Stalemate in Brussels as EU fails to agree budget
Cameron claims victory over defence of UK’s €3.6bn rebate but is accused of blackmail
SATURDAY 24 NOVEMBER 2012
The European Union was in disarray tonight after its 27 leaders failed to reach agreement on a new €970bn budget at a two-day summit which collapsed amid acrimony.
David Cameron was accused of trying to “blackmail” other EU leaders but he was not the only stumbling block to a deal for 2014-20 and did not need to wield his veto. Crucially, there was no agreement between France, anxious to preserve farm subsidies, and Germany, which backed Britain’s call for deeper EU spending cuts along with the Netherlands and Sweden.
At a Brussels press conference, Mr Cameron fired another broadside at EU bodies after he failed to win cuts in the administration budget. “EU institutions simply have to adjust to the real world. Brussels continues to exist as if it is in a parallel universe,” he said. He complained that “not a single euro” of savings from the generous pay and perks of Brussels officials had been proposed, which was “insulting to European taxpayers.”