Will Britain vote for Brexit?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by James R, Jun 22, 2016.


Brexit or Bremain?

Poll closed Jun 24, 2016.
  1. I would support Brexit and I think it will succeed.

    3 vote(s)
  2. I would not support Brexit, but I think it will succeed.

    0 vote(s)
  3. I would support Brexit, but I think Britain will Remain.

    2 vote(s)
  4. I would support Remain, and I think Britain will Remain.

    3 vote(s)
  5. I have no opinion / don't want to express my opinion on this.

    1 vote(s)
  6. Brexit? Bremain? What 'chu talkin' about, Willis?

    0 vote(s)
  1. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    They could, but they are the minority - by a long way:
    Blue is leave, orange is remain. Scotland is roughly 59 (?) MPs out of 650.
    As such those who wish to remain would be impotent in stopping the exit if all politicians followed the mandate of their constituency.
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  3. exchemist Valued Senior Member

    And here we are, within 24hrs: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-36626553
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  5. geordief Valued Senior Member

    Listening to the Newsnight, the EU is now under pressure to be harsh with its attitude towards Britain because they will wish to discourage other countries following suit.

    The British will, in that event now have a genuine cause to feel aggrieved at their treatment by Brussels and a lot of good it will do them.

    Is it wishful thinking to imagine that the exiters are going to repent at their leisure whilst those who wished to remain will find satisfaction in their impotence?
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  7. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    They will be harsh, not only to discourage other countries but because some of them have elections coming up and will want to look strong to their own people so as to get reelected.
    The issue is complicated, though, in that the EU does do an awful lot of trade with the UK, and harsh treatment will only serve to worsen all parties. While the UK might hope for basically free access to the single market, most know that is a pipe-dream. The so-called "saving" that leaving the EU will give us (the £150m+ per week) will probably be used up in acquiring rights to that market, especially if we wish to avoid free-movement of labour (which apparently we do but may not be a possibility).
    So they can be harsh - the UK economy will undoubtedly suffer - but so will the economies of France, Germany, Italy, Holland et al. And while there is a lot of pride at stake, while the EU ministers undoubtedly feel like they've just been humiliated, slapped in the face, disrespected etc, in the cold light of day hopefully some common-sense will prevail and an amicable solution can be worked out that doesn't damage either side too badly. At the moment tempers are still high and there does need to be a cooling off period before any sensible negotiations can take place, in my view. So Cameron stating that it will be the new PM who will invoke clause 50 - i.e. not until October of this year - is a chance for everyone to simply calm down, to let the vitriol and animosity subside somewhat, and for all parties to realise that while we may not want the same end-goals, we can still benefit greatly from cooperation.

    Another issue about being harsh, however, is that they will come across as effectively holding the other countries in the EU as hostage: effectively saying "leave and suffer!". Is that any way to run an organisation? By scaring people into submission? All it will serve to do is give ammunition to EU-sceptic parties in the member countries that the EU is indeed so fundamentally flawed that it can only hold the countries together by fear of reprisal rather than through any actual mutual benefit.
    I think that if they want the EU to work they have countries actually willing to stay, not forced to stay with a gun at their head, and if countries wish to leave then yes, they won't get the rewards of membership, but nor should they be unduly penalised by harsh treatment. If others subsequently want to leave it will then simply be because the EU is not working for those countries, and the EU must therefore change to survive, not compel.
    Not sure I follow your point. Are you saying that the British people (at least those who voted to leave) had no genuine cause to feel aggrieved beforehand?
    So that is what you wish to happen?
  8. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    The folk in Calais have been saying the same thing for a long time now, and all reports have been that the central French government has no intention of cancelling the treaty (which they could do by giving 2 years notice). At least that was their position up until Thursday.
    First, it's a bi-lateral treaty and nothing to do with EU membership. It was not signed on the basis of EU membership and so nothing has fundamentally changed in that regard. The treaty has been a great success in limiting the numbers of people making their way to Calais, with the message getting through that getting from Calais to England is difficult. By getting rid of the treaty all they will risk doing is cause vast numbers of migrants and refugees to swarm to Calais. It will therefore place an increased burden on both Calais and the UK. Which is why I can't see any sensible French government agreeing to it.

    But then, with England and Wales voting to leave (and dragging Scotland and N Ireland with them), one could question whether we are living in sensible times.

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  9. geordief Valued Senior Member

    You tell me . You think they had genuine cause to be aggrieved at treatment they received from the EU in the past? Such as?

    I don't understand your point . What do you think I am wishing to happen?
  10. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    It looks like this was on old versus young issue. It appears young people overwhelmingly were for remaining in the EU. Older folks on the other hand were overwhelmingly opposed. So what does that tell you?


    It's hard to see how leaving the EU is going to improve any of the issues the leave people want to solve. It doesn't solve immigration. It doesn't improve the employment problems. It makes goods more expensive. It's inflationary. On the bright side, it makes travel to the United Kingdom cheaper. But by the same token, it makes travel for the British residents much more expensive and it makes imports much more expensive. Ironically, it makes British real estate cheaper for foreigners.

    Since the rule book has been tossed out and nobody knows what the new rule book will look like, it makes it difficult to justify further business investment in the UK. I don't think the EU should punish the UK. I don't see how that makes things better for anyone. Whatever happens, this is ugly, and it will hurt the United Kingdom. It already has. It is a huge self inflicted wound. Yes, it may heal with time. But there are no guarantees. But whatever happens, I think it's a very safe bet to expect the British economy to slow. It's markets, its industries, will be open to competition.

    I guess people can hope the UK will reconsider. Cameron took a bet, he lost. Europe lost, everyone lost. The UK has been an important voice in the EU. The EU needs the UK and the UK needs the EU. The irony here is that it was Churchill who advocated for a European Economic Union in order to keep peace and prevent another world war. He proposed a United States of Europe.

    "We must build a kind of United States of Europe. In this way only will hundreds of millions of toilers be able to regain the simple joys and hopes which make life worth living." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_of_Europe#20th_century
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2016
  11. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    You know, the British stick with us through a lot, so there's no question we'll stick with them, but still, two trillion? For a temper tantrum? And now I find myself once again recalling the story about EMS in King County, Washington, circa late nineties?

    My question now is whether Her Majesty will abdicate.
  12. Bells Staff Member

    Once Article 50 is triggered, they need to do it within 2 years regardless.

    The EU has already advised that they are not exactly open to much negotiation and would prefer that Article 50 be triggered sooner rather than later.

    The longer the UK drags its feet, the more instability it creates, particularly for EU member States and at present, that includes the UK.

    Most of the local referendums had in the UK, the Parliament has rarely ever honoured the will of the people.

    Simply because your parliament is sovereign. It is under no obligation to honour the will of the people and they haven't in the past. You might think it is unthinkable, but the British Parliament has gone against the will of the people in referendums in the past. The referendum was simply advisory and not a political beast. People were not voting for a party to represent them in Parliament. The PM explicitly told the country it was decisive without gaining Parliamentary approval to do so. To wit, no legislation or Bill was tabled or passed, to ensure that the results would be decisive. He left that open.

    The Parliament is under no obligation to honour the words of the Prime Minister. That isn't it's job. The Prime Minister can explicitly say many things would happen and he often has. Does not mean Parliament and the House of Lords agree, nor does it mean they are required by law to do his bidding.

    Obviously there is the sentiment that all politicians must now vote for this, because 52% of the population voted for the Brexit, and despite with clear indication that a large portion of that 52% did not exactly understand what they were voting for. I wonder what would happen if that large portion of people who voted "Leave" now start to petition their local representative to not back this in Parliament, for example? To wit, it is interesting to note that many on the "Leave" campaign are no longer looking like they are winners. Nor do they look particularly happy at present. There is the distinct sensation that a lot of them voted based solely on national pride, while firmly believing they would lose. The current look on Johnson's face certainly shows that.

    Look, I absolutely understand that the politicians have to abide by the will of the people. It is also inconceivable to me that they would not. Having said that, however, it is also inconceivable to me that they would send the country into dire straights simply because that is what the uneducated people in the population so desire. So it creates a conflict. Do what is right for the country and for the people, or just do what the people want by a slim majority? There is a very interesting article by a Fellow from the London School of Economics and Political Science. It's well worth the read. It touches particularly on the point I am making and also raises another point. What if there is an election before Article 50 is triggered and one party, for example, campaigns on remaining in the EU and wins the election? What then? Which mandate should take precedence? It raises a lot of interesting questions in regards to Parliamentary sovereignty.

    It will be a hard pill to swallow when one considers that to be honourable, one has to literally has to choose to cause economic strife because so many of the people who voted for it, had no idea or understanding what they were voting for. It's safe to say that sometimes, being honourable is not so honourable in the grand scheme of things.

    The UK had to inject 250 billion pounds to try to shore up the pound. To little effect.

    The market lost over one trillion pounds in a day. The UK will more than likely lose its credit rating. And it is already looking dire.

    Credit ratings agency Moody’s bumped the UK’s bond rating from stable to negative on Friday after the country voted to leave the European Union.

    Moody’s said that Britain would face substantial challenges in order to successfully negotiate its exit from the EU.

    “During the several years in which the UK will have to renegotiate its trade relations with the EU, Moody’s expects heightened uncertainty, diminished confidence and lower spending and investment to result in weaker growth,” the agency said,Reuters reports.

    Moody’s assigned a negative outlook to its ‘Aa1’ rating for British government debt.

    The news follows an erratic day on the global stock markets, which lost about £1.4 trillion in value on Friday.

    By the time the markets closed, the FTSE 100 had managed to claw back some of the £122 billion lost on Friday morning.

    But the pound sterling fell to its lowest against the dollar since 1985.

    The Government and Bank of England had warned voters the country would face a major economic hit if it left the EU after more than 40 years as a member.

    Rival credit ratings agency Standard and Poor’s warned before Thursday’s referendum that Britain was likely to face a downgrade in its AAA credit rating if it voted to leave.

    Moody’s is the first ratings agency to take concrete action following today’s result.

    In 2013 Moody’s became the first to strip Britain of its ‘AAA’ credit rating due to slow growth and rising public debt.

    “Policy predictability and effectiveness of (Britain’s) economic policymaking... might be somewhat diminished,” Moody’s said.

    “The challenges for policymakers and officials will be substantial.”

    Protracted trade talks, slow growth or heightened pressures on sterling could all trigger a downgrade, Moody’s said.

    Supporters of Britain leaving the EU have largely dismissed warnings about the economic consequences as scaremongering, and are confident Britain will negotiate trade deals and immigration controls superior to those it already has.

    But Moody’s said leaving the EU was likely to leave Britain with less money to spend on public services.

    “The negative effect from lower economic growth will outweigh the fiscal savings from the UK no longer having to contribute to the EU budget,” it said.

    “The UK government has one of the largest budget deficits among advanced economies, and lower GDP growth will further complicate the implementation of the government’s multiyear fiscal consolidation plan,” it added.
    Do you understand, how this is catastrophic from an economic perspective? Looks like the promises of better public services like to health and education that were promised by "Leave" were in fact wrong and those who voted because they thought they would get more from the Government by way of health, education, social security and infrastructure, will be worse off.

    It is also no longer the 5th wealthiest nation in the world. Pensioners, many of whom invest portions of their retirement fund to live off the proceeds, are now much poorer with little recourse. Any budget surplus the UK may have enjoyed or any extra spending it might have put towards things like health, infrastructure and education, just went out the window yesterday. And you ask as though you can't figure out what crash I speak of?
  13. Bells Staff Member

    I have several relatives and friends who own businesses and which are based in the UK or have large bases of operation in the UK and employ hundreds. They trade predominately with the EU. They will be taking their business and basing them in Europe, probably France. They are not happy about having to do so, but it makes better economic sense to expand in Europe than in the UK once the UK triggers Article 50. Their staff are devastated, but really, what other option do they have? I have a cousin who owns a business with a subsidiary based in the UK. She hires about 80 people in the UK and she trades mostly with Europe. She is devastated. But those 80 plus however many she contracts in when necessary, will essentially be without employment once Article 50 is triggered. She is already looking at warehouses and factories in France, getting ready so she can move quickly. She will take a hit financially with the cost of the move, but in the long term, her economic prospects are more secure in the EU than in the UK once this starts because she trades so much with the EU.

    Unless the UK is able to negotiate to maintain its current status quo, while remaining outside of the EU - in other words, enjoy the same benefits they currently enjoy regarding trade and banking, which seems unlikely at this point, I cannot blame my relatives and friends if they do shut up shop in the UK and simply move their business to the EU. And I suspect many small businesses who trade more with the EU than with the UK will probably be looking to do the same thing.

    It's too late now. As I noted above, the only way to stop this is for Parliament and the House of Lords to vote against exiting. There is no real guarantee from the House of Lords that they will pass it. Certainly, MP's have vowed to abide by the results of the referendum, but I have not seen any indication that the House of Lords have done so. The other way to possibly head this off is to call an election before Article 50 is triggered, and run a campaign against leaving. There are no guarantees that this can be stopped. But those are the options at present. What can be certain now is that a lot of people are angry about this and they now see the economic uncertainty of a non-binding referendum. It is quite possible and likely that they would vote against it in an election.

    There seems to be this belief that the UK would leave the EU, but still enjoy the benefits of an EU State, such as trade, travel, work and education. For some bizarre reason, they seemed to believe that none of that would really change. They just seemed to assume that the money the UK would save from being a member of the EU would just be spent in the UK and that they could still continue to come and go as they please. They also falsely believed that immigration to the UK would stop or slow down. Once the results were in, MP's who were pushing for Brexit have had to advise that immigration numbers would not really be changing. The huge market downturn of yesterday means that the UK will not be able to secure its financial future in regards to spending on things like health, education and infrastructure. It is highly probable that pensioners will have to take a cut to their pension as well as others from other Government payments and wages may end up dropping, which will further reduce spending and drive to slow the economy even more.

    County's who voted to leave, appear to not have even looked at what would actually happen in the event of leaving the EU. Those who enjoyed aid from the EU are now facing the prospect that they will no longer be receiving said aid and I don't think the Government is in any position to replace said aid financially. Purse strings will have to be tightened from the Government and for people to try to weather this horrific storm for the long term. The poor who benefited more from the EU and who voted to leave because their belief that immigrants were coming to the UK to take their jobs, are now going to be more worse off, because they will more than likely receive less in wages or Government benefits, costs of imports from Europe will more than like go up, which will mean cost of living will increase. How will they manage financially? If it is bad for them now, it will be worse for them for the next decade or so. And they will have no one to blame but themselves.

    The UK is now finding itself bound to support the wants and desires of its most stupid and uneducated bigoted voters. To its absolute detriment.
  14. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    It's not a matter of what I think. It's a matter of what they think. You have implied they had no genuine grievance, so please explain / justify that position.
    When you claim something to be wishful thinking you are saying that you wish that something would happen despite acknowledging it is unlikely. So do you wish that those who got their way repent at their leisure, etc?
    I don't. I really wish that those who got their way are in fact correct in their view of the medium to long term.
  15. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    Not strictly true. If all member states agree the time period can be extended. Indefinitely if agreed by all.
    The UK has not injected anything yet. The BoE was merely saying that it stands ready to provide £250 billion of additional funds through its normal facilities.
    Dire? Not yet. It might be, but is not yet.
    The markets, well, the FTSE 100 at least, was 2% up in the week. All that happened on Friday seems to be a correction of all those who had already pushed the FTSE up by gambling on a Remain vote.
    Noone said it was going to be easy in the short term, but catastrophic? Time will tell.
    Says who? We have had recessions before, global market collapses before, and things pretty much recover.
    This time, I do believe, it will take longer because it is inherently deeper-rooted, and when the dust settles, yes, people will likely be worse off. But for how long? Who knows yet.
    Two things with regard pensioners:
    1. Until recently any pension pot (after 25% could be taken tax-free) had to be used to buy an annuity - and the returns they get from those will be contractual with their provider.
    2. For those pensioners that invested other lump sums in the stock markets - the FTSE 100 closed 2% UP on the week. There will be turmoil ahead for sure, but pensioners likely invest in safer and less volatile markets. But as with all such investments there are risks.
    One also has to bear in mind that when you look at the pensioner demographic, the overwhelming majority (60%) supported leaving.
    I don't dispute the sentiment, nor that it will be tough, and likely for a considerable length of time. I simply dispute the overreaction that I read into your posts.
    The crash has not yet happened, I believe. Maybe it will next week. Maybe next month. Maybe never.
    And rather than a crash I think it will be more like a car simply running out of petrol and rolling slowly into a ditch.

    As said, time will tell.
    Interesting times and all that.
  16. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    We will likely see much of that as time goes on. But many will choose not to do so until it is much clearer what the new treaties will look like, or until they simply cannot manage without acting.
    Some will not wish to make such wholesale changes when, just a year or two down the line, things might be far easier. It is this uncertainty that will be most damaging.
    There won't be an agreement to retain the status quo. We might want it, but Europe won't, and rightly so, as it would raise the whole question of the purpose of being a member.
    The House of Lords are impotent in stopping legislation from the Commons.
    They can delay, for sure, by up to a year, but a Bill that the Commons want to get through the Lords will eventually be passed. This is enshrined in the Parliament Acts of 1911 and 1949.
    I think it has been used to pass legislation through the Lords seven times.
  17. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    Temper tantrum? Possibly for some, not for others. And markets recover. Heck, as I've stated elsewhere, the FTSE 100 was still up 2% on the week.
    Anyhoo, the US caused the last global meltdown... so at least it's a change.

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    Some sources would claim that Her Majesty was all for Brexit. But she is technically "above politics" - so no, no resignation I think.
  18. sweetpea Valued Senior Member

    Aye lad, Great Britain will be Wee Britain.
  19. exchemist Valued Senior Member

    I think we should avoid panic reactions. My guess is that all concerned will be desperately keen to avoid anything that create massive business uncertainty, because that could trigger a recession, both in the UK and in the EU. The Germans, I read, are already brainstorming the idea of some sort of "associate" status - could be the sort of thing I have been envisaging for the UK, though from within the union rather than outside it.

    There will be anger and conflicting reactions for a few days yet. But they do not want the markets to start shorting the whole EU concept, i.e betting it will break up - and then actually trying to break it up, via attacking Portugal or somewhere. I think your friends and relations should sit tight for a few months - nothing is going to change in that time. Just make contingency plans based on 2 or 3 scenarios but do not start putting resources into changing anything for a bit.

    The markets and the currency may settle down, provided no stupid remarks are made and the impression is given that the EU is in control of events, not a victim of them. And then the outline of a possible way forward will emerge.
  20. geordief Valued Senior Member

    I don't have to justify a negative -although I am open to hearing arguments as to why the positive assertion may be true (that there have been genuine grievances)
  21. geordief Valued Senior Member

    True .I was being dogmatic. I too prefer the best outcome for all. Perhaps sardonic describes my turn of phrase.

    But I do not anticipate a happy outcome and this act of folly may prove a precedent for further such acts.
  22. exchemist Valued Senior Member

    What two trillion is this? If it's the value of stock markets then that's not real money (you can only sell the marginal share at that value). We will need to see the effect over several months before we can judge the true impact. But it will be negative, I'm afraid.

    The Queen is not affected by this. In the event of Scotland seceding, they would still acknowledge her or her successor as monarch, as Canada or Australia do. There is not a huge appetite for republicanism in Scotland. What they want is to manage their own affairs.
  23. geordief Valued Senior Member

    I would be pleased of the Queen did abdicate . One of the central features of the informal agreement there has been between the monarchy and the people is that it was simply a ceremonial function.

    I think this has not really been completely honoured (nor can it be practically) .It is grating that the "private" opinions on the monarch can be used to influence a vitally important referendum in the days leading up to it. (ditto for the Scottish referendum)

    That said ,what would replace it? Maybe we could get a ceremonial Operating System instead?

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    I guess one of the reasons countries leaving the UK were happy to keep the monarchy is that they didn't see it (that debate) as a good reason to potentially slow down the process of their secession.

    It is clearly less of an issue for the periphery of the "Commonwealth" although the monarchy has been known to still poke its nose into countries' like Australia's business quite recently.

    By the way I think it was inexcusable the the terms of the referendum(even if advisory) did not make provision for assessing the input of the various constituent parts of the UK separately .

    Not sure how but to risk paying the price of losing Scotland on the back of this is completely unacceptable and was well telegraphed.
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2016

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