The Referendum.

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Re: The Referendum.

Post by Tizer » 25 Aug 2016, 09:46

Bruff wrote:'Biggest task ever undertaken by the civil service this will be. By a mile. Boom time frankly for sharp, bright civil servants.
I watched an episode of `Yes, Minister' last night. :smile:

I notice people keep saying `since Brexit' when we haven't got anywhere near Brexit yet. Even John Humphrys did it on `Today'. They keep trying to analyse the present situation as if that tells us what Brexit looks like. Who knows what we'll find when we start trying to unravel all the knots and loops? I wouldn't be surprised if we can't find the way out. Then it will be time for a U turn. But hey, our politicians might not be bright but they have lots of experience at U turns!

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Re: The Referendum.

Post by Stanley » 26 Aug 2016, 03:41

I think that's the problem at the moment Tiz. Downing Street is trying to get a handle on what they have unleashed. Talk about the Law of Unexpected Consequences........
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Re: The Referendum.

Post by PanBiker » 26 Aug 2016, 08:22

There is a direct analogy here with the "phoney war", you know what they say about those that choose to ignore history. Who has the "piece of paper" that guarantees.....?
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Re: The Referendum.

Post by Bruff » 26 Aug 2016, 08:52

‘….have we got any bright politicians’

The problem is more that, on this matter, they lack knowledge. Much like the vast, vast majority of folk in the UK there is a lack of knowledge on the EU and its institutions and their operations. Longitudinal surveys have for some time showed that UK nationals are by a long, long way the most ignorant of the EU among Member States (MS). I mentioned before the referendum that the leave campaigners I spoke to on the main street here had little if any clue. And these were campaigners! They had not the courtesy to educate themselves. It’s why folk had ludicrous ‘independence day’ stickers on their cars and windows. Independence day! Sorry, when were we occupied? It played to the ignorant.

So we hear that ‘committed Eurosceptic’ and former Minister for Europe David Davies MP, now Minister for Brexit, did not know as late as May this year that the UK could not negotiate with individual EU MS rather it is with the EU. A ‘committed Eurosceptic’ lacked this most basic knowledge; how on earth could he be committed? This worries me. It worries me because it results in our assuming things that simply won’t happen, for example the principle of free movement. This is absolutely fundamental to the project. Absolutely. But it also worries me because when knowledge is so lacking, then this ‘committed Euroscepticism’ hints at something more visceral and darker. I see this in those who seems to revel in the idea of the EU now collapsing now the UK has voted out. Why would anyone outside of something want that?

I think there’s no doubt we’ll leave the EU, even though the referendum was only advisory. The question is what the relationship with the EU will be. As leavers comprised a real plurality of views, it will not be something that will please them all. As the 48% will by definition not be pleased, this is another thing that’ll lead to fun and games in the future.

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Re: The Referendum.

Post by Stanley » 27 Aug 2016, 04:44

"fun and games in the future."
I think that's going to be an understatement Richard. I don't know what your day job is but your posts have certainly alerted me to consequences I had no idea about and whilst not the sharpest knife in the box I had at least tried to think the matter through before I voted. I suspect most votes were cast on far less appreciation of the gravity of the decision and the far-reaching consequences. I voted 'remain' because whilst I didn't understand all the ramifications I am convinced that we need more cooperation and joint action in the world and the EU was a start, difficult though the road is. What we have ended up with is a direct result of failure of governance, our political system simply wasn't capable of resolving its internal difficulties without a 'grand gesture' and look what we have finished up with. I am convinced that this is the reason for the deathly hush in Downing Street, our 'leaders' simply have no idea in what direction they should be going. In the end, by whatever means they choose they will have to make a decision and as you say, then the fun and games will start as the results gradually become clear. Whatever they do will stir up fury in a large proportion of the population. The only way they can avoid this is to have a Parliamentary debate and a vote and it's almost certain that the sentiment would be remain, the biggest U-turn in history, due to the nature of politics this could in itself result in endorsement of the Referendum result but that's too big a gamble.
What a mess!
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Re: The Referendum.

Post by cloghopper » 27 Aug 2016, 08:04

One of the big problems of course is the UK public's interpretation of 'freedom of movement'. There is indeed freedom of movement within the EU; but that is not 'freedom to stay'. Every where else there are mechanisms in place to ensure that after the 90 day 'freedom' period has expired; you can show the authorities that you either have a job, money in the bank, or a pension from your home country; and a suitable place to live. Since the UK does not have a similar system ( ID Cards, registered as resident with the local authority, certificates and other bits of essential paper) based on our vision of civil liberties and freedom from state control, it is assumed that 'freedom of movement' implies an immigration free for all.

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Re: The Referendum.

Post by Tizer » 27 Aug 2016, 10:38

`UN blames UK politicians for Brexit hate crime spike' LINK
""Divisive" and "anti-immigrant" rhetoric by UK politicians during the EU referendum helped to fuel a spike in race hate crimes in the weeks before and after the vote, a UN body has said. It said prominent political figures had "failed to condemn" racist abuse and created prejudices during the campaign."....

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Re: The Referendum.

Post by Stanley » 29 Aug 2016, 05:05

It's depressing isn't it. Nations populated in the first place by immigrants blindly ignoring the historical facts and trying to slam the doors on newcomers. (And progress as well!)
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Re: The Referendum.

Post by Bruff » 30 Aug 2016, 09:49

‘’Since the UK does not have a similar system ( ID Cards……….’’

Good point that. One reason why ‘illegal’ non-EU nationals are attracted to the UK is that it is far, far simpler to vanish below the radar here because we do not have ID cards. Nothing to do with the EU, it’s our own decisions. The EU simply sets the principle: free movement for EU nationals and no discrimination between EU nationals. National governments can then do what they want to reflect the principle and if that’s several conditions, fine. Another issue in the UK is the non-contributory element to our benefits system nut again, this is our decision.

This is my general discontent. Folk blaming the EU for what are domestic decisions over many years. To be fair, a rather partisan media cheered on by certain political figures and commentators have encouraged folk to blame the EU for things it cannot be blamed for. And that’s not unusual. When or if Brexit fails to deliver what folk expect, another convenient scapegoat will be found.

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Re: The Referendum.

Post by Pluggy » 30 Aug 2016, 10:47

Stanley wrote:It's depressing isn't it. Nations populated in the first place by immigrants blindly ignoring the historical facts and trying to slam the doors on newcomers. (And progress as well!)
"like two fleas arguing over who owns the dog they live on"

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Re: The Referendum.

Post by Tizer » 31 Aug 2016, 08:38

I wonder if Bruff is in Italy yet for his holiday. I'm looking forward to hearing about his experiences there. I read that Brits visiting museums and other tourist sites in Italy are already being regarded as non-EU and charged a much higher rate for entry. When they complain and point out that we're still in the EU the response is the Spanish equivalent of "Sorry guv, it's not me what makes the rules" and they have to pay up or be turned away. One man reported that his son had to come home early because his money ran out half way through the holiday because of this.

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Re: The Referendum.

Post by Stanley » 01 Sep 2016, 03:35

Can you wonder? We are in the worst of all worlds at the moment as the government dithers. The official version is no decision this year. Not sure if the ploy of giving the most prominent Brexiteers the job of shepherding us through the process is the best decision ever.
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Re: The Referendum.

Post by Big Kev » 01 Sep 2016, 08:29

Tizer wrote:I wonder if Bruff is in Italy yet for his holiday. I'm looking forward to hearing about his experiences there. I read that Brits visiting museums and other tourist sites in Italy are already being regarded as non-EU and charged a much higher rate for entry. When they complain and point out that we're still in the EU the response is the Spanish equivalent of "Sorry guv, it's not me what makes the rules" and they have to pay up or be turned away. One man reported that his son had to come home early because his money ran out half way through the holiday because of this.
I wasn't aware of this when I was there at the beginning of August, there were the usual price fluctuations in Venice (the closer you are to St Mark's Square the more expensive it is), as most of the tourists were Italian day trippers the prices were the same for all.
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Re: The Referendum.

Post by Tizer » 01 Sep 2016, 09:03

Perhaps it began later, after your visit Kev. On the other hand it might only have happened to a few people and, as usual, the press are making a mountain out of a molehill. If they demand a non-EU entry fee from Bruff I'd like to be a fly on the wall!

The Electoral Reform Society has published a report analysing the way the EU referendum was handled and giving recommendations on how to improve our referendums in the future. The report is titled ‘It’s Good to Talk: Doing Referendums Differently After the EU Vote’.

This is from their web site:
Katie Ghose, Chief Executive of the Electoral Reform Society, said:
“This report shows without a shadow of a doubt just how dire the EU referendum debate really was. There were glaring democratic deficiencies in the run-up to the vote, with the public feeling totally ill-informed. Both sides were viewed as highly negative by voters, while the top-down, personality-based nature of the debate failed to address major policies and issues, leaving the public in the dark.

“It offered a stark contrast to the vibrant, well-informed, grassroots conversation of the Scottish independence vote ­– a referendum that left a lasting legacy of on-going public participation in politics and public life.

“From a campaign period that was too short to foster a decent debate, to the fact that misleading claims could be made with total impunity, there are so many lessons to be learned – and this report lays out both the facts and the way forward.

“Now that the dust is starting to settle after the EU referendum, we need a complete rethink about the role of referendums in the UK. They are becoming more common, but the piecemeal nature of the how, when and why they’re done means we could simply end up jumping from referendum to referendum at the whim of politicians.

“It’s time for a root and branch review of referendums, learning the lessons of the EU campaign to make sure the mistakes that were made in terms of regulation, tone and conduct are never repeated. Let’s make sure that future referendums guarantee the lively and well-informed discussion that voters deserve."

The full recommendations are:
Laying the groundwork
Mandatory pre-legislative scrutiny for any Bill on a referendum, lasting at least three months, with citizens’ involvement
A minimum six-month regulated campaigning period to ensure time for a proper public discussion
A definitive ‘rulebook’ to be published, setting out technical aspects of the vote, as soon as possible after the passing of any referendum Bill

Better information
A ‘minimum data set’ or impartial information guide to be published at the start of the regulated campaigning period
An official body should be given the task of intervening when misleading claims are made by the campaigns
Citizenship education to be extended in schools alongside UK-wide extension of votes at 16

More deliberation
The government should fund a resource for stimulating deliberative discussion and debate about the referendum
An official body should be tasked with providing a toolkit for members of the public to host their own debates and deliberative events on the referendum
Ofcom should conduct a review into an appropriate role for broadcasters to play in referendums, with the aim of making coverage and formats more deliberative rather than combative

The Society's press release states:
Launching their landmark EU referendum report into the conduct of the referendum, ‘It’s Good to Talk: Doing Referendums Differently After the EU Vote’, the Society have called for a ‘root and branch review’ of the role and conduct of referendums in our democracy.

As part of the report, the ERS has published polling showing that far too many people felt they were ill-informed about the vote; and that the ‘big beast’ personalities did not appear to engage or convince voters. The polling also shows that voters viewed both sides as increasingly negative as the campaign wore on.

The Society are arguing that the EU debate was in stark contrast to the Scottish independence referendum, which featured a ‘vibrant, well-informed, grassroots conversation that left a lasting legacy of on-going public participation in politics and public life’.

A review is now needed to ensure future referendums don’t repeat the errors of the EU vote in terms of failing to foster a genuine, informed discussion among the public, the ERS says.

The report makes nine key recommendations to improve the conduct of future referendums [see note 1]. These include:

Tasking an official public body to intervene when misleading claims are made by the campaigns
Ofcom to conduct a review into an appropriate role for broadcasters to play in referendums
Early publication of a definitive rule-book to govern campaign conduct, followed by a minimum six-month regulated campaign period
Extending votes at 16 UK-wide, following its ‘huge success’ in energising the Scottish referendum
A robust role for the public at every phase - from a citizens’ panel tasked with pre-legislative scrutiny of any referendum bill, through to publicly-funded resources to stimulate citizen-led debates and deliberation across the UK

The web site is here: Electoral Society

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Re: The Referendum.

Post by Stanley » 02 Sep 2016, 04:03

One of the things that struck me was the way the blanket media coverage enabled the government to bury the normal political process and in many cases simply suspend normal activities.
Equally important is the process for framing the question. A simple binary question like the one chosen is a blunt instrument and was always going to produce a doubtful result when applied to such a complicated subject which was already a well poisoned by erroneous 'facts'. The referendum was generated by an internal dispute in the Tory Party and is still viewed by many in that light. Why is it that the present discussion as to what the proper course is now is confined to the Tory Party? It should be a genuine cross party discussion.... Like a proper debate in the House?
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Re: The Referendum.

Post by Tizer » 02 Sep 2016, 09:16

Philip Aldrick in The Times is worrying that Brexit will lead to less power for the UK's business regulators, especially in finance. Big foreign companies have set up UK companies here which are subject to our control but on Brexit they will revert to having subsidiaries which are controlled from the owner's home country. Also the capital reserves will be pulled back to the home country. He gives the example of when Lehmann's collapsed and billions of pounds were immediately pulled back to the US. Another concern is that Brexit will hasten a softening on executives' bonuses.

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Re: The Referendum.

Post by Stanley » 03 Sep 2016, 03:47

Quite. Remember that it was the EU that clamped down on Apple......
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Re: The Referendum.

Post by cloghopper » 03 Sep 2016, 08:01

Tizer wrote:I wonder if Bruff is in Italy yet for his holiday. I'm looking forward to hearing about his experiences there. I read that Brits visiting museums and other tourist sites in Italy are already being regarded as non-EU and charged a much higher rate for entry. When they complain and point out that we're still in the EU the response is the Spanish equivalent of "Sorry guv, it's not me what makes the rules" and they have to pay up or be turned away. One man reported that his son had to come home early because his money ran out half way through the holiday because of this.
Sorry, but that is a load of utter unadulterated crap.My sons run successful travel businesses escorting UK and also non EU tourists, and there is no price differential in the entrance fees to State Museums or acrcheological sites. What has changed, and nothing whatsoever to do with Brexit; is free entrance for over 65's.
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Re: The Referendum.

Post by Tizer » 03 Sep 2016, 10:18

I'm always glad to hear other opinions, especially when they are from someone with personal experience. All I can tell you is that I read it in The Times, I think in the Money section where they were relating readers' experiences. They said Brits were being charged a higher entry rate than other EU nationals. But your response didn't need to be so aggressive or to use such strong language. You will get your point over more effectively by moderating your responses.

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Re: The Referendum.

Post by Stanley » 05 Sep 2016, 06:19

Theresa is finding she has to resile on many of the 'promises' made by the Leave campaigners. At the moment her targets are the points based immigration control system and cooling expectations about the economy. She is signalling it will be a rough ride. Davies, one of the men who supported Leave and is one of the troika who are supposed to be managing Brexit is still bigging up the economic advantages. I'm afraid I don't buy this, see my post in politics about my view that the whole thrust of economic policies is wrong, in particular the imposition of austerity on social services and lower incomes. This is heartless politics.....
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Re: The Referendum.

Post by plaques » 05 Sep 2016, 07:21

Stanley wrote:This is heartless politics.....
Wait till you get through Stiglitz's book. The last chapter is relevant to the UK. Very interesting. I'll wait until you have finished it before commenting. I've only the last hundred pages of 'notes' to get through. A very detailed book.
Just got round to reading this book assessment Stiglitz Not a bad thumbnail review.

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Re: The Referendum.

Post by Stanley » 06 Sep 2016, 04:33

I finished it yesterday, shan't read the notes, I have interesting stuff waiting in the shed. He's clarified a lot of my thinking on the EU and the Euro. As you say his last chapter is focussed on the referendum and he shares most of the misgivings we have had. He isn't a big fan of George Osborn..... Good book, hard work but I'm glad you brought it to my notice. I wonder if they're reading it in Brussels?
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Re: The Referendum.

Post by Tizer » 14 Sep 2016, 08:54

The Telegraph reports that Juncker warns "Brexit does mean the disintegration of the European Union" and "the UK will not have access to the single market after Brexit" Telegraph

Meanwhile, the BBC reports "Juncker has said the bloc is not at risk from Brexit" and "warned the UK that it could expect access to the EU's internal market without free movement of people". BBC

I think the BBC has messed up and got the word `not' in the wrong place; their sentences should probably read: "Juncker has said the bloc is at risk from Brexit" and "warned the UK that it could not expect access to the EU's internal market without free movement of people". A slip up with one word but it makes an enormous difference. I expect better from the BBC.

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Re: The Referendum.

Post by Stanley » 15 Sep 2016, 05:12

The advertisements and the hatched matched and despatched will be accurate. Everything else is suspect.
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Re: The Referendum.

Post by Bruff » 27 Sep 2016, 09:51

Back from Italy.

Loved the place and will pop a few observations on the ‘where have you just been’ thread.

On the matter Tizer mentioned above some weeks back, Brits being seen as non-EU citizens and charged differently, we saw none of that at all. I can only imagine this might be a scam to gauge the unwary; scammers are alert to every opportunity. We did though get an interesting perspective on Brexit from an Italian lady and tour guide and all-round renaissance woman who we had hired in advance for a private tour and olive oil press visit. We also became quite friendly with her and met up for coffee a few times. Her views which I note below were, according to her, quite reflective of the Italians in general and certainly the people she hung out with in the local village but one can take this as one wishes.

She found Brexit both disgusting and hilarious. Disgusting because she knew that the Brits had essentially been lied to for years and were lied to consistently throughout the campaign. The Italians followed the issue closely. Disgusting too because now we have decided to leave, the UK is simply dithering. She said the sooner the UK clears off the better for everyone else and she’d be happy it happened ‘now’ and good riddance (this is a view I’ve heard from quite a few from other EU countries).

But she said Italians found it hilarious too. Why? Well, for years the Italians were the laughing stock of Europe as Silvio Berlusconi went his merry way. It makes a change to see the UK reduced to the laughing stock and she and her friends were having a right good old laugh.

Now as I say this is no more representative as my idle musings from one day to the next. But it was quite interesting to hear. She had every sympathy for those who voted remain, mind.

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