Friday object lesson no. 54: Youth for Europe

As the United Kingdom enjoys its last day as a member of the European Union, I am taking the opportunity to revive once again my Friday object lesson series, to show an object from my idealistic undergraduate days – my ‘Youth for Europe’ badge.

yfe

Over the years, I lost my idealism and became a cynic, but there’s still a trace of the older me in there somewhere. As the clock strikes midnight tonight in the UK, I will quietly mourn for what might have been, but now, alas, never will.

19 thoughts on “Friday object lesson no. 54: Youth for Europe”

  1. Okay, I’ll bite. Aside from sloganeering, what is going to change so much to feel sad about it? So, more customs. Residence permits for migrants. But probably still, on balance, fewer lawyers, bureaucrats, regulations. What else?

    Is this all about the residence permits? Okay, but there is already the Commonwealth, 2.5 billion people. The right of abode, and all that.

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    1. For the economy as a whole, the problem could be that since the UK will no longer be part of the single market and customs union, investors looking to sell in that market will choose to invest in other European countries. The UK may also find it hard to get better trade deals with countries like the USA than it did as part of the EU – being a larger market, the EU has more negotiating power. The terms of international trade post-Brexit may therefore be worse (though that remains to be determined). Also, UK will lose ability to affect EU regulations which will inevitably affect UK producers (to the extent that UK producers wishing to trade with the EU will have to align with such regulations). Overall effect of all this probably fairly marginal, but unlikely to be positive.

      For individuals, lots of minor inconveniences – for instance, car insurance will no longer be valid outside the UK. You’ll have to contact your insurer a month before you go to Europe to get a ‘green card’ – so no suddenly putting your car on the ferry to Calais on a whim. Brits may have to pay roaming charges for mobile phones in the EU. Brits may find that they have to start paying high student fees when enrolled in EU universities. No more right to live and work anywhere in the EU. And so on. – Some of these issues may be resolved in forthcoming negotiations, or be fixed on a bilateral basis with individual countries, but that remains to be seen.

      Pluses: Britain extracts itself from Common Agricultural Policy and Common Fisheries Policy, and doesn’t have to contribute to EU coffers (currently UK gives more than it gets back).

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      1. For the economy part: the UK is a net importer in the EU market. Which tells me that the UK economy will benefit from leaving the common market. Simple as that.

        As I remember, the EU roaming law took effect what, 2 years ago? And it’s still far from perfect. Shouldn’t be a huge shock.

        The insurance green card? C’mon. I don’t think it’s even an EU thing. If you’re insured in Hungary you still need it for Bulgaria and Greece.

        Not sure about the universities either. I know some UK universities have (or had) lower rates for EU citizens, but other countries? I never heard of it. Maybe the Netherlands, I don’t know.

        So, yes, the resident permit. It is a hustle. But mostly for the yuppie segment, no? A small subset of the yuppie segment that is interested in working in a European country. Most likely France, Germany, the Netherlands, or Denmark. Right? I’m just guessing here.

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      2. …and do you really have to request the idiotic green card (MUST be printed on green paper, or it’s invalid) a month in advance? I thought they would just print it for you immediately, any time.

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      3. “You’ll have to contact your insurer a month before you go to Europe to get a ‘green card’ – so no suddenly putting your car on the ferry to Calais on a whim. Brits may have to pay roaming charges for mobile phones in the EU. Brits may find that they have to start paying high student fees when enrolled in EU universities. No more right to live and work anywhere in the EU

        Professor, do you have a reliable data, on what % of the UKs citizenship derive their income and support their livelihood by becoming a modern day nomads of the service/managerial class? Answering this question might be very enLYTTENning, as to why there is a hue and cry from certain corners (not from all “Brits”) about the Brexit – and why it happened at all.

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  2. ‘mostly for the yuppie segment, no?’

    Probably, but being entirely self-interested, that’s people like me and my kids. Bluntly speaking, now that I’ve lost my youthful idealism, it’s largely self-interest of that sort which dictates my position. No point denying it.

    It’s no surprise that there is something of a class divide over Brexit – poorer, less educated, and older people, for; richer, more educated, and younger people, against.

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    1. I read in the Guardian, I think, yesterday that it would be a month in advance, but maybe that’s wrong. I don’t know for sure.

      I would add that the university fee issue is potentially problematic. Sweden, for instance, provides free university education to all EU, EEA, & Swiss citizens, but fees for people from other countries are quite high. Hopefully, the British and Swedish government can negotiate some bilateral deal which extends this post-2020. But, it’s not clear if that will be done. If not, British students currently in Swedish university could find themselves in a tricky situation, having to fork out a lot of money if they want to complete their degrees.

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      1. But the UK tuition fees are quite high even for EU citizens. Not as high as non-EU, but still significant. And on most of the continent, I thought public universities don’t discriminate, EU or non-EU (or EEA, whatever). And their fees are extremely low. But my knowledge is quite dated.

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      2. UK tuition fees are indeed high. That’s what makes it possible that the UK won’t be able to strike bilateral deals on the subject. As it stands, the Swedes, for instance, will put up with having Brits study in Sweden free of charge even though Swedes get charged a lot in the UK, because Swedes get to go to a bunch of other countries too as part of an EU-wide agreement. But there’s very little incentive for them to do a deal just with the UK, the result of which will be that Swedes pay through the nose while Brits study free. Of course, it’s possible that this sort of thing will all be sorted out, but there’s a very great possibility that the Brits find that their negotiating position in such matters is very weak and they end up a lot worse off than they were before.

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      3. Here’s one insurance company:
        https://www.zurich.co.uk/car-insurance/manage-my-car-insurance/no-deal-brexit-green-card-qandas

        “If you choose to print the Green Card(s) at home, we will email a PDF to you within two working days. Remember, you would require access to green paper to print a valid Green Card.

        If you opt for the Green Card(s) to be posted to you it can take up to 15 days depending on demand.”

        Here where I am, they won’t mail it to me. But I can visit their office and they’ll print it immediately. They stock green paper.

        Is this green paper thing absurd or what?

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      4. It’s the same content, with the list of countries where your insurance is valid, insurer info and your info. They email you a pdf and you can print it yourself.

        If you print on white (or even pink) paper, it’s worth nothing. But if you print it on green paper, it magically becomes a powerful international certificate. And then they talk about ‘enlightenment’, ‘reason’, and ‘modernity’…

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    2. I understand. I have no hostility whatsoever towards young professionals.

      But hey, they’ve had it damn good for a long time now. Yes, a disappointment. But hardly a tragedy, imo.

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    3. “It’s no surprise that there is something of a class divide over Brexit – poorer, less educated, and older people, for; richer, more educated, and younger people, against.”

      Ah, so you HAVE a class-conscience after all, Professor! 🙂 Good-good. Now – be honest and forthcoming about it in the future, meaning stop using the generalities like “the Brits” from your topmost comment, when you actually talking about… 10% tops?

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    1. Good review. I read Gopnik’s book a couple of weeks ago, as it happens. It struck me as an example of somebody defining liberalism in a very narrow way which happened to suit his purpose – i.e. taking his own beliefs and saying ‘that is liberalism, all those other things which people call liberalism and have obvious flaws, they’re not. Liberalism’s just the good stuff.’

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  3. When I lived in the UK in the 1970s Canadian residents could vote. I voted yes in the EEC referendum in 1975. But that was a free trade entity then, not the bureaucratic monstrosity it grew into. So I grew into a brexiteer as the EEC morphed into the EU

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