tinpeeba wrote:@ Adhoc
There has been so much scaremongering, dirty tactics and obfuscation from both sides of the IN/OUT debate that it is very difficult to get to the truth of the matter. So in the end maybe it is best to just vote in line with our own personal inclinations and instinctive feelings about it. I don't seek to persuade anybody to vote one way or the other.
However, your response to my post has prompted me to look more closely into the reasons for leaving the EU and I accept that some of the points you made are valid. I do though have concerns, shown below, about some of your post and despite the many faults of the EU I still feel that on balance we should remain a member of it.
Wasn't there a trade deficit in the 60s before the UK joined the "common market" as it was then called? Maybe the deficit would get worse after Brexit, who knows?. Importing goods and services from the EU is not compulsory, the UK doesn't have to trade with other EU countries just because it is also a member. The UK has a huge trade and balance of payments problem, possibly due to lack of government planning/industrial strategy/poor private sector investment and planning but leaving the EU wouldn't change that.
Under the trade agreements between Iceland and the EU, Iceland is legally bound to implement into its own law all EU directives about the free movement of goods, persons, services and capital.
Likewise, Norway has full access to the single market but it had to agree to full free movement of labour. In relation to population, Norway has more EU migrants working there than does the UK. Norway pays into the EU budget, per head, almost as much as the UK pays in. Norway and Iceland have to implement EU regulations. However, they do not have a say in what those EU regulations are because they are not in the EU. As a spokesperson for the Norwegian Conservative Party succinctly put it "If you want to run the EU, stay in the EU. If you want to be run by the EU, feel free to join us in the EEA.".
Switzerland has about 120 bilateral agreements with the EU. Negotiations took several years to complete – more than the two years which the UK would have to renegotiate its relationship with the EU, according to Article 50. Given the complexity of the Swiss bilateral agreements, it isn’t clear that EU member states would be willing to replicate this structure with another country. Switzerland has the same problem as EU countries: a considerable loss of sovereignty. However, the cause is not Brussels, but globalization. Quitting the EU is therefore not a remedy.
Work /study /travel
As an EU citizen, I need a visa to travel to most countries outside of the EU- some are awarded on arrival, some are applied for when arranging travel and some are a nightmare to get. If we leave the EU then travel to some member states could also become costly and difficult.
Peace and Democracy
Before the EU, Europe was a network of alliances, more often broken alliances, which led to protracted wars, e.g the Thirty Years War, the Franco-German Wars, WWI, WWII. Most of these wars were fought to prevent any one European nation from rising to hegemony. Economic integration, as much as Nato, has given us long lasting peace.
It is correct that the commissioners aren't elected - they are appointed/annointed by their respective head of state (one commissioner per country) much like cabinet ministers are appointed by the Prime Minister. The commissioners are the only completely appointed body in the EU - all 28 of them - compared to that, the House of Lords is the second largest completely unelected legislative chamber on earth; second only to the Peoples' Republic of China's rubber-stamp assembly.
The UK gets much more out of the EU funded research than it contributes but it's not just about the money. EU research policy and funding discourages a fragmented approach and provides the critical mass necessary to make rapid technological progress. EU membership greatly facilitates cooperation between UK researchers and European partners. UK universities have strongly argued that leaving the EU would cut them off from both valuable funding and established research networks.
Influence in the world
In the not too distant future it will be the United States, China, Russia, India and the European Union exerting global influence on the future of our planet, whether it is in regard to trade, energy, climate change or macro-economic policy. Neither Germany, Britain nor France can, as separate individual states, expect to have comparable influence when it comes to global negotiations on these matters.
With regard to Iceland , they now have, and have had for almost 8 years, capital controls in place, so there is no free movement of capital. Accepting free movement of labour suits them as they have low unemployment and rely on foreign labour. Many Eu regulations are used as a minimum standard there, their own regulations often being stricter.
They do however control their own fisheries, very successfully, and sustainably. ( does Britain ) They continue to allow limited and sustainable whaling , as is their tradition, without Brussels telling them they can not. Farming there is a very difficult business, but farmers are protected against cheap imported food with tariffs. No free movement of goods there.
If the UK leaves the EU, it would complicate my life, but I would not vote to stay because it benefits me personally.
I would vote OUT, because I believe it is better for Britains future, and gives her back her sovereignty.