A Conversation for European Citizenship

no union, just division

Post 1

Researcher 199074

Untill the government of the UK start to give its citizens the monetary benefits that are supposed to come with membership there will allways be a division. The prime example is "beer and cigarettes" 'smugling'.
Can I bring back a years supply of tobacco, wine and beer for my own use? Well, sort of. If I bump into an overzealous custom official I stand to loose everything, including the car. Yes, yesterday they got a kick up the rear, but they will find a way round it.
"I" pay into europe but I see no benefit.
Our Euro-MP's have the best of both worlds, but it is not for the common herd.
Europe can KMA.

no union, just division

Post 2

Researcher 200309

Interesting focus for the European debate, beer and cigarettes!

The harmonisation of taxation has been and will continue to be a thorny issue, not only from an customs and excise point of view but questions of public health particularly in relation to cigarettes. The Commission is currently tabling proposals on harmonisation of taxation on beer and wine, which will inevitably, albeit belatedly, resolve the cross border taxation issue in relation to these products.

On the question of cigarettes successive UK governments have used taxation as a measure for limiting consumption. Bearing in mind the costs to the UK taxpayer for caring for patients with smoking related illness perhaps there is an argument for even higher taxation. The downside of this policy has been the criminal importing of cigarettes for resale. Harmonisation of tobacco duty will prove more difficult because of the health issues and how they are perceived in various member states.

The benefits of EU membership are all around you and cover almost every aspect of your life from ‘the social chapter’, structural funds, consumer protection and several decades without war after centuries of conflict to name but a few, the European family has proved its worth.

Perhaps instead of awaiting Europe’s kiss on your no doubt delightful derriere perhaps you should reflect on this and save future taxpayers far more than the savings you would accrue on duty on your fags and booze!

no union, just division 2

Post 3

Researcher 199074

Thank you for your reply.
While I can see your point of view, please do not praise for the sake of it.
If I choose to smoke, this is/was a free choice. Having paid into the taxes of this country all my working life, (some 40 years), I think I have covered any health care I may need. The government makes a vast ammount of money from "booze & fags" so if they controll it via price to limit consumption they have failed miserably. I beleive they have allways taxed on the principle "what we can get away with and what the market will bear".
If and when harmonization takes place, will prices come down?
If prices go down where will they then make up the shorfall in revenue?
How long will people put up with the rubbish that is spread about the benefits of europe. The various parts of european legislation that the government dislikes usually contains a get out clause, for their benefit.
Europe may not have had a "europe wide war" but some skirmishes have taken place, so not all is sweet and rosy in the backyard.
BUT, no doubt I am biased as I really do not see any of the benefits, only the drawbacks.

no union, just division

Post 4


... several decades without war after centuries of conflict ...

It amazing how many people attribute the last fifty years of peace in Europe the EU. Rubbish, it is NATO that can take credit for that and no other.

If it had been left to the rest of Europe in 1949, the citizens of Berlin would have starved before the first plane got of the ground. It wasn’t Europe that patrolled the Inner German Boarder for forty years keeping the communists at bay, it was NATO troops. US, British and for a short while French troops until France withdrew from NATO, yet still reaped the benefits. Hows that for European co-operation.

It took the EU nearly two years to decide what to do about Croatia and even then it wasn’t until NATO stepped in that things started to happen. Germany even managed to complicate the issue further by recognising Croatia as an independent state before any pan-European agreement had been reached and against the advice of other European countries.

If defence were left to the bureaucrats of Brussels, there be nothing left to defend by the time they got round to doing something about it.

no union, just division

Post 5


"attribute the last fifty years of peace in Europe the EU"

Sorry, but I think you forgot about the was in Kosovo and Serbia. I would not see Europe as an isolated island with no war. And after all, 50 years of "peace", I definitely do not consider that a long time. Europe went through the worst war in the history of mankind 70 years ago. Considering these two facts, I do not feel secure in Europe at all.

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