Friday, December 14, 2007

Why is France Getting Twice as Much as Britain Out of the EU?

Over the next seven years Britain will send £71 billion to Brussels - equivalent to £10.2 billion a year. This could have alternative uses. We could...

- Cut council tax by nearly 50%:
- Build 40 brand new general hospitals each year
- Employ an extra 320,000 nurses each year
- Cut the main rate of corporation tax by 11p
- Cut the basic rate of income tax by 3p
- Raise the inheritance threshold from £300,000 to £2,925,000
- Raise the income tax personal allowance by £2000
- Cut petrol duty by 75%
- Pay the total bill for the London Olympics in less than one year

Britain will receive only €770 per person in EU spending (the lowest of any member state). This is half as much as France (€1480) and a quarter as much as Ireland (€3090). Absurdly, the richest country in the EU – Luxemburg – will get more than €22,000 per person because it benefits from having EU agencies based there.

Per head, the top three recipients of EU funds will continue to be old member states – Luxembourg, Belgium and Greece. France will continue to be the largest recipient of EU funds of any member state in absolute terms. France will receive €89 billion from the EU over the six year period, compared to €46 billion for the UK.

The Government claimed that what Britain will be paying would be in “rough parity with countries such as France.” (PMOS, 8 December 2005) But despite numerous written parliamentary questions, the Government has repeatedly refused to publish full details about the other EU member states’ contributions and receipts. Leaked documents revealed that over the period, Britain will pay in 20% more than France (£42 billion, compared with France’s £35 billion). The Government has now responded by publishing its projection for French net contributions (though only for France and not other member states). The Government claims that France will pay up to €48.3 bn, while the UK will pay up to €57.5 bn over the period – meaning that the UK will pay just under 20% more, even though its economy is only 6% bigger (Written Answer,31 Jan 2006).

All the above words and figures are taken from a new Briefing Paper from Open Europe, which you can download HERE. We're having the wool pulled over our eyes and Thank God for organisations like Open Europe who uncover the real costs of our membership of the European Union. In the end, governments only govern with the consent of the people. When they break manifesto promises on a referendum and then try to hide from us how much the EU is costing, no one should be surprised if, in the end, the people turn on their government and say 'enough is enough'.


Anonymous said...

Better off out.

It's a scandal that this isn't more of a scandal, but when something has been going on for thirty years, apparently people just get used to it, especially with the Beeb smearing as loony anybody who even raises this question.

We joined the Common Market in a moment of national insecurity when we were looking for a quick fix for our economic problems. It didn't work, and it took Mrs Thatcher to show us that the solution to our problems was in Britain, not Brussels. The CM/EC/EU has warped our political traditions, damaged our economy and weakened our national life. We need to renegotiate our membership at least, if not leave completely.

Anonymous said...

Safe to blog and release reports now that the deed is done?

Johnny Norfolk said...

We are just being taken for a ride. Referendum as promised now.

Anonymous said...

Thank God indeed for Open Europe, but why on Earth does not the Conservative Party produce the same research material and hammer on about it in Parliament?

Anonymous said...

I have often heard ministers who support the EU talking of the benefits that we receive by being in the EU.
Similar statements were made when joining the Euro was under discussion but when scrutinized by financial experts it was actually found that were would be worse off and this was reinforced by Brown as chancellor.
What are the financial benefits of the EU and have they been analyzed in detail?
I can only see the worst side which is a massive strain on all of our resources from housing, NHS, schooling, overcrowded transport systems and more.. due to the massive influx of foreign people. Which incidentally is not good for the EU countries loosing all of their skilled workers.

Little Black Sambo said...

The real mystery to me is why our rulers want us to stay in the EU. Is it really because they personally stand to gain so much? Or are they really so deluded as to think it is good for the country - and if so, why are they still deluded. The whole thing is bewildering. Why don't we just leave?

Anonymous said...

Surely as inheritance tas raises far far less than £70 billion this would amount would pay for its total abolition not just put up the threshold?

Man in a Shed said...

We used to get a rebate - but then Blair and Brown gave it away.

Anonymous said...

UK - bottom of the EU pile.
England - bottom of the UK pile.

Time to get rid of both.

Home rule for England.

Jeremy Jacobs said...


Because we play the rules and the French probably don't.

£30Million each and every day to the EU.

Anonymous said...

Iain, have you got it right?

£71Bn to Europe?

Doesn't that mean £36Bn returned to the UK and spread fairly around, without political favouritism?

So the figure is around £35Bn intot he marketplace structure for a Decade.
A bargain.

I'm assuming your figures are legitimate here.


Iain Dale said...

£30 million... Hmmmm. Isn't that the exact sum the government is withholding from the Police pay settlement? Puts it into perspective, doesn't it?

Miss Wagstaff said...

"Why is France Getting Twice as Much as Britain Out of the EU?"

Because they know how to work the system, and we end up towing the line in order to pretend that we're good Europeans. It doesn't help that we handed back our rebate.

Whatever happened to that long standing debate/draft bill that was working out the implications of withdrawal from the EU?

Anonymous said...

Little black sambo: (can't believe I just wrote that!).

Spoken like a good BNP loon.


Anonymous said...

I disagree with Jeremy Jacobs. The French write the rules.

The equally valid question is where does all this money go?

A British government should cap our net contribution to the EU at say an equivilant of £2 billion per year. It should be made clear to the Commission that the shortfall is their problem.If they cannot afford it, then it is up to them to make drastic cuts but they should also be advied in doing so, for every £1.00 of cuts effected on UK, projects to UK Government will cut that amount from the £2billion.

Anonymous said...

The Treaty of Rome in 1957 was principally designed to benefit France and its agriculturally based economy at that time. Subsequent French leaders,principally DeGaulle both as Prime Minister and latterly President built on that entrenched and advantageous position in the period 1958 onwards

In DeGaulle's case there was also the added "frisson" of ensuring that any application for admission to the the EEC by the United Kingdom would enshrine that basic tenet of protecting the "Common Agriculural Policy" biased as it was in France's favour.

In recent times only Mrs Thatcher actually dared to take on the "Common Market" and negotiate fairer terms for Britain and ultimately succeeded in obtaining the "famed" British Rebate but even she was loathe to actually contemplate withdrawal riven as her party was by the issue of Europe for over the past 30 years.

With her departure went the last political obstacle to the "European Project" although the British Public have remained steadfastly largely "Eurosceptic" based on the assumption that the United Kingdom gets an extremly poor deal out of Europe whilst the "ruling elite" in both this country and Brussels have failed totally to convince them otherwise mainly due to their half hearted endorsement of the EU in public debate and their almost pathological fear of the consequences of granting the electorate a referendum on the question of the UK's membership.

It appears unlikely that any government be it Conservative or Labour would actually dare do so as it would be impossible to secure a "Yes" vote - now or in the foreseeable future and in the event that a future British government did do so the ramifications of the resultant "No" vote would cause political crisis.

Jeremy Jacobs said...

Johnny Norfolk
A referendum will achieve nothing. We've been lied to since 1972 over our loss of sovereignty, how will a Referendum change that?

Negotiate with who and about what?

The signing in Lisbon yesterday will do nothing to alleviate the further diminution of the UK and other European states.

Anonymous said...

Gary Elsby stoke said...

Little black sambo: (can't believe I just wrote that!).

Spoken like a good BNP loon.


Here we go try and have a sensible conversation on it and out come the racialist smears!

Anonymous said...

Don't the French still owe us on the mad cow fiasco?

Anonymous said...

This is what happens when people care about whether they are getting enough out of their government.

France: Riot and burn things when they are not happy thus forcing the government to take into account their views. Reasonable or not.

Britain: Too busy watching eastenders, voting for the x factor and reading about the mccans.

Do we care about the EU constitution enough to realise the damage it will cause to our country? No. Do we mind that the common fisheries policy does not apply to the mediteranean sea? And that our resources in the North Sea are free for all to use? No.

Had the french govt lost data of 25 Million people one would not hear the end of it from the banlieu. Instead we watch, gasp for about 10 seconds before going back to our unproductive routines.

Anonymous said...

Since when was 'Greece' an original member - check your facts Iain please!

Anonymous said...

Bad as the direct payments are (at least 10 times the Barnett formula imbalance) it pales into insignificance compared to the regulatory cost. This has been calculated by Gunter Verheuggen, EU Enterprise Commissioner & thus not a eurosceptic, at £405 billion annually which means £67 billion for the UK, or £2200 per working person.

In the long term the fact that the EU is achieving half the world average growth rate is an even bigger cost.

We should get out.

Anonymous said...

So will DC be offering us the only referendum that matters: in or out?

For those Tories who say that the EEC was not the EU, just a trade organisation, this is what Heath said on the 10th of June 1971:-

We have said that as members of the enlarged Community we would play our full part in the progress towards economic and monetary union. That was confirmed in my talk with President Pompidou and in my statement to the House....

Don't remember to many protests from the Conservative Party when Heath said that!!

Anonymous said...

Has the Tory party position changed to wanting to leave the EU? If so that would justify these sorts of rants. Otherwise it should try to make the most of what we have and seek to change and not just harp on from the edges.

Anonymous said...

anonymous said...

For those Tories who say that the EEC was not the EU, just a trade organisation, this is what Heath said on the 10th of June 1971:-............

Don't remember to many protests from the Conservative Party when Heath said that!

Typical Zanu Labour anonymong. Ancient history. Times and circumstances have moved on.

Just like Gordoom Broon banging on about 15% interest rates. In the absence of any reasoned argument, throw in an ancient quote or a statistic. I dare say that after a bit of research into early 20th century history, I could come up with a labour quote slagging off the Germans / French or displaying economic naivety.

Whatever Ted Heath had in mind, i bet he would have produced a better outcome than the bunch of muppets running the country at present.

Anonymous said...

The French benefit disproportionately because of CAP payments.

When driving about Britain we often see the little square EU signs. An example that sticks in my mind is on an inconsequential road bridge near Torrin on the Isle of Skye, in the middle of nowhere.

The point of these signs is clearly to remind people that they're in the EU not the UK, and to tell us how lucky we are to benefit from EU munificence. What they should actually say is "We're giving you some money back, but it's less than you put in. The rest has gone to olive hustlers in Greece and Portugal. If you wanted this bridge, you could have paid for it yourself and kept the rest of your money."

No-one in our mainstream political class, whether Tory, Labour or Lib Dem, has the insight or the balls to rock the boat of international diplomacy/back-slapping and pull us out of this wretched EU.

Unknown said...

The fact is that EU membership will get more and more expensive as the EU expands further. The Conservative Party has been constantly pushing for an expanded membership and are now, like Labour, keen on Turkey joining. This will raise the cost of the structural funds and eventually lead to still further immigration.

When it comes to the EU I say a plague on both parties.

Anonymous said...

Can I have another go Iain?

Your maths in the first statement is wrong. £71 billion over ten years is £7.1b a year, not £10.2b.

The examples you used, were they based on £7.1b or £10.2b a year.
I imagine as £3.1b is pretty much a third of 10.2b, your examples would be quite out if you've based them on the larger figure.

Anonymous said...

So why the limp wrist approach from Dave?

Anonymous said...

Without agreeing or disagreeing on the financial numbers, surely there is more to the EU than money? The EU has given us peace for over 50 years now, that is an amazing achievement and let's not be so forgetful of the atrocities we suffered before then, and the struggle it took to overcome them.

Now, you can perfectly well disagree with an institution's policies and wish its organisation to be reformed, without throwing the baby out with the bathwater. This debate is far too polarised and ideological - let's be a bit more pragmatic. Half the problem is actually our own negotiators are terrible and our civil servants then gold plate everything, so let's maybe start by sorting ourselves out.

Anonymous said...

roxEU grants to the UK are very often end up in the pockets of middle men. In every other country major infrastructure and social improvements proudly proclaims thatthey're financed by EU grants. In the UK the government first of all forms a quango. Then the quango appoints a range of consultants. By the time the money has filtered through the hands of numerous sleazebags there's not much left for anything useful.
One of the worst examples of mismanagement of EU grants was the money that was supposed to go to out of work miners and didn't. But there are plenty of other examples. Some of the EU money intended for the South West was handed over to Sainsburys who used it to build a Marks and Spencer in Truro. Neither Sainsbury of M&S look short of money to me and it would have been better spent on upgrading the A30.

Simon said...

Considering that the Uk is getting 770 odd per person which adds up to about 46 billion making what you are actually sending to the EU - what you get 24 billion. A far less figure. Which means EU membership costs Britain 3.5 billion a year.
How much does the Free Market contribute to Britain a year, how much has the growth of countries like Ireland and Poland aided by structural funds given the British economy?

Under half your 10 billion a year figure. The reason France and Ireland get more per person is the relative size of Agriculture. I.e the EU pays farmers so much money for various reasons, Ireland and France have more farmers hence ... more money to France and Ireland per head, it really is not that difficult. If your problem is thus with CAP then say so. I my self am not a big fan of CAP but trying to spin this as the big bad frogs is just silly.

Anonymous said...

With £71bn we could fund three Northern Rocks

Vienna Woods said...

Thank you Iain for the link!

I've just sent it to one of my friends in Vienna who have a current fight with the socialist government here about an EU contributions comparison for which the government has stated are not available in simplified form and are certainly "not published".

What's weird here is that only two national Daily's are campaigning against the EU ratification deal and unfortunately, the extreme right wing party... but the man in the street is 100% against it, along with the rest of Europe!

John M Ward said...

Anonymous at 1106 wrote:

"Thank God indeed for Open Europe, but why on Earth does not the Conservative Party produce the same research material and hammer on about it in Parliament?"

I too wish that they would do more publicly; but I am aware that a lot is done but (surprise, surprise!) isn't reported by the mainstream media.

The advantages of a party-politically independent outfit putting out this material are that (a) it cannot easily be dismissed by journos as no more than opposition politicking, and (b) it is far more likely to be reported.

Because it goes against the NuLab line, it still will not be treated fairly, but at least it will fare better than anything coming out of Conservative Central Office or by Conservative MPs, MEPs and/or others.

As the song went: "That's just the way it is..."

Jon Worth said...

Sorry Iain, but you've just swallowed a load of Open Europe propaganda without reflecting on it. The UK budget rebate, even with the changes agreed in 2005, still amounts to around €3 billion (£2 billion) each year. So over 7 years there's £14 billion less that the UK pays to the EU - a fact you failed to mention in your post.

The essential reason why France gets so much is that they have twice the number of farmers that the UK has - and Ireland is also a large CAP recipient. Successive British government (Major, Blair and Brown) have talked a good story on CAP Reform, but have never had the guts to make a fuss in Brussels to properly reform how it works, mainly because there are some large landowners in the UK that do quite well from it.

So if you want to do something half useful about all of this I suggest you have a look at Farm Subsidy, an excellent website about how CAP should be reformed, rather than just having a whinge about the EU.

Anonymous said...

The EU is destroying England - and we are paying them to do it.

Nobody is going to do a damn thing about is as there are more "important" things like footy or Big Brother on TV.

We deserve all we get.

Unknown said...

thanks jon forgot about the rebate that then means i guess the EU costs the UK about 1.5 billion a year. Or over 7 years 10.5 billion. not 71 billion.

Anonymous said...

England’s Unique Heritage of Law Threatened by an EU Police State

Discrimination against the English

The politics of each country in the United Kingdom is clearly different with Labour and the Liberal Democrats doing far better in Scotland and Wales. These political parties have therefore ended up with a free hand in running aspects of their own national affairs. The same is true in Ireland where political parties with specifically Irish characteristics are left to run their own affairs. In England there is no assembly so there is no means whereby the politics of England finds expression.

The current "New Labour" government has a "majority" of some 66 MPs in the Parliament of Westminster. This essential majority for the survival of this government comes from Scottish and Welsh MPs who contribute some 70 MPs to the Labour Government's double counting system. There is therefore, in the case of England, an imposition of a United Kingdom assembly where the government of the day has manipulated affairs to guarantee a built-in "majority". This is a minority government which has the "support" of less than 22% of the electorate. This grossly unfair system survives because of the ability of Scottish and Welsh MPs to sit in two houses while preventing the English MPs the same priviledge; this is an unacceptable act of discrimination against the English.

Erosion of vital English values

Historically, in terms of the development of democracy, Englishmen have been unique in identifying, defining and giving voice to seminal values which so many hold dear. These include the right to the pursuit of happiness, the setting of individual freedom as the hallmark of a successful system of justice as reflected in the typically English legal imperatives as the right to equality before the law irrespective of status, the assumption of innocence, the right to trial by jury, habeas corpus and freedom of, and the defence of, free speech. These have largely rode on English Common Law and the ability of Judges and Juries to do a fair job free from political interference.

Such imperatives for the survival of freedom were promoted by the Levellers during the English Civil War and by the group associated with John Lilburne. Cromwell had these inividuals kept in prison. With the collapse of the English Republic and with the return of Royalty their essential writings were very much kept under wraps. The spark which gave rise to a mass revolution in the American Colonies was when the British Crown moved to ban juries because too many were preventing the state enforce arbitrary decisions on innocent "colonists". It is notable that the American Constitutional components which relate to the pursuit of happiness, individual liberty and freedom are largely based on the early writings of Lilburne written in the Tower of London, 150 years before.

Unfortunately there has been a slow erosion of this essential spark, this recognition of the importance of the defence of individual freedom, as a typical English value. This has occurred gradually since the ascendency of the Scottish influence in United Kingdom politics. Scotland, it should be noted, has a legal system based on the European system, Corpus Juris, a codified Roman Law which is completely distinct and almost alien from English Common Law. This sustains a position which keeps the influence of the community conscience in legal affairs and court decisions at arms length.

Elimination through a political Europe

The lack of an English assembly prevents the English from protecting their rights to sustain their nationality as English. The European project, Corpus Juris and the European Constitutional Draft are aimed directly at "standardizing law" which means, in the United Kingdom context that Scottish Law will eventually reign supreme. The breaking up of England into so-called EU regions has been a subtle and politically destructive means of destroying the coherence of the English nation. England has become the only country in Europe to have been eliminated without a war but rather as the result of the manipulations of Brussels bureaucrats and dishonest and irresponsible politicians in Westminster serving their party interests over country.

Anonymous said...

One minor detail. If you guys think that the rest of us are going to let you have access to the European Single Market for free, you're off your rockers. Norway pays about 3/4 of nominal EU costs to be in the EEA, and the UK would be no different. Norway also has to implement a lot of EU legislation without Norwegian input. And finally, it was the much hallowed Mrs T who joined the ERM, something which the headbanger wing of the Tory party seems to airbrush out of its collective memory.

Anonymous said...

" Why is France Getting Twice as Much as Britain Out of the EU?"

Because France is a grown up State that doesn't spend its time throwing toys out of prams, jumping in and out, vascillating and insulting.

What is it with the radical right's massive inferiority complex which makes them convinced the other 26 states have some strange conspiracy where the only thing they want to do is destroy the 27th? Do you people not realise that the most damaging thing to Britain in the EU is your unbridled and unjustified arrogance?

Anonymous said...

Iain, you appear to have changed your post from "In the next ten years" to "In the next seven years" without acknowledging the fact. I'm sure you wouldn't want people to think you were just plucking figures out of the air - a proper correction and explanation would do the trick!

Iain Dale said...

Yes, you are quite right. I did change it after sim-o pointed out the error above. It was a simple error, not a conspiracy. I don't have a sub-editor!

Brian said...

£71 billion is a bargain for the manifold benefits provided by the EU. Why, that polite young Milliband of the Lower Fourth got a special pen for his efforts.

Anonymous said...

Why the hell do we have to rely on independent research for the figures? This is OUR money. We are entitled to full disclosure at every stage; of our contributions, of our benefits; of how the money is spent; of the comparative figures for other EU countries.

How DARE they withhold this information from us? (Or drag their heels in supplying the information, which comes to the same thing.)

Anonymous said...

Iain, did you mention the boost to the economy of Strasbourg by the wasteful en-masse movement of the entire Brussels Parliament for a Plenary session once a month!

I used to work in the EuroParl, and it was an utter farce. Every b****y month, pack-up boxes, pack pants and a toothbrush and trip across the border just to satisfy the French ego, dossing in overpriced hotels which double the rack rate when the politicos are in town!

The only advantage was that Strasbourg used to have bar called 'les Aviateurs', which was great fun, and the wine in Strasbourg was better than in Brus.

The MEPs loved it though - more cash to claim and more 'extra curricula shagging' opportunities!

Anonymous said...

The EU has not kept the peace in Europe for the past 50 years - NATO and the US have done that.

Tuscan Tony said...

Having just travelled through Luxemburg there's another rather natty little benefit of living there - diesel at 68p (€ 1) a litre. Cheapest in the EU, a trucker said (there were queues of them down the sliproad)

Anonymous said...

Well Devon does very well out of EU grants, according to the Leader of the DCC Conservative group.

Still we and the RDA are having to send millions back because we haven't had the match funding from Govt.

Anonymous said...

"The EU has not kept the peace in Europe for the past 50 years - NATO and the US have done that."

The only wars in Europe were started by these 3 organisations in former yugopslavia (a country which. if treaties are worth the paper they are written on, would have had it's "territorial integrity & unity" defended by them\).

The reason we have had no war is that no other country has seen a profit in it.

Anonymous said...

France gets more from the EU than the UK because the UK spends too much time bleating about Brussels and not enough time in actualy being a full member. If you want to take a full part in the activities of any club, first you have to actually join it.

Anonymous said...

Neil Craig
Your comment is so daft, I almost cannot bring myslef to address it!

The US (ie NATO) was persuaded to join in the former Yugoslvia by,mostly, Tony Blair. They did so , not to start a war, but to stop a genocide in its tracks. They saved many hundreds of thousands of lives.

Wars are caused by fights over borders -= the federal glue in Yugoslavia (as in Iraq) was un undemocratic one, a dictatorship. For Balkan conflict post-Tito, read inter-militai conflict post-Saddam.

Scratch teh surface, and we're most of us bonkers nationalists who would kill our neighbours over money and power. The corollory? Introduce a binding federal layer which keeps the peace. IMHO, make it thin and cheap, but strong enough to withstand wannabe Dictators.

Anonymous said...

As a student in France at the moment, I'm highly grateful for the E.U for the provisions made under the ERASMUS grant. British students receive more than most in these terms.

It's nice to know that certain politicians care about student welfare...

Anonymous said...

I should highlight, a British student studying in France.

Jeremy Jacobs said...

casual observer

God your naive

Anonymous said...

"Thank God indeed for Open Europe, but why on Earth does not the Conservative Party produce the same research material and hammer on about it in Parliament?"
Have all of you including Ian Dale been asleep?
Gerard Batten and UKIP have been there done that and bought a lorry load of T-Shirts as you can see here: