§ Mr. Warren
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will make a statement on the outcome of the Budget Council held on 13 December.
§ Mr. Ian Stewart
The Budget Council, at which I represented the United Kingdom, met at Strasbourg for a concertation meeting with a delegation of the European Parliament about the draft Community budget for 1984, which was returned to the Parliament following the Budget Council of 22 November. I reported the outcome of that Council to the House on 25 November.— [Vol. 49, c.322–3.]
The parliamentary delegation reverted to a number of amendments and modifications which the Council had rejected on 22November, including transfer of the provision for 1983 refunds to the United Kingdom and Germany from the budget lines to the reserve Chapter 100. The Council firmly rejected the Parliament's proposals and the Commission then proposed a compromise which was considered separately by the Parliament and the Council. After careful consideration both the Parliament and the Council found the compromise unacceptable.
In an attempt to reach agreement with the Parliament the President of the Council proposed a further compromise package on a without prejudice basis, which included increases in non-obligatory expenditure of 40 mecus for payments and 80 mecus for commitments. The package also included a proposal that the United Kingdom refunds should be classified as non-obligatory subject to two important conditions.(a) that they should not be transferred to Chapter 100; and(b) that they should not be counted in the calculation of the maximum rate of increase in non-obligatory expenditure for 1984 and subsequent years.
The Parliament decisively rejected the Council's proposal and the meeting was concluded.