§ Mr. Gordon Brown
Article 2 of the Social Protocol says that financial consequences, other than administrative costs, of the Social Chapter shall not be applicable to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. This exemption could be achieved by means of a rebate on the UK's contribution to the EU budget. The Government has decided, however, that pursuing such a rebate in future would be inconsistent with the agreement reached at the Amsterdam Council enabling the UK to participate in Council discussions under the Social Chapter. It has also decided not to seek reimbursement of its contribution to past budget years. The total claim which will be written off as a result of this decision—initially estimated at £1 million for budget years 1995 and 1996—will be reported in a note to the Consolidated Fund account.