The UK should decline to pay the extra EU tax

The answer is No.

We do not impose extra tax on people for past years after the year is settled.

Nor do we intend to pay them.

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185 Comments

  1. Douglas Carter
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    …..and if we do….?….

    • Hope
      Posted October 24, 2014 at 8:20 am | Permalink

      The EU demanded more last year and got it. Why should this year be any different?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 24, 2014 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

        Cameron carefully only said he would not “pay it on 1st Dec”. Not that he would not pay it. I assume it will be paid after the election on May 8th 2015.

        • JoeSoap
          Posted October 24, 2014 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

          Interesting as a litmus test to Cameron’s negotiating capability post-2015 on the tacit presumption of a Tory majority. Perhaps this has rightly been set up to show that there are no grey areas open for re-negotiation – we’re all in or all out…

        • Steve Cox
          Posted October 25, 2014 at 7:16 am | Permalink

          Exactly. His impersonation of an outraged taxpayer was quite good, but we should know by now where his heart lies. Either he’ll cough up the cash sooner or later or else he’ll leave it to Miliband to do so if he wins next May.

        • Mondeo Man
          Posted October 25, 2014 at 8:31 am | Permalink

          I can’t understand the lectern-thumping outrage.

          Our own economy is based on very similar redistributive taxation between people who succeed and those who fail.

          Politicians are always talking about the need for equality rather than the need for fairness.

          If we are to stay in the EU then clearly the policy should be to keep our success below the tax ceiling (as UK citizens do.)

          Is it also the case that our ‘large’ economy has grown because we now have more people ? After all, we are always being warned by the advocates for open borders that Britain’s economic ‘success’ would stall.

          In which case, oughtn’t part of the ‘unexpected’ EU £2bn tax demand be deducted from the economic ‘benefit’ of our open borders policy ? Along with:

          – the cost of in-work benefits for migrants
          – £1bn a year to deal with foreign criminals
          – the cost of displaced UK workers
          – the cost of unemployed immigrants
          – the cost of migrants not paying enough tax to cover their net cost

          However. Mr Cameron’s lectern thumping still seems false and a truly angry person does not craft his response so carefully. “WE WILL NOT PAY … in December”

          A bit like

          “WE WILL REDUCE IMMIGRATION… from outside the EU.”

          Which turned out to be as slippery as it was with now record levels of immigration and even the gendarmery in protest such are the levels of people from outside Europe trying to get here.

          This reaction is really about Rochester. Only a fool could not see that. Sadly there are lots of fools who will be suckered by it.

          • Mondeo Man
            Posted October 25, 2014 at 8:34 am | Permalink

            Add to that list of costs for our open borders policy:

            – the cost of war in the ME to avert jihadism on our streets (so they tell us)
            – the cost of homeland anti-terrorism

            Not insignificant, I’m sure you’ll agree.

          • Mark B
            Posted October 25, 2014 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

            The EU sees all the Citizens of Member Countries as, EU Citizens, not immigrants. Thank you Masstricht.

            The UK has signed up to all the Treaties resented to it and, had ample opportunity to negotiate back then. That is one of the reason why I think this renegotiation meme is bogus. We liked things back then so, why complain now ?

        • Hope
          Posted October 25, 2014 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

          JR, it now appears that this adjustment was known and part of Cameron’s EU budget settlement, is this true? The Tories crowed about a reduction in the EU budget which turned out that the UK actually had to pay more, but it now appears thatalso he signed up to this adjustment that we are now hearing about. Could you confirm please. If correct, the Tory party has taken the UK tax paying public for mugs.

          Reply No. Mr Cameron clearly knew nothing of this until recently and is very angry on finding out.

          • Ken Adams
            Posted October 25, 2014 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

            Reply to Reply
            But Conservative MEPs voted for this in the EU Parliament and the UK voted for the measure in the Council.

            How come the leader of our government does not know what is happening in the EU when it is going to affect us as a nation.

            I do not think ignorance of the law is reconised as a defense is it?

  2. Oli
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    How the EU comes up with these things and thinks it represents good economic or political sense is completely beyond me; but it does some up exactly how the EU Machine is completely out of touch with the outlook of the British people. They’ve played a blinder for UKIP though.

    • Mondeo Man
      Posted October 24, 2014 at 8:33 am | Permalink

      If this is sorted by the next by-election then something is fishy.

      • Winston
        Posted October 24, 2014 at 11:34 am | Permalink

        Hmmm… the cynic in me suggests that this, is indeed, a contrived battle. Perhaps a tacit agreement, conspired with EU and FCO officials, to give Cameron an opportunity to stand-up against the EU. The demand is so outrageous it smells fishy.

      • Mondeo Man
        Posted October 24, 2014 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

        Peter Hitchens predicted some months back a contrived conflict with the EU that Mr Cameron would win – just in time for the election.

        Worse. This claim by the EU could be real.

        • Paul H
          Posted October 24, 2014 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

          My initial reaction was to wonder if it was some kind of put-up job with the ultimate aim of making Cameron look good. The problem is it involves all the other countries in the EU and (a) you either create unnecessary tensions or (b) have them all in on the act, which is very difficult to achieve and dangerous. Much more sensible to have a simple UK-related issue, such as the EU announcing that the rebate was illegal and had to go.

          Plus, as a general rule in the absence of clear evidence to the contrary, I always find cock-up theory to be more reliable than conspiracy theory.

          So my conclusion is that it is real and that the EU commission really is barking mad and out-of-control, and hence we should exit pronto. And I say that as one whose personal income as a consultant is currently being supported by EU-driven regulatory changes …

  3. nigel
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    What is the betting that we will end up paying it?

    • Hope
      Posted October 24, 2014 at 8:17 am | Permalink

      We, no. Cameron and Clegg yes. Wait for the LibDems would not support us line,

    • Timaction
      Posted October 24, 2014 at 8:23 am | Permalink

      Of course Cameron will agree it. His Budget cut that never was or his blocking a treaty that never was, his eursceptism that is not!
      Enough. Bring on the elections so we can remove him.

      • Sam
        Posted October 24, 2014 at 8:44 am | Permalink

        Why do you suppose the openly Europhile Ed Miliband will be better? That is like swapping Charles II for James II if you fear popery.

        • DaveM
          Posted October 24, 2014 at 10:10 am | Permalink

          Sam, looking at the recent by-election results and the R&S by-election projection poll, Timeaction may be referring to Ukip!!

          Someone put a very good analogy on this site a while back, referring to the big supermarkets sitting on their laurels while Aldi and Lidl took their support away. Tesco would rather say they had made an accounting error than admit they had lost that much ground to A & L. In addition, the people who shop at A & L have realised that they’re not alone and that they have found something better.

          Likewise, if Reckless wins by the projected margin in R & S and there is a good follow up from Ukip, you might just find that the electorate thinks “hey, everyone else is voting for them, so I won’t be wasting my vote if I do too”!

          So, we’ll get a couple of years of Ukip passing the laws most of us want while Lab swing further to their traditional left, the Tories swing further to the right and depose their Europhile LibDem leader, and the LibDems give up altogether. This would allow the Tories and Labour to go away and come up with some solutions for federalising the UK and sorting out the defecit and debt issues, and we have another election in 2018, by which time we’ll have left the EU and all its franchises and the TWO traditional parties will have sorted their lives out and be fit to govern.

          Oh dear, I’m dreaming of Nirvana again.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted October 24, 2014 at 10:16 am | Permalink

          Well, that change brought matters to a head and led on to the 1688 Glorious Revolution, so it wasn’t so bad after all.

        • Mark B
          Posted October 24, 2014 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

          Because RedEd is going to be a complete disaster. So mush so, that not even those dumb ‘tribal voters’ support him.

          And we will get rid of Europhile in office and hopefully have genuinely Eurosceptic running the Conservative Party.

          • Bob
            Posted October 25, 2014 at 11:48 am | Permalink

            @Mark B

            The problem is not so much that the Tories have an euphile leader but that he was elected by the euphile majority in the party.

            Margaret Thatcher found out the hard way what happens to EU sceptic leaders in the Tory Party.

            It appears that the minority small “c” conservative Tories are suffering from cognitive dissonance.

        • Timaction
          Posted October 24, 2014 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

          I don’t support any of the legacy parties as they are all the same EU parties making 70% of our laws. There is only one party who will stand up to Europe.
          We don’t have to be in the EU to trade with it, ask China, USA, Japan and most of the Countries on the planet. It is a political union to create a United States of Europe by incremental stealth.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 24, 2014 at 10:54 am | Permalink

        Well Miliband will clearly be a disaster, but at least we expect Labour to be a disaster and we know to count the spoons. Re-electing Cameron, who has high tax, pro EU, big government, over regulation and fake greenery written in his very DNA – just rat to on his supporters a second time would be just too much to take.

        • Hope
          Posted October 25, 2014 at 11:15 am | Permalink

          I really do not think he will be any more a disaster than Cameron. Presentational differences maybe, but, on action to date, Cameron has followed and gold plated Miliband’s and Labour ideas. The rest is imposed by the EU through the mouth of the quisling PM in office.

    • David Price
      Posted October 25, 2014 at 6:46 am | Permalink

      No bet – even if Farage became pm tomorrow he would have to pay it.

  4. Nick
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    Transfer of powers.

    I see a vote is upcoming where you plan to transfer powers to the EU. There are 35 transfers on the table.

    Are you going to keep to your word and have a referenda on this transfer of powers?

    Or is it the same as those debt numbers?

    Interestingly, the Office for Budget Responsibility tell me they don’t publish the number.

    The ONS tell me its not included in the accounts.

    So when you said it was published, you still haven’t told us where it was published?

    =============

    “But Nick, the plans have been available in the local office for the last nine months.”

    “Oh yes, well as soon as I heard I went straight round to see them, yesterday afternoon. You hadn’t exactly gone out of your way to call attention to them, had you? I mean, like actually telling anybody or anything.”

    “But the plans were on display …”

    “On display? I eventually had to go down to the cellar to find them.”

    “That’s the display department.”

    “With a flashlight.”

    “Ah, well the lights had probably gone.”

    “So had the stairs.”

    “But look, you found the notice didn’t you?”

    “Yes,” said Nick, “yes I did. It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying ‘Beware of the Leopard’.”

    ===========

    Apologies to Douglas Adams

    Reply I have published the reference on this site.
    The government has opted out of all criminal justice measures as I wish. It has not yet tabled any proposals to opt back in to things. I do not support opting back in to the European Arrest Warrant which I would regard as a significant transfer of power.

    • ian wragg
      Posted October 24, 2014 at 9:22 am | Permalink

      But your boss doesn’t see it as a significant transfer of powers. When he gives them propaganda money and daily signs us up to ever closer union it is incremental power. No need for a referendum then.
      You think we are completely stupid.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 25, 2014 at 6:23 am | Permalink

        Indeed they do think the voters are very stupid, but then quite a few are I suppose. Many after all are going to vote for Miliband, a few even for Nick Clegg and some even for serial ratter, say one think do the opposite, pro EU, fanatical green, tax borrow and piss down the drain, Cameron.

      • bigneil
        Posted October 25, 2014 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

        Thanks for the cuppa and the chat on Friday.

  5. Know-Dice
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    As Douglas Carter asks, what real sanctions could the EU take against us if we refuse to pay?

    Are the EU officials really that naive, don’t they realize that this WOULD be the “last nail” in the EU coffin as far as the UK is concerned?

    So the extra money that Labour were going to put in to the NHS (and we already don’t know were that was coming from) will be taken by the EU at a stroke – I don’t think so…

    • Mark B
      Posted October 24, 2014 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

      Loss of voting rights to begin with. Plus, they can withhold monies gong to political parties.

      The EU does not need an Army. Just enough 5th Columnists to make sure things get done the way it likes.

  6. Horatio McSherry
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    I’m in two minds whether this is genuine or not. I’m sure it’s genuine as in the EU has proposed it, but could this (and other negative EU issues) be a pantomime ruse to make it look like future negotiations have been successful and the British government claim that the tyrants at the EU can be defeated from within?

    If it is absolutely genuine, then they really are as mad as the old Eastern Bloc Communists.

    • Mondeo Man
      Posted October 24, 2014 at 8:36 am | Permalink

      That we are thinking like this says a lot, doesn’t it, Horatio ?

      • Paul B
        Posted October 24, 2014 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

        Yes, it does!

    • Mitchel
      Posted October 24, 2014 at 9:14 am | Permalink

      Well,the EU institions are packed with “former” communists!

    • forthurst
      Posted October 24, 2014 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

      “If it is absolutely genuine, then they really are as mad as the old Eastern Bloc Communists.”

      It is genuine as the EU’s invoices for more cash are counterbalanced by their credit notes to countries sinking further under the impost of the Euro, Green crap and their poking the Russian Bear under orders from the neocon trash. The basis of charging is the gross GNP which according to the EU includes such items as the black economy, drugs and prostitition, as one would expect. In our case, we should be grateful to our banksters for churning and creating more debt and to the government for spending more than we can afford, bankrolling East European immigrants to perform minimum wage jobs here and thereby increasing our deficit: every little helps.

      Don’t forget also that our having to pay more will be considered a good thing in many parts of the EU and no doubt a mild sensation of schadenfreude.

  7. peter davies
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    In the big picture I guess the figure is small but is on the same ball park as labor’s mansion tax.

    The EU seem to be at the worst when it comes to public relations – this type of thing is just the ammunition anti EU parties need. The French expect more from the EU in grants due to their economic performance – what they are saying is, they voted in an arch left socialist who raised taxes and red tape to such a degree that economic activity has paid a heavy price and now they want others to help bail them out.

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted October 24, 2014 at 8:09 am | Permalink

      It represents a 20% increase in the net UK contribution to the EU – I don’t call that small.

      • zorro
        Posted October 24, 2014 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

        All hands to the printing presses doubtless…?

        zorro

      • peter davies
        Posted October 25, 2014 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

        Your right – but whatever the figure the message the EU sends is quite clear.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 24, 2014 at 8:28 am | Permalink

      “The EU seems to be at the worst when it comes to public relations”.

      The EU spend a fortune (of our money) on public relation and telling us what & how to think. They are at their worse in the hugely damaging and often idiotic regulations they impose, their green energy agenda drivel and the open border and open benefits policy.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 24, 2014 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

        I just saw Cameron, he did the table thumping quite well. But then near the end he foolishly suggested he thought there were good reasons to be in the EU. Worse still he went on to give two examples:- the EU Ebola action and the EU action on Carbon emissions! What a completely deluded man he is. The former can be done by any country (or person) that wants to help and has money, the later is an entirely negative thing pushing up energy bills, destroying/exporting jobs and covering the country in duff & uneconomic technology. Are these really the best EU positives he can think of?

        He also said “I will not pay this on December 1st” but was careful not to say he would never pay it. I assume it will be paid on May 8th 2015. He is clearly still determined to throw the election with his duff compass.

      • peter davies
        Posted October 25, 2014 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

        Its time to pull away from this rotten corpse and time the cosy political class stopped following each other and looked and hard facts.

        Apart from the UK finance sector acting as a “bridge” between the USA and EU (and the risk of charges on financial transactions if we leave), I really struggle to see any benefit at all of belonging to this cesspit.

    • A different Simon
      Posted October 24, 2014 at 11:07 am | Permalink

      Peter Davies ,

      Yep , it says demonise success and penalise it in order to subsidise failure .

      It should be noted that a recently late , truly great Frenchman admitted to being very worried for his country and lacking confidence in his Government .

  8. Peter Richmond
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    I have just heard your thoughts about this on radio 4. Well said. It is time we were forceful in putting out our position. The EU is always saying Europe should take the lead in many issues. They tell all member states to reduce their deficits. Now it is time the EU also stopped spending other people’s money. We should just refuse to pay.

    • stred
      Posted October 24, 2014 at 9:20 am | Permalink

      Unfortunately the argument that the UK does not tax retrospectively can be refuted. They can point out that Mr Brown took away previous inflation allowances for CGT and then Mr Cameron kept the grab and put the rate up from 18 to 28%. Maybe they will just whip it out of the UK reserve account like the HMRC is now allowed to do.

      • bigneil
        Posted October 25, 2014 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

        I’m sure Cameron has given the EU the password to England’s bank account, so they can do online banking whenever they wish. . . this request is ridiculous – More money? from a country that the EU is shoving thousands of freeloaders to? . . while at the same time we are cutting police jobs, because we can’t afford it?. Blatantly clear that the EU wants to destroy us – and Cameron is wholly supportive of the aim.

    • peter davies
      Posted October 25, 2014 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

      the very people who told Iceland their economic solutions in 2008 were the wrong approach

      • Mark B
        Posted October 25, 2014 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

        Correct ! And one which we should have followed.

  9. Lifelogic
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    The answer Cameron gives will be “not until after the election” one assumes.

    You say “We do not impose extra tax on people for past years after the year is settled”.
    Well we certainly should not, but Tony Blair raised a huge windfall tax on BAA, British Energy, British Gas (now BG plc and Centrica), British Telecom, National Power, Northern Ireland Electricity, Powergen, Scottish Hydro, Scottish Power and Railtrack, the regional electricity companies and the privatized water and sewerage companies (including such companies now forming part of Hyder, United Utilities and Scottish Power).

    Then wasted it on counter productive wars and endless other government waste and green tosh. Browns pension fund mugging and Osborne’s reduction in the pension cap are also in effect a post event windfall tax. You invest in pensions on one basis then they move the goal posts. All are hugely damaging and totally immoral.

  10. Roy Grainger
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    “We do not impose extra tax on people for past years after the year is settled”.

    Uh ? Yes we do. Have you ever dealt with HMRC ? They have demanded extra payment from my mother for a past tax year that was already settled when they discovered a mistake they had made in the calculation (it was when they consolidated various databases and found they had inconsistent information in them). She could have just refused to pay ? I don’t think so.

    • Horatio McSherry
      Posted October 24, 2014 at 8:43 am | Permalink

      Absoltuely correct. This year I had something similar over a self-assessment in 2009. Luckily after what seemed like an eternity they realised they were, as per usual, being totally incompetent.

      In addition to backdating their incompetence, they also take income tax from people a year BEFORE you’ve earned it, via the absolutely scurrilous Payment on Account.

      • stred
        Posted October 24, 2014 at 9:26 am | Permalink

        Yes, this year they decided my pension earnings were incorrect, as added up from bank statements over the financial year dates. I should have had more, so they taxed me for it. For all I know, the pension department is wrong too. Needles to say, the numerous phone calls have not been successful in connecting me to anyone able to discuss the matter.

        • alan jutson
          Posted October 24, 2014 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

          Family member also had to put up with miscalculations, claw backs etc etc.

          Employed PAYE by NHS, seems DWP, HMRC, and NHS all screwed up, so Family member harassed for payment, then they asked for yet more when all was paid, as they said they had made a calculation error.

          How bloody complicated the system is when even PAYE people employed by a government organisation get all wrong.

          Absolutely laughable if it was not so serious.

          In private industry you would get compensation.

      • Mike Wilson
        Posted October 24, 2014 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

        ” …they also take income tax from people a year BEFORE you’ve earned it, via the absolutely scurrilous Payment on Account.”

        That is not the case. For example, I will make payments on account on 31st Jan 2015 and the 31st July 2015 in respect of my earnings between 6th April 2014 and 6th April 2015. By the time I make my first payment on account (on 31st July 2015) for half the estimated tax due for 2014/15 (based on actual earnings 2013/14) – we will be 10 months through the tax year. So, I am paying my tax in arrears.

        The self employed system used to mean you paid your tax over a year in arrears and it was easy to get in a position where you did not have enough set aside for tax – especially if you stopped being self employed. I much prefer the present system which, although still in arrears, means that by 31st July 2015 I will have paid most of the tax due for the year 2014/15.

        A surprising number of people have little understanding of how payment on account works.

      • Mike Wilson
        Posted October 24, 2014 at 11:30 pm | Permalink

        Annoyingly, I posted a detailed reply to this point earlier, but it has not appeared. You misunderstand Payment on Account. When you pay tax on, for example, the 31st January 2015 and 31st July 2015 you are paying tax, on account, for the tax year April 2014 to April 2015 based on your actual earnings in the tax year April 2013 to April 2014. So, you are, in fact, paying tax somewhat in arrears.

    • bigneil
      Posted October 25, 2014 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

      Me too – got a demand for underpayment – and I am not even getting anything FROM the DWP. 45 yr paying in – now get NOTHING back – -would be better off being a walk-in East European with a pile of kids, free house money and healthcare – all for NO contribution whatsoever. – -and Cameron STILL wants us to vote for him??? – –

  11. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    Interesting that neither the EU nor your government colleagues were available to comment on Today. Why should that be?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 24, 2014 at 8:31 am | Permalink

      Indeed hiding does not see a good approach with an election so close.

    • yulwaymartyn
      Posted October 24, 2014 at 10:23 am | Permalink

      Richard Corbett did comment. He said I think that the EU notified the Treasury about this last week. Either this is falsehood or it is true and therefore there is no surprise. I suspect the latter.

  12. Sam
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    It seems increasingly credible to me that the EU is attempting, by its hard ball approach, to strengthen UKIP at the expense of the Conservatives, knowing that this makes the return to power of a Europhile Labour party much more likely.

    This should be opposed in the Commons, by our elected representatives, so that the executive has no room to waiver.

    • Bill
      Posted October 24, 2014 at 10:56 am | Permalink

      That is a reading of the situation that makes sense to me.

  13. alan jutson
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    There are two very short words to use as an answer.

    I am sure they will need no translation.

    • alan jutson
      Posted October 24, 2014 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

      Oh Dear

      It would seem like we have already (in past times) voted for a new calculation formula for annual payments for all Nations depending upon their economic GDP and trading performance.

      So the better you do, the more you pay.

      The worse you do, the more rebate you get.

      Bit like our Benefit system really.

      What Plonkers !!!!

      The only real way is out, and out as fast as we can from this can of worms

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted October 24, 2014 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

      We want an extra £1,700,000000 from you!

      “No problem.”

      That will be the two words used.

      • alan jutson
        Posted October 24, 2014 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

        Mike

        I would have used a couple of words that were shorter, until I find out that we seem to have agreed with the new formula for calculations some time ago.

        Seems we cannot even negotiate simple things like new calculation formula, let alone a proposed complete new future agreement.

        Total and utter incompetence by our representatives, it makes you want to weep, it really does.

        How can our government be so absolutely bloody useless.

  14. Peter van Leeuwen
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    According to the Dutch prime-minister mentioned that this is a standard procedure every four years, but that the amount is much higher than anticipated (just like for the UK).
    Just saying “NO” sounds a bit like shooting from the hip. Any elections soon? 🙂
    Let’s just have a pleasant fight with “the tax collector”. I hear that Cameron, Rutte and a few others are joining in this effort.

    • Bob
      Posted October 25, 2014 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

      @Peter van Leeuwen

      “Just saying “NO” sounds a bit like shooting from the hip.”

      Cameron hasn’t said “no”. He just said that it won’t be paid by 1st Dec. Any payment will therefore be after that date. Didn’t you know that he has an important by-election in Rochester & Strood next month?

      It’s a tactic that is referred to as “kicking the can down the road”, which means that the matter will be put on hold until after the by-election. That’s why he did it in such a flamboyant manner to ensure that the voters of Rochester & Strood got the impression that he was a tough negotiator and protecting their interests, rather than a snake oil salesman pulling a fast one.

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted October 25, 2014 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

        @Bob: I doubt though that this is going to help Cameron, not with the electorate and not with potential continental allies. He’d probably do anything to survive politically (new Tory-led government), after all he’s human, but that doesn’t make him a reliable partner for any pro-Europeans left in Britain. I wonder who will fund the Tory campaign this time round.

  15. Ex-expat Colin
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    With current debt levels, are these EU people completely mad? Think the answer is …yes!

    • hORATIO
      Posted October 24, 2014 at 8:33 am | Permalink

      It’ll follow the usual pattern, we pretend to be upset, CMD says he will negotiate hard on our behalf, the amount paid is reduced by 50% (which is what the EU really wanted anyway) then CMD will appear in the press holding a piece of paper in a Chamberlainesque pose claiming victory while the British taxpayer gets screwed again.

  16. Dan
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    What will do you do when Cameron says Yes and pays up?

    I suggest the answer is, as always, that you’ll do nothing whatsoever except remain loyal to your leader and party.

    Carswell and Reckless had the courage of their convictions.

    • Javelin
      Posted October 24, 2014 at 10:52 am | Permalink

      I hope not. The Conservatives need to start becoming ultra-assertive for the British

    • DaveM
      Posted October 24, 2014 at 11:20 am | Permalink

      As it’s friday and this whole EU business is actually becoming laughable, I thought I’d pen a tenuous analogy and relay a converation I had yesterday:

      1. Analogy:

      If you had a school full of big, strong, sensible, generous, fair-minded kids who generally got on well together, and all of a sudden a very small group of little geeky wimps started extorting money from them and making them do things they didn’t want to do in order to appease the new kids that no-one liked very much and didn’t know very well, it would cause resentment, and end up with people arguing all the time, while the wimpy kids got richer and less popular. What would happen (bearing in mind kids tend to follow their human instincts) is that the good kids would tell the wimpy kids where to go and would gradually assimilate the new kids into their microcosm of society, ensuring they understood their rules and values.

      2. Conversation with German Naval officers:

      “We know that the UK doesn’t like the EU as it is now. Neither do we. Nor do the French and Dutch guys we spoke to last week, and neither do the Italians we came across in Djibouti. We should all get together and tell the Brussels bureaucrats where to get off before this all gets out of hand. Nice to meet you – you’re welcome as a visitor in Germany any time.” (Or words to that effect.)

      3. Conclusion :

      The European Commission is full of right-wing agitators posing as left-wing loons who are trying to ferment so much resentment and hatred that Europe unites all by itself against a common enemy – the EU!!!

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted October 24, 2014 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

      Dan–Be of good cheer–This latest piece of idiocy will mean that Reckless wins by an even huger margin, hopefully another bunch of Tories translate themselves, all will win their individual elections and we shall be that much closer, God willing, to getting out of this ghastly mess. Truly beyond belief to read that “it is within the Commission’s discretion” to charge us £1,700,000,000 just like that and at almost no notice. Apart from all else, our debt this year is bigger than last, so, in terms of what should matter most, this charge, which would of course add to our debt, is nothing short of demented. As ever, the GDP figures are not just meaningless but misleading given that people are poorer and the country’s debt is going up.

  17. Richard1
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    Another area where EU bureaucrats apparently have great power over us outside any democratic control is trade negotiations. It is reported that the new EU Commission will block the investor-state dispute resolution as demanded by leftists, but in contravention to the reasonable demand of the US and to all past practice in such agreements. This is in spite of the elected govts of the EU having expressly agreed to such a mechanism! It is clear the EU bureaucracy and courts have far too much discretionary power. Another thing for the renegotiation list.

    • A different Simon
      Posted October 24, 2014 at 11:14 am | Permalink

      I have suffered financially as a result of European Govt’s changing the rules as and when they feel like it , mostly for ideological and political reasons .

      People in the companies concerned lost their livelihoods .

      I’m not asking for their decisions to be overturned , just to be fairly compensated for my loss , opportunity cost and liquidated damages .

      The preferred destination for my investments is the U.S. .

      The EU don’t have a clue about attracting investment .

      • Richard1
        Posted October 25, 2014 at 7:34 am | Permalink

        Indeed the claims by leftists that arbitration enables companies to overturn democracy is nonsense. Governments can pass what laws they like. But if they expropriate property they must expect to compensate investors – or do without investment in the first place.

        • A different Simon
          Posted October 25, 2014 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

          One definition of crony capitalism is that success is dependent on proximity to Government .

          The ambulance chasers will make plenty of money out of arbitration but I can’t see real businesses starting a project for the express purpose of securing compensation .

          The outcome of an enterprise is increasingly decided by the whim of Govt policy . Makes it such a lottery .

          I’ve found French speakers particularly bad news when it comes to business and investment including the French speaking provinces of Canada .

  18. agricola
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    As ever you argue about the trees, wake up and walk out of the forest.

  19. oldtimer
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    It is reported that even Greece is being saddled with an extra demand to help out struggling Germany! Perhaps it should be taken from the foreign aid budget – this looks just like the contingency it was set up to deal with 😉

  20. English Pensioner
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    Clearly UKIP have managed to infiltrate some staff into EU’s budget department!
    This will get UKIP yet more votes once they have calculated how many more doctors and nurses it would pay for in the NHS.

  21. Mitchel
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    Very interesting timing.Winter is arriving….Ukraine needs to find several billion $ to pay off part of its gas arrears and pre-pay (as the Russians understandably insist) for a resumption of supply.Ukraine simply doesn’t have the money and doesn’t have sufficient reserves to see it through the winter so it will probably attempt to siphon from the transit pipeline at some stage.Russia has threatened to cut off -or at least reduce-supply if that happens.Ukraine is seeking funding from a cash-strapped EU (the USA seems not to want to help to any significant degree)to pay Russia.No doubt many in the EU hierachy would like to accede to that request and draw Ukraine deeper into the project(the fact that it is now effectively a failed state is apparently of no consequence)….so the UK suddenly finds itself with a large cash request.

    If those countries who rely on Russian gas wish to pay Ukraine’s gas bill to guarantee their own supply through winter let them do so,but there is no reason for those EUmember states who do not take significant supplies to contibute to this.

  22. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    If this really came as a complete surprise to UK ministers than one or more UK official(s) should be sacked. However it is beyond belief that officials at the Commission should have been working on these adjustments in complete secrecy without UK representatives at the EU having the slightest idea that it was even going on, so the question is why UK ministers have chosen not to publicise it as something coming along the pipeline.

    When I look at the published draft agenda for this meeting of the European Council, dated September 22nd:

    http://register.consilium.europa.eu/doc/srv?l=EN&f=ST%2012780%202014%20INIT

    I find there is a second item headed “Economic Issues”, but the first item is:

    “I. CLIMATE AND ENERGY

    In accordance with its conclusions of 20-21 March 2014 and 26-27 June 2014, the European Council will take a final decision on the new climate and energy policy framework, including on further measures aimed at enhancing Europe’s energy security and on specific 2030 interconnection objectives.”

    And that is what they have done:

    http://www.european-council.europa.eu/council-meetings?meeting=f02588fd-757c-4697-a2cc-8af00f65ff7c&lang=en&type=EuropeanCouncil

    “On 23 October, EU leaders agreed on the 2030 climate and energy policy framework for the EU.

    The European Council today endorsed 4 targets:

    • a binding EU target of at least 40% less greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, compared to 1990

    • a binding target of at least 27% of renewable energy used at EU level

    • an energy efficiency increase of at least 27%

    • the completion of the internal energy market by reaching an electricity interconnection target of 15% between members states and pushing forward important infrastructure projects

    On energy security, the European Council endorsed further actions to reduce the EU’s energy dependence and increase security of its electricity and gas supplies.”

    I expect that there will be something about the economic damage this will do to the UK, with the agreement of Cameron, somewhere on the websites of those newspapers which are fulminating about a relatively small £1.7 billion additional cost being imposed on the UK by the EU Commission, the consequence of certain arcane rules over the operation of which it’s pretty certain that the UK no longer has a veto even if the UK ever had a veto, it’s just that I haven’t yet found anything at all about it.

  23. Kenneth
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    This cheeky attempt to take our money may be a good opportunity to call out Labour and LibDems.

    The PM should make a statement calling for all parties in Parliament and the so called European parliament to say no.

    Will they?

    • turbo terrier
      Posted October 24, 2014 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

      In your dreams!!!

  24. Phil Cunnington
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    I’m glad to hear your sentiments, although how this plays out should be a critical moment for your position.

    This threatens the credibility of Mr Cameron’s ‘tough on EU funding’ stance.
    There really cannot be any clearer signal that the EU bureaucrats intend to take Cameron on toe to toe however it can.

  25. Bert Young
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    At breakfast this morning I was incensed to learn of the EU demand . Here we are on the brink of an election , at a time when the NHS are having to trim its sails , when the economy is showing signs of a slow down , when we witness the increase in immigration and when the country has already spoken of its distaste of EU interference ; I cannot think of anything more goading than this recent announcement . Of course we MUST refuse to pay . The demand for an early referendum should be firmly on the agenda .

  26. Tad Davison
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    This was taken directly from the Open Europe Website:

    ‘Britain has been told to pay an extra £1.7bn to the EU budget within weeks on account of its relative prosperity. To compensate for its economy performing better than other EU countries since 1995, the UK will have to make a top-up payment on December 1 representing almost a fifth of the country’s net contribution last year. France, meanwhile, will receive a €1bn rebate.’

    So the UK does it right, yet socialist France does everything wrong, wrecks their economy, drives their wealth-creators abroad, and the UK has to pay for their mismanagement.

    I say lets get to hell out of the EU and I’m sure the rest of the UK will agree once they get wise to the EU’s profligacy.

    Tad Davison

    Cambridge

    • JoeSoap
      Posted October 25, 2014 at 10:36 am | Permalink

      Tad
      Either vote UKIP to do that, or vote Miliband, become a basket case and get multiple rebates. Either way, the “vote Tory, get prosperous and stay in the EU” ticket doesn’t look a good one right now.

  27. Andrew Mays
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    Is it possible that it is just a ruse, ie the EU have no intention of clawing back the sum and instead offer the British Government the chance to stand up to Europe? Or am I giving them too much credit? I will be pretty suspicious if the Government achieve a hard fought victory against the EU before the election.

    The alternative is more worrying, ie that this is genuine, because it highlights just how unrelenting the EU is. Those Conservative MPs who still try to claim some sort of meaningful renegotiation will be achievable (including the Prime Minister of course) will be feeling pretty sheepish after this latest kick. I doubt we’ll hear anything different though, we’ll be told that all will be well after the so-called negotiations.

  28. Gordon Riby
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    Another reason to leave the EU?

  29. Cliff. Wokingham.
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    John,

    It seems to me that the EU are merely mirroring our own system, please let me explain….

    The EU are asking for this extra money because we have done well economically, the French and Germans however, have not done so well and will therefore be handed a refund.

    Consider this: When people or businesses in the UK do well they pay extra taxes either openly or by stealth. Higher forty percent rate tax for those earning more, the new mansion tax because people have done well for themselves and have got a nice home, businesses being given record fines, power companies being forced to give more of their profits to fund poorer people’s insulation and warm home discount etc.
    The people who have not done so well are given benefits, tax credits, free insulation, a discount of their fuel bills etc.

    I can see little real difference between our domestic way of working and the EU’s way of working; both the EU and UK, in effect, operate a wealth redistribution system and both systems, will in time, destroy us by killing off ambition and enterprise.

    I would put money on us paying this extra money, be it up front or by the backdoor.

    The sooner we free ourselves from the new USSR the better; if we don’t do it soon, it will be too late!

  30. RAY ADAMS
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    No amount of posturing on the matter will make you look Eurosceptic John . We have to pay this amount under agreements made by John Major ? Do a Carswell John and come out of the failing duplicitous Tory closet .

  31. yulwaymartyn
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    When did George Osborne and the Treasury know about this?

    According to the EU this was notified to the Treasury last week. If so why has this just been made public?

  32. Roy Grainger
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    Having read the background to this it is clear that this procedure for adjusting contributions happens periodically according to an agreed formula administered by a non-political body. For that reason we have to pay. If we stay in the EU (not my personal preference) then we should obey the rules. If we don’t like the rules and we can’t change them we should leave. “Refusing” to pay is a fudge, it attempts to reconcile the two clear positions of staying in and accepting the rules or leaving – staying in and arbitrarily deciding which rules we will and will not obey is an incoherent policy.

    I am interested to hear what Mr Miliband’s position on this is (if he has one and is prepared to tell us).

  33. Andrew Chantrill
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    What are the chances Dave put Barroso up to making the claim? Dave could then be seen to fight it and, just before the Rochester by election, claim a victory against the EU. Frankly, I wouldn’t put it past him.

  34. Robert Taggart
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    Stick to your guns Johnny – make sure Cameo does not shoot himself in the foot – and Blighty in the back !

    VETO, VETO, VETO – should ‘Europe’ insist upon payment – Blighty should be as obstructive as possible.

  35. Martin
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    “Decline to pay tax” – will you therefore support any of your constituents who “Decline to pay tax” such as the Council Tax?

    reply of course not if they are legal bills approved by parliament and council

  36. fedupsouthener
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    This just gives the British public more reason to get out of the EU. This is simply not acceptable. Not when we have such a deficit anyway and need this money for more important things like the NHS other than propping up greedy ministers in the EU parliament. We are inviting in so many poor countries now and we will end up paying more every year. Time to say no and mean no and vote to get out.

  37. Elliot Kane
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    Absolutely right, John!

    All morning I’ve been reading that David Cameron wants ’emergency meetings’ and is determined to ‘protest’, and it’s been puzzling the heck out of me.

    All I want from him as Britain’s leader is to say, “Britain will not pay this, now or ever.” I do not understand why he hasn’t said that and shows no sign of saying that.

    Surely this is a red line issue for any leader of a nation, isn’t it?

  38. A different Simon
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    I was disappointed to learn yesterday that the EU had agreed to a 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 .

    How is it that EU energy policy is set by Van Rompuy and Manuel Barosso , not Gunther Oettinger the supposed Commissioner for Energy ?

    Gunther Oettinger has warned that the EU will destroy it’s industry . I think this has finally dawned on Cameron too .

    There are no signs that they polit bureau have given up on their ideological dream .

    They can see that victory is in sight for them – which it is but at what cost to everyone else and personal freedom ?

    • Mark
      Posted October 24, 2014 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

      As I understand it, there isn’t a real commitment yet. It’s supposed to be contingent on the next climate treaty producing large reduction commitments from other countries. That is, of course, just a way of selling the agreement. The real issue will be when they gather round the table to agree on whether the next climate treaty is regarded as a success or not.

      Perhaps by then we will have started to see a few too many of the consequences of the EU’s disaster energy policies. It looks likely that they will face rotating blackouts in Belgium this winter, and if we lose any more power stations we too could be faced with shutting down industry to keep our telescreens pushing out the propaganda.

      • A different Simon
        Posted October 25, 2014 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

        Mark ,

        My worry is that Obama , being in his second and final term of office , will sign the U.S. up to this rubbish just to stick it to the Republicans .

    • stred
      Posted October 25, 2014 at 6:17 am | Permalink

      The presidents are about to retire and be paid huge pensions. M. Hollande is about to be kicked out and supports the measures because he as bright as Gordon Brown. They leave, collect their pensions, using our money and the new Commissioner for Energy will have to accept it.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 25, 2014 at 8:33 am | Permalink

      You will be one of the few people who realise that was decided on Thursday, as I mentioned in a comment still awaiting moderation, the rest having been blinded by the contrived row over the EU demand for more money.

  39. Mark
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    It seems we are in an abusive relationship. The normal advice to battered spouses is to leave the common home.

    • Alexis
      Posted October 25, 2014 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

      I think the parallel is alarmingly apt, on many levels.

  40. Mark B
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    What does the LAW say ? If the EU is within its right to TAX Member Countries, then why should it not do so ?

    Just because you happen not to like it, does not mean that you should not be compelled to honour your commitments. I am expected to honour my commitments to HMRC, why can’t you ?

    The State demands monies from me to pay for things that I do not want or need yet, you seem to deny the right of the Supranational State (EU) the same right. I guess you now know how those early colonizers in the America’s must have felt, when asked to pay for wars elsewhere, whilst denying them the right of any representation.

  41. Cheshire Girl
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    It does seem from the mid-day news that this may not have been totally unexpected, as some countries appear to have got some money back, and some had to pay a bit extra. It was said that this was one of the rules of being in the EU.

  42. AndyC
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    It’s a bit rich for the government to feign outrage over the logical consequences of their own policies. This isn’t some kind of illegal raid. It’s all perfectly legal and above board, according to rules agreed to by the British government. There’s no legal option but to pay up.

    Question is, were these rules voted on by the British parliament? if not, why not? and if they were, which MPs supported this, and which did not.

  43. Iain Moore
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    If Cameron had any substance about him, he would reopen the justification for giving up 20% of our rebate for CAP reform that never happened. As such he should make a counter proposal to restore our full rebate, and demand a £10billion refund for the rebate we gave up from 2007 to now that was never justified.

    • peter davies
      Posted October 25, 2014 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

      very good point – forgot about that one. So that means the EU owes us £8BN

  44. Mark B
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    We do not impose extra tax on people for past years after the year is settled.

    Oh yes you do. What about IHT ? You tax the wealth of dead people once they have already paid tax.

  45. Shieldsman
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    Yesterday you quoted the 4 freedoms, under which does Eu Club membership fees fall? Is it movement of capital?
    As George Osborne will be borrowing the £1.7billion now demanded, supposedly for our success in employing all those EU migrants, will he be able to claim back the interest.

    I am at a loss to understand whether Party leaders can actually read and understand EU membership rules. We have Miliband following Cameron saying today, come 2015 I will change the freedom of movement rules yet retain EU membership. What will they promise for their next trick?

    If they have reading problems, they must also be deaf – Merkel, Barrosa and Juncker have all spelt it out for them – freedom of movement is non-negotiable.

  46. Max Dunbar
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    There is no Statute of Limitations on Council Tax.
    A bill for Council Tax that can arrive out of the blue years later requires the alleged debtor to prove that he does not owe the tax, hence the importance of maintaining all records of payment and liability dating back to the introduction of this tax.

  47. Eddie Hill
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    It’s happened before and will happen again, and we will just pay up, as we always do.

    It’s worth mentioning that the EU has never had a clean audit report from Day 1, because it has absolutely no idea where most of the money goes, except we all know that a lot of it gets spent on very thinly-disguised fraud.

    Didn’t I read on 7th Oct that the EC is threatening to use new powers to reject France’s 2015 budget for missing deficit-reduction targets, but finance minister Michel Sapin said that the commission “cannot reject the French budget or any other budget. Thankfully, in our democracies, the only place where we adopt, we reject, we censure, are the parliaments of the countries concerned.,”

    Also, the EC is not expected to fine France €4billion for this, although it is theoretically within its power.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/france/11146201/France-heads-for-deficit-battle-with-EU.html

    So, France’s parliament has sovereignty over its money but Britain’s apparently does not, and we’re also expected to chip in to help the French, whereas they should have been fined €4billion for needing that help in the first place.

    Also, didn’t I read earlier in the week that our government borrowing and national debt are still galloping nicely away, yet we’re expected to borrow more to prop up the French economy?

    Just what the hell is going on here??? We are being taken for utter mugs!

  48. Richard
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    I thought that HMRC can go back 7 years for extra tax ?

    I agree with hORATIO above. It all could be an EU/Cameron ploy to make Cameron look good when the EU accepts half the amount just before the Rochester & Strood by-election. Or the EU agrees to payments made over a period of time.

    On the subject of EU finances, there is one EU news item which will not be mentioned by either our Parliament or the BBC. This is the EU’s press release of yesterday :

    “An estimated €177 billion in VAT revenues was lost due to non-compliance or non-collection in 2012, according to the latest VAT Gap study published by the Commission today. This equates to 16% of total expected VAT revenue of 26 Member States1”

    http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-14-1187_en.htm

  49. Peter Stroud
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    We will not pay: say no more, argue no more, we wii not pay.

  50. Mike Wilson
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    I imagine UKIP will have vans running around Rochester with billboards on the side saying:

    “You can buy a lot of hospitals for the £1,700,000,000 EXTRA the EU are DEMANDING from us. Or give every public sector employee a £350 pay rise.”

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 24, 2014 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

      The last thing we need is pay rises for public sector as with pensions included they are 50% overpaid already. About half do little of much use anyway, many cause nothing but inconvenience to the productive.

  51. ChrisS
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    I have a solution :

    David Cameron should insist that we will only discuss what, if anything extra we should pay and on what timescale when the EU can produce a set of accounts that have been signed of by their own Auditors as satisfactory.

    The 2013 accounts are the 19th in a row not to have been signed off !

  52. ted
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    We do not impose extra tax on people for past years after the year is settled

    As an MP it beggars belief that you’d be so ignorant about the workings of HMRC. Of course they (and “you”, as part and parcel of the government) do that. All the time!

    And doesn’t your party keep saying all that crap about those with the “broadest shoulders”, about “paying your fair share” (where by “fair” is meant – take whoever is making more money to the cleaners) etc? Pray that the EU never pushes for “progressive” contributions, the hypocritical whines of the Westminster establishment would be nauseating.

    Such a delightful irony.

    Cameron’s government should cough up (which is what they’ll eventually do anyway) and quit their whining. It’s after all in line with their own beliefs, they just don’t like it when it happens to them, and hurts their electoral prospects in favour of UKIP.

  53. Faustiesblog
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    Cameron said:

    “But it has never been the case that a €2billion bill is suddenly presented. I am not paying that bill on December 1. If people think I am, they have got another thing coming. It is not going to happen.

    We are not suddenly going to get out our chequebook and write a cheque for €2billion. We will challenge this in every way possible. There may indeed be legal action.”

    So Cameron’s gripe is that the enormous bill was presented “suddenly”. He says he is not paying that bill, but qualifies his statement with “on December 1″, which means he wants more time to pay.

    He has left himself an escape route which, if he is true to form, he will use.

    Don’t be gulled.

  54. Martyn G
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    I can vaguely conceive that France might need a rebate, but Germany too? Germany, the EU economic and industrial powerhouse also earns a rebate for which the the UK gets hammered to pay for at least part of that?
    The PM has just been on the radio news categorically stating that we will not, absolutely not, stump up the money demanded of us. Another solid, bankable promise to the taxpayer. I wonder if he will keep to it?
    Like many others, I suspect that he will pay up as usual, albeit a smaller amount – probably the very amount the EU actually had in mind when making the demand – and then claim it to be another victory for his negotiating powers within the EU.

  55. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    It wouldn’t surprise me if this were a back door method of reinstating the European budget that many Member States wanted, before it was cut. The UK (and Greece!!!!) would cough up, then Germany and France would ‘generously’ waive their rebates.

  56. Douglas Carter
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    All the same this is the perfect juncture for both Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg to openly demonstrate their principled pro-EU instincts and campaign loudly for the Treasury to pay the bill.

    The longer the bill remains unpaid, the louder and longer that the two should campaign. In fact, I have no objection if they make it their General Election pledge – to ensure that not only is it properly paid very promptly, but that any and all penalty payments associated with a delay should also be immediately paid.

    Doubtless the massive majority of the electorate who are pro-EU will flock to vote for them? Although I’d recommend the LibDems campaign with a parallel enthusiastic pledge to carry out Vince Cable’s principles with regard to immigration – that the UK should have the most liberal immigration policy possible?

    How could they possibly fail?

  57. a-tracy
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    What a sorry mess. I take it we’ll be paying half the day after the Rochester by-election but we’ll have a lot of political posturing and promises before only to be told we have no choice and didn’t we do well getting a reduction. The Europeans retire at an earlier age than us, they don’t have an £8bn per year shortfall we’ve been told we have in our health service. What is causing this imbalance in GDP? Is there something the Germans and French use to reduce their figure that we don’t?

    • stred
      Posted October 25, 2014 at 6:12 am | Permalink

      The French and Germans and Dutch have legalised prostitution and they are assumed to pay tax and add the figure to GDP. We do not, so the Commissioners have calculated the UK figure based on their own rate of prostitution. If they have included the GDP in recreational drugs, then countries such as Holland, with legalised drug use would be assumed to be the norm, so the UK would pay again. That Holland has been presented with a big bill too would suggest that they must have been doing something else on the quiet and on a large scale.

      • a-tracy
        Posted October 26, 2014 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

        goodness, I had no idea, how can taxpayers in the UK be responsible for the black market run by goodness knows who and probably even EU gangs, this is bizarre to me. How can you pay a tax on an income that we don’t know where the money goes? How do we know these prostitution rings aren’t run by German, French and Dutch gangs and the money goes back to their Countries?

        If a German company has a UK subsidiary is the income generated by the UK subsidiary considered UK GDP or German GDP if the profits to back to German, and where is the corporation tax paid. Sounds like we’re getting done up like a kipper.

  58. Tad Davison
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    Well John,

    Listening to what you said on the news today, and what David Cameron said in his statement this afternoon, I’d say there was a big disparity.

    You justifiably rule out paying, but caveat Cameron didn’t, despite his bluster and false anger that only seems to have fooled the BBC. I wonder if he’s going to pay, then try to spin his way out of it and make it sound like some fantastic success?

    Right now, one of our most treasured institutions – the NHS – is strapped for cash, but thanks to our involvement with the EU, instead of giving our health service priority, we are effectively being charged to prop up wasteful and profligate governments such as the socialists in France who have driven away their own wealth-creators, and crashed their economy.

    Last night, I watched a documentary on Spain’s housing boom that was built on sand and corruption, and then went bang. I expect our money will be used to prop them up too.

    We really are fed up with this! Cameron needs to go, and go now!

    Tad Davison

    Cambridge

    • turbo terrier
      Posted October 24, 2014 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

      There are not enough in the party with the bottle to start the process of appointing a new leader with hopefully some intelligence and experience of how the real world out here operates

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 25, 2014 at 8:30 am | Permalink

      “Caveat” could easily be an unusual middle name, David Caveat Cameron …

  59. Vanessa
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps it may help you all in government make up your minds as to the response. Watch this half hour video by Dr Richard North. He sets out very clearly how we should leave the EU and how we would flourish once we join the big world – a bit like being thrown out of the ERM !!!
    http://www.eureferendum.com/blogview.aspx?blogno=85267

  60. Kenneth R Moore
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    The ‘extra tax’ WILL be paid…but on a good day to bury bad news.

  61. JoeSoap
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    Gotta love it. Strengthen UKIP’s arm. Not that Cameron and Co worry because UKIP aren’t a threat, are they?

  62. Margaret Brandreth-J
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    Surely the answer is YES we should decline.

  63. zorro
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    Forgive me for being cynical, but this has got political ‘false flag’ written all over it…. The EU comes up with a ridiculous demand in the current political situation, giving the government some breathing room to fight against an unrealistic demand, allowing them to ‘negotiate’ some compromise, and then present it as a victory…. very Hegelian dialectic in the political sense.

    zorro

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 24, 2014 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

      If it is it is a daft plan it will not work it just reminds everyone of the huge cost of the EU.

  64. Kenneth R Moore
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    So the Uk has an accumulated debt of £1,335,954,911,800+

    http://www.debtbombshell.com/

    and is borrowing an extra £500,000 every day. The deficit has either been static or going up for sometime. The so called ‘recovery’ has created extra jobs but also a great deal of expensive tax credit payments as the bulk of these ‘new job’s are of such poor quality.

    The Eu has looked at our finances and decided we need to pay more …more than France and Germany who receive a cut. Now David Cameron, a man that said ‘we are paying down Britains debt’. ie economically illiterate has for now turned down this request.

    We have seen it all before. Talk tough then cave in is the way of the Conservatives on Europe. Four months ago Cameron staged a show of opposition to Juncker..now he has instructed his MEP’s to vote for him. Dr Redwood you are a good and wise man being led by an idiot.

  65. Pedro
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    Another example of why the EU needs Britain and would prefer a trading zone to no relationship and why renegotiation is possible. We are just too financially dynamic.

    Barroso, Juncker and all those unelected idiots will be bypassed by Merkel, the Dutch and the French.

    Time to grow some balls and start playing hardball. Powerful renegotiation is possible, EU leaders, the real ones, just need to understand that we are serious.

  66. Ted Mombiot
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

    Put it to a free vote in the House of Commons.
    Lets see who we voted for last time, are happy to accept this kind offer from the EU.

  67. Edward2
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    I would agrree to this provided its one pound/euro one vote.
    Every pound or euro you put into the EU you get one vote.
    Seems fair enough to me.

  68. NickW
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    This is the EU that those with foresight have been trying to warn this country about for years.

    The sneering dictator who gives orders and tells you that you have no choice but to obey.

    The Europe that the EU tried to tell us could only be avoided by setting up the EU.

    The EU has become a thug and a bully and it is time we stood up to it.

    • NickW
      Posted October 24, 2014 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

      The Government does not actually need a referendum to take us out of the EU, all it needs is the overwhelming support of the people; which it has.

      That is Cameron’s negotiating position, (or that of his successor if he caves in).

      The people of this country are beginning to get very angry; they will not accept continuing membership of the EU unless it changes drastically and immediately.

      • Chris S
        Posted October 24, 2014 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

        Recent polls have confirmed the exact opposite : they predict that there is a majority in favour of staying in.

        Not what we want to see but this is democracy. We need to see the renegotiation fail and hope we can convince enough citizens to vote to leave.

      • David Price
        Posted October 25, 2014 at 6:21 am | Permalink

        Where is your irrefutable proof of overwhelming support to leave the EU, in the absence of a referendum or clear majority for a eusceptic party?

        I don’t deny a number of us are angry and want to be out of the EU, but the democratic wish of the majority for that is yet to be established.

        And even if UKIP won a landslide GE tomorrow Farage would still have to “cave in” and pay the 1.7b.

      • A different Simon
        Posted October 25, 2014 at 9:11 am | Permalink

        True .

        They didn’t need a referendum to take us into a European Union , just a referendum on the common market .

        Even the name “European Union” is a dead giveaway .

        How could our forbears have been so easily duped by the promise of a few bottles of cheaper wine ?

      • sjb
        Posted October 25, 2014 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

        And yet curiously support for EU membership is at the highest level for 23 years: 56% want to stay in; 36% want out.[1]

        [1] https://www.ipsos-mori.com/researchpublications/researcharchive/3463/Support-for-EU-membership-highest-for-23-years-even-as-UKIP-rises-in-the-polls.aspx

        • Ken Adams
          Posted October 25, 2014 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

          Not the case, if you look at the answers 34% said they wanted a return to the economic community without political links. 17% said they wanted to leave in any case and 29% wanted to stay in with conditions broadly the same as now.

          Conditions won`t remain the same as now because the EU is moving towards ever closer political integration and economic integration and Cameron won`t negotiate any return of powers.

          The only way to achieve what the vast majority of people want is to leave the EU and negotiate a trade settlement, the only party offering that is the UKIP.

          Only 14% of people said they wanted what is actually on offer from the EU and that is closer political and economic integration.

          • sjb
            Posted October 26, 2014 at 11:14 am | Permalink

            Ken, 34% is indeed their preference but when asked: “If there were a referendum now on whether Britain should stay in or get out of the European Union, how would you vote?”
            56% stated they would vote to stay in the EU. If the don’t knows are excluded then this rises to 61%, which is curious when you consider the rise in UKIP’s support.

  69. john robertson
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    19 years is a very specific and odd time frame. Smacks of searching for the stats that suit a pre determined intention. So does the 1st December deadline, not enough time to scrutinise properly.

    If it turns out to be an engineered financial scam then heads must roll at the Commission.

    • A different Simon
      Posted October 25, 2014 at 9:12 am | Permalink

      It doesn’t work like that .

      Deputy Heads .

  70. matthu
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    This paragraph from The Telegraph explains all you need to know:

    “Moreover, and this is utterly bizarre, [Cameron] appeared to concede that while he only found out about the bill on Thursday night, the Treasury already knew of its existence for some time. Why was the PM not told – if he wasn’t told? Did the Treasury or other members of the Government perhaps hope that the press and public would not notice the budget increase? Is a fuss only now being made because the media has run with it as a front page story? Or was there some strange breakdown in communication within the Government that meant the Treasury was calmly running a bill for £1.7 billion through its computers while a blissfully unaware PM was chatting about Ebola with his European partners? “

    This has been anticipated for weeks if not months – and the government has tried to conceal it from the voter.

    • john robertson
      Posted October 24, 2014 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

      The Commission announced it a week ago. last Thursday I believe.

      • matthu
        Posted October 25, 2014 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

        But don’t pretend it could not have been anticipated before that.

    • Chris
      Posted October 25, 2014 at 9:31 am | Permalink

      Richard North on his eureferendum blog 24 Oct. spelt out exactly who knew what and when and who signed the relevant agreements to allow this to happen. The facts do not put Hague and Cameron in a good light.

    • sm
      Posted October 25, 2014 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

      Note some recent elections have been recently decided by less than 500 votes and with our first past the post system , the tilting point may well have been decisively breached.

  71. CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

    The more bits added as time progresses to the media presentation of rt hon Cameron’s press conference. the more one feels he will go for easy weekly payments Wonga-style

  72. matthu
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

    This snippet is from a comment by jreddy67 on ConservativeHome:

    “Here is the EU regulation that led to the revised accounting standards and method of calculating National Income – http://register.consilium.europa.eu/doc/srv?l=EN&…

    Date of vote on said EU regulation – 13th March 2013.

    UK’s vote – Yes

    Syed Kamall’s vote – Yes [Conservative party MEP]

    Nigel Farage’s vote – No ”

    Embarrassing.

    • JoeSoap
      Posted October 24, 2014 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

      Not for Nigel. Just common sense.

      • matthu
        Posted October 25, 2014 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

        No, embarrassing for the Conservatives who are claiming to have been ambushed over this.

  73. waramess
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    It’s called redistribution of income and it’s great fun if it is the government that is redistributing my income. Not such fun if it is the EU redistributing their own income.

    Motor-mouth Cameron will pay, no question, and will undoubtedly be along shortly with his cosh to steal a bit more of UK taxpayers money to make up the shortfall rather than cut government spending.

    Without question the fat lady has finally sung.

  74. They Work for Us?
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

    A German MEP with financial connections explained to Eddie Mayer? That the rules were the rules and that we had to pay up. He also said that Baronness Ashton as Vice President of the Commission could have made representation some time ago when this issue arose. In his opinion she had not been doing the Vice President’ job because she had spent all her time on EU Foreign Affairs. Any suggestion that we have influence in Brussels is a joke. Without our total contribution ride to spend, Brussels would be a sea of long faces as they they tried to persuade the German electorate to fund the slack!
    We should refuse to pay and start the procedure to leave the EU.

  75. Colin Hart
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

    This will leave many people no alternative but to vote UKIP at the next election. We are clearly locked into a system over which we as a people and as a country have no control. No amount of ‘renegotiation’ will change it.

    • JoeSoap
      Posted October 24, 2014 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

      It’s good that this sticking plaster of re-negotiation is coming unstuck at this stage. There is still time for Tory supporters to realise that this is just spin and hype to maintain the status quo. There is no way forward for Cameron with this approach Your party has to move to all-in or all-out as things stand, not on some supposed future stance.

    • sjb
      Posted October 25, 2014 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

      The ‘surcharge’ has come about because of the Office for National Statistics (“ONS”) upward revision in our national income back in May. Perhaps I should point out that the ONS is a British organisation.

  76. fedupsouthener
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

    Even if Cameron gets what he wants now and we vote to stay in are we all stupid enough not to realise just how bad it will get after the vote? If the EU don’t get what they want now they will certainly make sure they get everything after and if we vote to stay in. Why do we think things will continue the way they are? The EU will get ultimate power in the long run. We must leave.

  77. turbo terrier
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

    This could all well end up as a bigger scam than Renewable Subsidies. Our PM has already done a deal not to pay and when he doesn’t it will be” look at me fighting for the UK” Trust me with your future. The SS UK is not in the position to take anymore financial damage. We need some real change and very quickly. The part is fighting on too many fronts.

  78. pauline Jorgensen
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    In my view we should not pay, if more money is needed maybe the EU could cut some of its expenditure, not that spent on roads or research but that spent on an over padded bureaucracy. This demand seems rather like someone who has cut his expenditure to meet his budget being presented with his profligate neighbours bar tab – enough is enough.

    • David Price
      Posted October 26, 2014 at 4:41 am | Permalink

      No choice. Richard North provides a summary of how this has arisen through changes in accounting procedures starting with the UN and a principle of relative GDP based contribution established by Mrs Thatcher.

      The issue here is lack of communication, foresight and planning by politicians of all stripes and civil servants who should be looking out for our interests.

      Cameron’s reaction was immature even if he was surprised. Our country needs a leader who takes a calm and rational approach when confronted with unexpected events, not throws a tantrum.

      My recommendation is to see what mitigation can be found but pay up and take the lumps, then get rid of the climate change act and associated costs and regulations. This should more than mitigate any excess EU charges.

      At the same time get rid of Cameron with his metro clique and apply attitude adjustment to the CP.

      • APL
        Posted October 26, 2014 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

        David Price: “Cameron’s reaction was immature even if he was surprised.”

        How could he be surprised? William Hague the member of the government and HRH’s own foreign secretary agreed the changes.

      • Alexis
        Posted October 26, 2014 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

        I read the piece.

        When an organisation – however august – starts to use guesswork, crime, or black box accounting to produce its figures, there is serious trouble ahead.

  79. Chris S
    Posted October 24, 2014 at 11:31 pm | Permalink

    You can see how individual MEPs voted on the measure that caused this €2Bn bill here :

    http://term7.votewatch.eu/en/system-of-national-and-regional-accounts-draft-legislative-resolution-vote-legislative-resolution-or.html#/##vote-tabs-list-1

    It’s interesting to see that only 26 MEPs voted against.
    Nigel Farage and the Earl of Dartmouth of UKIP were amongst them.

    As a Conservative, it’s extremely disappointing to see that the Conservative Leader Sayed Kamall, voted in favour, along with his colleagues. Even arch-Eurosceptic Daniel Hannan voted in favour !

    It is going to be seriously difficult for our party ( and Labour ) to explain why their MEPs supported the measure but UKIP did not.

    Probably the second most expensive own goal in UK political history !!!!

    ( After Gordon Brown’s gold sale where the loss is currently standing at $11.7Bn ).

  80. Ken Adams
    Posted October 25, 2014 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    Mr Cameron said “If people think I am paying that bill on 1 December, they have another thing coming”

    That December 1st is the get out clause, now you say we wont pay it, later after you have paid it, you will point to December the first and say look it was all very clear.

  81. Glenn Vaughan
    Posted October 25, 2014 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    Can’t pay? Then take it away!

  82. Vanessa
    Posted October 25, 2014 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    We will have to pay there is no choice – unless we leave ! Also let’s remember that these are the people who have NOT had their accounts signed off by their accountants for the last 18 years or so.

    Nobody knows what they do with our money or where it is spent or for what. etc ed

  83. Michael Skiffington
    Posted October 25, 2014 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    Any payment should be suspended until after the promised referendum.This should provide some incentive for our European partners to agree the change that Cameronis seeking on behalf of the UK.

  84. Richard
    Posted October 26, 2014 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    We have seen Mr. Cameron thump the lectern.

    But will we be told how the extra £1.7 billion is calculated and what arguments the UK will be putting forward to have this additional charge cancelled ?

    Perhaps using the fact that our balance of payments is continually negative whilst Germany’s is positive ?

    Or pointing out that our national debt either as a percentage of GDP or per capita is higher than Germany’s ?

  85. APL
    Posted October 26, 2014 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    JR: “The UK should decline to pay the extra EU tax”

    This is all a bit odd, and thanks to Richard North, we now know that the agreement to make the administrative changes originates firstly with the United Nations, then the European Union that is implementing the changes.

    Quote from Richard North’s blog: “The proposed regulation took over two years going through the process, but was agreed by William Hague at the Council of Ministers in Luxembourg on 22 April 2013,”

    One wonders why the Tories are manufacturing this faux outrage?

  86. Hefner
    Posted October 27, 2014 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    Yes, why do the Tories, and why does JR in particular play this game? What a joke!
    As if the Treasury and the FCO did not know. Really, it becomes more and more difficult to take the politicians seriously.

  87. David Edwards
    Posted October 27, 2014 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

    Is this £1.7 billion correction due to an Article 10(6) or 10(7) issue of EC 1150/2000, as amended? I haven’t been able to find the relevant information from Eurostat. The Commission are suggesting that it is solely an Article 10(7) issue. Article 10(7) refers to a four year cut-off without a notification, but I can’t find if any such notification was legally made. The UK could not possibly accumulate £1.7 billion worth of correction in four years. I also can’t imagine that the UK got its previous year GNI so wrong under Article 10(6) to require this vast correction.

    The first sentence of the first preamble of Council Decision 2007/436/EC Euratom specifies that equity is to apply (nb there is a big difference between the words “equity” and “equality” in legal documents). Bearing in mind that historic corrections under Articles 10(6) and 10(7) have been modest it would certainly not be equitable to apply interest charges or penalties for any late payments on such a large correction, in my view for a significant time.

  88. Sid
    Posted November 1, 2014 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

    Surely the symbolism here is intentional in the timing?
    This is supposed to look like a fine for subversive anti EU rhetoric from Cameron and a recent defection to UKIP?

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    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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