EU Referendum

Discuss anything interesting but not remotely Countdown-related here.

Moderator: Jon O'Neill

Do you want to stay in the EU or leave it?

Stay
28
68%
Leave
9
22%
Undecided
4
10%
 
Total votes: 41

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Jennifer Steadman
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EU Referendum

Post by Jennifer Steadman » Sat Feb 20, 2016 1:33 pm

23rd June, blah blah blah

Make your predictions here, share your half-baked opinions, vote and see whether C4C would choose to stay or leave.

I'm predicting a 55-45 win for Stay, that the next 4 months are going to be completely unbearable, and that when the Stay campaign wins, the Mail and Express will have the hissy fit to end all hissy fits.
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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Marc Meakin » Sat Feb 20, 2016 2:33 pm

Out .
Chris Grayling makes a compelling argument for pulling out.
The only time I can ever see me being on the same side as that odious cunt IDS though.
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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Gavin Chipper » Sat Feb 20, 2016 3:59 pm

I think it's an interesting one. First of all, this deal that David Cameron has got does not warrant the BBC News Channel talking about nothing else all day. I've made this point before. Just because there's a big news story it doesn't mean there's so much to say about it that nothing else should get a look in. In fact, they're mainly repeating themselves. Big story =/= lots of content. Anyway, I don't think it's even as big a story as they're making out. We knew he'd probably get some sort of deal. It's the details that matter, but they're not even talking about the details that much, just that he's got a deal. And also the date.

Anyway, a lot of people have been complaining that most of the arguments for and against have been scaremongering and without much proper informational content. I do largely agree with that. I remember the debate between Nigel Farage and Nick Clegg and it was mostly bollocks from both sides. I was thinking beforehand that surely you can't get through a debate that long on sound bites alone, but somehow they managed it.

On the lack of information, it's not just the politicians that are trying to sway us one way or the other that are to blame, but also (mainly actually) the media, in particular the BBC, who are supposed to be impartial providers of information (yeah, right). They should report what is going on in the European parliament as well as what's going on at home, but they don't do this. At all. Ever. And when people complain about all these laws being undemocratically made in Europe, it's hard not to see their point when they don't hear anything about the process that brought them about. And the BBC doesn't devote any of programmes like Question Time to what's going on in the European parliament.

Anyway, David Cameron hasn't been trying to address any of the issues that actually matter about the EU. For him, it's all about getting a good deal for the UK (or trying to make it look that way at least), rather than reforming the EU to make it more democratic and less bureaucratic, or just generally better. The Europeans elections that we have are arguably worse than the First-Past-the-Post national elections. Although it's proportional representation, it's of a very limited form with the country arbitrarily divided up into regions with not very many MEPs in each so you don't actually end up with a very proportional result. But the main problem is that it's a party-list election, so we don't actually choose our MEPs, but just the party, and so it's the parties who decide who gets to be the MEPs. That's pretty undemocratic. Obviously in our general elections, people basically vote for parties anyway, and a Tory/Labour area is likely to return a Tory/Labour MP regardless of whose standing, but the party-list system is still a step down democratically.

And the European Commission, who actually make the laws, is unelected. The European parliament may get to vote on these laws but that's still pretty unacceptable.

As for whether I'd vote in or out, at the moment I'm still leaning towards in. I think things can be improved and hopefully will be over time even if they're not great at the moment, and I'm not sure what the concrete advantages are to leaving other than a few points of principle that won't actually improve things for anyone. There's always a bigger risk in voting against the status quo, so without a compelling reason I'm more likely to vote in.

This might seem a little petty, but I do wonder if voting out might be slightly better for getting the Tories out in the next general election. Even though a lot of Tories want to leave, if the leader wants to stay and we don't, then it will be seen as a failing of the government and its stupid dishonest dickhead of a leader. It will certainly wipe the smug smile off his lizard face, although he'll probably just put it out of his mind the next time he fucks a dead pig.

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Re: EU Referendum

Post by JimBentley » Sat Feb 20, 2016 4:15 pm

I sort of agree with Gevin, although for not necessarily the same reasons. Although I think the EU is hardly perfect, it does provide checks and balances that stop the current Conservative government basically just doing what the fuck they want. On the other hand, it actually provides a perfect platform for the same government to manufacture elaborate tax-avoidance schemes for their best mates.

Still think I'll be voting "stay" though, despite the undoubted hilarity that would ensue if the electorate votes "leave"; whilst Cameron would have to go, I fear his replacement would be (ideologically) worse.

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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Paul Worsley » Sat Feb 20, 2016 7:00 pm

JimBentley wrote: Although I think the EU is hardly perfect, it does provide checks and balances that stop the current Conservative government basically just doing what the fuck they want.
In a parliamentary democracy the party with a mandated majority have the right to do "what the fuck they want", surely. Why do we need an unelected superstate to provide checks and balances? Who are these people and how do I vote them out?

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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Gavin Chipper » Sat Feb 20, 2016 9:26 pm

JimBentley wrote:I sort of agree with Gevin, although for not necessarily the same reasons. Although I think the EU is hardly perfect, it does provide checks and balances that stop the current Conservative government basically just doing what the fuck they want. On the other hand, it actually provides a perfect platform for the same government to manufacture elaborate tax-avoidance schemes for their best mates.
I also agree with you about the checks and balances thing, although see also what I'm about to write below in reply to Paul. (I don't know what it's going to say myself yet so this is exciting.)
Paul Worsley wrote:In a parliamentary democracy the party with a mandated majority have the right to do "what the fuck they want", surely. Why do we need an unelected superstate to provide checks and balances? Who are these people and how do I vote them out?
What do you mean by a mandated majority? That they have a majority of the seats is an artefact of our electoral system, not a reflection of the views of the voters because only a minority voted for them. Also, the EU isn't entirely unelected. The commission is unelected, but we have MEPS, who are in some sense elected (although see my above post on what I make of the election process).

But anyway, I feel the same way about the House of Lords. Why should we have these unelected and unaccountable people telling parliament what to do? Well, I would get rid of them, but I wouldn't want to just right now. We can get all the checks and balances we need by having a sensible electoral system - one that uses proportional representation. That way we don't end with a party with a minority of support being able to do "what the fuck they want" because they have somehow ended up with a majority of the seats.

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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Paul Worsley » Sat Feb 20, 2016 10:21 pm

I'd happily vote for the abolition of the House of Lords too.

The trouble is that very few of the voters have the slightest idea how the EU operates. Decisions are often made behind closed doors and almost never ratified by anything remotely resembling a democratic process. What proportion of the UK electorate could tell us what their MEP said, did or voted for over the last 5 years? The lack of transparency within the EU means that the real power lies with the bureaucrats who run it.
The only way that the EU could truly be successful is with FULL political union. As it stands it is a complex shambles, where each member puts on a friendly face, whilst seeking to serve it's own national interest.

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Re: EU Referendum

Post by JimBentley » Sat Feb 20, 2016 10:42 pm

Paul Worsley wrote:I'd happily vote for the abolition of the House of Lords too.

The trouble is that very few of the voters have the slightest idea how the EU operates. Decisions are often made behind closed doors and almost never ratified by anything remotely resembling a democratic process. What proportion of the UK electorate could tell us what their MEP said, did or voted for over the last 5 years? The lack of transparency within the EU means that the real power lies with the bureaucrats who run it.
The only way that the EU could truly be successful is with FULL political union. As it stands it is a complex shambles, where each member puts on a friendly face, whilst seeking to serve it's own national interest.
I wouldn't argue with any of that, but surely it's better to try to resolve these issues by being in the EU, rather than having no influence at all? As for the lack of transparency, whilst I'm sure there's subterfuge and such behind the scenes, but it's not like they're placing certain reports and information under 137-year banning laws or anything (like this government is doing on a routine basis; 137 years is the best I've found so far but there are numerous things embargoed for (at the time) 100, 87, 75 years, etc.).

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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Innis Carson » Sat Feb 20, 2016 11:11 pm

At the moment I think I'll probably end up casting the least enthusiastic vote of my life to stay in, but it's not inconceivable that that could change between now and the referendum. The enthusiasm factor could really prove a problem for the Stay campaign - the clear majority of people I've talked about this with think that staying in is the 'right' thing to do, but I can't think of anyone I know who's in any way passionate in their support of the EU, whereas the people who want to leave the EU generally seem to feel a lot more strongly about it. If this can be expected to manifest itself in voter turnout levels (which seems plausible to me), and the split in public opinion ends up being anywhere close to even, then it really should be a cause for concern for the Stay side.

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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Paul Worsley » Sat Feb 20, 2016 11:26 pm

JimBentley wrote:I wouldn't argue with any of that, but surely it's better to try to resolve these issues by being in the EU, rather than having no influence at all?
If Mr Cameron has achieved anything in the latest EU "deal", it is to demonstrate to the UK how little influence we have in Europe.

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Re: EU Referendum

Post by JimBentley » Sun Feb 21, 2016 2:56 pm

Paul Worsley wrote:
JimBentley wrote:I wouldn't argue with any of that, but surely it's better to try to resolve these issues by being in the EU, rather than having no influence at all?
If Mr Cameron has achieved anything in the latest EU "deal", it is to demonstrate to the UK how little influence we have in Europe.
I agree; what he was asking for was either vague or inconsequential. I can't believe that he's changed anyone's mind when it comes to the referendum. Everyone who was going to vote to stay will still vote to stay and everybody that was going to vote 'leave' will still vote 'leave'.

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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Gavin Chipper » Sun Feb 21, 2016 5:06 pm

Innis Carson wrote:At the moment I think I'll probably end up casting the least enthusiastic vote of my life to stay in, but it's not inconceivable that that could change between now and the referendum. The enthusiasm factor could really prove a problem for the Stay campaign - the clear majority of people I've talked about this with think that staying in is the 'right' thing to do, but I can't think of anyone I know who's in any way passionate in their support of the EU, whereas the people who want to leave the EU generally seem to feel a lot more strongly about it. If this can be expected to manifest itself in voter turnout levels (which seems plausible to me), and the split in public opinion ends up being anywhere close to even, then it really should be a cause for concern for the Stay side.
I think this is a good point, although if you vote to leave, you might get another in/out of the UK referendum!

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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Jennifer Steadman » Sun Feb 21, 2016 8:37 pm

Often disagree with the Economist's Bagehot column but this one is pretty excellent.
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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Ian Volante » Mon Feb 22, 2016 1:30 pm

The strongest argument for staying in that I've heard is that we're bound by the same standards to sell into those markets whether in or out, so we might as well be on the inside pissing out. It's not a strong argument admittedly, but I'm an internationalist at heart, and I don't think it's wise for us to chuck out ,many of the advances of the latter half of the twentieth century to satisfy the tedious parochialism of a bunch of pricks who'll be out on their ears in a few years anyway. Also, anything (like laws) which restricts the power grabs and top-down shite-pouring is worthwhile holding onto in my book.
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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Ian Volante » Mon Feb 22, 2016 1:36 pm

Jennifer Steadman wrote:Often disagree with the Economist's Bagehot column but this one is pretty excellent.
No great surprises there, probably coming from a similar place to my thoughts, but with much more effort. But then I do like his wider writing in general, very good at the bigger picture.
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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Marc Meakin » Mon Feb 22, 2016 3:12 pm

it would be interesting if Sturgeon urges the sweaties to vote out only to then tell people we want a referendum as we want to join the EU
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Re: EU Referendum

Post by JimBentley » Mon Feb 22, 2016 3:28 pm

Marc Meakin wrote:it would be interesting if Sturgeon urges the sweaties to vote out only to then tell people we want a referendum as we want to join the EU
Who are the "sweaties"?

Anyway, the whole way this is being reported (i.e. talked up) by the media, there could be some interesting betting opportunities along the way. Polling just a year ago (albeit on a hypothetical issue) was always in the bracket of 35%-40% to leave, whereas we're now being led to believe that it's a lot closer than that.

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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Jennifer Steadman » Mon Feb 22, 2016 4:06 pm

Marc Meakin wrote:it would be interesting if Sturgeon urges the sweaties to vote out only to then tell people we want a referendum as we want to join the EU
She's already stated that she's campaigning for an In vote.
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Re: EU Referendum

Post by JimBentley » Mon Feb 22, 2016 6:19 pm

Although I did remark on the reportage earlier (which reflects on those espousing one or the other position and is particularly fixated on who is saying what), I wonder if it particularly sways public opinion? If it does, I'd advise Labour to stay well out, as the Conservatives seem to be doing a decent job of splitting over it by themselves. Now that my best mate Jezza is in charge, this could be a nice opportunity; to take just the main parties:

Labour, SNP, Lib Dems, Greens and Plaid vs. UKIP, half the Tories and George Galloway.

Wonder who'd win that battle?

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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Heather Styles » Tue Feb 23, 2016 1:07 pm

I'm veering towards in, but am undecided. There seem to be good arguments both ways. What I am sure about is that I am deeply unimpressed by the adolescent behaviour of Cameron and Johnson so far. As Nick Clegg tweeted the other day: "This is what you get with one party politics: the country's future reduced to uni chums arguing with each other." So whatever else happens, it's important that the grown-ups leave the top Tories to bicker among themselves. By the way, it's nearly five months since we found out what Cameron did to a dead pig (like Gevin, I'm treating this as fact not allegation).

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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Ian Volante » Tue Feb 23, 2016 1:43 pm

http://www.andywilliamson.com/10-points ... eferendum/

This gives a run-down of salient points. I'd be interested to see someone to construct a coherent argument against what he says.
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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Martin Long » Thu Feb 25, 2016 2:37 pm

I am voting Leave (I will go into more detail on this when I have the time) but I think the Stay campaign will win. Jen's prediction in the first post sounds about right.

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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Heather Styles » Mon Mar 21, 2016 3:08 pm

Okay, I've now decided: Stay. I'm thinking possibly even as much as a 60-40 win for Stay. I don't think that the responses of the Mail etc will be quite spectacular enough to end all hissy fits, but it will be quite amusing to see them stamping their feet for a while.

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Re: EU Referendum

Post by JimBentley » Mon Mar 21, 2016 7:33 pm

Heather Styles wrote:Okay, I've now decided: Stay. I'm thinking possibly even as much as a 60-40 win for Stay. I don't think that the responses of the Mail etc will be quite spectacular enough to end all hissy fits, but it will be quite amusing to see them stamping their feet for a while.
I'm considering a bet on this, but I think it's going to be 56-44 to stay...call it a "feeling".

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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Jennifer Steadman » Mon Mar 21, 2016 10:29 pm

JimBentley wrote:
Heather Styles wrote:Okay, I've now decided: Stay. I'm thinking possibly even as much as a 60-40 win for Stay. I don't think that the responses of the Mail etc will be quite spectacular enough to end all hissy fits, but it will be quite amusing to see them stamping their feet for a while.
I'm considering a bet on this, but I think it's going to be 56-44 to stay...call it a "feeling".
Put it in the gambling thread, m8. You can get Steven to assess it for you.
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Re: EU Referendum

Post by JimBentley » Tue Mar 29, 2016 1:26 pm

I was thinking about this again today (aside from the immediate need to implement Proportional Representation, it's one of my major concerns). So, I was wondering if I could sort of back-of-an-envelope calculate how the vote will turn out, based on the results of 2015's General Election (which I already have down to the nth degree) and the current polling data. Luckily I found this YouGov poll which handily breaks down the polling data by major party.

Anyway, running those numbers gives this:

Code: Select all

	  Stay %	Leave %	   Stay	    Leave
CON	  44%		 56%	4,989,775	6,350,623
LAB	  75%		 25%	6,998,713	2,332,904
LIB 	 79%		 21%	1,908,531	  507,331
UKIP	  3%		 97%	  115,882	3,746,858
Green   80%	    20%	  920,647	  230,162
SNP	  75%	    25%	1,090,827	  363,609
Plaid	55%	    45%	   99,937	   81,767
				
	  54.22%	 45.78%  16,124,312  13,613,254
Shockingly (assuming the polling data is accurate; OK, there's a lot of assumptions going on with this whole thing and the 3% UKIP supporters voting to remain are slightly puzzling, but let's bear with it), this suggests 54% Stay, 46% Leave (rather than my 56:44 "hunch". More interestingly though, I think Gevin may have been right when he suggested that you might only be able to vote on 5% intervals (as I've still not found a bookie routinely offering anything else). And, if that is indeed the case, it means that the result is probably going to be very close to the interval boundary, so it would probably be sensible to cover both the 50-55% and 55-60% "remain" intervals (currently 11/4 and 3/1 respectively) and that brings the whole thing down to an evens bet, effectively. I'm not sure if that makes it more or less attractive a bet really.

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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Mark Deeks » Tue Mar 29, 2016 1:36 pm

I love that 3% of UKIPers want to stay. Clearly they joined purely for the pub smoking thing.
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Re: EU Referendum

Post by JimBentley » Tue Mar 29, 2016 6:08 pm

Surprised Gevin's had nothing to say so while we're waiting, a couple of other things (aside from the fun 3% of UKIPpers) stood out for me in that polling:

1. I didn't think the Labour figure would be so pro-remain; if I'd had to guess, I'd have had 65-35 or 60-40 to remain, something like that. All other things remaining equal, a 60-40 split would actually give the result to Leave.

2. I thought the Lib Dem figure would be more pro-remain, more like 90-10. As it is, it's not a million miles away from the Labour figure, which is surprising, given how much of a "thing" the EU is to the Lib Dems.

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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Dan McColm » Tue Mar 29, 2016 6:24 pm

JimBentley wrote:I was thinking about this again today (aside from the immediate need to implement Proportional Representation, it's one of my major concerns). So, I was wondering if I could sort of back-of-an-envelope calculate how the vote will turn out, based on the results of 2015's General Election (which I already have down to the nth degree) and the current polling data. Luckily I found this YouGov poll which handily breaks down the polling data by major party.

Anyway, running those numbers gives this:

Code: Select all

	  Stay %	Leave %	   Stay	    Leave
CON	  44%		 56%	4,989,775	6,350,623
LAB	  75%		 25%	6,998,713	2,332,904
LIB 	 79%		 21%	1,908,531	  507,331
UKIP	  3%		 97%	  115,882	3,746,858
Green   80%	    20%	  920,647	  230,162
SNP	  75%	    25%	1,090,827	  363,609
Plaid	55%	    45%	   99,937	   81,767
				
	  54.22%	 45.78%  16,124,312  13,613,254
Shockingly (assuming the polling data is accurate; OK, there's a lot of assumptions going on with this whole thing and the 3% UKIP supporters voting to remain are slightly puzzling, but let's bear with it), this suggests 54% Stay, 46% Leave (rather than my 56:44 "hunch". More interestingly though, I think Gevin may have been right when he suggested that you might only be able to vote on 5% intervals (as I've still not found a bookie routinely offering anything else). And, if that is indeed the case, it means that the result is probably going to be very close to the interval boundary, so it would probably be sensible to cover both the 50-55% and 55-60% "remain" intervals (currently 11/4 and 3/1 respectively) and that brings the whole thing down to an evens bet, effectively. I'm not sure if that makes it more or less attractive a bet really.
I think it's a great bet!

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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Gavin Chipper » Tue Mar 29, 2016 7:48 pm

JimBentley wrote:Surprised Gevin's had nothing to say so while we're waiting, a couple of other things (aside from the fun 3% of UKIPpers) stood out for me in that polling:

1. I didn't think the Labour figure would be so pro-remain; if I'd had to guess, I'd have had 65-35 or 60-40 to remain, something like that. All other things remaining equal, a 60-40 split would actually give the result to Leave.

2. I thought the Lib Dem figure would be more pro-remain, more like 90-10. As it is, it's not a million miles away from the Labour figure, which is surprising, given how much of a "thing" the EU is to the Lib Dems.
WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME???

But anyway, I'm not massively surprised by these figures. I think the Labour figures are probably the most surprising. UKIP is weird, but 3% is pretty low, and you have to expect some. As for Lib Dems, 79/21 is quite strongly in favour of staying anyway, and although they have been very vocal about staying in, it's not like they're a one-trick pony like UKIP. People vote for them for other reasons.

But unlike you, this doesn't rank up there as one of my major concerns. I mean, I'm still probably going to vote to stay in, but the EU is a pretty shit organisation. It's just that it's probably a bit better than not being in the EU, especially with the Tories wanting to remove all of our human rights and probably reinstate the death penalty given half a chance.

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Re: EU Referendum

Post by JimBentley » Tue Mar 29, 2016 10:09 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:But unlike you, this doesn't rank up there as one of my major concerns.
I know, nor me, I was sort of joking at the time. But I do genuinely think that if the great British public do decide to vote Leave, it would largely be a Bad Thing, purely because it would give Dave and his mates more scope to fuck us over; people forget that Britain's membership of the EU means that whatever fucknut government we've managed to vote in, they would be quickly censured for any really unpleasant decisions they made.

Seems that the 'leave' campaigners haven't learned a thing from the Scottish referendum, which I think was lost primarily because the pro-leave people couldn't articulate a believable scenario that leaving would bring about, whereas the pro-stay people could just point out that nothing would really change with a 'stay' vote, and it's much the same here.

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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Jennifer Steadman » Tue Mar 29, 2016 11:23 pm

OK, enough ambivalence. I'm quite fond of the EU. Bloated? Possibly. Unelected/undemocratic? Yeah, two of the five principal governing institutions are unelected (European Commission and ECJ), so a fair comment, although the European Commission can be overruled by the Euro Parliament and Council of Ministers, both of which are elected, so I'm not particularly convinced that this is a big thing. Also, turnout at Euro elections is already very low - do the majority of people actually want more say in it?

It's not an end of the world scenario if we do leave, but I'm yet to hear a pro-Leave argument that makes me strongly consider my position, whereas I've seen plenty of pro-Stay arguments that continue to push me towards Europhilia:

- All the trade stuff. We're not going to stop trading with the world's largest single market, and none of the options outside of the EU sound particularly enticing. A Switzerland/Norway type deal to trade with the EU without being in it means we have no power to approve or veto legislation regarding its governance and suchlike, so what the hell would have been gained from leaving; making no deal or limited deals with EU countries and focusing attention on trade outside of Europe isn't particularly wise given that the US will make it more difficult for the UK to trade with them outside of the EU, Brazil and Russia's economies are collapsing, China's is faltering, and India's economy, while growing, is only a tenth the size of China's - it's not quite going to fill an EU-sized gap.

- No university in the UK has supported a Leave vote, and our world-renowned science sector is strongly pro-EU (unsurprisingly)

- People complain about our contribution to the EU, but what we receive back in funding has stimulated the economies of some of the poorest parts of the UK, (especially Cornwall), which can surely only be good for the UK

- There's a strong chance a Brexit could lead to economic destabilisation in Northern Ireland, which could really set back progress up there (most stuff I've read has suggested that both the UK and Ireland being in the EU has massively benefited the NI peace process).

There's probably some other stuff that I'm too tired to remember. I also fear that the collapse of the EU (far more likely with the UK out of it) coupled with far-right sentiments growing across Europe (in some cases, proving electable - oh hey Poland and Hungary) might lead to some kind of major issues in Europe, especially with Russia being naughty. The EU is by no means a perfect institution, but I think it's generally a force for good.

(This totally counts as revision for my Public Affairs module, right?)
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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Paul Worsley » Wed Mar 30, 2016 12:15 am

JimBentley wrote: people forget that Britain's membership of the EU means that whatever fucknut government we've managed to vote in, they would be quickly censured for any really unpleasant decisions they made.
Could you provide us with an example of when this has happened?

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Re: EU Referendum

Post by JimBentley » Wed Mar 30, 2016 11:02 am

Paul Worsley wrote:
JimBentley wrote: people forget that Britain's membership of the EU means that whatever fucknut government we've managed to vote in, they would be quickly censured for any really unpleasant decisions they made.
Could you provide us with an example of when this has happened?
Yes. Yes I can. However, I don't think most of the truly egregious stuff that this lot really want to do - killing the poor, that sort of thing - are ever mooted because of internal pressures from other EU member states.

Anyway, here's an article from 2013 about the EU ensuring that bankers' bonuses are capped, despite this government's passionate opposition to such an outrageous policy. Does that count?

(balls, looks like you can't link to pages on the FT.com site, but I'm sure you can find the story elsewhere)

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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Paul Worsley » Wed Mar 30, 2016 12:09 pm

Thank you. I wasn't aware of that and, yes, it counts. Easily circumnavigated by the banks though.

Bankers' pay set to rocket next year as Chancellor concedes defeat to Brussels over caps on bonuses

This is what I meant by everyone "seeking to serve it's own national interest".

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Re: EU Referendum

Post by JimBentley » Fri Apr 08, 2016 1:36 pm

Thought I'd take a look at the odds on this given the week's revelations about David Cameron's murky dealings and repeated obfuscations, but nothing there has changed. I just thought having him associated with the 'Remain' campaign would be toxic - with people voting 'Exit' to "punish" Cameron, as it were - but there don't seem to be any signs of that.

What I think I did miss earlier is the odds on Cameron leaving office in 2016. He was 10/1 to go this year back in February, but then in March, when asked if he would resign if there was a vote for Brexit, he said "no", bookies cut his odds to 7/2 according to William Hill, so they evidently didn't give this answer much credence. At some point between then and 4th April, these odds were further cut to 3/1 (which is when I last checked) and now he's down to 2/1 (and that's the best odds I can find). Betfair have him at 7/4 and for the first time, have 2016 as favourite in the market (previously 2019 had been a pretty strong favourite). If this was a horse race, the bookies slashing the odds on a runner from 10/1 to 2/1 would usually indicate absolutely shitloads of money coming in for that runner. The oddschecker page says that there have been five times as many bets taken on 2016 as on 2019, but that doesn't necessarily mean five times as much money.

Anyway, an interesting bet. Somehow I think he'll probably wriggle out of it somehow and hang on, but part of me has a funny feeling that there's plenty more to come on this story, not just on David Cameron's tax affairs, but also those of George Osborne (who has blatantly avoided the question when asked about his own tax arrangements), Boris Johnson and who knows who else. So maybe now's the time to get on; 2/1 isn't great but it may well prove to be as good as it gets.

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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Paul Worsley » Fri Apr 08, 2016 5:42 pm

Odds Comparison gave 10/1 for a 2016 Cameron exit at William Hill in February, but when I tried to put a bet on their website it didn't allow it.

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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Dan McColm » Sun Apr 10, 2016 3:27 pm

Paul Worsley wrote:Odds Comparison gave 10/1 for a 2016 Cameron exit at William Hill in February, but when I tried to put a bet on their website it didn't allow it.
How much did you try to have on? The market for politics bets on William Hill is probably quite small so very low limits!

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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Gavin Chipper » Sun Apr 10, 2016 4:42 pm

Dan McColm wrote:
Paul Worsley wrote:Odds Comparison gave 10/1 for a 2016 Cameron exit at William Hill in February, but when I tried to put a bet on their website it didn't allow it.
How much did you try to have on? The market for politics bets on William Hill is probably quite small so very low limits!
But you'd expect it to say that rather than just disallow it.

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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Paul Worsley » Sun Apr 10, 2016 4:55 pm

Dan McColm wrote:
Paul Worsley wrote:Odds Comparison gave 10/1 for a 2016 Cameron exit at William Hill in February, but when I tried to put a bet on their website it didn't allow it.
How much did you try to have on? The market for politics bets on William Hill is probably quite small so very low limits!
A fiver, I think, possibly £10.

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Re: EU Referendum

Post by JimBentley » Mon Apr 11, 2016 12:12 am

Now down to 7/4 for a 2016 resignation. I still don't think he will but having ignored Steven's Grand National tips, I've got money to put on bets like this so I'm tempted before it goes any lower.

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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Rhys Benjamin » Mon May 09, 2016 6:39 pm

The most compelling argument for leaving (which I will be voting for) is the one put forward on the radio by I forget who (Gove?) who said that if we are not in the EU, non-EU countries importing into us will not have to pay Common External Tariff. Not only does this mean the developing world will improve by increasing their exports, it also means that we here will get cheaper foodstuffs and see wages rise in real terms.
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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Ian Volante » Mon May 09, 2016 6:47 pm

Rhys Benjamin wrote:The most compelling argument for leaving (which I will be voting for) is the one put forward on the radio by I forget who (Gove?) who said that if we are not in the EU, non-EU countries importing into us will not have to pay Common External Tariff. Not only does this mean the developing world will improve by increasing their exports, it also means that we here will get cheaper foodstuffs and see wages rise in real terms.
I assume then you believe that would more than make up for the forty-odd percent of exports that we'd start paying those same tariffs on? Can you point me at some evidence?
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Re: EU Referendum

Post by JimBentley » Mon May 09, 2016 7:34 pm

Ian Volante wrote:
Rhys Benjamin wrote:The most compelling argument for leaving (which I will be voting for) is the one put forward on the radio by I forget who (Gove?) who said that if we are not in the EU, non-EU countries importing into us will not have to pay Common External Tariff. Not only does this mean the developing world will improve by increasing their exports, it also means that we here will get cheaper foodstuffs and see wages rise in real terms.
I assume then you believe that would more than make up for the forty-odd percent of exports that we'd start paying those same tariffs on? Can you point me at some evidence?
'Fraid so, Rhys. I would also like to see this evidence. As Marge out of the Simpsons once memorably said "Either shit, or get off the pot".

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Re: EU Referendum

Post by JimBentley » Tue May 10, 2016 11:58 am

As we're still awaiting Rhys's answer, here's some tl;dr stuff for those interested.

As I’ve mentioned upthread, I’m minded to vote “remain”, but like (I think) Innis said, it will be with little enthusiasm. A vote for the worse of two evils. And at least if we vote to remain, we have some sort of chance of reforming the system.

One thing that does seem obvious is that neither side seems to have a clue what they are talking about. They give supposedly authorative answers to questions that can only be answered by guesswork. One side says that A will lead to B with no effect on C while the other side says that A will kill C and bring about a state of anti-B, and so on. Additionally, both sides are putting up some awful, awful people as figureheads for their campaigns.

However, what is more worrying is that the election is still six weeks away and both campaigns seem already have descended into near-lunacy. David Cameron warns that leaving the EU will bring on World War 3, Boris Johnson claims that staying will lead to economic invasion by virtually the entire population of Europe, and that’s just two from the last couple of days). When the day of the vote eventually arrives, I feel confident that both sides will have taken scaremongering to an elite level and will possibly be offering financial inducements (undeclared of course) to prospective voters.

And the coverage that the referendum is getting (six weeks away, don’t forget) is, if anything, cranking up.

Given all that, I worry that a lot of voters – faced with two groups of grey men shouting at each other, generating no coherent arguments either way – will simply base their vote on the personalities involved (i.e. if Cameron supports it, it must be bad, if Boris hates it, it must be good etc.). It effectively reduces the whole thing to an elaborate coin toss.

It’s going to be a reasonably close contest, we’ve always known that, but it’s a bit worrying that the outcome is going to be controlled by the section of voters with little enthusiasm either way and are simply voting for a “less bad” option (I count myself amongst that section of voters and I’m sure many others will too; given the lack of a coherent, believable and un-spun narrative from either side, it seems the only logical position to take).

Finally, for betting fans, the odds on Remain are now 1/3 (from 2/5 a month ago) and Leave are trading at 9/4 (from 15/8 this time last month).

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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Jennifer Steadman » Tue May 10, 2016 12:33 pm

JimBentley wrote:David Cameron warns that leaving the EU will bring on World War 3
Citation needed? Pretty sure if you look at what he actually said, and not the media leap to make a story out of it, he said it puts peace in Europe at risk, not that it will cause World War 3. That's not the same thing. (I'd say the lunacy is that he's now claiming to worry about peace in Europe when he was willing to put it at risk by calling a referendum in the first place, and was saying he'd support Leave if there were no negotiation made...)
JimBentley wrote:It’s going to be a reasonably close contest, we’ve always known that, but it’s a bit worrying that the outcome is going to be controlled by the section of voters with little enthusiasm either way and are simply voting for a “less bad” option (I count myself amongst that section of voters and I’m sure many others will too; given the lack of a coherent, believable and un-spun narrative from either side, it seems the only logical position to take).
Is it possible to have an unspun narrative from either side? You're always gambling if you vote to change the status quo. The only certainty is that there are no certainties if we leave, surely? (Additionally I did post some reasons for staying upthread - again, hard for them to be unspun, but I'm basing them on having read a range of views. Think the NI peace thing is particularly important and something that the grey men haven't really shouted about.)

The best lunacy from the last few days is BoJo's claim that the Ukraine crisis was caused by the EU :D I follow loads of foreign correspondents/experts on Eastern Europe on Twitter, and watching them unanimously call him out for talking shit was a joy to behold.
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Re: EU Referendum

Post by JimBentley » Tue May 10, 2016 4:21 pm

Jennifer Steadman wrote:
JimBentley wrote:David Cameron warns that leaving the EU will bring on World War 3
Citation needed? Pretty sure if you look at what he actually said...
I was exaggerating for comic effect, or something.

And I really wish I'd remembered this:
Jennifer Steadman wrote:The best lunacy from the last few days is BoJo's claim that the Ukraine crisis was caused by the EU
But I think my point is that in all the elections and referenda that I can remember, this one's got weeks to go and it's already borderline insane. I'm just wondering where it'll go next?

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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Jennifer Steadman » Tue May 10, 2016 4:45 pm

Definitely agree it's getting unhinged! IDS using Turkey to put people off the EU today is pretty dodgy at best (not to mention plain wrong, but I wouldn't be surprised if people conflated 'visa free travel' with 'freedom of movement' or EU membership :roll: )

Also, the government leaflet seems to have backfired. Lots of undecideds a bit annoyed that they feel like they're being told how to vote with TAXPAYER'S MONEY. I do worry lots of voters are being alienated, but instead of voting based on the personalities of big names in the debate, I think it's more likely that people won't vote at all. Low turnout makes an Out vote significantly more likely.
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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Marc Meakin » Wed May 11, 2016 12:23 pm

i think if the stay campaigners got a few celebs in volved maybe they might get some much needed support.
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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Rhys Benjamin » Wed May 11, 2016 6:41 pm

JimBentley wrote:
Ian Volante wrote:
Rhys Benjamin wrote:The most compelling argument for leaving (which I will be voting for) is the one put forward on the radio by I forget who (Gove?) who said that if we are not in the EU, non-EU countries importing into us will not have to pay Common External Tariff. Not only does this mean the developing world will improve by increasing their exports, it also means that we here will get cheaper foodstuffs and see wages rise in real terms.
I assume then you believe that would more than make up for the forty-odd percent of exports that we'd start paying those same tariffs on? Can you point me at some evidence?
'Fraid so, Rhys. I would also like to see this evidence. As Marge out of the Simpsons once memorably said "Either shit, or get off the pot".
Whether we will be forced to pay CET or not is unclear. There are different (non-partisan) sources who have different viewpoints on this. For instance, I find it very likely that Germany and France would want to undergo trade negotiations with us, and Obama's "back of the queue" comment is frankly meaningless considering that queue consists of TTIP and that's it.

Most small business do not export to the continent but nonetheless have to abide by EU regulations. Whether we do have to pay CET or not, as we are net importers, have been since 1998, and the trend is toward more imports in relation to exports, I don't think this is significant. If we desperately wanted to, we could take the EU to the WTO and moan that CET is unlawful, but I don't think it will come to that. In any case, I'm not sure a tariff of c. 6.7% is too big a price to pay.
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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Rhys Benjamin » Tue May 24, 2016 8:03 am

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Re: EU Referendum

Post by JimBentley » Thu May 26, 2016 5:06 pm

Current odds: Remain 1/6, Leave 4/1.

More to the point, I'm starting to wonder if the blanket media coverage of this thing (and there's still a month to go), combined with the crap that both sides are coming out with, will lead to a lower than expected turnout? I always vote when I can but I'm sick to death of it already; god knows what the weeks coming are going to be like.

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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Gavin Chipper » Fri May 27, 2016 7:38 am

JimBentley wrote:Current odds: Remain 1/6, Leave 4/1.

More to the point, I'm starting to wonder if the blanket media coverage of this thing (and there's still a month to go), combined with the crap that both sides are coming out with, will lead to a lower than expected turnout? I always vote when I can but I'm sick to death of it already; god knows what the weeks coming are going to be like.
Every week, Question Time is dominated by the referendum, but yesterday I think for the first time, they didn't have any other questions on any other topics. I think that was ridiculous, and it seems to me like they've peaked too soon.

Also, what do other people think of Gideon Osborne's comments that leaving the EU would leaving to house prices dropping? That's a good thing, you monumental bell-end. It's only rich cunts that are completely divorced from reality and who see property purely as an investment opportunity that could possibly think otherwise.

Also, this whole pretence that David Cameron and Boris Johnson give a shit about the outcome above and beyond the effect it would have on their own reputations and careers - pair of pathetic twats.

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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Jennifer Steadman » Fri May 27, 2016 9:33 am

Gavin Chipper wrote:Also, what do other people think of Gideon Osborne's comments that leaving the EU would leaving to house prices dropping? That's a good thing, you monumental bell-end. It's only rich cunts that are completely divorced from reality and who see property purely as an investment opportunity that could possibly think otherwise.
This is basically exactly what I thought. (Although I'm equally getting a bit bored of hand-wringing articles about how under-30s' life prospects are RUINED because we generally can't afford to fulfil entirely arbitrary milestones of adulthood, one of which is buying a house. Instead of getting hung up on Mrs Thatcher's ideology, just change the milestones to suit you and push for rent controls or something.)
Gavin Chipper wrote:Also, this whole pretence that David Cameron and Boris Johnson give a shit about the outcome above and beyond the effect it would have on their own reputations and careers - pair of pathetic twats.
I don't think Cameron's ever given a shit about anything that isn't his reputation and career.
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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Graeme Cole » Fri May 27, 2016 2:36 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:Also, what do other people think of Gideon Osborne's comments that leaving the EU would leaving to house prices dropping? That's a good thing, you monumental bell-end. It's only rich cunts that are completely divorced from reality and who see property purely as an investment opportunity that could possibly think otherwise.
This. Even though he and the Tories view ever-rising property prices as some kind of god-given right, it's pretty staggering that he genuinely seems to believe this is a universally-held view. He doesn't even realise that a significant proportion of the population would read his comments and take it as an argument for leaving the EU.

And that's even before you look at the table at the bottom of the article which tells us that leaving the EU would have pretty much no effect on the property market.

(Declaration of interest: buying my own place soon, still agree with you.)

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Re: EU Referendum

Post by David Williams » Fri May 27, 2016 2:48 pm

If I may offer you the benefit of my many years of experience, the one certain thing is this. No-one knows anything.

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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Peter Mabey » Mon May 30, 2016 3:42 pm

David Williams wrote:If I may offer you the benefit of my many years of experience, the one certain thing is this. No-one knows anything.
:D :? :twisted:

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Re: EU Referendum

Post by JimBentley » Wed Jun 01, 2016 3:58 pm

Graeme Cole wrote:
Gavin Chipper wrote:Also, what do other people think of Gideon Osborne's comments that leaving the EU would leaving to house prices dropping? That's a good thing, you monumental bell-end. It's only rich cunts that are completely divorced from reality and who see property purely as an investment opportunity that could possibly think otherwise.
This. Even though he and the Tories view ever-rising property prices as some kind of god-given right, it's pretty staggering that he genuinely seems to believe this is a universally-held view. He doesn't even realise that a significant proportion of the population would read his comments and take it as an argument for leaving the EU.

And that's even before you look at the table at the bottom of the article which tells us that leaving the EU would have pretty much no effect on the property market.
Another "this" from me. Seriously, it's like the man lives in another world, or - more likely actually - just doesn't think before he speaks. Or a bit of both. Or a lot of both, or something.
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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Gavin Chipper » Thu Jun 09, 2016 11:24 pm

By the way, in case I haven't been clear about this, although I'm still leaning towards voting to stay in, I still think there is a lot wrong with the EU.

The free movement thing - a lot of people on the remain side like to make out that people are racist for having a problem with this. But actually - why should there be free movement just between EU countries - what about the rest of the world? It's no good saying you're being all friendly and egalitarian by saying we should have free movement within the EU unless you also think it should apply to the whole world. Let's be clear - the EU doesn't allow free movement within itself for anything like egalitarian/utilitarian/humanitarian reasons. It allows free movement of people between countries that have proved themselves to meet certain economic criteria and for the benefit of countries that are already members. It's no more racist to have concerns about immigration from Eastern European countries than it is to say we shouldn't also open our borders to the whole of Africa.

It's quite weird that decades ago, wanting to be in the EU was more of a "right wing" thing, and now it's become more of a "left wing" thing. And I suppose that's partly because it used to just be the richest countries that were allowed in, and now the standard of entry is lower. But it's still a pretty exclusive club. There are lots of countries that would want to join but basically aren't rich enough to. So even though the wealth cut-off is lower than it used to be, is it right that a group of largely rich countries join together to make it easy to trade among themselves at the expense of poorer countries?

I was talking to a friend the other day about Britain running itself, and we both basically agreed that countries are arbitrary constructions and over time the idea of them might become obsolete. So he was saying that therefore the idea of the EU becoming a "superstate" is not necessarily such a bad idea. Well, I don't think it's as simple as that. Even if we want the whole world to eventually become a single unit, it doesn't necessarily mean that the EU is a good starting point for this. It is a very undemocratic organisation, and it only grows by taking in other countries that have reached some economic standard rather than for any particularly utilitarian reasons. Maybe it could be reformed, but arguably it's gone too far and it would be better to start off with an organisation specifically designed to bring the world together in a peaceful way that explicitly wants to include all countries rather than those that are a) rich (compared to some at least) and b) in Europe. So the question is - what is the EU really for? It was originally supposed to be a trade agreement but now it's become much more than that. That's not necessarily a problem in itself, but it needs to be explicit about its purpose and direction and how it will achieve its goals, and then we can see whether it can be considered a "force for good" and something we should encourage to expand or not.

Well I've found a mission statement here, but it seems pretty vague. It also goes on about Europe and Europeans, without mentioning that not all European countries have been allowed in. And while people say that people who want to leave the EU are being parochial, I would suggest that the whole Europe thing is pretty parochial. What's so special about Europe?

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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Gavin Chipper » Thu Jun 09, 2016 11:32 pm

But anyway, I still don't think simply leaving the EU will make things any better. If it's going to be reformed, then we're better off in. If it's going to be superseded, then let's see if anything is actually in the pipeline before leaving. The EU will still exist if we leave - people should be campaigning for it to be disbanded if it's really that bad, rather than just for the UK to leave.

Also, for all its problems, I think the EU is better than a Tory government, and I wouldn't like a Tory government with even more power with no EU to keep them in check. Also if Scotland did leave the UK because of this, then it could make the Tories even harder to shift.

And I know people will say that at least the Tories have been democratically elected - well actually they haven't. Only under a very strange definition of democracy can you justify them having a majority of seats in the House of Commons with the minority of votes that they got.

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