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Alex MacLeod

EU In or Out

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With it looking very likely that we will be subjected to a referendum on Brexit in June. Up till now I've never really taken much interest in EU politics and budgets etc. Indeed I'd never  really thought much about what they do with there budget.

Doing a little googling I found that UK pays between £7 billion and £11 billion each year. Amount varies depending on state of economy and GDP I believe. CBI claim here http://news.cbi.org.uk/campaigns/our-global-future/factsheets/factsheet-2-benefits-of-eu-membership-outweigh-costs/ that between £62 billion and £78 billion of benefits are accrued by UK membership of EU. It would also appear that some 42% of UK exports and over 60% of imports are with EU countries.

I know that UK has also had funding from EU budget to help with many major projects across the whole UK but I dont know how much.

Immigration seems to be the big issue for Brexit supporters yet from what I can research there are possibly more British citizens living in EU countries than are EU citizens in UK. I believe there are some 2 million Brits in Spain and 700,000 in France. Haven't looked at other countries.

What annoys me is that EU went from European Economic Union, which is what I voted for way back when, to this very big law making conglomerate that is the present day. Don't get me wrong, many of the laws such as employment, environmental, quality standards and human rights were necessary and should be supported but others are pretty stupid. Remember a debate a few years ago about setting standards for how straight a banana should be.

So what is the thinking of the CTO community.

Charles, please do not spoil this thread with nat bashing. It's a UK referendum thread about an EU issue and my views on this subject are not influenced by party politics but by whats best for UK

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I'm probably a bit like you and whilst my gut feeling is support for continued membership, I don't really know enough about it to say which way I am likely to vote.  There are undoubtedly areas of significant concern.  What is annoying me at this stage is that it looks as though Cameron is going to make as much of a farce of this referendum as he did with the Independence one.  It looks as though he will be agreeing some sort of a package to put to the electorate and will then seek a very short campaign which will give us no time to debate the issues.  This is the other side of the incompetence coin to the Indy referendum when there was no package but we had for ever and a day to debate it.  It is a very complex issue and it seems to me that we should be allowed some reasonable time to come to grips with what is involved and to consider the implications.

I note what you say in your final paragraph and it is to your credit that you will cast your vote on what you think is best for the UK. But unfortunately the SNP are not following that principled position and have already muddied the waters by making it clear that they think it would be "outrageous" (the First Minister's word) if Scotland, as part of the UK, were to come out of the EU if a majority of the Scots voters votes to stay in.  She has stated it is the kind of scenario which would justify the Scottish Parliament to call for a 2nd Indy referendum.  What this has done is to stir up supporters of independence to vote to remain in the EU simply because they see it as the best strategy for gaining independence.  Some who are quite anti the EU take the view that the UK as a whole is likely to vote to leave, so if Scotland votes to stay there will be a better chance of independence.  Once Independence is won, they argue, they can then campaign for an Independent Scotland not to be part of the EU.  

Of course, if, because of a strong Scottish "yes" vote, we remain in the EU despite the rest of the UK voting to come out of the EU, I guess that Ms Sturgeon will just shrug and say its democracy!

So whilst the debate should be just about whether it is in the interests of the UK to be in the EU or not, the Nats have already hijacked the debate.  I fully expect them to continue to muddy the waters and if they do, then I think some serious Nat bashing would be perfectly in order. If the Nats behave themselves then perhaps we can have a proper discussion on the issues that matter.

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4 hours ago, Alex MacLeod said:

Charles, please do not spoil this thread with nat bashing. It's a UK referendum thread about an EU issue and my views on this subject are not influenced by party politics but by whats best for UK

A very worthy sentiment but unfortunately, as DD rightly says, the SNP have got there first and already hijacked this issue as a possible excuse to create enough grievance for a second separation referendum. So, although Alex' views are commendably only influenced by what's best for the UK, that is not the case with the SNP who, compared with its sole raison d'etre, fundamentally couldn't give a toss about the UK or indeed any of its citizens on either side of the Border. The SNP have just struck lucky. A separate Scotland would be so shaky that they would absolutely have to join in with some larger entity - and hence voluntarily give up the very sovereignty the currently moan about not having - and it so happens that overall we may get a "leave" vote. Conflict created! So although I also wish that it could be possible to discuss the Brexit issue in isolation, the Nats have made this completely impossible.

But to turn to Brexit considerations, I think the EU has gone too far and now restricts national sovereignties far too much. It is certainly a very different and more instrusive institution than the one we voted to join in the 70s. I just don't fancy being told how to run our affairs by a bunch of foreigners. I am also rather dismayed at the anonymous nonentities we are electing to the European Parliament  and quite honestly I am completely unable to name one MEP (unless Farage :lol: is still there - or was he ever?) On the other hand economic cooperation is absolutely vital and there may therefore be severe economic consequences if we leave. It's therefore a case of damned if you do and damned if you don't. The price of the economic cooperation is handing over much of how we run this country to other people. My heart says that I would be glad to get rid of foreign interference while my head says that there may be considerable economic risks. If I could get genuine assurance that there would only be very limited economic consequences, then I would gladly leave but I'm not sure if that's possible, so I am as yet undecided. On the other hand if some diluted down membership could be negotiated, I would feel quite inclined to accept that.

I think the British view of Europe has always tended to be fundamentally different from that held on the continental mainland because here we have experienced none of the warmongering and hostile armies tramping back and forth which Europe has suffered right back at least to the 30 Years War in the early 17th century. I've forgotten which 1950s politician said that he had no particular desire to unite with six countries, four of which we helped liberate from the other two. I think it may have beren Harold MacMillian who, when invited to attend negotiations which led to the original 1957 Treaty of Rome, said that he was far too busy sorting out Cyprus. And although the Dominion status of Australia, New Zealand and Canada probably should have been dispensed with long ago, we do also tend to have a degree of friendly affiliation with states which departed from our former Empire on far more amicable terms that did the former colonies of the likes of France and Belgium.

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I recently worked alongside a Norwegian, who now chooses to live in Brazil, and he was pointing out that a lot of the goods we take for granted in UK, like alcohol, luxury foodstuffs etc are really expensive in Norway because they, not being EU members have to pay import and export levies to trade with EU member states. That is one area where we could find ourselves punished by Brexit. We are a nation dependant on imported goods, just like Norway, and those goods could cost us a lot more.

Yes the SNP view is independance within EU and they are unlikely to change that but it will only ever happen with the will of the majority of the electorate and not just SNP supporters. This referendum debate is about here and now. Its happening in a few short months and is happening without giving us all time to make an educated decision. Personally I believe EU is good for the country but we could find ourselves out because of lies and deceit being spouted by the very right wing anti immigrant people currently running our country

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1 hour ago, Alex MacLeod said:

 a lot of the goods we take for granted in UK, like alcohol, luxury foodstuffs etc are really expensive in Norway because they, not being EU members have to pay import and export levies to trade with EU member states. That is one area where we could find ourselves punished by Brexit.

During the last referendum campaign, I do believe that sentiments of sensible caution like this were simply dismissed as Project Fear!

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Some Beeb reporter just after 5pm on Radio Scotland yesterday said `` David Cameron is like Braveheart holding out for the best for Britain`` :whoosh:

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2 hours ago, Ten4 said:

Some Beeb reporter just after 5pm on Radio Scotland yesterday said `` David Cameron is like Braveheart holding out for the best for Britain`` :whoosh:

Unless you are quibbling over the omission of the word "but" after the word "Braveheart"...... your point is????

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I've just heard an absolute belter from Sturgeon in defence of the EU - "It's good for independent countries to come together to pool sovereignty....":amazed:

Wonderful example of oxymoron from the SNP.... and I use the second part of that word advisedly!

I just wonder, if the UK polls swing towards "in"... will we see the SNP correspondingly swinging away from same - just to preserve that potential sense of grievance?

Edited by Charles Bannerman
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What is the point of trying to have a serious discussion on anything when Charles Bannerman uses every opportunity to highjack topic with his unnaturally obsessive anti SNP drivel.

Do you notice Charles nobody else wants to comment. Probably all sick of your p!sh

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8 hours ago, Alex MacLeod said:

What is the point of trying to have a serious discussion on anything when Charles Bannerman uses every opportunity to highjack topic with his unnaturally obsessive anti SNP drivel.

Do you notice Charles nobody else wants to comment. Probably all sick of your p!sh

Sorry Alex, but the SNP forged the firmest of links between the EU Referendum and a second Scottish one a long time ago, so up here the two have inextricably linked by them, not by me. Hard on the heels of declaring that the outcome of September 2014 settled things for "a generation", they were backtracking furiously and using the possibility of an "IN - OUT" difference as possible grounds to bore the backside off us with another Scottish vote.

I can appreciate why any SNP member may not want the two to be linked - until after any "correct" IN-OUT permutation may emerge - but it was you folks who "invaded Poland".

In the event of a second Scottish referendum following a "UK out/Scotland in" EU outcome, one would presume that further issued additional to those in 2014 would include -

*  How happy are you to base your economy on a commodity feverishly promoted by the SNP for decades but which at best is subject to the backside frequently and unpredictably falling out of the price and at worst is getting towards done anyway?

* How happy are you for a country which is as independent as EU membership will allow to have its sole land border with a much bigger non-EU market and all the implications that has for customs posts, passport control, trade tariffs, Scots south of the Berwick - Solway line who need benefits..... etc etc?

Or will that just be dismissed as Project Fear?

Once again I ask.... does the SNP's current position on Europe derive from a fundamentally held viewpoint, or does it represent the best chance they have of creating more dissent?

Edited by Charles Bannerman
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I will be voting to remain in the EU although it is far from perfect.  Over the last 40 years I have travelled throughout the Highlands and Islands where there have been many roads upgraded from single track and bridges built with money from Europe along with upgrading of telephone exchanges.  The Tories that are campaigning to leave are not interested in anything north of Watford!

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Ideally, like all important decisions in life, one should spend as much time as possible carefully researching the facts before coming to a view.

On the other hand, if you lack the time or inclination for detailed research you could do worse than ponder whether you really ought to be voting on  any issue on the same side as Nigel Farage, Boris Johnson, Pat Cash, John Redwood and Charles Bannerman......

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On ‎21‎/‎02‎/‎2016 at 11:02 AM, Alex MacLeod said:

What is the point of trying to have a serious discussion on anything when Charles Bannerman uses every opportunity to highjack topic with his unnaturally obsessive anti SNP drivel.

He is right, though, that thanks to Sturgeon's pronouncements, for us the forthcoming referendum is nothing to do with the EU and everything to do with Scottish independence. Look, another once in a lifetime opportunity, only 2 years since the last one!

Still, we can all look forward to a few months of unashamed hypocrisy from the SNP, as they extol the virtues of being controlled by a distant parliament that Scotland didn't vote for. The line Charles quoted is indeed a belter, and I notice that nobody is even attempting to defend the double standards.

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I had high hopes of this topic helping to make an informed decision on how to vote. Should have known better really.

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2 hours ago, Charles Bannerman said:

Aye! Surprise, surprise!
Make's Alex's opening salvo of a 'plea' to 'leave the SNP out of this' look a little naïve!
Of course those opportunists (SNP) will use this to their advantage!

I imagine they'll (SNP) return a crushing majority win in May's elections - but ultimately be disappointed the following month when the UK agrees to stay within the EU, foiling their 'backdoor' attempt at forcing another Independence referendum, which nobody with a sense of democracy would welcome, anyway. The door slammed on that in 2014.

From there, the UK agreement to 'stay', we'll see a gradual return to the status-quo with former Labour voters returning-to-their-roots - and a gradual diminishment in support for the disillusioned Nats, who'll slip to a fringe role in the opposition at Holyrood.

Happily, folk are starting to see through them. Councils are being starved of money...Highland Council (for example) are laying-off folk and are having to make draconian cuts.
They simply don't have the money! Any attempt to raise more money for the good folk of Inverness and the Highlands would be going against SNP austerity mantra and the Council would subject to sanctions, including a crippling fine.
The SNP like to think that a year-on-year Council Tax freeze is a vote winner! For some it may be! But, the Highland Council is hamstrung. It simply can't operate on it's budget without enforced cost-saving cuts.
It's really starving towns like Inverness... and preventing us from providing adequate, or better public services!

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15 minutes ago, Sneckboy said:

Aye! Surprise, surprise!
Make's Alex's opening salvo of a 'plea' to 'leave the SNP out of this' look a little naïve!
Of course those opportunists (SNP) will use this to their advantage!

I imagine they'll (SNP) return a crushing majority win in May's elections - but ultimately be disappointed the following month when the UK agrees to stay within the EU, foiling their 'backdoor' attempt at forcing another Independence referendum, which nobody with a sense of democracy would welcome, anyway. The door slammed on that in 2014.

From there, the UK agreement to 'stay', we'll see a gradual return to the status-quo with former Labour voters returning-to-their-roots - and a gradual diminishment in support for the disillusioned Nats, who'll slip to a fringe role in the opposition at Holyrood.

Happily, folk are starting to see through them. Councils are being starved of money...Highland Council (for example) are laying-off folk and are having to make draconian cuts.
They simply don't have the money! Any attempt to raise more money for the good folk of Inverness and the Highlands would be going against SNP austerity mantra and the Council would subject to sanctions, including a crippling fine.
The SNP like to think that a year-on-year Council Tax freeze is a vote winner! For some it may be! But, the Highland Council is hamstrung. It simply can't operate on it's budget without enforced cost-saving cuts.
It's really starving towns like Inverness... and preventing us from providing adequate, or better public services!

I can't speak for all 114,902 of my fellow SNP members but I will be delighted if the voters of the United Kingdom spurn this ridiculous notion of leaving the largest trading block in the world and organisation that has overseen the longest period of peace in the recorded history of this previously war benighted continent we all call home.

As far as I understand it, a clear majority of Scots, every single Scottish MP of whatever political hue, every single MSP and all but one of our MEPs feel the same way. Just what is sinister or disingenuous about the leader of the Scottish government pointing that out, together with it's possible consequences to the leader of the UK government ?

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1 hour ago, robbylad said:

I rest my case.

robbylad, in all elections from trade union at work, local council, Scottish, UK and European I read the material sent out or in the media and make up my own mind who to vote for.  The one thing that has hacked me off over the years is other people telling me who I should vote for! 

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2 hours ago, Sneckboy said:

Happily, folk are starting to see through them. Councils are being starved of money...Highland Council (for example) are laying-off folk and are having to make draconian cuts.
 

I think people are indeed waking up to the reality that the slashing of Council services is happening because the SNP will neither give Councils enough money to pay for decent ones, nor allow them to raise enough for themselves. In the first instance they would prefer to put the cash elsewhere such as crowd pleasing free prescriptions and free passage over an ever more decrepit Forth Bridge. In the second instance we have a Council Tax freeze where they are relying on enough people not to twig the cause and effect link between SNP policy and the state of their services.These are therefore SNP-imposed service cuts which the SNP have cynically engineered in an attempt to create yet more grievance.

As for the Breferendum, I once again curled my toes right through my socks at the Leader of the 53.5 in the Commons today. Here was our National Parliament debating an issue which could have implications for the UK and for an entire continent and here's Angus Robertson still not even sure where the kailyard fence is and banging on about Scotland. Give any of these SNP people a full tractor and trailer, with an order for a London address and they would roll up Oxford Street and ask the first person they saw "Where do you want your tatties then?" They really are such an embarrassment that they make you ashamed to be Scottish. Indeed I just wonder how many of these 53.5 muppets actually know where Europe is?

The threat of a second Scottish referendum is an interesting one and I wonder what the SNP really think. I'm sure the likes of the Gelluns wing of the party and "Branch 1314 Willie Bell Memorial" are just desperate for one. On the other hand there will be others who will positively be bricking their tartan knickers at the thought of this in the continuing absence of overwhelmingly positive polling, since if they lose again they are dead in the water for the foreseeable future. But, come any second referendum, there would have been not one but TWO of their so-called "fundamental changes" namely 1 - the oil panacea which they've been banging on about since the mid 70s is now worth damn all, is fast running out and is in some respects a liability. and 2 - they would now be asking for a Yes vote in order to create this wee half-arsed EU exclave welded on to a substantial non-EU state with 11 times the population, a massively larger GDP, a different currency, passport controls, no obligation to pay benefits or provide health services to Scottish foreigners and a Darienesque competitive spirit in the face of an economic basket case of a neighbour whose ruling party has been the source of decades of hostility and Anglophobia.

Edited by Charles Bannerman
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31 minutes ago, IBM said:

 The one thing that has hacked me off over the years is other people telling me who I should vote for! 

You mean all these people on the High Street at election time with the "black hangman's noose on a yellow background" badges?

Come to think of it, that's going to be fun when campaigning gets started for May. Bring on the Natbaiting season!:lol:

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32 minutes ago, IBM said:

robbylad, in all elections from trade union at work, local council, Scottish, UK and European I read the material sent out or in the media and make up my own mind who to vote for.  The one thing that has hacked me off over the years is other people telling me who I should vote for! 

I take your point IBM but we won't be voting for anyone. As far as I'm aware, neither the snp or any other party will be on the ballot paper. I just hoped this thread would maybe throw up a few pros and cons regarding the EU.

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23 hours ago, robbylad said:

I take your point IBM but we won't be voting for anyone. As far as I'm aware, neither the snp or any other party will be on the ballot paper. I just hoped this thread would maybe throw up a few pros and cons regarding the EU.

But yet in your 3 posts you haven't raised a single thing yourself.  As a number of posters have pointed out, it is the SNP who have high jacked the referendum to drum up further grievance for their independence campaign.  Only Alex has tried to defend the SNP position by pointing out good reasons for Scotland to be part of the EU, but he seems to miss the point that these are also reasons why Scotland is also better being part of the UK.  

It would be helpful if the SNP would actually accept the will of the people as expressed in the independence referendum and respect the democratic process that follows. We voted to be part of the U.K. and therefore must accept the will of the UK as a whole.  Only when the SNP can show a bit of leadership for a change and honour basic democratic principles can there be any hope of having a proper debate in Scotland on the issues which matter.

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