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As a brit, it's strange to see how it's being spun here.

The majority of people voted to leave the EU and to regain independence. There will be a little volatility until some facts about how that divorce happens, emerge.

Long term, we now have control of our future.

In terms of startups though, the EU is there to serve big businesses and powerful establishment. It's there to hinder startups and small businesses. If you're pro-small business, then you should be excited about the opportunities we have now.

And can anyone on here really stand up for the idiotic cookie law? Can you stand up for the "html link tax"? That's just the tip of the iceberg with the meddling from the EU.




Independence is a mirage, as is control. No individual nor country in the world is independent. We are all interdependent on one another, and ever more so as the movement of data, goods and people accelerates.

The EU is a framework is facilitate that interdependence, and while it has many faults, it was created to prevent another world war and in that it has succeeded.

Great Britain's future is very dependent on the decisions of its neighbors and trade partners, and it has just told those neighbors and trade partners to go to hell. The EU will make the UK pay a price for Brexit, and rightly so, otherwise all member states would leave and still enjoy the free movement of goods and people.

Every power structure is co-optable by large corporations and special interests. The Leave leaders are no different. You have swapped out one regrettable elite for another, much as the former British colonies nations did mid-century. There are many problems "independence" doesn't solve, and dealing with special interests is one of them.

Best of luck.


This really is a key point. The UK contributed a net of something like 140m pounds a week or so to the EU, that's about 7b pounds on a 1.8 trillion pound economy, or a small (0.3%) fraction or so of the GDP. For that they got 10% or so of the votes in all European affairs, and access to a market (50% of UK exports are to the EU) under favourable trade agreements, which are easily worth 0.3% of GDP in and of itself.

Now the UK will not contribute 0.3% of its GDP, lose some of its favourable deals that far exceed 0.3% of GDP, and lose the 10% vote in EU affairs, yet will be subjected to those affairs as part of the inevitable effort of negotiating to keep many (though impossibly all) of the benefits the UK now has as a member.

That's not independence, really. That's losing 10% influence in a union which you'll still be trading and working with, and who will still be subjecting you to lots of requirements under this new partnership, which you'll have a reduced say in.

Unless the UK actually wants to be independent in the semantic sense of isolationism, i.e. not deal with the EU at all anymore. Yes, then you'd have independence, and you'd also have a country that'll be completely wrecked, for the same principles that a broad boycott (e.g. Cuba for many decades, North Korea, Iraq during some of its harshest years etc) is so devastating, because interconnectedness is extremely valuable. That interconnectedness will still be sought for by the UK, but now it can't vote and is at the mercy of the largest economy in the world. Obviously the UK's economy and power will play a significant role in negotiations, no doubt, but the UK outside of the EU needs the EU more than vice versa.

So the independence argument I agree, is quite flimsy.


I think you have fundementally mixed things up here. The UK is (was) the second-largest economy in the EU. If you want to talk about percentage contribution to the EU budget the UK was a net contributor of 8.5 billion pounds (after "rebate") more than it received from that same EU budget that totals around 125 billion pounds. So they put in about 7% of the budget and get about 10% of the votes. Definitely a deal that favors the UK, but let's please stick to reality and facts here.

[Expat in the UK who could not vote but followed this all quite closely... All of the numbers I quoted can be found in wikipedia if you want to go digging.]


> let's please stick to reality and facts here.

Why say you're sticking to the facts and then repeat pretty much the facts I stated with a different perspective?

8.5b (I think I had it at 7b, it depends on various valuations but ultimately it doesn't matter much as it's roughly the same) on the British economy (roughly 1.9 trillion pounds) is a fraction of a percent, I stated about 0.3%, you're stating around 0.45%, again, it's not much different, they're all figures in the same ballpark.

This 0.45% I cite because it's British GDP. I'm talking from the perspective of Britain having to give up part of its GDP as a contribution to the EU. That contribution is 0.45% of its economy, in return, you got 10% of the EU vote. That's reality and facts, no?

That's a tiny price to pay. Imagine you could pay 7b a year for 10% of the vote in the US, or in China, or hell imagine China or the US could purchase a 10% vote in the EU for 7b, it's a ridiculously silly small amount of money.

How am I not sticking to reality and facts.


I was confused by your numbers as well. This post clarifies it.


I'll take your word on those numbers as they sound reasonable.

However I do believe you've neglected the other points of the post which were about the value of access to the European market place and that 10% say in how said market is run. Those are costs / benefits which are not so easily counted before the painful divorce is complete.


But it's unlikely for EU nations to significantly damage trading relationships with the UK. Germany, for example, exports a huge volume of cars to the UK and it comprises a significant portion of German GDP. Yes, there's volatility around exactly how such a trade deal will get worked out, but it's unrealistic to lump "access to European markets" into one big ball and assume that Brexit means that whole topic will be impacted negatively.

In reality, most significant European trading partners with UK just want to keep on trading with them mostly as they have been, and will work out deals that allow such trading to mostly continue. There doesn't seem to be much reason to think such trade deals will be radically changed in a way that damages anyone for the long term.


Real numbers here.

http://openeurope.org.uk/today/blog/how-would-key-export-sec...

Some key UK export sectors - especially finance - have a very low probability of being able to carry on as normal.

The German car industry accounts for around 3% of GDP. Sales to the UK are less than 1% of German GDP.

The UK financial industry accounts for around 10% of GDP. Sales to the EU are around 4% of UK GDP.

As a rough guess estimate, post-Brexit disruption is going to lose 1-2% of that, and could lose more - because there's very little London can do for Europe that can't be done just as easily in Frankfurt.

The UK has a lot more to lose than Germany does.

But the EU traditionally plays hardball with negotiations. Ask Greece.

So there is no chance at all the UK isn't going to have to make significant - expensive - sacrifices to keep trading.

This vote is literally the most staggeringly stupid and self-destructive act I've seen in my lifetime.

Take away the jingoism and the flag-waving and the blatant lies about immigration and sovereignty, and you have a country which relies on a huge captive market voting to - at best - change the terms of access to that market in ways that cannot possibly be more advantageous than they are now.

Some trade will continue, but the overall effect on the UK is going to be very negative indeed.


It's clear that the City will be impacted by this, but bear in mind that for the last five years the UK has been fighting to maintain it's place vs Paris and Frankfurt. The EU needs to implement a single fiscal authority to manage the Euro, that will not be based in London, there was never any prospect of that given London is not part of the Eurozone and the UK joining the Euro would destabilise the Euro, the UK economy and the wider european economy. London is inflated like a balloon at the moment, housing is utterly unaffordable and the transport system is totally disfunctional; I've been unable to get in for half of this week due to "floods" normally I can get a train into London with a travel time of 1hr 30min... my record time was/is 9hrs (all trains cancelled, hours waiting for busses, hours on buses, one of my colleagues got home less than an hour before having to leave to go back to work!)

In terms of positives here is a list.

1) People have woken up to the disastrous gap between rich and poor, realizing, I hope, that there is no communication between the provenances and the technocrats and that while you can bully and marginalize the poor you are simply unable to ignore them without resorting to repression. A vote like this is much better than a ring of estates where law breaks down and people are condemned to hopeless disassociation from the society that funds them. Now, will the UK's elite front up and start helping our fellow countryfolk? I doubt it, but that's the test on the table - create meaningful engagement in life and society for the bottom 25% rather than just hoping that they shut up and go away.

2) The EU can now reform its financial and governance arrangements to fit the needs of the Euro, if the EU doesn't do this the Euro is going to collapse, so I hope it does. This will make the EU more prosperous than it would otherwise be. Guesses please - the European state's GDP post a Euro collapse vs. the EU's GDP with a reformed and functioning single currency?

3. The UK will break up enabling Scotland to further develop its distinctive and hopefully very successful economy and national identity, in particular it will be interesting to see if this results in Edinburgh rebuilding itself as a financial centre as opposed to Frankfurt, Paris and London. If I were the SNP I would be planning a bloody great hub airport and some other very shiny infrastructure (high speed rail to Newcastle, Leeds and Manchester? Cross rail for Edinburgh/Glasgow?)


> there's very little London can do for Europe that can't be done just as easily in Frankfurt

The real winners here are probably going to be Hong Kong and Singapore. Those are top of mind alternatives when finance strategically places organizations in London, and with low tax and compatible legal systems (from what I understand Hong Kong's is pretty much a carbon copy of the UK) they basically got one competing city of the game.

> the blatant lies about immigration and sovereignty

The immigration nonsense disturbs me. Even if the UK leaves the EU, surely the freedom of movement will remain just as with the other non-EU European countries. Leaving won't make a difference. Plus with the commonwealth and all, the country is basically built on migrants. I hope that it influenced the vote only for a minority of people, and that the outside media image that this was important is just that, a stupid media image.


They're in the wrong time zone to compete...


I remember an issue in Cologne over new years. Economics isn't always the most important.


No, you don't. You remember reading about it on the equivalent of Fox news.

There were no mass rapes, gropings, etc.

Would you believe the papers if they said Jews were out in force, drinking the blood of your Christian babies?

Edit: Oh forgive me for pointing out the blood libel. What could ever go wrong from framing an entire ethnicity for stealing our jobs and raping our women?


I have no idea what your original comment is referring to, but from my perspective you just lost the game of "let's not appear completely insane in front of strangers."

That's an ineffective way of communicating your point.


The original poster is referring to an incident that happened in Cologne around new years; supposedly there was a "mass raping" (as some newspapers put it) which was soon blamed on the large amount of "fresh" immigrants in Cologne. As it turned out the "fresh" immigrants had, almost, nothing to do with it and most of the perpetrators were people who had stayed in Germany for an extended period of time already.

Although i get why the person above is frustrated with people spouting lies about immigrants their reaction is indeed not favourable to a healthy discussion :S


Bullshit.

On the order of 1000 women got assaulted. One person got sentenced thus far, to the best of my knowledge - and he is indeed a "fresh immigrant".

You have absolutely no basis for your claims.


There were about 2k incidents in total all across Germany, and 5 reported rapes. That's 0.25%.

That's 5 too many rapes, and 2k assaults (groping etc) too many, I've been molested before and it's obviously unacceptable. But it's also a far cry from rape, usually, like in my case.

Yet the media at times reported on this as if there were thousands of women getting raped in the streets. Those were blatant lies.

Some viewers and some sections of the (social) media, particularly online, also interpreted these alleged mass rapes as some kind of savagery that only a foreigner could engage in. Uncivilised barbarism only a muslim refugee could engage in. Yet every single year at Octoberfest, about 10 women report getting raped, and cases of sexual assault by drunk partygoers is orders of magnitude larger. Even outside of large festivities, about 20 women in Germany are raped every day, again, minorities have no monopoly on these criminal acts. Hell, for a brief example of the same city, Cologne, only a few months ago a reporter was sexually assaulted by white Germans who groped her, kissed her and made sexual remarks.

That's the point the guy was trying to make. Obviously none of this is acceptable, but immigrants or foreigners have no monopoly on criminal, unacceptable acts. The one or the other group may be overrepresented in crime figures, the data shows that, too. But the same data shows in study after study that when you control for things like age (young people commit more crimes), socioeconomic status (poor, unemployed people commit more crimes), gender (obvious) etc etc, ethnicity plays no role in crime. i.e. there's nothing inherent about an ethnicity or religion that programs people to such savage acts.

And this is obvious, we don't say these things about jews for example. But we used to, that's where the comment on jews drinking blood of babies comes from, because that's the silly rhetoric we used to spread, which led to widespread prosecution against them. Today we see, particularly on less sophisticated but all too popular social media, mistaken narratives about immigrants or foreigners or muslims or various other minorities, coming here to rape our women. That's a narrative we should reject because it's not true. It wasn't too long ago we somehow had a story of a 13 year old girl getting gang-raped by arabs for 30 hours, in the daily mail. Obviously that's a shitty paper, but it's also very well read. Turns out it was a complete fabrication, but who remembers that? But it's that exact narrative that leads people to unreasonable fear (there's enough of actual issues to be scared for, no need for unreasonable fears on top), fear that inspires things like this leave vote.

So did more than 1k women get assaulted? Yes, undoubtedly. Were there mass rapes? No. Are rapes and assaults by Germans a daily phenomenon, just like it is in every other place on the planet where people's rights are never 100% fully respected? Yes.

In short, it was horrible, but sometimes also blown out of proportion with bs rhetoric and blatant lies we don't need to have.


I am getting mixed signals from society.

One day looking at women is rape. The other day mobs assaulting women in a Taharrush is blowing things out of proportion.


Come on, don't be silly.

I won't even comment on the former, it's akin to a silly stereotype of the feminist movement you see on 4Chan.

Mobs assaulting women is not blowing things out of proportion, in and of itself. All of that deserves attention, none of that is acceptable, and I welcome these facts being presented.

But groping a woman and raping a woman are two different things, and you simply shouldn't report the former as the latter. If you do, you blow it out of proportion, there's nothing strange about this. Similarly there's a difference between punching a man and shooting a man, between stealing a pair of shoes and stealing a car. Just stick to the facts. 0.25% of incidents involving rape, is not mass rape. 5 reported rapes on NYE, while more than 20 are reported daily in Germany, and twice as much happen every year during Octoberfest, is not some new level of mass rape. If you don't report that honestly and blatantly lie about that (and other things, like e.g. a 13 year old getting gang-raped for 30 hours which never happened, but incited fear and hatred, which have led to increased hate crimes in the past year) then yes, you are blowing things out of proportion. That isn't a mixed signal.


>"fresh" immigrants had, almost, nothing to do with it and most of the perpetrators were people who had stayed in Germany for an extended period of time already.

Oh that's OK then.


The person I was replying to did. I can't help you if you refuse to research the topic.


Yeah, it looks like the potential political consequences to the EU are far more important than the trade ones. The possibility of more countries exiting just got a lot more realistic now.


1% of GDP tied to a single trading partner and a single industry is a pretty big deal. Likewise, 4% of GDP in finance commerce to Germany is a big deal.

Seems like good evidence that the parties will want to ensure trading continues mostly the same as it has been. A big question is whether the rest of the EU would be able to block such arrangements. I don't think they will either want to or be able to.


But the stickiness of geography for finance and autos are very different. Replicating a segment of London's financial sector in Frankfurt is easier than replicating BMW/VW to UK.


Cars are ultimate commodity - you can buy Lexus or BMW and they are mostly equivalent. I am sure Toyota or Honda will be happy to sell cars in UK. Import to UK from EU is almost 1.5x higher than reverse. Tariffs will cost EU more than UK.


"In reality, most significant European trading partners with UK just want to keep on trading with them mostly as they have been, and will work out deals that allow such trading to mostly continue."

Do you know what you're talking about? That's a sincere question. My understanding is that the UK's significant trading partners are members of the EU, and that it's the EU, not the individual partners, who will have to decide on any new trade deals with the UK. As others have said, what sort of precedent would the EU be setting if they gave a withdrawing member the same benefits it had as an actual member? The EU does not want more members withdrawing.


Logically, it doesn't make sense for the EU to impose harsh restriction on trade with the UK. The reason the UK is allowed to leave is that the EU is a voluntary association. By and large, the EU is an association of individual countries, not a federal nation state with its own army. So the countries in the EU have a lot of freedom. If they misbehave you can only kick them out.

What countries would want to leave the EU? I'm not aware of any of the poorer countries wanting to leave. And it would not affect the EU much. For the richer countries, the EU is an enormous benefit, so leaving would be rather silly.

The UK is the only country that has been questioning its EU membership for many decades. But it seems to be unique in the position.

So for normal trade in goods and services, it doesn't make sense for the EU to impose too many barriers.

The financial sector is an exception. It does make sense for the EU to grab more power there.

The big issue however, is that many countries have significant parts of their population that are against the EU. So there is a real risk that the UK will be hit with sanctions, not because it makes sense for the EU, but because it makes political senses in some of the EU member countries.

That would be sad, but that's the world we live in.


But a hit to german trading to the UK is a small price to pay instead of the hit it would take by setting precedent that you can just willy-nilly leave with all the perks. And I can tell you, the german-language media is already full of "priority number one if to stop a cascading copycat effect".

As a snarky side remark, what will the UK do in the future instead of continuing to import cars, regardless of terms? Rely on its domestic automotive industry?


> As a snarky side remark, what will the UK do in the future instead of continuing to import cars, regardless of terms? Rely on its domestic automotive industry?

One of the more credible arguments for leaving the EU is so the UK can negotiate their own international trade deals, as they feel the EU has been slow in negotiation. Opening up free trade to the US and Japan would probably be a priority.


That's the same United States who have already said that deals with Britain will be scheduled for after a deal with Europe and other big trade blocks?


Obama said that. Probably just to help the Remain campaign as a favor to Cameron. Trump has said the opposite, Hillary has said nothing aside from repeating how "close our ties are".


> Opening up free trade to the US and Japan would probably be a priority.

And how the deal will be better than the deal between EU and USA/Japan?


Different priorities. For instance, the UK doesn't have an automotive industry to protect like Germany does. So they could get a trade deal that's more tailor-made to them.

Obviously it's a huge risk as well since they're a smaller economy.


The biggest hit is not in goods trade but in financial flows. With the UK part of the EU, major financial institutions could base in London to serve the entire EU. Once the UK exits the EU, they can't, at least not without a lot of extra costs and paperwork.

London, one of the 3 financial capitals of the globe, will lose its status in favor (probably) of a more diverse mix of European cities.

This will have downstream effects on other trade flows in and out of the UK.


That's a good thing. Large financial flows correlate with increased severity and frequency of financial crises:

https://www.odi.org/sites/odi.org.uk/files/odi-assets/public...

I don't know why people are crying about the financial sector. They have fucked over ordinary people time and time and time again and for once they get the short end of the stick. They're extractive parasitic economic actors who drive up costs and don't produce anything of value.


Exactly. Living in a financial capital is shit if you're not in finance too. Bring on a more diverse array of industries with less parasitic behavior.


I don't think many UK citizens see big financial flows as being to their advantage. For 90%+ of them, I think that assessment is correct. Globalization has been dealt a serious blow here, and if you're pro-equality, that should be a good thing.

Take an obvious and very direct example. Cleaning staff. Not having to compete with EU illegal immigrants will improve their labor conditions. Building workers and Polish guest workers who send all money back home and live in extremely poor conditions, same. Yes that probably means the next time you need your toilet repaired, you'll pay more, but you'll pay more so the plumber can have a better life.

Even for tech startups, this may be an improvement. I know over 4 London-based startups that don't directly sell to customers. They "consult" for a foreign entity (a US company in 50% of the cases, other 2 use Asian proxies), which then sells to EU customers because selling digital products to EU customers from outside of the EU is far cheaper and simpler than doing it from inside the EU.

One thing I absolutely do not get is why socialists and even those left-inclined are so massively pro globalization. That just makes no sense whatsoever. There are constant complaints about globalization here. How Monsanto/Big finance/Suez/... convinced congress/EU/ECB/... that X is going to happen/be legal which means state/city/even small town Y gets shafted in Y way. For once, that becomes a little harder.

But yes, it's probably the wrong thing for center London tech and finance workers and managers.

The EU is reacting, imho, in the worst possible way. The press in France, Netherlands and Belgium is full of articles on how it was stupid, boneheaded, evil, weak for Cameron to allow the vote in the first place. It's generally all being blamed on Cameron, and his mistake is allowing people to vote in the first place. Very EU, being so overtly anti-democratic.

But let's face facts here: the EU will try to make this work the same way the other referendums worked [1][2]. When the votes turned against the EU, they canceled the rest of the voting ("postponed" the term used, but they never happened). And then they cheated (the referendum happened because the law said it should happen before the law was changed. The law was changed without referenda). So I'm giving the odds of a Brexit happening at best 30-40%. Granted, that's far better odds than I gave it yesterday, so maybe I'll be wrong again. But the EU has a long history of ignoring democratic votes.

The sky is not falling, this is not the worst thing to ever happen, and frankly, the market is wrong. This is a massive overreaction.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_European_Constitution_r... [2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dutch_European_Constitution_re...


Can you elaborate on the structure the 4 london based startups use?

My understanding is that selling digital products within the EU to other EU countries is annoying. The main reason I hear is having to collect VAT for each B2B transaction at the rate of the country you're selling to.

When it comes time to settle the taxes it is handled in an aggregated manner with one filing under a VATMOSS scheme, which distributes the collected VAT to the member states in one go. This attempt at simplification seems to have backfired with many calling it 'VATMESS'.

However, from what I read online, US based companies selling into the EU technically have to charge this too (although they can aggregate it as well under a 'Non-Union' VATMOSS filing).

With the above in mind, is the structure you talk about in place for other reasons than VAT?


> Cleaning staff. Not having to compete with EU illegal immigrants will improve their labor conditions

If now there are "illegal", how will change when the UK leaves?


Passport requirements will change meaning that fake passports for countries other than the UK will not be accepted. Did you read about the rush for Irish passports?


The rush for Irish passports is to have UE citizenship


Who were these EU illegal immigrants you're talking about? The people from Poland are legal.


True, the illegal ones come from Turkey, Algeria, Afghanistan and Morocco (and I'm sure a dozen other countries).

They do work in the construction sector.


then it's incorrect to say that EU is to blame here :)


> Germany, for example, exports a huge volume of cars to the UK and it comprises a significant portion of German GDP ... In reality, most significant European trading partners with UK just want to keep on trading with them mostly as they have been

Even if one accepts that existing trade will be accommodated through direct agreements, that only protects existing industries. What does it mean for future industries and how existing industries grow and change? When a new industry develops and wants to export, they are going to find they face trade barriers until such time as the EU and UK get around to negotiating a new (or modified) trade agreement. That's a huge disadvantage and will see a lot of investment, especially in tech companies go to the EU where previously it might have gone to the UK.


This sounds like a huge deal to me. Lets say you want to invest and built a presence in a new market. Until now if you wanted to go to Europe you could have picked UK as you main point of operation, now you have to decide, huge market with easy open trade or UK.


> But it's unlikely for EU nations to significantly damage trading relationships with the UK

Well, they can have the same deal that Norway or Switzerland have with the EU. The problem is that to have that deal they have to agree to be part of Shengen Area


1. Switzerland is not part of the EEA, they have their own agreements with EU.

2. It is quite possible to opt out of EU regulations while part of the EEA. But the Norwegian government do not have the balls to do so.

3. Norway had an older agreement with Denmark and Sweden about passport-free travel. It was not Shengen compatible. So either Norway had to join Shengen, or Norwegians had to get used to getting passports to visit said nations.


I run a business and I do not ship to Switzerland simply because the hassle is too big and there are hard to calculate risks involved. It is just not feasible. Dealing inside the EU is pretty much the same as it would be within borders.


You are right, in a way. But politics is not only about achieving or keeping long-term economical gains. Perhaps someone ar 10 Downing Str. sacrificed a large figure to gain certain strategic advantage in the future world that was planned in Watford in 2013, and we common folk just do not onow what it will look like. The war in Europe is now more possible.


Exactly this. One of the illusions of control people have is that Britain now has a free hand to negotiate trade agreements with EU member states. The EU charter expressly forbids this. So Britain (or perhaps merely a rump England after Northern Ireland and Scotland EExit) will be dealing with that same body but on unequal ground with other member states. Meet the new boss: Same as the old boss. I'm pretty sure you've been fooled (again).


This is what baffles me about the Brexit.

If ten equal partners get together to negotiate on a collective agreement, then the results will probably be fair to all parties.

If nine of those partners negotiate collectively with one partner, then the results will probably heavily favor the collective.

But, I guess it's better to have the freedom to be screwed than to be forced to take a good deal.


No. We will now be free to negotiate trade deals with countries outside the EU (Which we currently are not able to do. The EU has been absolutely awful at trying to negotiate trade deals with other countries). We will negotiate a trade deal with the EU as a whole. Everyone in the UK knows those facts.


But on the other hand, as a Canadian whose government was in the process of negotiating a trade agreement with the EU, now we'll have to draw up two separate trade agreements, neither of which is as unbalanced in their favour as the original would have been.

That is to say, the EU without the UK has less leverage than before, and the UK without the EU has less leverage than before, so now neither the EU nor the UK has nearly as much bargaining power as they had combined.


Which is great for us in Canada! Another benefit is that negotiating with the UK individually rather than the EU as a whole should make it easier to get a deal done quickly.

Negotiating with the EU is a disaster. Too many special interests to deal with all at once! As the old saying goes: too many chefs spoil the broth.


But the EU is still the largest or second largest market in the world (depending on the source).


And probably the slowest. If you can capture 10 faster markets then the slowest gets pressure to get going. But if you only have to deal with the slowest then it becomes even slower. Welcome to capitalism.


> We will now be free to negotiate trade deals with countries outside the EU (Which we currently are not able to do. The EU has been absolutely awful at trying to negotiate trade deals with other countries). We will negotiate a trade deal with the EU as a whole.

The second sentence of the parenthetical, if taken to be true, casts significant doubt on the claim in the final sentence.

I don't doubt that the requirement for consensus in the EU makes EU-to-outside trade deals difficult to negotiate. OTOH, that same fact makes successful negotiation of an EU-Britain trade deal (either as part of or subsequent to an exit agreement) uncertain.


I don't understand.

The EU has been extremely ineffective at negotiating trade deals between the 28 EU countries, and non EU countries.

We (UK) will be far more effective at negotiating our own trade deals with non EU countries. It's far simpler for a start.


> The EU has been extremely ineffective at negotiating trade deals between the 28 EU countries, and non EU countries.

Exactly, which casts strong doubts on the this claim from your earlier post: "We will negotiate a trade deal with the EU as a whole."

Because, you know, that is a trade deal between the 27 remaining EU countries and a non-(or soon to be non-)EU country, the exact thing you say that the EU isn't successful at doing.


We buy more from the EU than we sell. We are the EUs biggest market. We buy 1,000,000 cars from Germany.

It is massively in the EU's interests to do a deal with us quickly.


Politics is not always rational. It is also in the interest of the survival of the EU to deal with the UK in a heavy-handed manner. If a precedent is set that shows leaving the union is all upsides with no downsides, why would other countries remain? IMO, France has the greatest risk of leaving next, and without France, the whole EU might collapse. The kid gloves are definitely going to come off in the negotiations: I have an inkling that's why the 'Leave' campaign is delaying the invocation of article 50.


People keep saying this, but punishing the UK for leaving could easily give further fuel to the French leave campaign. And of course an exited Britain could extend an olive branch to France.


After a 10% reduction in real income for the Brits just one day after the referendum? Fat chance.


That 10% is just the market reacting to it's failed prediction.


But the prediction was that the status quo would continue.


What does "real income" mean to you? Income in USD?

The only sensible way to measure income is with purchasing power, and that's far more complex than an exchange rate (since many of the services and goods originate in the UK anyways).


> People keep saying this, but punishing the UK for leaving could easily give further fuel to the French leave campaign.

Giving the same deal that they have right now is what will give further fuel to leave. Why should I stay when I can have a better deal leaving?


Sure - but the converse - punishing them for leaving - confirms that the EU is a political hegemony whose purpose is to usurp sovereignty, rather than a mutually beneficial union of member states who are members by choice.

That would provide perfect ammunition for nationalists everywhere.

See:

http://newobserveronline.com/brexit-contagion-germany-fears-...


> Sure - but the converse - punishing them for leaving

In what world is punishing having a worst deal that they have now because they don't have the duties?

And yes, you talk about mutual beneficial union, that is not what UK wants

Do you have read your link? Because it says that the contagion will happen if there is a good deal with UK. Just the contrary you say


> I have an inkling that's why the 'Leave' campaign is delaying the invocation of article 50.

Seriously. Do you even know what you're talking about? Only our elected government (who were on the remain side), can invoke article 50, and it's up to them to decide when.

Hopefully the whole EU does collapse.


> Do you even know what you're talking about

As a matter of fact, yes I do. Boris Johnson has come out and said there is "no need to rush", and he was on the Leave side.

> Only our elected government (who were on the remain side), can invoke article 50

That's just a roundabout way of saying "The Tories", innit? Cameron is a lame duck, and if the Leave wing of the Tories wanted him out tomorrow, he'd be out tomorrow.


And Boris Johnson isn't in any position of power currently. It's not up to him yet.


A new trade deal will likely lead to higher car cost in England.

Which car company in the UK could take the market share from Germany?

Seems like a seller market to me.


It is in the EU's interest to make that deal less favourable for the UK than the current situation. Making a point about the benefits of the EU membership is really important right now.


You'll have lots and lots of smaller deals, all of them dissimilar to each other and with their own peculiarities.

Sounds like a nightmare to me. On the other hand, Switzerland seems to be doing well (although they are maybe focussing more on the EU than the Britain that you advocate).


Well I suspect Britain has much more trade going on within the EU than it has anywhere else, which makes that sort of trade deal critically important compared to other trade deals...


> Every power structure is co-optable by large corporations and special interests. The Leave leaders are no different.

Quite the opposite, and an old Murdoch quote resurfaced[0] covering exactly that:

> I once asked Rupert Murdoch why he was so opposed to the European Union. “That’s easy,” he replied. “When I go into Downing Street they do what I say; when I go to Brussels they take no notice.”

[0] http://www.standard.co.uk/comment/comment/anthony-hilton-sta...


Rupert Murdoch is a special interest with access in London. Other special interests have access in Brussels. Just not the warmongering Australian.


Murdoch renounced his Australian citizenship in 1985. He's been a citizen of the US of A for over thirty years now.


Speaking as an American, that's been our loss. National identity, to be clear, is not just legal but cultural. In that light, Murdoch will always be in some way Australian.


Do you know what country you live in? A bodybuilder from Austria with a heavy accent became governor of California. The son of a Kenyan economist battled an army kid born in a territory in the middle of Panama for the 2008 presidential election. The son of oil prospectors was born in Canada and then grew up to be the last challenger to Donald Trump.

Isn't this exactly the type of attitude that lead to Brexit? I can't believe I'm defending Murdoch, but who are you to determine one's "cultural identity"? What a bizarre comment.


As one who has lived abroad a long time, I can simply affirm that one's cultural and national identity are heavier than a passport. Murdoch spent much of his childhood and early adult life in Australia, where he still owns property, operates going concerns, and where more than one of his own children live.

Don't take my comment wrong. I'm not rejecting foreigners in America or anywhere else. I recognize my family's own European origins and humanity's migrant nature.

But I will say, particular to Murdoch, that I wish he had stayed in Australia, and I'm sure many Americans share my sentiment. He has had a vicious influence on this country's foreign and domestic policy, which has cost many innocent lives, and he has grown rich off it. A modern-day Hearst, and a shame...


The EU will make the UK pay a price for Brexit, and rightly so, otherwise all member states would leave and still enjoy the free movement of goods and people.

You make the EU sound like an abusive spouse. "Don't leave me or I'll hurt you!"

Do you believe that if the UK leaves the EU, France and Germany will go to war? If not, I don't see how "created to prevent another world war" is relevant.


> You make the EU sound like an abusive spouse. "Don't leave me or I'll hurt you!"

The UK decided that it could tell the EU to get fucked and get all the benefits of the relationship without any of the drawbacks, it is not in the EU's interest to confirm that and it has very little reason to bend over for the UK. To reuse your ménage analogy, it's more like one spouse deciding to up and go and asking for the house, car, accounts and still being invited to christmas and family dinners.


It's more like one spouse saying "I'm leaving you, please don't hurt the children".

(By analogy, the citizens of Britain/France/etc are the children, who'd like to continue to play with one another, but perhaps one of their abusive parents will use violence to prevent this.)


> It's more like one spouse saying "I'm leaving you, please don't hurt the children".

No, it really isn't.

> By analogy, the citizens of Britain/France/etc are the children, who'd like to continue to play with one another, but perhaps one of their abusive parents will use violence to prevent this.

So the UK left with one of the children and is telling the others they can't see them anymore.


According to you it's the EU who will do these things. Britain and #leave wants a free trade agreement similar to Canada, it's the EU who won't give it to them.


But its the citizens of Britain that decided that they were leaving, so who is supposed to be the "parent" that's leaving if the citizens of Britain are "the children"?


The citizens who didn't want to leave. Who will now be forbidden to walk across what was once an open border, etc.


I agree with yummyfajitas here. A rational person would say "OK, we're not compatible, let's split up, but no point destroying the house, spending all our money on lawyers and kill each other". An irrational, emotional, greedy or terribly insecure person would say "You? Leaving me? How could you?! You FUCKER! I'LL RUIN YOU!!! AAAARGGGGGHHHH!!!!!"


You've got your roles exactly inverted here. The UK left screaming, huffing and smashing the door but apparently expecting the same benefits they enjoyed beforehand, as a rational person the EU would have no reason whatsoever to entertain that behaviour let alone reward it.

The EU has no rational reason to be especially sweet on the UK, and looking internally and at the future it can't even be seen as that as it would bolster eurosceptic movements inside the Union.

There's no point of view under which being soft on the UK is rational.


> The UK left screaming, huffing and smashing the door

Huh? This is your characterization of a referendum on membership?


Well, actually it is a good characterization of the leave campaign, which won the vote and thus a valid analogy.


If that's a valid characterization of the internal debate, of what concern is that to the EU? So far, I don't see the UK screaming, huffing, or smashing doors with respect to the EU.


well, look at "Leave" campaign: racist party [1] spreads false information about almost every aspect - "let's fund NHS instead" was false and Farage almost instantly rejected that it was a proper promise; said that UK lost their borders, which is false - UK is not a member of Shengen zone;

there were constant phrases from "Leave" party that relationship with EU is abusive, UK is like slave.. it doesn't look for me like intelectual debate with polite arguments.

[1] http://www.standard.co.uk/news/politics/nigel-farage-claims-...


It's an equally good characterization of the remain campaign as well, so I'm not sure that's a good argument...


Well, yes, I guess being mean is rational, and being nice irrational.


> Well, yes, I guess being mean is rational, and being nice irrational.

You're the one who brought on the rationality argument, and while things differ across conflicts, in this specific instance yes being "mean"[0] is rational.

[0] if "not bending over to the whims of an asshole" is considered mean these days


But hey - that's capitalism.


Noone really advocates any form of punishment.

But the UK got extraordinarily preferential treatment in the EU all those decades.

What most people actually advocate is real, tough negotiations, driven by both parties' interests.

And the outcome will --predictably-- not what the Leavers wished for. It will also not be what the EU wished for. That ship has sailed.

Britain will get a deal, based on relative strengths and things the EU and Britain have to offer and the other side wants.

And very much depending on the timeframe the Brits are shooting for. If they want something quick (one to three years) only the Norwegian EFTA model is realistic.

If ten to fifteen years are quick enough all kinds of complicated deals can be negotiated. Can Britain really wait that long?


> Do you believe that if the UK leaves the EU, France and Germany will go to war? If not, I don't see how "created to prevent another world war" is relevant.

Directly? No. Trade war between EU and Britain? Might happen.

And if the EU doesn't take fairly drastic action to, it will fray further, essentially destabilizing Europe. No war will come from that, either. Not yet. But if the EU were to crumble, it's a good bet there'll be a division between haves and have-nots. We're still not at war - but the have-nots have crumbling economies now, creating unrest. Meanwhile, the few haves that are left over are likely to envy each other what little they still gain from such a union. Sooner or later, we'll go back to individual states. A few strong European powers, not bound by the EU any more, and many crumbling economies around it.

Meanwhile, the pressure on the smaller states from migrants and refugees increases. (If you think we're done with middle East and African troubles, I suggest you take a look at climate projections). They will start to let them pass through and/or ignore them, because they have to, to survive at all. There's not much political clout left to move the agenda on a global scale any more, so that option is out.

As a result, the stronger countries militarize their borders. Sooner or later, somebody will mount a preemptive mission into some of the smaller countries, simply because it "makes sense" to stop the flood of migrants earlier.

Play the scenario from there.

Sure, nothing guarantees it will happen that way, but there's a good chance something like that will happen. The point of the EU was to prevent that - to make the common bond so valuable that nobody would want to risk it.

Britain's voting public decided that the value was low enough. If the EU wants to have any relevance in the long run, they will need to make it clear to Britain that yes, that bond is pretty valuable, and tough luck for Britain.

That is how it's relevant - in the very long term, as a stabilizing force.

And no, it's not "Don't leave me or I'll hurt you". It's "we had a contract, you broke it, that means I don't need to uphold my end of it either". That's generally how this whole treaty business works.


And no, it's not "Don't leave me or I'll hurt you". It's "we had a contract, you broke it, that means I don't need to uphold my end of it either". That's generally how this whole treaty business works.

It's right in the contract that member states have the freedom to leave.

So tl;dr; Britain should stay in the EU because #remain folks want to start a trade war with them to punish them for leaving? And that maybe this will result in an actual hot war? You seem to be doubling down on my abusive spouse metaphor.

I'm a huge free trader and open borders type. (And also a yank in India, so no skin in the game.) But listening to the arguments of #remain folks makes me think the UK is better off on their own. With friends like these, who needs enemies?


Sorry to jump in uninvited... but that's what HN is.

I think you're mischaracterizing the situation.

Perspective 1: UK is breaking up with the EU, not vice-versa.

P2: EU gets some adv/dis-advantages by including UK specifically P3: UK had some advantages/disadvantages from being part of EU P4: EU has incentive outside of British sitch to stay unified

My (american) perspective is that Britain should stay in the EU because while their direct adv to leave may outweigh direct disadv to stay, they are subject to P4, which is to make an example of someone who leaves.

Exclude your judgement of right, wrong, and what should be. Look simply at leverage.


Generally speaking I favor taking the short term pain of breaking up with an abusive spouse.

When France decided to leave the previous union of European states, the #remain folks definitely inflicted a lot of short term pain. Lots of French beaches still have monuments thanking the British, American and Canadian soldiers who died in support of #leave. Did that short term pain make #leave the wrong choice?

Also, as a Yank, I'd just like to tell any Brits on here that we still love them. Think about joining NAFTA. Our wine is just as good as French wine and London needs more burritos. We'd love to have some curries and all your delicious baked goods.


Comparing a mutual union with the Nazi third Reich comes across as just racist, particularly against Germans. Is that what you intended?

Also, the UK has negotiated many concessions over the years, including the rebate, various exemptions and vetos including from the ever-closer union and the euro. So a less good deal as the result of a total renegotiation we initiated is not so much a punishment as a reflection of the reality of the prior concessions.

There is of course realpolitik in the desire to ensure we have a less good deal and are seen to suffer by other countries to discourage other leaves, but I think that will come naturally from the factors above anyway.


If the "we should #remain to avoid short term pain from a vindictive ex" argument is valid, then it should have been valid for Vichy France as well. Obviously it's not.

You can call this sort of vindictiveness "realpolitik" and try to sound sophisticated, but this hardly invalidates my abusive ex-husband analogy.


Oh come on, I was making an actually sophisticated argument, along the lines of:

    A is true
    A is likely to cause B
    C is also true
    C is likely to cause B
    If B occurs, it is incorrect to blame only C
where A is the current exceptions made for the UK, B is a fairer deal (fairer to the other countries, which will be worse for the UK by definition) and C is your abusive ex-husband part.

And you're still comparing a mutual union of countries for their mutual and collective benefit to the Nazis?


Let's be very clear - the term "abusive" in a context of treaties is somewhat ridiculous.

And the pain GB will experience post-leave is due to not having access of benefits a treaty granted them. The leave folk believe that's fine, and it'll be a long-term benefit. That's arguable, but leaving that aside: The short-term pain is entirely self-inflicted.

Blaming that on the EU is a rather staggering amount of cognitive dissonance.


It's also right in the contract that member states who leave have two years to come to a deal that the rest of the EU will agree to before they're forcibly given the boot and all existing trade agreements torn up. The EU plans to hold the UK to that.


There are always benefits to being inside something. If you are a citizen of the EU, you have the right to work in any of the member states. US citizens do not have that right, and many waste long years trying to acquire it. It is likely that UK citizens will now face the same battle when they seek the right to work outside the UK, because the Leave vote was driven by racist impulses to keep the others out. The others will reciprocate against England.


No one expects these things. And I can't see it for a few years. But ... if the EU members starts falling like domino's, Europe will look very different in a few years time. Tensions with Russia (Ukraine?), the rise of regional independent movements (Catalan/Spain), the continued rise of the far right, reactions against increased terrorism, etc. Anything can become a touch point. And it all seems far-fetched until it happens. Cost of EU: Billions. Cost of War: Everything.

And your "abusive" quote is way off also. It's not about abuse, it's about, as per any negotiation, either side will try to extract as much value as they possibly can. And if there is a power differential between the participants, the one with the upper hand absolutely will make the other party pay a price, and if accepted, it will be a fair price per the market.


Exactly. It's leverage, not abuse. What's the difference? Eye of the beholder.

Regardless of judgement, you have to look at leverage. That's what really matters in terms of outcomes.

I believe it's important for individuals to build character based on morals (ie judge leverage for abuse), but that's like suggesting thermodynamics law 2 just isn't very nice.

You're right: it sucks. But wishing it were otherwise is not super relevant.


> The EU will make the UK pay a price for Brexit, and rightly so, otherwise all member states would leave and still enjoy the free movement of goods and people.

I really hate this sentiment. This is just about the worst EU can do, it would damage its legitimacy in the eyes of us, EU citizens, even more than the handling of the Greek crisis already did.

I don't see any reason to punish a country for voting to leave the EU, except pure spite and greed for more power. Why can't we all be friends, each on the terms that they want?!


It's not going to be a matter of punishment. This almost sets negotiation back to square one. There are A LOT of effects in this that needs to be taken into account. Anything that's reciprocal currently (e.g. access to healthcare for Britons in Spain and for Spaniards in UK) is going to evaporate and will need to be reevaluated.

Now, the UK has clearly stated they don't like some things like free movement of people. The point of getting out of the EU is not to do a copy/paste of the current agreements and sign them in a week. The UK (not the EU) has decided to cancel everything and start from scratch because they don't feel like they could get to a comfortable situation inside the EU.

Even with the best of intentions, negotiating this kind of complex inter-state treaties take years. And, understandably, there will be extra care and friction because the UK has already got out once. Meanwhile, all the benefits are not going to be present.

I, sincerely, don't think we should think this in terms of "punishment", but if someone gets out of an agreement and immediately starts to renegotiate (more favourable) terms, it's reasonable to expect the negotiation to be hard...


>Now, the UK has clearly stated they don't like some things like free movement of people.

Non-european people coming in as economic inmigrants, to be more precise.


It's all a bit confused, but the rhetoric is basically against all immigrants, with eastern Europeans being one particularly targeted group in the context of Brexit.

But it's complex. People were asked by the media which way they would vote and why. Asians were saying they'd been promised more immigration from their country by the Leave campaign, while other people were saying they'd vote Leave because there were too many Africans living in their street. The thought of Turkey joining, and letting in Syrian refugees was also in the mix.

And one of the intellectual leaders of Leave has already stated he's confused why people think voting Leave will reduce immigration.


I thought they were pretty heavily against EU migrants from poorer nations as well? At least that's been UKIP's position.


It's not about punishment, but fairness and self-preservation. There's no point to the EU if countries can leave and enjoy the perks of membership at the same time. If the EU is going to come out of this in one piece, they will need to demonstrate that the perks of membership go hand-and-hand with the sacrifices needed to make things work.

Unfortunately for Britain, they've shown their hand early and they have no real leverage. I think the EU will demonstrate good will because they understand that those most directly affected by this vote did not agree with it. So I won't be surprised to see visa waivers and the like for expats.

I also think future trade agreements will be "fair." Which is to say, I don't think they will be punitive, but I doubt it will be as favorable to "independent" England as it was to "member" England.


Its not even that the EU really wants to make the UK pay. It's just that the UK had so many advantages that it negotiated before. Now they basically reset themselves back to 1972, but the problem is the EU is much bigger at 27 members today then in 72. Making it extremely unlikely that the re-negotiation is going to end up as well today. Also the UK will want a super fast negotation, the rest of the EU are not so much in a hurry. The UK is negotiation in a position of relative weakness. The professionals on the other side will of course take advantage of that.

In the end I doubt the UK will get as nice a deal as Swiss or Norway nor at such a fast rate. The main deal of the EU is free movement, that is not on the table due to the UK. Without free movement of people, free movement of goods and money are going to be difficult.


If I'm not mistaken UK is one of the larger economies, and therefore should have more influence over the negotiations than there smaller, and less significant countries.

As for free movement of things, I believe it is in the best interest of the EU to allow lenient trade with UK, insofar as it doesn't damage its reputation as a legitimate institution.

However if reputation does take precedence over economic sense, then the UK has plenty of other new opportunities, on a global scale, negotiate trade freely with little EU intervention.


It was one of the larger economies; as it will now be an isolated island with no automatic access to the European market, it's value will be lost to a lot of businesses.


Well yes, and no. It now depends all on how the trade deals are negotiated.

What I'm arguing is that the UK has plenty of bargaining chips, and can trade elsewhere if it doesn't feel like it's getting a fair deal in the EU.


Trade with whom? There aren't that many regions the world with a similar per capita income like the EU. The UK already trades extensively with the US and Canada, so that's an unlikely growth engine. Granted, the UK is a large economy, and may have some bargaining chips, but it needs the EU more than vice versa.


I don't think so, nor do the UK people. Good trade deals can be achieved regardless of EU membership, unless UK is can be substituted, which, I don't think, it can.


Except previously it was negotiating with a number of smaller entities.

Now it will be negotiating with a block of them. The UK just willingly decreased their leverage so they had free will.

Thank you, from all of America. You managed to be completely embarrasing in your 2016 election cycle, before we are really able to be shockingly shameful in front of you.

Brits are polite to the end.


> Also the UK will want a super fast negotation, the rest of the EU are not so much in a hurry.

It seems to be rather the opposite. The EU is calling for fast negotiations whereas the UK is taking it easy.


You're confusing the start of the process of leaving and the following negotiations. Britain and the EU have symmetrical, opposed interests there:

The EU wants a fast official declaration from the UK that they want to leave. They want to start the clock running. If after two years there is no agreement, so what, let's negotiate for however long it takes.

Britain wants fast negotiations, because their economy depends on results, but they don't want to formally start the process. Because if they can't get a deal in two years after article 50 invocation they are in a very, very bad position.



What do you mean? I don't see anything in that article that might have a connection with what I wrote. Except that it's about Brexit.


The EU is a vast bureaucracy, not a "framework for interdependence." You don't need a limitless bureaucracy to prevent war, you need free and open commerce. Otto T. Mallery, a late 19th century liberal, in his “Economic Union and Enduring Peace” states, “If soldiers are not to cross international boundaries, goods must do so. Unless the Shackles can be dropped from trade, bombs will be dropped from the sky.” Are you suggesting that without a central leviathan like the EU, free trade and cooperation is untenable?


"You don't need a limitless bureaucracy to prevent war, you need free and open commerce."

Your ideology has been deprecated. Please install upgrades.

Unlike the mythical Freedom Markets™, actual functional open markets require regulation, begetting bureaucracy.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Utopia_of_Rules

https://www.amazon.com/Utopia-Rules-Technology-Stupidity-Bur...

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/oliver-burkeman-co...

http://boingboing.net/2015/02/02/david-graebers-the-utopia-o...

"Are you suggesting that without a central leviathan like the EU, free trade and cooperation is untenable?"

Correct.


> The EU is a vast bureaucracy, not a "framework for interdependence."

Frameworks for interdependence and vast bureaucracies aren't mutually exclusive (in fact, they often go together: the US federal government is both of those things, too.)


I suppose, semantically you are correct. I would suggest that a framework for mutually beneficial interaction (interdependence?) doesn't need a bureaucracy to be enforced. In fact, the need for a coercive third party proves the shortcomings of said framework.


> I suppose, semantically you are correct. I would suggest that a framework for mutually beneficial interaction (interdependence?) doesn't need a bureaucracy to be enforced.

That's an interesting theory, but I would suggest that most successful such frameworks in human history have included some form of bureaucracy.


Bureaucracies, like everything, come in varying forms and magnitudes. In my years of studying, the most successful frameworks (bureaucracies, whatever you want to call them) served very limited and precise purposes. I agree, for mutually beneficial human cooperation to take place there needs to be something to enforce the rules. In my opinion, those rules all come down to enforcing individual property rights. Anything above and beyond that is detrimental on the whole.

What frameworks would you point to as examples of what you're talking about (besides the EU... cause I think it's objectively a bad example haha)?


I disagree. Many of the rules do not come down to only enforcing individual property rights. An optimal outcome for society and each individual can reached by enforcing them in many scenarios, but not all.

For example, how do you reach an optimal solution for orphans with the enforcement of private property rights? Or what about regulation of the relationship between a doctor and their patients? If the patient is mentally unable to act as a rational agent, there may be a conflict of interest between the doctor and patient without regulation.

What about health and safety standards? How does only focusing on private property rights deal with the vast asymmetry of information out there?


"it was created to prevent another world war and in that it has succeeded"

You couldn't be more wrong here. If anything the creation of the EU makes war much more likely, precisely because of the inevitability of its breakup. The UK is just the first to go, but many more countries will leave too, effectively finishing off the EU project. And with the end of the EU, comes the bitter divorce between European countries, which is fertile grounds for a new world war.


Europe's longest period of peace correlates with the existence of the EU. Most EU citizens have never known war. Not knowing what the EU protects them from, they feel they have nothing to lose by leaving it. There is nothing "inevitable" about the breakup of the EU, just as there was nothing inevitable about the Brexit. These departures require massive efforts on the part of small, motivated groups, who rely on enormous falsehoods to draw the vote of ignorants. Nigel Farage is already backing away from Leave's promises on healthcare.


  > Europe's longest period of peace correlates with the existence of the EU.
Europe's longest period of peace correlates with the existence of the EEC (1957–1993), not the EU (1993–).


Can you expand why the countries of the EU are so fundamentally incompatible that their breakup is inevitable (and, as you claim from the start)?


In the 90's, when the unification process between West and East Germany were ongoing, West Germany paid many billions to help the latter because its economy was tanked. In total, two trillion euros or so. The West Germans mostly didn't complain.

A few years ago, they were asked to contribute a few billions to Greece's economy that also was (and is, I presume) completely wasted. Most Germans complained loudly and politicians like Angela Merkel made it a point not to give them more money than absolutely necessary.

Why did they complain so much in Greece's but not East Germany's case? Think about that for some time then you see why the EU is doomed.


So NAFTA means Canada, the USA, and Mexico are more likely to go to war now?


> The EU will make the UK pay a price for Brexit, and rightly so, otherwise all member states would leave and still enjoy the free movement of goods and people.

So it was always about power, then? Why shouldn't all states enjoy the free movement of goods & people without giving up their sovereignty?

The EU should have required only as much authority as it absolutely needed; instead it demanded too much.


> Why shouldn't all states enjoy the free movement of goods & people without giving up their sovereignty?

Free movement between sovereign entities always entails yielding some amount of sovereignty loss, you can't have free movement of goods and people between two cities if there isn't a supra-city structure.

> The EU should have required only as much authority as it absolutely needed; instead it demanded too much.

That's just your opinion, I do not agree with it.


The leave campaign was explicitly and to a very large part about not having free movement of people.

They just want to keep free movement of goods and services.


>The EU will make the UK pay a price for Brexit.

Last time I checked membership in the EU is voluntary. Why should there be punishment?


If you are a subscription-paying member of a country club and you renounce your membership, do you expect to use their facilities for free thereafter? No. You will pay a fair price - if they choose to allow you onto the property in the first place.


It's not necessarily punitive (although it could be), but they will unlikely receive similar negotiating advantages as they did before.


"Great Britain's future is very dependent on the decisions of its neighbors and trade partners, and it has just told those neighbors and trade partners to go to hell. The EU will make the UK pay a price for Brexit, and rightly so, otherwise all member states would leave and still enjoy the free movement of goods and people."

If you remove the free market from the EU's mission (as painted by your scenario above of everyone leaving and carrying on trading) what is the function of the state excluding the market? What is the idea there?

I hear all the time that the EU prevented war in Europe, but frankly war in Europe has been prevented by occupation by Britain and the United States. There are currently 21500 British troops in Germany. This is going to end in 2020, it will be fascinating to see what happens at that point.


I hear all the time that the EU prevented war in Europe, but frankly war in Europe has been prevented by occupation by Britain and the United States. There are currently 21500 British troops in Germany. This is going to end in 2020, it will be fascinating to see what happens at that point.

Not really. Once the dust had settled, it was French-German reconciliation that kept continental Europe stable, not the British or US military. Sure, foreign troops in Germany had their role to play, but since the collapse of the Soviet Union 25 years ago, not so much as far as domestic affairs are concerned.


Are you suggesting that a small village's worth of British troops in Germany is what placates Europe? I'm not really sure what you mean, or what you think will be so fascinating should they leave Germany.


Rather 1 day as a lion than 100 years as a sheep.


>It was created to prevent another world war and in that it has succeeded.

As if.

It was created as an amalgamation of post-war globalist trade deals. The EU administrative bodies were tacked on later to make it palatable as a governing body.

It's not inherently bad that an organization is founded on trade, but don't shit on my plate and call it pudding.


> It was created as an amalgamation of post-war globalist trade deals.

To deincentivise countries going to war with each other...


To make money.

Deincentivising some kinds of war might have been a unexpected benefit, but it wasn't the motive.


Actually, it's original purpose was literally to prevent war between France and Germany.

> 'make war not only unthinkable but materially impossible'

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Coal_and_Steel_Commun...


Yes I am sure the European Coal and Steel Community had peace as their primary motivator in their creation of a globalist market for their product.


Peace absolutely was their primary motivation because it's impossible to have any sort of prosperity when neighboring states are waging a brutal war every generation. The rivalry of France and Germany has existed since long before German unification and was long considered to be unavoidable. Which is why the primary goal of the ECSC to prevent either nation from independently producing weapons of war.


> Deincentivising some kinds of war might have been a unexpected benefit, but it wasn't the motive.

That's complete ahistorical nonsense.


No, free trade did that. The EU does not have a patent on free trade. In fact, they are pretty horrible at it.


> No, free trade did that.

No, free trade did not do that, the seeds of the EU were sown at the Hague Congress for the express purpose of European integration as an antidote to nationalistic extremes. The Economic integration started being added with the Treaty of Rome.


Yes, because prior to the Hague Congress the countries that now inhabit the EU were shining examples of free trade. With the exception of Ludwig Erhard in Germany (which despite losing the war, had the strongest economic recovery), protectionism and regressive economic policy crippled the region. The EU initially healed some of those wounds, but what it was going to become was inevitable and predictable.


> The EU initially healed some of those wounds, but what it was going to become was inevitable and predictable.

Of course free trade was an inevitable consequence of european integration, I never claimed otherwise.


Clearly, free trade can and did exist before 1992, 1957, and 1942. My point was that the initial idea behind the union (in it's various forms) was to ease the pain felt by the existing regressive protectionism of the region. All in all, considering the relatively small size of the world (economically), this was a great idea. However, over time the union has taken on even more restrictive forms of protectionism except now the border is different. The results, predictably, are the same.


> Clearly, free trade can and did exist before 1992, 1957, and 1942.

Trade did exist. Free trade less so, and a durable expectation of free trade on predictable terms (free or otherwise) even less so.


Not sure how I'm failing to make my point. I said post WW Europe had regressive protectionism. The initial unions did alleviate some of that. However, over time it turned into a larger version of the initial problem.


Only for those outside of the union... inside it was much better and getting better.


> to regain independence.

I hope that word doesn't stick. All EU countries are independent, as is the UK. For the sake of all 27 EU countries , please stop using divisive and wrong rhetoric.

> Long term, we now have control of our future.

I would like to hear one concrete way in which the future is going to be, after the negotiations, substantially different than what it is today.

> And can anyone on here really stand up for the idiotic cookie law? Can you stand up for the "html link tax"? That's just the tip of the iceberg with the meddling from the EU.

The cookie law and the lack of a small-business friendly common VAT policy are things to work on (html link tax does not exist), certainly not a reason for such a significant rift. OTOH, i hope you had stayed to enjoy zero data roaming fees within the next year.

> If you're pro-small business, then you should be excited about the opportunities we have now.

Sure. I use ebay.co.uk all the time, because apparently lots of sellers there willing to sell to the EU, and we have no import duties that way. Import duties is going to be a deal breaker for me. Exciting opportunities indeed.


> I hope that word doesn't stick. All EU countries are independent, as is the UK. For the sake of all 27 EU countries , please stop using divisive and wrong rhetoric.

Lesson from the US: You can't have sovereigns with superior sovereigns. Individual US states are on paper sovereign, but in reality have been relegated to being administrative districts of the federal government with little meaningful right to self-determination independent of other states.


Its not like that, without a common language and currency, EU presence in the UK is not much more than a common set of certain standards.


Standards like Human Rights, which is something the UK has already expressed an interest in removing.


It's like some people here are basing their opinions completely on "I read it online".


Nothing to do with EU, Councel pf Europe != European Councel.


I don't think thats true


Conservative manifesto of 2015. "Scrap the human rights act" and "curtail the role of the European court of human rights". This seemed to be reported more reputable UK news sources than just reddit (though your opinion of the guardian might vary).

There certainly seems to be more substance to it than just "random internet claims" :(

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/oct/21/govern...


The EU is not some sort of sovereign. It's an organization staffed by bureaucrats (i.e., unelected officials) for the purpose of furthering the agreed upon goals of the member sovereign states. Comparison with U.S. is ridiculous.


There is an EU Parliament, and it can make binding law. So it's pretty disingenuous to make it seem like the UN or WTO.


Not binding for citizens. local governments have to conform to EU laws though.


Nope. There are a few different types of EU legislation. Some have to be implemented by local governments as you say (e.g. EU directives), but some immediately become the law of the member countries after being passed in the EU. These are known as EU regulations. You can read more about the different types of EU legislation here:

http://europa.eu/eu-law/decision-making/legal-acts/index_en....


Thanks for that. I would suggest anyone who thinks an analogy of EU to U.S is appropriate review what the EU actually is: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Union


The European Parliment doesn't have the power to propose new laws.


Nope. As much as the EU is meant to promote trade, it is also self-serving, putting the interests of a fuller union ahead of the interests of member countries. To give an example, if member countries were truly respected then the Lisbon Treaty would not have passed, as similar proposals were democratically rejected by public referendums.


The EU is not nearly comparable to the US from a state-theoretic point of view.


If you assume the UK still participate in the single market, then the majority of the stuff you don't like about Europe are still going to be there. Except that the UK would have lost any kind of direct influence on its rules and regulations.

Otherwise, the UK will compete against other startup place like Berlin where any European can freely go. That's a huge pool of talent that is no longer directly accessible. Then for global talent the UK will still need to compete with place like the US.

It is not strange how it is spun. There are people that are paid to analyse the stuff you are talking about and they unanimous conclusion is that the outlook look bad short term, medium term and long term. My hope right now is that the next PM will be a cunning genius that will negotiate incredible deals for the UK and prove the economists and analysts were wrong. But let's face it, have you seen genius in the winners today: they all looked like like a kid that managed to stole the cookie jar and don't know what to do with it.


> Otherwise, the UK will compete against other startup place like Berlin where any European can freely go.

As a non-EU or non-UK citizen, I guess that's good? It means competition. Perhaps UK would try to make a better environment to attract startups to compete? I don't think it is too crazy of a thought.


That's the other side of the coin. How the UK deals with the increase difficulty to find talent ? It is difficult to predict especially because the Leave politicians that will lead the country have campaigned on immigration control, and immigrant stealing jobs. However they don't really have an agenda and have proven that they are willing to backtrack even on big item like the NHS funding, so who knows ?

Your scenario could happen. The UK could do too little or too late and let the startup market fizzle. Or the UK could simply not care.


> Long term, we now have control of our future.

Not really. Your future is just as bound up with the future of Europe as it was before. The only real difference is that instead of negotiating with the EU as a member, you will have to negotiate as an outsider who has considerably less leverage, and who has recently pissed everyone off.

And when you negotiate with non-EU countries, it will be even worse for you. As a member of the EU, you had international clout and represented the world's largest free-trade market. Now all you have to offer is your own domestic market. You overestimate your importance in the world economy if you think you can now get trade deals with non-EU countries that are as good as the deals you could have got as a member of the EU.

It's also been interesting to watch the Leave campaigners rapidly begin backtracking on their promises to reduce immigration. You simply can't afford to reduce immigration at this point -- it would shrink your economy. Immigration is a response to the demand for workers, and if that demand goes unfilled because of restrictive immigration policies, all of you will suffer. So, don't expect the government to impose significant reduction in immigration. Immigration will only decrease when your demand for workers decreases.

As a non-EU country, I suppose you will avoid the "html link tax" and some other bureaucratic EU regulations you don't like, but in the areas that really matter for your future, e.g. the economy, you will be worse off. In the area that energized many leave voters, immigration, you cannot realistically expect much to change, and whatever changes will happen in the future because of decreased demand for workers probably would have happened anyway.


Regaining control was always about more than economic control. If you're in the EU, I hope you realise that you're currently being ruled by people you didn't elect, people in the pocket of big business, who have set out to concentrate power in the hands of a small selected group. I've heard some EU apologists claim that they don't believe in democracy, but some of us still do.


I have the impression that I elected the MPEs, and that I have chosen my ministers and my head of state, and as such, the councils of ministers and heads of state that are the real rulers of Europe, yes, the nations! As the European commission, it's a civil service as there is in all the European countries.


> "As the European commission, it's a civil service as there is in all the European countries."

That's a common misconception. Why? In other countries, the civil service aren't the only ones that can propose legislation.

In the EU, the European Parliament can't propose legislation, the European Council can't propose legislation, only the European Commission can propose legislation. You may be electing people to represent you, but how are they meant to represent you when they have no input into what is being discussed? All they can do is say yes or no to what the Commission proposes, it's the Commission that controls the agenda.


It should be noted that the president of the European Commission is proposed by the [democratically elected] heads of state of the member states, and that their proposed candidate has to be accepted by the [democratically elected] members of the European Parliament, and that each member state nominates a commissioner, and that this group of people as a whole have to be accepted, again, by the the European Parliament.

Also, it's not a simple "yes/no" ability for the parliament. They certainly can (and do) modify proposed legislation.


That's not what a representative democracy looks like. In a representative democracy, every citizen has equal power to have a say in how the country runs, but they loan that power to people that they believe will represent their interests. To illustrate what's wrong with the EU model of representative democracy, let's use an analogy... imagine you're a football manager and you choose 11 players to play a game of football. If those players then chose other players to play on their behalf, you'd have something to say about it, right? It's the same thing with a democracy, the loan of power is only designed to be shared with the person or group you pick to do the job, they shouldn't have the right to give up that power to let someone else run the show. If the role of the Commissioners was merely that of assistants then I could accept that, but these unelected people are at the centre of how the EU functions, and have greater control of the direction of the EU than the elected officials. Do you not see any problems with that?


Yeah, that's true. It's almost like some monarch appointing a prime minister or something. Or imagine if ministers in general weren't being elected directly by the people, let alone all the people working in ministries doing their work for the minister. Unthinkable!


I agree that there are indeed many problems with the commission. (And I so wish that Viviane Reding had been president rather than Juncker.)

Just wanted to clarify how things work, as many have no idea. And for all its faults, I certainly don't think it's reason enough to leave the EU.

(Personally, as a Swede, I'm very happy to have the CJEU which is the only thing that can stand between Sweden and mass surveillance, as Sweden lacks a constitutional court, as - apparently - our local politicians cannot make bad laws.)


> It should be noted that the president of the European Commission is proposed by the [democratically elected] heads of state of the member states

A nitpick: The European Council, which appoints the President of the Commission, is composed of the heads of state or heads of government, which depends on the individual member state. E.g., for Britain, the PM (head of government) is a member of the Commission, not the Queen (head of state).


If the European Parliament were able to propose legislation, you would have a lot more of the kinds of laws and regulations you don't like about the EU.


No, I would have laws proposed by democratically elected officials, which is something I'd like to see more of from the EU. The only thing I'd want to see more is have European Citizen Initiatives skip the Commission and get debated in the European Parliament first.


> I hope you realise that you're currently being ruled by people you didn't elect

Everyone in the EU is ruled by their own elected government. The unelected bureaucrats in Brussels don't rule anybody. Their ability to make decisions for member states is limited by treaties. In any case, the UK was significantly more independent than other EU states in terms of currency and economic issues.

> people in the pocket of big business, who have set out to concentrate power in the hands of a small selected group

Ah, conspiracy theories.


> "Everyone in the EU is ruled by their own elected government. The unelected bureaucrats in Brussels don't rule anybody. Their ability to make decisions for member states is limited by treaties. In any case, the UK was significantly more independent than other EU states in terms of currency and economic issues."

The agenda of the EU is controlled by the EU Commission, as they're the only group that can propose laws. The EU Commissioners are not democratically elected, and only serve the interests of the EU as a single block. The laws they propose do have to get passed elected officials, but the Commission is free to keep passing through similar laws until they get passed, which is similar to how they pushed through the rejected European Constitution as the Lisbon Treaty, despite the contents being similar.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_establishing_a_Consti...

> "Ah, conspiracy theories."

Ah, casual dismissal. If you want to see if there's any substance behind what I say, watch this:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=xMuUEd6w54E


> > "Ah, conspiracy theories."

> Ah, casual dismissal. If you want to see if there's any substance behind what I say, watch this: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=xMuUEd6w54E

When someone thinks you're pushing conspiracy theories you probably need to point them to a better source of information than this: https://tbunews.com/about-tbu-news/

One example of "science": https://tbunews.com/resonance-beings-of-frequency/

Or this, about vaccines: https://tbunews.com/vaccines-cure-or-spread-disease/


What would you like me to prove? For example, here's the homepage of the European Round Table, the lobby group featured prominently in the documentary...

http://www.ert.eu/

There doesn't seem to be any denial of their position as a European lobby group...

http://www.ert.eu/about-us

"ERT advocates policies at both national and European level, aimed at creating conditions necessary to improve European growth and jobs.

ERT Members firmly believe that Europe’s prosperity depends on the competitiveness of the European economy, which in turn requires a sound, stable and well-managed political environment."

Was there a particular claim in the documentary that you thought was far fetched?


The Lisbon treaty was approved by the democratically elected governments of the EU member states, who represent their people. What's wrong with that? How can you possibly construe it as a non-democratic imposition by the commission?


The Lisbon Treaty was an attempt to push through changes that had already been put to the public vote and rejected. The proposal that was rejected was the European Constitution Treaty...

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_establishing_a_Consti...

If it was important enough to be put to the public vote the first time, why was it not important enough to be put to the public vote the second time?

Note that...

"[The Constitutional Treaty] was later ratified by 18 member states, which included referendums endorsing it in Spain and Luxembourg. However the rejection of the document by French and Dutch voters in May and June 2005 brought the ratification process to an end.

Following a period of reflection, the Treaty of Lisbon was created to replace the Constitutional Treaty. This contained many of the changes that were originally placed in the Constitutional Treaty but was formulated as amendments to the existing treaties. Signed on 13 December 2007, the Lisbon Treaty entered into force on 1 December 2009."


I don't think leaving the EU is going to change a pattern of extreme concentration of power and money toward elites, and a few mega-corps dominating every single market, nor the tight relationship between megacorps, elites, and government that is present everywhere to strong effect.

That is a global trend for every major nation, and the factors behind a pyramidal society are not obviously being negotiated with in any meaningful way by the UK, Americans, or the Chinese. This is simply the structural propensity of an economic and political game where strength begets strength.


Sadly the people who are complaining about the democratic deficit of the EU are also the ones who blocked the democratic reforms. The European constitution was an awesome document that would have given more power to the democratic bodies of the EU. Sadly the UK, France and the Netherlands all held referendums to block it.

It was literally the same people in all three countries who campaigned against the constitution back then who are now the EU-critics that complain about the EU not being democratic enough.


People elect the European Parliament, who vote a motion of confidence to the European Commission. It's standard parliamentary democracy, no different than the Commons voting the confidence. The current head of the Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, was the head candidate of the party who gained the most seats in Parliament.


If you think the full on collapse of the UK banking system, and the mass exodus of financial jobs isn't going to instantly dry up any startup funding in the UK, you're kidding yourself.

Large companies in the UK are already announcing their intention to move thousands of jobs to Germany or Ireland.


> full on collapse of the UK banking system

Hyperbole much? Stop with the fear mongering.

Also, which "large companies" have announced they are moving? Source?


http://www.bbc.com/news/business-36623723

"American banks JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley are able to sell to the rest of Europe from London under special "passporting" arrangements. Even before the negotiations with the EU begin, both have said they may need to move staff to the EU to serve their European customers. JP Morgan alone has warned up to 4,000 jobs could leave the UK.

Airbus employs 15,000 people in the UK and chief executive Tom Enders said. "This is a lose-lose result for both Britain and Europe. We will review our UK investment strategy, like everybody else will."


So no companies have announced they are moving. They are evaluating the situation, as any responsible corporation should.

The UK banking system is not about to collapse.


London will give up its position as "world financial capital," I would think. That always seemed a bit odd, and now that they're losing one of their main advantages...


They are gaining one! Swiss banking privacy rules down under EU pressure. The UK now have freedom to keep large money more private than Swiss can do from now.


That's exactly opposite of what the United States has been pushing for the last couple of decades in terms of banking secrecy, pretty successfully. The U.K. could alienate the US government right now, but I bet they won't.


Switzerland is not part of the EU. Why do you think that the UK have more freedom in this case?


Switzerland already bent its traditional legislation to comply with new EU ruling about banks secrets snd reporting. The UK banking just got its chance.


Switzerland did that because the alternative was, concretely, losing the ability to keep foreign customers, so they chose the lesser evil. Why do you think it would be different for the UK?


> The UK banking system is not about to collapse.

Santander -20%. Lloyds -21%. Barclays -18%... etc

Nothing to see here, everything is ok...


no horse in this race, but here is the JP Morgan statement to its staff: http://www.businessinsider.com/jpmorgan-internal-staff-memo-...


London was the de facto capital (as in, economic powerhouse) of the EU, where you'd create your EU headquarters for its connection to the EU, its most talented individuals, its market, and to some extent its political connections.

This will no longer be true. No longer will you have automatic access to the rest of the market, no longer can talent so easily flow, no longer does the UK hold a 10% vote in the EU, no longer will it carry the image of being the capital of the EU by definition of it being outside of the EU. Many of the incentives to incorporate in London will shift to other destinations.

And that'll surely have repercussions, I won't use terms like full on collapse or anything like it, but I expect consequences will be quite substantial.


Thanks for clarifying it in a way that's perhaps a little less hyperbolic than my "full on collapse." I think it's important to understand the passporting agreements between banks in the UK that allowed them to essentially act as if they were banks in the EU created a ton of prosperity over the last several decades (2.1 million jobs in finance alone in the UK).

This industry is going to take a huge hit, and frankly, even if you don't work in finance, you should care because it will impact everyone in the country.


Regarding the banking system in the UK:

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-36617969

"UK banking stocks have plunged after Britain voted to leave the EU. Barclays and RBS were among the hardest hit, with their shares sliding nearly 30% at the start of trading before staging a partial recovery. Meanwhile, Morgan Stanley could relocate up to 2,000 London-based investment banking staff, the BBC understands. This could add to fears about potential job losses in the UK financial industry, which employs 2.2m people. Shares in the FTSE 100's five big banks fell 21% on average as markets digested the results of the referendum, with Barclays suffering the biggest one-day fall in its share price. The price eventually recovered to stand 16% down in late afternoon trading. Shares in Europe's other main banks fell heavily, with Germany's Deutsche Bank down more than 13% and France's Societe Generale more than 20% lower. "The UK and European banking system has been hit particularly hard as there was already fears about their health, and now there are worries about the linkages between European and British banks," said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets."


To some extent, I think this is what Brexit supporters want. With fewer jobs in London and rest of UK, and more border controls, the attraction of the UK for migrants decreases significantly. The ultra heated real estate market can finally cool down a bit.


Yeah, look at Detroit, that's a great example of what a cooled down economy and real estate market looks like...


Everyone wants a less heated real estate market - ask California - until they realize that cold real estate markets indicate a lack of jobs and economic hardship.


London (and Vancouver) real estate is being driven by rich overseas buyers, though--it's disconnected from the strength of the local economy, except insofar as those places are believed to represent a safe store of value.

How can a regional economy be stable if the median worker can't afford housing?


I run a small company trading between UK and two other EU countries. This is a disaster - I remember back when you had to pay import duties in countries that haven't joined the EU yet, and basically with razor thin margins, the added cost of bureaucracy would collapse the company now. I'm already considering switching suppliers from UK to Germany, which of course means that UK economy will have less money - and I'm sure mine is not the only company having similar plans. Unless of course UK retains the free market with EU. I couldn't care less about cookie law or html link tax.


I can't help wondering if there's an effect here like the one that produces anti-vaccination attitudes. We're running out of people who have direct experience of a world before routine vaccination for childhood illnesses, and so the downside of taking the anti-vaccine stance simply isn't apparent to people until their own children die of preventable illness, at which point it's too late to help.

Similarly, I wonder if it's simply been long enough -- when the UK joined the European common market, today's pensioners were too young to have much if any experience of the business/labor world -- that the people of the UK are in a similar situation of not realizing just what a risk they're taking, or how bad the consequences can be, since they have no direct experience.


> when the UK joined the European common market

The problem is that the EU should have remained the Common Market, instead of growing into a largely unaccountable, largely undemocratic, largely technocratic, ungainly nightmare.

I think that a United States of Europe is inevitable, and even a good idea, but it should have been done slowly, gradually and with respect for the differing peoples of Britain and the Continent. Instead, what took about 150 year for America was rammed through in about 30.


> I think that a United States of Europe is inevitable, and even a good idea, but it should have been done slowly, gradually and with respect for the differing peoples of Britain and the Continent.

It has been done slowly and gradually, and Britain for a long time has been pretty clear that they don't want to go in that direction at all.

> Instead, what took about 150 year for America was rammed through in about 30.

Which 150 year period in US history are you comparing to which 30 year period in EU history? Because the US went from winning the war for independence from England to integration into a single national government with a common military, a prohibition on the members making any international agreements (or agreements between each other) without approval from the central authority in less than 10 years. The progress of the european integration has been substantially slower, not faster.


> Which 150 year period in US history are you comparing to which 30 year period in EU history?

The destruction of the states as meaningful sovereign entities and the rise of the central government, which accelerated in the late 1860s (prior to which most Americans would have considered themselves citizens of their states more than of America), got worse in the teens, got worse in the 30s and 40s, and has gotten progressively worse every decade since.

The difference is that the United States of America were a deliberate, intentional, open attempt to form a federal government, while the European Union was a slow-motion, back-door, sneaky attempt to form a centralised continental state.

The U.S. Constitution very explicitly limits the power of the central government: it restricts the government it establishes to very little more than what you mention (a navy, international treaties and interstate commerce). The proposed, rejected and then adopted anyway European Constitution, OTOH, rejected ironclad separation of powers in favour of fuzzy, undecidable things like the 'principle of subsidiarity,' which is of course in the eye of the beholder. What makes this particularly crazy is that America was a far more culturally homogeneous place in 1788 than Europe is in 2016: they should have taken things extremely slowly, imposing only the absolute bare minimum required and then stopping for decades before increasing centralisation.

Rather than learn from and avoid repeating America's death of federalism, the EU decided to just jump right in and annihilate its member states as meaningful entities.

Like I said, I think that a United States of Europe is inevitable. Heck, I think that a more-centralised America was also inevitable and in many respects desirable. But there's no need to accelerate the process. Take it slowly, take it soberly and take it judiciously.


The destruction of the states as meaningful sovereign entities and the rise of the central government

First, there's an awful lot of historical revisionism in your comment; we had a system of incredibly limited central government, in which states were the "meaningful" sovereigns and the union into a single nation could almost pass without noticing. And that was the system the Constitution was written to replace.

Second, in light of the historical evidence regarding the failure of the first system (the Articles of Confederation), do you believe the United States would be better operating under such a system again?


> And that was the system the Constitution was written to replace.

Compared to what we have today, the Constitutional system is one of 'incredibly limited central government.'

> do you believe the United States would be better operating under such a system again?

I believe that the United States would be better operating under the Constitution than under the unconstitutional mess it is now.


> for the differing peoples of Britain and the Continent

So you on the islands are special but we monkeys on the continent are all the same? The UK has been half-in/half-out of the EU for the last 40 years, always wanting extra on all the benefits and never taking a downside in return.

I'm glad you've finally made up your mind, as one way or the other this shitshow will finally end.


> > for the differing peoples of Britain and the Continent

So you on the islands are special but we monkeys on the continent are all the same?

No — a Brit and a Frenchman almost certainly have more in common than a Frenchman and a Czech. This is part of why the EU process should have taken centuries instead of being accelerated. Trying to fake one artificial common culture across an entire continent was a mistake: it would have happened organically, given time.


> This is part of why the EU process should have taken centuries instead of being accelerated

This process would have been reset between each war for those many centuries. After all, the reason the EU was founded was to prevent yet another European war. What could possibly go wrong if you replaced the EU with nationalist independent states with a web of treaties between them?


> The problem is that the EU should have remained the Common Market, instead of growing into a largely unaccountable, largely undemocratic, largely technocratic, ungainly nightmare.

Sure if you want to sell coal and steel to each other, then the original common market works. If you want to freely trade food, then the lack of product equivalence means it requires far more work and yes burocracy. The next level up is services which requires incredible effort and reams of regulation; ironically the UK has benefited from this more than most EU countries as it is a service oriented economy. The last WTO talks collapsed for a reason - trade deals for stuff that isn't a simple commodity are complex and difficult.


> Instead, what took about 150 year for America was rammed through in about 30.

you do realise the treaty of rome was signed 60 years ago right? The current EU has a ton of problems, but it's the continuation of a process that goes on since the end of WW2.


> Similarly, I wonder if it's simply been long enough -- when the UK joined the European common market, today's pensioners were too young to have much if any experience of the business/labor world -- that the people of the UK are in a similar situation of not realizing just what a risk they're taking, or how bad the consequences can be, since they have no direct experience.

Actually the graph in the mentioned article clearly shows that younger people were in favor of staying in EU. It was the old population which wanted to leave.


A reasonable outcome would be for the UK to join EFTA [1]. That should be pretty much neutral with regard to commerce.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Free_Trade_Associatio...


Of course, as people have been at pains to point out, trying to get a deal like that involves paying the EU money and adopting a bunch of "damned Brussels regulations", but now with no voice in the European Parliament.


Almost all of the non eU countries that are part of the EFTA are part of Schengen area and they have agree with a lot of EU treaties.

In fact, being part of the EFTA will make UK more abide to the EU duties that it was until now


> Unless of course UK retains the free market with EU.

Why would they?


> Why would they?

Its not uncommon to support free markets without free movement of people; outside of the relationships within the EU, its fairly normal for trade agreements.

Corporate interests in both sides benefit from such arrangements compared to their absence, so there might well be powerful interests on both the European and UK sides pushing for that as part of the exit agreement.

(OTOH, some -- though probably not all -- of the "Leave" constituency is probably anti-free-trade, so at least some of that constituency would probably oppose the arrangement. Perhaps not enough to stop it, though.)


> Its not uncommon to support free markets without free movement of people

There's absolutely no chance of this happening with the UK and the EU. Free movement is even part of the EFTA. And anxiety about the stability of the EU will be much stronger than any neoliberal impulse that would allow the UK to carve out an unprecedented extra special deal for themselves.

My money's on Article 50 never being invoked, and a second referendum on a slightly better deal with the EU probably next year. So the UK will still have to endure an awful limbo state of uncertainty for a while, but they won't actually walk off the cliff.


> If you're pro-small business, then you should be excited about the opportunities we have now.

Such as? Please elaborate.

One thing we can look forwards to is paying VAT to every EU country individually. That's going to be fun.


How's that? An American company doesn't charge VAT unless they have a EU subsidiary. UK would be closer to that treatment


Why would the EU give such a favorable deal to a country as unimportant as UK? The EU-member UK leaving is an important signal; but non-EU-member Uk is an irrelevant tiny market.

The Brexit camps idea that they could leave so they could finally pick whatever they like, as they have been trying to do for the last 40 years, is cute but laughably naive. They will not continue to receive the free travel, trade access and EU subsidies to the tune of 200 million euro per week. All of that will be revoked, only if to set an example that you will not get those benefits without buy-in.

In my view, there are currently two equally likely scenarios to unfold: they leave with nothing as farewell gift (as has already been hinted at by the EU), or they will ignore the vote and stay in because they realize how bad of an idea this was - but are now in such a bad position they will likely lose all special privileges they enjoyed over the last 40 years.

This can be clearly seen by how many leave-voters are now in shock that they leave, and want to be able to vote again to remain. This was a powerplay for a better negotiation position. It backfired and now they can eat it.


That is what I'm hoping for.

I'm hoping that in a few weeks, after the international wake up call has finally reached the ears of those who voted with emotion instead of logic, there will actually be a full election in the UK.

I then hope that with the backing of the people's vote getting new officials in to office that they resist the call to invoke Article 50, and instead bring grievances to the EU along with some ways that a more fair union can continue moving forward.

This would show a more mature and world class level of leadership; and help to restore the confidence in the rest of the world that the UK won't cut off it's own legs out of spite.


I'd hope that too.

I'm not optimistic. If mature world class leadership were likely, we wouldn't be here.


That's at least a highly misleading way to put it. The american company doesn't charge VAT simply because the EU states cannot enforce it in the US. Instead, the tax liability is shifted to the importer inside the EU. So, it's not like you don't have to pay VAT on imported goods from US companies, it's just very inconvenient for the buyer. If a US company wants to make things easy for their customers, they can instead choose to do what any company trading within the EU has to do: They can pay the taxes to the member states that they are exporting to. The same will apply to the UK once they are out.


Yes right now. This can be fixed without giving up sovereignty. Many things that the EU is supposed to be solve can be solved via individual treaties. There is no need to give away the farm to get small benefits. At the end of the day the world is better off without conglomeration of power. Any of them are a bad idea. Individual treaties for problem points are the way to go.


Except the EU charter expressly forbids Britain from making trade agreements with individual member states. So Britain will have to negotiate trade deals with the union as a whole anyway. Vie La Difference ?


Conglomeration of power is very useful in some situations. For example, global environmental problems.

Have one conglomerate force everyone to do better. If each country acted independently, each country is incentivised to not think about the bigger picture and act in their own short term interests.

This was my main reason for voting in.


I do not live in Europe, but this line struck me: "force everyone to do better". Which I interpret as you can't make decisions on your own, big daddy government must make those decisions for you.


The EU forces a minimum standard for you have to implement, correct. Like not pumping unfiltered sewage into a freshwater reservoir, giving a damn about air pollution, non-toxic children's toys etc.

These are not made-up examples.


> The EU forces a minimum standard for you have to implement, correct. Like not pumping unfiltered sewage into a freshwater reservoir, giving a damn about air pollution, non-toxic children's toys etc.

And it's not just health or industrial standards, the EU forces a bunch of legal and human rights onto countries as well, many EU countries have gotten repeatedly and rightfully dinged over various deficiencies.


No, it's a recognition of the tragedy of the commons. If there is a super-entity that regulates the commons you get better results for every individual.

If each entity acts in their own self-interest — which nations very regularly do — then you get worse results for every individual.


Yep, sometimes government can be a force for good you know. I'm assuming your from the US (that's where I generally find the "big daddy government" rhetoric mainly comes from).


It can go the other way as well. If you have a large conglomeration of power it's easy for a few people with capital to take over and make all the rules and potentially destroy the environment. See the United States for an example of this, especially in terms of fracking. People who don't necessarily suffer due to bad policy but profit from it.

For instance this quote from the Wikipedia page:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydraulic_fracturing_in_the_Un... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydraulic_fracturing_in_the_Un... "A majority of the EPA's Scientific Advisory Board advised the EPA to scale back proposed toxity testing of fracking chemicals, and not pursue development of tracer chemicals to be added to frack treatments, because of time limitations. Chesapeake Energy agreed with the recommendation."

Conglomerations of power benefit people with power the most. That can be a positive or a negative depending on what policies those people want to pursue.

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