What happens if the UK leaves the EU?

There are a couple of million expats across Europe, more in France than in any other EU country, many who won't even have the right to vote on this subject because they've been out of the UK for more than fifteen years. Concern is building about what will happen to us all. There have been articles in expat newspapers about it and there is even a new facebook group to campaign for expats to be heard. This has been discussed in various forums and it's often said that measures put in place before the UK joined the EU will keep us safe, especially if we already have permanent resident status, but what do you think? Should we be concerned?

I'd have applied for French nationality years ago but have hesitated because of the requirement that most of my income should come from France. I live on both UK and French pensions but the UK ones make up the bulk of my income. I've been resident for about 24 years. I'm thinking of applying anyway but seem to remember there's a fee & I must check I can afford it. Does anyone have experience of this situation?

Everything's explained here, I printed out the dossier ages ago but there's so much to do and as I work 6.5 days a week it's way down on the "to do" list.

Andrew, I fully agree!

The sad thing is the reality ;-) ...: e.g. Hollande and Merkel are going to talk to Putin and Kerry torpedoes their effort by going to the chocolate king to offer scrap guns for more and more war. Europe is split already due to interferences by Washington. Europe can enjoy wave after wave of refugees from the CIS and Europe's smart & bright political "responsible" are dealing in secrecy with this TITIP monster.

I really wish Greece is leaving the EU, so Spain, Portugal and Italy can come up with the same demands, unless the smart asses want the €uro to have the same destiny like the Latin Monetary Union ironically something the financial terrorists in Ldn & NY wanted since 2008... If Greece leaves it will be the finest hour for UKIP.

I read in the press that over 60's would not be subject to a language test !

I would certainly consider applying for naturalisation if the UK left the EU. Does the French government provide any sort of support for those wishing to become a French national ? Are there any leaflets or books to assist in ensuring that ones knowledge of France is sufficient ?

It was interesting to see that Plaid cymru were trying to start a debate ( the independent ) in order to obtain a veto if all four countries of the UK did not agree to leaving

Frances I wrote language test, but they asked me such questions.... Well its done anyway, was not problem. Procedure is easy.

Nicely put, Brian. For me, the bottom line, which you pointed out, is that if the EU manages to insure that there are no more wars in Europe then I don't really care how much it costs or how daft some of the legislation seems - that's all sooo insignificant compared to the disastrous consequences of war!

I'm always a little bemused by anti-EU rhetoric spouted by Brits who have chosen to live in mainland Europe - only possible thanks to the very organisation they criticise...!

Greenland is part of Denmark the EU, Greenland is part of Denmark. The arrangement was much like French DOMs. In 2008 a referendum in Greenland voted for full autonomy, the island had never been a full member part of the then EEC, but when granted autonomy (although still constitutionally part of Denmark, so not a country with independent nation state status) it was no longer in any way part of the EU. In short, it was never actually properly in and was obliged to be fully out as of 2008 so never left. He was exaggerating a tad. Similarly, on the strength of a referendum did not fully enter. The anti-marketeers usually say they left, not true. Also, do not believe in the mythical EFTA total freedom from EU regulation because each of the four countries is bound by all taxes, regulations and decisions of the EU to retain their trading relationship and all are also in the Schengen area, thus free movement applies, ditto immigrants, as elsewhere. Apart from anything else, freedom of movement for employment is a pre-existing EEA (EU, plus three of the four EFTA countries plus Croatia, Switzerland collaborates fully) membership condition the EU adopted. Leaving the EU then ending free movement of workers would mean the UK leaving the EEA. The trade agreements ukip and so on insist would be the same as now would be lost. They are simply lying. Informing oneself on those matters is relatively easy. Each of the organisations has websites that explicitly lay out and explain it all.

I left school in 1966. I realised that despite my 'O' level history I probably only knew about William the Conker Player and Duke of Wellington at Waterloo. Since I learned that in fact Blücher's Prussians arrived and broke through Napoleon's right flank. Wellington's 67,000 man army of which on 25,000 were British, the other 42,000 being Belgian, Dutch or from the then several German kingdoms, some Spanish and a few Poles, army counter attacked and forced a French defeat and retreat. So much for our history. (Mind you, the French version more or less says the two armies cheated...).

Political information is very much manipulated. The national debt is an example. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) stated it is £127 billion bigger first thought last September. In total, the government owes its creditors £1.4 trillion as of mid-2014. Direct liabilities are £120,000 per capita of the population alone. But the actual amount the nation is in debt is almost £23,000,000 per person. One of my reasons for living in France is that my basic state pension does not cover my share in paying it off ;-) It is all there to find. Osborne and his predecessors have always been very good at hoodwinking us by telling us how well GDP is doing. GDP is the monetary value of all goods and services produced by and within a country during a specific period, usually (but not always) calculated on an annual basis. Recent political speak told us that UK growth in the third quarter of 2014 was 0.7% and the volume of GDP 3.4% above its pre-recession peak. In that sense the UK appears to be doing well. Yet out of 196 countries in the the UK has the 18th biggest national debt! If the ONS alone does not satisfy, the IMF and OECD provide numbers.

Why I go into this stuff is because I must. By training I am an anthropologist, thus including economics, but I work in human rights (children specifically but have a toe in the rest). Therefore I need to know lots of politics and at least treaty law (I have a row of international law books averaging 800 pages each, mainly treaty law, alone - let alone what is now available on line) and watch very precisely what happens in economics and human rights. I treat it all as part of daily routine but have spent 40 odd years with my head in that world so my advice is look at it briefly but do not delve deep. It still gives me and people in my professional world headaches, stomach aches and much else trying to keep up with it :-(

It is, Hilary, a big world but one thing it almost certainly does not possess is a politician who tells the unexpurgated truth. Such a person would never get very far but if he or she did then the assassin's bullet or bomb would never be far away.

Thanks for your lengthy imput..you can breathe now...Sorry about he error over Austria (one never hears them mentioned). Coleman mentions that Greenland joined and then left,...?

That's the trouble with (bloody) politics........one tries to find out from people more 'expert' in this field than oneself, who sound as though they know what they are talking about but they contradict each other, not just about viewpoints but the facts themselves.....If one hasn't done a Masters in the subject, how does one know who to believe........? Where has Dr Coleman got his facts about Hitler's henchman, banker friend ?

(I may try Googling him, as well as Coleman's stated facts about events leading up to the formation of the EU.to find out more...), what would Coleman, a none politician, get out of distorting the facts ? He must have dug deep to find these 'dodgy' connections to Hitler.....

Because of the way that history was taught at my school and because we were forced to choose from a table of options that restricted the number of O levels we could take outside the core of 3, Maths, English Lang & English Lit. (+1 science) to 4, a totalof 7 subjects in all.....I dropped history after the 3rd form....(having spent an inordinately long time on the Tudors and having studied nothing more recent after that, certainly no 20th Century stuff, (ridiculous !).

So anything that I know about historically, after the Tudor period has been through Drama, TV (All Our Yesterdays, World at War etc), Novels, talking about it an interest in Costume and Architecture. I have read bits of 'A History of the English Speaking Peoples' as we had the set at home and Churchill was held in high esteem...but at this late stage, I can't say that I would be prepared to wade through numerous political biographies....

What about he level of financial corruption, lack of auditting, over-inflated salaries of the numerous bureaurocrats....Where did you get your figures about the coalition'tripling the national debt , when recent reports on TV from the FSA, seems to be indicating that he is making progress ?

I've googled and found this.....


I guess I'll have to knuckle down and try to get to grips with this.....

Thanks again.

I have read some of Coleman's Living in a Fascist Country. He is extreme rather than forthright.

Austria is in the EU (I take it that is what you meant) but Switzerland is not what one thinks one sees. The reason they are not in is because Switzerland is not actually a country but a confederation of cantons. Unless there was unanimity for membership the federal laws do not permit membership. I am married to a Swiss, on the one hand we could not afford to live there and on the other we are aware of all the inequalities of which there are many more than most other places in the modern world. Poverty there is hidden but where it exists it is harsh. If families are 'too' poor children are still forcibly taken away and such shocking things I thought died in my far distant youth.

The European Court of Human Rights the people complain about is nothing to do with the EU. It is part of the Council of Europe that has 47 members, it came into being in 1959 to be the body adjudicating on matters raised on the basis of the 1950 European Convention on Human Rights. Only Belarus is not a member. If the UK really did leave it, along with Belarus it would be the only country in the western world without the protection of human rights by an impartial body. English legal experts were the main body of people who drafted the Convention, therefore it is less foreign to England and Wales (Scotland has another legal system and could remain in) than to most other countries. Immigrants are not what the media makes them out to be. Those who should not be there are a very few percent. The vast majority are EU citizens who have the right of the freedom of movement, as we do, of whom Romanians and Bulgarians are a tiny fraction, plus former commonwealth citizens who have the right to UK citizenship (although relatively few actually take it). Immigrants also provide the cheap labour which is why employers want them but the likes of ukip ignore that so don't say it. The UK is not overcrowded, less than 15% of the islands are inhabited, the rest is open space. Bear in mind that 7% of the UK is owned by less than 50 people too, much of it closed to public access such as large parts of the Duchy of Cornwall estate for which entire villages were cleared in the 19 century and the former inhabitants sent to Australia and Canada to start 'new' lives.

I have worked with politicians. Yes some are as bent as a nine bob note. Some are not. Glenys is a different kind of being to Neil. Whilst I was on the UK UNICEF committee she was our chair. A very straight and clever woman unlike her arrogant, unpleasant husband (in person he was the same actually). Media blow everything out of proportion. Opinion polls have shown interesting things, including around 60% of working people would fear losing their jobs if the UK left the EU, several large employers and a number of major banks have categorically said they will leave.

The origins of the EU are not at all controversial. The Treaty of Rome, 1957, is the basis on which it was founded as the European Economic Community. In the treaty it outlines the ever closer merging of countries, mainly economically. One of the prime concerns was to prevent war between neighbouring nations happening again as had historically happened many times. Charles de Gaulle resisted UK membership as long as he was in office and only after he was gone was admission granted. Over 65% of a high turnout for the 1975 referendum voted to stay in. Despite what anti-EU propagandists are saying, the closer union is what was there in the Treaty of Rome and, if anything, it has progressed slower than intended. As for the rumour mongers with the United States of Europe and Union of Soviet European States stories, that is not possible because absolute political union between nation states with very different constitutions, political and legal systems is simply not possible and has never actual been proposed. Abu Hamza was 'got rid' of. He was sentenced to natural life imprisonment in the USA last month after being deported there last year.

Per capita the UK has the biggest national debt in the EU, accumulated by speculative governments for over 300 years. This present coalition has tripled the national debt since 2010 putting the UK in the position where in real economic terms it would have as much chance of surviving alone as a non-swimmer in a shark infested sea. Peter Mandelson should, in my opinion, be fed to such sharks. He is nonetheless small fry compared to the wantonness of CEOs of banks, even those losing money hand over fist, receiving multi-million pound bonuses. The UK protects vastly wealthy individuals and companies who avoid paying taxes but now the HSBC scandal in Switzerland that is just breaking is going to (I hope) break their backs.

Do people wonder why Scots want out of the union and no it is not because of oil. They also want to stay in the EU. Perhaps they are looking at reality square in the face. Coleman does not, he appears to invent it.

I have been thinking about it......

There is a lot of anti-EU feeling at the UK that has been building for sometime amongst odrinary people, for all sorts of reasons,frustration at the interference of the European courts intervention, which means it's ridiculously hard to rid ourselves of the likes of Abdul Hamza, immigration, overcrowding. It's rightly seen as a politicians 'gravy train',especially since the expenses scandal...and the widespread reporting of astronomical salaries being paid to the likes of Neil Kinnock (Glenys) and of course (yes I know he's back& now a Lord) Mandelson..Oh and the failure to pass a proper audit for years !.....I do think it's a strong possiblity, that by a small margin, there could be a'Yes' vote.

So I've been trying to weigh up whether leaving would really be a disaster for the UK....after all how is it that Switzerland, Austria and other places are not 'on their knees' outside of the UK, clamouring to get in ?

Doing this research led me to the website of ex-TV Doctor, prolific author, Vernon Coleman, an eccentric, but interesting guy with forthright, sometimes provocative, views, some of which I do agree with and some I don't.

His site, features a whole section of his political views ( dating from about 2 yrs ago, so some predictions haven't happened) but he talks about the controversial origins of the EU, and what he feels about leaving the EU.

I found it interesting.....If you've a spare half hour or so, take a look at his blog :- http://www.vernoncoleman.com/

I await your comments, with interest....

Eamon, here's one for you ; and O Hara's winter stout given a thumbs-up too ! Plus a great recipe for cooking turkey in stout :)



Art In Cambridge? David, nothing so uncouth as that, but Romantic poetry, now that would have got you in ;-)

When I was looking where to study architecture (for entry in 1963) Cambridge was ruled out as I didn't have latin O level. My school had fouled up as I was obliged to choose between Latin or Art streams and I had chosen Art. As I didn't have maths A level the Bartlett at UCL was ruled out and I went to the Architectural Association in Bedford Square where they didn't seem nearly as fussy and it was in fact the best known anyway.

That's no good, Jewishness goes through the mother, Catherine :p

Talk about it, mate. They predicted me to get two E's and I got three A's and two special paper 1's so I got that extra 6th form year to laze around in, before trundling up to the Old House :)

Well, he continued supplying arms to the 6-county IRA after partition set in, until he was ambushed at Beal na-mBlath. I agree about the shysters though, John. That Gilmore and Rabbitte pair have a long history ; "they haven't gone away, you know".

Most companies don't have roads to build for heavy lorries, and police forces or armies to keep up either, John :)

Oh well, it might come in handy one day if ever we are invaded by Romans again! Which might just get us back on track to the EU which is itself classically named, consisting of a continent named after Europa who was abducted by Zeus, she being a Phoenician and all that, and Union from Latin 'unus' meaning one.

Anyway, I was doing admissions at a UK university just six years ago and rules were mightily bent then. Leopards do not change their spots and academics are mostly pussycats.

Meanwhile back in Brussels, anything new sprouting?