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von Proteus-, 2016-04-24, 18:55  like dislike  Spam?  91.115.213....
Fantasies of freedom
21 April 2016 | by Nicholas Boyle | Comments: 1
Fantasies of freedom

Those campaigning for Britain to leave the EU emphasise the loss of sovereignty that membership entails. But the fear of being part of a larger entity is a very English complaint

Europhobia is a better term than Euroscepticism for opposition to British membership of the EU. A phobia is an irrational aversion, while scepticism is a state of reasoned doubt. Euroscepticism, a mere doubt about the sustainability of EU structures, is not in itself a ground for leaving them. Europhobia is an instinctive revulsion, and like other phobias it is a symptom of a deep psychological disturbance – in this case, a crisis of identity.
An anonymous Scotsman, interviewed by the BBC on the streets of Edinburgh when the date of the referendum was first announced, saw straight through all the bluff and bluster that was to follow. Asked to comment on the difference between English and Scottish views of the EU, he replied that, through belonging to the UK, the Scots were used to being part of something bigger, but the English, as the dominant party in the kingdom, were not. There you have Europhobia in a nutshell: the morbid fear of being part of something bigger, and it is a specifically English disease. At its heart is the question of identity, of who the English are and what England is – not Britain, but England. If we concede that we are part of something bigger than ourselves, then we have to define our own character and limitations and history, and give up our childish dream of omnipotence.
von uffiee, 2016-04-24, 18:59  like dislike  Spam?  80.144.119...
von Jim46 (US), 2016-04-24, 22:06  like dislike  Spam?  
The desire to have one's destiny in one's own hands is not a phobia.
von uffiee, 2016-04-25, 01:55  like dislike  Spam?  80.144.119...
an illusion perhaps ;-)
Bureaucracy  #841287
von Catesse (AU), 2016-04-25, 04:45  like dislike  Spam?  
Abhorrence for the petty-foggery of small-minded Eurocrats is actually a sign of a healthy personality. You should just see some of their ludicrous decisions. Reform of the Eurocracy would be preferable to disintegration - beginning with a substantial cut in pay - would be a good start, but is it achievable?
von Ursinus (GB), 2016-04-25, 10:23  like dislike  Spam?  
"give up our childish dream of omnipotence"
Autonomy isn't the same as omnipotence. Is this the Nicholas Boyle who's a professor at Cambridge University? I hope not.
Laughable.  #841318
von Sunblind-Duck (GB), 2016-04-25, 11:00  like dislike  Spam?  
How about this. The EU issued a directive regarding the application of coffee grains to farms, allotments and gardens. This stipulated that it is illegal to spread the grains on the soil with the intention of deterring slugs (which the grains do, incidentally). However, it is perfectly legal to spread the grains as a mulch. The mind boggles.
von uffiee, 2016-04-25, 12:10  like dislike  Spam?  80.144.119...
I think most people in the UK have their favourite EU story.

The EU is a bureaucratic monster. But it has done much good as well (which doesn't tend to get so much coverage in some media).

As sunfun said, it's an emotional vote, not so much based on hard facts.
Currency  #841341
von Catesse (AU), 2016-04-25, 12:44  like dislike  Spam?  
When I was in Europe in 1990, I could get only about 50 Belgian francs from the bank in a small town in the UK, even though I gave them a week's notice that I wanted a larger sum. I was pretty hungry by the time I got from Oostende to Germany, and I would have blessed euros. But the fact is, apart from emotionalism, that Britain is a terminus destination, not transit land, and therefore the euro would not be as useful. You do not go through Britain to get from somewhere to somewhere else.
I think that Britain would have been better sticking with the Commonwealth, but the option of re-forming this relationship no longer exists. Australia, New Zealand and Canada, at least, have been too badly offended. So I think that Britain is stuck with Europe.
Some of the laws regarding food (e.g. beer, sausages) are ludicrous, and agricultural regulations are a monstrosity. (Not that I have made a methodical study of them. I just run across them from time to time.)
von uffiee, 2016-04-25, 13:37  like dislike  Spam?  80.144.119...
Agree, I think the EU is famous for its ridiculous food and farming regulations. But they have greatly advanced consumer rights.

It's far (in fact a very long way) from ideal. The bureaucrats in Brussels and Luxembourg get paid far too much (I know this first hand), and yet, there are so many people that are overpaid, just think of all those CEOs of major companies that get paid massive bonuses even if the company fails and they have to sack a lot of staff.

The UK may well have been better off with stronger trading links to the Commonwealth but "der Zug ist abgefahren".

According to a recent documentary, the UK had the chance to shape the EU in its early days but dithered too much and only joined when the system was already set up.

They made their bed...

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