EU leaders on brink of budget deal

 
City A.M. Reporter
European Union leaders have agreed the framework of a new long-term budget this morning, following all-night talks.

The framework is understood to outline €960bn (£818bn) of spending on agriculture, aid and scientific research in the years ahead.

The agreement, which EU officials said would only be finalised later today, strikes a tight balance between the demands of northern European countries that want to rein in spending, and countries in the south and east such as France and Poland that wanted spending on agriculture and much-needed infrastructure.

Several diplomats and other senior officials from a number of EU member states confirmed the framework agreement.

The officials said around €12bn would be cut from the last budget proposal, made at a summit in November when agreement eluded leaders, bringing the headline ceiling for spending down to €960bn over the full 2014-2020 plan.