2019-09-24

Brexit

Back in 2016 I posted how there really was not enough information for anyone to vote on the referendum to leave the EU. How could members of the public make any sort of informed decision.

We are now way down the line, and things are sadly only slightly better.

I am amazed how this has polarised the country. Even people in "my bubble" can be massively Brexit still and there is no reasoning with them. And so much disinformation still exists, even now where Boris Johnson said we could ban Shark Fin Soup if we left the EU. WTF is that as an argument? Who cares about Shark Fin Soup?! From what I can tell it is either "not true, WTO rules means you can't ban it", or "true, WTO rules have an exception, but that means we can ban it now even in the EU". Still the mad sound bites of disinformation persist even three years later.

Is change good?

If you are a good businessman then change can always been good - you can always exploit it. Even when you look at war and the blitz spirit (as has been evoked regarding Brexit?!) there were "businessmen" that made money (and were illegal as black market traders). Imagine in the blitz, in an air-raid shelter and bombs dropping - we survived. But imagine if 52% of people in there voted for the bombs?

And if you know a change will happen you can be even better at exploiting it. It is coming out how some people in politics have direct personal gain linked to Brexit. Scary.

But "good" for some careful businessmen will always be "bad" for someone. That money they make comes from somewhere.

In my personal view I cannot see Brexit being good for the UK overall. It seems counter intuitive to be isolationist, and then still want to trade with the world.

Personally, I am hoping that I am finally doing well enough in business that I, and my family, can cope. But that is by no means certain, and I am scared! Even if it was the case, I would not wish the hardship that will ensue on everyone else, whether my friends, my staff (also friends), my customers (also many friends), or anyone else.

Limbo

One of the huge issues is uncertainty.

A50 can be revoked, or delayed, so nobody knows for sure what will happen right up to the wire!


We cannot have this again - we need the A50 process to be 100% certain, no delays and no extensions, and no way to revoke. A country leaving EU makes one decision to do so and then has time to make it happen, and that is it. That needs to be the case even if the UK decides, again, to leave.

What we have now is hugely damaging, maybe more so than having left already!

As EU members we should change the A50 process to fix this!

We import from China!

What interested me was comments from a close friend. Smart chap. We make products that use chips that come from outside the EU, like China. The comment is that Brexit is therefore not so much of an issue, surely.

But we (UK) don't import from China, we (EU) do. So when we Brexit, we (UK) have to have the trade agreement to import those parts to UK (not EU). Is that in place? - well I don't think so, even after many years.

It is so easy for anyone, even smart people, to miss some of these obvious details. Brexit is not simple.

[I am not sure China is necessarily the best example, but assuming just because we trade with a non EU country before Brexit does not mean we, as the UK, have a trade deal to allow trade after Brexit. It needs negotiating. The government claim to have managed to negotiate several "continuation" deals already, which is a good start, but they needed negotiating, and more are needed still, they are not just what automatically happens when we Brexit, which is what people were assuming.]

Will of the people!

This is perhaps the most annoying part! We accept people can change their minds as we have a general election every few years, but somehow Brexit is a "fixed point in time" (DrWho?).

In fact that the referendum was a "poll" (as stated in the legislation). It was not a mandate. And then it was (as decided by courts) conducted outside the legal constraints for such campaigns. Had it been a mandate it would have been struck down, and was not only because it was just a poll.

As I said in my 2016 blog post, I did not know what was the right way to vote. I voted to remain, but I did not do that as an informed decision by any means.

Now, we have some clues on the issues with disentangling the UK from the EU. At best we have some good deal with EU - but such a deal means we have to abide by a lot of EU law on the way we do things with no say in such law! The alternative is not having a good deal, which is worse.

We have the crazy situation now that calls for a "people's vote" are called out as undemocratic. The idea that asking the "people" to vote on this is not democratic is, well, mental!

We also have the issue that this is "one sided". We leave, and no way we ever re-join on anything like he deal we have now. We stay, and we can vote to leave again in a few years if the EU goes OTT and we don't like it. So leaving is a "really really sure you want to do this" type of thing.

Breaking the deadlock!

I see the only way to resolve this is something that everyone can see is the (current) "will of the people", such as another referendum or a general election fought on the Brexit issue. Only then can anyone say, again, "you lost, get over it".

That will still be bad. A lot of people convinced that Brexit is right will be cross. I don't know what to say. I have yet to find a single person who can explain the benefit of leaving!

I do feel that if Brexit is cancelled, whatever government we have will need to make a big issue of "why Brexit". They need to tackle each and every one of the reasons Brexiters wanted to leave, in detail, and with actual change. Some things are simple (blue passports), and some are not so simple, but they all need addressing. I feel we can sort the underlying issues and stay in the EU. Why not?

Bad EU laws?

But are there bad EU laws we don't want?

Yes, absolutely, there are laws that, in my view, go too far, or get it wrong. Not least of which was the damn cookie stuff creating those damn cookie consent warnings on every damn web site! That was technically stupid in so many ways, and I am sure many other such laws are "wrong". Sadly GDPR adds to that - mostly good - a tad bad.

The problem is that there are always wrong laws, and the UK has passed many (RIPA / IPA) that have bad things in them on both moral and technical grounds.

The EU is not immune too this, and neither is the UK. But leaving the EU means we have no say in such EU laws. We cannot fix them. It does not, however, mean we can ignore them as almost any trade deal will mean complying to standards set in such laws.

And to be fair, most of the laws are good! As a manufacturer, the hassle for CE marking is a nightmare now, but even though it is hard work and costs a lot of money it is all "good". It stops stuff catching fire, for example. The UK would mirror almost all EU safety laws as that is both sensible, and needed to sell to EU!

Conclusion

  • I'd like to stay in the EU, though a lot of that is because of the obvious chaos caused by leaving it at this point.
  • I'd like to see all of the underlying issues that Brexiters want addressed looked in to and sorted, as part of the EU. This is important - a lot of people are unhappy, and this needs addressing!
  • I'd like to see MEPs taken a lot more seriously by all - this is how we shape the EU to be what we want!
  • I'd always consider leaving EU in future as an option, but really only makes sense if EU starts to really fall apart.
  • I'd like to see A50 process fixed for any country planning to leave to remove any "left in limbo" effect - this is absolutely crazy!

39 comments:

  1. I don't think your wish list has a cat in hell's chance of happening. My own view is that the EU will collapse eventually under the weight of its own contradictions, and the process may well be very unpleasant for the participants. So we're better off out now before things get tasty. This is hardly 'isolationist' - we can have good trading and diplomatic relations with anyone who wants to reciprocate, including the EU while it still exists. In any case, for better or worse, a majority voted to leave, whether they understood all the ramifications or not, and democracy works only if the minority are prepared to live with the result.

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    1. I still don't get the "voted to leave so must leave" mentality to be honest, sorry. You even say "whether they understood all the ramifications or not" - but surely that has to be relevant, that has to matter. If people voted for something without knowing what they were asking, surely that means, at the very least, asking again. Anything less is just irresponsible.

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    2. Particularly if the campaign was predicated on lies (as in *even the current PM* admitted the day after the vote that their primary promise was a lie). If you buy a £50 widget and the salesman was lying to you brazenly throughout, you get to send it back. Why on earth does this only apply to cheap widgets and not actually significant national-scale decisions like this one?

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    3. Rev, I'm puzzled by your view that if we voted to leave, we shouldn't necessarily leave. If not, what was the vote about? That's the whole point of a vote, in any group. The majority carries the day, whether in a union voting to strike, or the Women's Institute voting for a day trip to Oxford rather than Cambridge. Even evil regimes respect the vote - they just rig the vote rather than ignoring it, as ignoring it is usually really bad news. And although most of the subsequent activity has been an unmitigated fiasco, with blame to be spread far and wide, that does not invalidate the vote result, it just proves that most of those in power over us are incompetent tossers.

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    4. Parliament vote on actual laws and actions, they are sovereign after all. The people indicated, in a non binding opinion poll, by a slim margin, a preference for leaving the EU, before any of the details of what leaving would mean were actually known by anyone. That is, none the less, a very important political fact that needs addressing - assuming it was not just the illegal campaigning practices that caused that result, and even if it was only say 25% that wanted to leave, it indicates that the people are clearly not happy about some aspect of being in the EU. These aspects should be understood and addressed. That opinion poll should inform parliament on actions to tackle these issues, and ultimately, if they only way to tackle them is to leave the EU, as an informed decision with a clear understanding of the implications, then fine. Tat was very much not the case in 2016. Things are clearer now, but still not resolved. At this point I still have yet to see someone actually explain a benefit of leaving (and no, Manx kipper sellers are not the issue, and neither is blue passports, nor shark fin soup).

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    5. "If people voted for something without knowing what they were asking, surely that means, at the very least, asking again."

      The problem with this argument it is that it essentially requires that the outcome of every election or referendum be considered invalid unless it can be shown that the voters acted with perfect information. But no vote in history has ever been conducted with perfect information. If we are going to insist that votes be re-run every time some campaign promise or other turns out to be nonsense, we might as well give up on democracy altogether, because no vote will ever be allowed to stand unchallenged.

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    6. OK but we *DO* do that for general elections, every few years, already, and the referendum was an opinion poll anyway.

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    7. Sorry Adrian, it's absolute tosh to pretend that the referendum was merely a non binding opinion poll.

      As previously stated, the Government gave everyone a written undertaking that it would implement the result; it simply couldn't been clearer.

      Your Newspeak attempts to rewrite history are dangerous nonsense that strikes at the root of democracy.

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    8. It is not tosh, it is what the Act of parliament, the law, making a referendum says, a "poll". It may have been "politically" binding on Cameron's government in a sort of way, but even that died with him resigning. A "written undertaking" by a political party is not legally "binding" is it. It was a "poll", simple as that!

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    9. The referendum can be seen from both a legal and political point of view. Legally Adrian is quite correct - it was a non binding, advisory, poll. Hence the 50% cut off which would have been much higher had the original intent been to make it binding.

      However the government did put in a promise to implement the result - politically this did seem to bind the government but even that was not binding in any legal sense.

      Unfortunately the referendum did not mandate any approach to leaving - Eurosceptics had been arguing about this for years without any agreement and this was fairly skilfully glossed over by the Leave campaign but this legacy persists and underpins a lot of the present difficulty.

      I think anyone who voted Remain - as I did - has just as much cause for anger as those who voted Leave, we have been utterly ignored - at least the government has actually tried to implement Brexit (whatever the gutter press would have you believe). Brexit has then been sabotaged by the ERG, not "Remainers" or "Remainer MPs".

      If you want that "promise" to be honoured then, I'm afraid, *you* as a Leaver have to honour all the promises that Leave made - a "great deal" to smooth our transition out of the EU and replace *all* of the benefits of membership, preservation of the rights of EU citizens living in the UK, no impact on Northern Ireland - I could go on.

      All of these have been thrown by the wayside, lip service is given to wanting a deal but it is clear the government isn't even trying - which rather suggests they don't really want one.

      If the promises made by the Leave campaign cannot be honoured, then we shouldn't be doing Brexit, pure and simple.

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  2. The biggest problem we have now is that a lot of the damage has already been done. Even if the uncertainty ends at the end of October there are a number of companies that have already moved their operations elsewhere and a number that would probably still consider doing so even if article 50 was revoked (because who knows when we'll next try and leave).

    We've not gone about this process in a civilised manner at all, and the "do-or-die" "will of the people" arguments really don't do us any favours on the international stage.

    I'm fortunate enough to have had rational conversations with people who have opposing views to me on this. Some of them (in hindsight) didn't understand what they were voting for, some of them were voting for individual issues, some of them were "protest voting", but none of them voted for _this_ (in their own words).

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  3. Unfortunately, like most things that govern the membership rules of supranational entities, Article 50 is part of a treaty (it is article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon). Changing it means treaty change, and treaty change is a massive hellhole of negotiations lasting most of a decade. The EU had so many exhausting cycles of treaty change in the last few decades that they have said "no more for a while". I can hardly blame them.

    btw, the flaws in article 50 were largely intentional: it makes it as horrible as possible to leave in every way. Who put them in? Mostly the UK (the principal drafter was Scottish and very much had the government's backing on this), because we wanted to make sure that nobody would ever be mad enough to leave. Oops!

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  4. While you may well be right that there wasn't enough information to tell you what you were voting for in 2016, there most certainly was enough information available to disprove the statements presented by the Leave parties. £350M/week to the NHS? A lie. Bendy bananas? A lie. Being forced to join a European army? A lie. Uncontrolled immigration? A lie. Being forced to join the Euro? A lie. No sovereignty? A lie. All of these were shown to be untrue *before* the referendum and yet people still believe some of these to this day (although today's argument that we now have too much sovereignty is deliciously ironic).
    The problem is not that we didn't have the facts.

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  5. Parliament said that people should decide. The government sent every household written confirmation that that this was "A once in a generation decision" and "This is your decision. The Government will implement what you decide."

    There were umpteen months of debate and discussion and every viewpoint was aired. The people decided to leave.

    That promise must be honoured. It's a simple as that.

    Too bad if the Remoaners don't like it: You LOST - Get Over It.

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    1. So you are saying people cannot change their mind, even after many years, even though the implications were not known at the time? That is not democracy!

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    2. Applying your logic, @Gerry, means that I could quite legitimately say "You LOST in 1975 - Get Over It". Or are you saying that it's OK for people to change their minds?

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    3. @ RevK
      If we allowed the democratic vote of the people to be overturned whenever they gave the 'wrong' answer that displeased the Establishment who think they know better, we'd still have Gordon Brown in power.

      @ Anonymous
      You certainly CAN say that because it's exactly what happened: Leavers DID lose ! We had to accept the result and just wait patiently for 41 years.

      So I'm quite happy to have another referendum in 2057.

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    4. If nobody has changed their minds there's now a majority for remaining because of older people dying and younger people gaining the vote (haven't done the numbers but apparently that switchover happened fairly recently).

      Of course it's more complex and a number of people *have* changed their minds so it might be a good idea to ask them to inform policy.

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    5. Btw I never understood the establishment argument. The people mostly in favour right now are the conservative party.. the sitting government and pretty much the definition of establishment.

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  6. So Adrian when are you becoming prime minister then as that is probably more sense than I have heard coming out of Westminster all evening on Sky News!?

    I see that it is likely counter productive to simply hold a general election on its own and try and claim that really give anyone a clear mandate on Brexit as it is unlikely that realistically a general election could or should be fought on a single policy manifesto. In my view what we need it the various political parties to all mutually commit to implement the decision of a referendum having given them a clear mandate as the goal post have moved so far. Having unbundle this by all means run the two side by side; this gives us a new government but not one elected on a single promise. Now you might get a few parties who refuse to sign up to this but I am sure that even the most pro-European party would be foolish to stand in a general election with a manifesto promise to openly ignore the will of the people.

    I certainly don't know anyone in my circle of contacts who would say they voted for "this Brexit" now the implications are unraveling, now I know a number who from an ideological perspective have the view we democratically voted for Brexit so parliament should implement it... but at the same time may well change their mind if given the opportunity in hindsight.

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  7. I chose not to vote as I was 50/50. I do however remember that we weren't given a vote on Joining the EU, only the EEC. The general consensus at the time was that the Government didn't trust us to vote as they wanted so didn't give us the chance to "get it wrong".
    I have a strange feeling that we were only given the vote on leaving because they were certain we would "get it right" and remain would win.
    They forgot to factor in the fact that we Brits are a contrary bunch.

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  8. I normally avoid talking about Brexit with techies because they steer the conversation to a discussion of facts & evidence. Politics is the manipulation of opinion not fact and where topics are complicated as in Brexit, that's mostly via emotional arguments rather than factual ones. After decades of politicians and media more likely to highlight EU faults rather than strengths, remain was always going to be a hard sell.

    In voting, people mentally committed to a decision that they made and even if the evidence was overwhelmingly that they'd made a mistake, it's human nature to find reasons (even if they become incredibly obscure) to support that decision. This is the same reason that those who convict a person in court (both juries & prosecutors) normally continue to believe the accused's guilt even when new evidence makes it impossible.

    The current insistence on increasing the polarization of opinion by most politicians on both sides by language like "Surrender Act", "treason", etc. make its even harder to see how this could be resolved either way without decades of fighting long after something is implemented. I've got a great respect for those few politics who are consensus builders and negotiators but it doesn't make good media or social media content.

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  9. Do you really think anyone voted to leave the EU in order to get a blue passport? If so they don't deserve a vote, it is a pointless irrelevant thing to base a vote on.

    And more to the point: 1) it was the UK that suggested all EU passports should look the same, and 2) it's not mandatory so we can have blue passports in the EU anyway!

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  10. "So when we Brexit, we (UK) have to have the trade agreement to import those parts to UK (not EU). Is that in place? - well I don't think so, even after many years."

    Er, where on earth did all that come from? You think we'll have to stop trading with China if we don't get a "trade deal" before the end of next month? Or indeed the EU27? Seriously? This is the first time I've seen anyone with that interpretation of the relevant bits of international law.

    (Reality: right now the EU doesn't have a preferential trade deal in place with China either, so your CPUs from China come in on standard "rest of world" terms anyway ... which happen to be a 0% tariff. How do you expect that to change?)

    What are you really "scared" of? What do you expect to "cope" with, what "hardship"?

    Agree re Article 50 though, the extension process is too open-ended and revocation was bolted on through an oversight, much better to have a set deadline and require the Article 49 process to reverse later if necessary.

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    1. Whats I mean is the EU has trade agreements with other countries. Maybe China is a bad example. But when not part of EU we are quite suddenly not a part of those existing EU trade agreements, and we have to make new trade agreements with such places. According to the BBC So far, the UK has signed 13 "continuity" deals covering 38 countries or territories so far. That is a good start. Without such deals, even a "free trade or 0% tariff" trade is frustrated, and trade deals are more than just about tariff - there are issues over the quality and safety of goods as well.

      My point is that assuming "because we trade with non EU country X at present, that will just carry on when we leave" is a very dangerous assumption.

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    2. Yes, we lose some of the tariff exemptions and similar benefits on *some* countries (while most are unchanged) - but when your only example turns out to be both wrong and exaggerated, it's not very convincing. Yes, we've extended the existing deals with 38 of the c 70 countries already, and there are people working on the others (except Canada, who benefit financially from a short-term delay, and Turkey, who aren't allowed to sign trade deals).

      Your original line was that trade with China would stop, because "have to have the trade agreement to import those parts". Obviously entirely untrue. I'm not sure what you mean this time about some trade being "frustrated"; yes, the c 32 countries not already covered will be *affected*, because tariffs will start to apply where they don't at present - in fact, their situation will become that of China, the arrangement you mistook for being a trade deal already. Is that really such a scary proposition for you?

      "I'm scared about a bunch of things, but the only one I'll identify for you is my fear of 'losing' something that we haven't actually got anyway"? I find it a little telling that so many of the Remain arguments just collapse under the slightest scrutiny...

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    3. Unfortunately, by picking a bad specific example, I have made it sound like the point I was making is not valid. Thank you for clarifying the details. I'll try to be more careful in future.

      The point I was trying to make was simple. My friend assumed that trade with non-EU countries would be simply unaffected by Brexit. I pointed out that we trade with those non-EU countries as the EU now and Brexit means trading as the UK, so new trade agreements will be needed and there is an impact. That is all I was trying to say, and I am sorry if that was not clear.

      You have added a lot more detail and confirmed that my point is valid. You have confirmed new trade agreements are needed, and that many are in place already. You have even confirmed that there could be tariffs in some cases which makes my point very nicely. Thank you.

      It is quite likely that for the products we make there are already new agreements in place and no tariffs. As such, apart from the pound tanking, we would not have a problem getting parts for our products due to trade agreements changing.

      However, the assumption that trade with non-EU countries is unaffected by Brexit was a wrong assumption to make and a valid comment.

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    4. Oh, and while you are here, I appreciate I am being a bit negative, highlighting (correctly) some of the risks of leaving, but can you clarify one of the actual benefits of leaving so we can understand how they offset even these minor risks?

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    5. We seem to be using different meanings of the word "need" here, since you seem to be using it to cover things that might be nice to get in future but don't currently have (like a trade deal with China, or the other 100+ countries in that category, with whom we trade just fine apart from paying a levy to Brussels on those imports). As for the amended "point", I'd point out the lower import tariffs from the 100+ countries we have no deal with at present are surely at least a minor benefit in itself? (CPUs are at 0%, but I seem to recall some other electronic components are not, so if you get parts other than CPUs from China those will probably drop in cost.)

      I'm still waiting to hear about any "risks" besides the mixed blessing of a change in tariffs: you say you're afraid of something, but what? Just a change in tariffs?

      Personally there was a very long list of factors in my voting choice, more about negatives to continued membership than positives to leaving, and I don't agree with much if any of May's reign of error: if I had any say in it, we'd be on a quite different course. I'm not "afraid" or calling the transition date "doomsday" though, because that seems silly - and I've seen nothing at all to validate that sort of talk. I'll probably try writing some of this up to share at some point, but I'm a little burned out right now after going through the process to get my wife the very expensive equivalent of the "pre-settled status" certain people whine about getting for free.

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    6. Not sure I follow all of that, sorry. Are you saying importing components will be better with brexit? (tariff, and value of pound). I am not sure that is valid to be honest. It seems leading economists disagree. But the truth will be in what happens, I am sure.

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    7. But to be fair, please state the positives - the advantages in leaving, so I understand.

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    8. 1. The government departments can buy UK instead of having to use the lowest bidder. A great deal of our manufacturing has been lost due to jobs going to lower cost countries in Europe. The overall cost should include lost tax receipts etc.
      2. The ability to do what we consider best for The UK without breaking EU rules.
      3. Controlled Immigration (not necessarily reduced).
      4. Not paying into the EU to support all the countries that can't manage themselves due to being locked into the overvalued Euro.

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    9. 1. So spending more than we should do - sounds sane!?
      2. Like what exactly?
      3. I was under the impression we have some control even within the EU, but to be fair, what is wrong with immigration exactly? It is good for the economy.
      4. Being in the EU is better overall as many people have pointed out.
      But to be honest there is probably no point in trying to debate this is there.

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    10. 1. Spending more but saving on benefits, getting tax revenue from the workers, corporation tax from the companies, VAT receipts. We also gain in morale and pride in our country.
      2. We can decide who we trade with and under what terms. Set our own laws without Brussels interfering.
      3. I said controlled ( not necessarily reduced).
      I'm all for immigration, just not uncontrolled.
      4. I disagree, it was in theory but I feel the EU is a failed experiment. As the vote shows we Brits don't fit in. If we leave it will be interesting to see how it gets on without us.

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    11. RevK, it seems you are mostly focussed on the economic consequences of Brexit, which certainly makes sense as a small business owner. But I think the mistake many Remain supporters make is to assume that all *anyone* cares about (or should care about) is the economy, which therefore makes Brexit obviously self-destructive and irrational because it probably doesn't have any significant economic benefits. However, people have many other reasons for voting for things besides economic predictions.

      In general, democracy works best when representatives are connected with their voters, the ratio of voters to representatives is small, and voters are able to engage with and influence the process in a meaningful way. It works worst when voters and representatives are disconnected, the ratio of voters to representatives is large, and people have little ability to influence the process. In Westminster we have 650 MPs representing 66 million people (about 100k voters per MP); in the EU we have 72 MEPs representing that same population (900k voters per MEP), and these MEPs only vote on legislation; proposing new laws is done by the EU Commission whom we don't get to vote for at all.

      Let's say we are going to have a vote on what to eat for dinner. Would you rather vote alongside six of your close friends, with similar tastes to yourself, or alongside a million people randomly chosen from the world population? Probably you would choose the first option, because you would have a large influence over the process, and even if the vote didn't go your way, it's likely that the ultimate choice would still be acceptable to you. But what we get with the EU is something closer to the second option: a bunch of one-size-fits-all choices imposed upon a huge, diverse population with no common language or culture, and where individual voters have so little influence that they might as well be disenfranchised entirely.

      Of course it is not correct to say that everything that comes of out Westminster is good law (Malicious Communications Act anyone?) or that everything that the EU does is bad. Nor is it correct to say that the EU is "undemocratic", because elected representatives do have a significant level of influence. But if the people of the UK don't like what Westminster is doing, we at least have some power to change the situation. If we don't like the laws that are imposed on us from the EU, it's basically tough shit unless we can convince a few other large countries to agree with us.

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    12. on the subject of immigration it is already controlled.
      We can decide on our own on if we let in non EU migrants.
      EU migrants are largely a net gain to the economy. Get rid of them and the NHS collapses overnight and on top of that expect a significant contraction to GDP with one of the biggest recessions the country has ever felt in its history.

      The problems that lead people to blame immigrants are a governance problem, not an immigration problem, when a population grows new infrastructure should be built, new roads, schools, houses, hospitals etc. This isnt happening at the right pace and its led to problems, but that problem is down to governance not immigration. We would still have waiting times at GPs, poor areas, housing capacity issues etc. even with no immigration as the population still grows without immigration, people have children, and since we would have a massively reduced GDP then investment in new infrastructure would be even lower so the same problems would exist.

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  11. With regard to the public being misled in the run up to the vote, have you ever compared any election manifesto to what actually happens. Lying to the public is standard practice to most politicians. All's fair in election promises and war.

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  12. "It seems counter intuitive to be isolationist, and then still want to trade with the world."

    That doesn't make sense. The European Union countries are not the world and it is the european union that attempts to isolate itself from the world.

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  13. You agree with most of my thoughts.

    I will start to say I voted leave, however it was a protest vote, and I never thought the country as a whole would be so stupid to vote leave, however they did. If there was a new referendum I would be one of those who voted leave who will vote remain. My dad was the same, the call we spoke about it afterwards we were both in shock at the result.

    In the modern world, trade is king, it used to be wars, now its trade, if we stay in the EU we do better trade. Not only within the EU but also outside of the EU as the EU has good trade agreements with much of the world, its the largest trading bloc in the world, larger than america.

    Now of course the americans are all over this as they see an opportunity to profit, any trade agreement with them will be so lopsided it will be like have 3 obese children on one end of the seesaw and a cat on the other. We will be signing off our health service to them, relaxing laws for them, and probably more military obligations as well.

    In terms of the weekly cost to the EU, our net cost is about 200m, half of the 400m boris claims, for that we get a bigger economy, GDP is higher, I expect in the long term the damage to GDP will be as much as we contribute, and we wont gain anything at all.

    Cost of living will skyrocket, the fact alone we will have customs slowing down haulage will be an issue, never mind trade tariffs.

    Less international entities will setup in the UK as we will no longer be an option as a EU hub.

    The ultimate problem is we have a unregulated press which has been allowed to brainwash the public, so many people think we still the good old british empire with the same level of influence and power as we had in the 1800s. Instead we a tiny island next to the EU mainland, that is the reality. So many UK originated companies as well either been sold or going into liquidation. The country is one of the richest countries in the world but its not a powerhouse anymore and people need to realise that.

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