What would really happen if britain left the european union

Hi all,

David Cameron is, according to the British press, considering leaving the EU. My question is - if the UK was to leave Europe how would this affect everyday Britons?



Strictly speaking he is considering holding a referendum on our position in the EU - this could include staying in but with a renegotiated terms of membership, presumably with some powers restored to Westminster.

If we left, I honestly don’t know what this would mean. The Tories imagine it would make controlling East European immigration easier, and stop criminals appealing to human rights (forgetting that the European Court on Human Rights has nothing to do with the EU!)

I myself am lukewarm against leaving unless it can be demonstrated that there’s a clear advantage to leaving. I haven’t been shown one. UKIP complain about 80% of our laws being made in Brussels - but this is in the fields of things like agriculture and competition law, and frankly I don’t care enough about them to insist on them being run in Westminster.

Thanks for the response. I just want to imagine what impact it could have on everyday Brits if we were to leave…

The UK would be subject to less laws and it could make it harder for UK citizens to move freely throughout the EU. But they could join that semi-European organization that allows free trade and movement of persons in the EU. Or they would be reduced to needing a 90 day visum to go anywhere in the EU. Or maybe not.

Aside from that, I don’t know where the UK would lose out? I’m not from the UK. But I can’t see much benefit for a successful country to be in the EU. Free trade can be accomplished by other means. It would probably greatly lessen UK power in the region as it can’t participate in the decision making process in the EU anymore.

I might just point out that Cameron isn’t going to have a referendum on leaving the EEC. He is posturing to the right wing back bencher’s. He’s dangling right wing carrots to keep them on side of late, hence the rhetoric about benefits and the EEC. Its just an attempt to differentiate them selves from the coalition partners the “Liberals” who the right see as soft. Basically “look how we could be if we weren’t tied to this lot after the next election…”

It looks to me like the UK doesn’t really have any influence now. Looking at the EU from across the Atlantic, it’s basically run by Germany and France. Belgium is a ceremonial figurehead, and everyone else is a client state/satellite.

Mostly because everything in the news has to do with monetary union and the Euro… you know the EU entities the UK opted out of.

Exactly. That’s why we should leave and watch the continent mess itself up from the sidelines, while we continue in a free trade arrangement a la nordics or switzerland :smiley:

Britain is actually quite influential, but we perceive ourselves as ignored because we tend to overexaggerate the times when we do disagree with the rest of the EU.

As to Switzerland and Norway, I wouldn’t consider them good role models; they may be outside the EU, but they tend to adapt to the EU’s regulations in any case, as their main trading partner. It’s just that they aren’t inside the EU to influence the making of those regulations.

Selectively applying some of the EU’s regulations sounds a lot better than being forced to take everything. It is not really in the best interests for wealthy countries to be in the EU, all it does is they are dragged down by the other poor ones. And a lot of their autonomy gets taken away. Switzerland is doing absolutely fine not being in the EU. Free trade is enough to thrive economically.

Those are the only times where being influential matters.

How can you “overexaggerate” something?

Anyway…the EU was and is destined for collapse because attempting to equalize a group of economies of varying strengths means that some of those economies will get shafted while others will benefit disproportionately. The weaker economies were enthused in 2002, while the stronger economies were not so thrilled. That is why Germany–which, then as now, had the most to lose from the formation of the euro and the least to gain–insisted on the Deutschebank dictating the initial value of the EU vs. the various national currencies (i.e., putting the mark in the best possible position).

Britian would benefit from not being in the EU in the same way that someone moving away from the coast BEFORE a tsunami hit would benefit. The “EU spirit of cooperation” is a thin veneer at best. The nations of Europe have been at each others’ throats for 1200 years. The post-WWII period was just a ceasefire.

I read this as “the weaker economies we euthanized”.

They didn’t do that. The original value of the Euro was the “frozen” value of the ECU (European Count Unit) on the day of the switch. And the ECU itself had “floated” since its creation during the 70s.

If the UK were to leave the EU, would it also leave the EEA?

No-one wants to lose easy access to the market, so I guess not. Perhaps a special relationship could be negotiated, in the same way that Switzerland did when EFTA was folded into the EEA.

Anyway, I agree with some of the posters that Cameron is playing to his base (and to try and get some UKIP voters back into the Tory fold), he isn’t all that interested in leaving the EU practically, although he would likely like to renegotiate some things.

Well the “nordics” is just Norway, and the UK economy is very different to theirs.

Not really a questions that can be answered factually, so moved to IMHO.

samclem, Moderator