Friday, 15 April 2016

Staying or Leaving - Europe

"the end of Britain as an independent European state, the end of a thousand years of history! You may say, all right! Let it end! But, my goodness, it's a decision that needs a little care and thought." - Hugh Gaitskell

"I took the view that having fought [Europeans in the Second World War] that we should now work with them, and co-operate, and that was my first thought about it. Then I saw how the European Union was developing, it was very obvious that what they had in mind was not democratic. ... And the way that Europe has developed is that the bankers and the multinational corporations have got very powerful positions, and if you come in on their terms, they will tell you what you can and cannot do. And that is unacceptable. My view about the European Union has always been not that I am hostile to foreigners, but that I am in favour of democracy ... I think they're building an empire there, they want us to be a part of their empire and I don't want that." - Tony Benn

"It's a European Union of economic failure, of mass unemployment and of low growth. Perhaps our own opposition to even the level of European integration we have now, let alone any more, is well known. It's about businesses nervous about taking on school leavers because of a mass of red tape. It's about health and safety regulations and green fines.The banking collapse was caused, more than anything, by bad government policy and the total failure of bad regulation, rather than by greed.When people stand up and talk about the great success that the EU has been, I'm not sure anybody saying it really believes it themselves anymore. It's amazing how ideas start out, isn't it? - Nigel Farage

"On taking office we will open preliminary negotiations with the other EEC member states to establish a timetable for withdrawal; and we will publish the results of these negotiations in a White Paper." - Michael Foot

"What we should grasp, however, from the lessons of European history is that, first, there is nothing necessarily benevolent about programmes of European integration; second, the desire to achieve grand utopian plans often poses a grave threat to freedom; and third, European unity has been tried before, and the outcome was far from happy." -- Margaret Thatcher

"For more than 40 years, individuals, businesses, and communities across Scotland have experienced the many social, economic and cultural benefits of EU membership. These include jobs, significant investment, the opportunity for our businesses to trade across the world's largest single market, social protections like employment rights and the opportunity to work in solidarity with others across the continent to tackle pressing global challenges, such as the movement of refugees and migrants, energy security and climate change. It is now more important than ever that those who support Scotland's continued EU membership make the case as strongly as possible. The Scottish Government will be at the forefront of making that argument." - Nicola Sturgeon
“Wales is an outward-looking, European nation whose national interests are best served by remaining in the European Union.
“Membership of the EU not only ensures access for Wales to the single market, but as EU members we can play a part in shaping the kind of Europe that serves the interests of its citizens. At this time of the year, it is more important to remember the role of the European Union in preserving peace on our continent.
“The Prime Minister’s reform demands must now be subject to a full discussion and debate. Plaid Cymru wants to keep those aspects of European Union membership which make us better off. Structural funds which go to the Welsh Government, and agricultural payments which supports the Welsh farming industry appear to be safe but will need full protection during the debate which must now begin in earnest.
“The Party of Wales will oppose any attempts to water down the protections we all enjoy through the European Convention on Human Rights or any plans to scrap the Human Rights Act.
“Whilst no one would object to ending burdensome and unnecessary regulation, we must guard against attempts to dilute or repeal European laws that have helped protect Welsh workers and our environment.  “Plaid Cymru will fight for Wales to play an integral role in a more democratic European Union which serves people. Our vision is for a different and better Europe.”  Leanne Owen

"'Yes to the EU' does not mean we are content with the union continuing to operate as it has in the past. There is a huge democratic deficit in its functioning, a serious bias towards the interests of neoliberalism and 'the market', and central institutions have been overbuilt. But to achieve those reforms we need to work with fellow EU members, not try to dictate high-handedly to them, as David Cameron has done." UK Green Party
The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is a proposed trade agreement between the European Union and the United States, with the aim of promoting trade and multilateral economic growth. The American government considers the TTIP a companion agreement to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The agreement is under ongoing negotiations and its main three broad areas are: market access; specific regulation; and broader rules and principles and modes of co-operation. The negotiations were planned to be finalized by the end of 2014, but will not be finished until 2019 or 2020, according to economist Hosuk Lee-Makiyama.
The contents of the competing proposals as well as of the reports on TTIP negotiations are CLASSIFIED from the public, but after a proposed draft was leaked  in March 2014,  the European Commission launched a public consultation on a limited set of clauses and in January 2015 published parts of an overview; and subsequently increased security over its secrecy.

"I support a referendum on our membership of the EU because I am pro-democracy, not because I'm anti-EU - and because I want to see a radical reform of the way Europe operates.
"The EU has the potential to spread peace and make our economies more sustainable, and to promote democracy and human rights, at home and throughout the world.
"But it must urgently change direction, away from an obsessive focus on competition and free trade and towards placing genuine co-operation and environmental sustainability at its heart. 
"Thanks to the bureaucratic and remote way which the EU works, many people today are no longer sure what is it for. So the challenge now is to make those institutions more democratic and accountable - and to develop a more compelling vision of the EU's role and purpose.  
"A referendum would allow the space for that debate about the future of the Union to occur, and to ensure that the goals of the European project really are in the best interests of EU citizens." - Caroline Lucas
My personal views on staying within Europe are these. Socialist's have long feared the erosion of democracy.  A centralized European government has the potential to neglect equality in favour of a monetary union. As a Union, especially in light of TTIP's classified, secret negotiations, Europe is walking a tightrope. State Capitalism, that is capitalism controlled by corporates  with governments providing them with effectively an administrative office is a real danger. Currently, the form of democracy we have is where our leaders offer us limited choices. In or out. The whole spectrum is not revealed. Real democracy would be transparent, open, fair if at times frustrating. We only have a very limited form of democracy. Should the negotiations between the USA and the EU, all held in secret, become a reality we, the workers and those of the middle classes, would unquestionably be slaves to corporates. We would have no democracy. 

I shall be voting YES. I want to stay within Europe. My YES though carries a proviso. Our political parties must do everything in their power to ensure that the TTIP fails in its aims. Therefore, stay in but change the way in which Europe functions. 

- Russell CJ Duffy
Russell Cuts the Corn From The Brewers Whiskers.

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