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Comments

ToryJim

"[if we leave] then the EU will block trade with the UK [...] it hasn't done so in the case of Norway or Switzerland and will not do so with us. After all, since we joined we have been a net importer from the superstate each and every year without exception. Will the remaining member states cut off this valuable market? Don't think so."

Of course we wouldn't be cut off from the EU, but we might very well end up implementing the very EU regulations we hate:

1. The Swiss were essentially forced to accept heavier lorries transiting through their country. The voters hated it but their government signed up anyway.

2. According to www.ustr.gov, "as a member of the EEA, Norway has adopted most EU legislation". I doubt the Norwegian voters liked it either - but the EU got its way.

Which bits of future or past EU legislation are we planning to opt-out of if/when we leave the EU?

Are we planning to send all the Polish plumbers back home?

What about all the fruit and veg pickers? Do we imagine our unemployed UK citizens suddenly getting of their backsides and start working for minimum wage to fill the gap?

Voters and businesses aren't going to like this proposal unless we can explain it fully...

Denis Cooper

"proposing "taking back" control of things (which things?)" - simple, everything, we must take back control of everything within our own territory - as opposed to allowing 80% of everything to be decided outside the country. (And I've no idea why you put "taking back" in inverted commas - maybe you could explain why.)

Paul Oakley

ToryJim @ 6.30. We may well have to "implement" EU laws insofar as they relate to our exports to the continent. We will not have to comply with EU law for the purpose of intra-UK trade as now. In addition, we would no longer have to contribute to the EU budget nor have our domestic laws overturned as per Factortame.

To answer your questions:
- Some laws might well be retained. For example, the current "six pack" of health and safety regulations have largely replaced pre-accession legislation such as the Factories Act. However, these could be amended in line with our domestic requirements which is impossible now. Each would be assessed on a case by case basis. Sadly, this is the inevitable consequence of the majority of our civil law (excluding family and to some extent immigration) having been decreed from Brussels for at least two decades.
- Quite possibly, as their presence is solely due to their status as EU citizens. The UK made no positive decision of its own to admit these people in the way that we sent out the call to the Commonwealth in the 50s and 60s. Would we have opened our doors to the East Europeans with no restrictions had it been our own decision? No. In the interim, those already here could be given temporary leave to remain.
- Our unemployed should be encouraged back into work by a combination of an increase in the personal allowance to at least £10K in order to end the benefits trap and by implementing Clinton-esque restrictions on long-term welfare claims.
- Voters at the poverty line will like the proposal insofar as they are paid little more than the minimum wage because of competition from migrant workers. Voters who are kept off the housing ladder because of a shortage of properties for our growing population will be similarly pleased. Businesses which exploit immigrants to keep costs down in the former case can go hang.

Paul Oakley

Tim - why is everything sooooo slooooow today?

Jarod Weaver

Can I ask any of you pro-Euro zealots, if we don't agree with some of the policies of the European elite, can we vote them out of power at a general election? Is there any democracy in the European Union? Do the ordinary people of Bradford, Liverpool, Nottingham, or where the hell you live have any say in the running of our country and the laws passed by an unelected, self satisfied club. Who appoints the European Union top brass? is it the voters? Did the British people vote for Mandleson or Kinnock? If they fail can we vote them out? No, of course we can't, and if I'm a Europhobe then I'm proud of it.
I believe in democracy, and that, my freinds is not what the EU is all about. At the end of the day, we are accused of being little Englanders. If believing in democracy and accountability and the ballot box is being little Englander, then that is what I am.

K. Smith

3701 Budget, need anyone say any more about the present Tories and the EU?

For those who are unaware of the 3701 Budget, it was money allocated from the Tory MEPs sitting in the EPP-ED group. For every member of the EPP-ED Group there was £35,000 given to promote the failed yes vote campaign in Holland and France to the EU Constitution.

How two faced!

In the UK the Tories oppose the EU Constitution while in Brussels campaign to help the EU.

Thank God for UKIP! The REAL Conservative Party.

Matt Wright

The EEC/EU has been a story of creeping implementation by unaccountable cabals. At each turn of the ratchet British politicians have foolishly thought they could alter it to their ends. My problem with the EU is not about its Europeness but about a partcular outdated idea of political union when people are crying out for looser more local and more accountable systems.

Matt

Ash Faulkner

"True, you'll have to wait with New Zealand and Bangladesh whilst we carve up the WTO with the Yanks, but so what?"

Ahahaha. You really think that the Republic of Ireland is going to wade in as part of some European monolith and "carve up the WTO"? How much influence do you think Wisconsin has over US foreign policy?

You poor, deluded person. If the European experience has taught the world anything, it is that the bureaucrats at the top really don't care what we think.

Carve up the WTO they may well try to do - but don't expect little old Ireland to get a slice.

Bill Brinsmead

'Given that Europe was one of my primary concerns' says Louise. Get over it! You are a Conservative PPC, concentrate on the concerns of your potential voters.

Og

If liberty and prosperity and accountable politicians are concerns of her voters, B Brinsmead, Louise is right to think the way she does.

Whenever I hear someone say "Oh, no one cares about Europe anyway", I suspect they are federasts who hope it will all come about without debate.

Pro-EU

Jarod Weaver,

The people of Bradford, Nottingham and Liverpool have the opportunity to vote for elected members of the European Parliament, which scrutinizes European legislation, every 5 years.

They also directly elect the ministers from this country who partly make up the Council of the European Union, the institution which has the final say on all European Law.

Your invocation of the democratic standing of the Commission is the typical eurosceptic red-herring. The Commission decides nothing. It only proposes and monitors compliance. The Commission is the equivalent of our Civil Service and I don't remember electing any of its top brass either!

The European Parliament has been able to vote out and ratify the Commission en bloc for a while now. Not ideal, for sure. But this new treaty allows the Parliament to ratify the president of the Commission too.

This treaty also provides the first written rules on withdrawal from the EU. Something most europhobes ought to welcome! Although I personally doubt it will ever be used!

As a final note, the problem with your view of democracy is that should we be silly enough to withdraw from the EU, we would still have to comply with pretty much all EU legislation (as do Switzerland and Norway), having no say in its genesis, yet still having to pay for the privilege!

Hence, to borrow a phrase, we're better off IN.

malcolm

If you really believed that Pro-EU you might have had the guts to reveal your real name but as I'm sure you've realised by now that people with your views have lost the argument on this thread,on this blog and within the Conservative party in general.
It is pretty rare now to meet anyone of any political persuasion that is an EU enthusiast which is why people like 'Pro-EU' are so adamantly against a referendum.They know their chances of winning it are zero.

Tapestry

Tory Jim, British Trading Standards have invariably found that when EU regulations have replaced original British, the standards are lower. e.g. many children are killed by washing machines now since we had to change to EU standards. Many lorry wheels detatch and kill people on our roads as the EU standard is not as good as the British one used to be - which worked well. There are countless similar exmaples - where we have had to go down to the levels which are in practice in Italy say or Spain as they refused to upgrade to the levels we used to enjoy. You will never read one word in the media about it. All the deaths are pinned on the operator or the installer as a rule, which of course is grossly unfair.

The EU is a juggernaut. That's why we have agreed to kill and maim hundreds of our citizens every year, and then blame it on ourselves.

I don't think we like our country now as it has become inside the EU. Everything's going crap and we need to get it back and into some kind of shape. The non-comprehending Irish have a stronger culture than we do - rural and Catholic - and they have been able to maintain some kind of civil society despite the EU onslaught. In Britain we have not. Our society is literally broken.

We don't like our country any more, but we still love it - as you love your family. We have no choice. But we do have a choice about the EU.

Gordon Brown is only the latest traitor to our country, as he wraps himself stealthily in our flag. We don't only want a referendum. We need to get out of the EU completely. Cameron must keep up the trickle of resistance so that we can hope for a better life once more. Our misery has gone on long enough.

Jason O'Mahony

You know, I don't doubt the sincerity of many of the anti-EU posts here, but I do wonder as to whether you're blaming the right people for your woes. Globalisation is a fact, and the EU is a tool to manage it. Leaving it does not free you from Globalisation of some of its negative effects.
As for the EU being undemocratic, 65% of you voted against Mr. Blair and he still won the election? You can't blame Brussels for that.
The WTO isn't elected. Nor is the UN Security Council or the North Atlantic Council. Yet the EU gets picked out, despite being the more democratic of the lot?

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