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Post EU, UK, Cameron, and the Whopping Bill
Created by John Eipper on 10/26/14 3:45 AM

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EU, UK, Cameron, and the Whopping Bill (John Heelan, UK, 10/26/14 3:45 am)

The EU demand for the additional contribution from the UK is an early political Christmas present for the Cameron government (and UKIP).

It is based on arguments that differ, depending on which part of the EU Commission is proffering them. Rarely have I witnessed such an anti-EU feeling (including me!) among usually phlegmatic Brits. I suspect the root cause of the discontent is that the EU demand transgresses "fair play," a fundamental part of British psyche, which recognises that countries with profligate economic management (e.g. France) will receive a hefty rebate--as will, surprisingly, the giant German economy--while the British austerity economy for the last four years gets an additional demand slapped on the table.

The excuse of the outgoing EU President (Barroso) that the adjustment measures were agreed by the 27 members of the EU is lame, because twenty-two of those EU countries are net beneficiaries of EU largesse. (That decision by the twenty-two countries recalls the phrase of a famous UK courtesan. When the prosecuting counsel, in the Profumo Affair case, pointed out that Lord Astor denied an affair or having even met her, she replied, "He would, wouldn't he?")

JE comments:  Politically, aren't Cameron and UKIP in a zero-sum game?  Meaning, how can the EU's demand benefit both of them?


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  • EU Balance of Payments: Italy (Eugenio Battaglia, Italy 10/27/14 1:34 AM)
    With reference to the post from John Heelan (26 October), on Saturday night the Italian PM Renzi said that Italy is presently giving 20 billion euros to the EU, and receives back only half of it.

    A fantastic deal for Italy.


    JE comments:  As for the EU balance of payments, I found this information for 2011.  Admittedly that's a long time ago.  The UK was fourth in the "donor" category:  France, Germany, and Italy all doled out more in absolute terms.  The biggest beneficiaries?  Spain...and Poland.  (Those are the two European countries I know best and have spent the most time in.  Both nations remain staunchly pro-EU.  But what, ahem, does that say about meDime con quién andas...)


    http://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2012/nov/22/eu-budget-spending-contributions-european-union


    Who has the information for 2013 and so far in '14?


    This balance-of-payments stuff reminds me of a conversation we had last month on Catalonia, as well as the different US states.  Next up:  Ric Mauricio.

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  • EU, UK, Cameron, and the Whopping Bill; from Ric Mauricio (John Eipper, USA 10/27/14 1:58 AM)
    Ric Mauricio responds to John Heelan's post of 26 October:

    Britain is being forced to pay a huge sum of money because its economy has done better than other European countries. France, using the same tweaked calculations of gross national income, is going to get a huge sum of money back.


    Brussels is within its rights to make such a demand. The UK signed into the European Union because it felt that to do so would enhance its business dealings with the European Union and to not do so would create economic disadvantages for its business people. Ah yes, Catch 22. It goes back to the saying, "read the fine print."


    JE comments:  The fine print is essential:  "past performance is no guarantee of future results." 


    Last night I had a thought:  the €2 billion invoice is Mr Cameron's "Falklands Moment."  Did Argentina's military junta in 1982 believe Mrs Thatcher would push back?  No.  Likewise, Brussels probably thought the UK would cut them a check and say nothing.  (Hadn't they paid them in the past?)  But this time, domestic politics would not let that happen.

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  • Cameron and the UKIP (John Heelan, UK 10/27/14 2:23 AM)
    JE asked on 26 October: "Politically, aren't Cameron and UKIP in a zero-sum game? Meaning, how can the EU's demand benefit both of them?"

    Simple leverage principles. The further out one party is on the political gangplank, any additional political weight increases that party's influence over the other. UKIP is (currently) further out on the right-wing plank than is Cameron--but that can change rapidly if Cameron moves further right as is being demanded by many of his MPs.


    JE comments: Precisely. But if the Tories move further towards the UKIP position, won't that "disincentivize" defections from the Cameron camp?  Unless there are Labour defections to UKIP, I see this as a zero-sum exercise.


    I hope Nigel Jones will weigh in.


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    • Cameron, UKIP and the 2015 Elections (John Heelan, UK 10/28/14 6:52 AM)
      John E offered this interpretation of UK politics in the wake of the EU's €2 billion invoice and Mr Cameron's refusal to pay: "if the Tories move further towards the UKIP position, won't that 'disincentivize' defections from the Cameron camp?"

      Of course it is the vote of the electorate that matters in 2015, not the number quondam Tory MPs seeking a safer seat for 2015 with UKIP. The latest polls show that Conservatives and Labour are neck and neck, while UKIP is showing gain. The 2015 competition might well be more about trust in political leadership rather than policies. The bad news for the current leaders is that public trust is waning in Cameron and Milliband--Clegg is starting to be ignored--while the Farage PR bandwagon continues to roll gathering supporters. Whether that movement will survice until May 2015 is another question.


      (Many of us recall that Thatcher survived by wrapping herself in the national flag over Falklands/Malvinas; perhaps Cameron is considering a similar tactic.)


      JE comments: Yes, as we pointed out yesterday (see Ric Mauricio, 27 October), the "Falklands Response" worked before.  (The "Plan Malvinas," not so much.)  And refusing to send money to Brussels doesn't even require assembling an armada.


      Just a year or so ago, the thought of Mr Farage as PM was very far-fetched. Now...

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    • Cameron, UKIP, and the EU's Whopping Bill (Nigel Jones, UK 10/29/14 5:43 AM)
      It is difficult to avoid a sense of smugness when political events pan out, just as one has predicted for several years on WAIS!

      Specifically, I refer to the unravelling of Britain's ill-fated membership in the EU, and on a wider stage, the implosion and loss of popularity elsewhere in Europe of the EU itself.


      The ridiculous--even self-parodying--imposition of a £1.7 billion extra tax on Britain (calculated on such imponderables as the black economy in prostitution in the UK), is the cherry on an early Christmas cake for my party, UKIP, now on 20% in national polls and about to elect our second member of Parliament in a by-election in Rochester (Charles Dickens's hometown), where I have been actively campaigning. (UKIP is the only party recommending British withdrawal from the EU car crash.)


      As I have said many, many times on WAIS, the EU is fundamentally flawed in that it is an undemocratic dictatorship, drawing disastrously on continental Europe's recent experience of Nazi, Communist and Fascist totalitarianism.


      Founded on lies, expanded on deceit, and riddled with corruption, fraud and bureaucratic inefficiency, how anyone ever thought that Britain, a country with a proud tradition of parliamentary government, democracy and individual liberty could fit comfortably into this doomed construct is a mystery.


      Anyhow, we are coming out now, and it's about time, too. Let us hope that our example will be followed by other liberty-loving European nations.


      JE comments:  Who, I wonder, is responsible for drawing up the now infamous Invoice?  From the EU perspective, it couldn't have been a worse blunder.  The Eurocrats would have been far smarter to impose some austerity on themselves.


      So UKIP's moment in the sun has arrived.  The big unknown at this point is whether Cameron's Conservatives will come out for full Brexit.  Any predictions?


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  • Germany's EU Rebate; Martin Sonneborn (Bienvenido Macario, USA 10/29/14 1:27 AM)
    John Heelan wrote on 26 October:

    "I suspect the root cause of the discontent [in the UK] is that the EU demand transgresses 'fair play,' a fundamental part of British psyche, which recognises that countries with profligate economic management (e.g. France) will receive a hefty rebate--as will, surprisingly, the giant German economy--while the British austerity economy for the last four years gets an additional demand slapped on the table.


    "The excuse of the outgoing EU President (Barroso) that the adjustment measures were agreed by the 27 members of the EU is lame, because twenty-two of those EU countries are net beneficiaries of EU largesse."


    Here's an article about Germany's rebate:


    Germany gets €780m EU rebate for poor growth

    24 Oct 2014


    http://www.thelocal.de/20141024/germany-gets-780m-eu-rebate-for-poor-growth


    I am very curious. Where did the money come from to distribute among EU's 22 member countries? Germany no longer wants to spend to stave off a recession. Somehow I remember Aquino III making a state visit to Spain, Belgium, France and Germany.


    Did Aquino III connive with Germany and other EU countries, mainly Spain, Belgium and France, to steal what the Marcoses stole that is in Deutsche Bank and/or in Swiss banks?


    Remember the $13.2 billion Irene Marcos- Araneta and Greggy Araneta tried to transfer to a Deutsche Bank account at the Dusseldorf branch in February 2001?


    http://waisworld.org/go.jsp?id=02a&objectType=post&o=87152&objectTypeId=74567&topicId=17


    JE comments:  A linked article in The Local (above) tells the story of Martin Sonneborn, a German satirist who as leader of "Die Partei" got himself elected to the European Parliament.  His platform included a proposal to build a wall around Switzerland.  Now he claims to work 120 seconds each week on EU business, and receives a stipend of €33,000 per month for himself and five of his staff.  He doesn't know what they do, but adds that they are "very polite."  I'd like to know more about Mr Sonneborn:


    http://www.thelocal.de/20141022/satirist-martin-sonneborn-living-the-dream-on-eu-gravy-train


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