JosÃ© Barroso, European Commission president, yesterday advised Tony Blair not to act like the Sheriff of Nottingham, taking from the poor to give to the rich. I don’t know whether Tony’s been taking his advice, but this decision seems significant, and seems to reflect a willingness to try and get a deal. I don’t know what will eventually happen to the badly needed reform of the CAP though.
UK prime minister Tony Blair has signalled London will agree to cut its rebate from the EU budget, without a link to common agricultural policy (CAP) reform but through excluding new member states from contributions to the “British cheque.”…
London had, until now, insisted that a complex reform of EU spending, mainly on farm subsidies, is needed if the UK is to give up the rebate, which was negotiated in 1984 by Margaret Thatcher.
However, with France unlikely to agree on any farm cuts at the December summit, UK officials have revealed they will offer to freeze the UK’s â‚¬5.6 billion annual rebate at something close to the current level.
The solution is similar to one which London rejected in June, but the proposed British rebate cuts are less severe.