Don’t panic about Brexit!

OP blogger Luke Andrews says everything will be fine

LAST UPDATED: 4 Apr, 2016 @ 22:04
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ON June 23 this year, the United Kingdom will decide whether it would like to remain in the European Union. In the event of a ‘yes’ vote, don’t start flapping your arms like a mad chicken, the UK will not exit the EU overnight.

The best thing to do is not to panic.

luke-brexit-2Scenes of expats clutching their valuables, staring in horror as their houses are torched by angry Spanish locals are, fortunately, quite far from reality. We aren’t in Tsarist Russia, after all.

Even if it is a ‘yes’ vote, sorting out a departure will be incredibly slow. It took Greenland over three years to depart after its electorate voted to exit the EU. That’s a bit of a slog considering all they had to renegotiate on was fish.

“We don’t export anything else” commented Greenland’s Prime Minister, Kuupik Kleist.

With it’s maze of EU links, the UK will undoubtedly take even longer.

Enter the EU. The organisation imposes a stringent deadline for countries once they’ve declared their intention to leave. Under Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, we have “two years after the notification” of withdrawal to hammer out all the new trade treaties. Luckily, it is possible to extend this but it must be a “unanimous” decision by all EU members. I don’t really see France giving us a chance, do you?

We have two years of normality following a HOORAY FOR BREXIT vote to decide what to do.

So let’s not panic, grab our children, and run for the first Easyjet flight to London.

In the event of a ‘yes’, everything we own and receive as expats will initially remain protected under EU law, and not under the Vienna Convention on The Law of Treaties, 1969. Many important papers have fallaciously lorded up this treaty as being our saving grace. Sadly, it isn’t.

Talking to Damian Chalmers, professor at the London School of Economics, I found out that the Treaty on Treaties is not as helpful as first thought.

“Basically this argument of acquired rights for expatriates [based on the Vienna Convention] has nothing going for it.”

It will defend property rights, patents and contracts but not a lot more. The much treasured pensions and free healthcare reaching Expats are defended by EU law only.

Thanks to the two year period, the taps connected to Spain from the Bank of England will remain on. It would be illegal for Spain to close them.

As the UK begins to hold seemingly endless trade negotiations we will begin to learn whether the Brexit gamble has paid off.

As bilateral agreements are made, their contents will be published before they come into effect. This will decide it for many. Whether they stay in Spain, or pack their bags and ship-off home.

So, contending with a Brexit is not as hard as it first appeared. We can have a ponder, toddle up and down the garden steps, cast our vote and then wait and see. Should the answer be ‘yes’ we will have two years to decide what we want to do.

Loads of time. Don’t panic!

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91 COMMENTS

  1. “It will defend property rights”

    Well that’s not trivial protection, it probably is the most important protection if you are a foreign homeowner in Spain.

    “…free healthcare reaching Expat”

    There is no free healthcare in Spain, Luke. What you mean is that retired expats can access the Spanish health system. All working-age expats have to pay in to the system. The UK refunds Spain for treatments remember, in a reciprocal arrangement, and that arrangement may continue, or it may not. No one knows, not even the Professor.

  2. The article is right to say no to panic and that it will take years to sort out. Let’s be clear. Britain WILL vote for Brexit. So if you think that means you should leave then do so before June if you can. Brits owning property in Spain in well known expat areas will AGAIN see their value diminish as people realise a bargain is to be had as the buyer will be king. Without EU cover Spain and many other countries can impose (and carry out at their whim) new regulations on non-EU citizens and make it compulsory for them to have private health cover of a certain level.
    Not going to be pretty if you have assets in the EU. They’ll all want their tenpenneth. In addition I am guessing waltzxing back into blighty to start again may well be not that easy.
    Strangely that might force people to reconsider Gibraltar as a base although not many will be able to afford the prices. However a Brexit is unlikely to be good for Gibraltar either so maybe the exodus of gaming company and other company execs from Gib will leave property empty at knock-down prices.
    One thing is certain and that is that nothing is certain.

  3. “Britain WILL vote for Brexit.”

    You got a crystal ball Bluemoon? lol

    “So if you think that means you should leave then do so before June if you can.”

    It doesn’t mean that, you are confused, in fact borderline stupid.

    “One thing is certain and that is that nothing is certain”

    Finally contradicting what you said above. Great post to make yourself look like a total plonker.

    • Don’t need a crystal ball just need to speak to people. Nobody I have spoken to wants to stay in. All have had enough of EU and the parasites it breeds. I have a vested interest in Britain staying in as I work/live in Gibraltar. If not I would vote to leave as would never have voted to join in the first place.
      Came through Gib border this morning and the big boards explaining the “new” system of entry into Gib and what each type of passport holder had to do have reappeared coincidentally. When Britain exits we will all have to pass thru the non-EU area in all European airports unless agreement has been made. Entry into Gibraltar for non-EU will then become a momentus task no doubt.
      I thankfully do not own property in Spain. The cost of actually owning a property in Spain after Brexit will increase and increase as they get their pound of flesh after they have lost the gravy train that lines their pockets and builds their roads. Good luck with getting healthcare too Fred for that ego of yours. People are allowed to differ in opinion to you surely?
      But as I said even tho I am 99% certain we are still a while off the vote date yet so cannot be certain an out vote will be as certain as it looks at present.

      • Speaking to a few people is not really a definitive statistical outcome is it? You didn’t really express an opinion, you made a definitive statement before the outcome of the event is even known.

        Healthcare is a reciprocal arrangement between the UK and Spain and we don’t know if that arrangement will continue or not. I have private healthcare btw. As for the cost of owning property, I’m not sure what tax could be used to make property more expensive to own, but a revised wealth tax could certainly be introduced for UK residents. Again, no one knows. There are many expatriates from countries that are not part of the EU, who live and work in Spain without major issues, as their respective countries have reciprocal agreements with Spain, and hopefully the UK will continue existing agreements or make new ones.

        “But as I said even tho I am 99% certain we are still a while off the vote date yet so cannot be certain an out vote will be as certain as it looks at present.”

        Hmm, you should definitely win a prize for gobbledygook, Bluemoon lol.

      • Cheer up Bluemoon, it might not happen. Though I understand your pessimism, if the “people you have spoken to” are expats of any kind, then you are entitled to despair of their common sense and survival instinct.
        Just one point: why would Spain “lose it’s gravy train”? It’s Britain/England that threatens to quit. Spain will continue to suck on the teat.

        • Yes Spain will always try to do that but the amount of milk in the teat will be severly reduced come Brexit.
          I am usually a very cheerful and optimistic person but this whole situation has me worried. Nothing I can do of course except use my vote.

    • Britain did vote for Brexit so crystal ball 1 Fred 0. Closer than I’d imagined but think that was nothing to do with the opposition in UK hence all the infighting.

      • It was a draw in fact as I have dual nationality. I’m not sure why you are concerned since you don’t even own a property in Spain I recall. Can you tell us when article 50 will be triggered and what next weeks lotto nunbers are too btw?

        • No problem Fred. 8 15 22 25 38 and 46.
          Article 50 will be triggered shortly before or after the party conference season in September.
          I am concerned as I have a border to cross.
          PS Lighten up :-)

          • You should get your money back for that crystal ball Bluemoon. Our Theresa says, “no signing this year” You also owe me for a lottery ticket, those numbers were rubbish.

  4. The EU referendum question is “Remain” or “Leave” not yes or no.

    I don’t know about anyone else but I’m fed up with the lack of information on both sides of this campaign. Sticking with things that are relevant to Spain, I want to know how long British non-resident, part timers would be able to stay in Spain for holidays, does anyone know? Would there be a stricter time limit on it or would be 6 months of the year? How would Brexit affect people who own property in Spain? We need to know this and much, much more, we can’t just guess.

    I don’t like what the EU has become and I really do understand why so many people want out. It is an outdated model, no longer fit for purpose and must reform if it is to survive but I’m not going to shoot myself in the foot. I want to know exactly how Brexit would affect us and we are not getting any definitive answers. That said, it’s difficult to see how Brexit can benefit anyone with interests in Spain but I stand to be corrected.

    • Jane, much of what you ask would have to be renegotiated, so there are no definitive answers yet. Procedures and laws cost money and time to implement, so I think there is good reason to follow the status quo with respect to existing arrangements made between the UK and Spain. Norway is not in the EU, nor are Switzerland, yet I know both Swiss and Norwegian people who are resident and who own property in Spain, and they seem to get by ok. But agreed, there is nowhere near enough clarification of the issues for British residents in Spain. Cameron said he did not know, and the new government EU referendum website is very basic.

  5. stefanjo,
    you have very bad manners continually insulting people who don’t agree with your position but show with every post that you hav’nt got a clue what day of the week it is. I most certainly don’t hate you as you stated in one post, I just think that you are very immature, easily frightened and IMO should’nt have the vote about anything – why not go away and keep quiet. You hav’nt presented a single argument that is based on reality about a Brexit, do stop polluting this thread with your resentful bile – I think it is time that the mods banned you from any comment on Brexit.

    Bluemoon you are typical of the frightened Brits, lucky British armies were never full of the likes of you. Britain actually holds the whip hand in almost everything. The only problem we have is cowardly public school whores that we would be well rid of and representatives with backbone.

    I really do believe that Brexit will trigger some very good long term effects not just for the UK but for Europe as a whole. The Dutch have just rejected closer ties with the Ukraine and that after 190 of their countrymen died in the Malaysian airliner tragedy – good for the Dutch, other countries are lining up to do the same – the European people are beginning to speak and it’s not with the voice of cowards.

    • Sorry Stuart, but both you and stefanjo appear to be tainted with the same brush. One only needs to read your current posting and of the many previous postings to see the bad manners you are referring to. I believe somewhere back in time you were once asked to moderate you language regarding the abuse to other’s. What’s that old saying, “People who live in glass houses should not throw stones”, which also applies to stefanjo. One must remember OP created a comments and not an abuse column.

      • Well said Arnez, I have stopped posting on here and I notice several other also do not post as much too. There is no point in making a comment when you are insulted, ridiculed or generally bullied by a certain group on these forums.

        • People should not to be abusive towards other people or ridicule their comments, discussion yes, but being insulted purely by giving an opinion is a no go area as far as I’m concerned. Can’t see the point.

  6. I know what Bluemoon means, everyone I speak to both in the UK and Spain wants to leave the EU. One observation, those who want to leave will shout the loudest. You have the OUT, OUT OUT brigade that frequent newspaper/BBC comments sections but people who will quietly vote to remain are unlikely to be very vocal.

    Then there are the people who talk OUT (or UKIP in the last general election) but once they are standing in the polling booth with their pencil hovering above the ballot paper, they will lose their nerve and vote to remain (or Conservative instead of UKIP in the last GE). We’ve seen it all before.

    It’s too close to call at the moment, probably about 50/50 so it could go either way.

    Stefanjo, I think Bluemoon is referring to the British expat gravy train, not the EU one.

    • No Jane. He’s referring to the Spanish “gravy train”. Expats don’t “build roads”. Besides, his answer to me shows it.
      It’s to be hoped you are correct about the “hovering pencils” though.

      • Yes I was referring to the gravy train that Spain and other. Countries gain from uk being in the eu. I travel from Gibraltar to Casares and to Marbella for work on roads that the eu paid for yet are toll roads. Wtf. Tbh I think Spain was right get in the eu and steal what you can while paying nothing. The stupid ones were Britain and Germany.

  7. I agree Jane, out of our close friends and family some of whom are Tory voters, only one out of 21 wants to remain in the EU, the rest want out and not even undecided! None of the Tory voters likes Cameron either. A Sky tv straw poll just ow says 57% questioned now distrust Cameron since his Dad’s Panama tax issue arose.

    Also, the matter of the Tory spend of £9.3 million of taxpayers’ money for their pro EU leaflet drop (ahead the equal funds for both campaigns being allocated soon) has already gathered over the 100,000 signatures necessary on the UK Gov’t Petitions website to trigger a debate/action. I’m about to check that.

    The campaign is already getting nasty, but good to see the Dutch are urging Brits to vote OUT much to the dismay no doubt of the one who likes to talk of the ‘swivel eyed’ voters! lol

    • “…but good to see the Dutch are urging Brits to vote OUT”

      Where was that mentioned Mike? Please provide a source that shows the Dutch are urging the British to vote to leave the EU, thanks.

      • On one of Yahoo’s or Google’s pages the other day Fred, tried to find it again and was led to the source being ‘Leave Now’ Dutch urge Britons to back Brexit amid despotic EU plot to IGNORE their voters’. Thing is, it came from everyone’s favourite tabloid the Express, so funny, but what a headline, must have upped their circulation! Must be true then pmsl

        It seems to have arisen from the 61% of Dutch voters coming out against the association agreement between the EU & Ukraine. There are other links re Holland wanting its own in/out referendum similar to the UK’s.

        On the other matter of the Tory £9.3 million spend of taxpayers money for a leaflet drop, I voted on the petition when it had reached 130,000 (100,000 triggers a debate), 3 hours later whoosh up to 159,000 votes reckoned to be possibly the quickest Gov’t Petition and still rising fast. So good to see that!

        • Funny when you can’t find something that you found before, isn’t it? The Dutch vote was not about leaving the EU btw. I think the Brexit supporters will latch on to just about anything lol.

          • Funny that I supplied the source you asked for isn’t it? Read that Express headline perhaps. No, the Dutch vote was not about leaving the EU btw, but headlining them urging the Brits to leave lol I’ve no problem with your wish to stay in, as you mentioned it suits you I believe for your business reasons!

            I also think, but opposite to you, that the ‘in’ group will latch on to to just anything by way of scaremongering lol

  8. Mike, a headline in the Express is not the source either, it is an opinion by a newspaper (and a newspaper with a Brexit agenda). Even the Express article does not allude to the claim, but instead vaguely says “anti-EU campaigners in the country [the Netherlands] today urged Britons to take their chance to leave the undemocratic bloc by voting for Brexit in our June referendum”, so again just hearsay basically. Anyone could say that, you appreciate? Anyway, my decision would be based upon how this affects my family and business primarily. I want my children to be able to move freely in Europe and have rights and opportunities abroad in the future. I don’t really want to hide behind a non-existent border and moan about illegal immigrant problems that actually have nothing to do with the EU (as we established on the other thread you recall). I agree the EU needs reform. Would you at least agree that there is uncertainty, and that that in itself can be a worry for many people?

  9. Fred you asked directly for the source of my post, I supplied it but you don’t accept that which is your decision. The headline definitely says what I posted! Different newspapers have their own agenda both ways, The ‘Times’ Politics 23/02/16 has a heading ‘Envious Dutch want to hold their own referendum’, another tabloid echoed the Express.

    I’ve accepted you want ‘in’ because of your business and family but many of us want out because we believe the EU is a mess and we probably won’t be swayed, it is our decision as your’s is.

    You mention the other thread in your post but:
    ‘On the other thread you recall’ you clearly said you had ‘no more to say on Brexit’ but continued nonetheless for days both there and here. Just saying Fred, as you mentioned above, ‘anyone could say that’, if it suits them.

    I think everyone would agree that ‘there is a great deal of uncertainty etc’ but that applies ‘in’ or ‘out’ IMO

    • I only asked for your source that matched the specific quote that you gave, but not to worry as I knew it wasn’t the same as what you said before even looking. Quite happy to agree with your reasons for voting out, even if it leads to more uncertainty. Excuse my re-continuation of the other thread; I just had to correct the inaccuracies lol. Sure, let’s blame the EU when they get things wrong, but not for things that are beyond their control, or which they don’t control at all (like the UKs borders and benefits system).

  10. From an expat pensioner’s point of view the benefits of remaining in the EU does have it’s advantage as immigration into the UK does not really effect the expat pensioner’s or in fact any expat residents. But if it’s an out vote I believe some form of agreements will be negotiated. There are as many EU members living in the UK as Brit expats living in the EU. They say there are 500.000 or so French living in London alone and God know’s how many other EU members living in the UK. As Fred said, medical care in Spain is not free and although the British government has a reciprocal arrangements regarding pensioners, pensioners still contribute 10% towards any cost to medicines etc at the chemist. Not sure if this also applies in the UK to EU members. Lots of it’s and but’s but if the “out” vote is based mainly on immigration and as Fred said it’s not the fault of the EU and afraid the NHS would suffer greatly, possibly to the advantage of the Spanish with a big influx of doctor’s and nurse’s returning home. Just a thought really.

    • Here’s another thought Arnez. A Euro costs today, roughly eighty and-a-bit pence. Before the furore about a Brexit began (not long ago) a Euro cost around seventy pence.
      Cause and effect? You choose. The market isn’t keen on uncertainty.

        • Now now Arnez. Remember what you said about abuse in this comments section.
          You just accused me of being tight-fisted. My (serious) point is, pensions and other earnings for Brits come in quids, which now means significantly less Euros can be bought for them.

          • Actually stefanjo it was not an abuse but a comment, and shall we say more of a statement seeing as you watch your pennies so closely. Getting a bit boring now don’t you think

  11. Just seen Andrew Marr interviewing Lord Lawson who is in the ‘OUT’ team and Lawson came across very well and didn’t let Marr bully him as he so often does to others.

    Lawson clearly says there will not be any immediate changes if we leave, and that the UK will renegotiate matters such as reciprocal health care, and more importantly expats including those Brits living in European countries. Basically says nothing will change for them neither will it change for Europeans living here, no-one is going to be kicked out of the EU countries if they are legitimate. So, Arnez you are right to say agreements will be negotiated, but this will happen over a few years so nothing to fear. See if you can catch Lawson’s comments on the internet!

    I love his final comment, ‘most countries in the world are not in the EU, many of which do very well by not being in’. Germany, France, Italy, Spain etc will still see the UK as a major customer if we leave. I also believe European Doctors, nurses, healthcare workers etc will still want jobs and will still have them in the UK. State pensions will still be paid. Sterling has weakened but that’s also good for UK exports and for those in Spain etc who are still trying to sell properties. Market uncertainty always arises with certain events, look at China, but eventually re-adjusts in time.

    • Mike, I also saw the interview with Lord Lawson and he is correct in things he said and Marr had nothing to fight against regarding the truth and believe the EU is more concerned about the UK voting “out” then the British are. Gravy train stops. As for Cameron and his negotiation Technic’s, well, that’s what happens when you’re not a Farage or even a Trump. Farage knew what he wanted for Britain, and if not possible he would have come back with an “out”, not like Cameron coming back with an “in” with a stay of execution.

      Personally as a pensioner I hope we remain in, but if I was still living in the UK it would be an “out” vote and the EU will still wish to trade with us, that’s if it is still classed as a EU

      • You must have a decent private pension Arnez, seeing as you’re so unconcerned about your state pension now being worth roughly fifteen quid a week less in buying power than it was before the fuss over a Brexit arose. It does not bode well for expats, as this foolish process continues.

        • Well stefanjo, what do you really think I should do about it?. I would greatly appreciate your expert financial advice on how to overcome this great lose, I know, and please don’t say stop giving tips.
          I suppose I could also not eat out so often, but the problem is I need food to survive as I don’t like cooking. Or I could sell my car which would save on petrol, insurance and general maintenance costs, but I don’t really like long walk’s. or dare should I say it, give up smoking or stop paying for Sky or internet.
          Stefanjo, it’s a never ending cycle and thank God they have increased the pension or I don’t know how the hell I would manage. Life is short and as I said earlier any advice would be appreciated. A thought has just crossed my mind, perhaps Cameron could give me a few tips.

          • Tip number one. Stop smoking, do you know how silly it is?
            That one is strictly for your health. You obviously have other streams of income and don’t require advice on how to manage on a State Pension. Though of course, many other people do and won’t find their drop in income quite as amusing as you do.
            Tip number two, another eminently sensible thing you could do, is to cease making Rupert Murdoch even richer and bossier, by dumping Sky.
            That one is for the good of society in general.

          • Stefanjo, it’s not for you, me or anyone else to dictate how Arnez leads his life or spends his money, it’s up to him. It’s called freedom of choice.

  12. Most of the fall in Sterling has nothing to do with Brexit but with the fundamentals of the UK economy. Watching serious finance programmes like CNBC and Bloomberg will tell you all you need to know. Sadly most watch the garbage on Murdoch Speak and the BBC which treat viewers as idiots. Or .read more garbage in the Telegraph/Mail/Express/Guardian

    • The current fall in sterling has everything to do with the THREAT of a Brexit. The actual coming together of it, will do the real damage to expats. Incidentally, How do you come to lump the Guardian in with those other fascist rags? It only leaves you The Sun, Daily Mirror and Star for your political education.
      No wonder you are where you are.

      • Stefanjo, did you not understand what Stuart had said and take it from your reply that you are a Guardian reader. Wonderful paper, pity it doesn’t have the following of the Daily Mail, wonder why.

        • because the people who read it, don’t run with the majority herd of the Great Brainwashed Daily Wailers.
          I read lots of other publications too Arnez. Goodness me! I even read what you write. Aint fussy. Always understand Stuart. Usually disagree with him is all.

  13. Jane G. I’m afraid you’re missing the point. The argy bargy with Arnez came about from a comment I made that the threat of a Brexit was reducing the value of the pound, therefore affecting how many Euros the State Pension, or British earnings would currently buy (a lot less) He decided to be sarky about it and I replied in kind.
    Read his post.

    • Hmmm, very interesting stefanjo, what you should have said to Jane G instead of justifying your various replies to me was to read from “Arnez’s first input”, in fact stefanjo it was you that brought in the Euro syndrome and I “replied in kind” and your following dislike of anyone that tends to favor the “out” policy is beyond believe. Do you believe you would be better off in the EU or the UK if you were living in the UK. Do you believe that the World’s fifth richest nation will suddenly collapse, a nation that had traded World wide for many if not hundreds of year prior to joining the common market which in turn became a European Union with the main aim of eventually becoming a Federal State controlled by unknown, un-democratically elected people that had not been voted in by the people of these nations. A small Island country such as Britain that had sacrificed thousands of lives in liberating Europe in two wars and still maintain to be the second largest financial contributor to the EU. And are you happy with the negotiations that Cameron came back with and if you are, you deserve to remain in the EU purely from your own selfish point of view and not the heart of a true British person. I have no truck with people like you and like you feel brutish towards people that have the same attitude that you have towards people that don’t abide with your way of thinking. Not sure how often you visit the UK which I visit 2/3 times a year and on each visit see a change and may I add not always for the better. So please, no more about the merits of this great nation that you hold dearly, the European Union, and no more abuse to people that think different to you. Finally stefanjo, not knowing if you are a pensioner, do you think that if pensioners may find it hard living on a pension in Spain would they find it easier living in the UK.

  14. stefanjo, can you dispute any of this. perhaps you should start reading the Daily Mail for a change. Just log onto the Daily Mail it’s all there matey. I’m afraid you have been have winked like all the others that think the EU is our savior. Be a man for once and stand tall for your country, that’s if your British which strongly indicates that you are perhaps a closet Brit.

    • Tried reading the Daily Wail Arnez, but every paragraph provokes my gag reflex. Bit like I felt after reading your last refuge of the scoundrel.

      • stefanjo, at least you tried, give you credit for that, perhaps it was beyond your understanding and you could not dispute what had been stated. These are people that actually work as MEP’s not some fairy tale crap that omits from the “in” crowd. Must admit, I, and perhaps you, liked the bit about tearing up an agreement after the referendum. Cameron never mentioned this on his return (waving his piece of paper) and If that would be the case then a second referendum should be held regardless of what the EU may think. It would be a thing for the British people not the scalawags in Brussel’s. The EU forced the Irish the French, and the Greeks and wonder who next. Are these the type of scalawags you wish to be associated with.
        It makes me smile when the EU states that if there is an “out” vote there would be no chance of ever returning. Perhaps they don’t understand what a “out” vote means, besides I wonder how long the EU would last without the UK. Hope they don’t ask help defending Europe next time, it almost sent that little Englander into bankruptcy.

  15. And some poor idiot on another thread called me abusive – LOL. The Guardian has lost a lot of readers because it in no way any more represents a left of centre view.
    It’s relentless abusive and untrue articles about Corbyn are one example. It’s relentless support for Clinton, Wall Street’s whore are another.

    The only real newspaper for me is the FT, amazingly for a paper that represents capital it’s news stories are just that – news, not twisted propaganda of either right or left.

    I state with out any reservation that the EU is the tool of big business and that federalism is it’s aim because it enables more power and control to go to Europe’s elite – many people from many EU countries share the same view.

    In France right now the elite is scared because every night in city centres across France, the young, the old, students, workers and the middle class are meeting and discussing everything – this is a pre revolutionary phenomena and they know it. If this spreads to other EU countries then something far greater than the dissolution of the corrupt EU is being born – vamos a ver.

    • Good last para Stuart re ‘the EU is the tool of big business etc’. If the UK votes out then I think the EU could unfold, they are so worried about a Brexit that there appears to be new scare stories every day. Today, Christine Lagarde who is ‘in bed with George (tax haven) Osborne, they always back each other, well, this woman who as Head of the IMF, together have come out with ratcheted up Brexit scaremongering. Yet she is supposedly under investigation for a £318 million negligence investigation, some say fraud, to do with a rich businessman backing Sarkosy a while back. That lot including Dave and Georgie Porgie all scratch each others’ backs for ‘big business’ as you say.

      Apparently, the more they use these tactics the more it seems to strengthen the OUT campaign. Spoke to friends in a very Tory part of Kent today, they don’t know anyone who wants to stay ‘in’. I hope the result is counted fairly lol!

    • Think you’ll find it’s your new mate Arnez who was the “poor idiot” on THIS thread who called you abusive. Personally I find it all highly amusing, like exchanging views with Victor “I don’t believe it” Meldrew. Interesting point about The Guardian and Corbyn. Sometimes, steam comes from my ears at the attitude of some columnists, but at least the paper allows opposing views to be aired. I’ve read pieces by some toe-curling right wingers in there. The important thing is, it’s ownership by the Scott Trust, rather than an individual like Murdoch, who stamps his prejudice on The Times/Sunday Times/Sun. I’ve yet to see an actual Guardian editorial ripping into Jezza though.
      Could it be it’s support for remaining in the EU colours your view somewhat Stuart?
      And, when it just might be a toss-up between Trump and Clinton, I’d vote for The Whore Of Babylon before the maniac Trump. Doubt if Sanders can come up from behind now to save the day.

      • US election is choosing between crippled cows as my Wobbly grand dad used to say at election time. Most Dems in USA abhor Cruz far more than Trump because Cruz is a religious zealot who would mesh nicely with the reptile brained House, to further neo-nutter economic and socially bacward policies, and create an even more facsist Supreme Court. Senate might not have enough Dems to block the resulting bad stuff if Cruz would win. Trump would veto the worst of it for business reasons.
        Trump, on the other hand, as the argument goes, doesn’t belive any of that religious crap, but says it to win uneducated white working class votes, the dregs of the old Southern racist parties. Trump is too practically utilitarian to believe in regious ideology. Of course he is an oligarchical corporatist opportunist, wherein lies a huge problem. But Cruz is both a corporatist oligarch AND a religious fanatic able to ‘Francoize’ the low information masses. Well indoctrinated by his pro Batista Cuban father, who became a populist born again Baptist preacher with an old Batista Catholic mindset.
        Bernie and Hillary supporters and the US Senate think Cruz insanity is far worse and, yes, things can always be worse!

        • addendum: Ted Cruz’s grandfather worked for RCA Cuba. Ted Cruz’s father, Rafael, says he joined Castro’s forces at 14, but his grandfather, who knew Batista officials, got him out of Cuba to the USA soon thereafter.
          I should have said Cruz’s grandfather was linked to Batista, though Rafael Cruz and his son Ted, are part of the shrill, anti-Castro Cuban emigre community who want to put Cuba ‘back to what it was’ before the overthrow of Batista, and therefore, like Marco Rubio, detest Obama and what they describe as Obama’s ‘pro-communist’ policies.

    • In view of Corbyn’s epiphany and Damascene Conversion in favour of remaining in the EU, no doubt he will now join the Guardian and all other dissenters to “Out”, in Stuart’s rogues Gallery.
      The “Morning Star”, incorporating “The Daily Worker” Is a cracking read too. Try that one for size.

  16. Well stefanjo. I can still visit one of my local bars for a coffee which cost one Euro and invariably leave a 50 cent tip. Most of the expats I know also tend to leave a tip in various amounts so I’m not quite sure what you mean when you say, “It does not bode well for expats”. Ask any expat pensioner if they would return to the UK because of a drop in their pension, i think you would not find manner, if any, that would.
    Btw. The last coffee I had in the UK, which was delivered in a small cup, cost £3.50, and it just about wet my lips. At least over here it comes in a large glass complete with a biscuit. Most other bars I visit charge €1.20 and again I normally leave a 50 cent tip. Don’t you ever leave a tip even if you are a pensioner. On another note, if you are talking about the lose of pensions and the effect it has, I don’t know of any expat that has returned to the UK due to the WFA being cut, do you, and if that was the case they shouldn’t have been in Spain in the first place. If you are talking about the lose on the pension, next time you go out for a meal in the UK compare the price.

  17. Stuart, well it looks about right what you said about the problem regarding the drop in the value of sterling which basically had nothing to do with Brexit but a World wide problem. The EU carry’s a burden of 715 billion black hole which the UK will be part of if they win an “in” vote. More money will be required for the gravy train taken from the British tax payers.
    One should read the IMF report, and if it’s an “out” vote, financial shock not only to the UK but also to the EU and the World markets will suffer. But it would appear that Britain would be in a better position to others to weather the storm.

    • The Financial Times says differently “Sterling slides to seven-year low on EU exit concerns”, see: “https://next.ft.com/content/2429af50-daaf-11e5-a72f-1e7744c66818”.

      • Well Fred, if the sterling slides to a seven year low how long do you think the others will slide. Believe Spain is still sliding regarding the property market which may pick up if the “in” vote wins. I hope we remain in the EU purely for the sake of people that have property or other interest’s in Spain including the old age pensioner’s.

        • OK. Now we have The toughest converts. Arnez And Jane G. Agreeing with the original proposition, that expats are better”In” than “Out” Can we now (holding your nose and gritting your teeth) register and vote?
          Believe it or not, there are enough expats, with a vote, who can actually swing it. Wouldn’t that be fun, to affect Blighty, from a distance in your favour? It would make a change.

          • Stefanjo. I think you miss-understood my post. I’m not a convert to the E.U syndrome and take it from Jane G’s posting she is not also. But one thing you are correct on is my agreeing to the original proposition and that is a referendum. Fate has it that people having property etc in Spain may suffer from “out” vote and naturally their interest is to remain “in”. That does not mean they have been converted and I have always maintained that being part of the E.U has it’s merits (not all) but some, and if I lived back in the U.K my vote would be an “out” vote. Are you now saying the “in” vote is relying on the old unr’s to help you out, such as, “Believe it or not, there are enough expats, with a vote, who can actually swing it.”
            Unfortunately I have been in Spain far too long to vote in the referendum but at least I hope this time you would know what my vote would have been. I know one or two old urn’s that are returning to the UK and have had enough of living in Spain. They have had the good times in Spain but through age they now intend to get some of the benefits back in the U.K which they had gallantly fought for, and rightly deserve in allowing Europe to even exist as we know it today.

          • Stefanjo, I think you don’t really understand what people are saying.
            But one thing we do agree on and that’s the original proposition, that is having a referendum.
            I think if you care to look back I have always maintained that staying in the EU does have it’s merits (some I may add) regarding people that have purchased properties, working etc including old age pensioners, but if I was living in the UK I would be voting “out”
            It seems strange that you are now relying on the old folks such as your comment, “Believe it or not, there are enough expats, with a vote, who can actually swing it”.

  18. P.S. Stefanjo, I have also read the report regarding the effect of the UK leaving the EU and it is not financially base solely on leaving the EU, it’s worldly event. They also predict it could be a short term but how long is a short term, its like asking how long is a piece of string.

    • Those with a vote, have power and are worth listening to. Those without a vote are irrelevant, have no power and are just blowing in the wind. I have a vote and intend to use it. Guess which way Arnez?
      Your “returning” old codger mates may have a shock when they get back to Blighty and see just what “benefits” they get. Or not.

      • Oh dear Stefanjo, calm down and stop blowing in the wind. So now you are advocating against freedom of speech, democracy and theheading of this column titled “comments”. For a start I have said “if” I lived in the UK I would vote “out” which should also have been the rights of all British citizens regardless of how many years they have not lived back in old blight’y, as for instance, wishing to return or the effect it would have on their off-springs.
        As for your input of “Those with a vote, have power and are worth listening to” is quite an understatement and is what the “out” campaign is fighting against, the power of the un-elected few at the top table of the EU.
        As for your total ignorance regarding the benefits that the returning “old codgers” could claim, taking in consideration that they have lived in Spain longer then you have and another six months wait in blight’y would be negligible, there are at least, repeat, at least 10 items of benefits available to them which they cannot claim at present, one being, should I dare say, the WFA which I’m afraid you can’t even though you are in the EU.
        So please stop blowing in the wind and stop showing your ignorance on matters you know nothing about before putting to print. BTW stefanjo, one of those “old codgers” mentioned has 5 campaign medals plus a medal from the French government. Another has 2 “special” medals from the British government which he never discusses, and too many others members to mention which they never talk about in saving your “Top of the Table” and am proud to know them. That’s what I call being British, and as for you stefanjo, “who are you, I’ve never heard of you, in-fact nobody has ever heard of you”. A Nigel Farage quote. Quite suitable don’t you think.

        • Perhaps stefanjo I should have given you a brief history of one of the “old codgers” in question who had in-fact received a total of six campaign medals and one special medal for the D.Day Landing on June 6th from the French Government. Other sea battles the “old codger” had been involved in were:-
          The Artic, N.Africa, N.France, S.France, Agean, Sumatra, Okinawa and Japan.

          As for his part (trained as a akak gunner) his ship, a cruiser, when involved in the battle of Okinawa stood 20 miles ahead of the American and British fleet which consisted of well over a thousand ships to give notice of any pending Kamikaze planes. In total approximately 190 odd Kamikaze bomber planes formed the attack but seeing a lone cruiser three Kamikaze planes broke rank to attack his ship. During the attack the shield protecting him and the guns collapsed causing the lose of hearing to one ear. For this he gets a pea nut military pension.

          Do you not think that he and many others that had served their country are entitled to every possible benefit available by the British Government instead of your snide remarks about benefits for “old codgers” which I feel require’s an apologize. I hope those that have read this can see the type of person that these gallant people fought for and as to their appreciation and respect to “old codgers”.

  19. Chas,
    did’nt know that about Cruz. Most people don’t know just how debauched and degenerate Batista regime was, brothels for every perversion and a favourite vacation place for the American Mafia. Miami became truly criminalised when the Batistas’ arrived and a favoured conduit for cocaine trafficking.

    The Guardian relentlessly printed article after article, each one full of only lies and innuendoes (like a poster on this thread) about Corbyn. Almost every day there is a French metro , a well known neo-liberal writing complete b/s and every day she and the Guardian are relentlessly harangued and quite rightly with their neo-liberal onslaught – a once good left of centre newspaper that is now only a pathetic right wing rag.

    Arnez, we too would hate to leave France. Just as in Spain, we have never lived in a Brit ghetto but among the ordinary French and enjoy their polite way of life. No drunks rolling around the streets, no knife fights, no nightly rapes or shootings. I repeat again I/we are not anti- European we are anti EU and all the French we talk to are the same.

    It would be amazing to see the Brits back home doing what the French are doing but they sadly never will.

    If you thought that bailing out Spain, Portugal and Greece was the end of it, think again. Italys’ banks €360 billion of non performing loans – and the bad news will keep on coming. Spain is doing so well say the pro EUers – remind me again of the unemployment numbers – still over 20% – are’nt they doing great.

  20. Have to smile somewhat, have just read an article that says Spain’s unemployment falls to a new 4.5 year low, 20.4% in Feb. Most countries would say their figures rise to such heights. Spanish youth unemployment still at over 45%, which must explain why so many bright young Spaniards move abroad. IMO they add a lot of character and fun to the UK towns and Cities, I’d very much doubt anything that Phillip (offshore) Hammond spouts about them, plus any young French, Germans etc, having to leave the UK if it voted Brexit. More ‘in’ scaremongering!

    Of those we know and ourselves in the UK, none of us are anti European either, but most definitely anti EU, and that sentiment seems to be spreading in much of Europe I believe.

  21. Question for Stuart as you live in France.

    A Sky TV news report today Tuesday 19th had a reporter talking from Valence. He says an independent poll (don’t know the numbers) says that 45% of French back a Brexit, and 53% of French now want a UK style In/Out referendum. I’ve also read the same percentage of Dutch want a referendum, the Swedes generally want OUT of the EU as do the Czechs also. However this is what seems to be reported.

    What’s you view on things in France as you are on the ground there?

      • My post wasn’t to you stefanjo, but as usual you like to butt in, I asked someone who lives there what he’s aware of! I was also not discussing the historical differences.

        • Sorry Mike, but this is a public forum, not a messaging service, or a private conversation in the corner of a pub. If it’s up there, it is open for comment.
          And humour, lighten up.

          • Stefanjo ‘talk about twisted’ lol You do go on you poor chap!

            Thanks Stuart for your reply to my questions to what younotice at present in France.

  22. Mike,
    yes the ordinary French are far from anti British and agree wholeheartedly with the British sentiments. Indeed as I regularly in, as every week phone my friends in the Netherlands and Germany. I think the turning point for many was Merkel’s big arrogant mouth and the wholesale sexual abuse that took place in many cities in Germany.

    The Sky report from Germany was illuminating. The UK is Germany’s biggest market, you could smell the fear if the bullying does’nt work. It may well take the EU years and years to get trade agreements with the UK and by then it may well have disappeared up it’s own rear end.

    Then there are all those parasitic metros (metropolitans) that are totally unaffected by mass migration of peoples who culturally could come from another planet or at least another medieval time.
    The ‘mouth’s last post was pathetic,twisted and totally inaccurate, it almost amounts to self abuse, sad’ just ignore.

    • Talk about twisted. It’s the UK who will be seeking trade agreements with the EU in event of a Brexit, not the other way round. In fact, it will have to go cap in hand to all and sundry, in order to flog what bits of tat it still produces. (For foreign owners).

  23. A couple of things always run through the EU debates. The remainiacs are very rude. They always ask for links and when given them try to talk them down. Wrong newspaper or wrong writer. Ha ha.

    • Marion, just to clarify, earlier I asked for a link to a source from Mike, who (above) stated this:

      “The campaign is already getting nasty, but good to see the Dutch are urging Brits to vote OUT…”

      The source was given as the Express, and the headline was in fact: “‘Leave now’ Dutch urge Britons to back Brexit”. The original headline gave the impression that the Netherlands, as a whole (the Dutch) were saying this, hence why I asked for clarification, but in fact it was just the opinion of Thierry Baudet (a right-wing Dutch journalist and publicist, well known for his academic euroscepticism). Well, that’s not really a surprise, is it? Finally, the source was Thierry Baudet, not the Express. Brexit is a serious subject and when we debate it we should be careful not to embellish quotations, or misquote them, in order to gain an advantage (either for or against Brexit).

      • Most of the comments from journalists, Politician, business leader etc etc are just their ‘opinions’ based on their preferences and what they might gain, but Obama pmsl, has lost much credibility with his inane views no doubt with a lot of encouragement from Camoron and Os-yawn. This the President who has been weak with Putin, weak with Isis and next to useless with US gun laws only attempting to speak a little on this in his final year. Also representing a country who would never give up their Independence.

        However other EU countries it now seems would like a UK style referendum as the rumbles grow louder.

        Agreed Stuart, Britain remaining in will never be able to effect clear change, the EU is corrupt, Greece’s finances are in a parlous state still etc etc with other Club Med countries/banks.

  24. When I was working in the Netherlands there were a lot of Luxembourgers working there as well. Why, well then (79/80) Luxembourg was a poor little farming country that was’nt worth a damn.

    Fast forward to today and we find a small very wealthy little country that pimps off most if not all western members of the EU.

    As everyone knows the president of the European Commission is one Jean-Claude Juncker. This was the man who dreamt up all the Luxembourg aggressive industrial scale tax fiddles. This irrelevent little country is about to prosecute two ex PWC employees who blew the whistle on the infamous Luxleak scandal.

    It shows clearly that nearly all major international companies have been screwing over national countries across the EU for tens of billions. This nothing little country is treating other EU countries with total contempt. Most major newspapers are running the story – I read it in the Guardian today.

    The question is – as this corrupt ugly creep Juncker was elected almost unanimously, is there any way they are going to fine this s~~hole of a country out of existence, is Juncker going to face the rest of his life in jail somewhere. Is Ireland going to be forced to charge a realistic rate of Corporation tax and are the Dutch tax loopholes going to be closed down, tomorrow or never?

    Will Britain remaining in the EU be either willing or able to affect real change starting with the onslaught necessary against Luxembourg, Juncker,Ireland or the Netherlands – you all know the answer but let’s hear some more b/s from the Remainers.

    One thing I guarantee there will be plenty of insults and a complete denial of reality. Sadly many Brits are in second place only to Spain in denial syndrome – vamos a ver.

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