European Union: Budget

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 2:55 pm on 14th June 2005.

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Photo of Lord Tomlinson Lord Tomlinson Labour 2:55 pm, 14th June 2005

My Lords, does my noble friend agree that referring to this as a rebate is not helpful? In fact, it is a corrective mechanism that was never intended to be renegotiated. As my noble friend said, it was intended to be a reform of the expenditure side of the budget, which, when so reformed, will mathematically eliminate the need for any payments back to the United Kingdom. The real challenge is for the other countries of the European Union—not only France, but also major net beneficiaries such as Spain—to renegotiate the expenditure side of the budget so that the need for the corrective mechanism disappears.