EU Commission slaps down George Osborne over rebate claim

Chancellor George Osborne's has been slapped down by his EU counterparts and by the Financial Times over his claim to have halved the UK's £1.7bn EU budget surcharge.

The rebate was ‘never in doubt’, says the Commission

Chancellor George Osborne has been slapped down by the EU Commission and by the Financial Times over his claim to have halved the UK’s £1.7bn EU budget surcharge.

The UK is now set to pay a total of £850m next year in two interest free sums rather than the original £1.7bn which was due by December 1.

Osborne spun the news yesterday as a “real result for Britain”.

Yet it appears Britain would have got back the money Osborne is claiming the credit for anyway, through the EU budget rebate – it has now simply been taken out of the sum Britain originally owed.

In its defense the Treasury is claiming that it was not clear that the rebate would have ever applied in full and they gained that assurance *only* after discussions with the Commission.

It is a shame for Mr Osborne, then, that this account is being flatly contradicted by EU officials. As the Mail is reporting, asked if the rebate had been in doubt, the EC vice-president said: “No, absolutely not.”

And an official from the Commission has now taken to Twitter to slam down the Tory Treasury over its rebate spin:

Tory rebate

To repeat: the rebate was “never in doubt”. This means that Osborne’s claim yesterday to have won some kind of victory for Britain was, in the words of Ed Balls, “smoke and mirrors”.

This from Simon Wren-Lewis, economics Professor at Oxford, aptly sums up the failure of the British media to call Osborne out on this nonsense:


James Bloodworth is the editor of Left Foot Forward. Follow him on Twitter

19 Responses to “EU Commission slaps down George Osborne over rebate claim”

  1. Guest

    Do some basic research before you come on here, yes.

  2. Foullaini

    Thanks goodness, we can tell all the Poles, Latvians, Bulgarians and Romanians we don’t need anymore of you. What a relief.

  3. swat

    George is a right plonker; if he’d kept quiet, it would all have been done and dusted; it was a s transparent as day, but he had to over reach himself and try nad make political capital out of the issue and try and outdo UKIP. As Labour has said, you can’t outdo UKIP. The UKIP brand of xenophobia speaks fr itself and will be its downfall, as more realise the dregs of society are making UKIP their home, much to the annoyance of Nige.

  4. Tubby_Isaacs

    It’s the money under the formula Britain agreed to.
    How difficult is that to understand?

  5. BLdeQ

    Ask Osborne’s media and those who promote Farage’s bellicose ramblings.

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