The U.K. and the European Union

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by Ro_Laren, Jul 20, 2014.

  1. Ro_Laren

    Ro_Laren Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2004
    Location:
    The Badlands
    I browsed through an article today where it was stated that U.K. Foreign Secretary Hammond said he would like vote to leave the E.U. This made me wonder: what exactly is the U.K.'s relationship with the E.U. I know that it is a member, but IIRC their relationship with the E.U. isn't the same as other nations. For example, in the UK they still use pounds instead of Euros. When did the U.K. join the E.U. and why? And can a nation just vote to leave the E.U. and it be accepted by the E.U. and other nations?
     
  2. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2001
    Location:
    Great Britain
    The EU consist of 28 countries of which only 18 belong to the so called Eurozone i.e use the Euro. the UK joined in 1973 though I believe it tried to join earlier but it' wasn't support by De Gaulle

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/november/27/newsid_4187000/4187714.stm

    The UK's relationship aside from not being a member of the eurozone is no different than any other member, as for a member voting to leave sure, if they vote to join they can vote to leave.

    Sure the UK is one of the more eurosceptic countries but bear in mind the recent European elections showed an increase in eurosceptisim across the member nations which could indicate something is not quite right in the EU. My own opinion is that the EU leadership hasn't done a very good job of explaining the benefits and is in need of reform.
     
  3. Roger Wilco

    Roger Wilco Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2004
    The Euro is not necessarily such a big deal (imo), but Britain not being part of Schengen seperates the UK from all other EU countries (other than Ireland) and that does make a noticable difference in certain ways.

    Regarding your last question: There's no precedent for a country leaving the EU, but certainly it would be accepted if the UK made that decision; why not, and how could they be stopped?
     
  4. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2001
    Location:
    Great Britain
    I suspect that whilst some member states of the EU might view the UK as a bit troublesome they would rather not see it leave.
     
  5. Roger Wilco

    Roger Wilco Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2004
    Of course. But if the UK decided that, especially through a referendum, there would be nothing to do about it.
     
  6. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2001
    Location:
    Great Britain
    Well it is by no means certain that an In/Out referendum will be put before the British electorate, I guess it all depends on firstly results of the election in May 2015, secondly should the Conservatives be in the majority or have enough votes from other parties will they actually present a Bill before Parliamnet for a referendum.

    Politicans tend to promise a lot of things, they don't always deliver on said promises.
     
  7. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    Location:
    Ireland
    The EU is not quite as monolithic as some think, and during treaty negotiations countries will occasionally request opt-outs from specific policies. Currently, four countries have special opt-outs: the UK, Ireland, Denmark, and Poland. The UK and Denmark chose to opt-out of the euro when that treaty was drawn up, although some EU countries (such as Sweden) use a loophole to put off adopting the euro indefinitely. So as things stand, the UK is just as much a member of the EU as everyone else, they just tend to complain more. ;)


    They joined because the EU is a mostly beneficial organisation and being a part of the single European market was worth billions of pounds to the UK's economy. But as the EU has evolved it has become more powerful (with the permission of the governments of the member states, including the UK's) and many people in the UK fear it is eroding their sovereignty. This is exacerbated by the fact that many British people do not consider themselves European due to their island status, which makes the EU appear to be a foreign entity that's telling them what to do. This isn't really true, but the fear of it sells newspapers so much of the media claims that it is.


    It's not that big of a deal, what with being on islands. We need to use boats or planes to visit the continent anyway, and they require ID. The visa situation is a bit of a pain for non-Europeans though.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2014
  8. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2001
    Location:
    Great Britain
    Isn't that the one of issue is, is that when the UK joined the then EEC is was more of a free trade zone, rather than the more seemingly Political Union it has become today, and anyone born after 1955 or so has never had a real say in the matter is this what we want? Sure the media at times doesn't always paint things in the best light.
     
  9. Jim Gamma

    Jim Gamma This space left blank intentionally. Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2003
    Location:
    London
    Well, technically, we could use the Channel Tunnel. However, there are reasons that we're not in it.
     
  10. Deckerd

    Deckerd Fleet Arse Premium Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2005
    Location:
    the Frozen Wastes
    Conservative politicians like to pose as Eurosceptics to attract that part of the electorate, secure in the knowledge that UK will never leave the EU because it would be financial suicide.
     
  11. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    Location:
    Ireland
    Kinda. The European project was always intended to have some level of political integration and that was known back when the UK joined back in 1973. But the UK's economy floundered in the 60s and 70s and it was felt that EEC membership would help get the country on the right track. When a vote was held on whether to remain in the EEC in 1975, politicians across the political spectrum effectively lied to the public about the extent of European integration that was planned in order to get a yes vote. So the people may not have signed off on European political union, but the UK government did and has continued to do so with each treaty since then.

    The idealistic part of me supports the idea of the British public having an honest referendum debate on the EU once and for all. The practical side of me worries that doing so brings the risk of the reintroduction of tariffs with Ireland's largest trading parter, hurting our economy.


    It's not often that you find an academic article written in comic sans. Also, that article appears to be pro-Schengen, dismissing the arguments made against the UK joining in the final paragraph.
     
  12. Otto Harkaman

    Otto Harkaman Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2013
    Location:
    Secret HYDRA base
    I see a lot of comments on the Daily Telegraph complaining about the problems of immigration with the porous borders of some EU states allowing them to enter the UK.
     
  13. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2001
    Location:
    Great Britain
    Of course it should be pointed out that previous treaties have been rejected when the eletorate in certain countries have had a vote on them. Such as the Constiutional treaty which was rejected by French and Dutch voters and had the UK had one as promised by the then PM Tony Blair it would likely have been rejected. Planned referendums in Ireland, Denmark and Portugal did also not go ahead.

    Irish voters have also rejected EU treaties in the past only to be asked to have a second referendum a few months later, the cynic in me says they would keep being asked until they returned the desired result.
     
  14. Jim Gamma

    Jim Gamma This space left blank intentionally. Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2003
    Location:
    London

    True on both counts but was just pointing out that there were reasons in the first place. ;)

    OK, here's something a little more credible.
     
  15. SPCTRE

    SPCTRE Badass Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2008
    Location:
    Schleswig-Holstein
  16. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    Location:
    Ireland
    It happened twice, with the Nice and Lisbon treaties, and it was definitely dodgy. The Irish government did get some minor concessions both times in order to justify holding a second vote, but the way some of the other countries reacted at the time was vaguely bullying.


    There are certainly drawbacks to Schengen which are supposed to be overcome by the benefits of open borders, and the UK government is correct that not being connected to the continent with a land border (except for Gibraltar, kinda) lessens those benefits and changes the weight of the calculations. Still, I have the suspicion that the decision to stay out of Schengen was due to wanting to be seen as tough on illegal immigration rather than the outcome of an objective cost-benefit analysis.
     
  17. Into Darkness

    Into Darkness Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2013
    Location:
    Here and There
    I feel that because the UK is an island nation and has always been separated from mainland Europe by the sea we've developed a different culture and mindset and this makes it harder for the UK to feel at ease in a union with mainland Europe.
    Mainland Europeans have a much richer shared history, shared culture and share far more commonalities which eachother than the UK does with them. I believe Euroscepticism stems from the different more separate histories. I mean you have to realise that most of the EU countries share land borders, have had much more cross border interaction in the past.
    It's kind of like how England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and Ireland have much closer ties and a much more connected history, mainland Europe is like that but it's separate from our "social circle".
     
  18. Brefugee

    Brefugee Living the Irish dream. Premium Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2007
    Location:
    The Republic of Ireland
    ^ I don't think it has anything to do with that. This tiny island used to have an empire, one of the largest in the history of human civilization and we just can't get over the fact that one, that empire doesn't exist anymore and we need to seemingly yield to a greater power.

    If we leave Europe, I think it rests on the in/out vote in Scotland in the Autumn and then the reaction to that in next years General Election, it will be the worst possible thing to ever occur to this tiny island.
     
  19. Into Darkness

    Into Darkness Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2013
    Location:
    Here and There
    I do because I can't personally relate to Europeans. I feel closer to the Irish and Americans and Canadians than I do with either the French or the Germans. When I go on social media 95% of the time the people who I'm interacting with are either British, Irish, Canadian or American. Even when I join discussion groups very rarely do I find myself discussing anything with Europeans. Europeans feel alien to me, they feel as far away from me as do nations in Asia or Africa. I feel no commonality or connection. I think the separation between mainland Europe and the UK stretches beyond just the physical English channel. Why would I want to be in a political style union with these countries? why would I want to sign a free open border agreement?

    If the British are to stay in Europe, more steps need to be taken to shrink the chasm between our nations and cultures.
     
  20. iguana_tonante

    iguana_tonante Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    Italy, EU
    Nah. That's just nonsense.