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Brexit Referendum Superthread

  • 30-01-2016 9:23pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 2,352 ✭✭✭ micosoft


    So OpenEurope - a eurosceptic think tank in the UK held a fascinating mock negotiation between the Uk (represented by Malcolm Rifkind & Norman Lamont) and the other EU states (Ireland represented by John Bruton) most of home are ex Premiers/Prime Ministers from the various states. It's well worth viewing but two things really emerge:

    - The Initial Negotiation will be tough.
    - If the UK chooses Brexit the negotiations will be even tougher - no quarter will be given.

    In short, what the Euro Sceptics fail to recognise again and again is that they are not negotiating with "the EU". They are negotiating with the other 27 states who have their own strong views on the future of Europe. In fact it's clear that there is real anger in continental Europe over Camerons solo run. There is a real lack of trust with Bruton asking how can we know if the this is the last time the UK comes looking to renegotiate.


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Comments

  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 9,538 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Manach


    Interesting concept. However the strength of the EU might be overstated. These are not 27 other countries speaking in a unified voice, but instead a creaking, ovely bureaucraitc & institutional entity seeking to maintain a public illusion. In that like the regimes that exist through effort of historical impetus (eg the Holy Roman Empire) the illusion that there is no other alternative than greater political union, to quote a phrase, is one that brooks no deviation. So a crack in the European elites pro-EU stance in favour of a return to a more nation state / dynamic political entity is one which to be avoided at nearly any cost.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,352 ✭✭✭ micosoft


    I didn't suggest that. In fact my point again is that there is no "EU" to negotiate with. Look at the video and you will see all the other members deliver their individual perspectives on the current negotiation and Brexit to the British. For example the Poles are open to more free market but take grave offence at the UK ending free movement. The French are less free market and want London Finance sector reined in but want an ally against the strength of Germany. There are many narratives within the EU, freely and openly expressed.

    The fundamental point is that they all wish to negotiate these within the context of the EU's structures and realise that compromise is essential. The UK hissy fit as Bruton pointed out could lead to every state in the EU threatening to leave if "insert pet hate here" is not given to them. No organisation can work like that whether it's a Golf Club or Union of Countries. Everybody else realises that. In fact i suspect Cameron realises that but for electoral reasons he has gone down this route.

    I find your comment about EU elites odd though. Where are these creatures? TBH there is as much if not more of an elite in the UK and other nation states. It's also the case that the closer countries are to bombastic nationalistic states with real Elites such as Russia, the keener they are on the EU.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 9,538 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Manach


    The elites would be representative in political parties of the post war consensus that emerged to embraced the European project. Feel free to run through various countries political histories to upskill on their composition. As for the point of nation states on the borderlands I believe the current dispute between Poland and EU disproves this.

    The analogy of a organisation, in case a golf club, falls down on a number of points. In reading of European Union by McCormick (first chapter) suggests the the overall classification of the body of the EU due to its evolving nature of unique legal structures make it sui generis. What is a common drive, both of the Brussels and National Elites, is to step down the path to a greater common union. Not typical one would think of most organisation that are not subject to such radical re-org of their base treaties. Given the abstract nature of this and the effect this has had on national life at all aspects, Cameron's attempt to reign in this elite's ideological purity and steer the EU instead down a path that will be more focused on economic matters (ie what the UK initial voted on) might find a more receptive audience in the light of the recent euro issues over the past year.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,352 ✭✭✭ micosoft


    Manach wrote: »
    The elites would be representative in political parties of the post war consensus that emerged to embraced the European project. Feel free to run through various countries political histories to upskill on their composition.

    So your definition of elites is pretty much every elected Government in the EU since the last World War. That is so broad as to be meaningless.
    Manach wrote: »
    As for the point of nation states on the borderlands I believe the current dispute between Poland and EU disproves this.
    How does it disprove it? The Poles don't seem to want to end freedom of movement for example. That the current Government is making pleasant noises towards Cameron is more of a function of their isolation in the EU due to their mis-governance within Poland which is a concern. Shame on Cameron for giving cover to the rolling back of basic democratic principles that is occurring in Poland given the British are one of the few countries capable of influencing.
    Manach wrote: »
    The analogy of a organisation, in case a golf club, falls down on a number of points. In reading of European Union by McCormick (first chapter) suggests the the overall classification of the body of the EU due to its evolving nature of unique legal structures make it sui generis. What is a common drive, both of the Brussels and National Elites, is to step down the path to a greater common union. Not typical one would think of most organisation that are not subject to such radical re-org of their base treaties. Given the abstract nature of this and the effect this has had on national life at all aspects, Cameron's attempt to reign in this elite's ideological purity and steer the EU instead down a path that will be more focused on economic matters (ie what the UK initial voted on) might find a more receptive audience in the light of the recent euro issues over the past year.

    Quite the rabbit hole you are going down here. I didn't say the EU WAS a Golf Club. I specifically stated that no club would tolerate one member threatening to leave unless they got an exemption from the rules. It was a very simple point. And that is all I meant by it.

    As to the old canard that the British only joined a free trade area is simply untrue. Even disregarding the ever closer union in the treaty of Rome in 1957 it was very clear during the 75 referedum that the EC was about far more than Economic matters. This pamphlet was sent to every house hold in the UK. It specifically calls out in one section what the EC was about:

    -To bring together the peoples of Europe.
    -To raise living standards and improve working conditions.
    -To promote growth and boost world trade.
    -To help the poorest regions of Europe and the rest of the world.
    -To help maintain peace and freedom.

    It was never just about trade.

    Finally, while we are on about "elites" can you tell me why Eton educated Cameron not an elite and the rest of the politicians on the other side of the table are elites. If anything I think an impartial observer would state that by virtue of being 27 different countries the other members are likely to be more pragmatic then what is clearly an ideological issue for the Tory party and others that cannot accept ceding any sovereignty to the EU. Claiming that the rest of the EU are following some sort of common ideology flies in the face of common sense. Hence I believe your attempt to construct these unknown "elites" to explain away.

    I really do suggest you view the debate....


  • Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 28,715 Mod ✭✭✭✭ oscarBravo


    Manach wrote: »
    ...Cameron's attempt to reign in this elite's ideological purity and steer the EU instead down a path that will be more focused on economic matters (ie what the UK initial voted on)...

    That trope just won't go away, will it?

    The phrase "ever closer union" has always been in the treaties. Fifteen years before the UK joined the EEC, that was the goal. The idea that the UK signed up to an organisation whose guiding principle from its inception has been ever closer union, but that it somehow thought it was signing up to a mere free-trade agreement, just doesn't stand up to scrutiny.

    Now, if the UK doesn't want to be a part of a political union, that's fine: but they have seriously got to stop with the nonsense about how they're somehow rescuing the Union from the sinister forces that have hijacked it away from its true origin as a simple trading bloc.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 20,397 ✭✭✭✭ FreudianSlippers


    My major concern is that if England loses and loses, do we trust our government to have in place a sound and logical plan as to how we deal with not only the other country on this island, but also England, Wales and (to a lesser extent as I believe Brexit will be followed by Scotland leaving UK and joining EU) Scotland.

    There is a serious amount of groundwork that we need to consider so that we get as much possible benefit from companies moving here, but also treaties vis-a-vis taxation and movement (amongst many other things) with the UK outside of the EU. I'm not sure I trust our government has put a lot of thought into this.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,352 ✭✭✭ micosoft


    My major concern is that if England loses and loses, do we trust our government to have in place a sound and logical plan as to how we deal with not only the other country on this island, but also England, Wales and (to a lesser extent as I believe Brexit will be followed by Scotland leaving UK and joining EU) Scotland.

    There is a serious amount of groundwork that we need to consider so that we get as much possible benefit from companies moving here, but also treaties vis-a-vis taxation and movement (amongst many other things) with the UK outside of the EU. I'm not sure I trust our government has put a lot of thought into this.

    It's a fair question but it's not a contingency that the Irish State (anymore than the EU) can publicly acknowledge given the political position is that we do not want the UK to leave. I would also suspect that the practical planning is done by the Civil Service. And you can only do so much planning since there are a variety of Brexit scenarios. Finally this will (probably) take place over a number of years if everyone is sensible about it. Even the UKIP would understand the need to plan the exit - it's not like falling out of the ERM.

    Stephen Bell in the Guardian has outdone himself today though!


  • Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 28,715 Mod ✭✭✭✭ oscarBravo


    I don't think you can hotlink. Is this what you're talking about?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 7,752 ✭✭✭ pablomakaveli


    My major concern is that if England loses and loses, do we trust our government to have in place a sound and logical plan as to how we deal with not only the other country on this island, but also England, Wales and (to a lesser extent as I believe Brexit will be followed by Scotland leaving UK and joining EU) Scotland.

    There is a serious amount of groundwork that we need to consider so that we get as much possible benefit from companies moving here, but also treaties vis-a-vis taxation and movement (amongst many other things) with the UK outside of the EU. I'm not sure I trust our government has put a lot of thought into this.

    This is something i've been thinking about the last few days. I've heard a lot about the negative impact on Ireland of a UK exit from the EU but it could also be a big boost. We could become the sole English speaking country in the EU which would make us a more attractive prospect for international companies looking to do business in the EU.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 3,368 Mod ✭✭✭✭ andrew


    This is something i've been thinking about the last few days. I've heard a lot about the negative impact on Ireland of a UK exit from the EU but it could also be a big boost. We could become the sole English speaking country in the EU which would make us a more attractive prospect for international companies looking to do business in the EU.

    I feel like that'd be massively outweighed by the fact that we don't have the power to negotiate a unilateral trade deal with the UK, and so our exports to them would, for a period at least, fall massively, which would be pretty bad.


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  • Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 28,715 Mod ✭✭✭✭ oscarBravo


    andrew wrote: »
    I feel like that'd be massively outweighed by the fact that we don't have the power to negotiate a unilateral trade deal with the UK, and so our exports to them would, for a period at least, fall massively, which would be pretty bad.

    Not necessarily. In the event of exit, the EU would almost certainly negotiate a reasonably favourable trade deal with the UK. It's the idea that the EU will fall over itself to negotiate a deal that's all in the UK's favour and at its own expense that's risible.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 33,432 CMod ✭✭✭✭ ancapailldorcha


    oscarBravo wrote: »
    Not necessarily. In the event of exit, the EU would almost certainly negotiate a reasonably favourable trade deal with the UK. It's the idea that the EU will fall over itself to negotiate a deal that's all in the UK's favour and at its own expense that's risible.

    I don't know. With the rise of populist nationalism mainly concentrated in Eastern Europe I'd say that the EU will be quite harsh when it comes to dealing with a potential post-Brexit UK.

    We sat again for an hour and a half discussing maps and figures and always getting back to that most damnable creation of the perverted ingenuity of man - the County of Tyrone.

    H. H. Asquith



  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 3,368 Mod ✭✭✭✭ andrew


    oscarBravo wrote: »
    Not necessarily. In the event of exit, the EU would almost certainly negotiate a reasonably favourable trade deal with the UK. It's the idea that the EU will fall over itself to negotiate a deal that's all in the UK's favour and at its own expense that's risible.

    Even in the best case scenario in which a deal is ultimately favourable, it's still the case that the UK would be negotiating with a bloc of countries, many of whom don't trade much with the UK (and so don't care much either way), and some of whom might hold a bit of animosity for their having decided to leave. And even without these impediments, trade deals tend to take a while. So perhaps you're looking at a significant time period during which Irish exporters have severely curtailed access to the UK. Probably fine in the long term, but still potentially recession (or at least serious slowdown) inducing.


  • Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 28,715 Mod ✭✭✭✭ oscarBravo


    I guess we'll see (or not, as the case may be). An exit would take a while to happen anyway, and I assume a trade deal would form part of the exit negotiations rather than being left until afterwards.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,422 ✭✭✭ fly_agaric


    Cameron's attempt to reign in this elite's ideological purity and steer the EU instead down a path that will be more focused on economic matters (ie what the UK initial voted on) might find a more receptive audience in the light of the recent euro issues over the past year.

    I dunno. I'm not in the "elite" and one thing I don't like the idea of is the UK (or the conservatives' string-pullers in the UK finance industry) having some sort of mechanism for direct political input into the euro currency. Seems cheeky given they aren't even a member and it is all messy enough as it is without that. The UK always seem to want to be "first among equals" in the EU with all sort of special deals. Now we've finally come to the end game of all that - if we don't get what we want we've leaving. It would probably be much better for the EU as a whole if they left, even if it hurts us badly. There are so many crises facing European countries now that maybe there's just no time and space any more for the games the UK plays in the EU.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,352 ✭✭✭ micosoft


    fly_agaric wrote: »
    I dunno. I'm not in the "elite" and one thing I don't like the idea of is the UK (or the conservatives' string-pullers in the UK finance industry) having some sort of mechanism for direct political input into the euro currency. Seems cheeky given they aren't even a member and it is all messy enough as it is without that. The UK always seem to want to be "first among equals" in the EU with all sort of special deals. Now we've finally come to the end game of all that - if we don't get what we want we've leaving. It would probably be much better for the EU as a whole if they left, even if it hurts us badly. There are so many crises facing European countries now that maybe there's just no time and space any more for the games the UK plays in the EU.

    It's strange. The English I speak to seem genuinely surprised that other countries have views that don't necessarily mean having the UK in the EU at any cost or even the current cost. DeGaulle vetoed their entry as he always felt their entry would lead to the breakup of the EU. Interesting how it seems history repeats itself continuously.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,352 ✭✭✭ micosoft


    And the influential President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz is now drawing a firm line on his tour to the UK.
    "Don't stop a rolling stone. If the Brits want to leave, let them leave."
    and pointing out the hollowness of Camerons campaign:
    "Nothing in our lives is irreversible. Therefore legally binding decisions are also reversible - nothing is irreversible.
    There are real limits to how far the rest of the EU will go...


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,352 ✭✭✭ micosoft


    Duplicate


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,422 ✭✭✭ fly_agaric


    micosoft wrote: »
    It's strange. The English I speak to seem genuinely surprised that other countries have views that don't necessarily mean having the UK in the EU at any cost or even the current cost. DeGaulle vetoed their entry as he always felt their entry would lead to the breakup of the EU. Interesting how it seems history repeats itself continuously.

    Well, they've been chafing at the bit for decades (can't remember a time when the British press & politicians weren't pissing & moaning about the (edit/EEC/EC) EU, too young) and it's all coming to a head now... Will be an interesting few months. As said I do think their leaving could be something that might be very good, maybe even necessary for the EU even though it will be painted as the end/sky falling in. UK staying with a new selfish deal for themselves may be a worse outcome.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,352 ✭✭✭ micosoft


    fly_agaric wrote: »
    Well, they've been chafing at the bit for decades (can't remember a time when the British press & politicians weren't pissing & moaning about the (edit/EEC/EC) EU, too young) and it's all coming to a head now... Will be an interesting few months. As said I do think their leaving could be something that might be very good, maybe even necessary for the EU even though it will be painted as the end/sky falling in. UK staying with a new selfish deal for themselves may be a worse outcome.

    I think it will be a real pity all round to have the UK leave. It balanced out the Franco-German axis and brought a market orientated approach that worked for Ireland.

    The wonder is who the likes of the anti-EU brigade will blame when they have left.....


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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,229 ✭✭✭ eire4


    My major concern is that if England loses and loses, do we trust our government to have in place a sound and logical plan as to how we deal with not only the other country on this island, but also England, Wales and (to a lesser extent as I believe Brexit will be followed by Scotland leaving UK and joining EU) Scotland.

    There is a serious amount of groundwork that we need to consider so that we get as much possible benefit from companies moving here, but also treaties vis-a-vis taxation and movement (amongst many other things) with the UK outside of the EU. I'm not sure I trust our government has put a lot of thought into this.



    I have to say I very much share your conerns about our government having a plan B so to speak in place to run with if Britain leaves. I also agree with you that if indeed Britain does leave then that will be followed by Scotland leaving Britain and thus the breakup of Britain as it exists currently within the EU.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,229 ✭✭✭ eire4


    The latest polls have the stay in side leading 51-49 so right now Britain leaving the EU is a very real possibility at this point given how tight things are.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,497 ✭✭✭ donaghs


    micosoft wrote: »
    There is a real lack of trust with Bruton asking how can we know if the this is the last time the UK comes looking to renegotiate.

    Why should it be the last time? All states should be free to question the direction of the EU, and be free to leave if they wish.

    micosoft wrote: »
    I find your comment about EU elites odd though. Where are these creatures? TBH there is as much if not more of an elite in the UK and other nation states. It's also the case that the closer countries are to bombastic nationalistic states with real Elites such as Russia, the keener they are on the EU.
    A large section of the "political class". This was shown very clearly when the "European Constitution" was actually put to a popular vote in the Netherlands and France, and was rejected. Politicians ensured that the follow-up "Lisbon Treaty" wouldn't suffer the same fate. Except of course in Ireland's case, but we had to vote again after making the "wrong" choice.

    The danger of the disconnect between a political elite in the mainstream parties and ordinary people is that they will look for alternatives elsewhere. This has happened in the UK already with UKIP (thankfully not too extreme), and Cameron's BREXIT thing is partly an attempt to counter/co-opt this threat. The growth of the National Front in France is a tad more worrying.
    micosoft wrote: »
    Finally, while we are on about "elites" can you tell me why Eton educated Cameron not an elite and the rest of the politicians on the other side of the table are elites.
    I think you're deliberately missing the point.
    oscarBravo wrote: »
    That trope just won't go away, will it?

    The phrase "ever closer union" has always been in the treaties. Fifteen years before the UK joined the EEC, that was the goal. The idea that the UK signed up to an organisation whose guiding principle from its inception has been ever closer union, but that it somehow thought it was signing up to a mere free-trade agreement, just doesn't stand up to scrutiny.

    Now, if the UK doesn't want to be a part of a political union, that's fine: but they have seriously got to stop with the nonsense about how they're somehow rescuing the Union from the sinister forces that have hijacked it away from its true origin as a simple trading bloc.
    "Ever closer union" is still remarkably vague. It doesn't actually mean surrendering national sovereignty to a central EU institution, which is a concern for people all over the EU.
    oscarBravo wrote: »
    I guess we'll see (or not, as the case may be). An exit would take a while to happen anyway, and I assume a trade deal would form part of the exit negotiations rather than being left until afterwards.

    I'd agree. And as the Norwegians have pointed out, you can be outside the EU but still enjoy almost all the benefits, including trade etc. The disadvantage though is that you are excluded from the decision making process.


  • Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 28,715 Mod ✭✭✭✭ oscarBravo


    donaghs wrote: »
    "Ever closer union" is still remarkably vague. It doesn't actually mean surrendering national sovereignty to a central EU institution...

    It pretty much does. You can't sign a treaty with another sovereign country without ceding some small measure of sovereignty. Even if it's something relatively uncontroversial, like a treaty banning landmines - a country that signs up to such a treaty has ceded its sovereignty on the question of whether or not to use landmines.

    When you join a club, it's a condition of membership that you abide by the rules. If you don't like the rules, you can lobby the other members to agree to change them, or you can leave. What you don't get to do is argue that those rules should never have been in place, so you don't want to have to abide by them.

    The EEC, EC, EU, whatever it has been called, has always been about pooled sovereignty. If the UK has a problem with pooling some sovereignty in return for the benefits of EU membership, then it has the right to leave the Union. If the other members decide that they value UK membership more highly than they do the core principles to which the UK objects, they'll change the rules.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,922 ✭✭✭ Shelga


    It's an interesting debate. I'm Irish and live in UK, so us Irish who live here are in the interesting position of having a vote despite not being British citizens, unlike the rest of the EU citizens who live here.

    I think the fearmongering by UKIP et al is unnecessary and boring at this stage, but at least the country will finally have a say and put this to bed one way or another.

    I've only started to seriously think about it the last few months, but think I will vote to stay in. I don't like the way both sides can be hysterical and make their choice seem like the obvious one. If I voted no it would be a bit like turkeys voting for Christmas though. :pac:

    Having spent a bit of time this week reading about it, the economic benefits of staying in cannot be denied. That is the deciding factor for most people including myself.

    Also, think of how super awkward the Eurovision would be if they leave. :D


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 33,432 CMod ✭✭✭✭ ancapailldorcha


    I'm the same, Shelga. I intend to vote to remain in the EU. The Euroskeptic arguments, beyond convincing me that the EU is not perfect, are not nearly convincing enough to justify and exit IMO.

    Here's a summary of the various arguments from The Economist:

    20151024_WOC501_2.png

    We sat again for an hour and a half discussing maps and figures and always getting back to that most damnable creation of the perverted ingenuity of man - the County of Tyrone.

    H. H. Asquith



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,922 ✭✭✭ Shelga


    The turning point for me is that even if Brexit occurs, UK would still have to pay the EU to be able to trade with them. Read that Norway pays something like 75% of the cost anyway, just to have trade access? So we would save 25% and have no say in anything to do with the EU, doesn't seem worth it.

    Also on Question Time, one of the pundits made the point that the UK does have a border with Europe in Ireland, and would require our cooperation to police the border there- sounds crazy. Can't imagine having to show my passport to drive from Dublin to Belfast.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 33,432 CMod ✭✭✭✭ ancapailldorcha


    Shelga wrote: »
    The turning point for me is that even if Brexit occurs, UK would still have to pay the EU to be able to trade with them. Read that Norway pays something like 75% of the cost anyway, just to have trade access? So we would save 25% and have no say in anything to do with the EU, doesn't seem worth it.

    It's isn't quite that simple. Switzerland for example pays for access to the market but doesn't have access for financial services. It bypasses this barrier by basing its banks in London which does have this access. Apparently, Norway pays more into the EU per person than the UK.
    Shelga wrote: »
    Also on Question Time, one of the pundits made the point that the UK does have a border with Europe in Ireland, and would require our cooperation to police the border there- sounds crazy. Can't imagine having to show my passport to drive from Dublin to Belfast.

    Likely but uncertain. The UK and Ireland have a unique relationship. We can vote in their elections for example. I genuinely don't know what would happen here if they leave. There's also the fact that Northern Ireland, Wales & Scotland all want to remain in the EU. Euroscepticism is very much an English attitude.

    We sat again for an hour and a half discussing maps and figures and always getting back to that most damnable creation of the perverted ingenuity of man - the County of Tyrone.

    H. H. Asquith



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,064 ✭✭✭ Lirange


    There's also the fact that Northern Ireland, Wales & Scotland all want to remain in the EU. Euroscepticism is very much an English attitude.

    That's certainly true for Northern Ireland and Scotland. However that is not the case in Wales, where if anything, the level of support for leaving is stronger than in England.


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  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 33,432 CMod ✭✭✭✭ ancapailldorcha


    Lirange wrote: »
    That's certainly true for Northern Ireland and Scotland. However that is not the case in Wales, where if anything, the level of support for leaving is stronger than in England.

    A bit of a quick google and, yes, there is indeed some truth to that. Wales is traditionally Labour territory so I'm surprised at that.

    We sat again for an hour and a half discussing maps and figures and always getting back to that most damnable creation of the perverted ingenuity of man - the County of Tyrone.

    H. H. Asquith



This discussion has been closed.
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