I don't understand the economics and to be honest I'm not even going to try, I've never studied economical science and like you have mentioned there are so many figures being bandied around it's very tough to know what is real and what is inflated/deflated.
The problem is that even those who have studied it do not really know, because economic forecasting is so very difficult. What is likely is that the glorious forecasts made by the leave campaign about how easy it would be for us to make bilateral trade deals are extremely unlikely to be that easy, as Obamas's speech a few days ago indicated, and that while the UK is not as dependent on trade with the EU as it used to be, it still makes up a very large percentage of our trade.
My big issue is with TTIP, as a member of the EU we have to be involved with it and for someone in my line of work it could be pretty disatrous.
I work in the public sector and in the last elections a Conservative majority was my worst nightmare, no matter how many times they try and say that they don't want to they are slowly selling off bits of all of the public sector services (Hospitals, Prisons even Police) and it is starting to really have a negative effect, the service level provided by these 3rd party companies is not up to scratch in most cases and in some it's even costing the government more than if they had kept them public!
TTIP gives them a lot more scope for larger companies from the states etc to come in and get involved, even bringing staff with them with no issues from VISAs etc. Should TTIP come into place I could quite easily see American Corporations coming in and taking over parts of the NHS and parts of the Prison service, two services that the UK is famed for and as much as we like to complain about them possibly two of the best in the world for what they do.
I also have concerns about TTIP, but not enough for it to worry me about our membership of the EU. Here's why. It's more likely that we'd end up with a more moderate version of TTIP if it goes through the EU, because the nature of the EU means that the majority of extreme positions will make way for a compromise. Let's face it, if the Conservative government were to forge a bilateral deal with the US the chances are that they would create a deal which would allow for greater privatisation and liberalisation of the public sector, so EU membership may well help us out a bit here.
Also, consider that Tony Blair's Labour government was very keen on part privatisation and privatisation, finishing off much of what Thatcher and Major started, so it's not just the Conservatives to blame for this
. They are taking it even further though, so I share your concerns. However, I think that the EU offers a better chance of improving the deal for the public sector than would be the case if the UK were to leave and negotiate its own trade deal with the US.
I'm not going to lie, I am extremely distrustful of this government, having gone 4 years having pay decreases every year and seeing colleagues flocking to leave a service which is on it's knees makes me quite anti-conservative. Yes things may not have been much better under Labour but I can see things getting a whole lot worse than they are now under Cameron.
Consider what may happen if vote leave won. Cameron would probably resign early and Boris Johnson would, in all probability, challenge for the leadership, and he could easily win with the backing of Eurosceptic Tories. The result would be a much more right wing government than the one we have under Cameron. On that basis, I'd argue that the public sector would be safer for longer if Cameron keeps hold of the reigns of power.
First of all, I think the euro is an unmitigated disaster and it needs to go pronto. It won't survive another market crash. And Greece is about to go under again very soon. And it's never going to recover until it can get its own currency that it can devalue to relieve the pressure. Incidentally, we were told that we had to join the euro or Britain would be left isolated with no investment, a broken economy etc whilst the Eurozone surges forth without us. That didn't quite happen though did it?
There was a debate about Greece dropping out of the euro and economists concluded that this would be even worse for the Greek people, so the EU has done its best to prevent this from happening. That's not to say that austerity has been successful and that the reform package has been well thought through, but the dominance of the IMF and World Bank in terms of influencing financial governance tie the hands of many a world leader.
Some people did argue that Tangi, but an evaluation was undertaken by pro-EU members of the Labour government (principally Gordon Brown) who concluded that it was not right for the UK to join the euro. A correct decision in hindsight, but only because the way in which the euro is administered is flawed. The European Commission had issued warning about Greek debt long before the crash of 2009, and even France and Germany were warned about their failure to stick to the criteria. The member states ignores the warnings. You could, therefore, argue that the member states were very much at fault here, and that the EU institutions were let down by the very governments who were supposed to be sticking to the rules.
The main point here though is that the EU is not the euro. You can have the former without the latter, and the UK has an opt-out from the euro that's going to last, and has been written into the Treaties for a number of years now. As a result, we are under no obligation to join the euro, so objection to the euro is not a good reason to take us out of the EU.
Another reason is the situation with Turkey. It's going to be admitted to the EU, and that's despite the fact that it has an authoritarian dictator (Erdogan) in charge. I was reading with disgust about that comedian in Germany who's being charged with insulting the bastard, whilst in Holland he's asking for the names of other people who insulted him. Not to mention the matter of the Armenian genocide. That the EU heirarcy is prostrating themselves to this scumbag shows how weak and morally bankrupt they are. They should be condemning him in the strongest terms possible constantly. Incidentally, in my opinion not only should Turkey be blocked from joining the EU, it should be kicked out of NATO.
That's factually incorrect. Nothing has been signed to grant EU membership to Turkey. All that has been agreed is that Turks will have an easier time of things getting Visas to enter and work in the Schengen area in exchange for a rather bad deal over taking back immigrants who have passed through Turkey as a transition state. Turkey cannot join the EU because it fails to meet the criteria and will continue to fail to meet them for a very long time. There is no imminent prospect, therefore, of Turkish membership.
As for the comedian, that's an issue associated with German law, and has nothing whatsoever to do with the EU.
And the EU didn't keep the peace. The Cold War and NATO did. It was NATO who dealt with the Bosnian War, not the EU. And we don't relay on the EU for security. It's the Five Eyes that protect us. If anything the EU hinders things on account of their incompetence.
You're looking at the wrong part of history from that period. It's the late 1940s and 1950s where you need to look. It's all about how France and Germany came together to agree to form the European Coal and Steel Community, in order to assuage concerns about the militarisation recurring in Germany and to pool sovereignty over steel and coal. This was the start of what is now the EU. We (the UK) could have joined way back then in 1951/52, but we chose not to. This was subsequently found to be a massive mistake which is why our leaders tried to take us into the EEC (now EU) twice in the 1960s, only to be vetoed by De Gaulle. That's why we didn't get in until 1973.
As for Bosnia, you're right that the EU's response was poor, but the reason for that was because there was no EU defence force and this is why they had to rely on NATO and later UN peacekeepers (although this did not work out at all well). Also, remember that none of the Balkan countries were part of the EU in the early 1990s, so to say that the peace project failed is something of a revision of history
The reaction of the EU to the recent Dutch referendum also strengthened my resolve to leave. They don't care about democracy at all. They have their plans and agendas and they're going to pursue them regardless of what the opinion of the people is.
The vote in the Netherlands was not a representation of the democratic will of the people. The turnout was a dismal 32%, of which 65% voted against the treaty with Ukraine. That's such a small percentage of the total population of the EU that it doesn't even register. How is it democratic for such a small percentage of the population to hold back an EU deal?
Then there's the constant problems with the ECHR. Yes that's a separate organisation but since we can't do anything about it whilst we're in the EU I have no choice but to vote leave. Anders Brevik's recent successful appeal was the final straw for me. The only thing he deserves is a rope around the neck.
Fighting fire with fire never works and neither does capital punishment, but that's a debate for another thread
The European Court of Human Rights is nothing to do with the EU, as you say, so how is leaving the EU going to change anything? We'd still be bound by that court, unless we chose to leave that too.
And I know too that if we vote to stay in the EU it is going to hammer us merclessly afterwards because they'll have called our bluff. I predict an avalanche of legislation and power grabs dropping on us. And I also predict that Cameron's so called deal will be voted down in the parliament, making one reason to stay a moot point.
Do you think that the other member states would give us preferential deals and want to be nice to us if we were to leave? Again, this whole idea about power grabs and an avalanche of legislation cannot happen. I refer you to the ordinary legislative procedure I outlined above. Also, other member states would be against mass legislation, so where's your evidence that any of this is going to happen?
As for the deal being voted down in the European Parliament, they've already had the chance to do that, but did not do so. If there were to be any challenge, it would be far more likely to come from a member state, but again, there has already been an opportunity to do this.
We'll survive outside of the EU. We're the fifth biggest economy in the world, on course to be the fourth. Much smaller countries than us do ok without being part of a partnership like the EU. So will we. Maybe when the EU finally collapses we can set up a new common market in its wake that is a market only and leaves the political power grabs in the bin.
We'll survive, yes, but we will lose out on a whole raft of preferential deals. We will be isolated and adrift in the Atlantic pretending to be an influential country when we are not. We do not have the political influence to be independent. We are not a superpower. As for smaller countries doing better, I'm curious, could you give me some examples please?
Finally, I refer you to the section in the document on Northern Ireland that I linked to in my opening post. Northern Ireland is one of the areas which would lose the most in economic terms from the UK's withdrawal from the EU, so you'd effectively be hurting your own prospects. I'm thus confused by your position.
To conclude, I agree that there are some problems, notably regarding the euro, but the weight of evidence shows that a number of the points you are making do not correspond to the facts. As a result, I'm left rather baffled by your desire to leave, since many of your complaints about the EU are not based on the reality of the situation.