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Bourne: EU budget agreement vital for Wales

Speech to the National Assembly for Wales.

"I thank the First Minister for making this statement, which we requested. First, I will refer to his obvious optimism about these proposals. We cannot divorce the attitude of other countries from whether or not we will support these proposals.

Every other member state—even allowing for some negotiation posturing, which is accepted as part of what happens—has said that these proposals are unacceptable, including Luxembourg, which has stated that more of the rebate would have to be on offer before it would row in behind these proposals.

Even if we were to form a strategic alliance with Luxembourg, we would need a little more support. It is all very well asking, 'Do you support these or not?' but if every other member state out of the 25 does not support them, it does not matter.

The Prime Minister said, as recently as in June, that the UK rebate would remain and that he would not negotiate it away. He is now in the process of doing so. More recently, he said that he would put it on the table if there were some fundamental reform of the CAP, but it is not part of this deal.

There is a great danger that the rebate being salami-sliced away. You said that you would not negotiate it, but it is on the table and other member states are saying that they need a bit more of it.

It is a negotiating error. The First Minister was right to say in his statement that we in Wales cannot be insulated from the effects of public spending and tax-take in the rest of the UK. Therefore, the surrender of part of the rebate will have implications for public spending.

I do not know whether the First Minister has any indication of what it would mean in terms of public spending if this was lopped off, or what the Barnett consequential would be in Wales. I would welcome him trying to address that, even in ball-park terms, because it would have an effect.

The negotiations should achieve three things: the reform of CAP, and there is no talk of that; the rebate being kept intact unless there is reform of CAP, and that is not the case here; and the preservation of Wales's position in relation to Objective 1 funding, or convergence funding as it will become, in the next round.

If this is not settled in the UK presidency, which looks possible—I would say it is likely—what will be the effect in the new presidency, that of Austria, of settling on the basis of the new Eurostat figures?

How much less will we get in Wales? Again, I am happy to have ball-park terms, as I appreciate that that will depend on the level of the overall budget. What will be the impact on Wales of reaching a settlement later than at the end of 2005, because that is what we are beginning to look at?"

"Hoffwn ddiolch i'r Prif Weinidog am wneud y datganiad hwn, y gwnaethom gais amdano. I ddechrau, cyfeiriaf at ei optimistiaeth amlwg ynghylch y cynigion hyn. Ni allwn anwybyddu agwedd gwledydd eraill wrth benderfynu pa un a fyddwn yn cefnogi'r cynigion hyn ai peidio.

Mae pob aelod wladwriaeth arall—hyd yn oed gan ganiatáu rhywfaint o smalio mewn trafodaethau, a dderbynnir fel rhan o'r hyn sy'n digwydd—wedi dweud bod y cynigion hyn yn annerbyniol, yn cynnwys Lwcsembwrg, a nododd y byddai angen cynnig mwy o'r ad-daliad cyn y byddai'n cefnogi'r cynigion hyn.

Hyd yn oed pe baem yn ffurfio cynghrair strategol gyda Lwcsembwrg, byddai angen inni gael ychydig mwy o gefnogaeth. Mae'n ddigon hawdd gofyn, 'A ydych yn cefnogi'r rhain ai peidio?' ond os nad yw pob aelod wladwriaeth arall o'r 25 yn eu cefnogi, nid oes gwahaniaeth.

Dywedodd Prif Weinidog y DU, mor ddiweddar â mis Mehefin, y byddai ad-daliad y DU yn parhau ac na fyddai'n cael gwared arno yn sgîl trafod. Mae bellach wrthi'n gwneud hynny. Yn fwy diweddar, dywedodd y byddai'n barod i'w drafod pe bai diwygiad sylfaenol o'r PAC, ond nid yw'n rhan o'r cytundeb hwn. Mae perygl mawr bod yr ad-daliad yn cael ei leihau'n raddol.

Dywedasoch na fyddech yn ei drafod, ond mae hynny'n digwydd ac mae aelod wladwriaethau eraill yn dweud bod angen iddynt gael ychydig mwy ohono. Camgymeriad wrth drafod yw hyn. Yr oedd y Prif Weinidog yn gywir wrth ddweud yn ei ddatganiad na allwn ni yng Nghymru ddianc rhag effeithiau gwariant cyhoeddus ac incwm o drethi yng ngweddill y DU.

Felly, bydd ildio rhan o'r ad-daliad yn cael goblygiadau ar wariant cyhoeddus. Ni wn pa un a oes gan y Prif Weinidog syniad o'r hyn y byddai'n ei olygu o ran gwariant cyhoeddus os caiff hwn ei docio, neu beth fyddai'r symiau canlyniadol o dan fformiwla Barnett yng Nghymru.

Byddwn yn falch o'i weld yn ceisio mynd i'r afael â hynny, hyd yn oed mewn termau cyffredinol, oherwydd byddai'n cael effaith.

Dylai'r trafodaethau gyflawni tri pheth: diwygio'r PAC, ac nid oes unrhyw sôn am hynny; cadw'r ad-daliad fel y mae oni chaiff y PAC ei ddiwygio, ac nid yw hynny'n wir yma; a chadw sefyllfa Cymru mewn perthynas ag arian Amcan 1, neu arian cydgyfeirio fel y caiff ei alw yn y dyfodol, yn ystod y cylch nesaf.

Os nad ymdrinnir â hyn yn ystod llywyddiaeth y DU, sy'n edrych yn bosibl—byddwn yn dweud ei bod yn debygol—beth fydd effaith, yn ystod llywyddiaeth newydd Awstria, gytuno ar sail y ffigurau Eurostat newydd? Faint yn llai a gawn yng Nghymru?

Eto, yr wyf yn fodlon cael sylwadau cyffredinol, gan fy mod yn gwerthfawrogi y bydd hynny'n dibynnu ar lefel y gyllideb gyfan. Beth fydd effaith dod i gytundeb ar ôl diwedd 2005 ar Gymru, oherwydd dyna'r sefyllfa sy'n dechrau dod i'r amlwg?"

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