‘I will not hide from the House the Government's frustration that some of our partners - and those in EU institutions - do not seem to understand how bizarre it is, when national budgets are under such extraordinary pressure, that the EU should be immune from that.’
The Tory party and the coalition are united in trying to block that increase, favouring a cash-neutral budget for 2011. However, the Labour party’s position is more ambiguous. It is unclear how Labour MEPs will jump when this breaches their horizons. If they support the proposed increases, then Labour will lose yet more financial credibility at home. The EU should have no course but to curtail its vulgarity when, if the more eurosceptic among you will excuse the expression, its people are withering in austerity.