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s.verhulst@rug.nl

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Two misconceptions about the EU that I hope are worth commenting on.
Firstly, the strength of the EU is not in what it is but in what it removed, namely different barriers to trade and movement. Unfortunately, that the main strength is the absence of things makes the EU also difficult to defend by politicians.
Secondly, and this is the more important thing in my view: the existence and functioning of the EU has made it extremely unlikely that there will ever be war again between for example France and Germany. And just imagine a situation when a new war on the Balkans has become unthinkable, which will be the case when all Balkan countries have become EU members. Compared to this gain, all other discussions on the pros and cons of the EU are somewhat trivial in my view.

Simon
 

sploo

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That sounds like the deal Cameron brought back from his negotiations with the EU but was rejected by his party. They even let the UK put a break on immigration from the EU (if it could be shown to damage employment opportunities here), which is the real reason lots of people wanted out in the first place.
Ironically, there is an EU rule (Article 7, if I recall correctly) that essentially states that an EU citizen moving to another EU state must be able to support themselves financially (i.e. "have a job"). UK governments' have chosen to ignore that rule - which rather sinks the trope that immigration from EU states into the UK is a burden that's forced upon us, and of course, the trope that we were slaves to all EU rules. But, as we've seen time and again, facts and evidence are not valid submissions on this topic.
 

MarkDennehy

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Can you name one good thing that's come out of the EU that couldn't have been done without the existence of the EU?
CERN and dozens of research projects that boosted our universities, Euratom and all the MRIs and other advanced imaging as well as radiation therapy it enabled, half the roads in my country, the absence of a war between france, england or germany for the first time in a very long historical period, erasmus for students to go study anywhere in the EU that they wanted to, immigration from all over the EU so our food here finally advanced past "boil it till it's shoe leather", the EU courts system so we could hold our own government to account when they did silly things like white slavery and selling children in illegal adoptions and making abortions illegal because Rome said to, the GDPR which is the best framework we currently have to try to prevent Joe Public from being prey for the FAANGs, the ability to travel anywhere on the continent without six different official documents. Oh, and economic prosperity which mean neither I nor either of my two siblings had to emigrate forever.

I mean, that's just off the top of my head in about - checks watch - two minutes of typing? There's more, but I'm not sure how relevant it'll be to the UK's experience.
 

MarkDennehy

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(And yes, you can say CERN and Euratom aren't EU-specific projects, but you're kinda missing the question because Phil was asking what couldn't have been done without the EU existing. If the EU and the EEC hadn't existed, CERN and Euratom couldn't have gotten to where they are today because they would have had to both do their jobs _and_ convince all of europe to do what they do in the EU today, namely cooperate in large shared projects, which Europe just wasn't very good at before the EU - sooner or later, a good idea descended into nationalism and then went kaput. The existence of a Europe-wide bureacracy is a nontrivial level of Good Thing for some projects, just because of the inertia it carries - if it's easier to work in a project with others than to declare you'll build your own large hadron collider, then you get large hadron colliders faster).
 

Jacob

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Good question Phil and plenty of answers! Big issues too, not just trivia.
So - do we have any answers to the other question about advantages of Brexit? Seems to have gone quiet on that front.:unsure:
Nul points so far, surely somebody can think of something?
 

Doug B

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Ironically, there is an EU rule (Article 7, if I recall correctly) that essentially states that an EU citizen moving to another EU state must be able to support themselves financially (i.e. "have a job"). UK governments' have chosen to ignore that rule - which rather sinks the trope that immigration from EU states into the UK is a burden that's forced upon us, and of course, the trope that we were slaves to all EU rules. But, as we've seen time and again, facts and evidence are not valid submissions on this topic.
I think quite a few perceived problems with EU policies over the years boil down to poor implementation by both main political parties
 

sploo

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I think quite a few perceived problems with EU policies over the years boil down to poor implementation by both main political parties
That's probably a fair summary. A big problem is that "the EU" has been used as a punchbag for years; it's a great source of "dumb bureaucrat" type stories in the media (whether having some grain of truth or not), and a convenient target for certain politicians to blame for the country's ills. Conversely, it's not much of a story to write about the good things, and certainly no politician is going to say "hey plebs, we wanted to do something that'd probably screw you over, but the EU made some rules to stop it - aren't they great!"
 

Droogs

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Good question Phil and plenty of answers! Big issues too, not just trivia.
So - do we have any answers to the other question about advantages of Brexit? Seems to have gone quiet on that front.:unsure:
Nul points so far, surely somebody can think of something?
The German Bath towel industry is about to collapse which means Manchester can restart the cotton mills at pre Victorian wage rates whenever they like
 

powertools

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Nice - all good and all but the EU is NO LONGER JUST ABOUT THE SINGLE MARKET.

If it was we would still be part of it - and I would have voted to STAY, abd I'm pretty confident most other brexiters would have as well - but the reality is it isn't, just the SM and hasn't been for quite some time, or would you care to explain why there are still several countries that have only "one foot" inside the EU door and the other one firmly out. They joined after us, saw that they only wanted the "single market" bit and ignored the rest.

We would have liked a renegotiated agreement where we had the same deal, but the EU - in thier "infinite wisdom", and I use the term very loosly, decided it was stay or leave, with nothint else on the table, hoping to call our bluff, well, they lost and are now being asshats about it.

Tell me again how the "the EU are our friends".

Those leading the EU are idiots, they SHOULD have just allowed the UK to move to a similar deal and kept the trade, but they didn't for fear that many other countries would follow suit EVEN THOUGH THAT WAS THE ENTIRE REASON FOR IT'S CREATION IN THE FIRST PLACE, and they would have lost thier other forms of leverage, and benefits like free travel of people, including all those leaving thier countries, because they own economies are failing and come to the UK and Germany for work.

It gave them an easy reason not to do much about it, AND those people working outside France and Spain and Poland, were still sending oney earned in the UK back to thier home countries, thus sucking even more life out of the UK - which they were perfecty happy about.

And no, I don't beleive there are more UK people working in the EU than the other way around, thus the "money funnel" is to our benefit, not by a mile.

The EU has been treating the UK as a resource to be mined until empty, our fishing, our jobs, our housing, our schools and our NHS.

They told us we had to keep OUR borders open so that those that would otherwise live in Spain or France or Germany, come here instead where it was historically much easier for them to get all the benefits of a first world nation.

I firmly beleive the EU in it's current form WILL fail, because "the plan" is too at odds with many of the member nations needs.

It should have just stuck to the single market - but Germany (as usual) got greedy.

All very good points that I could not have explained but I am afraid that the remainers won't reply.
THere is no way that I would have voted for trading problems but there is no way I would have voted remain with all the other things that we have to accept in order to continue with a sensible trading relationship.
 

RobinBHM

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still several countries that have only "one foot" inside the EU door and the other one firmly out. They joined after us, saw that they only wanted the "single market" bit and ignored the rest.
that isnt really true -but a handy strawman argument.

the only countries in the Single Market but not full membership are: Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. All are tiny economies and have no worthwhile comparisons to make.

and are now being asshats about it
that is incorrect -this is a common brexiters narrative. What you dont want to admit is that when UK "took back control", so did the other side...and the EU are 6x bigger and have far more leverage.

Tell me again how the "the EU are our friends"
the EU has constantly offered extensions, repeatedly made suggestions to reduce trade damage on leaving...but the ideologically driven govt insisted on the hardest of brexits

the question you should be asking is "how has the UK been friends to the EU" ...how do you think decades of gaslighting by the UK press has helped...or the UK govt playing the EU blame game.

Perhaps you might like to answer how you think the brexit MEPS behaved in the EU parliament.
 

RobinBHM

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The EU has been treating the UK as a resource to be mined until empty, our fishing, our jobs, our housing, our schools and our NHS
in the above sentence please replace "EU" with the word "Our Govt"........then it is factually correct.


Seriously Rafezetter, do you really want me to explain how your sentence is totally untrue?
all those problems are created by domestic policies -No doubt by the very government you vote for
 

RobinBHM

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Two misconceptions about the EU that I hope are worth commenting on.
Firstly, the strength of the EU is not in what it is but in what it removed, namely different barriers to trade and movement. Unfortunately, that the main strength is the absence of things makes the EU also difficult to defend by politicians.
Secondly, and this is the more important thing in my view: the existence and functioning of the EU has made it extremely unlikely that there will ever be war again between for example France and Germany. And just imagine a situation when a new war on the Balkans has become unthinkable, which will be the case when all Balkan countries have become EU members. Compared to this gain, all other discussions on the pros and cons of the EU are somewhat trivial in my view.

Simon
many thanks for your input -I think it is really useful to get views from people in mainland Europe.

I think it helps puts things in perspective

I hope covid is not too bad in Groningen, its worrying to hear there is a 3rd wave in France and new lockdowns. I hope the vaccinations ramp up in the EU soon.
 

francovendee

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Asking a leaver for benefits of leaving, before an after we left, will produce nothing other than more about how bad the EU is.
Leavers think by saying nothing people will tire and shut up. That aint going to happen.
Remainers will shut up if and when real benefits are seen in peoples lives. Seem like we're in for the long ride.
 

Amateur

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Yes

The Single Market.
It made is as easy to order something from Bristol as Berlin.


The ability to freely live, work, retire in 28 countries.

The considerable transformation of Eastern European countries

The Everything But Arms programme helping poor African countries.
Eastern European countries are taking their money, building their infrastructure and keeping their gobs shut....at the moment.
Wait till they have at start making payments of any substance
 

Jacob

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Eastern European countries are taking their money, building their infrastructure and keeping their gobs shut....at the moment.
Wait till they have at start making payments of any substance
No doubt they will be very pleased when they finally achieve the necessary level of success/wealth to able to contribute themselves, thanks to the EU. That's what it's all about.
 

Doug B

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That's probably a fair summary.
So as has been said previously by others most voters won’t fully understand the full workings of EU, what they will understand is the consequences to them & their communities of the poor implementation of those policies by both Labour & the Conservatives, which whilst not the fault of the EU has a big impact on their lives, so when one of those poorly performing governments of the last 20 years give them the opportunity to vote they turn on that government & by doing so the EU.

I live in a an area that had a high Brexit vote turn out & regularly work in, I believe, the biggest area that voted for Brexit, when I talk about Brexit to my customers it’s a reoccurring theme that whilst they may not explain it very well the poor implementation of EU policies along with complete lack of understanding & support by government within those communities for the impact these policies have had is the reason the Brexit vote was so high.
I don’t blame the EU for many of these things who I do blame is successive British governments who for years haven’t been fit for the job they’ve been elected to do
 

Amateur

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Asking a leaver for benefits of leaving, before an after we left, will produce nothing other than more about how bad the EU is.
Seems to me the EU is in a bigger mess than its ever been in today.
Its like a rudderless ship to be honest.
No ones mentioning their finances or how they will plug the UK money loss.
Their lack of controlling the pandemic.
 

shed9

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Seems to me the EU is in a bigger mess than its ever been in today.
Its like a rudderless ship to be honest.
No ones mentioning their finances or how they will plug the UK money loss.
Their lack of controlling the pandemic.
Is this sarcasm? I have to ask as it often gets lost on the Interweb......
 

Daniel2

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Seems to me the EU is in a bigger mess than its ever been in today.
Its like a rudderless ship to be honest.
No ones mentioning their finances or how they will plug the UK money loss.
Their lack of controlling the pandemic.
Would you care to substantiate that, at all ?
From where I'm standing, the EU seems to be doing just fine :unsure:
Since the DUK left, the only impact, as far as I can see, is that I
have to source my purchases elsewhere.
 
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