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."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
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

Project Coordinator/Order Entry, Security Cleared

£100 - £110 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Project Coordinator/Order Entry Ham...

Senior Digital Marketing Executive

£35000 - £45000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based i...

Junior Developer- CSS, HMTL, Bootstrap

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: A leading company within the healthcare ...

Junior Web Developer- CSS, HMTL

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: A leading company within the healthcare ...

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

Will Gore: Outside Edge

The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz