Well, ..that's it then.....we're coming out ......?


(Hilary Jane Dunk) #1

Hello,


Have 'The Daily Politics' on this morning......(whilst working ).....


Importantly, Jo Coburn interviewing a couple MEP's and footage shown of a very heated response by m. Hollande to Nigel Farage....where it was stated & agreed by Ankela Merkel, that there was no other route, no alternative to a complete involvement (getting ever closer union) with the EU.....and if you don't like it 'Get Out !'


I think the 'odds' have lengthened considerably, in terms of David Cameron getting any kind of concessions... so it seems now that leaving is inevitable....


(Brian Milne) #2

Ironically, Labour were the government who did not really want in but realised the UK was in a deep hole that was getting deeper. The Treaty of Rome was signed in 1957 by Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and West Germany. The UK did not even consider it, but Charles de Gaulle vetoed expansion in 1961, Denmark, Ireland, Norway and the United Kingdom applied to join, the latter because he felt the UK was a Trojan horse for the USA.

I have lived in several EU countries, also had my Aufenthalterlaubnis and Arbeitserlaubnis in Germany for many years. I prefer now. I am old enough to see a changed, better Europe. Sure the Brussels bureaucracy is a mess but somebody please inform me where there is one that is not on this planet.


(Howard Perry) #3

Shirley, you weren't given a vote on whether to join the EEC, that was decided by others, but you were permitted to decide after the following election, whether to remain or leave, similar to now. This was the Labour party, surprise, surprise. Now it's the Conservatives' turn to hold an in/out referendum.

The UK was invited to join the original EEC, so could have been a founder member but she declined. After the kickoff, EEC members experienced an economic boom, whereas UK sank went into reverse and even had to devalue the pound. Ted Heath actually led the negotiations for entry in 1966, when Labour was in govt. That attempt came to nothing because General de Gaulle exercised the French veto. Britain succeeded on the 2nd attempt but by that time, the boom had faded.

I wouldn't say that I've become rich because of it, but UK's membership of the EU has enriched my life enormously. I've been able to live and work seamlessly in 5 mainland countries. I worked in Germany twice before EEC entry and had to apply for residence and work permits. This was a formality, as they were crying out for workers but still an inconvenience.

Obviously I was in favour of joining and still in favour of staying. I've seen mainland EU countries enjoy a steady prosperity during this time. The people I know in the UK seem to be doing OK as well. That the UK state pension is so miserable compared to others and the cost of living so high, is due to the management of successive governments, who secured opt-outs from the EU social chapter.

There was a brief period, when I was forced to contribute to a so called earnings related pension. When this was wound up, I was informed that my contributions would amount to an eventual pension of 10p per week.


(John Brian) #4

I have followed the Evans family’s thoughts and views via this and another forum and appreciate that what they are putting into place suits their situation and their philosophy. Luckily we are not all the same. There are a large number of people who have realised that France is not for them and many of them feel trapped and voice their frustrations online. What those people must appreciate is that there are those of us who feel that we have made the right decision and are prepared to put up with the occasional inconvenience of living in a different country with a ‘foreign’ language because we feel that those odd experiences are a very small price to pay for the lifestyle we enjoy. I am not privy to the Evans’ crystal ball, and have certainly not seen any writing on the wall, so I am as unsure about the outcome of the referendum about brexit as I was about that for the independence of Scotland but come what may I intend to stay in my house in the area of France that I now consider to be my home. Some factors after brexit, if it happens, may be less convenient than they are now but I have enough friends and relations who manage to live quite comfortably in non EC countries and I can’t see that life in France for British Passport holders will be significantly different to their experiences. I left the UK in 1986 and nothing that I have experienced in my fairly regular visits since then has made me have any wish to live there. It’s a great place for holidays but I cannot imagine living there full time. That’s my opinion based on my situation and I am certainly not saying it’s the only or the best way but it certainly works for me.


(Brian Milne) #5

Try British Influence (http://www.britishinfluence.org/)

You are making a good and very valid point about those who can afford to go back, especially those who want to go back. For people who do not want to return on the one hand and those who will be losing their home, the life they have made or the only one they really know, after all several thousand are school age children for example, and cannot afford the financial aspects of this threat it is totally dismissive to give the impression the 'royal WE' would be better off out as though everybody else is equally positioned.


(Hilary Jane Dunk) #6

C'est la vie, David,

You have been very fortunate to be able to have had sufficient funds to be able to have that degree of 'liquidity'....and also very lucky to have sold you houses so quickly. Perhaps you are sufficiently well off to be able to 'take a hit' and sell your place for a bit of a loss.....(something that I have probably got to do in order to move to a cheaper area to a place that has been mostly 'done' with a lot less land to maintain)an odd thing to do but I have realised this is a good solution. I take your point that alot of us are nowhere near as financially literate as perhaps we need to be, but there are those of us on this site who have had property on the market for more than a year (not myself) and this is the situation, certainly, with several of my French neighbours....so there is certainly an element of luck involved.

I enjoy visiting the Uk and have plans (when I have more funds) to try to get to visit places that I never been to (like Scotland)...and revisit places (like Whitby) and Bronte country....but whatever happens, I have no desire to return to live in the UK. to the rain and the astronomic property prices...if I'm going to live in 'a hovel' I'd rather have a more spacious one with an overgrown garden with great weather, than a pokey 'hole'...in the UK. I don't see my friends as often but keeping in touch via email & photos & free phonecalls is easy...and I expect plenty of visits in the future...

Gradually, my ear for the faster spoken French around me is improving and I love interacting with people at my local market or in cafe's....So whatever the outcome and leaving the UK may well be the outcome I agree, (and may be for the best)..I do intend to stay in France. I think the time has come to form an expat pressure group to try to ensure that our concerns are not further sidelined or ignored....if anyone knows of one I could sign up with, please let me know !


(David Evans) #7

It's not rocket science, Neil...of course, it helps OH and I were in finance before leaving UK, and also aren't scared of some hard slog ;-)


(Brian Milne) #8

EFTA was another roaring success, first in first out - 1960 to 73 - along with Denmark because the EEC was considered a better option. The UK would find it difficult to be part of EFTA now because everything depends on Brussels without the voting powers, decision sharing and economic benefits. So, UK alone with who else in the world since all but a few like Belarus or North Korea belong in blocs of one kind or another.


(Carol Lavinia Fraser) #9

Google British Influence and sign up to the weekly newsletter. Lots of good information from experts. You will realise just how important the UK is to Europe and how important Europe is to the UK. There is a lot of ignorance in the UK and xenophobia has been whipped up by Farage but I would hope he will be tarnished by the time of the referendum.


(Brian Milne) #10

Well yes, the point is also that it is a free market, Kingfisher also owns Brico Dépôt and Screwfix. But then Véronique Laury here in France is CEO of Kingfisher, so there is always a two way element.

London buses are run by a German company but owned by a Spanish one. Boots was bought by Italians in 2007. Selfridges, Fortnum & Mason and the Savoy are owned by Canadians. Harrods was bought by a firm based in Qatar.The Dorchester is owned by a company in Brunei. As for the airports, the British Airports Authority, most of them are now oowned by a Spanish firm. Tata in India own Jaguar Landrover and Bentley plus have major holding in several engineering, steel making and other car making concerns. Debenhams, plus Waitrose, were bought in 2003 by two U.S.-based private equity firms. Many care homes provided by Southern Cross are owned by U.S. equity firm Blackstone. Asda in owned in the USA, MG Rover China, P&O Ports Dubai, the Dutch company Koninklijke Hoogovens who owned Corus (formerly British Steel) was sold to Tata in India) and the national lottery operator Camelot Canada. A Russian firm, Novarka, who also own Bouygues and Vinci, the consortium behind the Chernobyl accident, run some of Britain’s next generation of nuclear power stations.

Not a lot left is there. Mind you, UK entrepreneurs are big time shareholders rather than owners of a lot of non-UK businesses but quite a few of them are non-doms who are not paying tax... There is another wonderfully rich story to tell there, of course.


(Shirley Morgan) #11

Howard I totally agree, and yes I voted to join the EU I think if I remember correctly. I do remember how Australia and New Zealnd were pretty much dumped as trading partners, but we, the people didn’t realise that would happen afterwards, we had EFTA and why not add the EU also as a trying partner, Ted Heath was our local MP if I remember , or became so later, I also know he beat Maggie Thatcher for selection to Chislehurst & Sidcup Constituency! We lived in Sidcup, having moved there from Bromley, during 1st year of our Marriage.

Yes our UK membership of the EU, was all cocked up by the Politicians and Political Rules, not by the People! If anybody had had a crystal ball and known then what we know now, then I don’t think UK would have voted to join!

That’s one reason that now I think there possibly will be a BRexit, the rest of the world is larger than Europe and Hindsight is a wonderful thing!

if we don’t stay in, the world is the UKs oyster, and the Expats loss. Look at what came out in news a couple of days ago just about buying into your State Pensions to increase its value by £25 per week!

As a 1st Generation post war 'Baby Boomer, born in 47, I took, up 8 years ago, at invitation of Pensions Department,when I received my Pensions Forecast, the option to pay for missing contributions in order to receive the full state benefit of it, plus annual increases, from the year of my retirement age 60 in Uk, 6 months before coming to France. I was given also WFA additional as pension payment , not an additional benefit, the only ‘benefit’ I ever received was Child Allowance for 2 kids. my weekly pension today does not stand at £115,+ p.w, the Amoy t stated on last nights UK news! it’s about £6/7 less. DWP are getting a phone call from me later to find out why. I also saw no reference to my Home Responsibilities allowance, supposedly counted for when I elected to pay full stamp in the 70’s, SERPS allowance is minimal also!

So yes, be sure the British Nationals, pensioners mostly, living in Europe, will be the losers all round, if UK votes to leave, no one will benefit from current Human Rights Laws either.

if we do stay, then it’s the status quo, nothing resolved to anyone’s benefit living there inc Human Rights and EU Grants.


(Brian Milne) #12

Undoubtedly, he is after all an Oxford man (boo, hiss, we're better than them...);-)


(neil whitehead) #13

International hedge and pension funds own companies everywhere so I don't think many large, public UK businesses or utilities are wholly British owned. I know Kingfisher owns B & Q in the UK and Castorama in France.


(neil whitehead) #14

Yes.


(neil whitehead) #15

I think his brain was still British.


(Hilary Jane Dunk) #16

If it works both ways, then I suppose it doesn't matter.....

What does the UK own in foreign parts ?


(Brian Milne) #17

No, not internet but WWW, HTTP precisely, for sure and then Tim Berners-Lee was living and working in Geneva for CERN.

No, not knocking I think but we are simply reminding how the family silver was sold off. The government did not own them but the nation, namely the people who actually do as close to owning as possible, who are represented by those they choose and elect to govern. Technically a government owns nothing.


(neil whitehead) #18

Interesting but not really relevant to the UK's possible withdrawal from the EU. Why would you harbour a grudge for 11 generations? What happened then, happened then and no amount of handwringing apologies will change history.


(John Brian) #19

I presume that this is a comment on your previous one.


(neil whitehead) #20

Rubbish!