Grantham Journal letter: PM’s reforms will do nothing

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The farming community are fearful of the UK withdrawing from the EU; a situation easy to empathise with as the farming industry is in crisis and dependent upon subsidies paid through the EU.

Inevitably, should we leave, agricultural delegates are unsure where the money will come from.

Currently the UK pays the equivalent of £53 million a day into the EU, and in the event of leaving the UK would be able to pay the subsidies directly to the farmers.

Ironically over the 10 year period up to late 2014, the EU fined the UK £265 million for paying farmers later then the rules allowed. Early 2015, EU legislation changed regards payment rules and it took a while for civil servants to grasp the new measures resulting in late payment fines of £140 million.

A philosophical approach would be to argue if Britain wasn’t in the EU the 55,000 beneficiaries of the farming subsidies could have received a share of the £405 million paid in fines?

Recently a spokesperson for Trent University stated: ‘Leaving the EU would be a disaster for research because the EU pays them grants of £350 million.’ Grants shouldn’t be problematic when £350 million represents only seven days of UK, EU payments. If we voted to leave, the government could directly cover the fiscal commitment to the university.

Consider Nottinghamshire’s Whatton Prison, a category ‘C’ jail. It opened as a detention centre, and since May 1990 it has held adult male sex offenders who participate in the Sex Offenders Treatment Programme.

To convince local residents offenders wouldn’t abscond, the authorities erected an extra high fence. It was higher than EU regulations allowed for the type of prison. The added preventative measure costs government £tens of thousands in annual fines to the EU. What is more Whatton is one of many UK prisons where such fiscal penalties are imposed.

EU bureaucrats issued fines totalling £140 million by enforcing obscure rules that insists the EU flag 
must be flown at all projects partly funded by the European Regional Development 
Fund.

In addition to failing to fly the EU flag on the projects several British based operations were also fined for not incorporating the EU flag on their letterheads.

Mr Cameron’s reforms do nothing to prevent the EU extracting money from us; his so-called reforms are designed so he gets rewarded with a cushy commissioner role or becomes the Euro President if we vote to ‘Remain?’

Nigel J Starbuck

Carnarvon Close,

Bingham