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Murtagon

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Because it reveals that the EU is not perfect. When a country of the calibre of the UK desires to leave, it may make other Euroskeptic states seriously consider the possible benefits of that.

Countries like Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland and Iceland are not in the EU and yet they enjoy good relations with it. What would happen if others start "defecting" to that group for one reason or another?

As a Bulgarian, I can say what opinions I hear and see whenever Brexit is mentioned: almost never positive. The British are perceived as either idiots who made a large mistake and why isn't there another referendum OR as people who had no business in the EU in the first place, because they are not "European" enough. Huh.

Of course, the real reason for these opinions is much more simple - migration and cheap labour. When the UK is not in the EU, it would be much more difficult for a Bulgarian, Romanian or whatever to go there in the summer to collect apples and strawberries and then brag how he or she has seen the big picture. 

Having said that, my mother has a friend who is a doctor in London. She (the doctor) now has her family there as well. Could anyone in their right mind imagine that they are going to be deported (they have British passports, but still)? No. But those who go there to act as leaches certainly will be. And that is "wrong".

To be fair, the above also applies to France and Germany, but they are practically the ringleaders, so unlikely to leave anytime soon.

What do you think about this? 
MatthewJTaylor

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I think Merkel's recent statements concerning the risk posed to the EU if Britain becomes an Atlantic Singapore (which I hope we do) are very telling and back up your ideas.
The EU is the continuation of Germany by other means, so I highly doubt that Germany will ever leave, but if Brexit goes well and Germany pushes France too far, a post-Macron France may become more Eurosceptic.

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azadi

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I support the current level of European integration, except the Euro. Brexit causing the dissolution of the EU is unlikely to happen, because British-style hard Euroscepticism is insignificant in continental Europe. Most continental Eurosceptics are opposed to further European integration, and they are opposed to the Euro, but they don't want to leave the EU entirely. The national conservative governments of Poland and Hungary are opposed to joining the Eurozone and are opposed to EU refugee quotas, but they don't want to leave the EU.
The EU will be better off without Great Britain, because Great Britain obstructs European military integration and because Great Britain is far more anti-Russian than Germany and France. I want the EU to establish friendly relations with Russia, and European military integration is necessary, because USA is becoming increasingly isolationist. NATO is obsolete, because Russia is no longer ruled by a Communist regime.
The EU is certainly not a continuation of Germany by other means. Germany has a lot of influence in the EU, but France is no less powerful than Germany in the EU. Macron is currently more supportive of further European integration than Merkel is.
Great Britain is culturally far more close to the Anglosphere than to continental Europe, and Bulgaria is culturally far closer to Russia (because Bulgaria is an Orthodox Christian Slavic-speaking country) and Kurdistan (because the Bulgarians claim to be of Iranic origin) than to Western Europe. I would like membership of the EU to be limited to Western Europe and the countries, which were parts of Austria-Hungary.
Wessexman

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The whole point of the European project is and always has been constant integration at piecemeal, gradual rate. This is the so called Monnet method. If this stops, I think the whole project will collapse. This is no doubt the main reason they don't want us to go. Even our opt outs, such as of the Euro, were meant to be temporary. There are different lanes in the EU, but it has always been made crystal clear they all will end at the same destination.

I fail to see how Britain has held up military integration. Blair shamefully signed the St. Malo agreement. We participate in the common security and defense policy, and in the common provisioning system - our armed forces, for example, had to buy inferior Swedish personnel movers over the American Humvees.
azadi

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wessexman
The whole point of the European project is and always has been constant integration at piecemeal, gradual rate. This is the so called Monnet method. If this stops, I think the whole project will collapse. This is no doubt the main reason they don't want us to go. Even our opt outs, such as of the Euro, were meant to be temporary. There are different lanes in the EU, but it has always been made crystal clear they all will end at the same destination.

I fail to see how Britain has held up military integration. Blair shamefully signed the St. Malo agreement. We participate in the common security and defense policy, and in the common provisioning system - our armed forces, for example, had to buy inferior Swedish personnel movers over the American Humvees.

You ignore the fact, that a lot of continental Europeans support the current level of European integration, while opposing further European integration, and that the current governments of Poland and Hungary support the current level of European integration, while opposing further European integration. Most German Eurosceptics want the Mark back, but they don't want Germany to leave the EU. 
Great Britain has always opposed further European military integration. Great Britain is a staunch supporter of Atlanticism and Great Britain is strongly anti-Russian. While Germany and France don't want to leave NATO, they want the EU to become less dependent on USA concerning military matters, and they are less anti-Russian than Great Britain.
Great Britain leaving the EU will make it far more easy to choose an emperor of a federal EU, because Spain will be the only large member state of the EU, if Great Britain leaves the EU. I want the EU to remain a union of sovereign states, but if the EU becomes a federation, I want King Felipe of Spain to become Emperor of Europe, while the Windsors ought to continue ruling Australia and Canada.


Wessexman

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You ignore the fact that isn't directly relevant to my point. These Eurosceptics are, again, whistling Dixie, to use the American phrase. Stopping or reversing EU integration would be like Cnut turning back the tide. If it did happen, I think the whole project would collapse, as integration is its very life blood and raison d'etre.
bator

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Quote:
Originally Posted by azadi
(because Bulgaria is an Orthodox Christian Slavic-speaking country) and Kurdistan (because the Bulgarians claim to be of Iranic origin).


i have never heard about bulgarians to be of iranic origin. they are slavs mixed with a turkic people who gave the name to the country, and descend from the volga bulgars, from whom as far as i know also the chuvash descend, who have kept their original turkic language unlike the balkan bulgars who assimilated into the slavs and sarted speaking slavic and leaving few traces. like the name of the country.
azadi

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wessexman
You ignore the fact that isn't directly relevant to my point. These Eurosceptics are, again, whistling Dixie, to use the American phrase. Stopping or reversing EU integration would be like Cnut turning back the tide. If it did happen, I think the whole project would collapse, as integration is its very life blood and raison d'etre.

The EU can be changed by electing Eurosceptic governments and Eurosceptic members of the European Parliament. De Gaulle managed to prevent further European integration, but he didn't want France to leave the EEC (the predecessor of the EU). De Gaulle wanted the EEC to be a union of sovereign states, and he was opposed to British membership of the EEC. I broadly agree with De Gaulle concerning European integration.
Do you honestly claim, that the national conservative governments of Poland and Hungary and the German Eurosceptics, who want the Mark back, but who don't want to leave the EU, are lying, when they say, that they want their country to remain in the EU?
Wessexman

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De Gaulle didn't achieve too much in terms of lessening integration. In fact, he let it happen on the theory it was good for France. At most he marginally slowed it down.

Hungary and Poland won't achieve much on their own. The commission is the integrationist headquarters, and can pass its regulations without much restraint. The COREPER and the Council of Ministers operate on qualified majority voting. Integration over a very wide area of competencies, from social to energy policy, can go on unaffected unless a substantial minority of nations become opposed. Only really ambitious leaps can be vetod by a single nation or a few. Besides, mild Eurosceptics can always be bought off by throwing their countries, or sections or interests thereof, more bribes. This happens all the time when members have objections to a particular policy or power grab. Only if Germany and France became committed Eurosceptics or such a strong minority arose could integration be halted, but how likely is that to happen? That wouldn't necessarily stop the commission though, at least until Eurosceptic commissioners were put in place (obviously, commissioners also have a tendency to go native and become committed to the project- as Thatcher discovered - so there's also that). But how they'd reverse integration even then is hard to see. It would just stop new integration.

Also, the EU's whole way of being, its raison d'etre and momentum, come from integration. The commission and EU civil service is entirely committed to this, as well are the interest groups and feeders for these institutions. Integration and the spoils from it are how it operates and buys support, philosophical and practical. To even stop that, let alone reverse it, would be like jamming a stick into the spokes of a moving bicycle. I think it would all tip over. It would lose it purpose, it philosophical understanding of its role, and the web of support it relies on throughout Europe from industry, government, civil servants, civil society, and academia.

azadi

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wessexman
De Gaulle didn't achieve too much in terms of lessening integration. In fact, he let it happen on the theory it was good for France. At most he marginally slowed it down.

Hungary and Poland won't achieve much on their own. The commission is the integrationist headquarters, and can pass its regulations without much restraint. The COREPER and the Council of Ministers operate on qualified majority voting. Integration over a very wide area of competencies, from social to energy policy, can go on unaffected unless a substantial minority of nations become opposed. Only really ambitious leaps can be vetod by a single nation or a few. Besides, mild Eurosceptics can always be bought off by throwing their countries, or sections or interests thereof, more bribes. This happens all the time when members have objections to a particular policy or power grab. Only if Germany and France became committed Eurosceptics or such a strong minority arose could integration be halted, but how likely is that to happen? That wouldn't necessarily stop the commission though, at least until Eurosceptic commissioners were put in place (obviously, commissioners also have a tendency to go native and become committed to the project- as Thatcher discovered - so there's also that). But how they'd reverse integration even then is hard to see. It would just stop new integration.

Also, the EU's whole way of being, its raison d'etre and momentum, come from integration. The commission and EU civil service is entirely committed to this, as well are the interest groups and feeders for these institutions. Integration and the spoils from it are how it operates and buys support, philosophical and practical. To even stop that, let alone reverse it, would be like jamming a stick into the spokes of a moving bicycle. I think it would all tip over. It would lose it purpose, it philosophical understanding of its role, and the web of support it relies on throughout Europe from industry, government, civil servants, civil society, and academia.


You are focusing too much on the institutions of the EU, while ignoring public opinion in continental Europe. Many Germans actually want the Mark back, but support for leaving the EU entirely is insignificant in Germany. Most Germans support European integration, but many Germans are sick and tired of sending money to poor Eurozone member states, such as Greece. Greece having mismanaged its economy isn't the fault of Germany. Viktor Orban has prevented EU refugee quotas, and Hungary and Poland have managed to avoid joining the Eurozone. Denmark and Sweden have also managed to avoid joining the Eurozone. I want the treaties of the EU to be amended in order to make it possible for an EU member state to leave the Eurozone without leaving the EU.
I want Kurdistan to join the EU customs union, like Turkey has done, but I'm strongly opposed to Kurdish membership of NATO, because I want Kurdistan to maintain friendly relations with Russia.
I want the EU to lift its sanctions against Russia and I want the EU to establish friendly relations with Russia. The EU and Russia ought to form a strong geopolitical bloc, which will be able to challenge USA and China.
Are you opposed to the continued existence of the EU, if Great Britain leaves the EU? Do you want King Felipe of Spain to be Emperor of Europe, if the EU evolves into a federation?
Wessexman

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Reply with quote  #11 
And you are focusing far too much on speculations about possible, but unlikely, changes in public opinions. Even if these changes do come about I'd say it was more likely, as I make clear above, that a serious attempt to halt and reverse integration would cause a profound crisis in the whole institution, one it probably wouldn't recover from. Your goal, and those of others who talk like this, it seems to me, could only be realistically achieved by starting over on the whole European project.

It isn't really my business whether the EU continues without Britain. Of course, if it does come to an end, that would remove the risk a fresh Heath would try to take us back in one day. Besides, and remembering I hold little hope integration can be wound back, I think it ashame the nations and peoples of Europe have given so much power and influence to Brussels. I certainly wouldn't want to see a federation that reduced the states of Europe to the level of Virginia or Texas, even as they were in 1783. I think it fanciful to imagine the King of Spain ruling over it. I also don't think federations of such unequal members tend to work well, anyway.
azadi

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wessexman
And you are focusing far too much on speculations about possible, but unlikely, changes in public opinions. Even if these changes do come about I'd say it was more likely, as I make clear above, that a serious attempt to halt and reverse integration would cause a profound crisis in the whole institution, one it probably wouldn't recover from. Your goal, and those of others who talk like this, it seems to me, could only be realistically achieved by starting over on the whole European project.

It isn't really my business whether the EU continues without Britain. Of course, if it does come to an end, that would remove the risk a fresh Heath would try to take us back in one day. Besides, and remembering I hold little hope integration can be wound back, I think it ashame the nations and peoples of Europe have given so much power and influence to Brussels. I certainly wouldn't want to see a federation that reduced the states of Europe to the level of Virginia or Texas, even as they were in 1783. I think it fanciful to imagine the King of Spain ruling over it. I also don't think federations of such unequal members tend to work well, anyway.

I'm not speaking about unlikely changes in public opinions. I'm speaking about current German Euroscepticism, the fact, that Poland, Hungary, Denmark and Sweden haven't joined the Eurozone and the fact, that Orban prevented EU refugee quotas. In addition, Germany and France are currently far less hostile to Russia than Great Britain is. Germany and France supported the readmission of Russia to the Council of Europe.
I don't want the EU to evolve into a federation. I want the EU to remain a union of sovereign states. But if the EU evolves into a federation, I want King Felipe to become the figurehead Emperor of Europe.
Wessexman

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Reply with quote  #13 
None of that amounts to committed Eurosceptics getting control of enough EU nations and votes (according to the qualified majority voting system the Council uses for most business) to truly halt or even reverse integration. It's all speculative and, probably, unlikely. If Germans look likely to vote for a genuinely Eurosceptic government, then we would have something. I have no idea what Russia has to do with the precise point at hand.
azadi

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wessexman
None of that amounts to committed Eurosceptics getting control of enough EU nations and votes (according to the qualified majority voting system the Council uses for most business) to truly halt or even reverse integration. It's all speculative and, probably, unlikely. If Germans look likely to vote for a genuinely Eurosceptic government, then we would have something. I have no idea what Russia has to do with the precise point at hand.

Great Britain has been the leading advocate of Russophobia in the EU along with Poland, the Baltic countries, Sweden and Romania, while Germany, France, Italy and Spain are less hostile to Russia. The Five Star Movement, the left-wing populist party, which leads the current Italian government, is pro-Russian. Parts of SPD are pro-Russian. Russia supports the Spanish claim to Gibraltar.
I want Germany to leave the Eurozone, but I don't want to otherwise reverse European integration. I support the EU customs union, the Single Market, the common defence policy of the EU (but I'm opposed to the establishment of a common EU army) and Europol. I want the EU to establish common external border controls in order to limit illegal immigration from Africa and the Middle East, and I support the EU cooperating on combating climate change.
The EU lifting its sanctions against Russia is of more urgent importance to me than Germany leaving the Eurozone. Great Britain leaving the EU will make lifting the EU sanctions against Russia easier to do.
Wessexman

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Reply with quote  #15 
Ok. I don't see the direct relevance of Russia or most of that to the specific discussion you and I were engaged in. You mostly seem to have gone back to your litanies of views vaguely related.

Given the vast powers and competencies the EU already enjoys (it is de facto Britain's supreme and most prolific legislature), I'm not sure I'd describe your position as Eurosceptic in any sense.
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