Would a Leave vote bring about EU reform and then a Second Referendum!

I have been having another wee think over the weekend about the EU having watched a little more of the debate about our membership, I even watched the debate from Glasgow on catch up where Alex Salmond stole the show and put forward a very compelling case to Remain.

One of issues that makes me sometimes consider a leave vote is the failure of the EU to reform. I believe it needs to reform it’s agricultural policy making it more environmentally friendly and protecting the smaller farmers and producers. The EU is also still pretty much in recession resulting in greater movement for economic reasons. I’m not sure if the answer is more regulation or less but better regulation but one area I would like to see is a more universal social security system across the EU. The UK, while allegedly having a stronger economy, has some of the poorest safety nets for it citizens. I would like to see the EU intervene more to ensure that EU citizens have a basic standard of living across the EU and not the poverty and starvation system we currently have in the UK.

The EU also feels very remote, how many of us are aware of the decisions it takes! Very few of us. I know that I am very ignorant of the day-to-day decisions taken by the EU so maybe there needs to be greater transparency and a requirement for the EU to inform all citizens of what is going on. I appreciate that is no easy task but possibly the EU should do a simplified annual report that we all receive in whatever format we prefer, most people might not read such a thing but at least it would be there.

The EU holds an awful lot of power, and this power appears to be held by very few people who are less than willing to be transparent about what they do with our trust and our money, TTIP being an example. Governments like the Conservative one we currently have push for greater liberalization, deregulation and privatisation of vital public services, supported by the likes of Germany and France we have seen the results of this being forced on Greece. We have suffered from this type of policy in the UK for the last 40 years. This privatisation has often resulted in the selling off of public assets into the hands of the few, and in the Tories case, their friends. Would a leave vote result in this policy being revisited and pressure put on the few to change this approach which has had dire consequences over the years for too many.

In my opinion, in the EU, we are seeing a widening gap between the rich and poor, low wages and poor employment rights, as we see in the UK and France, are now the norm or are being proposed. As I noted earlier social security systems in the UK, but also in many EU countries, are suffering massive cutbacks. Pension levels are falling as was highlighted on Welcome to Misery for British OAPs today and our standard of healthcare is deteriorating. Unemployment has reached record levels across Europe, esp for young people. Social protection has reached the point where the extreme political far right across many EU countries pose a political threat to our stability and security. This drift to the far right, in my opinion, is a rejection of the right of centre neo liberal governments in too many of our countries when what we need is a more socially democratic and socially liberal approach.

So maybe a leave vote would force the EU to seriously consider and bring about reform, serious reform that we could then vote on to change a leave vote to a remain vote. I think the shock of a UK exit might just be the thing that brings about real change.

Or is it a risk too far?

I remain undecided as to how I will vote and really need to continue to find out what others think and try to find out more facts and not fear.

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9 comments

  1. Anonymous

    Gary

    Thanks for that and it’s a very fair comment. I suppose I’m still a undecided because I’m not a fan of the EU as it is now and would really like to see change. I hated how Greece were treated and I think the Tories could fall if the UK leaves and we have GE. But there is the element of the hell it will cause down South if Scottish votes keep England in and the belief by some that England would want us gone given. oil is as good as finished and now being subsidised by the UK now so the ties may be weakening from both sides. It’s a tough one.

    Thanks for the link.

    Bruce

  2. Tedious Tantrums

    That’s an interesting point. A level standard of living including pensions etc. Would be a great sell for the Remain people. We NEVER hear Cameroid and his gang say anything about the positives of Remain. All they peddle is the negative!

    The EU needs to get its act together and introduce more democracy. Sadly the immigration issue needs to result in a lot of people going home to countries which have huge problems. The immigrants need to go home because they are doing virtually nothing to help their country become normal, whatever normal is.

    • Anonymous

      Tedious Tantrums

      One of the big issues of concern is employment and in some cases the perceived extra wages that people believe we in the UK receive. A way to deal with that could be a social security system that is roughly the same across the whole EU that might encourage people to stay at home to find work or only move when they are making a real choice of a different life. It won’t happen of course as we would need to the UK to raise social security and that is not going to happen. But I agree with you the EU needs to gets it’s act together and start caring about the citizens and not the 1% only, it’s one of the many reasons I am still on the fence.

      Thanks for commenting.

      Bruce

  3. Gary F

    Interesting question. Not sure remain or leave actually resolves any of the great issues for the ordinary person.

    Pretty much every major issue you raised above has it’s causation roots firmly embedded in the economic model utilised by both the current UK government and the EU – Neoliberalism. I’m not sure that many people have managed to work that out yet.

    Austerity is a neoliberal con. It is a method to transfer money from the poor to the wealthy. Quite incredibly a massive amount of people believe the narrative though. Let’s be brutally blunt here, the EU and the UK are to all intensive purposes still in recession. Any GDP growth experienced is a direct result of public debt. Since the Tories came into power in 2010 Debt to GDP has only increased.

    Free movement of workers within the EU with massive unemployment rates and massive disparity of pay within member states can only lead to wage deflation. This is simple supply and demand economics. Wake up people, this is neoliberalism in all its glory in action.

    Pension schemes unfortunately are just a giant Ponzi scheme. Sadly, we are going to see a lot of people who have worked hard all their life have their ‘promised’ retirement security slowly removed from them as the Ponzi is realised. If you don’t believe this to be the case look at the BHS pension scheme, the Tata steel workers scheme and the thousands of other schemes under investigation as they are unable to make the investment returns required to keep the Ponzi going.

    With regards the comment on WoS, i refer you to this part of the comment:-

    “The people that suppressed our wealth, destroyed our industries, neglected our people, poisoned our waters, irradiated our land, stole our territory, and ultimately did everything they could to deny us our sovereignty”.

    If I remove the references to water poisoning and land irradiation this perfectly sums up the EU’s position to the southern member states of the Euro. Greece is experiencing all of this with spades at the moment. There is more than enough reason to be debating this!!

    • Anonymous

      Gary F

      I totally agree with you on the trickle up effect of austerity as a way of making the rich richer and the poor, in my opinion, more afraid and impoverished so therefor dependent on every decreasing income or social security. I won’t pretend to understand the economics and you have a far better grasp on that than I do so thanks for your insight.

      I agree with you on free movement of workers, this does appear to suppress wages and that is probably the plan by the likes of Germany, UK and France and again just adds to all our problems. Pensions are a con, I will actually get less back than I pay in due to working for the public sector. That is an interesting point as to if remain or leave actually resolves anything, I am not so sure. Will things be that different either way? If we vote leave will millions of jobs go, maybe maybe not but given the EU s current economic prospects that might happen anyway as more and more jobs are moved to the Asian economies where people are paid even less starvation wages then many receive in the EU. It really is a tough choice.

      Thanks for commenting.

      Bruce

  4. lanark

    I have decided to vote Leave. I just can’t bring myself to vote for the status quo and I want Cameron and his horrible government to fall. Also the treatment of Greece has soured me on the EU as it stands. Please understand that I am no fan of Boris, Farage or Galloway etc and perhaps my reasons aren’t the purest but that’s the way I feel.

    I agree with Alex Salmond that we must ignore the scare tactics and vote with our conscience.

    • Anonymous

      Lanark

      I totally respect your decision and understand your reasons. I’m still undecided and trying to get more views from ‘ordinary’ people like ourselves who talk more sense than the politicians. It really feels like a lose lose either way sometimes. The campaign is a right wing anti immigration hate fest that informs no one of the facts. It’s all so depressing really.

      Thanks for commenting as always.

      Bruce

  5. bjsalba

    Where do you get your information about the EU? From the MSM? From the Tory Party polititions, or UKIP, perhaps? Surely you understand that they are lying to us about the EU just as they do about virtually everything else?

    If you want to understand more about the EU, I would suggest that you start with the following:
    http://www.scotlandineurope.eu/wee_bleu_book. It is from Alyn Smith MEP, and Ian Hudghton MEP (both SNP MEPs).

    I would also recommend the series of articles put out by Dr Craig Dalzell of the Scottish Greens
    https://thecommongreen.wordpress.com/2016/05/24/are-eu-in-or-out-part-1/
    https://thecommongreen.wordpress.com/2016/05/27/are-eu-in-or-out-part-2/
    https://thecommongreen.wordpress.com/2016/05/31/are-eu-in-or-out-part-3/

    There are a number of EU sites that can be used to widen your knowledge of what is going on, but they do assume that people have a basic knowledge of how the EU works. Both the Wee Bleu Book and The Common Green Articles begin with a good description or the organization of the EU and how it functions.

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