No 10 seeks EU budget freeze

The Government is seeking "at best a cut, at worst a freeze" in the European Union budget negotiations this week, No 10 has said. The CBI president has urged ministers not to forget "our old friends in Europe".

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Tory MP calls for two national votes on Europe

David Davis speaking to Conservative Home this lunchtime. Credit: Twitter: @TimMontgomerie

Tory MP David Davis has intensified his campaign for Britain to have a referendum on Britain's relationship with the EU.

The Eurosceptic MP is calling for two national votes on the issue: one to approve a list of powers for the UK to seek to seize back, and another 'in-out' poll.

Speaking to Conservative Home, Mr Davis said the majority of Tory MPs are Eurosceptics, and the majority of the public want to see Britain take back "significant powers." He said:

"We must repatriate justice, immigration, social and employment laws, health and safety and financial regulation."

"Over 90% of Tory MPs are now Eurosceptics....70% of British people would vote for repatriation of significant powers."

Miliband: I will not let Britain sleepwalk towards an EU exit

Labour leader Ed Miliband addressing the CBI Credit: ITV News

Labour leader said the rise of Euroscepticism within the UK was causing "alarm" with partners across the bloc. He said being part of Europe was good for British business, and any exit would be a betrayal of the national interest:

"I will not let Britain sleepwalk to an exit from the European Union, it would be bad for prosperity"

He said the "reasons for scepticism are real" and it was up to leaders to tackle the questions raised about the problems of the single currency:

"Scepticism about the euro and the project undermines the case for the wider European Union"

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Cameron 'sees possible deal on EU budget'

The Prime Minister's spokeswoman said David Cameron does believe a deal can be reached on the European Union budget, due to be discussed during a summit this Thursday in Brussels. The spokeswoman said:

We're in negotiations in the run up to the European Council. We think we can agree a deal. The Prime Minister believes we can work through these details to get the right deal at this week's summit and we are ready to do that.

Mr Cameron has called for a real terms freeze for the 2014-2020 budget, and has threatened to use Britain's veto to stop any agreement that is "not in the interests of British taxpayers."

The spokeswoman said the Government was still seeking "at best a cut, at worst a freeze" in the budget.

PM 'makes no apologies' for promoting UK interests in Europe

Prime Minister David Cameron said it was important to be "more positive" about the successes of the European Union, but that he made "no apologies" for standing up for Britain's interests. He said:

"I don't think it makes you a bad European because you ought to have a tough budget settlement in Europe, I think it makes you a good European, I feel I have the people of Europe on our side, we should stop endlessly picking their pockets and spending more and more money"

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CBI: Europe is the 'launchpad' for expanding global trade

CBI president Sir Roger Carr waded into the row over the UK's involvement in Europe today by warning of the risks to British industry of "isolation." Opening the CBI's annual conference in London, Sir Roger said:

Whatever the popular appeal may be of withdrawal, businessmen and politicians must keep a bridge firmly in place. As countries of Europe bind together in pursuit of salvation, we in the UK must work harder to avoid the risks of isolation.

Sir Roger said Europe was the "bedrock" of the UK's international trade, and should be viewed as the "launchpad" for expanding global trade, and "not a landmass from which the country retreats."

If we are to avoid an exit vote in any referendum, it is essential that the voice of British business is loud and clear in extolling the virtues of future engagement, not as a reluctant participant, but as the lynchpin of our wider global trade ambitions.

Politicians must engage, corners must be fought, battles must be won, but the cold business logic of partnership for self-interest must be argued and prevail.

EU officials 'make budget plan without UK'

European officials have been studying the legal feasibility of such a plan, according to the FT Credit: Press Association

European Union officials have started to work on a plan to create a long-term budget that does not include the UK, according to the Financial Times.

The plan comes amid mounting frustration at Britain's demand for a spending freeze.

EU officials and national diplomats are studying the legal and technical feasibility of the plan, according to reports. On Thursday, leaders from 27 countries will meet on Brussels to try and reach agreement on the long-term budget.

Eurosceptic MP: Tories united over Europe referendum

Eurosceptic Conservative MP Peter Bone has told Daybreak that the party is united behind calls for a referendum on the EU.

He said: "What David Davis is saying is what many others have said. Demanding action in this parliament guaranteeing a referendum in the next parliament."

Political commentator Andrew Pierce added: "They [the Tories] do not want any more powers. They want to take powers back from Brussels. It's Labour who are divided."

Boris: Time for PM 'to put on that pineapple-coloured wig and powder blue suit'

Boris Johnson has told David Cameron to "whirl his handbag round his head" in Credit: REUTERS/Stefan Rousseau

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson has told the Prime Minister to ignore demands for a increase in the European Union budget.

David Cameron is to debate the new deal at the summit of European leaders this week, where Mr Johnson insists he has "absolutely no doubt that he will veto this package."

"It is time for David Cameron to put on that pineapple-coloured wig and powder blue suit, whirl his handbag round his head and bring it crashing to the table with the words no, non, nein, neen, nee, ne, ei and ochi, until they get the message."

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