Why, if you live in France, did you vote for Brexit?


(anon71231711) #259

I share that feeling, I hate the prospect of countries losing their national characteristics and identities and all merging into one.
And yet… France is a committed member of the EU, it’s part of the Eurozone and Schengen, but in my eyes it has retained far more Frenchness than England has retained Englishness in spite of the £ and the customs posts (though I wouldn’t necessarily say the same of Scotland, Wales or NI). France is very aware of the dangers of losing its Frenchness and holds regular national navel-gazing sessions about the French identity and what it means to be French, with questionnaires canvassing public opinion, and I find this rather endearing. It doesn’t feel obliged to embrace multi-culturalism unquestioningly because it’s afraid of being considered un-pc, and its different regions are proud of their traditions and keep them going. So I think France will retain its national identity even if more of its laws are agreed with Europe.

(Martin Cooper) #261

That’s what I don’t understand Peter and maybe that’s my issue, but I can’t see what’s wrong in been stronger together, unified, than single and weak as a small island off Europe.

Do people really believe we are going to ‘thrive’ as a small island, all by itself, trading on our historical past?


(David Martin) #262

I lived in Germany, close to the Dutch border and not far fro Belgium for years. If you had taken me, blindfolded to any one of those countries, or France, I could have told you exactly where we were. National traditions and characteristics do not disappear just because you join the EU.

(Manon kit) #263

Hello there Simon.
When you are paying for the right to be in a union and you have to then put issues to the vote, then control is not necessarily in your hands.
Hope that you understand a little better, sorry for the confusion there.
Have a nice nice day

(Paul Flinders) #266

Hmmm…, I was never much swayed by the sovereignty argument. The historical context is that we are inexorably intertwined with Europe - and lets fact it much British “sovereignty” has its roots in Europe. Our current Royal Family? German/Greek(Hanover, Saxe-Coburg - “Windsor” is mere gilding), before that Dutch (House of Orange), Scottish (Stuart, Bruce), Welsh (Tudor), French (Plantagenet, Angevin, Blois, Norman), Danish, Viking and Roman.

History is one thing, of course, but if we look purely in the modern sense I wonder what difference sovereignty makes - does having sovereignty make a difference to the influence we have over our daily lives - not much I would argue; I have no direct influence over the laws and regulations which control what I can (or cannot) legally do. The chap I voted for at the last election didn’t win so I have no representation. The same is true of a sizeable minority of people. Depending on the exact voting patterns it might even be true of a small majority of people.

Most of the regulations which do come from Europe would, in any case, have to be invented by the UK government but in pulling out we, as individuals, risk loosing protections such as the European Court of Human Rights, or even just mundane stuff such as EU wide health and safety laws which neither employers nor the UK government can wriggle out of. We also loose the right to live and work in the EU.

So, as far as I can see, pulling out mainly benefits the politicians who like to think that they run things - but to what extent is that true? If we wish to sell goods with Europe we will have to produce them to European standards, as now, but without the ability to influence those “normes”. If we want to strike a trade deal with the US we will discover that we are a very small nation and the `states will simply tell us that if we wish tariff free access to US markets we must accept US goods produced to whatever standard pertains there. The chlorine-washed chicken story reveals much about attitudes even if that issue itself is something of a red herring (it seems the EU quietly decided that particular practice was OK).

If membership of an organisation leaves one better off and with a bigger say in world affairs than one would have outside at the cost merely of having to participate in that organisation’s decision making process and accepting the collective conclusion then it seems very foolish to go it alone. There is a deep irony to the fact that some of the things that the leave campaign claimed were being forced upon us were our idea in the first place.

There is also an irony in the fact that the UK retained a lot of sovereignty even within the EU. We did not join the euro, were not a part of Shengen and negotiated multiple opt outs. That we mishandled the A8 accession is not the EU’s fault.

there is a backlash against globalisation but you simply can’t turn your back on it in the modern world which is essentially what the Leavers wanted to do.

I can see that, correctly handled, we could come out of this at least no worse off but I thinkthe signs are that we are mishandling the exit negotiations so signs so far are not great - if, in twenty years, it is clear that we have been better off out - so 2-3% annual growth outside compared with 1.5-2% inside the EU, then I will concede that the pain will have been worthwhile. I’m not holding my breath.

(Robert Hodge) #267

Hi Paul,
For me the issue of Sovereignty is all about maintaining the capability of the UK to decide it’s own destiny through our chosen method of government, whereby it is British people alone who decide which way our country goes in the world. There always have been, and always will be both good times and bad, in much the same way that there are different points to be be made about the EU on both the good and bad sides.
However, surely now that the die has been cast by the British people, and the decision has been taken to leave, is it not time that folks looked to the future rather than to the past ?
As a country we have a golden opportunity to retain the good parts that have come from our EU experience, whilst at the same time now being able once again to go out and interact with any country we choose without being hindered by EU rules.
Historically, this isn’t the first time that we as a nation have decided to substantially change our economic model. Ending the slave trade, and ending our days of Empire, were both events that brought about the recently familiar cry of “our economy will be ruined”, but what it actually brought about was chosen change rather than ruination in the longer term.
Fundamentally I think that we British are a bit different from our Continental friends simply because we are islanders. A sizeable island, but none the less separated from the continent of Europe. Islanders are by definition more self sufficient by nature, simply because they have to be, and therefore have a tendancy to take against being told what to do by those from the ‘mainland’. We British will be just fine in the future, and by ascerting our independance we will ultimately be all the more respected in the world.
Best wishes, Robert.

(Bob Ellis) #268

Everytime I see the unelected argument I think daily mail reader :slight_smile:

The EU Commission has one member per state. These are elected by the EU MEPs. The EU MEPS are elected by their home states, the UK has 73 MEPs elected by proportional representation (which is the only electoral system under which UKIP has any chance).

As a contrast the UK Government Cabinet is chosen by one person, the PM.

If anything, the EU leadership IS elected, the UK leadership is not.

(stella wood) #269


Hi Bob… if anything…

you have totally confused me… the UK Government Cabinet is chosen by the PM…and I had always believed that the UK Government consisted of Members of Parliament …all of whom who had been elected by the British Voter…

surely, all in all, the UK Leadership IS elected ???.. being made up of folk elected by the British Voter… :slight_smile:

(Bob Ellis) #271

That’s sort of my point - the systems are essentially the same except the EU commission is voted in by the MEPs, not picked arbitrarily by the leader. Did the MPs in Westminster get to vote for Boris to be Foreign Secretary?

(anon71231711) #272

I’m not sure the islander argument holds up too well at the moment. Islanders’ strength generally comes from their solidarity, they are all championning the same cause (their island and their way of life) and solidarity seems to be noticeable absent from the rendez vous in the UK just now.

(stella wood) #273


Boris Johnson was elected to serve …in whatever capacity… he was elected by the British Voter…

If the British Voter did not want Boris to serve… they would not have voted for him…

(Robert Hodge) #274

Hi Bob,

I think you will find that the EU Commissioners are not actually elected by MEPs, but are instead ‘Approved’ by MEPs following each proposed Commissioner having being previously nominated by their own national government. The exception to this is the President of the Commission who is first chosen by the European Council, before being approved by MEPs. The European Council operates a system of ‘Qualified Majority Voting’ on this issue, which is exactly how M. Juncker got the job despite strong opposition from the UK. The only actual vote that is taken by MEPs is a straight Yes/No vote in respect of the Commission as a whole, and there is no voting by them in respect of individual Commissioners. This vote to approve the Commission as a whole only requires a simple majority to pass, and the UKs MEPs can easily be outvoted by all the others. Therefore it is entirely possible to have a Commission made up of persons who none of the UKs MEPs support.

Therefore, we currently have a Commission President whose appointment the UK strongly opposed, and a Commission where the British people had absolutely no effective say whatsoever in the appointment of at least 27 out of the 28 members.

Bearing in mind that it is only the European Commission that can propose legislation to the European Parliament, what we end up with is a system whereby people in the UK have to comply with European Legislation created by a body for whom they themselves have not been able to directly vote.

I don’t think that this sits very well with our well established way of having our laws made by those that we directly elect ourselves.

Best wishes, Robert.

(Martin Cooper) #275

Hi Robert,

Been ‘devils advocate’ you could say our old UK voting system, where 57.6% of the peeps, did not vote for our Gov and also we have an unelected second chamber, plus a Head of State, chosen by the accident of birth…

I know which system I would go for :slight_smile:



(Robert Hodge) #276

I agree Martin,

There are a number of ways in which our elections could be made more representative of the people’s wishes, and no doubt the current ‘first past the post’ system would be changed if the two main political parties thought it to be to their advantage to do so. I favour the system of the ‘single transferable vote’ myself.
I also agree that we need to change the format of our second chamber, though that of itself would necessitate another lengthy debate.
As for the Head of State issue (again another debate entirely), well I think we only need to look across the Atlantic Ocean at the moment to see that we would need to be extremely cautious about changing our current system, lest we leap out of the frying pan into the fire so to speak.

(Robert Hodge) #277

Hi Peter,
No, I wasn’t making any allusions to silver spoons or anything else derogatory. I’ll try to explain myself a bit better.
I’m from the Isle of Wight myself, where we have always had a bit of a love/hate relationship with those from the mainland of England in that we love the benefits they can bring to us, whilst at the same time hating what we sometimes view as their unnecessary interference in, and lack of understanding of, our way of life. Those who live on relatively small islands have generationally had to be a bit more independent than the average, simply because of the constraints of the geography that can at times enforce isolation, all be it temporary. The UK, when compared to the continent of Europe is a relatively small island, and I think that it is at least in part because of this that the British and the ‘Continentals’ have developed differently over the generations. These differences are not necessarily either good or bad, they just are. Whilst these differences do not of course preclude the ‘islanders’ and the ‘mainlanders’ from being good friends, they are often sufficient to make it not such a good idea that they should co-habit too closely. Being in the Common Market and trading with each other was one thing, but being in the EU with the it’s objective of ever closer union is a step too far.
I hope I’ve managed additional clarity for you.

(Martin Cooper) #278

Thanks for your reply Robert.

Can’t disagree the point re our US cousins. However, least they had an opportunity to choose.



PS Very nice experience of talking to someone on ‘the other side’ of the Britexit debate, without raising my blood pressure :slight_smile: Good to have you on our forums.

(David Martin) #279

The Isle of Wight is part of the British Isles and its residents are too diluted to be any different to those living anywhere else. Communities on the island are no more isolated that members of other communities in Great Britain. Somehow claiming to be part of an island race is a bit odd. There has been a lot of cohabiting between those born on the Isle of Wight and ‘the mainland’ just as there has been between British nationals and foreign citizens. Why are you trying to create divisions that just do not exist?

(Robert Hodge) #280

Not a matter of fabricating divisions David, just sharing my beliefs based on personal experience.

(Timothy Cole) #281

FPTP is not pefect but if the UK had PR instead just think how many UKIP MP’s would have been in parliament in 2015. As for replacing Liz and co, I’d rather have a powerless figurehead than a nutter like DT even if they’re unelected. I would certainly slim down the HOL which has become ridiculously bloated, 800 members and growing.

(stella wood) #282


I reckon the “Head of State, chosen by accident of birth” has done less harm over the last 65 years than one particular elected Head of State has done in his first 194 days…