6.56pm GMT Closing Summary Here’s a closing summary: • After marathon talks, Europe’s leaders have agreed a seven-year budget for the EU. Total spending will fall for the first time since the EU was created, to €980bn over the period from a previous budget of around £1trn. The amount paid in by member states has also fallen by around €34bn, to €908bn. • David Cameron said it was a deal that Britain could be proud of. He also warned that the country’s total commitments to the EU will actually increase (highlights from 4.10pm). • German chancellor Angela Merkel said the deal was worth the wait, while the French president, François Hollande, argued it was no-one’s ideal budget. • Herman Van Rompuy, president of the European Council, dubbed the deal “a balanced and growth-oriented budget for Europe for the rest of the decade”. • EU leaders now face a potential battle with the European Parliament to get the budget into law. EP president Martin Schulz could hold a secret ballot, raising the chances of the deal being rejected (see 2.51pm). Cameron said the idea of a secret vote was baffling, and reminded MEPs to respect the fact that certain national leaders… Read full this story
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