Madelson willing to scrap the EU rebate...

#1
Another case of Tony looking tough to the UK media, whilst allowing his ministers to brief the real state of his plans!

Mandelson thinks we are being to conservative in our wish to maintain the rebate that Baroness Thatcher negotiated for us.

What he fails to forget is that because of the hard work put in by Thatcher et al during the eighties has left us with a stong and secure economy (although brown is making his best attempt to ruin that!).

Which other country in the EU can say the same? Last time i checked, france and germany had economies that were struggling along and high unemployment.


The UK Government must stop sounding like Margaret Thatcher in its negotiations in Brussels, European Commission Peter Mandelson has said.

In a speech in London, Mr Mandelson said the UK had to change both tone and substance to win backing in Europe.

The UK must be ready to look at reforming its rebate as part of a deeper rethink of EU spending, he said.

"It is surely wrong to ask the poorer new accession states to pay for any part of the rebate," he said.


Conservative trap?

Mr Mandelson's intervention came as Tony Blair continued a round of shuttle diplomacy ahead of this week's European summit.

The prime minister said he would be "diplomatic but firm" in insisting he would not compromise on the rebate unless there was a full review of European farms subsidies.


In Brussels, Britain has sounded neo-Thatcherite as though nothing has changed from the 1980s
Peter Mandelson
European Commissioner

French European Affairs minister Catherine Colonna says the UK's defence of its £3bn rebate deal "defies logic".

In a Fabian lecture in east London, Mr Mandelson said: "Refusal to talk about much needed budget reform is part of the old conservatism in Europe which the Barroso Commission is determined to change.

"But Britain should be careful not to play into the hands of this conservatism.

"Ministers must be consistent and courageous in their reformism, and be prepared, in the context of a deeper re-think about the EU's budget, to look at reforming Britain's rebate."

Thatcher comparison

It was Mrs Thatcher who negotiated the rebate in 1984 and Mr Mandelson was worried ministers were following her style.

He said: "There is a paradox that in Britain, New Labour have been strong advocates of a modern social democratic mix of market flexibility with massive public investment and the first successful attack on poverty in a generation.

"In Brussels, Britain has sounded neo-Thatcherite as though nothing has changed from the 1980s.

"Both tone and substance need now to change if the British Government is to command attention and win the backing it seeks on the continent.

"A greater effort must be made to get this right during the UK Presidency [of the EU] which starts in a few weeks' time."

Asked about the comments, a Downing Street spokeswoman said only that Mr Mandelson was a European commissioner and the prime minister had made his views clear.
BBC
 
#4
I think that when I was in Germany someone with a small holding and a couple of pigs, very common in S Germany was classified as a farmer and so could recieve grants from EU.
The process was set up so France could profit and it's wrong that any nation should profit.
They changed the rules and 'set them in Stone' before admitting the new member states so the Frog would continue proffing for another 'ten ?' years.
The entire system must change and the Frog and Kraut know this but they will fight and gob to the end. Britian is just an easy target.
jon
 

Cutaway

LE
Kit Reviewer
#5
But A_S, at least if the rebate is scrapped, then the pound will fall making it easier for St. Tony to push the Euro...

Or should I file that under cynicism ?
 
#6
Cutaway said:
But A_S, at least if the rebate is scrapped, then the pound will fall making it easier for St. Tony to push the Euro...

Or should I file that under cynicism ?
That should go on your wall as a trophy example of cynicism! :D
 
#7
Errr...have I missed something? Mandelson isn't a minister any more. He can't "get rid of the rebate", because he doesn't have any power to get rid of it or do anything else to it. Only a European Council (Prime Ministers' meeting) can change it, and only then if they are unanimous.
 
#8
Escape-from-PPRuNe said:
Errr...have I missed something? Mandelson isn't a minister any more. He can't "get rid of the rebate", because he doesn't have any power to get rid of it or do anything else to it. Only a European Council (Prime Ministers' meeting) can change it, and only then if they are unanimous.
Despite that, he is applying pressure from the sidelines. It sort of prepares the ground for Blair caving in. After all he has gone from "there will be no re-negotiation" to "i'm willing to negotiate but only if the CAP is included"

smoke and mirrors
 
#9
And if the CAP gets "included out", the total budget will drop so far (40%) we won't need the rebate - the whole point of the rebate is that the difference between our contributions and receipts is huge *because of the CAP*. No CAP (or seriously different CAP), no problem.
 
#10
Agent_Smith said:
Mandelson thinks we are being to conservative in our wish to maintain the rebate that Baroness Thatcher negotiated for us.

What he fails to forget is that because of the hard work put in by Thatcher et al during the eighties has left us with a stong and secure economy (although brown is making his best attempt to ruin that!).
What Mandelbum can't forget, or forgive, is that The Blessed Maggie was twice the man that he'll ever be!
 
#11
There a few way of looking at this. You could do what the French / Germans are currently doing and attempt to blame the British rebate for all the problems in EU, and in thus doing, divert attention away from embarassments created by your own population and from the outrageous amount of money 2 rich countries get in subsidies from CAP.

Or, you could take the British view and say the rebate is non-negotiable, get stuffed.

Or, you could actually use this as a way of breaking the Franco/German stranglehold on all thing EU. How? Simple - highlight the reason that we got the rebate in the first place. IE - that France gets vastly more money back from the EU than we do, resulting in her only actually paying in 1 billion pounds a year. Germany is in a similar, but less profitable position.

If I were Primeminister, I would offer up our rebate on the following conditions: 1. France stops getting ridiculously high amounts of CAP for unprofitable farming practice (as does Germany). 2. The money saved here, along with our rebate goes to the new country members of the EU to assist them. Note - this new system should, under no circumstances, create a new inefficient farming subsidy system, but should reward efficient and ecologically friendly methods. And that is it.

France and Germany will fight it tooth and nail - because that is what they did 2 years ago when they ambushed Blair (having promised changes and then pulling the rug from under him). BUT, if the offer was perceived to be genuine by other members (apart from France and Germany), it would undoubtedly have the potential to make Frace and Germany very unpopular with (at least) the new members and put UK in the drivers seat of EU, hopefully leading to other economic reforms within EU to help us all. (The new members are more inclined to take our view on free market reform than the French/German model of socialist driven economices).

At the very least, it will reveal France to be the self interested, arrogant, and selfish nation it most certainly is - and that alone would continue the breakdown of influence the Franco/German axis currently exert over EU.

Not being a fan of EU, I would still call that a laudable goal and one that I would support.
 
#12
El Gringo said:
At the very least, it will reveal France to be the self interested, arrogant, and selfish nation it most certainly is - and that alone would continue the breakdown of influence the Franco/German axis currently exert over EU.
And all this time I've been wearing a blindfold, blinkers, eye-patches, etc. Let there be light !.
 
#13
Unfortunately Whiffler, it would seem that we alone in EU see the French as they are. Why else would so many EU countries be giving UK grief about the rebate instead dealing with the cause of it - the amount France (a rich country) gets from CAP?

Discuss.
 

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