Thoughts from an active pensioner who is now somewhat past his Biblical "Use-by date"

"Why just be difficult, when with a little more effort you can be bloody impossible?"

Saturday, 12 March 2016

EU funding - More 'Project Fear'

Cameron’s latest bid to scare the British people into voting to remain within the European Union was delivered to farmers when he warned that withdrawing from the EU would cost the British farming industry £330 million.

What is he saying? The implication of this statement is that he has decided that if we withdrew from the EU and he remained Prime Minister, the government of the day would no longer pay this sum to our farmers in spite of the fact that at present we pay about ten times that sum to subsidise EU agriculture as a whole, a sum which we would no longer have to pay.

The same argument seems to apply to every other group receiving EU grants. This week, Stephen Hawking and 150 other distinguished scientists – all fellows of the Royal Society – wrote a letter to the Times saying that if Britain leaves the European Union it would be a “disaster for UK science.” Why should it? I'm sure that any government would be happy to pay the same grants simply on the basis that it would cost them a fraction of what it does to pay the money to the EU, who 'cream off' a huge chunk before paying the grants. The government of the day would even be able to increase the grants and still be in pocket.

I heard something similar from another Professor whom I know; He couldn't understand my argument that that no sensible government would discontinue the funding.

Indeed, almost every person or organisation (except pro-EU charities who are keeping very quiet) seems to have been enrolled in project fear to try to convince us that all such subsidies will stop dead the moment we are outside the EU.

Boris could put a stop to such nonsense at once. All he needs to say that if he were PM in a government outside the EU, he would continue the grants at their present levels. The exchequer could easily afford that, and we would still be billions better off as we would no longer be paying huge sums to the EU, only to get a fraction back. I'm sure any Chancellor, offered this choice would jump at the opportunity, he would still save enough to reduce our deficit to zero as well as being able to start paying off the country's debts.

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