HOW THE UK TAXPAYER FUNDS THE EMPIRES OF FRANCE, PORTUGAL AND SPAIN
THE EU’S 9 ADDITIONAL, UNKNOWN MEMBERS
COST €13.3 BILLION (£11.7 BILLION) IN 2014-2020
Children in British schools are taught that there are 28 member states of the European Union. The majority of adults know this too, even if most would be hard-pressed to name them all.
But did you know about the EU’s tropical members, parts of the colonial empires of France, Portugal and Spain?
And did you know that the British taxpayer has been funding these offshore paradises?
BREXIT FACTS4EU.ORG SUMMARY – THE EU’S 9 ‘OUTERMOST REGIONS’
There are nine ‘Outermost Regions’ of the EU
Six are French colonies (French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Mayotte, Réunion & Saint Martin)
Two are Portuguese (the Azores & Madeira)
One is Spanish (the Canary Islands)
Cost to EU taxpayers 2014-2020: €13.3 billion
These mostly tropical islands now have special legal status but we’ve used the term colonies, as they were formerly part of the empire of each country.
Despite being located thousands of miles from the European continent, the EU’s 9 ‘Outermost Regions’ (OR’s) are an integral part of the EU, with a combined population of 4.8 million, equivalent to that of Ireland or slightly more than that of Croatia.
They are not the same as the EU Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs). There are 25 OCTs but they are not part of the Single Market and must comply with the obligations imposed on third countries. The OR’s are the beneficiaries of large amounts of EU taxpayer cash each year. The money comes from a variety of EU funds which we are now able to reveal below.
Apart from the special ERDF allocations, Outermost Regions also benefit in the area of agriculture from the POSEI programmes (Programmes of Options Specifically Relating to Remoteness and Insularity), funded from the EAGF. These programmes focus on two major types of measures:
specific supply arrangements designed to mitigate the additional supply costs relating to essential products for human consumption, for processing or for use as agricultural inputs; and measures to support local agricultural production
Article 349 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union recognises the specific situation of these regions and gives them a special status. The Article provides for the adoption of specific measures within the framework of European law. A Court of Justice judgement in 2015 clarified the scope of this.
Dear reader, you are probably someone to whom €13.3 billion (approx £11.7 billion GBP) is not a lot of money.
However, you may feel that the weary British taxpayer might have wanted to know about how some of his hard-earned is spent by EU Commissioners.
Worry not, some of these unelected Commissioners have personally visited these exotic, tropical paradises on behalf of citizens, to ensure that the money is being well-spent.
WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT IT?
On a more serious note, we have previously reported on the way in which some EU countries seem able to receive money for all manner of things, which in the UK would automatically be assumed to be the responsibility of the member state government.
When we first started investigating the EU’s Outermost Regions, we thought we would find some British possessions on the list. After all, the British Empire was the largest in the World – three times larger than the French empire at its height, in terms of population of the colonies concerned. Despite this, it is the French who dominate the list and the UK is absent.
From documents we have seen, it seems that the EU is finally waking up to the fact that it has territories of strategic importance located around the globe. It’s important to stress that these nine Outermost Regions are claimed as EU territory. They fall within the definitions in the Treaties.
We would suggest that this is another example of how the EU has always spent far too much time thinking about itself.
Remoaner MPs talk disparagingly of Brexiteers as being insular Little Englanders. In reality our experience is that it is the Brexiteers who are looking outward, and who are looking forward to re-establishing the United Kingdom as the proud, independent, global-trading nation it once was.
WHY THESE THINGS MATTER FOR BREXIT
We are about to see yet another meltdown in British government policy towards Brexit. Yesterday’s performance by the Prime Minister during PMQs in the Commons was, frankly, pitiful. We will comment on the overall situation in an article in the coming days.
On Tuesday next week there will be a major debate on the Withdrawal Bill during which the massed ranks of Remoaner MPs will once again attempt to thwart the democratically-expressed will of the British people.
We strongly believe that it is necessary to continue to shine our big, bright, Brexit light on the failing and dysfunctional mess that is the European Union.
Currently these nine Outermost Regions of the EU do not benefit the UK at all, despite the hefty price tag. People might want to know about this.
THE COMING BATTLE
In the battle about to be joined, we need as many decent British people on side – whether they voted Leave or Remain in the Referendum. We need MPs to be aware of the strength of feeling. The vote must be respected and honoured in full.
To achieve this we need to continue to demonstrate to Remain voters just how they were deceived.
Passing on information such as that contained in this article is another blow we can strike.[Sources: EU Commission | EU Parliament | Numerous other sources] 06.15am, 07 June 2018