An article by Bill Cash published in The Yorkshire Post 27/08/2009
Although I was appalled and astonished to hear that Treasury figures indicate that the cost of Britain's membership in the European Union have risen from £53 per UK household in 2004 to £260 from next year, the real truth is that the costs to the UK are much higher.
They certainly outweigh any benefits. The real cost of EU membership for British taxpayers is 10 times higher – costing every person in the United Kingdom about £2,000 per year, according to the TaxPayers' Alliance. That is before we can even begin to assess the predicted 60 per cent rise next year.
Every British voter pays, in food prices, consumer goods or services, a minimum of £2,000 per year – which makes the Treasury's £260 estimated cost of EU membership sound as pie in the sky as every other Government statistic that I have read recently.
Do the Treasury figures, for example, include in their assessment the financial costs of damage done to small businesses every year by business regulation?
The British electorate has been paying – as taxpayers – for our direct contributions to the EU.
It has also been paying – as consumers – for the high prices and costs endured by UK business in complying with and administering EU regulations, EU administration costs and also higher food prices, which have resulted from implementation of the Common Agricultural Policy and Common Fisheries Policy. The great European con-trick has to end.
So, I see great political opportunity for the Labour Government. Given that on the Government's own terms EU membership costs will now rise from £4.1bn to £6.4bn next year, equating to a rise of almost 60 per cent, they should now come clean.
The Cabinet must sit down at the table with the Treasury report on its agenda and say – we do not want to be part of this failed, uneconomic debt-ridden European political body, which has, with the passing of each European Treaty, taken almost complete legislative control over Westminster. Instead, we want a new deal.
Of course, that is dependent on whether the Conservative Party decides to step up to the mark.
It is a time for a new deal, beginning with a referendum which would first lead to the withdrawal of the instruments of ratification of the Lisbon Treaty.
In light of the Treasury's figures, coupled with attempts by the European Commission to force a re-run of the Irish referendum – on October 2 (through active meddling and propaganda), along with the false claims made by the Foreign Office, via Baroness Kinnock, that the Irish already have "legal guarantees" guaranteed by the UK Parliament – then there is good reason for renegotiation of the Treaties and our EU relationship.
As I have written many times previously, a referendum is required on the Government's own terms, because the Treaty itself is a "merger" involving all the main European Treaties (from Rome to Nice) to create a Union with an over-arching single legal personality and a self-amending text.
This always amounted to "substantial constitutional change", even "fundamental change" – so, on the Government's own political and legal terms, and now based on the Government's own financial assessment, it is compelled to re-examine our European relationship and seek a referendum in line with the wishes of the British electorate.
A statement issued by a spokesman for the Treasury on the news that a 60 per cent increase in the costs of EU membership had been fully and openly discussed in Parliament, was simply wrong and false on every count. We had not discussed this in Parliament.
In the Treasury statement, the Prime Minister also supposedly insists that it is right for us to share the burden of membership of the European Union with the new accession countries, but Gordon Brown must surely realise the European Union is a failed economic and political bloc.
Britain and most of the member states have continued to burden themselves with deep problems of the new accession and pre-accession countries, without realising the consequences – as I said in the House of Commons, on June 16 – by supporting illiberal régimes in Croatia, Albania, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia and Kosovo, Turkey, Croatia and Macedonia.
Why should Britain pay more than £10bn in huge pre-accession fees before joining, and then massive uncountable subsidies once they are in, in order to support Eastern Europe's trade in cocaine and the sex trafficking of children and prostitutes?
It is a scandal, but the national newspapers hardly mention it. It helps to explain the Treasury figures.
Gordon Brown has sold out the country in the exceedingly short time he has been Prime Minister, so it will fall to a Conservative Government to deliver a new deal.
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