PM threatens to veto EU budget “if necessary”
As the EU begins its negotiations on budget plans for 2014–2020, Prime Minister David Cameron has said he will not stand for “outrageous” hikes in the EU budget.
Cameron told the Sunday Telegraph: “I feel we are in a strong position and if it comes to saying ‘no’ to a deal that isn’t right for Britain, I’ll say no.”
The Conservative Party leader appeared on the Andrew Marr Show during the first day of the Conservative Party conference and said: “People in Europe know I mean what I say. They know I am capable of saying no,” a statement backed up by Cameron’s actions last year when he used his veto to keep Britain out of a European fiscal and economic pact, which was aimed at resolving the Eurozone debt crisis. “Last year I sat around a table – 27 countries, 26 of them signing up to a treaty and I said this is not in Britain’s interest, I don’t care how much pressure you put on I’m not signing, I’m not having it.”
Cameron proposes a two-tier budget for the EU, one for countries in the Eurozone and one for countries that have a single currency, including Britain, although he admits this will not be achieved this year.
Cameron told Marr: “When you have got a single currency with a single bank behind it and more transfers between those countries, there will come a time when you are going to need to have two European budgets: one for the single currency, because they are going to have to support each other much more, and perhaps a wider budget for everyone else.”
The PM says he will block talks of massive increases and any deal that does not have “proper control”, declaring that “the EU budget is a classic example of where we should start to draw new lines”. Cameron favours a referendum on a negotiated role for Britain in the EU, but has ruled out a straightforward yes or no vote on the matter.
“The fact is,” he said, “most people in our country don’t actually want to leave the EU or just accept that’s how it is at the moment. They want to change it.”