Thursday, 31 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)

  • 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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