The Brexit Thread

Discussion in 'Corner Coffee' started by Matt N, 27th Mar 2019.

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  1. Benzin

    Benzin TowersStreet Member

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    Our government had a vote on abolishing this back in 2015. So surely we could've stopped it before?

    Not sure if anyone else did something on this prior to. Didn't Scotland or Ireland change it to 0 recently?
     
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  2. pluk

    pluk TowersStreet Member

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    Our government did, but were not allowed to under EU rules, hence them lobbying for the change with the EU since unsuccessfully.

    Ireland were at 0% before the EU rule came in so they were able to retain that rate.

    Although I'm not personally over fussed about us being in the EU or not I'm no brexiteer by a long shot, but some of these sorts of things aren't just bendy banana nonsense and show the burachratic juggernaut the EU is, and where the ability for member states to act on their own will is hindered.
     
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  3. Dave

    Dave TS Founding Member

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    I think you would have to be a real blind remainer to say that the EU didn’t have faults, and some of the time it takes to change silly rules is one of those faults. Thing is can someone name a collective decision making system that doesn’t have faults. Take the UK for example, it has a very central control of 4 separate countries (well you can argue if you are brave that Wales is a principality not a country), that central control allows for good things to happen quickly for sure, it also for centuries has meant that the interests of everyone outside of the south east of England have been ignored (even to the extent of huge famines pre-separation of Ireland).

    Also the most frustrating blind spot in most brexiteers logic is the fact that ALL trade deals put legal restrictions on the sovereignty of a nation, and force the legislatures hand in creating or amending certain laws. I have always been baffled (well I haven’t it’s very clear why) why the brexiteers have a problem with a geopolitically similar group of countries doing this with equal voice, yet are very keen to have America do the same with far more control over the UK than the UK will get over America?
     
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  4. Alsty

    Alsty TowersStreet Member

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    ^ Exactly that

    That has always been my argument. Trade deals impact on your sovereignty too - you have to allow or stop doing things that the other country wants you to do in order to get the deal (especially if they're a big player). At least in the EU you get a say in what those things are.

    No system is perfect but on the assumption you want to do trade, which of those two is more democratic?
     
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  5. Plastic Person

    Plastic Person TowersStreet Member

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    Bendy bananas, tampon tax or not, my primary concern is workers (and human) rights, which can now be diminished and altered accordingly by a present government who explicitly don't care much for either. And by this I mean everyday life for working people, not the more sensationalist business that clogs up the headlines in relation to terrorism, free speech etc.

    Johnson and friends are already banging the hammer about how leaving the EU will help us to 'compete' with the bloc and other countries, and you can be sure that workers in the UK will be asked to "do their bit" or such like in order to participate in this neoliberal death cult healthy competition.
     
    Last edited: 3rd Jan 2021
  6. imanautie

    imanautie TowersStreet Member

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    Because America has never been shown to abuse its relationships with other countries /s

    I think part of the reason why is people don't understand the EU Vs other polictical agreements
     
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  7. pluk

    pluk TowersStreet Member

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    Exactly this. As seems to be the fashion most people seem to want to be on an extreme of an opinion and try to profess the EU is either perfect or the root of every evil.

    To pretend there are no advantages to membership as many do is silly.
    To pretend there are no advantages to no longer being members is equally silly.

    I can completely understand why to some people the comparatively nimble and 'unrestricted' decision making by politicians directly elected here in the UK is their preference over a group of EU officials elected by a much wider area who collectively struggle to make decisions and wont necessarily be making those decisions in our best interests.

    I'm happy sitting on the fence giving the whole thing a big shrug. No one can know how it'll play out in the longer term, only time will tell, but extremes of opinion on it make no sense.

    Hear a lot of this as well without much reasoning. Why do you think we need the EU to keep our own human rights in check? Why do you think our elected representatives would risk reelection prospects by removing worker and human rights?

    The UK offers support and protections way beyond anything stipulated by the EU, surely if you believe our governments intent is to erode these we'd have already been operating at the minimum possible compliance threshold?
     
    Last edited: 3rd Jan 2021
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  8. Dave

    Dave TS Founding Member

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    I am concerned about worker rights, the EU’s minimum standards are greater than many Tory politicians would like and I don’t trust the government as far as I can throw them. As for getting backlash from the government, unfortunately if the Daily Mail and the Sun say nothing has changed folk believe it, even when it’s a lie. The Tory’s are very good at propaganda and Murdoch has a vested interest in lowering standards in the UK.

    Not saying it’s a certainty but it’s definitely a risk.
     
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  9. pluk

    pluk TowersStreet Member

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    11 years they've had to erode workers rights to the minimum EU protections, but they haven't. They have just improved maternity terms, minimum wage has continued to rise above inflation, recent amendments to the employments rights act include improvements to holiday entitlements calculations and rights to contract obligations in the employees favour. All outside of any EU requirement.
    Recent history does not support your fears.
     
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  10. Funcone

    Funcone TowersStreet Member

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    That’s a well thought out post Pluk and I do agree that there are a lot of polarised and extreme opinions. I do think, however, that people are right to worry about what will happen to human rights.

    We’re talking about a government that presided over the Wind Rush Scandal and illegally deported British citizens. We’re talking about a government that has dismantled a large proportion of the Health and Safety Executive while making vague noises about austerity and magical money trees. We’re talking about a government that has so far focussed the Grenfall Tower public inquiry on the fire brigade, rather than the businesses that supplied the cladding. We’re talking about a government that has cut back a lot on legal aid, closed over half the courts and got rid of huge swathes of the criminal justice system. We’re talking about a government that has put in more restrictions on unions. We’re talking about a government that has allowed for a massive increase in the use of zero hour contracts. We’re talking about a government that has cut back a lot on foreign aid to help the poorest people in the world. We’re talking about a government that’s keen to sell arms to Saudi Arabia. Personally, I don’t trust our government.
     
  11. Dave

    Dave TS Founding Member

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    As I say I’m not saying it’s a certainty but there is a big lobby for this in the Tory party and it only takes a small shift and you can quickly turn the tide on employment rights. You only have to see how quickly they where willing to reduce driver test times last month to have a little concern that if it aids their needs they won’t worry to make a move.

    If I was a betting man the first to you will be working time directives.

    The sluggishness of the EU minimised such a retrograde risk in the lower limit of standards.
     
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  12. pluk

    pluk TowersStreet Member

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    I'm sure there are plenty of terrible things they have done, but even in these area there are some things going heavily against your expectations. Zero contract hours for example underwent changes under this government 5 years ago which massively improved the position of zero hour workers by classing them as employees, not allowing them to be retained pending work unpaid and not allowing employers to stop them taking work elsewhere. None of these things were due to any EU influence and would still be allowed under EU rules.

    From working within the criminal justice system I can say with some insight that the court system has not been fit for purpose for years, is an expensive burachratic mess that is accountable to noone, the changes there have been good but dont go far enough. The changes to probation have been a travesty which society will be paying for for years to come.

    I come at this from someone who's profession has been ravaged in ways others have not because we are not allowed union or to strike, that has just won a legal battle (in the UK courts) to reinstate an old pension because changes were imposed on us illegally. I know there's absolute rotten things that go on, but we have certainly seen improvements in areas above EU minimum standards not driven my any protection the EU gave. These would not be sensible actions from a government trying to erode workers rights!
     
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  13. Alsty

    Alsty TowersStreet Member

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    But isn't the danger that now we're not in the EU we have them as big competition on our doorstep? Eroding worker rights would be one way to make us more competitive as a country as it reduces costs to employers. This is something new that would never have been a problem when we were in the EU.
     
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  14. pluk

    pluk TowersStreet Member

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    Just because we traded with them freely didnt change that countries within the EU were already our competitors, so not really.
     
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  15. Alsty

    Alsty TowersStreet Member

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    Except trade with EU countries now incurs extra red tape. It would be easier for an EU country to trade with another EU country than the UK. Undercutting on cost would be one way to offset the extra bureaucracy.
     
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  16. Funcone

    Funcone TowersStreet Member

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    Zero hour contracts can be a complex subject and there are different definitions of what counts as a zero-hour contract. There can also be issues around how the data is collected which means it often isn’t completely reliable. Tony Blair actually pledged to get rid of zero-hour contracts in the 1997 election, but never did.

    https://joanwalmsley.org.uk/en/arti...s-20-year-old-promise-on-zero-hours-contracts

    According to the Office for National Statistics the number of people on zero hour contracts rose almost four fold between 2010-2016. There are various reasons for that, including the privatisation of the public sector. The public sector doesn’t tend to use zero-hour contracts, so when jobs like hospital cleaners get outsourced to private companies like Circo and G4S it leads to a rise in the number of people on zero-hour contacts. Alongside the rise in zero-hour contracts there has also been a big growth in the ‘gig economy’, and a rising number of unpaid internships. These are all separate issues.

    ACAS (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) is a government body for helping settle employment disputes. ACAS have said that, “The imbalance of power is a big thing that came out in our analysis of calls to our helpline from zero-hours and agency workers. Typically, if they wanted to assert a right of any kind, or challenge something, they often felt they couldn’t because they would just get less hours of work”

    https://www.theguardian.com/careers...-and-fear-at-the-heart-of-zero-hour-contracts

    Zero hour contracts put staff in a vulnerable position. There is a significant amount of research linking zero-hour contracts to sexual harassment, rapes, racial discrimination and other crimes. The Republic of Ireland banned zero-contacts in 2019:

    https://bmmagazine.co.uk/news/union...and-end-to-injustice-of-zero-hours-contracts/

    The UK is now one of a small minority of developed countries that still has zero-hour contacts. In the States it’s down to the individual states to decide, although most have got rid of them. In Canada it’s also down to the individual provinces to decide. According to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation the amount of in work poverty has almost doubled since the 90s and the rise in zero hour contracts is a key reason.

    Most EU countries don’t have zero-hour contracts. To be fair Labour had plenty of time to get rid of zero-hour contracts and didn’t. But the Conservatives have really pushed the zero-hour contracts and get a lot of donations from groups who lobby against employment rights. The changes the Conservatives made are literally just lip service. They have no practical value.
     
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  17. pluk

    pluk TowersStreet Member

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    Zero hour contracts are an absolute **** pile, I'm not trying to argue for them. As you say, they've been allowed to proliferate across a number of successive governments and I don't agree with that at all. But the question is one of Brexit and the fact is being part of the EU did not protect us from their evils and in recent times the terms of zero hours have been improved for the employee by our current government, not worsened. It's hard then to see Brexit as this huge risk to out employment rights.
     
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  18. Benzin

    Benzin TowersStreet Member

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    Depends what happens to the low skilled labour numbers.

    Might be more calls to increase output and the business chums will point out they won't want to have to pay for that.

    Either that or get a PPE contract.
     
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  19. Alsty

    Alsty TowersStreet Member

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    An example of new bureaucracy and red tape in action... companies delivering from the EU to the UK now have to register with HMRC and pay tax at point of sale rather than on importation. Some EU companies have decided they may as well not bother with the hassle.
     
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  20. Rick

    Rick TowersStreet Member

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    @Alsty BELIEVE IN BRITAIN, that'll fix it.
     
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