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
29
69%
Leave
9
21%
Undecided
4
10%
 
Total votes: 42

Gavin Chipper
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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Gavin Chipper » Fri Jun 10, 2016 9:50 am

The current Betfair odds suggest a probability of staying of between 72% and 73% and leaving between 27% and 28%.

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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Jennifer Steadman » Fri Jun 10, 2016 4:26 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote: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?

...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.
Is this what your stand-up is like? Might have to come and see one of your shows. I laughed quite a lot.

If you weren't joking, please point me in the direction of some evidence for your claims. Like, any actual rule for joining the EU that involves 'being rich'.
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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Gavin Chipper » Fri Jun 10, 2016 5:51 pm

Jennifer Steadman wrote:
Gavin Chipper wrote: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?

...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.
Is this what your stand-up is like? Might have to come and see one of your shows. I laughed quite a lot.

If you weren't joking, please point me in the direction of some evidence for your claims. Like, any actual rule for joining the EU that involves 'being rich'.
Well it's relative. The barriers that have prevented countries from joining over the years have been largely economic. And they're generally rich compared to many countries outside Europe (such as many African countries) who wouldn't be able to join even if they were geographically in Europe basically because they are too poor.

I thought this was pretty clear - enough with your shit opening comment.

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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Jennifer Steadman » Fri Jun 10, 2016 6:04 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:Well it's relative. The barriers that have prevented countries from joining over the years have been largely economic. And they're generally rich compared to many countries outside Europe (such as many African countries) who wouldn't be able to join even if they were geographically in Europe basically because they are too poor.
Unless you can provide examples to support your claims, I'm not seeing any substance here. By which I very obviously mean 'examples of countries not being able to join the EU because of them being poor', and not 'examples of poor countries that are not in the EU'.
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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Zarte Siempre » Fri Jun 10, 2016 6:13 pm

There are lots of poor countries in the EU. I mean look at France. Awful bunch.

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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Gavin Chipper » Fri Jun 10, 2016 6:23 pm

Jennifer Steadman wrote:
Gavin Chipper wrote:Well it's relative. The barriers that have prevented countries from joining over the years have been largely economic. And they're generally rich compared to many countries outside Europe (such as many African countries) who wouldn't be able to join even if they were geographically in Europe basically because they are too poor.
Unless you can provide examples to support your claims, I'm not seeing any substance here. By which I very obviously mean 'examples of countries not being able to join the EU because of them being poor', and not 'examples of poor countries that are not in the EU'.
It's not just about examples. There are explicit criteria for being in the EU
economic criteria: a functioning market economy and the capacity to cope with competition and market forces
And I don't think it's just coincidence that countries that have joined the EU more recently have been the poorer countries. They've joined when it's been deemed that they fit the criteria, including the economic criteria.

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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Jennifer Steadman » Sat Jun 11, 2016 12:21 am

Gavin Chipper wrote:It's not just about examples. There are explicit criteria for being in the EU
economic criteria: a functioning market economy and the capacity to cope with competition and market forces
And I don't think it's just coincidence that countries that have joined the EU more recently have been the poorer countries. They've joined when it's been deemed that they fit the criteria, including the economic criteria.
Ignoring the fact that the criteria are subjective, none of that necessitates being rich. Not only are there many more criteria than just economic ones, there are also significant funds available to candidate member states (not to mention potential candidate states and beyond) to help them implement those criteria if cash were an issue for doing so. The major issues facing the 5 candidate nations (Albania, Macedonia, Turkey, Serbia, and Montenegro) and their accession at present are domestic political problems - all 5 have major issues with corruption - and tensions with other European nations.

Yes, they're mostly pretty poor, but that's a consequence of the issues that are keeping them from joining the EU. Not the cause of them not joining the EU. Still, if you have hard evidence...
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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Gavin Chipper » Sat Jun 11, 2016 6:24 am

Jennifer Steadman wrote:Ignoring the fact that the criteria are subjective, none of that necessitates being rich. Not only are there many more criteria than just economic ones, there are also significant funds available to candidate member states (not to mention potential candidate states and beyond) to help them implement those criteria if cash were an issue for doing so. The major issues facing the 5 candidate nations (Albania, Macedonia, Turkey, Serbia, and Montenegro) and their accession at present are domestic political problems - all 5 have major issues with corruption - and tensions with other European nations.

Yes, they're mostly pretty poor, but that's a consequence of the issues that are keeping them from joining the EU. Not the cause of them not joining the EU. Still, if you have hard evidence...
Well I think the poorness and the political problems go hand in hand. I think it would be simplistic to say that one just causes the other. So it might not be the whole story to just say that their failure to be in the EU is purely because they're not rich enough but it's all part of it.

But can you point me to the evidence that the EU will just subsidise a poor country that isn't a member of the EU to the point where it fits the economic criteria?

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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Rhys Benjamin » Sat Jun 11, 2016 9:23 am

Following the huge success of the Brexit film, the folks at Labour Leave are about to release "Lexit: The Movie". It will be well worth a watch, that's for sure. The Left wing argument for leaving the EU (which does exist, and has persuaded people I know) has been rather unexplored because of the media's insistence that this is a "blue-on-blue" affair (the BBC is by far the worst offender here). Vote Leave have had either Kate Hoey or Gisela Stuart on nearly every panel as a result.

On immigration, I was quite worried that as soon as you mentioned the subject it would lead to Brexiters being labelled as racist xenophobes etc. But the way Gove presented his case the other week on Sky News was really a great message, and I'm surprised Leave aren't using it more. It's that it's completely the opposite of that and not discriminating against people based upon nationality - why should an unskilled Lithuanian get preferential treatment over a skilled Australian doctor?

On the argument that "leaving would give the Tories more power", I have to say that that argument would be true if the Conservatives had a landslide, but with their wafer thin majority of 10 and the Lords voting against them at every opportunity (including breaking the Salisbury Convention over the Trade Union Bill), then I think that the amount of extra power the government receives would be diddly squit.
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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Graeme Cole » Sat Jun 11, 2016 12:44 pm

Rhys Benjamin wrote:The Left wing argument for leaving the EU (which does exist, and has persuaded people I know) has been rather unexplored because of the media's insistence that this is a "blue-on-blue" affair (the BBC is by far the worst offender here). Vote Leave have had either Kate Hoey or Gisela Stuart on nearly every panel as a result.
Srsly?

At the time of posting, 168 Conservative MPs back Remain and 131 back leave (about 56%-44%). By contrast, of those to declare their position, 95% of Labour MPs back Remain, and the other parties are unanimous one way or the other, with left-leaning parties such as the Lib Dems and the SNP in, and the right such as UKIP and the DUP out. So it makes perfect sense to focus mainly on the Conservatives when talking about party splits on the issue, and you can't dispute that support for Brexit comes mainly from the right. You're going to have to find another stick to attack the BBC with, but I'm sure if you pick a different page at random from the Daily Fail you'll come up with something.

Nobody's saying there aren't politicians on the left who want to leave the EU, but they're in a small minority. There's a very small pool of Labour Brexiteers, which is presumably why the same Labour panellists keep cropping up on every Vote Leave platform - they want to make it look like they've got support on both left and right.

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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Gavin Chipper » Sun Jun 12, 2016 10:36 am

Gavin Chipper wrote:The current Betfair odds suggest a probability of staying of between 72% and 73% and leaving between 27% and 28%.
It's more like 68/32 now. It's going in the "out" direction at the moment.

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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Paul Worsley » Sun Jun 12, 2016 2:31 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:
Gavin Chipper wrote:The current Betfair odds suggest a probability of staying of between 72% and 73% and leaving between 27% and 28%.
It's more like 68/32 now. It's going in the "out" direction at the moment.
If you're interested, here is an article suggesting that while more money has been bet in staying, more individual bets are being placed on Brexit:

http://m.nasdaq.com/article/exclusive-b ... y-cm626239

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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Gavin Chipper » Sun Jun 12, 2016 4:18 pm

Paul Worsley wrote:
Gavin Chipper wrote:
Gavin Chipper wrote:The current Betfair odds suggest a probability of staying of between 72% and 73% and leaving between 27% and 28%.
It's more like 68/32 now. It's going in the "out" direction at the moment.
If you're interested, here is an article suggesting that while more money has been bet in staying, more individual bets are being placed on Brexit:

http://m.nasdaq.com/article/exclusive-b ... y-cm626239
Interesting. Bit of a weird article though. But anyway, it seems a bit out-of-date because the odds appear to be moving in the other direction now.

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Re: EU Referendum

Post by JimBentley » Sun Jun 12, 2016 5:39 pm

Paul Worsley wrote:
Gavin Chipper wrote:
Gavin Chipper wrote:The current Betfair odds suggest a probability of staying of between 72% and 73% and leaving between 27% and 28%.
It's more like 68/32 now. It's going in the "out" direction at the moment.
If you're interested, here is an article suggesting that while more money has been bet in staying, more individual bets are being placed on Brexit:

http://m.nasdaq.com/article/exclusive-b ... y-cm626239
I'm pretty sure this is true, but I think it's more down to perceived value. At one point you could get 4/1 on Leave - and given that the outcome is generally perceived as 50:50 with a lot of "don't know"s - a lot of people may well have thrown a few quid at it simply for the value angle.

Incidentally, the odds are now back to Remain 2/5, Leave 2/1; almost exactly where they were at the start of April. Even at those odds, a purely rational analysis of the polling leads to the value bet still being Leave.

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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Gavin Chipper » Mon Jun 13, 2016 10:31 am

Using the Betfair odds, the implied probability of remaining in the EU is now just under 2/3, and the implied probability of leaving just over 1/3.

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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Rhys Benjamin » Wed Jun 15, 2016 11:59 am

Graeme Cole wrote:
Rhys Benjamin wrote:The Left wing argument for leaving the EU (which does exist, and has persuaded people I know) has been rather unexplored because of the media's insistence that this is a "blue-on-blue" affair (the BBC is by far the worst offender here). Vote Leave have had either Kate Hoey or Gisela Stuart on nearly every panel as a result.
Srsly?

At the time of posting, 168 Conservative MPs back Remain and 131 back leave (about 56%-44%). By contrast, of those to declare their position, 95% of Labour MPs back Remain, and the other parties are unanimous one way or the other, with left-leaning parties such as the Lib Dems and the SNP in, and the right such as UKIP and the DUP out. So it makes perfect sense to focus mainly on the Conservatives when talking about party splits on the issue, and you can't dispute that support for Brexit comes mainly from the right. You're going to have to find another stick to attack the BBC with, but I'm sure if you pick a different page at random from the Daily Fail you'll come up with something.

Nobody's saying there aren't politicians on the left who want to leave the EU, but they're in a small minority. There's a very small pool of Labour Brexiteers, which is presumably why the same Labour panellists keep cropping up on every Vote Leave platform - they want to make it look like they've got support on both left and right.
Considering that many working class Labour voters are going to vote leave, there is certainly a mandate for the media to deliver the argument for "Lexit". If you notice what I said, I didn't think the argument has been given enough notice irrespective of internal Labour splits.

Props to Douglas Carswell by the way. He's just constructed a backbench rebellion with only 1 MP...

Also, I read the other day that Farage secretly wants to lose so he can "do an SNP" and win in 2020. Fat chance of that happening. But I'm not quite sure why ITV put him up to face Cameron in the Q&A session considering he isn't in Vote Leave, rather "Grassroots Out" alongside George Galloway, and, er, that's it, I think.
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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Heather Styles » Wed Jun 15, 2016 12:37 pm

The Betfair odds look good for Remain. As long as enough people do vote, I'm still pretty confident of a win for Remain. I'm looking forward to the referendum thing being over, though - to be honest, I'm not sure one should even have been called in the first place. This by David Mitchell is quite interesting: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfre ... d-mitchell

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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Gavin Chipper » Wed Jun 15, 2016 5:08 pm

Heather Styles wrote:The Betfair odds look good for Remain. As long as enough people do vote, I'm still pretty confident of a win for Remain. I'm looking forward to the referendum thing being over, though - to be honest, I'm not sure one should even have been called in the first place. This by David Mitchell is quite interesting: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfre ... d-mitchell
That is quite interesting, but it does work on the assumption that politicians are experts. There are no particular credentials required to be an MP, either in theory or in practice, and I wouldn't trust a politician to know anything more about a political matter than someone off the street with a few hours spent Googling. Well, some politicians obviously have expertise in some areas, but there's no all-round expertise certainly.

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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Heather Styles » Wed Jun 15, 2016 5:51 pm

True - I suppose an MP with expertise in formerly being a businessman, for example, doesn't necessarily have any other expertise. I'm still cross with Cameron, though, for not showing more backbone as a leader and saving us the rigmarole of this referendum.

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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Thomas Cappleman » Thu Jun 16, 2016 12:25 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:
Heather Styles wrote:The Betfair odds look good for Remain. As long as enough people do vote, I'm still pretty confident of a win for Remain. I'm looking forward to the referendum thing being over, though - to be honest, I'm not sure one should even have been called in the first place. This by David Mitchell is quite interesting: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfre ... d-mitchell
That is quite interesting, but it does work on the assumption that politicians are experts. There are no particular credentials required to be an MP, either in theory or in practice, and I wouldn't trust a politician to know anything more about a political matter than someone off the street with a few hours spent Googling. Well, some politicians obviously have expertise in some areas, but there's no all-round expertise certainly.
True, but politicians are at least paid to look into this kind of things, and have people who are (hopefully) experts paid to advise them, so they will have some advantages.

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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Gavin Chipper » Fri Jun 17, 2016 3:20 pm

Try this video for size.

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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Heather Styles » Fri Jun 17, 2016 4:12 pm

What an impressive rant. “Fear or fear? Would you like some fear with your fear?”

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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Gavin Chipper » Fri Jun 17, 2016 4:52 pm

There's a longer version here.

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Re: EU Referendum

Post by David Roe » Sun Jun 19, 2016 1:21 am

Heather Styles wrote:True - I suppose an MP with expertise in formerly being a businessman, for example, doesn't necessarily have any other expertise. I'm still cross with Cameron, though, for not showing more backbone as a leader and saving us the rigmarole of this referendum.
I'm not. I have a deep distrust of politicians who refuse to listen to the people because the people aren't clever enough.

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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Gavin Chipper » Sun Jun 19, 2016 10:11 am

David Roe wrote:
Heather Styles wrote:True - I suppose an MP with expertise in formerly being a businessman, for example, doesn't necessarily have any other expertise. I'm still cross with Cameron, though, for not showing more backbone as a leader and saving us the rigmarole of this referendum.
I'm not. I have a deep distrust of politicians who refuse to listen to the people because the people aren't clever enough.
As long as you all understand that Cameron only promised this referendum to avoid losing votes to UKIP*, not for any "greater good".

*Some people say it was to appease the anti-EU MPs in his own party, but I doubt that had anything to do with it. He wanted to win an election. That's the beginning and end of it.

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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Gavin Chipper » Sun Jun 19, 2016 10:50 am

Gavin Chipper wrote:Using the Betfair odds, the implied probability of remaining in the EU is now just under 2/3, and the implied probability of leaving just over 1/3.
It's now more like 72/28 so going back towards remain.

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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Gavin Chipper » Sun Jun 19, 2016 5:33 pm

I often think that the immigration debate is over-simplified.

Leave - "We have too much immigration."
Remain - "Immigration is good for the country."

But how much immigration? If the remain argument is just that immigration is good for the country, why aren't we opening our borders to all countries? And if you admit there is a limit, couldn't that limit be less than the amount you'd get from being in the EU?

In principle, I'm all in favour of more open borders and freedom of travel, and I wouldn't vote to leave the EU on this matter - certainly not as things stand. But when it comes to the economic benefits of immigration, it certainly doesn't mean that everyone individually benefits from it, even if the country does overall. A lot of the complaints come from people in poorer areas who struggle to get work, and it's easy to just dismiss these people as wrong or even racist, but are they (either of these)? We live in a very unequal society, and I find it perfectly believable that immigration can give us economic growth while at the same time increasing inequality and so making things worse for those who are already poor.

By the way, this isn't really an argument to vote leave, but to vote out the Tories and vote in a government that cares more about equality.

Edit - And also, why doesn't this Tory government improve our infrastructure by building houses etc. with these economic benefits? You have to use the money in the right way to improve the lives of the people who live in the country.

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Re: EU Referendum

Post by David Roe » Mon Jun 20, 2016 12:52 am

Gavin Chipper wrote:
David Roe wrote:
Heather Styles wrote:True - I suppose an MP with expertise in formerly being a businessman, for example, doesn't necessarily have any other expertise. I'm still cross with Cameron, though, for not showing more backbone as a leader and saving us the rigmarole of this referendum.
I'm not. I have a deep distrust of politicians who refuse to listen to the people because the people aren't clever enough.
As long as you all understand that Cameron only promised this referendum to avoid losing votes to UKIP*, not for any "greater good".

*Some people say it was to appease the anti-EU MPs in his own party, but I doubt that had anything to do with it. He wanted to win an election. That's the beginning and end of it.
I agree. Cameron's reason for wanting to be Prime Minister is because he thinks it's best for him. The country comes very much second (if at all) in his reckoning. Blair was the same.

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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Gavin Chipper » Mon Jun 20, 2016 8:13 am

Perennial waste of space Baroness Warsi has decided to swap sides from leave to remain because she doesn't like the leave campaign. I don't know where to start with that. Surely if she wants to leave, she shouldn't change her mind because she doesn't like other people's campaigning. Isn't that just a case of cutting off your nose to spite your face?

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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Heather Styles » Mon Jun 20, 2016 12:38 pm

Yeah, not liking the leave campaign seems a pretty lame reason to cite for shifting sides. I haven't liked all aspects of the remain campaign, by any means, but that's irrelevant to my decision to vote remain.

Interesting blog post here on whether the government could legally disregard a vote for Brexit. It seems that they could, and rightly so, in my opinion. I think it is, ultimately, the responsibility of the government to decide on this - not because they are any cleverer or better informed than we are, but because it's the kind of thing that we elect and pay them to do.

http://blogs.ft.com/david-allen-green/2 ... or-brexit/

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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Ian Volante » Mon Jun 20, 2016 3:34 pm

Heather Styles wrote:Yeah, not liking the leave campaign seems a pretty lame reason to cite for shifting sides. I haven't liked all aspects of the remain campaign, by any means, but that's irrelevant to my decision to vote remain.

Interesting blog post here on whether the government could legally disregard a vote for Brexit. It seems that they could, and rightly so, in my opinion. I think it is, ultimately, the responsibility of the government to decide on this - not because they are any cleverer or better informed than we are, but because it's the kind of thing that we elect and pay them to do.

http://blogs.ft.com/david-allen-green/2 ... or-brexit/
I've not read the article, but it's my understanding that the referendum isn't at all legally binding. However, I'd think it highly unlikely that a government could survive for long by ignoring one, especially a government with such a small margin. It would be fascinating if one managed to do that though!
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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Steven M. McCann » Tue Jun 21, 2016 1:09 pm

I see David Beckham has come out.........for the Remain side! Would it be cynical of me to think it will be Sir David in the very near future?

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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Gavin Chipper » Tue Jun 21, 2016 2:08 pm

Ian Volante wrote:
Heather Styles wrote:Yeah, not liking the leave campaign seems a pretty lame reason to cite for shifting sides. I haven't liked all aspects of the remain campaign, by any means, but that's irrelevant to my decision to vote remain.

Interesting blog post here on whether the government could legally disregard a vote for Brexit. It seems that they could, and rightly so, in my opinion. I think it is, ultimately, the responsibility of the government to decide on this - not because they are any cleverer or better informed than we are, but because it's the kind of thing that we elect and pay them to do.

http://blogs.ft.com/david-allen-green/2 ... or-brexit/
I've not read the article, but it's my understanding that the referendum isn't at all legally binding. However, I'd think it highly unlikely that a government could survive for long by ignoring one, especially a government with such a small margin. It would be fascinating if one managed to do that though!
They couldn't justify going against it without admitting that they were completely wrong in calling a referendum in the first place.

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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Heather Styles » Fri Jun 24, 2016 5:14 am

I am very disappointed about the result, but equally determined to be dignified in defeat. The last thing the UK needs is more hatred and recrimination. I can't for a second imagine David Cameron and his cronies admitting that they cocked this one up, so it's for the rest of us to get on as best we can, without bitterness or blame.

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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Ian Volante » Fri Jun 24, 2016 8:14 am

So, the bookies made an arse of it then? I did think of chucking a few quid at leave after the Newcastle result.
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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Gavin Chipper » Fri Jun 24, 2016 9:29 am

Ian Volante wrote:So, the bookies made an arse of it then? I did think of chucking a few quid at leave after the Newcastle result.
Wasn't it Sunderland?

Anyway, although I voted remain, I was a fairly reluctant remainer, and I'm not overly devastated by this. After I voted (a bit late I know) I watched Lexit: The Movie, and part of me did feel a bit bad about voting to remain. Watch it now, and you might feel a bit better about the result!

But I would still have voted to remain if I'd seen that video first. I'm no fan of the EU, but I am in favour of international co-operation generally, and there's been no talk of replacing the EU with anything better - international co-operation for the people rather than for the market. Can the EU itself be reformed? I don't know. Some people insist not. Some people say so. I thought it would have been worth staying to find out.

Also, while it would have been nice to have a "Lexit", with our government what we've really got is a "Rexit", and with Boris Johnson potentially in charge of the country, I wouldn't be surprised if he wrecks it.

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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Ian Volante » Fri Jun 24, 2016 10:21 am

Gavin Chipper wrote:
Ian Volante wrote:So, the bookies made an arse of it then? I did think of chucking a few quid at leave after the Newcastle result.
Wasn't it Sunderland?
Nope! Newcastle only just voted remain when they were predicting an easy win.
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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Jon O'Neill » Fri Jun 24, 2016 10:30 am

Ian Volante wrote:
Gavin Chipper wrote:
Ian Volante wrote:So, the bookies made an arse of it then? I did think of chucking a few quid at leave after the Newcastle result.
Wasn't it Sunderland?
Nope! Newcastle only just voted remain when they were predicting an easy win.
I managed to avoid a catastrophic night of gambling by jumping on 5-1 for Brexit at that point. I had a load on 54.5%+ on remain, which was evens for the last few days. I think shortly after Farage's near-concession around 10pm the price for Brexit was in double figures. Some real money was probably made on that..

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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Marc Meakin » Fri Jun 24, 2016 12:23 pm

including a certain N Farage, I'd wager
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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Jojo Apollo » Fri Jun 24, 2016 3:12 pm

Well that was a turn-up for the books, the exchange odds were all over the shop.

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Re: EU Referendum

Post by JimBentley » Fri Jun 24, 2016 3:48 pm

I was sort of following it through the night and even though some of the early results (Newcastle in particular) should've set alarm bells off, I was still pretty confident that overall, the vote would be Remain. I can only say that I watched the rest of the results in a state of increasing incredulity.

Still, it's done now and (as far as I know) it can't be undone, so I suppose we have to make the best of it. Let's just hope that the exit negotiations can be done by some sort of cross-party group rather than the Conservatives alone.
Gavin Chipper wrote:Also, while it would have been nice to have a "Lexit", with our government what we've really got is a "Rexit", and with Boris Johnson potentially in charge of the country, I wouldn't be surprised if he wrecks it.
With gags like that, you should be a stand-up comic! etc. etc.

It really is a bit of a mess for Cameron though. He presumably only committed to holding a referendum in the first place as a sop to his party's Eurosceptic wing (and to stop further votes going to UKIP). And even once he'd done that, I think he was counting on not winning an outright majority in the election last May, so wouldn't have to follow through on the promise anyway. And even when the Conservatives did get their surprise majority and had to hold the referendum, I think he was still confident that Remain would hold firm and he'd still be OK (the Conservative Brexiteers would still have been on his back, but I imagine he would've held out until his preferred "stand-aside" date sometime in 2019).

I wish it was easier to find coverage of the police investigations into the Conservative Party's possible electoral fraud in last year's General Election; aside from Channel 4 News, the rest of the media seems to be ignoring it. But it would be the ultimate super-irony if it turned out that the Tories only won some of their swing seats by underhand means and had they not, some sort of coalition would have been necessary and the referendum promise could have been vetoed.

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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Gavin Chipper » Sat Jun 25, 2016 6:50 am

Another reason for voting to stay that I don't think has come up too much in this thread is Scotland.

Nicola Sturgeon has said it's "democratically unacceptable" to make Scotland leave the EU. Is it though? There are lots of areas in England where the majority voted to stay in. So is it democratically unacceptable to make them leave as well? As things stand, Scotland is part of the UK just the same as London, Newcastle and my house. And we voted as the UK.

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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Gavin Chipper » Sat Jun 25, 2016 6:59 am

There was a lot said about people casting an unenthusiastic remain vote, but the reaction on Facebook and elsewhere tells me that this referendum's out vote is the biggest deal ever. Where's the lack of enthusiasm now?

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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Mark Deeks » Sat Jun 25, 2016 7:18 am

This would all be a lot more savoury if there was any sign that those behind the Leave campaign knew what to do now.
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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Jennifer Steadman » Sat Jun 25, 2016 7:58 am

Gavin Chipper wrote:Another reason for voting to stay that I don't think has come up too much in this thread is Scotland.

Nicola Sturgeon has said it's "democratically unacceptable" to make Scotland leave the EU. Is it though? There are lots of areas in England where the majority voted to stay in. So is it democratically unacceptable to make them leave as well? As things stand, Scotland is part of the UK just the same as London, Newcastle and my house. And we voted as the UK.
But London/Newcastle/your house don't have significant independence movements. Scotland may have voted to stay in the UK in 2014, but the UK's definite EU membership and economic stability were given as major reasons why people should vote to stay, as Scotland had no definite guarantee that they would be accepted by the EU as an independent state. Now we're leaving and there are predictions of a recession to come, many people who voted to stay part of the UK have changed their minds. Some may change back, but even if exit negotiations are smooth, I think Scotland's done with the UK. Would be interesting to see if Scotland could sell itself as a new location for EU-minded companies who want to relocate their offices from London. (Semi-unrelatedly - Scots, do you think the Tories' resurgence in Scotland is solely a Ruth Davidson effect, or is there just generally less animosity towards the Tory party than I thought there was in Scotland?)

Far more concerned about the implications of the vote for Northern Ireland, to be honest. If the republican population is fired up to demand a reunification referendum - as was suggested by some yesterday - and the unionists are set against it, things could get ugly. Especially if the EU funding that the region receives and benefits from isn't matched by the UK government.
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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Innis Carson » Sat Jun 25, 2016 11:40 am

Jennifer Steadman wrote:(Semi-unrelatedly - Scots, do you think the Tories' resurgence in Scotland is solely a Ruth Davidson effect, or is there just generally less animosity towards the Tory party than I thought there was in Scotland?)
Ruth Davidson certainly has a considerable amount of personal appeal (and the Scottish Conservatives' fairly successful efforts to create a distinction between themselves and the UK party must surely have helped) but I think a lot of it's just the passage of time. It's not like there's ever been much of a shortage of right-leaning voters in Scotland, but the Tory vote was sharply suppressed in recent times by Thatcher-era memories and stigma which are becoming less and less relevant to the conversation.

And I agree with you on the independence point - it's anecdotal, but I've been hearing loads of people who voted No in the independence referendum say they've changed their minds now, including some prominent figures like J. K. Rowling. That certainly suggests that the endlessly-repeated (and now laughable) notion that voting to stay in the UK was the only way to ensure continued EU membership was a major selling point in the campaign, which at the very least in spirit calls the democratic mandate for Scotland to leave the EU into question.

It'll be interesting to see which side the moneyed interests fall on in a second independence referendum - last time they were almost unanimously in favour of staying in the UK, but it seems unlikely that it'd be quite such a clear-cut divide this time round, and if the Scottish government can get some kind of assurance that an independent Scotland would be able to join the EU again, it wouldn't surprise me if the situation is reversed. It's perhaps unfortunate that this should make a substantial difference to the outcome of a democratic vote, but I think it probably would. Think we could be in for a very different story this time.

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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Rhys Benjamin » Sat Jun 25, 2016 1:24 pm

Sharing "Lexit: The Movie" in here was one promise I'll admit I failed to keep.

Anyhow...

This clamour for a second referendum on the EU - surely just a case of sour grapes? The so-called "New Left" do like to throw their toys out of the pram when they don't win, like in last year's election result.

In both Scotland and the EU, I am against the sequel referenda, as I think that to keep referendumming until you get the "right" result is undemocratic. If these do go ahead turnout will be much lower in my opinion.
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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Innis Carson » Sat Jun 25, 2016 1:28 pm

Rhys Benjamin wrote:In both Scotland and the EU, I am against the sequel referenda, as I think that to keep referendumming until you get the "right" result is undemocratic.
If there's good reason to believe the opinion of the population will have changed on an issue, can you really say it's more 'democratic' to refuse them a chance to express this?

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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Gavin Chipper » Sat Jun 25, 2016 2:08 pm

Innis Carson wrote:
Jennifer Steadman wrote:(Semi-unrelatedly - Scots, do you think the Tories' resurgence in Scotland is solely a Ruth Davidson effect, or is there just generally less animosity towards the Tory party than I thought there was in Scotland?)
Ruth Davidson certainly has a considerable amount of personal appeal (and the Scottish Conservatives' fairly successful efforts to create a distinction between themselves and the UK party must surely have helped) but I think a lot of it's just the passage of time. It's not like there's ever been much of a shortage of right-leaning voters in Scotland, but the Tory vote was sharply suppressed in recent times by Thatcher-era memories and stigma which are becoming less and less relevant to the conversation.

And I agree with you on the independence point - it's anecdotal, but I've been hearing loads of people who voted No in the independence referendum say they've changed their minds now, including some prominent figures like J. K. Rowling. That certainly suggests that the endlessly-repeated (and now laughable) notion that voting to stay in the UK was the only way to ensure continued EU membership was a major selling point in the campaign, which at the very least in spirit calls the democratic mandate for Scotland to leave the EU into question.

It'll be interesting to see which side the moneyed interests fall on in a second independence referendum - last time they were almost unanimously in favour of staying in the UK, but it seems unlikely that it'd be quite such a clear-cut divide this time round, and if the Scottish government can get some kind of assurance that an independent Scotland would be able to join the EU again, it wouldn't surprise me if the situation is reversed. It's perhaps unfortunate that this should make a substantial difference to the outcome of a democratic vote, but I think it probably would. Think we could be in for a very different story this time.
It will be a bit strange and indeed quite sad if we leave the EU and then lose Scotland and Northern Ireland in one fell swoop. The United Kingdom of England and Wales. Hmm. Actually Innis, if you do go for independence do you want to take our monarchy with you? I think the United Republic of England and Wales would be preferable. If we're going to have big changes to how the UK is run, we might as well fuck off the monarchy while we're at it. Oh, and introduce proportional representation.

One good thing that's come out of this is certainly the resignation of David Cameron. There was a real danger that this conviction-free, in-it-for-himself politician was going to get through his leadership largely unscathed and then leave at a time of his choosing, possibly viewed as some sort of "success". This was one referendum too far for him, having lied his way through the last one.

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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Clive Brooker » Sat Jun 25, 2016 2:55 pm

I've just returned from a remote Scottish island, and this is all quite a surprise.

I wish people would stop being nice to Cameron, or even worse feeling sorry for him. He gambled Britain as we know it for his own personal gain - an almost unimaginably high stake which he didn't own in the first place - and he lost. I hope this is the legacy that is read about in the history books.

I can't prove anything obviously, but my sense is that a substantial proportion of those who voted leave now regret it. It does seem daft that there should be no escape from the consequences of a legally non-binding referendum if there is clear evidence that the country believes a mistake has been made. If I hit "delete" accidentally I expect the next question to be "are you sure?". It's easy to see why this is a good thing.

It's often been said that the declining interest in recent general elections is due to the traditional political divisions becoming ever more irrelevant in modern society. One aspect of the EU referendum that has received quite a lot of comment is the high turnout, reflecting the strength of opinion widely held on the issue, perhaps now making it the single most important division in modern UK politics. Putting the two together, is it time for the Conservative party to do the honest thing and make its final split, the two factions becoming the basis for the two dominant parties going forwards?

I don't think anyone would have the face to try to invoke a second referendum, but there must be enough "remainers" in parliament to force a general election comfortably within Cameron's three months' notice period. This looks quite easy to justify and having observed what's been happening in the last couple of days, everyone should have a much better idea of what is and isn't scaremongering. And it would be pretty obvious that the real issue in the election is "are you sure?"

It would be nice if the voting age could be 16, but that might be difficult to achieve in the time available.

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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Gavin Chipper » Sat Jun 25, 2016 3:15 pm

Clive Brooker wrote:Putting the two together, is it time for the Conservative party to do the honest thing and make its final split, the two factions becoming the basis for the two dominant parties going forwards?
Steady on!

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Re: EU Referendum

Post by JimBentley » Sat Jun 25, 2016 3:45 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:
Clive Brooker wrote:Putting the two together, is it time for the Conservative party to do the honest thing and make its final split, the two factions becoming the basis for the two dominant parties going forwards?
Steady on!
Aye, that's a bit much!

However, the idea of a General Election later on this year is a very attractive one as (presumably) it wouldn't give the Tories enough time to push through their gerrymandering boundary reforms? If so, I think if Labour ran on a manifesto including the introduction of Proportional Representation (with an informal arrangement with other sympathetic parties for some sort of post-election coalition) combined with a commitment to overturn the referendum result, it could prove to be an interesting result.

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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Rhys Benjamin » Sat Jun 25, 2016 4:48 pm

JimBentley wrote:
Gavin Chipper wrote:
Clive Brooker wrote:Putting the two together, is it time for the Conservative party to do the honest thing and make its final split, the two factions becoming the basis for the two dominant parties going forwards?
Steady on!
Aye, that's a bit much!

However, the idea of a General Election later on this year is a very attractive one as (presumably) it wouldn't give the Tories enough time to push through their gerrymandering boundary reforms? If so, I think if Labour ran on a manifesto including the introduction of Proportional Representation (with an informal arrangement with other sympathetic parties for some sort of post-election coalition) combined with a commitment to overturn the referendum result, it could prove to be an interesting result.
So, in other words, reuse the longest suicide note in history?
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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Heather Styles » Sat Jun 25, 2016 5:18 pm

"This clamour for a second referendum on the EU - surely just a case of sour grapes?" (Rhys Benjamin)

I don't think it's as simple as that, Rhys. I genuinely think that there is a valid parliamentary debate still to be had on the subject. Even if this referendum result stands, and I think it almost certainly will, it is still worth considering the situation for the sake of future referendums. I think 60% would be a better threshold because it would give less weight to those who can't be bothered to vote either way. (At this point, I anticipate someone jumping up and trying to defend why they didn't vote even though they were eligible - I'm afraid I will struggle to find anything polite to say in response to that.)

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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Heather Styles » Sat Jun 25, 2016 5:27 pm

"This clamour for a second referendum on the EU - surely just a case of sour grapes?" (Rhys Benjamin)

I don't think it's as simple as that, Rhys. I genuinely think that there is a valid parliamentary debate still to be had on the subject. Even if this referendum result stands, and I think it almost certainly will, it is still worth considering the situation for the sake of future referendums. I think 60% would be a better threshold because it would give less weight to those who can't be bothered to vote either way. (At this point, I anticipate someone jumping up and trying to defend why they chose not to vote even though they were eligible. I'll be honest, that's not a choice I have much time for.)
Last edited by Heather Styles on Sat Jun 25, 2016 8:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Gavin Chipper » Sat Jun 25, 2016 5:35 pm

Heather Styles wrote:(At this point, I anticipate someone jumping up and trying to defend why they didn't vote even though they were eligible - I'm afraid I will struggle to find anything polite to say in response to that.)
Really though? I think a lot of people didn't like being put in the position of having decide which outcome would be better on such a complex issue. Some people genuinely didn't know which way to vote. Some people were strongly remain, some strongly exit, and if these positions are both reasonable, then why not anywhere along the continuum, including "unsure"? I don't think people should vote just for the sake of it, although people who didn't have an opinion purely because they couldn't be bothered to look into the pros and cons is a bit poor. I think people should research the issues, but "undecided" is a valid outcome from that.

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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Heather Styles » Sat Jun 25, 2016 5:44 pm

As you'll see, I've toned down what I said slightly.

I didn't really like being put in that position, either, but I do think that if at all possible, eligible voters should vote. What I did was to identify some things that I care about (I chose the environment and the Northern Ireland peace process) and make my mind up on the basis of how those things would be affected by our remaining in/leaving the EU. I largely ignored the mainstream media coverage, which I mainly found to be needlessly confrontational and unhelpful, and voted with the courage of my convictions. I commend this to people as a way to try to make a difficult voting decision. If it genuinely is 'undecided' after all that soul-searching, then fair enough, but I don't think this applies to the majority of non-voters.

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Re: EU Referendum

Post by JimBentley » Sat Jun 25, 2016 6:07 pm

Rhys Benjamin wrote:
JimBentley wrote:However, the idea of a General Election later on this year is a very attractive one as (presumably) it wouldn't give the Tories enough time to push through their gerrymandering boundary reforms? If so, I think if Labour ran on a manifesto including the introduction of Proportional Representation (with an informal arrangement with other sympathetic parties for some sort of post-election coalition) combined with a commitment to overturn the referendum result, it could prove to be an interesting result.
So, in other words, reuse the longest suicide note in history?
I'm unsure what you're getting at here, Rhys. Nothing I proposed above bears any relation to the so-called "longest suicide note in history". In fact, didn't part of that manifesto commit to a withdrawal from the (then) EEC?

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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Gavin Chipper » Sat Jun 25, 2016 6:43 pm

By the way, when Jonathan Hill, the UK's EU commissioner, resigned, I expect most people were thinking "Who?" People often complain that they don't know who's running the EU, or who their MEP is. (Actually we each have several MEPs as the UK is divided into regions where several are elected accordingly to a really shit proportional system.) But whose fault is that? The EU's? I don't think so. I blame the media for this. They report what's going on in the UK parliament all the time, but never get into the nuts and bolts of EU politics. It's hardly the fault of the EU that no-one bothers to report on what they're doing!

Edit - It's also generally been portrayed to us that what happens in Europe is done by "them" to "us", rather than us being full and equal member of the EU with as much decision-making power as any other country. As some woman said on Question Time the other week "We are Brussels". I mean, that might be going a bit far, but I see her point.
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Re: EU Referendum

Post by Gavin Chipper » Sat Jun 25, 2016 6:44 pm

Heather Styles wrote:As you'll see, I've toned down what I said slightly.

I didn't really like being put in that position, either, but I do think that if at all possible, eligible voters should vote. What I did was to identify some things that I care about (I chose the environment and the Northern Ireland peace process) and make my mind up on the basis of how those things would be affected by our remaining in/leaving the EU. I largely ignored the mainstream media coverage, which I mainly found to be needlessly confrontational and unhelpful, and voted with the courage of my convictions. I commend this to people as a way to try to make a difficult voting decision. If it genuinely is 'undecided' after all that soul-searching, then fair enough, but I don't think this applies to the majority of non-voters.
I'd agree that most people who don't vote haven't done so because they haven't made the effort.

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