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Eurosceptic Bloggers

Monday, December 05, 2005

Apparently, Greed is not a policy

Normally I find Roy Hattersley too irrelevant to want to fisk. He is so far away from reality that it’s just not worth it. Now and again though I fell lazy enough to want to shoot at an open target. Today is one of those days. The topic is the EU budget.
The rebate - as calculated on the formula by which Britain was repaid £3.5bn last year - is indefensible.
The fact that it could be replaced with a more logical approach to budget contributions, is something that even I could agree with. Indefensible does not however, have the same meaning as messy.
Blair was right to offer the end of the rebate in return for a major revision of the common agricultural policy.
As much as we Eurosceptics would like our contribution to be zero, in the absence of a get out of jail free card, to connect the budget and the CAP was the right thing to do. Not that it did any good of course:
The French were wrong to remain obdurate in their refusal to cut farm subsidies.
So what conclusion would you draw from the two previous statements? Because Splattersley manages to conclude this:
Now Blair is right to accept rebate reductions as the price we must pay for the general acceptance of a European budget that limits all Brussels' spending.
So when the right course of action doesn’t work, we change the goal posts and pursue the wrong course of action. There was never a chance that Brussels would win its increased spending plans, it needs agreement of all 25 members. So why should we back down, in exchange for a non concession? Moreover, if we can’t overcome French intransigence by threatening to stop their cash, how can we? Roy would have made a great adviser to Neville Chamberlain. Someone should point out, that in the face of threats; an image of weakness has a poor track record. So once again he proves to be a Europhile first and a Brit last, if at all. Most of all what motivated me to attack was the title of the piece. Like all idiot socialists, Hattersley equates pillage of the citizens’ income with selflessness. Our cash is given to the government on the belief that they will spend it on things that we want. The European Union is clearly not an area where we are keen to increase spending. So unless Tony Blair defends our rebate, to paraphrase old Lard Face, in the belief that protection of Britain's EU budget rebate is a sacred trust bequeathed to her successors by Margaret Thatcher, he is grossly negligent in his duty to the people of the UK.

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