The Will of the People

Temporary Forum - Please keep it CIVIL and ON TOPIC regarding updates/ news / concerns on British living / travelling in the EU.
Toebs
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Re: The Will of the People

Postby Toebs » Sat Mar 23, 2019 11:39 pm

Carolina wrote:You refused to answer a direct question as ' you didn't want to get into another argument' and then proceeded to ' argue' with others in your next posts.


I have some sympathy. There's one of him, pro-Brexit, and a bunch of people who think it's a terrible idea. You can't be human and not be affected by that in some ways.

scooby

Re: The Will of the People

Postby scooby » Sat Mar 23, 2019 11:47 pm

Without getting into a long and meaningless argument Carol, as it’s been debated to death on this forum and I may add the answers are out there if you search google. 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.

SueA
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Re: The Will of the People

Postby SueA » Sun Mar 24, 2019 12:09 am

Tangible benefits?

Kilkis
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Re: The Will of the People

Postby Kilkis » Sun Mar 24, 2019 12:23 am

It's quite difficult to find links to polls from 2015 Scooby. Here is one short article from ekathimerini quoting two polls showing Greeks wanting to stay in the Eurozone. There is a chart towards the bottom of this Telegraph article showing 74.2 % of Greeks wanting to stay in the Eurozone. A quote from just below the chart states:

    Greeks share Syriza's enthusiasm for staying in the European Union, with a GPO poll finding that nearly 75 per cent of them want to stay in the political bloc "no matter the sacrifices".

    This is why European leaders have been banging the "Grexit" drum so hard. They know Greece's place in the EU matters to its citizens, and hope any suggestion that it could be put at risk by voting "Oxi" will make some voters think twice.

Here is another quote from a Guardian article of the time:

    With polls showing Greeks in favour of remaining inside the eurozone, the Greek government made no mention of exit from the single currency in the wording of Sunday’s referendum.

I followed the debate quite closely at the time and in every single poll carried out, the majority of Greeks wanted to stay in both the EU and the Eurozone. The percentage for staying in the EU was usually higher than for staying in the Eurozone but both were in favour by massively more than the margin of error. Greeks hate the Troika but they do not hate the EU.

Warwick

Kilkis
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Re: The Will of the People

Postby Kilkis » Sun Mar 24, 2019 12:40 am

With each day that passes I feel that Brexit is getting more and more like this old advert.

Warwick

Toebs
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Re: The Will of the People

Postby Toebs » Sun Mar 24, 2019 1:49 am

scooby wrote:Without getting into a long and meaningless argument Carol, as it’s been debated to death on this forum and I may add the answers are out there if you search google. Concerns for leavers was 1. Sovereignty 2. Immigration 3 feeling disenfranchised from the bureaucrats in Brussels.


Exactly. Succinctly put.

All non-tangible, so banging on about show-me-the-tangibles is missing the schwerpunkt.

Remain camp voted to remain mainly about economy and free movement.


I mean, well, yes, but also a larger sense of belonging. All my friends are Europeans.

Also, for me, a factor other people don't think about : encouraging the maintenance of the long post-war peace. People don't think about this now, and don't take it seriously. This is unfortunate, as it does not happen by chance, but by design. We have to maintain a Europe which is -not- composed of a large number of individual States with their own military forces, as this arrangement sooner or later always leads to war. NATO does this, and would be enough by itself, but the EU moves us even further in the direction we wish to go.

Kilkis
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Re: The Will of the People

Postby Kilkis » Sun Mar 24, 2019 11:30 am

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.

Warwick

scooby

Re: The Will of the People

Postby scooby » Sun Mar 24, 2019 12:23 pm

Kilkis wrote:Scooby, the Greek people were asked if they wanted to remain in the EU and in the Euro at the time they were asked to vote on the austerity package. They overwhelmingly voted NO to the austerity package but overwhelmingly YES both to remaining in the EU and in the Euro. That is reality. They hate what the Eurogroup, the IMF and the ECB have done to Greece but they are strongly in favour of being in the EU. Nobody has more reason to hate the EU than Varoufakis but he thinks Greece is better off in the EU and in the Euro. Unlike most UK voters Greeks are quite sophisticated when it comes to voting and are able to distinguish between different ideas. They don't think in a "four legs good - two legs bad" fashion. You might hate the EU but all the evidence says that the majority of Greeks don't.



Warwick
No wonder I asked you the question about providing a link, the way you have worded this section comes across as the Greek people voted YES to remaining in the EU and in the Euro. The Greek people only voted on the Austerity package but you didn't mention the fact that the other two points were polls! Funny thing polls, how extensive were the polls? How many people were asked these questions in the polls? what were the demographics of the people surveyed? And so on, Polls can be very vague so for you to say it is reality is a bit misleading, yes it is reality what the polls produced but it's not reality that the "Greek people" wish to remain in the EU or Euro, you can only get that answer by a referendum I would suggest. Cleverly worded though.

scooby

Re: The Will of the People

Postby scooby » Sun Mar 24, 2019 12:35 pm

Kilkis wrote:
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.

Warwick

Isn't the difference the fact that the UK civil service implements the laws passed by parliament whereas the unelected Commission proposes laws, so I would't say they are very much alike. I could be wrong.

Kilkis
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Re: The Will of the People

Postby Kilkis » Sun Mar 24, 2019 1:22 pm

If the polls at the time were 51:49 then you would have a valid point, Scooby. They weren't. For the Euro they were generally around 75 % in favour and for the EU even higher. There were dozens of them run by many different polling organisations and commissioned by many different sides of the debate. As far as I can remember none came out against the Euro and none against the EU.

Why do you think the Eurogroup said that a vote for no deal would result in Greece being forced to leave the Euro? Because they knew it would make Greeks tend to vote yes to the deal. Why do you think Syriza didn't word the poll telling voters that a no vote could result in Greece leaving the Euro? Because he knew if they were faced with that choice they would not have voted the way he wanted. Why did he tell the people at the election that, if they voted him into power, he would stop austerity but they would still stay in the EU and in the Euro? Surely if Greeks had been against the EU and the Euro he would have said that they could stop austerity AND get out of the EU and the Euro. He didn't say that because he knew that if he did he would not get elected.

You might not want to believe it but there is no evidence whatsoever that a majority of Greeks want to leave the Euro and the EU. If you think there is then produce it.

Do you imagine that in the UK the minister sits and writes the draft legislation? The civil service drafts the bills, acting under the instruction of a minister, the bills pass through a committee scrutiny procedure, made up of MPs, and are then debated and voted on in the Commons and the House of Lords.

In the EU the Commission drafts Directives and Regulations, acting under the mandate of treaties. Committees, sub committees and working groups, made up of all sorts of political, technical and legal people, drawn from all member states who choose to participate, are involved in that process. The Directives and Regulations are then debated in the EU parliament by elected MEPs and voted on using qualified majority voting designed to ensure that no small group of countries can hijack the process. Finally they are discussed and voted on in the Council made up of the elected heads of state of the member countries. In some case the Council of Ministers, made up of elected ministers from the member states may also be involved in the process.

Not identical but who is to say that one process is more democratic than the other? They both involve unelected career civil servants and elected representatives of the people and it is the elected representatives that have the final say.

Warwick

Jeffstclair
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Re: The Will of the People

Postby Jeffstclair » Sun Mar 24, 2019 1:45 pm

Some good stuff being talked about here .I would be interested about what the Greek friends and colleagues of forum members say about the UK's plan to leave the EU..I have asked most of the folk I know here and in Athens and I get two responses ..it's either sadness or total disbelief ... sadness from the older somewhat less politically aware village folk and the disbelief from the younger Athenians....

YoMo2
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Re: The Will of the People

Postby YoMo2 » Sun Mar 24, 2019 2:14 pm

Kilkis wrote:.......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.


A very good point. Although I think Ireland and Sweden also allowed free entry. Apparently, we thought that all the other countries were going to allow free movement too. Incompetent government or what? To be fair, I think the UK economy was doing better than most of the EU at the time, and we probably had more need of the workers.

Andrew
Last edited by YoMo2 on Sun Mar 24, 2019 2:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

scooby

Re: The Will of the People

Postby scooby » Sun Mar 24, 2019 2:16 pm

They were polls Warwick nothing more nothing less, I am very sceptical about them whereas you believe them, that’s fair enough. The way you worded it was utterly misleading in my opinion. Only the commission, which I agree is made up of 23,000 employees draft laws not one member country can propose anything and I find that quite uncomfortable. That’s just my opinion.

Maud
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Re: The Will of the People

Postby Maud » Sun Mar 24, 2019 3:41 pm

Jeff, our Greek friends, both on Crete and in Athens, think we are ‘barking mad!’ - Incidentally so do our few German and Austrian friends. On Crete, all our friends.....both town and country.......cannot understand why the U.K. wants to leave the EU. The Athenians, (mainly relatives of our Cretan friends), think we are crazy. I always hasten to tell people we voted to remain!

I have one friend who lives on Crete and is Greek, but lived in London for many years. She said that she is SO glad she lives on Crete now! I have yet to find one Greek who thinks the U.K. leaving the EU is a good idea.

In response the the comments between Warwick and Scooby about Greeks leaving the EU, I can honestly say that although our Greek friends did not like the sanctions imposed on Greece by the EU, and although they are still unhappy about the way their pensions have been reduced and the way their lifestyles have had to change, most understand why!

Greeks are far more politically aware then people in the U.K. - You speak to Greek teenagers and they all understand what is happening with their politics.You walk in to any ‘proper’ Greek taverna and you can guarantee that at one table there will be a conversation going on about Syriza, New Democracy etc.

A turbulent history.....and still the threats from Turkey......has made the Greek population politically aware. They understand how the country has benefited from being in the EU......new building projects, new roads, grants for agriculture etc. They are not anti the EU, instead they feel much more secure and happy to be part of a big ‘club’ despite the hardships now. They are also prepared to accept they brought their economic problems on themselves. - In the U.K. people are too quick to always place the blame of someone else!

Our friends struggle to understand the UK’s desire to leave.......and so do I.

bobscott
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Re: The Will of the People

Postby bobscott » Sun Mar 24, 2019 4:38 pm

Kilkis wrote:With each day that passes I feel that Brexit is getting more and more like this old advert.

Warwick

Like it! (the ad and your post, that is. When living in Oz I preferred Carlton).
Bob.
Yesterday today was tomorrow. Don't dilly dally!


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