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Bangpuss
26-01-2013, 03:11 PM
A lot of folks on the left are saying that we may be better off out of the EU. They've got a point. The EU is just another layer of unaccountable government. As much of a cliche as it is though, I tend to think we're better off in than out. What do you think?

Sectionfive
26-01-2013, 07:50 PM
Tis difficult.

On the flip, being part of the union provides a certain level of commonality between the European left also. (as it does for the right course)

England's position to the whole thing is an interesting one though. Leaving aside the historical stuff, how do say attitudes to them over in Brussels compare to similar feeling towards them down in the South East? The EU is fucking nightmare at the moment obviously but a lot of imbalances in the UK have their root closer to home do they not? And in one part of that (and indeed the current sabre rattling) is the spectre of the City. What's good for them means usually the opposite for the rest of us in some way or another.

Mr. Tea
27-01-2013, 06:27 PM
Nice one Lewis, now I've got Bono in my head singing "With or without EU..." :mad:

IdleRich
28-01-2013, 11:52 AM
I think that we (those of in the UK) are very lucky that we didn't join the Euro. Beyond that though I'm not sure. I think that the EU on the whole is a good thing but the way it's run plays directly into those who hate everything about Europe. The Commission (which really runs it) is unelected as far as us proles go and the parliament which doesn't have as much power is elected - why is that?
Anyway, the UK is quite nicely positioned I guess, to some extent being able to pick and choose which parts it wants. I'm not sure that that position is sustainable or fair though.

Mr. Tea
29-01-2013, 12:22 PM
It's weird, a lot of people who are broadly on the left seem to reflexively support the EU when it's not, when you get down to it, a particularly socialistic project. I think it's just because both small- and big-C conservatives in Britain tend overwhelmingly to be euroskeptics, so if you think of yourself as a leftist you can easily fall into thinking that the only sensible position is a pro-EU one.

My dad loves to bang on about how the UK is a net contributor to the EU but he reads the Torygraph and probably doesn't appreciate that being a member massively facilitates trade with the rest of the EU, which buys about half of all our exports. I don't think successive governments would have allowed the UK to stay in the EU if it wasn't good for our economy on balance.

As Rich says, there's a huge problem in the unaccountability of those who hold power and make decisions in the EU, and I think the left has been foolish to allow the right to make this issue their own personal bugbear.

Bangpuss
29-01-2013, 02:35 PM
It's pretty hard to level with things like the Common Agricultural Policy (most of the subsidies go to big landowners like Prince Charles) and the wastage of fish as a result of the EU's fishing policies. The austerity imposed in exchange for bailouts is cruel and ironically similar to the reparations heaped on Germany at the Treaty of Versailles (which is ushering in violent fascists in Greece -- surprise, surprise). Also bundled in with austerity is the demand that state services be privatised, no doubt so that friends of EU technocrats (MANDELSON) can line their pockets. The whole thing stinks to high heaven.

But I still think we're better in this rotten mess than out of it. Because we'll still have austerity and privatisation if we leave, but none of the protections such as the EU working time directive which, although enshrined in UK law, will be easy to abolish once we leave the EU. We'd also have to unilaterally renegotiate trade agreements with places like South Korea, which is dick-hungry for western goods. Not being able to move to France/Spain and work would also suck for the few Brits with the linguistic abilities to be able to do that.

I really fucking hope the things Cameron doesn't try to negotiate are the working time directives and the things that actually protect us as individuals.

Slothrop
29-01-2013, 02:45 PM
I really fucking hope the things Cameron doesn't try to negotiate are the working time directives and the things that actually protect us as individuals.
It terrifies me that ordinary people quote the working time directives and the ECHR as being downsides to being in Europe rather than upsides...

Bangpuss
29-01-2013, 03:07 PM
ECHR isn't an EU thing, it's Council of Europe (don't ask), so that would still remain. Hopefully. Hopefully. There's talk of walking out of that treaty (which Churchill wanted us in, and ratified) and having a "British Bill of Rights," which will obviously be about as powerful a document as those signs next to pub doors that ask you to please leave quietly.

Mr. Tea
29-01-2013, 03:43 PM
It's pretty hard to level with things like the Common Agricultural Policy (most of the subsidies go to big landowners like Prince Charles) and the wastage of fish as a result of the EU's fishing policies.

I know it sounds insane to pay farmers not to farm but set-aside is an absolute godsend for biodiversity in Britain, which needs all the help it can get, let's face it. OTOH the effect on fisheries is absolutely disastrous, as you mention. t's a really mixed bag.

IdleRich
29-01-2013, 04:00 PM
"It terrifies me that ordinary people quote the working time directives and the ECHR as being downsides to being in Europe rather than upsides..."
ECHR has thoroughly lost the PR battle.


"I know it sounds insane to pay farmers not to farm but set-aside is an absolute godsend for biodiversity in Britain, which needs all the help it can get, let's face it."
But there has to be a way to do this without giving the Duke of Westminster multimillion pound subsidies.

Mr. Tea
29-01-2013, 04:44 PM
But there has to be a way to do this without giving the Duke of Westminster multimillion pound subsidies.

Yes, that is a bit of a down side. The way land is owned and distributed in Britain is really very archaic, I think. Although far less so than in Andalucía, if Dan's book is anything to go by.

baboon2004
29-01-2013, 05:00 PM
"Unlike much of continental Europe, the UK has experienced little major redistribution of land ownership since the dissolution of the monasteries in the 16th century"

http://www.bis.gov.uk/assets/foresight/docs/landuse/jlup/12_land_ownership_in_the_united_kingdom_-_trends_preferences_and_future.pdf

seems interesting

Sectionfive
29-01-2013, 07:32 PM
Think our departure may have skewed the figures against ye on that one