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EU Budget: A good deal for Britain and Europe

Friday, February 8 2013

Prime Minister David Cameron

The EU's multi-annual budget has been cut for the first time ever and the British rebate remains safe.

Today the Prime Minister, working alongside like-minded European allies, achieved his aim of ensuring a cut in the EU's multi-annual budget. This is the first time ever an EU multi-annual budget has been cut.

The limit on the EU's multi-annual budget, which decides the amount of money the EU can spend over the next seven years, has been reduced from the proposed figure of €988 billion to €908 billion. This figure is €80 billion lower than the budget originally proposed by many other European countries and €35billion lower than the last deal agreed by the previous Labour government.

The Prime Minster had hoped to negotiate with European counterparts, at worst, a freeze to the budget - at best, he hoped for a cut. Today's agreement represents a cut as EU spending cannot rise above €908 billion - €24billion less than if there had been a freeze on the last completed EU budget.

But the Prime Minister also hoped for a budget which would stimulate growth in Europe in a way which was affordable. The share of the budget grant to Common Agricultural Policy has been reduced whilst this budget will encourage research and development and help the EU's newest members make up for lost decades under communism.

Today, the Prime Minister also fought off attempts to change the British rebate so the British rebate remains safe and continues to represent a great deal for the British taxpayer.

The Prime Minister said of the agreement, "Today's deal means countries can properly plan spending whilst restricting the costs borne by the European taxpayer. It shows that working with allies, it is possible to take steps towards reform in the European Union. As I said in my recent speech, this is the way to get a good deal for Britain and a good deal for Europe too. And that is what we have delivered today."

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