Thursday, 24 July 2014
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Last week's poll: in or out of the EU?

The strong results from Eurosceptic parties across Europe in last week’s European Parliament elections has put the future of the EU in doubt. What should the UK’s relationship with the EU be?

As expected, we received a very strong response to this poll, with over 950 readers registering their opinion. The largest single group of respondents, 39 per cent, supported the status quo of remaining within the EU to protect British industry, but it’s probably more instructive to note that a clear majority, 56 per cent, voted for options reflecting a change in the UK’s relationship with the EU. A third of the total called for a renegotiation of the terms of membership, while 23 per cent wanted a complete pull-out.

EU Chart

Please let us know what you think of these results.

Readers' comments (56)

  • Why does the EU (especially Germany) dictate so much to the UK instead of the other way round.
    There are so many employers in the UK just using cheap labour from the EU. Exploitation springs to mind.
    Our Government is not really interested in improving the living standards of the ordinary working man (woman)

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  • Politically: There has now been peace between the major Euoropean powers for seventy years. This is undoubtedly due to the collaboration afforded by the EU. Break-up the EU and prepare for WW3!
    Economically: Britain's tangible exports are utterly dependent on EU membership. Foreign owned manufacturing companies (and that's most of them these days) will transfer production to Eastern Europe.
    It's ludicrous to consider Switzerland or Norway as models, they have completely different economies to the UK.

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  • IN ... people bang on about how much the EU dictates to us ... but are often hard pushed to give any solid examples.

    The EU also provides a great deal of well educated workers to the British workforce, people who wish to work hard, integrate and improve themselves rather than sit on the benefits gravy train ... I say stay in and work WITH the EU to make a level playing field for a common European workforce.

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  • Definitely IN, we are geographically part of Europe, and have spent far too long trailing around behind the US.

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  • I'd like to see an element of re-negotiation of terms but pulling out altogether wouldn't be my preferred option. I work in the automotive industry and sometimes attend meetings to discuss proposed legislation in Brussels. At present, I get a say in these regulations. If we pulled out, I'd be (at best) an observer. I think it would be naive to imagine we'd we able to ditch European regulations in many manufacturing industries and "do our own thing" - we'd still have to comply but we won't get any say in their content.

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  • We need a referendum so that the people decide rather than having the political class constantly tell us what they think is best for us. Whatever the outcome, we then stick to it. I would vote to leave the EU. Why? I own and run a manufacturing company (scientific instruments) based in the UK. We employ 15 people. We export throughout the world including USA, Canada, Far East, Australia, New Zealand, and many EU countries. I can say without any hesitation whatsoever that the most difficult place to do business is in the EU due to the ridiculous level of red tape spewing out of Brussels. The European Parliament is undemocratic, inefficient, corrupt and massively expensive to run. It simply cannot continue to run the way it has done for the last 20 years or more but unfortunately I don't see the current EU political regime having any appetite for change. So in my opinion we must leave.

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  • OUT! What the hell has WW3 or trade got to do with being a part of the "Federal States of Europe"? We should be able to trade with our European neighbours - fine - but ought also to be able to trade with other parts of the world without their "permission"! We really do have short memories when we so quickly forget India, Australia, New Zealand etc. We have far more in common with these countries and yet migration from outside the EU is tightly restricted, while free movement from within the EU is the order of the day! Why? Bonkers! And don't get me going about the corruption that exists within the EU - think of the expenses scandal within Westminster and multiply that by 10!

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  • IN! The irritations are minor compared to the advantages. We will have no guarantee that all of our current exports to the EU will continue. If they do it will be on their terms, their specifications. At least we get a chance to say our opinion. We will have no influence on anything in Europe. UKIP claimed that it would be easy to negotiate a "trade only" agreement. What evidence for this? Will car manufacturing remain here when they have to face a tariff?
    Pulling out of the EU is economic suicide and worse running away when we don't get our own way.
    Ironically, I have heard the same gripes in Germany and France. Why don't we get together and solve the "problems" of Brussels.
    As for those elected to the European parliament saying that they will destroy it from the inside, the truth is that they will achieve nothing. Our local MEP, who has an impeccable record of attendance and has negotiated millions of pounds of aid for local industries, lost his seat. A mockery of democracy.

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  • Like many others, I voted in 1973 to join a Common Market. This necessarily required is some commonisation of standards to create a level playing field, but we did not vote for a political and economic union, which turned out to be the hidden agenda of the European Politbureau. Now that the implications of this agenda have become clear, people don't like what they see. The European Commission is trying to make Europe into one homogenous country, where all business is controlled by Brussels.So the UK is not allowed to negotiate its own trade agreements with even the Commonwealth countries.

    The issue of cheap labour is interesting. Before the EU we used to employ Commonwealth citizens (West Indians and Asians) to do the menial low paid jobs. Now we employ Eastern Europeans. I live in East Anglia and have talked to employers who say that, without Eastern European labour to work in the fields and plant nurseries (a large part of the local economy), they would simply go bust because they cannot get British workers to do the same jobs. Is that exploitation? No it is market economics. If they had to pay more they would be uncompetitive against Eastern European products, but that assumes they could get the labour - they get hardly any applications from indigenous British workers, and the few that do apply, including those sent by Job Centres, don't last a week.

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  • In! The Right Wing movement seems intent upon myopic nationalism and the destruction of something (the EU) that has as yet unrealised potential for the member countries.

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  • OUT - unless there is major reform (which there won't be despite what we may be led to believe). Because the EU is essentially un-democratic, the EU parliament having little control over the EU. The EU also suffers from chronic corruption and incompetence, they have for example never had their accounts signed off because they cannot meet anything like the required reporting standards.

    The only argument as far as the UK is concerned is Trade, we are not talking about an OUT of the EU leading to a complete end of trade with the EU. In fact the EU exports more to us than visa versa so they would be a continuing desire for both sides to maintain a trading relationship. However I think we would be in a better position to agree trade arrangements unilaterly outside the EU. Therefore on balance trade will improve outside the EU (and outside signficant external trade barriers).

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  • Isn't there a cycle at work here... the tradition of all (western) states? After a war, everyone says 'never again, let's work together'... then there are treaties, union, collaboration - until the internal strain of this becomes too much; immigration, self-interest and corruption prompt division, disputes and eventually war.... and so the cycle begins again. The only major civilisation NOT to have indulged in this cycle? China! Perhaps we should think a bit more about why this should be, rather than jumping to easy answers.

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  • In - no doubt. People who follow the populist anti EU movement of the likes of UKIP don't know what they are talking about. Leave and a lot of industry, particularly the automotive industry from the likes of Japan will leave with it. Trade with the world's largest economic block has to be top of the agenda when it comes talking about the EU.

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  • In for me. If the UK leaves the EU, they will still have to comply with all EU regulation in order to trade with EU countries. It is an absolute myth that the UK can just trade more with all the old Commonwealth countries if it so chooses to. Why is it not doing that already? The answer is, it is doing it but these countries are not stupid why should they trade exclusively with the UK - the old Commonwealth bully if they can just trade with anybody they choose to in the whole wide world. The truth is that the EU is the largest economic trading block in the world and anybody ignores them at their peril.

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  • In. I believe the whole issue has been clouded by the migration problems that appear to exist and are causing paranoia amongst a number of folk who appear to have no real interest financially or otherwise in the E.U.
    Breaking away from the EU will not help our import /export business in any way as we will not be able to have any say in it.
    As for the rest of the work "out "will not improve things there as we will appear as a little island all on our own …again!
    We don't have an empire anymore and probably should not have had one in the first place but we are still able to trade with countries outside the E.U.
    Some companies I agree struggle to exist in all the paperwork and rules but these can be made simpler and the rest of the world is hardly free of this.
    As someone who has spent most of my working life internationally I can see it from both sides.
    let’s stay “in” but by all means re negotiate some of the terms and conditions, by last week’s results it looks like we will have the support of other members as well.

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  • We should have nothing to do with an unelected commission and a regime that has been unable to balance its budget for ~ 18 years +. There are benefits to EU membership as stated in other comments. We should cherry pick these and negotiate a 'lower tier' membership which minimises exposure to budget interaction but maximises cooperation on trade, security and technical issues.

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  • Ask yourself this:-
    Would you invest in, or work with, an organisation that has not had it's accounts audited satisfactorily for 12 years.

    Out, Out Out I say.

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  • "I have now decided that I didn't like the last referendum so I want another - but this time I'll stick to it, or until fed up with that as well".
    Very churlish, but it seems that so is a lot of the rhetoric concerning this topic. Extreme comments verging on accusations of large scale bribery and corruption do not justify an opinion. Should we perhaps be more honest in our own understanding of our country's status?

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  • This is a pointless question, since everything depends on the terms negotiated between the UK and the EU, most of all, the continuation (or not) of free trade

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  • Then you'd go for the first option.

  • Out.
    While this would cause significant pain, I think the EU is just about at the point of collapse. The level of "protest votes" throughout the community shows the amount of dissatisfaction that exists within Europe for the Brussels Government. We should only stay in if the "Brussels system" of corruption and red tape is totally revised, and the burden of legislation dramatically reduced. And we should only stay in if proper audited accounts are produced. Any future government should have to produce decent accounts or be summarily dismissed.

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  • I'm broadly in favour of remaining in the EU but only if they cut out all the stupid and excessive regulation and the unelected Kommissars who devise and promulgate it.

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  • Happy to stay in IF radical reform of EU from conventions, legal, migration through to budgets and spending accountability leads to a more sensible partnership. I fear however reform will not be on the agenda as its not in a lot of the members interests but I would rather stay IN if it can be made to work.

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  • The discussion is always framed in
    terms of the EU's interference in England.

    What about the contrary position ?.
    All electronic communications in Europe are interdicted and recored by MI6/GCHQ
    and the data forwarded to the CIA.

    I think this is far more invasive than
    than anything the EU does.

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  • There is no proof the EU has kept the peace for 70 years. Indeed, its actions in regard to the Ukraine and its intent to include all the countries up to the Russian borders actually could create conflict.

    I believe we would be far better off outside the EU and trading with it as we would with any other country.
    at the moment they depend on us far more than we depend on them.
    Plus, it isn't the EU we are in that is in question. The EU is on a path toward its ultimate goal which is a single federal European state.
    Their intent will be to eliminate any sense of independent national identity.This will involve the encouragement of free movement of workers, which occurs already but where the more old east bloc countries they gobble up the more the west of Europe will be flooded with communist influenced politic and it will further dilute the national identity. This paves the way for the creation of the federal state in which the nation states are fragmented and then recombined into different overlapping administrations - some of which already exist in embryonic form with legislative influence and EU funds to disperse. Once the federal state is created it is then an easy matter to terminate the national government and to transfer power from local governments to the new adminsitrative regional organisation (see "EU Cross Boundary organisations").

    Frankly whatever the impact on trade I would rather this didn't happen. But though we have been told repeatedly how bad it would be outside the EU I rather doubt it. I think we would survive just fine. Better perhaps.

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  • OUT - we already pay handsomely for our government - 41.5% of National income according to the Adam Smith institute - so why pay do we need to pay an estimated £150 billion a year for another layer of bureaucracy on top? Its interesting that those Brits who want out do so because the EU is too authoritarian, whereas the Europeans who want out do so because they see the EU as becoming to liberal!

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  • The regulation of business isn't the issue, and anyway, outside the EU we'd be powerless to shape it but forced to follow it in order to sell. No, the issue driving public opinion is much more day to day and is about citizens rights and benefits. The EU vision is a weird blend of large-single-country like the USA overlaid on a confederation of states. It doesn't fit and that misfit fuels resentment.

    On a slightly separate point, it would be interesting to see the views of people considering retiring to Spain being told that if we left the EU, they wold have to pay for health services and benefits!

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  • There should not be a scientific committee in the EU. Instead there should be an office that collects data from the country members and allow access for competitive intelligence. The same office wold also help connecting scientist together to compare ideas and results. We do not want those committee that decide the scientific works to be done for the whole EU.

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  • The EU is a brilliant concept to ensure lasting peace across a wide region but politicians have failed to develop each nation to preserve their cultures.
    Also a single currency is not fit for all - look what happened to Greece Portugal and Spain in the recent financial crisis.

    We need a central strategy where we all contribute to the development of the EU

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  • Blimey, thought I'd dropped into a Scottish Independence debate!

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  • When the Landlord in the city increases the rent, it is not an EU regulation.
    When there are less public holidays in the UK than in Germany then it is not an EU regulation.
    Leyland was not a result of EU regulations.

    A big burden on British business are the landlords who own all the land and when business is running good, increase the rent, driving businesses out of business.

    Just look at British housing which is not much changed since the 19th century. There are opportunities that are simply unused.

    Well, and The City and the interest rates imposed on mortgages are not caused by the EU.

    If people would actually own their land and homes, they'd invest more in their own property.

    In Germany, the DIY market is much more developed. And Photovoltaic onto the roof, new triple-paned windows to reduce noise and heat loss, insulation of homes to reduce the energy bill.

    And all these efficiency products in turn generate new businesses and research and jobs.

    The UK focuses too much on The City, the military and the partnership with the US.

    Wars and military are pure consumption. If you consume all your wealth and blow it up, it will be gone some day.
    China is growing because two thirds of their GDP comes from investment.

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  • 1. Allow the public, NOT the politicians, to agree what citizens like and dislike about the EU.
    2. Change the voting to 1 MEP 1 vote and require 60% of MEPs (NOT 60% of votes) to change anything.
    3. Stop recruiting staff until it reduces to 50% of current level.
    4. Freeze all EU staff pay and allowances and require all claims to be supported by receipts.
    5. Give the Auditors teeth and block further payments on unaudited budgets. 6. All MPs to do what they and their constituents know is right.
    The truth but does it have to be pie in the sky ?

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  • Someone above referred to the 'European Government'. To my mind it is not a government in that it is run by an unelected council. The MEP's do not have the power to impose regulations or laws, but merely to 'advise'. The Parliament and MEP's are the 'Gravy train' for all the respective members 'teachers pets'. The EU is actually a totalitarian state in the making. Beware of letting it reach completion. Your personal freedom may become a thing of the past.

    As for China's economy 'Growing'. The word I would use is 'Inflating. Two very different things.

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  • It would help if we all spoke the same language. I wonder how many translators are employed by Brussels?

    I also wonder how many politicians are employed by all the EU countries including Brussels, how much we collectively spend on our own parliaments as well as Brussels compared to say.......wild guess here.....The USA.

    I suspect however much it is, no matter what we do, it will never reduce. Even if we were to withdraw from the EU altogether all those departments within the UK government would somehow remain, doubtless re-named to something useful.

    Jobs for the boys I'm afraid, the whole EU juggernaut will grow like a cancer with subdivisions of divisions and internal bickering until the fights break out.

    That just might afford an enterprising politician the opportunity to propose radical change. Offer his/her citizens a ray of nationalistic hope, kick out any dissenters and.......errrr......but no, that could never happen again, could it?

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  • @JohnK: I have seen China's trains in the 90s and now. There is a profound difference.

    In 1992 there were two trains per day from Hong Kong to Guangzhou, and they took 3 hours for the 150km. Those were the fast through trains.

    The slow train from Shenzhen to Guangzhou took about 6 hours.

    Now there are high speed trains from Shenzhen to Guangzhou every 10 minutes, and they take about an hour with three stops included.

    I'd say, there is growth.

    China is using the manufacturing for export as a means to get money, they put into "savings". That "savings" is infrastructure.

    China has annually 8 millions seniors retiring and 16 million students leaving school. And therefore needs to create 8 million new jobs every year.

    Dismissing the Chinese economy as just inflating isn't smart.

    Now China isn't interested in foreign money anymore, they have more of it than anybody else. Now they want new technologies and know-how.

    In China, a 60 year old isn't just old. Someone to get rid of. A 60 year old has experience that he can transfer to the youth.

    Seniors who can't find a job in Europe, find a new life and purpose as teachers and consultants in China.

    The Chinese use things we throw away easily, like fish heads and chicken feet, and make meals of them.

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  • Out. What was presented as the Common Market has changed over the years. Always know when they keep changing the name, (common market, EEC, EU etc) that it's a bad idea trying to disguise itself.
    Let us vote on what we can see now. As for unrealised potential, how long do you give something before you give up as a bad job?

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  • I have served on CEN Standards Committees with Norwegian delegates so it is False to say Norway doesn’t have a say on things like standards that affect free trade in the EU/EFTA free trade area – The standards that make the Product Safety Directives work. They have all the advantages of the Free Trade Union that exists between the EU and EFTA without the disadvantages of EU ‘Red tape’ like the working hour directives, the common agricultural and common fisheries policies and a wide range of things that harm the UK. They are outside the Euro and the Euro mismanagement zone that benefits German industry and competiveness at the expense of other countries like Spain, Greece and Italy. Without the Euro the German Deutschmark will be worth at least 50% more and there wouldn’t be mass unemployment in Southern Eur5opean Countries that will lead to unrest and even worse things happening.
    Foreign investment comes to the UK as we are more business friendly than the Eurozone and will be even more ready to come to the UK if we were out of the EU but within the EU/EFTA free trade area like Norway. Government finances would also be much stronger and hence as a country we could do more through social spending as a country or tax less or a mix of both. We could also control our borders with immigration limited to as needed on a points system .
    Many of the comments made by others raise the same old inaccurate ‘hoary chestnuts’ and EU Myths that have been raised before and like oft repeated lies many people have come to believe them. The first one is we voted for the EU in the referendums – We didn’t – I should know because not only did I vote in the referenda BUT I was also a member of the European Movement and campaigned for a yes vote and, as such, recall the platform of the yes campaign of the time.
    The first referenda was to merge 2 free trade areas in Europe to create a larger free trade area - EFTA (European Free Trade Area) with the EEC (European Economic Community). Perhaps I should note here that EFTA was a free trade area BUT the EEC was technically a customs union rather than a free trade area.
    At the time I wanted to see some pooling of sovereignty – The No campaign asserted that the European Movement wanted political union in a United States of Europe whereas the European Movement – The campaign organisation repeatedly stated that it was a free trade area merger only and that the ‘cranks’ leading the no campaign were scare mongerers and that there were no plans for a European Union and that it would never happen. These things were raised by those of us canvassing for a yes vote as the fears of the EEC by the people we canvassed on the door step and we were specifically briefed by Roy Jenkins and Ted Heath (Liar Jenkins and Liar Heath as I have come to call them) that the vote was for a vote for the merger of 2 free trade areas and that there were no plans hidden or unstated to forge an ever closer union leading to a United States of Europe.
    I will never forgive Liar Heath and Liar Jenkins for having me peddle their lies on the doorstep as I canvassed for a yes vote in both referenda.
    It was only after the second vote did Liar heath and Liar Jenkins and their cronies started to peddle the myth that the UK had voted for ever close union leading to a United States of Europe – Myths peddled today by the Euro Fanatics of the Liberal Party and their Leader Nick Clegg who wasn’t there at the time – I was and I was a member of the European Movement involved in both referenda campaigns – I read and handed out the literature and I was also involved in the briefings handed down by Liar Heath and Liar Jenkins – Briefings how to counter the ‘lies’ of the No Campaign that there was a secret agenda to create a United States of Europe.
    The second BIG Lie and European Union Myth is that the EU has prevented War in Europe – Bullshit that was NATO and the presence of US armed forces in Western Germany and Nuclear Deterrent known as MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) that brought meaning Russia knew it would be wiped off the face of the earth if it invaded Western Europe. I note here that the UK and French nuclear deterrent’s were negligible apart from the fact that Russia had to factor in 3 ‘Fingers on the Button’ and that even if Russia thought the USA wouldn’t launch its missiles if Western Europe was overrun that Britain or France would and Mutually Assured Destruction would result anyway from a Russian counter strike.
    In fact the opposite is the case - EU has actually caused wars and genocides to occur in Europe that NATO had to end on behalf of the UN because NATO had the troops and command structures to do so. Namely the breakup of the Yugoslavian Federation created by Tito out of the Yugoslavian civil war that happened during the German occupation of Yugoslavia during World War 2. During World War 2 the Croats and Slovenes were Nazi Germany’s Chetnic Allies who fought against Tito’s (Serbian) communist partisans. The breakup of the Yugoslavian Federation began with Germany promising Croatia and Slovenia (its former Chetnic allies) membership of the EU if they broke away from the Yugoslavian Federation – They did and ethnically cleansed the Serbians living in Croatia and Slovenia out of Croatia and Slovenia. Tudjman, then Croatian President started the ethnic cleansing of non-Croats from the Croatian areas in Bosnia leading to the Serbians in Bosnia under Radovan Karadzic fighting back and instituting their own ethnic cleansing within Bosnia Herzegovena that NATO had to intervene and stop – Not the EU which caused it by promising Croatia and Slovenia membership if they left the Yugoslavian Alliance.
    Winston Churchill once said that “if we don’t learn from history we are doomed to repeat the mistakes made in history” – Not an exact quote but the gist of what he said. We are witnessing the start of the breakup of the Ukraine with a civil war brewing and the risk of a wider war as Russia will eventually be forced to intervene to help the ethnic Russians in the Ukraine – I am surprised they haven’t already imposed a ‘No Fly zone’ over the areas the Ukraine has used air assault from helicopters and bombers.
    Why is it happening? – It has been happening because the EU has offered EU membership to the Ukraine and whilst the Ukrainian speaking Catholics in the west want EU membership, the ethnic Russians living in the south and east don’t. The parallels with the breakup of the Yugoslavia Federation are striking – The western Ukrainian speaking catholic population welcomed the Nazi German invasion of 1941 with many fighting for Germany and serving in the SD branch of the SS were they formed the most brutal concentration and death camp guards – They also formed units that fought the partisans coming from the Russian Speaking Orthodox populations of Eastern and southern Ukraine. Two revolutions in Kiev aimed at ousting Russian Speaking Presidents elected by southern and eastern Ukraine in order to gain Governments to join the European Union by ousting governments wanting closer ties with Russia!!!! The Russian speaking east and south won’t accept the ‘illegal revolutionary’ government in Kiev wanting EU membership.
    So much for the EU bringing peace to Europe!!!!!!

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  • The only way to change anything is from within. I say stay in and change what we can

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  • In, but we must negotiate out the issues which are abhorrent. If we can't do that or get back to a common market, then we should get out.

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  • Nick - Time will tell re. China.

    As for the EU. A lot of folk say 'In' on the basis we would not be able to meet the EU standards needed in order to trade with Europe if we left.

    I read an article earlier today that rejected that belief totally, in that a Senior EU Commissioner admitted that EU standards are not imposed on imports.

    So, if we leave and negotiate global agreements AND can trade freely with Europe, why on earth would we want to stay in the bloated, corrupt unelected bureaucratic nightmare of an organisation that is currently controlling Europe.

    So I'm an Out!.

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  • I don't understand why the minimum wage is lower here than in France or Germany; where is all the money in this country. We are supposed to be the fifth richest country in the world This reflects in the lower wages paid in this country.

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  • As I live and work in Brussels, not with the EU or an agency, I can only see the benefits of continued EU membership.
    I do work closely with the EU on many matters, and overall it has made my life much, much easier.
    I would agree that there are areas where reform is needed, but then again that is true of the UK Parliamentary system and every other Member State.
    It seems to me that in the UK, ( and others) there is a wish for personal political gain to throw the not only the baby but the entire contents of the bathroom out of the window to satisfy a few egos.
    The UK leaving the EU would be an act of insanity.

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  • When I voted decades ago to join the "Common Market" as it was then referred to, it was all about reducing trade barriers between countries and NOT about the United States of Europe.
    So my decision now would be out unless there is a root and branch reform of this totally corrupt organisation.
    Get back to being all about trade and forget this empire building nonsense.

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  • The first question has to be, why have we not got only a trade relationship with Europe, as that is what we signed up for.

    Also the EU has a deminishing share of global GDP, even the Commonweath has a greater share. We used to think Global as a nation and did a lot of great things, lets get back to what we do best, and leave the sinking EU ship.

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  • OUT - trade and economics are side arguments. They are transitory blips in the courses of nations.

    Since the principle of: "ever closer european union" is enshrined in EU law the question is not about reform, the EU is a river not a lake: we may slow the pace but we will never stop the flow.

    So the question is whether we want a united federal states of Europe or not?

    I would prefer to return to pre-maastrcht times and a community of nation states but those days are gone. Moreover it is unfair of us to hinder the aspirations of those would would go further.

    Ever closer union, a supernational entity and laws once surrendered cannot be repatriated are what we have signed up for - these ARE the foundations of the EU. Either accept, embrace and push this or leave.

    Returning to the damn analogy: there is only so long was can store up the water before our attempts to hinder its progress overwhelm us, where then will we find ourselves?

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  • Ah, the way polls are interpreted. I am a bit disappointed with the editors. What they are saying is correct but they fail to point out that only a small minority wants to pull out completely. Looking at the results in a different way, 72% of voters want to stay in the EU one way or the other. I applaud this result.

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  • I’m a small engineering/steel fabrication company I’ve been designing and building structural steelwork for the construction industry for thirty odd years now as from the 1/7/2014 it is illegal for me to supply structural steelwork due to the EU c/e marking regulations.
    The cost and two year time scale of achieving the certification for this means I will be turning the work down.
    I found out about this the later end of last year a lot in the game don’t even know about it (Seems we need a regulation on informing people)
    I don’t want to supply steel work to the rest of Europe and never did.
    Probably next year when your builder is telling you he can’t get your steelwork for your extension or new build and it’s going to cost a lot more cash maybe some people may waken up to the fact it’s not making us it’s braking us.
    All the people I know in small business and most of the ordinary people I talk to are of the opinion (as I am) all it’s ever done is cost us in red tape and regulations.
    Yes it’s creating jobs in certification training and regulation but small businesses are laying people off or not taking people on because of them.
    The large companies are fine with it all as they can afford it and it means less competition and they will be charging more.
    Lets not forget it’s the small companies who employ the most people in this country.
    If businesses run accounts as the EU does they’d be out of business and the EU should be.
    We have people not even in this country telling us what to do plus we are paying dearly for the privilege.
    UKIP will not go away as I see it unless the ministers of this country man up to them and get control of the country back, if not get out of the EU
    To all the ones who think it’s a good thing (The King is NOT wearing any clothes guys)

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  • In reply to anonymous It may surprise him but I don't want my builder to use steel that he doesn't know if it meets the relevant BRITISH STANDARDS.

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  • I wonder if Nigel Farage really wants us to leave the EU? If we do, he and his UKIP gravy train riding MEP colleagues will all lose their jobs. Turkeys and Christmas come to mind!

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  • Robert - We are still nominally a democracy so we vote for what government we want. If UKIP is the only party that satisfies the majority that it will best meet the needs of our country as the majority sees it, then UKIP it will be. It matters not one iota whether Nigel Farage keeps his job or not. The people will have spoken.
    All those who bleat that we would not be able to trade with Europe if we left are being disingenuous at best. Of course we will be able to plus we will be able to trade with whoever we choose without interference from an unelected autocracy.
    For Bob the Builder and BS steel. I think what he's saying is that ISO will replace BS for steel soon and only ISO approved steel may be sold as structural steel. Another hidden sanction against the UK perhaps?
    As before, I say OUT!

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  • a few comments about the "referendum"

    (I) referenda enable the unknowledgeable to foist their views on the whole population
    (2)How will the referendum work ? Would we leave Europe and face the uncertainty this will entail if 50.1% of the vote is to leave? What is the basis for a majority - of whom ? A majority of registered voters, a majority of the whole population , or just a majority of those who were inclined to get out of bed and go vote ?
    (3) no matter the result, the government can just say " how interesting "and just carry on

    The whole idea has not been thought through and is just some kind of sop to the xenophobic dreams of the tabloid reading populace

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