DELETED_74993

Man of Honour
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If the constitution said "government may not snoop on citizens unless this had been signed off by 3 judges from the 'supreme court'" or something to that effect (I know we do not have a supreme court, just giving a theoretical example).

Do you think that honestly is a realistic provision of a constitution, which is supposed to be as concise as possible? A constitution is purposefully vague so it can be applied to a variety of situations. The more precise you make it the easier it is to 'get around' a provision.

With your provision, it may stop a Government snooping, but it will not stop them 'monitoring'.

As Tefal has said, it is also totally unworkable.

Also, we will be getting a Supreme Court very soon, but more by name than function.
 
Associate
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I think the UK should leave the EU, and that the EU should provide a door for them, at the moment because Ireland rejected the Lisbon Treaty such a door doesn't exist. Admittedly a failure on our part. Why do I feel the UK should be out of the Union? I think honestly most of the UK don't really want to be in it. The EU has changed from its initial conception of what it was meant to be and what it is. Many in the UK see this and don't like it for a myriad of reasons. The English are appalled at the idea of a single currency and seem to interpret this as loosing their sovereignty.

I think the UK would be happier outside the EU, at the moment they seem distant and unsure of the consequences of further EU involvement as if their is no going back. Which is fine but I believe its possible to reverse any changes made and the EU is not a one way street to the USE.

They are welcome to be in the EU but I really believe its not what the people of Britain want. They seem to make this clear every time a Treaty gets passed around like a joint. They adopt the mantra 'No, Just Say No to the EU' like they read it off a milk carton.

I don't see how further political involvement makes them less British. In Ireland we have very much a pro stance on the EU and don't see ourselves loosing our nationality. After all we remained under British rule for 800 years and still didn't loose our sense of identity. I doubt a voluntary joined supra-national union could be different.

Its not so much the UK hates the EU rather it just seems to send mixed signals which means it has hesitations which are fine but I would rather they unified themselves and sent out a clear message as to exactly what is it Britain wants from the EU and what it wants to contribute. Indeed other nations have objections to parts of the EU but not like Britain, Britain is objecting left right and centre to a lot of issues. Britain is notoriously Euro-skeptic.

Sorry if my post doesn't make sense. Its hard to interpret British opinions on the EU, there doesn't seem to be a cohesive element to discuss around when arguing with the Brits on the EU, they seem so concerned about everything involved that could potentially go wrong for them, yes there are some risks but nothing that a bit of legal elbow grease could resolve.
 
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Caporegime
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with a constitution that laid out certain rights that could not be taken away from both people and the member states,

That would be nice, would stop the british government making laws that breach the eu convention on human rights, eg the ripa act, which takes away the right to a fair trial.
 
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For beacuse it has benfits for the Uk econmy and because of the positive connections that could be made to other EU countrys as a result.
 

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Soldato
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I disagree.

I would actually support an EU system that was basically a copy of the US system (with a constitution that laid out certain rights that could not be taken away from both people and the member states, a proper electoral system where you get to elect PEOPLE rather than parties) and so on. However, I do not support the current mess that is the EU.
The only sticking point with the above is the lack of a common language.

You're not ever going to find a European Federation as we have too much history and social differences to allow for total hegeonomy. Instead, the EU is working towards total confederalism, which is much easier to attain. Instead of our history and cultural differences causing problems, they can become to be seen as something that unites us. Sovereignty is something that Europe has fought long, hard and bitter wars for time and time again. Some in fact still wear the battle-scars from such struggles. You would be foolish to assume that Europe will ever become a federation. The only possible situation I could imagine this evolving would be out of a successful confederation, and certainly not within our lifetimes.

As for the EU, I'm all for it, although with some changes. For example, I don't like that MPs appoint the EU representatives themselves.

The EU would be more transparant if it wasn't for the backlash of Britian still reeling and scratching at our post-colonial blues. Whether you realise it or not, our culture is very much tainted from our historical rise.
 
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Soldato
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You're not ever going to find a European Federation as we have too much history and social differences to allow for total hegeonomy. Instead, the EU is working towards total confederalism, which is much easier to attain. Instead of our history and cultural differences causing problems, they can become to be seen as something that unites us. Sovereignty is something that Europe has fought long, hard and bitter wars for time and time again. Some in fact still wear the battle-scars from such struggles. You would be foolish to assume that Europe will ever become a federation. The only possible situation I could imagine this evolving would be out of a successful confederation, and certainly not within our lifetimes.

The EU already is a confederation, and plenty of scholars feel that it is in fact heading towards being a federation.

You state that the EU member states have a lot of social differences and war scars... surely the same is true for USA?
While they are closer together now in some respects due to being a union and far freer movement of people, the USA still has plenty of scars from their civic and independence wars.
If you are talking about WW2 here then perhaps the answer is to kick Germany out, as without them there would only be no scars :D
 

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Soldato
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The EU already is a confederation, and plenty of scholars feel that it is in fact heading towards being a federation.

I know it's a confederation, that was the exact point I was making to you.

We will not be heading towards a federal system without the will of the people and many are still fighting the current one.

You state that the EU member states have a lot of social differences and war scars... surely the same is true for USA?

The USA has far less history and culturally their states were very similar with little in the way of language barriers for instance. Europe is far older and complicated than you're giving it credit for. Consider it historical entropy if you will.

While they are closer together now in some respects due to being a union and far freer movement of people, the USA still has plenty of scars from their civic and independence wars.

A moot point. All nations tend to go through a period of civil war in their venture to adulthood. The difference here is that America is much larger than say... England and its counties. However, one thing you've ignored is the fact America's history involves and influx of Europeans to create their states in the first instance. American was seen as a colony and continent by its people and this was reflected within the societial zeitgeist if you will. Europe on the other hand is by and large very different -- borders being drawn up at vastly different times, powers growing and falling and intense competition between the states. No state in America, for instance, has pinched their financial model from another or been at war for over a hundred years with another.

If you are talking about WW2 here then perhaps the answer is to kick Germany out, as without them there would only be no scars :D

Not really. In terms of the scars, I'm refering to the little colloquialisms and attitudes which are engrained in our culture from our long and complicated history.

The reason the EU works is precisely because of WW2 -- we don't want conflict anymore (ignoring the economic arguments), but that doesn't mean we're going to stop being suspicious of our neighbours; people who don't look like us, don't speak our language and eat different things. Indeed, this is the exact reason why a federation will not exist until the idea of a confederalism has established itself within a few generations. Currently -- especially within Britain -- the EU is still a taboo topic.
 
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Soldato
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The EU is only a taboo subject because of the way it works, or seems to work.
We have no clear path forward as outlined by the EU, as to where we are heading.
We have a budget and voting system that does not adequately represent the interests of the member states. For instance, France having far too much say over farmers subsidies.
We have enlargement of the whole EU via allowing poorer and weaker countries in, instead of keeping it an "exclusive club" (at least for now).
And lastly we have the president of the EU saying things like "the people in Britain that MATTER support the EU"; thus basically saying that the British public does not matter.
 
Soldato
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I work for the EU and it's not the same as work as the 70s and early 80s when there were 9 and 12 members.

It's hard work long hours and we've been taking salary cuts for the last 4 years. I personally lost 15% thanks to Kinnock's reform.

We had 12 new member states but no new jobs so we nearly doubled the countries involved but with the same amount of staff. :( Everything is now done to please the European Parliament. (Which I think is how it should be.) But it means we have to document everything just incase which is quite bureaucratic.

Still I enjoy immensely my work but I enjoy living in Belgium more. It's such a great country I could never see myself back in the UK. Even if I did lose my job here.

I think the EU definitely needs a streamlined policy but the problem is that little of the 120 billion buget is for research or internal policy making. 95% of it goes back to the member states the administration costing less than 5%.

I think the UK administration is as high as 25%.

Anyway it's always an interesting read and most views are valid for this debate.
 
Associate
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Nice post. But according to what you just said, the British public is misinformed and just being a bit...well... British about the whole thing. Why should a whole country leave the EU due to ignorance (By the way, try not to misinterperet this. I'm not calling all EU-sceptics ignorant; just the sheep without any rational argument as to why they dislike the EU)?

Sorry I didn't answer you,
I wrote a post twice, and OCUK auto logged me out which meant my post was lost twice. Getting fed up of the system in place. I put a lot of effort in to the second post. Very frustrating. I have always hated auto logout systems.

Will edit this tomorrow.
 
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Associate
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My main con: Consensus is required to change even the simplest of things. Eg books have no VAT levied, but eBooks do - end result, we pay more for the environmentally friendly (arguable), modern option.

The EU leading to piece? I'm not so sure: I think it's the high percentage of EU countries with Nuclear weapons, the general wish to avoid conflicts after two consecutive world wars practically destroyed europe, and the emergence and subsidal of the Soviet Union as a common threat.

Personally, I'm for the idea, against the implementation. I'm all for common currencies, values and laws; I'm not happy with the lack of common sense within the EU as it is, the huge amount of beurocracy (and the money which funds the paperwork) and the need for total consensus on any little thing.

In short: I'm for AN EU, I'm against THE EU. If they did it better, I'd like it more - for starters, the ability for any country to opt out of minor laws/regulations.
 
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Britain has not been treated as well as its 'special relationship' with the US implies.

Britain was pressured into a war its people did not want to engage in. The US has taken liberties like unfair extradition treaties where the US has simply had to order for Britain's residents to be extradited while Britain has had to go to US courts and plead with their justice system. The US embassy in London refuses to pay congestions charges because . . . I don't know.

The EU has had nothing but patience and respect for Britain. How much crap did Britain have to eat for not joining the Euro. None? Thats because the EU respected the decision of Britain even if they disagreed. This is true for many issues, at least more than Britain's tabloid media gives it credit for.

By 2070, the US will have reached the 700 million mark, China and India will be on a par with the US and the EU. Throw in an eastern archipelago of economies like Hong Kong, Japan and South Korea and a western cohort of Australia, New Zealand and Canada with the dice of Russia and you have the greatest duopoly of ideologies the world has seen.

This is all steeped in an environment constituting climate change, warming religious ideologies, energy revolutions, resource scarcities and obviously newfound political fault lines.

Europeans face the exact same problems would it not be more effective to have one voice representing one of the western tower that stands. It could signal authority and power. Nothing new to the European powers but in a different chapter in the Earth saga.

Britain on its own, constitutes 60 million people on a small island. In the past Britain was built on its sea power and its industrial capacity and military strength. Be truthful, Does Britain still have what it takes to out maneuver other nations? Probably not; the 21st century is built on different criteria that far exceeds the capacity of Britain going it solo.

Britain should roll up its sleeves and bring its good ideas to the EU table. Get involved change what it is Britain does not like about he EU. You've heard the democracy motto "Love it or Fix it". Well, then bloody adopt it. Whip out that economic/political spanner and get cracking. None of this sitting on the sidelines till the EU proves itself. Roll the dice, take a chance. It's not something Britain is used to but times have changed.

It is possible to fare it alone but looking for strength in a non cohesive common wealth and an increasingly distant English speaking world. This is a tough road and doesn't acknowledge that the two World Wars set Europe (and Britain back ) decades.

I feel that the European powers united will whoop balls, have the loudest economic voice and greatest influence sphere. We need Britain as much as Britain needs the EU. Either hop aboard or don't. Getting off would be awfully British though, perhaps defining a new Britain thats more assertive and flexible ain't a bad thing. Albeit less independent.
-Dev
 
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Associate
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Just to add my thoughts:

The EU as its stands shows itself, or well appears anway, to the general public as a beauracratic mess which performs no real function apart from appearing to be a black hole for public money. The EU comes across as something that is administered in Europe for Europe and not for Britain.

It is my opinion that the EU is a great thing and is undeniably critical for the future of the UK, the biggest challenge the EU faces with regard to the British public is changing its reputation. Perhaps allowing more of the EU administration to occur in the UK to make the public feel closer to what is going on.

The EU will eventually be a great Union, I would like to eventually see it form into something similar to the USA but it will be a slow process and will probably take a hundred years or more to reach that stage.
 
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Problem is that the EU's framework is based around 12 member states, there is now 27. Therefore a drastic revamp of the whole system is needed, the Lisbon treaty needs to be ratified for these changes to happen. However, it was marketed dreadfully with the seemingly sacrilegious word "constitution" used and all those uninformed media barons whipping the country into a frenzy that we would lose or soveringty and that we would be governed by the FRENCH!!!!

In reality we need to ratify the treaty just to make the Union functional and increase accountability...i.e. more QMV.
 
Soldato
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Just out of curiosity..

Which member nation pumps the most money into the EU

Which nation takes the most out ?

Germany is the greatest contributor but quite a bit and Spain used to take the most out, not sure now as I havent had a look at the figures since the admission of the Eastern European countries.
 
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