The EU budget deal

 

           The EU has agreed a 7 year budget settlement lower than last time.  The UK Parliament  passed a motion requiring a reduction. The UK has negotiated  a reduction.

             The last  ceiling was Euro 943 billion. The Commission with various countries in support wanted to increase this to Euro 988 bn. Instead they have now agreed a cut to Euro 908bn.

             So the settlement is Euro 35bn than the previous one, and Euro 80 bn below the original proposal.

            If the Prime MInister had persisted in using the veto on this they could have resumed annual budgets by majority votes. The agreed settlement is Euro 60 bn below what they could spend without an agreement.

            I am glad the Uk dug in, and glad that for the first time the budget is coming down instead of going up. Of course I would like a lower budget than this. I do not think the Prime MInister could have got  more by threatening further use of the veto.

           The worst news is that the UK contributions will go up, thanks to the reckless way Mr Blair gave away part of our rebate. Mr Cameron refused to give up more of our rebate, though he was under pressure to do so.

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96 Comments

  1. lifelogic
    Posted February 8, 2013 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

    So Cameron did well, I suppose, given the absurd system that labour and EUphile John Major idiotically signed up to. All done against the will and without any authority from the British people.

    The problem is that no one can ever believe, other than for temporary electoral advantage, that Cameron will ever fight the UK corner. Indeed they can be fairly sure he will not and will do a cast rubber again next time. No one can be an EUsceptic, yet then appoint Lord Patten, Lord Heseltine and Ken Clark can be trusted. Judge him by his actions they are very clearly pro EU to the core.

    Do the Government have any estimates of the new immigration flows due shortly or are they still trying to hold the absurd, we do not know line?

    Reply Mr Cameron is the only PM we have had who has a) refused to sign an EU Treaty the others want b) has secured a cut in the EU budget c) has stated clearly he does not accept ever closer union. That’s better than a Labour PM telling you Lisbon is not the EU Constitution.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted February 9, 2013 at 9:58 am | Permalink

      But the last time the British people were directly consulted in a referendum they did accept “ever closer union” – whether or not they realised that – and so shouldn’t they now be asked directly in another referendum whether they agree with Cameron in no longer accepting it?

    • zorro
      Posted February 9, 2013 at 10:19 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply – John, you are quite correct here. However, let us wait sometime and see if this budget cut survives contact with the EU nomenclature……. I fear that this may be a Pyrrhic victory for Cast Elastic…..

      zorro

    • Diasaffected
      Posted February 9, 2013 at 10:51 am | Permalink

      No not really. He was trying to achieve a £886 billion settlement in 2011. As I see it, that is £22 billion more than the Uk wanted to spend not less.

      Secondly, the UK contribution is up. If he thinks that is a good deal for the UK, once more, it shows, people on PPE courses can not add up. Although they are good at sophistry deceit and lying.

      Come on JR, usually you are very accurate with your numbers and have a good reputation with economics. You know this is not a good deal- it is pure spin. I appreciate it could have been an awful lot worse with a Europhile like Cameron negotiating, but the UK contribution is UP it is MORE than £22 billion than the UK wanted in 2011. In no way is this a success.

      • Diasaffected
        Posted February 9, 2013 at 10:57 am | Permalink

        Our daily £55 million to the EU is going up. No one can consider this a success. It is money from UK taxpayers that we cannot afford and are paying interest on top to give away to the EU.

        We are also subsiding the CAP in Europe so the EU countries can sell us horse meat by deceit. Start a ban now on all imported meat until it is verified exactly what it is. They did it with our sheep and cattle. Negotiations are long overdue on the CAP and fishing policy Mr cameron- any time soon? Buy British meat and support British farmers.

        1,200 more wind turbines to be erected in 2013, this is not a success either for ordinary people who struggle to pay energy bills each month. Good for politicians who have their hands in the till for the profits not for ordinary people.

        • lifelogic
          Posted February 9, 2013 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

          I see on delingpole blog that ex-Energy Minister Charles Hendry has not wasted much time taking up a position as chairman of the wind energy giants Forewind. Not of course that there is anything wrong with that.

          http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100201922/with-tory-mps-like-this-who-needs-to-vote-labour/

          And below some relative costs of electricity. Not to forget that wind electricity is also worth far less anyway as it is not even available on demand.

          Here’s what a recent Civitas report had to say on the cost of different forms of power:
          Nuclear pressurised water reactors (PWR): £67.8 per MWh.
          Gas-fired combined-cycle gas turbines (CCGT): £96.5 per MWh.
          Gas CCGT with carbon capture and storage (CCS): £102.6 per MWh.
          Coal (ASC) with CCS: £111.9 per MWh.
          Advanced supercritical (ASC) coal-fired power plants: £133.2 per MWh.
          Onshore wind: £146.3 per MWh (including ‘add-on costs’ of £60 per MWh).
          Offshore wind: £179.4 per MWh (including ‘add-on costs’ of £67 per MWh).

          Total economic, science and engineering insanity on any basis.

  2. Richard1
    Posted February 8, 2013 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

    One of the clear battle lines at the next election will be: we are going into a big re-negotiation with the EU, who do you want doing it, Cameron, Hague etc or Milliband and Balls? Should win a few votes from rational but unaligned voters.

    • cosmic
      Posted February 8, 2013 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

      On current showing and certainly without boundary reform, it’s unlikely to be Cameron or Hague.

      But frankly, the idea of renegotiating anything substantive whilst remaining a member of the EU, and ruling out leaving, is a none-starter.

      Whichever of that crowd it was, I’d expect something like Wilson’s bogus renegotiations of 1975; nothing to be blown up into a big deal.

      • Lindsay McDougall
        Posted February 11, 2013 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

        The Conservatives could win the next general election roughly like this:
        30% bedrock + 10% of UKIP’s 15% + 3% crossover from Labour’s soft support.

        However, we will only attract the 10% from UKIP if we offer their supporters something solid and substantial. If you were a UKIP supporter and you were offered a Conservative Party manifesto containing only Mr Cameron’s 5 renegotiation principles (but no detail and no ‘bottom line’) and Kenneth Clarke were your Conservative candidate, how would you vote?

        I agree with you that the Wilson bogus renegotiations of 1975 should be in everybody’s mind. How do we guarantee no repeat performance? By insisting on spelling out the renegotiating position and ‘bottom line’ in the manifesto, that’s how.

  3. David ashton
    Posted February 8, 2013 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

    John, the problem is that the Lisbon treaty gives the European Parliament a vote on the outcome from the European Council. Schultz is determined to persuade a majority of MEPs to reject the deal, even to the point of trying to get agreement for a secret vote. OK it will go back to the European Council, but if the EuCo and the EP do not agree, then the fall back is this years budget plus inflation year on year.

    • Monty
      Posted February 9, 2013 at 2:35 am | Permalink

      David has mentioned the demands for secret ballots in the European Parliament. That is an outrage that must be comprehensively strangled. It is offensive to the entire electorate, that we should be invited to vote for candidates who would then be able to lie to us about their parliamentary voting record, and forever masquerade as the singular virtuous angel among a nest of devils.
      The MEP who is calling for this measure ought to be reminded that this same logic underpins the single blank bullet loaded into one of the rifles, which confers the patina of innocence on every man in the firing squad.

      • uanime5
        Posted February 10, 2013 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

        Does the UK use secret ballots or are the whips allowed to know which MP isn’t toeing the Government’s line and punish them accordingly?

        Also it’s obvious to anyone who’s every shot a rifle whether you’ve shot a real bullet or a blank (recoil and gun temperature are different).

        • Edward
          Posted February 10, 2013 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

          Total rubbish on both points Uni

          1.The UK Parliaments votes are not secret ballots and never have been.
          2.Modern weapons would not give the person firing any feeling if the shot was real or blank.

          Do you just make it up to take the opposite point to everyone else?

          Reply Of course Parliamentary votes should be public, so people can know how their MPs and MEPs voted. Commons and US Senate/House votes are recorded and the voting lists published for all to see.

    • Mike Stallard
      Posted February 9, 2013 at 7:27 am | Permalink

      I know the EU breaks the rules whenever they are inconvenient, but actually there is a mechanism to deal with disagreement between the Council of Ministers and the EU parliament. So the outcome there, under Mr Rompuy, is in no way settled.

      • David ashton
        Posted February 9, 2013 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

        If the EP rejects the budget, it will be the European Council, not a Council of Ministers, to which the bill returns. The workings of the EuCo are not open, if there is still deadlock with the EP current budget plus inflation will prervail, but if the next decision can be delayed beyond Merkel’s re-election the whole game could change.

        • uanime5
          Posted February 10, 2013 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

          The European Council and the Council of Ministers are the same thing. Though latter name is used when they don’t contain the leaders of the EU states.

          • David ashton
            Posted February 10, 2013 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

            The European Council and the Councils of Ministers are not the same thing. Under the Lisbon Treaty, the Councils of Ministers (the 27 Secretaries of States for the Department responsible for the legislation under discussion) are required to make their proceedings public.. The European Council (27 Heads of Government or State) meet in private and are not required to divulge their deliberations.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted February 9, 2013 at 9:52 am | Permalink

      As far as I can see that fall back is not part of EU law, and as British MPs have never directly or indirectly agreed to it they need not consider themselves to be in any way bound to accept it.

      So to repeat the conclusion of a comment from last autumn:

      “Unless the government’s highly paid lawyers can come up with solid arguments to support the contention that the UK would be under a valid treaty obligation to allow the budget ceilings to be automatically inflated by 2% a year, I don’t see why MPs should have any compunction about refusing to authorise increased payments.”

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted February 10, 2013 at 9:35 am | Permalink

        Comment missed for moderation.

  4. Timaction
    Posted February 8, 2013 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for the update Mr Redwood. However if we left our contribution would drop to zero from £11 billion and rising, we would recover our fishing grounds and the 400,000 associated jobs in that industry est. £3 billion. We could get out of the CAP and save another £10 billion in food costs. Moreover, save our businesses £9 billion in overburdened administration of directives costs annually. We could get out of the green religion and save our poor £ billions in associated costs based on no science. Finally we wouldn’t need to have legislation imposed on us to undermine religious beliefs/values to have gay weddings.
    It was reported earlier this week that the Germans have said that if we left the EU they would like a trade agreement with us. Why not, as we have a £20 billion trade deficit with them alone. We need control of our borders to stop further immigration and the billions in public service costs.
    There are no benefits from our membership for the British. Trade and friendship. Nothing more!

    Reply: Remind me how that can happen when the people’s choice of Parliament has a majority to stay in.

    • Mark B
      Posted February 8, 2013 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

      Reply to Reply:

      When you have a system whereby candidates are selected via central office on certain criteria and not because they are local to the area, then all you will get is party clones. If the party is committed to maintaining membership of the EU, especially as it receives funding from the EU due to having MEP’s , then you will get MP’s who are committed to maintaining the status quo and not representing the views of their constituents.

      Also, MP are voted in or out due to the policies of the party. If they do not wish to talk about the EU, as happened in the last election, then people will not be sure on what issue the party and the candidate will stand on.

      • Timaction
        Posted February 9, 2013 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

        Reply: I think the electorate are onto the three main parties leaders all being Europhile and the consequences of that policy on their lives, living standards and unnecessary interference in so many ways without being accountable. The EU has morped into a latter day undemocratic Soviet Union and its bullying, uncompromising, costly bureacracy is how the majority of people out here see it.
        Politicians need to follow what the people want or they will select other Parties that will deliver their wishes. As it stands more and more people are turning to UKIP as a last hope before we are subsumed into a province of the EU and further overwhelmed by immigration, more indigenous unemployment and squeezed public services. It is the only Party that will follow through on its promise to release us from the tyranny of the EU.
        The Euro elections will be a turning point and the tidal flow of further migration from Bulgaria/Romania will focus peoples minds on the ineptitude of our leading politicians and Sir Humphries and whose side they are on.
        I just can’t believe that the mainstream press are reporting an EU budget success that sees the UK’s contributions………rise, albeit at a lesser rate. More borrow and tax to pay our contributions for foreign causes. You simply couldn’t make it up.

      • Disaffected
        Posted February 9, 2013 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

        `jr sdeems to have forgotten he asked that question the other day. What he should have asked is: is it not right for MPs to declare exactly what they stand for, including their parties.

        We know manifestos are not worth the paper they are written on, poster pledges are equally useless and no one can believe a word a politician says.

        So the question to JR is, how does the public know what they are voting for, how do they know the MP will represent their views when MPs and political parties are allowed to chop and change (by deceit) or any other means without any consequences? So it not as you say a “people’s choice of parliament.” referendum and right to recall are the only ways to bring radical change to a discredited institution called parliament. Remind me where the Kelly report is and when it will be implemented- more urgent than gay marriage.

    • David ashton
      Posted February 9, 2013 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply. Open primaries to select party candidates.

  5. Boudicca
    Posted February 8, 2013 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

    Cameron appears to have negotiated a Budget reduction for other countries.

    And we’re supposed to be impressed?!

    • forthurst
      Posted February 8, 2013 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

      He had the support of a big hitter, Frau Merkel. Without her, it is unlikely that Cameron could have negotiated an EU wide CAP cost reduction and a corresponding budget increase for us all on his own.

      • Bob
        Posted February 9, 2013 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

        @forthurst

        And if Frau Merkel had not had an election on the horizon, it’s doubtful that she would have been quite so accommodating.

        • David ashton
          Posted February 9, 2013 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

          Bob, absolutely right, and if the budget decision gets delayed beyond her re-election, then Merkel may change her position.

  6. me@here.com
    Posted February 8, 2013 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

    So the UK is no better off then. Pathetic.

  7. Kevin R. Lohse
    Posted February 8, 2013 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

    It’ll take time to turn the EU supertanker. At least the P{M has managed to reduce speed a little, but it is clear that there will be one heeuva fight over who holds the wheel. The mainly socialist EU Parliament is already saying that it will not accept the reduction, and the proposed cut in the executive budget is going to be managed by those who will feel the pinch most. Classical dead wood holding the axe. Lets revisit this in 6 months and see just how much has been achieved.

    • Kevin R. Lohse
      Posted February 8, 2013 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

      one helluva fight.

    • lifelogic
      Posted February 9, 2013 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

      Perhaps managed to reduce the “acceleration” not the actual “speed”.

  8. JimF
    Posted February 8, 2013 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

    Yes, the budget for the Food Standards Agency has also come down.

    So now

    1 the FSA don’t test for contaminants that they don’t already know about and
    2 the government can’t afford anyone with a science degree for the Tory Minister responsible, who only runs to a History degree from Cambridge (Owen Paterson)

    • Bob
      Posted February 9, 2013 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

      @JimF
      “the FSA don’t test for contaminants that they don’t already know about”

      Sounds like the FSA that sat back while the UK banking system headed towards a cliff.

    • David ashton
      Posted February 9, 2013 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

      Jim, I think you will find that if meat entering this country from an EU country is fully certificated, it cannot be tested by our authorities under EU single market legislation. It is considered as anti-competitive, unless there is prior evidence of fraud. Although it would not stop the supermarkets carrying out their own analysis.

  9. Bazman
    Posted February 8, 2013 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

    How are you all getting on with your corporate right wing fantasies given the new food scandal? Premium brands below dog food. At least Dog food has to be fit for human consumption and cannot contain hamsters. The government agencies are at best treading water. Interesting to see how the burger companies at the top of the food chain reacted. They would be finished otherwise. OMG it spins! One word. Slaughtered. I’ll milk this one later. Ram it
    Reply Why did a Labour approved regulatory quango fail to spot this?

    • Edward
      Posted February 9, 2013 at 12:03 am | Permalink

      Baz,
      There have always been a very small number of criminals in every area of commerce and meat production appears sadly, not to be exempt.
      But you seem to be suggesting that all commerce and food production is corrupt, which it is not.
      And you seem to be moving towards a position that if only food production was controlled by a State monopoly this would never have happened.
      This is the real fanatsy.

      • Bazman
        Posted February 9, 2013 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

        So much for your consumer protection laws and self policing by the market. As I have said before the moto for many companies is what can we get away with how long can we get with it and what will be the cost when and if caught? you laughably think that any savings on food inspections, that the company should pay for, will somehow be passed onto the consumer. A bit like paperless banking reducing bank charges. As if. Its your idea to move to state owned food production and shows you are being an apologist again.The Tories are the ones pushing for less food inspections by FSA. Self regulation? Yeah right. Again you are heading towards a Russian standard. Eating in Russian restaurants in Russia is not a good idea as I can testify. They really do not believe in the idea of food hygiene and you more often than not see how much they do not believe the next day. Took me a few times to learn the lesson despise dire warnings from people who knew though. There is a new traditional butcher in town and that’s where I’m going today. You can stick to pot death. No real meat guaranteed.

        • Bazman
          Posted February 9, 2013 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

          One restaurant in Russia was called ‘Cockroach’ or таракан in Russian, selling Mexican style food. I didn’t eat there. I swear this is true. It’s a crazy place.

      • lifelogic
        Posted February 9, 2013 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

        Indeed if the state ran it it would be even worse and the “customers” would just have to put up with it too. Rather like Staffordshire Hospital.

        • Bazman
          Posted February 9, 2013 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

          Britains worst outbreak off food poisoning in which twenty peole died was from a privately owned butchers shop in 1996, so don’t let your free markets fantasies run away with you again.

          • lifelogic
            Posted February 9, 2013 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

            Were there may state owned butchers shops at the time I think not? Somewhat unlikely to be one of them them causing the problem then surely.

          • Bazman
            Posted February 10, 2013 at 9:54 am | Permalink

            Don’t get the logic of this reply. My point is that just because it is privately owned does not mean there will be fewer problems and because profit comes first there may be more incentive to cut corners at the expense of health. I stand by the point that you are a free market fantasist.

    • Graham Hamblin
      Posted February 9, 2013 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

      I defer from the comment on Owen Paterson, he is on message.

      “contaminants” There always have been scams in the meat industry, this is fraud on an industrial and international scale and the MSM isn’t even close to the truth?

      The reference to “food chain” is also wrong. A food chain more correctly describes what happens in the wild, we are fed by a network, like the internet when a hub or hubs in that break down new links soon repair that breakdown and the trade continues.

      Criminals are always one step ahead of enforcements agencies and I guess they already disposing of their horse meat in new markets?

  10. Boudicca
    Posted February 8, 2013 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

    The EU agrees a miniscule cut in the Budget.

    Other countries’ payments are reduced.
    The UK pays more.

    And we’re supposed to be impressed?!

    What planet does Call Me Dave live on. Planet Numbskull?

    Reply; And what else could he do given the situation, the rules of the b udget game, and the absence of a majority to change the relationship we have with this institution now?

    • Chris
      Posted February 9, 2013 at 10:38 am | Permalink

      You ask what else Cameron could do. Simple. He could be honest with the electorate instead of employing spin about “historic day” and “EU budget cut achieved”.However, he has achieved the press headlines that he wanted, and that is all that seems to matter to Cameron. That his own MPs have been convinced by this charade is of huge concern. It is plainly disingenuous to claim that he has managed to negotiate a cut to the EU budget. The Lisbon Treaty requires that the decision with regard to the Budget is based on two distinct processes: first the European Council and second the European Parliament. If a budget cut is passed by the European Parliament then, and only then, can Cameron claim that he (along with others) has achieved a cut to the EU budget.

      • alan jutson
        Posted February 9, 2013 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

        Chris

        “He could have been honest”

        Yes and it would play in his favour.

        I got a reduction in spending, but due to Mr Blair when he was Prime Minister giving away some of our rebate won by Margaret Thather, it will still cost us more in the long run.

        For a PR man, Cameron so often misses the main chance.

    • lifelogic
      Posted February 9, 2013 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

      But Cameron, Patten, Clarke, Heseltine, Major types and Camerons duff pro EU fake green, high tax, electoral campaign are the reason there is an absence of a majority.

    • Disaffected
      Posted February 9, 2013 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

      Leave would be a start. Stop all legislation, payments, regulations etc until the UK has a referendum. Bring the referendum forward before the next general election. Come on JR, you know better than that.

      The local elections are lost to the Tories as are the European ones and it is hard to imagine the Tories stand a chance in 2015. People like me have had enough of spin deceit and lies. Labour are no threat, the Coalition have followed the same economic madness. In fact, if we believe what we read Osborne has only implemented the budget Darling recommended.

      I have come to loathe looking and listening to Cameron more than Gordon Brown. At least we all know what Brown was about.

  11. wab
    Posted February 8, 2013 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

    The devil is in the detail. What is going to get cut, the fat or the lean? Needless to say it will be the lean, not the fat. For example, research will be cut, and the ridiculous, wasteful and environmentally damaging farm subsidies will not. Mr. Redwood might think this agreement is a “victory” but it is only so if you have no ability to see beyond the headline figure.

    The same approach is one of the reasons the current government is so hopeless, they have left all the waste in the budget (and even introduced new waste with all their flip-flopping on just about every policy under the sun) and instead cut back on expenditures that will promote growth.

    Reply There are many items in the budget I would like to see cut. It is never going to be possible to achieve that with the other 26 members. That is why we need a new relationship with this body to allow us to trade but to get us out of the expensive government arrangements we do not like.

    • Acorna
      Posted February 9, 2013 at 10:14 am | Permalink

      You have to be very careful with numbers quoted by any politicians. The headline figure for the MFF EU budget of €960 billion is COMMITMENTS (promise to pay); down by three percent from the last seven-year budget. Member states have actually pledged less than that in PAYMENTS into the budget pot €908 billion (£776 billion) to be exact. Keep in mind that the Pound would buy €1.5 at the start of the last seven year budget, it only buys €1.18 now.

      This leaves a €52 billion DEFICIT over the seven years. The EU has no deficits control mechanism except for the 1.23% GNI limit across all members. Cameron has managed to reduce national spending and create an increase, at EU level, in the deficit by €52 billion.

      Agricultural and regional funds are currently 39% of the budget which will come down to 28% in this seven year plan, that has got to be good all round, except for the French.

      According to the German press, €10 billion will be cut from SME seed money and infrastructure projects, about the only bit we actually need. Administration to cut €1.5 billion out of its current €8.4 billion budget; fat chance of the latter happening.

  12. Chris
    Posted February 8, 2013 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

    The EU hasn’t agreed anything, yet, so talk of any victory is very premature. The organisation which has agreed something is the European Council, and any decision that they reach on the Budget has then to be put forward to the European Parliament for their approval or rejection by a vote.It is a two pronged process and victory will only be when both the Council and the Parliament vote for the new Budget.

    The latest information is that Schulz and some colleagues are going to use a little known procedure to request that the MEPs have a secret vote. There are enough animosities amongst the MEPs, as well as the hostility to the proposed settlement from those MEPs who will not envisage a budget reduction at any price, to ensure that certainty is not the order of the day.

    Who knows how this will end, but Cameron has certainly not secured a reduction in the budget yet. That all depends on the European Parliament vote, and initial indications are not at all favourable. However, the EP, as with all things to do with the EU, is unpredictable, so we are in the waiting game stage where political alliances are quickly being forged, and deals being done behind closed doors.

    What is more important at the moment is that David Cameron has come home with the prospect of our contributions to the EU increasing significantly rather than decreasing. It really doesn’t matter whose fault that is now: the UK has to face up to the fact that yet again we are going to have to pay up even more to the EU, budget cut or not. Can we afford it? I think not.

    • cosmic
      Posted February 8, 2013 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

      Precisely, certain parties are being far too quick to make much of this as a great coup for Cameron, when the likelihood is that the EP will reject it and more generous default year on year budgetary arrangements will be applied.

      Anyway, it’s a star bit of negotiating for the overall budget to be reduced but the UK’s contributions to increase.

      I believe we are being treated to a bit of political theatre and nothing else.

      • Chris
        Posted February 9, 2013 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

        It is indeed theatre. See
        http://eureferendum.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/eu-budget-theatre-comes-to-town.html
        Also see Richard North’s latest article on the Budget: it should be required reading for every UK politician.
        http://www.eureferendum.com/blogview.aspx?blogno=83601
        Strictly speaking, all the European Council has done is agree a “common position” on the multi-annual budget. There is no “historic budget deal”. There is no EU agreement.

        Says Mary Ellen Synon, Spiegel and many others, battle is not over. The European Parliament must still approve it, and that is not a foregone conclusion.

        One needs to repeat this. It is not a foregone conclusion. We are told that Joseph Daul, chairman of the European People’s Party parliamentary group, which represents the Continent’s Christian Democrats, says a budget of €960 billion would be unacceptable.

        “These proposals are going in the wrong direction, attacking one of our best tools to generate growth – the European budget – of which 94 percent goes back to the member states. The proposal we have today is a political capitulation and we are going to reject it,” he says.

        Synon is even more robust on this, making talks of “victory” extremely premature. One wonders, though, whether Mr Cameron has really registered what is going on, but then this is a man who confused “debt” with “deficit” and believes that Norway has “no influence at all” over EU regulation..”.

        That said, the media, as in the loss-making Guardian here have no excuse for their headlines. They are badly misrepresenting the situation.

        Then, we’ve seen a lot of that lately, on fishing and the CAP. The British media really doesn’t “get” the European Parliament, any more than it does the EU generally.

        If Mr Shulz, has his way, though, Mr Cameron’s “victory” will not be lasting very long. Then, perhaps, the media might wake up to what is happening, but I somehow doubt it.

  13. Martin
    Posted February 8, 2013 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

    There is an easy way to cut our contributions further.

    1) Stop Quantitative Easing. It hasn’t worked.
    2) Bank of England to put up interest rates to inflation plus 2%

    This will stop the Pound devaluing and make it easier to pay our Euro denominated dues.

    The government is also going to have to stop sterling devaluing or the howls at the petrol pumps will get worse!

  14. Mark B
    Posted February 8, 2013 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

    New relationship. What exactly does that mean ?

    Influence. Is this is what is meant by having influence in ‘Europe’ nee the EU ?

    Its OK with the political class, its not their money they are giving away, its ours, and that money will have to be raised by a combination of, cuts, tax rises and/or taking more loans, which we will have to pay interest on.

    It may have escaped some of you in the Westminster bubble, but we the plebs are not rich you know.

    Reply|: i want trade and political co-operation with other EU countries, not EU government.

    • lifelogic
      Posted February 9, 2013 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

      To reply: I want trade and political co-operation with other EU countries, not EU government too.

      But we won’t get that with pro EU, cast rubber Cameron will we? We will get Labour for 2-3 terms by which time Westminster will have given away all controls over the matter.

  15. Denis Cooper
    Posted February 8, 2013 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

    Please correct me if I’m wrong about this, JR, but after the first year won’t the six remaining annual chunks of that €908bn be automatically increased to compensate for inflation?

    So in money terms won’t that total of €908bn become something like €962bn, which is actually higher than the previous seven year ceiling of €943bn?

    Isn’t this pretty much what we object to when there are media claims of government “spending cuts” but the amounts being spent are actually increasing?

    • stred
      Posted February 9, 2013 at 10:17 am | Permalink

      If the UK continues to finance the deficit via QE and the Germans don’t allow too much printing in the Euro area, then the pound may devalue to parity with the Euro. It has already dropped about 10% from 1.25E. In £ we may be paying more like 15% more than E960 in 6 years time.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted February 9, 2013 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

        The ECB chart for sterling against the euro is here:

        http://www.ecb.int/stats/exchange/eurofxref/html/eurofxref-graph-gbp.en.html

        The lowest was €1.02 on December 29th 2008, BEFORE the start of QE in March 2009, and since then the overall trend has been up not down.

        The recent drop from about €1.28 to about €1.16 is actually within the range of variation around that upward trend which has been running for the past four years, and if that drop was to be associated with QE in any way then it would have to be associated with the CESSATION of the second round of QE in November 2012.

        Of course one would expect that the continued creation of vast sums of new money must eventually start to devalue the currency, but as I pointed out above the rather surprising truth is that so far £375 billion plus of QE has had little or no effect on the external value of sterling as measured by its trade weighted index.

        Reply Over mnuch of that time period the Euro has been in crisis, and their Central Bank lent Euro 3 trillion to its banks, its own version of QE

  16. They work for us?
    Posted February 8, 2013 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

    On the subject of content and origin of foodstuffs:

    Why oh why do we not insist that only UK produced meat is marked as such.

    That all meat products are marked with the country/ countries of origin and the country of processing. This would stop non UK foodstuffs being palmed off as home grown.

    We could then make a choice and avoid non UK products if we wished.

    This would lead to honest labelling of the form “packedked in UK and made from meat from Romania, France and Ireland”. The EU would have fifty fits at this sort of labelling!

    • stred
      Posted February 9, 2013 at 10:24 am | Permalink

      The horse lasagne was from Romania via France. In Romania many of the donkeys that used to pull road carts are becoming redundant. The drug given to horses is what some clubbers were buying from vets in order to get a ‘high’.
      Unfortunately, it is no longer available. Hang on they are probably feeding it to pigs.

    • Graham Hamblin
      Posted February 9, 2013 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

      In the 1950′s the only difference between Welsh and English lamb in the butcher’s shop where I worked was the label we put on it. The customer that insisted on Welsh lamb always said she could taste the difference ;-)

  17. alan jutson
    Posted February 8, 2013 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

    Well its a start.

    A small one, a very small one, but at least its going in the right direction at last.

    Mr Cameron cannot be held responsible for Labour agreeing a delayed increase,

    Labours position all the more insulting when they are now trying to spin we requested and voted for a decrease from these negotiations, as if it was their plan. How bloody dishonest, 13 years in power, an increase every year, rebates given away, and absolutely nothing gained.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted February 9, 2013 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

      It’s a start which was only possible because Cameron has a veto over the MFF, unlike the annual budget which has always been decided by majority voting, and under some pressure from MPs he managed to give a convincing impression that he was prepared to use that veto.

      So the main lesson here is not about Cameron’s fantastic diplomatic skills and the importance of engagement and achieving “influence” through coalitions with other EU member states, but about having a national veto and apparently being willing to use it.

      It’s far better to have a veto than to be left struggling to build alliances for majority voting.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted February 10, 2013 at 9:34 am | Permalink

        Comment missed for moderation.

  18. peter van Leeuwen
    Posted February 8, 2013 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

    Isn’t it a bit silly to focus so much on the size of this budget and its symbolic decrease (35 bn accounts for less than 0,04% of your GDP) instead of a good use of the budget. Most likely and probably rightly too the European Parliament will send this budget to the waste paper basket. Mind you, the Dutch aren’t any better than the British or the French. Serious cooperation for more growth and jobs would have been better than all this nationalistic scoring of points.

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted February 9, 2013 at 9:15 am | Permalink

      Peter,
      You write : “Most likely and probably rightly too the European Parliament will send this budget to the waste paper basket.”
      By secret ballot too by all accounts! Why is a parliament allowed to have secret ballot on anything let alone financial budgets? I see you sit firmly in the camp of those who think that politicians and bureaucrats can spend our money better than we can.

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted February 9, 2013 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

        @Brian Tomkinson: In my view, the problem with politicians is their short-term mind. For a 7-year budget you need a long-term mindset. There could have been good opportunities to e.g. allocate budget for mobile-internet and research related investment, but it is apparently a terrible budget if you look at the alocation of funds. (CAP, etc.) The problem is that all these national leaders were looking at a cheap success back home, like – “we’ve kept our 1 bn rebate! “(Rutte, the Netherlands) instead of focussing on a good allocation of funds with the future in mind.

    • A.Sedgwick
      Posted February 9, 2013 at 10:01 am | Permalink

      Abolishing CAP and reducing the EU spend and state contributions by 40% would enable reductions in national taxes to finance real growth in business and enterprise.

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted February 9, 2013 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

        @A.Sedgwick: Obviously, reducing CAP by 40% is completely irrealistic, but how to convice the French and the Poles etc. to reduce CAP if by your own behavior (Cameron, Rutte and others) you demonstrate to just have a narrow nationalistic mindset.

    • David ashton
      Posted February 9, 2013 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

      It would be far better for British money to be directed at British projects (and Dutch money to Dutch projects) without the inefficiency and political correctness of the EU destroying value, I was involved in an EU research project a few years ago funded 50:50 by EU and sponsoring companies. Involved businesses and academic institutions from a number of EU countries. Total waste of money, although we had some good jollies as we visited each others sites to discuss how the targets hadn’t been met.

    • Lindsay McDougall
      Posted February 11, 2013 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

      The EU budget isn’t spent on growth and jobs. It is spent on subsidising inefficient agriculture via the CAP, on foreign aid and ‘regional development’ (plus corruption), and on the grandiose offices and futile plans of Herr von Rumpy Pumpy and Baroness What’s-her-name.

  19. Tad Davison
    Posted February 9, 2013 at 2:21 am | Permalink

    We need to see the bigger picture I fancy. These might sound like the actions of a strong and resolute leader, but where the EU is concerned, they’re missing something of vital importance – we’re still part of it!

    I heard Clarke this lunchtime, repeat the old wornout pro-EU drivel about how important it is that we remain a member of the world’s biggest trading bloc. He chose not to tell us that in five years time, the EU economy will be appreciably smaller than it was back in 1990. Nor did he mention Britain’s massive trade gap with Europe, or the exorbitant price we’ll still have to pay merely to be a member, to have our laws dictated to us, despite Cameron winning some paltry tokenistic reduction.

    However you cut it, the EU is still an ungainly, unmanageable, wasteful, unpopular, unaccountable, corrupt, fractious monolith, that Britain should have no part of. So I make the point again, if ostensibly clever people still want to belong to it, there just has to be some ulterior motive for them to fly in the face of overwhelming evidence.

    David Cameron might look pleased with what he’s achieved, but it’s merely tinkering. The much needed root-and-branch reforms just won’t happen. That leaves the exit door as the only credible alternative.

    And try to explain to the disabled person who is having their benefits cut, that Cameron’s achievements are some kind of Churchillian victory. That we should rejoice that we are paying just a little bit less to the EU, will cut no ice with them, I can assure you! Most of the money we pay to the EU makes its way into the pockets of greedy fraudsters and the like. Better we spent it right here at home instead on people who desrve a little help any day!

    Sorry, but I can’t work up any real enthusiasm for this mere reduction, when I see such deprivation here at home. Somebody’s got their priorities wrong, and priority number one is to extricate ourselves from whatever drains our resources, and stops us putting right social injustice. Better out than in!

    Tad Davison

    Cambridge

  20. Mike Stallard
    Posted February 9, 2013 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    Small picture: Mr Cameron is excellent at working the EU system and his achievement in staying up all night and working together with the paying countries against the receiving countries is good politics. We are nowhere near there yet though: the EU Parliament has yet to speak, and in no way is it anything like the British Parliament…….

    Big picture: Just as a cancer grows by absorbing more and more of the body’s blood, power and energy, so the EU government and administration are sucking Europe dry. Didn’t the actual (secret) negotiations involve an increase in the costs of administration?We need to cut the cancer out now before it kills all of us.

  21. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted February 9, 2013 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    Let us not forget that Cameron was defeated on this in Parliament – he was not in favour of demanding a reduction. Now we are expected to regard him as a hero after he was forced, against his will, to strengthen his negotiating position. The so-called success means little to us as we have to pay more, even though the budget is going down. Is every other country paying less? Watching news reports of this all night charade just reinforced to me how dreadful the EU is. Those awful scheming politicians smirking and gloating. The next stage is the possibility of the EU parliament demanding a secret ballot to reject the deal. Why is a parliament allowed to have any secret ballots let alone one on a financial budget?

    • David Price
      Posted February 9, 2013 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

      Well if the EP does hold a ballot it’s a jolly good job we have UKIP MEPs to ensure our interests are protected …

  22. Peter van Leeuwen
    Posted February 9, 2013 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    I like the scaving comment by Mrs Kroes (EC – digital agenda) this morning:
    ”A desolate compromise between national political opportunism and subsidy addiction”. That is not in the least directed at her party colleague and prime-minister Mark Rutte, who, in my view, is such good friends with Cameron, because he lacks real vision and is more of the short-term tight-rope walker type. Why did we elect such a prime-misnister?

  23. oldtimer
    Posted February 9, 2013 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    It is a step in the right direction and should encourage the HoC to put down more markers before the PM enters into future negotiations on EU matters. The Schulz intervention, and the suggestion of a secret ballot of MEPs, is likely to prove counterproductive for him. I imagine it will annoy the leaders of those countries that joined with Cameron to insist on the cuts and it will be rich fodder for those in the UK that want a fundamental change in our relationship with the EU because it demonstrates, beyond doubt, why that is needed.

  24. matthu
    Posted February 9, 2013 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    European heads of state and government have agreed to commit at least 20% of the ENTIRE European Union budget over the next seven years to climate-related spending with Connie Hedegaard (EU Commissioner for Climate Action) triumphantly tweeting that this amounts to no less than a TRIPLING of funds for climate action.

    https://twitter.com/CHedegaardEU/status/299904768388767744

    Our European politcal leaders have indicated that they are fully committed to align our common spending with this political priority and that climate action will now be integrated into ALL main areas of spending – cohesion, innovation, infrastructure, agriculture etc.

    http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/hedegaard/headlines/news/2013-02-08_01_en.htm

    More green jobs
    More jobs in the real economy being destroyed in the process
    More regulations
    More bin inspectors, less efficient toilet flushing, less effective lighting
    More wasteage
    More carbon credit scamming

    And the UK will humbly tag along.

  25. Bill
    Posted February 9, 2013 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    Very pleased with the result of the negotiations. In some respects, it is a symbolic victory but it is also practical. By hitting at the bureaucrats and their perks, you are slightly reducing the opportunities for highly able civil servants to disguise their self-interest behind grandiose projects.

    What a job for an able young linguist or economist! Go to work in Brussels, rake tax from the missions of European taxpayers and pay yourself a fine salary with a gold-plated pension.

    • sjb
      Posted February 9, 2013 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

      I am not so sure that reducing the number of “highly able civil servants” is always a good idea. For instance, according to the Richard Brown report on the recent West Coast Rail Franchise (worth £20bn+), the lack of specialist staff at the DfT may have been a contributory factor in the fiasco for which taxpayers are £55m out of pocket.

  26. Tad Davison
    Posted February 9, 2013 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    I couldn’t see much wrong with this the first time around, but it was deleted, presumably in error. And I am confident that JR subscribes to the view that to stifle debate, is to stifle democracy, so I’m re-posting it in the hope it makes a valid point.

    We need to see the bigger picture I fancy. These might sound like the actions of a strong and resolute leader, but where the EU is concerned, they’re missing something of vital importance – we’re still part of it!

    I heard Clarke this lunchtime, repeat the old worn-out pro-EU drivel about how important it is that we remain a member of the world’s biggest trading bloc. He chose not to tell us that in five years time, the EU economy will be appreciably smaller than it was back in 1990. Nor did he mention Britain’s massive trade gap with Europe, or the exorbitant price we’ll still have to pay merely to be a member, to have our laws dictated to us, despite Cameron winning some paltry tokenistic reduction.

    However you cut it, the EU is still an ungainly, unmanageable, wasteful, unpopular, unaccountable, corrupt, fractious monolith, that Britain should have no part of. So I make the point again, if ostensibly clever people still want to belong to it, there just has to be some ulterior motive for them to fly in the face of overwhelming evidence.

    David Cameron might look pleased with what he’s achieved, but it’s merely tinkering. The much-needed root-and-branch reforms just won’t happen. That leaves the exit door as the only credible alternative.

    And try to explain to the disabled person who is having their benefits cut, that Cameron’s achievements are some kind of Churchillian victory. That we should rejoice that we are paying just a little bit less to the EU, will cut no ice with them, I can assure you! Most of the money we pay to the EU makes its way into the pockets of greedy fraudsters and the like. Better we spent it right here at home instead on people who deserve a little help any day!

    Sorry, but I can’t work up any real enthusiasm for this mere reduction, when I see such deprivation here at home. Somebody’s got their priorities wrong, and priority number one is to extricate ourselves from whatever drains our resources, and stops us putting right social injustice. Better out than in!

    Tad Davison

    Cambridge

  27. BRIAN CARPENTER
    Posted February 9, 2013 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    I am disappointed that all comments today are on the subject of the EU.

    I consider your opening paragraph was very important. You are laying the blame for worldwide inflation on the fact that the USA went off the gold standard some years ago. I suspect you are right because I believe the US Treasury and our own treasury were only permitted to print paper money if it was backed up by gold in the state bank. Many smaller nations used US Dollars instead of gold thus relying on the US Treasury for their security. I believe that if we go further back in history the Pound Sterling was used internationally for the same purpose.

    This was the reason for the “I PROMISE TO PAY THE BEARER ETC” printed on all our currency notes. Now I am setting you a challenge. How can we control inflation worldwide without basing our currencies on the gold standard, alternatively if that is the only sure way we should go back to the gold standard?

    What are the chances of producing the REDWOOD STANDARD?

  28. Bert Young
    Posted February 9, 2013 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    A new relationship with the EU is essential AND sooner rather than later . Cameron is now in a much stronger position to press the case because Germany looks as if they are going to back us . Things are bound to change in the coming months , so , strike now .

  29. Barbara
    Posted February 9, 2013 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

    Mr Cameron got a reduction in the EU budget, not much, but something. We however have to pay more because of New Labour and Tony Blair. OK, we hear the achievement, now we hear the downside. They propose to vote in secret via the EU parliament so they can veto the new agreement, and get the rises they want. In secret, well – well -well, who would have thought such a thing, I would corrupt lot. Will Cameron’s efforts come to nothing? Mr Hollande was angry, as were those who were seen to gain; yet they are not the payers Germany and us are, and others.
    What will Mr C do if his agreement goes into tatters by underhanded dealings. Secret votes are against democracy. I’d like to hear Mr R’s ideas in this.
    I’m not so sure we should celebrate just yet. It’s not that good a deal anyhow, when you considar we have to pay more. No, I still think if they do have secret voting, Mr C should implement a yes/no vote in retaliation, we cannot be seen dealing with dicators, and that’s what it would amount to. The British people deserve to be treated better. We have shown patience, due diligence with politicans, its now our turn to have our say.

    • uanime5
      Posted February 10, 2013 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

      Secret votes aren’t against democracy as they allow MPs to vote for something without having to worry about being punished by the party whips.

      Also how is a secret vote among democratically elected MEPs a dictatorship?

      • Edward
        Posted February 10, 2013 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

        Uni,
        How can you possibly judge how to vote for someone in the next election if you have no true record of how they have voted on crucial issues during their current period in office and more importantly whats to hide?
        Free, fair and open…democracy needs to be seen to be done.
        Out in the open and recorded.

  30. David Langley
    Posted February 10, 2013 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    Concerned my posts have been a failure recently.
    I am also concerned that the Cameron cuts to the budget will be overturned by the EU head honchos or the MEPs in secret voting.
    Can we please wait until the dust settles before we celebrate the news. It is important that Cameron sees that the cuts are not replaced by increases in other areas. I fail to see how MEPs will vote for the reduced budget because they will face a freeze in pay from the admin portion for two years.
    We are facing the lowest common denominator of paying out to countries with poor infrastructures and conditions until they reach some sort of parity with us.
    I always thought that until countries reached an appropriate level of GDP they could not be accepted?

  31. uanime5
    Posted February 10, 2013 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

    To all those complaining about secret votes I’d like to remind them that councillors and MPs are elected through a secret vote. Would they want it to be publically known how they had voted? If not then why shouldn’t politicians be allowed secret votes to prevent them being punished by their party for not toeing the party line.

    • Edward
      Posted February 10, 2013 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

      Absolute rubbish.
      Democracy has no place for secret votes by elected representatives of the people.
      Its an outrage.
      Im amazed a socialist like you would ever put forward a positive argument for such a thing.

  32. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted February 11, 2013 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    So far, so good. We can now shine a very strong searchlight on the CAP and EU foreign aid programmes in principle and in detail. I must say that I warm to the idea of appointing Peter Lilley as our EU Commissioner; I think that we can rely upon him not to ‘go native’.

  33. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted February 11, 2013 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    Yes, Mr Cameron did very well. It was especially gratifying to have Germany in our corner. Angela Merkel has lost a few elections in Germany recently. It could be that she sees advantage in a compromise with Britain over the next few years; if we are lucky, this could include allowing fiscally weak nations to leave the Euro zone.

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  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood has been the Member of Parliament for Wokingham since 1987. First attending Kent College, Canterbury, he graduated from Magdalen College, and has a DPhil from All Souls, Oxford. 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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