The Uk government is being asked to approve Euro 1033 billion to be spent by the EU between 2014 and 2020. We have a veto on such a proposal. I would like to see us use it.
The EU wishes to spend Euro 386.9bn on the Common Agricultural policy. That’s the one where Mr Blair told us he had negotiated a right to reform it, in the interests of a better deal for EU taxpayers and food buyers. Now seems like a good time to demand delivery.
The EU plans to spend Euro 376bn on regional aid. Much of this goes to regions in relatively rich countries. Given the stated aim of the EU to bring budget deficits down around the EU, wouldn’t this be another good place to make major changes and reductions? Shouldn’t regional aid be concentrated just on the poorest regions in the poorest countries, at a fraction of the current cost?
The EU plans to spend Euro 70 billion on the External Action Service, or its rival system of diplomats to our own. Why do we need all this? Why can’t we carry out our own diplomacy through our own Embassies, without all this doubling up?
The EU plans to spend Euro 63 bn on administration. In the UK the government has said it plans a one third cut in administration costs. Why not do the same in the EU?
There are a host of smaller sums for a wide range of differing departments, as if the EU was running a full EU government. There would be scope to reduce or eliminate several.
Of course, if the public was given a referendum and voted to come out, we could save our share of the whole lot. On the assumption that we stay in, there is huge scope for the EU to lead by example. The EU is always lecturing governments to get their budget deficits down to just 3% of GDP. They could show us the way, by taking the knife to their own wasteful spending. That would in turn lower the budget deficits of member states, who have to raise the money to support the EU.
A Uk veto to lavish new spending plans might be just the catalyst needed to start to sort out the huge deficit problems of several EU member states.