The Prime Minister thumped his tub in parliament today saying, “Britain will not be paying €2 billion to anyone on 1 December.” David Miliband tried to find out when the UK Government knew about the increased payments but the Prime Minister brushed the question aside. So the questions are, who knew what and when?
The budget, and the changes to each countries charges, was discussed on 26th May 2014. The measures which increased the UK’s share of the budget were waved though, “without discussion.” On the same day the Prime Minister’s Spokesperson issued a press briefing which said, “Asked about the European Commission’s intention to increase its budget, the PMS pointed out that this was an annual budget, which formed part of a 7 year spending period. And, as a result of negotiations led by the Prime Minister last year, the EU budget would fall in real terms over that period.” So David Cameron KNEW about the increase to the budget the day before he flew out to have an informal dinner with other EU leaders on the 27th May 2014, but he was too busy crowing about the European election results to be bothered to bring the topic of a £1.7 billion increase in the UK’s contribution.
On the 24th October 2014 the PM said, “Well I first learnt about this yesterday on Thursday, and immediately started to seek allies, and I found allies in the Italians and the Greeks and Dutch and others, on just how unacceptable this is. In terms of when the Treasury got this information, it was a little bit earlier in the week. And I think the answer to that is when these sorts of memos come about is that they have to be interrogated, they have to be examined, people have to work out what lies behind them.” This is clearly a lie.
So why are the press not going for the jugular? Because Dave is ‘their’ man in Downing Street perhaps? Or are the press doing the government’s bidding? Or is it both?