Politics

In this EU referendum, every vote will be a leap in the dark

4 June 2016

9:00 AM

4 June 2016

9:00 AM

Complaining about the EU referendum campaign has become an integral part of the referendum; even Delia Smith has got in on the act. But politicians on both sides who pretend that the choice is simple, despite having agonised over it themselves for years, are only partly to blame for the dire state of the debate. The bigger problem is that the referendum is taking place at the wrong time.

It was meant to take place once the eurozone had decided how to address its own problems. The British public could then decide whether they wanted to remain in or leave the European Union armed with this knowledge. But the question is still unresolved. The absence of an EU treaty setting out what the eurozone will do next not only weakened David Cameron’s negotiating hand, it also means that voters will take a leap in the dark whichever box they tick.

There are three options for what might happen to the eurozone. The first, and least probable, is that it will break up into separate currencies. One Remain-supporting cabinet minister argues that this is likely to happen within the next 20 years, and that this would be the right moment for Britain to leave the EU. Now there might be some logic to that argument — the eurozone is a fundamentally imperfect currency union. But it would be a mistake to under-estimate the political will on the Continent to keep alive both the currency and the dream that it represents.

Then there is the possibility of full-blown eurozone integration. This would involve fiscal transfers between eurozone states and a eurozone budget. The British government has frequently sounded sympathetic to this approach, and in the renegotiation gave up its right to veto such moves. But this would create problems for Britain. Eurozone states would, inevitably, start to caucus together and vote the same way. So Britain would face an increasing number of defeats under qualified majority voting. The main focus of the EU would shift from the single market to the single currency area, again to Britain’s detriment. Staying in this kind of EU would be a deeply unattractive option for the UK.


But there is probably neither the political will nor confidence to proceed with such a move in the near future. The most likely scenario is that the eurozone will continue to muddle through. This too will have an impact on the UK. First, it will mean that Britain is in a trade union which is steadily losing its share in the world economy. Continued economic troubles inside the zone will also make it unlikely that the EU can strike many significant new trade agreements in the decades ahead as protectionist sentiment continues to rise. Another consequence of eurozone sclerosis is that the UK will continue to act as Europe’s employer of last resort, accepting more and more immigrants from the eurozone.

The overwhelming majority coming here will be highly motivated; many will be skilled. But the fundamental problem will be that our government cannot control the process. It won’t be possible to admit only those EU immigrants who have skills that we need. Nor will it be possible to limit the numbers coming so that our infrastructure and public services can keep up.

The merits of the Australian-style points system that Boris Johnson and Michael Gove have been arguing for this week is that it would let the government match immigration to skills gaps in the economy, would not discriminate between nationalities and, by keeping the process orderly, ensure that public support for immigration could be maintained in the long run. One would hope that this system would also help reverse the decline in the number of students coming to the UK for long-term study, which is now at its lowest level since 2007.

High levels of immigration are a by-product of EU enlargement, not just the result of problems in the eurozone. Bringing more countries into the fold has long been a goal of British foreign policy. It was thought that the larger the EU became, the harder it would be to deepen integration. But this strategic gamble has failed: enlargement has not brought an end to the political aspects of the European project.

Set against all this is the seeming inevitability that coming out would involve short-term economic disruption. There would be a period of uncertainty before our new arrangements with the EU could be confirmed. The UK could try to minimise this by not invoking Article 50, the two-year procedure for leaving the union, until the outlines of a deal became clear. But it would be wrong to imagine that the Brexit process could be made totally smooth. After all, many EU countries would not want to make leaving the union appear an attractive prospect.

Worries about this short-term disruption understandably play a large part in public opinion. An Ipsos MORI poll a few weeks ago had the Remain camp ahead by 18 points despite the fact that most respondents thought that Brexit would leave them no worse off in ten years’ time, although they did believe they would take a hit in the first five years.

But a decision such as this cannot be made on purely short-term grounds. As Edmund Burke said, ‘society is… a partnership not only between those who are living, but between those who are living, those who are dead, and those who are to be born’.

Whether Britain could make a success of life outside the EU would depend heavily on the policy choices this country made after leaving. But there is no option in this referendum that comes without risk. Indeed, perhaps the most significant danger comes from continuing to stoke anti–politics sentiment by remaining in a system over which British voters have no control.

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Show comments
  • Rik

    You have lost the plot old son,the ever expansionist EU,wanting to include ever more bankrupt criminal states like Moldova and Albania not to mention the (soon to be) Islamist dictatorship that is Turkey is heading for disaster.Better off OUT!!!

    • red2black

      Maybe the concern is that these countries will choose to align themselves with Russia, or become fundamentalist Islamic states on Europe’s borders?

      • Enoch Powell

        Better than fundamentalist Islamic States inside Europe’s borders surely.

        • red2black

          Of course, but that could be an argument for staying in the EU. It will be weaker if the UK leaves.
          People may want the EU to fail, but what would be the consequences if it did, with fundamentalist Islamic regimes waiting in the wings?

          • Enoch Powell

            How could the EU possibly be any weaker than it is right now? It’s the EU that has inflicted mass migration on Europe. Individual States would never do such a thing. Europe is stronger without the EU.

          • red2black

            I’m not sure what individual states would have done if we were pre-EU and people were migrating in such enormous numbers as they are at the moment (?). I’m sure whichever way things go on 23 June, there will be positives and negatives to it, and unforeseen consequences will become evident later on.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            if you got your way, easy. as you blame the Other.

            Weaker is stronger, you say. Isolated and easy prey for Russia, eh?

          • Enoch Powell

            You ignore NATO.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            I don’t ignore a multi-national organization.
            (Hence not one which would be around in that world, so…)

        • Leon Wolfeson

          Yes, still better than your plan but still.

  • To answer your headlines in reverse order…

    2. The Eurozone will never address its problems.
    1. There is nothing dark about it. This is all you need to know…

    The net cost of EU membership for 2015 was £8.5 billion – that’s after everything we get back.
    Source HM Treasury – Table 3.A Page 14

    The population of the UK at the last national census was 63 million. So the cost of EU membership for 2015 per person was actually £135. That figure is per person, man woman and child. Take out the children and pensioners and it’s something like £500 per tax payer. If you have a partner and you both work and pay tax, it cost your household £1000 to be a member of the EU in 2015.

    That is only the membership fee! The membership fee is not the only cost.

    Being in the EU also forces you to pay import duty on almost everything you buy from outside the EU. Now I can’t put a figure on that. It’s different for everybody but, tot up everything you spend on clothes, shoes, toys, electronics and everything else you buy from outside the EU each year. On average, 15% of that is import duty. Add that to your membership fee you will begin to see what the EU is actually costing you.

    • lurv & compassion

      8.5bn/365 = 23m a day

      Why are Brexiters lying?
      Do they w a n t to lose?

      • WTF

        Who cares, why should we pay anything just for a free trade area.

        • balls

          cause it ain’t just a free trade area, punk. it’s a playground

          • WTF

            It certainly is a playground since Mad Merkels Migration policies kicked in as parts of Germany have become a sexual playground for pedophiles and sexual abusers. Why don’t your go and join your fellow low lifes as they’re clearly your sort of people !

          • balls

            Jim Savile was an immigrant? Didn’t know that.

            Rolf Harris was though I think…

          • Leon Wolfeson

            So you can’t count and ignore the high crime rate among your far right.

          • WTF

            Wow, that’s a new one as I didn’t know that colored & hispanic people were far right !

            Read and digest the facts –

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

        • Leon Wolfeson

          So you don’t think we need free trade, check.

    • Leon Wolfeson

      So you deny the benefits. Right. Then you say that the import duty is too low…right.

  • Guildford UKIP

    How reassuring to see Messrs. Johnson and Gove adopting a key UKIP policy. I wonder if they might even acknowledge that?

  • Yorkieeye

    I can’t imagine a scenario when the ruling EU elites will volunter to throw themselves from the gravy train. There is no other solution to the problems of the EU. To expect a more propitious day to dawn for reform is naive.

    • Ken

      It is a bit like a turkey suggesting we continue to delay the arrival of Christmas.

  • sfin

    Interesting article…

    …but, really, there is only one question on the ballot paper:

    “Do you want to live in a democracy or not?”

    • Leon Wolfeson

      Indeed. Either we retain Parliamentary Sovereignty as we do now, or your fanatics get empowered.

  • John Carins

    Leaving is no “leap in the dark”. Leaving the EU will be the Restoration, Renaissance, Glorious Revolution and Reformation delivered in one single act of freedom. Enlightenment here we come.

  • Malcolm Stevas

    “One Remain-supporting cabinet minister argues that this is likely to happen within the next 20 years, and that this would be the right moment for Britain to leave the EU.”
    Which minister? It does not on the face of things make sense: if this minister believes such an event likely, why does he not think we should get out now before the brown stuff hits the fan?
    “Whether Britain could make a success of life outside the EU would depend heavily on the policy choices this country made after leaving.”
    I have no doubts at all that we “could make a success of life” post Brexit, indeed one of the most absurd aspects of Remain’s fearful hyperbole is the notion that our thousand-year-old country, which did sort of rather well for itself, might struggle to survive once outside the embrace of the ghastly EU. But it’s certainly a consideration that much depends on a post-Brexit government, given that in recent decades we’ve had such rotten administrations and our political class lacks, well, lacks any class at all.

    • Leon Wolfeson

      You’re the one peddling fear, of every last other EU nation.

      And that ghastly trade…why… as you admit the low-class government you want to enshrine, as the Tories will go above and beyond to cement their power and prevent PR…

      • Malcolm Stevas

        Refer me to any post I ever made here or anywhere else that denotes “fear” of another country, chum. I am very well disposed to our W.European neighbours (on my way to one of them today), have enjoyed myself in E.European countries such as Poland and the Czech Republic, and my reservations about others such as Romania are based on the criminal/low rent nature of too many of their people. As for Turkey, I don’t care about the place so long as it stays out of the EU – it’s not part of Europe anyway…
        I hold no brief for the Conservatives, something else you’ve got entirely wrong.

  • congreve

    Brexit is the British Renaissance and a great stride forward into the Light.

    Of course, the continuing domination of Cabinet government by Oxford-module Bullingdonians and other ignorati is quite another matter. One of them has recently taken refuge in the Welsh Marches to escape the blowback consequences of his Jihadi infatuation.

  • Norm

    Good article.

  • Nothing complicated here – BUT every journalist likes to paint a confusing picture.

    1. The EU is ruled by Left wing Totalitarian Leaders

    2. These Leaders have destroyed the European economy by introduction of inane Trade policies

    3. The current leadership of the EU cares not one jot for Democratic government

    Brexit will release Britain from the lead weights that are dragging Europe (not merely Britain) to the bottom of the Sea.

    Brexit just may encourage many other European nations to follow suit which could bring on the end of of the EU Political Union allowing Europe to regenerate its power and influence.

    No other option is worth considering.

    • Nomad

      Do you suppose any of the Remainders have even noticed how many EU countries are trying to change their leaders, ask for Exit referenda and generally showing anti federal EU feelings?

    • Leon Wolfeson

      1. LMAO.
      2. Your hate of trade is sad
      3. Projection.

      As you say rocketing to the bottom of the sea is so grand. As you say fear of every other nation, and blocking the borders, is “power and influence”. For Russia to conquer the countries one by one, maybe!

      • Totalitarian nonentity, Your command of English is appalling.

      • Socialists ignorance of the dangers of Trade imbalances has screwed Europe.

        EU Out

        Prosperous Europe in.

        All Totalitarian Left Wing leaders to be put on trial for their lives

  • On its website front page today, the BBC has a quiz: “How well do you know the states of the European Union?” States? Oh what a give away!

  • Prof Raus

    On the BBC Today program this morning Allister Darling was allowed uninterrupted rant time to present Remain scares. Patrick Minford got little time and was interrupted often by Nick Robinson who could not resist throwing in a “You were Thatcher’s advisor” sneer. Needless to say, Darling was not challenged on his employer’s Remain support nor, as a director of Morgan Stanley was he asked to explain how they avoided paying taxes on $900 billion UK profits in 2014.

    • The Sage

      $900 million, surely.

      • Prof Raus

        Thank’s yes it’s million.

    • Leon Wolfeson

      Ah, the evils of facts arguments.

  • starfish

    I like looking into the future as much as anyone but this post is dated 4 June

    Are you already there?

  • Frank

    The EU is a dead man walking. To talk as if the EU is anything other, is to defy common sense and all political intuition. Britain will cope perfectly well as it always has done. According to Channel 4 News, 90% of the immigrants currently here would fail a points based entry system – they are precisely the immigrants under-cutting our native low paid staff / unemployed – make your choice, do you want to help some tax dodging multi-national commercial organisation, or your own country men?

    • Leon Wolfeson

      Oh, how will you kill it? Do you also intuit free figs?

      As you say an unprecedented situation will be fine, really. The points-based system rejects six-figure earners on a routine basis… as you peddle the lies abuot wages. As you admit you’re all for your multinationals, right.

      • Frank

        Are you having an adverse reaction to your medicine? You seem even less grounded and rational than normal.

  • Conway

    The bigger problem is that the referendum is taking place at the wrong time.” Of course it is, it was all supposed to have been sorted before the migrant problem hit the headlines.

  • Ray Tomasi

    Do I want to join the United States of Europe? No thanks. Boris may have put it terms that caused some criticism but fundamentally history has a habit of repeating itself. The Romans, Genghis Khan, Charlemagne, Napoleon, that man Boris mentioned, Tito in the Balkans, there have been numerous unsuccessful attempts to drag, or force, unwilling partnerships into being. Some lasted a long time, others have fallen apart very quickly.
    Cooperation to achieve a common goal that ALL the partners want (WWII is a prime example) will always come about when the time is right. The United States of Europe with one single currency, and one set of “masters” is the pipe dream of the unelected politicos. Have you noticed the recent situations in several European elections starting to lean toward rather disturbing nationalistic unrest. Lots of people are unhappy. Let’s get out now.

    • Brigantian

      Yugoslavia was invented by the League of Nations, not Tito, out of the ruins of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It is good example of why international organisations should keep out of national and regional politics. Syria & Iraq were of course created at the same time, out of the ruins of the Ottoman Empire. A lot of mistakes were made in 1919 and history has shown that ‘the War to end all Wars’ has instead continued to cause more wars.

      • Ray Tomasi

        Fair enough. I accept your correction to my sketchy knowledge of Balkan history. The point I was making is that forced alliances which in many cases have created artificial countries/states/peoples, is never going to work in any long term arrangement. I’m pleased to see you agree with my comments as you say that international meddling in national or even regional politics is doomed to failure.

    • Leon Wolfeson

      So you want to pander to the extremists. Right.

  • digoridoo

    To be frank, the failure of the Eurozone to heal itself at a convenient time before the referendum is a red herring. Whether it is fixed sooner or later, the Eurozone game plan remains the same and shouldn’t really influence Britain’s decision to leave or remain.

    Your options are a useful basis for discussion, but you’re talking from the same flawed perspective as virtually all British commentators on the EU.

    I’m British and I’ve been in Germany for nearly 30 years. I married a local. Before that I worked in The Netherlands for two years. I flatter myself that I understand a bit about this project. The British have always misunderstood the EU (née EEC). This is apparent from the single-minded banging on about economics from both Leave and Remain.

    THE EU IS NOT NOW, NOR HAS IT EVER BEEN, ABOUT ECONOMICS. IT IS SOLELY A POLITICAL PROJECT. It was designed post-WWII to, ultimately, erase the nation states and their history of friction. That goal has not changed. Seen through that lens, the EU has been immensely successful. EU leaders are beguiled by that success and don’t see the economic and democratic planks in their own eyes (not sure if that metaphor works, hmm, you get the idea).

    The British however take all this peace for granted – it’s been centuries since we witnessed the disorientating and violent phenomenon of being one nationality this year, another the next. We have an easily defined border. We call it “The Sea” and it doesn’t move much. We choose to be beguiled by things such as the Single Market, which are viewed essentially as accessories ‘on the continent’. Unfortunately this blinds us to a serious grasp of what the EU is, where it’s going and how it will get there.

    Here’s my take on your options:

    Option 1: “The first, and least probable, is that it will break up into separate currencies.”
    Agreed. This is highly unlikely to happen.
    If it does break up, it will come from the bottom up. The elite running the show will move heaven and earth to preserve it (see option 2). But it’s just possible that the growing ranks of Pegida, Podemos, FN, Austria’s Freedom Party, etc. will force something (a known unknown). If this happens, it may be more than just the Eurozone that collapses. The Domesday Scenario is that the EU itself will break up. Hold onto your hats.

    Option 2: “Then there is the possibility of full-blown eurozone integration.”
    I work among young and well-educated Germans who, until 6 months ago, would have tossed the feckless Greeks to the lions. Now, they shrug their shoulders and are beginning to realise their mistake in comparing the current Euro to the US Dollar, which has a federal taxation system which collects taxes from rich Texans and redistributes to penurious Wisconsonians. They’re starting to reconcile themselves to the inevitability of fiscal transfers to the Mediterranean members.
    The Eurozone WILL INTEGRATE FURTHER, it’s only a question of time.

    Option 3: “But there is probably neither the political will nor confidence to proceed with such a move in the near future. The most likely scenario is that the eurozone will continue to muddle through.”
    The first part of the statement describes the time factor in my last sentence of option 2. The second part will pertain only as long as that time is necessary. It’s a means to an end.

    Since I’ve been out of the UK for more than 15 years, I can’t vote. In the absence of an axe to grind I therefore put it to you objectively that:

    A vote to REMAIN will put the UK on course to join the United States of Europe at some future time. There is no doubt about this. There will be no fundamental democratising of its institutions, progress towards unification will not be allowed to become organic and spread over a timescale of a century or more. Europe doesn’t do that. Charlemagne, The Sun King, the Hapsburgs, Napoleon, Bismarck, etc, etc: none of them are famous for their patience or their willingness to defer to their people, except in extremis.
    Forget the promise of the end of “ever closer union”. It is disinformation. The Eurozone CANNOT survive without further integration, it will not be allowed to fail – at least until the financial markets blow the whistle on it at some distant time – and the populations of its richer members are being readied for the “solidarity” (they do like that word) that will involve.

    A vote to LEAVE will enable you to proceed into your own future, mostly unencumbered by the politics of the growing EU project. Any economic potholes over the next year or two as a result of leaving will be long forgotten by both sides after a few more years. If the EU survives Britain’s leaving, all will be forgiven in the chancelleries of Europe and you will get your trade deal. Economics is not the issue. LEAVING gives you political and judicial independence.

    It makes no sense to make your LEAVE/REMAIN decision based on tactical economic reasons. Even immigration is a tactical reason: you’re not a member of Schengen so are spared the majority of the reckless Merkel-style immigration. End of.

    The European STRATEGY is ALL about politics. Nothing else. Join the future US of E or don’t, everything else is snake oil.

  • JohnJ

    Idea for the Brexites . Juxtapose the quotes from British history on democracy with pictures/quotes from the EU.
    Such as Burke’s “Certainly, Gentlemen, it ought to be the happiness and glory of a Representative, to live in the strictest union, the closest correspondence, and the most unreserved communication with his constituents. Their wishes ought to have great weight with him; their opinion high respect; their business unremitting attention. ” with a picture of Junker.
    From what I can see (from a long way off), Bexites have not used (enough) the British invention of democracy and separation of powers to demonstrate the EU is a dictatorship of bureaucrats. Use quotes from your heroes and brilliant former politicians and philosophers to debunk the EU. Show that English history since the Magna Carter is about to be handed to the grey suited scurrying no ones in Brussels. Everyone hates the modern bureaucrat. Show the EU is anti British and a dictatorship of bureaucrats.

    • siphil

      Magna Carter??

      • WFC

        Did she die in vain?

        • siphil

          Ha ha.

    • siphil

      Other than that, I haven’t a clue what this post means.

  • Lady Magdalene

    “Set against all this is the seeming inevitability that coming out would involve short-term economic disruption. ”

    Yes – there is likely to be some SHORT TERM economic disruption, but I doubt if it will be anything like as bad as the doomsters are predicting.

    And in the medium to longer term, we will undoubtedly be far better off outside the sclerotic EU, particularly as it’s now completely dominated by Germany which seems determined to drive the weaker economies of Europe into the ground.

    • Leon Wolfeson

      No, likely to be worse. As you say isolated is better, and get confused about the EU.

  • Polly Radical

    Cameron’s alternative to ‘economic disruption’ : open our borders to 80 million Turks.

    • Disqus Bolloqus

      Err, Turks will have visa free holiday travel to the Shengen area. Britain isn’t part of Shengen. Stick to facts, don’t debase yourself to the levels of Cameron, Johnson, Osborne, Gove, Corbyn and Farage.

  • Roger Hudson

    We must vote to remain so that J P Morgan doesn’t fire any of it’s (elite) staff, OMG, can it get any more stupid.

  • tenbelly

    Every vote for remain is a vote of no confidence in our country.

    • Leon Wolfeson

      In your fantasy country? Sure. It’s for Britain, though.

  • MikePage

    As someone who is prone to overthinking, I recognise the signs. This is a welcome article, particularly the concluding paragraphs. I have always said we should take the long view.

    • Brigantian

      43 years is long enough for most of those who have had to live with the ‘European Ideal’.

    • Disqus Bolloqus

      In the long view we are all dead

      • MikePage

        Not our progeny. Please, read the article.

  • Enoch Powell

    A good argument when running into Left Wing Remainiacs is to point out that in five or ten years time, The EU may well be run by Le Pen, Hofer, Frauke Petry and others of a right wing persuasion and that they would be powerless to prevent this happening.

    • Penny

      Precisely. Even if its supporters consider the EU to be a benevolent organisation, jammed to the rafters with people-focused officials, there is absolutely no guarantee that it will always be so.

      • Tom M

        Quite so Penny. Given the recent history of all the current members except about two or three. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if some of these countries representatives revert to type when things get difficult.
        After all what naive bureaucrat thought that the ex-communist countries for example were all run by politicians who dreamed of participating in a democratic state and were just waiting to be set free by an organisation like the EU?

        • Penny

          To my mind, the signs are already not so good, Tom. Not merely in the anti-democratic nature of the EU, but in the recent agreement between this institution and Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Microsoft, to block “illegal hate speech”. It isn’t merely a question of who is deciding the boundaries of what millions of people may or may not say – it is also a system open to abuse by an over-reaching power.

          And then there are murmers of implementing an ID card which has to be used to access the internet. If memory serves, it is an idea arising from an Estonian minister under the ridiculous guise of “consumer protection re: online product reviews”.

          • Disqus Bolloqus

            All governments will seek to control the Internet, as all governments gain their power by controlling the lives of their subjects

          • Penny

            Are there any other concrete examples of the type I’ve outlined above?

          • Disqus Bolloqus

            I wouldn’t know, however any student of history of human affairs will know that every time new technology emerges, governments seek to manage and control it. With each passing year Governments across the globe pass more and more regulations and laws to do just that.

          • Penny

            But with national governments we aren’t powerless. We can vote out the dictatorially-inclined. Rather less easy to do the same with the EU.

          • Disqus Bolloqus

            The real fear and truely unaccountable is that national governments are powerless in the face of globalised trade and big business. Make no mistake the nation state is under pressure, but it’s nothing to do with the EU, but everything to do globalised free trade, something supported by majority of Exit and Remain leadership.

          • Penny

            What examples do you have of other nation states being under this type of pressure?

          • Disqus Bolloqus

            Every country in the World is. There’s nothing God given about nation states. They are creations of human beings created by the powerful to control the powerless. In the past there were city states, and imperial empires. The nation state emerged from these. As human history evolves, other forms of power structures will emerge.

          • Penny

            I genuinely do not know what you mean by “every country in the world is”. You’ll need to be a little more specific.

            The nation state, with the power to elect its representatives and boot them back out, is, to my mind, a better option than political union with 28 other states who each have their own issues. I don’t know who these politicians are; I don’t know what drives them. In truth, who does? I have a better idea of those in our own government.

          • WTF

            They hate it that people can access pretty much what they like already, they can use address spoofing, multiple routing in fact many different mechanism to make it difficult for governments to monitor us. I can certainly see that an ID card would enable them to monitor us far worse than a SIM card in mobile phone.

            As usual, it would be the bad dudes that use ways around it and carry on as usual whilst the general public is controlled.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            You’re for monitoring and censoring people’s movement in the real world, so stop whining about doing it online.

          • WTF

            In your case I would be very concerned over surveillance on the internet as they might have you sectioned based on your rambling obsessed posts !

        • Disqus Bolloqus

          Most of those communist countries were not voluntarily so. They were subjects of the Soviet Empire, the price Britain and USA willingly paid for Russian support in WW2

          • WTF

            I don’t think we’re talking about ex Communist countries here, its closer to home !

          • Disqus Bolloqus

            I was replying to a post that specifically mentioned ex communist countries

          • Tom M

            I think you are missing the point. Doubtlessly unwilling a lot of the popluation of those countries were to the arrival of Communism during and after WW2. But there were many who seen an opportunity to advance their career with Commmunism and they did just that. They were hard at work for the Communist State right up till Glasnost. You might think they all suddenly became died-in-the-wool democrats but I believe you are wrong.

          • Disqus Bolloqus

            I imagine most of those folk are either dead or long retired. It’s been a while since the Berlin Wall fell. Let’s deal with 2016 not 1989.

      • Disqus Bolloqus

        There is no guarantee tomorrow morning will arrive

        • Penny

          Then we are in agreement? There is no guarantee that shackling ourselves to a large, dominant organisation will necessarily be to our benefit and national well-being.

          • Disqus Bolloqus

            Yes we are agreed. And equally there is no guarantee that leaving said organisation will necessarily be to our benefit and national well-being.

          • Penny

            But, as I say in my comment below, it is easier to kick out a national government that does not act in our interests than it is to control the Leviathan that is the EU.

            I see absolutely no need for political union to be a condition of trade. The overall motivation seems to me to be the former, not the latter. Such power concentrated in the hands of an organisation like the EU is, in my view, dangerous.

          • Disqus Bolloqus

            And when we change our government does it make any difference? Not much, just some tweaking over where the crumbs fall. And that’s because our true rulers are not in Westminster or even Brussels, but in the boardrooms of international businesses and banks.

          • Penny

            The EU is more in bed with big business than is good for us.

          • Disqus Bolloqus

            And you don’t think Westminster is? Are you serious? Just one example the British Givernment secretly wrote to EU urging them to adopt TTIP. They haven’t because other member states, notably France disagree. Our government is truly in bed with big business. I’m afraid In or Out, will make little difference on this matter.

          • Penny

            I didn’t say that I found our government innocent. However, I do think that there is – if not a wind of change – then the sliver of a breeze. Some politicians may be waking up to the fact that perhaps it isn’t always going to be business as usual. There is only so much of the plastic politician that any society can take. I feel that leaving the EU will re-focus voters because expectations will be high.

            That aside – really, the EU is horrendous for the small business. As I am now finding out.

    • James

      Juncker has banned ‘extreme’ right wing governments from the EU.

      Basically anyone against it.

      • Penny

        Indeed. Thank you for reminding me – I should have added this into my response to Tom M (below)

      • Enoch Powell

        Don’t tell the remainiacs that.

      • Leon Wolfeson

        No, the EU has rules. Which exclude anti-democratic governments.

        So sorry you don’t like that.

    • Brigantian

      There are such things as left wing Nazis you know, as Diane Abbott repeatedly demonstrates, with her masked black shirts in tow.

      • WTF

        True but I think it was a counter ploy to put the left on the back foot rather than be seriously worried about Le Pen, Hofer, Frauke Petry. I’m not worried about them but its a useful ploy to wind up the left !

        • Leon Wolfeson

          No, why would you be worried about your Dear Allies.

          • WTF

            You have more in common with them than I do especially with your obsessive compulsive disorders, in fact they are rationale and sane compared with your rants.

      • Enoch Powell

        Yes, but the Left Wing remainiacs aren’t worried about Left Wing Nazis are they. They are worried about the right wing and they think the EU is their defence against it.

        • Leon Wolfeson

          Because there are very few Nazis left… and Neo-Nazis are right wing.
          But facts.

      • Leon Wolfeson

        No, there are not.
        As you blame Abbott for your fantasies.

        Try educating yourself.

    • Disqus Bolloqus

      What about Left Wing Exiters?

      • Enoch Powell

        You don’t need to convince them do you…

    • Leon Wolfeson

      So your fantasy your friends will take over… that the law won’t apply…

  • antoncheckout

    “But it would be a mistake to under-estimate the political will on the Continent to keep alive both the currency and the dream that it represents.”
    More realistically described: the ruthless determination of unelected EC fanatics and elite politicians to lie, cheat and bully a nation’s elected governments and their citizens, and to silence all opposition, in order to pursue that ‘dream’.
    Enough of the mediocre, Broks, Schulzes, Verhofstadts and Junckers, their blustering threats, and their contempt for democracy.

    • gillardgone

      You are correct the Mafiosi has a tendency to keep coming back, then we need to chop it,s head off quick.

    • Leon Wolfeson

      Funny, the elected… right.

      As you think that they’re too good for you and your hate for democracy, I hear ya!

  • Brigantian

    The Eurozone cannot sort out its problems because the concept of a Eurozone is fundamentally flawed, as the Greeks (etc) are now finding out to their cost. David Cameron went to Brussels to argue for major change within the EU and came back empty handed. The British people are not going to roll a dice on June 23rd, they are going to blow up the crooked EU casino with all its biased dice, marked cards, and rigged roulette wheels and take their money back.

  • WTF

    Sorry Mr. Forsyth, as MacMillan said “Its events” that cause politician problems when they think they can stage manage everything. I get it, you were hoping the Euro was nicely tucked up in bed with the UK part of it and instead we have the PIIGS about to default and the possibility of German banks going under with all their toxic loans to that region.

    Meanwhile we have Cameron previously claiming that leaving the EU wouldn’t affect immigration levels but now he says “Leaving EU would be a ‘terrible way’ to cut number of immigrants”

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3623371/A-defiant-David-Cameron-claims-leaving-EU-terrible-way-cut-immigration-morning-savaged-public-live-TV-waffling-scaremongering-Brexit.html

  • Jack Rocks

    Every vote is always a leap in the dark. Nobody can predict the future.

    • Disqus Bolloqus

      True, which means the whole thing is a nonsense. One big gamble. Heads you lose, Tails they win.

      • Jack Rocks

        Remain or Leave is a gamble.

        • gillardgone

          Leave or Remain is the question ,what was the question again, BREXIT is the only way to sanity.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            Ah, the wild accusations of mass mental illness.

  • WTF

    Most sane people agree that the EU project is all about politics and a Federal States of Europe and little to do with trade & finance. The Eurocrats are only concerned with trade & finance in so far as it affects achieving their goal of Federal States and internal EU trade will take care of itself just like the USA.

    However, in the context of the referendum and on our side of the channel,
    the arguments coming from ‘remainers’ have been primarily about money or what they claim it will cost every citizen, all of which has been debunked as fear baiting so far. Their arguments ignore Federal States and Sovereignty issues completely and stick to nebulous crystal ball gazing to support their narrative based on peoples primal instincts on wealth or the lack of it. On the Brexit side its comprises two prongs, one to dismiss all these lies & fear mongering of the sort we heard from Cameron and the other, firmly embedded in controlling our future.

    Cameron, even with his appeal to peoples basic instincts failed spectacularly in offering any ‘Greek’ gifts and his rhetoric on SKY drifted into the usual platitudes and “waffling” that had zero substance. As many would agree, it was a ‘score draw’ for both sides with a ‘no crashes’ on the financial issues with the consensus being nothing much will change whether we stay or go. All that’s left now is deciding whether you want your own controls going forward or handing the family jewels to Brussels and pray they look after them and throw us a few crumbs.

    • Disqus Bolloqus

      Most of the Brexit leadeship with the possible exception of Farage (though his position is unclear) are free trader globalists. That’s like EU on steroids. They will do their best to sell British assets and British workers to the highest bidder following their blind ideology. All hail the market.

      • gillardgone

        If you say so then it must be…. na, BREXIT

    • Leon Wolfeson

      So accusing people wildly of being insane, check. As you blame “Eurocrats”…. as you ignore the arguments and say facts are non-facts. Your arguments against Sovereignty… as you want to take Britain away from it’s people and control the media, right.

      As you say you’re many people. Hmm. And as you claim to be “Brussels”.

      • WTF

        My goodness, what a tirade of nonsense based on Pseudologia Fantastica interspersed with Expressive aphasia !

  • WTF

    David Cameron has more ‘positions’ over this referendum than Miss Whiplash has in her repartee and none of them are inviting !

  • Child_of_Thatcher

    I feel sorry for the politicians if we leave. Where will they retire too after they get booted out at the next election? No more jobs in Brussels with gold plated pensions and expenses.

    • Wizard Rule 77b: People with a weak argument will often try
      to discredit the person they are disagree with. (In football this tactic is
      known as “Playing The Man”)

  • gillardgone

    I am voteing BREXIT I have a very good torch to show me the way.

    • And that isn’t a reflection you can see but the oncoming reality of the Global Economy coming to run you down.

  • Anyone is still silly enough to vote In should read this…http://badgerstoke.blogspot.co.uk/2016/06/badgerstoke-on-eu-referendum.html

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