Europe minister: EU taxpayers need protection from UK

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.

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PM defends EU budget position

David Cameron has defended the collapse of talks aimed at agreeing the EU budget, saying: "We are not going to be tough on budgets at home and sign up to big increases in European spending in Brussels."