In or out?

Forty-one years ago my partner cast his first vote. As with many people his age, it was in the UK’s first referendum about the Common Market. The forerunner of the EU for anyone not so old or well up on European politics.

Last year, the new UK government (Tory) announced a referendum about remaining in the EU would take place by 2017. The date is set for June 23 this year (2016).

But first:

The usual history lesson (simple version)

Origins of the Common Market came from the aftermath of the Second World War. It was a complex economic environment as Europe started the struggle to rebuild itself after the war. While America was shovelling in billions of dollars under the Marshall Plan (48–51), France, Italy and Belgium were already starting their economic recovery, and in 1951 the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) was formed between France and West Germany.

To supervise the ECSC, several supranational bodies were established, including an executive authority, a council of ministers, an advisory assembly, and a court of justice to settle disputes. Italy and the three nations of the Benelux Economic Union–Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg–soon joined. The groundwork for the EEC was laid.

http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/common-market-founded

And the European Economic Community (EEC), popularly referred to as the Common Market came into being created by the Treaty of Rome in 1957.

By 1961 it was time for expansion. Britain had been disappointed with the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) which was underperforming compared with the EEC. She applied, along with Ireland, Denmark, and Norway, to join.

Then Austria, Cyprus, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland wanted to join too. No matter. De Gaulle was having none of it. Or none of them.

Despite formal requests for entry in 1967 from the four, there was still no progress due to De Gaulle helpfully vetoing the UK’s application. And it would be another six years before three of those four countries joined, 12 from initial application. Norway pulled out after a No vote in a referendum.

Britain, Ireland and Denmark became fully paid-up members in January 1973.

But in 1975, June again (5th), the UK held a referendum to decide whether or not to stay in. A two-to-one vote in favour kept Britain in. Personally, I think the same will happen again.

Interestingly, Greenland (part of Denmark), left in 1986, after a plebiscite.

There is rather a lot of propaganda around about this current referendum.

Firstly, and most importantly, that everyone will be worse off. Because we all think about our own pocket.

Gib. Stronger in Europe. Except … with the frontier closed … life was different
Gib. Stronger in Europe. Except … with the frontier closed … life was different

Second. The NHS will be worse off. Um. As someone who spent 15 years in the NHS I don’t agree with that at all.

Third. Related: health care on holiday. The UK has standard agreements all over the world for reciprocal health care for A&E. Well, apart from America where everyone is advised to take out vast insurance to cope with greedy insurance companies. Leaving the EU would make little difference because Europe doesn’t run on those lines.

Fourth. Everything will be dearer. Houses, electricity, food, gas, you name it. Why? Tariffs?

Fifth. America says we shouldn’t leave. They won’t want to negotiate with us. So what happened pre 1973? And, do we care?

Sixth. Europe won’t negotiate with us. Bollocks. The UK imports a shedload from Europe. Are 27 other countries, soon to be 32, going to refuse to trade?

Seventh. Britain joined the Common Market when there were six counties. Now there are 28. Soon to be 33. It’s not quite the same. Most of those countries, as ever, are not contributors.

Eighth. What added value has the EU brought to Britain? Apart from a few grants in the Highlands and Islands? Why is no one telling us what we have gained?

Ninth. Onto workers’ rights now. Do you really understand the working time directive? It. Is. Meaningless. It sets a maximum hour week that can be voluntarily exempted by a worker who wishes to work more hours.

READ: IF YOU DON’T WORK EXTRA HOURS YOU WILL BE SACKED.

Tenth. Each wave of new EU entrants undercuts the going rate for jobs. If you come from a country with no work and crap wages, you will work for 24 hours a day for peanuts. Absolute peanuts. So all the Rumanians, Bulgarians, Polish, Czechs, Estonians, Latvians, are going to get a jolt in the arse when the Turks and Syrians come in.

But still, that will all be good for the greedy Brit. Working in his or her office in a safe job, propounding middle-class views and getting the cheapest job on the black in their home.

Meanwhile, Gib gets to vote. Ah. Why would that be? Because given the frontier relationship with Spain, Gib will vote in favour. And Brits who have been gone from the UK for up to 15 years can vote too. Ah. Happy Brits ensconced in the Languedoc, Provence, Costa del Viento/Sol. Don’t want their boat rocked.

Manipulation? No. Giving people their rights. Oddly. For the first time in a while. Just don’t bother questioning this decision. Support what the government says.

So. Norway, and Switzerland, both of whom applied to join, have shit economies and don’t trade with the EU? Liechtenstein? Iceland? No. There is life outside the EU.

Believe in WMD. It will all be right in the end. Trust us.

Yeah.

This is capitalism par excellence.

Vote for the EU. Vote for a cheap labour pool. Because that way, there will never, ever be any workers’ rights or trade unions again. Each cheap country that joins brings ever more labour to a struggling workforce. I discussed this with cycling pal Al (well, he cycles, I don’t right now) and he thought Europe would look after workers’ rights. No. Al. Just. No. Unless you are a director on the board of a bailed-out bank. They seem to do all right.

Because my partner has to work for less money now than he was working for forty years ago. Clear? Sure. EU protects workers rights. It’s great. Er. No. Not. At. All. And that’s not pro rata either. It’s the same rate now and as it was in 1976. How many of you are on 1976 wages?

Poor workers
Poor workers

This is what the EU vote is about. Destroying the working classes. Yet again.

For those of you who can read
For those of you who can read

When I was a kid there were 55 million people in the UK. Now there are nearly 70 million. That’s registered. Legal. Supposedly. How on earth are 15 million people creating extra wealth? They aren’t. What part of this do people not understand?

British Prime Minister Edward Heath was pro Europe:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-426827/What-Britain-HADNT-joined-EU.html

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/eu/9770633/The-EU-so-where-did-it-all-go-wrong.html

Other sources: Whitaker’s

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56 comments on “In or out?

  1. Admittedly I’ve been curious as to what’s fully going on with all of this. Here in the U.S., we’re given this view that the EU is more political now than economic. News reports kind of enforce that thought, and so this entire referendum is being viewed more like secession than a vote on economics. As with other reporting, it’s frustrating knowing I’m not getting information that’s helpful about what’s going on in Europe.

    The problems you mention here are notoriously rampant in the U.S. as well. Wages are stagnant, some states are “right-to-work,” which basically means you can get fired for trying to organize labor, and people who play by economic rules often get punished while those who break them flaunt it. And then people who work for a living pay higher taxes while those who don’t get to watch their stock portfolios grow.

    I suppose an important question is: will leaving actually help the people that need it? The cynic in me thinks that given enough time, jackasses with wealth will find a different way of screwing people over.

    Liked by 3 people

    • What’s going on where is probably the question?

      Easy answers.

      1) makes jack shit nada difference to people with adequate money eg pigpen roy and paul handover below.

      2) makes a shedload of difference to people who can’t earn enough money because cheap labour is undercutting the rate.

      Will leaving help? Oh yes.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Roughseas, I think you seriously underestimate the economic position of power that operating in a block provides. I am sure that remaining will reduce the immediate quality of life and wage for all citizens. That said, remaining and taking the economic short term hit, will inevitably bring business and contracts to Britain in the long term. To leave will bolster short term wages and benefits,but will cause the eventual permanent loss of business and manufacturing to imports, an unrecoverable position.

        There is no win, win option. In the short term/long term it is either lose/win or win/lose. And the lose/win scenario will lead to long term maintenance of quality of life.

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        • Paul, thanks for the patronising. I don’t take kindly to it.

          I have lived in the EU, ie the EEC, the EC, the E everything else for forty-one fucking years. It has brought nothing, but absolutely nothing to my life and my country. NOTHING.

          Do tell me why Switzerland, Norway and Liechtenstein aren’t in the EU?

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          • How do you see my comment as patronizing roughseas? It certainly wasn’t intended that way. We have exactly the same problems here in Canada – 2/3 of our retail is imports. We have no manufacturing left. In response we are forming trade agreements with the US, the Pacific Rim, Mexico, etc. That is the best we can do to give us some authority in our economy. You have another choice – to remain in an economic block – one that we are desperately trying to establish for ourselves.

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          • I think you seriously underestimate the economic position of power that operating in a block provides.

            is a good start.

            Next:

            I am sure that remaining will reduce the immediate quality of life and wage for all citizens.

            They are crap anyway.

            That said, remaining and taking the economic short term hit, will inevitably bring business and contracts to Britain in the long term. To leave will bolster short term wages and benefits,but will cause the eventual permanent loss of business and manufacturing to imports, an unrecoverable position.

            Great, but what I want to see is working class people getting a skilled rate for their job. And when immigrants are getting £5 an hour on the black and skilled people can’t get £7.50 legit an hour I think there is something wrong.

            So. Shall we do a rewind?

            Liked by 1 person

        • I think you seriously underestimate the economic position of power that operating in a block provides.

          is a good start.

          Next:

          I am sure that remaining will reduce the immediate quality of life and wage for all citizens.

          They are crap anyway.

          That said, remaining and taking the economic short term hit, will inevitably bring business and contracts to Britain in the long term. To leave will bolster short term wages and benefits,but will cause the eventual permanent loss of business and manufacturing to imports, an unrecoverable position.

          Great, but what I want to see is working class people getting a skilled rate for their job. And when immigrants are getting £5 an hour on the black and skilled people can’t get £7.50 legit an hour I think there is something wrong.

          So. Shall we do a rewind?

          Liked by 1 person

  2. From my personal point of view, our being a vassal state paying monetary tribute in multiple millions to Adolf Hitler’s dream of a united Europe, sticks in my craw. Which I why I, and most ex servicemen and women like me, will vote out! Our fathers were betrayed. Now we’re being betrayed by the very people who we elected into power. More fool us is we vote to stay!!!

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    • Hi Jack. Thanks and interesting comment. My father was RN and voted in :( (back in 1975).
      My Uncle Bill retired as a RAF Wing Co and I reckon he’d vote in. Security. Safety.
      Thirty plus years ago I put a rucksack on my back and went round the world. No mobiles or internet back then. People have no strength or courage any more. Voting out would be the best thing Britain could do for itself. I wish.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Here’s hoping the result is OUT. We’ve stood alone before. We can do it again. Its long past time we put back the word Great before Britain, don’t you think?

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        • Jack, I don’t think out will win. Won’t stop us voting out. And I’ll be posting a couple more blogs about it. But yes, it is time for Great. Whatever happened to our spirit of adventure? I’d be up for whatever.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Absolutely. One of the things I thought of. Under 40? Know no difference. Was it worse before 1973? Was it hell. But, things were different back then … The economy was better to start with. Oh wait, the EU will make it much better. Jeez. How much of this do I need to hear?

            Liked by 1 person

  3. Hmmm, i do believe that you have grasped the tiger by its tail roughseas. I wish you luck. Here’s the problem and it was identified by Socrates 2,500 years ago. A capitalist democracy will transfer wealth more and more from the poor to the rich. This is not cyclical it is terminal – one way only. As wealth gets transferred the rich will trade social freedom for added security. Extrapolated far enough it means that democracies eventually degrade into dictatorships as the wealthy give power to those who will protect their wealth. As the poor grow hungry and see the inequities in the system, revolution becomes more and more likely.

    It is happening around the world as we speak roughseas. If you read blogs from various countries you can see it working in different ways. In your case it is the lowering of wages you are used to because those who are poorer are entering your workforce – and the wealthy are taking advantage by lowering wages and increasing profits. In the US it is playing out with a decreasing middle class, the destruction of property values because the wealthy wanted to get richer, the reduction of freedom by government organizations like the NSA, the increase in class/color prejudices resulting in police brutality and violence, the establishment of gated communities for the rich that have armed guards to protect their possessions (100 years ago the rich lived in the same communities as the poor), (and look at Trump’s popularity as a backlash against corrupt politicians) In Australia, they are reducing government services -even pulling funding from projects like LGBT sensitivity training in the schools, establishing ports in the Great Barrier Reef to export coal to China, they even tried to set up forestry operations on Tasmania which is an international forest and wildlife preserve. the last two governments there have gutted public service and benefits to better attract businesses.

    And when you check the distribution of wealth in the world, it is blatantly obvious that every year more and more of the wealth is owned by fewer and fewer of the wealthy. And the poor get poorer. There are ways for government to address this inequity (like mandatory profit sharing with all employees) but they will not because the rich already control the government and they are not upset by getting wealthier. that said, a number of very high power think tanks in North America have produced reports sounding the alarm. For truly it is the hands of the middle and lower class who generate the wealth and if they are alienated all will become poorer.

    Anyway, on that canvas, the issue of immigrant workers is a part of the overall painting and the picture is becoming clear. Unless we act on it, the end will not be pretty. Oh, and if you turn away those immigrants – the business owners will move the work to the lower cost environment, leaving your country poorer anyway. It has happened here. Our health care system is crumbling because the tax revenue is down because we manufacture very little these days. I am a dialysis patient and am in the hospital for 20 hours a week (including transport) – they stopped allowing us cookies during dialysis because of cost concerns. These cookies are small Peek Freens that cost about 1/8 cent each. They provided a small comfort for those whose condition is terminal. Their impact on the budget would be less than rounding errors.

    Also, I wish you the very best of luck roughseas – the problem you face is just a part of a much larger issue that needs attention. In the end it will likely be more financially viable to be a part of a larger block when confronting the problem, even if it does cause immediate issues.

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    • Paul, there was much about your reply that I liked and agreed with. I’m a Brit living in Southern Oregon that has already sent off a postal vote to Remain. I didn’t have strong feelings either way and went for what, in my judgement, was the safest option.

      In terms of your more general message in that reply you may be interested to read this recent post from Prof. Richard Murphy: http://www.taxresearch.org.uk/Blog/2016/06/10/public-debt-is-the-bedrock-of-private-wealth/

      Early on in that post Richard Murphy writes, “And around the world commentators agree on three things. First, that we need massive new infrastructure investment. Second that we need to get people to work. And third that we need inflation, which can only come from an increase in demand which can only come from rising incomes resulting from getting people to work.”

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      • Thanks for the response Paul (great name!). Absolutely there are steps to be taken to increase economic activity. The overarching factor is the wealth transferal, but within that we can make things better or worse by our actions. Economists are not wrong,they are just looking at a part of the picture.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Paul. What on earth do you know about living in Europe? Seriously? I am concerned that you think you can vote to influence our lives when you live in Oregon. I mean can I vote about life in Oregon? FFS. If you didn’t have strong feelings either way you shouldn’t have voted. It’s not about safety. Or is it about the safety of your finances?
        What on earth was the point of your link? You are turned 70? Yes? What the hell are you talking about regarding getting people to work? My partner, who is 60 in less than two weeks, was running up ten flights of scaffolding two years ago.
        Sure. Getting people to work.

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    • Paul, thanks for your very considered comment. We have talked about employment and discrimination before, so I would have expected no less from you. The problem is, I see no solution. I really don’t. Totally agree with your analysis, but where do we go?

      But larger block? No. At some point we need to strike out for independence.

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      • Independence is no longer an option roughseas -the world has moved on and there is no room to turn it around and too much inertia to even start to turn it. Over 90% of the clothing sold in Britain is now imported. Britain has lost over 60% of its total manufacturing capability in the last 30 years and yet consumption has increased. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2118427/Is-ANYTHING-youre-wearing-Britain.html

        roughseas, the days of independence are gone – driven out by the purchasing habits of the 65 million citizens of Britain. Where their money goes, so goes power and authority and control of the economy – and their money is leaving the country in ever greater amounts in pursuit of bargains and better prices. And when they buy the top made in Vietnam, they are inadvertently importing the lifestyle of Vietnam – health care, government benefits, wages, etc – all of which are attached to the low price of the product your consumers are demanding.

        That said, then it becomes obvious that the only way to reduce the damage being done is to align oneself with the lesser evils – those who are poorer in the EU – to make a power block that can influence imports and maximize the remains of manufacturing and production.

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        • What has buying Vietnamese clothing got to do with the EU? It’s not just 65 mill, it’s the illegal ones, so projected up to 70 mill. How many people do you have in Canada? Second largest country in the world? With a population of 35 mill?

          The EU hasn’t exactly excelled itself over the last 41 years. Has it?

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          • Imports from outside your economic block allow value and profits to exit your reach such that you lose more than if the goods were manufactured within your country or economic block. So, if you stay in the EU, then it is more likely that you could buy lower cost products manufactured within the EU as opposed to Asian markets, This is not the full benefit that would be achieved if the goods were made in Britain, but it is better than importing from non-aligned countries.

            Canada is only tiny – maybe 37 million – that is why we have had to live on exports and imports to survive – from our very inception we have been traders first. As the world becomes more and more integrated the buying power of 70 million decreases. Isolationist policies will be more and more destructive to your economy in the long term as the world gets more integrated.

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  4. Trust you to cut to the heart of the situation as you see it, K. As befits an issue where one will soon have to vote either Yes or No.
    I must admit that, though the biggest branch of my family is British, I haven’t given this issue enough thought. Thanks for expressing your arguments so I can understand a bit better what is at stake.

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    • Depends how old your family are and how settled/well off they are. I come from the generation that thinks of commonwealth people as ‘family’. Sure we enslaved, killed, raped, you name it, so the later generations should at least attempt to redress wrongs. Sorry. That was a bit heavy. Europe, is, another matter.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. You have helpfully provided more background and information than I had on the subject. With insufficient data, though, my gut feeling has always been better out. I don’t see the sense of having non-productive countries riding on the backs of those more successful, and if a country slides into the sort of excellence apathy which has crept into UK products, then going it alone might jack ideas up a bit. Then, based purely on emotion, things British should stay British. In that way, perhaps, I am a racist. Just as I find it hard to become enthusiastic about sports teams supposedly representing a particular country or area, but whose members have actually been ‘bought’ from all over the place.

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    • I haven’t even started on the history!!
      The non-productive one is a big issue. Britain has always been a big contributor to the EU. Logically, who in their right minds says, I’ll pay into something that costs more than I gain? Really? We joined France, Germany, Italy plus Benelux. Now we are 28 plus another five. And I bet the other five aint net contributors.
      I agree. Going alone might give Britain the jolt it needs. The EU won’t.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I have experienced both non Europe and half my life in Europe. and all I can see is that since being in it we seem to be struggling to keep our NHS working and forever paying off a debt that all parties blame the other. Racist or not our language seems to be in the process of change.. and I cannot believe a word any politician says. They just want to scare monger us all and run the other down instead of telling us public what is what. not what might be or if’s and but’s… a poor mans view. I do not see myself as European.

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  7. We’ve been watching with great inerest. (Thanks for a run down on all the background from your experience and knowledge – you know how slanted “news” here can get)
    First workers seem to be treated more and more poorly everywhere. Forced to work unreported overtime or lose their jobs.Forced to work contracts to avoid overtime and any benefits.
    Next, it’s the current President that says he won’t trade/negociate if Britain leaves. Not the Congress or much of the public. When he said that statement a large number of people in the US thought “WTF. Shut up you idiot and stop trying to tell others how to run their country. Get your own house in order” …but he appears to find that less interesting. This president is very much a one world person – not all are. There are hazards at this point in time.
    Next, power corrupts ( see above)
    The world looks pretty turbulent right now. Rather grim with everything considered.
    Roll the dice and let’s see. Outcome will be interesting

    Liked by 1 person

    • Um. Not sure if it is of interest over there?
      Absolutely agree about workers. Temporary contracts, low wages, just. Rubbish. A tually here, forced overtime. On standard pay.
      Obama isn’t on his own. France and Germany have chimed in. More I hear abput other countries saying IN, more I think OUT.
      Yeah. Not good. When I was young …

      Liked by 1 person

      • Very much of interest. It is a world economy (and this area is pretty international – maybe Waco or Idaho or insulated areas are yawning. But like the pebble dropped into a quiet lake, it will impact so many places eventually.)
        A period of great change – something many could not have anticipated in their lifetime.

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  8. Meanwhile back at the ranch… the poor and down trodden continue to get the shaft. It is the same here. The wealthy are not paying their share of the taxes. One day I expect our countries are going to collapse. It seems there is a logical answer but there is too much corruption to change things for the better.

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  9. I didn’t know Gib could vote… isn’t that unfair giving their will naturally side with Spain as “in” ref with many of the folk not being real Brits! Or is it just British Nationals that can vote? I’m kinda confused to be honest. Now letting Brits abroad vote… sure. I’ve no issue with that. How come we are not told that over here, do you think?

    I actually thought, you might be in, being that your livelihood could be affected in some way or other… Uncertain Outcomes? Of course, seeing what you’ve said about workers with you and A having first hand experience, it makes more sense. Personally, as you mentioned here… I’m still wondering why they haven’t outlined the benefits of staying in and been clear to us about what Britain gains from it. I actually have a clearer picture of the “out” despite relevant uncertainties.

    Pat and I are voting leave because we strongly believe it will create a stronger Britain with a better economy, plus they’re always debating changing pound to euro… that would be a catastrophe and we’d get screwed big time, just like we did when pound went decimal! Out of Europe would make that one far less likely! Anyway, babbling here! :D

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    • Yeah. I was a bit surprised. Immediate cynical reaction was … like yours.

      Anyone in Gib who is registered to vote can, er, vote. Because Gibs are British citizens … Then, there are the Brits abroad for up to 15 years who can vote too. Because expats wanting health care and crappity crappity are likely to vote IN. Like Gibbos. The sudden extension of the vote leaves me wondering. If you read above, Paul, in America has voted. Seriously? A Brit in Oregon?

      Totally agree with your comment. I used to think joining the euro would happen. I have totally reversed my view. Fuck the euro, and fuck europe. Decimalisation was just another way of devaluation. I have my nice coin set from 1971 :D

      You know, reading A’s fb pages, the OUT people are Yorkshire, Scottish, a few Welsh, the INs are southerners. Says something.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah, figures… pretty much anyone south of the Yorkshire border’s foreign anyway. I don’t get the brit in Oregon. I knew I could when I was over there, but never saw the point since it didn’t affect me in anyway whatsoever. I can understand those in EU since it could possibly change things for them, but America? I guess spending almost 20yrs over there didn’t change me that much, Yorkshire must run in the blood. :D

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        • Once a Tyke always a Tyke?
          I still think this is a class thing. Or rather money. Have money, live down south, makes no difference.
          Don’t have money, struggle to work, live up north …
          Nothing changes.
          And yes. Voting from America? Really? To affect our rights? Something wrong there.

          Liked by 1 person

  10. I Haven’t lived there for over 30 years so my take is probably meaningless.
    Though I was drawn to two points:

    1. Paul’s example regarding local manufacture and imported clothing touched a nerve I can relate to.
    Our local clothing manufacturing industry has all but shut up shop due to Chines/Asian imports.
    There are probably a number of other industries that have suffered in this manner – I know there are ChinaMalls springing up all over.
    If such local industries could not be protected in the UK ( or much of the world I suspect) how do you see an improvement in this area by pulling out?

    2. Why should people who no longer live in the UK ( like me for example) ( unless they are overseas temporarily) – and I presume pay taxes where they are living – have any say in this issue?

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    • You’ve been out longer than us, although we had started living abroad more than 30 years ago too. Because of where we live now though, we do meet a lot of people who go back and forth. Last time I was there was around ten years ago I think. Didn’t seem much different to me, still didn’t want to be there. But, had I gone back to my home town it might have been different. A tourist was chatting to A over a coffee this werk. She came from a few miles away in the West Riding. I thought she was going to have been talking about Pakistanis and the Sharia Court in my home town. No. She spoke about Eastern Europeans sleeping on the streets! It is bloody cold and uncomfortable there, I tell you, but I struggle to imagine that. I think in middle class (dead?;)) suburbia life trundles on nicely. In the shitholes it doesn’t.
      I saw a fantastic facebook link about the amount of industry taken out of the UK due to EU grants. Most depressing. But what is weird, the money and jobs go out, yet the migrants continue to look for the British pot of gold. One Bulgarian (I think) said recently there is no work there. At all. So earning £10 or £15 a day in Gib is better than that. But this sort of migration is hardly enriching the economy with a skilled intellectual workforce as our leaders would have us believe.
      I think the growth of China etc isn’t an EU related issue. More like greed, capitalism and global trading. In or out would be irrelevant.
      People living elsewhere, especially in Gib, Spain, elsewhere in Europe, are more likely to vote in. That’s why they get a say. That’s why Cameron flew into Gib the other day but cancelled his rally because of the death of Jo Cox. Unless he thought he wasn’t going to get a good turn-out. Because people we knew said they wouldn’t go out of principle. First British PM to visit Gib in nearly 50 years? And before that Churchill during the war? Desperate comes to mind.

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      • I think the growth of China etc isn’t an EU related issue.

        It must surely have some sort of knock-on effect. If the local economy is weakened through massive amounts of Asian imports, then Eastern Europeans as well as refugees etc coming looking for work/better life can only weaken an already weakened situation. Or am I misreading this?

        Had to Google Jo Cox. Don’t generally read or watch news. Rough business.

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        • Impact yes. Directly related no.

          I don’t see that letting ever more people jump onto a sinking island (GB) helps anyone. As usual people aren’t looking at wider solutions to anything. Jo Public wants a job. Jo goes to where they can get the chance of work, illegally or legally. Jo gets employed. Lives in a cheap rent share flat. Better than Jo had somewhere else. By doing this, Jo takes away from someone else’s chance to earn money. It’s life and life ain’t fair. How many Brits are rushing to Eastern Europe to earn money? I mean? Seriously!

          That’s the issue for many working class people. Their livelihood is being eroded by cheap imports, so to speak.

          The Jo Cox attack was very coincidentally timed. I guess you never saw GBH (Robert Lindsay – foxy/wolfie/etc)? Conspiracy theory par excellence.

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          • This reminds a bit of Enoch Powell in the sixties.
            While I appreciate the sentiment, based on the past I suspect little of any real substance would change.

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          • None. But if local economies are ”allowed” to go to wrack and ruin because of an apparent failure to regulate the undermining effects of massive amounts of Asian imports, how is opting out of the EU necessarily going to prevent a continued influx of refugees/eastern Europeans?
            And why are steps not be taken to stem the tide at the moment?

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          • So, I’ve lived in three. Newcastle, Liverpool and West Yorkshire.

            Newcastle was a class issue. The other two were primarily race and class. Liverpool = Caribbean, WY = pakistani, specifically Muslim. Of all the riots that was the worst.

            This is what frightens people. Add that, to lack of work when yet more people come in to work for less, is why people want to vote out? Racism? Fear? Lack of money? These aren’t people who think their European holidays will be made more difficult. These are people struggling. They see ever more immigrants changing and ruining their life.

            How about the Bulgarian council workers who work on the black on the weekend for £175 a day? Not content with one job, they want black work too. Greed? Possibly?

            Opting out of the EU should stop the influx. That’s the reason why people are voting out. They are sick of it.

            Why is the government not doing anything? Is that your question? Ha! Just Ha!

            Like

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