Brexit: Go Hard Or Go Home
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  • GooberTheHat
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    With possibly the most important decision any of us will make in more than a generation, regarding the future of the UK, I'm finding it difficult to make an informed choice.  My instinct tells me that it would be stupid to leave the EU, but I don't actually know why I hold that opinion.

    So I'm making this thread so we can all chip in with any info we have regarding the pros and cons of staying in or getting out.  If you have strong convictions either way then this is the place to fight your corner.  I will try and keep this post, and the next couple, updated with a consolidated summary of all the information (if any) that gets posted.  I will probably be less active in this thread as a result as the majority of my efforts will go into that.

    To get us started, what are the major issues that would be affected by the UK leaving the EU, and how?

    Off the top of my head:
    Trade
    Economic growth and stability
    Security
    Jobs
    Migration
    TTIP?
    Regulations/law
    Global Influence
    Telling Johnny Foreigner what's what!

    Anything else?
  • GooberTheHat
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    Stolen from the BBC, but it might be a good starting point.

    What is happening?

    UK Prime Minister David Cameron has announced a referendum on whether Britain should remain in the European Union to be held on Thursday 23 June. This article is designed to be an easy-to-understand guide - and a chance to ask other questions, a selection of which we'll be answering at the bottom of the page.

    What is a referendum?

    A referendum is basically a vote in which everyone (or nearly everyone) of voting age can take part, normally giving a "Yes" or "No" answer to a question. Whichever side gets more than half of all votes cast is considered to have won.

    What is the European Union?

    The European Union - often known as the EU - is an economic and political partnership involving 28 European countries. It began after World War Two to foster economic co-operation, with the idea that countries which trade together are more likely to avoid going to war with each other. It has since grown to become a "single market" allowing goods and people to move around, basically as if the member states were one country. It has its own currency, the euro, which is used by 19 of the member countries, its own parliament and it now sets rules in a wide range of areas - including on the environment, transport, consumer rights and even things like mobile phone charges.

    What will the referendum question be?

    The question is always crucial in any referendum. The Electoral Commission proposed the wording, which has been accepted by MPs: "Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?" The options for voters will be 'Remain a member of the European Union' and 'Leave the European Union'. Read more: Does the wording of a referendum question matter?

    What does Brexit mean?

    It is a word that has become used as a shorthand way of saying the UK leaving the EU - merging the words Britain and exit to get Brexit, in a same way as a Greek exit from the EU was dubbed Grexit in the past.

    Who will be able to vote?

    British, Irish and Commonwealth citizens over 18 who are resident in the UK, along with UK nationals living abroad who have been on the electoral register in the UK in the past 15 years. Members of the House of Lords and Commonwealth citizens in Gibraltar will also be eligible, unlike in a general election. Citizens from EU countries - apart from Ireland, Malta and Cyprus - will not get a vote.

    How will you vote?

    It will be a similar system to that during other elections. Firstly, if you have registered to vote, you'll be sent a card telling you when voting takes place and where you should go to vote on 23 June. On that day, when you go to the polling station you will be given a piece of paper with the referendum question on it. You then go to a booth, which will have a pencil in it for your use. You then put a X in the box which reflects your choice and put the paper into a ballot box. Alternatively you will also be able to opt to vote by post. Read more: Electoral Commission's guide to applying to vote by post.

    What are the main changes David Cameron has agreed?

    Mr Cameron agreed a package of changes to the UK's membership of the EU after two days of intensive talks with other member states' leaders in Brussels in February. The agreement, which will take effect immediately if the UK votes to remain in the EU, includes changes to:

    Child benefit - Child benefit payments to migrant workers for children living overseas to be recalculated to reflect the cost of living in their home countries

    Migrant welfare payments - The UK can decide to limit in-work benefits for EU migrants during their first four years in the UK. This so-called "emergency brake" can be applied in the event of "exceptional" levels of migration, but must be released within seven years - without exception.
    Eurozone - Britain can keep the pound while being in Europe, and its business trade with the bloc, without fear of discrimination. Any British money spent on bailing out eurozone nations will be reimbursed.

    Protection for the City of London - Safeguards for Britain's large financial services industry to prevent eurozone regulations being imposed on it

    Sovereignty - There is an explicit commitment that the UK will not be part of an "ever closer union" with other EU member states. This will be incorporated in an EU treaty change.
    'Red card' for national parliaments - It will be easier for governments to band together to block unwanted legislation. If 55% of national EU parliaments object to a piece of EU legislation it will be rethought.

    Competitiveness - The settlement calls on all EU institutions and member states to "make all efforts to fully implement and strengthen the internal market" and to take "concrete steps towards better regulation", including by cutting red tape.

    Some limits on free movement - Denying automatic free movement rights to nationals of a country outside the EU who marry an EU national, as part of measures to tackle "sham" marriages. There are also new powers to exclude people believed to be a security risk - even if they have no previous convictions.

    How does that differ from what he wanted?

    Mr Cameron had originally wanted a complete ban on migrants sending child benefit abroad but had to compromise after some eastern European states rejected that and also insisted that existing claimants should continue to receive the full payment.

    On how long the UK would be able to have a four-year curb on in-work benefits for new arrivals, Mr Cameron had to give way on hopes of it being in place for 13 years, settling for seven instead.

    On financial regulation, a clause was inserted "to ensure the level-playing field within the internal market". This was in response to French fears that Britain was seeking special protection for the City of London that would have given it a competitive advantage.

    Critics argue that the final deal falls well short of what Mr Cameron originally promised when he announced his plan for a referendum, particularly when it comes to returning powers from Brussels. It is not clear, for example, if the "red card" for national parliaments would ever be triggered in practice.

    But most of the points in the draft agreement, with the exception of those mentioned above, have survived unchanged into the final deal. Read more: What Cameron wanted v what he got

    Why is a referendum being held?

    Britain had a referendum in 1975 shortly after it had joined the EU, or the Common Market as it was then called. The country voted to stay in then but there have been growing calls, from the public and politicians, for another vote because, they argue, the EU has changed a lot over the past 40 years, with many more countries joining and the organisation extending its control over more aspects of daily lives. David Cameron initially resisted these calls but in 2013 he changed his mind.

    Who wants the UK to leave the EU?

    The British public are fairly evenly split, according to the latest opinion polls. The UK Independence Party, which won the last European elections, and received nearly four million votes - 13% of those cast - in May's general election, campaigns for Britain's exit from the EU. About half of Conservative MPs, including five cabinet ministers, several Labour MPs and the DUP are also in favour of leaving.

    Why do they want the UK to leave?

    They believe Britain is being held back by the EU, which they say imposes too many rules on business and charges billions of pounds a year in membership fees for little in return. They also want Britain to take back full control of its borders and reduce the number of people coming here to work. One of the main principles of EU membership is "free movement", which means you don't need to get a visa to go and live in another EU country. They also object to the idea of "ever closer union" and any ultimate goal to create a "United States of Europe".

    Who wants the UK to stay in the EU?

    David Cameron wants Britain to stay in the EU, now he has got some powers back from it. Sixteen on his cabinet also back staying in. The Conservative Party has pledged to be neutral in the campaign - but the Labour Party, SNP, Plaid Cymru and the Lib Dems are all in favour of staying in. As mentioned above, according to polls, the public seems pretty evenly split on the issue.

    Why do they want the UK to stay?

    They believe Britain gets a big boost from EU membership - it makes selling things to other EU countries easier and, they argue, the flow of immigrants, most of whom are young and keen to work, fuels economic growth and helps pay for public services. They also believe Britain's status in the world would be damaged by leaving and that we are more secure as part of the bloc.

    So would Britain be better in or out?

    It depends which way you look at it - or what you believe is important. Leaving the EU would be a big step - arguably far more important than who wins the next general election - but would it set the nation free or condemn it to economic ruin? Here is a rundown of the arguments for and against.

    What about businesses?

    Big business - with a few exceptions - tends to be in favour of Britain staying in the EU because it makes it easier for them to move money, people and products around the world. BT chairman Sir Mike Rake, a recent CBI president, says there are "no credible alternatives" to staying in the EU. But others disagree, such as Lord Bamford, chairman of JCB, who says an EU exit would allow the UK to negotiate trade deals as our country "rather than being one of 28 nations". Many small and medium-sized firms would welcome a cut in red tape and what they see as petty regulations. The British Chambers of Commerce says 55% of members back staying in a reformed EU.

    Business for Britain wants big changes to the UK's relations with the EU and says the UK should be prepared to vote to leave if the changes are not achieved
    Business for New Europe is a coalition of business leaders who support the UK's membership of the EU and "oppose withdrawal to the margins".

    What are the rules for campaigning?

    The Electoral Commission is in charge of making sure it's a fair contest. It will select a designated lead campaign for both the "leave" and "remain" sides. The official campaigns will get access to a grant of up to £600,000, an overall spending limit of £7m, campaign broadcasts, free mailshots and free access to meeting rooms. Other groups are free to run their own campaigns but they will be limited to a spend of £700,000 if they register with the Electoral Commission and will have to report the source of donations. If they don't register with the Commission they will be limited to spending less than £10,000. The Electoral Commission has published a guide to the rules.

    How much can the parties spend?

    The spending limit for political parties depend on the percentage of the vote they received at the general election. The Conservatives have the highest spending limit - £7m - because they got the most votes at the general election. Labour is limited to £5.5m, UKIP £4m and the Lib Dems £3m. The SNP, Greens, Plaid Cymru and other parties that got less than 5% of votes cast in May will be limited to £700,000.

    So who is going to be leading the rival sides in the campaign?

    This has yet to be decided - but here are the main groups of either side of the argument.
    Britain Stronger in Europe - the main cross-party group campaigning for Britain to remain in the EU, headed by former Marks and Spencer chairman Lord Rose. It is seen as certain to get the official Electoral Commission designation to head the Remain campaign.

    Vote Leave campaign - A cross-party campaign that grew out of Business for Britain, headed by former Conservative chancellor Lord Lawson. Key figures include former Conservative adviser Dominic Cummings and Matthew Elliott, who ran the successful No2AV campaign and has the backing of the five cabinet ministers and other Conservatives such as Boris Johnson and Priti Patel. It also has the backing of Labour Leave, which is headed by Labour donor John Mills.
    Grassroots Out Movement - An umbrella group including the relatively new Grassroots Out group - founded by Conservative MPs Peter Bone and Tom Pursglove and Labour MP Kate Hoey in January - and Leave.EU. Funded by UKIP donor Arron Banks and other business people, it has the backing of longstanding Eurosceptic groups, some Conservative MPs and UKIP, plus others such as the former Respect MP George Galloway.

    The Electoral Commission is expected to make its decision on which group will head the Leave campaign within weeks of the referendum date being announced. It will judge each applicant's merits on the basis of a range of criteria, such as level of cross-party support, campaign tactics and organisational capacity.
  • GooberTheHat
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    We should stay because: baguettes
  • GooberTheHat
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    We should leave because: hovis
  • Yossarian
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    Another issue to be resolved is telling Johnny Foreigner what's what.
  • And if we stay they will replace all our Hovis with baguettes.
  • GooberTheHat
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    Is that a pro or con?
  • And all our cumberland sausages with chippolatas and bratwurst.
  • Also they've got these pesky human rights things that stop our powers that be from doing whatever the fuck they want to do, goddamnit.
  • acemuzzy
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    Chipolatas are surely English despite sounding foreign. Aren't they?
  • Kow
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    Leaving the EU is just a bone to right wing who think that the UK still has some kind of special status - it doesn't. Apart from possibly (although not necessarily) interfering with trade, the probable result is a reinforcing of the UK's position as US lapdog. Which is not necessarily a bad thing, depending on your view of political realism.
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  • acemuzzy wrote:
    Chipolatas are surely English despite sounding foreign. Aren't they?
    Does chipolata sound English to you?! Bah humbug!
    And they can take their cul de sacs and fin de siecle ennui as well while they're at it.
  • Yossarian
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    Kow wrote:
    Leaving the EU is just a bone to right wing who think that the UK still has some kind of special status - it doesn't. Apart from possibly (although not necessarily) interfering with trade, the probable result is a reinforcing of the UK's position as US lapdog. Which is not necessarily a bad thing, depending on your view of political realism.

    Although the US has indicated that the UK are only really useful insofar as we're a sympathetic ear in the EU. Although I suppose we'll still be there to provide the thinnest of veneers of support for America's next illegal war.
  • If we had a better government leaving might be worth something, not having EU restrictions and the like might free them to follow their own economic policies and differ slightly from the enforced neoliberalism that seems to be standard EU procedure.

    We don't though, and our government has no intention of persuing any alternative economic strategy. Except being that little bit crueller and more vindictive towards those at the bottom.

    The whole campaign seems to be being run on the most unappealing little Englander sentiments, than Horst and Fritz and their 'PC gone mad' Euro Union gangbang is diluting good old British culture and values, costing us money, and holding back the plucky Brits and their can-do, Dunkirk spirit with their petty rules and regulations.

    Or the swarms, the migrants swarming our nation, their greedy eyes lighting up at the riches on offer via our benefits system, closing down our chippies, not learning the language, wearing funny clothes, they're flooding in.

    "Human rights? I ask you. When I was a lad, we never had none of that. Didn't do us any harm. I didn't even know I had any rights until I was 25, I just got on with it!"
  • I'm against anything that could potentially delay the UK release of the new Fire Emblem.
    d(O_O)b
  • Kow
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    There's also the point that pulling out of the EU could potentially collapse it for everyone else too.

    I'm not a particularly big fan of the EU as a political entity but I think some democratic reform within the structure is preferable to its destruction. I'd be doubtful that leaving it could be beneficial at this point in the history of the world. It'll just be swimming upriver.
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  • djchump wrote:
    acemuzzy wrote:
    Chipolatas are surely English despite sounding foreign. Aren't they?
    Does chipolata sound English to you?! Bah humbug!
    And they can take their cul de sacs and fin de siecle ennui as well while they're at it.

    I always hear it being said in a Londonish accent.
  • Kow wrote:
    There's also the point that pulling out of the EU could potentially collapse it for everyone else too.

    I'm not a particularly big fan of the EU as a political entity but I think some democratic reform within the structure is preferable to its destruction. I'd be doubtful that leaving it could be beneficial at this point in the history of the world.

    There's a definite jenga feeling to all this.

    I'm kind of glad the eu stuck it out and didnt blink at daves knowledge of this and made the UK even more distinguished from the other eu countries.
  • Chipolatas are French. I don't know if this will affect your vote Muzzy.
  • Brilliant piece here from Dr Andy Williamson. He’s an EU analyst, critic and adviser. Does a good job of explaining what happens in various democratic bodies (EU included) in layman’s terms.

    Here, he takes the most common misconceptions and pro-exit arguments, and debunks them.

    I’m going to link and then quote a bit from the intro and conclusion.

    http://www.andywilliamson.com/10-points-to-consider-about-brexit-and-the-eu-referendum/
    We’re about to be inundated with a lot of pointless noise. If the pre-whining is anything to go by, most of it will be wrong. Frankly (as you might have gathered), I’d like the whole thing to just go away. It’s a pointless debate detracting us from things that really matter (like reforming the EU for the modern age or tax avoiding global corporations).

    In short, the idea of leaving the EU is somewhere between bat-shit crazy and economic suicide.

    Perhaps the most depressing thing is that this referendum, and an entire country’s future, is at risk of being decided through ignorance. Ignorance led by mis-information and a false sense of identity that fails to grasp that this is 2016, not 1816. We’re being fed a diet of half-truths and outright lies based on short-termism when the real issues are not just complex but fundamental to our economic and geopolitical future.
    Essentially, an exit from the EU would leave us with all the disadvantages of still being a member, but none of the power to vote on changing them. Like Norway. And it would add a whole lot of new and exciting disadvantages on top.
  • GooberTheHat
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    Cheers Pop. I'll have a look at that.
  • Blue Swirl
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    Another thread that'll cause high blood pressure, so I'll usually avoid.

    For the record, I'm EU ambivalent*. But the best argument I've seen from the 'leave' campaign is "it's full of foreigners", so I'm probably voting to stay because I'm not a frothing Daily Mail reading xenophobe.

    *Like the big hoohah about the single currency. I don't care what symbol is in front of the number that means Monies, as long as the number of Monies I have in my bank account is the correct one. Call them Quatloos for all I fucking care.
    Make game, make sure game works, print game on disc. It's the future. - SpaceGazelle
  • Blue Swirl wrote:
    I don't care what symbol is in front of the number that means Monies, as long as the number of Monies I have in my bank account is the correct one. Call them Quatloos for all I fucking care.

    What they’re called isn’t the issue though. It’s about how much one currency is worth against others, and what one pound or one euro actually buys you. You’ll have the right amount of monies in your bank account, but things might cost you more monies to buy.
  • I've found in conversations about this issue that people have almost entirely made up their minds:

    1. They hate the EU and nothing you can say will dissuade them from voting Go.

    2. They love / like / appreciate / don't like but better than alternative the EU and nothing you can say will dissuade them from voting Stay.

    3. They really don't give a shit about any of is and nothing you can say will dissuade them from not bothering to vote.

    It's far too much effort and I've given up. I'm voting Stay because to me it seems bloody obvious it's the best thing to do despite all the shitty things the EU does behind closed doors. If we leave we'll still have shitty things happening but none of the balancing that the EU brings to the table. We'll still bring in TTIP, we'll still be ruled by dodgy foreign money and aspirational fuckwits.

    Basically i'm voting to stay because England is full of absolute cunts who are two steps away from voting Trump, and the EU is not quite so full of absolute cunts, in my experience.
  • What makes me lol about the sticking it to johnny foreigner lets make gb great again rhetoric is that the EU was founded on the back of the cost of the millions of lives given showing johnny foreigner what the score was in the first place. Seems a bit shit to turn your back on the sacrifices of those guys instead of deciding to try harder to reform the EU for the betterment of all member states, rather than just our own, which newsflash, seeing as we are one of the richest states contributing, we are likely to see less bang for our buck than the poorer countries we are trying to support so they can develop and in turn make a larger contribution themselves. That is how it should work.

    Except debt based economies and capitalist practices that pretty much demand individualistic behaviour from entities, which has now become the way most people think "how will this benefit ME?" run contrary to the way people need to be thinking about the EU. The EU never offers value for money, value for money is a business concept, not a quality of life concept, sadly.

    Anyway that's not why I want to stay in. I just think its an interesting thought. Or something.
    http://www.twitch.tv/mm_roujin - I stream games, why not stop by and say hello, or tell me to go fuck myself.
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  • 'Cunts, or slightly-lesser cunts?' The nation decides...
  • I'm voting Go because it's one step further along the path to a time when our glorious England can shake free of the shackles of Wales and Scotland by dynamiting the borders, building a giant dome, strapping rockets to the underside and blasting ourselves into orbit to assume our correct supreme position looking down on all.
  • Isn’t it more like ‘unregulated posh British cunts, or European cunts we have some influence on?’
  • djchump wrote:
    I'm voting Go because it's one step further along the path to a time when our glorious England can shake free of the shackles of Wales and Scotland by dynamiting the borders, building a giant dome, strapping rockets to the underside and blasting ourselves into orbit to assume our correct supreme position looking down on all.

    You’re not taking Yorkshire away from me, lad.
  • The Yorkshire Orbital Habitat will be a separatist law unto itself.
  • Yorkshire’s too grounded to float.
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