From Mr Raoul Ruparel.

Sir, You say that “if there is no agreement” in ongoing talks over the next long-term EU budget, the UK could become the “biggest loser” (“EU budget: the trillion-euro split”, Analysis, November 21). This is incorrect. It is true that “the 2013 budget ceiling would be repeated – plus inflation – for each successive year” and that this would be higher than the freeze the UK has called for. However, this scenario would be far worse for other countries than for Britain.

First, newer member states would probably lose out on a large share of the cash that is due to be allocated to them in the new budget period. Second, unlike the UK’s rebate, all other correction mechanisms – such as the Swedish or Dutch – expire in 2013 and would need to be renegotiated under unanimity rule. Finally, and most importantly, the UK’s net contribution under a rollover is about €3bn higher than under the current proposal by European Council president Herman Van Rompuy. However, the Van Rompuy proposal also includes a reduction in the UK rebate of between €3.5bn and €7bn, meaning the UK contribution would overall be lower under a rollover.

Raoul Ruparel, Head of Economic Research, Open Europe, London SW1, UK

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