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Old 04-05-2019, 08:13 AM   #81
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Brexit is not a partisan issue, as both pro and con have followers and members of all major parties.
Very true.
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Old 04-05-2019, 08:18 AM   #82
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Originally Posted by MichaelB View Post
Issues don’t choose political parties, but parties do align around issues. Many US issues that have significant political implication are regularly discussed here. It becomes a problem when the discussion drifts from the issue to the politics.

Brexit is not a partisan issue, as both pro and con have followers and members of all major parties.
That's a pretty black and white American centric political way to look at the issue. Partisanship doesn't mean choosing just between right and left parties (and a lot of countries have more than two parties don't forget)

Brexit follows a lot of fault lines in the UK. Rural/urban. North/South. English/Welsh/Scots/Irish. Young/old. Rich/poor.

It is therefore VERY much a partisan issue.

But I gather this is the official line so I will desist. Just have to let my family and friends who voted for Brexit know that they were "uninformed" and "didn't know what they were doing"
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Old 04-05-2019, 08:25 AM   #83
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Just have to let my family and friends who voted for Brexit know that they were "uninformed" and "didn't know what they were doing"
Just my opinion, but I think both the Leave and the Remain voters were uninformed. It was an extremely poorly managed campaign on both sides, with completely unnecessary scaremongering, unwarranted assumptions, and half-truths.
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Old 04-05-2019, 08:34 AM   #84
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Brexit is no doubt partisan, but overseas politics will generally not be discussed with the same fervor as domestic.

Having said that, the principles of federalism and sovereignty certainly apply to both US and Europe.

Ultimately I have always thought it challenging to align the diverse economies cultures and long histories of Europe into a federal system. Brexit and especially the current intransigence around implementing it reflect that, in my view.

I think the mods let discussions even around politics go as long as they are respectful and productive. But the primary goal is keeping the peace, as in a family. It is a good approach I think.
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Old 04-05-2019, 08:41 AM   #85
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I think this is much like the early days of what became the United States.
Tempting to draw parallels, but there aren't many. For starters, the countries aren't colonies with a common home country.

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Over the years more rules and regs were added but the EU has a fundamentally weak central legislature that lacks direct election of representatives.
This is false. Much like the US, it's a bit complicated, but the European Parliament is directly elected and approves/rejects laws. I vote for them.

The flaws in the fundamentals of the EU are elsewhere, mostly in the economic union: Budget controls. Those flaws were there since the beginning, and it was a conscious choice since it was impossible to reach agreement on the rules in the beginning and the people involved.

Legend is that the french negotiator thought we would fix it later, better to start with a flawed model than not start at all.

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So everything really happens through the bureaucracy and regulation rather than true laws, which badly undermines consent and discussion.
No. They happen through directives, which are not regulations and not optional. They are laws in most definitions of the word, although with more latitude in how to implement them since different countries need to codify differently.

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Sprinkle in a non-mandatory central currency with almost zero central fiscal planning
Zero is a bit too much (ECB), but the weaknesses of the Eurozone (not Europe, there's a difference) are that there is no common debt and bank guarantees. I wouldn't call it 'sprinkles' though, this is one of the key issues wrong with Europe's structure.

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The financial problems in Greece, the immigration crises, etc. in many way spring from this structure.
Greece committed fraud when entering the Eurozone and lied about their fiscal position, that was the root cause. It didn't get solved fast enough because there are no good ways to let a country default, and there is no debt union for the Euro (a critical flaw). The immigration crisis is a different story, not unique to Europe, and not linked to the political structure so much as it is linked to its geographical location.
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Li'l help, please?
Old 04-05-2019, 09:01 AM   #86
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Li'l help, please?

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there is no debt union for the Euro (a critical flaw)
Could you develop this point? I do not know what this means, although I suspect it to be important in understanding the forces driving the issue of EU departures.

It may be a stronger driver for some of the other "-exits" I've seen mentioned (Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal) than for Britain, but since I don't live in Europe the news I receive is going to be light on details.

Thanks in advance,

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Old 04-05-2019, 09:50 AM   #87
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For those interested in a rough overview of Brexit, the podcast "Make Me Smart" had Ros Atkins from the BBC on to discuss it recently, and I found it very informative. An overview and a link to the episode can be found here:


https://www.marketplace.org/2019/03/...w-about-brexit
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Old 04-05-2019, 10:47 AM   #88
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I asked my brit friends, they said it was because the social services network was being overloaded by immigrants, thus older brits were for brexit. Younger brits liked the ability to work in the eu.
My irish friends said they were concerned about the border between southern and northern ireland, there would be massive increase in smuggling all types of goods and thus tension.
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Old 04-05-2019, 12:33 PM   #89
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That's a pretty black and white American centric political way to look at the issue. Partisanship doesn't mean choosing just between right and left parties (and a lot of countries have more than two parties don't forget)

Brexit follows a lot of fault lines in the UK. Rural/urban. North/South. English/Welsh/Scots/Irish. Young/old. Rich/poor.

It is therefore VERY much a partisan issue.

But I gather this is the official line so I will desist. Just have to let my family and friends who voted for Brexit know that they were "uninformed" and "didn't know what they were doing"
Yes, this is correct. You could also see that in the vote by member country, and as usual, by other dividing factors which are becoming increasingly common in Western-style democracies.

I think there is a lot of similarity to current American politics, though. As I see politics in the USA, there is not only a left-right axis when it comes to ideology, but there seems to be a populist/establishment axis as well -- on both sides, and in both major US political parties.

Whether left or right, many of those who fall on the "establishment" side want to remain. Many on the "populist" side, again whether left or right, were the driving force behind "leave".
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Old 04-05-2019, 01:40 PM   #90
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Could you develop this point? I do not know what this means, although I suspect it to be important in understanding the forces driving the issue of EU departures.
The Eurozone countries are individually responsible for their own debts. When Greece issues bonds, Germany is not liable for their payment and vice versa. There are no Eurobonds, only bonds in euros. This is a pretty unique situation.

Germany and some northern countries were strongly opposed to creating these Eurobonds, as there are no strong mechanisms to enforce budget discipline. In turn, there is no consensus on giving the European parliament (or commission) powers to do just that.

In practice now, when a country is in trouble the Euro gets hit, banks get into trouble and the whole monetary system can get destabilized. This is what happened roughly in 2012. The current 'solution' is a bit of a fudge: the ECB, which is backed by all eurozone countries, started buying bonds from euro countries pretty massively and guarantees were issued to prevent Greece from defaulting. In addition, said bonds from Greece were renegotiated by the other countries under very favorable terms for Greece so they could afford paying them back.

In essence, Greece defaulted, the other Eurozone countries picked up the bill, but legally they didn't. In return Greece accepted pretty harsh budget measures, that the EC actually had no authority for strictly speaking. That underlying issue is still not fixed btw, but the message has become a bit clearer: if you have bad budgeting, we will bail you out but the consequences will be dire.

The other option would have been to kick Greece out of the eurozone, but there was no precedent for untangling that mess, and some argue even no legal way to do it.

It's like having your spendthrift nephew having unfettered access to the shared family account, but you can't withdraw his access. And he lied to get access in the first place.
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Old 04-05-2019, 03:18 PM   #91
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Yes... not a direct connection, but most assuredly an event that will have far reaching consequences in the world markets.

Am I the only one who does not comprehend the scope of the decision?

After reading ... yes.. for several hours, to try and understand the complexities of this coming event, I am still at square one. There are 28 countries in the European Union, each with a somewhat different interest in the union. Whether the monetary system, border access, taxes, language, or any of a dozen more interactions... what was working, is now up for grabs.

I cannot understand why diplomacy has broken down to the point that negotiations are a thing of the past.

Seems as if our US politicians understand the situation. I used to think I was at least as smart as them, but now realize it must be me.

Does anyone know of a relatively simple online explanation of what's happening, that also points up those roadblocks that keep the problem from resolution.?
The Economist magazine has had good coverage of it. It's basically a wild west situation - everything is on the table. As crazy as our system is here in the US, Great Britain is in quite a tizzy right now.
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Old 04-06-2019, 04:28 PM   #92
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That may be true, but I'm not a big fan of "re-votes". So if one group doesn't get their way, they just get to ask for a do-over? Best 2 out of 3? Best 3 out of 4 or 5? Where does it end?

Be careful what you wish for.

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I agree. Former PM Cameron probably thought the referendum would be an easy Remain and would settle the issue. I've asked many Brits about their opinion and more than a few were very emotional about the issue. Like a divorce, easy to demand a split but after the euphoria of newly found freedom wears off, the reality of a decrease in living standards sets in.

The EU accomplished peace in a continent that regularly erupted in to bloody conflicts. Considering the diversity of the region, I'm surprised it's held together as long as it has. Interesting to observe and I wish all parties the best of goodbyes
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Old 04-06-2019, 05:03 PM   #93
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I agree. Former PM Cameron probably thought the referendum would be an easy Remain and would settle the issue. I've asked many Brits about their opinion and more than a few were very emotional about the issue. Like a divorce, easy to demand a split but after the euphoria of newly found freedom wears off, the reality of a decrease in living standards sets in.

The EU accomplished peace in a continent that regularly erupted in to bloody conflicts. Considering the diversity of the region, I'm surprised it's held together as long as it has. Interesting to observe and I wish all parties the best of goodbyes

I lived in London during parts of 1999 and 2000... I was really surprised in how many people did not like the EU mandates... there were articles about a grocer getting fined because he had his prices in lbs and not kgs... more than once I was told that they wish they could be the 51st state than part of the EU... that they had more in common to the US than EU... and these were educated professional people....


To tell the truth, I was shocked how much they knew of US politics... one guy even said they wished they could vote for the US president as he would have more influence on the UK than people would think...


I think a good number of people are happy with the Brexit and are not concerned with any fallout... if any....
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Old 04-11-2019, 10:52 AM   #94
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Extension until Halloween. Deadlock continues... Scary kids.
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Old 08-14-2019, 04:13 PM   #95
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Like it or not, Brexit is part of our lives too. Just one of the thousands of bits and pieces that affect our stock market, and eventually our economy.

Lots of very smart people trying to figure this out.

Just saying....
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Old 08-14-2019, 04:42 PM   #96
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Should've had a re vote.
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