The Instigator
Pro (for)
3 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
0 Points

The UK should leave the EU for it's own benefit

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Judge Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/21/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,970 times Debate No: 59333
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (25)
Votes (1)




The proposition of this debate is that the UK should leave the EU for it's own benefit.

I will be Pro in this debate and my esteemed opponent will be arguing against the proposition.

BOP is shared.

Important notes for readers and potential voters:

This debate is part of the DDO Tier Tournament.

This debate can only be voted on by pre-approved judges. This is just a heads up for those that want to vote and then find they can't :)


As agreed on the first round is a acceptance only. Followed by the arguments and a last solely rebuttal round.

Great to have this debate. Politics will be tough, for the reader as well and I hope the comment section will be used to make notes when some details about the current state of Britain aren't clear.
Debate Round No. 1


The question of this debate is should the UK leave the EU for its own benefit? I hope to be able to present multiple reasons why I personally think this proposition will be for the greater good of the UK. I thank my opponent for offering this interesting and challenging question up for this debate, and may the best European win ;)

Before we start the debate, I would like to point out a completely void (yet interesting) analysis. There has never been a referendum conducted by the UK government to ask its citizens if they want to be part of the EU. One would think this would be an important question considering it influences a whole country.

How a referendum result would turn out, we cannot know for sure. The poll numbers have generally been in favor of leaving the EU (until recently).(1) However, this is a big question that should be asked on a large scale as no citizens of any country should ever be forced to be involved in something that they do not think is beneficial for their country.

Now, let me point out the reasons why the UK should leave the EU. In effect my argument can be broken down into three major arguments.

1. Financial Benefits

This point will probably form the backbone of both my opponents and my arguments. The question surely arises, is there any financial benefits to the UK as a country leaving the EU. In fact this is such a hotly debated topic that there are great resources already written about this.(2)

1.1. Markets, markets and more markets

This will probably be a shocking statement, however I think it is something to think about in terms of the broadening of markets. Countries (eg. China) which are more abusive with respect to workers rights will be happy to accept trade agreement from countries that are not going to impose sanctions on them when they step out of line. The EU has many members, this translates into more chances of rapping a country over the knuckles when said country transgresses against something a specific union country may find wrong as it goes against their personal sensitivities. For example, if the French don't like the way the Thai government tolerates child labor (I used child labor as I could not think of a better example, I don't promote child labor). Then even if most EU countries don't care that child labor is been used, if the French bring up the issue in Parliament, it could lead to trade sanctions which can hurt certain economies.

We just need to consider the sanctions that the EU has imposed on Russia.(3) These sanctions in fact are affecting the UK already as British Petroleum shares have fallen by 2.5 % due to parts of their company in Russia not been able to get financing. Is this fair, especially considering it all started over an election in Crimea who decided to succeed. Granted what has happened since then is anyone's guess but that's not what started the sanctions.

1.2. Jobs

There are claims that if the UK leaves the EU it will lead to a major UK job loss estimated at 3.3. million.(4) This claim is in my opinion an absurd claim, as the UK is an employer of multiple EU citizens. As such if the UK had to leave the EU, then surely it should be expected that these EU citizens would lose their jobs if the EU had to play hardball with the UK. In fact there is the belief that if the UK actually leaves the EU it would result in the creation of a million jobs in the UK and not a loss of 3 million.(5)

Either, way I do not see it at all possible that the UK would lose out in the job market if they had to withdraw from the EU. This is especially true when they are already employing 3.85 million foreign workers.(6) All the government would need to do is curb the amount of foreign workers to have more jobs available for its citizens. In fact, looking at the numbers and applying simple arithmetic we see that either way (job loss or creation) the UK will still be hiring foreign workers if they leave the EU. This just shows what a major player the UK is in the EU and the world markets.

1.3. Welfare for non-UK citizens

A fact about the UK is that multiple foreign workers are getting benefits from the UK government when they are not even citizens of the country. It is believed that this number is over 400, 000 and the cost is upwards of 1.8 billion Sterling to the UK citizens.(7) This effectively means that by not having to worry about non-UK citizens the UK can save 1.8 Billion Sterling a year. That money with the additional money that they no longer would have to pay to the EU in subscriptions would go a long way in cutting the budget deficits.

Additionally, I would like to elaborate here. This is not foreign workers receiving benefits, these are people that have come to the UK on EU passports or other means and are staying on the tax payers dime. I am in no way saying that all foreign laborers should get kicked out, I am saying people that do not want to work and are not citizens should be sent packing.

2. Politics and self identity.

Britain is, like most countries, extremely proud of its heritage. This is prominent in their military history and the role they have played in the worlds major wars such as both World War I and II, and the defeats dealt to the Spanish Armada and Napoleon. Additionally, while we do not like to think about conquest in this day and age, Britain brought itself and its political systems to multiple countries around the world. In fact the Sun has not set on the British Empire since (at a bare minimum) the late 19th century.(8) In fact it seems the only time the sun will set on the British empire is in 2432 and that will be due to a solar eclipse and not an actual night.

Additionally, as hinted at before, if the UK is truly free from the EU it can choose its trade partners and follow its own identity as an independent country. It will no longer be obliged to jump to the tune of Brussels while paying billions to these same people in membership fees to be told what to do.(9) I would also like to remind readers here that the citizens of the UK have never been allowed to vote on the simple question "Do you want to be part of the EU?" Should we be allowing a European identity to be pushed down the UK citizens throat when they are separated from the EU by an actual physical barrier.

The fact that I bring the physical barrier up is important, as evolution shows us that populations separated by barriers tend to evolve differently. I am talking about evolution here in the cultural sense and not the biological sense.

3. Will the UK get hurt if it withdraws from the EU?

If the UK withdraws from the EU, the doomsday prophets all come out to explain how Britain will collapse. So lets ask the question, will Britain collapse or commit international suicide if it withdraws from the EU? The obvious answer is no. The EU is not going to stop trading with the UK if they withdraw, in simple terms the UK is too big of a market. If anything, the EU is going to want to sign fair-trade agreements similar to those it has with the other "rogue" EU states Iceland, Norway and Switzerland.

Additionally, the UK is not going to get kicked out of its permanent seat on the UN security council. To think they would get kicked out of the G8 is laughable, as the UK will remain one of the top economies in the world. We just need to think logically to see that the UK was strong before the EU and it will be strong after the EU. Least we forget they still deal in Sterling in the UK and not the Euro. This is plainly because their currency is stronger than the Euro and so to convert would be a colossal fail on their part.

Here, I have presented reasons why an independent and self identifying nation like Britain should separate itself from the EU. There really seems to be no drawbacks to leaving the EU for Britain, and if anything it seems like a huge benefit to the UK.

I now hand the debate back to my opponent for their opening arguments.



Britain and the EU

Once there was an empire. It had a queen and Earl Grey tea. Now there is only Britain and a lose collection of Commonwealth countries with which Britain has mainly history and a few extended trade contracts in common. Now Britain is an EU member. And Britain doesn’t like it. There is no glory in being one under many and standing next to countries like Germany, France or Italy who all have about the same rights and saying.

This side of the topic will show that Britain, which has always been treated like the special child, it thinks it is, benefits more being in the EU than being out.


1. Financial Misunderstanding

1.1 European trade regulations

1.2 European job market

1.3 Quality of life benefits

1.4 Political Influence

2. EU Membership or EEA?

3. Moral obligation

1. Financial Misunderstanding

The key factor to understand the problem of the EU and Britain is, that the EU is no bank that gives you interest on your money, it’s a service that you pay for. You pay £15 an hour for a house maid and don’t have to clean yourself, which gives you more time to relax or focus on the work that pays your maid. The EU is a similar service. Wealthy countries such as Britain don’t get the same or more money back in plain money, but they get trade benefits that lower the overall costs for British companies and citizens significantly.

To put it the other way round: take away the EU membership and the external costs (to the EU) will stop, but raise the internal costs of Britain to make up for what is no longer automatically provided by the EU.

Britain, the third largest contributor after Germany and France, gives about €105 per person and year to the EU, which is already significantly less than what citizens of Denmark (€265) and Germany (€204) pay. And Britain gets extra-treatment. In 1984 Margaret Thatcher ensured and special rebate, which was roughly €3.6bn in 2011. Together with the average “per capita income” from the EU membership the single citizen pays €74.53 each year for the EU membership in tax. [1] These €75 are the “fee” for the following benefits:

1.1 European trade regulations

The EU is world’s largest single market. This means there are no tariffs and custom duties that British companies pay for [2]. This means the export quantity does not influence the costs for British economy, ergo: they can sell more products to more people for the same money.

The EU also provides a set of rules concerning quality standards. This means on the one side, that British companies have a standard to match, but on the other can they expect the same standards to be lived up to by the import companies. Import is a crucial part of a countries economy, because no country can provide all demanded products and product parts on its own. In fact, the UK should know that best for its success as an Empire was built on that logic. So it is desirable to make import as standardised and easy as possible. European doesn’t float the UK with cheap and low quality products it provides cheap and high quality products and enables Britain to do the same, because the import of raw products from the continent is equally easy and cost efficient.

The EU regulations furthermore make trade quicker. If there is no tariff to pay and no paper work for individual regulations to make, import and export can be done more time efficient. While shipments from A to B are now limited by the natural time the transport requires there are no time consuming border problems and fees that slow down the process. In modern times, where many companies reduce their costs with JIT (just in time) production, meaning they have little to no storage of raw material, is this highly success related.

1.2 European job market

The UK enjoys to complain about cheap labour from the EU. However are there three wrong assumptions connected to this complain.

For once the assumption that the EU labourers are much cheaper than UK citizens. Because Romanian people, living in the UK face the same living costs as UK citizens and get the same minimum wage. An immigrant has to pay rent and buy food as well and faces the language boundaries and often the competition in the low-educated job sector. Low-educated Brits, who fear they will lose out to Romanian immigrants fear people who can adjust their lifestyle to their income. If minimum wage is not enough to live for them, they will move on, because that’s the logic that they drove them to the UK in the first place.

The second wrong assumption is, that the EU labourers are “taking job away”. If a company decides to employ someone who speaks less English and has no British education, than they do that for two reasons: either there are not enough Brits that are willing to work in this sector or not enough that can work in this sector. It’s a question of education and specialisation. And the EU helps companies to employ specialists from countries where a certain product has a longer tradition and the education is of higher quality in this area. These employees don’t take jobs that Brits would fill, but fill jobs that can’t be filled otherwise. They ensure quality and fight the skill shortage in the UK [3]

Third wrong assumption is, that this is a one-way-street. That it’s easier for people from the continent to come Britain simply lies in the fact, that people from the continent are more willing to learn English. Well educated Brits that speak French or Spanish can easily be “borrowed” to these countries. The unwillingness (or arrogance?) to learn other languages is what slows down the UK on the EU job market. About 75% of the UK population is unable to speak any crucial international language properly (apart from English) [4], which means they naturally fear to move even when it’s only for a short time. The EU is therefore a long needed competition that encourages a better education.

1.3 Quality of life benefits

Traveling costs are low due to the EU membership. There is no need for a visa within the first three months of a stay and the lack of border regulations makes it quicker and simpler to go on vacation to other countries and to bring back souvenirs (because bringing them back is usually not related to extra fees) [2]. Health insurance and security has been approached on an EU wide scale resulting in private and business trips to the European continent without any fear what happens if something happens.

Studying, Living and Consuming outside the UK has become easier, more affordable and desirable and the Brits would face new restrictions to their ability to move and travel as soon as the UK leaves the EU. This means that on a short and long-term basis the British society would pay its financial independence with a lack of personal independence for each citizen.

1.4 Political Influence

The EU membership comes with political influence. All the trade regulations that the UK directly benefits of, can be influenced by the UK. Which means that they do not only have to match the standards, they can also influence what kind of standards there are [5].

As the largest single market, the EU has much more political power to ensure its interests in contracts with others such as the US or Asia. It also means, that once an agreement with the EU has been made, the UK automatically profits from it. In conclusion: the UK government gains influence while giving up some workload simultaneously.

2. EU Membership or EEA?

Many benefits that come from the EU membership are automatically included if you are part of the EEA (European Economic Area), such as to travel, live, work, study and retire anywhere in the EU. So there is the theoretical possibility that Britain could leave the EU and stay within the EEA to not lose out on many opportunities.

However would this require being accepted into the EEA after quitting the EU and take all the political influence away from Britain [2]. This doesn’t go well with the British mentality and would give all the power to remaining EU countries to decide, whether they want Britain after it made clear it doesn’t want them.

3. Moral obligation

The EU is not only business. It also is an idea of tolerance, understanding and peace [6]. Founded during WWII it also wants to ensure wealth for everyone within it. That’s why the EU supports less wealthy countries to make living better for the people there. Which is the key to peace. Hitler’s popularity in the 1930s heavily based on the poor financial situation in which Germany was after WWI, because he promised work and respect. This is the European idea and quitting will not only make a financial statement it will also make a moral statement. This probably the most subjective benefit but not standing for greater values than only personal interest is something the UK has to think about, before they push themselves out of the EU.



Debate Round No. 2


Thanks to my opponent for their argument, I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and now with no further hesitation let me destroy it.

Financial Misunderstanding and EEA or EU

While my opponent could be correct to point out that cutting ties with the EU will result in larger costs for trade with the EU. That is if and only if the EU does not give Britain special compensation trade benefits like Iceland or Switzerland have, that is EEA. To be frank, I do not see how the EU will not want that as Britain is the sixth largest economy in the world and as such has massive buying power.(1) In essence to lose some of its trade with Britain who could get a better deal with China for example will hurt the EU immensely. I can not in fact see any possible scenario where the EU enforces stricter European trade regulations on Britain, as the EU will lose out in the long run.

I should also point out that by showing that Britain gets benefits for paying less membership fees than other EU countries, my opponent has validated the fact that clearly the EU wants Britain involved. As such this strengthens my argument that Britain is not going to get put on the naughty step for withdrawing from the EU. Remember if the EU did not want Britain they would not have been tempted into membership with lower contribution fees (benefits) in the first place. So I never thought I would say this but, “good job Maggie.”

I agree with my opponent that the British like to complain about cheap labor. However,this is a red herring as the minimum wage in the UK is the same as the EU in that it is determined by each country.(2) In fact it could be argued that working in Britain is better than working in other EU countries like Germany and Denmark which do not even have a minimum wage. So if the British complaining about cheap labor is a serious point of contention, I should also point out that the British complain about pretty much everything i.e. cricket, weather, football, etc

I will agree with my opponent that immigrant workers are not taking jobs away. In fact this agrees well with my second round argument which basically says that if the UK withdraws from the EU, they will probably still be hiring immigrant labor. However, by doing this it will be more restricted and as such will not have to support immigrants that have just decided to stay on the UK's dime, see reference seven from round 2.

I am not sure what most British not speaking a second language has to do with anything in this debate. Sure, if the government makes it mandatory to speak another language people will learn more. However, why should they? English is the international language as much as we hate to admit it. (3) Important note: This reference is added just for interest.

Quality of life benefits

The fact that Britons currently can move freely on vacation will not be hindered by the withdrawal from the EU. The major factor deciding if you need a visa for a country is based on politics and the country you come from. Third world countries require visas more often , as these people are a higher risk to overstay their welcome. Britons currently don't need visas for the US as its a first world country and has good political ties. In the same way I am pretty sure they will not need one for the EU.(4) Also as pointed out before the UK has money to spend and the EU wants that money so stopping tourism will not be beneficial to them.

The only negative effect that Britons could possibly suffer would be the paying of import duties on goods purchased in the EU. However, if the EU remains an EEA member this is void. As such, this is a potential problem but one that will probably be decided by the British government and not the EU parliament. After all a country is entitled to do what they want with duty free goods.

Political Influence

This is a double edge sword as yes Britain can get some benefits politically by being part of the EU, however it can also suffer consequences due to EU actions. An example of this would be BP and the problems it is having with its companies in Russia now that the EU has applied sanctions against Russia. As such my opponent makes a valid point, however it seems from past experience that Britain got along very well without the EU and surely they will again.

Moral Obligations

My opponent is correct that the EU did stem out of a common cause to make sure among other things that another world war does not erupt in Europe. However, maybe its better that Britain then is not part of Europe, as before when they were not part of Europe they came in and saved Europe.....Twice. Needless to say this is also ignoring the Spanish intentions and Napoleons escapades as well. So moral obligations are not a problem, as it seems the British do the right thing morally anyway.

In conclusion, my opponent is right when she says Britain has always been treated like the special child. The reason for this is that Britain is the special child and as such it deserves its own glory and not to stand next to other counties as an equal.

I hand back the debate to my opponent while I enjoy a cup of Earlgrey Tea knowing I have probably alienated all potential votes.







Rebuttal structure

As far as I could I stayed with my opponents numbering for the first part and I’ll hand it over how hell include the additions for his answer. Many thanks for the smaller typography. It really helped.

I was short on time this week and I think I might left some things unsaid in this round. Still, I think I addressed most of my opponent’s initial statements and linked them to his rebuttal of my own in round 3 to deal with them as a collective.

1. Financial Aspects

1.1 Sanctions

My opponent repeatedly uses the sanctions of the EU against Russia and other countries to point out how these sanctions are to Britain’s disadvantage. Which is, financially, true.

It’s wrong to assume that Britain had no saying in this and it’s wrong to assume that one country is able to force all the others to agree to sanctions they don’t approve. The EU is a democratic organisation and sanctions are something the EU and it’s elected members work on collectively. And they apply to all EU countries. If many countries decide on a collective base to create themselves a financial disadvantage, we can assume that the moral and political statement behind the sanctions is important. How effective it might be from the political side is a topic for a different debate and controversial but to critique Russia’s behaviour is far less controversial. What happened and is happening in the Ukraine is, from humanitarian point of view, very problematic.

As a collective the EU is able to make this political statement, because as the largest market, they have the influence. Would Britain alone decide that these sanctions are necessary, their decision would be of far less impact for the Russian market and it would be far more difficult for Britain to finance these sanctions.

While my opponent seems spent his argument titled “markets, markets and more markets”, talking about sanctions, sanctions and sanctions, I will lose a sentence on markets. Because it’s right: they matter. And as they do, Britain should try to maximise its influence on markets. If they leave the EU they lose their direct influence on the largest market on the world only to gain back some responsibilities they gave up to join it, to control a market of lower size and importance and therefore power. Flexibility is not worth anything, if you cannot use it to your advantage. Even in the EEA, their influence would be null. Only-EEA members have no voting rights on EU market decisions.

1.2 – 1.3. Jobs

That’s a point where we agree a lot but not in all points. It’s enjoyable to see that we often found similar resources (e. g. the 3.58 Million jobs linked to the EU).

However, it’s my job to disagree and in some points I do.

Con has nicely pointed out that there are differences between the EU countries that make Britain especially attractive for foreign workers. This shows that Britain has created the laws that grant high welfare to newly immigrants and high minimum wages. This also means that many job-related problems with immigrants and tax use are self-made and not dictated by the EU. Leaving the EU won’t change them and blaming the EU for something it did not demand is just the attempt to make someone responsible for problems one created alone.

It also shows that Britain has the ability and freedom to solve all these internal problems without having the EU interfering more than to ensure human rights and equality. I don’t see how this especially problematic or negative for the UK citizens. They have one law instance higher than their government which they can address, when they feel wrongfully treated [7].

Leaving the EU (even when accepted into the EEA) will, undoubtedly, also end in an increased bureaucratic effort for either the citizens or the government to overcome the lack of modern regulations for working and earning as a foreigner. Britain has been an EU member since 1973 [5] and all their laws and regulations are outdated and made for a different time, when the Cold war was in sight and WWII still in many people’s hearts. How this will be problematic on the long run is (I admit it) hardly predictable. But it will harm Britian’s job-situation short term related.

Finally, it’s wrong to assume that you can close jobs and job opportunities for foreigners in one place and fill them with citizens. As outlined, foreigners can be expensive and skill shortage is the reason why not Brits but Foreigners filled the positions. Closing them will not make Brits better skilled. It just harms the UK economy till they found a way to make Britain attractive again and easily accessible or till they trained citizens specifically. Job is not Job and no Taxi Driver can do the Job of a Biology Chemist.

Language was mentioned at this point to show on a side note, how the EU and it’s job market can put positive pressure on the British education to train UK citizens better and to live up to higher standards. English IS the most important language, but you have more chances, knowing more languages. If Brits would be less arrogant and adopt the continental behaviour of teaching and demanding more than a native language from for instance University graduates, it can only win on the international and European market. And probably even on the own market, because their ability to compete with the imported workers would rise. Which is, more or less already something for “2. Other benefits”

2. Other Benefits

When Britain applied for the EU membership in 1961, Harold Macmillan, Prime Minister at this time, stated:

“We in Britain are Europeans…We have to consider the state of the world as it is today and will be tomorrow and not in outdated terms of a vanished past.“ [5]

Because he understood, that old glory is not worth anything, if the old picture is not what we see in the current picture. There is no more empire. And in Britain the Sun rises and sets only within the physical limits of winter and summer sometimes earlier and sometimes later. When Thatcher was able to ensure extra money for Britain, she did this with the arguments, political power and history of the former Britain and they should be happy that the EU can’t change and update the contracts made at this day, without a lot of effort and without offending Britain’s pride severely.

Without the EU they have little economic power against China, Russia or America and therefore less political power (see 1.1 in this rebuttal). All contracts from the past are old or EU related. All this comes with bureaucracy for the government, tax money and time.

3. No Doomsday but the EEA. Probably.

Many of my opponent’s arguments only are worth consideration if Britain is accepted into the EEA. Which does not necessarily happen. Once could debate the likeliness but I rather point out that the EEA will feel like a worse compromise for the UK than the EU ever was or felt. Because in the EEA Britain has to accept all the market related decisions made by the EU countries, without influencing them. Leaving the EU will make them a passive and powerless recipient of the decisions they critique today and that their representatives helped to create.

4. Morality

Moral statements are not made yesterday but today. And sanctions are moral statements. If Britian wants to remain a country that can make these statements, they should not romanticise their role in the world wars and world history, but focus on todays challenges. Which is a collective challenge, peacfully best made as a collective.

Continued sourcing


Debate Round No. 3


Firstly I want to extend my warm thanks to my opponent for a fantastic debate. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I am sure we can both learn something from this debate. In this round I will rebut the rebuttals offered by my opponent and conclude my case why I think the UK would be better out the EU than in.

In their previous round, my opponent has made a few claims that I can agree with, as I have in fact stated them myself, as such there is a lot of common ground we agree on. The parts we do not agree on is what makes this debate so stimulating as it seems that its a matter of opinion, when in fact there are solid financial, political and self identity issues that are being presented.

Financial Aspects.

My opponent and I disagree strongly on what the financial implications of the UK leaving the EU will be. I am of the opinion that leaving the EU will be a benefit to the UK for the reasons presented in previous rounds.

While my opponent is right to point out that I do point fingers at the Russian example of sanctions. I think it is a valid argument as Crimea did vote to leave the Ukraine and become part of Russia. To try blame everything squarely on Russia for that is absurd. I will however add that since that initial vote in the Crimea there have been dubious dealings by all parties. But, we should realize these sanctions were put in place due to the Crimea succession. So, yes my opponent is right the EU is a democracy but this democracy can be swung by an emotional plea. Just look how the world got swayed by George W Bush to invade Iraq for weapons of mass destruction that were never found.

My opponent also points out that multiple of my arguments hinge on the fact that the UK must be accepted into the EEA to not lose out on the huge European market. My opponent is correct in this assumption, but as I have shown in my earlier rebuttals Britain is the sixth largest economy in the world and the EU will not want to lose such a powerful trading partner. There is absolutely no way the EU will dump the UK if it leaves, that would be financial suicide. In fact my opponent even agrees with me that the UK will probably be part of the EEA. Now while they will have to abide by certain regulations they can also renegotiate if they don't like the regulations. This is the case with any trade agreement, so this point is really invalid.

Regarding the jobs I am on board with my opponent. Its like I said in previous rounds it is a big probability that the UK (if the leave the EU) will in fact still employ foreign workers as they will be needed.

Other Benefits and final statements.

By withdrawing (and perhaps some internal restructuring) the UK will pay less on welfare while still offering a high quality of life to its citizens and migrant labors with their very reasonable minimum wage. The benefits look good for the UK and in fact the benefits look good for the EU as well. There is no logical reason financially (or other) why Britain should not get out of the EU. With its power in the world economy it will be in a far better place than having to worry about an economy that rests on all member states. Remember, as I stated before the UK still uses the Pound Sterling and not the Euro. The reason for this is that the UK is a stronger economy.

Additionally, visa issues for holidays abroad will not be a problem for Britons as they currently don't have problems and that will not change. Also as I have pointed out above, tax duties for imports are determined by the country so even if they are not part of the EU will they need to pay import tax? Its not the EU that is going to decide that but the UK government.

The UK is a special country, even within the current EU. It was a world super power and its still retains a lot of that power in the financial markets and politically. There is no reason for a great country to stand in the shadows of its peers. This is especially true when its peers (the EU) are not going to turn their back on Britain as there is no reason financially or other for this to happen.

Essentially, the UK leaving the EU is a win win situation. The EU wins and the UK wins, however by staying within the EU the UK loses while the EU wins.

I now hand the debate back to my opponent for the final time.



Additional Thanks
It was as well a pleasure to me to have this debate. Due to the nature of this site we neither have many debates based on European politics nor the debaters for it. So that was definitely a highlight for me. A absolutely agree that this was educational and inspiring. Personally I am a big fan of Britain, though I do not agree with many of their political decisions and think their law system is the weirdest thing ever, and this debate certainly gave me the opportunity (or excuse) to do research on something one would probably not spent time in detail on.

Which is probably the whole reason for this debate. Most people in Britain and on the continent don’t have the time or motivation to dig deep enough into these problems which is why British society is probably not the best group to address directly for this complex matter as to whether or not they should leave. This being said as an unrelated thought, to spent a few of my generous 10,000 characters, not to be seen as part of this debate. Seriously, I love not caring about how much I write.

Last Round Rebuttal
1. Financial Misunderstanding / EEA
1.1 Sanctions
1.2 EEA
1.3 Jobs
2. [Other benefits]
2.1 Welfare
2.2 Visa and Travel
2.3 Strength of Economy/ Euro and Pound
Final Statement
Full Source List

1. Financial Misunderstanding / EEA
I am still quite sure that leaving the EU will be an effort for Britain not worth the time and money required. I consider the overall benefits for British business, outlined in Round 2, as important and that Britain would have a lot of work to make up for the service that the European Union provides by its nature. Some, but not all, would be also provided by the EEA, but this still relies on the assumption that Britain will be in the EEA. The decision about this is up to them and the risk is at least theoretically valid. The practical side of that is continued in this round’s 1.2.

1.1 Sanctions

As my opponent correctly pointed out are sanctions, especially those against Russia, controversial. Who is guilty of breaking what European and Human right is hard to determine, unfortunately not that much point of the debate (while still good to remain aware of). The more interesting question is how strongly the EU decisions can be influenced by a “mood”.
By its democratic structure is the EU not more likely to be influenced by societal moods than Britain. Both have a parliament that has been democratically voted. In fact, a certain mood within Britain is more likely blocked by the EU parliament’s parties that are not British, making the EU an effective safety net from mood and public pressure related political decisions. At the end this lines up with the probability concept that the average answer of many is of higher quality than the average answer of few(er).

1.2 EEA

As promised, the EEA problem. I do agree with my opponent that under many circumstances the EU will not deny Britain an EEA membership as for the sake of own profits and market stability. However do I disagree that they will under all circumstances.

If less contribution, short term profit and poor opinion of the European Union (members) are the reason for leaving the EU, than Britain might experience the same behaviour on the part of the EU.
It will be easier for the EU to put pressure on Britain, than the other way round. True is, that Britain is the sixed largest economy but there are already two European countries ahead of them and one close in terms of their GDP [8] and the UK’s part in the EU GDP of $17.35 trillion [9], is with $2.8 trillion [8] only 16%. Meaning that the EU countries have a) the ability to sanction Britain and survive longer and b) the more than 5 times larger economy to create pressure and enforce their will.
It’s really optimistic to assume, that Britain can create chaos and moral instability in the EU and then expect them not to react defensive and sanction the Britain’s for their behaviour against them. At the end is it true, that nobody can live without the other*, but the EU can financially survive longer without Britain in the EEA, because they have the higher budget available.
*that unintentionally came out as some sort of Harry Potter reference.

1.3 Jobs

With a few summarising words I am repeating that we both agree, that Britain needs foreign workers and needs to be attractive for them for that reason.

We don’t agree in how far the withdrawal from the EU will influence that attraction, because we don’t agree how far this will influence the visa-situation, ability to immigrate and emigrate conveniently and the bring goods into the country and out of it, for a private person. Therefore I forward the reader to continue this thought in 2.2.

2. [Other benefits]
This lose collection is pretty much the miscellaneous collection of non-financial-related or new arguments. I apologize if this seems messy, but I did not know a better option than to put them all together, either.

2.1 Welfare

As actually demonstrated in the last round (1.2 – 1.3 Jobs), Britain will not be able to lower its investments into welfare by leaving the EU. Most of these problems are related to law regulations they installed themselves and have nothing to do with the EU regulations. If we assume that Britain will still need about the same amount of foreign workers (as we seem to agree on), than the welfare costs won’t change significantly.

2.2 Visa and Travel

This is a tricky one because we can’t exactly predict how the negotiations will turn out.
But what can go into the country can also go out. And if Britain decides to leave the EU and its standards then the EU might choose to protect itself from British imports for political or security reasons. All these imports now come with additional effort for the EU countries meaning that they likely chose to charge companies and individuals for this effort.
That Britain can make his imports easier doesn’t help if their exports getting more expensive and inconvenient for businesses and citizens. The tourism market for example might therefore lose out when people face higher restrictions and security obstacles. Again this will happen on both sides. But again will be the market who can deal with the loss of one target group better, the market for which the target group is economically smaller. With proportionally less citizens in the UK than in the remaining EU countries together [1], the target group Europe to Britain is bigger than the one Britain to Europe.

2.3 Strength of Economy/ Euro and Pound

I don’t really think I have to spent time on this, because it’s an unsourced claim that the Pound Sterling is stronger than the Euro, but it’s raining and I have the time to do the research.

The exchange rate seems to make it not worth sourcing but it is. The reasons for these exchange rates are external (e.g. stock markets) and internal (official interventions by the government) [10], meaning that a country has influence on the way it currency appears to the public. Even British media had to admit that from some approaches the Pound sterling can be considered as “overrated” [10].

Final Statement
I therefore think that leaving the EU will be a long term will result in an unnecessary political and economic conflict that will cost both countries money and time they could spent more efficiently on enforcing unitedly their interests on the global market. This might be idealistic but the concept of the EU remains to push weaker countries to their best and grow into one large and strong economic union. Internet has brought mentalities and people together internationally and Britain can decided if they want to ignore the tendencies to work together or ignore it. But going back to something that has worked in a different time doesn’t seem clever. I don’t boot Windows 2000 anymore, although I think it was a great system and worked just fine at its time, because it can’t handle what is demanded today.

Full Source List
Debate Round No. 4
25 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by iamanatheistandthisiswhy 7 years ago
Thanks to the judges for voting, and good luck to my opponent in the final round.

I just wish I could award the win to my opponent on the debate :(
Posted by Mikal 7 years ago
The debate has been decided via 3 votes

and Bluesteel

2 move for con, one moves for pro. Con advances
Posted by whiteflame 7 years ago

While this debate was an interesting read, I didn't think that either side was really pulling away with much, even as you each started to win arguments. What's really lacking here is basic impact analysis. For example, while leaving the EU may lead to less immigration to and from England to the rest of Europe (especially for work and school), the impact was barely covered, with each side just evaluating it as a linear harm. England is suffering on a number of levels currently that could easily be made into breaking points here, but I don't see that being explained. I was also surprised by a lack of argumentation with regards to what happens to other nations in the process. Pro even admits that their presence is a win for the EU, but it never becomes an argument taken up by Con.

So I'm left with what I see. I'm going to briefly cover the major arguments, explain who I think is winning on each, and then conclude with an overall determination.

Freedom of action:

This point seems to be coming up on multiple levels and is a point that I feel Con wins. There are two possible circumstances that could occur here. On the one hand, the UK goes its own way, doing everything it wants to. If that was the case, Pro would be winning this hands down (much of Con's responses to that particular scenario only come out in R4). On the other, the UK enters the EEA, in which case Con's arguments that they have no choice in the decisions of the organization come into play. It seems that the latter instance is what Pro is going for in this case, as it's where he spends a great deal of his argumentation. I can buy every argument Pro makes with regards to the UK's lack of choice in status quo, and it only gets significantly worse if he's winning this point, which I believe he is. But more on that presently.
Posted by whiteflame 7 years ago

This is a more complicated issue, though unfortunately I think a lot of the complexity never reaches into this debate. Pro argues that the UK will join the EEA, which, as I say, is damaging in some regards. The benefit of doing that, however, isn't as strong as Pro contends. All he's managing to do here is show that many of the financial harms don't exist. Essentially, this is just mitigating Con's case, but does nothing to build Pro's arguments. I buy that this is a very likely outcome, since Con really doesn't make the responses I need to see on those arguments. Pro provides me with enough reason to believe that this is the most likely outcome by far, and despite Con's arguments that there's a chance they won't get to join, I don't see enough reasoning to make it a big deal.

Really, the only major benefit is that they're not paying out for membership. I can see that as being something worthwhile, but it's a static number, and a low-ish one by comparison to other nations. I'm not sure what they're going to do with it, or what it means to the broader economy, so it just stays as is.


As I said at the start, I think this was a very reasonable point of contention, it just didn't get the justification it needed from either side to make it a big issue. Each side believes that the number of employees from other nations will decrease. Pro argues that English citizens will fill those jobs, though he provides no evidence that there's a large unemployment market ready to take up the slack, nor that the skilled labor pool will be sufficient to fill it. He just says that they will still hire people they need, but this seems to come into conflict with his point that there will be a significant reduction in those employed from abroad. It confuses his point. Much of the numerical analysis from R2 really doesn't get explained as well as it could, so while I'm buying that jobs could be created, I'm not seeing the reasoning for why that should be the case.
Posted by whiteflame 7 years ago
Meanwhile, Con's arguments never seem to get much traction. I buy that there are possible issues with employment and some effect on the economy, but not an idea of how significant that effect is or where they will feel it strongly. Con's winning this argument due to her consistency, but Pro did more harm to his case here than she managed.


I'm not really seeing a reason why the UK has more power alone than it does as a part of the EU. The fact that the UK has a stronger currency at the moment doesn't really improve this. I buy Con's argument that they derive a lot of their strength of action by having the entire EU behind many of their sanctions and other economic actions.

At the same time, I'm uncertain what it means to have a solid self identity, something Pro spends a good deal of time trying to win. It's offset, at least partially, by the fact that they'd still be seeking to join the EEA, but even if I buy it completely, I'm not sure what it does to have the EU identity imposed on the UK. Is there some inherent harm to the UK's loss of identity? I don't see that coming through clearly. Proud as they are, and special as they may be, I don't see either of those as reasons why they need to be protected from EU influence.


While I don't see anyone pulling away with something major, I see more points coming through on Con's end than Pro's. There might be some reasons of interest, but their impact isn't weighed heavily enough to showcase an obvious benefit, especially given all the theoretical harms. Hence, I vote Con.
Posted by Mikal 7 years ago
white flame is going to be the tie breaker in this debate

blusteel is on con, and yyw is on pro

Whiteflames vote today will decide the winner, as I'm removing myself out of the equation due to being the host of the tournament
Posted by whiteflame 7 years ago
I imagine that, if the time elapses, there will still be some tie breaking vote that will occur after the voting period here in the comments? I'd post a vote myself, but as I'm in the tournament, I feel it would be improper.
Posted by Mikal 7 years ago
its not, and you did it right. Just most of the judges are afk or left the site. So i got some good voters to look at the debate and vote in the comments. There votes will decide who moves on.

there are a few that can actually vote but the votes will be tallied via the comments and the people that are voting there

the next round will be open
Posted by iamanatheistandthisiswhy 7 years ago
Hi Mikal the debate should be open to the judges of the tournament. I hope I didn't screw up when I was setting up the debate. Is there anyway to change it out?
Posted by bluesteel 7 years ago
I was tired last night when I wrote this. To further expand on my RFD:

I just don't think Pro has much offense. Pro argues that *maybe* there is an economic benefit from the UK deciding for itself whether it will engage in trade sanctions. As Con points out, Pro labels his points "markets, markets and more markets," but it's really about "sanctions, sanctions, and more sanctions." And Con responds by pointing out that the UK might choose to engage in sanctions anyway for moral reasons. Pro never proves that the UK would not have sanctioned Russia if left to its own devices.

The rest of Pro's arguments are mostly defense, i.e. here are reasons there won't be job loss. Con does a good job explaining how the UK benefits from being integrated with the rest of Europe in terms of standards and no tariffs. Pro responds that the UK would still be part of the EEA and the rest of the EU would not want to lose its trade relationship with the UK, but I don't see how *some* tariffs on UK goods would destroy that trade relationship, especially when those countries impose tariffs on other countries, including the US. It will just make UK goods *less competitive* in the rest of the EU, but it doesn't mean zero trade. The whole EEA argument seemed like a bit of a copout because it tries to argue that the UK can retain all the benefits of EU membership without any of the downsides. I think that really makes Con's argument stronger that the UK will face political fallout if it's attitude really is: give us EU member benefits, but we don't want to pay for them.

This debate was a bit messy. The extensions of arguments wasn't clean throughout the debate and both sides seemed to openly concede important points, like that the UK would "probably" become part of the EEA. For the sake of debate and simplicity, Con should have just argued all the reasons that the UK would not be accepted. Don't make your opponents arguments for him or her.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Anonymous 7 years ago
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: PRO wins because he shows how the UK's not remaining in the EU is in its economic best interest, and CON cannot overcome that. CON's harms do not outweigh PRO's even if assumed.

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