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Reblogged:How the U.K. Could Make This Victory Meaningful

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11 hours ago, Jon Southall said:

The Tory party is likely to want to keep trade with the EU, and even if no deal is done within two years we will default to WTO rules, which would mean no contribution would be necessary, and no freedom of movement clause enforced. Any tarriffs would benefit the UK as we are a net importer of EU goods.

Lol.

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By leaving the EU the UK benefits from greater democratic freedom.

 

Democratic freedom sounds like a synonym for collective rights. http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/collective_rights.html

There is only one form of rights, and only one form of freedom: the individual kind. "Democratic freedom" and "collective rights" are stolen concepts that describe the power of the collective to take away individuals' freedom.

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1. There was and could not ever be any control over immigration from EU members. The main problem domestically - especially since the late 90s - has been a massive increase in real house prices and a increased rate of decline in real wages. I think you only need to understand basic supply and demand to understand why. But it has upset the local population, even historic immigrants who have citizenship now.

2. Evidence is that our net contribution significantly exceeds re-investment. A lot of tax is levied, and a big chunk of that is redistributed to help poorer economies. Additionally, spending is inefficient and unaudited - there is significant waste. MEPs have complained openly & objectively about this, it is on the record.

3. It depends on what values that political union depends. Would you want a political union with Iran? I'm not saying the EU is Iran, but it acts in ways which are contrary to justice and freedom. Commissioners have never won an election but the EU lectures Iran on democracy - there is no credibility. Farmers that have been unfairly fined by the EU have no real recourse - the UK has to pay the compensation where an injustice has occurred.

4. Doesn't sound bad? So domestically you want to get rid of a nuisance, poorly performing politician, and you do this by placing them out of the way in the commission. The commission which is responsible for setting up new directives and legislation. Sounds bad to me.

5. See http://leave.eu/en/news/2016-05-06/the-three-eu-directives-crippling-british-energy-and-manufacturing

I have known of issues with this since 2008 when I met Professor Tovey. He explained there could easily be shortages in the UK from 2020 due to EU directives. The last thing we want is more energy dependency on Russia etc.

There are a lot of cases - feel free to check the record.

6. That is very true. However say we focus on the over 60s. In significant numbers they voted to leave. 40 years ago, they voted 70% in favour of staying. So something has happened to change their thinking. We need to understand this. I've been listening to LBC often popular with older listeners and they often cite loss of sovereignty and dissatisfaction with the performance of the EU. Appreciate this is just a small sample but its interesting its not just fear of immigrants etc.

Democratic freedom means the freedom for legislation to be controlled by UK citizens. Rule of the people, for the people, by the people. E.g. Id like to see a new British constitution drawn up.

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On 6/29/2016 at 6:53 PM, Nicky said:

 

On 6/29/2016 at 4:33 PM, AlexL said:

Forbes: Brexit Isn't About Leaving Today's European Union: It's About Not Joining Tomorrow's

No, Britain left TODAY'S EU, not an imaginary future EU.

Britain left both, as the future EU was not at all "imaginary". The Forbes' article from which I quoted – this one - cites extensively from a Franco-German plan for further centralization and integration. (I now realize I forgot to give the link, but it was easy to find). 

This plan is titled "A strong Europe in a world of uncertainties", is signed by the respective Ministers of foreign affairs and presents the emblems of those Ministries. 

Here is the English version and here is the German version (this one is from the official site of the German Foreign Ministry.) 

What I find remarkable is that the text it is not dated. The PDF date of the English version is "created 24.06.2016 06:39, updated 27.06.2016". Or the creation date is only 2 hours after the referendum result was known. For me this means that a draft of this document, ten pages! containing the roadmap for a deeper integration, existed before the referendum, that they did not suddenly sprang out of nowhere in the hours after the referendum day.  

Besides, it was common knowledge in the last several years that a deeper integration was considered by the EU as the only way out of the problems created by the common currency – namely financial integration, taxation and banking. 

Therefore, the "future EU" Britain also left was in no way "imaginary".

On 6/29/2016 at 10:11 PM, Eiuol said:

 

On 6/29/2016 at 4:33 PM, AlexL said:

Forbes: Brexit Isn't About Leaving Today's European Union: It's About Not Joining Tomorrow's

Would you explain this more? Based on the quote, it looks like it's a movement of paranoia. As though somehow a governmental union is by nature "oppressive". If there are LITERALLY laws that the UK is bound to that violate rights, that'd be different. But there are no such laws.

Unfortunately, I omitted the link, but now I've explained it – see above.

As to the question of laws that violate rights – yes, there are a lot of them. Everything which goes beyond recognizing the right to free trade among the signatories is a violation of rights. EU prescribes common standards for products (industrial and agricultural), for conditions of employment, environmental norms, etc., etc. as conditions for the right to trade within EU. Also, EU controls the trade of EU countries with non-EU countries: non-EU countries have to sign agreements with EU for this, and agreements with EU come with a thousand of obligations in completely unrelated fields.

In general, I am not claiming UK will necessarily be better off outside the EU: it all depends on the philosophy (liberal or statist) of the UK negotiators and the goodwill of the EU. However, it seems for the moment that on the latter is not to be counted...

On 6/29/2016 at 10:11 PM, Eiuol said:

Perhaps you didn't vote to leave for that reason, but it seems most people voted to leave exactly for spending more on UK social programs.

I am not living in UK, I am Swiss citizen and I constantly voted against joining the EU. EU became a toxic organization which, in exchange to alowing ITS citizens to buy and sell in Switzerland, imposes to Switzerland to accept obligation in completely unrelated domains, the plain word for which is blackmail.

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15 hours ago, Jon Southall said:

A lot of tax is levied, and a big chunk of that is redistributed to help poorer economies.

The EU doesn't have the power to levy taxes. And, like I said, the net contributions (money that isn't paid back either to the British government or British farmers directly) of British taxpayers amount to about 0.3% of Britain's GDP. In the meantime, taxpayers' contributions to the British government amount to
45% of the GDP.

And that will go up by more than 0.3% once Boris Johnson makes good on his promise to increase the budget of the NHS and replace EU farm subsidies. So this decision is a net increase in the size of government in Britain.

15 hours ago, Jon Southall said:

Democratic freedom means the freedom for legislation to be controlled by UK citizens. Rule of the people, for the people, by the people. E.g. Id like to see a new British constitution drawn up.

Yes, that's exactly what I meant. "democratic freedom" has nothing to do with individual freedom, it's a synonym for a collective right (to rule over individuals). You simply misappropriated that word, to disguise your collectivism as a fight for freedom. Lots of people do that, you're not the first.

 

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1 hour ago, AlexL said:

I am not living in UK, I am Swiss citizen and I constantly voted against joining the EU. EU became a toxic organization which, in exchange to alowing ITS citizens to buy and sell in Switzerland, imposes to Switzerland to accept obligation in completely unrelated domains, the plain word for which is blackmail.

The EU, like all of the western world, has a mixed economic system. Switzerland does too. Switzerland denies its citizens' the right to trade freely, to freely hire foreigners, to keep their earnings (Switzerland has some of the highest taxes in Europe), it even bans its citizens from exercising their freedom of religion. So let's keep things in perspective: the EU is no more toxic than your own country.

And, just like with Britain, the main point of contention between Switzerland and the EU is NOT THE MARKET REGULATIONS. Switzerland wants most of those too (and when they don't, the EU can be fairly flexible in negotiating an exemption).

The point of contention is the freedom of movement clause. The reason why Switzerland has been in danger of losing access to the single market (being "blackmailed") is not any kind of objection to over-bearing EU regulations. It's this referendum result, seeking to violate the individual rights of both EU and Swiss citizens: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swiss_immigration_referendum,_February_2014

How did you vote in that referendum?

1 hour ago, AlexL said:

In general, I am not claiming UK will necessarily be better off outside the EU: it all depends on the philosophy (liberal or statist) of the UK negotiators and the goodwill of the EU. However, it seems for the moment that on the latter is not to be counted.

The EU has shown a lot of flexibility towards Switzerland om regulations, and it will show a lot of flexibility towards Britain as well. It is in the EU's interest to keep Britain in the "EU light" (the EEA, or something similar).

The only point the EU is inflexible on is the freedom of movement clause. And even that isn't because EU bureaucrats care so much about the principle of the thing (they care about it, but they care a lot more about getting a deal done). It's because there would be no point in negotiating a deal that wouldn't get approved by national parliaments.

And a deal restricting the freedom of movement of EU citizens, be it in Switzerland or Britain, WILL NOT be approved by national parliaments. It cannot happen. If that's what Britain is counting on, forget it. There will be tons of flexibility on regulations (if the British ask for it...so far, I'm yet to hear a single specific regulation that Britain intends to get rid of when they leave the EU), but there will be no flexibility on the ONE thing the Leave campaign has been promising to get for its chauvinistic supporters: any kind of restrictions on freedom of movement.

There cannot be any flexibility on that, because the deal between the EU and Britain isn't worth anything if it's not approved by member states. The proposition to treat any EU citizens as second class citizens, in any part of the economic union, is a no go, in principle and in practice. No member state will agree to its own citizens being barred from a country that has full access to EU markets.

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5 hours ago, AlexL said:

I am not living in UK, I am Swiss citizen and I constantly voted against joining the EU. EU became a toxic organization which, in exchange to alowing ITS citizens to buy and sell in Switzerland, imposes to Switzerland to accept obligation in completely unrelated domains, the plain word for which is blackmail.

This sounds just like the logic of states rights, e.g. the supreme court ruling that -all- states must accept gay marriage is a violation of Alabama's "rights" and laws being imposed on them. It literally doesn't matter what the Swiss people say per se - it's not about rights of countries have, what matters is if the EU is doing things significantly oppressive. It's not, apparently. All it's doing really is operating exactly as a group of governments ought to operate, and likely -decreasing- the ease in which welfare-state policies are approved. You're welcome to cite -specific- policies, I'm not going to look for the alleged tyranny by the EU if it already sounds like hyperbole.

You make integration sound like it is obviously bad. But I've seen no explanation for why it is bad, except for states rights type arguments. A government isn't good or bad relative to it's size, it's relative to its ability to protect individual rights.  

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On 7/2/2016 at 0:13 AM, Nicky said:

I would prefer to have a logical conversation. You continue to argue using the same escape to the future fallacy, and I'm not going to acknowledge it anymore.

"Escape to the future fallacy"? Only if you omitted my explanation. But if you prefer to abandon, it is your right.

On 7/2/2016 at 0:41 AM, Nicky said:
On 7/1/2016 at 11:19 PM, AlexL said:

I am not living in UK, I am Swiss citizen and I constantly voted against joining the EU. EU became a toxic organization which, in exchange to alowing ITS citizens to buy and sell in Switzerland, imposes to Switzerland to accept obligation in completely unrelated domains, the plain word for which is blackmail.

The EU… has a mixed economic system. Switzerland does too. Switzerland denies its citizens' the right to …, to …, to … So let's keep things in perspective: the EU is no more toxic than your own country...

Now the above is truly a fallacy! The country in which I live is no better than the EU, therefore I am wrong!!

Forget Switzerland, it plays no role in the essence of my argument. And the essence is this: in exchange to allowing its own citizens to buy and sell in abroad, EU imposes to foreign countries obligation, including in completely unrelated domains. The plain word for this is blackmail. And EU holds hostage its own citizens. 

On 7/2/2016 at 2:22 AM, Eiuol said:

You make integration sound like it is obviously bad... A government [is] good or bad relative to its ability to protect individual rights.

No, I don't consider integration as necessarily bad. I consider it bad e.g. when it is imposed as a prerequisite for the right of people to trade between countries. And I consider it bad precisely because this violates individual rights.

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You're making it sound like Alex Jones is your namesake... Portraying the EU is a great evil worse than anything imaginable the UK or Switzerland does do, and a future integrated EU is even more tyranical. When really the EU is -at least- marginally better, if not lightyears better.

EU holds people hostage? This is hyperbole, bolded to make it like a trigger word for turning the discussion into an exchange of feeling. Okay, trade agreements strike you as REALLY bad, fine. But understand you need to make government-scale agreements to be able to make trade more attainable among countries with different laws and idealogical distance from a free society. The EU would at least enable trade. You've couched making agreements as some sort of opression, that either you get ALL things you want, or it's blackmail. So it starts to look like I'm arguing against an anarchist.

The EU is not a pre-requisite to trade... but not being part of the EU probably makes people less interested to trade with them. All obligations as being part of the EU are largely reasonable from what I see, especially for security related agreements. Worse yet, for the UK, the reasons to leave would violate more rights!

It's not blackmail if countries are allowed to leave at any time. There are no "threats" for leaving. The only "threat" is no one wants to trade with isolationist countries. Sorry to say, but the point of leaving the EU was trade protectionism and/or xenophobia. This is worse than what you say the EU is doing. Free market people failed to co-opt the movement. Too little too late.

I read your link by the way. Looks pretty good to me.

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On 6/29/2016 at 11:43 PM, Nicky said:

Three key retorts and an ironic factoid to this. Hopefully, the details in my post will convince you that the EU government is in fact not a huge bureaucratic burden on the backs of European economies, but a relatively small, relatively efficient and mostly necessary entity that saves a lot of money for Europe, by reducing populist country level spending...

You make a good point about trade-deals (the EU in particular) keeping participants from things like subsidies etc. 

On 6/30/2016 at 1:01 AM, Nicky said:

I think the most easily measurable change is in indebtedness level. Currently, UK public debt stands at 90%. I think that will go up significantly. How much would you say it would have to go up by, in let's say the next seven years ...

In seven years, I would expect the pattern of UK stats like public debt-to-GDP, or per-capita GDP at PPP, etc. to stay consistent with its historical pattern relative to Germany, France, Italy and some of the older, richer EU countries. I doubt it will improve or fall (relatively) in a way that we will look back and be convinced that Brexit was positively good or bad. [So, if debt-to-GDP rises drastically in the next decade, I would expect to see the other EU countries show a very similar pattern, with Britain more or less maintaining its relative position.]

I was not for Brexit. I think it was a pointless exercise, blaming the wrong targets, and therefore with no hope of solving Britain's real issues. OTOH, I think Britain is somewhat average in its free-market leaning, relative to the EU at large, and I don't expect much to change over the long-term. In addition, there's a good chance that there's going to be some deal between Britain and the EU which will keep a lot of the existing arrangements in place. The downside would be any disruption that this causes, adjusting from one structure to the new one. Also, any panic that might be triggered.

 

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6 hours ago, AlexL said:

Now the above is truly a fallacy! The country in which I live is no better than the EU, therefore I am wrong!!

Forget Switzerland, it plays no role in the essence of my argument.

What do you mean? It's not just Switzerland. It's every European government. You want me to consider your argument outside the context of European reality, in which EVERY government does the same exact things you vilify the EU for?

The EU is the same as all the other governments, except for one key aspect: the EU grants EU citizens freedom of movement and trade across the single market. In that way, it is better. For instance, the EU is the only thing standing between the freedom of movement of EU citizens, and that referendum I mentioned before.

Getting rid of the EU wouldn't change any of the negative aspects of European government, it would only change that one positive aspect of it. That makes it a net positive in every scenario, except in whatever fantasy you would like me to operate in, in which Switzerland apparently doesn't have a government, so everybody is "free".

P.S. Just answer the question I asked you about the Swiss referendum seeking to restrict immigration from the EU. How did you vote in it? That will clarify your position much, much better than all the rationalistic arguments you're giving me.

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  • 4 months later...

U.K. Plans Executive Pay Curbs to Restore ‘Faith in Capitalism’ . The supposed free-market leaning side is now doing the work of the explicit statists. A factoid illustrating that Brexit voters are statist populists, not fundamentally different from the labor voters they so deride. (The same with Trump voters.)

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I'm not convinced that the Brexit voters had anything to do with this. May came to power as an after-effect of the vote, but she wasn't much of a supporter herself (1) (2), and that would still be short of telling us about the sentiments of the people who voted yes in the referendum that led to Cameron's resignation, which led in turn to her getting the job.

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