From 'The Times'; don't let CLASS determine your vote........after all how many Jaguars do you get DRIVEN in (Mr Prescott has two). Do you have FOUR HOMES to choose from maybe FIVE if you count the Discounted flat!! Your children go to the best schools of course? (not the Prime Minister) and if that wasn't enough after they've wasted your money her on shite' they will pressure you to vote yes to wasting more of your money here!! http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-1439885,00.html and for those of you who can't be arrsed: Britain told to give up its Â£2.5bn EU rebate By Anthony Browne The Budget Commissioner believes rich countries must pay more to save idea of Europe THE European Commission warned Britain yesterday that it must pay billions of pounds more into its coffers each year or jeopardise the future of the Union. Dalia Grybauskaite, the European Budget Commissioner, told The Times that unless Britain and other big EU countries increased their payments to Brussels over the next seven years, the EU would be unable to provide the skills, technology and infrastructure required to compete in the global market. That, she said, could kill the idea of Europe. In a clear challenge to the British Government, the former Lithuanian Finance Minister also said that for the greater good of Europe Britain must give up the multibillion-pound annual budget rebate that Margaret Thatcher secured in 1984. The Commission is increasing its pressure on Britain as part of its demands for just over â¬1 trillion (Â£700 billion) in member state contributions for the next seven-year budget period which starts in 2007. Time is running out for securing Britainâs agreement to a budget that could cost it dear and fuel the countryâs euroscepticism. Britain takes over the rotating EU presidency in July, and holds its referendum on the new EU constitution next year. Gordon Brown, the Chancellor, has steadfastly rejected a commission proposal to spread the British rebate, currently worth about Â£2.5 billion a year, around other countries, on the ground that Britain would lose out financially. In total, the demands for bigger contributions and a reduced rebate could cost British taxpayers as much as Â£5 billion a year. But Ms Grybauskaite, who has a black belt in martial arts and a formidable reputation, gave warning in an interview: âIf other member states started to negotiate just on physical amounts of money, you are forgetting solidarity, a core policy of the European Union. If you have bad times, you have been helped. If you have good times, you help others. Those are principles that most of us believe in. If one or another country start to revise it, it jeopardises the future of the EU.â Mrs Thatcher won the rebate â famously demanding âI want my money backâ â as compensation because Britain, then one of the poorest countries of the EU, contributed more than any other country. Although each country pays in the same amount as a proportion of its economy, Britain gets less back from the Common Agricultural Policy than France and Italy because its farmers are more efficient. Over the past 20 years, the rebate has brought back â¬64 billion to Britain, or about â¬1,000 per citizen. Without it, Britain would have paid 14 times as much as France or Italy to the EU. However, the Commission now claims that Britain is the EUâs second-richest country, and that, with enlargement, far poorer countries such as Latvia, Estonia and Ms Grybauskaiteâs own Lithuania will have to give money to Britain each year. The Government is worried about public reaction if it caves in, but Ms Grybauskaite said that the unfairness of Britainâs rebate was beginning to rankle in other member states. âIt is a sensitive issue, and especially for the other 24 countries. We donât want anybody to be jeopardised, we donât want anybody to use it against the European idea, and use it against the constitution â and to become a tool for eurosceptics,â she said. The British rebate is part of the wider budget talks, in which the EU has demanded that each country contribute 1.14 per cent of its GDP each year, amounting to â¬1,025 billion between 2007 and 2013. Britain and five other countries have demanded that contributions be capped at 1 per cent of GDP, which would total â¬815 billion. But Ms Grybauskaite said that capping the budget at 1 per cent would force the Commission to abandon plans to boost the competitiveness of the EU economy by increasing spending on research, development and education by up to 400 per cent. That would leave the EU budget dominated by agriculture spending, which has proved politically impossible to significantly scale back because of the powerful French farming lobby. âAre politicians ready to accept this political responsibility, to say that European priorities are still not competitiveness, research and development, not scientific-based knowledge economy, but priorities that were introduced 30 to 40 years ago?â she asked. Mr Brown also wants to curb Brusselsâ power by demanding that London take back control of EU development funds spent on British regions. At present Britain gives money to Brussels, which then spends some of it on Britainâs poorer regions such as Wales and Cornwall. But Ms Grybauskaite said that ânationalisingâ development policies in this way would undermine the Union. âThe problem is that in Europe we need to work together to compete and survive in the globalised economy. âThe nationalisation of policies will divide us. This solidarity principle is one of the core ones. To abolish such principle will practically kill the idea of the European Union,â she said. Now then............vote! doesn't matter who; you've fought for other peoples right for it; use it yourself.