Cutting the Gordian Knot

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Clitheroekid
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Cutting the Gordian Knot

Postby Clitheroekid » January 7th, 2017, 10:46 pm

Whether we approve of it or not I think it’s generally accepted that the main reason that most people voted for Brexit was to place severe limits on immigration.

This has led to an immovable object / irresistible force situation, as we want access to the single market, but we can’t acquire it unless we agree to freedom of entry to EU citizens, which would obviously defeat the referendum decision. Stalemate.

It seems to me that the problem might largely be solved simply by removing the right to freedom of movement within the EU from some countries that should probably never have been given it in the first place.

Back in the days when the EU was primarily an economic organisation rather than a political one I don’t recall there being any problems with freedom of movement. On the contrary, it was considered by virtually everyone (including myself) to be a brilliant concept. It was a truly civilised arrangement that allowed people to work in other countries without all the paraphernalia of visas and work permits that used to exist.

But I’ve come to the conclusion that this only worked because all the countries involved were basically pretty similar. They were mostly relatively strong economies with relatively well-educated populations and they all shared very similar cultural values, with traditions of democracy and the rule of law. Admittedly, the countries of southern Europe were somewhat less `virtuous’ than those of the north, but they were near enough to be welcomed into the family.

The key point is that there was no inherent incentive for people in any of the member countries to move to another member country. The EU in those days was, in many ways, similar to a single country, and just as there is no inherent incentive for someone in Northampton to move to Cheshire there was no inherent incentive for a Swede to move to France or a Belgian to move to Italy.

The result was that there was no mass migration at all, and the system worked perfectly well.

But once the EU morphed from an economic organisation into an empire-building political organisation whose main object was to extend its empire it laid the foundations for the chaos that exists today. By granting freedom of movement to countries that were far poorer than the existing members it immediately created an inherent incentive for their populations to migrate to the richer countries.

And this is to my mind the root of the problem. I would very much doubt if most Brexit voters have any strong objection to people from France or Austria or Finland coming to live in the UK because they realise they would generally be ready, willing and able to integrate very easily, and also because there are plenty of UK residents who travel to work in such places so that there is at least a feeling of reciprocity.

But the more difference there is between the immigrants and the host population and the less they are ready, willing and able to integrate the more this goodwill begins to decay.

The tide started to turn with the admission of the East European countries. By definition these were all significantly poorer than the original member countries, and so the inherent incentive began to operate. The main illustration of this is Poland. From fewer than 50,000 Poles working in the UK in 2003 there are now estimated to be around a million.

But even this mass migration has generally worked fairly well. Poland was probably the most prosperous and most `Western’ of the East European countries anyway, and there has been a long association between the UK and Poland – many older people, perhaps more inherently opposed to immigration, remembered the heroics of the Poles in the war.

There has also been a perception amongst the public that Poles are generally skilled and industrious workers. Indeed, the Polish plumber / Polish builder has become a familiar fixture of modern life.

However, I suspect that prior to Brexit people had already been becoming concerned about the sheer numbers of Polish immigrants, particularly in those areas where immigration was concentrated.

This situation then accelerated dramatically with the extension of freedom of movement to the very poorest countries, such as Romania and Bulgaria. The inherent incentive for people in these countries to migrate was, and remains extremely strong, and to my mind it was a very serious error to take that step. Because of the huge disparity in incomes between the UK and these countries it makes complete economic sense for their residents to come to the UK and either simply claim benefits or work in the black economy for less than minimum wages.

People who come from very deprived backgrounds will obviously be willing to accept standards of accommodation and employment that would not – and should not - be tolerated in a civilised society. They are also more likely to co-operate in illegal working practices because (a) they don’t have much choice; and (2) such practices are commonplace in their country of origin.

Countries like Bulgaria and Romania are radically different to the UK, and it’s consequently far more difficult to integrate their immigrants. Because of the generally poor educational standards that exist in their home countries such immigrants are far less likely to have skills that are much in demand, again directing them towards living on benefits or illegally low wages.

It would therefore appear to make sense that freedom of movement should be retained, except from any country where there is an inherent incentive to migrate to the UK.

The exact definition of inherent incentive would no doubt be greatly argued about, but the simplest method would be to assess a country’s GDP as a factor of either the UK or the EU average GDP. So, for example, if the average EU GDP per capita is around €35,000 the `inherent incentive’ level might be set at anything less than 60% of that amount – around €21,000.

Such a figure would exclude most of the East European countries, but all it would mean in practice is that they would lose their automatic freedom to immigrate to the UK. There would still be a facility to allow people from those countries to live and work here subject to individual assessment – much the same as applies to people from outside the EU at present.

If we were to offer such a deal to the EU I would think it might prove attractive to most of the member states, and that it could help to facilitate our access to the single market.

Although the suggestion is specifically for application to the UK I would also suggest that the EU as an institution could be massively improved – possibly even to the point where we could be persuaded back in - by introducing such a system within the EU, withdrawing freedom of movement from countries that failed to reach the inherent incentive threshold.

Such a system would also have a secondary advantage of encouraging those countries to become wealthier so that they could pass the inherent incentive threshold and be granted the `prize’ of freedom of movement. In addition, freedom of movement has caused serious problems for the poor countries, in that so many of their brightest and best have now deserted, leaving the countries even more impoverished. Whilst many such people might well leave anyway, as they would remain in high demand elsewhere in the EU, removing freedom of movement might at least help to stem the flow.

Although I fully appreciate that such a system would directly conflict with a fundamental principle of the EU constitution the EU is eventually going to have to wake up to the fact that their system is broken, and that it’s only going to get a lot worse unless radical reforms are made.

I also realise that the countries that would be affected would be bound to oppose it, but as the wealthier countries want us to be part of the single market I believe they would, if only out of self-interest, be likely to overrule any such objections.

Whether, as things stand, they could actually do so I’m not sure. I know that some decisions can only be made unanimously, and it’s inevitable that the poorer countries would block such a move. In that event a far more radical step would need to be considered, namely a change to the EU constitution to allow majority voting.

Again, radical as it might be – and going to the heart of the EU principles - I think many EU countries would nowadays welcome such a move. Times have changed dramatically over the past few years, and the requirement for unanimity – which exists in hardly any other democratic institutions - is simply unworkable when there are 28 very different countries each with their own agenda involved.

Prepare for the red arrows as they say in t’Daily Mail! ;)

TopOnePercent
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Re: Cutting the Gordian Knot

Postby TopOnePercent » January 8th, 2017, 12:25 pm

Clitheroekid wrote:This has led to an immovable object / irresistible force situation, as we want access to the single market, but we can’t acquire it unless we agree to freedom of entry to EU citizens, which would obviously defeat the referendum decision. Stalemate.



I agree with pretty much everything you've said, except the bit above.

The EU & remainers are doing their level best to pretend that "the four freedoms" are inseperable, when there's actually no basis in fact for that. It's purely a political statement backed up by nothing save wishful thinking and a desire for that to be how things work. There's no line in any treaty that states they can't be applied individually, and even were there to be one, treaties are renegotiable.

The balance of trade ensures the EU is more dependent on us than we are upon it. The EU's inability to negotiate simple trade agreements with utterly benign countries like Canada ensure they will always depend on us more than we do them.

Next up is the funding into their budget - the UK pays over fully 1/3rd of the net spending in the EU, and it's far from certain any other nation in Europe can or will fund the difference, or that the EU won't fragment if the spending taps get turned off: France will seek to protect the CAP while Eastern Europe will seek to cut it in order to fund their cash flows.

Next up is defence. The EU just lost more than half its ability to project military force with the coming absence of the UK, at a time when that nice Mr Putin has eyes on regaining old ground. They're dependent on the UK for defence, especially with President Trumps decision to move towards the NATO exit.

The list of reasons the UK has the EU over a barrel are near endless. That they're doing a great job of the early political pre-negotiation stages is impressive, but ultimately the claims they make are no more rooted in fact or truth than a typical Labour budget.

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Re: Cutting the Gordian Knot

Postby Ashfordian » January 8th, 2017, 1:09 pm

Clitheroekid wrote:This has led to an immovable object / irresistible force situation, as we want access to the single market, but we can’t acquire it unless we agree to freedom of entry to EU citizens, which would obviously defeat the referendum decision. Stalemate.


Clitheroekid wrote:Although I fully appreciate that such a system would directly conflict with a fundamental principle of the EU constitution the EU is eventually going to have to wake up to the fact that their system is broken, and that it’s only going to get a lot worse unless radical reforms are made.


The above.

The EU had a chance to change this with a renegotiation in Feb 2016. It did not. If anything it was too blasé because it was stuck in its own echo chamber and post the vote nothing seems to have changed. It is still not listening.

The British have been forced to take the lead in Europe previously. Fortunately this time it has been done via the peaceful means of the ballot box.

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Re: Cutting the Gordian Knot

Postby avconway » January 8th, 2017, 2:12 pm

Clitheroekid, yours of January 7th, 2017, 10:46 pm, is a well-argued post.

However, whether there is an appetite in Bruxelles for rational, well-based arguments on matters of “free movement of labour” (still less for “free movement of people”) seems to me doubtful. The issue of unfettered migration (no matter whether of labour specifically or of people generally) seems to be a matter of faith in the EU, a fundamental belief, not a matter evolved through (and thus susceptible to) rational argument.

The fundamental issues driving trading blocs are economics – you want to sell something that I want to buy. Trade is straightforward deal-making, and any attempt to link deal-making with migration rights is clearly contrived, is artificial, and is possibly blackmail.

Devon and Cornwall prospered in the Bronze Age, courtesy of tin, but there are no stories that the Phoenicians, for example, insisted on free movement of people, or the use of a common currency, before doing a deal in tin. Deals agreed between willing sellers and willing buyers facilitated the spread of bronze-making technology and materials across Europe and further afield. With no overweening coercion towards commonality of language, migration or currency.

Once an illogicality becomes ingrained as an article of faith rational arguments are insufficient to shake its holders to reality. It may take a wholesale stable cleaning of the Berlaymont Building before clear thinking, and a separation of trading issues from grandiose political dreams, takes hold of the EU. My guess is that that occasion is still a Brexit, a Grexit, an Italexit (and perhaps others) away. We may yet find that Britain's exit is the speediest way to do the EU a good turn.

avconway

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Re: Cutting the Gordian Knot

Postby marmalade100 » January 8th, 2017, 3:21 pm

The OP has made some very good points about immigration from the UK point of view.

Whilst free movement is one of the principles of the single market what surprises me is that there is very little discussion of the effects of "emigration" for such as Poland; we look at it purely from our point of view. However countries such as Poland have substantial demographic problems which are made much worse given that so many young people have left; for these countries the free movement of labour must be proving a big challenge.

For those countries in the EZ the problems associated with free movement are much worse. Because there is no fiscal union countries such as Poland lose tax revenues and will get no transfers from a central treasury and will simply be left to cope.

My point? It isn't just the UK that has a problem with free movement; it is a much bigger issue with substantial unintended consequences - like an awful lot of things in the EU.

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Re: Cutting the Gordian Knot

Postby funduffer » January 8th, 2017, 3:26 pm

Clitheroekid wrote:
The result was that there was no mass migration at all, and the system worked perfectly well.

But once the EU morphed from an economic organisation into an empire-building political organisation whose main object was to extend its empire it laid the foundations for the chaos that exists today. By granting freedom of movement to countries that were far poorer than the existing members it immediately created an inherent incentive for their populations to migrate to the richer countries.



The irony is that it was the UK that pushed so hard for EU expansion into Eastern Europe.

I agree with most of your post, but I suspect it is too late to turn back the clock.

FD

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Re: Cutting the Gordian Knot

Postby mswjr » January 8th, 2017, 8:12 pm

marmalade100 wrote:The OP has made some very good points about immigration from the UK point of view.

Whilst free movement is one of the principles of the single market what surprises me is that there is very little discussion of the effects of "emigration" for such as Poland; we look at it purely from our point of view. However countries such as Poland have substantial demographic problems which are made much worse given that so many young people have left; for these countries the free movement of labour must be proving a big challenge.

For those countries in the EZ the problems associated with free movement are much worse. Because there is no fiscal union countries such as Poland lose tax revenues and will get no transfers from a central treasury and will simply be left to cope.

My point? It isn't just the UK that has a problem with free movement; it is a much bigger issue with substantial unintended consequences - like an awful lot of things in the EU.


I have also wondered about the affect of emigration on the accession Countries. I have however, seen it argued that - short term at least - they are benefitting from the amount of money flowing into them from their remote labour. Most of the Eastern EU immigrants in UK seem to send a lot of their money back to their families, which influx is increasing money in circulation. (Conversely, the efflux penalises UK). No doubt their 'brain drain' could cause problems in the future, but is seen currently as tomorrow's problem.

As a theory, does that stand up, do you think?

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Re: Cutting the Gordian Knot

Postby redsturgeon » January 8th, 2017, 8:18 pm

I have also wondered about the affect of emigration on the accession Countries. I have however, seen it argued that - short term at least - they are benefitting from the amount of money flowing into them from their remote labour. Most of the Eastern EU immigrants in UK seem to send a lot of their money back to their families, which influx is increasing money in circulation. (Conversely, the efflux penalises UK). No doubt their 'brain drain' could cause problems in the future, but is seen currently as tomorrow's problem.

As a theory, does that stand up, do you think?


Poland is the largest net beneficiary of the EU budget by a long way so for them it is probably jam today and let's worry about the longer term issues later. They are probably hoping that some of the emigrants will return at some stage bringing their skills with them.

John

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Re: Cutting the Gordian Knot

Postby supremetwo » January 8th, 2017, 10:23 pm

redsturgeon wrote:
I have also wondered about the affect of emigration on the accession Countries. I have however, seen it argued that - short term at least - they are benefitting from the amount of money flowing into them from their remote labour. Most of the Eastern EU immigrants in UK seem to send a lot of their money back to their families, which influx is increasing money in circulation. (Conversely, the efflux penalises UK). No doubt their 'brain drain' could cause problems in the future, but is seen currently as tomorrow's problem.

As a theory, does that stand up, do you think?


Poland is the largest net beneficiary of the EU budget by a long way so for them it is probably jam today and let's worry about the longer term issues later. They are probably hoping that some of the emigrants will return at some stage bringing their skills with them.

John

Poland is certainly the largest beneficiary of child benefit and child tax credits for non-resident children.
The UK is in a minority in allowing that at all and the rate is about 4 times that of the Polish rate.

https://www.gov.uk/child-benefit-move-to-uk
You may qualify if you’re from the EEA or Switzerland and your child lives in an EEA country or Switzerland.
You or your partner must pay UK National Insurance (if you’re employed or self-employed) or get one of these benefits:

contribution-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
contribution-based Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
State Pension
widow’s benefits
bereavement benefits
Incapacity Benefit
Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
Severe Disablement Allowance
Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP)

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Re: Cutting the Gordian Knot

Postby TopOnePercent » January 8th, 2017, 11:29 pm

redsturgeon wrote:
Poland is the largest net beneficiary of the EU budget by a long way so for them it is probably jam today and let's worry about the longer term issues later. They are probably hoping that some of the emigrants will return at some stage bringing their skills with them.

John


I have an idea that they may be bitterly disappointed. I'm acquainted with a group of Polish women, most of whom are married to various friends of mine, and all are raising their families here. None, literally none, have any expectation of returning to Poland in the future. Some of my girl friends have married Polish guys, and they to are not planning any return to Poland.

I do know a few couples who have bought land or rental property "back home", though none of them are currently planning on living in it. For some it is a holiday home, for others a pension, for others still just keeping an option open (due to soaring property prices in much of Eastern Europe).

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Re: Cutting the Gordian Knot

Postby marmalade100 » January 9th, 2017, 9:18 am

mswjr wrote:
I have also wondered about the affect of emigration on the accession Countries. I have however, seen it argued that - short term at least - they are benefitting from the amount of money flowing into them from their remote labour. Most of the Eastern EU immigrants in UK seem to send a lot of their money back to their families, which influx is increasing money in circulation. (Conversely, the efflux penalises UK). No doubt their 'brain drain' could cause problems in the future, but is seen currently as tomorrow's problem.

As a theory, does that stand up, do you think?


Yes, the issue is that demographic problems are not short term and take more than money to fix. As others have said if the Poles do not return then that removes that avenue of solution. These are the sorts of issues that tend to go under the radar for years and yet are extremely important but, because it's only the short term that matters, they are left unattended: until there is a crisis. This is yet another long term unintended consequence of the dysfunctionality of the EU generally and the EZ in particular.

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Re: Cutting the Gordian Knot

Postby Richasdotcom » January 9th, 2017, 3:07 pm

The EU is about the four freedoms and it is about the single market. The whole concept is to spread the prosperity accross the continent, to have the newer poorer members get huge productivity gains, to drag them up to the Northern European level as soon as possible (decades). They can provide the dynamism and growth our single market needs.

Pretending that the EU can retreat on expansion and ditch the new entrants now is risible - countries have real power inside the EU, just one needs to say no...and why wouldn't they to some second class "membership?

Later in the thread we get the old Brexit myth of the EU not doing deals with others - they have more bilateral deals than anybody else. The early ones not branded as free trade areas but acting in the same way as the latter ones branded as FTAs. When we leave the EU we lose all of those. Now we can likely do a deal with them, if we have the people to handle it (we don't now) but the intricacies of the free trade quotas and their interconnection with other countries deals and "our" share being part of the EUs quota make those reconstructions of even existing deals extraordinarily difficult. The idea that we are somehow going to leap forward with new better deals when our internal market s a mere fraction of that leveraged by the EU is funny. The idea that the EU that has the most experience of these deals of any country or block in the world is somehow poorly prepared or unable to do deals is hysterical.

Still, the Brexit mythology will have it so, we'll need to wait for the crash before many of them realise who paid for the small dog.

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Re: Cutting the Gordian Knot

Postby mswjr » January 9th, 2017, 4:13 pm

Well, it didn't take long for a thoughtful and measured thread to attract a contribution which started well but couldn't resist degenerating into vitriol toward silly brexiteers, before finishing with yet another desire for a crash to teach them a lesson.
Will the Remainers ever face up to reality and start discussing things maturely? Or is it all about self- indulgence?

Moderator Message:
Redsturgeon: I see nothing untoward in the previous post to which I assume you are referring, however your response here escalates the situation somewhat and your post has been reported. Some people will have different views to your own and they are at liberty to state those views, within the rules set out in this forum, without being accused of "self-indulgence". You accuse the poster of vitriol to "silly brexiteers" but you are the only one I see using that term. Please refrain from making personal remarks about other posters in future. Play the ball, not the man. See below for a much more effective rebuttal of the arguments put forward.

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Re: Cutting the Gordian Knot

Postby Clitheroekid » January 9th, 2017, 4:41 pm

Richasdotcom wrote:The whole concept is to spread the prosperity across the continent, to have the newer poorer members get huge productivity gains, to drag them up to the Northern European level as soon as possible (decades). They can provide the dynamism and growth our single market needs.

That may be the concept, but as with so many other aspects of the EU there's a huge gap between theory and practice, and so far this `concept' has been an abject failure.

Look at the charts showing economic growth for the following countries, all of which joined the EU in 2004 (unfortunately I couldn't link directly to the long term chart, so just click on `max' at the top of the chart to show it):

Latvia - http://www.tradingeconomics.com/latvia/gdp-growth

Lithuania - http://www.tradingeconomics.com/lithuania/gdp-growth

Estonia - http://www.tradingeconomics.com/estonia/gdp-growth

Poland - http://www.tradingeconomics.com/poland/gdp-growth

Slovakia - http://www.tradingeconomics.com/slovakia/gdp-growth

Slovenia - http://www.tradingeconomics.com/slovenia/gdp-growth

Czech Republic - http://www.tradingeconomics.com/czech-r ... gdp-growth

Hungary - http://www.tradingeconomics.com/hungary/gdp-growth

In every single case, apart from a small immediate post-accession increase in a couple of the countries their economic growth rate has not only failed to increase at all in the 13 years since they joined the EU, it's actually fallen.

And in the case of Romania and Bulgaria, both of which joined in 2007, the story's just the same:

Romania - http://www.tradingeconomics.com/romania/gdp-growth

Bulgaria - http://www.tradingeconomics.com/bulgaria/gdp-growth

On the face of it, every single one of them would have been better off staying out of the EU.

In fact, when one looks at the same charts for a couple that did stay out, Albania and Macedonia, their performance has been markedly better:

Albania - http://www.tradingeconomics.com/albania/gdp-growth

Macedonia - http://www.tradingeconomics.com/macedonia/gdp-growth

It was far too ambitious to try to include such countries, and as I said in my original post this is symptomatic of the EU having morphed from an economic institution into a political one, with its decisions made on political (empire-building) grounds rather than rational, economic ones.

These countries are simply too far behind Western European countries to be included in an economic union with them. We might as well have invited Bolivia or Tunisia to join. (Incidentally, why do so many country names end in "ia"?)

One of the most alarming aspects of these charts is not just that membership of the EU has resulted in either no improvement or an actual decline of economic growth for the accession states but that the tens of billions of euros that have been transferred to them from the Western countries appear to have had, if anything, a negative effect on their growth rates. Perhaps they decided that it was easier to rely on the EU `benefits system' than to work harder, or perhaps it reflects the drain of talent to more prosperous countries following accession.

Either way, one can only wonder what those growth charts would look like without the billions of EU cash that's been injected.

On the assumption that the accession states would, had they not joined, have continued to enjoy growth rates rather higher than they actually have most of these wasted billions would have remained in the Western European countries where one imagines they could and would have been used rather more productively.

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Re: Cutting the Gordian Knot

Postby gryffron » January 9th, 2017, 6:59 pm

[quote=Clitheroekid](Incidentally, why do so many country names end in "ia"?)[/quote]

Latin possessive ending.

Brittania = [Land] of the Brittani.

Usage in Latin was so commonplace, that the convention has been extended by speakers of European Latin derived languages to countries way beyond the original Roman Empire.

Gryff

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Re: Cutting the Gordian Knot

Postby avconway » January 9th, 2017, 7:29 pm

Richasdotcom wrote:The EU is about the four freedoms and it is about the single market. The whole concept is to spread the prosperity accross the continent, to have the newer poorer members get huge productivity gains, to drag them up to the Northern European level as soon as possible (decades). They can provide the dynamism and growth our single market needs.


I’m picking up on the same point that Clitheroekid has drawn attention to – but I have a different comment to make. The whole EU concept may be brilliant (the economic arguments may be sound, may bring affluence to all, I don’t know, I barely listen to them – Clitheroekid’s post seems to have demolished them) but the brilliance of the EU concept is irrelevant.

Any scheme of governance, brilliant or not, that is imposed without discussion, agreement and listening to the people concerned, is tyranny. We may argue over “tyranny” as a description of the EU’s modus operandi, but there is little argument over its lack of democracy. Persuade me that the EU is democratic (i.e. that it is listening to, and responsive to, the people its edicts concern) and I shall regret my vote to leave. However, most British people, and (it seems) an increasing number across other parts of Europe, share my loathing of its tin ear.

It may be that Britons were /will be better off inside the EU, it may that Indians were better off inside the British Empire, it may be that the people of Palestine would have been better off tolerating floods of European Jewish immigrants, but it is all irrelevant if these good things are imposed over the heads of the people concerned. Impositions (of good things and bad) generate animosity, rejection and revolt. Those who would be democrats must first learn to discuss, talk, persuade and listen.

Do I think Britain’s Brexit vote will turn the EU’s would-be democrats into actual democrats? Do I think old dogs can learn new tricks? They still think it’s only the money that matters; no, it’s control of governance that matters.

avconway

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Re: Cutting the Gordian Knot

Postby dspp » January 9th, 2017, 8:03 pm

Clitheroekid wrote:That may be the concept, but as with so many other aspects of the EU there's a huge gap between theory and practice, and so far this `concept' has been an abject failure. Look at the charts showing economic growth for the following countries, all of which joined the EU in 2004 .....:In every single case, apart from a small immediate post-accession increase in a couple of the countries their economic growth rate has not only failed to increase at all in the 13 years since they joined the EU, it's actually fallen. ............ It was far too ambitious to try to include such countries, and as I said in my original post this is symptomatic of the EU having morphed from an economic institution into a political one ...


CK -

1) Nice charts, fair point. I've looked at the charts and personally I see the normal statistical noise with the biggest feature of note being the effect of the 2007-2008 financial crisis and its long term after effects. Are you sure you are not reading more into the data than can reasonably be inferred ? That is a question by the way - you may have some statistical analysis tested against e.g. all other EU countries.
2) Those countries chose to join the EU precisely because it is both an economic and a political institution. The clue is in the 1957 Treaty of Rome preamble "ever closer union" as well as many other places. They are getting what they wanted, and still seem to want. (By the way many of them joined NATO for the same reasons, i.e. it is firstly a political organisation, and secondly a security/defence organisation, i.e. duality of purpose may well be a necessary criteria for such organisations to have democratic legitimacy).
3) Your proposal is interesting, but runs contrary to the four principles, which are there for the benefit of the peoples - not the countries or the companies, but the peoples. Reframing the four principles might be possible and may even happen (though I think it unlikely) but if it did it would be a very different Europe. I'm not sure I'd like that - would you ? Is the state there for you, or you for it ?
4) Does your proposal pass the subsidiarity sniff test ? Does it mean that you will need a licence to migrate to live/work inside the M25 for example if applied to the UK ?

regards, dspp

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Re: Cutting the Gordian Knot

Postby TopOnePercent » January 9th, 2017, 8:48 pm

Richasdotcom wrote:Later in the thread we get the old Brexit myth of the EU not doing deals with others - they have more bilateral deals than anybody else. The early ones not branded as free trade areas but acting in the same way as the latter ones branded as FTAs. When we leave the EU we lose all of those. Now we can likely do a deal with them, if we have the people to handle it (we don't now) but the intricacies of the free trade quotas and their interconnection with other countries deals and "our" share being part of the EUs quota make those reconstructions of even existing deals extraordinarily difficult. The idea that we are somehow going to leap forward with new better deals when our internal market s a mere fraction of that leveraged by the EU is funny. The idea that the EU that has the most experience of these deals of any country or block in the world is somehow poorly prepared or unable to do deals is hysterical.

Still, the Brexit mythology will have it so, we'll need to wait for the crash before many of them realise who paid for the small dog.


Moderator Message:
Redsturgeon: Edited to remove personal pejorative remark.


The EU just took 10 years to fudge a deal with Canada. It'll take the UK less than 4 years to achieve the same, and without any special interest groups having a veto stretching years into the future.

The EU can't agree what day of the week it is - their experience counts for less than nothing because they repeat the same errors time after time. Experience is only valuable if you learn from it and it must be obvious to all by now that the EU simply isn't learning. Nor is it working.

The hilarious idea that the "four freedoms" are linked and must remain so is tragically incorrect. WTO rules will mean massive cash flows towards the UK, at the same time as they lose 1/3rd of their net budget. The EU is going to be as broke as a labour chancellor, defenceless, and collapsing into civil war as the Italian banks crash and burn while half the nations in the EU start demanding referendums of their own. The EU simply can't afford to maintain its stance as it is literally cutting its own throat.

mswjr
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Re: Cutting the Gordian Knot

Postby mswjr » January 9th, 2017, 9:30 pm

mswjr wrote:Well, it didn't take long for a thoughtful and measured thread to attract a contribution which started well but couldn't resist degenerating into vitriol toward silly brexiteers, before finishing with yet another desire for a crash to teach them a lesson.
Will the Remainers ever face up to reality and start discussing things maturely? Or is it all about self- indulgence?

Moderator Message:
Redsturgeon: I see nothing untoward in the previous post to which I assume you are referring, however your response here escalates the situation somewhat and your post has been reported. Some people will have different views to your own and they are at liberty to state those views, within the rules set out in this forum, without being accused of "self-indulgence". You accuse the poster of vitriol to "silly brexiteers" but you are the only one I see using that term. Please refrain from making personal remarks about other posters in future. Play the ball, not the man. See below for a much more effective rebuttal of the arguments put forward.


I'm sorry some Remainers are so thin skinned. Perhaps they should try to contain their bitterness and exercise civility themselves rather than only demanding it from others.
The tenor of the post I objected to was juvenile and indulgently rude, its self- righteousness setting an entirely different tone to the thread, so I certainly don't apologise for calling it out.
To call someone's ideas 'funny' and 'hilarious', and 'needing to wait for 'the crash' before many of 'them' realise who paid for the small dog' is self- indulgence- it certainly isn't mature, polite debate as the forum rules require.
Perhaps Richasdotcom might feel inclined to apologise to the OP.

Moderator Message:
Redsturgeon: If the OP or anyone else is concerned about the tone of the post referring to his ideas, then the correct course of action would be to report the post with the reasons for doing so. It will then be moderated if necessary. It is not your job to moderate the discussion here.


I also note I wasn't the only one to note the bitterness but I don't want to contribute to having this area removed, so I'll not post any more.

Moderator Message:
Redsturgeon: that would be a good idea.

Clitheroekid
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Re: Cutting the Gordian Knot

Postby Clitheroekid » January 9th, 2017, 10:24 pm

mswjr wrote:Perhaps Richasdotcom might feel inclined to apologise to the OP.


No apology required, I'm really not that sensitive! ;)

I was fully aware when making the original post that anything to do with Brexit was bound to elicit strong reactions. This is inevitable, as for many people it's now a (dread words) `matter of principle', and they feel bound to assert / defend that principle vigorously on every occasion.

It would be very refreshing if people could simply put their arguments without feeling it necessary to bolster them by rubbishing the arguments / character of their opponents. Calling someone or their views stupid, ignorant, naive or worse adds no strength at all to an argument - in fact it tends to indicate that its advocate lacks confidence in the argument and is seeking to divert attention from the argument to the opponent(s) personally.

But that's obviously a counsel of perfection. All we can realistically hope for is that people count to 10 (or maybe 100) before clicking on the `Submit' button, and ask themselves are they really contributing anything or just letting off steam, and whether their criticism of their opponents and/or their views really needs to be stated - after all, it should be pretty obvious from the context of the post.

I sympathise with the moderators in a situation like this, as it's a difficult decision as to when a post crosses the line. But moderation is certainly needed so as to avoid a discussion descending into a slanging match.

I'm sorry some Remainers are so thin skinned. Perhaps they should try to contain their bitterness and exercise civility themselves rather than only demanding it from others.
The tenor of the post I objected to was juvenile and indulgently rude, its self- righteousness setting an entirely different tone to the thread, so I certainly don't apologise for calling it out.
To call someone's ideas 'funny' and 'hilarious', and 'needing to wait for 'the crash' before many of 'them' realise who paid for the small dog' is self- indulgence- it certainly isn't mature, polite debate as the forum rules require.
Perhaps Richasdotcom might feel inclined to apologise to the OP.
I also note I wasn't the only one to note the bitterness but I don't want to contribute to having this area removed, so I'll not post any more.

Whilst you may be making some valid points I really feel that arguing with the mods is unacceptable. You may disagree with them but c'est la vie - just accept it and forget it. The boards can't run properly if the mods are forced to defend their decisions.


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