Wednesday

14th Nov 2018

Cameron defeated in EU budget vote

  • Cameron's hands tied ahead of budget summit (Photo: parliament.uk)

British Prime Minister David Cameron suffered an important defeat in parliament on Wednesday (31 October) when opposition Labour party MPs sided with eurosceptics in his own Conservative party to demand a reduction in the EU budget

MPs voted by 307 to 294 in favour of a Tory-rebel amendment calling for the 2014-2020 EU budget to be "reduced in real terms."

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

Ahead of the vote, Cameron portrayed himself as tough on Brussels but left wiggle-room to agree to an EU budget increase in line with 2 percent inflation.

"This government is taking the toughest line in these budget negotiations of any government since we joined the European Union," he said.

"At best we would like it cut, at worst frozen, and I'm quite prepared to use the veto if we don't get a deal that's good for Britain," he added.

The vote is not legally binding.

But it will make it politically more difficult for Cameron to make concessions when EU member states discuss the budget at a summit on 22 November.

For its part, the Guardian reported that some senior Conservatives did not back the amendment in order to spite Labour.

But the same grandees have threatened Cameron with a rebellion if he does not get EU spending down.

Meanwhile across the Channel, France added its name to the growing list of potential budget veto-wielders.

It said it is against a proposed cut to farm subsidies to bring down the overall cost of the €1 trillion package.

"France would not support a multi-annual budget that does not maintain the funds of the common agricultural policy," its EU affairs minister Bernard Cazeneuve said.

The statement comes after the Cypriot EU presidency proposed a modest cut of €5 billion to the farm pot.

Sweden, the Netherlands and Denmark are also - for differing reasons - waving the veto flag.

But poorer states in the east and south of Europe want spending to go up in line with European Commission and EU parliament ideas.

The challenge facing EU negotiators is not just whether the budget should be bigger or smaller but where the money should be spent.

The 27 member states are split into various groups - sometimes overlapping - which emphasize different priorities.

If the November summit ends without a deal, the deadline moves to next spring - the final moment to get the necessary EU legislation in place by 2014.

Italy defiant on budget on eve of EU deadline

Italy would be committing economic "suicide" if it fell in line with EU rules, its deputy leader has said, in a sign that Rome has little intention of bowing to pressure ahead of Tuesday's budget deadline.

Greek austerity violated right to health, says watchdog

Cuts in the Greek health care system, following the austerity cuts demanded in return for international bailouts, have violated the European Social Charter on the right to health, says Council of Europe's human rights commissioner, Dunja Mijatovic.

Analysis

Salvini is gambling with core voters' future in budget battle

Businesses in northern Italy are anxiously watching the standoff between the European Commission and the Italian government. They used to be the 'Northern League's' most important electorate - but the party's profile and priorities have changed.

News in Brief

  1. Draft Brexit deal on London cabinet agenda on Wednesday
  2. EU proposes no visa for UK citizens after Brexit
  3. EU parliament 'deeply concerned' on Romania judiciary
  4. Macedonia's ex-PM flees to Hungary, seeks asylum
  5. Cyprus opens first new border crossings in eight years
  6. Putin's Austrian dance partner cancels Moscow visit
  7. Political deadlock over Sweden Democrat influence
  8. Court: Catalan referendum organisers must repay costs

Stakeholder

An open China brings opportunities to Europe

Some 60 years ago, the first major World Fair after World War II was held in Brussels. Sixty years on, China International Import Expo (CIIE), the first world expo dedicated to expanding imports, will open in Shanghai, China.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSTheresa May: “We will not be turning our backs on the Nordic region”
  2. International Partnership for Human RightsOpen letter to Emmanuel Macron ahead of Uzbek president's visit
  3. International Partnership for Human RightsRaising key human rights concerns during visit of Turkmenistan's foreign minister
  4. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSState of the Nordic Region presented in Brussels
  5. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe vital bioeconomy. New issue of “Sustainable Growth the Nordic Way” out now
  6. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe Nordic gender effect goes international
  7. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSPaula Lehtomaki from Finland elected as the Council's first female Secretary General
  8. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSNordic design sets the stage at COP24, running a competition for sustainable chairs.
  9. Counter BalanceIn Kenya, a motorway funded by the European Investment Bank runs over roadside dwellers
  10. ACCACompany Law Package: Making the Best of Digital and Cross Border Mobility,
  11. International Partnership for Human RightsCivil Society Worried About Shortcomings in EU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Dialogue
  12. UNESDAThe European Soft Drinks Industry Supports over 1.7 Million Jobs

Latest News

  1. Macron's 'European army': why is everyone talking about it?
  2. Merkel calls for 'real, true' EU army
  3. Italy defiant on budget on eve of EU deadline
  4. EU action on Hungary and Poland drowns in procedure
  5. EU unable to fully trace €1bn spent on refugees in Turkey
  6. Romanian leaders trade jibes over upcoming EU presidency
  7. EU warns Romania not to abuse GDPR against press
  8. EU 'Magnitsky Act' must bear its proper name

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us