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

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Re: British EU referendum in June

Postby Fractal_Tangent » Fri Jun 24, 2016 6:25 am UTC

Fuck this tiny shortsighted racist country.
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Re: British EU referendum in June

Postby elasto » Fri Jun 24, 2016 6:26 am UTC

Wow. Brexit it is. Guess we'll see who's right now.

The financial markets are going beserk though. At one stage Sterling hit it's lowest value for 30 years. The FTSE has dropped 7% so far. It's a much bigger hit than the 2008 financial crisis.

I genuinely think the rain could have affected the results. Certain polling stations were flooded. And it mainly hit the Remain strongholds. Maybe God is a Brexiter!

The value of the pound has fallen dramatically as it emerged that the UK had voted to leave the EU. At one stage, it hit $1.3305, a fall of more than 10%, and a low not seen since 1985.

The Bank of England said it was "monitoring developments closely" and would take "all necessary steps" to support monetary stability.

Before the results started to come in, the pound had risen as high as $1.50, as traders bet on a Remain victory. But following early strong Leave votes in north-east England, it tumbled to $1.43 and then took another dive after 03:00 BST as Leave maintained its lead.

The move in sterling is the biggest one-day fall ever seen and London's main share index, the FTSE 100, is expected to open sharply lower, with indications of a fall of about 7%.

A weaker pound buys fewer dollars or other foreign currencies, which makes it more expensive to buy products from abroad. However, it should benefit exporters as it makes their goods cheaper abroad.

Against the euro, the pound dropped 7% to about €1.2085. The euro also fell 3.3% against the dollar, its biggest one-day fall since the currency's inception.

Currency traders say these moves are more extreme than those seen during the financial crisis of 2008.

"Never seen anything like it. These are once-in-a-lifetime moves, bigger than Lehmans and Black Wednesday," said Joe Rundle, head of trading at ETX Capital. "We're waiting for the big money to crank into action over the coming days and even weeks, which will likely exert further downward pressure on sterling."


The only short term hope I see is that the Brexit politicians have promised not to actually push the Leave button until negotiations are complete, would could take years.

Also, interestingly, the referendum has no actual weight in law, any more than, say, a petition delivered to Downing Street does.

The Guardian wrote:The simple answer to the question as to whether the EU referendum is legally binding is “no”. In theory, in the event of a vote to leave the EU, David Cameron, who opposes Brexit, could decide to ignore the will of the people and put the question to MPs banking on a majority deciding to remain.

This is because parliament is sovereign and referendums are generally not binding in the UK.

An exception was the 2011 referendum on changing the electoral system to alternative vote, where the relevant legislation obligated the government to change the law to reflect a “yes” vote had that occurred. No such provision was contained within the EU referendum legislation.

In 1975, when the last vote on whether to stay in the EU (then the European economic community) was held, the rightwing Conservative MP Enoch Powell, unhappy about what he considered a loss of national sovereignty, argued that the result was merely provisional as it could not be legally binding on parliament.

If the British public votes on Thursday for Brexit it will be in the hands of Cameron to decide when to invoke article 50 of the Lisbon treaty, which represents formal notification of any decision to leave. The prime minister has said he would have to trigger it immediately after a vote, although this might have been a way of emphasising that there would be no going back, to people thinking of voting leave.

Some advocates of Brexit argue that discussions with other member states could start informally, without article 50 having to be invoked. There has even been the argument, made by some in the Brexit camp, that the mere threat of departure following a vote to leave could smooth the way to a better deal for Britain which could then be put to voters in a second referendum on EU membership.

The wrangling reflects the fact that there is no binding legal process to force Cameron to invoke article 50. In theory, he could ignore the public and disregard a Brexit vote. In practice he has repeatedly promised that the result will stick – and there may be no going back on that line now.


As one poster in another forum put it:

Some random guy wrote:If there is a 'leave' vote, it would be unexpected and would trigger a very sudden meltdown on the markets, with the FTSE and GBP hardest hit. Gove and Johnson have made clear they don't plan on triggering article 50 immediately to give them time to get a new deal as part of leaving, but if the UK economy was going off a cliff, public opinion would surely shift very quickly... against actually leaving at all.

With 450+ pro-remain MPs in parliament, if public opinion in the crisis shifted very hard against leaving, e.g. 65%+, parliament would have very strong grounds to overrule the referendum result and put it aside.

The vast majority would breathe a sigh of relief. The hardcode outers would be outraged, Johnson and Gove's careers would be finished, as would Farage, and Britain would reluctantly accept that it simply had no other option than EU membership and should in future make the best of it.


We could be heading for a Greek scenario here - where the public votes to cancel austerity, cancel debts and perhaps leave the EU, and the government turns around and does the opposite of their voters wishes. We might still stay in the EU yet - though obviously noone would bet on it...

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Re: British EU referendum in June

Postby Lucrece » Fri Jun 24, 2016 6:40 am UTC

Fractal_Tangent wrote:Fuck this tiny shortsighted racist country.



Britons have always felt separate from Europe. I won't forget how in a European guild (as an American member), the British players constantly referred to the other Europeans as "You Europeans". As if they were their own continent.

This has come long before any arguments about immigrants in Britain, so this has nothing to do with racism.

It's nationalism at its purest. They threw a tantrum because the British courts could be subjugated under a greater European court.

That's democracy, though. It's how it's supposed to work.
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Re: British EU referendum in June

Postby Fractal_Tangent » Fri Jun 24, 2016 6:42 am UTC

I'm not sure that makes me feel any better.
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Re: British EU referendum in June

Postby Xenomortis » Fri Jun 24, 2016 6:46 am UTC

I admit to being somewhat shocked at this result - I went to bed at 3 am where it was still, with Leave and Remain overtaking each other now and then.
Looking around, everyone else is too.

Edit:
Cameron says he is going to resign after a "period for stability" - aiming for before the next Conservative conference (October).
Last edited by Xenomortis on Fri Jun 24, 2016 7:25 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: British EU referendum in June

Postby ThemePark » Fri Jun 24, 2016 7:23 am UTC

And now Cameron is resigning.
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Re: British EU referendum in June

Postby elasto » Fri Jun 24, 2016 7:26 am UTC

[Edit: beaten to the punch :D]

Cameron says he will stay on temporarily but expects to resign by October.

He also says the new PM should choose the time to invoke Article 50 (to formally start the leave process)

So, we could have Prime Minister Boris by the end of the year - and a UK independent from the EU, and even a Scotland independent from the UK by the end of the decade...

Also, with the Brexit camp banging on about democracy all the time, will they have the chutzpah to anoint a new PM without a general election?

---

There is also a deep irony that Cameron delivered a real surprise by winning the last general election outright, and was therefore forced to deliver his promised EU referendum; He'd probably have expected (and, now, preferred!) another coalition government to quietly kibosh it...

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Re: British EU referendum in June

Postby Xenomortis » Fri Jun 24, 2016 8:07 am UTC

Salmond says another Scottish referendum should be conducted within the next couple of years. Northern Ireland also voted Remain (a narrower vote than Scotland's).
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Re: British EU referendum in June

Postby elasto » Fri Jun 24, 2016 8:31 am UTC

Xenomortis wrote:Salmond says another Scottish referendum should be conducted within the next couple of years. Northern Ireland also voted Remain (a narrower vote than Scotland's).
Am I to live through the balkanization of my country?

It's going to be somewhat bizarre to go from being an island nation - with the seas as our natural border - to having Scotland and Ireland being foreign nations.

In many ways we are going to have no more control over our borders than we ever did: We'll still have illegal immigrants coming in, working under the radar; Terrorists will still be able to come in - into Europe, then flying into Scotland, then walking into England). The fate of our security is in the hands of foreign governments just as much today as it was yesterday.

As I said earlier in the thread, unless we are planning to have border controls and customs between us and Scotland, say, the 'sovereignty' we gain with today's vote is far more illusory than suggested...

---

Wales voters backed Brexit though - can anyone explain that? Was Wales suffering a lot from immigration..? Don't they get that the EU poured masses of money into Wales?

Wales is demanding they don't lose out financially from the UK leaving. Do they really fancy their chances once the hard right seize full control of the Tory party..?

---

Not only is Alex Salmond saying a second Scottish independence vote is likely, Gerry Adams of Sinn Fein has said there should be a vote on a United Ireland...
Last edited by elasto on Fri Jun 24, 2016 8:40 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: British EU referendum in June

Postby BattleMoose » Fri Jun 24, 2016 8:39 am UTC

The FTSE has been open for an hour and its only dropped by about 4.5% and has been gaining consistently since the initial drop. This really isn't the nightmare scenario that people have been espousing.

In many ways we are going to have no more control over our borders than we ever did:


The UK can now choose how many immigrants it wants to get from Spain and Eastern Europe. That's certainly a new control that doesn't exist as being part of the EU.

All in all, I would have actually voted to remain. I just find the general attitude that the remainers have of the leavers as really quite appalling. There are some really decent reasons for leaving as there are for staying. But going through here and facebook, the leavers are painted almost exclusively as moronic racist bigots. :/

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Re: British EU referendum in June

Postby elasto » Fri Jun 24, 2016 8:46 am UTC

BattleMoose wrote:The FTSE has been open for an hour and its only dropped by about 4.5% and has been gaining consistently since the initial drop. This really isn't the nightmare scenario that people have been espousing.

Well, that's mainly because the PM has come out and said he won't invoke Article 50 immediately. It just means the pain will happen over time, not that it won't happen at all.

BattleMoose wrote:The UK can now choose how many immigrants it wants to get from Spain and Eastern Europe. That's certainly a new control that doesn't exist as being part of the EU.

Obviously. Noone would dispute that. The point is that we'll probably end up with roughly the same level of immigration as we do now - because the vast majority of immigrants aren't workshy scroungers on benefits, they are in work.

So we gain back a theoretical level of control, only for nothing to really change - assuming we aren't prepared to tank the economy - and assuming we'll continue to accept asylum seekers from around the world as we always have and have a moral duty to do.

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Re: British EU referendum in June

Postby BattleMoose » Fri Jun 24, 2016 8:56 am UTC

elasto wrote:The point is that we'll probably end up with roughly the same level of immigration as we do now - because the vast majority of immigrants aren't workshy scroungers on benefits, they are in work.


Just no. The UK gets about 100k immigrants per year from EU countries. Anyone from the EU can go there and that is fine. If the UK leaves the EU, it will most likely (certainly for reasons of leaving) adopt much tighter immigration controls, like many first world countries in the world. Where immigration is limited to skilled labour. Basically all unskilled labour emigrating to the UK from the EU can be eliminated. Almost certainly will be.

Well, that's mainly because the PM has come out and said he won't invoke Article 50 immediately. It just means the pain will happen over time, not that it won't happen at all.


That was a given. Did anyone really expect article 50 to be immediately invoked? Seriously?

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Re: British EU referendum in June

Postby Echo244 » Fri Jun 24, 2016 8:59 am UTC

elasto wrote:Wales voters backed Brexit though - can anyone explain that? Was Wales suffering a lot from immigration..? Don't they get that the EU poured masses of money into Wales?


I think a lot of the areas voting Leave, didn't necessarily see a great deal of immigration. What they did see was the sharp end of austerity and deprivation, combined with an endless narrative about immigrants coming and taking jobs. So immigration was the dominant issue even for places which didn't see any. I think the view is that Less Immigration and Less Of "Them" means More For "Us", and things will improve for people in struggling areas.

I don't see things improving, especially if the way that politicians try to do that is by targetting immigration.

elasto wrote:Wales is demanding they don't lose out financially from the UK leaving. Do they really fancy their chances once the hard right seize full control of the Tory party..?


I don't think they've thought that one through either. Mind you, Scotland's first in the firing line with the funding formula and probable independence anyway.

So, yeah, things are going to get bad, soon. Next PM, by October, will be a Brexiter, and will be acting to bring down net migration, fast, before the next Westminster election. Don't be foreign.
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Re: British EU referendum in June

Postby elasto » Fri Jun 24, 2016 9:04 am UTC

BattleMoose wrote:Basically all unskilled labour emigrating to the UK from the EU can be eliminated. Almost certainly will be.

Sure, but the amount of unskilled labour from the EU is not a high percentage of total immigration. I'm not saying immigration overall won't fall at all, just that it won't fall significantly.

So, sure, there might be a theoretical upward pressure on unskilled wages as a result of this, but the standard of living of the common man will likely fall through extra inflation, imports being more expensive and so on - as well as increased austerity from interest rates on government borrowing rising, from tax take dropping from reduced foreign investment and so on.

Basically it's a Pyrrhic victory at best - a case of people getting what they asked for but not what they wanted.

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Re: British EU referendum in June

Postby BattleMoose » Fri Jun 24, 2016 9:15 am UTC

elasto wrote:
BattleMoose wrote:Basically all unskilled labour emigrating to the UK from the EU can be eliminated. Almost certainly will be.

Sure, but the amount of unskilled labour from the EU is not a high percentage of total immigration. I'm not saying immigration overall won't fall at all, just that it won't fall significantly.


Do you have numbers for that? Because I am really not buying it. I would expect immigration to return to something between 1995-2000 levels.

So, sure, there might be a theoretical upward pressure on unskilled wages as a result of this, but the standard of living of the common man will likely fall through extra inflation, imports being more expensive and so on - as well as increased austerity from interest rates on government borrowing rising, from tax take dropping from reduced foreign investment and so on.


Based on the peer reviewed literature the economic effect of a Brexit could be positive but probably a GDP drop of between 1-3% of GDP. With greater autonomy on spending, I don't think the economic future is even remotely that bleak.

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Re: British EU referendum in June

Postby Echo244 » Fri Jun 24, 2016 9:18 am UTC

elasto wrote:Sure, but the amount of unskilled labour from the EU is not a high percentage of total immigration. I'm not saying immigration overall won't fall at all, just that it won't fall significantly.


Yes, it will. Immigration is the hot topic. Net migration the headline figure. The next PM will be using more or less any means necessary to reduce net migration figures by the next election. We've already had "Go home" vans from the Home Office driving round certain neighbourhoods. It's going to be the measure by which the success of the next PM is judged, regardless of whether or not it's a good idea, or what horrors are done in the name of changing the figure.
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Re: British EU referendum in June

Postby HES » Fri Jun 24, 2016 9:37 am UTC

At no point did the leave campaign say they would reduce immigration. In the last debate, they overtly refused to do so. "Take back control" was always just rhetoric to pander to the xenophobic.
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Re: British EU referendum in June

Postby BattleMoose » Fri Jun 24, 2016 9:42 am UTC

HES wrote:At no point did the leave campaign say they would reduce immigration. In the last debate, they overtly refused to do so. "Take back control" was always just rhetoric to pander to the xenophobic.


What? http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-eu- ... m-36534802

Vote Leave said over subsequent sessions of Parliament it wanted to introduce:

Asylum and Immigration Control Bill - "To end the automatic right of all EU citizens to enter the UK"

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Re: British EU referendum in June

Postby Diadem » Fri Jun 24, 2016 9:45 am UTC

BattleMoose wrote:The UK can now choose how many immigrants it wants to get from Spain and Eastern Europe. That's certainly a new control that doesn't exist as being part of the EU.

How? I mean they theoretically could, but do you think they EU is going to accept that?

Britain: "Ok, now that we left the EU, let's renegotiate free travel between our nations"
EU: "Sounds good. Let's allow free travel and immigration from the UK to any EU member state, and from any EU member state to the UK"
Britain: "Actually we want to restrict travel for people from Spain and Eastern Europe, and free travel for everybody else"
EU: "Eh.. Why would we accept such a deal?".
Britain: "Please?"
Eu: "No."
Britain: "No deal then"
EU: "Sure, enjoy having to request a visa every time you want to get off your god-damned island. Or travel to Scotland, because they just joined us".
Britain: "Fuck"

Do you really think Britain will be able to convince the EU to put in specific exceptions to renegotiated treaties that are very detrimental to some member states? I don't see it happening. The only way to block people from Spain or Eastern Europe will be to block all Europeans, and that would be suicide.
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Re: British EU referendum in June

Postby jseah » Fri Jun 24, 2016 9:53 am UTC

Reducing migration could be as simple as imposing a cap. Say the goal is 50k per year (half):

Implement a points or ratings system. The top 50k scorers get their visas, the rest don't. Ties are decided by lottery (and inform the ones who fail that they were on the cutoff and maybe try again next year). Simple.

The way you score then implements your migration policy. Eg. if you want to make sure researchers aren't affected, then having or doing a phd, gaining research funding, etc. would score really high. If you want to be racist, that's also possible, negative points based on home country; or positive points, same thing really; more deviously, have an interview scoring section and employ crazy right wingers. If you wish to increase cultural uniformity, a British history/social studies test could grant points. (more accurately, if you want immigrants to know UK culture, a local trivia test would be more in line, perhaps a quiz about british TV shows and celebrities? But fat chance of that coming out of a government committee)

50k could be just 50k visas, flat. Or it could be net (number of new visas = 50k + number of previous visas expiring without being renewed).


The business might complain just a bit. (or... influence... the design committee to have net assets count as bonus points? =( Have visa cap exemptions for employees of a firm, just like tax breaks? Shady possibilities easily present themselves)
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Re: British EU referendum in June

Postby BattleMoose » Fri Jun 24, 2016 9:57 am UTC

but do you think they EU is going to accept that?


Once the UK has left the EU, the EU has zero say to force its will on the UK. Short of war or economic sanctions... So yes, I expect the EU to accept that the UK is free to legislate to control its borders however it wants like literally every single sovereign country.

Its hard to know what they will do for tourists but I absolutely expect the UK to restrict unskilled EU citizens to come to the UK to work. And I expect the EU to accept that. They will most likely reciprocate. I don't think that will be at all unsurprising.

If it helps, think of it as a carbon copy of immigration rules and laws that exist between the UK and South Africa. I expect whatever they do will be very similar to that.

EDIT: I expect their immigration policy will be to import individuals that will positively contribute to the economy, people with in demand skill as such. That would be the most sensible approach and is what most countries do.

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Re: British EU referendum in June

Postby elasto » Fri Jun 24, 2016 10:44 am UTC

BattleMoose wrote:EDIT: I expect their immigration policy will be to import individuals that will positively contribute to the economy, people with in demand skill as such. That would be the most sensible approach and is what most countries do.

Exactly. In other words, immigration will not fall much from now, since most immigrants have a positive economic effect.

Like I say, I think the goal of reducing immigration is the wrong answer to the wrong question. The right question is 'how can we improve the living standards of ordinary people?'

Imagine if instead of EU immigration the native birth rate were a few tenths of a percent higher, producing the same effect. Would there be campaigns demonising families with more than one kid? I mean, I know there is the occasional Daily Mail story slamming a family of ten on benefits, but the vitriol towards immigration has been vastly uglier.

If native birth rates were higher, and roads more congested as a result, the rational response would be to blame government for failing to have an effective plan for public transportation. One wouldn't expect congested roads would produce a major backlash against big families, and the voting in of a government promising to encourage fewer births.

Immigrants generally come in as adults, after the big taxpayer expense of public schooling. They also generally leave before pension age, eliminating another big expense. If there are negatives from immigration, they are far smaller than from native births. In truth, the country could have five times as many people as it does now and still function smoothly. We are nowhere close to the dense population other countries have and thrive with. It just needs competent governance instead of blaming the problems on outsiders.

(Yes, there is a theoretical fear that, without control of our borders, suddenly a hundred million Europeans could all decide to come here - but you might as well worry about the whole population of Scotland deciding to move to Bristol or something. It's not a rational fear.)

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Re: British EU referendum in June

Postby Diadem » Fri Jun 24, 2016 10:52 am UTC

BattleMoose wrote:
but do you think they EU is going to accept that?


Once the UK has left the EU, the EU has zero say to force its will on the UK. Short of war or economic sanctions... So yes, I expect the EU to accept that the UK is free to legislate to control its borders however it wants like literally every single sovereign country.

You're missing the point.

Yes Britain can make any rule it wants, but it can't make any treaty it wants. A treaty requires mutual agreement.

Britain wants to leave the EU, but presumably they don't want to become North Korea. They will want free trade, free travel, low barriers on immigration. Not having those would be absolutely disastrous for the British economy. So Britain has to renegotiate those things. And Britain will have very little negotiating power there. So how do you think things are going to play out?

You want to restrict immigration from Spain and Eastern Europe. How do you think Europe is going to respond to that? Imagine Canada and the United States were negotiation a treaty about free immigration, and Canada were to propose free immigration for all Americans except Texans. Do you think the US would ever accept such a treaty? Why would the EU be different?
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Re: British EU referendum in June

Postby Soupspoon » Fri Jun 24, 2016 10:54 am UTC

This tablet just got a message about how to keep my roaming costs under control.

Edit: sorry was too rushed in typing that... Context probably being in light of leaving the EU roaming-charges cap scheme, just recently agreed... Well, seems to timely to be just random, and I've never roamed with this device.

(It also said I could win a Blackberry, so.... Meh...)

edit: context here is Blackberry's further business woes, though not EU-related, SFAIK
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Re: British EU referendum in June

Postby BattleMoose » Fri Jun 24, 2016 10:56 am UTC

Exactly. In other words, immigration will not fall much from now, since most immigrants have a positive economic effect.


I think you will find we have very different opinions on the economic contributions of unskilled individuals to an economy. Very different.

Imagine if instead of EU immigration the native birth rate were a few tenths of a percent higher, producing the same effect


And the importance of education. You have control of the education level of native births. You cannot influence the education level of people wanting to immigrate. But you can choose which to let in.

(Yes, there is a theoretical fear that, without control of our borders, suddenly a hundred million Europeans could all decide to come here - but you might as well worry about the whole population of Scotland deciding to move to Bristol or something. It's not a rational fear.)


Net immigration to the UK has sky-rocketed over the past 15 years. Well, from about 25 000 to 225 000. Wikipedia.
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Re: British EU referendum in June

Postby BattleMoose » Fri Jun 24, 2016 10:59 am UTC

Diadem wrote:Yes Britain can make any rule it wants, but it can't make any treaty it wants. A treaty requires mutual agreement.


You don't need a treaty to make immigration laws. If the EU demands free movement for work as part of a trade agreement, well, that would be very weird and totally unprecedented. Typical a trade agreement is limited to trade and not an agreement regarding the movement of people. In fact, I don't think there has ever been a trade agreement that included aspects of migration/immigration?

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Re: British EU referendum in June

Postby elasto » Fri Jun 24, 2016 11:15 am UTC

BattleMoose wrote:You don't need a treaty to make immigration laws. If the EU demands free movement for work as part of a trade agreement, well, that would be very weird and totally unprecedented.

So unprecedented that countries like Norway currently operate under such agreements... Despite being outside the EU, they have to accept free movement in order to gain access to the single market. The UK will refuse to accept such a condition, so will end up with a much more unforgiving trade agreement.

Like I say, whether you are a person or a country, you have to pick and choose your battles. As a country we've chosen to battle immigrants. I think we're going to pay a heavy price in terms of standards of living, and I'm not sure that makes it a battle worth engaging in.

BattleMoose wrote:I think you will find we have very different opinions on the economic contributions of unskilled individuals to an economy. Very different.

I must be communicating poorly.

We probably have the same opinion on the economic contribution of unskilled individuals, We have a different opinion on what proportion of EU immigrants are so lacking in skills that they are worth refusing entry to.

It's not a case of us disagreeing with the value of bathwater; We are disagreeing on what proportion of the bath is in fact baby.

And the importance of education. You have control of the education level of native births. You cannot influence the education level of people wanting to immigrate. But you can choose which to let in.

Even unskilled immigrants generally have a far higher worth ethic than native born. If you ask yourself what proportion of UK natives would have the get up and go to go to make a living in a foreign land, you might appreciate why immigrants are generally quite high-quality, ambitious folk - just the type an economy needs.

Net immigration to the UK has sky-rocketed over the past 15 years. Well, from about 25 000 to 225 000.

So? The number sounds scary when quoted as an absolute, but the truth is that many countries cope with a higher density and a higher growth rate than we do.

The answer is competent governance, not pretending that an influx of hundreds of thousands is impossible to cope with.
Last edited by elasto on Fri Jun 24, 2016 11:17 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: British EU referendum in June

Postby Xenomortis » Fri Jun 24, 2016 11:15 am UTC

The Parliamentary Labour Party (that is, Labour MPs) have submitted a motion of no confidence in Corbyn.
There is nothing requiring this to be debated, and I don't even think the result itself is binding. But it's no secret that Corbyn wasn't a popular choice for leader by Labour MPs, and it seems they've found their excuse for trying to depose him (poor Remain performance in traditional Labour strongholds).
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Re: British EU referendum in June

Postby BattleMoose » Fri Jun 24, 2016 11:22 am UTC

We probably have the same opinion on the economic contribution of unskilled individuals, We have a different opinion on what proportion of EU immigrants are so lacking in skills that they are worth refusing entry to.


As a South African who chose to emigrate, I am very familiar with the very high bar that most countries set for immigrants. It excludes a huge amount of people. I have always understood this and thought it reasonable that host countries only let people in who they can be absolutely sure will make a positive contribution.

Even unskilled immigrants generally have a far higher worth ethic than native born. If you ask yourself what proportion of UK natives would have the get up and go to go to make a living in a foreign land, you might appreciate why immigrants are generally quite high-quality, ambitious folk - just the type an economy needs.


Again, very familiar with this idea. The real challenge for the UK is to get their unskilled folk into paying jobs. Flooding the market with unskilled labour is probably very counter productive to this end.

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Re: British EU referendum in June

Postby Echo244 » Fri Jun 24, 2016 11:24 am UTC

Xenomortis wrote:The Parliamentary Labour Party (that is, Labour MPs) have submitted a motion of no confidence in Corbyn.
There is nothing requiring this to be debated, and I don't even think the result itself is binding. But it's no secret that Corbyn wasn't a popular choice for leader by Labour MPs, and it seems they've found their excuse for trying to depose him (poor Remain performance in traditional Labour strongholds).
What? I don't know how to even begin making sense of that one.

I mean, yes, they hate him and will leap on any excuse, but how is this attributable to him? How is this even slightly an excuse?
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Re: British EU referendum in June

Postby Zamfir » Fri Jun 24, 2016 11:36 am UTC


Its hard to know what they will do for tourists but I absolutely expect the UK to restrict unskilled EU citizens to come to the UK to work. And I expect the EU to accept that. They will most likely reciprocate. I don't think that will be at all unsurprising.

If the UK implements immigration bans on Spaniards, then they can't join the EEA (like Norway) . And they can't get Switzerland's package of agreements, which closely resemble the EEA.

For example, when Switzerland tried to reinstate immigration barriers for specific countries, they got kicked out of a series of scientic programs( that sent large amounts of funding to Switzerland), they were excluded from contributing to the common chemical regulations (Switzerland is a major exporter of chemicals). If I am not mistaken, negotiations on the cross border electricity trading agreement were put on hold for a while ( again, something the Swiss pushed very much).

That's how trade negotiations work. If the UK bans Poles from migrating to the UK, then the response won't be a reciprocal mirror action, like banning Brits from migrating to Poland. It will be to pick something completely different that the Brits value particularly high, and exclude them from that. For example, the London finance sector is a nice target for such reciprocals. There's plenty of other targets.

It's the core weirdness of the Brexit campaign. They promised simultaneously that Britain would get to make these kinds of decisions freely, and that the post-EU situation would have be little different from the present, with Norway and Switzerland as example.

But they can only have one of those.

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Re: British EU referendum in June

Postby Xenomortis » Fri Jun 24, 2016 11:38 am UTC

Echo244 wrote:
Xenomortis wrote:The Parliamentary Labour Party (that is, Labour MPs) have submitted a motion of no confidence in Corbyn.
There is nothing requiring this to be debated, and I don't even think the result itself is binding. But it's no secret that Corbyn wasn't a popular choice for leader by Labour MPs, and it seems they've found their excuse for trying to depose him (poor Remain performance in traditional Labour strongholds).
What? I don't know how to even begin making sense of that one.

I mean, yes, they hate him and will leap on any excuse, but how is this attributable to him? How is this even slightly an excuse?

I didn't pay much attention to Labour's campaigning efforts (or anyone's really, such was the smell of bullshit). The Labour party put itself on the Remain side of the debate, but clearly it failed to attract voters from its core demographics. If people were looking to Corbyn to energise Labour supporters to vote Remain... well, he clearly failed at that.

But this isn't really that surprising, Labour MPs would like to get Corbyn out of the way sooner rather than later. The Conservative's chances in the next general election will be hit following the change of leadership so Labour want a leader that will pull votes away from the Tories.

There is some risk here though - Corbyn was elected as leader by the wider Labour party*, so this could strongly alienate some voters.

*There was some controversy surrounding this, people suspected that many joined the party in a sabotage attempt, voting Corbyn in because they believed him unelectable. I know of at least one person that did this, and several others that claimed to have been tempted to do it.
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Re: British EU referendum in June

Postby BattleMoose » Fri Jun 24, 2016 11:40 am UTC

I never intended to imply that the uk might implement country specific immigration laws. Just that those laws would effect different countries disproportionately. I fully take on board that the EU might push on immigration very hard, as has been demonstrated for Switzerland and Norway.

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Re: British EU referendum in June

Postby elasto » Fri Jun 24, 2016 12:02 pm UTC

BattleMoose wrote:As a South African who chose to emigrate, I am very familiar with the very high bar that most countries set for immigrants. It excludes a huge amount of people. I have always understood this and thought it reasonable that host countries only let people in who they can be absolutely sure will make a positive contribution.

It's reasonable in the sense of being expected, but that doesn't mean it's necessarily rational economically. The main reason for it is more likely political - a mild xenophobia of the same kind that the UK has just demonstrated. People are parochial the world over.

Here's another analogy of what just happened:

Suppose a country has a universal benefit - like child benefit in the UK, say. There will be some worthy recipients and some unworthy ones. By converting the universal benefit to a tested one (eg. means-testing), you will exclude some of the unworthy ones. If the test is designed well, you'll exclude most of the unworthy ones and few of the worthy ones. (Though if it's designed badly, the reverse may also be true.)

So it's a no-brainer to shift over to testing, right? Well no. There are big overheads to testing that don't exist if you just give it to everyone. So if most recipients turn out to be worthy, and if the overhead turns out to be very high, testing may actually cost far more than it saves.

So, in this analogy, free movement of Europeans into the UK is the universal benefit, and restricting entry to only those passing various criteria is choosing to convert to means-testing. I would argue that (a) a higher proportion of EU immigrants would pass an economically rational entry test than most seem to want to acknowledge and (b) the 'overhead' of adding this testing (inflation, worse trade agreements, losing foreign investment, possibly losing our AAA-credit rating etc.) will outweigh the economic gains of excluding the unworthy.

So, my belief was we should stick to the 'universal benefit' and just accept that some unworthies are going to win from it. Some people just can't stand the idea of that though - and those people won the day.

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Re: British EU referendum in June

Postby BattleMoose » Fri Jun 24, 2016 12:11 pm UTC

And its okay that you have your opinion that the numbers will work out in the way that you suppose. They might work out differently. Its impossible to guess at how the future will be negotiated between the EU and the UK.

It seems obvious to me that greater restrictions on immigration will have a positive economic effect. The rub is certainly in the details of the consequences of that decision.

My facebook is literally a flood of people deriding the brexit and here I am thinking that there is a fair amount of sense to it. I would have voted remain but can appreciate the potential benefits of leaving.

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Re: British EU referendum in June

Postby Diadem » Fri Jun 24, 2016 12:30 pm UTC

BattleMoose wrote:
Diadem wrote:Yes Britain can make any rule it wants, but it can't make any treaty it wants. A treaty requires mutual agreement.


You don't need a treaty to make immigration laws. If the EU demands free movement for work as part of a trade agreement, well, that would be very weird and totally unprecedented. Typical a trade agreement is limited to trade and not an agreement regarding the movement of people. In fact, I don't think there has ever been a trade agreement that included aspects of migration/immigration?

Are you being deliberately obtuse here?

Free movement of goods and people is the founding principle of the European Union. It's why the whole thing was started. Several countries that are not in the EU, such as Norway and Switzerland, have agreements with the EU about free movement. And the EU is not particularly unique. There are many other groups of countries that have mutual agreements about trade and travel, though generally not as unrestricted as the EU.

Britain is never going to get a deal where it gets selective access to some parts of the EU market, but not others. It's never going to happen. It would undermine one of the fundamental principles of the European Union, and impossible to sell politically.

Britain can decline access to the entire European market, but that would absolutely wreck the British economy.
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Re: British EU referendum in June

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Jun 24, 2016 12:39 pm UTC

Diadem wrote:
BattleMoose wrote:The UK can now choose how many immigrants it wants to get from Spain and Eastern Europe. That's certainly a new control that doesn't exist as being part of the EU.

How? I mean they theoretically could, but do you think they EU is going to accept that?

Britain: "Ok, now that we left the EU, let's renegotiate free travel between our nations"
EU: "Sounds good. Let's allow free travel and immigration from the UK to any EU member state, and from any EU member state to the UK"
Britain: "Actually we want to restrict travel for people from Spain and Eastern Europe, and free travel for everybody else"
EU: "Eh.. Why would we accept such a deal?".
Britain: "Please?"
Eu: "No."
Britain: "No deal then"
EU: "Sure, enjoy having to request a visa every time you want to get off your god-damned island. Or travel to Scotland, because they just joined us".
Britain: "Fuck"

Do you really think Britain will be able to convince the EU to put in specific exceptions to renegotiated treaties that are very detrimental to some member states? I don't see it happening. The only way to block people from Spain or Eastern Europe will be to block all Europeans, and that would be suicide.


Wouldn't this sort of approach by the EU screw Scotland pretty hard?

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Re: British EU referendum in June

Postby Dthen » Fri Jun 24, 2016 12:53 pm UTC

Welp, fuck. This ship's sinking, we'll be leaving now. Good luck cleaning up this mess, England and Wales.

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Re: British EU referendum in June

Postby gmalivuk » Fri Jun 24, 2016 12:59 pm UTC

BattleMoose wrote:And its okay that you have your opinion that the numbers will work out in the way that you suppose. They might work out differently. Its impossible to guess at how the future will be negotiated between the EU and the UK.

It seems obvious to me that greater restrictions on immigration will have a positive economic effect. The rub is certainly in the details of the consequences of that decision.

My facebook is literally a flood of people deriding the brexit and here I am thinking that there is a fair amount of sense to it. I would have voted remain but can appreciate the potential benefits of leaving.
You do realize that just sticking the word "opinion" somewhere in a sentence doesn't actually make it an opinion, right?

The sliver of Brexit rhetoric I've seen as an American has included a lot of, "Well that's, like, just your opinion, man," in response to factual claims about things like immigration now and high-probability predictions about the future of the economy and relations with the rest of Europe.
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Re: British EU referendum in June

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Jun 24, 2016 1:00 pm UTC

sardia wrote:To be a bit selfish, this bodes poorly for the US general election.


To be fair, the US did have the best Brexit of all time.


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