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Assuming you were starting from scratch, how, as briefly as possible, would you design the EU?

Please try and avoid the 'b' word (I think there might be a thread already for that - not sure, just a hunch), and if your answer is "I wouldn't", can you just shout "me too" at the first post that says it...

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  • A la carte options 
    • complex system that calculates how big the cheque is to access single market based on which freedoms are allowed out of the fours
  • Qualified majority to take decisions
  • Non obligatory integration system with project of being the US of Europe (ie for countries that wishes it)
    • Common Army
    • Common Currency
    • Common Language (African countries , Switzerland... can live under one flag with different languages)
    • Supra national say on what are still sovereign matters (tax, citizenship access...)

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1 hour ago, tomandlu said:

Assuming you were starting from scratch, how, as briefly as possible, would you design the EU?

It depends on the objectives.  Federal government with political, fiscal and monetary union?  Free trade with mutual recognition of regulatory standards?  Sovereign governments co-operating in areas of mutual interest on a case-by-case basis?

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Land for a capital distrcit carved out of the border between France and Germany.

Full integration with currency, monetary and fiscal policy, health and benefits and retirement ages all aligned. One Federal budget, one army, one union, one nation, one president, one language.

Half way house doesn't work (as can clearly be seen right now and was painfully obvious before). 

If nations do not wish that then they don't need to join. 

I firmly believe that we are leaving because of the strains placed on the UK (or the perceived strains) of a rapid increase in population as a result of freedom of movement. If benefits, healthcare etc were aligned across the bloc then this would have been mitigated. 

Finally, housing policy should be dictated by migration patterns and demand and building zones allocated for self builders should they wish it. 

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54 minutes ago, adarmo said:

Land for a capital distrcit carved out of the border between France and Germany.

Full integration with currency, monetary and fiscal policy, health and benefits and retirement ages all aligned. One Federal budget, one army, one union, one nation, one president, one language.

Half way house doesn't work (as can clearly be seen right now and was painfully obvious before). 

If nations do not wish that then they don't need to join. 

I firmly believe that we are leaving because of the strains placed on the UK (or the perceived strains) of a rapid increase in population as a result of freedom of movement. If benefits, healthcare etc were aligned across the bloc then this would have been mitigated

Finally, housing policy should be dictated by migration patterns and demand and building zones allocated for self builders should they wish it. 

indeed lets not forget those unfortunate rubber dinghy dwellers were in the safety of Europe many thousands of miles ago no need to waste energy coming all away across the channel 😉

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2 hours ago, Will! said:

It depends on the objectives.  Federal government with political, fiscal and monetary union?  Free trade with mutual recognition of regulatory standards?  Sovereign governments co-operating in areas of mutual interest on a case-by-case basis?

Exactly, the design depends what the EU is actually for. The fact that the case for Remain was pretty flimsy and unconvincing for the majority of voters suggests that the EU is little more than an plan looking for adequate justification.

It has been variously suggested that the original concept was to:

1) provide a cage for Germany, so it would not again threaten European domination (particularly domination of France).

2) provide more dependable food supply for a continent which was starving at the end of WW2.

3) provide a way of reducing ruinous competition between EU countries which essentially produce much the same type of goods and products, and trying to sell to the same customers.

Well, 1) has clearly failed, 2) produces food at c.20% higher than World prices, and 3) has resulted in a substantial UK trade surplus when we joined becoming a £67 billion deficit today.

1, 2 and 3 above could have been achieved with a loose system of alliances, but the model adopted, with a strong central bureaucracy, a strong rules based system and a single currency and central bank, can only work with a single administration and treasury, and balancing payments from rich areas to poor areas. In this respect IMHO the EU most resembles the Roman (or other) empires, and none of them lasted long, and most residents of empires had a pretty miserable life, and couldn't wait to escape.

 

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Free movement of goods

Free movement of capital

No free movement of people

 

In other words, basically what the EU used to be like in the EEC and EC days.

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In order to join a country would first have to enter the Eurovision song contest and win at least once.

If your country can't come up with one half-decent song, then sorry you ain't getting in.

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11 minutes ago, Habeas Domus said:

In order to join a country would first have to enter the Eurovision song contest and win at least once.

If your country can't come up with one half-decent song, then sorry you ain't getting in. 

If that was true Israel would be in the EU and potentially Australia. lol Who knows where this could go. https://www.captiongenerator.com/33393/North-Korea-to-join-Eurovision-Song-Contest

 

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15 hours ago, adarmo said:

...

Full integration with currency, monetary and fiscal policy, health and benefits and retirement ages all aligned. One Federal budget, one army, one union, one nation, one president, one language.

Half way house doesn't work (as can clearly be seen right now and was painfully obvious before). . 

...

I quite liked Freki's a la carte suggestion, but I think you've nailed it imho.

For me, the problem with the EU is arbitrage - whether in relocating (or threatening to) for the cheapest local workers (and then selling to the richest), or via FoM (Polish builders syndrome*). Given that, and as much as I'd like there to be an obvious solution, it's hard to see how 'small' (in ambition) would ever work, and very hard to see, even if it could, how it could evolve into a 'large' (in ambition) EU without entering the danger zone.

The FoM issue could be resolved, I suppose, with some careful regulation about what sort of jobs are 'open' or not, or perhaps via requiring an intent to resettle, but that would all require a level of bureaucracy to solve a self-created problem.

* I have less of a problem with families genuinely relocating; it's temporary economic migration that I have a problem with - "Auf Wiedersehen, Pet", so to speak.

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The current design seems okay to me. No major changes without unanimous agreement of national governments, groups of nations able to go into deeper integration (e.g. eurozone) if they want. Individual nations have the sovereignty to take steps back toward looser arrangements (e.g. leave the euro, leave the EU, leave EFTA) if they want. Under the US constitution states can't do this, they are all fully locked in.

I'd be inclined to bin CAP but that has been happening gradually over the last couple of decades anyway.

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Ostensibly the original concept of "ever closer union", enshrined in the Treaty of Rome,  was an organic one mediated by trade. A customs union would facilitate trade and, over time, peoples would come closer together. It was a union of peoples and not states. I see nothing wrong with that.

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13 hours ago, scottbeard said:

Free movement of goods

Free movement of capital

No free movement of people

 

In other words, basically what the EU used to be like in the EEC and EC days.

Or free movement of people but for the first 5 years if you need benefits you have to get them from your home country.

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And a way to coerce stowaways with unfair competition (Malta, Lux, Ireland, the Netherlands ...) to prevent them from undermining big countries.

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15 hours ago, onlooker said:

Exactly, the design depends what the EU is actually for. The fact that the case for Remain was pretty flimsy and unconvincing for the majority of voters suggests that the EU is little more than an plan looking for adequate justification.

It has been variously suggested that the original concept was to:

1) provide a cage for Germany, so it would not again threaten European domination (particularly domination of France).

2) provide more dependable food supply for a continent which was starving at the end of WW2.

3) provide a way of reducing ruinous competition between EU countries which essentially produce much the same type of goods and products, and trying to sell to the same customers.

Well, 1) has clearly failed, 2) produces food at c.20% higher than World prices, and 3) has resulted in a substantial UK trade surplus when we joined becoming a £67 billion deficit today.

1, 2 and 3 above could have been achieved with a loose system of alliances, but the model adopted, with a strong central bureaucracy, a strong rules based system and a single currency and central bank, can only work with a single administration and treasury, and balancing payments from rich areas to poor areas. In this respect IMHO the EU most resembles the Roman (or other) empires, and none of them lasted long, and most residents of empires had a pretty miserable life, and couldn't wait to escape.

 

The purpose of the EU was to embed neoliberalism in international treaties where it was protected from national governments.

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15 minutes ago, BorrowToLeech said:

The purpose of the EU was to embed neoliberalism in international treaties where it was protected from national governments.

'Purpose' is probably a bit strong imho, but, yes, that does seem to be the outcome.

I struggle to find a convincing, practical answer to the question "why do we need the EU?", other than the rather vague "it might prevent some wars, and it's nice for the young 'uns who want to study in europe or fund travel with bar-work..."

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45 minutes ago, tomandlu said:

I struggle to find a convincing, practical answer to the question "why do we need the EU?", other than the rather vague "it might prevent some wars, and it's nice for the young 'uns who want to study in europe or fund travel with bar-work..."

Could ask that about any political body e.g. Why do we need the UK?

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The new EU would need to define its purpose from day one, then stick to it.  It needs to be EITHER (1) a trading body that facilitates trade between separate individual nations OR (2) a single nation, with a government that's genuinely democratically accountable.

The problem with the EU (previously EEC) is that it started off as (1) then attempted to imperceptibly morph into (2), except without ever intending to have much in the way of democracy.

Just be honest from the start on what the ambition is, instead of attempting a sneaky takeover.  They took us for idiots, and they seem to be largely getting away with it with the rest of the captive nations.

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9 minutes ago, Dorkins said:

Could ask that about any political body e.g. Why do we need the UK?

To some extent, yes.

However, I'm not necessarily against a more comprehensive arrangement for the EU - fiscal, monetary, etc. - which would address some of my economic concerns. The question then is would the EU be any better at managing the distinct needs of distinct areas than national governments? Not that the UK government has been particularly good at this, with a disproportionate emphasis on the SE...

I must confess that I flip-flop on the very principle of the EU on a moment-by-moment basis, and I'm not sure which position is (the most) emotive and which is (the most) practical.

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7 minutes ago, Tes Tickle said:

The new EU would need to define its purpose from day one, then stick to it.  It needs to be EITHER (1) a trading body that facilitates trade between separate individual nations OR (2) a single nation, with a government that's genuinely democratically accountable.n

Yes, it's certainly arguable that the transition from 1 to 2 is tricky - but which of those options, if you were starting from scratch, would you choose?

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Just now, tomandlu said:

Yes, it's certainly arguable that the transition from 1 to 2 is tricky - but which of those options, if you were starting from scratch, would you choose?

I'd be equally happy with either, just as long as it's clearly defined from the outset what we're getting into.

With a USofE solution the UK govt would remain but be shrunk down lots and still be elected, just as you have state-level government in the USA.  It would also be a good excuse for us to have a root and branch reform of the way the UK is governed too, get rid of all the unelected power and stupid traditions, e.g. all the "Mr Speaker" and robes nonsense, reinvent ourselves as a modern nation fit for the future.

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18 hours ago, longgone said:

indeed lets not forget those unfortunate rubber dinghy dwellers were in the safety of Europe many thousands of miles ago no need to waste energy coming all away across the channel 😉

Quite. It would resolve many of the problems we have today and much of the support for Brexit imho.

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4 hours ago, tomandlu said:

I quite liked Freki's a la carte suggestion, but I think you've nailed it imho.

For me, the problem with the EU is arbitrage - whether in relocating (or threatening to) for the cheapest local workers (and then selling to the richest), or via FoM (Polish builders syndrome*). Given that, and as much as I'd like there to be an obvious solution, it's hard to see how 'small' (in ambition) would ever work, and very hard to see, even if it could, how it could evolve into a 'large' (in ambition) EU without entering the danger zone.

The FoM issue could be resolved, I suppose, with some careful regulation about what sort of jobs are 'open' or not, or perhaps via requiring an intent to resettle, but that would all require a level of bureaucracy to solve a self-created problem.

* I have less of a problem with families genuinely relocating; it's temporary economic migration that I have a problem with - "Auf Wiedersehen, Pet", so to speak.

I was inspired by the forging of our own union. One king, one island, one currency, one god.

With equalization across many areas of life and support FoM would be viewed as less of a problem and more of a benefit. Doesnt matter where you went to uni and then where you worked and then retired since you've been constantly contributing to one pot (or On the boomer don't pay as you go system ;) ).

Alas I'm but a simple bloke after a simple life :)

 

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It's not possible to design an EU. Designing something implies you have some control over it. You can't control human nature.

The best way forward is free market economics. You can have laws in your country that bans the sale of chlorinated chicken, heroin, casu marzu and whatever your country wants to ban.

If you don't want to partake in something that is your choice.

Edited by Captain Kirk

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22 hours ago, scottbeard said:

Free movement of goods

Free movement of capital

No free movement of people

 

In other words, basically what the EU used to be like in the EEC and EC days.

+1

 

Although there should be freedom for EU citizens to look for jobs in other EU countries and a right to residence if they should get a job and pay tax.

You'd also ideally reform the UK benefits system to be contributions based with decent benefits based on past contributions but a discretionary stipend after that, paid only to legal residents.  Right to residency for those claiming their contributions based benefits, after that no automatic right.

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  • 294 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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