Brexit fever

On a mission to round up British votes for the EU referendum

LAST UPDATED: 18 Mar, 2016 @ 10:39
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giles column (2)WITH Brexit fever sweeping the UK, the Foreign Office decided to dispatch Britain’s Ambassador to Spain, the always-engaging Simon Manley, to the British Consulate in Malaga.

Ambassador Manley was on a mission to ensure that all expats who are entitled get to vote in what he called a once-in-a-generation opportunity.

As befitting such a momentous event, the mandarins at the Foreign Office decided to invite a carefully-selected band of distinguished members of the Press for an informal, yet vitally important briefing.

Somehow, an invitation to the above event dropped through my email letterbox and landed on the virtual doormat.

(As an aside, did you know that the French for kitten is ‘Chaton´? As in ‘The cat chaton the mat’…)

Obviously the Foreign Office wasn’t aware that my journalistic and broadcasting credentials aren’t the most traditional when it comes to interviewing ambassadors.

Up until last year I had a regular Saturday Night Rock show, and previous interview subjects have included 80s Page Three goddess Samantha Fox (who didn’t know what silicone was) and bad boy actors Danny Dyer and Tamer Hassan (which ended in a looooong night out and a firm friendship.

Tattoos were mentioned at one stage, but it was all a bit blurry).

But an invitation is an invitation, so I threw off the Van Halen T shirt, threw on a suit and headed across to Malaga. Plus, as it was an Ambassadorial event, I reasoned that there might be a Ferrero Rocher or two on offer.

Those of a certain age might remember the advert that claimed Ambassador’s parties weren’t complete without the aforementioned chocolates…

I haven’t been to Malaga for a while, and made the fatal mistake of missing my turn to the Consulate.

The city’s fiendish one-way system finally spat me out by the semi-Guggenheimesque conference centre and it took half and hour of frantic rat runs and back-street driving (and in my seven seater 4×4 nicknamed ´The Tank´, that’s not for the faint hearted) to get back to my original destination.

Ambassador Manley was unruffled by my late and somewhat frazzled appearance, as you would expect from Our Man in Madrid, and seamlessly explained what the Foreign Office was advising (In a nutshell, go online ASAP and register).

He even managed to bat away my ludicrous suggestion that British aircraft carriers might moor off the coast to evacuate expats if Britain voted to leave the EU.

“I don’t think our aircraft carriers would be ready in time” he replied, with a slightly weary smile.

Briefing over, Ambassador Manley headed to catch the AVE back to Madrid (and probably more serious questions than mine).

While I took the opportunity to use all the journalistic skills that I have honed over 25 years of living in Marbella.

Within minutes I was getting stuck in to the Ambassadorial buffet table.

Alas, no Ferrero Rocher chocolates were on offer…



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81 COMMENTS

  1. So,
    the public schoolboys at the FO are spending tax payers money to urge expats to vote IN because that is what this is all about.

    Sadly, had the British electorate been told in no uncertain terms what ‘Freedom of Capital and Labour’ really meant in the 70s’ we would never have joined and never abandoned the Commonwealth countries of which so many are resource rich – so it goes.

    Remember how the CBI warned of dire consequences if we did’nt join the Euro.

  2. Well said Stuart. The CBI are not known as the ‘Confederation of British Idiots’ for nothing, and I hear that some or most of their funding comes directly from the EU via Brussels. Talk about incestuous and vested interests in preaching the Project Fear message for Cam0ron.

    To strengthen the OUT campaign, 50 illegals were found in 2 lorries in Kent last night, one at the Dartford Bridge and another at Canterbury, makes you wonder how many others are not found spreading throughout the UK which cannot possibly control it’s borders. All on top of the million illegals that Cam0ron and Co have lost in the country. No doubt a smattering of terrorists amongst them.

    We’re doomed Cap’n!

  3. O.P. I posted a comment which you’ve not published, agreeing with Stuart and adding more. Not for the 1st time have you been selective with people’s comments without reason! Last time you suggested it may be a spam filter.

  4. “To strengthen the OUT campaign, 50 illegals were found in 2 lorries in Kent last night, one at the Dartford Bridge and another at Canterbury”

    Immigration has to be controlled, of course, but the “closing” of borders does not automatically stop these attempts at entering the country illegally. The borders were already closed to these people Mike, but they still managed to get through border control by hiding themselves in lorries. Immigrants were also landing by dinghy at the beaches close to Dover – how do you stop that? People will still try to smuggle themselves in if the borders are officially “closed”, or not.

    Fact is that the UK never gave up control of its borders in the first place – the UK didn’t sign the Schengen agreement, remember? If anything, leaving the EU could make the immigrant problem worse, since the border would not be Calais, but instead Dover (as negotiated by the so-called EU Dublin regulation). If Brexit occurs then the UK will, ironically, have to do a deal with the EU to keep the Dublin regulation in place. The UK needs to examine why it is a magnet for immigrants, and why for example, Spain is not. Spain is in the EU and does not have this issue, so why can’t the UK replicate that? Mike, please tell us why the UK is a magnet for these illegal immigrants.

    • Fred, of course you know exactly why the UK is a magnet for migrants but I will tell you again, The Labour Party, The Project and benefits in that order. Yes, Bliar’s Labour government decided they wanted to change the way we live and ‘The Project’ (the brainchild of Alastair Campbell and Peter Mandelson) was born but you know that don’t you? They deliberately set out to make the UK as attractive as possible to migrants (from the sub continent in particular) and rarely deported anyone, even if they were a criminal. They even paid benefits to failed asylum seekers. Word got around and the UK became an attractive place for migrants to come. The Labour Party don’t deny any of this.

      Their ‘idea’ was to make the UK truly multicultural and “rub the Right’s nose in diversity and render their arguments out of date” – ideas like yours Mike about controlled immigration so I hope you didn’t vote for them.

      The worm has well and truly turned in the UK and the wet, limp wristed New Labour views are completely and utterly out of fashion now and Blair is the most hated person in Britain.

      Fred is right about border control. We have always had control of our borders and the only difference leaving the EU would make to that would be the right to refuse entry and of course the automatic right to reside and work in other member states. I doubt EU members would be able to enter with only ID cards either. There is a strong possibility that the border would be moved from Calais to Dover if we leave.

      Spain doesn’t have any benefits so it is not attractive to migrants and most of them don’t stay in Spain. They don’t have a free health service and they are not bogged down with a load of naff political correctness either so that helps. There is also the language – the vast majority of the world has English as their second language.

      • Don’t you think Jane, that it’s getting a bit wearing, still blaming Labour for all ills? The Scum party is now in it’s second go-round (about seven years) and has had every chance to alter the status quo. With the assistance of Nosferatu Duncan Smith, British benefits have been slaughtered, even for the natives. So, if these confused people are still believing the lies trumpeted by the Right-Wing media, there will not be much down for them after they fall out of the lorry or stumble up the beach. It is idiotic to conflate illegal immigration with EU freedom of movement. One has nothing to do with the other.
        As for the lack of illegal immigrants in Spain, what do you think the “Looky Looky” men are? They being the most visible, the other invisible army are grafting in the plastic jungles in semi-slavery. Do you really believe the Straits of Gibraltar is no longer thriving with loaded rubber boats? Or that Ceuta and Melilla are not being constantly bombarded by attempted illegals?
        The massive shift of humanity from South to North, is driven mostly by wars, provoked and fed by the Military Industrial Complex of all stripes, American, British and now Russian. War is more profitable than peace, humanity is mere chaff in that endeavour. They flee in terror and the fears of us “comfortable” ones helps those with their own agendas, to demonise those poor souls. It’s too easy, lazy and trite to maintain the myth of wholesale “economic migration”

  5. Never have voted Labour Jane and it’s doubtful I ever would. That said, Cam0ron and Co are so out of touch with most Brits, Fred I wish I could tell you the reason why the UK is a magnet for them, not that I mentioned that, I assume it’s still the belief that benefits Britain is in their heads. Spain has a much larger land mass but doesn’t seem to have that problem. Why are they in numbers in Calais for example, most say to get to the UK?

    Yes the borders were closed Fred, trouble is, they were also ‘open’ lol, closed borders mean nothing in the UK, how many get in to the UK daily that aren’t discovered at Canterbury or Dartford? More Police guard Cam0ron, Osborne, and their Ministers, than guard Kent’s coast, Kent where I’ve lived is open to migrants, little known fact is last year, coastguard and customs were out from Dover to Rye East Sussex on numerous occasions picking up people (not Brits) on the beaches, lots are picked up along the M20, M2 and in Kent rail tunnels walking to London!! There are diddly squat border controls, Cam0ron hasn’t a clue!

    BTW Jane, Blair maybe still is the most hated person in Britain, belligerent out of touch Cam0ron is not far behind, many staunch Tories cannot stand the man! Successive Gov’ts took the GREAT out of Britain years ago. Red, Blue, a little Yellow, are all the same, T0ssers if they get in!

    Whatever the issues are, migrant routes make easy access for terrorists! Discovering more illegals is meat and drink for the OUT campaign and it is how I will vote too.

    • “closed borders mean nothing in the UK”

      Mike, I think that statement pretty much undoes the claim that raising the borders (whatever that really means) would not stop this problem outright. Immigrants will still arrive in Dover for a long time after any possible Brexit, indeed the average illegal immigrant will not even think the issue is relevant to them (if they even know at all, that is). As for the UK being a magnet, it will be a very difficult thing to undo. To get that out of the mindset of the migrant is going to be the hardest task of all. Not being in Schengen and being part of the Dublic accord, the UK has actually had more control of its borders than most other EU countries, yet has failed miserably on the issue. Can’t blame the EU for all of that. Blame successive UK governments.

  6. Jane G,
    very true your words but you have to admit that Tony the Liar and Gordon Gekko are’nt really Democratic Socialists or Socialists are they?

    The other half of your story surely has to include employers and the BTL crowd who rubbed their hands with glee as the millions arrived. As far as I’m concerned all those who brought this situation into being without a mandate from the British people are traitors and we know what the penalty for treason used to be and should be again.

    Just as when the British were ‘allowed’ to vote one way or another over EU membership but not told the most important facet of this business orientated structure, so we should have been given this choice over mass immigration, we were’nt – it’s something called democracy – rule by the people, for the people and most importantly of the people. If the democratic vote had been for multi-culturalism then as a democrat I would have had to accept it, like it or not.

  7. There is an article on the BBC website giving some of the reasons people want to go to the UK. Makes interesting reading.
    “http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-33268521”

    • Interesting article. In summary, for the benefit of the reader, immigrants cite these issues as making the UK a good place for them to go:

      1) Benefits
      2) Housing
      3) Healthcare and education
      4) Illegal work
      5) Existing communities
      6) The economy
      7) Likelihood of gaining refugee status
      8) Detection

      If you look at each in turn, it quickly becomes apparent that the EU has little bearing on many of these issues. The article states “In 2008, the Labour government started to introduce biometric compulsory identity cards for foreign nationals from outside the European Economic Area (EEA). The Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition of 2010 to 2015 did not scrap this” so why aren’t all the immigrants outside the EEA being identified? That is a failing of UK governments. Refugee status is again controlled by UK the government. Benefits, housing and healthcare/education are also UK government created policies. As for the economy, it’s booming says the Chancellor (all his work lol).

      As others have said, it is the UK that has made itself “immigrant friendly”. What does Brexit have to do with this? The Brexit campaign has become solely about immigration, and is really seeking a quick fix to problems that the UK itself created. How can the EU be blamed for the issues that the immigrants mentioned in the article?

      • Hope that answers Stefanjo reason why immigrants wish to visit the UK. Nothing about leaving war torn country’s but the attraction of benefits supplied by the British tax payers.

        • No it doesn’t Ham. It merely lists the lies and confusion these poor fools have been led to believe. Lies propagated by those with an agenda to mix all problems into the same Brexit pot.

          • To clarify, my point was that the 8 issues raised in the article are largely nothing to do with the EU. Leaving the EU does not address, nor solve, the majority of the issues raised in the article. Blaming the EU for the UKs failure in stopping illegal immigration is a classic error.

        • Ham, to suggest that people have left Syria and Afghanistan primarily to come to the UK to get benefits is not based in reality. The European Union is grappling with the largest mass migration in Europe since WWII. The conflict in Syria has displaced millions of people. The risk of death for both staying put and/or attempting such a perilous journey to Europe, would suggest to me that preserving the lives of themselves and their families is the immigrants first concern (if one is specifically talking about “war torn countries”).

          • Fred and Stefanjo. I didn’t mention the EU, Syria or Afghanistan. Fred the article you posted didn’t mention any of those, but immigrants, and the eight points mentioned did not cover people fleeing from war torn country’s but for the attraction of benefits on offer in the UK. Which are you discussing immigrants or refugees.

          • “I didn’t mention the EU, Syria or Afghanistan.”

            The original post was about the BBC article. I replied, listing the 8 reasons mentioned in the article that migrants themselves mentioned as to why they wanted to come to the UK. I didn’t say which _type_ of migrant, because the article already tells you that. It mentions Syria and Afghanistan, for example. Clearly, the migrants will be those who do not have freedom of movement in the EU (EU member state migrants).

            You then said “Hope that answers Stefanjo reason why immigrants wish to visit the UK. Nothing about leaving war torn country’s but the attraction of benefits supplied by the British tax payers.”

            This answer can be interpreted a few different ways, but I interpreted it as meaning that people are fleeing war torn countries because they are attracted to the benefits, and then I said that I disagreed with that as the _principle_ reason as to why they are fleeing, as that would surely be because they want to preserve their lives first and foremost (receiving benefits requires one to be alive first) and in that case I am referring to the people mentioned in the article, who come from Syria and Afghanistan, for example. I acknowledge that some people will not be coming from war-torn countries, for example Pakistan (although it is in total chaos).

            So yes, the people did not mention what they were fleeing and that is a poor bit of journalism on the BBC’s part, but the article is entitled “Would Calais migrants really be better off in the UK?” – it does elude to what they are fleeing from, and in the case of the war-torn countries, they are fleeing because of war. That was my point. Now, we are back to the old “why is the UK is a migrant magnet” (and whatever the reason for that is, it’s not the EU’s fault just for the record.)

  8. Stuart, I agree what you said about the Commnwealth. The U.K. Sold them down the river. The British Caribbean was particularly badly hit with much of the banana trade decimated. Preference being given to trade from French banana plantations.

    First get out of the failing EU then get rid of Cameron.

    • Then we will all have bananas. Brit, patriotic ones. Straight ones, to comply with our new trade agreements with those European foreigners.

  9. Stefanjo, in the normal scheme of things, I would agree with your point about blaming previous governments but mass immigration and changes to welfare are difficult to reverse and the Labour Party knew this when they implemented them. Immigrants accrue rights meaning it is easier for them to get extended family into the country which is why it has been so difficult to keep the non-EU numbers down. Gordon Brown’s tax credits are a huge attraction because people know that once they have claimed asylum/gained legal entry into the UK, they can get a low paid job and have it topped up with tax credits and housing benefit. Reversing these benefits is hugely controversial as we have found out and Brown knew it would be. In many cases, tax credits are subsidising companies and mean they can get away with paying lower wages at the taxpayers’ expense. Raising the minimum wage might help to address this issue.

    I’ve spoken to several ‘looky looky’ men on the CDS who have been keen to speak to us when they realise we are English and all have said they want to move to the UK – I wonder how many end up in Calais? There is very little work in Spain, the wages are low and benefits are virtually non-existent so it is not attractive for them. Spain hasn’t had anything like the huge volume of immigration that the UK has had in recent years.

    Stuart, mass immigration was a constitutional change and we should have been offered a referendum but the Labour Party knew it was hugely controversial and tried to keep it under wraps as much as they could. We all know it would have been a “no” vote though don’t we.

    Immigration (and mindless diktats from Brussels) is very much at the heart of the EU referendum and although much of the UK immigration over the past 15 years or so has been from non-EU countries, it has muddied the waters and turned most people off it altogether. That is why we are where we are and facing this referendum. It’s time to grow up and have a proper debate about it instead of gagging people and accusing them of being ‘racist’ every time it comes up.

    JL, interesting link.

    • you’re doing it again Jane. Slyly mixing illegal immigration with EU freedom of movement. Illegal immigrants are detained then removed. If they do qualify as refugees, they quite rightly, under international obligations, are allowed to become citizens.Britain is a compassionate country (or used to be) and gives succour to people in fear of death or torture at home.
      EU freedom of movement may well need addressing, but is a completely different kettle of fish.

      • Mixing EU freedom of movement and non-EU immigration is precisely what I have NOT done, I have made myself perfectly clear and you know it.

        Give it up, you know full well that previous Labour governments deliberately promoted mass immigration from non-EU countries and you have no answer for it. They didn’t publish their intentions in any of their election manifestos and they did not have a mandate from the British people and your party are now in the political wilderness because of it.

        The fact is, the British public are now sick of immigration full stop and now want much tighter controls and unfortunately this has made them less tolerant of EU freedom of movement as well as non-EU immigration.

        • Firstly Jane, Labour isn’t “my” party. I don’t have one and won’t have, until a party of true equality and fairness comes along.
          Second, of course you keep conflating legal with illegal movement. Read the last para. of your previous post, WHAT immigration from WHICH non-EU countries?
          It’s either legal or illegal, it can’t be both. As for you speaking for “the British public” perhaps you should ask them all first. The real fact is, immigration is being used as a big emotive stick, wielded by some of the most vicious, self-serving politicians in the British political world.
          Looking forward to Boris the big boss? Because that’s who you’ll get.

          • You really are getting yourself tied up in knots. It’s the Labour Party who should have asked the British public to sanction The Project, not me.

            Trying to make a point out of whether immigration is EU or non-EU, legal or illegal is splitting hairs. Had all forms of immigration been controlled properly in the first place and the UK benefits system not been geared up to deliberately attract immigration, we would not be in this situation now.

            Immigration rates as the number one concern for most Brits – don’t take my word for it, do your own research. I think you will find that the majority want to limit all types of immigration and want to deport all illegal immigrants immediately and not let it drag on as it has in the past. Who says this makes them bad people? It is their right and their privilege to be able to voice their views on immigration in a free society.

            You will find it very difficult to sell your ‘No Borders’ rhetoric, there’s no appetite for it right now.

  10. ‘solely about immigration’? Immigration is probably the main concern but there are others, many Brits are peed off with the fact that the UK gives £11 billion more to the EU than it receives each and every year and issues such as how many new hospitals could this go to in one year, another year could repair all UK roads, housing issues for Brits etc. Just the feeling that the UK once known as GREAT Britain has become ‘little britain’ subservient to its EU masters to a great extent.

    Saw a businessman on tv in East London yesterday (smoke salmon producer) who wants out of the EU because, wait for it, he has been ‘commanded’ to put a small label on the back of his packets saying they contain smoke salmon although they are clearly marked on the front and the clear panel shows what it is. This increases his costs. Many EU directives are laughable! Thank goodness we didn’t adopt the Euro!

    Marion and Stuart I posted in agreement with Marion’s post above about selling the Commonwealth down the river etc, but O.P. again have not published it, they must think its spam again! lol

    • Mike, whenever I read about Brexit, it is nearly always talked about in terms of the immigration and the borders issue. However, as pointed out above, the EU is not responsible for the UK’s failings in terms of immigration and emigration. Britain has closed borders, it has a no undesired entry, no free movement of people, no Schengen, no visa no entry etc. It has all that and successive Conservative governments have failed to halt or reverse the problems.

      Agreed, there are some daft EU regulations, but then there are some good ones too, for example food hygiene, clean water and beaches, mobile roaming charges, cheaper air fares, and many other things that we just take for granted. Regarding the “smoked salmon” labels, the UK is not being singled out; the same laws on food labels apply in Spain and France etc too.

      Regarding the £11bn, what about the EU rebate? What about the EU funds that are paid back to the UK in the form of things like the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund etc? The UK may be paying around £5bn per annum to be in the EU, but just look at the amount needed to service the UK debt – around £1bn per week I recall. Compared to that, EU membership is peanuts. The EU needs reform, big reform, but difficult to do that when you are not a part of it. Splendid isolation may end up being not so splendid after all.

  11. Question from a non- Brit: Are Commonwealth citizens given any immigration advantage over non-Commonwealth immigrants? If so, would this contribute to the border control problems?

  12. Fred,
    in 40 years of membership just how much positive change has occurred. Lot’s of negative ones – the almost 100% vote for a tax spiv like Junker to be president. The refusal to accept a no vote from both the French and Irish, so another vote was held and they would have had a third and a fourth and how ever many it took for the Brussels mafia to get their way.

    For over 40 years huge subsidies have disappeared into the pockets of the corrupt – no change there. CAP – great for the big farmers and and agribusiness and also good for small farmers suicides – no change there.

    Free movement of capital and labour – good for big business but small business – getting wiped out by the day. Enlargement of the EU good for who exactly – big business.

    Now tell me how Britain remaining is going to change the EU – straight forward provable data please, no vague promises or projections – any IN campaigners feel free to step in with data to support your position – no b/s allowed.

    • I know one thing for sure, and that is that Britain cannot change the EU if it is not part of it. However, I concede that the task of changing the EU is no easy task. The UK has been overruled on just about every motion it has raised going back decades. You know that I’m no big fan of how the EU is run currently. I’ve mentioned time and time again about its failure to be properly audited, its corruption, and the mismanagement. It needs massive reform. As a concept, the EU has some good parts. Member states all communicating under a single umbrella can only be a good thing, and I believe it has assisted in retaining peace in Europe, and it surely must have surely contributed something towards intelligence/security (although there is never going to be 100% security, as we have seen recently). I agree with you about Junker and about the ridiculous multiple votes to get no-vote resolutions overturned – not democratic. The recent blackmail by Turkey over immigrants also shows that the EU is not yet the fully integrated and “everyone working together” ideal that is strives to be (it’s not a bad thing to strive for though).

      So, if I vote to stay in it will be a personal decision, because it benefits my business and family, and indeed my very existence in Europe. Currently, with free movement, the EU does benefit me. Some countries level of integration is vastly better than others. Spain is an example of poor integration and a totally frustrating experience on all fronts. Since the UK leaving is a precedent (not counting Greenland who left when the world was such a different place) we have uncertainty, and that will be the issue on which people ultimately decide, I think. No one likes uncertainty, and if the EU does eventually disintegrate I worry about who will stand up to people like Putin, indeed even George Soros said that the Syria war was Putin’s way of destabilizing the EU. I have no “provable” data to show you, just as you have none to show me. If only we could, at the drop of a hat, prove which things are right and wrong, or good and bad. The EU is a highly complex entity and the simple ‘in/out’ referendum question is far too simplistic. We need to remember that the referendum is about the UK leaving; it is not about the viability of the EU itself. That is a different question entirely and the UK stands alone in that respect.

  13. The EU is past reforming, will probably collapse anyway. It is disintegrating already, borders going up, share of world markets going down. Fudging the budget limits again, Spain’s debt is about to reach 100% Some countries refusing to take their share of migrants, others like Spain agreeing quotas but to date have taken just 18! UK abides by the rules and is penalised.

        • I agree Stefanjo, that’s why Europe are using barbed wire, just as effected I suppose. Trump’s banning of Muslims appears to be a start until they check those that will be allowed in, then sort out the other 11 million or so other illegal aliens not forgetting the other millions that are legally there. Unfortunately Europe did not do the same although the UK did at one time, a work permit if you had a job to go to.

  14. Fred, whenever ‘you read about Brexit’ it is nearly always about immigration and border issues, but my point is that is not the ‘only’ issue, there are lots more. There aren’t some daft EU regulations there are loads of daft regulations that cost businesses money.

    A major issue with immigration and being told to take more migrants is that when you break the UK down into separate countries, England with over 400 people per sq km is I believe the most densely populated of all countries. England along with much of the UK is groaning at the seams with poor infrastructure, crumbling NHS etc Blighty is too small to keep taking migrants.

    Schengen still affects the UK despite the UK not in it, that’s why migrants are camped in Calais because they’ve had free movement to get there.

    The EU is not positive for Britain, it’s been a mess for so many European nationalities, that’s why France, Holland and Czechoslovakia now want UK like referendums, people are fed up with it. As Stuart says, (subservient) Britain staying will not change the EU. Marion says the EU is past reforming, and so it is, an unmitigated money pit disaster. Look at Greece, and other Club Med a couple of years ago.

    I must correct myself re the smoked salmon London supplier, he wasn’t told to put ‘smoked salmon’ also on the back of his packets, he was told to put a label saying ‘contains fish’ pmsl!, costing him (his words) £1000’s in packaging changes. You couldn’t make it up, the EU is a laughing stock with it’s regulations, coming from overpaid freeloading tw4ts like Rumpy Pumpy etc! lol

  15. Mike, just love the ending to your post, a little hilarity is always a good idea.

    Fred, I don’t see Putin as a danger and it was the CIA pumping billions into the hands of the extreme right in Ukraine that caused that problem, when has the CIA ever supported democracy anywhere. It has always seen it’s job to support oligarchs, not democracy.

    It was’nt Putin that started the demonstrations in Syria, it was, yes the same crew, the CIA, same as Afghanistan and arming the Taliban. The Russians liberated the lives of Afghan women, that country was moving forward and the CIA pushed it back into the dark ages. Time to stop demonising Russia and stop the Americanisation of Europe, something that the EU has never once attempted to halt and soon will sign away the last vestige of independence with TTIP.

    I realise there are quite a few Europeans that like the ‘American Way’ that’s fine they can leave any time they like, Europe is not a prison. I also know many Americans that came to Europe and have no intention of leaving. The EU is hell bent on ‘standardisation’ as this is a more profitable way of doing business but did anyone ask the Europeans if that was what they wanted of course not, that’s democracy.

    • Stuart, in the Netherlands, where I reside part of the year, there is much anger at Russia and they would not share your belief that Putin is not a danger after MH17 was shot down (see the second Bellingcat reports’ findings). No more to say on Brexit except that I’ll gladly accept the will of the British people on June 23rd.

  16. I know the Netherlands well too, used to work in Den Haag and still have lots of friends there. A poll there showed a majority wants a referendum too.

    Russia is just another issue cobbled together by project fear. If anything Russia feels threatened by the EU gathering up all the ex soviet block countries. EU caused the Ukraine mess by courting the Ukraine and encouraging the uprising. Why would the EU protect the UK from Russia, it takes them months to decide to do nothing, still having urgent meetings about immigration for over a year. Juncker et al are only good at organising photo shoots after another fruitless meeting that achieves nothing.

    Agree with Mike, Stuart, Jane. Too much to reply too.

    • The EU does not have an army Marion. How can they “protect” anyone? (Apart from sanctions on Russia, which are already in place.) Perhaps you are confusing it with the UN? Or NATO? The EU doesn’t “gather” anyone. Those countries are falling over themselves to join. None of them need their arms twisting.

  17. Fred,
    I don’t believe when it comes to wars and who makes them and for whose benefit. The Malaysian airliner – The Americans have always refused to release the satellite evidence as have Kiev air control with the radar info – why. If it backed up their position, it would all have been exposed to the world media later the same day, it was’nt -that’s good enough for me.

    When the Russians tried to send nuclear weapons to Cuba the USA threatened nuclear war but when the Americans started putting cruise missiles into Poland,Romania and as they wanted into the Ukraine, the Russians should do nothing yes.

    Don’t forget that Reagan and Thatcher deliberately drove down the price of oil to break the Soviets, that our oil was sold for $10 p.b meant nothing to Thatcher. The only country to use nuclear weapons when they did’nt have to was – the USA.

    Marion, the Dutch have been hacked off for decades at how much they have to pay into the EU, knowing that that a big country like France was paying in nothing. They also know about all the EU funds grafted away in Spain and other southern European countries.

    Still miss the street markets in Den Haag, Delft and Rotterdam. I am lucky to have known the Waterlooplein markt in A’dam before it was ruined and turned into a concrete nothing, it was like entering a souk – happy days, when the Netherlands was one of the cheapest countries to live in.

  18. 1) Benefits
    2) Housing
    3) Healthcare and education
    4) Illegal work
    5) Existing communities
    6) The economy
    7) Likelihood of gaining refugee status
    8) Detection

    ”Nothing to do with the EU”, Being in the EU we have to treat foreigners the same as our own, out of the EU we could give zero benefits and there would not be the pull factor, benefits that include tax credits for low paid workers – £10k a year, child benefit, housing benefit, the list will go to things I do not even know about, top this up and top that up. Out of the EU we would not have to give these benefits that run to many billions per year and we would only have to give working visas to the people we require. Of course, in Span benefits for their own are almost non existent compared to the UK and they cut benefits after you have been claiming for a short while when out of work so the pull factor is not there.
    Turkey next to join EU, that alone is enough to make me want to leave.

    • Mark, if the migrant pull factor is not affecting Spain, as you say, why can’t the UK do what Spain does? Spain are in the EU and give very small benefits, so why can’t the UK emulate that? Is there something special about the UK? If so, that’s not the EU’s fault is it?. If you disagree, I’d appreciate it if you could please say why. I am talking about benefits here only btw.

  19. Taking other issues aside for the moment, I really think that the question of Turkey joining the EU is a huge concern for everyone bearing in mind it appears to be Turkey that many terrorists use to access the other member States. IMO I think the EU will live to regret ever allowing Turkey in and being predominantly muslim and being in the EU will eventually allow them to gain nationality in member states and live anywhere in the EU I think, a huge population too so it won’t be 10’s of 1000’s coming as Camoron lied to the Brits, but many 100’s of 1000’s even millions. If and when that happens, the Far Right, Nationalist groups would rise up and there could be mayhem. Now I’m not labelling all muslims because many are decent people but those with ulterior motives using migration to ply their evil. How big is the terrorist network of evil muslims is absorbed within France and Belgium, as well as the UK and other EU countries?

    Will the Cypriot issue between Greece and Turkey veto Turkey’s membership? I member I believe is all that’s needed?

    • Calm down Mike. It’s not going to happen. In fact, talk of the possibility is part of the Brexit immigrant fear campaign. It’s their most important weapon, the more they can add to the paranoia, the better they like it.

      • @ Stephanjo do try and understand the difference between talking about an issue on here and being as you say not ‘calm’.

        You should also be made aware that its the ‘in’ campaign that is really spreading Project fear paranoia in the UK. They really are a nasty bunch of liars and scaremongers!

        • Sorry Mike. Just trying to reassure you on your fears about Turkey. It really won’t happen you know and Jane, you won’t have to wear a burka or be subject to Sharia law. It aint going to happen. And Chas, leave ’em alone and they’ll leave you alone. It’s all just the latest frightener being put on people as the Outers adopt the fear campaign, that they accuse the Remainers of utilising.

          • Already told you Stefanjo that it is the ‘in’ campaign who are the conveyers of Project Fear and lies.

            Government (Tory) figures given for net migration to the UK to September last year 323,000 lol That’s why the Tory Project Fear mongers have been asked to give the true figures e.g. those who applied for NI numbers but so far will not provide them, because the figure is reckoned on nearer double what Tory boys are saying and they know it will scare the hell out of the Brits. Oh, and the little matter of a million illegals that have been lost in hiding in the UK, and that’s before we get true figures for the rest of the Eurozone.

  20. Fred, one of my friends had paid to the Spanish system for over 2 years and I think he was allowed to claim for 5 months and then he received nothing. If you look at the recent cuts Osbourne tried to get through in the UK, a cut to welfare payments for the able bodied was turned down in the Lords so I would say that is one reason why we cannot be like Spain, I expect the related families help out in Spain as well.

    • You make it sound like money for dossers was restored in The Lords Mark. Not remotely the case. It was cuts to WORKING people’s tax credits that was blocked . You know, the subsidies to tight-wad employers?
      The other attempt by Bumnose on cripples, was stopped by his mate Duncan Smith, when he spit his dummy out, resigning, pretending he cared about the disabled, when he was only using it as part of his Brexit strategy.
      It can’t be beyond the wit of man to restrict welfare payments of foreign workers, while preserving those of the indigenous population.

    • Mark, yes I understand the Spanish system having worked here and employed people, like yourself. If, as you say, the issue was made by the Lords, then this is a UK decision. So in this case the UK is making it favorable for migrants. I am just trying to make the point that the EU may allow free movement from EU member states, but the EU does not set the level of benefit for migrants (which are in themselves a cause of the magnet affect for migrants).

  21. Fred,
    inside the EU if the benefits were cut for migrants, they would be cut for Brits as well. Black labour as the Dutch call it was used by them to undercut British yards for building platforms and rigs for the North Sea oilfields. Everyone knew it was happening including Brussels and the EU did nothing.

    Black labour is good for business. It is incredible that business is allowed to pay miserable wages that are then made up by the chumps who actually pay taxes. This has been going on for far too long.

    Where I totally agree with you is that this is the deliberate fault of the political parties in the UK and not the EU.

    I firmly believe that if there is a Brexit that the Nasties with the help of the limp wristed Labour party will push and push even harder to erode the last of the gains made just after WW11. Maybe, just maybe the impotent moaners like stefanjo may just find some balls and change things but as nothing is guaranteed in such a struggle it may well deter the cowards but it might just be a tipping point – vamos a ver.

    Mike, a lot of Brits if asked to state where in Europe various countries are hav’nt got a clue, being the worst educated and inarticulate in Europe. So these British plebs hav’nt got a clue just how dangerous for Europe it would be to let the Turks in.

    Having a very good friend who was a Turkish post grad student I knew in the 70s’ just how violent and controlling the Turkish establishment was and nothing has changed. Turkey like many other Muslim countries faces a nightmare in the future – population explosion. Their average age is 24, Erdogan says that any Turkish woman who does’nt produce at least 3 children is a traitor and he is determined to bring in Sharia Law. Fast forward – who is going to pay the pensions of all the future pensioners – any rational answers – thought not.

    Check out the maternity units at any British hospital and you will find they are completely overworked. Now check out the origin of the mothers to be – by a margin they will be Muslim and Catholic and not of British origin.

    Anglo-Saxon capitalism can only survive with growing markets. If the population starts going into reverse it will collapse very quickly, that is why you keep hearing about ‘growth’ which is completely unsustainable, add robotisation into this mix and there is a nightmare just around the corner.

    We do not need immigrants form anywhere we need to be instituting population control. Virtually all the world’s problems come from population explosion. Bringing in people who are indoctrinated from birth that it is god’s will to keep on having children backed by by the likes Erdogan and the Pope is a surefire recipe for religious and racial strife. Germans know only too well from history about religious conflict – their Thirty Year War between Catholics and Protestants taught them that.
    The stupid multi-culturists, people who mainly have irrelevant occupations, that are’nt touched or threatened by immigrants cannot/will not see where their theoretical end game finishes but others can – it’s bloody and it most certainly won’t be pretty.

    A Brexit gives both the Brits and the mainlanders a chance to sort things out – there will be no room for cowards, there never has been.

    • Yes, population is a response to world crises, whereas breeding for a deity’s glory is a response derived from religious . So is the idealist social notion that breeding an ideological/religious pure whole is possible or desirable.
      EU problem solving must be based on weighing of realistic possibilities, and not insistence of implementing abstract doctrine.
      Human practicalities necessitate immigration control despite the warmth offered by even well-meaning political elites. Because immigrants are of a different category than indigenous peoples. Thus, with the exception of extreme humanitarian cases, immigrants necessitate different approaches to governmental subsidies than indigenous working people who are underpaid or unemployed as a result of bad state policies. The statement that is true in many respects, but not absolutely so. At least, that is how most countries’ leaders view the problem.

      • Important words dropped from posting.
        – Yes, population is a – rational – response to world crises, whereas breeding for a deity’s glory is a – formal – response..
        – The statement that all peoples are equal is true in many respects, but not absolutely so. At least, that is how most countries’ leaders view the problem. –

  22. Mike and Stuart, a lot of Brits are dead against Turkey joining the EU because it has a huge population and is predominantly muslim. Stuart, you make some interesting points about Turkish culture and I would add that as a woman, I am not prepared to welcome a culture that treats women like second class citizens and baby machines, why should I? I know someone who met a Turkish bloke on holiday (about 16 years ago now) who foolishly could not see the significance of how differently he and his twin sister were treated. He was out and about working in bars, wearing normal clothes while his sister was stuck at home with their old mum wearing a headscarf. Needless to say, she found out the hard way once he moved to the UK, took half her house equity and dumped her. Women are not treated as equals in islamic countries and this is not an isolated case.

    Fred, the UK benefits system is a major stumbling block in this debate but have you seen what happens when the government tries to make any changes? The current system is wide open to abuse and in many cases, tax credits are subsidising large companies who pay low wages. Now people are dependent on these benefits but there are too many add-ons and the whole thing has become a nightmare. Dave quite rightly tried to negotiate a deal whereby the UK didn’t have to pay benefits to newly arrived EU migrants but Juncker (a complete wazzock in my opinion) wasn’t having any of it and neither were many of the other EU leaders. The reforms he did get don’t cut it for most people and that is yet another reason why so many just want out. You could argue that the UK has made a rod for its own back on this one – most of the other EU countries don’t have this problem because they don’t have anything like the same level of benefits or free health service.

    I think benefits paid to foreign workers, immigration (most people either can’t or won’t make a distinction between EU and non-EU immigation, they just don’t want any more full stop) and mindless diktats from Brussels are the main reasons for people wanting out.

    • Jane G,
      I agree, social integration is the problem. I have known several families – one Turkish Albanians, the other Palestinian and several others. The families are very kind, generous and helpful even to non-believers, as part of their religious beliefs. But it sometimes seems more by duty than by complete acceptance. I am always aware that I am not a person as their group defines.
      Socially, (as opposed to business run by the men), the extended families have nothing to do with non-believers if it can be avoided.
      Both insist there is nothing undemocratic about sharia law. This indicates to me that there is little interest or understanding of anything about British, Continental or N American culture except economic opportunity. Professions are chosen for their children which give economic power, but do not demand liberal arts or humanities courses. When asked about Western philosophy, the arts, etc., both respond that -everything- is in the Quoran.
      Since our cultures – and there are many things to legitimately criticize – hold no importance except the economic, because we are outsiders to them in their new host country because we have open minds, one does really wonder how any real, solid social integration can take place. While I have never been treated rudely by the people I describe, I do wonder if there is a point or crisis at which I would be dismissed as not significant.
      Middle Eastern countries make immigration mainly impossible, and other countries expect would-be immigrants to learn Western value systems, perhaps, it is a good idea to insist on rigorous instruction in democratic values before immigrants are accepted. If people prefer to live under sharia law, that is ok – but not undermining democracy and women’s and children’s rights as they do in the orthodox enclaves in UK, US, Canada and the Continent.

    • “most of the other EU countries don’t have this problem because they don’t have anything like the same level of benefits or free health service”

      Agreed Jane, so just to be clear, the attraction for migrants is the UK’s unique, and generous, benefits system, which other EU member states do not have. I would tend to agree with that, but the EU did not create the UKs benefits system. It’s a bit of a catch-22 to be honest, because it’s impossible to have this unique UK welfare system that then cannot be shared with “legal migrants”. Therein lays the crux of the problem. Brexit can only solve that issue if every migrant is banned from future entry. Is that really what Brexit is all about?

  23. Jane G,
    Yes, social integration and genuine acceptance of human rights for children and women is a serious problem in Turkey and other countries whose people want to escape to take advantage of Western economic and technological opportunities.
    The problem is how to deal with the contradictions:
    Turkish Albanian and Palestinian families I know are very kind, generous and helpful even to non-believers. But it does sometimes seems more by obligation than by actual friendship and acceptance. I remain aware that I am not a -person- as their group defines one. And I have never in ten years seen their wives and daughters. Socially, (as opposed to economically), these extended families do not socialize with non-believers except in business dealings, and never with their wives and daughters.
    Both families insist there is nothing undemocratic about sharia law, which suggests they have little interest or understanding of British, Continental or N American cultural contributions except as pertains to economic advantage. They choose professions for their children in technological fields that gives economic power, but do not encourage liberal arts or humanities courses which would make cultural demands and open young people’s minds. When asked about Western philosophy, the arts, etc., both respond that -everything- is in the Quoran; there is no need for Western culture, and quote the Quoran.
    Since our Western cultures seem to hold little importance other than economic opportunity, we are viewed as -outsiders- in our own countries which are now their new host countries. Apparently, this is because we have minds open to differences which their orthodoxy does not accommodate.
    One does really wonder how any real, solid social integration can take place without social and cultural participation. While I have never been treated rudely by the people I describe, I do wonder if there is a point or crisis at which I would be dismissed as not significant.
    I now think it is necessary to insist on rigorous instruction in democratic values, critical thinking and a basic understanding of humanistic traditions as a condition for entry in Western countries. If people prefer to live under sharia law, I think that is tragic for women and children forced to do so. But, of course, they can in their own countries.
    But sharia law erodes Western values, and attempts to undermine democracy and women’s and children’s rights in orthodox enclaves in UK, US, Canada and the Continent should not be tolerated.

    • Good post Chas. My view is that there are too many wet liberals trying to be all things to all people and everyone’s friend. The trouble is, a friend to everybody is a friend to nobody.

  24. I must make it clear, that there is a huge difference between city and country mentality in Turkey. Even though Erdogan was born and brought up in the roughest and toughest district of Instanbul he thinks and acts like the worst kind of country peasant.

    In the cities many are cosmopolitan and very un-Islamic to say the least. They don’t have large families and have open an democratic ideals. The problem is one of numbers, they are dwarfed by the badly educated fundamentalists. What you are seeing in Syria could well happen in Turkey as these modern minded young Turks, men and women will resist the fundamentalist Erdogan to introduce Sharia Law.

    It simply is’nt true that other countries in the EU don’t have equivalent benefit systems, many have far better ones – Netherlands,Germany, Sweden, Denmark, France where I live has far more generous unemployment benefit. But and it’s a big but, it’s much harder for foreigners to access these benefits.

    Not having an ID card is the root of much corruption in the UK and not only in the benefit system. It is insane the resistance to the introduction of ID, most is covertly supported by the legal parasites who would lose a lot of business if such a system was introduced. There are apparently some 12 million NI numbers that are fraudulent. Many Brits complain about paperwork in Spain and other countries within the EU, that’s because of the laissez faire system that sadly has applied for far too long in the UK.

    As Chas has so rightly said, many of the incomers have absolutely no desire to integrate and that includes not only Muslims but Catholics from Eastern Europe. I for one want a totally secular state and the destruction of all religious influence over the minds of children, which last point the religious freaks understand only too well will be their undoing and loss of power.

    If the EU collapses then membership of a new organisation must be conditional on absolutely no religious influence of any kind before membership can be considered.

    • “…simply is’nt true that other countries in the EU don’t have equivalent benefit systems, many have far better ones – Netherlands,Germany, Sweden, Denmark, France where I live has far more generous unemployment benefit. But and it’s a big but, it’s much harder for foreigners to access these benefits.”

      Then the UK needs to make their systems more difficult for foreigners to access and stop being the “magnet for migrants”. As for the ID scheme, they already have it, Stuart. See above: “In 2008, the Labour government started to introduce biometric compulsory identity cards for foreign nationals from outside the European Economic Area (EEA). The Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition of 2010 to 2015 did not scrap this.” I agree that the EU needs reform, but blaming it for things that are the failings of the UK is futile.

      • Fred, I agree that the UK needs to stop being taken for mugs but I’m afraid the whole system is badly structured, partly down to the Labour Party wanting to deliberately attract foreign workers. The NHS needs to get its act together too, they hardly ever charge for treating foreigners, God knows why.

        I think Stuart means that all UK citizens should have ID cards which I too think would be a good idea to help crack down on crime/fraud/health tourism/illegal immigrants.

        • Jane agreed that Labour’s original multicultural plan has caused more knock-on problems because family ties are one of the major reasons for the UKs “migrant magnet” affect. ID cards (for all) would be a good idea, but not sure if it would reduce the problems. As others have said, there could already be 1 million, or more, illegal immigrants in the UK and they are not interested in gaining an ID card, as they enter illegally, and then live and work off the grid, in their own networks.

  25. Fred,
    ID cards must be for everyone and on that point the UK is the only member of the EU that does’nt have them. If the EU really was a ‘union of states’ then it would have been obligatory for the UK to have introduced them upon entry, it was’nt.

    Every country that I know of in the EU has rent controls, except one. Again it was the job of the EU to enforce this upon the UK, it did’nt, why not – where is the union or community? With proper rent controls the BTL scum would have had to look for another parasitic way to make money.

    Whenever you look at what the EU does very rarely does it enforce unity on it’s members. And for all those who support the Nasty party do remember that they and they alone in Europe opposed anti -dumping measures against the Chinese – the Nasty party or the party of financial whores. Just how much will it cost financially to support the families of 40,000 – 15,000 directly and another 25,000 indirectly, not to mention the social cost and how much to take over from Tata for gratis, as there are no buyers – it’s a no brainer for all those who are’nt pimping for the Chinese.

    • Stuart, I thought it was mildly amusing that you now seem to be blaming the EU for not making the UK do something (regarding rent controls). But agreed, the EU is not really a “union” in so many ways, and this is something I’ve mentioned numerous times here. It’s a fact that member states are not forced to do many things, Spain being a classic example of that as it cherry picks the policies it implements. It’s certainly a complex project, and will have to be reformed into something more flexible if it is to survive.

  26. UK exports to the EU are down whilst up in the rest of the world. Three quarters of British businesses are small to medium sized and do not trade with Europe. 250 recently signed that they are voting to leave, including Dyson, the vacuum manufacturing company. Liam Fox wrote a good article yesterday if you can find it. Has some interesting facts.

    In Germany there has been calls to lower the minimum wage because the intake of migrants are even more unskilled than their own unskilled workforce. Out of the EU the UK could pick and choose which migrants needed and refuse entry to anyone not having a job.

    Germany, France, Netherlands etc. may have more generous benefits but only if you have paid in.

    • Good point, most countries don’t just let people waltz in and get free healthcare and God knows what else on day one either. The UK should have done more in the past to make sure there is a substantial qualifying period for everything. If you look into the finer detail, you realise Brits have been mugs and word has got out, that is why it is a magnet.

      • Yes Jane. The migrants get all the information on their latest smartphones. Let’s get out of the EU. Kick out Cameron and get a PM with a backbone.

  27. There was an item in the news yesterday that totally supports what I said about maternity units being swamped by immigrant women – the cost to the NHS was £1.3 billion.

    Chas asked a question about Commonwealth citizens. Unfortunately there are lots of Aussies and Kiwis working in the UK illegally, yet it is really difficult to obtain a work visa for UK citizens in their countries, time for change there as well – no one pays attention to the weak, only the strong and like all the corruption heaped upon innocent property purchasers from abroad in Spain, Britain has only ever had namby pamby limp wristed governments that nave never protected their rights.

    Fred, if the EU really existed for the benefit of the many over the few it would have from day one:
    Accepted Esperanto as a unifying language or created a new one.
    It would have insisted for democratic reasons, Proportional Representation as a founding principle for all States
    Imposed rent controls for all States.
    All member states to be secular with absolutely no religious influence allowed.
    All junk food banned.
    Sugar and salt banned from all food, once the dangers were clearly established.
    Instituted real controls on greedy commercial fishermen.
    Legislated all tax havens as illegal and enforced that militarily if needed.
    Promoted small and medium sized business – the basis of Germany’s wealth and exports.
    Supported small farms and natural farming measures and controlled the agribusinesses that encourage unnatural foodstuffs and pharmaceuticals used so freely on livestock.
    Imposed a Europe wide corporation tax instead of allowing a poor little country like Luxembourg to become wealthy at the expense of other EU members., ditto Ireland and the Netherlands tax dodging schemes.

    Europe now would still have an abundance of fish, prime protein. Europeans would be far healthier, with health systems costing far less in taxation. Without tax havens a country like the UK would’nt have any problems with a deficit. There would be no extremes of politics since all votes would be represented meaning policies that were in the best interests of the many and not the few.

    None of this is fairy tale dreams but sound common sense that I believe would be supported across Europe. I listened to the former Greek finance minister – Yanis Varoufakis being interviewed by a totally biased Seker on Hard Talk. Far from being some deranged Communist nutter as painted by the oligarchs who control the media, he talked nothing but common sense.

    It was his predictions about the EU and what will happen when it disintegrates that should frighten any rational person. He called the present EU exactly like it is, an arrogant undemocratic institution that represents only the interests of big business. The idiot Seker could’nt help himself supporting Christine Lagarde – a Goldman Sachs placewoman, who in their right mind would believe a word that corrupt egotist said.

    A number of cowardly Scots allowed themselves to be intimidated by Project Fear, not only the Scots but many English saw this. To use Project Fear again so soon is typical of the stupid public schoolboys. Effective on fools like stefanjo who is frightened of personal responsibility and action but not for intelligent people. The more they use P/F the more it works against them. Uncertainty is part of life, exciting for those who are at least a little brave but horror for the frightened and brainwashed ones. Brexit offers the chance of real change – Remain offers more of the same, it really is the that simple.

    • Uncertainty is part of life, agreed, but in this issue we do have more uncertainty than certainty. Life will go on after any Brexit, that’s for sure. Frightened? No. Uncertain? Yes. Different things.

  28. Stuart, your last para sums it up nicely, and I agree also about the uncertainty being exciting, I’m pretty sure the UK and other countries who seek a referendum as a result of the UK’s vote, could do very well out of the EU if it went that way.

    Never liked Lagarde and especially since she cozied up to Osborne!

    The question has to be asked of the ‘in’ campaign as well as stefanjo, if the EU has been such a success over the years, why are countries now seeking referendums?

  29. Don’t know how I came to be the spokesman on here for the “In” campaign and Stuart’s favourite hate figure. But to go back to my original opinion which was that anyone with material interests in Europe. expats etc, would be turkeys voting for Christmas if they vote “Out”. Such a vote cannot possibly be in their favour.
    Perhaps including expat Stuart as part of the turkey farm annoyed him? Don’t care about, or believe ,much of the tosh bandied around concerning EU membership. All I’m looking at are the sinister gang of politicians who advocate quitting. Following which, yet another, even worse Eton toff, Buffoon Boris, will become Prime Minister as his reward. If you think Cameron is crap, and he is. Wait till you get his rival in Number Ten and his swivel-eyed gang of loons in positions of power.
    So to be clear, the EU desperately needs reform, of course it does. But to quit in my opinion, would be to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

  30. Pleased to be in the ‘OUT’ side of the referendum myself stefanjo for reasons I and others have listed previously.

    The question again is, why is the UK holding a referendum on the EU and now being echoed by other member States’ populations if the EU has been a success?

    Again, IMO, the EU doesn’t need reforming it needs total dismantling and getting rid of the freeloading MEPs on the gravy train (the latest nonsense is that they can all claim 48k in expenses without having to show receipts, on top of their salaries), as well as all the absurd rules and regulations and propping up of certain Club Med countries such as basket case Greece.

    On another matter, being IN the EU has not saved France and Belgium from extreme terrorist activities in the last year or so! Could Schengen open borders be a considerable reason for this since terrorist have easy access via migrant routes, and therein creates the concerns over immigration being a major concern of the EU?

    • That dreary question again. The ONLY reason Cameron agreed to a ref is because he didn’t have the cojones to stand up to Farage and the mad goons on his back-benches. At the time, it was seen as a vote-winner, which it proved to be. It doesn’t matter to him now, because he’s going to resign whatever happens. He is loaded and doesn’t give a toss.
      The rest of what you say is part of the tosh being bandied around, using the scare tactics that the other side is accused of.
      We will have to agree to disagree.

  31. Stefanjo, so you think the Schengen migrant routes giving easy access to terrorists is ‘tosh’ do you, and clearly you agree that MEP’s milking the gravy train and the absurd EU rules and regulations etc etc is tosh?
    lol

    • Yes Mike. Exaggerations on all sides abound. From talk of terrorism. To “statistics” on economics. To unproven and unprovable outcomes of leaving the EU. It is impossible to extrapolate from here, what Europe would look like after a Brexit. Anyone who claims to know that, is fooling themselves and trying to fool others.
      I notice you didn’t acknowledge the answer I gave on WHY we are actually holding this referendum, but chose instead to use emotive language about “terrorism” (which of course won’t be stopped by a Brexit)
      I agree to disagree, why won’t you?

  32. So funny stefanjo that you thought major issues (proven in the case of Schengen according to French/Belgian intelligence) is tosh!!

    BTW you didn’t answer if the EU has been such a success so why do we need a referendum and blamed it on Farage it seems!

    I will have great joy in voting OUT of the EU mess! lol

    • Mike, fact is that the UK has already opted out of Schengen and it has still suffered terrorist incidents, and it still has illegal immigrants entering the country on a daily basis, among which there surely have been terrorists. Brexit doesn’t stop magically terrorism. The Schengen migration route ends at the UK for many such migrants, and yet as you said yourself, “closed borders mean nothing in the UK.” If a terrorist gets past UK borders, that’s not the EU’s fault. As for events in Paris and Brussels, there was a link to one of the bombers entering from Syria via Greece, and it’s a no-brainer that those routes will be targeted by terrorists, so more has to be done to vet all migrants, massive a task as that is. Being in or out of Europe, the UK is not immune from terrorism, indeed if the EU ever stopped sharing intelligence information with the UK, terrorism may rise in the UK. You have to acknowledge that this could at least be a possibility?

  33. Fred, I’ve never said the UK is immune from terrorism, I know for a fact that the current situation is that the UK is on a high alert (due to what is happening in Europe, however, both France and Belgium have had recent massive attacks this year and last year! It’s a whole lot easier in Schengen open borders countries for terrorists to come and go as they please as they did from Belgium to France and back again, they just drive through! It’s been proven that Belgium’s anti terrorism unit has been non-existent and lacking in intelligence, UK’s being somewhat better. BTW I’ve not said it is the EU’s fault if terrorists get past UK borders.

    Had the EU not been formed, and we still had Sovereign States all with closed borders as of old the terrorism issue would not be as severe a problem as it is now. I will agree that terrorism may rise in the UK, but could rise further staying in! UK needs to strengthen its borders and the water helps.

    • Agreed that Schengen allows free(er) movement of people, and terrorists, once they get past the “outer border”, however the lack of interoperability of police and intelligence services is the real issue here, not Schengen itself. Belgium were exposed as severely lacking in intelligence, but give them credit for then apprehending the ringleader later. Remember too that Schengen can be suspended, and it has been before in times of crisis.

      Alas the water doesn’t seem to be stopping the UK immigration attempts, so you’d better start a new campaign to dynamite the chunnel next, Mike. Still, at least we are in agreement that none of these terrorism issues are relevant to Brexit – in or out of the EU, the UK will still have illegal immigration, and it will still be on a high terror alert. Still, terrorism affects all of us; better to have solidarity in my opinion. Leaving the EU only allows the UK to control what was, previously, “legal migration”, and that is the least-worst problem.

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