“Labour will argue against the proposed increase in EU spending and instead support a real-terms cut in the budget,” Ed Balls and shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander write in The Times newspaper today, saying they fear “that the Prime Minister is throwing away a genuine opportunity to deliver a budget that is best for Britain and right for the EU”.
The Prime Minister will face a commons debate on the UK’s contribution to the EU budget on Wednesday, with suggestions that prominent Tory MPs could join Labour in calling for a block to any rise in spending.
The EC wants a five per cent increase in the overall budget for 2014-2020, a proposal that has been backed by the European Parliament.
Last week the Prime Minister indicated he would block any above-inflation rise in spending.
The UK must determine its negotiating position ahead of a summit late next month, where European leaders will meet to finalise the EU’s long-term budget plans.