Talks to agree the European Union’s budget for next year broke down amid rows involving among member states including Britain – sparking a new funding crisis.
Eight hours of negotiations in Brussels ended in walkouts after MEPs refused to drop demands for an extra £13.8 billion in European Union spending for this year and 2013.
The failure of the talks casts a fresh doubt on whether a major summit to agree to the EU’s future funding from 2014 to 2020, scheduled for later this month, can go ahead.
There had already been speculation that the summit would be cancelled because David Cameron was refusing to drop his threat of using Britain’s veto to block any future increase above the level of inflation.
Friday night’s deadlock was over demands by the European Commission for a £7.3 billion spending increase by the end of this year to meet a funding shortfall, figures that are disputed by Britain and other governments.
At the same time, the European Parliament wants to reinstate over £6.5 billion in funding that had been cut by governments from next year’s budget to reflect national austerity programmes.
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