Cutting the Gordian Knot

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beeswax
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Re: Cutting the Gordian Knot

Postby beeswax » January 11th, 2017, 11:02 pm

There may well be a problem with poorly trained civil servants but how does that compare with unlimited numbers of poorly trained immigrants that may not speak the language of the host country, have no money, no homes and no job and yet have NO control on the numbers coming in order to provide essential public services and provide homes the size of birmingham each year. The NHS is under severe pressure. I cannot get an appointment with my GP for a month and the roads are chocha block at peak hours. House prices are beyond what most young people can afford to supply and demand and wages are obviously depressed at the lower end and YET?

People think this is all OK in the name of allowing FREE movement of people?

Its not just that its that the same people think its OK to allow unelected Beauracrats to initiate and control our borders and our laws and even what kettles and vacuum cleaners we can buy! Thank God, the British people put two fingers up to all those that thought that was OK..and voted to leave. The only problem is we cannot trust the politicians to deliver what we voted for and we may still find ourselves tied to this corpse!

Of course whether they can integrate easily with having different cultures and religious beliefs is another issue all together!

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Re: Cutting the Gordian Knot

Postby Richasdotcom » January 11th, 2017, 11:29 pm

TopOnePercent wrote:
Richasdotcom wrote:The point I was trying to make was that the EU is not tyranical, it is a democratic organisation with checks and balances, elected representatives and representation and rightss for all nation states. The structure means that the default is compromise and concensus not tyranny.

The way we can tell it is not a tyranny is that it is not possible to list any tyrannical actions taken by the EU.



Not sure if serious. I presume you don't know any Greeks then? Their country was utterly ruined by the EU for nought more than a point of politics - whatever happens those German & French outfits holding the Greek debt they won't see 100% repaid with interest as due. Rather than accept that they have destroyed Greece.

Oddly, I don't recall voting for Junker. Maybe I was ill that day. Or just maybe sewn up deals behind closed doors, with a winner chosen from amongst the boys, just maybe, that isn't democracy.

So now we can tell its a tyranny.


Greece is a democracy, it has accepted the current deal, decided upon EU membership and continuing Euro membership. All of this was their choice.

As for Juncker, he is a civil servant, he can do nothing without BOTH Parliament and the Council supporting it. He is a tyrant with precisely zero ability to act tyranically, just as our cabinet secretary or Bank of England head cannot act as a tyrant.

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Re: Cutting the Gordian Knot

Postby Richasdotcom » January 11th, 2017, 11:35 pm

TopOnePercent wrote:
Richasdotcom wrote:
1nv35t wrote:Like installing technocrats to replace democratically elected?

When Germany was in difficulties the Greeks wrote off significant amounts of German debt. More recently the Germans having lent irresponsibly to the Greeks (Greeks irresponsibly borrowed in order to buy German manufactured stuff), has the Germans laying the irresponsibility solely upon the Greeks ... installing technocrats to hit that home.

That's pretty oppressive (tyrannical/dictatorial) IMO.


Greece had a referendum on the proposed deal and the majority supported it. There was no imposition of tyrants, there was a deal where the creditors outlined their minimum requirements and the people of Greece accepted that deal.



Pointing a (fiscal) gun at someones head and saying "sign this or I blow your head off", does not amount to acceptance.

You know this already Rich, so my question is why the pointless line of argument? You're far too smart to believe this rot, so why post it?


You fail to offer the alternative. Should Greece just be forgiven and have other Euro members pay their bills? The fiscal gun was pointed at the Greeks head when their equivalent of the Tory party falsified their accounts to join the Euro and then kept spending a huge amount on pork barrell appointments and nice shiny kit for the military. The Labour equivalent took over, immediately told the truth about the books, cut the spending and paid the price of taking responsibility in electoral wipe out.

At no point at all did the big bad EU make the Greeks do this.

mswjr
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Re: Cutting the Gordian Knot

Postby mswjr » January 12th, 2017, 12:16 am

Richasdotcom wrote:
TopOnePercent wrote:
Richasdotcom wrote:
The fiscal gun was pointed at the Greeks head when their equivalent of the Tory party falsified their accounts to join the Euro and then kept spending a huge amount on pork barrell appointments and nice shiny kit for the military. The Labour equivalent took over, immediately told the truth about the books, cut the spending and paid the price of taking responsibility in electoral wipe out.

At no point at all did the big bad EU make the Greeks do this.


So much for the due diligence and competence of the EU, then. If that is, you really do believe the EU with all its bureaucracy was tricked and completely hoodwinked by tiny, broke Greece.
As a theory, it really doesn't shine a flattering light on the EU. Nor of course, does the only other explanation.

Better out than in.

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Re: Cutting the Gordian Knot

Postby TopOnePercent » January 12th, 2017, 12:30 am

Richasdotcom wrote:
TopOnePercent wrote:Pointing a (fiscal) gun at someones head and saying "sign this or I blow your head off", does not amount to acceptance.

You know this already Rich, so my question is why the pointless line of argument? You're far too smart to believe this rot, so why post it?


You fail to offer the alternative. Should Greece just be forgiven and have other Euro members pay their bills? The fiscal gun was pointed at the Greeks head when their equivalent of the Tory party falsified their accounts to join the Euro and then kept spending a huge amount on pork barrell appointments and nice shiny kit for the military. The Labour equivalent took over, immediately told the truth about the books, cut the spending and paid the price of taking responsibility in electoral wipe out.

At no point at all did the big bad EU make the Greeks do this.


An alternative? Well, lets be crystal clear - it is the Greeks fault for borrowing the money, blame lies there. But let us also be realistic - they simply cannot pay back what they owe plus interest. They just can't do it. What is more tyrannical: To hold a fiscal gun to their head and threaten their membership of the EU if they don't magic up the money, before eventually (yet to happen) agreeing to write downs because they really really can't pay it; or to skip over the hobbling of a once proud nation that gave the world great gifts, and spare it the torch, because either way, you're really not going to get all you're owed. If Greece were a person not a nation, Junker et al would have been jailed in their own countries for treating a borrower in such fashion.

It is true that the EU didn't force the Greeks to borrow, but it is equally true that the Greeks didn't force the EU to impoverish half their nation and lay waste to whole generations. Outside the EU, in IMF-land, such foul medicine is ALWAYS accompanied by write downs stemming from pragmatism - both the lender & borrower are culpable to some degree.

ETA: Greece has been in default or restructuring for most of the past 100 years. It is no one governments fault, and nor is it a surprise that they'd borrow more than they could afford. It was eminently predictable to anyone having read just a little of their economic history. So was the EU incompetent? Ignorant? Or criminally negligent? Sorry, but much as I hate to see debt write downs, the EU are not innocent here, they are culpable almost to the extent of the Greeks..... yet the Greeks are to bare all of the pain? No, sorry, that is tyranny.

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Re: Cutting the Gordian Knot

Postby 1nv35t » January 12th, 2017, 2:05 am

Richasdotcom wrote:You fail to offer the alternative. Should Greece just be forgiven and have other Euro members pay their bills?

That is the objective of the EU. Yes the common belief is that new poorer states can join and be 'uplifted' and for a majority that is the case ... at the expense of decline in the typically richer northern EU states who have to financially cover that policy. Better still they're moving from the richer states having a degree of control, to a majority decision based system. In a room with a few rich, mostly poor, and living by majority decision as to where money should be spent and the majority will be delighted.

Supposedly, according to Remain, we get benefit out of participation. The reality is that the majority are worse off, but corporates benefit from having a larger consumer/customer base. Those greater corporate profits aren't filtered back to the majority however, as evident by around 20% either unemployed or on such low wages that the state has to top up what the corporates pay their workers in order to be anywhere near a reasonable living wage (tax credits, child benefit, housing benefit, unemployment benefit ...etc). Resulting in the state becoming poorer in the way of expanding debt (borrow to cover spending).

The bottom line is that corporates would prefer Remain, and have the financial clout to direct towards their preference. The majority prefer otherwise. Leaving us in the situation where despite 7 months on from having to voted to leave, absolutely nothing has been done ... other than legal tests/pressures to reverse out of the majority decision one way or another.

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Re: Cutting the Gordian Knot

Postby 1nv35t » January 12th, 2017, 2:54 am

TopOnePercent wrote:Well, lets be crystal clear - it is the Greeks fault for borrowing the money, blame lies there.

Irresponsible borrowing cannot exist without irresponsible lending.

German banks built up excessive (irresponsible) exposures to Europe’s peripheral countries in the years before the financial crisis. German banks amassed claims on Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain, much more than the German banks’ aggregate capital (lent more than they could afford). When the European Union and the European Central Bank stepped in to bail out the struggling countries, they made it possible for German banks to bring their money home. As a result, they bailed out Germany’s banks as well as the German taxpayers/savers who might otherwise have had to support those banks if the loans weren’t repaid. Unlike much of the aid provided to Greece, the support to Germany’s banks happened automatically, as a function of the currency union’s structure. Much of the risk sitting on German banks’ balance sheets shifted to the taxpayers of the entire currency union.

Germany's golden goose will come home to roost however. For the EU/Euro to survive it must adapt to permit taxes raised in the likes of Germany to be spent in the likes of Greece. Having been bailed out German banks would rather that not be the case and they instead would now prefer Greece to be ejected from the Euro (German suggestions that the EU "is now better placed for a Greek exit"). If the UK remained in the EU it would be detrimental once such centralisation occurred. The UK was/is a barrier to that centralisation, such that Brexit is beneficial in the way of the EU's more rapid transition over to such centralisation. Whether the Germans vote to continue down that road however come their September/October elections ??? Some would prefer a return to the Deutsche Mark (quit whilst they're ahead, as remaining a party to what's to come, Italian banks, UK exit ...etc. could bring about a significant swing away from recent (2009 German banks bailout) 'good fortune'. A decline down from current 4th ranking to being perhaps 6th of 7th largest economy or lower after China, US, UK, India, Brazil.

FredBloggs
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Re: Cutting the Gordian Knot

Postby FredBloggs » January 12th, 2017, 4:02 am

I would have thought that Germany going back to the DM would cripple the countries exporters? What would a GBP to DM exchange rate be? Less than 1:1 probably, given that GBP and Euro is almost at parity now.

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Re: Cutting the Gordian Knot

Postby FredBloggs » January 12th, 2017, 4:04 am

I imagine Greece returning to the Drachma is much more likely? Probably a 50% devaluation at that time.

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Re: Cutting the Gordian Knot

Postby gryffron » January 12th, 2017, 9:38 am

Richasdotcom wrote:the Greeks ... equivalent of the Tory party falsified their accounts to join the Euro ... The Labour equivalent took over, immediately told the truth about the books


Utter fantasy. Greece joined the euro in 2002. They had a PASOK/Labour govt from 1993-2004. Which must surely cover the entire period of their negotiations to join.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_P ... present.29

Everyone is to blame. All successive Greek governments for borrowing, the German banks for lending, and the EU political project for telling the banks all euro debt was the same.

The problem is, if the Greeks are let off all, or a significant part of, their debts, history says they'll just do it all over again. And so will other countries. So how to teach them the lesson without destroying the lives of their people? Clearly no-one has an answer.

So the solution is?... Abolish the euro. Or at least remove it from irresponsible overspending countries. But the problem is, that is most of them. Italy certainly. Possibly France? Would even include labour in the UK. If our massive state debt was in euros, we'd be equally in the clag. But kicking anyone out of the euro ain't going to happen because the EU/euro is a political project, not a financial one. Success at any cost!

gryff

FredBloggs
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Re: Cutting the Gordian Knot

Postby FredBloggs » January 12th, 2017, 9:52 am

Political will only goes so far. Maybe, ultimately the market will decide the fate of the Euro?

Richasdotcom
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Re: Cutting the Gordian Knot

Postby Richasdotcom » January 12th, 2017, 10:17 am

gryffron wrote:
Richasdotcom wrote:the Greeks ... equivalent of the Tory party falsified their accounts to join the Euro ... The Labour equivalent took over, immediately told the truth about the books


Utter fantasy. Greece joined the euro in 2002. They had a PASOK/Labour govt from 1993-2004. Which must surely cover the entire period of their negotiations to join.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_P ... present.29

Everyone is to blame. All successive Greek governments for borrowing, the German banks for lending, and the EU political project for telling the banks all euro debt was the same.

The problem is, if the Greeks are let off all, or a significant part of, their debts, history says they'll just do it all over again. And so will other countries. So how to teach them the lesson without destroying the lives of their people? Clearly no-one has an answer.

So the solution is?... Abolish the euro. Or at least remove it from irresponsible overspending countries. But the problem is, that is most of them. Italy certainly. Possibly France? Would even include labour in the UK. If our massive state debt was in euros, we'd be equally in the clag. But kicking anyone out of the euro ain't going to happen because the EU/euro is a political project, not a financial one. Success at any cost!

gryff


PASOK were a bit cheeky in shifting the nationalised railway's debts off book. They sold themselves shares in the company to arrange that, a bit like Railtrack. At the time it was legal if unwise, though it was presented as a way to make the railway independent so that it could be run on more commercial lines.

New Domcracy however took over and started to do all sorts of dirivite stuff with Goldman Sachs of dubious legality and solely as a means to misrepresent the main national debt, there was no other policy around it to justify it. Those lies about the current account deficit were disastrous, though to be fair the PASOK approach was relatively high risk.

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Re: Cutting the Gordian Knot

Postby mswjr » January 12th, 2017, 12:09 pm

hamzahf wrote:
dspp wrote:Perhaps I can give some insight from having brought people in to design / mf teams in UK ...


Many thanks for the explanation. A relative worked in the UKBA compliance area, so has previously spelled out the many complexities of the Tier system to me.

I remain to be convinced that tight control and restrictions will be relaxed when we leave the EU. I note the kite flying about charging employers £1000 a year to employ a European. Tier 2 already attracts annual fees for the sponsor in that price range which might discourage an SME.

http://www.davidsonmorris.com/tier-2-visa-costs/

It strikes me that Dyson wants a relaxation in the rules with respect to employing foreign nationals. The government however appears to want to make life difficult for all foreign nationals by introducing complex schemes that rack up fees and much confusion when implemented arbitrarily by poorly trained civil servants.

Regards
Hamzah


Whatever the prism through which you observe, the one thing you can be sure of is that the tight controls and restrictions on ROW immigration will not be removed until UK has full control of its immigration.

Richasdotcom
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Re: Cutting the Gordian Knot

Postby Richasdotcom » January 12th, 2017, 1:03 pm

mswjr wrote:Whatever the prism through which you observe, the one thing you can be sure of is that the tight controls and restrictions on ROW immigration will not be removed until UK has full control of its immigration.


Eh? The fantasy that is "control" means restrictions on all immigrants, with likely impact upon emigrants.

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Re: Cutting the Gordian Knot

Postby mswjr » January 12th, 2017, 1:34 pm

Richasdotcom wrote:
mswjr wrote:Whatever the prism through which you observe, the one thing you can be sure of is that the tight controls and restrictions on ROW immigration will not be removed until UK has full control of its immigration.


Eh? The fantasy that is "control" means restrictions on all immigrants, with likely impact upon emigrants.


Eh?

avconway
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Re: Cutting the Gordian Knot

Postby avconway » January 12th, 2017, 3:28 pm

avconway wrote: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.



In a way I regret introducing the word “tyranny” into this discussion – although if you read my post you will see that I defined its meaning for my particular purposes here, i.e. when juxtaposed against democracy, tyranny refers to decisions imposed by those who govern, as opposed to decisions arrived at in response to “the voice of the people.”

The issue of definition is hardly worth discussing further except as a time-wasting red-herring – the essential point to take on board, as the outcome of the referendum showed, is that those who have been governing Britain (no matter whether in Bruxelles or Westminster) have lost touch with most of the voices of the people in Britain. Now, post referendum, with a bit of luck and careful monitoring by the people, Britain may be able to get herself back onto a democratic track.

Britons may be able to steer Westminster back to heeding the voices of the people, but they have no hope of steering Bruxelles. That’s a job for the EU’s other 550 million people to do, if they can be bothered.

avconway

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Re: Cutting the Gordian Knot

Postby Clitheroekid » January 12th, 2017, 4:12 pm

As anticipated, a wide variety of views, but it's very gratifying to see that they’re being presented in a far more civilised way than I recall from some of the TMF `discussions'.

My own reasons for believing that it would be better for the UK to leave the EU are based partly on my dislike of what I consider to be excessive immigration and partly on my view that the EU has changed from being a sensible and desirable association based on mutual economic benefit into a mainly political organisation whose imperial ambitions have long since displaced economic considerations.

My views on immigration are really quite simple. In principle I am happy to accept anyone who is likely to be a net contributor to society, irrespective of where they originate. But there is, of course, a difference between allowing people in to work and allowing them to become permanent residents.

I can't see any reason why people who are allowed in to work should automatically acquire permanent residence rights. There is simply no logical connection between the two. But on that basis I'm quite happy to allow the entry of as many temporary workers as employers require, and to allow them to live here for as long as they're required.

Likewise, there are some would be immigrants who are likely to make such a significant contribution - not just in economic terms but also potentially in social terms - that they could well be granted permanent residence rights immediately.

But the argument that restricting immigration is somehow going to deprive us of thousands of NHS staff or Latvian leek pickers is just absurd. We can `import' as many as UK employers require, and from any country in the world, the key point being that they would not automatically acquire permanent residence rights as they do at present.

It would, of course, be reasonable to allow them to acquire such rights after, say, 5 years of continuous employment, by which time they would have proved their value to our society.

However, I do not believe that the present situation of allowing people not only to enter but to acquire permanent residence rights simply because they originate from another EU country is remotely acceptable. The plain, if unpalatable, fact is that that the majority of people in the UK simply don't want poor and ignorant people to be allowed to enter and live here - one might say that we are already more than adequately supplied by our native population!

The simple point is that as a country we should be allowed to choose who we let in and on what terms. Residence in the UK should be a privilege, not a right, and this is pretty much the case with most other countries in the world.

I strongly suspect that this view is held very widely, not just in the UK but in other western EU countries as well, though obviously not within the EU government itself. And it's for that reason that I believe the EU has to reorganise itself radically if it is to have any hope of surviving, let alone prospering.

As I mentioned in my original post I was actually a great fan of the original EU, and I am genuinely distressed to see what a mess it's turned into. I believe the admission of the Eastern European countries on an equal basis with the original members was a massive error of judgment. Whilst I strongly believe that they should have been encouraged and assisted towards the goal of full membership they should have been excluded from full membership until their own economies had become strong enough to be more or less self-supporting.

I therefore take the view that to the extent that it's possible the clock needs to be turned back in respect of these countries.

It's legally impossible to expel them from the EU, even if it was desirable, which I don't think it is. However, it may be possible to withdraw the freedom of movement rights in the sense that although their citizens would still be able to work in other EU countries they would no longer automatically acquire residence rights; neither would they be permitted to move there unless the destination country actively wanted them to do so.

Unfortunately, I think it’s likely that such a radical alteration to the rights of those eastern countries would require a unanimous decision of member states, which would, of course, be impossible. However, I’m sure it’s not beyond the wit of EU lawyers to arrange for it to be achievable by a qualified majority, which governs the vast majority of EU legislation.

This would require (1) 55% of member states to vote in favour - in practice this means 16 out of the 28; and (2) that the proposal was supported by member states representing at least 65% of the total EU population.

It would be a tough call, but I think it could be achievable. After all, not all of the Eastern European states would necessarily be subject to the new requirements so might be expected to vote in favour.

If this could be achieved then I would be inclined to take the view that the UK should remain in the EU. This is not because I believe it’s likely to be better off economically or culturally by remaining – it’s simply because I’ve come to the conclusion that we are now so closely entangled in the EU net after 40 odd years that extricating ourselves is going to be almost impossible, and the consequences of trying will be a massive burden on both our economy and our society for many years to come.

It’s a bit like a situation I’ve dealt with many times when dealing with a potential divorce. There is first a long consultation when I learn that the client really doesn’t much like their spouse any more and wants to leave them. They will tell me how they’ve grown apart over the years, and that the relationship has gradually degenerated into one of mild mutual dislike and irritation.

We then move on to discuss what the financial outcome would be if they were to get divorced, and they go away to think about it.

In most cases they ring to say yes, that’s fine, let’s get on with it. But sometimes they will ring (and I have to say it’s nearly always the man!) and tell me that that they’ve decided to stay put simply because the cost and hassle involved in leaving is marginally worse than just putting up with it.

Sadly, though, I realise that there is virtually no chance of the EU acting as I would wish. This leaves us with the original problem of uncontrolled EU migration, and it seems clear that restricting such migration is wholly incompatible with EU membership.

For me personally, that's a deal breaker, so that reluctant as I am to advocate it this means we do have to leave. And in view of the horrors of attempting to negotiate the unravelling of 40 years’ worth of legislation with an opponent that is likely to be hostile and unco-operative I fear that a hard Brexit may prove inevitable.

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Re: Cutting the Gordian Knot

Postby mswjr » January 12th, 2017, 4:19 pm

I nod in agreement to everything you say. And I suspect you have encapsulated a perspective that chimes with those of the majority of UK citizens.

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Re: Cutting the Gordian Knot

Postby Richasdotcom » January 12th, 2017, 8:04 pm

mswjr wrote:
Richasdotcom wrote:
mswjr wrote:Whatever the prism through which you observe, the one thing you can be sure of is that the tight controls and restrictions on ROW immigration will not be removed until UK has full control of its immigration.


Eh? The fantasy that is "control" means restrictions on all immigrants, with likely impact upon emigrants.


Eh?


If you have full "control" of immigration that means restrictions on all legal migrants. it is a fantasy as such control just delivers more illegal migration or leads to migration via the few remaining routes available - refugee status, marriage, overstaying etc etc. You can't get control and you get the fantasy of control and then relax the rules.

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Re: Cutting the Gordian Knot

Postby Richasdotcom » January 12th, 2017, 8:11 pm

Clitheroekid wrote:This would require (1) 55% of member states to vote in favour - in practice this means 16 out of the 28; and (2) that the proposal was supported by member states representing at least 65% of the total EU population.

It would be a tough call, but I think it could be achievable. After all, not all of the Eastern European states would necessarily be subject to the new requirements so might be expected to vote in favour.


Nope, this would require a treaty change so unanimity and ratification by all countries. The EU does not have the power to impose such radical changes without the agreement of all governments (by whatever mechanism they choose) AND the parliament.

We should remember that the single EU country with the most citizens living elsewhere in the EU is not Poland or Romania...it is the UK.


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