UK to pay £1.7bn EU bill in full despite Osborne’s claim to have halved it – Guardian

Peace (in his own mind): Osborne has returned from Europe in similar manner to Neville Chamberlain in the 1930s - with a message that is utterly meaningless and will be ignored by everybody.

Peace (in his own mind): Osborne has returned from Europe in similar manner to Neville Chamberlain in the 1930s – with a message that is utterly meaningless and will be ignored by everybody.

It takes the mainstream media a while to catch up, maybe, but they get there in the end. Here’s The Guardian:

The government has accepted a £1.7bn top-up bill to the EU budget despite repeatedly denouncing its size as unacceptable.

The chancellor asserted that a bill for £1.7bn was now one for £850m – to be paid by 1 September next year in two instalments, one by the deadline, the other in July.

While insisting that the invoice had been reduced, Treasury aides conceded that Britain will pay the £850m while also returning the rebate cheque to Brussels, meaning that the full £1.7bn will still be paid.

British officials argued that it had not been clear whether the UK would qualify for a rebate since Brussels dropped the bombshell bill. But that would have been unique since Britain’s gross contributions to the EU budget have automatically benefitted from the rebate since the 1980s.

Osborne’s claims that the bill had been halved were refuted by other participants in the meeting.

“The sum cannot be challenged. We said this and so did many others,” said the Austrian finance minister, Hans Jörg Schelling. Luis De Guindos, the Spanish finance minister, said the same.

A further Guardian article had more criticism from EU ministers:

Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the Dutch finance minister who chairs the group of eurozone finance ministers, said: “Britain has had a rebate system for a very long time.” He added: “No discount was awarded.”

Kristalina Georgieva, commission vice-president in charge of budgetary affairs with whom Osborne negotiated, said: “As we all know the UK receives a rebate on their contribution.”

Daniel Hannan, a Tory MEP who wants Britain to leave the EU told PM on BBC Radio 4 that it was “incredible” for the Treasury to claim it had to fight to allow the rebate to apply to the £1.7bn demand.

“I just don’t believe that no one in the Treasury knew that the rebate would apply here. That is, in the literal narrow sense of the word, incredible.”

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5 thoughts on “UK to pay £1.7bn EU bill in full despite Osborne’s claim to have halved it – Guardian

  1. Teraina E Hird

    The Tory lies on halving the EU surcharge and the rebate?
    here’s how it worked
    I owe you 2 eggs but you owe me 1 egg. I give you both of them, you give me 1 back.
    How many eggs do I have?
    or
    I owe you 2 eggs, but you owe me 1 egg. After hours of negotiation I only give you 1 egg.
    How many eggs do I have?
    The answer, for all you stupid Tory supporters, is, I have 1 egg.
    And Osborne thinks that answer 2 is a better deal than answer 1

  2. thoughtfullyprepping

    One morning I had a smiling Tory candidate stood on my doorstep touting for a vote.
    I opened the door and said “morning”
    He cheerily said “Morning” back to me.
    Then he launched into his speech. After a while I held up my hand and he stopped.
    I then said “The only thing I believed was the truth coming out of your mouth was the word ‘morning’. Even then I had to prompt you by pointing out the obvious”.
    For some reason he walked off looking over his shoulder at me.
    Must have been something I said.

  3. Chris

    The EU is asking for nearly £2 billion from the UK and giving rebates to the wealthy France and Germany.

    Will the EU give all of this money to fund army personnel to be sent to Ebola affected West Africa to stop a plague that could wipe out the planet?

    Where are the French, Germany, Dutch, Swedish, Belgian etc military medical personnel and hospital ships?

    Jamaica has one of the best scanners, with no body contact at all, whereas London airports have a heat monitor that is stuck into each individual’s ear with unmasked and ungloved staff,
    so not only body contact but invasive as well.

    The walk-through scanners can detect Ebola, SARS, Avian flu and swine flu, all of which are potential pendemics.

    http://www.travelmole.com/news_feature.php?news_id=2013877

    Can’t the EU government go on an extended holiday, and give their operating costs to control the Ebola pendemic?

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