I am pleasantly surprised by Tony Blair's intransigence with regard to the UK's EU contributions rebate. I hope he doesn't give in and remembers Margaret Thatcher's memorable line: "We are not asking the Community or anyone else for money. We are simply asking to have our own money back."
French President Jacques Chirac has called on Britain to "make an effort" over the EU budget, amid an escalating row about the UK's rebate.
Speaking alongside German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, Mr Chirac called for "greater fairness" in EU contributions.
Make an effort? Greater fairness? They already pay more than you do - have the decency to at least shut up (and enjoy the farm subsidies while they last)!
I would be even happier if Blair used the rebate issue to force at least a partial dismantling of that crime against humanity known as the Common Agricultural Policy and generally reform the EU budget. Did you know that the entire European Parliament - MEPs, staff and all - move, for one week a month, from Brussels to Strasbourg to make the French feel important? Can you imagine how much tax money is spent just on this minor stunt?