Revealed: Cameron’s lies over Euro bill

– Verbal malfunction: “I’m not going to pay that bill on 1 December. If people think I are- I’m going to- They’ve got another thing coming.” Cameron can’t even announce his complaint properly.

David Cameron has lied and lied again about the £1.7 billion bill from the European Union, it has been revealed.

An investigation by Full Fact has shown that the UK has been taking part in an exercise to revise the way payments are calculated since at least May this year, meaning that discussions on the subject must have been taking place previously.

The Treasury must have known about these discussions, meaning George Osborne would have been aware of them – and this means that Cameron himself should have been told. If he had not, then his government has not been doing its job properly. He says he knew nothing until he was presented with the invoice this week.

Not only that, the amount does not reflect any increase in the size of the UK economy during the current Parliament, but – humiliatingly for Cameron – during the period of the last Labour government. He reckoned it was based on his own government’s (dubious) economic recovery.

The report states: “EU law requires that member states measure the size of their economy according to EU standards. The UK hasn’t been fully compliant with these standards, so statisticians at the ONS have spent the last year revising old estimates of the size of the UK economy. Some, though not all, of these changes have had a generally upward impact on the figures the EU uses to determine the UK’s contribution to its budget.

“The resulting increase in the estimated size of the UK economy relative to other nations – specifically between 2002 and 2009 – is what’s caused the EU to ask for more money. If the Commission had known the size of the UK economy at the time, it would have charged us more, so the £1.7 billion represents the ‘back payments’ following the counting changes.”

There is some good news for Cameron, though. As the bill is for ‘back payments’, it seems likely to reduce in future years – no matter how the economy has performed under his government. His claim that the bill is because his government has turned the economy around is simply balderdash.

And it seems the largest factor in the increased bill has been changes in measuring the contribution of the not-for-profit sector – mainly charities and universities. As universities are currently experiencing a fall in income as their intake from foreign countries drops off due to “unwelcoming” government policies, it seems reasonable to expect that the UK’s contribution will fall.


The best way forward now is for Cameron to accept the advice of Denmark’s prime minister, Helle Thorning-Schmidt, that he should swallow his pride and pay up.

There’s no reason the UK cannot amortise the amount over a period of time. If it does so in an agreed manner, it may avoid having to pay punitive 2.5-per-cent-per-month interest payments.

But then, Cameron has proven to be an economic idiot and may not understand this.

That’s what happens when you’re born into money; you end up with no idea of its value.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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  1. amnesiaclinic October 31, 2014 at 2:32 pm - Reply

    Arrogant stupidity might also go with not knowing the value of money?

  2. Michelle October 31, 2014 at 2:46 pm - Reply

    Apologies for the frivolity, but the simple description of economic adjustments reminds me of the adjustments the Teletubbies used to make by taking a big stick and banging their equipment.

  3. Concatenation October 31, 2014 at 3:04 pm - Reply

    “Accounting for drugs and prostitution to help push UK economy up by £65bn”
    A more inclusive approach to GDP comes into force in September to comply with EU rules on measuring the economy

    The first report of the exercise by the ONS in the Guardian was May 2014. Perhaps Cameron and Osborne don’t read the Guardian, although I can’t believe that it wasn’t published in the Torygruff or FT.

    • Mike Sivier October 31, 2014 at 3:45 pm - Reply

      The Full Fact report mentions the drugs/prostitution element but says it isn’t as important as some have suggested – charities and universities have had a greater role.

  4. jaypot2012 October 31, 2014 at 7:35 pm - Reply

    Oh how I’d love to be a fly in the wall to see how this all plays out…

  5. Florence October 31, 2014 at 7:42 pm - Reply

    Well, I should have known better than take Puce Face at, er, puceface value on the source of the fresh demand. It did actually fit quite well that the massaged figures from the idiot Osborne (also of the same ilk) used to lie about the economy would come back at them. I’ll be more careful.

    Now the truth is out, at last we can say, Yes, it woz Labour wot dun it. Yes, the economy was thriving before the World Banking crash. I look forward to the rhetorical gymnastics they’ll have to pull to stay within the tired old “mess left” story, now.

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