British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]

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Re: British EU referendum in June

Postby Echo244 » Fri Jun 17, 2016 11:14 pm UTC

Jo Cox MP death: Police probe right-wing links to MP's killing

Not in that article, but on TV are some other reports earlier about anti-terror police getting involved, Nazi regalia found at the suspect's home, links to US groups (including the suspect purchasing info on constructing a homemade firearm, which is the sort of thing that may trigger anti-terror investigations here), and other far-right literature found.

None of this far-right stuff is particularly recently acquired.
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Re: British EU referendum in June

Postby eSOANEM » Sat Jun 18, 2016 2:49 am UTC

Dauric wrote:For the Yanks in the audience (like me)"Britain First" is an ultra-right wing nationalist party (I found that out on NPR this morning).

That said, there's some debate as to whether he said it or not, and IIRC from one report the gunman himself is denying that he ever said anything like that.


I think at this point there are enough sources reporting that he said "(put) Britain first" that that seems the mostly likely thing to have happened. The main question is about whether there was a "put" and whether it was with a big or small f on "first". The party's name is hardly the only thing the phrase (as heard) could be referring to. Again, this is why I'd be wary of anyone assigning blame too specifically at this point in time.

As for labels, assassination seems hard to argue against whilst terrorism feels (to me) like it implies somewhat broader goals and organisation than we know of here (not that this would stop the papers using that label had this been an Arabic Muslim rather than a white man). I'm aware that the official definition of terrorism requires far less but, ultimately, such legal terms *ought* to reflect usage at large rather than vice versa
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Re: British EU referendum in June

Postby HES » Sat Jun 18, 2016 10:15 am UTC

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Re: British EU referendum in June

Postby Echo244 » Sat Jun 18, 2016 12:36 pm UTC

...fuck.

I guess that removes some of the doubts.

By the way, my name's Echo and I think I'm a traitor.
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Re: British EU referendum in June

Postby BattleMoose » Tue Jun 21, 2016 7:09 am UTC

Science and Brexit:

Okay a bit late to the discussion on this but a fair bit to add. I am a sciencer and work at a well respected science department at an Australian university. In the department we have a very large number of foreign scientists from the EU and other places. We particularly have a large number of Germans at professor, post doc and phd student levels. We have also had a large number of scientists working here from the UK.

Australia, with all its Visa requirements and very large distances from Europe, is able to attract large numbers of scientists from the EU. Should the UK leave the EU, I don't see Visa requirements to be much of a hurdle at all. A small hurdle verily, but, pretty damn small. Sorting out Visa's takes some effort but really isn't that hard. And for the amount of effort people put into this days into acquiring jobs, the amount of effort for Visa's just becomes trivial. As an example, one of my colleagues has just flown to the UK, from Australia, for a job interview.

And if someone is really ambitious in their field then there will only be a handful of departments in the world that would be appropriate. Visa's are just a non-issue. You do what you need to do to get them and pursue your career.

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Re: British EU referendum in June

Postby Xenomortis » Tue Jun 21, 2016 8:58 am UTC

I work at a sciencing place in the UK (although I'm not a sciencer).
There are a lot of people form outside the UK here - many from Europe, but also many from outside.
Leaving the EU would have a minor effect, it adds a slight road bump for hiring those within Europe, a barrier that already exists and one that has been demonstrated to be overcome.
Honestly, I suspect money is the bigger concern within the science community.
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Re: British EU referendum in June

Postby Echo244 » Tue Jun 21, 2016 10:33 am UTC

Aye, my academic sciencer friends are concerned about the funding, but also for how welcoming the UK is for foreign students (whose fees are a significant source of income) in an atmosphere where, at this point, more or less everyone is promising to reduce net migration by any means necessary.
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Re: British EU referendum in June

Postby Soupspoon » Tue Jun 21, 2016 11:11 am UTC

Not in academe, myself, but a close (online) friend of mine (and partner) recently transfered to the UK from outside the EU in such a situation and I heard much about the difficulties in both getting the prerequisites for travel and then actually settling in. The fuss over visas, the huge 'deposit' required in order to then be allowed to use NHS services, the catch-22 of a local bank account needed to rent the 'permanent address' needed to get a local bank account, etc.

Having said that, I don't know how much easier it currently is for inter-EU transference (fewer visa issues, I imagine, but not totally exmpt) suspecting that when I temporarily transfered into mainland Europe, for the firm I was working for at the time, that I actually was required to do more than I did (usual passported flight-checks in and out) and whilst living in the company-rented flat on foreign soil I might have actually needed to have officially registered as a Gastarbeiter or something, but as a single person being still paid back in the UK and fortunately needing no medical treatment for the duration, I probably slipped under the radar.

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Re: British EU referendum in June

Postby eSOANEM » Wed Jun 22, 2016 10:57 pm UTC

All the final polls (with the exception of ipsos mori which is yet to be released) put remain ahead although only one of these is a bigger lead than the margin of error. Link

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Re: British EU referendum in June

Postby Mutex » Wed Jun 22, 2016 11:32 pm UTC

I've genuinely been suffering from anxiety tonight. Can't put it out of my mind. If the theories that Brexit could result in breakup of the EU it really feels like this will have an enormous impact on the future of the world - the geopolitical impact of a disunited Europe is big.

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Re: British EU referendum in June

Postby kingofdreams » Thu Jun 23, 2016 5:28 am UTC

to a degree many political acts of import can be seen as world changing because of the notion that we are at the end of history

but this is deeply harrowing
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Re: British EU referendum in June

Postby BattleMoose » Thu Jun 23, 2016 5:37 am UTC

I really don't see BREXIT as such a big deal? For it to be harrowing? To cause so much anxiety?

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Re: British EU referendum in June

Postby sardia » Thu Jun 23, 2016 5:47 am UTC

BattleMoose wrote:I really don't see BREXIT as such a big deal? For it to be harrowing? To cause so much anxiety?

Global shockwaves turn into recessions, which cause contagion? Don't you remember the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis? Wars spark to life and authoritarians rise when the economy sputters. This is one of the few times that morons intentionally went there. Did you forget about the debt ceiling chicken games of 2010?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Financial_contagion

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Re: British EU referendum in June

Postby BattleMoose » Thu Jun 23, 2016 5:54 am UTC

The 1997 Asian Financial Crisis was essentially spawned by some serious fundamental issues in the Thailand economy which had a knock on effect and so on. The issues here will largely be relating to the bureaucratic nature of taxes and legislation for companies operating and importing/exporting in the EU and the UK respectively. There is no fundamental economic issues here to be worried about.

The companies will continue to perform their economic activities and goods will continue to be imported and exported. The bureaucratic nature will be different and that will carry additional costs but, I really don't see those additional costs to be anywhere close to being able to cause a financial meltdown.

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Re: British EU referendum in June

Postby sardia » Thu Jun 23, 2016 6:00 am UTC

BattleMoose wrote:The 1997 Asian Financial Crisis was essentially spawned by some serious fundamental issues in the Thailand economy which had a knock on effect and so on. The issues here will largely be relating to the bureaucratic nature of taxes and legislation for companies operating and importing/exporting in the EU and the UK respectively. There is no fundamental economic issues here to be worried about.

The companies will continue to perform their economic activities and goods will continue to be imported and exported. The bureaucratic nature will be different and that will carry additional costs but, I really don't see those additional costs to be anywhere close to being able to cause a financial meltdown.
You got a source for that? Cuz that's definitely not what most of the economists are saying.

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Re: British EU referendum in June

Postby BattleMoose » Thu Jun 23, 2016 6:13 am UTC

Have economists ever displayed a skill in prediction?

EDIT: After a small amount of googling.

The range of estimates on the potential economic consequences of a Brexit is amazingly wide – from +12 percent of GDP to potentially around –20 percent.


http://www.iwkoeln.de/studien/iw-report ... act-277405

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Re: British EU referendum in June

Postby elasto » Thu Jun 23, 2016 7:03 am UTC

You don't really need predictions from economists to know what would happen with a Brexit: When the polls showed a surge towards Leave, the market and sterling were both hit pretty hard.

I don't know of any credible, large organisation whether it's the BoE or the IMF that is not predicting bad things from a Brexit - as are most international firms, who have promised to reduce UK investment.

All of this mess could have been avoided if, from the Blair government onwards, there had been a focus on keeping housing affordable.

Even flatlining wages can be lived with if rent and utility costs are likewise flat. But central coffers swallowed the economic benefits of inward migration while letting the living standards of ordinary people slowly atrophy. The financial crash and subsequent austerity was then the straw that broke the camel's back.

People want someone to lash out at, and, as is painfully typical, they blame perceived 'outsiders' - despite the average immigrant being more skilled and harder working than the average native (which is obvious when you think about it: It takes a single-minded ambition to leave the land you grew up in and all your friends and family to try to make your way in a foreign land).

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Re: British EU referendum in June

Postby BattleMoose » Thu Jun 23, 2016 7:22 am UTC

I don't know of any credible, large organisation whether it's the BoE or the IMF that is not predicting bad things from a Brexit - as are most international firms, who have promised to reduce UK investment.


When there is a meta analysis of the peer reviewed literature that deals with the exact question that is being asked, its extremely foolish to ignore it. Many of the peer reviewed studies do posit that if sensible trade agreements (they deal with a range of scenarios) are negotiated between the UK and the EU then a BREXIT could be financially beneficial. While the overall consensus does seem to suggest that a BREXIT could cost the UK economy only a few percentage points, 1-3%.

International firms obviously have a strong invested interest in the UK remaining part of the EU. What is good for large international firms is often not good for the actual countries involved. They have a strong bias.

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Re: British EU referendum in June

Postby Echo244 » Thu Jun 23, 2016 8:17 am UTC

elasto wrote:You don't really need predictions from economists to know what would happen with a Brexit: When the polls showed a surge towards Leave, the market and sterling were both hit pretty hard.

I don't know of any credible, large organisation whether it's the BoE or the IMF that is not predicting bad things from a Brexit - as are most international firms, who have promised to reduce UK investment.

All of this mess could have been avoided if, from the Blair government onwards, there had been a focus on keeping housing affordable.

Even flatlining wages can be lived with if rent and utility costs are likewise flat. But central coffers swallowed the economic benefits of inward migration while letting the living standards of ordinary people slowly atrophy. The financial crash and subsequent austerity was then the straw that broke the camel's back.

People want someone to lash out at, and, as is painfully typical, they blame perceived 'outsiders' - despite the average immigrant being more skilled and harder working than the average native (which is obvious when you think about it: It takes a single-minded ambition to leave the land you grew up in and all your friends and family to try to make your way in a foreign land).


Amen to this. It's exactly the problem, and so heartbreaking that the recent discourse is dominated by how much each side will stamp down on net migration. Because reducing migration will not fix the issue, and so another scapegoat will be looked for. Who's next? And then next? And what happens when we have no-one left to blame?

Anyway. My act of treason has been committed.
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Re: British EU referendum in June

Postby Mutex » Thu Jun 23, 2016 8:54 am UTC

The thing that really baffles me is the people blaming EU migration for the state of the NHS. EU migrants make up a tiny % of the population but a quite large % of doctors. And they bring in more tax money than native Brits. So... the solution to fixing the NHS is fewer doctors and less tax money, apparently.

Also they get blamed for taking our jobs (as well as being layout benefit scroungers, obviously) - Unemployment here is 5%. It's low. There's no shortage of jobs. Blaming migrants for our problems is one thing, blaming them for a problem that doesn't exist is next-level xenophobia. EU migrants provide workers for job positions we wouldn't otherwise be able to fill.

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Re: British EU referendum in June

Postby Diadem » Thu Jun 23, 2016 8:59 am UTC

I'm kind of wondering what Europe's response will be if Britain leaves.

I don't know how Machiavellian European politicians are, but if I were a Machiavellian leader of Europe, I'd be thinking to myself that I don't really mind Britain leaving. It would be disappointing, but something I could live with. What I couldn't allow though would be Britain leaving and subsequently being successful. So in case of a Brexit I would be making sure that the Britain's economy ends up crashing badly. Will will greatly discourage other countries from following suit, and allow me to push forward on further European integration.

Are European 'punishments' over a Brexit at all a concern for British people?
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Re: British EU referendum in June

Postby Mutex » Thu Jun 23, 2016 9:05 am UTC

Yes. Although the Brexit camp response was "with friends like that, who needs enemies".

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Re: British EU referendum in June

Postby Xenomortis » Thu Jun 23, 2016 9:07 am UTC

I think that would be giving politicians far too much credit.
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Re: British EU referendum in June

Postby SlyReaper » Thu Jun 23, 2016 9:25 am UTC

I've decided to vote Remain. Will do so after work.

I still have strong reservations about the anti-democratic nature of the EU, but I've been persuaded that our elected parliament does have the means to push back on EU directives. As evidenced, for example, by the fact we're not in the Euro zone. In particular, Article 50 still exists. If the EU really does start heading down a dark path, the mechanism to leave still exists.

I'm still sorely tempted to tell the EU to fuck off.
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Re: British EU referendum in June

Postby Xenomortis » Thu Jun 23, 2016 9:31 am UTC

I believe that part of being British is feeling a deep sense of telling other Europeans to "fuck off, we know best".
Also thinking that Americans are more stupid than us, and that the world would be better if "we were in charge".

Oh how we long for those days of imperialism.
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Re: British EU referendum in June

Postby Fractal_Tangent » Thu Jun 23, 2016 9:32 am UTC

I voted via postal awhile ago.

Michael Gove said yesterday (or maybe the day before?) to Radio 4 (god, I'm so old) that the UK was going to leave the EU after we'd negotiated more favorable terms for ourselves and then the EU was going to give us an even better trade deal than the one we already have.
I don't understand a world in which the EU is going to make it such that countries who leave get a better deal than countries who stay in. That's absolutely the opposite of what the EU stands for.

Also, I haven't seen a plan as to what to do afterwards. Nobody on the leave side seems to have put together a strong plan of what they would do. Granted, I understand that they're not a government. But there's literally no plan. There is just 'we'll match everyone's funding, put more money into the NHS, there will be no consequences.' There seems to be a consensus that there will be economic consequences and I'd like to see someone put together a well thought out plan of where the money will go, what will happen to current EU citizens living here, what happens to subsidies to farmers etc. None of this 'promising money to everyone and having no numbers'. I want a solid plan.
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Re: British EU referendum in June

Postby Echo244 » Thu Jun 23, 2016 9:35 am UTC

Xenomortis wrote:I believe that part of being British is feeling a deep sense of telling other Europeans to "fuck off, we know best".
Also thinking that Americans are more stupid than us, and that the world would be better if "we were in charge".

Oh how we long for those days of imperialism.

...and how the rest of the world isn't going to suddenly fit in with that...

Anyway. I would somewhat disagree, I don't think that mentality is ubiquitous across all parts of Britain.
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Re: British EU referendum in June

Postby Mutex » Thu Jun 23, 2016 9:39 am UTC

Honestly if there is a vote to leave I think the government will just end up negotiating a deal where we're in the EU in all but name. Maybe something like Norway's deal.

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Re: British EU referendum in June

Postby Echo244 » Thu Jun 23, 2016 9:56 am UTC

...where we're paying for access to things, but having much less of a voice in things?!?
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Re: British EU referendum in June

Postby Mutex » Thu Jun 23, 2016 9:58 am UTC

Yep. We might try to wrangle it so we get influence on decisions somehow.

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Re: British EU referendum in June

Postby Echo244 » Thu Jun 23, 2016 10:01 am UTC

Our ability to "wrangle" something, anything, is undermined by the act of our leaving and becoming the outsider.
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Re: British EU referendum in June

Postby Mutex » Thu Jun 23, 2016 10:08 am UTC

Yes, very much so.

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Re: British EU referendum in June

Postby Fractal_Tangent » Thu Jun 23, 2016 10:27 am UTC

Oh yes, the 'Leave but still be in the EU but for cheaper with better deals than all the member countries' scenario.

Not seeing it happening.
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Re: British EU referendum in June

Postby elasto » Thu Jun 23, 2016 12:55 pm UTC

BattleMoose wrote:When there is a meta analysis of the peer reviewed literature that deals with the exact question that is being asked, its extremely foolish to ignore it. Many of the peer reviewed studies do posit that if sensible trade agreements (they deal with a range of scenarios) are negotiated between the UK and the EU then a BREXIT could be financially beneficial.

Of course, but that ignores real-world politics in two ways:

Firstly, as Fractal_Tangent says, it makes no sense to give countries outside the EU a better trade deal than ones inside of it. Secondly, we already have a better deal than most countries in the EU through our rebate.

Put those two things together, and it's impossible we'll get a better deal than now if we leave - especially if we insist on no free movement of labour (which obviously we would.)

All the talk of 'we're net importers from Europe so a trade war will hurt them more than us and they'll cave in to whatever we demand' is simply naive. If that's how the real world worked there'd be no trade barriers anywhere.

Mutex is spot on with his commentary on the NHS and unemployment also; But not only is there no shortage of jobs, if you've ever come into the UK by plane you'll know there's no shortage of land either. Even the supposed 'full up' South-East is 95% fields, let alone everywhere else.

Sure, that means new developments - my preference would be building entire new towns from scratch ala Milton Keynes - but successive governments preferred to let the house-price bubble grow exponentially - which is nothing but a massive transference of wealth from the young to the old.

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Re: British EU referendum in June

Postby Diadem » Thu Jun 23, 2016 1:12 pm UTC

elasto wrote:All the talk of 'we're net importers from Europe so a trade war will hurt them more than us and they'll cave in to whatever we demand' is simply naive. If that's how the real world worked there'd be no trade barriers anywhere.

I'd also like to point out that the rest of the EU is rather a lot bigger than the UK. So even if the EU will be hit harder in absolute numbers, the UK will be hit harder relatively. A loss of €1,- in the UK hurts more than a loss of €2,- in the EU.
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Re: British EU referendum in June

Postby Echo244 » Thu Jun 23, 2016 1:15 pm UTC

elasto wrote:Sure, that means new developments - my preference would be building entire new towns from scratch ala Milton Keynes - but successive governments preferred to let the house-price bubble grow exponentially - which is nothing but a massive transference of wealth from the young to the old.


Or from the unlikely-or-protest-voters to the reliable-voters... ;-D
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Re: British EU referendum in June

Postby elasto » Thu Jun 23, 2016 1:20 pm UTC

Echo244 wrote:Or from the unlikely-or-protest-voters to the reliable-voters... ;-D

Funny that! Although the young are apparently turning out in high numbers for this one. Hopefully they'll get the bug...

---

I wonder if the bad weather will influence the result. Leavers are markedly more passionate about the issue than Remainers (it's not just anecdotal, there's hard statistics backing that up), so you'd expect impediments to voting to swing the result in their direction.

Also, I fear that if Remain does win, it'll only do so by a couple of percentage points, which doesn't feel decisive enough to actually lay the issue to rest - especially in the Tory party but, really, country-wide. eg.

Steven Morris @ The Guardian wrote:North Wiltshire Tory MP James Gray (a passionate leave supporter) says if people vote to remain he will accept “the democratic will of the people”, but only if it is a “reasonable majority” suggestion around 60-40.

Are the Leave campaigners paving the way for the next wave of campaigning if they lose?

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Re: British EU referendum in June

Postby Soupspoon » Thu Jun 23, 2016 2:01 pm UTC

Add half the no-votes (and those known to be unregistered?) to the losing side's count, and conveniently don't do the same for the winner, and it'll be proclaimed that the winner isn't even a winner. (Not an argument I'd use, but it'll come up as a statement from some corner of the losing camp, I'll warrant.)

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Re: British EU referendum in June

Postby Mutex » Thu Jun 23, 2016 2:40 pm UTC

On top of that I'm already seeing people (Leave supporters) complaining that the voting booths have pencils, not pens. Apparently they think this means there's a conspiracy to rub out all the leave votes and change them to remain. I pointed out that if it's possible to tamper with the ballot boxes, even if the votes were in pen they could just throw away the leave votes and replace them with new ballot papers. You can only keep the vote secure by stopping people from tampering with the ballot boxes.

But yeah, it looks like they're already thinking of ways to call the result into question if and when they lose.

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Re: British EU referendum in June

Postby Echo244 » Thu Jun 23, 2016 2:58 pm UTC

Complaining about pencils instead of pens is absolutely entering moon-landing-hoax levels of conspiracy theorism.

And as for not accepting anything less than 60-40 as a loss... well, as with Scottish Independence, the result sticks for now but the issue has absolutely not gone away. Remain needs not just to win now, but to catch up on a looooooong period of immigrants being demonised and blamed for the inequality in society. James Gray MP's comment sounds like pre-emptive sour grapes but neither side can afford to play the normal Westminster game of "2% majority means our side gets EVERYTHING we wanted and the other side gets NOTHING because <drowned out by braying from both sides of the Commons>"
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