Monday, 19 November 2012

EU may agree budget by excluding UK

The EU is apparently considering pressing ahead with a budget agreement that includes every member state apart from the UK.  Quite how this would be legal or how it would work in practical terms is a mystery but anyone expecting Cameron to finally put his foot down and say enough is enough will be bitterly disappointed.  As usual.
Odds of a referendum? This much.
Speaking at the CBI conference in central London, Mr Cameron said he was "a good European" but signalled he was ready to take a tough line in negotiations on the 2014-20 budget.

"I make absolutely no apologies for standing up strongly for Britain in Europe on some of our priorities," Mr Cameron said.

Speaking about the harsh cuts Britain has faced, the Prime Minister said: "It is simply not credible to go to Europe and say we have made all these difficult decisions at home but when it comes to the European budget we are going to see it go up and up and up.

"I think I have got the people of Europe on my side in arguing that we should stop picking their pockets and spending more and more money through the EU budget, particularly when so many parts of the European budget are not well spent," he stated.
So Cameron is "a good European" and he makes "no apologies for standing up strongly for Britain in Europe".  Next thing you know he'll be telling us the Pope is Catholic and that bears carry out their ablutions amongst the trees.  After backtracking on a promised referendum when he came to power and then whipping his MPs to deny us a referendum earlier this year, does anyone seriously doubt that Cast Iron Dave is anything but an EU sockpuppet?  As for "many parts" of the EU budget being "not well spent" - we're talking about 3.9% of  the EU's budget of around £105bn for last year (over £4bn) being lost to fraud and error and the EU's own auditors refusing to sign off their accounts for the 18th year in a row.  This isn't a minor blip involving a few quid, it's a major systemic failure resulting in a sum of money being wasted roughly equivalent to the entire Icelandic government's 2011 budget!

And how have his colleagues responded to this statement of undying love for the EU from their leader?  Ken Clarke says that Cameron's "real terms freeze" (ie. a 2.9% increase) is only a "starting point" and he could accept an increase.  Could usually implies some semblance of doubt of which there is none - Cameron will agree to an outrageous increase in the EU budget.  Boris Johnson drifted off into some private fantasy about Cameron dressing up as Margaret Thatcher and saying no to the EU and David Davies - once one of the Conservative Party's most vocal eurosceptics - said that Cameron should give another Cast Iron Guarantee of a referendum after the next election and pass a law to make sure it happens.  There's already a law (the EU Act) that was supposed to give us a referendum when there was a new transfer of sovereignty to the EU but which was usefully worded so that the government of the day decides whether they feel like giving us a referendum and of course they don't so they haven't so another one would be quite pointless.  Aside from Cameron's utter determination not to allow us to vote ourselves out of the EU, should such a law actually make it onto the statute books any incoming LibLabCon government could (and probably would) simply repeal it because no parliament can bind its successors.

Opinion poll after opinion poll shows that most of us want out of the EU, it is morally and democratically indefensible to deny us the referendum the majority of the electorate clearly want.
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