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."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Life and Style
love + sex
Voices
A propaganda video shows Isis forces near Tikrit
voicesAdam Walker: The Koran has violent passages, but it also has others that explicitly tells us how to interpret them
News
people
Sport
football
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
2015 General Election
May2015

Poll of Polls

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

Recruitment Genius: Outbound Sales Executive - B2B

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A great opportunity has arisen ...

Recruitment Genius: Online Sales and Customer Services Associate

£14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Full time and Part time positio...

Ashdown Group: IT Manager - Salesforce / Reports / CRM - North London - NfP

£45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and reputable Not for Profit o...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Ledger & Credit Control Assistant

£14000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Ledger & Credit Control...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all