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  • #2178270

    What should the UK do next?

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    by neilb@uk ·

    Europe is heading towards federalism and a hyper-regulatory European socialist system that just won?t work for the UK. The apathy of the UK?s citizens will result in the wrecking of our economy if we sit back and let our government move us closer to the European model. I think we need a wake-up call to get out before we get sucked into the Euro and our exit becomes a lot more messy.

    The creation of a federalist Europe can only succeed for those countries with an aptitude for it. Britain is certainly not one of them. Unlike Britain, none of the larger continental European countries has truly effective political institutions. Those of Germany date from 1949, France from 1958 and Spain from 1975. The Italians are still trying to reform their constitution. All have proportional representation voting systems and usually cumbersome coalition governments. It is obvious that these countries, unlike Britain, might feel that in moving toward federation they are not giving up much.

    There are now 50,000 European regulations, filling over 230,000 pages, applicable to Britain. I accept that not all of these are detrimental to our way of life but a significant number of them fit into this category whereas a number of others can best be described as ?more trouble than they are worth?.

    Monetary union would be soon followed by a common foreign and defense policy. This would reduce national sovereignty in the member countries virtually to the level of local government.

    For an example of ?European Common Foreign Policy?, look no further than the events in the Middle East. The general EU Middle Eastern policy is to wait for the Americans to do something and then stake out positions more favorable to the Arab powers. I know that the Americans are not always right but surely the EU can manage to be a bit more honest than to go against them every time. The EU?s treatment of Turkey will destabilize that crucial country and the entire region. The Greeks need a serious slapping but, while the leading continental European powers hide behind the Greeks, we ? and more recently, Spain ? seem to be the only ones with a consistent policy to keep Turkey on-side.

    Getting out wouldn?t be so bad, surely. We would still continue to trade with our ex-partners. Probably on better terms than before.

    The World Trade Organisation has reduced the EU?s common external tariff from 5.7% to 3.6%. Not too much to pay with our lower production costs. Attempts by the EU to limit imports from non-members can only be sustained if unanimously upheld by multi-national trade panels, which is practically almost impossible. So, the scare story of being frozen out of Europe by vindictive Community bureaucrats is not tenable. Anyway, as we have a negative balance of payments with Europe, they need us more than we need them!

    The annual direct cost of our membership of the European Union is made up as follows: we make ?10 billion in gross budgetary contributions. Almost half of this is returned in EU spending but we, the UK citizens, don?t get to choose what that ?5 billion is spent on! Higher food prices in the UK, because of the Common Agricultural Policy, cost us more than ?6 billion annually although about half of that is rebated directly to British farmers usually for things that, again, we don?t want or need anyway. So, the overall cost of the EU to Britain is between ?8 and ?12 billion, or around 1.5% of G.D.P. We also have that ?3 billion trade deficit with the EU.

    There are also the indirect costs of regulation, and the heavy political costs of eroding sovereignty and the tacit encouragement of provincial separatism as Scottish and Welsh nationalists envision receiving the sort of direct grants that have benefited Ireland. The true federalization of Europe will lead to the break-up of the United Kingdom and there will be no way of putting it back together.

    Westminster has served Britain reasonably satisfactorily for centuries. The institutions of Brussels and Strasbourg are both undemocratic and inefficient when viewed from the political standpoint of our democratic system. Almost all continental European governments, because of the proportional voting system, are multi-party coalitions incapable of decisive action. We?re not.

    We have absolutely no chance of guiding the Europeans towards transparency, privatisation, deregulation, lower taxes and labour flexibility until it has got a lot worse and they have dragged us down with them. Do we really want to re-live the Thatcher years because that is what will be needed in Europe?

    So, if we did leave. What could we do?

    We could join the European Economic Area with Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. This would maintain our full access to the Single Market and avoid further political integration. We would save most of the present financial cost of the EU. The Swiss option, the European Free Trade Association but not the European Economic Area, gives almost as good access to the EU market but only free movement of goods and not of people. Given the existence of our large current account deficit with the EU, we should be in a position to negotiate complete reciprocal access of goods and people but with complete withdrawal from the political and judicial institutions if we just had the cojones!

    Hey, let?s join NAFTA! NAFTA is already negotiating with the EFTA and with Chile. We are currently the world?s fourth economy, after the U.S., Japan, and Germany so I can?t imagine there would be any great difficulty negotiating entry. Earlier EU initiatives to promote free trade between the EU and NAFTA have been typically vetoed by the French.

    Hey you Yanks and Canadians. Would we be welcome in a renamed, expanded NAFTA if we kicked the EU into touch? I reckon we would.

    Neil 😀

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    Replies
    • #3122334

      Leave the EU

      by neil higgins ·

      In reply to What should the UK do next?

      Interesting article.First the bad bit.You said the Greeks need a slaping.Hmnn.I went to Cyprus last month,and the Greek-Cypriots were outstanding.Friendly,kind,hospitable.They told me how the Turks should be tied to lamp posts and beaten with feather dusters (I’ve toned that down,so as not to upset delicate feelings),if they tried to occupy beyond the UN border.I did’nt care,the family had a ball in the sun.It was terrific.
      No,the real crux of your article can be answered by saying,we should leave the EU,link up with noone,go our own way,save the Sterling,and bring back St George and some back-bone,to our weak kneed,useless political bosses (poodle comes to mind).Even to the point of building our own internet,exclusive to the UK only.Anyone else who wants to “click-on-line”,has to cough up a million gold bars.
      Turkey,who needs them,they wrecked Constantinople.That was because the Italian legions,lost the will to fight,and the German Alaric trashed Rome,and Western civilisation in general.Thats when things went downhill my friend.Anyhow,have a nice day.Good article Neil.I agree with you.He-he.:)

      • #3123676

        Time for the UK to disassociate themselves from the drunken bedwetters

        by montgomery gator ·

        In reply to Leave the EU

        The UK should separate from a group of countries with people like this. 🙂

        http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10142627/

      • #3123673

        And more European stupidity the UK should avoid

        by montgomery gator ·

        In reply to Leave the EU

        http://news.lawinfo.com/story/3_ds_95381.cfm

        They should not let these people out of France!!!

        • #3121841

          Avoid at all costs

          by neil higgins ·

          In reply to And more European stupidity the UK should avoid

          The worst thing we ever did,was agree with the frogs,sorry,our nice French friends,to build that bloody chunnel,linking us to them.Instead we should have spent our contribution on reform at home.First priority would be to place “two jags” on some deserted island somewhere (Brits know who I mean).Then we could have exported Blair as ambassador to the court of Dubya.The Royals could be sold to the Aussies,as according to my cousin in Perth,they are the biggest load of comedians since Rolf Harris.As I said earlier,leave the EU,pay no money to our neighbours,set up home role for Wales,Scotland,Cornwall,the people’s republic of Yorkshire,and especially Sheffield,as my uni time there was ace.Close down satellite,cable,and freeview telly,in favour of local programs based on art,literature,and local customs.Resistance is futile.Oh yes,can we please get rid of that useless national anthem,and replace it with either Land of hope and glory,or Land of my Fathers.No poodling to others.We should stand firm,and take stock.Cough,cough.There,got that off my chest.

    • #3122332

      Ever think about a trade union of English speaking nations.

      by sleepin’dawg ·

      In reply to What should the UK do next?

      Membership would be restricted to nations whose official language status is English. The countries to be included would consist of the UK, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The latter 4 are all on the Pacific Rim and the UK still has influence in Hong Kong. The commonality of language is a plus as well as the more or less commonality of political systems i.e. parliamentary democracy. All are above third world status and all have a shared history and culture especially the history of two world wars. This could make more sense than an artificial creation such as the EEC/EU. The EU: an amalgamation of former foes; an NAFTA/EFTA alliance would be an association of nations with shared previous treaties and ventures. It’s an idea one which I think makes as much sense and perhaps more than the EU.

      [b]Dawg[/b] ]:)

      • #3123765

        We had one

        by tony hopkinson ·

        In reply to Ever think about a trade union of English speaking nations.

        you left over a minor political difference over which George was in charge.

        • #3123533

          Cute but that was then; this is now.

          by sleepin’dawg ·

          In reply to We had one

          A trade agreement along the lines of NAFTA based on the commonality of language and political entities would make a lot more sense than trying to rationalize the hodge-podge of languages and politics that exists in th EEC/EU circus right now.

          [b]Dawg[/b] ]:)

        • #3114034

          Who for ?

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to Cute but that was then; this is now.

          What does the UK gain from it ?
          How about free access to the US market on a level playing field?
          Is that what you are offering, no more import tariffs on UK goods and services that are out performing US ones to the point when even with standard customs and shipping they are better value that home grown ones? Or are you saying you can have that until it suits us to break the agreement in favour of ‘national interest’.
          Are you offering us a chance to buy US goods + shipping and duties at the same rate they are sold in the US, or are you going to continue to penalise us for the weak dollar and have us pay the ?855 for an $855 dollar product ?

    • #3122329

      Become a Colony of the United States!

      by maxwell edison ·

      In reply to What should the UK do next?

      .
      How’s that for an ironic twist?

      Or perhaps out 51st state!

      Let me digest your message, and I’ll post some serious thoughts later.

      • #3122242

        I don’t think that you’d want us as a state!

        by neilb@uk ·

        In reply to Become a Colony of the United States!

        Think what sixty million of us left wingnuts (at least from your perspective) would do to your voting patterns.

        The Democrats would be in power for decades…

        • #3122240

          Or 4 States

          by montgomery gator ·

          In reply to I don’t think that you’d want us as a state!

          If the UK joined the USA, it might be as 4 states: England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland

          And we would also have to deal with the status of the Isle of Man, the Channel Islands, Falkland Islands, Bermuda, and the UK Virgin Islands. I guess they would be territories similar in status as Guam and the US Virgin Islands.

          Then there would be the problem of the Royal Family and the British Nobility. The USA Constitution forbids the granting of Royal and Noble titles. As part of the USA, Prince Charles would just be citizen Charles Windsor, just another guy with lots of money, big ears and goofy opinions. We already got a guy like that, we call him Ross Perot. 🙂

        • #3123726

          Yeah, but

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to Or 4 States

          Perot did something to EARN his money. Poor Charles. What would he be qualified to do? Maybe he could run the fries and McDonalds? He would be bound to hear when the buzzer went off!

        • #3123698

          He’s a farmer

          by neilb@uk ·

          In reply to Yeah, but

          Or so he would have us believe. He’s very big on organic farming and shoots his mouth off at any opportunity.

        • #3123695

          How about …..

          by gadgetgirl ·

          In reply to He’s a farmer

          horse breeder….

          ]:)

          GG

        • #3123683

          Camilla

          by montgomery gator ·

          In reply to How about …..

          But Camilla is beyond breeding age. Charles may have a good time riding that mare, but she is not going to drop any foals. ]:)

        • #3123677

          Like a moped

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to How about …..

          both are fun to ride until your friends see you on it……

          moped = scooter?

      • #3123762

        You mean we aren’t ?

        by tony hopkinson ·

        In reply to Become a Colony of the United States!

        Serious comments later, just reading about Governor Blair’s latest mishap and planning some Macdonald’s haute cuisine.

    • #3122257

      Declare Independence and Leave Europe!!

      by montgomery gator ·

      In reply to What should the UK do next?

      The European Union is a threat to British sovereignty. As far back as 1991 (when I was in London), I remember people in the UK were upset because the EU was regulating the flavors and ingredients in crisp packets (or potato chip packages, as we call them here in the USA). There was a threat that favorite flavors, such as prawn (shrimp), might be regulated out of existence. I imagine it must be much worse, now. Is the Imperial measure pint still allowed in the UK in the pubs? Or has the EU outlawed that because it is not “metric”?

      The UK should leave the EU, then negotiate trade agreements with the EU. That way, international trade can still exist between the UK and Europe, much like the way the USA can trade with the UK and Europe without being part of the EU. Leave the EU, otherwise all the efforts to keep the UK independent from Europe (from the defeat of the Spanish Armada, to the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo, to the defeat of Nazi Germany) will be for naught. Do not dishonor those brave British soldiers and sailors who defeated those threats from the Continent to keep Britain free.

      “This royal throne of kings, this scepter’d isle,
      This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
      This other Eden, demi-paradise,
      This fortress built by Nature for herself
      Against infection and the hand of war,
      This happy breed of men, this little world,
      This precious stone set in the silver sea,
      Which serves it in the office of a wall,
      Or as a moat defensive to a house,
      Against the envy of less happier lands,
      This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England”

      I have no problem with the UK being part of an expanded NAFTA. How about a trade agreement for the Anglosphere, call it AFTA, the Anglosphere Free Trade Agreement? It can include English-speaking nations, and nations with similar legal traditions and economic systems as the UK and the USA, including Australia, Canada, South Africa, India, Singapore, New Zealand, and so forth.

    • #3122195

      Is the world DOOMED. . . .

      by maxwell edison ·

      In reply to What should the UK do next?

      .
      ….to collectivism?

      The trend must be stopped. The tides must be turned back.

      The next great world war will undoubtedly be between those who want to take something that does not belong to them, and they will use “collectivism” — the greater good — as their justification, and those who want to protect that which is theirs.

      These people are HUGE threat — perhaps even a bigger threat than terrorism.

      Neil, are we converting you?

      • #3123768

        Doomed? Yes – but not with a bang…

        by snak ·

        In reply to Is the world DOOMED. . . .

        Yes the world is doomed. Don’t assume a world war will be the cause though. The world is more likely to go out with a whimper than a bang. When the overpopulation of rats in a sewer becomes an infestation, disease usually wipes out most of them. There are 50,000,000 people with AIDS or HIV today. This is partly due to ignorance, partly the Pope. As people are still obscenely and stupidly having more than enough children to replace them, famine is likely to be a contributing factor. It’s only a short time since the ‘official’ 6bn people mark was achieved…it’s now > 6.5bn. Work it out. Ultimately, and ironically, it’s stupidity that will defeat so-called ‘intelligent’ Mankind.

        • #3123719

          Politically Incorrect

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to Doomed? Yes – but not with a bang…

          yet technically correct. (although I don’t follow the Pope comment).

          The other side of that problem with the over population is people are not held RESPONSIBLE for the large families that they are having.

          You do NOT have a right to have more kids than you can take care of! Yet there are many that will make excuses for them and GIVE them MY money that was taken as TAXES for the running of the country, NOT to pay for people to make babies.
          [i]
          Although over population isn’t that big of a deal. we can just send them all to Canada! PLENTY of room and firewood up there! They can even hunt the elks before our drilling in the ANWR can wipe our all life up there?

        • #3123689

          Why it’s doomed. . . .

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to Doomed? Yes – but not with a bang…

          .
          I was suggesting that the rampant spread of collectivism will doom the world — because there is no escape from it.

    • #3123786

      Funny this should hit the news now…..

      by gadgetgirl ·

      In reply to What should the UK do next?

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/north_yorkshire/4459252.stm

      interesting view, good point

      Well, I’m British and Proud Of It! The only multiculturalism in me is part Geordie, part Scottish and the rest British…

      (with a hint of silliness running right the way through….! 😉 )

      GG

      • #3123704

        Ironic but good for the Archbishop of York

        by montgomery gator ·

        In reply to Funny this should hit the news now…..

        It is ironic that the new Archbishop of York, has that opinion, since he was born and raised in Uganda. However, I say, good for him. I wish that more immigrants embraced the culture of their new countries. Many recent immigrants to the USA have adopted our language and culture, but many have not and insist that they be catered to in their native languages, including on the ballots.

        If the immigrants to France who have been causing trouble recently had adopted French culture, then there would not have been the riots they had there. Instead, all they would have done is act arrogant and snotty, but not have the balls to do anything about it. 🙂

        As an aside, I find it interesting that he is from Uganda. My church recently left the Episcopal church to join the Anglican Communion, and we are now under the Archbishop of Uganda, at least until there are enough Anglican churches over here to have our own Archbishop.

        • #3123701

          “arrogant and snotty”

          by neilb@uk ·

          In reply to Ironic but good for the Archbishop of York

          Ah, but they wouldn’t have! It’s very French to riot!

          Half of the trouble with the EU is that the social and economic structures are geared towards dealing with social unrest by chucking money at it. Both the French and Germans have relatively recent history as to what can happen if your lower classes get a bit out of control.

          Napoleon and Hitler…

        • #3123530

          You left out the Italians and Spaniards

          by sleepin’dawg ·

          In reply to “arrogant and snotty”

          Musolini and Franco. Europe has had no shortage of demigods and dictators.

          [b]Dawg[/b] ]:)

    • #3123741

      Negotiate

      by tony hopkinson ·

      In reply to What should the UK do next?

      We should do what we’ve done up to WWII. Play powerful european states off each other and end up in charge. We did it for hundreds of years earning the well deserved epithet of pernicious. America, nice fella’s, good buddies and all that, but a short swim that way is what’s really important. I find the idea that Britain as a nation is powerful enough to dictate it’s own terms to either mainland europe or the US just utterly stupid. Militarily, economically and socially either one could squash us like a bug, some say they are or have. Our only real value is as a bridge between them, however as they both pull away from each other we are now getting torn in two. We are’nt valuable enough to be separate.
      Four choices
      51st State of the US
      Become an active, enthusiastic and contributing member of the EU
      Be marginalised to the point where we are at best slapped in the face when we get out of order.
      Invent some super weapons (economic or military) rove about the world re-planting the union jack and rebuild the british empire.

      The latter one would be good seeing as a lot of people seem not to have noticed that we are no longer an imperialist super power, so it would be less of a shock.

      Lets get serious here, which market gives up a better deal, better profits and much lower overheads american or european ?

      Who dumps low cost imports on us, who imposed tariffs on our exports to protect their own industry. Who runs a one for one exhange rate on their products with us. I aren’t even going to start on the political and cultural differences.

      They are much larger than those between us and our next door neighbours.

      • #3123712

        Negotiate?

        by neilb@uk ·

        In reply to Negotiate

        Tony, I used to be a pretty keen pro-Europe sort until the last few years. I now believe that we don’t really get a very good deal out of the EU and it’s not going to get any better. I also don’t really think that we’re in with a chance of negotiating anything worthwhile in terms of change.

        “Become an active, enthusiastic and contributing member of the EU”. God! Haven’t we tried?

        The next few years will tell. If the current trend for over-regulation of employment continues or accelerates – and I think it will – then we are in deep trouble. One of the logical consequence of the over-regulation of employment is that the expense and difficulty in hiring and firing workers causes businesses to find substitutes for labour. European companies are careful to make sure that all of their workers perform high-productivity jobs which means that the majority of work available is for highly paid, high productivity workers. What this means in Western Europe – and what it will mean here if we continue in Europe – is that young and low-skilled workers are simply frozen out of the job market. Without entry-level jobs they have no way to learn the skills and obtain the experience necessary to grow into the high productivity jobs.

        We get high productivity and high unemployment. This is exactly what they have in France and Germany with the high productivity feeding the social safety net (armchair) for the unemployed.

        Two things will happen over the next few years. The first is that the population will age so that they ratio of employed to unemployed will get even smaller. The second is that the less regulated economies of China and India will cut away at the employment prospects of those who do have jobs.

        When the money starts to run out and those in jobs can’t be squeezed any more, those at the bottom of the heap will start rioting to complain about the conditions in which they are forced (forced?) to live. Oh! They are already.

        Europe’s attitude to the French riots is to pour money – up to ?700 million has been touted – into the areas without addressing any of the root causes. A lot of that is my money.

        They don’t want to change and they won’t until it’s too late! Europe, as a whole, is short-sighted and discriminatory. On average across the 25 Member States only 44% of women and 29% of people over 50 are in the workforce. Both figures are 10% better in the UK, by the way. The EU employment rate is 63% compared with 71% in the USA. More significantly, it has increased by only 0.5% since the Lisbon employment target of 70% was agreed 5 years ago and employment was made a target.

        When we lose our rebate – and we will – we won’t gain anything.

        I won’t even mention the CAP.

        Economically and socially, the EU is already squashing us like a bug.

        • #3123646

          Well I can see it going the other way

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to Negotiate?

          The french no vote on the constitution was a real eye opener.
          Our rebate is easy to get rid of. Stop secret industry subsidies, throw CAP right in the bin where it belongs and we’ll give it up, otherwise **** off. That’s what I mean my negotiate, quid pro quo and taanstafl.

          I’d be the first to admit there are lots of things to fix in the EU. I see it as idle politicians work for the devil. We’re spending millions of pounds paying guys to decide on the font to be used on an EU approved label. What they should be doing is sorting out picking up the rest of the balkans and the middle east. Investing in them enough so the people who come from there don’t want to leave just to get a job as a bog attendant and claim welfare.

          After the balkans, russia, china and india. Alliance with Canada no problem, but do it from Kamchatka (Risk’s good game is n’t it).

          Seriously, the EU with all it’s a problems there’s absolutely no benefit being out of it and even less joining up with the US.

          That even looked like happening, I’d be arguing for Yorshire to become a country, starting up insurgency plans, and constructing flour bombs from leftover pudding ingredients. The EU is never going to be a mono-culture, they embrace diversity because they are diverse, the US subsumes it.

          The EU may require our sovreignty, so would the US, and then they’d take our identity as well, they would destroy us in a generation.

          Like I said earlier, join up, die or become a tin pot little island overwhelmed by two giant continents.

        • #3121696

          Actually the European continent with or with out the UK can…………….

          by sleepin’dawg ·

          In reply to Well I can see it going the other way

          tucked away in Canada’s Province of Quebec with land left over. Europe is a giant only in terms of its population which highlights the paucity of natural resources available per capita. A trade agreement along the lines of NAFTA would be much more beneficial to the UK than what the EU is slowly turning into. No nation can control its economy unless it can control its currency a fact that was recognized when the UK passed on the adoption of the Euro. Once control of your economy is lost it becomes only a matter of time before national sovereignty becomes lost. Note the Swiss Franc has remained reasonably stable as well as Stirling; why??? Because both Switzerland and the UK are controlling inflation by controlling interest rates and the currency supply. The Euro has lost close to 20% since July.

          There would be no “joining up with the US” or any other nation for that matter. It would be a trade agreement between independent self governing nations much along the current lines of NAFTA. It would also permit the UK to exercise its residual interests in China via Hong Kong as a member of the Pacific Rim trade agreements now coming into force. With the quagmire Europe seems to be in right now that increasingly looks like a boat that Europe is about to miss. If the UK remains tetheredto Europe it can only suffer a like fate. Even if the UK didn’t enter into “a trade agreemnet amongst the English speaking peoples” she would still probably fare better than being encumbered by Europe because she would have freedom of mobility to act for her own ends. Aside from the French not ratifying the constitution you do realize there is a large ground swell movement in Germany to have them withdraw from the EU, especially in the north. There are a lot of Sauer Krauts out there these days, just check out the new Chancellor. BTW even NAFTA has drawbacks but nothing on a par with the EU.

          [b]Dawg[/b] ]:)

        • #3121657

          Control of currency

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to Actually the European continent with or with out the UK can…………….

          Yeah right, you telling me we have control of sterling. Just because we haven’t either used or directly linked to the euro or the dollar for that matter does not mean we are separate. A sneeze in New York or Berlin has everyone in London reaching for a hanky. The euro enjoyed a long period of growth after it’s launch particularly gaining parity with the dollar, it’s decline at the moment is basically down to the French and German economies. The French are struggling with a set of irrational socialist policies, the germans with the burden of unification.
          We cannot divorce ourselves from europe, any more than we can isolate ourselves from teh reste of the world, even if politicians and teh general public were 100% in favour, business would not be, ever. We are as much an encumbrance to the EU as it is to us, both sides need to resolve that. Trying to keep the free market yet having total independance in ecomonic matters is impossible.
          The US and the UK are meant to be free market open trading partners, yet your moribund steel industry was suffering badly, so you hit us with import tariffs to protect your interests. You have that power, you want to keep that power, that’s fine, but that means we aren’t partners and the market is not free. Taanstafl.

      • #3123517

        Regarding political and cultural differences…….

        by sleepin’dawg ·

        In reply to Negotiate

        The differences in the EU are what are keeping the UK from making any progress right now. The UK is unprepared and unwilling to handle the social controls and restrictions that exist on the continent and any attempt to impose them will only end in disaster. Add Ireland to the mix and a trade agreement amongst people with a shared language and a shared cultural history makes more sense even though there are differences in our present cultures. Do not forget the agreement would be between free and independent nations each maintaining its sovereignty and none suborning its interests and culture to a group of nations which were so recently your enemies. Do not forget nations do not have friends, they have interests and since when have the interests of France ever coincided with those of England not to mention Germany or any other nation. A closer examination of an agreement of English speaking people might indicate a more equal alignment of interests.

        [b]Dawg[/b] ]:)

        • #3121579

          Don’t agree at all

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to Regarding political and cultural differences…….

          you’re forgeting I’m a staunch socialist. We are subject to all EU legislation, except where we have negotiated a deferrment such as say the working time directive. Social controls imposed by the EU are along the lines of treat people fairly, some people making a profit or political capital out of such discrepancies don’t like it but I say ****’em.
          Look at the things the UK has campaigned against and lost. The working time directive ( can’t be forced on pain of losing your job to work excessive hours). Sex Discrimination (retirement age). Minimum Wage. Free labour movement. Everyone is a serious impingement of an individuals rights. You can work a reasonable amount of hours, where you want to work, can’t be discriminated against and get paid a living wage, terrible stuff, only a left wing loony like me would be in favour of it.

          Can’t figure out where you think UK and US interests go hand in hand that the EU does not already ascribe to. The right to invade other countries in order to promote democratic freedom is the only one that springs to minds and I did not agree with that at all.

          Language is not the barrier, certainly war isn’t. British foreign policy has always been to foster the 2nd most aggressive power in mainland europe and turn them on the number one spot. When they achieved that we switched sides. Didn’t care where they were from, what religious belief they esposed or how badly they spoke english, only that they were too busy to screw about with us.

          Don’t forget when free and independant nations disagree, they need an arbitration mechanism to resolve the contention. The EU is meant to be about convergence thereby reducing the number of points of contention. What good is an agreement if one party was free to break it at the drop of a hat and justify it with national interest and that is much more likely to be a short term political one for the current government?

          The US has actively worked against british interests easily as many times as any european nation since it was formed, didn’t matter that we both spoke english, all that avoided was the need to get someone to translate hijo de puta , jamais vu si con and dumkopf to us.

          If it makes you feel any better the main reason I’m against swapping the US for europe is you are too powerful. The only way british interests would be served would be if american interests were being also, we would be swamped, might as well throw Britain in the bin and become a state at least we’d get a vote then. We can always find allies in europe though.

        • #3127750

          Well if your idea is allies like the French you won’t need any enemies.

          by sleepin’dawg ·

          In reply to Don’t agree at all

          You really want to get cozy with the Krauts who managed to start not one but two world war within the same century. After the frogs ran off it was the rest of the commonwealth and finally the Americans who had to jump in and save your bacon. Now why would they have done that? I’m sure you’re memory is going to go blank on that one. Just think maybe you won’t be so lucky next time because we might not give a damn. Can you pronounce arsheloch???

          [b]Dawg[/b] ]:)

    • #3123657

      Westminster has served Britain

      by john.a.wills ·

      In reply to What should the UK do next?

      Westminster has served Britain reasonably well for centuries, you say. What do you mean by Britain? The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland was founded in 1921, less than one century ago.

      • #3123634

        It should be fairly obvious what I mean by “Britain”

        by neilb@uk ·

        In reply to Westminster has served Britain

        England! Most of the population and most of the wealth.

        OK, so we’ve got Wales and Scotland in the island of “Greater Britain” – as named by the Romans. The sea makes a pretty obvious boundary so I suppose that I should include them.

        btw. I would happily leave Northern Ireland to the Irish (the name of the place is a giveway!).

        I still don’t see that your cleverdick post means a lot, though.

      • #3123604

        UK founded in 1921?

        by montgomery gator ·

        In reply to Westminster has served Britain

        More like 1603, when King James of Scotland became King of England, uniting the monarchy of the two nations, and 1707, with the Act of Union. Ireland (under English control for several hundred years already) was formally added to the Union in 1800, but the United Kingdom had already existed before then, consisting of England, Scotland, and Wales. These two dates seem like the appropriate dates for the United Kingdom. The 1921 date was just acknowledging that the Irish Republic was independent, but that Ulster remained in the United Kingdom.

        As far as the Parliament, it has existed for several hundred years, going back to at least before 1215 (Magna Charta), long before England and Scotland were joined, so that is what Neil is referring to.

        • #3123550

          UK of GB & NI

          by john.a.wills ·

          In reply to UK founded in 1921?

          The UK of GB & NI was founded simultaneoulsy with the Irish Free State in 1921 by the partition of the UK of GB & Ireland, i.e. of all Britain except the Isle of Man. Britain was united in 1801 by the union of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and the Kingdom of Ireland. But it is no longer united. England ceased to be a separate state during the reign of Henry VIII, when it was united with Wales. Englandandwales lost its independence in 1707 when it was united with Ancient Kingdom of Scotland to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain (not of all Britain).

        • #3121828

          Boy do you have a warped view of the facts.

          by sleepin’dawg ·

          In reply to UK of GB & NI

          You have the facts down as to dates et al but your interpretations of them are totally erroneous. At no time regardless of the titles on the various pieces of paper did England ever cease being a separate state. Englan official added Wales to itself under Henry VIII but the eldest sons of the kings of England were styled as Prince of Wales since the days of Edward I. The Act of Union of 1707 under Queen Anne was the act of unifying the parliaments of England and Scotland. Similarly Ireland was added to England’s parliament in 1801; there not being any kingdom of Ireland as such since about 750 AD. In 1921 the catholic portion of Ireland won it’s independence but Ulster which was and is predominantly protestant remained under the crown. There was never any entity refered to as The Ancient Kingdom of Scotland it was just plain old Kingdom of Scotland. There was no Kingdom of Ireland or for that matter King of Ireland. Ireland was a collection of small kingdoms which supposedly came under an Ard Reigh(?) the last of which disappeared around 1100. The various Kings of England styled themselve as Kings of Ireland, Wales and Scotland by right of conquest. You might be interested in knowing that at no time was either Scotland or Ireland ever officially conquered although many English kings claimed as much. Saying so did not make it so. What I’ve said here is only a brief generalization, the full story being much more complex. BTW Queen Elizabeth is also officially called Queen of Canada but not even the most ardent monarchist thinks of her as such in reality.

          [b]Dawg[/b] ]:)

        • #3121797

          warped view

          by john.a.wills ·

          In reply to Boy do you have a warped view of the facts.

          I claim that it is your view that is warped. You certainly have one fact wrong: an Irish Parliament declared Henry VIII of England King of Ireland in 15-something, and the Kingdom of Ireland continued until 1801, when Britain was united – with the exception of the Isle of Man.

        • #3121663

          Yeah and you could have gone back to 12 something and the younger……….

          by sleepin’dawg ·

          In reply to warped view

          brother of Robert the Bruce went to Ireland and was proclaimed King of Ireland. Edward I took exception to that and sent troops to put down the upstart after which Edward I of England called himself King of Ireland. For that matter he also claimed he was King of Scotland as well. BTW there was never a King of Scotland but there was a King of Scots. Scotish kings never called themselves King of Scotland but always King of Scots. I have no idea why you keep saying with the exception of the Isle of Man which like the channel islands are English or British territories but which have been able to maintain their own parliaments dating back prior to the Norman invasion. The Isle of Man at one time came under the rule of the Douglas clan but it has always been under the crown in one form or another but with its own parliament.

          [b]Dawg[/b] ]:)

        • #3113967

          Isle of Man

          by john.a.wills ·

          In reply to Yeah and you could have gone back to 12 something and the younger……….

          The IoM has no members in the UK Parliament. It is in effect a dependency of the UK, because it has to conform to international accords the UK signs, most notoriously the Eu Human Rights Court’s decision that laws against buggary were invalid. But it is not part of the UK, although its citizens are UK citizens.

        • #3113778

          We seem to be arguing the colour of oranges here.

          by sleepin’dawg ·

          In reply to Yeah and you could have gone back to 12 something and the younger……….

          I said the Isle of Man has its own parliament. Your information is right as far as it goes but seems a bit incomplete or slightly skewed. The Isle of Man is a self governing dependancy of the crown as are the Channel Islands. Foreign policy is controlled by Whitehall but domestic policy is locally controlled. The argument as to whether or not they are part of the EU is still under discussion but they may be hold outs. For the time being they are considered included but do not adhere to most EU regulations especially as regards banking and bank secrecy. This I know for a fact.

          [b]Dawg[/b] ]:)

    • #3123606

      hey neilb

      by jck ·

      In reply to What should the UK do next?

      Adopt me so that if you guys ever fully join the EU, I can get Irish citizenship…hahahaha 🙂

      • #3121761

        Are you serious?

        by jdclyde ·

        In reply to hey neilb

        While I grant that this is a great discussion he has going here, do you really think with GG closing in that he will ever see this joining become reality?

        • #3121612

          that’s true

          by jck ·

          In reply to Are you serious?

          NeilB…I’m sending the adoption papers NOW…SIGN THEM! hahaha

      • #3123028

        have you noticed?

        by jck ·

        In reply to hey neilb

        Neilb hasn’t replied to my request…

        Shows you who your friends really are… 🙁

        and all I want is to just get Irish dual citizenship without havin to marry some girl I don’t love.

        • #3123022

          But I DID reply – just not here

          by neilb@uk ·

          In reply to have you noticed?

        • #3122937

          um…

          by jck ·

          In reply to But I DID reply – just not here

          you wouldn’t have to feed me…I’m an adult…and can hold a job…

          Plus, my dad gets cool things for holidays and birthdays…like…money…and giftcards…and new tires on his car.

          But, I guess you don’t want that…I’ll try and talk my buddy Frank into adopting me in Belfast…that way I won’t have to swim to the Republic after I buy all that beer for you. 😀

        • #3122871

          The forms are in the post

          by neilb@uk ·

          In reply to um…

          You mentioned the magic word.

          Look forward to seeing you later, son.

          😀

        • #3122134

          thanks dad

          by jck ·

          In reply to The forms are in the post

          I have my friends in Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Dublin brewing fresh pints for us right now. 😀

          Or if you have a favorite local brewery, I’ll make friends there too.

          Beermakers love me…I make stocks go up!!! 🙂

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