The Mid-Atlantic Blog

December 15, 2005

Give Up The Rebate?

A very well argued case in the Times today by Kaletsky suggesting that the UK should give up the rebate on purely practical grounds.

Key quote

in addition to offering British politicians a pretext to neglect EU issues, the existence of the rebate has destroyed their moral authority in Europe when they have campaigned for reform. Every time Britain makes a proposal to rationalise the EU budget or hack off an unnecessary limb of the European bureaucracy, the opponents of reform have only to mention the rebate. Britain is then forced into a tactical negotiation over money, rather than principle.

Because of the rebate Britain is always on the back foot in EU negotiations and has failed in the manifestly just cause of agricultural reform. If Britain wants to lead Europe, or even influence it constructively, we cannot just say: “We want our money back.”

I'm not sure that I agree with him, but he makes a good case. Read the whole thing.

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