Matt Ridley on Brexit: Brits should give foreign aid to EU (with strings) as parting gift

Matt Ridley writes the letter Theresa May should send to the EU

For 40 years Britain has propped up the EU with nothing in return but complaints and insults.

The fifth biggest economy in the world can offer foreign aid to the failing EU but on the same terms as other needy states.


Dear Angela, Emmanuel and others (cc Donald, Jean-Claude, Michel),

I enclose a cheque for £40 billion as agreed. However, you will notice that it is post-dated March 30, 2019, and that it will bounce without a free-trade agreement between us, as I mentioned on the telephone. We are delighted to be in a position to be so unilaterally generous, and sorry that you find yourselves in such dire need of our help.

We cannot help feeling that a little more financial discipline on your part might have avoided the need for such a large sum.

For instance, we notice that all Eurocrats can draw generous final-salary pensions when they get to the end of their lucrative careers, throughout which they will have had handsome allowances and expenses and have paid specially low income tax at a flat rate. In Britain we regard this as regressive, or “unfair”, and are unhappy that hard-pressed British workers in, say, Sunderland should now be asked to guarantee the pensions of such wealthy people, when they have no such guarantee themselves.

Is manners to much to ask for?

We realise you cannot agree among yourselves whether to cut the budget or increase the national contributions once the second largest net contributor leaves the European Union, so you are desperate for us to help you out. That we have filled your coffers for 40 years in this way, always giving more than we received, might in some circles have elicited a measure of gratitude. However, we are surprised on looking back through the files to find no such letters of thanks, but rather quite a few reprimands, insults and aspersions.

Let’s call British support what it really is:

You will also notice that the cheque is drawn from our foreign aid budget (given the political chaos in Germany, Italy and Spain, this seems appropriate) and counts towards our 0.7 per cent of gross national income spend on aid. This means you will have to fill out forms certifying that the money was not wasted. These must be returned to the Department for International Development punctually, and failure to comply may result in fines. I am sure you will understand that this is necessary given that the money would otherwise have gone to help starving and sick people in Africa.

Read the whole fabulous letter with his digs at the BBC,  at The Rational Optimist

Matt Ridley for PM, I say.

h/t mothcatcher

9.8 out of 10 based on 72 ratings

36 comments to Matt Ridley on Brexit: Brits should give foreign aid to EU (with strings) as parting gift

  • #

    I very much like his suggestion that proper acquittal of the money must be filled out on the correct forms – just what those eurocrats love, when applying the rules to the poor old poms.


    • #
      Sceptical Sam

      In triplicate, if you don’t mind.


    • #

      To quote Jones from Dads Army – “give em some cold steel – stick it right up em…”

      I’d suggest the best parting gift for the EU from GB is a size 12 boot print with “Made in Great Britain” clearly visible, on its rear end……

      Good riddance to the vampire EU socialists…..


  • #

    Brilliant Matt, in the spirit of one of our iconic AFL (VFL) legends “Stick it right up em!”


  • #

    Actually, a truly great idea of labeling any “payoff to leave” as a charitable gift. Might even help some Brits on their taxes if the UK does a “pass-through” charitable deduction to offset on their personal and VAT taxes. Great for PR since the UK could then have merchants print on their receipts how much lower their taxes are due to their charitable deduction. Shame the math doesn’t work on that but still a great idea.


  • #

    Absolutely brilliant! I do hope Ms May reads it, has a good laugh and then redrafts it in more polispeak, sticks a stamp on it and posts it off to the EU. How good is it to have a sense of humour in th face of adversity – how damned British!


    • #

      Damn right. You don’t think we’re going to lower ourselves to their level do you? It always amazes me that seemingly intelligent educated people think that slagging off a country and it’s people is a productive and clever way to achieve one’s goals. Did not the EU referendum campaign in Britain and subsequent victory by true Britons disabuse them of this tactic.
      Perhaps they failed to notice that this tactic also failed to work against Trump. I mean, who knew? Juncker I reckon works for the “Leavers” – every time he opens his gob he convinces even more Remoaners that the Leavers were right.

      Matt’s letter is dripping in good old fashioned biting sarcasm – re-drafting it in pollie speak wouldn’t have the same effect. It has to be readable by “normal” people. It also has to be read by Germans – and German humour is no laughing matter!


  • #
    Lionell Griffith

    Good news from the EU: Climate parasites get a free ride from someone else. Eighteen down, thousands to go.

    PARIS – It is a dream come true for U.S.-based climate scientists — the offer of all-expenses-paid life in France to advance their research in Europe instead of in the United States under climate skeptic President Donald Trump, two of the winners say.

    American scientist Camille Parmesan and British scientist Benjamin Sanderson are among the 18 initial winners, including 13 based in the U.S., who were named recipients of French President Emmanuel Macron’s “Make Our Planet Great Again” climate grants.

    Fox News Report


  • #

    Whilst Jo was posting this headline post above I was wading through some more of “Der Spiegel’s “ cockeyed socialistic trending, dictatorial EU hubristic superiority.

    And after reading another dose of patently bigoted EU propaganda from Der Spiegel, the British from where I sit, are getting out just in time.

    Der Spiegel articles like this one on “European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker” makes the hair begin to curl at what the future might hold for the EU under the thumb of people like Juncker who is beginning to come across as a somewhat less cunning and less carefully dressed version but matching in a hubristic ego, that of a past german “Fuhrer”.

    The “Der Spiegel” article in question.
    Ego Trip in Brussels

    Juncker Seeks Greater Commission Control over Eurozone

    European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker would like the EU executive to have more control over the Eurozone in the future. But member states aren’t eager to give up control

    Jean-Claude Juncker never lets others outshine him if he spots an opportunity to give the European project a boost. And that goes for friends and enemies alike.

    Indeed, the European Commission president has now come up with a project that not only transgressions the mandate given him by the leaders of the European Union member states, but also pits him against all the Eurozone finance ministers as well.

    Juncker was supposed to reach an agreement with finance ministers from the common currency area on proposals for deepening European integration he will present at the forthcoming EU summit later this month. Plans for greater EU integration are currently in vogue, a trend started by French President Emmanuel Macron, who presented his ideas for a better Europe two days after the German election in late September.

    But instead of getting the finance ministers on board, Juncker has embarked on an ego trip. On Wednesday, the Commission is to present its plan without any input from the finance ministers whatsoever. The Eurogroup of 19 Eurozone finance ministers met in Brussels on Monday and on Tuesday it was the turn of Ecofin, which represents the EU finance ministers, but officially neither group was consulted on the Commission’s plans.

    “The entire approach is a disaster,” one participant complained. And because the national experts had no input, it’s unlikely that EU heads of state and government will do more than simply take note of Juncker’s proposals.

    The timing is an expression of rivalry between the Commission and the EU member states when it comes to questions relating to the economic and currency union. And the finance ministers aren’t likely to be impressed with the content, either. After all, the Commission’s proposals are designed to increase its own influence at the expense of the member states.


    But now it seems that the British attitudes down at street level are beginning to harden against the EU and most noticeably against the [ continuing ?] enormous influx of other EU nationalities and the so called “refugees” / economic carpet baggers over which the EU mandated that the British government would have no control over prior to the British voting to get out of the EU.

    Der Speigel has again gone out of its way in the usual typical media fashion to find and magnify the supposed insults from a few British citizens against purported “citizens” of the EU who have been living in the UK for some time but have never bothered to register as British domiciled

    It also appears that some of those same “citizens of the EU” are now beginning to claim that British law does not apply to them and being citizens of the EU, the British are not allowed to try those same EU citizens in British law courts if they break any laws but have to bow down to the EU’s courts of Justice in any legal cases made out against those purported citizens of the EU.

    The British public to say the least haven’t taken to that idea with any enthusiasm indeed but rather with a very high level of contempt for the persons promoting this belief in the lack of any British legal justice control over EU citizens residing in Britain .

    There is also considerable moaning in other Der Spiegel articles about Trump reducing the American business tax rates down to 20% as that will take business away from the EU who have relied on American generosity to rip billions of dollars out of the 350 million Americans to fight wars that are right on the 450 million population EU’s back doorstep.
    But which the EU could only wring its hands and wet its panties about whilst constantly complaining bitterly about American policies and claimed American atrocities in the very war and terror inflicted areas at the EU’s back door and where most of the EU’s entire energy needs come from.

    Certainly over the last few years I might have some serious reservations about a lot of what America has done and is doing politically and internationally which pale into almost insignificance compared to what China is doing in slinging its weight around.

    But for the Europeans, my contempt is pretty close to total when it comes to the Europeans / EU actually carrying some of the load of trying to to bring a modicum of peace to its own back yard and its sources of energy and even food let alone some peace to all the other 180 plus nations that are not members of the EU.

    That of course is not the EU’s problem.
    Thats rich wealthy America’s problem isn’t it.
    Nothing to do with us says the EU.

    Meanwhile, the “Der Spiegel” view;

    Britain Grows Increasingly Hostile to EU Citizen
    Trump who Der Spiegel hates with an irrational , pathologically driven dribbling fanatiscm [ arguably becuase Trump is finally calling the EU and its tentacles in the IPCC and UN and etc out for what they really are, major impediments on the road to better international relationships and interactions,] is finally looking after Americans and /American business and the EU with all its petty bureacracy and its constant pressures against all non EU industrial enterprises who want to do business in the EU can go _______ itself as far as Trump and a large slice of middle America in the “flyover country” of Hilary Clinton infamy is concerned.

    Trump Tax Plan Worries Europe


    • #
      Lionell Griffith

      Finally the EU is being exposed for what it is, a replay of all the nonsense of starting two major wars in the last century. Plus the endless mischief before and after. I say three strikes and you are out. No more!

      I have long found the continental attitude to be thinkers don’t do, doers don’t think. They believe they are the master thinkers and everyone else is obliged to be unquestioning doers to deliver as commanded.

      I have personally delivered in weeks, from scratch, what their thinkers could not deliver in four years with their massive team of drone doers. This is exactly and because I am both a thinker and a doer.

      According to them, I cannot possibly exist and that I did what I did because I was lucky. There was no luck involved except for my being born in the US and not in Europe and am free to both think and do.

      We jointly have spent quite enough men and material pulling their fat out of the totalitarian fires they set themselves last century. It is time we leave them to their own devices so they can pay for the consequences with their own skin. They need us more than we need them. Apparently, they will have to learn that the hard way.

      This US citizen, living in the US fly over country, will welcome the change.


      • #
        Sceptical Sam

        pparently, they will have to learn that the hard way.

        No they won’t’ Lionell.

        They are still a continent of tribes. They’ve never learnt in all their history.

        They are destined to live on a endless loop of disaster.

        The really smart ones emigrated generations ago. Those who are left are the progeny of the dullards.

        Darwinism in practice.


        • #
          Lionell Griffith

          Sadly, I think you are right in every respect.


        • #

          Perhaps. I blame European twittitude on mutagenic chemicals used in WWI. A few of those blew west, as well.


        • #
          Glen Michel

          I can date my ancestry back to Alamanni and Franks;ever at each other’s throats it seems. As Churchill once said about Germany. “They’re either at your feet or at your throat. Unfair maybe as they were an ally for most of their respective histories.


    • #

      “But now it seems that the British attitudes down at street level are beginning to harden against the EU and most noticeably against the [ continuing ?] enormous influx of other EU nationalities and the so called “refugees” / economic carpet baggers over which the EU mandated that the British government would have no control over prior to the British voting to get out of the EU.”

      Yes, becasue deep in the British DNA is seething dislike of Johhny Foreigner.

      The Brits are ….well….British…if you dont mind, and dont take kindly being told what to do. After running a 1/4 of the planet, becoming second rate under the yoke of the Socialist EU would grind on them.

      When your standard form of diplomacy is via gun boat, being told to be nice to a bunch of foreign paid-for-by-the-gummint interlopers would seriously get up thier left nostril….


  • #

    If Britain, as major dollar contributor, walked
    (ran) and refused to pay for services UNrendered,
    would the EU implode? OH schadenfreude if it did. 🙂


  • #

    speaking of great reads, here’s one from a surprising source. Greenwald writes the most scathing critique of FakeNewsMSM to date:

    10 Dec: The Intercept: Glenn Greenwald: The U.S. Media Suffered Its Most Humiliating Debacle in Ages: Now Refuses All Transparency Over What Happened
    The humiliation orgy was kicked off by CNN, with MSNBC and CBS close behind, with countless pundits, commentators and operatives joining the party throughout the day. By the end of the day, it was clear that several of the nation’s largest and most influential news outlets had spread an explosive but completely false news story to millions of people, while refusing to provide any explanation of how it happened…

    Why does this matter so much? For so many significant reasons:
    To begin with, it’s hard to overstate how fast, far and wide this false story traveled. Democratic Party pundits, operatives and journalists with huge social media platforms predictably jumped on the story immediately, announcing that it proved collusion between Trump and Russia (through WikiLeaks). One tweet from Democratic Congressman Ted Lieu, claiming that this proved evidence of criminal collusion, was re-tweeted thousands and thousands of times in just a few hours (Lieu quietly deleted the tweet after I noted its falsity, and long after it went very viral, without ever telling his followers that the CNN story, and therefore his accusation, had been debunked)…

    Brookings’ Benjamin Wittes, whose star has risen as he has promoted himself as a friend of former FBI Director Jim Comey, not only promoted the CNN story in the morning, but did so with the word “Boom” — which he uses to signal that a major blow has been delivered to Trump on the Russia story — along with a gif of a cannon being detonated…

    At minimum, these networks — CNN, MSNBC, and CBS — have to either identify who purposely fed them this blatantly false information or explain how it’s possible that “multiple sources” all got the same information wrong in innocence and good faith. Until they do that, their cries and protests the next time they’re attacked as “Fake News” should fall on deaf ears, since the real author of those attacks — the reason those attacks resonate — is themselves and their own conduct…READ ALL

    9 Dec: Breitbart: John Nolte: Media Close 2017 Proving Trump 100 Percent Correct About Fake News
    If the discredited American media have enjoyed even one good week this year, I cannot recall it…
    Here is the most comprehensive list of latest fake news I could come up with. Undoubtedly, in a firehose of lies, something will be overlooked…

    Honest mistakes fall in the range of 50/50.
    These mistakes all fall 0/100.
    Which means they are deliberate lies.

    and there’s been more today (US time):

    11 Dec: Daily Caller: Amber Athey: CNN Walks Back Jeff Sessions-Russia Bombshell
    The CNN report led to breathless coverage by the rest of the legacy media, who painted the non-disclosures as a Trump official trying to hide problematic meetings with the Russians.
    However, CNN admitted early Monday that FBI emails prove that Sessions’ explanation for the non-disclosures is accurate…


  • #

    The UK referendum result has truly put the staggers across our wannabe bureaucratic elite. For Blair to attempt circumvention is a concocted denial of democracy.

    I voted ‘out’ for two principal reasons: Common Fisheries Policy that effectively shafts Scottish industry throughout communities; secondly, EU mandarins are not elected, instead appointed by representatives forwarded by governments.

    Hopefully, we’ve seen the light.


  • #

    12 Dec: Washington Examiner: John Siciliano: Bloomberg gets oil companies, dozens of others to join climate disclosure pact
    Billionaire Michael Bloomberg helped kick off the second anniversary of the Paris climate change accord on Tuesday by announcing a new agreement by 237 firms vowing to support the former New York mayor’s push to get companies to disclose climate-related financial data.
    “Climate change poses both economic risks and opportunities,” Bloomberg said in a statement as chairman of the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures…

    He said the lack of climate-related financial data “prevents” the private sector from making investments that are both climate friendly and economically viable with strong returns on investment…

    Bloomberg’s announcement is meant to undergird French President Emanuel Macron and World Bank President Jim Yong Kim’s planned announcement on Tuesday to pledge the continued flow of climate-related financing. Kim wants the large development bank to increase the amount of climate-related funding from the bank to nearly 30 percent of all the bank’s business by 2020…

    The list of the 237 companies that signed on to the task force’s recommendations includes big banks such as HSBC, utility firms such as NRG, global shipping giants such as Maersk, chemical companies such as Dow and Dupont, automakers such as Daimler, and luxury brands such as Burberry.
    The list also includes large oil companies like Norway’s multinational ***Statoil and France’s oil and gas firm Total…

    Total made the decision last year to begin publishing voluntarily “its first dedicated annual ‘ClimateReport’ and we encourage other companies to do so,” the chairman explained.

    we all know the latest CLIMATE CHANGE data from Statoil:

    Statoil Greenlights Key $6 Billion Norway Arctic Oil Project
    Bloomberg-5 Dec. 2017

    but let’s help Total disclose a little of their CLIMATE CHANGE concerns:

    12 Dec: The West: Santos, Total join Melbana Energy’s Beehive oil prospect
    by Peter Williams
    Santos and French oil and gas company Total have made a deal to potentially farm into a multibillion barrel oil prospect off the Kimberley…
    According to Melbana, Beehive is potentially the largest undrilled hydrocarbon prospect in Australia…
    “Melbana welcomes Total and Santos as partners and we are excited by the opportunity to unlock the huge potential of the Beehive prospect for our shareholders,” Melbana chief executive Peter Stickland said…

    12 Dec: NewTelegraphOnline Nigeria: OML130: Total’s $16bn project mulls 10% oil production
    by Adeola Yusuf
    Total Upstream Nigeria Limited has declared plan to add 200,000 barrels per day to Nigeria’s oil production; approximately 10 per cent of the country’s total oil production from its $16 billion Egina field project.
    The Egina field was discovered by Total Upstream Nigeria Limited (TUPNI) in partnership with Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), CNPC, CNOOC, SAPETRO and PETROBRAS, in 2003 within the Oil Mining Licence 130 (OML130), some 200 kilometres south of Port Harcourt, Nigeria…

    Total to Expand Oil and Gas Activities in Angola
    Fox Business-4 Dec. 2017


  • #

    comment in moderation re: 12 Dec: Washington Examiner: John Siciliano: Bloomberg gets oil companies, dozens of others to join climate disclosure pact


  • #
    Gerry, England

    While Matt Ridley writes well on global warming and has produced a good critique on the BBC’c Blue Planet II when it comes to the EU and Brexit it he is among the ignorant morons. Anyone who fails to understand that the payments sought by the EU are in the main obligations to which the UK has signed up to due to our membership. This specifically applies to Rester A Liquide which is the overspend that occurs during every 7 year EU budget and is not fixed until the period ends in 2020. Hence the EU have NEVER set a figure as it is not possible. In terms of any trade deal, nothing will replace membership of the Single Market and the damage resulting from Theresa May and Nick Timothy deciding to leave this is beyond the comprehension of most people. In fact when presented with the fallout, people can’t believe and just say it won’t happen without offering any reason why it won’t happen. The legacy media in the UK is still jumping for joy over the ‘agreement’ last week, but then they don’t do detail and can’t see that the deal is empty and will fall apart by the end of next week.


  • #

    The U.K. for decades was harried,
    By a partner whose burden it carried.
    What it needed, of course,
    Was a Brexit divorce,
    From the E.U. it should not have married.


  • #

    EU budget not signed off for 19 years and counting

    The EU continues to see approx 5% of its budget unaccounted for, although it is difficult to confirm the accuracy of this statement due to lack of transparancy.


  • #
    Extreme Hiatus

    The EU, a New World Order crash test dummy, is having a bad day/week/year and showing more of its true colours:

    “Germany, France, Britain, Spain and Italy have written to Treasury Sec. Steven Mnuchin, arguing that tax bills passed by the House and Senate run afoul of treaties and could distort international trade.

    “It is important that the U.S. government’s rights over domestic tax policy be exercised in a way that adheres with international obligations to which it has signed-up,” the letter states. It was signed by the countries’ finance ministers.

    The letter argues that proposed changes to the U.S. tax code could give American companies an advantage over foreign rivals.”


  • #
    Geoffrey Williams

    Another brilliant summary from Matt Ridley.
    Stick-it to EU fat cats in Brussels and let them stew on it.
    Regards GeoffW