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Brexit - your vote and why?


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#751 mel2

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Posted 13 November 2019 - 23:33

I don't claim to speak for anyone but myself when I state that economic forecasts and projected balance sheets (largely speculative or from computer models) do not figure much in my thinking. FWIW I didn't buy the £350 million bus slogan; R4's More or Less programme calculated a figure of £190 million but I stop counting when I run out of fingers and toes.
What has incensed me has been the UK's lack of agency- having to ask 'please may we do this/that?' all in the name of a withdrawal treaty. I suspect it is this state of being petitioners for favour that outrages many and is behind calls for a 'clean break'. All this has been said before, I know.

Reading about Ursula Van Der Leyen and how she was appointed opened my eyes to some of the issues in the EU not related to Brexit. I sometimes wonder whether the idea of Europe held by many in Britain is a little idealised. (I'm trying to be polite) After all, we currently 'enjoy' the utopia of EU membership and it doesn't feel that great.

The barely suppressed contempt of the Church Times, if not the CofE as a whole, for those supporting Leave has been surprising to me, incidentally. How on earth this issue has gained a moral dimension is beyond me, and their withering words do little to explain, other than concluding that Leavers were misled, were lied to, and were stupid enough to be convinced by the lies. I wrote and reminded them that they offered no guidance before the referendum so would they please please spare us the censure. I suppose virtue signalling is to be expected from such a publication, but I mention this only to point out that if such guardians of morality leave me unmoved (and not a little cynical) then they must be using the wrong words.
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#752 elemimele

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Posted 14 November 2019 - 07:29

Brexit hasn't happened yet.

There's a real risk that because of the delay between the referendum-decision, and anything happening, people will start to think that Brexit hasn't caused all the problems we were told about, and it was all scaremongering - forgetting that this is still in the future. Most of the economic and practical problems won't start until after we finally leave the EU. Many of the effects will only happen quite a long time after Brexit, because of transition arrangements, and the lag-time while things make their way through the pipeline from cause to effect. By then it will be too late to make changes.

That is why we're reduced to guesswork and prediction. If we don't trust the predictions, it's because the situation is very complicated and it's hard to guess (which isn't very reassuring to those of us in precarious positions). Some, if not most, remainers are terrified by the uncertainty of what will happen, and who can blame them? The Government's guess on how long it will take to get a lorry from Calais to Dover, which is one of the simplest aspects of Brexit, are terrifying. Again, those who want to leave, at least, please, let's plan the whole thing properly. This isn't just an idealogical question, it's a very practical one. Our whole administration has, for decades, been built around being part of Europe, and it takes time to rebuild something like that. There are so many itty-bitty details: how do we import radioisotopes for medical treatment and imaging, can aeroplanes containing UK-made parts still land legally in Belgium?

And I know this is frustrating for those who feel we're having to ask favours of Europe, but it can't be helped: just as we want to choose our own rules about what comes into the UK, the Belgians have the right to choose what goes into Belgium. We can't unilaterally dictate the process of Brexit because we, presumably, still want to import French wine and export Wensleydale, and that means talking to the French and satisfying other countries that our cheese is safe. Dialogue is part of normal life, not a sign of subservience.

I'll reiterate: for a lot of us, this isn't about ideology, or making a stand in politics; it's a practical question concerning our families, livelihoods, jobs, and futures.


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#753 corenfa

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Posted 14 November 2019 - 12:10

The barely suppressed contempt of the Church Times, if not the CofE as a whole, for those supporting Leave has been surprising to me, incidentally. How on earth this issue has gained a moral dimension is beyond me, and their withering words do little to explain, other than concluding that Leavers were misled, were lied to, and were stupid enough to be convinced by the lies. I wrote and reminded them that they offered no guidance before the referendum so would they please please spare us the censure. I suppose virtue signalling is to be expected from such a publication, but I mention this only to point out that if such guardians of morality leave me unmoved (and not a little cynical) then they must be using the wrong words.


I'm not Christian but I'm shocked by that. It feels wrong to me that religious bodies have such a political stance.
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#754 Aquarelle

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Posted 14 November 2019 - 14:23

 

The barely suppressed contempt of the Church Times, if not the CofE as a whole, for those supporting Leave has been surprising to me, incidentally. How on earth this issue has gained a moral dimension is beyond me, and their withering words do little to explain, other than concluding that Leavers were misled, were lied to, and were stupid enough to be convinced by the lies. I wrote and reminded them that they offered no guidance before the referendum so would they please please spare us the censure. I suppose virtue signalling is to be expected from such a publication, but I mention this only to point out that if such guardians of morality leave me unmoved (and not a little cynical) then they must be using the wrong words.


I'm not Christian but I'm shocked by that. It feels wrong to me that religious bodies have such a political stance.

 

But do they? Not being in the UK and not having an enorous amount of time at the moment I may have missed something. But what I did get, as a general feeling, when I took a quick look at what had been said in the Church Tmes was that the general feeling of the clergy was that Chrsitians should vote responsibly and according to their conscience. I am not  a blind  supporter of organised religion but it seems normal to me that the clergy should ask people to think carefully about how they cast any vote for any election or referendum. I do not think they should tell their flock what to vote but it seems logical that they should point out that there is, indeed a moral issue in every vote. Why? Because when you cast your vote you are doing something that will affect the lives of  - sometimes - millions of people. You can cast your vote for your oxn personnal interests. You can cast your vote because you think further than that - about the interests of the community it will affect. You might decide to cast your vote in the opposite way tfrom  the next person  in the pew. that is not what matters. What matters is that each voter should try to be as informed as possilbe (not always easy as we know) and then should vote responsibly. Many  of course do.


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#755 thara96

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Posted 15 November 2019 - 09:03

 

 

The barely suppressed contempt of the Church Times, if not the CofE as a whole, for those supporting Leave has been surprising to me, incidentally. How on earth this issue has gained a moral dimension is beyond me, and their withering words do little to explain, other than concluding that Leavers were misled, were lied to, and were stupid enough to be convinced by the lies. I wrote and reminded them that they offered no guidance before the referendum so would they please please spare us the censure. I suppose virtue signalling is to be expected from such a publication, but I mention this only to point out that if such guardians of morality leave me unmoved (and not a little cynical) then they must be using the wrong words.


I'm not Christian but I'm shocked by that. It feels wrong to me that religious bodies have such a political stance.

 

But do they? Not being in the UK and not having an enorous amount of time at the moment I may have missed something. But what I did get, as a general feeling, when I took a quick look at what had been said in the Church Tmes was that the general feeling of the clergy was that Chrsitians should vote responsibly and according to their conscience. I am not  a blind  supporter of organised religion but it seems normal to me that the clergy should ask people to think carefully about how they cast any vote for any election or referendum. I do not think they should tell their flock what to vote but it seems logical that they should point out that there is, indeed a moral issue in every vote. Why? Because when you cast your vote you are doing something that will affect the lives of  - sometimes - millions of people. You can cast your vote for your oxn personnal interests. You can cast your vote because you think further than that - about the interests of the community it will affect. You might decide to cast your vote in the opposite way tfrom  the next person  in the pew. that is not what matters. What matters is that each voter should try to be as informed as possilbe (not always easy as we know) and then should vote responsibly. Many  of course do.

 

Good point! 


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#756 Tortellini

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Posted 23 November 2019 - 13:38

Of course there is a moral dimension to Brexit. You could argue that at the time of the referendum people didn't know what damage it could do - well, now they do. I think it is fair enough for the Church to point this out. Everyone is still free to do what they think is best but I don't see why the Church has an obligation to not comment. If you are stil championing Brexit then presumably you are doing it because you think it will be worth it DESPITE the damage it will inflict on others, not because you think some people will miraculously benefit from losing their jobs, or having to reapply to stay in their homes.  :wacko:


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#757 hummingbird

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Posted 24 November 2019 - 06:48

Of course there is a moral dimension to Brexit. You could argue that at the time of the referendum people didn't know what damage it could do - well, now they do. I think it is fair enough for the Church to point this out. Everyone is still free to do what they think is best but I don't see why the Church has an obligation to not comment. If you are stil championing Brexit then presumably you are doing it because you think it will be worth it DESPITE the damage it will inflict on others, not because you think some people will miraculously benefit from losing their jobs, or having to reapply to stay in their homes.  :wacko:

You talk about people who maybe face a risk of unemployment when we leave, but what about the people who are already unemployed, some long term.  If you want to talk about the moral dimension, do you not have any compassion for those people?  The highest areas of unemployment are mostly in the North, North East and Midlands, coincidentally the regions that were most in favour of leaving the EU.  Being in the EU hasn’t given those people jobs, has it?  Perhaps people in those regions thought that leaving the EU would bring *more* job opportunities, not fewer.

Membership of the EU is not the universal panacea for unemployment.  Italy, where you live, Tortellini, has the 3rd highest unemployment rate in the EU at 9.5%, after Greece (17%) and Spain (13.8%), and only slightly above France (8.5%).  If being in the EU is supposed to bring job security, it’s failed badly in many of its member countries.  Incidentally, the UK at 3.8% is well below the EU unemployment average which is 6.2%.

 

And since you think it’s immoral of voters not to have thought about the economic/jobs aspect of Brexit (and plenty of Brexiteers think the economic prospects are better outside the EU), what do you think of the Remainers who think it’s selfish to have voted for economic/jobs reasons and think that the main thing is the unity of Europe.  Are they immoral to have had an idealistic reason for voting rather than an economic/jobs reason?


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#758 Tortellini

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Posted 24 November 2019 - 11:00

I am far from being the EU's biggest fan! My point is that when people voted in 2016 we didn't really know what the consequences would be - who did? Now we do - and I am not just talking about potential job losses but actual job losses and actual distress caused by the policy. These aren't contested even by the most ardent Leaver MPs. Of course I have compassion for people who are unemployed and living in poverty - that's precisely why I don't want the situation made worse by leaving. (You may have noticed that we haven't heard any Leaver talking about how great it is going to be for the economy for aaaages - all the rhetoric is now about respecting a "democratic" vote, nobody is even pretending it is going to be good for the country any longer!)

 

 

 

Are they immoral to have had an idealistic reason for voting rather than an economic/jobs reason?

 

I don't know anybody who voted just for this reason. Everyone I know who voted Remain also did because they also believed it would benefit the economy. I think it would be immoral if they voted for an idealistic reason that they also knew would damage other people - but I don't think it was Remainers who did that!

 

Just to reiterate - I am no saint! I wouldn't say I do everything perfectly.  :rolleyes:  However, I don't see why it is wrong to point out that we now know that a lot of people will be hit extremely hard by Brexit and that is not disputed, so why pretend it's not true? In real life all the people who I know who voted leave basically say that they they know that other people will be hit hard by Brexit, but they still think it's worth it (and largely they don't think they will be personally affected). Leave won but it seems that won't be happy until we also all pretend that those sunlit uplands really do exist.


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#759 elemimele

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Posted 24 November 2019 - 12:56

OK, fair enough, let's take one of the UK's impoverished regions as an example. Here is a link to an article from WalesOnline summarising the benefits and losses of Wales in event of Brexit. It is both quantitative and factual (gives actual cash-flows and examples of where the money was spent) and appears fairly balanced (it criticises mis-spend as well as balancing the books, and it mentions the new possibilities after Brexit as well as the lost fundings, attempting to balance what they mean).

 

A few points:

(1) It was written in January 2019, two and a half years after the people of Wales voted, by 47:53, to leave the EU. If the vote was prompted by poverty, it's vital that the voters should know whether the outcome will make them poorer or richer. That a Welsh news source thinks its readers don't know all this stuff, two and a half years later, is quite alarming.

(2) Wales gets much more cash out of the EU (£658M) than it puts in (£414M), which is £79 per person.

(3) But of course the UK as a whole puts more cash into the EU than it extracts (£151 per person) so in theory, the rest of us could still pay Wales using what we save by not paying the EU

(4) .... but, and it's a very big but, the UK government has given no promises that it will continue this funding after we leave the EU. In fact when Plaid Cymru tabled an amendment to the Brexit bill seeking guarantees that Wales would not be worse off, the Conservative party (who are the ones who will be delivering Brexit) opposed it.

(5) A simple balance of how much we pay versus how much we get back doesn't actually show how much we save when we leave, because when we leave, we will have to pay a range of duties on exports and imports, different prices on products that we buy, and we'll have to cover extra admin costs. This ignores the loss of income from businesses that choose to move abroad. This is why it's not so straightforward to work out whether the UK as a whole will really have £151 spare to spend on the Welsh each year.

 

So yes, the Welsh were desperate, and have awful poverty in many regions of West Wales. They had every right to register their extreme disapproval of how they were being treated by an upper-class right-wing out-of-touch government in distant London. The referendum was their chance. Whether, however, leaving will do them any good, is another matter altogether. Unfortunately it might merely (I don't know; that's only a "might"; no one truly knows what the outcome of this is going to be) cement the victory of exactly the out-of-touch, right-wing, upper-class politicians whom they believe don't care tuppence about their fate.


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#760 mel2

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Posted 24 November 2019 - 15:04

I can't get your link to work, elemimele - could you post it again?
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#761 Aquarelle

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Posted 24 November 2019 - 15:38

The basic causes of poverty are unemployment,  poorly paid employment and short term contract employment.. The basic cause of prosperity is trade which brings employment and  which should bring long term contracts and the consequently security.  I think it is rather naîve to say "Being in the EU hasn’t given those people jobs, has it?" and even more naive to suggest that leaving it will provide more.

 

It is not the function of the EU to "give" jobs. Its function is to  try to provide an economic climate in which employment can thrive. A number of European governments have fallen into the trap of blaming "Brussels" for their own failures; Britain is certainly not alone in this. it has happened, for example in France, Spain, Italy - to name just a few.  The areas of high unemployment in these countries are areas which have suffered from changes in the markets and in technological advances which have left the skills of the people who live there redundant. The answer is not in blaming "Brussels" but in insisting that national governments pay attention to people who fall foul of the markets and to  get off their smug backsides and do something to help these areas.

 

Where there is technological change there will always be unemployment and since it is impossible to stop the march of science and technology governments have a responsibility to react. But it is easier to blame and complain and find scapegoats. It  seems an odd kind of argument that because some people blame the EU for economic decline and harrdship  we should now look after them and leave another set  people to be hard up and insecure. That isn't solving the problem. It is coniving with it and hardly likely to bring about any form of national unity. I cannot imagine that any of my losses, if we come out, will make the slightest gain for any one else.

 

I think it fair to point out that the lower unemployment figures in the UK owe quite a bit to the vast number of extremely short term contracts which keep people off the unemployment register without giving them any real security of employment. No bank is going to give you a loan if your contract stops next month.

 

Another cause of unemployment is the failure of education systems to provide young people with the skills needed. In France there are a large number of vacant posts simply because no one has the requisite skills to fill them. Which leads me back to the point that national governments are  largely  ( though of course not entirely) responsible for their own unemployment figures and should stop squealing and get on with finding solutions. When an area loses its mines or its factories or its tourism or whatever then that is the point to step in and help. That is where we need some original thinking, some investment and some thought about retraining and education. The world is not static. We have to battle and move with it. And I am standing  firmly by my opinion that this is better done inside than outside the EU. 


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#762 hummingbird

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Posted 24 November 2019 - 17:21

I am far from being the EU's biggest fan! My point is that when people voted in 2016 we didn't really know what the consequences would be - who did? Now we do - and I am not just talking about potential job losses but actual job losses and actual distress caused by the policy. These aren't contested even by the most ardent Leaver MPs. Of course I have compassion for people who are unemployed and living in poverty - that's precisely why I don't want the situation made worse by leaving. (You may have noticed that we haven't heard any Leaver talking about how great it is going to be for the economy for aaaages - all the rhetoric is now about respecting a "democratic" vote, nobody is even pretending it is going to be good for the country any longer!)

If the focus has switched to “democracy”, it’s because Parliament and many Remainers (not all), have been doing their utmost to overturn the result of the referendum, which all parties at the time promised to honour. Brexiteers want the vote to be honoured not for some self-destructive reason which your post suggests, but so that we can get on with shaping our own future, which we believe will be better outside the EU.

 

If you are stil championing Brexit then presumably you are doing it because you think it will be worth it DESPITE the damage it will inflict on others, not because you think some people will miraculously benefit from losing their jobs, or having to reapply to stay in their homes. :wacko:

If there’s one thing that Brexit has already done, rather than what it might do, is cause huge rifts amongst families, friends and communities. If I might say so, this has been fuelled in part by all the epithets that have been levelled at all the Brexiteers generally, by many of the Remainers. On this thread alone, simply by virtue of voting for Leave, I’ve been called racist, stupid, and a “little Englander”, and now apparently I’m a thoroughly horrible person for potentially risking putting some people out of a job (in spite of the fact that millions in the UK are already out of a job and some jobs might be created when we leave).  Does this make me want to throw insults back? No it doesn't, and I don’t think any Brexiteer has said anything offensive about a Remainer on this thread. In the referendum, we each voted according to what we thought was best for the country in which we live (and where you don’t), and I respect the fact that some people had different views.


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#763 elemimele

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Posted 24 November 2019 - 17:22

sorry, I messed up the link, which I've now edited and should be correct

https://www.walesonl...s-gets-12765100
It was from Walesonline


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#764 Arundodonuts

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Posted 24 November 2019 - 17:44

So yes, the Welsh were desperate, and have awful poverty in many regions of West Wales. They had every right to register their extreme disapproval of how they were being treated by an upper-class right-wing out-of-touch government in distant London. 

Sadly they chose to believe Farage and the Tories scapegoating.


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#765 elemimele

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Posted 24 November 2019 - 18:06

I really don't think all the name-calling is helpful. It also isn't helpful that quite often, fairly polite comments are interpreted as offensive.

There are, of course, plenty of people who feel that Brexit should have happened because that's what the people asked for. But the unfortunate reality is it hasn't. There are many reasons why it hasn't, one being that even those who wanted Brexit turned out not to be agreed on what sort of Brexit they wanted. Some wanted a hard instant-leave Brexit, others envisaged continuing links with Europe at various formal levels, and expected these to be negotiated before the actual Leave. In a sense, that was the risk of holding a referendum without actually agreeing on the question. It wasn't as simple as "Leave" or "Stay"; we needed to know, before we voted, what "Leave" actually meant - and we didn't.

Theresa May's problem wasn't that she was sabotaged by the the Remainers, it was that she couldn't reconcile the soft Brexiteers (who had an eye to the effects on business) with the hard-line Brexiteers.

 

Yes, it's unfair and undemocratic that Brexit hasn't happened, but unfortunately it hasn't, and we can't change that. We can pretend we haven't got 30 months' additional experience and insight, but wouldn't that be a bit silly? It's like a horse-race. You're supposed to decide which horse will win before the start, but in this case, we've had a chance to watch the horses in action for a couple of laps, and we might well have formed a different opinion on the race's outcome. No, it's not fair, but it's useful.

 

Yes, the Brexiteers have every right to complain that the views of the British public haven't been respected. But this complaint, in my view, is most desperately undermined by their reticence to hold another referendum. If they are certain that the public really want Brexit, where is the danger in holding another head-count? It shouldn't be necessary, but it should yield the same result. I interpret their reticence to mean that they think (sensibly) the whole Brexit issue hangs in the balance, and that a referendum is about as useful as tossing a coin - we can toss again and maybe the coin will land "Remain", but it still won't solve anything, because half the population will still want to Leave, and we'll be like a kid who can't decide and has to keep tossing coins: best of three, anyone?

 

It would be more helpful if, instead of running round saying "The public want...", as though the public were of one mind, politicians of all flavours would try to understand the mess-ups in society that gave rise to this hideous situation, and attempted to address them. If we'd been a bit harsher on the public-funded duck-houses, and had better social structures, this whole catastrophe might never have happened.


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