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Quick arguments for voting Leave

Why do you want to leave the EU? Because I think it’s vital that you are able to vote out a government. The EU has a façade of democracy but do you ever remember it making a difference who you voted for in EU elections?

Are you hostile to foreigners? You can be friends with someone without wanting to live in the same house as them. Actually many people in Europe are hoping for Brexit so that their countries can be encouraged to become independent as well.

The EU has prevented war. No, that was NATO. The EU’s arrogance has increased tensions. A few years back the scars of WWII were almost healed. Now look at the hostility between Greece and Germany.

Farage / Boris / Gove will do awful things. Farage isn’t even an MP. The Tories will still be in government if we vote Leave. The difference is that they can be voted out at the next election, unlike the EU.

Economic experts say “Remain”. Many of the same ones said that we would be left isolated if we didn’t join the Euro. The EU’s own experts said the Euro was a great idea. Now look at Greece with 50% youth unemployment. The best economic experts in the European Union were spectacularly wrong. Stay in the EU, and we will be bailing out their next mistake.

We can reform the EU from within. There is a saying, “The definition of insanity is to keep doing the same things and expect a different result.” How well did we do at reform for the last 40 years? How well did Cameron do when he negotiated with Angela Merkel even with the threat of Brexit? Once we vote Remain we will have demonstrated that when it comes down to it, we will back down.

The Leave campaign has no plan for what to do next. Since a vote for Leave will make it start mattering again who wins the next UK election, we can’t say exactly what the plan is because that depends on what the British people vote for. In contrast we can say what the plan is if we remain: “Ever closer union”.

*

I have not mentioned immigration because this is a post about quick arguments and I cannot think how to edit my own rather complicated views down. I suppose I could remind people that opposing the EU does not have to be about immigrants.

What are your quick arguments for wanting to leave the EU? Or for staying?

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61 comments to Quick arguments for voting Leave

  • Mr Ed

    One quick pointer is that the EU obligation to adhere to the ECHR means that we live in a country where we cannot guarantee that a foreign convicted rapist is deported if ‘Convention Rights’ are succesfully engaged, yet you could be ‘deported’ without any evidence of a crime being committed by you, under the European Arrest Warrant and you may spend months or years on remand in a foreign jail pending trial and then be thrown to the mercies of a foreign court.

  • David Crawford

    Good luck on Tuesday. Give monolithic anti-democratic government a good punch in the face for everybody.

  • Excellent post, agree with every word of it (quelle surprise!)

  • Voting “Remain” means voting for EU and its ever-onward route towards greater fiscal and political integration, the same plan since forever.

    I have enough issues with the elected Marxists in Westminster without having to deal with the unelected and unremoveable Marxists in Brussels as well.

    Tony Benn was an arse, but his 5 questions are as pertinent today as ever.

    If one meets a powerful person–Rupert Murdoch, perhaps, or Joe Stalin or Hitler–one can ask five questions:

    – What power do you have;
    – Where did you get it;
    – In whose interests do you exercise it
    – To whom are you accountable
    – How can we get rid of you?

    Anyone who cannot answer the last of those questions does not live in a democratic system.

  • Cal

    I’d add one point to that about the econmomic experts backing Remain — there are in fact many economic experts backing Leave, but they don’t manage to get into the media much. The establishment makes sure the Remain-backing economists get most of the attention.

    >Good luck on Tuesday.

    It’s Thursday!

  • Cal

    Make that “there are in fact many economic experts”, not “there is in fact many economic experts”, sorry. [Correction made – NS]

  • thefattomato

    the european council is made up of the heads of state in europe;
    the austrians nearly elected a neo-nazi
    the french are trending towards the national front
    the greeks are trending towards communists
    the czech president is pro-russia
    if there was any risk that the UK cabinet was similarly constituted, I would leave the UK, I would not wait for it to become the case

  • Mr Ed

    If these pro-Remain economic experts are so good, why aren’t they all rich/paid in euros?

  • Snorri Godhi

    Speaking as someone in the EU but not in the UK (and no desire to go back there), this is the argument that i find most convincing:

    How well did we [Brits] do at reform for the last 40 years?

    I don’t know of any good that has come to Europe (as opposed to the EU) from British membership; but there are reasons to hope that good will come from Brexit.

    You can be friends with someone without wanting to live in the same house as them.

    That is the way i feel towards the British, and several other people too!

  • I get all my news from CNN and other popular media outlets. Isn’t it true that the Leave contingent are all racists who hate babies and sunshine, and want to destroy the world?

  • Julie near Chicago

    What Perry said. :>)

  • PersonFromPorlock

    Ferox
    June 19, 2016 at 8:22 pm

    I get all my news from CNN and other popular media outlets. Isn’t it true that the Leave contingent are all racists who hate babies and sunshine, and want to destroy the world?

    Not only that, but enough Hitlers to put an Elvis convention to shame. ;^)

  • William H. Stoddard

    I lately read Jo Walton’s The Just City, which shows the goddess Athena attempting to found a city on the model described by Plato in the Republic. Walton makes it clear that the city’s rulers feel no compunction about obtaining the “consent” of the people by lying to them about what they are consenting to; after all, this is exactly what Plato prescribed. It seems to me that the EU bureaucracy has set itself up as a bunch of philosopher kings. So I hope to see the UK walk out as a rebuke to that sort of arrogance.

    It matters to me, as an American, because we are constantly having our politicians, and indeed some of our common people, say, “Well, Europe does X, why can’t we be like them?” So having the illusion of European political perfection shattered would be good for my country.

  • RAB

    Yes John Galt, Benn was an arse in so many ways, but he was sound as a pound on Democracy. Those five questions should be asked of every proto elite dictator. I will be voting Leave on Thursday.

  • Gareth

    Membership of the EU has made the ballot box little better than a dustbin. I would like a government and politicians accountable to the British public rather than to Brussels.

    George Osborne has to send his budgets to Brussels for the Commission to ensure it meets their rules. We can be in a trading area without needing political union, as we were when the UK was a member of EFTA.

    We are required by the Lisbon Treaty to present the EU view at the so-called ‘top tables’. Membership denies the public their voice, denies the public their authority and denies the UK the flexibility to best respond to changing circumstances.

  • Julie near Chicago

    William,

    Yes. Always makes me want to bring up the famous response of our mothers when they were faced with the argument, “But Mo-o-om! All the other kids are doing it!”

    Which was,

    “So if all your friends are jumping off the Brooklyn Bridge, does that mean you’re going to do it too?”

  • Julie near Chicago

    Also, William, my library has the book. Is it readable?

  • William H. Stoddard

    Julie near Chicago,

    The Just City is my favorite for the Libertarian Futurist Society’s Prometheus Award this year. I enjoyed it a fair bit; I’d call it the best SF novel inspired by Plato since Heinlein’s Space Cadet. You have to bear in mind that Walton is a socialist and a feminist, so she assumes so things you or I might not. But at the same time, her basic questions here are about political justice, and in particular about the consent of the governed, volition, and equal significance (which I take to be roughly a translation of isonomia), and those have libertarian significance. So you might give it a look and see if the opening chapters pull you in.

    I didn’t think the second volume was as good, though, and it doesn’t have as much for libertarian readers.

  • Lee Moore

    Good luck on Tuesday

    Reminds me of one of Bush the Elder’s better lines. When campaigning in Marin County in either 88 or 92, don’t remember which, he found himself surrounded by a group of rich, quelle surprise, Democrats, quelle surprise. But gentleman that he is, when they’d finished disagreeing with him, he said, with a smile, something along the lines of – well it looks like we disagree, but it’s still important for democracy that you get out and cast your vote next Wednesday.

  • Lee Moore

    As far as I’m concerned the main reason for voting Leave is the deep unhappiness a Leave vote would cause at the BBC. The BBC obviously stands for, and is the pinnacle of, the enormous pile of smug self satisfied progressive knobs who rule the country, while loathing it to the core of their being.

    Unfortunately, I fear it will be me and not them who will be disappointed.

    I still cherish the looks on the faces of their presenters when the Irish voted “No” – before the Irish were sent off to go and do it again properly.

  • bobby b

    Even if your leaders are going to Remain no matter how the vote turns out, a Leave vote will give them more leverage with which to arrange your future within the EU, should they care, or understand how, to use it.

  • Nicholas (Unlicensed Joker!) Gray

    Look, Cameron tried to get some powers back, and failed, so why should you stay, and why does Cameron want you to stay? Is there a bigger pension plan?
    And I misread the signs- the French don’t want France to leave the EU, but they’d be happy if the British did leave! More for them, maybe.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Thanks for the lead and the info, William. I’ll give it a drive around the block. :>)

  • Chris

    States are most effective when they tightly associate with a single nation. The British nation is substantially different then the Greek nation, or the Spanish nation or the French or German nations. Lumping them all one polity is just begging for gear grinding inefficiency.

    Big cross cutting empires are only really beneficial when it comes to offensive wars and massive monument building, otherwise you get better performance from smaller states.

  • Laird

    RAB, the expression “sound as a pound” doesn’t have quite the same punch that it once did, does it?.

    I would offer an argument, not for voting Leave, but rather against voting Remain. If you do reject the Brexit proposal and stay within the EU, you can be certain that the eurocrats in Brussels will up the ante and double down on the oppressive regulations. Partly because they can, partly because they know there will never be any serious pushback, and partly to punish you for being so uppity that you thought you could escape in the first place. They’ve been holding back the last year or so, but if Remain wins the floodgates will be opened.

    Good luck on Tuesday. The whole world is watching.

  • Nicholas (Unlicensed Joker!) Gray

    It’s THURSDAY! Summer Solstice. High noon for an expanding Eurotopia

  • William H. Stoddard

    Laird,

    Years and years ago, the parents of a friend broke up, and he got into a relationship with a different woman. And my friend’s mother, for years, kept saying that she wanted him to come back—so that she could punish him for what he had done to her. That struck me as a dreadful goal for a relationship, and I thought he would be insane to go back. It doesn’t sound any better as the basis for a political union.

  • CaptDMO

    Cal
    7:47 pm
    “Make that “there are in fact many economic experts”, not “there is in fact many economic experts”, sorry. [Correction made – NS]”
    How about “There WERE many economic experts…”
    One MIGHT think that the credential “expert” would be briskly ripped from their epaulets.
    Is “elite” SUPPOSED to be a lifetime title?
    Resting on one’s laurels, from “that one time in college”, can ONLY lead to “anal leakage”.
    We have the same problem in the U.S. with appointed “expert” opinion citations.

  • Nicholas (Unlicensed Joker!) Gray

    And weren’t there hundreds of experts declaring that Mrs Thatcher’s policies wouldn’t work, just before they started to work? Did any of them lose their jobs, or sleep, over the incorrect predictions?

  • Michael C

    Democracy or Dictatorship?

  • My principle objection is that of replacing the nation state of the UK with the nation (super-)state of the EU. The EU has no Demos: a common people who self-identify as a nation (eg through shared culture and through few and common political parties). Thus, even if the current party list system of pseudo-democracy were replaced, the EU would not work as a democracy. It is also highly questionable whether a mixture of peoples with over 15 significant first languages (24 official languages) could ever come together as a Demos.

    Next, all of the economic advantage of free trade in goods and capital would, relatively easily, be available outside of the EU. Thus the claimed economic disadvantage through leaving the EU is largely an imaginary issue.

    Thirdly, on immigration (hence movement of labour and people), the EU ‘government’ has demonstrated overwhelming incompetence: of policy and of operational practice. This is not least in attracting thousands into desperate venture leading to their deaths and the deaths of their children. With ‘Remain’ there is no choice of immigration policy. With ‘Leave’ (outside of the EEA), there are many possibilities which also include the current policy of free movement between the UK and EU of people and labour: or more controlled movement that is of little inhibition to economically beneficial movement. Thus, on immigration, the ‘Leave’ policy subsumes the ‘Remain’ policy. Remember that immigration is more than an issue of economics: it is also one of cultural assimilation – which cannot be managed sensibly without (modest) controls.

    Best regards

  • Democracy or Dictatorship?

    Personally I use the “democratic accountability” argument to try and convince people to vote LEAVE. But in truth I am largely indifferent about democracy, agreeing the Guy Herbert that it is “a better brake than a steering wheel”. I see it as just one tool to be used to secure liberty, not an end in and of itself.

  • Alisa

    But in truth I am largely indifferent about democracy

    It depends what is meant by the word democracy. At a fundamental level, it means that government originates and acquires its legitimacy from the people – bottom-up, rather than top-down. In and of itself, it says nothing about the mechanism by which it is supposed to be constructed and to function. In that sense, it does not necessarily imply a specific form of representation or elections (if any), and as such it is not even a tool, only a broad principle. An idea.

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    I have been saying for years that the best bit about democracy is not majoritarianism but isonomy.

  • Paul Marks

    Good post Natalie.

  • Jacob

    “there are in fact many economic experts”
    You’ll find many economic “experts” on every side of every issue. “Economic expert” is an oxymoron.

  • Jacob

    As an (near) outsider I find the idea of European Unity (in every respect) very appealing. The problem is, it is Utopian, impracticable. The current EU is a meaningless, powerless, irrelevant shell. It is an empty bureaucratic, redundant, parasitic superstructure.

    But, on the whole, I don’t think it really matters if you stay or leave.

    “As far as I’m concerned the main reason for voting Leave is the deep unhappiness a Leave vote would cause at the BBC. ”
    I second that.

  • Andrew Duffin

    Your first above is the one I am going with.

    It trumps all the others: if we can’t influence our government (and we can’t, in the EU) then we are nothing.

  • RRS

    Strangely, there does not seem to have been any mention of the very basic differentiations that are probably the forces for this fragmentation.

    Consider the comparison of the predominance of “Mass Man” in the Continental cultures and the resonance of individuality (however diminished or suppressed)in the UK as derived from its historic culture.

    One would be hard put to argue there is no UK “Mass Man” contingent; but, such as there is, it differs in cultural derivations from the Continental contingents.

    Once again, dear friends: Democracy is a process not a condition; better understood as label for a bundle of processes by which a “people” exercise such power as they may have.

    The term is commonly taken to refer to a particular group of those expressions. What is so often missed is consideration of the factors that determine that exercise.

  • Dom

    I don’t have a dog in this fight, but I thought you’d all enjoy John Oliver or the remain side.

    https://youtu.be/iAgKHSNqxa8

  • Philippe Hermkens

    For remaining in EU

    A custom Union more open to the world that the US, Japan and I don’t speak about Russia or China

    Free movement of capital, goods, services and workers inside the EU

    It was real folly to wage a war in Lybia for NicolasSarkozy and for David Cameron. But the reality shows that UK and or France can’t wage a war successfully against a third rate military. So a common European army is a necessity

  • Greytop

    “It was real folly to wage a war in Lybia for NicolasSarkozy and for David Cameron. But the reality shows that UK and or France can’t wage a war successfully against a third rate military. So a common European army is a necessity”

    Wrong, Philppe. The problem for Cameron and Sarkozy (as if they were the only factor in such a misguided war) is that they tried to wage a partial war. I hate to say this, but if you are going to war you send everything in. As an American once said: if you are going to war you don’t leave your B52s on the runway. But in the case of Libya it was, probably due to prevailing political correctness ideals and ‘humanitarian reasons,’ nothing more than a feeble effort.

    If a nation is going to wage war (and I would counsel the leaders to be very careful who you pick on and why) then you have to go full broadside. A lot of people will get killed who didn’t deserve to get killed, but war was never pretty. Tarting it up as ‘police action’ and persuading yourself you have ‘taught the malcontents a lesson’ leads to no favourable outcome for anyone. A European army would be bedevilled but the same vague policies and limitations. All you would get with the EU army would be dribbling attempts at slaps on wrists with the added bonus of misunderstood orders.

  • Alisa

    What does the war in Libya have to do with the EU?

  • Free movement of capital, goods, services and workers inside the EU

    All within the smothering regulatory embrace of the EU.

    So a common European army is a necessity

    Yes, because Belgium, Denmark, Greece, Portugal etc. will add greatly to our military capabilities?

  • What does the war in Libya have to do with the EU?

    What war? A few bombs get dropped, that hardly constitutes “a war”, hell it is hardly even a proper “police action”. The Libyans fighting each other, that is a war, but the involvement of the UK and France is armed political theatre.

  • Alisa

    Fair enough, Perry – so what does the armed political theater in Libya have to do with the EU?

  • Philippe Hermkens

    1.A federalist vision for the European Union means an army, a diplomacy, and so one

    I don’t say it is a good idea But it is the political vision of European federalists

    2. EU is to much regulation The common market means a bloated legal system. Agreed Yes Yes

    My question , a very sincere one, an independent U K would mean less regulations ?

    What about the NHS ? What about education ? I am a poor Belgian One of my best friends is English His brother is headmaster in Liverpool He is becoming mad with pure stupid intern rules given to him ,not by BRUSSELS, but by Westminster

    In other words, I hope for a BREXIT with UK the next Singapour

    It could become the next Venezuela with Camarad Jeremy

  • RRS

    Armies, standing armies, exist as means to attain objectives.

    If there were such an “EU” army, rather than a coalition of forces such as NATO, how would the objectives be determined; by what body and what people in that body?

    Every attempt at “universalism” on and in Continental Europe has been disastrous straight on through Napoleon, Hitler and the Comintern.

  • My question , a very sincere one, an independent U K would mean less regulations ?

    An independent UK means the possibility of less regulation. A UK in the EU means it simply cannot ever change unless the EU collapses.

  • Snorri Godhi

    Laird: i interpret your argument as being indeed for voting Leave, rather than against voting Remain. Specifically:

    If you do reject the Brexit proposal and stay within the EU, you can be certain that the eurocrats in Brussels will up the ante and double down on the oppressive regulations.

    Well yes, that’s what they have been doing for decades! They don’t need a referendum to keep doing that.

    Partly because they can, partly because they know there will never be any serious pushback, and partly to punish you for being so uppity that you thought you could escape in the first place.

    Punishing people for voting to stay in does not make any sense, and anyway bureaucratic machines do not harbor ill feelings.
    Partly because they can? no, MOSTLY because they MUST: that is what they are paid to do, write more regulations.
    They know there will be no pushback? we are getting to the point. For decades, they have worked under the assumption that there will not be any pushback. If Remain prevails, nothing will change for them. Only if Leave wins will they question their assumptions.

  • Laird

    Snorri, I do indeed favor Leave, which in my opinion would be in the best interests of both Great Britain and, in the long run, the rest of Europe as well. However, I think you misinterpreted my point in that second sentence you quoted (apparently I phrased it poorly). What I meant was that the eurocrats in Brussels would punish you for having held the referendum in the first place. Not punishment for voting “Remain”, punishment for (unsuccessfully) attempting the escape at all. Sorry for being unclear.

  • gongcult

    John Galt is right.Like I posted in another thread-Leave ! The US is too f#cked with its global entanglements.Uncle Sam can’t save you nor the USA at this point.

  • Jacob

    “but the involvement of the UK and France is armed political theatre.”

    More farce than theater.
    They couldn’t even carry out their Libyan “operation” without US (logistic) help.

    But I do not regard the Libyan intervention as a mistake. Qaddafi needed killing, mission accomplished. That the Libyans are unable to establish a functioning government is their problem, not our’s.

    But, free movement of people and merchandise all over Europe is a good thing. A unified currency (Euro) also good.
    The best solution would be a conditional Brexit: you leave unless deep, liberalizing reforms are carried out. Fat chance….

  • Philippe Hermkens

    First, I am not a UK citizen. It would be stupid and inappropriate to tell you how to vote.

    Second, my opinion on the EU.

    You have the four freedom of movement for goods, services, workers and capital, with a custom union with low tariffs and contingents. The EU is economically more liberal in this aspect than the US or Japan in economic terms. I don’t speak about Russia, Brazil or China where it is more obvious that there is no real liberalism.

    I think this system is very good. On the contrary, the so-called harmonisation is very bad. It’s overregulation. But the technical solution, which is deeply hated by all member states politicians is to allow the circulation of goods or services legally sold in a member state to travel into the other member states legally without real restrictions(Cassis de Dijon Cases)No more harmonisation.

    Of course, EU member states are doomed by their bloated welfare state and the very sorry state of their education system
    It is not , it is not a EU competence. In other words, Westiminster can improve it a lot. I don’t think it is possible to improve in a significant way the welfare state or the compulsory tax supporterd education system that we have in UK or else where.

    To my knowledge, the bus Leave asked for more money for the NHS.

    So, a future liberalisation of the UK after a Brexit is actually wishfull thinking.

    3. My opinion on the United States of Europe:

    I am for. But, certainly, not now and in my life time with the incompetent demagogues running UK, France, Italy and so one ..

    It means a common defense and a common diplomacy.

    In this case, you can have swiss political institutions : very democratic. But of course, you are ruled by Brussels and not by Westminster.

    You are for or against US of Europe because you are at heart an European or at heart a UK citizen.

    Nevertheless, there is no difference with a Scottish Labour constituent who is ruled by Westminster English Tories.

    But , if you are Scottish and labour, you say to yourself, it is the price to pay to ber a UK citizen or not.

    Your choice

    But please , no wishfull thinking: the people who vote Leave usually don’t want that UK will become the next Singapour economically.

    And, if you have Brexit, the other side , european politicians drugged in power, will ask a very high price to the British people.

    It is against their own constituents interests. Yes, but they don’t care. If not, they would be die hard classical liberals.

    It is a wrong point of view.

    Ok. But, it will happen.

    Again, your choice without wishfull thinking.

  • NATO, not the EU, provides for the security of Europe. So the EU is utterly irrelevant to that issue. Moreover the ultimate guarantor of European security are the nations with the nuclear weapons. France. UK. USA. The EU does not matter, not even slightly.

    Economic liberalisation may or may not come post-Brexit, but it CANNOT come if Brexit fails (well, fails on this occasion: the pro-EU side has to win every single time, we only have to win once).

    And I am totally ok with Scotland becoming independent if that is how a plurality of Scots want things to go. They would be crazy, but that is a choice for people north of the border. Last time they were asked that question, they said no. I suspect they will say no next time too. But if they go? Well then they go, speaking as an Englishman, I am unlikely to notice much difference other than slightly lower tax bills. But I doubt they will go, and I am fine with that too.

  • Philippe Hermkens

    I don’t say, never said and never thought that EU is relevant or have any kind of efficiency to protect EU people or UK people against an agressive Russia or crazy djihadids. Now.

    Are you going to use atomic weapon or make war againt Russia if the Russian government invades Estonia ? Is Russia going to be afraid by UK or NATO with the actual clowns in charge ?

    Are you going to use nuclear weapons against the Teheran mollahs who can really think that after a nuclear strike they will be in the Paradise of Allah with 72 virgins ? It was what the former President of Iran, Amanin Medjah said a few times.

    My only point is that unfortunately after Brexit you will have less liberalism in UK than now.

    I can be wrong. I am not going to bet the family farm. I could be right short term and wrong in 10 years time. I hope so for you and the UK people.

    Finally, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barak Obama, and Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump: It’s a lot better not to have to ask for their military support. Merkel and Hollande seem to be less nuts ..

  • Alex

    My only point is that unfortunately after Brexit you will have less liberalism in UK than now.

    In what ways specifically?

  • My only point is that unfortunately after Brexit you will have less liberalism in UK than now.

    How do you figure that? In what way is the EU moving things towards more, rather than less, liberalism?

    Is Russia going to be afraid by UK or NATO with the actual clowns in charge ?

    And a Euro-Army is somehow going to be less clownish?

  • Laird

    “Merkel and Hollande seem to be less nuts.” I’m not so sure about that. I might have agreed with respect to Merkel a few years ago (although not Hollande!), but not today. At least you did use the qualifier “less”, implying that they’re all nuts, to a greater or lesser degree. On that I think we can agree!

    I agree with Phillippe that an economic union within Europe is desirable. Didn’t you have one once, called the Common Market or EEC? That was a fine idea; unfortunately it seems to have been subsumed into the EU. A return to that more modest structure would seem ideal, especially if coupled with a more carefully designed NATO (minus the US; we don’t belong in that organization any more) to provide for common defense.

    The entire concept of the EU was wildly over-ambitious and is ultimately doomed to failure. Politicians’ dreams always exceed rationality.

  • Alex

    Just leaving a note for Phillipe that my question was sincere, not rhetorical. I really would like to know his thoughts.

  • […] she never quite nailed the point (which I am sure she feels) about the sheer pleasure of having a meaningful argument in the first place, no matter who wins it, a pleasure the of course extended to the referendum […]