‘The EU will always take us for a ride, that’s what it’s for. Every Prime Minister since Edward Heath has come back from negotiating with Brussels without his trousers, and without his wallet, and said I’ve just won an amazing victory.’ –Peter Hitchens
Remember all the grandstanding and the huffing and puffing when it was reported that the UK had to pay the EU £1.7 billion due to the success of its economy? David Cameron called it ‘appalling’ and went into full John Bull mode, dismissing the demand as ‘completely unacceptable’. George Osborne dubbed it a ‘prosperity tax’ and both our prime minster and chancellor vowed to fight for Britain!
After much defiance and fists on the table – so they wanted us to believe – the bill was halved, the EU had caved in.
As PM said EU bill unacceptable. Now we’ve halved the bill, delayed the bill & pay no interest on the bill. Result for Britain
— George Osborne (@George_Osborne) November 7, 2014
Well, it was just political theatre of course, as it always is and always will be with our provincial politicians when they face demands from their senior leaders in the unaccountable Commission.
The halving of the bill was not a great victory for the government, it was an automatic result of our rebate, so ignore the phoney bluster. It was the latest in a long line of attempts to keep the public from realising just how powerless our government actually is. If they truly realised the extent to which they have been diminished, they’d be shocked to the core.
The real question is how many times, and for how long, will we be fooled by this? The frustrating thing is that it was very widely reported at the time, far more widely and loudly than the climb down. The UK government quietly settled its bill, now that the general election is out of the way, and hoped no one would notice.
In reality, there was never anything the government could do about it, there is no room for negotiations and no real justification for complaints. It is what it is. The UK is just one state in a wider political union, and as such it will be subject to wealth re-distribution policies. We should know this by now, there really is no excuse for anyone in government, or in the public, to fail to understand that we cannot act as if we are an independent nation-state anymore.
I repeat, we are but one state in the European Union. We transfer billions upon billions of taxpayer’s money to the EU every single day, so don’t act outraged when we are billed for more as part of the routine of being a vassal. Ever since the UK surrendered her independence, ending a 1000 years of self-rule and national dignity, there has been an unprecedented transfer of power and wealth to the continent.
This will go on forever until such a time as we regain our independence. It is absurd and contemptible for anyone to think or argue otherwise. If you were surprised by the “prosperity tax”, which we had to pay due to our growing economy, and which saw Germany and France receive rebates, then you do not understand the nature of the EU and it’s about time you learnt.
We should leave. Those who vote to stay in come the referendum can never complain again.
Ben is the Conservatives for Liberty web editor. His political philosophy is an organic hybrid of classical liberalism and conservatism underpinned by a healthy instinctual scepticism. Follow him on Twitter: @
This article is part of a series discussing the European Union. Read more:
- The EU renegotiation is a phoney war
- It’s a good time to be a eurosceptic
- Better Off Out: An interview with Rory Broomfield”