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How it works: The UK rebate - to be continued?

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The English pay less to the European budget than other countries. Why? Today the budget of the European Union is 140 billion euros. And all Member States have to contribute to it. But some pay less than the others. In 2006, the British benefited from a large rebate. Around 6 billion euros. The English talk about a rebate or a discount. But the French talk about 'the British cheque'. In other words, the French are paying for us Brits. More diplomatically in Brussels it's called a correction mechanism or a budgetary compensation. It all started in 1984 at the summit in Fontainebleau with Margaret Thatcher's famous declaration: What we are asking is for a very large amount of our own money back. At the time the United Kingdom had reasons for protesting. It was much poorer than the other countries of the EU. But it paid much more into the European budget than it received in return. The reason was the budget of the Common Agricultural Policy, which represents over 70% of the European budget. It's the large agricultural countries that benefit the most from it, and France more than anyone. Our own money back... Back, back, back, back, back... Our money back, our money back. OK. But what is it? Hold tight. The British cheque is a long mathematical formula. You can't understand it? That's no surprise. In 28 years the calculation has become horribly complicated. The British rebate has often been highly criticised. So it has often been changed. The richest countries said, 'Stop!' And they in turn received a rebate on the rebate. So since then they have paid less than the others towards the British bill. That's the case for Germany, Netherlands, Austria and Sweden. And France? It still receives the most from the CAP. But its contribution has increased. So, will this rebate finish soon? No, surely not. The French and the English no longer want to negotiate. Later... maybe.

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How it works: The UK rebate - to be continued?
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