Competing visions – the leave and remain campaigns present their pitch

EUDebateNI Competing Visions 2x2“Competing Visions” was the final formal event that EU Debate NI plan to hold. Hosted with NI Environment Link, the concept was to invite representatives from the two referendum campaigns to pitch their vision for what the UK would look like on the 24 June and beyond if it remains in the EU or leaves the EU.

EU Debate NI recently launched a Referendum Toolkit to help individuals or groups begin to grapple with some of the issues behind the in/out decision.

Owen Paterson (Out) and Claire Hanna (In) open proceedings in QUB’s Riddel Hall before comments and questions from the audience, and finally six minute pitches from Lee Reynolds (chair of NI Vote Leave) and Glyn Roberts (vice chair of NI Stronger IN).

Lucid Talk’s Bill White gave an overview of his latest May tracker poll, splitting the results by traditional (traditional) voting habits (unionist, nationalist, other) and gender and showing some of the stark contrasts. Charts below.

Some quotes:

[Owen Paterson] “What we’ve got a choice of is whether we’re going to be somewhere on the outside of a new entity … doesn’t matter whichever party’s in charge, the UK will never ever join the Euro now. It’ll never join Schengen given the nightmare with migrants. So we’ll have some very dangerous new status. We’ll be somewhere floating around some sort of associate status outside the inner core, guaranteed to be outvoted in the European Parliament … the Council … and overruled by the Court of Justice.”

[Owen Paterson] “We need to get our seat back on the world bodies … increasingly rules are made at the world level where we no longer have a vote. On the World Trade Organisation we’re represented by what I’m sure is a brilliant, charming lady, an expert in her field, but the choice for me would not be a Swedish psychiatric nurse whose last job was teaching sociology at Gothenburg University. I’d have someone with real gritty experience of the UK economy.”

[Claire Hanna] “It is worth noting that the agriculture sector here is very different than in GB. It’s more of an ownership model and more similar to farming in the Republic … and that [EU] investment has allowed that sector and fishing to modernise and to diversify and to become a growth industry here. We know that agrifoods is a much more important part of our economy. The fact is that our producers don’t complete on bulk and scale, they compete on high quality and being part of the most stable market in the world – 500 million consumers ready to purchase high quality food – is absolutely vital to them.”

[Claire Hanna] “… I do think that complex global problems like climate change, like the humanitarian crises, like tax regimes, they don’t stop at borders and they can’t just be resolved by nation states. And similarly the European project and being part of Europe and shedding our perceived peripherality of Europe has been a big part of the framework for peace in Northern Ireland and placed much less emphasis on whether you’re British or Irish and just implemented through the Good Friday Agreement that basic principle that mutual dependence and economic cooperation and shared endeavour is the most successful model for conflict resolution.”

There was much discussion over the length of time that would be taken to renegotiate new trade details in the event of Brexit. This was countered by the assertion that the existing trade deals would remain in place while new ones were negotiated so there would be no “falling off a cliff”. Which led to differences of opinion on whether the emphasis on migration would inevitably lead to stronger border controls for goods and services as well as people.

Other questions and points of discussion looked at the benefit of the ERASMUS student scheme and the impact of Brexit and teasing out how the risks of unknowns around leaving the EU were balanced by the certainties of remaining in membership.

LucidTalk May Tracker overall EU results LucidTalk May Tracker UNIONIST EU results LucidTalk May Tracker NATIONALIST EU results LucidTalk May Tracker OTHER EU results

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  • murdockp

    Any person who votes for a Brexit in Northern Ireland I think has deep rooted issues which either stem from having actually been brainwashed by others or their cultural background means they see a different UK to other people and they are so deluded they see the UK as presiding over an empire.

    I think if we vote for Brexit the Northern Ireland people are in for an economic shock so great the event could be added as a chapter to the Charles MacKay’s book ‘Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds’ which is a study of how groups act and make decisions which are the polar opposite of the realities they face.

    It the Brexiteers think that George Osborne a man who cried at Maggies funeral and who hero worshiped the “great woman” due to her free marketeering Milton Freidman Chicago Business School economics is going to prop up the Northern Ireland farming community they are deluded.

    If it happens the increase in Local taxation to keep the bloated civil service in credit will be so great it will destroy our already fragile economy.

    Having said that, a Brexit will be the best opportunity Nationalists will have been presented in 100 years to secure a united Ireland, but given the Republican’s movements locked in Stockholm Syndrome, they will miss the opportunity presented.

    The following quotes from MacKay are as true today as they were in 1840

    “Of all the offspring of Time, Error is the most ancient, and is so old and familiar an acquaintance, that Truth, when discovered, comes upon most of us like an intruder, and meets the intruder’s welcome.”

    “We find that whole communities suddenly fix their minds upon one object, and go mad in its pursuit; that millions of people become simultaneously impressed with one delusion, and run after it, till their attention is caught by some new folly more captivating than the first.”

    “Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one.”

  • chrisjones2

    “Any person who votes for a Brexit in Northern Ireland I think has deep rooted issues which either stem from having actually been brainwashed by others or their cultural background means they see a different UK to other people and they as so deluded they see the UK as presiding over an empire.”

    Why dont you just say that yoiu think they are too thick

    Your post is so arrogant and dismissive of any contrary views that you would immediately qualify to be a member of the Commission Staff in Brussels. Indeed, I wonder why (apart for self referencing hubris) you feel it necessary to post anything here in front of us plebs

  • murdockp

    You have mis-read my post, some of the strongest promoters of Brexit are very smart people,

    My post is about cultural conditioning. Catholics (my background) have all have been conditioned since their first steps to act in group think from genuflecting together and repeating words simultaneously in church which is why events like the Irish property crash were so spectacular as we all ran over the great property cliff together without ever thinking.

    I am asking people to think for themselves, not what their cultural group tells them to think which is what is currently happening, particularly in the Unionist Community.

  • submariner

    I have not voted in a while but I will be making sure to put my X firmly in the remain box. I have yet to hear one persuasive argument from the leave side other than keeping Johnny foreigner out. Indeed when one looks at the brexit side it is a mixture of Right wing little Englanders, sectarian unionists in the DUP and the BNP in tweed jackets . That said part of me thinks that Brexit will lead to the breakup of the Union which is a big positive in my view but given the absolute disaster that a brexit vote will be for Ireland as a whole I will be at the polling station early. One other thought it would be delicious irony if England votes narrowly for out only to be kept in by Scottish and NI votes.

  • Kevin Breslin

    We need to get our seat back on the world bodies … increasingly rules are made at the world level where we no longer have a vote. On the World Trade Organisation we’re represented by what I’m sure is a brilliant, charming lady, an expert in her field, but the choice for me would not be a Swedish psychiatric nurse whose last job was teaching sociology at Gothenburg University. I’d have someone with real gritty experience of the UK economy.”

    It’s tough to give the Leave side any respect when such obvious gallery playing is being done.

    The UK has a member of every major international body, and is represented by its own diplomatic corps. So it’s a complete and utter lie to suggest that the UK isn’t represented by its own interests or by some Swedish psychiatric nurse, when the diplomat below Andrew Staines chairs a committee and represents the United Kingdom in that Body.

    It shows how little he knows about international affairs to assume that Cecilia Malmström represents the UK or even the EU there. The EU is represented by 28 member states.

    The Conservative Party he worked in appointed 2 of the of the 4 EU Trade Commissioners from the UK. He should probably know their role better. He’s hardly going around saying, well look wasn’t Peter Mandelson the WTO ambassador for Germany is he now?

    So this is complete nonsense propaganda, coming from an imperialistic sense of British entitlement.

  • chrisjones2

    If I did I apologise

    But I disagree on Unionsim. Its very divided and on multiple dimensions. I suspect for example that many rural hard core DUP and UUP will vote stay for short term financial reasons although that may vary by sector. Those in diary – or specifically milk – for example may see Brexit as an opportunity for survival while Beef will be looking at the EU market

    I am also not so sure on Catholics these days – look at how many will not vote for a UI.

    Times they are a changing!!!

  • chrisjones2

    You clearly haven’t been listening I fear

  • Chingford Man

    What a stupid rant.

  • Chingford Man

    There’s me thinking that the crash was due to greed and short-term thinking. It was all due to people being Catholics. Now that is a deep-rooted issue.

  • Chingford Man

    Thank you for sharing what you believe to be your knowledge of the World Trade Organisation.

    “The European Union (until 30 November 2009 known officially in the WTO as the European Communities for legal reasons) (more info) has been a WTO member since 1 January 1995. The 28 member States of the EU are also WTO members in their own right. The EU is a single customs union with a single trade policy and tariff. The European Commission — the EU’s executive arm — speaks for all EU member States at almost all WTO meetings (my emphasis).”

    In addition from the Business Innovation and Skills Commons select committee report entitled “Rebalancing the Economy” from 2011:

    “We recognise the fact that the UK’s influence on the WTO can only be exercised through its membership of the European Union.”

  • Chingford Man

    “[EU] investment has allowed that sector and fishing to modernise and to diversify and to become a growth industry here.”

    The EU has no money except what governments give it. We pay more into the EU that we get back. What we get back frequently comes with conditions as to how the money should be spent. There is nothing to stop Brexit Britain funding any sector it chooses. Does Claire Hanna not know this?

    Oh and what are the “certainties of remaining in membership”, apart from the UK being ripped off? What are the risks of remaining? Allister Heath sets the risks out here.

    Why does Remain think it can get away without answering those questions?

  • doopa

    “All EU member States are WTO members, as is the EU (until 30 November 2009 known officially in the WTO as the European Communities for legal reasons) in its own right.”

  • On the fence!

    “I am asking people to think for themselves,”

    Strangely enough, I ask exactly the same of people who advocate “remain”,

  • terence patrick hewett

    I’ve spent my whole life thinking that I was genuflecting to the Host when all the time it was cutural conditioning!!!

    I have to say that it was not the regiment of priests or the reiteration of dogma which turned me from being a very bad Catholic into a bad Catholic: that is a Catholic who tries to be as good as he can: was Geoffrey Chaucer: the Non-conformist John Bunyan and the heretical Pelagius.

    Funny old world.

  • Declan Doyle

    Cameron just played a blinder on sky news, very convincing

  • Declan Doyle

    It’s a bit rich you calling somebody else arrogant in dismissing other views

  • Angry Mob

    Not sure why you seem to single out the Unionist community here as when you look at the graphs above the Nationalist side (80/11) is at a stronger ratio for remaining than the Unionist side (18/69) is for leaving so it’s evident the Nationalist grouping is most vulnerable to groupthink?

  • Angry Mob

    It is not a “complete and utter lie to suggest that the UK isn’t represented by its own interests .”

    As I have pointed out to you several times now the EU’s “common position” binds us to vote as to how the EU commission dictates whether or not is is detrimental to our own self interests. We lose the right to our independent vote along with veto rights.

    So what he is saying is absolutely true.

  • NotNowJohnny

    Im no EU expert and am happy to be corrected but I believe that the certainties of the U.K. remaining in the EU include some or all of the following;

    1 The border with the rest of Ireland will remain purely an administrative one with free movement of people and services con tuning with the result that it remains for all intents and purposes close to invisible. A good thing for people living and businesses located in border areas and for tourism in Northern Ireland methinks.

    2 People in Northern Ireland will continue to have the uninhibited right and freedom to live, work, travel and retire in other European member states should they so wish.

    3 The premier league will continue to attract the best players in Europe and EU competition laws will help ensure that those of us who pay to watch it on telly are likely to get less ripped off than we would otherwise.

    4 Mobile phone roaming charges will be less for people in Northern Ireland than they would otherwise.

    5. Major infrastructure projects in Northern Ireland will continue to receive EU funding.

    6. Small farmers in Northern Ireland will continue to get eu financial support.

    7. The Northern Ireland environment will continue to be protected through EU regulations.

    8. Northern Ireland employees will continue to be able to avail of employee rights granted under eu regulations.

    9 Rural areas in Northern Ireland will continue to be eligible for eu rural development funding

    10 Northern Ireland will continue to have a voice in the europe through its 3 elected MEPs and will therefore have the potential to continue to obtain important benefits as were negotiated by previous MEPs such as John Hume.

  • NotNowJohnny

    What do you see as the most tangible benefits for people in Northern Ireland in the event of the U.K. exiting the EU?

  • aquifer

    If you have a veto, you only have a problem with negotiations if you have not decided which things are most important to you.

    This is clearly a problem for the leave camp. They don’t know what they want, except Boris. UKIP want to re-open coal mines. Wierd.

  • aquifer

    It is about emotions isn’t it. And tradition, culture. We want what we once had.


    Dieting without having to worry about it.

    And inflation.

    More and more money without having to think what to spend it on.

    And oppression.

    Not having to worry about complicated political stuff.

    And fashion

    I am sure there are hob nailed boots for sale somewhere.

  • Chingford Man

    I don’t have time to write an essay but I don’t see how all those things to be safeguarded would be impeded by Brexit. There is no reason to believe that sectors currently in receipt of EU money would not be properly supported by the UK government. Without its annual EU membership bill, the UK will certainly be a lot richer.

    The West has spent untold billions trying (and failing) to build democratic self-governing institutions in Afghanistan and Iraq. If the idea is good enough for those places, why not for the UK?

  • Chingford Man


  • Kevin Breslin

    It’s complete and utter lie. either Owen Patterson acts clueless about how international bodies actually work or he’s blowing the dog whistle.

    It’s like the FA saying we need to leave UEFA to join CONEMBOL to be more like Brazil and get “our seat back on FIFA” and win the World Cup.

    It’s pretty much like blaming UEFA for why the England Football Team hasn’t won a World Cup since 1966.

    In the World Trade Organisation the UK needs to work with at least 60 nations to get a majority and they all have to work with them, never mind a mere 27.

    There’s not a damn bit of strategic diplomatic thinking coming out of any of this.

  • Kevin Breslin

    Please, the United Kingdom has a seat, it had that seat back in 1995 when it joined alongside the European Community neighbours. So the whole “Get the Seat Back Thing” is lazy from Owen.

    The UK was involved with a WTO trade dispute as a single nation by America, so it seems. So not only do Member States have a voice they are also accountable for their own WTO violations.

    Another lazy thing from Owen was saying that the EU Commissioner attends the World Trade Organisation. It is insulting the UK has had the Trade Commissioner Four times and never has any Eurosceptic politicians said that role undermined the trade of other EU nations.

    The UK is part of a customs union, with the same customs throughout it. This Customs union allows it to avoid WTO levies that might otherwise exist outside of it. As an EU member state it’s also free to make representations.

    This comes down to the simple choice of whether the UK wants to be in the Single/Common Market or the Differing National markets with treaty bridges

    Owen doesn’t believe in supranationalism with regards to the European Union, and I don’t believe he believes of the supranationalism of the World Trade Organisation.

    There are 163 nations in the WTO, the UK is just one of them. There’s been a few dog whistles about if there was a Brexit the UK would have automatic rights and privileges on every global body is utterly ridiculous.

    The number of times I’ve seen Tories and Kippers moan about Third world nations getting chair positions on UN committees simply because there are over 230 members is ridulous. If Tongan ambassador gets the chair of International Development, they go ballistic blaming the EU, even though small nations got these chairs long before the UK even joined EFTA.

    It’s childish jealousy, they want things only because they see someone else has it, they want to cry until they get it and they don’t have any clue of what to do with it once they get it until they don’t want it anymore and find something else to be jealous over.

  • NotNowJohnny

    You challenged Remain to set out the certainties of the U.K. remaining in membership of the eu. I gave you no less than 10 good ones from the perspective of Northern Ireland.

    Meanwhile you still haven’t provided one single certain tangible benefit for Northern Ireland of a decision by the uk to leave.

    Instead you attempt to draw some bizarre parallel with Iraq and Afghanistan while maintaining that there is no reason why the same benefits provided by EU membership cannot be made available outside the European Union which is surely very peculiar indeed from a man who is insisting on certainties from Remain.

  • Dan

    Have you been out in the sun all day?
    He was lamentable. Absolutely hammered by F Islam and the audience.

  • Dan

    If premier league football is number three in your top 10, you hardly deserve to be taken seriously.

  • Chingford Man

    Did you not read properly what I wrote or did you just scan it for a facetious reply?

    I said that all 10 things on your list would all be safeguarded under Brexit (even the dumb one about the Premier League) because it would be in everyone’s interest to do so.

    As for what you call “single tangible benefit for Northern Ireland”, I’m not producing any tedious list of parish pump stuff if that’s what you want.

    This referendum is about whether the UK wants to govern itself or subcontract that responsibility to people over whom we have no control. It is about whether we wish to have the power to deal properly with existing problems, like our population racing out of control to the detriment of our children and grandchildren.

    It is about more than whether the EU or the Treasury is the better subsidy milchcow, which seems to be the level of much of the NI Remain case.

    The comparison with Iraq or Afghanistan is totally appropriate. To repeat, if accountable democratic government is right for them, why not for the UK.

  • On the fence!

    1 SOLD to the nationalist community already, the remaining nine no longer matter (but we’ll press on anyway!).

    2 Yeah, “if they wish”! The rest of the EU is such a basket case there’s feck all work in it worth traveling for. The young folk are going to Asia, Canada, NZ, Aus, China. All the places we’ll be able to forge closer links with OUT of the EU.

    3 This is important!!!!!

    4 This will be dictated by the free market, in or out of the EU.

    5 Nice of them to give back some of OUR money!

    6 See 5 above!

    7 No it won’t because it’s all regulation and no policing of it. I have the fishing rights to just over a mile of river, and it’s condition has never been worse!

    8 I’m sure our own Trade Union movement would like to claim some credit too.

    9 See 5 and 6.

    10 The MEP system is extremely well-funded tokenism, nothing more.

  • NotNowJohnny

    At no point did I even hint that the list was in any order. Neither did I indicate that this was my top 10 of anything. But there you go.

  • NotNowJohnny

    I did read what you wrote very carefully. And you certainly didn’t write that all these things ‘would be safeguarded under Brexit’. What you wrote was that you ‘don’t see how all those things to be safeguarded would be impeded by Brexit’ which is something rather
    different. You asked for certainties and I gave you them. Now that you have been provided with certainties you appear to wish to dismiss them. You may define what the referendum is about for you but for others it is much more than merely about (what you refer to as) ‘whether the UK wants to govern itself or subcontract responsibility to people over whom we have no control’.

  • LiamÓhÉ

    Our Great British nation will sail henceforth into a bright uninhibited future, inspiring wonderment, creativity and genuine admiration, a beacon for the modern world. Old Blighty will traverse the seven seas, establishing new trading outposts in far flung hitherto uncivilised recluses, creating new markets and building new ports. The 20th century was that of steel, silicon, cleantech and nanotechnology, but the future, my noble friends, is one of Tea.

  • Kevin Breslin

    A lot of people think those who want to leave the EU are thick, particularly given the high support for the EU from scientists, businesses, engineering organisations and the creative industries, the people who’s money largely finance the UK economy.

    That perception, false or otherwise is not going to change. These people are not going to change their attitudes and become like the Leave side. The amount of social entropy in the world is going to increase.

    Look at Scotland voting to remain in the Union only increased nationalism as the the Unionist side talked about how much more control Scots were going to have over things … Similar narrative.

    It’s not a real independence campaign, it realise almost entirely on the absolute assumptions that making money and controlling migration will be easier outside the EU. It’s completely lassiez faire. Nearly the whole campaign relies on some nation patriarchy providing a world where the Daily Mail is happy in, but three days into a Brexit if not less, such a nation will no longer exist.

  • Kevin Breslin

    I am trying to work out if you are being sarcastic here?

  • Kevin Breslin

    I think you can’t read much from a poll. I don’t know the opinions of everyone who wants to Leave the EU, but there are aspects of the Leave campaign here of politicans to repeat disproven statements and talk about immigrants while ignoring how many of our young people are graduating.

    It’s reasonable to assume nationalists having little faith in something Brittish is going to happen, but when it comes to unionists having faith in things Brittish, where is this faith being shown in issues a Brexit won’t fix like austerity and the brain drain.

    There’s a major assumption that Brexit is going to provide some windfall, but a lot of assumptions that austerity and migration will stop simply because people vote the way Nigel Lawson wants them.

    I think a lot of British people including unionists think patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel.

  • Sharpie

    You are right. Here goes a massive generalisation. Protestants are taught that they are dissenters – anti establishment and therefore individualist in their outlook. They get grace by bestowing favour on less fortunate in charitable acts. Catholics are taught to harmonise. As a result there is more homogeneity in Catholic society. This is not controversial. Both approaches have upsides and downsides. The Catholic approach is are grand as long as who ever is informing their opinions is well intentioned – it creates greater cohesion, but also puts off progress as people move as a collective. The Protestants are scatter gun but more innovative. They are very self-reliant.

    It’s easy to see why the EU is something protestants bristle at from a cultural perspective. However from a money perspective it should make sense to them as it is a driver of economic activity – just not in the complete neo-liberal free market way that they may desire. It also applies a homogeneity in law, rights, social cohesion that would annoy many.

    For Catholics the sense of commonality, collectivity is attractive. The danger is that is is accepted uncritically and there is much to be critical of, not least the ability for certain nations to continually game the system to their benefit, and the decimation of our fishing zones by enforced sharing and over exploitation of that resource.

  • Chingford Man

    No, it was a distinction without a difference, as far as I’m concerned. But, hey, if you want to shelter in the shade of the dreary steeples and self-obsess over the purely parochial, so be it.

  • chrisjones2

    No Tea, Coffee, Infusions and above all THE RIGHT TO CHOOSE

  • chrisjones2

    I’m not anyway

  • chrisjones2

    And I thought I was cynical. Watching him eviscerated by a 19 year old English Literatiure student was superb …… “I study English and I recognise waffle when I hear it”.

    That girl will go far

  • chrisjones2

    People in the North have the right to dual citizenship so those who wish to be citizens of the Superstate need only bung the Irish the fee for a Passport and they can so remain

  • chrisjones2

    I dont usually dismiss I challenge and debate …but I know you have problems with that

  • LiamÓhÉ

    Hurrah! The cornerstones of British pride, laissez-faire et Dieu et mon droit!

  • Gingray

    The silence speaks for itself.

    Leaving the EU may benefit GB (but there is a large risk) but there is no doubt whatsoever that it will be a disaster for Northern Ireland.

  • Gingray

    How many will not vote for a UI? Do you know? Or are you guessing?

  • Sharpie

    fear is an important word in this debate

  • whatif1984true

    The matters under discussion are numerous and complex. When you balance out all the answers the answer may as well be 42. Ultimately people will often vote the way recommended by the person they most trust. Cameron has not got that trust nor have any of the others. The question is who do you distrust the least.
    People hate change. The result will be to remain.

  • NotNowJohnny

    It’s difficult to respond to this as it is so lacking in detail. However to pick up on number 7 the failure to enforce is not the fault of the eu but of the NI Executive. Which raises the rather important point of why those advocating leave think that by leaving the eu the environmental protection of our natural habitats will improve given that enforcement will continue to be the responsibility of the same local government bodies. At least with membership of the eu there is always recourse to the eu where its infraction procedures appear to be one of the few mechanisms which make government agencies actually take action. On a related point I recall the eu pumping millions into the enhancement of inland fisheries in Northern Ireland through the salmon enhancement programme and the angling development programme. Blaming the eu for issues which are the responsibility of NI government agencies makes little in the way of useful contribution to the EU referendum debate.

  • Sir Rantsalot

    Having control of our own country, duh !
    Our fishing industry destroyed because the EU wont let them fish in our own waters, but other EU countries are allowed to. We can take control, remove other countries from our waters and allow our own citizens to earn a living from fishing. Just an example.
    Control of immigration should be the obvious benefit. Are you one of those people that is so brain washed by pc offense nonsense, that you cant understand the sense of stopping hostile Muslim migrants to pour into the UK ? Maybe you cover your ears when rapes by immigrants on local women are reported?

  • Sir Rantsalot

    Its laughable to read comments about Protestants do this and Catholics do that, about something as getting out of the EU ! Talk about backward !!

  • hgreen

    From your xenophobic comments elsewhere I think it is pretty clear who the backward person is.

  • Sir Rantsalot

    “economic shock so great the event could be added as a chapter to the Charles MacKay’s book ‘Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds’ ”
    Wow ! That’s a big scary shock you just mentioned. Any actual evidence, numbers, something you can reference, anything…? Or have you been reading the more and more hysterical headlines and hit pieces in the main stream media? Haven’t you figured out the media is being used to scare you into staying in the EU?

  • On the fence!

    The task of providing positive evidence is the responsibility of the “remain” side purely because something which costs such a huge amount of money to be part of, should show real and tangible benefits in everyday life.

    Your contention that the environment is benefiting from the presence of the EU does not stack up as rules and regulations created anywhere are only as good as their application at local level. The environment would benefit much more by an improvement in our own local agencies, we do not need to be a member of the EU for that to happen!

    As for the EU “pumping millions into the enhancement of inland fisheries in Northern Ireland through the salmon enhancement programme and the angling development programme.”, could I refer you back to points 5, 6, and 9 of my first post!

  • mac tire

    “I dont usually dismiss I challenge and debate…”

    On what forum because you should do it here.

  • mac tire

    “Our fishing industry destroyed because the EU wont let them fish in our own waters, but other EU countries are allowed to.”

    British fishermen fish not just in their own waters, but those of other EU Member States, including Ireland, Germany, France and the Netherlands.

    “We can take control, remove other countries from our waters and allow our own citizens to earn a living from fishing.”

    To quote Chief Brody: “You’re gonna need a bigger boat.”

    The rest is just inarticulate nonsense that doesn’t deserve a reply.

  • NotNowJohnny

    I’m not sure i understood your point. The environment does indeed benefit from eu regulations. There are countless examples of this. If you care to set out clearly why you disagree with this statement I’ll happily provide some examples which demonstrate this.

    Also you seem to be saying that the environment would benefit from an improvement in our local enforcement agencies but you don’t indicate why leaving the eu will improve enforcement levels and therefore I’m not clear what your point is. Meanwhile I have pointed out to you how the eu infraction procedures acts as an effective mechanism for ensuring that local authorities do comply with environmental regulations and improve enforcement. There are examples of this in Northern Ireland, recently in relation to the ballycastle waster water treatment works. These examples demonstrate how remainimg in the eu will help continue to protect our environment. As you appear to take a different view I would welcome your views on how leaving the eu will improve the environment in relation to your fishery. As to your reference to your previous responses numbering 5, 6 & 9, these were not articulated particularly well. However you should be aware that in a Northern Ireland context we are not a net contributor to the eu and therefore it seems incorrect to infer that “they” are only giving “us some of our money back”.

  • Sir Rantsalot

    You seem to be trying to create the impression that fishing is shared equally around EU countries and everything is just lovely and happy all day long. But the fact is that the industry has been destroyed by the EU. UK waters have been removed from UK fishermen. Fishing jobs have disappeared. This is maybe the most well known negative effect of being in the EU. Making fake arguments is something that really sticks out about almost everything remain people say.

    “The rest is just inarticulate nonsense that doesn’t deserve a reply.”

    You’re such a coward. Immigration is the biggest issue in the debate. It is always mentioned. Within the EU we cannot stop mass immigration, we have no control. People don’t want millions of hostile Muslims coming into the UK or any other European country. They come from countries hostile to western values. Look at all the Islamic terrorism in Europe in the last year. They have carried out many rapes. No ‘women are equal’ values in their culture. These are the facts, there’s no need to be afraid to say it just because they are non white.

    The msm will mostly drop these issues, but you can search and find lots on the web.

    “The mayor of Cologne has summoned police for crisis talks after about 80 women reported sexual assaults and muggings by men on New Year’s Eve.

    Most of the crimes reported to police were robberies. A volunteer policewoman was among those sexually molested. But the Cologne assaults – near the city’s iconic cathedral – were the most serious, German media report. At least one woman was raped, and many were groped. Women were also targeted in Hamburg. City police chief Wolfgang Albers called it “a completely new dimension of crime”. The men were of Arab or North African appearance, he said. The scale of the attacks on women at the city’s central railway station has shocked Germany. About 1,000 drunk and aggressive young men were involved.

  • Sir Rantsalot

    I was waiting for someone to fire off an ic, ist, or ism 🙂 Please explain the link to anything I have said. Facts please. I bet you can’t.

  • Teddybear

    If we were not in the EU already, would we want to join it?

  • NotNowJohnny

    You do have a point about the common fisheries policy however the percentage of the population of Northern Ireland who operate as sea fishermen is probably less that 0.05% so it is hardly a critical issue. Furthermore a significant number of those now employed in the NI fishing industry are migrant workers which brings me neatly to your next point about immigration.

    I’d be interested to know if your issue is about immigration generally or about Muslims in particular. And as this discussion relates to Northern Ireland I’d also be interested to know how big a problem you think Muslim migration into Northern Ireland actually is. I not aware of it being an issue at all.

  • Ian James Parsley

    Just the one woman out of four. Only 16% of media coverage has been women. Do they not have a say?

    (Thankfully it was a very good woman in this case, who made the most cogent points.)

  • Angry Mob

    The point is that you have it, not that you necessarily have to use it.

    Do the remain camp know what they want? There is differing opinions for those who believe things will remain as is, those who believe that we can actually achieve reform of the EU and those who actively want a federal Europe.

    Regardless, if common sense prevails and the UK votes for brexit it will be ultimately up to the government to choose it’s position and if they’re pragmatic about it they will look seriously at the Flexcit plan.

  • Angry Mob

    It’s not a lie. Your incredulity does not change this.

    The UK is not represented by its own interests as the UK is forced to vote in line with the EU’s interests.

  • NotNowJohnny

    What we do know us that when we weren’t in the EEC back in the sixties and seventies we twice applied to join it. And then, and after going in, when we were given the opportunity to vote ourselves out in 1975 we overwhelmgly voted to remain.

  • Angry Mob

    Isn’t it equally true that Remain camp are repeating disproven statements? The campaign has been a farce.

    Forgetting the polls included in this article, if you look at two main nationalist parties stance then 100% are for remaining.

    Unionist side we have the UUP who are backing a remain vote, with 15 of the 52 combined MLAs that means 29% are backing a remain vote.

    Much more variation on the Unionist side, so I don’t know how they can be accused of groupthink compared to nationalists.

  • Angry Mob

    It wasn’t a political union back then so it’s probably not the best comparison.

  • Angry Mob

    I’m pretty confident that there are more than 18 fishermen in Northern Ireland, despite the EU’s best efforts to disseminate the industry.

    Regardless of what the actual number currently is the point is that had we retained control we could of had a valuable industry in Northern Ireland which could have contributed to our economy.

  • Angry Mob

    If you dig a little deeper you may find that most of these environmental regulations do not originate from the EU but global bodies like UNEP, UNFCCC and the IPCC.

  • NotNowJohnny

    You are correct. I should have said probably less than 0.05% (I have now amended this). Hopefully it doesn’t alter the point. The latest figure I could find was 675 regular fishermen. Interestingly this is actually more than when the UK joined the EEC.

  • On the fence!

    I can only assume you are being deliberately obtuse as neither point is that difficult to grasp.

    Firstly, money. The UK is a net contributor to the EU, Northern Ireland is part of the UK, seems simple enough.

    Secondly, regulation, lets keep it environmental but it could probably apply to most things. Regulation is only as effective as it’s application at local level and that is the responsibility of local government, our own assembly, various NGO’s, etc, etc. We do not need to be paying numerous billions (various figures exist!) for an extra layer of bureaucracy at the very top which does nothing at all to help on the ground.

  • On the fence!

    Precisely, it’s an utterly pointless, needless organisation which could vanish in it’s entirety tomorrow and life would carry on, as it doesn’t actually DO anything.

  • John Devane

    100% true

  • Kevin Breslin

    I agree that there are some in the Remain camp who repeat unsound statements about Brexit, but in their case is not that they are disproved it is often that they cannot be proven.

    We are not talking about theoretical finance or political “beliefs” here, we are talking about present day financial realities that are proven by budgets.

    Saying things like “Northern Ireland is a net contributor to the European Union” is proven factually inaccurate when it has been proven that it is a net beneficiary of the European Union and on The View, Sammy Wilson did not accept the realism of that.

    So if the UK leaves the EU, there is automatically an additional budget deficit in Northern Ireland finances even after giving Northern Ireland back its EU contribution (unless something is done.) FACT

    Due to the fact that Northern Ireland agriculture and fisheries subvention is much bigger per capita than the Rest of the United Kingdom suggests there would even be a Barnett Squeeze if the formula is applied to agriculture and fisheries (unless something is done.) FACT

    Protecting the agriculture and fisheries subsidies here relies almost entirely on Northern Ireland politicians trying to maintain the status quo with regards to payments and getting generosity from Westminster (unless something is done.) FACT.

    So what’s going to be done?

  • Kevin Breslin

    Firstly the UK can represent itself in the European Union, and has a massive effect in steering that trade policy.

    Secondly nations in the World Trade Organisation vote in blocks anyway, so the UK is forced to vote in line with 80 other countries in order to get anything it wants.

    Thirdly the UK has no veto or majority in the World Trade Organisation, it is a lone state. If the UK wanted to vote against the EU on something, it needs a policy that gets the support of 80 non-EU countries.

    I think you will find that Norway, Switzerland, Iceland often end up on the winning side when they vote with the EU, rather than voting against it.

    If the whole WTO seat is such a massive game changer, show me where New Zealand, Australia, Norway, Switzerland, Iceland, even Russia have spearheaded legislation that has managed to pass something at the World Trade Organisation against the wishes of the European Union and its partners.

    Only the United States and China have the global influence to compete against the European Union block.

    It’s pure nationalistic fantasy stuff.

  • Angry Mob

    Massive effect in steering trade policy? Hardly, I wouldn’t even claim moderate effect.

    The key point is representation. Norway and Switzerland represent their own interests at the WTO. The UK doesn’t get a veto precisely because it is in the EU.

    We would still cooperate with the EU where are interests are mutually inclusive, it’s when the proposed legislation is not in our interest as to when not having to adapt the ‘common position’ comes into play as we have the actual ability to influence it.

    Also, it’s just just the WTO alone where we regain our voice but other bodies who also create the global legislation.

  • Kevin Breslin

    The UK has its own voice on all these bodies anyway, that voice is the voice given to it by the UK government, though it’s not going to be consistent with every member of that UK government.

    The UK and the European Union don’t have a veto in the World Trade Organisation because they are not 80 countries.

    Wise up, the United Kingdom will never get a veto over the World Trade Organisation, no nation has. You took the smuck-bait on that one.

    To think the entirety of world trade can be stopped at the whim of a British national government or the popular support of any number of British citizens is a massive act of self-delusion.

    It would make Dad’s Army look like a serious documentary on World War 2.

  • Angry Mob

    The UK doesn’t have it’s own voice, the UK and all member states must speak with the EU’s voice,on these global organisations in body but not in mind. Must it be printed in the Guardian before you would believe this fact?

    The EU obligates the member states to “uphold the unions positions”. Even if the EU position is detrimental to the member states.

    Case in point:

    “Wise up, the United Kingdom will never get a veto over the World Trade Organisation, no nation has. You took the smuck-bait on that one.”

    Is India not a nation?

    We can have our veto, but we don’t have to use it. That’s not the important part of “regaining our seat” anyway, it’s actually the ability to exercise our independent vote and represent our own interests.

  • Kevin Breslin

    Well the WTO vetoes seem to apply to everyone, certainly India’s overly protectionist policies are not something most UK politicans would be happy about either side of the fence.

    The World Trade Orgainsation vote isn’t an independent vote, it depends on every nation.
    It simply takes 1 obnoxious nation out of 157 to stop passing of something, so in terms of the WTO terms the UK’s ambitions to pass anything in the WTO could not just be blocked by any EU member state, but a small EU candidate state like Montenegro too, basically the power to shut it down rather than make it work.

  • Angry Mob

    It’s a rare occurrence and the India veto caused shockwaves for the fact that they actually used it. I’m not suggesting that we actually use it but the fact that we would regain the right of veto among other importants criteria such as the right to vote, the right to chair and the right to abstain at these global bodies.

  • Kevin Breslin

    The UK has the right to chair international bodies, it is chair of a WTO committee. You may as well be saying if there is a Brexit, U.K. Citizens would have the right to play football. The U.K. has nothing special to protect from global trade rules and if it ever did, it would be able to do that without allies

    So Owen Patterson pretty much lie about the seats that the UK has on international bodies not being there to dog whistle. Otherwise Tories may actually have to take responsibility for the little they did to make the UK the place their voters wanted to live in.

  • Sir Rantsalot

    Yes, there is less of an immigration issue in NI, but I’m talking about the UK as a whole. The immigration issue is about having no control, and also that the people flooding in are Muslims from countries with extreme anti western hatred. They openly say they want to destroy the west and have their caliphate, and so on. Low and behold, we have some of the worst slaughters in the last year than we have ever seen from terrorism. All Islamic, and from recent ‘migrants’.
    Its pathetic so see the liberal loony lefty types so ham strung with political correctness, that they actually attack anyone who mentions this sort of thing and wants to stop it. They actually think we shouldn’t have any right to say who comes into our country. Its the same in all the EU countries.
    There is a change now that can be seen online. Never reported in the MSM though. The Social Justice Warriors (SJWs) that scream racist about everything, but cannot make a coherent facts based argument are just being ridiculed and ignored.
    Limited and vetted immigration along the line of Australia’s is the best solution I am aware of. Open to any religion including Muslims. It is common sense to block anyone coming into our country if they come from a culture and region that wants to kill and destroy us.

  • Sir Rantsalot

    I found this after a wee google.

    27% decline in NI fishing vessels throughout the 90s.

    “The rest of the UK fleet is spread throughout England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The Northern Irish contribution is fairly small, and although locally important, there are only four ports with sizeable landings. The fishing fleet in Northern Ireland has contracted significantly since the early 1990s with a 27% decrease in vessel numbers. A similar contraction has been seen elsewhere in the UK. The traditionally important ports of the Humber region on the Northeast Coast of England have been in steady decline, and although still very important in terms of trans-shipment and processing, the catching sector is barely represented in the local ports. The Southwest of England, particularly Cornwall, has also seen reduced numbers of vessels during recent years, although the value of landings remains high in the region.”

  • Sir Rantsalot

    Hadn’t heard about reopening the coal mines. Maybe related to Clean Coal power stations. But burning coal cleanly, removing the pollutants and creating cheap electricity again, might upset the expensive ‘environmental’ power industry.

  • Sir Rantsalot

    Kevin, I was wondering, do you have a vested interest in trying to get us to stay in the EU? Do you have a job, or family / friends etc?

  • Sir Rantsalot

    “Firstly the UK can represent itself in the European Union, and has a massive effect in steering that trade policy.”

    The only problem with claiming such influence, is that its completely untrue !!!

    E.g. “The UK has opposed 72 measures in the EU Council which have gone on to become law.”

    So that’s EU 72 – UK 0 !!

  • Kevin Breslin

    I’m merely pointing out that the WTO influence relies on the over dependence of other countries. The West pretty much bunch together anyway, and inside or outside the EU there’s not going to be a radical culture change to that.

  • Kevin Breslin

    The UK has backed thousands of EU proposals, so other EU nations stopped a few proposals well that’s because it’s their single market too. It happens almost as much times with Germany. They both only get around 86% of what they vote on. The last time the UK lost a vote in the EU was over limits on banker’s bonuses being less than annual salaries, the U.K. Conservative government voted against this.

    The fact is bilateral treaty deals with other countries are not going to have 90-100% success rates the UK’s way either. Other Countries are not British colonies and even colonies have tolerance limits.

    If the UK wants the EU to have its single market and the U.K. Its separated market and experiment once again with isolationism, protectionism and jingoism in order to prevent other countries influencing equal terms to trade with it so be it. It’s a simple choice how far the UK is willing to step away from a common market with common rules for separate markets with divergent rules that can be changed without any of its input.

    The U.K. has backed legislation that other countries in the EU didn’t like with its own European like minded nations and things members of its own public wouldn’t like

  • Dreary Steeple

    All the farmers in my area are voting out, they see whats coming, their single farm payment is being salami sliced until 2020, but the tonnes of nonsense regulations will stay. The cap funding will be moved Eastwards to Ukraine and Turkey.

  • Dreary Steeple

    Simon Jenkins writing in the Guardian this weekend after his visit to Germany is shocked by the ‘complacency towards the damage the euro is inflicting on Greece,Spain and Italy, and complacency too towards the harm the EU’s trade barriers do to the developing world. The Eu has become a smug, dysfunctional, economically cruel cartelised oligarchy. It is not sustained by any democracy but by paid sycophants and corruption. Brexit would have little lasting impact on the British economy’, but here is the crux of the matter for many people that move in the same circles as Jenkins ‘a much greater risk is for Britain to leave a tortured Europe with a reactionary Germany in the ascendants’. You can pontificate all you want about the economy, immigration little englanders or irelanders, this in/out matter for many Brits always was about a rampant Germany out of control doing what ever it bloody well pleases. Now let me think, has this ever happened before?.

  • Sir Rantsalot

    “The UK has backed thousands of EU proposals, so other EU nations stopped a few proposals well that’s because it’s their single market too. It happens almost as much times with Germany. They both only get around 86% of what they vote on.”

    Its this type of wording to your points that made me think you had an agenda. What you are saying is not what I said ! You claimed that the UK had weight and influence in the EU, but the figures are the opposite. Of the 72 times we objected to something, we were ignored. That weight is exactly 0 Kg !
    But you answered by talking about the many times the UK has backed EU proposals. This is not influence.

    Why don’t you admit that remaining in the EU means no control of our own country? 🙂

    “If the UK wants the EU to have its single market and the U.K. Its separated market and experiment once again with isolationism, protectionism and jingoism in order to prevent other countries influencing equal terms to trade with it so be it.”
    Isolationism? Sorry but throwing up isms to try and create a negative emotional response, does not wash anymore. We all know that many European countries and others around the world trade with the EU and get on just fine. Remainers have nothing other than trying to scare people.
    Leave wins the argument every time 🙂

  • Kevin Breslin

    I think you’ve swallowed the Leave side’s smuck bait. It is completely myopic.

    “Oh once we leave the EU the rest of the world will accept our terms, because they should respect our arrogance.”

    Trade is a reap what you sew process, sew arrogance, reap arrogance.

    Where the UK wants to use its veto, its Petition of Concern so to speak, it will, but using it all the time encourages other countries to do the same. These are minor issues the UK is losing on. When it comes to the Euro, it said NO and that was respected, likewise Schengen, and the Dublin Protocol. If it had not paid some of the contributions that it was asked to make, it was likely the EU would cut funding to centralised research that the UK relies on that the UK could not fund at home.

    I feel deeply sorry for you. You talk about all these countries outside the EU trading with the EU as if it is exclusively on their terms and that contribute no money to them to access single market and European scientific bodies. The reality is that is not true.
    The outside nations don’t have any direct say in the single market, all they have is a dispute court that deals with treaties they make with the EU that can come down hard on them as much as they do the EU nations.

    People complain about the net contribution seem to forget the likes of the Marshall Plan where the US invested in Western Europe to open its market, that wasn’t US charity, it was US self-interest. The EU lead by nations like Germany, UK and France don’t make net contributions out of charity, but out of a similar self-interest, there are strings attached to funds.

    Look at India who now refuses UK aid, it refuses a lot of the UK’s terms of trade now. That country is also more hostile to outsiders entering its market as it drives towards self-sufficiency. It has openly said it prefers to deal with the European unio as a bloc to single nations. As a huge country that is possible. Countries with fewer resources like the UK, Japan, New Zealand, many small third world countries have to have open trade.

    When it comes to trade bilaterals there is always going to be someone else at the table. Many big nations around the world are going to refuse the UK government’s and by extension Leave side’s conditions, other times when they make compromises the UK public isn’t going to like them. At the same time it will be allowing the EU to shift the EU trading equilibrium away from them.

  • Kevin Breslin

    I mean seriously, these demands for absolute control over the single market, world trade etc. They are completely unrealistic. Germany doesn’t have absolute control over the single market, China and USA combined cannot control world trade.

    The Leave side has no respect for other nation’s sovereignty and ability to stop the UK when they want. Funny how it is never brought up.

  • Angry Mob

    Again, this ignores the fact that we have to adopt the common position, we do gain by leaving as we are able to actually vote independently of the EU member states pre-agreed common position if it’s unsuitable for us.

  • Sir Rantsalot

    Kevin, you have exposed yourself as one of the hysterical Remain Drones. In reply to me you quote what I didn’t say, and then make an argument against what I didn’t claim. You as a Remainer have absolutely nothing !! Brexit wins the argument yet again !! 🙂

    “Oh once we leave the EU the rest of the world will accept our terms, because they should respect our arrogance.”

    “I mean seriously, these demands for absolute control over the single market, world trade etc. They are completely unrealistic.”

    No one said this. Not me. You said it. Talk about desperation from the Remainers. No facts based argument and now reduced to crazy talk !! 🙂
    Kevin, why don’t you explain to us your link to the EU and why you are so desperate to promote it ????

  • Kevin Breslin

    My comments were entirely sarcastic, mainly in response to the unfeasible belief that any country will or should have it all their own way in any treaty arrangement.

    That’s a realistic and pragmatic attitude to most international affairs not just the UK EU relationship.

    Brexit wins the arguement is a funny negotiating position, all I was pointing out is that Norway and Switzerland sit on the outside and they influence nothing. There seems to be a tendency in the United Kingdom to deny the United Kingdom’s contribution to EU policy making.