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The shortcomings and dangers of governing through referendums where well understood from the times of ancient Greeks.
Throughout history they(referendums) are beloved by dictators and authoritarian/totalitarian regimes.
 

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Amazing that i can gather more information from someone on the other side of the pond regarding brexit than i can from my own govt and legal organisations. Thank you..............genuinly.
Disclosure, pure greed. One of my majors in college was finance, where I learned the dark arts of speculation through derivatives. Its all (relatively) short term but allowed me early on to leverage very small sums into some pretty serious gains. But its easiest to speculate on losers. Identifiable bubbles, flights to quality, bad actors, false markets, and just stupidity. I tend to avoid catastrophes though.... Its easy because markets are people and people are, generally, predictable. Use it against them and move fast. Think of it as "dark side" betting on craps but not having to pay the house commission.

So when I see one of those 5 things I tend to study them HARD. Volatility can bring big gains but you really have to know which way the wind is going to blow in 5 minutes, which means learning to be a meteorologist. Trust me, I knew very little about your govt until June 9th 2016, when it was apparent you were dead set on doing this thing.

Not that its been easy. Jesus, I thought we had a lot of symbolic bullshit in OUR govt...
 

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Some days back I had a discussion with a good friend of mine from London, about Brexit. Big funds manager, lots of connections.
He insisted on the "Singapore on Thames" post-Brexit vision. Okay I get that it is a valid(in theory at least) differentiating path requiring such a rift.
But when I asked who and why is gonna support such a plan or to be specific why the USA will use its back, shoulders and arms to push, twist and squeeze the EU in "accepting" the new status, I didn't get a coherent answer.


Interesting times, lets see.
 

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Wow, that is straight-up delusion. Singapore is China with a glittery coat of paint. Over 80% of the population lives at the behest of the govt (both as living in govt housing AND being allowed to breath by an authoritarian govt). JFC, they only recently legalized the sale of chewing gum.

Man, its like someone saw "V for Vendetta" and though, "Man, that sounds nice. We should totally be THAT."
 

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Chris,

I used to import stuff from Japan regularly with my old tuning business. You pay duty on certain items, typically between 2%-10% on car stuff depending on what it is and then VAT. The Vat part is the same, so it's only really the duty and the vat on that element which will differ. As an importer of products, the advice from the Gov is to sign up for an EORI number (Economic Operation Registration and Identification) more info here;

https://www.gov.uk/eori

If you are vat registered, part of the Brexit step up preparations meant the government would automatically enrol you in this and you'd receive a letter from the VAT office with your number. Aside from this, you may have some disruption at ports as a result of delays from those who haven't registered. Some companies I know are bringing things in from quieter ports than Dover. I doubt air shipments will be delayed too much. We import tons of stuff from countries external to EU everyday including Japan and the US.

All of that of course, is if we don't leave with a trade deal or GATT 24 extension or any other temporary arrangements as part of the wider future negotiations. No deal or whatever Brexit we get if it ever happens is only the withdrawal agreement, the future relationship remains to be shaped.

I personally would be quite optimistic about leaving, and importantly our democracy remains intact, which is something that rarely gets discussed in these conversations and I find it mind boggling as this is surely the most important thing in all of this. If we remain as per the Lisbon treaty which takes effect next year, our votes will count for nothing, the EU commission are not accountable to the people in any way. It's a perfect recipe for disaster.

Plenty of food for thought everywhere...here's a good Brexit documentary focusing on the democracy aspect which in my view was the main driver for Brexit, this clarifies how the EU works. Think how much the EU has changed in the last 20 years then imagine the next 20 for which Lisbon treaty clearly defines the future direction.

 

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The UK isnt a true democracy any more than the USA is (actually less since you have lords instead of senators), which is neither on anything more than a local level. its named as such but its a representative republic, same as the rest. Direct democracy died out ages ago when it was realized you couldn't have a public vote on every single thing.

And the EU is no less democratic. For starters they REQUIRE a democratically elected govt to join, a govt that chooses its own representative on the European commission. And the commission relies on powers bestowed on it by treaties. Everything they do is based on a weighted majority vote. And the commission can be stopped by a blocking vote, something the UK has even done multiple times.

You're really just mad that you aren't the majority, but that is what happens when you join any group. Just because you are one in 28 doesn't mean its undemocratic. Its yet another Nigel lie (between him and the daily mail I could crash this forum software listing all of the utter bullshit you people ate up around the EU). Its grabbing the low hanging fruit by saying, "you don't even know these people" to some idiots on the street who couldn't even name their own representatives. And, again, if Nigel knows all of the answers why is he still making youtube bullshit (I dont think you understand what a documentary is) instead of leading the govt that would have been handed to him after the vote?

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jun/13/is-the-eu-undemocratic-referendum-reality-check
 

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That article is as misleading as the facade the EU wears. It plays very well to appearing to be this and that, when in reality it is something else.

Look at the complicated layers and separation of decision making and accountability with the EU;

So the Commission can't pass laws, yet they are the ones that represent the interests of the union as a whole, they propose the laws.

These then conveniently get 'adopted' by a) the EU Parliament, who as we know are as powerless as the house of lords, a bit of posturing more than anything, they can delay and get some influence/changes in the unlikely event something doesn't pass, most are nodding dogs who daren't bite the hand that generously feeds them, and b) the very powerful Council of the European Union containing the member states representatives, chosen by the heads of state for each country. So while the heads of states are democratically elected by member states, those who propose the laws are not democratically elected but appointed (both in the commission and the Council of the EU), the laws are approved by a combination of the undemocratically elected council of the EU and any real influence is not passed on to the EU parliament, they are the scapegoats that get final approval to nod something through.

A total separation of powers and accountability with no direct tie to each. It's crazy and overly complex designed to confuse and buffer, it's ripe for corruption, they are all on the same gravy train, in reality everything is decided by the commission. The above three bodies (commission, council of the EU and EU parliament) are the law making bodies. Only the MEP's are democratically elected to be able to do F all except share the blame. The real players are totally isolated from the electorate and therefore totally beyond reproach and accountability. We cannot boot them out, although MEP's could in theory it would never happen.

Within the Council of the EU, when the council votes on a proposal by the commission, our indirectly nominated minister carries 13% of influence given that is our share majority. The UK are moaning the 52% is not enough of a majority to warrant Brexit but we're happy to surrender to decisions made by the Council of the European Union where we only have a 13% contribution.

The conveniently confusingly named European Council on the other hand, sets EU's overall political direction but they can't pass laws. Oh joy, hugely influential but totally isolated once again.

What is ignored is the corrupt racket that the EU is all riding a gravy train that is taxpayer funded, yet we have no say to boot them out if they are rubbish, the only mechanism of accountability that we have over our own government.

It's ironic that you say the EU requires a democratically elected government to join, when their aim is to 'pool sovereignty' or basically suck out all the democracy of that country and absorb it into the EU itself, a self created entity that has homed itself in Brussels that started off as a bit of a joke that no one paid much attention to, which post Maastricht has grown in power and influence with every treaty thereafter with Lisbon being the most radical yet. You mention Veto's, it's the first thing Von der Leyen wanted to remove!


You raise the low hanging fruit and pick out the nonsense part of the video because it's easy to criticise, but you conveniently gloss over the important stuff. Here is one you may appreciate more, Merryam Somerset Webb (editor of Moneyweek) interviewing Bernard Connolly credited by Carney as one of the few who predicted the crash in 2008. It's a bit longer but again, touches on many of the complexities.


I would add, the UK is not alone in it's resentment to the absorption of supremacy by the EU, there are many other EU countries where the citizens are similarly conflicted. The European project started out as a trading block, all was fine, then it morphed into what we have, and wishes to further morph into a federal state with it's own peace keeping force, army etc. Once we start going down that road, there will be no turning back, no exit route, no repatriation of powers. Most wars are started because people want freedom from oppression, a rule of law they do not agree with, the ability of self determination. What happens when things start to go wrong? Does the peace keeping force put people in their place, like in Catalunya recently? I don't want to wait to find out. Out Politicians may be shit but ultimately they are accountable and removable eventually.
 

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Chris,

I used to import stuff from Japan regularly with my old tuning business. You pay duty on certain items, typically between 2%-10% on car stuff depending on what it is and then VAT. The Vat part is the same, so it's only really the duty and the vat on that element which will differ. As an importer of products, the advice from the Gov is to sign up for an EORI number (Economic Operation Registration and Identification) more info here;

https://www.gov.uk/eori

If you are vat registered, part of the Brexit step up preparations meant the government would automatically enrol you in this and you'd receive a letter from the VAT office with your number. Aside from this, you may have some disruption at ports as a result of delays from those who haven't registered. Some companies I know are bringing things in from quieter ports than Dover. I doubt air shipments will be delayed too much. We import tons of stuff from countries external to EU everyday including Japan and the US.

All of that of course, is if we don't leave with a trade deal or GATT 24 extension or any other temporary arrangements as part of the wider future negotiations. No deal or whatever Brexit we get if it ever happens is only the withdrawal agreement, the future relationship remains to be shaped.

I personally would be quite optimistic about leaving, and importantly our democracy remains intact, which is something that rarely gets discussed in these conversations and I find it mind boggling as this is surely the most important thing in all of this. If we remain as per the Lisbon treaty which takes effect next year, our votes will count for nothing, the EU commission are not accountable to the people in any way. It's a perfect recipe for disaster.

Plenty of food for thought everywhere...here's a good Brexit documentary focusing on the democracy aspect which in my view was the main driver for Brexit, this clarifies how the EU works. Think how much the EU has changed in the last 20 years then imagine the next 20 for which Lisbon treaty clearly defines the future direction.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DD0DKFXyfb4

Nito, I myself(as many others in all the EU countries) have grave concerns and fears about where the EU project is heading.
It is a highly complex project with lots of potential, great risks and even greater questions to be asked and ponder.

There is certainly a lot of teratogenesis. And many problems identified by Brexit supporters are valid and worth of serious, deep discussion all over Europe and the western world I would say. As expected, it never happened. Just silly polarization and conflicting interests.



But to say that the main driver of Brexit was (the EU) democratic deficiency...I don't know. Especially you Brits have your own sets of myths, narratives and collective delusions to battle me thinks.


Here is the link to the whole movie you quoted:


 

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If the EU is that confusing to you (Nito) then its no wonder you dont trust it. Youre obviously choosing to willfully ignorant and call a propaganda movie a "documentary" then there isnt much point in attempting to educate you seeing as how you used a lot of words to say complete and utter rubbish. With gold nuggets like, "The conveniently confusingly named European Council" its obvious you have your mind made up and will create whatever "facts" or "logic" you need to support that.

You do you, people like you make me not feel bad knowing my profits coming from speculations come from your retirement accounts. I dont feel bad for people who willingly make idiotic choices (including forming information bubbles to support their biases).
 

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Nito, I myself(as many others in all the EU countries) have grave concerns and fears about where the EU project is heading.
It is a highly complex project with lots of potential, great risks and even greater questions to be asked and ponder.

There is certainly a lot of teratogenesis. And many problems identified by Brexit supporters are valid and worth of serious, deep discussion all over Europe and the western world I would say. As expected, it never happened. Just silly polarization and conflicting interests.

But to say that the main driver of Brexit was (the EU) democratic deficiency...I don't know. Especially you Brits have your own sets of myths, narratives and collective delusions to battle me thinks.
You are correct on all points. It was a big driver in the UK, not necessarily the democratic deficiency of the EU, but the thought of supremacy of the EU over the UK, that and of course the fact that UK was one of three countries granting unrestricted access from new joining members, 10 I think in the early '00's. An expected influx of 13,000 turned into 500,000 with no controls. Again, this was a UK issue, our government didn't react and more importantly prepare for it, for the electorate, leaving the EU also means stemming this and Nigel Farage's successes are a representation of that demographic to which he appeals and it is the uglier side of Brexit.

As you point out however, these are issues that aren't going to go away, they need to be discussed openly, it can't be ignored, the country is split and people dig themselves in, but the reality is that it requires a huge effort to bridge these differences, it's no good shouting people down, calling them idiots, everyone has their fears, for some, it's the economy, uncertainty, immigration, the NHS, investment pouring out or in and taking over, sovereignty and democracy but ultimately, if there was scope to influence and reform the EU then it would be worth persevering with, unfortunately the EU forces are dogmatic in their vision, even in light of Brexit, they see the opportunity for the EU project, as the handbrake that has always been the UK has finally been released and they can now proceed full steam ahead with the goal of even further integration.

We in the UK, never had a referendum on any treaty. Many EU countries put the EU treaties out to referendum. We didn't get the opportunity with Maastricht nor Lisbon. This is a deficiency with our own government. Although we have no written constitution per se, we have many founding principles and in a way it has been better for us to remain slightly fluid, however the onset of the EU brought about tests that were unanticipated and unprecedented. So where John Major should have gone to the people, he didn't. The same for Gordon Brown with Lisbon. Parliament was Sovereign and could do what it liked with it's temporal powers granted unto it by the people, the thought that Parliament could use those temporal powers to cede supremacy to a foreign entity was inconceivable, therefore no safeguards existed, whereas more modern democracies had their written constitutions demanding referenda on such a matter. The mere thought that 48% of voters can find this totally acceptable now genuinely astounds me. So in the referendum of 2016, we finally had our say on the EU.
 

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If the EU is that confusing to you (Nito) then its no wonder you dont trust it. Youre obviously choosing to willfully ignorant and call a propaganda movie a "documentary" then there isnt much point in attempting to educate you seeing as how you used a lot of words to say complete and utter rubbish. With gold nuggets like, "The conveniently confusingly named European Council" its obvious you have your mind made up and will create whatever "facts" or "logic" you need to support that.

You do you, people like you make me not feel bad knowing my profits coming from speculations come from your retirement accounts. I don't feel bad for people who willingly make idiotic choices (including forming information bubbles to support their biases).
There are no untruths in that 'propaganda movie' if we're into semantics, it's non fictional and educational, I'll stick with documentary regardless of who has posted it. I guarantee you that I know more than 99% of the UK population regarding the workings of the EU, I have been following it for years and I'm about the only person I know that has read the Lisbon treaty text cover to cover! Having read law and business at University College London I think I am also fairly well educated and qualified to understand the implications both in law and in business. You are correct that my mind is pretty made up, not from a position of 'ignorance' I would argue.

Cheers
Nito
 

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This is an interesting conversation.

There are a few different interpretations of 'democracy', for it to work properly the citizenry need to engage and participate in the process. GB rates quite high on the democracy index below, given the house of lords is not what I would call democratic. There are a number of EU countries ahead of GB on the index. The USA is listed as a flawed democracy. Probably not their fault. I have read that some of the best examples of localised inclusion and democracy are seen in indigenous societies, Papua New Guinea for example.

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

The EU is a work in progress, about a group of nations with a shared past and future. There is always someone, usually without any particular merit or originality to their thinking and language, who will try and gain some traction with their 'we are unique' rhetroic. I wonder if a lot of Europeans have forgotten their individual national pasts, matters like where a great deal of their national wealth came from, and how that wealth was earned. By imposing themselves on others, at the point of a gun.
 

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There are no untruths in that 'propaganda movie' if we're into semantics, it's non fictional and educational, I'll stick with documentary regardless of who has posted it. I guarantee you that I know more than 99% of the UK population regarding the workings of the EU, I have been following it for years and I'm about the only person I know that has read the Lisbon treaty text cover to cover! Having read law and business at University College London I think I am also fairly well educated and qualified to understand the implications both in law and in business. You are correct that my mind is pretty made up, not from a position of 'ignorance' I would argue.

Cheers
Nito
A. You dont know what a documentary is, that is obviously plain. And that isnt semantics, that is knowing the literal meaning of an english word. And there arent facts, that is marketing from a pro-brexit party asking pro-brexit politicians their OPINIONS. A documentary, just for your own edification, is a non-fiction piece intented to document events that have happened. What you have posted is an op-ed. The reason you insist on calling that is you want to give it validity to justify your biases. Its the same thing the Trump camp is doing here.

B. You might actually know more than 99% of the UK, but that doesn't appear to be saying much seeing as how they all fell for the things that are now well known lies of UKIP. It appears the electorate is ENTIRELY willfully ignorant on the matter. Also, just so you know, your guarantees mean nothing to me. Donald Trump guaranteed he has a "good brain" and he is a moron. Thanks to Dunning–Kruger we now know that its more likely based on your guarantee that you DONT know what you are talking about.

C. Nothing you have said refutes any of my statements. The EU isnt some sort of obfuscated hieroglyph. Its a representative form of govt like virtually any other western forms, you're really talking about sovereignty lost not democracy lost. At least be honest, you dont like being the minority vote.

Also, if you were nito esq then you would know the importance of getting the definition correct.
 

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This is an interesting conversation.

There are a few different interpretations of 'democracy', for it to work properly the citizenry need to engage and participate in the process. GB rates quite high on the democracy index below, given the house of lords is not what I would call democratic. There are a number of EU countries ahead of GB on the index. The USA is listed as a flawed democracy. Probably not their fault. I have read that some of the best examples of localised inclusion and democracy are seen in indigenous societies, Papua New Guinea for example.

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

The EU is a work in progress, about a group of nations with a shared past and future. There is always someone, usually without any particular merit or originality to their thinking and language, who will try and gain some traction with their 'we are unique' rhetroic. I wonder if a lot of Europeans have forgotten their individual national pasts, matters like where a great deal of their national wealth came from, and how that wealth was earned. By imposing themselves on others, at the point of a gun.
Or largest flaw is the utilization of a first past the post system, especially with respect to the executive branch. We will always be trapped in a two-party system this way, no matter how hard a 3rd party tries the system isnt designed for it. We would be better adopting the systems popular in germanic countries as they are far more likely to require coalitions.

The problem is our system is dated. It was developed when we were a sparsely populated nation covering the 3rd largest land mass. We should get rid of dated mechanisms like the electoral college, technology has "shrank" our nation to the point its ready. Not going to happen any time soon though as we will need the boomers to die off, they wont allow it. They cant handle the rapid pace of change and are too busy identifying with their (misunderstood) past to tolerate any more.
 

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A. You dont know what a documentary is, that is obviously plain. And that isnt semantics, that is knowing the literal meaning of an english word. And there arent facts, that is marketing from a pro-brexit party asking pro-brexit politicians their OPINIONS. A documentary, just for your own edification, is a non-fiction piece intented to document events that have happened. What you have posted is an op-ed. The reason you insist on calling that is you want to give it validity to justify your biases. Its the same thing the Trump camp is doing here.

B. You might actually know more than 99% of the UK, but that doesn't appear to be saying much seeing as how they all fell for the things that are now well known lies of UKIP. It appears the electorate is ENTIRELY willfully ignorant on the matter. Also, just so you know, your guarantees mean nothing to me. Donald Trump guaranteed he has a "good brain" and he is a moron. Thanks to Dunning–Kruger we now know that its more likely based on your guarantee that you DONT know what you are talking about.

C. Nothing you have said refutes any of my statements. The EU isnt some sort of obfuscated hieroglyph. Its a representative form of govt like virtually any other western forms, you're really talking about sovereignty lost not democracy lost. At least be honest, you dont like being the minority vote.

Also, if you were nito esq then you would know the importance of getting the definition correct.
Whatever, pretty much anything you watch or read is biased one way or the other. There is context and perspective in all of this and there is a certain amount of filtering required in everything, you prefer to shut down debate calling those who voted for Brexit 'idiotic', persisting with lines like "fell for the things that are well known lies of UKIP" to validate your arguments. Insinuating that I'm a moron and ignorant because I disagree with you does not advance the debate and never will. Everything I wrote on the functioning of the EU law making processes a page or so back is factual and I set that out for the benefit of those who may be unaware of how it works and how indirect the 'democracy' and creation of law is and although maybe clear to you, it simply isn't for many. Those who create the law are not elected by the people nor deselect-able. People can make their own minds up about what type of democracy they want.

It is not the democracy that we have enjoyed in the UK for generations, the direction of the EU is a departure from that, for better or worse. That's a fact. We now have an opportunity to address it. You are correct, I personally don't like being a minority vote, effectively my vote is meaningless, to me that is a very real loss of democracy. I have to accept whatever law gets passed down without having any actual say in how those laws are made or how my taxes will be spent. Somehow, I feel like I am working for them, as opposed to them representing me. I am not a practising lawyer btw and I am not trying to refute any of your statements, it seems that anyone who voted for Brexit has to justify themselves, I respect others opinions, but generally as seems the case, it can be a very unilateral thing.

One has to be comfortable with the direction of the EU when it is to be your future. I don't like what has happened in the last 20 years, and I really don't like the direction its headed for the next 20. And while we're here, how about the economy side of the argument? I'm not down with protectionism to pay farmers to keep fields fallow, or throw dead fish back in the sea, or promoting diesel as they did so many years ago (against the advice of various motoring bodies) that air quality has taken such a hit, or printing 3 trillion euro's in quantitative easing, negative bond yields, bailing out countries and banks and anyone else being rewarded for behaving irresponsibly and in an unsustainable fashion.

Savers have taken huge hits, while borrowers are rewarded so they can pour money into sub prime over inflated asset bubbles and drive 'growth' leaving everyone else to pick up the shit when they pop and that's not just the EU but the system works to keep the economy running on 'credit fuelled' booms and further supports globalisation by creating regulatory barriers to entry for any smaller businesses. At some point the bill comes due, it will be a big bill in the EU, every economy is pretty much in recession, so it's not so wonderful really. Thank goodness we retained our own currency so that it can do what it must to balance things out, rather than suffering as so many Europeans have. I worked in Italy during the transition from Lira to Euro and it is nowhere near the same country now that it was when I left and the same can be said for much of the EU member states.
 

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.............


Thank goodness we retained our own currency so that it can do what it must to balance things out, rather than suffering as so many Europeans have. I worked in Italy during the transition from Lira to Euro and it is nowhere near the same country now that it was when I left and the same can be said for much of the EU member states.

What happened to Italy's economy is appalling. It is a great example.

Granted EU policies are not to be blamed for everything but there are certainly liable for a lot. And the dark, sinister I would say role that Germany played/plays.

Many pompous, consequential EU characters like to completely dismiss the latter as populism/conspiracy theory. Nobody dares to address the subject openly in a serious, deep manner although many people in the know and in position understand very well the severity of the issue. Naturally, it falls in the dirty hands and mouths of true populists that shit it all over the place. Which is of course convenient for many.


I dare to still believe in the EU project. I don't really think you(UK) ever really tried Nito. I wish you did. You never escaped the old British mentality.

Only by the fact you leave the rest of us alone with the Germans....you are unforgivable:wink2:
 

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You can always join us ;)

When I was in Italy, I remember the Italians being delighted because they joined the Euro with a strong Lira, which gave the people fantastic buying power. All of a sudden, the Audi's, BMW's and Mercedes that were previously unattainable became a reality, and very soon they were everywhere. And then they saw the flipside, while others also joined the Euro with strong currencies it powered and fuelled the German export market. It was a very clever move by them as the DM was 'weak' by comparison. Japan only wishes it could devalue its currency so effectively!

Of course it decimated Italian sales in their home market as well as exports by making them far more expensive which badly knocked Italian manufacture and industry. I worked on a factory floor there for a while, when I came back to visit the friends I'd made it was apparent that in very little time things were not good for them and they were all moaning.

It's true the UK retained its independence largely throughout, we were always the handbrake for the European project, we were never committed to the European project as a people and the referendum brings that out, I have never considered myself to be European, yet I love Europe, just not the European Union. I feel every country has been diminished my its EU membership, robbing them of their soul and indentity, leaving a hollow shell of their former selves. Without the UK, the EU will be steered by the Franco German contingent, Macron clearly relishes the opportunity like a circling vulture to buddy up close to Germany. They say the UK was one foot in and one foot out. I'd agree.

When push comes to shove we voted to take both feet out, we'll see what the election now holds. For better or worse, and as exasperating as it has been to watch, our political 'system' has performed well in dealing with such a complex issue, there has been some massive subversion and underhand gameplay by remainer MP's subverting and sabotaging Brexit, it is telling that so many are now standing down at the election. Had this not been the case and the players committed to their manifesto pledges, a better deal entirely could have been worked on, the deals have been a massive failure of TM's government also, trying to deliver a remain Brexit, instead, leaving a convoluted and contrived agreement. There could have been better alternatives and I don't fear a no deal outcome.

The UK has always been a safe haven with a political and legal system that provides confidence to investors. While so many talk the UK and the £ down, there has been a huge influx of foreign investment, it's not pleasing to see the country being bought up, but in our position of 'weakness' as so many of our remain politicians have kept deriding, clearly the markets feel there are rewards to be made or they wouldn't have invested. Google's new HQ at St.Pancras is a shining beacon of that. Out with the bankers in with the tech companies.

I would love to see Italy and Spain follow suit. I think Italy would be tempted, I don't think Spain would.

Frankly, how can one size fit all? Is it better for a country to be pooling its sovereignty with 28 others than looking after its own interests? The EU tries to redistribute commerce; so these people do farming, these people make cars etc etc, so each country loses a large portion of a certain industry and ceases to be self sufficient, relying on imports to pick up where protectionism has prevented it from continuing with its own produce.

Eventually, so much must be imported, relying on a huge freight infrastructure creating mass environmental impact, when it could be fresh and home produced. For what? A reduction in costs, or 'free trade' deals. Duty under WTO is f'all in the scheme of things a couple of % here or there and those rates would be set by us for imports, and cheapest rarely means best or even value. For us in the UK to be importing meat from the other side of the world because it's cheaper, frozen, well travelled, processed with special freezing and packaging techniques that close up all the pores to prevent bacteria so it can last longer but be tasteless in the process etc is plain stupid when it can be produced on our shores. Lack of economies of scale make our home market uncompetitive. There is a lot wrong with the EU. Frictionless trade and movement could have been achievable without controlling, undermining and reigning supreme over every member states self governance and the pretence that it's people have in any way any control over their futures when decisions are not made by anyone that is actually elected. God forbid when the rot and corruption sets in and they have an army and peace keeping force, or they raise taxes to cover their huge economic mismanagement. The European accounts have still not been signed off by the European court of auditors for the last 19 years.

some more of my 2p ;)
 

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You can always join us ;)

When I was in Italy, I remember the Italians being delighted because they joined the Euro with a strong Lira, which gave the people fantastic buying power. All of a sudden, the Audi's, BMW's and Mercedes that were previously unattainable became a reality, and very soon they were everywhere. And then they saw the flipside, while others also joined the Euro with strong currencies it powered and fuelled the German export market. It was a very clever move by them as the DM was 'weak' by comparison. Japan only wishes it could devalue its currency so effectively!

Of course it decimated Italian sales in their home market as well as exports by making them far more expensive which badly knocked Italian manufacture and industry. I worked on a factory floor there for a while, when I came back to visit the friends I'd made it was apparent that in very little time things were not good for them and they were all moaning.

It's true the UK retained its independence largely throughout, we were always the handbrake for the European project, we were never committed to the European project as a people and the referendum brings that out, I have never considered myself to be European, yet I love Europe, just not the European Union. I feel every country has been diminished my its EU membership, robbing them of their soul and indentity, leaving a hollow shell of their former selves. Without the UK, the EU will be steered by the Franco German contingent, Macron clearly relishes the opportunity like a circling vulture to buddy up close to Germany. They say the UK was one foot in and one foot out. I'd agree.

When push comes to shove we voted to take both feet out, we'll see what the election now holds. For better or worse, and as exasperating as it has been to watch, our political 'system' has performed well in dealing with such a complex issue, there has been some massive subversion and underhand gameplay by remainer MP's subverting and sabotaging Brexit, it is telling that so many are now standing down at the election. Had this not been the case and the players committed to their manifesto pledges, a better deal entirely could have been worked on, the deals have been a massive failure of TM's government also, trying to deliver a remain Brexit, instead, leaving a convoluted and contrived agreement. There could have been better alternatives and I don't fear a no deal outcome.

The UK has always been a safe haven with a political and legal system that provides confidence to investors. While so many talk the UK and the £ down, there has been a huge influx of foreign investment, it's not pleasing to see the country being bought up, but in our position of 'weakness' as so many of our remain politicians have kept deriding, clearly the markets feel there are rewards to be made or they wouldn't have invested. Google's new HQ at St.Pancras is a shining beacon of that. Out with the bankers in with the tech companies.

I would love to see Italy and Spain follow suit. I think Italy would be tempted, I don't think Spain would.

Frankly, how can one size fit all? Is it better for a country to be pooling its sovereignty with 28 others than looking after its own interests? The EU tries to redistribute commerce; so these people do farming, these people make cars etc etc, so each country loses a large portion of a certain industry and ceases to be self sufficient, relying on imports to pick up where protectionism has prevented it from continuing with its own produce.

Eventually, so much must be imported, relying on a huge freight infrastructure creating mass environmental impact, when it could be fresh and home produced. For what? A reduction in costs, or 'free trade' deals. Duty under WTO is f'all in the scheme of things a couple of % here or there and those rates would be set by us for imports, and cheapest rarely means best or even value. For us in the UK to be importing meat from the other side of the world because it's cheaper, frozen, well travelled, processed with special freezing and packaging techniques that close up all the pores to prevent bacteria so it can last longer but be tasteless in the process etc is plain stupid when it can be produced on our shores. Lack of economies of scale make our home market uncompetitive. There is a lot wrong with the EU. Frictionless trade and movement could have been achievable without controlling, undermining and reigning supreme over every member states self governance and the pretence that it's people have in any way any control over their futures when decisions are not made by anyone that is actually elected. God forbid when the rot and corruption sets in and they have an army and peace keeping force, or they raise taxes to cover their huge economic mismanagement. The European accounts have still not been signed off by the European court of auditors for the last 19 years.

some more of my 2p ;)

I hear you Nito.
Loss of culture, diversity and consequently freedom within the EU is my biggest fear(and of many others).

Spain would not be the 1st to take the step out, but if Italy goes...then it is a whole different ballpark. For the South of Europe in general.
Have a close eye in France too.


That being said, if Italy or France blows up then it's over for the EU. At least as we know it today.
The question is how violently the castle will crumble?

Optimists believe it will happen(if and when) relatively peacefully from the inside, when that monstrous complexity passes a critical point of relevance. Meaning complexity not serving any purpose or the balance being heavily tilted towards structure-ness for the sake of itself. Look at Byzantine or Roman Empires.

Others are more worried about the chaotic dynamics of violence.....


At this point I believe the best outcome is a clean as possible exit of the UK. For both sides.
And I personally wish the UK to be successful outside of the EU for various reasons.
 

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This is an interesting conversation.

There are a few different interpretations of 'democracy', for it to work properly the citizenry need to engage and participate in the process. GB rates quite high on the democracy index below, given the house of lords is not what I would call democratic. There are a number of EU countries ahead of GB on the index. The USA is listed as a flawed democracy. Probably not their fault. I have read that some of the best examples of localised inclusion and democracy are seen in indigenous societies, Papua New Guinea for example.
The USA is a republic not a democracy.......
Papua New Guinea.......
Are you out of your mind????
My best friend on this Forum spent almost 40 years in Papua New Guinea
He described it as 10,000 years ago......outside of the large city everything runs on bribes......
And you carry an assault rifle and pistol all the time......for good reason :wink2:
 

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