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Comments: 332 • Responses: 55  • Date: 

zoidboob26 karma

Pros and Cons of leaving/staying, please, in bullet points, without scaremongering... I think is all anyone is after...?

Cheers!

chrissssmith23 karma

Pros and cons is tough because there are a lot of issues that have different degrees of importance to people, so it would be better to get an idea of what you care about. Plus, everything is very interconnected... however, the below is perhaps a useful start, I hope.

Pros:

We save some money... but not that much money. Our 'cost' last year was just £13billion, and only £8.5billion when you taken into account what comes back in investment (https://fullfact.org/europe/our-eu-membership-fee-55-million/), which sounds a lot, but that is actually just 1/3rd of the amount we spend on defence. The claims this could be spent on hospitals and nurses is a bit disingenuous in my opinion; it's not enough money to really improve service levels in an organisation as big as the NHS or the education system. Additionally, many of the leading voices of Leave are pretty anti-government spending, so you'd probably find they would be loathe to invest any savings there...

You do get control of the borders back in terms of being able to refuse EU nationals entry into the country. However, you do not actually get much more control back over law making. To trade with the EU (which we must continue to do), we simply accept the rules of the club, without having an opportunity to influence them. However, on some areas, we would have more control. (This is a good summary: http://openeurope.org.uk/today/blog/what-would-a-norway-style-relationship-with-the-eu-entail/). Some claims that we would have 'sovereignty' back though are clearly not quite right; we would still, outside the EU, be beholden to all sorts of other agreements and protocols relating to trade, defence, business etc, whilst we already have total control over things like fiscal and monetary policy because we aren't in the Euro.

Cons:

For me, the biggest con can be summed up in one word. Uncertainty. It's undeniable that leaving would bring a lot of uncertainty, and no-one is entirely sure what would happen with lots of things. The big issue here is that the global capitalist system hates uncertainty (http://austrianeconomists.typepad.com/weblog/2008/09/capitalists-cap.html).

It's therefore, very likely that the UK will suffer economic 'damage' at least in the short-term until that uncertainty is cleared up. Further economic damage will then arise if the things that do happen aren't great. For example, we lose competitiveness in trading with the EU and the US because we lose collective bargaining power, or our financial services expertise starts to be drawn away to Frankfurt or other EU countries, which would have a pretty big hit on GDP . Leave campaigners say this won't happen, but the truth is we don't actually 'know'. The reality is the economic impact will be negative for probably a 5-10 year period, but after that it might level out and it won't have changed the long term prospects of the UK, or, it might continue to damage them. I think it's quite unlikely we will make any sort of significant economic gains overall, although certain areas may prosper.

In terms of immigration, leaving the EU will enable us to reduce immigration. However, the biggest con here is that leaving the EU to reduce immigration is a little bit like using a chainsaw to carve a loaf of bread; it's a very big political change to address an issue which has negatives and positives. Immigration can cost some people their jobs and can impact 'culture' in a way some people don't like, and that shouldn't be dismissed. However, we also have an ageing population and a need for working people, both skilled and unskilled. This means if we leave the EU, we will still have relatively high levels of immigration. More people immigrated to the UK from outside the EU than within it last year - we 'could' have blocked all of these non EU people but we didn't, because they were coming to do jobs we wanted them to do. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-eu-referendum-36382199)

I think much of the rest of the cons are based in how you see the world; wanting to be part of something bigger, being part of a peace promoting organisation that wants to try and make things better, even if sometimes it gets things wrong. That sort of thing. Some people will naturally hate the EU because they believe in small government, whilst others will naturally be drawn towards it, because it does do progressive things for people by getting involved in things. This is more of a personal political preference however.

night_delights-6 karma

For me, the biggest con can be summed up in one word. Uncertainty.

For me, that's the biggest con of "remain". Europe is constantly changing. You're only 20-something so you're actually probably rather unaware of how much change has actually occurred in the last decade much less since the 70s.

EUROPE. IS. CHANGING.

Sure, with Brexit there's necessary change. Regulatory change. Trade relations negotiations. But here's the thing: with Brexit comes more flexibility!

So the question isn't whether there will be change. The question is whether we can do anything about it!

chrissssmith14 karma

And that's a perfectly valid view based on the information available. It is a roll of the dice, and if you're willing to take a great leap into the unknown with a optimistic attitude, then voting leave makes sense. However, I would argue for change and reform within ahead of exit, to avoid short-term (and I mean 5-10 years not months) impact, which will undoubtedly, have a negative impact on people, particularly the younger generation.

SprightlyPathfinder5 karma

Didn't David Cameron try and fail to get meaningful reform though?

chrissssmith8 karma

He did get reform. A good summary is here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-eu-referendum-35622105

Did he get enough to turn a hardened Brexiteer to change their mind? No, but then that was never likely. The key thing he wanted was to be able to say 'no more EU power' without our clear agreement (whilst being clear that he would never give that agreement whilst he was in power).

TheWrongCat-3 karma

which will undoubtedly, have a negative impact on people

You simply cannot make that statement. No expert would claim with 100% certainty to know the outcome of a Brexit.

Your attempt at a list of pros and cons is horrendously biased; you are simply not qualified to be doing an AMA on this subject.

The only answer people need in this thread is that this referendum is about sovereignty. Where do we want our government to be based? London or Brussels? Everything else falls into line behind that.

chrissssmith3 karma

The only answer people need in this thread is that this referendum is about sovereignty. Where do we want our government to be based? London or Brussels? Everything else falls into line behind that.

I've already stated clearly elsewhere why this is fundamentally NOT what the referendum is about at all. Our sovereignty will remain impacted and limited by external facts whether or not we are within the EU.

I've also fully explained why I can make that claim. Brexit would be very uncertain and unclear for people and businesses and markets. Businesses and markets do not respond well to uncertainty. There would be a negative economic impact as a result. I think that is a very fair and clear point. I am not saying that is a reason to vote Remain, and I am not saying that leaving the EU would be permanently economically damaging forever - again I've clearly stated this is unknown.

night_delights-11 karma

The future is always unknown. If you drift in life expecting things to never change then you are unprepared for the certain change that is coming!

I think Britain has let itself down and weakened itself. Everybody talks as if Europe will save us - but we need to be able to take responsibility for ourselves.

I would argue for change and reform within ahead of exit, to avoid short-term (and I mean 5-10 years not months) impact, which will undoubtedly, have a negative impact on people, particularly the younger generation.

Firstly you will never get reform out of Europe. An ever growing institution does not cut back. Ever. It's all or nothing.

Your lack of respect for the young generation is sickening. Don't you want to make a better country for younger people? Don't you give a fuck?

Why would you enslave younger people to the European Union - just so a tiny privileged proportion can go get an education in German or Italian? Most younger people will stay in Britain and want jobs and a future here. So we must do what is best for the country to give that very youth a better life.

It is disgusting to talk about "remain" as being the solution to all young people's problems. Utter hogwash. Look at Spain with 50% youth unemployment!!! What is Europe doing for young people - I'll tell you, it is fucking them over like you wouldn't believe.

What the hell did you study? Some kind of masturbation course? Because you sound like you don't know shit and are desperately denigrating the United Kingdom and young people with emotional arguments that have no basis in fact.

chrissssmith6 karma

Obviously, I am not going to take such an abusive comment seriously, but I will say that claims about 'high EU employment' being a sign of how the EU fails young people is very disingenuous. High youth unemployment in 'some' EU countries is caused by two things - the first is the Euro, as monetary policy set by the European Central Bank has made employment situations worse in some countries, where they would prefer a different interest rate, but are unable to set it. Of course, we are not beholden to this, and the Bank Of England sets our interest rates. The second is that domestic policies have a huge impact to play. Spain has serious issues with its domestic fiscal, welfare and business policy that have worsened that crisis, and that is nothing to do with the EU. It should be remembered the UK government has a huge amount of power to tackle things like unemployment. I find claims such as the ones you make a clear scapegoating of the EU for the ills and issues that do exist, when domestic policy would be the best weapon for tackling them - not Brexit.

duro7722 karma

Everyone is asking some pretty important questions, but I have the most pertinent question of them all, the only question that matters:

What will happen to ALDI and LIDIL if we leave the EU?

Edit: me no good with words

chrissssmith4 karma

Broadly speaking, not much, as they operate in the UK quite independently. It is a different story if you have a business based in the EU who sells to the UK, but does not have much of a UK operation in terms of staff, stores etc. Depending on what happens post Brexit, prices may rise, but this would be across all similar competitors and not just for European based grocery business. The impact in the grocery sector would fall on the consumer more than the businesses.

nanonan16 karma

I know you want to be unbiased and just clear up confusion, but where do you personally stand?

chrissssmith18 karma

My personal vote will be for Remain; I cannot see a clear and compelling reason for Leave that is based in hard cold reality and fact; too much is based upon feelings of distrust, desire for 'independence' and issues with things like immigration, which could be tackled through domestic policy and change within the EU, rather than a forced, formal exit, which will have many impacts well beyond these policy areas of concern.

nanonan5 karma

What power is there to change the EU though? Why do you put independence in scare quotes when it is clearly a legitimate position to hold?

chrissssmith37 karma

I typed 'independence' because the idea that leaving the EU gives us back our independence is false. We would remain not only beholden to EU laws and regulation in order to access EU free trade (and we would want that, because the alternatives are very economically damaging), but we also remain beholden to a huge host of other external checks on our sovereign power, due to the globalised nature of the world - the UN, IMF, World Bank, NATO, whilst we would still be subject to the European Court of Human Rights because (contrary to popular belief), it is not an EU organisation. Then, there are other organisations it would be in our interest to remain involved in, such as Europol and other supra-national organisations, including those based around security and intelligence, all of which have rules, regulations and checks in place.

The point is, 'independence' is really a misnomer in the 21st century, unless you are advocating complete isolationism.

barn-owl13 karma

Do you agree with David Mitchell when he said that the issue is far too complicated to be left to ill-informed voters, and should be something for parliament to debate between themselves?

chrissssmith9 karma

I mean, that's a big debate in and of itself. Direct democracy on paper seems very inclusive, but it potentially isn't, because of the potential for decisions to be made without a full understanding of the impacts. Brexit may well occur without all the consequences being totally analysed or understood by people voting out. Much of the current debate is very narrow (immigration and the economy), but there are so many other things that may be impacted. This is why an analogy I often use is 'using a chainsaw to carve a loaf of bread' - leaving the EU is a pretty drastic thing to do, and potentially not the right thing to do if all you care about is trade with non EU nations, or reducing immigration, because you are also potentially damaging everything from education funding to environmental protection, as well as threatening individual rights. Now, I'm not claiming those things WILL happen - the fact is, we don't really know, because it all revolves around the fine print within a still hypothetical exit negotiation. But they are possibilities that are simply absent from the debate because we are having to have it a very big picture, macro level due to it being a national referendum.

theboybuck5 karma

What did you do your dissertation on?

chrissssmith5 karma

Thatcherism in the UK and Abroad

loukitch7 karma

And which side did you take, Thatchers or the North's? ;-)

chrissssmith6 karma

It was a balanced, facts based analysis of Thatchertism as a political idea and philosophy :)

EDI-Thor4 karma

*Do you think Brexit could encourage right-wing support across Europe?

*I heard Scotland is overwhelmingly pro-EU. If a Brexit occurs, how will it affect the England-Scotland relationship?

chrissssmith7 karma

I think Brexit, if it happens, will likely encourage already existing anti-European movements across Europe, such as NF in France, Alliance for Progress and Renewal in Germany and Golden Dawn in Greece. But it will only encourage an ongoing, growing trend. The 2014 European elections saw 25% of the seats available go to Eurosceptic parties - so it really is a cross-continental issues already. The reasons for that, well that could be a pretty long book about 21st century identity politics and entirely new AMA!

chrissssmith13 karma

Missed the Scotland bit. I think if Brexit happens, we will inevitably have another Scottish referendum. One of the big issues with Scottish independence was what would happen with the EU. There were lots of arguments about fast track entry (some said two years max) whilst others said it would take more like seven to ten. This would have undoubtedly impacted votes. The claim that if we leave, there should be another referendum, would be a powerful one and eventually unavoidable - although the government would have to agree with that analysis to allow it. I do then also think Scotland would probably then vote for independence - certainly, support has not dropped since 2014, and the EU issue could quite easily flip the balance.

weaselinMTL3 karma

If the UK exits the EU, what kind of trading deal will they try to get afterwards?

chrissssmith8 karma

The Vote leave campaign potentially wants to have it's cake and eat it to, with some of their claims on this topic. They want control of laws back, but don't want to trade with the EU with tariffs applied (this would unavoidably be very bad for UK trade competitiveness). We therefore would pretty much 100% have to agree a free trade deal with the EU; but the issue is, in order to do this, we have to agree with all EU legislation and trade laws, rules and regulations. That won't be up for negotiation - Norway, Switzerland already use this model so it's well established. It means many of the things they don't like (the regulations) will still be in place, post Brexit, and new rules will still be applied by Brussels, except we will now have no impact or influence on making them, rather than some.

(http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/europpblog/2013/04/19/norwegian-model-poor-alternative-eu-uk-membership-eea-erna-solberg/)

Chromatious3 karma

You are making huge statements and assumptions here!

We therefore would pretty much 100% have to agree a free trade deal with the EU.

.

That won't be up for negotiation - Norway, Switzerland already use this model so it's well established.

For someone claiming to be an expert in this field, you seem to be mistaking your opinion with facts.

The political dynamics and economic consequences of trade between EU countries & Norway / Switzerland, and then between EU counteries & the UK may well be different, and may well set up a line of negotiation. Just because one country did something many years ago, does not mean a different country must do the same.

chrissssmith3 karma

A number of key EU decision makers have already been very clear that there is no room for negotiation on this. I think it's fair to assume based on the information available that it is a take it or leave it situation, at least on the most part.

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/6d62306e-fc08-11e5-b3f6-11d5706b613b.html

http://openeurope.org.uk/intelligence/britain-and-the-eu/eu-wargame/

HappyHipo1 karma

[deleted]

chrissssmith1 karma

That's a valid opinion and fair point. I would argue that leaving the EU to reduce some red tape on some businesses is like using a chainsaw to carve a loaf of bread though, given the huge amount of other impacts and effects it would have across many other areas.

H0agh3 karma

How do you think the EU will respond if the UK votes out?

What I mean is that, wouldn't it be politically dangerous for them to make it easy on the UK after a leave vote? With regards to other countries following suit.

chrissssmith8 karma

I think they will have to respect the result, because the EU is very much a bastion of democracy. However, I would expect it will be a very drawn out process (which will be damaging for the UK in itself), and we will certainly not get everything our own way. As previously mentioned, if we wish to have any sort of access to EU free trade (which, we will want, because the alternative is very damaging for UK business), then we will have to accept and agree to all EU product, service and trading laws and regulations - both current and any future changes or additions. That won't sit well with Brexiteers, but it will be the only game in town.

Because we aren't part of the Euro, which is a particularly sensitive area, I don't think it will be as bad for the EU as Grexit would have been, but it will still be a massive blow to the idea behind the organisation. It is likely they will look to reform it before any other countries exit, with a focus on being more transparent, and on being clear about no further political integration. (It should however be noted the UK already has an opt-out on any future changes, which means it would not have to adopt them, but could stay within the EU).

SimonTolomeo2 karma

Do you think there's a significant parallel between what is happening now with massive immigration and Brexit (isolation), and the political situation of 1914ish before WW1? With all this nationalism (xenophobia, etc.) I feel as if history is repeating itself.

chrissssmith8 karma

You know what, I actually think that the US pre and post WW1 is a more interesting parallel, and their formal stance of isolationism, all the way through until essentially, Pearl Harbour.

I think what we are seeing now isn't 20th century nationalism, but a very new 21st century political phenomena, that is best defined as a push back against both economic and political globalisation and ever increasing ties to the rest of the world. That process has been going on since WW2, but the acceleration since the end of the Cold War and the widespread adoption of information technology has been quite incredible. There are lots of other things going on in there, including a very strong anti-establishment movement, but what we are seeing in the UK with Brexit has many similarities to some of the things we can see in the US and Trump, with a desire to close borders, build walls, and look after 'number one' first (both Trump and Vote Leave have used the 'make America/Britain great again' message prominently), rather than worrying about everyone else.

reelmonkey2 karma

One of my main worries for the future if we remain in Europe is the fact that we will one day just become a state of Europe and that's it. I don't like the look of where Europe is heading with regards to becoming one large united states of Europe.

Is this going to be the outcome of staying in Europe? If we stay will we just fall further in to the mix of all these new countries joining with no real power to influence policy in the EU.

I am just leaning overy to remain at the mental but only just.

chrissssmith3 karma

So, part of the reform negotiated is we now have a formal opt-out on any future integration. We cannot have any more political union, we cannot give any more powers and we cannot be forced to enter the euro. The only way that can happen is with government and parliament agreement. It's essentially a 'handbrake'. I share your concerns about a United States of Europe, which is not something U support, but I am confident that will not happen if we Remain - and certainly not 'by the backdoor'.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-eu-referendum-35622105

Badger_Ass_Face2 karma

Thoughts on the EU vowing to block any right leaning leaders being voted in to office for all of its members?

chrissssmith3 karma

Goes directly against the EU's core values, so I would say a near 0% chance of happening. Theoretically, you could get a 51% of the EU parliament voted in as Eurosceptic and they could all block everything and paralyse the organisation for 5 years, which would probably be the most effective and powerful way to transform the organisation from within. In the 2014 elections, the share of MEPs that can be defined as euro-sceptic was 25% across the parliament, so they are half way there. However, I'd say the odds of that are still very small (1-2%), and it would likely only happen with a perfect storm of economic, cultural and migrational crises at the time of the election to swell the Euro-sceptic vote across the continent (the European elections are on a fixed term, so this could happen and they wouldn't be able to move the elections to a more 'convenient' moment)

ehkodiak2 karma

If you were a betting man, what side would you bet on winning?

And if that side is remain, will Nigel Farage finally shut up?

chrissssmith7 karma

Too close to call. I think the deciding factor will be turnout, particularly in the Remain heavy areas, which is young people under 30, London, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The more people that vote in these demographics, the higher the chance for Remain. If turnout is low there, then the Brexit wing will win, based on their pretty solid and well established support base in the older generation, most suburban and rural areas and the ex-industrial working class in England.

boss19952 karma

Smack or neon?

chrissssmith1 karma

Smack, always Smack.

Stan0632 karma

What have both campaigns, especially leave, been so poor?

chrissssmith3 karma

Apologies for the copy and paste from a previous answer, but I think this is a good start as a response to your question. Welcome any additional questions.

I think the misinformation on both sides is because both sides are desperate to 'cut through' to normal voters. The thing is, the whole issue is really quite complicated, and it's not a black or white thing, it's all very grey. The EU has problems. Being in the EU creates problems. But it also creates huge benefits. The issue is, much of these benefits are hard to see, or almost invisible, but things like immigration and false sensationalist stories about the EU banning bendy bananas or sausages, generate more attention and memorability.

The other thing, is that whilst the issue are complex, the 'future', or 'what happens if we leave' argument is frankly, completely unknown. We have no precedent or example from history to look at, and we have no idea what agreements will replace the EU agreements we currently have, which will be the biggest impact on what happens. However, I think that one thing is pretty clear; in the short term (5-10 years), leaving the EU will negatively impact the UK economy, directly because of all this uncertainty. Capitalist markets hate uncertainty.

Stan0631 karma

Thank you for your reply.

Very interested to read about 'cutting through to normal voters'. I see this a significant misunderstanding (by both parties) of the electorates desire for more factual information and their capability to understand the intricacies of the issues.

The media focus on single issues, immigration, economics etc. some voters do indeed make their choice on single issues. However I believe that they are far outweighed by voters that can conside multiple issues and make a balanced decision.

At present the electorate is not being given the necessary information to make an informed balanced decision.

chrissssmith2 karma

I agree!

llosa2 karma

What will you personally vote for?

What are some unexpected consequences the EU will experience without the UK?

chrissssmith6 karma

I think the biggest impact on the EU will depend on how they react; but you will likely see an increase in French and German influence, and a reduction in influence for countries more like us in their approach and economic systems - the Netherlands in particular, but also countries like Spain, Portugal, Denmark, Sweden and Ireland. You may also see a continuing two tier Europe, between the Eurozone and 'the others', with the others being much weaker now the biggest 'other' has left (the UK)

My personal vote will be for Remain; I cannot see a clear and compelling reason for Leave that is based in hard cold reality and fact; too much is based upon feelings of distrust, desire for 'independence' and issues with things like immigration, which could be tackled through domestic policy and change within the EU, rather than a forced, formal exit, which will have many impacts well beyond these policy areas of concern.

Obi_Trice_Kenobi2 karma

Do you think the misinformation is purposeful, to make people vote for the more safe option, which is to stay?

chrissssmith6 karma

I think the misinformation on both sides is because both sides are desperate to 'cut through' to normal voters. The thing is, the whole issue is really quite complicated, and it's not a black or white thing, it's all very grey. The EU has problems. Being in the EU creates problems. But it also creates huge benefits. The issue is, much of these benefits are hard to see, or almost invisible, but things like immigration and false sensationalist stories about the EU banning bendy bananas or sausages, generate more attention and memorability.

The other thing, is that whilst the issue are complex, the 'future', or 'what happens if we leave' argument is frankly, completely unknown. We have no precedent or example from history to look at, and we have no idea what agreements will replace the EU agreements we currently have, which will be the biggest impact on what happens. However, I think that one thing is pretty clear; in the short term (5-10 years), leaving the EU will negatively impact the UK economy, directly because of all this uncertainty. Capitalist markets hate uncertainty.

smithyithy_2 karma

Hi, first off - we share the same name! My question, how do you think the EU benefits from the UK being a member, and what are the pro's of us staying from their perspective? It's not something I see addressed enough to be honest. We've had Obama etc giving his opinion, but there doesn't seem much in the way of support from other European leaders for us to remain.. Opinions?

chrissssmith5 karma

I do believe that the Remain campaign and David Cameron have asked key EU figures not to comment, because it's understood that whatever they say, people don't like hearing Europeans talk about us and Europe - we are a suspsicious lot it seems...

The general view however is that the UK should very much remain part of the EU. It is meant to be an inclusive organisation and the UK is one of the biggest states in terms of population and wealth; so no UK in the EU undermines the entire name and mantra. We are also a really important voice for things like financial services and economic liberalism, versus French statism or German corporatism for example. Things like the Common Agricultural Policy were reformed for the better because we and a few other key European partners wanted it to happen, and it's now agreed that was a good thing for everyone.

However, on the flip side, some EU politicians feel the UK should not preach or bully other EU member states from the sidelines when we aren't involved. We have a habit of doing this, particularly over things relating to the Euro, even though we use the pound, and we get hung up on ceremonial aspects and broadly unimportant small things like fisheries policies, and then stop important things from happening until we get our own way. We have certainly made some enemies in this regard within Europe, but there is still huge support for us to stay in from pretty much anyone except euro-sceptics, who feel Brexit could further their political aspirations domestically.

thatgoodknight2 karma

My question is not exactly about the referendum but is relevant... How do you think Europe would have turned out had there been no EEC/EU? Would it have descended into another war, which supposedly the EU stopped from happening?

chrissssmith4 karma

I don't think the EEC/EU 'prevented' another war, I think the war itself did enough to make people say 'never again'. But I think what it did was formally frame that desire in an organisation, and commit everyone to having collective interests. The history of France and Germany in the 19th century in particular (but also the UK), is one of a 'zero sum' world, where my gain is your loss. The Race for Africa and the Franco-Prussian War, which was about Prussia trying to expand German unification into additional territory, very much revolves around this type of thinking - not to mention the latter two world wars. What the EEC/EU did was say 'where can we create common interests where we all win and benefit?'. It has been very successful at doing that, but as the project has gone on, more and more people from various countries have grown concerned about our interests now being 'dictated' by politicians agreeing to things, without thinking about the impact on the folks 'back home'. This is why David Cameron has been talking about his new agreement to opt the UK out of any further political integration and also creating a 'handbrake' on certain policy areas so 'policy creep' can no longer happen. This is what he is now trying to sell to the UK people.

PenguinRaper2 karma

Hi, What are your views on have leaving the EU could affect the political process in Ireland ? Would a leave vote result in the Return of and actual Physical Border between Northern and Southern Ireland ?

chrissssmith5 karma

Strictly speaking, yes, there would have to be a physical, controlled border between the two. This would potentially cause some controversy, and could be a cause for concern in the future should tensions rise - controversial borders can often become the scenes of protest or violence. However, you'd probably find the UK would quite quickly establish freedom of movement between the UK and Ireland, so that any Irish or UK people could cross the border for any reason, much as currently exists, but non Irish/UK citizens in either would potentially have to apply for a visa to cross the border. I would also argue that NI, which has struggled economically for many years, would probably be further damaged economically by having ROI as an EU member on it's doorstep, as it would experience less investment, and may suffer some capital/business and talent flight south.

nirkbirk1 karma

Thanks for doing this AMA! Are there any resources that you can recommend in order to allow someone to make an educated decision themselves? I'm very much on the fence because I can't seem to find real facts on the issue, and I'm sure a lot of other people feel similarly.

Everything I've seen/heard from new sites has been fearmongering and spin from both sides.

chrissssmith3 karma

Look for mythbusting articles that help clear up a lot of the rubbish on both sides. The Guardian have done a good one for Leave: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jun/02/six-brexit-myths-eurosceptic-press-vote-23-june

If you want hard, unbiased facts, go to https://fullfact.org/europe/ which is fact checking basically anything and everything anyone says and provides clear information on key issues related to the vote. Good luck and make sure you vote, whatever way you decide! :)

welcometomyaccount1 karma

Wow we were at Warwick at the same time... What's your view on the Leamington vs Coventry debate?

chrissssmith1 karma

Leamington is the place to be

puntloos1 karma

What do you figure will happen to the housing market if we Brexit vs no? Both renters and buyers?

chrissssmith2 karma

I'd argue that this is basically unknown. The Treasury claimed house prices could fall by as much as 18%, but I don't buy that. I think the biggest effect of Brexit would be on the value of the pound, which would fall. This would potentially increase the desire of non UK nationals to buy UK property, as it would be relatively cheaper, which could mean that house prices remain stable and/or continue to increase. I doubt very much Brexit would cause a house market crash - the biggest threat of this is if interest rates are forced to rise significantly, which could happen on Brexit and a following recession, but again, is probably unlikely. In conclusion, I would recommend not really worrying or thinking about house prices as a pro or a con in relation to your vote.

SSJ3Vegeta1 karma

In a leave scenerio:

1) What will happen to migrants currently living and settled in the UK? 2) Will UK residents require a VISA to travel to mainland Europe for holidays?

chrissssmith1 karma

1) Nothing. All EU migrants are granted indefinite right to remain on arrival, and even if we leave the EU, this indefinite right remains. However, no new EU migrants would get this (unless agreed with the government/border agency)

2) Potentially yes, but it would depend on what we negotiate on exit. The real answer is 'maybe/don't know'.

tilnewstuff1 karma

What could've been done to unite the Western and Eastern (Byzantine) empires?

chrissssmith1 karma

Sorry, this isn't an area of expertise for me - too early.

Chretienne1 karma

chrissssmith1 karma

I'd imagine it would be very likely that there will be a grace period so all students already enrolled will not see any fee changes until they finish their studies. It will also take a number of years to negotiate full exit, so this would fall in line nicely with that timeframe.

FUNKYBOBBLEHAT1 karma

do you honestly think the brexit referendum is fair considering the BBC's coverage is so obviously biased in favour of the stronger in lobby? Whilst all the newspapers seem to be reserving comment, the BBC propaganda scare tactics are. at times laughable and every day on the BBC news homepage you will find an anti brexit story but no brexit one! And of course people like Obama are also trying to influence, as are all the 'luvvies' simply cos they dont want to loose all their 'eu subsidies' Its not a fair fight in my opinion, what do you think?

chrissssmith8 karma

I don't agree at all. If you pick up the Daily Mail or Express, or even the Telegraph and the Times, they are packed full of anti-EU and anti-immigration stories every single day at the moment. (Here is today's front page of the Express: https://twitter.com/ianlovelandUK/status/738262104713637888). The media is clearly very split, but the BBC are primarily reflecting what the two official campaigns are doing and saying (for that is their job), whilst many 'news' outlets are simply creating stories to push an agenda that is linked to Brexit. I would argue the latter is much more disingenuous and 'biased' than the former. Finally, there's nothing wrong with someone like Obama having an opinion and sharing it, just like there's nothing wrong with the owner of the UK's biggest chain of pubs putting 200,000 anti-EU beer mats in his pubs - although I would argue the latter was more of a biased, unnecessary involvement than the former... (https://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/may/31/wetherspoons-brexit-beer-mats-eu-referendum-imf)

vithush0 karma

How does Europe view the war of 1812? As a Canadian we are thought we won but Americans are also thought they won. Seeing Canada was a British colony back they how is the war seen in Europe?

chrissssmith2 karma

Sorry, this isn't an area of expertise for me. All I can tell you is that it was barely noted; the Napoleonic Wars were what everyone was focused on at the time, because it was right on our doorstep.