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Old Jan 22, 2013, 06:12 PM   #1
niuniu
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Dave's dangerous game

PM will be making his speech tomorrow offering an IN/OUT referendum in 2017. He's done what he felt he had to be in with a chance in the next general election (the polls have consistently given Lab a majority in recent months). UKIP wont from a coalition, but this is a good way for the Tories to poach some of their voters.

We will see a lot of Euroskeptic hype from now to the next general election and a lot of voters will consider the Tories regardless of their dismal performance thus far. Romanian workers stealing your jobs, human rights protecting the scum who rob you etc.

Most worrying of course is that Brits don't like to vote for Euro-thingies. Only a third of registered voters bothered voting for MEPs last time round, but it's certain that UKIP, Tories, BNP and other right wing groups will be out in droves, disproportionately influencing a referendum if it happens (I imagine most regular folk are quite content and wouldn't bother going to place their IN vote). It seems a long way off, but Dave's opened the possibility to Britain's exit from the EU, whether the British really want it or not.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-21148282
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Old Jan 22, 2013, 06:22 PM   #2
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Old Jan 22, 2013, 07:03 PM   #3
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To a certain extent, David Cameron has put himself in this dangerous corner by failing to face down (some would argue that he has even pandered to) the more rabid, frothing at the mouth, members of the lunatic little Englander wing of the Conservative Party which has always despised Europe.

Here, the threat posed by the UKIP on the right is only a part of the problem; deep down many Tories have long been ambivalent about formal political and economic links with Europe.

The pity of it is that the patience of 'Europe' with the UK is pretty much worn thin, as the UK has long been seen as a reluctant and negative partner. As such, I doubt that Mr Cameron will achieve much in these negotiations as 'Europe' needs to see (or be persuaded of) reasons why allowing various opt-outs to the UK might be advantageous to the rest of the EU.

Traditionally, the EU has worked by giving most parties to negotiations some element of what they sought. However, nowadays, a combination of economic trauma in the wider Euro zone, and a fatuous zero sum approach to negotiation by a Conservative Party leader (and PM) who should know an awful lot better, mean that 'Europe' may have little incentive to accommodate what are stated to be British interests.

For now, in the middle of continent wide attempts to harmonise responses to its own economic problems, the attention of the EU is elsewhere, and regret, or worry, at Mr Cameron's posturing and possible policies will be rather muted.

Ironically, at the moment some of the strongest support for a policy of continuing close ties with Europe comes not from the EU, but from the City of London, British business interests, and the Government of the United States who have warned that the 'special relationship' may not remain quite so cherished Stateside were the UK to contemplate quitting the EU.
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 01:45 AM   #4
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I think that the rest of Europe should get a vote to see if we want you to stay.
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 02:07 AM   #5
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Its a terrible move, basically up until now some had been complaining about the EU, but hadn't done much. Look at how few votes UKIP got in the last election!

Now Cameron is going to let the proles vote on something they can't possibly understand! Maybe they can time the referendum to coincide with a big football match or something so a decent number of Euro-skeptics are preoccupied or too drunk to turn out. Ah, what a mess!
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 02:56 AM   #6
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Just finished the speech and Q&A session. Still no clue what it is Cameron wants to renegotiate or if he'll campaign OUT if he doesn't get whatever these changes are. Hopefully he'll be out in 2015 and we won't have to deal with this rubbish.


Nick Robinson: Is it possible you could end up campaigning for a "No" vote?

Cameron: I'm an optimist.


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I think that the rest of Europe should get a vote to see if we want you to stay.
Can't imagine that going to well for us
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 03:24 AM   #7
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Isn't GB one of the major players in the Euro currency? What would happen to it if you guys opted out of it all?
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 03:32 AM   #8
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Isn't GB one of the major players in the Euro currency? What would happen to it if you guys opted out of it all?
No, GB is not in the Euro. Sterling (the pound sterling) is still the currency of the UK. While most of the EU member states are part of the Euro currency union, some (such as Sweden, along with a number of the former Warsaw Pact countries which joined in 2004) are not.
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 03:33 AM   #9
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Isn't GB one of the major players in the Euro currency? What would happen to it if you guys opted out of it all?
No, we have the pound (£). With respect, how can you not know that?!
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 03:34 AM   #10
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Well I guess this makes Milliband the leader of business.
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 03:41 AM   #11
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No, GB is not in the Euro. Sterling (the pound sterling) is still the currency of the UK. While most of the EU member states are part of the Euro currency union, some (such as Sweden, along with a number of the former Warsaw Pact countries which joined in 2004) are not.
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No, we have the pound (£). With respect, how can you not know that?!
Hm. I was under the distinct impression that you guys had switched to the Euro primarily, but not completely phased out the Pound. I apologize for my ignorance.
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 05:27 AM   #12
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Cameron referendum speech: EU reaction
EU politicians and pundits have been reacting to UK Prime Minister David Cameron's pledge of a referendum on EU membership if his party is returned to office in the next British general election.

There was concern that Mr Cameron was proposing a "28-speed Europe" and a suggestion the UK was trying to impose its own rules on the rest of the EU.

Guido Westerwelle, German foreign minister

"Germany wants the United Kingdom to remain an active and constructive part of the European Union...

"Cherry-picking is not an option."

Laurent Fabius, French foreign minister

"It could be dangerous for the UK itself because the UK outside Europe? Difficult. The other day I was at a meeting with lots of British people, in particular businessmen, and I told them cleverly that if the UK decides to leave Europe we will roll out the red carpet [to attract them].

"We want the British to be able to bring all their positive characteristics to Europe... but you can't do Europe a la carte. I'll take an example which our British friends will understand. Let's imagine Europe is a football club and you join, but once you're in it you can't say, 'Let's play rugby'."

The reactions are pretty much how I thought that would be.

with the two major powers of Europe against you, good luck with those re-negotiations.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-21159365
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 05:37 AM   #13
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Hm. I was under the distinct impression that you guys had switched to the Euro primarily, but not completely phased out the Pound. I apologize for my ignorance.
Some shops in Scotland discussed accepting both the pound and the Euro but that seemed to fade pretty quickly.

One of the problems with the xenophobia in the UK is that the prejudice is killing the University sector. Previously the UK welcomed students from around the world. The EU regulations require the UK not to discriminate against citizens of other EU countries, so in an effort to reduce immigration, all sorts of draconian visa regulations have been put on would-be students from outwith the EU. Thus, by pandering to little Britain, the Lib Tories are slowly killing the one previously thriving export market the UK has - university education. Students from North America, India, China etc. do not appreciate having to spend days – if not weeks – chasing down rude, unhelpful UK consulate staff trying to get a visa. I wonder when the people of the UK are going to wake up to the reality that overseas students more or less pay for the university education of domestic students....
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 09:14 AM   #14
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The idea that there will be any negotiation is hilarious. I am sure we will be told to **** off.
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 09:15 AM   #15
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The idea that there will be any negotiation is hilarious. I am sure we will be told to **** off.
Politely, of course.
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 09:28 AM   #16
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The idea that there will be any negotiation is hilarious. I am sure we will be told to **** off.
Yep, countries do negotiate to a limited extent. I frequently have to check EU directives/regulations carefully as they often exclude some member states or say only certain sections apply. But the idea of wholesale massive opt outs and renegotiation is laughable.

Cameron is going to look like an idiot, and if the referendum actually happens a risk the frothing-at-the-mouth-Daily-Mail-reading brigade will march the UK to an economic and political disaster.
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 09:42 AM   #17
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One of the problems with the xenophobia in the UK is that the prejudice is killing the University sector. Previously the UK welcomed students from around the world. The EU regulations require the UK not to discriminate against citizens of other EU countries, so in an effort to reduce immigration, all sorts of draconian visa regulations have been put on would-be students from outwith the EU. Thus, by pandering to little Britain, the Lib Tories are slowly killing the one previously thriving export market the UK has - university education.
I haven't been over for a while-- xenophobia at the university level sounds so strange. Once upon a time, only Oxford, Cambridge, and LSE were known internationally. Over the last thirty years, Imperial College, Kings College, University College, Manchester, Birmingham, and even Bristol, Nottingham, and Sheffield are now well-known as upper-level research universities that compete with U.S. universities. (And Edinburgh of course-- is Scotland still part of the UK?) But, I admit that I have no idea how cross-border education is paid for. When a French student comes to UCL to study computer science, who pays for it?

For some reason I thought xenophobia in Europe was mainly an issue of poor people from poor EU countries trying to make a buck (what are some slang terms for Euros?) in wealthier countries-- then, a downturn hits and there aren't enough jobs to go around. Alluding to other threads on this subject, there is a worldwide shortage of unskilled jobs-- enough for all the unskilled people out there. But, conversely, it would be a crying shame if the huge investment of the last 30 years in UK university-level education is thrown away.
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 10:03 AM   #18
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The idea that there will be any negotiation is hilarious. I am sure we will be told to **** off.
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Politely, of course.
I don't think that you will be told to **** off as much as take it or leave it.

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Yep, countries do negotiate to a limited extent. I frequently have to check EU directives/regulations carefully as they often exclude some member states or say only certain sections apply. But the idea of wholesale massive opt outs and renegotiation is laughable.

Cameron is going to look like an idiot, and if the referendum actually happens a risk the frothing-at-the-mouth-Daily-Mail-reading brigade will march the UK to an economic and political disaster.


You are quite correct there can be no re-negotiation, because if you do it for one country why not for all. The countries of the Euro are moving ever closer, more integration is needed says German Minster

U.K. ‘Cherry Picking’ in EU Won’t Do, Germany’s Westerwelle Says

The U.K. cannot expect to pick and choose its level of participation in a European Union that needs more integration to cope with the challenges of globalization, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said.
“Not all and everything must be decided in Brussels and by Brussels,” Westerwelle told reporters in Berlin today, in the first German reaction to Prime Minister David Cameron’s speech pledging to renegotiate the terms of Britain’s relationship with the EU and hold a referendum on its future membership. “We do indeed differentiate, but cherry-picking is not an option.”
Germany and the U.K. “share a common destiny in challenging times of globalization,” Westerwelle said. “And in challenging times of globalization we as Europeans, we are all in the same boat.”
Germany wants the U.K. “to remain an active and constructive part of the European Union,” he said, delivering his statement in German and then in English. “Germany wants an ambitious reform of the economic and monetary union in such decisive issues as the future of our common currency. We do not need less, but more integration.”

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-0...elle-says.html
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 10:47 AM   #19
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 03:29 PM   #20
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I haven't been over for a while-- xenophobia at the university level sounds so strange. Once upon a time, only Oxford, Cambridge, and LSE were known internationally. Over the last thirty years, Imperial College, Kings College, University College, Manchester, Birmingham, and even Bristol, Nottingham, and Sheffield are now well-known as upper-level research universities that compete with U.S. universities. (And Edinburgh of course-- is Scotland still part of the UK?) But, I admit that I have no idea how cross-border education is paid for. When a French student comes to UCL to study computer science, who pays for it?

For some reason I thought xenophobia in Europe was mainly an issue of poor people from poor EU countries trying to make a buck (what are some slang terms for Euros?) in wealthier countries-- then, a downturn hits and there aren't enough jobs to go around. Alluding to other threads on this subject, there is a worldwide shortage of unskilled jobs-- enough for all the unskilled people out there. But, conversely, it would be a crying shame if the huge investment of the last 30 years in UK university-level education is thrown away.
The xenophobia is not in the Universities, but in the government's visa policies that pander to xenophobia. I wouldn't say the University system is crashing, but it is under strain, and underfunded. The government is funding less, but at the same time driving away students who apply from overseas (another source of value income). It's mad....
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 03:43 PM   #21
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 03:55 PM   #22
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With apologies to our UK members, but..... "Good riddance to bad rubbish and don't let the door hit u on the way out!"... I wish the UK would hold the referendum tomorrow so we are finally shed of these obstructionist ****s....
Ahmed, please don't confuse the lunatic fringe of the Tory Party (and their fellow travellers in the media, UKIP etc), and their witless nonsense which passes for intelligent and informed debate (it is nothing of the sort, just clichéd bleats lamenting past greatness) and that insular navel gazing little Englander mentality with everyone in the UK, let alone England.

That is like confusing the sort of US citizens who carry passports (the ones I tend to trip over) with the sort of homophobic, misogynistic, pseudo-religious racists who support the Tea Party and, worse, blaming them for the utterly irrational electoral strength (on occasion) people promulgating such tosh sometimes are sometimes (irrationally) awarded.

Unfortunately, while England (not just the UK) actually needs Europe, 'Europe' also needs the UK, not least to balance the Franco-German duopoly at the core of the European socio-political experiment. Unbeknownst to itself, the UK actually performs a valuable service in Europe, but you'd never think that to read the utterly ill-informed garbage which passes for most media commentary on the topic.
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 04:36 PM   #23
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 05:06 PM   #24
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I have no beef with the average Englishman. None at all.
I dunno, I might. Do they still sell greasy fish and chips served on newspaper?

On topic, just about every country has a problem with lack of employment for the unskilled and the youthful:



What can be done about it? Why is Germany better than most countries lately? Xenophobia is a "natural", if distressing, reaction to unemployment.
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Old Jan 24, 2013, 02:06 AM   #25
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