Thursday, 1 November 2012

We want our EU contributions cut!

No apologies to returning to a grown up topic I've spoken about in the past on this blog namely Great Britain and its relationship with the European Union. If you haven't read them, no doubt searching the blog would bring them up.
Anyway, I think most of know the UK has got a large deficit which regardless of what our opinions on how we're reducing it and how that is affecting ordinary folks, we are doing it by reducing the amount of money we spend on government services.
One item of expenditure we have over here is our contribution to the budget of the European Union and there is a lot of talk from them about increasing by around 4 or more percent the budget contributions because it says it needs that to pay for its programs even though most National Governments like ours are doing the opposite ironically to pay for bailouts from the EU!
It is fair to say their is a schism between the opinions of the Political Establishment  here and that of many ordinary people regardless of party politics and it can be summarized as this:
Most Britons like people from Europe, they are happy to visit, co-operate trading with and certainly have no desire for conflict never mind war with them. The one thing they will not accept is a political Europe with it's own sovereign parliament, binding Europe wide laws, financial regulation and currency.
That's because they have a proud history of having one of their very own to which they remain happy with.
Now in the last few days because their is a split between the generally pro EU Liberal Democrat half of the Government and the more anti Political EU Tories meetings were held and the Tory Prime Minister decided he was going to argue at the upcoming EU Budget meeting for a Freeze in contributions , the idea being in time it would have to reduce some of its ambitions.
Unfortunately for him many of those of his party not in the Cabinet thought otherwise wanting a cut on the grounds that it was unfair to expect people to have to accept cuts in what National Governments spend on goods and services we use and for them not to do the same.
I'm not a Tory but I have to say I agree completely with that especially when the spending is not and hasn't been accounted  for properly year on year for a very long time.
Last night in the vote on the proposition, just for one this once rebel Tories and the Labour party defeated the Government by 307 votes to 294 making it clear through our representatives what is is so many of us feel.
I only hope the message isn't lost on people involved in the European Union not least the Comissionaires.
Today Britons have spoken.

1 comment:

mittfh said...

There's a school of thought that Cameron pushed for the freeze because he thought that was marginally more likely to be accepted by the other 27 countries in the EU than a cut. Greece, Italy and Spain probably want more bailouts; the Eastern Bloc don't want to see their existing aid dry up, while French farmers continually push for a rise in their subsidies from the CAP (Common Agricultural Policy).

Against that background, even arguing for agreement to a rise in line with inflation (as will happen if Cameron wields his veto) will be tricky enough; let alone a freeze or cut.

It would be interesting to know the extent to which the EU budget is discussed among citizens / politicians of the rest of the EU and their opinion on it. I think the Germans are getting increasingly frustrated with bankrolling the rest of the EU...