HC Deb 26 March 1986 vol 94 c491W
Mr. Richard Shepherd

asked the Prime Minister what specific proposals Her Majesty's Government have made to the European Economic Community Commission for reductions in the EEC budget for 1985–86

The Prime Minister

Details of the 1985 budget as adopted are contained in the 1985 Community budget.

My hon. Friend, the Minister of State, Treasury represented the United Kingdom at the Budget Council's Second Reading of the 1986 budget on 26–27 November 1985. He argued that while it was axiomatic that the understandings on budgetary matters reached with Spain and Portugal during the accession negotiations must be fully respected, the Council should not propose special extra provision for the "cost of the past" problem, which should be solved by reducing new commitments rather than increasing payments. The proposed increase in non-obligatory expenditure represented a threat to budget discipline. The United Kingdom accordingly opposed the revised draft budget, which was adopted by qualified majority. The United Kingdom continued to press this line strongly at the third meeting of the Budget Council on 11–12 December, where we again voted against the Council's revised draft budget.

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