15 Dec 2015

Latest Poll Shows 50% Of British Voters Would Choose To Exit The EU

Although everyone watching has been convinced that Europe’s disastrous economy and related debt crisis would be the spark to unravel the European Union project, it appears history has its own plans.
While EU technocrats have demonstrated an uncanny ability to scheme, threaten, kick the can and lie their way around the debt crisis, the migrant crisis will prove to be a much graver threat to the project. Strikingly, all it took was a few weeks of unrelenting migrants crossing into EU borders to put an end what is essentially the only achievement of the European Union — the Schengen system of borderless travel.
Without that, what is the EU really? A collection of nation-states forced by bureaucrats to pretend they are part of an artificial fantasy superstate called Europe? An amalgamation of debt serfs and technocratic overlords? See what I’m getting at?
–  From the post: Does the Migrant Crisis Represent the End of the European Union?
By Michael Krieger: What is currently happening between the UK and the EU as relates to the former’s continued membership in the union is not only fascinating, but presents wide-ranging implications for the future of Europe.

In a nutshell, UK Prime Minister David Cameron is trying as hard as he can to keep the British people in the European Union by getting the Brussels bureaucracy to agree to certain terms important to UK voters. The biggest point of contention at the moment relates to welfare benefits given to migrants. Specifically:

The fourth basket on social benefits and the free movement of persons is the most delicate and will require a substantive political debate at our December meeting. While we see good prospects for agreeing on ways to fight abuses and possibly on some reforms related to the export of child benefits, there is presently no consensus on the request that people coming to Britain from the EU must live there and contribute for four years before they qualify for in-work benefits or social housing. This is certainly an issue where we need to hear more from the British Prime Minister and an open debate among ourselves before proceeding further.
For more details on the subject, I strongly suggest reading: Letter by President Donald Tusk to the European Council on the Issue of a UK In/Out Referendum.
Despite these negotiations, it appears British voters are becoming increasingly amenable to the idea of a Brexit. We learn from the Telegraph that:

British voters’ appetite for leaving the European Union is gathering momentum, putting the prospect of Brexit on a knife edge, a new poll has found.
As David Cameron prepares to travel to Brussels for a crucial European summit to discuss his renegotiation plans, a poll has found that the British public is now evenly split about the prospect of a British exit from the EU.
It came as the EU referendum bill last night passed through the House of Lords, meaning that Mr Cameron could potentially hold his vote in June next year.
According to the ICM poll for the Vote Leave campaign, when undecided voters are excluded, 50 per cent of voters would choose “Brexit”.
The poll finds that there is a significant shift towards exit when people are asked how they would vote if “freedom of movement” rules allowing EU migrants to live and work in the UK are left unchanged as a result of Mr Cameron’s renegotiation.
Significantly, this is the precise rule that is most likely to remain unchanged.

If freedom of movement remains as it is now, 45 per cent of voters would leave the EU and just 40 per cent would vote to remain, the poll finds.
Matthew Elliott, the chief executive of the Vote Leave campaign, told The Telegraph: “If you look at the polling from today, it looks very, very different than it did right after the general election, when everybody was writing off the chance of a leave vote in the referendum. People couldn’t see how leave could possibly win and now, on the eve of the crucial European council, the fact that both sides are now neck-and-neck means we have made up a lot of ground in the last year.
Downing Street has said the Prime Minister will not decide about whether to force his ministers to abide by “collective responsibility” until his renegotiation is complete.
Mr Cameron has told allies he will campaign to leave the EU if his renegotiation is unsuccessful.
I call bullshit on that.

However, he has publicly maintained that he wants to campaign for Britain to stay in a reformed EU.
Ahead of Thursday’s European Council meeting, there have been growing signs that Mr Cameron’s renegotiation is flagging.
Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, last week said that every EU country is “against” Mr Cameron’s welfare reforms.
“We have put that demand on the table and we have heard that a lot of our partners in Europe have concerns about it.
So there you have it. It appears the rule that matters most significantly to British voters will remain unchanged. Things could get very interesting from here as the British public becomes more anti-EU, and Cameron squirms to thwart a referendum which could result in a Brexit.

“So far we haven’t heard any counter-proposals, we haven’t heard any alternative suggestions that will deliver the same effect in a different way.”
In the Telegraph, Mr Hammond writes an article jointly alongside Paolo Gentiloni, the Italian foreign minister, in which they call for the EU to “embrace a new model of its functioning”.
The Italian embrace of British demands for a radical overhaul of the Euro-federalist ideal of “ever closer union” provides a much-needed boost for Mr Cameron ahead of this week’s meeting.
Italy and the UK are one thing, Germany is quite another. Look at how the migrant crisis is forcing Angela Merkel to scramble in order to survive politically.

Meanwhile, Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, on Monday said that “multiculturalism is a lie” as she pledged to reduce the number of migrants entering Germany.
“Whoever seeks refuge with us, must respect our laws and traditions and must learn German,” she said. “Multiculturalism creates parallel societies, Multiculturalism is a lie.”
The EU is a dead union walking. The only question in my mind is how, when and what exactly its inevitable demise will look like.

In Liberty,
Michael Krieger


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