Mar 122016
 

By Ellen Clifford writing in a personal capacity

The majority of the DPAC steering group believes disabled people should vote to stay in the European Union.

Today we publish two pieces. The first, below, outlines a ‘no’ vote perspective, the  other HERE outlines why it should be a ‘yes’ vote to stay in EU on the 23rd June.

No to the EU

With the EU referendum looming in June this year a number of articles have been published debating the left case for a no vote on the EU (1). Here I will seek to summarise some of the key left case arguments as well to as to address the question from a disability perspective. I believe the conclusion drawn by a range of anti-austerity campaigners that the capitalist monolith of the EU cannot be reformed and must be opposed, is equally applicable to Disabled people fighting oppression and the impact of austerity cuts. John Hilary, Executive Director of War on Want writes: “a vote to remain in the EU is automatically a vote for the continuation of austerity and neoliberal capitalist rule” (2).

One point to make from the outset is that breaking with the EU would not impact on the ability of Disabled people in Britain to use the European Convention on Human Rights. At some stage the Tories may try to take Britain out of the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights and that is a fight we must be prepared for. However, it is a question that is separate from the membership of the EU.

 

Austerity and Neoliberalism

As an internationalist, the idea of a no vote on membership of the European Union can at first instinct feel wrong, but a no vote to the EU is not the same as turning away from Disabled people in the member states of the EU. Indeed a no vote is very much in solidarity with Disabled people who have born the brunt of austerity measures imposed on them by the EU in countries such as Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain. Since 2008 spending on disability services in the Irish Republic has been cut by 10% (3) with major cuts in disability-related services also occurring in Greece, Portugal and Spain (4). Bail outs given to Greece came in return for the imposition of austerity on a colossal scale. Health spending was capped at 6% with a quarter of the budget cut over just two years. In Achaia province two thirds of those prescribed drugs said they could not afford to buy them. Major depression more than doubled and suicide attempts grew by a third and yet mental health services were cut to the bone. It is estimated that the number of stillborn babies grew by 21% (5).

There can be no doubting the pressure brought to bear by the EU in imposing it neoliberal agenda. The “Fiscal Contract” signed by most EU member states in March 2012 obliges signatories to change their constitution to ensure balanced budgets under the supervision of the European Commission, an unelected EU body that acts unashamedly in the interests of big business at the expense of social or environmental rights. When the European Central Bank cut off emergency funding to Greek banks, effectively shutting them down and bringing the Greek economy to a halt, the Syriza government felt it had no option but to capitulate to the EU and sign up to a bail out package demanding austerity and privatisation. The EU thus forced through an agreement that over rode the democratic will of the Greek people who had voted against austerity. Just as the Tories have been using the financial crisis to take forward their own ideological agenda, so have EU institutions involved in the Troika (6) been using the debt crisis to impose “structural adjustment programmes” across Europe with the aim of clearing the way for multinational countries to come in and seize public assets.

Anti-austerity campaigners in Europe are clear about the role the EU plays in enforcing austerity, while nevertheless resisting its implementation by their own nation states. It is in the interests of international solidarity and resistance beyond borders to stand with our anti-austerity allies across Europe in saying ‘No’ to the EU.

 

Fortress Europe

A no vote also stands in solidarity with Disabled people from outside the current borders of the EU. Those borders, enforced by the EU joint border control taskforce Frontex, leave them with no escape from the poverty, wars and terrors created by Western imperialism. Human Rights Watch (HRW) has documented how, whenever human rights clash with the policies of racist exclusion, the EU will always prioritise the latter (7). The creation of “Fortress Europe” has seen unprecedented cooperation between countries in and just outside of the EU. A HRW report explained how in 2009 Italy began forcing migrants from Libya to return there where they would be detained by the authorities. In exchange Italy offered Libya $5 billion over 25 years in infrastructural investment. HRW collected harrowing accounts from migrants held in the detention centres including torture and rape. The EU’s response was to give Libya a further $80 million to build detention centres and strengthen its southern frontier.

Taking a principled stance in opposition to the EU does NOT mean agreeing with or supporting the nationalist, racist arguments of the likes of UKIP, while a yes position also means voting the same way as political undesirables such as Cameron (whose ‘bunch of migrants’ comment marks him as much a vicious racist as UKIP’s Nigel Farage) and Osborne.

 

The Disintegration of Social Europe

It is very much in the interests of British capital to stay in the EU while pushing ahead regardless with plans to curtail human rights in the UK through the introduction of a British Bill of Rights in place of the Human Rights Act. The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) backs continued membership of the European Union (8) – they also dedicate a section of their website to defending the governments Work Programme from which many of its own members extract profits and Maximus UK’s managing director Chris Blackwell is ‘an active member of the CBI and regularly speaks at major events’ (9).

Those in favour of staying in the EU often cite the reforms that came in through the social chapter of the Maastricht agreement in 1992 including parental leave and working hour directives. However the idea that the EU continues to offer some kind of “social Europe” to protect against the ravages of neoliberalism is a myth. The European Central Bank president Mario Draghi said in a 2012 interview that “The European social model has already gone”. Recent years have shown the EU repeatedly undermining trade union rights in favour of business. Employment barrister John Hendy QC has written, “The EU has become a disaster for the collective rights of workers and their unions. It is essential that the international institutions of human rights law be upheld, it is yet more vital that working people and trade unions across Europe achieve the solidarity necessary to prevent the further depredations of the EU” (10).

 

How should Disabled people vote?

On the question of what is in the best interests of Disabled people in the UK, firstly it is a false division to treat the interests of Disabled people as an entirely separate entity from those of the rest of the 99%. Wider social issues such as workers’ rights and the racist myths used to justify ill treatment of migrants also impact on our lives and are important to us. Secondly the argument that Disabled people in the UK have too much to lose by leaving the EU is insufficiently convincing to justify voting in favour of an institution that acts so clearly in the interests of the 1%, that forces Disabled people to suffer under austerity to keep the bankers’ bonuses piling in and that condemns refugees (many of whom are Disabled or children) to drown in the sea.

With regards to the situation in the UK, where has the EU been in stopping the Tories from their relentless attacks on Disabled people? If we look across Europe we see routine treatment of Disabled people that would be considered unthinkable here, even now following the dramatic regression we have experienced since 2010. An expose by French newspaper Liberation in 2014 revealed the terrible conditions suffered by thousands of Disabled people sent to live in institutions in Belgium (11) while caged beds are still routinely used in areas of Europe (12).

Advances in disability equality and inclusion are not the result of EU policy, they are the product of struggle by Disabled people. Sweden, a country considered for a long time to be a world leader in independent living, did not join the EU until 1994. Demands made by STIL, the Stockholm Co-operative for Independent Living, set up in 1983 and inspired by the Independent Living Movement in California, forced the introduction of Direct Payments, using demonstrations and actions that gave them a “radical reputation” that they “exploited in our dealings with the authorities” (13). In Norway, which is not an EU member, disability benefits are a universal right, while in EU member states including Sweden these are increasingly limited. There is no automatic link between EU membership and higher standards of support and inclusion for Disabled people.

Key successes in the fight against Disabled people’s oppression have not been handed down from EU bodies but won by grassroots Disabled people and our allies. The independent living movement was formed by Disabled people breaking out of residential care; the social model of disability was developed by Disabled socialists; Atos was driven out of the contract running the WCA by Disabled campaigners.

Illusions in the EU are an obstacle to building the movement we need. The force to effect real change lies with the struggle from below and that will remain the case whether the UK is in or out of the EU. However losing the referendum would be a blow to Cameron’s government and the businesses that profit from our misery, and this can help our struggle break new ground.

 

Reasons to vote No to the EU:

* The EU is negotiating secret trade deals such as the Transatlantic and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the EU and the US. TTIP threatens to introduce a new wave of privatisation in key sectors such as health and education. It also seeks to grant foreign investors the right to sue governments for loss of profits resulting from public policy decisions.

* The strict criteria of Economic and Monetary Union limits public sector expenditure and government borrowing. Euro member states now face fines if they fail to enact “implementation law” to cut spending deficits.

* The EU promotes zero hours contracts, casualisation and low pay as part of its structural adjustment programme.

* The EU promotes privatisation. Various EU directives, regulations, policies and the EMU criteria are forcing public services into the private sector. Large parts of the conditions to obtain further “bailout” loans are to sell off public sector institutions.

* The EU seeks to undermine trade union rights. The suspension of trade union collective bargaining is a strict condition of EU “bailouts” in Ireland, Portugal, Romania and Greece. A number of European Court of Justice rulings have found in favour of business over workers’ rights to defend themselves.

* The EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy has allowed the development of armed drones, economic support for the arms trade and an armed European Gendarmarie Force (EGF).

* The EU is the antithesis of democracy. The EU government is the unelected and unaccountable European Commission which legislates and proposes policy to the Councils of Ministers. The European Parliament only has very limited powers of “co-decision” with the Commission.

 

Further reading

Websites:

War on Want: www.waronwant.org

Human Rights Watch: www.hrw.org

Publications:

  1. Choonara, “The EU: A left case for exit”
  2. Slorach, “A Very Capitalist Condition: a history and politics of disability”

 

References:

theguardian.com/commentisfree/2011/dec/13/left-right-challenge-eu

morningstaronline.co.uk/a-53d8-Be-under-no-illusions-the-EU-stands-firm-behind-Tory-austerity#.VtycNmIgGSM2.

  1. waronwant.org/media/eu-referendum-how-should-left-vote
  2. The Journal, 15 September 2015. See http://www.thejournal.ie/vigil-dail-protest-anger-disability-2331523-Sep2015/?utm_source=shortlink.
  3. I B Portero, “Are there rights in a time of crisis?” Disability and Society, vol 27, no 4 (2012).

Waronwant.org/ttip

  1. J Choonara, “The EU: A Left Case For Exit” (available from bookmarksbookshop.co.uk)
  2. The Troika consists of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the European Commission and the European Central Bank, two of which are institutions of the EU.
  3. https://www.hrw.org/news/2016/03/04/dispatches-fearmongering-about-refugees
  4. http://news.cbi.org.uk/news/cbi-makes-case-for-being-in-a-reformed-eu/
  5. http://www.b.co.uk/Company/Profile/343945/
  6. http://tuaeu.co.uk/?page_id=723

http://www.ier.org.uk/blog/eu-developments-has-social-europe-disintegrated

  1. http://www.liberation.fr/societe/2014/04/24/fils-denudes-chambres-glaciales-et-residents-errants_1003931
  2. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-30038753
  3. http://www.independentliving.org/docs6/ratzka200302b.html#origins

 

[suffusion-the-author]

[suffusion-the-author display='description']
 Posted by at 14:29

  7 Responses to “EU:should we stay or should we go?”

  1. Firstly, apologies for the ad hoc nature of this response but I do not have the time to make my points more thoroughly or cohesively.

    For me, some of the fundamental weaknesses of this argument for voting to leave the EU are:
    – it implies there would be a greater likelihood of replacing ‘neo-liberalism’;
    – it suggests the experience of Disabled people over the past 8years has been driven by (as opposed to justified as essential to) the Austerity Agenda rather than the ideology of the governments of the time;
    – it dismisses the likelihood of removing the UK from the ECHR without acknowledging that it is important to the EU referendum if only inasmuch as we can only opt out of the ECHR if we are outside the EU;
    – it ignores the fact the pretty much all parts of the globe are looking to, or have, instituted that region’s version of TIP, not just the EU;
    – it fails to acknowledge the fact that the power of the beneficiaries of a neo-liberal economy is already greater than any one ‘democratically elected’ government;
    – it implies the EU is responsible for the privatisation agenda, ignoring the fact that every political party in this country large enough to be part of government for the past 19 years has pushed for increasing levels of privatisation, as a matter of their own preferred policies rather than because they felt the EU obliged them to do so.

    Ellen also states ” It is in the interests of international solidarity and resistance beyond borders to stand with our anti-austerity allies across Europe in saying ‘No’ to the EU.” Surely adding our voice to that of anti-austerity allies across Europe will have a greater impact upon Europe if we are part of it; not a critical outsider?

    I am not lover of the EU but nor am I naïve enough to believe that our economy would be any more equitable outside of Europe. However, I do believe – perhaps wrongly – that co-operation with Disabled people across Europe will be easier/more effective within the EU than out of it.

  2. I read this article published by some DPAC members with total surprise & astonishment . Firstly I was unaware that War on Want were a DPAC member organisation & were called upon give their statement & opinion to exit the EU on behalf of DPAC . Secondly after the Westminster campaigns valiantly fought by DPAC members alone last year where were they then ?
    Now is the time for those of us in DPAC to select with caution those who would use DPAC for their own ends. I also reject this proposal and shall be voting YES to stay in the EU . Secondly DPAC has now found its own voice in the world & should not become subservient to other bodies & organisations who wish to use its name for their own advantage. I have some large hopes & gigantic ambitions for the future of DPAC. I trust my comments shall be received without malice.

  3. This article was written by someone with a lack of understanding about the EU. The tories will find it extremely difficult to take the UK out of the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights if we remain since all member states are expected to sign up to it. If the UK leaves the EU, it will pave the way for Gove to press ahead with taking us out of the European Convention on Human Rights too.

  4. The ‘referendum debate’ section contains arguments for both Leaving and Remaining in the EU. This section is intended to give both sides the chance to take reasoned positions on the issues. The Blog is for the clash of opinion.

    http://www.eu-facts.org.uk/

  5. I consider myself to be English and we should leave the EU
    The UK Should Leave the European Union

    Many argue that the European Union (EU) has become an unaccountable, undemocratic federation with too many powers. Is it wrong that EU directives (EU law) supersedes British law? Is it right to have free labour movements between 27 states when the UK is suffering a recession?

    All the Yes points

    Reintroduce Full Powers Back to Westminster
    EU is a Drain on British Economy
    The EU is undemocratic and unaccountable
    We need to co-operate against global crime and terror
    The representatives that we elect should not be able to give the UK away
    I am not a European, I am an Englishman, I am entitled to a vote on this.
    immigration
    Free trade still likely with EFTA, EEC or individual treaties.
    Hypocrisy towards other EU states.
    British taxpayers are forced to bail out other European countries rather than receive goods and services
    TRADE
    No chance of changing from the Pound to the Euro
    Jobs being given to british people
    one point that is always not mentioned is the EU is part of the New World Order
    Economical and political ties

    All the No points

    EU is a Regional Security Guarantor
    Free Market
    TNCs would leave
    Trade
    The EU all together
    Students will have to pay British tuition fees

    The UK Should Leave the European Union

    Yes because…

    Reintroduce Full Powers Back to Westminster

    Although the EU has a parliament, a single state’s objection to a new piece of legislation would make no difference if the other 26 states were in favour of it.

    Nation states no longer get a veto when deciding on new legislation. New legislation is put through either by consensus among the members, or by qualified majority voting. Thus countries cannot block legislation they strongly disagree with.

    Essentially the EU is too great a body to legislate and the power should be handed back to Westminster.

    No because…

    The EU does not regularly legislate on minor issues that would adversely affect individual nations, but rather issues of common trade or foreign policy. To this end, although it is indeed true that individual member states do not have as great a say and are potentially unable to veto legislation, this should not be a problem.

    Also, the idea that the EU is too ‘large’ a body to have a common parliament is untenable when you consider that other large geographical territories with different cultural ‘zones’ such as Canada, India and Russia have a single federal parliament.

    The UK Should Leave the European Union

    Yes because…

    EU is a Drain on British Economy

    The EU is arguably a drain on the British economy. A huge amount of money given to the EU is allocated to bureaucracy and wasteful spending such as the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). In 2006, a whopping 45% EU spending went towards the CAP, [[http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/eur….stm#howmuch]].
    To put this in perspective, that’s almost half EU spending allocated towards an industry that employs only 5% EU citizens and generates 1.6% GDP [[http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/eur….stm#howmuch]].

    This is truly unneccessary and is unequally distributed, France reportedly benefitting immensely, while countries with very little agricultural sectors seeing few benefits, and yet expected to foot the bill for this wasteful policy.

    No because…

    More than 80% of the EU budget is spent by the member states.[[http://ec.europa.eu/budget/library/p…nding_en.pdf]]. In effect, the EU acts like a central government does, redistributing from the richer areas to the poorer areas within the EU. We don’t have a problem with rich London bankers paying a bit more to help the Welsh Valleys so why is helping poorer areas within EU member states any different?

    Although the EU does cost Britain money, it is simply because it is a richer country. The amounts of money that are put in by member states is proportional to their wealth.

    The UK Should Leave the European Union

    Yes because…

    The EU is undemocratic and unaccountable

    The European Union is run by unelected, unaccountable elites whose power is vast. They often bring in legislation that has not been voted on in our national parliament, yet supercedes our own laws that do pass through such democratic processes.

    “The common denominator between national and multi-level governing procedures is that each is tasked with coordinating opinion, and ultimately policy and resources, into a common pool. Power and influence within the European Union structures are divided, although somewhat disparately, between the European Parliament (EP), the Council of Ministers and the Commission. These bodies are designed to check and balance one another. In member states, citizens have the opportunity to influence national policy making through their elected officials. In the EU’s multi-tiered system, the closest a citizen comes to impacting a policy decision is through their elected representative to the European Parliament.” [[http://www.eumap.org/journal/feature…def/mitchell]]

    No because…

    The EU is continually strengthening its structure to be democratic and accountable. MEPs are elected regionally within member states which is very much a democratic process. Further to this, MEPs vote on new legislation and represent their constituency and national party in their voting patterns. Deciding on important legislation through a qualified voting system also helps to illustrate the highly democratic nature of the European Council .

    Although there is a perceived or actual ‘democratic deficit’ within the EU, EU structures are continually being reformed in order to better reflect the wishes of their stakeholders – the EU citizens themselves.

    The UK Should Leave the European Union

    Yes because…

    We need to co-operate against global crime and terror

    The main advantage of Europol is that it enables criminals that cross borders to be tracked and arrested easily by a multinational force. However, if is considered that Britain is an island, the likelihood of criminals crossing our borders is quite low, thus rendering the major advantage of Europol somewhat irrelevant.

    If the aims of the UK are to fight global terror then surely it would be of greater benefit to strengthen relations with the United States where there is a far stronger focus on tackling this issue.

    No because…

    We need to co-operate to fight the increasingly global threat of crime and violence. Europol is an effective multinational police and security force and leaving Europe would deprive us of its benefits.

    The UK Should Leave the European Union

    Yes because…

    The representatives that we elect should not be able to give the UK away

    Britain must remain its own country. Being a part of the EU threatens national identity and the UK economy amongst other things. Britain does not need to rely on its European neighbours in order to succeed.

    No because…

    Britain joined the European Economic Community in 1973, after learning that trade with the Commonwealth was not as lucrative as originally thought. The application was made in 1961 by the Conservative Prime Minister Harold MacMillan. The main reason for Britain joining the EU was for the economic benefits, so obviously it shows that in the age of globalisation and increased competitiveness, Britain cannot act alone.

    The UK Should Leave the European Union

    Yes because…

    I am not a European, I am an Englishman, I am entitled to a vote on this.

    In the Labour Party manifesto I was promised a referendum by Tony Blair, this was reneged upon and I have been forced into this position by lies and subterfuge by the former Labour government and many other lying cheating politicians over the years, I do not believe that Gordon Brown had the legal right to sign us all up to being members of the EU by voting for the Lisbon treaty in our names when we had not been given the promised Referendum, I see the whole exercise as one giant confidence trick and I will never accept it.

    No because…

    The EU is derived from a Nazi plan about how to manage Europe after they had captured it, so the ideology that drives it that nobody actually knows about in the UK means you are now European, which is exactly what is happening, the Lisbon treaty overrules the UK’s constitution rendering it useless along with Westminster, it’s more a question of time before everything in Europe is centralized and the same and Brussels admits that there is no need for Westminster to exist any more. We are probably about ten years away from that point but British people are stupid naive and listen to the BBC when it tells them how we don’t really loose £100000000000 of wealth each year and we all are in this together etc. I am British myself so don’t take offence to that because it’s true. They are collecting their own taxes now. So yes, you’re not an Englishman. You’re a European.

    The UK Should Leave the European Union

    Yes because…

    Immigration

    Since joining the EU, especially in the more recent years the amount of immigrants from the EU somewhere around 200,000, with roughly 1/3 of those people coming over for work related reasons.

    Not only that but also in terms of asylum seekers or nationals who are being funnelled here by other EU states (France) who do not want to deal with these people themselves.

    Additional to this, in recent years legislation was passed that the UK hospital system would be fully open for other EU members. This is a system which costs the UK billions per year, with a fair portion of this money being spent on foreigners who have paid little to no money to make use of the facilities. This has resulted not only in an increased cost to us, having to pay for additional doctors and nurses which we simply do not have. But has also causes increased waiting times for the British citizens who have paid to keep this service running.

    Not only this, but the amount of immigration has resulted in a loss of national identity, with traditional British values being relegated to second place while we instead focus on catering to the needs of foreign groups and their own religions and beliefs.

    No because…

    What are these “British values” you speak of… is tolerance not a “British value”?

    The issue of immigration is one perhaps too ‘British’, as to the point where almost the first port of call to make when there are ills of the society is that its the blinking foreigners.
    You see Britain has a secret weapon, its called the Tier-4 visa.
    Every year we see British born students competing at the level of Second and Third world countries, so why is it that Britain can still retain its’ Royal Society, its lead in Science, Economy and industry, while its next generation are being dummed up by watching ‘Big Brother’ or TV soap operas, why hasn’t the British economy or industry collapsed ? That’s because of immigrants, who come to this country to study because it leads so much that their own countries haven’t got the capablility of teaching them. British education system is drawing more and more students to its country and in turn making them the business leaders of tomorrow contributing to taxes, because their own countries haven’t even GOT that industry and has to play with the rules of the UK. Entire industries have been made on the shoulders of immigrants, from the low end of income to the high end of income. The British always say the foreigners are stealing our jobs, but never asks why they can ?
    Cut throat workwages ? Or is it that the foreigners don’t have the British 9-5 attitude where they start work at 10 and finish at 4-4:30 so that they can get home at 5 ?
    Now you say immigrants are costing the British billions. But may I remind you that on average, the working immigrant pays more tax per head that the British ? Yes, there are immigrants who are doing benefit fraud, but how about the British people who live on benefit simply because they can’t be bothered ? They go on to bring up children with the same attitude and so forth.
    So, when you say foreigners are benefit-stealing, whlist the law-abiding ones are paying more tax and when Britain hasn’t sorted its own people’s problems yet. One begs the question ? Which does more harm ? Capping immigrants so that no more professionals or potential professional come to this country that basically builds it ? Or acutally reforming your own laws so that benefit-stealers don’t get to do what they do ?

    The UK Should Leave the European Union

    Yes because…

    Free trade still likely with EFTA, EEC or individual treaties.

    There are many ways in which the UK could maintain its free trade with Europe – Switzerland and Norway have free trade with the EU but are not members. The UK imports more from EU member states than it exports to them, so they would be substantially harming their own economies if they imposed tariffs.

    No because…

    Free trade still are likely as much as a student with a 3rd degree and a bad attitude is still likely to get a job, just a really rubbish one. Of the member states of the EU, none of them has the same attitude that Britain does, which is ‘contribute the least and expect the greatest return, while complaining if everyone in the sandbox is agreeing to something you don’t like’.
    You can go on and say there are mechanisms that allow Britain to join the EFTA, EEC, etc., but its the same as a joblot, there is nothing to stop you applying but it doesn’t mean you’ll get in !
    Especially when Britain hasn’t got anything that’s special to offer, since the ‘special touch’ Britain has is because its’ a EU member.

    The UK Should Leave the European Union

    Yes because…

    Hypocrisy towards other EU states.

    In for a penny in for a pound .. or not…

    The UK chose not to commit to the single currency and has been treating the EU like a restaurant menu .

    The UK should do the decent thing and leave. It’s too late to commit fully , you had your chances , you blew it.

    When it comes to making contracts for business ventures , making allowances for education abroad , businesses etc have been making allowances and have been including UK businesses . That general way of thinking should just change. Polish and other eastern European labor is a lot cheaper for western European countries .

    As a citizen of a European state that’s been in 100% since the start I say the British can hide their demands where the sun fails to shine and simply bugger off.

    Point: The people from the EU member states don’t want someone on the side of the pool , 1 foot in the water , making demands .

    No because…

    AT least the british are open about their position – everyone knows they are very reluctant and only want to European project to go so far. There are other nations in Europe who think similarly (generally to a lesser extent) but their governments drag them along. The british position is probably therefore more ‘honest’ even if we dont like what it is.

    How many states will reject this new federalism when (if) it is put to the electorate?

    Of course this wholly ignores that Europe may ultimately work better as a restaurant menu – the thing the british have finally accepted is that if this is to happen it has to be a multi-speed Europe rather than Britain getting its opt outs and still keeping influence on everything else.

    The UK Should Leave the European Union

    Yes because…

    British taxpayers are forced to bail out other European countries rather than receive goods and services

    Although Britain is in a bit of a bad state as it is, British taxes are still being used to give other European governments huge amounts of money. Unemployment is up and our country appears to be coasting, desperately avoiding a double dip recession. If we could withdraw Britain from the EU, become self-sufficient and start trade routes with other countries we could be so much better. Instead, our taxpayers money is being used to pay for other Europeans rather than British nationals. It is depriving British people of work and advantages which they ought to have.

    No because…

    Even if not in the EU Britain would probably take part in bail outs in Europe (though to a lesser extent) particularly when those bail outs involve IMF money.

    Not being a member of the European Union would not change the fact that the EU is Britain’s closest trading partner and chaos in Europe would have a negative impact , better to help reduce that chaos.

    The UK Should Leave the European Union

    Yes because…

    TRADE

    It is a lie that we will not trade if we leave the EU… We have HUGE trading partners outside the EU.
    They tell us this so we are afraid to “Go it alone”..we should get out. We are being robbed HOURLY!!

    No because…

    Huge it may be but by comparison to the size of these countries it is tiny when compared to our trade with states in the EU “In 2011, 8.7% of UK exports went to the Brics (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), compared with 6% to Ireland.”[[http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-17690854]] Then consider that Ireland has a population of 6million compared to the combined BRIC population of 2.8 billion…. perhaps geography matters after-all!

    The UK Should Leave the European Union

    Yes because…

    No chance of changing from the Pound to the Euro

    There was talks of Britian becoming part of the new monetary change making us use Euro instead of the BRITISH pound

    No because…

    At the moment this is not a reason for leaving as at the moment there is no chance of a change from the pound to the Euro – indeed we dont even know if the Euro will survive.

    The UK Should Leave the European Union

    Yes because…

    Jobs being given to british people

    If we pull out of EU the British public will have more of a chance of getting jobs. When the British earn we will then start spending in our economy. Most EU nationals send their money home to be spent in their economy so this is definitely not helping the UK! The only question for me though is what would happen to the EU people already here?

    If pensioners living in Spain etc are forced to leave and return to the UK, then the pensions that are paid to them(by the UK) would then be spent in the UK and not in Spain, thus redistributed back in the country. It would not be in the EUs interest to return pensioners back to the UK.

    No because…

    Please explain how this would be the case. We are unlikely to suddenly chuck out everyone currently working here who are from overseas. Many of them do jobs we dont want or dont have the skills for and finally there is likely to be some tit for tat if we do kick out EU nationals – there are a lot of Britons living and working in Europe (even worse a lot of them are pensioners which would mean an added burden to the economy rather than a productive gain).

    The UK Should Leave the European Union

    Yes because…

    One point that is always not mentioned is the EU is part of the New World Order

    It is no coincidence that all the banks “jumped ship” at once…. nor that the peoples are being starved into the ground as borders are opened for all.

    It is no coincidence that hundreds of concentration camps are being built in American Desert areas.

    It is no coincidence that Mexico, USA and Canada are trying to for the Americo union with an “Americo” coin.

    It is no coincidence either that the EU is trying to remove Each countries rights underits own constitution.

    IT IS NO COINCIDENCE THAT NONE OF THESE PEOPLE IN THE EU WERE ELECTED TO DO ANY OF THE THINGS THEY DO!
    OUR FATHERS SIGNED UP TO “A COMMON MARKET FOR TRADE”…TRADE !!!! THESE EVIL PEOPLE HAVE TAKEN MANY YEARS TO DO IT, BUT THEY HAVE SLOWLY TAKEN OUR COUNTRIES OFF US!
    They have done this in preparation fro the NWO………………. Google the New World Order” and learn.
    The one point that matters above all is not spoken of at all!

    No because…

    Where is the actual problem with unifying planet Earth ? A world in order where wars as stopped and more money can be channelled into other things like science and techonology. Isn’t that the lesser of two evils ?

    The UK Should Leave the European Union

    Yes because…

    Economical and Political ties

    The developing countries colloquially known as the BRIC nations (Brazil, Russia, India and China), provide British businesses and entrepreneurs with an unparalleled opportunity to grow into a somewhat untapped emerging markets. This opportunity is indeed limited by the clutch of Brussels. The belief that staying with the EU is vital to the UK economy is a narrow minded approach, when considering the more holistic trading opportunities that an EU free UK will have to provide. Removing ourselves from the EU would allow us to make the independent decisions necessary to improve the UK’s bi-lateral trade with the BRIC countries and other nations, which as a consequence will act to bolster the political ties and relations we share with these countries whom we engage in trade with. In addition to the aforementioned one can say that due to the UK’s geographical proximity to Europe, trade with the countries within the EU will continue to be a vital and significant contributor to the UK economy. In Layman’s terms should the UK leave the EU, we would have greater flexibility in deciding which countries we engage with both politically and economically. If this opportunity itself is nurtured and utilized appropriately by the Government, leaving the EU may mark the start of the Golden Age of the British economy.

    The UK Should Leave the European Union

    Yes because…

    Although it is true that the initial aims of the community were to aid regional security, now that the bonds of trade and co-operation have been established we no longer need to be an official part of that union to retain the peace and goodwill.

    Additionally the ‘special relationship’ between Britain and the U.S means that we are not as dependent upon EU security as we could be an thus we are no longer tied to the union for reasons of protection.

    Edit: The peace in Europe has nothing to do with the EU, once people realise it’s only going to cause more violence at least because of the ideologically corrupt power hungry idea that Europe can become the next world superpower, hence Germany’s irrational support. Britons don’t want that and neither did the millions of us who died to stop it.

    No because…

    EU is a Regional Security Guarantor

    The original aims of the EU’s predecessor, The European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), formally established in 1951, were outlined by French French foreign minister Robert Schuman on 9 May 1950 as to ‘make war not only unthinkable but materially impossible.’ Thus far, no member states have gone to war with one another, making the original aims of lasting peace truly successful.

    Many argue that now EU member states are economically and politically mutually cooperative to such a high degree that it renders war between member states unfeasible.

    The EU also acts as a major actor and negotiator for important international treaties and conventions, giving it more weight than 27 individual states would. The EU is involved in negotiations to ensure better international governance and norms exist in the international community and is able to act strongly in support of mutual interests.

    The EU tackles such important security issues internationally, and has strategies for tackling weapons of mass destruction (WMD), combating illegal accumulation and trafficking of light weapons, and many other defence- and security-related issues.

    The UK Should Leave the European Union

    Yes because…

    Free Market

    Genial trade relations should continue even if we left the EU, however, “if there were genuine concern about the EU pursuing discriminatory trade policies against the UK, then the UK could also join NAFTA to create countervailing power in the event of traded disputes. NAFTA allows each member to pursue its own trade agenda, provided it allows other NAFTA members free access in agreed trade areas. It would therefore be entirely consistent with the UK’s free trade policy.”[[Minford, Mahambare and Nowell 2006]]

    No because…

    EU gives businesses access to 480 Million consumers, which is fantastic for our business sector and makes us more prosperous.

    The free market has increased consumer choice and goods are no longer delayed in customs by heavy paper work, making delivery times shorter, and allowing manufacturers to save money, thus bringing down the price for consumers.

    The free market has been especially beneficial to the service industry, who find have found it relatively easy to access a huge portion of new customers with relative ease.

    The UK Should Leave the European Union

    Yes because…

    TNCs would leave

    Trans-national corporations can still be have a presence in the UK as in Switzerland and Norway with the UK being an EU member. Indeed were the UK to leave then the British government would be in a position to attract inward investment and create jobs which it can not do inside the ever restrictive EU legislative framework.

    No because…

    Trans-national Corporations (TNCs) are companies that are based in at least two or more countries. A number of these TNCs are based in Britain such as the Nissan factory found in Sunderland. The reason these TNCs are here in the UK is because they are allowed free export throughout the EU due to the free market. This means that if we were to pull out of the EU, these companies would leave and it is estimated that 3 million people would become unemployed

    The UK Should Leave the European Union

    Yes because…

    Trade

    Trade is not a function of EU membership. Indeed Switzerland and Norway have no problem trading with the EU. membership of the The European Economic Area is what is required. Britain could leave the EU, saved billions, and still trade equally as well. The EU is not about trade, it is about a centralised federal government.

    No because…

    So many of our imports and exports come from the EU our economy if anything is improved by being apart of the EU. The EU is a source of man power. Polish builders come from the EU, our French chefs come from the EU. We need the EU to fill so many of our jobs in this country without being apart of the EU it will make it harder to trade with the EU and to import people if you like.

    The UK Should Leave the European Union

    Yes because…

    It’s nothing more than a gravy train for the corrupt and greedy. It’s role is not to unite but to dominate,overrule and suppress.

    No because…

    The EU all together

    This is a total muck up we our brain washed by politicians telling us this and that the world is a global trading point not just in the EU we pour billions of our tax paying money into this for what? But nobody ever wants to ever talk about this issue the Norwegians and Swiss have got very strong economies without being in this this mess look how well David Cameron is doing well out of this to?

    The UK Should Leave the European Union

    Yes because…

    Surely it would be better for the British to gain qualifications in the UK. The fees have most likely gone up again because the British Public are not spending in the UK. England used to be a rich country and we used to be admired for our skills and heritage. Now all the EU countries treat the UK as a meal ticket for their families in their home countries. Get us out of the EU fast. If people desperately want to pay cheaper tuition fees then maybe everywhere should have a visa system rather than letting people move countries just because they think they’re going to get it easier.

    No because…

    Students will have to pay British tuition fees

    British students may have to pay up to £9,000 a year next year for tuition. In most EU countries it is either cheaper, or in Denmark’s case, free. The Danes are only letting Brits study there because Britain is in the EU.

    The the issue of the meal ticket. Where is the problem with that as long as they pay their taxes ? And the British didn’t do that ? India, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Jamaica. Where do you think that British got their riches from ? Aberdeenshire ? Lake district ?

  6. The joint border forces of the EU have left disabled refugees like 21 year old Ali from Syria trapped in the Calais camp, recently attacked with tear gas and bulldozers by the French authorities. We need to tear down the borders of Fortress Europe to end this suffering – not support an EU that wants to do deals with Turkey to keep people trapped in camps or even send them back to war-zones where the effect of their impairments will be amplified by their environment.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/disability-34357957

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