Future EU Finances and Own Resources

Part of Royal Assent – in the House of Commons at 8:49 pm on 8th May 2006.

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Photo of Kelvin Hopkins Kelvin Hopkins Labour, Luton North 8:49 pm, 8th May 2006

I am sure that that is true, but the hon. Gentleman has the advantage of me in that area, in which I do not specialise, and I do not have any figures to hand on investment in eastern Europe.

The way in which the budget operates is said to be beneficial to Britain because we have a trading advantage, but in fact we do not have such an advantage with the European Union at the moment. The great majority of our exports go outside the European Union. We are very different from Germany in that regard, in that the proportion of trade that goes to the European Union from Germany is about seven times greater than the proportion that goes to the EU from Britain. Germany has a massive export surplus with the rest of the European Union; it is very much greater than the relatively small amount that we export to the EU. We import a lot from the EU, but we do not export a great deal to it.

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Posted on 10 May 2006 12:17 pm (Report this annotation)

Why doesn't the European Union want to operate in the global economy? The economy watchdog, the IMF, often tells us that trade imbalances are a real threat to the world. But trade imbalances are allowed in the EU.

Kelvin Hopkins MP said:
"Germany has a massive export surplus with the rest of the European Union; it is very much greater than the relatively small amount that we export to the EU. We import a lot from the EU, but we do not export a great deal to it."

Nevertheless the EU watchdog, the European Central Bank, is not too concerned. Why not?