Northern Ireland ‘sheet head Shayna O’Neill writes

It’s here!  My polling card arrived this morning for the much anticipated, will they/won’t they referendum on Britain remaining in the EU.  I’m not native to Belfast but live here, registered to vote and here it is – my opportunity to re-shape Europe? (Bit grandiose I know)  It’s pretty straightforward YES/NO, one tick in the box. Now, how should I vote?


Previously: Can You Vote In Brexit?

Meanwhile… Official Ireland has it all wrong – we could win big if UK opts for Brexit (David McWilliams, Independent.ie)

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46 thoughts on “Fexit

  1. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

    You’ve just told us. Put a tick in either the “yes” or “no” box.

    1. Shayna

      To be fair (to me) the “Now, how should I vote?” that was Bodger input, editors know best. I know how to vote, it’s similar to my signature.

      1. bob

        Except the question is actually “remain” or “leave”… I was trying to figure out what YES/NO meant? (nothing)

  2. Rob_G

    Vote to stay – Northern Ireland will be seriously fupped if Britain leave the EU.

  3. MoyestWithExcitement

    Vote leave. For the craic, like. Plus imagine Cameron’s face! Seriously though, the EU has a lot to answer for as regards this cultural trend we’re seeing to make corporations more powerful than states. I’d vote leave.

  4. Murtles

    Vote to stay. I can’t be bringing me passport with me just to go up to Enniskillen for ASDA.

    1. Shayna

      Arlene Foster (NI First Minister {DUP}) claims that a Brexit won’t mean a re-instated frontier between the North and rest of ireland. So your weekly shop from Cavan/Sligo/Donegal won’t be impeded.

      1. Mr Moo

        I don’t think that’s a decision for her to make. Clearly something would have to give – it would be very hard to have an uncontrolled EU boarder. You’d have to remember if the UK leaves the EU suddenly taking an ordinary bag of shopping across that boarder could attract duty.

        1. Shayna

          Of course it’s not her decision. She’s pro-Brexit, so she’s offerring appeasement, which is effectively a lie ( in my opinion).

      2. some old queen

        Surely the DUP would say ‘whatever’ to bring back a border in Ireland?

  5. Liam Deliverance

    I have voted against the EU superstate idea all along and continue to think it is a bad idea. It appears to be following the USA federal state model and the mistakes and problems that that created. Erosion of identity and culture is not a good thing in my opinion and could be a source of conflict in the future. TTIP is an example of the sort of model they are going for and I can’t see it being beneficial to the person on the street. The Turkey immigrant deal also tells you about how the Euro Parliament sees the EU and that human rights is a priority low down on the list, a deal that will cost EU taxpayers €6,000,000,000. Maybe some gains will be lost by a Brexit initially but nations will adjust in time and adapt to the new economic conditions. If it does go Brexit, Britain and the UK won’t cease to exist or be ostracized, life will go on as normal and new plans will be made for the future.

    1. Shayna

      In my opinion, I see a poor turn-out for polling on the 23rd June – purely because the Brits are ill-informed about the consequences of a Brexit, so (again, in my opinion) the vote could go either way. You used the word “Super-state” in your comment , which leads me to believe that you’ve been swayed by the Brexit campaigners. You also intimated that after a settling-down period, in the event of an exit, everything will be fine? I do despise the “Keep Calm, Carry On” British mantra, but it appears Liam, you’ve bought into it

      1. Yep

        Cameron has used “super state” a number of times. I think we are all uninformed on this. I would be wary of any opinion that seems certain of the consequences of a Brexit. Really no way of knowing.

      2. Liam Deliverance

        No not at all. I have had little exposure to the Brexit campaign, partly because I am as busy as anyone else and there are many,many closer to home issues that I wish to keep abreast of and partly because I have no vote in the referendum on Brexit. I am simply answering your call for thoughts on the issue. If there was to be a vote here on Irexit, or Eirexit !, I would vote to leave. As I said I have been against the EU idea from the beginning. I was No to Nice, No to Lisbon and No to Amsterdam and from my office here in the attic I can see a No to Nice election poster from 2001 sticking out from behind an old table top. I nabbed it on the way from town one night, after a few jars, and it has been there since then! Yes I am for trade agreements and co-operation between countries where people benefit and jobs are created and maintained without exploitation. I am against agreements and secret deals which means a golden circle or elite get richer on the blood sweat and tears of the working class. To use TTIP again as an example, there is room in the agreement for corporations to sue governments if things are not going their way and they cannot make enough profit because of regulations.This in essence is a way for corporations to sue taxpayers.TTIP is a race to the bottom, I believe, and it has many facets that spell bad news for regular citizens and good news for corporations, USA corporations at that!. Also consider the genesis of the EU, one of its pros at the time was that consumers would have better access to services like insurance from outside their own country and therefore more competition and better prices, this never materialized and was just a carrot to vote Yes in the referendums (motor insurance here has gone through the roof here in recent months). Also consider, Setanta Insurance, a company registered in Malta (lax regulation in Malta) with the sole purpose of selling motor insurance in Ireland, it did so for a number of years before folding, leaving 70,000 people who had paid with no cover and presumably someone ran off into the sunset with the proceeds. We now have a levy on Motor Insurance for all customers of all companies to cover losses caused by Setanta and others. So for me, it hasn’t lived up to what was promised and shows no sign of ever doing so. We may have gotten EU funding for roads etc down through the years but I see that as a way of buying our obedience and if we could manage our own affairs ourselves minus the corruption we probably would not need EU funding to the extent that we have in the past. Same with our current bailout programme. Nor have I bought the mantra, Keep Calm,Carry On – vote with your instinct and if there is a Brexit it will not mean the end of anything, it may lead to better things in the future, new trade agreements can be forged. I used the word super-state because I believe that it is what they are trying to build. Use Federal State if you prefer, where laws that are made that affect me, in Ireland, are made almost a 1000 kilometers away, and to whom I have no access to. The days of protesting water charges on O’Connell St or Kildare Street or in your case, Stormont, may be a thing of the past in the future and that will be convenient for some. I can only hope that there is a balanced Brexit campaign for Yes and No without scaremongering and that democracy prevails. It’s a sign of our times that that is a lot to ask for. Thanks for your comment Shayna, what’s your opinion on Brexit.

        1. Shayna

          My opinion Liam, is not a Brexit, but a remain strategy. I use the word strategy, as if it means something to people in power. It’s easier to influence if one is within, rather than without. With the close ties that Britain has to Ireland, it’s difficult not to foresee some differences betwixt Ireland’s 32 counties, should there be a Brexit. I am from a generation where I remember suffragettes, my granny was one, unfortunately, the greater good of the British voting population aren’t as fortunate as I to have a personal reference about history. Women, no matter where they are, I hope will vote. My opinion, yes stay – overall, I think the Brits are lazy voters, it could go either way.

        2. MayJay

          @Liam Thank you for taking the time to set out your thinking on this. I, too, have voted against successive European treaties long before the ‘Brexit’ issue arose. My concerns echo yours.
          The issue of sovereignty isn’t, for me, an issue of flag waving. It is an issue of accountability. If the decision-makers are not answerable to an electorate, there is little drawback in deciding against those peoples’ interests.
          As you say, TTIP is a case in point. It is billed as a ‘bi-lateral’ trade agreement, which implies that there are two parties involved in the negotiations – the US and the EU (acting as a state.) These negotiations have and continue to take place in complete secret. The only information we have we obtained through leaks etc.
          The most insidious aspect of this deal is the Investor-State Dispute Settlements (ISDS), which allows companies to sue governments if those governments’ policies cause a loss of profits. One example being the case where Philip Morris, a tobacco company, sued the state of Uruguay for introducing anti-tobacco regulations. http://tinyurl.com/j5f5wqt
          They sued for loss of profits. In effect, it means unelected transnational corporations can dictate the policies of democratically elected governments. It is worth noting that it does not swing both ways. States cannot sue or counter-sue those corporations for damages to the state.
          These decisions are taking place before ‘arbitration tribunals’ made up of corporate lawyers appointed on an ad hoc basis, which according to War on Want’s John Hilary, are “little more than kangaroo courts” with “a vested interest in ruling in favour of business.”
          I apologise for my long post, but I would finally like to make one point. It is very interesting to me that the ‘Brexit’ campaign in the UK is being led by conservatives, whereas in the rest of Europe it is the left that oppose the expanding reach of federalism. I would be really interested to hear other posters’ thoughts on this.

          1. Shayna

            I know you’ve referenced TTIP – held in secrecy – I don’t know why? If the meetings were to do with, for example, international anti-terror measures, then fair enough the secrecy, but the meetings are about international trade.The Brexit vote, however is openly and simply YES – stay, NO – go. You say that the Brexit campaign is being led by the Tories in the UK, but clearly, it’s not/sort off. Cameron/Osborne say yes, Boris Johnson/cronies say no. If you don’t have a seat at the table then you won’t have a voice. (I’m not sure if that is a cliché, or if I’ve just made it up?)

          2. MayJay

            @Shayna I don’t seem to be able to reply to your post directly, so I hope you can see this. Your point is very well made. If these negotiations have nothing to do with security, then why the secrecy? If there is nothing to hide, then there is no reason to hide it. We are talking about binding international treaties that affect us all. And yet we are not party to the negotiations, let alone being able to vote on the outcome.
            As for the Tory angle, I admit I’m a bit mystified. My tin-foil-hat theory is that, in order to counter the electoral threat of UKIP (who garnered endless column inches in the red tops for their very popular anti-EU-anti-refugee-racist stance), the Tories *had* to call for a referendum in order to win the general election. I guess maybe they thought they could manage the aftermath and ended up having their bluff called? The split between Boris/Cameron could then be seen as posturing for the greater populist vote…
            Then again, I could be completely wrong!

          3. Liam Deliverance

            @Mayjay, welcome, thanks for saying so, and thanks for the time you took with your reply.I will look into that story on Uruguay, that’s interesting. Politics seems to involve a process of putting a bag over the electorates head and walking them through the correct doors. Then when it’s all over and we finally see what we have “voted” for they say “Sorry, legally contracted to follow through now, come back in 5 years”

            @Shayna, I wish you had of said at the start that this post was just a bit of a laugh as opposed to genuinely seeking others opinions.

  6. Frilly Keane

    look at it this way Shayna
    If you Vote No
    you will have voted the same way as Borris, Micheal Gove and Nidgie Farage pronounced garage

    just saying

    1. Shayna

      Thank you Frilly, I must come across as a dandelion swaying with the breeze in a hay field. I’m not. I’m a Francophile, who just happens to be Irish and living in a part of Ireland, when, come June, I can cast my vote for Britain to remain in Europe.

  7. Sido

    Vote Brexit.
    Hopefully it will help break up the EU. – Hopefully they won’t have to vote again, if they get it wrong first time.

    Just because the current authoritarian undemocratic superstate stuff is kinda “touchy feely”., and cool about polar bears, instead of nasty, like the previous notions, doesn’t mean its not authoritarian and undemocratic.

    Odd that we should be celebrating 1916, whilst Mayor Kenny pays fealty to our rulers.

    1. Shayna

      I went on a road-trip in my Fiat Panda, circa 1987 during the Easter Holliers (from UK Uni) with my two pals, Simon and Bodger. Bodger’s Aunt had a to-die-for villa in the Algarve. Crossing the Pyrenees from France into Spain was fine, but the route from San Sebastian across to the top of Portugal was a mistake, because the Portuguese/Spanish Customs/Police/… wanted money/bribes, it was scary in the middle of the night. Europe is pretty much a drive-through in comparison to those days. A Brexit will take us back to those days, one country leaves, then the next, etc.

      1. Sido

        That’s nothing, you should have been with me when I did Poland in 1941. The comparison with 1987 and 2016 doesn’t work for me. Things change.
        But even if that were the case, are you suggesting that we should submit to a authoritarian anti democratic superstate because we like two weeks in the sun every now and then and “TADA” cheaper roaming rates, when we do?

        Ken Livingstone pointed out recently that Hitler wasn’t always a hang ’em n’ gas’em, sort of chap. He gradually came round to that way of thinking. Ask them about the EU way of thinking in down town Athens and Piraeus. Where the sun’s shining btw.

  8. Shayna

    @May Jay I was in the SE of England leading up to the last British General Election. UKIP were riding high on the strength of their EU results and expecting big things for Westminster? They are like the NF party of the 80s, but with Farage at the helm – who doesnt’ look like the common or garden Nazi, but is. I’m certainly not, never have been a Tory (Red Flag Flying, etc..), but when Ed Balls and Cameron stand on the same stage, preaching , as it were from the same hymn book?

    1. MayJay

      @Shayna Agreed! It’s troubling stuff. The rise of far right rhetoric/fascism in Europe has been reported, but not as much as it should be.
      On a side note, it’s really refreshing to have a conversation online that is both engaging and respectful. Thanks for that :)

      1. Shayna

        I’ve been called Mrs Nice Guy in the past – I am kinda lovely, thank you May Jay. On a side note, I’ve just had my nose “done” in Brighton – don’t tell anyone!

  9. H

    I can’t believe that no one said anything about the poor quality of this post, if Shayna really doesn’t know which way to vote the correct course of action is surely to do some research into the possible consequences or staying or leaving, as the other BS readers who will be voting will have done.

    By asking for the opinion of others she comes across as a breathless girly who doesn’t know her own mind so needs to be told what to do – and I’m sure that is far from her original intention which was probably a more calculated attempt to use current affairs to gain online attention.

    Yes, I’m grumpy this morning, the Victoria line is on the fritz and I just had a nightmare journey to work, and yes, I am using my employer’s time to do this but I have spare capacity at the moment so nobody is losing out.

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