[Nobody including all those mentioned here will square up to the fact that we gave up most of our "Thatcherr" rebate in return for a promise that has not been kept. The sure answer to that is not to relinquish our rebate until they have! -cs]
Rise in EU budget equivalent to £260 per household
[If it is going to be voluntary, it won't work. If it's compulsory it won't be adopted -cs]
The BBC reports that the net cost of the UK's EU membership will rise by 60 percent to £6.4bn - equivalent to about £260 per UK household - from £4.1bn in 2009/10. On his Telegraph blog Dan Hannan hat-tips Open Europe for the story and argues, "why should we look at the net rather than the gross contribution? In what other field of politics do we do so? Does anyone argue that income tax, rather than being 22 per cent, is in fact zero, because the whole sum is 'given back' in roads, schools and hospitals? What matters is what we hand over."
Hannan adds that, with the UK's gross EU budget contribution, Philip Hammond, the Shadow Chief Secretary, "could cut council tax by 45 percent; he could build 50 new hospitals every year; he could take nearly 4 pence off income tax; or he could pay off our Olympic debt in just one year."
On the BBC Today Programme Conservative MP John Redwood described the increase in the UK's budget contribution as "money we can't afford being very badly spent". Similarly to Hannan, he added that "I don't think it's right just to concentrate on the £6.4bn net cost...the money we don't get back. We also need to look at all the money we do get back which is often spent in ways that we wouldn't choose to spend it."
Sun columnist Fergus Shanahan criticises David Cameron's policy on Europe, claiming he is refusing to address the issue as it divides his party and risks losing a significant amount of votes to UKIP. He concludes that Cameron "can't fudge much longer when we see how we are being robbed by Brussels and getting nothing in return."
Irish Finance Minister delays vote on bad bank in order not to "disrupt" Lisbon debate
Bloomberg reports that Ireland's Finance Minister Brian Lenihan signalled the Irish parliament won't vote on proposed 'bad bank' regulations until October, saying he doesn't want to "disrupt" the second Lisbon Treaty referendum. He told RTE radio that "I certainly don't want NAMA to disrupt the Lisbon debate." Lenihan is creating the National Asset Management Agency to cleanse Ireland's banks of 'toxic assets' after the country's decade-long property boom ended.
Meanwhile, in the National Interest, Doug Bandow looks at Ireland's upcoming referendum and notes that the "German Constitutional Court recently voted to uphold the Lisbon Treaty only if the German parliament approved legislation ensuring the latter's continuing role in making decisions on core national issues". He quotes Open Europe, saying, "British MPs need to wake up-and demand the same power" and notes that similar rumblings have been heard in France and the Netherlands.
Bandow adds that European governments "are badly divided over everything from economic stimulus to financial regulation". He notes that a recent Open Europe poll found that 70 percent of Germans, with the largest economy on the Continent, oppose bailing out other nations.
Commission to present controversial asylum proposals in September
EUobserver reports that EU justice and home affairs ministers are finalising fresh proposals on EU immigration policy, including a potentially controversial system of re-distributing refugees and asylum seekers among the 27 member states to lighten the workload of border countries.
Both the re-location policy, which could see the transfer of asylum seekers from one EU state to another, and asylum policy proposals, which could set quotas on the number of refugees for member states, are to be presented by the Commission in September, Swedish Immigration Minister Tobias Billstroem said. The application of the proposed policies would be voluntary, the Swedish minister added.
[SEE "The disintegration continues" sent earlier]
Commissioner McCreevey to receive €400,000 to help with "re-entry into non-EU world"
The Irish Independent reports that EU Commissioner Charlie Mc Creevey is set to receive almost €400,000 to resettle in Ireland, after leaving his post this autumn, on top of his annual pension. This transitional allowance, to which Mr McCreevy is entitled to for a total of 3 years after leaving the EU, is calculated as 50% of his yearly pension, and is designed to help with "re-entry into the non-EU world."
Hedge fund managers quit the UK amid concerns of higher taxes and tighter EU regulation
[Firstly the sensible way is for industry to go to the fuel otherwise this is nothing better than neo-colonialism (a speciality of the EU - they've done it with fish! Secondly who is going to protect the grid from the Congo to Europe both against terrorism and natural events? - About 2,500 miles as far as Spain for the first suggestion of hydro-electricity on the Congo river. - Thirdly who is going to pay for that grid - Spain, France and Italy who will certainly sequester most of the electricity ? After all that what's the electricity going to cost? It's the most hare-brained scheme I've ever read about, so hare-brained that it might have been an August story in the Independent ! Whoops it was! -cs]
The WSJ reports that a stream of hedge-fund managers and other financial-services professionals are quitting the UK due to increased taxes and concern about tighter European Union regulations, in the form of the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive.
Jon Moulton, founder of private-equity firm Alchemy Partners, said he had no plans to leave his home in Kent, but confirmed that he owned a house in Guernsey and that he "may very well one day retreat to an environment of lower taxes, no [members of European Parliament] and where the most powerful posts in government are filled by election."
Failure to inform EU of UK law on banned films makes legislation unenforceable
The Times reports that people selling unauthorised DVDs and video games, including banned films and pornography, to anyone, including children, cannot be prosecuted due to an administrative error made under the Thatcher government, it has emerged. The government did not notify the European Union of the Video Games Recordings Act when it was passed in 1984, as required under an EU directive, meaning it is no longer enforceable in the UK.
Don Foster, a Liberal Democrat MP, noted that David Cameron was special advisor to Michael Howard when a 1993 revision to the legislation was created and also failed to notice the omission. Although the Department for Culture, Media and Sport has said it will act to close the loophole "as quickly as possible" those caught selling banned video games and DVDs are likely to escape prosecution for around three months.
European rules on medical research are "putting the brakes on science in Europe"
Euractiv looks at the EU's Clinical Trials Directive, which aims to improve research standards and protect patients. It quotes Professor Dietger Niederwieser from the University of Leipzig, who argues that this directive has greatly deteriorated academic studies, as lawmakers have focused on the pharmaceutical industry and forgotten academia. He said, "Academic trials are down dramatically. There were ten times as many research trials taking place in academia before the directive came into force... The directive is putting the brakes on science in Europe."
Independent: "Should Africa be generating much of Europe's power?"
[Laugh away -cs]
The Independent questions the role that Africa should play in generating Europe's power following controversy over EU-backed renewable energy projects in Morocco and the Democratic Republic of Congo. It claims that Europe is eager to reduce its dependence on Russia and that a proposed dam could power up to 500 million homes in Africa, but warns that an open energy market would see Africans competing with far richer Europeans for electricity generated from their natural resources.
The WSJ reports that as French President Nicolas Sarkozy prepares to meet with executives of the country's largest banks today, bankers are worried that fresh rules to curb their pay packages would put them at a disadvantage with foreign competitors.
[And then the paper is so cack-handed as to use as its illustrations bulbs with screw fittings instead of the standard British bayonet ones -cs]
In the feature section of the Telegraph, Max Davidson looks at the new EU ban on light bulbs and argues that it will cause a "headache", saying, "How many people know about the ban? And will all shopkeepers apply it with equal rigour? We are in for one of those periods of retail chaos that seem to originate in Brussels."
[The Americans never really understand Europe. Who ever thought that having the Ukraine in the EU would be good for the Ukraine or for the the rest of the EU. After all the Ukraine is a bogus country with boundaries set up by the USSR for Communist control reasons to include lots of Russians in the East. This mixed nationality is the cause of the whole trouble -cs]
FAZ reports that one in five citizens under 25 years is unemployed in Europe.
Animal welfare groups have criticised new EU legislation that will reduce the amount of space that must be allocated to factory chickens, which is already less than one sheet of A4 paper.
Tagesspiegel reports that the German environment organisation "Deutsche Umwelthilfe" has filed a complaint with the EU Commission directed at the German government for not sufficiently implementing the EU directive requiring each new car to display a label showing its fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.
Le Figaro reports that the recent economic growth seen in France and Germany is not being repeated in Eastern Europe, where all EU members except Poland saw significant contractions in the last quarter.
In the WSJ, Tomas Valasek argues "EU pressure on Ukraine to reform its gas laws to fight corruption and cut consumption would be more constructive than its direct involvement... a failure to reform could otherwise set up Kiev and Brussels for a serious showdown during the next gas spat and sink Ukraine's EU membership plans."
A Guardian/ICM poll puts the Conservatives on 41 percent, Labour on 25 percent, and the Lib Dems on 19 percent.
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