The great escape - The UK avoids €2 TRILLION EU budget by the skin of its bulldog teeth
Without Brexit, the UK would send over £140 billion pounds to the EU for its new budget
© Brexit Facts4EU.Org 2020
Where would be if we hadn’t voted Leave? A Brexit Facts4EU.Org summary
The EU leaders’ two-day summit finally ended in the early hours of Tuesday morning. By the end it had stretched into four days, with insults being thrown and fists banging the table. (The latter allegedly being French President Emmanuel Macron.) A celebration of EU unity and harmony this was not.
In the end the best the EU Council President, the Belgian Charles Michel, could come up at 05.30am on Tuesday as dawn broke over Brussels was “Deal”.
Deal!— Charles Michel (@eucopresident) July 21, 2020
The EU’s new multi-annual financial framework and COVID package comes in at an eye-watering €1,961 billion euros. That’s a few EU Commission limos away from being €2 TRILLION euros, or £1.8 trillion pounds.
All the parties involved in agreeing this package are now busy trying to spin it as a victory for their side, as is usual in EU circles. The reality is that this deal is a typical EU fudge which will result in a long sequence of political and legal battles.
Brexit Facts4EU.Org has analysed the detail : a short summary for ordinary readers and MPs
Brexit Facts4EU.Org Summary
What was agreed by the EU Council, which the UK will no longer be part of?
- GRAND TOTAL AGREED ON TUESDAY MORNING : €1.961 TRILLION euros
- EU MFF budget : €1,211 billion euros
- EU “off-the-books” funds” : €22.3 billion euros
- Recovery and Resilience Facility (COVID) loans : €360 billion
- Recovery and Resilience Facility grants (wealth transfers to poorer EU countries) : €312.5 billion
- The balance is for a variety of other EU programmes
For the first time, the Commission will be authorised to borrow funds on behalf of the Union on the capital markets. This is a huge step on the way towards a fully-federal United States of Europe.
Note: Readers will see different headline figures in the mainstream media, which quote 2018 prices. We have used the more relevant 2020 prices produced separately by the EU, in order to show the real figures.
Fudges to keep some EU countries happy, and the ‘too little too late’ COVID response
There are many parts of this fudged deal which have not yet been fully-defined and which will come back again and again in the coming months and years. In this short summary we can only highlight some areas of interest.
- No urgent COVID assistance payments will be made to any country this year
- The “RRF” (COVID-related) part of this deal has an end date of 31 December 2058
- “The Commission may provisionally call more resources from Member States than their respective relative share”
- Payment commitments will be made by 31 December 2023
- Actual payments will continue until 31 December 2026
One of the key aspects of the deal – the provision of EU grants to member states – was one of the most contested areas. In effect this is an overt system of wealth transference to some of the EU’s struggling economies such as Italy and Spain. Purportedly this financial assistance is to mitigate some of the effects of the COVID crisis. In reality it is also being given to countries like Hungary and Poland, neither of which has been much affected.
The other puzzling factor is that none of this financial assistance will be distributed for almost a year, and it will then be spread out over more years. A ‘crisis’ usually implies that urgent remedies are needed.
More centralised, bureaucratic control
As part of the package, the EU Commission is being given even more powers to police member states. The member countries will have to “prepare national recovery and resilience plans setting out the reform and investment agenda of the Member State concerned for the years 2021-23. The plans will be reviewed and adapted as necessary in 2022 to take account of the final allocation of funds for 2023.”
Each country’s plans will be “assessed by the Commission”. Any monies disbursed “will be subject to the satisfactory fulfilment of the relevant milestones and targets.” One such target is that 30% of the funds must be allocated in a way that contributes to the EU’s new ‘climate change’ agenda – somewhat bizarre when considering that these funds are supposed to be allocated in relation to the COVID crisis.
If any single Member State objects to another country’s claim for a grant, everything grinds to a halt “until the next [three-monthly] European Council has exhaustively discussed the matter.”
This is very likely to occur, as the so-called “frugal” countries of the Netherlands, Austria, Sweden, Denmark and Finland were all deeply unhappy about the system of grants in the first place.
Finally, the new, “normal” EU budget of €1,211 billion euros
In addition to agreeing the COVID financial measures, the leaders of the EU27 countries also thrashed out the EU Commission’s “normal” budget for the next seven year period with starts on the UK’s first day out of the Transition Period: 01 January 2021.
In more normal times, this budget ends up being somewhat less than the Commission and the EU Parliament ask for, but it broadly follows the outline of the Commission’s proposal in terms of the way it is allocated. This time was different, with many programmes which might be seen to be growth-supporting coming under the knife.
Brexit Facts4EU.Org will report on this further in an article to come. For now we will simply comment that the total is over €1.2 trillion euros (circa £1.1 trillion pounds). The United Kingdom would have been responsible for a significant proportion of this.
If it hadn’t been for Brexit…
No-one can say with precision what the UK’s liability would have been, but if the Remain Establishment had got their way, it is highly probable that the UK would have been paying around £140 billion pounds into the EU’s new budget over the period. This is based on the UK’s liability for previous years’ budgets and does not include contributions to the EU’s COVID funding.
Phew! Thank goodness for the 2016 vote to leave the European Union.
Readers may not wish to imagine what would have happened at this latest EU Council summit if someone like David Cameron – or, heaven forbid, Theresa May – had still been in charge of the country. We would now be facing ever larger annual bills, with almost no practical control over how that money would be spent by the EU.
Within the constraints of a summary article such as this, it is not possible to go into all of the ins and outs – and horrors – of the EU’s new budgets. We hope to return to this subject another time. What we can say is that we believe Remainer MPs would have had a very hard job justifying the Government’s inevitable approval of these EU budgets, in the supposedly sovereign United Kingdom Parliament in Westminster.
As for the absurd position of the SNP in wanting a supposedly independent Scotland whilst at the same time rejoining the EU and giving away Scotland’s sovereignty, and paying massive amounts to the EU, words simply fail us.
It must be remembered, even as we approach our final day of departure, that our elected Members of Parliament would have had no say whatsoever on the way in which the EU Commission was going to spend our money.
Talking of money, we really hate to ask but we continue to rely 100% on donations from readers like you. Without you we simply couldn’t see this through to the end, after battling for more than four years. There remain significant risks and we must continue our fight to see a fully-free and independent United Kingdom as soon as possible. Quick and secure donation methods are below this article. Thank you so much if you can help us.
[ Sources: EU Council | EU Commission ] Politicians and journalists can contact us for details, as ever.
Brexit Facts4EU.Org, Thur 23 July 2020
And please scroll down to COMMENT on the above article.
Since before the EU Referendum, Brexit Facts4EU.Org
has been the most prolific researcher and publisher of Brexit facts in the world.
Supported by MPs, MEPs, & other groups, our work has impact.
We think facts matter. Please donate today, so that we can continue to ensure a clean Brexit is finally delivered.
Paypal Users Only - Choose amount first