Put the brakes on Brussels gravy train

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I was bemused by the letter from Roger Cartwright irresponsibly advocating non-payment by the UK of an additional £1.7bn into the EU budget on 1 December (Letters, 25 October).

If you are a member of a club, you sign up to the rules, and this £1.7bn being demanded by the EU is due to a new mechanism of accounting on which to base such budgetary adjustments, agreed to by the UK.

These rules, the European System of National and Regional Accounts, date from 2010 and were introduced in September 2014. The impact of these on potential EU budgetary contributions was noted by both the Office for National Statistics and Office for Budgetary Responsibility much earlier this year.

Mr Cameron’s mock shock was therefore wholly unwarranted as he would have known for a number of months the likely impact of this on the UK’s contribution.

It may seem perverse to many that the UK is having to pay more because of the performance of the UK economy. However, as with many things EU-related, the UK should not have signed up to such rules if it was not willing to abide by them, and it should be noted that in 2008 the UK received a rebate because of the poor performance of the UK economy. No complaints then.

What the embarrassing timing of this whole affair demonstrates is that while Mr Cameron is looking for wholesale reform of the EU, he has very few allies in the corridors of power in Brussels to assist him in delivering this.

Alex Orr

Leamington Terrace

Edinburgh

David Cameron has angrily denounced the European Commission for demanding an extra £1.7 billion contribution from British taxpayers (your report, 25 October).

Last year the UK’s net contribution to this undemocratic organisation was £8.5bn.

The UK is now being penalised because its economy has performed better than expected, while countries like France and Germany, whose economies have under-performed, will receive multi-million- pound rebates.

France will receive €1bn (£800m) and former industrial power-house Germany will get €779 million.

Why must British taxpayers subsidise countries which refuse to make the cuts essential to get their finances back on track?

The Brussels behemoth and its gravy train thunders along immune to austerity and deaf to pleas for reform.

Staff are far too numerous, overpaid with gold-plated pensions and led by unaccountable mandarins who send out directives like confetti and who are about as 
useful.

Stopping further payments to the European Commission would certainly focus their 
attention.

This unelected, overstaffed organisation has never had its accounts signed off by the 
auditors.

Mr Cameron must act decisively and freeze any further contributions, especially with Ukip now a force to be reckoned with.

Clark Cross

Springfield Road

Linlithgow

Like many people in the UK, I was outraged and appalled at Britain being ordered to pay £1.7bn to the EU by 1 December, but not in the least bit 
surprised.

It is time British people saw the true colours of the 
EU gravy train and had the 
option to exit as soon as 
possible.

Despite David Cameron table thumping and shouting in protest that he will not pay this amount, all his histrionics are nothing short of hot air 
if he refuses to give us a referendum before the general election.

If he pays this money it will be political suicide and hand a huge victory to Ukip.

If he is so outraged by this demand, why does he not put his £1.7bn where his mouth is and call an immediate in-out referendum?

Gordon Kennedy

Simpson Square

Perth

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