11 Days Remaining

Monday 1st
posted by Morning Star in Britain

British bosses’ club received Commission bungs from 2007

by Our News Desk

BRITAIN’S bosses’ club has been handed more than €1 million in European Commission cash over the past eight years, an analysis of funding reveals. 

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI), which is campaigning on behalf of bosses for Britain to remain in the European Union, has taken €1,154, 651 (£830,000) from the EU’s executive body since 2007. That includes an annual block grant of around €185,000 since 2009, according to figures highlighted by Ukip yesterday. 

The European Commission’s financial transparency register explains the CBI received the cash as part of the “joint harmonised EU programme of business and consumer surveys.”

The bosses’ body has also claimed smaller grants of around €1,000 for “other management expenditure” for three years between 2009 and 2011. A CBI spokeswoman said they were completely transparent about their funding, adding that it helped them produce surveys that provide a “bellwether of UK business and economic trends.” 

But No2EU spokesman Brian Denny said the figures were further proof that the interests of big business and the European Union were the same. He told the Star: “The CBI are going to campaign to stay in the EU because it’s a mouthpiece for big business. “It’s there to undermine national laws that get in the way of making profits for some of the biggest businesses around Europe.”

The Star recently reported on CBI president Mike Rake’s wish that workers’ rights be slashed as part of PM David Cameron’s renegotiation of Britain’s membership of the EU.

Asked whether it should be easier to sack staff on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, he admitted: “Yes, of course it is part of that.”

GMB general secretary Paul Kenny has twice suggested this month that other unions could join rail union RMT in campaigning to leave the EU.

Mr Denny said the developments reflected the “reality that the ‘social Europe’ project has not delivered for workers in any real way over 30 years.”

"Most trade union members now want a much more critical line from the unions over the role of the EU,” he said.

“It’ll be very sad to see the Labour movement lining up with the Tory party to maintain the status quo.”