More money for the EU

Yesterday the Commons passed another EU Finance Bill. UK voters will have to pay more tax to send a bit more money to the EU as a result. The Minister assured us it would have been a lot more if the UK had not cut the EU budget, and if the UK had no rebate. He reminded us just how much we have lost thanks to Labour giving away an important part of the rebate for no gain.

The two main opposition parties, Labour and the SNP, supported the Bill. They told us they wanted to fund the EU as they wished the UK to stay in come what may. UKIP did not attend the session. Conservative Eurosceptics asked questions and highlighted the problems with sending more money to the EU, aided by the Labour member for Luton North, Mr Hopkins.

I asked Labour if there was any tax demand from the EU that they would oppose. Their front bench confirmed there was not. In office they had allowed a large increase in the EU budget, an increase in UK contributions, and had given away an important part of the rebate. For once SNP and Labour seemed to be in agreement about something.

I made the point that if we have a new relationship based on trade, friendship and co-operation we would not need to pay this huge subscription, and could have a tax cut. Jacob Rees Mogg pointed out they needed to consider the gross contribution after abatement, because if we were free to choose for ourselves we might choose to spend the money the EU does spend in the UK in other ways. Labour said the details of EU finance were not clear, and that the change they wanted was a better explanation. I cannot see what is unclear about the UK’s large net contribution to the EU. It is tax money we pay them so they can spend it in other countries. Voters understand that, even if some MPs do not.

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129 Comments

  1. Posted June 12, 2015 at 5:29 am | Permalink

    Question Time sank to a new predictable low. 5 panelists only 1 of which was pro OUT and Carswell is not at all persuasive, the audience seemed quite eurosceptic but none of the panelists gave them red meat.

    Hancock is as Wet as can be. If the Tories persist in putting up pro-eu MPs in these debates no-one will vote OUT.

    • Posted June 12, 2015 at 8:54 am | Permalink

      Indeed in the country it is perhaps about 55/45 for in and out, but on the BBC Questiontime types of discussions it will always be 5 to 0 or at best 5 to 1. With the usual BBC type of presenter to augment the IN side. Plus the absurdly unrepresentitive audiences they seem to attract. All will gang together to suggest the EUsceptic is racist.

      The same applies on the green issue, the size of government, tax levels, all the PC “BBC think” drivel.

      • Posted June 12, 2015 at 9:01 am | Permalink

        I see that an excellent scientist has had to resign for saying that women in labs sometimes fall in love and sometimes cry. What a waste. It is always dangerous to say things that are simply true statements with so many PC “BBC think” types around.

        There are of course, may excellent women scientists about. This despite the fact that so few girls choose to study the solid science subjects at GCSE & A level for some reason or other.

        Mind you having seen the moronic level of the current GCSE science exams (helping my son to revise) and rather poorly thought through and worded questions it is perhaps understandable.

        • Posted June 12, 2015 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

          Also the GCSE questions seem to have a great deal of bogus science & renewable, carbon preserving indoctrination in them. Rather little real solid science alas, little more than very simple regurgitation.

          • Posted June 12, 2015 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

            Also in A-levels I have just seen a biology a level paper which has a few questions which start by telling students biofuels are produced by companies but the science was established by govt funding, then asks them to give 2 good reasons for biofuel research. In total 15/100 marks for related questions extolling biofuels. Presumably students who suggest they might not be a good idea fail. I’ve advised my children to ignore me and parrot the party line on this issue.

        • Posted June 12, 2015 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

          He should have known better than to joke about any such matter.

          • Posted June 12, 2015 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

            Indeed he should have known, but what an absurd over reaction by the PC loons.

        • Posted June 12, 2015 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

          this WAS a brilliant scientist in his domain. twenty years ago. His personal takes on this type of topics in a conference aimed at women scientists are rather irrelevant, as is your comment.

          • Posted June 13, 2015 at 5:37 am | Permalink

            @Hefner; Indeed, and just yet another vehicle for Mr Lifelogic to have a bash at the BBC, I do wish some would stop shooting the messenger – especially when they shoot no other messengers with the similar messages!

            If the ever extending grasp of “political correctness gone mad” (and all the other “thought crimes” peopel might be guilty of) is the fault of anyone it has been the ruling political class, both left and right since the early 1970s.

    • Posted June 12, 2015 at 9:26 am | Permalink

      Indeed it was a four to one pro Eu panel – a feature that will probably be standard for our national broadcaster up until the referendum.
      Perhaps UKIP’s absence (on this occasion) from the finance bill debate could be excused by Mr Carswell’s need to appear in Gateshead for QT.
      Mathew Hancock’s refusal to acknowledge that ministers should be allowed a free vote on the referendum is telling – we all know Mr Cameron wants a cabinet collective reasponsibility stitch up.
      What is the point in Dave ‘negotiating’ if he has already decided that he is going to stay in come what may ?..his negotiating position is incredibly weak and the forthcoming referendum being less than free and fair will settle nothing.

      • Posted June 12, 2015 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

        Leading up to the GE, most BBC panels were roughly 1 x Con, 1 x shouty Lab, 1 x anti-Con LD, 1 x anti-Con SNP, and 1 x celeb Milifan, so I wouldn’t worry too much about that.

        Instead of moaning about pro-EU noisy broadcasters, politicians, celebs, and ultra rich businessmen, it would be far more constructive to search for every single iota of anti-EU ammunition and present it in a sober, accurate way – as does our host whenever he appears in public – and back it up with solid facts and figures.

        “What is the point in Dave ‘negotiating’ if he has already decided that he is going to stay in come what may ?”

        It’s not Dave’s choice, it’s the electorate’s choice, so the electorate has to be persuaded to vote the way one wants. Although I can’t help wondering what would have happened if the Scot’s had voted for independence…..

      • Posted June 12, 2015 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

        What do the legacy parties think we get for our £14.5 billion net contribution other than more loss of our sovereign democracy and no control over most parts of our laws? Quislings one and all.

      • Posted June 12, 2015 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

        Indeed.

    • Posted June 12, 2015 at 9:49 am | Permalink

      The out campaign really are a pretty desperate bunch – we learned last night that following a ‘No’ vote all 6000 Jobs at Sunderland’s Nissan plat will vanish overnight. Perhaps the EU fanatics can explain why membership didn’t prevent Ford Transit van production being moved from Southhampton to non EU Turkey. ?

      If this is the best they can do – perhaps the out campaign can win even with both hands tied behind their backs ?.

      When the politicians are prepared to tell lies to frighten people it brings home the seriousness of what is at stake – do we allow an establishment clique of self serving politicans to dictate the terms of our democracy or shall we stand up for ourselves ?.

  2. Posted June 12, 2015 at 5:47 am | Permalink

    The UK public is not yet shown that it gains much more from the EU than it pays, because all info is polarised and politicised. In the Netherlands independent information has been available sinde 1945 through the CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis, to which all Dutch political parties refer.
    In my opinion, an independent UK office could show that the economic gains for the UK far outweigh its EU contribution, which by the way is the same as other countries, a mere 1% of UK GDP.

    reply Not so. The EU reduces our income and growth rate

    • Posted June 12, 2015 at 8:47 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply
      Thank you for proving my point: nobody will mistake you for independent. 🙂
      There are many studies which prove the opposite of what you state here.

      • Posted June 12, 2015 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

        What, like that study you cited the other day, Peter, the one in which the UK was treated as being a composite of New Zealand and Argentina in the proportions of 91% to 9%?

        • Posted June 12, 2015 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

          @Denis Cooper: The Economist is not some children’s magazine Denis. Which reputable sources would you recommend?

        • Posted June 12, 2015 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

          @Denis Cooper: Obviously we cannot trust Standard & Poor’s either, can we? 🙂
          12-6-2015: “Standard & Poor’s cuts its outlook for the UK economy”

          • Posted June 13, 2015 at 5:45 am | Permalink

            @PvL; Business and their champions do not always want what is actually best for business, just what is easiest and gets a good enough result, I suspect that S&P were simply reflecting the latter.

      • Posted June 12, 2015 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

        Mr Redwood is right.
        Its not exactly providing growth miracles for the majority of its members economies.
        Have you seen the unemployment figures overall for the EU and for young citizens in certain member nations Peter?

        • Posted June 12, 2015 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

          @Edward2: You mean that youth unemployment in Britain is now one and a half time higher than in the Netherlands and twice as much as in Germany? Yes I believe to have seen that.

          • Posted June 12, 2015 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

            No, I mean low overall growth rates in the Eurozone, high levels of unemployment in Europe as a whole and very high levels of youth unemployment in countries like Spain Portugal Italy and of course Greece.
            Your complacency is astounding Peter.

          • Posted June 13, 2015 at 5:38 am | Permalink

            Because we have millions of Eastern Europeans here taking the traditional starter jobs from our young people!

          • Posted June 13, 2015 at 5:52 am | Permalink

            @Timaction; “Because we have millions of Eastern Europeans here taking the traditional starter jobs from our young people…”

            …due to our own population not wanting to demean themselves by taking such ‘starter’ jobs when they can sit in a nice warm college doing an utterly worthless course or worse sit on benefits watching morning TV in ITV etc… There are no reasons why our young people could and should not take the sorts of jobs you mention, after all if am eastern European can travel 500 miles why can’t our youth travel 5 miles, even more so when many will already have accommodation at the Hotel of mum and dad!

          • Posted June 13, 2015 at 8:04 am | Permalink

            @|Edward2: Moi?? Complacent??

            Have a look at EU statistics: take de GDP per capita as a indicator of growth. Take the last ten years available in Eurostat statistics, in which EU28 is taken as 100% (the benchmark)
            In these 10 years the UK went from 123% to 109% (The Netherlands from 133% to 131%).
            So you can see that UK citizens lost 14% income compared to the EU as a whole. Time to become less complacent Edward2! 🙂

          • Posted June 13, 2015 at 8:42 am | Permalink

            Complacent Peter because as your reply indicates, you carefully choosen to ignore a declining EU.
            Low growth
            High unemployment
            A declining share of world trade.

          • Posted June 13, 2015 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2: As my example from statistics shows, the UK contributes more than average to EU “decline” (123% to 109% decline compared to the EU average). The EU has a declining share of world trade. I agree with you that we have to combat low growth and high unemployment, and so has the UK! With your 109% (the Netherlands 131%) do try and first catch up with us.

          • Posted June 13, 2015 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2: Sorry, I meant to say that the EU has a declining share of world population, which naturally causes a declining share in world trade.

          • Posted June 14, 2015 at 8:51 am | Permalink

            Still complacent on EU growth and unemployment levels I note.

          • Posted June 14, 2015 at 9:14 am | Permalink

            @Edward2; “Low growth, High unemployment, A declining share of world trade.”

            Never heard of the economic cycle? But if you are correct then leaving the EU will be largely economically neutral for the UK as it is not the EU that has a problem but the traditional industrialised western economies.

            Oh and ads for unemployment, when comparing with the Euro area, do remember that the UK largely hides our youth unemployment figure “off balance sheet” by way of extended school years and ‘easy’ further education via college and/or University.

          • Posted June 14, 2015 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

            Yes Jerry I’ve heard of the economic cycle.
            When is up phase due in the EU?
            Perhaps you can inform us all.

            Youth unemploymeny is approacing 30% in some Eurozone nations
            Are you content with this Jerry?

          • Posted June 14, 2015 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; You tell me, you are the one so sure that the EU is a busted flush, oh and what is the non-adjusted youth unemployment figure in the UK?

          • Posted June 15, 2015 at 7:17 am | Permalink

            You sounded all expert when you said
            “Never heard of the trade cycle”.
            Yet when asked you retreated to your usual “you tell me”.
            Come on Jerry, explain the trade cycle and tell us when its time for the next Eurozone “up”

          • Posted June 15, 2015 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; You like asking those “Have you stopped beating your wife” style questions when you are stumped, I merely pointed out that there is such a thing as the economic cycle, and as you are the one who appears to be suggesting that the Eurozone is not suffering from being in such a cycle it is for you to demonstrate that the EU is indeed a ‘busted flush’ – as for when the Eurozone will pick up, probably when people like you stop talking it down all the time!

          • Posted June 15, 2015 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

            Jerry you can wriggle as much as you like, but you said, “have you heard of the economic cycle”
            I said yes I have.
            I asked you, as you brought it up, “when will the next “up” phase be in the EU?
            You then switched it to ask me “you tell me”

            Also, I never ever said the EU is a “busted flush” that was what you said not me.

            If you feel the EU has rising prosperity for all, high growth, low unemployment levels and low youth unemployment levels, perhaps you will give us some figure (unbiased sources please) which back up your views on the performance of the EU.

      • Posted June 12, 2015 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

        EU studies via their propaganda unit? CBI or equally funded BBC?

        • Posted June 12, 2015 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

          @Timaction: Voilà! If the source doesn’t give the figures the eurosceptics want, they will try and paint the source black. Rather kill the messenger than hear the inconvenient message!

          • Posted June 13, 2015 at 5:39 am | Permalink

            £14.5 billion net contribution…………………..for a £77 billion annual trade deficit. Go ponder Peter. We understand economics. Do you?

          • Posted June 13, 2015 at 6:00 am | Permalink

            @Timaction; Sorry to say this but, talking of trade deficits, I suspect that our European near neighbours understand economics (especially Socio-economic) far better than we have in the last 30-40 odd years – hence the trade deficit…

            At times the UK’s understanding of economics seems to have been to know the value of everything but the worth of nothing. 🙁

          • Posted June 13, 2015 at 8:30 am | Permalink

            @Timeaction: The UK trade in goods deficit exists with the whole world, so must be largely a national problem. But why do you leave out the huge trade in services surplus which the UK has with the EU. Is that not part of economics?

        • Posted June 13, 2015 at 10:17 am | Permalink

          @Timeaction: If you don’t like EU statistics, look at stats.oecd.org
          …. and the results are the same. You know reading DT or tabloids might not be the best source of economic information … and it might hurt your health.

          And that seems to be quite a problem in this blog: Misinformed angry people (even some tax exiles from the Channel Islands) talking to other misinformed angry people.

          • Posted June 14, 2015 at 8:54 am | Permalink

            If I were living in Spain or Portugal or Italy and now unemployed as many are, especially the young people and seeing proserity declining under the rule of the EU, then I really would be angry Michael.

          • Posted June 14, 2015 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; But you are not and I very much doubt you even know of such peoples true plight. There are without doubts areas that are suffering (just like there was in the UK during the 1980s) but to read the europhobes media and bloggers people might be mistaken for thinking Spain, Portugal & Italy are total basket cases which they are not

          • Posted June 15, 2015 at 7:23 am | Permalink

            Ive seen the hardship in these countries at first hand thanks.
            It is treated with a complete lack of concern by the Brussels elite.
            Of course they are not basket cases Jerry but the economic decline is there for all to see.
            We were told by experts that joining the Euro would bring only success.
            If you look at performance figures for nations in the Eurozone other than Germany they are poor.

          • Posted June 15, 2015 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; “Ive seen the hardship in these countries at first hand thanks.”

            Whilst my self and others have seen much wealth (making) and employment in those countries.

            “It is treated with a complete lack of concern by the Brussels elite.”

            You mean like many areas in the UK were treated with a complete lack of concern by the governing elite during the 1980s?!

            “Of course they are not basket cases Jerry but the economic decline is there for all to see.”

            You mean like how many thought of the UK in the 1980s then, look at us now.

            “We were told by experts that joining the Euro would bring only success.”

            The “Great Recession” has been a boom to the europhobes… All currencies, all economies, suffer from economic downturns, and events outside their central bank and governments control.

            “If you look at performance figures for nations in the Eurozone other than Germany they are poor.”

            Look at half the worlds economies and they look poor compared to Germany, including the UK’s!

          • Posted June 15, 2015 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

            Again you refuse to confront the actual issues and switch it to arguments about economic history from 30 years ago
            Ridiculous and irrelevant arguments Jerry
            Come on answer the original points.

            PS you quoted me as saying..”Whilst my self and others have seen much wealth (making) and employment in those countries.”
            I did not say these words

    • Posted June 12, 2015 at 9:04 am | Permalink

      The EU without doubt reduces our income and growth rates. The bonkers regulations, expensive energy, silly laws and other complete nonsense does that – even if we had paid nothing for the membership fee.

      • Posted June 12, 2015 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

        @Lifelogic: You’re obviously a “believer”. Real businesses don’t have that luxury and will depend on real data.

        • Posted June 12, 2015 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

          Peter vL

          Problem is Peter there isn’t any REAL, or FACTUAL data concerning the EU. Its books don’t balance, its accounts are a mess ( a fact confirmed by its former accountant ). Real businesses in this country don’t work with cooked books. Therefore we look at what we put in, what we get back AND most importantly if what we get back is actually spent on things UK people want or things like regionalisation, harmonisation and EU propaganda units that we dont want.

        • Posted June 12, 2015 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

          I own and run several real businesses.

          • Posted June 14, 2015 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

            Lifelogic; “I own and run several real businesses.”

            As do others Mr LL, and many do not share anything like your outlook, nor your attitude, and who is to say that PvL doesn’t run or own a business.

          • Posted June 15, 2015 at 7:27 am | Permalink

            Its multi national corporations and big buisiness that likes the EU Jerry
            They are the ones who wanted us in the ERM and in the Eurozone.
            Real busiinesses are the ones that try to survive against these corporations and they realise how much the EU costs and restricts them.

          • Posted June 15, 2015 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; A line regularly trotted out by the europhobes, but as untrue as the europhile lie about 3m jobs.

          • Posted June 15, 2015 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

            Complete nonsense again from you Jerry
            This is the opinion of the members of the federation of small business which can be found on line.
            You may disagree with it
            But it does not make it untrue.
            It is also true that big business likes the EU
            The CBI has always been in favour of our membership.

      • Posted June 12, 2015 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

        Spot on Lifelogic with the comments about bonkers legislation from the EU. I see in the Telegraph today that Cameron and the DECC are having to hold off an announcement about bonkers wind farm subsidies because ‘they have not consulted with the SNP and the renewables industry is threatening to take the government to court’. Looks like a case of the renewables industry and the SNP holding the UK to ransom. With 3000 turbines consented but not yet erected and another 3000 in the early planning stages (most of which will be in Scotland) I should have thought it would be cheaper to pay any fines the courts impose rather than pay the subsidies for the next 25 years. The Scottish government seem to be consenting wind farms on the back of community benefit. Looks as though the whole of the UK is funding local community projects in Scotland as well as giving them a whole load of extra perks.

        • Posted June 12, 2015 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

          Fedupsoutherner.

          You are correct that it would seem that the UK is run by the RE industry. So if CMD backs down over subsidies all he has to do is hand it over to his next door neighbour.

          Raise all taxes to 80% on all unearned income land rental for turbines, solar farms and constraint payments and what ever free hand out the RE industry gets and then just to really make their day bring in a law that for domestic PV solar panel users their property will be redesignated as a commercial/business due to them “selling” electricity to the grid and that all farmers and land owners with more than two turbines will be redesignated as a “power station” for rating purposes. No one is being hit on tax for what power they produce as promised. Sometimes it is a really sad hard world that we live in. Shame.

          This country is still in a financial mess and for any industry to hold us to ransom is just short of treason.

          Has the DECC any idea on how many wind turbines and solar panels actually exist within the boundaries of the UK? It could well be that we have enough all ready to meet our so called RE targets without all the thousands in the pipeline that you mention.

        • Posted June 12, 2015 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

          Indeed the fines will clearly be far less than the costs of keeping the huge subsidies to these white elephants. Better still just change the tax on them so heavily that they are not built or removed. Perhaps a bird and bat exploding compensation tax or a tax for damage to views and property devaluation. Or a tax on the noise these things produce or a wind farm mansion tax (say 30% of the initial installation costs PA).

    • Posted June 12, 2015 at 9:56 am | Permalink

      “The UK public is not yet shown that it gains much more from the EU than it pays”

      Unfortunately, Peter, the EU gives us what we don’t want, and takes what we need.
      I realise you are attempting to be unbiased, but I don’t think you succeeded on this occasion.

      • Posted June 12, 2015 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

        @forthurst: 🙂 I won’t claim to be unbiased, as I’m not. But this Dutch agency is. And so, well informed Dutchmen know that they gained about €5 per day for every €1 per day (the EU contribution, the 1% GDP). How could this possibly so different in the UK, I wonder. But I won’t find out easily as all UK data seem to be politicised and polarised.

        • Posted June 12, 2015 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

          Peter vL

          what does the independent Dutch agency ( how can it be independent if its an agency? ) say your money is actually spent on when it comes back? Plus if as you claim the EU gives us back more than we put in, and the same accounts for every other country please explain where the EU are getting the extra money from.

        • Posted June 12, 2015 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

          “well informed Dutchmen know that they gained about €5 per day for every €1 per day”

          Unfortunately, when Dutch trawlers steal our fish, there are less for us; furthermore, we have to pay the cost of EU inspectors, delegated by the EU Commission, to check that British trawlermen do not take what is rightfully theirs. We sacrificed much to enter the EU (Common Market) and for us it has not been a success.

    • Posted June 12, 2015 at 10:39 am | Permalink

      Peter what do you actually think about the EU accounts not being signed off properly in all payment areas and the lack of transparency (do you get this transparency in the Netherlands? our news media can’t see to report the facts) and secondly what do you think about the EU parliament moving between two locations Brussels and Strasbourg wasting money, time, energy? We keep being asked for more taxes including made up GDP eg. taxes that we don’t collect from drugs and prostitution that is guessed at by Europe, do the Netherlands get a made up % of undeclared drugs and prostitution GDP in addition to the declared stuff? We need to stop playing in Europe with British fair play and start looking at what the receivers achieve.

      • Posted June 12, 2015 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

        Peter what do you actually think about the EU accounts not being signed off properly in all payment areas and the lack of transparency (do you get this transparency in the Netherlands? our news media can’t see to report the facts) and secondly what do you think about the EU parliament moving between two locations Brussels and Strasbourg wasting money, time, energy? We keep being asked for more taxes including made up GDP eg. taxes that we don’t collect from drugs and prostitution that is guessed at by Europe, do the Netherlands get a made up % of undeclared drugs and prostitution GDP in addition to the declared stuff? We need to stop playing in Europe with British fair play and start looking at what the receivers achieve.

        @a-tracy:
        EU accounts – The facts here are a bit diffeent than reported. I believe that the errors, are only due to expenditure in member states, for which these member states are responsible but still fail to take responsibility. Here what I know from checking the internet:
        2006: The Netherlands is the first EU Member State to give assurance on spending EU funds, accompanied by an independent opinion by the Dutch Court of Audit.
        Later on, we were joined by the UK and Sweden:
        2012: The Netherlands, Britain and Sweden on Tuesday voted against approving the EU’s accounts for 2012. Likely they will annually be joined by more countries until this battle is won. Thus – not the EU but the member states are at fault here.

        Strassbourg – a ridiculous circus, against which all Dutch MEPs are opposed, but difficult to get rid off, because it is written in the treaty. My solution: move Nato headquarters from Brussels to Strasbourg (France) and give EU parliament plenary sessions to Brussels (Belgium).

        Drugs and prostitution – led to increase of GDP in Britain AND in the Netherlands (of course 🙂 ). One of the modifications in a modified way to calculate GDP, and one to which both your Mr Osborne and our Mr Dijsselbloem had totally agreed beforehand! (not mentioned in the UK press?) The Netherlands refused to pay until the statistical source material from member states would be made public, so that the unexpectedly high payment could be verified. In the end it all proved correct and so we paid up.

        Different counties, different cultures, but (with a lot of patience) one does see steady progress (at least I do).

        • Posted June 14, 2015 at 10:16 am | Permalink

          This just raises more questions ?.

          Who are the EU nations that aren’t signing off accounts name and shame them and what penalties are we imposing on them, reduced contributions?

          The EU to me seems like FIFA with sweeties to poorer countries to get through whatever Germany, Brussels and France demands, why don’t the Netherlands and the UK table a treaty amendment and court all the smaller countries against waste in the Strasbourg/Brussels primacy. Shouldn’t the countries that pay the most in get the most say on financial waste?

          Now I wonder if there is a table of assumed prostitution and Drugs GDP of all EU countries and if everyone is treated equally and this is taken into account the same everywhere, perhaps a lot of alleged consumers of these services go to the EU for them and is this taken into account when our estimates are calculated? Where is the table that you in the Netherlands could verify.

    • Posted June 12, 2015 at 11:30 am | Permalink

      “Not so. The EU reduces our income and growth rate”.

      Reducing income, maybe, growth rate, prove it.
      Growth rate is a variable depending on time, and saying that the growth rate is reduced induces that you know what the future will be, which obviously you cannot. And if you say that another policy would have brought better results, that’s just an expectation, not a proof.

      So if you can, try to make your arguments a bit more scientific, but as has been said on this blog a number of times, what can you expect of former PPE students whose biggest exposure to maths has been with 1970s economics.

      • Posted June 12, 2015 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

        @Michael Walzer: If anything, the Economist published a study on 14 April 2014 which proves a higher growth rate due to UK’s EU membership since 1972. (Google for “The benefits of Brentry”Economist). Some blog readers doubt the methodology, but it is a scientific attempt.

    • Posted June 12, 2015 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

      PeterVL,

      You would have a valid point if the eurozone wasn’t such a basket-case economically. In that case, the UK would have a healthy market in Europe for the sale of its goods and services. British workers would have buyers for their labour in countries blessed with a much more favourable climate. Living and working in Athens might be somewhat more preferable than living and working in Leeds or Manchester if the wages and salaries were comparable.

      It certainly wouldn’t make any sense for the UK govt to count the pennies , which is, as I understand it, the basis of your criticism.

      When, and if, that happens make your point again and I, for one, will agree with you.

      • Posted June 12, 2015 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

        @petermartin2001: the eurozone is more than just Greece! The Netherlands is also eurozone, Germany is also eurozone. I believe that both have lower public debt, much lower annual deficit, much lower youth unemployment, just to pick a few favourable parameters 🙂
        My criticism is that British politicians juggle their figures for or against the EU so much. They should agree on independent studies by unbiased institutions. Mind you, time is very short with this referendum nearing.

        • Posted June 12, 2015 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

          Well thats two out of 28.

          • Posted June 13, 2015 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

            Maybe you could have a look at the OECD data as presented at
            economics online.co.uk
            It allows various indicators, GDP, inflation, unemployment, imports , exports, … for up to 4 countries (or OECD, or EURO countries) over 10 years. And it is very easy to use.

            If people on this blog were checking their assertions against these numbers before spitting out what often is not more than their biased “feelings”, maybe this blog could even become useful. And this advice could also be used by our distinguished site owner, except if as a good politician he would only be interested in propaganda.

            Reply If you read more of what I write you see I provide analysis and well researched facts which may not be in line with the government view.

          • Posted June 14, 2015 at 8:59 am | Permalink

            I do check economic data for the EU Michael.
            Low growth, falling prosperity, high levels of unemployment, outrageous levels of youth unemployment, decling levels of world trade etc
            If it were doing the opposite and brining prosperity to all, not just 2 or 3 members, then my views would be more positive.

    • Posted June 12, 2015 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

      How much is our sovereign democracy valued at Peter? How do we remove commissioners or elect them? What say do the public have on any EU laws/directives that are unpopular in the UK? When do we get our agriculture and fisheries back? Control over who can come and go in the UK? Oh, none of the above whilst we remain in the dictatorship!

      • Posted June 12, 2015 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

        @Timaction: Well, you elect or remove commissioners the same way as British ministers: you don’t! The are appointed. In the EU they have to pass a pretty strict examination by parliament before even starting their work, something missing in the UK.
        Being elected beforehand as MP is usually by something like 10.000 people. Although our population is only about a quarter of UK population, our commissioner Timmermans must have been elected as MP by about tenfold that number, maybe more. The only unelected exeption that I know of comes from, of course, the UK! (Lord Hill, an otherwise pleasant man, but . . . never stood for elections)
        We control who comes and goes as far as the Netherlands is concerned, is our Home Office more competent than yours?
        We still have our fisheries and agriculture in the Netherlands (still the world’s second largest exporter of agricultural products I believe, after the USA). In a multinational democracy, the UK cannot command all the other countries and will not win every vote.

        • Posted June 13, 2015 at 5:47 am | Permalink

          No democracy at all then Peter Van EU. A Dictatorship that must be removed and will be. We’ve had to do it before and we will do it again!

          • Posted June 14, 2015 at 9:27 am | Permalink

            @Timaction; A would-be citizen of an iScotland could claim that our own government (even after a Brexit) is a “Dictatorship”, being rules from London rather than Edinburgh.

            Sorry but it’s talk like yours that is driving the break-up of the UK, that will continue after a Brexit, EVEL will be just the start, how about CVCL, or WVWL (Cornwall Votes for Cornwall Laws or Wessex Votes for Wessex Laws) etc…

          • Posted June 14, 2015 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

            Come off it Jerry.
            You cannot be serious when calling the UK a dictatorship in relation to Scotland
            Ive read some of your posts but this tops them all for nonsense.

          • Posted June 14, 2015 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; You really just don’t get irony do you…

          • Posted June 15, 2015 at 7:30 am | Permalink

            You are far to subtle for me Jerry.
            I did not detect even a hint of irony in your post to Timeaction
            Not even a smiley face from you at the end, so how are we to know?

    • Posted June 12, 2015 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

      Peter, the consensus across my EU number cruncher group is that the EU rules and regulations cost the UK circa £35 billion, including the net membership fee. This membership generates about £75 billion income for the UK.

      If you divide the £75 billion by the UK GDP per capita, you get the, circa, 3 million UK jobs dependant on UK membership. Trying to do a cost benefit of being outside of the EU, is much to difficult for me. I doubt even our own Treasury / OBR would attempt it.

      The UK would be subject to EU import duties; custom’s import tariffs and consumption taxes etc. Also, the EU anti-dumping rules, for instance, if the UK tried to sell something to the EU, with parts that had come from a third country that the EU had slated for anti-dumping tariffs.

      BTW. The Germans won’t lose a lot of sleep over not being able to sell us them Mercs and BMWs, the Middle East and particularly the ASEAN countries will suck those in as they get richer, no problem.

      It will be absolutely essential that the UK joins a trade group like EFTA, at the very least. We will be dead in the water otherwise.

  3. Posted June 12, 2015 at 5:54 am | Permalink

    for all those economic genii in Westminster who like using other peoples money to bail out their City mates(currently losing £13bn of our money on just one bank)

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/three-charts-that-show-icelands-economy-recovered-after-it-imprisoned-bankers-and-let-banks-go-bust–instead-of-bailing-them-out-10309503.html

    • Posted June 12, 2015 at 9:54 am | Permalink

      I assume you are talking of save the World, no return to boom and bust, Gordon Brown. Did he have many city mates?

  4. Posted June 12, 2015 at 6:05 am | Permalink

    I’ve got a lot of time for Kelvin Hopkins. I’d hope he’ll gain a higher public profile as the withdrawal campaign gains momentum.

    • Posted June 12, 2015 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

      Yep. He’s a good MP.

      He achieved a swing of 3% to Labour in his Luton North constituency. He is anti-EU as many on the left of the Labour party still are.

      Is his success really consistent with the supposed conventional wisdom of Labour being too left wing in England?

      But putting that to one side for the moment, the OUT campaign has to involve all shades of opinion for it to succeed. The OUT campaign needs people Kelvin Hopkins. It will fail if it is seen to be primarily right-wing and minority led by UKIP and the Tory right.

      As Mr Hopkins says “There should be no doubt that the European Union is anti-working class, anti-socialist and anti-democratic. This has been the case since its first incarnation as the European Common Market in 1957, and the evidence is now overwhelming.”

  5. Posted June 12, 2015 at 6:24 am | Permalink

    If Rees Mogg is correct then he has a point, but as you pointed out in your speech , which I have now had the benefit of viewing on the video; it is not all about money.
    When relationships are breaking up the squabbles about money , amount of effort and amount of wrongs the relationship brought about are abundant, but is the end goal worth pursuing or are we being taken up path of unnecessary convolutions where the crow would get there unscathed and in control ?
    In the 1980’s I was taken for every penny and capital goods I had ever worked for and the only irresponsible thing I did was to not force my interest , ethics and opinions on the situation early enough; I trusted others.Now that was a naive thirty four year old. Even now fairly worldly wise and looking at the behaviour of others , the twisted arguments , the thieving of ideas and winging of much: to work in a way which brings out the best is more than difficult. Now some say this is personal stuff,yet we all have personal stuff to deal with and collectively this is the way the world goes.
    We have seen what happens when Countries take control of others lives and make it’s population, made of individuals, suffer unbearably ( and I do not need to give examples most know a little history. ) I do not want to start citing the obvious as though you were all,in the words of B,Levin; cretins . We are not at University now. We have all done the many years academic rubbish which enabled us to spew out this inflated type of discussion.Lets just say NO.

    • Posted June 12, 2015 at 10:23 am | Permalink

      The word alone is not enough. There are those waiting with tongs for it to leave your noble mouth, whereupon they will set about it with unjust barbs of ‘xenophobia’, ‘racism’, and other calumnies, wrap it in the cottonwool of ridicule, and stuff it right back down your throat.
      The word needs defending. I have a problem with the belief in reasoned argument in this environment. Reason needs a fair hearing, and we are being denied our courts of opinion, our rational tribunals. We are in the middle of what may at any time turn into a baying mob, to wit the behaviour of some of the pro-EU speakers in the Referendum debate this week. We have reason on our side, but our opponents have force, and the appetite to use it, on their side. What will we do when we realise that we are never going to be given a fair platform – quarrel among ourselves?

      • Posted June 13, 2015 at 5:49 am | Permalink

        ………. I’m starting to realise that to regain our democracy it will need more than a referendum that has all the vested interests against the people.

  6. Posted June 12, 2015 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    As you say:- It is tax money we pay them so they can spend it in other countries.

    Usually wasted (rather than spent) on daft things, inconveniencing the productive, expending the powers of the EU or pushing pro EU propaganda. We get a hugely negative net return, even if they do, very rarely, help fund something that is actually useful.

    • Posted June 12, 2015 at 10:02 am | Permalink

      Perhaps paid to Greek pensioners who then spend it on German cars, unless they get lucky with a daft mortgage from a bank like RBS to buy the local taverna! Either way it’s UK taxpayers money down the drain.

  7. Posted June 12, 2015 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    So this is a Conservative government, not a Coalition one, with a bill to send more money to Europe. I think you need to make clear that this is a Conservative government bill, supported by its friends in LibLab. For all your talk of staying in the Conservatives to make a difference, it hasn’t!!!! The bill still passed.

    I can quite see why the UKIP member stayed away in disgust. A one-man opposition party, and indeed the only party united and talking any sense!

    • Posted June 12, 2015 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

      @JoeSoap; Ever stopped to ask why this Bill was presented? Short of UKIP actually taking us out of the EU by defaulting on the UK’s legal requirements towards the EU I suspect that even UKIP would have had to present what is basically part of the EU’s budgetary requirements. As for UKIP being “a one-man opposition party”, well yes, perhaps in name but hardly any actual opposition if the MP is not on the floor of the house to speak – more like a one man omni-shambles! 🙁

      • Posted June 13, 2015 at 5:51 am | Permalink

        No appearing on the BBC’s Question Time Jerry!!

        • Posted June 13, 2015 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

          @Timaction: Err, and that is about as relevant as the price of fish, or have I missed the part of BBC QT when the panellists file though the HoC (or HoL) division lobbies! If all UKIP wants to do is appear in a TV debate programme then there is no need to even stand for parliament, let alone win the seat, something the going, going, go…oh hang on, staying-on leader said was needed to carry the fight forward! As I said, UKIP has become a a one man omni-shambles beyond the EU Parliament.

  8. Posted June 12, 2015 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    One has to enjoy the hint of sarcasm in the Telegraph today. 4 Danish opposition parties agreeing with Cameron’s renegotiation strategy!!! Rejoice, the battle is won!

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/11669380/Denmarks-opposition-parties-strike-deal-to-back-Cameron-on-EU-reform.html

    • Posted June 12, 2015 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

      “But ’twas a famous victory.”

      • Posted June 12, 2015 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

        ……………..is this the Chamberlain moment yet?

        • Posted June 13, 2015 at 6:10 am | Permalink

          @Timaction; “……………..is this the Chamberlain moment yet?”

          History has not been kind to Chamberlain, he bought the country valuable time to make the switch from a civil industrial base (that was still feeling the effects of the depression years) to that of a war-time industrial base, able to bounce back within a year from the tragedy that was Dunkirk.

  9. Posted June 12, 2015 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    Money that cannot be accounted for by auditors might just be a contribution to Al Capone’s pension fund. Are the bribes that the EU pay to the BBC, CBI and other organisations they want onside part of our so called rebate or are they bonus payments on top.

    Spending in needy countries of the EU is a way of persuading their politicians to conform and make their countries dependants on a grand scale. The object being to discourage turkeys voting for Christmas.

    Yes better we spend our contributions on ourselves, but with glory projects like HS2 on the horizon I do not trust our politicians to spend wisely. Better to let the taxpayer keep it and government work towards much less government.

  10. Posted June 12, 2015 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    The faceless ones in the EU win yet again, but having said that John, was there really a choice pay or not to pay.

    Amazing that many of our politicians simply do not get it.

    Doubtless we will hear the 3,000, 000 jobs at risk argument over and over again in the coming months.

    Why is it that some of these people think coming out of the EU will automatically mean we will not be able to sell any goods to the EU anymore, are they really that misinformed.

    • Posted June 12, 2015 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

      I would suggest that many politicians like the EU because vested interests in us remaining have hinted in their ear that in their long term interests there may be rewards of employment with said vested interests.

      There is also the possibility of failed politicians taking up future employment with the EU in Brussels. Fat salaries, pensions, expenses, and little or no tax to pay. It must be very tempting. Check out the career of one failed labour politician and his family to get a feel for it. It is far from confined to the labour party, all shades have been involved.

      There are a few who hold genuine views on the goodness of the EU, warts and all. One must respect their views, misguided though they may be. I often wonder where they purchase their rose tinted spectacles. I approved the initial concept and fully understood the reasons for it. Sadly it has been allowed to fall into the hands of lesser men to the cost of a large section of the European population.

      I still await DC’s explanation of his case for staying in the EU, which without doubt has ever been his cast iron desire. He even says so when speaking in Europe.

  11. Posted June 12, 2015 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    This highlights the illiteracy of many politicians who studied PPE at university. Will we ever know what makes these people worship the Brussels dictatorship.
    Why didn’t you vote down the budget and agree to pay the same as last time. After all you have a majority.

    • Posted June 12, 2015 at 8:33 am | Permalink

      Ian

      “Why didn’t you vote down the budget…….”

      Exactly.

      After the election I said this would be a Parliament where the Conservatives could not hide, because they now did not have the LibDems to hide behind.

      Thus one must draw the conclusion Cameron wanted to pay more, else he would have put a three line whip in place.

      On the one hand he is trying to convince the public he wants changes, but in reality its simply more of the same, shameful really.

      Reply Un der EU law the UK has to pay these sums – which is why we need to leave or negotiate a new settlement.

      • Posted June 12, 2015 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

        Reply-reply

        “under EU law the UK has to pay these sums…”

        Thus it is as I suggested John, we had no choice.

        If that is so, what was the point in having a debate at all ?

        Did not the politicians who took part in this debate feel absolutely powerless, did that situation not make them feel absolutely inadequate.

        I wonder if those who love the EU so much will ever see the light.

      • Posted June 12, 2015 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

        So what is the point of debating them. You have no power and if the EU ask for supplementary funds or double the ask next year, you meekly go ahead and pay.

        Reply The point is to get across what a bad deal we get and to press for change. the debate took place starting at lunch time so you could get somewhere else in the evening on that day.

    • Posted June 12, 2015 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

      @Ian wragg; “Why didn’t [the government] vote down the budget and agree to pay the same as last time. After all you have a majority.”

      The government only has a majority of 12, how many europhiles are their on the government side, how many eurosceptics on Labours benches might join such a vote against the EU, how many Tory eurosceptics would vote to default on our membership having (in the manifesto) pledged to ask the people first before any Brexit? And on that last point, so much for UKIPpers and democracy…

  12. Posted June 12, 2015 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    we understand a lot more than you think. Trouble is the stupid parties can’t understand that we get you politicians, all your spin and flip-flopping.

  13. Posted June 12, 2015 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    So we have chosen, the robin has now been elected our favourite bird, a ruthless “get off my land” territorial bird, chosen by people seemingly very unlikely to be able to recognise any other bird. A prequel of other things to come?

  14. Posted June 12, 2015 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    Looks like UKIP are supplying some bangs for a few bucks. TTIP fallout largely unreported in UK? You know it makes sense!

    https://rogerhelmermep.wordpress.com

    Denmark…well I never, and probably won’t in my experience there.

    • Posted June 12, 2015 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

      @Ex-expat Colin; UKIP had very little to do with getting the TTIP vote(s) postponed. No surprise that little has been reported by the mostly right wing, USA/London centric UK press, considering that most the anti TTIP running in the EU has been at the hands of the europhile left and green parties…

  15. Posted June 12, 2015 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    The main arguments for leaving the EU are not economic and it is a mistake to fight the campaign on the ground when you have the massed forces of Britain’s CEO’s against you. Anyway, I’m beginning to think there might be a “No” vote simply because the public will want to punish Mr Cameron and his smug Europhile chums on all side of the House.

    • Posted June 12, 2015 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

      @Roy Grainger; “The main arguments for leaving the EU are not economic”

      What are they then, “Little Britain” arguments?

      “and it is a mistake to fight the campaign on the ground when you have the massed forces of Britain’s CEO’s against you.”

      Without arguing the economic case few will listen to the Brexit group, especially as the opposition will still argue such a case for staying in.

      “Anyway, I’m beginning to think there might be a “No” vote simply because the public will want to punish Mr Cameron and his smug Europhile chums on all side of the House.”

      Hmm, do remind me how many votes UKIP got in May, compared to broadly, to some degree or other, europhile parties….

      • Posted June 13, 2015 at 8:52 am | Permalink

        I’m confused by your opinions on the EU Jerry
        Here you are decrying arguments on the importance of who governs us saying they are “little england” and previously you decsribed them as “woolly semantics”
        Yet just the other day you were calling for a big “buy british” campaign to reduce all these foreign imports
        And before that a wish that british industry was owned only by british people.
        Apart from being impossible under EU law these wishes appear very much “little england” to me.

        • Posted June 14, 2015 at 9:56 am | Permalink

          @Edward2; It seem to me Edward that you want a Brexit so to be a self ruling democratic nation, fine and very worthy, but then do not mind at all if our major industrial and economic worth is owned and run by parent companies off-shore to the UK, were inward investment into the UK is then reliant on our government having policies that appeal to such off-shored companies regardless of what it is good for the UK’s own wider interests and citizens or not – if that is the sort of “democracy” you want then I don’t see any point in leaving the EU what so ever, either will mean that our own elected politicos always having to ask “How high?” when being told to jump.

          As for “Buy British”, if our own citizens won’t buy our own products why do you think anyone else will…

          • Posted June 14, 2015 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

            Not actually addressing the questions I posed Jerry.
            You replied by trying to say what you think my opinions are rather than saying what your are.

          • Posted June 15, 2015 at 7:32 am | Permalink

            You dont seem to realise Jerry that as members of the EU the UK cannot run a buy British campaign.

          • Posted June 15, 2015 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; Yes I did, sorry that you don’t like the answer, also you seem to have great problems in understanding anyone who doesn’t share your own opinions or who prove you mistaken in those opinion…..

          • Posted June 15, 2015 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

            Its about facts Jerry
            The ones you ignore.

            Your buy British idea is illegal under EU law.
            Correct or not?

            Global trade. How are you going to stop UK companies trading globally and other countries and individuals spending their money here in the UK?

            Perhaps we could hear your expert views on these two matters.

  16. Posted June 12, 2015 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    I’m not sure just how many voters do fully understand that “it is tax money we pay them so they can spend it in other countries.” Mostly they hear threats of job losses and damage to our economy should we leave the EU from the pro-EU side repeated ad nauseam.
    Incidentally, the last Conservative led coalition government enshrined foreign aid in law to allow them to give away taxpayers’ money to other countries. No other government spending has such protection.
    We have much work to do to ensure that the optimistic message of a future as an independent, self-governing country, trading with the world is heard and understood by the voters, as opposed to the doom mongers in the pro-EU camp. Don’t expect any help at all in that regard from the BBC which itself has been funded by the EU(no doubt with our own tax money).

    • Posted June 12, 2015 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

      @Brian Tomkinson: I suspect they do understand but like with domestic “tax and spend” it’s regarded as inevitable, the only question is if it will cost them more. hence why Labour lost the ‘audience’ during the GE by inventing new taxes.

      Oh and I’m not worried by the BBC, with Charter renewal approaching they are already minding their way, no more of a problem, will be Ch4 and the printed media that will be the problem for the Brexit group. Many UK media companies have fingers in European companies or ventures…

  17. Posted June 12, 2015 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    If Brussels spent the money it received in an accountable manner , open to public scrutiny and with the sort of control one would expect , why is it that its auditors have , for years , failed to sign them off ?. Some years ago I witnessed a monumental fraud ( in EU ed)

    The EU today is no more capable of controlling its huge revenue than it was in the past ; taxpayers money sent there is still subject to fraud and mismanagement ; I consider it a crime to perpetuate its existence ( PvL – please take note ). When things get too big , cracks inevitably occur and inefficiencies and lack of control occur – HSBC is suffering from oversize and is now embroiled with severe cut-backs .

  18. Posted June 12, 2015 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    Is it not sheer lunacy that a country that is as (relatively) well managed as the UK has to hand over €6.3bn to Brussels for the EU to then decide how to spend it back here ?

    I would have thought that the organisation best equipped to decide on what needs to be funded here is our own government.

    As Jacob Rees-Mogg suggested, we should consider our gross contribution to the EU which is in excess of €20bn. If we leave the EU, this will be the amount of cash we will have available to disperse within the country as we see fit.

    As our economy continues to improve, the net contribution is only going to increase. Just how expensive this is likely to be can only be guessed at when one realises that since 2008 our annual net contribution has quadrupled ! This is without taking into account the additional €2bn demanded as a one off payment earlier this year.

    In 2008 our net contribution was €3.7bn and in 2013 it was €15.5bn. ( Both figures are based on today’s exchange rate ).

    This gravy train has to be brought to a halt.

  19. Posted June 12, 2015 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    Labour MPs’ yes to tax demands from the EU is the modus operandi throughout their party at all tiers right down to branch level for all medium to complex issues. Why? Most assuredly loyalty and trust to their party.Also, precious few of them actually have any comprehension at all about the issues involved.

    Frankly many of these apparatchiks do not care. Though they will if goaded and prompted depending on their individual level of intelligence and education trumpet out a short or longer series of mantras.

    It was touching and painful to hear Mr Miliband in a number of his speeches telling his flock ” It’s ok to talk about immigration, it’s not racist. ” He was instructing his membership to drop their “racist” chants. He was giving them permission to think…a bit.
    The Parliamentary Labour Party has not been told by a Leader it is ok to have an incy wincy think about the EU.

  20. Posted June 12, 2015 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    “It is tax money we pay them so they can spend it in other countries”.

    Well not quite,it is borrowed money (which the government almost certainlywill never pay back despite the aspiration to run a surplus)or printed/digital fiat we are paying them.Its not as if we are handing them a pot of gold – that would concentrate their minds given how little of the stuff we have.It’s easy to see why all governments are so cavalier with “our” money in a world where the gold standard is at best a distant memory.

    • Posted June 12, 2015 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

      Exactly. We are having to service the borrowings in perpetuity which come from OUR taxes. If its ok to borrow for aid why not for defence, nuclear power stations etc etc. you know it makes (non)sense.

  21. Posted June 12, 2015 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    In effect this is a trade tariff dressed up. We must ensure Westminster is not just a Tax raising chamber or parish council for the greater EU

  22. Posted June 12, 2015 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood, I don’t think you should let go of the idea of a tax reduction should we leave the eu. I think this idea will galvanise the public.

    NB I thought you made a fine speech in the EU referendum Bill debate but rather spoilt things by describing your opponents as “pro-Europeans”.

    Surely anyone who supports an organisation that has attacked democracy across Europe and has caused such hardship and high unemployment cannot be described as pro-European? Surely you and the other eu-sceptics are the pro-Europeans!

    Your words rather undermined Kate Hoey’s excellent point about the BBC’s inaccurate use of this term.

  23. Posted June 12, 2015 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    Blimey, a humble SNP MP:

    “I am somewhat in awe of being here to make my maiden speech in front of the right hon. Member for Wokingham (John Redwood), as I recall that many years ago when I was teaching I used one of his books as a textbook, so I always treat what he says with great concentration and concern … “

  24. Posted June 12, 2015 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    Why is it that as soon as those “two letters” turn up it costs us more money?

  25. Posted June 12, 2015 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    Has the EU succeeded in finding anyone willing sign-off on its audit? I recall the Sicilian mafia were indirectly long time beneficiaries of regional grants.

  • 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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