Tony B.Liar may be gone but he's certainly not forgotten and the ramifications of his decade of misrule are still being felt now and will be felt for many years to come.
In 2005, he agreed to cut the rebate secured by Margaret Thatcher every year until it eventually disappears. The rebate was negotiated because so much of the EU budget - around a third - goes towards the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). Without the rebate, the UK is the largest contributor to the EU budget but benefits least from the CAP and even our masters on the continent had to grudgingly accept that expecting the UK to pay for the CAP was unreasonable.
The UK contribution to the EU budget was going to get more expensive anyway thanks to the erosion of the rebate and the ever-increasing bill for EU imperialism but Gordon Brown's expert steerage of the UK economy into recession is going to increase the bill even further at a time when we can least afford it.
The amount the UK has to pay for the privilege of having three quarters of our laws made by unelected foreigners is calculated and paid in euro and the exchange rate is fixed at the prevailing rate at the end of the last year. This means that the bill for next year will be paid at an exchange rate of €1.4 to the £ instead of the current rate of €1.05 to the £.
The upshot of this is that next year's €5.6bn contribution no longer works out at £4bn, it's now £5.5bn and that extra €1.5bn means an increased contribution of £18.75 for every one of the 80m inhabitants of these islands. The £1.5bn would pay the wages of 68,000 nurses or 35,000 police officers. It would pay for the English NHS to abolish prescription charges and hospital car parking charges in line with the rest of the UK three times over.
If the pound stays at parity with the euro then our contribution to the EU in 2010 will be £9bn instead of the £6.5bn the British government has budgeted for. The net cost of EU membership last year was £873 for every man, woman and child in the UK. The combined effect of the erosion of the UK's rebate, the devaluation of the pound and increased EU spending should push this figure beyond the thousand pound mark.
What will you spend your thousand pounds on when we leave the EU?
Sunday, 4 January 2009
Posted by Stuart Parr at 11:01
Cost of EU membership rockets