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View Poll Results: Should the UK leave the EU?
Yes 15 15.63%
No 81 84.38%
Voters: 96. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 21-Feb-2016, 12:23   #121
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Do we think that most of the UK population who will vote will rely on careful analysis of the arguments, facts and data, or do we think they'll vote with their gut?
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Old 21-Feb-2016, 12:40   #122
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Do we think that most of the UK population who will vote will rely on careful analysis of the arguments, facts and data, or do we think they'll vote with their gut?
I've never wanted to be in the Common Market or EU, so I won't be listening to any argument's. Just a straight out vote.
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Old 21-Feb-2016, 13:04   #123
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I think about 25% of people are definitely in, 25% are definitely out, and there's a mass of people who can be persuaded. Terrifying!
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Old 21-Feb-2016, 13:09   #124
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For the Gove letter, I just see it as giving themselves a free pass to lay any failure at the feet of the EU without offering any reasons why that is the case. He complains about the rules holding them back in every area, but can only point to the size of olive oil containers and the distance houses need to be to heathland as the things crippling us (he trying give them the sound of absurdity, but according to a quick Google, the heathland regulations have reduced the fragmenting of habitats and decreased the loss of species).

So without offering any data or evidence, according to Gove

Housing crisis = EU
Unemployment = EU
Refugees = EU
Terrorism = EU
Lack of cures for diseases = EU
Lack of investment in tech, schools = EU
Lack of creative investment = EU
Failing steel industry = EU (instead of China a few months ago)
Car broke down = EU
Turkey undercooked = EU

It's being used as the UK equivalent of "Thanks, Obama" or Farage blaming immigration for being late to a meeting. Like it's some sort of abstract idea and easy scapegoat to pass blame for any problem that is encountered.
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Old 21-Feb-2016, 14:53   #125
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IDS and Grayling join Team Gove, if you have any shred of humanity left in you you can't be on the same side as them.
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Old 21-Feb-2016, 15:21   #126
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I think about 25% of people are definitely in, 25% are definitely out, and there's a mass of people who can be persuaded. Terrifying!
Agreed, particularly so when you consider that - as you earlier pointed out - the persuasive arguments for either side will be negative (e.g. IDS's today). The next few months will just be vitriolic nonsense from both sides. Such a waste of a proper debate for a once-in-a-generational opportunity.
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Old 21-Feb-2016, 15:27   #127
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Same as the av referendum then.
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Old 21-Feb-2016, 15:35   #128
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Random tangent but perhaps - the difference with that referendum of course was that even the pro-PR camp in that debate couldn't bring themselves to support AV, which doomed that from the start.

This one could genuinely go either way.

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Old 21-Feb-2016, 16:19   #129
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Boris has officially announced he's in the out camp.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politic...endum-35626621
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Old 21-Feb-2016, 19:32   #130
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It will be interesting to see how the exit campaign articulate a clear vision of the future. I can't imagine they will agree on anything beyond the vote. This makes them vulnerable and I can't see all those egos putting their differences aside.
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Old 21-Feb-2016, 19:49   #131
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I'm not sure they necessarily need to for most people's vote. Nor should they have to. Besides the message to that end is simple (and has already started): the future - which is an unknown irrespective of which camp is chosen - is more in our destiny than it would be as part of an expansionist EU.
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Old 21-Feb-2016, 19:56   #132
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I don't think it is equally unknown. There are uncertainties on both sides but we can reasonably see that staying in will operate largely as it currently does. How we extricate ourselves from the tangle of legislation and how our future interactions with the EU are governed is an unknown the exit campaign should need to explain.
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Old 21-Feb-2016, 20:06   #133
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The idea that staying in the EU presents you with certainty and/or is without uncertainties and risks of its own is a non sequitur. Sure you may avoid a couple of years of uncertainty as you avoid the exit negotiations, but beyond that you are back into the darkness.

And this is a once in a generation opportunity: frankly given the history you simply cannot say that the EU will operate largely as it currently does over the period, as that is the period over which we all need to consider before making our decision.

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Old 21-Feb-2016, 20:28   #134
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Here's a policy brief from the chief lawyer for the EU on some of the difficulties an exit would create.

http://www.cer.org.uk/publications/a...-eu-membership
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Old 21-Feb-2016, 21:10   #135
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Yes we can all find those arguments - although I'm not sure that's a great one to link to considering the obvious vested interests; the idea that a post-Brexit Britain would accept free movement as a condition of continued trade is a naivety. If you give me a moment I'll find you an article written by a Turkey on the merits of abolishing Christmas.
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Old 21-Feb-2016, 21:36   #136
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Yes I thought you might go after the man. Of course I can't deny he might have an agenda but equally you shouldn't discount the opinion of a man who is practically familiar with the legal issues and was in charge of an organisation who would be intimately involved in advising on an exit.
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Old 21-Feb-2016, 21:43   #137
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The reason I discount him as well is because he's a lawyer - lawyers work within existing parameters (which is what he's rightly doing). If Britain left the EU, there would need to be negotiation on the exit terms, as it hasn't happened before - simply putting forward today's position is not accurate.

Slight tangent but you've reminded me: here's an article I saw the other day on why we should join the Eurozone, written in 2002 and from prominent economists (including a token foreword from an American to ensure we retain our special relationship):

http://willembuiter.com/RL334D.pdf

It's remarkably similar.

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Old 21-Feb-2016, 22:55   #138
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Boris has officially announced he's in the out camp.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politic...endum-35626621
And now his article:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/news...ve-the-EU.html
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Old 22-Feb-2016, 10:38   #139
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That euro article's amazing, who'd be a forecaster?
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Old 22-Feb-2016, 12:41   #140
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Boris for Brexit is interesting.

Personally I dislike Whitehall and that particular confluence of power and want further regional devolution of government while working within an economic framework that acknowledges that money is one way of measuring worth and not the only or even best way. The City of London for example has a very high level of monetary worth but would be absolutely fucked without food, the producers of which are fantastically under valued in our society, but I digress. My dislike of Whitehall power means that I on some level find it amusing when the EU overrules their power and Whitehall start squawking over it, but logically it is just moving power to a different central body rather than devolving power to more relevant areas that can understand regional needs and context.

I don't think anyone knows what would happen in the case of Brexit (on the leave side or the join side) and I also think that those crowing at the Eurozone failures are crowing a little too soon. Judge in 50 or 100 years whether it has worked as a concept, not after the first serious economic downturn since it was introduced. I also find that a lot of people on the Brexit side make 2 logically opposing arguments on 2 separate issues:

Example 1 - lots of Conservatives think we're better together on the Scottish independence vote but think we're better apart from the EU which is thoroughly inconsistent and whichever way you look at it requires the holder of such views to let emotion rather than logic to make a decision on one or the other view.

Example 2 - all MPs will encourage people to engage in democracy as the only way the public can influence our system/society, but Brexit supporters want Britain to be able to influence the EU to their whim while not participating in their system. Work to change within or without of a system is equally possible but only acknowledged when it suits vested interests.

I think what I am personally hoping for is a very close referendum which comes down by a percentage point or 3 on the side of remaining in the EU. That should give whoever is in power the mandate to say to the EU 'our populace is disenfranchised with the EU with a large swing in opinion over the past 30 years since the populace was last asked, and changes need to be made to curb some of the excesses of federalisation that the EU is making'. I wish it wasn't an in/out vote though, and that we could vote on smaller but meaningful measures to curb the federalism of Europe but this is the vote we have got.
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Old 22-Feb-2016, 13:21   #141
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Well England subsides Scotland to a quite impressive amount and the UK as a whole does the same to the EU, so its at least a little bit logical that Scotland is better off in the UK and UK is better off out of the EU.

But in practice both are emotional nationalist vs inertia debates
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Old 22-Feb-2016, 14:07   #142
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I'm going to call it now and say that the vote to stay in the EU will be 65%-70%
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Old 22-Feb-2016, 15:24   #143
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* UK voters have consistently been among the most euro-sceptic in Europe. Nonetheless, in the last 40 or so years the UK public has been more likely to support staying in the EU than leaving. Since Ipsos MORI started polling the public in 1977, on average 47% of UK voters have supported membership and 40% have opposed it, with an average of 12% undecided. The pro-EU vote dropped to a low of 26% in 1980 rising, over the following decade, to a peak of 63% in 1991, shortly before the pound's ejection from the European Exchange Rate Mechanism.

* More recent opinion polls from a number of pollsters show a marked narrowing of the pro-EU lead since last summer, partly in response to the migration crisis. Across four polls carried out since January, the pro-EU vote averaged 43% and the antis 41%, with 2% undecided. There is a wide variation in the readings between individual polls and telephone polls show higher level of support for EU membership than online polls.

* Meanwhile, the bookmaker Paddy Power's betting odds imply a 29% probability of a UK exit from the EU, down from 31% last week and 35% last month. The betting markets appear to have interpreted the Prime Minister's renegotiation as reducing the chances of Brexit.


* Attitudes to the EU tend to divide along lines of age, education and social class. Support for the EU is strongest among younger, university educated, and more prosperous voters. The EU is least popular among older, more conservative voters, and those without university degrees.

* YouGov reports that 63% of under-30s favour staying in the EU, a proportion that falls to 44% in the 60s. The people who voted to stay in the Common Market in 1975, those in their 60s and above, are now most likely to vote to leave.

* Those belonging to the 'AB' social class – generally the higher managerial and professional occupations – support the EU by 56% to 44%. A majority of people in the 'DE' and 'C2' social grades are opposed to EU membership as are those for whom GCSEs are their highest qualifications.

* Support for the EU has consistently been highest in London and Scotland and lowest in East Anglia, Yorkshire and the West Midlands. In February Ipsos Mori found 54% of voters across the UK favoured EU membership while 62% of Scots did so. The Scottish National Party argues that if Scotland votes to stay and the rest of the UK votes to leave Scotland should hold a further referendum on independence.

* One of the major challenges for the anti-EU campaign groups is that there is no agreement on an alternative to EU membership. All options are speculative. Any settlement would depend on what the UK sought to achieve following a vote to leave the EU, and what its former EU partners and other countries were prepared to concede. The most frequently talked of options are the Norwegian and Swiss models or operating under the rules of the World Trade Organisation.

* Outside the EU Norway has membership of the European Economic Area (EEA), giving it full access to the Single Market and an opt-out of certain elements of the EU, such as the Common Fisheries Policy. The downside is that Norway has to accept almost all EU legislation, including on the free movement of people, and makes significant contributions to the EU budget, while having no direct say in EU decision making or regulations.

* Switzerland's membership of the European Free Trade Agreement (EFTA) offers a more distant relationship with the EU. As an EFTA member, Switzerland has been free to negotiate the terms of its relationship with the EU and rest of the world on a bilateral basis. Budget contributions to the EFTA secretariat are minimal. In practice Switzerland has signed up to a high proportion of EU regulation, including the free movement of people, and has to make contributions to a number of large EU programmes, in return for access to the Single Market.

* At the other end of the spectrum, the UK could opt for the most distant economic relationship with the EU and forego preferential access to EU markets along Swiss or Norwegian lines. As a member of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) the UK would acquire Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status and would be free to negotiate its own free trade agreements with the EU and other countries. This is the experience of countries such as Australia, which obviously is not subject to EU regulations and budget contributions, but does not have unfettered, tariff-free access to the Single Market.

* These examples only illustrate the experience of other nations outside the EU. The UK is a much larger, more populous nation than Norway and Switzerland and there is no precedent for the departure of a nation from the EU. Much would depend on whether the negotiations that followed a vote to leave would be harmonious or fractious. In such negotiations the UK would face a trade-off between autonomy and accepting regulation to gain access to EU markets. A more distant relationship with Europe would give greater control over borders and regulations, but could also mean a more restricted access to EU markets.

* The UK's aims in any negotiations would depend partly on the result of the referendum. A narrow vote to leave could lead to the UK government trying to achieve further adjustments to the UK's relationship with the EU that could be presented to voters in a second referendum. A landslide vote to leave which was seen as a rejection of EU migration would make it difficult for the UK to seek a Norwegian or Swiss style settlement which requires free movement of people.

* In the referendum voters will be choosing between a known, if evolving, relationship with the rest of Europe and leaving the EU. A vote to leave would be the start of a long and complex process of negotiation as the UK sought to create a new position in the world.
The chief economist where I work wrote a primer this morning on the referendum. As NWA mentioned, it's an interesting point around how the vote breaks down could affect the position going forward.

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Old 22-Feb-2016, 15:51   #144
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Old 24-Feb-2016, 22:56   #145
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No, I don't agree, just a good gif.
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Old 11-Mar-2016, 16:16   #146
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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politic...endum-35783049

Uninspired exit claptrap from BoJo.
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Old 27-Mar-2016, 13:30   #147
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More about Boris than the referendum, but this is really good.

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/opinio...cle4721862.ece
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Old 27-Mar-2016, 14:13   #148
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He's such a caricature. Wouldn't surprise me if he had Kang or Kodos in there.
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Old 27-Mar-2016, 16:11   #149
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Having had Boris as mayor I struggle to list what he's actually done : the old routemasters, buying ridiculous water cannons which will never get used.... the cycling superhighway (which just seems to be a source of mass congestion throughout the City)?

Compared to Ken who brought in the oyster card, congestion zone, the boris bikes (which were his idea) - he's a bit of an odious personality but these were far more tangible developments.
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Old 27-Mar-2016, 17:08   #150
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I try to avoid being partisan as regards Mayors - Livingstone delivered great things for London as you point out - and this is massively off topic but to throw some stuff out there:
  • greenlit lots of new housing in a time when everyone is moaning about not enough homes being built: yes it's massively expensive / unaffordable but that's a UK-wide and global problem, and yes NIMBYs moan about it being high-rise and against the spirit of London, but they fucking moan about everything and are generally self-absorbed, selfish arseholes;
  • implemented minimum standards for new housing (minimum size requirements - the only place in UK where this is mandated - and ceiling heights etc.), which is probably his biggest achievement that you've never heard of
  • implemented cycle hire (implementation is a bigger achievement than the idea) - it needs extension into SE London, but that will follow the infrastructure and developments that are ongoing there that he has greenlit
  • London Living Wage - yeah it's not mandatory but it's a start and is a premise to the National Minimum Wage increase
  • cable car - still it actually makes money, despite the usual falsehoods, and will likely become more utilised as the developments on the Greenwich Peninsula and around Canning Town increase
  • promoted cycling infrastructure - the superhighways are a positive development and the argument that they're a source of mass congestion is silly
  • Olympics?
  • Crossrail?
The next mayor (who I hope is anyone but Khan - it's a worry that he's the best the Labour party can offer) needs to continue the push toward emphasising mass transport over the private car - expand congestion charge zone and increase the charge, minimum occupants for cars during certain hours, increased emphasis / priority on EVs etc.

Last edited by andy; 27-Mar-2016 at 17:13. Reason: listing
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