Cuts for us, not for them
The EU is trying to exploit economic hardship to curb the powers of national governments and to create a new pan-European political structure. Hundreds of billions have already been slashed from EU member-state budgets in the wake of the crisis. Yet the European Commission is demanding still more cuts. Meanwhile, in December, the EU spent 3 million euros on an “anti-poverty development conference”, which included a fashion show, a “Fight Poverty” awards ceremony and a “Music against Poverty” photo contest. It ended with an expensive cocktail party for all 6,000 delegates.
MEPs pay continues to grow. Their tax-free allowances rose by 2.3 per cent to £90,876; proof of expenditure not required. Their salary is up by 2 per cent to £80,829.
Another brick in the euro wall
The French government wants to create an “EU treasury”. It would initially comprise France and Germany and other eurozone states with “sound public finances”. French Prime Minister François Fillon said “a monetary zone needs close budgetary surveillance, but also – and this is indeed what has been missing since the beginning – a minimum of convergence in the fiscal domain, and even in the social domain.”
Fillon also said Britain would suffer “catastrophe and a disaster” if the euro went under. A Downing Street spokesman agreed, “Stability of the euro is in Britain’s national interest.”
One law to bind us all
By 2014 the British government must decide whether EU police, crime and immigration laws agreed before the Lisbon Treaty entered into force in 2009 continue to apply here. These include the controversial European Arrest Warrant.
Britain will have a choice in 2014 between more or less EU control over our legal system. If the government opts out of one of these laws, it has to opt out of all of them. And if it stays in, EU judges will for the first time have the final say over these laws.
But the government’s current EU Bill does not include this choice, leaving the decision to ministers.