1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 > ...

What's new on the Web

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 > ...

Latest comments

  • Brexit: a danger for both EU and the UK

    Yesterday  20:05, by giuseppe marrosu

    Dear Andrea Iwantout, “I am not sure who would campaign for the EU here”: I am not sure about not being sure... but anyway, that’s your problem. You want to be special? I say “stay out”. I am for free choice and against privileges. “why do you constantly reject open trade that benefits ordinary people?” I never spoke against open trade benefiting ordinary people. You are twisting my words. I am against free trade with some unfair competitors. India, for example, is another thing. India is almost fine with me. CAP: I agree with you. “The UK is simply not going to get any closer than it is already”: then I want it to leave the EU. Remember that “ever closer integration” applies to you, too. I hope this will not change, it would set a dangerous record. “why if it is so bad are almost 300,000 EU citizens a year coming here, as well as migrants jumping on lorries in Calais?” I never said it was “so bad” in the UK. I just wanted to point out that having or not having the Euro is not the only predictor of the wealth of a Nation. Germany has the Euro, Bulgaria does not. The UK has the Euro, Greece does. People’s net flow is from countries which fare bad and have more unemployed people from countries which fare best and have less unemployed people. From the UK to Australia for example ;). But do not cite Calais before looking at the map: Africans and Syrians are on this side of the English Channel, so how could they be going the opposite way? “could you please produce a single piece of evidence from any member state showing that a majority of the population would vote to join a US of E ?” No I can’t and here’s a quote: “The only poll that matters is the referendum vote. Opinion polls are often inaccurate... We will all have to wait” (Andrea Iwantout, 2015). And I don’t have to, either. Remember, I’m a dreamer, I’m not making predictions, I just make statements. But we might have a test on July the 5th when the Greek are going to choose between the EU and “independence”. Because that’s what the next referendum is about. If the “Yes” side wins it will be another nail in the coffin of nationalism, another step towards the US of E, another referendum won by Europe. And not the only one, look at how many there were, one even in the UK. “I keep saying, progress to your federal state by all means, but first ask the people if that is what they want”: Well you can stop telling me. I AGREE 100%. “Remember, the UK is not the only Eurosceptic country, just the most visible”. I wish they ALL were cancelled from the EU. And it is not “Skepticism”. It is hostility.

  • Brexit: a danger for both EU and the UK

    Yesterday  19:28, by giuseppe marrosu

    Dear Iwantout, may I call you Andrea? This may be a girl’s or a boy’s name, so it’s perfect for a person that is not disclosing his/her identity. Dear Andrea, I wrote much because I care much, even if I do not have much time. I am surprised by your faith in the public, remember people like Hitler, Mussolini, Chavez or Tsipras came to power because of an overwhelming public support. Now, unless you think all these gentlemen had the right agenda for their people, you have to admit that more sane leaders and sensible projects were discarded by the demos for some bizarre or outright criminal people and ideas. I find the notion of an anaware public riding a train headed towards “ever closer integration” is in deep contrast both with this faith in the public of yours (they know better than their leaders, but do not even know where they’ve been going for decades now?) and with reality. What were you guys thinking all the times we voted in the European Elections? What purpose is a democratically elected parliament supposed to serve in a simple economical union? And if you are against it, all you have to do is vote a majority of EMP opposing the EU (which you never did). Why can’t you just admit the UK wants to cancel a commitment it gave knowingly and freely? It is dishonourable, but you can do it. After all you are a souvereign Nation. Your contradiction is obvious: “it is not possible to claim that the direction the EU / EZ is taking is a sudden surprise”, you say! That’s also true for the public, and their electoral choices. But if they keep voting for people who would not pull the country out of the EU, then your claim just two letters down: “any country passing new powers to the EU /EZ without a mandate is acting undemocratically” is COMPLETELY ILLOGICAL. Andrea, are you really a Euroenthusiast, posing as an Antieuropeist to show how incosistent their ideas are?

  • Brexit: a danger for both EU and the UK

    Last Saturday  20:49, by Iwantout

    Giuseppe Marrosu, You have said much, I will reply to some of your points.

    Democracy for me means telling voters your objectives and some detail of the methods to be used. Voters then choose a candidate. But with the EU we have a continuous stream of disingenuous platitudes, actions with no mandate and above all little honesty. I do not accept that leaders have any more idea of what is ‘right’ than the public, or even that often they have more knowledge. They rarely have a deep understanding of issues, the euro is a classic example, leaders were warned often of the problems but knew better and went ahead anyway.

    We are electing representatives to carry out a programme of work they campaigned for. There will be times when they have to make decisions beyond the manifesto due to unexpected circumstances, but it is not possible to claim that the direction the EU / EZ is taking is a sudden surprise. So any country passing new powers to the EU /EZ without a mandate is acting undemocratically.

    Removal of UK opt outs etc. Even the CBI the most pro EU business body in the UK supports the euro opt out. If membership became a requirement, I am not sure who would campaign for the EU here.

    Regarding trade, you repeatedly mention the EU need for protection. It is this inward looking stance that is one of the major problems of the EU. The UK trades (as percentage of exports) more with the rest of the World than any other EU state, why do you constantly reject open trade that benefits ordinary people? Why does the EU support CAP which makes food more expensive for everyone and harms farmers outside the EU?

    The only poll that matters is the referendum vote. Opinion polls are often inaccurate and there is already talk by pollsters that their results may well not be right in this case either. We will all have to wait. But even a Yes result still has the UK outside Schengen, euro, JHA and FCHR, together with any ‘changes negotiated’ by Cameron. The UK is simply not going to get any closer than it is already.

    The UK does have social problems, as does every country in the EU. But why if it is so bad are almost 300,000 EU citizens a year coming here, as well as migrants jumping on lorries in Calais? Hint, it is not the weather!

    You talk about a political union, could you please produce a single piece of evidence from any member state showing that a majority of the population would vote to join a US of E ? My biggest worry is that where people have no control over an entity that ignores them, civil unrest and ultimately violence follows. I keep saying, progress to your federal state by all means, but first ask the people if that is what they want. Campaign for it, try to persuade, but do not believe you can move ahead without specific consent. This was even the stance of Viviane Reding in the Wall Street Journal 08/02/12.

    Remember, the UK is not the only Eurosceptic country, just the most visible.

  • On Steiner’s “The Idea of Europe”

    Last Saturday  04:00, by Krishna kumar sinha

    Europe has lead the humanity in the last 300 years throgh a crucial phase of human evolution.the values engendered by renaissance and reformation are the bed rock of European civilization.It is however very clear that terms like preservation of cultural identity or civilisation hegemony come into vogue only due to a self centric and short sighted view. Civilisational identity like human identity are only like a small unrecognizable dot in the grand canvas of Human history. See the dots but appreciate the whole painting.THE WHOLE IS ALWAYS BIGGER THAN THE SUM OF THE DOTS.

  • Brexit: a danger for both EU and the UK

    Last Friday  00:45, by giuseppe marrosu

    Having dreams does not mean ignoring reality. I know that the EU and the european people(s) have terrible limits, but taking down barriers makes sense to me. And while the direction history is taking right now is the opposite and I might live to see Europe falling again to an era of chaos and wars, no one can know exactely what the future holds. Who knows, maybe your polls are not a good predictor of the actual turnout a referendum would have, and maybe my dreams will become reality, and your certainties will turn into your worst nightmares. Next year incredible things will happen, things neither you nor I can predict, just as it happened this year. We will have to change our minds on something. And that’s why you should sign with your real name.

    I see you blame the integration process for mainland Europe’s economic and social problems. There are very integrated european countries that have done better than the UK in recent years; the UK does have very big social problems. Much of Europe’s trouble stems from few births, too many elderly, too much technology making workers obsolete and unemployed, too much globalization allowing chinese and other goods to compete with our more environment-, workers’ rights-friendly, costlier products (the UK is one of those we can thank for the latter): none of them has to do with the Euro or intra-European migration. However I admit that the EU’s bulky decision making process contributed to our problems, but I think we could solve that with a closer union and a stronger central governance. The european people and its democratically elected leaders should decide how to develop the EU’s structures and projects: I have my ideas, other people have different ideas, we should discuss them and vote the best solutions.

    Of one thing I’m sure: if we do not unite not only we’re not going to be able to have an influence in the world, but our lives will be determined by the influence of others outside the EU. The egotism the anti-europeist preach is morally despicable, but it is also short-sighted.

  • Brexit: a danger for both EU and the UK

    Last Friday  00:14, by giuseppe marrosu

    To Iwantout:

    As for a prospective trade agreement between a smaller EU and the UK, I did not say and do not think there will be none, I am only saying I do not think that the negotiations would be easy or that the arrangement would be better or even as good for the UK than the present situation. It could be worst for both the UK and the EU, as both, but especially the latter, try to protect themselves against the commercial and financial influence of a counterpart that has become less of a partner and more of a competitor than it used to be. When we’re not living together anymore you should not expect to keep my house’s keys.

    Switzerland is the model for a UK that severes ties with his allies to seek friendship with everyone. Yes the swiss are welcome everywhere with their fine products and their money, but that’s largely because they’re small and do not want to take sides. They are not a threat because they like the world as it is, with all its dictators, all its wars and all its corruption.

    If you just had Crimea for breakfast the last thing you want is some huge, influential foreign power ruining your digestion with lessons on the rules of good neighbourhood and things like that. Switzerland does not have the size or the interest to worry the Russias of the world. You might say the UK does and you might be right... or might not. The UK has been a very weak power, if compared with the main global players, ever since at least 1956. Without NATO or the EU its influence in Europe and the world would be even less.

    The british bull dog could end up his carrier as a chihuahua, liked by everyone as long as he stays quiet, but uncapable of defending itself, and even less his friends, if needed.

    Do I want the EU to be feared? This is a dangerous world and there are three options for any independent country: be feared by the bullies, seek the protection of someone they fear or bow to them.

    Is the EU feared? If ridicule could kill yes, we would be a superpower right now with our chronic inability to solve external and even our own internal crises, stemming from lack of unity. But our potential is huge. If only we decided to use it.

    S. Korea? I like her too, we should invite her into the EU in replacement of the UK.

  • Brexit: a danger for both EU and the UK

    Last Wednesday  12:40, by giuseppe marrosu

    We cannot agree on what leadership means in a democracy. For you, it is doing everything the people wants, for me, it is being honest with the voters and doing what one thinks is right. People often do not know or want to accept what is best and right. At the end history, not just the voters, will judge the decision-makers.

    Blair did not have the people with him on the Euro, so he did not insist on the issue. That is not leadership, but rather cowardice, or maybe he was not that much in favor of it after all. He knew that getting into the Euro would have limited his power. With the war in Iraq it was different. He saw a way to increase his Country’s and his personal influence by participating to a dirty war and he seized it.

    The part when you say the monetary union is dangerous without the “supporting political structures”, I completely agree with. But that is as much a reason to give birth to a political union along with the monetary one, as to renounce to the single currency! And, to me, the former option makes a lot more sense.

  • Brexit: a danger for both EU and the UK

    Last Wednesday  12:27, by giuseppe marrosu

    To Iwantout:

    I’m not sure I will campaign for the UK to leave the EU. That depends on the outcome of the negotiations (if there is any). I do not want the UK to leave the EU, I want it to accept to be part of the EU with the same rules as the others: no rebates, no opt-outs. If you think you deserve more than the others I would not wait for any referendum, I would just cancel you from the Union immediately. And if you refused to leave I would withdraw from the EU my country and promote a new Union based on France’s republican ideals: liberty, freedom and fraternity.

  • Cameron’s Negotiations: Lines in the sand and smokescreens

    23 June 2015  13:52, by Milo Barnett

    Well in regards to internal party divisons, I would say its a Tory problem simply because what eurosceptics there are realtively small in number and not at all vocal in Labour and other parties. Divsions are perfectly natural in broad mainstream parties and people except this. They don’t however want long ongoiing battles over issues espically when its large sections of the party disageering not just few fringe members.

    I don’t think you can call it unpopular for most people, few people in the UK have firm opinions on it and so the referendum will be time to judge whether its unpopular or not rather just lesser of two evils. The referendum will be chance for people to get both sides of the argument.

    Even if we were to leave the EU, we would still be unable to have a degree of border control as it would simply have a similar system to Switzerland. Immigration though will decline as an issue though, much like the importance of all issues emps and flows. Given the choice between economic growth or a weaker economy, most people will choose the former. Immigration isn’t an issue for most people rather it what realated to do it such as housing, so government lack of social housing is often blamed on increasing number of immigrants, rather than the obvious fact is that for the last 40 years we have built barely enough.

    I agree that the UK will push for op-outs,m ay indeed get them but they will be realtively minor as it’s EU has all cards ,as Camerons knows he as a referendum and he will be cmaapigning to remain in the EU.

    In terms of settling the issue, no issue is ever settled due to public opinion always changing ,so even if Britain opted to leave, there may well join again especially if its a close vote or the economy is badly affected by us leaving

  • Cameron’s Negotiations: Lines in the sand and smokescreens

    20 June 2015  19:46, by Iwantout

    We can agree that the Conservatives have the biggest divisions over the EU because some of the leadership are Pro EU but the majority of party members are Eurosceptic. But as you acknowledge there are similar problems in all parties because the EU is such a divisive question. In short as I suggested, it is not just a Conservative problem.

    I am not sure you can claim that people are against the EU because the EU is blamed for neo liberal policies, inequality etc in the UK. The UK electorate recently returned the Conservative Government with a majority and knew full well what it stands for, reduction in size of government, larger private sector, reduced welfare etc. Indeed, rightly or wrongly, the EU is seen as a socialist entity that often constrains the free working of the UK economy / government. Given this perhaps you should accept the EU is just not popular.

    As you identify, the issue of immigration is one of the major issues related to being in the EU. Most people do understand that whilst being members of the EU we cannot control our frontiers and this fundamentally impacts on their thinking. As such membership of the EU and uncontrolled migration are inextricably intertwined, as you say migration is pretty much the top political issue in the UK. Ignore it at your peril.

    None of us know what the EU will offer the UK and as you say they have the right to ignore us, but we already have numerous opt outs. The mind-set, certainly from the UK side and I suspect from the EU, is that further opt outs can be provided to allow the EU to progress as it wishes. These may arrive prior to the referendum or when new steps for integration are taken, but they are inevitable and were explicitly accepted as such in paragraph 27 European Council Communique 26/27 June 2014. “The UK raised some concerns related to the future development of the EU. These concerns will need to be addressed. In this context, the European Council noted that the concept of ever closer union allows for different paths of integration for different countries, allowing those that want to deepen integration to move ahead, while respecting the wish of those who do not want to deepen any further."

    The last line kills “ever closer union” with regards to the UK. Thus far and no further.


    As you say, the best you seem to be able to hope for is that the vote will settle matters for a while.

  • Cameron’s Negotiations: Lines in the sand and smokescreens

    20 June 2015  15:28, by Milo Barnett

    Cameron I will cede doesn’t want his party talking about Europe and tearing itself apart,yet by having a referendum he forces other parties to take a stand and where will divisons in there ones to. Yet this will also be controlled chaos as it wouldn’t be sporadic and it will not be an open rebellion as shown by EEC referendum.

    I will agree that all parties have a degree of a European problem, in so far as not all MP’s and supporters back there currents stands on Europe. Yet the Conservatives have it far worse as many of there MP’s and supporters actively go against Cameron and his position making him look weak,though the referendum allows all parties to be forced to have these open divisons.

    Cameron was certainly in no position to go against his promise, yet I wouldn’t say there was large scale public at the EU itself. These people disliked the EU but large section of anger people had last parliament and beyond as been down to changing nature of the economy, neo-liberal economics and system which works for the few. The EU is an easy place for the media and other to blame all these problems on because it appears at first glance to faceless buercracy. People don’t often hear about what the EU does and Cameron feeds on this as well he’d rather they get blamed than his government. The dislike of the EU is more linked to other issues like immigration rather the sovereignty question. This can be shown when you ask people what issues are important to them they rank immigration near the top and the EU itself near the bottom

    Even though Cameron wants these, he is unlikely to get them. His belegirent attitude as annoyed many European leaders and with issues such as Greece on the agenda, they will ignore him. They will do this as they know Cameron has to have a referendum and so are not going to indulge him by giving the UK even more op-out which many countries are annoyed at us for.

    I believe this issue will settle it for a while and unlike with EEC referendum there wouldn’t be the myth that we voted for something different, people know what the EU is and so they have choice to stay or go.

  • Cameron’s Negotiations: Lines in the sand and smokescreens

    18 June 2015  19:04, by Iwantout

    You argue that Cameron launched the referendum for Conservative Party reasons. You ignore it is a nightmare for him, he wants the Party to “stop banging on about Europe” and wants the entire issue to go away. The EU is an issue for all Parties because of public hostility, not least due to uncontrolled migration.

    In this and other articles you suggest only the Conservatives have a problem with the EU. But all the main parties support the ‘Referendum Lock’ and Labour have now stated they were wrong not to offer an in /out referendum. Remember that in EU terms Labour is Eurosceptic, failed to join the euro and obtained numerous opt outs.

    I agree that domestic PR is a vital part of David Cameron’s travels around the EU. He is highly pro EU himself and after reneging on a previous ‘cast iron guarantee’ referendum promise had no option but to concede this vote to tackle public anger on membership. He requires something positive to show (however illusory) and this is the smokescreen.

    For your information the new chief advisor to Cameron on the EU renegotiation is Mats Perrson, a Swede until recently the Director of the Open Europe think tank. It is useful then to see what Open Europe has stated the UK should seek from the renegotiation. On the 08/06/15 they published 11 objectives

    • Treaty confirmation of the already agreed removal of ‘ever closer Union’ from the UK

    • Explicit commitment to multi currency EU

    • Safeguards for non euro states

    • Mechanism to opt in/out of future integration in non-Single Market areas such as employment, environment and justice and home affairs

    • Liberalisation of EU services, energy and digital markets

    • Faster timetable for new EU free trade agreements (FTAs)

    • Less and better quality regulations e.g. allow amendments / opt-outs to high cost regulations outside the Single Market eg Working Time Directive or the Agency Workers Directive.

    • EU budget reform particularly relating to regional and CAP funding with move towards R&D

    • Balance free movement against the national responsibility for welfare “Restricting access to national welfare systems to those who have been lawfully resident for several years….rights to welfare are dependent on a contribution to their host country”

    • ‘Red card’ for national parliaments

    • Return judicial control over justice and home affairs to member states

    http://openeurope.org.uk/intelligence/britain-and-the-eu/a-blueprint-for-reform-of-the-european-union/ They comment that the EU must become ‘multi-form’ with rolling reform. This is the advice Cameron is getting and he will need to show progress to win the vote. How many of these could you support?

    The comment that a Yes vote “might settle the issue for a while” is wise. Without a fundamental change in the UK relationship with the EU the problems will merely reappear and the difficulties will start all over again

  • David Cameron’s EU negotiation – just part of a bigger nationalist picture

    15 June 2015  21:54, by Iwantout

    No one knows what Cameron is trying to ‘renegotiate’ but the following seem possible.

    No ‘ever closer Union’ for the UK. What is the big deal? There is no evidence at all of a UK majority in favour of closer ties with the EU. If you want further integration carry on, but without us.

    Benefits to be available to EU migrants only after they have paid into the system for some time. Why should a person be able to present themselves for benefits without paying in a penny ? Unless the EU wakes up to how unbelievably toxic this is as an issue it may be sufficient to gain a No vote on its own.

    Protection for non EZ countries. The UK is under represented in the EP and the QMV system (as are all large states), the EU has shown a willingness to ignore treaty protection / obligation many times previously, so what is wrong with requiring watertight protection from EZ control ?

    The ECHR is under attack from across the board here. Leading judges and Labour politicians as well as Conservatives are highly critical. The ECHR is widely seen to have strayed into politics and to be ignoring the legislation that constrains the Court itself. Amusingly the ECJ refused to allow the EU to join the ECHR in its own right as it would have subordinated the ECJ to the ECHR and that was unacceptable.

    Speaking of the law, why do you not complain that German law is superior to EU legislation (Constitutional Court ruling) and praise the UK for subordinating its law to EU legislation?

    Foreign aid, we are one of only 4 EU states who actually meet the target, why is it you never mention that? Germany, France, Belgium and any number of ‘good’ EU states fail and are actually cutting the aid they give. You do know that “counting some of the aid being diverted to the Ministry of Defence” is just following French practice?

    The referendum is based on the general election system, so no votes for EU nationals. Why is that a problem? This is a UK vote, not an EU vote. If EU nationals voted, think of the reaction to a Yes vote won by fewer than the number of EU nationals in the country (approx. 2.3m). Outright fury seems likely.

    The Conservatives pulled out of the EPP because it promotes federalism. The Conservatives do not, it would have been truly bizarre for them to stay in a group that wants something they oppose. Cameron vetoed a treaty he believed was against UK interests, he is supposed to act in UK interests.

    He calls for scrapping of unnecessary EU regulation, isn’t that what Commissioner Timmermans is now trying to do as well?

    Cameron is pro EU, he has repeatedly said he wants to stay in the EU (which is why most of us do not believe in his renegotiation) but he is being driven by power beyond his control, public opinion. Remember UKIP got more votes than the Lib/Dems and SNP combined.

  • David Cameron’s EU negotiation – just part of a bigger nationalist picture

    15 June 2015  12:07, by Richard

    Oh dear. The SNP were characterised as being narrow Nationalists because that’s what they are. No one attacked them for being Scottish - the Conservatives merely pointed out the dangers inherent in having the Union being governed by a weak Labour Party permanently dependent on the favours of the SNP, who have only two interests: Scotland and independence. The SNP would not hesitate for a second to put Scottish interests above those of the Union, and indeed would happily damage the Union as a way of engineering a second independence vote. It was not David Cameron who convinced the English of the dangers of any arrangement where the SNP held the balance of power: it was Nicola Sturgeon.

    Yes, the SNP have a veneer of “pro-Europeanism”. It did not extend to favouring the euro or Schengen though. It’s just a way of their saying “see, we’re not narrow-minded nationalists, we like Europe”. But look at any typical SNP speech; replace “Westminster” with “Brussels” and you have a carbon copy of UKIP.

    Are the Scottish Nationalists narrow-minded Nationalists? When it comes to the Union of the UK, they most certainly are. There’s a constant refrain of “people we did not elect dictating to us”, “laws we did not vote for”, “stealing our oil” and above all “if it’s bad, it’s Westminster’s fault”

    If that sounds familiar, it’s the sort of stuff Nigel Farage comes out with every day.

    As to foreign aid: may I ask how many other EU countries actually meet the .7% obligation by enshrining it into law? Why don’t you write an article about how terrible it is that Finland just slashed theirs by over 40%?

    If Cameron cut foreign aid it would be greeted with relief by the public. We do not see the value of spending £12 billion annually (a sum set to rise, as it is based on GDP) on what are often porkbarrel projects of little worth in countries who have nuclear bombs and spacecraft, whilst cutting the same amount from the disabled and children here in the UK.

  • Brexit: a danger for both EU and the UK

    13 June 2015  12:40, by Iwantout

    Dear Giuseppe Marrosu

    Politicians can put their views forward and try to persuade, but ultimately they are there to represent the electorate. A refusal to listen to voters or knowingly making false promises is not democracy. Many of us believe for years politicians have mislead us over the EEC / EC / EU which is why they are not trusted on this matter.

    Blair tried to get the UK into the euro, he was stopped by the polls that showed insufficient public support and by the economic view that it was too dangerous without the supporting political structures.

    Regarding trade, both sides will try to maximise advantages, neither will get everything but the value is too great not to arrive at a deal. We are the largest market for the EU in the World, are you suggesting your leaders would want to damage that? E.g. the UK is the biggest market in the World for German vehicles. Even if a deal was not done, it simply makes trading with the EU the same as trading with the US or any other country and remember the UK is unique in the EU, we trade more outside the EU than inside.

    To quote the German economic commentator Wolfgang Munchau “In macro economic terms, EU membership is virtually irrelevant for a member state that is simultaneously large and not in the euro zone. The EU budget is tiny, and free trade and free capital movement would continue under any conceivable scenario. There may be reasons to stay in the EU, but whatever they are they are not macroeconomic.” Financial Times 13/01/13 (http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/659572a6-5b57-11e2-9d4c-00144feab49a.html#axzz3YaLYuHZP ) Note he does not mention free movement of people.

    No I was not suggesting we would want to be like Switzerland, just saying that they have achieved far better trade deals than the EU, so could the UK negotiating for itself rather than with 27 countries. (And do you really want to be feared? Is the EU feared ?) Personally I would want to see the UK like South Korea, almost total access to the single market, none of the EU fees, no social legislation etc. You see, there are very real alternatives to those the EU tell us are available.

    “Yes I am a dreamer”, fine but dreams need to be based in reality. I would say your dreams have led directly to annual growth of 0.8% since the launch of the euro, horrific unemployment (22% for youth and 11% overall) significant social problems and yet still there is not a single agreed view on the mainland continent of how a federal state will work. Will you have the hard economic German version, the more social French version etc.?

    Quoting a deceased rich singer living in his own privileged world as a source of wisdom is fine, but I would rather look at the situation we find ourselves in.

    Clearly you and I will both campaign for a No vote in the referendum, but for opposed reasons.

  • Brexit: a danger for both EU and the UK

    12 June 2015  20:25, by giuseppe marrosu

    Dear Mr. Iwantout, I’m still waiting to know your name. “I do not think your future can be reached by ignoring the responses of the people today.” Neither do I. In my opinion there is a democracy deficit in the EU and in many “Europhiles” and I view that as one of our worst problems. But if it is wrong for politicians to ignore public opinion it is also wrong to be dictated by it. A good politician should try to persuade voters to support the policies he/she thinks are best even when they could make him/her unpopular. Otherwise he/she is just a puppet.

    “You believe that politicians have not tried to persuade UK people to support the EU.” Did I really write that? Honestly I think that what your politicians try to sell you is your problem as a British, not mine. Citing your words, this IS an internal issue. The british have been cheated by their own politicians? Too bad for them, they should have known better.

    “We have had many senior leaders who are fervent supporters of the EU, David Cameron...” Really? All these guys were just trying to assure the UK had a strong influence in the EU so that the EU could never become so strong as to threaten the UK’s undeserved place in the world. As for Blair, I suspect that if he had spent his credibility for the Euro a tenth of what he has spent for the war on Iraq you would not have the Pound today.

    “The EU trade balance with the UK is far greater than that with Korea. Why would you not want a similar deal with us ?” I don’t know... maybe just because the trade balance is so big... both negotiating sides will try to maximize advantages. And the UK will be in a weaker position than the EU-27. Also, the UK is one of the main if not THE main pro-free trade members of the EU. A UK-free EU would not be as nice when negotiating a trade agreement as the EU that dealt with Korea. “Outside the EU we can negotiate our own trade deals, Switzerland...” So your model is Switzerland: a rich, tiny, specialized-economy, isolated and irrelevant country, trading with everyone (including drug lords, tax dodgers, dictators) and feared by no one. Good luck.

    “the bottom line is we see our relationship with the EU in terms of a cold economic cost / benefit exercise. You see it as a political dream beyond economics.”

    Yes I am a dreamer and I am proud of it. Some of us, you know, believe in something other than money.

    As an englishman said: “you may say I’m a dreamer/ but I’m not the only one/ I hope one day you will join us/ and the world will be as one”


  • Irish Marriage Equality Referendum

    12 June 2015  18:18, by duodecim stellae

    The Irish vote outcome has been a really big issue in German media. Now many people are arguing that we need gay-marriage here in Germany. So far we only have registered life partnerships, which are not 100% equal to marriage (no adoption right).

  • We Need to Talk

    12 June 2015  17:58, by duodecim stellae

    Very good article! Thumbs up from german Europe! You have some good ideas. Keep following your goals!

  • Macedonia: democracy in crisis or “democracy in bloom”?!

    12 June 2015  03:57, by Makedonetz

    It’s true lost of UN explained events but look at the timing! Perfect alignment with big business pipelines... Who has interest in these businesses Soros has been backed by all the Bush presidents Clinton Obama and a large list of media/ investor’s he robbed England’s banks pillaged in Poland helped take down USSR and also Yugoslavia... read up on him and his “friends” who profit from the loss and suffering of humans!

  • Brexit: a danger for both EU and the UK

    11 June 2015  21:48, by Iwantout

    Dear Giuseppe Marrosu, I believe a majority in the UK are against membership of a centralised EU state. I accept your view that this is true in other countries. I agree you (and Alexander Peters) are free to campaign for your view of the future. But I do not think your future can be reached by ignoring the responses of the people today. (Cancelling referendum results, breaching treaties, ignoring the Parliamentary D’Hondt system when voters elect eurosceptics etc)

    You believe that politicians have not tried to persuade UK people to support the EU. We have had many senior leaders who are fervent supporters of the EU, David Cameron, Tony Blair and John Major to name three. They have campaigned hard for the EU.

    Emotion does play a part in the debate and ignorance is wide spread. But no I do not think ignorance is more prevalent on the Eurosceptic side. The Pro EU side regularly makes claims that are on examination untrue, e.g. the infamous 3.5m jobs in the UK are dependent on membership, you have to be in the EU to benefit from the Single Market, the Single Market is a huge boost to the economies of member states etc. None are true and all are used to instil fear.

    So 28/10/13 Business for Britain published poll of 1000 business leaders, 46% believed cost of Brussels regulation outweighed benefits of membership, 37% thought it was worth it. Remember the average tariff for goods into the EU is 5.5% and services are tariff free, not exactly prohibitive levels. Where they are high, agriculture, we can trade much more cheaply outside the EU.

    With regards to a trade only agreement. The EU has a deal with South Korea which removed tariffs on 98.7% of all industrial and agricultural goods. No membership fees, no uncontrolled migration, no social legislation etc. The EU trade balance with the UK is far greater than that with Korea. Why would you not want a similar deal with us ?

    Outside the EU we can negotiate our own trade deals, Switzerland has some of the same deals as the EU, but they also have deals with China, Singapore, The South African Customs Union, Japan etc., the EU does not. The EU in contrast has deals with Syria, San Marino, Algeria, Central America and Andorra. Which do you think are more valuable?

    I have no love for the EU and little respect because it has consistently refused to listen to the people. When we joined the Common Market the word Union was nowhere in sight. The Government specifically said there would be no loss of sovereignty in the information leaflet they sent to every house in the country in 1975. It was sold to us as a pure business club.

    Most of us believe we give considerably more to the EU than we get back. We can argue that all day, but the bottom line is we see our relationship with the EU in terms of a cold economic cost / benefit exercise. You see it as a political dream beyond economics. It might be that that is actually the real difference between us.

    All the best.

1 2 3 4 >