The Tories desperate attempt to rein in EU spending suffered an expensive financial and political defeat earlier this week following the decision by Europe’s finance ministers to impose, in the face of British objections, an extra £770 million in contributions which the UK Treasury must pay to Brussels this year.
Britain’s inability even to avoid paying the extra levy makes a mockery of Cameron’s claims that the government will renegotiate our relationship with the EU. If Britain cannot even avoid a “shake-down” at this stage, then what chance has it of negotiating anything of value in future?
This is a personal setback for David Cameron, desperate to be seen to be (successfully) fighting Britain’s corner in that most undemocratic of globalist institutions.
Media reports maintain that cash-strapped EU states must now find an additional £6.2 billion for the hopelessly inefficient Brussels budget – this being a 5.5% budgetary increase – at a time of alleged deep cuts to national public spending and EU-imposed austerity throughout the Euro-zone.
This move, needed, to meet a budget shortfall, will take the UK’s contributions to a staggering £14.7 billion this year – £4 billion more than even the profligate Tories sacred foreign aid budget.
Economist claim that this will increase the annual cost of the EU to average British households to £581.
Initially Britain, Holland, Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Austria opposed paying the increase which, worryingly, may be followed by further demands for contributions in the autumn.
Embarrassingly for Cameron the European Parliament insisted on the extra payment as the price for supporting a February agreement to cut 3.3% from EU budgets, a deal claimed as a victory by the Prime Minister.
One EU skeptic commented: “On the day Cameron is offering a meaningless promise of a referendum, he gets an iron-fisted rejection from Brussels. This is another huge defeat for him at EU level, and shows the possibility of EU reform is non-existent.”
What do we want: A referendum!
When do we want it? Now!