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Should Britain leave the European Union?

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  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    Huffington Post, April 22, 2016: Obama Urges Britain To Remain In The European Union

    "LONDON (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama made an impassioned appeal on Friday for Britain to remain in the European Union, saying membership had magnified Britain’s place in the world and made the bloc stronger and more outward looking.

    "Fearful that a British exit could weaken the West, Obama arrived in London to applaud Britain’s EU membership which he said had helped make the world freer, richer and better able to tackle everything from Russian aggression to terrorism."

    President Obama is visiting in Britain after a quick trip to Saudi Arabia, which didn't get much news coverage because of the passing of the Prince. Anyway, the above link is the headline in the British newspapers that is causing some angst amongst the British people. Those wanting to stay in the EU applaud Obama's support.

    Others like London Mayor Boris Johnson, who heads the “Out” campaign, said that he did not want to be lectured by Americans about EU membership and that the United States would never countenance such a transfer of sovereignty.

    “For the United States to tell us in the UK that we must surrender control of so much of our democracy — it is a breathtaking example of the principle of do-as-I-say-but-not-as-I-do,” Johnson wrote in the Sun newspaper.

    “It is incoherent. It is inconsistent, and yes it is downright hypocritical,” Johnson said.

    It would appear that the Brits are evenly divided on issues, much like Americans, although I dare say most Americans have absolutely no idea what the European Union represents or does. Anyway, it would seem to me that staying in the EU is a good idea, if I can separate the facts from all the emotions.

  • Liberal
    Independent
    Durham, NH
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    They should not only stay in they should get rid of the far overvalued £ and use the € . If Scotland had any sence they would have left GB and dumped the S£ and converted to the €!
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    pr Wrote: They should not only stay in they should get rid of the far overvalued £ and use the € . If Scotland had any sence they would have left GB and dumped the S£ and converted to the €!
    As always, the US sticks its ugly nose into affairs of an other country. The UK can decide for themselves, they don't need Obama or Schmidt to tell them what to do. It is a good thing they leave the EU, because Britain is a bad fit. First of all they stick with the "pound" have a strange way of governing ; have all the oddities which we took over, which does not fit continental Europe like inches, miles, driving on the left side of the road as well their food which is horrible. (crumpets, clothed cream?) It always has been a bad fit. But yeah the US dumped them, because they did not like their tea, but loves "tea parties" and therefore loves them now, especially the royal family; because we have only Trump as royalty.
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    Dutch -- The Brits have better beer than the Dutch...and that's a good reason to keep them in the EU, that and their wonderful pubs with bangers and mash for lunch. Schmidt wasn't asked, but certainly he would have supported staying in.

    From the US perspective, the finalization of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the USA and the 28 countries of the EU, would work much better with the United Kingdom in rather than out. Also, I would think that the Brit's having their own currency is a good thing. Look at how the poorer countries like Greece, Ireland and Portugal have struggled without the flexibility of own currency. The EU has 19 of the 28 countries that have adopted the Euro (€) but most of them are dominated by Germany.

    While Republicans are criticizing President Obama for interjecting himself into the issue, they didn't have any problems in inviting Bibi Netanyahu to speak to Congress and trash the Iran nuclear deal.

  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    Dutch Wrote: As always, the US sticks its ugly nose into affairs of an other country. The UK can decide for themselves, they don't need Obama or Schmidt to tell them what to do. It is a good thing they leave the EU, because Britain is a bad fit. First of all they stick with the "pound" have a strange way of governing ; have all the oddities which we took over, which does not fit continental Europe like inches, miles, driving on the left side of the road as well their food which is horrible. (crumpets, clothed cream?) It always has been a bad fit. But yeah the US dumped them, because they did not like their tea, but loves "tea parties" and therefore loves them now, especially the royal family; because we have only Trump as royalty.

    I wonder what you will say after the EU breaks apart if the UK decides to leave. What happens when there's another financial crisis because the Euro dissolved and each European country had to come up with their own currency again? Will you blame America for that as well? I think we all know that answer...

    Seriously man, get a grip. Things are more complicated than blaming America for everything.

    The great thing about this country is that you can bitch about how much you hate it. Ask yourself if you would be able to do the same thing if the Third Reich and Japan won WWII or if Russia won the Cold War. I'm sure you know the answer, but you will never admit it here because it doesn't conform to your dogmatic beliefs about the big, bad United States.

  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    jaredsxtn Wrote:
    Dutch Wrote: As always, the US sticks its ugly nose into affairs of an other country. The UK can decide for themselves, they don't need Obama or Schmidt to tell them what to do. It is a good thing they leave the EU, because Britain is a bad fit. First of all they stick with the "pound" have a strange way of governing ; have all the oddities which we took over, which does not fit continental Europe like inches, miles, driving on the left side of the road as well their food which is horrible. (crumpets, clothed cream?) It always has been a bad fit. But yeah the US dumped them, because they did not like their tea, but loves "tea parties" and therefore loves them now, especially the royal family; because we have only Trump as royalty.

    I wonder what you will say after the EU breaks apart if the UK decides to leave. What happens when there's another financial crisis because the Euro dissolved and each European country had to come up with their own currency again? Will you blame America for that as well? I think we all know that answer...

    Seriously man, get a grip. Things are more complicated than blaming America for everything.

    The great thing about this country is that you can bitch about how much you hate it. Ask yourself if you would be able to do the same thing if the Third Reich and Japan won WWII or if Russia won the Cold War. I'm sure you know the answer, but you will never admit it here because it doesn't conform to your dogmatic beliefs about the big, bad United States.

    Jared, sorry you still are an young guy who still has to learn a lot. You've got no idea, like most Americans on how things in Europe work; since you live far away in Oregon as well are educated here the American way. The meddling of the US will eventually backfire, like all our foreign policies. Your last para says it all; this country has an enormous inferiority complex, because we've not won any war since WWII as well we are scared of our own shadow. Ask Connie what she thinks. Sorry there are large movements right now which want to leave the EU. The main reason is all the cultural differences as well industrial one's. The best EU block would be just North Europe ( France, Germany, Belgium, The Netherlands as well some Scandinavian countries. The southern countries are way too much burden for the EU because they don't contribute neither will an Ukraine membership the people voted "no" to that, but the Us is pushing that just to "needle" the Russians.. Britain always has been a bad fit, as I explained. The point you don't understand is, that the US is only interested to push their weapon systems down the throat of Europe, while Europe has got their own industry with better products for that region, who then loose their business because of us. Don't forget the US is not interested in safety, but only "what can we get out of it" and be able to bully and dictate what we want. Due to the "pacts" then Europe is forced to comply and sit on their knees and has to say "yes" to things they don't want, like an F35 of $400 million a piece which can't be used there (borders are 2 minutes flying away). Wake up Jared look at it from a different perspective than an inbred Oregon person. You've no idea, of what is going on there. I like to add the refugee problem as well and the open border problem. Just because the EU (NATO) is because of "pacts" helping the US against ISIS; Europe has a problem with terrorists, because of that as well. Thanks America.
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    Schmidt Wrote:

    Dutch -- The Brits have better beer than the Dutch...and that's a good reason to keep them in the EU, that and their wonderful pubs with bangers and mash for lunch. Schmidt wasn't asked, but certainly he would have supported staying in.

    From the US perspective, the finalization of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the USA and the 28 countries of the EU, would work much better with the United Kingdom in rather than out. Also, I would think that the Brit's having their own currency is a good thing. Look at how the poorer countries like Greece, Ireland and Portugal have struggled without the flexibility of own currency. The EU has 19 of the 28 countries that have adopted the Euro (€) but most of them are dominated by Germany.

    While Republicans are criticizing President Obama for interjecting himself into the issue, they didn't have any problems in inviting Bibi Netanyahu to speak to Congress and trash the Iran nuclear deal.

    Schmidt, about beer you forget Heineken, as well Stella Artois who owns "Bud" Indeed it is those agreements which are totally skewed this way (as usual) Of course the US wants control as well their way. Pls read my mail to Jared in this section may be that will open your eyes. There is much more to it than just leaving the EU. Plenty of people are beginning to get fed up with the Brussels rulings and oversight. Don't forget the European countries have much more diversity than here with our "States" also all different languages as well history, culture etc. So not all as easy as you portray TTIP things; it is a bad thing, because guess who has all the advantage?
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    Okay...first on beers. Yes I love Dutch beers. I have some Stella in our refrigerator, but I also miss a pub lunch washed down with a pint of British "bitter" or in Scotland, a pint of "heavy". We can buy their bottled beers here but they're not the same as a draft beer pulled out of the barrel with one of those old fashioned hand pumps.

    But on the more serious point, there are pluses and minuses of globalization...that is the integration of distinct cultures and ethnicities. America, of course, is founded on immigration, but even we have our nativists that push back on immigration, and see other races, cultures, religions, and ethnicities as threats. Those societies and countries that embrace diversity will have an easier time coping in the 21st Century where globalization is a fact of life.

    I disagree, as always, with your assertion that the United States wants to "control" all these other countries. However, we must also understand that there are a lot of "bad actors" out there, and those of us that appreciate democracy and freedom need to be wary of the threats that these bad actors bring to our own shores.

    Having said that I will agree that we Americans as a whole do not have a good understanding of the world we live in, but many of us do not even have an understanding of our own government and what it takes to achieve progress. For some we think electing a president is electing a king. If we do not understand ourselves and our own government, if we become insular and protectionist, it is hard to understand others. I accept that criticism, but I do respect President Obama's worldviews in that respect and how he has tried to transform America's role in that regard...the Obama Doctrine versus the Bush Doctrine. We have made progress, and no none cannot deny that.

  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    Schmidt Wrote:

    Okay...first on beers. Yes I love Dutch beers. I have some Stella in our refrigerator, but I also miss a pub lunch washed down with a pint of British "bitter" or in Scotland, a pint of "heavy". We can buy their bottled beers here but they're not the same as a draft beer pulled out of the barrel with one of those old fashioned hand pumps.

    But on the more serious point, there are pluses and minuses of globalization...that is the integration of distinct cultures and ethnicities. America, of course, is founded on immigration, but even we have our nativists that push back on immigration, and see other races, cultures, religions, and ethnicities as threats. Those societies and countries that embrace diversity will have an easier time coping in the 21st Century where globalization is a fact of life.

    I disagree, as always, with your assertion that the United States wants to "control" all these other countries. However, we must also understand that there are a lot of "bad actors" out there, and those of us that appreciate democracy and freedom need to be wary of the threats that these bad actors bring to our own shores.

    Having said that I will agree that we Americans as a whole do not have a good understanding of the world we live in, but many of us do not even have an understanding of our own government and what it takes to achieve progress. For some we think electing a president is electing a king. If we do not understand ourselves and our own government, if we become insular and protectionist, it is hard to understand others. I accept that criticism, but I do respect President Obama's worldviews in that respect and how he has tried to transform America's role in that regard...the Obama Doctrine versus the Bush Doctrine. We have made progress, and no none cannot deny that.

    Thanks Schmidt; however I like to correct a few things. First of all to compare the "mix" in our States with Europe is wrong. All the States speak English; all the States have similar mixtures of immigrants; the same school systems; Mc.Donald's and highways; car dealers etc. In Europe you know you crossed a border; other laws, other rules, other language, other culture, other customs etc. So you can't compare such.

    Yes, the US wants to control Europe; first of all with trade, then with selling arms (at a hell of a price!) which they don't need, ( the EU produces better (cheaper) planes, helicopters as well FN guns etc.); then preaching the fear factor as Trump does for the "dangerous" Russians. While Europe does a lot of trade with Russia as well get oil and natural gas from there. So again not as easy as you portray it. Plenty of "parties" prey on Europe.

    Last but not least; as you say Obama nor any President actually rules; it are the idiots in our two party system who are out for just to be able to score; either for a bad or a good thing. Because of this Government structure mostly the "view" on International issues is "limited" and "short timed" like cause and effect with our wars, which finally Bernie understands, that you just can't bomb and then run like hell (which Hillary still preaches), by refusing to rebuilt a country with lots of money afterwards. That is how Hitler got his power after WWI (Germany was in ruins, so that creates dictators or destabilization). Related to knowledge here, about other countries and how their population lives as well history, is not well taught here at schools. Therefore it would be good to look at certain well thought of programs, like Fareed on Sundays at CNN, who's got an open mind about world affairs. Please don't compare "bad" against "worse" related to Obama and Bush. I hope this country should strive for "better" instead of the same "old", like Hillary. Just like Jared says he's content with Hillary, which I think is the easy way out; this country should move forward, not stay in a status quo. Especially related to "governing" foreign policies; forget the "policeman" attiude.

  • Independent
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    If the European Union were actually a union or rather a state then the UK shouldn't leave. But it is not. The euro as a currency is dangerous to states such as the so-called piigs because the inability to control one's currency means a loss of sovereignty. The euro is beneficial to Germany and France but not to Italy and Greece. Unless the European Union becomes the untied states of Europe it is headed for collapse at some point in time. It is not and never has been about "weakening the west". That is agitprop. The west stood against the ussr long before the European Union existed. It will do so again since Europe has become economically inter-connected. But the issues of currency and sovereignty will lead to a shift in the Union and away from a common currency. Imo a common currency has implications that demand the eu treat member nations as states like the u.s. does. If it does not it must fail.
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    Dutch Wrote: Jared, sorry you still are an young guy who still has to learn a lot. You've got no idea, like most Americans on how things in Europe work; since you live far away in Oregon as well are educated here the American way. The meddling of the US will eventually backfire, like all our foreign policies.

    You keep forgetting that I'm marrying an Irish citizen.

    Just because I'm younger than you and don't agree with every word you say doesn't mean that I have no idea what I'm talking about. And just because I live in Oregon doesn't mean that I can't have a good understanding of what's going on in Europe or other parts of the world.

    We have this glorious thing called "the internet" that allows me to read and watch things from pretty much any country in the world.

    Dutch Wrote: Your last para says it all; this country has an enormous inferiority complex, because we've not won any war since WWII as well we are scared of our own shadow. Ask Connie what she thinks.

    Nothing against Connie, but I don't really care what she thinks.

    You talk about "this country" like we are 300 million people who share the same exact opinions. My opinion is that you believe every single bad thing that happens in this world is Americas fault. And I said that I can only imagine what you will say when/if there is a financial crisis if the EU breaks apart entirely.

    I then suggested that you ask yourself if things in this world would be better or worse if the Axis powers won WWII. Instead of answering the question, you accused me of having an inferiority complex.

    Dutch Wrote: Sorry there are large movements right now which want to leave the EU. The main reason is all the cultural differences as well industrial one's. The best EU block would be just North Europe ( France, Germany, Belgium, The Netherlands as well some Scandinavian countries. The southern countries are way too much burden for the EU because they don't contribute neither will an Ukraine membership the people voted "no" to that, but the Us is pushing that just to "needle" the Russians.. Britain always has been a bad fit, as I explained. The point you don't understand is, that the US is only interested to push their weapon systems down the throat of Europe, while Europe has got their own industry with better products for that region, who then loose their business because of us. Don't forget the US is not interested in safety, but only "what can we get out of it" and be able to bully and dictate what we want. Due to the "pacts" then Europe is forced to comply and sit on their knees and has to say "yes" to things they don't want, like an F35 of $400 million a piece which can't be used there (borders are 2 minutes flying away).

    Once again--what will you say when/if there is a major financial crisis because the EU breaks apart?

    Here are some facts (you know...things that are true): The top five American exports to Europe are Commercial Aircraft ($31.1 billion), Machinery ($29.9 billion), Mineral Fuel (oil) ($25.7 billion), Optic and Medical Instruments ($25.4 billion), and Pharmaceutical Products ($20.1 billion). Do you see weapons systems anywhere in that list???

    I encourage you to read Jeffrey Goldberg's Atlantic interview with President Obama. He expressed his frustration with European countries constantly critiquing American military might, but then quietly asking for more and more military aid behind closed doors. He also said he wanted more powerful European countries to chip in more and not continue to have America subsidize each countries military.

    Maybe, just maybe, you are wrong when you say that Europeans are "forced" to comply and sit on their knees. Maybe, just maybe, European governments are more than willing to feign outrage against American military might, but sing a different tune when behind closed doors.

    Dutch Wrote: Wake up Jared look at it from a different perspective than an inbred Oregon person. You've no idea, of what is going on there. I like to add the refugee problem as well and the open border problem. Just because the EU (NATO) is because of "pacts" helping the US against ISIS; Europe has a problem with terrorists, because of that as well. Thanks America.

    I'm wide awake Dutch. For starters, I've only lived in Oregon for four years. I'd hardly call that inbred. And, as I explained earlier in this post, my fiance is an Irish citizen.

    The refugee "problem" is a lot more complicated than blaming America for it. You can blame Bashar al-Assad for slaughtering hundreds of thousands of his own people and you can blame global climate change for causing the worst drought that Syria has ever seen which eventually sparked the uprising, but you can't really blame America since we avoided that conflict like the plague until very recently.

    I'm sure you will retort with blaming America for Iraq, which borders Syria, but that's a red herring. You would blame America for the Syrian conflict whether we ever invaded Iraq or not because you blame America for everything that's wrong in this world.

    The EU and NATO are two entirely different entities. You understand that, right??

  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    Jared, all I can say, you are a real American; I hope your Irish fiancée can educate you a bit. But yeah the Irish aren't European either. Or did you forget they had religious wars there forever. Sorry you "piece meal" your incoherent story ; look at the total picture. The US meddles in everything; ask Obama what is he doing in Europe right now. There are plenty of protests related to the "trade deal" while the US is pushing it via all channels; guess who benefits the most. I repeat: YES THE US WANTS CONTROL OVER EUROPE AND THE WORLD.

    You don't seem to understand what the US goal is in Europe; they want to built a "block" against Russia, which is opposite of what Europe wants; they want to "normalize" business and relations with Russia and not "needle" them like we do, because Europe is also dependent of Russia for oil and natural gas as well wheat etc. Therefore most of Europe voted against a Ukraine membership in the EU, in order not to "needle" Russia.

    Anyway "military sales" are conveniently missing in your "export" picture; Guess what, who do you think hides those figures?

    Anyway you were always complaining about J.C. creating "red herrings" now you create those yourself. Re-read my piece and don't twist my words. Thanks.

  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    Dutch Wrote: Jared, all I can say, you are a real American; I hope your Irish fiancée can educate you a bit. But yeah the Irish aren't European either. Or did you forget they had religious wars there forever. Sorry you "piece meal" your incoherent story ; look at the total picture. The US meddles in everything; ask Obama what is he doing in Europe right now. There are plenty of protests related to the "trade deal" while the US is pushing it via all channels; guess who benefits the most. I repeat: YES THE US WANTS CONTROL OVER EUROPE AND THE WORLD.

    Please elaborate more about my "incoherent story." What exactly is incoherent about stating my opinion and backing them up with actual facts?

    Dutch Wrote: You don't seem to understand what the US goal is in Europe; they want to built a "block" against Russia, which is opposite of what Europe wants; they want to "normalize" business and relations with Russia and not "needle" them like we do, because Europe is also dependent of Russia for oil and natural gas as well wheat etc. Therefore most of Europe voted against a Ukraine membership in the EU, in order not to "needle" Russia.

    Most of Europe did not vote against Ukrainian membership to the European Union. In fact, the EU passed a resolution on February 27, 2014 that recognized Ukrainians right to apply to the EU. They are also represented in the European Parliament by Andrea Bochkor, a dual citizen of Ukraine and Hungary during the application process.

    Dutch Wrote: Anyway "military sales" are conveniently missing in your "export" picture; Guess what, who do you think hides those figures?

    No one is hiding those figures. America gives roughly $14.2 billion a year in military aid to 96 countries. We give twice that amount in economic assistance to the same number of countries. As you can see--$14.2 billion dispersed throughout 96 countries is less than half the amount of money that commercial aircraft companies sell to Europe.

    Dutch Wrote: Anyway you were always complaining about J.C. creating "red herrings" now you create those yourself. Re-read my piece and don't twist my words. Thanks.

    I'm an equal opportunity logical fallacy policeman.

  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    jaredsxtn Wrote:
    Dutch Wrote: Jared, all I can say, you are a real American; I hope your Irish fiancée can educate you a bit. But yeah the Irish aren't European either. Or did you forget they had religious wars there forever. Sorry you "piece meal" your incoherent story ; look at the total picture. The US meddles in everything; ask Obama what is he doing in Europe right now. There are plenty of protests related to the "trade deal" while the US is pushing it via all channels; guess who benefits the most. I repeat: YES THE US WANTS CONTROL OVER EUROPE AND THE WORLD.

    Please elaborate more about my "incoherent story." What exactly is incoherent about stating my opinion and backing them up with actual facts?

    Dutch Wrote: You don't seem to understand what the US goal is in Europe; they want to built a "block" against Russia, which is opposite of what Europe wants; they want to "normalize" business and relations with Russia and not "needle" them like we do, because Europe is also dependent of Russia for oil and natural gas as well wheat etc. Therefore most of Europe voted against a Ukraine membership in the EU, in order not to "needle" Russia.

    Most of Europe did not vote against Ukrainian membership to the European Union. In fact, the EU passed a resolution on February 27, 2014 that recognized Ukrainians right to apply to the EU. They are also represented in the European Parliament by Andrea Bochkor, a dual citizen of Ukraine and Hungary during the application process.

    Dutch Wrote: Anyway "military sales" are conveniently missing in your "export" picture; Guess what, who do you think hides those figures?

    No one is hiding those figures. America gives roughly $14.2 billion a year in military aid to 96 countries. We give twice that amount in economic assistance to the same number of countries. As you can see--$14.2 billion dispersed throughout 96 countries is less than half the amount of money that commercial aircraft companies sell to Europe.

    Dutch Wrote: Anyway you were always complaining about J.C. creating "red herrings" now you create those yourself. Re-read my piece and don't twist my words. Thanks.

    I'm an equal opportunity logical fallacy policeman.

    No Jared, you are looking at things from your American perspective. In Europe they think different. Don't forget they sit between two blocks; The US and Russia. Thus they have to keep both sides happy; that is a difficult task, certainly if the US pushes things down their throats, which they actually don't want. Due to "pacts" and trade deals they have become a punching bag; sure as you say they have to comply with the wishes of the US otherwise the US will do something they don't like. However the general population is starting to rebel against all of this and wants an independent Europe, who can decide for themselves, without a big "brother" who hangs over them and tells them what to do.

    About military "aid"; you've got it wrong; it is no "aid". Any military equipment "sold" to EU countries has to be paid; nothing is for free; certainly not from the US. (ISIS got it for "free") You can't call it "aid" because it does not help anyone except our military industry, who want to sell their junk.

    About the Ukraine ( we've got family who came from there) No, the Dutch population don't like them at all; they are champions in ripping off people. Thus the majority in the Netherlands voted "NO" on a referendum, but it did create a problem in the government because they are holding hands with the US and "promised" things to Obama.

    So Jared, you are an OK guy, but please learn to look at the world beyond sole US views. No, the US is not a sweet little grandmother for the world, forget it.

    Just on the news : the US is now sending a couple of F22's to Romania to "help" NATO. What a joke. The issue was that the Russians buzzed a US warship in the Baltic sea: so just like little children they want now to provoke the Russians with our toys. When are we growing up? When is this going to end? A full out war? Like we don't have enough of those!!!