Prime Minister David Cameron has delivered an important first step towards ensuring the EU gets a grip on its finances for the future.
Speaking in a press conference following the European Council, David Cameron said Britain had made “a real difference” by putting the EU budget on the agenda and persuading other countries to reject a “crazy” 6% increase.
Yesterday David Cameron secured support from Germany, France, the Netherlands, Sweden, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Austria, Finland, Slovenia and Estonia behind a declaration to limit the rise in the EU budget to 2.9%.
The PM said:
The 2011 Budget was not on the agenda for this Council. We put it on the agenda. We persuaded other countries to reject the 6 per cent increase.
Britain has made a real difference.
David Cameron also said Britain had secured an “unprecedented” new principle that future EU budgets will reflect the spending cuts being made by national governments.
We have agreed that the EU budget must reflect what we are doing in our own countries. And this applies for every single year from now on - including the crucial 2014-2020 EU spending round.
This is incredibly important. It will have a direct impact on the pocket of the UK taxpayer back at home. It is a significant prize.
The PM also made clear that no powers will transfer from Westminster to Brussels securing a full British opt-out from possible sanctions on individual Member States and establishing that any possible future Treaty change would not affect the UK.
Statements and articles: PM’s statement at the European Council
Read more: Joint Statement on the 2011 EU budget