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Mad Tony
24-08-09, 22:31
The UK's net contribution to the European Union will rise by almost 60% next year, the Treasury has said.

The cost of membership will be 6.4bn - the equivalent of about 260 for every household in the UK. In 2004, the total bill was 4.1bn - 53 per household.

The Treasury said it was right for the UK "to share the burden of membership with new accession countries".

But the Tories say the rising bill is evidence of "Labour's incompetence" in the midst of a recession.

Rebate

The BBC's Chris Mason said ministers knew the bill was coming, but perhaps had not anticipated just how severe the economic downturn would be when it arrived.

A spokesman for the Treasury said the increase had been fully and openly discussed in Parliament.

"The prime minister has made clear our belief is that it is right for us to share the burden of membership of the European Union with the new accession countries so that every part of the European Union can look forward to prosperity in the future," he added.

In 1984, then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher secured a refund - or rebate - for the UK on a part of its contribution to the EU budget.
It was worth about 3bn a year and was designed to make up for difference between what the UK paid in and what it got back.

The main reason for this discrepancy was that the UK had relatively few farms, so it got a small share of farm subsidies, which at the time made up 70% of budget expenditure.

But in 2005, under pressure from new, poorer EU member states from Eastern Europe, Tony Blair renegotiated the rebate - resulting in it being cut by about 20%.

That was the equivalent of about 7bn between 2007 and 2013.
The Conservatives say this latest increase in the UK's contribution proves that successive Labour governments have given away far too much to Europe.

Shadow chief secretary to the Treasury Philip Hammond said: "The consequences of Labour's rebate sell-out are becoming clear.

"Gordon Brown and Tony Blair signed billions of pounds of our money away.
"At a time when our economy is in recession and public service budgets are under pressure, Labour's incompetence is allowing billions of pounds to be siphoned off to Brussels.

Well, that's 6.4bn that wont be spent improving government services here. I'm in favor of cuts in government spending but not if the money just goes off to Europe instead of being spent here.

Trigger_happy
24-08-09, 22:56
In this poor economic climate, we need to be spending our money on ourselves, not on others. The EU doesn't look out for its members, it looks out for itself. How can we trust them with more money if they haven't had their records signed off for 14 years? We should hugely cut our spending on the EU, or have the system totally overhauled.

Ward Dragon
25-08-09, 00:12
This part confuses me:

The cost of membership will be 6.4bn - the equivalent of about 260 for every household in the UK. In 2004, the total bill was 4.1bn - 53 per household.

If the UK went from 4.1bn to 6.4bn, that's the nearly 60% increase, so far so good. But the per-household figure makes absolutely no sense then. To go from 53 to 260 is roughly a 500% increase per household. How did that happen? Presumably there would be more households now than in 2004, so if anything it should have been less than 60% increase per household since more households should be contributing :confused:

Mad Tony
25-08-09, 06:47
In this poor economic climate, we need to be spending our money on ourselves, not on others. The EU doesn't look out for its members, it looks out for itself. How can we trust them with more money if they haven't had their records signed off for 14 years? We should hugely cut our spending on the EU, or have the system totally overhauled.I'd even go as far as to say I think we should pull out of the EU completely. It's not just our money that we're losing, the EU infringes on our national sovereignty.

@Ward Dragon: Never noticed that before.

Cochrane
25-08-09, 07:31
I'd even go as far as to say I think we should pull out of the EU completely. It's not just our money that we're losing, the EU infringes on our national sovereignty.

I agree that EU spending needs to be significantly improved, and I'm not happy with the way the EU does its decision-making, but why do you need your sovereignty that much?

This is a general question I have for people who oppose the EU. Things like a single currency, open borders and free trade make live a whole lot easier. The european countries, Great Britain included, are all too small to make an impact on the world market that could rival the US or China. Europe in total, however, can, as projects like EADS prove.

Mad Tony
25-08-09, 07:50
I agree that EU spending needs to be significantly improved, and I'm not happy with the way the EU does its decision-making, but why do you need your sovereignty that much?

This is a general question I have for people who oppose the EU. Things like a single currency, open borders and free trade make live a whole lot easier. The european countries, Great Britain included, are all too small to make an impact on the world market that could rival the US or China. Europe in total, however, can, as projects like EADS prove.Why do we need our sovereignty? You can't honestly be asking that question?

We need our sovereignty so that we can control our own country and make our own laws. Now I know I do complain about the current government a lot. Still, for all their foul-ups I'd still rather have them running the country than a bunch of Europeans in Brussels.

Also, I'm opposed to the Euro because firstly, the pound is like a British monument (sounds crazy I know) but if we lost the pound it'd be like losing a national treasure. Secondly, with the pound we're not tied to the Euro so we have more control over our economy.

The United Kingdom has the sixth largest economy in the world. That's pretty impressive for a country as small as ours. Most people here (myself included) would much rather be a significant player in the world economy like we are now and be able to govern ourselves than rival the US and China's economy but at the same time be nothing more than a Vichy state of the EU. We also don't need to be a slave of the EU to exercise free trade. Open borders though I don't agree with at all.

Cochrane
25-08-09, 08:11
Why do we need our sovereignty? You can't honestly be asking that question?

We need our sovereignty so that we can control our own country and make our own laws. Now I know I do complain about the current government a lot. Still, for all their foul-ups I'd still rather have them running the country than a bunch of Europeans in Brussels.
Oh, but I am. By the way, I don't agree with the way the EU is run at the moment, either. But assuming a system where the EU had a true parliament and a government elected by the people, why not transfer sovereignty over there? If I recall correctly, you're not exactly for dissolving the UK either…

Also, I'm opposed to the Euro because firstly, the pound is like a British monument (sounds crazy I know) but if we lost the pound it'd be like losing a national treasure. Secondly, with the pound we're not tied to the Euro so we have more control over our economy.
But at the same time, you loose a lot of influence you could have in the international world. The Euro is the second largest reserve currency, the euro zone is the second largest economy in the world. Not having it makes any trade with the rest of Europe (or at least the interesting parts of Europe) more difficult than it has to be. The Eurozone is the largest trade partner of the UK, so I guess there would be real advantages for the economy of the UK.

The United Kingdom has the sixth largest economy in the world. That's pretty impressive for a country as small as ours. Most people here (myself included) would much rather be a significant player in the world economy like we are now and be able to govern ourselves than rival the US and China's economy but at the same time be nothing more than a Vichy state of the EU. We also don't need to be a slave of the EU to exercise free trade. Open borders though I don't agree with at all.
It is very impressive, no doubt about it. However, I think that part of that is already because of european unification. Again, see examples such as Airbus (which has a significant UK presence, even if there is no final assembly there): This is a direct result and at times developed in parallel with european integration.

As for Vichy state… I wonder whether that qualifies as Godwin's Law? Open borders, well, I guess that's because of the UK's geographic position — you don't get a lot of advantage from that, this is true.

Anyway, back to the original point: Yes, there is valid criticism against the EU. But why are you, in general, opposed to giving sovereignty to a super-national structure, even if it can have benefits and it is ruled by the people as well?

Mad Tony
25-08-09, 08:32
Oh, but I am. By the way, I don't agree with the way the EU is run at the moment, either. But assuming a system where the EU had a true parliament and a government elected by the people, why not transfer sovereignty over there? If I recall correctly, you're not exactly for dissolving the UK either…We'd much rather be governed by people from our own country. We live here after all, so we're really the only ones that can effectively govern ourselves. This is one of the major faults of the EU. What good will come of someone from say, Germany, helping to shape the internal affairs of the UK and vice versa?

The idea of a European super-state where individual nations are not able to govern themselves is quite frankly sickening. We fought the Germans and stopped them from invading us for what? So we could just willingly submit ourselves to a federalist European state 70 years later?

But at the same time, you loose a lot of influence you could have in the international world. The Euro is the second largest reserve currency, the euro zone is the second largest economy in the world. Not having it makes any trade with the rest of Europe (or at least the interesting parts of Europe) more difficult than it has to be. The Eurozone is the largest trade partner of the UK, so I guess there would be real advantages for the economy of the UK.The benefits of us joining the Euro are far out-weighed by the disadvantages. The biggest disadvantage is that it would be one more step towards complete submission to the EU. The MPC wouldn't be able to set our interest rates anymore and as I've already said, we'd have less control over our economy and be more reliant on the economies of other countries.

It is very impressive, no doubt about it. However, I think that part of that is already because of european unification. Again, see examples such as Airbus (which has a significant UK presence, even if there is no final assembly there): This is a direct result and at times developed in parallel with european integration.We've always had a good economy though, even before the EU.

Anyway, back to the original point: Yes, there is valid criticism against the EU. But why are you, in general, opposed to giving sovereignty to a super-national structure, even if it can have benefits and it is ruled by the people as well?Again, the disadvantages outweigh any possible benefits an EU super-state can have.

Here's another thing

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Budget_of_the_European_Union#State_by_state_analys is

Note particularly the ratio of money (out/in). We pay far more into the EU than we get out of it.

TRLegendLuver
25-08-09, 08:49
I don't understand so I'm not getting involved in this arguement for once. lol. :vlol:

Mad Tony
25-08-09, 08:56
Basically the pound () is our currency in Britain which we've been using for a long time and the Euro (€) is a relatively new currency which has been adopted by many EU member states.

TRLegendLuver
25-08-09, 08:59
So I see you want me to get involved, eh? :pi:

Mad Tony
25-08-09, 09:02
No, just giving you a brief overview on the two currencies. :p

TRLegendLuver
25-08-09, 09:05
haha, okay. :p

Trigger_happy
25-08-09, 10:26
Another problem with adopting the Euro is that it looks after only itself- not its members. Members have to keep interest levels and things within certain levels- break those rules, and the Euro does nothing. They may infact pull out, to preserve the currency. It offers little protection in this poor economic climate.

And with so many different countries and people in the EU, it is impossible for everyone to benefit. Currently, we are paying huge amounts to fund Eastern Europe, while we get nothing. Its like the EU minister, who said that "WWII was simply a European Civil War". Its disgusting that they ignore the past. How can we all join together if we have little in common on a cultural level?

scion05
25-08-09, 10:29
I know this is totally irrelevent, but it's about time they let us travel to other EU countries without a passport >.>

Trigger_happy
25-08-09, 10:32
I know this is totally irrelevent, but it's about time they let us travel to other EU countries without a passport >.>

i think that's an awful idea. In this age of terrorism, wouldn't you prefer to know who's in your country? Rather then just letting everyone go where they please.

Cochrane
25-08-09, 10:48
i think that's an awful idea. In this age of terrorism, wouldn't you prefer to know who's in your country? Rather then just letting everyone go where they please.

Good idea. In fact, why do it on country level? I say we have passport controls on every city entrance.

Seriously: Allowing everyone to go everywhere is so much more convenient that I am fully willing to accept some degree of risk. Besides, the attackers in all the major terrorist attacks in the western world in the past ten years have managed to enter the countries where they did their terrorism legally.

Trigger_happy
25-08-09, 10:51
Good idea. In fact, why do it on country level? I say we have passport controls on every city entrance.

Seriously: Allowing everyone to go everywhere is so much more convenient that I am fully willing to accept some degree of risk. Besides, the attackers in all the major terrorist attacks in the western world in the past ten years have managed to enter the countries where they did their terrorism legally.

True, but that's also because we don't do enough. We don't want to look at people at Passport control because we don't want to be seen as racist. Old ladies don't blow people up, but we still check them. And how about illegal immigrants- they could just wander in and bring down our system by leaching off of us.

Cochrane
25-08-09, 10:56
True, but that's also because we don't do enough. We don't want to look at people at Passport control because we don't want to be seen as racist. Old ladies don't blow people up, but we still check them. And how about illegal immigrants- they could just wander in and bring down our system by leaching off of us.

I have to be honest, I was quite surprised when I returned from some non-Schengen country (either the UK or the US) recently and the german border guard actually appeared to look at what my passport said, instead of just checking that I had one. Had never happened to me before. Still, I don't see how this really impacts security — terrorists almost always attack in their home countries (edit to clarify: Countries where they legally live. I don't think joining Schengen would make it easier for someone from, say, the middle east, to get a visa to study at a british university). If they go to a foreign country to fight "evil western people" that country tends to be Afghanistan or Iraq, not the UK.

Illegal immigrants —*I doubt that they are much of a problem for the UK if they join Schengen. The only ways that would then be open to them would be planes, ferrys and Eurotunnel trains, all of which cost more money than illegal immigrants typically have.

Trigger_happy
25-08-09, 11:04
I have to be honest, I was quite surprised when I returned from some non-Schengen country (either the UK or the US) recently and the german border guard actually appeared to look at what my passport said, instead of just checking that I had one. Had never happened to me before. Still, I don't see how this really impacts security terrorists almost always attack in their home countries (edit to clarify: Countries where they legally live. I don't think joining Schengen would make it easier for someone from, say, the middle east, to get a visa to study at a british university). If they go to a foreign country to fight "evil western people" that country tends to be Afghanistan or Iraq, not the UK.


Even skipping over letting terrorists in, it means that you have no idea who's in your country. You could be letting war criminals and serial killers in and you'd have no idea. It makes safeguarding your population so much more difficult, and it allows you to lay down ground rules for the stay. I actually think that border controls should be bigger- rules should be laid down and people told about what they can and can't do.

MiCkiZ88
25-08-09, 11:15
i think that's an awful idea. In this age of terrorism, wouldn't you prefer to know who's in your country? Rather then just letting everyone go where they please.
I like my freedom to live and travel where ever in europe I like. No thank you for going back to passport control.

Mad Tony
25-08-09, 14:29
Another problem with adopting the Euro is that it looks after only itself- not its members. Members have to keep interest levels and things within certain levels- break those rules, and the Euro does nothing. They may infact pull out, to preserve the currency. It offers little protection in this poor economic climate.

And with so many different countries and people in the EU, it is impossible for everyone to benefit. Currently, we are paying huge amounts to fund Eastern Europe, while we get nothing. Its like the EU minister, who said that "WWII was simply a European Civil War". Its disgusting that they ignore the past. How can we all join together if we have little in common on a cultural level?I completely agree on everything you said there. :tmb:

Seriously? How can somebody be that ignorant? The reason why it's called a world war is because pretty much the whole world was involved with different regions across the world acting as giant battlegrounds.

I like my freedom to live and travel where ever in europe I like. No thank you for going back to passport control.You can still travel freely with passport control. Oh no, heavan forbid you might have to stop for a minute and get your passport checked.

Zebra
25-08-09, 14:44
We fought the Germans and stopped them from invading us for what? So we could just willingly submit ourselves to a federalist European state 70 years later?


Most Germans aren't Nazis nowadays, you know :rolleyes:.

Lemmie
25-08-09, 14:46
We've always had a good economy though, even before the EU.



*coughs*

Um. No.

Britain's economy has seen more fluctuation than almost any other European competitor, with the exception perhaps of Germany. Of course this has been outweighed by more than just economics (well, it always is). The Industrial Revolution is what gave us such rapid growth in the early nineteenth century. The stresses of Empire meant that we saw a declining economy from about the mid 1860s onwards. It was only well after the Second World War (coinciding with our joining the EU in 1973) that Britain's economic fortunes were truely on the up.

I don't think that withdrawal from the EU or economic isolation is a good thing. I do not think that extra taxation from the EU is a good idea, but I think that economic stimulus for countries in Eastern Europe is. Also, for those that point to Norway and Switzerland as countries who are doing perfectly well outside the EU, Norway tried to join three times but the attempts were blocked by referenda drawn from the Norwegian people.

Whether Iceland would have had less difficulty with its banks had it been part of the EU - we'll never know. However they are trying to join now, which perhaps gives an indication of the economic security other countries feel the EU offers.

If the sovereignty of the United Kingdom is to be protected, which is no bad thing, what do you feel about the sovereignty of Scotland, or Wales for that matter. Should these be taken into account?

Mad Tony
25-08-09, 14:47
Most Germans aren't Nazis nowadays, you know :rolleyes:.Please point out where exactly in my post I said that.

We fought the Germans in the Battle of Britain in the air in 1940 and we won, thus we kept Britain from falling into Hitler's hands. However, the point I was trying to make is that 70 years on we are almost at the stage where we are going to willingly submit ourselves to a similar (although obviously not the same in certain respects) organization where we wont have any say in how our own country gets governed. I honestly don't know where you got the idea that I was calling all Germans Nazis from.

@Lemmie: Erm, yes. Our economy has always been fairly strong (with the obvious blip being in-between world wars)

What sovereignty of Scotland and Wales? We've been a United Kingdom for centuries. It's completely different to the EU. We all speak the same language, live on the same island, have the same head of state and have similar cultures.

Zebra
25-08-09, 14:50
Please point out where exactly in my post I said that.


You didn't. But you made it sound like that. Just because of someone's nationality one isn't responsible for what happened over 60 years ago. So that comment of yours was pretty senseless.

Mad Tony
25-08-09, 14:52
You didn't. But you made it sound like that. Just because I'm German doesn't mean I'm responsible for what happened over 60 years ago. So that comment of yours was pretty senseless.I didn't make it sound anything like that. It's not senseless either. If we weren't fighting the Germans over the skies of Britain in 1940 who were we fighting?

Accept history and move on. It would've been more senseless for me to say Nazis instead of Germans, considering I know full well that not everybody in the Wehrmacht approved of Hitler. Heck, some of the German generals even tried to assassinate Hitler. Stop being so sensative about History. Cochrane didn't get offended and he's German.

Zebra
25-08-09, 14:56
I didn't make it sound anything like that. It's not senseless either. If we weren't fighting the Germans over the skies of Britain in 1940 who were we fighting?

Accept history and move on. It would've been more senseless for me to say Nazis instead of Germans, considering I know full well that not everybody in the Wehrmacht approved of Hitler. Heck, some of the German generals even tried to assassinate Hitler. Stop being so sensative about History. Cochrane didn't get offended and he's German.

Of course you made it sound like that. I mean. It's not like there are only Germans and no British people in Brussels. But that put aside, you compared being "controlled" by Germans nowadays with being controlled by Nazis back in the 40s.

Cochrane
25-08-09, 14:57
Even skipping over letting terrorists in, it means that you have no idea who's in your country. You could be letting war criminals and serial killers in and you'd have no idea. It makes safeguarding your population so much more difficult, and it allows you to lay down ground rules for the stay. I actually think that border controls should be bigger- rules should be laid down and people told about what they can and can't do.
War criminals and serial killers from where? All the ones hiding in Switzerland or Denmark? Let's face it, if they are coming in from a Schengen member country and have not been discovered as "evil" there, then passport controls won't stop them.

As for the ground rules: What do you mean specifically? There are standardized signs for the basic road rules (in particular speed limits and, in the nordic countries, the requirement to always keep the headlights on), and when you enter Great Britain with a car, there are plenty of signs advising you to travel on the left. If you mean rules like "don't murder", those apply in the countries of origin as well. In modern Europe, there are hardly any regulations that differ so much that it is absolutely necessary to tell every tourist what they are.

You can still travel freely with passport control. Oh no, heavan forbid you might have to stop for a minute and get your passport checked.

If I want to travel to Great Britain by train, then for the most part this is pretty straight-forward. Thanks to a new high-speed line in Belgium, the travel time has just been cut by thirty minutes, and the rebuilding of one tunnel in Germany should cut it by another five minutes. However, I have to be in Brussels Midi station (where I have to change trains) between twenty forty-five minutes before the Eurostar departs (depending on the ticket price I pay) to get my passport checked. If I decide on Paris instead there is no such barrier. You can't act like this isn't a significant hindrance.

Going into more local areas (which is not relevant to Britons, but is relevant in general): People from the eastern parts of Belgium and the south-east of the Netherlands come to my home town of Aachen a lot to do shopping and to work here. Many germans move to these countries because of cheaper real estate prices, or, if the prices change, vice versa. In fact, the communities of Herzogenrath (Germany) and Kerkrade (Netherlands) have grown to form almost a single town with a shared street forming the border (street signs are dutch because they are cheaper). Passport controls here would be a serious problem.

I don't want to say that your statement is ignorant, but I do think you should consider information like this when making general statements.

Mad Tony
25-08-09, 15:04
Of course you made it sound like that. I mean. It's not like there are only Germans and no British people in Brussels. But that put aside, you compared being "controlled" by Germans nowadays with being controlled by Nazis back in the 40s.Of course there's not just Germans in Brussels. You're missing my point here. I was comparing Nazi Germany with the European Union as a whole.

If I want to travel to Great Britain by train, then for the most part this is pretty straight-forward. Thanks to a new high-speed line in Belgium, the travel time has just been cut by thirty minutes, and the rebuilding of one tunnel in Germany should cut it by another five minutes. However, I have to be in Brussels Midi station (where I have to change trains) between twenty forty-five minutes before the Eurostar departs (depending on the ticket price I pay) to get my passport checked. If I decide on Paris instead there is no such barrier. You can't act like this isn't a significant hindrance.

Going into more local areas (which is not relevant to Britons, but is relevant in general): People from the eastern parts of Belgium and the south-east of the Netherlands come to my home town of Aachen a lot to do shopping and to work here. Many germans move to these countries because of cheaper real estate prices, or, if the prices change, vice versa. In fact, the communities of Herzogenrath (Germany) and Kerkrade (Netherlands) have grown to form almost a single town with a shared street forming the border (street signs are dutch because they are cheaper). Passport controls here would be a serious problem.

I don't want to say that your statement is ignorant, but I do think you should consider information like this when making general statements.I only consider these minor hindrances really. People seemed to cope fine before the Schengen area.

Zebra
25-08-09, 15:07
Of course there's not just Germans in Brussels. You're missing my point here. I was comparing Nazi Germany with the European Union as a whole.


Well if that's what you meant it was just a misunderstanding :). It simply didn't sound like that to me.

(I know that you know that there aren't just Germans in Brussels :p. But that was somewhat of a requirement for my example to work.)

Lemmie
25-08-09, 15:08
@Lemmie: Erm, yes. Our economy has always been fairly strong (with the obvious blip being in-between world wars)

What sovereignty of Scotland and Wales? We've been a United Kingdom for centuries. It's completely different to the EU. We all speak the same language, live on the same island, have the same head of state and have similar cultures.

Oh it's been strong but not invulnerable. As I point out, we were way behind Germany and the USA in the latter half of the 19th century, and we only really began to be economically strong again in the 1970s. But our high point economically speaking (and this can be debated, fair enough) was over one hundred years ago.

I agree that Wales has been part of an English Empire for some seven hundred years, and Scotland part of Great Britain for three hundred. But do they not deserve autonomy, if not now, then at some point in the future? I believe that Scotland will become independant at some point down the line.

For an indication of a 'united' nation breaking up into different parts, look at the Denmark-Sweden-Norway situation over the last seven centuries. The Kalmar Union encompassed Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Iceland, until 1523 when Sweden became a sovereign power. Denmark-Norway (also encompassing Iceland) and ruled from Copenhagen, continued until the Napoleonic era, when Norway joined Sweden until 1905. Iceland became independant in 1904.

All these countries share similar languages, a similar culture and at some points, had the same head of state. Yet now they are all their own countries, three of which have their own monarchies. Scottish politicians who are independence-minded point to Iceland and Norway as possible examples that we could follow if ever independence became a reality.

Cochrane
25-08-09, 15:12
Of course there's not just Germans in Brussels. You're missing my point here. I was comparing Nazi Germany with the European Union as a whole.
I had just prepared a post where I accused you of comparing Nazi Germany with the European Union. And then you go ahead and say so yourself. WTF?

I have a habit of labelling comparisons with Nazi Germany as ignorant unless proven wrong, so could you please give some more detail why you think those two have anything at all in common?

I only consider these minor hindrances really. People seemed to cope fine before the Schengen area.
Minor hindrances? Only if you think of significant travelling between countries as something that happens to "other people". Which may be true in your case, of course, but in the general european view, is pretty narrow-minded. And the reason we have the Schengen area in the first place is because it was not just fine, but rather a major annoyance.

@Lemmie: Erm, yes. Our economy has always been fairly strong (with the obvious blip being in-between world wars)

What sovereignty of Scotland and Wales? We've been a United Kingdom for centuries. It's completely different to the EU. We all speak the same language, live on the same island, have the same head of state and have similar cultures.

The same language? Last time I checked, welsh and gaelic sounded very different from english. In fact, I had a lot of trouble understanding scottish people who spoke english (the one guy I met whom I could understand told my family and me that he wasn't from Scotland either and had trouble understanding the locals as well).

The most popular church in Scotland is the Church of Scotland, which is presbyterian, while the Church of England sees itself as both catholic and reformed (no idea what that means, but there is clear difference). Scottish culture was based on the Highland clan system, unlike the british aristocracy. In fact, there is a scottish separatist movement, which seems to be almost comparable to that of Quebec, only smaller in scale. All parts have their own soccer national teams. I'd say those qualify as cultural differences.

The same head of state is also shared with Canada, Australia and some tribe in the south sea, without this implying any necessary political connection.

Sure, the UK is extremely tightly integrated, but historically, you can make a case (and some do make a case) for treating them separately. Now, except for the language, I don't think that there are all that many cultural differences between Great Britain and the rest of Europe either. It is more than the UK, but so much more that european integration is absolutely hopeless? I doubt it.

Mad Tony
25-08-09, 15:17
Oh it's been strong but not invulnerable. As I point out, we were way behind Germany and the USA in the latter half of the 19th century, and we only really began to be economically strong again in the 1970s. But our high point economically speaking (and this can be debated, fair enough) was over one hundred years ago.

I agree that Wales has been part of an English Empire for some seven hundred years, and Scotland part of Great Britain for three hundred. But do they not deserve autonomy, if not now, then at some point in the future? I believe that Scotland will become independant at some point down the line.

For an indication of a 'united' nation breaking up into different parts, look at the Denmark-Sweden-Norway situation over the last seven centuries. The Kalmar Union encompassed Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Iceland, until 1523 when Sweden became a sovereign power. Denmark-Norway (also encompassing Iceland) and ruled from Copenhagen, continued until the Napoleonic era, when Norway joined Sweden until 1905. Iceland became independant in 1904.

All these countries share similar languages, a similar culture and at some points, had the same head of state. Yet now they are all their own countries, three of which have their own monarchies. Scottish politicians who are independence-minded point to Iceland and Norway as possible examples that we could follow if ever independence became a reality.I never said our economy was invulnerable, and I do know that our high point has long since gone, but for such a small island our economy is still pretty impressive.

As for the breaking up of Britain - it is an absolutely dreadful idea. We've always been strong as a United Kingdom. If the UK ever did breakup, I think the Scottish economy would suffer severely as a result. I do agree though, I think at some point in the future Scotland will become independent, unfortunately.

I had just prepared a post where I accused you of comparing Nazi Germany with the European Union. And then you go ahead and say so yourself. WTF?

I have a habit of labelling comparisons with Nazi Germany as ignorant unless proven wrong, so could you please give some more detail why you think those two have anything at all in common?I have already said that there are some obvious differences. It was mainly the Nazi occupations of European countries which I was referring to. The countries Nazi Germany occupied completely lost their sovereignty and became merely puppet states. This time of course it'll be done not through fighting but through diplomacy and instead of being a puppet state of Nazi Germany countries will just become satellite states of the EU. See what I mean now?

To be honest though I think the European Union has more in common with the USSR than it does Nazi Germany.

Minor hindrances? Only if you think of significant travelling between countries as something that happens to "other people". Which may be true in your case, of course, but in the general european view, is pretty narrow-minded. And the reason we have the Schengen area in the first place is because it was not just fine, but rather a major annoyance.Hey, I'd rather have a few annoyances here and there than complete open borders.

The same language? Last time I checked, welsh and gaelic sounded very different from english. In fact, I had a lot of trouble understanding scottish people who spoke english (the one guy I met whom I could understand told my family and me that he wasn't from Scotland either and had trouble understanding the locals as well).But Welsh and Gaelic are not spoken by everyone in Wales and Scotland and most of the people that do speak them do not speak them as their first language. English however pretty much everyone speaks.

The most popular church in Scotland is the Church of Scotland, which is presbyterian, while the Church of England sees itself as both catholic and reformed (no idea what that means, but there is clear difference). Scottish culture was based on the Highland clan system, unlike the british aristocracy. In fact, there is a scottish separatist movement, which seems to be almost comparable to that of Quebec, only smaller in scale. All parts have their own soccer national teams. I'd say those qualify as cultural differences.But all in all we're not that different.

Sure, the UK is extremely tightly integrated, but historically, you can make a case (and some do make a case) for treating them separately. Now, except for the language, I don't think that there are all that many cultural differences between Great Britain and the rest of Europe either. It is more than the UK, but so much more that european integration is absolutely hopeless? I doubt it.I think there are loads of cultural differences between the UK and Europe. In fact, I think that each European country has its own very unique culture.

Chocola teapot
25-08-09, 15:24
We should leave the Eu. :wve:

Zebra
25-08-09, 15:30
I think there are loads of cultural differences between the UK and Europe.

You mean between the UK and the rest of Europe.

Mad Tony
25-08-09, 15:31
You mean between the UK and the rest of Europe.Stop being picky. I know what I said.

Cochrane
25-08-09, 15:34
I have already said that there are some obvious differences. It was mainly the Nazi occupations of European countries which I was referring to. The countries Nazi Germany occupied completely lost their sovereignty and became merely puppet states. This time of course it'll be done not through fighting but through diplomacy and instead of being a puppet state of Nazi Germany countries will just become satellite states of the EU. See what I mean now?
See, yes, agree, not really. I won't deny that individual control in Brussels is way too few. However, governments do have the power to set EU policies, and often they use them to implement policies that the citizens would not accept if pushed through national channels. The EU is not, or at least very hardly, a power in it's own right. Whatever bad it does, you can usually find a national government that started it and lots of national governments (including the british, more often than not) that agreed.

To be honest though I think the European Union has more in common with the USSR than it does Nazi Germany.
That makes slightly more sense, seeing how the USSR was a federal system, but still, you are assuming a level of control that does not exist in that manner.

Hey, I'd rather have a few annoyances here and there than complete open borders.
Okay, I still get the impression that you don't really know how much of an actual problem passport controls can be, so another example: Imagine Scotland did become independent. Would you support passport controls at the english-scottish border then? You would add between half an hour and one hour to the commute of everyone who lived on one side but worked on the other.

You might think that the countries in Europe are not as tightly integrated as Scotland and England, and hence it does not matter, but that is wrong. At least in the regions near the border, the integration is becoming ever tighter, and in central europe we're less far away from a situation like Scotland and England than you probably think.

But Welsh and Gaelic are not spoken by everyone in Wales and Scotland and most of the people that do speak them do not speak them as their first language. English however pretty much everyone speaks.
Absolutely true. My point, however, is that the UK is not an entity that has always been one integrated unit. It has formed from separate, sovereign states which once had some large cultural differences, but today is one single entity. And, as you pointed out, that has been to the benefit of all parties.

We should leave the Eu. :wve:
Well, try it! I doubt that it would have any advantage for your economy, seeing how the EU countries are your biggest trade partner.

Zebra
25-08-09, 15:35
Stop being picky. I know what I said.

Of course you do. But saying whether the UK belongs to Europe or not is not picky.

Mad Tony
25-08-09, 15:40
Okay, I still get the impression that you don't really know how much of an actual problem passport controls can be, so another example: Imagine Scotland did become independent. Would you support passport controls at the english-scottish border then? You would add between half an hour and one hour to the commute of everyone who lived on one side but worked on the other.I wouldn't support it, but I wouldn't be opposed to it either.


Absolutely true. My point, however, is that the UK is not an entity that has always been one integrated unit. It has formed from separate, sovereign states which once had some large cultural differences, but today is one single entity. And, as you pointed out, that has been to the benefit of all parties.You can't use the benefits achieved from the countries that make up the UK being joined together as an argument for a European super-state.

@Zebra: *sigh* Get over it. Either actually join in with the discussion instead of just picking at every little thing I say or don't post in here at all.

Trigger_happy
25-08-09, 15:40
The same language? Last time I checked, welsh and gaelic sounded very different from english. In fact, I had a lot of trouble understanding scottish people who spoke english (the one guy I met whom I could understand told my family and me that he wasn't from Scotland either and had trouble understanding the locals as well).

The most popular church in Scotland is the Church of Scotland, which is presbyterian, while the Church of England sees itself as both catholic and reformed (no idea what that means, but there is clear difference). Scottish culture was based on the Highland clan system, unlike the british aristocracy. In fact, there is a scottish separatist movement, which seems to be almost comparable to that of Quebec, only smaller in scale. All parts have their own soccer national teams. I'd say those qualify as cultural differences.

The same head of state is also shared with Canada, Australia and some tribe in the south sea, without this implying any necessary political connection.

Sure, the UK is extremely tightly integrated, but historically, you can make a case (and some do make a case) for treating them separately. Now, except for the language, I don't think that there are all that many cultural differences between Great Britain and the rest of Europe either. It is more than the UK, but so much more that european integration is absolutely hopeless? I doubt it.

Scotland becoming independent would be hilarious to watch. They have no way of supporting themselves at all- we fund everything. All of a sudden, they would have to pay for defence, Government, Education, everything. We give Scotland all of its money. They simply could not survive independently.

And you cannot underestimate how dividing language can be. This divides everything, from music and film to the way you live. For example, the way of law in the UK, where you are innocent until proven guilty, is completely foreign to the French, who have guilty until proven innocent.

Mad Tony
25-08-09, 15:41
Scotland becoming independent would be hilarious to watch. They have no way of supporting themselves at all- we fund everything. All of a sudden, they would have to pay for defence, Government, Education, everything. We give Scotland all of its money. They simply could not survive independently.Yeah lol. They'd leave the UK and then beg to be let back in a month later.

Cochrane
25-08-09, 15:42
I wouldn't support it, but I wouldn't be opposed to it either.
I guess we won't reach common ground here, then. However, I'd be very surprised if the UK didn't join the Schengen accord in ten, twenty or thirty years. When that happens, you can see for yourself whether that would really cause any significant trouble.

You can't use the benefits achieved from the countries that make up the UK being joined together as an argument for a European super-state.
Actually, I can and I do. Why shouldn't I?

And you cannot underestimate how dividing language can be. This divides everything, from music and film to the way you live. For example, the way of law in the UK, where you are innocent until proven guilty, is completely foreign to the French, who have guilty until proven innocent.

The cruder expression for male cow excrement may be overused on the internet, but here it clearly applies. Presumption of innocence applies in France just like it does in any other european country.

Mad Tony
25-08-09, 15:44
I guess we won't reach common ground here, then. However, I'd be very surprised if the UK didn't join the Schengen accord in ten, twenty or thirty years. When that happens, you can see for yourself whether that would really cause any significant trouble.With the way the current government are going I'd be surprised if the UK even existed in 20 years time.[/quote]

Actually, I can and I do. Why shouldn't I?Because they're totally different. Joining up all EU member states and combining them would not work at all. We all have our own different cultures and customs.

Zebra
25-08-09, 15:45
@Zebra: *sigh* Get over it. Either actually join in with the discussion instead of just picking at every little thing I say or don't post in here at all.

Sorry if it seemed like I wanted to annoy you or anything (which I didn't). It was more of a coincidence that both of my comments were addressed to you.

Trigger_happy
25-08-09, 15:47
The cruder expression for male cow excrement may be overused on the internet, but here it clearly applies. Presumption of innocence applies in France just like it does in any other european country.

But not in every case. Cyclists get away scot free from any collision, even if they caused it, due to EU law. Here in the UK- they cause it, they get punished.

And even if my law example off the top of my head is wrong, the cultures are still divided. We don't eat frogs legs or snails.

Zebra
25-08-09, 16:25
And even if my law example off the top of my head is wrong, the cultures are still divided. We don't eat frogs legs or snails.

I'm sure there are people in your country who do. And what's the problem with that? There are French people who don't eat such stuff, too. I could go on like that, but you know...:p.

What I'm trying to say is that cultural differences shouldn't be much of a problem (Maybe for Muslim countries trying to be part of a super national European state. But that doesn't apply to the UK as far as I know :p).

Lemmie
25-08-09, 16:33
Scotland becoming independent would be hilarious to watch. They have no way of supporting themselves at all- we fund everything. All of a sudden, they would have to pay for defence, Government, Education, everything. We give Scotland all of its money. They simply could not survive independently.

Independence would not be an issue if Scotland did not have viable means of supporting itself. As much as the rest of the UK supports Scotland in matters of defence and other areas that are not within the remit of the Scottish Government, it is also true that they exploited oil within Scottish waters with the taxes on it going into the Treasury and Westminster - how much of that returned to Scotland?

And Westminster does not fund everything. We pay for our own education, and what's more find a way to give every Scottish student in Scotland free tuition. NHS Scotland is a subsidiary of the NHS, paid for by Scottish taxes.

And while Westminster has given money to Scotland in the past and continues to do so on a smaller scale, it has also abused Scotland. It has used areas of Scotland to dump toxic waste and to test the effects of anthrax. It has strangled local development and offered no viable sources of income when other ones become redundant.

In my home city, Glasgow, once ship-building, steel manufacture and manufacturing jobs dried up, the city was essentially left to its own devices. It is only since the nineties that Glasgow has managed to regain a sense of prosperity and economic stability. Scotland has at times and in certain places been grossly mismanaged by London.

It is laughable to me that people carp on about how much England has given Scotland and do not see how much Scotland has had to sacrifice for England. I am sure people said of Ireland that they would later want to rejoin Britain after they gained their independence. They were proved wrong.

Scotland is not entirely ready to be independent, this may be true. But one day independence may become viable and, hopefully, successful. Sweeping generalisations without sufficient knowledge of history and current economic climate do nothing to bolster your argument.

Trigger_happy
25-08-09, 17:01
Independence would not be an issue if Scotland did not have viable means of supporting itself. As much as the rest of the UK supports Scotland in matters of defence and other areas that are not within the remit of the Scottish Government, it is also true that they exploited oil within Scottish waters with the taxes on it going into the Treasury and Westminster - how much of that returned to Scotland?

But they don't. We provide over 25% of your national budget- I'd like to see you do without. And just because the oil is in "your" section of the North sea, doesn't make it yours. By being part of the Uk, you get access to it. Just because you decide, doesn't mean you get to use our oil supplies to hang over our heads.

And Westminster does not fund everything. We pay for our own education, and what's more find a way to give every Scottish student in Scotland free tuition. NHS Scotland is a subsidiary of the NHS, paid for by Scottish taxes.

The money the Scottish Government has is given to you by Westminister. Your government decides what it wants to do with the money it gets- money decided back in 1970. If Scotland thinks it can do without us, it should give that money back.

And while Westminster has given money to Scotland in the past and continues to do so on a smaller scale, it has also abused Scotland. It has used areas of Scotland to dump toxic waste and to test the effects of anthrax. It has strangled local development and offered no viable sources of income when other ones become redundant.

In my home city, Glasgow, once ship-building, steel manufacture and manufacturing jobs dried up, the city was essentially left to its own devices. It is only since the nineties that Glasgow has managed to regain a sense of prosperity and economic stability. Scotland has at times and in certain places been grossly mismanaged by London.

That's the same for all cities built upon those sorts of craft. The same happened in Sheffield, Swansea, Liverpool, Bristol. Scottish cities aren't the only ones to suffer. And have you considered that it was left to its own devices because of the way it acted. All these talks about how "we owe" you and how you'd do such much better without us don't exactly lend yourselves to being the victim.



Scotland is not entirely ready to be independent, this may be true. But one day independence may become viable and, hopefully, successful. Sweeping generalisations without sufficient knowledge of history and current economic climate do nothing to bolster your argument.

This might be true, but it is not going to happen for decades. Its more likely that the UK itself ceases to exist, and the EU swallows us whole to make a giant, unwieldy and unhappy States of Europe.

Lemmie
25-08-09, 23:16
But they don't. We provide over 25% of your national budget- I'd like to see you do without. And just because the oil is in "your" section of the North sea, doesn't make it yours. By being part of the Uk, you get access to it. Just because you decide, doesn't mean you get to use our oil supplies to hang over our heads.

Going to give me a source for that 25% per cent?

I have no problem with the oil being extracted for the good of the UK as a whole, but a fairer amount of the money that was taxed from it should have been injected back into the Scottish economy.

The money the Scottish Government has is given to you by Westminister. Your government decides what it wants to do with the money it gets- money decided back in 1970. If Scotland thinks it can do without us, it should give that money back.

And if it was independent it wouldn't get that money, whether it needed it or not. In a diversified world such as ours, there are always areas in which capital can be raised. Our exports industry commands over 20.6 billion, our tourism another 1.3 billion. For a small country, and as a starting point should independence be realised, that isn't bad at all - I'm sure we could find other ones alongside our existing petrochemicals, manufacturing and banking industries, which are among our most lucrative areas of capital.

That's the same for all cities built upon those sorts of craft. The same happened in Sheffield, Swansea, Liverpool, Bristol. Scottish cities aren't the only ones to suffer. And have you considered that it was left to its own devices because of the way it acted. All these talks about how "we owe" you and how you'd do such much better without us don't exactly lend yourselves to being the victim.

Well I realised that other cities suffered. Doesn't that point to a general mismanagement of cities with declining industries across the board? I would say so. The UK did not react at all well to the decline in heavy industry across the country, but these cities fortunes began to change with access to bigger trading opportunities and links with institutions and businesses in Europe when we joined the EU.

What do you mean, 'the way it acted'? Do you have any concept of British History, from any period? Glasgow was once 'the second city' of the Empire - the first being London. Along with Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham and Leeds-Bradford it was one of the key places that allowed the huge growth in wealth and population that stimulated the British economy in the 1800s. All these cities were then left almost to ruin in the post-war era, in spite of the Labour government's very admirable efforts. These efforts were not continued by later governments, and these cities were not allowed to reach their full potential.

This might be true, but it is not going to happen for decades. Its more likely that the UK itself ceases to exist, and the EU swallows us whole to make a giant, unwieldy and unhappy States of Europe.

Yes. That's so very, very likely. :pi:

Let me just say that I am no die hard nationalist. I am no more Scottish than I am English, by heritage. I am at the same time proud to be Scottish, proud to be British and proud to be European. But the arrogance and condescension that a minority of English people display towards Scotland is unacceptable; just as hatred for the English for past crimes should not be tolerated amongst Scots.

Whatever was done in centuries past is not the responsibility of the current generation, and they don't need to apologise. But for some, the attitude has not changed. This is unfortunate on both sides of the debate and both sides of the border.

Scotland should not be treated as a poor and slightly eccentric relation. Scotland is an important part of the UK, an equal member and deserves to be treated as such. It is the attitude of certain people in England (which is not so very far from that displayed in the eighteenth century) that inflames the calls for independence rather than calming them.

Mad Tony
25-08-09, 23:27
Shame Scotland isn't treated equally. See the Barnett Formula (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1580787/How-the-Barnett-formula-works.html)

Lemmie
25-08-09, 23:34
Shame Scotland isn't treated equally. See the Barnett Formula (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1580787/How-the-Barnett-formula-works.html)

And I'm not saying that Scots deserve more money than anyone else in the UK. But with that extra 1500 per head, I would have expected much more to have been achieved. It's either being misspent, or we need and needed something different. (Seeing as it was a Labour initiative, I imagine you agree.) Simply giving money to anyone isn't enough, to paraphrase the old 'give-a-man-a-fish' adage.

As for it being a temporary measure, well, that is what our government seems to built on.

Ward Dragon
25-08-09, 23:55
War criminals and serial killers from where? All the ones hiding in Switzerland or Denmark? Let's face it, if they are coming in from a Schengen member country and have not been discovered as "evil" there, then passport controls won't stop them.

Two questions: Does Schengen mean European Union? Do EU countries have fast and easy access to each other's criminal records in order to catch it if a criminal runs to another EU country?

@MadTony: You focus upon cultural differences between the UK and Europe, but what about the US? Do you think the US is really one entity with one language and one culture? Try comparing Texas to New York :p My point being that the US works despite the individual states being quite different from one another in many respects, so I don't automatically think that the EU will fail due to differences between European countries. (Mismanagement and poor decisions are another thing entirely, however. You and Cochrane both seem to agree that the current way that the EU runs things is flawed so I will take that as the truth. I'm merely commenting on the idea that cultural differences would make the EU impossible in theory which I don't think is true.)

Mad Tony
26-08-09, 00:04
I had considered that Ward Dragon and I'm well aware of the inter-state cultural differences in the US. However, that's not a good comparison really because although each of your states has its own tradition and customs, they're nowhere near as different from one another as member states of the EU are.

Lemmie
26-08-09, 00:04
Two questions: Does Schengen mean European Union? Do EU countries have fast and easy access to each other's criminal records in order to catch it if a criminal runs to another EU country?

Schengen countries and the Schengen area covers all current members of the European union as well as non members Switzerland and Norway and apart from the UK, Ireland and Cyprus. Romania and Bulgaria are soon to be included by extension. It removes systematic border controls - in effect twenty-five member nations (of the Schengen Agreement) are borderless.

As for criminal records there have been cases where countries have shared information to catch criminals and stop such activities as human trafficking and drug dealing. I don't know much about the ease with which these records are obtainable, but I would imagine that no one country is averse to allowing access by another country in the interest of crime prevention.

EmeraldFields
26-08-09, 00:54
This may sound a bit random, but does Ireland use to Euro?:p

Lemmie
26-08-09, 00:57
This may sound a bit random, but does Ireland use to Euro?:p

Indeed it is. Ireland is in the Eurozone. :)

EmeraldFields
26-08-09, 01:00
Indeed it is. Ireland is in the Eurozone. :)

Thanks!:D

I was just wondering because I'm going to take a trip to Ireland and the UK and was wondering if I was going to have to transfer Euros to Pounds when I go from Ireland to the UK, and so I guess I will!:p

Chocola teapot
26-08-09, 01:22
When you come to the UK I shall capture you and throw you in the TRForums member tank I keep in the cellar under my house. :wve:

Lmao! Enjoy Mainland britain and Ireland. If you do come to Wales though, Go and see Mt.Snowdonia, very popular with japanese tourists! :D

Cochrane
26-08-09, 06:40
Two questions: Does Schengen mean European Union? Do EU countries have fast and easy access to each other's criminal records in order to catch it if a criminal runs to another EU country?

To answer the second question (Lemmie already answered the first): A huge part of the Schengen Agreement is judicial and law enforcement cooperation, and the UK and Ireland even participate to some degree in those parts. An example would be the SIS, Schengen Information System, which is used for cross-border information on criminals.

Trigger_happy
26-08-09, 11:05
@MadTony: You focus upon cultural differences between the UK and Europe, but what about the US? Do you think the US is really one entity with one language and one culture? Try comparing Texas to New York :p My point being that the US works despite the individual states being quite different from one another in many respects, so I don't automatically think that the EU will fail due to differences between European countries. (Mismanagement and poor decisions are another thing entirely, however. You and Cochrane both seem to agree that the current way that the EU runs things is flawed so I will take that as the truth. I'm merely commenting on the idea that cultural differences would make the EU impossible in theory which I don't think is true.)

But the thing is, the US has always been like that. They/ve always been together, and they do have similar things in common- the same language, hate for Canadians, love of American food. That's not the same in Europe. We were blowing each other apart less then a century ago, and like none of use speak the same language.

Lemmie
26-08-09, 13:47
But the thing is, the US has always been like that. They/ve always been together, and they do have similar things in common- the same language, hate for Canadians, love of American food. That's not the same in Europe. We were blowing each other apart less then a century ago, and like none of use speak the same language.

I think European countries have lots in common. We have differences, yes, that's natural, and even were these differences more pronounced, why should that matter?

We speak languages that are closely related to one another, demonstrating the evolution of many European languages from Latin and Germanic groups. In centuries past our royal families were closely related by a complex network of inter-marriages, helping to ally nations with one another. Of course these marriages and their progeny could also ignite wars as well - such as various wars of succession.

Britain and France were, in the nineteenth century and the post-Napoleonic era, very given to using their diplomatic weight to solve conflicts and international incidents. So conflict resolution is a much older European tradition than the League of Nations and the EU or NATO. Ever since the late seventeenth century nations have been trying to resolve disputes between nations (even if only to preserve trade and empires).

It would be pretty dull if we were one homogenous super-state wouldn't it? The point of the EU is not to enforce conformity. It is to diversify European economies, spread human rights and celebrate both the differences and the similarities between nations.

About languages - the most commonly spoken languages within the EU are English, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Polish. That covers approximately 250 million+ people. It is a British invention that there are particular problems in communication between ourselves and people who speak other European languages, because we often don't bother to learn other languages. As I have seen, continental Europeans can often speak at least conversationally in at least two or three languages - this is evidenced by fine forum folk such as Cochrane and others.

Trigger_happy
26-08-09, 15:18
It would be pretty dull if we were one homogenous super-state wouldn't it? The point of the EU is not to enforce conformity. It is to diversify European economies, spread human rights and celebrate both the differences and the similarities between nations.


Really? I always thought that its aim was to destroy the individualism within Europe, forcing everyone together. How can it "celebrate our difference" by applying universal rulings to 27 different countries, over ruling them on Home affairs, preaching one thing and doing another and taking our money?

The EEC was designed to do that- the EU looks out only for itself as an Institution, not as a group of nations.

Ward Dragon
26-08-09, 22:18
To answer the second question (Lemmie already answered the first): A huge part of the Schengen Agreement is judicial and law enforcement cooperation, and the UK and Ireland even participate to some degree in those parts. An example would be the SIS, Schengen Information System, which is used for cross-border information on criminals.

Okay, that makes sense. Open borders would be ridiculous if the countries couldn't access each other's criminal records.

But the thing is, the US has always been like that. They/ve always been together, and they do have similar things in common- the same language, hate for Canadians, love of American food. That's not the same in Europe. We were blowing each other apart less then a century ago, and like none of use speak the same language.

Same language? Doesn't feel like that when a significant number of people I meet don't speak English or speak it very poorly. American food? No such thing. There are so many different cultures here and so many different food styles. It was only 150 years ago when we were blowing each other apart as well (bloodiest war in US history and we did it to ourselves). The situation really isn't as different as you'd think :)

Mad Tony
26-08-09, 22:44
Yeah but there's still more differences between European nations than there are between US states. Think about all the empires the European countries used to have.

Catapharact
26-08-09, 22:49
Yeah but there's still more differences between European nations than there are between US states. Think about all the empires the European countries used to have.

Different empires in Europe used to exist based on POLITICAL differences and not cultural differences. Take into account the Holy Roman Empire under the control of Barbarossa who conqured and controlled the Germanic lands around him.

The Byzantine Empire itself contracted most of its soldiers from outside of its nation and that was one of the main reason it lost ground to the Seljuke Turks at the battle of Manzkirit.

Lemmie
26-08-09, 22:51
Yeah but there's still more differences between European nations than there are between US states. Think about all the empires the European countries used to have.

Right. Many of the countries that are within Europe today had empires - Great Britain, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Austria, Sweden - and if they get in in the next few years - Turkey.

That's so dissimilar. What's your point?

Mad Tony
26-08-09, 22:55
Right. Many of the countries that are within Europe today had empires - Great Britain, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Austria, Sweden - and if they get in in the next few years - Turkey.

That's so dissimilar. What's your point?We all had empires yes, but they were all so different to one another. I can't believe I'm like the only one here who thinks that European countries are unique and different in so many different ways.

Lemmie
26-08-09, 22:58
We all had empires yes, but they were all so different to one another. I can't believe I'm like the only one here who thinks that European countries are unique and different in so many different ways.

You're not. They are different. They are still different despite the homogeneity that the EU 'apparently' seems to be trying to impose. Why should their differences prevent there being a European Union?

Mad Tony
26-08-09, 23:00
You're not. They are different. They are still different despite the homogeneity that the EU 'apparently' seems to be trying to impose. Why should their differences prevent there being a European Union?To be honest it's not the differences European nations have that makes me so opposed to the idea of a European super-state. It's the loss of soverigenty individual nations will have to suffer.

Catapharact
26-08-09, 23:03
To be honest it's not the differences European nations have that makes me so opposed to the idea of a European super-state. It's the loss of soverigenty individual nations will have to suffer.

NATO treaty bound nations shares their military resources and co-ordinates efforts togather. That hasn't had a negitive effect on the soverignty of any of the nations or their individual conduct with military related affairs.

Same applies with the concept of EU.

Lemmie
26-08-09, 23:04
To be honest it's not the differences European nations have that makes me so opposed to the idea of a European super-state. It's the loss of soverigenty individual nations will have to suffer.

Well that's that cleared up then. I still disagree that being in the EU threatens the sovereignty of any one nation, or that it's an attempt to create a super-state.

Mad Tony
26-08-09, 23:10
Well in its' current form I don't think the EU completely removes sovereignty of its member states. However, I do think it definitely infringes on national sovereignty with its' overreaching laws. Also, the threat of a European super-state is definitely there.

Lemmie
26-08-09, 23:17
Well I'm sure you'll understand that I remain unconvinced of the 'threat' in the offing.

Mad Tony
26-08-09, 23:17
Why?

I'm not saying it's definitely gonna happen in the near future or anything but there's definitely potential for it to slowly become that way.

Lemmie
26-08-09, 23:28
Why?

I'm not saying it's definitely gonna happen in the near future or anything but there's definitely potential for it to slowly become that way.

Well I don't know why you ask me why I don't believe that the EU will become a super-state in its own right. Of course I can't foresee the future and you could well be right, a century or so down the line.

But I have to ask what your impression of a super-state is. It's not a fixed concept. But if it's one based on the suppression of freedoms, human rights, free trade and property ownership - I really can't see the EU subscribing to that.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not for a super-state, based on peace and love and personal freedoms or otherwise. But I can't see the EU becoming a nightmare dystopia in a century or two.

Mad Tony
26-08-09, 23:32
Well I don't know why you ask me why I don't believe that the EU will become a super-state in its own right. Of course I can't foresee the future and you could well be right, a century or so down the line.

But I have to ask what your impression of a super-state is. It's not a fixed concept. But if it's one based on the suppression of freedoms, human rights, free trade and property ownership - I really can't see the EU subscribing to that.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not for a super-state, based on peace and love and personal freedoms or otherwise. But I can't see the EU becoming a nightmare dystopia in a century or two.You're right, if the EU ever did become a super-state it certainly wouldn't be about suppression of freedoms and turn into some dystopia nightmare. However, it would still strip all member nations of their sovereignty and place it in the hands of a centralized federal body. This I am strongly opposed to.

Lemmie
26-08-09, 23:33
You're right, if the EU ever did become a super-state it certainly wouldn't be about suppression of freedoms and turn into some dystopia nightmare. However, it would still strip all member nations of their sovereignty and place it in the hands of a centralized federal body. This I am strongly opposed to.

Well I guess I can't necessarily argue with your opposition to that, I'm not in favour of that either. But just personally, I can't see that happening.