It can hardly have escaped your notice that an in/out referendum on Britain’s future in the EU may be just months away, so what are your thoughts on out country’s future?
Deal or No Deal
Currently, whatever deal David Cameron brings back is going to have issues which plays into the hand of the out campaign. Firstly it’ll be said that the deal isn’t be good enough no matter how good it is but the biggest issue is that no deal will be ratified until all EU nations agree on it and crucially that won’t happen until well after the one shot in/out referendum. That plays into the hands of the out campaign as they can legitimately say that we may walk away with nothing at the end of the day.
Migration has played into the hands of both camps, those who want to leave the EU claim that we need to close our borders and stop paying benefits for children that don’t even reside in the UK. Those in favour or remaining in the EU claim (somewhat bizarrely) that everyone camped in Calais will waltz through the tunnel with no border checks and end up camped in the UK shuttle terminals.
One might bear in mind that to board a plane to the UK you need your visa in order before you set out, there’s no reason this couldn’t happen with the channel tunnel. Plus of course migration has become emotional due to the influx to the EU from Syria and whilst of course it matters refugees are very different from economic migrants so the issue has received more publicity than perhaps otherwise justified.
Red Tape for small business
What’s more of interest for us is what happens with business. We’re not in the Euro so that’s not a concern, Sterling stands on it’s own regardless. Staying in the EU allows them to dictate a floor and ceiling for VAT and other financial measures.
What I particularly don’t like about the EU is the constant deluge of red tape which affects just about every online trader out there (especially when other countries often seem to ignore it while we run around like headless chickens trying to comply). Here are just three recent examples which may well have affected your business:
Remember the cookie diktat foisted upon us, you probably still visit website and have the annoyance of a pop up demanding you acknowledge that cookies are required to run the web. Thankfully the cookie crumbled.
# VAT MOSS
Then there was VAT MOSS which was supposed to make our lives easier. There was no VAT threshold so every business no matter how small was burdened with complying and facing investigation by far flung EU member states if they got it wrong. Then one day it was suddenly all change and HMRC decided that even though you were a business as far as income tax etc was concerned they didn’t really want to class you as a business for VAT MOSS as it was simply too much trouble.
# Online Disputes
More recently we hear from the EU that we have to link from our ecommerce operations to ODR and ADR online resolution services. No one of course seems quite clear where you should pop this information on eBay, let alone Amazon where you don’t even have control of the product detail page. It’s just more meaningless red tape to try and get our heads around.
So the EU isn’t that great with keeping red tape down, but then would that disappear if we left the EU? Of course not, sellers outside the EU already have to comply with many EU laws (at least they’re supposed to). It’s worth remembering the recent case of a UK seller raided by the FBI for price fixing. Not residing in the USA didn’t stop his collar getting felt in the UK. Similarly, if we left the EU and still wanted to sell to EU consumers, we’d have to toe the line with their red tape.
Which way will we vote?
Ultimately at the moment the outcome of the referendum looks like a coin toss. There are plenty of arguments for getting out and just as many equally valid arguments for staying in.
Which way are you leaning? Too much red tape and time to get out, or too reliant on fellow EU countries for business and can’t afford not to stay in? Let us know in comments below.
Out of the EU for me both on a personal level and business wise.
I never believed that David Cameron would come back with an agreement that was worth a light and so it seems. Some of his own Conservative M.P.’ obviously agree. One even called what Cameron had obtained as ‘Small Beer’ others seem to think that that is far too generous a description.
Should we stay in or get out? Well the Euro is a basket case that stumbles from crisis to crisis and the whole effigy of the EU is under terminal strain.
So if we vote to stay in it is just about possible that the EU will stagger on for a year or two before it collapses in a heap of rubbish on the floor and the various Countries and Governments still in it desperately try to salvage something from the mess.
Or we can recognise that the EU is in terminal decline and Vote to get out and at least save ourselves. Our Trade is mainly with the rest of the World. We do sell to the EU but they sell a great deal more to us. So we should go back to being a major Trading Nation trading with every Country in the World. GET OUT NOW before it all collapses. I shall be Voting to Get Out and I will be part of the campaign to get out.
I can see absolutely no benefit in staying in the EU. It is failing as a project, is corrupt, undemocratic, expensive to belong to, has almost no economic growth in comparison to elsewhere. These are just a couple of a host of reasons to leave. I back Britain to make a much better fist of it on her own and will be voting to leave irrespective of what ‘deal’ Cameron returns with. I suggest everyone does the same.
With 20% of our business now in the EU and around 70% of our buying is also done there I don’t want to leave.
It would be a nightmare and imagine the costs in leaving of changing everything back.
This just like Scotland wanting to leave the UK, let’s just put the time and effort and money in to focusing on making it better for everyone.
I hope if we do get this vote and we vote to stay we can then draw a line under it and move on, the Scot’s don’t seem to have done that with rumbles of another go at it…
Leaving the EU now would be the equivalent of Gordon Brown selling the country’s gold at the bottom of the market. Europe has problems, but they’re ones we need to face together. The right-wing dream of a fantasy island free of immigrants and foreign influence is a naive sepia-tinted 50s throwback.
I’d definitely vote to leave for both business and personal. I see it making very little difference to my business. We buy and sell into Europe but I can’t see that changing. There’s too much trade for both sides to lose so they’ll find a solution. If anything, we might eventually be able to set up better deals with other countries or grow more in the English speaking commonwealth countries.
Personally, I want to leave so our politicians can’t use the EU as an excuse for inaction. Our elected politicians shouldn’t have their hands tied by rules decided by unelected commissioners.
Do you people realize how many goods are imported from EU :)? Add import taxes to your breads, yogurts, electronics, etc… Good luck.
We have to stay in. To leave would be the most foolish thing we have done as a nation for centuries.
We risk isolating ourselves and taking away any influence we have in the world. I can just see it 10 years down the line, the EU, NAFTA, China carving up the trade agreements, and dear old UK will be an irrelevance.
The EU represents both our biggest trading market and our biggest source of inward investment to the UK. There is huge potential for trade growth in Eastern Europe. To trade with the EU we will still have to make major payments (countries like Norway and Switzerland already do) and we will still have to comply with the EU requirements if we want to trade there. There will be no appreciable change in the red tape we must follow.
What Cameron is negotiating is a sop for political purposes. It is of no relevance. We need to be part of the EU no matter what. Leaving would make no difference to the refugee crisis and could make it worse for us, EU immigrants are about 2.4 million versus 2.2 million Brits working in the EU, so not far off equal – and we would expect the Brits to be treated the same as any other person in the countries where they are working. Only 2.2% of workers from the EU claim benefits in the UK, compared with far far higher rates for we Brits ourselves, they are a net contributor in tax so a financial benefit to us, and who exactly would do the jobs they do? The majority are young working age, and we have an ageing population that needs both workers and tax payers. We need doctors, nurses, teachers, all kinds of other healthcare staff, agricultural workers etc to name just a few, we have falling unemployment down to 1.6% and over 600K job vacancies unfilled. Actually we need these people in the UK.
As with any organisation of course there are things that don’t always work in our favour, but the benefits and the strategic necessity make these of minimal importance.
Out for me – but I expect a solid “stay” result, so a non event.
Out. Its a dinosaur from the 70’s and corrupt as you like. All this bull about loss of jobs and security is the same rubbish they pedalled out back then. I was there and voted no.Trouble is that some people seem to believe this nonsense. Cameron could not give a dam he will be off to do another Blair and earn a fortune.
Purely because Amazon Germany is 40% of our business and a very profitable part.
Yes new agreements would be made I am 100% sure but how long would they take and what administrative changes would there be? The end result the same but potentially a bucket load of hassle and possibly reduced sales in the interim.
If it wasn’t for that I would probably edge towards leaving
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