Leading article

Sorry, Chancellor, but the economic argument for the EU has not been won. Here’s why

21 May 2016

9:00 AM

21 May 2016

9:00 AM

A Ryanair plane in a Stansted hangar was not the best backdrop for George Osborne’s claim that the economic argument about the European Union is now over and that his ‘consensus’ has prevailed. In recent years, Ryanair has lost its status as the fastest-growing budget airline in Europe: that honour goes to Norwegian Air, which has thrived outside the EU. And on the day of the Chancellor’s speech, a group of Ryanair passengers had announced their intention to take out a lawsuit against the company for what they see as unfair tricks to disguise the true cost of tickets.

The Chancellor does the reverse of Ryanair: he tries to frighten us about the imaginary costs and charges of a ticket to Brexit. Far from the closing down the economic debate, however, his latest batch of scare stories raise interesting new possibilities. If house prices really were to fall, as he now tells us would happen in the event of Brexit, would that be such a bad thing? Not if you are one of the millions of young people unable to afford a home thanks to surging house price inflation over the past 20 years. Or if you want to buy a bigger property and are aghast at the amount you need to borrow to do so.

The Treasury declared this week that leaving the EU would push up inflation from its current 0.3 per cent. Again, would that really be so terrible? The target is 2 per cent. If interest rates rose, savers might be granted some relief — and the economy might, after ten years, be heading towards something resembling normality. As for the prophecy that sterling would fall, many exporters would be cock-a-hoop if it did. It would make their goods far cheaper: indeed, after a sterling correction, the problem for British manufacturers might end up being an inability to cope with demand.

It’s funny to think that just a few months ago Osborne was telling his cabinet colleagues that they could not really campaign on the economy because the arguments would be implausible. After all, the British economy had just created more jobs than all the other European countries put together — how could we claim that the world’s fifth largest economy could not go it alone? Last year the Prime Minister himself said he wanted to ‘debunk’ what ‘some people seem to say’: that Britain couldn’t flourish outside of the EU.


Now both are making the reverse argument. And, worse, claiming that their opponents are fantasists who believe in the Loch Ness monster (the Chancellor’s analogy) or offer succour to the Islamic State (as the Prime Minister bizarrely suggested this week).

With five weeks to go until the referendum, it’s understandable that Cameron and Osborne should end up exaggerating their positions. One has to forgive them, to appreciate that such campaigns are stressful and make politicians (and businesses) say daft things. But the figures being spewed out ought not to be confused with sober economic analysis. Take the Chancellor’s claim that households would be £4,300 worse off 15 years after Brexit. Even if one accepts the Treasury’s study, built  on a pile-up of rosy scenarios, households would be £5,400 better off after Brexit. And (on the Treasury’s maths) about £6,880 better off if we stay in the EU. So there is a gap of about £1,480, a sum that could be easily remedied by tax cuts.

The Confederation of British Industry commissioned a similar study from PriceWaterhouseCoopers to bolster the case for remaining in the EU. This found the British economy would grow by 41 per cent by 2030 if we stayed in the EU, but by 39 per cent if we were to leave and strike a free trade agreement. Its worst-case scenario – no deal with the EU and a reversion to World Trade Organisation maximum tariffs – would mean economic growth of 36 per cent over those 15 years, rather than 41 per cent. The difference between these figures is hardly terrifying – and, many would argue, a small price for the retrieval of British sovereignty. When you consider the error margins for 15-year forecasts, the gap becomes even less significant.

So the economics, if honestly stated, simply do not represent a compelling case against Britain leaving the EU. This is why the Chancellor had to sex it up by concocting his own figures, and ended up hauled up before a parliamentary committee to explain why had had done so.

The choice on 23 June is not between security or a gamble. It is between the uncertainty of staying in a deeply troubled European Union, which may yet collapse, or the uncertainty of Britain wresting itself from that union and offering to work with her neighbours on her own terms. The Remain side still has the advantage of being the default position: if in doubt, many will be inclined to vote for no change. But trying to spin false stories about economic Armageddon could yet turn the country against them.

 

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Show comments
  • emptyend

    Anyone who is seriously concerned about this issue of governemental lying should sign and pass on to others this petition which addresses the precise issue in this article: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/128217

  • thammond

    Strange last paragraph. Why would we accept a Norway style deal, when it’s not very clear why Norway accepted (accepts) it?

    Norway is country where the politicians desperately want to join the EU but the population does not. As a result, the politicians keep accepting EU regulation, even when the treaty with the EU means they do not have to do so.

    Noway has a veto over EU legislation but has never used it. So instead of simply accepting that exporting businesses have to comply with the rules of the country they are exporting to – which is true of exporting businesses in every country in the world – they have put in place EU legislation for every business and every citizen.

    Thanks to its craven political class, Norway has pretty much the worst of both worlds. The UK has no reason to accept such a strange situation post-Brexit.

    • Dacorum

      I agree.

      We would not simply have to accept a Norway style deal because we are the world’s fifth largest economy and would be the EU’s largest export market. The EU would want to minimise the effect of Brexit because if they took the opposite course, there would be huge political and economic consequences that would threaten the future of the EU.

      Would the EU really be looking for a trade war in which EU countries will end up paying more in tariffs to the UK than the UK pay to the EU because we import far more than we export to them? We might even find a way of using the tariff surplus to help our exporters overcome the effect of EU tariffs.

      I expect that when we negotiate a far better deal than Norway, I would expect the political pressure would grow on their politicians to grow a pair and negotiate better terms for Norway and, as loyal allies of ours, we should be prepared to help them do so.

    • Frank

      I think that Norway has only accepted circa 10% of EU regulations, so it is not in our position!

    • WFC

      Given that Norway (and the EEA) has an unfettered right to implement, or not, whatever EU legislation it chooses, “veto” doesn’t really come into it.

      They also have a bigger say, at the drafting stage, than EU members. Because if the Commission wants Norway (and/or the other EEA members) to implement a piece of legislation, they have to get their agreement as to its terms long before it goes to the Council or Parliament.

    • BTejon

      norway keeps rejecting EU legislation.

    • Aberrant_Apostrophe

      Norway implements only 8% of EU laws, primarily so it can trade in the Single Market. It pays heavily for the privilege, both in financial terms and in having the burden of Free Movement.

  • Frank

    Osborne really does come across as a slime-ball.
    Not sure what his job prospects are going to be like come late June given his dreadful track record as Chancellor and the lies spewed out in the Remain campaign, perhaps he will have to go and hide in America – perhaps he can sell wallpaper in Dakota!

    • davidblameron

      Folding towels in the Dorchester Hotel possibly.

      • Frank

        Can you do that if you look as if you might molest someone

    • Callan

      He is keeping his “Ace” up his sleeve. Wait until he announces leaving the EU will mean massive cuts to welfare benefits. The great unwashed will be queuing up to cast their votes for “Remain”. Couple that with the fraudulent postal vote and the wishes of the sensible, hard working population to get out of this corrupt organisation will be steamrollered under.

      • Frank

        You could be right, but I seriously wouldn’t want to be in his shoes come 24 June, whatever the outcome of the referendum. Are we going to be paying for Met police bodyguards for the rest of his life?

      • Conway

        I have already spoken to one remainiac who’s staying because of his benefits.

  • SeaNote

    EUrope is the EUnification of EUnuchs.
    Just cut some trade deals between the countries and encourage their different cultures to compete.

  • CockneyblokefromReading

    The trouble is now, getting the truth across to the people taken in by the daily dribble of ‘lies of calamity’. I can tell you all, speaking to people about the EU on a daily basis, many are falling for some of these lies. There are those that, shall we say, aren’t blessed with too much intelligence – who still see through the ‘sky will fall’ silliness. But equally, there are very many who are being taken in. We must hope that those won’t vote. The Obama thing seems to have backfired spectacularly, listening to people, but the tales of woe that our economy will be affected seem to be having an effect.

    Again, the Leave campaign isn’t very good at countering this. They are not making the case strongly enough – that we will have £billions at our disposal if we exit. We need to get the message out that we will have money that we are currently literally giving away (£23,500,000 per day).

    • John Booth

      The answer is to avoid or downplay the economic arguments. The message to push to people is this: What will happen if we leave the EU? Actually, no one really knows, so there would be uncertainty but whether we gain a bit, lose a bit, what does that really matter? For me, it’s entirely emotional – do I want to be governed by unelected, unaccountable foreign bureaucrats who I didn’t vote for and cannot remove or by elected politicians I can vote for and can throw out and be a sovereign country again?

      I simply don’t understand anyone who wants our country to be subsumed by a Supranational Government, unelected and unaccountable, a one-party dictatorship. This is no longer a secret. This is the official aim of the EU and what will happen to us if we remain in.

      23rd June – Independence Day!

  • John Booth

    The economic argument?

    It’s not the economy, stupid!

    What will happen if we leave the EU? Actually, no one really knows, so there would be uncertainty but whether we gain a bit, lose a bit, what does that really matter? For me, it’s entirely emotional – do I want to be governed by unelected, unaccountable foreign bureaucrats who I didn’t vote for and cannot remove or by elected politicians I can vote for and can throw out and be a sovereign country again?

    I simply don’t understand anyone who wants our country to be subsumed by a Supranational Government, unelected and unaccountable, a one-party dictatorship. This is no longer a secret. This is the official aim of the EU and what will happen to us if we remain in.

    23rd June – Independence Day!

    • John Carins

      Agreed. It is as simple as that. However, we are faced with people who just don’t care or understand the relevance of sovereignty. What is sure is that business here and abroad will adapt to us reclaiming our independence on 24th June

      • John Booth

        Precisely. We have nothing to fear. Cameron et al are the ones with something to fear – their careers, reputations and the guaranteed sinecure of a cosy non-job in Brussels.

    • Tamerlane

      No, that’s not true. If we leave the EU we will wake up the following morning speaking in tongues, and giant man eating monsters will drop from the skies to devour our children and great buboes will break out over our bodies and gigantic flesh eating spiders will erupt from them and Benedict Cummerbatch will have to wait an extra three minutes for his dry cleaning. No. No. I tell you. It’s all bad, bad, bad.

      • John Booth

        Hahaha! Excellent. It’s worse than I thought…..!

      • Marvin

        Actually, we would achieve what King Canute couldn’t. Turn the sewage back towards France and beyond.

      • Conway

        You forgot that the sky will rain blood and Nessie will move south.

    • Atlas

      Exactly, Cameron and the rest of the EU apparatchiks are simply trying to distract from the epic reality of the choice they have given us. June 23rd is they day we choose between liberty and tyranny, choose whether we wish to see our democratic rights snuffed out by foreign imposition or whether we will follow our forefathers in resisting subjugation.

  • James Chilton

    According to a BBC “report”, scores of UK “stars” say that leaving the EU will damage the “creative industry”. A bloke called Cumberbatch, if that’s his real name, is especially worried about the perils of Britain recovering full sovereignty and not being ruled by faceless wretches in Brussels.

    • Uzaydan Misafir

      This Cumberbatch bloke had his engagement announced in The Times. Not sure what kind of people read The Times but I don’t think they are Little Englanders.

      • Conway

        You mean they are Little Europeans?

        • Uzaydan Misafir

          No,
          I mean they are the people you want to be. The ones ruling your country.

  • davidblameron

    I won’t be optimistic about Britain LEAVE ing the EU until the result is announced on Friday June 24th. Please don’t be complacent.

    • rob232

      Even if Brexit wins, we won’t leave. There will be another referendum to get it right.

      • davidblameron

        The Prime Minister himself pledged there will be only one vote and the result will be binding.
        Something tells me you don’t trust your own Prime Minister.

        • rob232

          I don’t believe Brexit will win. The result I expect is 54 percent to remain. However if Brexit wins it will be by a similar margin and the general opinion will be that it isn’t a convincing enough majority. New concessions will be made in further negotiations with our European partners and the electorate will be asked to vote on them. We are not going to leave.

          • davidblameron

            I would have agreed with you 100% around January time but Cameron hasn’t the stomach to carry it and the big hitters on the stay in camp are turning into a cabal, however large ; they don’t have a moral case even if they believe their own economic arguments. The yearning to LEAVE has got too loud, it won’t be silenced now.

          • rob232

            I don’t live in the UK so I’m only giving my gut feeling. I hope you’re right but I have my reservations.

          • davidblameron

            you don’t live in the UK
            on the level, you’re a lucky devil.

          • rob232

            Much worse. I live in Spain which has experienced the full brunt of Euro madness. Merkel personally raised the rates of VAT. The EU has completely ruined the economy here.

          • Tom M

            I agree with your expectation about the remain vote unfortunately. I amuse myself in the bath with the opposite result and Cameron declaring it null and void because it is too close and how we will need another referendum. Picture Juncker nodding sagely in the background.

    • BTejon

      lots of stupid people ‘i just want the facts’……. will vote remain as they seem to be unable to think about democracy and why liberty is crucial.

      • Aberrant_Apostrophe

        Cameron produce that £9m completely one-sided ‘fact sheet’ in response to exactly that plea. Allegedly.

      • Tom M

        I agree. I think those who bleat on about wanting “facts” just really want someone they like to tell them how to vote. There has never been a generation that has had more facts available at their fingertips than this one.

        • Conway

          There are certainly more real facts available than in 1975. We didn’t have the Internet then.

  • MrBishi

    Oh dear.
    Even the Brexit lead economist, prof Patrick Minford says:
    “Over time, if we left the EU, it seems likely that we would mostly eliminate manufacturing, leaving mainly industries such as design, marketing and hi-tech. But this shouldn’t scare us.”
    http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/politics/7001119/Brexit-will-boost-our-economy-says-Professor-Patrick-Minford.html
    Manufacturing workers must be queuing up to vote Brexit.
    The motor industry alone is worth £60 billion to the UK GDP so please explain how we service our £1.7 TRILLION public sector debt and the £70 billion fiscal deficit and the £100 billion foreign trade debt.

    • davidofkent

      The Motor Industry claims £51bn and they must be over-egging the cake because it would be in their interests. I refuse to believe that all this would go if we left the EU, but I can see that some exports to the EU might be restricted. OTOH, the Germans would soon reverse that when we added an extra import duty to their Mercedes & Volkswagens, etc, in return.

      • MrBishi

        Denial is very comfortable, I’m told.
        All the experts and company directors are wrong but Boris Johnson is right!
        Why not?

        • commenteer

          They were all wrong about the Euro. Or perhaps you think they were right, MrBishi?

    • IvorSchwartzporsche

      If we vote to remain the manufacturers have promised not to use robotics in future, eh?

      • MrBishi

        Oh how I love a Luddite.
        Can I have your autograph?
        Tell me about why the earth is flat again… please.

    • John Carins

      The motor industry is now almost completely owned by foreign companies. The workers are but slaves and are at the mercy of the decisions made in Boards in foreign lands. On the broader point of UK manufacturing’s decline: this has happened since 1973 whilst being members of the EU. Staying in the EU is unlikely to halt a mindset that is unsupportive to manufacturing

      • MrBishi

        I blame the poor weather on the EU.

        • John Carins

          You make a good point.

        • davidblameron

          And when we get a long scorcher which we are going to? It was announced in the DT, no less.

          • MrBishi

            The DT is morphing into the Express.

      • HJ777

        Rather well paid for slaves.

    • HJ777

      What he’s referring to is basic manufacturing, where the numbers in employment shrank rapidly under the last Labour government (because of falling output and higher productivity).

      The point is that manufacturing companies in the UK tend, except where local manufacture is definitely needed (for reasons of fast response or perishabiity) to be moving towards only highly specialised/skilled manufacture. This has not much to do with whether we are in the EU or not.

      • MrBishi

        You comment is untrue.

        • HJ777

          Then you will be able to provide detail and evidence, won’t you?

          • MrBishi

            Here’s what he said:
            “Over time, if we left the EU, it seems likely that we would mostly eliminate manufacturing, leaving mainly industries such as design, marketing and hi-tech. But this shouldn’t scare us.”
            http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/ho
            No mention of “basic” or any other type of manufacturing and the words, “leaving mainly industries such as design, marketing and hi-tech” confirm that you are simply making stuff up, as seems to be your forte.

          • HJ777

            But a specific mention of high technology industries and many manufacturers are high technology industries. The motor racing industry, for example. The aerospace industry is another.

            Clearly, he meant ‘vanilla’ manufacturing – and we have long seen this trend and EU membership hasn’t inhibited it.

          • MrBishi

            Whatever.

          • MrBishi

            Which part of:
            “Over time, if we left the EU, it seems likely that we would mostly eliminate manufacturing,”
            I ask you to dwell for a while on the word “eliminate”.
            As you know I have you filed in the folder marked “East Ham” which to anyone familiar with the London underground is one stop short of Barking.

          • Bob3

            Well with the high cost of energy in the UK and limited future supply manufacturing in the UK is heading for extinction in any case, well all except the candle factories, I suppose.

          • MrBishi

            Oh dear, bob3.
            That’s a Brexit myth.
            The UK has the most expensive energy prices BEFORE TAX, but taxes raise the cost of many other European countries to above those in the UK.
            What you are being confused – by your disingenuous Brexit leaders – about is the fact that countries such as Germany give much higher discounts or grants to high energy users and that is NOTHING to do with the EU.

          • Bob3

            I’m not confused about our lack of energy supply leading to blackouts in a few years time, what manufacturer is going to take the risk of opening factories here?

          • MrBishi

            There is little or no risk of blackouts bob3 – who started this canard (no pun intended) – diesel generating stations can be built very quickly.

          • Bob3

            But they are too polluting and we will miss our carbon reduction targets.

          • MrBishi

            They would only be short term and we are ahead of the curve to we have some leeway.

          • HJ777

            I am not responsible for the fact that you are unable to organise a proper filing system.

            I think his use of the word ‘eliminate’ was wrong, but clearly he did not mean it to be applicable to high technology industries as he clearly said he thought these were our future.

            What you cannot explain is how the fate of our manufacturing industries depends on EU membership.

          • MrBishi

            It’s a binary decision; leave and we lose our manufacturing industry, stay and it has the chance to survive if it remains competitive.

          • HJ777

            You’ll be able to explain the mechanism that will cause us to lose our manufacturing industry if we leave (but not if we stay), won’t you?

          • MrBishi

            I’m going through my records to see if I can find someone as barmy as you, to keep you company.

          • HJ777

            As I suspected, you can’t explain your reasoning because there isn’t any.

          • MrBishi

            Stop rushing me, I’ve a big list to go through.

  • John Carins

    Osborne has concocted a dodgy dossier. Like weapons of mass destruction we are going to reveal the lies and deceit. The cat is out of the bag and Osborne is about to get a lashing.

    • Callan

      I do hope so. But he is getting lots of support from the BBC and Sky News. For every advocate of “Leave” there is a follow up comment or interview purporting to prove the opposite. Incidentally has the flood of illegal immigrants into Europe subsided? There is very little news about it on either of the aforementioned news channels at present. Couldn’t be because there is a referendum in the offing and they wish to keep the voting public from factoring the hordes heading our way into the equation could it?

      • John Carins

        I share your suspicions..

      • Conway

        That was brought up today by people wanting to leave, so you aren’t alone.

  • John Carins

    After the referendum, JCB can dig a big hole to bury EU legislation.

  • They’re a pair of lying chancers. The British people have a chance to be rid of the pair of them along with their paymasters in Brussels in a month’s time. Let’s hope they take it.

  • Just had on interesting conversation with my chiropractor, Tom. As an activist, I’ve been curious for some time that, although the polls are all forecasting a 50-50 result in the referendum, I rarely meet Remainiacs. I’ve encountered the odd one or two, but the overwhelming majority of people seem solidly in favour of Leave.

    So Tom told me today that he’s started his own straw poll, asking all his patients where they stand. This morning, he’d asked eight of them already. Seven were Leavers, and one was undecided.

    There’s something very odd going on. Where are all these Remainiacs? I’ve thought perhaps people are telling me what they think a Vote Leave activist wants to hear, but Tom’s no Vote Leave activist; just a chiropractor making conversation. I’ve thought perhaps it’s because Caerphilly is a fairly working-class community, but at £27 a session, chiropractic is something sought primarily by the middle class.

    Oh yes, and Vote Leave Cymru e mailed all its activists this morning saying that demand for Corex boards to erect in people’s gardens is so great, they’ve run out.

    All I can say is that, whatever the polls are telling us, in my experience, the Leavers are heading for a thumping great victory.

    • Stan Getback

      Really hope so , buddy.
      Unfortunately, I had opposite experience, and these were young people, well , in there thirties.

      • May I ask where you live?

        On the upside, those young people are unlikely to vote. Especially if it’s raining. Everybody pray for rain on June 23rd!

        • Stan Getback

          I live in Somerset, basically very liberal(unfortunately) rural area.
          The canvassing was hold in Yeovil and Wincanton.

    • Conway

      We had a similar experience today, talking to people in the street. Even younger people who expressed their views were for leaving.

  • davidblameron

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Thursday 23rd June : your local polling station : Vote L E A V E<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

  • maic

    So the economic consensus is settled? Just like “the science is settled” in the Climate Change debate? Is this a coded message which says stop arguing with us for we have the truth and you don’t.
    As other writers have pointed out the so called experts and economic forecasters have often failed to be expert and failed in the past to provide accurate economic forecasts.
    I reiterate my previous suggestion: Get out of the EU while you can and put in motivated and competent people to handle the necessary adjustments.
    Britain is not some mewling basket case country unable to handle its own affairs. So take back your sovereignty and put in place trade deals which protect the interests of the people of Britain. You can do it!

  • MikePage

    Osborne should stay away from forecasting; he’s crap at it.

    • Pretty_Polly

      Osborne should just stay away, imho..

  • Pretty_Polly

    Why should we believe anything David Cameron says as he told a load of lies about renegotiation and ‘ruling nothing out’ when in reality he was cosying up to big business and ruling out leaving the EU no matter what?

    Thereby demonstrating that it is traditional for Britain’s EU membership to be based on a continued flow of big fat porkies, which is entirely appropriate in Dave’s case..

  • BTejon

    The only argument is the one the stupid people asking for ‘facts’ can’t seem to understand. Either we, the British people, govern ourselves, with an accountable elected parliament (leave)

    OR we (remain) which means we continue to let Mr Junker’s un-elected unaccountable and non sackable European commission and the European court of justice over rule our parliament and out democratic choices. Junker’s vision for Europe is not the British vision – he is fully signed up to a federal european super state. regardless of dave’s usless negotiation, this will happen and we will have to pay for it.

    there are many other arguments but this overall democratic control issue is the biggie and affects all the other issues. For example, If we have control of our laws and judiciary, we can deport criminals and control our borders and immigration. If we remain, we have very little control…etc.

    • john

      this overall democratic control issue is the biggie

      Tough to make in a country with 2 of 3 governing institutions NOT democratic.

  • CheshireRed

    What’s stopping us advancing current tariff-free terms for 3 extra years on top of the two following Article 50? That gives continuity, confidence, certainty, and removes ‘any’ business case for leaving a post- Brexit UK. (If there’s one at all, which I don’t buy there is)
    Any EU-imposed tariffs after that should be reciprocated, BUT an independent UK could compensate UK-based industry, leaving the EU tariffed-up but unable to intervene due to EU rules! Net result; the EU would be forced to back down and we all have 5 years of certainty.

    • Stan Getback

      “What’s stopping us” ?
      Unfortunately , it is not up to you or me to make any negotiation decent, the current dodgy political class is in charge , and we can’t help it .
      The TTIP negotiation , for example, is in a process , and it is even much worse than staying in corrupt EU, again, how many people know or care?! MMS is absolutely quiet about it.

  • johnb1945

    Norwegian air?

    Is an EU company.

    Most of its route expansion is via an Irish subsidiary, its major hub is Gatwick, in the EU, besides which, Norway contributes the same per capita to EU budgets as we do, accepts movement of people and adopts most EU laws into their own laws.

    Please……. please either do some research or stop being dishonest.

    • HJ777

      What he should have said was that Norwegian Air has thrived with Norway outside the EU.

      I can’t imagine why being in or out of the EU would make any real difference to airlines. Why would anyone (apart from Greens, perhaps!) want to put in place barriers to air travel? No-one would gain.

      It’s a rubbish argument either way, whether you are for or against Brexit.

      • johnb1945

        It can take advantage of open skies by opening an EU based subsidiary and hub and due to Norway’s privileged and costly relationship with the EU.

        It’s bad argument for Leave, but not especially for remain.

        • HJ777

          But no-one would gain by erecting barriers.

          The poorest argument that the Remain camp have is the “They’d be nasty to us and wouldn’t want to trade if we left” one.

          This is for 3 reasons:

          – Why would EU members want to hurt themselves just to ‘punish’ us?
          – Why would we want to remain in the EU with such people if that were their attitude (i.e., stay or else) anyway?
          – It’s never quite explained why a trading bloc is better than unilateral removal of trade barriers (which everybody in Europe could do) if there were no EU.

          There are positive reasons for remaining, but we only seem to be hearing some rather overstated negative ones.

          • johnb1945

            – Why would EU members want to hurt themselves just to ‘punish’ us?

            This is not about punishing us, it is about showing that the privileges accorded to EU members are only accorded to EU members, and not those who choose to leave. This is normally how partnerships and other associations work. Those inside get privileges that those outside do not.

            Why would we want to remain in the EU with such people if that were their attitude (i.e., stay or else) anyway?

            See my earlier point, they aren’t going to be nasty to us out of spite, besides which this is like saying that my wife will be nasty to me if I leave her, so why would I want to stay with her?

            – It’s never quite explained why a trading bloc is better than unilateral removal of trade barriers (which everybody in Europe could do) if there were no EU.

            We are moving towards a much freer global economy, but not every country is in the same place in that journey. Integral to economic freedom is human freedom, human rights, governmental transparency, democracy, low corruption etc. The EU has a role in preserving this among member states which transcends considerations relating purely to movement of goods.

          • HJ777

            For a start, I was only addressing the economic arguments, so your last comments are irrelevant to these. We could discuss these all day, but they have nothing to do with the above article.

            What is the advantage to the EU of implementing a self-harming trade policy just to “show that the privileges accorded to EU members are only accorded to EU members”? Why is this superior to doing something that is more beneficial all round?

            “this is like saying that my wife will be nasty to me if I leave her, so why would I want to stay with her?”

            No, it is like your wife trying to preserve your marriage by threatening what she would do to you if you were ever to leave. Would you want to stay with her because of such threats?

          • johnb1945

            Yes, and my point is that economics, ideals and values are indivisible, so there’s no point trying to address them separately. Should we, for example, trade freely with, and thereby enrich countries which fund terror, or which may use the money they earn from us to build weapons to attack us with? And so on.

            If you have a free trade bloc with no rules of membership which anyone can join then this would happen.

            And this isn’t about hurting people. Having a coherent, stable EU is worth more than giving the UK everything it demands in return for nothing should we leave. If you do anything else, you are effectively saying the EU is worthless, and that is not going to be the position of the 27 remaining EU states.

            And the EU is not making threats about what it will “do to us” if we leave. It is a fact that by leaving, the privileges of membership will no longer be guaranteed to us. How many of these privileges we can negotiate, and in exchange for what, is a matter of speculation, but we are not going to be offered a menu card of EU requirements we like and don’t like when we leave.

            What else do you expect?

            If you are married that comes with some privileges. A partner to talk to, children, a house, a family life etc. etc.. If someone who enjoyed all that said “I’m going to embark on a wild social life, have loads of affairs and still maintain my family life because I pay the mortgage” you’d probably think it very strange if this person’s wife allowed that. If that person’s wife kicked him out, I doubt you would think she was being unreasonable.

            And so on….

          • HJ777

            You miss the point. Marriage is an exclusive relationship. Do you want to exclude trade or any other type of open relationship with countries outside the EU?

            Trade blocs (customs unions) with external barriers are a product of an age that is rapidly fading (thank goodness). The EU should change with the times but, frankly, it shows little sign of any willingness to contemplate serious reform and is still embarked on a daft single currency project which can only become stable with ever more (political) integration.

            This seriously diminishes any advantages of membership. If it were willing and able to reform I would have no qualms about wanting to remain. As it is, I have serious doubts.

          • johnb1945

            Sure, but we’re basically saying that we’re going to leave and enjoy all the benefits of being in without contributing budget or accepting movement of people. Cos we’re the 5th bggest global economy.

            Which is kind of like hubby deciding he’s going to use the family home as a place to sleep and have access to children on his terms when he’s not partying and having affairs and wifey will acquiesce because her income alone does not cover the mortgage.

            And if she doesn’t acquiesce, then she’s unreasonable and this is firther proof that hubby should have left ages ago, because she doesn’t simply let him do what he wants.

            Partnerships don’t work like that, they rely on compromise to achieve a greater good, and it’s childish to suggest anything else.

            The isolationism and nativism of some brexiters is also extremely old fashioned, and deluded.

            The EU is a step towards global, barrier free trade.

            I believe it will reform and evolve also. It is far from unreformable. There will probably be a bloc which is more integrated and one which is less.

          • HJ777

            No, what’s being said is that free trade is NOT a benefit of being in the EU.

            As for isolationism, please can you give me some examples. The Brexit argument is that we could trade freely with everyone.

            The EU, sadly, is not a step towards global barrier-free trade. It is a customs union and has maintained many import tariffs and other policies (such as the CAP) which should be abolished (and which we could unilaterally drop were we to leave). Switzerland, for example, has lowered many more trade barriers than the EU because the EU is often beholden to special interests in negotiations.

          • johnb1945

            Free trade is not a benefit of the EU?

            Are you for real? Tariff free access to the biggest and most prosperous market which, regardless of our own membership, happens to be on our doorstep, is not beneficial to us?

            I’d like you to explain that.

            And yes, the EU has some protectionist tendencies.

            We cannot isolate ourselves from them. The idea that we can is an example of isolationism. You wanted one, so there’s one for you. We could easily find ourselves subject to it if we leave.

            We can influence the EU from within. We have been a towering influence on it, and we have allies within it.

            And trade and ideas flow together. You don’t just give free trade to everyone, they have to share some of your ideas first – democracy, basic freedoms, etc. etc.

            There is a rationale for this. If you do otherwise, you end up enriching people whose ideas conflict with your own, and that can, in the worst cases, lead to conflict on the ground.

          • HJ777

            The EU is not our biggest market – most of our exports go elsewhere.

            We are forced to levy EU import tariffs on goods from the rest of the world which often forces us to buy inferior or more expensive EU-produced goods.

            I did not say that we could isolate ourselves from EU trade policies even outside the EU, but we don’t have to implement them ourselves. If we were to leave and abolish all import tariffs (as we should do if we leave) it would not be us who is being isolationist. To assert otherwise is pure nonsense. We would, in fact, be opting out of the isolationist tendencies of the EU (which would still hurt us but because of EU policies, not ours).

          • Uzaydan Misafir

            The EU is still your biggest market.

          • HJ777

            Biggest single market, perhaps. Biggest market, no.

          • Conway

            Only serious doubts? What would it take to convince you?

          • Mary Ann

            Before removing trade barriers you would need conformity of standards, something which the EU does, but brexiters don’t like us having to change our own laws to allow this conformity.

          • HJ777

            You would need conformity of standards for what reason?

            Plenty of countries trade happily without conformity of standards.

          • Uzaydan Misafir

            Untrue.

            You will not be able to sell anything to any country without conforming to their standards.

          • HJ777

            You misunderstand my point.

            The argument was that you can’t remove trade barriers without conformity of standards. This is incorrect. The US has different standards in many areas, yet they still trade with us quite happily. Products sold to us have to meet our standards but we are perfectly free to have quite standards from those demanded in the US market (and vice versa).

          • Bonkim

            They will be nasty – call us traitors – so what?

          • Conway

            Deserters – please get the terminology right 🙂

      • Penny

        “I can’t imagine why being in or out of the EU would make any real difference to airlines”

        Perhaps they might hit the pulled-up drawbridges that Clegg keeps banging on about:-).

        • Mary Ann

          They would certainly lose a lot of passengers as people stop coming to Britain and British people will stop moving to Europe. The Britons who live in Europe are always going home to visit families.

          • Bonkim

            They should learn to integrate and adapt to their new homes – not create ghettos.

          • Penny

            Why are you catastrophising things, Mary Ann? Leaving the EU would have no bearing on people either visiting/moving to the UK or vice-versa. I lived and worked in Munich and Paris long before the “free movement” principle. I have family who have lived in Paris, while retaining British citizenship, since the 1960’s, and, further back in time, my own father lived in Berlin.

            No one is going to stop going to Europe and Europeans are not going to stop coming here.

          • Uzaydan Misafir

            The referendum is about stopping free movement of people. Whatever barriers UK wants to have will be reciprocated.

          • Penny

            What do you mean by “Whatever barriers the UK wants to have will be reciprocated”? If we stop the free movement of people then yes, there might well be a reciprocal arrangement based on open borders and immigration, but this still doesn’t mean Brits can’t live, work and travel in Europe. We always have, and, no doubt, we always will.

          • Uzaydan Misafir

            Why do you Brexiters always think Britain can do whatever it wants and get whatever it wants?

            You will get the same rights in the EU as Poles and Romanians in the UK. No more, no less. Now, what is it Brexit is about? Yes, removing their rights of free movement…

          • Conway

            If the EU had a points based immigration system rather than an open door, then that wouldn’t be a problem to those of us who are well qualified and have sufficient funds to support ourselves, just as it wouldn’t to those EU citizens who had the same standards.

          • Uzaydan Misafir

            Possibly but that’s not the point of EU. Lots of people were against admitting the Eastern European countries for this very reason.

          • Conway

            No, the point of the EU is to turn itself into a superstate. I was replying to your post which was about reciprocal arrangements post Brexit.

          • Uzaydan Misafir

            And the reciprocal arrangement will be what I wrote.

          • Central power

            Are you suggesting that being in the EU did not make it easier?
            It is easy to travel within the USA. Not a pleasant experience travelling there if you are not a US citizen.

      • antoncheckout

        “Why would anyone (apart from Greens, perhaps!) want to put in place barriers to air travel?”
        European states were extremely keen to put barriers to any competition with their monopoly national airlines – until they all went bust or had to be sold off.
        Cheap airline travel was pioneered by British entrepreneurs, such as Freddie Laker, in the teeth of determined opposition from the EEC. That was one battle Thatcher won.

        • HJ777

          Yes – that was then and now is now.

          Everyone now sees that the idea of national airline champions supported by governments was a bad idea.

          • Uzaydan Misafir

            No, not everyone sees that.

    • Mary Ann

      Brexiters who site Norway as a way to go, they haven’t understood the position that Norway is in. All those rules they have to follow, with no say in the rules, all those migrants they have to accept, with no veto on who joins the EU and they have to pay. We either have to forget about free trade with Europe or remain.

      • Bonkim

        ‘cite’

      • sandy winder

        They only have to follow rules for EU exports (as they do for US exports, etc) which in Norway’s case are admittedly the majority of exports. And yet the Norwegians are happier being out of the EU rather than in. Why is that?

        But in the UK’s case this is not so as most of our exports are non-EU and the EU figure is falling compared to non-EU goods.

      • Norway does not have to follow they choose to do so.

        • Uzaydan Misafir

          They follow in order to be part of the EU market.

          The discussion is about what kind of agreement the UK will get after Brexit. When Norway and Norwegian companies are held up as examples of how good life can be outside EU then it needs to be pointed out that Norway paid a price. One that Brexiters is not prepared to pay.

          • The are not part of the EU market they are part of the EEA.

          • Uzaydan Misafir

            Wrong,,

            They are part of the EU single market.

          • Norway is not an EU member therefore not part of the common market. Norway is an EEA member and part of the EEA.

          • Uzaydan Misafir

            Norway pay to have access to the single market. They pay by accepting EU legislation, free movement of people etc. .

          • But they dont have to, they can cancel at any time.

          • Uzaydan Misafir

            But then they can’t access the single market.

            It’s up to you. Do you want access to the single market or not?

          • Of course they can, the EU is a trade block and is open to the world.

            What you are saying is a complete and blatant lie, you really should be ashamed of yourself for telling such blatant porky pies.

    • Central power

      Are you serious? Brexiters and facts? Look at the slogan plastered all over the Johnson’s German bus. 350 millions go each week to “Brussels”. Does not matter that we get 180 million back. These 350 million are allocated one week to NHS. Next week to schools. Then to infrastructure and so and so on.

  • D J

    House prices down, wages for the poorest in society rise, and savings gather interest for a change if we leave. Is the Chancellor against this?
    Surely he isn’t working against his people.

    • I never thought I was alone thinking ‘good’ when Osborne was saying that.

  • davidblameron

    Osborne looks like Laurel striding like a prize numpty between two Hardys.

    • antoncheckout

      And it’s another fine mess he’s getting us into.

      • davidblameron

        very good

  • Jolyon Wagg

    ‘the economic case has not been won’ . . . . you’re darn right it hasn’t.

    No Europhile, Cameron, Osborne, Legarde, Carney, Obama et al has ever included the indirect costs of the EU project on our economy, in any of their assessments. We know what the direct costs are(£ 9.5 billion) but the indirect costs are massive, some say 15 times the direct costs with sound reasoned arguments.

    I am dismayed that VoteLeave have failed to expose this or the other highly relevant economic facts, such as the worst case scenarios of the EU adopting the WTO General Rules on Tariffs on us in the event of a Brexit. (The average tariff for Non-Favoured Nation status is 3.8 % – this is the maximum average tariff the EU could apply – I am not saying that they would because, it is definitely not in their interest to, and we of course would apply it to their exports to us etc. If you apply 3.8 % to our exports to the EU, £ 134.3 billion last year, it comes to £ 5.1 billion and the direct cost to us is £ 9.5 billion !). I am just appalled that VoteLeave cannot seem to articulate the full economic argument and because as they haven’t, it allows the media to come back at Brexiters, time and time again unchallenged.

    Readers may remember back in early February there was plenty of bruhaha about Dominic Cummings and Matthew Elliot, who were heading Voteleave and they both had to step down, some said they were liabilities and got too many backs up. They actually stayed on to attend meetings but either way, it seems the damage has been done.

    • Bob3

      They said the argument had been won for climate change and comprehensive education, but only in their heads, not in reality.

      • Mary Ann

        The scientists are all pretty unified about climate change. Of course there will always be one or two who disagree.

        • sandy winder

          Like Galileo.

        • Bob3

          They are unified because they will be unemployed if they disagreed.

  • JJD

    “The choice is not between security or a gamble. It is between the uncertainty of staying in a deeply troubled European Union, or the uncertainty of Britain wresting itself from that union and offering to work with her neighbours on her own terms.”

    Nice – and rare – to see it put in such fair-minded terms.

  • grumpyoldrockape

    Anybody who’d vote for remaining in the EU doesn’t understand the
    question. The question is “Who wants to be controlled by an
    unaccountable EU govt who no one elected whose only production is
    increasing taxation and regulation?” And btw, the unelected and
    unaccountable are EXEMPT from taxes, because they voted to exempt
    themselves from taxes.
    Vote Leave

  • Mary Ann

    House prices falling will upset the olds, the ones who want brexit the most, it’s a gamble. Everything about brexit is a gamble.

    • sandy winder

      Everything about remaining in the EU is a gamble. But with Brexit we have the choice to pick the horse we wish to back. The future of the EU itself is a massive gamble and far from certain. That is besides the continuing attempts to annex other countries. Ukraine alone nearly started World War 3 and may yet do so. And don’t expect any help from America if Clinton becomes the next President.

      • Central power

        Yes.You are right.We shall do very well on our own and damn the rest of the world.We shall be the only ship afloat.

        • Conway

          The rest of the world are already in lifeboats; we just want to join them.

  • Central power

    Did Johnson write the article?
    “A future prime minister might end up accepting the regulation (and the immigration) as the price of staying in the single market, as the Norwegians have done. In which case, little would change”
    So what is the point in Leaving?
    You have guessed it.Johnson’s (and Gove’s etc) ambitions.

  • Pip

    Cameron and Osbourne have conspired to deceive the British people and have openly lied, they must stand down after June 23rd.

    • Bonkim

      Their days are numbered one way or the other.

  • Marvin

    “The Living Dead” The Movie?

  • Bonkim

    Get out before it is too late. The EU will sink soon and we don’t want to go down with it.

    • Central power

      It has been sinking since Davies and Redwood told us so some thirty years ago.

  • kyle lynch

    It is not finished but as the OUT camp have yet to answer a single question about what they want when it comes to trade discussions let alone how they look to achieve them. This sudden notion that everyone is going to bend over backwards to accomdate us or that we are going to hold our own when it comes to renegotiation with the EU, China and the US

    • Peter Stroud

      Trade is always profitable, usually to both sides. Therefore all trading nations will trade with the UK, a major trading nation, whether or not it is in the EU, alone or with aother trading bloc.

      • kyle lynch

        I’m sure trading will continue but will it be under better terms than we have now. That is the question. No one has said that trading will stop.

        • Peter Stroud

          The U.K. a has made trading treaties or agreements for many, many years before the creation of the EU, either within trading blocs, or with individual nations. But it did so without the beaureaucratic constraints of the Union. Furthermore, the EU sells more to the UK, than we sell to it. I don’t think trade will be a problem if we leave. But it is important to regain full control of our borders and our national sovereignty: only leaving the Union will make this practically possible.

          • Central power

            You don’t think.

          • Stan Getback

            Don’t you find it strange that you never get ups, or perhaps, you might think about yourself as a prophet.
            Indeed, no prophet is accepted in his own hometown :-)))
            Anyway , try lying harder.

          • Central power

            Lying like Gove and Farridge about the Turkish invasion.

          • Uzaydan Misafir

            You’re dreaming.

            The argument that EU sells more to the UK always comes up. All that means is that UK citizens desperately wants those German cars. Will you buy a Commonwealth Tata after Brexit? No, you will still buy a BMW if you can afford it.

      • Central power

        At best we shall get the same deal as we have now.We shall still have to follow all the EU rules – including the free movement of people. So what’s the point?Some imaginary “independence”?
        One thing is for sure. Brexit will mean a very long period of uncertainty.
        Please also note that the Brexit’s hero Gove yesterday shamelessly lied. He was suggesting Turkish invasion into the UK, The Turkish visa deal is with Schengen only.Secondly accession of Turkey is a non starter. It takes only one country to veto and there are many not at all keen on the idea.
        The biggest immigration threat to Europe actually presents the UK. The country who gives out naturalization documents left right and center.Actually twice as many as Germany (who has much bigger population).

        • No, only companies exporting to the EU would need to abide by EU terms and free movement would be up to us.

          • Central power

            Dream on.

          • The world trades with the EU but only countries in continental Europe or the British Isles do free movement of people.

          • Central power

            But the whole point Farridge is making is to stop the flow of people from Europe in the UK

          • And leaving the EU does stop that.

            You do not have to be in the trade block to trade with the trade block and free movement of people is determined by the sovereign state.

            We choose to allow free movement in the first place and now we are going to change our decision.

          • Central power

            “A future prime minister might end up accepting the regulation (and the immigration) as the price of staying in the single market, as the Norwegians have done.
            I note this has been edited out from the above article.
            It,of course, still stands.

          • Peter Stroud

            Many large EU companies choose to set up factories and HQs in the UK because of our relatively unobtrusive industrial regulations. It is very, very unlikely that these will leave if we go it alone. In fact, we might be able to attract even more overseas companies who currently fear the EU’s increasing level of bureaucracy.

    • licjjs

      But don’t forget that it is actually traders who want to sell things. They would kick up a fuss, I think, if, for political reasons, their governments stopped them selling their good to the UK. Usually such action – in reality imposing sanctions – would be a punishment of some sort. In the end, if people want to buy and sell then why would any government stop them?

      • kyle lynch

        They would but they arent the people who make the ultimate decisions. Each country is going to protect its own business interests as well as their own political interests. However the question is are the new agreements going to be better or worse than the one we have with the EU. I cant see how that can be, especially when we will still be restricted by EU legislation.

  • Peter Stroud

    The U.K. a had centuries of doing well in the world of trade before the EU was a politician’s dream. We will have two years to negotiate trading arrangements after Brexit, so there is little or nothing to worry about on that front.

    • kyle lynch

      However will our trading be on better or worse terms

      • Worst case scenario is we get a 1% tariff on goods and services.

        What that means is EU countries get a 1% tax from us and we get a 1% tax from them, our 1% tax will help bring down the deficit.

        • kyle lynch

          Where is this 1% tariff figure coming from and that is a big figure to tax on. Why would that tariff but metal and what services will it apply to.

          • World trade rules. Same rules our trading with the USA is done on.

          • kyle lynch

            care to cite the WTO rule on that. Last i checked tariffs can be set however high they want as long as they are not discriminatory.

          • Read up here: https://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/tariffs_e/tariffs_e.htm

            Typically you get a 1% rate.

            Now when we leave the EU we will see far cheaper costs because imports wont be subject to the EU imposed tariffs.

          • kyle lynch

            Typically is very different from your previous statement of worst case scenario. Also that 1% is false here is a graph of standard trades and tariffs – https://www.wto.org/english/res_e/statis_e/statis_bis_e.htm?solution=WTO&path=/Dashboards/MAPS&file=Tariff.wcdf&bookmarkState={%22impl%22:%22client%22,%22params%22:{%22langParam%22:%22en%22}}

          • It is not false as they are reciprocal. Its hard to see the EU forcing a 5% tarrif when we buy substantially more from them than they do with us.

            Given our massive purchasing power in the EU its hard to see how the EU would put any tariffs at all on us.

          • kyle lynch

            Not really they produce goods we need, we lack any kind of manufacturing and know that even with heavy leavies we will still purchase them. Also the finance sector that fuels that defecit is going to leave the moment a brexit is announced. Ireland is licking its lips in anticipation.

          • I’m struggling to think of anything uniquely EU or anything sourced from the EU that is not cheaper elsewhere.

            Given the financial sector is not EU wide at the moment and Cameron has made it so a vote to remain means the EU will get competence over the same I’m really struggling with what you are saying here.

          • kyle lynch

            It might be cheaper but it certainly isnt of the same quality. There is a reason that the EU has tight regulations on product quality to ensure that you do get what you pay for.

            No but we hold a hub that utilisies our connection and free trade to make lucrative financials deals and trade. An out vote makes that more expensive and so they have no need to base themselves in the UK. Actually you will find that it is our government who blocked EU regulations into the finance industry because he knew that we would lose them to Hong Kong

          • Yes I remember my horse burger sold to me as prime beef.

          • kyle lynch

            What did the EU do when that happened? Again that was companies deliberately misleading people. Would have happened just as easily outside the EU

          • Your talking about quality and implying EU stuff is somehow superior when its not the case.

            Anyone that’s purchased a BMW in the last 10 years knows only to well they might have well of bought a budget motor as the build quality sucks.

          • kyle lynch

            The EU has strict rules governing quality of products. If companies mislead that is not the EU’s fault it is the company misleading people.

            In what sense is the build quality below a minimum standard? Give me objective proof rather than you inane witterings

          • WFB56
          • kyle lynch

            Nothing about it having to be 1% which is what I was asking for.

      • licjjs

        Even if there were to be a prolonged period of tightening of belts or even hardship for this generation, I have faith that the British spirit, being let free, will eventually rise to the occasion and the next generation will enjoy the fruit.

        • kyle lynch

          Strange because the next generation seems to disagree with you. Faith and all that other bluster will mean nothing in the face of tough negotiations.

          Will you also so charitably carry that cross on behalf of those who dont want to leave.

        • Central power

          The instant (now) society is not interested in hardship.

      • Conway

        Even if we had to pay more than average WTO tariffs (won’t happen because of WTO rules) we’d still be better off than the effective tariff we pay thanks to the costs of the single market (even the EU admits its costs outweigh its benefits) and the amount we shovel into the EU’s bottomless pit every year.

        • kyle lynch

          Rules stop discriminatory practices not what we pay as a tariff. Where does the EU admit that, please cite before making accusations. £8.5 billion is what it costs us per year with places like norway paying £500 million

  • “One of Britain’s most reputable pollsters admitted that the methodology it used for EU referendum surveys was flawed and resulted in public support for a Brexit being overstated.

    YouGov published its latest referendum voting intention survey on Wednesday, which showed a four-point lead for Remain (44% > 40%).” (Business Insider)

    • licjjs

      Well there is always the other 16% to swing things.

      • Before any major vote there is normally a swing to the status quo.

        • WFB56

          That’s what armchair pundits said last year about Trump and Sanders, right after they predicted a Labour minority in the UK.

          • “…they predicted a Labour minority in the UK.” And it didn’t happen because….waits for the penny to drop…there was a swing to the status quo.

          • WFB56

            A non sequitur. How do you know that there was a “swing to the status quo” Because after the fact some pollster offered this up as a rationalisation for being wrong. There’s only one poll that counts and that’s on election day.

        • Conway

          In this case, though, there IS no status quo. The EU will change – new accession countries, more integration for the eurozone, lots of legislation in the pipeline for after we’re conned into staying in …

        • Conway

          In this case, though, there IS no status quo. The EU will change – new accession countries, more integration for the eurozone, lots of legislation in the pipeline for after we’re conned into staying in …

    • Conway

      I wonder who they’re asking because here people are at least 80/20 for LEAVE.

      • Exactly Conway. If people on here were representative of the public then Nigel Farage would already be Prime Minister.

  • Owen_Morgan

    Osborne really is the character who reached rock-bottom – and started to dig.

  • James Chilton

    It’s probably a sound principle to always believe in things and act in ways that contradict whatever line Osborne is taking on any matter.

  • Itinerant

    “hauled up before a parliamentary committee”
    By which time a compliant media had already disseminated Osborne’s fabricated figures, as if gospel.
    The pro-EU establishment forces, both overt and covert, external and internal were extremely active in the 1975 referendum- I doubt they’re sitting on their hands this time around.
    From declassified documents of that period, FCO 30/1048- section ‘propagandise to the nation’ suggests of the ‘message’, ‘repetition is essential’, ‘more security..more prosperity…more influence’.

    One continue to hears this message hammered home, despite much evidence to the contrary.

    For example a SNP spokesman “jobs, prosperity and security”

    Obama over several visits reiterated much the same message.

    In 1975 Whitehall hoped by the time the British electorate woke up to the loss of sovereignty, it would be too late to do anything about it- what a wonderful opportunity to show they were arrogant, contemptuous and wrong.

    • licjjs

      But I do fear we are now entering the door of the Last Chance Saloon. Younger generations see self-government as something strange and exotic, having never experienced it, and next time – if there ever is a next time – it will be a completely different ball game. I am keeping both my celebration garments and my mourning garments at the ready.

      • Itinerant

        The pro-EU propaganda effort is immense and formidable.
        It has been decades in the making;
        entire generations of Europeans have been brought up within the EU’s enormous web of influence- one that reaches to every strata of society, all while Europe has been deliberately conflated with the EU.
        You’re quite right, many among younger generations know no differently.

        It’s tragic what people will accept if they’re uniformed.

        Like you I will have both costumes prepared for the referendum but every-time I think I’m being cynical, the EU and acolytes will pull some egregious stunt and make me feel naive.
        Given the utter contempt the EU has shown towards previous referenda, the possibility of a stitch-up, along with dirty tricks is high.
        Which would leave simmering resentments, not just in the UK but across Europe.
        Meanwhile the EU wants to open the borders ever wider and funds military-police exercises for civil unrest.

        Interesting times.

  • Central power

    “A future prime minister might end up accepting the regulation (and the immigration) as the price of staying in the single market, as the Norwegians have done.
    This bit has already been cut out from the above editorial’s original form.
    I wander why?
    Slip of a tongue?

    • licjjs

      I think if this happened there really would be a revolution; it would be one betrayal too far. This is why Cameron, after his last shameful performance at ‘negotiation’, should be barred from any negotiations re exit.

  • Central power

    Please note O2 mobile rates from the EU to the UK 4 pence / minute.
    From Albania £1.49 / minute. The Albanian model proposed by Gove and many of the contributors below. And it is not only about the phone charges we shall come short.
    After Brexit we shall have same “advantages” as Albania. And probably the same standard of living.

    • HJ777

      That’s the sort of thing that can be sorted out by competition and free trade.

      • Central power

        The phone companies will not give up fat profits unless they are forced to.
        This just a small example of the strength of the EU benefiting the consumers.
        Tax avoidance another one.Costs of medicines (substantially higher in the US)
        But if you like monopolies and free for all – then Brexit is for you.
        Just another example of the evil EU – ban on Incandescent bulbs. Howls of protests.
        Now you can buy LED bulbs which in quality of lightning are indistinguishable from the old type and pay for themselves within a year. And do not need changing for at least twenty years.
        The same applies to cars. It is the many of “evil” regulations which drive the progress.
        But the Brexiters in their hate think that “Brussels” is full of Satans who just spend their time thinking out nasty edicts in order to make our lives miserable.

        • HJ777

          Strange then that my daughter was able to use her mobile phone on “3” for three months last summer to call back to the UK at precisely no extra cost over her standard contract.

          That was nothing to do with the EU.

          As for LED bulbs – if they are good and save money people will choose them. If not, they won’t. EU intervention not needed.

          The excessive regulation of the EU often stifles competition because it make sit more difficult for new/smaller companies to compete.

    • Penny

      I don’t think I’d have much time for anyone who would be willing to gamble on democracy in favour of a mobile phone tariff.

      • Central power

        As i outlined above you are welcome to the new Brexit world free of ANY regulations as outlined in Brexit:The movie. Then you will be free to buy the toxic Chinese milk powder (perhaps you will remember) or buy for your children / grandchildren toys from the PRC painted with toxic paints.

        • WFB56

          Interesting that Cameron has now taken to being a troll under the pseudonym of “Central Power”.

          • Well last week it was world war three along with no more London (where it goes was not stated) and today its our children getting poisoned by milk/toys, seems they have lost already as none of it is believable.

          • kyle lynch

            Well as the EU has been a factor of protracted peace in Europe it is a valid point. As are the fact that the EU has strict rules on product quality when trading within its borders.

          • Rubbish, Trident and its predecessor has prevented us being invaded by them.

          • kyle lynch

            You have evidence of this I assume? Why would trident stop say france from invading us considering that they have a nuclear arsenal of their own.

          • Yes, your speaking English in a free country.

            FFS, the EU has not been around since ww2 it is a very recent organisation.

          • kyle lynch

            Yes it has but it has brought all of europe closer together and as I said is a factor not sole responsability.

          • Conway

            The Greeks might have something to say about that. My Swedish friends are urging on Brexit so they can put pressure on their govt to leave as well – they don’t like the sort of “enrichment” they’ve had to endure in terms of robbery and arson.

          • kyle lynch

            The greeks have only their government to blame for their problems nothing to do with the EU

          • The left are wrong

            Again you’re ignorance shines through. The EU handed out diktats that the poorer countries needed to modernise to keep up with the EU dream.

            They were told to borrow money and do it because it would cause a boom in their economies.

            They did and the 2008 recession destroyed them. Greece now suffer highly unemployment and crippling debt as the IMF and the Germans keep getting them to borrow more to pay their loans off. The loans that the Germans and other EU countries told them to get to be part of the club!!!

            This is the same IMF who didn’t see the recession coming and the same who had to apologise for doing this to Greece. It’s likely the same IMF that you listen to when they say the EU is good for Britain.

            You’ll ignore the fact they got it so badly wrong on the sterling vs Euro, austerity vs spend and that the head of the IMF is currently going to court for fraud.

            Arguing this is pointless, you have a cult like devotion that despite al evidence to contrary you believe is amazing.

            It’s like trying to convince a Scientologist that they are barking mad and there are no aliens in mountains.

            Your glassy eyed, rabid support will never change. You’ll repeat “But legislation is good” over and over unquestioningly.

            You are either very dim, benefit directly from the EU or are so subservient that you represent the worst type of spineless coward out there.

            Sorry, I don’t mean to be nasty but someone had to tell you.

            No safe spaces in real life, buddy.

            I’m off, good chatting, have a good weekend.

          • How is all of Europe closer together?

          • kyle lynch

            Political and economic union makes us pretty close.

          • Thats relative, the language and physical barriers trump your nostalgia.

          • The left are wrong

            So did Hitler.

          • The left are wrong

            Scraping the barrel here, aren’t you? It’s called MAD and it’s why we have them.

          • kyle lynch

            Address his point and stop spinning your wheels.

        • Roger Hudson

          Have a nice cup of tea and don’t you worry your pretty little head about things you don’t understand.

          • kyle lynch

            Care to actually address his valid point or are you just acting the child because you can’t?

          • Penny

            He hasn’t made a point, Kyle. It’s all infantile catastrophising, along with a bizaare belief that without the EU, the UK couldn’t work out a darn thing for itself. We aren’t dependent children.

          • kyle lynch

            No it is factually telling you that as consumers the EU protects us though quality regulation and price gouging legislation.
            If we aren’t please tell me why our governments constantly take on inferior goods when they can because it is cheap and have a history of removing legislation protecting people.

          • Penny

            The EU doesn’t do anything that we can’t do for ourselves, Kyle. This is the point I’m trying to make. If governments have previously accepted inferior goods then we address that – but it doesn’t mean that without the EU, we simply can’t do it. That’s nonsense.

          • kyle lynch

            However when it comes down to it our government actually acts against it. Also why do we need to do it ourselves when we have a good system in place already protecting your interests. Let’s look at our previous governments track record… Human rights? They have actively tried to reduce them. Consumer rights? Have actively tried to reduce them. Workers rights? Have actively tried to reduce them. Trading standards? Have actively tried to reduce them. Tax avoidance? Have actively tried to combat any legislation to reduce it.

            You know what organisation has protected these boons that our governments have wanted to take away or reduce…? The EU.

          • Penny

            This is all well and good, Kyle, but we can vote out the people who attempt to reduce our rights – providing we’re not in the EU. Can you give me any guarantee that the EU will always protect consumer rights, or human rights, or workers’ rights? No – you can’t, because neither you nor I can look into the future and see which way this organisation will lean. Thus far it has enacted all of its growth by stealth. Please tell me what influence you or I would have if, in the future, the EU becomes even more autocratic? We can’t vote to create any change. Our MEP’s are not there to represent us to the EU; they are there to represent the EU to us.

            From your posts you seem to want safety above democracy. That’s up to you. My reason for wanting out of the EU is purely down to democracy. I do not know who makes the laws that govern us; we have no influence over them either – whoever they are. This is not a situation we should take lightly.

          • kyle lynch

            Yes because we have our own MEP’s who should be protecting those rights. However as those rights are constitutionally protected by a system that is objectively more democratic than our own it is far more reasonable to assume that they are better protected by the EU than our own government. Our MEP’s are there to represent us in theory, if you dont like how they are doing that either stand yourself or vote for someone else.
            If we think it becomes more autocratic or dislike the way it is going we can as you say hold our government to the fire and have another referendum to leave.

            As I am supporting a system that is objectively more democratic than our own I think it is you who seems to distain the democratic process, perfering nationalism and idiocy over it. Your ignorance is your own I am not here to baby you information that you can easily google.

          • Penny

            Explain to me how my MEP works for me. Also explain how the EU is objectively more democratic than our own. If the EU implements a policy, how can I vote it out?

            No – our MEP’s are not there to represent us. That was made clear to them (and I heard this from an MEP). They are there to represent the EU.

            “Nationalism and idiocy”?? my “ignorance”? All the more reason to “baby” me, I would have thought. What else are you here for if not to present the EU’s case and answer questions?

            Or might it be that you don’t know the answers and this is why you’re left with nothing but insults? Which is the thing you’ve been finger-wagging others about hither and thither on this site.

          • kyle lynch

            They are your representative in the EU and vote on legislation.

            The EU has no unlected leader or monarchy it also doesnt have a second unelected second chamber. The EU also elects its MEP’s by PR rather than FPtP.

            You vote for a different party at the EU elections if you think your representatives are not doing what you like.

            Oh well if an MEP told you as you claim then it must be fact. I dont believe you in the slightest in that case. Care to name that MEP? Also that would be their opinion not what is meant to happen.

            You are the one moaning that you dont understand what MEP’s do, so I rebuked you for you ignorance on a subject for which the information is freely available.

            Told you the answers and you can google that very easily. If you asked me why evolution is factual I would ask you to do the same thing. I am not here to teach you I am here to debate you. You have come to a battle of wits, poorly armed it seems.

          • Penny

            You aren’t here to debate me or anyone else, Kyle – I’ve never been to a debate where one interlocuter remains calm and polite while the other lashes out as you are. What’s the tally thus far? I’m inane, ignorant, moaning, can’t take the heat, poorly armed in a battle of wits, you don’t suffer fools gladly – oh, and a liar…..I could go on but let’s just say your “debating” skills need honing. As does your finger-wagging at others who have but once name-called.

            I won’t name the MEP in a public forum. I used to be a local councillor and I know him. Feel free to disbelieve me but I won’t use people I know to win a point. But in any case, with just 73 MEP’s to represent millions of Brits, your comment that voting for a different party if I think my representatives are not doing what I like is a bit redundant.

          • kyle lynch

            Your the one compalining that you cant get your head around the legislation of your chosen business venture. Yeah I am going to rebuke your abilities pretty agressively. I am not known to suffer fools. However if you feel insulted… I dont care. Provide me with some evidence or arguements. Clutching pearls in a fit of offence does not impress or change the validity of my arguments.

            Yet you did. You used their personal opinion to score a point, whether you name them or not. It was still not a valid argument. Strangley enough other countries need to have a voice as well. So yes you can vote for the party or group that best represents your needs during the debates.

          • Penny

            Kyle – why on earth don’t you read comments properly? And why do you project stuff into your replies that wasn’t there in the first place? This comment is rambling on about evidence and arguments, clutching pearls, being insulted and heaven knows what else. Previous comments have been similar. Get a grip and read what is written, not what you imagine is there.

            I shall try one last time – do try to read and, more importantly, comprehend. I have told you so many times that NO ONE understands the legislation – not even the specialists running the courses can answer all the questions! Why is that so hard for you to understand? This isn’t all about me – it’s about everyone involved. People are just trying to interpret as best they can, but no one is certain. Is that protecting the consumer? Is it supporting the worker?

            This “conversation” has been been about why a particular small industry is struggling to understand a legislation about what has to go on a label – do you get that? A label. A very small part of any business. It should be the work of minutes – not weeks and months. But here’s my question to you: Can you tell me why it is necessary for the EU to make such a tiny thing so very complex? Why can’t it simply write a guideline to the legislation that enables people – specialists even – to understand it. Tell me, Kyle. Tell me why the EU finds it necessary to create so much difficulty where there needn’t be any. And I will repeat this one more time – NO ONE FULLY UNDERSTANDS THE LEGISLATION. NOT EVEN THOSE RUNNING THE COURSES.

            I hope that is clear.

            No, I won’t name people I know on an open forum without their permission. It’s called “courtesy”. Odd that you called my mention of him “scoring a point”. This referendum is about so much more than point scoring.

            And yes, other countries need to have a voice while we’re in the EU. If we leave, we don’t have the hassle of being just one voice in 28 states (and counting). 1 in 28 is not great odds for having your views taken into account.

          • Stigenace

            Penny, you have the patience of a saint.

          • Penny

            I’m about to tarnish my halo, Stigenace! My harp playing is similarly going to become very out-of-tune!

          • kyle lynch

            As I keep saying show me evidence that this is the case. Show me that there is a knowledge gap in regards to teaching legislation. What specific legislation do you have evidence for that is not fully understood? You say it is in regards to labeling procedures. What labels for what products and what legislation is no fully understood. Get to the specifics.

            It is like me saying when it comes to workers rights no one understands it at all and that makes it difficult for me to make a profit. Now this is a broad and rather useless statement. If I said no one understood the health and safety in factories legislation and was able to demonstrate a confusion, contradiction or vague part then that would be helpful and provide evidence.

            You make brisk generalisations yet refuse to get to specifics. If you came and said that legislation about workers health and safety is not fully understood and showed evidence of contradictory case evidence you would have a point.

            Even if you did provide evidence for a specific case that does not show it is a problem that is institutionalised in the EU or the EU being discriminatory towards small business as your original accusations went.

            If you are not willing to quote your sources then don’t allude to them agreeing with you or quote anonymously. If you do and don’t quote the source I will quite sensibly assume that you are making it up.

            I don’t really care if you think I am rude it is borne out of frustration as some is Pearl clutching rather than getting to the specifics of an argument.

            That is why you work with other countries towards a certain goal and mutal means. Its called cooperation.

          • Penny

            As you “keep saying”? Really?

            Try looking for REACH legislation as it pertains to labelling. When you’ve understood it – because it’s obviously the case that you think you will – then enlighten the rest of us.

          • Conway

            It won’t even be safe; Paris and Brussels have shown that.

          • Conway

            It won’t even be safe; Paris and Brussels have shown that.

        • Penny

          The silly exaggerations and catastrophising doesn’t really work for me. Besides which, it really isn’t the case that without Mummy & Daddy Brussels, the Brits will flounder in a pool of woad, unable to work out how to avoid importing toxic milk powder and paint.

          • kyle lynch

            How is it an exaggeration. It actually happened and the EU legislation helps stop it happening. This government has a history of accept inferior goods on the cheap like chinese steel.

          • Penny

            The exaggeration is that we need the EU to do all this stuff for us, Kyle, and that without it we simply would slip into a kind of toxic, hopeless, 3rd world scenario. We have brains and common sense and I resent the implication – cited time and again – that we are weak ninnies who couldn’t draft so much as a working time directive on our own. It’s ridiculous.

          • kyle lynch

            Our previous governments have shown no political will to protect workers or consumers. In fact the opposite is true.
            So you know the safety standards that all cars need to be compliant with? You know the difference in food hygiene and quality in order to objectively decide if the food is safe to eat? You are qualified to conduct safety inspections on products to ensure that they are safe?

            No one is saying you are ignorant or stupid but legislation is needed to protect us from irresponsible business practices. Our governments have shown little will to enact those requirements.

          • Penny

            Again, the point you are missing is that I do not believe that we need the EU to do this for us, Kyle. What you are suggesting is that without the control of Brussels we’ll automatically descend into situations that may have prevailed – globally – decades ago. As much of the world has moved on – most of it without “Brussels” doing it all for them – I doubt we’ll crash and burn.

          • kyle lynch

            You can believe what you want but historical evidence stipulates otherwise. Without these protections from the EU we open ourselves up to corporations abusing our government and abusing its citizens.
            Yes because places like China have such a good track record on human rights and qulaity products, then you have america that is reported to have fantastic rights for its workers…

          • Penny

            Historical evidence isn’t really relevant here, Kyle. Historically, we sent children up chimneys and didn’t educate them until the 1880’s. Nor did we give women the vote. But there’s no reason to believe that, once out of the EU, we will start using children as a labour force, deny them an education or ban women from the ballot box.

            I don’t know why you keep missing the overarching point I’m trying to make: the EU isn’t the Einstein of the world. Other countries manage perfectly well without the EU devising all their legislation. There are certain standards now evident in all of the modern world and there is absolutely no reason to believe that the UK will not keep up with its international counterparts – because it is in its very best interests to do so.

            I rather think TTIP might bring about corporate dominance.

          • kyle lynch

            This isnt the 1880’s this is a couple of years with our current government so yes historical evidence is very pertinent here.

            Not really, the EU is the biggest economy in the world, objectively one of the most democratic and objectively with a higher quality of life. Explain to me how places like Dubai, the US, China, Brazil, South Africa, Austalia, Syria, etc are doing better objecively than the EU in areas like Human rights workers rights and environmental protections.

            It might very well do but as our current government wants to bring it in regardless of the EU

          • Penny

            The EU may be the biggest economy – but why do we need to be in a political union to engage in trade?

            You’re doing it again, Kyle – you continually ignore my overarching point about the UK being able to devise its own practices. What on earth has Dubai, the US, China et al got to do with us making our own legislation?!! If we leave the EU we aren’t going to automatically look for a subsitute model! We don’t need to attach ourselves to the practices and legislation of any other country. You are clearly of the view that we just aren’t good enough – I think we are.

          • kyle lynch

            Because the reason it works is because of political union that facilitates trade. The other option is the norway route where we still have the trade (to a certain extent), have to apply to all the EU legislation (with no say in it) and pay a fee.

            You mentioned the other countries as doing just as well as the EU and I was pointing out that wasnt the case. Our politicians as I keep mentioning are contantly trying to erode legislation that protects us, and it is the EU that keeps stopping them.

          • The left are wrong

            Which politicians do you speak of? The Tories because Cameron wants in or Labour because Corbyn does too. If thy are “constantly trying to erode our legislation, why would they be pushing for the EU?

            You’re just making no sense now. “I don’t trust our politicians… which is why I agree with them”.

            The WTO facilitates trade. on a £137m budget with 640 staff for 6 times as many countries as the EU.

            Coincidentally your argument the EU is good for the environment and for consumers is weak:

            http://www.reuters.com/article/trade-wto-argentina-idUSL5N18H3QC

            The EU was desperate to block cheaper and cleaner fuel in favour of fossil fuel industries. Wonderful work.

            I’m interested how you think an organisation that opts to have two head quarters in different countries and have MEPs fly back and fourth between them and their home countries is pro-environment and doing a superb job of keeping costs down for us, the consumers?

          • kyle lynch

            Currently you have blairites and the current administration that have been very keen on dismantling our rights. I would not guess as to why they are, I would imagine political expediency is the major point.

            Exactly and having a chair their and having the EU as proxy gives us a great advantage when negotiating at the WTO.

            Not really, that is if you read into it is due to trade and the EU has its own Biodiesel department and research so you argument is a non starter.

            I agree it is wasteful and would like that to change. Never said the EU was perfect. However that example is meaningless to the consumer protection debate.

          • manofthepeepl

            Penny, you’re feeding the troll. Don’t bother.

          • Penny

            Yes, many comments later I believe you have a point. It takes a while to realise that regardless of the actual topic, you’re actually interacting with a teflon-coated object. It will continually slide, switch and refuse to stick. 🙂

          • The left are wrong

            The US is the largest economy. EU Second largest.

            The EU is the one shrinking fastest. It would be in negative growth figures without the UK economy stats added to it. China would overtake it in a handful of years.

            If you want to compare us to other countries I would suggest using countries geographically and culturally closer to our own.
            Here is the world happiness index. Pay attention to places 2, 3 and 4. The see us in 23rd.

            We are ever decreasing on that scale too.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Happiness_Report

            Norway, Iceland and Switzerland must be hideous dictators without EU worker rights.

          • kyle lynch

            It really isnt – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(nominal)

            Of course you have evidence to back up your figures in that respect that the EU is slowing down more than the rest of the world.

            Never said that they were but they have a history of actually looking after their citizens ours does not. Also Norway and Switzerland have agreements in place with the eU which means they have to follow certain rules, have no say in them and still pay a levy to be a part of it.

          • The left are wrong

            Workers rights is your argument now. Are you doing this from your Laptop or phone made in Asia? Wearing clothes made in China or India?

            Those products that got here despite no trade deals or regulations.

            Worker regulations like the working time directive where most companies expect you to opt out of when signing your new work contract? Ha ha ha yes, that’s done a bang up job.

            Work breaks? I have no love for the unions in the UK but I imagine they will have something to say about this.

          • kyle lynch

            Yes and there are tariffs involved in that. I am not a member of those countries and so there own internal affairs are not under my control.
            That is the corporations mucking about (FYI an opt out has to be entirely voluntry, you can take a company to court if you have evidence that they are forcing you to sign an opt out as part of your employment), it is not the EU’s fault.

            The thing is if the EU enforced the hours you would say they are being dictitorial so there is no pleasing you in these cases.

            I am fairly sure that unions have nothing against work breaks unless you have evidence to say otherwise.

          • Central power

            Most of the regulations to protect the workers were initiated by the EU.

          • Penny

            That’s a strange response. Firstly, the fact that regulations are initiated by the EU is not a big-up for this institution and a negative against the UK. As a member state we complied – but that doesn’t mean that without the EU we wouldn’t have initiated workers rights.

            I don’t understand why you – and Kyle – think that the EU is some kind of superior power that can forsee, initiate and implement legislation that no one else could ever possibly think of! It honestly seems to me that you are indoctrinated because you attribute all manner of wonders solely to the EU, without which we’d all be knuckle-dragging Neanderthals, without pausing to think about how the rest of the world somehow copes without Brussels.

          • The left are wrong

            Will we completely drop food safety regulations if we leave the EU?

          • kyle lynch

            My point is they are not as protected. Nothing may happen or they may be entirely dropped. The fact is they wont be protected as well as they are now.

          • Central power

            You would have still doctors working 100 hours a week.

          • kyle lynch

            Nope and thankfully the EU working time directive is in place. I believe it is our own government that wants to try and overwork our doctors.

          • Central power

            I meant if it were not for the EU they would be still doing the onerous hours. The same applies to truck drivers.

          • kyle lynch

            However they have the option of not doing that work if they feel they are being over worked without being penalised.

          • The left are wrong

            You obviously missed junior doctors telling us they did the other month. Immigration will make their jobs much easier of course.

          • The left are wrong

            How do you know?

          • kyle lynch

            Well to remain part of the EU we must hold to those stanards. Once we are out that wont be the case.

          • The left are wrong

            You think the EU is better equipped to determine what is safe or hygienic than our own government? Why?

            Do factories in Europe have better food processing and higher standards then us?…. because a horse meat scandal not long ago suggests otherwise. Good job those regulations were in place for multiple factories across the EU.

          • kyle lynch

            Because they approach it far more objectively than our own. They have shown to have a willingness to approach these elements in the interest of it citizens. Our government has not.

          • The left are wrong

            You must think we are run by despots then?

          • kyle lynch

            No I think our country is run by sociopaths.

          • The left are wrong

            What…. like we do now under EU regulations?

        • The left are wrong

          You are labouring under the impression that if we leave, the UK will suddenly drop all standards and care for it’s citizens.

          Get a grip.

          As if we would get rid of ALL regulations.

          I’m sure the children from the US, Norway, Iceland and Switzerland aren’t buying second rate products because they don’t have any regulations.

          • Central power

            Norway and Switzerland follow the EU regulations.No exceptions.Including the free movement of people.

          • Conway

            They have more say in the formulation of such regulations than we do and they are not bound to implement them – they refused to implement the postal directive, for example.

          • The left are wrong

            They also get to make their own laws and create trade agreements with emerging economies, whilst paying considerably less than us and being happier nations. Carry on….

    • Jack Rocks

      Who cares?

      • Central power

        You and Boris are rich enough not to care. The EU also drives down the prices of medicines. And has just launched a tax avoidance directive.
        By the way your beloved Brexiter Farrage voted against measures to protect the European Steel Industry. Go and watch Brexit: The Movie. Their alternative is some free for all jungle.
        I also suspect that Farrage is against the strong EU anti smoking measures.

        • Jack Rocks

          I’m not rich but I sense you don’t really understand economics. If EU telecoms charge £1.49 a minute on calls, people won’t make as many of them. Indeed they may stop making them altogether and stick to free internet messengers and things like that.

          As for the “tax avoidance directive” it won’t apply to EU fatcats who pay a special low rate of tax on their income, will it.

          • kyle lynch

            However companies then charge you for Internet usage and used to gouge customers to use it until the EU brought in legislation to stop that happening.

          • Jack Rocks

            You really don’t understand what the EU is about do you. It’s regulatory frameworks are designed to keep out smaller competitors, not to break up big corporate power. Big corporates love the EU, in case you hadn’t noticed.

            Give me strength.

          • kyle lynch

            How and in what way? Please demonstrate before giving vague accusations. How specifically does EU legislation keep out smaller firms.

          • Penny

            Oh, I can give you some answer here, Kyle. I have been trying to start up a very, very small business. A cottage industry, to be precise. No sooner did I start (embryonic steps) than the EU whacked a whole load more legislation on it in the form of labelling.

            The thing is, no one in this small industry understands precisely what they are supposed to do – even those who have spent £thousands on the course that was supposed to guide them. Trying to understand the terminology (most of it scientific) the “on the one hand…but then on the other” stuff that is woven into the pages upon pages of it is mind-boggling. And this is just for a product label!

            People in small businesses don’t necessarily have the money to either pay thousands for courses that only half-educate them, or to fund legal advice. And I don’t doubt that no sooner have we got to grips with this, another lot of legislation will be on its way.

          • kyle lynch

            Oh no the EU requires your business to transparent and informative to its customers in order to ensure quality and safety.
            Then you solict the services of specialist advisors who will be au fait with the legislation and can guide you. Yes it is an annoyance but unless you can show how it is useless or meaningless you are just complaining that product standards are held high and you cant just yahoo your way into business touting shoddy products.

            So please tell me how legislation and transparency in business is a bad thing?

          • Penny

            Kyle – did you read my comment? Your reply suggests you didn’t comprehend my points. Besides which, you’ve now moved the goalposts. Your original question was “How specifically does EU legislation keep out smaller firms?” Now you’ve changed that to “So please tell me how legislation and transparency in business is a bad thing?”

            I have no objection to labelling my goods. None whatsoever! I quite agree that transparancy is absolutely a “must”. And I’d love to comply – it’s just that the process is so complicated that no one understands it. People have already paid £thousands to go on courses and are still unclear! This is a cottage industry – would it be so very hard for the EU to write legislation in terms that tiny businesses can understand?

            The other point you miss is that soliciting the services of specialist adivsors a) shouldn’t be necessary if the legislation was written in a way we could all understand and b) costly. It is this which drives out small businesses. The bigger companies have the money to pay for specialist this and legal that – small businesses do not. They are generally operating on very small margins. I am unlikely to get my idea off the ground now because I simply do not have the money to “solicit the service of specialist advisors”.

          • kyle lynch

            The EU is not responsible for your ignorance, you want to join an industry either get a consultant like everyone else, or get the education you admit is available. If it is technical and you dont understand it, is your problem not the EUs and is certainly not the EU supporting large companies over small ones. It is the EU supporting well informed businesses rather than letting Yahoos hoodwinking customers.

            If I want to start an architects firm I either need to be an architect, hire one or train up to be one so that I comply with legislation. It is not unreasonable a request and ensures standards are met. Is it expensive… yes, is it costly…yes is it done to spite the little guy…no. It is there to protect consumers not pander to your ego and ignorance. All businesses require capital to start up the fact that you are ignorant of the legislation required and lack the correct capital is no ones fault but your own.

          • Penny

            You’re getting rude now, Kyle. You don’t know me, you don’t know the legislation I’m grappling with – and you don’t read the comments you’re replying to. Instead you’re hurling out words like “ignorance” and “your problem”. You aren’t the greatest advert for the EU that I’ve come across.

            Indeed, if you wanted to start an architects firm then you need to do
            all of the things you suggest. But what if the EU landed you with
            legislation that had little to do with architecture and was linked to
            chemistry? “Oh” you say – just hire a consultant” – but this is where we come full circle. If you understood small business then you’d understand that they very often operate on small margins. They haven’t got the money to hire consultants or to continually make changes.

            I can’t afford a consultant. My business is way too small. I’m simply an ordinary woman, trying to get by. And this is why small businesses close. Money. That’s it in a nutshell. Under the EU, the bigger corporations will always survive. The small-time person will not.

          • kyle lynch

            I dont suffer fools and your points are becoming more and more inane. No I dont know the legislation you are grappling with, it seems you dont either. Sorry but if you cannot meet basic standards that are in place to protect consumers you have no right to complain.

            Excellent so you have evidence of the EU bringing in eronious legislation then, deliberately designed to make life difficult for the small business. I operate a small business and worked hard to educate and apply myself to make it a success. It is tightly regulated and requires lots of technical knowledge. Was it a pain understanding / hiring those that understand it? Yes. Was it expensive? Yes. Did i acknowledge and recognise this before taking the leap? Yes.

            Then raise more capital outside of your business, take out a loan, educate yourself or whatever you want to do to make it work. Opening a business is not risk free and if you cant take the heat get out the kitchen.
            Small business fail because you are entering a competitive environment and the better business wins. You want to be coddled and given the gold star treatment unearned…tough, grow up and get real. Stop blaming the EU boogey man for your own failings shortcomings and ignorance.

          • Penny

            My points are not remotely inane, Kyle. And rudeness is not a sign of not suffering fools gladly – it’s a sign that you are tying yourself up in knots of your own making. You aren’t entering into a debate at all – you’re hitting out at anyone who dares question the EU. And I think your lashing out is quite juvenile as it continually resorts to insulting your interlocuter’s academic and/or business ability. That’s foolish when you’ve no real idea who you are interacting with.

            You are twisting and turning on your earlier arguments about the rights the EU has afforded us – but here I am, an ordinary person attempting to sell hand-crafted items and according to you, the EU shouldn’t pay me any mind whatsoever! It’s all my own ignorance! It shouldn’t even make its own legislation such that one doesn’t have to pay for specialist advice! How, then, is the EU protecting us all? There are thousands of people running kitchen table businesses and on the one hand you say the EU is our guardian, the protector of workers’ rights – on the other you’re saying “if you can’t take the heat…” Make your mind up.

            As to not blaming the EU – who else do I blame for a legislation that even people in my field of endeavour who have attended courses still cannot understand? Let me say this one more time – no one understands it. Not even those who were running the course were able to answer all the questions posed. Knowing exactly what has to go on a label shouldn’t be so difficult that you have to pay for specialist advice! And this IS a failing of the EU – over-complicating a simple situation; making pages and pages pages of directives for what should go on a label is not necessary or time-efficient. Expecting readable, understandable directives is not asking for gold-star treatment for heaven’s sake!

            Your turnabouts are startling. You should go back over what you’re posting and note the many contradictions you are making.

          • kyle lynch

            Happy to have discussion on it but as far as I can tell you are laying your troubles at other peoples feet. I will not put up with that.

            You want to discuss the EU, its boons its cost happy to do so but I will not suffer people laying their own decisions at the feet of someone else.

            As I keep telling you, it is legislation that is there to protect consumers, now either show how they are pointless, purely punative or otherwise worthless and I will concede points but so far you have done none of that. All you have done is bemoan that life is difficult and it is unfair. You want to start a business with no limitations on how you can act and go all cowboy and do what you like…Sorry it doesnt work that way. You want to enter a field that has technical elements and seek rewards from that field then you have to tow the line and make sure you are compliant.

            To complain that legislation is too complicated is bogus unless you can show that it is needlessly complicated. Cite examples. Handwringing and saying that other people agree is not an objective analysis. When I wanted to hire people there are lots of laws that I needed to follow and legislation I needed to be compliant with. Did I moan about it… no I hired a consultancy to draft up contracts, provide me with HR advice and what I needed to do to be compliant. Is this a pain and does it add to my running costs? Yes. Do I see the reason for it? Yes

            You keep saying it is not nessecary but you dont say why or how they should do it differently. All you have shown is thus far that you are not willing to actually invest in a business and use your ignorance and failings in this manner as an excuse to blame the EU. As I mentioned earlier I am ignorant about the employment law, so I got in a specialist so that my ignorance does not become a failing. If I were smarter I would learn it myself but Im not so I put up the money to make sure I do things by the book.

            Again you have to show why it is wrong or wasteful, objectively rather than just bemoaning it.

          • Penny

            Kyle – it seems to me that you just don’t read my comments properly. Or that you do, but you don’t understand them. Half of what you write has no bearing on what I’ve said. Your protectiveness of the EU is touching – but quite illogical and not in touch with the real world.

            Please tell me where I have in any way, shape or form said that I “…want to start a business with no limitations on how I can act and go all cowboy and do what I like”. I’ve said nothing of the sort. You clearly missed the bit where I said that I believe products – my products – should be transparent. I agree with legislation that gives the consumer all the relevant information they might need. However, the legislation – in order to protect the consumer – has to be written such that the producer can actually understand it. Mistakes made might well affect the producer – but equally, they can affect the consumer. And the EU wouldn’t want that, would it?

            What you appear to be saying is that it is perfectly logical and viable for people working from their kitchen tables making hand-crafted, inexpensive items, to pay more than they’re likely to earn back to a specialist in order to construct a simple label? And you skip lightly over the part where I’ve said that those larger companies (although still small concerns) who have paid are still unclear because the specialists couldn’t answer all their questions.

            You want objective analysis? Then tell me how complicated you think it should be to write a piece of legislation about labels? How much money should any single kitchen table business expend on labels? In any rational world it should not be so complicated that even specialists don’t understand it. Shall I repeat this for you because you keep missing it – no one understands it.

            Shall I also repeat the fact that the tiny business I’d like to start would simply not be viable in any way, shape or form if I have to fork out thousands to understand how to construct a label. If you genuinely are a businessman, Kyle, then this should be screamingly obvious to you. The product has to be able to survive the cost of sales.

          • kyle lynch

            Fine then please demonstrate how you would like it simplified or point out where you think it is too complicated and acts as an unessecary barrier. I have yet to see legislation or labeling that is frivilous or overly complicated.

            My point is that this legislation is normally there to protect the consumer, and that going around saying its too complicated for you personally to understand or that you find it too technical is not an excuse unless you are looking to reduce regulation or want a more cowboy attitude to business.

            No one understands it really? You have evidence of this? You can prove that it is too complicated.

            I used to work for a manufacturer of furniture some 10 years ago. Now there are reams upon reams upon reams of legislation and lableling that we needed to provide. My boss had only recently set this firm up and would bemoan it, however he understood the why as he knew that transparency was key. Did he understand much of the legislation. Nope. However he understood the reasons for it.

            Again my point stands that unless you can point to specific legislation that you deem is overly complicated or that certain labeling is frivolous then say so. I am not saying it doesnt exist but I find it laughable that rather than just out and out pointing to specific you moan and moan that it is difficult and costly. My mocking is that you seemed to think business is an easy road without risk or investment.

          • The left are wrong

            Eronious legislation, I’ll stick to the fun ones:

            In 2011 they passed a law, which claimed scientists had found no evidence to suggest drinking water stopped dehydration. (Yes, really)
            This meant manufacturers of bottled drinking water were prohibited from labelling their product with anything that would suggest consumption would fight dehydration.

            Que a costly and pointless relabeling process.

            The EU tried and failed to get diabetics off the roads in 2010. It became so badly ridiculed they had to humiliatingly apologise and back down.

            Eggs could not longer be sold by the dozen. No reason given Now they are sold purely on a weight basis. Que expensive relabeling, weighing and waste. The consumer paid for this, so did the environment.

            I could go on but you get the idea.

          • kyle lynch

            Apparently not, as this article that provides proof and citation shows – https://www.theguardian.com/science/the-lay-scientist/2011/nov/18/1

            So yeah your example just doesnt hold to any real critical thought.

            Again a sensible and reasonable piece of legislation when it comes to HGV drivers

            http://www.theguardian.com/politics/reality-check-with-polly-curtis/2011/oct/05/cameron-dig-brussels-diabetes-discriminatory

            You can sell eggs by the dozen which is fine but it has to be labled properly with a weight class being the main condition you need to meet. It is to stop people selling tiny eggs as a dozen and pulling the wool over peoples eyes. It is about consumers being given all the right information.

          • The left are wrong

            So you think the average person should be priced out of doing business because you need a nanny state to hold your hand?

            Hold up everyone, Kyle thinks you should have no aspirations because he believes that you should be governed by an un-elected bureaucracy that favours big business and is complicit in crushing competition but that’s okay because “everyone lobbies”…. well except small business who have no representation at a corporate or indeed ploitical level.

          • Penny

            Well, clearly, from Kyle’s replies not only should you have no aspirations, but you should also have no expectations that the EU will have any interest whatsoever in anything less than a business that can afford to pay for courses, specialst advice, education…..in order to create a label. Just an ordinary label for goods that are worth about £2. People are spending £thousands trying to understand what is required and still, all I’m coming across is confusion. They don’t want to give advice because they are unclear themselves and don’t want the additional liability.

            Can you imagine what is involved in stuff that is even slightly more complicated than constructing a label?! You could spend a fortune on this type of nonsense when all that is needed is a very simple “this is what you have to put on your label”. Job done. But in the World According to Kyle, this would be asking for “gold star treatment”.

          • The left are wrong

            Exactly, any form of repackaging or manufacturing re-tooling is expensive. Logic is lost on these people.

          • kyle lynch

            No I think robust regualtion is good for the consumer and means that people looking to get into regualted industries need to do so responsibly.

            You can aspire as much as you want no one is stopping you but regulation is there to stop you doing it in a cowboy fashion and to protect consumers. You seem to think that half assing it is acceptable even if it puts consumer health at risk.

            It is an elected authority so please stop grasping at straws, it is unbecoming. Lobbying happens all the time from charities to defence contractors. There is no getting around it, to lay it as an entirely EU problem is dishonest.

          • Stigenace

            Is there an upper limit, in your mind, to how costly regulations ought to be? If it ends up pricing the product beyond the means of most of those it’s aimed at, does that matter?

          • kyle lynch

            I am happy for legislation to be passed that is protective and sensible. It must be done on a case by case basis with robust arguments to their implementation. Can you point out useless legislation that has been adopted just because or without argument.

          • The left are wrong

            I’ve already demonstrated they introduce pointless and expensive legislation.

            Ignoring those facts doesn’t mean they don’t happen.

            Big companies have money to adapt to packaging and pointless changes to rules. Small companies get buried in the costs.

            Are you seriously trying to suggest that spurious changes by the EU that require costly changes don’t hurt small business?

          • The left are wrong

            If lobbying didn’t affect the EU legislation, then companies wouldn’t spend hundreds of millions doing it, would they?

            The EU could be the honest and fair bastion of the people you dellusionally believe it to be and ignore it or ban it.

            They don’t. It continues and helps shape policy that benefits businesses that answer to bottom lines and shareholders and NOT the people.

          • The left are wrong

            Let’s take one of their most comical and pointless regs:

            Commission Regulation (EC) 2257/94 puts it, bananas must be “free from malformation or abnormal curvature”.

            Anything less than the perfect banana shape and the supermarkets won’t buy them. Class 1 bananas only.

            That means increased cost and food wastage for the grower and us.

            That’s just 1! There are so many it would make your head spin. You could start reading them now and not finish by Christmas.

          • kyle lynch

            Long ago debunked – http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/6481969.stm

            It is about ensuring that the goods you purchase meet a certain standard as advertised. As the above article shows. If the banana doesnt fit class one it is moved to another class, no wastage is involved.

          • The left are wrong

            Did you read the article? Did you read what I wrote?

            The EU classed bananas on shape. Naturally the supermarkets decided class 1 was best and only bought this more expensive class of fruit.

            To give you an idea of the appetite for cost over aesthetics in foods, Asda recently introduced the “wonky vegetable box”. They literally sold the classes below the top grades because it’s the SAME fruit and veg.
            They sold out in hours. It made the news.

            The veg still cost more because farmers have to sort and package it as so.

            In the UK our farmers dispose of tons “mishappen” veg because it won’t meet these arbitrary regs and the supermarkets are using the EU classing system to charge us more and make veg and fruit production more expensive and…. less environmentally safe.

          • kyle lynch

            Yes. Did you read mine. They are classed across a number of spectrums and each one has its own ruling so as to stop wastage.

            Then blame the supermarkets not the EU. The EU added a classification system and businesses acted in interest that they thought were best for them. Stop blaming the EU for private decisions.

            They are able to sell it no problem it is just classed differently. Just because it makes the news does not make it valid. Remember the winterville nonsense which was just Daily Mail fabrication.

            In case you didnt read it here is what it said about the banana classification –

            Was the European Union trying to ban straight bananas, or bent ones? This story goes back so far that a lot of people are no longer sure quite what the scandal was about. They just remember that Brussels seemed to be taking an unhealthy interest in the shape of this fruit.

            Here is the correct answer: the commissioners have no problem with straight bananas, it’s the crooked ones they don’t like so much, but they have never banned them. As Commission Regulation (EC) 2257/94 puts it, bananas must be “free from malformation or abnormal curvature”. In the case of “Extra class” bananas, there is no wiggle room, but Class 1 bananas can have “slight defects of shape”, and Class 2 bananas can have full-on “defects of shape”.

            No attempt is made to define “abnormal curvature” in the case of bananas, which must lead to lots of arguments. Contrast the case of cucumbers (Commission Regulation (EEC) No 1677/88), where Class I and “Extra class” cucumbers are allowed a bend of 10mm per 10cm of length. Class II cucumbers can bend twice as much.

          • Stigenace

            I don’t understand the purpose of these classifications. They don’t seem to have any objective merit.

          • Central power

            How do you know it was the EU? You think all regulations are from the EU? But the Brexiters tell us that we shall not be 100 % unregulated once we leave the EU.How do you know (for example) that banning of asbestos originated in the EU or the UK?

          • Penny

            Because it’s REACH.

          • The left are wrong

            Small firms can’t absorb ever changing legislation on a small budget vs global corporates with dedicated legislation teams. The same corporates that avoid tax by offshoring their business HQ.

            Big companies actually pay people to lobby the EU for changes because they don’t have to sell you a better or cheaper product, if they kill the competition.
            There is an eating area in Brussels they call “the lobby lounge”.

            Is that fair? Is it good for us? Is it good for the average worker whose CEO earns 150x their salary?

          • kyle lynch

            Legislation always changes and the little guys are constantly on the move in that regards having to deal with it. That will not change upon leaving the EU, however the changes they make are at least there to protect the consumer.

            Name one specific piece of legislation that is designed to give large companies solely the upper hand over smaller competitors. Lobbiest are always going to exist, we have them in the UK but unless you can show me legislation that directly gives big companies an advantage and has no other reason for existing other than to bankrupt smaller companies you have no leg to stand on.

          • The left are wrong

            That’s easy. Last year the EU put VAT on digital services (one of our growth industries). That meant that if you exported a service to say France, you’d have to pay their VAT and not enjoy the UK’s tax threshold of £81k.

            The idea was to hurt big web firms like Amazon. It didn’t. At best it was a mild inconvenience to Amazon.

            To a small business though, it meant major paper work, additional accounting costs and being even more uncompetitive.

            The EU literally raised Amazon’s market share while driving smaller businesses into the wall. Any additional cost was absorbed by extra profit and purchasing people.

          • kyle lynch

            As you mentioned it wasnt there to punish business and certainly wasnt the deliberate intention. Also VAT is a tax on consumers so it is the customer that has to pay that not the business.
            Just because legislation hurts small business does not mean the EU is trying to disadvantage them, bigger business are always going to be in a stronger position to absorb costs. That is the way of the world I am afraid but to lay it on the feet of the EU is just nonsense.

          • The left are wrong

            You are really doing your best to avoid logic here.

            The EU is fine destroying business because they didn’t mean to be incompetent???

            Big companies can absorb some VAT costs, small companies suffer the consequences.

            Once you get rid of competition you monopolise a market. See Intel on computer chips before the rise of AMD. They drop fed consumers small changes at ridiculous costs. Competition creates excellence and value for the consumer.

            The EU directly destroyed competition and small business…. but don’t blame them. If you don’t have endless coffers and lobbyists, that’s not the EU’s fault.

          • Central power

            Where I live plenty of of small businesses are thriving. If the business is good it will do well. About 80% of start ups fail within a few years. Not because of the EU but because they are not good enough. You still have not supplied a single credible example of a good small business being destroyed by the EU regulations.No one denies the value of competition. Please give an example of the EU anti competitive regulations before you start waffling about AMD and Intel chips. Intel invented the chip and had the patents.

          • The left are wrong

            Read the other posts for examples. I don’t know any businesses personally and if you can’t use logic or joined up thinking, then I’m not researching exact examples because it’s like arguing with a cult member.

            Any evidence will encourage more stupid questions.

            “I want an example of a legislation”

            * example given *

            “Well now I want you to provide me names of companies”

            What next? Analysis of their business model and sales trends from corporate slides?

            You will just ask for more and more examples without changing your limited view.

          • kyle lynch

            How is this defying logic. Governments will makes changes all the time and to act like the EU is unique in this capacity is grabage. As I said either show that the cahnges are spiteful, meaningless or otherwise wasteful because until you can your point is moot.

            That would be great apart from the fact that the EU has strict trade laws surrounding monopolies.

            You can say that about any legislation. Small business by their very nature are vunerable to change so again you are pinning a generality to the EU as if it were a unique.

          • Conway

            VATMOSS caused a lot of small internet businesses to shut down in the first few weeks of being introduced; it became unviable due to the hassle to cope with the complexity for relatively small, but hitherto satisfactory, profits.

          • kyle lynch

            That is the nature of business. Im sure lots of business went under, others thrived and others remained the same. Legislation is always going to affect businesses. If it were entirely risk free everyone would start one.

          • Conway

            No, if it weren’t so burdensome (thanks to EU regulations) more people would start one and employ more people because their businesses can grow (I know what I’m talking about, we used to run a small business and so do many of my friends; all have been held back by EU regulations). Look at France, a country I know well; their employment law is so sclerotic that many businesses there will not take on extra staff because the difficulty of getting rid of them when they prove useless is too great.

          • Jack Rocks

            Why don’t you ask Dyson. He’s got plenty to say on the subject.

          • kyle lynch

            Specifically state what he has said?

          • Jack Rocks

            That German vacuum cleaner manufacturers were using their clout with the EU to skew the energy efficiency ratings system in their favour (and against his products). This is how the EU operates. It’s a protectionist racket. And you support it.

          • kyle lynch

            Evidence of this egregious level of fraud please and that the EU having been made aware of wrong doing did nothing.

          • Jack Rocks

            Oh, you think German manufacturers are above bending the rules? Just look at VW scamming the CO2 ratings. How naïve you are, to think they don’t have the ear of EU commissioners.

          • kyle lynch

            No they are not above it but as your example shows the EU acts when the facts are revealed. So unless you have evidence that they acted dishonestly on purpose then produce it.

          • Jack Rocks

            Are you suggesting they acted dishonestly by accident? What a muppet.

          • Central power

            You really don’t understand anything. Just travel through Germany and Switzerland (has the same EU regulations like the rest of the EU). You will see countless plants of small companies. And they are doing quite well.
            The EU has no interest in “keeping out smaller competitors”.Next time please give some examples of EU regulations which will support your assertions.

          • Jack Rocks

            Switzerland isn’t in the EU, and those German companies are a success despite, not because of EU regulation.

          • Central power

            It will.Especially to large corporation like Amazon and Google. Make no mistake. Just little example. Of course,you will not find it in Brexit: The Movie
            European Union antitrust regulators on Wednesday (9 July) fined French drugmaker Servier, Israel’s Teva and four others a total of €428 million, as part of a crackdown on deals which block cheaper generic medicine.
            Another example of the “evil” EU. Sleep well and look forward to the day the “Free United Kingdom” will adopt Chinese regulations.

          • Jack Rocks

            The UK is quite capable of having its own antitrust regulation.

    • The left are wrong

      You don’t use skype on wifi like everyone else?
      Even ISIS has wifi.

      The telecoms companies aren’t stupid. They know they’ll lose a lot of money hiking prices for no service improvement.

      • Central power

        I am talking about roaming. Firstly not everywhere is WiFi available.and the prices also apply to data.

        • The left are wrong

          Wifi is available in most hotels, coffee shops, bars and business facilities.

          You could travel to Raqqa in Syria and get Wifi with Jihadis who eat with their fingers. Are you trying to seriously suggest that European holiday locations or businesses lack the technology that bombed out cities with theological despot dictators run in the dessert have?

          You can’t say Europe is great but then trying to make out they have less facilities than a banana republic.

    • manofthepeepl

      i don’t know anyone in Albania, so I don’t really care to be honest.

  • davidblameron

    I am prepared to face any consequences after Britain L E A V Es the EU.

    • kyle lynch

      Prepared to face them for everyone else who doesn’t want to leave.

      • Atticus

        Yes, because those of us not cowed by the threats from the wealthy and powerful will shoulder any burden for representative democracy and sovereign government. Whatever threats are thrown at us are small beer compared to what our forebears suffered.

        • kyle lynch

          No, those of us who can see the benefits that the EU provide and want to make use of them should not have to shoulder hardship because of some peoples ignorance and nationalism.

          Our soverignty is still in tact unless the EU plan on invading us with an army? The EU is objectively more democratic than our own system so to criticise it seems somewhat foolish.

          • Paul S HK

            The Commision and its powers are more democratic than Parliament??
            I’m pro Remain, but really, even I don’t believe that!

          • kyle lynch

            Yes each member state appoints a person to it so, yes it is. Well as we have a house of lords (unelected) and a monarchy (unelected) yes it is objectively more democratic especially when you see that MEP’s are elected via a PR system rather than FPtP

          • The left are wrong

            The head of state – No power (when did she last create a law?)
            House of Lords – No power (same here)

            Turkey will have a bigger say in Europe than Britain or France when it joins. A country with a majority landmass in Asia can shape policy better than we will be able to.

            Currently Britain enjoys 9.7% of any EU votes which will diminish with new states joining. How do you expect us to make change from within?

            We are one of the powerful nations in the planet that are reduced to having less of a voice than Turkey…. which is ruled by a dictator that crushes any media that disagrees with his policies in a very violent way.

          • kyle lynch

            The Queen has the power to…
            The power to appoint and dismiss the Prime Minister.
            The power to appoint and dismiss other ministers.
            The power to summon, prorogue and dissolve Parliament.
            The power to make war and peace.
            The power to command the armed forces of the United Kingdom.
            The power to regulate the Civil Service.
            The power to ratify treaties
            The power to issue passports
            The power to appoint bishops and archbishops of the Church of England
            The power to create peers (both life peers and hereditary peers).

            The house of lords has the ability to ammend or reject legislation and can hold up it enactment by up to two years. So they can interfere with the demoncratic process pretty substantially.

            Turkey is not joining any time soon. It isnt even close to fufilling the most basic of requirements to join and it is in fact moving further away from that fact. It has been wanting to join for years even then it needs every member state to accept its joining which will not happen any time soon. Greece certainly wont.

            We make change by working with other countries to meet our goals. Like our MP’s do. It is like manchester complaining that the UK isnt democratic because it cannot by itself change legislation as it sees fit.

          • Stigenace

            “Turkey is not joining any time soon. It isnt even close to fufilling the
            most basic of requirements to join and it is in fact moving further
            away from that fact. It has been wanting to join for years even then it
            needs every member state to accept its joining which will not happen any
            time soon. Greece certainly wont.”

            Greece is over a barrel. If the major players in the EU want Turkey to join they can squeeze Greece until it begs for mercy and apologises for ever having the temerity to dissent.

          • kyle lynch

            No they cant and they wont. Now unless Turkey has had some great reform that they have not told the world about they are not even close to getting in.

          • Central power

            Czech Republic, Poland, Slovenia, Hungary,Slovakia, Bulgaria, Romania – all these countries will definitely veto the Turkey’s accession. They have all experienced the Turkish invasion in the past. Actually their joining the EU and the Lisbon Treaty has put paid to the Turkish hopes for generations to come. Unless you believe that scaremongering liar Gove.

          • The left are wrong

            You think the queen actually has power and isn’t a traditional nicety for the UK? A relic from our past that is ingrained in our political system through pomp and show?

            Manchester does. It’s why HS2 is so important to them. It’s why the government is trying to create the “Northern powerhouse”.

          • kyle lynch

            I dont think that, that is power she actually has. Good for her for not abusing it but it doesnt mean she cant or that her heirs wont abuse it.
            Northern Powerhouse is not a political machine it is for business to work better together and increase investment. I know this as I attened the event.

          • polidorisghost

            “Good for her for not abusing it but it doesnt mean she cant or that her heirs wont abuse it.”

            She cannot abuse a power she doesn’t have.

          • kyle lynch

            So she doesn’t have the power to dissolve parliament or appoint a new prime minister. That is just a lie we are told for a few laughs.

          • Paul S HK

            Kyle, you merely demonstrate your lack of understanding of the UK constitution and the operation of its conventions.
            Give it a break.
            A first year law undergraduate knows better.

          • kyle lynch

            Brilliant so what exactly did I get wrong. Don’t hand wave be specific. All of that by the way I have pulled of off govt websites.

          • Paul S HK

            Also, on the powers of the Lords, they can only delay a money bill for 6 months.
            Read the history of the Parliament Acts of 1911 (and later)to get a sense of how and why the Lords were reformed.
            They may not be democratic in their origin, but they exercise a moderating influence on the government of the day, at least nowadays.
            They have their faults, but most Parliamentarians agree their scrutiny of legislation is valuable.

          • polidorisghost

            “Brilliant so what exactly did I get wrong.”
            Just about everything.

          • kyle lynch

            Specifics sir. Hand waving is the sign of poor arguments.

          • Paul S HK

            And, Kyle, Greece is the perfect example of what people hate about how moder works.
            A small country bullied by a large one and compelled to swallow medicine that every banker knows makes the disease worse, not better. I’m not talking about fault here, as between Greece or Goldman Sachs or the French for how greece fiddled her books, but false solutions to real world problems
            Unfortunately the large bully is the same country, the taming of which has been one of the EU’s greater successes.

          • kyle lynch

            Greece balked against honouring terms it had agreed to and Germany was taking a strong stance against it. The UK would have done exactly the same thing if it were in Germany shoes.

          • Paul S HK

            The UK would not have done the same thing because the Brits understand banking and the Germans, obsessed as they are with never going into debt and always saving, do not. The brightest germans go into engineering.
            The reason we wold n’t do the same is that its is counter-productive to destroy the very economy that we depend on for repayment.
            The irony is that it was Germany that most demonstrated the stupidity of demanding impossible repayments, when she balked at the terms of the versailles Treaty.
            I hate too seem to take the role of tutor, but if you were to read Keynes’ “The Economic Consequences of the Peace”, you’d see what I mean.
            A very good read, not too technical, not too long, very clear, and best read int he First Edition, so you can hold in your hands an object that predates the 1930s and WWII, and feel how prescient Keynes was in warning about the dangers of laying impossible terms for reparations on Germany. It was written in 1919, well before the disasters of the 1930s, that were partly the result of the burdens laid on Germany.
            Greece cannot possibly pay the debts it owes, and therefore needs debt relief. The IMF agrees. The vindictive and moralising Mr Schauble does not.
            The pragmatic Brits would side with the IMF, not Germany.

          • kyle lynch

            The UK General public probably understands very little about banking especially considering some of the posters here are conflating Germans actions as to be the EU’s.
            You demand repayments from a country when it refuses to pay it back or change its policies. The gesture is largely symbolic, notice how the moment Greece actually sat down and spoke with Germany and startrd behaving Germany actually toned down the aggression.

          • Paul S HK

            You’re ducking my point as I’m right and you’re wrong.
            Germany has not toned down the demand for impossible payments in the slightest.
            It remains a stupid and impossible idea.

          • kyle lynch

            Of course it has. Notice how the repayments are not on TV anymore. Germany laid down the riot act and compelled Greece to keep to its original agreement.

          • Paul S HK

            Not if you read he FT or the Wall St Journal it isn’t…
            TV is not the best way to follow money matters, Kyle.
            Try this from last week:
            http://www.wsj.com/articles/imf-wants-eurozone-debt-relief-for-greece-until-2040-1463468493

          • kyle lynch

            Thank you for proving my point. Yes if you look in financial based media you will hear about it because of their specialist nature. This article you provide is Germany holding Greece to its original agreement, something that has not changed since the original loans.

          • Paul S HK

            If your point is that Germany is behaving in a way that all bankers recognise does not work, and you think that’s a plus point, then you’ve (a) made your point successfully; (b) shown you’re as hopeless as Schauble.
            If you were me, you’d realise that I’ve made my point, which is that the ‘bad’ side of the EU (as perceived the GBP), is amply demonstrated by Germany insisting that pigs can fly , aka “Holding he Greeks to their obligations”.
            If you read and understood the financial media (which, since you’re taking a position on politico-economic matters, you should at least try), then you’d know that “Holding he Greeks to their obligations” is nothing to crow about, but a demonstration of counterproductive stupidity.
            As I said, read “The Economic Consequences of the Peace”.
            And you’re now insisting that the Germans have in fact toned down nothing, while previously yu were saying that they were now being nice and soft.
            On which you are demonstrably wrong.
            But you don’t read the FT or WSJ, you just noticed the Greek-German issues were not on TV nowadays… well, how superficial can you get?

          • kyle lynch

            I am not saying one way or the other all I am say is that Germany is acting on its own accord and is holding Greece to the terms they agreed to. Is it good for Germany Europe Greece etc is irrelevant. They act on their own accord and can do as they want and has very little to with the EU and its mechanisms.
            Whilst I have a degree of sympathy with Greece it ends shortly when they go back on an agreement because of their own bad behaviour. Germany are probably doing this in order to show a position of power so that other who wish to seek loans from them dont think they can act irresponsibly and not pay.
            My point being that Germany acted very aggressively against a greece stomping their feet in the beginning, but once they became reasonable they entered into more effective talks. Now whilst specialist reporters like the FT, WSJ etc are going to keep an eye on it for obvious reasons other print is only going to have a passing interests because it is in talks. Now whilst the ongoing agreements are harsh and to an extent punitive they are understandable.

          • stuartMilan

            your paid-for EU trolling isn’t working. maybe try the Guardian?

          • kyle lynch

            Show where I am wrong if you think I am trolling

          • Conway

            Appoints – no democracy there. They also take an oath to the EU, not to their own country. The MEPs are just members of a talking shop. It’s the commission which produces the legislation to be rubber stamped.

          • kyle lynch

            Appointed by elected officials. Did you elect the education or health secretary?

            Of course they have to they are making decisions that affect everyone in the EU. It is the MEP’s who vote legislation in, so a bit more than a talking shop.

          • The left are wrong

            Oh yes, it’s definitely more fair that poorer countries that work less hours and retire earlier, get to outvote us on legislation that protects their industries but hurt ours.

            It’s like going to the pub with poor mates who get to vote that you buy the next round because you are rich and they outvoted you.

          • Central power

            How can a country retire? Please supply the reference to the legislation which as you put it ” protects their industries but hurt ours.”

          • Paul S HK

            Kyle, dear boy, the appointment is by the executive (European governments), not the legislature.
            The EP is closer to the people, true, but the Commission has powers to create law that far exceed those of governments in Europe generally.
            I’ve been elected to European positions, and I’m broadly in favour of Remain, but there is a mega democratic deficit at the heart of Europe, and denying doesn’t help the Remain case, as it simply tells people you don’t see any need to reform the European system of governance, which almost no one thinks is an attractive system at all.
            The HoL is not in principle democratic, but convention limited its absolute powers, and every year demonstrates the value of the HoL in correcting legislation that people really hate or that has been screwed up through being knocked together too hastily. Strange but true.

          • kyle lynch

            Never said it was perfect and yes it has lots to change. However to say it is undemocratic is a lie and for us as the UK to bemoan an institution that is factually more democratic than our own is absurd.
            Don’t care about its supposed success rate I care about the fact that unelected representatives have any sway over our legislation. They shouldn’t at all.

          • Paul S HK

            And I never said it was all bad, nor that it was ‘undemocratic’.
            I support Remain, but I said the EU has a democratic deficit.
            And you shouldn’t dismiss the Lords just because of its structure.
            Look at what the HoL actually does.
            We do not have a body like the Commission that is appointed by the executive and can make law directly through the issuance of Directives.
            Our lead institution is the House of Commons, the EU’s is the Commission.
            Grande difference! To lapse into French…

          • kyle lynch

            Apologies for not being specific. I am talking about the broader point. I can and should dismiss a wholly unelected and unaccountable body of government that can interfere in the process of legislation.
            As I said I don’t disagree that the EU could be more democratic but as far as appointments and legislation creation goes it is a far more democratic system than our own.

          • Paul S HK

            you’re missing the main point.
            In the UK, the main source and authority for legislation is the HoC. The Lords have only limited powers.
            In the EU, the Commission, which is appointed by members of the executive in member states, can initiate Directives, which can have force of law without scrutiny by elected members of the European Parliament .
            How is the European system more democratic?

          • kyle lynch

            However the Lords still have powers as demonstrated recently with Osborne welfare cuts. The Queen still has authority in regards to appointing ministers and dissolving parliament.

            One appointment per member states for equal representation for putting forward legislation. An appointment made by elected officials I might add. All legislation is then voted upon by our MEPs

          • Paul S HK

            I say the powers of the Lords have been exercised to the benefit our of our democracy. Did you read Hailsham’s comments on elective dictatorship? It helps ne’er stand our constitution better.
            On the Commission, you’re forgetting about Diectives, which are many
            Per the FCO : A legislative act of the EU which requires Member States to achieve a particular result without dictating the means of achieving that result. Directives must be transposed into national law using domestic legislation, in contrast to Regulations, which are enforceable as law in their own right. [Article 288 TFEU]
            And on legislation and the Commission:
            “The Commission is the main executive body of the EU. It has general executive and management functions. In most cases it has the sole right to propose EU legislation. In many areas it negotiates international agreements on behalf of the EU and represents the EU in international organisations. And the Commission also oversees and enforces the application of Union law, in particular by initiating infraction proceedings where it considers that a Member State has not complied with its EU obligations. [Article 17 TFEU and Articles 244 to 250 TFEU]”
            The Commissioners are appointed bureaucrats, not governed by any elected body when they issue directives.

          • Paul S HK

            And I might add that the Crown will not reject the advice of the PM on the appointment of ministers. See Dicey and any number of other constitutional authorities.
            You are partly right on dissolution.
            The Crown might (and has) seek to ask another member of the HoC to form an administration and seek the support of that House; or even (when the King wanted to appoint Halifax, who was in the Lords, as PM) a member of the Lords (remember how Douglas-Home disclaimed his peerage to be appointed PM). But if the alternative PM-to-be couldn’t get that support, then the advice to dissolve would be accepted.
            However, the key matter is support or not in the Commons.
            That’s a quite different matter from royal discretion to reject the dissolution proposed by the PM.
            And Parliaments now have fixed terms, so dissolution follows slightly different rules.

          • kyle lynch

            Are you saying the crown will not or cannot. Opinion changes legal authority does not so easily. However my point stands is that they do have this authority, whilst a small concession given that they seldom or not in recent memory use it, it does not wipe out the fact that it is still legally there. That is a unelected body and/or official having direct influence in a legal sense in our political process.

          • Old Nick

            And guess what, I believe there are some unelected dog-catchers as well

          • The left are wrong

            Really? I can destroy your argument in 2 test questions:

            1) Name ALL 4 of the current EU presidents

            2) When did you vote for any of them?

            While you are probably reeling from the fact you didn’t know there was 4 (like most people), you might want to consider that 3 of them are paid close to what Obama makes.

            Diplomacy is rooted in being answerable to the people. I know you seemingly hate ignorance from your post, so I’ll be very clear with a definition:

            Democracy definition. A system of government in which power is vested in the people, who rule either directly or through freely elected representatives.

            When did any of the European people elect any of the 4 presidents?

            A British MP asked Jean-Claude Junker (one of the presidents) to account for EU budgets and his answer was “I don’t answer to you”.

            Who does he answer to? Because a representative elected by the people is seemingly beneath him.
            If he can treat our MPs with such contempt, you can imagine how he feels about us.

          • kyle lynch

            1) Irrelevant but here is a list if you want. Easily googleable – http://www.europarl.europa.eu/the-president/en/president/html/former-european-parliament-presidents?webaction=view.acceptCookies

            2) Our representitive did who was put in place by our elected officials. When did you vote for Osbourne to be chancellor of the exchequer?

            Their pay packet or my knowledge is not relevant to the discussion.

            You elect your national representitives and your MEP’s to act on your behalf.

            He doesnt he answers to MEP’s so if this MP wanted that information he needs to speak to his representatives. He answers to MEP’s, all of them from all countries.

            So much for your destruction of my argument.

          • The left are wrong

            Did you really just say that knowing the people who run the EU is irrelevant?!

            By the way, your “easily googleable” search was wrong. That is one of the current presidents and their predecessors.

            The UK MEPs represent 9.7% of any EU voting. That means you have to vote for a party that agrees with your political opinions, who then make up a fraction of the MEPs that make up an ever decreasing fraction of the vote in the EU.

            I’m given the opportunity to elect a an MEP which then is a voice in 750, all with protectionist agendas for their own countries and you think that is what’s best for us?

            He doesn’t answer to MEPs either. They can create laws and MEPs can’t even change them. Does that sound accountable to you?

            You moaned about ignorance but have demonstrated a breathtaking amount of it here. Your lack of knowledge but belief in your argument to be absolute is scary.

            The Nazis (I’m not calling you one here) fooled themselves into believing that the government knew best. They glossed over minor indiscretions by lying to themselves and believing state propaganda.
            People died because of unquestioning loyalty to an ideology that was pure evil but shrouded in so much false belief.

            Eventually Hitler just banished any notion of elections to stop challenge to his power. He stopped answering to the people. Once that happens, people suffer.

          • WFB56

            Idiot. The point is that you, like 99% of the population, don’t know who these 4 Presidents are, or why there are 4. To say that you can google it is the response of a fool.

          • kyle lynch

            Why does it matter. Is it relevant. I cant name every MP in the UK but is that relevant to the discussion at hand.

          • Central power

            I am surprised you are wasting your time trying to reason with the likes of”the left are wrong” and similar other characters. They are simply conspiracy theory adherents. Regardless of the facts – they will always supply some silly “explanation”. They remind me of people who believe that Mossad / CIA/ Prince Philip/ the Queen of Sheba had planted bombs inside the Twin Towers despite video and photographic evidence to the contrary.

          • kyle lynch

            It’s fun and it doesnt hurt to make sure your fundamentals are in place. I’m just amazed at all the pearl clutching and accusations that get chucked in rather than specific arguments.

          • polidorisghost

            “It’s fun and it doesnt hurt to make sure your fundamentals are in place.”
            Yup dude, it sure makes sense to check out yer fundamentals are all present and correct

          • kyle lynch

            Well since no one on here has proven me wrong on my main points. I can rest assured that my principle arguments are solid.

          • polidorisghost

            “So much for your destruction of my argument.”

            To be fair to him, Kyle, you didn’t actually produce an argument

          • grumpyoldrockape

            Re point 2.
            Osborne was voted in as an MP.
            The electorate don’t then decide who becomes the Chancellor of the Exchequer.That is the PM’s responsibility.
            The EU Commissioners are appointed and not elected.That is the difference.

          • kyle lynch

            Yes they are appointed by our elected representatives. Much in the same was as many civil servants are and in much the same way as Chancellor or bodied minister.

          • stuartMilan

            “still in tact”? if you want to influence the future course of our democracy you really ought to bother to learn our language

          • Conway

            List all those benefits. We could travel, study and work abroad before 1973, so no benefits there. We used to able to afford to get on the housing ladder before, so no benefits there. We used to be able to get the school places we want and get a doctor’s appointment when we wanted before 1973, so that’s definitely not a benefit of EU membership. When you can’t take taxes off items (fuel, tampons) you aren’t sovereign. The EU is telling us what blowtorches to use when we make crème brulée – was that the sort of benefit you had in mind?

          • kyle lynch

            Yes we could but it was expensive and not as easy. The housing, NHS, Education issue is a domestic one not a EU one.
            We agreed to that in the full knowledge of what we are comitting to, that is the very notion of being soverign. The EU is holding us to what we agreed to.
            Again we agreed to this and there are reasons for these changes generally environmental or for safety reasons.

          • WFB56

            “our sovereignty is still in tact…” Patently false as most of the UK’s regulations come from the EU not Westminster and the European court is superior to the UK’s.

            To be a successful troll, which you are not, you would need to have at least a fleeting acquaintance with the facts of an argument.

          • kyle lynch

            If we want to remain a part of the EU club we must adhere to them, however no one is forcing us to remain. Therefore unless germany is planning on invading us when we leave we still retain our soverignty.

            Maybe if you could do more than rub two brain cells together or if you actually researched into the arguments you could hold your own, rather than old nigel farages.

          • WFB56

            A non sequitur followed by ignorance and spelling problems “soverignty” and no upticks on your comments as you continue your campaign to be the most unsuccessful troll of the day.

          • kyle lynch

            Yet no one has shown me to be wrong or in anyway incorrect on my points. Not trolling disagreeing. Seems like someone wants a safe space becuase their ideas are weak

          • WFB56

            Every one of your “points” or really attempts at points has been demolished by Conway, blameron, and everyone else. Every one.
            As for ideas, you have none, you simply parrot the Brussels / Cameron line; the very definition of a troll.

          • kyle lynch

            Where exactly have they demolished anything. They have just alluded to non existent scenarios. I have at least point to legislation and facts.

          • veryveryoldfella

            Come on be fair, his script could be written in Brussels or CCHQ. If that is the case, the arguments presented would have no concept of sovereignty or anything else advantageous to the UK.

          • Malcolm Stevas

            Fascinated by your claim that “The EU is objectively more democratic than our own system” – I mean, “objectively”? I wonder what your source is for this striking assertion? Our own system certainly is riddled with faults, but any suggestion that the top-heavy byzantine bureaucracy of the EU is actually more democratic needs all the support it can get.

          • kyle lynch

            Does it have a monarchy, or an unelected second chamber? No? Then yes it is objectively more democratic than our system

          • polidorisghost

            “Does it have a monarchy, or an unelected second chamber? No? Then yes it is objectively more democratic than our system”

            It’s a Constitutional Monarchy, not a Monarchy.
            The power of the unelected second chamber is constrained.
            Thanks for the entertainment kyle

          • kyle lynch

            Do those bodies have the ability to interfere in the workings of government? If they do then you can’t just dismiss them as unimportant.

          • polidorisghost

            “If they do then you can’t just dismiss them as unimportant.”
            I can and do, insofar as the ultimate exercise of political power is concerned. The Monarch and the Lords form the “dignified” branch of the constitution, as Walter Bagehot described it.
            You could learn a great deal by reading his classic account of the constitution. It is called simply: “The English Constitution”. But you are not interested in learning or understanding are you? You are here simply as a shill for the EU.

            To be nothing but others men’s servant is demeaning to most of us Kyle, but it clearly satisfies you.

          • kyle lynch

            Sorry that is a fallacy of authority. As I said the Queen and the Lords can directly interfere with the democratic process. The latter has the power to delay and amend legislation for up to 2 years and the other has the authority over parliament able to dissolve it, dismiss and appoint MP’s and prime ministers, is in charge of the army. If you can show that is not the case then be my guest but don’t say I have to take someone else’s view as fact.
            Not a servant I think democratic cooperation is a fine way to run things. Just because you think England is so weak as to not be able to be a main player as part of the EU is your downfall is not a failing on my part.

          • polidorisghost

            Oh for the love of mercy.
            The Parliament Act of 1911 effectively ended the Lords ability to reject legislation. The Lords is now a revising chamber.
            Here is a pretty decent wikipedia entry on the House of Lords:
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_of_Lords

            The Monarch’s residual powers are exercised by the Prime Minister who is answerable to the House of Commons. The Queen can only act on the “advice” of the Prime Minister.

            “…is in charge of the army.”
            See my earlier comment about the distinction between the dignified and efficient parts of the constitution. The last monarch to lead an army against Parliament had his head chopped off on Parliament Hill. There has been a marked reluctance amongst monarchs to lead armies against the elected government ever since.

            “Not a servant”
            Many servants believe that they are the equal of their masters. It is a common delusion amongst the serving classes.

            “Just because you think England is so weak as to not be able to be a main
            player as part of the EU is your downfall is not a failing on my part.”
            But I don’t think that, so I am afraid that the failing is indeed yours.

            Anyway farewell. As Shaw told us ” Don’t wrestle pigs”

          • Malcolm Stevas

            Feeble: these two factors are trivial, since as you ought to know, the monarchy is almost wholly symbolic with no executive power, and the Lords acts as a democratic check on impetuous or excessive action by the Executive – except that ultimately it can be overruled by that Executive… The gross democratic deficit of the EU has been acknowledged generally, not least by our own Parliament in debate, and the Electoral Reform Society. In terms of accountability and engagement, the British electorate experiences an almost total disconnect from the EU! In fact this is general, and if you look for the relevant paper (widely cited by e.g. the Electoral reform Society) you will see that this feeling of disconnect is shared by the citizens of practically all EU member States.

          • kyle lynch

            However the Lords can interfere when the want in regards to the legislation process which is not Democratic. The Queen has the power to interfere directly with government can dissolve parliament and dismiss prime minister at will.
            Perception and reality are not the same as I am sure you well know but if you can shown how it is u democratic that would be great.
            The feeling of disconnect is a failing of the EU granted but when you have so many nation states working together that is going to happen regardless.

          • Malcolm Stevas

            First sentence: read my post again. The Lords are of proven democratic utility, and their “interference” as you call it can be overruled by the Executive. When did the monarch last intervene seriously in the democratic process? I think you’d have to refer back to the 18th century.
            The EU’s lack of democratic accountability is sufficiently well documented for any reasonable person to be aware of it. It isn’t about mere perception, it’s about concrete fact. The HoC library suggests the actual figure for UK legislation’s issuing from Brussels as around 50%, and please say how many Brits voted for Juncker.

          • kyle lynch

            Doesn’t matter as to the when they have used the power it is the fact that they have it at all. Sorry please explain who the executive is because last I checked although they can only change legislation in very particular circumstances they can still muck about and delay the process.
            If it is so well documented about it being undemocratic then provide some evidence of that fact.
            Our representative who is chosen by our government votes for the the president of the EU.

          • clive

            Kyle,you have to be kidding.The EU “Democratic”Only in your tiny “Leftist”mind

          • kyle lynch

            Sorry did I imagine the elections for my MEP

          • polidorisghost

            “Sorry did I imagine the elections for my MEP”

            Yes, you did.

          • Old Nick

            Because if you voted you did not vote for him but for some abstract ‘party’ which then had a name on a list.

          • kyle lynch

            Wow. Well UKIP made a massive fuss over my imagination. As did my local polling station.

      • davidblameron

        I meant : we have been warned of a doomsday scenario after we LEAVE by even the Governor of the Bank of England as if it’s anything to do with Canada and even by the President of the United States himself as if it’s anything to do with the USA (What is the USA going to lose if we LEAVE?). So whatever the situation is post-Brexit, I shall be equally happy.

        • kyle lynch

          It is an increased risk, an unessecary one. Well the US will lose a major player in the EU economy and enjoys the special relationship it has with us making acess to those markets easier.

          • davidblameron

            The so called ‘special relationship’ between the UK and the USA exists only in the wishful thinking of some Westminster politicians and a useful myth in Washington to be used when it suits American interests.

          • rtj1211

            Absolutely: Oxford is a proving ground for their young spies and honey traps. They’d move their scholarships overseas in an instant if Britain actually stood up to them.

          • davidblameron

            Sorry don’t get you there – but sounds interesting, please elaborate.

          • WFB56

            Nonsense, its not about the US, ” the US will lose a major player in the EU economy…”; the UK economy doesn’t go away and the day to day trading relations with the US don’t change one bit.

          • kyle lynch

            However Brexit will fundamentally change our position and if brexit doesnt take us out of the EU playing field as a direct influencer then why have a referendum at all. Sure we will still trade but our access will not be the same.

          • The left are wrong

            The US exports to the EU are increasing quite well without us. The TTIP will help them gain footholds without us.

            Staying in a political union which is in financial decline is a risk.

      • Bonkim

        They also have a choice.

    • Central power

      Including death I suppose. What is next? Rather death than slavery?

      • davidblameron

        one is being a trifle melodramatic, let’s keep things in proportion.

  • Conway

    In recent years, Ryanair has lost its status as the fastest-growing budget airline in Europe: that honour goes to Norwegian Air, which has thrived outside the EU.” So O’Leary’s attempt to skew the vote by offering cheap (one way) fares to return home to vote stay is a result of sour grapes, then?

    • Central power

      O dear.O dear.Norwegian Air is an IRISH AIRLINE. Its registration within Ireland and outside Norway allows the company to take advantage of European Union airline freedoms and agreements.
      The Brexiters: Short on facts great at waffle.

      • flexdream

        Norwegian Air is not an Irish airline, and is listed on the Oslo stock exchange. It does have an Irish subsidiary though.

        • Central power

          It is registered as Irish..Same as a Japanese car company in the UK becomes UK PLC

      • Nomad

        So Liberians and Panamanians are the world’s biggest shipowners? The flag carried by a moveable asset does not indicate ownerships. Likewise the Cayman and Virgin Island companies are only holding the tax burden and they are not West Indian owned assets.

  • Conway

    The Remain side still has the advantage of being the default position: if in doubt, many will be inclined to vote for no change.” No change is not an option; the EU will change whether we stay in or not. There are five new poor countries with their applications in, the eurozone is heading for more integration and there is a raft of legislation that has been put off until after 23rd June so as not to frighten the British. The vote is for change regardless of stay or leave; the difference being that if we leave, we get to say what the changes are.

  • grumpyoldrockape

    ‘Sorry, Chancellor, but the economic argument for the EU has not been won. Here’s why’

    Read this from Zero Hedge:-

    The Eurozone is likely to be the greatest victim of a change in
    interest rate direction. The litany of potential problems
    for the Eurozone makes Chidiock Titchborne’s Elegy, written on the eve
    of his execution, sound comparatively upbeat. Negative yields on
    government debt will have to be quickly reversed if the euro itself is
    to be prevented from sliding sharply lower against the dollar. Bankrupt
    Eurozone governments are surviving only because of the ECB’s
    money-printing, which will have to restricted, and government borrowing
    exposed to the mercy of global markets. Key Eurozone banks are
    undercapitalised compared with the risks they face from higher interest
    rates, so they will do well to survive without failing. There is
    also a growing undercurrent of political unrest throughout Europe,
    fueled by persistent austerity and not helped by the refugee problem.

    Lastly, if the British electorate votes for Brexit, it will almost certainly be a

    grisly end for the European project.
    We know the powers-that-be are very worried, because
    the IMF warned Germany to back off from forcing yet more austerity on
    Greece, which is due to make some €11bn in debt repayments in the coming
    months. The only way Greece can pay is for Greece’s creditors to extend
    the money as part of a “restructuring”, which then goes directly to the
    Troika, for back-distribution. It will be extend-and-pretend, yet
    again, with Greece seeing none of the money. Greece will be forced to
    promise some more spending cuts, and pay some more interest, so the
    fiction of Greek solvency can be kept alive for just a little longer.
    One cannot be sure, but the IMF’s overriding concern may be
    the negative effect Germany’s tough line might have on the British
    electorate, ahead of the referendum on 23rd of June. That is
    the one outlier everyone seems to be frightened about, with President
    Obama, NATO chiefs, the IMF itself, and even the supposedly neutral Bank
    of England, promising dire consequences if the Brits are uncooperative
    enough to vote Leave.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-05-21/eurozone-greatest-danger

    • Central power

      You quoting from the infamous conspiratorial site well know for spouting pessimistic rubbish.

      • grumpyoldrockape

        ZH spouts no more pessimistic rubbish than George Nobsore.

  • Give our God Immortal Praise

    No one cares about the so-called economic argument. This is not about economics but something bigger. Thus even if we were richer staying in the EU it’d still be the right thing to do to get out asap. Fact.

    • davidofkent

      In one way or another, everyone cares about the economic argument. Unfortunately, there are no facts about our economic future, merely predictions and they never come true.

  • Jonathan Burns

    If you want the UK to be nothing more than a region of the United States of Europe, vote Remain.
    If you want the UK to return to being an independent country again like Canada, Australia and New Zealand, vote Out.
    Simples!

    • Hear Hear Hear!

    • Damon

      If you don’t care about Scotland seceding from the UK, vote Brexit.
      If you’re happy to wrench Northern Ireland out of the EU, leaving Eire inside, with all sorts of lovely possibilities for reigniting the Troubles, vote Brexit.
      If you’re happy to see the financial centre of Europe move from London to Frankfurt, vote Brexit.
      If you think British farmers will continue to have free access to the European market (and that French farmers, fr’instance, won’t seize the golden opportunity of Brexit to keep them out), vote Brexit.
      If you enjoy comparisons with Canada, Australia and New Zealand, while cheerfully ignoring the urgent advice of those countries to remain, vote Brexit.
      If you believe (ludicrously) that China, India and the USA will be begging to give us advantageous trade terms, vote Brexit.
      If you actually believe that Jean-Claude Juncker is the same as Hitler (or probably worse) vote Brexit.

      • Jethro Asquith

        If you are called Damon; make stuff up.

      • rtj1211

        Damon, French farmers will get what they dish out. It won’t be ‘French farmers can sell in Britain but British farmers can’t sell in France’. Quite frankly, it would do Britain good to be self-sufficient in agriculture. Selling healthy crops in season.

  • clive

    Pardon me for thinking,but there are 28 countries in the EU,is that not so?So,what are the other 170 odd countries doing to survive out side the EU?

    • Freddythreepwood

      According to David Cameron, their grocery bills are about to go through the roof!

  • davidofkent

    Yesterday, Vince Cable (that well-known under-achiever) stated that ‘everyone knows blah blah’ and went on to suggest that we must stay in the EU. That seems to be the REMAIN trick. Repeating the lie that ‘everyone knows’ how awful things will be when we leave the EU, they are attempting Goebbels big lie strategy. Of course ‘Everybody does NOT know’ and nobody can accurately tell us what will happen in the future. It’s an undiscovered country, after all.

    • Freddythreepwood

      Everyone knows Vince Cable is a pillock. Everyone knows his ex-Leader is an even bigger pillock, who has a lucrative euro-pension, which, of course everyone knows about. We can all play this game:

      Everyone knows that the EU is a profoundly undemocratic institution.
      Everyone knows that the UK has always had a trade deficit with the rest of the EU.
      Everyone knows the UK pays in billions more than it gets out.
      Everyone knows our Parliament is fully subservient to EU Law, made by people we cannot control or sack.
      Everyone knows we have lost control of our borders.
      Everyone knows how long it now takes to get an appointment with their doctor.
      Everyone knows how their local schools are overcrowded.
      Everyone knows how the NHS is under intolerable pressure.
      Everyone knows there is a chronic housing shortage on our already overcrowded island.

  • Seatofmypants

    The three of them in front of a foreign owned plane. An owner who is openly contemptuous of his customers and treats its customers as dimwits to have rings run round them and as cash cows.

    Says it all about the EU.

    • rtj1211

      Ryanair is not owned by the EU. It has a robustly capitalist CEO, that is all. It is entirely irrelevant to the EU vs non-EU debate.

  • Toby

    “The choice on 23 June is not between security or a gamble. It is between
    the uncertainty of staying in a deeply troubled European Union, which
    may yet collapse, or the uncertainty of Britain wresting itself from
    that union and offering to work with her neighbours on her own terms”

    That’s it! Neither more nor less.

  • Freddythreepwood

    Osbourne, Cable and Balls. The Ryanair of politics.

  • Terence Hale

    Playing the ambivalence game Mr. Osborne may have endangered his predetermination to replace Mr. Cameron as Prime Minister. He forgets the political chaos taking place in Europe with Austria about to take the step to National Socialism with the same happening in parts of Germany. Remember 1938 in Munich what Neville did.

    • rtj1211

      Show me the evidence that Austria is ‘moving toward National Socialism’. Electing a President on a platform of controlling inward migration does not qualify, unless the UK withdrawing from the EU also badges us as Nazis. I’m sure you wouldn’t badge yourself thus, so stop displaying your lack of intelligence by ascribing such labels to Austrian voters……..

  • Freddythreepwood

    The President of the European Commission, who is the ex prime minister of LUXEMBOURG! labelled the people of Britain “deserters” if we leave the EU. Cameron was right when he opposed his appointment (fat lot of good it did him). The man is a nincompoop.

  • Jack_H

    Has anyone calculated the effect of the extra migrants to our per capita GDP?…….has it removed the ‘Growth”in the economy since 2008?

  • Itinerant

    ‘offer succour to the Islamic State’

    Staying in the EU does however offer succour- open borders and kowtowing to Turkey, indirectly helps ISIS and jihadists seeking to attack Europe.

    “What is the conquest?” asked Erdogan “The conquest is Hijrah”
    http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/7948/turkey-erdogan-eu

    Then there’s the no small matter of a host of Muslim leaders extolling Hijrah- the Islamic doctrine of jihad by immigration- again the EU’s inability to control borders and indeed promotion of open borders, plays right into the concept of Hijrah.
    It is the Islamo-left’s common ground…..for now anyway- recent history shows leftists who help Islamists into power, got unceremoniously dumped or ended up against a wall behind the chemical sheds.
    This is the true insanity of the Islamo-leftists, they’re selling out the very ground from beneath their own feet (and sacrificing their sacred cows)- which would be but a cautionary tale for useful idiots if it wasn’t for the fact, they’re selling out Europe and Western civilisation.

  • John

    Free Movement provides a free pass to terrorists , organised criminals , drug dealers and every other form of low-life to walk through Europe unchallenged. A point that Remainers are most careful to avoid.!

    • Brigantian

      An interesting analysis by an estate agent on BBC radio (no less) said that the predicted fall in property prices if the UK leaves the EU would be because the London property market would no longer be as attractive a proposition to the people you describe.
      So if we leave British young people get to own their own homes instead of paying extortionate rents to Russian Oligarchs, 3rd World Dictators and Crime Syndicates.

  • grumpyoldrockape

    If Brexit poses such a catastrophic risk to the UK economy,risks WW3,higher interest rates,weaker £,unemployment,more expensive food etc etc why then did David Cameron state that if he did not get the concessions he wanted from the EU he would support a UK Brexit?
    He is in effect stating that he would rather risk WW3 if he didn’t get what he wanted.
    Well he didn’t get what he originally asked for did he.He was given crumbs which the EU are free to renege on after the 23rd May.
    If you are a patriot you will Vote Leave.

  • Lady Magdalene

    If Osborne had won the economic argument, he wouldn’t be continuing to issue hysterical, doom-laden predictions of the consequences of Brexit.

    Plenty of economists – who aren’t controlled by Osborne and are independent of the non-governmental organisations which are all singing from the same hymn sheet – have given the counter-argument which is that Brexit will have a medium to long-term economic BENEFIT to the UK.

    But anyway, this isn’t about economics. It’s about our GOVERNANCE: who makes the laws, and who do are they accountable to. In the EU, it isn’t our own democratically-elected government.

  • Nelly Nomates

    It’s Islam, stupid.

  • Liberty

    Cameron and Osborne take the view that it doesn’t matter if the numbers make any sense. Brazen lies, implausible projections from ‘respected’ figures are to make an impact, grab headlines and scare enough people. They don’t have to convince everyone, just enough to get over the line. Those that dispute the numbers have to do it after the fact, with some detail and by then enough are bored, something else is hot and that is the end of it.

    But as Portillo said, voting projections don’t matter, turnout does and we don’t and cannot know that until June 26th.

  • That the slimy rat Juncker from tax dodging Luxembourg could say he would treat the British as deserters if they voted Leave is enough for me to vote for Brexit, as it should also be for the two faced Cameron or anyone with an ounce of British values left in them.

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