For the half-year to 31 December 2014, the IPKat's regular team is supplemented by contributions from guest bloggers Rebecca Gulbul, Lucas Michels and Marie-Andrée Weiss.

Regular round-ups of the previous week's blogposts are kindly compiled by Alberto Bellan.

Monday, 14 November 2011

What shall we call that currency?

The Kat's interest in money is just
a by-product of his passion for
intellectual property law ...
Back in October, in "The Euro: time for a rebrand?" the IPKat expressed the opinion of many when he said that the Eurozone's currency, the euro, had a bad name. In his view, the first step in the rehabilitation of Europe's currency would be to give it a fresh name and a new image, to divorce it from the euro's mythological mire and to distance it from its present discomfort.

This Kat therefore offered as a prize a beautiful new copy of the Butterworths Intellectual Property Law Handbook, 10th edition, of which he is Consultant Editor, to whoever came up with the best suggestion for a new name for the European currency together with an explanation -- in not more than 30 words -- of why it was appropriate. The only stipulations were that the suggested name must not be (i) a famous trade mark (eg "The Google" or the "Coca-Cola"), (ii) a rude word or term of abuse in any of the official languages of the countries of the Eurozone or (iii) the name of a politician (eg "The Sarkozy" or "The Berlusconi")

Some suggestions demonstrated a certain lack of enthusiasm for the European single currency:
  • The Argh (Stein Roar Gjøen, Acapo, Norway): "Suitably ludicrous, easily understood and linguistically independent, indicative of pain and need for relief"
  • The Folly (Roy Crozier, Clarke Willmott LLP)
  • The Pigswill (Ivan Cotter)
  • The Burerock: (Tony McStea): "derived from Europe, bureaucracy (of which we have seen so much to so little effect) and the rock that awaits if said bureaucracy continues to avoid the necessary hard place"
  • The Dodo (Robert Cumming, Walker Morris)
  • The Ohno (also from Robert Cumming)
  • The Bull (Philip Grubb): "it conveys an impression of strength; Europa went for a ride on the bull, and was screwed; a great deal of bull has already been talked about the Euro"
Others were more encouraging:
  • The Rocket (A. B. Ramalho): "It has an optimistic flair to it and it stands for 'to ROCK European Trade'. It makes us believe that the sky, not the ground, is the limit"
  • The Rock (Anthony Gallafent, Gallafents): "same length as “euro”; gives impression of strength; underlies all of Europe; sub-divisional coins could be called boulder, cobble, stone, pebble, grain, dust; each country could have different ROCKS"
  • The Powa (Christine Walmsley-Scott, Marks & Clerk (Luxembourg) LLP): "POWA - Prosperity, Opportunity and Wealth by Agreement --it is easy to say and uses easy English words for the whole EU to understand"
There were some whimsical suggestions too:
  • The Markel (Robert Börner, Murgitroyd & Company): "a mixture of the German "Mark" (apparently being the strongest of the Euro currencies"and our beloved Angie "Merkel"... " [Merpel rather likes this one]
  • The Vademecum (Robert Cumming's third suggestion): "this has an accurate literal/conceptual meaning in Latin (go with me), Latin is a neutral root of many European languages and the first element, vade sends a positive strong and commanding message ‘go!’ - something the Euro lacks at the moment"
  • The Vitis (Katarzyna Wasniowska, Poland): "I thought about the joy, and richness, this word should bring, and about the European heritage as well. I thought about what I would turn to in a time of crisis, and - leaving behined the idea of putting an equation mark between love and money, I came up with the word VITIS - a grape"
  • The Credit (Nathan Jordan, Spoor & Fisher Jersey): "It is a staple of science fiction flicks and comics that in the “not too distant” future everyone is using credits and that the currency has become ubiquitous. If it’s good enough for Luke Skywalker it’s good enough for me"
From the fertile pen and febrile imagination of Sophie Miller (ABPI) came a number of acronyms, including:
  • The Claws (Currency of the Legal Association of Working States)
  • The Meou (Memberstate European Operating Unit)
  • The Mouse (Members Operating Unit for the States of Europe)
Here are some of the best entries:
  • The Neuro (David Kuper): "It's short for 'Not the Euro' (or alternatively the 'New Euro') - and it'd make people think ..."
  • The BizMark (Michael I. Katz, Thomas Whitelaw LLP, Irvine California): "It's honest"
  • The Ecu (George R. F. Souter, Helsinki): "for “European currency unit”, which the Euro replaced. Ecu is also the name of an ancient French coin”
  • The Tenax (Mary Smillie, Bird & Bird): "The Latin for frugal, grasping, obstinate and stingy. This meaning is in common with a former successful (pre-Euro) currency, the Greek Drachma, which means 'grasp'"
Since the IPKat and Merpel can't make up their minds as to which is the winner, they've decided to hold a poll and invite readers to give their verdict. Voting closes midnight next Sunday, Greenwich Mean Time, and you will find the poll at the top of the sidebar on the IPKat's front page.

31 comments:

Jonathan Turner said...

Dear IPKat

In your competition for a new branding of the European currency you have shortlisted "The Tenax" recommended by Mary Smillie of Bird & Bird. You should be aware that "Tenax" is the brand name of infringing plastic grid products made by Bird & Bird's client Tenax SpA - see PLG Research v Ardon International, the last time the Court of Appeal applied the correct principles of interpretation of patent claims. (The products were also found to infringe in parallel American proceedings and were the subject of Italian proceedings which did not reach a conclusion.) This entry should surely be disqualified.

Anonymous said...

Looking at the nationality of most proposals (especially the most negative ones), I would like to follow the lead of Monsieur Sarkozy and tell my dear British colleagues to either join or shut up.
After all, Britain hasn't needed the euro to get a real estate bubble like Spain, busted banks like Ireland, runaway deficits like Italy, or swingeing budget cuts like Greece. And at least here in the Continent we don't have 5% inflation...

Anonymous said...

We shall niether join nor shut up. If continental Europe wants to operate in a bubble then I suggest building a very big wall. I believe there are a few bricks left over from a previous wall that was used by people that liked to control free speech and believed there was only a single way of doing things.

The Euro was created to satsify a political ideolgy. The desire to create a single federal European state is something that we should all object to. It is time to accept and respect national diversity. I have worked in a few European countries and have worked alongside many nationalities. We are alike in so many ways but our cultural differences give us our identity. There is no single European identity even among those who call themselves European.

We can and must learn from each other in order to develop as nations, both socially and economically. The UK can learn from the way things are done in other European countries and vice versa.

The problems in Greece are, in part, due to their own failings (tax collection, corruption, spending etc), but they are in this critical mess due to their membership of a currency that they cannot control. That is prima facie a very bad idea for any nation.

I'm afraid to say it Anon at 9:45, but you are a European snob.

Anonymous said...

Very remarkable that someone who's that pro-Britain (not entirely uninvolved during the Berlin-aftermath of the war neither might I add) wants to give "continental europe" lessons on respect for national identity <<"It is time to accept and respect national diversity.">> given its own behavior and colonial attitude in the last centuries ([Northern-]Ireland, Palestinians,...).

Anonymous said...

> given its own behavior and colonial attitude in the last centuries

Right, for everyone is responsible for the acts of their ancestors, far back in time? Such arguments have been used with great tragedy in the continental past.

While it appears we are off on a tangent this nevertheless makes me wonder if people file equally persasive arguments with the respective authorities. Personally I am unimpressed with the USPTO tendency of deeming arguments "not persuasive" and then dumping the whole thing.

Considering most people on this forum is above average skilled in the art of arguing the show so far has been rather lacking.

ron said...

These days, few people in the UK seem to be aware of the fact that, for many countries of mainland Europe, ditching their national currency and adopting a unified currency is nothing new. In the late Victorian era, the largely non-decimal national European currencies were replaced by a decimal currency based on the gold Franc, the participating states agreeing on the standardisation of metal content, weight, size, and denominations of their respective national currencies. There was no need to use a common name, as the intrisic value lay in the precious metal content of the coins themselves. It all fell apart after WW1, when the gold standard was largely abandoned.

It is sobering to consider that the French Franc, Italian Lira and Spanish Peseta once had the same value as the Swiss Franc.

The 1911 Encyclopaedia Brittannica suggests that a reason for the UK not joining was that the gold content of the unified gold coinage was only 90%, compared to the 92.5% of the UK's gold sovereign. The UK had already made plans for introducing new coinage based on decimal subdivisions of the pound, but, apart from the introduction of the two shilling piece [originally denominated "one tenth of a pound"] nothing came of it.

Anonymous said...

It is time to accept and respect national diversity.

I suspect that this Anonymouse is the same who, a couple of threads down, expressed clear disrespect for the "Luxembourgian" (sic) language, and, consequently, the Luxembourgish national identity. If this is the case, he's showing the typical double standards of most nationalists, to whom all nations are equal, but theirs usually more equal than all others.


I'm afraid to say it Anon at 9:45, but you are a European snob.


Still better than to be one of the narrower Little Englander sort.

Anonymous said...

Yes I am the same Anon, but you misconstrue shortage of time (or simple laziness)for not checking the correct name for a minor lnaguage in a country that speaks so many, for lack of respect for diversity. Don't forget, I knew that there was this national language in the first place.

By little Englander you are trying to find fault, but England (and in particular London) is the most cosmopolitan and culturally diverse nation on the planet. Travel across other great European countries and you will find a lot less respect for people of other nations and their immigrants and a lot more ghettos.

Anonymous said...

If the gold Franc fluctuates in weight (or rather mass, but then our economies haven't become intergalactic yet) as much a the French Kilo weight it is not surprising we did not join. For those that do not know what I am talking about you need to follow the science news stories more closely. Such fluctuation probably also prove us little Englanders right for fighting to protect our pounds (£ and lb).

This little Englander, however, is fluent in both languages of mass and is able to buy his potatoes in pounds (lbs) and his cocaine (and other controlled substances for strictly permitted experimental purposes) in grams.

Anonymous said...

Yes I am the same Anon, but you misconstrue shortage of time (or simple laziness)for not checking the correct name for a minor lnaguage in a country that speaks so many, for lack of respect for diversity.

Well, you seem to forget the context of your mistake:

learn to speak all of their languages (including Luxembourgian or whatever) even though English is the only international language

That sentence, regardless of whether you should have written "Luxemburgish" rather than "Luxemburgian or whatever", doesn't exactly demonstrate a lot of respect for Luxembourg, any other "non-international" language, or cultural diversity, for that matter. indeed, I'm sure that others will agree with me that it positively drips with cultural arrogance.

England (and in particular London) is the most cosmopolitan and culturally diverse nation on the planet

And yet it manages to do so with a single currency (sterling) and a notoriously centralised government! I can't possibly understand how you can then pretend that European federalism and the euro will be harmful to cultural diversity between several different countries. I certainly hope that you can defend your clients' cases more effectively than your own here, otherwise your Continental competitors are going to run rings around you in the future Unified Patent Court, regardless of judges and location.

Anonymous said...

I suggest my Anon critic rechecks the context of that statement. It is what is called sarcasm. The point being made was that we do not need to learn every other country's language or enter into political and monetary union in order to benefit from close ties and cooperation for the benefit of all EU members.

Calling for support from other blog-readers is also a desparate act to win the argument. Beware the Ides of March!

As for cultural arrogance, you are being critical of someone that wishes for the culutral identity of EU nations to survive while you promote cultural distruction with a single Franco-German state, and bemoan any nation (UK) that challenges this ideological goal. Hypocrisy of the highest order.

"single currency (sterling) and a notoriously centralised government". The UK and London! Is that the best you can do. Yet again you try to knock my professional ability. How sad you are.

European Federalism run by Merkel and Sarkozy has just resulted in the overthrow of the leaders of two supposedly independent democratic nations. Shame they don't get to work on Syria.

Anonymous said...

Actually three. Forgot about Ireland and can't do that now can I, Anon?

Anonymous said...

I suggest my Anon critic rechecks the context of that statement. It is what is called sarcasm.

I didn't know that sarcasm and arrogance were mutually exclusive. Not that I have anything against either, mind you, as long as they are justified.

Anonymous said...

That depends whether you understand the difference. It is more of a British cultural trait. If it is arrogant of me to believe that the UK has the right to maintain its independence from nations controlled by blinkered ideologists such as yourself, then so be it.

As for making valid arguments for a new Franco-German empire (I guess it is time they had a memorable one to match that of Britain, Greece and Rome), I am still waiting to hear it. But then, you must have forgotten the basic custom that it is someone who proposes such an idea has the onus of convincing everyone else. Though in your case, it is more a case of

"We shall have our way because we know what is right and you are mere plebs compared to such great intellectuals as ourselves. No one can challenge the authority of the great anti-typo crusaders".

Anonymous said...

It is more of a British cultural trait.

From Dublin to Singapore, through Isandlwana Hill, the Fort of Meerut or the Port of Boston, plenty of people in the world will agree that self-defeating arrogance, not to say plain hubris, is the most distinctive British cultural trait. Although, some would argue, north of Hadrian's Wall, that it is a more specifically English one...

However, I am more charitable than that, and I recognise more admirable British cultural traits. For instance, I reckon that in polite British society it would be considered graceless, at the very least, to join a club to then spend forty years complaining about the club's rules, such as a clearly-stated initial compromise to an "ever-closer union". Or to keep accusing the club secretary and two notable members of running the club on their own, despite ample evidence to the contrary, while steadfastly refusing to consider the other members as equals and occasionally getting their names wrong.

I believe all this behaviour would be considered very unseemly, specially if nobody was actually keeping you from leaving the club.

Romaine Moulton said...

Simul - Latin for together (as Europe should be working together)

Or CEMS - an abbreviation for Combined European Monetary System

Anonymous said...

Your charity is clearly an admirable trait!

Many people of the world may well consider "self-deafeating arrogance" to be a British trait. What confuses me then is why so many people from around the world look to Britain in times of need and many migrants (economic and refugees) seek safe-have in the UK. So much do they seek UK shelter that other European countries are happy to allow uncontrolled immigration knowing that these migrants are merely passing through on their way to the UK. They set up camps at chennel ports and Eurotunnel stations waiting for their chance to cross over. And before youmisinterpret again, this is not an attack/discussion on any real or perceived immigration problem in the UK.

Another peculiarly British trait regards those from overseas who speak English, but not perfectly, frequently not well, including pigeon English. When stopped in the street and asked for directions from such individuals, we English do not pretend to not understand them just because they do not speak proper Queen's English. We make the effort to understand and help. Maybe it is something about he English language that it is still possible to converse in such circumstances or maybe it is just down to Britain not being filled with arrogant citizens (as accused).

Your selection of episodes/encounters in British history is, to say the least, selective. Only a few days ago, the good citizens of several European nations welcomed some British pensioners to honour them and their former comrades who gave their lives for national independence and freedom. Their are British servicemen dying on a daily basis to help make Afghanistan a safe place for its people. We have no selfish need to be there (there is no oil or great interest from British firms) but went in to assist an ally deal with interantional terrorism (start a discussion on this if you wish).

On some of these projects we have the same position as other major EU nations (notably France), but on others we disagree on the course of action (notably France). Evidence again to support the need for independent foreign policy. Germany, like Japan, have one of those "don't want to get involved in conflict, look what happened last time" attitiudes. Perfectly reasonable, though a wholly unfounded concern, because we have all accepted the Germany of today is not that of the past.

Whatever the terminology used, i.e. "ever-closer union", that cannot be interpreted by any right-minded individual to mean the creation of a single European nation. I doubt that is the terminology used to creat the USA.

Analogies can be useful, but are not necessary here. You are simply a single European citizen who has an ideological viewpoint that Europe should exist as a single state controlled from Berlin. You seek to interpret the EU treaties to justify your own interpretation while failing to appreciate there are many members who have a right to views that differ from your own.

Having said that, your analogy is a good one, in that you are the snobbish Chairman of the club who begrudgingly allowed others to join in order to gain extra funding, yet constantly seeks to interpret old rules in a way that suits yourself while trying to make new rules to satisfy your own ends.

You have provided no support for your belief that a single nation was the primary intention of European cooperation or a sensible and beneficial outcome. You have no argument and you have no case. You can only attack me, Britain and it's people in a puerile manner. I assume you must be a national of that perfect European member state, Utopia?

Once again, "Analogy" is a suitable word. It's probably short for Anal Ideology.

Anonymous said...

From http://www.luxembourg.co.uk/lingua.html


"'Lëtzebuergesch' is taught in schools and in language courses mostly addressed to the resident foreigners. Whilst it is an extremely practical and useful means of everyday conversation, it is a poor culture-bearer. As soon as a conversation reaches out into the higher levels of abstraction or refined sentiment, the limits of the vocabulary and grammatical constructions available are all too apparent and it becomes necessary to borrow from other languages. "

"poor culture bearer". Foundations of arguments built on sand.

Anonymous said...

I doubt that is the terminology used to creat the USA.

Well, as a matter of fact, their Founding Fathers used "more perfect union" in the preamble to their Constitution. Not exactly the same words, but close enough. One can certainly see where the drafters of the Treaty of Rome got their idea. If anything, "ever-closer union" is more definite.

As for the rest of your rant, it's possibly worthy of the Telegraph's readers' letters, but otherwise a clutter of unsupported assertions, clichés, non-sequiturs and ad-hominems which hardly require further discussion, peppered with the odd malapropism, presumably in that avian language which you call "pigeon" English. At the very least I can feel proud to have manifestly irked you in a more elegant manner without resorting to such crude personal abuse. So, doodle-doo, and good luck at your Debating Society. Judging by this sample, you certainly are going to need it.

Anonymous said...

I have more in common with you than the US constitution has with the Treaty of Rome (strange to name a treaty after a minor suburb of a future enlarged Germany). It is important to read a little more than a few selected words from the preamble of either. The bit that matters is the "HAVE AGREED" section. I guess, in your view, when people marry "for better or worse" that gives them the right to abuse their spose? After all "worse" means "worse".

I'm not sure why you feel you have managed to "irk me" or why you feel you have won because you feel you have done so. Great that you feel so pleased with yourself though if it proves to you that you are of a superior race.

However, I had a quick look back through your postings and still can't find a single argument in favour of your case. All you seem to repeat is that you are better than me, which is something I can hardly dispute. After all, you have swallowed a much bigger English dictionary than I could ever manage. Who'd have thought that the noise of a rooster could lead to an entry in an English dictionary as some sort of parting gesture? Anyway, always keen to learn new phrases, doodle-doo to you too.

If you can come up with a good reason for the creation of a United States of Europe, then feel free to share.

Anonymous said...

Now Telelgraph readers. Who will you be insulting next?

Anonymous said...

It is hardly surprising that the British are sceptical about the motives and plans of our continental 'colleagues' when such arrogance and xenophobic attitudes are shown towards them. The comments and inferences made through reference to British historical events are contemptible.

The Euro will survive the current crisis, but the failure of European leaders to act in a decisive manner is damaging the world economy, as well as bringing the peripheral Eurozone economies to the brink of collapse. Self-interest by the major Eurozone countries is the current problem, which leads me to the conclusion that deeper integration is doomed to failure.

Anonymous said...

The comments and inferences made through reference to British historical events are contemptible.

As opposed to the continuous references to Agincourt, the Invincible Armada, "jack-booted Nazi thugs" and "reverse-geared Italian tanks" which one gets to hear so often whenever Europe is discussed in Britain?

It actually takes quite the Anglophile to even be aware of those British historical events. And one can actually be quite fond of the nation itself and yet enjoy baiting a particular xenophobe by dishing him some of his own medicine.

As for the euro crisis, as a famous American once put it best: "We must hang together, gentlemen...else, we shall most assuredly hang separately." I don't doubt for a moment that Europe will eventually do the right thing after exhausting all other possibilities, as a famous Briton once said of Americans (and mind you, his own mum was an American).

Anonymous said...

I get it. It is appropriate to be xenophobic when baiting a suspected xenophobe, yes? I shall pass this defence on to Seth Blatter as there are no racists in football, just footballers baiting suspected racists.

But what you were doing was not simply baiting and it was not elegant.

As your definition of xenophobe is someone who doesn't believe in a single European state, you need to buy a new dictionary. Try the Oxford English. I have written to them to inlcude "doodle doo" and providing it becomes common usage they will put it in. Such a remarkable, expanding language, I am not surprised you are such a fan.

Anonymous said...

It appears that not only should a future Europe be dominated by Germany, it should be funded by the financial businesses located in London.

From http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/0,1518,798009,00.html

""Suddenly Europe is speaking German," Volker Kauder, who holds the powerful post of conservative parliamentary group leader, told the CDU's annual party conference in Leipzig, in a remark that may fuel fears in some countries that Germany is becoming too dominant in the euro crisis. "

""Just looking for their own advantage and not being prepared to contribute -- that cannot be the message we accept from the British," Kauder said, referring to Britain's opposition to the financial transaction tax that Germany has been lobbying for in order to raise revenue for future bank bailouts."

Anonymous said...

It is appropriate to be xenophobic when baiting a suspected xenophobe, yes?

No, but it's indeed appropriate to use some of the sarcarm you are so happy to dispense to others. It is markedly less funny when one is on the receiving end, isn't it?

As for you not being a xenophobe, I simply remit to some of your contributions to this and other threads, including accusing the French and Germans of conspiring to rule Europe and scoffing at the outrageous idea of learning foreign languages. And, of course, you couldn't resist the urge to Mention The War, Mr. Fawlty.

Anyway, this has been an interesting conversation. I thought that a rooster's call was "cock-a-doodle-doo". In our exchange, I have merely provided the "doodle-doo". You have been...the rooster.

Anonymous said...

Important point first:
1. Sarcasm, not sarcarm.

Then I suggest you take a look at your own posts prior to any of my such 'xenophobic' contributions, in particular:

"Very remarkable that someone who's that pro-Britain (not entirely uninvolved during the Berlin-aftermath of the war neither might I add) wants to give "continental europe" lessons on respect for national identity <<"It is time to accept and respect national diversity.">> given its own behavior and colonial attitude in the last centuries ([Northern-]Ireland, Palestinians,...)."

Then I suggest you take a look at the German newspaper article of the previous post.

Then I suggest you look at the speeches of Angela Merkel who mentioned the war more frequently in the past couple of weeks than the British are permitted to in a year.

Then I suggest you take a look at the reasons for creating the EU in the first place. It had something to do with preventing another one of those wars.

Then I suggest you take a look at my comment (sarcastic or otherwise) on learning to speak all foreign languages and look up the meaning of that important word 'all'.

When you have finished re-learning English then you may be in a position to comment on a person's beliefs and attitude.

The I suggest you take a look at the US Bill of Rights and if you want the new EU to be modelled on the US constitution you have to respect others are entitled to their view on the future of the EU.

Then I suggest finding a better book on insults. It will be more useful than the book you are currently reading on how to massage your superiority complex.

Maybe you'd care to share your nationality so we can return your compliments?

We have an old saying over here on our little island: "With anglophiles like you, who need anglophobes".

Again, if you have any sensible arguments to convince everyone that a US of Europe is a good idea, the door is still open.

Mark said...

[Putting head above parapet]

Blah, blah, blah!

[Quickly puts head down again]

[Thinks: if I post this as "anonymous", anonymous A will think that anonymous B posted it, and vice versa]

Anonymous said...

Your point, Mark, is?

Anonymous said...

Then I suggest you take a look at your own posts prior to any of my such 'xenophobic' contributions, in particular:...

Wrong again! You'll have to take my word for it, but, as it happens, the specific comment you quote wasn't by me, but by an interloper (perhaps not even European: in particular some Americans tend to have more romantic notions of Northern Ireland than the Irish themselves). Such are the drawbacks of anonymity, as Mark suggests...

This said, I don't see in which way it is Anglophobic, or even more generally xenophobic, to point out that self-righteous defences of "national diversity", coming from Britain, may raise some eyebrows in several of the many bits of the globe that used to be coloured pink just a few decades ago...

As for my nationality, unlike you, I don't feel a mere accident of birth to be very relevant. Feel free to choose yourself whether you wish to insult any particular nationality.

As for the reasons in favour of further European integration, I think it's enough to point out that, just as there are some areas of government that are better taken care of at a local or regional level, rather than at the national one, some other matters are more efficiently tackled at an even higher level. To me, your question about arguments in favour of a United States of Europe makes about as much sense as if you asked for arguments in favour of the United States of America or the United Kingdom (mind you, some American "states' rights" activists and some Scottish nationalists may question those). It is simply self-evident that, horror stories about curved cucumbers and straight bananas aside, businesses benefit from being able to trade throughout Europe under a single set of trading standards and health and safety rules, rather than 27. As an IP specialist, you should also reckon that there are benefits in being able to register and enforce Community trademark and, hopefully in a near future, a Unitary patent. Similarly, I've been able to take advantage of the freedom of movement of persons within the EU, working and living in several different countries, much to both my own and my successive employers' and clients' satisfaction. And on an almost weekly basis I enjoy the advantages of borderless travel without being robbed blind in currency exchange counters, but of course, your country opted out those two advantages.
It also stands to reason that we would mostly benefit from an harmonised fiscal policy (not the same as harmonised tax rates) which would close cross-border loopholes that currently allow multinationals and the very wealthy to avoid paying almost any taxes whatsoever by shuffling money around in tactics with names such as "Double Dutch" and "Irish Sandwich". Or that taxpayers would be grateful of any move that would consolidate 27 different sets of embassies and consulates worldwide. Or, finally, that by spending our defence monies in 27 different armed forces, each one with a different set of weapons, we currently get a lot less "bang for the buck" than our American cousins.

Of course, to live together means to compromise, to tolerate the odd quirks of others, and to accept to be eventually outvoted by them. But you were, and still are, free to choose whether to join or to leave. It certainly isn't unworkable: the United States of America were built by people from all over Europe and even elsewhere, who managed to work and live together despite their many differences. "Et pluribus unum".

Anonymous said...

Yet content to follow up one xenophobic post with your own examples of historical British military events to support you criticism (still referring to the former British empire in your recent post), though oddly believing your nationality is irrelevant, whilst I am the one accused of being self-righteous.

Many of those benefits of the EU already exist and are allowed for under the current Treaty. The disadvantage of others (Euro in particular) wildly outweigh the benefits. The queues for EU passport holders are no worse in the UK than elsewhere - try London City or Stansted.

Other plans for a Federal Europe go beyond requirements for a free market, free movement, Health and Safety. European embassies promoting a Euro foreign policy (as opposed to dealing with trade issues) and a single EU controlled defence force are an anathema to many.

When UN sanctioned (EU or NATO) intervention is required somewhere, whose soldiers will be making the greatest sacrifice alongside the Americans? National interests will always trump EU or international interests in these scanarios as we have rarely agreed on recent events.

Comparisons with the US forces are not sensible unless the EU desires to be a military superpower with all that entails. Comparisons with the creation of the USA are also unrealistic becuase they agreed their constitution when they had a population of less than 4 million.

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