Labour lobbies Cameron over EU budget cuts

Elizabeth Fournier
THE shadow chancellor has this morning upped pressure on Prime Minister David Cameron to push for cuts to the European Union’s budget, saying that Labour will lobby against any increase in EU spending plans.

“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.