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meadowrun
23rd Jan 2015, 03:36
With imminent Greek elections near and the party expected to win - expected to throw a very large spanner into the EU workings with a bankrupt spending spree and given continuing poor economic performances in France and Germany, is it time for the UK to shift focus to the mostly successful Commonwealth (plus USA) of nations as the primary economic alliance?


"Perhaps, decades from now, the past 40 years, during which we tore up our traditional trading relationships and artificially redirected our trade to Europe, will be seen as an aberration.


When French president Charles de Gaulle vetoed Britain’s entry into the EEC, he gave a very good reason. The UK, he explained, was ‘insular, maritime and linked by her exchanges, her markets and her supply routes to the most diverse and often farthest-flung of nations’
.
Indeed. And those far-flung Commonwealth nations would make a far more natural trade bloc than the EU. It never made much sense to abandon a diverse market, which comprised agricultural, industrial and service economies, in favour of a union of similar Western European states.


Winston Churchill made the same point as De Gaulle, albeit more pithily. ‘If Britain must choose between Europe and the open sea, she must always choose the open sea.’
Quite so. The world’s leading English-speaking democracies — the U.S., Canada, Australia and India — are growing handsomely. And these are countries where Britain has strong cultural links. What a contrast with the European Parliament, where we are forever hectored and criticised by people who resent us for having kept our currency and for our commitment to Anglo-Saxon capitalism.


As we enter what may be the sixth year of the euro crisis, we should ask ourselves a fundamental question: why do we put up with being ruled by people who dislike us?" - Daniel Hannan.


(Note: Not EU hamsterwheel - more UK new direction)

ExXB
23rd Jan 2015, 08:14
Well that was yesterday.

Now, over half of UK's trade is with the EU but membership of the EU does not prohibit, or disadvantage trade with third countries. I believe third country trade has actually increased slightly since 2008. This suggests that UK business values trade with the EU with its shorter delivery chain. But where it makes sense to seek new markets they are not prevented from doing so.

If the UK abandoned the EU it would become more difficult to trade with them, for obvious reasons (and not only spiteful reactions).

So, why change now?

Sallyann1234
23rd Jan 2015, 10:03
When French president Charles de Gaulle vetoed Britain’s entry into the EEC
If the UK had been part of the EEC when it was formed, as the French and others pleaded with us to do, we would have greatly influenced its whole ethos and development. We would not then have had to accept the others' conditions when we joined too late.
It would be foolish of us to compound that mistake by leaving the EU now.

ian16th
23rd Jan 2015, 10:21
the EU does not prohibit, or disadvantage trade with third countries.Err... you try buying South African port or sherry inside the EU.

ExXB
23rd Jan 2015, 10:29
I was preferring to exports from the UK to third countries ...

Any decision to restrict imports to the EU would have been with the UK's agreement.

Wingswinger
23rd Jan 2015, 10:43
If the UK had been part of the EEC when it was formed, as the French and others pleaded with us to do, we would have greatly influenced its whole ethos and development. We would not then have had to accept the others' conditions when we joined too late.

Sallyann, I'm not sure we would have liked what our leaders of the time would probably have negotiated. They were very consensual times with a so-called Conservative government basically accepting the status quo following the nationalisation splurges of the Attlee government of the immediate post-war years.

Sallyann1234
23rd Jan 2015, 12:12
I disagree.
We had the opportunity to shape the EEC rules. It could hardly have been worse than the prescribed situation we had to accept many years later.

parabellum
23rd Jan 2015, 12:21
I think the whole cart started to tip over when, having joined a simple marketing consortium, the Common Market, we then found that, Octopus like, we had become inveigled in this monster now known as the EU. I don't think it was ever intended that we should lose control of governing ourselves or be required to accept legal rulings on matters outside the Common Market.

Fox3WheresMyBanana
23rd Jan 2015, 12:32
I don't think it was ever intended
It was by the Eurocrats!

ExXB
23rd Jan 2015, 14:25
Before I retired I spent a lot of time in Brussels dealing with various issues. The Brits were obvious by their total lack of influence there. To me the various UK reps spent most, if not all, of their efforts in fighting with, or undermining, other UK representatives. Didn't matter who the UK Commissioner was, s/he had no support from British MEPs, or senior Commission staff.

Was a real pity as the French basically led, not because they were any good at it, but because they were all working for one common goal: La France.

MG23
23rd Jan 2015, 16:45
I don't think it was ever intended that we should lose control of governing ourselves or be required to accept legal rulings on matters outside the Common Market.

If I remember correctly, Cabinet papers released since then have shown that the British government knew very well that the EEC was always intended to become the EU. It wasn't some deep, dark secret.

As for Churchill, he famously announced shortly after WWII that 'we must build a kind of United States of Europe,' and had previously suggested before WWII that mainland Europe should be unified. Which makes the whole WWII thing a bit odd, when Hitler was just doing his bit to bring about the 'United States Of Europe' that he wanted.

MG23
23rd Jan 2015, 16:47
Err... you try buying South African port or sherry inside the EU.

Then there was the 500 pounds or so I had to pay in import tax the last time I bought a camcorder in the UK, in order to protect the by-then-nonexistent French VCR industry.

parabellum
23rd Jan 2015, 23:38
It was by the Eurocrats! and

If I remember correctly, Cabinet papers released since then have shown that the British government knew very well that the EEC was always intended to become the EU. It wasn't some deep, dark secret.Have to wonder if those that you tell me did know what was happening actually envisioned the EU as it is today or did they have some other Nirvana in their minds?

It wasn't some deep, dark secret, I don't think that inside knowledge was spread very far and wide, certainly not as far as the British public, to the majority it was certainly a deep, dark secret.

cockney steve
24th Jan 2015, 00:21
Originally Posted by ian16th 
Err... you try buying South African port or sherry inside the EU.



Err...eni fule kno......... Port come from Oporto
Sherry come from Jerez.
Them not in South Africa!

If you desire to buy "fortified Ruby Wine" Or "Pale Cream Fortified wine" or their like, you may well buy a South African product within the E.C.

you can't fraudulently claim a heritage for your product.

There are some arcane nuances to wording. AIUI, English Wine and British Wine are entirely different things....one is from UK grown grapes, the other from imported grape-juice or concentrate.
there is a difference between "Strawberry Flavour" (artificial) and "Strawberry Flavoured which is the real deal.

I am not an EU lover but, just occasionally, they get it right....though our own Trading Standards probably did it anyway.

Flying Lawyer
24th Jan 2015, 01:39
Parabellum
I think the whole cart started to tip over when, having joined a simple marketing consortium, the Common Market, we then found that, Octopus like, we had become inveigled in this monster now known as the EU.
I don't think it was ever intended that we should lose control of governing ourselves or be required to accept legal rulings on matters outside the Common Market.
Yes and no.

The public were certainly given the impression that joining the 'Common Market' was merely joining a trading consortium.

However, before the 1975 referendum, two MPs whose politics could not have been more different (although they were great friends) identified and tried hard to draw attention to the loss of sovereignty involved.
Their efforts were unsuccessful.

"Britain's continuing membership of the Community would mean the end of Britain as a completely self-governing nation."

Tony Benn



It is an inherent consequence of accession to the Treaty of Rome that this House and Parliament will lose their legislative supremacy. It will no longer be true that law in this country is made only by or with the authority of Parliament...

The second consequence ... is that this House loses its exclusive control upon which its power and authority has been built over the centuries over taxation and expenditure.
For the first time for centuries it will be true to say that the people of this country are not taxed only upon the authority of the House of Commons.

The third consequence which is manifest on the face of the Bill, in Clause 3 among other places, is that the judicial independence of this country has to be given up. In future, if we join the Community, the citizens of this country will not only be subject to laws made elsewhere but the applicability of those laws to them will be adjudicated upon elsewhere; and the law made elsewhere and the adjudication elsewhere will override the law which is made here and the decisions of the courts of this realm.

Enoch Powell



MG23If I remember correctly, Cabinet papers released since then have shown that the British government knew very well that the EEC was always intended to become the EU. It wasn't some deep, dark secret.


Recently declassified papers certainly show that the Foreign Office advised/warned the government about the full impact - including loss of sovereignty - of joining the then European Economic Community, now the European Union.

However, that advice was not disclosed to the public.


(Edit)

So did Peter Shore MP.

parabellum
24th Jan 2015, 04:56
Thanks for that FL. I suppose the voting public simply couldn't imagine the extent of self government they would surrender to the EU by voting to join,
despite the warnings of two of politics cleverest men.

ExXB
24th Jan 2015, 07:43
I am not an EU lover but, just occasionally, they get it right....though our own Trading Standards probably did it anyway.

This is A VERY GOOD THING both for business and consumers. Not having 28 different rules saves millions! And contrary to popular belief they don't just sit there in smoked filled rooms dreaming up ideas to complicate our lives. Their starting point is always with existing rules, which are streamlined to the extent possible. They get it right more often than not, much to the chagrin of Daily Fail readers. When they get it wrong, from a British perspective, it's because the Brits in Brussels aren't doing their job.

"Britain's continuing membership of the Community would mean the end of Britain as a completely self-governing nation."
Tony Benn

Isn't this what's already happened through devolution?

meadowrun
24th Jan 2015, 08:21
I don't believe UK membership in the EU is all about convenient trading. Does the UK need to surrender governance to a foreign body whose members historically have not exactly been the best of friends?


There are always faults but Britain historically and currently has a fine body of law and governance.


These are the days of the B747F and Panamax - trade over distance only gets easier. Ask China.

Less lorry traffic from Europe would help cut down on illegal immigration. Just what is Europe doing to prevent that traffic to themselves and then, at the end of the golden road - Britain? Seems to me they are helping push.


Micro-management of certain standards by expensive bodies seems hardly important in the grand scheme of things. The curvature of bananas, the name of a cheese or the size of cucumbers and containers does not really matter.

OFSO
24th Jan 2015, 08:50
Not having 28 different rules saves millions!

Unfortunately they still do and no, it doesn't.

Several times a year i sit in conference in Paris or Brussels discussing EU matters, particularly taxation.

The reality is that EU rules form an additional layer on top of the existing national rules you mention, and Member States have the right of reversion in many cases. It is no longer a matter of each country applying their own regulations: now they have to examine EU regulations to determine where they override national legislation, and then determine whether the latter is better for their country and if so, apply for an exemption.

What all of this costs the taxpayer is beyond belief, not to mention the delays in Getting Things Done.

Its amusing, in a way, how often I hear this utopian vision of "the way the EU works" cited as an example of how wonderful it all is. In truth, with Member States all fighting for their own way of doing things, and there being no prospect of enforcing any decisions within the EU....no.

Capetonian
24th Jan 2015, 08:59
Exactly as OFSO said. All that the EU has done is impose an extra layer of bureaucracy and nonsensical rules which have to be promulgated in multiple languages at vast expense. It's a self-serving, self-perpetuating, self-interested gravy train of failed politicians dragging every country down to the same level. A massive confidence trick.

Countries have traded with each other and people have migrated across borders since time immemorial. Anyone who believes that the EU has facilitated this and been beneficial is delusionary.

SOPS
24th Jan 2015, 09:08
In theory, it is impossible to pull out of the Euro. So what will happen when Greece does just that, after the election? Any ideas?

Capetonian
24th Jan 2015, 09:11
I believe we may be about to find out. There will be blood.

SOPS
24th Jan 2015, 09:30
I know one thing, Merkel will have a very large attack of the vapours.

Sallyann1234
24th Jan 2015, 09:33
And yet the EU will survive this current situation just as it has survived every 'crisis', in spite of all the predictions of doom.

ExXB
24th Jan 2015, 10:54
In theory, it is impossible to pull out of the Euro. So what will happen when Greece does just that, after the election? Any ideas?

In Greece; lots of confusion and controversy; devaluation of new local currency; price increases on all imported goods; tourism quadruples overnight; high inflation; high interest rates; higher unemployment (except in tourism); higher taxes (for those that pay taxes); higher inequality; higher petty crime; etc.

In rest of EU; media hysteria; reduction in exports to Greece (if anyone notices) ... ; jubilation in Germany; not much else.

Greece is about 2% of Euroland economy (less for EU as a whole) and a lot of that is internal.

Capetonian
24th Jan 2015, 11:04
In Greece :

'Is Greece opening the door to a new economic hell?' asks John Humphrys | Daily Mail Online (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2924171/Is-Greece-opening-door-new-economic-hell-spending-week-beloved-Athens-John-Humphrys-haunted-terrible-fear-that.html)

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/11365587/If-I-were-Greek-Id-be-tempted-to-vote-for-the-Marxist.html

OFSO
24th Jan 2015, 13:56
I know one thing, Merkel will have a very large attack of the vapours.

BTW, is this the same Merkel who two years ago said the Bundestag would never agree to quantitative easing and the ECB buying up duff countries' bonds ? Surely not !

And yet the EU will survive this current situation just as it has survived every 'crisis'

It all depends on what you mean by survive. Could be construed as anything from a total collapse to some Member States leaving to life merely becoming harder for some of the Member States.

I can tell you what my German friends think: the EU would be a better place for Germans if Greece left the EU. Oh and maybe Italy. Perhaps Portugal also. Spain, too, possibly.

The survivors would have a jolly time of it.

Capetonian
24th Jan 2015, 14:06
I've just finished a long call with a friend in Portugal. He reckons that the EU has f***ed Portugal by putting it into a financial straitjacket and is now the only thing keeping it afloat. It's grim there, he sees little hope, and reckons that it will get worse if they pull out of the Euro.

Between a rock and a hard place, by the sound of it.

What's happening is that the cost of letting the Euro, and ultimately the EU, collapse, is balanced against the cost of keeping it on life support. Nobody knows which is the greater evil. The politicians who gave birth to this monstrous thing want to keep it going as long as possible to perpetuate their first class seats on the Brussels gravy train.

Andy_S
24th Jan 2015, 14:12
And yet the EU will survive this current situation just as it has survived every 'crisis', in spite of all the predictions of doom.

I agree. But it's kind of scary that the political will to keep the Eurozone intact seems to have stifled the question of whether it's actually worth saving.

Capot
24th Jan 2015, 18:43
At the risk of shocking people with aviation content, EASA is a wonderful example of everything that's wrong with the EU.

The Commission prepared and put to the Council the notion that civil air transport in all EU Member States would be immeasurably improved by working to a common set of agreed safety standards. Well, of course it would, no doubt about it. So the Council agreed to the Commission's proposals, and the Basic Regulation was born.

What the Commission undoubtedly knew, but failed to mention, was that a set of agreed International Standards for civil air transport had been in existence for decades and had been brought into the laws of all EU Member States, so the desirable objective was already achieved.

Moreover, any set of standards agreed by the EU (through its Agency EASA) would have to be based entirely on ICAO SARPS; for EASA to develop its own standards would be absurd, illegal under each Member State's treaty obligations, and merely isolate the EU from the rest of the world.

Acknowledgement of ICAO and SARPS would have defeated the Commission empire-building aims, of course, by making it obvious that EASA was not needed.

So now we have the ridiculous situation where EASA carefully considers matters which ICAO already has in hand, and tries to justify its enormous budget by imposing regulations additional to those deemed necessary by ICAO and all its Members, including those which are EU Member States!

The real catch is that whereas an ICAO Member State could, and often did, bring urgent ICAO recommendations into its law very quickly, within days if necessary, its Membership of EASA means that it is bound to follow EASA Regulations and has no way of making its own, in matters where EASA rules.

EASA's processes are those of the EU Commission's bureaucracy, and therefore turgid and lengthy, with the result that urgent legislation can take up to 3 years, repeat 3 years to become mandatory for EASA/EU operators.

At a "workshop" held in Cologne to introduce the entirely superfluous Regulation for airports, it was a representative from the Czech Republic, I think, who said that the sole effect of EASA's intervention would be to stretch a process that took 1 month to one that took 4 years, in the Republic at least.

But EASA, backed by the Commission, ploughs on, with inefficiency and waste on a massive scale,existing only to take ICAO SARPS, FAA AD's manufacturers ADs (ie Airbus), etc etc, mess around with them interminably and then add them to its Regulations for member States to observe.

I know that's over-simplification, but it's the nub of the problem.

It is one of 40-odd "Agencies" created by the Commission to intervene in member states' activities with unnecessary and unwanted "common" regulation. Each one is stuffed with low-grade bureaucrats, for whom the main selection criterion is that the quotas for sharing the gravy-train among all member States must be observed, regardless of the competence of the nominated employees. To illustrate the full horror of it all, here's a list of the Agencies:

Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER)
Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC)
Community Plant Variety Office (CPVO)
European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA)
European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders (FRONTEX)
European Agency for the operational management of large-scale IT systems in the area of freedom, security and justice (eu-LISA)
European Asylum Support Office (EASO)
European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA)
European Banking Authority (EBA)
European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC)
European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop)
European Chemicals Agency (ECHA)
European Environment Agency (EEA)
European Fisheries Control Agency (EFCA)
European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)
European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (EUROFOUND)
European GNSS Agency (GSA)
European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE)
European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA)
European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA)
European Medicines Agency (EMA)
European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA)
European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA)
European Police College (CEPOL)
European Police Office (EUROPOL)
European Public Prosecutor's Office (in preparation) (EPPO)
European Railway Agency (ERA)
European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA)
European Training Foundation (ETF)
European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA)
Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (OHIM)
Single Resolution Board (in preparation) (SRB)
The European Union’s Judicial Cooperation Unit (EUROJUST)
Translation Centre for the Bodies of the European Union (CdT)

Agencies under Common Security and Defence Policy
European Defence Agency (EDA)
European Union Institute for Security Studies (EUISS)
European Union Satellite Centre (EUSC)

MG23
24th Jan 2015, 20:28
I agree. But it's kind of scary that the political will to keep the Eurozone intact seems to have stifled the question of whether it's actually worth saving.

The EU was a nonsensical idea from the start, so it has to keep moving forward. If it stops, people might start asking questions like, why the hell are we doing this?

So they can't afford to lose the Euro... the EU won't last long once it starts going backwards.

parabellum
25th Jan 2015, 05:44
And yet the EU will survive this current situation just as it has survived every 'crisis', in spite of all the predictions of doom.

Be nice if they could get the auditors to sign off on just one years books though, any year in fact.

Capetonian
25th Jan 2015, 06:56
It depends on how you define 'survive'. Creating money artificially and pumping it into moribund economies is not sustainable.

Hempy
25th Jan 2015, 09:13
there is a difference between "Strawberry Flavour" (artificial) and "Strawberry Flavoured which is the real deal.

Yeah, watch out for "Natural Flavour"....

Castoreum is the yellowish secretion of the castor sac which is, in combination with the beaver's urine, used during scent marking of territory. Both beaver genders possess a pair of castor sacs and a pair of anal glands located in two cavities under the skin between the pelvis and the base of the tail....

...In the United States, castoreum is considered to be a GRAS food additive by the Food and Drug Administration.It is often referenced simply as a "natural flavoring" in products' lists of ingredients. While it is mainly used in foods and beverages as part of a substitute vanilla flavour, it is less commonly used as a part of a raspberry or strawberry flavoring.

Natural Beaver Butt Flavour :yuk:

airship
25th Jan 2015, 16:32
The president of Goldman Sachs has said Britain should stay in the EU to ensure London remains a "great financial capital of the world" according to the BBC here (http://www.bbc.com/news/business-30964500): Gary Cohn said financial firms "want to stay in London" - and Britain staying in the EU was the "best thing for all of us."

Inventor Sir James Dyson said in November that he would vote to leave the EU to avoid being "dominated and bullied by the Germans" - though he said he wanted to keep free trade and free movement of people.

Good luck to him (and everyone else) who truly believes that's possible with the UK "out of the EU"... :rolleyes:

Andy_S
25th Jan 2015, 16:40
So, the (American) boss of an organisation compared to a Vampire Squid says stay in, while a (British) businessman who actually makes things says leave.

I know who my sympathies lie with.......

p.s. From Wikipedia..... Critics of Cohn attribute to him an arrogant, aggressive, abrasive and risk-prone work style......

airship
25th Jan 2015, 17:13
The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goldman_Sachs) (investment banking) assets $900 billion/ net income $8 billion / 32,000 employees (didn't need any bail-out during the financial crisis, actually profited from it...)

Dyson Ltd (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dyson_(company)) (domestic appliances) sales 6 billion / profit 800 million / 4,000 employees.

PS. Sir James Dyson said "...he wanted to keep free trade and free movement of people." Which is a bit 'at odds' with the Conservative EU sceptics and UKIP wishes! :ugh:

Flying Lawyer
25th Jan 2015, 18:18
Andy-SCritics of Cohn attribute to him an arrogant, aggressive, abrasive and risk-prone work style......


An electrician's son from a small town in Ohio who becomes a trader and, in a notoriously unforgiving and competitive sphere, works his way up to become President and Chief Operating Officer of one of the world's leading investment banking firms is highly unlikely to have a timid under-stated personality.


What weight, if any, should be attached to his opinion on this issue is, of course, a separate matter.

Andy_S
25th Jan 2015, 18:25
An electrician's son from a small town in Ohio who becomes a trader and, in a notoriously unforgiving and competitive sphere, works his way up to become President and Chief Operating Officer of one of the world's leading investment banking firms is highly unlikely to have a timid under-stated personality.

Very true.

What weight, if any, should be attached to his opinion on this issue is, of course, a separate matter.

It struck me that Cohn's thoughts on the matter probably had more to do with what was good for Goldman Sachs than what was good for the UK.

Flying Lawyer
25th Jan 2015, 18:45
In case my comment about his background is misunderstood, the same applies to anyone who gets to such a position - regardless of whether they come from an affluent family, went to a top university (which he didn't) or to a leading business school (which he didn't).

meadowrun
25th Jan 2015, 19:58
Silly me, I thought London was a "great financial capital of the world" before the EU was a glint. Maybe it was Paris, or Berlin, maybe Rome...no..no..no...it was Athens.


"Official projections suggest a clear victory for the anti-austerity left-wing Syriza party in Greece's general election". bbc

rh200
25th Jan 2015, 20:26
It struck me that Cohn's thoughts on the matter probably had more to do with what was good for Goldman Sachs than what was good for the UK.

As it should be, thats his responsibility. As who ever is making decisions for the UK is to modulating those opinions to see how it fits for their aims.

OFSO
25th Jan 2015, 20:39
a clear victory for the anti-austerity left-wing Syriza

One seat short of an absolute majority, more's the pity.

Τρώνε σορτς μου, Merkel !

Capetonian
25th Jan 2015, 20:43
Anti-austerity. Where's the money going to come from?
The unlimited coffers of the EU?
Germany will buy Greece?
The great socialist Gods will make it all work on other people's money until that runs out?

Sallyann1234
26th Jan 2015, 09:55
I suspect the new Greek PM will get a very short answer in Brussels and Berlin. Greece needs the EU far more than the EU needs Greece.
It's tough on the Greek people, but they like we need to understand that you can't live forever on borrowed money.

Capetonian
26th Jan 2015, 10:01
What's tough on the Greek people is that they have been led into this mess by a succession of incompetent, corrupt, and self-serving politicians. If they had been given the reality about the EU, the Euro, and the obvious outcome, they would not have joined, but they were forced into it by falsification of accounts and lies.

They deserve better.

Andy_S
26th Jan 2015, 10:16
.....they were forced into it by falsification of accounts and lies.

Which their own politicians were deeply complicit in.....

Capetonian
26th Jan 2015, 10:19
That I know ..... I'm talking about the Greek people, who were foolish enough in their misguided belief in democracy, ironically a word of Greek origin, to have voted for those crooked politicians.