‘We dodged a £55 BILLION bullet’ – EU can no longer use UK as a cash-cow, say Brexiteers
BRUSSELS would have demanded Britain cough-up £55BILLION to bail out Europe had we remained in the EU – with one think tank boss saying “we dodged a bullet”.
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Robert Oulds, director of the Bruges Group, added last week’s £677billion coronavirus rescue deal, along with the ratification of the EU’s £1trillion budget, demonstrate precisely why Britain was right to back Brexit. And Tory MP Daniel Kawczynski added without the “British cash card”, other EU states were now locked in a “dog-fight over a “profound payments crisis”.
Had the UK still been a member of the bloc, it would have been expected to help foot the bill for the extra expenditure aimed at mitigating the impact of the pandemic – with Whitehall insiders estimating the bill could run as high as £55billion over the course of the seven-year budget.
Last week’s European Council meeting was characterised by bitter wrangling, with members of the so-called “frugal four” – the Netherlands, Austria, Sweden and Denmark – extremely reluctant to sign up for a deal which included a commitment to offer £390billion in non-repayable grants, most of which will go to Spain and Italy.
Dutch PM Mark Rutte and Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz were among those worried about the prospect of runaway public spending in the south of the bloc.
Mr Oulds, was in no doubt last week’s developments underlined the importance of Britain having quit.
Ursula von der Leyen’s EU can no longer use the UK as a “cash cow”, said Mr Oulds
Robert Oulds speaks to Sky News earlier this year
They just used the British tax payer as a cash cow – well no more
“They just used the British tax payer as a cash cow – well no more.
“They are going to pay for their own folly and the mess they get themselves into.”
Mr Kawczynski, Tory MP for Shrewsbury and Atcham, said: “Finally we have freed ourselves from the circus of this supranational State which has been devised by extremists who have not a single shred of respect for sovereignty and democracy of individual European States.
“Britain, as always, is in the vanguard of standing up to these bullies and we are setting out a path for others to follow us to freedom and independence.
Tory MP Daniel Kawczynski
“During the whole of my 48 years lifetime our Island nation has been subjugated to an ongoing power grab from these ideological zealots in Brussels well no more. No more!
“I am so proud and humbled that we Britons have been the first to expose that the EU Emperor has no clothes and I am totally confident and excited others will follow.
“Now outside this structure we have watched the ongoing dog fight between EU member states over profound payments crisis following the British cash card being withdrawn.”
Analysts have voiced their concern at the implications of last week’s decision, which came at the end of a marathon four-day meeting of leaders of the EU27.
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Giuseppe Conte, Prime Minister of Italy
Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of the Netherlands
Within hours of the announcement, Italy’s government ratified €25billion of extra spending, the third major cash injection it has agreed in an attempt to prop up its battered economy since the start of the outbreak.
The move alarmed former German MEP Hans-Olaf Henkel, who told Express.co.uk: “Only hours after the European Council’s agreement to help Italy with billions of euros through cheap credits and outright grants aimed at improving Italy’s competitiveness through reforms, through investments in modernised digitalisation and through improving its outdated infrastructure, the Government in Rome decided to spend billions of euros in areas which have nothing to do with ‘reforms’, ‘digitalisation’ or ‘infrastructure’.
“Rather the Italian Government decided to allow their citizens to pay taxes at later than official dates and finance social programs such as alleviating the effects of lay-offs.
The so-called frugal four – the Netherlands, Austria, Denmark and Sweden
New debts in Italy would reach 11.9 percent of GDP, rather than the three percent permitted in accordance with the Maastricht Treaty, Mr Henkel pointed out.
Total debt would rise to at least 157.6 percent of GDP rather than the 60 percent which was the maximum allowed for a country to join the euro.
Mr Henkel added: “While it is quite understandable that Governments exceed such targets in extraordinary circumstances such as in the current coronavirus crisis, Italy’s recent behaviour is alarming.
Ursula von der Leyen at the European Council summit
“Although taxpayers in Austria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Sweden and The Netherlands have mostly a much lower average wealth per capita than those in Italy they demonstrated solidarity with Italy nonetheless.
“However, this solidarity came with some conditions attached all aimed at helping Italy’s economy get back on its feet.
“The new decisions of the Italian Government make it more than likely that this support will not only disappear through gaping holes in Italy’s budget buckets, rather than stimulate reforms it will result in further delays of true reforms.”
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