/ What's so bad about a European superstate?

Please Register as a New User in order to reply to this topic.
Frank4short 10 Sep 2019

One of the main, coherent at least, arguments Brexiteers give against the EU is the formation of a European superstate out of the EU. 

On the basis that the EU has been a civilising force in helping to develop Europe and push forward regional development, human rights, workers rights, environmental standards, amongst others as just the things the EU has done off of the top of my head.

What is the actual argument against an EU superstate? As far as i can tell it wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing but then again i'm pro EU so don't see an issue with it. 

A €0.01 for your thoughts?

Report
fred99 10 Sep 2019
In reply to Frank4short:

A State - or country, nation or whatever - should comprise of people with a common bond, some history, some need to be together as a group for mutual benefit (and most likely protection) and usually a common language.

Across the EU there is a relatively low amount of this. It is true that commerce has brought all together, but this is not the be-all and end-all. For protection we have NATO, so that is out of the equation. As for language, well the only commonly used language across Europe is actually English - but no other countries government will ever admit it (except for Eire). Then history - some countries have been at war far too recently to go that far in coming together.

EU superstate - no way (and I speak as a Remainer). Just too many differences between too many different nations.

Report
In reply to Frank4short:

If the EU superstate adopted sterling and the Bank of England had an unspoken but omnipotent power over the ECB I would be all for it ;-)

Report
Yanis Nayu 10 Sep 2019
In reply to Frank4short:

I don’t think it would be a great idea, but suspect it would make for better living standards for UK citizens than is currently and has recently been provided by the Conservative party. 

One of the sad ironies of Brexit is that people think that they’ll get sovereignty back from the E.U. but the reality is we’ll just be handing it to the US but with much less influence. I’d much rather be under the umbrella of the E.U.  than the US. 

Report
wintertree 10 Sep 2019
In reply to Frank4short:

> What is the actual argument against an EU superstate?

The people don’t want it?

Families arose by nature.  Communities from families.  Regions from communities.  States from regions.  Each level of hierarchy arises from common bonds and self interest being served by mutual interest. 

Federation/organisation works from the bottom up.  Imposed from the top down and people get crappy about it.

If national governments work together to increase federation through their democratic processes that’s bottom up.  If the EU parliament works to engineer it, that’s top down.

My impression is that a lot of the more reasoned and principled (vs practical) dissent within EU states arises from a view of a top down approach driven by the parliament.  Even though the EU parliament is elected it’s rather distant to and disowned by the people.  You could argue that it’s a failure of people to engage, but I would argue a system that people fail to engage with isn’t fit for its purpose.

I’m strongly pro EU for practical benefits and my principled stance is that true global federation should be the ultimate goal if we want to avoid global annihilation with the weapons the next few decades of science will deliver.  I don’t think such federation is realisable between grossly unequal nations.  I think such inequality is mandated by certain self serving interests and inflationary economic models embedded in the set up of “leading” nations.

I tend to think we are royally fooked the way things are going.

Report
Andy Hardy 10 Sep 2019
In reply to Frank4short:

Only if you can persuade the French and Italians to queue, the Greeks to pay their tax and all of the others (bar Ireland) to drive on the left

;)

Report
gravy 10 Sep 2019

It depends on what you compare it to.  If the comparison is the current UK government then not a lot.

Report
Rob Exile Ward 10 Sep 2019
In reply to Andy Hardy:

I've just returned from Greece and a striking feature is that traders are obliged to give you a receipt - otherwise you don't have to pay!

Maybe Greece are leapfrogging us on this one.

Report
Robert Durran 10 Sep 2019
In reply to fred99:

> A State - or country, nation or whatever - should comprise of people with a common bond, some history, some need to be together as a group for mutual benefit (and most likely protection) and usually a common language.

> Across the EU there is a relatively low amount of this. 

I disagree. I think Europe ticks all your boxes except language, but plenty of countries have multiple languages. If there werer a will for a fully federal Europe I think it would work fine - a worthy ideal.

Report
jimtitt 10 Sep 2019
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

> I've just returned from Greece and a striking feature is that traders are obliged to give you a receipt - otherwise you don't have to pay!

> Maybe Greece are leapfrogging us on this one.


That's been a requirement since 1988 when I moved to Greece (it was part of the joining process for the EU). It didn't work as you may have noticed

Report
Yanis Nayu 10 Sep 2019
In reply to wintertree:

I think it’s harsh to accuse the E.U. of failing to engage. The cause of the British people's apparent disdain for the E.U. in my opinion is our predominantly right-wing media and their (often mendacious) decades-long, self-serving anti-EU propaganda. 

Report
wintertree 10 Sep 2019
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

> I think it’s harsh to accuse the E.U. of failing to engage.

What I said was subtly different - people fail to engage with its democratic processes.  Part of that is definitely on the UK press and some equivalents in other countries.  It’s easy for me to criticise but I don’t have any easy ideas to increase citizen engagement.

Report
summo 10 Sep 2019
In reply to jimtitt:

> That's been a requirement since 1988 when I moved to Greece (it was part of the joining process for the EU). It didn't work as you may have noticed

I guess they are just handing out the same receipt they've been photocopying for decades. 

Report
Dax H 10 Sep 2019
In reply to Frank4short:

Because the needs and desires of the people in the UK are different from the people in France who have differences with the people in Germany who are different to Poland who are different to Grease. 

Just in out little country we have the UK government but various levels of devolution for Wales, Scotland and Island though it is a bone of contention to me that we don't have a British parliament. 

Let's take an EU super state further though, why just the EU, why not the Western world? We could have a nice democratic election that sees all 78 states of the USEUA under the power of Trump Jr. 

Report
summo 10 Sep 2019
In reply to wintertree:

> .... rather distant 

Well it is. It's one level up from national government, covering half a billion people. There is nothing local or personal about it. 

The eu could have worked, if you slowly added in different measures every 20 or 30 years. Trade first, product regulations, environmental standards etc slowly but surely. 

The same with CAP perhaps level the playing field with equally welfare and envirinmental regulations first, let them work for a decade or two, before rewarding land ownership. 

Currency should come as a natural progression, not compulsory with membership. Many countries should never have joined their economies and financial position just wasn't good enough and they took a massive hit, Germany's gain. 

Then do different countries favours just builds resentment, Germany you can have this, Netherlands that, so keep it fair we'll let France continue with Strasbourg and their CAP influence etc.

As i said. It could work over a century or so. 

Post edited at 18:01
Report
Lesdavmor 10 Sep 2019
In reply to summo:

I think a certain A Hitler tried to establish one

Report
summo 10 Sep 2019
In reply to Lesdavmor:

> I think a certain A Hitler tried to establish one

You might wish to Google the Hanseatic League. 700-900 years ago, a northern European traders and merchants partnership, growing initially out of a small German town. No governments, just the business owners and merchants in a body out for their own interests. They had offices in many capital cities of the times and whilst being unaccountable to kings or governments, controlled a massive amount of trade for over a century. 

Post edited at 18:10
Report
Eric9Points 10 Sep 2019
In reply to Frank4short:

I agree that a United States of Europe would be a great thing...but...

I think it has expanded too quickly and let in states that weren't ready either politically, countries such as Hungary, or economically, like Greece. I think the EU must settle down for a couple of decades at least before moving towards further integration. I really don't want our MEPs to sit in a Parliament alongside fascists from Greece and Eastern Europe states and I don't want to discover that the money I've chucked into the EU kitty has been pissed up the wall either through incompetence or corruption.

Further I don't believe the EU is as democratic as it should be. Perhaps the system is OK, I'm not really sure, but I do know it does not behave in a particularly democratic manner. Maybe it's just a UK thing but there is never a debate in Britain over any policies or legislation the EU is thinking of introducing, only complaints after it has. That needs to change.

I'm hoping the EU is learning and slowly the countries will grow together in terms of politics and prosperity and that if we do leave, eventually we'll want to return but I don't see the need for any great hurry.

Report
balmybaldwin 10 Sep 2019
In reply to wintertree:

> If national governments work together to increase federation through their democratic processes that’s bottom up.  If the EU parliament works to engineer it, that’s top down.

The EU parliament is "national governments work[ing] together to increase federation through their democratic processes"

EU Council - Government heads of Member States setting the direction of the Parliament

EU Parliament - Directly Elected Representatives of the Member States legislating according to the direction set by the EU Council

Report
captain paranoia 10 Sep 2019
In reply to Frank4short:

I think this question might well trigger Armagammon...

Report
Yanis Nayu 10 Sep 2019
In reply to wintertree:

I think the vote to leave has been the biggest cause of people finding out what they do. All the informed debate has been after the decision was made.  

Report
HansStuttgart 10 Sep 2019
In reply to summo:

> You might wish to Google the Hanseatic League. 700-900 years ago, a northern European traders and merchants partnership, growing initially out of a small German town. No governments, just the business owners and merchants in a body out for their own interests. They had offices in many capital cities of the times and whilst being unaccountable to kings or governments, controlled a massive amount of trade for over a century. 


Yes. I remember from my Dutch history that we (the Dutch) took over their trade monopolies because they did not have a common defence and security policy

Report
HansStuttgart 10 Sep 2019
In reply to Frank4short:

speaking as an EU federalization supporter, I am against a European superstate.

Diversity is one of the strengths of Europe and for a lot of issues I see no benefit in standardizing them.

So issues to be left at memberstate level:

taxation levels, primary education, social welfare, health, culture, etc

Issues where I think the EU should integrate more:

common foreign and security policy, financial transfers, services market, etc

Report
RomTheBear 11 Sep 2019
In reply to Frank4short:

> One of the main, coherent at least, arguments Brexiteers give against the EU is the formation of a European superstate out of the EU. 

> On the basis that the EU has been a civilising force in helping to develop Europe and push forward regional development, human rights, workers rights, environmental standards, amongst others as just the things the EU has done off of the top of my head.

> What is the actual argument against an EU superstate? As far as i can tell it wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing but then again i'm pro EU so don't see an issue with it. 

> A €0.01 for your thoughts?

The issue is that it would be too centralised for its own good. Plus people don’t want it so it’s not going to happen.

In fact what is needed is not an european superstate but the breaking down of existing big European states. Everybody can see they are completely failing.

But you can have all that with strong EU cooperation, common currency, common defence, even better trade and freedom of movement etc etc... once we get rid of these awful elephantesque nation state it becomes in fact a necessity.

Report
summo 11 Sep 2019
In reply to HansStuttgart:

> Yes. I remember from my Dutch history that we (the Dutch) took over their trade monopolies because they did not have a common defence and security policy

It wasn't that their defence was weak, they as a rule couldn't defeat entire nations. (Think they did ok against small forces) Plus they were losing trade to dutch groups, Italians; trading focus was moving to Asia and the Americas, then the power increasing to monarchies after the 30 year war was the icing on the cake. The countries need to control trade for tax revenue to fund their conflicts. So I don't think the Dutch can take all the credit for breaking up the league!

It's interesting though, incredibly sophiscated considering how long ago it was and how slow communications were. 

Report
john arran 11 Sep 2019
In reply to Frank4short:

I think at least a significant part of it is national psychology. I don't see such things as being in any way inherent but different societies tend at times to exhibit common characteristics that are significantly different to otherwise similar societies. Things like people in Med countries tending to have a more laid-back approach to Northern Europeans, Canadians being much less forthright than Americans, etc.

In recent decades, certainly since the 80s, Britain has strongly fostered the idea of competition being the route to success, to such an extent that I don't think British people are quite as willing to appreciate the benefits of cooperation for mutual benefit to the same extent as those in many other countries. Obviously this is a huge generalisation and a great many people won't fit into that stereotype, but I do believe the fallacy has been easy to spread in the UK that the we could be doing better if only we didn't have to share prosperity with others, conveniently ignoring the fact that much of our prosperity has only been possible due to sharing much of our society with others.

Report
wercat 11 Sep 2019
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

Really, thinking about it, it's a scandal that all those places like Northumbria, Rheged, Mercia, Wessex etc gave away their sovereignty to form an English Superstate.  Isn't it time we all came OUT?  Sovereignty is so important we can't afford to let this go on!

Report
Duncan Bourne 11 Sep 2019
In reply to Frank4short:

It all reminds me of the old "Dilbert" comment.

"The future will not be like Star Trek"

Report
Eric9Points 11 Sep 2019
In reply to wercat:

> Really, thinking about it, it's a scandal that all those places like Northumbria, Rheged, Mercia, Wessex etc gave away their sovereignty to form an English Superstate.  Isn't it time we all came OUT?  Sovereignty is so important we can't afford to let this go on!


Britain would be a better country if it split into maybe 10 states.

Report
timjones 11 Sep 2019
In reply to fred99:

> EU superstate - no way (and I speak as a Remainer). Just too many differences between too many different nations.

To be blunt the differences within the UK are just as great as those between EU nations.

There are 2 sorts of people, those who seek to work together and those who exploit differences for their own ends.  You will find both types wherever you choose to look.

Report
L wbo2 11 Sep 2019
In reply to Frank4short:I dont see a superstate happening but I wonder if something like a common European corporation tax would bring benefits handling large cross border corporations 

Post edited at 13:03
Report
neilh 11 Sep 2019
In reply to Frank4short:

As a remainer I do not want an EU Superstate...i

And it was American money under the Marshall plan which effectively financed the rebuilding of Europe after WW2.We should never forget that when we talk about European values.

Report
Will Hunt 11 Sep 2019
In reply to Frank4short:

For the question to be answerable you have to define how little devolution to the individual states is required before you consider it a "superstate". Superstate has become a dirty word when used in the context of Europe.

The United States of America is a superstate, with quite a bit of devolution to individual states to allow them to express their own values and individual culture (see different states having different laws on all sorts of things - guns and abortion are the issues that come up most often in our press).

A lot of people would quite reasonably argue that we already live in a European superstate, since we have delegated some of our sovereignity to the European Union (not my words, the words of the Council of Europe: https://www.coe.int/en/web/about-us/do-not-get-confused), albeit while retaining a large (IMO, Leavers would argue otherwise) amount of devolution.

So if the question is really asking "what's wrong with less devolution in the UK/more delegation of sovereignity to the European parliament" then I'd suggest the main things to grapple with would be the issues raised in this thread about shared common values. If Europe was just one jurisdiction with very little devolution then we'd have to have the same rules about wearing a burka as France - which would probably cause quite a few people in the UK/France/both to be quite unhappy.

Post edited at 13:45
Report
RomTheBear 11 Sep 2019
In reply to neilh:

> As a remainer I do not want an EU Superstate...i

> And it was American money under the Marshall plan which effectively financed the rebuilding of Europe after WW2.

Me neither don't want an EU superstate and that's not going to happen anyway, but the above is nonsense.

Post edited at 13:45
Report
RomTheBear 11 Sep 2019
In reply to Will Hunt:

I guess the definition of a superstate would be one legal system for the whole of the EU, one government, and on parliament. 

Report
Will Hunt 11 Sep 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

i.e. no devolution whatsoever? Even Scotland, Wales, and NI have their own assemblies/parliaments. I don't think a truly single jurisdiction EU would be desirable or workable without doing away with democracy and implementing a significant amount of military supression of populations. Nobody is seriously arguing for it so it's not even worth discussing really.

When the Daily Mail et al squawk about an EU Superstate, this might be the vision of the future that they want to push to their readerships to generate some horror/outrage, but in reality you could still consider it a superstate with far more devolution than nil.

Report
neilh 11 Sep 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

Are you saying the Mrshall Plan did not finance the rebuilding of Europe ...you have lost me there.

Report
Neil Williams 11 Sep 2019
In reply to Will Hunt:

Isn't the superstate argument that national Governments would be rendered unnecessary, but regions (like German Bundeslaender, or our constituent countries, possibly with England regionalised) would have a fair bit of clout under the federal EU Government?  A bit like building a copy of the USA?

That might not be an altogether bad plan, really, on an objective level - what does the North West of England have in common with London, really?

Post edited at 14:24
Report
summo 11 Sep 2019
In reply to neilh:

> As a remainer I do not want an EU Superstate...i

> And it was American money under the Marshall plan which effectively financed the rebuilding of Europe after WW2.We should never forget that when we talk about European values.

It was a loan with interest that took 50 years plus to repay. Either way it helped, but it wasn't a cash gift. 

But memories are short. De Gaulle fled to the UK in ww2 as the French surrendered, sat it out for 5 years then made a dash to Paris to play the hero after the Brits, USA and Canadians troops fought inch by inch from the coast and had liberated it... then within two decades he is vetoing the uks entry to the trading block, with some big grand standing anti British speech. 

Report
TobyA 11 Sep 2019
In reply to summo:

> after the Brits, USA and Canadians troops fought inch by inch from the coast and had liberated it...

There were free french forces under allied command including significant numbers of french colonial troops from Africa as well. Significant chunks for the British forces were Polish, Indian and other Empire forces as well - it is important we don't forget or whitewash (used advisedly) them either.

Report
summo 11 Sep 2019
In reply to TobyA:

> There were free french forces under allied command including significant numbers of french colonial troops from Africa as well. Significant chunks for the British forces were Polish, Indian and other Empire forces as well - it is important we don't forget or whitewash (used advisedly) them either.

I wasn't forgetting, just generalizing. And yes Brits forget quick too. Polish pilots were critical in the battle of Britain, but none were allowed to march in the victory parades in London afterwards. Short lived gratitude.  

Post edited at 16:00
Report
Pefa 11 Sep 2019
In reply to summo:

> But memories are short. De Gaulle fled to the UK in ww2 as the French surrendere

I'm sure if the French had a large moat 40 miles wide between France and the advancing German army then they to could have ran away from the German army like we did at Dunkirk. 

Report
EdS 11 Sep 2019
In reply to summo:

The first French troops to enter Paris  where of the Régiment de marche du Tchad - of those most were actually spanish Republicans that fleed after the civil war and kept on fighting Fascism

Report
TobyA 11 Sep 2019
In reply to EdS:

> The first French troops to enter Paris  where of the Régiment de marche du Tchad - of those most were actually spanish Republicans that fleed after the civil war and kept on fighting Fascism

Oddly just a month ago I was in Paris for a day on my way home from holiday and was reading about the liberation of Paris after we walked past a memorial to the fighting and read about the Regiment de Marche du Tchad, and how it had lots of Spanish republicans in it.

A few years ago I was reading a Norwegian memorial to resistance fighters who had been fighting the Nazis in the mountains around Narvik and one group had included a Spanish Republican who had evacuated after fighting in France and ended up in Norway just before it was occupied as well. IIRC correctly he was knighted by the Norwegian King after the war.

Proper Antifa those lads!

Report
summo 11 Sep 2019
In reply to Pefa:

> I'm sure if the French had a large moat 40 miles wide between France and the advancing German army then they to could have ran away from the German army like we did at Dunkirk. 

And those soldiers who fled via Dunkirk were forever grateful for those that came to their rescue.

De Gaulle in contrast was very quick to forget all those who came to France's aid and equally fast to put himself in prime position during any victory parades and speeches. 

Report
baron 11 Sep 2019
baron 11 Sep 2019
In reply to Pefa:

> I'm sure if the French had a large moat 40 miles wide between France and the advancing German army then they to could have ran away from the German army like we did at Dunkirk. 

Like the 51st Highland Division you mean?

Report
RomTheBear 11 Sep 2019
In reply to neilh:

> Are you saying the Mrshall Plan did not finance the rebuilding of Europe ...you have lost me there.

No, it didn't. It was worth about 0.5% of GDP over three years or something of that order. Its role in rebuilding Europe was largely immaterial. The rebuilding of Europe happened mostly through indigenous investment. Marshall plan represent about 5% at best of capital formation. The role and effect of the the marshall plan was first of all political and strategic.

Report
FactorXXX 11 Sep 2019
In reply to Pefa:

> I'm sure if the French had a large moat 40 miles wide between France and the advancing German army then they to could have ran away from the German army like we did at Dunkirk. 

How do you run away across a 40 mile moat?

Report
planetmarshall 11 Sep 2019
In reply to Frank4short:

> On the basis that the EU has been a civilising force in helping to develop Europe and push forward regional development, human rights, workers rights, environmental standards, amongst others as just the things the EU has done off of the top of my head.

That's quite a basis - and in a debate I'd say you were assuming many of the things you set out to prove. At least two of the countries with some of the highest living standards in the world, Norway and Switzerland, have achieved that status without being part of the EU.

Report
Pefa 11 Sep 2019
In reply to summo:

Fair point. 

Report
Pefa 11 Sep 2019
In reply to baron:

> Like the 51st Highland Division you mean?

Yes, the point I'm making is that the French were as brave as anyone else. 

Report
wercat 11 Sep 2019
In reply to Pefa:

> I'm sure if the French had a large moat 40 miles wide between France and the advancing German army then they to could have ran away from the German army like we did at Dunkirk. 

mmm
INEXCUSABLE

Report
Lusk 11 Sep 2019
baron 11 Sep 2019
In reply to Pefa:

> Yes, the point I'm making is that the French were as brave as anyone else. 

There were undoubtedly many brave French men and women during the Nazi invasion of France.

However, - 

‘At this point the 51st was fighting alongside a force commanded by a tall moustachioed and quite imperious French officer – General Charles de Gaulle. The courage and dedication of the Scottish soldiers helped determine De Gaulle’s future as leader of the Free French forces.

During a speech in Edinburgh in 1942, the future president of France said: “For my part, I can say that the comradeship of arms, sealed on the battlefield of Abbeville in May-June 1940, between the French armoured division, which I had the honour to command, and the gallant 51st Scottish Division under General Fortune, played its part in the decision which I made to continue the fight at the side of the Allies, to the end, come what may.”

He then quoted the motto of the French royal bodyguard, the Garde Ecossaise: “omni modo fidelis” – faithful in every way.‘

It’s interesting that de Gaulle gave this speech in Scotland while what remained of the 51st were languishing in a POW camp.

Report
Pefa 12 Sep 2019
In reply to wercat:

What? 

Report
Pefa 12 Sep 2019
In reply to baron:

Right I'm way out of my depth here as I don't know anything about that situation I'm afraid so I'll leave to you who obviously does. Thanks. 

Report
wercat 12 Sep 2019
In reply to Pefa:

one of my relatives died after evacuation and being sunk after coming off the beaches at dunkirk

A sergeant, a kind man, I was told,  whose main passion in life was for horses.

Post edited at 09:08
Report
summo 12 Sep 2019
In reply to Lusk:

Maybe from his time in Britain De Gaulle realised many Brits are not like him? They won't go with the flow just for sake of it, they won't stand by and do nothing, if something is not right they'll act or st least say they aren't happy. How could France and De Gaulle manipulate the future EU, the trading block if there were nations like the UK involved. What you need are lots of smaller weaker nations that are subservient.

Post edited at 09:15
Report
neilh 12 Sep 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

Fascinating...you learn something new every day although I see that that  view is still being debated about the economic effects. The other interesting point is that the Marshall Plan required a reduction of interstate barriers and  a dropping of many regulations. Perhaps an indicator of its subsequent influence on the formation of the EU........so we can now blame the Americans!

Report
Babika 12 Sep 2019
In reply to Frank4short:

When someone says European superstate I'm always reminded of the conversation in Pulp Fiction between John Travolta and Samuel L Jackson:

"You know what the funniest thing about Europe is? 

"What?" 

"Its the little differences. I mean they've got the same shit over there that we've got here, but its just that its a little different"

I'm always impressed with the little differences all over Europe. I have this uneasy feeling that a superstate would try and iron it out somehow and we'd all be poorer culturally. So its a No from me.

Report
Pefa 12 Sep 2019
In reply to summo:

Did the French resistance ' Stand back and do nothing' ? 

Report
Pefa 12 Sep 2019
In reply to wercat:

'Evacuation ', or running away from the Germans ? Some on here like to make out as if the French surrender easily but we don't which is bullshit as we would have been surrendering if it were not for the fact that we had a 40 mile wide moat to keep the advancing German Army away from us. 

Report
summo 12 Sep 2019
In reply to Pefa:

> Did the French resistance ' Stand back and do nothing' ? 

Obviously not. 

But we've been discussing De Gaulle and his selective memory,  not them. 

Edit. I wouldn't take anything away from their individual troops, them and the Belgians took heavy losses enabling more Brits to escape at Dunkirk. Lions led by donkeys might be appropriate.the French made tactical errors and didn't build their defences far enough south. They were out manoeuvred and out flanked. 

Post edited at 18:06
Report
RomTheBear 14 Sep 2019
In reply to baron:

You seem to have completely missed the point of that speech but I’m glad you quoted it anyway as it is one of my favourite and it is not well known.

Post edited at 05:09
Report
Robert Durran 14 Sep 2019
In reply to Babika

> I'm always impressed with the little differences all over Europe. I have this uneasy feeling that a superstate would try and iron it out somehow and we'd all be poorer culturally. So its a No from me.

I'm not sure that is true of the United Kingdom where cultural differences between the nations seem positively celebrated.

Report
L wbo2 14 Sep 2019
In reply to Robert Durran:not sure of your point Robert.  But I doubt 

It anyway - look at large countries and there are still large differences locally  

Report
RomTheBear 14 Sep 2019
In reply to Robert Durran:

> In reply to Babika

> I'm not sure that is true of the United Kingdom where cultural differences between the nations seem positively celebrated.

Surely you’re being ironic.

Report
Robert Durran 14 Sep 2019
In reply to wbo2:

> not sure of your point Robert.  But I doubt 

> It anyway - look at large countries and there are still large differences locally  

That there is no reason to believe a European superstate would necessarily iron out cultural differences judging by the nations of the UK.

Report
Robert Durran 14 Sep 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> Surely you’re being ironic.

No

Report
baron 14 Sep 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> You seem to have completely missed the point of that speech but I’m glad you quoted it anyway as it is one of my favourite and it is not well known.

If you’re referring to the de Gaulle speech - my point was, in reference to the poster who said that Britain ran away, that he fought alongside British troops who stood their ground and were either killed or captured while he escaped.

Report
Gordon Stainforth 14 Sep 2019
In reply to baron:

You seem to have become very pro-European this morning. Good.

Report
DancingOnRock 14 Sep 2019
In reply to Frank4short:

The UK government are becoming increasingly centralised. Local issues for most of us outside London and some living a very long way away, we being decided by people who have no idea on local issues. Local council funding is cut and housebuilding policy being determined in London.

Wales and Scotland want their own parliament and devolution and yet want to part of the EU? That seems very strange to me. My view is those people actually want trade deals and protection, and there’s no guarantee that the EU will act in the best interests of the EU. Giving China tariff free imports for cars has put the final nail in the coffin for European car industry. Remember Detroit collapsed due to Chinese and Japanese car imports. 

Post edited at 10:11
Report
john arran 14 Sep 2019
In reply to DancingOnRock:

> there’s no guarantee that the EU will act in the best interests of the EU.

You do get the impression though that acting in the best interests of the EU is actually the objective of the EU, even though I'd be the first to accept that no political policy will ever be perfect in avoiding all unintended consequences.

Contrast with the UK Government, which for the last two years has been trying to conceal the damaging effects of its own policies from the people of the UK, the Government's own experts repeatedly concluding that its actions are very much damaging to the UK.

Report
neilh 14 Sep 2019
In reply to DancingOnRock:

You do know that bmw and other European car makers have car plants in China. It’s a two way bet reflecting the complexities of global markets. 

The Uk had always been an advocate of free trade. Our wealth has been built on it. 

Report
DancingOnRock 14 Sep 2019
In reply to neilh:

Having a car plant in China and selling to the Chinese isn’t the same as having a car plant in China and selling to the EU though is it? 

There are subtle differences. 

Report
DancingOnRock 14 Sep 2019
In reply to john arran:

That should have read UK not EU. 

Report
Bob Kemp 14 Sep 2019
In reply to DancingOnRock:

> Remember Detroit collapsed due to Chinese and Japanese car imports. 

Are you sure about this? I don't recall many Dongfengs appearing on American streets. And although Detroit's collapse is often blamed on Japanese imports the truth appears to be more complex. 

Report
elsewhere 14 Sep 2019
In reply to DancingOnRock:

> Wales and Scotland want their own parliament and devolution and yet want to part of the EU? That seems very strange to me. My view is those people actually want trade deals and protection, and there’s no guarantee that the EU will act in the best interests of the EU. 

Your view is not one often encountered in Scotland as "independence in Europe" is such a familiar phrase known also to those who disagree with it.

EU membership offers strong and stable acting in the economic and political interests of Scotland. The UK doesn't.

Post edited at 11:45
Report
baron 14 Sep 2019
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> You seem to have become very pro-European this morning. Good.

I love Europe, well most of it.

I love Europeans, well most of them.

The EU, not so much.

And the dislike that you got for your post isn’t mine.

Post edited at 12:00
Report
RomTheBear 14 Sep 2019
In reply to Robert Durran:

> No

Wow.

Report
RomTheBear 14 Sep 2019
In reply to neilh:

> You do know that bmw and other European car makers have car plants in China. It’s a two way bet reflecting the complexities of global markets. 

> The Uk had always been an advocate of free trade. Our wealth has been built on it. 

The UK wealth wasn't built on free trade it was built on forced trade - or theft if you want to use the correct word - Obviously with decolonisation that all fell down.

And what happened after that ? The UK became the sick man of Europe, a protectionist mess full of very uncompetitive companies with overly protected workers making shitty products nobody wanted to buy.

It took Thatcher - and the joining the EEC - to put an end to it.

And what do we have now ? Brexit, essentially the most anti free trade move  ever made by an advanced economy. Obviously it is not sold as such but in practice that's exactly what it is.

This idea that Britain is a "natural" free trading nation is some sort of national delusion IMO. 
We like to tell ourselves that we like free trade, but in practice we do exactly the opposite, we complain about rules and regulation that make it possible more than anybody else, we complain about having supra national courts more than anybody else etc etc...

I would even make the argument in fact the transformation of the UK into a truly internationally minded, liberal, free-trading country  - a long transformation that started with Thatcher and ended with Cameron -  is exactly the kind of thing that people reacted against in the Brexit vote. 

Post edited at 17:42
Report
RomTheBear 14 Sep 2019
In reply to baron:

> If you’re referring to the de Gaulle speech - my point was, in reference to the poster who said that Britain ran away, that he fought alongside British troops who stood their ground and were either killed or captured while he escaped.

Thanks, point taken.

Post edited at 17:32
Report
Robert Durran 14 Sep 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> Wow.

Why do you say that?

Report
elsewhere 14 Sep 2019
In reply to baron:

> If you’re referring to the de Gaulle speech - my point was, in reference to the poster who said that Britain ran away, that he fought alongside British troops who stood their ground and were either killed or captured while he escaped.

Not true. De Gaulle was appointed to Undersecretary of War (away from the front I assume) before he escaped from the surrender.

Report
summo 14 Sep 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> And what happened after that ? The UK became the sick man of Europe, a protectionist mess full of very uncompetitive companies with overly protected workers making shitty products nobody wanted to buy.

> It took Thatcher - and the joining the EEC - to put an end to it.

 No she ended union domination, where they and many industry leaders refused to invest and modernise. The eec was irrelevant. It ended the so called culture of the union leaders inviting the prime minister of which ever party to beer and sandwiches at number 10. That was the turning point where industry like Nissan arrived in the north east, because they would never have come to UK with the then union dominance. I know probably dozens of people who went into Nissan in the 80s, it was a bit of revelation to them, the management culture, work ethic and also the increased productivity, despite not actually working longer hours.  

Report
RomTheBear 14 Sep 2019
In reply to summo:

>  No she ended union domination, where they and many industry leaders refused to invest and modernise.

True, but one does not exclude the other. The success of Mrs Thatcher’s reforms required EEC membership. They could not have existed without the support of UK entrepreneurs who benefited from larger and more innovative market, access to deeper capital and labour markets, as well as common standards. This is all widely documented economic history now.

Post edited at 20:06
Report
RomTheBear 14 Sep 2019
In reply to Robert Durran:

Far from being celebrated, the diversity of the UK nations is completely ignored as far as I can tell. I was always amazed to see how ignorant people in this country are about the history and culture of the their own isles. Then I opened an English history textbook and I understood why. People  in England are taught history from a completely Anglo-centric point of view. (Gove made it even worse BTW)

Post edited at 20:10
Report
Stichtplate 14 Sep 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> The UK wealth wasn't built on free trade it was built on forced trade - or theft if you want to use the correct word - Obviously with decolonisation that all fell down.

No. it was partially built on empire. The major expansion in UK wealth was due to the country being the initiator of the industrial revolution based on a whole host of key British inventions from the first commercially viable steam engines to power looms, coke fired blast furnaces and steam trains. All this preceded by the British agricultural revolution which freed up the rural labour force by providing more food than the population could consume. 

Little credit afforded to Britain peacefully ceding independence to 700,000,000 citizens. The first time in human history that a nation has voluntarily dissolved its own empire. Compares well with the dissolution of most other European Empires. For instance, your former homeland France, had to be forcibly ejected from most of their colonial possessions with a great deal of bloodshed.

Report
Stichtplate 14 Sep 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> Far from being celebrated, the diversity of the UK nations is completely ignored as far as I can tell. I was always amazed to see how ignorant people in this country are about the history and culture of the their own isles. Then I opened an English history textbook and I understood why. People  in England are taught history from a completely Anglo-centric point of view. (Gove made it even worse BTW)

How many kids have you got in English schools Rom? Which text books are you referring to? Why would you be reading school history texts in the first place? Or is it the case that you're just blowing hot air again, back on your favourite anti-Britain hobby horse.

My youngest is currently studying the history and geography of South America and the eldest is on with WW1. Neither course is particularly anglocentric in viewpoint.

Post edited at 20:52
Report
baron 14 Sep 2019
In reply to elsewhere:

> Not true. De Gaulle was appointed to Undersecretary of War (away from the front I assume) before he escaped from the surrender.

I don’t have a clue about most of de Gaulle’s career other than the fact that he by his own admission was fighting alongside troops from the British army during the nazi invasion of France.

At some point during that invasion, which wasn’t the longest event in recorded history, de Gaulle managed to extricate himself from the fighting and to escape to England while the British troops he initially fought alongside were either killed or captured.

I wasn’t having a go at de Gaulle but I was using him as an example to refute another poster’s claims that the British troops ran away.

Report
Stichtplate 14 Sep 2019
In reply to baron:

Also worth noting that of the 330,000 troops rescued from Dunkirk, 130,000 were French, the vast majority of whom chose to swiftly return to France where they were killed or captured within a couple of weeks.

de Gaulle and just 3000 French soldiers chose to remain in Britain to form the free French army.

Report
elsewhere 14 Sep 2019
In reply to baron:

> I don’t have a clue about most of de Gaulle’s career other than the fact that he by his own admission was fighting alongside troops from the British army during the nazi invasion of France.

> At some point during that invasion, which wasn’t the longest event in recorded history, de Gaulle managed to extricate himself from the fighting and to escape to England while the British troops he initially fought alongside were either killed or captured.

> I wasn’t having a go at de Gaulle but I was using him as an example to refute another poster’s claims that the British troops ran away.

So you agree he wasn't a commander in the field who left British troops to fight on as he had been promoted away from the role of commanding troops in battle?

Report
RomTheBear 05:55 Sun
In reply to Stichtplate:

> How many kids have you got in English schools Rom? Which text books are you referring to? Why would you be reading school history texts in the first place? Or is it the case that you're just blowing hot air again, back on your favourite anti-Britain hobby horse.

And here we go, as soon as you deviate from the jingoistic narrative you’re accused of being “anti-Britain”.  BTW I’m not saying it’s a bad thing I’m simply pointing out the obvious.

Why would I be reading history books in the first place ? Maybe to know what I’m talking about, you should try it.

Post edited at 06:03
Report
RomTheBear 06:11 Sun
In reply to Stichtplate:

> No. it was partially built on empire. The major expansion in UK wealth was due to the country being the initiator of the industrial revolution based on a whole host of key British inventions from the first commercially viable steam engines to power looms, coke fired blast furnaces and steam trains. All this preceded by the British agricultural revolution which freed up the rural labour force by providing more food than the population could consume. 

You are overall stating the obvious but we were in the context of being comment talking about British attitude to free trade.

> Little credit afforded to Britain peacefully ceding independence to 700,000,000 citizens. The first time in human history that a nation has voluntarily dissolved its own empire.

Voluntarily ? My god you really need a reality check. Although I completely agree that British decolonisation went better than most, you are really deluded if you think it was done out of kindness, they just didn’t have a choice.

> Compares well with the dissolution of most other European Empires. For instance, your former homeland France, had to be forcibly ejected from most of their colonial possessions with a great deal of bloodshed.

Post edited at 06:17
Report
Dr.S at work 06:45 Sun
In reply to RomTheBear:

Rom, just curious - history text book from an English School or Scottish or Welsh or N.Irish?

Report
summo 06:59 Sun
In reply to RomTheBear:

Britain did well in the last 100-200 years primarily as a knock on effect of its education system. It invented or developed many beneficial items that kept it in the game long after the slave trade. Antibiotics, cement, light bulb, telephone, jet engine, television, arguably computer /www, stainless steel, spinning machines, steam engine, faradays work, first match, principle of a vaccine etc. Etc. As much as you love to kick the UK you are likely surrounded by the benefits of British inventions. 

Report
RomTheBear 07:09 Sun
In reply to summo:

> Britain did well in the last 100-200 years primarily as a knock on effect of its education system.

Double facepalm.  First of all the first antibiotic was discovered by a german physician name Paul Ehrlich, but more famously, penicillin was discovered totally by accident !  And it reflect the story of most innovations, they happen by accident or through trial and error, and iteration, not through "education". 

Britain was a particularly fertile ground for innovation because it had a more liberal system than most, dense cities, and an large aristocracy who could spend time on scientific hobbies, and a bunch of other reasons, but education is probably at the bottom of the list.

Post edited at 07:20
Report
summo 07:20 Sun
In reply to RomTheBear:

> Double facepalm. 

As much as I despise religion today, it was church sponsored schools for all that increased educational standards for everyone in the 18th and 19th century. It's also the reason why the UK is full of schools that are still tied to the CoE and the RC churches. Also many universities evolved in the 19th century. Granted the poor were still expected to start work when young, but the great minds who built or designed the first steam engine for example weren't doing all the work themselves. 

Report
summo 07:22 Sun
In reply to RomTheBear:

> Double facepalm.  First of all the first antibiotic was discovered by a german physician name Paul Ehrlich, but more famously, penicillin was discovered totally by accident !  And it reflect the story of most innovations, they happen by accident or through trial and error, and iteration, not through "education". 

Yes. That's the nature of science. You look for one thing, find another. But he didn't ignore it, he developed it. Imagine life without it! 

Report
summo 07:36 Sun
In reply to RomTheBear:

Admit it Rom, you think the UK is great. You're like the love sick teenager calling the clever pretty girl, thick and ugly to try and cover up your real feelings. You are just denying yourself the truth. ;) 

If the UK invented some fusion energy powered carbon capture machine and ended world poverty or starvation, you'd still be there typing something negative. 

Report
wintertree 07:42 Sun
In reply to summo:

> television

Logie Baird’s television was a technological dead end however.  

The American, Filo T Farnsworth, created the electron beam scanning system that went on to be the template for the next 50 years of TVs, oscilloscopes, computer monitors and radar displays.  He also invented a desktop nuclear fusion reactor that hundreds of people now build in their basements, including school kids.  

Oliver Heaviside, a Brit, invented the coaxial cable however. TV wouldn’t have gone very far with that.  He also coined the Heaviside Step Function.  Most people only remember the Dirac Delta Function which is purely derivative work.

Report
wercat 08:42 Sun
In reply to summo:

> , faradays work

I was in Kirkby Stephen on Tuesday

Report
wercat 08:46 Sun
In reply to wintertree:

Not Nipkow's method?

Not quite a dead end - I thought that the slow-scan TV cameras for Apollo used something along these lines though obviously far removed?

Report
wintertree 08:55 Sun
In reply to wercat:

> Not Nipkow's method? Not quite a dead end

Indeed - his disks, modified with small lenses at each pinhole, are still in use in modern spinning disk confocal microscopes.  I don’t know about the moon cameras but will now do some reading...  German chap I think Nipkow - Logie Baird “just” threw two of them together with some synchronisation...  

But, beyond niche applications the spinning disk was really a dead end, and I think that was obvious to many people back in the day with the development of television.

Post edited at 09:06
Report
RomTheBear 09:12 Sun
In reply to summo:

> Admit it Rom, you think the UK is great. You're like the love sick teenager calling the clever pretty girl, thick and ugly to try and cover up your real feelings. You are just denying yourself the truth. ;) 

> If the UK invented some fusion energy powered carbon capture machine and ended world poverty or starvation, you'd still be there typing something negative. 

No, summo, unlike you I don't see everything through a nationalistic, jingoistic lens. To think that any country is inherently great or bad is completely idiotic and nonsensical in my view. 

Report
RomTheBear 09:18 Sun
In reply to summo:

> As much as I despise religion today, it was church sponsored schools for all that increased educational standards for everyone in the 18th and 19th century. It's also the reason why the UK is full of schools that are still tied to the CoE and the RC churches. Also many universities evolved in the 19th century. Granted the poor were still expected to start work when young, but the great minds who built or designed the first steam engine for example weren't doing all the work themselves. 

You are absolutely right that the great minds who developped things like the steam engine didn't do all the work themselves. For the most part they built on iteration and improvement of generations of tinkerers, experimenters, and craftsmen, or through plain luck. Academics in university ? Not so much so.

Report
summo 09:37 Sun
In reply to RomTheBear:

> No, summo, unlike you I don't see everything through a nationalistic, jingoistic lens. To think that any country is inherently great or bad is completely idiotic and nonsensical in my view. 

You are correct countries are both good and bad, at different things, and different times. Institutions are both good and bad too. 

Thus not everything about the UK is great, but neither is everything about the eu. We make our choices based on the good and bad elements that match our views. We are all different, no one persons view is better than the others. 

Post edited at 09:39
Report
RomTheBear 09:51 Sun
In reply to summo:

> We are all different, no one persons view is better than the others. 

Nonsense. Views can be stupid, harmful, or wrong . Some views are definitely better than others I'm afraid. 

Report
summo 10:29 Sun
In reply to RomTheBear:

> Nonsense. Views can be stupid, harmful, or wrong . Some views are definitely better than others I'm afraid. 

I was referring to viewpoints related to the subjects being discussed here, gb, the eu etc. 

Clearly if a person's views align with the Nazis that is just wrong. 

Report
baron 10:30 Sun
In reply to elsewhere:

> So you agree he wasn't a commander in the field who left British troops to fight on as he had been promoted away from the role of commanding troops in battle?

I’ll say it again -

I wasn’t having a go at de Gaulle, although I will if you want me to, I was using him, a French Army officer living in England, as an example to refute the assertion that British troops ran away and left the French to fight on.

The fact that de Gaulle badgered his way into a staff position away from the men who he proclaimed to be so proud to be fighting alongside before escaping to England is merely an aside 

Report
wercat 10:37 Sun
In reply to baron:

What I have against De Gaulle is how long he stopped us from getting into the Common Market, all through my childhood and early adolescence, so that my first adult vote could be for us to be in

SOMETHING those who glibly talk about having a review in five years and rejoining could do well to REMEMBER

Post edited at 10:38
Report
freeflyer 15:10 Sun
In reply to Frank4short:

As I've previously posted, I'm in favour of a United States of Europe, with responsibility transferred from Westminster to the regions and to Brussels, with appropriate representation and feedback; Guy Fawkes had the right idea, if a less than suitable implementation mechanism.

However I recognise that this is a large elephant to eat in one meal.

Let's start with a single transferable vote in the UK, a well-tried system in other countries which in my view can better represent the spread of opinions about different democratic themes. In an ideal world, I would like to choose my candidates from the available UK pool rather than those selected by some un-elected local party organisation to represent me; in that way I can vote for the candidates of my choice, be it because of their national policy views, or because of local issues.

How can we make European issues more transparent and engage the UK population more in making those decisions? I am not a fan of referenda, but I think this is the exception to the rule, *as long as they are not used for attempts to disengage from the process*. So there would not be a "do not spend this money" referendum option, but instead a series of "let's spend this money on" options.

I dislike the "European superstate" phrase, because it seems to me to assume a power hierarchy and authoritarian structure similar to the various communist-inspired regimes of the past and present. I would not happily live in one of those. I also support the ideas of HansStuttgart: diversity and appropriate integration. Astonishingly, Rom appears to be on the same track.

I've spent a lot of time in France and consider it my second home, although I don't own anything there; I'd like to spend more time elsewhere too, especially eastern Europe and the central Alps, for reasons I'm sure you understand! I'm hoping to be able to do this with the minimum of institutional disruption.

freeflyer

Report
Lusk 16:50 Sun
In reply to freeflyer:

In summary, you're pro EU because you have (and want) the freedom to go and live and work wherever you want. Lucky you!
100s of millions of people don't really have that option, they're tied down by a whole raft of reasons, and as a result, don't give a fig about freedom of movement.

Report
L wbo2 17:12 Sun
In reply to Lusk:maybe - personally its given me a world of opportunity.  Do you live where you were born? No difference to moving to London.

Report
john arran 17:12 Sun
In reply to Lusk:

Presumably of those people that are in the UK, they do still care about inflation, which is an inevitable consequence of a severely weakened currency,

or about employment rights, which currently enjoy a lot of protection due to EU agreements but which after we leave will be at the whim of this government (which at the same time will be trying to make up for its money-tree spending promises by cutting anything any everything it can),

or about the NHS, for which there will be strong pressure on the government to deregulate in order to smooth a trade deal with the US,

or about food hygiene and animal welfare, for which again the government will be under huge pressure to accept reduced standards,

or any of a million other valued benefits of EU membership that suddenly will be gone in a puff of damaging (to all but a few) nationalistic fervour.

Report
L wbo2 17:33 Sun
In reply to Frank4short:  to be blunt if the UK really does go to a Singapore model you can expect a pretty harsh drop in living standards for most people , particularly if you consider the wage reduction you need to get productivity where it would need to be.

Sad to say,  reading some of the above,  the whole relationship with Europe is still dominated by the second world war, and that's a heck of a drag . 

Report
freeflyer 17:46 Sun
In reply to Lusk:

That's a fair assessment, but it's a question of attitude.

100's of millions - really?

I'll give you one example. Local friend aged 80+, just buried her husband after a long illness, for whom she was the primary 24/7 carer. Her first reaction was to make the round the world trip plan, so I asked her how that was going today, and she said it was a pipe-dream; she's happy with her garden, her community and her freedom. She's not that bothered about Brexit, can't believe they made such a mess of it, would be happy to give the whole thing up and get on with proper government. Not bothered about a blue passport, wants Britain to be great, hubby was involved with the services before his accident. What will she vote? Probably won't bother.

Would she agree with an EU superstate; not a chance. United States of Europe - just maybe, if it included Corfu where she used to go on holiday.

Report
Duncan Bourne 18:45 Sun
In reply to freeflyer:

I really like your assessment there. I too think a Europe where we are an active part is preferable to being a side player in an ever devolving scenario. At the rate things are going each county will become its own independant Barony

Report
neilh 09:23 Mon
In reply to wbo2:

To improve productivity wages would go up. You need a better educated workforce. 

We would need to upskill.

singapore is not some backward country. It’s a high skills country. 

Report
RomTheBear 09:55 Mon
In reply to neilh:

> To improve productivity wages would go up. You need a better educated workforce. 

> We would need to upskill.

> singapore is not some backward country. It’s a high skills country. 

But very interestingly a high skills country that relies predominantly on imported labour and skills. About 40% of its workforce is foreign, most of the intellectual property they have (about 85%)  is filed by foreigners, most of the capital is also foreign.

So frankly when I hear brexiteers peddling the Singaporeans model, I have a good laugh. Adopting a Singaporean model would mean increasing immigration 5 folds. Not sure this is what brexiteers wanted.

Post edited at 09:59
Report
Mike Stretford 09:58 Mon
In reply to neilh:

> To improve productivity wages would go up. You need a better educated workforce. 

> We would need to upskill.

> singapore is not some backward country. It’s a high skills country. 

It also relies on a foreign workforce from developing countries who are on a fraction of the average local wage.

https://edition.cnn.com/2018/02/24/asia/singapore-migrant-workers-intl/index.html

I'm not going to get into the rights or wrongs of that but the city state is clearly not an economy a post-industrial much larger country could copy. 

Report
neilh 10:19 Mon
In reply to RomTheBear:

As I said...we would need to upskill to be a Singapore.

But there is nothing wrong in the concept of  doing this, for as you well know low productivity is the bane of the UK economy  and results in the current malaise in wage growth.

Post edited at 10:23
Report
Mike Stretford 10:41 Mon
In reply to neilh:

> As I said...we would need to upskill to be a Singapore.

We'd need to shrink the UK down to Greater London. Sorry, but it's ridiculous to use Singapore for anything but a model for other city states.

Report
neilh 12:12 Mon
In reply to Mike Stretford:

Some would argue that is the UK is merely a vassel state to London anyway .........

Of course we all know that Singapore is smaller, but it does mean you can take some of their ideas and put it in place in a larger country.

The UK desperately needs to upskill to drive up productivity. It is the only way that wages will grow.

Report
RomTheBear 12:49 Mon
In reply to neilh:

> As I said...we would need to upskill to be a Singapore.

Bug Singapore did this by massively I mporting the skills, not by training its own workforce better.

Pretty much all of their growth economy can be accounted for by FDI and immigration.

I‘m giving you the facts about the Singaporean model, its success was entirely reliant on importing skills and capital at a massive scale, pretty much all of the growth they had can be attributed to that, not on building up the skills of its native population (or only marginally so).

Report
neilh 16:07 Mon
In reply to RomTheBear:

You could argue the same for the UK in the EU

Report
RomTheBear 21:32 Mon
In reply to neilh:

> You could argue the same for the UK in the EU

But I do ! This has somewhat very loosely been the growth model for the UK. Pretty much all of the economic growth since 2008 in the UK is attributable to growing the workforce through immigration and labour market reforms. That is why I laugh when I hear about the Singaporean model. Brexit takes us away from that model not closer to it.

Post edited at 21:40
Report
neilh 08:51 Tue
In reply to RomTheBear:

I know. 

And you can argue that the model  is not really working with low wage growth and poor productivity.

Report
RomTheBear 09:47 Tue
In reply to neilh:

> I know. 

> And you can argue that the model  is not really working with low wage growth and poor productivity.

Unfortunately thus has nothing to do with that. All the evidence points out to the fact that productivity and wage growth would in fact have been worse if we had not imported those skills and labour.

So you’re not going to fix the problem by moving away from this model, I’m afraid, you’re just going to make a bad situation worse.

Report
neilh 10:32 Tue
In reply to RomTheBear:

I consider there is some debate to be had about that. One of the most productive sectors in the econonomy is export based businesses, simply put you have to be that way to compete on the global stage.

The inefficient and unproductive companys that I come across where there has been poor wage growth are those that are UK focused. Tending to rely on low cost labour instead of investing in productivity improvements.You are all most keeping struggling zombie companys limping along painfully in the current model.

Now we may decide that it is better to do that, but it comes at a price.

Not saying its right/wrong..just an observation.

Report

Please Register as a New User in order to reply to this topic.