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Discussion in 'Personal' started by lexus300, Jan 21, 2016.

  1. lexus300

    lexus300 Star commenter

    This is a copy of a news letter I received today and I think it gives a balanced view with a few very interesting comments and questions.
    What's next after a Brexit?
    Amid all the referendum noise, it looks like they're finally close to a date for the vote, likely to be in September this year.

    That's probably for the best. Even people who actually care what happens would lose the will to live if the question drags on for two more years.

    And since companies anxious about the outcome will hold off big investments as long as there's uncertainty, it's better to get it over with.

    In the run up to the Scottish referendum on independence in September 2014, there was plenty of insecurity about what an independent Scotland might look like.

    Many of the uncertainties then, like the future Scottish currency, don't apply here. But that doesn't mean the answer to the question 'what happens after a Brexit?' is any clearer.

    It's kind of bizarre that campaigns on both sides have kicked off, trying to convince you to vote a certain way, when neither party can tell us about the endgame.

    The Brexit scenario doesn't appear to be ready. There's a lot of talk about 'sovereignty' and 'taking back control' but that's all pretty abstract.

    The 'In' case isn't much clearer. To me it seems like the EU's as serious about completing the single market as Barcelona is about finishing the Sagrada Familia.

    We need someone to paint us a picture that's less Picasso, whose works were open to interpretation, and more Manet, who painted things the way they were.

    Neither the governing party, which will remain officially neutral, nor the biggest opposition party has handed us a script of post-EU Britain.

    Meanwhile David Cameron is still pushing his agenda in the European heartland and can't definitively say what 'In' will look like, either.

    But assuming the PM's negotiation won't transport us to a completely novel reality, let's focus on the big unknown: what's next after a Brexit?

    What's on offer?
    Britain's relationship with the EU is one of giving and taking, and even a good quarrel from time to time. It's not unlike a marriage and the referendum will be a chance to renew vows or file for divorce.

    So how might Britain move on if it decides to terminate the partnership? Here are the most likely options.

    European Economic Area – EU minus the membership card

    This option can be described as 'not really in, not really out', or, if you like, the Norway way.

    It's not really a great option because little would change. Britain would keep its access to the single market, but it would also keep contributing to the EU budget and adopt EU legislation without having a say over it.

    Technically it could refuse to adopt legislation but that means it would lose access to that part of the market.

    The free movement for people would still apply and EEA members can't negotiate their own free trade agreements with third countries.

    Bilateral accords - 'It's complicated'

    Perhaps more desirable would be for the UK to become a 'bigger Switzerland'. I'm not referring to a more neutral foreign policy stance but a series of bilateral accords with the EU.

    The upside of this arrangement is that Britain would be free to negotiate its own free trade agreements.

    The downside is that it still pays the EU for access and it has to absorb EU laws in every sector covered by themselves.
    But it gets more complicated. When Swiss voters in a 2014 referendum chose to limit the free movement of foreign nationals, the country breached its deal with the EU.

    Since then Switzerland has been shut out of various EU programmes. If the matter isn't resolved by 2017 the so-called Guillotine clause could kill all EU-Swiss bilateral agreements.

    Still, in theory this would probably be the best scenario but it's based on the shaky premise that the EU would allow Britain to cherry pick from the treaties.

    A free trade agreement: playing the field

    A free trade agreement with the EU would give Britain the freedom to seal its own deals with non-EU countries. The more comprehensive the deal, the higher the volume of faxes from Brussels with regulations to be complied with.

    On the bright side: no membership fees and no interference in Britain's immigration policy. For these reasons it's probably the option most favoured by 'Outters'.

    Britain could play the field and even go after the one it may secretly always felt more in sync with.

    Sounds good, right? But what if Britain is no longer as desirable a trading partner as it once was?

    'America is not in the market for a free trade deal with Britain alone.'

    Last October US Trade Representative Michael Froman hinted the 'special relationship' between the US and the UK may not be that special anymore.

    Now, is this bluff?

    Possibly. It's no secret that the US wants Britain to stay in the EU, with Obama saying the country needs to stay in order to keep influence on the world stage.

    But there's no denying that leaving the EU would go against the trend.

    In the age of globalisation, countries have started to think bigger than themselves. This is why trade arrangements are increasingly dominated by trade blocs (EU, Mercosur, ASEAN) and multinational trade deals (NAFTA, TTIP, TPP).

    Assuming countries like the US, China and India would be interested in an FTA, is it likely that Britain will be able to negotiate a better deal on its own than as part of a trade bloc of 500 million people?

    I'd say that's a reasonable question to ask before heading for the exit. After all, Britain won't just get out of the EU; it would also get out of over 50 free trade deals with non-EU countries.

    If Britain leaves the EU, the implication should be that it'll be better off without it. And while I'll admit that 'taking back control' sounds good in a tabloid, it's just an empty platitude when there's no evidence you're going to secure better deals on your own. Is the grass really greener on the other side of the fence? I'm yet to be convinced.
  2. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    More Manet, who painted things the way they were? I think that's a troubled metaphor.

    The rest of the article doesn't really say anything. It did make me wonder if we'd get an EU attempt at "love-bombing" or if they'd be glad to see the back of us in the event of a vote to leave.
  3. Lascarina

    Lascarina Star commenter

  4. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    Don't you picnic naked with fully clothed gentleman, Lascarina?
  5. Lascarina

    Lascarina Star commenter

    Not the sort that have ginger beards or walking sticks and hats with tassels on!;)
    aspensquiver_2 likes this.
  6. Duke of York

    Duke of York Star commenter

    Maybe we should have looked at his paintings more closely in order to find out who we were getting into bed with before we joined the Common Market.
    aspensquiver_2 likes this.
  7. colpee

    colpee Star commenter

    I don't think it does. It seems to talk mostly about trade, rather than the federal expansion into domestic law and governance of member nations which are the real contentious issues. But even on trade, the newsletter quotes downsides but not contending arguments, of which there are plenty. Interesting but not balanced.
  8. oldsomeman

    oldsomeman Star commenter

    Whilst what happens after a opt out vote is indeed unsure and may even be seen as economic suicide the vote is not just for economics.In the end its about self government and choices.If folk want to be ruled more and more closely by the folks in the EU its fine....but dont moan ever again as each new rule and demand bites and we are slowly sucked into the master state(and there are claims made for the benefit of this)The choice is to stand and say s od off and bu**er the consequences or be a sort of serf state with increasing immigration. Do to folks wanting to come and live here.We must be doing something right if folks still want to come here.Lots have settled and are having their families and indeed have brought an influx of skills and willingness to work.
    Can we stand on our own, can we offer skills and trades the rest of the world wants, can we remain a big market that the EU is desperate to export to?Who indeed knows?
    Unfortunately in its efforts to speak with one voice the EU is slowly seeking to unite us all as 'Europeans' and not as nations working together for the good and benefit of each nation.
    When i voted and was hoodwinked by the last Conservative PM Heath.We were promised economic cooperation.Only later did we find that (like a Budget) all the bad bits where in the small print and we had be tricked into the greater union.something governments of the past seem barely able to stand up to....except Maggie.and i appreciate you will all howl.
    At the moment with the whole sell off of our assets and business to the highest bidder we are barely able to claim ownership of much but the land we are one...and most of that is owned by the Crown,Church or Government. So maybe we might get them back.Maybe the French wont want our water, the Germans to be the biggest seller of their cars to us..maybe we might even re establish out own industries.Even the Saudis, Americans and the Russians,Indians and others wont want to own most of our Capital and we cant pass a law to stop it(even if this sell it quick goverment had any intent to do so.)FGS we dont even own the exit via a railway tunnel to Europe .even that has been sold along with a lot of our houses and public places.
  9. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    The master state? Serf state?
    Are you sure you haven't made up your mind?
  10. Duke of York

    Duke of York Star commenter

    If Britain had been training youngsters to do the jobs the migrants bring, surely there would be a desperate shortage of work for the migrants to find here, so they wouldn't bother to come.

    Quite simply, when the decision was made to dumb down technical education in schools and offer pretend degrees to all and sundry whilst discouraging kids from doing any jobs that might get their hands dirty, the plot was either lost or won, depending which side of the economy you stand on.

    Have you been reading the Daily Mail again, Oldie? The EU has brought nations together for the benefit of all, but in the way that makes for screaming tabloid headlines.

    The EU has quietly doing a fair bit to improve the lot of the ordinary person, such as limiting the working hours in the week that employers can impose, extending civil rights and improving health along with health and safety. My biggest concern with those who are desperate for us to leave, lies less in what they have to say about the imaginary impositions the EU places on us, than it has with what they hope to gain for themselves and what the consequences will be for the ordinary person if they have their way.

    I wouldn't give you tuppence for the politicians who are the most vocal in demanding an EU exit. Their mother's ought to have drowned them at birth if they had a shred of social conscience.

    Loss of sovereignty? Come off it. When has Joe Public ever had a serious chance of influencing how the country is run? I don't want to tell anyone how to vote in the referendum, but I can tell you this. If the likes of Iain Duncan Smith or Chris Grayling are hoping I'll give them house room to let me know their views about Europe, they can think again. I'll set the dog on them if they dare set foot on my front path.It isn't that I don't want to hear all sides of the debate, but there's some who lost the right to be part of it by the appalling way they treated the disabled and vulnerable when acting as government ministers.
    Geoff Thomas likes this.
  11. Pigtailian

    Pigtailian New commenter

    Brexit will never happen.
  12. lexus300

    lexus300 Star commenter

    We import more than we export to the EU., so it seems to me that it is unlikely they would be glad to see the back of us.
  13. lexus300

    lexus300 Star commenter

    The letter was more concerned with what might happen if we leave.
  14. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

  15. lexus300

    lexus300 Star commenter

    This seems to be a most persistent worry and one that activates those who wish to leave or to regain some (or total) independence.
  16. lexus300

    lexus300 Star commenter

    We did not sign up to all of this (unfortunately), instead we ended up with some of the benefits 'not all'.
  17. T34

    T34 Lead commenter

    Things were getting better until abut 1951.
    Since then it's gone the wrong way. I don't see how the EU has helped. Just more politicians with their own, selfish agendas. Even less say, and less influence from the people, probably.
    Perhaps outside Europe we might be able to start where we left off and between us make this a really good country,
    lexus300 likes this.
  18. lexus300

    lexus300 Star commenter

    Two components with this point.
    The fear factor used to scare voters into 1) staying or 2) leaving).
  19. lexus300

    lexus300 Star commenter

    Until we have proportional representation this is where we will remain.
    FrankWolley likes this.
  20. lexus300

    lexus300 Star commenter


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