REVEALED: Brexit wrecker's EU handouts - Duke of Wellington pocketed farming subsidies

Tony Gosling tony at
Thu May 10 17:57:26 BST 2018

REVEALED: Brexit wrecker's EU handouts - Duke of 
Wellington pocketed farming subsidies

THE House of Lords ringleader defying the will of 
the people over Brexit receives significant EU 
land subsidies for his vast country estate. The 
Duke of Wellington is chief among a group of 
unelected peers who have helped inflict 14 
defeats on the Government’s flagship Brexit legislation in the Lords.

PUBLISHED: 00:01, Thu, May 10, 2018 | UPDATED: 13:34, Thu, May 10, 2018
The ninth duke – Arthur Charles Valerian 
Wellesley, 72, – has spearheaded a cross-party 
move to delete the exit date, March 29, 2019, from the EU (Withdrawal) Bill.
The duke has claimed he is trying to help the 
Government and not “thwart the process.”
But the apparent conflict of interest over the 
subsidies he and others receive has sparked fury.
He is one of just four dukes among the 92 
hereditary peers entitled to vote in the Lords 
and was joined in the attack on Brexit by another, the Duke of Somerset.
The Duke of Wellington, educated at Eton and 
Oxford, is believed to have received over £80,000 
in EU subsidies for part of his 7,000 acre Hampshire estate in 2015.
He is also believed to have claimed other 
separate subsidies for land he owns in Spain and Belgium.
He is one of 17 of the UK’s 24 non-Royal Dukes 
who receive large annual EU farm subsidies for the land they own.
In 2015, according to official figures, the total 
figure was around £4.6billion, the bulk paid to 
aristocrats directly or to trusts, companies and entities controlled by them.
The Duke of Somerset, a landowner, receives the 
subsidies and a number of life peers have sizeable EU pensions.
Tory MP and Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg accused 
peers of ignoring the views of 17.4 million Leave 
voters expressed in the EU Referendum on June 23, 2016.
Mr Rees-Mogg said: “The arrogance of the House of 
Lords is unbelievable. They think they know best 
and people like them should be listened to rather than voters.
“The European Union is entirely unaccountable, 
which is why perhaps it is natural the House of 
Lords is its biggest cheerleader. Unelected, 
unaccountable people support each other, vested 
interests come together, birds of a feather flock together.”
Mr Rees-Mogg added: “The vitriol against Brexit, 
the condescension, their sheer arrogance and 
therefore their willingness to burn the 
constitutional conventions weakens public 
acceptability for the House of Lords.”
Tory MEP David Campbell Bannerman said: “Former 
EU Commissioners and MEPs in receipt of EU 
pensions, farm subsidies and other EU payments 
seem to have a major conflict of interest when 
voting for single market and other measures. It’s time to come clean on this.”
The 14 defeats mean peers have set themselves on 
a collision course with the Commons by demanding MPs rethink Brexit.
Among those leading the charge to derail Brexit 
is Viscount Hailsham, who as MP Douglas Hogg 
claimed upwards of £2,000 from the taxpayer for 
cleaning the moat at his sprawling Lincolnshire estate.
He was supported by scores of life peers 
including former Labour leader Lord Kinnock, a 
former vice president of the European Commission 
who is estimated to get almost £90,000 a year from his Brussels pension pot.
Lord Tugendhat and Lord Patten both served in the 
European Commission and are believed to get close 
to £40,000 a year in pensions. Former EU trade 
commissioner Lord Mandelson, who was twice forced 
to resign from government, has also voted for amendments to the Bill.
Other peers playing key roles in Government 
defeats include former pensions minister Baroness 
Altmann and former deputy prime minister Lord 
Heseltine, who has a £300million personal fortune.
Tory MP Henry Smith said: “By voting against the 
largest majority decision ever taken by a British 
electorate the undemocratic House of Lords are 
inexorably moving towards abolition.”
Neither the Duke of Wellington or the Duke of 
Somerset responded to requests for comment last night.

Analysis by Kevin Cahill, author of Who Owns Britain

Back in 1999 the House of Lords booted out most, 
but not quite all, of those who sat in Parliament 
because they inherited a title from a parent.
There are still 91 of these people, including 
four dukes, a couple of marquises, 10 earls and 
12 viscounts plus about 60 lords or barons, 
sitting in the current UK Parliament.
Because they are landowners they are entitled to handouts from the EU.
The Duke of Norfolk, Edward Howard, is the 
hereditary Earl Marshal of England, holding a 
title that dates originally from 1397.
He sits in the House of Lords and is also one of 
England's great landowners who was estimated to 
own 46,000 acres in 2001. At the average EU 
agricultural subsidy of £100 an acre he would be 
entitled to over £4 million a year.
Duke of Norfolk is the hereditary Earl Marshal of England
The Duke of Somerset is John Seymour, a quantity 
surveyor who holds a title dating back to 1547.
The family once owned 25,000 acres.
That is now reduced to just a couple of family 
trust farms of 2,000 acres or so.
But that would attract over £200,000 in taxpayer 
funded subsidy each year. In 1872 you could tell 
from a book called The Return Of Owners Of Land, 
what each of these families owned.
Now you cannot. There is no list of trusts in the 
UK. Neither is there an alphabetic list of landowners at the Land Registry.
In Italy and Germany half the land subsidy goes to persons with titles.
The difference is that none of them sit in the 
local parliament because of who their ancestors were.

Wellington goes into battle against Brexit
The Duke of Wellington led the charge as some of 
the highest ranking members of the British 
aristocracy went into battle with the will of the 
people over Brexit, writes David Pilditch.
The former Tory MEP is a direct descendent of the 
Iron Duke who defeated Napoleon in the Battle of 
Waterloo in 1815, leading to the collapse of his French-led European empire.
Waterloo led to the creation of his dukedom and 
one of Britain's most famous dynasties.
Born Arthur Charles Valerian Wellesley on August 
19 1945, the ninth Duke of Wellington inherited 
the title on the death of his father in 2014. 
Along with it came great wealth, the family seat 
Stratfield Saye House in Hampshire and Apsley House, London.
The Eton and Oxford-educated duke also owns land 
near the scenes of the Iron Duke's greatest 
triumphs in Wallonia, Belgium, and Granada, Spain.
The duke, now 72, married his wife Antonia in 
1977. She is the daughter of Prince Frederick of 
Prussia and a descendent of Kaiser Wilhelm II of 
Germany, who plunged Europe into war in 1914. They have five children.
The duke lost his right to sit in the House of 
Lords in 1999 after a reform of the second 
chamber, but returned to a voting seat in 2015.
He introduced the amendment to remove the March 
29, 2019 Brexit date from the legislation, 
insisting he was not trying to "thwart the 
process" but wanted to give the Commons a chance 
to rethink including the date, which might have to be changed.
The duke said ministers should be given "a bit 
more flexibility" to secure and ratify the best 
possible deal which will "do the least damage to 
the economy and the national interest".

The aristocratic landowning Old Etonian defying the will of the people
The Duke of Somerset supported all four amendments in the Lords.
The Eton-educated aristocratic landowner is one 
of just four dukes in the House and stood alongside the Duke of Wellington.
His principal seat is Bradley House in the 
Wiltshire village of Bradley Maiden, which is 
part of the family estate with farms and property 
to rent. The family also own Berry Pomeroy Castle in Devon, a medieval ruin.
The quantity surveyor's ancient title dates back 
to 1547. He is a descendant of Jane Seymour, 
Henry VIII's third wife. The first Duke of Somerset was Jane's brother, Edward.
The 19th duke, father-of-four John Seymour, 65, 
inherited the title in 1984. He lost his place in 
the Lords under the 1999 reforms but was elected back in 2014.
In the Lords in July 2016 he described the 
referendum result as "unexpected and dismaying" 
and "a great political failure".
He has also said the "exact ramifications, were 
unclear" and "our strongest negotiating card is to delay invoking Article 50".

'From South America, where payment must be made 
with subtlety, the Bormann organization has made 
a substantial contribution. It has drawn many of 
the brightest Jewish businessmen into a 
participatory role in the development of many of 
its corporations, and many of these Jews share 
their prosperity most generously with Israel. If 
their proposals are sound, they are even provided 
with a specially dispensed venture capital fund. 
I spoke with one Jewish businessmen in Hartford, 
Connecticut. He had arrived there quite unknown 
several years before our conversation, but with 
Bormann money as his leverage. Today he is more 
than a millionaire, a quiet leader in the 
community with a certain share of his profits 
earmarked as always for his venture capital 
benefactors. This has taken place in many other 
instances across America and demonstrates how 
Bormann’s people operate in the contemporary 
commercial world, in contrast to the fanciful 
nonsense with which Nazis are described in so much “literature.”

So much emphasis is placed on select Jewish 
participation in Bormann companies that when 
Adolf Eichmann was seized and taken to Tel Aviv 
to stand trial, it produced a shock wave in the 
Jewish and German communities of Buenos Aires. 
Jewish leaders informed the Israeli authorities 
in no uncertain terms that this must never happen 
again because a repetition would permanently 
rupture relations with the Germans of Latin 
America, as well as with the Bormann 
organization, and cut off the flow of Jewish 
money to Israel. It never happened again, and the 
pursuit of Bormann quieted down at the request of 
these Jewish leaders. He is residing in an 
Argentinian safe haven, protected by the most 
efficient German infrastructure in history as 
well as by all those whose prosperity depends on his well-being.'

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