Coffee House

A satisfactory outcome at the EU budget talks for David Cameron

23 November 2012

So, the EU budget summit has — as expected — broken up without agreement. We await the date of the next discussion of the matter. But for the moment it means there is nothing that David Cameron will have to try to pilot through parliament.

Talking to those close to the Prime Minister, I sense that they are not unhappy with this conclusion. In Downing Street, they feel that their criticisms of the running costs of the EU bureaucracy have struck a chord with other contributor countries. They’re also pleased that Cameron has managed to strike a tough negotiating position without isolating himself.

But what is giving them the greatest satisfaction is how solicitous of the British position Angela Merkel was. They regard this as a promising sign for the coming renegotiation. It’s evidence — they believe — that Merkel doesn’t want to put this country is a position where it ends up walking away from Europe.

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  • barbie

    We have yet to see the final outcome of these negociations, and some how I don’t think Cameron is fully aware of what he faces. These people don’t take NO for an answer, or like being questioned. There will of course be a backlash when it comes to us getting powers back, we won’t get any. Where will this leave Cameron and his back benchers, who are putting on the pressure. Cameron should now know a majority of the country don’t want the set up we have now, its crept into a state dicatorship, not what we signed up for all that time back. I voted NO and would do so again. Simply put, I didn’t trust them way back then and don’t trust them now. Its time politicians realised its us who pay the bills for all the borrowing, we who pay the debts, not them. So, it us who should decide our own future, not a PM or MPs. Cameron should then tell them straight, if we cannot have powers back, he should walk away and tell them the British people will decide via referendum. With it comes the 55 million per day; its up to them, I would prefer him to walk away. Trade will continue, they sell more than us, to us, we need each other. There will be no doomsday scenorio that’s what the EU lovers tell you. If Cameron fails, his party fails at the next election, simple. Bring it on.

  • Madame Merle

    DC must keep his nerve and stand his ground. He may be making himself unpopular with the Brussels crowd but he will win friends here at home.

    Alas, I fear he eventually cave in.

    Why does Rompey need an expensive new building?

  • roger

    If there is no deal then the EU just goes on spending, at an even higher rate. Only a denial of funds by the net contributing countries could stop the inflationary spending, of course it breaks the union in the process. Bring it on.

  • HooksLaw

    Words in the Independent that come dripping in honey for the PM
    ‘Socialist MEPs accuse Prime Minister of trying to ‘blackmail’ his fellow EU leaders’

    Does Miliband agree with these socialist MEPs

  • HooksLaw

    Has Miliband made any comment?
    After base opportunism in forcing a vote one might now expect praise and encouragement since Cameron has taken the ‘hard headed approach’ he was nominally encouraging.

  • William Blakes Ghost

    Not to be outrageously contraversial but wasn’t there another German Chancellor who didn’t want trouble with the Britain either?


  • William Blakes Ghost

    that Merkel doesn’t want to put this country is a position where it ends up walking away from Europe.

    Of course she doesn’t because undoubtedly Germany would be expected to cover any lost EU revenue from the UK and its becoming increasingly difficult for Merkel to sell further German subsidy of Brussels benefit scroungers to her own electorate. Self interest is a powerful motivator!

  • The_Missing_Think

    Another intriguing question… where does Ed M go?

    Back out of the barn of EU Internationalism… off for a canter about as a ‘One Nationalist’ Disraeli leader…. before Ken’s lasso hooks him back in again?

    Ironic that Labour’s victorious, ‘Cut the Budget’ vote, now has Labour skewered awkwardly, and the ‘defeated’ Govt pleased.

    (It’s a numbers thing… 254Lab + 53Con = Cut the EU Budget).

  • Heartless etc.,

    But for the moment it means there is nothing that David Cameron will have to try to pilot through parliament.

    Should read:

    But for the moment it means there is nothing that David
    Cameron will have to try to plot through parliament.

    So may we expect smug silence from all the gullible EUSSR fools?

  • foxoles

    This means they can now vote themselves even more money in a budget ‘rollover’ (bit like winning the lottery), right?
    So the choice we had was between giving them a) more money and b) a lot more money. To waste. In fraud and incompetence (18th year in a row auditors refuse to sign off books, citing ‘irregularities’).

    • telemachus

      Club fees
      I have to pay my son’s Scout subs

      • Noa

        Young NKVD branch accepts rubles?

    • 2trueblue

      Don’t you just love it? Best club to be in. Surely there must be a law against it?

  • dalai guevara

    This is the best possible outcome for DC and he can frankly ignore most of his critics. He has pointed out that he does not support a status quo. Check. He has made it quite clear that he wishes to be a constructive member of the EU. Check. He has highlighted the fact that Britain is in fact not the only critic of budget arrangements that were on the table at this moment in time. Check.

    What weakens his position is the increasingly erratic moaning uttered by some parts of the UK political landscpae, which does not give him an initial position of strength he requires to defend British interests in the best possible way. In fact, it gives his European opposition a big target to aim at.

    • Noa

      Right analysis, wrong conclusion. Those Europeans don’t vote here.
      His wet head momentarily pulled out of the toilet bowl Dave can always say “I wanted to give in to you Francois and Angela, but the ‘phobes at home said they’d marmalise me if I did.”

      • dalai guevara

        Did I conclude anything?

        • Noa

          What weakens his position…

          • dalai guevara

            ah yes, irrelevant moaning over peanuts.

            • the viceroy’s gin

              I’d call them things you’re likely to blow off on at length.

              • dalai guevara

                Hurrah, I have got a follower…

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  Not knowledgeably, mind you.

                  But at length, definitely.

  • HooksLaw

    ‘But what is giving them the greatest satisfaction is how solicitous of the British position Angela Merkel was’ – Is this not what I suggested was in German interests in a previous thread?

    And of course we have the reference to ‘the coming renegotiation.’. The Spectator really needs to educate its hoard of UKIP followers in the realities of what is likely to happen soon.
    We will be involved in negotiations which will leave us in either a Norway EEA situation of ‘out’ of the EU but effectively ‘in’ it.
    Or ‘In’ it but at an arms length and defacto ‘out’..

    There is endless argument about which might be best (there will not be much difference), but the point of diplomacy and negotiation (as opposed to the blind ‘out out out’ lunacy of UKIP) is to persuade the likes of Germany to come up with a best of both worlds deal for us.
    Will commentators really wake up and work out what really happens in the real world.

    • Noa

      You must tell us how your access to the real world is so much better than those who dare to disagree with you.

      • 2trueblue

        Just a troll, don’t feed its ego.

    • Noa

      The immediate difference will be a £50,000,000 a day taxpayer saving.

      • HooksLaw

        Access to facts.
        Not fantasy.

      • HooksLaw

        50 million a day is 18.25 billion.
        The UK net contribution to the EU budget in 2011 was 8 billion.

        If we were out of the EU then our contribution if based on Norway as an example would be somewhere between 2 billion and 4 billion according to how you base it, say either GDP or population. Its hard to tell as its also hard to judge how strong a position we would be in.

        On top of this there would be I guess some contribution of our own to support our farming industry.

        I am sure others can work out how far out your estimate of savings might be.

        • 2trueblue

          Norway has a much smaller economy than ours and we run a huge deficit in trade with Europe, they are not going to stop exporting to us, it will cost them jobs. Our biggest trading partner in Europe is Ireland. Our exports to the EU do not represent anything like the 50% so often quoted. More like 45% and that includes a substantial proportion which goes via Rotterdam, Amsterdam to the outside world.

        • Noa

          Or not.
          2011 Gross estimated UK contribution was £15,289m and the net contribution £7.372m according to HM Treasury.
          I see no reason why EU directed expenditure in the UK should be excluded as we have no control over its use.

    • ButcombeMan

      The lesson of history is that the EU will duck, dive and deceive to keep the whole corrupt show on the road, a strong UKIP is probably the best way of making sure that those twists and turns suit the UK rather more than they otherwise would.

      Personally I have just had enough, I am for out, (almost) whatever the cost, but I am old and have no fear of the UK standing alone in Europe. The young may not think like that. I do not want to live in a left leaning, corrupt, EU superstate.

      There WILL have to be a vote of some kind. Cameron has to deal with that or he is finished. He is probably finished anyway. His core supporters will only take so much, many are at their limit, over several issues.

      Be interesting to see how Crosby deals with that.

    • Airey Belvoir

      It’s ‘horde’. ‘Hoard’ is what EU apparatchiks do with the vast number of euros they receive annually for interfering in our affairs.

  • RKing

    I’d like to think that Cameron is really going to come out of this with a deal similar to Switzerland.
    If he did I would vote for him again but somehow I can’t help feeling that he will cave in when push comes to shove.
    I have my doubts but here’s his chance to prove it.

    • HooksLaw

      You will have to wait for any deal since it will depend on the Eurozone coming to an ever closer fiscal and political union treaty.

      The UK is not Switzerland, however did you know for instance that there has been free movement of labour between the EU and Switzerland since 2002?

      • Justathought

        The issue is not free movement of labour but rather free movement of welfare tourists.

        • dalai guevara

          Surely, if that was ever going to turn to be a significant issue, it would be tabled for discussion?

        • HooksLaw

          Welfare tourists? This is a new UKIP concept invented in the face of reality.

          Who are these tourists?

          ‘Australasian and EUA8 migrants are the least likely to claim
          welfare benefits’
          And of course
          ‘Currently migrant workers cannot claim welfare benefits if they have spent less than a year working in the UK.’

          There is still currently a ‘habitual residence test’

          • Noa
            • HooksLaw

              Migrants. From where?
              ‘371,000 foreign-born claimants for out-of-work benefits, out of a total 5.5 million recipients. Of these, 258,000 were from outside the European Economic Area.’
              This is 6.7%
              Of those from within the EEA then, the %age is 2%.

              Look back and we were told the EU problem was benefit tourists.
              I am opposed to EU benefit tourists. There is no evidence of it.

              • Noa

                So you’re happy about those non EU non workers then?

                And 120,000 current EU out of work claimants are acceptable to you then? Excluding straight welfare claimants that is.

                You may wish to consider this:

                And this, concerning the allocation of council housing in London.

                And we cannot be certain of the additional costs both direct and indirect of future EU Eastern Europenan immigration. If the UK Government government estimates on Polish immigration are a guide we may expect massive social cost increases.

                • HooksLaw

                  Of course I am not happy about those non EU workers.

                  Additionally Labour were totally criminal in the way they phased in the EU labour market rules.

                  But we are talking about the EU and Switzerland and ‘welfare tourists’ and a professed desire to be more like Switzerland where 20% of the population is from overseas and who have free movement of labour with the EU, despite being not in the EU.

                  I point to the fact that your figure includes large numbers which are nothing to do with the EU.
                  Indeed Migrationwatch are less interested in EU immigration than in other immigration.

                  ‘In fact, immigration from the other members of the EU 15 is almost in balance (the average of the last five years is only about 30,000 a
                  year). We expect the same to happen eventually to the new East European members (the A8); they will continue to arrive, perhaps in smaller numbers, but will be counterbalanced by departures. ‘

                  So the issue with ‘benefit tourists’, according to Migrationwatch, should not arise and we come back to the point I made up thread about this ignorant and emotive remark. The Swiss despite being out of the EU have free movement of labour.

                  I again point to the likes of Norway and Switzerland who are not in the EU but agree to many of its regulations as part of trade agreements. One day, perhaps in 100 years or so, the penny may drop.

                • Noa

                  But there is a problem with benefit tourism in the UK.

                  Your point about Switzerland is simply not germane.


                • HooksLaw

                  You quoted Migrationwatch.

                  We are talking about the EU and I am pointing out that labour movement is just the same in Norway and Switzerland who are not in the EU.
                  Look up thread and someone was hoping we would be like the Swiss and someone then brought in the red herring of benefit tourists.

                  I too would be happy to be like the Swiss, it may happen. But I am not fooled into thinking it would be much different to now.
                  To repeat – I am not fussed about being ‘out’ of the EU. but it would not be much different to being ‘in’.

                • Noa

                  It would not feel at first as though much had changed, at first. There would be a substantive existing body of EU law. It would need to be reviewed and repealed as appropriate.

                  But we would be able to do this because our paths would have conclusively diverged and Parliament would again be the undisputed sovereign law making body in all matters.
                  And compliance for export to the EU would be a cost for business and not an taxpayer impost and subsidy.

    • telemachus

      Not sure you are right
      On this he is on a Sarkozi-Snub type roll
      God bless im

  • Archimedes

    You kind of get the impression that Cameron and Merkel, along with some of the other northern countries, agreed that they would not come to an agreement and that this was all largely a ceremonial affair to buy a little more time and soften positions. It seems pretty likely that the only way out of this now is to scrap the UK rebate in exchange for an actual cut in the budget – by way of CAP reductions.

    • Fergus Pickering

      I don’t think we can do that, Archimedes. That seems a very poor idea. What about an actual cut in the budget and we keep our rebate. That sounds much more like it, don’t you think? Somebody else can give up THEIR rebate.

    • Gina Dean

      Labour tried that last time we gave up part of our rebate. That did not work CAP still increased and we lost out. Prove first that they will reduce the CAP then maybe Maybe give up a small portion but dont’t hold your breath.

      • Noa

        Or, given the breach of good faith in reducing the CAP, reinstate the full rebate. Retrospectively.
        By deduction from present and future payments if not accepted.

      • HooksLaw

        France is now a marginally net contributor to the CAP.

    • 2trueblue

      You mean we might get the part of the deal Blair already paid for when he gave away half of our rebate?

      • ReefKnot

        He sold half our rebate to grease his way to being President of the EU, only it didn’t work.

  • Vulture

    So Downing Street’s message to HMV Forsyth is this: we can’t talk now as we have our tongue firmly lodged in Frau Merkel’s ample posterior and, – you know what – she’s just turned round and given us a pat!
    Makes yer proud to br British!

    • telemachus

      Does it?
      If Angel Angela is soliciting because she does not want us to leave I can think of a few folk of this parish who will not be best pleased.

    • 2trueblue

      Engage that brain of yours, beats vulgarity anytime.

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