European Affairs

Part of Business of the House – in the House of Commons at 12:45 pm on 3rd June 2010.

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Photo of William Hague William Hague The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs 12:45 pm, 3rd June 2010

There may well be inconsistency. The hon. Gentleman knows that I cannot give him such a guarantee, which is why he enjoyed coming back into the Chamber to ask the question. The contribution is not immediately under the Government's control, but is the product of differences in agricultural payments, VAT payments and so on. It is regrettable, as I said earlier, that the Government whom he largely supported-his Front Benchers do not recognise that description of him; perhaps I should say, "the Government he was elected to support in the past"-gave away £7 billion of our rebate while securing nothing in return. He can be assured that we will not do that, and that will help keep the payments down, but it is not possible to vary them by unilateral Executive action.

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