European Politics General (Canada welcome too, I suppose)

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Considering the ubiquitousness of threads discussing American politics, I thought it might be a good idea to create a thread specifically to discuss the development of European affairs, which seem to be greatly underdiscussed by the good people of the Religion and Politics board.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-38650877

So yeah, Theresa May finally made her position clear as to what her Brexit would look like, finally steering away from the nebulous "Breakfast means breakfast" claim. Britain's likely headed towards a 'hard Brexit' and many economists seem to be worried by the fact that May is now resigned to leaving the common European market if that's the only way she cut completely cut ties with Europe.

I, for one, am glad we finally have a more specific idea of what should be negotiated in the following years. The Houses still get to vote on whether or not Article 50 is triggered though, which leaves a degree of uncertainty in the whole thing.

Also, as an aside, what do you guys think will happen in Catalonia come June? Do you think the supposed independence referendum will pass, and if so, how would Spain react?

I was interested in May's speech. It seems the only way to achieve a proper separation, I know some people had their sights set on a sort of fudge exit but I really can't see that pleasing anyone politically or in reality.

I think Article 50 vote is a bit of red herring, I can't really see enough MPs voting against it, it would be political suicide outside of the core London seats.

"Many economists seem to be worried by the fact that May is now resigned to leaving the common European market if that's the only way she cut completely cut ties with Europe"

They've been worried for sometime now and little has happened (although I did get some interesting info about the widely drawn nature of economic predictions in another thread). The pound has actually rallied after the speech but the FTSE has fallen (from a historic high). It's pretty hard to say anything with certainty still.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/01/05/bank-england-admits-michael-fish-moment-dire-brexit-predictions/

What, because Europe is such an amorphous blob that it can all be covered by a single thread? (Kidding).

Catalonia will be interesting, because of the central governments approach. The UK government legitimised the Scottish referendum, allowed it to be argued properly and allowed the people to decide. An unrecognised referendum is always dodgy because only the people in favour of it tend to vote. But if they do vote to leave, shit could hit the fan.

QuiteEnjoyed2016:
I think Article 50 vote is a bit of red herring, I can't really see enough MPs voting against it, it would be political suicide outside of the core London seats.

Not only London, but also Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Not that it'll matter much though, it's still likely to pass, IIRC the Lib Dems and the SNP are the only ones that stated they would actively oppose the triggering of Article 50, while Corbyn simply stated he'd make sure that the conditions of Brexit would be advantageous to the British people.

QuiteEnjoyed2016:
They've been worried for sometime now and little has happened (although I did get some interesting info about the widely drawn nature of economic predictions in another thread). The pound has actually rallied after the speech but the FTSE has fallen (from a historic high). It's pretty hard to say anything with certainty still.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/01/05/bank-england-admits-michael-fish-moment-dire-brexit-predictions/

To be fair to them, Brexit hasn't formally begun yet, so it's a bit early to say that they're completely all-the-way wrong about the economic effects of Britain leaving the EU.

That being said, I think everyone can agree that pro-remain economists and politicians in general were grossly hyperbolic in a lot of their claims, I doubt that the economy will disintegrate... or that Britain leaving will lead to WW3.

Glad to hear that May's speech has helped the Pound.

Honestly if they're going to do brexit they might as well go all out, I don't think its a good idea but I'm welcomed to be proven wrong, so they might as well flat out leave and the world can watch the consequence.

Possibility 1) It actually work and the economy revive. Well we'll know that the EU doesn't work and need some massive reform or be torn down altogether, the world improves.

Possibility 2) It fail and the UK is worse outside then in. Well the other euroseptic party should finally shut up and the EU can move on from that and stop having to deal with everyone whose not 100% happy.

So yeah glad she's taking a hard stance (disclaimer I'm neither british nor from the EU). Of course realistically both camp will try to spin everything to reflect there view point, but it should still be possible to figure out what's real.

In the meantime it might pour some water over most euroseptic since the current government can always say "lets wait and watch what happen in the UK before doing anything to drastic". And if the euroseptic act like it needs to happen ASAP that can easily make it seems like there worried it'll go bad for the UK and they're trying to leave the EU before that's apparent, making them look pretty bad.

Catalonia is going to heavily depend on how stable spain is, I mean they spend what, over a year and three election without a government? It's hard to fault catalonia for waiting to leave after that. But then again its not guarantee that they'll be able to get into the EU after leaving (lol they can always just take Britain chair), so maybe once it get closer to the vote that'll weaken the leave vote enough.

Catnip1024:
What, because Europe is such an amorphous blob that it can all be covered by a single thread? (Kidding).

Clearly. They all come from the country of Europe, and unlike the British, they can't speak American, they can all be lumped in together from where I stand.

Catnip1024:
Catalonia will be interesting, because of the central governments approach. The UK government legitimised the Scottish referendum, allowed it to be argued properly and allowed the people to decide. An unrecognised referendum is always dodgy because only the people in favour of it tend to vote. But if they do vote to leave, shit could hit the fan.

Agreed, I wonder if an ignored referendum could trigger a reemergence of the same antagonism between Catalans and Spaniards that existed during the Francoist times. I certainly hope it won't lead to any violence.

Speaking of European independence movements - what the hell is happening with Veneto? I thought the online referendum they had a few years back was recognized as "legitimate"... I don't follow Italian politics too much, but aren't there currently talks with the Italian government about a formal, legally binding referendum?

Meiam:
Honestly if they're going to do brexit they might as well go all out, I don't think its a good idea but I'm welcomed to be proven wrong, so they might as well flat out leave and the world can watch the consequence.

Possibility 1) It actually work and the economy revive. Well we'll know that the EU doesn't work and need some massive reform or be torn down altogether, the world improves.

Possibility 2) It fail and the UK is worse outside then in. Well the other euroseptic party should finally shut up and the EU can move on from that and stop having to deal with everyone whose not 100% happy.

So yeah glad she's taking a hard stance (disclaimer I'm neither british nor from the EU). Of course realistically both camp will try to spin everything to reflect there view point, but it should still be possible to figure out what's real.

In the meantime it might pour some water over most euroseptic since the current government can always say "lets wait and watch what happen in the UK before doing anything to drastic". And if the euroseptic act like it needs to happen ASAP that can easily make it seems like there worried it'll go bad for the UK and they're trying to leave the EU before that's apparent, making them look pretty bad.

I agree with the gist of your post.

I'm willing to bet that most euroskeptics would blame the EU for sabotaging Brexit though, hell, I'm pretty much neutral on the whole issue but it would surprise me if Brussels tries to fuck over Britain simply as a way to discourage others like Italy or Denmark who also entertain somewhat serious notions of leaving.

Meiam:
Catalonia is going to heavily depend on how stable spain is, I mean they spend what, over a year and three election without a government? It's hard to fault catalonia for waiting to leave after that. But then again its not guarantee that they'll be able to get into the EU after leaving (lol they can always just take Britain chair), so maybe once it get closer to the vote that'll weaken the leave vote enough.

Well, I'd imagine that Spain and Belgium would take the same type of posturing they did when the Scottish referendum was happening, claiming they'd veto Catalonia in order not to legitimize their own independence movements (no such attitude from Italy was surprising though). Remains to see if threats of not being allowed in the EU will quell the independentist sentiment in Catalonia. Last I heard the movement was still going strong.

Catalonia (more specifically Barcelone) leaving would be a dire economic blow to Spain.

I remember when Brexit was the most controversial event in politics. It seems quaint now. :(

Personally, I think the results of Brexit will be a watershed moment for the EU. Either Britain does anywhere from "slightly south of meh" to "good" after it and the EU splinters itself or Britain does terribly and it ends up empowering the EU government.

I for one hope that all those separatist/independence movements go through.

And then maybe we could have a referendum in Germany about re-establishing the DDR.
Hey maybe we could trade it with Russia for the Crimea, they can have ALL of Berlin this time.

My issue is that numerous times one (or both?) of the Leave campaigns insisted that the UK would remain in the single market. I'd be completely accepting of the referendum result had this not been stated (along with claims that the NHS would be getting more funding) but because it wasn't I can't help but feel like British citizens were swindled. Of course I expected this as I wouldn't trust the Tories to tie their own shoelaces, but many voted to leave the EU for reasons other than a knee-jerk reaction against brown people fed to them on a daily basis by the Diana Express because to be honest the economy isn't fantastic.

Support for Trump in the USA is low, historically low for a president-elect. Support for Trump in the UK is even lower, it being mostly relegated to die-hard UKIP voters or fans of one of the myriad loony nationalist groups. Yet he's the one that'll try to seize the opportunity now that the single market is out of the picture. Do you think Leave voters signed up for that?

In summary, it's a shitshow.

What do you guys think of the mess that is politics in Poland? Everytime I hear the news about the situation I just want to slam my head into a wall.

I do wander if the Russians will try something as a reaction to US troops arriving in Poland.

Sonmi:
Not that it'll matter much though, it's still likely to pass, IIRC the Lib Dems and the SNP are the only ones that stated they would actively oppose the triggering of Article 50, while Corbyn simply stated he'd make sure that the conditions of Brexit would be advantageous to the British people.

The thing is, Corbyn himself is, unless he's had a massive change of heart without telling anyone, personally eurosceptic. It's likely that he campaigned for remain (half-arsedly) purely because the majority of Labour is pro remain, and thus it isn't surprising that he is now not coming across as terribly polemic. That does not mean his party feels the same way. With the exception of UKIP, parliament is overwhelmingly pro-remain and a vote of conscience would reject the government's proposals.

It's purely a question of what pressure the government can provide to incentivize MPs to vote against their consciences. Right now, Theresa May just seems to be threatening to throw her toys out of the pram by deliberately fucking up the Brexit negotiations if parliament rejects her proposals, which seems to me a pretty transparent bluff but then I don't know how insane Theresa May is.

Sonmi:
That being said, I think everyone can agree that pro-remain economists and politicians in general were grossly hyperbolic in a lot of their claims, I doubt that the economy will disintegrate... or that Britain leaving will lead to WW3.

Again, the real problem is that noone knows. It is complete uncertainty. Economists hate uncertainty. Unfortunately, so do investors. You can "doubt" all you want, but noone actually knows. Not even the people pushing for Brexit know what will happen when they do.

But yeah, it's becoming increasingly clear that Britain will suffer economically from leaving the EU. May has made this clear by announcing a commitment to leave the common market and seek a separate trade deal with the EU from outside. To put it bluntly, remember the claim that Britain sends ?350 million to the EU which could be used to fund the NHS which turned out to be a lie? That number is small compared to the amount which will actually need to be send to the EU in order to buy access to the single market as a non member. The fact that the alternative is worse to the point that noone is considering it should tell you something.

May's speech went in the direction I was expecting, which was uncompromising.

The statements from various Leave campaigners-- including Boris Johnson-- that Britain would retain access to the single market despite ending free movement of labour, displayed a pretty colossal ignorance of the Treaty of Rome and the nature of the whole institution. It was obvious from even a tertiary reading of the Treaty that couldn't happen, and various European figures were quite clear on that matter.

It's become quite popular to characterise Johnson as a clever man who has managed to convince people he's an idiot; I'm becoming more and more convinced that he's an idiot who has managed to convince people he's an idiot.

Anyway, that aside, I think it's very fair to say that a referendum result loses a portion of its power as a mandate whenever a pledge by the victorious side is reneged upon. The single market was promised by Johnson during the campaign, as well as by the Conservative Party in their 2015 Manifesto, so the mandate gets weaker.

Aside from that, there is no mandate on the terms of leaving at all, and that is what Parliament is being asked to vote on-- Parliament should be able to vote it down if the terms aren't advantageous. The Press would cry bloody murder, but that's because they don't have the slightest grasp of law or legality. They cannot be allowed to hold parliament ransom.

evilthecat:
.

It's purely a question of what pressure the government can provide to incentivize MPs to vote against their consciences. Right now, Theresa May just seems to be threatening to throw her toys out of the pram by essentially deliberately fucking up the Brexit negotiations if parliament rejects her proposals.

Actually I'd argue it's a matter of political expediency. MPs vote against their consciences all the time, it's the basis of party politics, having a whip, no? Labour knows its dead in the water if it is seen to challenge the referendum results, Scotland is gone; if it loses the Northern strongholds then it may never recover. I think this is the reason the BBC is going to Farron for its left wing renta-quotes, Corbyn doesn't want to be associated with people ranting about democracy being stolen because the result wasn't what they wanted. Of course, as you say he's also not really pro-EU and his Union funders and backers seem fairly split on the idea, so he has no personal horse in the race either. Without Labour there is no way to vote down Article 50 to my mind.

Sonmi:
That being said, I think everyone can agree that pro-remain economists and politicians in general were grossly hyperbolic in a lot of their claims, I doubt that the economy will disintegrate... or that Britain leaving will lead to WW3.

evilthecat:

Again, the real problem is that noone knows. It is complete uncertainty. Economists hate uncertainty. Unfortunately, so do investors. You can "doubt" all you want, but noone actually knows. Not even the people pushing for Brexit know what will happen when they do.

But yeah, it's becoming increasingly clear that Britain will suffer economically from leaving the EU.

So no one knows but it's increasingly clear? The FTSE's has been trading at historic highs but fell today... as the pound recovered, after a hard Brexit confirmation. You were spot with the no one knows I think!

Silvanus:

...displayed a pretty colossal ignorance of the Treaty of Rome and the nature of the whole institution. It was obvious from even a tertiary reading of the Treaty that couldn't happen, and various European figures were quite clear on that matter.

I've never seen tertiary used like that! Do you mean after reading just 3 times? That's kind of cool.

I'd be interest to see which "various European figures" said this because the Treaty of Rome wasn't really the practical start to the moment of capital, people and services. It was the start of the common market or ECC, so mainly goods only, with a specific focus on CAP. The others really got going in 87 and 92 with the Single European Act and of course Maastrict. It would certainly underline "pretty colossal ignorance".. on their part!

I think your quotation does Boris a bit of a disservice too, it clearly is possible to pick and choose EU elements, if you pay in enough money, you just have to look at Scandinavia. He did later say he'd not support this approach. I also can't find any evidence of this

"The single market was promised by Johnson during the campaign"

whatsoever, there is just extensive coverage of this Telegraph column (which the Guardian amusingly refers to as "lucrative", as if Guardian columnists only write due to their burning desire for the betterment of man). It was an attempt to make sense of the post-referendum period. He was, at that point, still in with a shout for PM so he needed an olive branch.

Edit - Actually, I can find evidence that Johnson said he wanted to "leave the common market but still trade with it", which is closer to what you were saying but isn't promising to "stay in it".

evilthecat:
The thing is, Corbyn himself is, unless he's had a massive change of heart without telling anyone, personally eurosceptic. It's likely that he campaigned for remain (half-arsedly) purely because the majority of Labour is pro remain, and thus it isn't surprising that he is now not coming across as terribly polemic. That does not mean his party feels the same way. With the exception of UKIP, parliament is overwhelmingly pro-remain and a vote of conscience would reject the government's proposals.

It's purely a question of what pressure the government can provide to incentivize MPs to vote against their consciences. Right now, Theresa May just seems to be threatening to throw her toys out of the pram by deliberately fucking up the Brexit negotiations if parliament rejects her proposals, which seems to me a pretty transparent bluff but then I don't know how insane Theresa May is.

Corbyn's party had the opportunity to replace him if they weren't willing to follow his leadership, but Smith failed his coup. While Blairites could certainly vote differently from him, I do think that Corbyn-loyalists and company men will follow suit as to not undermine Labour even further by fueling in-fighting within the party.

I think that the Tories will mostly stand behind May as well despite whatever their personal beliefs might be, conservatives have a natural tendency to fall in line.

As for what incentives May could use to get MPs to stand behind her, I'm suspecting snap elections. Labour is currently in a precarious position and the Lib Dems have been in the gutter since Clegg shamelessly betrayed his voterbase. If May wanted, she could portray herself as the pro-Brexit candidate as well, swaying support away from UKIP, which I could even see officially endorsing May in the name of getting the damned article passed. Even though the Tories currently have supramajority, I doubt that Labour would be willing to face the threat of being further bled out of their parliamentary seats.

evilthecat:
Again, the real problem is that noone knows. It is complete uncertainty. Economists hate uncertainty. Unfortunately, so do investors. You can "doubt" all you want, but noone actually knows. Not even the people pushing for Brexit know what will happen when they do.

But yeah, it's becoming increasingly clear that Britain will suffer economically from leaving the EU. May has made this clear by announcing a commitment to leave the common market and seek a separate trade deal with the EU from outside. To put it bluntly, remember the claim that Britain sends ?350 million to the EU which could be used to fund the NHS which turned out to be a lie? That number is small compared to the amount which will actually need to be send to the EU in order to buy access to the single market as a non member. The fact that the alternative is worse to the point that noone is considering it should tell you something.

I agree, "no one knows".

We should wait and see what happens, hyperbolic claims on both sides help no one though, and only fuels division between the British people.

Nielas:
What do you guys think of the mess that is politics in Poland? Everytime I hear the news about the situation I just want to slam my head into a wall.

I do wander if the Russians will try something as a reaction to US troops arriving in Poland.

Poland will be Poland.

That is to say: always traditionalist, Catholic to the bone, and perpetually scared of Russia.

About Brexit:

Very hard.

QuiteEnjoyed2016:
So no one knows but it's increasingly clear?

Yup. Pretty much. Although I would add that the vast, vast majority of experts and economists have maintained consistently that Brexit would be bad. The only question is how bad. Maybe it will no be as bad as feared, but that's still bad. Maybe it will be better than expected.. still bad.

Losing the single market is devastating, for example. Now, maybe it won't be so bad, maybe Li Keqiang's heart will grow three sizes, the true meaning of Brexit will come through and the pound find the strength of ten dollars plus two. But betting on that is foolish. The UK is the biggest exporter of financial services in the world. That's gone. Maybe not in the short term but in the long term it's gone. What do people expect is going to happen? What is going to fill the void?

The FTSE is, for the most part, a bunch of multinationals which happen to have UK offices. UK offices can be closed. Confidence in the FTSE does not mean confidence in Brexit.

Sonmi:
We should wait and see what happens, hyperbolic claims on both sides help no one though, and only fuels division between the British people.

What's wrong with division?

It's very clear that the "urban elite" as Theresa May calls us have different economic and social priorities to the rest of the UK. If the rest of the UK wants "their" country back, they can work towards that, but it's not and will never be my country. What's the point in self destructive unity? Let other people look out for what they see as their interests, and I'll look out for mine. That's how pluralistic and democratic politics is supposed to work, not this faux collectivist demand for ideological unity.

evilthecat:
What's wrong with division?

It's very clear that the "urban elite" as Theresa May calls us have different economic and social priorities to the rest of the UK. If the rest of the UK wants "their" country back, they can work towards that, but it's not and will never be my country. What's the point in self destructive unity? Let other people look out for what they see as their interests, and I'll look out for mine. That's how pluralistic and democratic politics is supposed to work, not this faux collectivist demand for ideological unity.

It's your country, it's their country, unity means building a country that is better for both of you.

Fostering division is fostering inequality.

Sonmi:
It's your country, it's their country, unity means building a country that is better for both of you.

No. It's their country. If it is "our" country, then it was "our" country before the referendum too. People rejected that country, they proclaimed loudly and vociferously that they wanted "their" country back. If my country was not also their country, then their country is not my country. If people like me are going to be condemned as "urban elites" or "enemies of the people", then that's a hat I can frankly wear. I have no problem being an enemy of these people.

QuiteEnjoyed2016:

I've never seen tertiary used like that! Do you mean after reading just 3 times? That's kind of cool.

I meant it in the sense of "third in terms of importance"; I.E., giving a tertiary reading would be only giving it a glance over. It's more of an informal usage, which seems to have originally grown out of a misinterpretation.

QuiteEnjoyed2016:

I'd be interest to see which "various European figures" said this because the Treaty of Rome wasn't really the practical start to the moment of capital, people and services. It was the start of the common market or ECC, so mainly goods only, with a specific focus on CAP. The others really got going in 87 and 92 with the Single European Act and of course Maastrict. It would certainly underline "pretty colossal ignorance".. on their part!

The four economic freedoms are delineated in the "Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union", which originated as the Treaty of Rome-- it's not concerned solely with goods, and quite specifically mentions freedom of movement as inextricable from the single market.

The figures I had in mind were Jean-Claude Juncker and Chancellor Merkel, both of whom were (despite their flaws) considerably more honest about the negotiations than the UK government has been thus far.

QuiteEnjoyed2016:
I think your quotation does Boris a bit of a disservice too, it clearly is possible to pick and choose EU elements, if you pay in enough money, you just have to look at Scandinavia. He did later say he'd not support this approach. I also can't find any evidence of this

"The single market was promised by Johnson during the campaign"

whatsoever, there is just extensive coverage of this Telegraph column (which the Guardian amusingly refers to as "lucrative", as if Guardian columnists only write due to their burning desire for the betterment of man). It was an attempt to make sense of the post-referendum period. He was, at that point, still in with a shout for PM so he needed an olive branch.

Edit - Actually, I can find evidence that Johnson said he wanted to "leave the common market but still trade with it", which is closer to what you were saying but isn't promising to "stay in it".

From that Telegraph article;

Boris Johnson:
"As the German equivalent of the CBI - the BDI - has very sensibly reminded us, there will continue to be free trade, and access to the single market."

And from his interview with John Humphrys;

Boris Johnson:
"The answer is yes, we should get out of the empire of EU lawmaking....What we should have instead is access to the single market."

With regards to Scandinavia-- well, I assume you mean Norway specifically, since Sweden and Finland are EU members-- they do indeed have single market access. In order to procure this, they have agreed to all the stipulations and regulations that entails, as well as the monetary contributions. Norway accepts freedom of movement. Of course that was possible.

It's the notion that we could reject the requirements outlined in EU law and continue to maintain single market access, which is blatant nonsense. Daniel Hannan spouted such intentionally-misleading bollocks on ConservativeHome; Nigel Farage came out with the same lie speaking to Andrew Marr. It was a common underhanded tactic.

Well Theresa May is smart not to try and bargain for things she will not get. Other European leaders have made their unwillingness to keep the UK in the common market without free traffic of persons rather clear.

Meiam:
Honestly if they're going to do brexit they might as well go all out, I don't think its a good idea but I'm welcomed to be proven wrong, so they might as well flat out leave and the world can watch the consequence.

Possibility 1) It actually work and the economy revive. Well we'll know that the EU doesn't work and need some massive reform or be torn down altogether, the world improves.

Possibility 2) It fail and the UK is worse outside then in. Well the other euroseptic party should finally shut up and the EU can move on from that and stop having to deal with everyone whose not 100% happy.

Being pro- or anti-EU depends on a lot more than the economy. A lot of the discussion revolves around the importance of solidarity amongst Europeans and whether the EU is democratic enough. Some of the diehard eurosceptics in my country argue that nationalism is good and the EU is bad. The effects of the EU on the economy are a secondary concern for many of them.

Now perhaps the economy will be an important factor in swaying pragmatig groups in the middle of the political spectrum but even if the UK does poorly I doubt the eurosceptic parties will suddenly shut up. And if the UK does well the diehard pro-EU people will still be pro-EU. I do agree that this is an interesting experiment though.

Besides Britain. There is an election coming up in the Netherlands. The expected electoral winners are the VVD (rightwing, liberal, capitalist) and the PVV(anti-islam, anti-EU, anti-immigrant, populist, economically left). I expect the VVD to lead the next cabinet probably with 1 to 3 middlesized centrist parties in a coalition depending on how divided the vote will be. Which ones precisely will remain to be seen. I'll be taking a closer look at which of those centrist or centerleft parties I like the most when that gets closer. Now whilst the PVV might win the most votes, they'd need a coalition with over half of the representatives to achieve much but that is unlikely since they might have 40/150 seats at the very best and everybody else dislikes them for chanting 'less maroccons' and various similar stunts or for being unreliable to work with in earlier coalitions. They also barely have enough competent people to fill minister spots.

Hungary is seemlingly getting worse and worse in terms of free press, respecting minority rights, etc.

At the eastern side Russia is considered more and more of a threath. The Baltic states are understandably worried about that. With Trump making it clear he isn't as reliable of a protector as America used to be I think the rest of NATO and Europe should seriously beef up their defenses. (which is a good thing anyway, since it is unfair to have America do all the work and defense spending for us)

Nielas:
What do you guys think of the mess that is politics in Poland? Everytime I hear the news about the situation I just want to slam my head into a wall.

I do wander if the Russians will try something as a reaction to US troops arriving in Poland.

Poland is fucking scary, and fucking is a light word. Things are going backward and much faster than I'd imagine it could ever go. Honestly if I was there now I'd be looking to leave in a hurry. It's also one of the reason why I think the idea of a more flexible EU is interesting, with britain leaving it might be worth going to a system where it's accepted that country will come and go and poland could be kicked out of the EU (let's be honest, if it wasn't already in it there's no way it would be getting in under the current administration). At the same time it's a strong argument for having stronger EU rule that could vet some of the change that are being rammed trough (they just got a vote in where the opposition party weren't allowed in the room and from now on only journalist that the government invite will be able to cover the parliament).

Pseudonym:
Besides Britain. There is an election coming up in the Netherlands. The expected electoral winners are the VVD (rightwing, liberal, capitalist) and the PVV(anti-islam, anti-EU, anti-immigrant, populist, economically left).

This is the first time I've ever heard the PVV being referred as economically left. I don't follow Dutch affairs that much though, so I don't really have a clear picture, but are they really economically left for the country?

evilthecat:
the majority of Labour is pro remain, and thus it isn't surprising that he is now not coming across as terribly polemic. That does not mean his party feels the same way. With the exception of UKIP, parliament is overwhelmingly pro-remain and a vote of conscience would reject the government's proposals.

I would say "forgive me for being petty", but I don't mean it, so:

Are you referring to the Labour MPs, the Labour Party members, or the Labour Party voters, because this is the pickle they find themselves in. MPs want to remain, but recognise that the voters want limitations on immigration. The party members want to remain, and want open borders and several additional wonderful theoretical ideas that never work in practice, and want to completely disregard the voters in this. The voters by and large wanted to leave, they want net immigration levels reduced, and (I imagine, as a long term Labour sympathiser) tend to be losing faith in the leadership and the Party membership under Corbyn and co.

I personally imagine if push came to shove, the majority of Labour MPs would vote the way of their constituents. Not to do so would be political suicide.

Sonmi:
Agreed, I wonder if an ignored referendum could trigger a reemergence of the same antagonism between Catalans and Spaniards that existed during the Francoist times. I certainly hope it won't lead to any violence.

Speaking of European independence movements - what the hell is happening with Veneto? I thought the online referendum they had a few years back was recognized as "legitimate"... I don't follow Italian politics too much, but aren't there currently talks with the Italian government about a formal, legally binding referendum?

I just realised that the Basque independence and the Catalan independence movements are completely different things. God, if one got legitimised, that could screw everything up.

Not heard much about Veneto, but from the wikipedia article it seems like their referendum had a stupidly low turnout (~2%) so don't see them gathering momentum.

Sonmi:

Pseudonym:
Besides Britain. There is an election coming up in the Netherlands. The expected electoral winners are the VVD (rightwing, liberal, capitalist) and the PVV(anti-islam, anti-EU, anti-immigrant, populist, economically left).

This is the first time I've ever heard the PVV being referred as economically left. I don't follow Dutch affairs that much though, so I don't really have a clear picture, but are they really economically left for the country?

To be fair, spendthrifths would be more accurate. Or perhaps economically dishonest. This is a shift that has taken place since Wilders was originally a member of the VVD. They are in favour of various typical 'socialist party' things like keeping the retirement age at 65 and spending more money on health care in various ways. Though they also want lower taxes and lower rent. It is hard to get a more direct picture without going into their actual parliament votes since their election programme is less than a page long. They propose to finance these things by 'de-islamising the Netherlands' (basically fucking with Muslims in various ways, banning the Koran, the scarf, mosques) which will somehow make billions of euro's and by getting rid of and I quote all they say about this "Development aid, windmills, art, innovation, public broadcasting, etc." and yes, that etc is part of their text, not a paraphrase by me.

So they aren't economically right anymore and in various ways quite comparable to the socialist party, but with more bigotry. Perhaps economically left is unfair to the leftist parties here who actually make an effort to make financially possible plans.

Pseudonym:

Sonmi:

Pseudonym:
Besides Britain. There is an election coming up in the Netherlands. The expected electoral winners are the VVD (rightwing, liberal, capitalist) and the PVV(anti-islam, anti-EU, anti-immigrant, populist, economically left).

This is the first time I've ever heard the PVV being referred as economically left. I don't follow Dutch affairs that much though, so I don't really have a clear picture, but are they really economically left for the country?

To be fair, spendthrifths would be more accurate. Or perhaps economically dishonest. This is a shift that has taken place since Wilders was originally a member of the VVD. They are in favour of various typical 'socialist party' things like keeping the retirement age at 65 and spending more money on health care in various ways. Though they also want lower taxes and lower rent. It is hard to get a more direct picture without going into their actual parliament votes since their election programme is less than a page long. They propose to finance these things by 'de-islamising the Netherlands' (basically fucking with Muslims in various ways, banning the Koran, the scarf, mosques) which will somehow make billions of euro's and by getting rid of and I quote all they say about this "Development aid, windmills, art, innovation, public broadcasting, etc." and yes, that etc is part of their text, not a paraphrase by me.

So they aren't economically right anymore and in various ways quite comparable to the socialist party, but with more bigotry. Perhaps economically left is unfair to the leftist parties here who actually make an effort to make financially possible plans.

I guess it's comparable to Trump's temporary infatuation with popular doctrine, such as his campaign promise to invest greatly into the infrastructure, then, rather than a genuine left-wing ideology.

As with Trump, those might simply be promises, even if it place them more to than left than mainstream conservatives, on paper at least.

Catnip1024:

I just realised that the Basque independence and the Catalan independence movements are completely different things. God, if one got legitimised, that could screw everything up.

Not heard much about Veneto, but from the wikipedia article it seems like their referendum had a stupidly low turnout (~2%) so don't see them gathering momentum.

Yeah, Spain is riddled with independence movements, due to its great cultural diversity and history of being several different kingdoms. The Basque independence movement has mostly died down to my knowledge, despite being extremely violent a few decades ago, but I wouldn't be surprised a successful independent Catalonia might be the domino that would lead to the fracturing of Spain, to the chagrin of Isabella and Ferdinand.

The online referendum's validity has been questioned, yes, the turnout being highly disputed for a time. The organizers claim a 63% participation rating, while mainstream Italian media claimed a meager 2% as you said, but IIRC that referendum was eventually deemed "legit", even if nothing really came out of it.

Venitians are still regularly polled about their desire for independence, and it seems like the support for an independent Veneto is pretty much always over 50% and that it's steadily going up. As with Spain and Catalonia, Veneto managing to split off from Italy might bolster the other big local independence movements, most notably Sicily and Sardinia, and I imagine that a desire for independence will only keep growing if Italy doesn't manage to drop the Euro in favour of the Lyra, as it is currently seriously harming their local economy.

Catnip1024:

I would say "forgive me for being petty", but I don't mean it, so:

Are you referring to the Labour MPs, the Labour Party members, or the Labour Party voters, because this is the pickle they find themselves in. MPs want to remain, but recognise that the voters want limitations on immigration. The party members want to remain, and want open borders and several additional wonderful theoretical ideas that never work in practice, and want to completely disregard the voters in this. The voters by and large wanted to leave, they want net immigration levels reduced, and (I imagine, as a long term Labour sympathiser) tend to be losing faith in the leadership and the Party membership under Corbyn and co.

That's not true. The only substantial research done so far indicates that Labour voters voted to remain, by a margin of approximately 63-65% - 35-37% (not far behind the Liberal Democrats). Lord Ashcroft's poll supported this.

Sonmi:

It's your country, it's their country, unity means building a country that is better for both of you.

Fostering division is fostering inequality.

I have been hearing this sentiment a lot lately particularly in regards to Brexit and Trump, this idea that the "losing side" should suck it up, accept defeat and cooperate with the "winning side". My problem with this argument is that it thrusts all the responsibility onto the "losers" and suggests that the "winners" are willing to extend an olive branch. Both votes were won by very small margin, in Trump's case the vote was won by a negative margin. The division is inherent especially given the historic nature of both events, no country has ever left the EU and Trump is the most disliked president-elect in history.

But it goes even further than that. Both the Leave campaign and Trump's campaign were built with a strong nationalist foundation, along with this idea that the countries in question would be "taken back" from those that are "illegitimate" be they the "urban elite", foreigners, minorities, bureaucrats etc. Essentially the worst kind of identity politics. In addition to that (as if we needed any more), Farage and Trump have gloated about their victories on social media and while Farage isn't the sole driving force behind Brexit he is, at least on the international stage, the mascot of Brexit. I think Hillary Clinton would have been divisive too but there's no way in hell she would be publishing smug tweets about "haters" after her victory.

People need to be vocal about this, despite what Trump and Leave voters may insist they're not the only ones that were "unheard". Black Lives Matter, protests against TTIP, Occupy Wall Street... if "libtards and remoaners" truly were the "elite class" why did they find these protests necessary?

Dizchu:

Sonmi:

It's your country, it's their country, unity means building a country that is better for both of you.

Fostering division is fostering inequality.

I have been hearing this sentiment a lot lately particularly in regards to Brexit and Trump, this idea that the "losing side" should suck it up, accept defeat and cooperate with the "winning side". My problem with this argument is that it thrusts all the responsibility onto the "losers" and suggests that the "winners" are willing to extend an olive branch. Both votes were won by very small margin, in Trump's case the vote was won by a negative margin. The division is inherent especially given the historic nature of both events, no country has ever left the EU and Trump is the most disliked president-elect in history.

But it goes even further than that. Both the Leave campaign and Trump's campaign were built with a strong nationalist foundation, along with this idea that the countries in question would be "taken back" from those that are "illegitimate" be they the "urban elite", foreigners, minorities, bureaucrats etc. Essentially the worst kind of identity politics. In addition to that (as if we needed any more), Farage and Trump have gloated about their victories on social media and while Farage isn't the sole driving force behind Brexit he is, at least on the international stage, the mascot of Brexit. I think Hillary Clinton would have been divisive too but there's no way in hell she would be publishing smug tweets about "haters" after her victory.

People need to be vocal about this, despite what Trump and Leave voters may insist they're not the only ones that were "unheard". Black Lives Matter, protests against TTIP, Occupy Wall Street... if "libtards and remoaners" truly were the "elite class" why did they find these protests necessary?

That's the thing, I think you should always try to limit the fostering of division, and it's not about my side winning either, "my side" has only really won once, during the last Canadian elections. I'm a perpetual loser, but I think that the best way to turn people to your side, to influence politics in a beneficial way to your ideology is by offering an olive branch. By working hand-in-hand rather than by blind tribalistic obstructionism and divisive rhetoric.

Keep in mind, this does not mean that I oppose opposing the ruling party where it matters, on the contrary, you should make your disagreement heard, and try to veer the discourse in a way that advantages you. But stunts like claiming that "My country is not your country, and yours not mine" brings us absolutely nowhere and only serves to radicalize and antagonize further the ones that are currently in power.

In the words of Sanders; you should not blindly obstruct Trump (or whatever analogous party/figure you want), you have to hold him responsible to his words. Help him pass through his campaign promises that were reasonable and even good, such as opposing TPP and investing in American infrastructure, but also object whenever he acts in unsavory ways.

The way establishment Democrats, and people proudly wearing their "Not my President/Prime Minister" badges, are acting at the moment helps no one, and can even arguably be said to be harmful to themselves and the people they claim to protect.

Silvanus:

Catnip1024:

I would say "forgive me for being petty", but I don't mean it, so:

Are you referring to the Labour MPs, the Labour Party members, or the Labour Party voters, because this is the pickle they find themselves in. MPs want to remain, but recognise that the voters want limitations on immigration. The party members want to remain, and want open borders and several additional wonderful theoretical ideas that never work in practice, and want to completely disregard the voters in this. The voters by and large wanted to leave, they want net immigration levels reduced, and (I imagine, as a long term Labour sympathiser) tend to be losing faith in the leadership and the Party membership under Corbyn and co.

That's not true. The only substantial research done so far indicates that Labour voters voted to remain, by a margin of approximately 63-65% - 35-37% (not far behind the Liberal Democrats). Lord Ashcroft's poll supported this.

First, I distrust polls because I know for a fact that I lie whenever any randomer in the street asks me a question. If it's an online poll, it is biased by the type of people who fill them in. If it's a street poll, it's biased by where you do it and the people who can be bothered stopping.

Secondly, asking someone whether they voted Labour in the aftermath of the Corbyn fiasco (even asking them what they voted at the previous election) may not accurately reflect the people who are inclined to be Labour voters. I didn't vote Labour in the 2015 election, because Ed Miliband was not a person I could see running the country.

I'm not saying that it is incorrect. I am saying that it runs counter to all of my experiences. The remain voters I know tend to be the better off, Tory inclined types, or Liberals. The Labour voters I know tended to be in favour of Brexit overwhelmingly.

And if there is one thing we have learnt last year, it's that polls should be taken with a pinch of salt.

Silvanus:

QuiteEnjoyed2016:

I've never seen tertiary used like that! Do you mean after reading just 3 times? That's kind of cool.

I meant it in the sense of "third in terms of importance"; I.E., giving a tertiary reading would be only giving it a glance over. It's more of an informal usage, which seems to have originally grown out of a misinterpretation.

I get you, I like that.

QuiteEnjoyed2016:

I'd be interest to see which "various European figures" said this because the Treaty of Rome wasn't really the practical start to the moment of capital, people and services. It was the start of the common market or ECC, so mainly goods only, with a specific focus on CAP. The others really got going in 87 and 92 with the Single European Act and of course Maastrict. It would certainly underline "pretty colossal ignorance".. on their part!

Silvanus:
The four economic freedoms are delineated in the "Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union", which originated as the Treaty of Rome-- it's not concerned solely with goods, and quite specifically mentions freedom of movement as inextricable from the single market.

Well, yes, up to a point... The Treaty of Rome was an economic agreement, it was ultimately a customs union. Freedom of movement isn't "inextricable" from the single market, it's originally only envisaged in so far as it facilitates the single market. The Treaty allowed for the limitation of free movement on grounds of public policy, security or health (say, oh, 300,000+ new people turning and accessing public services every year). It also didn't apply to public servants.

It shall entail the right, subject to limitations justified on grounds of public policy,
public security or public health
:
(a) to accept offers of employment actually made;
(b) to move freely within the territory of Member States for this purpose;
(c) to stay in a Member State for the purpose of employment in accordance with the
provisions governing the employment of nationals of that State laid down by law,
regulation or administrative action;
(d) to remain in the territory of a Member State after having been employed in that
State, subject to conditions which shall be embodied in implementing regulations
to be drawn up by the Commission.
4. The provisions of this Article shall not apply to employment in the public service.

If the Eurocrats hadn't embarked on their federal fever dreams and stuck to a customs union we'd all be fine... To reference the Treaty of Rome in isolation it to tell about 33% of the story.

Silvanus:
The figures I had in mind were Jean-Claude Juncker and Chancellor Merkel, both of whom were (despite their flaws) considerably more honest about the negotiations than the UK government has been thus far.

Seem funny to suggest a man who's openly stated he's for "dark, secret debates" is more honest. He and Merkel certainly have their eggs in one basket and so have very easily defined position,they are perhaps more forthright. I certainly couldn't see them doing anything but criticise Boris and I doubt they'd berate his Treaty of Rome knowledge, which I think was the original suggestion?

QuiteEnjoyed2016:
I think your quotation does Boris a bit of a disservice too, it clearly is possible to pick and choose EU elements, if you pay in enough money, you just have to look at Scandinavia. He did later say he'd not support this approach. I also can't find any evidence of this

"The single market was promised by Johnson during the campaign"

whatsoever, there is just extensive coverage of this Telegraph column (which the Guardian amusingly refers to as "lucrative", as if Guardian columnists only write due to their burning desire for the betterment of man). It was an attempt to make sense of the post-referendum period. He was, at that point, still in with a shout for PM so he needed an olive branch.

Edit - Actually, I can find evidence that Johnson said he wanted to "leave the common market but still trade with it", which is closer to what you were saying but isn't promising to "stay in it".

Silvanus:
From that Telegraph article;

"As the German equivalent of the CBI ? the BDI ? has very sensibly reminded us, there will continue to be free trade, and access to the single market."

And from his interview with John Humphrys;

"The answer is yes, we should get out of the empire of EU lawmaking? What we should have instead is access to the single market.?

With regards to Scandinavia-- well, I assume you mean Norway specifically, since Sweden and Finland are EU members-- they do indeed have single market access. In order to procure this, they have agreed to all the stipulations and regulations that entails, as well as the monetary contributions. Norway accepts freedom of movement. Of course that was possible.

It's the notion that we could reject the requirements outlined in EU law and continue to maintain single market access, which is blatant nonsense. Daniel Hannan spouted such intentionally-misleading bollocks on ConservativeHome; Nigel Farage came out with the same lie speaking to Andrew Marr. It was a common underhanded tactic.

Ha ha, looks like old InFacts got a bit carried away with battering Full Facts there. So many facts! Interesting site.

I certainly have some sympathy for the idea that a limited number of people may have suggested to remain in the single market would be easier that it actually would have been. It wouldn't have been impossible but we would have had to pay for it. I still not sure Boris ever said that though, I think he said he'd like to do so but back away when the cost was mention. And it's can't see it was worse than the daily "economic apocalypse is nigh" pronouncements that the remain side indulged in. It was a cheap campaign all round for me.

evilthecat:

Sonmi:
It's your country, it's their country, unity means building a country that is better for both of you.

No. It's their country. If it is "our" country, then it was "our" country before the referendum too. People rejected that country, they proclaimed loudly and vociferously that they wanted "their" country back. If my country was not also their country, then their country is not my country. If people like me are going to be condemned as "urban elites" or "enemies of the people", then that's a hat I can frankly wear. I have no problem being an enemy of these people.

And the [as yet undisclosed location of EviltheCat on the political spectrum] wonders why no one votes for them... No compromise [valedictory name for people of similar political persuasion], I am RIGHT. :) EDIT- ninja'd by Somni.

QuiteEnjoyed2016:
And the far left wonder why no one votes for them... No compromise Comrades, I am RIGHT. :)

I don't think evilthecat is "far left", though.

But yeah, I agree that that statement was ridiculous.

Sonmi:

QuiteEnjoyed2016:
And the far left wonder why no one votes for them... No compromise Comrades, I am RIGHT. :)

I don't think evilthecat is "far left", though.

Oh, sorry, EviltheCat! It was the vehemence, I assumed. It was meant to be a glib giggle but looks a bit mean in retrospect. I'll edit.

That is much better, good job mate.

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