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34 35 Conservative MPs say the EU shouldn't get extra money at a time of cuts

By Tim Montgomerie

As Alex Deane has already pointed out to ConHome readers, while nearly every other budget is being cut the EU budget is allowed to grow. That's right - the same budget that auditors won't sign off.

As Dan Hannan MEP has also blogged, we're cutting defence, housing and policing in order to fund the European foreign service, Europol and three new EU financial agencies.

According to researcher Robert Broadhurst the extra money that we might end up sending Brussels' way could pay for over 6,000 doctors, about 15,000 police officers or 22,000 soldiers.

Carswell Douglas Central Lobby The great Douglas Carswell has said that this is unacceptable and has drawn up an amendment to the Draft EU Budget Bill. It states:

"Line 2, leave out from ‘2011’ to end and add ‘is concerned at the above-inflation increase being made to Britain’s EU budget contribution; believes that, at a time when the Government is poised to make reductions in public spending elsewhere, it is wrong to increase that contribution; and calls on the Government to reduce Britain’s EU budget contribution’."

34 35 Tory MPs (including Douglas) have signed the amendment. As you can see they are far from the usual suspects. I salute each and every one of them and hope the whips don't get to them:

  1. Steve Baker
  2. Guto Bebb
  3. Brian Binley
  4. Peter Bone
  5. Douglas Carswell
  6. Christopher Chope
  7. James Clappison
  8. Geoffrey Cox
  9. Philip Davies
  10. David Davis
  11. David T C Davies
  12. Jackie Doyle-Price
  13. Richard Drax
  14. Mark Field
  15. Zac Goldsmith
  16. Robert Halfon (added at 3pm)
  17. Chris Heaton-Harris
  18. Gordon Henderson
  19. Philip Hollobone
  20. Chris Kelly
  21. Kwasi Kwarteng
  22. Andrea Leadsom
  23. Dr Julian Lewis
  24. Anne Main
  25. Stephen McPartland
  26. Patrick Mercer
  27. David Nuttall
  28. Priti Patel
  29. Andrew Percy
  30. Mark Reckless
  31. Andrew Rosindell
  32. Richard Shepherd
  33. Graham Stuart
  34. Mr Andrew Turner
  35. Charles Walker

Answering a question from David Ruffley MP yesterday George Osborne blamed Labour for the situation:

"Mr David Ruffley (Bury St Edmunds) (Con): Our net contribution to the EU is, amazingly, projected to double in this Parliament from £4.7 billion to £9.5 billion a year. Does my right hon. Friend agree with me and many of my Bury St Edmunds constituents that if we are to cut the deficit, we need to cut our spending on the EU?"

"Mr George Osborne: It is good to see my hon. Friend. I make the observation that the situation is, unfortunately, yet another legacy of the previous Government. [Interruption.] Well, Labour Members obviously do not know the history: Tony Blair gave away our Budget rebate in return for the French reforming the common agricultural policy. So far as I have noticed, that deal has not held, and our contributions are rapidly rising. We have made strong arguments at the European level for similar budget restraints in the EU to those that member states are having to impose domestically. Of course, that will be our negotiating stance as we go into the new budget review period."


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