This week Parliament considered the announcement on the seven-year budget for the European Union.
The deal agreed by the Prime Minister, working with various allies including The Germans, Dutch and Swedish, includes the first ever reduction in the EU budget. As a result of the Prime Minister’s efforts, Britain will pay £500 million per year less than we would have under proposals for the budget proposed last year, when he abandoned negotiations because he couldn’t get assurances that the proposals were in the UK’s interest.
As one of the Conservative MPs who voted for a budget cut, rebelling against my own party whip, I wholeheartedly welcome the deal. Our contribution will increase due to disastrous decision by the previous Government to surrender some of our rebate, so there is still much to be done to make the overall position acceptable. The success of this negotiation does show that with effort we can reform EU matters to be closer to our national interest, even where there is some significant opposition.
Amongst the financial details of the Budget include a £30 billion cut in overall spending, with £1.7 billion of this being derived from a reduction in the EU’s administrative budget. While we are feeling cuts at home, it’s only fair that an organisation with such genuine waste and imprudence as the EU is hit by a reduction in spending.