Soaring cost of Britain’s EU membership

Re Halidon’s concern (Landlines, Southern, December 15) as to whether Prime Minister David Cameron made the correct decision in saying “no” at the European Union’s financial crisis meeting, resulting in yet another new treaty.

Hungary and the Czech Republic have now said they don’t agree with parts of the treaty. Ireland and Sweden have grave doubts about it.

I agree that many of us in 1973 thought that joining a common market with our European neighbours was a good idea and most of Britain would still like that. However, politicians, with subterfuge, were signing up for political and financial union, with the Federal States of Europe being the end objective.

I don’t know of any rabid anti-Europeans, but I do know that there are millions of Britons who are anti the EU as it is constituted and operates.

Remember before the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) came into being. Britain had an excellent deficiency payment scheme for farmers which did not cause butter mountains, wine lakes and olive groves on non-existent Mediterranean Islands.

Now farmers have no alternative but to comply with the CAP. The CAP costs Britain £16.7billion per annum or £1,120 for every household consisting of two adults and two children.

The Common Fishing Policy (CFF) is another disaster area caused by Brussels, with thousands of tons of fish thrown back into the sea.

Bertie Armstrong, chief executive of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation, praised the prime minister’s veto. The CFP costs Britain £4.7billion per annum and with 97,000 jobs lost since its introduction.

Just a few figures for you to reflect on, Halidon:

z EU fraud costs £6.3billion per annum;

z EU over-regulation on business costs Britain £48.7billion per annum;

z Our accumulated trade deficit with EU member states since 1973 is £438billion;

z For 2010, Britain’s combined annual direct and indirect costs of EU membership was £77billion.

Peter Neilson