Europe minister David Lidington has defended the UK’s stance on EU budget negotiations by saying that the interests of the European taxpayer needed to be protected.
He told Radio 4’s Today programme:
Our government, governments throughout Europe, ordinary families throughout Europe are having to take really tough decisions about what they spend and hard choices, and we think the EU institutions should do the same: it’s not unreasonable.
We have a powerful alliance to argue for taxpayers throughout Europe and I believe it is going to hold.
Were it not for the debate we’d be paying double France, despite having roughly the same contribution.
The Prime Minister's performance at this EU summit has been interesting and it hints at a more tactical engagement with Europe.
The Prime Minister has hit out at EU institutions for not going far enough to rein in spending as budget talks were postponed until January.
Getting 27 people with different interests to agree to anything is hard, but the lack of solidarity among EU members can be striking.