The Instigator
paulsgrandfather
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
nativespellhealer
Con (against)
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0 Points

The United Kingdom should remain in the European Union.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/19/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,039 times Debate No: 39159
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (4)
Votes (0)

 

paulsgrandfather

Pro

This house believes the United Kingdom should remain in the European Union.

The relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union is far from perfect. The lack of accountability, the unnecessary bureaucracy, the initially overwhelming membership fee and the presumed immigration problems all tinge the immeasurable benefits and successes of this institution.

We are therefore obliged to ask the question, in true Monty Python style, "What did the Roman"s do for us?"

We have been a member of this Union since 1973 with the same 5 simple aims;
"To promote economic and social progress
"Speak for the institution on an international level
"Introduce entrenched rights for European citizens
"Maintain laws which protect these rights
"And develop an area of freedom, security and justice

These intentions are objectively good things. These intentions have all been achieved.

Say we place ourselves in the shoes of an investor or exporter in China; we would view this continent as the EU, not 28 separate member states, we would recognise that it is the worlds largest economy, the worlds largest internal trading market with a potential half a billion potential consumers and be intent to target this market. If we absconded, we would be viewed much differently.

The Euro-sceptic media, most notably the Daily Mail, so often portrays a proud British nation who is a small, feeble country which was once great being held back, pushed around and forced to implement legislation by the German bullies in Brussels. I will firstly say that the hold the EU has over our laws is exaggerated with only 7% of the UK"s primary legislation coming from Europe. But the UK is extremely powerful. We"re arguably the second largest influence in a Union with allies who listen to and respect us. Which of course answers the question over could Britain renegotiate our terms. We are a great power in Europe because it is known by every member state that the City of London is its economic hub. We have benefited massively from inward investment from foreign companies who use the UK as a base for exporting and providing the UK with jobs and expertise.

Being part of any team, or Union, implies some restrictions on personal freedom and there is, I will concede, much room for improvement. But to leave the European Union would be the abandonment of a Britain that is richer, stronger, safer and greener.
nativespellhealer

Con

The EU is an necessary drain on the UK economy opening our resources to immigrants from 27 countries. We are also losing our place among the economic power houses of the world by joining this union. Would America consider joining a union with others, never. lets the UK have national pride and remain independent.

When people voted the current leaders into power it was not to make us subjugate to another superior power the EU which is undemocratic and unaccountable. Essentially the EU is too great a body to legislate and the power should be handed back to Westminster. In my view the EU curtails democracy, but giving the power of the masses in other individuals who are not British. It would be a major shot in the arm for British democracy as the Westminster parliament regained its sovereignty and re-connected with voters if Britain pulls out. Democracy would be boosted.

If the reason for joining the EU is for free trade we already have many treaties to cater for this. British taxpayers are forced to bail out EU countries like Spain & Greece who mismanage their economies. A huge amount of money given to the EU is allocated to bureaucracy and wasteful spending such as the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).

There is also a lot of national pride in having Britain retain the pound rather than the Euro. Britain must remain its own country. Being a part of the EU threatens national identity and the UK economy amongst other things. Britain does not need to rely on its European neighbors in order to succeed.

The European Union is run by unelected, unaccountable elites whose power is vast. They often bring in legislation that has not been voted on in our national parliament, yet supersedes our own laws that do pass through such democratic processes.

We don't need to join the EU to increase cooperation between Britain and EU countries in matters of crime prevention or trade. The EU is actually an impediment to our economic growth driven by small business. If Britain goes out of the EU small firms will be freed from EU regulation, there could be a jobs boom. More than 90% of the UK economy is not involved in trade with the EU, yet still bears the burden of these rules.

On immigration control if the UK goes out of the EU, Britain would gain full control of its own borders - and be able to control, or stop, the flow of migrants from the EU, which accounted for 27% of total net migration in 2010.
Debate Round No. 1
paulsgrandfather

Pro

Thank you for accepting.

"The EU is an necessary drain on the UK economy opening our resources to immigrants from 27 countries"

I won"t be pedantic with grammatical errors but the European Union, as of summer 2013, has 28 member states (Croatia)

"Would America consider joining a union with others, never"

The United States of America are, as we speak (write), in negotiation with the European Union over a free trade deal. So, yes, they would, and are, considering integrating with this institution.

"Undemocratic and unaccountable", "Democracy would be boosted", "The European Union is run by unelected, unaccountable elites"

Could you elaborate on these sweeping statements? The EU democratically resolves conflicting interests through a legitimate voting process but there are, I will admit, problems which need to be addressed. But that is no reason to jump to the conclusion that we need to remove ourselves from it; we have an opportunity to improve it. Every policy direction needs a vote in which every member state is involved and every Treaty requires a unanimous decision. The European Citizens" Initiative allows any individual in the EU to put forward legislation themselves. If their proposal receives more than one million signatures, it will be debated and scrutinised in the European Commission. Minority voices are heard much more efficiently and effectively in the European Union than in the UK. Pressure groups and smaller political parties are listened to more on a supra-national level. This upholds the premise of democracy since the derivative Greek for people, demos, implies all people. Every citizen does have a say in the Union. Furthermore, you presume that our country is the pinnacle of democracy even though we have several unelected bodies forming our political system (the House of Lords, for example).

Also, both the Council of Ministers (elected MPs) and the European Parliament (elected MEPs) are in every way accountable to every citizen of their constituencies.

Democracy would not necessarily be "boosted". We would gain back the majority of our national sovereignty but we would still not have complete power. Think about the national assemblies of Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales? The United Kingdom undoubtedly gains pooled sovereignty over 28 member states. We currently have the power to impose legislation, to our benefit, in states like Germany, Poland, France, Spain, Romania or Italy. This would be jeopardised if we were to leave. Even if we left but remained in the single market, like Norway, the United Kingdom would have no say whatsoever over the EU law that we would still have to implement. I, therefore, argue that we would lose more sovereignty than we would gain.

"If the reason for joining the EU is for free trade we already have many treaties to cater for this"

No we do not. The United Kingdom has no independent trade deals with any other countries outside the European Union. Every international trade treaty we take part in, we sit as the EU. But let"s imagine, for instance, we had come out of the EU and were at an international trade treaty. We would be up against the USA, China, India, Brazil and the European Union as a whole. Guess who would be listened to the least and subsequently getting the worst terms?

"Threatens national identity and the UK economy"

I would beg to differ. Firstly, what would you say our national identity is exactly? I think our national identity is that of multiculturalism, which is something the EU promotes and gives us.

Secondly, how exactly does it put our economy in "danger"? We would be much more threatened if we were to abscond since 3.5 million jobs are directly and indirectly linked to the EU (The Department of Business, Innovation and Skills) leading to, potential, mass unemployment.

"Britain does not need to rely on its European neighbours in order to succeed"

When almost 50% of our trade is with the EU, we evidently do need them. Regardless of whether we are in or out of Europe, trade with them is an incorrigible necessity.

"There could be a jobs boom"

I do not envy your optimism. One of the UK's greatest exports is the motor industry employing an estimated 750,000 jobs (The Confederation of British Industry). Japanese companies and their government have expressed "deep concern" about the prospect of leaving the EU (Nissan 08/10/13). Over several decades we have attracted Japanese, Korean, Indian and Chinese investment whose express purpose of locating here was to gain access to the European Single Marketplace. By leaving we would face trade barriers of between 5-10%, for example, on cars. This would seriously deter investments into the car factories in Sunderland and Derby whose main business is exporting from the British Isles to the EU. If we left and these companies moved to the suddenly more appealing central Europe, we would literally be donating our jobs to other EU countries who I am sure would be overjoyed to reduce their high unemployment levels.

"More than 90% of the UK economy is not involved in trade with the EU"

You have just come up with this figure. It is completely unsubstantiated. Not even the biggest UKIP fanatic would, or could, deny that no other country comes close to the EU in terms of trade. Officially our trade with the EU is at 48% (European Commission) but this figure can range between 42-50%. It is unarguable that our main source of trade is with Europe, in or out. The next biggest partner is the US with 16% of our trade, 3% is with China and 2% with India (BBC).

"Britain would gain full control of its own borders", "27% of total net migration in 2010"

Yes, the United Kingdom would be able to restrict its borders but EU-immigration is not a problem compared to non-EU immigration (who we can turn away at our border) which stands at almost twice the amount. Politicians and the media scare monger the population over EU-immigration problems. It is not as much of a problem as it seems.

P.S. In future responses, when mentioning statistics, provide evidence or I will simply disregard them.
nativespellhealer

Con

nativespellhealer forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
paulsgrandfather

Pro

paulsgrandfather forfeited this round.
nativespellhealer

Con

nativespellhealer forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
paulsgrandfather

Pro

paulsgrandfather forfeited this round.
nativespellhealer

Con

nativespellhealer forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by Adam2 3 years ago
Adam2
You have a potentially good debate
Posted by Adam2 3 years ago
Adam2
But I'm not qualified to debate it. lol
Posted by Adam2 3 years ago
Adam2
You have a potentially good debate
Posted by Adam2 3 years ago
Adam2
Interesting topic
No votes have been placed for this debate.