The EUphiles never tire of claiming that if the UK left the EU we would lose our ‘influence’ over the laws that are made and how things are done. When asked to detail examples of this influence they go quiet. It is an illusion.
That much is emphasised again in the Telegraph, which reports on the reaction of DEFRA minister, Owen Paterson, to a series of votes in the European Parliament concerning the Common Agricultural Policy. The minister is said to have condemned the votes, which will see farmers paid twice for doing the same work at a cost of up to an extra £2.6bn per year. A substantial proportion of that money is extracted from UK taxpayers and the benefit to UK farmers is trivial compared to the subsidy whores on the continent.
The parliament’s agriculture committee, which is dominated by farming interests, backed so-called “double payments” to farmers in order to keep spending on the CAP – currently approaching £50 billion a year – as close as possible to its present high levels.
Crucially, farmers will be able to be paid twice for the same work. Farmers who qualify for money from “Pillar 2”, the part of the budget which rewards “green” practices, such as preserving hedgerows, will now get an automatic right to collect money from the larger subsidy scheme, known as “Pillar 1” regardless of how little work they do for the Pillar 2 cash, meaning in effect being paid twice for doing the same thing.
The committee also voted for more of the controversial practice, reduced under earlier CAP reforms, of subsidising farmers based purely on the amounts they produce – something which contributed to the infamous 1970s “butter mountains” and “wine lakes.”
It is waste, plain and simple. It is an appalling abuse of our money. But as if the fact the vote was carried at the meeting of the agriculture committee at all isn’t bad enough, the manner in which it passed and what was passed along with it is even worse, as a separate piece in the Telegraph makes clear:
[...] the agriculture committee voted, in several ways, to go backwards in time. They passed “recoupling”. This re-establishes, on a smaller scale, the discredited practice of subsidising particular crops for the sake of it. It blocked transparency provisions which would have published the names of all the beneficiaries and the amounts they received.
Now why on earth would transparency provisions be blocked? The question is rhetorical, for we can already be sure of the answer. This is the nature of the EU. Vested interests are being served at our ever growing expense. As the piece continues:
If last week’s vote shows the unreformed nature of much Euro-thinking, it also shows up the EU’s flawed democratic processes.
These hugely important changes have emerged almost entirely without public involvement, knowledge or debate. The amendments, and the compromises between them which were passed, were produced in private, and even published only a few days before last week’s hearing.
With as many as 8,000 amendments to consider on Wednesday and Thursday — though the number was reduced by compromises — there was no time for debate, or indeed for anything but the votes.
There is much more besides and reading the whole depressing thing is essential. But this is what David Cameron wants more of, the UK staying trapped inside a corrupt cesspool with Brussels still pulling the strings, with a few meaningless ‘powers’ returned like crumbs being swept from a table. All because Cameron and his EUphile stooges says it’s vital this country is at the heart of ‘Europe’ using our ‘influence’.
Just where was this famous influence on Wednesday, as British taxpayers were ripped off for even more money amidst chaotic scenes, as our ‘partners’ not only picked our pockets but at the same time voted to prevent us finding out who exactly was going to benefit from this pork barrel pantomime? Nothing that Cameron hopes to reform is going to change this. The only way to stop being abused like this is for the UK to leave the EU. Stories like this make it that bit easier.