Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 September 2014

Cameron launches EU budget assault

David Cameron shows a united front with Denmark's Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen

David Cameron has signalled his intention to launch a fresh assault on the European Union's £110 billion annual budget.

Following talks in Downing Street with Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen, Mr Cameron said they would work together to try to drive down the cost of the EU to taxpayers.

He told a joint news conference at No 10 that the EU budget could not carry on rising at a time when member states were having to take tough action to get their national finances in order.

"As we reduce our deficits, I think it is very important that we both argue to make sure that the European budget is, over time, reduced rather than increased," he told a joint news conference at Number 10.

"We cannot ask members of the public to pay more in the UK and have to pay more in Europe as well.

"We are going to work together in these important European Council meetings coming up this autumn."

His intervention came as the protracted process of agreeing the next seven-year EU budget for 2014 to 2021 was expected to begin later this year.

The two men also discussed the situation in Afghanistan where Danish troops are fighting alongside the British in Helmand province.

Mr Rasmussen said that, like Mr Cameron, he hoped to withdraw the bulk of his country's combat troops by 2015.

Mr Cameron said that both countries were "absolutely aligned" in their commitment to building up the Afghan army and police to enable them to take responsibility for their own security.

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