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How Chirac might look after UK drubbing


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From The Sun -

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TONY Blair and Gordon Brown last night gave Jacques Chirac two black eyes, plunging Anglo-French relations into the deep freeze.

TAKE THAT! First the PM stunned Paris by demanding an end to EU farmers’ handouts — which would hit the French hardest.

TAKE THAT! Then the Chancellor labelled the French President a “hypocrite” over Third World poverty.

And in a THIRD blow, International Development Secretary Hilary Benn demanded the abolition of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).

The British ambush risks souring already rock-bottom relations with France at a crunch time.

Blair ... end handouts

Mr Blair will be face to face with Le Worm Chirac all next week as they battle over the 2012 Olympic bid and then head to the G8 summit. The Premier confirmed for the first time that he wants the CAP scrapped once and for all.

Until now he has only said the system, which guarantees French farmers a huge slice of EU cash for doing nothing, should be up for renegotiation.

Mr Blair had offered to give up Britain’s £3billion-a-year rebate from Brussels in return.

But now he has shifted his ground and wants the CAP dumped altogether.

That is bound to infuriate President Chirac, who fears he would be crucified by French farmers if their lucrative payouts go.

Brown ... open up trade

Mr Brown tore into rich states such as France that bleat about African poverty while blocking Third World industries from selling their goods in Europe. And he slammed the CAP for wasting billions and preventing African farmers from exporting their foods.

He told the charity Unicef: “We cannot any longer ignore what people in the poorest countries will see as the hypocrisy of developed-country protectionism.

“We should be opening our markets and removing trade-distorting subsidies. In particular, we should be doing more to urgently tackle the waste of the Common Agricultural Policy.”

Mr Benn revealed the CAP costs every British household a staggering £832 a year.

He told the London School of Economics: “Its abolition would in fact be good for Europe, as well as for the developing world.”

France wants an end to Britain’s EU rebate in return for doing NOTHING about the CAP.

With London and Paris the main rivals for the Olympics, Blair and Chirac will be in Singapore for next week’s decision. Then they fly to Scotland for the G8 summit on African poverty.


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