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Old 09-25-2016, 11:44 AM
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It is commonly believed that the primary factor behind the UK's vote to Leave the EU was immigration. However, it appears there is another issue that may be even more motivating to the British public, which is the huge amounts of money that the UK "kicks up" to the EU.

While 79% of the British public want to end free movement of people from the EU, 81% say Britain must stop paying into the EU budget.

Britain has no regrets about Brexit, polling guru finds

Giving his verdict on public attitudes three months on from the referendum, Prof Curtice also revealed most Brits have two red lines in the looming Brexit negotations. Polls show 79% of people want an end to the free movement of people from Europe after we leave. And an even higher proportion - 81% - say Britain must stop paying into the EU budget.

The professor said this second point has so far received far less attention than demands for a clampdown on immigration. "It's a sovereignty issue," he told the Mirror. "Most people do not feel European in this country. And so there is an argument about the legitimacy of this £350million (per week) that we don't 'control', that the EU decides how is spent. "(People think) - 'Why does the EU have the right to spend 'our' money?'"

By contrast most people are happy to put up with EU trade regulations if it means Britain maintains access to the lucrative single market, he said. Only 17% of voters say ditching all EU regulations should be a red line in the Brexit talks.

Prof Curtice, a polling expert at Strathclyde University who ran the BBC's massive exit poll at the 2015 general election, made clear there is no evidence to back up Remain camp claims that Brexit voters now regret their decision.
As professor Curtice observes, this is a sovereignty issue. It is pretty simple really. The majority of the UK does not want to be a small part of a larger EU. They want their country back and they have voted to take it back, regardless of how unimaginable that is to the establishment elitists both in the UK and especially in the EU.

Also, while most of the talk has been about controlling immigration, this is more of an ideological issue from the EU's perspective. Practically speaking, the UK's decision to stop "kicking up" £18 Billion per year is a much bigger, more serious problem.

In fact, the UK is the second richest economy in Europe and there are quite a few of the 27 EU countries that are dependent on the largess of the inter-EU redistributions of wealth to maintain their economies. Now with the EU not being there for the EU to leach off of anymore, this will just force all of these countries and the EU to tighten their belts even tighter than they already are.

If the UK government respects these two "red line" requirements, which it currently appears that they will, it seems pretty obvious that there is no way that they will continue to be voting members of the "Single Market". They will have access to the Single Market, for sure. Just as we and countries around the world also do. But voting membership? No chance.

Last edited by Spartacus713; 09-25-2016 at 01:00 PM..
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Old 09-26-2016, 08:13 AM
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So what's up over in the EU you are probably asking. Where to start....

With all the talk about immigration and Brexit, what seems to have been largely forgotten are the gargantuan financial and fiscal problems the Eurozone continues to struggle with.

As you may recall, in 2008 Greece was poised to be the first country to leave the EU as a result of its complete fiscal mismanagement and its inability to pay its bills. The EU, the IMF and the Germans all joined hands and bailed the Greeks out, despite a great deal of consternation, weeping, wailing, name-calling, finger-pointing, and gnashing of teeth.

Since then there have been two more Greek bailouts, as the terms of the previous two proved to be too onerous. So surely this is all worked out now and the Greeks are back on track to be responsible and dependable financial partners to the EU and the world now. Right? Actually no.

In fact, none of the problems from the 2008 meltdown in Europe have been effectively addressed at all, much less fixed. The other countries that were positioned close behind Greece to receive bailouts are still there in that same position. In fact, five EU countries have received bailout assistance from the EU, including Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Cyprus and of course Greece. Also, Italy is having real difficulties and the level of rhetoric from that country has risen to disturbing levels.

Anyway, we can discuss these other countries and the collective economic problems of the EU further some other time. Let's just stick with Greece for today.

As part of the third Greek bailout, there were 15 pretty difficult reforms that Greece committed to in order to get the money. They were all supposed to be completed well before now. Only two of the 15 have been completed, and the Greek's leftist government appears to be unwilling to complete the rest. The next €2.8 Billion of funding is being withheld, which the Greeks are apparently desperate to receive.

Greece faces standoff over bailout funds after Athens fails to impose reforms

Greece is facing another bailout standoff with its creditors amid reports that eurozone countries will refuse to release additional funds to it this month. Athens has frustrated its peers in the single currency by implementing only two of the 15 reforms that were a condition of last year’s rescue package. EU officials told German daily Handelsblatt that Greece has delayed privatising state assets, adding to the frustrations of eurozone finance ministers who will discuss progress on Friday.

Further funds are due to be disbursed under the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), which will give Greece up to €86bn (£72bn) of financial assistance by 2018 in return for reforms. After approving a first tranche of €10.3bn this spring, of which €7.5bn has so far been released, the 19 finance ministers are due to disburse the rest this month but might withhold payment for the rest of the year. A further finance ministers’ meeting is planned for 21 September.

A year after the crisis was declared over, Greece is still spiralling down. Read more

The gridlock report came after the head of the ESM said at the weekend that Greece should be able to secure at least short-term debt relief measures but only if it began implementing the remaining reforms. “We have been working on these measures and they could be implemented very soon,” Klaus Regling told Greek newspaper Ta Nea. “We hope the government implements remaining prior actions very soon,” he added. EU officials are demanding that Athens pushes on with plans to set up a new privatisation fund, sell specific state assets, and reform its civil service.

Eight years into the country’s financial crisis, life has become harder for most Greeks. Unemployment is the highest in Europe and one survey in June found that extreme poverty had risen from 2.2% of the population in 2009 to 15% – a total of 1.6 million people – last year.

{more at the link}
The Greeks are apparently looking forward to negotiations for a substantial debt restructuring (debt forgiveness), perhaps later this year. Of course all this has been discussed repeatedly over the past eight years, but their creditors are not willing to write-off the debt and the Germans under Angela Merkel are not of a mind to bail them out any further, or to pick up the tab for this mess either. Also, with Angela Merkel having been severely weakened by her ongoing mishandling of the EU immigration debacle, she has no extra political capital to spare on behalf of Greece.

In fact, there appears to be no way out for Greece, other than to default on its massive debts and to leave the Euro and the EU, returning to the drachma as its national currency. The other members of the EU have been doing everything in their power to keep this from happening, in part because they have been worried that once an EU member actually leaves, then it will be much easier for the second member to leave, and so on.

Of course the UK has already announced it is leaving, so that argument is not nearly as persuasive, although they could say the same thing about the second and the third members leaving.

Greece cannot repay these debts. They cannot do it. It appears to be just a matter of time before Greece finally decides that it too must follow the UK's example and file for international divorce from the EU.

So the UK's pending departure is hardly the only concern that the EU is confronting with regards to the disintegration of the EU.
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Old 09-28-2016, 06:39 AM
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The EU Nordic countries, including Sweden, Finland and Denmark, met earlier today to discuss the need for closer ties on issues that the UK has traditionally taken the lead on within the EU. These countries are very concerned about the ramifications of the UK's departure, as all of these countries do a great deal of trade with Britain and have close ties going back more than a thousand years.

Nordic Leaders Seek EU Pact Over Post-Brexit Power Play

Although Britain isn’t expected to formally leave the EU for years, top officials are already beginning to worry. One particular source of concern involves payments into the EU budget. "Without the U.K. there will have to be a completely new discussion on the next long-term EU budget," Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Loefven said. "Our position is clear. If you have less income you should also have lower expenditure."

Forging Alliances

Although the Nordic leaders stopped short of forging a formal alliance within the EU, they’ve already started cooperating more closely. Last month, the three met in Berlin with their colleagues from Germany and the Netherlands to discuss how to counterbalance the growing power of less fiscally prudent EU members like France and Italy.

"The political debate isn’t just about counting votes," Danish Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen said in an interview when asked about future changes to the balance of power in Brussels. "It’s also about setting the tone and agenda and some countries have been hiding behind the U.K. while it did the fighting. When that strong voice is no longer there, others have to step up," Rasmussen added, listing the Nordics, Germany and the Netherlands as natural partners for Denmark.

In the meantime, Nordic nations including non-EU member Norway are keen to keep Britain, a top export destination, as close as possible to the EU’s internal market. The idea that Britain might be able to remain a member of the common market without the freedom movement of labor that goes with it appeals to populist parties in the Nordics, which would be keen to copy such an arrangement.
Within the EU, the UK has for a long time been regarded as the bad-boy, as it were, because they are the ones to stand most strongly for issues like controlling immigration; and also fiscal and financial responsibility, accountability and restraint by the its members. But the Nordic countries have been supportive of these ideas too, at least in spirit, .

Now that the UK is not going to be around to do their dirty work for them any more, they are developing closer ties to take these stances and to do this work themselves, as their people are apparently just as passionate about these values as the Brits are, although the Northmen do appear to be less outspoken.
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Old 09-28-2016, 07:19 AM
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Meanwhile, back in the UK, the Labour party is holding its annual party conference. Labor appears to be split on the issue of Brexit. They were all nearly opposed at the time of the referendum, but now they are apparently mostly committed to supporting the process of exiting the EU.

It is interesting to note that most of the support that UKIP has gained over the last year or so has apparently been in Labour districts, so these members are looking at this as an existential issue for them. if a general election was held in the UK today, many in the labor party fear that UKIP would likely siphon off enough support to leave Labour in significantly worse position in the UK parliament than they are already. However, if Brexit goes through, the justification for the existence of UKIP vanishes, as UKIP is largely a one-issue party.

Also, as Labour MP Rachel Reeves stated at the Labour party conference, if immigration is not curbed - which requires the UK to leave the EU - then there is a real possibility in a number of labor districts of rioting in the streets, which was last seen over this issue in the UK in 2011.

Labour MP Rachel Reeves: Riots could sweep streets of Britain if immigration isn't curbed after Brexit

Former Shadow Cabinet minister Rachel Reeves has warned that Britain could "explode" into rioting if immigration is not curbed after Brexit. The former Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary warned that there were "bubbling tensions" over immigration that could spill over into violence if the deal agreed with the rest of the EU did not include an end to freedom of movement.

Speaking at a fringe event at the Labour Party Conference in Liverpool on Tuesday afternoon, the Leeds West MP said the party must listen to voters’ concerns. She said: "We have got to get this right because there are bubbling tensions in this country that I just think could explode. "You had those riots in 2011... If riots started again in Leeds and bits of my constituency - it's like a tinderbox."

Ms Reeves, who left the Shadow Cabinet last year when Jeremy Corbyn was first elected leader, rejected claims that she was "Red Ukip" for calling for an end to mass immigration. She was one of several moderate Labour MPs who campaigned for Britain to remain in the EU but said it should accept immigration controls now that the public had decided to leave.

In an essay for a collection released by the Fabian Society earlier this month, she wrote: "Immigration controls and ending free movement has to be a red line post-Brexit – otherwise we we will be holding the voters in contempt. "Subject to that, we need the greatest possible access that we can get to the single market without free movement."
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Old 09-28-2016, 08:18 AM
Location: Great Britain
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The Labour Party under Corbyn are very unlikely to get in to power imho.

If you are really interested in Brexit there are some threads on both the European Forum and the UK Forum, and you would be welcome to join in any debate.

You seem to hold a similar view to a significant number of Brits.
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Old 09-29-2016, 01:59 PM
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In the clearest indication yet that the UK government is lining itself up for a "hard Brexit," Trade Secretary Liam Fox stated today that Britain is on course to become a 'newly independent member' of the WTO. Of course the UK is already a member of the WTO as part of the EU. If they become a "newly independent member," they will have unequivocally departed the single market, in no uncertain terms.

Liam Fox declares Britain is ON COURSE to become 'newly independent member' of WTO

The senior Cabinet minister pledged that the UK is on course to become a "newly independent member" of the World Trade Organisation following last summer's historic Brexit referendum vote. His indication delighted supporters of a so-called "hard Brexit" with a clear breach from Brussels red-tape and regulation. He also promised that Britain will be in a "prime position to be a global leader in free trade" after quitting the EU.

Dr Fox spoke out yesterday in a keynote speech in favour of global free trade given at Manchester Town Hall. It comes ahead of next week's Tory conference in Birmingham, where Theresa May is expected to give more details of her plans for negotiating Britain's EU exit. Dr Fox told his audience: "As a newly independent WTO [World Trade Organisation] member outside the EU, we will continue to fight for trade liberalisation as well as potentially helping developing markets trade their way out of poverty by giving them preferential access to our markets."

His remarks were seen last night as a signal that Britain will leave the EU's Single Market and Customs Union. As long as the UK remains a member of the EU, the country will be represented by Brussels at the World Trade Organisation rather than having its own seat.
In my opinion, the smartest negotiating strategy for the Brits is to head full-on for a full break from the EU, which means triggering Article 50 and then focusing on establishing their own independent membership in the WTO. Then the EU can try to 'talk them off of the ledge' if they like. But in all seriousness, this is likely to be the end result anyway, perhaps with a 'free' trade agreement of some sort or another negotiated between the UK and the EU later.
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Old 09-29-2016, 02:11 PM
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Some really good material in this thread.
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Old 09-29-2016, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by PedroMartinez View Post
Some really good material in this thread.
Thank you. I am enjoying chronicling this series of events. I really do think that the combination of the instability in the EU and Brexit are the #1 story on Earth this year, bar none.

Nevertheless, it does not appear that many other people in this forum are particularly interested.
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Old 09-29-2016, 02:18 PM
Location: On a Long Island in NY
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With or without the UK, the EU is on borrowed time. It's days are numbered. The French and the Germans squandered the idea by trying to forge a Franco-German Empire out of a trade pact.

My advice, stay in the EU for now and wait for it to die a natural death. At least there will still be a UK when that happens. What's the point in leaving now if all your going to be left with is a rump and irrelevant England? England without the UK is like Timbuktu.
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Old 09-29-2016, 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Spartacus713 View Post
Thank you. I am enjoying chronicling this series of events. I really do think that the combination of the instability in the EU and Brexit are the #1 story on Earth this year, bar none.

Nevertheless, it does not appear that many other people in this forum are particularly interested.
Well, you've educated me quite a bit, and I appreciate it.
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