Budget deal breakthrough: a victory for Cameron and Conservative MEPs

27-Jun-2013 @ 12:0

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Anthea McIntyre Anthea McIntyre

Anthea McIntyre Anthea McIntyre

European Parliament negotiators today agreed to accept the broad terms of the deal over the European Union's long-term budget originally reached by David Cameron on February 8.

The deal will deliver an historic 3.7% cut in EU spending and represents a major victory for the Prime Minister, who worked with like-minded partners in Europe to insist upon the bloc's first ever budget cut.

The leader of Britain's Conservative MEPs Richard Ashworth, who consistently pressed the UK position during negotiations within the Parliament's Budget Committee, said the deal represented vindication of the Prime Minister's firm approach.

He said: "We have protected key British red lines - against new EU taxes and defending the UK rebate - and we have delivered a groundbreaking cut in spending. David Cameron should be congratulated for leading a coalition of the willing to make a stand against ever-increasing spending in Brussels"

Following an intransigent stance taken by the Parliament's Socialist President Martin Schulz, it had been feared that negotiations between Parliament and the EU Council, who have co-decision powers on budgets under the Lisbon Treaty, could remain deadlocked into the autumn.

However, the deal now agreed for the EU's seven-year spending blueprint to 2020 includes:

* A ceiling on commitment appropriation set at €960bn/£812bn or 1% of Gross National Income (GNI). This represents a €15bn/£13bn cut from the current level and an €85bn/£72bn cut from the original proposal from the EU Commission proposal. This is a 3.4% cut on the current framework.

* A ceiling on payment appropriation set at €908bn/£768bn or 0.95% GNI (a €17.176bn/£14.56bn cut from the current level and €79.2bn/£67bn cut from the Commission proposal). This is a 3.7% cut on the current framework. It is the lowest ever per centage of GNI since multiannual budgets were introduced in 1993 and the first time that the EU budget has been cut.

* Full protection of the UK rebate in its current form.

* No new EU taxes.

* Targeting of funds on areas which add value, that is where EU-wide spending and action is more effective than spending at national level.

Mr Ashworth, Conservative MEP for South East England, said: "This shows how British Conservatives are delivering lower spending and better spending - and providing the catalyst for new thinking in Europe. It shows that far from being isolated in Europe, David Cameron and Conservative MEPs are the ones leading the reform agenda and showing the EU how it needs to change."
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