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Brexit 101

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Seeing as there may be interest in discussing a possible 'Brexit' (UK leaving the EU) I thought I'd start a thread about it.

Of course the discussion in here should be predominantly of an economic persuasion.

Title idea courtesy of @jtrade.

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To me Brexit just feels like it's going to be a repeat of Scotland leaving the UK: much ado about nothing.

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jtrade View Post
It's SO simple (but only if you think about it...) :

Question 1 : If the UK was not presently a member of the EU, would we want to join and be told what to do by those highly sympathetic and unerringly intelligent bureaucrats in Brussells ?

If, yes, stay in; if no... Questions 2 & 3 : how do we transition if leaving and is this any more of a challenge than staying in ? I think not.

It's not the same as Scotland, which was simply fed up with centuries of rule by the Sassenach scum (as a non-resident Scot, I'm sympathetic...), but leaving the union would have been a disaster for Scotland, whereas the UK has a relatively short history within the EU.

Btw, it's a multi-level disaster for the EU if the UK leaves, but teaches ze Huns and ze Frogs & a good lesson imho (Britain imports FAR more from the EU than it exports, not that these numbers would likely change significantly).

NATO remains largely unaffected.

I vote OUT.

(Of course if Fat Tails would refuse to allow his indicators to be used by non-EU members, I might have to reconsider )

Isn't it more about the economic impact than egos?

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What do you guys think about Brexit and its potential effect on Europe?

I have family and friends in England and listening to them Brexit is a case of when not if. Probably why the GBP has moved so much in the last 3 months.

Looks like markets started pricing in the risk more aggressively when Boris Johnson started campaigning for the 'Yes' last weekend.

Personally I am not aware of how the trade model between the Eurozone and the UK is set up so I don't know how a potential exit would affect it.

My earlier comment about storm in a teacup is purely based on a perception of what I think people will likely vote. In most of these cases voting for the status quo tends to be the safer option.

EDIT: people also likely to go with whatever the sitting Prime Minister suggests in these cases.

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SMCJB View Post
Isn't it more about the economic impact than egos?

Perhaps sadly, I think not... and if the present UK government lose the vote it will be because they have placed too much emphasis on the economic argument (which is not watertight anyway).

I believe it's what will shortly be called "The Trump Syndrome"...

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Perhaps sadly, I think not... and if the present UK government lose the vote it will be because they have placed too much emphasis on the economic argument (which is not watertight anyway).

I believe it's what will shortly be called "The Trump Syndrome"...

What's the UK government's economic argument?

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xplorer View Post

Obvious propaganda - even if it turns out to be true - and, frankly, who gives a damn these days about what the G20 leaders think ?

They & their bankers got us into the current global mess in the first place...

And this is the modern dilemma, both here in the EU (inc UK) and in the USA and elsewhere : an absence of truly competent and respected leaders.

But who'd be a politician (well, apart from The Donald) ?

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xplorer View Post
What's the UK government's economic argument?

Pretty much aligned with this : Britain Stronger In Europe

I find The Sunday Times good for both sides of the argument, even though I have to wait till Monday to get it..

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jtrade View Post
Pretty much aligned with this : Britain Stronger In Europe

I find The Sunday Times good for both sides of the argument, even though I have to wait till Monday to get it..

Thanks for the link - the FAQ on the site has some useful plain English statements that at least present one side of the story.

Whether they are factual or not is of course up for debate

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"Out, out, shake it all about !"

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I have never understood, why the UK has joined the European Union.

If you look at the world map of George Orwell's 1984, the US, Canada, Britain, Australia and New Zeeland were part of Oceania. Orwell was wrong about South America which has stronger ties to Spain and Portugal, and he had developed little understanding about the situation in South Africa, but otherwise he was correct.

If you look at the brotherhoods of spies, the US, Canada, Australia and the UK have much closer links between them than links with Continental Europe.

I would think that Britain sooner or later becomes part of a US lead confederation.

I think that it even simplifies the developmnt of the European Union. They have always been the odd man out.

Let them go!

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Fat Tails View Post
If you look at the brotherhoods of spies, the US, Canada, Australia and the UK have much closer links between them than links with Continental Europe.

It's an interesting point and perhaps one of the chief reasons why US wants UK to stay. It would provide a European proxy to US's interests, akin to what Israel in the Middle East represents.

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"Terry Smith, the outspoken City investor, and Edmund Truell, the private equity veteran, are the latest high-profile fund management executives to have come out in support of a British exit — or Brexit — from the EU.

The rising number of fund managers to publicly back Brexit stands in sharp contrast to the banking and insurance industries, where senior executives have overwhelmingly argued in favour of the UK’s continued EU membership."


Full article on Financial Times.

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I am for an exit.

I think it is ludicrous to believe that a massive, unelected bureaucracy will be making timely and effective economic decisions or decisions of any kind. Or that such an organization can make 'one size fits all' decisions for a group of countries that are in such different economic situations.

Europe has grown into a cash eating monster that forces economic policy on member countries. Trouble is only the rich and disciplined ones comply and they end up being punished by having to bail out the less disciplined ones.

Trade will continue unabated simply because the demand for products is not driven by bureaucrats but by consumers. Demand will not fall away overnight and trade will continue under new free trade agreements. BMW will certainly pressure the German government to be allowed to still sell cars there.

Norway is not a member of the EU but participates in the EU internal market via The Agreement on the European Economic Area (EEA). Simple.

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Fat Tails View Post
I have never understood, why the UK has joined the European Union.

Fear of being left out, I would say.

Ironically, the UK economy has been saved by NOT being in the Eurozone (as opposed to EU)... and the only reason we are not is because we were ignominiously booted out of the European Exchange Rate Mechanism in 1992 (precursor to the Euro introduction).

This was a cause of national shame, so I think the UK remained eager to remain a part of the developing EU.

How times have changed.

Question for @Fat Tails and any other German nationals here :

IF Germany was not presently part of the EU, but was about to hold a referendum to join (fully, inc the Eurozone) would you wish to join as is ?

Ja oder Nein !?

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Fat Tails View Post
I have never understood, why the UK has joined the European Union.

We didn't.

What we joined was only the "European Economic Community", which was harmless enough, and probably even sensible enough, at the time, nearly 45 years ago. The "European Union" which it gradually turned into (though that was perhaps always the intention of some European governments, at the time) came much later, and we were in it by default. De fault of de government, as you might say.

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jtrade View Post
Fear of being left out, I would say.

Ironically, the UK economy has been saved by NOT being in the Eurozone (as opposed to EU)... and the only reason we are not is because we were ignominiously booted out of the European Exchange Rate Mechanism in 1992 (precursor to the Euro introduction).

This was a cause of national shame, so I think the UK remained eager to remain a part of the developing EU.

How times have changed.

Question for @Fat Tails and any other German nationals here :

IF Germany was not presently part of the EU, but was about to hold a referendum to join (fully, inc the Eurozone) would you wish to join as is ?

Ja oder Nein !?


If Germany was not presently part of the EU, neither the Netherlands, nor the Scandinavian and Baltic States, nor Austria and Hungary or the other Eastern European states (with the exception of Romania) would be part of the EU.

I do not see France teaming up with Sweden, Poland or the Czech Republic without including Germany.

Maybe that EU would rather include Marocco and Algeria.

My answer is no. Germany would not be keen to enter such an ailing federation.

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Good morning, sports fans...

As the press reporting around Brexit heats up - and in the UK it is really heating up - I see the British Government has one huge disadvantage that appears to be neutralising the innate advantage of being the "status quo", ie. the advantage of people voting to avoid major change.

Almost the entire Stay in the EU argument is based on economic fear : that the UK will be worse off financially if we leave.

The Out campaign, on the other hand, argues for far more than just economic reasons : the issues of sovereignty, way of life and being able to decide what the UK wants to do, unfeterred by unelected eurobeaurocrats in Brussels. It's a stronger argument imho.

6 months ago, like David Cameron, I thought there would be no Brexit. I've changed my mind and now think that the only EU leader more deluded by what his or her party really thinks is dear Angela (Merkel)...

23 June is not so far away...

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jtrade View Post
Good morning, sports fans...

As the press reporting around Brexit heats up - and in the UK it is really heating up - I see the British Government has one huge disadvantage that appears to be neutralising the innate advantage of being the "status quo", ie. the advantage of people voting to avoid major change.

Almost the entire Stay in the EU argument is based on economic fear : that the UK will be worse off financially if we leave.

The Out campaign, on the other hand, argues for far more than just economic reasons : the issues of sovereignty, way of life and being able to decide what the UK wants to do, unfeterred by unelected eurobeaurocrats in Brussels. It's a stronger argument imho.

6 months ago, like David Cameron, I thought there would be no Brexit. I've changed my mind and now think that the only EU leader more deluded by what his or her party really thinks is dear Angela (Merkel)...

23 June is not so far away...

hi jtrade - status quo is the reason I think the majority will vote to stay. People generally tend to choose the option with the least change. Please note, I do not necessarily advocate for either argument, mine is just a mass-psychology consideration.

Whether enough people bother to turn up for the vote also remains to be seen.

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Campaigning is already quite intense. I think after another couple of months everybody will have an opinion and the turn out will be high, though perhaps not as high as the Scottish Referendum.
Agreed that the out party have the best arguments, but Boris Johnson, as the most visible person in the leave campaign to me always feels like an opportunist. I think a lot of the 'leave' arguments make sense but feel grubby doing so as it always comes back to 'keep the foreigners out'. Happier listening to Cameron whose arguments also make a lot of sense, but it is all so negative.
Also every time there is a debate on the news/Question Time/Any Questions, involving proponents of both groups they just sit there and flat out fully contradict each other on every point because nobody actually has any idea about how the remaining European countries will deal with us afterwards.
Looking forward to making my cross on the ballot paper but am still unsure in which box it will be.

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"The stakes will be high for Britain's historic role as a free-trading nation when it holds a referendum on whether to stay in the European Union on June 23.

There is no precedent for an economy as big as Britain's leaving a trade bloc, and the rival campaigns paint contrasting pictures of what quitting the EU might mean for its trade."

Full article on Reuters

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xplorer View Post
"The stakes will be high for Britain's historic role as a free-trading nation when it holds a referendum on whether to stay in the European Union on June 23.

There is no precedent for an economy as big as Britain's leaving a trade bloc, and the rival campaigns paint contrasting pictures of what quitting the EU might mean for its trade."

Full article on Reuters

I think many have got this issue the wrong way around : Britain buys about five billion (yes, BILLION) pounds more stuff from the EU every MONTH than it sells to the EU.

Seriously, from the EU perspective, what's not to like... hardly a situation where the EU is likely to want to restrict or reduce their trade surplus with the UK ?

Edit : in goods alone, ie. excluding services & particularly financial services, the monthly difference is a little over GBP 10 billion per month.


Quoting 
Euro Area main exports partners are United States (13 percent of total exports) and United Kingdom (12 percent). Others include: China, Russia, Switzerland and Turkey. The biggest exporters within Euro Area are Germany, France, Italy and Netherlands.

In other words, the UK is the Eurozone second largest customer... who erects trade barriers to their second largest customer (Answer : only the Irish* )

* I feel I am allowed to make so-called Irish jokes because I am a quarter Irish !

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jtrade View Post
I think many have got this issue the wrong way around : Britain buys about five billion (yes, BILLION) pounds more stuff from the EU every MONTH than it sells to the EU.

Seriously, from the EU perspective, what's not to like... hardly a situation where the EU is likely to want to restrict or reduce their trade surplus with the UK ?

Edit : in goods alone, ie. excluding services & particularly financial services, the monthly difference is a little over GBP 10 billion per month.



In other words, the UK is the Eurozone second largest customer... who erects trade barriers to their second largest customer (Answer : only the Irish* )

* I feel I am allowed to make so-called Irish jokes because I am a quarter Irish !


Most of that is Belgian beer though....

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I am for an exit.

I think it is ludicrous to believe that a massive, unelected bureaucracy will be making timely and effective economic decisions or decisions of any kind. Or that such an organization can make 'one size fits all' decisions for a group of countries that are in such different economic situations.

Europe has grown into a cash eating monster that forces economic policy on member countries. Trouble is only the rich and disciplined ones comply and they end up being punished by having to bail out the less disciplined ones.

Trade will continue unabated simply because the demand for products is not driven by bureaucrats but by consumers. Demand will not fall away overnight and trade will continue under new free trade agreements. BMW will certainly pressure the German government to be allowed to still sell cars there.

Norway is not a member of the EU but participates in the EU internal market via The Agreement on the European Economic Area (EEA). Simple.

I 100% agree. Many continental Europeans think the EU offers freedom from nationalism. What? Wait a minute. Nationalism is what saved Britain from Hitler, so why for the life of me would we want a post national political entity?

Pro Europe folk keep stating that it is in Britain’s best interest to stay in Europe. Absolute rubbish. Although this will not stop them dishing out the threats of how bad it will be if Britain does exit. Fear is the only tactic they have left.

Fear of what. Losing trade? Half of British trade is with the EU, but only 11% of EU trade is with Britain which is exactly why Norway has that agreement as stated above.

Now, I haven’t lived in England for over a decade, but my heart still bleeds the St George’s flag every time England play. The people of GB need to make a stand. The EU and its currency is an experiment that is doomed to failure. How can you unionize countries who’s history is so vastly different. You can’t.

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JonnyBoy View Post
Fear of what. Losing trade? Half of British trade is with the EU, but only 11% of EU trade is with Britain which is exactly why Norway has that agreement as stated above.

Half a small pie vs 11% of a big pie!
EU Exports for January 2016 are £10.4 billion.*
EU Imports for January 2016 are £16.8 billion.*
So Britain is a largish net importer from EU.
With the GBP droping approximately 10% in the last 4 months vs the EUR those imports have gotten 10% more expensive.


* https://www.uktradeinfo.com/Statistics/OverseasTradeStatistics/Pages/EU_and_Non-EU_Data.aspx

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JonnyBoy View Post
Nationalism is what saved Britain from Hitler


The thread got through 26 posts before Hitler was mentioned, too.

That's perhaps unusual, for a political-ish thread.

I wouldn't think many people (and least of all Churchill?) would agree that "nationalism" is what saved Britain from Hitler, and to the extent that it may be so, it can perhaps equally be observed of countless other wars, from the non-aggressor's perspective, throughout history?



JonnyBoy View Post
Many continental Europeans think the EU offers freedom from nationalism.


And many think it offers freedom from "sovereignty". While others think it offers "shared sovereignty". I'm not sure there is such a thing as "shared nationalism", though some of the Scots who voted against independence in their referendum might feel otherwise?



JonnyBoy View Post
The EU and its currency is an experiment that is doomed to failure.


Its currency, certainly. The EU itself, perhaps not, if it can transsubstantiate itself completely, learning many lessons on the way (which isn't looking too likely, at the moment?).

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David Cameron has said he will make no apology for spending more than £9 million of taxpayers’ money on a pro-EU leaflet publicity drive ahead of the referendum, adding it’s “money well spent”.

Pro-Brexit campaigners and Conservative MPs reacted with fury to the government’s decision to send the leaflet to every household in the country, setting out the case for a “remain vote” on June 23. One Tory MP, Tom Pursglove, called it “frankly outrageous” and an “affront to democracy”.

Full article on The Independent

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David Cameron has said he will make no apology for spending more than £9 million of taxpayers’ money on a pro-EU leaflet publicity drive ahead of the referendum, adding it’s “money well spent”.

Pro-Brexit campaigners and Conservative MPs reacted with fury to the government’s decision to send the leaflet to every household in the country, setting out the case for a “remain vote” on June 23. One Tory MP, Tom Pursglove, called it “frankly outrageous” and an “affront to democracy”.

Full article on The Independent

I don't think it's an affront to democracy... more a sign of increasing desperation within the status quo...

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I don't think it's an affront to democracy... more a sign of increasing desperation within the status quo...

Well, regardless of my opinion on Brexit - which is on the fence - sometimes the status quo isn't that bad.

They say "if it ain't broke, don't fix it", right?

The problem with the Brexit and other similar situations is that they tend to be used by the various parties more to score political points than to actually fight for a cause they believe is just.

So one of the reasons I haven't made my mind up is that I won't bother looking up the various statistics and data that vouch to stay or to leave - the data is easily taken out of context and open to interpretation.

For instance, the "stay in" campaign says


Quoting 
Almost half of everything we sell to the rest of the world we sell to Europe - and we get an average of £24 billion of investment into Britain per year from Europe.

That's why the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) estimates that 3 million jobs in Britain are linked to trade with the rest of Europe

So with that, they have inferred in the past that by exiting from the EU 3 million jobs would be put at risk.

To me that's nonsense. Europe would continue to be Britain's trading partner regardless as to whether Brexit takes place or not. If Britain sells goods and services to Europe, it's because Europe needs it. So by saying all those jobs are at risk is tantamount to scaremongering IMO.

I'm sure similar fallacies can be found on the other side as well. The point is, for the average citizen, it is difficult to determine whether Britain in the EU is broken or not.

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Our columnists debate whether there could be some upsides for other EU states if Britain leaves

The EU referendum campaign officially began this week and one area that has not been examined so far has been what would happen to the EU if Britain votes to leave. Much of the debate so far has focused on the consequences for Britain, but Brexit would undoubtedly have an impact both on the structure of the EU and its remaining members. The Financial Times’ commentators discuss whether Brexit would be bad for Europe.

On the Financial Times

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Betting odds move sharply toward Britain staying in EU after Obama warning

says Reuters

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74pct to remain.
Must say I'm surprised

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74pct to remain.
Must say I'm surprised

I don't know what to think to be honest, although I have to say I tend to be highly skeptical of all these polls. They always seem to be biased. It seems to me that polls are being used these days just like newspapers: they all carry a political agenda and they all mean to influence readers/users in one direction. There does not seem to be much objectivity anymore.

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The warnings to GB inhabitants came from Obama yesterday.
Some questions are allowed to know why USA is influencing a state with a good government.
And why a president "warns" the inhabitants over there.
What profits will have USA for themselves?

Watching all these TTIP problems that will undermine government jurisdiction and in
most cases bring states into troubles having only arbitration tribunals instead of their
own judges working with written rights of their proper state.

Development between the "friendship" of 2 continents is somewhat frightening.

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74pct to remain.
Must say I'm surprised

Case in point, about the unreliability of polls. You check 5 different polls, you get 5 different results


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My own guess is that Obama's intervention will do the "Remain" side more harm than good. The British electorate dislikes being told what to do by foreigners just as much as Americans do.

There hasn't been a real vote on this for about 40 years, and the polling companies lack information on how to do it reliably.

For example, when the leading polling organisations do general election polling, they all incorporate a fixed adjustment factor to allow for the fact that a small, but pretty regular proportion of voters on one particular side of the political spectrum conceal their true voting intention from the pollster (i.e. they deliberately lie about how they're going to vote). This adjustment method has developed gradually, over the decades, and all the polling organisations agree about it, have statistically valid evidence of it, and so on. In the case of the Brexit poll, however, there's no equivalent data available, and that makes the findings potentially even less reliable than usual.

Some people believe that a similar, or slightly higher, proportion of "Brexiters" will do the same thing (and I suspect they're right), but there's no real evidence for it: it's only guesswork.

One thing that does seem certain, and reliably so, is that telephone polls are far more indicative than online polls of overall voting outcomes.

The thing that interests me, at the moment, is that the overall proportions of "inners" and "outers" seems not to be changing very much, while the proportion of "undecideds" is apparently shrinking very rapidly.

And for anyone wanting the gossip: Alison Pearson, whom I regard as probably reliable on such subjects, writes in the Daily Telegraph that Samantha Cameron and Sarah Vine (Mrs. Michael Gove) are not at the moment on speaking terms, in spite of Sarah Vine being the Godmother of one of the Cameron children, following Vine's "revelation" in a newspaper column (she's a political journalist) that Cameron admitted privately to Gove that his recently attempted EU negotiations hadn't really achieved anything worth talking about - something I think we all knew anyway?

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Just in the last couple of days, I've seen the following polls in my news feed about leave/remain opinions




Considering that polls
  • should be impartial
  • should be balanced
  • should reflect what people think

If the above is true, then polls should differ only very slightly from each other, unlike what I am seeing.

Do you have any views to explain the significant differences?

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Do you have any views to explain the significant differences?


Not sure that this is really an answer to your question at all, but there seems to me to be a growing consensus among the political commentators/journalists/analysts/academics that (for reasons I don't understand) the most ardently pro-EU voters are "the hardest for the pollsters to reach and include" and that the polls may, therefore, generally underestimate the size of the "remain" vote.

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Not sure that this is really an answer to your question at all, but there seems to me to be a growing consensus among the political commentators/journalists/analysts/academics that (for reasons I don't understand) the most ardently pro-EU voters are "the hardest for the pollsters to reach and include" and that the polls may, therefore, generally underestimate the size of the "remain" vote.

Thanks Tymbeline - I still would expect in this case that polls report fairly similar results. Wouldn't you?

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Id say the polls are a load of crap and the establishment are papping themselves, nearly everyone i speak to wants out. I think the common man definitely wants exit but Im not sure the common man will get what he wants look what they did to Ireland.

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Polling is a very inexact science... look at the last election.

GBPUSD certainly jumped when this came out this morning : Latest IPOS Mori Brexit poll sees Remain leading with 55%

I hope they're wrong, but I fear that fear will rule the (voting) day & we'll stay in

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Polling is a very inexact science... look at the last election.

Very inexact or made it to look like it's very inexact?

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Just in the last couple of days, I've seen the following polls in my news feed about leave/remain opinions




Considering that polls
  • should be impartial
  • should be balanced
  • should reflect what people think

If the above is true, then polls should differ only very slightly from each other, unlike what I am seeing.

Do you have any views to explain the significant differences?

Usually small sample sizes.

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Usually small sample sizes.

Thanks ratfink - but the pollsters should be professionals, no? Any person with a shred of statistical knowledge knows you need a sufficient sample size to be balanced.

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Thanks ratfink - but the pollsters should be professionals, no? Any person with a shred of statistical knowledge knows you need a sufficient sample size to be balanced.

Agreed, but I only treat them as interesting if they're quoted with an error factor. I think this vote is turning out to be a demographic sampling nightmare for most of them, hence my best guess at the source of the discrepancies.

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Polling is a very inexact science... look at the last election.

GBPUSD certainly jumped when this came out this morning : Latest IPOS Mori Brexit poll sees Remain leading with 55%

I hope they're wrong, but I fear that fear will rule the (voting) day & we'll stay in

Reading this great book by Nate Silver, just bought it. The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail--but Some Don't, by Nate Silver, New York Times Bestseller

Most people predict very poorly, have very little skill at doing so and don't understand this field (prediction) well at all so most do a extremely poor job at it.

I just started the book and am excited about it. IMHO what better to learn more about since we are in the business, literally, of predicting.

This about the book from Amazon....


Quoting 
Drawing on his own groundbreaking work, Silver examines the world of prediction, investigating how we can distinguish a true signal from a universe of noisy data. Most predictions fail, often at great cost to society, because most of us have a poor understanding of probability and uncertainty. Both experts and laypeople mistake more confident predictions for more accurate ones. But overconfidence is often the reason for failure. If our appreciation of uncertainty improves, our predictions can get better too. This is the “prediction paradox”: The more humility we have about our ability to make predictions, the more successful we can be in planning for the future.

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Bought it last month. Sitting on top of my to read pile. Looking forward to it as well.

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I found this article about the polls, by John Curtice, quite interesting: EU referendum: Polls reveal divided nation - BBC News

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This video is quite interesting - it's from the "out" camp and presents the argument alternative to staying in the EU.



There are facts, such as EU's and Britain's post-war history, but there are also opinions disguised as facts. For instance, EU's protectionism is depicted as 100% negative with arguments such as

"Protecting a firm from competition does not make it more competitive.".

While a sentence like that on its own may be true in general, when you compare the cost of a product manufactured in the EU Vs. a similar product manufactured in India or China we're no longer talking about competition. When a cost is slashed by 80-90% (which is what happens in Asia) nobody in the industrialised world can compete with that. Nobody cares about quality anymore at those prices. So I think introducing quotas and tariffs for importing such goods is a way to deal with that.

Another aspect that the video does not deal with openly is what happens to the rights of workers in the UK should it leave the EU. At the moment the UK is bound by European employment law. I know that, in order to fire an employee for performance issues, I have to demonstrate that I have given that employee every chance to improve their performance, and I have to document that as well. Who knows what would happen to employment law in the case of Brexit?

Some aspects uncovered by the movie are interesting though. Provided it's accurate, I had no idea that there are 10,000 people within the EU bureaucratic machine that earn more than UK's Prime Minister. That's clearly an indication of excesses that should be stemmed.

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wow extremely interesting.

If only a fraction of the allegations made are true I would think exiting would make sense. problem is as @xplorer says "there are also opinions disguised as facts". You don't know how much of what they say is actually true.


xplorer
when you compare the cost of a product manufactured in the EU Vs. a similar product manufactured in India or China we're no longer talking about competition. When a cost is slashed by 80-90% (which is what happens in Asia) nobody in the industrialised world can compete with that. Nobody cares about quality anymore at those prices. So I think introducing quotas and tariffs for importing such goods is a way to deal with that.

Every developed nation in the world is having to deal with this phenomenon. I don't know what the solution is (probably involves better education and training - great buzzwords but something that in reality rarely if ever, happens on a meaningful scale) but not sure indiscriminate quotas and tariffs are the solution. If you do that your in danger of slipping back into the crony capitalism that most people claim to want to avoid. You can bring in quality control laws, which would address sub standard products, but if they produce a better product and cheaper, do you really want to stop them?

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The EU referendum debate has become a “mountain of exaggeration”, a cross-party group of MPs have warned as they demanded controversial claims from both sides are dropped.

Prominent politicians on opposing sides of the debate called for an “amnesty” as the campaign enters its final month in the hope “misleading” claims about the referendum can be ditched.

They said voters are “thoroughly fed up” with “lurid” warnings about consequences and added the way the campaign is being fought is “impoverishing political debate”.



Full article on The Telegraph.

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From the same article in previous post



BREXIT CAMPAIGN

1) CLAIM: Britain pays £350 million a week to the EU

CONCLUSION: Claim is “highly misleading” because it ignores the amount the UK get backs from the rebate and money invested back in the country via EU funds.

2) CLAIM: Annual cost of EU regulation on UK economy is £33.3bn

CONCLUSION: Assertion is “misleading” because figure is the estimated cost of complying with EU regulations – not the amount the economy is being held back by the rules.

3) CLAIM: Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) costs each household £400 a year

CONCLUSION: Based on “out-of-date research”, with real figure “much less than £300”. Suggestion money would be “saved” after Brexit is inconsistent with claims farmers won’t lose out.



PRO-EU CAMPAIGN

4) CLAIM: Three million jobs are dependent on EU membership

CONCLUSION: Gives public the “mistaken impression” that all these jobs would be lost or at risk if Britain left the EU, which is not the case.

5) CLAIM: Import costs could increase by £11bn after Brexit

CONCLUSION: Assumption is “implausible”, “unhelpful” and “tendentious” because it ignores other possible trade deals and “should not be used without extensive explanation”.

6) CLAIM: Families would be £4,300 worse off after Brexit

CONCLUSION: Treasury analysis about a hit to GDP growth is being “misconstrued” to suggest voters would lose disposable income. “Mistake assertion” should not be repeated.

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I would not normally post a link to an hour long talk I have not quite finished, I have been watching it over a number of days. It is however directly relevant to anyone interested in this thread. I like his analogy of bitcoin being a digital version of the gold standard and why neither would work.

He got roped into Greek politics, interesting inside recount of the crisis.

"Yanis Varoufakis is a Greek economist who was a member of the Parliament of Greece between January and September 2015. He represented the ruling Syriza party and held the position of Minister of Finance for seven months.[3] He voted against the terms of the third bailout package for Greece.[4] In February 2016, Varoufakis launched the Democracy in Europe Movement 2025 (DiEM25).[5]"



The talk itself is 46 minutes, after that Q&A

The post above, courtesy of Rory, belongs to another thread about Greece. However I think it's worth re-posting it here for those interested in hearing first hand by the ex-finance minister Varoufakis on how he was treated by Dijsselbloem and others within the EU. After watching the video I feel more nauseous about staying in and I now am heavily leaning towards supporting a Brexit.

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Euro court outlaws criticism of EU: Euro-court outlaws criticism of EU - Telegraph

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Euro court outlaws criticism of EU: Euro-court outlaws criticism of EU - Telegraph

I recall this case (friend of a friend). Connolly took a human rights case afterwards in 2008, it was dismissed. https://www.article19.org/resources.php/resource/3156/en/eu:-bernard-connolly-v.-commission-of-the-european-communities

The Telegraph (in 2001) is disingenuous. I'm not defending the EU but he was contractually obliged to request permission to publish his book even if it was not directly critical of his employer.

Journalistic sensationalism of an ordinary matter I fear as it only related to him as an employee, not a law affecting the general public.

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This too is slightly off-topic but couldn't resist





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EU Referendum: The First 100 Days of Brexit - Bloomberg

Article courtesy of HoopyTrading

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The Daily Shot; June 17 - Global Macro Currents

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I was in England last weekend and based upon several conversations I t seems to me the Brexit vote is pretty divided on age. The old are pro-Brexit and the young anti-exit.

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"European history may be about to go into reverse.

If Britain votes to leave the European Union, it will likely start a process of fragmentation of the political and security structures on which the post-World War Two and post-Cold War European order was built.

Even if the British step back from the brink on Thursday, the bruising legacy of the debate, the growing trend of national referendums on EU issues and the backlash against globalization and internationalized elites on both sides of the Atlantic will not fade away any time soon. "




Full article on Reuters

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"European history may be about to go into reverse.



If Britain votes to leave the European Union, it will likely start a process of fragmentation of the political and security structures on which the post-World War Two and post-Cold War European order was built.



Even if the British step back from the brink on Thursday, the bruising legacy of the debate, the growing trend of national referendums on EU issues and the backlash against globalization and internationalized elites on both sides of the Atlantic will not fade away any time soon. "









Full article on Reuters


Thanks for the article.

It seems clear to me as a people on this rotating orbiting smallish planet we are better, stronger and will be ultimately wiser when we come together and the opposite divided. I can perceive mankind currently in its adolescent period (era) where rebellion, angst and contempt for authority are its defining characteristics. The cusps of maturity is dawning but the time scale for these types of milestones for humanity are massive viewed from a historical perspective.

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Blash View Post
Thanks for the article.

It seems clear to me as a people on this rotating orbiting smallish planet we are better, stronger and will be ultimately wiser when we come together and the opposite divided. I can perceive mankind currently in its adolescent period (era) where rebellion, angst and contempt for authority are its defining characteristics. The cusps of maturity is dawning but the time scale for these types of milestones for humanity are massive viewed from a historical perspective.

Ron

I agree in general with the concept together = stronger.

Whether this is the case with the current referendum or not, remains to be seen.

Either way I think you're right: history will tell, in due course, whether whatever choice won made things better or worse...

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Last week the Leave campaign really seemed to be gaining ground and have the remain team in a spin, especially Labour ministers with Corbyn's luke warm enthusiasm for the EU.
I think the murder of Jo Cox has changed things dramatically though. There are those who are very firmly decided one way or another but an awful lot of people still haven't decided. When the man charged with the MP's murder stands up in court and gives his name as "death to traitors, freedom for Britain", I think a lot of 'normal' people will pause and wonder whether those are the sort of people they want to be associated with (despite the suspect Thomas Mair having a history of mental illness). Then Nigel Farage, of the UK Independence Party, who last week was looking respectable and leaderly while being courted by the media and appearing in debate programmes with the Prime Minister; suddenly unveils a new anti-immigration poster and is loudly denounced by both sides as showing his true racist colours again. (A bit like during the last election campaign when he was doing his 'personable one of the people' thing with genuine concerns, but suddenly started talking about foreign Aids sufferers coming to our country just to try and save their lives with our free health care).
Last week the rhetoric was being ramped up so much with both sides practically claiming armaggeddon if we leave or stay, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer in effect threatening to punish us with tax cuts, I can't imagine that I was alone in almost thinking that I would vote to leave just to say "F**k U" to the government and to see what would actually happen.
Now though with everybody taking a few calm breaths and the campaign carrying on more soberly I think we will be okay. Such a tragedy that somebody had to die though. RIP Jo Cox.

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Last week the Leave campaign really seemed to be gaining ground and have the remain team in a spin [...] RIP Jo Cox.

I know what you are saying about perceptions changing because of a deranged person, and unfortunately it's probably going to be the case.

I say 'unfortunately' because that argument is an emotional one, and people do tend to decide with emotion, rather than with logic and facts.

I too have been nauseated with the amount of media pressure both camps have subjected us to. Osborne now looks to me just like a buffoon. The only thing left for him to say is something like "leaving the EU increases the risk of cancer".

Having said that, the fundamental problem remains, as I said before, that people do not have sufficient, objective facts to be able to make an informed decision on this issue.

It is exactly because both sides have distorted facts and spreaded BS all around, that I think most people are confused and don't really know what to do. Crying wolf has done way more harm than good.

When I opened this thread I was hoping people would chip in armed with hard data from an economical point of view, which would have helped understand both sides of the coin better. But I accept it's been a difficult task, what with the amount of misinformation going around.

In the end whatever happens happens. I am still convinced most people will opt for the status-quo though.

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I assume the establishment elites will threaten to shoot voters dogs and boil their cats,
if they don't vote against brexit.

as the latest Speccie reports - the elites are already doing something close to that:


Quoting 
David Cameron, the Prime Minister, threatened pensioners who voted in the referendum for Britain to leave the EU: ‘If we leave, the pensioner benefits would be under threat, and the “triple lock” could no longer be guaranteed.’ He also said he might take away their ‘free bus passes and TV licences’, even though the latter are paid for by the BBC. George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, said he would put up taxes if there was a vote to leave the EU, but 57 Tory MPs said they would vote against what they called a ‘punishment budget’.


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Having said that, the fundamental problem remains, as I said before, that people do not have sufficient, objective facts to be able to make an informed decision on this issue.

Agreed. In the end it will just come down to how one personally feels about the key issues of the economy or immigration.

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Interesting article from The Guardian.

"The EU has given us cheap mobile phone roaming charges, cheaper flights and proper compensation when things go wrong. It has helped clean up the environment, improving our rivers and beaches. It has given us unprecedented freedom to travel visa-free across the continent. And I’m voting out.

Why? I know a painter/decorator who has not been able to raise his wages for 15 years. There’s always someone else, he says, willing to work for less. A driver who arrived from Turkey 18 years ago, who says the bus companies used to pay more than £12 an hour, but can now pay £10 or less because they have so many takers (and yes, the irony is noted). A care-home cleaner in a rundown seaside town who reckons her hopes of ever getting more than the minimum wage are zero. Each blames an influx of workers from the EU. Each of them are voting out. Tell them the EU protects workers’ rights and they just laugh."

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Well my (postal) vote is to remain, I see the argument about wages however if people have more money, prices are higher.

I recall very well the blessed relief everyone had when they could get an affordable Polish plumber. It was like inviting organised crime to your home (the same in Rep of Ireland) via the yellow pages before. Revenge pricing will arise fairly fast.

One only has to look here to see a wee problem? As resources become more stretched I feel organisation needs to improve not fragment. But I also feel as traffic congestion increases cars should be made to drive faster not slower so I may have a screw loose.

Overall it seems like the plot of the Angry Birds movie. Pigs Vs Angry Birds. Ok that I keep expecting to see Nigel Farage's tongue lick his eyeball does not help me listen to his lizard people argument. Similarly George Osbourne is a revolting boor as with many others.

My two reasons:
a. I recall my friends from Croatia (years after) in London describing a state of absolute shock as their middle class lives went from in hindsight, relative paradise in Yugoslavia, to the nightmare of active war seemingly overnight and out of the blue. They never believed it could possibly happen and so quickly. The same time I had to go to Congo/Rwanda to rescue my Tutsi friends in 1994 who were similarly feeling very WTF?. A few weeks I will never forget and was fortunate to survive (thanks Bill, but still anyone but Trump).

b. The EU has pigs in a trough of gravy for sure but fueled by greater negotiating powers many greedy sods in England will get bigger and fatter anyway so the moral indignation won't change. China has big pigs, Russia has big pigs, the USA has really big pigs and so does the EU. I have traveled the world and the EU is (all caps) massively the best place to live of the large global federations regardless of deficiencies.

My moving to Colombia (sort of) was mostly down to a desire for a fresh experience rather than lack of opportunity back home.

Its a complex issue, everyone must vote with their head and heart. That it can get a lot worse may seem a bad argument but devil-you-know is a rational response. I have some faith in the EU recognizing it has to dial back some of the nonsense.

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Rory View Post
I have traveled the world and the EU is (all caps) massively the best place to live of the large global federations regardless of deficiencies.

My moving to Colombia (sort of) was mostly down to a desire for a fresh experience rather than lack of opportunity back home.

I have done the same (with less place that you but EU, Africa, North America) and I massively agree to that statement

North America will perish (economically) under the growing burden of increasing inequalities. Africa has succumbed to it a long time ago and EU is the only place with a little hope.

(I don't know Asia)

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Okina View Post

North America will perish (economically) under the growing burden of increasing inequalities.

You must be kidding, if USA perishes economically whole stock market perishes and whole world...it's like TOO BIG TO FAIL written all over USA....China will be ready to loose another decades worth of their manual labor (they can because of population) but they don't want USA to fail economically.

USA mean capitalism, In capitalistic country if there is not inequality then it's not capitalistic country.

FYI...I am not capitalistic or socialistic or anything...ONE thing I know is USA is enjoying the other countries labor because they freaking CAN and irony is other countries are dying to lend it to USA.

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You must be kidding, if USA perishes economically whole stock market perishes and whole world...it's like TOO BIG TO FAIL written all over USA....China will be ready to loose another decades worth of their manual labor (they can because of population) but they don't want USA to fail economically.

USA mean capitalism, In capitalistic country if there is not inequality then it's not capitalistic country.

FYI...I am not capitalistic or socialistic or anything...ONE thing I know is USA is enjoying the other countries labor because they freaking CAN and irony is other countries are dying to lend it to USA.

When a country produce mainly super rich and super poor but close to nothing in the middle it is doom to fail because the main basic equation of economy which is production = consumption can not be equalize.

Inequalities are good when they remain under certain limits and are an incentive to risk, production and innovation but over a certain level they impoverish a Nation.

It not socialism nor capitalism it is just maths.

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I think your both right @bmtrading9 and @Okina but definition of economic failure is the issue. Being too big does not prevent failure of course.

Has the USA already failed? I am wondrin'.. if believing it already has affects reality at all....

I just got off the phone with an.. acquaintance?.. in North Dakota who has just finished sorting his ammo. That is his subtle warning to the too liberal but maybe worth saving ones, sorting his ammo. He has some new collector arrangement on his ejector(s) so when the brass hits the floor it won't burn anything or cause him to trip. He is 70 so that is a real concern.

Brexit may bring chaos and he will be ready for the Mexicans when they attack his farm (which is on high ground, no accident). He has held this view since at least 2013 that Mexico is biding it's time. I can't even blame DT for him as he is so loco it was probably him who got DT started. He is an amazing Vietnam war poet if terribly racist.

He was a senior consulting engineer on several of the USA's very very largest infrastructural projects over the past 30 years. He is not organically ill in his brain...

Many kinds of failure in this world.

Edit: sorry as off topic yesterday. I was just off the call with him and drifted into a spiral of at least nobody in Europe is that bad (while being as heavily armed haha).

He can fix any broken thing but has miserably failed with people through his life. Psychological projection is a serious issue for him (Narcissism too..). Blow it up and start again clean is the only solution he sees in people/society problems. Marriages and organisations can be fixed but we need to shush the zero problem solving skills fringe and say this is what I want to change in Europe clearly and honestly (as a start).

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1 think the issues are quite straightforward. In terms of political representation & accountability- do you want the laws that govern you & the taxation imposed upon you -created, voted upon & repealed by representatives that you elect & that you can un-elect? or do you want those laws & taxes decided upon & created by an unelected commission of 28 people who you didn't elect, & you have no right or possibility to remove? The commission currently passes 60% of all new laws in Britain, & that percentage is set to rise steadily, & studies have shown the vast majority of people across Europe don't even know who these people are.
Too much power concentrated in the hands of the few with Zero oversight is never a good thing. 1've seen at least 2 Independent studies & several documentaries uncovering details of how large corporate interests draft the legislation that suits them & the commission simply puts its logo at the top . As many others have stated - that's not undemocratic- its anti- democratic. The European Round Table was formed as a secret (until their existence was discovered) corporate cartel - to control the whole process.

In many ways, the questions of immigration & trade treaties (or lack thereof) are red herrings. The real issue is one of political representation, accountability - & democracy - values & ideals that past generations struggled, fought -& in many cases died for.

But as the argument has so often been reduced to a series of scare stories about trade, but the truth of the matter is that 2 countries do not need an international trade treaty for free trade to take place. It happens on a massive scale every day -all over the world without such treaties, which operate in a manner that serves the interests of the massive corporationS in favor of them & restrict & hinder the interests of smaller businesses who have to wade through mountains of bureaucracy, with limited resources, in order to attempt to compete.

As someone who has run small businesses both in Britain & elsewhere, I can see very clearly how the removal of those multiple layers of unecessary bureacracy will be of enormous benefit to smaller companies in the Uk. As Deutsche Bank in a recent report to its clients advised - that in the event ofa Brexit, they should buy Uk stocks as they're highly likely to outperform their European counterparts.

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As @bebop says I think the accountability/sovereignty issue is paramount but everybody seems to be more focused on their version of the economics.

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I think western civilization as we have known it is over its top.
From here there is only a way downward and the epicentre has already been shared and if not placed elsewhere.

A vote to stay, is a vote for Status Quo, is a vote for the establishment,
While this seems like the least of a turbulence, this is not going to solve
the bigger picture problem.

A vote to leave, is a vote of protest and the start of a significant change for both the Britain and the EU
I think it is fair to say, that significant changes are required
Brexit could be a catalyst for very needed deep reforms.

I think that ultimately people are being 'played' by press, government, and other forces.

A Brexit would be a strong signal that people are saturated by such manipulation and want a change
it will serve as a cataclysm for other regions (eg. Eastern Europe)

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rleplae View Post
I think western civilization as we have known it is over its top.
From here there is only a way downward and the epicentre has already been shared and if not placed elsewhere.

A vote to stay, is a vote for Status Quo, is a vote for the establishment,
While this seems like the least of a turbulence, this is not going to solve
the bigger picture problem.

A vote to leave, is a vote of protest and the start of a significant change for both the Britain and the EU
I think it is fair to say, that significant changes are required
Brexit could be a catalyst for very needed deep reforms.

I think that ultimately people are being 'played' by press, government, and other forces.

A Brexit would be a strong signal that people are saturated by such manipulation and want a change
it will serve as a cataclysm for other regions (eg. Eastern Europe)

But the protests have taken and are taking place already in the EU. Look at Spain and its Podemos party. Look at what's happened in Italy over the last fews years with the M5S party (yesterday's election results that confirmed the first female mayor for Rome and who belongs to an anti-austerity movement is a strong signal). Look at Greece and Syriza. Brexit's malcontent is but the latest example.

I believe - overall - people are tired, yes. But have they been pushed to the brink yet? I don't think so.

That's why I believe people will eventually vote for the status quo.

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I know I will make a lot of you laugh or disapproved but I think that the Brexit debate is very important not for what it brings on the surface (EU regulations vs National regulations, immigration etc...) but for a much deeper concern. It has consequences wherever you live. So yes EU has to be reformed but we can not reform something we leave. And above EU we need a real debate about democracy and our institutions.

The Brexit debate is a major opportunity for us “people” to think about this fundamental question: why governments seem unable to solve real problems? The answer is so obvious in my opinion that most people does not see it: it is because government has lost most of their power of decision. And by that "we" have lost most of our power of decision.

I am a libertarian in the sense that I would like to see people empowered but empowered in a democratic process and I would like to see a restoration of a real democracy in our society. This process can not be made in my opinion by bashing existing structures but instead by empowering them and by reunifying the political and the economic sphere.

We make a colossal mistake taking Democracy for granted. We mistakenly believe that capitalism begets inevitably democracy. It doesn't. China have demonstrated beyond doubt that it is perfectly possible to have a flourishing capitalism while politics remains non democratic.

Aristotle defined democracy as the constitution in which the free and the poor, being in the majority, control government. What was more pertinent, and continues to be so about ancient Athenian democracy, was the inclusion of the working poor, who not only acquired the right to free speech, but more importantly, crucially, they acquired the rights to political judgments that were afforded equal weight in the decision-making concerning matters of state.

Our liberal democracies today do not have their roots in ancient Athens. They have their roots in the Magna Carta, in the 1688 Glorious Revolution, in the American constitution. Whereas Athenian democracy was focusing on the masterless citizen and empowering the working poor, our liberal democracies are founded on the Magna Carta tradition, which was, after all, a charter for masters and by that way stated a clear distinction between political and economic sphere. And indeed, liberal democracy only surfaced when it was possible to separate fully the political sphere from the economic sphere, so as to confine the democratic process fully in the political sphere, leaving the economic sphere -- the corporate world, if you want -- as a democracy-free zone. Which is the biggest of all mistake and the root of all our problems.

Now, in our democracies today, this separation of the economic from the political sphere,the moment it started happening, it gave rise to an inexorable, epic struggle between the two, with the economic sphere colonizing the political sphere, eating into its power. One can be in government today and not in power, because power has migrated from the political to the economic sphere, which is separate. So we need to reconfigure, we need to reunite the economic and the political spheres, but we'd better do it by democratizing the reunified sphere.

Staying or leaving the EU won't of course solve this problem at once. But the EU is a very large government less prone (but not immune of course) to manipulation than a local government.

Do you want to live in a world in which the power belongs to people you have elected or do you want to live a world in which power belong to a "board of directors" over which you have no or little power? You can argue that you can have power over a corporation by owning a part of it but with 7B people in the world can we have 7B of owner? If you think yes in that case it is called communism and I do not share this ideology that has already failed and proved to be wrong.

I am an EU citizen, I have already vote for it. I think that the power belongs to us be we have been stupid and manipulated for not sizing it and destroying an institution instead of reforming it from the inside would be another mistake.

I am maybe too optimistic...

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Okina View Post
I am an EU citizen, I have already vote for it. I think that the power belongs to us be we have been stupid and manipulated for not sizing it and destroying an institution instead of reforming it from the inside would be another mistake.

I am maybe too optimistic...

Here's someone else that thinks like Okina... on a light-hearted note


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Here's someone else that thinks like Okina... on a light-hearted note


sometime humor is the best way to transmit to the mass what the real deal is about

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Could be worse than the EU like in capitalist China haha. Video shows China bank employees being spanked - BBC News

In fairness a lot of City of London financial workers may think its actually their bonus.

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Here's someone else that thinks like Okina... on a light-hearted note


As a Texan I relate to the song at the end thinking of those Yankee states...

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Okina View Post
sometime humor is the best way to transmit to the mass what the real deal is about

I agree that humour is often a good way to get a message across, but this piece is just one more addition to the humungous campaign to villify everyone who believes that the EU is anti-democratic and that a more prosperous and just society for all would flourish outside of it.

There are funny moments in it, but its far too easy to cherry pick video clips of individual comments from people in order to ridicule them - its a very cheap shot. And then to use that to tar & feather half the nation who believe that the Brexit is offers the best future is in itself a bigotted action. There is zero balance in this - where are the jokes of the rediculous comments made to further the Remain campaigners cause?

The tv and the majority of the press in the UK have been very biased. There are collosal vested interests at stake here - make no mistake - and we can all have a laugh at some old lady who makes some closetted xenophobic comments, or about whether its 350 million or 190 million a week net paid for membership to this "club", or about the fact that the documentary producers didn't investigate each law but probably just did a search for the term "pillow" in an EU database, even though the producers of this comedy sketch didn't bother themselves to mention the rediculous EU legislation that I've encountered at first hand that kills small and medium businesses such as that which forces a small entrepreneur with a fishmongers to spends thousands extra to print labels that say that his product contains fish, when all he sells is fish!, but none of that focusses attention on the real issue - no taxation without representation. Its quite simple. All EU laws are created by a commission of 28 unelected people.

Investigative journalists at great risk to themselves have uncovered many cases of corruption among these commisioners showing that they're bought and paid for by the largest corporations in the world. You won't find these cases reported in the mainstream media for the same reason that the coverage is so massively one-sided. An earlier comment about the EU being a larger parliament, therefore more democratic is just nonsense. The so-called European Parliament has no power to create laws or repeal them - again this is ant-democratic at its core.

If we step back to view the bigger picture, we see a one-way avalanche of horror stories about economic, social and political collapse & doom that would inevitably arise if the people dared to vote to leave this soviet-style control system. There are plenty of reports and analysis to the contrary, but again you won't find these reported on the MSM, only pure terror and dread. I almost expected the BBC this morning to lead with a story that a Brexit vote would lead to the dead rising in order to slowly devour the living, that the survivors would then be forced to scarifice their first born along with 2 internal organs of their choosing!

But instead - they led with the doom and gloom stories from George Soros - a man of very high moral standing, who recent CIA released papers from their predecessor - the Office of Strategic Services during WWII show, worked for the nazis identifying jews to be rounded up. So a nazi collaborator - The Hungarian government has also confirmed this. There are literally dozens of books detailing Soros' links with the CIA funding covert agit-prop operations in various countries around the world in order to overthrow democratically elected governments (see for example, the work of F.William Engdahl, or Robert Parry - the journalist who won a Pulitzer for breaking the story of the Iran-Contra conspiracy). So a great bastion of democracy then. People should think long and hard about who these vested interests are and ask themselves are they really aligned with the benefit of all the people of the UK. And what is Soros saying - that the pound may fall 15-17% - and that's apparently bad for the UK economy. All the major central banks have been desperately trying to devalue their currencies for the past 7 or 8 years to ignite their failing economies! It's truly laughable.

A lot of people in the US complain about crony capitalism with multi-nationals and foreign governments gaining excessive influence over Congress through powerful lobbying and the nefarious results this has produced around the world in everything from illegal wars, covert regime changes, genetically engineered frankenfoods, 1.5 tillion disappearing into the military industrial black hole for a new fighter jet that's incapable of carrying out the basic functionality required, and vaccines now clinally proven to cause autism and other physical and neurological disorders. The list of evil inflicted upon the peoples of the world through this political influence is almost endless. Well - its a lot easier to influence the EU commission than the US Congress and most people in Europe don't realise that.

That's really what Brexit is about.

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I agree that humour is often a good way to get a message across, but this piece is just one more addition to the humungous campaign to villify everyone who believes that the EU is anti-democratic and that a more prosperous and just society for all would flourish outside of it.

There are funny moments in it, but its far too easy to cherry pick video clips of individual comments from people in order to ridicule them - its a very cheap shot. And then to use that to tar & feather half the nation who believe that the Brexit is offers the best future is in itself a bigotted action. There is zero balance in this - where are the jokes of the rediculous comments made to further the Remain campaigners cause?

The tv and the majority of the press in the UK have been very biased.

Actually, both camps have been very biased. Although I agree that the press is predominantly publishing 'doom and gloom' articles about leaving the EU, there is no single point of view that is overwhelmingly worthy of evaluation. There is way too much misinformation.

The 'balance' you are looking for would be to say 'here are the pros and cons (based on indisputable facts) for the stay argument - here are the pros and cons (based on indisputable facts) for the leave argument. Now citizens: make up your mind and vote'. But nobody is doing that. It would be too easy to have citizens who vote based on informed decisions.

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If UK had taken over the Euro at the beginning - they could not leave easily.
With still holding the pound they can leave now...
or later!

This important poll will not be the last one.
For UK or other EU countries.

It is time to discuss all the arguments pro and con NOW.
EU needs to wake up to where their money is spent.

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Actually, both camps have been very biased. Although I agree that the press is predominantly publishing 'doom and gloom' articles about leaving the EU, there is no single point of view that is overwhelmingly worthy of evaluation. There is way too much misinformation.

The 'balance' you are looking for would be to say 'here are the pros and cons (based on indisputable facts) for the stay argument - here are the pros and cons (based on indisputable facts) for the leave argument. Now citizens: make up your mind and vote'. But nobody is doing that. It would be too easy to have citizens who vote based on informed decisions.

I'm not talking about the individual claims made by those on either side of the campaign being biased. There's certainly been exageration and misrepresentation of statistics and data by both sides. Unfortunately that always happens in political debate. In amongst that there are plenty of well presented pro and con arguments and its down to the individual to sift through the nonsense in order to uncover the facts. In my analysis the economic scare tactics have very little basis in fact - they're government, EU and vested corporate interest projections and the media has single mindedly and relentlessly pushed that agenda ad-nauseum.

And economic projections, lets face it, are not the most accurate beasts in the world. The track record of most (even highly regarded) economists is pretty shocking at best. There are plenty of positive projections for a future UK economy outside the EU - but you'll never hear the BBC, or any of the MSM reporting these. The UK is the EUs second largest export market - the idea that they're simply going to shut down all trade with the UK like flicking off a light switch as the dread merchants would have us believe is absolute nonsense.

In terms of bias - I'm talking about the cascading torrent of sheer horror that all of the tv channels and the vast majority of the press are bombarding people with to try to scare the crap out of them. The BBC coverage - particularly in the past few days, has been a never-ending one-sided domesday scenario, which has been vomit-worthy.

I agree that no single point of view should dominate the debate - but I believe there is one single argument that is overwhelmingly worthy of evaluation, that needs no deep investigation and analysis, that isn't subject to economists opinions or dubious Garbage-In-Garbage-Out subjective projections, or exageration and misrepresentation - as I said before - that there should be no taxation (or legislation of any kind) without representation, accountability and oversight. The EU has none of that. Absolutely zero. It's deliberately designed that way. The UK parliament has all of that. And this is the key issue but it's virtually non-existant in the debate and in the MSM.

Now - don't even get me started on the murder of the Swedish pro-euro MP Anna Lindh in their 2003 referendum to adopt the euro - one week before the vote...just as the no campaign had taken the lead and was gaining momentum...murdered by a quiet loner with a history of mental illness...

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Now - don't even get me started on the murder of the Swedish pro-euro MP Anna Lindh in their 2003 referendum to adopt the euro - one week before the vote...just as the no campaign had taken the lead and was gaining momentum...murdered by a quiet loner with a history of mental illness...

That sounds conspiracy-theorist-ish!

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Saw this and thought of Peru

Anyone unfamiliar, Paddington migrated from Peru to the UK. He is still undergoing treatment by the NHS for recidivist marmalade addiction. Personally I believe though a good hearted and well meaning bear he is two heavily influenced by his evil twin Euston bear. I lived in NW1 near Euston station I will not soon forget Euston Bear's propagandists thugs selling this vile tome, 'proceeds for the cause'.. now I see his plans coming to fruition.



Sky U.K. Delays 'Last Week Tonight With John Oliver' Episode With Brexit Rant

During the Last Week episode, which aired in the U.S. on Sunday evening, Oliver called the Brexit campaign “bullshit” and said that pro-Brexit former London mayor Boris Johnson had the “look and economic insight of Bamm-Bamm from The Flintstones." Oliver also said: “It’s hard for me to overstate how poisonous things have become in the U.K." Adding, "my homeland is on the edge of doing something absolutely insane."

A Sky spokesman cited rules set by U.K. media regulator Ofcom. Sky "complied with the Ofcom broadcasting restrictions at times of elections and referendums that prohibit us showing this section of the program at this moment in time," he said.

The rules require balanced reporting and impartiality during elections and such. Observers said that the Last Week episode would have been fine to air if it had also made the case for the opposite argument in another part of the show.

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That sounds conspiracy-theorist-ish!

Conspiracy theory!? Oh no -please God no. Don't tar & feather me with that brush! 1'll never be taken seriously again! I'll have no friends , no-one will love me, and I won't be able to get a job! I'll die alone & cold & miserable in a 1 room shack in East Grimstead without a penny to my name or a word of sympathy for my soul...

Coincidence ? Maybe. I tend to think coincidences are less likely when gargantuan vested interests are at stake.

As a starting reference for those who are unfamiliar with the lengths to which governments (in this case European) and huge vested interests (in this case NATO) will go - & have repeatedly gone to achieve their aims - I recommend some quick research on Operation Gladio & Gladio-B. Allan Francovich' s documentary series is well done (ironically for the BBC-back in the day when it still pursued investigative journalism) & there are plenty of books on the subject. w-pedia would have us believe that this is a phenomena from the past. I wish that were so, but the evidence suggests otherwise..

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Conspiracy theory!? Oh no -please God no. Don't tar & feather me with that brush! 1'll never be taken seriously again! I'll have no friends , no-one will love me, and I won't be able to get a job! I'll die alone & cold & miserable in a 1 room shack in East Grimstead without a penny to my name or a word of sympathy for my soul...

Coincidence ? Maybe. I tend to think coincidences are less likely when gargantuan vested interests are at stake.

As a starting reference for those who are unfamiliar with the lengths to which governments (in this case European) and huge vested interests (in this case NATO) will go - & have repeatedly gone to achieve their aims - I recommend some quick research on Operation Gladio & Gladio-B. Allan Francovich' s documentary series is well done (ironically for the BBC-back in the day when it still pursued investigative journalism) & there are plenty of books on the subject. w-pedia would have us believe that this is a phenomena from the past. I wish that were so, but the evidence suggests otherwise..

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I'm familiar with Gladio and similar apparatuses. So what are you saying, Jo Cox's murder was orchestrated?

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I'll die alone & cold & miserable in a 1 room shack in East Grimstead without a penny to my name or a word of sympathy for my soul...

East Grimstead near Salisbury and Downton? its quite nice! Though I see the advantage of being close to the New Forest should the MiB call (Men in Brown, brown shoes).

I must admit when poor Jo Cox was attacked that it was a plot came to mind immediately however.. I know two members of the 'shadowy' European Round Table of Industrialists and they are not credible as evil board members so I'm torn.

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LOL! @Rory - very good. Although what Euston bear fails to point out is that Paddington has a thriving business selling images of himself to countries all around the globe without the need for any trade treaties. He stopped his exports to Europe (apart from Switzerland & Norway) because it became cost prohibitive due to regulations stating that he had to print new packaging in large bold neon font with the words : "bear inside", & that he would have to change the fur colour to black & place spectacle markings around the eyesi to be more representative of his native species, even though he himself never wears spectacles. Paddington considered chaining himself to the railings in front of parliament &going on hunger strike, but he couldn't find the key to the padlock & was reliably informed that "that lot in there" -referring to the house of commons- "wouldn't be able to do anything anyway", & since his stomach was rumbling he decided the best course of action would be to give up on europe until the regulations were more amenable & head home for a marmalade sandwich.

His business has been thriving ever since. In fact he can't make enough of himself. He's particularly loved in his home country of Peru & now has the money to pay regular visits to his friends & family & invite them over to London for a big party, although the party may have to wait as he's just received a large tax bill for the use of a restricted form of paper in his packaging, from an EU agency that he's tried to pronounce, but the name is so long he falls asleep before he finishes. Well, he has been working long hours & as he likes to say - "Its hard work being in business", just before he takes another well-deserved nap.

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re: sky & the John Oliver prog - I'm not one for censorship - but l suppose its good to see someone step in & do something about the one-sided coverage. As they said -if you're gonna have fun & poke holes that's fine ~ but do it to both sides, or come clean & declare your agenda up front.

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I'm familiar with Gladio and similar apparatuses. So what are you saying, Jo Cox's murder was orchestrated?

To paraphrase Urquhart - you might say that - I couldn't possibly comment.

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To paraphrase Urquhart - you might say that - I couldn't possibly comment.

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Never seen that version, but I loved Underwood. Anyway, !

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re: sky & the John Oliver prog - I'm not one for censorship - but l suppose its good to see someone step in & do something about the one-sided coverage. As they said -if you're gonna have fun & poke holes that's fine ~ but do it to both sides, or come clean & declare your agenda up front.

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Well I think the very first thing John Oliver did was declare his agenda and as his broadcast would sway many to stay, I see problems in the overall competence of this conspiracy.

Boris Johnson is a blonde Turk (actually is) a great storyteller (massive 'poetic licence'/liar) and doubtless an agent of Ergodan. Johnson is great-grandson of Ali Kemal Bey, a liberal Circassian-Turkish journalist and the interior minister in the government of Damat Ferid Pasha, Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire.

Anyone who worked for an actual Grand Visier!! is at the very least suspicious methinks?

I met his sister Rachel once, she was nice. I feel Boris sees campaigning for exit as a part of his upward trajectory. Do you think it strange he 'lost' the London mayor re-election to a Muslim? Or is Turkey consolidating control?

Of course I'm kidding (Boris is evil, his sister said so).

Also I just released/remembered Euston bear comes from 'the forests of darkest Colombia!!' brilliant!

Sorry for derailing the thread @xplorer I'll be good now.

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I feel Boris sees campaigning for exit as a part of his upward trajectory. Do you think it strange he 'lost' the London mayor re-election to a Muslim? Or is Turkey consolidating control?

I agree there's a decent probability that Boris is just using this campaign as a stepping stone over his ol' mate Dave.
On the mayoral election - I've been out of London for more than 7 years - as far as I'm aware he didn't (couldn't?) stand...

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Are they getting scared that the rhetoric has gone too far..?

EU referendum: Trade curbs 'foolish' if UK votes Leave, says German industry - BBC News

Mr Kerber, Head of the BDI which represents German industry:
"...imposing protectionist measures between our two countries - or between the two political centres, the European Union on the one hand and the UK on the other - would be a very, very foolish thing in the 21st Century,"

In terms of jobs, recent research shows
the number of EU jobs directly tied to exports to the UK - 5.5m - which has apparently risen 10% between 2011 and 2014.
the number of UK jobs directly tied to exports to the EU - between 3.5 and 3.9m - which has fallen 5%

https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/voteleave/pages/271/attachments/original/1466581405/1603-354_.pdf?1466581405

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To paraphrase Urquhart - you might say that - I couldn't possibly comment.

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maybe its not so crazy when you consider French politician Francois Asselineau predicted the assassination one week before & strongly advised the use of body guards.

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