• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Funding British membership in the EC/EU: The awkward quarrels over contributions, CAP funding and UK rebates.

Extracts from this document...


Funding British membership in the EC/EU: The awkward quarrels over contributions, CAP funding and UK rebates. Britain has often been described as an "awkward partner" in relation to European Integration. It is, nevertheless, a major player in the process of integration. Britain finally joined the EC in 1973. On 9th may 1950 the French foreign minister, Robert Schuman, announced a plan for France and Germany to pool coal and steel production under a High Authority. He also invited other European nations to join them, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands (the Benelux states), Italy and Britain. The Benelux states and Italy accepted the offer. The six nations signed the treaty of Paris in April 1952; the ECSC came into operation in July 1952. Britain declined the offer. The negative attitude of the British government has been looked at thoroughly. All accounts accept the there were certain peculiarities of the British position that made it highly unlikely that its government would accept the proposal. Whereas in continental Europe, nationalism had been discredited through its association with fascism, in Britain fascism had never succeeded, and the war had been fought as a national war. ...read more.


While London was contributing heavily to farm subsidies, which swallowed up half of the EU budget, it only recouped a 7% share of the receipts. The developing position was unacceptable to the Labour government. The foreign secretary, David Owen, told the house of commons that the situation whereby the "United kingdom has the third lowest per capita gross domestic product in Community" yet was already the second highest net contributor to the budget "cannot be good for the community any more than it is for the United Kingdom, and promised that the government would "be working to achieve a better balance, especially in relation to agricultural expenditure, to curb the excessive United Kingdom contribution" (Hansard, 14 nov, 1978, col 214). Unfortunately, for the labour government, it never had the opportunity to work for a better balance because it lost office in the June 1979 election to the conservatives under the leadership of Margaret Thatcher. The new government soon took up the same theme concerning the budget. Shortly after coming into office, Sir Geoffrey Howe, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced that the size of the problem was far greater than the Conservatives had realised while in opposition. ...read more.


He went on to attack the idea of the juste retour which he said did not exist and should not exist: "the simple taxpayer cannot refuse to pay taxes only because he does not get back what he paid in". Commissioner Liikanen had a more detached perspective. He saw the British rebate arrangement as underlying the problems with the national net budgetary contributions in Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and Austria. He expected countries to want "a generalised correction system" but the Commission had proposed not opening the rebate discussion until after enlargement when it would be unavoidable. While the UK only funds 13% of the budget, compared with its share of Union Gross National Product of 16%, British ministers point out that only 8% of the EU budget is spent at home, making the UK the lowest per-capita recipient of all member states. They also remind colleagues that, without the rebate, they would be financing 21% of the Union's spending. Even with the rebate, the UK is the Union's fifth-largest contributor while measurements of national wealth put it ninth in the EU league table. The UK still pays twice as much as France, Italy, Belgium and Luxembourg. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level European Union section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level European Union essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    "'A troublesome partner.' Using examples, to what extent would you say this comment accurately ...

    4 star(s)

    she was accepted into the Union. From 1973 onwards, British/EU relations have been interesting for bystanders, and infuriating for hardcore federalists. British governments in the period of 1973-79, despite large Eurosceptic factions, largely followed a policy of accomodationism and did little to harm EC integration, or the UK's standing within

  2. Free essay

    Has British Politics been Europeanised

    showed that national sovereignty was being eroded."8 The second factor is with regards to resources. There is much questioning where resources get allocated and who decides how these resources are distributed. In the British Political system resource allocation is becoming increasingly a European matter.

  1. The Institution of the European Union and Theories.

    It is on of the most important things to consider when launching a new product, the packaging must be eye catching and Boots always ensures when launching its products that the packaging does not offend any consumer. This is because some colours are considered to be bringing bad luck or

  2. Free essay

    Account for the different political and public attitudes towards Turkey's application for EU membership.

    There is widespread unease in countries with strong Turkish minorities like Germany, Austria, Denmark etc, at the prospect of free movement of 70 million Turks. > Cultural: Turkey would be the first Muslim country to join the EU despite the fact that Turkey's laws are based on secularism.

  1. The aim of this essay is to present the reason of British government changing ...

    As the EEC seamed likely to move on rapidly towards a full custom union., Britain felt it imperative to safeguard its important trade with the Community. If this were lost by remaining outside the external tariffs wall that the EEC might construct, it could not be compensated through EFTA.

  2. Why are developing countries unhappy with the global arrangements under the Bretton Woods system?

    This can be seen in the World Bank's definition of good governance which revolved around the ideas of reduced state intervention in economic decision making, the establishment of free markets and the elimination of unnecessary public subsidies as well as an increased integration into the world economy ().

  1. Will examine the effects membership of the European Union or EU has had on ...

    Mrs Thatcher was angered over British contributions to the EEC Budget and demanded a rebate which was finally received in 19844. In 1986 however, Margaret Thatcher did sign the Single European Act in the hope that it would provide more economic growth with less interference from the government.

  2. Why did Britain join the EEC in 1973 and not in 1957?

    Macmillan applied for membership to the EEC for economic and political reasons. The Free Trade area talks failed, which left Britain isolated from the European economic and political group, with other non-EEC countries such as, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Switzerland and Portugal.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work