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Brexit made simple

Don't worry I'm not going to berate you to leave or stay.  I'm more interested in how politicians have positioned the issues for us to discuss and the confusion they have caused.  What I've tried to do is simplify the arguments. 

To me Brexit is about three things:

  • Trade
  • Immigration
  • Political Union

Of these I think that political union is the more serious topic, but you may not agree.


It's clear that all parties to the debate have decide to go for the trade subject as that is where they can scare the voter the most.  Some of the comments made by both sides:

  • It'll cost us £4,300 per household per year.
  • We buy 52% of our imports from the EU.
  • We send £350m to the EU each week.
  • We're a great country and the 5th largest economy in the world.
  • We'll be at the back of the queue in trade negotiations with the USA.
  • Unemployment will rise.
  • The EU won't want to trade with us.
  • The NHS will suffer.
  • We'll be stronger outside.

Everyone is uttering the doom and gloom of staying in or leaving without providing us any real facts.

The EU is in the middle of a major trade negotiation with the USA and we don't yet know what will be agreed and how it will affect us or the EU.

The truth that is acknowledged by both sides is that no-one knows what our trade situation will be until we leave or we decide to remain.


At least on this issue there does seem to be a consensus, if we stay in we'll be overrun (just like the Rumanian scare that never materialized), or if we leave we'll be able to pick and choose who we let in.

Well, if we leave we'll have to sign a trade agreement with the EU if we want to retain that market and then the people will come.

Let's not forget that both sides agree that over 2 million UK citizens have moved to Europe.

If we stay, we'll have to let EU citizens in as it's fundamental to the EU, the free movement of people.

Both sides agree we need to let people in because we don't train enough Doctors, Nurses, Scientists, IT people and so on.

Political Union

The in crowd says we should stay and make the necessary changes to the EU that will make it stronger.  The out crowd says we would be stronger and would be able to negotiate better with the EU.

David Cameron supposedly negotiated a better deal for the UK in the EU, but we've heard nothing about it so far in this campaign, except to be told by other EU leaders that it’s not binding and the courts could overturn it.

The fact is that the EU is on a track to political union and it would like the UK to be part of it.  Our 50 million population and our place as the 5th largest global economy is very attractive to a group that wants to play on the world stage as a major power.

Of course the SNP want us to be part of the EU because they know believe that the EU will eventually pass more and more power to the regions and not to the National Assemblies.

But, we have lost our veto over laws we don't like and as Kate Hoey said recently 'we are not an independent country anymore'.  We are forced to go with the majority which may be against our interests.  Look at Greece.

The USA would like us continue to be part of the EU because with our special relationship we'd provide a safe corridor into the EU which would benefit them.

The leave group agree with this but say we can be part of the EU trading group without being part of political union.  But can you; Austria and Switzerland did and we opted out of the Euro, but most of the politics of the EU is applicable to us through the directives like PSD2.


  1. Both parties agree that a trade agreement with the EU is vital and that we have to accept we'll have less control over our borders than we'd like to have.
  2. Both sides agree that we should have more control over the skills of the people we let in.
  3. Both sides agree that the EU machine is not fit for purpose and difficult to reform.
  4. Both sides have more in common than sets them apart.

What it finally comes down to is do you think our future is as an independent country or should we be part of a unified EU.





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John Doyle

John Doyle


The Payments Business

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17 Dec 2001



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