EU – Decision Time

EUEU – Decision Time
The debate for the vote on whether to leave the EU or remain has started. Some people will get emotional and some debate may be quite heated.

I feel that we need us – the general electorate – to think about this and make a decision that is not simply based upon gut feelings.

This blog simply expresses my views and collect together information that I feel reflects my position as we move towards the referendum date.

It does not aim to bully others into their decision. Nevertheless I hope it helps some people to see my position as sensible. I do hope we can all listen, gather views and consider our decision as we move towards the vote without being personal or nasty to people with opposite views.

We have now had a whole list of key people and respected reportage declaring that dangers of Leave – in particular:
IMF : CBI : President of the US : Hilary Clinton : The Economist
So many warnings – how can you sensibly keep saying how they are always wrong – just listen

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30 May 2016

A poll of 907 active UK researchers by the scientific journal Nature found that 83 per cent want to remain in the EU while only 12 per cent will vote to leave in the June 23 referendum. Their enthusiasm reflects the scientific success of Britain within the EU. Its universities and research labs are highly productive by almost any measure: with 4 per cent of the world’s scientists, the UK produces almost 16 per cent of its most cited research papers.

16 May 2016

UNISON is to campaign for the UK to stay; the loss of the many workplace rights – parental leave, paid holiday, protection for part-timers and limits on excessive hours – that UK employees have come to take for granted is the most important issue in the coming referendum, according to UNISON’s overwhelmingly female membership.
Concern over what might happen to those employment rights should the UK vote to leave the EU

Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary, who warned that withdrawal from the EU would force up the price of flights and holidays and put his company’s latest £1 billion investment in the UK at risk

The governor of the Bank of England said yesterday that the leave campaign is in denial about the impact Brexit would have on the UK economy.

If the UK left Europe, “we wouldn’t have half the clout that we have at the moment” – says Oxford professor Timothy Garton Ash, an expert on European history

1 May 2016

Sir Brendan, the ex-general secretary of the Trades Union Council (TUC) warning that “some of the biggest cheerleaders for Brexit see protections for ordinary British workers – like health and safety law – as just red tape to be binned”

26 April 2016

A vote to stay in the EU is essential for jobs and workers’ rights, says Alan Johnson
Chatham House [the influential foreign affairs think tank] argues that as a member of the European Union, Britain retains control of 98% of government spending and sets its own policies on almost every issue of serious concern to British voters

9 March 2016

The prospect of Britain leaving the EU is the ‘biggest domestic risk to financial stability’ according to Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of England.
Speaking to the Treasury committee of MPs Carney said a vote to leave the EU would bring economic uncertainty, the BBC reports.

15 March 2016

CBI: Most of our members want the UK to stay in the EU because it is better for their business, jobs & prosperity
80% of CBI members think being in EU is best for their business
See more findings of this independent survey carried out by polling company ComRes.

13 March 2016

Hawking – Brexit ‘disaster’ for science
Prof Stephen Hawking has called for Britain to stay in the EU, saying that a Brexit would be a “disaster for UK science”.
A letter to the Times newspaper signed by more than 150 fellows of the Royal Society argues that leaving the EU would devastate research.

11 March 2016

Brexit could undermine the rights of disabled people
The EU referendum campaign so far has been more about politicians than about people. But what about the impact of leaving the EU for Britain’s 10 million people with disabilities?  MORE…

02 March 2016

The Economist writes:

The strongest argument for Brexit is that it is the only way to restore sovereignty to Parliament and escape the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice.
Mr Cameron’s plan to counter this with an act that reasserts parliamentary sovereignty will not convince many, for the ECJ would still stand supreme.
In a world with a network of international treaties and obligations, sovereignty is not a completely binary matter; as Mr Cameron put it this week, it would be possible to regain the illusion of sovereignty but without real power.

Are we really going through all this for a feeling of British self government without any real benefit in the event?

29 February 2016

What I still can’t grasp is what we are expected to leave the EU to go onto.

Is there a coherent plan? Do we know what Britain would actually be like after membership ends? How do we know what sort of deals can be struck with other countries once we are alone?

This isn’t being negative – just plain sensible. Why would I leave something that actually does work, no matter its faults, for something that has no substance?

28 February 2016

What is all the angst about immigrants – most who come here seem to be needed and are often highly qualified. On TV today a Bulgarian doctor was interviewed – sounds good to me.

More than two-thirds of trusts and health boards in the UK are actively trying to recruit from abroad as they struggle to cope with a shortage of qualified staff, figures reveal.

Tens of thousands of NHS nursing and doctor posts are vacant.
The statistics, obtained by the BBC, show the scale of the NHS recruitment crisis.
Health unions blame poor workforce planning, but officials say the NHS has more staff than ever before.

Data from a BBC Freedom of Information request shows that on 1 December 2015, the NHS in England, Wales and Northern Ireland had more than 23,443 nursing vacancies – equivalent to 9% of the workforce.

Maca Fernandez Carro is a nurse who is originally from Bilbao in Spain, but has worked at Royal Bolton Hospital since 2014.

“Nursing is so different back home. When we qualify [in Spain] we are expected to do all the techniques that over here you’d need extra training [for].

“So we do a four-year degree, instead of a three-year one, so we have an extra year in which we train the technical part of nursing.”

25 February 2016

British workers’ rights to paid holiday, maternity leave and fair treatment at work would be at risk if the UK voted to leave the European Union, the head of the Trades Union Congress has warned.
Frances O’Grady, general secretary of the body representing British trade unions, said the EU debate had been too dominated by business interests, with not enough focus on the potential costs for ordinary workers. “Most of the rights that we depend on derive from Europe,” she said.

24 February 2016

Trying to get at the FACTS

EU reforms cannot be reversed

The package of reforms negotiated by David Cameron cannot be reversed by European judges, according to the EU Council president.  Donald Tusk told MEPs the deal was “legally binding and irreversible”.

It comes after Justice Secretary Michael Gove told the BBC the European Court of Justice could throw out some measures without EU treaty change. Both Downing Street and attorney general Jeremy Wright say the reforms cannot be reversed.

Mr Gove, one of five cabinet ministers campaigning for an EU exit, said that without treaty change all elements of the PM’s renegotiation settlement were potentially subject to legal challenge.

But Mr Tusk, who played a key role in negotiating the settlement, said it was “in conformity with the treaties and cannot be annulled by the European Court of Justice”.  He added: “But it will only enter into force if the British people vote to stay. If they vote to leave, the settlement will cease to exist.”

23 February 2016

The pound tumbled to a seven-year low and the UK was warned its credit rating was at risk on Monday as the effect of Boris Johnson’s backing for the Brexit campaign was felt in financial markets.

However, as traders and city economists wagered that the London mayor’s intervention had raised the probability of a leave vote in June’s EU referendum, high-profile business figures threw their support behind prime minister David Cameron’s push to stay in the EU.

The Brexit camp have claimed that a low pound will be good for the UK exports.
Well it is easier to sell abroad when that happens but this also means that it is more expensive to import raw materials and the cost of goods from Europe and other areas to you and me will mean a price rise in the shops.

There is also the impact upon our credit rating which will make it more expensive for the UK to borrow. Moody’s is an independent and highly respected agency:

The credit ratings agency Moody’s put the government on alert that a decision to leave the EU could lead to a downgrade of the UK’s strong credit score, potentially pushing up the cost of government borrowing. Moody’s said the outcome of the vote “remains too close to call”. In the event of a vote to leave the EU, the economic costs would outweigh the benefits, Moody’s said.

Also, the bosses of some of Britain’s top companies, including easyJet, the defence contractor BAE Systems and Shell, signed a letter backing a vote to stay in Europe. The letter was signed by the heads of about a third of the businesses on the FTSE 100 index of Britain’s largest stock-market-listed companies.

22 February 2016

I have to think, if I make a decision I need to know that it is a good one and can be reasonably certain of the outcome.

Leaving the EU now is so full of uncertainties and potential risks that it seems to me to make no sense.
If we leave there is no way back.

As for deals –
– if I walk out on my friends and then go to them for a deal to do business I don’t expect they will want to give me the best they can – and certainly not as good as it was when we were good friends.
Yes, we will be more free to make our own rules and be jingoistic – we won’t have Scotland with us any more – so we will be free to be little Englanders with an island to manage that will mean little to the rest of the world.