Britain claims victory over EU budget rises

David Cameron yesterday claimed to have achieved a "spectacular success" over European spending, despite accepting that Britain would have to hand over £430m more to Brussels next year.

Twelve other countries, including Germany and France, backed his demand to limit any increase in the European Union budget to 2.9 per cent. The European Parliament and the European Commission want a rise of 6 per cent. Mr Cameron announced he had also won support from other European leaders for future EU spending to be linked to the cuts being made by member states.

Last week the Prime Minister said he wanted the EU budget for 2011 to be frozen or even cut. But yesterday he argued that pegging the rise to 2.9 per cent "made a real difference" and that the 6 per cent plan was now "dead".

He said: "Just as at home we inherited finances that were a complete mess, so too in Brussels we have inherited a budget deal completely out of touch with the situation we face across Europe. I believe that as a result of Britain's intervention the spotlight has now shifted to reining in the excesses of the EU budget."

However, a protracted wrangle over Brussels spending lies ahead, as MEPs and the commission are likely to press for a higher increase. Yvette Cooper, the shadow Foreign Secretary, said: "David Cameron's grandstanding has been a complete failure. He has tried to swing his handbag, but simply ended up clobbering himself in the face."

His deal is also likely to find little favour with Conservative Eurosceptics, who opposed any increase in funding for Brussels. The Prime Minister is attempting to allay their anger over the 2011 deal by arguing that he is focusing on a bigger prize – a squeeze on the EU's 2014-20 budget.

At the summit, the EU also supported a Franco-German plan to alter the Lisbon Treaty to help to shore up Europe's defences against any new financial crises. Mr Cameron had made his support dependent on agreement to keep the EU budget in check.

Despite loud opposition at the start of the week, EU leaders finally fell into line during a night of talks. They said they all backed the reforms as they would help to prevent a repeat of the Greek debt crisis. The President of the EU Council, Herman van Rompuy, described the deal as a "solid pact to strengthen the euro. That's one of the most important decisions that we have taken in the last months".

The two-day summit in Brussels was a triumph for the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who led the crusade to impose tougher rules on the 16 eurozone countries. Under ferocious attack domestically for her handling of the eurozone crisis earlier this year, Ms Merkel was under pressure to succeed in Brussels. German taxpayers had to pay for the lion's share of a ¤440trn bailout fund for Greece in May, fuelling demands for a shake-up of the EU's budget and debt rules.

"It's always the case that not everyone agrees at the start," she responded to remarks that she was being dubbed the new Iron Lady. "We all represent different European interests. I know [others] thought we could have had this crisis mechanism without treaty change. But I had another view."

News
people

Actress sees off speculation about her appearance in an amazing way

Arts and Entertainment
Serge Pizzorno of Kasabian and Noel Fielding backstage at the Teenage Cancer Trust concerts
musicKasabian and Noel Fielding attack 'boring' musicians
News
peopleLynda Bellingham's tragic final Loose Women appearance moves audience to tears
Arts and Entertainment
'Right Here' singer Jess Glynne is nominated for Best Newcomer at the MOBO Awards 2014
musicExclusive: Jess Glynne hits out at 'ridiculous' criticism of white artists nominated for Mobo Awards
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Separated at birth? Frank Sivero (left) claims The Simpsons based Mafia character Louie on his Goodfellas character
arts + entsFrank Sivero sues Simpsons studio over allegedly basing mobster character on Frank Carbone
News
Carl Bernstein (left) and Bob Woodward (right) with former 'Washington Post' executive editor Ben Bradlee
people

The Washington Post editor helped Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein bring down President Nixon

News
news

Voices
Stephanie first after her public appearance as a woman at Rad Fest 2014
voices

Arts and Entertainment
Laura Wood, winner of the Montegrappa Scholastic Prize for New Children’s Writing
books

Children's bookseller wins The Independent's new author search

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Database Administrator

£300 - £350 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: The role could involve w...

Science Teacher

£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Qualified secondary s...

Deputy Head of Science

£22000 - £36000 per annum + MPR / UPR: Randstad Education Southampton: Our cli...

Finance Manager - Recruitment Business (Media & Entertainment)

£28000 - £35000 per annum + negotiable: Sauce Recruitment: We have an exciting...

Day In a Page

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London