Thinking of a Brexit vote? Consider these questions

It’s a massive decision with thousands of implications not easily recognised or understood. I want people to make the right […]

It’s a massive decision with thousands of implications not easily recognised or understood. I want people to make the right decision, which I think is remain. Though I know a lot about this I don’t want anyone to take my word for it. So I’ve drafted up some questions to help you explore and challenge your own views.

  1. Are you willing to self-induce the recession and resulting job losses that all credible economists expect?
  2. Who or what are you ‘taking back control’ from, and why do all Westminster parties bar UKIP and majority of MPs want to remain?
  3. Are you clear on what benefits the EU brings, are you willing to forego these or are you assuming they will continue?
  4. What are your specific dislikes about the EU? Are you sure these are really an EU issues, and how will leaving change them?
  5. Do you have some things you want from Brexit (eg. Less migration, less regulation), and how do you see them being delivered in reality?
  6. Are you ready to lose all the EU free trade agreements with third countries – how will we get more free trade?
  7. How will travel in Europe be made worse – visas, queues, higher air fares, mobile roaming?
  8. Will UK end up in similar situation to Norway? Extensive compliance, free movement of people, budget contribution, AND NO SAY.
  9. Why do almost all major employers want to remain? Why is business support for remain so strong?
  10. Why are almost scientists, economists and historians who have expressed a view supporting remain?
  11. If we reduce intra-EU migration what will happen to UK citizens living in the EU and young people who want to live and work in the EU?
  12. If you are a vaper, have you considered the (high) likelihood that UK will end up complying with the TPD even if we leave, but will lose any say on it in the future.

My own analysis leading to ‘remain’ is here. I hope you find these posts persuasive.



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21 thoughts on “Thinking of a Brexit vote? Consider these questions”

  1. Sorry Clive, I agree with much of what you say, but on this I’m completely in the Leave camp.
    Would you, in all honesty, consider joining the EU now, if we were not in?
    I simply believe that the UK would be better, in the long term, to be free to make it’s own laws and decisions, to the benefit of the UK population, who will also have the option to elect the party they feel best meets their needs at the time.
    To me, there is no other choice.

    1. Clive Bates

      Unfortunately much of that freedom is an illusion, and reality is mired in the trade-offs made in international relations.

    2. Barnaby Page

      Hi Nell, I think it’s just worth pointing out in that context that not joining in the first place is not the same as leaving.

      Among other reasons, not joining likely leaves open the option to join in the future if the EU becomes more attractive; and not joining doesn’t bring with it a host of legacy EU-related legislation and issues.

      If we were indeed voting today as non-members on whether to join, I think I’d agree that we should only do so if we could use the opportunity to insist on some quite substantial changes to EU practice. However, since we’re already in, I reckon staying is the less-bad option. Not the sunlit uplands, but the lesser of two unsatisfactory outcomes.

  2. Ian Gregory

    The European Commission has consistently overreached itself in its pursuit of “every closer union”. What could have been a respectful mechanism for cooperation between separate but equal nations continues to push towards a power grab by Eurocrats (a little like the MHRA and e-cigarettes.) The outcome of a United States of Europe is the only way to sustain the eurozone project but is several steps too far for the member states. The disdain for the Commission is now so high that if Brexit doesn’t produce the defining crisis then another country will. Less will be more.

    1. Clive Bates

      These are just high flown assertions. That don’t stand real scrutiny Try answering the questions.

  3. Considering the history of the snus ban, I’m not sure whether it’s a goog thing to give Britain a vote.

    Seriously, nothing is irreversible. I think you’d better leave but I’m sure you’ll be fine either way.

  4. vapingpoint

    You have been brainwashed Clive. You have been brainwashed in two aspects that I notice. You believe and promote all the Tobacco Control Industry’s propaganda, and you believe Remain propaganda.
    I’m disappointed in your ability to think independently of what is quite clearly manipulation over you by other entities.

    It’s a pity.

    Remaining in a “reformed” EU, which is the main argument of the Remain camp, is a fun statement, because even those who say it, know in their hearts, we haven’t a chance in hell of doing that. What is the use of banging your political head against a brick wall?

    So to stop such stupidity, I voted Leave. Lets get away from a corrupt and outdated system, and “Lead” others away from it too.

    It doesn’t really matter what happens in this Referendum, Britain will never be the same again. I think ordinary people have done some growing up. Hopefully they can more easily identify propaganda when they hear it/read it/see it.

    I hope so.

    1. Clive Bates

      If I’ve been brainwashed it’s by thinking about these issues from the perspective of a Eurosceptic. Who are these ‘other entities’?

  5. 1) Scaremongery. You’ve said so yourself in defence of overweening regulation imposed by the EU. I would love it if many EU regulations disappeared post-Brexit because I could take around 20 staff on straightaway. When I’ve said that before you said I was being unrealistic and nothing would change for a long time, you can’t have it both ways.
    2) The fact all parties favour remain is a bad thing not a good one.
    3) I don’t see many benefits at all, only costs and obstacles.
    4) You can’t fight the EU, it’s impossible. It is possible to fight Westminster, as history has long proven.
    5) Far less unending regulation and the ability to repeal bad laws, if you deny that’s a possibility, you negate your point 1)
    6) You don’t need trade agreements to trade, and the EU is really bad at agreeing trade agreements.
    7) Trivial.
    8) Norway’s public overwhelmingly likes their situation.
    9) Because the EU supports big business protectionism and cronyism. Simples.
    10) You know the answer to this, EU largesse by way of grants.
    11) Not that bothered about immigration but the US (and other non-aligned countries) seem to do quite well.
    12) You know very well that UK institutions want to ignore parts of the TPD but are forbidden. A perfect example of all that is bad about the EU and its derogatio of our democracy and self-determination.

  6. #8 Norway do have a say.

    They are part of the EEA and as such are consulted. They do not have to implement EU regulations that they believe are outside the scope of the EEA, as for example regulation of the off-shore oil and gas industry.

  7. vapingpoint

    I suppose I meant The Tobacco Control Entity which you joined.
    And the Government Entity “Remain” which you have now joined.

    I am curious about the finality of this referendum. I read a whole section in, I think but not sure, The Lisbon Treaty concerning the protocol to implement if one of the members of the EU left, and then wanted to re-join. Why has no one mentioned it? Furthermore, very angry citizens, rousing themselves, could “force” another referendum.

    The other curiosity is how Remain ask Leavers about their “contingency” plans. It is the Government that should have/set up contingency plans – Leave is not a political party. But Remain is the Government position.

    Just saying….

  8. john Walker

    Interesting take

    Your leaders should, read mark and diges,t some of Adam Smith’s last words:

    “When [the man of public spirit and humanity] cannot conquer the rooted prejudices of the people by reason and persuasion, he will not attempt to subdue them by force; but will religiously observe what, by Cicero, is justly called the divine maxim of Plato, never to use violence to his country no more than to his parents. He will accommodate, as well as he can, his public arrangements to the confirmed habits and prejudices of the people; and will remedy as well as he can, the inconveniencies which may flow from the want of those regulations which the people are averse to submit to. When he cannot establish the right, he will not disdain to ameliorate the wrong; but like Solon, when he cannot establish the best system of laws, he will endeavour to establish the best that the people can bear.”

  9. rapscallion

    1. What recession and what job losses? Brexit is not an event, it’s a process that can take up to 2 years. That gives us two years minimum to thrash out trade deals.
    2. We will be taking back control from an unelected and unaccountable EU Commission who fail all five of Tony Benn’s democratic questions.
    3. The EU brings no benefits that we could not have legislated for ourselves
    4. My specifice dislike is two-fold. Firstly it is not so much undemocratic as anti-democratic. Secondly it is failing even by its own standards. The EU bloc only accounts for 17% of world trade and falling. Of all the worlds continents, all the others are growing. The EU is shrinking.
    5. Self determination. It is we who should decide who enters this country and nobody else. Less regulation certainly. Achieved by a) leaving the EU in both cases. All EU law struck down.
    6.Yes, and what is more we will be free to conduct trade deals with every country in the world. Our customer base is only 500 million. Outside the EU it is 6,500 million.
    If Iceland who comprise of only a 3rd of a million people can conduct a trade deal with China, I don’t see why we can’t.
    7. Who said it will get worse? Who said we’ll need visas. queues will be less getting back into the UK as we’ll have UK only gates and not EU gats. Who cares about mobile roaming.
    8.The UK will end up in our own situation. Norway like all nations within the EEA has to have extensive compliance and a vastly reduced contribution. Norway has an equal say as the EU when it sits on international bodies such as Codex, IMO and WTO to name but a few. Norway can determine the rules – we can’t.
    9.All major employers want to remain because of vested interests. They can lobby Brussels for their products and push out the small trader. They can employ more people for less money and the indigenous worker is left unemployed. It’s no suprise that Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and JP Morgan all support the EU. Look at how Goldman Sachs tweaked the books for Greece.
    10. Because they are 99 times out of a 100 financed by the EU. Their jobs depend on it.
    11. Nothing. Those resident in this country cannot be kicked out and the same is true in Europe because they were there under existing treaties. You should know this Clive.
    12. I am not a vaper – it does not affect me.

    I don’t think you really understand the interplay between the EEA, EFTA, EU, Eurozone and Schengen etc. Leaving the EU means we are STILL in the EEA, but have left the customs union of the EU. Being in the EEA means we can still trade with those inside the EU. See this piece and note the diagram.

  10. Today I voted to leave the EU. Today I voted as to who governs our government. I want it to be us and not an unelected cabal in Brussels. If there is an economic blow then it is a price worth paying for freedom.

  11. I agonised over how to use my vote. In the end, I was too ill to use it at all. My temp was so high, I was off floating somewhere in space, and just sort of missed Thursday. When I next woke up it was too late to vote and I had been relieved of the need to decide.

    Which really annoys me, because its the first time that I have failed to use my vote since I first turned 21. And I’ve turned 21 quite a few times since then, believe me. I now qualify for the tags “grumpy”, “old” and “woman”.

    I’m intrigued to hear some other EU countries now – only after the UK vote – calling for strong reform of the EU. Why didn’t they speak up before?

    I liked the quote “No-one would want to leave Europe if it was fair.”

    If the Brexit vote has the effect of shaking up the other EU member countries to the need for reform, and the result is the introduction of sensible and strong reforms, then (whatever it may mean for the UK) it will have achieved something.

    Of course, it might be nice, were that to happen, if the other member countries were to say to the UK “hey, thanks, you guys! Wanna join the new, much-improved gang?”

    I’d say that’s highly unlikely, though. Its all getting very nasty out there in the big bad world of politics. Resignations; sackings; pointed fingers….

    All egged on by the great British press, naturally. I no longer read newspapers myself, far too depressing, and was really shocked to get a glimpse of how hard the press had backed the Leave campaign. I like a good, fairly balanced, well-argued scrap in the papers. But that’s not what this looked like. Yep, the British press – once a source of great pride, now cause to hang head in shame.

    Personally, I have no idea whether or not leaving will turn out to be bad for the UK. It certainly looks as though its going to get rough for a while. There’s a lot of disaster-talk about. In my experience, though, things usually turn out rather less disastrous than painted.

    Funniest thing to come out of this – certain elements of the media trying to portray Boris as statesmanlike, PM material. Hah! Boris may be likeable – though I’m a lot less fond of him after he told all those lies to push Brexit – but imo he will never be anything more than a thinly disguised clown.

    1. john Walker

      Dear Lass
      Think that this story has only reached the end of, chapter one. While the dynamic of the story so far has been that of ‘ a game of chicken’ there us still time for the UK and the EC to, both swerve- avoid a head-on car crash.

      1. Dear John,
        There may still be time……but I am not convinced that there is the will, on either side. We’ll just have to wait and see how it shapes up.

        I wish the terms of the referendum had been different – requiring a more substantial majority to make such a big change. Now it will be very difficult not to act upon the result, even though the majority of the British people either voted to remain or didn’t vote at all.

        My partner thinks that in the case of a referendum, anyone who doesn’t vote should be considered to have voted for the status quo, which I think is an excellent idea.

  12. vapingpoint

    “My partner thinks that in the case of a referendum, anyone who doesn’t vote should be considered to have voted for the status quo, which I think is an excellent idea.”

    The excellent idea is for people to VOTE. It’s not really such an effort and is the idea that you are having your “say”. Those who don’t vote, have no say, I think. Not bothering produces it’s own punishment.

    1. Vapingpoint,of course people should vote! BUT – just like smokers should quit, but many don’t for all sorts of reasons – many people just DON’T vote.

      Why should those of us who DO vote be punished because a minority of people – albeit a majority of those who DID vote – voted for change?

      I think it would be reasonable to assume that those who don’t vote in a referendum are, in fact, not filled with a passion for the change being voted upon, and therefore should be assumed to be in favour of the ststus quo.


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