that Thatcher believed in unwieldy government, yet she set up more quangos than anyone else! Empire building to show importance goes on in all Govts, and most companies as well.

Llademos
I also believe in Britains future; I also value Individual Freedom and tolerance. I also believe in a future for the Houses of Parliament, but I haven't seen anything yet to make me believe in UKIP. How typical that instead of answering my question you try to grab all the clothes of decency for UKIP and tarnish all others as bounders and scallywags. Or is that the real policy of UKIP?

Send Clowns
I am not putting my thoughts on here because I want to see if my hunch that UKIP is a party on negativity and no plans of its own is correct. I want to see what thoughts UKIP has, I know my thoughts. You supported UKIP so I'm certain that you researched their policies thoroughly before voting for them. This a chance for UKIP to be seen to be more than just an 'anti' party.
I don't think that UKIP and its supporters know what will change if we leave the EU, so therefore they cannot have any plans to combat it. Basic business planning says you should understand both sides of an argument before acting.


So at the risk of getting boring...........What plans does UKIP have if they succeed in pulling us out of the EU?

Rugz
15th Jun 2004, 10:59
SN,

Apparently none (re: above post).

surely not
15th Jun 2004, 11:04
Sure seems that way Rugz. Fancy voting for a party with no plans!!


edited to spell Rugz properly!!!..................................sorry Rugz :O

Rugz
15th Jun 2004, 11:12
Wonder if there is a party that is truly willing to weigh up the pros and cons of all aspects of EU involvement, and document the findings for the public to view. Nah, I'm being daft now aren't I?

Sometimes wonder whether it would be worth starting up me own party, as many people I speak to seem to have the same views as me on Europe, immigration, social welfare, economy etc etc.

Anyone wanna start a new party...? :E

OneWorld22
15th Jun 2004, 11:37
I like that joke going around saying UKIP is the political wing of the Rotary Club!

Seriously look at them, they're all ageing men! No young people involved at all! I mean whart happens in ten+ years when they're even more elderly and decrepit and so are their voters? There's no future in this party. They have no support it seems under 35-40. They're just a bunch of Tony Drapers, i.e. the greying vote, i.e. no threat.

And look at the facts 2.7 million voters out of how many voted for them?

Rugz
15th Jun 2004, 11:52
Cheerio,

I think you have just hit the nail on the head, as they say.

The only reason that the UKIP got that many votes was nothing more than a protest against the policies of the other main parties.

Time for those parties to look into their policies and start offering something that the British people actually want - not that they probably know.

Referendum time me thinks - not as a vote either way, but as a "lets gain an understanding of what the British public actually want". At least that way all the parties will know what we want as a country.

Problem with this is that most people don't actually know what they want, or if they do, why they want that decision. Like I said before we need an unbiased review of the pros and cons of all aspects of EU involvement - but that will never happen IMHO.

Ho hum, time for lunch

tony draper
15th Jun 2004, 11:54
Greying ?one would be happy with greying.
:rolleyes:
One detects rising panic among the Europhiles, great stuff.
They have good reason, tiz the begining of the end.
:E

Llademos
15th Jun 2004, 12:29
SN,

How typical that instead of answering my question

Umm ... I wasn't. I was making a point based on an assertion/statement from another poster that the UKIP was BNP in suits. It's called having a conversation.

Also, can you point out the last time I didn't answer one of your questions if it's 'typical'?

you try to grab all the clothes of decency for UKIP and tarnish all others as bounders and scallywags

Actually I was quoting verbatum from both the UKIP and BNP manifestos. It's up to the reader what they think of the relative merits of the manifestos.

Anyway, you complained that nobody was answering your oroginal question, so here goes ...

Many people believe that the UKIP offers a way out of Europe. If that is waht the person who votes for UKIP want, then that is something that UKIP are offering 'positively'. Whether you agree we should be in or out of the EU, UKIP have made their position on the matter crystal clear. I personally cannot see any reason to vote for them in anything but the European elections - for anyone who does not believe Britain should be in the EU they offer the only positive way in the European elections of effectively voting 'none of the above'.

What plans does UKIP have if they succeed in pulling us out of the EU

Probably none at the moment, but why should they? The UKIP is an unashamedly one-message party and that is how people vote for them. Whether this is a good thing is debatable, but at least they are straightforward - and getting nearly a fifth of the UK vote to boot.

Now, how about some of your views other than 'you're all ranting away off-topic'?

Ozzy
15th Jun 2004, 13:57
The EU has kept Europe peaceful for over 60 years now, which if you look back in european history is a pretty significant achievement. The european union (EU) grew out of the european coal and steel community (ECSC) founded in 1951 by the Benelux countries, France, West Germany, and Italy. The european economic community (EEC) was implemented in 1958. Nato, founded in 1949, would have a much better claim to keeping the peace in europe. In either case it would not be "over 60 years".:rolleyes:

All in all, Britain has more to gain from being part of the EU and trying to make the changes it sees as neccessary to improve the workings of it than it has being outside it. Participate economically, but not politically.

On a final note, given that Robert Kilroy-Silk has a house in Spain, and Joan Collins lives in France, you do have to wonder what the hell they're talking about... I guess they have the benefit of a wider view point...

Ozzy

surely not
15th Jun 2004, 14:01
Llademos, some good points re my answers to you............I wasn't very accurate, must do better. I thought they were your points, not quotes from the manifesto's.

The 'typical' comment was a genearl response to the europhobes replies so far, not yours in particular. Oh and you're quote at the end of your post is not recogniseable as one of mine........is it?

So, onwards in the quest..........At last an answer of sort as to what UKIP will do if it succeeds in getting us out of the EU.........................It doesn't know!!

Fantastic, the Saviours are amongst us and they're clueless!! Way to go guys and gals, that is really going to attract voters. 'We want out of wicked Europe and then...............................who cares, we won't be responsible unless it is a success!!!'


I am interested as to whether any of the Eurosceptics on here have thought about life outside the EU, other than through rose tinted spectacles. I don't think you have. You are wanting out of Europe because you don't like sharing power with foreigners.

Well tell me how we will grow as a country out of Europe, in isolation from the the big trading blocks, and I might be less dismissive. It isn't the idea of leaving Europe that unsettles me, it is the lack of consideration of all the pros and cons.

So in answer to the question of the topic, the only answer so far is 'UKIP offers nothing positive if we succeed in exiting the EU'

Ok, that supports what I thought.

mallouin
15th Jun 2004, 14:01
seems to be an awlful lot of carping going here :confused: whoops wrong thread :\

OneWorld22
15th Jun 2004, 15:37
BNP is to UKIP what the Audi A3 is to the VW Golf. They are essentially the same car, built on the same foundations but are just presented a little differently.

Shame to see such right wing organisations making inroads to a country like the UK.

desafinado
15th Jun 2004, 16:08
Astrodome
Maybe you could be a bit more precise?

surely not
15th Jun 2004, 16:38
Interesting that the 3 EMP's they had last time hardly bothered to go and vote on issues, and apparently they were split amongst themselves as to how to vote. They claimed all their money though!!

So, refresh me, they are against the free loading, undemocratic EU? Strange way of showing it. I'd say they defrauded those who voted for them.

surely not
15th Jun 2004, 16:44
Re your response to Wedge. Very similar to your postings on the UKIP thread then SC :D

zed3
15th Jun 2004, 17:09
surelynot ..... I'm British and veeeery eurosceptic . I have lived in the three Benelux states at some time over the last 34 years and for the last 32 years in the Netherlands . All these countries have changed very much in this time , as has the UK , yet the main difference is that people over here seem to follow politicians more , main point being that the voting system is different from the UK . To my mind it is not so democratic , plus the fact that there are too many parties to vote for - the whole meaning is watered down . I have nothing against 'foreigners' , in fact most of my friends and colleagues are such folk - there are about 15 different nationalities in the Ops Room where I work ! Creeping socialism is not something I want to live under , and that's all this EU is . So if UKIP is the only way to change the system ( and I fear it won't ) , fine , it will at least bring the discussion out into the open , hopefully all over Europe . I can understand that the Tories want to stay in and change from within and maybe go back to the old idea of a trading area , but I'm not holding my breath waiting for this to happen with the French and Germans involved . Face it Germany won the war after the fourth attempt with the Euro based on the D-mark but then along came the results of German unification ! This Euro thing is not good - keep away from it , my purchasing power has been reduced by around 20% since that came in and the politicians said inflation was around 2.2% !!!!! All propaganda . Labour has also gone along with this by introducing a new way of calculating inflation , be warned .
End of rant - 4 years and 5 months to go and then back to The Island .

Astrodome
15th Jun 2004, 18:04
Bit embarrassed actually.

Not sure what that post is doing here !

It makes no sense to me and I suspect that it got transposed with a different thread entirely.

The dangers of posting after a 16 hour day !!!!!

:O

Accept my apologies?


bigfatsweatysock
It's good to see the Mosleys in full flow again.
Your comment is perhaps intended to be a slur on those who hold different views to yourself?

Just to give you a little better of an understanding I will cut and paste a section from a website on Sir Oswald Moseley for you. I presume it was he to whom you are referring rather than Henry Moseley (a British chemist who studied under Rutherford and brilliantly developed the application of X-ray spectra to study atomic structure)?

The section relating to Oswald Moseley says:-
One of Mosley's most enduring concepts was the "European Idea". As early as 1932 the Nazi's called for the creation of a "New Europe" in order to unite corporate Europe against the threat of socialism. This concept was refined in Berlin in 1942 with the publication of "Europaische Wirtschaftgemeingshcaft" (European Economic Community), a grand design which even included plans for a single unitary European state with a European Central Bank.

Mosley consistently campaigned for such an entity, even learning German out of "patriotic duty" while interned during World War Two. After the defeat of Nazi Germany, Mosley proclaimed that National Socialism - Nazism - had failed because it was too narrow a concept and began openly advocating "European Socialism".

Mosley's British Union Of Fascists was the first political party in Britain in 1949 to call for a European Union. This union was to include parts of north Africa in "Europe". The fascist dream was and remains a "comprehensive policy for the new Europe"- "the complete Union of Europe with an European Government is now a necessity...an entirely free system, in a large and viable area such as Europe-Africa, could solve the recurrent crises of the present European countries..."

Mosley edited a magazine, "The European", between 1953 and 1959, which called for a "Union of Europe", proclaiming himself leader of the Union Movement which campaigned for "Europe a Nation".

Sir Oswald continued to promote the Nazi vision of a world divided up into self-sufficient, autarkic, blocs which would be corporatist in character, which would deny the existence of class struggle. As such, there are many similarities with Euro-fascist visions and those of ardent Euro-federalists.

Bit of an own goal ?

bigfatsweatysock
15th Jun 2004, 18:33
It seems anyone holding left wing or center left viewpoints are referred to as luvvies, and I have seen the term Mosleys bandied around here to refer to those of a rightwing persuasion.

Oddly, I am not trying to score any goals as I dont play football very well.

Still waiting to see your facts about railway investment though.

Astrodome
15th Jun 2004, 18:52
Electrification from Shenfield to Norwich

Electrification of ECML from Hitchin to Glasgow via Edinburgh

New locomotives and rolling stock (Class 91/Mk4 Carriages)

Increases in new stations opened e.g Sandwell & Dudley

New routes opened

New rolling stock on Southern, Merseyside (Class 507/508). Regional Railways (Classes 142/150/156/158)
Western Region (Class 165/166)
Chiltern Lines Class (166/165)

Channel Tunnel High Speed Rail Link (Union Railways) authorised

Eurostar trains

New locomotives for freight - Diesel (Classes 58/60) and Electric (Classes 90 and 92)

New locomotives for passenger (Class 90)

Various re-signalling projects including the one in progress when the Clapham Jct accident happened.

New Intermodal freight terminals at Wakefield and Mossend.

These are just a few of the things that immediately spring to mind but as I have no access to reference books at present I cannot add any more

Send Clowns
15th Jun 2004, 22:26
Yes, Surely not, it seems very common that people in favour of the EU tend not to be able to say why. Not sure if they don't know, don't understand, can't articulate or just are too arrogant to be bothered to have to justify their opinions. There seems to be a great tendency, among politicians and general population who support further European integration to justify themselves with prejudice, rather than solid argument.

Look at OneWorld22's random assertion, without any attempt at justification.

You, personally don't even read what other people write. I never at any stage supported the UKIP, and don't agree with even their core policy of leaving the EU. I just pointed out the hollow nature of your initial question, and that unless you say what you think needs changing that original question cannot be answered.

It is not negativity to say we must leave the EU: that is a positive, pro-active policy. It is negative to say we must accept the whole European project. It is negative because it allows no option: we must go along with policy not because that policy is good but because it allows us to stay in the EU. To justify that you have to say why the EU is so vital, or why things must be radically changed if we leave.

BillHicksRules
15th Jun 2004, 22:37
Send,

And when you do that then it is different how?

Cheers

BHR

Send Clowns
15th Jun 2004, 22:39
When I do what, BHR?

I post opinions backed with arguments. My whole point (in case it went over your head) is that surely not refuses to back up his opinion, and 1W22 just doesn't bother, making some random, off-the wall simile that means nothing in the context.

BillHicksRules
15th Jun 2004, 22:47
SC,

I have read all your posts in this thread and you have yet to back up any of your assertions. I am not the first one to call you on it. Caslance tried and you got so abusive with him that he left.

Is that your debating technique nowadays?

Cheers

BHR

corsair
15th Jun 2004, 23:21
Yawn, interesting or dull debate whatever. Like it or not Britain will not leave the EU, nor will the EU collapse, nor will anyone lose their national identity. Britain will join the Euro and wonder why anyone objected in the first place.

Any notion that the UK will declare independance and go it alone is laughable. The UKIP will fade as all all crank parties do.

Sorry to spoil the debate.

OneWorld22
15th Jun 2004, 23:29
Come off your platform of pious indignity SC, your opinions are as entrenched as anybody's on this board, possibly more so. And I'm sorry, but you do not back up your opinions with arguments or facts.

The EU has created a huge trading block which any economist would tell you has greatly benefitted trade in Europe and has supported the growth of smaller/poorer nations and helped them greatly.

What exactly are you afraid of?

Astrodome, bit of a a laugh you commenting on being called a Mosley when anyone who disagrees with the Norman Tebbit society gets branded "Luvvie" or "Tree hugger" etc.

Whats good for the goose.....Mosley works and we'll keep using it.

flapsforty
16th Jun 2004, 06:59
Chaps, the mods will step in if debating techniques need modifying, and there is always the 'report this post' button.
Please, let's debate the subject and not eachother OK?

Hostie from Hell
16th Jun 2004, 07:37
Agree with the referendum idea .. and keep it simple..

Do we stay in ? or do we get out ?.. tick as appropriate.
In.. means we adopt the Euro (at a time of our choosing) and become an integral part of Europe .. Out means the UK takes it's chances elsewhere, no Euro.

yintsinmerite
16th Jun 2004, 08:43
Personally, I like being part of Europe for reasons that I do not have time to go into now (in that I am at work); I also feel that it's time for pro Europeans to come out of their shells and broadcast the fact that they exist.

As for the UKIPS - nothing more than a single issue party designed to appeal to feeble minded little Englanders who some how think that we 'British' are different, who havn't realised we no longer have an empire and are probably mentaly down on the Algarve fighting the Portugues Police.

One point - were we to leave the EEC, would those of us who are pro European be offered the chance to ditch our British citizenship and take on a European nationality - I fancy French myself. At least their trains run on time, they have less scummy hooligans, less scummy newspapers like the Daily Mail, A health system which works, better roads, good wine, good food and less American influence (oh and didnt blindy go into an open ended conflict in Iraq !!)

Putting tin helmet on now

BTW, what would the cost of awithdrawl from Eurpope be ? Have a look at the front page of the Independant today (or is it a Daily Mail club rule that no other paper may be looked at)

M.Mouse
16th Jun 2004, 08:54
As for the UKIPS - nothing more than a single issue party designed to appeal to feeble minded little Englaners (sic)

I must be feeble minded then. For the first time in my life I voted for a party other than my usual one. Why? Because no other party has given me the opportunity to say what I think and want regarding the EU and its thinly disguised federal plans.

Of course they are a one hit wonder with no real future but I bet it has made our present political parties stop and think despite them saying it makes no difference to them, arrogant individuals that they are.

France is indeed a wonderful place with all the attributes you mention. However, you overlook the uinsustainable level of public service employees and the pensions time bomb that, presumably, a larger EU will eventually pick up the tab for.

yintsinmerite
16th Jun 2004, 09:24
I must be feeble minded then

No, I dont think so. You recognise them as a one hit wonder with no future.




uinsustainable level of public service employees

who have a spending power and keep the economy running. The alternative of making them unemployed (and paying them to sit on their bums), is that you take some of that spending power away and undermine the domestic economy


the pensions time bomb

Yer, like we don't face the same problem here. In many ways, I suspect we may be in a worse state. We may have a high percentage of private pensions in the UK, but come time to collect, I wonder how many more funds will have been raided by crooks like Maxwell. It doesn't matter if we are in or out of the EEc, we face the situation of an aging population who are approaching retirement age for which successive governments have failed to make provision for: the NI/Tax you pay now is not saved for your retirement. Its spent on the current crop of pensioners who refuse to do the decent thing and die early. The trouble is, no government faced with the Sun/Daily Mail type of media dare admit the issue exists.

Kiting for Boys
16th Jun 2004, 09:44
Little Englanders?

UKIP got 7% of the vote in Scotland. The SSP who also propose leaving the EU, got 5%. This in a Country with four leading parties, where we had Christians and anti-windfarm people. The most any party got was 26% on an overall turnout of 31%.

Welcome to PR….whatever happened to Respect and Gorgeous George?

surely not
16th Jun 2004, 09:49
Send Clowns, why do you keep avoiding my question? I asked how UKIP intended to maintain the level of prosperity, trade, value of Sterling, etc IF we leave the EU.

In answer you call on me for MY ideas!! Why? I want to know if I have missed anything in my own ideas, plus I want it to be shown that the anti Euro brigade have actually thought through the consequences. Your carping on at me to post my ideas suggests you haven't thought it through and wish to pick through someone else's ideas first!

I am satisfied that as this has been going on for several days now and not one of the regular Europhobes has been able to come up with a balanced reply, that the real reply is 'we'll wing it and hope'.

I shall also watch with interest to see how many times the UKIP elected members attend meetings, vote and table motions. The previous 3 were all way down at the bottom of the list for attending, and raised 1 (one) question in 5 years. Dynamic stuff! They still collected £65,000 each for the honour of doing diddley squat though. I think time will show the elected 12 to be no better.

tony draper
16th Jun 2004, 11:23
One hopes the UKIP members will be there to disrupt meeting not just attend them,bring the currupt filthy edifice to a halt, after all they mignt manage to slow the amount theft and fiddle that goes on daily.
:E

phnuff
16th Jun 2004, 11:42
One hopes the UKIP members will be there to disrupt meeting

Sums the UKIPS lot up well - ignorant spoilers devoid of idea's.

I wonder how many UKIP'S supporters there are on the Algarve proudly flying the British flag and making us proud of the way they oppose 'anyfing forern' ?

yintsinmerite
16th Jun 2004, 11:56
One hopes the UKIP members will be there to disrupt meeting

And that will achieve precisely what ?

DishMan
16th Jun 2004, 12:07
Heard a snippit on the World Service yesterday evening. it was a UKIP "official" or "spokesperson" who, when having Kilroy-Silk's "wrecking the EU parliament" quote thrown at him, sidestepped and played it down...."must be seen in the right context" blah blah...he appeared to distance himself with K-S's "hero of the day" extremist comments......

A GOOD opposition challenges/refines/questions and helps to develop a well reasoned compromise.
Extremist factions will only be treated with contempt and derision. their oppinions will not be listened to with the same respect.

IF the UKIP wants to be a credible voice in Europe and work towards a reasoned withdrawal of the UK from the EU then the K-S type showmanship is not the way to go.

Personally, I would welcome the UK adopting the € - make moving to and fro across the channel much easier.
Oh, and before you go, please allow all the hundreds of thousands of Ex-pats to have legislation grant them automatic right of abode on their chosen countries of residence.


To be honest, can't really see UK pulling out of the EU politically or economically.

Astrodome
16th Jun 2004, 12:20
For the debate you seek?

Q Would we lose out economically by leaving the E.U?

No, after more than 25 years in the EU it is patently obvious that we have suffered as a result. Since 1973, membership of the EU. has cost the U.K. £32 BILLION in net terms (around £3 billion a year). This is even after allowing for all E.U. subsidies, grants and regional funds (which is just some of our own money being returned to us when we beg for it). It has cost further untold billions by forcing us to adapt to European systems and standards of weights and measures - even though British systems led the world. Adopting these systems has made it more difficult for us to trade with the rest of the world. When we joined the Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM), it cost us billions more, including loss of jobs and loss of our national reserves. And future E.U. plans are undermining much of what is left of our economy.

The expansion of the E.U, and ever-greater bureaucracy, corruption and fraud will mean the annual cost of our membership will go up and up.


Don't we have to implement Euro-regulations to export there?

Yes - insofar as we do export there. But 90% of U.K. companies never export, yet still have to face crippling E.U. compliance laws - with criminal charges if they don't obey! And other companies could better adapt their manufacturing to export to world markets outside the E.U. If we left the E.U. we could easily renegotiate sensible trade and export agreements with all countries.


Does being in the E.U. give us more influence in the world?

No. In fact, exactly the opposite is true. At the moment the U.K. belongs to the U.N, NATO, the G8 Group and many other international organisations.

E.U. common economic, foreign and defence policies, where we are constantly outvoted and outmanoeuvred by other E.U. states, are already seriously undermining our influence and interests in the rest of the world.


Isn't almost two-thirds of our trade done with the E.U?

No. In fact it is only about one-half, and only about 35% of our "invisible" exports go to the E.U.

If trade with the rest of the world which first goes through European ports is also excluded, then the actual trade figure is nearer 40%. That is actually less than it was when we first joined the "Common Market"! It is also less than any time in our history - even in times of war!


Wouldn't Japanese and other investors pull out if we left the E.U?

No. They already say they wouldn't. There is every reason to believe them.

Outside the E.U, our costs would be lower, their profits higher. They need investments in an English-speaking country, a language which is used in half the world's trading. he are also attracted by our lower business taxes and fewer rules. "Harmonisation" up to E.U. levels may cost us this inward investment.

Investment is higher in the U.K. than in Euro currency zone countries because investors gain better returns in the United Kingdom.


What about the Euro?

The Euro is showing signs of being a failing or "soft" currency. It has gone down 10% or more against most world currencies since its launch. Joining the Euro would mean the end of our economic independence. We would not set our own interest rates. We would have to transfer 80% of our gold reserves to the European Central Bank, which we would never get back. We would have taxation rates set by the E.U, not by the British Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Look what happened to the U.K. when we were tied to the Exchange Rate Mechanism. The pound proved to be far more stable with the U.S. dollar than with any European currency - yet no one suggests we have to ditch the pound and join the dollar. A single European currency is, and always was, an E.U. political ambition. It has nothing to do with natural economics. Those behind the E.U. want it because it furthers their ambition for a Euro superstate.

steamchicken
16th Jun 2004, 12:38
Quoting! I think we've had that one before

OneWorld22
16th Jun 2004, 12:50
Astrodome, you're actually wrong on many things you've just mentioned.

You again forget to mention Ireland, a Euro Zone country with GREATER FDI then the UK. If the UK were to leave the EU I can assure we we would be the welcome recepient of Foreign-UK based companies who would up-sticks and leave. English speaking with the lowest tax rates, member of the EU and with a stable currency and business friendly government policies? It's a no-brainer.

Ireland just renders your thinking obsolete in this instance. You can be a member of the EU, adopt the Euro and still be the best performing economy in Europe.

And I don't know where you get your facts from, the EU accounts for 49.6% of British exports. The US accounts for 15.5%.

phnuff
16th Jun 2004, 13:10
Astrodome - what a lot of unsubstantiated facts which I for one have not got the time to argue in depth. But

1) It is not patently obvious we have suffered economically as a result of EU membership. Yes, we have had some money returned to us in grants etc. - that is one of the points of the EU, but is us having to think in meters or kilo's such a bad thing. Its typical of of the insignificant nonsence that eurosceptics throw at us. We are and have been out of step with the world and changing is no bad thing. You will quote the travesty of having to have straight cucumbers next!!


2) I agree, crippling compliance laws like do not flog your staff to death with fear of redundancy, do not make them work in unsafe conditions, do not make your products unsafe. We work the longest hours in Europe - if European companies can still make profits (and they do), what is wrong with our business model here which means we can't. Bad management/poor entrepreneurship/a wish to deny staff a reasonable life maybe ?

3) Influence - you said it yourself. "U.N, NATO, the G8 Group and many other international organisations.". However of course U.N, NATO, the G8 Group and many other international organisations." plus the EU is more

4) Ok buddy, now I really want to know your sources (Daily Mail or the Sun maybe?) . At Launch in 2002, when we could first spend the Euro, it was worth 80 cents. Today it is worth $1.21 which is 51.25% higher (this is even higher than at its 'soft launch' in 1999 when it was at $1.17). Does this sound like a failing currency to you - it doesnt to me (source BTW,www.x-rates.com)


5) Lets also look at the ecomomic performance of another (primarily) English speaking country within the Euro namely Ireland. GDP growth in the UK for the years 1999, 2001 and 2003 was 2.9, 2.1 and 1.8 respectivley. In Ireland, it was 8.8, 5.7 and 6.9 (source world bank (www.worldbank.org). So, the Euro really hurts there right !!!


I'll get my reference books out and write a real reply sometime !!

(edited for typo's)

Astrodome
16th Jun 2004, 13:58
Good, at last some debate starts.

I cannot validate any of those facts as I have a demanding job like so many which takes up most of my time, and indeed to be honest I really can't be bothered. I have my own views on the EU and I doubt that any arguement on here is worth the trouble bearing in mind the levels to which this has descended.

I copied from a previous post by someone else as I am/was getting fed up of the heated dialogue and abuse that was starting to flow.

So now that we can have a PROPER debate going lets all stick to the facts and discuss ?

By the way does anyone disagree that the EU started out as a "Common Market" and has altered its shape in a way that no-one was ever asked to agree with?

In 1971 there was never any suggestion that the outcome of joining the then Common Market would be a political super-state.

topofdropman
16th Jun 2004, 14:03
there are so many issues bundled here. that's why, IMHO, the politicians find it so easy to muddy the waters.

The Euro: I studied this in depth in economics. The eurozone is not an "optimal currency area" i.e. due to the economic disparities (too numerous to mention here), one currency does not fit all. the way around this is to have a fully federal government, which ironically is something that the politicians deny they are doing but realise (certianly those in Brussels do) that full federalism is nencessary. just having one currency produces sub-optimal economic growth across the zone due to the inappropriateness of having one monetary policy (and the loss of the exchange rate as another policy tool).

the US benefits from high mobility of capital and labour; this isn't the case in europe due to language and cultural differences.

the EU (and its forerunner that dates all the way back to the Treaty of Rome) was born from the desire for Europe not to go to war with itself once again. the way to achieve this chimed with the then-prevalent view that a form of statism/socialism was best, and that if individual nations lost their own foreign policy etc then we would be ever closer bound together. trouble is, they forgot to ask the voters. the slgan "no taxation without representation" launched the US' war of independence. european voters now feel equally disconnected and rightly so.

with the WTO, and globalisation, we don't need to belong to a trading bloc. if the EU tries to block UK exports (if we withdraw) we would just take the EU to court. look at NAFTA (Nort American Free Trade Agreement). the signatories don't need a common currency and set of rules just to have free trade.

it is fact, rather than a conspiracy, to say that the whole EU enterprise is a Franco-German statist dream driven latterly by dreams of rivalling the US (despite almost no military capability).

the euro is political not economic; the legislation is backward-looking and the terrible economic performance of the eurozone (with just one or two notable exceptions) shows that the euro and excessive legislation is a noxious combination. to hand over our sovereignty and economic growth to appease a few execs in Tokyo who want to avoid forex hedging is taking a sledgehammer to crack a nut. not one economist's paper that I have seen (I mean those not paid for by the EU) has said this is a good economic development.

keep out of the euro, stay in the common market, and let the rest legislate themselves into economic irrelevance if they want, but don't let them drag us down with them.

surely not
16th Jun 2004, 14:23
Astrodome thank you for sparking some debate on figures.

I have seen trade figures which do not tally with yours. Before EU membership our percentage of trade with Europe was shown as around 18%, it is now over 50%. Our trade with the US has stayed level as a figure but obviously the percentage has declined as we now carry out more trade with Europe.

The Japanese investors in this country have indicated that they would welcome membership of the Euro as it would eradicate fluctuations in costs with there other European suppliers.

How has the £ been stable with the $? Last Novemeber the exchange rate was 1.49, today it is around 2.2.

The Euro has gained in strength as it has matured as a currency.

NATO, G8, UN.......all unelected bodies, something the eruo sceptics are supposed to disloke? EU Parliament, is democratically elected.

The 'oh so tired of this, can't be bothered to have an open mind' is pretty typical of the eurosceptics.

phnuff
16th Jun 2004, 14:58
How has the £ been stable with the $? Last Novemeber the exchange rate was 1.49, today it is around 2.2.

Surely not - is this a typo ??


I think for too long pro europeans have sat back and let the sceptics run the show.Its time to open the debate on facts rather than scare stories about straight cucumbers.

airship
16th Jun 2004, 15:04
Astrodome, I have to side with phnuff and ow22 in their replies to your post. You patently ignore the point that the EEC/EC/EU has been a major factor in the economic development of the poorer member states which included Ireland, Spain, Greece and even Italy, bringing their economies upto a level where they have become important trading partners for every other richer EU country. I don't know of any other example where "aid" has been so successfully applied on such a wide scale except in the immediate aftermath of WWII and the "Marshall-plan".

Your comment on British Standard weights and measures leading the world...one wonders whether you assume the US gallon to be the same as the old UK gallon? Or given the chance, would you prefer walking into a US hardware store and asking for a 1" threaded nipple or posing the same question in a French store? Language barriers aside, guess where you would get something which fits?!

DishMan wrote ...please allow all the hundreds of thousands of Ex-pats to have legislation grant them automatic right of abode on their chosen countries of residence... The Right of Abode is a purely "British" invention implemented as a form of 2nd Class citizenship for the "less desirable" inhabitants of former HM colonies. What would perhaps be more useful is that were the UK ever to quit the EU, UK residents could have a "fast-track" option to take on a 2nd citizenship, that of the EU country in which they currently resided. And legislation to guarantee that any future UK pension entitlement would not be frozen at the date the UK left the EU. Like what happened to many British who moved to Canada...! :} :sad:

phnuff
16th Jun 2004, 15:30
I look at it this way, we as a nation, have contributed to the EU coffers for the last 31 years (most of my life) and if this country were to withdraw, I would like the Right to stay as a citizen of the community that we have created. If that would mean some form of dual nationality or giving up uk citizenship, then so be it.

airship
16th Jun 2004, 15:46
During the 60th D-Day anniversary, I noticed that some of the old WWII gun emplacements still looked quite solid, a lick of paint here, a bit of filler there...?! :E

zed3
16th Jun 2004, 17:35
Just seen on the BBC that some EU gnome has said that it's 50/50. If that's the case then surely the whole thing should calm down before a vote ..... but we all know that this is not the way of democracy ..... keep pushing until we win , is the way . Harrumph!

OneWorld22
16th Jun 2004, 18:10
Astrodome, The commission doesn't run the EU in the sense that it can enact legislation. The main function of the Commission is to ensure the proper functioning of the Common market. It acts as guardian of the Treaties, ensuring the other institutions conform with it. The Commission administers the Community’s finances, negotiates internationally on behalf of the Community and has a limited power of decision.

The Council has the real and only power for legislating. The Council consists of representatives of each Member State at ministerial level, authorised to commit the government of that member state. Where the Council is to consider agricultural matters, member states are represented by their Agriculture Ministers and so on. General Councils are usually attended by Ministers for Foreign Affairs. The Office of President of the Council is held for six months in turn in each Member State. Meetings of the Council are always attended by the Commission represented by either its President or a Commissioner.

It is the voting procedures in the Council which distinguish the European Community from all other institutions in international law. It is the Council which makes decisions which are binding on member states.

Just to give some more information, there were 4 EU institutions set up under the Treaty of Rome and they were:

 The Council
 The Commission
 The Court of Justice
 The Parliament

To look at the context here, European Union law is an important source of Irish law. There are three sources of European Union Law:

 Provisions of the EU treaty
 Regulations
 Directives

LGS6753
16th Jun 2004, 19:18
OK it was me. I voted UKIP.

I am against Britain's EU membership and always have been. I wanted to send a message to the major UK parties that we poor plebs have had enough of the increasing powers of this 'Free Trade Area' we thought we had joined. I want one of the parties (prob Tory) to offer us a real choice in this, one of the most important issues of our time.

Hitherto, all the major parties have been pro-EU/EEC, with only fringe objectors. That clearly didn't mirror the feelings of many Brits who feel disenfranchised, at least on this issue.

Now that UKIP have won 17% of the vote, and beaten the Lib Dems into third place, I hope the political establishment in Britain wakes up to the people's feelings.

But what should I do at the next General Election? Emotionally, I would like to support UKIP, but I know that is likely to be a wasted vote due to our electoral system. So I'll probably return to my traditional party. But my support for them will be far less active and fervent if they ignore 17% of the electorate. Trouble is, it's the UK government that would have to negotiate our withdrawal, and we won't get a UKIP government.

So really, it doesn't matter about UKIP's 'manifesto', or what their MEPs do in Brussels/Strasbourg. They will not be the party that takes us out, what we need to do now is get to work in Britain and in our own parties, telling our leaders and opinion-formers what we really think, and that, thanks to UKIP 2004, it's no longer 'unthinkable'.

BillHicksRules
16th Jun 2004, 20:14
LGS6753,

Do you believe that the main parties actually ignored the 17% of the voters that voted for UKIP?

Or could it be that they listened but felt that they knew better?

A political party cannot appeal to all but if it wants to govern it has to do what it thinks best for most.

I am a Lib Dem and I feel that I have areas of disagreement with the manifesto of the party but I do feel that I agree with the most important ( to me ) policies. I also think that they care more about the majority of the UK population than Labour or the Tories.

The number of people in the UK today who moan and winge about politicians and politics and yet do nothing about it at all is disgusting.

I know more than the average Joe about elections and electioneering since I have stood for election just last year and the attitude of most people was shameful. More than happy to get you to organise a petition for them to keep their golf club open or such like then come election day they do not bother to vote.

I stood for local councillor in a ward that had over 3000 registered voters. Actual turnout was 1200 and winner got 560. And they call that representative democracy. I call it a waste of time and money.

Rant off

Cheers

BHR

tony draper
16th Jun 2004, 20:26
Perhaps postal voting is the answer Bill, although I cannot see the powers that be being to keen on it, after all, postal voters turned round and bit them in the arse up in my neck of the woods,take it with a pinch of salt when politicians whine on about low turnouts, some of them rely on it.
:rolleyes:

Kiting for Boys
16th Jun 2004, 20:38
For UK Local Govt - How about

1. All local council funding is raised centrally via taxation
2. Allocation to councils is based on Votes cast in local elections
3. The value of each vote would be c£4,000 each pa

So - no unfairness to poor folk in big houses, not just based on income tax
And - a real reason to vote

There is no need to create a new costly infrastructure to collect local
taxes.
Use the national taxation system to raise the funds and allocate it to
councils based on votes cast. This would take money from Corporation Tax
(and others) as well as Income Tax.

Westminster (and other Parliaments like Holyrood) would decide the value per vote for each council so that 'disadvantaged' areas got more

phnuff
16th Jun 2004, 22:04
telling our leaders and opinion-formers what we really think,

LGS, I agree, but what would your reaction be if it turned out that based on real figures from acredited and credible sources proved beyond reasonable doubt that EEC membership was good for the UK? To date, the anti EEC lobby has held a debate at the level of the straight cucumber (yes, that one again, but it amuses me). Being anti-EEC has become almost a statement of political correctness in this country and we deserve better than that.

I recall another thread in which someone stated something along the lines of that 'the leftist elements argue on half truths rather than facts' . It seems to me that is all the euro sceptics do - based upon some misguided notion that we are somehow different, that our government has access to virtually limitless reserves to save our skins and that we are actually still a world power. - something which went when we had to go cap in hand to the US to save us in WW2 (which incidently I have been told, but cannot prove, we are still paying for).

While we are on the subject of low voting turnouts, is it any wonder when you look at what actually goes on the HOC. Since the arrival of Michael Howard, it has got worse - he and Blair are a return to a couple of lawyers trading jibes - interlectual [email protected] as Mdm phnuff calls it. So, what does that contribute to moving the country forward . No wonder few people have an interest in politics.

M.Mouse
16th Jun 2004, 22:39
It seems to me that is all the euro sceptics do - based upon some misguided notion that we are somehow different, that our government has access to virtually limitless reserves to save our skins and that we are actually still a world power.

We are different in the same way a Frenchman is different in outlook, humour, appreciation of fine food and wine when compared to a German for instance.

What on earth has being a world power got to do with wishing to be self governing?

Another point, patriotism drives others to seek independent government by violence e.g. Basque separatists and the IRA to name but two. I suppose being in the EU will mean that patriotism will be illegal and the problem of people disliking being governed by bureaucrats with no understanding or affinity with one's own culture will be solved.

The Highlander
17th Jun 2004, 04:18
I will never vote to fully join, my reasons are mainly selfish or economic. firstly I smoke and the hand rollonig tobacco that I smoke costs about 3 euros 30 cents the same packet would if we converted to the euro would cost in the UK 16 euros. why should I and other fellow smokers pay 5 times as much as our so called fellow european citizens for the same product. I am sure that this price difference applys to other priducts to differing degrees petrol for example.
And do you really think for one minute that Gordon Brown or who ever succeeds him as Chancellor will happily give up billions in booze and tobacco taxes.
Before someone points out,I also accept that some products are cheaper here in the UK than on the continent.
And Yes I have spent time living and working in Germany, Belguim
so I do have experience of the alternative and tio be Honest more attractive lifestyle you experience when working abroad.

Highlander

yintsinmerite
17th Jun 2004, 08:55
I suppose being in the EU will mean that patriotism will be illegal

Well, now, do you see any lack of patritism in France or Germany or Italy or Ireland or in fact any of the countries at the heart of Europe - Of course you don't.

We are different in the same way a Frenchman is different in outlook, humour, appreciation of fine food and wine when compared to a German for instance.

Yes, I agree, German cuisine leaves much to be desired and German humour is aimed squarely at 'Germans'. But that is to trivialise the point. On reflection,though, we may be different. We put up with a rail service which has suffered from under investment for decades, a tube network (in London), which suffers from under investment, a health service which has been torn apart by political dogma, a press which these days doesn't even pretend not to have their own agendas, roads which are too crowded, erotion of civil liberties . . . oh why do I bother with this damned place anyway. Oh yes, its because I am British, I am patriotic and I firmly believe that being a patriot is not at odds with the EU (unless you read the Sun or the Daily Mail)

surely not
17th Jun 2004, 15:56
The Imdependent had several excellent articles yesterday which dealt with the issues that would arise if we left the EU.

It showed Astrodomes figures for trade with the EU to be wildly out. We now have 55% of our trade with the EU, the US is about 12%. If it is still on line it is well worth a read by both sides of the argument.

On P5 there is an article which deals with the fact that even if we leave, we will have to comply with EU law if we wish to trade with them PLUS contribute money, as Norway, Switzerland and Iceland do already.

There are major ramifications for UK Plc if we leave the EU.

M.Mouse
17th Jun 2004, 18:22
We put up with a rail service which has suffered from under investment for decades, a tube network (in London), which suffers from under investment, a health service which has been torn apart by political dogma, a press which these days doesn't even pretend not to have their own agendas, roads which are too crowded, erotion of civil liberties .

The Eu is going to cure all of that? Great, where do I sign up?

tony draper
17th Jun 2004, 18:31
Hmmm, acording to the news Chirac and Tone are already bickering,great stuff, goodbye constitution.

Bletchley
17th Jun 2004, 19:43
Could you possibly post some accurate figures please?.

If you care to check out the National Statistics you will see that we have a negative balance of trade figure with the EU. That means we are a net importer of EU goods.

Edited to add link

I attach a copy of a link to the Customs & Excise website which shows that we have been a net importer of EU goods consistently since 1993.

I trust you will not argue with the source.

HM Customs & Excise Link (http://www.hmce.gov.uk/business/importing/tradestatistics/summ-trade-eu.pdf)

airship
17th Jun 2004, 20:37
Ummm Bletchley, what about the "invisibles"...?!

Bletchley
17th Jun 2004, 20:48
Well go on then.....quote the invisbles then

Caslance
17th Jun 2004, 21:10
I can't see it myself.......... ;)

airship
17th Jun 2004, 21:40
Bletchley, The Invisible Man said and I quote here (http://www.pprune.org/forums/showthread.php?s=&postid=1230850&highlight=be+afraid#post1230850). Ha! Ummm, perhaps TIM could say more about these trades... :O

Bletchley
17th Jun 2004, 21:45
So for the facts that the Europhiles scream on about.

When brought to the table the silence was deafening.

A few more points for you to assimilate.


Inwards investement in the UK for the year 2002

America and Canada - 55%
EU - 25%
Rest of World - 20%

Source - Office of National Statistics


Another one for you.

Cumulative Earnings 1993 to 2002 (in Billions £) from:-

America and Canada - 76.2
EU - 36.5
Rest of World - 32.9

Source - Office of National Statistics

Now lets look at 'Prosperity Ratings'. Taking 2002 as the year (for which we have finalised accounts)

1 - The UK GDP per capita was 19% higher than the rest of the EU.
2 - The 'weighted' capita of the three Countries outside the Euro. (UK, Sweden and Denmark) was 22% higher than in the Eurozone.

Source OECD Economic Indicators


Someone asked for the Eurosceptics to produce the facts and figures. Well here they are folks.

Unfortunately for you they are all from official sources that even you cannot dispute, although I am sure you will try.

airship What on earth are you on about?...Your link makes no sense...or is it too late at night?

BahrainLad
18th Jun 2004, 07:19
Statistics and the fascination to "prove" arguments with them are the weapon of the feeble-minded.

The old maxim never died; you can prove anything.

Each side with raise apparently conclusive satistics in support of their argument. Perhaps they'll even qualify them with "these are official statistics."

(Or even worse "official government statistics.")

From Bletchley's post above, a eurosceptic could rightly conclude that inward investment in the UK by the EU nations is not of a sufficient level to justify remaining inside.

However, I would say that the high levels of investment from the US and Canada are as a result of this island being an attractive, English-speaking, "window" to the massive market of the EU. A role that we could not play if we were outside the bloc, and therefore we should deepen our ties (to include joining the Euro) as soon as possible.

Less statistics; more "saloon-bar" shooting-from-the-hip please. It's much more interesting.

Flypuppy
18th Jun 2004, 08:02
Some more dull dry statistics from the UK Governments DTI website (http://www.dti.gov.uk/ewt/tenyears.htm)


few examples of the Single Market making a difference for consumers are:

Timeshares - UK consumers are among the chief beneficiaries of the Timeshare Directive which ensures the provision of adequate information and a 10 day cooling-off period, during which advance payments are outlawed.

Product liability – thanks to EU regulation, consumers who are injured by defective products have the right to sue for compensation without having to prove the producer was negligent, provided that they can prove that the product was defective and the defect in the product caused the injury.

Air transport – liberalisation has meant that any airline can operate on any route in the EU. This meant an increase in the number of carriers from 119 in 1992 to a peak of 140 in 2000. The number of routes linking Single Market countries has risen by 46% since 1992 boosting choice to passengers. Fares at the lower end of the market fell by 41% between 1992 and 2000. In addition, if a passenger is denied a seat because the airline has overbooked, they can demand compensation and have the right to a refund or else a seat on the next appropriate flight – all thanks to the Single Market.

Cars - Recent changes to EU competition rules in respect of car distribution and servicing promise to deliver greater choice for consumers as to where they get their cars serviced and to provide for more effective competition between garages and the supply of spare parts.

Telephony - charges have fallen substantially – thanks to Internal Market legislation. On average, business users have been paying 30% less since 1992 and residential users are paying 16% less in call charges and subscriptions. Overall, the market increased by 30% between 1998 and 2002.


The way that the EU is run desperately needs to be cleaned up and the corruption is shocking. Parties like the Dutch Europe Transparant have my full backing (which I am sure will make a big difference := ). The organisation of the EU is complicated and has not really been able to keep up with the expansion in the last few years. A complete overhaul of the system of the union is overdue.

On saying that, I personally have experienced the benefits of the liberalisation of the European labour market, minimal border controls and the single currency. All of which have made my life much simpler (and profitable).

Despite all the emotional rantings about losing "soveriengty" this is not something that I hear in countries like Holland, Belgium, Luxembourg, France and Germany. What makes anyone think any of these countires have become any less patriotic?

From where I stand watching these middle aged men ranting and raving about surredering soveriegnty and losing the 3rd world war to the Germans blah blah blah - is frankly embarrasing. Robert Kilroy Silk is not in this for anything other than Robert Kilroy Silk, probably best not forget that.

phnuff
18th Jun 2004, 09:08
Bletchley, indeed I cannot disagree with your figures, but figures are figures. Its the Interpretation of those figures which are interesting. As has already been pointed out, the inward investment figures from the US/Rest of the world could easily be as a result of the UK being an English speaking window within the EU - a fact possibly supported by the fact that Ireland another English speaking location has done even better than the UK in percentage terms - maybe because they are in the Eurozone ?
I haven't had a chance to research the figures for cumulative earnings, but to show the figures for a 9 year period, does not show trends. I would be interested to see the annual data - it tells more and hides less. (a job for the weekend I suspect !!) As for the GDP figures, well, the totals may be higher for the UK, but in terms of percentage growth since the advent of the Euro,, we lag behind Ireland for one.

I will readily admit that the EU does have corruption and does need to reform, but my preference is to stay within and make it right. As for that idiot Kilroy-Silk, well his comments about wanting to wreck the Euro parliament are rather like a spoilt brat taking his football home because he has to do a stint in goal. What a great target for pro european's. I hope he becomes the sceptics figurehead.

M.Mouse
18th Jun 2004, 09:58
the inward investment figures from the US/Rest of the world could easily be as a result of the UK being an English speaking window within the EU

Anybody care to explain exactly what that statement means? Sounds like waffle to me.

Statistics are the weapon of the feeble minded? So facts are asked for, facts are given and then immediately dismissed.

Sounds like the words of the arrogantly corrupt, already running too much of our lives.

surely not
18th Jun 2004, 10:11
Bletchley, please read what I write, it saves confusion. I wrote 'we now have 55% of our Trade with the EU' I didn't mention how much comes in from the EU as I wasn't quoting the balance of trade figures. What I was pointing out is that of all that we export, 55% goes to the EU. That doesn't include the new members.
If we leave the EU the UK Govt. will have to renegotiate the Trade agreements with the EU and I'm sure you'll agree it is highly unlikely that the new deal will be as beneficial as the current one. If you leave a club which allows you discount on goods in return for membership, those discounts disappear when you leave. This will have the effect of making UK Plc goods less attractive and therefore the figure of 55% is likely to drop. If it drops without a replacement market being found, then Jobs will be lost and companies will fail. Is it worth playing Russian Roullette in this way?

Your figures for inward investment ignore the fact that since we declined to join the Euro, Inward investment has started to fall with companies preferring to deal with countries that are in the Euro. As OW has pointed out, Ireland is doing very nicely out of taking a full part of the EU.

It has been said that if e leave the EU British businesses will be freed from EU restrictions on social policies, company law, the environment etc, yet that isn't the case. As a powerful trading bloc the EU will be able to insist that companies looking to trade with it have to comply with their policies. This is true for Norway and the Swiss amongst others. Plus Norway and Switzerland contribute money to the EU as part of their trading agreement, but have no say at all in any policies coming out of the EU.

The EU directive on Savings Tax is something which is about to hurt the Swiss banks. This legislation has taken a long time to be agreed, thanks in the main to the UK oppositionto many parts of the original draft. It has now been agreed by all the EU members and the Swiss, who had no say whatsoever in it, are also being forced by the EU to adopt it.

So even if we leave the EU, we will still have to comply with many of its demands, but we won't be able to protect our interest from within.

Leaving is not the sensible thing to do.

tony draper
18th Jun 2004, 10:27
I think the plan is to destroy it as we leave. :E


The EU will be far sunk in the chaos of its collapse to dictate anything to anybody, and that collapse will come, not because we leave incidently,because it is inevertable, and is in the nature of the beast.
Sooner the better IMHO.

phnuff
18th Jun 2004, 10:37
M.Mouse. I have not dismissed the figures that Bletchley has provided, I am however questioning the interpretation of those figures. It is according to his figures (which I am not disputing), it is a fact that uk inward investment figures for 2002 are America and Canada - 55%, EU - 25%, Rest of World - 20%. So, what does it mean ? It could be seen as pro or anti Europe depending on your stance.


the inward investment figures from the US/Rest of the world could easily be as a result of the UK being an English speaking window within the EU

Yes, because English is a common language (3rd most popular in the world I believe), it means that a country which speaks English is an easier place to do business from than one that speaks french or greek or what ever. So, you want to do business in the EU and you base yourself in the UK or Ireland. You are therefor in a place you can make yourself understood and within the EU for all the benefits that brings.

There you go, no waffle and no more an attempt to run your life than anti europeans tyrying to run mine

surely not
18th Jun 2004, 10:42
Tony Drapes, did you play that Scottish seer of doom in Dad's Army?

'We're all Doomed Capt. Mainwaring, doomed I say'

phnuff
18th Jun 2004, 11:48
M.Mouse. I have not dismissed the figures that Bletchley has provided, I am however questioning the interpretation of those figures. It is according to his figures (which I am not disputing), it is a fact that uk inward investment figures for 2002 are America and Canada - 55%, EU - 25%, Rest of World - 20%. So, what does it mean ? It could be seen as pro or anti Europe depending on your stance.


the inward investment figures from the US/Rest of the world could easily be as a result of the UK being an English speaking window within the EU

Yes, because English is a common language (3rd most popular in the world I believe), it means that a country which speaks English is an easier place to do business from than one that speaks french or greek or what ever. So, you want to do business in the EU and you base yourself in the UK or Ireland. You are therefor in a place you can make yourself understood and within the EU for all the benefits that brings.

There you go, no waffle and no more an attempt to run your life than anti europeans tyrying to run mine

Bletchley
18th Jun 2004, 12:16
I think the debate that we need to have is on how the basis of the EU has changed from being a "Common Market" to becoming a Political superstate.

The avowed intention is the merge all the component states into one Political Union.

Now I never voted for this, was never consulted as to this, and have been lied to on acontinuous basis by Bliar and his so called 'Government'.

I believe that there is great benefit in having a 'Common Market", and there have been many good things to have come out of Europe, HOWEVER.

I for one do not want a Political Union, in which control is exercised by an unelected body from which I am disenfranchised.

ALL the argument put here by the Europhiles, is wholly based upon emotional argument with very little fact to back it up.

We could argue all day about trade statistics but that is NOT what the argument is about.

The argument is about (in my humble opinion at least) two specific matters, thus

1 - Do the people of the UK want to enter into a Political Superstate with the loss of Political control of large parts of our Country?.
For example, Immigration, Border Controls, Taxation (which is on its way), 'Social' legislation which is meant to 'level' the playing field but doesn't because like much EU Regulation it gets ignored by the same Countries who are so supportive of the concept.

2 - Do the people of the UK want to join the Euro with again the loss of control of our domestic fiscal policy?

People are very fond of quoting the situation in Ireland but are selective in this. No-one cares to mention the problems they have with an overheating economy that they cannot bring under control as overall Fiscal control is exercised from Brussels, and Ireland thus has to suffer for the benefit of the other nations.


There is a considerable amount of Euroscepticism amongst the electorate of many if not all of the EU member Countries, which tends to get ignored on here.

The recent election results are a serious 'wake-up' call to the EU and our Politicians that people are unhappy with the way things are going.

The Bliar policy seems to be "we know best.....trust us" !. ( You have to be joking ! I wouldn't believe the Lord's Prayer from the mouth of him or his Government.) No attempt to explain or consult, any questioning is viciously attacked by the mob with chants of "Europhobe", and similar.

On here the few people who have tried to open the debate have either been slandered by the Leftist/Liberal posters with offensive comments such as 'Moseleyite' or their posts twisted. For example I have never stated that we should leavt the EU but suddenly I am being told why we shouldn't !

Comments such as Statistics are the weapon of the feeble minded suggest an inability to present a counter-argument. You asked for facts, you got them and now that they don't support your argument, I am now called "simple minded"

Is this the level to which Europhiles need to sink or are we now going to develop a sensible debate that is based upon sound reasoning.

BlooMoo
18th Jun 2004, 12:32
Well said Bletchley. Don't bet on measured debate from people with emotionally entrenched opinions though. I'm always amazed at how creative and desperate people (they always seem to be socialists) in such a position can be with their arguments...

All power to your elbow.

BM:ok:

airship
18th Jun 2004, 12:50
Blethchly, you asked me for a quote concerning invisibles and the link I posted went directly to a post by The Invisible Man. OK, so it was quite late at night... :O

I don't know enough about trade statistics etc. so I shall rely on first hand experience as much as I can:

As phnuff and BahrainLad have remarked, the high % of US origin inward investment could very well be due to the straight-forward advantages offered by establishing their European operations in an English-speaking country such as UK or Ireland. The EU has made it much simpler to treat the whole of Europe as a single market for their products and services. Imagine a future where the UK's standards started to differ significantly to the rest of the EU's or where the UK ceased to have full access to European markets, just where do you think the factories would go...?! Especially if the UK continues to grow faster than other EU countries as the Eurosceptics say it will, inevitably leading to higher wages and costs. Many of the US companies that I deal with have indeed established their European manufacturing or distribution HQs in UK. But I wouldn't be surprised if given a future scenario, where there is no longer a free movement of continental Europeans to the UK from which these companies can draw their employees, the situation could turn for the worse as far as UK plc is concerned.

The comparison to other countries on the fringes of the EU such as Norway and Switzerland has also been raised:

While the UK frittered away its North Sea resources, Norway from the very beginning have considered them as the "Crown Jewels" which would ensure a prosperous future. Norway today exports 90% of its entire oil production. It has half of the remaining reserves of oil and gas in Europe. It supplies 10% of Europe's gas consumption and within a few years is forecast to account for 30% of European gas imports. Norway has invested wisely because it is a small country. Norway can afford to remain aloof. As far as Switzerland is concerned, centuries of neutrality have secured it the position as the premier offshore centre for the safeguard of the world's private wealth. That has worked well for them, but the times may be a changin'...!

As far as I'm concerned, a UK which left the EU would harm the rest of Europe. But do much greater harm to itself in the process. I can appreciate the concerns many have about the EU turning into a United States of Europe and while there are undoubtedly some who would desire that at some stage, I would like to believe that today anyway, the EU merely wishes to emulate all that is best about the United States of America in the sense of being a single market, freedom of movement, individual and corporate rights etc. And noone's talking about wiping out the indigenous population in order to secure this...well, not yet! ;)

And the best way to ensure that each current EU member is able to defend and maintain the truly important aspects of everyone's Sovereignty: raising and spending taxes, language and culture etc. is to remain within the EU, fight for common ideals and haggle over all the others. No Frenchman of my acquaintance has yet manifested any willingness to sacrifice his bifsteack for sauerkraut just to annoy les rosbifs! :ok:

BTW Bletchley, if you can't trust your own government...who do you trust? OK, so the Americans are currently going through this right now... :E

yintsinmerite
18th Jun 2004, 13:06
Bletchley - nicely put (even though I dont agree with where you are coming from).

The notion of a european super state pre dates the last general election in which Bliar was returned to form a very real (not so called), second government. It was one of a number of things we were not told about - a war in Iraq to hunt out the WMD that he was certain were there for an example. In the case of the EU, he is offering a referendum which is more than we got before he landed us in an open ended military commitment which anyone with even the slightest comprehension of the middle east could have predicted.

As for the two questions - well in the face of global companies and instantaneous global trade, I have grave doubts about exactly how much control we as a little nation actually have left. I seem to remember when George Soros took the steps that led to black Wednesday, our alleged control of our fiscal policy could no nothing to stop him - oh, and I didnt vote for George. When it comes to border controls, yes we lose them to our fellow europeans, but they also lose them to us. We keep all controls on no europeans so its hardly an open border is it.

The recent election results are a serious 'wake-up' call to the EU and our Politicians that people are unhappy with the way things are going.

Yes they are, but they are a wake up call on more than one issue. Labour's performance was based at least as much upon people wishing to register a disapproval of the Iraq issue as any EU statement.


The Bliar policy seems to be "we know best.....trust us" !. ( You have to be joking ! I wouldn't believe the Lord's Prayer from the mouth of him or his Government.) No attempt to explain or consult, any questioning is viciously attacked by the mob with chants of "Europhobe", and similar.

As for the above - he is no different to any other government leader. Thatcher was frequently seen dishing out handbaggings to anyone who had the courage to disagree with her and the cheek to not trust her. I am afraid a thick skin goes with the territory of senior politician as does the inability to answer a straight question as jeremy Paxman showed us when faced with Michael Howard when he was Home Secretary (I believe he ducked the question more than 30 times).

.On here the few people who have tried to open the debate have either been slandered by the Leftist/Liberal posters with offensive comments such as 'Moseleyite' or their posts twisted. For example I have never stated that we should leavt the EU but suddenly I am being told why we shouldn't

Hold on, I have tried hard never to slander or be offensive to anyone on this site and especially in this thread. I have seen both sides taking what I feel are underhanded swipes at each other and both sides are wrong. lets keep the level higher than that !!


I've not disputed your facts (although I have not researched them), I am however willing to dispute the meaning of them, which is the basis for the debate based upon sound reasoning that you seem to want

topofdropman
18th Jun 2004, 13:19
Bletchley, excellent postings. I have just read the whole thread and yes, many people bleated that you hadn't provided facts and figures to support your arguments. You duly did this and the usual suspects complained that facts and figures proved nothing!!

a couple of points:

A) the democratic deficit at the heart if the EU should not be ignored. the US move to independence started with the slogan, "no taxation without representation". this is increasingly the case in the EU as the empire swells, and europe's electorate feels less and less engaged. interestingly, Eurobarometer revealed that the younger generation is actually beoming less interested in machiavellian manoeuvring in Brussels. so, it is not just "little englanders" who have had enough. the more the electorate is railroaded, the more likely that real extremism will arise. the UKIP is not a "nasty" party in that sense.

B) the move towards federalism is not just a separate development; it actually weaken the economic performance of the EU's economy. the increasingly onerous rules and regs drive up business costs and hence unemployment. the new EU entrants have seen most of their cost advantage eroded by having to comply with something like 150,000 pages of new rules. this is done "in the interests of workers" etc. nonsense; it is done to protect jobs in places like Germany. Schroder has explicitly and publicly complained about the "unfair" cost and tax advantages of the new entrants. France and Germany want to harmonise taxes to reduce competition within the EU i.e. make the whole of the EU uncompetitive! this is the abiding habit of socialists - bring everything down to the lowest level.

so if we stay in the political integration aspect of the EU, the UK's economic advantages will be eroded over time. the proposed constitution gives the EU "competence" (i.e. power over) economic aspects of member states, and this is to be presided over by an unelected and still hazy vision of an all-powerful EU judiciary. (and no, the system is nothing like as tight and defined as the US Supreme Court). so in sum, all this federalism will undo a lot of the good work gone into making the EU a competitive place in which and with which to do business.

On the UKIP: the party wants to remain trading with the EU. leaving the political aspects of EU would allow us to join NAFTA so if the EU tried to mess us around, they would find themselves in a trade war with NAFTA. they wouldn't be so silly as all economists know that free trade is a win-win proposition.

lastly, those who think that corruption isn't too rampant in the EU: no auditors have been able to sign off the EU accounts for just over a decade as every year over 3 billion euros goes missing. no wonder the wealthy and correct nation of Switzerland wants no part of this fiasco. and with all that cash, no wonder people like Neil Kinnock and his luvverly wife Glenys love the whole thing (having voted against the EEC consistently as a UK pol).

OneWorld22
18th Jun 2004, 13:44
Bletchley, Ireland's economy is certainly not overheating, we have low inflation, low interest rates, low unemployment and high rate of growth. (Highest in the EU) The GDP per capita here is now a fair bit ahead of the UK's.

So I say again, the EU has not harmed Ireland's trade in any way and in fact executive after executive form US mult-nationals state that Irelands presence in the EU and its adoption of the Euro has been crucial in attracting US FDI. The CEO of Intel said this on his recent trip to Dublin when he opened the new FAB24 Facility, a $2 Billion facility by the way..

Being an English speaking country within the EU is a major attraction for firms wishing to trade in this huge trade bloc.

People enjoy scaremongering too much, any significant alteration to the EU's structures comes only from the Council, i.e. the heads of the state governments, not from the parliament or the commission. And to change the EU into a political union would require the consent of all members. So what are people afraid of? Political union will not happen and it can't unless all the people of Europe say so.

topofetc....

The European court of justice is a very powerful body and have taken both companies and country's to court over their refusal to bide bu EU trade rules. No country in the EU can erect barriers to trade that discriminate against other country's. There can be no Quota's,tarrifs or MEQR's (measure equivalent to quantitative restrictions like setting different standards etc) The court has ruled against the Germans and the French on this matter so many times, (Article 28 of the treaty on free trade)

airship
18th Jun 2004, 13:50
topofdropman, loved your post for the following reasons:

A) the EU does not raise any taxes directly...and few parties are "nasty" until after they are elected!

B) "...it is done to protect jobs in places like Germany" and France, UK and every other EU member country in order to both safeguard minimum standards and raise the levels of protection to workers in the newly admitted States.

as for the rest of it: never having been involved in criminal affairs, I wouldn't know whether Spain still represented a safe haven for UK gangsters; and don't you think the UK should have a referendum about NAFTA before allowing all those Mexican truck drivers on our roads?!; which auditor is responsible for any government accounts...please tell us if it's one of the big 5 (or is it now 4) so that we can sue 'em...! :rolleyes:

tony draper
18th Jun 2004, 14:00
Is this the right thread to mention that today is a anniversary? on 18th June 1815 at a place called Waterloo we won a debate with the French.


:rolleyes:

yintsinmerite
18th Jun 2004, 14:06
Oh - Waterloo - I was down there this morning. A wonderful station from whch you can get trains to Paris and Brussels!!

airship
18th Jun 2004, 14:18
Not at all Tony D! And just a reminder to anyone that needed it, the Battle of Waterloo took place a little south of Brussels in Belgium, and not that part of London where the trains come in!

23,000 British troops together with 44,000 Germans, Dutch, Prussians and Belgians, defeated Napoleon's French army.

Waterloo decisively saw the end of 26 years of fighting between the European powers and France. The French star was eclipsed and the German began its ascendancy. For Britain, Waterloo is not just a battle. It is an institution. Even after almost 190 years... :O

BahrainLad
18th Jun 2004, 14:42
BlueMoo, astounding how you credit Bletchley with “measured debate” when his first post on this topic is a direct cut and paste from the “10 Reasons to Hate Europe” (Author: No Campaign) that happens to be so out of date that it states that due to (what turned out to be temporary) drop in the Euro’s value it can be called a “failing” currency.

If you look at my posts I have never requested “facts”; and I continue by my assertion that they are the “weapon of the feeble minded.”

Why?

Because numbers and statistics are so obtuse that anyone can find any facts to agree with their political point of view. I thought I had made this clear in my previous post; obviously not. A political debate will result in stalemate with too much usage of facts….you’d end up with both sides screaming “it must be true, it’s factual!” as their argument collapses around them in flames.

What I wish for is a true, theoretical debate about where we wish to make our beds for the next 50 years. The facts are really quite immaterial: can you imagine the leaders of the USA in 1945 who decided that the reconstruction of Europe didn’t make sense statistically?

(And it’s deliciously ironic that many of those here who rail against “beancounters” in aviation are using similar arguments to support their own political positions!)

yintsinmerite your discussion of the amounts of practical sovereignty remaining with the UK government is valid.

Eurosceptics argue that our global interconnected economy makes large trading blocs irrelevant. Not so. Our presence in the EU is made all the more necessary by the current and future form of the world economy. Put simply, there is safety in numbers and the only way we will be able to hold our own against those who are bigger than us is by voting as many, not as the few. Can you imagine Californians arguing that their state government negotiate trade on a state basis, despite their large individual economic power?

I have mentioned this argument before on here, but there is an increasing school of thought that for example, joining EMU would increase rather than decrease our sovereignty. Why? Because at the moment decisions are made in the ECB that profoundly affect our economy (due to the trading relationship) but we do not have a say in these decisions. Conversely, if we were members of EMU, we would have at the very least a vote in the ECB and perhaps even a veto. It’s an obtuse argument, but think about it for long enough and it begins to make sense. After all, one could argue that the reason France and Germany have little worry about Europe is because they “are” Europe. They have been there at every stage, throught thick and thin, that they have taken political ownership of the EU. It’s not too late for Britain to have the same role. As a creator, not a destroyer.

And in the end, when the chips are down, I’d rather be a major player in the EU than a junior partner in NAFTA.



(And BlueMoo: Socialist?)

(And Airship: Have you ever been to Waterloo? An amazing place: particularly the overwhelming focus on Napoleon, Napoleon, Napoleon ad nauseam. Any mention of our Great Victor is met with a blank state. When you spent five years of life at The Royal and Religious Foundation of The Wellington College (http://www.wellington-college.berks.sch.uk), it’s particularly galling!)

airship
18th Jun 2004, 14:56
BahrainLad, I can better understand your frustrations now...750 boys and...50 girls! :) Well, it must have been better than leaving school at 14. Honestly, for a long time, I believed that we had only just managed to stop the French yards away from Trafalgar Square... :{

BahrainLad
18th Jun 2004, 15:01
Quality not quantity.

Bletchley
18th Jun 2004, 16:01
BlueMoo, astounding how you credit Bletchley with “measured debate” when his first post on this topic is a direct cut and paste from the “10 Reasons to Hate Europe” (Author: No Campaign) that happens to be so out of date that it states that due to (what turned out to be temporary) drop in the Euro’s value it can be called a “failing” currency.
Firstly it was not cut from the No Campaign.
Secondly it was not entitled 10 reasons to hate Europe
Thirdly I WILL paste a quote from the No Campaign website, which I have specifically accessed to prrove you wrong.
The Quote is :- The no campaign represents the majority of businesses and the public who believe that we should stay in the European Union but keep the pound. We are pro-European, but we believe that it would be better for peoples' jobs and living standards if we keep control over our economy.


A summary of your input to this debate so far would appear to be:-

Bletchley's cut and paste b____ks about imperial measurements reminds me of the people who thought British Leyland was the best car manufacturer in the world because, after all, it had "British" in the title..........

Why can't these people move with the times?

Statistics and the fascination to "prove" arguments with them are the weapon of the feeble-minded.

Less statistics; more "saloon-bar" shooting-from-the-hip please. It's much more interesting.

So that is it then is it?

Why let the facts spoil a good debate then.

I actually posted what I did in order to stimulate a debate. It appear that all the Europhiles have done is to rant rather than answer the specific statements made.

I trust that your fellow Europhiles take a different view on dialogue


1W22 Bletchley, Ireland's economy is certainly not overheating, A number of Eurozone countries are already finding it difficult to live with the single interest rate. Germany needs lower interest rates to stimulate growth and reduce unemployment which is still above 4 million. Ireland and the Netherlands need higher rates to bring down their inflation, however this is not likely with the European Central Bank needing to take the fiscal situation throughout the rest of the EU into consideration. I remember a similar type of debate in the 1980's when there was dispute about high interest rates affecting Industry in Northern England disproportionately.

phnuff
18th Jun 2004, 16:20
Bletchley


Why let the facts spoil a good debate then

You have stated facts and that can be denied, but as Yint has pointed out, these facts can be interpreted differently depending on your stance. I notice that you have not addressed that one yet

I actually posted what I did in order to stimulate a debate. It appear that all the Europhiles have done is to rant rather than answer the specific statements made.

No they havn't - there has been a substantial upturn in debate on the subject over the last few days rather than the non productive back slapping that many (not all), of the euro sceptics have indulged in since the thread started.

Caslance
18th Jun 2004, 16:50
The Maastricht Treaty of 1992 legally started the transition from Common Market to European Union.

Would any of you europhobes care to remind us which claret-supping pinko socialist leftie/luvvie it was that signed it on behalf of the UK, thereby formally eroding our sovereignty as a nation?

Just out of interest...... :E

surely not
18th Jun 2004, 16:52
Bletchley I have responded to your facts. I agreed that we import more than we sell to the EU, but pointed out that that wasn't the issue. We export 55% of all our exports to the Eu, therefore to leave would be damaging, for reasons given in my last post.

I also replied that your figures for inward investment do not take account of the period since we decided not to join the Euro. We are now less attractive to countries outside the EU as a base for their European Operations.

I am curious as to your statement re not wanting a Political Union making decisions as an unelected body? What do you suppose we elect MEP's for? It is an elected body.

Immigration and Border controls are parts of the constitution we will win our argument over. The situation is unlikely to differ from that which now exists.

Am I right in thinking that the USA has a Federal Tax, affecting all states, to cover issues such as welfare, the military, health and education, BUT each state has power to determine it's own local levels of taxation on goods and the nitty gritty items? That seems acceptable to me.

I still do not see how leaving the EU will lead me to have a better standard of living in the UK.

BahrainLad
18th Jun 2004, 17:12
Firstly it was not cut from the No Campaign.

My apologies. It was actually posted from here (http://www.freenetpages.co.uk/hp/godimgood/information.htm). Interesting that they claim that "UKIP is the only party committed to democracy."

Interesting still is that you castigate me whilst totally ignoring the 50% of my last post that discussed how deeper interrelation leads to increased rather than diminished sovereignty?

Or is it simply a case of putting your fingers in your ears and hoping the issue will go away?

Please tell me how one form of measurement can "lead the world" over another.....I certainly find it much harder adding the weight of 1lb 12 ounces of Apples to 2lb 3 ounces of Bananas than adding 0.32kg + 1.2kg!

But the reason people find pounds and ounces "easier" is because they are more familiar with them....hence the urge to "move with the times" and adopt the new system. After all, if we discounted every improved system with the cry of "it's not what we're used to!" where would the human race be? I can imagine the same plaintive cries were made at the time of decimalisation.

If you wish to debate your statements, fine.

Please explain how your foreign trade and inward investment arguments hold any weight seeing as:

90% of U.K. companies never export

Please explain how France and Germany would react to:

If we left the E.U. we could easily renegotiate sensible trade and export agreements with all countries.

(And please don't use the Switzerland/Norway arguments....the relative levels of trade make agreements with these two almost inconsequential whereas a "easy-come" free trade agreement with the 4th largest economy in the world would be an entirely different matter indeed. Perhaps yet another example of Eurosceptics wishing for all the benefits of the EU yet not prepared to bear the, frankly minimal, costs.)

How about another point in favour of closer EU ties? Subsidiarity, anyone? The notion that power should be devolved to the level most capable of exercising it. Thus deprived regions such as the North East of England recieve more investment as European regions than they would do as formerly neglected UK provinces. You only have to visit Newcastle to see the tremendous redevelopment paid for by the European Social Fund et al.

Or take the Airbus example. Historically, "Europe" has always built excellent aircraft: VC-10, Caravelle, Viscount etc. But seperate companies competing with each other are bound to lead to failure. Bring them together, and you have the largest aircraft manufacturer in the world.

But going back to your posts, your quote from the No campaign would seem to be at odds from UKIP's, so which is it? Personally I believe that the No campaign could work, after all it is the status quo. But the UKIP line which seems to be "don't worry, we could leave and keep the benefits" is totally unworkable!

topofdropman
18th Jun 2004, 19:27
oneworld and others:

A) The EU doesn't raise taxes directly yet, but our govt has to cut a deal which determines how much we give them, just as our parliament is just there to rubber stamp EU laws (70% of new laws in the UK come from the EU and we are powerless to stop them).

B) the rules and regs are protectionist and therefore harm overall economic growth. if you think that these rules protect workers, then you probably believe that trades unions protect jobs when both common sense and economics tells you that actually they reduce overall employment levels. if Estonia etc have a competitive cost advantage due to a lower cost of living and Estonians want to work, it is not in their interests to price them out of a job. Obviously. and it is not in our interests for the EU to be collectively priced out of the market and have yet more jobs moved overseas. HSBC today cited the increasing cost and difficulty of doing business in the UK for its decision to cut costs here. Deutsche Bank is trying to move its HQ out of Germany for the same reason!!! so tell me, do the workers feel protected by being priced out of the labour market by the govt?

C) the judiciary: I was talking about the worryingly large and vague role of the judiciary as proposed in the new constitution, not the current and past role of the judiciary in adjudicating trade disputes. that's something else entirely.

Bletchley
18th Jun 2004, 20:52
To dispel the notion that I only quote from sources such as the "No Campaign", the UKIP, or any other Right Wing party.

Some quotations from Brian Burkitt who is a Senior Lecturer in Economics in the Department of Social and Economic Studies at the University of Bradford.

He has written a report entitled - THE SINGLE CURRENCY AND THE LABOUR MOVEMENT

This is a synopsis of his report -

In this article I examine the growing acceptance of economic and monetary union, and hence a single currency for the EU, by leading strategists within the Labour movement. Although the adoption of a single currency may be logical for some EU member states, we argue that profound structural differences in the UK economy indicate this to be a hazardous path for Britain. Moreover, it is likely to negate the aspirations of the Labour Government with respect to goals such as full employment and social justice.
A number of influential ‘New Labour’ figures have argued that the consequences of ‘EMU’ are potentially beneficial and should therefore be embraced
The problem that arises from such statements is that they pronounce upon the desirability of EU integration without considering its precise form.
Once the current route to EMU established at Maastricht is analysed in detail, it is seen to impose certain and heavy costs upon the UK, which will prevent the Labour Government from pursuing its traditional objectives of full employment and social justice. These costs comprise two major components; the deflationary burden of meeting the Maastricht Fiscal Convergence Criteria (MFCC) by 1999 and of maintaining them thereafter, plus the problems created by an EU-wide single currency once it is established. When these phenomena are allied to the present cost of EU membership, the scenario for Britain under EMU that emerges is far removed from the optimistic hopes entertained by the TUC and other New Labour proponents of further integration.
As a background to the analysis it is important to emphasise the losses imposed on the UK by EU membership. Of the easily measurable costs over the decade from 1985 to 1995, the UK has:
suffered an overall £89 billion trade deficit with other EU members;
made a net contribution of £16 million to the EU budget
incurred an estimated lost £68.2 billion as a result of its ERM membership between October 1990 and September 1992 (the loss arose from a 4% rise in unemployment,
a 3% increase in real interest rates,
a fall in output below its trend growth rate and the sterling expended in the doomed bid to defend the exchange rate);
found its business facing a bill amounting to 8% of GDP to meet EU directives emanating from the Commission in Brussels.

Additionally, the National Consumer Council (1995) estimated that the Common Agricultural Policy adds £20 per week to the food bill for a family of two adults and two children, whilst the cost in highly-paid ministerial and civil service time of attempting to co-ordinate EU member states’ policies is substantial.
In the Ministry of Agriculture 70% of the workload is now estimated to be Brussels related.
At Environment and the DTI, it is around 30%; in the Treasury; 15%.
These statistics demonstrate the damage wrought by EU membership upon the UK economy and process of government. However, the future burden imposed by EMU is likely to be far higher; it consists of two elements, the consequences of maintaining the Maastricht fiscal convergence criteria over the economic cycle and the impact of a single currency once it has been established.
To reach the fiscal convergence criteria laid down by the Maastricht Treaty; member states must reduce their current budget deficit to 3% of GDP and their gross debt to 60% of GDP.
The requirement to comply with the Maastricht criteria is not a one-off entry ticket to E.M.U., but is a long-term commitment which must be fulfilled in cyclical troughs as well as peaks, so that U.K. budget deficits will be allowed to expand beyond 30% of G.D.P. even during a deep recession. Consequently present British complacency about qualifying E.M.U. is an inadequate response to the enormity of the Maastricht commitment. The behaviour of the U.K. economy during the two recessions of the past decade emphasises the point. Government finances moved from a 5.3% deficit at the depth of the 1980-1981 recession, before recovering to a surplus of 3% of G.D.P. at the height of the 1988-1989 boom.
A policy to ensure that the U.K. budget deficit remains below 3% G.D.P. at the trough of a recession, given the cyclical variation in government finances of 8.5% to 10% of G.D.P, recognises that the U.K. budget surplus at the peak of the boom should be approximately 6.0% to 7.5% of G.D.P. This objective necessitates tax increases or public expenditure cuts in the region of 4.0% to 6.5% of G.D.P., on the assumption that the Chancellor’s predictions are largely accurate. It would impose tax rises or public spending reductions between £28.3 and £46.1 billion at current price levels. The savings needed to achieve the Maastricht criteria continuously are of the same magnitude as the entire level of public sector borrowing in 1993-1994, at the end of the second deepest recession since the Second World War. Reducing aggregate demand by such an amount will impose severe cuts in output and employment, in addition to the negative impact of tax rises upon living standards or deterioration in the quality and quantity of public series.
Corry (1996) argued that EMU will deter speculators from ‘picking-off’ individual currencies, as in the exchange rate mechanism crisis of 1992 and 1993, by replacing them with one EU-wide money backed by the combined reserves of participating central banks. Thus governments would possess greater scope to pursue policies at variance with the interests of currency dealers. In an international economy where around £190 billion currently flows daily across the London Forex market, 90% of which are speculative funds unrelated to trade (Jones, 1995), such an argument has appeal. However, the EU is not global; it is regional. Corry ignores the crucial facts that most speculation originates outside the EU, that a single currency could become the focus of speculation against the dollar or yen, that other measures such as transactions tax can curb speculation (Tobin, 1994), and that EMU imposes heavy, certain costs upon the UK.
The UK’s economic structure is sufficiently different from those of most other EU members that a single currency is unlikely to generate economic benefits. It’s international trade less integrated with other EU countries. 57% of UK visible exports go to the EU, but only 36% of its invisible exports, which now account for half of Britain’s overseas earnings, possess the same destination. As the UK is relatively more efficient at producing services, which are growing faster, the distinction is crucial. Only 30% of UK exports (visible and invisible) flow to the ‘core’ EU of Austria, Benelux, France and Germany. British overseas investment follows a similar pattern; only 30% goes to the EU ‘core’ and 39% to the EU in total, whilst 16% of inward investment to Britain originates from the ‘core’ EU and 18% from the EU overall.
A further consequence of the UK’s economic structure is that, when subject to asymmetric shocks (i.e. nation-specific disturbances), a different response is required in comparison to other EU members. A detailed econometric study by Bayoumi and Eichengreen (1992) isolated the aggregate demand and supply shocks that impact upon national economies. For the period 1960 to 1988 they found that the correlation of both demand and supply shocks affecting the UK with those that effect Germany was low (around 0.15). They also demonstrated that, in addition to being weakly associated with those of Germany, the size of these shocks is relatively large.
Such results for Britain are unsurprising when it is recognised that the UK economy differs from that of other EU countries in fundamental ways: -
- the UK and the Netherlands are the only significant producers of oil and gas. An oil price shock therefore exerts a different effect on these nations than on the rest of the EU states and so requires a different policy response.
- the relative size of manufacturing and service sectors varies substantially between the UK and the German economies. Manufacturing is more important in the latter, accounting for 30% of GDP compared to 23% in Britain, but the relative size of the finance and media sectors is much greater in the UK than in Germany, or indeed most other EU members.
- the UK, Spain and Italy rely least on other EU countries for external trade. Consequently movements in the dollar (or yen) Euro exchange rate will impact more substantially on these countries. Thus depreciation of a single EU currency amounts to a greater relaxation of monetary policy in Britain than, say, in Belgium.
- The UK holds a much higher proportion of debt, both in the household and corporate sectors paid at variable interest rates, than does the rest of the EU. Moreover, household debt is more significant as a proportion of GDP in the UK, reflecting the different nature of the housing market in which variable interest mortgage debt is equivalent to around two-thirds of UK household disposable income compared to under half in Germany and less than a quarter in France.
Consequently it is impossible to imagine the circumstances under which Labour’s nirvana of ‘real economic convergence’ could ever occur. Crucially, however, if by some miracle it proved attainable, different national trends in productivity and technical progress (inevitable without Stalinist-central planning) would undermine it immediately. So too would the imposition of an EU-wide monetary policy. Should an EU central bank impose a uniform charge in interest rates across all member states, the immediate expansionary or deflationary impact will be greater in the UK.
A Centre for Economic Policy Research Report (1994) showed that interest rate variations exercise most of their impact in Britain within two months, compared to six months in Germany and Italy. In Britain, the impact of interest rate movements on economic activity is four times the EU average.

He concludes :-
The Labour Government must restore full employment if it does not wish to create social catastrophe. Labour would be perverse to deflation by maintaining the fiscal criteria by the Maastricht Treaty, which over the trade cycle will cause economic growth to slow and will destroy jobs. Moreover, significant structural differences exist between the UK economy and those of most EU member states. Consequently, Britain faces country-specific shocks, which are large in number and magnitude. There seems little reason to suppose that EMU will reduce such shocks, but many phenomena suggest that they will increase. Under these circumstances, the cost to the UK of operating a single currency, in terms of lost output and employment, will be significant and will grow over time.



Surely Not I personally have never suggested leaving the EU. It is you who have wrongly attributed this to me.

Bahrain Lad For clarity see the above comment to Surely Not. However to dispel your doubts I believe that we are not in a position to leave the EU now as we are too far in. We should not however engage in either the Euro or greater Political Union.
Many both in the UK and in most if not all of the EU support similar views.

You raised some points in your last post with regards to Sovernity and \'closer EU ties\'.

Some comments for you to consider.

The Convention drafting an EU constitution is fundamentally undemocratic. The Convention\'s 105 members consists of two representatives from each national parliament of EU members and the applicant countries plus MEPs and Commissioners. Their project is to foist a Constitution on the EU to enable major new initiatives for closer integration to be taken without consideration of the peoples within the EU or the parliaments they elect.

The peoples of the EU have not sought a Union State Constitution, that decision has come from the top down not from the bottom up. Up until the last week four-fifths of the 105 member Convention are federalists. They want a more centralised supranational EU as a world power which necessitates a further demise of national democracy, independence and elected parliaments.

There is no provision for consultation with citizens or national parliaments by Convention members. There will be no opportunity for the peoples of Member State or their national parliaments to give their point of view or vote either beforehand on the Convention or incorporation into the next EU Treaty. There will be few subsequent referendums during the ratification process.
The basis of democratic state and liberty of citizens rests on the separation of powers between the legislature, executive and judiciary. The EU violates this separation and the outline EU Constitution retains the status quo.

The term "Constitutional Treaty" is a contradiction. A treaty is an agreement between two or more international legal persons, which continues in being after its conclusion. A constitution is a domestic legal document that constitutes or sets up a new political entity. In Britain there is no written constitution and government ministers can sign treaties using the royal prerogative.

The Convention consists of nominees with no popular mandate from either their fellow national citizens or EU citizens generally. The EU Constitution will override the sovereignty of Member States and shift those powers to the EU level. To disguise this audacity and assault on democracy the Convention document will be called a treaty. This implies Member State will remain juridically unchanged after ratification. In reality it will be a Constitution without democratic legitimacy and will give the coup de grace to national Constitutions that do have such legitimacy such as Ireland.

To establish "a Union of European States which, while retaining their national identities, closely co-ordinate their policies at the European level, and administer certain common competences on a federal basis." (Article 1 of outline Constitutional Treaty)
Although the word may be dropped because of political sensitivity, "federal" - a form of State, is used for the first time in an EU Treaty and recognises the EU has many features of a Federation. This is where a State divides governmental powers between the Federal, national, provincial or regional levels where federal law takes precedence over local state law.

In some respects, the EU is more centralised than existing Federations - the US Federation maintains equality between its states by ensuring each has two Senators. No such equality exists between EU member states, either through the Council of Ministers with unequal voting weights or so called European Parliament. The EU behaves ever more like a State or Superstate under the hegemony of the Major Members.

The Executive of the EU is the Commission which proposes all EU laws as though the legislature. It has judicial powers and imposes fines. Even though an appeal can be made to the Court of Justice, the Commission acts as a lower court. It also draws up and administers its own budget, with minimal democratic control.
The Council of Ministers makes laws as if it was a parliament and takes some executive decisions. The European Parliament cannot legislate any law and acts more like a Council or Assembly. The Court of Justice is not just a court but occasionally acts like a parliament - in the way the judgements have hugely extended the legal competence of the EU.

Please say if you would like me to give a clause by clause breakdown of what the EU Constitution actually means in respect of the UK.

BlooMoo
18th Jun 2004, 22:03
Dear Bletchley, could you please give me a clause by clause breakdown of what the EU Constitution actually means in respect of the UK. Please ensure that any extra rights (drinking hours, access to porn, etc.) we may have as 'citizens' are given top billing as these are very important to me.

In expectation,

BM:=

Bletchley
18th Jun 2004, 22:47
Ah..a Socialist !

Lemurian
19th Jun 2004, 00:28
I follow with great interest this thread as most of the posters have brought quite a lot of info I've never contemplated.
Bletchley's quote on statistics made me research these data as they were quite contradictory to what ,we on the continent consider as "statistical truth" (does that exist?).
Some of you have already pointed at the dangers of manipulating these figures,or presenting an incomplete view of the field of study so that they'd fit their own argumentation...Bletchley!Let's look at some of your figures from another perspective,shall we?

-GROWTH 2000-2003,as per GDP evolution (Bn US$ @ current prices/exchange rates):

UK : 1439.3-1795.0 growth rate =24.7%
France : 1308.4-1744.4 (33.3)
Germany : 1870.3-1986.2 (6.2)
Ireland : 94.8- 121.7 (28.4)
Euro Zone :6058.7-6656.9 (9.9)

Apparently this contradicts some of your argument.To be short,the respective figures for your examples are :Sweden 26%,Denmark 33.9%...I add Finland :35%.From the same tables you used,the picture becomes quite different,doesn't it?Apparently,the Euro hasn't really affected France's performance as a single country,or Ireland.One may add that Geremany's lack of performance has to do with the costs of their reunification.
One might say that GDP in itself doesn't present a complete picture.Agreed ,so I took a look at the GDP per capita:

-GDP per capita as per current purchasing power parities.(US $)

UK :28,000
France :27,200
Germany :25,900
Ireland :32,600
Euro Zone :25,600
E U :26,000 That's where you found this " UK GDP (PC) 19% greater than the rest of the EU"?Knowing very well it also includes fast developping -but still relatively poor-economies such as Spain,Portugal and Greece,that's a very naughty use of serious stats.
Let's now talk about people's main interest,their wallet :

-CONSUMER PRICES EVOLUTION (Base 100 is year 1995)
UK index in 2003 :124.6 (that's a rise of 24.6%)
France :114.5 (14.5)
Germany :112.8 (12.8)
Ireland :131.2 (31.2)
Euro Zone :119.5 (19.5)
So the Euro hasn't brought the expected inflation some were forecasting!
Just as a matter of interest,I looked at more detailed riches repartition within countries.One of the measuring sticks could be the relative number of people under the poverty line.Sorry I couldn't find it on the OECD stats site,but a quick google brought me to the CIA fact book (of all sources!).But the data are incomplete,so with the usual reserves,here is what I found :

-Population below poverty line:
UK 17%,France 6.4%,Ireland 10%,Poland (new entrant)18.1%.
So now ,the notion of Britain as paradise outside the Euro hell takes a few wrinkles.

Talking about wrinkles,Bletchley,your use of Burkitt's 1997 work is a laugh."Full employment and social justice",he said...Reminds me of one of France's main problems :some people prefer to enjoy the social benefits for the unemployed rather than earn a minimum wage (around 1,150 euros these days).That's one extreme national notion of social justice.
Since then,the European Monetary Unit he cites and which was an accountant's way of weighing different currencies in the EMU "snake" has given way to the Euro the coins of which destroy my pants pockets,the same way the franc cents did.It is probably not yet global but we are quite optimistic.
I think I have said enough for to-night.
Regards to all

BahrainLad
19th Jun 2004, 06:44
Bletchley you seem to be attacking the democractic legitimacy of the constitutional convention rather than the constitution itself.

I'm not sure why you are doing this; as you have stated yourself there are democratically elected representatives from all parts of the Union on the convention. This is the essence of representative democracy: we give our leaders implicit mandates to act in our own best interests. Just because every clause, every comment, every modification has not been subject to a plebiscite does not make the drafting process undemocratic!

And in the end, you'll get a plebiscite on the entire constitution to boot!

I don't think any constitution in the history of mankind has been/will be as democratically legitimate.

But I find it very interesting when Conservative politicians rail against local assemblies and regional government in the UK citing them as "unnecessary bureaucracy" whereas when it comes to Europe they are the demanders of ultimate democracy!

I think you have been copying and pasting again, as

There will be few subsequent referendums during the ratification process

seems to have been written well in advance of recent events in the United Kingdom? Can we have some original debate please? I can imagine your

Please say if you would like me to give a clause by clause breakdown of what the EU Constitution actually means in respect of the UK.

will simply be another diatribe lifted from another anti-EU website.

With regards to your additional cut'n'pasting, only the most left-wing of left-wing nutters would ever consider full employment to be achieveable or even worth aiming for. But after 18 years of Tory government, it's easy to see how some people got very overexcited in 1997.

(But even if you are a left-wing nutter, the EU Constitution indulges you by enshrining the aim of full employment as one of its articles!)

At the end of the day, 'we' have retained the vetos that 'we' wanted. Whether this makes the constitution easier for Blair to sell to the people remains to be seen, but if the public kick it into touch the it shall be kicked into touch. That is their democratic right.


(Oh remind me: Did we have a referendum on Maastricht? Arguably a much more federalising document. Go through that document and find all references to "ever-closer-union", replace them with "federalism"...as was originally proposed....and it might interest you.)

lasernigel
19th Jun 2004, 15:41
Well it seems his TONYNESS has signed up contary to the opinion of what the people of this country voted for last week.
The man is the most arrogant git there is and should have been put down at birth.
He will show no shame for having done this and I guarantee will leave it as long as possible until he gives a referendum to the country.
IF he had any morals or guts at all he would let us decide his fate as soon after the summer recess as possible,but he hasn't I seem to think it was referred to as LMF during WW1 and WW2.

BahrainLad
19th Jun 2004, 17:10
"His Tonyness" knows full well that the British electorate will never dump a leader over a foreign policy issue. Never. Even Churchill lost on domestic issues, despite his overwhelming "foreign policy" victory.

In any case, he's "signed up" subject to ratification in a referendum.

"The people of the country voted for"

So 28 million people cast their vote for UKIP did they? I don't think so. A plurality of voters went Conservative, with UKIP in 3rd place. Hardly a majority, and hardly a relevant election.

Lemurian
20th Jun 2004, 13:13
Where are you Bletchley?

steamchicken
20th Jun 2004, 14:20
That'll be some 6.8% of the electorate then!

Concerning that Bradford academic's work, he seems to have been thinking that Gordon Brown should have immediately put a huge boost in public spending in back in 1997, that would have pushed the budget over the 3% GDP deficit rule. Now, had he done this (as he could, not being in the €) we now know that the result would have been a violent inflationary boom.

In fact, Gord got the Keynesian cycle right. Much though I railed and ranted about sticking to Tory spending targets at the time, it seems he was bang on the money in holding a tight fiscal position through the .com boom, paying down debt and helping to soak up inflation. When the boom bust and the world downturn began, there was masses of headroom to put up public spending and boost aggregate demand even under the Maastricht threshold. As it turned out, the economy has been within spitting distance of full employment (on the claimant count, true) for most of this period.

Quoting this document as an argument against the € now is, in effect, arguing that if we had been in the single currency we wouldn't have been able to do something we didn't actually do!

Bletchley
21st Jun 2004, 11:41
I have been away at the weekend, hence the silence. I am flattered I was missed ! :D

To address the points you made.

In respect of the statistics, I have used those provided by the UK National Statistics Office Link (http://www.statistics.gov.uk) .

I obviously don't know where yours are from....but this is not to suggest that they are wrong....just that I don't fully appreciate the point they are making.

What I notice is that you in common with those on the other side of the argument usually quote France and Germany. Lately this has started to include Ireland, yet there are 25 Countries now in the EU and previously 11. Why do people omit reference to the southern (Mediterranean States). I suspect that I know, but I could be wrong.

Have you tried talking with say the Spanish or Greeks or Italians where the adoption of the Euro has increased prices. Taking Spain, this is not the inexpensive place that it used to be and this will inevitably have an impact on the Tourism to which so much of its economy depends. Similar comments have been made about Greece. Places such as Bulgaria, and the former Yugoslavia are now becoming more popular for those on a tight budget.

I quoted Professor Burkett to demonstrate that it is not just those on the Right Wing who have concerns about Monetary and Political Union. In fact the debate has become much more interesting within the last 24 hours bearing in mind the obvious splits within Bliar's Cabinet, within the Labour Party, and within the Trade Union movements.

It is quite normal for Euro-sceptics to be condemned as Right Wing. The message is that there is as much if not more division on the Left. Remember that Chancellor Brown is against EMU as much as anyone, and he is Old Labour !.



BahrainLad Missed the point again.

I am not attacking the democractic legitimacy of the constitutional convention rather than the constitution itself I am merely trying to point out that there is very little TRUTH and HONESTY coming from both Bliar's Government and the EU about the Constitution. The debate on this has started in the wider world. All comments about the Constitution not setting up a Super State can be shown to be inaccurate and disingenuous. That is my point.

And in the end, you'll get a plebiscite on the entire constitution to boot! You are probably right but the wording will be interesting and if as I suspect will be the case, Bliar will continue to keep on at it until he gets the decision he wants. Even members of his own Cabinet and the Labour Party/Trade Union movement think so and are creating waves!.

There will be few subsequent referendums during the ratification process Just remind me again how many EU members will not be having a referedum. The point remains valid despite your poor attempt to sneer.

I think you have been copying and pasting again This really causes you a problem doesn't it. Why is that?. The corollary is that we don't paste anything from anywhere, hence we don't bring any informed debate to the thread.

Can we have some original debate please? Fine why don't you start by debating some of the points I have made in various postings?

(Oh remind me: Did we have a referendum on Maastricht? Arguably a much more federalising document. Go through that document and find all references to "ever-closer-union", replace them with "federalism"...as was originally proposed....and it might interest you.) We have had the same opportunity for a referendum as Bliar would have given us if the UKIP results had not thrown a spanner into the works.

The fact that we have not had a referendum up to now is one of my main issues, and indeed is one of the reasons why the UK electorate has finally kicked up. I guess a similar comment also applies to the other EU Countries. I note that France is said to be particularly against Poilitical Union.

tony draper
21st Jun 2004, 11:55
How many other countries are having a referendum?I suppose Tone will delay ours hoping that one of the others kicks the constitution into touch,which is highly probable, no need for a referendum here then is there?

Flypuppy
21st Jun 2004, 12:51
As far as I am aware none of the Benelux countries are planning a referendum on this issue.

Lon More
21st Jun 2004, 16:05
Just seen on ITV East Anglian News an item about a C of E vicar thanking God for the delivery from evil that was the UKIP's success. Compared it to the darkest days of WW II.

Not received 100% by the parishioners, one claimed that he, the vicar, saw the EU as a papist plot. Not even the Rev. Ian Paisley has ever gone that far.

Bring back the Monster Raving Loonies

phnuff
22nd Jun 2004, 13:20
Bletchley
Why do people omit reference to the southern (Mediterranean States). I suspect that I know, but I could be wrong.

Well, according to the CIA year book figures for 2003, GDP growth was

UK 2.1
Spain 2.4
Italy 0.5
Greece 4.0
Turkey 5.0
Portugal -1

The UK doesnt exactly stand out as a success story does it

Ozzy
22nd Jun 2004, 13:50
From the WSJ Online: REVIEW & OUTLOOK

Europe vs. America

Germany edges out Arkansas in per capita GDP.

The growing split between the U.S. and Europe has been much in the news, mostly on foreign policy. But less well understood is the gap in economic growth and standards of living. Now comes a European report that puts the American advantage in surprisingly stark relief.
The study, "The EU vs. USA," was done by a pair of economists--Fredrik Bergstrom and Robert Gidehag--for the Swedish think tank Timbro. It found that if Europe were part of the U.S., only tiny Luxembourg could rival the richest of the 50 American states in gross domestic product per capita. Most European countries would rank below the U.S. average, as the chart below shows.

The authors admit that man doesn't live by GDP alone, and that this measure misses output in the "black" economy, which is significant in Europe's high-tax states. GDP also overlooks "the value of leisure or a good environment" or the way prosperity is spread across a society.

But a rising tide still lifts all boats, and U.S. GDP per capita was a whopping 32% higher than the EU average in 2000, and the gap hasn't closed since. It is so wide that if the U.S. economy had frozen in place at 2000 levels while Europe grew, the Continent would still require years to catch up. Ireland, which has lower tax burdens and fewer regulations than the rest of the EU, would be the first but only by 2005. Switzerland, not a member of the EU, and Britain would get there by 2010. But Germany and Spain would need until 2015, while Italy, Sweden and Portugal would have to wait until 2022.

Higher GDP per capita allows the average American to spend about $9,700 more on consumption every year than the average European. So Yanks have by far more cars, TVs, computers and other modern goods. "Most Americans have a standard of living which the majority of Europeans will never come anywhere near," the Swedish study says.

But what about equality? Well, the percentage of Americans living below the poverty line has dropped to 12% from 22% since 1959. In 1999, 25% of American households were considered "low income," meaning they had an annual income of less than $25,000. If Sweden--the very model of a modern welfare state--were judged by the same standard, about 40% of its households would be considered low-income.
In other words poverty is relative, and in the U.S. a large 45.9% of the "poor" own their homes, 72.8% have a car and almost 77% have air conditioning, which remains a luxury in most of Western Europe. The average living space for poor American households is 1,200 square feet. In Europe, the average space for all households, not just the poor, is 1,000 square feet.

So what is Europe's problem? "The expansion of the public sector into overripe welfare states in large parts of Europe is and remains the best guess as to why our continent cannot measure up to our neighbor in the west," the authors write. In 1999, average EU tax revenues were more than 40% of GDP, and in some countries above 50%, compared with less than 30% for most of the U.S.

We don't report this with any nationalist glee. The world needs a prosperous, growing Europe, and its relative economic decline is one reason for growing EU-American tension. A poorer Europe lacks the wealth to invest in defense, a fact that in turn affects the willingness of Europeans to join America in confronting global security threats. But at least all of this is a warning to U.S. politicians who want this country to go down the same welfare-state road to decline.

I cannot attach the chart but here are the figures:

GDP Per Capita in the richest and poorest U.S. states and selected EU countries in 2001.
District of Columbia: 440
Delaware: 199
Luxembourg: 194
Connecticut: 190
U.S. Average: 139
Belgium: 107
France: 105
Germany: 100
Italy: 100
Arkansas: 99
Montana: 99
West Virginia: 92
Mississippi: 92

Note: 100 = EU-15 average
Sources: Eurostat; US Bureau of Economic Analysis; Timbro

Ozzy

BlooMoo
22nd Jun 2004, 14:17
That to me is a pretty good summary of the score. I've said it before but the EU is basically trying evolve into a socialist entity - therefore it will be corrupt, inneffectual and its citizens relatively poor and emasculated. I have nothing against the UK being part of a European entity (or even ultimately state), but it would be a future of slow and painful decline if we signed up further to the one we seem to be getting.

BM:(

PS Bletchley, please get back to me on whether the constitution would make porn cheaper here.

Davaar
22nd Jun 2004, 14:27
I am committing PPRuNe Common Error # 1, in that I cite a source I have not read. Anyway, I am told that "Die Welt" of yesterday or very recently carries a scathing article on the German policy of following the lead of a neighbouring country, and calls for an end to it. "Fest steht und treu die Wacht am Rhein". Was this, is this, foreseeable or not?

OneWorld22
22nd Jun 2004, 14:27
Ireland, which has lower tax burdens and fewer regulations than the rest of the EU, would be the first

Well Hooray for little ol' Ireland!!


Looking at Stats can make for interesting reading and looking at these 2003 figures you wouldn't exactly say that the UK is the Economic powerhouse of Europe would you? The way some Euro-sceptics chatter away you would get the impression that the UK would be far ahead in the GDP per cap figures.

Looking at the figures with the US equal to 100% (With a GDP per cap of $37,800)

GDP Per Cap 2003

100% US
79% IR
76% NE
73% UK
73% GE
73% FR
71% IT
58% SP
53% GR

Bletchley
22nd Jun 2004, 20:45
I have looked at the website from which you got your figures. In respect of real growth it actually states the following:

Figures are in percentage (%)

Ireland (Position = 32) - 5.20
Greece (Position = 81) - 3.50
Luxembourg (Position = 122) - 2.30
UK (Position = 147) - 1.60

According to those figures all the EU was overtaken by such thriving economies such as those of :- Equatorial Guinea, East Timor, Faroe Islands, Armenia, Angola, and Mozambique !!!!!!!!!

France, Spain, Germany, and Belgium came in behind such rocketing economies as:- Swaziland, Lebanon, Malawi, and Micronesia !!!

Oh how we must dread this competition.


The UK doesnt exactly stand out as a success story does it I never said it did. The general consensus is that our economy would be damaged by going into a Political and economic union with Europe. Your figures would certainly appear to suggest that we could only suffer once the burdens of greater EU control manifest themselves.

I suggest you re-visit your EU figures and you will find the following:-

The figures are from the Europa (European Union) website.

Inflation in the Euro-zone
UK = 1.5%
EU 25 = 2.4%
EU 15 = 2.3%

The Euro-zone unemployment rate is 9.0%, the UK rate is 4.7%. The employment statistics comparing the UK with the EU makes very interesting reading.


Bloo Moo


PS Bletchley, please get back to me on whether the constitution would make porn cheaper here. I really do have no idea. Suggest you ask someone who might know such as someone in the EU 25 zone.


1W22 you wouldn't exactly say that the UK is the Economic powerhouse of Europe would you? Bit of a self inflicted wound to then go on and show the UK at No. 3 position after the US wouldn't you say?

OneWorld22
22nd Jun 2004, 21:22
Eh no Bletchley read again. The the UK is tied with both Germany and France and only just ahead of Italy who the euro-sceptics deride as being examples of failing Euro economies!!

Bletchley
22nd Jun 2004, 21:45
What about the rest of the 15/25 then?

Lemurian
22nd Jun 2004, 23:24
Bletchley,
My sources should be the same as yours.You cited the OECD on your previous post and that's all I did.
For those interested,here is the site :
www.oecd.org/statistics
I don't really understand you.Your first intention is to compare the UK as a single entity with other single countries and you cited France...etc.. as such,for your comparison.
On the other hand,you would use the stats on the EU,or the Euro Zone which put together rich and less-rich countries on the same data...That's what I called naughty use of serious stats.
The more intelligent way would be to compare only what is comparable and leave the developping countries to another thread.
Regarding Burkett's quote,I'm afraid you'll have to come back with a more recent opinion to make your point.Europhilia -and europhobia- are not a partisan issue,we all know that.
As for the UK adhering to the NAFTA-as some on this thread are advocating for-,it reminds me of a 20th century sequel of the "return of the prodigal son"in which destitute Dad hangs on to Sonny's success.I ,as a hopeless optimist,think your country deserves more than just becoming the janissary of the US empire.
Regards.

phnuff
23rd Jun 2004, 10:24
Bletchley

I absolutely disagree, the figures (which I have just checked), are exactly as I stated them. Which part of the site are you looking at ?

Bletchley
23rd Jun 2004, 13:50
I don't really understand you.Your first intention is to compare the UK as a single entity with other single countries and you cited France...etc.. as such,for your comparison.
I have always tried to quote UK against EU. Others have introduced the individual Country links. It is difficult to compare one EU Country with another for all the very obvious reasons.

I have done a quick check but I didn't find a single entry where I quoted one Country against another in a specific. I have certainly compared the UK to a group of EU countries.

If we are to be dragged into the EU then surely it is better for us to examine the EU as an entity (of which we may yet be a part)?



Phnuff
Link attached. I searched for CIA and in addition to the obvious found this website.

CIA (http://www.photius.com/rankings/index.html)

I presume therefore it is the one to which you refer.

I notice however that the debate is moving along comparisons of GDP/Growth, etc, when the real issue as I pointed out several posts ago is the Political/Financial union, and whether people want it.

The answer to both those questions within the UK is a resounding No and even the population of some Countries that have adopted the Euro are now having second thoughts but cannot come out.

As far as many people are concerned the EU is (and always has been) a Socialist experiment. My previous posts have indicated that even some of the Socialists are against the Union.

This includes members of the Bliar Cabinet, Government, Trade Union Movement.

I have tried to indicate that Euro-scepticism is NOT a Right Wing phenomenom despite what certain sneering posters have tried to suggest.

It will be interesting to watch how this debate is played out in the wider audience within the UK.

phnuff
23rd Jun 2004, 15:18
Hmm, the link I was using was this one
http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/sp.html

Pick a country and then use the menu on the right to get to economy !!

Interesting how we can each find figures to support our cases - too much information. I think I should stick to the Daily Mail

I have never suggested that sceptisism is the preserve of the right wing - lets not forget x number of years ago, Labour was opposed to the EEC.

What is also interesting is that there has only been one mention of the real reason the EEC was set up in the forst place - to stop Europe finding itself at war with itself again.

BahrainLad
24th Jun 2004, 07:54
Mark Croucher, UKIP's affable press officer, also does not want the country to be ruled by Brussels.

But as he climbs into his 4X4 at the end of the morning's events, he can at least see one upside to Europe.

He tells me he is off to load up on "cheap fags and booze" before heading back to Blighty.

All of the benefits, none of the costs.

Bletchley
24th Jun 2004, 10:26
All of the benefits, none of the costs. The lower price of tobacco goods and alcohol is NOT anything to do with the EU at all.

Similarly to petrol, the high price is brought about by the swingeing amounts of taxation applied by the UK Government to that type of product.

This has always been the case, hence the number of smugglers that were resident in costal areas close to Europe.

BahrainLad
24th Jun 2004, 11:01
The lower price of tobacco goods and alcohol is NOT anything to do with the EU at all.

I know that.

The point is that if we withdrew from the EU, we'd withdraw from the Customs Union as well. So no more "filling up 4x4s with booze and fags"......unless your 4x4 is so tiny it can only fit 200 cigarettes and a bottle of Scotch?

Toulouse
24th Jun 2004, 11:38
Sorry I haven't read the whole thread, but my answer to the inital question is... YES, I have the € and I want to keep it! Don't really get why certain countries belong to the Eu but feel they're above joining the €.

Here as some more GDP figures I got for 2003. The source the figures are taken from is the Central Intelligence Agency World Factbook.

2003 National GDP:

Austria: €22,800
Belgium: €23,800
Cyprus... Greek area: €12,400, Turkish area: €5,000
Czech Republic: €12,600
Denmark: €23,800
Estonia: €9.000
Finland: €21.500
France: €21.200
Germany: €21,700
Greece: €15,600
Hungary: €11,000
Ireland: €25,100
Italy: €20,100
Latvia: €6,800
Lithuania: €6,900
Luxembourg: €36,200
Malta: €14,000
Netherlands: €22,100
United Kingdom: €20,800
Sweden: €21,000
Spain: €17,000
Slovenia: €14,800
Slovakia: €10,000
Portugal: €14,800
Poland: €7,800

Some interesting figures there. Luxembourg, small place yet highest GDP by far at an equiv in US dollars of just under US$ 44,000. Ireland is second highest. Just geos to show size doesn't mean everything. Also shows the advantages of joining the EU. The new members certainly have some catching up to do, and hopfully they'll get there soon, for the good of us all. Of the original 15 members, UK has 5th lowest GDP!!??

BillHicksRules
24th Jun 2004, 11:50
Bletchely,

"The lower price of tobacco goods and alcohol is NOT anything to do with the EU at all.

Similarly to petrol, the high price is brought about by the swingeing amounts of taxation applied by the UK Government to that type of product."

Are you serious???? Do you actually read as you type????

Here is a little test for you. What would happen to the tax levels on the above goods were we to join the EU and the Euro?

Cheers

BHR

Bletchley
24th Jun 2004, 12:26
Are you serious???? Do you actually read as you type???? Sorry but this comment applies to you.

You should be aware that the application of Customs and Excise Duty, the rate of 'Duty' and any other taxation is decided by the Chancellor.

That is why the price of such goods is higher here than in the EU.

The payment of 'Duty' within a member Country of the EU by virtue of the 'harmonisation' (probably the wrong word but you know what I mean) of rules means that 'Duty' is not payable in another.

Hence goods bought and 'duty paid' in another EU state means that 'duty' is not due on entry to the UK.

BahrainLad The point I would make is that the difference in the price of goods such as tobacco, alcohol, and Petrol between the UK and the EU is ridiculous.

I can actually buy UK produced alcoholic drinks cheaper in the EU than I can in my local Supermarket.

At least for the present.

We go to Spain a lot and the increase in prices since the adoption of the Euro has been astounding, indeed it is getting to the point that it is cheaper to go elsewhere. A similar point applies to Greece, and I am sure other 'holiday' destinations in the EU which were relatively inexpensive prior to the adoption of the Euro.

The underlying suggestion that our prices would reduce if we joined the EU is arrant nonsense. We have the highest levels of taxation in the UK when compared to the EU and by far the poorest levels and quality of public services.

Our ability to maintain low unemployment is by means of having a flexible labour market, something that Ireland still manages to retain. The adoption of Socialist employment conditions means that the ability of a Country to respond to changes in labour demand make some EU countries much less attractive to Companies. This is self evident when one looks at the EU.

I remember being able to work in Germany as a temporary worker, and still being a much cheaper option to my employer than using Germans owing to the difficulty that the Company perceived in being able to react to market conditions, and we a talking here about a VERY large German company.

This may explain why many goods produced by some EU copuntries are produced in, for example, Korea.

When was the last time you bought a German 'manufactured' electrical item from Bosch or Siemens?. Check WHERE it was manufactured.

I remember the fuss in Germany in the mid 1990's when it emerged that German goods were being manufactured outside Germany with the resultant loss of jobs.

If the EU is so good then why did/does that happen. Answer...flexibility of the work force, and lower production costs.

Not an opinion, a statement of fact.

On a final note if the EU is such a paradise then why the desperate rush by asylum seekers to reach the UK?

BillHicksRules
24th Jun 2004, 13:24
Bletchely,

So let me get this straight.

UK outside Eurozone
UK prices higher than Eurozone
But this has nothing to do with UK being outside Eurozone

Is that fair summary of your posts?

Are you really saying that the fact that if the products you have discussed were subject to Eurozone taxation in the UK then they would be cheaper in the UK, has nothing to do with the EU?

Before you go off on one. I am aware why the tax is high in the UK. What I do not understand is the fact that you cannot see the connection between Eurozone low tax and Eurozone low prices compared with UK high tax and UK high prices.

As to your question why the asylum seekers are coming here is because it is harder to get sent home from here than Eurozone.

Cheers

BHR

MadsDad
24th Jun 2004, 13:34
Just one question.

I was under the distinct impression that the UK is currently IN the EU, although not in the Eurozone. If we are not when did we secede from the Treaty of Rome, et al?

Also with regard to BHRs query. He seems to imply that the taxes are uniform throughout the Eurozone. Again I was under the impression that this is not the case yet (it is being discussed I know, but as part of future developments). If I am wrong what is the explanation of differences between tax and duty rates in different countries (tobacco, for instance, being significantly cheaper in Belgium and Luxembourg than in France)?

I am somewhat puzzled by all this.

steamchicken
24th Jun 2004, 13:53
Never. The UK is a member of the European Union and has been since the Maastricht Treaty created the term "European Union". The only territory to leave the EU (EC, EEC) is Greenland, which "was joined" by Denmark and decided to leave in 1985. Exactly how this happened given that its foreign relations are handled by Denmark is a mystery to me! I also recall reading somewhere that it re-joined in some fashion, or at least signed an association agreement. Indirect taxation is not harmonised, so Luxembourg for example can charge practically no tax on ciggies.

Bletchley
24th Jun 2004, 14:24
What I do not understand is the fact that you cannot see the connection between Eurozone low tax and Eurozone low prices compared with UK high tax and UK high prices.Unless I have missed something really major as far as I am aware, taxation rates (with the exception of VAT) are set by individual Countries, therefore were we to join the EU as full members then we would not have our taxes set by Brussels...YET !.

That is the nub of the issue.

There is NO guarantee that our levels of taxation would be lower, indeed if at the levels we are at, and we still have lower standards in many areas, how would our various public services suddenly get better overnight without a massive increase in public funds?

Either we would have to raise our taxes even higher, or the EU would have to provide us with the money, which means that other EU members would have to provide the money to us.

With regards to the taxation response that is surely one that needs to be posed to Bliar and Brown, not me.

I totally disagree with the taxation rates and waste of public money in this country. The whole economic policy being developed in the UK is one which is starting to destroy our economic competitiveness.

Were we to enter the EU fully then what would happen to our tax rates?.

Well for a start we would have to start paying VAT on childrens clothes, books, etc.

Would our rates be lowered?. I leave you to ponder that one

It is pleasing to see a Europhile agreeing with this

BahrainLad
24th Jun 2004, 15:07
AbeamPoints the UN has many of the attributes you describe (see letter in today's Independent) yet no-one is concerned about living in a global "superstate".

BahrainLad The point I would make is that the difference in the price of goods such as tobacco, alcohol, and Petrol between the UK and the EU is ridiculous.

I agree. But the EU allows consumers from Britain to comparison shop with other EU countries and then move goods that they have purchased back to the UK. If we joined the Euro this comparison shopping would be even easier. It might even apply downwards pressure to prices here.

Without a customs union, you'd be frustrated at seeing the low price of booz n' fags in France whilst only being able to bring small amounts back to the UK with you.

And with regards to German goods, my AEG drinks fridge can be dated by its stamp "Made in West Germany." Says something about the quality of workmanship.

Flypuppy
24th Jun 2004, 15:27
If this thread is anything to go by the arguments for and against the European constitution are going to be almost totally submerged by:

pointless meaningless statistics that no-one understands
half truths and myths from both sides
idiotic references to half forgotten battles in the 15th - 20th centuries
emotional references to loss of statehood/soveriegnty etc etc without a anyone really understanding what the hell that is.


What exactly do you mean "my country is at risk" AP? I do not see any of this emotional scaremongering on the continent, why is it so prevelant in the UK?

BillHicksRules
24th Jun 2004, 15:30
ABeamPoints

"I do not want to be ruled by people for whom I have never voted and for whom I cannot vote against. I do not want to be ruled from a parliament in another State who debate in a language I cannot understand."

That would be horrible. I mean imagine living in a country where no matter how you voted some other party was elected to rule you from afar. Further imagine that this same party spent the next 18 years using your state as a guinea pig for every potentially unpopular policy. Imagine that once you finally managed to be released from the evil grip of this party, they are replaced by carbon copies, yet these ones are worse. How could they be worse you ask? Well these ones start sending your sons and daughters off to a foreign land to die in pursuit of an illegal war.

But of course this could never happen and all you really have to worry about is straight bananas and bent racists in suits.

Cheers

BHR