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

Yeah, you know what I mean Simon, the recent ones rather than the ones from eons ago that melded together and formed the English, Welsh, Scots & Irish.

It has always struck me a bit mad to refer to someone who has just got British nationality as British, when they are from a different culture and have obviously come from somewhere else,don't speak the language well, have very different customs and religious practises.....I feel it should be qualified by using a phrase like 'British national of Japanese extraction'....

I'm not surprised at the recent protests in Germany (high levels have also contributed to the rise of more right wing groups in the Netherlands too ) and I think that people do feel worried about a loss of national identity and 'Islamification' with good reason. Immigration should always be carefully managed for a lot of reasons...

Delving into my ancestral routes has revealed that I have Flemish origins (which I am rather pleased about) and that they probably came over in 11th century as part of the contingent of Flemish weavers who came to Kent, encouraged by the King at the time...(..) and I cousin of mine married a Greek & lived in Athens..her sister married a Canadian and lived in Canada. My cousin's wife's father was a very emminent Barbadian Lawyer (recently deceased) who studied law over in the UK and has a university law Faculty Library (?), I think, named after him... and last & least, there is me... an immigrant, living here in France, who like Brian, does not intend to return to the UK to live....an Englishwoman, living in France.

Changing, assuming French nationality, would not alter the fact that I am fundamentally English...if I had kids, they would be of English extraction....

Gosh....I knew you had a strong interest in Economics (world economics etc) brian, but I wasn't prepared for the degree of detail about Lord Lawson...I knew he was 'well -heeled' but I always assumed he was just 'moderately wealthy', flat in town, house in the country etc.

I wrongly assumed that Nigella's ex spouse Saatchi was wealthier..and so she had 'gone up in the world' (from a financial point of veiw. of course)...but it seems not, especially now he's a Peer of the Realm....

Did you get all this from 'Who's who ?

The UK Tax system needs over-hauling...because he (and others like him) obviously not doing anything illegal....but it's obviously going to be a Marathon task...and although George Osborne did announce some good changes (re Corporation tax...can't quite remember what)...Apart from the complexity, there are always arguments about being carefull not to 'kill the goose that lays the golden egg' ...the worry that changes will damage the economy and lose business and status for the City of London....

In my research, I came across this ....which brought a smile to my face.....


Staying in hotels is still very much a 'treat' for me...(especially,when you can stay in the best anywhere in the world...how great would that be..? A lottery fantasy for me would be to be able to spend a good amount of time travelling but also to be able to buy tickets for friends to join me at the drop of a hat) , so that doesn't sound like a hardship at all....

He sounds like an eccentric nice guy,,,,great to be able to just step in with some cash and 'save the day'.....clever and with amazing luck with money..

Hi Shirley,

Nigel Farage as you say, had that sort of bemused 'look at him now, throwing a 'wobbly', 'keep your hair on dear''....''who rattled his cage ?' expression, but I'm sure referring to France as the 'pip-squeak' in the relationship with Germany, was absolutely deliberate... Hollande has played into his hands, now coming across very clearly as someone who isn't interested at all in discussing the possibility of change and reforming the EU.

Nigel Farage is aware that this will be televised and the Joe Bloggs will be likely to have seen this....He knows that this will also make David Cameron's attempt to get some concessions even harder.

I think now, it is very likely that the UK will vote to leave (whatever the counter arguements)...people will think...Do we really want to be drawn into ever closer union with this huge organisation that wont listen to us and who just regards us as rather tiresome and annoying..?..

And now, another Conservative peer, Lord Stuart Rose (Marks & Spencers)is heading up the Pro EU lobby...will he have more influence and clout than an ex -Chancellor ? It will make for interesting viewing...

the U.K. seemed better when it was EFTA and not the EEC!

The agricultural policy which French and German smallholders, possibly other Euro countries also, took advantage of when not so many Brits did, then became unsustainable because of the overproduction and food mountains, hence the CAP, if I’m right Brian.

All that followed by the Single Currency, then Schengen Agreement on NO Borders, have all slowly made their mark on the UK, especially London as a major financial marketplace.

Now global markets and manufacturers want to pick and choose where they do and place the majority of their business.

Financial Markets may be important, but so are Manufacturing industries, they need somewhere to place their business and so keep people employed.

In the event of a BRexit, Both the UK and EU, may consider and each impose newer and/or tougher Import/Export Levys, regulations. If they don’t, then it’s back almost to the EFTA situation! but there will still be the exchange rate complications.

i Watched the programme also Hilary - Hollande doesn’t help himself either! He was deliberately provoked by Marine le Pen and Nigel Farrage and boy did he rise to the bait! Farrage just sat there with a bemused look on his face!

Sometimes it’s interesting just to watch Angela Merkels face also! I was watching FR 24 last night, CH 205 freesat, and the guests themselves when discussing the EU meeting, were also saying how quickly he got reactionary! one day he may regret it.

But I do agree I don’t think it looks good for us as the public may well vote.

Have you noticed it’s the UK anti EU campaigners who have have come out and pinned their flags to the mast first.

David Cameron, wisely for the moment at least, is biding his time!

I also wonder how many expats who have now registered to vote, are aware they need to re-register including their National Insurance No, to get their vote back in UK, in the Referendum. I’m also not sure of state of the promise to look at the 15 year rule and whether it was passed or not.

if people who can vote now anyway, whether registered or not don’t take up e-reregistration new requirement, they will lose their right to vote anyway.

I have seen the UK going from when progress began to be made from the end of the 1950s on to a state where the gaps between rich and poor, government and the governed, north and south (let's not forget east and west, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland) are vast chasms. I have either worked in or visited around 40 countries professionally, lived in half a dozen properly and have family who are citizens of one I know well but have never per se lived in. The UK is not the easiest country to live in by far, it was 25 to 30 years ago, however there is no country easy to live in any longer. There are a few people I have known for many years in the UK who remain happy about being there but who do not have the means of leaving. Others are one foot in, the other out. Strange to say, but the only people who I know who wish to stay in the UK and do not want to go back are from the USA, all of them were also academics who value their intellectual freedom. However, none of my family want to do more than visit the UK occasionally, so I would be in a fix anyway.

Just wondering why you would never return the UK, I have lived in many countries and the UK is in my opinion the easiest and open country i have lived or worked, 2 of my daughters are doing ok in France but 1 has to work in Paris and 1 is at Toulouse Uni studying english but 1 of my daughters who now lives with me in the UK spent 2 years trying to get a job in the southwest and 2 days in the southwest of england.

remember there are no indigenous people in the uk we are all immigrants, Angles, Saxon, Roman, Norwegians, African, Asian etc.

Read deeper and then you see that Lawson is all but proposing the UK would be the 53rd state of the USA which many people have said the UK already is. I for one do not believe it is. However, what he says is almost out of the fryig pan into the fire. What would be problematic by then would be the TTIP and the relationship it would allow with the USA. Yes, it could be strong but Lawson looks at the UK in terms of being a financial centre. What would the rest of the population be doing with very few industries surviving given that very few of the things the UK exports at present are required by the USA and the agricultural and food sectors would be ruined without the EU and of marginal interest to the overproducing USA. Lawson's personal financial interest include being chairman of Oxford Investment Partners, a company dedicated to building value through the development, investment, and management of property. They focus on land rezoning, community development, commercial and mixed use development, land development and property investment management. Community development means upgrading and gentrifying areas and also building exclusive residential zones for well of people. He is also chair of Central Europe Trust Company which is a strategic and financial advisory firm. It provides operations and strategy consulting, business planning, manages mergers and acquisition, corporate finance and private equity advice. The name derives from the fact that although HQ is officially London, its main operation is Moscow based. He is also a climate change sceptic which influences the policy of both companies.

In short, he knows on which side his bread is buttered and is naturally an opponent of the EU which restrains the aggressive business policy both of his companies pursue. How far can he be trusted not to be biassed to the point of playing the game to his own advantage which given the OIP operation mainly does business in the USA more or less writes any conclusions for us.

Either way, whether UK 'big names' or EU equivalents, we are only being informed by people who have vast investments that would gain either way and who are unlikely to wish to give us a complete picture ever. For every accusation of corruption and misuse of power by unelected officials in Brussels, there is somebody with big financial interests pulling in the opposite direction in London. Both sides are as corrupt and dishonest as the other. My argument is simply that people should have all information and not just the selective snippets those people use to emphasise and exaggerate issues people are easily scared by. The likes of Lawson and the Daily Mail both have strong connection by the way. Lawson's expenses scandal was that he had registered his farmhouse in Gascony as his main residence and was claiming several thousand pounds a night expenses for it. He still owns the house which daughter Nigella has used for a few of her TV presentations. The proprietor of the Daily Mail, Lord Rothermere, has a non-domicile tax status thus owns his media businesses through a complex structure of offshore holdings and trusts. Those enable him to pay almost no UK tax on his income, investments or wealth. He is officially 'domiciled' in Sainte Croix, near us between Beaumont and Monpazier in a vast château built by Edward I, which the caretaker has often said he rarely visits. Instead he lives in Ferne House in Donhead St Andrew in Wiltshire with a flat in London’s Eaton Square. Yet his media empire spearheads getting out of Europe? There we have a man who is 'French' residentially, but never lives here so is not liable to personal taxes, who is therefore not a UK resident so pays little there and yet keeps his hands off his papers' opinions! But then, hey ho, he is rich enough not to care what happens.

When we look at the contradictions served up to us we can only ask why? Nobody gives us straight answers either way. I am finding the UK more and more politically corrupt, also financially the City matches Zurich and Singapore as a place for the immensely rich to hoard money that evades taxes in their countries and is suspected to thus include vast amounts of laundered money, except that the people are so rich nobody touches them. Politicians are implicated but will also neither speak out nor act. I am deeply ashamed having mainly worked with people in profound poverty for most of my career and have turned my back on the UK but would like them to stay in the UK in order to have at least one means of holding the reins tight. Should the likes of Lawson get their way then I despair.

Thanks for acronyms translated....

You paint a scary scenario......

I'm not sure this desire to leave is motivated by nostalgia for a bygone age....I think we are an island race (ok, with a lot of immigrants)...and deep down, 'we like to run our own show'...there may be (surely is), a lot of'political and economic intrigue and my instinct is that I don't want to be part of that...it's like being strong-armed to join a street gang, it's against my nature.. ..'...I'd have to 'do a runner ' and go it alone, despite the threat of hardships...maybe it's that feeling of a loss of control, a giving up too much of our sovereignty and the threat of being sucked into an ever closer union where that will just increase. If that begins to feel like a strait-jacket than rather than holding everyone together, it could lead to major political unrest...

Despite your predictions of utter doom, there have been examples of countries going it alone and coming out on top...I'm thinking of the 200 yrs (i think it was that long) that Japan, virtually shut itself off (another island race)completely and somehow emerged modernised and more powerful ?

Lord lawson thinks that linking up to the US is the way to go...

“The Bank of England is becoming increasingly frustrated by the mandatory nonsense emanating from Brussels.

“Escaping from this and reinforcing the escape by co-operation with the only other genuine world financial centre, the United States, would be a major economic plus.

“Those who claim that to leave the EU would damage the City are the very same as those who in the past confidently predicted, with a classic failure of understanding, that the City would be gravely damaged if the UK failed to adopt the Euro as its currency.”

Quitting the single market would only have “marginal” disadvantages, he suggested, and could even have “a positive economic advantage to the UK” by forcing British firms to look further afield.

Well, I suppose there will be a massive debate leading up to the referrendum and I suspect many people still wont know how they are going to vote until this period...I'm trying to keep an open mind...and attempt to educate myself...

FOUND THIS LINK which tries to balance the arguments...


The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is a trade agreement being negotiated between the EU and USA. The USA is part of the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada, Mexico and some small Caribbean states. The trading bloc created would make its member nations collectively as powerful as China at the very least, perhaps as strong as the entire BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) bloc. South America has a free trade area Mercosur which is a sub-regional bloc which includes Mexico and New Zealand as well as the South American countries, who also have LAFTA (the Latin American Free Trade Agreement). Then the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) is a agreement between twelve Pacific Rim countries. Australia and Canada feel they have been treated poorly by the UK over the last few decades, hence neither for instance, takes UK migrants automatically any longer and are among a number of countries proposing to leave the Commonwealth in the foreseeable future. Yes, the entire EEA (EU plus EFTA) can restrict trade with the UK, certainly place far more regulation, reintroduce export and import conditions and duties, plus raise VAT although all goods exported to within the EU would have to conform to all regulations made in Brussels without the UK having any say as a non-member but having, as for instance Norway and Switzerland, to entirely conform to them. There is no market to revive, 27 would remain EU of the 31, the other three have very strong treaty ties with the EU and anyway the EEA is the real trading bloc and has a few regulations above and beyond EU ones. What is left in Europe then? Who could the UK team up with given that the leading economies would not be interested given the way UK politicians have moved goalposts over recent years and small economies would be unequal markets. Life in the UK would become intolerable after years of what people have got used to. I saw one projection made by a large wine merchant that showed that a Sainsbury's £8.50 bottle of wine would be £15 within two years and probably settle at around £22 after five years - well except rises apace inflation, so it would go up.

Hilary, there is a whole world of political and economic intrigue throughout the world that fascinates me but will punish the UK if it tries to make itself what it can no longer be alone. The days of the sun never setting over the empire are long gone but something in the mentality of the British ruling class just cannot accept that. Countries can and do decline, leaving the EU would almost certainly be the short cut to achieving that.

I could do with a key for the acronims......TTIP ?

Wouldn't little UK team up with other economies that aren't in the EU ? How does Canada &Australia's 'contempt' manifest itself ?...

I can't see them refusing to trade with us and they might like to revive the market that used to exist with the UK prior to the time when we betrayed them and dumped them by becoming part of the Common market then the EU...

All quite right, but it would be nonetheless foolish. I am not returning to the UK whatever, so it will not directly affect me. I might change my nationality if it precipitates a new referendum for Scots independence that is successful. Nicola Sturgeon and SNP generally is strongly in favour of remaining in the EU, but the dilemma is that a vote to leave would lead to almost certain second referendum on independence. Since SNP's overriding goal is leaving the UK, there is certain to be many SNP members crossing their fingers that Britain votes to leave. Cameron may be PM for the end of the UK after all, the Europhobes are being stunningly silent about that possibility. To quote myself from Sue Miller's post: It is time everybody was given completely honest information about what the UK would lose, the fact that trading as normal as some people are saying is hardly likely because retribution for the way the UK has played the EU is to await. Furthermore, the untruth that the EEA that is made up of EU members plus three EFTA members would somehow replace the EU is disingenuous if not an outright fantasy, especially since those who peddle that myth omit the freedom of movement and labour mobility that membership of the EEA also includes. Before all else it is time the electorate wherever they may be are told the whole story and not selected snippets about how great the UK will be alone. Yes, there is a lot going on and being said in Europe at present, we still have the TTIP that the UK is totally enthusiastic about but from which they would be excluded if they are no longer EU members - it being a treaty between the EU and USA (fronting NAFTA). Former colonies are showing contempt for the UK at present, Australia and Canada are simply not interested, anyway both is part of its regional equivalent. India and South Africa are two of the BRICS bloc, New Zealand like Australia are TPP members, along with others in APEC, where else does one look? How on earth is the little UK going to survive alone in the world? Somebody has got to explain that to the entire electorate before they walk blindfold into disaster.


I'm aware that we on SFN have debated this scenario before and that you are very knowledgable about all things European, how things within the EU work and I do respect that....but equally, there are people lining up who want us to leave (Ex Chancellor of the Exchequer, Nigel Lawson..see the Oxford Union debates for others as well as N. Farages lot), who one could also say that about - (that's what makes it difficult for me to be convinced of the merits of staying in..)

What I think is different now is that the crisis to do with the mass migration of refugees, the anti-immigration protests in Germany (I saw that coming with Ankela Merkel's open door policy), televised on the news today....coupled with things said by President Hollande in the heated exchanges (Weds, I think) in the EU parliament...(Nigel really got under his skin...probably deliberately)...is that all this is fuelling the 'Let's Leave' camp......so that it is now much more likely.

...and utterly foolish.