21 November, 2012

The EU

The European Union is plodding, slowly but inexorably, towards a budget impasse: it now seems almost certain that nothing can be resolved in respect of expenditure for 2014-2020.

This has been portrayed in the media, including the British media, as recalcitrant, unclubbable Britain up to its old tricks and threatening a veto.

In fact the following countries have threatened to veto the result or hinted that they might use their veto:

Austria (wants a rebate and no cuts to agriculture)

Denmark (wants a rebate)

France (wants to maintain agricultural subsidies)

Italy (wants its net contribution cut)

Netherlands (no increases above inflation)

Poland (wants more subsidies)

Romania (no cuts to farm subsidies)

Spain (no loss of subsidies or cohesion funds)

Sweden (wants agricultural subsidies reduced)

.... and, of course, the UK.

Many of these are mutually exclusive (say, the positions of France and Sweden).

Not quite the happy band of brothers we are led to believe.

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