scooby wrote:...Concerns for leavers was 1. Sovereignty 2. Immigration 3 feeling disenfranchised from the bureaucrats in Brussels.
Remain camp voted to remain mainly about economy and free movement.
1 Funny thing sovereignty. I worked for a long time in the field of product regulation and testing. What that taught me was that having shared
sovereignty, i.e. agreeing on common rules rather than every country having different rules, has enormous advantages for industry and consumers, i.e. us the public. The common rules are agreed by elected members of the EU parliament and by elected heads of state of each member state. The only jurisdiction the ECJ has is to make an independent legal adjudication whether the rules are being followed. Again it is made up of judges from all the member states. See also item 2.
2 The main problem with immigration is that the Home Office and especially the Border Force are totally unfit for purpose. The UK has little or no control over immigration because the Home Office has never implemented meaningful controls. The UK will never have control over immigration until it does so. It has the legal authority to do so. A secondary problem was what the UK government, i.e. Tony Blair, decided to do when the eastern block countries entered the EU in 2004. The EU rules governing their entry meant that existing EU countries could limit migration from the new entrants for a period of 7 years but it was each country's decision. I think all EU countries did so except the UK. Clearly there was a pent up demand in those countries to seek employment in the richer western countries and the only place that demand could go was to the UK. If the UK had stayed in line with the rest of the EU there would have been a small movement to all member states and the number coming to the UK would have been tiny, as was predicted. As the numbers gradually increased over the 7 years they would have continued to be divided between the member state so the number coming to the UK would have been much smaller than actually happened. That was a sovereign decision by the UK government. Beware what you wish for.
3 The Commission, i.e. your "bureaucrats in Brussels", is the EU civil service and operates very much like the UK civil service. All the laws they draft have to be approved by the EU Parliament and by the Council, i.e. by elected representatives. I think your item 3 is typified by this statement by the leave side:
“The lack of influence is quite marked. Over the past twenty years… there have been 72 occasions in the Council of Ministers where the United Kingdom has opposed a particular measure. Of those 72 occasions, we have been successful precisely 0 times and we have lost 72 times. That is a fact.”
This is another classic case of using a statistic which is (approximately?) true but which simultaneously misleads people. Politicians have honed this skill to a very high level. The reality, according to official voting records, is that the British government has voted ‘No’ to laws passed at EU level on 56 occasions (not 72), abstained 70 times, and voted ‘Yes’ 2,466 times since 1999. In other words, UK ministers were on the “winning side” 95% of the time, abstained 3% of the time, and were on the losing side 2%. A very different picture. Even if you allow the Leave's figure of 72 it doesn't change the overall picture. The numbers don't tell us anything about the influence the UK has in shaping the regulations before they get to a vote. The general consensus is that it is very high, i.e. we mostly vote for regulations because we have helped to shape those regulations how we want them to be. It is worth reading the Full Fact article
If I had been allowed a vote I would have voted remain because by my own analysis the benefits of being in the EU outweigh the costs. It is the basis I use for all decision making. Yes, some of those benefits are economic but certainly not all. Education, research, security and stability in Europe are a few others. Leavers want to do free trade with other countries and are prepared to give up free trade with the EU to do so. Trade with the EU is the most free in the world and any deal we do with another country will be inferior to it. Why give up the best free trade deal to make inferior ones? I accept that the EU is slow to make new trade deals but they do happen, e.g. recently Canada, the tenth/sixteenth largest economy in the world and Japan, the third/fourth largest economy in the world, depending on which measure you use. Not so long ago many newspapers were ranting against TTIP, the proposed deal between the EU and the USA, because of the terms. In the end the EU decided that they didn't like the terms either and stopped TTIP. When the UK's sovereign government does a trade deal with the USA under the same terms I wonder how the same papers will react? Hail it as a great triumph that demonstrates why the UK was right to leave the EU.