By 2013 Britain's net contribution to the EU will have quadrupled to £13 billion a year from £3 billion two years ago, UKIP MEP Nigel Farage
told Euro-Parliamentarians in Strasbourg today in a speech that caused EU Commission president José Manuel Barroso and Socialist group president Martin Schulz to hit back.
Addressing the Commission president during the debate on the preparations for the G20 Summit (11-12 November), Mr Farage said Mr Barroso had first pushed through the Lisbon treaty by using illegitimate means and was now using the power it gives him towards acquiring all the attributes of EU statehood.
"And nowhere could that be more apparent than in your recent proposal for a direct tax to be levied by the European institutions on the peoples of this continent," Mr Farage told Mr Barroso.
"Of course in previous times there was a very successful independence movement that campaigned on the slogan of No Taxation Without Representation," he added.
"And you certainly, Sir, are not a representative. We haven't voted for you and we can't remove you. So I think with this direct tax you actually made a mistake.
"And what an expensive club it's becoming. Just two years ago, Britain's net contribtuion was £3 billion a year. This year it's £6 billion. Next year it will be £8 billion. The year after that, it's due to be £10 billion. And now we hear that you want to take away the British rebate. You want to get rid of the British rebate, which will mean by 2013 our contribution will be £13 billion. It would have quadrupled in the space of six years."
Referring to the Deauville deal between Merkel and Sarkozy, who have called for a new EU treaty that would consolidate EU economic governance and financial supervision, Mr Farage said: "I hope it happens."
"Let's have a new European treaty and let's put it to a referendum - in lots of countries, particularly in Britain. And the British people will conclude that this is a very bad deal for Britain. They'll vote for us to leave the European Union and begin the unravelling," he concluded amid sarcastic applause.
"Thank you," Farage retorted. "We'll be happy to go, thank you."
Following Mr Farage's speech, Martin Schulz MEP, president of the Socialist group, wanted to know whether Mr Farage got his daily allowances from national or EU coffers.
"I think we ought to do away with this notion of European money," replied Farage.
"Prior to their being a direct tax there is as we speak today no such thing as European money. It's our money. We are a massive net contributor into this European Union for no single economic benefit in return whatsoever," he said.
At this point Commission president Barroso made a point of order claiming that Farage should not keep repeating that he was not elected as he had actually been elected by the House, referring to the procedure whereby the European Parliament votes to approve or reject the Commission.
"I have been elected in a secret vote by this parliament," Barroso told Farage.
"And you belong to this parliament. I can say that always saying that myself and the commission have not been elected is a lack of respect to the Commission and to the European Parliament where you belong," Barroso concluded.