Sure, a healthy economy is important for everyone, but the long-term goals of EU have always been to create a unity of countries with largely shared values to prevent future wars (incl. trade wars and cold wars) and to increase collaboration in all cultural, scientific and social matters. To grow together instead of alienating more and more until a new war breaks out, like it always happened in Europe's past in almost every century.
And now it's all about the money...
It's true that the EU, and its antecedents the ECSC and the EC, has been a tremendous force for peace on the European continent but make no mistake:
It's original intent first and foremost was economic collaboration and prosperity.
The impact of international trade, however, goes way beyond mere economic considerations: If you trade with people from other countries you have to communicate and negotiate with them, which in turn helps with reducing prejudice and creating bonds between countries on a personal level.
In my opinion, this has done more for ensuring peace in Europe than lofty political goals.
The centrifugal forces that most blatantly show with Brexit but the alienation of other EU members also is a symptom of are mostly caused by EU politicians indiscriminately pushing for an ever closer political integration without considering if that's what people actually want in each and every case.
I suspect the intention was always to promote a political and cultural union via economic and fiscal union first, then gradually political union. This is why the Euro project is so misunderstood - in isolation between Nation States it is madness, if viewed as a necessary step to a federal European state it makes lots of sense.
Perhaps a federal state will always have too much concentration of power, however our short experiment with nation states over the last couple of centuries shows they are not a very good alternative IMO, and we'll hopefully find better forms of government (perhaps far more local power over tax/policy down at the county or town level with overarching federal entities for foreign policy and trade).
The nationalism we've seen resurgent across the globe, of which Brexit is a celebration, is the easy answer, but is not the answer we need, and will in my view lead us only to war.
However, on a historical scale nation states are a fairly recent concept. Before the 19th century allegiances for the most part were much more local on one hand and centred around religion (rather than concepts such as nationality) on the other hand.
Nation states helped with getting rid of feudalism and gradually ushering in modern democracy. So, historically they certainly were beneficial. In my opinion, they're increasingly and continually becoming obsolete, though.
That doesn't mean, however, that a supranational entity such as the EU necessarily is the right solution to each and every problem in the future. As much as nation states served a purpose in pre-globalisation times the EU was useful in the post-war, Cold War era but it remains to be seen if or in which ways it can continue to be useful in the future.
On the matter of Brexit it'd be pertinent to ask why a disintegration movement should stop at a national level. Why not further devolve power to for example the countries the UK is made up of or eminent city 'states' such as London?
I concur in that I think some aspects are probably still best dealt with at a unified supranational level (foreign policy, currency, removing trade barriers) while a lot more should be handled at a local level.
Sure, perhaps a federal superstate isn't the answer - I certainly don't think it's a great answer for local gov, taxes or accountability, though given the world we live in surrounded by hostile autocracies I think having armed forces and trade at that level is advantageous, so that's why I'm for it, but further devolution of powers would be ideal in my view, if coupled with free movement of people and goods at a federal level. Given that I see no reason for Nations to exist.
Free movement of people at least within large federal states and later globally is a worthy ideal to strive towards - why should the place of your birth dictate the rights and opportunities accorded to you? Why should nation states claim the right to bestow and strip citizenship?
These questions give rise to an ethical dilemma. On one hand you're absolutely right: The birth lottery shouldn't determine your opportunities in life. However, communities also have a legitimate right to try and ensure their continued sustainable economic welfare, which might be endangered if there are more immigrants over a period of time than that economy can reasonably handle.
This is why - again - economic development not only has to tie in with but often is a prerequisite for pursuing desirable ideals.
At the end of the day, the economy is our life, and it has a massive impact both on our day-to-day and on state affairs.
Let me tell you the plan: Those troublesome EU workers have rights. Wouldn't it be great to ship in a load of people on visas from developing countries who aren't allowed to change jobs and who'll work for a pittance. That's why some of those millionaires are so in favour of Brexit. There won't be reduced migration, just a reduction in the rights of people who come.
Few days ago, the American president was talking about $110B when asked about the murder of Saudi journalist. That is just one example.
Scientists, economists and others should contribute with their specific expertise, but at the end of the day, it should be up to the electorate to make up their minds - which, in the case of Brexit, they did.
This faith in technocracy is in my opinion at the root of the democratic deficit in EU institutions - and also the myth that the electorate somehow "got it wrong" in the case of the Brexit referendum.
Raab, later: “I hadn’t quite understood the full extent of this, but if you look at the UK and look at how we trade in goods, we are particularly reliant on the Dover-Calais crossing,”
Experts: at this point you might want to consider stockpiling your essential medicines...
Come on, this is hacker news. We're all (supposedly) experts. You wouldn't let random members of the public rewrite your pull requests. We have to stand up for the idea that knowing the difference between a good plan and a bad plan matters.
And yes, this is Hacker News, but no, I don't think politics can be reduced to technical issues. I'm not British and I don't have an axe to grind regarding Brexit. But it seems reasonable to frame the issue in terms of taking a cut in GDP in order to protect national sovereignty. Which goes to show that the issue goes well beyond economics.
It seems far more disingenuous to frame the issue in terms of taking a cut in GDP in order to protect national sovereignty when the Leave campaign's key argument was framing it as the precise opposite: their headline claim was about how much more money our government would have to spend on public services. Sure, some of the people that voted Leave would have accepted the "less EU jurisdiction for less GDP" tradeoff, but certainly not enough of them to have won the referendum if they believed that was the choice they were making.
In a representative democracy, the people elect others to represent them in the legislature (and sometimes if it is separate, the executive). There are different ideas as to how representatives should operate/vote. But you would hope that for issues that are too complex for the public at large, the representatives would make the decisions as they are in a better position to do so. Government being accountable to the people has proven to be the best form of governance, but governance by the people has never and will never end well.
Between NATO members?
As long as it stays together, I doubt it. Which is why it's been successful in preventing another global conflict for the last 70 years, and hasn't been impotent like the League of Nations and the United Nations. But then, things that quietly work don't get much attention.
So if Macron and EU friends continue their power grab, and further develop the EU army, provoking Putin near his borders. Secede from NATO, leaving the remaining members to continue operating in their interests. More factions with vested interests capable of mobilising against each other. I wonder if anyone was really paying attention yesterday?
So the real question to ask is, do British plumbers expect a too high quality of life?
Of the three who came out to quote, we went with the Polish one because he was the most professional in his manner, gave us a written quote on paperwork with a company VAT (tax) number, and gave us confidence that he would do a quality job using quality parts.
This he did, for the amount he quoted.
As for cost? His quote was the most expensive.
Try harder when trolling.
I trust their bias more than yours
It's some people's opinion the world is flat, there's evidence to the contrary, but they don't believe it as they see the scientists as biased. Think on that one for a moment.
The "immigrants depress wages" trope is never that simple, as the UK is about to find out. In an economy where unemployment is very low, like the UK, they need that supply of labour to keep business ticking over. Should it disappear, growth will become constrained, and prices (along with wages) will have to rise.
Now, the question of immigration is not just about economics. It's a political question, so other factors come into play. But as far as the economic part is concerned, there is no question that substantial immigration depresses wages in specific labour markets.
The economy isn't a zero-sum game, and of all the countries in the world it would be most hypocritical for the UK to criticise globalism...
That point aside, EU /is/ a peace project and will continue to serve that purpose as long as it is standing. I do not dare think too much of how fractured western Europe would be at this point in time if we had to rely on Russia and USA for our peace.
EDIT: switched ""rely"" to "rely". Not sure why I quoted it in the first place.
Blaming based on hypotheticals is fun, even even more so when the hypotheticals sound plausible. Let's do more of it!
And then maybe realize that it's all the same plus a bunch of downsides, but now the cheap Eastern Europeans cannot be blamed anymore.
The gap between wealthy Northern countries such as Germany and less-well-off southern countries such as Greece, Portugal, or Spain has grown substantially.
For as long as money has existed, that's what it's always been about. Money is the means to survival and prosperity. When people exploit one another for it, resentment is the product. Resentment is the most powerful emotion of all; it's what leads to war.
Of course, not paying for structurally weak regions has always been a popular topic among the inhabitants of richer parts (see the Länderfinanzausgleich), but in the end this attitude is just selfish and unrealistic. The EU sceptics of today are the same kind of people who were against the unification of Germany yesterday. Let's all go to war with Prussia then.
That being said, of course, there will always be friction, just like there is friction inside nations due to unequal distribution of wealth and structural disadvantages of certain regions. That was my point. Monetary transfers and other aid to certain regions are unavoidable unless you want to get into a vicious long-term downwards spiral. That's the same everywhere, whether in Europe, in China, or in the US. If you leave the economically weak countryside without any help and perspective, they'll turn against the rich regions some day or migrate towards them, and you've made things worse than if you transfer money right from the start and try to decentralize resources and services from the beginning.
Portugal is currently doing fine, but other countries don't do so well. There will always be a region that is not doing well. It is wholly unrealistic to expect this not to be the case within a union of any kind - whether it's a union of states/regions within a country or a union of nations.
Has it? Over what time period and by what measure?
At the time when the UK joined the EU in 1973, all three of those countries were military dictatorships!
However it will mostly hit the poorer portions of the population - manual labourers who will see industries predicated on EU access disappear (car factories), agriculture, fishery which depends on EU subsidies that a London-centric government won't replicate, factories in poor areas like Wales which again rely on EU distributed subsidies, those who depend on benefits which will have to be dramatically cut due to falling tax revenue. The 'elite' or 'tenpercenters' as you call them will be just fine - they are flexible and wealthy enough to move country if required to preserve their wealth or found companies elsewhere, and will continue to have that opportunity.
It's going to take decades for this to play out though, because of transition agreements and attempts to soften the impact we probably won't see it at first (unless they opt for the WTO rules version of Brexit).
* also helps that a lot of business expenses, such as hardware, are USD, so GBP losing value hasn't affected dev salary budgets much
I don't quite understand, wouldn't a falling GBP make expenses higher?
And of course, you can always simply pass on the price increase to the customer, e.g. https://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/10/24/microsoft_price_ris...
Brexit hasn't happened yet, so it's too early to say if life will go on as normal or not.
It's the UK that's leaving the EU, not just England.
1) SNP have their own agenda to get Scotland independent...
2) ...and the SNP believe that keeping the UK in the EU will make it easier for Scotland to become independent AND remain an EU member at a later date (not true btw, they would have to re-apply regardless).
3) Rural Scotland depends on EU subsidies for farming, and losing them would mean major economic problems for them.
4) An independent Scotland without EU support, is not economically viable.
1 - They seem to be playing their cards close to their chest rignt now as I believe people are being turned off by the independence thing. I'm sure there were figures earlier in the year from polls saying two thirds don't want it now. Anyway, we voted already
2 - I agree. The EU have been quite clear on this. Also, I believe a few countries have said they're gonna scupper the vote anyway and not let Scotland in. Don't blame them...
3 - It's about £5bn I believe. This is gonna hurt. I suppose it means we have to pay more for our produce.
4 - This is the real reason I am commenting. See below.
I was at an SNP meeting in 2017 at Prestwick Airport and they wanted to talk about business post-Brexit. They talked shite for the most part: I mean that there were no answers in what they were saying. It was more about laying the boot into the Tory gov.
However, I asked them a question that they couldn't answer - SNP's own figures show a £12Bn deficit that is being "funded" by the UK Gov at the moment and as soon as we leave the UK we are now responsible for that £12Bn ourselves. Their own figures also showed that post-Brexit Scotland will be hit with another £8bn shortfall.
That's £20Bn - The largest deficit of any OECD country. Basically Scotland will be flung into the dark ages on day one of independence.
So, I asked them what was their plan to fix this? They stood up and said they can't give an answer until the UK Gov confirm the figures... despite them throwing the figures around and blaming the UK Gov.
Needless to say I took issue with that and gave them a hard time about it but they didn't budge on their answer.
Not sure why I posted this but I thought a bit of context would be good.
Edit - Grammar
Personally, I'd like to see an Independent Scotland, but only if it is truly viable and the right thing for the country.
I will look at all the other benefits to independence when I get an answer on the £20bn deficit... this trumps everything for me.
I honestly can't see anything being more important than this.
If SNP truly came up with a viable plan to fix/mitigate this deficit I will, with an open mind, look at all the other things they say independence brings.
Another poster mentioned the anti-English rhetoric and, being a Scot living here all my life, I honesly think there is an element of that: It's not the driving force by any means, but it's a factor... imo.
If someone believes relationship with England didn't factor out in the Scottish remain vote they are probably deluded.
The most Leave-heavy party was the Conservative and Unionist party, but I believe they still voted Remain.
In fact Scotland would likely be a net contributor to the EU, given its GDP, so it's not an issue of EU subsidies. That is probably the weakest part of your analysis.
Do you disagree with the first, or the second argument?
Because both have had lots of corroborating evidence (including centuries of history and a whole recent-ish referendum to split Scotland into its own state for the first, and tons of scholarly debate and criticism against German control of EU policies and ECB in the NYT, Guardian, Economist, etc).
This meshes with public opinion polling in Scotland where people say they want to stay in the EU. Sometimes the simple explanation that isn't based on all the foreigners hating you is the correct one.
Sure, whether they want to "stay in the EU" or not is also based on their relation to their English neighbors, not to some magical enlightened political culture that Scotts have and the lowly English masses lack.
I don't seem to be the only "somebody" with an opinion about the cultural and historical differences and power plays between the Scotts and the English playing a role:
The alternative is what? One or the other ethnicity having the unique capacity of rational thinking to vote Brexit/Bremain? Or one side for some reason having some very different actual benefit or harm from the EU?
Since you know why the Scots voted Remain, I'm surprised you keep making that mistake.
Or just wanted to add another ad-hominem to the non-responses?
It reminds me of the brexiter voices in England who are furious with Ireland for having the temerity to stand up for what the UK has already agreed on - the NI backstop. It's a chauvinist sense of entitlement and over-confidence that has to some degree led to the brexit mess.
Both sides would do well to remember that "Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed." 
 Press statement by Michel Barnier
What exactly is "baseless"?
That Scotland has a long-term rivalry with England? Last time I checked, 45% voted in favor to break up with England in the Scottish referendum -- does the 55/45 result point to some friendly buddies?
Or that Germany has disproportionate control of EU policy to its population/economy? That's a lively matter of scholar and political debate in the Eurozone, not some "baseless" opinion.
(By the way, do you know that EU project (with its ECSC predecessors) was started with the explicit -- and openly stated -- goal of constraining Germany, from people that have actually lived the damage its national ambitions have done twice in the continent e.g. )
In fact, even if you look only at people who voted "no" in the Scottish referendum, the great majority of them were Remain voters in the brexit referendum. For "yes" voters there was actually less of a Remain majority than for No voters. So much for your theory of rabid Scottish nationalism and England-hatred causing the result!
There's some irony in you complaining about the EU being dominated by bigger countries, while expecting Scotland to just "like it or lump it" when it comes to decisions made by England in the UK.
At least in the EU you have a veto - in the UK? No such luck.
I'm not sure what that means. I'm pro Scottish independence, and I would even be pro Brexit (given the state of democracy in EU).
Is it possible that the negative economic effects of Brexit will have positive cultural ones, by lowering prices and allowing for more non-financial workers to live there?
There is a lot of money, you've got all the CEO, head, partners, billionaires and their families to drive price up. When you move closer to the center and the most desirable locations, income are orders of magnitudes above a typical worker.
Then there is all the money laundering and foreign investments to drive prices up everywhere.
Don't get it wrong. London is affordable for normal people with a qualified job, just like NYC, Paris, Hong Kong and every other city in the developed world.
Low interest mortgages push up what people can afford, which contributes too.
But the housing crisis is fuelled almost entirely by investors, and seemingly many of those are foreign. They buy property in London because it's a relatively safe investment, recently it's been very high yield as the supply is nowhere near reaching the demand.
We need fast train services to places in the UK where the population is quite low. Then incentives to get business to set up shop there. Once the jobs are there, the people will follow. There is 20 times the amount of people in London, than there is in the northern counties (per sq mile) - we need to stop cramming everyone into the South East.
In any case I think that a three bedroom apartment is viable for a family, whereas a two bedroom apartment where one of the bedrooms is very small isn't really.
There are literally properties being built everywhere. Just take the overground to any direction and look around you. It doesn't make prices go down. There are too many people and too much money.
Prices are also down because of tax - sharp tax; which is a good thing in terms of dealing with speculation.
In the UK we historically associate wealth with land holdings and this has persisted to the present day. 'An Englishman's home is his castle' is long standing and famous adage that was at the core of Thatcher's economic reforms in the 1980's to increase home ownership amongst the UK population. One of her more famous policies was to allow people who were in social housing to be able to buy the properties that they lived in. This falls in line with Conservative policy and traditional ring-wing thinking that private ownership encourages positive, pro-social behaviour as you have a greater incentive to take care of things you own. To compound this further, average house prices are generally interpreted as barometer for the health of the economy.
You obviously don't want large swathes of the population to be upside down on their mortgage. But the wealth effect that occurs from increased house prices both on a household and on a nationwide policy level is largely illusory as the value generated is, for the most part, totally inaccessible. Homes are quite personal assets and to craft policy as if they simple financial instruments is misguided.
The UK government's staunch commitment to keep house prices in the UK is such that the barriers for foreign investment to buy property in the UK is almost non-existent. London's property market is basically the biggest money laundering scheme in the world. The UK government has passed some legislation to curb this activity but it is by and large just for show. This puts pressure on domestic property buyers as they now have to compete with foreign speculative/dirty money for the same supply of housing, driving prices up.
Plus, governments over the years have been hell bent on increasing home ownership as a policy (for God knows what reason). So they have instituted schemes to subsidise buying houses (which as far as I am aware have been discontinued for the most part). This only serves to push the price of housing up even further with a subsidy of the taxpayer, which makes absolutely no sense to me.
If prices were to ever fall drastically, this would be considered on the whole a failure of the incumbent government, which is why governments try everything they can to push prices in the opposite direction. This is despite the fact that a fall in rents would be the best thing that could happen for enterprise as it would make it so much cheaper for business. Now, the problem is that everyone is so attached to the value of property that if a dramatic fall were to occur this would likely destroy commercial and consumer confidence in the UK. But if you think about it, it is quite insane that the price of property has such a stranglehold on UK economic perception as it does not (directly) affect output of the UK economy whatsoever (except for real estate sales). Despite what I have just said, the fact that a large amount of households would end up in negative equity would be devastating to so many that the UK is essentially trapped in this cycle. So we are heavily invested in keeping the world's dullest ponzi scheme alive and well, and this will likely not change for a very long time.
So no, financial operations moving out of the City will likely not have such a big affect as to push prices low enough for lower earners to move back into central-ish London.
EDIT: I should also add that despite the recency of my arguments, increased property prices in London is nothing new. The average house price for London has doubled every decade since the 1900. I guess my point is, successive governments have essentially stoked the fire to the point where it is out of control and the only way to stop the fire from burning out is to keep stoking it even more.
The UK's problem is that transport policy is abysmally backward and our property market is outrageously disparate and historically overvalued (as land was how a person demonstrated their wealth which has perpetuated unlike other countries where industry holdings are valued much more, e.g. America and Germany). Take your example of Paris, much smaller but equally historic, yet prices there are much lower than in London. London is a more global city than Paris but not so much as to explain the discrepancy in property market values.
It's not a very popular opinion, but given that my wife has an ethnic background and we travelled to many other European countries the only racism we faced was outside the UK.
Also I really don't like how everything is measured by GDP. Yes, economic growth is important, but that is just a number and doesn't express how much ordinary people benefit from that growth. I think we should start measuring how well a country does by quality of life. What is it good for if banks and financial institutions yield big profits year on year and meanwhile ordinary people are being pushed to the borders of the city, can't get a doctor's appointment for weeks, are stuck in overcrowded public transport for hours every day and struggle to get a spot in a nearby school for their children.
The main issue with free movement in the EU is that it is easy to move 1 million people across a border in one year, but it is a lot more difficult for a country to build the necessary infrastructure (train lines, schools, hospitals, etc.) to comfortably accommodate an influx of migrants year for year. It only makes sense for each European country to be able to have some control of the numbers. Integration is as important as immigration and integration requires additional resources which a country has to have available. I am not saying that this is the main problem with migration, but there is so many factors that get completely ignored in this debate that I am simply sick of reading news articles which only focus on a very narrow narrative to push their own political agenda.
Brexit is a complex issue and only time will really show if it was good or bad for the UK and the people living here.
That said, I don't enjoy my right in the UK being a negotiation chip and that my future business or employment in the UK will no longer be based on my qualifications but on my paperwork I have.
It's quite likely that maybe sometime in 2024 when I apply for a position in a company I would not be considered because they wouldn't like to deal with visas and work permits. Even if I happen to be hired, what happens when I get old or economy stumbles and I need the benefits that native employees enjoy? All these things are now under negotiation and may or may not be provided depending on the deals the politicians negotiate.
I don't like the non-meritocratic system. Maybe it's better to live somewhere where I have equal rights with the locals and sell services to the UK and pay visits to this lovely country. The nicest thing about unregulated professions like those in IT is that you can work anywhere in the world.
EU nationals in low-skilled jobs left in droves. UK is very lenient to give visas to skilled immigrants of any country in the world.
That doesn't seem quite right. Getting a visa isn't harder than Australia or the US, but they don't just hand them out willy nilly. I know a few Americans in the UK who find it very hard to even change jobs. Again, that's always a risk until you get permanent residence, but it's hardly lenient.
Unless this is about GBP dropping in value making it more expensive for potential UK tourists.
Counterexample: Iceland is part of Schengen. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schengen_Area#Current_members.
It's a list of the preparations that companies are making.
Just remind me when I saw my company listed in a major newspapers for leaving the UK, even though we were not. Journalists would say anything to get some clicks.
BBC went to the Swiss border to transport an exhaust from Switzerland to UK via Germany. Although this has required loads of documentation for many years the custom agent in Switzerland mentioned there's problems with the documentation in about 20% of the cases. See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5hWQ0T10v6Y. The terminals/crossings aren't designed for that! There's not enough space for 20% of the trucks to wait an additional 2 hours.
Most of the work was picking a commodity code for your imports/exports but you would have been doing that anyway for Intrastat reporting.
For direct to consumer sellers above the VAT thresholds (€35,000 or €100,000) the new regime will arguably be simpler as they no longer need to register in each market but can register with a single authority.
I suspect the Irish VAT office is about to get a lot busier.
Regarding your experience: it's unrelated. I mentioned loads of businesses didn't have to deal with this for decades. They're not known, didn't apply to be registered, don't know what to do, etc.
I don't think the UK will suffer economically, at least not more than many countries that still is in the union but just have a bad economy in general.
A list of big companies that have committed to staying would genuinely be useful. I doubt you'll find many, since saying something like that before there's a clear deal is a bit irresponsible, like a blank cheque.