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BREXIT NEWS  
 UK TO KEEP PAYING INTO £10bn EU FUND TO ADD MEMBERS
EU's de facto Foreign Secretary and Vice-President                    © EU Parliament
EXPANSIONIST EU LOOKS TO GRAB
MORE LAND TO THE EAST
Yesterday the EU announced that 2 more poor Balkans countries are to start negotiations to join the EU: Albania and Macedonia. These two countries had already been given 'candidate status' some years ago, but this latest development means they are on their way to membership.
In the next article we present summary information about this development, but here we focus on money.
In terms of the amounts the EU spends on a regular basis, the sums involved are not the largest we have discussed on this site. They are still significant however, and the key fact is that the UK will continue to pay out in respect of the EU’s enlargement under the deal agreed with the EU by Mrs May last month.
BREXIT FACTS4EU.ORG SUMMARY - FINANCIAL UPDATE ON JOINING COUNTRIES
  • EU is spending €1.3bn on Albania and Macedonia so that they are ready to join
  • The UK will continue paying for this EU enlargement under the deal negotiated by Mrs May
  • Total bill for EU enlargement in the 2014-2020 framework: £10.2bn pounds
HOW MUCH IS ALL THIS COSTING?
A little discussed part of the EU’s work and the money it spends is its constant preoccupation with growing in size. Part of the EU budget is dedicated to this and the sums are significant.
The Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA) is the means by which the EU supports reforms in the 'enlargement countries' with financial and technical help.
The current budget is for the period 2014-2020 and the budget is now € 11.7 billion. Receiving €4.5 billion for 2014-2020, Turkey is by far the largest beneficiary of the IPA II funds. This sum is in addition to the €6bn which the EU is giving to Turkey to stem the flow of migrants to Germany after Frau Merkel’s disastrous ‘All welcome here’ unilateral announcement in 2015.
Chart © Facts4EU.Org 2018
MONEY BEING GIVEN TO COUNTRIES WANTING TO JOIN EU, 2014-2020
  • Albania €649.5
  • Bosnia & Herzegovina €165.8
  • Macedonia €664.2
  • Kosovo €645.5
  • Montenegro €270.5
  • Serbia €1,508.0
  • Turkey €4,453.9
  • Multi-country €2,958.7
  • Unallocated €400m
  • TOTAL € 11.7 billion (approx £10.2bn pounds)
OBSERVATIONS
In most instances of a club welcoming new members, it is the prospective members who have to pay a joining fee.
This is not the case with the EU.
It's the EU that effectively pays the prospective members to join. In the latest 2014-2020 multi-annual financial framework (MFF), the EU has allocated €11.7bn (approx £10.2bn GBP) for this purpose. This is on top of the €11.3bn in the previous MFF.
Strangely, when a country wishes to leave the club, the EU insists on what is a effectively a leaving bill. As part of this bill, Mrs May has agreed to continue footing the bill for the EU to grow its membership.
This is one of the enormous number of areas of the EU's activities where it seems wholly inappropriate - whatever other additional arguments that can be made for paying nothing - to pay anything towards the EU's efforts to subsume even more of the European continent into its totalitarian nightmare.
[ Sources: EU Commission | World Economic Forum | IMF ]
     Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual. ]
       07.15am, 19 Apr 2018
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 EU PLANS TO REPLACE UK
IN 2 MORE LAND GRABS
© EU's de facto Foreign Secretary and Vice-President
ALBANIA & MACEDONIA GET 'ACCESSION STATUS'
And 2 more will be new members “before 2025”, says Juncker
In seeking to replace the massive economic and political might of the United Kingdom after Brexit, the EU took another step yesterday, promoting two of the poorest countries in Europe to ‘accession status’.
BREXIT FACTS4EU.ORG SUMMARY - JOINING COUNTRIES UPDATE
  • Commission promotes 2 of the poorest countries in Europe to accession status
  • The UK will continue paying for this EU enlargement under the deal negotiated by Mrs May
  • 2 more very poor Balkans states are to join EU within 7 years, under Commission plans
  • Brexit is ‘opportunity to bring the Western Balkan peninsular on board’
  • Total of 4 Balkans states plus Turkey now have accession status
A ‘REVERSE BREXIT’
This promotion to accession status means negotiations towards full membership can start – like a ‘reverse Brexit’.
Albania and Macedonia have been chosen to join the other two West Balkans countries which are already well on the way to EU membership: Serbia and Montenegro. Two additional West Balkans countries, Kosovo and Bosnia & Herzegovina, are ‘candidate countries’, which means they are just one step behind.
EU TO REPLACE WORLD’S 5TH ECONOMY WITH 2 MORE MINNOWS
Albania and Macedonia are of course currently sovereign, independent countries in their own right. However they are tiny compared to the economic power of the United Kingdom.
Chart © Facts4EU.Org 2018
  • Combined total GDP of the 2 new accession countries is less than 1/100th that of the UK
  • UK GDP: $2,629 billion
  • Combined GDP of EU's 2 new accession countries: $23 billion
WHERE ARE THE WESTERN BALKANS?
Very broadly speaking, the Western Balkans countries are situated north of Greece and south of Croatia (newest EU member) and Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria. They ‘fill in a gap’ in the map of EU member states.
 
Click to enlarge maps
SIGNIFICANCE FOR BREXIT
Brexit has been mentioned by the EU many times in relation to these new enlargements. In January EU Commission President held talks with the Bulgarian Prime Minister. Bulgaria currently holds the rotating six month presidency of the EU Council.
 
“We’re having some very difficult negotiations in Europe on Brexit, and this really is an opportunity for us to bring the Western Balkan peninsular on board as the UK withdraws from the EU.”
“On the 17th of May the European Council will be meeting. It’s going to be 27 plus 6 – the leaders of the Balkans will be there, meeting the leaders of the EU.”
Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, which currently holds the EU Council presidency
HOW MUCH IS ALL THIS COSTING?
Please see the article above.
EU’S (EX-COMMUNIST) FOREIGN SECRETARY IS HEAVILY INVOLVED
Mogherini at World Economic Forum last year, explaining how the EU would soon replace the UK:
“The big loser of the game that currently is being played will be the UK.”
“We always think the EU future will be the 27. Actually we are negotiating accession with several countries.”
“When we talk about the future of the EU, we have to take into consideration that countries especially in the Western Balkans will eventually become members of the European Union so we will be more than 27. The power of attraction of the EU is still extremely strong.”
Federica Mogherini, Vice-President of EU Commission
 
BACKGROUND TO YESTERDAY'S ANNOUNCEMENT
The EU has six Stabilisation and Association Agreements (SAAs) in force: with the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (2004), Albania (2009), Montenegro (2010) and Serbia (2013), Bosnia and Herzegovina (2015) and Kosovo (2016).
Four of the countries will now be in official negotiations for EU membership:
  • Serbia
  • Montenegro
  • Albania
  • Macedonia
Serbia and Montenegro have already started negotiations and are underway in terms of their desired membership. These are the two countries that Juncker says will be members within seven years.
“I do think that the two countries [Serbia and Montenegro]
will be members of the European Union before 2025.”
- Jean-Claude Juncker, speaking with Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov late last year
In addition to the four countries above, two more countries have been promised the prospect of joining when they are ready:
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Kosovo (still not recognised by many countries around the world)
OBSERVATIONS
THE WESTERN BALKANS?
This is a very difficult region in many ways, torn apart following the break-up of Yugoslavia, and the scene of foreign policy and military disasters for the EU. Given the geographical proximity it is still felt by many that the EU’s actions (and inactions) did not constitute its finest hours.
Readers will no doubt wish the six Western Balkans countries well in their gradual development following some difficult decades. The UK of course was a significant global player in the region and still is, although we look forward to the day when the British Foreign Office is not hidebound by the foreign policies of the EU and can act with complete independence.
A great deal of UK Aid has of course been sent to the region over the years. Some British aid has been 'badged' as EU Aid, but this will change eventually, once the UK has left the EU. In due course recipients of British donations will realise just how generous the UK is.
THE EU'S FOREIGN SECRETARY - ANTI-UK, FANATICAL FEDERALIST
Based on the innumerable speeches we have listened to, Ms Mogherini is no fan of the United Kingdom. She studied political science in Italy and France and did her dissertation on Islam. She spent the first eight years of her political life as a member of the Italian Communist Youth Federation.
It seems Ms Mogherini is happy to replace the UK with two more countries whose combined GDP is less than 1% of the UK’s. Good luck with that, Federica.
SIGNIFICANCE FOR BREXIT
The fact that the EU is having to point to the Western Balkans as an indication of how "The power of attraction of the EU is still extremely strong" (to quote Mogherini) is beyond parody. We would suggest that it demonstrates just how bad things are in the EU.
In her talk to the World Economic Forum last year, Ms Mogherini explained that soon she will have the responsibility for the EU’s future relations with the UK, saying that she ‘will have the file’ once the EU’s initial demands have been met.
It is less than encouraging to hear the second most powerful member of the EU Commission describing the Brexit negotiations as a game. It is equally disappointing to hear her expressing the outcome in terms of the UK being ‘the losers’.
This is the unappetising flavour of the organisation that the British people very wisely voted to leave.
[ Sources: EU Commission | World Economic Forum | IMF ]
     Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual. ]
       06.55am, 19 Apr 2018
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READERS' COMMENTS
Please send us your comments and we will publish them here. You can of course use a pseudonym if you prefer, and it's always nice to know roughly where you're writing from. Please always state the headline of the article you're commenting on.
Name: Jon, Wales      Date/Time: 19 Apr 2018, 1.50pm
Message: "The big loser of the game that currently is being played will be the UK," states Federica Mogherini, Vice-President of EU Commission, in the above article. Ms Mogherini, this is NOT a game. The EU is treating the UK as though we were of little or no value to EU member countries. I would suggest dictatorial EU elites show a little more humility. There is only so much the people of our great nation will put up with before there is a backlash (on the EU). They still fail to understand the UK has every right to walk away without their 'permission', and WILL do so with or without a deal. WTO terms of trading will not concern us as we already use these terms. "Albania and Macedonia are of course currently sovereign, independent countries in their own right." (stated in article), so I wonder do the peoples of both countries fully realise what they're letting themselves in for? Have they been told the truth about the EU construct? They may well be sovereign at present, but do they REALLY understand this will effectively end when, and if, they eventually join the EU? Are they aware they WILL effectively be governed by Brussels bureaucrats they can never remove. Are they aware their laws WILL be made by a foreign jurisdiction to which they MUST adapt. Are they aware they WILL be sucked in to things they may disapprove of, and be able to do little about? One can understand poorer countries may wish to better their lives, yet the same is true of every country, be it large or small, rich or poor. Most countries have their unique national identity, but the EU has attempted to destroy this over decades? In simple terms, the 'EU project' hates populism and national identity. They want ordinary people to become 'citizens' of a non-existent 'country', and they want to 'CONTROL' you.
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 EXCLUSIVE SHOCK REPORT
£0.8bn COMMITTED TO EU IN 2016 WHICH NEVER APPEARED IN ANNUAL UK CONTRIBUTIONS
© Facts4EU.Org 2018
THE £0.8bn WAS IN ADDITION TO 'NORMAL' UK CONTRIBUTION OF £1bn TO EU’S FOREIGN AID PROJECTS
A Brexit Facts4EU.Org investigation into the latest report from the Dept for International Development (DFID) has revealed some shocking facts. What follows relates to 2016 which is the last year for which full figures are available from DFID & the EU.
OVERALL SUMMARY OF UK AID MONIES COMMITTED TO THE EU IN 2016
  • £1.0bn to the EU’s standard aid programmes (included in annual UK contributions to EU)
  • £0.5bn to the EU’s ‘off-the-books’ EDF fund
  • £0.3bn to the EU’s ‘off-the-books’ Facility for Turkey fund
  • TOTAL: £1.8bn
Of the £1.8bn, £0.8bn does not appear in the UK’s “annual EU contributions” figures.
Brexit Facts4EU.Org 2018
BREAKDOWN:-
1. BREXIT FACTS4EU.ORG SUMMARY – UK PAYMENTS FOR EU TO GIVE GLOBALLY
  • £1.0bn given to the EU by the UK government for general foreign aid in 2016
  • This is classified as aid to a multilateral organisation
  • 31% of UK aid that is given to multilateral aid organisations goes to the EU
This £1bn does form part of the overall contributions which the UK makes to the EU each year. It is taken into account when quoting the UK’s annual EU contributions.
Narrative:
EU can then brand this money as EU foreign aid and claim the credit for it.
2. BREXIT FACTS4EU.ORG SUMMARY – UK PAYMENTS TO SPECIAL EU 'EDF' FUND
  • Almost £0.5bn given to the EU by the UK government for aid to mostly African countries
  • This is channelled into the EU’s ‘off-the-books’ EDF fund
NOTE: This £0.5bn is NOT included when the UK’s overall contributions to the EU each year are quoted.
Narrative:
This is the €30bn ‘off-the-books’ European Development Fund (EDF) which we reported on in the last two days. Its name has nothing to do with its purpose. Under Mrs May’s Withdrawal & Transition deal with the EU, the UK will have to keep paying sums into this fund for a decade after Brexit.
3. BREXIT FACTS4EU.ORG SUMMARY – UK PAYMENTS FOR EU TO GIVE TO TURKEY
  • UK agreed to pay 16% of members’ contributions to €2bn EU ‘off-the-books’ Turkey fund
  • This appears in UK’s books as total of £286 million pounds, spread mostly over 2 years
NOTE: This £0.3bn is NOT included when the UK’s overall contributions to the EU each year are quoted.
Narrative:
In the same year (2016) as the payments in (1) and (2) above, the UK also agreed to pay the EU for another ‘off-the-books’ fund, called the Facility for Refugees in Turkey. It was this fund which Angela Merkel agreed with President Erdogan of Turkey as a quid pro quo for him stopping the flow of migrants into Germany after her disastrous “All welcome here” message to migrants in 2015.
SUMMARY AND TOTALS
Thus, in 2016 the British government committed ‘aid’ expenditure worth a total of £1.8 billion to the EU. £0.8 billion of this went to two ‘off-the-books’ EU funds. These two sums do not appear in any totals of the UK’s annual contributions to the EU.
OBSERVATIONS
HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE?
It is fair question to ask how it's possible that the UK's contributions have been understated by the government in this way. The government will probably argue that because these payments are not part of the standard annual UK contributions to the EU general budget, they don't count.
We seriously doubt that the British taxpayer will see it this way. Any reasonable person would say that all monies being sent to the EU should be included when talking about the UK's contributions to the EU.
It also doesn't explain why the BBC, with its infamous "Reality Check" service, failed to pick this up.
WOULDN’T THE UK BE DONATING THESE SUMS ANYWAY, AFTER BREXIT?
When looking at the sums involved, it is important to remember that these form just part of the UK’s overall foreign aid donations globally, which run at 0.7% of GDP. In other words, the UK is already giving very generously on its own (World No.2 donor after the US) and the monies going to the EU are just part of this generosity.
Some might argue that the UK would give these sums anyway, even if it weren’t part of the EU. This is not the case. For example, let’s look at the £0.3bn the UK gave to the ‘Facility for Refugees in Turkey’ fund. This was set up in 2016 to persuade Turkish President Erdogan to stop the huge flows of migrants crossing into Greece for onward transit to Germany and elsewhere in the Schengen zone.
We argued at the time that David Cameron should never have agreed to this. The problem was caused by Angela Merkel and it was a problem for her and the rest of the Schengen ‘no borders’ zone, of which the UK is not a part.
Put simply, the UK would not have paid this money if it hadn’t been for wanting to be on the good side of Angela Merkel. We have a copy of an internal UK government ‘business case’ for these donations where this is quite clear.
When it comes to other EU funds, it’s surprising how often we see former French colonies in Africa being quoted when case studies are mentioned. If the UK were in charge of the destination of these funds the priorities would almost certainly be very different.
WHOSE AID MONEY IS IT?
In the course of our recent work on the vast amounts given by the UK to the EU which never seem to appear as part of ‘UK contributions to the EU”, Brexit Facts4EU.Org conducted a great deal of research on foreign aid.
We have previously reported that the EU continually and erroneously claims to have World No.1 status in donations of foreign aid. In fact the USA is No.1 and the UK is No.2. The EU stakes it claim by rounding up all the individual aid amounts of the 28 member states and counting them as its own.
When the UK exits the EU this will leave a gaping hole, because the UK is the largest foreign aid donor amongst all 28 EU member states.
A serious consideration is that of branding. Putting it crudely, part of the reason countries donate foreign aid is not out of compassion, but out of national interest and future payback.
National interest because the use to which aid monies are put should reflect the UK’s concerns and interests globally, as well as historical ties. Payback because donor countries know that their reputation is enhanced both globally and in the region to which the aid is being delivered. This is why bags of corn etc are branded ‘UK Aid’. All countries do this.
When the EU gets hold of the UK’s money, it will naturally take the credit for the aid it dispenses. With the UK being such a generous donor, the UK loses out and the EU gains significantly.
COULD WE BE WRONG ABOUT ALL OF THIS?
We have spent a great deal of time wading through UK and EU government tables and spreadsheets as well as reading hundreds of pages of reports. Whilst some of the information contained therein is contradictory, we are sure about the figures we quote and we can find no evidence whatsoever that the £0.8bn has been accounted for as part of the UK’s EU contributions.
You only have to look at the Withdrawal and Transition Period deal which Theresa May struck with the EU last month. In it the EU specifically separates out the ‘off-the-books’ funds and talks about them in some detail. All of this is in green in the document, which means it has been agreed by both parties.
Finally, we could have been more brutal. We could have told you about the additional €682 million (nearly £0.6 billion GBP) which the UK had to pay in 2015 for the previous EDF fund. This was an additional amount to its regular contribution for that year and was an ‘adjustment’ from the previous (10th) tranche of the EDF which was agreed back in 2007.
This means that a previous version of the Fund which was agreed 8 years earlier came back to bite the UK, to the tune of nearly £0.6 billion. We have not been able to find this either, when looking at the composition of the UK’s annual contributions to the EU.
WHY DIDN’T YOU KNOW ABOUT ALL THIS?
You may feel that this is quite a big story. We are surprised not to have been approached for permission to use our research material in recent days. Perhaps all the dithering and messing about by Mrs May since the referendum nearly two years ago has made mainstream media editors weary of Brexit stories which take a bit of explaining.
NOTE TO BBC AND OTHER NEWS EDITORS: Please contact us for permission to re-use our findings or for information on where to go to find the relevant information. We would be only too happy to assist.
We have some big political hitters amongst our readership so maybe someone will take this up on the political level?
In particular you might well want to know why in Referendum year vast amounts were being committed to the EU which did not appear on the BBC’s (or anyone else’s) summary of what we pay to the EU.
Please do consider supporting us financially to enable us to continue to shine a bright Brexit light on the EU and Brexit. What we report matters and it is read by MPs, members of the House of Lords, MEPs, members of the Brussels machine, as well as politicians and ambassadors from around the world.
[ Sources: EU Commission | UK Government: Dept For International Development (DFID) | EU Court of Auditors | EU law database | EU Parliament | Cabinet Office | European Scrutiny Committee 2010 | ECDPM | OECD | And others ]        06.55am, 18 April 2018
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READERS' COMMENTS
Please send us your comments and we will publish them here. You can of course use a pseudonym if you prefer, and it's always nice to know roughly where you're writing from. Please always state the headline of the article you're commenting on.
Name: Jon, Wales      Date/Time: 18 Apr 2018, 6.40pm
Message: I'll be upfront and state I was happy to donate a further £50.00 to Facts4EU to help bring us these important FACTS. I was happy to do so because we fail to get 100% facts elsewhere, though it must be said this site is [probably] the best site for facts to our common cause, and is also read by those having power. Visitors and supporters of this site know the daily facts they read are 100% reliable which cannot be challenged by remoaners. When using these well researched facts, I have never once been challenged by remoaners after pointing them to Facts4EU, as they see their 'argument' was lost. But I digress.
The above article indicates just how many £billions continue being given away overseas for the effective continuation of the 'EU project'. Should government be forced to reveal these extras at the time, I wonder? The UK remains the second highest NET contributor, so when we see such 'extras', it is reasonable to question the UK Government and ask WHY? We voted to exit the EU in June 2016. These extra £billions should be providing our country with all it needs in March 2019.
When remoaners constantly go on about how much funding they need for this, that, or the other, they should remember FACTS like these. Is it any wonder we keep being told there's no money? British taxpayers expect British money to be used in our country first and foremost. As a country, we are always ready to assist with disaster relief, but let us please be a little selfish for a change as we set our own destiny, and seize all opportunities ahead of us.
Reply: Thank you for your very kind comments and for your generous donation. Very much appreciated.
Name: Barry, Newport, UK      Date/Time: 18 Apr 2018, 12.15pm
Message: Thanks for a superb piece of research. I despair, I really do. Regarding the BBC I wouldn't hold your breath waiting for them to cover this!
Name: Patrick H, London      Date/Time: 18 Apr 2018, 12.07pm
Message: Reality Check: All this while UK Pensioners have the least to live on in western Europe; UK road are in an appalling state of repairs; Our NHS is starved of resources; No money to care for our most vulnerable in society (poor, disabled and aged); Our local authorities reducing services across the board due to central Government cuts; UK's housing crisis continues; Military security reduced; Policed forces reduced; Tax increases across the board; etc, etc. Under successive Governments the UK citizens have suffered badly.....now T. May is selling the UK down the river again and negating Brexit wherever possible! Is there no end to this treachery?

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 HAS THE SUN-KING
HAD TOO MUCH SUN?
© Elysée Palace
SOVEREIGNTY BEING STRAINED IN STRASBOURG
By 'Sketchit', the Brexit Facts4EU.Org EU parliamentary sketchwriter
Yesterday in the EU Parliament French President Emmanuel Macron gave a speech about “The Future of Europe”. He meant the future of the EU, but we’ll let that pass for now.
The speech was long on rhetoric, long on attacks on the newly democratically-elected Eurosceptic governments in many EU member states, and short on substance. No change there then.
What was interesting was his preoccupation with the concept of sovereignty. Not sovereignty in the sense that is defined in the dictionary and understood by 99.99% of the population. No, this was sovereignty in the style of France’s golden sun-king - Emmanuel as the reincarnation of Louis XIV.
The new sovereignty as defined by Le Roi Soleil Macron includes some very strange items indeed.
MACRON ON SOVEREIGNTY - A BREXIT FACTS4EU.ORG SUMMARY
  • “We must build this full European sovereignty to protect our fellow citizens”
  • “Sovereignty is also economic and commercial”
  • “Sovereignty is also climate and energy sovereignty”
  • “The fourth sovereignty that we must lead to go further in is that of health and nutrition.
  • “The fifth sovereignty that we must defend is, of course, digital sovereignty”
  • “Finally, this Europe of freedom and equality is based on a foundation of social values that we have proclaimed together in Gothenburg. This social Europe is also that of sovereignty”
At this point your humble correspondent is forced to ask whether is it possible that the entirety of the elite hierarchies in all Western EU countries have gone soft in the head?
What on earth was dear Emmanuel talking about? When the British people voted for sovereignty in June 2016 it’s doubtful they were thinking about solar panels or organophosphates.
On this site we have long argued that a selection of debates from the EU parliament should be compulsory viewing in our schools and universities. Only then, perhaps, will our normally sound young people begin to understand the complete absurdity that is this totalitarian fantasy they call the EU.
When they’re not mistakenly calling it ‘Europe’, of course...
[ Sources: EU Parliament | Elysée Palace ]        06.55am, 18 April 2018
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 A TALE OF TWO CITIES
London, Commonwealth flags in Parliament Square
© Andrew Rosindell MP
 
Brussels, EU buildings
© EU Commission
ONE OF THE PHOTOS ABOVE IS A GLORIOUS SIGHT
The photo montage on the left was tweeted yesterday by pro-Brexit MP Andrew Rosindell, showing the wonderful sight of all the flags of the Commonwealth countries flying in Westminster, as the Commonwealth Heads of Government conference takes place. This is the global, outward-looking vision of our Brexit future.
The photo on the right was published by the EU Commission, showing the drab uniformity of the dysfunctional, insular, bureaucratic, and totalitarian institution that is the EU.
We know which one we prefer.
[ Sources: Andrew Rosindell MP ]        07.05am, 17 April 2018
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Name: Thomas, Chester, UK      Date/Time: 17 Apr 2018, 12.05pm
Message: Fabulous! I like the variety of what you produce. Sometimes 'a picture paints a thousand words' and that's certainly true above.
 MRS MAY AGREES TO PAY
EXTRA BILLIONS TO EU FOR
'OFF-THE-BOOKS' EDF FUND
                                                    © EU Commission
THERESA MAY HAS FORMALLY AGREED THAT UK WILL BE LIABLE FOR A DECADE
PART 2 - Of shock 2-part report from the Brexit Facts4EU.Org Research Team
THE EDF AND BREXIT
Yesterday we brought you Part One of our two-part report into the EU’s €30bn ‘off-the-books’ EDF fund, which is predominantly spent in Africa.
We showed how the UK’s annual contribution (14.8%) is never shown nor included in the summary figures when the BBC and others report the amount of the UK’s annual net contributions to the EU. In other words this is one of several annual payments to the EU that you are not told about. UK payments to these 'off-the-books- funds make the UK's true contributions to the EU much higher than are reported by the BBC and other media organisations.
In 2016, the last year for which figures are available, the UK’s contribution to this fund was almost £0.5 billion pounds and that will be typical going forward.
Today we bring you Part Two – the Brexit implications.
BREXIT FACTS4EU.ORG SUMMARY - EU'S EDF FUND AND BREXIT
  • EU took almost £1/2 billion (£473m) from UK in 2016 for EDF
  • UK will continue paying through transition period
  • UK will continue paying for up to 10 years after transition period has ended
  • Theresa May has already agreed to this, as part of withdrawal agreement
DFID AND THE EDF
It is important to stress that the UK's contributions to the EDF fund are in addition to the figures which the responsible government department (DFID) reports as being "the development share of the European Commission Budget". We will report separately on the even higher figure for that element of the UK's generosity, but his 2-part report focuses purely on the EDF fund.
Penny Mordaunt, Secretary of State for International Dev't
 
The EDF is not mentioned in main body of the November 2017 report from DFID: "Final 2016 UK ODA spend statistics". ODA stands for Official Development Aid and is the term used to describe foreign aid by international bodies such as the OECD, to ensure that comparisons between countries are fair.
Instead the EDF is buried in a table. It is the third item on the list, by order of amounts given to multilateral partners.
The Rt Hon Penny Mordaunt MP is a rare beast in cabinet. She actually campaigned and voted for Brexit, which makes her one of only 28% of the cabinet who did. The remainder - including the Prime Minister, the Chancellor, the Home Secretary and the Defence Secretary - campaigned and voted for Remain.
SHOCKING NEWS: THERESA MAY HAS AGREED TO CONTINUE FUNDING THE EDF
Timing, and the implications for the UK’s exposure
Before we show you what Theresa May has agreed to, it's important to understand the timing of the EDF's expenditures.
Each tranche of this Fund is now agreed every 7 years. The latest version (the 11th, covering 2014-2020) was agreed by David Cameron and the other EU leaders in 2013. It entered into force in March 2015.
The EU agrees budgets for elements such as the EDF years in advance of spending them. A significant proportion of EU money for the EDF hasn’t been allocated against specific projects. In other words, the EU could simply scale back its plans, thereby not requiring further monies. The reality is that it often finds it hard to find projects to fund, hence the big gap between the money it receives and the money it still hasn't spent.
It is also vital to recognise that sums continue to be paid for up to 10 years after the money has been 'committed'.
Below we give two illustrations of this:-
Example 1
The 9th EDF which was agreed in 1999 was allocated €13.5 billion. The unspent balances from previous EDFs total €9.9 billion.
Example 2
In 2015, the EU demanded €682 million (almost £0.6 billion GBP) from the UK from the previous (10th) tranche of the EDF which was agreed back in 2007.
This means that a Fund which was agreed 8 years previously came back to bite the UK, to the tune of £0.6 billion. We have not been able to find this mentioned in DFID’s statistical reports.
WHAT HAS THERESA MAY SIGNED THE UK UP TO ALREADY?
What the Brexit withdrawal and transition document says:-
“Article 145 - Participation in the European Development Fund”
“The United Kingdom shall remain party to the European Development Fund ("EDF") until the closure of the 11th EDF and all previous unclosed EDFs, and shall in this respect assume the same obligations as the Member States under the Internal Agreement133 by which it was set up ('the 11th EDF Internal Agreement'), as well as the obligations resulting from previous EDFs until their closure, including obligations under Council Regulations (EU) 2015/322134 and (EU) 2015/323135, subject to the conditions laid down in this Agreement. The United Kingdom shall be bound by the decisions of the Council setting out the annual contribution of Member States as adopted under Article 21 of Regulation (EU) 2015/323...”
“...By way of derogation from Article 6 of this Agreement, the United Kingdom may participate, as observer, without voting rights, in the EDF Committee as established in accordance with Article 8 of the 11th EDF Internal Agreement and in the Investment Facility Committee as established in accordance with Article 9 of the 11th EDF Internal Agreement...”
“The United Kingdom shall remain liable in respect of its guarantee under Article 9 of the 4th EDF Internal Agreement, Article 8 of the 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th EDF Internal Agreement, Article 6 of the 9th EDF Internal Agreement and Article 4 of the 10th and 11th EDF Internal Agreement.”
The EU-UK Withdrawal and Transition Agreement is still a work in progress. However there is about 80% of it which is now printed in green. These are the areas where both sides have already reached agreement.
The entirety of the section on the EDF is in green. This means that Theresa May has agreed everything in relation to the EDF, including ongoing exposures to calls on the UK for billions more in contributions.
Please note that the EDF Fund is only one of many EU Funds relating to foreign aid. It is also only one of several areas of EU expenditure which are "off-the-books".
OBSERVATIONS
Some readers sometimes wonder why we are so clear in our view that Theresa May’s Brexit deal is such a disaster. The reason is simple. We’ve read the agreement.
The example of the EDF is one of many where the British public has been kept in the dark. The UK's contributions to it are never included in any summaries of the UK's net contributions, despite them running to billions of pounds.
Effectively a large part of the UK's generosity to poorer nations in the form of overseas aid is decided by the EU, and claimed by the EU as its own.
When it comes to the withdrawal agreement, we are staggered that the government has already agreed to the EU's demands for the UK to keep on paying.
STAY, PAY, & NO SAY?
NO WAY, MRS MAY
© Brexit Facts4EU.Org
These two articles have taken a lot of research by the Brexit Facts4EU.Org team. That said, our resources a minuscule fraction of the resources of BBC News & Current Affairs. Why should it fall to us to uncover the scandal of the EDF?
Please do consider supporting us financially to enable us to continue to shine a bright Brexit light on the EU and Brexit. What we report matters and it is read by MPs, members of the House of Lords, MEPs, members of the Brussels machine, as well as politicians from around the world.
[ Sources: EU Commission | UK Government: Dept For International Development (DFID) | EU Court of Auditors | EU law database | EU Parliament | Cabinet Office | European Scrutiny Committee 2010 | ECDPM | OECD | And others ]        07.05am, 17 April 2018
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Name: Chris, Devizes, UK      Date/Time: 16 Apr 2018, 2.38pm
Message: Hi, I wondered if you had thought of compiling a 'Treachery List' of all the EU demands which May has agreed to? Currently, these are all distributed over the past 2 years and within many articles, so it would be very useful if we had a list of bullet points for each act of treachery. For me, the issues which spring most readily to mind are:
1. Agreeing to the annexation of NI (A precursor to a united Ireland).
2. Agreeing to Spain's veto over the final deal (the first stage to handing over sovereignty of Gibraltar).
3. Handing over £44bn for nothing in return, and which has no legal basis.
4. Enabling the destruction of our fishing industry.
There must be dozens more, of course. It would be great to have such a list which could be emailed out to everyone who has influence, and which could be brought to the public's attention. I fear that time to running out to force May to stand down, and save our Country. Regards, Chris.
REPLY: Thanks Chris, it's a very good idea. Another reader suggested something similar yesterday. We agree with you that time is running out if we want a true, clean Brexit. Our problem is always a lack of resource due to a lack of money. We could produce many times what we currently do but we have to ration things out and try to keep going somehow. Until we can get some rich folk to stump up some financial support we have to focus on survival. It's galling that the new 'Best for Britain' anti-Brexit group had no problem getting £800,000 out of Mr Soros the other day! One thing we're thinking about is asking for volunteers to do some indexing of our most important articles on the key subjects, which we could then get coded up to be easily usable. We're well aware of the enormous volume of highly significant research we've done and we need to make this more accessible. We are thinking of putting out a request in the coming days. Thanks for your support.

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 THE EXTRA €30BN OF EU SPENDING THE BBC WON’T TELL YOU ABOUT
Horn of Africa                                                    © EU Commission
£1/2 BILLION PER YEAR IN ADDITION TO
UK'S 'NET CONTRIBUTION' PAYMENTS
UK IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE PAYING INTO ‘OFF-THE-BOOKS’ FUND
FOR 10 YEARS AFTER BREXIT
PART 1 - Of shock 2-part report from the Brexit Facts4EU.Org Research Team
Yesterday we told you about the €19bn per year of the EU’s annual budget that is NOT spent on the EU28 member states. We showed how €9bn of this was being spent on administration and €10bn was spent OUTSIDE the EU as part of ‘Global Europe’ spending.
Today we bring you the story of a €30bn ‘off-the-books’ EU fund which is spent outside the EU in addition to the €10bn per year already being spent outside the EU as part of the 'normal' EU budget.
BREXIT FACTS4EU.ORG SUMMARY - THE MASSIVE EDF FUND
  • This ‘off-the-books’ fund stands at €30.5bn (and growing)
  • It is NOT included when the BBC talks about the UK’s net contributions
  • The UK pays almost 15% of it (€4.5bn)
  • As part of May’s Brexit deal the UK will still be paying for 10 years after Brexit
  • It’s called the ‘European Development Fund’ or EDF
  • It has nothing to do with developing Europe, or the EU
  • It’s spent outside the EU, mainly to 78 African, Caribbean and Pacific countries
We must stress again that this fund is NOT included when people talk about the UK’s annual EU contributions. This is extra spending as a result of the UK’s membership of the EU, but it’s never mentioned. There are other such funds but here we focus exclusively on the EDF.
The EU is expecting the UK to pay for this - and continue paying - as part of the ‘financial settlement’ that has been agreed by Theresa May.
This will mean the UK paying billions to the EU until 2030 – and this money is in addition to the UK’s annual contributions to the EU’s main budget. Bizarrely there are no time limits for implementing projects, which can take ‘more than 10 years’.
WHAT IS THE EDF?
This is what the EU Commission say:
“The European Development Fund (EDF) is the EU's main instrument for providing development aid to African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries and to overseas countries and territories (OCTs).
“The EDF funds cooperation activities in the fields of economic development, social and human development as well as regional cooperation and integration.
“It is financed by direct contributions from EU Member States according to a contribution key and is covered by its own financial rules.
“The 11th EDF was created by an intergovernmental agreement signed in June 2013 – as it is not part of the EU Budget – and entered into force on the 1st March 2015, after ratification by all Member States.
“The European Development Fund (EDF) is the EU's main instrument for providing development aid to African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries and to overseas countries and territories (OCTs).
“The EDF funds cooperation activities in the fields of economic development, social and human development as well as regional cooperation and integration.
“It is financed by direct contributions from EU Member States according to a contribution key and is covered by its own financial rules.”
83% of the EDF’s expenditure went to African countries, according to the last breakdown available. The balance went to what are called OCTs – the overseas territories of Denmark, France, the Netherlands and the UK.
Brexit Facts4EU.Org looked at one report about the EDF’s contribution to the road network in Sub-Saharan Africa, a sector for which total EDF commitments amounted to almost €7.4 billion over the 1995-2011 period.
We are not road-building experts but given the very low costs in that region, we assume that €7.4bn was enough to tarmac over most of the region.
HOW BIG IS THIS FUND AND HOW FAST IS IT GROWING?
As our graph shows, this fund has grown rapidly over the years. The latest 'tranche' is over 2.5 times higher than in 2007.
© Facts4EU.Org 2018
HOW MUCH DOES THE UK PAY?
This fund is separate from the normal annual EU budget and the proportions borne by each member state are different. In the case of the EDF the UK pays a disproportionately high 14.8%.
© Facts4EU.Org 2018
This additional EU Fund cost the UK £1/2 billion in 2016
(Source:DFID)
WHO CHECKS WHERE THIS MONEY IS GOING?
Each year the European Court of Auditors reviews the performance of the EDF. In the case of the EU’s €7.4bn Sub-Saharan road building project, the ECA described the results only as “partially effective”.
The ECA samples the hundreds of projects financed by the EDF each year and draws conclusions on how well the money is being spent. In its latest report the ECA declared that:
“27% of EDF expenditure transactions were affected by a material level of error.”
In 46% of the errors, expenditure either wasn’t eligible under the Fund or it hadn’t even been incurred.
It’s important to note that whilst the EDF is funded by direct contributions from EU Member States such as the UK, these funds are managed by the EU Commission.
OBSERVATIONS
In Part Two you can read more disturbing revelations, as well as our observations. We will also be looking at the implications of this for the EU’s Brexit demands.
Please come back for Part Two tomorrow!
[ Sources: EU Commission | UK Government: Dept For International Development (DFID) | EU Court of Auditors | EU law database | EU Parliament | Cabinet Office | European Scrutiny Committee 2010 | ECDPM | OECD | And others ]        07.15am, 16 April 2018
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Name: Him, Europe      Date/Time: 16 Apr 2018, 3.54pm
Message: [Referring to 'Alexander' below.] I find this deeply disturbing and disgusting that the EU, Holland, the UK in particular are seen to be ignoring what is going on in SA. However of course we have to realize that SA is now a communist state. They will kill the white farmers, and then starve to death for lack of food and water, just to prove that communism is a cancer and human madness.
Name: Patrick H, London      Date/Time: 16 Apr 2018, 12.48pm
Message: Thank you again Facts4EU. Another excellent insight into the EU shenanigans and the UK Government's acquiescence to these hidden funds/expenditure? QUESTION: Would it be possible to "summarise" these "golden nuggets" from this and past articles into Facts4EU fact sheets? Then it would be easy to recall "from one place" all summarised arguments when wishing to immediately refute Remainer arguments and their lack of erudite research? I am positive your readers would be willing to inexpensively purchase these "Bullet Point" summaries. I know I would be happy again to financially contribute to downloadable documents.
REPLY: Thanks for the kind comments. Regarding the summary factsheets, we've wanted to do this for a long time. We would also like to produce a summary page - an index of topics with links to the most important articles we've produced. As ever, we simply don't have the money to do it and to keep producing new research pieces at the same time. If we could get a few people to sponsor this work...?
Name: Alexander, South Africa      Date/Time: 16 Apr 2018, 09.48am
Message: I moved to S Africa last year for family reasons, and live in a community with many white SA citizens and also Europeans. Warning! This does NOT make me an expert, but I and several friends here are interested in political affairs. Until I read this article, I was unaware of EDF donations to S Africa - interestingly, despite living in and travelling through a large area, I have seen no signs of EU flag waving or notices of their contributions. As many of you will be aware, the government of the previous President, Zuma, was rotten to the core, and it is too early to say whether the new President, Ramaphosa, will improve matters. One wonders, cynically, where much of the funding has disappeared to. Many Afrikaaners believe that violence may well erupt if farmland is grabbed, and will confirm that the Government-sponsored scheme to help black Africans return to the land are sad failures that benefit no-one. If these funds were truly helping to address the appalling poverty/crime/lack of educational facilities for black communities, I assure you the vast majority of the white population would be delighted.
 STAY, PAY, & NO SAY?
NO WAY, MRS MAY
A BREXIT FACTS4EU.ORG SUNDAY EDITORIAL
(Scroll down to go to our regular news.)
In recent months we have become concerned at the number of so-called pro-Brexit organisations and politicians who profess to be Brexiteers but don’t seem able to criticise the disastrous deal that Theresa May has reached with the EU so far.
To remind you, the Prime Minister agreed a draft withdrawal and transition deal with them which she announced in the Commons on 26 March.
Three weeks earlier Sergei and Yulia Skripal had been rushed to hospital after the alleged Russian assassination attempt. On 26th March - the same day as Mrs May made her statement on the EU-UK withdrawal and transition deal, she also made a statement on the Skripals, and this was when many countries announced their expulsions of Russian diplomats. The media’s attention was thus elsewhere.
As a result, the total capitulation of the Prime Minister to the EU’s demands has not been aired properly and large parts of the population are unaware of the details.
In short, Mrs May has followed her previous form and has agreed to a whole raft of demands from the EU which do not in any way, shape or form resemble any true idea of Brexit.
Readers will vary in their own analysis of this, with some saying that the Prime Minister had never intended to deliver Brexit, through to others who believe she is playing some kind of long game.
Whatever her motives, our view is that the results so far are a complete disaster.
The UK will effectively remain in the Single Market and Customs Union, under the yoke of the EU courts, continuing to pay massive annual contributions, continuing to be bound by all EU laws and regulations including free movement, remaining in the Common Fisheries Policy and other regimes, and yet we will no longer have any say at all on what the EU does or legislates for.
We would like your opinions, please, on the following slogan.
STAY, PAY, & NO SAY?
NO WAY, MRS MAY
© Brexit Facts4EU.Org
In as few words as possible we have tried to encapsulate the essence of what the PM seems prepared to sign up to.
Your thoughts?
       11.00am, 15 Apr 2018
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Name: Chris, Devizes, UK      Date/Time: 16 Apr 2018, 2.38pm
Message: Replying to John Finn [below]. If we get to Mar 2019 and the deal has been rejected, then we are out, whatever Parliament decides, but only if we have a pro-Brexit PM. That's how Article 50 works. In reality, Remainer May would apply for an extension to drag the process out. WTO tariffs would be fine, and industry would have to live with it. Don't believe all the (Remain sponsored) bluster. Currently, 60% of our trade is under WTO, and we export more to the US than any other country, despite WTO tariffs and associated paperwork. I think the British people are still committed to Brexit, but they are sick of May's incompetence and treachery. Many lifelong Tory voters like me, will not vote for them if May is still in charge at the next election. That's why I think they could lose, along with the fact that Corbyn will offer the same £27k bribe to every student, as he did last time. Regarding the NI issue (and Gibraltar) a strong leader would have refused to accept either in the Phase 1 document. (Actually, she did refuse, but lied about it in the House). But as it stands, those issues will now be used as a weapon to force May to accept a dreadful deal, and one far, far worse than No Deal.
Name: John Finn, Coventry, UK      Date/Time: 16 Apr 2018, 10.19.pm
Message: Replying to Chris from Devizes [below]. If parliament reject the final deal with the EU- we won't just leave. Not a chance. Don't fall into the trap of thinking that. Between parliament, the HoL and various other influential groups we'll be trapped indefinitely (with the co-operation of the EU). TARIFFS: The WTO option is not just about tariffs. It's about non-tariff barriers and supply chains (particularly for 'Just In Time' components). FISHING: I have great respect for our fishermen but we need to face up to the fact that the fishing industry represents only a tiny, tiny fraction of the UK economy. VOTE OF CONFIDENCE: You say that the Tories would 'probably lose' a general election if May lost a vote of confidence. This suggests that you think the UK electorate is not that committed to Brexit. I agree - they are not. For many Labour Leave voters a Corbyn government is a far bigger priority. Brexit is a secondary issue. Finally, May hasn't given up anything YET because 'nothing is agreed until everything is agreed'. The NI border issue is being used by the EU - not May. That would have happened whoever had led negotiations. As far as the money is concerned, I don't think it's unreasonable to make some contribution to commitments we made as members. Tell you what, though, Chris. Now that I've read a lot of the irresponsible nonsense put out by some Leave groups, you want to hope there is no second referendum in the near future because I'm convinced Remain would win next time around.
Name: Chris, Devizes, UK      Date/Time: 16 Apr 2018, 2.38pm
Message: Replying to John Finn [below]. I have been following events closely, and a strong leader would make a huge difference. The only substantial thing which Parliament can do is vote to accept or reject the final deal. If they reject it, we leave anyway March 2019, but on WTO terms. There is no going back 'tail between legs' involved. A pro-Brexit leader would be happy with either outcome, but WTO would be fine because the Government could use the tariffs for general tax cuts (Eg. VAT or corporation tax). It is true that the Soubryites could gang up with Labour to force a 'No Confidence' vote, but that would just lead to a General Election, which the Tories would probably lose. All May has to do is stand up to the blackmailers. Once they realise that they will likely be thrown out of office, they will back down, and Soubry will shut up for good. But that would take guts and leadership, neither of which May has. As for the comment that May hasn't given up anything, that beggars belief. What planet are you on? She has trashed our fishing industry, she has effectively initiated a united Ireland, and probably lost Gibraltar. She lied to Parliament (twice) and is now committed to paying £40bn for nothing, which is probably illegal.
Name: John Finn, Coventry, UK      Date/Time: 16 Apr 2018, 10.35am
Message: Replying to Chris from Devizes [below]. I don't think you've been following events. There will be a vote in parliament on the final deal. This isn't to insist on a much tougher line with the EU - it's to water down and, if possible, sabotage any deal as much as possible. May will have done well if we leave without being members of 'the' or 'a' Customs union. It's going to be a constant struggle for the government over the next 12 months and beyond. It doesn't matter how strong a leader might be if the support and backing isn't there leadership qualities are irrelevant. JRM is already beginning to realise this. Regarding the 'concessions', it's been easy for the EU so far because the EU27 were united on most of the early issues, e.g. get as much money as possible, rights for EU citizens etc but the next stage will be more difficult for them because as you infer different member states will have different requirements. May hasn't actually given up anything. The UK have basically laid out their side of the offer which they think will be sufficient to secure a satisfactory final deal. But what have we actually given up? Do you not think we would have guaranteed rights to EU citizens living in the UK? The £40 billion is simply payment for the 2 year transition plus commitments we'd already signed for while EU members. While perhaps not legally enforceable, it's not unreasonable to pay something. On the Transition period, this was VITAL to major manufacturers in this country. Investment decisions were made on the understanding that there would be NO disruption to trade with EU countries. Oh, and by the way, I VOTED TO LEAVE - so did all my family and most of my friends. However, if you think 17.4 million people voted for a headlong leap into the dark you are very much mistaken and, quite frankly, I am getting a bit tired of the silly 'Remoaner' accusations just because I disagree with the irresponsible approach advocated by Facts4EU and its fanbase.
Name: Chris, Devizes, UK      Date/Time: 15 Apr 2018, 4.43pm
Message: Replying to John Finn [below]. So far, May has agreed to every single one of the EU's demands, and offered £40bn, and got nothing in return. To suggest that this is the best that any PM could achieve is utterly absurd. Only a Remoaner would come out with such garbage. Strong leadership and a tough negotiating stance does not require either Parliamentary approval or legislation. May had two massively strong cards she could have played: 1.) Withdraw all security and military support, and 2.) Refuse to pay anything other than the annual budget contributions. But she didn't, she surrendered both. If she had stood her ground, the EU would have eventually had to back down. Why? Because the German car industry is sh** scared of losing its biggest export market (even bigger than the US).
Name: John Finn, Coventry, UK      Date/Time: 15 Apr 2018, 1.29pm
Message: My thoughts on this haven't changed since 2017 election. May is going as far as she can while keeping parliament just about onside. All the hot air coming from the likes of Facts4EU and Leave.eu is irrelevant. It doesn't matter who is leading the negotiations, a hard line, no deal approach will be unacceptable to Labour, the Lib Dems, the SNP and a handful of Tories and the JRM or whoever would, tail between legs, be forced back to the negotiating table - even weaker than before. Many of pro-Brexiters have cheered the decisions by Nissan, Toyota to continue to invest in the UK. They have done so because they have been given assurances about minimal disruption to trade with the EU. It's delusional to think that Theresa May can plot any other course than the one she is currently on. You are being totally unrealistic and impractical. Over the coming 3 to 5 years we will be fully out of the EU. That's as good as we can expect. The alternative is a collapse of the government and continued membership of the EU.
Name: Janice Atkinson MEP, Brussels      Date/Time: 15 Apr 2018, 1.15pm
Message: I support this campaign
Name: Chris, Devizes, UK      Date/Time: 15 Apr 2018, 12.49pm
Message: As a Remainer, it is clear she is intent on effectively keeping us in the EU. I am convinced that the entire negotiation process has been a choreographed charade right from the start, probably including the botched 2017 election. That election made no sense on any level, particularly as she alienated her core vote (older people) over the social care issue, although I think the real intention was to REDUCE her majority, not eliminate it. Barnier has recently said that he expects the UK to cave in over Gibraltar, and he is almost certainly right. She will hand over full sovereignty to the Spanish - Just wait and see. She should be charged with treason.
 WHO READS US AND WHY
PLUS, WHERE DO WE GET OUR FACTS?
A BREXIT FACTS4EU.ORG SUNDAY EDITORIAL
(The piece following this is one of our normal factual articles, don't worry!)
We gain significant numbers of new readers every day, despite having been publishing for years, so we thought we'd write directly to you for a change.
Before the Referendum we had been churning out facts designed to give ordinary people who were campaigning for Brexit some ammunition to use on the doorstep.
Our work was picked up and used by campaigners from the north of Scotland down to the west of Cornwall. Some people were kind enough to say they’d converted our work into leaflets which they used in preference to those of Vote Leave. Many of our pieces of research also made it into national newspapers.
SO WHO READS US AND WHY?
Apart from ordinary members of the British public, we’re read by members of the House of Lords, former ministers and MPs, MEPs, members of the devolved assemblies, and councillors. Various members of the mainstream press visit our site regularly, as do other Brexit groups.
Overseas we number senators and think tanks among our readership, and of course we’re read in Brussels.
We may not have the readership of the Daily Mail but our readers pack a punch when it comes to influence.
WHERE DO WE GET OUR FACTS?
In short, this is down to long, hard research. Our principal sources are official EU documents and databases such as Eurostat (the EU equivalent of the UK’s Office of National Statistics), the Eur-Lex legal library, and others. We also access the national statistics services of the other EU27 countries.
We mostly use official EU information because then Remainers can’t refute it. Our other sources include the national governments of member states of the EU for nation-specific articles, as well as international sources such as the UN, IMF, World Bank, OECD and others.
What we do NOT do is just read the newspapers and simply re-hash other people’s work. We read widely but we do our own research, which is why the vast majority of what you see on our site simply isn’t available elsewhere.
TO POLITICIANS AND JOURNALISTS
We have the confidence of some very significant politicians, who know they can always speak to our editor in confidence and off the record, knowing that nothing said will go any further. We’re also fortunate enough to have been given on the record interviews with some very interesting people.
If you are a politician or journalist and would like to have a chat sometime, you would be most welcome. We adopt a party-neutral stance and our interest is in seeing a full, clean Brexit delivered as quickly as possible. We can’t pay for articles because we have no money (see below) but we love receiving them.
Finally, we always welcome politicians to comment on our work, so that we can include these within the main body of the article on the site, and we also welcome new articles or offers of interviews. You can contact us here.
WHO FUNDS OUR WORK?
It would be wonderful to have the kind of funding that seems to be readily available to Remoaners, such as the £800,000 that Mr Soros has just given to the anti-Brexit ‘Best for Britain’, but alas we don’t have anything like that. We rely on members of the public giving small donations, we have second jobs, and it really is a subsistence existence.
We are – in a sense – for sale, in that we would happily talk to anyone about working for them. If you want the best Brexit research and news service out there, look no further! We’re very tired of working hand to mouth and only being able to publish a tenth of what we could produce.
Provided you want a full, clean Brexit, we’re all yours! Another alternative would be to employ our editor and/or others part-time on contract.
In short, we badly need a regular source of income which can be topped up by kind donations from our readers.
FINALLY, ABOUT US
You won’t see us on television. None of us are aspiring politicians, nor are we in this for recognition of any kind. Most of us have a business background, which is why we can write with some authority on matters like negotiating strategies, international trade, and money. We also have significant experience living and working in EU countries, as well as the wider world out there.
We believe we’ve been providing an invaluable service to the cause of a true Brexit. Thank you to all those who have been kind enough to write to encourage us each day. We will keep going for as long as we can.
       10.00am, 15 Apr 2018
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Name: Simon, Bristol, UK      Date/Time: 17 Apr 2018, 12.25pm
Message: Hi, I'm one of your readers who's just an ordinary member of the public. I'm a student and I find your articles a great source of information for when I'm arguing with friends about Brexit. They don't have any answers to my questions about sticking with eu membership and when they make stupid claims about Brexit I've got the facts to shut them up thanks to your site. I haven't got any money for a donation so I wanted to say cheers anyway.
 THE EU AND THE MISSING €19 BILLION PER YEAR
ONLY 86.7% OF EU 2016 BUDGET
WAS ALLOCATED TO MEMBER STATES
WHERE DID THE REST GO?
Brexit Facts4EU.Org has been looking at the EU’s finances from an overall perspective. We frequently bring you analyses of particular issues but it’s easy to get caught up in the thousands of EU funds and ‘projects’ and lose sight of the wider picture.
Here we present you with a basic fact that you will never get from the BBC, or from any of the other pro-Remain media organisations in the country.
BREXIT FACTS4EU.ORG SUMMARY
In the EU’s last set of accounts (for 2016):-
  • Only 86.7% of EU expenditure could be allocated to individual member states
  • The rest (approx €19bn) went to the EU’s global pretensions and to its own admin costs
© Facts4EU.Org 2018
We looked at the EU’s official accounts for 2016, at both the budgetary allocations and what was actually spent.
THE BANKS OF GERMANY AND THE UNITED KINGDOM
Where the money goes is of course highly relevant to the 9 member states who actually make a net payment to the EU. The UK is the second-largest of these ‘net contributors’ after Germany, and these two countries effectively subsidise a large proportion of the EU’s activities.
WHERE DID THE MISSING €19 BILLION IN 2016 GO?
There are two main areas: ‘Global Europe’ and Brussels Administration.
These break down as follows:
  • ‘Global Europe’ - €10.2 billion
  • EU administration – 8.9 billion
  • TOTAL - €19.1 BILLION
[NOTE: Far more was actually spent outside the EU than on 'Global Europe', but these sums do not appear in the EU's annual budget. The EU has created separate and additional funds in order to make the picture look better than it is. Could you help by sponsoring us to produce an article on this today? Anonymously or you will appear as the article's sponsor, it's your choice. See below for options.]
This €19.1 billion represents over 13.3% of the EU’s voted annual budget for 2016.
And what about this year? In 2018, €20 billion euros of EU spending will not be allocated to any of the 28 member states of the EU. Looking at the budget allocations for 2019 and 2020, this is set to rise still further.
WHAT IS ‘GLOBAL EUROPE’?
This used to be referred to as ‘The EU in a Global World’ and other such phrases. Now it’s ‘Global Europe’, as the EU never was lacking in pretensions to its own importance.
The EU describes this part of its spending thus:
“Global Europe covers all external action (or foreign policy) carried out by the EU. It includes the enlargement process, development assistance, humanitarian aid and response to crises, with the exception of development cooperation with the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries as well as overseas countries and territories of the EU, for which the EDF provides aid.”
IT GETS WORSE
The above figures relate only to the EU’s official annual budget, not to all its activities outside the EU. We will go into the detail of this in another article coming shortly. For the moment we would simply draw your attention to the fact that it does not cover all of the EU’s spending outside the EU and that huge additional sums are also paid through other vehicles.
In other words, the picture is in fact worse that the figures in this article suggest.
OBSERVATIONS
EXTERNAL SPENDING
Taxpayers probably assume that the vast bulk of the money they give to the EU via their governments – specifically those taxpayers who are resident in net contributor countries such as the UK – is spent in the EU.
It may therefore come as a surprise to many that only 86.7% is spent in ways attributable to EU member states. The fact that €10 billion of the EU’s basic annual budget is spent outside the EU will come as a surprise to many.
In the UK there is currently a hot debate about the 0.7% of GDP which the UK spends on foreign aid. The €10 billion per year being spent by the EU outside its borders amounts to 7% of the total income it receives.
ADMINISTRATION
When it comes to the EU administration in Brussels, Strasbourg, Luxembourg and elsewhere, and the cost of funding all those salaries, pensions, limos, wine cellars and the rest, Remoaners may think that almost €9 billion in a year is a bargain. Funnily enough, we don’t.
IMPLICATIONS FOR BREXIT
It's a sad fact that for decades the BBC and other media organisations have been missing in action when it comes to informing the British public about the true nature of the EU.
It is only by constantly researching and highlighting facts like those above that the British people will come to realise the true extent of the deception that has been perpetrated on them for so long. This in turn will help to increase the pressure on Mrs May to reject the absurd deal she has already agreed to and instead start to deal with them far more professionally and robustly.
Please help to keep us going if you can, with a donation – no matter how small.
ABOUT THE DATA
Our standard caveat: We have to say that there are so many EU funds – those included in the annual EU budget contributions and those which are not but into which member states like the UK have to pay – that it’s sometimes difficult to decide which numbers to present to you.
This really is not down to us. Even in one official EU document it’s possible to find numerous totals where the individual items do not add up, and where a description such as “total payments for the year” are recorded several times as different figures in the same document.
That said, what you see above uses official EU figures and is as accurate as we can make it. In any event the sums are so huge that any small disparities are in the nature of rounding errors.
[ Sources: EU 2016 accounts and dozens of other official EU Commission documents | Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual. ]
       07.30am, 15 Apr 2018
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“OH NO...”
“I knew I forgot something.”
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those poor, hardworking people at Facts4EU.Org”
 
Alas none of us are hedge fund managers... or married to one. The Team (and one member in particular) has donated as much as it can. Can you please help fund our work?
Unlike many Brexit websites, we do our own research, write our own content, and create our own graphs.
Unfortunately we barely make it from one week to the next and we rely 100% on voluntary contributions.
We really could use your help in working for a clean and true Brexit.

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       Best regards, the Facts4EU.Org Team, 2018
 WHO HAVE BEEN THE NAUGHTY BOYS & GIRLS?
                                    © CJEU
BREXIT FACTS4EU.ORG SUMMARY
In Jean-Claude Juncker's tiny home state of Luxembourg, the most-respected legal system in world (British) is represented by just one person in this group photo of the most powerful court in the EU.
THE EU COURT’S ROLL OF SHAME
FOR BREAKING TREATY OBLIGATIONS IN 2016
Germany and Greece faced the most actions in 2016 at the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) for failing to fulfil their obligations. Together they accounted for over 45% of all these cases.
It is often thought by the British public that the United Kingdom generally 'plays by the rules' in the EU, whereas other member states are more inclined to act in their own interests.
Brexit Facts4EU.Org decided to investigate by looking at claims lodged at the Court of Justice of the European Union, or CJEU.
This court used to be known as the ECJ or European Court of Justice but its name was changed recently. Possibly the Justices were not comfortable continuing to pretend to be a Court of the whole continent of Europe, although this doesn't seem to bother the ‘European’ Council, the ‘European’ Commission, or the ‘European’ Parliament. This is precisely why we always replace ‘European’ with ‘EU’ each time we refer to them.
There are in fact several courts at the CJEU who see a wide variety of cases each year. We confined ourselves to looking at cases in the main court where a member state was alleged to have broken its obligations, as these might be seen to be more serious.
© Facts4EU.Org 2018
In 2016 there were 270 hearings, with 93,215 documents being lodged with the Registry. At the end of the year 872 cases were outstanding from 2016 and from previous years.
From the UK there were 612 cases which were referred to the CJEU. These are cases where, in effect, the UK's Supreme Court is not the supreme court in the land and where the EU's Court takes over.
In terms of cases against member states for breaking their obligations, as you can see the UK barely figures despite it being the second-largest country.
The CJEU buildings in tiny Luxembourg                                    © CJEU
OBSERVATIONS
In principle, were the UK to become an independent country - as was decided by the British people on June 23rd 2016 - then the United Kingdom's Supreme Court and other courts should not refer anything to the Luxembourg-based court of the EU. The reality, sadly, is that the status quo will be maintained during Theresa May's Transition Period, if she is allowed to go ahead with this.
What is even worse is that Mrs May seems intent on a course which will see her capitulating to yet more demands from the EU for cases against the UK to continue to be heard in Luxembourg, even after the end of the Transition Period.
This element of Mrs May's 'deal' with the EU is just one of many which leaves any reasonably-minded person with the only conclusion possible: that the United Kingdom can not in any way be said to be leaving the EU on 29th March next year. A country which is not in sole charge of its justice system is not an independent country.
The area of laws and legal process is just one of the reasons we will continue to fight against the government's absurd and wholly unacceptable withdrawal and transition agreement.
[ Sources: Court of Justice of the European Union Annual Report 2016 | Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual. ]
       06.30am, 14 Apr 2018
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 OFFICIAL: 2 MILLION ENTERED GERMANY IN 2015
                                    © unknown
10 MILLION IN 10 YEARS
Germany is the largest economy in the EU and when the UK leaves Germany will inevitably be forced to pick up part of the missing billions.
Between them, Germany and the UK are by far the two biggest net contributors to the EU’s coffers. It is therefore relevant to look at the prospects of Germany, as it will prop up the entire EU to an even greater extent than it does already.
One aspect of the prospects for that country that is now sometimes allowed to be mentioned – but which is little understood – is the dramatic demographic changes that have taken place in recent years. Few news organisations know the details and could ask or answer even simple questions.
Brexit Facts4EU.Org has been painstakingly trawling the files of Germany’s version of the Office for National Statistics, called Destatis. Below we bring you three charts we've created which help to highlight the time-fuse which is fizzling under the German economy.
1. HOW MANY MIGRANTS ENTERED GERMANY IN THE LAST 10 YEARS?
BREXIT FACTS4EU.ORG SUMMARY
  • In the last 10 years, 10.4m foreigners have arrived in Germany
  • Half of these (5 million) came in just the 3 years from 2014-2016
  • Over 2 million entered in 2015 alone
© Facts4EU.Org 2018
Naturally many people left too, but here we’re looking at arrivals because a country has to accommodate and deal with a large increase in its population, even if others are leaving. This is particularly true when it comes to the kind of migrants who have recently arrived in Germany, who need total all-round help in most cases.
2. HOW MANY MIGRANTS ARE GETTING ASYLUM BENEFITS?
At this point we will point out that no EU country we have ever investigated has ever published what we consider to be reliable figures in respect of immigration. We have frequently seen supposedly official figures, only to see them revised upwards dramatically (but quietly) a few months later.
What follows are the official figures from the German government, and even these are shocking enough.
© Facts4EU.Org 2018
As you can see, in the last year for which figures are available (2016), 728,000 migrants were receiving the standard asylum benefit. Please note that this does not include all the myriad of other benefits up to and including special education assistance.
We tried in vain to get accurate figures for the cost of migrants in terms of accommodation, subsistence, education, health, etc, but the nearest we got were figures relating back to 2009, before the worst effects of Mrs Merkel’s “All welcome here” announcement in 2015.
3. ‘PERSONS SEEKING PROTECTION’
Finally we looked at ‘Persons seeking protection’, as another gauge of the size of the problem now facing Germany. This has seen a remarkable increase in the last 4 years. At the end of 2016 it stood at 1.6m people.
© Facts4EU.Org 2018
OBSERVATIONS
No-one should ever underestimate the ability of the German people to rise to a challenge. When the Berlin wall fell, many commentators could not predict the remarkable absorption of so many (relatively) poor East Germans into a wider Germany, in such a relatively short time period. The German economy is still feeling the effects but you have to admire the resilience and strength of the German people.
That said, the migrants who have entered Germany in recent years are very different from the 16 million new citizens that West Germany welcomed when it became united with its eastern neighbour in 1990.
The absurd hate speech laws under which we all now live prevent us from explaining exactly why the problem is so different now. We can only say that the new residents are different. Suffice it to say that the difficulties and costs lying ahead for Germany are starting to present it with a challenge way beyond that which it faced in the 1990s.
RELEVANCE FOR BREXIT
With so few EU countries being net contributors into the EU budget the loss of the EU’s second-largest paymaster will be devastating. This is partly why the EU has worked so hard to extract every last promise of money from Theresa May that it can possibly get.
It matters not that the money they are demanding has no basis in law. They need it, and Theresa May is – frankly - a pushover.
When it comes to the Germans, the people were already resenting the vast amount of money given by the country each year to subsidise the EU. In the last few years they have also come to realise the consequences of their Chancellor’s ridiculous and profoundly damaging decision in 2015 to overturn EU law and allow all migrants into Germany.
This goes a long way to explaining why the right-wing Alternativ für Deutschland party is now the main opposition party in the Bundestag. In fact it has even increased in popularity since the elections in September last year.
When Germany realised its catastrophic mistake over opening its borders, cleverly Frau Merkel managed to bribe President Erdogan of Turkey with €6 billion of EU taxpayers’ money, to stop the flow of migrants. This money was in addition to the usual EU annual budget, and so the UK’s huge contribution is never shown on the BBC as being part of the cost of EU membership.
In 2016 the EU Commission put the cost of each migrant at €250,000 per person. On that basis Germany is looking at a total cost of hundreds of billions of euros.
The EU is faced with a large number of major challenges and very little in the garden is now rosy. Understanding a little of what Germany is facing is an important part of understanding the ‘More, more, more’ culture of EU Brexit negotiations.
This is where we really do once again need a leader capable of saying “No, no, no” as Margaret Thatcher did in 1990 - the same year that West and East Germany unified.
[ Sources: Official German gov't statistics (Destatis) | Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual. ]
       05.50am, 13 Apr 2018
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Name: Patrick H, London      Date/Time: 13 Apr 2018, 1.15pm
Message: Reality check Germany: Having just returned from a three week trip to Germany (Family, friends and colleagues), I can testify to the huge disgruntlement of many Germans with regards to; the Political situation (very unhappy with Merkel); EU's handling of problems; Germany's EU financial contributions and obligations; the migration issue (very unhappy with migrants gaining free access to everything, at Germany's expense); significant increase in crime; insecurity regarding terrorist activities; increase in taxes; deteriorating roads; insidious and draconian personal censorship(smacks of DDR?); the list is growing and Germans are at last speaking out! An interesting point regarding Pensioners: Pensioners continue to pay 11% monthly tax on their Pensionable income for their healthcare (NHS), plus additional taxes, bringing up the monthly cost from their Pensions to circa 19%. Therefore, an average Pensioner with a monthly state pension of €1000 will pay 19% state tax (€190; Net €810 pension income. Additionally, pensioners are required to pay for their Doctor prescriptions @ €5 per item. (Typically, aged pensioners pay €25 per month for their prescriptions). With this drip, drip, cost increase, Germans are slowly realizing Merkel's madness is costing them dearly! Regardless of what the controlled German mass media is saying, Germany is becoming a powder keg of discontent. The AfD is exploiting this situation very effectively! Three years on from the "2015 Welcome", every German I spoke to, had a negative thing to say about the continuing migration issues and the political shenanigans constructed by Merkel! It seems the "welcome" is no longer appreciated!

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 ONE RULE FOR THE UK,
ONE RULE FOR THE EU27
BARNIER MAKES MORE EXTRAORDINARY & CONTRADICTORY DEMANDS
In a speech in the EU Parliament building in Brussels on Tuesday, the EU’s Chief Negotiator launched into a new set of demands for the UK, in order to have a free trade deal.
His speech was entitled:
“Is Brexit a threat to the future of the EU's environment?”
"LEVEL PLAYING FIELD"
The key message of the speech was that the UK must adhere strictly to EU standards - a "level playing field" - if it wants a free trade deal with the EU.
We will present the facts of what he said, and then we will give you our analysis in ‘Observations’ below. Here is the text of his speech.
And here is a key excerpt:-
“There was, and there is, a third question, which in my view is quite relevant for our debate today: does the UK want to stay close to the European regulatory model or to distance itself from it?
“This is an important decision because the European regulatory framework is underpinned by key choices that are dear to us: our social market economy, health protection, food security, fair and effective financial regulation, and high levels of environmental protection.
“There will be no ambitious partnership without common ground on fair competition, State aid, guarantees against tax dumping and social standards and, not least, environmental standards.”
OBSERVATIONS
For the last year it has been clear that the EU is scared of a highly competitive UK flourishing after Brext and thereby sending all the wrong messages to EU member states who are unhappy with the way the EU is going. The EU is terrified of ‘Brexit contagion’.
If the UK survives and flourishes after Brexit, the ‘magic spell’ is broken: that there is no life outside the EU.
In this particular speech Barnier focused on the environment, because that’s an easy sell to the ordinary people of the EU27 countries. (Yes, the EU really does think we’re all stupid.) They think no-one is going to argue if the EU demands that the UK should not become an environmental hazard to the rest of the EU. The fact that this is a ludicrous idea from its first utterance does not matter.
The key thing here is how the EU is asserting itself even more than it already has, as a result of Theresa May’s complete and abject surrender on everything the EU has demanded thus far.
It’s very clear that the EU wants to tie the UK into an agreement that will not allow it to behave like a normal independent country. A country outside the EU should be able to make its own decisions about almost everything. That was one of the main points about leaving the straitjacket that is the EU.
If Mrs May is going to sign the country up to most of the EU’s rules, this cannot be described as being ‘Brexit’ in any way, shape or form.
HOW THE BRITISH MEDIA UNDERMINES BREXIT
In its press release about Monsieur Barnier’s speech, the EU took the bizarre step of linking to an article from The Guardian newspaper as its source for one piece of information. This was the only link in the entire piece.
Monsieur Barnier relied on The Guardian as his authority for the following statement:
“As recently noted in the UK press, across the full range of issues – air and water pollution, habitats and species protection, waste management and recycling, energy efficiency, carbon emissions and energy policy – it is EU regulation that sets high standards of protection.
We have news for the EU. It would not be wise to use a source that is only read by the BBC News staff and members of the Hampstead elite as its source for information.
In case readers are interested, here is the Guardian article.
THE EU’S HYPOCRISY IN TALKING OF A “LEVEL PLAYING FIELD”
Overall, Barnier was enforcing a new rule yesterday. If the UK, (on its knees as it should be of course), comes begging for a trade deal with the EU, it will have to obey all the EU’s existing and future standards, rules and regulations.
In the next article we give just one example of the outright hypocrisy of the EU trying to control what the UK does and doesn’t do after Brexit. Specifically we cite an example from the EU’s own statistical agency which demonstrates that no-one in the EU is currently working on the “level playing field” stipulated by Monsieur Barnier.
[ Sources: EU Commission | Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual. ]
       07.15am, 12 Apr 2018
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Name: SibeliusFan, West Midlands      Date/Time: 12 Apr 2018, 9.50pm
Message: Monsieur Barnier: "There will be no ambitious partnership without common ground on.... State aid." Hmm. Is the Labour Party really OK with this? I'm pretty sure Jeremy Corbyn himself isn't.
Name: Shieldsman, Surrey      Date/Time: 12 Apr 2018, 10.02am
Message: Both Lufthansa and Air France are currently affected by strikes of the ground staff unions. Is this the 'level playing field' that Barnier so wants!!! In Civil Aviation when we leave the EU we will become a Third Country. No longer part of the Community and subject to its rules. But Barnier wants his cake, he wants to keep us subject to 'EU acquis' and ECJ. The referendum vote was to leave all that behind.
Please send us your comments and we will publish them here. You can of course use a pseudonym if you prefer, and it's always nice to know roughly where you're writing from. Please always state the headline of the article you're commenting on.

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 THE EU’S NEW DEMAND:
“LEVEL PLAYING FIELD”
On the day before Michel Barnier delivered his lecture to the UK about sticking to EU rules and regulations after Brexit – a so-called “level playing field” - the EU’s statistical agency released its latest figures for labour costs in the EU28.
Brexit Facts4EU.Org has analysed the figures and they clearly show that there continues to be an enormous disparity across the EU, despite all its attempts at ‘harmonisation’.
BREXIT FACTS4EU.ORG SUMMARY
  • Huge variations in hourly wage costs in each country across EU
  • Huge variations in extra costs of employing someone (eg employers’ N.I. conts)
  • There is no “level playing field” across EU
1. AVERAGE HOURLY WAGE/SALARY COSTS
Wage and salary costs include direct remunerations, bonuses, and allowances paid by an employer in cash or in kind to an employee in return for work done, payments to employees saving schemes, payments for days not worked and remunerations in kind such as food, drink, fuel, company cars, etc.
© Facts4EU.Org 2018
As you can see above, there is an enormous difference between the average hourly wage costs in Denmark compared to Bulgaria. Even the UK’s average rate of €21.30 is over 5 times that of Bulgaria’s.
2. THE EXTRA, NON-WAGE COSTS OF EMPLOYING PEOPLE
When companies employ people they not only have to count the cost of the actual wages they pay, but also the non-wage costs such as employers’ social security contributions (Employers’ N.I.). In effect these are taxes on employment and are not something that encourages businesses to employ more people.
© Facts4EU.Org 2018
As you can see above, not only do actual average wages vary hugely across the EU, so do the extra (generally government) costs of employing someone. The above is a measure of how a country can gain competitive advantage. The lower the figure the better. Whilst wage costs are a significant factor in deciding where to place a business, so are the additional costs of employing people.
© Facts4EU.Org 2018
The UK’s ‘tax on employment’ works out at €4.40 per hour, which is over 2.5 times that of France. If you are a French company considering taking on an extra member of staff, you are looking at paying the French government a staggering 49% extra, on top of the wages of the new employee. This means that almost a third (32.8%) of the cost of employing a new worker in France goes to the state.
3. OVERALL AVERAGE HOURLY LABOUR COSTS
Total Labour Costs cover wage and non-wage costs less subsidies and not including recruitment costs and some minor items. This is the sum of our first two charts above – wage and non-wage costs. The chart below shows the average hourly cost for each EU member state.
© Facts4EU.Org 2018
FINALLY, COMPARED TO THIS UNEVEN PLAYING FIELD ANNOUNCED BY EUROSTAT, WHAT DID BARNIER DEMAND OF THE UK THE FOLLOWING DAY?
Here is a key part of Barnier’s speech:
“There will be no ambitious partnership without common ground on fair competition, State aid, guarantees against tax dumping and social standards and, not least, environmental standards.”
OBSERVATIONS
So that’s clear. Faced with a Theresa May who has so far given in to everything, the EU is pushing the envelope. Effectively the EU now wants the UK to agree to obey all the EU’s rules if it wants a trade deal. This will include all standards for social, financial, taxation, health, agricultural and food, and environmental matters.
SO IS THERE A LEVEL PLAYING FIELD IN THE EU?
The short answer is simply to laugh. It would be easier to cite all the examples of the brutally uneven playing field that has existed for the last 45 years, than it would be to give examples of where each country was the same, and was treated the same.
The example we have given above comes from Eurostat, the EU’s official statistics agency – their equivalent of the UK’s Office for National Statistics. We used it because it reported these figures just 24 hours before Monsieur Barnier stood up in Brussels to lecture the UK and demand that it follows EU rules and regulations to ensure “a level playing field”.
Does Barnier have any understanding at all of the concept of competition? Between countries there is – or should be - a healthy impulse to gain competitive advantages in the world market. This may involve a more competitive tax regime, a more secure legal environment, a raft of government initiatives designed to encourage business, employment laws which provide a flexible workforce, and much more besides.
The EU would very much like to take control of all of these things from its member states. Indeed a proposal continues to advance through the labyrinthine and slow-moving corridors of Brussels which will mean the ‘harmonisation’ of corporate tax rates across the EU. Currently member states are able to set their own rates and countries such as Ireland have effectively become tax havens, to the detriment of other members.
The EU would like to produce a level playing field for business across the EU because its plan is to turn the 27 remaining members of the EU into one giant superstate. To do so it moves inexorably as fast as it can to ‘harmonise’ everything. In an extraordinary move, the EU now wants the UK to sign up to this process. It is as if they simply can’t get their heads around the fact that the UK has voted for full independence.
Our answer to this latest demand is an emphatic no. We would simply laugh it out of the ballpark (as Barnier seems fond of sporting metaphors right now). We’d reject it instantly as a joke. It would never be given any consideration in negotiation meetings.
The problem is that we would have treated so many of the EU’s demands in the same way – with a merry chuckle to their faces when the EU first tried it on. “On yer bicyclette Michel,” we would have quipped.
Had we been doing the negotiations instead of the British government, and had we taken this approach, the EU would not have been surprised. They might even have said “well, you can’t blame us for trying.” Unfortunately the British government has taken all of the absurd ‘demands’ from the EU – most of which we’re sure they never thought they would get in a month of Sundays – and Mrs May has acquiesced completely.
MESSAGE TO MONSIEUR BARNIER
Michel, your dysfunctional mess of a supposed ‘Union’ of states are so far away from each other on so many levels, it’s not even a question of a level playing field. It’s more a question of whether any of your member states are even playing the same game.
Get your own house in order, please, before you annoy us with a silly demand again.
[ Sources: Eurostat | Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual. ]
       07.20am, 12 Apr 2018
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Name: Patrick H, London      Date/Time: 12 Apr 2018, 5.32pm
Message: No brainer: This is precisely why my USA/French company brought in American/UK/other non-EU personnel into the workplace on long-term secondments; to avoid the horrendous French company taxes.... No wonder France is worried about Brexit and is most certainly lobbying hard in Brussels to stop Brexit or at least make the UK very uncompetitive!
Name: Not4EU, UK      Date/Time: 12 Apr 2018, 11.07am
Message: With remainers 'negotiating' our exit this comes as no surprise. We need to walk away. What is being 'negotiated' is not a relationship of an independent country with a political construct, but an overt surrender of everything that independence means by those that disagree with the democratic decision. Walk away & no 'transition', which will be de facto vassal state/colony status & a continuing state. They are lying that companies need 'more time' to prepare. I quote from a top 5 blue-chip company communication just received (emphasis is mine) "...as Brexit negotiations progress. We will of course be monitoring those negotiations closely, and [company name removed] will be prepared whatever the outcome. Transition is no more than a delaying tactic to then reverse our decision. It also lends credence to EU claims that they can continue operating in the same way 'after' we have left, which we will not have done. No deal. No transition. Clean & proper exit.
Name: Brexiteer, Braintree, Essex      Date/Time: 12 Apr 2018, 09.51am
Message: The UK reaction should be: "jog on". Barnier admits the EU are going to impose more stringent rules for a trade deal with the UK, than any trade deal they have done with anyone else. Just forget it, the UK market is very important to the remaining EU 27 countries, the German economy is slowing 0.1% growth last quarter, the Euroland figures are slowing as well. If you lose your biggest export market those figures are not going to improve. Just wait for the realisation, and reaction from other countries as their economies tank, because of the European Commission's negotiator. We do not need a deal at any price, especially not that price.
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 FOREIGN BILLIONAIRE
SPLASHES £800,000
TO OVERTURN BREXIT
                                    © Harald Dettenborn
Yesterday it was disclosed that a foreign billionaire has given a total of £800,000 to a UK campaign group which is committed to overturning the Brexit vote.
US-based billionaire George Soros has donated an additional £400,000, on top of the £400,000 he had already donated, to the UK anti-Brexit group ‘Best for Britain’.
Using his ‘Open Society Foundations’, Soros is backing the pro-Remain group whose goal is "fighting to keep the door open to EU membership".
Previously Soros had given £400,000 to the group, which launched last year. The group then held a crowdfunding exercise to raise a further £100,000 which Soros agreed to match. Since then however, the news site BuzzFeed has reported exclusively that Soros has increased his funding by a further £300,000.
This brings the total financial backing for interference in the democratic affairs of the UK by this foreign billionaire to £800,000.
Patrick Gaspard, president of the Open Society Foundations, told BuzzFeed News: “The Open Society Foundations believe that British citizens have a right to know whether the UK’s democratic process was undermined during the referendum vote. We are therefore backing Best for Britain’s call for an investigation into the matter and donating a further £400,000 to their campaign for a meaningful vote on the final Brexit proposal.”
We would like to bring you information from the ‘Best for Britain’ website, but this is what we got when we tried to access it during the night:
'Best For Britain' website                                    
OBSERVATIONS
If someone donated £800,000 to us it would be a very big deal. It would allow us to increase our resources massively and bring you a huge increase in output, letting you know what was really going on with Brexit. Currently we barely scratch the surface.
Crucially it would enable us to extend our readership and reach the very wide audience out there that is not being served by the BBC and other news outlets. We would also be able to increase our penetration of the political world when it comes to campaigning for parliament to do the right thing.
We already make an impact, with readership that includes politicians in the UK and internationally, as well as the pro-Brexit readers who get the ammunition they need in the form of hard facts with which to counter all the anti-Brexit (and anti-British) propaganda they see on a daily basis.
With an enormous increase in output and reach, and increased political power, we really could make a massive difference.
Alas, no-one is going to give us £800,000. We will have to struggle on day-to-day, with insufficient funds to do what we currently do.
The next time someone from the Remain side tells you that Leave lied and that the Referendum was unfair, just remember this article. A massive, foreign-funded propaganda machine is working to overturn the democratic vote of the British people. And yet people like Brexit Facts4EU.Org have to manage on peanuts to bring real facts based on in-depth research of official EU and UK government sources.
If you haven’t already done so, please, please consider even a small donation now. Every little helps in keeping us fighting for a true, clean Brexit. Thank you.
[ Sources: BuzzFeed News | Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual. ]
       07.50am, 11 Apr 2018
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Name: Mr P Shaw, Solihull      Date/Time: 11 Apr 2018, 11.55am
Message: This is simply dreadful. Aren't there laws preventing this kind of thing? You have finally spurred me into sending you a donation. Thank you for everything you are doing.
 EU PRESIDENT IS
“FURIOUS ABOUT BREXIT”
Unelected EU Council President Tusk                                    © EU Council
AND HE “COUNTS ON”
HUNGARY’S VIKTOR ORBAN TO BEHAVE
THIS IS ABOUT FREEDOM AND DEMOCRACY
– PLEASE READ THE FACTS, THEN OUR ANALYSIS
In the space of 24 hours unelected EU President Tusk has distinguished himself on two occasions.
24 HOURS FROM TUSK
  • A damning ‘congratulations’ letter to Hungary’s Viktor Orban
  • A charged ‘vent’ at Brexit during a speech in Dublin
A Brexit Facts4EU.Org summary
‘CONGRATULATIONS’ TO VIKTOR ORBAN OF HUNGARY
In the first instance, the Polish unelected EU Council President Donald Tusk sent a letter to the newly re-elected Prime Minister of Hungary.
Viktor Orban’s coalition party secured 48.9% of the vote in Hungary’s general election on Sunday, giving him one of the biggest mandates of any leader of any EU member state.
Following an election in a member state it is customary for the EU Council President and the EU Commission President to offer their congratulations in a letter to the successful leader. Here is the one President Tusk sent to Viktor Orban yesterday:
“Dear Prime Minister,
On behalf of the European Council, I wish to congratulate you on the result of yesterday's election. During your renewed term as Prime Minister I count on you to play a constructive role in maintaining our unity in the EU. I look forward to once again working with you at the European Council.
Yours sincerely, Donald Tusk”
We comment on this letter in our ‘Observations’ below.
TUSK'S SPEECH IN DUBLIN YESTERDAY
Yesterday President Tusk was in Dublin to accept yet another honour – this time he was awarded the Honorary Lifetime Membership of University College Dublin Law Society.
“Last but not least: I don't like Brexit. Actually, that's an understatement: I believe Brexit is one of the saddest moments in twenty first-century European history.
“In fact, sometimes I am even furious about it.”
Unelected EU Council President Tusk                                    © EU Council
We comment on this in our ‘Observations’ below.
OBSERVATIONS
[Firstly, apologies that this analysis is so long, but we think these things have to be said.]
President Tusk is furious about Brexit? We’ve got steam coming out of our ears.
Let’s begin with unelected EU Council President Tusk’s short letter to the newly re-elected Viktor Orban and compare it to another recent letter Tusk sent.
Here is the start of the letter which Tusk sent to Angela Merkel just four weeks ago, six months after her disastrous showing in the German elections. He couldn’t send the letter until she was at last declared Chancellor after finally managing to form a coalition government with Germany’s socialist party.
“Dear Angela, On behalf of the European Council, I would like to warmly congratulate you on your fourth appointment as Federal Chancellor. I very much welcome the clear pro-European stance of the new German government.”
By contrast, the letter to Viktor Orban contained no ‘warm’ congratulations, and it sounded more like an instruction:
“I count on you to play a constructive role in maintaining our unity in the EU”
When it came to his speech in Dublin, President Tusk once again left us speechless. To state that: “sometimes I am even furious about it [Brexit]” was extraordinary. It reminded us of the pivotal moment on 24th June 2016, the morning after the victorious EU Referendum, when unelected EU Commission President Juncker proclaimed:
“This will not be an amicable divorce.”
In each case, these two unelected presidents are laying bare their animosity for all to see. They are unequivocally hostile to Brexit… and thereby hostile to the future interests and prosperity of the United Kingdom.
For Theresa May to continue to mouth meaningless platitudes about a “deep and special partnership” is not only pointless in the face of such hostility from the EU, it is positively dangerous.
If she really is as lacking in knowledge about the EU as we have always believed she is, she needs to take advice from those who understand the EU mentality so much better than she does. She could do very much worse than ask the two former ministers we featured on Monday: the Rt Hon John Redwood MP and the Rt Hon Owen Paterson MP.
Walking into EU negotiations wearing rose-tinted spectacles, she was always going to be at a major disadvantage – and the EU has taken full advantage of this fact, securing every demand they insisted on and giving absolutely nothing to the UK.

HERE IS THE EU REALITY – A TEXTUAL ANALYSIS
In his speech yesterday, Tusk referred back to the speech he made at the Rome 60th anniversary summit last year, quoting a major passage in full. As Tusk thinks this is important enough to quote twice, we thought you’d like to review it too:
"Europe as a political entity will either be united, or will not be at all. Only a united Europe can be a sovereign Europe in relation to the rest of the world. And only a sovereign Europe guarantees independence for its nations, guarantees freedom for its citizens. The unity of Europe is not a bureaucratic model. It is a set of common values and democratic standards. Today it is not enough to call for unity and to protest against multiple speeds in Europe. It is much more important that we all respect our common rules such as human rights and civil liberties, freedom of speech and freedom of assembly, checks and balances, and the rule of law. This is the true foundation of our unity."
The disconnect with reality is quite extraordinary. Some of the sentences above simply make no sense to anyone with even the slimmest grasp on reality. Let’s take just two examples:
EXAMPLE 1
“And only a sovereign Europe guarantees independence for its nations, guarantees freedom for its citizens.”
The first part of that sentence stipulates “a sovereign Europe”. In fact he’s not talking about Europe at all, which is a continent of over 50 nations. He’s talking about the EU. These are two separate entities.
Secondly, in what way does the EU “guarantee independence for its nations”, when it spends all its time taking away this independence with hundreds of new laws, directives and protocols each year? These new EU laws are automatically imposed on member states, with no choice by national parliaments whatsoever.
Lastly, how does a “sovereign Europe” guarantee “freedom for its citizens”? The freedoms of the British people have long been enshrined in law and practice, long before the EU came along. One of the greatest freedoms is freedom of speech, and the EU is currently busy drawing up further ways to curtail that, with new ‘fake news’ proposals which will inevitably take away the right to offer opposing views to those of the EU elites.
EXAMPLE 2
“It is much more important that we all respect our common rules such as human rights and civil liberties, freedom of speech and freedom of assembly, checks and balances, and the rule of law. This is the true foundation of our unity."
Er…. excuse us? Did you really say that, Mr Tusk? Freedom of speech doesn’t exist in most of the EU member states. Laws are being passed all the time in countries like Germany and France, preventing non-violent opposition to policies and EU ‘group think’.
In the United Kingdom the hate speech laws are beyond a joke. You, dear reader, can be questioned by the police merely for saying something, if someone (who doesn’t even have to have been present, nor to have been the target of your comment) feels that what you said was hurtful. No evidence is required other than that someone ‘feels hurt’ by what you said.
And then we have Catalonia. As we write, the elected President of Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont, is under arrest in Germany using the EU Arrest Warrant, for extradition back to Spain to end his days in a Spanish gaol. After days in custody he is now out on bail, but with a very uncertain future ahead of him.
In Scotland two weeks ago, one of the ministers of the Catalan government was also arrested under an EU Arrest Warrant, for extradition back to Spain.
Donald Tusk, is any of the above really consistent with your assertion that: “we all respect our common rules such as human rights and civil liberties, freedom of speech and freedom of assembly, checks and balances, and the rule of law”? We beg to differ in the most extreme way in which we can do it without being arrested, given the draconian laws we now live under.
MESSAGE TO MRS MAY
Prime Minister and fellow Remainers, the truth is not what you would like it to be. The truth is the truth.
The EU is an unpleasant, bureaucratic, totalitarian regime. It has no respect for democracy, individual liberties, or nationhood. It seeks to dissolve identity into some amorphous mass that few ordinary people in the EU member states would recognise or agree with.
It comes with a massive daily propaganda machine which has been indoctrinating our youth for decades. It is a disease, a cancer on the wonderful peoples of the EU countries. It stifles and suffocates. It holds back innovation and enterprise. By its draconian economic policies it deprives generations of the young from the possibility of jobs and a worthwhile career.
WE CAN DO SO MUCH BETTER
Prime Minister we urge you to pick up the mantle of the true and clean Brexit for which the British people voted nearly two years ago. Give us Brexit, or stand aside for someone who can. As you seem unable when questioned to say that you now back Brexit, the latter seems preferable for all concerned. No general election required, just a change of PM.
Currently what you are offering the British people is a disgrace, based on the dysfunctional concepts expounded by the appalling unelected elites of Brussels, and the equally appalling and disconnected ruling classes in many EU countries.
Please, please, Prime Minister, start standing up for democracy, freedom, and the British nation and its values.
[ Sources: EU Council | Journalists and politicians can contact us for the full list of links, as usual. ]
       06.55am, 11 Apr 2018
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Name: Mr P Shaw, Solihull      Date/Time: 11 Apr 2018, 11.59am
Message: I think the two examples in your analysis are excellent and show up the hypocrisy of the whole thing. When it comes to Mrs May I've been a lifelong Tory voter but I deeply regret to inform her that she will not have my vote in the local elections. The reason is Brexit and her not delivering anything like it.
Name: Brexiteer, Braintree, Essex      Date/Time: 11 Apr 2018, 11.28am
Message: Ah Mr Tusk, an unelected Eurocrat is sad and furious about Brexit. Is he sad about the UK still just, a democratic country, or the loss of £14billion contributions? We the British people will not be sad to be leaving the failing totalitarian project that is the EU. Is he sad that other EU members and their electorate can see the cracks appearing in the utopian European dream? The dream of a federal Europe, with it's own currency, foreign policy and army? Of its own unelected EU officials striding the world stage? Of its failing economies and rising unemployment, rising tax rates, rising crime rates? Perhaps he is sad other countries will dream of regaining their own sovereignty and freedom.

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