Why is Britain in the EU?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by gymfresh, Jul 3, 2009.

  1. gymfresh

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    [Disclaimer -- I hold an EU passport. It's not British.]

    Every time I go to England, a country I love, I have to ask myself why on Earth the UK is in the European Union. Britons often decline to say that the British Isles are even part of the European continent. They want nothing to do with the Euro, they actively resist EU directives on everything from food standards to consumer safety, they drive on the other side of the road, they refuse to fully adopt SI (miles, anyone?), their plugs don't fit on the continent (even if their mains system is brilliant and far safer than anyone else's), they claim it's impossible to join Schengen, they maintain and justify a double standard for professional workers and unskilled workers from EU countries, and there's constant bickering between the political parties about how much they want to have to do with "Europe". I'm sorry, is there another continent option?

    As near as I can figure it, Britain is in the EU for a few simple reasons, none of which really justify it staying in. They shouldn't leave; they should be sent packing. Hey, it'll save them a boatload of crowns, shillings and pence.

    1) It would kill the British to see Europe sit around a table without them at it. Come to think of it, the Brits felt the same way about India, Hong Kong, Iraq, the Sinai, Palestine, South Africa (esp once gold and diamonds were discovered in the Boer lands), and a few dozen other places.

    2) For competitive reasons, the Brits are desperate for Euro talent to work in The City and certain other professions and, conversely, want to keep it effortless for their citizens to retire to Provence, Tuscany or Marbella.

    3) For the first time, there is more than boiled meat, 3 veggies, and Indian food to eat.

    My dad marveled till the day he died about a headline he saw while studying in England in the 1950's: Cable Under the Channel Accidentally Cut; Europe Loses Communication. Well, that just about sums it up, doesn't it?

    PS - I love the Scots, too, and realize that they're often at Whitehall's mercy on stuff like this.
     
    #1 gymfresh, Jul 3, 2009
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2009
  2. BikerBear

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    I, for one, wished we were NOT in the EU.... UKIP all the way baby!
     
  3. Drifterwood

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    We stay in just to piss off the French.
     
  4. Rugbypup

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    The Scotts, hate the English, as do the Irish and frankly no one really likes the Welsh. We've been fighting each other for near dam a thousand years then politically we become on nation. (Northern Ireland that is)

    Then on top of that, we've been fighting the Germans, Spanish and French for just as long then bam, yet again, politically we become one union.

    Factor in the English have been beaten down with the mamby pamby, political correctness shite to the point where it's seen as racism (akin to Nazism) to call yourself an English man, or even celebrate St. Georges day. Despite the it being an acceptable statement of national pride to call yourself Welsh and celebrate St. David's, Scottish and celebrate St. Andrew's or Irish and celebrate St. Patric's.

    In short, the English need to reconnect with their own national identity before we are pushed and pulled into yet another identity that is not our own.

    England, the perfect host, a bitch of a mother, may you find yourself before you become a Muslim state for refugees and butt fucked into obscurity by worthless chavs or European nationalist lining their own nests at her expense.

    Sigh.
     
    #4 Rugbypup, Jul 3, 2009
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2009
  5. D_Doewell Dadong

    D_Doewell Dadong New Member

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    ^ feel better for that ? :)
     
  6. D_Doewell Dadong

    D_Doewell Dadong New Member

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    Cheese eating surrender monkeys
     
  7. Rugbypup

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    A rhetorical question from a Mancunian, whatever next. :tongue:
     
  8. Rugbypup

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    Agreed. :biggrin1:
     
  9. Rubenesque

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    I think the problem is the EU doesn't want anyone who won't surrender it's identity and become a generic European nation.

    I for one am utterly against that.

    I'd be happy for us to be part of the EU if it were more like a family (we're all different with our own defined identities, who support each other and stand together in times of need) but sadly it's more like a cult (brainwashed to conform and no expression of own character allowed).

    History tells us that Britain (all nations of the British Isles) is not a nation of sheeple. We stand up for what we believe in and we surrender our lives for those beliefs, and we do not need guidance on how to live our lives thank you very much Europe. So kindly stick your Euro up your arse (situated in Brussels I believe)
     
  10. D_Doewell Dadong

    D_Doewell Dadong New Member

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    But was it?
     
  11. Rugbypup

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    I was playing matey, no offense intended. :tongue:

    As you ask, I do bare a degree of resentment toward England, I think it's become a rather ugly former shadow of itself in as little as the past 15/20 years.

    I'm glad I emigrated, not only as I felt grossly penalized for being English, but also because I could no longer live in a country where I felt removed and detached from.

    Do the English have a cultural identity any more? I fear it's lost. I think also this is something nations like the US find hard to believe due to their defined sense of national identity.
     
  12. D_Doewell Dadong

    D_Doewell Dadong New Member

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    I'd like to see an England where we can celebrate being english without fear of the P.C brigade saying "no, no, no, according to subsection c of article 247a, flags cannot have an overall surface area greater than 1.245m and that flag is clearly 1.246m its going to have to come down, and disposed of in a suitable manner such as an ecologically approved flag burial machine go accordance with article 24 subsection q1.9"

    P.C jobsworths can go to europe and treat themselves to mountains of paper work they created. Then England can say sod you EU. If people want to work in the UK your welcome, come on in and have a cup of tea. But if your coming go for hand outs bog off. We have scousers doing that already.

    Most of that is me rambling. Most won't make sense. To condense that - The EU can go fuck itself.
     
  13. D_Doewell Dadong

    D_Doewell Dadong New Member

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    I know you were messing. Time for a cuppa i think. Currently doing a delivery at McVities biscuits in stockport. Might see if i can cadge a packet of chocolate digestives
     
  14. Catchoftheday

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  15. D_Doewell Dadong

    D_Doewell Dadong New Member

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  16. Rubenesque

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    That was #1 the day I was born! Worrying
     
  17. Joll

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    UKBBWDenise - love the post, totally agree! (EU I mean - not Gary Glitter, lol).

    I think if labour clings onto power until next spring, after the Lisbon Treaty comes into force (assuming the Irish vote yes in October), it will be a lot harder to get out of, because the Tories won't have the chance to give us a referendum on it.

    Lisbon will be another unwelcome federalising step towards a United Europe (including a new President of the EU Council, and new EU diplomatic service - designed to grow and eventually replace national representations).

    I think we've got to decide once and for all how to handle things as far as Europe's concerned...and there seem to be several options:

    1> Renegotiate our relationship with Europe (my preferred option). Have a much looser relationship, somewhat like Norway, where we participate in the single market - but govern ourselves, with UK law having primacy over EU law. Would be very difficult to achieve though, because we'd need to work out where we stand and untangle ourselves on many common policy areas, such as borders, europe-wide financial regulations, single european sky (airspace), immigration, etc, etc. Actually...now I think about it, it seems quite appealing to get these areas back under our control! Would need a Churchill-like figure to bring it about though, I reckon.

    2> Accept that the momentum towards a United Europe is too strong to resist, and join in fully in order to try and influence it in our favour (which we've only had limited success with in the past).

    3> Carry on as before in a half-in, half-out situation - where we drag our heels, opt out of some things, annoy everybody and end up capitulating eventually anyway.

    *(The absolute worst-case scenario, imo, would be Mandelson becoming UK PM, Blair becoming EU President, and the UK being co-erced and fully subsumed into a horrible, homogenous single EU state...leading to the eventual fragmentation of the UK as devolution and regional-policy are fully exploited).
     
    #17 Joll, Jul 3, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 3, 2009
  18. B_mitchymo

    B_mitchymo New Member

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    I feel that we British gain a lot more than we lose by being a part of the EU.

    Firstly there is power. With a succession of independencies since the days we ruled the ocean waves we have lost power and our position amongst the 'superpowers' is weak without it, as a proud nation much like the french we have an interest in being regarded as one of the most powerful nations on earth.

    Secondly there is influence. Withou being in a position to have a say on what goes on within the EU machine we are unable to protect our interests and seek changes to benefit them.

    Thirdly there is security. An attack on ANY EU nation is regarded as an attack on all member nations.

    Fourthly there is outside interest. As the UK is seen as a gateway to america and a gateway to europe flipside then it is good for trans-atlantic relations with the NO.1 most powerful nation on earth.

    Fifthly there is bound to be something i'm overlooking, i'm not an expert after all.

    Whatever the actual reasons are they were attractive enough to get us involved to begin with and are proving just as attractive for new members and those still trying to get in i.e. Turkey for one.
    We are far away from any european superstate and i think euro sceptics are letting their imagination run away with them.
     
  19. Jason

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    Britain being in the EU is part of the unravelling of the British Empire, which leaves us with a population of just 62m, a little small to be a big player on the world stage. The independence of former colonies and the practicalities of distance meant that in the post war years Britain had to look at closer ties with someone. Churchill considered both the USA and the countries of Europe as possible partners - and ruled out the USA on the grounds of distance. This was before the Jumbo Jet, before Concorde, before cheap flights across the pond and of course pre internet. With hindsight it was the wrong decision.

    In the late 1970s and 1980s we were reasonably enthusiastic about Europe as there was real hope that it could be shaped on Anglo-Saxon business models with genuine democracy. The Thatcher age handbagging of Europe to get a decent deal for Britain was a genuine interaction with Europe to create a system in which all countries could move forward. There have been real gains. At least the countries of Europe haven't fought another war (and stopping such was the original aim of the then European Communities). The countries of eastern Europe have been brought into a better system than they had.

    Regrettably much has all turned sour. Europe has a democratic deficit, and is effectively a bureaucracy serving its own aims. Only an out of control bureaucracy could countenance such expensive absurities as the EU parliament meeting for 3 weeks every month in Brussels and 1 week in Strasbourg. Only an amoral bureaucracy could tolerate year after year the common agricultural policy and the suffering this causes. Europe is now a soft-socialist bureaucracy with all the economic and social problems this engenders. It is a self-serving bureaucracy which tolerates a system where year after year the accounts of the European Commission cannot be signed off by the auditors.

    The Labour Party gave a cast iron guarantee to the British people that they would not accept Lisbon without a referendum. They have broken their promise to the British peole. Only the Irish re-referendum might save us from having Lisbon inflicted upon us, and as the Irish have basically been told to support it or their economy collapses they will presumably be bullied into supporting it. The very fact that a nation that has voted no is being invited to hold a second referendum with their arm duly twisted sets out the democratic deficit of Europe.

    An option for Britain is to leave the EU. If it was put to a referendum in terms of staying or leaving I think there would be a majority for leaving (certainly in England). Seems to me that if this is the will of the people it should happen. But it would be very messy - the whole structure of every bit of EU legislation is to make leaving almost unthinkable. There would be an economic cost, and the UK economy is a bit fragile right now.

    My thought is that the Conservatives should as a manifesto committment at the next general election pledge a referendum one year after the election on continued membership of the EU. In that year it may be possible to negotiate a sensible relationship between Britain and other countries within the EU. This may include supremacy of UK law over EU law, end of UK's net contribution to Europe, and tough talking on such things as the circus of a peripatetic EU parliament, the moral bankruptcy of the common agricultural policy, and lots more. In Euro-speak this is a "two-speed" Europe with Britain in the slow lane - in reality it is a model which would be followed by many nation states within the EU.

    The future for Britain should be a strengthening of historic Commonwealth ties, a special relationship with the EU (without necessarily being a full part of it), and a special relationship with the USA.
     
  20. Jason

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    I think you are probably right, certainly in the areas you set out. But there are also the intangibles of national identity and national happiness, and the issue of moral right and wrong. Personally I would be willing to accept a pretty substantial drop in my personal income/wealth to get out of a system which I have come to realise is not moral. I don't think most people in Britain have fully thought through their own views - rather they have an ill-defined dislike of the EU - but lurking behind these views is the feeling that the EU is simply wrong.
     
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