Britain outside the EU: Switzerland with nukes?

By Guy Faulconbridge

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Joining the EC was a mistake in the first place.

Small countries democratically managed make more sense than huge countries where one individual's vote counts for nothing.

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More proEu propaganda, these writers always conveniently ignore the Commonwealth when it comes to trade and such. Failing to mention that 80% of Europes fish are in Britains waters, Im pretty sure Europe isnt going to just tell us they dont want them anymore if they cant fish them. We have free movement of peoples in both the EU, and the Commonwealth countries before. We had free trade agreements with the Commonwealth and joined the EU for Free Trade Agreements -nothing more- then one day the EU decided to tell Britain -Your fish is our fish- -No free trade agreements outside the EU- -only EU nationals may enter the UK freely to live and work-

An Australian woman summed it all up for me "My father fought in WW2, my Grandfather in WW1, both for Britain and the Allies, I am of British ancestry, now through no fault of my own I am more foreign than a German in Britain"

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"My father fought in WW2, my Grandfather in WW1, both for Britain and the Allies, I am of British ancestry, now through no fault of my own I am more foreign than a German in Britain"

Well of course you are. You live in a country thousands of miles away. Language aside, (and let's face it Aussie English isn't much to be proud of), you've got absolutely bog all in common with the UK: Horrible beer, rubbish bands, staggering lack of real culture. Give me a German any day.

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

I find it amusing that this article doesn't quote one Eurosceptic viewpoint bar Open Europe, doesn't talk to any Eurosceptic figures in the press or political class or seriously conducts a review on the chances of the UK surviving outside of the EU.

This is the same bully boy tactics that are currently scuppering the Unionist effort to keep Scotland part of the UK: all negativity and threats and no positivity. How the hell can Pro-Europeans expect the UK to "feel european" if they endlessly bash it with a stick to keep it in line.

And @Lucabrasi - what a load of tosh. Australia and New Zealand have a lot in common with the UK in terms of culture. Its Prime Minister was born in Wales for example, its craft beer (Coopers & Little Creatures) is some of the best in the world (and inspired by Britain's real ale) and has generous links back to British & Irish culture in its food, its sport and and entertainment.

The idea that Australia has nothing in common with Britain is utter tripe and is usually pedalled by the supporters of Paul "we've more in common with Asia even though Asia hates our guts and wants us dead" Keating.

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@ Puddunhuk

First, I like your name and I like your picture ( not in a strange way). But the rest of your post is truly "tosh", as you put it. Let's compare famous Aussie and a Brit, say, and see what they've got in common: Khoa Do (voted Young Australian of the Year in 2005) and Daniel Kawczynski (Tory member of parliament). I'd say zero points in common, but maybe I'm cynical. Wake up, mate! Your average German is twice as British as the averageAussie/Kiwi/Canuck these days.

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I don't think the Germans could give a toss about us here in the UK.

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British pride seems to always get in the way of good judgement. A harsh reality lesson is definitely needed. Britain is no longer a highly influencial Empire with strong global links with its colonies. I say this with no offense implied. It is though - a fact! Many Commonwealth nations are slowly but surely severing the past links once shared. In fact, if current trends continue I'd be surprised if there were a Commonwealth in the 22nd century. As long term strategies go, isolating themselves with Europe is not a practical one. Yes, Britain may have oil, but oil supplies will not last forever. Yes, Britain may have fish, but all the fish in British waters surely does not compare with the wide variety and quantities of European commodities imported from the mainland. It's British pride that pushes this European separation issue forward, like the Beagle 2 mars probe mission however, it's pride that will ultimately undermine them in the end.

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EU is good idea as a trade and economic zone but single currency is a disaster. And lack of democracy for ongoing EU project also sucks. Not that democracy in the UK is much better.

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Britain is not powerful enough to simply leave the EU.

Well said, Patrick. It's just that a lot of the people who get to make the decisions (including most UK citizens, if there's to be a referendum) are too jingoistic and full of baseless national pride to see the truth.

I've always wished the Yanks had gone for German as the national language after independence; we wouldn't have had to put up with the so-called "special relationship" for so long. It seems to be slipping away now though....

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Did someone say UK commit to the Euro? Given recent events, for the UK to join the eurozone, you'd have to directly oppose the will of the people who would be overwhelmingly against it. I know that's the way the EU tries to operate, but still, it wouldn't happen.

If it leaves the EU, the UK would still be able to export to it in the same way that Norway and Switzerland do now. The UK runs a trade deficit with the EU, so its in the EU's interest to keep free trade with the UK. Arguments based on exports would make more sense if the UK were a net exporter with it. Anyway, there's no growth left in the EU so exporting to the likes of Brazil, India and China should be the aim, and its happening right now. Exports to non-EU countries are growing while the deficit with the EU is widening.

If there was a negative effect on trade from leaving, the billions saved every year in contributions to the EU budget and other subsidies would somewhat soften the blow.

Even if the British are jingoistic halfwits full of baseless national pride as some of the above posts claim, its still a democratically elected government's duty to reflect the will of those people on a matter as important as this. If any further transfer of power is proposed, having a referendum is essential.

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Small countries democratically managed make more sense than huge countries where one individual's vote counts for nothing.

Yes, but how small would you like? Surely you are not speaking of the UK because this is right at the beginning of the article:

but if the British people ever get a referendum on whether to stay inside a Europe that sees its survival in closer unity then polls suggest they would vote “No”.

So the politicians know the people want out, but there is no vote planned? That sure as hell is not a democracy! Nobody's vote counts when there simply is NO VOTE.

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@lucabrasi Im British. And many people now regard Australia as more British than Britain thanks to the massive immigration significantly reshaping British culture.

The idea that Europe would cut off all trade with Britain if we left is nothing more than pro-EU propaganda, many non-EU nations trade with it just fine. It would harm the EU economy significantly if they cut Britain off. And lets not forget 80% of Europes fish are in the waters of Britain.

The Commonwealth ties are not fading, Im not sure where you get that idea, just because the Commonwealth does not demand laws on other nations, and is a relationship of respect not domination, does not mean it does not exist. Many Commonwealth nations share our Monarch -By Choice! and Yet you claim they are not close. They are also the fastest growing economic block on the planet.

The Free Trade Agreements between Commonwealth countries are numerous. Until the EU cut British ties with the Commonwealth, many nations of it regarded the people as Commonwaelth citizens with many of the rights -and more- that the EU is making Britain take. The EU cut off Britains trade ties practically overnight -causing a massive decline in the wool industry of Australia almost crippling it-

Id rather be part of the Commonwealth that doesnt force laws on each other, and allows Free Trade with any nations any member wants, inside or outside the Commonwealth. Thats why we joined the EEC -for trade, later on it became political and cut nations ties. Canada is willing and wanting to trade its energy supplies with us, India, its tech commerce, Aus and NZ their meat trades. Just a few examples.

The EU is a propaganda using bully, scaring the British from progressing. If we were as worthless to the EU as they claim they would not try so hard to keep us in. Its not about being jingoistic, its about the fact that the EU and UK dont mix politically.

We use Habeaus Corpus -innocent until proven guilty, Common Law, Case Law, Europe uses Corpus Civilis -guilty until proven innocent, Constitutional, Napoleaonic Law, but EU law is now above British Law. Thousands of years of Case Law now made irrevelant for a Constitution that all nations -given the referendum- said no to. We believe "no man is above the law, not even a King" and yet the EU has created Europol whose members are infact above the law.

EU believes -coincidentally- that Fish should be free for all across Europe, when 80% of the stocks are in British waters, the Germans dont share their coal resources, why do we have to share our Fish stock resources?

The worlds largest financial centre is London, if Cameron had not used his Veto, that would now be in the progress of moving to Frankfurt -Eu Bank. Britain has the worlds second highest foreign investment -second only to the US. The list of problems of British/EU integration is endless. The UK is simply too different a system for the European ones, Churchill knew it, De Gaulle knew it and UKIP know it.

So please tell me, how and why will Britain not be able to survive without having the EU telling us how to do politics? And tell me, just what the EU does for Britain?

Human Rights? Well most of them originally came from British Laws, but the EU has fumbled them up so badly 7/11 of the Human Rights Judges have NO court experience, and we are forced to keep terrorists in our country, at taxpayers expense.

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@Jack1987 P.S. Beagle 2, most mars expeditions fail, one attempt and one failure represents nothing, most failures are with the first attempts, with failure at a rate of 66%. Britain has the second largest Aerospace industry in the world. Thats not fish, how does that suit one for an example, we can guess which has the worlds biggest.

Comparing Britain to Norway is foolish also, Britain has a population of 61million and a very strong global economy over a very diverse area, Norway has a population of 5million whose economy is almost completely based on fish and energy reserves. Britain is also one of the largest funders of the EU. If the EU stopped telling the British they were expendable, tried to incorporate British systems rather than overrank them then I suspect every Brit would love to be in the EU. Most Britains love Europe, the EU is the problem.

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I understand your concern, but you have to realise at some point: Britain's either a happy part of the EU or a snarling outsider, but we can't be both

I don't care. By this time next year, I'll be Japanese.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Ah the geopolitical question of the decade. The neighborhood is on fire and countries in Europe are being forced to choose whether to save their own homes or pour all their assets into saving the most far gone ones. And now that most of Europe has rejected austerity they're effectively trying to fight fire with gas.

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That is the EU propaganda talking, why does everyone assume we cant just be a happy trade partner like almost every other bordering, even surrounded, nation of Europe. We were before, and EU will be much happier without are differnt systems constantly clashing with theirs Britain wants to be a trade partner with the EU like it signed up for I cant think of one nation near Europe that is a snarling outside, we live in a world based on trade, no longer Imperialism

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Most foreign investment is from companies which look for a bridge head to the EU while enjoying tax benefits and comparatively simple and unbureaucratic procedures. When the UK leaves the EU, there is at least the danger that these investments will dry up or companies will even leave and move to the continent, depending on whether the UK is able or willing to retain at least the free trade with the rest of the EU. Especially Scotland could be hurt badly. Ironically, the UK leaving the EU could lead to Scotland joining the EU again as an independent country.

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ah King Salmond, the man driving many Scots crazy. Why cant people get the idea out their head that Free Trade is highly unlikely to end if leaving the EU, it benefits Europe more than Britain, whilst Britains escape from the political monster will offer massive chances of Free Trade agreements globally...

the EU does not allow Free Trade Agreements with member and non-member states. Everything is siphoned through the EU making the Commonwealth out of bounds territory for Britain

Most countries fail to recognise the EU as an Independant Economic block anyway, and at the end of the day being the biggest GDP block doesnt mean a better quality of life, and me in my crazy ways, thinks that is more important than just a massive GDP.

On the plus side, an independant Britain would mean that jobs are actually given to British people. 60% of workers employed for the Olympic games buildings etc are EU migrants. EU migrants are notorious for coming to Britain to take advantage of the Welfare state sending the income back to their native country and "living it up" as it were. People can say what they like, Im not saying British people are 100% honest in that either, but they are the ones that pay for it.

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@Lucabrasi: Yet more rubbish assertions that fail to consider the power of shared culture and heritage and its power over pure demographical changes. Just because immigration to Australia has changed doesn't mean that Australia itself has changed or deviated from its core roots of Britain and Ireland. So the "Young Australian of the year" has an Asian name. Big deal. He's signed up to an Australia that believes in values completely alien to those of the country whence his predecessors had come from.

Is Australia subservient to the UK? No! And it shouldn't be but it will never ever fit in with the rest of East Asia (which views booming successful Australia as trailer trash which to me sounds like severe sour grapes from the Chinese, Indonesians, Japanese and Malaysians) and that is down to its culture, history and institutions. Ditto New Zealand.

When you have sporting institutions like Cricket and League and cultural ones like the Royal Canadian Legion with war memorials in small Canadian towns like Kelowna built portland stone for portland stone like their British equivalents with the Canadian and British Columbian flags taking second place to the Union Jack flying in the middle high above and when you see the Queen celebrating a fantastic diamond jubilee and being received with full honours by the countries she is still head of state you see just how silly your little baseless assertions are.

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At last, Germany has won the war agains UK. ;-)

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Britain is still being defiant against the abuse of Human Rights, ergo the EU commission ignoring democracy. The EU parliament has voted NO to ACTA, the EU commission has said it will press ahead anyway. Someone has to stand up for the rights of humanity, and Nigel Farage is doing so splendidly. I should like to see you live in a country led by a trio of people of whom none were elected. British PM Brown suggested a the Tobin Tax to the EU almost a decade ago, they told him to get on his bike. They have no respect for British ideas even when its in their interest, Camerons veto was a fine snub in the EU' face.

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