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Debates Forum

  1. 23 Jan '13 12:39 / 1 edit
    David Cameron has pledged a referendum on Britain's continuing membership of the EU, should he win the next election.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-21148282

    What would be the consequences, for Britain and Europe, were Britain to leave the EU?
  2. 23 Jan '13 12:57
    Originally posted by Teinosuke
    David Cameron has pledged a referendum on Britain's continuing membership of the EU, should he win the next election.
    Not sure he has.

    He has said he will give the people a referendum once he has renegotiated a new 'settlement' with the EU. He has not said we will get the chance for a referendum if he is unable to achieve a new settlement.

    Of course, this is a bizarre thought. Surely the impetus, and justification, for a referendum is even more pressing if you cannot achieve a better settlement?

    However, we were promised a referendum by the Labour Government, and last time I checked we didn't get one, on equally spurious grounds. So I will not be holding my breath.
  3. 23 Jan '13 13:17
    Since leaving the EU would be a pretty retarded thing to do I doubt any UK politician will push through such a referendum. I think Cameron is just courting votes here.
  4. 23 Jan '13 13:28 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    Since leaving the EU would be a pretty retarded thing to do I doubt any UK politician will push through such a referendum. I think Cameron is just courting votes here.
    Interesting. The OP asks "What would happen if Britain left the EU?", and the first two responses assert that there won't be a referendum at all rather than addressing the question!
  5. 23 Jan '13 13:31
    Originally posted by Teinosuke
    Interesting. The OP asks "What would happen if Britain left the EU?", and the first two responses assert that there won't be a referendum at all rather than addressing the question!
    Symbolically and politically, it would hurt the credibility of the UK and the European integration project. Apart from that, nothing much will change since the UK will most likely enter in treaties with the EU much like Norway and Switzerland, but lose its current considerable influence in determining those treaties.
  6. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    23 Jan '13 13:41 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Teinosuke
    Interesting. The OP asks "What would happen if Britain left the EU?", and the first two responses assert that there won't be a referendum at all rather than addressing the question!
    Was a long article about this in Dec 8th's Economist magazine. Some of the points it made were:

    Advantages [depending on your perspective!]

    * Britain would no longer have to transfer funds to the EU to subsidise farm incomes or poorer regions

    * Britain could slash import barriers unilaterally

    * Food could become cheaper

    * Britain would regain control over fishing rights around its coast

    * It could repeal the working-time directive

    * Repeal the agency-worker directive

    * Repeal renewable-energy directive – perhaps meaning cheaper power

    * London would be freer to market itself as a freewheeling hub for emerging-market finance

    * Hedge funds that have left London might be lured back



    Possible disadvantages

    * Negative impact on industries such as food and textiles where tariffs are much higher than average

    * Britain's farmers would lose their subsidies

    * Parts of Britain’s car industry would move out

    * A general drift of business investment away from Britain and towards the continent

    * Financiers from rising economic powers keener on access to a European market of 500m than the UK market

    * Britain’s aerospace industry would lose ground to France.

    * Huge disruption to trade beyond Europe, UK would swiftly have to negotiate bilateral deals with dozens of countries

    * Britain would have less diplomatic and military clout

    * A Britain that is disengaged from the rest of Europe would be a much less useful and influential ally for the Americans
  7. Standard member sasquatch672
    Don't Like It Leave
    23 Jan '13 14:44
    I would think that the hardest part of Britain leaving the EU is already done, since it never happened. Isn't the currency really the imbroglio?
  8. 23 Jan '13 15:19 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Teinosuke
    Interesting. The OP asks "What would happen if Britain left the EU?", and the first two responses assert that there won't be a referendum at all rather than addressing the question!
    Actually, I think my response was relevant to your question.

    Are you asking, what would be the consequences of Britain leaving the EU today?

    Or what would be the consequences of Britain leaving the EU after the negotiated settlement Cameron is aiming/hoping for?

    Cameron would hope that the electorate will feel that the cost/benefit equation of leaving the EU when the referendum actually takes place will be very different to what it is today.
  9. 23 Jan '13 15:23 / 4 edits
    Originally posted by sasquatch672
    I would think that the hardest part of Britain leaving the EU is already done, since it never happened. Isn't the currency really the imbroglio?
    I agree. The UK would not, I think, leave the EU today (if a referendum were to take place now) nor when the referendum actually takes place.

    However, if the EU were to demand that all member countries adopt the Euro, then I think that would be sufficient to tip the odds in favour of leaving.

    Once in the currency union, the prospect of leaving becomes even more remote and challenging.
  10. 23 Jan '13 15:55
    Originally posted by sasquatch672
    I would think that the hardest part of Britain leaving the EU is already done, since it never happened. Isn't the currency really the imbroglio?
    No, not really.
  11. 23 Jan '13 19:03
    Originally posted by Teinosuke
    Interesting. The OP asks "What would happen if Britain left the EU?", and the first two responses assert that there won't be a referendum at all rather than addressing the question!
    Isn't the UK membership in the EU less than complete anyway? They still haven't adopted the Euro have they? I think leaving the EU would be quite British, and less than retarded, as KN asserts.

    To answer the OP question, one would have to determine what benefits accrue to the UK from EU membership. Are the benefits measurable?
  12. 23 Jan '13 19:36
    Originally posted by Teinosuke
    David Cameron has pledged a referendum on Britain's continuing membership of the EU, should he win the next election.
    Relax, it won't happen. Ever.

    The referendum I mean of course.
  13. 23 Jan '13 21:45
    Originally posted by FMF
    Was a long article about this in Dec 8th's Economist magazine. Some of the points it made were:

    [b]Advantages
    [depending on your perspective!]

    * Britain would no longer have to transfer funds to the EU to subsidise farm incomes or poorer regions

    * Britain could slash import barriers unilaterally

    * Food could become cheaper

    * Britain would rega ...[text shortened]... ged from the rest of Europe would be a much less useful and influential ally for the Americans[/b]
    Do you think that either the advantages or disadvantages listed are certain, or just possible? And might some of them happen minus leaving?
  14. Standard member bill718
    Enigma
    23 Jan '13 21:59
    Originally posted by Teinosuke
    David Cameron has pledged a referendum on Britain's continuing membership of the EU, should he win the next election.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-21148282

    What would be the consequences, for Britain and Europe, were Britain to leave the EU?
    Well...they might not be able to get any of those yummy French crossants when they're fresh!
  15. 24 Jan '13 01:47
    Originally posted by Teinosuke
    David Cameron has pledged a referendum on Britain's continuing membership of the EU, should he win the next election.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-21148282

    What would be the consequences, for Britain and Europe, were Britain to leave the EU?
    I think that they will still be driving on the wrong side of the road over there no matter what.