The rising cost of the EU

In February 2013 the Prime Minister in agreement with Germany negotiated the first 7 yearly financial framework for the EU to cut their budgets. The limit of Euro 908 bn for the 7 years was Euro 35 billion lower than the limit for 2007-13,and Euro 80 billion lower than the Commission wanted. So far so good.

Unfortunately after this deal the EU announced changes to the figures it used to assess UK liability to contribute based on VAT and national income which were heavily adverse for the UK. A country which grows more quickly than the rest of the EU is penalised by having to make larger payments.

The UK has to pay 10.97% of the EU budget cost. (2014 after rebate) The UK’s contribution after rebate has been as follows:

2010 £12.15bn
2011 £12.21bn
2012 £12.64bn
2013 £14.46bn
2014 £14.36bn

The UK has received back around £4bn a year in payments. I do not net these off because UK taxpayers have to pay for the gross contribution, and not all the payments are on items we would chose to spend if we had domestic control of these budgets. There is certainly no need to feel grateful for these spending programmes. The UK is one of just 10 net contributors to the budget, and the second largest after Germany. The UK also sends the EU overseas aid money to spend on its behalf.

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  1. Lifelogic
    Posted March 7, 2015 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    The costs of the insane regulations, the absurd VAT tax systems and the green crap energy agenda of the EU cost far more than these huge contributions. What are we contributing for exactly? Just to some “this daft project was part funded by the EU” signs all over the place and to have them pontificate and tell us which light bulbs and electric appliances and lawnmowers we may not use.

    So what is Cameron going to do now that his bluff has been called on the election debates? Another rather foolish decision by the broken compass. The wrong on almost everything Matthew Parris was desperately trying to defend Cameron, saying the TV channels were getting above themselves. Nonsense if he is too scared let the Tories send someone else or put a tub of lard on the chair.

    Meanwhile we have Lord Baker’s suggestion that a Conservative-Labour coalition may be needed. Well Cameron would clearly be quite at home with or in the Labour party. With his IHT ratting, 299+ tax increases, failure to cut spending, greencrap drivel, his massive deficit, magic money tree economics and his love of the incompetent in three letters NHS.

    Certainly it would be preferable to a Labour/SNP greens Libdums and the rest coalition. It would not be much worse for the country than this left wing Libdum coalition has been.

    The election could still be won by the Tories. The UK & especially England want a sensible EUKIP/Sensible Tory government. Alas Cameron want to ape the Libdems.

    Cheap no green crap energy, far less government, far less EU, fewer regulations, lower taxes, a fair deal for the English, more supply of houses with planning relaxation and selective points based immigration regardless of country.

    That is what the people want and it would surely win the election the want some vision. It is not what Cameron wants at all though & his current strategy just will not work.

    Miliband is trying his best to make Labour unelectable but Cameron seems just to wants to copy him.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 7, 2015 at 7:22 am | Permalink

      Meanwhile after all the endless motorist mugging over the past five years we have the tiny pre-election bribe of an extra 10 minutes on the meter this before they still mug you for £60?

      They even get you for having a car too wide for the space sometimes.

      Motorist mugging is a very inefficient way to collect taxes. Especially the congestion causing bus lane camera combinations. Why give 5% of the users half the road and the other 95% just half of it?

      • Bazman
        Posted March 7, 2015 at 8:35 am | Permalink

        Since when have you been concerned with the 95%? When it affects you thats when. Are concerned that the cost of some of the meters per hour is nearly the NMW? Of course you are not. What should concern you is the absurd restrictions on large twin rotor helicopters in London and the problems this causes oligarchs and the super rich having to travel on roads.
        Get chauffeur or a bike and stop whining.

        • Dame Rita Webb
          Posted March 7, 2015 at 10:17 am | Permalink

          It would not surprise me that he already has a chauffeur. Recruited from within the EU on a zero hours contract of course.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted March 8, 2015 at 9:02 am | Permalink

            I do not have a chauffeur just a couple of old Volvos I do have one person on a zero hour contracts, these contracts are only real needed due to the idiotic, restrictive & job destroying employment laws politicians have passed.

        • Jerry
          Posted March 7, 2015 at 10:59 am | Permalink

          Bazman, I assume that was meant to have been be a reply to Lifelogic and not John!

          • acorn
            Posted March 8, 2015 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

            They are one and the same Jerry. Surely you have caught on by now!!! Alter ego and all that stuff. It’s all harmless fun, nobody gives a Rifkind or a Rees-Moggy about it.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted March 7, 2015 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

          I have no desire to kill myself on a push bike. I observed for several years the yobbish behaviour or many of the males cyclists in London, speeding through red pedestrian crossings and lights up and down pavements, across zebra crossing, the wrong way down one way streets, attacking or shouting at motorists for no good reason, cutting corners, all with their absurd “we are saving the World” aggression.

          I concluded that perhaps those hard seats and pot holed roads did something unpleasant to their prostrate glands that affected their equanimity. It was nearly always the males I noticed.

          • Bazman
            Posted March 8, 2015 at 10:16 am | Permalink

            You no doubt do not have the courage or ability to ride a bike if this is your bleating attitude. If you had spent any time on a bike or a motorbike the world would look a bit different with motorist on the phone, reading the map upside down, paling with electronic toys and looking for lost Maltesers under the seat whilst blindly pulling out and cutting up cyclists.
            Sitting in traffic jams listening to Wagner eating blue cheese and seething with jealousy at those able to sail past you has clearly affected your brain and since when have you ever been concerned about elf an safety? When you are unable to do the same that when.

      • stred
        Posted March 7, 2015 at 9:17 am | Permalink

        Well we should be grateful to Mr Pickles for giving us this little respite from LA mugging, before he hands over to someone else. Before they go, as a last minute appeal for support, here are a few other areas whwere he could help us out.

        Refuse collection. Why does my LA take away my wheely bin a week after I tell them The house is unoccupied, but take months to give you another, when the house still is paying council tax? Why have they started to deliver one recycling bag a week every three months, when we are being told to recycle everything possible, and now have to drive to the library to ask for more? Why do they ask for a council tax bill or driving licence at the tip, then send paperless bills by email and the driver’s licence on the home may be with the owner and not the tip user? Why will water and power bills not prove residence?

        Why do they use residents parking permits to displace parking from participating road to those that do not want to pay more to the Council, until the whole town is filled with half empty parking bays and residents unable to own a car?

        • Lifelogic
          Posted March 8, 2015 at 9:09 am | Permalink

          Indeed and at night when the parking shortage is most acute the restrictions do not apply. Yet during the day the residents parking areas are often empty allowing the endless mugging of visitors, delivery vans, repair people and pushing up the costs of builders & tradesmen.

      • Bob
        Posted March 7, 2015 at 11:03 am | Permalink


        “Why give 5% of the users half the road and the other 95% just half of it?”

        In some places bus lanes can work and in others they are a waste of road space. For years I’ve been driving past empty bus lanes as vehicles large and small are forced to merge, causing congestion and potential accidents. We need a radically fresh approach to road layouts, as anyone who has driven in central London will know, it’s a cross between an obstacle course and a minefield. One false move and it’s three points and a large penalty.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 7, 2015 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

      I seen Cameron and Clegg introducing another absurd law forcing larger companies to publish gender pay differentials. The underpayment of women has got to stop says the potty Nick Clegg. Another hugely damaging law in the idiotic mode of Cameron’s gender neutral annuities and insurance.

      Any intelligent person (Clegg did Arch. and Anth. at Robinson College so is perhaps excused) looking at the figures can see quite clearly that the reason for the supposed “under pay” of women is broadly the sort of jobs women choose to do, ones that fit in with their work life balance and the career breaks they take. They tend on average to prefer work with flexible and sociable hours and without shifts that fit in with the family. Furthermore far fewer women than men study Maths, Physic, Engineering, Computing, Construction and the likes even at school. Women are, on average (as the figures clearly show) rather less motivated by money than males. They later lose out by taking often long career breaks by choice.

      You can only equalise pay by a huge degree of anti-male discrimination and by not employing the best person for the job which clearly harms productivity.

      Interestingly I say in two reports one suggesting that single women already earn more than the average male in the UK.

      Further it seems that gay men earn less that the average male but gay women earn more that the average woman. Which is quite interesting if you think it through.

      • JoeSoap
        Posted March 7, 2015 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

        Fine by me. Tie large companies up in as many knots as possible, so long as it doesn’t percolate down to us!

        • Lifelogic
          Posted March 8, 2015 at 1:10 am | Permalink

          Clearly these proposals are very unlikely to stop at gender or remain restricted to large companies. They will surely extend these idiotic laws to cover sexual orientation, age, gender, ethnic background, perhaps even handedness, height, hair colour, The companies recruitment policies and similar so every company will have to publish a meaningless book of expensive & pointless figures.

          Thus inhibiting job creation and growth even further and harming those they pretend to be helping.

      • Bazman
        Posted March 8, 2015 at 10:36 am | Permalink

        I have put to a number or times that woman are discriminated against just for being woman they are undervalued in some jobs and so paid less, also this bigoted nonsense fails to address social pressured that woman face and complications of such facts that fathers earn more than non fathers, but mothers earn less is not addressed and why in some areas women are paid less for doing the same work and same number of hours why do you think less woman are less likely to study maths and engineering is it because they do not understand complicated things and are only interested in soft subjects such as fluffy kittens?
        Its also laughable that you mention that legislation may one day include race. It does! How does your theory of natural selection then fit into the low paid and educational achievements of some ethnic groups and the Eton based government system we have and the MCSSS for the middle classes.
        No social engineering there then just achievement by merit?!

  2. Sandra Cox
    Posted March 7, 2015 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    “The UK also sends the EU overseas aid money to spend on its behalf.”

    John, what proportion of UK aid money goes to the EU?

    It’s taken almost five years but I see that our parliamentary representatives are set to deliver on their promise (or should we say the EU’s “demand”) to enshrine overseas aid spending in law. Apparently, just six MPs voted against the measure and peers opposing the move backed off at earlier stages. I see it’s set for its 3rd reading in HoL on Monday, just before parliament is dissolved.

    Yet another directive or “guideline” from the EU, all safely delivered by the EU’s and the UN’s useful idiots in our parliament!

    On a related topic on Breitbart London yesterday: “An EU plan to reduce the number of migrants coming to Europe illegally – by giving them legal status before they even arrive – is being ‘fast-tracked’ by the European Commission, amid the growing exodus from north Africa by way of the Mediterranean.”

    Oh dear, even more immigrants with EU passports – this can only end badly for us! We already have to accept and support Africans and Asians who have obtained passports from The Netherlands, France, Italy etc – a never-ending stream we can do nothing about. Let’s not kid ourselves, this not just a stream of workers. It is a stream of families, …………….etc ed….- this is what my MP likes to refer to as ‘a spike in fertility’.

    I think it’s becoming more and more obvious that the bulk of the foreign aid budget should be now be retained by the UK Treasury to counteract the vast sums being diverted away from our young, elderly and needy to provide aid to the world and his wife right here on the streets of the UK.

    • Hope
      Posted March 8, 2015 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

      A sixth of overseas aid goes to the EU and the UK does not get to say or influence how that money is spent.

      10 percent of the EU budget from the UK 1/28 of a voice! Where is that top table? Every time another country joins the EU the UK voice gets smaller and we do not get a say whether we are prepared for all the people of a new EU country to have FREE access to all our public services, welfare benefits and housing.

  3. Bernard from Bucks
    Posted March 7, 2015 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    Do you think Mr Cameron will be able to reduce these appalling figures will his proposed renegotiations? I don’t, I’m sure we would be better off out.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 7, 2015 at 8:14 am | Permalink

      Cameron with his current path, will surely not the in power to do any renegotiation at all. At best the Tories will be a part of a coalition and he clearly is looking for nothing but a couple or worthless fig leafs from the renegotiation. He does not even want control of the UK borders to be returned to Westminster.

      Far better to leave and form new agreements as needed.

      • Hope
        Posted March 8, 2015 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

        Cameron has already been told, Merkel, Junker, Borroso etc that there is no negotiation on the free movement of people. Therefore all countries of the EU present and those joining have FREE access to all our public services, housing and welfare benefits, in work tax credits etc. They have the same rights as any British citizen.

        Reported today isn’t he press 567 percent increase in Romanaians and Bulgarians working here. Where are all those MPs and journalists to apologise for making disparaging remarks about Farage? Keith Vaz’s MP reported explanation was pathetic and he greeted the alleged first immigrants through!! They were apparently already here, which only shows the lack of border controls! What is he doing about it?

    • Hope
      Posted March 7, 2015 at 9:32 am | Permalink

      JR, this is only part of the story. Last year we had it confirmed by the govt that it did not actually know the exact amount given to the EU because of complexities about the rebate etc. it also asks for arbitrary additional amounts as well. This is before we consider IMF bail outs to Eurozone countries or loans to Ireland. This is all EU costs. Then we have the indirect costs to our public services, translators, housing, in work benefits, child benefits, quangos, energy policy and NOW at an ever alarming rate the cost of military personnel and foreign policy. The Govt should be truthful, open and transparent to the public what influence the EU has on govt decisions such as the overseas aid, Ukraine, budget, taxes-as we pay the money.

      • Timaction
        Posted March 7, 2015 at 11:29 am | Permalink

        ……………………The Govt should be truthful, open and transparent to the public what influence the EU has on Govt decisions such as the overseas aid, Ukraine, budget, taxes-as we pay the money…………….

        They can’t because no one would support the unsupportable. Over 10% of the budget but only 1/28th of the say. Voice in the world, 2 million jobs at risk, trade, all utter nonsense. It’s a political project for the creation of a United States of Europe. Nothing more. Only one patriotic party always tells the truth and is then subjected to daily smears from the legacy party cartel and its msm.
        We’re now at a point where the parties know they have to come clean as UKIP will just keep telling the truth. People experience daily the quality of life issues that concern them

        • Lifelogic
          Posted March 8, 2015 at 9:05 am | Permalink

          The government should be truthful, honest and transparent – and pig will fly.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted March 9, 2015 at 8:11 am | Permalink

            Look at what happens to whistle blowers in the NHS.

      • bigneil
        Posted March 7, 2015 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

        When I got to the part -“The Govt should be truthful, open and transparent ” – I fell about laughing – the vast majority of them wouldn’t now how to be.

      • Hope
        Posted March 7, 2015 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

        How about the social cost to our society where Cameron cannot secure our borders nor will his EU masters even entertain any negotiation on it. Cameron appears unable or unwilling to protect our country to keep us safe, overseas aid commitment made legal, defence and police spending set to decline. Three girls who chose to leave the UK to join ISIS appears to concern him, the same age politicos think children should be able to vote, yet thousands of girls younger than this abused by Muslims in Rotherham, Rochdale, Luton and Oxford without any significant action taken! He has a warped set of priorities. If I was him I would not want to debate my record either.

  4. agricola
    Posted March 7, 2015 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    No surprises, but I would ask this, what are we getting in terms of real benefit for this vast membership fee.

    Defence is best kept within the remit of NATO. Trade, as a net recipient, would continue anyway. The EU in it’s parlous state could hardly contemplate otherwise nor would their industrialists allow it.

    On the plus side our departure might make the EU re think this grandiose political dream that has proved a road to nowhere for a large number of it’s citizens. It is socialism on a ridiculous scale, which most of us know only works if someone else is paying for it. Remember the USSR, and Mao’s China. We and the Germans are undoubtedly that someone else. When will your party and CMD in particular wake up to reality. £14 billion and growing could sort many a problem within the UK. When will politicians realise that they are there to serve and lead , but only with the consensus of the electorate. It is highly doubtful that they have this in terms of EU membership, HS2, Windmills for expensive energy etc., so why do they persist. Sorry for sounding like vidalogica, but he has a point.

  5. Jerry
    Posted March 7, 2015 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    “The UK has to pay 10.97% of the EU budget cost.”

    For comparison, what did Germany, France and Italy pay in 2014, even just as a percentage, after all I doubt that the other ~ 89% of the budget has been split into equal amounts of around 3.29% each for the other EU27!

    • ian wragg
      Posted March 7, 2015 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

      Jerry, sorry you think I ignore your comments. The truth is a bit more mundane. As a working 70 year old I have very little time to blog. By the time I read them the thread is usually closed.
      In answer to your defence of spending cuts for the military, NO, I don’t think it was forced on them by circumstances. Foreign aid has doubled and the EU subscription has almost doubled. The first priority of the government is protection of it’s citizens and this shower are woefully short on this.
      As for my leafleting for UKIP, sure many doors do not open and they probably ditch the leaflet I leave. Many strike up conversations and this is a traditional labour area and the punters are very angry about the extent of immigration, the social housing going to foreigners and their children travelling miles to school because the local school is full. We are also waiting 6 – 8 days for a doctors appointment when itierants get seen immediately.

      • Jerry
        Posted March 7, 2015 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

        @ian wragg; “the punters are very angry about the extent of immigration”

        Well they will be if all they ever hear from certain politicos is that “It’s all the fault of the migrants”…! Doesn’t change the actual facts though and at some point those facts will be realised by the punters and when that happens those who have used scapegoats will be a busted flush, just as has happened every time before. Ian, you say that you are 70 years old, so you should well remember the period between the mid 1950s and the late ’70s, can you not see the similarities between then and now, whilst the scapegoats have changed but the message is the same – The [scapegoats] are taking all the jobs/housing/benefits (or what ever)…

        “We are also waiting 6 – 8 days for a doctors appointment when itierants get seen immediately.”

        That says more about the government, your NHS Trust and/or your local surgery practice, and the layers of management now found at all those levels, than it does about migrants – many of whom are no doubt paying taxes here in the UK whilst some are likely to be actually working within the NHS themselves.

        • Edward2
          Posted March 8, 2015 at 10:03 am | Permalink

          A nonsensical reply Jerry.
          Immigration in the mid 50s to the late seventies was a tiny fraction compared to immigration since 1997
          We are seeing over 500,000 new arrivals per year.
          The biggest increase in population in the history of this country.

          Who is blaming the immigrants?

          What is being said by Ian, quite correctly that people local to him, who he meets, are complaining about the effects of this huge increase in population.
          The State hasavoided talking about it for many years, perhaps because of political correctness.
          But, refusing to do anything about it because of people like you who would argue any level is good and enritches us, has led to the mess we have now.

          • Jerry
            Posted March 9, 2015 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; “A nonsensical reply Jerry.”

            Indeed what followed the above comment was! 🙁

            “Immigration in the mid 50s to the late seventies was a tiny fraction compared to immigration since 1997”

            In mere numbers perhaps[s but in its effect it was probably worse as the UK was suffering from both a housing and transport crisis due to the continuing effects from WW2.

            “Who is blaming the immigrants?”

            Those who constantly mention immigration perhaps, why else would they do so?!

          • Edward2
            Posted March 10, 2015 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

            You confuse those who talk about the effects of immigration with those who blame the immigrants themselves for any effects caused.

            Sadly this failure to be able to have an open discussion and do the necessary planning has an effect of actually creating the problems which give rise to increased tensions between communities.

          • Jerry
            Posted March 11, 2015 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

            @Edward; “You confuse those who talk about the effects of immigration with those who blame the immigrants themselves for any effects caused.”

            The two are the same, unless those wishing to talk about the effects are prepared to talk about what causes the effects, such as the indigenous unemployed population not being prepared to get off their backsides to work for the going rate for the job, etc.

            As I said last week, if the indigenous unemployed jobseeker is not prepared to do the work what are business owners meant to do, employ migrants who are or put up the Closed sign and join the rest of those seeking new employment down the Job centre?…

        • Hope
          Posted March 8, 2015 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

          Utter rubbish and a totally blinkered view to reality.

          • Jerry
            Posted March 8, 2015 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

            @Hope; Indeed Hope, your opinions are!

  6. Old Albion
    Posted March 7, 2015 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    Do your figures include the ‘surprise’ extra bill for £1.7billion ? You know the one that Cameron and Osborne said they would refuse to pay……….then paid it.

  7. Dame Rita Webb
    Posted March 7, 2015 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    OK then we are being ripped off by the EU. Well how about the money spent that we cannot afford on our other international obligations? What about Trident? How is that an independent deterrent when we are completely dependent on the Americans to target the thing for example? Why not try wasting a few billion on another ZIRCON as the latest public works program? How much are we spending on bombing ISIL at the moment, especially when the enemy appears to be based here? How much more are we going to become involved in the Ukraine and at what cost? How much are we spending on a “recovery” that is built around an indirect state subsidy of low paid low skilled jobs through non contrib benefits? Even if we leave the EU, these “jobs” will only remain attractive to foreigners, just as they do in those non EU paragons Norway and Switzerland.

    • libertarian
      Posted March 7, 2015 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

      Dame Rita Webb

      What is it with you people and the job market? Are you really that incapable of understanding basic numbers? Are you really incapable of googling jobs?

      We DO NOT have a low skill low pay economy. The average UK wage is £27k those earning this are in the TOP 5% of worlds wealthiest people. We are world leaders in advanced technology in all kinds of fields which has generated large numbers of highly skilled jobs.

      The huge growth in new jobs has NOT been in low skill jobs.

      There are 31 million in work in the UK

      • Bazman
        Posted March 8, 2015 at 10:59 am | Permalink

        There are large numbers of people in this country on low pay in low skilled jobs and this does not take away this fact and large number of the job created have been in this are hence the large number of immigrants able and desperate enough to do them.
        Millions struggle in one of the richest countries in the world as you point out. There are a lot of jobs, but a lack of people with those specific skill living within a commutable distance made worse by a shortage of suitable housing.
        Wages in some industries such as the metal trade have fallen or stagnate not helping the country either. If these companies want skills they have to pay and not tell everyone they are paying the market rate when nobody will work for these rates. Tradesmen may then find the work viable because at the moment a lower paid job closer to home is the way to go. Five minutes door to door for me. Thats right 5 minutes. The ones further away can DIY as they just pay the same or a bit more. Where is the incentive?

        • Edward2
          Posted March 9, 2015 at 9:20 am | Permalink

          Presumably Baz, if employers cannot fill vacancies the wages will go up until the higher rate starts to attract applications.

          Or companies will set up abroad where there isn’t such problems recruiting.

          • Bazman
            Posted March 9, 2015 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

            The wage does not go up that is the point they have also cut accommodation and travel allowances, you could say the skills shortage is a shortage of money. The companies often cannot set up abroad due to the nature of the work and transportation costs in the metal trades. The products not plastic widgets being made and are often required at short notice with local service and fitting requirements.
            What they expect is not clear, maybe they are waiting for desperate EU workers to live in a caravan on site?

  8. Joseph
    Posted March 7, 2015 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    The net cost of EU membership whilst substantial is nothing when compared to other government spending. It is in fact a wonderful red-herring for both major parties to hang the ills of the modern world and their own gross inefficiencies upon.

    I’m all for reforming the EU but the reality is that there is no scope for any meaningful reform whilst the majority of members are net recipients.

    Why is it that Cameron et al seem to think they’ll get anything out of the present set-up? The only real answer to this is to leave, the sooner the better.

    • Graham
      Posted March 7, 2015 at 10:28 am | Permalink

      Led by Cameron = Led by a donkey

      He has no intention, even if the population voted for it, of letting us leave the EU so what incentive is there for him to fight for a better deal – or indeed why the rest should indeed take the UK seriously.

      Any real negotiator would use the threat of non payment as a tool – unless you are a donkey of course.

  9. alan jutson
    Posted March 7, 2015 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    I am afraid I simply do not understand why a membership fee is not charged to every Country.

    Why pay Countries to be a member, is the deal that poor you actually have pay most Countries to join.

    The present set up penalises wealth and rewards poverty, surely it should be the other way around.

    No wonder they want to keep us on board, but of course we would never use our contribution as a bargaining chip, because our representatives are rather too timid and too dim to even mention it..

    I see Mr Camerons negotiations with the TV media with regard to the debates is resulting in abject failure.
    If he leaves an empty chair John, you as a Party are done for.
    If he now turns up, he shows how poor he has been at negotiation, and it shows his weakness of resolve.

    Cameron has chosen the wrong battle and wrong strategy for this argument, but then for a man with absolutely no first hand experience of any hard nosed commercial negotiations that is not a surprise really is it !

    Renegotiate with the EU, do not make me laugh.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 9, 2015 at 8:14 am | Permalink

      “is the deal that poor you actually have pay most Countries to join?”

      Yes in the UK’s case they just got some traitors in power to help them do it more cheaply.

  10. Richard1
    Posted March 7, 2015 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    This shows that the UK will be in an exceptionally storng position to renegotiate a looser, more trade focused relationship should the Conservatives win an overall majority at the election. If the Conservatives do not win an overall majority and there is no referendum backstop, we can expect nothing material from a renegotiation.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 7, 2015 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

      As things stand there’s still only a low chance that the Tories will win an overall majority in May, 14% according to the estimate here:

      So what’s the latest plan if they have to enter into a coalition agreement?

      • Richard1
        Posted March 7, 2015 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

        Anyone who counts themselves eurosceptic – and rational – should vote Tory in order that there will be a referendum with a prior attempt at renegotiation. A coalition, unless it’s with UKIP which is most unlikely, will not yield the same result.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted March 8, 2015 at 10:23 am | Permalink

          So Cameron would be prepared to sacrifice his EU policy to get a coalition agreement, is that what you are saying?

  11. oldtimer
    Posted March 7, 2015 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    It is useful to be reminded that the UK has contributed c$65 billion gross to the EU over the life of this Parliament. And all for the privilege of having unwanted laws and regulations foisted upon the UK with no possibility of preventing them, of open border causing huge pressures on the NHS, social services, education, housing and the welfare budget to name but five areas of public life inder stress. In addition the UK runs a huge trade deficit with the rest of the UK (c£85 billion annually IIRC) and an outlet for hundreds of thousands of other EU citizens apparently unable/unwilling to gain/take employment in their own countries. No wonder the EUrocracy will do all it can to keep the UK inside the EU. It is its very own Treasure Island.

    • oldtimer
      Posted March 7, 2015 at 8:50 am | Permalink

      correction: should read trade deficit with the rest of the EU.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 9, 2015 at 8:15 am | Permalink


  12. Edward2
    Posted March 7, 2015 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    What kind of democracy is it where there are 28 nations who have a vote but only 10 are net contributors?
    Some new system needs introducing where those who pay in get a greater say in how much the budget is, and how the budget is spent.

    • Bob
      Posted March 7, 2015 at 10:35 am | Permalink


      “What kind of democracy is it where there are 28 nations who have a vote but only 10 are net contributors?”

      Just like two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for lunch.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted March 9, 2015 at 8:19 am | Permalink

        Indeed a good analogy. But a problem that is inherent even in proper democracies where the many poor can gang up to legally rob the few rich with taxes. Then help themselves to the booty if the government does not steal most of it on route.

    • Bazman
      Posted March 7, 2015 at 10:48 am | Permalink

      Maybe we could apply this to UK democracy every 100k equals one vote? Obviously the more you have the more you can influence the government. Only fair. Why should benefit claimants have any say?

      • libertarian
        Posted March 7, 2015 at 8:53 pm | Permalink


        What you mean like Unite the union?

        • Bazman
          Posted March 8, 2015 at 9:58 am | Permalink

          The block vote was abolished twenty years ago and if you are attacking the unions we have seen over the years how the erosion of them has cost the average person with massive pay rises for the bosses with little or no rise in their performance and large pay cuts for the rest.

      • Edward2
        Posted March 8, 2015 at 10:14 am | Permalink

        You make an interesting point Baz.
        We used to have a nation where most worked and paid into the State now we have a nation where more take out than put in.
        This is why there are calls by this majority for the rich to pay (even) more.
        The top 10% have increased the proportion of tax they pay to what is now over 50% of total income tax.
        And thats just income tax.

        So if there are increasing numbers taking out more then it creates a debate on one person one vote just as in the EU.
        What generous benefits will the majority vote for themselves which the rest will have to pay for?

        What was it Baz, no taxation without representation?
        Remember that?

        • Bazman
          Posted March 9, 2015 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

          The rich have had truly massive pay rises to pay any increased tax bills they get. The rest have seen their incomes fall and tax rises via indirect taxation. The trickle down effect has largely been debunked as we live in a demand economy making the rich richer and hoping for a good outcome because we may get some crumbs is for the birds.
          They benefit the most so should pay the most even for their own benefit in a democracy and if they have entitlement then so do the poor as by default if there is the undeserving poor then there must be a undeserving rich.

          • Edward2
            Posted March 12, 2015 at 7:59 am | Permalink

            Its a mystery therefore how standards of living have risen greatly over the last 50 years for everybody.

          • Bazman
            Posted March 12, 2015 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

            Not that much of a mystery the tax and benefit system have played a large part and many still see low living standards and shortened lifespans. This being their own fault?
            Comparing 50 years ago with now is not real and the wealthy have seen massive rises in their standards of living and lifespan in recent years for no other reason than being rich.
            Sparrows and horses nonsense.

    • eeyore
      Posted March 7, 2015 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

      Not dissimilar to our own dear democracy, Mr Edward2, where one per cent pay nearly 30 per cent of the income tax, ten per cent pay over 60 per cent, over 40 per cent pay nothing at all, and more than half of households are net beneficiaries of the great Westminster Cash Fairy. How edifying if each citizen ran a credit and debit balance with the State! If the banks can do it, to the penny, in real time, why can’t HMG?

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted March 7, 2015 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

      Would you advocate higher rate taxpayers getting more than one vote in the general election is that the kind of democracy you are thinking of?

      Voting with one’s or the country’s feet is the way to go. Exit

  13. ian wragg
    Posted March 7, 2015 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    It’s an appalling waste of taxpayers money, paying into a club which we run a £77 billion deficit.
    We are paying for infrastructure projects in countries that then compete with us. Dozens of unused roads and airports in Spain for example and updating transport projects in Eastern Europe whilst cutting back at home.
    No money for defence or home care for the aged but unlimited funds for this communist inspired crooked quango.
    CMD really is trying to lose the GE. Whilst I agree that child benefit should be stopped, it’s stupid to announce it 9 weeks before the GE. And why 3 children??

    • Jerry
      Posted March 7, 2015 at 10:56 am | Permalink

      @ian wragg; “No money for defence or home care for the aged but unlimited funds for this communist inspired crooked quango.”

      Of course there is money for such things, the problem is that our government prefers to to spend our domestic tax-receipts on subsidies for wind turbines, to fund pointless projects by DfID, even bankrolling HS2 when -as a EU inspired project- a case for EU funding could conceivably be made etc.

      Germany, France and Italy all contribute more than the UK (using 2012 figures, hence my request for 2014 figures above that has so far gone unanswered) but because those countries tend to be at the table rather than halfway out the door when it comes to getting something from the EU in return their electorate see things rather differently when it comes to the EU and its budget…

  14. Iain Gill
    Posted March 7, 2015 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    My friend is a EU civil servant, retires shortly, buying his last “tax free” “diplomatic terms” new car before he retires… will be retiring on more pension than an MP gets paid while in work, in his early 50’s, and still complaining the benefits are not good enough!

    Mind the UK civil service is just as bad, the MOD for instance is stuffed full of ex military working as contractors hired on the grapevine totally unsuited to their supposed role, getting paid a big whack contractor daily rate on top of their more than generous military pensions. Its a disgrace.

    • Jerry
      Posted March 7, 2015 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

      @Iain Gill; Nice rant, “He’s got it, I want it… If I can’t have it, he shouldn’t have it…” jealous are you?…

      • David Price
        Posted March 8, 2015 at 4:02 am | Permalink

        What rationale is there for employees of the EU not to pay UK taxes just like any other non-EU employee or even UK government employee?

        • Jerry
          Posted March 8, 2015 at 8:37 am | Permalink

          @David Price; You believe they should be taxed twice, or do you mean that employees of the EU do not pay -at source- any (income) tax?

          • David Price
            Posted March 9, 2015 at 7:13 am | Permalink

            I meant what I said, which is not how you have tried to phrase it.

          • Jerry
            Posted March 9, 2015 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

            @David Price; I’ll take that as you support double taxation then, seeing that (on face value at least) you expect them to pay once in the country were they work and and get paid but then again when that money arrives in the UK…

      • Edward2
        Posted March 8, 2015 at 10:18 am | Permalink

        Why does a true statement of example of State and EU budget waste bring from you such as childish riposte Jerry?

        Do tell us if you think this is money well spent, as opposed to being spent instead, on some deserving citizen in need?

        • Jerry
          Posted March 8, 2015 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

          @Edward2; “bring from you such as childish riposte”

          Well yes, apologies for replying in kind…

          As for “a true statement of example”, before I could possibly answer we would first off have to define what “true” actually means, all the facts or just selective morals, so loved by the printed and web media in the UK, that prove a political point of opinion and their daily rant. I stand by my comment.

          • Edward2
            Posted March 9, 2015 at 9:26 am | Permalink

            Ok leave out the word “true” Jerry.
            I ask you again.
            Do you think the examples of EU and State spending Ian gave are money well spent?

          • Jerry
            Posted March 9, 2015 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

            @Edward; “Do you think the examples of EU and State spending Ian gave are money well spent?”

            That would depend on if they are correct examples or not, doesn’t it. Are they are the facts or just some media hacks editorial line/opinion printed as a fact to sell newsprint to those seeking out similar opinions to their own.

          • Edward2
            Posted March 10, 2015 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

            Well assume they are correct and have a little think and give us an answer.
            Are you a retired politician?

          • Jerry
            Posted March 11, 2015 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; “Well assume they are correct and have a little think and give us an answer.”

            Do you still beat your wife? Don’t worry if you either don’t have a wife or have never so much as lifted a finger, have a little think about it and give us an answer anyway… Stop asking daft questions, you must think I was born yesterday if you think you can lead me down the garden path to look at the Fairies!

            “Are you a retired politician?”

            Unfortunately not. 🙂

    • Bazman
      Posted March 8, 2015 at 11:02 am | Permalink

      Got anything to say about the old boys network of consultancy jobs for ex directors paying thousands for a few hours work a month in often state funded companies?

    • Bob
      Posted March 8, 2015 at 11:15 am | Permalink

      @Iain Gill

      “retiring on more pension than an MP gets paid while in work, in his early 50’s, and still complaining the benefits are not good enough!”

      They live in a comfortable bubble created by the EU for the benefit of their own. In addition to their generous final salary pensions they are exempted from UK income tax and instead pay income tax to the EU on far lower rates those inflicted on non-EU pensioners.

  15. David
    Posted March 7, 2015 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    Is that including tariffs on good which come from outside the EU? The EU has a common external tariff which goes to EU central funding.

  16. Bert Young
    Posted March 7, 2015 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    We are mad to continue our membership of the EU . I had no idea that we also sent “overseas aid” money to be spent by the EU ! – thank you for the bad news . Polls show that there is a majority in favour of a new way with Europe so I don’t understand why its not featured in the manifestos . UKIP bit the bullet earlier on featuring the idiocy of not dealing with immigration ; I hope they will stick to their lines because they are bound to win ground .

    The run up to the election is very messy . Scotland looks hell bent on destroying the Union in variance to the outcome of the referendum vote last year . Making promises to them looks to have had no meaning and the threat of the SNP having disproportionate influence – if it happens , would make a mockery of our political system .

  17. Kenneth R Moore
    Posted March 7, 2015 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    This just underlines the weakness of those that negotiate these things. An increase of 18% in payments seems like a bad deal to me. Or a good deal for the cultural revolutionaries like David Cameron that revel in destroying a once strong and independent nation.
    But it seems unlikely to change – the fools that voted Labour in 1997 and 2002 were unwittingly signing the Uk’s death warrant. The left get stronger every day as more migrants pour into the country and the right continue to fight amongst themselves.

  18. bigneil
    Posted March 7, 2015 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    “The UK also sends the EU overseas aid money to spend on its behalf”. – – No John, “the UK” doesn’t – your party does. The rest of us have NO choice in the matter. It is done by a person who has never had, and never will have, any connection with reality, someone who is now known as nothing but an untrustworthy liar by the people he is supposed to represent. Still, keep throwing billions away that have been borrowed. Keep importing thousands a month to a life (helped by benefits ) paid by the taxpayer. Keep cutting services. And now, in a stupid way of “lowering illegal immigration” – the “want a free life brigade” will be processed elsewhere – and given passage by the EU to just turn up, thereby taking away any control from the countries themselves. In ten years time I hope all the rewards the EU will bestow upon DC will make him feel it was worthwhile destroying the nation. He is nothing but a traitor.

  19. Bob
    Posted March 7, 2015 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    “Unfortunately after this deal the EU announced changes to the figures it used to assess UK liability to contribute based on VAT and national income which were heavily adverse for the UK.”

    Day after day you enumerate reasons why the UK should relinquish it’s membership of the EU and yet you continue to support a party which is very much in favour of remaining in. Any talk of reforming the EU from within is just talk, no more; Frau Merkel has made that very clear in her Westminster lecture to the LibLabCon leaders as sat there like adolescent schoolgirls gazing admiringly at her.

    The Tories signed us up to the EEC under the guise of a trade agreement and as you know the intention was always that it would morph by stealth into full political and economic union.

    The Tories introduced the 1972 European Communities Act which makes EU legislation enforceable in the UK; repealing the act would at a stroke render EU rules unenforceable here, apart from those specifically accepted by our government.

    So what do you think we should do, keep harping on about the negative effect of membership or leave?

  20. Denis Cooper
    Posted March 7, 2015 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    Because of the complexity of the system it’s hard enough to work out precise figures even for the UK’s gross and net contributions to the EU budget.

    When it comes to estimating the total cost of our EU membership that’s in another realm of difficulty, because it involves constructing hypothetical scenarios under which the UK is no longer a member of the EU, and then trying to make projections about the financial consequences.

    However the glib answers about the economic benefits of our membership of the EU that are typically offered by pro-EU politicians and other advocates of the EU are even less credible than the most extreme estimates of the real economic cost that are offered by some opponents of EU membership, which actually run higher than the £185 billion a year estimated last year by Professor Tim Congdon on behalf of UKIP:

    Personally I’m a) sure that it’s a net cost not a net benefit, and b) inclined to think that it’s a substantial net cost, but c) not convinced that it’s as high as some suggest.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 8, 2015 at 7:05 am | Permalink

      Indeed an excellent piece of work as usual by Tim Congdon.

      • Bazman
        Posted March 8, 2015 at 11:08 am | Permalink

        Don’t ask him about wind farms though.

  21. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted March 7, 2015 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    Despite all this, your leader and your Parliamentary party want to keep us locked in the EU. Why?

    • Gary Carpenter
      Posted March 7, 2015 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

      I’ve been asking that very same question for years . . . . . . . . . . . .

    • Jerry
      Posted March 8, 2015 at 9:05 am | Permalink

      @Brian Tomkinson; That would be why the Conservatives are the only party actually offering a democratic (single issue) referendum on the UK’s membership – because they want the UK to remain locked in to the EU…

      UKIP are only offering a referendum as part of their “red lines package” should they be invited to join a coalition/pact, otherwise they would invoke a unilateral Brexit should they gain an working majority for themselves, and that might be on not much more than 34% of the popular vote were a referendum would require 51% of the popular vote either way.

      I have actually talked with people who are minded to vote UKIP, but do not actually want the UK to exit the EU (it is their other policies that appeal [1]), so a vote for UKIP can not be taken as an automatic vote for a Brexit!

      [1] and quite frankly that is the card UKIP are playing to in my opinion

  22. Freeborn John
    Posted March 7, 2015 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    This is why we are going to end Cameron’s political career in May. Please choose your next party leader more carefully. If it is another pretend eurosceptic (Boris, Theresa May) the Tory Party is going to continue its relentless decline towards oblivion, in the same way as any business that is still selling goods that the public no longer want to buy. Pick a leader who will take the UK out of the EU.

    • Jerry
      Posted March 8, 2015 at 9:13 am | Permalink

      @Freeborn John; “This is why we are going to end Cameron’s political career in May.

      Turkeys voting for Christmas in other words! If the Tory party is not either in a government or the majority party within any possible coalition/pact on 8th May then the UK will have taken at least one step politically to the left and at least one step closer to the EU no ifs or buts.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 8, 2015 at 10:47 am | Permalink

      I honestly cannot think of any leading Tory who a) fits that bill and b) would have a reasonable chance of being chosen to become party leader. Unless the system has been changed that person would have to be the first or second choice of Tory MPs who are overwhelmingly in favour of staying in the EU, some passionately so, before the wider party membership made the final choice. If a party has been firmly committed to a major policy for decades then opponents of that policy will have been gradually filtered out and it’s unlikely that any of them will have risen to the top levels. The same with the Labour party; I can’t immediately think of any senior Labour figure who might replace Miliband and take us out of the EU, it seems such people no longer exist at those levels of the Labour party.

  23. lojolondon
    Posted March 7, 2015 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

    John, you are absolutely correct in your numbers – most organisations provide EU numbers netted against EU spend, which is total garbage – because the EU takes credit for OUR money they send back to US.
    So if we give the EU £14billion and they send back £1million for, say, a bridge to be built, then EU rules say that the bridge must have a plaque recognising the EU as providing the funds to the bridge – outrageous!!
    It is also outrageous that the UK is a far bigger contributor to the EU than France, for example, and another good reason for us to leave ASAP.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 8, 2015 at 1:15 am | Permalink

      If only they were building things as useful as bridges can be.

  24. Terry
    Posted March 7, 2015 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

    Please explain in simple terms just what this country actually receives back from Brussels in return for our investment into the EU.

    And explain in the same terms why we need Brussels to negotiate OUR export trades with the rest of the world.
    Then, finally explain why the Conservative Leader wants us to remain in this Marxists dominated club.
    Why are the current leaders of the Conservative Party so reluctant to tell ordinary people like me why they are so hell bent on retaining the diabolical status quo with the EU? Why why why? Why do wwe need the political affiliation whereby we count for just 1/28th of the laughably described “Top Table? The UK counts for NOTHING within the EU!!

    If there is a net gain, I, as a cash contributor to that dreadful behemoth, want to know about it. Ignoring the question does nothing to enhance my feelings towards the Conservatives anymore and I am sick of being kept in the dark as though I do not matter. I am very sure I am not alone in these thoughts.

  • 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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