THE EU DEBATE: Should we stay or is it time to go? Your chance to vote

The EU Debate: Should we stay or is it time to go?

The EU Debate: Should we stay or is it time to go?

First published in Local
Last updated
Kidderminster Shuttle: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

BRITAIN’S future in the European Union is a current talking point with Prime Minister David Cameron saying he wants the UK to “negotiate a new relationship” with Europe.

Shuttle reporter William Tomaney went to Strasbourg to see the workings of the European Parliament first hand and talk to West Midlands MEPs.

UNCERTAINTY over Britain’s future in the European Union was a big talking point as the European Parliament opened its doors for the first full session of 2013.

MEPs representing Wyre Forest residents provided a range of views on the question Prime Minister David Cameron wants to ask the British people in 2017 – in or out?

Jobs and the economy also dominated discussions when all 736 European-wide members came together to participate in the EU decision making through committees, voting, and debates in Strasbourg, France last week.

Labour’s Michael Cashman said Mr Cameron and UKIP were “isolating” Britain from Europe, which could “have a devastating effect on businesses in Wyre Forest and the West Midlands”.

UKIP’s Mike Nattrass, however, said the region’s businesses “suffered from regulation” and he supported full withdrawal from the EU. Other West Midlands MEPs – Liberal Democrat Phil Bennion and Conservatives Anthea McIntyre and Philip Bradbourn – want to stay in the EU but admit changes are needed. Nikki Sinclaire wants an in/out referendum as soon as possible.

Mr Nattrass said: “Local businesses suffer from regulation and post offices have been closed in Wyre Forest because of EU rules on monopolies.

“We have an incinerator being built in Hartlebury because the EU is forcing local authorities to move away from landfill but it is bad for the Worcestershire taxpayer and the environment.”

Mr Nattrass said UKIP believed the UK could successfully withdraw from Europe’s political union but remain trading in the single market.

However, Mr Cashman said: “There is no such thing as ‘outfluence’. You want influence. If you are on your own you are weaker and if you want to negotiate you have to be at the negotiating table.

"Does UKIP honestly believe the 26 other EU countries would give us a privileged access with full access to the single market?

“Being out of the EU makes no economic sense – a block of 27 countries, with 500 million people is far more influential than one country representing 60 million people acting alone.”

NEXT WEEK The Shuttle will continue the EU debate by looking at some of the discussions being held in Europe that could have an effect Wyre Forest residents and how people can find out more about what the EU does.

Comments (69)

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12:50pm Wed 23 Jan 13

paulinejanet says...

we joined the common market to trade with europe it is now out of hand we cannot keep allowing immigrants from everywhere into england we have no money no houses nhs going to pot we need to come out of europe so we can enforce our own laws not europes up tp 29 million eastern europeans allowed in from next year accessing our benefits etc we need a referendum now not 2018
we joined the common market to trade with europe it is now out of hand we cannot keep allowing immigrants from everywhere into england we have no money no houses nhs going to pot we need to come out of europe so we can enforce our own laws not europes up tp 29 million eastern europeans allowed in from next year accessing our benefits etc we need a referendum now not 2018 paulinejanet
  • Score: 0

1:38pm Wed 23 Jan 13

Ncarroll1 says...

It is time we had a referendum on our EU membership, but not in 2017 in 2018 - time is not on our side. We must have a referendum before a General Election. A referendum shouldn't be used as leverage for David Cameron and the Conservative party.

There is no room for renegotiation with the EU, the EU president has already stated this!

The We Demand a Referendum Party will stand in the European Election of 2014, directly calling for a binding In Out EU referendum.

www.WeDemandaReferen
dum.org
It is time we had a referendum on our EU membership, but not in 2017 in 2018 - time is not on our side. We must have a referendum before a General Election. A referendum shouldn't be used as leverage for David Cameron and the Conservative party. There is no room for renegotiation with the EU, the EU president has already stated this! The We Demand a Referendum Party will stand in the European Election of 2014, directly calling for a binding In Out EU referendum. www.WeDemandaReferen dum.org Ncarroll1
  • Score: 0

1:42pm Wed 23 Jan 13

paulinejanet says...

i agree completely with the above comment i seem to recall david cameron promising us a referendum once before he did not keep his promise and lied so i do not believe him now time to vote ukip
i agree completely with the above comment i seem to recall david cameron promising us a referendum once before he did not keep his promise and lied so i do not believe him now time to vote ukip paulinejanet
  • Score: 0

2:56pm Wed 23 Jan 13

walkerno5 says...

Ah, referendums. I used to love the idea of more referendums.

An idiot-proof way of improving democracy, I thought.

Then we had some and now I think we need to build some better idiots before having the next one. We've got five years folks. Let's make these the best idiots ever.
Ah, referendums. I used to love the idea of more referendums. An idiot-proof way of improving democracy, I thought. Then we had some and now I think we need to build some better idiots before having the next one. We've got five years folks. Let's make these the best idiots ever. walkerno5
  • Score: 0

3:48pm Wed 23 Jan 13

walkerno5 says...

Leaving the EU would be the biggest mistake ever made in any of our lifetimes.

Second only to promising a referendum on it in five years time.

We've just guaranteed ourselves five more years of continued uncertainty about Europe, just when the rest of Europe appears to be getting its house in order. We've thrown away the stabilising effect that might have had on our economy.

The only positive to come out of this is that there is no longer any need for Nigel Farage to ever appear on television again.
Leaving the EU would be the biggest mistake ever made in any of our lifetimes. Second only to promising a referendum on it in five years time. We've just guaranteed ourselves five more years of continued uncertainty about Europe, just when the rest of Europe appears to be getting its house in order. We've thrown away the stabilising effect that might have had on our economy. The only positive to come out of this is that there is no longer any need for Nigel Farage to ever appear on television again. walkerno5
  • Score: 0

3:55pm Wed 23 Jan 13

FranOb says...

Totally with walkerno5 on this one. ThevUK needs Europe and to leave will confine us to we'll deserved oblivion!
Totally with walkerno5 on this one. ThevUK needs Europe and to leave will confine us to we'll deserved oblivion! FranOb
  • Score: 0

4:05pm Wed 23 Jan 13

JoshONY says...

As the pro-EU forces start their campaign, there is one huge lie we
shall hear again and again. It comes in slightly different forms, but
we’re already hearing it daily: “50% of British exports depend on the
EU”. “Leaving the EU/ OR EVEN TALK OF IT would damage our trade”.
“Three and a half million jobs depend on EU membership”.

I’d like to say that this is an honest mistake by the pro side. But the facts are well known.

In 1999, the National Institute of Economic & Social Research, NIESR,
published a report which said that 3½ million jobs are linked to trade
with the EU. This was immediately jumped on by pro-Europeans, like
Robin Cook (remember him?) and others. But they said the jobs
DEPENDED on membership of the EU. The scientist who led the research
publicly later disowned their claim, reiterating that his report actually said that few, if any, jobs would be lost if we left, because trade with Europe would continue. The National Institute for Economic and Social Research then followed and supported this view...

Again the NIESR Director at the time, Dr. Martin Weale, described the
use of his report and his number as “pure Goebbels”.

They will try relentlessly to argue that trade depends on membership,
but that’s simply nonsense. When we leave the EU, we will have a free
trade agreement, for two reasons. Firstly because the EU certainly
can’t afford to put at risk their 5 million jobs liked to our trade),
and secondly because the Lisbon treaty also obliges the EU to
negotiate Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with a member-state that wishes to withdraw, as well as with states that are not EU members. The EU will soon have FTAs with 80 per cent of all non-EU countries. So UK
trade would prosper under the sort of free trade agreements enjoyed by
Countries like Norway, Switzerland and even Mexico. The USA and China, not EU members with zero votes in EU intuition’s sell more goods to the EU than the UK does, without paying a cent to Brussels or imposing
one iota of EU regulation on their domestic economies. Similarly Japan
does not feel compelled to join China or Russia !!

When we leave the EU, we will retain our trade with Europe , but we
will be much better placed to develop trade with the rest of the world, where the growth is. Something that we are currently forbidden from doing as CURRENTLY we are unable to negotiate trade agreements with other nations, including emerging economies such as Brazil and
China and 13 of the fastest growing world economies in the
Commonwealth.
As the pro-EU forces start their campaign, there is one huge lie we shall hear again and again. It comes in slightly different forms, but we’re already hearing it daily: “50% of British exports depend on the EU”. “Leaving the EU/ OR EVEN TALK OF IT would damage our trade”. “Three and a half million jobs depend on EU membership”. I’d like to say that this is an honest mistake by the pro side. But the facts are well known. In 1999, the National Institute of Economic & Social Research, NIESR, published a report which said that 3½ million jobs are linked to trade with the EU. This was immediately jumped on by pro-Europeans, like Robin Cook (remember him?) and others. But they said the jobs DEPENDED on membership of the EU. The scientist who led the research publicly later disowned their claim, reiterating that his report actually said that few, if any, jobs would be lost if we left, because trade with Europe would continue. The National Institute for Economic and Social Research then followed and supported this view... Again the NIESR Director at the time, Dr. Martin Weale, described the use of his report and his number as “pure Goebbels”. They will try relentlessly to argue that trade depends on membership, but that’s simply nonsense. When we leave the EU, we will have a free trade agreement, for two reasons. Firstly because the EU certainly can’t afford to put at risk their 5 million jobs liked to our trade), and secondly because the Lisbon treaty also obliges the EU to negotiate Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with a member-state that wishes to withdraw, as well as with states that are not EU members. The EU will soon have FTAs with 80 per cent of all non-EU countries. So UK trade would prosper under the sort of free trade agreements enjoyed by Countries like Norway, Switzerland and even Mexico. The USA and China, not EU members with zero votes in EU intuition’s sell more goods to the EU than the UK does, without paying a cent to Brussels or imposing one iota of EU regulation on their domestic economies. Similarly Japan does not feel compelled to join China or Russia !! When we leave the EU, we will retain our trade with Europe , but we will be much better placed to develop trade with the rest of the world, where the growth is. Something that we are currently forbidden from doing as CURRENTLY we are unable to negotiate trade agreements with other nations, including emerging economies such as Brazil and China and 13 of the fastest growing world economies in the Commonwealth. JoshONY
  • Score: 0

4:08pm Wed 23 Jan 13

paulinejanet says...

totally agree with above
totally agree with above paulinejanet
  • Score: 0

4:12pm Wed 23 Jan 13

Red Flag Dan says...

The roots of Cameron's speech lie much more in the politics of the Conservative Party, than in foreign policy.

Its origins lie in weakness, not in strength.

The real tragedy is that David Cameron’s Party won’t let him address the undoubted need for change in the EU in a sensible way.

We have a Prime Minister who simply cannot reconcile the demands of his party, with the needs of his country.

The gap between the minimum the Tories will demand and the maximum our European partners can accept remains unbridgeable.

For many in his Party, getting David Cameron to commit now to an in/out referendum is not about securing consent. It is about securing exit.

And we will have a British Prime Minister sleepwalking towards exit, knowing he is letting down the national interest, but too weak to do anything about it.
The roots of Cameron's speech lie much more in the politics of the Conservative Party, than in foreign policy. Its origins lie in weakness, not in strength. The real tragedy is that David Cameron’s Party won’t let him address the undoubted need for change in the EU in a sensible way. We have a Prime Minister who simply cannot reconcile the demands of his party, with the needs of his country. The gap between the minimum the Tories will demand and the maximum our European partners can accept remains unbridgeable. For many in his Party, getting David Cameron to commit now to an in/out referendum is not about securing consent. It is about securing exit. And we will have a British Prime Minister sleepwalking towards exit, knowing he is letting down the national interest, but too weak to do anything about it. Red Flag Dan
  • Score: 0

4:18pm Wed 23 Jan 13

JoshONY says...

REDFLAGDAN - Many people would say it would be in our national interest to leave!
REDFLAGDAN - Many people would say it would be in our national interest to leave! JoshONY
  • Score: 0

4:25pm Wed 23 Jan 13

Red Flag Dan says...

JoshONY wrote:
REDFLAGDAN - Many people would say it would be in our national interest to leave!
Really?

Perhaps you would like to share your empirical evidence to back up that statement?
[quote][p][bold]JoshONY[/bold] wrote: REDFLAGDAN - Many people would say it would be in our national interest to leave![/p][/quote]Really? Perhaps you would like to share your empirical evidence to back up that statement? Red Flag Dan
  • Score: 0

4:28pm Wed 23 Jan 13

JoshONY says...

every opinion poll over the past 24 months bar one, shows a clear majority of British people would choose to leave the European Union in such a vote and in every part of the country there is a majority for leaving.......
every opinion poll over the past 24 months bar one, shows a clear majority of British people would choose to leave the European Union in such a vote and in every part of the country there is a majority for leaving....... JoshONY
  • Score: 0

4:34pm Wed 23 Jan 13

FranOb says...

Given that most people read xenophobic, racist rags like the Daily Mail,Express and Sun what do you expect. We have a vile anti foreigner, little Englander press who set out to miss inform the British public and they sadly succeed!
Given that most people read xenophobic, racist rags like the Daily Mail,Express and Sun what do you expect. We have a vile anti foreigner, little Englander press who set out to miss inform the British public and they sadly succeed! FranOb
  • Score: 0

4:40pm Wed 23 Jan 13

Red Flag Dan says...

Out of the 21 YouGov polls conducted on this issue in the last 2 years only 4 have indicted that a majority of people would vote to withdraw from the EU.

The most recent poll, conducted last week, suggests that only one in three people would vote to withdraw from the EU.

So, I ask again. Where is your empirical evidence to support your statement that the British public believe that it would be in the national interest to leave the EU?
Out of the 21 YouGov polls conducted on this issue in the last 2 years only 4 have indicted that a majority of people would vote to withdraw from the EU. The most recent poll, conducted last week, suggests that only one in three people would vote to withdraw from the EU. So, I ask again. Where is your empirical evidence to support your statement that the British public believe that it would be in the national interest to leave the EU? Red Flag Dan
  • Score: 0

4:41pm Wed 23 Jan 13

paulinejanet says...

i make my decision on what has happened to our once great country i am not anti foreigner i just believe we should be able to control our own borders and help our own pensioners sick and unemployed who have actually paid their taxes instead of giving so much (housing nhs benefits pensions etc) to people who have come into this country without paying into the system we do not get these benefits in other european countries and it has to be stopped
i make my decision on what has happened to our once great country i am not anti foreigner i just believe we should be able to control our own borders and help our own pensioners sick and unemployed who have actually paid their taxes instead of giving so much (housing nhs benefits pensions etc) to people who have come into this country without paying into the system we do not get these benefits in other european countries and it has to be stopped paulinejanet
  • Score: 0

4:48pm Wed 23 Jan 13

JoshONY says...

the latest poll was actually released last night the result :

40% leave vs 37% stay......
actually last 12 polls show majority wish to leave. see
http://www.noiseofth
ecrowd.com/wp-conten
t/uploads/2013/01/EU
-2013.png

what evidence have you got people wish to remain ?

Is that Cllr Fran also ?
the latest poll was actually released last night the result : 40% leave vs 37% stay...... actually last 12 polls show majority wish to leave. see http://www.noiseofth ecrowd.com/wp-conten t/uploads/2013/01/EU -2013.png what evidence have you got people wish to remain ? Is that Cllr Fran also ? JoshONY
  • Score: 0

4:54pm Wed 23 Jan 13

Red Flag Dan says...

JoshONY wrote:
the latest poll was actually released last night the result :

40% leave vs 37% stay......
actually last 12 polls show majority wish to leave. see
http://www.noiseofth

ecrowd.com/wp-conten

t/uploads/2013/01/EU

-2013.png

what evidence have you got people wish to remain ?

Is that Cllr Fran also ?
Oh dear!

JoshONY's graph shows the results of 15 polls- of which only 2 show a majority of people wishing to leave.

I'll ask you one last time. Where is your empirical evidence?
[quote][p][bold]JoshONY[/bold] wrote: the latest poll was actually released last night the result : 40% leave vs 37% stay...... actually last 12 polls show majority wish to leave. see http://www.noiseofth ecrowd.com/wp-conten t/uploads/2013/01/EU -2013.png what evidence have you got people wish to remain ? Is that Cllr Fran also ?[/p][/quote]Oh dear! JoshONY's graph shows the results of 15 polls- of which only 2 show a majority of people wishing to leave. I'll ask you one last time. Where is your empirical evidence? Red Flag Dan
  • Score: 0

4:56pm Wed 23 Jan 13

JoshONY says...

can you not read a graph ? the line along the top are of the numbers of people who would vote to leave
can you not read a graph ? the line along the top are of the numbers of people who would vote to leave JoshONY
  • Score: 0

4:57pm Wed 23 Jan 13

harryurz says...

What's more to the point....what on earth are the Shuttle doing sending a reporter to Strasborg??? Who do they think they are...the BBC?
What's more to the point....what on earth are the Shuttle doing sending a reporter to Strasborg??? Who do they think they are...the BBC? harryurz
  • Score: 0

5:52pm Wed 23 Jan 13

Jon D says...

I agree with paulinejanet, there's too many foreigners coming in. You don't get British people living and working in Europe do you?
They come over here sit down all day claiming benefits and take all our jobs aswell at the same time. It's a disgrace. I mean how is the average British worker supposed to compete with people who can do that? We've got no chance, they've clearly got super human powers.
Just look at the Poles when they came over with their 'work ethic', Grrrr!, how dare they! Not to mention their good manners and well spoken English. When I employ a tradesman I want a half arsed job done and be over priced for it - that's my right and no member of the liberal elite is going to take it away from me!
We fought two world wars single handedly without any help from any other countries against the Gemans to stop those lazy hard working Poles coming over here. I'm incensed! Thank God we have a Prime Minister who really knows what he's doing in offering us a referendum on a deal that hasn't been worked out yet.
God Save the Queen!
I agree with paulinejanet, there's too many foreigners coming in. You don't get British people living and working in Europe do you? They come over here sit down all day claiming benefits and take all our jobs aswell at the same time. It's a disgrace. I mean how is the average British worker supposed to compete with people who can do that? We've got no chance, they've clearly got super human powers. Just look at the Poles when they came over with their 'work ethic', Grrrr!, how dare they! Not to mention their good manners and well spoken English. When I employ a tradesman I want a half arsed job done and be over priced for it - that's my right and no member of the liberal elite is going to take it away from me! We fought two world wars single handedly without any help from any other countries against the Gemans to stop those lazy hard working Poles coming over here. I'm incensed! Thank God we have a Prime Minister who really knows what he's doing in offering us a referendum on a deal that hasn't been worked out yet. God Save the Queen! Jon D
  • Score: 0

5:58pm Wed 23 Jan 13

Stephen Brown says...

The only polls that ever count are a general election or a mandate based referendum. I therefore take results of such opinion polls showing this that or the other with a health warning.

There is a polarising of any discussion on Europe and a lack of full information. So, sadly, a lot of people base their opinion not on fact but on rhetoric stirred up by the right wing press and attacks on anything foreign because it is an easy scapegoat for our ills - rather than point the finger where it really needs to be pointed.

I will remind people that Germany is in the EU and their economy is in a much healthier state than ours. Why? Because of their political decisions made over education, industrial and foreign policy. Something none of our current politicians have any clue about it would seem as they chase a busted flush of an ideology.

So, what do we get?

We get half-baked policy decided on the hoof by half-baked politicians who sit in a parliament trying to appease their own Tory party loyalties and mitigate the impact of UKIP in any upcoming election they know they will lose. Then they have the gall to say it is in the national interest. Cameron promises a referendum on a deal that will never happen in order to hoodwink people into a notion that he has some control over his own party or some level of influence over Europe to try and win an election. It's a barking mad untruth and will likely add to our economic woes.

Cameron will at best only wring from Europe what the tories really want - which is more exemptions on the social chapter, erosion of workers rights, and thus allowing them to carry on with a right wing agenda unrestrained and designed to protect the rich while still exporting our jobs and keeping us in our place. Or at worst throw the rattle of of the pram like he did last year meaning he is stuck in a big hole. So what in a referendum can he possibly offer? Nothing meaningful.

So while it may appeal to some to blame the EU and foreigners for our domestic problems it totally misses the point. The blame lies closer to home.

The real democratic deficit is in our own Parliament, and in our own electoral system. That needs sorting before anything else and trying to pretend otherwise is just peeing into the wind to deflect from the real issue of a failure of our own system of governance and economics.

Yes - there is plenty wrong with Europe. Again, it's the democratic deficit issue and it badly needs policy reform but that reform is about accountability for decisions being made and that starts at home. Personally I think it is outrageous that our jobs can be exported to Portugal or anywhere else in Europe because it is cheaper and they get grants for it. But this has happened at the bequest of a capitalist system and it is with the full agreement of our national leaders making these decisions. I am not aware that UKIP, or the Tories for that matter are advocating a change of this capitalist driven system? They may pretend to want out but they carry on enjoying its perks such as those offered by the European parliament.

Capitalism knows no boundaries, no borders, nor does it discriminate on the grounds of colour, religion or nationality. So neither should its opposition. Scapegoating only ends up in one place like it did in the 1930's and I have no desire to go there thank you very much.

Capitalism is a voracious beast that corrupts and distorts all it touches and it uses the EU to its own advantage. To change capitalism is the key to change. Not playing hokey cokey with our EU membership. So to think Cameron will achieve anything in this debate, or that leaving Europe will cure our ills, is I am afraid to say, just a fantasy. The world has changed. We are not a world power, and the clock cannot be turned back.

Our future remains in Europe but one where we influence policy and reform for the good of all not just an elite.Not standing outside shouting at it which is what Cameron is doing.
The only polls that ever count are a general election or a mandate based referendum. I therefore take results of such opinion polls showing this that or the other with a health warning. There is a polarising of any discussion on Europe and a lack of full information. So, sadly, a lot of people base their opinion not on fact but on rhetoric stirred up by the right wing press and attacks on anything foreign because it is an easy scapegoat for our ills - rather than point the finger where it really needs to be pointed. I will remind people that Germany is in the EU and their economy is in a much healthier state than ours. Why? Because of their political decisions made over education, industrial and foreign policy. Something none of our current politicians have any clue about it would seem as they chase a busted flush of an ideology. So, what do we get? We get half-baked policy decided on the hoof by half-baked politicians who sit in a parliament trying to appease their own Tory party loyalties and mitigate the impact of UKIP in any upcoming election they know they will lose. Then they have the gall to say it is in the national interest. Cameron promises a referendum on a deal that will never happen in order to hoodwink people into a notion that he has some control over his own party or some level of influence over Europe to try and win an election. It's a barking mad untruth and will likely add to our economic woes. Cameron will at best only wring from Europe what the tories really want - which is more exemptions on the social chapter, erosion of workers rights, and thus allowing them to carry on with a right wing agenda unrestrained and designed to protect the rich while still exporting our jobs and keeping us in our place. Or at worst throw the rattle of of the pram like he did last year meaning he is stuck in a big hole. So what in a referendum can he possibly offer? Nothing meaningful. So while it may appeal to some to blame the EU and foreigners for our domestic problems it totally misses the point. The blame lies closer to home. The real democratic deficit is in our own Parliament, and in our own electoral system. That needs sorting before anything else and trying to pretend otherwise is just peeing into the wind to deflect from the real issue of a failure of our own system of governance and economics. Yes - there is plenty wrong with Europe. Again, it's the democratic deficit issue and it badly needs policy reform but that reform is about accountability for decisions being made and that starts at home. Personally I think it is outrageous that our jobs can be exported to Portugal or anywhere else in Europe because it is cheaper and they get grants for it. But this has happened at the bequest of a capitalist system and it is with the full agreement of our national leaders making these decisions. I am not aware that UKIP, or the Tories for that matter are advocating a change of this capitalist driven system? They may pretend to want out but they carry on enjoying its perks such as those offered by the European parliament. Capitalism knows no boundaries, no borders, nor does it discriminate on the grounds of colour, religion or nationality. So neither should its opposition. Scapegoating only ends up in one place like it did in the 1930's and I have no desire to go there thank you very much. Capitalism is a voracious beast that corrupts and distorts all it touches and it uses the EU to its own advantage. To change capitalism is the key to change. Not playing hokey cokey with our EU membership. So to think Cameron will achieve anything in this debate, or that leaving Europe will cure our ills, is I am afraid to say, just a fantasy. The world has changed. We are not a world power, and the clock cannot be turned back. Our future remains in Europe but one where we influence policy and reform for the good of all not just an elite.Not standing outside shouting at it which is what Cameron is doing. Stephen Brown
  • Score: 0

9:16pm Wed 23 Jan 13

P.C kiddi says...

If we come out of Europe, we must do so with our eyes wide open. Forget all this Rule Britannia Ukip crap. Europeans are our closest trading partners and we are interlinked through trade and finance. Europe looks like it may go for a 'Tobin Tax' (a tax on stock market speculations) which if is passed will stop outrageous trending on shares and currencies and will stabilise the stock market sharks. There will be closer unity within the banking system edging towards a European Bank, which will bring stability to the Euro. Most of our workers benefits have come from the European Social Contract. We lose this at our peril and would again.go back to sweat shop Britain where workers are hired and fired at the bosses pleasure.
I remember voting to go into the Common Market (and far from what some say) we wanted it to be more than a collection of trading nations, with the turmoil of the last two world wars and the two super powers Russia and USA on either sides. Some of us felt that a united Europe would be a buffer to the two political superpowers. I remember the run on the pound on Black Wednesday when George Soros traded to make millions on the fall of the pound and it’s exit from the ERM. This wasn’t done for any social or moralistic value, just to make money. The banks have proven themselves to be as self serving as our politicians in recent times. If we leave the EU we are at the mercy of the privileged classes and their banker friends, our new laws will not be based on social justice but, what is good for commerce.

I beg any of you who are jumping on the exit Europe band wagon to do it with educated views on what has happened what the future on either side will bring and who will benefit most from our exit and please don‘t just take the views of the popular press (remember how trustworthy they are) or self serving politicians. Look at where we are and what your idea of the future is for Britain, Europe and their place within the context of the World. I for one do not want to exit from our friends in Europe, but please make your judgement on the facts not the opinions of a biased few on either side.
If we come out of Europe, we must do so with our eyes wide open. Forget all this Rule Britannia Ukip crap. Europeans are our closest trading partners and we are interlinked through trade and finance. Europe looks like it may go for a 'Tobin Tax' (a tax on stock market speculations) which if is passed will stop outrageous trending on shares and currencies and will stabilise the stock market sharks. There will be closer unity within the banking system edging towards a European Bank, which will bring stability to the Euro. Most of our workers benefits have come from the European Social Contract. We lose this at our peril and would again.go back to sweat shop Britain where workers are hired and fired at the bosses pleasure. I remember voting to go into the Common Market (and far from what some say) we wanted it to be more than a collection of trading nations, with the turmoil of the last two world wars and the two super powers Russia and USA on either sides. Some of us felt that a united Europe would be a buffer to the two political superpowers. I remember the run on the pound on Black Wednesday when George Soros traded to make millions on the fall of the pound and it’s exit from the ERM. This wasn’t done for any social or moralistic value, just to make money. The banks have proven themselves to be as self serving as our politicians in recent times. If we leave the EU we are at the mercy of the privileged classes and their banker friends, our new laws will not be based on social justice but, what is good for commerce. I beg any of you who are jumping on the exit Europe band wagon to do it with educated views on what has happened what the future on either side will bring and who will benefit most from our exit and please don‘t just take the views of the popular press (remember how trustworthy they are) or self serving politicians. Look at where we are and what your idea of the future is for Britain, Europe and their place within the context of the World. I for one do not want to exit from our friends in Europe, but please make your judgement on the facts not the opinions of a biased few on either side. P.C kiddi
  • Score: 0

9:23pm Wed 23 Jan 13

Jerome K says...

Britain won't leave the EU. The most recent polls show the percentage wanting to stay in going up. This is because minds are beginning to focus. At the end of the day people aren't going to risk losing their jobs for a jump into the unknown. Sadly this is all about Cameron fighting for a second term. never mind borrowing figures going up & the prospect of us losing our AAA rating lets concentrate on having a referendum that will not alter anything. Cameron is not acting in the countries best interests but his own. It's all so very sad.
Britain won't leave the EU. The most recent polls show the percentage wanting to stay in going up. This is because minds are beginning to focus. At the end of the day people aren't going to risk losing their jobs for a jump into the unknown. Sadly this is all about Cameron fighting for a second term. never mind borrowing figures going up & the prospect of us losing our AAA rating lets concentrate on having a referendum that will not alter anything. Cameron is not acting in the countries best interests but his own. It's all so very sad. Jerome K
  • Score: 0

9:44pm Wed 23 Jan 13

harryurz says...

"FranOb says...
4:34pm Wed 23 Jan 13
Given that most people read xenophobic, racist rags like the Daily Mail,Express and Sun what do you expect. We have a vile anti foreigner, little Englander press who set out to miss inform the British public and they sadly succeed!"

Fran, we have the BBC and its newspaper arm ( The Guardian and Independent) to set out to miss inform the British public the other way too....it all rather balances out nicely!
"FranOb says... 4:34pm Wed 23 Jan 13 Given that most people read xenophobic, racist rags like the Daily Mail,Express and Sun what do you expect. We have a vile anti foreigner, little Englander press who set out to miss inform the British public and they sadly succeed!" Fran, we have the BBC and its newspaper arm ( The Guardian and Independent) to set out to miss inform the British public the other way too....it all rather balances out nicely! harryurz
  • Score: 0

10:12pm Wed 23 Jan 13

Gobby Robby says...

Herr Harry seems to think not being racist or xenophobic is to "miss inform the British public". Hmm no guesses on where Harrys tands on the political divide :-)

Back to Dave's folly - anyone listening to any of those who actually work in the EU on the TV/radio today will have realised Cameron cannot renegotiate our position. It's the emperor's new clothes...big time. Sadly people seem to be swallowing it. Don't be fooled folks, Dave cannot change the way the EU works he's bullsh*tting you. Vote him out.
Herr Harry seems to think not being racist or xenophobic is to "miss inform the British public". Hmm no guesses on where Harrys tands on the political divide :-) Back to Dave's folly - anyone listening to any of those who actually work in the EU on the TV/radio today will have realised Cameron cannot renegotiate our position. It's the emperor's new clothes...big time. Sadly people seem to be swallowing it. Don't be fooled folks, Dave cannot change the way the EU works he's bullsh*tting you. Vote him out. Gobby Robby
  • Score: 0

10:31pm Wed 23 Jan 13

kidderlord says...

Fran Oborski please stick to local politics... you are an emabarassment in Wyre Forest so don't spout rubbish about national issues. Just because u r an "adopted" pole doesn't give you the right to slag off the British.
This poll is stupid - try asking the question would we be better in a reformed Europe the result would be different. That is Labour's policy reform not committ to referendum. And if we do have a referendum, and dont trust the politicians to decide for us, are we going to vote on whether we stay a member of Nato, the G7, etc etc. Lets votwe on our membership of the commonwealth too.
Fran Oborski please stick to local politics... you are an emabarassment in Wyre Forest so don't spout rubbish about national issues. Just because u r an "adopted" pole doesn't give you the right to slag off the British. This poll is stupid - try asking the question would we be better in a reformed Europe the result would be different. That is Labour's policy reform not committ to referendum. And if we do have a referendum, and dont trust the politicians to decide for us, are we going to vote on whether we stay a member of Nato, the G7, etc etc. Lets votwe on our membership of the commonwealth too. kidderlord
  • Score: 0

10:39pm Wed 23 Jan 13

Gobby Robby says...

The only way we can have a reformed Europe is if we are inside playing a positive role. Under the Tories we will be outside looking in having no effect on the single market and having to accept rules set by the other countries. Cameron is possibly the worst PM we have ever had.
The only way we can have a reformed Europe is if we are inside playing a positive role. Under the Tories we will be outside looking in having no effect on the single market and having to accept rules set by the other countries. Cameron is possibly the worst PM we have ever had. Gobby Robby
  • Score: 0

11:03pm Wed 23 Jan 13

Gobby Robby says...

"At the moment Britain is a leader in the biggest economy in the world - what's the strategy for being out? Just trail around behind us?" - from an American government insider.

We are becoming a laughing stock.
"At the moment Britain is a leader in the biggest economy in the world - what's the strategy for being out? Just trail around behind us?" - from an American government insider. We are becoming a laughing stock. Gobby Robby
  • Score: 0

12:03am Thu 24 Jan 13

DOEPUBLIC says...

Always surprised to see perceptions of being British as non-European.
With Roman, Norman, Anglo-Saxon and Celtic roots it takes a myopic view of history to regard ourselves as separate.
When will we start to celebrate the cultures on our continent. Or even our world. When will we pleased to treasure our neighbours.
Always surprised to see perceptions of being British as non-European. With Roman, Norman, Anglo-Saxon and Celtic roots it takes a myopic view of history to regard ourselves as separate. When will we start to celebrate the cultures on our continent. Or even our world. When will we pleased to treasure our neighbours. DOEPUBLIC
  • Score: 0

10:42am Thu 24 Jan 13

walkerno5 says...

@ Kidderlord.

Your post is frankly typical of the sort of thing Fran is pointing out. You really don't help your case.

Now, why don't you go and have a sit down and a nice cup of tea and everything will seem much less troublesome.
@ Kidderlord. Your post is frankly typical of the sort of thing Fran is pointing out. You really don't help your case. Now, why don't you go and have a sit down and a nice cup of tea and everything will seem much less troublesome. walkerno5
  • Score: 0

11:17am Thu 24 Jan 13

HowardM says...

The whole purpose of the EU started out of a "free trade" area (or two to be exact - the 6 in the Common Market and the 7 in EFTA with UK in the latter) - so far so good - on the whole it worked well. Then the two combined and moved in to a closer "political" alliance covering more than just trade. Then came a common currancy and "bingo" the real problems began! A common European Currency was never going to work and thank goodness we didnt sign up to it because, if we had, the problems we have now would have been much worse.
History does not bode well for political associations that cross national or ethnic boundries - most Empires, artificial states, phony nations and political alliances usually implode given time. Ultimately, in its present form, that fate may face the EU and the outcome could be a disaster for Europe for decades to come.
So some renegotiation of ties that bind us too bureaucratically would be beneficial to improve and enhance the worthy purpose of a united Europe. However that is a complex and detailed process which needs to be expertly handled since the outcome will set the way forward for a long time. Many of the issues up for debate are complicated, specialist and technical and beyond the need to comprehend of those not directly involved in the government of Europe.
Therefore is it reasonable or rational to then decide the future of a nation with a vote of "just 'in' or 'out'?" Thats too simplistic. It presumes that the negotiators will have got the deal right and are dispationately presenting all the facts, without bias, to the electorate. Regreatably the cynic in me doesn't see this as more than a promise of "jam tommorrow" forced on Cameron by his anti Europe colleagues designed to save his own skin. The bottom line for me is, if the E U continues the UK needs to be in but on terms better suited to the requirements of this country. Achieving that is a big ask of any Government.
The whole purpose of the EU started out of a "free trade" area (or two to be exact - the 6 in the Common Market and the 7 in EFTA with UK in the latter) - so far so good - on the whole it worked well. Then the two combined and moved in to a closer "political" alliance covering more than just trade. Then came a common currancy and "bingo" the real problems began! A common European Currency was never going to work and thank goodness we didnt sign up to it because, if we had, the problems we have now would have been much worse. History does not bode well for political associations that cross national or ethnic boundries - most Empires, artificial states, phony nations and political alliances usually implode given time. Ultimately, in its present form, that fate may face the EU and the outcome could be a disaster for Europe for decades to come. So some renegotiation of ties that bind us too bureaucratically would be beneficial to improve and enhance the worthy purpose of a united Europe. However that is a complex and detailed process which needs to be expertly handled since the outcome will set the way forward for a long time. Many of the issues up for debate are complicated, specialist and technical and beyond the need to comprehend of those not directly involved in the government of Europe. Therefore is it reasonable or rational to then decide the future of a nation with a vote of "just 'in' or 'out'?" Thats too simplistic. It presumes that the negotiators will have got the deal right and are dispationately presenting all the facts, without bias, to the electorate. Regreatably the cynic in me doesn't see this as more than a promise of "jam tommorrow" forced on Cameron by his anti Europe colleagues designed to save his own skin. The bottom line for me is, if the E U continues the UK needs to be in but on terms better suited to the requirements of this country. Achieving that is a big ask of any Government. HowardM
  • Score: 0

11:45am Thu 24 Jan 13

walkerno5 says...

I might regret posting this but what the hell, Howard's expanded the debate.

The bottom line for me is the EU eventually will and must become a U.S. of E. if it persists with a single currency. That holds no fear for me and we must be a part of that, or we'll just become globally irrelevant.

That is the "in or out" that folks need to get their heads around, but there is a mountain to climb to convince people that it is the only way forward.
I might regret posting this but what the hell, Howard's expanded the debate. The bottom line for me is the EU eventually will and must become a U.S. of E. if it persists with a single currency. That holds no fear for me and we must be a part of that, or we'll just become globally irrelevant. That is the "in or out" that folks need to get their heads around, but there is a mountain to climb to convince people that it is the only way forward. walkerno5
  • Score: 0

12:47pm Thu 24 Jan 13

Jon D says...

I agree with walkerno5, the EU eventually will become a U S of E & Britain will become a part of it, i'm not sure whether that'll be in my lifetime though so I usually keep quiet about it.

Unfortunately I disagree with Howard when he says the EU started as just a free trade area, the main aspect of the trading alliance between Germany & France was to bring them politically closer together to stop them fighting each other. The idea that the EU was originally meant only to be a trading area is a modern myth.

Also: "History does not bode well for political associations that cross national or ethnic boundries - most Empires, artificial states, phony nations and political alliances usually implode given time" - not true. Nearly all countries are artificial constructs. England used to be 7 countries fighting each other, Italy was an amalgamation of little stated all at each others throats until recentlys and even Germany is a recent construct.
I agree with walkerno5, the EU eventually will become a U S of E & Britain will become a part of it, i'm not sure whether that'll be in my lifetime though so I usually keep quiet about it. Unfortunately I disagree with Howard when he says the EU started as just a free trade area, the main aspect of the trading alliance between Germany & France was to bring them politically closer together to stop them fighting each other. The idea that the EU was originally meant only to be a trading area is a modern myth. Also: "History does not bode well for political associations that cross national or ethnic boundries - most Empires, artificial states, phony nations and political alliances usually implode given time" - not true. Nearly all countries are artificial constructs. England used to be 7 countries fighting each other, Italy was an amalgamation of little stated all at each others throats until recentlys and even Germany is a recent construct. Jon D
  • Score: 0

1:12pm Thu 24 Jan 13

kidderlord says...

and ur post walker is so intelligent talking about idiots - looking in mirror or a copy of Focus?
and ur post walker is so intelligent talking about idiots - looking in mirror or a copy of Focus? kidderlord
  • Score: 0

1:22pm Thu 24 Jan 13

Red Flag Dan says...

European unity is not – and must not – be defined as uniform purpose towards a common federal government or the merging of national identities into a United States of Europe.

It is possible to have a flexible Europe with a common political framework that can permanently accommodate varying levels of integration amongst Member States.

This is not an a la carte Europe – but one where member states choose, collectively and collaboratively, to pool sovereignty in those areas where they judge that they can achieve more together than they can alone.

The modern world provides both the rationale for the EU, and for its reform.
European unity is not – and must not – be defined as uniform purpose towards a common federal government or the merging of national identities into a United States of Europe. It is possible to have a flexible Europe with a common political framework that can permanently accommodate varying levels of integration amongst Member States. This is not an a la carte Europe – but one where member states choose, collectively and collaboratively, to pool sovereignty in those areas where they judge that they can achieve more together than they can alone. The modern world provides both the rationale for the EU, and for its reform. Red Flag Dan
  • Score: 0

2:16pm Thu 24 Jan 13

walkerno5 says...

Sorry Dan, that ship has sailed. The Euro is a genie that you can't put back in the bottle and one that can't sustain itself without a properly constituted centralised currency area wide budget and eventually and inevitably a proper federal government.

And for anyone remotely sensible, that shouldn't scare you. There will be a de facto federal state comprising the countries signed up to the Euro, and anything below that level won't really be "in the EU" in the way that we think about that now.

And don't worry about national identities. You can have nations joined together in one state without losing that - otherwise how come we have Welsh and Scottish folks when we're all British?
Sorry Dan, that ship has sailed. The Euro is a genie that you can't put back in the bottle and one that can't sustain itself without a properly constituted centralised currency area wide budget and eventually and inevitably a proper federal government. And for anyone remotely sensible, that shouldn't scare you. There will be a de facto federal state comprising the countries signed up to the Euro, and anything below that level won't really be "in the EU" in the way that we think about that now. And don't worry about national identities. You can have nations joined together in one state without losing that - otherwise how come we have Welsh and Scottish folks when we're all British? walkerno5
  • Score: 0

2:19pm Thu 24 Jan 13

walkerno5 says...

@Kidderlord, its "your", not "ur" by the way.

I get all the idiots I need from the internet, many thanks for your audition, we'll let you know.
@Kidderlord, its "your", not "ur" by the way. I get all the idiots I need from the internet, many thanks for your audition, we'll let you know. walkerno5
  • Score: 0

2:46pm Thu 24 Jan 13

Jon D says...

I agree, but i'm talking about the distant future. National identities won't be merged, if you look at the Russian Federation there are hundreds of different nationalities with their languages & customs protected. Therefore British culture would be protected from the Americanisation that has changed our culture over the last 30 years & more. People complain about Europe but they have managed to hold on to their customs whereas we are now almost indistinguishable from USA. When was the last time you saw someone riding an old fashioned bike with a cap on & onions draped round their neck in England? We have massive shopping malls with shop assistants saying 'have a nice day', we gorge out on the next big supersized TV to watch 100's of American crap TV shows on, stuffing our faces with burgers & contemplate sueing the next door neighbour as we do so. England died a long time ago & it had nothing to do with Europe :-)
I agree, but i'm talking about the distant future. National identities won't be merged, if you look at the Russian Federation there are hundreds of different nationalities with their languages & customs protected. Therefore British culture would be protected from the Americanisation that has changed our culture over the last 30 years & more. People complain about Europe but they have managed to hold on to their customs whereas we are now almost indistinguishable from USA. When was the last time you saw someone riding an old fashioned bike with a cap on & onions draped round their neck in England? We have massive shopping malls with shop assistants saying 'have a nice day', we gorge out on the next big supersized TV to watch 100's of American crap TV shows on, stuffing our faces with burgers & contemplate sueing the next door neighbour as we do so. England died a long time ago & it had nothing to do with Europe :-) Jon D
  • Score: 0

2:55pm Thu 24 Jan 13

Red Flag Dan says...

JoshONY wrote:
As the pro-EU forces start their campaign, there is one huge lie we
shall hear again and again. It comes in slightly different forms, but
we’re already hearing it daily: “50% of British exports depend on the
EU”. “Leaving the EU/ OR EVEN TALK OF IT would damage our trade”.
“Three and a half million jobs depend on EU membership”.

I’d like to say that this is an honest mistake by the pro side. But the facts are well known.

In 1999, the National Institute of Economic & Social Research, NIESR,
published a report which said that 3½ million jobs are linked to trade
with the EU. This was immediately jumped on by pro-Europeans, like
Robin Cook (remember him?) and others. But they said the jobs
DEPENDED on membership of the EU. The scientist who led the research
publicly later disowned their claim, reiterating that his report actually said that few, if any, jobs would be lost if we left, because trade with Europe would continue. The National Institute for Economic and Social Research then followed and supported this view...

Again the NIESR Director at the time, Dr. Martin Weale, described the
use of his report and his number as “pure Goebbels”.

They will try relentlessly to argue that trade depends on membership,
but that’s simply nonsense. When we leave the EU, we will have a free
trade agreement, for two reasons. Firstly because the EU certainly
can’t afford to put at risk their 5 million jobs liked to our trade),
and secondly because the Lisbon treaty also obliges the EU to
negotiate Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with a member-state that wishes to withdraw, as well as with states that are not EU members. The EU will soon have FTAs with 80 per cent of all non-EU countries. So UK
trade would prosper under the sort of free trade agreements enjoyed by
Countries like Norway, Switzerland and even Mexico. The USA and China, not EU members with zero votes in EU intuition’s sell more goods to the EU than the UK does, without paying a cent to Brussels or imposing
one iota of EU regulation on their domestic economies. Similarly Japan
does not feel compelled to join China or Russia !!

When we leave the EU, we will retain our trade with Europe , but we
will be much better placed to develop trade with the rest of the world, where the growth is. Something that we are currently forbidden from doing as CURRENTLY we are unable to negotiate trade agreements with other nations, including emerging economies such as Brazil and
China and 13 of the fastest growing world economies in the
Commonwealth.
Britain's EU membership gives us direct access to the world's largest single market, with more than 500 million consumers and more than half of British exports going to European Union countries.

Britain's trade in this market means nearly 3.5 million British jobs depend on our EU membership, that's around 10% of our workforce who rely on Britain's role in Europe for their jobs.

If Britain were to leave the EU, the UK would have to renegotiate many trade deals with our major trading partners. Without being part of the powerful bloc of European countries, there is no guarentee we would get the same deals for British businesses and jobs could suffer.

Norway and Switzerland are not EU members and they have no seats at the table when the laws for this single market are made and yet they still have to comply with these laws in order to trade in the European market.

Being in the EU means we can defend our interests and help shape European laws to benefit our interest, keeping British business strong.
[quote][p][bold]JoshONY[/bold] wrote: As the pro-EU forces start their campaign, there is one huge lie we shall hear again and again. It comes in slightly different forms, but we’re already hearing it daily: “50% of British exports depend on the EU”. “Leaving the EU/ OR EVEN TALK OF IT would damage our trade”. “Three and a half million jobs depend on EU membership”. I’d like to say that this is an honest mistake by the pro side. But the facts are well known. In 1999, the National Institute of Economic & Social Research, NIESR, published a report which said that 3½ million jobs are linked to trade with the EU. This was immediately jumped on by pro-Europeans, like Robin Cook (remember him?) and others. But they said the jobs DEPENDED on membership of the EU. The scientist who led the research publicly later disowned their claim, reiterating that his report actually said that few, if any, jobs would be lost if we left, because trade with Europe would continue. The National Institute for Economic and Social Research then followed and supported this view... Again the NIESR Director at the time, Dr. Martin Weale, described the use of his report and his number as “pure Goebbels”. They will try relentlessly to argue that trade depends on membership, but that’s simply nonsense. When we leave the EU, we will have a free trade agreement, for two reasons. Firstly because the EU certainly can’t afford to put at risk their 5 million jobs liked to our trade), and secondly because the Lisbon treaty also obliges the EU to negotiate Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with a member-state that wishes to withdraw, as well as with states that are not EU members. The EU will soon have FTAs with 80 per cent of all non-EU countries. So UK trade would prosper under the sort of free trade agreements enjoyed by Countries like Norway, Switzerland and even Mexico. The USA and China, not EU members with zero votes in EU intuition’s sell more goods to the EU than the UK does, without paying a cent to Brussels or imposing one iota of EU regulation on their domestic economies. Similarly Japan does not feel compelled to join China or Russia !! When we leave the EU, we will retain our trade with Europe , but we will be much better placed to develop trade with the rest of the world, where the growth is. Something that we are currently forbidden from doing as CURRENTLY we are unable to negotiate trade agreements with other nations, including emerging economies such as Brazil and China and 13 of the fastest growing world economies in the Commonwealth.[/p][/quote]Britain's EU membership gives us direct access to the world's largest single market, with more than 500 million consumers and more than half of British exports going to European Union countries. Britain's trade in this market means nearly 3.5 million British jobs depend on our EU membership, that's around 10% of our workforce who rely on Britain's role in Europe for their jobs. If Britain were to leave the EU, the UK would have to renegotiate many trade deals with our major trading partners. Without being part of the powerful bloc of European countries, there is no guarentee we would get the same deals for British businesses and jobs could suffer. Norway and Switzerland are not EU members and they have no seats at the table when the laws for this single market are made and yet they still have to comply with these laws in order to trade in the European market. Being in the EU means we can defend our interests and help shape European laws to benefit our interest, keeping British business strong. Red Flag Dan
  • Score: 0

4:32pm Thu 24 Jan 13

Jerome K says...

Surely the important thing in this is exposing David Cameron for the charlaton he is ? He's playing Russian Roulette with Great Britain for his own electoral survival. It's pretty obvious we won't vote to leave, don't let him get reelected on this massive fraud he's foisting on the British public.
Surely the important thing in this is exposing David Cameron for the charlaton he is ? He's playing Russian Roulette with Great Britain for his own electoral survival. It's pretty obvious we won't vote to leave, don't let him get reelected on this massive fraud he's foisting on the British public. Jerome K
  • Score: 0

5:28pm Thu 24 Jan 13

harryurz says...

"Herr Harry seems to think not being racist or xenophobic is to "miss inform the British public". Hmm no guesses on where Harrys tands on the political divide :-)"

Robby ( or should I say Comrade Roberto ;-) ), I was simply quoting Fran's comment! She was the one stating that most people read "racist or xenophobic" press- and I object to the obvious inference of that statement.
"Herr Harry seems to think not being racist or xenophobic is to "miss inform the British public". Hmm no guesses on where Harrys tands on the political divide :-)" Robby ( or should I say Comrade Roberto ;-) ), I was simply quoting Fran's comment! She was the one stating that most people read "racist or xenophobic" press- and I object to the obvious inference of that statement. harryurz
  • Score: 0

6:15pm Thu 24 Jan 13

DOEPUBLIC says...

Yes, HowardM negotiate is the key word that takes maturity in political thought and commitment to the community represented in the long game, as opposed to the simplicity of Hokey Cokey politics.
Yes, HowardM negotiate is the key word that takes maturity in political thought and commitment to the community represented in the long game, as opposed to the simplicity of Hokey Cokey politics. DOEPUBLIC
  • Score: 0

8:25pm Thu 24 Jan 13

P.C kiddi says...

I agree with Walkerno5 you go with it ou stand at the heart and you are part of the ground breakers. There is no such thing as ant true national European we have been inbred with loads of different cultures and nations. Get over the last couple of years, open your minds and embrace your friends in Europe.
I agree with Walkerno5 you go with it ou stand at the heart and you are part of the ground breakers. There is no such thing as ant true national European we have been inbred with loads of different cultures and nations. Get over the last couple of years, open your minds and embrace your friends in Europe. P.C kiddi
  • Score: 0

9:08pm Thu 24 Jan 13

Gobby Robby says...

@Harryurz - Fran's comment stating that most people read "racist or xenophobic" newspapers is correct.The Mail, Express & to a lesser extent The Sun are all racist & xenophobic. That's just a fact of life, but I don't want to go off on a sidetrack here.
@Harryurz - Fran's comment stating that most people read "racist or xenophobic" newspapers is correct.The Mail, Express & to a lesser extent The Sun are all racist & xenophobic. That's just a fact of life, but I don't want to go off on a sidetrack here. Gobby Robby
  • Score: 0

12:46am Fri 25 Jan 13

kidderlord says...

Interesting to note that you people feel it right that the woman appointed to represent our district from May, at times of royal visits and as a representative in other areas is in fact accusing the British press of racism etc and can happily support non British interests before our own.
Interesting to note that you people feel it right that the woman appointed to represent our district from May, at times of royal visits and as a representative in other areas is in fact accusing the British press of racism etc and can happily support non British interests before our own. kidderlord
  • Score: 0

7:05am Fri 25 Jan 13

khfc says...

We've got five years of this to come and the problem is that the EU is so complicated that the ordinary Joe on the street won't understand all the issues involved. Yet we'll all be asked. God help us.
We've got five years of this to come and the problem is that the EU is so complicated that the ordinary Joe on the street won't understand all the issues involved. Yet we'll all be asked. God help us. khfc
  • Score: 0

10:01am Fri 25 Jan 13

paulinejanet says...

in the meantime before we even get a vote there are up to 29 million more people that can come to england from next year most people dont bject to trading with europe but want things like immigration tackled just ask anyone in kidderminster this question its not racist its common sense who decides that we have to admit so many when our own country is at breaking point its no use saying we need more for jobs there isnt enough for our own nearly everyone here has family losing jobs etc why cant the governement just say we have had enough it has to stop and we cannot wait till 2018
in the meantime before we even get a vote there are up to 29 million more people that can come to england from next year most people dont bject to trading with europe but want things like immigration tackled just ask anyone in kidderminster this question its not racist its common sense who decides that we have to admit so many when our own country is at breaking point its no use saying we need more for jobs there isnt enough for our own nearly everyone here has family losing jobs etc why cant the governement just say we have had enough it has to stop and we cannot wait till 2018 paulinejanet
  • Score: 0

10:32am Fri 25 Jan 13

Areley says...

Ah yes, the "29 million" immigrants. Bulgaria and Romania don't even have a combined population of 29 million and I presume its those two countries you have in mind Pauline? Chapter and verse Daily Mail, whereby every man woman and child in those two countries and some who haven't yet been born will be hot footing it to the UK for their free council house, porsche and squillion quid a week in benefits. The IN campaign really has its work cut out!
Ah yes, the "29 million" immigrants. Bulgaria and Romania don't even have a combined population of 29 million and I presume its those two countries you have in mind Pauline? Chapter and verse Daily Mail, whereby every man woman and child in those two countries and some who haven't yet been born will be hot footing it to the UK for their free council house, porsche and squillion quid a week in benefits. The IN campaign really has its work cut out! Areley
  • Score: 0

10:41am Fri 25 Jan 13

paulinejanet says...

no probaly not 29 million most of them are here already
no probaly not 29 million most of them are here already paulinejanet
  • Score: 0

11:25am Fri 25 Jan 13

Areley says...

It's impossible to reason with that kind of nonsense.
It's impossible to reason with that kind of nonsense. Areley
  • Score: 0

11:28am Fri 25 Jan 13

Jon D says...

I agree with paulinejanet, they come over 'ere, they take our jobs and our women....hopefully they'll take some of our women, well one anyway...
I agree with paulinejanet, they come over 'ere, they take our jobs and our women....hopefully they'll take some of our women, well one anyway... Jon D
  • Score: 0

12:09pm Fri 25 Jan 13

HowardM says...

Jon D says "Unfortunately I disagree with Howard when he says the EU started as just a free trade area, the main aspect of the trading alliance between Germany & France was to bring them politically closer together to stop them fighting each other. The idea that the EU was originally meant only to be a trading area is a modern myth." I was going back to the true start of the Common Market which was an extension of Benelux, a free trade alliance with little border control, by the addition of France, Germany and Italy - that was a decade before EFTA (nothing more than free trade) combined with them and eventually we had the EC. The financial, political and legislative powers that followed only turned into the EU by negotiation and agreement - that took over 30 years, despite what the French and Germans may have originally attended. I agree that a US of E is probably the ultimate aim of some of the major partners and only that outcome will give European unity the best chance of enduring. However that is a massive step for a nation like the UK which, by default, is particularly insular. This is a major debate and again begs the question, can it realistically be decided by a straight "in/out" vote?
Jon D says "Unfortunately I disagree with Howard when he says the EU started as just a free trade area, the main aspect of the trading alliance between Germany & France was to bring them politically closer together to stop them fighting each other. The idea that the EU was originally meant only to be a trading area is a modern myth." I was going back to the true start of the Common Market which was an extension of Benelux, a free trade alliance with little border control, by the addition of France, Germany and Italy - that was a decade before EFTA (nothing more than free trade) combined with them and eventually we had the EC. The financial, political and legislative powers that followed only turned into the EU by negotiation and agreement - that took over 30 years, despite what the French and Germans may have originally attended. I agree that a US of E is probably the ultimate aim of some of the major partners and only that outcome will give European unity the best chance of enduring. However that is a massive step for a nation like the UK which, by default, is particularly insular. This is a major debate and again begs the question, can it realistically be decided by a straight "in/out" vote? HowardM
  • Score: 0

12:13pm Fri 25 Jan 13

HowardM says...

What the French and Germans.....'intende
d' - not attended obviously!
What the French and Germans.....'intende d' - not attended obviously! HowardM
  • Score: 0

2:47pm Fri 25 Jan 13

kidderlord says...

When Edward Heath called the referendum it was about Britains membership of "The Common MARKET" so yes it was a trading area, set up to make it easier for trade between member countries. It is no longer that, as we all know, and it has grown and taken over soveriegn powers from Member countries. But it is our governments that have allowed it to happen- Thatcher, Major, Blair, Brown and now Cameron.
But before we decide whether we should stay or go, our leaders must be given the opportunity to see if the "rules of the club" can be made more acceptable. And before you all rant about all the foreigners here working, perhaps someone can tell us in real terms the net effect of migration between member states - i.e. How many Brits are working abroad compared to those foreigners here? (That is a question, not a statement btw.)
I must say that considering no negotiations have taken place to improve the "rules" the majority in favour of leaving on here is quite small = probably less I would argue than in the House of Commons.
When Edward Heath called the referendum it was about Britains membership of "The Common MARKET" so yes it was a trading area, set up to make it easier for trade between member countries. It is no longer that, as we all know, and it has grown and taken over soveriegn powers from Member countries. But it is our governments that have allowed it to happen- Thatcher, Major, Blair, Brown and now Cameron. But before we decide whether we should stay or go, our leaders must be given the opportunity to see if the "rules of the club" can be made more acceptable. And before you all rant about all the foreigners here working, perhaps someone can tell us in real terms the net effect of migration between member states - i.e. How many Brits are working abroad compared to those foreigners here? (That is a question, not a statement btw.) I must say that considering no negotiations have taken place to improve the "rules" the majority in favour of leaving on here is quite small = probably less I would argue than in the House of Commons. kidderlord
  • Score: 0

3:22pm Fri 25 Jan 13

DOEPUBLIC says...

Would be interesting to know what size turn out for a referendum would be seen to have authority. Also why in this instant, negotiations are not seen as more than just threats to leave the table.
Would be interesting to know what size turn out for a referendum would be seen to have authority. Also why in this instant, negotiations are not seen as more than just threats to leave the table. DOEPUBLIC
  • Score: 0

4:16pm Fri 25 Jan 13

Gobby Robby says...

I hate to quote Nick Clegg but 'i'm still none the wiser about exactly what this great re-negotiation means'.

When the euphoria dies down Cameron's going to look like the emperor with no clothes.....again.
I hate to quote Nick Clegg but 'i'm still none the wiser about exactly what this great re-negotiation means'. When the euphoria dies down Cameron's going to look like the emperor with no clothes.....again. Gobby Robby
  • Score: 0

5:59pm Fri 25 Jan 13

Mary79 says...

this page proves you should never argue with an idiot because they drag you down to their level and beat you with experience everytime. it takes a lot of practice being an idiot you know so stop giving them more practice time it only helps them better hone the skills needed.
this page proves you should never argue with an idiot because they drag you down to their level and beat you with experience everytime. it takes a lot of practice being an idiot you know so stop giving them more practice time it only helps them better hone the skills needed. Mary79
  • Score: 0

7:49am Sat 26 Jan 13

kidderlord says...

rather condescending mary - if you have no valid contribution to the argument then ssshhhhhh!
rather condescending mary - if you have no valid contribution to the argument then ssshhhhhh! kidderlord
  • Score: 0

6:45pm Sat 26 Jan 13

Red Flag Dan says...

Highest per capita immigration?

Norway.

Outside the EU, but bound by the free trade agreement that David Cameron said he will not give away.

No say, no veto.
Highest per capita immigration? Norway. Outside the EU, but bound by the free trade agreement that David Cameron said he will not give away. No say, no veto. Red Flag Dan
  • Score: 0

9:39pm Sun 27 Jan 13

Europeanist64 says...

A decision on leaving or staying in the EU will be the UK's biggest for the at least the last 100 years and is not one which should be made lightly or without looking at positive arguments on both sides. Our involvement in Europe stems from the desire to prevent future wars and conflicts and to try and diffuse cold war tensions across Europe in the 1950's. Winston Churchill argued strongly for a "union of the peoples of Europe with a common trade currency" to stop dependence on the USA and to spread free market enterprise and prosperity across Europe.

Personally, I'm strongly in favour of staying in for the following reasons:

1. A significant number of the world's largest economies are in the EU and are vital to our trade and future prosperity.

2. A wide range of our employment rights and citizenship rights come from the EU.

Our membership of the EU does NOT create a never-closing door of unquantified immigration. We do have the right to regulate and control immigration and settlement in the UK.

Eurosceptics want access to the EU for free trade, which is an excellent concept, but don't want UK citizens to enjoy the employment rights and social rights provided by the EU. These include the minimum wage to name but one.

The Eurozone problems of today stem from mismanagement of borrowing in the European Central Bank and this cannot be allowed to happen again.

The EU is NOT about "foreigners running Britain", and is NOT about unlimited immigration. The EU is vital in protecting our trade, future prosperity and our rights.

David Cameron is not offering and in/out referendum on the current EU as we know it. We will be offered an referendum on a reformed and restructured EU - but will the British public be sufficiently informed to make such a huge decision which will have massive implications for the future.


Think VERY HARD before making rash uninformed comments or voting without being informed.
A decision on leaving or staying in the EU will be the UK's biggest for the at least the last 100 years and is not one which should be made lightly or without looking at positive arguments on both sides. Our involvement in Europe stems from the desire to prevent future wars and conflicts and to try and diffuse cold war tensions across Europe in the 1950's. Winston Churchill argued strongly for a "union of the peoples of Europe with a common trade currency" to stop dependence on the USA and to spread free market enterprise and prosperity across Europe. Personally, I'm strongly in favour of staying in for the following reasons: 1. A significant number of the world's largest economies are in the EU and are vital to our trade and future prosperity. 2. A wide range of our employment rights and citizenship rights come from the EU. Our membership of the EU does NOT create a never-closing door of unquantified immigration. We do have the right to regulate and control immigration and settlement in the UK. Eurosceptics want access to the EU for free trade, which is an excellent concept, but don't want UK citizens to enjoy the employment rights and social rights provided by the EU. These include the minimum wage to name but one. The Eurozone problems of today stem from mismanagement of borrowing in the European Central Bank and this cannot be allowed to happen again. The EU is NOT about "foreigners running Britain", and is NOT about unlimited immigration. The EU is vital in protecting our trade, future prosperity and our rights. David Cameron is not offering and in/out referendum on the current EU as we know it. We will be offered an referendum on a reformed and restructured EU - but will the British public be sufficiently informed to make such a huge decision which will have massive implications for the future. Think VERY HARD before making rash uninformed comments or voting without being informed. Europeanist64
  • Score: 0

9:51pm Sun 27 Jan 13

JoshONY says...

Europeanist64...

firstly yes Winston Churchill wanted a united states of Europe (though he also said of Europe) ''We are with Europe but not of it. We are linked but not comprised. We are associated but not absorbed."

and most of importantly of all "If Britain must choose between Europe and the open sea, she must always choose the open sea."

He wanted it for continental but not for the UK !!

secondly your comments on Immigration are wrong.....Britain has given away control of immigration within the EU to the EU, and retains the power only to control non-EU immigration!

and lastly yes we are being ruled by others ! Britain now has under 9% of the votes in the key EU decision making bodies. Politicians and civil servants from other EU countries who are not accountable to us through the ballot box are making law that we must
obey. We have had over 120,000 regulations forced upon the UK, 320,000 pages of bureaucratic nonsense over recent years.
Parliament can debate them but cannot amend a word
Europeanist64... firstly yes Winston Churchill wanted a united states of Europe (though he also said of Europe) ''We are with Europe but not of it. We are linked but not comprised. We are associated but not absorbed." and most of importantly of all "If Britain must choose between Europe and the open sea, she must always choose the open sea." He wanted it for continental but not for the UK !! secondly your comments on Immigration are wrong.....Britain has given away control of immigration within the EU to the EU, and retains the power only to control non-EU immigration! and lastly yes we are being ruled by others ! Britain now has under 9% of the votes in the key EU decision making bodies. Politicians and civil servants from other EU countries who are not accountable to us through the ballot box are making law that we must obey. We have had over 120,000 regulations forced upon the UK, 320,000 pages of bureaucratic nonsense over recent years. Parliament can debate them but cannot amend a word JoshONY
  • Score: 0

10:22pm Sun 27 Jan 13

Europeanist64 says...

You are right JoshONY on Churchill's view of GB and Europe but the quotes you supply show that we are unavoidably linked to Europe.

Is is just not true that the EU is run by unelected politicians and civil servants. The regulations come from the EU Commission and the UK has representation on the Commission. It IS an accountable body as the EUCommission is subject to scrutiny from the European Council of Ministers, all democratically elected politicians subject to their parliaments, and the European Parliament, again democratically elected, which rightly dissolved the Commission in recent years, due to failures to create adequate anti-fraud measures. So, there is strong democratic control. It is not about "regulations and bureaucratic nonsense" being forced upon us.

On balance, GB has had positive benefits out of the EU over the years. The debate is is clouded by immigration scares and apocryphal stories such as those about "straight bananas" we do need to remember that the EU is about GB's future economic prosperity and power and influence in the world and the rights of the British people.

A lot of non EU investment in recent years such as Japanese car manufacturing has come to GB because GB is their gateway to the EU. The Chinese government recently made London (not New York or Singapore, nor Hong Kong) the main future centre of brokering Yuen loans, knowing that much of that will be channelled to EU nations and provide China with good access to EU financial markets.

The form of a future for GB outside of the EU is not clear or certain.
You are right JoshONY on Churchill's view of GB and Europe but the quotes you supply show that we are unavoidably linked to Europe. Is is just not true that the EU is run by unelected politicians and civil servants. The regulations come from the EU Commission and the UK has representation on the Commission. It IS an accountable body as the EUCommission is subject to scrutiny from the European Council of Ministers, all democratically elected politicians subject to their parliaments, and the European Parliament, again democratically elected, which rightly dissolved the Commission in recent years, due to failures to create adequate anti-fraud measures. So, there is strong democratic control. It is not about "regulations and bureaucratic nonsense" being forced upon us. On balance, GB has had positive benefits out of the EU over the years. The debate is is clouded by immigration scares and apocryphal stories such as those about "straight bananas" we do need to remember that the EU is about GB's future economic prosperity and power and influence in the world and the rights of the British people. A lot of non EU investment in recent years such as Japanese car manufacturing has come to GB because GB is their gateway to the EU. The Chinese government recently made London (not New York or Singapore, nor Hong Kong) the main future centre of brokering Yuen loans, knowing that much of that will be channelled to EU nations and provide China with good access to EU financial markets. The form of a future for GB outside of the EU is not clear or certain. Europeanist64
  • Score: 0

10:38pm Sun 27 Jan 13

JoshONY says...

Europeanist64 ..Membership of the European Union is undemocratic because the European Commission, which is unelected, has the monopoly of proposing all EU legislation which it does in secret. It also has the power to issue regulations which are automatically binding in all member states. The Commission is made up of 27 Commissioners who are appointed four five years at a time and has 37 branches or Directorates General each run by a Director General. Director Generals are the real bosses and they can rule for many years.

The Committee of Permanent Representatives is a shadowy body where the national horse trading on the Commission’s legislative proposals and its meetings also take place in secret. The agreed versions of their proposals go to the Council of Ministers and European Parliament for approval.

The Council of Ministers is made up from ministers from member states who are elected in their own state so there is an element of democracy in it, but Britain has only 8.4% of the votes in these meetings.(Btw how many public votes did the UK Rep Ashton receive) ZERO shes never recieved a vote in her life!

The European Parliament is a sham which has been set up to give the pretext of democracy but the Parliament cannot propose legislation as a normal parliament would, all it can do is either delay or simply block it.
Europeanist64 ..Membership of the European Union is undemocratic because the European Commission, which is unelected, has the monopoly of proposing all EU legislation which it does in secret. It also has the power to issue regulations which are automatically binding in all member states. The Commission is made up of 27 Commissioners who are appointed four five years at a time and has 37 branches or Directorates General each run by a Director General. Director Generals are the real bosses and they can rule for many years. The Committee of Permanent Representatives is a shadowy body where the national horse trading on the Commission’s legislative proposals and its meetings also take place in secret. The agreed versions of their proposals go to the Council of Ministers and European Parliament for approval. The Council of Ministers is made up from ministers from member states who are elected in their own state so there is an element of democracy in it, but Britain has only 8.4% of the votes in these meetings.(Btw how many public votes did the UK Rep Ashton receive) ZERO shes never recieved a vote in her life! The European Parliament is a sham which has been set up to give the pretext of democracy but the Parliament cannot propose legislation as a normal parliament would, all it can do is either delay or simply block it. JoshONY
  • Score: 0

10:40pm Sun 27 Jan 13

DOEPUBLIC says...

Excellent Europeanist64. A measured input that is often not heard above the rhetoric and sound bites.
Excellent Europeanist64. A measured input that is often not heard above the rhetoric and sound bites. DOEPUBLIC
  • Score: 0

11:16pm Sun 27 Jan 13

Gobby Robby says...

Since when was the view of Winston Churchill so all important? Apart from one good decision he made, most of his career was characterised by failure.
Since when was the view of Winston Churchill so all important? Apart from one good decision he made, most of his career was characterised by failure. Gobby Robby
  • Score: 0

10:54am Mon 28 Jan 13

Stephen Brown says...

Debates about Europe in/out always seemingly and regretably come down to the issue of immigration and border controls because it plays to the gallery, and gets some politicians votes; but it misses the point. The point is about acountability for the decisions made that lead to issues that raise concern. In that, EU accountability is debateable. But it does not end there.

There are plenty of UK institutions/quangos organised by the state here that make decsions every day that are equally unaccountable and affect our lives - but rarely attract our attention and use EU funds to do it.

The state has a vested interest in perpetuating this cycle because it keeps us in check. It is also quite convenient to throw the blame at the EU (including some politicians in this) when it is our own parliament that is at fault.

Democracy starts at home, let's reform that first. The EU is a distraction but an important one, it needs reform too. Its institutions are too unaccountable.

However, if we leave the EU we will be in an even worse position economically. I doubt that we will be offered a vote that is relevant on any of the key issues of reform and accountability because all of this is a smokescreen for the Tories to diffuse their own internal arguments and the threat of UKIP.

But if we leave Europe what then?
Paradise? I doubt it.

So long as we keep anti-regulation, pro free market, pro privatisation parties in power our economic long term prosperity and social health will be in the hands of market gamblers. And in that I see no change for us - given the policies of all mainstream parties and even those anti EU ones.
Debates about Europe in/out always seemingly and regretably come down to the issue of immigration and border controls because it plays to the gallery, and gets some politicians votes; but it misses the point. The point is about acountability for the decisions made that lead to issues that raise concern. In that, EU accountability is debateable. But it does not end there. There are plenty of UK institutions/quangos organised by the state here that make decsions every day that are equally unaccountable and affect our lives - but rarely attract our attention and use EU funds to do it. The state has a vested interest in perpetuating this cycle because it keeps us in check. It is also quite convenient to throw the blame at the EU (including some politicians in this) when it is our own parliament that is at fault. Democracy starts at home, let's reform that first. The EU is a distraction but an important one, it needs reform too. Its institutions are too unaccountable. However, if we leave the EU we will be in an even worse position economically. I doubt that we will be offered a vote that is relevant on any of the key issues of reform and accountability because all of this is a smokescreen for the Tories to diffuse their own internal arguments and the threat of UKIP. But if we leave Europe what then? Paradise? I doubt it. So long as we keep anti-regulation, pro free market, pro privatisation parties in power our economic long term prosperity and social health will be in the hands of market gamblers. And in that I see no change for us - given the policies of all mainstream parties and even those anti EU ones. Stephen Brown
  • Score: 0

2:06pm Mon 28 Jan 13

Toby Brading says...

If we leave the EU we can wave goodbye to the minimum wage, paid holiday entitlement, equal pay and treatment for women, protection of children's rights, safety protection at work, health protections, food standards (horse burger with fries sir?), pollution controls (we should be particulary concerned about this, what with a waste incinerator being built on our doorstep), the ban on growth hormones and other harmful food additives, wildlife protection, competition laws that stop bigger firms abusing their power by setting up cartels and monopolies and all the other pesky EU regulations that big businesses don't want to abide by.
If we leave the EU we can wave goodbye to the minimum wage, paid holiday entitlement, equal pay and treatment for women, protection of children's rights, safety protection at work, health protections, food standards (horse burger with fries sir?), pollution controls (we should be particulary concerned about this, what with a waste incinerator being built on our doorstep), the ban on growth hormones and other harmful food additives, wildlife protection, competition laws that stop bigger firms abusing their power by setting up cartels and monopolies and all the other pesky EU regulations that big businesses don't want to abide by. Toby Brading
  • Score: 0

5:19pm Mon 28 Jan 13

Gobby Robby says...

What Cameron is trying to do won't just harm British workers, he's trying to undercut the whole Social chapter for the EU. With any luck the European Unions will put pressure on their leaders to stand up to the embarrassment to Britain that is David Cameron.
What Cameron is trying to do won't just harm British workers, he's trying to undercut the whole Social chapter for the EU. With any luck the European Unions will put pressure on their leaders to stand up to the embarrassment to Britain that is David Cameron. Gobby Robby
  • Score: 0

10:02am Tue 29 Jan 13

DOEPUBLIC says...

Maybe Matt could help http://www.youtube.c
om/watch?v=Pwe-pA6Ta
Zk
Maybe Matt could help http://www.youtube.c om/watch?v=Pwe-pA6Ta Zk DOEPUBLIC
  • Score: 0

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