It's A Deal
February 19, 2016 3:53 PM   Subscribe

BBC: David Cameron says a deal struck with EU leaders will give the UK "special status" and he will campaign with his "heart and soul" to stay in the union. The PM said the agreement, reached late on Friday after two days of talks in Brussels, would include a seven-year "emergency brake" on welfare payments. He added the deal included changes to EU treaties and would be presented to his cabinet on Saturday at 10:00 GMT. EU exit campaigners said the "hollow" deal offered only "very minor changes". posted by marienbad (71 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
 
Man, David Cameron is just... words fail me.
posted by My Dad at 4:00 PM on February 19, 2016 [2 favorites]


The UK will also be able to enact emergency safeguards to protect the City of London...

Thank God the financiers are safe!
posted by Celsius1414 at 4:01 PM on February 19, 2016 [27 favorites]


I think the EU should tell the UK this.

Full membership, including the Euro, or GTFO.

Let's see if Lord Pigheadfucker is willing to destroy the UK economy.
posted by eriko at 4:01 PM on February 19, 2016 [21 favorites]


Speaking as someone who is likely to be personally screwed over if the UK leaves the EU, I have to say I really rather hope it doesn't.

As far as I can tell, the main impetus behind the push to leave is, "Oh no! Legal immigrants! Coming over here and working and paying taxes and contributing to the economy! But doing it while being FOREIGN!"

The whole thing seems monumentally idiotic. This does not fill me with any great hope that it won't happen anyway.
posted by kyrademon at 4:08 PM on February 19, 2016 [12 favorites]


Yeah, and the Tories keep playing that card. Call the bluff. Join or Leave, no more half-ass sort of Europe but no not Europe BS.

Leave the EU, or join it completely.
posted by eriko at 4:11 PM on February 19, 2016 [2 favorites]


Not joining the euro was probably one of the smarter decisions the UK government has made in decades.
posted by Automocar at 4:14 PM on February 19, 2016 [20 favorites]


I really despair that there's any hope for my country at this point. Might as well put a wall around it country, hang up a sign "TORYSHITHOLESTAN - closed for business".
posted by Artw at 4:15 PM on February 19, 2016 [6 favorites]


Full membership, including the Euro, or GTFO.

Problem is, thanks to the incessant drumbeat of the majority of the British press, Britain is primed to vote no, just to tell Jacques and Fritz and all their wine-drinking, garlic-eating buddies where to stick their union, in Uncle Rupert's own words. Any such demands would leave no doubt as to the outcome. And while that would be a spectacular own goal for Britain (except perhaps for various hedge-fund bankers who seem quite keen on it), it'd also cause problems in Europe, emboldening other cantankerous rejectionists (not to mention the wolf at the Eastern door, Putin, who has been discreetly funding such groups), and upsetting the balance (some have said that in a UK-less Europe, the southern economies would be able to gang up on Germany and the north; which may be a good thing if you're Greece, but is a huge problem if you have investments in the north).
posted by acb at 4:21 PM on February 19, 2016 [6 favorites]


There is also the (ill-advised, in my opinion) leftist case for Brexit.
posted by dhens at 4:21 PM on February 19, 2016


Man, David Cameron is just... words fail me.

Pig heads, dude.
posted by Jessica Savitch's Coke Spoon at 4:25 PM on February 19, 2016 [4 favorites]


How'd the pig heads fail My Dad?
posted by MikeKD at 4:27 PM on February 19, 2016 [1 favorite]


Let's see if Lord Pigheadfucker is willing to destroy the UK economy.

Given that he's doing everything he can to keep the UK in the EU while not destroying his party over an issue that has divided it for generations, I can't see why you'd think he would be.

He's a ham-faced Eton prick and I despise him, but he's not trying to get out of the EU.
posted by howfar at 4:34 PM on February 19, 2016 [8 favorites]


I'm not in the UK so I have no horse in this race, but it seems to me the more-or-less status quo is the way to go (in the EU, not in the Euro). The Euro has no upside for the UK that I can see, they have greatly benefited from not being in it. Leaving the EU however does not seem like a wise idea, and the campaign for it seems to be based on things other than what would really benefit them.
posted by thefoxgod at 4:39 PM on February 19, 2016 [4 favorites]


He's just doing some weird shitty xenophobic thing to appease the people who want to leave the EU. It won't actually work, but at least it will be shitty. Which is basically their MO.
posted by Artw at 4:40 PM on February 19, 2016 [3 favorites]


It's depressing, but this might be as good an outcome as was possible for a pro Europe lefty like me. It takes the "immigrants on welfare" argument away from the right, the majority of politicians will support the stay campaign, and life goes on. I hope.
posted by Ned G at 4:42 PM on February 19, 2016 [2 favorites]


except perhaps for various hedge-fund bankers who seem quite keen on it
It would be completely and utterly bonkers for the UK to leave the EU, from a banking perspective. There's a huge amount of financial business in London, in no small part due to access to European markets. The London Clearing House clears about €165bn net notional of Euro-denominated derivatives contracts every day. Half the point of the EU was to harmonize regulation and business so that you didn't need to do so much paperwork just to sell your stuff in another country. Most of the big banks have their European headquarters in London, which would make much less sense if London were to stop being in Europe.

I mean, yeah, sure, bonus tax and transaction tax and whatever. That's still better than there being no business at all .
posted by doop at 4:45 PM on February 19, 2016 [3 favorites]


He's a ham-faced Eton prick

I... see what you did there.
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:59 PM on February 19, 2016 [13 favorites]


The Euro has no upside for the UK that I can see, they have greatly benefited from not being in it.

I don't see the evidence for the second statement. The UK has had a slower and shakier recovery then some Eurozone states, and a better one than others.

The Euro is a distraction from the actual fuck up in European economic policy, which was austerity. And the UK fucked that particular pig's head with deep, enthusiastic and ultimately unsatisfactory thrusts. The fact that everyone else was doing it is not an excuse.
posted by howfar at 5:03 PM on February 19, 2016 [12 favorites]


I... see what you did there.

After this thread I am not sure many of us will be ordering many portions of Eton Mess when summer finally comes.
posted by howfar at 5:05 PM on February 19, 2016 [2 favorites]


To be honest, I'm always expecting Cameron to fuck Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain.
posted by lmfsilva at 5:33 PM on February 19, 2016 [14 favorites]


I'm torn.

On the one hand, I'm as English as you get, and I love a zillion things about English culture and history and the sort of nation we can be if we let ourselves. I also feel intensely European, because despite everything we hatched the Enlightenment and pulled away from medievalism and did some damn fine things together. It is unthinkable that the UK by itself could do better than as part of the EU, because why should we be able to influence 190 nations more than we can influence a tenth of that number?

On the other, I live in Scotland. Brexit would trigger a second indyref, and this time it would go the other way to the first, the Scots not being stupid. Which would mean an end to the Union, which being a very English Brit I do not want to happen, but would also mean I lived in a centrist community-minded country with No Fucking Tories.

Personally, I would love that. But, seeing what it would do to our science and engineering and culture and the economy and the prospect for a better world overall, I fear I must side with Cameron and hope very strongly that Brexit does not happen.
posted by Devonian at 5:42 PM on February 19, 2016 [8 favorites]


Oh no! Legal immigrants! Coming over here and working and paying taxes and contributing to the economy! But doing it while being FOREIGN!

Don't forget their godawful children, getting benefits to do things like buy shoes. Thank Christ Cameron's put a stop to that, eh?

Seriously, one of his four big "wins", a thing he fought hard for days to get, something ranking along with protecting City financiers from regulation and exempting the UK from ever-closer union was .... a cut in benefits paid for children.

And all to appease a right-wing press that is flat-out lying to its readers about the true condition of migration, migrants and the EU in general. Actual lives will be damaged for the slightest of marginal political gains, if that.

I think I actually loathe these people.
posted by bonaldi at 5:47 PM on February 19, 2016 [19 favorites]


The Euro is a distraction from the actual fuck up in European economic policy, which was austerity.

The euro made the austerity far worse.

Spain, for instance, collapsed in a depression when the housing bubble burst. What a country would normally do in this case is depreciate its currency. Salaries and prices stay the same in pesetas, but become much cheaper in francs and marks, boosting exports and the economy.

With the euro, this isn't an option. European monetary policy is run for the benefit of Germany. (And even there, 4% inflation would help everyone including the Germans, but they won't hear of it.)
posted by zompist at 6:07 PM on February 19, 2016 [12 favorites]


(And even there, 4% inflation would help everyone including the Germans, but they won't hear of it.)

When the Weimar Republic's hyperinflation resulted in the rise of Hitler I don't blame them for being kind of antsy.
posted by Talez at 6:20 PM on February 19, 2016 [1 favorite]


"I don't see the evidence for the second statement. The UK has had a slower and shakier recovery then some Eurozone states, and a better one than others. The Euro is a distraction from the actual fuck up in European economic policy, which was austerity."

Austerity is the primary problem, but not having sovereign control over your monetary policy and having it instead be shackled to the preferences of a particular high-savings, export-driven economy is the secondary problem that has powerful interactions with the other. So, yeah, Britain has greatly benefited by not being in the eurozone. Things would have been even worse in the euro with this amount of austerity, although it should be conceded that the BoE certainly hasn't had an expansionary inclination. Which is to say, even with this level of austerity, it could have been even less bad than it was. And then without the stupid austerity, Britain could have experienced a recovery like the US has, instead of the mess it inflicted on itself.

But I think it bears repeating again and again: while Wall Street's influence on the American political culture and the media coverage of the economy is very badly distorting, it's not nearly as bad as the degree to which the City of London financiers dominate British conventional thought about economics. The UK has proportionally the largest finance sector of all the advanced economies.

"When the Weimar Republic's hyperinflation resulted in the rise of Hitler I don't blame them for being kind of antsy."

I'm pretty sure that someone here has told you that this isn't true. Right? I'm guessing that you've learned this, several times, and even looked it up and verified that this bit of legend isn't true ... and then immediately purged the truth from your mind because the legend is so much more convenient. Ironically, the proximate economic cause of the "rise of Hitler" was deflation and the years of hyperinflation had been long in the past.

Here's a quote from a 2013 Economist piece on the topic:
This narrative is often cited in explaining Germany's resistance to policies aimed at solving the euro-area crisis, such as quantitative easing or Eurobonds. Yet academics paint a very different picture of this period than the story occasionally related in the German press. The Nazi party did not become a popular political force until long after the hyperinflation period ended. The Nazis only won 32 Reichstag seats in the election of May 1924, and just 12 in 1928. As Paul Krugman has pointed out, “the 1923 hyperinflation didn’t bring Hitler to power; it was the Brüning deflation” of the early-1930s.

A study of hyperinflation published earlier this year by the British historian Frederick Taylor has confirmed that the Nazis benefitted much more from deflation than they did from rising prices. Although hyperinflation played a role in destabilising German politics and weakening its institutions in the 1920s, it was deflation and depression during the early-1930s that “brought the toxic plant into fruit” in the form of Nazism.

The hyperinflation of 1923 created winners and losers among the middle classes (those with mortgages or debts found some relief while those with savings lost them). Middle-class votes subsequently splintered between several different parties, such as the Economic Party of the German Middle Class.

Yet virtually all classes lost out when Brüning’s government reacted to a projected fiscal deficit and gold outflows in 1930 with deflationary policies. The resulting economic tailspin hurt most groups in German society. Unemployment surged among both the working and middle classes. Businessmen went bankrupt. Civil servants were either laid off or had their wages repeatedly slashed. Creditors lost their savings and debtors had their homes repossessed when the banking system collapsed in 1931. The experience of deflation made Hitler’s promises to conquer unemployment and stabilise prices by any means necessary attractive to a wide range of groups in German society, making it into a mass political movement across Germany for the first ever time in the early-1930s. The rest, as they say, is history.
The hyperinflation was 1923. Hitler came into power in 1933. Here's the German unemployment rate between 1928 and 1935. You'll note that in 1928 it was 5% and in 1932 it peaked at over 30%. Which do you think gave rise to massive discontent in 1933: memories of hyperinflation ten years in the past, or one-in-three unemployment right then?
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 7:06 PM on February 19, 2016 [37 favorites]


I'm just waiting for that moment a week before the vote when the Queen casually makes her views known.
posted by Juso No Thankyou at 7:39 PM on February 19, 2016 [3 favorites]


He's a ham-faced Eton prick and I despise him, but he's not trying to get out of the EU.

I'm not so sure. As Devonian points out upthread, a UK exit from the EU would probaby compel a Scottish secession from the UK. And then you'd have a rump successor state England+Wales+NI with Tory plurality rule for quite some time. It's a gamble, but the Tories like gambling and at least some of them are considering this calculus.
posted by meehawl at 9:28 PM on February 19, 2016 [1 favorite]


Ivan Fyodorovich: "I'm pretty sure that someone here has told you that this isn't true. Right? I'm guessing that you've learned this, several times, and even looked it up and verified that this bit of legend isn't true ... and then immediately purged the truth from your mind because the legend is so much more convenient. Ironically, the proximate economic cause of the "rise of Hitler" was deflation and the years of hyperinflation had been long in the past."

This is one of those things where it doesn't matter if a sound bite is true or not if enough people think it is true. See also Immigrants are stealing jobs for another falsehood that still swings public opinion and voters. I have no idea how many Germans think inflation=>Hitler is true though.
posted by Mitheral at 10:48 PM on February 19, 2016


From ConHome a few days ago:
The usual course of events in these affairs is that after “eyeball to eyeball exchanges” in which “veto was threatened” other European leaders “blink first” after talks “stretch deep into the night” concluding in “a good deal for Britain” representing “game, set and match” to the Prime Minister who “played a blinder”...

Much of the reporting of any deal will, as is inevitable under the circumstances, be partial, spin-vulnerable and even completely wrong.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 11:14 PM on February 19, 2016 [1 favorite]


So "the deal" is to starve those nasty immigrant children and try and make The City of London immune from the consequences of Brexit.

Can't we just feed the kids and DTMFCityOFLondon instead?
posted by fullerine at 12:29 AM on February 20, 2016 [1 favorite]


The money is currently on Britain voting to stay in, possibly by a significant margin. The media will, as per the last election, spin the vote as "close" to keep readers/viewers, whatever the true intentions of voters.

Frankly, and not for the first time, I feel somewhat embarrassed to be English by birth (it's a complex love-hate thing, mainly being 'love England but not that fond of the English'). The UK already was in an advantageous deal, much to the increasing chagrin of Europe. Rather than stay in the core of Europe and fight to make the system better (and there is a lot that needs to be made better), the UK government position is "We want an even better and lopsided arrangement to protect important things like the financial City of London, or we're off".

(Side point: it's amusing when English folk think we keep coming near-bottom in Eurovision just because of crap tunes. As my cousin observed after his first trip to the continent: "Oh; 'they' ... don't seem to like us. I thought us English were loved and the Europeans hated the Americans instead")

It looks like I'm eligible to vote, but I'm conflicted on which way to vote. My natural instinct is to vote for staying in: a better market, exports, reciprocal deals for English folk who venture elsewhere in Europe and withdrawing will have a disastrous effect on academic research funding in the UK, as a chunk of that comes from EU consortium project stuff e.g. Horizon 2020. I'd rather the UK stayed in and helped Make Europe Great Ag... um, make Europe better and fairer, and also I'd like to vote against the more than a few English people voting to leave on the basis of:

1. The newspapers (who are mostly virulently anti-Europe) have repeatedly told them to.
2. Have a superiority complex i.e. better-than-Europe attitude, and my god do a lot of English people still bang on about "The War" as in WW2.
3. Fear of refugees from Syria.
4. Just straight and increasingly open racism, ignoring inconvenient truths such as the ancestry of many English people, the beloved NHS collapsing without non-UK workers, and so forth.

Yeah, so I'd like to vote against the standard football-loving, lager-drinking "I'm not a racist but..." English person who seems to make up a large part of the demographic nowadays.

But on the other hand, the two reasons I have for voting for leave are:

1. The UK would leaving would accelerate the breakup of the UK, as it becomes much more likely that, if the English vote was "leave" and the Scottish vote was "stay" that there'd be another indyref and this time Scotland would be out, Wales may follow in another decade, and perhaps the regions e.g. the north, Cornwall, will get a measure of true federalism rather than be run by an aristocracy from a City within a City.

2. Europe perhaps deserves better than the UK, and the UK leaving would be less of a drain, distraction and complication on Europe. It may make it stronger.

So, I don't know. All I do know is that, personally, the UK leaving will give me the kick up the arse to finally move citizenship to somewhere else.
posted by Wordshore at 12:29 AM on February 20, 2016 [7 favorites]


Britain is primed to vote no, just to tell Jacques and Fritz and all their wine-drinking, garlic-eating buddies where to stick their union

There is actually a strong case being put for Brexit from the left (in fact the term 'Lexit' has been used for this).

"The EU is irreversibly committed to privatisation, welfare cuts, low wages and the erosion of trade union rights. This is why the dominant forces of British capitalism and the majority of the political elite are in favour of staying in the EU."


I'll be voting for out.

(And wine recently overtook beer as Britain's favourite alcoholic drink. You'll actually encounter far less casual racism in Britain, at least in the big cities, than in, say, France. Try getting a white collar job if you have a Muslim name in Paris, for example.)
posted by colie at 2:16 AM on February 20, 2016 [2 favorites]


"The EU is irreversibly committed to privatisation, welfare cuts, low wages and the erosion of trade union rights. This is why the dominant forces of British capitalism and the majority of the political elite are in favour of staying in the EU."

But so are the majority of the Out campaign.

The majority of labour protections in the UK are derived from European law.

I find it hard to conceive of an Out future which does not involve economic stagnation and a lurch to the right. The likely outcome seems to be that the extreme right wing of the Tory party would end up ascendant for around a decade and ongoing international shifts away from austerity would be ignored in favour of their ongoing Hayekian frenzy. Why do you think it would facilitate a move to the left?
posted by howfar at 2:35 AM on February 20, 2016 [5 favorites]


Britain is primed to vote no, just to tell Jacques and Fritz and all their wine-drinking, garlic-eating buddies ...

... And wine recently overtook beer as Britain's favourite alcoholic drink


England. Verbally superior to "those Europeans", but secretly envying and wishing they were more like them :)
posted by Wordshore at 2:40 AM on February 20, 2016


I'd so love to see England leave the E.U. and Scotland leave the U.K., well ideally Wales too. It'd help pave the way for a financial collapse to really wipe out the City of London. That'd be real progress!
posted by jeffburdges at 3:42 AM on February 20, 2016


Listening to the cousin of her Majesty do his spiel at the podium in Downing Street. No surprises:

- Dave is pro staying in.
- Cabinet members can say what they want, vote how they want.
- The deal means the UK will never join the Euro, be part of a European Army, do other things etc.
- The date of the referendum is Thursday, 23rd June 2016.
posted by Wordshore at 4:23 AM on February 20, 2016


I want to respond to some of the arguments made on this thread.

1) Indyref

Honestly, I don't see how this is going to happen. Any government realistically likely to be elected in the UK for the next 20 to 30 years is going to say, "You just HAD an independence referendum, the people spoke, no backsies, kthxbye!" So yes, I'm sure a big chunk of Scotland is going to *want* to leave if the UK leaves the EU, but they're not going to get the chance.

2) The right-wing EU

Leaving the EU because it is too right-wing only makes sense if the UK as a whole is LESS right-wing than the EU as a whole. It isn't. It's more right-wing. So I really doubt that banks and big businesses are quivering in fear that the UK government is going to slap all kinds of regulations and restrictions on them once they break away from the clutches of the EU, because that's not going to happen.

In fact, I think the banks and big businesses are afraid of exactly what everyone says is going to happen -- leaving the EU is going to completely tank the economy, which isn't good for anybody. I'm getting a slight sense of "the banks are against it so we should be for it" with this argument, which isn't true if the banks are against it because it's going to shutter businesses and throw tens of thousands of people out of work and things like that, which tends to eat into their profits as well as causing problems for everyone else, too.

(And while it hasn't been raised on this thread except, I think, in jest, I'd like to say in advance that "tanking the economy and letting thousands starve in the streets is just what the left wing needs to make a comeback!", which I've heard elsewhere, is a terrible argument both because it's extremely unlikely to work and because it's ethically revolting.)
posted by kyrademon at 4:28 AM on February 20, 2016 [5 favorites]


tanking the economy and letting thousands starve in the streets

That's exactly what the EU did to Greece.
posted by colie at 4:38 AM on February 20, 2016


> "That's exactly what the EU did to Greece."

I'm not sure why that would make anyone in favor of it happening, which is what I'm arguing against there.
posted by kyrademon at 4:41 AM on February 20, 2016 [1 favorite]


Greece is proof that EU membership provides no benefits for the people of a member state if their interests clash with those of finance and big business. The entire thing is rotten to the core.

the banks and big businesses are afraid of exactly what everyone says is going to happen -- leaving the EU is going to completely tank the economy


They have all the exceptions they need for finance capital to carry on in London without fear of even the tiniest bit of EU regulation and so now are very keen to remain in.

There is not a snowflake's chance in hell of Brexit, but the left might get to make some important arguments in the upcoming months.
posted by colie at 5:01 AM on February 20, 2016 [1 favorite]


I would be interested to hear you make them.
posted by howfar at 5:03 AM on February 20, 2016


An inter-government deal for special status and special amendments to EU treaties - and not a peep from anyone about how this is counter to anything the EU is supposed to stand for? Because it's ok to disregard principles of fairness to keep the EU alive, right?

Also, no details on whether the ban on benefits applies also to British citizens in the rest of the EU? That was supposed to be part of the deal, as would be only fair. There is no legal basis to justify the EU allowing the ban in the UK, without requiring the same treament for British citizens outside the UK, or?
posted by bitteschoen at 5:18 AM on February 20, 2016 [2 favorites]


Cameron is a puppet. The people who decide this shit do not answer questions from reporters, ever.
posted by bukvich at 5:47 AM on February 20, 2016


I'm perpetually frustrated by the fifteen year limit on overseas voting. Having an overseas MP (which is what France does) wouldn't really do anything policy-wise, though it might be nice to have someone taking our lives into account. (Remember when they wanted to do in-person interviews for passports? Rural Scotland put paid to that plan, I think. It was only half noticed that it's totally impractical for many people to travel to a consulate.) But for something like this, which obviously has implications for anyone with a British passport, regardless of where they live (and especially so if they live elsewhere in the EU), why the heck don't we get to vote?
posted by hoyland at 6:11 AM on February 20, 2016


Cameron is a puppet. The people who decide this shit do not answer questions from reporters, ever.

There is not a small shadowy conspiracy controlling the world. It's a huge open conspiracy, and it most certainly includes David Cameron. The number of people with real political power is tiny in terms of the global population, but it still numbers in the tens of thousands worldwide.
posted by howfar at 6:15 AM on February 20, 2016 [4 favorites]


Cameron is a puppet. The people who decide this shit do not answer questions from reporters, ever.

Yes, because unfortunately, these people are the reporters. I'll be shocked if I come across any genuine debate beyond the gallons and gallons of FUD being chucked about already.
posted by Juso No Thankyou at 6:49 AM on February 20, 2016


It's not really an "it's the same both ways" issue for about 4 million to 5 million people who are either UK citizens living outside the UK in the EU, or non-UK EU citizens living in the UK. Among many others who will be affected.
posted by kyrademon at 7:12 AM on February 20, 2016 [6 favorites]


Ugh. I *just* moved here 6 weeks ago from the Netherlands, to start a new academic position. My research is based in Germany and my academic activities require moving all over Europe on a near-monthly basis with several yearly trips overseas. When working in NL (and earlier, in Germany), this intra-EU mobility was effortless; as a Canadian with a NL work visa, I could move about as I needed. Now that I'm based in the UK, every trip involves passport controls and the UK imposes many more rules about the mobility of foreigners on work visas. And now, THIS. If the UK exits the EU, I'll be looking for the first halfway-decent position on the continent. My professional and intellectual home-base is the EU as a whole.

The irony: a lot of my current research involves the ethnographic study of music-driven mobility in/around Berlin.
posted by LMGM at 7:40 AM on February 20, 2016 [3 favorites]


neither side here are offering anything other than yet more ways of handing yet more of Britain over to big, private business. There's just nothing on either side for me as an average person in terms of quality of life, security, stability.

Apart from the legal protections that are results of EU membership (although that doesn't include the ECHR, that's a completely different treaty, although there are broader political links). The fact is that the UK has terrifyingly little constitutional protection of any kind of rights whatsoever, while the EU provides at least some protections in terms of labour, safety and consumer law (not sexy, but important). The notion that the EU is preventing us from implementing better worker protections is, from my perspective farcical. Are the Scandinavian states prevented from running the sort of social democratic models that most of us here would love to achieve? Of course they aren't.

All I'm seeing in this thread to suggest that people on the left should do anything but vote In is a general sense of dislike. Yes. I dislike lots of things about the EU. I dislike the CAP, for example, which distorts markets and drives many developing world farmers into poverty. I dislike the lack of power in the European Parliament, and the excessive power held by the Council (mainly) and the Commission (to a lesser extent). I dislike the fact that some countries (e.g. France) are allowed to lag years behind compliance with directives that don't suit them. But these are soluble problems.

What is not a soluble problem is the collapse of the British economy. Maybe in the midst of a global boom we might avoid that (although I'm not sure), but when all signals are pointing towards a shaky or possibly disastrous five years ahead. Fuck me. Not voting In? Fair enough. Your vote. But still...Jesus...
posted by howfar at 7:57 AM on February 20, 2016 [5 favorites]


Cameron’s deal is the wrong one: but Britain must stay in... according to Jeremy Corbyn in the grauniad
posted by Mister Bijou at 10:06 AM on February 20, 2016 [3 favorites]


That's a decent article and positions the Labour Party where it needs to be on this - arguing for the pragmatic benefits of EU membership and leaving the ideological infighting to the Tories.
posted by howfar at 10:13 AM on February 20, 2016 [1 favorite]


From the House of Commons Library:

EU referendum: impact of an EU exit in key UK policy areas
posted by Wordshore at 10:17 AM on February 20, 2016 [1 favorite]


I guess what I'm finding a little upsetting about this thread is that there are actual people posting here who are going to have to look for new jobs and leave their homes if this happens (me, apparently LMGM), so the whole "it really doesn't matter which way it comes down" and "we could make an ideological point by voting Out" really seems ... I mean, I'm sure everyone's heart is in the right place, I really am, but I am feeling a bit, "Wow, so much for having the immigrants' backs, there" when I read those, you know?
posted by kyrademon at 10:35 AM on February 20, 2016 [8 favorites]


David Cameron, the British equivalent of the German Horst Seshofer, is an idiot extraordinaire and I can't stand his "threats" of leaving the EU anymore.

Now the EU gave him a little and now he suggest it is "best to stay" in the European Union. He seems to be scared of his own courage and seems not to want to take responsibility anymore of the consequences should the referendum INDEED turn out in favor to leave the EU.

Scotland may leave the UK and join the EU, this is at least a hypothetical option. And the results of a BREXIT for England could indeed be severe since this ruling would be reversed in a blink of an eye. What will this do to "The City"?

I am not a fan of the EU but I hope the British people vote for the BREXIT. Of cause Cameron will claim that he favored to stay in the EU and will reject to be responsible for any bad effects.
posted by yoyo_nyc at 11:23 AM on February 20, 2016 [1 favorite]


Of cause Cameron will claim that he favored to stay in the EU

I am surprised by how many people here seem confused about the fundamental politics of this. Cameron is a pro-European Tory, not quite of the Ken Clarke model, but clearly committed to attempting to keep Britain in. He leads a party which is fundamentally divided on the issue of Europe, and so must negotiate for any "concessions" he can obtain, in order to appease his Europhobic front and back benches, and avoid serious political damage.

Hate him for almost everything he has ever done, but he's not in the part of the Tory party that is to blame for this particular shitshow.
posted by howfar at 12:39 PM on February 20, 2016 [1 favorite]


Mitheral: "I have no idea how many Germans think inflation=>Hitler is true though."
The vast majority, as far as I can tell.
posted by brokkr at 1:12 PM on February 20, 2016 [3 favorites]


It's not really an "it's the same both ways" issue for about 4 million to 5 million people who are either UK citizens living outside the UK in the EU, or non-UK EU citizens living in the UK. Among many others who will be affected.

I would imagine that Mefi may have a larger than average number of ex-pats in this debate, but the larger point is that the citizens in question here won't get considered by the vast majority of voters. It's sad, but unfortunately true. It would be like asking the Republicans to consider all US citizens abroad and how humiliated they are going to be by locals if candidate X is elected.

That said, I think that the likeliest scenario in the event of a leave vote would be all countries coming to an arrangement. It simply wouldn't be a case of "oh, sorry, you really have to leave now". That's some more FUD right there. It would take years to agree the terms, iron out the kinks, and yet more years for the process to work through. If you want an idea of what it might look like, check out how living and working in the UK is for the Swiss.

What is not a soluble problem is the collapse of the British economy. Maybe in the midst of a global boom we might avoid that (although I'm not sure), but when all signals are pointing towards a shaky or possibly disastrous five years ahead. Fuck me. Not voting In? Fair enough. Your vote.

Can you say exactly what part of being in the EU helps in the event of economic problems? For example, how did the EU help the UK last time round?
posted by Juso No Thankyou at 6:56 PM on February 20, 2016


I didn't say that all immigrants would immediately be kicked out of the country the very next day. I did say that I would have to look for a new job and leave my home. And I would. The UK leaving the EU would make the circumstances under which I live here impossible.

And I have to point out that you are essentially saying that a victory for the Out side, something which would be primarily driven by rabidly anti-immigrant sentiment of the "kick them all out and send them back where they came from" variety, would not cause problems for immigrants because the UK government, many of whom share that sentiment, would ignore it and instead come "to an arrangement" with each and every one of 27 other countries that would make everything all right.
posted by kyrademon at 2:59 AM on February 21, 2016


Can you say exactly what part of being in the EU helps in the event of economic problems? For example, how did the EU help the UK last time round?

I'm puzzled by this question. We're talking about the structural costs of EU exit, not bailouts. I'm not plucking the idea of economic damage out of the air, it's the consensus of academic and business groups. Optimistic estimates are a 2.5% permanent reduction in GDP, pessimistic estimates run closer to 8%. In the event of Brexit during a global economic crisis we are fucked. Probably for generations.
posted by howfar at 4:21 AM on February 21, 2016


There are those, of course, who argue that Brexit would be good for growth. Their argument is that, without all the pesky labour and consumer protections foisted on us by Brussels, we could enter a boom.

So yeah. However you look at it, the workers are getting fucked by Brexit.

That said, I think that the likeliest scenario in the event of a leave vote would be all countries coming to an arrangement.

No. I think this is wildly optimistic. The French, in particular, will take great pleasure in punishing the British for their idiocy. They never wanted us in the EU (in part because they doubted our commitment...).

I've found this thread deeply worrying.
posted by howfar at 4:29 AM on February 21, 2016 [1 favorite]




  What will this do to "The City"?

Boris Johnson to campaign to leave EU, I think might be indicative. (Also Zac Goldsmith, Lord Mayor hopeful, wants out too.)
posted by scruss at 8:19 AM on February 21, 2016


It's hotting up - although Johnson has plenty of time to change his mind again after sufficient chaos has unfolded in the Tory Party over the next couple of years, so he can lead it when he's ready. By not having to campaign officially in support of the party line, but keeping mostly quiet about the vote (he's already softened up the media about his 'soul-searching personal decision' etc.) this is the closest thing he can do to keeping his powder totally dry.
posted by colie at 8:26 AM on February 21, 2016


Boris dislikes doing anything that doesn't advance the cause of his true affiliation, that to the Boris Party. As far as I can tell, he is one of the most Machiavellian and amoral operators in UK politics, a field not light in contenders for that position, but his one saving grace is that although he is very clever, he isn't quite as clever as he thinks he is. The Tories both admire and mistrust him, with mistrust winning out - so, we shall see what his efforts produce in the Brexit game.

For those who think that a second Scottish indyref would be denied - I don't think that's within the UK government's power. If Scotland votes in and England votes out, it is undeniable that the UK on which the original indyref voted will no longer exist,and the Scots will be having their EU citizenship withdrawn against their wishes. If Westminster says 'no dice' and the Scottish government organises a referendum anyway - what then? Do the troops go in to take the MSPs down to the Tower? What if the Scots appeal directly to the EU for membership?

Clusterfuck doesn't even begin to describe it, and that'll all be playing out at the same time as the UK has to come to terms with the practicalities of rebuilding relationships with every damn country in Europe, few of which will be in any sort of mood of constructive helpfulness.

Short of actual civil war, if the Scots want a second indyref they will have one. Don't forget that immediately before the Brexit referendum the regional government elections will happen, and while the SNP manifesto isn't out yet I'd be amazed if it didn't include an explicit commitment to another independence referendum in the case of Brexit, and even more gobbengersmaken if the SNP isn't back in power with a significant majority. (The oro-Union, pro-EU parties are going to be in even more of a fix than they are already: sucks to be them...)

And all because Cameron didn't think he'd have a workable majority this Parliament, so the Brexit nonsense would be safely buried in coalition politics. Nice one, Dave.
posted by Devonian at 8:58 AM on February 21, 2016 [5 favorites]


Devonian: "If Westminster says 'no dice' and the Scottish government organises a referendum anyway - what then?"
You can ask the Catalans (and to some extent the ethnic Russians in the Krim) about that part.
posted by brokkr at 11:56 AM on February 21, 2016


I wonder how well a Brexit would be received in Northern Ireland, given that their land-based ties to the EU would be cut off. Would that be well received in Belfast (or even Dublin)?
posted by stannate at 4:01 PM on February 21, 2016


I'm not quite sure what difference it would make. There are no border controls right now, but that's due to the CTA, not any EU regulations. (Neither UK nor Ireland are Schengen members.)

They also already have different currencies, so that's not likely to have a big impact. Euros are fairly widely accepted in NI at least in tourism-oriented areas. On the other hand we found it impossible to get rid of our last Pounds after crossing into the Republic. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
posted by brokkr at 6:33 AM on February 22, 2016


Zac Goldsmith plumping for out is a weird one: London is about as likely to vote Out as Scotland, and it holds across the spectrum: the City wants In, the Lefties (who dominate London outside the City types) generally want In and to top it all London is full of the FOREIGN who (naturally) want In.

So why would someone who wants to be Mayor go for Out? I'm missing his play here.
posted by bonaldi at 9:16 AM on February 22, 2016


That would be Zac Goldsmith, son of the late James Goldsmith, founder of erstwhile UKIP rival the Referendum Party?
posted by doop at 11:32 AM on February 22, 2016


The front page of the Metro this morning (and most other papers) was Boris Johnson and David Camerons falling out.
The headline:
"Eton Rivals"
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 1:49 AM on February 23, 2016




« Older "That is really the thrill of my career."   |   The artist who dared to paint Ireland's great... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments