EU Budget Cut: Labour, Lib Dems, Tory Backbench Rebels Jostle To Take Credit From David Cameron

Labour, Lib Dems, Tory Backbench Rebels Jostle To Take EU Budget Credit

All three parties jostled to claim the credit for David Cameron's historic negotiation for a cut to the EU budget - with Labour, Lib Dems and Tory backbenchers claiming that the Prime Minister defeat at their hands in the Commons was what secured the cut.

On Friday afternoon, after all night negotiations, leaders finally agreed 908bn euro budget - a cut of five billion euros - but the European Parliament may veto the deal.

In October Labour joined with eurosceptic Tories in a Commons vote to demand the prime minister argue for a real-terms cut in the EU's long-term budget during the negotiations.

Prime Minister David Cameron addresses the media at the end of the EU Budget summit

Tory Douglas Carswell, one of the more eurosceptic MPs and not exactly a huge fan of the prime minister, welcomed the deal by declaring "three hearty cheers" to Cameron.

"Under pressure from the taxpayer, MPs instructed ministers not to hand over extra amounts of money. And ministers appear to have responded by securing a deal that does precisely that," he said.

And Rochester and Strood MP Mark Reckless, who led the rebellion in the Commons over the budget, offered his congratulations in a video message posted on You Tube.

Both Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls and Shadow Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander Labour's opposition in the Commons had been what spurred on the prime minister to negotiate for a cut.

Alexander said: ""Labour voted in November to give David Cameron a clear mandate to negotiate for a real terms cut, and so we welcome the reports indicating the policy we advocated has been agreed.

"It seemed at times that David Cameron was ready to throw in the towel and aim for a freeze, but today's deal proves that a cut was worth voting for in Westminster and worth negotiating for in Brussels.

"As Labour we called not only for a reduction, but also reform, of the EU budget. The EU had an opportunity to focus the budget on growth and jobs and it will be a matter of deep regret if that was not achieved, but we will continue to scrutinise the details as they emerge."

“At a time when taxes are being raised and services cut at home it cannot be right that the EU Budget should rise in line with inflation," Balls said.

“That’s why last year Parliament and Labour MPs voted for a real terms cut in the EU Budget. The House of Commons gave David Cameron a clear mandate to negotiate for a real terms cut, even though he resisted it at the time.

“We will need to look very closely at the detail in the coming days and weeks, but if today’s deal does result in a genuine real terms cut in the EU Budget then the Prime Minister will have delivered what Labour and Parliament demanded.”

Some cautious praise even came from Ukip leader Nigel Farage, who told the BBC Cameron got the "best deal he possibly could have got", but there was "no prospect of British contributions falling below £50m a day".

But he added on Twitter:


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