Under the present rules, Britain is paying two and a half times more into the EU Budget than France. Are the French grateful for this largesse? Pas de tout. They are lobbying hard for new rules under which Britain would pay fifteen times more than France!
France's "social model" cripples its economy to such an extent that apparently this is "fair". Odd that, given that in GDP terms France is always either just below or just above Britain in the league tables. In effect, France is a client state of the United Kingdom. Yet, unlike the battered citizens of our client states in Africa, the French actually enjoy a superior standard of living to ours. Those guys are clever, aren't they?
How politically inept were our leaders to engineer a situation where the only defence against such massive subsidies is a "rebate" - an inherently transient device which presents itself psychologically as a "gift" from thieves who have temporarily agreed to steal less. Margaret Thatcher, yet again, mistakenly assumed that all successive leaders would be as strong as her. Our economic safety depends on the enthusiasm with which Blown and Brair wield Maggie's old handbag.
If Blair gives way on this one, surely both he and Britain's EU membership are finished? Why exactly would the British people not hang from a lampost a leader who betrayed them on such a scale?
Guardian Unlimited Politics | Special Reports | EU set to ambush British rebate