How much extra did the UK have to pay the EU?

There was rightly an outrage when the EU announced last year that the UK along with other member states had to change the basis of calculation for its GDP in a way which meant we then had to pay more money as contribution to the EU budget. The government argued strongly against the gross payment, and many voters thought it unfair that the UK was required to make such a large payment for past years.

The latest government publication on spending, tax revenue and the deficit offers some clarification of what has now happened. In December 2014 the UK public finances recorded a gross payment of £2.9 billion extra money to the EU, though no cash was transferred at that point. The first cash payment of £0.4 billion was made in July 2015, and the second payment of £2.4bn was paid in September 2015.

Against this unwelcome payment are substantial offsets. The UK is promised a repayment as the EU returns to all member states additional contributions ” related to data revisions.”. The Office of Budget Responsibility estimates that the UK will get £1.2 billion back under this heading. So far £0.5bn has been received in February this year. In addition the UK will receive back an estimated £0.8bn as additional UK rebate under the method of calculating that.

So the latest official forecast is the UK will end up paying an additional £0.9bn, not the £2.9bn gross figure originally debited to the accounts. At the moment the UK is £1.9bn out of pocket, with the promise of further rebates and repayments.

All this reveals the complexity of EU affairs, and the fact that even a Eurosceptic government with no wish to pay any extra ends up having to pay something all the time it is a member of the EU.

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56 Comments

  1. matthu
    Posted October 23, 2015 at 5:23 am | Permalink

    How you manage to draw any conclusions about a Eurosceptic government escapes me.

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

      We do not have a Government. We have legacy parties that have given up our sovereign democracy to a supra national body now known as the EU. They pretend to be in charge whilst enacting foreign laws and directives from its unelected dictators.
      This article relates to a time when dithering Dave claimed we would not pay this figure, whilst agreeing to EU 2030 targets on CO2 emissions. I could go on about the obvious consequences in high energy charges and the likelihood of future closure of steel, aluminium or other high energy use by our dwindling manufacturing industries. I didn’t vote for these fools. I just hope the English people wake up in time to remove us from the EU/legacy party tyranny.

      • Timaction
        Posted October 23, 2015 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

        I returned from Protaras, Cyprus only a couple of weeks ago. In the Bay near our Hotel we, via the EU, are paying for an artificial reef to be built. This along with many other infrastructure improvements around Europe, payments to inefficient farmers and lots of propaganda!
        At the same time we are at most risk from home grown terrorism and from those abroad seeking to get into our Country to harm us. So Mrs May and the Government reduces Police and Border budgets, whilst 6000 attack the fences in Calais. No plans for minimum construction for lorries to prevent stowaways. Still she is worried about diversity whilst the rest of us fear for our families lives!

        • Bob
          Posted October 23, 2015 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

          @Timeaction
          Hope you enjoyed the trip, it’s a lovely place. I hear that a boatload of asylum seekers recently managed to miss Ayia Napa and execute a pinpoint landing at the RAF base at Akrotiri. I’m surprised it’s taken them this long to fugure out where the sovereign bases are, but now they have I guess we’ll be seeing a lot more of them.

  2. Mark B
    Posted October 23, 2015 at 5:48 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    I think the real question should be; “Why do we have to pay the EU in the first place ?”

    It isn’t as if we actually need them, is it ?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 23, 2015 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

      Juncker said not, although his spinners later tried to deny that.

  3. Lifelogic
    Posted October 23, 2015 at 5:49 am | Permalink

    Indeed what an absurd system. What on earth is the point of paying such vast sums to the EU then to get a small proportion given back, but only with many strings attached to restrict how and what it is spend on. Usually daft things and often insuring that much of it is wasted, used to influence organisations to be pro EU or used to pay for those “Financed by the Wonderful EU” signs. Clearly the Advertising Standards Authority should insist these sign are changed to “Financed by UK tax payers (after more than half has been creamed off by the EU).

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 23, 2015 at 6:10 am | Permalink

      Amazingly Cameron is actually against a tax, the sugar tax. After all they have increased taxes almost everywhere else recently. Why all these misguided attacks on “fizzy” drinks? Most people seem to drink the no calories/no sugar ones anyway and the co2 fizz adds no sugar nor calories. Fizzy drink have 20% vat on them already anyway don’t they? These nanny state lefties have the wrong target as usual.

      Those smoothies, fruit juices and even fresh fruit are loaded with sugars too. Anyway carbohydrates – rice, pasta, porridge, bread, beans, pulses, potatoes, root vegetables, fruits ….. all end up as sugars when digested anyway.

      People just need to learn to eat less and move rather more. Perhaps the best thing the government should do it to restore water fountains in schools, sports centres, parks and public places as they had all over the place when I was at school. This would save on millions of plastic bottles too. But then providing a real public service does not seem to be what governments do much any more. They would rather restrict these and then take a share of the vending machine profits.

      • Anonymous
        Posted October 23, 2015 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

        Obesity is now a condition protected by PC.

        There is no shame in being obese and it used to be kept in check by public ridicule – unpleasant though it was. It was cruel but was actually kinder in reality.

        There was plenty of cheap sugar around then. People who were fat in the ’70s would in no way be considered fat these days.

        I know a lot of obese people and some of them are arrogant and use their weight to bully others.

        If I were like that I wouldn’t dream of travelling on an aeroplane in a standard seat knowing full well that I’d be crushing the passenger next to me.

        They all do it though, without any consideration for other people.

        All part of the same trait, I guess. Selfishness.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted October 24, 2015 at 2:38 am | Permalink

          Perhaps we need airlines to start to charge passengers by weighing them and their luggage and charging per pound weight. Or insist on fat people buying two seats?

          This might be more effective than a sugar tax.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 23, 2015 at 8:35 am | Permalink

      As see Christopher Meyer in the Telegraph today together with lots of largely meaningless but wordy waffle says:-

      We know, as we should, the broad axes of Britain’s strategy towards EU reform: an exclusion from “ever closer union”; no discrimination against those member states who have not adopted the euro; greater national control over social and other policies; restrictions in practice, if not in principle, over freedom of movement.
      Achieving these goals will be prodigiously difficult.

      Perhaps not prodigiously difficult but totally valueless and absurdly vague. This does not even scratch the surface of what is needed. Nor would any promises made be likely to be honoured by the EU anyway.

      I assume this is all part of the lowering of expectations. If Cameron really thinks he can sell that meaningless trivia to the voters he is even more daft than I thought.

  4. bluedog
    Posted October 23, 2015 at 6:30 am | Permalink

    Quite so, Dr JR, the only way is out.

    Heartening to read that Jean-Claude Juncker offers a rather cautious view of the prospects for Europe. When will he admit that he and his like are the problem?

    In the meantime, given the successful implementation of EVEL, it must be realised that this can only be a step towards a fully devolved English parliament. Constitutional equality is a reasonable basis for the continuation of the UK. The current SNP argument against EVEL is of course dishonest but hard to deflect, unless the Scottish electorate sees the flaws in the SNP case. The question needs to be asked of the SNP, would you object to an English parliament that deals in matters devolved in Scotland to Holyrood? If the answer is yes, the UK parliament would be entitled under the Scotland Act to revoke its consent to Holyrood, thus restoring constitutional equity within a unitary state. The consequences may be somewhat explosive.

  5. JoeSoap
    Posted October 23, 2015 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    You depreciate the numerical facts here by saying that the government is Eurosceptic.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted October 23, 2015 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

      Joe–That wretched word Eurosceptic again–it means less than nothing because surely everybody with eyes and ears, not to mention a quarter of a brain, must be sceptic to one degree or another. Cameron and Co (unfortunately including JR) play on this. And it’s not just the ‘sceptic’ bit that is the problem, for the use of ‘Euro’ is an attempt at a Motherhood disguise when what they should be tilting at is the (increasingly despised) EU. I simply cannot believe what I read about Cameron and his non-event re-negotiation dreamland–to me he doesn’t appear even to be trying to achieve anything significant. Apart from all else far away small countries that most couldn’t find on a map can just veto anything he does happen to try.

  6. Ian wragg
    Posted October 23, 2015 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    Irrespective of what we will get back, the EU budget rises remorselessly even though Dave said he had secured a reduction. This reduction will be calculated the same as the austerity figures. Things haven’t risen as high as they could have done.
    This is the smoke and mirrors double speak we expect from the government.
    We are paying down the debt says Dave when it has in fact doubled in the last 5 years
    Will we be treated to the same nonsense at the next election. Immigration reduced to 10’s of thousands when it continues to grow. Eliminate the deficit when you’ve done no such thing.
    Words, weasel words.

  7. agricola
    Posted October 23, 2015 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    Even if we had a Eurosceptic government, which we do not, the argument on most subjects relating to EU membership is overwhelmingly for Brexit.

  8. Cheshire Girl
    Posted October 23, 2015 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    We are Mugs to knuckle under to the EU like this. We need to get out!!

  9. Ex-expat Colin
    Posted October 23, 2015 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    Really stupid stuff. Would a business do that… no, but governments will and with pleasure I think.

    I lightly explained the Greek debt/loan payment(s) schedule to neighbours yesterday. Don’t think the neighbours quite followed..went silent really or said as long as they are not affected. Sort of don’t care. Same with CO2 ppm. Had the feeling they could not be bothered with the argument(s). Easier to vote for IN (comfy stuff), and it will be if such people do not experience the direct impact of EU failures. Too late!

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted October 23, 2015 at 10:18 am | Permalink

      EX-Pat Colin. I have found the same attitude amongst my friends and neighbours. I think it might be due to the fact they watch too many soaps and turn off when anything interesting or factual come on. One of my friends actually asked if we had had the referendum on Europe yet???!!! What? Yes, she was serious and I thought well if this is how the whole country is then God help us. No wonder we are in such a state when people can’t be bothered with even the basic politics. Nigel Farage made a good case last night on QT for Brexit. He and Germaine Greer were both excellent and apparently, Nigel stayed on for quite a while after the programme to speak to the audience whereas the others left asap.

      With our NHS in dire straits how can we summons up these kind of figures willy nilly??? This cannot be allowed to continue and yet Dave wants us to stay in even though it looks increasingly likely he will get nothing he is asking for. Why???

    • graham1946
      Posted October 23, 2015 at 10:38 am | Permalink

      This is always the problem, Colin with all matters political and why we will probably lose the referendum by default. People think more about their football team than their governance.

      Governments claim a mandate of the flimsiest of votes. The biggest party in the UK is the Apathy Party.

  10. Mike Wilson
    Posted October 23, 2015 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    Like other commenters, I find the description of the government as ‘eurosceptic’ to be somewhere between surreal and absurd.

  11. alan jutson
    Posted October 23, 2015 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    Sounds almost like the Working Tax credits none sense

    Government pays out to a claimant, then finds the claimant has earned more than originally thought, Government wants some/excess back.

    Nice way for the claimant (the EU in this case) to get an interest free loan.

    Government gives with the left hand, receives with the right. and pays a fortune to administer it. like wise with the EU in your example.

    Seems the EU will do almost anything to get more money.
    So they drag in the proceeds of crime and prostitution to get a larger GDP figure for calculation.

    Whatever happened to the “I will not pay it promise”. !

  12. agricola
    Posted October 23, 2015 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    To clarify my Brexit argument I would state the following.

    The concept, after WW2, of a Europe that traded freely together was a good one to avoid the conflicts of the past. Sadly many politicians with more ambition than intellect began turning it into an USEU with a one size fits all plan. They knew that they could not sell ever diminishing national sovereignty to a collection of proud nations , so they invented the Euro. Sold as the lubricant to free trade within the EU, it was in fact the super glue that would eventually bind said sovereign nations in preparation for the USEU. The fact that they were trying to stick steel, plastic wood and jelly together was overlooked or not even realised.

    The lack of intellect among said politicians either did not see or chose to ignore the reality that disparate economies, such as we have in the EU cannot share the same currency. Alternatively it was a way of forcing the creation of a cohesive multi national unit where the rich elements subsidised the poor ones, as in the USA. This is why questions are being asked by those with the wealth that could lead to a complete re-think, and certainly needs to if the USEU is to go ahead.

    To aid and abet all the above, the concept of true democracy was kept firmly off the agenda. The EU is run by decree of the unelected Commission and the Council of Ministers, while the European Parliament remains a toothless talking shop. The perfect scenario for the creation of extremism has been created, throughout the EU, and is now evident. I would question whether it should be labelled extremism when it is the only way to protest democratically while democratic institutions still remain in individual countries.

    Momentarily forgetting the myriad ills of day to day membership of the EU, like the cost, the CFP, the CAP, and not least our fast diminishing sovereignty, why would any sane UK politician, who was not in line for considerable personal gain, hesitate to get us out. The EU is an atomic pile, without a cooling system or the means of closing it down, awaiting the inevitable Chernobyl.

  13. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted October 23, 2015 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    If we have paid £2.8bn and received a rebate of £0.5bn (in February) we are currently out of pocket by £2.3bn not £1.9bn as you stated.
    Outrageously, this extra contribution to the EU budget was based on the inclusion of the proceeds of prostitution and the drugs trade in our GDP figures. The mafia must be looking on in admiration.

  14. Iain Moore
    Posted October 23, 2015 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    If John Redwood has nothing to say about the EVEL vote yesterday , but prefers to debate the EU budget, then it would confirm why all the rest of us should be, and are, completely underwhelmed by the devolution settlement Cameron has given the English people.

    Reply I will be posting my speech soon for your comment

    • yosarion
      Posted October 23, 2015 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

      Watching yesterday the SNP time and time again saying this is a Major constitutional change, then it does not even get a mention on the the main news outlets with any kind of debate. Channel4 managed I think about thirty seconds if that

  15. Know-Dice
    Posted October 23, 2015 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    And don’t forget this extra money was based on “illegal” business like prostitution and drugs. So how on earth was an accurate figure ever produced, and how much did it cost us to have a department somewhere that it’s only “raison d’etre” was to produce these figures?

    All I would say “waste waste waste”…

    And by the way, has the EU propaganda unit (PvL) in the Netherlands been disbanded? Its been very quite in the last few weeks 🙂

    • Know-Dice
      Posted October 23, 2015 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

      Memo to self:
      Don’t post until you have had at least one coffee and one sugary drink.

      Should read “Its been very quiet in the last few weeks”…that’s the EU Propaganda unit…

    • ian wragg
      Posted October 23, 2015 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

      K-D, I think you are correct. The EU inspired bloggers on other sites seem to be on gardening leave.
      Maybe PvL isn’t so cocky now that there’s trouble brewing in the Low Lands over immigration and an associated crime wave. maybe he is helping with the coup against dear Angela.

    • waramess
      Posted October 23, 2015 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

      You take a poll on the average use of prostitutes by MPs and then multiply by the adult head of population and if the answer is not the one you were looking for…..well, you get the idea. all a bit like Alice through the looking glass actually, even the money is not real.

    • bluedog
      Posted October 23, 2015 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

      Interesting observation about PvL. Perhaps his handlers now recognise they have lost every argument deployed and that Brexit is inevitable; as is the disintegration of the EU.

  16. CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
    Posted October 23, 2015 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    The UK Parliament chose from the start and on an ongoing basis to accept all the largess of the EU. Including loss of sovereignty.

    The Leave Campaign needs to do something to convince everyone that a Leave Vote will not hand power back to the institution of Parliament and Parliament’s inhabitants: the very Devil’s horse-drawn black carriage Coachman and his willing postilions.

    The Leave Campaign does not promise a written Constitution akin to the American one forbidding further evil-doings. It merely asks for a return to their treachery and power when the EU can be counted upon to sell us down the river without further ado.

  17. Bert Young
    Posted October 23, 2015 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    One penny sent to the EU is a penny wasted . The bureaucracy in Brussels is shameful ; the way funds are dispatched without any form of subsequent supervision and the overall lack of controls has been going on for a very long time – one of the reasons the appointed auditors have refused to sign their accounts off ! . Brussels can levy fines , adjust annual methods of revenue collection and use various central forms of unregulated controls – all contributing to a criminal use of revenue .

    We ought not to be a part of this system ; collecting money from our tax payers and then allowing it to be spent out of our control , is an insult to our electorate and illustrates just how irresponsible our leadership can be . Part of the case to warrant a Brexit should be modelled on this profligacy and shouted long and hard during the forthcoming referendum campaign . I had expected the Governor of the Bank of England to have referred to this in his recent Oxford Speech ; his watchdogging of our economic affairs is lacking if he does not consider the responsibility of what happens to public income ; he was , I thought , very “tongue in cheek” and following a Cameron line .

  18. Bob
    Posted October 23, 2015 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    Did you know that the great Eurosceptic MP Iain Duncan Smith is not EU-sceptic at all?

    Heres a handful of Tory MPs with their EU-sceptic credentials expresssed as a percentage:
    Philip Hollobone, Kettering 90%
    Peter Bone, Wellingborough 87%
    Zac Goldsmith, Richmond Park 52%
    Bernard Jenkin, Harwich and North Essex 52%
    John Redwood, Wokingham 48%
    Jacob Rees-Mogg, North East Somerset 35%
    Michael Gove, Surrey Heath -2%
    Dominic Grieve, Beaconsfield -4%
    Theresa May, Maidenhead -6%
    Peter Bottomley, Worthing West -8%
    Oliver Letwin, West Dorset -8%
    Amber Rudd, Hastings and Rye -8%
    Chloe Smith, Norwich North -8%
    Chris Grayling, Epsom and Ewell -10%
    Anna Soubry, Broxtowe -10%
    Michael Fallon, Sevenoaks -12%
    Philip Hammond, Runnymede and Weybridge -12%
    Sajid Javid, Bromsgrove -12%
    David Cameron, Witney -13%
    Eric Pickles, Brentwood and Ongar -13%
    Andrew Tyrie, Chichester -13%
    Grant Shapps, Welwyn Hatfield -15%
    Iain Duncan Smith, Chingford and Woodford Green -19%
    Kenneth Clarke, Rushcliffe -33%

    The full list is available here: http://www.brugesgroup.com/mpwatch/

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted October 23, 2015 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

      Bob,
      On the EU, most Conservative MPs put party before country – always have done and always will.
      Does anyone really imagine that those MPs will vote against Cameron when it comes to it? Their calculation will be: do I want to bring down my party in government? We know the answer.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 23, 2015 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

      Indeed only about 6 real sceptics. Lots of sheep too, who could perhaps be so, but they just follow the leader as most career politicians tend too. They just want a job and a pension usually.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 23, 2015 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

      No way that I would rank Dominic Grieve above Iain Duncan Smith.

      • Bob
        Posted October 23, 2015 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

        @Denis
        On what basis do you make your judgement?

        The Bruges group list is an objective analysis based on voting record, not onwords, speeches, soundbites, spin and broken promises.
        IDS is better at hiding his Europhile status than Grieve.

        Judge them not by what they say, but rather by what they do.

  19. MikeP
    Posted October 23, 2015 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    “All this reveals the complexity of EU affairs”
    Complex indeed, and unweildy, undemocratic, unaudited, centralist, devious and untrustworthy. What a shambles and more bad news for Britain if the proposed regulations on ports goes ahead ….
    http://www.capx.co/eu-officials-all-at-sea-over-ports-legislation/

    Meanwhile, as your followers here often cite the BBC’s bias, here’s an excellent list of suggestions here for the Beeb to take on board. What’s so staggering is that they blatantly fail in every case ….
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/bbc/11947143/An-idiots-guide-to-overcoming-BBC-bias.html

  20. Antisthenes
    Posted October 23, 2015 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    Just another example of how governments waste our money and how the bureaucratic merry go round costs so much to administer . Why are we pouring money into government machines that uses that money to keep them in existence so that they can splurge it on keeping themselves in power and justifying their jobs and spending on things that we have no control over and would not approve of if we did. Having our own government acting precisely in this way is bad enough but now are being told to not only do we have to pay for our own government but another one also the EU that we do not even need. We hardly need our own government or at least most of what it does.

    The EU is also another example of the dangers of overly generous redistribution of wealth. In the UK where this redistribution has been going on unchecked for years we are now paying the price as we have unsustainable debt and instability(see Mises) caused by it. We do it on the citizen level the EU is now taking it to the inter state level. Responsibility is being sacrificed and has already in the UK. Dependency and entitlement is being substituted as poor nations now want and expect hand outs from richer nations. Redistribution costs the UK taxpayers too much already but now we are expected to contribute to the EU scheme as well. It is unsustainable and inappropriate at local level so it has to be very much more at EU level.

  21. ian wragg
    Posted October 23, 2015 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    Talking about payments to the EU, it is seldom mentioned how they systematically discriminate against British industry.
    See Carswells blog

    http://www.talkcarswell.com/home/business-for-bre

  22. Old Albion
    Posted October 23, 2015 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    I seem to remember Mr Cameron ranting that ‘we’ wouldn’t be paying this bill………..

    Well done for speaking up for England yesterday. I didn’t expect to ever hear of EVEL again, happy to proved wrong.

    • yosarion
      Posted October 23, 2015 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

      Then the day after Cameron is up North talking about the NW and NE EUSSR Regions,surely the destruction of England is an EVEL matter, the difference between the Tories and Labour when it comes to destroying England, the Tories being Conservative just take longer to do it.

  23. CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
    Posted October 23, 2015 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    This what the legitimate government of the UK signed up to. Full stop.

    All UK parties were angry and blamed the horrible EU for its regulations on cleaning up the filth in our water supplies and in our rivers and on our beaches. Parliamentarians were bulldozed into basic civilized hygiene.
    Beatings, severe beatings, sometimes resulting in broken bones of children in schools by teachers wielding leather thongs, straps, canes, thrown wooden/hard fabric board erasers and other weapons were outlawed only when Scottish parents took the UK Parliament to a European Court. Parliamentarians called it “a gross interference.”

    In principle, the UK Parliament should be sovereign. But it has proved through its actions and, has admitted by it signing away sovereignty to the EU that it is not ready for such a human task. It does not deserve our patronage.

    • ian wragg
      Posted October 23, 2015 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

      Now we have a nation of unemployables because of the disruption in the class room.
      Foreigners are taking the jobs because our youngsters all want to be sportsmen and film stars.

  24. The Prangwizard
    Posted October 23, 2015 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    Is this the payment Mr Cameron said he wouldn’t pay? ‘Over my dead body’ or ‘if they think we’re going to pay it, they’ve got another think coming’ – along those lines. Real tough guy isn’t he?

    Was it Teddy Roosevelt who said ‘speak quietly, but carry a big stick’. Cameron does it the wrong way round – shouts a lot, has a limp wrist.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 23, 2015 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

      Exactly he behaves like a pathetic tax borrow and waste, greencrap, EUphile wimp but pretends to be a almost a real Tory before elections.

  25. agricola
    Posted October 23, 2015 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    Yanis Varoufakis, Ex Finance Minister of Greece was very enlightening today on Daily Politics. basically said that it became very obvious that the EU had no interest in any solution to the Greek financial crisis but their own which will condemn the Greek people to servitude for the foreseeable future. After sharing his experience it would be madness for the UK to do anything other than leave.

  26. DaveM
    Posted October 23, 2015 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    We all know Cameron does exactly as he’s told. Whether by his EU masters or by his new Chinese boss.

    What we need is a leader, not a follower.

    This whole issue of ranting about not paying up, then doing just that…….makes one wonder a bit if – having acted unilaterally on the refugee business – the boats were given a bit of a steer towards the SB territory in Cyprus. Just a thought.

  27. Iain Gill
    Posted October 23, 2015 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    Why don’t we give all private sector workers access to the same benefits European Commission staff get? You know the gold plated pension, the tax free cars, the top notch sickness cover… That’s the best way

    • Zorra
      Posted October 25, 2015 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

      Or what about British private sector workers getting access to the same benefits as their MPs. After all, haven’t they voted for them.? And aren’t we all in it together?

  28. ian
    Posted October 23, 2015 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

    Telegraph news paper.
    Eurozone crosses RUBICON as Portugal anti-euro left banned from power.
    After winning the election three weeks ago by 50.7% to 38.5% as the people voted to stop wages cuts and troik austerity.

  29. ChrisS
    Posted October 23, 2015 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

    I’m looking forward to the referendum campaign because we now have a real chance of winning.

    In the last week, when it’s looking likely that the result will be Out, I expect a repeat of the Three Stooges act we say in the closing stages if the Scottish Independence campaign.

    This time the three stooges will be Merkel, Hollande and Junkers. It will be too little, too late but what, I wonder, will they offer us ?

    • DaveM
      Posted October 24, 2015 at 8:24 am | Permalink

      They should be told to keep their noses out of our business. Of course Cameron won’t do that.

      Their interference would be a big boost for the Leave campaign though. It might be interesting to see how many Scots were swayed to Yes when the Westminster clique started telling them to vote No.

  30. stred
    Posted October 24, 2015 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    Lord Migrationwatch, sorry-forgot his name- is putting forward an amendment in the Lords to restrict voting in the referendum to British citizens and exclude Irish and Commonwealth who can vote in GEs. His logic is unchallengeable- but will be ignored.

  31. Javelin
    Posted October 24, 2015 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    I have been spending the day doing my monthly review of the internet where I look at trends in comment sections, voting polls, strategic geopolitical events and make predictions for my monthly predictions at work. I also look at how accurate my predictions are.

    So far this year all my five major predictions have cone true.

    1) the EU will become chaotic. This is not what is sounds and is quite technical. Basically it means there will be butterfly effects in the EU. This prediction was based on a backlash from Greece. I think it’s fairly clear that this has happened. Greece has pushed migrants to Germany as retribution. The borders have all gone up. Now we have a buttery effect where a teenager kills immigrants and Sweden closed the border creating a massive backlog of a million immigrants.

    2) The presidential race will be won by an anti job offshoring candidate. This prediction was spot on. It wasn’t too difficult to see once you realise that the key states lost lots of jobs under Obama to the BRICs. For me this is the major political geopolitical event. I am certain Trump will win and 30 years of globalisation will now go into reverse.

    3) that Saudia Arabia will run out of money. I think I posted this on this website a few months ago. Again not too hard to see. Fracking has more than halved the price of oil. Only last week the Saudi government started to delay payments to contractors. This will have a major knock on effect because the west has supported Sunni Muslims and the whole of the power in the Middle East has now swing to the Shias.

    4) that China will have a credit crunch. Again predictable. Factory wages up by 30% last year. The U.SA developing AI to building products. Trillions wasted on infrastructure projects with no return. China is a zombie country.

    5) that central banks will get blamed for the next crash. Again predictable. Zero interest rates keep zombie firms alive. Unprofitable business models continue. Jobs are outsourced as no savings means hand to mouth living and lower salaries. Immigration of low skilled labour creates a supply of labour for weak business models. A decade of lost growth. QE creates a bubble that will break when the weak state of the economy is revealed.

    Oh and I also think a big swing to leave the EU. I got the Scottish referendum spot on at 5% and I expect to do the same with EU on an 8% swing.

  • 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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