Blair heads for rebate row at EU summit

Mr Blair has warned EU leaders including Jacques Chirac, the French President, that he will not allow next week's meeting at Hampton Court Palace to be turned into a renewed attack on Britain's rebate.

The Prime Minister wanted to focus next week on the economic threat to the EU by globalisation, code for the growth of China and India, which led this summer to the row over protectionism against Chinese cotton exports. "Next week is not about the budget," said the official spokesman for Mr Blair, who will host the talks because the UK holds the EU's rotating presidency.

In June, Britain was blamed by many countries for the collapse of talks over the EU's budget for 2007-13, when Mr Blair refused to compromise on the UK's annual €5bn (£3.4bn) rebate unless the EU's multibillion-euro farm subsidies were curbed.

That angered several nations and alarmed the 10 countries that joined the EU last year, because they stand to gain most from EU subsidies. The leaders of Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia want the so-called Financial Perspectives discussed at Hampton Court.

But in a formal letter to fellow EU leaders, Mr Blair said he hoped to avoid detailed talks on the budget until December, and wants to discuss global economic challenges to the EU.

European leaders are at odds over the extent to which the bloc should pursuit free-market, economically liberal measures to promote restructuring.

Mr Blair, who will address MEPs in Strasbourg on Wednesday, said the questions the summit should tackle included terrorism, asking how Europe could help to create a "safer world' outside its borders. He wants to delay negotiation on a budget deal until the final British EU summit in December.

The Prime Minister said: "I believe agreement can and should be reached at the December council and I will make every effort personally to achieve it by then, including through personal contact with each of you.

"I will update you further briefly at the meeting on how we are taking this forward through November. But I hope we can avoid getting into detailed discussions of the future financing issue at Hampton Court."

Yesterday in Die Zeit newspaper, Mr Schröder reopened the wounds dating from June when he and Mr Blair clashed openly. The outgoing Chancellor said it was "almost negligence to let the negotiations on the Financial Perspective in June fail".

In an implicit criticism of Mr Blair, he added: "Germany went, in these negotiations, to the very limit of what is possible and might have gone a little further. Others remained on their positions without moving one millimetre."

Mr Barroso has made five proposals to "relaunch negotiations" on EU financing. They included introducing a fund to help those suffering from globalisation, and ring-fencing 60 per cent of cohesion spending on projects related to competitiveness. He also suggested a comprehensive review of the structure and expenditures of the EU budget in 2009 so changes could be made in the next long-term budget after 2013.

Mr Barroso also wants to shift 1 per cent of agriculture spending to help promote a broader rural development objective. Mr Blair has promised to put the UK rebate on the table, if the Common Agricultural Policy is reformed.

Different visions for Europe

NORDIC MODEL
Very high levels of state investment in education, social welfare and research and development has produced high productivity in countries such as Sweden, Finland and Denmark. Benefits include re-training for those who lose their jobs, and childcare facilities that allow a high proportion of women to work. The Nordic model is sustained by very high taxes, which are actually popular in countries such as Sweden where voters believe they get good value from public services. But this idea might not be easily exported.

ANGLO-SAXON MODEL
The most free-market of the European economies, the United Kingdom's and Ireland's economies are the closest to a United States-style approach in the European Union. The UK has seen high economic growth, low inflation and very low unemployment over recent years and has boosted its state spending. However, public services remain below the standard of those in several continental countries, and the UK still suffers from a long-hours work culture because of its poor levels of productivity.

FRANCO-GERMAN MODEL
Along with Belgium, the French and German economies have less flexible labour laws than the UK, and greater trade union influence. Once the motor of European growth, the French and German economies have lost their dynamism, with relatively high unemployment and with Germany still struggling from absorbing the former Communist East Germany. Both still enjoy high levels of social protection, and voters appear reluctant to go through the painful process of economic reform.

Arts and Entertainment
The cast of The Big Bang Theory in a still from the show
tvBig Bang Theory filming delayed by contract dispute over actors' pay
Sport
England celebrate a wicket for Moeen Ali
sportMoeen Ali stars with five wickets as Cook's men level India series
News
peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
Travel
travel
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
Robyn Lawley
people
News
people
News
people
News
i100  ... he was into holy war way before it was on trend
Life and Style

Between the 25-27th of July, Earls Courts’ gloomy interior was doused in shades of bubblegum and parma violets as it played host to Hyper Japan, the venue’s annual celebration of anime, art, Kawaii street fashion and everything that encompasses the term J-culture. Bursting with Japanese pop culture and infused with Asian street food Hyper Japan is an invigorating culture shock that brings cosplayers, creatives and gamers like myself from across the globe.

Life and Style
lifeDon't get caught up on climaxing
Life and Style
food + drinkVegetarians enjoy food as much as anyone else, writes Susan Elkin
Arts and Entertainment
Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe), Hermione Granger (Emma Watson) and Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint)
newsBloomsbury unveils new covers for JK Rowling's wizarding series
News
scienceScientists try to explain the moon's funny shape
Sport
Usain Bolt confirms he will run in both the heats and the finals of the men's relay at the Commonwealth Games
commonwealth games
News
peopleHowards' Way actress, and former mistress of Jeffrey Archer, was 60
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Shine Night Walk 2014 - 'On the night' volunteer roles

Unpaid Voluntary Work : Cancer Research UK: We need motivational volunteers to...

Accounts Assistant (Accounts Payable & Accounts Receivable)

£23000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Accounts Assistant (Accounts Payable...

Senior IT Trainer - Buckinghamshire - £250 - £350 p/d

£200 - £300 per day: Ashdown Group: IT Trainer - Marlow, Buckinghamshire - £25...

Education Recruitment Consultant- Learning Support

£18000 - £30000 per annum + Generous commission scheme: AER Teachers: Thames T...

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star