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European Union Membership Referendum Thursday 23rd June 2016

Discussion in 'In The News' started by vaska00762, 21 February 2016.

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Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?

Poll closed 23 June 2016.
  1. Remain a member of the European Union

    80.0%
  2. Leave the European Union

    20.0%
  1. Mane25

    Mane25 Honorary Pony

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    @Loganberry The NHS it the higher priority for me as well. Both my parents have worked for the NHS for most of their lives and I would trust their judgement on it more than anyone's; and that is that private sector involvement and increasingly running it like a business has been bad, and is eroding the culture of the NHS (and they've noticed a significant deterioration since the tories came to power in 2010). I'm concerned that with the EU, and their liking of free-market competition, that might be difficult to reverse.
     
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  2. Cloudane

    Cloudane Element of Mostly Excessive Verbosity

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    Saw an article earlier that pointed out the EU was effectively founded as a way to keep peace (within itself) instead of having quite so many wars, and it doesn't seem to have done too badly with that.

    Which brings me to what is possibly a fundamental difference in thinking between various political camps - what are we actually concerned about? The good of the country, or the good of the world?
    It's all well and good that we say "what's in it for us?" and that we don't want to be paying into it, or that if we do it must be demonstrably worthwhile to are country. But if it begins a snowball effect of countries turning their backs that eventually becomes the fall of the EU, does this region of the world risk descending back into wars and general chaos? I think that's a question to consider... I'm not saying everyone who wants out is selfish or something but that maybe quite a few on that side are only thinking what's best for us and not what's best for the world as a whole. There's nothing wrong with a bit of self-interest, and it's just really a thought (I continue to be pretty clueless) but keep in mind the stuff hits the fan with the EU it could backfire on us later if we end up involved in more wars.
     
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  3. vaska00762

    vaska00762 R6 Siege fan

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    This is the contrast you need to look at.
    The EU is not forcing privatisation of the NHS, in fact, if you look at the numbers of EU citizens working in the NHS, I'd say that overall the EU has been beneficial to the NHS. What you're looking at is, however, a Conservative government that would carry out a policy on a nationalised sector reguardless of whatever we're doing with the EU.
    If there was a privatisation by a Conservative government, and there was a later re-nationalisation attempt, then, yes private companies would be able to out-bid the government, but TBH, if we're looking at the current Labour leadership and their history on this, then I'm sure they would out-bid any private company.
    As far as I can tell, the UK government can also ask for opt outs for certain rules reguarding nationalisation and government ownership. Why there hasn't been that opt out so far, IDK, but they could probably easily ask for an opt-out for the NHS and negotiate the terms behind that. So, a re-nationalisation of a health service is possibly easier then some would say.
     
  4. Wonderbolt

    Wonderbolt Honorary Pony

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    I think its good we are seeing people on the Left beginning to consider the Leave option. (I think the remain faction have used immigration and "only racists vote Leave" arguments to play on the lefts pro immigration stance).

    I think in some ways the the Left have more to gain from an EU leave than the right do as regards the EU's stance on Nationalisation and public services, its friendliness with big business and its willingness to rip of Greece.
     
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  5. Loganberry

    Loganberry Element of Custard

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    I entirely agree that trying to make hospitals work like businesses is a bad idea -- it's one of the major reasons I don't vote Conservative. That said, I think that a post-Brexit Britain would almost certainly mean a more right-wing UK government than the one we have now, and that might well intensify rather than slow down the pace of privatisation. While I am indeed suspicious that the EU is too friendly with big business, I don't think the post-Brexit alternative would be any better, at least not until it was too late to matter anyway. However, domestically I think life for actual NHS workers would be worse thanks to the likelihood of said right-wing government eroding a lot of social/workplace rights.

    As for what I actually think will happen on Thursday? Honestly, I don't know. I can't see either side getting a really big (60/40 or more) victory. It may well come down to differential turnout -- as the general election did. It's strange to reflect that if the most pro-EU group (under-35s) had turned out in the same numbers in May as the most anti-EU group (over-65s) we wouldn't be having this referendum at all, as the Tories wouldn't have got a majority and the Lib Dems would certainly have vetoed it as a condition of a renewed coalition.
     
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  6. janglehooves

    janglehooves Proud to be an earth pony!

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    The point I was making there is twofold. Firstly, the free movement of labour has devalued workers in the eyes of employers because with a limitless supply of workers, there is no incentive for employers of so called "low skilled" workers (which usually means their skills just aren't valued) to look after their workforce. They don't need to attract or retain staff with such things as a decent wage or working conditions because they know there are plenty more available. There is also no incentive to invest in employees with training so what you end up with is a situation for many people where the minimum wage is also the maximum wage. Without the free movement of labour I doubt we'd see anything like as many zero hours contract jobs out there as we have done.
    The second point is that with decision making deferred to the EU (and likely to increase if we remain as the EU will have to integrate more in order to save the Eurozone) those at the lowest end of the scale are increasingly being robbed of one of the few powers that they do have which is to vote on who governs them. We know that big business spends a lot of money trying to influence politicians both domestic and in the EU Commission. The difference is that UK politicians must face re-election so for anything they do at the behest of the lobbyists, they must answer to the electorate. The same is not true of the Commission and although I'd expect groups such as the trade unions to be lobbying them too, they cannot hope to compete with the financial might of the multinationals. Again, when it comes to decision making in the EU this skews things very heavily in favour of big business/big finance and against

    I find it hard to see how the EU is a positive force in the world. I'd still argue that the Soviet/NATO balance was (ironically) the real force for peace post-war and institutions such as the UN and the WTO, organisations of sovereign states, have also made a big contribution. The EU may have been set up with good intentions but it has morphed into a corporate clique.
     
  7. Recurrent Trotting

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    the wages thing is also interesting :3

    source
    so the intuition that there is clearly a depressing effect on wages is sorta right, but also more of a short-term and struggling economy sort of thing. kind of like immigration everywhere then :3

    the referendum is so going to be decided on the back of me (and loads of others) not being able to understand economics : ( fortunately yes and no are sort of right answers so we can only sort of get it wrong :D
     
  8. Mane25

    Mane25 Honorary Pony

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    So I've come across this video, presenting the left arguments for leaving. There's a diversity of opinions within this and I don't agree with everyone in the video but it does back up a lot of what I've been thinking.



    Absolutely, and that's the real problem I have with the more mainstream brexit campaign. We should be asking what's better for the world, and if the UK is making a net loss as a result of being in the EU but humanity as a whole is making a net gain, then that's justified. Being a rich country we're already in a better position than most. I'm not convinced personally that the EU breaking up would lead to war, plus the EU isn't the only European institution, and I'm not convinced about the EU's ability to prevent wars overall.

    Hmm, I don't know if it would almost certainly mean a more right-wing UK government, if anything it could hurt the conservatives who are already divided over this referendum. The EU seems to be about cementing right-wing policies regardless of the government.
     
  9. Recurrent Trotting

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    one good thing about this referendum is that TTIP is getting lots of publicity. Jose Manuel Barroso was citing it as something on the pro staying in Europe side - it is very free-marketty sounding. voting on the EU might have at least derailed those negotiations a teeny bit.

    apparently TTIP has secret courts

    source
    ttip + NHS

    so firstly TTIP has to be ratified by us anyway - doesn't sound like in/out sovereignty is much of an issue. TTiP in some form would be agreed to by the two previous governments that we have democratically elected in anyway. being in the EU makes the negotiating smoother though. nextly it is totally a privatisation monster : ( if you're at all socialist leaning it's got to make you a bit queasy.
     
    #169 Recurrent Trotting, 21 June 2016
    Last edited: 21 June 2016
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  10. Cloudane

    Cloudane Element of Mostly Excessive Verbosity

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    Fair comments everywhere. Send halp.

    I do have to wonder what it'd do for digital rights kind of stuff. The EU's generally been pretty good on fighting for those, even if it did get stone cold ret a bit silly about cookies, whilst the UK government have been fighting tooth and nail to try and monitor, censor and control every bit of it they can - often, I think, only held back by our good friends in Brussels. More food for thought (or more of me showing my ignorance, more likely!)
     
    #170 Cloudane, 21 June 2016
    Last edited: 21 June 2016
  11. vaska00762

    vaska00762 R6 Siege fan

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    I think that most importantly there are two things which should be mentioned:
    Net Neutrality
    Right to be Forgotten

    Yes, OK, at times the EU has been a little old timey in terms of some things to do with the internet. But to a certain extent, it's all been in the favour of the consumer and making sure the internet and digital rights as well as the "Digital Single Market" are all protected in the same manner as meat space.
     
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  12. Mane25

    Mane25 Honorary Pony

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    I've avoided mentioning TTIP because it's a big subject that I haven't fully gathered my thoughts on but I'm glad you did, it's something that often comes up in this debate and definitely something that should be opposed. It seems anti TTIP is mostly on the leave side. It's covered in the video that I linked from 7:40.

    I know the feeling! Sorry I can't give all the answers.

    And yes, that's a good question...
     
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  13. Loganberry

    Loganberry Element of Custard

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    I could be wrong on that, of course, as with most of the rest. But I'm concerned about the potential for the UK to withdraw from the ECHR, Council of Europe etc. I know those are not EU bodies, but membership is a precondition of EU membership. Withdrawing from the EU would make it easier for the UK to withdraw from those other bodies. There's also the stuff this TUC report (PDF) outlines in terms of workplace protections. I'll grant that some of them probably aren't in any danger -- I can't see any UK government going back to allowing discrimination against LGBT people, for example. But things like the Social Chapter? Yeah, I could see those going without the broad framework of EU law over the top.

    Edit: on another note, it's hardly a surprise but the Daily Mirror has declared for Remain and the Daily Mail is supporting Leave. Virtually all the papers have sided as I'd expect, with perhaps the only slight surprise being the Times coming out for Remain a little while back. Adding the decline in newspaper readership and influence in recent years, I doubt their endorsements will have a huge effect.
     
    #173 Loganberry, 21 June 2016
    Last edited: 21 June 2016
  14. Mane25

    Mane25 Honorary Pony

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    Of course I could be wrong as well, it's anyone's guess I think. I wouldn't support withdrawing from the ECHR and Council of Europe, and given that pretty much covers everywhere except Belarus (including countries like Norway, Russia, even Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan), it seems unlikely to me that the UK would withdraw.
     
  15. Cloudane

    Cloudane Element of Mostly Excessive Verbosity

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    Seems the more I think about this and hear the arguments the less I know, drifting more from "we all gotta be together" towards the fence which is looking a nice place to sit on.

    Think I'm leaning towards an action I've never done before (but considered last GE), which is to spoil my ballot. My reasoning is twofold:
    1) The point of having a leadership is for them to figure out what's best and make decisions when it's something really tough like this that needs a lot more knowledge than Tom Dick and Harry are likely to have. That's why they're called leaders, they're supposed to lead, not shrug and ask everyone else what to do. I'm all for the democratic process of voting to decide who gets that power, but now that they do, surely they should do what we pay them to do and make decisions - not delegate the most tricky decision they have to people who simply don't know, even the few of us who've bothered to try and make sense of it and aren't voting just out of 'what feels right'.
    The nearest thing we have is the government suggesting we vote to remain so otherwise I'd probably go for that if it had to be in/out, but still.

    2) The whole thing - that I've seen of it - has been an ugly mess of the sides attacking each other and fear mongering. The nearest thing I've seen to an actual reasoned debate on it funny enough is in here because this community is so level-headed, open-minded and well-mannered, and aren't all screaming "anyone who votes out is a racist" or "anyone who votes in is a sheep" and attacking any individual who expresses sympathy for the 'enemy' as I've seen on other forums and other mediums. This place is great, but it's not enough, and I'm inclined to spoil just to say "sorry, ask me again when you can all discuss it like rational adults" (or preferably, don't ask me - leaders gotta lead)

    Obviously spoiled ballots don't send a specific message, but if they end up with a load of them they might be forced to ask themselves whether the referendum has been super effective in getting a decision made (as I understand it, it's a consultation and they even can still go against the results if they wanted to)
     
    #175 Cloudane, 22 June 2016
    Last edited: 22 June 2016
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  16. Recurrent Trotting

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    probably won't spoil ballot, but if I do
    [​IMG]
     
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  17. vaska00762

    vaska00762 R6 Siege fan

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    That cartoon is actually about the santions that have been applied to Russia since they annexed Ukrainian territory and funded and armed militias in Eastern Ukraine, which are currently fighting Ukrainian military and are widely believed to have shot down MH17. Pretty much it looks like something a Russian nationalist drew, and of course Russian nationalists love Donald Trump and want the EU to break up...
     
  18. Mane25

    Mane25 Honorary Pony

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    If there was a widespread campaign encouraging people to spoil their ballot to protest the referendum, on the grounds that not enough people have the information to make an informed decision, that might not be a bad idea actually. A bit late to organise now though. Unfortunately I don't believe that the current government has enough of a mandate to make decisions on our behalf given that the conservatives only got 36.9% of the vote (even less when you factor in the turnout).
     
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  19. Recurrent Trotting

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    thought it would be about that, and I agree about Trump. I love the way it captures the personalities of the EU and America signing deals there though :D EU pony definitely has a hairbun like that and Ameri-pony is a pegasus with sunglasses. also do you know what russian pony is shouting?
     
  20. vaska00762

    vaska00762 R6 Siege fan

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    Actually, it's supposedly the US and EU shouting "Sanctions". The documents they're also holding say "Sanctions".
     

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