European Union

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European Union

Post  Mimi on Mon Feb 16, 2015 10:39 pm

Just watched the UKIP drama.

Would we be better out of the EU ?

Not that we`ll ever come out - even if the Tories get in and have a referendum, they`ll rig it so we stay in.
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Re: European Union

Post  Guest on Tue Feb 17, 2015 6:27 am

A couple of years ago Belgium didn't have a government for over 12 months. 

The economy and GDP actually improved!  Right now they have  a PM who is still learning one of their two languages and looks like a 19th C poet.  Go Belgium!

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Re: European Union

Post  Mimi on Tue Feb 17, 2015 4:09 pm

Not knowing much about the benefits of being in the EU, I`ve been searching around.

Personally I`m uneasy about belonging to a `big club` - maybe it`s because I`m quite an independent being.

This from the Telegraph last year :-

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/10807824/EU-benefits-to-British-trade-are-imaginary.html

EU benefits to British trade are 'imaginary'
Report says Britain's membership to the EU has not helped it develop trade links


Britain's trade with other EU nations accounts for no more of its trade with all leading economies than it did in 1973 according to the think tank Civitas.
By Georgia Graham, Political Correspondent12:01AM BST 05 May 2014

British trade has not benefitted from being a member of the European Union, a think tank has said.
It is “empty rhetoric” to suggest that being part of the EU has given the UK a trade advantage and that any benefits are “imaginary”, a study by Civitas has claimed.
Britain's trade with other EU nations accounts for no more of its trade with all leading economies than it did on joining the European Economic Community in 1973.
Meanwhile, exports to non-EU nations Iceland, Norway and Switzerland have increased enormously over the same period, despite the relatively small populations of such nations, according to the report.
The study will be welcomed by Eurosceptic critics of Britain’s membership of the EU and seen as further justification for why the UK should pull out.
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It also counters claims by Nick Clegg, the deputy Prime Minister, in his EU debate with Nigel Farage, the UK Independence Party leader, last month.
Mr Clegg said that Britain was “richer, stronger, safer” in Europe and must remain part of the EU “for the sake of our clout in the world”.
Michael Burrage, author of the report said: “While share of UK exports of fellow EU members has been virtually stable, the share going to non-members in Europe has risen steadily, leading one to suspect that both insider advantages and outsider disadvantages are imaginary.”
The report also shows that the UK ranks only 28th of the world’s 35 fastest-growing exporters, with the UK’s exports to non-EU countries growing at a much faster pace than exports to countries that are members of the union.
Mr Burrage found that “Switzerland has been more successful than the EU in negotiating freed trade agreements”.
This was because EU member states were often held back by “conflicting interests, pressure groups delayed agreement about the negotiating stance to be taken”.
In the case of Switzerland, he said, not having “a seat at the table” and access to the European market in services looked like “decided advantages”.
His report concluded: “Without these complications it would be possible to be a little more nimble in dealing with trading partners, and so it has turned out for Switzerland.”
In December 2013, for example, Switzerland had 26 free trade agreements in force, while the EU had 25.
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Re: European Union

Post  Mimi on Tue Feb 17, 2015 4:25 pm

It costs us £11 billion a year to belong.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/georgeosborne/11272038/Britain-to-pay-EU-extra-100-million-a-year.html

I thought a billion was a million million but its not, it`s a thousand million.

So thats £11,000,000,000.
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Re: European Union

Post  Châtelaine on Tue Feb 17, 2015 4:43 pm

That may be what is contributed, Mimi. But have you searched how much it brings back in in terms of subsidies and support systems? The difference between the two is what it costs ... ;-)

ETA
I just read a today's article about the EC having a budget of 300 billion to improve infrastructures. Amsterdam is hopeful to get important subsidies for the construction of a metro between Amsterdam and Schiphol airport.
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Re: European Union

Post  Mimi on Tue Feb 17, 2015 4:51 pm

Key arguments for and against

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-20448450


Stay or go: What the two sides say
Key question Better off out Better off in
COMPILED BY BRIAN WHEELER AND LAURENCE PETER

Are there any viable options for Britain leaving the EU?

Yes. Britain could negotiate an "amicable divorce", but retain strong trading links with EU nations.
UKIP leader Nigel Farage says Norway and Switzerland have thrived outside the EU. Both countries have access to the single market but are not bound by EU laws on agriculture, fisheries, justice and home affairs.
Some favour the Swiss model, based on bi-lateral treaties with the EU rather than membership of the European Economic Area (EEA), a kind of "EU-lite".
Others say the EEA/Norway model would be easier as the UK is already a member of the free trade area.
Some argue for a clean break from the EU, with the UK free to make trade deals with nations around the word.


No. An "amicable divorce" is a pipe dream.
France, Germany and other leading EU nations would never allow Britain a "pick and mix" approach to the bloc's rules.
Norway and Switzerland have to abide by many EU rules without any influence over how they are formed.
"If we weren't in there helping write the rules they would be written without us - the biggest supporter of open markets and free trade - and we wouldn't like the outcome," argued David Cameron in speech last year.
If Britain went for a clean break from the EU, its exports would be subject to EU export tariffs and would still have to meet EU production standards.


What would be the impact on British jobs?

With small and medium-sized firms freed from EU regulation, there could be a jobs boom. More than 90% of the UK economy is not involved in trade with the EU, yet still bears the burden of these rules, says the Bruges Group. The Eurosceptic think tank claims pulling out of the EU but staying in the EEA would create 1 million British jobs.

Millions of jobs could be lost as global manufacturers move to lower-cost EU countries. Britain's large foreign-owned car industry would shift into the EU and sectors linked to EU membership such as aerospace would also suffer. Airbus production could move to France and Germany, pro-EU commentators claim.

Would Britons need visas to visit EU countries?

Probably not. UK citizens do not need a visa for many non-EU states and the EU has visa-free travel with many countries.

The real issue is the right of UK citizens to work and live in EU member states, which may be restricted.

Would Britain save money?

The UK paid £8.9bn into the EU budget in 2010/11, says the Treasury, out of £706bn in public spending .That's slightly higher than the country spends on railways and similar to cost of unemployment benefits. The European Commission puts the UK's contribution at £5.85bn.

Yes. It would save billions in membership fees, and end the "hidden tariff" paid by UK taxpayers when goods are exported to the EU, caused by red tape, waste, fraud and other factors. A study by UKIP MEP Gerard Batten claims the total cost to the UK of EU membership, when all these factors are taken into account, is £65.7bn a year.

No. The UK's contribution to the EU budget is a drop in the ocean compared with the benefits to business of being in the single market, says pressure group Business for New Europe. It could be costly for UK exporters if they face EU legal arguments against UK standards - there could be a lot more court cases.
The UK could lose tax revenue if companies dealing with the eurozone, especially banks, move from the City to the EU.


What would be the effect on trade?

"We will continue to trade with Europe, as part of an association of nation states," says Eurosceptic Tory MP Bill Cash.
The UK would also be free to establish bi-lateral trade agreements with fast-growing export markets such as China, Singapore, Brazil, Russia and India through the World Trade Organisation.
Imported food from non-EU countries could get cheaper, as tariffs are lowered.


The EU is the UK's main trading partner, worth more than £400bn a year, or 52% of the total trade in goods and services.
"The UK is always likely to be better positioned to secure beneficial trade deals as a member of the EU than as an individual and isolated player," says Labour's Europe spokeswoman Emma Reynolds. The EU is currently negotiating with the US to create the world's biggest free trade area - something that will be highly beneficial to British business.


Would the UK's influence in the world change?

Hague, Rice, Clinton
The UK would remain a key part of Nato and the UN Security Council and a nuclear power, with a powerful global voice in its own right. The Eurosceptic Bruges Group wants an end to the "discredited" principle that Britain acts as a transatlantic bridge between the US and Europe, saying the country should make self-reliance its guiding principle.

Stripped of influence in Brussels, Berlin and Paris, Britain would find itself increasingly ignored by Washington and sidelined on big transnational issues such as the environment, security and trade.
America and other allies want Britain to remain in the EU. The UK risks becoming a maverick, isolated state if it leaves.


What would happen to Britons working in Europe, and EU citizens working in the UK?

Britain would gain full control of its own borders - and be able to control, or stop, the flow of migrants from the EU, which accounted for 27% of total net migration in 2010.
2.3 million citizens of other EU countries were living in the UK in 2011, says the ONS.


A lot would depend on what kind of deal was reached with the other EU nations. 711,151 UK citizens were living in other EU countries in 2011, says Eurostat.

There would be uncertainty for many EU workers now paying taxes in the UK - what benefits, if any, would they be entitled to?

Would taxes change?

The EU has limited power over tax, which is largely a matter for national governments. The exception is VAT which has bands agreed at the EU level. Outside the EU, the UK would potentially have more flexibility.

"Tax avoidance and evasion will reach crippling levels as our economy becomes increasingly wholly owned by foreign multinationals that make tax avoidance in Britain central to their business strategy," claims pro-European The Observer newspaper.


Would Britain's legal system, democratic institutions and law-making process change?

It would be a major shot in the arm for British democracy as the Westminster parliament regained its sovereignty and re-connected with voters.
The country would be free from the European Arrest Warrant and other law and order measures, but would still have to deal with the European Court of Human Rights, which is is separate from the EU.


Britons benefit from EU employment laws and social protections, which would be stripped away. Withdrawal from the European Arrest Warrant could mean delays for the UK in extraditing suspects from other European countries; and the UK already has some opt-outs from EU labour law, including the Working Time Directive.

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Re: European Union

Post  Mimi on Tue Feb 17, 2015 4:54 pm

Châtelaine wrote:That may be what is contributed, Mimi. But have you searched how much it brings back in in terms of subsidies and support systems? The difference between the two is what it costs ... ;-)

ETA
I just read a today's article about the EC having a budget of 300 billion to improve infrastructures. Amsterdam is hopeful to get important subsidies for the construction of a metro between Amsterdam and Schiphol airport.

oooooo No Châtelaine - I`m not that clever  No

I`ve never taken much interest before so I`m spending a couple of hours getting genned-up - and thought I`d share it with others who don`t know much about it.

I`ve always had an aversion to being in this `Union` but it was an emotional decision, so I thought I`d better get more rational before I go voting for UKIP again !

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