With an EU budget that stands at 147 billion euros, a sum that looks set to increase, European MP Paul Nuttall told RT that even the EU doesn’t know where such a "crazy" sum of money is spent.
With EU members set to discuss the inflation-busting rise of 5% to the 2014-2020 budget, suggested by the European Commission, Britain's Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has rebuked David Cameron’s plan to try and repatriate powers to the UK. He described it as “false promise wrapped in union jack” which could trigger an “outright crisis” and result in the UK leaving the union.
Clegg also argued on Thursday that achieving a cut in the seven-year EU budget to be discussed in three weeks is “completely unrealistic” and the only realistic variant is the pushing for a real-terms freeze.
Cameron also wants to push for a freeze, but that freeze is in fact an increase, argues Paul Nuttall, a Member of the European Parliament from the UK Independence Party, due to the inflation.
RT:Is Nick Clegg right? Is the UK moving away from Europe?
Paul Nuttall: The UK is certainly moving away …Well, the people are moving away from Europe, shall we say. If we look at recent opinion polls 80 per cent of people want the referendum, so around 60 per cent of people actually want to leave the European Union altogether. So the people are certainly moving away. The political class that’s another debate, I mean, I think what Nick Clegg said is quite right actually. We can’t repatriate powers unless we have an iron fist behind us. And the iron fist has to be a referendum on our membership of the EU and then we can invoke something called Article 50 of the Lisbon treaty, which means that we can then start negotiation about we can repatriate back to this country.
RT:How welcome is David Cameron going to be in Brussels later this month – what do you expect him to say?
PN: I think David Cameron has already shown his hands. I mean if I was going out there wanting a bargain what I would say that I want a clear reduction – a cut – in the EU budget. What he is saying is that he wants a freeze, which is in fact really a rise what would go in inflation. And I think he has shown his hands and what will happen is that he will talk hard and at the end he will come back and we will lose again and the British people will only pay more and more money to Brussels.
RT:As a Euro MP, how much money does the EU really need to go about its business?
PN: The budget last year was 129 billion pounds [sic], which is a crazy amount of money. Every single year the budget goes up and member states, including Greece and Portugal and Irelands that are in serious trouble will be asked to put their hands in pockets and give more to Brussels. It is wrong.
RT:Large parts of the EU budget have been failing audits for years now. Where does all the money go?
PN: That’s a good question. I don’t know. It seems that the European Union itself doesn’t know. Look, if the European Union was a company then its directors and chief executives would all be in jail. But it is not. It is corrupt and it is another reason why British people want that referendum and want to leave.
RT:Weaker eurozone states are struggling to stay afloat – Spain's verging on a bailout. But the UK's not in the currency union. However it's still paying into the troubled region's coffers. How much is the currency bloc relying on the wider EU states?
PN: The currency block certainly relies presumably on Britain, actually, out of the states which aren’t in the currency [block]. And we pay somewhere 15 million pounds a day just to be members of this club and this doesn’t take into account the mega amounts of money – tens of billions it costs us to comply with EU directives and regulations. It burdens on the British people. It is something we are not happy about. We want a referendum because let’s not forget the last time we voted on our membership this organization was in 1975. We deserve a referendum and we want a say on this issue.