attempt to freeze the EU budget ahead of today’s council of European leaders.
At Prime Minister’s Questions yesterday, Cameron promised to fight for a freeze or even a cut in the EU’s 2011 budget. However, after a series of telephone conversations with other European leaders late last night, he conceded the EU budget would likely rise by at least 2.9 per cent, increasing Britain’s contribution by £430m.
Last night, aides said the increase was far less than the six per cent being called for by the European Parliament, but admitted the Prime Minister was hoping for a bigger concession.
The move is likely to cause dissent among Tory backbenchers, who willpoint out that Cameron has said such a hike is “outrageous”considering the UK’s austerity measures.