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  #1801511 15-Jun-2017 12:53
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We must have moved in different circles. Many Europeans still remembered past wars and welcomed efforts to bring European countries closer together and make them more interdependent. Some had doubts about the single currency but open borders between European countries were generally welcomed. 







Not so much in the UK, at least amongst people I knew at the time.


Open borders were always seen as a risk and I think that has proven to be the case.


Of course, technically the UK border is not 'open' but the realpolitik  situation appears to be that it is, given that they cannot deny EU citizens entry (or those who hold de facto EU citizenship), regardless of criminal background, ability or intention to work etc etc.




I've observed before that the EU is more popular amongst continental EU states than those with large physical boundaries which are expensive to cross. Hans wakes up in Dortmund and decides to go to France for the weekend. He gets in his Audi and drives 3 hours to his hotel. Cost - petrol. Dave wakes up in Nottingham and decides to do the same. He drives 3 hours to Dover, pays $400 for a ferry ticket, has to take a passport so he can get home again and then drives to his hotel in France. On the way back,  he must declare the 2000 Gauloise he bought at the Tabac and HM Revenue & Customs decide that he has too much for 'personal use' and decide to levy $400 in VAT and excise duty...!


If travel to/from off-shore EU nations was free for EU passport holders (paid for by the EU collectively), I am sure that many people now not in favour would be in favour.

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  #1801549 15-Jun-2017 14:05
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Britain has always been an outlier. They always wanted special conditions for everything and were never whole-hearted about being part of Europe. I suspect continentals are just thoroughly fed up with them. 



Plesse igmore amd axxept applogies in adbance fir anu typos



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  #1801557 15-Jun-2017 14:12
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Britain has always been an outlier. They always wanted special conditions for everything and were never whole-hearted about being part of Europe. I suspect continentals are just thoroughly fed up with them. 







To quote Sir Humphrey Appleby....


"Yes, and current policy. We had to break the whole thing up, so we had to get inside. We tried to break it up from the outside, but that wouldn't work. Now that we're inside we can make a complete pig's breakfast of the whole thing — set the Germans against the French, the French against the Italians, the Italians against the Dutch... The Foreign Office is terribly pleased; it's just like old times."


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  #1801563 15-Jun-2017 14:35
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The problem is, it is not Macron's decision. He can say what he likes (and knows it) because the Treaty does not say that an Article 50 notice can be rescinded nor does it say that it cannot.


Even if it can, it would require unanimous agreement of all the states of the EU AND would be mired in legal challenges from those who believe that it cannot be rescinded, want to leave and can afford the cost of taking litigation.

Really the Eurozone can make any decision they believe will be in the best interests of the Eurozone. At this point May could actually increase her popularity by holding a second referendum. It's unlikely but it could work for someone.

Lastly UK can always reapply to join. The price of membership is likely to be higher in that case.

The Eurozone seems very unwilling to give any kind of soft exit. Now it depends how much individual nations will bend EU rules to make agreements with UK. Potentially it can start to break the EU. France will be a keystone for that.


That is because there really is no such thing as a 'soft Brexit'.

Since the Eurozone will never compromise on the things most Britains who are against being 'in' dislike the most it will end up being in or out, because the EEA rules (the so-called Norway Option) are pretty much the same as being in, except you have no vote.

The root  of the problem is, I think, that Britain was very happy to join what was then known as the Common Market; it was a sensible system intended to help neighbouring countries trade together more easily. If that was still what it was, then I very much doubt we would ever be where we are today. However, over time the EU morphed into a political organisation that quite clearly intended, eventually, to end up with Europe being similar to the USA, with Britain, France, Germany and so on taking the position of States governed on a Federal/State basis. At no stage were the British public ever briefed on that and asked whether that was what they wanted.

It is that which I think is anathema to the British character, in the same way that, say, suggesting New Zealand should be a State of Australia would be to Kiwis.

I think most British people's 'ideal' Brexit would be, in effect, a modernised Common Market. Unfortunately, that is not what the Grey Men of Brussels want to allow, because they are afraid that if that happens for Britain, a number of other countries might say "Hang on - I like the look of that!" and then the whole unification agenda is dead in the water.

The principle reason the UK would be decidedly unwilling to reapply for membership later is that a requirement of that would be to replace Sterling with the Euro and that, I think, would be a step few Britains would be keen on when push came to shove.

I agree 100% with everything you say.

The Maastrict Agreement in the 1990's fundamentally changed the EU from a trading bloc into a political bloc. There was no referendum offered because the politicians of the time knew that it would be rejected.

The UK has a bunch of exemptions from many political level EU things, which they negotiated at the time.

The entire Brexit thing is very much we got problems - blame europe for all that. It makes very little sense on a rational level.

There will be few winners in UK from these changes and a lot of losers. A rejoin and the Euro may begin to look like a good option after a short time.


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  #1801596 15-Jun-2017 15:05
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Britain has always been an outlier. They always wanted special conditions for everything and were never whole-hearted about being part of Europe. I suspect continentals are just thoroughly fed up with them. 





Brits have just never felt part of Europe the same way mainland Europeans do. The Channel is mentally much wider than 30 miles.

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