The EU budget

 

           The UK is a heavy contributor to the EU budget. The EU’s wish to increase this budget in cash and real terms is unpopular in the UK. Many people here think that we need to cut our deficit, and that we need to do this by reducing public spending. EU spending should be at the top of the list of budgets to cut, not at the top of the list of budgets to protect and increase.

            The UK in particular dislikes the high subsidies paid to small and inefficient farmers on the continent from our money. We dislike the regional policy, which entails UK taxpayers subsidising relatively affluent regions on the continent. We dislike the large regulatory bureaucracy, which imposes costs directly through the EU budget, and indirectly by requiring us to have so many enforcement and compliance officials in domestic departments.  There could be a fairer and cheaper agricultural and regional policy, and less regulation. Mr Blair was promised agricultural reform in return for losing some of our rebate. The reform was never delivered.

             On Wednesday in the Commons the government will ask the Commons to express its view on this important issue. Many of us think that  now is the time for the UK to say that we do not want to lock ourselves into a rising budget for the period 2014-20.Maybe  now is the time to consider how the budget could be cut, or to consider how the UK could have a new relationship that did not require us to be part of the expensive policies that we currently do not like. The government has tabled the idea of a real terms standstill. Mr Reckless, a Conservative MP, has proposed an amendment to press the EU for a real terms cuts. The UK has a veto over the seven year budget settlement, a rare event in EU matters these days. There will be a debate over how far this veto can be used and when the UK is going to set out the new relationship the government says it seeks.

           Past governments have tended to concentrate on the UK’s net contribution to the EU. We should, of course, look at the gross contribution. Getting some of our own money back in ways the EU wishes to spend it is no great deal for us. It is all public spending, and all needs tax revenue to pay for it. That is why we should be able to  review all of the spending and decide which we no longer need, and which we should sacrifice in difficult times because it is not a priority.

           In the event of a veto being exercised so there is no new multiannual framework Article 312 of the Treaty says they have to stay within the limits of the last year of the old multiannual framework, i.e. no increase.  If the Council and Parliament fail to agree  or set an annual budget, the Commission proceeds on a monthly basis  with no increase on the previous year.

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156 Comments

  1. Brian Taylor
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 6:31 am | Permalink

    I hope some enterprising MP will run a book on how many MPs will mention Article 50 (Lisbon Treaty) which is the only way to get the officials in Brussels and Whitehall to have real negotiations on our arrangement with the EU.
    But I won’t hold my breath!!!

  2. Nina Andreeva
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    Stop being the mug country that bends over backwards and does everything it is told too. Pay what you think it is worth or do not pay at all like the US did with the UN. Cause a budget crisis and then you can see what is worth keeping and what is worth paying for.

    • Sue
      Posted October 30, 2012 at 9:19 am | Permalink

      Nina! You are assuming that our leaders have backbones. They don’t.

      • lifelogic
        Posted October 30, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

        Cameron will cave in as usually they should be cutting the EU budget hugely not considering increases at all. Indeed we should just get out.

        • lifelogic
          Posted October 30, 2012 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

          After all these are the people who created the predictable Euro farce and the EU over tax and regulated EU economic disaster area.

    • uanime5
      Posted October 30, 2012 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

      Given that the UK doesn’t pay most of the EU’s budget the EU can quite easily punish the UK for failing to pay their membership fees.

  3. Peter van Leeuwen
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    Of course a different, smaller budget with a different allocation could be a good thing and any government will prepare its wish lists and even red lines. The only stupid thing would be to start shouting “veto, veto!”. If there were no intention to ultimately agree among 27 governments and find a compromise with 750 MEPs, if there is no wish to listen to the arguments of the other, then what’s the use? In the final analysis even red lines will show to be drawn with pencil rather than with blood. If the intention were just to shout at the system and wreck it, then it would be better to repeal this 1972 act this Wednesday and be gone.

    • John Fitzgerald
      Posted October 30, 2012 at 8:20 am | Permalink

      Bye then!

    • Alte Fritz
      Posted October 30, 2012 at 8:37 am | Permalink

      If the Commission, in the sixth year of a world financial crisis can still look at real terms increase, how are we to take its bona fides seriously? “Veto” should be the cry so that the agenda moves from ‘how much more’ to ‘how much less’.

      Having said that, Peter’s last sentence has a lot to commend it.

      • Sean O'Hare
        Posted October 30, 2012 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

        Invoke Article 50 first, then repeal ECA 1972 when it pertains to an organisation we are no longer a member of.

      • uanime5
        Posted October 30, 2012 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

        The financial crisis started in 2008; so it’s only been going on 4 years, not 6.

        It would be far better to reduce the budget by making alliances with other EU countries, rather than screaming veto and hoping everyone will agree with you.

        • David Price
          Posted October 31, 2012 at 8:15 am | Permalink

          According to the 2010 Spending Review the financial crisis started in 2006-7. This aligns with Brown’s raid on the private sector pensions although I think it really started in 2001 when the trajectory of government expenditure rocketed away from income (see page 13 of the 2010 SR).

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted October 30, 2012 at 9:18 am | Permalink

      Peter,
      Which other arguments are you prepared to listen to? Do you support the EU spending more whilst members states have to try to balance their books? Do you support austerity for all, except those you so admire in Brussels? Why should the UK reduce spending here only to give the “saving” to the EU instead of reducing our deficit? As you know, I should be quite happy to accept your invitation “to repeal this 1972 act this Wednesday and be gone.”

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted October 30, 2012 at 11:21 am | Permalink

        see my reaction to Jose

    • Jose
      Posted October 30, 2012 at 9:33 am | Permalink

      Peter,

      Perhaps we wouldn’t be perceived to be so anti-EU if the EU lived up to its promises a bit better. Mr Redwood is right in mentioning Tony Blair and CAP reform, Britain gave up a large chunk of rebate for exactly nothing in return even though the agreement was based on reform. It’s no good the European parliament baying for more money, there isn’t any and it’s about time they realised it.

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted October 30, 2012 at 11:19 am | Permalink

        @Jose: Perhaps you’re not aware that several governments, including the Dutch government, also want reductions and different priorities in the 2013-2020 budget, but they realise that in the end some form of agreement will have to be reached. It also has to be acknowledged that since the previous (2007-2013) budget, the 27 countries, i.e. including the UK have loaded the EU with extra tasks which obviously have their financial implications. Apart from several CAP reforms having been implemented in the past, the new EC proposal again proposes less money for CAP (and more for research, innovation, infrastructure and security). These kid of nuances are lost in the simple shouting of “veto, veto!”, so popular among part of the British.

        • Bickers
          Posted October 30, 2012 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

          Peter, that Brussels fails to realise that there is a World economic crisis is the problem. They should be taking the initiative to cuts costs. However, like all bureaucracies they only know how to spend other people’s money, ensuring all the while that they live high on the hog.

          Any competent business man could save billions if allowed to run the EU. But that’s not how bureaucrats work is it?

          • Peter van Leeuwen
            Posted October 30, 2012 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

            @Bickers: I believe that the Brussels bureaucracy tends to be highly educated (expensive) but reasonably small for what they do. A bit of outside pressure to enact savings may not be so bad. See e.g. the Strasbourg outrage.

          • uanime5
            Posted October 30, 2012 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

            Well if countries in the EU would vote on things they don’t want the EU to do anymore costs could be cut. Until then these countries have no right to complain about how much it costs the EU to meet their whims.

        • Jose
          Posted October 31, 2012 at 9:01 am | Permalink

          Bit ‘late’ replying but, I do realise the UK is not alone in not wanting budget increases. There is a very simple solution to all this bickering and you’re correct in saying compromise is essential given that there are 27 nations. However, it is worth remembering that there are fewer contributors than receivers and the latter group is always going to demand more.

          If we in the UK are supposedly tightening our belts to reduce waste and save money, why can’t the EU? The EU Parliament is the worst example of waste, wandering around like a group of nomads with no home. The Verhofstads of this world simply crying ‘more, more, more’ like it’s a God given right.

    • Timaction
      Posted October 30, 2012 at 10:39 am | Permalink

      You just don’t get it do you! Why should we pay more for foreign infrastructure and farmers? I believe in the democratic sovereign state not the ever stealthy superstate that you want.
      The English people have been lied to about the stealthy intentions of our politicians by the mainstream parties for over 40 years. We were sold a trade and friendship deal only (EEC) with our European friends and it has morphed into this regulatory undemocratic evil benemoth called the EU. Of course most other countries will vote for an increase in OUR contributions. We’re paying for the beast we don’t want for their benefit.
      When we are told we can’t afford our armed forces but must increase the EU and foreign aid budgets whilst some of our pensioners will freeze this year because of the green/windmill religion, it makes my blood boil.

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted October 30, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

        @Timaction: I can see your blood boiling, but aren’t you living in the “democratic sovereign state” that you believe in? Then why don’t you (as a democracy) take this sovereign decision to repeal the European Communities Act 1972? Whatever you want to believe about the EU is not really my concern. As long as you’re in the EU, your bound by its (your own) rules. The boiling blood thus has more to do with your own representatives.

        • APL
          Posted October 30, 2012 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

          Peter van Leeuwen: “Then why don’t you (as a democracy) take this sovereign decision to repeal the European Communities Act 1972? ”

          The answer, Peter is in the first sentence of the second paragraph of ‘Timaction’ post.

          Our political class are governing in their own interests, and as the desperately try to kick over the traces of their own expenses scandal, do appear to have been using their positions of privilege to enrich themselves too.

          The membership of all the major politial parties in the UK are dropping like a meteor captured by the earths gravitational field.

          Next step to entrench their situation, official state funded parties.
          This is not democracy, the demos have abandoned the parties, this is a plague of locust.

          Peter van Leeuwen: “The boiling blood thus has more to do with your own representatives.”

          Well, yes.

        • Sean O'Hare
          Posted October 30, 2012 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

          We signed the bloody treaties so we are stuck with them. Those that signed were democratically elected so it the UK people’s fault that we are in the position we are. Fortuitously Lisbon gives us a way out. Article 50! For heavens let us invoke it now!

        • Timaction
          Posted October 30, 2012 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

          Peter,
          You are right and the British public have been let down and lied to by successive Governments who have pretended that various treaties were only tidying up exercises , no loss of sovereignty, all about trade etc. In the meantime they kept agreeing to paying the EU more and more. There is a sea change in attitude in this country Peter and people have woken up to the immediate threat to this nation, its sovereignty and the extortionate costs that run this EU monster. We pay £19 billion gross and £11 billion net for the privilege of a £50 billion trade deficit with the EU. Poll after poll shows a majority of the public here want out.
          In the meantime we have no more voting rights than receipient nations of our taxes. No wonder they keep voting for more rises. There is a saying he who pays the piper calls the tune. Our politicians will be voted out unless we are given our EU in/out referendum. UKIP will hold the balance of power as no one believes a word our politicians say anymore.

      • Tedgo
        Posted October 30, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

        I hear a rumour that the new Dutch Cabinet is going to cut there foreign aid budget by one billion Euros.

        Also Speaking Dutch is to become a condition for receiving basic welfare payments and immigrants will not be allowed to claim welfare for seven years after they arrive.

        The new cabinet also wants these changes to cover EU nationals.

        • Peter van Leeuwen
          Posted October 30, 2012 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

          Long time ago, my British wife learned Dutch with a 2-month course paid for by ourselves. Why should that be different for newcomers? Speaking more languages equals understanding more cultures.

      • uanime5
        Posted October 30, 2012 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

        Most other countries are voting for an increase in their own contributions as well.

    • outsider
      Posted October 30, 2012 at 10:58 am | Permalink

      Dear Peter van Leeuwen ,
      You are right that just shouting NO from the sidelines is not a great policy. The veto should be no more than a weapon to back up a policy that could gain widespread and even general support.

      I suggest that policy should be to fix the EU budget at 1 (one) per cent of the previous year’s EU GDP in euros. That is simple and roughly the level that has pertained in recent years.

      It has four advantages:
      1) It would guarantee a budget for the Commission to plan ahead and take some of the steam out of budget negotiations, which would then be mainly about distributing the funds.
      2) It would forestall fears (in many member states) of the Commission become a high-spending US-style federal administration and prevent this happening.
      3) It would ensure that the much bigger income transfers from richer to poorer countries necessitated by eurozone fiscal union were made through a separate budget and clarify the distinction between the eurozone and the EU.
      4) The EU Budget (as opposed to the eurozone one) would automatically vary with the general ability to pay and would not be mixed up with any counter-cyclical elements in the eurozone budget.

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted October 30, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

        @outsider: I think that e.g. the Dutch government could be an ally in such an approach, there will be a new Dutch government within 2 weeks. Eurozone finance (shoring up banks) and EU finance (e.g. cohesion funds) should remain strictly separated.
        More importantly, Mrs Merkel’s visit to the UK and her new declaration that the UK is so important could be exploited by careful behind the scenes diplomacy. Just like in other fights (North versus South in the eurozone) allies have to be made and nothing is ever free. If the UK wants to leave the EU anyway, it doesn’t have a lot to offer it seems to me.

        • outsider
          Posted October 30, 2012 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

          @ Peter van Leeuwen.
          Yes, the UK does not seem to be very good at building alliances as opposed to trying to recruit followers. But if the UK Conservatives and Liberals could agree on a permanent 1 per cent budget proposal, it would almost by definition be attractive to many other EU members.

          Your suggestion in a later comment that we should use Nick Clegg is a great one. He has more credibility in Brussels and he needs a success because his UK brief for constitutional reform has been a failure ( he even plans to veto the only successful element out of pique).

          As Mr Redwood often correctly reminds us, there is no majority in the UK Parliament, the Government or the Opposition for Brexit. The UK’s (not the Coalition’s) ultimate policy should probably be to establish an accepted and stable two-tier EU, with the lower tier de facto excused from “ever closer union”.

          I don’t know how many would want to be in the lower tier but suspect that some of the non-euro member states that signed up for fiscal union out of solidarity are already regretting their rush of blood.

          • Peter van Leeuwen
            Posted October 31, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

            @outsider: I just overheard some of PMQ on BBC2, and I was surprised that e.g. Sweden, the Netherlands, or (chairman) Cyprus weren’t mentioned as possible allies (“Sweden emerges as top EU budget hawk” in euobserver today.) Why can’t the H.o.C. simply require “best effort” towards reduction from the UK government and not tie its hands too much? Just imagine that the negotiator were to discover that he could get strong support for massive repatriation of powers from Brussels in exchange for a soft position on the multi-annual budget, wouldn’t that be in the UK’s perceived national interest?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 30, 2012 at 11:03 am | Permalink

      There’s no need for the UK government to shout “veto”; they should just say it quietly and mean it.

      If others want to make a noise about it that’s up to them.

      I see that your heroine the Empress Angela is now trying to sooth us by saying how important we are for the future of the EU:

      http://euobserver.com/political/118035

      “Germany has told the UK it is an important and needed member of the European Union … ”

      Maybe she should have thought of that before she decided that we, and the rest of the EU population, must have her “Reform Treaty”, later renamed the Lisbon Treaty, imposed on us whether we wanted it or not.

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted October 30, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

        @Denis Cooper: How can you say “imposed” when your elected government signed the Lisbon Treaty and it was nicely ratified in both UK houses of parliament? A powerful sovereign nation like the UK is not going to have something it doesn’t want “imposed” !
        I’d suggest that (allow me to quote) “your heroine the Empress Angela” could easily be won over by a sufficiently cleverly negotiating UK counterpart. You should give your negotiator (Cameron?) some leeway or send someone more devious (may I suggest Mr Clegg? 🙂 who might be able to do some of this in German, just like he’s able to talk Dutch to Van Rompuy!)
        Let me not just tease but agree that quiet taking position is better, joining with allies even better.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted October 30, 2012 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

          I do say “imposed” on us and the rest of the EU population, Peter, even though our own UK politicans were among those who lacked the guts to stand up to her; and do you remember what happened after the Irish population had the chance to vote on it directly and they voted against it?

          • Peter van Leeuwen
            Posted October 31, 2012 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

            @Denis Cooper: “EU population” almost sounds like you see it as a “European demos” 🙂 . That apart, for a very well informed person on EU as you are, you take a much too simplistic choice of words: “her” reform treaty, it really was a joined effort in which even the humbled Dutch government scored some points on behalf of what research showed to be the misgivings of Dutch people when they rejected the “constitutional treaty” in the 2005 referendum. I more or less followed all the Dutch debates on the Lisbon Treaty via internet and can testify that no imposition was felt whatsoever.
            Ireland secured a number of concessions related to the Lisbon treaty before its second referendum.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted October 30, 2012 at 11:10 am | Permalink

      Repeal and be gone sounds good to me.

    • David in Kent
      Posted October 30, 2012 at 11:42 am | Permalink

      I agree, Peter. Tactically it would be much better to be going in with positive views on which budgets should be grown, which protected and which cut. That way we’d have some friends as well as the inevitable enemies.

    • Christopher Ekstrom
      Posted October 30, 2012 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

      System? This is incomprehensible patch-work & secret quangos. Wake up! Really what in the hell is wrong with you, mate? After the Euro your nation would be vastly improved & free to join a currency with dear old Deutchsland. Your agony is most peculiar. Are you employed by an EU agency?

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted October 30, 2012 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

        @Christopher Ekstrom: Agony??? I don’t have any. Without the euro, the Netherlands would have suffered its “Soros” moment already in 2008. I’ve never been employed by any EU agency, and so what if I’d been? I suppose you’ve been employed by a UK entity at some point in your life? I still don’t hold that against you . . . although . . . 🙂

  4. Alex Powell
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    “There will be a debate over how far this veto can be used”

    I would have thought it rather simple, you (the EU) cut spending by X amount, reform the CAP, reform the CFP, dissolve the unelected Commision, ditch the traveling circus to Strassburg etc etc or we hold a referendum in our membership.

    • John Fitzgerald
      Posted October 30, 2012 at 8:21 am | Permalink

      I hope you are not holding your breath!

  5. Pete the Bike
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    Considering that government stealing money from us and then spending it in ways that no sane person would do is the most ridiculous, wasteful and inefficient type of spending it is possible to think of, I’d say any “sacrifice” in that area would be a good idea. The private sector could provide every single service far more efficiently and I include health, law, roads and all the other sacred cows that big state supporters normally mention in these discussions. Government is always the problem, never the solution.

    • lifelogic
      Posted October 30, 2012 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

      Indeed any the private sector would not be wasting it on wind farms, PV or the Carbon Capture nonsense or too many gifts to augment the feckless and encourage then not to work.

      • Christopher Ekstrom
        Posted October 30, 2012 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

        All nonsense supported by kindly Thatcherite (still?) MP Jean Redwood!

        Reply Who she?

        • Christopher Ekstrom
          Posted October 30, 2012 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

          Exactly.

      • John Doran
        Posted October 31, 2012 at 8:06 am | Permalink

        @ lifelogic hi.
        The nonsense that is Carbon Capture, ‘Big Wind’, PV & Mann made Global Warming makes sense only when viewed from two perspectives. Firstly, UN Agenda 21. ‘Sustainable Development’. This proposes, among much else, a huge reduction in world population, the abolition of private property, & the abolition of the family.
        Alabama was the first US State to ban UN Agenda 21, in June.
        It’s only taken them 20 years to wake up & smell the coffee!
        James Delingpole discusses UN Agenda 21 with Elizabeth Nixon on his Radio Free Delingpole, well worth a listen. Also we have UN IPCC, the sponsors of Mann made Global warming. Secondly, we have the opportunists ready to profit personally. There are literally thousands of tame ‘scientists’ whose careers, mortgages & pensions depend on propping up the AGW farce. There are hundreds of politicians ready to profit from the scam. Al Gore’s film ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ was judged in a British court of law to be full of exaggeration & errors. 9 errors of fact I believe, which thankfully prevented this nonsense being taught in our schools. It does not prevent Gore flogging his propaganda around the planet, he has made $millions, & charges ( a lot-ed) per speech. He steadfastly refuses to debate AGW with Lord Christopher Monckton, who knows the science well enough to slaughter him. Then we have the industrialists ready to suck up govt money.
        Crucially UN Agenda 21 was not put before Congress, & does not have the force of law, which is why Alabama was able to ban it.
        It was signed by George Bush Snr at the Rio Earth Summit in 1972, & endorsed by Bill Clinton in 1973.
        One of the key policies is the equalisation of wealth between continents. This involves the impoverishment of wealthy first world nations such as ourselves, Europe & US, & the enrichment of the third world. This is precisely what we are now seeing.
        The endgame policy is one world govt, & the EU is seen as the forerunner.

        • John Doran
          Posted October 31, 2012 at 9:13 am | Permalink

          We live in interesting times.

      • Bazman
        Posted October 31, 2012 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

        huu! Thanks lifelogic. Sustainable energy? Your thoughts. Is it a bad thing over centuries? Ram it.

    • John Doran
      Posted October 31, 2012 at 7:04 am | Permalink

      @ Pete the Bike, hi. Don’t forget education Pete. Education is far too important to leave to bumbling govt. Look at the totally disproportionate number of our Olympic competitors who came from non-state schools.
      Michael Gove is finding out how obstructive the EU is to his much needed reforms. Ian Duncan Smith is finding the same with his welfare proposals. Govt is indeed the problem. I have for some time been thinking that govt should only employ inspectors, everything else should be private sector. What will happen to the three civil servants who ‘forgot’ to factor inflation into their calculations for the West Coast Rail Franchise? Paid leave for 3 months?

  6. A.Sedgwick
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    “The reform was never delivered.” This could be the epitaph for the EU.

  7. alan jutson
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    Let us hope party Politics will be put to one side, and a free vote will be allowed.

    Then and only then will we get to see what our representitives really think about the continuing vast sums of money which are being swallowed up by the EU.

    • Mike Stallard
      Posted October 30, 2012 at 11:42 am | Permalink

      There is an outstanding article on the EU demands in the New Statesman. Carefully and thoroughly it goes through the EU point of view and explains why they are not interested in what we think, together with ways to get round our veto.
      Mr Ed Balls, of course, is in there ready to support the use of the veto while poor Mr Cameron is left trying to explain why we have to cough up!
      So, I am sorry to say, your idealism is not going to be realised.

      • alan jutson
        Posted October 30, 2012 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

        My idealism will not be realised Mike, I understand the Whips are out.

        What a disgrace.

        The puppets will vote for more money to be wasted, then they will wonder why people do not vote in elections.!

  8. Horatio McSherry
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    Another excellent post Mr. Redwood, and your propesition that the UK should “consider how the UK could have a new relationship that did not require us to be part of the expensive policies that we currently do not like” is very much what I’d like to see with national taxation in general. The government do multitudes of things with my money that I really don’t want them to, yet when I need a service that I’ve already paid for there’s an equal multitude of reasons why I’m not really entitled to what I thought I might be.

    I’m not saying there shouldn’t be any tax at all; the government should be there to protect citizens at home and abroad – whether it’s crime, health (controversial I know), or business – and very little else. In that vein, when I’m completing my tax return, I’d like to be furnished with an extra piece of paper with tick-boxes of which government services I may or may not want to contribute towards, and my tax reduced accordingly.

  9. Iain
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    What is it with the Cameron Conservatives where they relish making cuts at home whilst lavishing spending increases abroad (Aid and EU)?

    Normal Governments would prioritise their people over spending abroad, I suppose that makes the Cameroons deranged and abnormal.

  10. matthu
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    The whole charade is quite meaningless. What happens if the EU simply overspends its budget? Who picks up the tab then? You’ve guessed it: it is already written into European law.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 30, 2012 at 11:09 am | Permalink

      If the EU overspends its budget then maybe those responsible should lose their jobs and their assets should be claimed as a contribution to the overspend.

  11. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    Cameron is reported to have already said he would accept an increase in line with inflation. What a negotiator! It’s time he siffened his backbone and Parliament can force him to by voting for the Reckless amendment. The news that Blair is once more talking about becoming President of the EU is more reason, if any were needed, to pull out of this ill-fated venture.

    • John Doran
      Posted October 31, 2012 at 8:14 am | Permalink

      Hear hear!

  12. Pat
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    I couldn’t agree more that it is the gross contribution that matters, not the net.
    The things Brussels spend money on here are things that have a benefit to Brussels, and though they may benefit the people here as well they represent poor value for our money.
    For example, on a tour of the western Isles I found that many villages had a fine community centre advertised as paid for by the EU. Firstly it occurred to me to wonder whether the villagers would have put the money to this use if they had simply been given it to spend as they wished- perhaps they would have opted for something else entirely, perhaps they would have chosen a more modest hall with money over to do something else. Also of course the villagers were being told that the hall was provided by the EU, thus presumably making them favour that organisation. In truth the money came from British, and largely English, taxpayers who got no credit. I am all in favour of spending taxpayers money to benefit remote villages, but it should be spent for the maximum benefit to the villagers, and if anyone is to be credited it should be the actual donor.

  13. NickW
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    The EU uses its grant money to buy influence; not to invest in deprived areas.

    As an example, the BBC received a grant from the EU of 3 million pounds; given the amount of money flowing into the BBC from the EU and the salaries of the upper echelon management and presenters, they did not get the money because they were destitute; it was an outright bribe to persuade the BBC to present the EU in a favourable light.

    It is the gross contribution to the EU that matters. The bribes should not be deducted from the gross.

    • NickW
      Posted October 30, 2012 at 9:21 am | Permalink

      Correction; “Given the amount of money flowing into the BBC from the licence fee—“

      • Single Acts
        Posted October 30, 2012 at 10:23 am | Permalink

        A licence fee is only required if you watch or record ‘live broadcast’ TV.

        I have decided to stop funding the BBC and now no longer watch live broadcast TV nor can I receive the same having binned the satellite box. Instead I have the ever present interweb and lovefilm instant again over the net, (for less than the licence fee). Oddly refreshing to choose what you want rather than be served up cold turkey by the TV schedulers with the ever present bias.

        The political class might moan about the Beeboids but they will never do anything about it, but we can. Just stop funding ’em.

        • sm
          Posted October 30, 2012 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

          Absolutely agree…just need some people to become aware and a group to fund/advertize this type of service platform in a non live TV broadcast format.

          Technology is moving on we now have 4g wireless.

    • lifelogic
      Posted October 30, 2012 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

      Quite right bribes and PR scams and flags for the EU are just another insult to tax payers.

    • uanime5
      Posted October 30, 2012 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

      Given that the majority of the money the BBC gets comes from the UK by your logic the Government is bribing the BBC.

  14. Sue
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    “Mr Blair was promised agricultural reform in return for losing some of our rebate. The reform was never delivered”

    Hasn’t anyone questioned what happened here? Surely, we can use this to our advantage?

    • Timaction
      Posted October 30, 2012 at 10:44 am | Permalink

      Blair did this to curry favour with the EU as he had his eye on the future presidency. As always, personal interest above national interest with our leading politicians. His vanity costs us billions a year.
      Only yesterday he was reported as calling for an elected EU President. I wonder who he had in mind.

      • John Doran
        Posted October 31, 2012 at 8:49 am | Permalink

        Bliar does not believe in this nation, he would love to see us cut up into administrative regions & submerged into the EU superstate, with himself as President. He & Broown left this country in huge debt, with their foolish PFI & increasing the costs of govt by 50%.
        He fooled us into the Iraq war on a pack of lies, leading to the deaths & maiming of hundreds of our young people, & the deaths & maiming of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis. Around 500,000 Iraqi children perished during the 10 year sanctions. He reduced this country to the US’s cheerleader in their mad war for oil.
        UN Agenda 21 complied with.
        He has generated vast hatred for this country in the Arab world, & in my opinion is directly responsible for the 7 July 2005 bus & tube bombings in London in which 52 civilians perished, & 700 were injured & maimed.
        I would love to see him (brought to justice)

        Reply Mr Blair was not responsible for the dreadful terrorist deaths perpetrated in London.

    • lifelogic
      Posted October 30, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

      What sort of promise did the war Bliar actually get? He was never very good on details?

      • APL
        Posted October 30, 2012 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

        lifelogic: “He was never very good on details?”

        Blair was an absolute disaster, his governments negotiation of the asymetric extradition treaty with the US was a travesty.

        By the way, how is his peace mission to the Middle East working out. Perhaps, now it’s about time he was judged on the results of his mission and its cost. If he has failed to bring peace then we ought to be seeking recompense.

  15. AndyC71
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    Going cap in hand to Brussels to beg for a renegotiation is a waste of time in practical terms, not to mention an affront to national sovereignty. Let’s leave the EU altogether and cut the budget contribution to zero.

  16. Winston Smith
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    I have read that if there is no agreement on the next budget, then the budget will increase by 2% annually anyway. This is because the Lisbon Treatyenshrined an annual increase in the budget, unless specifically agreed otherwise, i.e. a bigger increase. Can you confirm this is true and that consequently, the “veto” and attempts to reduce the budget are just a charade?

    • uanime5
      Posted October 30, 2012 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

      If a 7 year budget isn’t agreed an annual budget can be created by the Council if the majority agree to it.

  17. brian
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    Labour’s proposal to cut the EU budget is opportunistic, cynical and is intended to blunt any bounce from Cameron’s dealings on this. A proposal to cut the budget will never be unanimously approved and in the case of no agreement the Lisbon Treaty specifies that the budget will rise by 2%. So Labour forced through a Treaty which in practical terms means the budget will never be cut!

    • David in Kent
      Posted October 30, 2012 at 11:45 am | Permalink

      For sure, Labour is being opportunistic but their action may have the interesting side benefit of splitting off the Eurosceptics from the Europhile Labour MPs

    • uanime5
      Posted October 30, 2012 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

      Well Cameron did create this situation by demanding that the EU budget be cut without researching whether this was possible.

  18. GJ Wyatt
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    Doesn’t the EU budget revert automatically to a 2% increase if there is no agreement for change?

    Reply No, it reverts to the previous year limit.

    • Winston Smith
      Posted October 30, 2012 at 11:46 am | Permalink

      Are you sure about that? Denis Cooper?

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted October 30, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

        The Article 312 TFEU cited by JR starts on page 182 here:

        http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:C:2010:083:0047:0200:EN:PDF

        and it says:

        “4. Where no Council regulation determining a new financial framework has been adopted by the end of the previous financial framework, the ceilings and other provisions corresponding to the last year of that framework shall be extended until such time as that act is adopted.”

        That seems clear and unambiguous, and it’s hard to see how it could be interpreted as meaning an automatic 2% increase.

        But then we are talking about the EU, where words mean what the eurocrats want them to mean.

        • uanime5
          Posted October 30, 2012 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

          Well if the previous budget had an annual 2% increase and the EU is using the previous budget because a new one hasn’t been created …

          • Lindsay McDougall
            Posted November 1, 2012 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

            The wording implies an abscence of inflation proofing, which means that we could let the EU budget wither on the vine. It’s nice to have that option until zero inflation is imposed on the Euro.

  19. Steven Granger
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    Yet another load of drivel that completely misses the point as ever. You quarter witted Tories seem to suffer from some kind of collective mental block that prevents you from seeing the truth about the EU. You cling to the myth that the EU started as a kind of free trading area that somehow got out of hand. The obvious reality is that the EU was always about creating a vast centralised nation state. Your former leader Heath, who took us into the “common market” admitted as much and it says so in the first paragraph of the treaty of Rome. The EU is always going to seek more power and bigger budgets because that is its raison d’être. Yet still you cling to this “renegotiation” meme rather than seeing the reality that there are just 2 choices, in or out. In a way I agree with the likes of Peter Van Leeuwen. Instead of carping and criticising from the sidelines you either get involved and accept the EU for what it obviously is or you say this is not for us and you leave on the best of terms. Instead, you cling to this hopeless half way position that has never and will never achieve anything other than constant disputes.

    Reply: So how do you propose we leave, given the current disposition of MPs?

    • martyn
      Posted October 30, 2012 at 10:34 am | Permalink

      We don’t leave and become the laughing stock of Europe. Instead we fight them on the beaches etc and take command,

      We split the Franco German alliance and put ourselves in the driving seat instead of carping from the sidelines.

      Also if Labour vote with the Eurosceptics that will be a disgrace. A clear case of putting party before country.

    • Alte Fritz
      Posted October 30, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

      Even with my evident wit deficiency, I was able to read the propaganda in 1972 which conditioned us for the outcome of bludgeoning MPs and the equally mendacious propaganda in 1975. It did NOT point down the path we are now heading.

      Heath and the Conservative party certainly bear a lot of blame for where we now find ourselves, but we are where we are and need to move on.

      • Christopher Ekstrom
        Posted October 30, 2012 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

        Cast Iron makes Heath look like Churchill!

    • Duyfken
      Posted October 30, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

      Mr Granger has the solution and JR has the problem of convincing a majority of his colleagues. Yes, let’s just remove ourselves from the EU and put a stop to all of the carping. Since the UK government seems loth to bite the bullet, perhaps Mr Granger can persuade the EU main players to force the UK to “leave on the best of terms.”

    • eddyh
      Posted October 30, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

      Simple, all vote UKIP.

      • Christopher Ekstrom
        Posted October 30, 2012 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

        Right, Right, Right! JR is getting a bit testy & that’s a good sign he will have a few UKIP MP’s to chat with soon enough.

    • backofanenvelope
      Posted October 30, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

      We have an in or out referendum. The present situation is just plain silly. I take it that Mr Leeuwin is hinting that “they” are rather fed up with us. We are not doing any good for ourselves or the rest of the EU. If the policy is to make them so fed up that they expel us, then I would say it is working!

    • stred
      Posted October 30, 2012 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

      We will probably never be able to leave the EU, because the Civil Service and most MPs see which side their bread is buttered. Increased expenditure and intitutionalised security of employment secures the position. Even the proportion of State subsidised or employed voters will prevent change. We reqire an economic catastophe for this. While we print money this will be concealed from the majority of the electorate.

  20. Acorn
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    The UK Total National Contribution for 2011 was Euro 11.3 billion after taking off the UK rebate of Euro 3.6 billion. Add the Traditional Own Resource component of Euro 2.6 billion, and you get the “Total Own Resources” pay in of Euro 13.8 billion. (Which would have been a gross contribution of Euro 17.5 billion if not for the rebate). Circa mean 1.14 Euro / £.

    The Net payment in, is reckoned to be Euro 8 billion in 2011. We were number two to Germany’s 11.5 billion net. There are bits that fund non EU states and capital / dividend movements to and from the ECB and the other institutions which may or may not be on the EU income statement.

  21. Martin Ryder
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    The depressing thing about all this is that when the tumult and shouting die down nothing will have been changed and the UK will pay the EU whatever it demands and will borrow the money to do so. The EU Commission will spend whatever it wants to spend and will demand money from us to cover the costs. The UK government does the same of course, all governments do, but at least the UK government belongs to us; at least I think that is does.

    We have no control over the size of EU budget or where the money is spent. However surely we could control the amount that we pay to the EU Commission. I am sure that the treaties that have been signed by our politicians over the years all say that we have to pay whatever is demanded but no treaty is eternal and unchangeable. We should simply say that whatever we might have agreed at the time of the treaty we do not agree to now as circumstances (the Eurozone calamity and the global economic downturn) have changed.

    We should pay what we can afford, less the amount that would normally be paid back to the UK for EU projects in our land. We could, perhaps, spend that amount here on their behalf. No doubt the Treasury legal advisors would have a fit, as they have their possible future jobs in the EU Commission to consider, but they are only lawyers, not elected politicians, and should be told to get back into their boxes.

    Though I consider that we will eventually have to take the advice of our friendly but patronising Dutchman and withdraw from the EU I would still like the UK to remain in as many alliances with our European neighbours as possible. NATO is a must. I would prefer a European commonwealth to an empire and would consider it well worth the money for our PM and ministers to be members of a European Council, with a small secretariate, where pan-European issues can be debated and decided on. I do not however consider that paying ever increasing taxes to our imperial masters is worth anything at all.

  22. Nina Andreeva
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    John, totally off topic but would you care to comment about this which I have just taken off the “Telegraph” website concerning the removal of child benefit for “high” earners.
    “The Conservative Party leadership yesterday released an opinion poll suggesting that four out of five voters supported the cut, including a significant number of people in the income groups affected.
    Conservative sources described the child benefit change as one of the Coalition’s most popular policies”
    For me it is about the biggest reason for not voting Conservative at the moment.

  23. oldtimer
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    The Commission proposal, backed by the MEPs, reveals how out of touch they are with economic reality. The most that should be agreed is a cash freeze at this year`s level – apparently the default position if a veto is exercised.

    The same discipline is needed here in the UK. Instead I think I heard Mr Cameron talk about “paying down the deficit”. This, it seems to me, is a meaningless expression if ever there was one, like his earlier reference to “paying off the national credit card” – or words to that effect. I do wonder, sometimes, if he knows what he is talking about. Lack of discipline, when it comes to UK public spending will, of course, be flung back in his face by other EU leaders.

  24. Graham
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    This Gov’t is just like a football team with poor strikers – when the few opportunities to score a goal appear then they miss.

    There will be some huffing and puffing over this budget increase but the chance for change will be lost forever and similar to football we should change the manager for someone who wants to win and who would put together a team to do that.

  25. Richard1
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    The hypocracy of the Labour Party on this issue is very difficult to take – will voters really not see it for what it is? Labour campaigned in 97 to be ‘at the heart of Europe’, gave up the rebate (in return for non-existent CAP reform, as pointed out above), signed up to sclerotic social legislation and was in principle in favour of joining the Euro. Now they want to cut the EU budget. Why is that the only area of public spending the Labour Party wants to see cut? By their ‘neo-Keynesian’ logic, an increase in EU spending will boost demand throughout Europe. I hope Conservative MPs give them a very rough ride on this.

  26. Cliff. Wokingham.
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    Dear John,

    We have many discussions on here about the EU and our relationship with it however, I do feel that a fundamental question regarding the EU has never really been answered: just what is it? In its earlier guises, it was easy to tell what it was: when we voted on it in the 1970s, it was a trade block agreement but now, with more rebirths and reinventions than Dr Who, it is not at all clear.

    Is the EU a nation like the USA? It has a parliament, it makes laws, it has a diplomatic service, a military force and it even has a membership of the UN, albeit an observers membership. It has a president and a foreign secretary. Many may say that, if something walks like a duck and sounds like a duck, then it is a duck. The EU does act like a country does it not?
    The EU can bind so called member states to laws that their national Parliament have no real say over. They can raise taxes, albeit by stealth, such as the landfill tax where they charge a so called independent country to bury its own rubbish in its own land.
    It can fine(sic) countries and corporations: a tax in all but name.

    Is the EU a large corporation whose primary product is regulation and complication? It does appear to be some kind of organisation that redistributes wealth, whilst taking a huge cut for itself in costs and charges.
    Are there any other examples in history where a group of like minded people have got together, devised a stratagy, set up an organisation that has got countries to give up their identities and self determination without the need for military force?

    Once these questions have been answered, we then need to know why so many of our elected politicians are so wedded to it.
    Why do countries that were part of a repressive regime, say in the old Soviet Union, who fought civil wars to escape that regime, want to enter into another similar system?
    Why do our own politicians support the expansion and closer bonds the EU favours?
    If it is the function and ambition of political parties to get into power in order to govern, why do so many of them want to hand that power over to whatever the EU is?
    Why does Alex Salmond want independence from the UK and being governed by Westminster, but is happy to be part of the EU and being governed by Brussels?

    We see on here Uanime5 and a couple of others saying how great the EU is, but they never seem to say why it is so good and why they’re so keen on it and its goals.
    Why does our PM think we’ll be better off in the EU? He, and indeed other politicians, always say we’re better off in the EU, but never say why and what the advantages of membership actually are.
    Many on here say how bad it is but again, seldom say why.

    Would you be prepared to write a piece for this blog that answers some of these questions and perhaps sets out, what the advantages and disadvantages of membership actually are and what the advantages and disadvantages of coming out of the EU actually are and perhaps, just what the EU is?

    Thanks in anticipation.

    Cliff. Wokingham.

    • Christopher Ekstrom
      Posted October 30, 2012 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

      Salmond is a socialist first, gaga Scot nationalist second. He is England’s Messiah & doom for Scotland. I hope the Western Isles will break away & join the Northern Irish. A shame to lose the lovely Hebrides to the (Scots?).

    • uanime5
      Posted October 30, 2012 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

      More often than not I point that that the EU isn’t as unelected or undemocratic as some people see to think it is. I also point out that believing the EU will allow the UK full access to the EU’s markets without the UK having to pay a membership fee or obey EU law is nothing but a fantasy.

      If I had to say why the EU was good it would have to be because of all the protections EU law gives to employees. While this may not be good for businesses it is very good for employees.

      Regarding leaving or staying in the EU the advantages and disadvantages depend upon whose point of view you take. For example from the point of view of a company that competes with other EU companies leaving the EU will be good because the UK can put tariffs on EU goods, but from the point of view of a company that exports a large amount of their goods to the EU leaving the EU will be bad because the EU can put a tariff on their goods.

      • Cliff. Wokingham.
        Posted October 31, 2012 at 11:06 am | Permalink

        Uanime5:

        Thank you for your reply.

        Your reply does raise more questions: Who came up with the idea of the “club?” I cannot see how a few like minded people could have got together and convinced a group of free, self governing states to hand so much power over; it goes against all logic. Why would a national government sign an agreement that says each nation must put the interests of the EU ahead of its own national interests and who decides what the EU’s interests are?

        I suspect you’re correct about finding some kind of obstacles in our way to free trade with those that remain within the EU, should we leave the club.

        Regarding worker’s protection: we should be able to do that for ourselves and not rely on another nation/club to impose it on us.
        I do wonder whether the amount of red tape and regulation out weighs any advantage we gain from being members. The UK pay many millions of pounds a day to belong, but do we get value for money and if we left the club, would the savings in terms of not paying the membership fees and complying to endless rules and regulations, out weigh any loss we would get from loss of trade?
        It seems to me that Europe is a dying market compared to Brazil, China, Russia etc and perhaps we would be better off leaving the club and concentrating on new markets as well as, re-establishing our old, traditional markets, within our commonwealth and former empire, I don’t know.

        I would like to see an independent review carried out in order to establish the costs/revenues, advantages/disadvantages etc of our continued membership or withdrawl of the EU.

      • Richard
        Posted October 31, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

        uanime5,
        You say that you like the EU mainly because of all the employment protection laws the EU gives to employees.
        You say this is may be bad for business but very good for employees
        Have you noticed that unemployment is now 11.6% in the EU 27 and this is an all time record high, and the trend is sadly a rising one.

        Not much protection for the millions who are now out of work.

    • peter davies
      Posted October 30, 2012 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

      The water is now so muddy that I don’t think many MPs really understand the full implications of being in the EU or even the likely consequences of not being part of it.

      One has to ask that if it is so good why do the Swiss and Norwegians seem to be doing relatively ok?

      Good point about the many Eastern block countries. The Serbs and Croats fought for years, now we see Croatia joining a country called the EU and Serbia trying to do the same so they will end up being the same country again one day.

      Most of the arguments seem to be based on having access to the worlds largest trading block. We know there are WTO rules that protect trade and there is EFTA which is used by Norway. The UK piggy backs free trade agreements between the EU and other countries – that is probably one area that would need mitigation.

      Then we hear about the likes of Paddy Ashdown talk about security, I bet Greece and Spain feel really secure now – NOT!

      How many times have we heard of businesses struggling because they have made things too complex and added too much red tape so are not competitive? I feel that is what the EU now is – take ourselves out of those shackles and seek our own markets and we could well end up far better off.

    • John Doran
      Posted October 31, 2012 at 9:32 am | Permalink

      Daniel Hannan, experienced MEP, has recently written a book on this subject.
      It is on my to do list.

  27. Leslie Singleton
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    There follows the sort of daft question that never gets an answer in EU matters, viz given that the promised agricultural reform did not forthcome, why do we not simply adjust our rebate back again?

    • John Doran
      Posted October 31, 2012 at 9:33 am | Permalink

      Because our politicians lack backbone?

  28. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    I’d go for a cut in nominal terms, ie the total number of euros.

    A 10% cut in the number of euros would seem a modest proposal.

    Anyway good luck with your motion.

  29. The Prangwizard
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    I hear that the City spivs and the Directors of Premier Foods have sold off Branston Pickle to the Japanese. Penguin Books has gone to Germany (53%/47%). And the Horizon nuclear power plan to Hitachi. More pieces of our country sold out to foreign control. How long before they will have another go at BAE Systems? There’s not much left though. What happens when the last company has been sold? No doubt the spivs and others who are making hay from all this will be looking forward to buying their country houses in the Cotswolds, and becoming swaggering loudmouths in their local gentrified pubs. Those who haven’t got one already of course.
    We are politically controlled by the EU, and financially and industrially by foreign interests owning vast swathes of our companies and intellectual property.
    The PM isn’t listening and doesn’t seem to care, the Cabinet isn’t listening. The British Establishment isn’t listening, because they gain new potential members. A growing number of courageous MPs understand and do their best but are constrained. The people are denied a voice. And the people of England in particular.
    It’s time to take to the streets to get our country back. Maybe they will listen then. The people have nothing left. Are we not just waiting for a leader?

    • Electro-Kevin
      Posted October 30, 2012 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

      @Prangwizard

      It’s amazing how much industry there was in the UK during the ’70s a the time of the union reforms. This is measured by the incredible roll call of businesses which have been sold into foreign ownership since. It is true that we didn’t know what we had until we lost it. The present Government can but dream of having such a rich diversity of manufacturers and UK owned utilities to start from after a deep economic downturn.

      Surely not all of these top branded industries were as troublesome as, say, coal and car manufacture. One seriously wonders if the disobedience of the blue collar class in certain sections was the problem or even if it really was unwarranted.

      So we took the reforms. What did we do wrong then ?

      Capitalism doesn’t follow nation. It follows profit, wherever that may be – and however that may be.

      The duly elected politician’s duty is always to follow nation – that means putting ‘our’ country first and seeing to it that capitalism is kept here on a loose leash but seeing to it that it remains in our own back yard.

      The lassez faire approach will result in our impoverishment.

      If capitalism does not remain here then there will be no society – and not much point in politicians either.

      Am I advocating protectionism ?

      To a degree yes. Of course I am. We rely on our political class to do this cleverly for us.

      • Electro-Kevin
        Posted October 30, 2012 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

        Why did I put ‘our’ in apostrophes ?

        Because it’s convenient for ‘our’ to apply to an undefined and borderless people. It is difficult to know who ‘we’ are anymore and so ‘we’ are divested of our flag no longer need be defended.

        It helps to excuse the inexcusable diaspora of brains and business from the UK. And the deception that there is, somehow, an equal flow of quality inwards as there is outwards. That all is under control but as per the new rules.

        No longer does this seem to be a country which wants to hold on to its place. This is the price of handing over so totally to capitalism and ‘freedom of movement.’

        Well total ‘freedom of movement’ (people and trade) and total capitalism sounds like anarchy to me.

        • sm
          Posted October 31, 2012 at 10:25 am | Permalink

          Replacing corporation tax with a unitary tax may help with some of the issues you outline.

          Article outlining it.
          taxresearch.org.uk Blog 2012/10/30 tackling-tax-havens-unitary-taxation

  30. witteringsfromwitney
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    A tad disingenuous, your last paragraph?

    You quote Article 312 but it is a fact that if there is no agreement, the budget would be calculated using the previous year’s financial framework plus inflation – so your “no increase” to a previous comment is not correct. It is also worth recalling that any budget plus inflation would be agreed by QMV – which sort of puts David Cameron’s threat of a veto into an entirely different light, does it not?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 30, 2012 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

      If that is a fact then can you provide evidence to demonstrate its truth?

  31. merlin
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    Don’t worry guys Cameron will follow orders and obey his Euromeisters, but he and the Conservative Party followed by the other 2 social democrat parties will give the impression that they have got some sort of deal on the budget. The whole thing is smoke and mirrors as per usual and the totalitarian eurosuperstate rumbles on, the only thing missing now is a Dictator who will run the whole dreadful communist inspired show-any volunteers, now let’s see I can think of only one at present and his name begins with B, (words left out-ed) he can step up to the plate and become the first Dictator of the EUSSR. I don’t think we need an election do we?

  32. Mike Stallard
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    “The question for Cameron is whether he can fashion a new membership package and confidently endorse it without inciting regicidal fury in his party.Viewed from Paris or Berlin, this looks like a request to turn Britain into an offshore haven of low-cost production for export into European markets. It is about as appealing a proposition as “Del Boy” Trotter asking if he can park his Reliant Robin inside Selfridges to offload bootleg goods at cut-throat prices.
    “Satisfying Tory demands would mean completely rewriting the Lisbon treaty. That makes Cameron the last Tory leader to get away with saying Britain should stay in Europe.”

    http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/politics/2012/10/tory-realism-europe-will-not-survive-cameron’s-leadership

  33. merlin
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    How to save 15 billion a year or 50 million a day leave the EUSSR!

  34. Winston Smith
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    I see the Child Benefit changes may be contrary to EU law. It seems unlikely to me. Much as I despise the EU control of policy, it would save me £1,800/year, which I am about to lose thanks to Conservative led policy in the Coaliton. I am being punished whilst both my neighbours on similar household incomes, with two children are not. Self-employed is the way to go. Most of my peers are contemplating opting out of the system. The ability to manipulate one’s income and gain benefits and advantages for our children is too appealing.

    • stred
      Posted October 30, 2012 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

      Nice work for the accountants and taxmen. Merry Christmas, filing returns and being fined for not pressing the right button.

      • stred
        Posted October 30, 2012 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

        To Winston.

  35. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    “the Commission proceeds on a monthly basis with no increase on the previous year.”

    Is that no increase in real terms or no increase in nominal terms? It makes a difference.

    • Lindsay McDougall
      Posted October 31, 2012 at 1:19 am | Permalink

      Following on from this, the Labour Party is proposing a real terms cut in the EU budget. This is entirely opportunistic and very cheeky given their track record, but we can take advantage of it. Conservative supporters of Labour’s proposal should say that they interpret it as meaning no increase in nominal terms, leaving inflation to do its work. If this were to become the mainstream British position, the Germans would instruct the ECB to minimise Euro inflation.

  36. Pleb
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    Once again the UK looks on as an unelected tyranny sweeps its dominance over a cowering Europe. The British 5th colum of swivel eyed federalists support this Forth Richt.

  37. Muddyman
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    Daily we present our arguments for our departure from the EU, frequently our masters speak of reform. Nothing happens, nothing will – why bother to vote? why care? our ‘democracy’ is a charade and we know it. This is the tone of discussion at the moment – can anyone see how it can change?.

  38. forthurst
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    The arguments for or against the EU are not fundamentally about economics. On that score, the EU offers an open goal into which JR regularly scores. The EU is bound to wish to increase its budget above inflation in order to increase its powers of patronage and hegemony and reduce our’s correspondingly.

    The EU is no more about economics than the Bolshevik empire was; the fact that many people both there and in the West believed that it might offer a superior way of distributing resources, does not alter the fact that at heart it was nothing more than a murderous conspiracy against the Slavic people perpetrated by a tight-knitted alien group without any identifiable homeland of their own but a history and propensity for causing serious trouble in other peoples’ countries.

    When the EU wishes to abolish nation states, abolish any sense of national identity by offering the untramelled freedom for people to move freely to other peoples’ countries whilst conspiring to import large numbers from outside Europe without any protracted history of civilisation or civilised behaviour, and when the EU wishes to impose our laws from behind a cloak of bureaucratic anonymity, we must be reasonably certain that we are dealing, not with an organisation with any pretence of democratic accountability, but a dictatorship which is in the process of evolving along the lines of the Bolshevik empire and on behalf of whom our country is equally infested with traitorous fellow travellers.

  39. Antisthenes
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    Governments are notoriously inefficient and wasteful when it comes to spending taxpayers money. The creation of the EU therefore added another layer of government compounding this problem. Obviously for all that governments do have a role to play in society and some things they do we are happy to pay for. However there is much they do currently that they should not and because of it Europe’s economies and society are in decline. If we are to arrest this decline and reverse it then we need to reduce the layers and roles of governments. We can only do this by scrapping most of the social democratic policies and practices we have been following over the last six decades and replace them with free market capitalism and libertarianism. If we did we would not now be impoverishing ourselves economically, socially and politically and we would no doubt have an EU that actually worked and have a budget that we would be prepared to accept. As it is the EU is dysfunctional as are most government quangos, departments and public sector organisations. At least let us leave the EU now so that we have a better chance to address the malaises in our domestic governance.

    • John Doran
      Posted October 31, 2012 at 10:15 am | Permalink

      Nailed 🙂

  40. David Langley
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    Article 312 of the “Lisbon Treaty” says in paragraph 4 :
    Where no council regulation determining a new financial framework has been adopted by the end of the previous financial framework, the ceilings and other provisions corresponding to the last year of that framework shall be extended until such time as that act is adopted.

    That is where the 2% comes in and will be repeated each year until we are bullied into accepting what they want. “Other provisions” John, get it?

    Dont even look at note 5 the final note it suggests that the big stick will be brought out.

    John I do appreciate that you are pretty well stuffed at present, but a very good German commentator brought onto the BBC twice this week argues that there could well be a three ring EU project circus eventually with UK in the outer circle. Not in the Euro, not in the rules and acts but contributing through agreements. No mention of no budget but implied. The inner circle would constitute those countries who want the full fiscal union and customs union and the ECHR, they would include those who want to be ruled by Germany and France and live as financial vassals. The second group would be contributing budgets but not in the fiscal union and would enjoy some sort of place at the table. We would be the leper colony and be left to negotiate our own deals with the world. Yippee.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 30, 2012 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

      You may be right about this, or at least partly right.

      I’m looking at a document dated April 20th 2012:

      http://ec.europa.eu/budget/library/biblio/documents/fin_fwk0713/COM2012_184final_en.pdf

      “COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE COUNCIL AND THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT”,

      “Technical adjustment of the financial framework for 2013 in line with movements in GNI”, referring to

      “Point 16 of the Interinstitutional Agreement of 17 May 2006 on budgetary discipline and sound financial management”.

      As I understand the bloody idiots in some previous UK government agreed that before the start of each year the Commission would automatically make this upwards “technical adjustment” to the ceilings, which is not however just a simple 2% increase:

      “The Interinstitutional Agreement (IIA) of 17 May 2006 on budgetary discipline and sound financial management (OJ C 139/1 of 14/06/2006) contains the financial framework table for EU-27 for the period 2007-2013, expressed in 2004 prices (Table 1).

      According to Point 16 of the IIA, the Commission makes each year, ahead of the budgetary procedure for year n+1, a technical adjustment to the financial framework in line with movements in the EU’s gross national income (GNI) and prices and communicates the results to the two arms of the budgetary authority. As far as prices are concerned, expenditure ceilings at current prices are established using the fixed 2% deflator foreseen in point 16 of the IIA. As far as movements in GNI are concerned, the present Communication includes the latest economic forecasts available.

      The purpose of this communication is to present to the budgetary authority the result of the technical adjustment (EU-27) for 2013 according to Point 16 of the IIA.”

      I can’t say with any certainty which previous government first agreed to this, as the 2006 agreement replaced 1999 and 2002 agreements and I don’t assume that was they were the earliest such agreements.

      The UK government should withdraw its consent to be bound by this agreement.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted October 31, 2012 at 8:53 am | Permalink

        Missed for moderation.

    • uanime5
      Posted October 30, 2012 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

      The ECHR will effect the UK whether we’re in the EU or not because it’s not part of the EU.

    • John Doran
      Posted October 31, 2012 at 10:36 am | Permalink

      The EU is a Marxist project, now far far away from The Common Market we were sold.
      We can & must survive as an independent & democratic nation.
      If that means developing export markets in our old Commonwealth & the BRIC nations, so be it.If it also means manufacturing much more at home for home consumption, so be it.
      As Winston Churchill said: Democracy is the worst form of government, except all the others that have been tried. 🙂
      If we are indeed witnessing the death of democracy, let’s not give up without a fight.

  41. Atlas
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    … well, I’ve sent an e-mail to my Conservstive MP supporting a drop in our contribution to the EU. Unfortunately he thinks there are net benefits from being in it – a point of view with which I disagree.

  42. PETER RICHARDSON
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    Re JR’s question in response to Steven Granger’s comment, a well-publicised confidential poll of all MP’s by a reliable, discreet (do they exists?) pollster and then a free vote in HoC and then let secret eurosceptices justify their (sadly anticipated and disturbingly probably different) actual votes through the lobbies.
    Then let them explain their actions to constituents if (or when) there is a substantial disparitybetwwen the ‘secret’ poll and names of Members recorded in Hansard, who feel the need to hide behind personal pragmatism for future promotion expectations (or hopes of same or any other motives they may have).
    Then those genuine enthusiastic Britishers, proud of our independence, heritage and belief we know our own minds, could seriously think of emigrating or fight on for justice in seeking the true feelings of our fellow citizens and still hope parliament will one day soon be able to vote on the actual informed views of the people.
    Written in sadness, almost pessimism and sincere convictions and, dare I say it, a glimmer of hope of something similar to my sugestion to accomplish the objective of surely the majority of the populace, who would then accept, myself included, the actual wishes of voters and nonvoters alike.
    As a former name on the prospective parliamentary candidates list, I surprise myself when I realise there is now an alternative, but probably unable to command a parliamentary majority in time, but then maybe there are more of us than even I imagine.

  43. sm
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    Interesting site called publicwhip and theyworkforyou. It records how they actually vote. Be nice if it also had a comment from the MP to narrate the reason they voted. Agreed , Disagreed, Whipped(Agreed). Whipped(Disagree) etc

    • uanime5
      Posted October 30, 2012 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

      If you look at the way senior minister voted you can guess which way MPs would have been whipped.

      • sm
        Posted October 31, 2012 at 10:34 am | Permalink

        Thanks for that, but ensuring that they state one of the above (along with recall powers) will help parliament fulfill its function which is to ensure accountability,representation,trust etc

        Other information should be if the measure was a manifesto pledge or not.

  44. Ian Phillips
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    Since we never got the promised agricultural reforms we should simply withdraw our support for the CAP. Even assuming that the commission gets it’s asked for 10% increase this would mean a reduction in UK costs of 34% (assuming that 40% of budget is directed to CAP payments, which I think is approximately correct).

  45. Bert Young
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    I too have been in touch with my MP to request that he supports the motion to reject the proposed increase and his reply indicates that he is very much opposed . He goes on to criticise the cost and size of the bureaucracy in Brussels and the unnecessary waste caused by this unwieldy machine . I take heart from this and feel relatively confident that the motion will succeed – albeit with the Labour Party . I concur with JR that it is the Gross contribution that should be considered . The report from St. Antonys College that the Germans feel that the EU is very much better off with the Brits in , is very understandable ; without our financial contribution , the German proportion would have to be re-adjusted upwards to compensate . There is no doubt that the efficacy of the EU is much more in question now than it ever was , and , there is no doubt that a rejection of the proposed EU budget by the UK will accelerate the process of disintegration . I hope this proves to be the case .

    • John Doran
      Posted October 31, 2012 at 10:40 am | Permalink

      Seconded.

  46. Adam5x5
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

    The size of the EU budget is a good distraction from the real issue – whether the UK wants to remain part of the EU.
    It allows Cameron and Miliband to try and increase their popularity by pretending to care about the opinions of the voters, while they merrily continue to drag us closer into the developing superstate.

    The best action would be to give us a referendum on the EU, then we the voters can decide on how much money to send to Brussels.

    Of course, this is not going to happen as Cameron is hugely hypocritical on this issue. The right of people to self determination is something he trumpets loudly on the world stage – the Falklands, Gibraltar, Scotland. As soon as the EU is mentioned? No, we don’t get a say because he thinks it’s better we stay in…

    The Scots are given a referendum on independence from the UK when polls are saying ~30% want it. Polls here have said ~50% want out of the EU, do we get a referendum?

    The EU budget is a smack in the face for all those who have seen their incomes fall over the past few years. Not to mention the hypocrisy of the EU telling it’s own member states to cut back while demanding more money.

    We have enough financial problems here without chucking more money down the EU’s insatiable gullet.

  47. uanime5
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

    If the 27 members of the European Council can’t unanimously agree on a 7 year budget then they’ll vote on a 1 year budget which only requires the agreement of the majority of the European Councillors. So there’s no prospect of budget cuts or monthly budgets that aren’t increased.

    The EU has until 2014 to reform CAP so it’s too early to tell whether it’s failed, much like it’s too early to tell whether the Government has failed to reduce immigration to tens of thousands.

    Perhaps MPs should decide whether they want the UK to remain in the current relationship with the EU (free trade, membership fees, make EU law, and have to obey EU law), adopt a relationship similar to Norway (free trade, no membership fees, can’t make EU law, and have to obey EU law), or leave the EU and have a trade agreement similar to the USA (limited trade, no membership fees, can’t make EU law, and don’t have to obey EU law). Anything else has no prospect of ever happening.

    • Lindsay McDougall
      Posted October 31, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

      Don’t you think that if the EU had any intention of reforming the CAP by 2014 there would be draft proposals circulating by now?

  48. Merlin
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

    @Ciff Wokingham the answer to your question because the majority of politicians are preparing for the next step which is world government, the pro type already exists the UN.

  49. Jon
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

    The EU has weaved a complex web.

    I remember the Treaty of Rome had an interesting part, from memory section 9 2 b (r) with accompanying appendix (or was it section 32 – 9 2 (b) r I can’t remember now). Basically deemed assets of one nation state could not be transferred to another nation state. Within the appendix could be deciphered to include pension funds.

    The Eurozone wants a financial transaction tax which to my mind is a transfer of a nation states assets. Those little gnomes in Brussels will get you in the end.

  50. Merlin
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

    The sooner contributors realise that Great Britain is dealing with the EUSSR the better. This communist inspired superstate is still evolving and it wishes to control every aspect of life in Europe, including how you think and behave just like the USSR did all those years ago. The EUSSR equals the USSR, they are basically the same, except that the EUSSR has managed to deceive people more effectively. For the politbureau read the European Council, it’s early days yet and it will probably take a few more years but the whole picture is slowly emerging, that’s why the EUSSR must keep on relentlessly increasing its budget. Impoverishing Nation States is part of the overall strategy, remember soviet Russia where the individual citizens had nothing and were governed by the affluent Politbureau. I can see this clearly, happening now, but the majority of politicians seem to be the blind led by the blind. Totalitarianism and Dictatorship are much nearer than you think, that is why I support UKIP the only party in the UK who agrees with my views.

    • John Doran
      Posted October 31, 2012 at 10:57 am | Permalink

      You’re getting the big picture Merlin.
      The EU sees itself as the vanguard for world govt.
      UN Agenda 21 sets out the pathway.
      See my various comments above.
      A huge drop in world population.
      The abolition of private property.
      The abolition of the family.
      The impoverishment of rich nations ( which we are now seeing).
      The enrichment to parity of poorer nations.
      Hailed as ‘The New World Order’ by George Bush Snr when he signed it in 1972 at the Rio World Summit.
      We live in interesting times.
      🙂
      JD.

  51. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted October 31, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    If a European federal state with full powers is eventually formed, its public expenditure may be expected to rise to something like the American level, namely 15% of GDP.

  52. Ian Hopkins
    Posted October 31, 2012 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

    Lets get some common sense back and find someone strong enough to take us out of the EU

  53. Barbara Stevens
    Posted October 31, 2012 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

    Repeal and be gone, sounds right to me. Has someones suggestion that Clegg does the talking if we are to negociate, NO,NO,NO. I wouldn’t trust that man as far has I could throw him. We need a Conservative for that job. In fact the less Lib Dems we see at the table the better.
    Its the time now to set our cards on the table, and mean what we say. Cameron is wrong, there should be no freeze but a cut, and a cut deep. The waste they make is appauling and they cannot keep having rises without some cuts. We are suffering great cuts here and people are suffering, we’ve had enough. In fact people are openly saying now if the Conservatives fail to deal with Europe once and for all and do has WE request, not their party, they won’t get so many votes. UKIP is on the prowl and rightly so. They appear the only party who are listening to the public.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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