EU Budget response from Douglas Alexander & Ed Balls

8 February 2013

Douglas AlexanderDouglas Alexander MP, Labour’s Shadow Foreign Secretary, commenting on the EU Budget, said:

"We welcome news that a deal has been reached. Failing to agree one could have seen next year's budget go up automatically.

"Labour voted in November to give David Cameron a clear mandate to negotiate for a real terms cut, and so we welcome the reports indicating the policy we advocated has been agreed.

"It seemed at times that David Cameron was ready to throw in the towel and aim for a freeze, but today's deal proves that a cut was worth voting for in Westminster and worth negotiating for in Brussels.

"As Labour we called not only for a reduction, but also reform, of the EU budget. The EU had an opportunity to focus the budget on growth and jobs and it will be a matter of deep regret if that was not achieved, but we will continue to scrutinise the details as they emerge."

Ed Balls MP, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, said:

“At a time when taxes are being raised and services cut at home it cannot be right that the EU Budget should rise in line with inflation.

“That’s why last year Parliament and Labour MPs voted for a real terms cut in the EU Budget. The House of Commons gave David Cameron a clear mandate to negotiate for a real terms cut, even though he resisted it at the time.

“We will need to look very closely at the detail in the coming days and weeks, but if today’s deal does result in a genuine real terms cut in the EU Budget then the Prime Minister will have delivered what Labour and Parliament demanded.”