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  1. I'm not sure being the largest economy would achieve this to be honest. We have the same size economy as France but a much smaller influence in Brussels
  2. Being part of a larger whole doesn't always give you more influence than being a smaller independent unit. Compare Catalonia and Switzerland both a similar population
  3. Apart from VAT those are all benefits of EEA membership not EU membership though. We'd probably have to pay almost as much to be EEA members though We'd probably be able to make a direct contribution to poorer European countries like Ukraine and Bosnia, maybe also the poorer countries in the EU, if this would look better politically
  4. Not sure Japan owning business here is any better or worse than Germany doing it (providing we keep employment rights)
  5. Yeah. Japan are currently negotiating a trade deal with New Zealand, a non-EU country with less than 1/10 of the population of the UK and (slightly) further away than the UK is. It's nonsense to thing they'll want to punish the UK (currently 6th largest economy) purely for voting to leave an organisation they're not even part of
  7. Conspiracy Theories

    If the American government really were working with aliens I think Donald Trump would have told everyone on Twitter by now. I also really can't see countries like Brazil keeping it quiet if they knew
  8. I think you're grossly underestimating the pace at which free trade is progressing amongst many countries. The likes of New Zealand and Chile have signed loads of free trade deals. I don't know what Japan will do but we're the sixth largest world economy and most of the world aren't in the EU so we're clearly not going to be indefinitely punished by the whole world the way you're claiming The much greater difficulty is negotiating with the likes of China, USA, but especially India and Mercosur Japan probably won't copy and paste, but Canada have said they'll do just that so it's not unprecedented. The reality is that Japan is a country that will sign a free trade deal with us, it's too early to know every detail and exact timing
  9. Personally I think we'll get a deal with Japan, but it may or may not take more than two years (if we sign up to TPP, then we'd get a better deal immediately; if we join EFTA and stay in the EEA Japan could quite easily fax us a copy of their deal with the EU to sign; not saying this would happen automatically but it's possible)
  10. It took Switzerland two years to negotiate and covers financial services. Credit where it's due the EU-Japan deal is one of the better things the EU has done, but even if we get the same deal as the EU that's better than staying in the EU as it doesn't require an unnecessary overturning of democracy to achieve
  11. Switzerland signed a free trade deal with Japan before the EU did so yes it definitely is possible. Whether our government is skilled enough to negotiate one is a different question I'm less sure of the answer to, but Brexit definitely is no obstacle to a deal
  12. Yes though even looking at 2030 the balance of the global economy is quite changed. Yes EFTA plus North America would be a lot better than EU membership. Depends a lot on American domestic politics
  13. I agree the EU markets are important but that comment was in the context of joining EFTA which would mean we'd have both the European markets and those of the Pacific Rim region. By 2050 Indonesia will have an economy half the size of that of the entire EU27. Why not start making inroads now if we don't even have to give up single market membership to be able to sign our own trade deals?
  14. The Culture Wars
  15. Yeah I really don't get how people can think the population would accept the overturning of the largest ever democratic mandate the country's ever known purely because there are economic projections showing the economy will be 1-2% smaller in 2030. Aside from the uncertainty of projections, we could easily end up paying much more than that bailing out Spain and Italy if we stay in the EU. Of course if the EU goes through major reform we could justify a second referendum. We're powerless to make this reform as members though especially whilst Macron is still around