France and Germany support Cameron in EU budget battle

PRIME Minister David Cameron has won the backing of 10 other European countries for his call to cap the increase in the EU’s budget next year to no more than 2.9 per cent.

In a joint statement the 10, including France and Germany, said the planned six per cent rise was “unacceptable” when national governments were cutting spending.

No 10 said the statement sent a “very strong signal” to EU institutions about the need for budgetary restraint.

The European Council, which comprises heads of member states, added the majority of nations were against such a large increase to the budget.

The EU budget is currently about £107bn, with Germany the biggest contributor, followed by France, Italy and then the UK.

If the six per cent increase were to go through the UK’s contribution would rise by £900m. The 2.9 per cent increase, Cameron is pushing for, would cost the UK an extra £450m. Arriving in Brussels for the EU summit, Prime Minister David Cameron said such a large increase was “completely wrong” at a time when all European countries were trying to reduce spending.