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The Brexit Referendum: In or Out?

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6/21/2016 17:06:12   
Hopeful Guy

Hope Upbringer! (DragonFable)

It's a topic which needs little introduction, especially given that the referendum is in just 2 days time, but obviously, the UK will be voting to either remain a member of the EU or leave it in what could be one of the most important events in recent history. What are your views, predictions and arguments on the UK's membership of the EU? Personally, I've become increasingly in favour of leaving the EU in recent weeks, for several reasons, but I'll leave those arguments for a later post.
DF  Post #: 1
6/21/2016 20:42:12   

Custodian (DF)

Ah, I have been cogitating about this recently.

My thoughts would essentially be resumed fairly simply. I am fairly sure that a Leave vote would spell a foreshadowing of the eventual dismantlement of the UK as a Union.

The reason being that a Leave vote could only really come from England as the English electorate is both the most Eurosceptic of all four UK nations and its electorate can easily overule even a strong Remain vote in all three other member nations combined with just enough percentage points for Leave past the 50% mark due to being overwhelmingly larger than the rest of said nations combined demographics wise.

Now, this is an issue as there are at least two populations who would produce the polar opposite result and thus a significant wedge would be driven in the unity of the Union as a result from a Leave.

The first would be the Scottish Electorate. There is very strong polling and much importantly socio-cultural reasons/evidence pointing towards the certainty that Scotland's electorate would turn up a rather solid vote for Remain/that EU membership is very much more important to them. Given that the not so long past 2014 Scottish Independence's own Remain campaign saw a not very wide victory acquired with the protection of Scotland's European Union membership as a key argument, an EU Leave vote flying in the face of that would likely open up the debate of Scottish Independence once again and possibly lead to another Independence Referendum which could succeed in the future.

The second population would be Northern Irish Catholics. The last numbers I saw had an almost unanimous share of the Northern Irish Catholics in favour of the EU, even more than the Scots. I doubt an EU Leave vote championed by the English electorate while almost unanimously opposed by the Northern Irish would do anything to improve inter-Union relations on their own side, especially given that going by birth and death rates, Catholics in Nothern Ireland seem to be set to become the majority in a generation or so which is undoubtedly going to have a major impact on Northern Irish politics in the future.

< Message edited by Elryn -- 6/21/2016 20:58:09 >
AQ  Post #: 2
6/21/2016 21:52:50   
Hopeful Guy

Hope Upbringer! (DragonFable)

Elryn: The point of the UK remaining intact is an interesting one, actually, and one which perhaps merits more discussion than it receives.

Wales and England are both marginal to a slight anti-EU lean ( source, but I recall seeing a breakdown showing Wales being Eurosceptic), while the Scots and Northern Irish are more pro-EU. Given the extent of the SNP's victory last year, it is fair to assume that despite the failure of the Scottish independence movement in 2014, there remains significant, and perhaps even increased support for a 'Scexit' from the UK, and perhaps a Leave vote on Thursday could accelerate that. However, that issue is unlikely to arise for a while, given that the referendum was fairly recent, so in my mind is not a pressing concern.

Interestingly, the result of the vote on Thursday would actually undermine the strength of the Union in any case. If Leave win (or Remain win narrowly), both outcomes that are very likely to occur, at least according to polls, Scots would come to see that Scotland's interests, which lie firmly in Europe, are in direct contrast to those of the English and Welsh, and so even if we remain, the referendum's very existence is actually making Scotland more likely to leave the UK. It works both ways; support for Brexit is unlikely to die down even if the Remain camp wins, and if Scotland subsequently leaves the UK, a significant slice of the Remain voting population would no longer be eligible to vote in Brexit 2 (if it happened), and thus Brexit would be more likely. Of course, this is a hypothetical and probably very unlikely scenario, but it serves to show how wide the ramifications of the vote are.

The ramifications of this vote are already undermining the EU, with Euroscepticism accelerating across the continent. Frexit and Italexit are likelier than many would realise, and in my view, the EU is quickly breaking up. If we leave, I am fairly sure that voters in these two countries, at least, will demand a referendum, and if Brexit occurs, Italexit and Frexit are naturally more likely, since we in the UK would have expressed our view that the EU is no longer fit for purpose, and that view would resonate in the other countries. Whether a vote to leave would be a vote of no confidence in the government (which has not covered itself in glory of late) is another topic that can be discussed.

At the end of the day, whatever your view on the referendum, it cannot be denied that the whole world is waiting with bated breath for the result, because Leave or Remain, this referendum will have huge impacts across the world.
DF  Post #: 3
6/22/2016 23:01:30   
Onyx Darkmatter

I have no opinion nor position about the Brexit (it's far better than the US Presidential Election, which is giving me a headache, but that's a different conversation), but it's quite interesting to see what would happen if the UK leaves EU. Either way, tomorrow, History's in the making.
AQ DF MQ  Post #: 4
6/23/2016 18:06:36   
Hopeful Guy

Hope Upbringer! (DragonFable)

Onyx: While the US Presidential Election is probably worse, the amount of below-the-belt comments and insults thrown in the referendum debate is also very toxic...

Anyway, it seems as though Remain will shade it, although I suspect this isn't the last we've heard of this debate- with the possibility of an imminent general election, as Cameron's position is barely tenable, one expects a surge in popularity for UKIP, and given how things look elsewhere in Europe, the debate will remain a current issue whether we, in the UK, stay or go.

EDIT: Big surprises here! Leave ahead currently 53% to 47% at a time when Remain was expected to be ahead 52% to 48%! The cat is really among the pigeons.

< Message edited by Hopeful Guy -- 6/23/2016 21:03:33 >
DF  Post #: 5
6/23/2016 21:57:56   
Onyx Darkmatter

Yeah, the arguments from both sides were really getting out of hand, which is why I tend to avoid those types of posts (even though it doesn't help when some of my friends on social media keeps sharing lunatic people's posts about Brexit). I've even seen some attacking John Oliver because he stated his opinion about the Brexit.

I don't know if I should be surprised based on the percentage, but it is an unexpected turn of events for the UK to have a good chance of leaving the EU.
AQ DF MQ  Post #: 6
6/23/2016 23:19:39   
Hopeful Guy

Hope Upbringer! (DragonFable)

And we seem ever more likely to leave! Now a 500k vote lead for Brexit 2/3 of the way through counts. I have a feeling I'll hear the words 'Happy Independence Day' today very frequently.
DF  Post #: 7
6/23/2016 23:58:15   
Onyx Darkmatter

It sounds like it's going to be quite common for that phrase to be stated. But the real question: Is it worth leaving the EU?

Meanwhile, the British Pound Value is decreasing, and investors are opting out (guess they'll jump into China now). This might not look good for the UK's economy.
AQ DF MQ  Post #: 8
6/24/2016 0:18:47   

A lot of the decrease in the value of the British Pound recently can just be linked to the fact that the result of Brexit weren't obvious until now. Uncertainty generally will decrease the amount of investment, so it's not really likely that even if Remain was winning currently that the British Pound would not have decreased in value. The future of the strength of the Pound is uncertain with Leave, sure, but it also does not really seem that being intertwined with the Euro would hold a good future for the Pound. It'd be really hard if even possible to predict which would be better for the currency.

To drift away from all that boring economic talk though, I, personally, am glad that Leave is winning as I'd like to see the EU weakened for a multitude of reasons. This is not to mention that I prefer to have the fate of countries left purely within the hands of *ITS* people.

The issue of if Scotland will want to leave the UK and attempt to rejoin the EU is quite interesting, and I am also quite in favor of them going for it. It would be rather entertaining if the EU rejected them for membership though, I will note.
AQ DF MQ AQW Epic  Post #: 9
6/24/2016 0:20:55   

I think voting to Leave is a huge mistake for the unity of the UK, the welfare of the peoples of the UK, and for Europe, and even the world, at large. Sadly, it seems Wales and England have made their choice with an overwhelming majority.
AQ DF MQ  Post #: 10
6/24/2016 0:47:15   
Hopeful Guy

Hope Upbringer! (DragonFable)

Mordred: You have to consider that the EU is a dying body, with the UK out, France, Italy, Holland, Denmark calling for referendums, Greece suffering badly thanks in part to the harsh bailout conditions they have, and the Eastern European countries in an interesting situation (think Latvia and Hungary).

As for the unity of the UK, I doubt any second referendum will happen soon on Scotland; frankly, people are sick of voting! Let's face it, though- last time the SNP wanted to build a Scottish economy on North Sea oil, and this year, the low oil prices would have led to them being in serious trouble. This time round, I doubt the case is stronger than it was before.
DF  Post #: 11
6/24/2016 0:53:38   

@Hopeful Guy: Add the Netherlands to the list of countries calling for referendums.

I do think that the case for Scottish independence will probably be some time off, but I find it doubtful that such contrast in political views between the Scots and the other people of Great Britain will give towards a united Britain for a long time to come(not that I see this as a problem).
AQ DF MQ AQW Epic  Post #: 12
6/24/2016 1:01:34   

My main concern is this: Murdoch. We know he's been making deals with the govenment to destory the BBC, simply because he can't control it. We know he controls the two biggest selling papers in the UK, both screaming for leave (Also calling for the BBC's death). For a long time the EU stopped the worst of it but now we will leave. Simple matter is UK bends over backwards for the guy where EU did not, he controls a majority of it's news, and the EU no longer stops him. I fear we've just exchanged one set of chains for a harder to see set.

< Message edited by megakyle777 -- 6/24/2016 1:02:39 >
DF  Post #: 13
6/24/2016 2:36:42   
Onyx Darkmatter

With a Short-Term effect for the British Pound devalued, I'm curious as to what will happen in the Long-Term effect or years down the line. All I know is that the EU citizens will be troubled (unless there's something I'm missing), job opportunities will be cut off, and trade *might* be an issue from what I've heard.

But hey, with Democracy comes with great risk after all. As for how the UK will stand is yet to unfold; If only we have the ability to see just a small glimpse of the future for just a little bit.
AQ DF MQ  Post #: 14
6/24/2016 3:27:26   

Well, this just got a bit more interesting. Apparently David Cameron will be resigning in October. Curious to see how that plays out especially when the actual move to exit from the EU is to be determined by Parliament and successfully achieved 2 years after the triggering of Article 50 from what I've gathered.

Edit: I should note that it is very well possible for me to be wrong about the necessity of Parliament to also pass this motion. I was too tired to really want to check.

< Message edited by Razen -- 6/24/2016 3:42:06 >
AQ DF MQ AQW Epic  Post #: 15
6/24/2016 10:14:42   

Congratulations to the United Kingdom! Happy Independence Day. Welcome to a new world, and to freedom.
Post #: 16
6/24/2016 12:26:15   

I don't know a lot about the situation in the UK or any of Europe for that matter, but I think that leaving was a mistake. I know quite a few people wanted immigration changes, but leaving the EU doesn't seem to get them the change they want to me.

Either way, while I don't expect this will be good for the UK I hope it doesn't go badly either. To all of my friends on the other side of the pond, good luck. You live in interesting times.

(BTW Perhaps I'm biased as a true believer in federalism, but I had hoped that the EU would actually gain more power as a central body of Europe, and help increase worldwide stability. Looks like that may not happen.)

Anyway I don't know enough to really debate anything so this is just my 2 cents!
DF AQW Epic  Post #: 17
6/24/2016 23:22:23   

i managed to get some bills paid off. had some gold stashed away and this bit of chaos spiked the gold rates so that's a plus
the world’s 400 richest people lost $127.4 billion, though its not like they even need most of the money they have anyway.
the main problem is with the backlash this is gonna have/is having.
AQ DF MQ AQW Epic  Post #: 18
6/25/2016 19:14:45   

I'm an American, so my input PROBABLY has limited value, but I've put a lot of research and thought into this issue.

I thing the UK made the right choice. The EU is a dying body, and I think Britain will be far better off long term separate from the EU.

There's a lot of reasons for this, most of which I won't go into for the sake of brevity, but I have confidence this is a good thing overall. If this works as my understand of economics and politics suggests it will, this is going to be a GREAT rebirth for the UK.

Congrats England. May the sun never set on you.

To everybody that voted to remain or supported the remain side: Bad luck, folks, but I encourage you not to be upset. Don't view this as a defeat, but as a chance. A chance for a new beginning, new opportunities, and a new Britain. I understand you're disappointed and scared, but it'll be okay, and I'm sure the new, free UK will be more to your liking if you just give it a try! Remember these words: Keep Calm, and Carry on. You'll be just fine.

To Everybody that voted or supported leave: Good work, folks, ESPECIALLY you that voted for it. You're brave, and you stand for your principals when it matters. I have full confidence your choice will lead to a beautiful flowering of economics, politics, and society in the UK. Things might be rough at first, but take heart: You're going to a bright, bright place.

I respect both sides, and understand why they feel as they do, but ultimately, Leaving is the best choice for the UK and her people. I hope to see great things in the coming years from England.
AQ DF MQ  Post #: 19
6/25/2016 21:05:56   
Hopeful Guy

Hope Upbringer! (DragonFable)

The fallout is much worse for the EU than it is here in Britain, though; a very illuminating article here tells you that much. It may well be the proverbial final nail in the coffin, the straw that broke the camel's back.

On another note, people appear to want to reject democracy: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/131215

The amusing thing about this, however, is that if every leave voter (or even half at most) were to boycott a hypothetical second referendum, then a third referendum would be required under the terms of this petition due to turnout being lower than 75%, and that cycle would be theoretically infinite. Remain lost fair and square, and I'm sure those who initiated this petition would have had no issues if there had been a small victory for Remain on a low turnout. Leave has won, whether they like it or not.
DF  Post #: 20
6/25/2016 22:59:42   
Onyx Darkmatter

It's probably those who voted for leave and made a regretful decision for that (and a mixture of people who don't like the results).

So it appears that Spain is demanding Gibraltar "back" from the UK after Leave is the winner (on top of Scotland wanting independence; I guess the UK itself is breaking down to pieces as with the EU). I'm more curious about how this will be sorted out, especially when Gibraltar is a very unique peninsula (I've been there years ago, and it's definitely a tourist spot despite how expensive it is).
AQ DF MQ  Post #: 21
6/27/2016 1:00:08   
Oliver Bell
AK in Limbo!


I thing the UK made the right choice. The EU is a dying body, and I think Britain will be far better off long term separate from the EU

This is where you and I differ in opinion, the EU is struggling but the vast majority of the UK's trade is with the EU. We have 2-3 years now to negotiate new agreements with at least key countries or face the concept of a massive loss to our economy. All trade agreements since we joined the EU have been made by the EU, we would now need to negotiate more than 150; with much less to offer as a small and now damaged economy. Tariffs on our exports are a certainty, with our economy so weak we will likely end up paying far higher tariffs than we do currently to non EU countries.

Some companies have frozen taking on new employees and halted expansion plans, investment is also draining out at a rapid rate. Not to mention the £ losing 3% of its value against the dollar, the lowest its been since 1985. Yet it continues to fall. Our legal system is going to need massive reform or we will lose all the additional protection the EU give to our environment, worker's rights etc.

I can understand why people like the idea of leaving the EU but it is impractical and poorly timed, our economy is still fragile from the economic crisis. We now face a choice of accepting the free market, and free movement regulations, Leave campaigners will hate this choice. Or we could reject the free market, thereby losing our main export market; 40% of our exports go to the EU and 85% of Welsh exports do.


You have to consider that the EU is a dying body, with the UK out, France, Italy, Holland, Denmark calling for referendums

They have had people calling for referendums for decades, most countries do, the only difference is after the UK's Leave vote they are not being simply ignored by the media, makes a good story.

< Message edited by Oliver Bell -- 6/27/2016 1:17:56 >
AQ DF MQ AQW Epic  Post #: 22
6/27/2016 3:10:12   


They have had people calling for referendums for decades, most countries do, the only difference is after the UK's Leave vote they are not being simply ignored by the media, makes a good story.

and as with all good stories, internal conflict drives them forward to success, tragedy or a mix of the 2

If you look at great human civilizations, from the Roman Empire to the Soviet Union, you will see that most do not fail simply due to external threats but because of internal weakness, corruption, or a failure to manifest the values and ideals they espouse.

AQ DF MQ AQW Epic  Post #: 23
6/27/2016 8:10:17   
Digital X

Beep Beep! ArchKnight AQ / ED

Ouuut, thank god.

We pay 50 odd million to Europe a day.. or something like that, far too much.
AQ DF MQ AQW Epic  Post #: 24
6/27/2016 10:10:23   
Hopeful Guy

Hope Upbringer! (DragonFable)

Oliver: I think some of the speculation in your post is perhaps not borne out in fact.

This article is a very interesting insight into the post-Brexit situation in Europe. Der Verband der Automobilindustrie (for those who don't speak German, this is the Association of the Automobile Industry) have called on Merkel, who is the de facto leader of the EU given the extent of German influence there, to offer the UK a favourable trade deal to avoid losing sales in one of the largest markets they have. This is the crucial point: any imposition of tariffs, which you deemed a certainty, Oliver, would be very damaging to European interests.

All of the 5 largest economies left in the EU have the UK as a top 5 export market, and if or when we leave we will become the largest export destination of the EU. Look at the situation from a European perspective. Would you, based on the interests of your country alone, be willing to knowingly reduce your own exports and damage your own economy? Remember, we import 59% more than we export to the EU, and given that any imposition of tariffs would be bilateral, I can't see any tariffs being imposed that would significantly reduce EU trade. It was mentioned before the vote by some EU officials, but that was really only a fear tactic. The prospect, then, is that EU exports
from the UK face the risk of falling from £12 billion a month to, say, £11 billion a month, while the prospect of making deals with China, India and the East, a faster-growing area of exports should easily be enough to counteract this. Then, the pound falling, which might increase costs for manufacturers and tourists, is another thing that will boost exports, since prices for UK goods abroad fall in terms of the local currency, stimulating more demand, and so the net effect on growth and the balance of payments would again be reduced.
Then we have the idea of the US, where there is a very real chance that Trump will become president, making trade deals with us. Obama's "back of the queue" remark is really irrelevant at this point, and indeed he has U-turned on it ( seen here), while Trump I know plans trade deals as a priority with the U.K., and supported Brexit. I don't know Hillary's view, but no doubt someone can enlighten me.

The end result? Trade will not be badly undermined as a result of the vote.

As for environmental and worker's rights regulations, it is a relative certainty that measures will be put in place in this country to that effect. Just because we left the EU, that doesn't mean we won't legislate for ideas which everyone finds important. And the calls for a vote abroad? Those have certainly existed for ages, but they have gained support of late. The minority view has always existed, but thanks to Brexit, they are becoming a much more widely accepted view.

Summary: Trade effects minimal, whereas we don't have to pay our annual contribution of £9 billion, so net economic effect is probably not huge. The economic shock has already been seen to be much worse abroad in the EU than here. Legislation will be put in place to protect workers and the environment. The EU is collapsing, and support for leaving is rising across the continent. And I haven't actually mentioned excessive immigration yet, which was a very important issue for many.

< Message edited by Hopeful Guy -- 6/27/2016 10:12:47 >
DF  Post #: 25
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