What do we get for £41 billion? Or £50 billion? Or more?

Peter Bone MP has just circulated figures from the OBR to remind us of the large leap in the costs of our contributions to the EU. At a time when government talks about the need for budget restraints the UK faces a 116% increase in its net contributions to the EU, comparing 2010-15 with the five preceding years. Net contributions are the amount we pay in ,less the rebate, less the money we get back as EU spending.

Over the five year period gross contributions are forecast to rise by 8%, but net contributions more than double. This shows just what an expensive folly it was on the part of Mr Blair to surrender part of the UK’s very valuable rebate won by Margaret Thatcher. He did so in return for the promise that they would reform the Common Agrilcutural Policy in a way which lower its costs substantially. There is not much sign of that happening. The loss of abatement works out at around £2 billion a year of extra cost once if is fully phased in. This means they are also forecasting reduced EU spending in the UK relative to contributions.

Many of my constituents and correspondents do not feel we are getting value for the £41 billion the OBR says we will have to pay into the EU over the next five years. At a time of budget restraint people will naturally become very critical of such indulgence.

We read that Mr Barroso has told Mr Cameron he has to choose between protecting the city and having influence at the top table. That should not be the choice at all. The UK PM should simply defend the UK interest. The UK interest is not to help Euroland preside over its disaster or seek to influence their ill fated scheme, but to get us out from as much of the collateral damage as possible.

Over the last five Labour years gross expenditure was £12.4bn, £12.5 bn, £12.7bn, £14.1 bn and £9.5 bn.
The OBR forecast for 2010-11 onwards is £12.3 bn, £13.3bn, £12.8bn, £13.6bn. and £14.3 bn
The net figures for the last Labour years are £3.9bn, £4.6bn, £3.3bn, £2.5 bn, and £4.7 bn
The net forecasts are £7.6bn, £8.5 bn, £7.7bn, £8.3 bn and £ 8.9bn

There are other figures released by the ONS this week that have also attracted attention. These show that the 2010 figure shot up to £7.4 billion net and rose to £13 bn gross after abatement. If you extrapolate these figures you can up with a bigger headline than £41 billion for the five years.

It is also important to distinguish between the abatement which is a good thing because you get cash back, and the EU spending which is also taken off the gross contribution. This is far less satisfactory, as the spending may not offer good value or be on things you want to spend on. Taxpayers have to pay the gross bill, after the abatement. It still needs higher taxes to pay for the EU spending.

I have always wanted to start deficit reduction with big cuts in EU budgets. It’s a pity such a popular policy is ruled out by the undemocratic constitution of the EU.

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64 Comments

  1. lifelogic
    Posted November 25, 2011 at 6:42 am | Permalink

    Indeed the EU spending is far less satisfactory often mainly spent on buying publicity ugly “financed by the EU boards” all over the place. Tax people £1M waste 70% on collections admin and distribution then give back than £300K to do something that was not high on the priority list and then put load of EU promotion conditions on it to make it even less efficient.

    Why is cast rubber still doing nothing? I see the control of Migration circa net +250K seems to be about as well controlled as inflation. Also I see Nick Clegg is attacking banks for refusing loans on race ground. Could he not think of anything better to do than stir up harmful (and I suspect totally unjustified) racial tensions and ill feeling in this way.

    What does he have to say about his love affair with the EURO and the huge damage that is doing?

    • Single Acts
      Posted November 25, 2011 at 9:17 am | Permalink

      The idea that a serious bank would decline a sound business proposition on the grounds of the race of the applicant is unsupported by evidence.

      We face critical possibly terminal issues and we are running around worrying about celebrities having their voicemails listened to because they were too dumb to take even basic security precautions and why there aren’t many black football managers!

      Politics is dead.

      • lifelogic
        Posted November 25, 2011 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

        Rather a shortage of white 100M sprinters too I notice.

        • Bazman
          Posted November 26, 2011 at 10:28 am | Permalink

          When I ski it snows. The shortage of 100 m sprinters could be to do with lack of other opportunities for young black men.
          So what you are saying is that institutional racism does not exist? What about the shockingly low rape conviction figures? Maybe that many woman do make up these accusations, but highly unlikely. Down the pub again liflelogic?

      • lifelogic
        Posted November 25, 2011 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

        Quite right why would a bank wish discriminate against good customers. True different sections of customers may well have more security to offer, better business contacts, more personal capital, have better educations more supportive families, more space or similar.

        Life is not fair nor will Nick Clegg ever make it so – best to do the best you you can with what you are given and preferably do not to incubate resentment & envy as Nick Clegg is doing – it helps no one especially those whom he, perhaps, imagines he is helping (or vote seeking).

      • APL
        Posted November 25, 2011 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

        Single Acts: ” we are running around worrying about celebrities having their voicemails listened to because they were too dumb to take even basic security precautions ”

        Well yes, the lunatics have taken over in this particular asylum.

    • Bob
      Posted November 25, 2011 at 9:23 am | Permalink

      @LL
      Nick Clegg should google “Community Reinvestment Act”, this was the forerunner to the sub prime crisis which led to the collapse of the banks.
      I hope that our government will not repeat the USA’s mistakes in compelling banks make credit decisions based on the applicant’s skin tone. That would be the height of stupidity, even for the Lib Dems.

      • uanime5
        Posted November 26, 2011 at 11:35 am | Permalink

        I thought the cause of the sub prime crisis was banks repackaging these risky loans as safe loans and having people invest in them. As long as UK banks don’t repeat this mistake there won’t be any problems.

        • Bob
          Posted November 26, 2011 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

          If the government had not forced the banks to make (in your words) “risky loans”, the problem would never have arisen.

          Are you suggesting that our government should force banks to make risky loans, and then prohibit them from selling them on?

          If so, I cannot agree with you, I think it’s best if the government keep out of it, and especially refrain from repeating policies that have had such disastrous consequences in the past.

    • Disaffected
      Posted November 25, 2011 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

      Lifelogic,

      I think we saw Cameron’s response on 23rd October when he took every measure he could to prevent the public from having a say on the EU in some FUTURE referendum. I agree with other bloggers, Blair wanted the rebate to help his him become the EU President.

      Let us not forget, as you rightly point out, that Cameron has systematically failed to deliver on his promises for the budget, EU, defence, immigration and law and order. However, compare this to what the Lib Dems wanted to achieve and you will see a correlation in the outcome to date.

      *Cable changed his mind on a daily and weekly basis before the election as Andrew Neil demonstrated by his interview with him- borrowing and spending continues to spiral out of control as John points out on an almost daily basis.
      *They want a pan European state and want the UK to be in the Euro; more powers given to the EU and no change to repatriate powers, no change to cut EU budget or have a referendum on the EU as promised by cameron. Fall of three democratic nations to the EU dictatorship, no protest from the UK. Cameron has bailed out the EU contrary to what he claimed he would do. Cable states he will closely align with Hesltine.
      *They wanted more immigration, but a better dispersal around the country. Immigration currently highest figure on record. No proper action to curb any form of immigration. A further 140,000 asylum seekers lost and the associated costs continue to spiral out of control- and despite this the Tories experimented to wave any check while our military personnel continue to lose life and limb under the pretence to prevent terrorism. Disgraceful.
      *They wanted to reduce the defence and get rid of Trident- even Brown told Clegg to get real- defence has certainly been cut far more than top heavy and unwanted back room staff in the MoD. Cameron committed the Uk to another war that was none of our business over extending the resources and telling soldiers while fighting his wars that they were to be made redundant!
      *Finally they have always been soft on crime and Clark is certainly fulfilling that pledge- 65,000 offenders who committed 15 or more offences last year were NOT sent to prison.
      I have had enough of the 18months of weak, deceitful socialist Tory government. The rebate and cost of the EU will only go up with Cameron around.

    • Posted November 25, 2011 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

      And usually any “EU” funding has to be matched by UK funding so actually we end up paying part of the cost of something THEY decided we should have but WE do not need.

      Cut out the middle man!

  2. Kevin Ronald Lohse
    Posted November 25, 2011 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    Apropos Mr. Blair. The nod and wink in his direction that the Presidency of the EU could be his had absolutely no bearing upon his decision to surrender much of the Rebate.

  3. Mike Stallard
    Posted November 25, 2011 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    Well spotted! Why am I not surprised?

    In 1968, the world was new and being reborn in Paris and it was exciting! Love and Peace and Drugs (a little) and Harmony raged. Very attractive people stood completely naked on the stage in Hair. The first Pop Festivals flowered in beautiful farmland…….

    Now those people are in power in Europe. They still pursue their dreams which have now tightened up. I think they are really rather different from our host in quite a number of ways though in their assumptions…….

    And their assumptions are very expensive, their ambitions unregulated and their finances completely unaudited. So, of course, Mr Cameron will simply pay up as usual. And we just sit here, watching our beloved little country sink beneath the waves of bankruptcy.

    Mr Farage’s speech in the European Parliament has got 600,000 views and has been translated into four different European languages.

  4. Peter van Leeuwen
    Posted November 25, 2011 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    Isn’t the main difference between the Blair years and the OBR forecast is that you devalued your currency by almost 30%? As soon as you express your contributions in euros you will feel a lot happier, especially when you consider that much of your good money will help to create better markets for the UK in as yet poorer EU areas, which receive much of the cohesion funds.
    Should the too high UK contribution be added to the long list of EU myths?
    (http://ec.europa.eu/budget/explained/myths/myths_en.cfm )

    • norman
      Posted November 25, 2011 at 8:58 am | Permalink

      We may have devalued by 30% but our wages haven’t risen by 30%, our household bills haven’t gone down by 30% , items in the shops aren’t 30% cheaper, etc. so to the average Briton it will seem as though we’re paying 30% (or whatever it is) more in EU contributions.

      Is that link a parody? I honestly can’t tell such is the quality of the info contained on it. Most of the myths are strawmen that no one worries about anyway. I guess the idea behind it is if you put out the impression that these ‘myths’ form the basis of Eurosceptics criticisms (they don’t) and then debunk them you can dismiss critics of the EU as myth peddlars unaware of the facts.

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted November 25, 2011 at 9:37 am | Permalink

        @norman: If it’s as bad as you suggest (no reason to doubt you) then there may at least be more areas in Britain that would qualify for cohesion funds as well. That said, there is a lot of belt tightening going on, see the southern part of the EU.
        I’m afraid that this myth-link is to a European Commission site. Most myths originate in tabloid press and should be debunked, but if people already see it as strawmen, all the better.
        I keep reading more serious EU criticism, just like good eurosceptics should read the europhile articles from time to time.

      • sjb
        Posted November 25, 2011 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

        libertarian raised the “straight banana regulations”.

        “Bananas are classified according to quality and size for international trade. Individual governments and the industry have in the past had their own standards with the latter’s, in particular, being very stringent. The European Commission was asked by national agriculture ministers and the industry to draft legislation in this area. Following extensive consultation with the industry, the proposed quality standards were adopted by national ministers in Council in 1994.”
        Source: http://ec.europa.eu/unitedkingdom/press/euromyths/archive_euromyths_2_en.htm

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted November 25, 2011 at 9:14 am | Permalink

      Peter,
      How about adding the euro as a sustainable currency to your list of EU myths?

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted November 26, 2011 at 11:29 am | Permalink

        @Brian Tomkinson:
        That’s a good one! I hope we won’t have to!
        Why? The Dutch benefit from the single currency, about a week’s salary for the average Dutchman (according to the Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis, an independent econometric planning board utilised by all Dutch governments and all Dutch political parties since soon after WWII)

    • libertarian
      Posted November 25, 2011 at 11:44 am | Permalink

      Peter,

      I know that you are a EU fanatic and a socialist but you really must make an effort to understand. The EU is not despised by a large number of the population because of straight banana regulations ( lord knows our own public sector is quite capable of inventing this kind of nonsense on their own) and other myths. It is despised because 1) It is a totalitarian undemocratic form of government 2) No one wants to live in a socialist homogenized land called Euro 3) The tide of history is moving towards much smaller more manageable organisations, institutions and countries. So far from merging up there are more and more reasons to move into more localised and human sized countries.

      Your point about 30% devaluation is just drivel

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted November 25, 2011 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

        Labels labels labels, what would we be without them!

      • sjb
        Posted November 25, 2011 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

        If you are going to demand others “make an effort to understand” then shouldn’t you lead the way by providing reasons? For example, why is Peter’s devaluation point “just drivel”?

    • Martyn
      Posted November 25, 2011 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

      Shall we add the latest myth to the list? That is to say, after years of pontification and debate the EU medicos and scientists recently ruled that water or the lack of it has nothing to do with dehydration and have directed that it is not be advertised with any connection to dehydration.
      What planet do these useless people live on and why are we having to pay through the nose for such medically illiterate incompetence and obvious lack of common sense?

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted November 25, 2011 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

        @Martyn:
        Maybe common sense dictates that the earth is flat but science shows this not to be the case.
        Likewise, a meeting of 21 scientists in Parma, Italy, concluded that reduced water content in the body was a symptom of dehydration and not something that drinking water could subsequently control. There are other contributing factors to dehydration.
        However, science does accept that “drinking water is good for normal physical and cognitive functions and for normal temperature control” You’re welcome to put true claims on your bottles.

      • sjb
        Posted November 25, 2011 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

        Readers wishing to read the Scientific Opinion upon which the Daily Mail article is based can read it at http://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/doc/1982.pdf

    • Tim
      Posted November 25, 2011 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

      We shouldn’t have top pay anything to trade with other nations. We had a £50 billion trade deficit with the EU last year and £262 billion net over the last 10 years. So if our leaders had any backbone they’d tell the EU that we’re not paying anymore EU aid fullstop. Are our EU cousins going to threaten us with our trade deficit? Of course not and nations outside the EU still trade with them.
      It’s time we were out of this undemocratic costly nightmare.

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted November 25, 2011 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

        @Tim: Even Norway and Switzerland pay for trading in the single market.

        • Tim
          Posted November 26, 2011 at 11:22 am | Permalink

          Then what fools they are. Does China, America, Brazil, India, Russia?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted November 25, 2011 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

      I don’t remember doing anything to devalue our currency by 30%.

      I thought it was a new consensus among global investors that for some years sterling had been over-valued with respect to other currencies – partly the result of those inward investment flows which we were warned would dry up if we didn’t join the euro – and that over-valuation should be corrected.

      Not the first time, because that’s what happens when currencies are allowed to float freely against each other rather than having their external values determined by governments.

      Some economists even think that it’s a good thing, because it helps to stabilise the overall global economy by redistributing growth and inflation between different countries.

      However, in the same spirit, Peter, why are you devaluing your currency?

      http://www.ecb.int/stats/exchange/effective/html/index.en.html

      And when do you intend to stop devaluing your currency?

      When the euro index has dropped another 20% towards its previous lows in late 2000, which seems quite possible from looking at the chart?

      I suppose it’s not that bad for a rock solid currency which wouldn’t bob around like a cork on the turbulent oceans of the foreign exchange markets – only a range between 81 and 116, almost as good as sterling when it comes to the stability of its external value.

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted November 26, 2011 at 11:45 am | Permalink

        “I don’t remember doing anything to devalue our currency by 30%. “
        You do have a valid point indeed, Denis, and there is nothing I can do about the euro currency rate (all the same I’m happy not living of an English pension in the Netherlands, nor having my pension fund having all its investments in British sterling bonds). As an old man, I could consider moving to France or Germany, but sadly, the UK would pose too much of a risk for my family.
        Mighty Britain may keep its own currency, but we, the little Dutch, are safer within the eurozone. See how Hungary now feels it is under a speculative attack and how Switzerland was forced recently to peg its currency to the euro. And then, we even make money by having the euro, as we make money by being in the EU. Try and emulate that as a UK, Denis.

    • Tim
      Posted November 25, 2011 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

      Mr Redwood please encourage George Osborne to meet and listen to Kyle Bass over the past, present and future consequences of all this borrowing.

      I attach a link in order that you can listen to his interview on the BBC.

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01771pd/HARDtalk_Kyle_Bass_Founder_Hayman_Capital_Hedge_Fund/

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted November 25, 2011 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

      Peter,
      How about adding the idea that the euro is a sustainable currency to your list of EU myths?

  5. alan jutson
    Posted November 25, 2011 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    I wait to see what Mr Cameron is going to do about it, but by then both of us may be history.

    Him out of Politics, and me in a box.

    Why is it successive governments always lose out to the EU, are we just crap at negotiating, have we lost the bulldog spirit and national pride of yesteryear, or is it that they simply do not understand mathematics and consequences.

    We surely should have learned by now, that the EU simply wants more and more money, to continue to fund its great social dream and one United States of Europe experiment.

    • Mike Stallard
      Posted November 25, 2011 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

      I think a lot of the answer to your excellent question is this: scorn. A curled upper lip is a very powerful weapon especially if it is given by someone who really believes in what they are saying. The Germans and French truly believe in European Unity. It is wired into them. Questioning this must be a bit like someone talking about, say, Hitler, or saying that gay people are wrong, something like that: just plain bad manners.
      Mr Cameron has been brought up to fit in, to be polite and good mannered which means doing the right thing. It is very difficult for someone like that to be the odd man out. And, don’t forget that the people round him in Brussels are all of them utterly pro European Unity. If he misbehaves, they will be in there with their own politely raised eyebrows too.
      Banging the table like Mrs Thatcher simply gets you removed by a coup d’etat.

      • alan jutson
        Posted November 26, 2011 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

        Mike

        Yes I have no doubt Mr Cameron was bought up with proper manners, but surely he is intelligent enough to realise that he needs a tough talking enforcer (who perhaps loves to be unpopular) as his side kick or negotiation team, so perhaps they can do the good cop, bad cop act when negotiations take place.

        Let the so called bad cop/team do all of the the demands and negotiation, and get some results, before Cameron will even allow himself to speak to them, to tyhen smooth over the surface.

        At least let us show some backbone, sometimes a street fighter gets credit and wins through when all other options have been tried..

    • Jon Burgess
      Posted November 25, 2011 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

      ‘Why is it successive governments always lose out to the EU, are we just crap at negotiating, have we lost the bulldog spirit and national pride of yesteryear, or is it that they simply do not understand mathematics and consequences.’

      I’ve come to the conclusion that this can only be because successive Governments, or rather selected members of parliament in all parties:

      -hate this country and want to see it destroyed
      -have been bought off (directly or by the promise of future wealth and power),
      -are working subversively for a foreign power . I wouldn’t put this past Blair either, hence his desire to alter the law of Treason.

      There are also those who honestly believed we would be better off in, but can now see that they were wrong but can’t yet admit to themselves or the rest of us

      I honestly believe that the British people have lost none of the things you mention, and if asked outright would overwhelmingly want to reverse this whole process. Hence the fact that no referendum will be forthcoming this parliament or next.

      (Names removed as allegations not proven-ed)

  6. APL
    Posted November 25, 2011 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    JR: ” expensive folly it was on the part of Mr Blair to surrender ”

    To be fair, Blair’s incompetence wasn’t restricted to the EU, he also ‘negotiated’ asymetric extradition treaties with the US.

  7. Edward.
    Posted November 25, 2011 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    @Alan Jutson,

    Why is it successive governments always lose out to the EU, are we just crap at negotiating, have we lost the bulldog spirit and national pride of yesteryear, or is it that they simply do not understand mathematics and consequences.

    Our [Britain’s] negotiating teams are replete with civil servants who were always and still do very much believe and set store in the great EU project. They are, after all bureaucrats are they not?
    Long before Britain actually joined the ‘common market’, the panjandrums in Whitehall, had along with their Brussels counterparts decided that Britains’ entry into the then ‘nine’ was a desirable thing.
    So we are stitched-up, firstly because our politicians are blinded by superior German and French negotiators and because even if the politicians don’t agree, their civil servants always do.

  8. RB
    Posted November 25, 2011 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    Sorry, it seems quite simple to me.

    We made a deal – rebate for agricultural policy reform.

    We did our bit – they haven’t done theirs.

    So don’t pay the extra – refuse.

  9. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted November 25, 2011 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    There can be no satisfactory resolution of this and the other numerous issues which disadvantage this country whilst we remain members of this anti-democratic protection racket.

  10. David in Kent
    Posted November 25, 2011 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    Last week I was reading commentary in Le Figaro about the Cameron- Merkel meeting which said (I paraphrase) it was understandble for England to resist the Tobin tax but asked why we thought we could continue to gain the benefits of membership of the EU without paying the costs.
    I thought; what benefits is EU membership giving us?

  11. Shade
    Posted November 25, 2011 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    John

    I realise you are specifically talking about direct cash contributions but you would come to way larger figures if you added in the extra costs of food that we are forced to pay as members of the EU. I have seen estimates as high as 25% which, assuming a low food spend of £100 per week per household times 25 million, would equate to over £30 bn per year.

    Not to mention the increased costs of EU regulation, lost opportunity cost (by putting most of our faith in EU trade) etc. As you rightly ask, what on earth do we get for this? Oh yes … peace in our time, 3 million jobs, food security etc … so mustn’t grumble really.

    Toodle pip

  12. Toby G
    Posted November 25, 2011 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    are these increases Via the IMF..?

  13. A.Sedgwick
    Posted November 25, 2011 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    It no longer amazes me how naive many Government Ministers have been and are – the CAP will never be meaningfully reformed barring the rest of the Union throwing France out.

    This is one of numerous reasons why the only option is exit the EU.

    • Jon Burgess
      Posted November 25, 2011 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

      I can’t accept they are knowingly this naive, only a total fool would believe that the EU would reform CAP. There must have been much more to this – like a tacit agreement that Blair would ‘get’ something in return – like the EU presidency, or a lucrative overseas post in, say the Middle East?

      Successive Governments have sold us out for their own advancement; it’s as simple as that.

  14. forthurst
    Posted November 25, 2011 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    The CAP is the main EU expense; the EU is and always has been a French racket to get Germany to subsidise inefficient French farming practices. As more countries have joined they have fallen into two camps, those whose farms and produce are more like France’s and those like us who were designated to pay for French farmers whilst our own farmers were deprecated, told what they could produce or not produce and deprived of a fair return whilst facing unfair competition from abroad.

    The EU is about nothing if it is not about deliberate market distortions along socialist lines and this includes the Global Warming scam.

    • Disaffected
      Posted November 25, 2011 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

      Well said, spot on.

  15. Bernard Otway
    Posted November 25, 2011 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    Yes Edward,I have seen the foreign office in action in Africa for 30 years,they are and always will be absolutely USELESS,their predecessors in Pith helmets were far better even while still suffering malaria and such.I personally have no truck with any public service competence and in fact the words service and competence don’t apply.If I was in the boat that Captain Bligh
    and some ratings were put into by Fletcher Christian, and public servants were to be the navigators I would jump in the Pacific as I would have a better chance of SWIMMING to
    Indonesia than they had of getting me there.

  16. George Stewart
    Posted November 25, 2011 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    John, thanks for keep fighting as many of us appreciate your efforts and energy. You are serving a far larger constituency than you ever imagined, the British People are grateful.

    • A David H
      Posted November 25, 2011 at 11:38 pm | Permalink

      +1

  17. anthony scholefierld
    Posted November 25, 2011 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    It is gross contributions less abatement that matter. The money that comes back to the UK is otherwise simply spending that is recyled via the EU,it does not come back to the credit side of the British government’s accounts.’Net contribution’ is not a relevant figure when considering spending.

  18. javelin
    Posted November 25, 2011 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    Merkel Quote – TREATY CHANGE therefore REFERENDUM

    http://edition.cnn.com/2011/11/24/world/europe/germany-eu-treaties/?hpt=hp_t3

    “We need to correct the fundamental floors in the construction of the eurozone. The situation is not easy — trust has been lost. And that is the reason why we, Germany and France, want to work on treaty change”

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted November 25, 2011 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

      Hague quote – TREATY CHANGE but NO REFERENDUM.

      http://www.fco.gov.uk/resources/en/pdf/eu-section5-statement

      “In my opinion the European Council Decision of 25 March 2011 amending Article 136 TFEU with regard to a stability mechanism for Member States whose currency is the euro adopted under Article 48(6) TEU does not fall within section 4 of the Act and no referendum is required in the UK.”

  19. BobE
    Posted November 25, 2011 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    Lords Lawson and Turnbull have written an open letter to Chris Huhne over climate change: http://is.gd/FncOcc

    • Martyn
      Posted November 25, 2011 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

      And jolly good it is too! Thanks for the link, which others who are not totally convinced as to AGW might wish to read to cheer themselves up. On the other hand, reading it and comparing what it is the government are doing might lead to feeling of anger and/or acute depression….

  20. Quietzaple
    Posted November 25, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    £100 + Billion for Trident is a counterproductive waste of money.

    Rotten example to the next generation of Saddam and Gadaffis and undermining any bid for the hearts and minds of young Muslims who take their religion seriously.

    What use will it be? (etc-ed)

    Stop Trident and cut VAT. Sense, not repression.

  21. Posted November 25, 2011 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    And which is Mr Cameron likely to choose Mr Redwood, “protecting the city and/or having influence at the top table?

  22. Alan Wheatley
    Posted November 25, 2011 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    With reference to what Mr. Barroso has said to David Cameron, is the the ruling of a dictator, as decision subject to qualified majority voting, or is this one of the few areas left where the UK has a veto?

    Either way, Mr. Barroso is doing no end of good for the get Britain out campaign.

    • Alan Wheatley
      Posted November 25, 2011 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

      Typo correction:

      …”is this the ruling of a dictator”…

  23. ian wragg
    Posted November 25, 2011 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

    John, I have the greatest respect for you but I am puzzled as probably are many more how you can continue serving under this socialist government.
    Cameroon is destroying the Conservative Party in favour of his liberal metropolitan ways. He despises people like you and I and will continue to follow policies which are alien to the majority of the voters.
    Surely there must be some talk in Westminster of deposing him before he makes you all unelectable at the next election.
    With the latest news that immigration is at record levels and shows no sign of falling and with the deficit the man has no credability.

  24. Tad Davison
    Posted November 25, 2011 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

    I can sum this up rather succinctly – the nutters have taken over the asylum!

    The Lib Dems, the Labour party, and the left-wing of the Conservative party, still talk of the benefits of Britain belonging to the EU, but as soon as one asks the perfectly reasonable questions, how, and what are these manifest advantages they speak of, they shut up shop, because they know they cannot win the intellectual argument – yet still, they would take us to oblivion!

    If that isn’t madness, I don’t know what is!

    I have never seen anything like it. We soothsayers have warned all along, what would ultimately happen to a system that was so wasteful and spendthrift, and that hadn’t any real semblance of good governance. So which part of ‘I told you so’ don’t these Europhiles understand?

    It’s like watching a mental patient who is hell-bent on self-administering hemlock. We who are of sound mind know, and can clearly see the plain and deadly consequences of doing so. But with the best will in the world, we cannot impart a sense of rationality into those who don’t have that capacity in the first place.

    Europhiles are very much like that. Lemmings – it’s just that when they finally go over the edge, they’ll probably take the rest of us with them, and looking at the way the EU and it’s much vaunted currency system has experienced so much predictable difficulty, somebody has got to get us back from the brink and take our sovereignty back before it’s too late!

    Cameron? Ha! He’s Mr Capitulation Mark two!

    Tad Davison

    Cambridge

  25. sjb
    Posted November 25, 2011 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    JR wrote: “I have always wanted to start deficit reduction with big cuts in EU budgets. It’s a pity such a popular policy is ruled out by the undemocratic constitution of the EU.”

    Isn’t the EU budget decided by MEPs + the European Council (ministers from Member States)?

  26. Jon Burgess
    Posted November 25, 2011 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

    There’s always hope that the Coalition can renegotiate the rebate, eh?

    The Tories won’t help you get out.
    Labour wo’t help you get out.
    The Lib Dems won’t help you get out.

    There is only one answer – vote UKIP and be out of the EU in 2015.
    Better off OUT!

  27. Robinson
    Posted November 28, 2011 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood, isn’t the EU and hasn’t the EU always been a Franco-German protection racket? That is the price we have to pay to be in the club. It’s like a tribute, you see. I wonder how much the protectionist measures they would introduce would cost if we left? Sometimes I think that’s the basic calculation that politicians in power make when it comes to Europe (although they never tell us that of course).

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, He graduated from Magdalen College Oxford, has a DPhil and is a fellow of All Souls College. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.

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