Douglas Carswell

30 OCT 2012

EU budget vote; a simple choice

Tomorrow night, I face a clear choice as an MP;

a) Vote the way the Whips say I should - and approve an inflationary increase in the EU budget through to 2020, which will see the UK net annual contribution increase from £9.3 Billion to £13.6 Billion, or

b) Vote the way my constituents would want - and make it clear that at a time of belt tightening, the right thing to do is reduce the EU budget, too.

"But Labour supports the amendment!" I hear you say.

This amendment is a Conservative amendment, drawn up by Conservative MPs, reflecting the concern of my constituents. If even Labour realise that we cannot give more money to the EU, I am certainly not going to.

"If this amendment goes through, won't the EU just get an annual budget subject to QMV?" warn others.

If we put the government motion through the Commons tomorrow without the amendment, we'll get above inflation budget increases for seven years – and be unable to do anything about it.   Do I want to vote tomorrow to give the EU seven years license to take more of our money?

According to the European Commission, if the agreement for funding fails, there will be fewer EU programmes. "Organisations benefiting from EU funding" says a Commission briefing paper "would face sever drawback". Yep.  In other words, less Eurocracy. I'll vote for that.

It is a straight forward choice.  £4.3 Billion more for Europe or a real terms cut.   I will vote for the real term cut. Simple.

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