Parliament today voted for a real terms cut in the EU budget. The government would be wise to welcome this guidance, and to strengthen its efforts to instil some budget commonsense and discipline into the EU partners. The Coalition Minister responding to the debate made clear that he and his colleagues also think there is much waste and less desirable spending in the Eu budget, so they do not seem to disagree with the desirability of making reductions.
The fact that the Labour party voted for the Conservative backbench amendment shows how far the mood of the country has swung against more spending and more power being exercised from Brussels. Labour, after all, was the party that needlessly gave away part of our rebate, and agreed to a substantial uplift in the EU budget for the last longer term budget settlement. We seem now to have agreement amongst most politicians that the EU budget is too large and the spending powers of the EU too great, at a time when national budgets have to be pruned or controlled. I voted for a smaller EU budget.