No to £1.7 billion must mean No

 

The Prime Minister and Chancellor were right to say the UK will not pay the £1.7 bn the EU demands. The UK does not accept retrospective taxation. We are already paying too much for our membership of the EU, and support for the EU is not strong. The UK and the US that sprung from the UK have long traditions of imposing democratic control over taxation and expecting remedy of grievances before approving more money for the government.

Ministers will now be under enormous pressure to give in, to reach an accommodation. They will be told they have to give in for the sake of UK relations with the EU. They will be told they must not operate illegally. They will be told the UK has to pay the money as it is the inevitable result of our signature on the treaties.

Ministers have more cards than the officials and the EU tell them they have. It does need the UK’s signature on the cheque, which only Ministers backed by Parliament can give. All the time  Ministers refuse to sign the EU has a problem.

Conservative Ministers all voted against the last 3 treaties for good reasons. We all thought they went too far and endangered the UK’s relationship with the EU. The UK is not part of the Euro by common consent. We should not  be expected to pay ever rising bills for the political structure needed to keep the Euro going. At some point the UK’s unsatisfactory relationship has to be sorted out.

To make sure Ministers do operate legally they should ask Parliament to approve a simple amendment to the 1972 European Communities Act, which would confirm that they are acting legally in not paying retrospective levies. The large majority of the British people have no wish to have to pay a tax rise to send more money to Brussels. Their Parliament should speak for them and back Ministers in saying No.

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207 Comments

  1. Brian Taylor
    Posted November 7, 2014 at 6:06 am | Permalink

    In 1975 I voted for a Common Market, after a few years we started to get the truth about the terms we had signed upto, loss of sovereignty,fishing quotors ,the CAP, and the cost of membership.
    Why pay Billions for a Free Trade. area, the EU has turned into a Monster!
    I hope I live long enough to get a vote to leave, as I have little faith in the Civil Servants or MPs to negotiate something that I would vote To stay In
    We now live with the curse of Fixed Term Parliaments, although with very little work at Westminster this would be an ideal time to start these negotiations then we would have a clear idea of how to vote in May next year

    • Robert Taggart
      Posted November 7, 2014 at 11:14 am | Permalink

      Glad to say this then nine year old (EEC Referendum – 05/06/’75) has a clear conscience – and one hopes an even clearer one come 2017 !

      • Hope
        Posted November 7, 2014 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

        So Cameron/Osborne paid up. Two installments and trying to claim the bill was halved when in fact the rebate was applied.

        JR, you are correct the UK taxpayer should not be forced to pay a penny to the racketeering club called the EU. Cameron and Osborne need to resign for trying to con the public of their failure.

        The amount paid to the EU, as Hananan points out, could pay for 60,000 nurses and their pensions. Cameron and Osborne should hang their heads in shame as the NHS queues get longer from EU mass immigration.

        • Richard1
          Posted November 7, 2014 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

          If it was always clear the rebate would apply and the amount demanded was in fact 1/2 the headline total why has our very well informed host referred to £1.7bn above? Let’s give credit where its due: someone has screwed up and agreed a formula which has now been applied to the UK’s disadvantage. The stable door has now been slammed shut and Osborne has scrambled a reasonable deal in halving the cost. Isn’t that a success of some sort?

          Lets also remember where the real blame lies – it was the Blair-Brown govt which gave up the rebate leading to a 4x rise in the UK contribution.

          • Hope
            Posted November 9, 2014 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

            Not exactly. The liblab con has taken the UK taxpayer for a ride when it comes to the EU. No credit for Osborne. He should have said no to a single penny more. My taxes should not be used to shore up the Eurozone or used for Eurozone projects full stop. I pay taxes for services in this country. This appears to be a total sham to boost votes for the coming by election.

        • Atlas
          Posted November 8, 2014 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

          Hope – Agreed.

          Osborne’s hopes for the Leadership deal a blow? – “Discuss” as exams used to say.

  2. Lifelogic
    Posted November 7, 2014 at 6:06 am | Permalink

    Cameron has not even said he will not pay. He has merely said he will not pay on December 1st. He will cave in as usual just after the election or far more likely just leave it all to Miliband (unless he has been replaced before the election which looks rather unlikely).

    He will even vote to join the dreadful European Arrest Warrant on Monday. We will see once again how few sound Tories MPs there are – perhaps 100 at best.

    Why on earth should anyone trust Cameron on anything at all? Why, with only at best 100 sound Tory MPs, should anyone trust the Tories ever again? Being not quite as dreadful as Labour is just not good enough.

    • Vanessa
      Posted November 7, 2014 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

      The Arrest Warrant is a travesty of “innocent until proven guilty”. You can be in jail for up to about 2 years while they search/fabricate evidence against you.

      A friend of mine did not pay a parking fine in Spain; he was stopped at Calais and is now in a Spanish jail awaiting trial – it is unbelievable what this evil law is used for. It was never meant to be used for such trivial misdemeanours even though it was written by the LibDems.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted November 7, 2014 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

        I wonder if the UK intends to use it to catch up with all the foreign motorists who break UK speed limits and generally disregard the fines they get for speeding other motoring offences?

        Presently, they are written off as unrecoverable, but I doubt if the mugs in the UK will do anything just in case they are thought of as not good, compliant Europeans.

        Tad

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted November 7, 2014 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

        I certainly hope that when he moderated your comment JR made a note of the important general point it raises. You say that your friend was stopped at Calais, and carted off to languish in a Spanish jail, on the basis of an EU Arrest Warrant that a UK court would probably now refuse to implement under one of those much-vaunted “reforms” that Mrs May has introduced into our domestic law, that the EU Arrest Warrant should not be used for minor offences. But of course a refusal by a UK court to implement an EU Arrest Warrant does not invalidate it, and so will do nothing to prevent it being implemented in other countries if the opportunity arises; and the converse effect of what she has done is to implicitly acknowledge that the UK recognises the continuing validity of any such warrant outside the UK elsewhere in the EU, indeed in theory anywhere else in the world, and so presumably in a case such as you mention the UK government will not attempt to provide any assistance to a UK citizen whose imprisonment would now be unlawful if it was in the UK. I wonder which way he was travelling at the time of his arrest at Calais, and whether he had been given any official warning that he was the subject of an EU Arrest Warrant and so he should not risk travelling anywhere else within the EU, not even in transit, or he could find himself being banged up in a Spanish jail. I suppose this also means that the Polish citizens resident in this country who have been made the subject of EU Arrest Warrants by over-zealous Polish magistrates for minor alleged offences will only be safe provided they remain in this country at all times, if they decide to pay a visit back home they could be arrested at any point once they had left the jurisdiction of the UK courts.

        • Vanessa
          Posted November 8, 2014 at 10:31 am | Permalink

          No warning, it was a complete surprise. I don’t think any of us realised it could be used so quickly, he did not get back to England and have the English police knocking on his door. Such a shock.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted November 7, 2014 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

        Indeed it is a total outrage that will be abused endlessly.

        I once had my rented car towed away in Granada Spain once for parking somewhere that seemed to have nothing whatsoever to indicate that I could not legally do so. I checked again after the event and could still see nothing.

        So it is not just the UK state sector that funds itself with these motorist mugging activities. Imprisoning seems a bit too far but Cameron seem want it.

        • Richard1
          Posted November 7, 2014 at 11:24 pm | Permalink

          I have just paid a CHF 40 speeding fine in Switzerland without the need by the Swiss police for the threat of arrest under the EAW. If the EAW is to be used for such offences within the EU, and also for arrests such as that of the couple attempting to provide life saving medical care for their child (is there an IQ test for senior police posts?) Then perhaps there is no good case for it.

          • Vanessa
            Posted November 8, 2014 at 10:32 am | Permalink

            Switzerland is not in the European Union so don’t think it is signed up to the European Arrest Warrant ?

          • Lifelogic
            Posted November 10, 2014 at 7:01 am | Permalink

            Would people with a high IQ actually want a job in the current absurdly PC, social worker, thought & equality crime, police force?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 7, 2014 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

      Osborne and Cameron it seems have caved in already according to radio 4 just now. Accepting a few months delay no interest then on offset they would have had anyway.

      These two are just pathetic so they just saved a trivial amount of interest for a few months.

      No means “Yes Sir” to these two but can we have a trivial delay for political reasons for these two lying clowns.

      Osborne is saying it is now £850 million which appears to be a direct lie. It is, as Dan Hannan, says an insult to our intelligence by IHT ratter Osborne. The only change is the few months of deferral interest.

      “The Bill has been halved” lies Cameron just now. Yeah sure Dave and “a treaty is not a treaty once ratified” and you are repaying the debt too, blatant lies, blatant lies and more blatant lies.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted November 7, 2014 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

        Please get rid of this lying pro EU, green crap, tax, borrow and waste, IHT/EU ratting fraudster. Anything is better than to have to watch him kicking his supporters in the teeth again for a second term. Why on earth were you taken in by him JR?

        • APL
          Posted November 8, 2014 at 8:35 am | Permalink

          lifelogic: “Please get rid of this lying pro EU, green crap, tax, borrow and waste, IHT/EU ratting fraudster. ”

          John Redwood, of course, voted in support of David Cameron’s ‘leaderhsip’ bid.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted November 10, 2014 at 7:02 am | Permalink

            I know, and what a disaster Cameron has proved since he threw that last sitting duck election with his Cast Iron EU ratting and equal TV billing for Clegg.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 7, 2014 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

      Cameron and Osborne’s totally dishonest & rapid EU cave is just pathetic. At least now no one can be in any doubt about how his “renegotiation” long grass strategy will end. It is clearly a fraud and he will come back with a few similarly dishonest, cons, tit bits and fig leaves and try to trick the public with them in a similar way. In the higher unlikely even he wins an overall majority and keeps his promise this time.

      I rarely agree with Ed Balls on anything but he is quite right on this, Cameron is taking the public for complete and utter fools.

      Will the Tories even keep their deposit in Rochester?

      • JoeSoap
        Posted November 8, 2014 at 9:32 am | Permalink

        Yes, the mist is beginning to clear on his renegotiation strategy. It will be along the lines of reducing the right to benefits for migrants which also pertains in other EU countries already, along with some other minor changes which could be made to align us with other states, and calling this a victory worth voting Yes for. Of course the question will also be loaded to a Yes unlike the Scottish referendum.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted November 10, 2014 at 7:04 am | Permalink

          Indeed that is clearly his plan.

  3. Phil
    Posted November 7, 2014 at 6:22 am | Permalink

    We should just simply tell them we will gladly pay once the last 19 years accounts have been signed off…..

    • Iain Moore
      Posted November 7, 2014 at 10:19 am | Permalink

      I think there is a better approach

      Our rebate was negotiated on the amount of our EU contribution , if we had known of this additional EU liability it would have been included in the calculation of the rebate, as a result we would not owe it. The EU in attempting to revisit past years contributions, and increasing our contribution as a result , is attempting to circumvent a treaty agreement that gave us a rebate. If there is any illegality it would seem that is with the EU.

      Secondly, if we want to play hard ball then there is no better cause than the 20% rebate Blair gave away for CAP reform. This CAP was never delivered, so having in bad faith reneged on their side of the bargain, we should take a leaf out of the EU’s book and also revisit past years contributions to reinstate the full rebate, and demand a £10 billion refund for the money they took from us under false pretences.

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted November 7, 2014 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

        Seconded.

        CAP reform is our blade in this fight.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted November 7, 2014 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

        Another good point, but do we really expect the EU to play by their own rules? They have form when it comes to altering the rules to suit their particular agenda. Take Greece and the Euro for instance.

        Tad

      • Lifelogic
        Posted November 7, 2014 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

        Indeed but first you need to ensure that a UK court is supreme in judging these matters otherwise we know what the legal outcome is likely to be.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted November 7, 2014 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

      Interesting point Phil. Open Europe this morning wrote this:

      ‘Meanwhile, writing in the Guardian, Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls Osborne and Shadow Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander argue, “This week a Treasury minister admitted that the European Court of Auditors has already questioned whether the [EU budget] figures were properly examined by the commission… If there is a legal case, there is no reason why Britain shouldn’t consider this.”

      Tad

  4. Mark B
    Posted November 7, 2014 at 6:42 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    We will pay, and we will pay it all !

    Why ?

    Because the EU has come to these figures by way of the UK itself. This is due to the new accountancy rules introduced by the UN. Yes, the UN ! A good explanation is to be at over at Dr. North’s, EUReferendum.

    We have until 1st January, then we will be charged %2.5 interest.

    Slightly off topic.

    I currently have a despite with my Local Council. They have sent me a small bill for services that I have not received or are contractually obliged to pay ie No contract.

    Did I throw a ‘hissy-fit’ ? No ! I wrote back to them telling them that I both can and would pay, but only id they can prove that I have signed a contract with them. This was sometime ago. And I am still waiting.

    If it is in the Treaties, or, if we have given a written undertaking to pay such monies, then we should.

    As for amending the ECA 1972 – Good luck with that, but I do not think it will ever happen. To do so, you need to grow a set of Political Testicles.

    • Mondeo Man
      Posted November 7, 2014 at 11:06 am | Permalink

      “To do so, you need to grow a set of Political Testicles.”

      Labour to the left – Tories to the right… and Nick Clegg straight down the middle.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted November 7, 2014 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

        Mondeo–Whatever that blithering idiot Clegg is it is not straight down the middle–Will he get as much as 1% in Rochester?–Would it make any difference to him if he didn’t?

        • Mondeo Man
          Posted November 7, 2014 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

          Leslie – You’re too innocent !

          My comment about Clegg was not in support.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted November 7, 2014 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

        Instead of all three being pro EU, green crap, bloated state, say one thing do the opposite, ever higher taxes, ever more regulation, open borders, endless payments to augment the feckless, tax borrow and piss down the drain merchants.

        I missed out counterproductive warmongering.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted November 7, 2014 at 11:12 am | Permalink

      Well, Cameron himself once gave official Tory party support to an amendment which would have allowed ministers to disapply EU laws by order, see my fuller comment below. I’ve no idea what has happened to his testicles since then.

    • Timaction
      Posted November 7, 2014 at 11:27 am | Permalink

      As was predicted, the Newspapers today report that £1.7 billion surcharge money will be paid AFTER the next general election. The exact amount will be disclosed later. The fact is that successive legacy party Governments and their Sir Humphries have negotiated a ” pig in a poke” by the Treaties they have signed us up for. This is to the detriment of the British people who have been repeatedly lied to.
      They are the problem and not the solution. We do not have to be in the EU to trade with it or the markets as Mr Cameron keeps talking about.
      Mr Junker reminded us all again yesterday that the EU is a political Institution. We all know it wants to create a United States of Europe at our expense. It’s just the LibLabCons who won’t come clean

  5. Peter van Leeuwen
    Posted November 7, 2014 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    A UK opposition is not its government

    • Mondeo Man
      Posted November 7, 2014 at 11:16 am | Permalink

      No, Peter – the UK opposition is not its government. The EU Commission is.

      I don’t see any way out of the EU for us. I’m just sick of the sight of Westminster and the waste of time and money it is. It’s work has been outsourced and it is too costly.

      Time for it to go the same way as the mines and the miners. Let’s drop the whole pretence that we are not ruled from Brussels.

      • Mondeo Man
        Posted November 7, 2014 at 11:27 am | Permalink

        Our domestic policy is ruled by the EU and much of our foreign policy is clearly dictated by Washington.

        • Peter van Leeuwen
          Posted November 7, 2014 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

          What I meant is that the UK government signed (and its parliament ratified) all these EU treaties, and that is what counts in international law, not if some opposition members may have voted against.

        • Tad Davison
          Posted November 7, 2014 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

          Amen to that! And the people of the United Kingdom are slowly waking up to that fact, for which I am eternally grateful.

          Tad

    • yulwaymartyn
      Posted November 7, 2014 at 11:40 am | Permalink

      Peter – from the Guardian today:

      “To put the £1.7bn figure in perspective, it is a one-off payment which accounts for less than 0.1% of UK gross national income. Since it is a top-up to UK contributions covering 11 years, Britain is being asked to pay an extra £150m a year over the period. A sum like this would barely deserve a footnote in the UK’s annual accounts, as noted by the Financial Times. However, the row over the surcharge has eclipsed the fact that the UK’s net payments to Brussels have risen from £2.7bn in 2008 to £11.3bn in 2013. This was due to the economy doing better than other EU member states and because Britain’s rebate was lower than it had been under the last government.”

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted November 7, 2014 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

        That net contribution then works out as ₤182 per citizen, compared with annual net benefit per citizen ₤1225. (according to CBI in ‘Our global future’)

        • zorro
          Posted November 7, 2014 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

          There you are John time to pack up and go home – proof positive of EU benevolence – according to Peter, we get a net benefit ratio of 6:1 from our contributions…..

          By the way, Peter, I’ll have a pint of whatever you are drinking!!

          zorro

          • Peter van Leeuwen
            Posted November 7, 2014 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

            @Zorro: You’re not getting any of my whisky, let alone the quantities you’re demanding 🙂

          • zorro
            Posted November 9, 2014 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

            Are you sure it’s not Theakstons Old Peculier? We’ll make an Englishman of you yet 😉

            zorro

        • Lifelogic
          Posted November 8, 2014 at 7:53 am | Permalink

          What complete and utter drivel.

          We all know where the CBI and big business stand they want to kill, disadvantage or exclude through daft regulation or legislative advantage other competitors.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted November 7, 2014 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

        Good old Guardian. What’s £1.7 billion here or there or whatever the revised figure is likely to be.

        Except the money isn’t the government’s, it belongs to the tax-payer. And at a time when our NHS is in crisis, some of our pensioners are in fuel poverty, our national debt is massive, and the EU is mismanaged and wasteful. Personally, I know where I’d prefer the money to go.

        Tad

        • yulwaymartyn
          Posted November 7, 2014 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

          1.7 billion is 0.1% of the UK gross national income apparently. To ask your question in a different way but using the same pejorative overtone “what’s 0.1% of the UK gross national income here or there”?

          I don’t see how this money possibly belongs to the tax payer. You pay the tax and its gone.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted November 8, 2014 at 7:54 am | Permalink

            The government will borrow it on the back of future tax payers. Tax borrow and piss down the EU drain.

          • Tad Davison
            Posted November 8, 2014 at 10:21 am | Permalink

            What was it Mrs. T. used to say?

            Ah yes, Socialists always end up running out of other people’s money. Now it seems, they will try to get it from anywhere they possibly can, and by whatever means, to prop up their ailing and unworkable project.

          • bluedog
            Posted November 8, 2014 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

            ‘1.7 billion is 0.1% of the UK gross national income apparently.’

            You miss the point, which is not related to statistical comparisons. There are two principles at stake. In the first instance the UK is now being penalised for its success, and secondly the EU still hasn’t found an accountant prepared to sign its accounts, after nineteen years!

            If you want statistics, the unaccounted expenditure is now equivalent to 100m euros, more than just a rounding error.

            If the EU was a public company offering a prospectus for its IPO the directors would be pre-emptively jailed for fraud.

  6. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted November 7, 2014 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    From my perspective we could not be any more isolated within the EU than we have become. This is an improvement to Labour’s acquiescence to every dictat but ultimately not hugely productive.

    Mr Cameron should disolve the coalition now and go to the country with whatever manifesto pladges he thinks are productive which in itself could be a taster referendum to guage the mood of the nation on Europe. The anti EU vote may split. Who do the Conservatives have to blame for not making noises sooner. A thirsty man in the desert will try to drink the sand.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted November 7, 2014 at 6:57 am | Permalink

      The £1.7 billion, just another example of poor UK negotiation. This comes from the rules, rules to which we signed up when consenting to streamlining GDP.

      As with much else, we only have ourselves to blame.

      Out is best.

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted November 7, 2014 at 10:34 am | Permalink

        Yet, the annual net fiscal contribution by EU migrants would easily pay this extra money, which by the way is less than one thousand (0.1%) of your annual GDP while almost half your market is with the rest of the EU.
        Judging the hypes, the anger, the tantrums, I suspect that there must be some by-election looming sometime soon.

        • Narrow Shoulders
          Posted November 7, 2014 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

          @Pefer

          Even if that were true it remains an additional, unnecessary expenditure.

          Recently we discovered that 300, 000 additional immigrants had arrived and not been recognised due to weaknesses in the counting system. Most of these were children who each attract per pupil funding of at least £4, 000 when they register at schools. This does not include the emergency capital funding required when it is discovered we do not have enough places.

          300, 000 @ £4, 000 is £1.2 billion annually. Once capital requirements, addtional deprivation funding and one to one teaching needs are accounted for the notional additional £2, billion annually disappears. And that is only considering education without adding in the cost of paying uk citizens to sit at home while immigrants do their jobs, housing costs, bealth and transport infrastructure.

          Your £2 billion is spurious in the extreme.

        • Mondeo Man
          Posted November 7, 2014 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

          Peter – Your claims about migrant contributions are debunked here:

          http://www.express.co.uk/comment/columnists/leo-mckinstry/532371/Leo-McKinstry-mass-immigration-disaster-UK

          ‘Anger’ ‘tantrums’ – exactly the words I would apply to those Leftists rioting in London this week over capitalism. Certainly not to UKIP voters who are using peaceful and democratic process.

          etc ed

        • Leslie Singleton
          Posted November 7, 2014 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

          PvL–Ah, the wonders of percentages!–So, according to you, £1,700,000,000 is mere peanuts–Knock off three noughts and I would still tell them to get stuffed–Have you actually looked at that block diagram where this latest and preposterous demand on us is close to infinity on the left of the scale and all the others are small or beneficial so they are bound to be happy?–Obviously we are very different and are always going to be outvoted so must get the Hell out soonest.

          • yulwaymartyn
            Posted November 7, 2014 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

            Nobody is saying peanuts are they? Only you have used that word. What is important is to adduce the figure and put it in perspective by expressing it as a percentage, in this case of gross UK national income, in order to properly put it into context.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted November 7, 2014 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

          We do not need to be a member of the EU to accept EU migrants and we could do it on a selective basis which would be far better. Anyway we have a large trade deficit with the EU. We could also then have cheap sensible energy and not pay the huge EU fee or be told what power our vacuums need to be or what our daft employment laws need to be………

          • Tad Davison
            Posted November 8, 2014 at 10:24 am | Permalink

            That is lost on these people LL.

            Tad

        • libertarian
          Posted November 7, 2014 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

          Yes Peter

          But the deficit we’re currently running is 100% of GDP and our debt is £1.6 trillion so whilst £1.7 billion of taxpayers money is chicken feed to a Eurocrat public employee like you to those of us that have to earn it so that people like you can squander it on pork barrel projects its rather a lot of money.

          Oh and I’d give up on pushing the line that immigrants are a benefit in income terms as that little piece of Euro propaganda has more holes in it than a swiss cheese.

          Do try to think for yourself sometime Peter its really invigorating

  7. stred
    Posted November 7, 2014 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    The EU PMs, such as Denmark’s have, like Libdummy, been educated by their EU university and of course tell us we will have to pay. They know that Ural Dave is really one of them and is play acting to the Ukippers. Personally, I have stopped buying Danish bacon.

    The weapon they will use is the parking ticket and income tax threat. Pay up now or the price will go up rapidly. Taxpayers may wish to consider whether they buy French and German products, as we are handing them vast amounts of cash for nothing anyway.

    • DaveM
      Posted November 7, 2014 at 9:27 am | Permalink

      Notice this morning the Norwegians were making noises too – they’re not in the EU are they? Or are they just using us as an insider to get what they want from it? Maybe we should take a leaf out of their books.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted November 7, 2014 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

        Dave–Does anybody ever want to go to Scandinavia? Personally I have never been and it has never occurred to me to want to go. Not difficult to imagine that they are not swamped by immigrants but for some crazy reason we allow them to lecture us on the subject.

        • DaveM
          Posted November 7, 2014 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

          I’ve been to Norway loads of times. I’d recommend it – clean, rich, etc. They get plenty of immigrants; they send them right up north and let them see how they like it!!

        • stred
          Posted November 8, 2014 at 10:02 am | Permalink

          When I spent a week in Stockholm this year, I tried staying on the tube instaed of getting off at the touristic middle part. There was hardly a Viking in sight, lots of boring block of social housing and people from all over the World playing with their smart phones. It remindined me of the District line to Dagenham.

  8. Mick Anderson
    Posted November 7, 2014 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    Much as I believe we shouldn’t be paying all these extra charges to the EU, refusing to do so will be viewed by Brussels in the same light that Westminster would view me if I refused to pay the ever-increasing taxes imposed by them.

    It is true that the (extra) tax is being calculated after the event, but that is true of income tax for everybody. We are presumed to agree to this by dint of not leaving the UK to live elsewhere; the EU says the same of the UK because we have not left the club. The formula to calculate how much EU tax the country pays has been put in place by the various treaties that Ministers decided to sign and the fact that this bill has come as a surprise just means they haven’t taken enough care of the UK finances.

    In January I will have to make an extra “balance” payment to the Treasury as part of the dreadful “self assessment”, and I really can’t see the practical difference between the this and the EU charges. Mr Cameron is merely seeing EU taxation in the way that the UK self-employed see SW1 taxation regime, and he doesn’t like it. I wonder if he can learn from the experience (rhetorical)….

  9. alexmews
    Posted November 7, 2014 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    Thx john. Good post summarising what should be the position.

    For the record – as i recall David Cameron said only that he would not pay the bill on December 1.

    • Bob
      Posted November 7, 2014 at 10:56 am | Permalink

      @alexmews

      ” David Cameron said only that he would not pay the bill on December 1.”

      Yes, he was very clear about that because he believes passionately that it is the right thing to do for hard working families and the most vulnerable people in our big society.

  10. Richard1
    Posted November 7, 2014 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    Fair enough but this does also raise the question as to why the mechanism for calculating payments was agreed in the first place. If the UK is to take such an adamant position – after all it does seem this increase simply falls out of the agreed formula – why was it not made clear in the past that the UK would cap our payments irrespective of the formula? We can all unite against the pernicious EU but let’s also recognize this seems to be a major cock up by the UK government. It would be good to find out when and why that happened – let’s not allow this to be yet another public sector screw up which just gets over-looked, with no-one held responsible.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted November 7, 2014 at 10:54 am | Permalink

      I’d like answers to that too Richard. This smacks of incompetence or acquiescence and a willingness by civil servants or others to do everything to suit the EU, with the UK’s best interests coming a poor second. Either way, somebody needs to be held to account. I have tried to dig down to find out who is responsible, but it’s not easy. Perhaps JR would have better luck if he asked the right questions in the House of Commons.

      We really do need to know in order to guard against this sort of thing, and if it is indeed a case of flawed pro-EU machinery in Whitehall overriding the UK’s national interest, it needs to be exposed, not covered up to hide their shame or for the sake of some warped and underhanded political expediency.

      We’re sick to death of the EU, and rightly so. Just look at the riots in Belgium over the last few days and others elsewhere, and it’s clear to see the place isn’t working, however much the blinkered supporters of it try to kid us otherwise and say what a fantastic institution it is.

      Tad

    • Timaction
      Posted November 7, 2014 at 11:37 am | Permalink

      The EU has followed the UN method of calculating a Countries GDP. This includes bizarre activities’ including prostitution and drug dealing!
      This is why we have been given the surcharge. What we don’t know is who and when were UK officialdom/politicians informed these changes would apply, what the consequences were likely to be and is it lawfully binding on us through new or existing Treaties.

      • Mondeo Man
        Posted November 7, 2014 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

        Workers in the sex and drug ‘industries’ ought to be subject to tax and national insurance, should they not ?

        VAT applied to their services too.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted November 7, 2014 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

      Richard–What comes to mind is Clarke saying that of course he had not read Masstrict or Hain saying Lisbon was just a tidying up exercise. Were it not so serious it would be funny.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted November 7, 2014 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

        Sorry–s/b an h near end of Maastricht

  11. Margaret Brandreth-J
    Posted November 7, 2014 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    I have just done a little homework and from my interpretation as set out in Wikipedia it seems that you are right .The rule of ‘Direct Effect ‘ underlines this unless there is something else set out somewhere else which over writes this. Taking this step though would inflame the situation.

    I am not sure that these methods of gaining extra money are not actually used by the UK itself and swindle the individual out of their rights while those in control do not pay their dues.

    The dirty games played are not British.

  12. JoeSoap
    Posted November 7, 2014 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    And when they cave in and pay?
    When they lose Rochester and Strood?
    When every single EU leader has told Cameron not to bother trying to re negotiate?

    What will it take for you to turn with the wind instead of peddling /sic/ against it?

    • zorro
      Posted November 7, 2014 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

      Far sooner than that it seems….

      zorro

  13. Peter A
    Posted November 7, 2014 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    A real test of Tory leadership. This is a real opportunity to show action not words in the face of UKIP mockery. A bit like Obama’s red line over Syria; if you draw one..

    It’s getting further into November and the less we hear of EVEL in the news. Time to ramp up the pressure on Labour.

    • DaveM
      Posted November 7, 2014 at 10:55 am | Permalink

      But Peter, the Tories are going ahead with the LibDem/Labour/BBC policy of balkanising the country via elected mayors which were rejected by the majority only a few years ago. By doing that, they’re putting more power into the hands of leftist councils who will follow the Labour policy of regionalisation and rejection of any kind of English parliament or assembly. That’s why EVEL’s gone quiet.

      As I’ve said more than once on this blog, the BBC and Labour and their cronies in the coalition – blue and yellow – now refer to “The English Regions” when speaking politically and geographically, and the “English team” when talking about sport!!! We’re not even allowed a cricket team any more! It’s all good though – no better way to stoke English nationalism than by trying to disband England!!! One day they’ll learn.

      I have noticed a lot of inaccuracy in BBC speak recently though. They need someone to put them straight:
      1. Britain is a geographic area – to wit, an archipelago situated on the western side of the european land mass. It is not a “nation” as such therefore “British” cannot be a nationality.
      2. The UK is a political union consisting of 4 component countries (and 3 Crown Dependencies), or nations. It is a “sovereign state” as recognised by the UN (an organisation only 70-odd years old).
      3. The component countries – or nations – lend the root of their names to the nationality of their native inhabitants, ie. Scottish, Welsh, and, yes, you guessed it, English. The BBC will never swear on TV though so you won’t hear “English” much unless, as stated, the presenters are referring to a sports team.
      4. The Calais migrant refugees aren’t trying to get to “the yookay” or “Britain” (except in a geographic sense), they are trying to get to England. The problem is, that last word isn’t in the BBC’s vocabulary!!

      What’s Friday without pedantry and irony?

  14. Antisthenes
    Posted November 7, 2014 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    I suspect that the 1.7 billion will be negotiated to a lesser figure and the PM will announce a victory which of course paying even just 1p is a defeat. Legally bound by treaty parliament regardless of what you say if the EU insists on a payment the UK will be obliged to pay or exit the EU(amending the 1972 European Communities Act would be a unilateral declaration which of course the EU will not tolerate with dire consequences) . Enshrined in law domestic or EU taxes can be by force if necessary be extracted it may not be morally or democratically right to do so but without it taxes would not be paid.

    What this 1.7 billion demand highlights is how the UK being part of the EU has no real control over it’s own destiny. The UK should never have become a part of the political goals of the EU and remained solely a trading partner. That is what the UK should now strive to revert to by invoking article 50 and creating a new treaty that deals with trading relations and let the EU get on with monetary and political union if that is what they want. The EU does not stop trading with non EU countries because they are outside the EU so why should not the same apply to the UK.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted November 7, 2014 at 11:06 am | Permalink

      I’d like to send the bill to every single one of those like Major, Clarke, Heseltine, Blair Howe and Co. who got us into the EU mire in the first place, with a note to say, it’s your mess, you deal with it. But no, they walk away with fat pensions and all manner of perks, and are not held to account.

      More broadly, EU political matriculation was never done in my name, so I don’t see why I or any other tax-payer should be penalised for their folly.

      Tad

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted November 7, 2014 at 11:07 am | Permalink

      “amending the 1972 European Communities Act would be a unilateral declaration which of course the EU will not tolerate with dire consequences”

      That is not necessarily the case; the eurocrats have no problem about bending the EU treaties and laws, and sometimes bending them well beyond breaking point; if the UK Parliament openly legislated to disapply some aspect of the EU treaties or laws then their reaction could range anywhere from quietly turning a blind eye to outright fury and demands that the ECJ must rule against it, and if the UK still persisted then demands that the UK should leave the EU; however there is no provision in the EU treaties for a member state to be expelled on any grounds whatsoever, so that would have to be pursued indirectly.

      I would point out that in May 2006, when Cameron was leading the Tory party in opposition, he actually agreed to give official support to an amendment from the Tory MP Bill Cash which would have empowered ministers to disapply EU laws by order, using what the latter describes as the “magic words”, “notwithstanding the European Communities Act 1972”; it was later, when he had become Prime Minister, that Cameron started ordering Tory MPs to vote against the sovereignty of their own Parliament, our national Parliament, and almost all of them did as they were told.

      136 MPs voted for that amendment on May 16th 2006, in Division No 239 at Column 945 here:

      http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200506/cmhansrd/vo060516/debtext/60516-0017.htm

      “New Clause 17

      DISAPPLICATION OF EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES ACT 1972 (NO. 2)”

      “Brought up, and read the First time.

      Motion made, and Question put, That the clause be read a Second time:—

      The House divided: Ayes 136, Noes 318.”

      Among the senior Tories who went through the “aye” lobby were Dominic Grieve, who later became Attorney-General, and Theresa May, now Home Secretary, and David Lidington, now Europe Minister.

      The debate on that had taken place the previous day, starting at Column 750 here:

      http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200506/cmhansrd/vo060515/debtext/60515-0010.htm

      with JR saying:

      “Finally, I turn to the amendments on the European issue tabled by my hon. Friend the Member for Stone (Mr. Cash). Nowadays, so much of our regulation comes from Brussels that we cannot exempt that from scrutiny and from our deregulatory urge. New clause 17 makes a good attempt to draw the House’s attention to that and to make Ministers understand that they cannot have a deregulation policy worth anything unless they are prepared to tackle quite a number of the regulatory burdens coming from Brussels. That would preferably be through renegotiation of those individual items, but it would be good to have a legislative back-up to make it crystal clear that if this House wishes to deregulate something, that should be law made here in the United Kingdom.”

      It’s good to see that at least some people are consistent and do not reverse their view because their party is in government rather than in opposition.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted November 7, 2014 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

        Brilliant Denis!

        That just shows the calibre (or lack of it) of some of the people we elect. And then people wonder why we Eurosceptics feel so bitter at the sheer duplicity of it all.

        We have a right to feel bitter! And no, I’m not voting Tory next time. I’ve had enough of these ‘say one thing, do another’ types. We need to sweep the inconsistent ones right out of office, and that includes con-man Cameron!

        Tad

  15. A.Sedgwick
    Posted November 7, 2014 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    If they do make or fudge a payment will you give up supporting this futile renegotiation?

  16. DaveM
    Posted November 7, 2014 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    The French wouldn’t pay it. Etc ed
    If the EU wants the UK to stay in its bureaucratic organisation, it needs to accept that the UK government will act in the interest of its own people and will act in the manner which common sense dictates. Otherwise they can kick us out – that would save everyone a lot of trouble (apart from the police who would have problems containing the wild celebrations up and down the country).

    If an individual was a member of a club and didn’t do what he was supposed to do all the time, he would be told to leave UNLESS his attributes were so beneficial that the club was prepared to put up with his occasional bad behaviour. (Think naughty footballers!) Which means that the EU wants us to stay in – and lets face it, they wouldn’t be trying to keep us in for OUR benefit now would they? Which again means that the bargaining chips are on our side of the table.

    Time to show the toothless EU bureaucrats that their pieces of paper are no match for robust UK resolve – if only someone can exhibit that resolve. Whereas I wouldn’t advocate the breaking of a promise – ie. one of those squalid incomprehensible treaties so beloved of the pen-pushers in Brussels – the breaking of an oath (like the one the PM made to the Queen about doing his utmost to assist her in fulfilling HER oath of acting in the best interest of her subjects) is a hundred times worse and goes against everything this country was built on. The old understanding that the people will work and fight for their “leaders” had a quid-pro-quo; the leaders are supposed to look after them in return.

    The best thing that could happen for the UK is for the PM to cough up the money tomorrow – it would surely be one of the final nails in his coffin; no matter how much the Conservative Party stands behind him, the rest of the country (including people in Witney) will have had enough.

  17. Cheshire Girl
    Posted November 7, 2014 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    We may not pay £1.7 billion but I believe that we will definitely pay something. An accommodation may be quietly arranged to satisfy the EU. I shall be very surprised if that is not the case.

  18. Steve Cox
    Posted November 7, 2014 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    While I agree with your sentiment, John, and perhaps I missed something but I only recall Mr Cameron saying that he will not pay the £1.7 billion by the stipulated due date. That doesn’t mean that he wouldn’t pay it if he was re-elected next May.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 7, 2014 at 9:55 am | Permalink

      Typical weasel words from Cameron carefully chosen. He even pretended that a treaty is not a treaty once ratified it is just part of EU law he claimed.

      Who would trust a man like this on anything?

    • Tad Davison
      Posted November 7, 2014 at 11:21 am | Permalink

      Steve,

      As others have stated elsewhere (and I thoroughly agree), to pay anything at all is a defeat, but a deferment until after the election is a downright con!

      So beware of pro-EU stooges in Eurosceptic clothing!

      A long-time friend of mine says ‘he bows to no-one on the EU’, but as Mr Farage reminded him some years ago, he still voted for Maastricht.

      I’m afraid party loyalty regularly comes before loyalty to the UK, and perhaps we need to tattoo their voting records on their foreheads so we know who we REALLY should be voting for at election time, and who we need to avoid.

      Tad

  19. Graham
    Posted November 7, 2014 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    It’s already been decided that we will pay.

    All the effort is going into finding the best way to sell it to mitigate political fallout. None of the parties really care in the way you do JR – it’s only our money after all!!

  20. Ian wragg
    Posted November 7, 2014 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    But of course we will pay even if it is after the election. This will cement objections from the electorate ensuring you lose.
    CMD could use the discontent to announce a referendum within 3 months of the election and bolster your position but there is no way that’s going to happen
    And you don’t need Clogs permission for that

  21. Douglas Carter
    Posted November 7, 2014 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    Well, the Prime Minister was fairly clear in his famous angry speech of two weeks ago.

    He did make it plain that he wasn’t going to pay ‘THAT’ bill ‘on ‘December the first’.

    I can’t speak for anybody else but when I see somebody descend into an anger which compels them to relate a furious dialogue upon the matter which has enraged them, I don’t recall they’ve ever managed the remarkable self-control to add specific qualifying caveats to their words. Caveats which manage to change wholly the nature of that dialogue and leave the careless listener with a quite different conclusion to the meaning, than the actual meaning of the verbiage delivered.

    That the public heard ‘I’m not paying … it’s not going to happen’ was the intended consequence of the style of message delivered. Unprompted, the listening public were not meant to hear ‘that bill’ or ‘December the first’. Just speaking noti0nally, but I’d say it’s very unwise indeed to start playing games with the nuance of oratory. The electorate watched your party metaphorically marched to the top of the hill on this one. Any form of payment made now will be seen as a surrender, in terms of Cameron’s unwise choice of words of two weeks ago, and the method in which it was delivered.

    • Mondeo Man
      Posted November 7, 2014 at 11:24 am | Permalink

      Mr Cameron has lots of form on this type of deceptive oratory, Douglas.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted November 7, 2014 at 11:25 am | Permalink

      Good points Douglas.

      Stop press:

      The BBC have just reported that David Cameron did not once mention the £1.7 billion bill in his speech in Helsinki this morning. What’s that telling us?

      Tad

    • Tad Davison
      Posted November 8, 2014 at 10:38 am | Permalink

      Douglas,

      I have often made reference to the caveats Cameron uses. Were his speeches a legal document, they would be hidden away in the small print in some obscure place, hoping to remain unobserved.

      I now want to pay my respect to another Douglas – Douglas Carswell – who warned us of this some weeks ago when he joined UKIP, because he too could see the master of the caveat, and the duplicity that lies behind it. And after yesterday’s shenanigans, and the blatant attempt to fool the public which really fools no-one, I rather think Douglas Carswell must now feel utterly vindicated.

      Tad

  22. Lifelogic
    Posted November 7, 2014 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    Electoral Calculus has increased their estimate of the chances of a Tory overall majority up to 12% from (6%) and Labour’s almost halved to only 34%. This as Cameron is dragged (clearly against his will) a tiny wee bit towards some sensible and popular policies. Why on earth is he resisting so very hard? Still foolishly pushing the EU arrest warrant through too against the will of the voters. He seems genetically just to be a pro EU, fake green, pro EU, tax borrow and waste Libdem to his very core – pretending a little not to be near elections then kicking his supporters in the teeth just after.

    Sensible policies of UK/London based democracy, cheap energy, no green crap subsidies, no IHT, far lower taxes, far more efficient state services, new runways, no HS2, selective immigration on a points system, far fewer daft regulations (like his gender pensions and insurance drivel) and far, far less – preferably no EU beyond free trade and voluntary cooperation.

    BBC favourite Ken Clark on radio 4 this AM still doing his very best for Labour though with every word he utters I see. It seems, even at 74+, we will still be lumbered with him after 2015 unless UKIP can kick him out which looks unlikely.

    • Alan Wheatley
      Posted November 7, 2014 at 9:33 am | Permalink

      As to “Why on earth is he resisting so very hard?”, I don’t know.

      If I was an investigative journalist I would start my search for an answer to your question by looking at what the big-money backers of the Conservative Party are saying about the UK/EU relationship.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted November 7, 2014 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

        Indeed perhaps you are right.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted November 7, 2014 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

      I’ll offer two comments on that monthly update by Electoral Calculus.

      Firstly, if you look at their UK opinion poll charts here:

      http://www.electoralcalculus.co.uk/polls.html

      you can see that support for the Tory party has edged up by less than 1% over the past month, not really a significant improvement, but support for Labour has dropped quite sharply, by over 3%; and it is mainly that second move which has cut the Labour lead over the Tories to about 1% so that now their prediction is that Labour would still easily be the largest party but would be 24 seats short of an overall majority.

      But where has most of that support lost by Labour gone? To UKIP, that’s where, up by 3% over the month, now at nearly 18%, and still trending upwards.

      Now no doubt JR would say that those people who have switched their support from Labour to UKIP during October, and there would be over a million of them, have made a mistake because they should have switched their support to his party instead; but the fact is that they had that option but preferred to switch to UKIP, and if UKIP disappeared then few of them would switch to supporting the Tory party compared to those who reverted to Labour.

      And yet this morning I read in the Telegraph’s briefing that discontented Labour MPs “know that their best hope of taking office is still Nigel Farage”, as if UKIP is not eating into support for Labour and thereby dragging Labour down to the poll ratings of the Tories and making it less likely that Labour will win in 2015.

      Just like the Tories who they support the Telegraph journalists still don’t get it; well, of course, they don’t want to get it, do they; they want to perpetuate the intensely patronising Tory myth that every UKIP supporter is just a poor little dumb Tory sheep who has foolishly strayed from the safety of the fold and could still be persuaded or cajoled or bullied back into it.

      My second comment is that some of the predictions on Electoral Calculus may be going adrift because they have not updated their Scotland pages and still have Labour winning 30 seats there, when the recent opinion polls suggest that they would lose most of those to the SNP.

      Of course that would do nothing at all to help the Tories get an overall majority, and even if the SNP swept the board in Scotland that would still leave Labour as the largest party in the Commons, but it means that there is a real danger for the Union in that we would end up with the SNP holding the balance of power and quite possibly forming a coalition government with Labour on their terms.

      Even without taking into account the apparent recent movements in Scotland Labour would have too few seats to form a majority coalition with the LibDems, who are (at least nominally) a Unionist party but who are now predicted to win only 16 seats rather than the 57 that they won in May 2010.

  23. Roy Grainger
    Posted November 7, 2014 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    “The UK does not accept retrospective taxation”

    That is simply untrue. The UK government are quite happy to impose retrospective taxes when it suits them – the windfall tax on utility company past profits imposed in 1997 was just one example. More to the point HMRC will pursue individual taxpayers for more payments from past tax years resulting from errors HMRC themselves have made.

    Cameron’s position on this lacks logic. If you want to stay in the club you pay the fees which, in this case, have been set using a formula he himself approved. If you don’t want to pay the fees you leave. This half-way house position of refusing to pay is untenable.

  24. Iain Moore
    Posted November 7, 2014 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    No to paying it on the 1st December means paying it on the 2nd of December.

    Cameron may have thought he was being very clever with his choice of words, but with spin having made cynics of us all, we don’t believe a word Cameron is saying, as such he will be paying a bulk of the money.

    Lust look at the lies Cameron spun about being the first Prime Minister to cut the EU budget, our EU burden has gone up and up and up.

    We also know our political class, who are paper tigers, they might huff and puff, but they ALWAYS fold.

    The US mid term elections were noticeable in that the Republicans steam rollered Obama under the campaign of ‘We want our country back’. The SNP are taking all before them because the Scottish electorate see a political party that will put them first. UKIP is making the running in England, because they too want to put Britain first . Yet with all this evidence laid out before them what do the Cameron Conservatives think a really really good idea? Give away a large chunk of our sovereignty to the EU by signing up to the European Arrest Warrant. So do I think Cameron will do what is right by the British people, the County or even Conservative Party with the budget? No not in a million years.

  25. JoolsB
    Posted November 7, 2014 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    John,

    When did Cameron & Osborne say they will not pay? The only words I have heard coming out of Cameron’s mouth are that the amount is unreasonable and the deadline of 1st December is unacceptable. In other words he has every intention of paying something but just not by the 1st.

    Despite Cameron’s lectern thumping rhetoric, when it comes to the crunch, he has every intention of paying, he knows it and we know it. The public needs a new Maggie to say NO, NO, NO and mean it. We know Labour and the Lib Dums would have paid up by now but Cameron’s posturing is worse in some ways because the result will be the same in the end.

    Another huge vote winner for UKIP come 2015!

  26. oldtimer
    Posted November 7, 2014 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    I support your position on this issue.

    This is unlikely to be the end of such issues. The advent of QMV on many issues will mean that the UK will be isolated and outvoted time and time again on matters with which the UK electorate will not agree. It will not end well.

    One thing we can be sure of is the absolute commitment of the Labour party, the Liberal Democratic party and of the BBC to keep the UK a member of the EU, whatever the cost.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted November 7, 2014 at 10:05 am | Permalink

      “The advent of QMV on many issues”

      You may care to read this from Monday:

      http://www.openeuropeblog.blogspot.co.uk/2014/11/lisbon-treatys-new-voting-weights-kick.html

      “Lisbon Treaty’s new voting weights kick in – Eurozone gains a majority”

      Not as you say “the advent of QMV on many issues”, there being no extension of the scope of QMV to areas of decision making where it did not already apply prior to November 1st, but changes to the QMV rules with the consequence that:

      “The eurozone will now have a ‘Qualified Majority’ in the EU Council, meaning that any UK attempts at forming last minute blocking minorities will now be that bit harder.”

      Personally I don’t think this will make all that much difference as far as we are concerned: the UK’s voting weight has now gone up from just over 8% to over 12%, but so what? It’s only a bit more difficult for other countries to outvote us now we have 12% than it was when we had 8%, and anyway it is the very principle of making decisions by transnational majority voting, without national vetoes, which is an affront to our national sovereignty and democracy and should never have been agreed by our MPs.

      As you can see from the chart here:

      http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/europpblog/2014/02/03/the-lisbon-treatys-change-to-council-voting-rules-will-have-important-implications-for-the-democratic-legitimacy-of-the-eu/

      it is the larger and more populous countries which have gained voting power at the expense of the smaller and less populous countries, with Luxembourg and Malta having suffered cuts of 80% or 90% of their previous voting weights and with the pivot being around Poland and Romania which have had virtually no changes to their voting weights.

      • oldtimer
        Posted November 8, 2014 at 11:12 am | Permalink

        Thanks for the helpful links.

  27. mick
    Posted November 7, 2014 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    Of cause he`s going to pay it, maybe not on December 1st but at sometime he will, the public are use to all this cheek puffing and con tricks and will be apparent on the 20th of this month when the Tories and lab/lib are going to get a very good kicking at the ballot box

  28. Mike Wilson
    Posted November 7, 2014 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    Fine words. What will you do when Cameron hands the money over as meek as a lamb?

  29. Peter van Leeuwen
    Posted November 7, 2014 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    Net EU contributions up to 2013 in billion euros:
    Germany 313, France 120, UK 113.
    (source: money-go-round.eu)

    • Joseph
      Posted November 7, 2014 at 10:29 am | Permalink

      Peter,

      Is there a ‘hidden’ point here?

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted November 7, 2014 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

        @Joseph: it is not hidden I think, your NET contribution over time is quite a bit smaller than that of Germany and still smaller than that of France.

        • APL
          Posted November 9, 2014 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

          Peter van Leeuwen: “your [UK?] NET contribution over time is quite a bit smaller than that of Germany and still smaller than that of France.”

          Excellent news. They should kick the UK out.

    • Robert Taggart
      Posted November 7, 2014 at 11:09 am | Permalink

      So ‘we’ are all ripped-off !

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted November 7, 2014 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

        @Robert Taggart:
        . . .the net benefit arising from EU membership
        is somewhere in the region of 4–5% of UK GDP or
        between £62bn and £78bn per year – roughly the
        economies of the North East and Northern Ireland
        taken together.
        source – your own CBI – in its report: “Our global future”

        • Robert Taggart
          Posted November 8, 2014 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

          PvL – the CBI be nothing more than a corporate creeps club !
          Business is at best amoral, alas, all too often though it be immoral.
          As with immigration – the issue does not simply boil down to money – it be about far more than that.
          We could all be richer – if we are prepared to destroy that what makes us whom we are – then no amount of money can save you !

    • libertarian
      Posted November 7, 2014 at 11:11 am | Permalink

      Peter

      Yes you are right these are outrageous amounts to steal from European tax payers. Imagine the problems we could fix within the NHS, mental health support, pensions etc with an extra £113 billion to spend each year.

      By the way Peter you haven’t listed the Dutch contribution which I assume will be growing and growing as the Dutch economy continues to reach record levels of income on the back of your money creating immigration policies

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted November 7, 2014 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

        @libertarian: see my comment to Robert Taggart just above.

        About the extra bill for the Dutch: it is all a matter of pitch. Our minister Dijsselbloem patiently explained for 7 minutes on TV the whole proces, after which he stated that he would pay only AFTER he were able to defend this in parliament and to the public. The EC wasn’t yet able to provide all the calculation figures for other countries which the Dutch need in order to scrutinize these. Your prime-minister in last week’s quoted the Dutch minister of finance saying that he agreed. There is cooperation between the two countries on this issue, that is why the Dutch also want to spread out payment over a longer period, even though they could easily pay today (today ING bank transferred a billion euro to the government paying back earlier rescue money). After 20 november (by-election?) the noise about this in the UK may subside.
        P.S. as you already know the net contribution per capita is higher in the Netherlands than in the UK

        • libertarian
          Posted November 7, 2014 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

          Peter

          What I want to know is when is Holland going to attract the 7 million immigrants currently settled in the UK to go to Holland and make you even richer. Come on you keep telling me this is a great way to make money yet you have an incredibly small immigration population compared to England. Why is that? Why isn’t the Dutch government in Sangatte encouraging people to go to Amsterdam instead of Dover? Please explain

          • Peter van Leeuwen
            Posted November 7, 2014 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

            @libertarian: I read that there are 2.466.817 (legal) immigrants in the Netherlands. That is more than you, if you consider the population size. (Using the definition of our ONS equivalent, counting children as well, the number of immigrants over here should be 3.594.744)

          • libertarian
            Posted November 8, 2014 at 11:18 am | Permalink

            PvL

            So what ?You keep telling me that immigrants are a money spinner as is money sent to the EU so as according to you both of these activities cause Holland to make money please explain why you aren’t chasing 10 million immigrants and doubling your ahem “investment” in the European magic money tree

    • DaveM
      Posted November 7, 2014 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

      Peter,

      I assume you like playing devil’s advocate? I can see no other reason for you posting on this site.

      I am firmly in the “Love Europe and Europeans, Hate the EU and Eurocrats” camp. And I work with Dutch people on a daily basis so I know their political leanings, and you do not represent the majority; some of those who come from the east of your beautiful country have some very right wing leanings indeed!

      The statement you made the other day about liking migrants because they top up your pension is exactly the self-serving attitude which makes people in England despise the current political class so much. Surely this blog makes it clear to you that money and the economic contribution of migrants is not the issue?

      Personally, the payment of £1.7Bn will make little financial difference to my life because 25 years of hard work and self-sacrifice in the service of my country (that’s the UK, not the EU – EU states don’t generally seem to do a lot despite their NATO obligations – Netherlands excepted) have ensured that I’m ok. But my kids are now competing against foreign migrants for jobs and support in a country and society which I and my family have worked hard to improve for the sake of OUR kids and grandkids, the same way my ancestors worked and fought to preserve our way of life for their kids. Our children are saddled with student debt, a debt which could easily be alleviated were we not paying a fortune to prop up Mediterranean basket cases so the Germans can sell them cars.

      The point is that the EU we are paying in to against most of our wishes is an EU which has been designed by Germany and France, two countries who traditionally have left-of-centre coalition governments and who like excessive rules and central control (not so much France, but they just ignore the rules if they don’t like them anyway – we wouldn’t do that because we believe in law and order and honesty and integrity). The past 5 years have shown that that kind of government doesn’t work in the UK. It’s not about economics, it’s about self-determination and independence. Something the Dutch know plenty about (yep, I studied European history too).

      So if the French and the Germans want to contribute trillions to the monster they created they can fill their boots. The furore over this bill is due to rhino-skin Cameron suddenly realising that actually we in the UK have had enough of being told what we MUST do by what we regard as an unelected, unfamiliar foreign power.

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted November 7, 2014 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

        @DaveM: You are right about political leanings: etc ed
        I represent quite a sizeable minority in the Netherlands, which actually doesn’t have political majorities. Are you representing a UK majority??

        I realise that there are serious problems concerning immigrants (competing against foreign migrants for jobs happens here as well), but I don’t buy the simplistic solutions and our government is quite active having the issues addressed at EU level as well as at the national level.

        As far as “unelected” is concerned, that is another headline that I don’t buy. Cameron is as “unelected” as Juncker, Cameron was/is a simple spitzenkandidat (he couldn’t be elected directly by 99.85% of the UK electorate, he happened to head the largest party).

        • DaveM
          Posted November 9, 2014 at 11:41 am | Permalink

          The point is that, although there are EU elections, they are elections we didn’t want or ask for. No system will ever be perfect, but we accept what we have in the UK and abide by it.

          I probably represent an ENGLISH majority, yes.

      • APL
        Posted November 10, 2014 at 8:20 am | Permalink

        DaveM: “The statement you made the other day about liking migrants because they top up your pension ..”

        Several years ago now, there was an earnest lady on Question time who popped up from the audience, with words to the effect, ‘We must have immigrants, who else is going to pay for our pensions ..’ or similar.

        What a:
        (1) selfish point of view. (Contribute to your own pension)
        (2) Lazy point of view. ( Work hard enough to make good pension provision.)
        (3) Short sighted point of view. ( Who knows weather immigrants are going to want to be a tax slave in a foreign country, looking after ungrateful dribbling old people?)

        Of course pensions in the UK are a particularly foolish investment. You pay in all your life, all the while the government destroys the value of your fund by 50% in thirty years.

        Part of the reason, MPs and Civil Servants pensions are index linked. But also;

        1) They don’t ever pay in a penny, all their income is derived from the state (ie. tax revenue).
        2) The funds ( if any) are topped up by actual tax payers in the private sector via tax.
        3) The pensions when drawn are always, always the Rolls Royce of pensions, index linked and related to a pensioners final salary.

        The worst sort of parasitism.

  30. Liz
    Posted November 7, 2014 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    The EU was set up to benefit Germany and France – particularly the latter who has not made the slightest effort to balance its books but is now rewardeded for this by forced taxes on those countries that have – particularly Britain, but with even cash strapped Greece and Cyprus asked to support France’s welfare system and the inefficient CAP from which it is the main beneficiary. Germany too makes sure she is not disadvantaged by the EU whether it is monetary or by achieving their centuries old dream of dominating Europe.
    It is not a democratic form of government and has never pretended to be underneath the facade of a show parliament.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 7, 2014 at 10:48 am | Permalink

      It is not democratic, there is not even a real EU demos that exists. Indeed the EU subverts democracy through governments, bureaucrat, the BBC, the taxpayers money it gives back to selected areas, charities and big business.

      Even if every MEP the UK elected were UKIP they would still be powerless & could do nothing.

    • Excalibur
      Posted November 7, 2014 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

      My understanding is there is about 100 billion Euros of EU money unaccounted for. The accounts have not been signed off by the auditors for nineteen consecutive years. Britain should become totally intransigent over any further payments of any kind until the EU regularises its finances.

  31. Ian
    Posted November 7, 2014 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    “The UK does not accept retrospective taxation”
    I think you will find it most certainly does, and many many individuals in the UK are directly effected by it. Mr Cameron is being a hypocrite as usual.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 7, 2014 at 10:50 am | Permalink

      Osborne tightening of the rules on pension is retrospective taxation as was the windfall tax on banks, utility companies and Brown’s pension mugging pension dividend tax.

  32. Lifelogic
    Posted November 7, 2014 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    Ed Davey on the daily politics yesterday was talking about “affordable energy” and “capacity set to close” what weasel words.

    He, his quack renewable religion and the bonkers climate change act are the main/only obstacle to affordable energy. He and his government are actively closing capacity, they are only “set to close” because Ed Davey’s department are ordering it.

    Oil, gas and coal declining in price while energy prices rise at twice the rate of inflation due entirely to Ed Davey and the coalition’s absurd energy policy. Davey’s favourite offshore wind perhaps the most absurdly expensive and pointless of all.

    Fire Ed Davey and the Tory odds of winning a majority would rise yet again. Alas Cameron clearly prefers to fire Owen Patterson.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 7, 2014 at 9:09 am | Permalink

      Though burning US “biomass” at Drax is perhaps as equally mad as is intermittent offshore wind.

      Are there no engineers, numerate people or physicists at the energy department at all?

      • Margaret Brandreth-J
        Posted November 7, 2014 at 10:06 am | Permalink

        Yes there are ” no ” engineers ,but I do not think that there are’ any ‘engineers.

        Of course linguistics are ever evolving and you may be right to assume that there are many none people in jobs.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted November 7, 2014 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

        I do not follow you.

  33. old Albion
    Posted November 7, 2014 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    Unfortunately, as you know Mr Cameron said “we won’t pay the extra tax by December 1st” Which of course means we will be paying it, but want to throw a little strop over it first.
    Failure to pay the bill, will result in fines being added to it. So Dave, being a dedicated European will pay up. It’s disingenuous to suggest otherwise.

  34. acorn
    Posted November 7, 2014 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    “The UK does not accept retrospective taxation.” “… approve a simple amendment to the 1972 European Communities Act, which would confirm that they are acting legally in not paying retrospective levies.”

    Come off it JR, Read the Treasury Select Committee report.

    “Retrospective tax legislation conflicts with the principles of tax policy recommended by this Committee. In our Budget 2012 Report we recommended that the Government restricts the use of retrospection to wholly exceptional circumstances. Witnesses told us that the Government was not abiding by this recommendation. Furthermore, the Red Book announced an additional retrospective taxation policy; an extension of the requirement for taxpayers to pay upfront any disputed tax associated with anti-avoidance schemes. This policy will retrospectively apply to some of the 65,000 outstanding tax avoidance cases. There may be a case for this policy, but the Government has yet to explain what is wholly exceptional about these cases that justifies this retrospective measure. It should do so in response to this report.”

    “We have deep reservations about any extension of retrospection in the tax system.”

    “Retrospection runs counter to the Committee’s principles of tax policy. In particular, it undermines certainty. Retrospection should be considered only in wholly exceptional circumstances. The latest measure would have to be justified on those grounds.”

    “Retrospection puts policy on a slippery path to arbitrary taxation, discouraging investment and innovation and creating the scope for great unfairness.”

    The Committee is saying that the tax law that exists today and pertains to an investment contract made today, maybe changed in the future at HMRC discretion.

    Fortunately, HMRC does not operate the Criminal Justice System; yet.

  35. Bert Young
    Posted November 7, 2014 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    Cameron did not say that he would not pay the additional 1.7bn demand , he said he would not pay it on or by Dec. 1st . He has been very “slimy” on several occasions when challenged leading to the much stated opinions that he cannot be trusted .
    I support the view that we should not pay the demand – come what may ; retrospective legislation is a very tricky area and , as you say , it has not featured in our law making . The fact that we signed up to this system in the first place was wrong . As John Locke said ” Government is in the hands of the governed”; we must make a stand on behalf of the electorate showing that our sense of “right” has not changed in the past 300 years .

  36. Know-Dice
    Posted November 7, 2014 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    Looks to me as though the Treasury has been hoisted by their own petard…

    In order to make the UK GDP figures look good they have overstated income by prostitution and drug dealing, both of which are illegal in this country and do they REALLY know what these figures are with any accuracy – I hardly think so…

  37. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted November 7, 2014 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    JR: “The Prime Minister and Chancellor were right to say the UK will not pay the £1.7 bn the EU demands.”
    They weren’t as categorical as you suggest. Didn’t Cameron say that he wouldn’t pay on 1 December? What date does he have in mind?
    What I find ironic is that as the BBC reports: ‘economic performance showed Britain had done better than previously thought. Elements of the black economy – such as drugs and prostitution – have been included in the calculations for the first time.’ I always thought that was the world of the gangsters and mafia but now we know it is the world of the EU and now our own country under our Conservative-led coalition.
    I can just imagine Cameron and Osborne slapping each other on the back by agreeing to this and seeing it immediately increase those GDP figures. What a great wheeze that must have seemed; after all the economy is your party’s strong point isn’t it?

  38. Denis Cooper
    Posted November 7, 2014 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    Let me guess that the UK government and Parliament approved all the principles upon which EU budget contributions are calculated, and let me guess that British officials having carefully examined the details of the calculation leading to the demand for an extra £1.7 billion have found no material errors. And let me further guess that the UK government and if necessary Parliament will agree to pay the full amount demanded, with perhaps a small concession that it can be paid in instalments rather than as one lump sum:

    http://euobserver.com/economic/126428

    “What is on the table is for a minor change to the budget rules, so that countries can pay in instalments. Currently, if a country fails to pay on 1 December, there is extra interest to pay for every month of delay.”

    And finally let me guess that this rather embarrassing exhibition by the British Prime Minister will do nothing to help his party win the upcoming by-election in Rochester and Strood, in fact if anything it will have the opposite effect.

  39. Bob
    Posted November 7, 2014 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    Well said Mr Redwood! If only your party leadership had such clarity of vision and purpose. Unfortunately, the likes of yourself and Peter Bone seem to be in a dwindling minority.

    Rumours are circulating that the government are trying to negotiate an installment plan to pay a different amount over the course of a 2015 (starting after the general election presumably). On the Today program Ken Clarke dismissed the idea as an unhelpful leak.

    I think that the UK will pay and there will be a fudge to allow Dave to save face and diffuse anti EU sentiment.

  40. Sean O'Hare
    Posted November 7, 2014 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    It’s no good expecting to still be able to play tennis if what you thought was a tennis club turned out to be a cricket club. We need to leave full stop.

  41. formula57
    Posted November 7, 2014 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    This is a curious affair, seemingly manufactured, the purposes of which and hoped for outcomes are difficult to discern.

    From the LSE European Institute’s Iain Begg, I understand: –

    1. The calculation being based on Gross National Income is normal and expected. He says “Despite some of the headlines about a ‘tax on prosperity’, the principle that countries pay more when GNI rises has been accepted since the system was introduced over a quarter of a century ago. In some years the UK has benefited, in others it has had to pay, as have all other member states.” So no new grounds for objection arise from that.

    2. Further, he says “the GNI resource was something that British negotiators pushed strongly for when it was first introduced, and that the UK has fought to retain ever since” !!!

    3. And “…this year’s calculations are unusual, because the statisticians who construct the GNI data recently completed a methodological review of how national accounts are compiled. These are regular exercises, intended to reflect new insights into how income is generated and advances in data collection.” but ““did not affect this year’s demand, but may do in subsequent years.” So perhaps the fuss now is to get changes to the calculation methodology before those subsequent years?

    Perhaps in due time we shall discover what games are really being played.

  42. The PrangWizard
    Posted November 7, 2014 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    Just wish to add that I too noted that Cameron said, all huffy and puffy, that he wasn’t going to pay ‘that bill on 1st December’. He must be really stupid to imagine that no-one would notice what the words really meant. It will be interesting to hear what transpires over the next few days, but we know that he is strongly in favour of our staying in a ‘reformed EU’ and that he continues to refuse to say that he would be prepared to recommend ‘out’. We can also guess that reform to him can be any change, no matter how slight. Let us hope that your government does learn how to negotiate hard, for real I mean, and not just because there’s an election coming up, and on everything, all the time. The country and the people deserve it.

  43. Bob
    Posted November 7, 2014 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    A small bakery in Belfast is being prosecuted by the Equal Rights Commission because they declined an order for a cake which contained a slogan promoting gay marriage.

    When the government passed gay marriage they said that religious beliefs would be respected.

    Did anyone believe them?

    • Ex-expat Colin
      Posted November 7, 2014 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

      Farage certainly didn’t, nor me!

  44. ChrisS
    Posted November 7, 2014 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    EU Spending is clearly going to be a huge issue.

    The rise in the UK net contribution since 2008 has been staggering and, as our economy will continue to grow at a much faster rate than the basket case that is the Eurozone, so will our net contribution. The latest move by the European Parliament to push through additional spending of £5.4bn for next year makes a joke of the decision pushed through by David Cameron to cut the budget.

    Put frankly, the European Parliament and the Brussels secretariat are conspiring to allow EU spending to run out of control. EU spending bears no relation to the economic circumstances of the member states and as one of the principal paymasters it has to be up to Britain to do something about it.

    The other members, especially Germany, need to understand that the subscription to be a member of any club needs to be proportionate to the benefits of membership.

    With our contribution spiralling out of control, it is going to figure very strongly in the Referendum debate and will certainly become an issue in the General Election.

    The other net contributors need to remember that if we do vote to leave, our contribution to remain in the Single Market will be a fraction of what it is currently and they will be left to make up the shorfall. Inevitably, their politicians will find it very diifficult to pursuade their own taxpayers to make up the loss in full.

    The end result, for the net recipients, will be a reduction in EU spending in their countries.

    Given the huge and growing size of our net contribution, if we had a strong and effective leader we would surely hold a very strong hand in negotiations.

    What we need more than anything is another very strong Lady with a big handbag.

    Step up to the plate, Teresa !

    • Tad Davison
      Posted November 8, 2014 at 10:59 am | Permalink

      Good post Chris, but I’m not sure Theresa May would be that much different. We need a new set of politicians with a different outlook and a different agenda. These ‘same old, same old’ types will get us nowhere. Too many false dawns and misplaced hopes.

      Tad

  45. Kenneth
    Posted November 7, 2014 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    John I agree with every word.

    We were assured that we would not be paying towards to Euro area, yet that is exactly what we are doing.

    Also, we should not break or amend solemn international treaties but that is exactly what the eu has done through various foreign ‘court’ judgements and by fiddling administrators.

    In my view the treaties with the eu are not solemn and are not respected by the eu itself and therefore should not be respected by us.

    You are right that we should correct this by an amendment in Parliament

  46. Matt
    Posted November 7, 2014 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    It’s not really retrospective tax though is it? It’s a payment due as part of a contract the duly elected UK government entered into on our behalf.
    I’m all in favour of pulling out of the EU as soon as possible, then we will save many times this money every year, but until then surely we have to honour our contracts.

    The ECJ, the EHCR and Europe in general may not be good at following the rule of law, but that’s their failing; and one day their ruin. We’re not like that and we shouldn’t sink to their level.

    Besides, if this arrangement had benefitted us, would we still be complaining?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted November 7, 2014 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

      The government should always follow the rule of law, OUR law.

  47. Robert Taggart
    Posted November 7, 2014 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    Cameo be ‘enjoying’ an awayday to Finland – the Nordic Future Forum – discussing this and other European concerns.
    Alas, these reported ‘allies’ would appear to be nothing more than back-stabbers !
    Come home Dave – and raise our drawbridge !

  48. Chris
    Posted November 7, 2014 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    We signed up to this arrangement of calculating payments and rebates, with Hague being key in this. See R North’s referendum blog which details the events and the time scale. Thus it should be no surprise to the Cameron and his Ministers. If they are genuinely surprised by what has happened then they are, I believe, both incompetent and negligent, as they should have taken the time to understand what they were signing. I also believe they should have informed the British public of this, and Parliament should have been allowed to vote on the issue.

  49. miami.mode
    Posted November 7, 2014 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    You claim it is a retrospective tax but the EU assert it is just applying an existing formula. Surely there can be no dispute if it is something we have previously signed up to irrespective of whether it seems fair or not.

    We need to be out of this iniquitous club but as the old saying goes – if you can’t take a joke then you shouldn’t have joined up.

  50. AndyC
    Posted November 7, 2014 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    I agree with your post, but I fear we will pay this one way or another. Does there have to be a ministerial decision (or even better a Commons vote) before it is paid, or will the money be automatically deducted from our account?

    In any event, it’s not really retrospective taxation; the government signed up to it years ago, without realising/caring what was being signed, it seems. Is it possible to identify the minister responsible for that? They – of whichever party – should be brought to the Commons to give a public account of themselves.

  51. Chris
    Posted November 7, 2014 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    I see from the D Telegraph that Osborne is asking for the deadline to be after the General Election. I wonder why. Simply postponing this so that the electorate are not able to see and judge, in time for the election, what Cameron’s true intent is about paying or not paying is disgraceful. We are not as stupid as Cameron seems to think and will not be fooled by this apparently cynical move.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/eu/11215420/EU-surcharge-deadline-to-be-delayed-until-after-the-general-election.html
    “EU surcharge deadline to be delayed until after the general election
    Britain’s payment of a £1.7 billion European Union surcharge will be postponed until after next year’s general election, under a deal to be discussed by George Osborne in Brussels on Friday”

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 7, 2014 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

      I cannot see many being fooled by that much. Mind you they trusted Osborne when he promised the £1M IHT tax. He seems to have forgotten about that one and is now trying to buy people using their own pension funds.

  52. John Wrake
    Posted November 7, 2014 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    Dr. Redwood,

    You and I know that the rules governing this payment have been agreed by the government of this country and all the talk about it not being paid is so much froth and spin.

    When a country is governed by men and women who do not act in accordance that country’s constitution, cede powers they do not rightly possess to foreign powers, break their oaths of loyalty to their rightful sovereign and cease to act in accordance with the will of the electorate, the presence of a few objectors in Parliament does not absolve the whole.

    Treason has been committed on a massive scale and those responsible must answer before a court, in accordance with Common Law. Those who have not committed treason must separate themselves from those who have, or they become guilty of failing to deal with the treason which has been recognised.

    I hope that you will not censor this comment, because it is considered off-topic. Paying sums of tax-payers money to a foreign jurisdiction without the consent of the tax-payers is also treason, since it is contrary to the written English Constitution.

    John Wrake.

  53. CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
    Posted November 7, 2014 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    Grandstanding.

    “The large majority of the British people have NO WISH TO HAVE TO PAY a tax rise to send more money to Brussels”
    No, and have no wish to pay many debts. But they must be paid and aside from bureaucratic grandstanding about the matter prior to an otherwise lacklustre Tory pre-Election campaign, they of course WILL be paid.

    British people will not support an administration, ultimately, at an Election, who paint them into a corner making them financial delinquents in the eyes of the world.

  54. Elliot Kane
    Posted November 7, 2014 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    I agree with you, John. Sadly, it would appear that the PM and Chancellor do not. After all their talk of not paying, they agreed to pay a lesser amount, anyway.

    While it is true that Ed Miliband is the greatest gift to the Conservatives, I can’t help thinking that David Cameron is the greatest gift to Labour. A truly terrible situation when the leaders of neither of our main political parties have the strength or the will to stand up for Britain.

  55. Cheshire Girl
    Posted November 7, 2014 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    It has just been announced that the bill has been halved and will be paid in two instalments next year. George Osborne has said it is a ‘result for Britain.

  56. ChrisS
    Posted November 7, 2014 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    “The UK will only have to pay half of the £1.7bn budget surcharge demanded by the European Union, Chancellor George Osborne has said”

    Well, in my household, two payments of £850m add up to £1,700m which by my reckoning is, er, er, £1.7bn.

    Isn’t that back where we started with just a bit more time to pay ?

    If it is, when added to the net contribution, which will already be substantially in excess of the £11.5bn paid in 2013, we will be paying almost six times what the net £2.6bn we paid as recently as 2008.

    How can this possibly be justified. Our GDP is not six times the figure it was in 2008 ?

  57. Peter van Leeuwen
    Posted November 7, 2014 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    Some good news?
    Having to pay half the amount in self chosen instalments, before September 2015:
    The UK will not have to pay anything much until after the May 2015 elections, and the next (Labour) government will only have to bring the total up to half the amount of the original bill.

    • Mondeo Man
      Posted November 7, 2014 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

      A bit of a swiz by the sounds of things, Peter. Ukip and Labour are denouncing it as smoke and mirrors.

      This is what the Conservative MEP Daniel Hannan said about it:

      The deal achieved by the Chancellor may not represent any reduction to the amount being demanded from the UK.
      The apparent reduction seemed to have been achieved by bringing forward the rebate due to the UK every year, which would anyway have been applied to Britain’s contributions in due course.

      If true it would be typical of the way we are conned by the EU and our own politicians.

    • libertarian
      Posted November 7, 2014 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

      PvL
      Fortunately the British aren’t as naive and easily fooled as you Eurocrats.

      1) The UK will be paying the full amount, just fiddled and fudged in order to deliberately deceive.

      2) £1 is too much to pay let alone £850 million in one hit. We don’t need the EU , it is of no financial, economic or trade benefit AND its a layer of unaccountable undemocratic and autocratic government against which the British have fought for nearly 2000 years.

      So here’s a suggestion why don’t you stop whining about what the British do or don’t want and go play on your own. If your club is so good and we are not good members then kick us out and replace us with someone who wants to be in like Turkey or Albania or Kazakstan

  58. Elliot Kane
    Posted November 7, 2014 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    My apologies for a mistake in my earlier post. Apparently the amount Britain is due to pay has NOT been reduced, and our government has agreed to pay the full amount:

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-11-07/u-k-fails-to-win-budget-payment-cut-as-eu-defies-cameron.html

    John, maybe it’s time for a new leader for your party?

    • Kenneth R Moore
      Posted November 8, 2014 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

      Perhaps the higher pre rebate figure was deliberately overstated so that Mr Osborne could cynically claim to have negotiated a rebate. God help us they see theyre job as not running the country..but of managing the news headlines.
      No way to run a country – I fear we are running out of time before some kind of political or economic crash occurs brought on when reality catches up with spin.
      Nothing they can do surprises me anymore.

    • APL
      Posted November 9, 2014 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

      Elliot Kane: “John, maybe it’s time for a new leader for your party?”

      Look, don’t for a second think this wasn’t the script right from the start. Nor was John Redwood ignorant of the tactics to be. But a little bit of outraged EuroSceptism would be handy in the lead up to a by elections or the run up to a General election.

  59. libertarian
    Posted November 7, 2014 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    Well that didn’t take long did it? Osbourne has caved in and agreed to pay the entire £1.7 billion.

    Remind me why there is any point whatsoever voting Conservative

  60. Bill
    Posted November 7, 2014 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    Am impressed by the breaking news that the EU demands have been halved. If this is indeed so, it shows that reform within the EU is possible if enough pressure is applied and if this pressure is just and reasonable.

    • Iain Moore
      Posted November 7, 2014 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

      Nope, you have been misled. I believe the ‘deal’ Osborne negotiated was to pay £850 million after the election and lose £850 million of the rebate, result pay £1.7 billion.

    • Chris
      Posted November 7, 2014 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

      No, Bill. We have agreed that we are liable for the full amount but have offset a rebate against it so that the finished product can be presented to the public as only paying half. Are they mad these politicians, thinking we cannot see through the spin? I understand that this “creative accounting” was exposed for what it was on Radio 4 pm programme.

  61. Peter Richmond
    Posted November 7, 2014 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    Well that did not take long, did it? By 4pm we read that boy George has got a ‘good result for Britain’. Pay 50% now and the rest by 2015! Nigel Farage must be rolling about laughing.

  62. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted November 7, 2014 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    I sent you two contributions earlier today and so far they haven’t appeared. Am I allowed to ask why?

    • Kenneth R Moore
      Posted November 7, 2014 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

      I find that contributions that could be perceived as being critical of John Redwood Mp (in my case they usually aren’t but are of the wider world of politics) tend to get included later or not at all. Also speaking in a non politically correct tone is a sure way to get posts delayed or deleted.
      I was a strong supporter of John Redwood. But his fear of free speech and open dialogue is leading me to believe he is part of the problem with governance not the solution.
      The public are tired of being taken for fools.

      Reply I am very busy so may have to delay long posts or posts which contain links

      • ChrisS
        Posted November 7, 2014 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

        I disagree with these comments. I think our host is very fair in allowing highly critical comments to be posted on a regular basis on what is, after all, a vehicle designed to project and support the Redwood brand of Conservatism.

        I certainly could not find the time to moderate a forum such as this so every credit to our host for doing so himself.

        I have no doubt that somewhere in the cellars of Downing Street there is lowly member of the No 10 policy unit that reads what is posted here. They will certainly ignore the more rabid UKIP supporters but one hopes they take some note of the less extreme comments and those by fellow Conservatives. If they don’t they certainly should !

      • Brian Tomkinson
        Posted November 8, 2014 at 8:25 am | Permalink

        Reply to reply,
        I appreciate that you are very busy but my own experience on this site is very much in line with Kenneth’s description.

        • Handbags
          Posted November 8, 2014 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

          Why not start your own blog?

          You can then rant and rave as much as you like.

      • Handbags
        Posted November 8, 2014 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

        Letting a few loud mouths bang on and on and on …. has got nothing to do with a fear of free speech.

        It’s got everything to do with boredom and tediousness (the Neil Kinnock windbag effect).

        • Kenneth R Moore
          Posted November 8, 2014 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

          I prefer to take John Redwood at his word..You may not have noticed, written at the top of this blog: ‘Incisive commentary on today’s issues and tomorrow’s problems. Nothing about the promotion of JR’s ‘brand’ of Conservatism. I can read the Conservative party website if i want a sanitised version of his party.
          I’m sure a seasoned political fighter like Redwood would be aghast if his writing didn’t spark a lively debate.

          I have credited our kind host on several occasion for his hard work on this blog and written many supportive comments. Nobody would cheer louder than me if he was given a cabinet position.

          ‘bang on and on’ rant and rave’ …this was the sort of language that was used to attempt to silence individuals that warned against the dangers of the Euro and lately our absence of proper border control. Such language says more about those who use it than those that it is directed to.

          I personally find commentators that resort to personal attacks instead of debating the issues boring and extremely tedious.

          • Handbags
            Posted November 12, 2014 at 11:07 am | Permalink

            My original comment was 4 lines long – your response to it was 20 lines long.

            I think the phrase ‘banging on’ is pretty accurate.

  63. ChrisS
    Posted November 7, 2014 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    John, can you please explain to the PM and Chancellor that one of the reasons Nigel Farage is so popular is because he tells it like it is, as do Daniel Hannan and yourself.

    Trying to tell us that the surcharge has been halved when it is very obviously hasn’t been is exactly the kind of deviousness, or in this case bare faced lie, that we absolutely detest from our politicians.

    As a Conservative I was ashamed and embarrassed to hear Cameron and Osborne attempt to spin this story in a manner that would be far more worthy of Peter Mandleson.

    Dan gave an interview to the PM programme just now making very clear what he thinks of the outcome. I’m sure you must feel exactly the same.

    • Boudicca
      Posted November 7, 2014 at 11:30 pm | Permalink

      Calling it spin is being too generous.

      They were lying.

      • ChrisS
        Posted November 8, 2014 at 9:31 am | Permalink

        I completely agree with you, Boudicca.

        If you re-read my post, I did say it’s a bare faced lie.

        It’s exactly this kind of think that destroys trust in politicians. Problem is, they still don’t get it, do they ?

        It’s also why Nigel Farage has become so popular because he normally tells things as they are in a way that’s refreshingly honest.

        • Chris
          Posted November 8, 2014 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

          Chris S, have you seen his address to Rochester meeting on 4 November? Really inspiring and demonstrates why voters are listening to him. I was not permitted to post the youtube link on this site, but the 16 minute address by Farage was tremendous, I thought, and should be compulsory viewing for those politicians who are scratching their heads wondering why they have lost Party members. No need for expensive polling by Lord Ashcroft.

    • Chris
      Posted November 8, 2014 at 9:37 am | Permalink

      Wholeheartedly endorse what you are saying, Chris S.

  64. Denis Cooper
    Posted November 7, 2014 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    It seems that we can now choose between a variety of lies from the government about this, the two leading contenders being:

    1. A previous oft-repeated lie that the UK was expected to give the EU £1.7 billion extra when net of the UK rebate it would really be half that, £850 billion; or

    2. A new lie that it really would have been £1.7 billion but Osborne has now negotiated it down to £850 million, when in fact it will still cost us £1.7 billion.

  65. Peter van Leeuwen
    Posted November 7, 2014 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

    To Britain, being a headline country, what else could one say than:
    “Congratulations on a hard won battle with the EC bureaucrats and then an overwhelming victory!”
    With a bit of luck Mr Osborne won’t have to pay anything during his time in office. 🙂
    The poor Dutch by contrast, have to pay everything during Mr Dijsselbloem’s term in office 🙂

    • libertarian
      Posted November 8, 2014 at 11:23 am | Permalink

      PvL

      No problem mate just import another 10 million of your money spinning immigrants, job done you’ve paid all of your EU fees out the the vast amount of profit you make from immigrants as you claim.

  66. CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
    Posted November 7, 2014 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

    If Vince Cable presently up to his neck in committee work trying to avoid the rightful consequences of signing up to the Social Charter and European Directive in regard to overtime and commissions hears about Mr Osborne’s creative accounting, a leaf straight out of the very worst behaviour of UK banks, he may very well bring The Treasury under legitimate national control.
    Best thing for the Conservative Party is to fail outright in gaining any majority whatsoever in
    1915 . Unfit to govern.

  67. Alan Joyce
    Posted November 7, 2014 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

    Dear John,

    In your opinion, how far do you think that the Prime Minister and Chancellor have succeeded in saying ‘No to £1.7 billion must mean No’?

    If you do not think they have been very successful, how do you think this augurs for a successful UK/EU renegotiation should Mr. Cameron win the general election?

  68. DaveM
    Posted November 7, 2014 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

    Nice one George – you’ve just shown us just how robust your “renegotiations” are going to be. You’d make a jellyfish look like Hercules!!! Cave-in Cameron as a headline anyone? What joke – it’d be funny if it wasn’t so sad. Never thought I’d agree with Ed Balls….

  69. A different Simon
    Posted November 7, 2014 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

    So it has been nothing more than Cameron and Osborne “playing hard to get” .

  70. John Robertson
    Posted November 7, 2014 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

    This is quite interesting
    http://openeuropeblog.blogspot.co.uk/2014/10/britains-17bn-budget-bill-who-is-to.html

    It is a bit galling that the biggest contributors to the larger GDP figures are charities first £24 bn 2009 and then drugs and prostitution £10 bn. Both do not generate large tax revenues, charities have tax breaks so that doesn’t mean we have more money to pay the EU and France etc.

    This may be an own goal though and may bear fruit later in negotiations though doubt that, pay money up front first isn’t a good negotiating stance.

  71. Richard
    Posted November 7, 2014 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

    Whatever the outcome of this particular EU demand for additional money it will surely not be the last now that QMV is kicking in and the fact that the EU is desperate for more money :

    Press release from the EU 23/10/2014 :

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

    “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.”

    Presumably those who believe that our exit from the EU would lead to the UK suffering a financial collapse with the loss of 3 million jobs will view these extra payments to keep us from being ejected from the EU as “Junckergeld”.

  72. Excalibur
    Posted November 7, 2014 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

    The extent of duplicity over the 1.7 bn surcharge is dismaying, JR. One assumes the European Arrest Warrant legislation will just be waved through on Monday. Yes, there will be protests from patriots like yourself, but the end result will be unchanged, and the British people will not have been consulted.

    • Dan
      Posted November 8, 2014 at 10:06 am | Permalink

      Tokenism isn’t patriotism.
      A patriot wouldn’t remain loyal to a traitorous party. He’d leave it.

  73. A different Simon
    Posted November 7, 2014 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

    They were saying no but they meant yes .

  74. Boudicca
    Posted November 7, 2014 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

    There isn’t a snowball’s chance in hell of Cameron/Osborne refusing to pay up the £1.7billion Danegeld.

    The EU has lodged the Bill. Angela Merkel has instructed Cameron to pay up – and Cameron does what Frau Merkel orders.

    Today we had the spectacle of Osborne indulging in some “Tesco Accounting, ” claiming that he had halved the payments when he had done no such thing.

    Cameron WILL borrow and pay the £1.7billion; we will get the £850 million EU Rebate we were going to get anyway. Ergo he is paying an additional £.17 billion.

    And he wonders why we don’t trust him or believe a word he says.

  75. nigel
    Posted November 8, 2014 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    Did George Osborne ever work in the finance department at Tesco?

  76. Dan
    Posted November 8, 2014 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    So, to noone’s surprise Cameron agrees that we pay the full amount.
    …and to even less surprise, John Redwood remains loyal to his leader.

    Party before country.

  77. oldtimer
    Posted November 8, 2014 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    I read that Fraser Nelson is now putting Mr Osborne into the same category as Mr Gordon Brown when it comes to spin. Mr Osborne is now damaged goods over his presentation of this issue.

  78. Kenneth R Moore
    Posted November 8, 2014 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

    One has to feel a degree of sympathy for Dr Redwood – forced to defend the dishonesty of Mr Cameron and Osborne. I suspect that it is only pride that prevents Mr Redwood from doing the right thing and joining UKIP.
    If only he could rekindle the bulldog spirit that led him to stand up to the foolishness of the Major government against an equally wrong headed and dangerous opponent – Mr David Cameron.

    Recent events show that the Dr can nomore credibly claim that Mr Cameron can be relied upon to deliver a free and fair EU referendum.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-11-07/u-k-fails-to-win-budget-payment-cut-as-eu-defies-cameron.html

    Got to hand it to Cameron – he effectively pays the 1.7bn bill in full and then pretends to knock down a strawman to incredibly claim he had been ‘tough’ and secured a ‘good deal’. But nobody is falling for it….

  79. ChrisS
    Posted November 8, 2014 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

    John, while I agree with what you have said above, could you please tell us what you really think about the “halving” of the surcharge ?

    If, in your view, what your leaders are saying is defencible can you please explain the reasoning to us doubters ?

    We genuinely want to know !

  80. Terry
    Posted November 8, 2014 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

    Sorry John but OUR problem is the inability of the leaders of your party to negotiate with or stand up to EU demands and bullying tactics. That is the inherent problem with our modern day ‘Professional’ politicians. They are not street savvy and are therefor, ill-equipped to deal with and rebut such outlandish claims on our resources.

    In simple terms, they are too naive in the ways of business and lack proper experience of protecting the interests of Britain and its citizens. Not log ago they gave way to the preposterous rise in “fees” instead of forcing Brussels to make cuts to their personal behemoth. They were completely conned by a deliberately exaggerated claim in the first place. Claiming fame for negotiating a reduction in a previously exaggerated claim is NOTHING to boast about. It shows a lack of experienced and complete naivety. And it’s just been repeated here.

    Will they never learn? Or will they allow our country to slip further down the European pecking order? All at a terrible cost to us in the back streets of Britain.

  81. Richard
    Posted November 8, 2014 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

    So Britain paying an additional £850 million to the European Union, a corrupt organisation that cannot get its accounts passed by its auditors, and without clear and satisfactory justification, is described by our leaders as a “real win for British taxpayers”.

    We have been sold down the river by the people we have elected to represent and look after us.

    • Richard
      Posted November 9, 2014 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

      The EU has fined us for our increased GDP which our leaders have funded by increasing our national debt.

    • William Gruff
      Posted November 9, 2014 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

      The £850m we’re not paying is actually the rebate we were due to receive anyway brought forward. It’s all just smoke and mirrors.

  • About John Redwood


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

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