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Showing posts with label EU. Show all posts
Showing posts with label EU. Show all posts

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

EU and the UK pound

Since the Prime Minister clarified our position on leaving the EU following the BREXIT vote, I see that the UK pound is up against every currency. I guess people had already factored in that we are leaving the EU and are happy to have some certainty now.

Although I have said this before, it would not surprise me if the Euro lost a lot of value this year. The EU is in grave danger of falling apart.

I voted to "remain" in the EU, but many nations want free trade but NOT a United States of Europe. France is France. Germany is Germany, etc..  National identity IS important.  Originally the EU was about maintaining peace in Europe, but it has grown a lot in recent years and has rather lost its way.  Basically I think the EU is "a good thing" but it must not be a "gravy train": it should serve the people of Europe.

See http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business/market_data/currency/default.stm .

Thursday, 14 July 2016

The Future

We now have a new Prime Minister and Cabinet. We voted to leave the EU. The future is a book still to be written. I very much hope we welcome genuine refugees fleeing conflict in their own lands.

I wish the new PM well, but it is a VERY long time go that I voted Conservative! Leaving the EU and still remaining good friends with our European neighbours will not be easy.

As I have said before, we like the idea of free trade but not free movement of people to our small island. We already are crowded with a high population density. Unlike Germany with a falling population we do not actually need people.

Of course, genuine refugees fleeing conflict are always welcome. We welcomed Hugenots, German Jews and others in the past and I hope we are still a welcoming place for those fleeing trouble in their own lands. Most British have always welcomed refugees. I remember being at school with a boy from Hungary in the late 1950s. I hope he soon felt at home.

Sunday, 19 June 2016

The EU referendum - vote!

If we vote to leave the EU I shall not be too surprised. It is vital that everyone votes as this will impact the UK for years to come.

The REMAIN campaign has been very negative and focused on the harm to the UK if we vote to leave and not the benefits of being "in the club".  A vote to leave will probably mean that Scotland will want another referendum and lead to the break-up of the UK. If we leave the EU then I think others will follow and the Euro will collapse. This is serious for the world.

It is entirely possible we could vote to remain in the EU. One thing is certain: the outcome is too close to call.

It is possible David Cameron will continue as UK Prime Minister for years to come. On the other hand we could see Boris as PM as early as November. What is certain is that politics is changing. If we leave I suspect a lurch to the right politically will occur. This is happening in many EU nations and this is dangerous.

Although my wife and I voted IN (remain), the outcome could go either way. The EU cannot continue as a weak protectionist club. It has to change or it will fall apart. The danger of this happening has never been greater.

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

EU Referendum

As we are away on the day when voting takes place, we have voted by postal vote. We posted our votes off today. The outcome will be close.

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

The EU Referendum

With only a few weeks to go, the outcome is hard to judge. Yes, the EU needs to reform, we are probably better off as a nation IN the EU than out of it, the campaign has been poor, leaving the EU would be hard but not a disaster.

Monday, 23 May 2016

EU referendum

The UK votes in a referendum on whether to remain in the EU or leave on June 23rd 2016.

Like many, I am undecided.

The UK is not a world power with an empire - this went years ago. The EU is a gravy train for bureaucrats and is an unelected quango in the main creating so many laws that most small companies cannot keep up with them.  At the same time, WW3 starting in Europe has not occurred and as long as there is an EU is unlikely. There is much wrong with the EU, but much of it is a force for good. The EU needs to reform.

No I am still undecided.

What I do know is this is a very important decision which will effect us for years to come. I think the vote will be very close. Should we vote to leave, I think others will follow too not many years down the line.

My gut says leave but my logical self says stay in. The best outcome would be if the EU was a real force for good in the world. It puzzles me why so many countries seem to accept it as it is.

UPDATE 1400z:  I am really fed up with NEGATIVE messages and spin.

Saturday, 23 April 2016

President Obama and the EU referendum

In the UK referendum I am likely to vote "IN" to remain in the EU but I get saddened by all the negativity and "spin" on both sides in this debate. The intervention by the current US president Obama does little good.

We have not had a trade deal with the US before and who is likely to benefit? Well, the USA of course.

Mr Obama, your intervention, although possibly well meant, is probably going to encourage people to vote "OUT".

It is fine to have an opinion (like I am amazed by the support in the USA for Mr Trump) but if you were in the EU Mr President you would not want the centralism in Brussels.  The EU needs to change and the UK is better in there shaping it in my view.

Your intervention is likely to backfire Mr Obama and is not helpful I am afraid.

UPDATE 2200z:  President Obama is quoted as having said that a trade deal with the USA could take "up to 10 years if we left the EU". Should we be voting to leave then?

Friday, 22 April 2016

Britain and the EU

Just watched the second Nick Robinson BBC2 programme about Britain and the EU. Some decent information in this series. If you are looking for real information,and NOT spin, I suggest you watch this on iPlayer or Catch-up if you can.

Sunday, 17 April 2016

EU referendum

There is a poor quality debate on this matter. We vote on whether or not to remain in the EU in less than 10 weeks but the quality of the arguments is very poor.

The UK has looked towards the EU as a common market and never with a view to a political union. Many in Europe see it as a way to keep peace in Europe. At the moment I am still inclined to vote "IN" but the politicians here are certainly not winning hearts and minds on either side.

The debate needs to be more positive! All I hear are fear and uncertainty.

Friday, 15 April 2016

That EU referendum again

It is now 10 weeks until people in the UK hold a referendum to decide whether or not to stay in the EU. At the moment I am voting "IN" but I have been appalled by the campaigns so far. What comes across are fear and uncertainty. No-one seems to have anything positive to say! I hope this changes.

Thursday, 14 April 2016

EU referendum

See http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-36024492

As a "floating voter" in the coming EU referendum I am not impressed by the £9M government publication going to each home and the negativity of the "IN" campaign.

Surely if staying in is a good thing, there are positive messages, not just more negative comments, that can be shared? My instinct is to vote "IN" but I may well change my mind.

I have a brain and intend to use it. I need to hear positive reasons to stay in the EU. All this negativity is counter-productive.

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Mark Carney - leaving EU would be biggest domestic risk

See http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-35751919 .

It seems a bit suspicious that the banks and big business want us to vote IN. At the moment I am in favour of IN, but I could well be persuaded otherwise if the facts are clearly presented without the spin.

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

The EC and the UK

When it comes to our UK national referendum on whether we should stay in or leave the EC, I am undecided. In many ways the EC is a good thing. On the other hand it is a creaking bureaucracy in great need of reform. I like that Europe has been (largely) at peace in my lifetime. I like free trade in Europe. However, we are a small island running out of room, with creaking services and the UK should have the final say over who lives and works here.  I am in favour of a common market. Why do we need more?

I really feel for the genuine migrants fleeing conflict. Having had a nasty tummy bug in the comfort of my own home, I cannot help thinking how much worse this would have been if I was also cold,wet and hungry and thousands of miles from home. Even worse if you are a child who does not understand. Personally I think we should take more real refugees but not economic migrants.

No, there is still a great deal that needs fixing. Mr Cameron has NOT basically changed anything his recent negotiations. We are being asked to stay, when really very very little has changed.

So, in summary, I am undecided which way to vote. At the moment I am voting to leave, but I may well change my mind.



Sunday, 19 July 2015

Ode to Joy

Just watching the Proms on BBC TV and they are singing Beethoven's "Ode to Joy". Wonderful. 

I do hope we manage to negotiate a sensible way forward so we stay in the EU. There is much wrong with the European Union, but there is also much that is very good. We have had peace in Europe (well almost) since WW2 and this must largely be due to the European Union binding nations together.

I have much respect for Germany - a nation with a wonderful musical tradition - and hope it continues its path of peace. WW1 and WW2 were sad blips and are history now. Germany is a different place these days. I have visited several places in Germany for work and holidays. It is a lovely country with beautiful countryside and hard working people.

See http://europa.eu/index_en.htm .

Monday, 22 June 2015

Greece - a basket case?

Greece seems to be in a serious mess financially, although the EC seems desperate for the Euro to survive the current crisis. It would appear Greece became a member of the Euro club based on rather dubious figures. Tax avoidance and early retirement ages appear to be a way of life in Greece and this is anathema to countries like Germany. If Greece doesn't get kicked out of the Euro, they certainly need to change. We will see what happens. I expect we'll see yet another fudge and somehow Greece will survive, although it is not clear for how long. I'm very glad not to be Greek right now. Life there must be very hard, especially if you have no work.

UPDATE 1726z:  It sounds like Greece may be on the brink of a financial rescue. Time will tell.

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

FTSE 100 share index

The FTSE 100 share index has fallen back quite a bit from its recent highs. I am not too surprised. Greece is still filled with uncertainty and we, in the UK, have an EU referendum coming up, probably next year, the outcome of which is far from certain.   Personally I think Greece will default and eventually leave the Eurozone.  Greece is not a good place to be currently. The UK referendum is bound to create a climate of uncertainty. Markets like stability.

I hope we, in the UK, vote to stay in the EU, but that some of its ways are changed. It does seem bogged down with rules that work against an open market, which is really what we joined in 1975. Some of our population issues are of our own making due to our relatively good economy, but I still feel we, the UK, should have the last word on who can stay and work here, not the bureaucrats in Brussels.  At the moment, the EU seems to have the last word.

If we do not want a federal Europe that is our decision. We have always been "on the edge" of Europe both politically and geographically and I hope this continues. Yes to a common EU market, but no to the UK in the Euro and a federal Europe. Fine for those that want it.  Actually the whole EU would benefit from some reform. In many countries the pressure is building and the politicians need to listen to the voice of the people.

Friday, 23 January 2015

Greece - Sunday's election

At the moment Syriza, the left wing party, looks set to win in Greece on Sunday. If so, an exit from the Euro, and the EU, is possible. This could have dramatic ramifications for both Greece and the rest of the EU, including the UK.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

UK immigration

See http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-30167160 .

The Home Secretary has said on TV that UK immigration target are unlikely to be met.

The Conservatives published some very ambitious targets, that frankly, were a joke unless the immigration pattern was drastically changed. This remains a very contentious issue central to the next General Election. Making such STUPID claims about immigration targets serves no good at all.

We are a small, overcrowded, island and HAVE to be able to manage our immigration numbers. Currently we are a magnet for people and we need to understand just why this is so. I hope we can find a way of controlling immigration and stay in the EU, but if we don't we may have no choice but to leave.  If we go, others will follow us.

Incidentally, free movement within the EU means about 800000 UK people now live in Spain. It is not just people coming into the UK,although our small size makes net immigration an acute issue. Some skills we definitely need and this is likely to continue to be the case. We just need better controls, whether by looking at points, welfare or whatever.

I am no UKIP supporter, but I do understand the issues.

Friday, 21 November 2014

UKIP recent successes

In the last few months, UKIP has gained its first 2 MPs taking votes from the Conservative, Labour and the Lib Dems. As I said before, in the General Election next spring it could all be very different At the moment  UKIP is picking up protest votes and this is unlikely to be the case in a General Election when people are electing the party to govern us for the next 5 years. Both the major parties will have been rattled by the results of the by-election results from Rochester and Strood. The Lib Dems did very badly indeed with the Greens polling higher than them.

See http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-30140747 .

I still do not know who to vote for in the next General Election, but it will not be UKIP.   To me, this party is maybe OK as a protest, but it would be a disaster if they helped form the next government. They seem to stand for just one thing: get the UK out of the EC.  Personally, I believe our relationship with our European friends will change somewhat, but I hope we remain close partners with our friends in mainland Europe.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

TTIP

See http://ec.europa.eu/trade/policy/in-focus/ttip/about-ttip/  .

The latest G20 meeting seems to have "oiled wheels" on this trade deal between the USA and Europe. David Cameron is in a difficult place as the USA wants to deal with Europe and not with Europe less the UK and the UK.

It will be interesting to see what, if anything, comes out of the G20 on climate change policies. Australia is the worst emitter of greenhouse gases and did not really want to talk about it.