By Lauren Grice
David Cameron has described the European Union’s (EU’s) long-term budget as “too high” and called Britain’s place in the federation into question.
Speaking outside of an EU summit today (February 7th) the prime minister warned that no deal on the issue could be made until further cuts were instituted.
“When we were last here in November, the numbers that were put forward were much too high. They need to come down. And if they don’t come down, there won’t be a deal,” he said.
Talks on the budget last year broke down, despite EU president Herman Van Rompuy reducing it to €973 billion (£839 billion) and the latest meeting has seen Cameron threaten to veto any deal in which spending by Brussels is not significantly cut.
“Frankly the EU should not be immune from the sorts of pressures that we’ve had to reduce spending,” he said.
The prime minister went on to claim that “efficiencies” need to be found by member states, which should spend their money “wisely”.
However, European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso warned leaders of the consequences that could face the EU if negotiations were not carried out “in a spirit of responsibility”.
“Further delays will send out a very negative message at this time of fragile economic recovery. The risk is that positions will harden and will be even more Difficult to overcome.”
Image used courtesy of Asianet-Pakistan / Shutterstock.com.