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Author Topic: Brexitmageddon  (Read 19156 times)

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Brexitmageddon
« on: 24 Jun 2016, 23:05 »
To start, I've got no horse in this race.  But I find it interesting that my normal source of the pulse of global political sentiment (i.e. the AGS forums) has nothing to say on the matter.  Is this a sign of a collective shrug?  What about the inherent democratic deficit of the European Union?  What about the racist tinge of the Leave campaign?  What does it mean to be European?  What do the Scots have to say on the matter?

For me, I honestly didn't see the point in all the paranoia about well-qualified or highly industrious immigrants coming to the country to subsidise the local slackers, but then my country is just a hodge-podge of anyone who bothered to show up, so I have a hard time appreciating nativist sentiment.  On the other hand, as a person I do my best to have as little as possible to do with governments and regulations (don't tell the building inspector), so I appreciate the sentiment of wanting to cast off the burden of an extra level of bureaucracy.  But I want to hear honestly from the Brits and the Euros: what's the real motivation for this Brexit thing, and how's it all gonna shake down?


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Re: Brexitmageddon
« Reply #1 on: 24 Jun 2016, 23:52 »
I think a lot of us are too burned out and depressed to talk about it. I woke up just wanting it to all be a bad dream.

Basically if you want to know why we are unhappy check out James O'Briens LBC recordings of the subject. They did facts not feelings but today explained that we've basically been fucked over by a bunch of people who voted with their feelings. They didn't want experts but now the pound is crashing and Farage is admitting they campaigned on lies and they won't be spending the money as they promised, suddenly people want experts to reassure them! 

The mood is unpleasant here. I'm not proud to be British. Camerons plan to appeal to the right wing nationalists kept his party in power with a majority government, but it has left us with the exposed xenophobic underbelly. People are being openly racist, and proud. It's a huge disappointment, not to mention stupid.

Most Brexiters are the people longing for the good old days when they were kids in the 60s. Boomers who will retire soon and leave us with potentially another recession. It's so stupid because their good old days still had loads of immigrants. So many from the West Indies and Asia! I mean our Indian immigrants created tikka masala curry which is basically a national dish! But they act like our country didn't have foreigners in it back then.

We've mistakenly listened to the scaremongering Murdoch media and bought into the idea that the EU and immigrants are the reason we have so much poverty and joblessness. Why we have no decent housing options and the NHS is failing. It's bullshit. We have no decent housing because our government isn't building affordable housing or capping rent! We have less jobs because harsh austerity is not conducive to economic stimulation. Our education costs and skyrocketing but degrees are becoming worth less and less. Our NHS is being sold off by the UK government. None of this is the EU and migrants! Most of our immigrants come from outside the EU anyway and we have control of those restrictions already! For instance we refused 3000 child refugees from Syria.

So basically we are in the unique position now of having people who believed pencils at the polling stations were an actual vote rigging strategy deciding the future of our nation. People who said they are tired of listening to experts. So those of us who remain have to weirdly hope all the worlds leaders and experts were wrong. Except for Putin, Farage, Johnson and Gove... When Gove is the best of the bunch you know you're in the shit.

Also well done to Wales who voted to leave but still want all the EU flood relief money they get!

Basically to summarise, we chose poorly but now have to make the best of a bad situation and try to salvage what we can of this country in a climate of xenophobia and proud nationalistic ignorance.

But you know we'll just put the kettle on, keep calm and carry on.

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Re: Brexitmageddon
« Reply #2 on: 25 Jun 2016, 02:00 »
Well, a couple weeks ago we also had a referendum in the Netherlands. See, the European Union had to decide on whether to have economic negotiations with Ukraine, and in every country the politicians decided that negotiations are good, so let's do that. Except for us: for some reason this was forced to a public referendum instead. And, our local Animal Rights party started some heavy campaigning since apparently Ukraine has poor conditions for its cows and chickens. So since almost nobody in the country understood what the refendum was about in the first place, and there were lots of posters against it, so people voted no. Which leaves us in the idiotic position that all of Europe including our own politicians want to negotiate with Ukraine, except we're somehow supposed to veto ourselves now because that's what the popular vote said.

So how does that relate to brexit? Well, it's obvious that if you're going to leave an important decision to popular vote, then you're going to have a bunch of ignorant people decide based on their gut feeling, which is generally the exact opposite of what the country needs.

Well, I'm curious what Scotland is going to do next. Given that their membership of the UK was essentially contigent on the UK being in the EU, it wouldn't surprise me if they declared independence some time next year and join the EU as such. I hear that Scandinavia in particular sees kinship with them and is well in favor, and UK is no longer in a position to block it.

Re: Brexitmageddon
« Reply #3 on: 25 Jun 2016, 02:53 »
I really feel for the Scots. I was one of the ones saying 'Please don't go' the other year, and now they've been completely shafted. I love my Scottish friends and cousins but I absolutely wouldn't blame them for having another pop at independence.

As for the situation now. No one even knows what happens next. That's the scary thing. The referendum shouldn't have been even announced until there was an exact road map of what would happen in either case. I'm not talking about policies and promises (aka lies and fear) but exact information about what deals would be in place, who with, when, how being or not being in the EU would affect all aspects of UK life and politics. The UK has just taken a massive stab in the dark. It *miiight* end up working out for the better in the long term. But no one knows that enough to justify such a massive gamble.

But. This is where we're at, and we have to take a deep breath and try to move forward and not alienate ourselves even more.

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Re: Brexitmageddon
« Reply #4 on: 25 Jun 2016, 03:48 »
Wrapped in my warming EU blanket, I got awakened by sirens and radio broadcasts: political Europe got overthrown this morning...
« Last Edit: 23 Aug 2016, 01:14 by Amy »

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Re: Brexitmageddon
« Reply #5 on: 25 Jun 2016, 09:45 »
Pretty much anyone with knowledge and understanding of the subject agrees that the UK has benefited from EU membership, and will almost certainly be hurt by leaving. (The rhetoric about how much the country pays to the union misses the point completely. It's like arguing that anyone who pays taxes would be better off on their own, even if that would mean giving up access to schools, hospitals, roads, running water, etc.) So this was a stupid decision. No one pretends that the EU is perfect, and dissatisfaction with it is understandable. But the EU's dysfunctions are a reflection of European squabbling, and you can't escape from those problems: You can leave the EU, but you can't leave Europe.

Of course, there are countries that manage outside of the EU, and the UK is in pretty good shape overall (not like Greece, for example), so the consequences most likely won't be apocalyptic. But in lots of small ways that add up, Brits will be worse off. For example, 10% of UK tax revenue comes from the financial services industry, and London has become a hub for this in large part because it's possible to trade all over Europe from there. Much of that business may now (gradually) be lost to other European centers, with knock-on effects for other parts of the economy. So that means loss of growth, recession, deficits, swingeing budget cuts, austerity...

I'm most worried for all the people I know who come from various countries in Europe and live in Britain. This referendum has been a giant "screw you!" to them. And many of my friends (Brits and others living in Britain) are researchers: these days, EU grants is one of the main sources of research funding (though the European Research Council), and if the UK cuts itself off from that it will make international research collaborations far more difficult, and British universities much less attractive for top-quality talent.

And sure, a lot of the potential problems can be mitigated: you don't have to kick out foreigners, you can still ask to join the ERC (for a fee), it might even be possible to remain part of the common market so you don't drive away business. But avoiding the most serious consequences of Brexit means, in each case, adopting the very EU policies and regulation the Leavers were protesting against, and now having no direct influence on them. Great win for "sovereignty", eh?

And that's not even taking into account the possible domino effect this decision may have set in motion, that could lead to the breakup of the United Kingdom. Congratulations on that!

The only way I can think of that this makes sense is if you think the EU is doomed anyway, and that it's better to get out now in a halfway orderly fashion than to be caught up in its collapse. Though if that comes true, it will be the very definition of a self-fulfilling prophecy.

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Re: Brexitmageddon
« Reply #6 on: 25 Jun 2016, 11:30 »
My opinion on the matter is that either decision wouldn't have made much of a difference.
There are plenty of countries that aren't part of the EU, that are doing just fine. And there seemed to be equal amounts advantages and disadvantages to staying and leaving. Although it's hard to say which of those advantages and disadvantages were true, and which were propaganda.

No doubt Britain will be in for some hard times. But give it a decade, and things will be exactly as they are now. So in short, I shrugged. In the long term, I doubt it matters. At least now (or at least in two years) I can independently sell games online to other European countries without filling in tax forms. So I've got that going for me I guess. :-\

What especially irks me though. Is that I've heard a LOT of (apparently false) reasons as to why leaving is a good thing. And I've heard lots of people saying that leaving is a bad thing. But I've yet to hear any of the good things you get from staying. I know they're there, but no one seems to be telling anyone. Which is really annoying.

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Re: Brexitmageddon
« Reply #7 on: 25 Jun 2016, 12:31 »
What especially irks me though. Is that I've heard a LOT of (apparently false) reasons as to why leaving is a good thing. And I've heard lots of people saying that leaving is a bad thing. But I've yet to hear any of the good things you get from staying. I know they're there, but no one seems to be telling anyone. Which is really annoying.

The EU :
  • Funds regeneration of areas of the UK that don't get any from Westminster (that's every area outside of London, AFAIK. London hates spending money on anywhere that isn't London. 
  • Opens us up to the EU market, which is vital for our economy. Just... Thinking about leaving tanked the value of our currency, and companies will abandon the UK without its involvement in the EU market.
  • free movement of people in and out of the uk. We have a lot of emigrants living in other countries, the eu has some immigrants that work here. This is mutually beneficial.
  • There are no customs charges on goods sold within the EU. Note that this includes food, because we don't grow a whole lot here in the UK. Prepare for more expensive everything, combined with the weaker pound will deepen poverty and make life real hard.
  • oh, and without the EU helping us with immigration control, the UK has to do it themselves - eating up funds they could use elsewhere. Like the nhs.
  • There is literally no advantage to leaving, especially not any of the ones stated by the leave campaign.
  • Workers rights, LGBT rights, and maternity leave laws are tied up in the EU. What with the rapid disintegration of the country into open bigotry, I'm not seeing how these will be improved by us leaving. They might never come back.
  • EU safety regulations stop dangerous products from being made or sold here. Laugh all you want at pillow case regulations, those things were made with formaldehyde at some point. Either we leave and import goods from places that don't have safety regulations (but they're cheaper) or we import eu goods anyway and pay more for em.
  • University researchers rely heavily on eu grant money and access to overseas resources for their research. Without access to the EU, we are stuck with just our country's resources, and lol we aren't gonna fund schools nah.
  • Isolating ourselves from the international community will only heighten xenophobia. There's already been political violence. What next could happen?


I'm exhausted by this farce. Nobody actually wanted to leave, it is destroying our country overnight, and there doesn't seem to be anything I can do to stop it.

So yeah, being in the EU wasn't perfect, but it was undoubtedly beneficial to us.

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Re: Brexitmageddon
« Reply #8 on: 25 Jun 2016, 12:58 »
There are plenty of countries that aren't part of the EU, that are doing just fine.

Clearly it's possible to get by without the EU, but that doesn't mean it won't be a serious disadvantage. And there aren't that many countries in Europe that aren't members and that are "doing just fine". Really only Switzerland (Norway is effectively a non-voting member, plus, you know, has oil), and even they have had to compromise on a lot of the things the Leave campaign rejects.

And there seemed to be equal amounts advantages and disadvantages to staying and leaving.

That's certainly not what the experts think, so this sounds a bit like hearing what you want to hear.

What especially irks me though. Is that I've heard a LOT of (apparently false) reasons as to why leaving is a good thing. And I've heard lots of people saying that leaving is a bad thing. But I've yet to hear any of the good things you get from staying. I know they're there, but no one seems to be telling anyone. Which is really annoying.

Well, since the UK is currently a member, you're already seeing most of those benefits. That's what made it a tough argument for Remain: they couldn't promise much more than the status quo (Cameron's renegotiation would have got you even more privileged treatment, but nothing to get people excited), only argue all the ways the alternative would be a change for the worse (and having it called scare tactics), like Scavenger just listed.

Re: Brexitmageddon
« Reply #9 on: 25 Jun 2016, 14:12 »
To start, I've got no horse in this race.  But I find it interesting that my normal source of the pulse of global political sentiment (i.e. the AGS forums) has nothing to say on the matter.  Is this a sign of a collective shrug?  What about the inherent democratic deficit of the European Union?  What about the racist tinge of the Leave campaign?  What does it mean to be European?  What do the Scots have to say on the matter?

I think that's a really tough set of questions to be honest. I think the low response pretty much comes from what Myinah said e.g. people who lost are upset and don't really feel up to talking yet and the leavers aren't exactly going to start a 'hooray we left' thread as they'll just get called stupid and racist by everyone else.

What it really boils down to is that this is just typical politics - 50% win and 50% lose - you literally can't please everyone.

I'm not going to comment on whether i think it's good or bad as I simply just don't know and I think deep down most people don't know know either - I hear a lot of 'facts' but data can always be interpreted in many different ways. I will say that I think it's probably not the decision I thought it was going to be, but that's how a democracy works at the end of the day. I think the meaning of 'democracy' and probably more importantly words like 'bigot' got lost during this period and I thought the campaigns of both sides got well and truly dragged into the gutter.

In reference to Scotland and London etc - just bare in mind that 40% of those people wanted to leave, that's millions of people - so if Scotland do leave the UK and join the EU, surprise surprise, you'll have a bunch of unhappy people there as well - again, typical politics, can't please everyone!
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Re: Brexitmageddon
« Reply #10 on: 25 Jun 2016, 14:33 »
Quote
Nobody actually wanted to leave

Only 17 million people.

(edit)

Haha, well the entire internet is one big worldwide Steam store page at the moment, it's gnarly!! It's a good thing, it's an excellent thing! Of course it is, this is why I voted to leave :) Fixing the EU from the inside is a very noble and strong argument, but we can't even fix our own country from the inside. I voted leave cos the EU made an irreversible decision in 2015 that negatively affected my business. It was a moment where I experienced a British law being surpassed by a European one, and it made me worse off. So fuck em. I consider most other reasons to be mainstream media influenced, borders, migration, gdp, and believe people should vote with respect to their actual lives and issues that personally affect them and "what the world wants" second. Anyway, haha, more rational thoughts on this soon -- as mentioned, it's all a bit tiring at the moment ;)

Though I will add: I was always keeping remain in mind because as I say there are many strong reasons for it. But another turning point for me was an on the street interview with a woman giving her opinion on the EU. In the background was this homeless guy asking for change and of course londoners just strolling by ignoring. And it was that contrast between someone giving such a shit about the EU to a tv reporter and homeless people in the background not being given a shit about that made me realize we have so many of our own issues that need sorting first, whatever it takes. If that means sending a strong message to the EU, government, rest of world - so be it. If it means some hard times for now, so be it. We can at least accept and take responsiblity that we have some major problems of our own, hard issues on our own soil to tackle first, and then get back to the EU project perhaps. If "out is out" then fair enough, if they won't allow us to tackle our own issues without their (non) assistance, too bad for us I guess. But they are two things that seemingly cannot work in conjunction at this point.
« Last Edit: 25 Jun 2016, 16:18 by Mods »

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Re: Brexitmageddon
« Reply #11 on: 25 Jun 2016, 14:40 »
What it really boils down to is that this is just typical politics - 50% win and 50% lose - you literally can't please everyone.
The goal of a government is not to please everyone, but to do what is good for the country. Here's where those facts come in handy, and this is why successful businesses and universities (and countries!) are run by experts and not by popular vote.

Re: Brexitmageddon
« Reply #12 on: 25 Jun 2016, 16:10 »
What it really boils down to is that this is just typical politics - 50% win and 50% lose - you literally can't please everyone.
The goal of a government is not to please everyone, but to do what is good for the country. Here's where those facts come in handy, and this is why successful businesses and universities (and countries!) are run by experts and not by popular vote.

To an extent I agree but essentially your simply saying that democracy does not work.

The government unfortunately does try to please everyone as that's the only way they can stay in power. Imagine if the government only tried to do what was good for the country, what a lovely place to live that would be!
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Re: Brexitmageddon
« Reply #13 on: 25 Jun 2016, 16:15 »
I genuinely feel ashamed of the outcome. It was a democratic vote, but what does this result say about my nation especially given the tone of the campaign and the reasons many voters publicly gave for their vote? It certainly does not represent me - but I accept this is a divided society. I was horrified by comments I saw in the days before the vote in my social media feeds. I was worried this might happen but still shocked when it did. Now, after the result, the leave camp is already backtracking on its pledges. Cornwall voted to leave then immediately sent a letter to the government requesting their annual EU funding allowance be preserved... not likely! The biggest loss is that, rather than 'making Great Britain great again', it looks more likely brexit will essentially make Great Britain extinct (brextinct?). Scotland will leave - the SNP have the scent now and the population is livid from their treatment after the previous referendum. They'll likely be followed by NI. Wales, despite the result, won't want to be the last one left under the thumb. Everyone's entitled to their opinion and mine is that this was a sad sad day for Great Britain (and Europe, although I hope the EU survives and makes a mockery of us but I fear other nations will follow our precedent). I really hope I'm proved wrong - as people say, it's possible to survive outside the EU - but it comes at great cost. The immediate financial impact wiped off the equivalent cost of decades of EU membership, was it worth it? And as I outlined above, Great Britain has even more to lose by leaving, it may essentially cease to exist - which will have further economic impacts. Depressing :(

(Didn't set out to write something long... but it still hurts.)

Edit 1 - reading some of the previous posts I agree that a decision such as this should never have been put in the hands of the electorate - but if there was no choice - then the wording and terms of the referendum should have been much more robust. This was just reckless... but then the majority has spoken

Edit 2 - Also reading the posts above - I could write at length about my views regarding the real political motives behind this vote and who really wins/loses - but the comment about Rupert Murdoch and his publication 'the Sun' supporting the leave campaign is a shrewd one (I saw a great observation about Liverpool voting remain when demographically similar locations voted heavily for leave... the Sun hasn't been sold in Liverpool for 27 years). A great example of someone with scrupulous morals and vested personal interests who, with EU policy protection out of the picture, can now probably influence British politics to a greater extent. Remind me who elected him?
« Last Edit: 25 Jun 2016, 16:50 by Haggis »

Re: Brexitmageddon
« Reply #14 on: 25 Jun 2016, 18:09 »
Edit 1 - reading some of the previous posts I agree that a decision such as this should never have been put in the hands of the electorate - but if there was no choice - then the wording and terms of the referendum should have been much more robust. This was just reckless... but then the majority has spoken

I tend to agree with this, it's a sort of, we don't quite trust democracy-ish type of view. Maybe for such a major change it should just have to be a higher majority to win, like 60% needed to actually leave.
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Re: Brexitmageddon
« Reply #15 on: 25 Jun 2016, 21:29 »
The United Kingdom was always the green green land of roleplay, mudlarking and all sorts of adventure. Loving those, I won't let you go!
« Last Edit: 23 Aug 2016, 00:57 by Amy »

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Re: Brexitmageddon
« Reply #16 on: 25 Jun 2016, 22:30 »
To an extent I agree but essentially your simply saying that democracy does not work.
Not at all. One of the points of democracy is that you elect expert politicians to govern the country since it is a given that your neighbor Bob can't do it. Running a country is not a series of straightforward yes/no questions.

Quote
The government unfortunately does try to please everyone as that's the only way they can stay in power. Imagine if the government only tried to do what was good for the country, what a lovely place to live that would be!
While no government is perfect, the politicians of some countries do lean more towards doing what's good for the country, and others do lean more towards staying in power. The former kind does tend to make the country more prosperous and having higher standards of living.

Quote
but the comment about Rupert Murdoch and his publication 'the Sun' supporting the leave campaign is a shrewd one
It is a fair point that any major party outside of the EU, particularly from the US or China, has a vested interest in breaking up the EU, and thus in supporting the brexit.

Re: Brexitmageddon
« Reply #17 on: 25 Jun 2016, 22:42 »
To an extent I agree but essentially your simply saying that democracy does not work.
Not at all. One of the points of democracy is that you elect expert politicians to govern the country since it is a given that your neighbor Bob can't do it. Running a country is not a series of straightforward yes/no questions.

I do agree with you I'm just playing a bit of Devil's advocate to be honest, but that said, one of the other points of a democracy is where the expert politicians DO give your neighbour Bob a chance to run the country - by giving them a yes/no question. So we can't go kicking up a fuss when democracy does exactly what it can do. Whether it should have done that, I agree with you - very debatable to say the least!
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Re: Brexitmageddon
« Reply #18 on: 25 Jun 2016, 22:55 »
Quote
And it was that contrast between someone giving such a shit about the EU to a tv reporter and homeless people in the background not being given a shit about that made me realize we have so many of our own issues that need sorting first,

I can understand you got pissed by an EU law that screwed your business, but you taking a cultural issue and make it a reason for leaving EU? You do realize that poverty exists and existed before the EU right? Right? This will never change, unless you change an entire culture! Oh well... here are 2 entire generations that haven't even experienced not being in the EU that will now have to wake up to a new reality. Sure hope it won't be for the worse.
But I do fear that this is the "beginning of the end". Because people tend to more easily focus on the small "negative" things and forget all the good things they got from it... maybe because they always had it, that it never even cross their minds that they will loose all that when they voted out.

Maybe one day in the long long future we will be "citizens of the world", which I like to consider my self in, instead of "citizen of country x". Maybe it's just me, that don't get nationalism. :-[
« Last Edit: 25 Jun 2016, 22:56 by Cassiebsg »
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Re: Brexitmageddon
« Reply #19 on: 26 Jun 2016, 01:54 »
I've just been reading an article on "Regrexit" and a comment made by many "Leavers" who regret their vote just shows the basic stupidity of human beings in my opinion:

Basically:

"I didn't think that Leave had any chance of happening, so I felt there was no harm in voting for it."

Yes, people are actually Tweeting this shite, about themselves, and seem to have no idea how moronic it makes them look.

Really, people?! I mean...WTF?!?!