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View Poll Results: Do you want Britain out of the EU?

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    9 33.33%
  • No, we like you tea drinking freaks!

    18 66.67%
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Thread: The British attitude towards Europe?

  1. #101
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    Recently, even the Times (who advocated strongly out-of-Europe thesis), started to sing oops (not that nice song oops, I am in love again, though :)), after leaving the EU there willl be no leverage for British companies because they will stick to the EU legislation if making business with the EU.

    Some Britons probably think that their case will be similar to Norway (after possible leaving the EU), but this is not the true. I think they will easily follow the scheme - Imperium (the past) - 1st Grade Country (now) - 2nd Grade Country (future) in international relations, if not being the part of the EU. The US Adminiostration has been very clear about their discontent with the Refferendum in 2014. On the other hand, it is quite possible that Britain will have different government in two years and the question of referendum will be out of programme.

    But, it is important to mention, that Britons have in many aspects right feelings and ideas about the EU (austerity of the budget, vast administration etc.), which should be listened to very carefully and openly. For the EU is very important to have the UK in, not out, and to answer the British questions about the state of the things in the EU.

    Culturally, it is very natural that some Britons do feel about Britain not being the part of the Continent, or at least that the islands have some differencies, which is the true. Have a look how Japanese insist they are not part of Asia, or East Asia. And some of the historical vectors and ties goes really to the Commonwealth countries. But I think this uniqueness should be wisely used by both - Britain and the Continent, for building something better, enriching both sides of the same EU, not on the contrary.

    Personally, I can not imagine the EU without the triangle Germany - France - Britain, if expecting the success story. And we should remember always - the EU is a unique project, unprecedeted in the world, at this scale and these conditions (similar values, democracy, open trade etc.).

  2. #102
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    Quote Originally Posted by martinmkp View Post
    Recently, even the Times (who advocated strongly out-of-Europe thesis), started to sing oops (not that nice song oops, I am in love again, though :)), after leaving the EU there willl be no leverage for British companies because they will stick to the EU legislation if making business with the EU.

    Some Britons probably think that their case will be similar to Norway (after possible leaving the EU), but this is not the true. I think they will easily follow the scheme - Imperium (the past) - 1st Grade Country (now) - 2nd Grade Country (future) in international relations, if not being the part of the EU. The US Adminiostration has been very clear about their discontent with the Refferendum in 2014. On the other hand, it is quite possible that Britain will have different government in two years and the question of referendum will be out of programme.

    But, it is important to mention, that Britons have in many aspects right feelings and ideas about the EU (austerity of the budget, vast administration etc.), which should be listened to very carefully and openly. For the EU is very important to have the UK in, not out, and to answer the British questions about the state of the things in the EU.

    Culturally, it is very natural that some Britons do feel about Britain not being the part of the Continent, or at least that the islands have some differencies, which is the true. Have a look how Japanese insist they are not part of Asia, or East Asia. And some of the historical vectors and ties goes really to the Commonwealth countries. But I think this uniqueness should be wisely used by both - Britain and the Continent, for building something better, enriching both sides of the same EU, not on the contrary.

    Personally, I can not imagine the EU without the triangle Germany - France - Britain, if expecting the success story. And we should remember always - the EU is a unique project, unprecedeted in the world, at this scale and these conditions (similar values, democracy, open trade etc.).
    Very well summarised.

    Personally, I don't see an EU referendum happening in the UK. There is no chance the Conservatives will be elected in 2015. They only achieved 37% of the vote last time, and the siphoning off of Tories to UKIP will weaken them further. The Lib Dems will cease to be a political force - not that they ever were; merely, a protest vote party. Labour will get a decent majority, and are committed to not holding a referendum.

    So - to my mind, the UK should focus its efforts on making the EU work more effectively through constructive, proactive engagement. We're not leaving any time soon for sure, so let's all make the most of it.

  3. #103
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    Is it me or from Spain too South America things have been getting off topic. Well I think the UK and the EU both need each over but the UK just wants to be better then America and wants to say "we did it solo". But a lot of people in the UK still want to be in the EU anyways. Also the UK is one of the top players in the EU, so i don't understand why they want to go.

  4. #104
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    Quote Originally Posted by AdeoF View Post
    Is it me or from Spain too South America things have been getting off topic. Well I think the UK and the EU both need each over but the UK just wants to be better then America and wants to say "we did it solo". But a lot of people in the UK still want to be in the EU anyways. Also the UK is one of the top players in the EU, so i don't understand why they want to go.
    As with everything, people believe what they read and hear. The EU debate is ill-informed, and sadly lacking in facts, hence the scepticism in much of the UK.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris View Post
    As with everything, people believe what they read and hear. The EU debate is ill-informed, and sadly lacking in facts, hence the scepticism in much of the UK.
    Yea I don't think the debate is going well any more :/.

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    Quote Originally Posted by martinmkp View Post
    Personally, I can not imagine the EU without the triangle Germany - France - Britain, if expecting the success story. And we should remember always - the EU is a unique project, unprecedeted in the world, at this scale and these conditions (similar values, democracy, open trade etc.).
    Selfly, I have heard of the Blue Banana European backbone thingy, but I have never ever heard about this Germany - France - Britain EU triangle thingy. Furthermore I am not bought off that there happens to be a physical triangle which can be shaped out of Germany, France, and Britain, nor bought off that there happens to be full-on 'open trade' but then again I am not overly wont to the needs of business classes and other elites.

  7. #107
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    Quote Originally Posted by Selwyn Greenfrith View Post
    Selfly, I have heard of the Blue Banana European backbone thingy, but I have never ever heard about this Germany - France - Britain EU triangle thingy.
    De iure there is really no such a triangle. But de facto, the EU according to my knowledge acts as a body with decisitive end voices and decisions of this group (the UK - Germany - France). Plus some additional spices of Netherlands, Nordic countries or V4 (Central European) countries. Italy is very important, but taking into account its problems in domestic politics and economy, make it impossible to be decision maker. In several cases, definitely there is so called North - South exchange of views. By the South, I mean the Mediterranean countries (including Spain).

    Maybe, my thoughts are naive to certain extent, but there is pragmatism of these patterns based on the strength of particular countries, historical connotations and real policy-making within the EU.

    Maybe, the triangle strength is more visible in international affairs (EU toward other regions) - I would see impossible the EU would do its common foreign and security policy without definite consent of the UK - France - Germany and their domestic FP interests.

    Based on those thoughts. I think the EU without cooperation and inputs of all three EU states (the UK - Germany - France) would become non-significant regional entity. And vice versa - the UK not being the part of the EU would meet the same fate.

    We really should not hazard with this fantastic project - which the EU is, even taking into account its misery at the present time.

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    For some unknown reason I am kinda happy at how the EU gives you a good feeling.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Selwyn Greenfrith View Post
    For some unknown reason I am kinda happy at how the EU gives you a good feeling.
    Living several decades under totalitarian regime, you would start to understand very quickly. As for you and your language background, I would recommend to you to spend some time in Zimbabwe nowadays :) I have done so, in an early 2000 when Mr. Mugabe became starting to be mad... now is your turn.

    But seriously - I have heard some Japanese or Chinese friends admiring what the EU has achieved. To be in their regional East Asian environment of territorial and cultural disputes... one would also have more positive view on the EU.

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    a lot of british citizens think that they would be better outside Europe but their subtil politicians and business men know that for a while playing "double play" and taking advantages and leaving disadvantages as the same time to other european members is very fruitful for them! a foot in Europe, a foot in the USA: but this position could be uncomfortable sometimes...

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    Quote Originally Posted by MOESAN View Post
    a lot of british citizens think that they would be better outside Europe but their subtil politicians and business men know that for a while playing "double play" and taking advantages and leaving disadvantages as the same time to other european members is very fruitful for them! a foot in Europe, a foot in the USA: but this position could be uncomfortable sometimes...
    True, the politicians don't reflect the society. They are representative of most of the cultural elite, and nothing more. Same as in most other places i suppose. They do what they want to do and it takes a disaster for the people to come together and actually live up to the name 'democracy'.
    The politicians are causing intense damage on their people, and we are fool enough to keep them in power, although things may be in motion at last...
    The best thing would be to dismantle the parliament and start from scratch, eventually it would end up how it is at the moment all over again, but it would just need to be done periodically perhaps. We need people from the real world to run our country, not elite public school boys, for the most part.
    The middle classes would be the best candidates for being in government, artisans, businessmen, skilled workers etc. People with training and years of experience and a basic understanding of politics. The better our politicians get at politics, the worse the system gets. That is one of the main problems, they are very adept at politics but not good enough to be running the country.
    The way it works now we might as well just be alternately voting in monarchs, the same ones time and time again.

    I like your expression about 'a foot in the EU and a foot in the USA', i think that is accurate. Personally we should have both feet in the UK. The government is there to conform with the best interests of the people, if they aren't doing that they should be fired because they aren't doing their job. It's been so long since we've had a true representative have any major power in government. One that should only be thinking of what he can do for his people and his country every time he wakes and goes to sleep. The best representatives in there are the ones with the least power, and the ones that are worst at politics.
    'Wise men speak only of what they know' - J.R.R. Tolkien

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    2 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jackson View Post
    True, the politicians don't reflect the society. They are representative of most of the cultural elite, and nothing more. Same as in most other places i suppose. They do what they want to do and it takes a disaster for the people to come together and actually live up to the name 'democracy'.
    The politicians are causing intense damage on their people, and we are fool enough to keep them in power, although things may be in motion at last...
    The best thing would be to dismantle the parliament and start from scratch, eventually it would end up how it is at the moment all over again, but it would just need to be done periodically perhaps. We need people from the real world to run our country, not elite public school boys, for the most part.
    The middle classes would be the best candidates for being in government, artisans, businessmen, skilled workers etc. People with training and years of experience and a basic understanding of politics. The better our politicians get at politics, the worse the system gets. That is one of the main problems, they are very adept at politics but not good enough to be running the country.
    The way it works now we might as well just be alternately voting in monarchs, the same ones time and time again.

    I like your expression about 'a foot in the EU and a foot in the USA', i think that is accurate. Personally we should have both feet in the UK. The government is there to conform with the best interests of the people, if they aren't doing that they should be fired because they aren't doing their job. It's been so long since we've had a true representative have any major power in government. One that should only be thinking of what he can do for his people and his country every time he wakes and goes to sleep. The best representatives in there are the ones with the least power, and the ones that are worst at politics.
    my post was a little bit mocking the "too british" people, and not only the so called "elite" rulers...
    the "double play" (is this correct english???) profites globally to the UK, on cost of EU - but it is true that the gains of the UK are not fairly shared by the basic folks, as in other lands - and EU is not what people were dreaming in: it is a lobbies field for international finance rather than a space for help and sharing, with two extreme contradictions: no unity BUT uniformisation of bad commercial practices, dumping, minor cultures endangered but without the advantages of uniformity - no true federalism: a very curious coexistance of medieval habits, traditionnal states domination (and not regions raising) and too free wrong open market... very "anglo-saxon world", is'nt it???- EU is becoming the UK, in some way... no sharing, everybody for himself and God for all?!? (I know, it's only my opinion)
    so I'm not sure british people would be better outside the EU, because its "elites" would earn less and when they have less, it 's the basic citizen who pays...
    finally, the bad side of theBrits (they have a good side, surely) is gaining ground in Europe - no offense for anybody (except some big businessmen perhaps...)

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    Quote Originally Posted by MOESAN View Post
    my post was a little bit mocking the "too british" people, and not only the so called "elite" rulers...
    the "double play" (is this correct english???) profites globally to the UK, on cost of EU - but it is true that the gains of the UK are not fairly shared by the basic folks, as in other lands - and EU is not what people were dreaming in: it is a lobbies field for international finance rather than a space for help and sharing, with two extreme contradictions: no unity BUT uniformisation of bad commercial practices, dumping, minor cultures endangered but without the advantages of uniformity - no true federalism: a very curious coexistance of medieval habits, traditionnal states domination (and not regions raising) and too free wrong open market... very "anglo-saxon world", is'nt it???- EU is becoming the UK, in some way... no sharing, everybody for himself and God for all?!? (I know, it's only my opinion)
    so I'm not sure british people would be better outside the EU, because its "elites" would earn less and when they have less, it 's the basic citizen who pays...
    finally, the bad side of theBrits (they have a good side, surely) is gaining ground in Europe - no offense for anybody (except some big businessmen perhaps...)
    I agree with many of your points. I don't doubt the EU was started with purely good intentions, it has drifted from them too much. One thing i would argue is your second to last point - The people who would take us out of the EU are not representative of this elite 'veneer', most of them come from the real world, and the few that don't at least understand us, or are willing to.
    Part of the reason i don't want renegotiations specific to the UK within the EU (unless they are very specific or disastrous) is that it is unfair on the EU member states as a whole if one member receives special treatment at a fundamental (treaty) level. The other reason is that no negotiation can bring the required amount of change needed in my view, and if there was negotiation settled upon it would cause pressure building up to dissipate a little bit, and we would potentially lose an opportunity to leave.

    I hold no animosity towards the nations (people) within Europe, but my priority is to my own nation. And in recent months i have realised how imperative it is for us to leave the European Union, for the sake of our nation. I've gone from viewing it as an option to necessitous, in recent months.

    Our nation is falling apart, and a significant part of that is due to being in the EU, and aside from that - The most important part of remedying this is to leave the EU.

    Also, I'd like to say that the ultimate duty of a government of a nation state is that it puts the need of its people above everything else, which includes authority. All authority is to be derived from within the nation, and not without. As this is not entirely the case, it is clear that treason has been committed in recent years. Although the dust has largely settled on this now, so it is probably not beneficial to bring it in to play again, but rather to deal with the situation at hand.

    I believe that my people will benefit more from being outside the European Union than inside it, therefore it is of absolute importance that we leave it at the earliest opportunity. I also believe that it would be better for the European Union not to exist, or at least not in it's current form, but that is for people in other countries to decide.

    I want to cooperate, in particular in the sciences - I think what we could achieve through cooperation is potentially phenomenal, and of course trade (essential), but we need to approach this as a group of individual nations if it is going to work effectively, in my opinion.

    An analogy to how I feel on this is that the hand of the nation has a mind of its own (which it almost always has) and now it is putting a gun to its own head and is getting close to pulling the trigger. I would stop this at any cost.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gwyllgi View Post
    Right now a referendum on that issue would be a resounding NO.

    However, if the British people were allowed to know the facts, all the facts, and were not treated like mushrooms (you know, kept in the dark and fed a diet of farmyard droppings) then the result would be spectacular.

    After they had tarred and feathered most politicians, and emerged from the shock of having to face a reality that was so far removed form what they think their world was like, they would unquestionably be a majority vote YES.
    European project has no turning back. So far has been a succes story. The crisis now is a monetary, not political crisis. But EU has fomented a feeling of belonging in the same family among European nations. Its a force for peace, democracy and prosperity. All members have benefited from it. I can't picture the EU without UK. My view is that probably some brits see it as a German-French led club where so far Brits have not had a prominent role. They have not fought for such a role. I think brits feel close to the US for the reasons of common cultural, historical and language sharing. But US is changing. In a few years to come U.K for us who live in America, will be a thing of the past, a distant country. Mexico will be our closest friend since 33% of our citisens will originate from there. I don't think in case of referendum Brits will chose the option of living EU. They have never been in the wrong side of history. Why shoud they be this time? The rethoric now is harmless and if it come to vote will change. Brits do a huge amount of trade with EU.

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    Quote Originally Posted by albanopolis View Post
    European project has no turning back. So far has been a succes story. The crisis now is a monetary, not political crisis. But EU has fomented a feeling of belonging in the same family among European nations. Its a force for peace, democracy and prosperity. All members have benefited from it. I can't picture the EU without UK. My view is that probably some brits see it as a German-French led club where so far Brits have not had a prominent role. They have not fought for such a role. I think brits feel close to the US for the reasons of common cultural, historical and language sharing. But US is changing. In a few years to come U.K for us who live in America, will be a thing of the past, a distant country. Mexico will be our closest friend since 33% of our citisens will originate from there. I don't think in case of referendum Brits will chose the option of living EU. They have never been in the wrong side of history. Why shoud they be this time? The rethoric now is harmless and if it come to vote will change. Brits do a huge amount of trade with EU.
    I don't feel like i belong in a family called 'EU'. I'm European but the EU is a disgrace to European peoples IMO. Polls indicate we would leave, given the choice - And it grows by the month. It is not about being on the 'wrong' or 'right' side of history, it is about being on the side of history we feel is best for us. You have to understand that most people don't share your romantic view. Most of the people i have met who would not leave the EU are still pretty indifferent about it, or do not have a real understanding of how it works, or at least a basic one. Of course there are people who are romantically pro-EU, but they are relatively few. Feel free to hold your views, of course. :)

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    A truly united Europe may never happen. The cultural and socio-economic differences between various member EU nations
    make coordination of key pursuits difficult, to put it mildly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jackson View Post
    I don't feel like i belong in a family called 'EU'. I'm European but the EU is a disgrace to European peoples IMO. Polls indicate we would leave, given the choice - And it grows by the month. It is not about being on the 'wrong' or 'right' side of history, it is about being on the side of history we feel is best for us. You have to understand that most people don't share your romantic view. Most of the people i have met who would not leave the EU are still pretty indifferent about it, or do not have a real understanding of how it works, or at least a basic one. Of course there are people who are romantically pro-EU, but they are relatively few. Feel free to hold your views, of course. :)
    I have met a lot of Brits in New York. They did not share your feelings. I think you are in the side of "the few". They were rational and understand the importance of Britain being in the EU. If you read the story of Britain accesion in the EU you will notice that Britain was not wanted there by French. They suspected that Brits would try to sabotage the EU for the reason of being America's friend. It was voted few times until Brits were admited. If Brits leave EU voluntarily it will be for good. I don't think in case of referendum on EU will be the same mood in public. It will immediately change. Brits will not want themselves out of important decision making in Europe. Its not the matter of money. Briton is rich enough to afford few billions of pounds that EU requires. On the other hand I don't think there will be any important political figure to campaign against EU. The one against do not carry any importance in Brits public. You personally will change your mind. Its not that EU have sidelined Brits so you could be mad.

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    Britain is in Europe and always will be. They can't escape grandier participation and unification in the future. Today's crisis is temporary and fleeting phenomenon, so don't take it under consideration too much.
    European Union is a new construct, long way of being perfect, but it will adjust and evolve to the needs of Europe and better functionality. It happened because it was needed, therefore it is here to stay.
    Think about crisis as time for adjustments from a wrong turn, if you will. When recession is over and Europe will get stronger and more prosperous, it will draw Britten into wider participation. Like a moth attracted to the light. :)
    Be wary of people who tend to glorify the past, underestimate the present, and demonize the future.

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    Quote Originally Posted by albanopolis View Post
    I have met a lot of Brits in New York. They did not share your feelings. I think you are in the side of "the few". They were rational and understand the importance of Britain being in the EU. If you read the story of Britain accesion in the EU you will notice that Britain was not wanted there by French. They suspected that Brits would try to sabotage the EU for the reason of being America's friend. It was voted few times until Brits were admited. If Brits leave EU voluntarily it will be for good. I don't think in case of referendum on EU will be the same mood in public. It will immediately change. Brits will not want themselves out of important decision making in Europe. Its not the matter of money. Briton is rich enough to afford few billions of pounds that EU requires. On the other hand I don't think there will be any important political figure to campaign against EU. The one against do not carry any importance in Brits public. You personally will change your mind. Its not that EU have sidelined Brits so you could be mad.
    I think the first line says it all, if you haven't been here and spoken to people from all walks of life, you won't get a good view of what the political feeling is here. For example in a Poll done in November 2012 these were the results, and it is almost certainly swung more in the direction of 'out of the EU' since then:

    Definitely vote to remain: 11%
    Probably vote to remain: 19%
    Don't know: 14%
    Probably vote to leave: 22%
    Definitely vote to leave: 34%

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2...eferendum-poll

    And of course the polls show that people are massively in favour of a referendum on their membership, as for both sides of the argument it would be a good thing to resolve, as we were never asked, and tricked into joining the EEC.

    I am very doubtful that i would personally change my mind, although it is true i am not a fanatic - I just want what is in the best interest for my nation, rather than to follow some Autocratic dreams of grandeur.

    Judging by the way you talk, it would seem to be more likely that you are somewhat fanatical, saying things like 'It will immediately change', 'You personally will change your mind' and 'you could be mad'. While i appreciate your point of view, you cannot expect everybody else to share it, and believing that they must be wrong if they think differently, that is a sign of fanaticism.

    At a very basic level for me at least, the EU is a breach of of UK authority due to the fact that it can supersede the authority of national governments, so while here i consider it illegal - but that is a personal matter and not overly important practically, as it should not be the deciding factor.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeBrok View Post
    Britain is in Europe and always will be. They can't escape grandier participation and unification in the future. Today's crisis is temporary and fleeting phenomenon, so don't take it under consideration too much.
    European Union is a new construct, long way of being perfect, but it will adjust and evolve to the needs of Europe and better functionality. It happened because it was needed, therefore it is here to stay.
    Think about crisis as time for adjustments from a wrong turn, if you will. When recession is over and Europe will get stronger and more prosperous, it will draw Britten into wider participation. Like a moth attracted to the light. :)
    God save us all. :P

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jackson View Post
    God save us all. :P
    Personally I don't care either way, but I'm trying to see bigger/natural forces in action here. Usually these grand forces or trends are practically unstoppable, it is like fighting gravity. I would say that just from economic point of view (belonging to huge European market) and participating in European defence block, and monetary savings thanks to it, might be enough to force full participation of Britain in future.


    It is interesting that the least engaged european countries are two former empires: Great Britain and Russia. Is the pride of former glory and power clouding judgment of people? Are the main goals of European Union so different than Britain's?

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeBrok View Post


    It is interesting that the least engaged european countries are two former empires: Great Britain and Russia. Is the pride of former glory and power clouding judgment of people?

    Funny you should say that LeBrok because for a while I have thought about this. I think there is something in the make-up of many British that makes them feel happier with home made laws and law-makers rather than "outside" regulations.

    Like Russia as you say, perhaps because both countries for so long were empires, it is a little harder for them to adjust to policies made outside their country. Not sure this applies across the board but in some to a degree.
    I understand what Jackson says about general feeling over E.U. at the moment. I do think the present economic climate has much to do with this. If asked, it seems to often be a knee-jerk reaction at the moment to say.."No, better out than in".
    However, the British people are not foolish and I`m pretty sure when it comes to voting, regardless what polls show, they will weigh up the pros and cons and vote to remain in the E.U. We may not like every directive that comes from E.U. but then what country is 100% happy with everything, we are not unique in this.
    Personally I don`t think it would be in Britains interest to eliminate themselves from it.

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    What most people don't see is that someone is trying to pull a "divide and conquer" move here; and make money at the same time. Outside of europe, nobody likes a united europe. You don't kill the cow for just one day of not making milk...

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    I want them out for the reason I like them.

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    Britain is always considered to be much more closer to the US than the EU especially by the continental powers like Germany and France. Maybe that's way EU is a global economic power but lack political unity.


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