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Leaders reach budget deal

Leaders reach budget deal

David Cameron has praised the new seven-year budget agreed by European Union leaders as "a good deal for Britain".

Speaking from Brussels, the Prime Minister confirmed leaders had reached a deal to cut the EU budget to €908bn, which represents a €24bn real terms cut.

"The best way to protect the British taxpayer is to get overall spending down, which we've done," he told reporters.

"I think the British public can be proud that we have cut the seven-year credit card limit for the European Union for the first time ever."

French President Francois Hollande - who had argued against big spending cuts - said the budget was a "good compromise".

But Mr Cameron confirmed the UK's net contribution would increase, despite the cut in the overall budget.

Under a deal agreed by former PM Tony Blair in 2005, the UK's rebate - the amount of Britain's contribution paid back to London - will shrink.

The Prime Minister said that deal meant the UK's contribution "was always going to go up", and insisted he had "battled off" a number of attempts to reduce the rebate even further.

“Attempts to undermine the rebate were made again and again, at almost every meeting there’s been on this subject. As ever, it was attacked from every side. I fought off these attempts. The British rebate is safe," he said.

But there are fears the proposed budget will be rejected by MEPs, after European Parliament President Martin Schulz warned EU leaders against attempts to slash spending.

Green Box: Leaders reach budget dealClick to open

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