An agreement on next year’s European Union (EU) budget was reached earlier today (12 November 2013) during talks in Brussels, which will see EU spending cut by six per cent compared to the final 2013 budget.
2014 is the first year of the new seven-year budget deal that the Prime Minister agreed in February, which delivered a reduction of €35 billion on the current seven-year deal in terms of the maximum amount the EU can spend, and protected the UK rebate.
The agreement reached earlier today means that next year, the amount that the EU can spend is €135.5 billion. This is below the maximum limit agreed by the Prime Minister (€135.9 billion) and a cut of over €8 billion in spending compared to the final 2013 EU budget.
Britain was represented at the talks by the Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Nicky Morgan, who said:
The UK has had a positive impact on the final deal for the 2014 EU budget, which will see EU spending cut by 6 per cent compared to the final 2013 budget.
This is the first annual budget agreed under the new Multi-annual Financial Framework agreement secured by the Prime Minister earlier this year, and shows how the deal the Prime Minister delivered is genuinely bearing down on EU spending.
However, the final budget wasn’t low enough to gain UK backing.
When governments and families across Europe are taking difficult decisions to make savings, it would be wrong and irresponsible for the EU to not show similar restraint.
Britain was instrumental in securing this deal and remained constructive throughout the negotiations to find a deal we could support.
But we also wanted to go further in places to keep up the pressure on EU spending for British taxpayers, so we could not support the final deal because of this.
Photo courtesy of Gertcha on Flickr. Used under Creative Commons.