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Brexit - your vote and why?


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#631 Tortellini

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Posted 30 December 2016 - 09:49

Who said anything about breezy confidence? I am just pointing out that I know a lot of people who work in the EU (specifically in Italy) who , although I don't think they would appreciate being called "less intellectual", are not necessarily well-educated and are definitely not elite. I think it is a bit patronising to suggest that "ordinary people" cannot benefit from having more choice rather than less when it comes to places to move to and work in.


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#632 elephant

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Posted 30 December 2016 - 10:14

Aquarelle  << ... perhaps I am wrong in thinking that only a passport and not a simple identity card will get you into Britain? >>

 

You can enter and leave the UK with your French identity card (CNI).


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#633 hummingbird

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Posted 30 December 2016 - 10:18

Who said anything about breezy confidence? I am just pointing out that I know a lot of people who work in the EU (specifically in Italy) who , although I don't think they would appreciate being called "less intellectual", are not necessarily well-educated and are definitely not elite. I think it is a bit patronising to suggest that "ordinary people" cannot benefit from having more choice rather than less when it comes to places to move to and work in.

The UK population has had that choice for decades and clearly most people didn't find it a benefit worth keeping.  To think that most people would find it a worthwhile benefit is to mis-judge what the majority of working people here want. 


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#634 Aquarelle

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Posted 30 December 2016 - 10:47

I agree with Tortellini.  Polkadot, if you think that those who live and work abroad are exclusively  an elite then you are quite wrong. Some may be but the majority are not. Also, if you think the opportunity to work in another country is a benefit only for the elite it would seem more logical to work towards extending that benefit to others rather than taking steps which will deny that benefit to everyone.

 

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#635 Hildegard

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Posted 30 December 2016 - 10:53

It's worth remembering that the vast majority of British emigrants in recent years have emigrated to (in order) Australia, the USA and Canada, rather than to any EU country, despite the fact that none of those three countries offer freedom of movement. Passports, work permits and visas are clearly not that much of a barrier to those who want to emigrate.

 

I think language is a barrier for many, which is why (and this is where the elite may well come in *) numbers emigrating to France, Germany and Italy are much smaller than those emigrating to English-speaking countries. (Spain is a bit different, because I believe the British are more likely to form English-speaking enclaves there.)

 

* The British Council reports that 75% of British people cannot hold a basic conversation in a foreign language. Of course, the dominance of English around the world is the reason why many foreigners wish to come here to study and improve their language skills, and I can't see that ending any time soon.


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#636 hummingbird

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Posted 30 December 2016 - 11:16

I agree with Tortellini.  Polkadot, if you think that those who live and work abroad are exclusively  an elite then you are quite wrong. Some may be but the majority are not. Also, if you think the opportunity to work in another country is a benefit only for the elite it would seem more logical to work towards extending that benefit to others rather than taking steps which will deny that benefit to everyone.

The practicalities of working abroad are daunting for a lot of people.  Most working adults have homes and families.  If only one of the adults was to leave to work abroad, then the family is broken up, two homes and living expenses have to be paid for, and the person who has left home is in a foreign country, possibly not linguistically adept, without friends or family, possibly with uncertain work prospects, and with ramifications for tax and pension, and that’s just to mention a few of the drawbacks.  Not many people would find all that an appealing prospect.  If all the family uproot themselves to go abroad, then on top of the loss of home, the support network of friends and family etc, there is the effect on the children to consider, not to mention the effect on grandparents of losing their family and possibly their own support network. The situation is quite different for students or new graduates.  They generally don’t have home or family commitments, consider pensions to be a lifetime away, and have skills which are suited to the thriving digital economy.  But the majority of the adult population are not students or new graduates and want a job which allows them to remain with their home, family and friends.


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#637 PianoMike

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Posted 30 December 2016 - 11:46

It's worth remembering that the vast majority of British emigrants in recent years have emigrated to (in order) Australia, the USA and Canada, rather than to any EU country, despite the fact that none of those three countries offer freedom of movement. Passports, work permits and visas are clearly not that much of a barrier to those who want to emigrate.

I think language is a barrier for many, which is why (and this is where the elite may well come in *) numbers emigrating to France, Germany and Italy are much smaller than those emigrating to English-speaking countries. (Spain is a bit different, because I believe the British are more likely to form English-speaking enclaves there.)

* The British Council reports that 75% of British people cannot hold a basic conversation in a foreign language. Of course, the dominance of English around the world is the reason why many foreigners wish to come here to study and improve their language skills, and I can't see that ending any time soon.



Which is why Britain is going to be pulling strings post Brexit and we won't be seeing the rest of Europe giving us the cold shoulder. We may be in a better position to conduct our own business how we want. I think the idea that Europe will take a petty move of turning its back on Britain in spite, is silly.
They'll be making their own agreements with britain to maintain that tap into the british money pot.
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#638 Sylvette

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Posted 30 December 2016 - 12:01

It is a disgrace that so few British people can converse in a language other than English.  Rather than crowing and using the popularity of English in its various forms across the world as an excuse, we should be looking at why we are so poor at teaching languages.


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#639 cestrian

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Posted 30 December 2016 - 12:24

It is a disgrace that so few British people can converse in a language other than English.  Rather than crowing and using the popularity of English in its various forms across the world as an excuse, we should be looking at why we are so poor at teaching languages.

 

When I started work, a mere nineteen years and eleven months ago, I found it quite difficult in some countries to make myself understood. Changing a hotel reservation in Milan or trying to get new towels in Alicante could often be a challenge. Today, that is all gone. Everywhere I travel in Europe it's the same - anyone under the age of c.40 speaks perfect English whether in a professional capacity or in the street to the point that my languages have deteriorated considerably. There's just no point introducing myself in German at a hotel in Berlin. The staff is unlikely German and responds in English anyway.

 

My former Dutch boss was often frustrated when he got a taxi at Schiphol. The driver would speak to him in English no matter how much Dutch he spoke back.

Learning a language to me is a 'just in case' or for pleasure only. I once got totally lost on the Moscow underground and I'd probably still be there if it weren't for an old lady and some very, very basic Russian. Thank heavens for Pimsleur.

 

But seriously, I think the point that we'll prosper because we speak English and that foreigners will keep flocking here to learn is tosh. It's temporary at best for the reasons stated above. Further, I know many Japanese companies who prefer the English spoken by German lawyers to that spoken by English lawyers because their sentences are shorter and they say what they mean, something British people are famous for not doing.


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#640 Hildegard

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Posted 30 December 2016 - 12:27

 Rather than crowing and using the popularity of English in its various forms across the world as an excuse, we should be looking at why we are so poor at teaching languages.

 

I don't know that the teaching is poor. Isn't more the case that because English is so widely spoken there is not the incentive for learning a foreign language that there is in non-English speaking countries?


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#641 Hildegard

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Posted 30 December 2016 - 12:33


But seriously, I think the point that we'll prosper because we speak English and that foreigners will keep flocking here to learn is tosh. It's temporary at best for the reasons stated above. Further, I know many Japanese companies who prefer the English spoken by German lawyers to that spoken by English lawyers because their sentences are shorter and they say what they mean, something British people are famous for not doing.

 

 

According to UNESCO, the UK is second only to the USA in attracting overseas students:

 

1 US           740482
2 UK           427686
3 France    271399
4 Australia  249588
5 Germany 206986
 

 

We are a long way ahead of most other countries, not least because the UK has three of the best-ranked universities in the world and not just because we are an English-speaking nation.


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#642 PianoMike

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Posted 30 December 2016 - 12:57

The only reason the english football premier league is massive is because it was formed by sky and sky only chose to launch it in england because of the language.
Back in the early 90's Italian, German and Dutch football was massive throughout europe for having the best teams and players - english football wasn't so much. Sky could have ploughed all of their TV cash into these countries but realised only the english league could go global due to the language.
In today's world that's like ploughing all of your money into League 2 with it's unknown players, hoping it will all turn out ok, instead of investing in the glitz of the already famous premier league.
Sky hoped the global language would take care of their investment.
I think also that with Trump apparently being an anglophile, Britain holds a favourable position with the U.S.
I lived in Germany and studied German at university. I still feel below standard. I was told that the ability to learn another language is dictated by a part of the brain, that's better in some than it is others. So language learning isn't for all of us. As odd as it sounds, I studied something I now feel I was never cut out for.
I went all the way with German but know I put in more hours of study and vocab learning labour than my colleagues, who seemed to have a more natural grasp. I was always poor in conversation, but knew the most obscure words. That's pointless if your brain can't deliver in conversation.
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#643 cestrian

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Posted 30 December 2016 - 15:02

The only reason the english football premier league is massive is because it was formed by sky and sky only chose to launch it in england because of the language.
Back in the early 90's Italian, German and Dutch football was massive throughout europe for having the best teams and players - english football wasn't so much. Sky could have ploughed all of their TV cash into these countries but realised only the english league could go global due to the language.
In today's world that's like ploughing all of your money into League 2 with it's unknown players, hoping it will all turn out ok, instead of investing in the glitz of the already famous premier league.
Sky hoped the global language would take care of their investment.
I think also that with Trump apparently being an anglophile, Britain holds a favourable position with the U.S.
I lived in Germany and studied German at university. I still feel below standard. I was told that the ability to learn another language is dictated by a part of the brain, that's better in some than it is others. So language learning isn't for all of us. As odd as it sounds, I studied something I now feel I was never cut out for.
I went all the way with German but know I put in more hours of study and vocab learning labour than my colleagues, who seemed to have a more natural grasp. I was always poor in conversation, but knew the most obscure words. That's pointless if your brain can't deliver in conversation.

 

I haven't a clue why Sky chose to invest in the UK and not the Bundesliga, etc but in any case this was in the 90's. Things have changed massively since then when it comes to speaking English. It is hilarious that one of the reasons the City thinks it will survive is because we work in English. They also speak English rather well in Frankfurt and Paris, not to mention Dublin.


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#644 PianoMike

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Posted 30 December 2016 - 15:18

I believe sky wanted to go global with football and felt it could only do that by selling the english game (which at that time was awful compared to the big money leagues of europe). There really was no other reason to invest in it.
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#645 Hildegard

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Posted 30 December 2016 - 15:48

 


It is hilarious that one of the reasons the City thinks it will survive is because we work in English. They also speak English rather well in Frankfurt and Paris, not to mention Dublin.

 

 

 

With respect, that's not the claim. As you say, English is the language of international finance. The reason why the city has cornered financial markets is that investors prefer the way that UK markets were deregulated following the city's Big Bang in 1986, in contrast to the highly interventionist policies on the continent. While it would not be impossible for that to change given changes in continental governments, the enormous, interdependant infrastructure of the city would be very hard to replicate in Paris or Frankfurt. In fact, I think more people work in finance in London than the entire population of Frankfurt.


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