Britain and the European Union

Last week David Cameron, our Prime Minister, gave a speech about our participation in the European Union. He promised us that within five years there would be a referendum, which would give British people the choice of whether to stay in the European Union or to come out of it. I think that if the referendum happened tomorrow, most people would vote to come out. Am I right? Brits? what do you think?

However, are we, as ordinary people, able to judge the facts correctly? We need to be very careful.

David Cameron made it perfectly clear in his speech that he wants us to stay IN but with a few changes. Whether or not the other countries will agree to those remains to be seen.

You can read more about the speech here.

America’s view point is that we should stay IN, but is that because it would be to their advantage? They want ‘a strong voice in Europe’.

It seems to me that our staying IN would be to everyone else’s advantage, but maybe not to our own.

We did very well before we joined the Union. Wouldn’t it be better to go it alone again, make our own decisions, trade freely and not be restricted in our dealings by the rest of Europe.

I am old enough to remember what it was like before. We seemed to get a lot more butter from New Zealand and other products, which rarely appear on the supermarket shelves today. Nowadays we get lots of French cheese, German that, Spanish sausages but I doubt if they eat much of our produce over there.

While I was in America I couldn’t help but notice that they are very biased towards Ireland. There are lots of Irish products on the shelves, but few English items.

We in Europe are not alike.  Each country is made up of a unique type of people. Our cultures are totally different. I personally doubt if we will ever be ‘one Europe’.

David Cameron’s speech did not go down well with the French but the Germans listened and understood where we were coming from.

Of course, for those people here who want to vote ‘OUT’, it almost guarantees that David Cameron’s party (conservatives) will be re-elected next time because for sure the other side (i.e. labour party) would not hold a referendum and we would definitely be staying in Europe.

People here have become disillusioned with the European Union. When we signed up for it, we signed up for a Common Market, but it has turned out to be a very different thing altogether. Laws are made and we have to comply with them whether we like it or not. People here don’t like being told what to do.

e.g. a lot of our crops have to be churned back into the ground because they don’t conform to European standards. Phooey! Sod that. Personally I don’t care what size or shape my bananas are or whether the cabbage is frilly or not. If it’s edible, I’ll eat it and I don’t need someone in Belgium to tell me I can’t.

I think you can tell where I stand on this issue. How many more people feel like me?

Here is a little poll. If you feel like it, please vote. I’d be interested to know what you think.

12 thoughts on “Britain and the European Union

  1. I think countries should keep their sovereignty .. this one world order scares the crap out of me. We (in the U.S.) have sold or given more farmland to China to satisfy the loans they have made to cover our overspending out of control government .. we need to get people off the dole instead of making them life long dependents. Such dependence keeps the balance of power .. out of balance. It’s breaking the back of the middle class.

  2. I don’t know. Speaking as an American, I think you may need Europe more than you need the USA, or Canada, or New Zealand. I know our US government feels differently about this, but I think the UK belongs with Europe. (Go ahead and yell at me.)

  3. I don’t feel informed enough to have a real opinion — though if I had a choice of living alone or in a commune, I’d opt for alone. Consensus is a wonderful thing but awfully hard to reach.

    • Yes, I’ve always found that too Vicki. Once when the boys were little we went on holiday with both sets of grandparents. It was lovely BUT when it came to finding a coffee shop in the seaside town, it caused a lot of disagreement. Just shows how even like minds can have disagreements. How much easier it is when you only have yourself to please…

  4. Have never understood wny being in the EU means you have to change measuring systems (like weights for example). Or plumbing sizes. Seems to be focusing on stupid, petty, minor things instead of the real reasons that everyone can benefit from the union.
    You did get to keep the pound, after all, and money is really a sort of measuring system, isn’t it?
    When I was in the UK last time I found it all very annoying to try to figure out how many pounds of cherries I was trying to buy (for example), I can only imagine the nonsense you all have to live with daily.
    Having said all that, I do think the union is probably good for the UK, but I am not an expert.
    To your point about the US “favoring” Irish products – this is a very large country, if you travel to San Francisco you will find lots of stores catering to asian populations, Florida has a lot of Cuban born shoppers, etc. Merchants (good ones who stay in business) stock what the locals want to buy. Do you tend to travel to areas with lots of Irish born residents or visitors? And of course, not to be a jerk, but to the average american, english food just doesn’t sound all that enticing or exotic. No insult intended (truly!), I like some english things, like cakes for example! Somehow english food has gotten a bad rap in the eyes of lots of americans.

    • Very interesting comments indigokittyknits. Yes we decided to keep the pound. Everyone else thought we were stupid at the time, but now that the Euro has been around for a while, most of the countries who have adopted it are regretting that decision bigtime.
      The weights and measures seems to be quite hit and miss. We have supposedly gone over to kilos but because I am old I still think in terms of pounds when it comes to buying fruit and vegetables. I used to buy habberdashery in yards, feet and inches, now it’s in metres and centimetres but there are quite a few shops that still measure in yards etc.
      Regarding the difference between American and English food, this deserves a post on its own, of course but suffice to say that there is a lot more sugar and fat in American food than there is over here. Even the bread over there is sweet. I’m not offended by your food comments. I find them interesting but out of date. You only have to read some English food blogs and you will see that English food is just as tasty and inventive as anything you’ll find over there. In fact curry is the most popular dish over here nowadays!
      Thank you very much for taking the time to give me your opinions.

  5. The EU has never done much for the likes of me… LOL… so you got my vote to come out… and if there were a referendum..I would be voting to come out.. There are far too many Fat cats sitting in the EU being paid far too much for very little… …. 🙂

  6. Like you I’m old enough to remember before we were in the EU and in fact I’m old enough to have voted in the Referendum. I voted ‘Yes’ for a Common Market not for them to take over our lives and ruin many small businesses as they have with their legislation. Of course we weren’t given the full picture by a long shot and believe me I wouldn’t have voted ‘Yes’ if I’d known then what I know now!

    • We all thought that at the time, I’m sure. It was supposed to be just that, a common market. Turned out to be anything but! Thank you for your comment. All this business with the horsemeat makes me think we’d be better off on our own anyway!

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