RebatesurrenderDuring furious Commons exchanges David Cameron taunted the Prime Minister over his "£7bn EU rebate surrender":

"On the budget, does the Prime Minister remember having three clear objectives?  First, to limit its size, when almost every country in Europe is taxing and borrowing too much.  Second, to ensure fundamental reform of the CAP.  And third, to keep the British rebate unless such reform occurs.  Isn’t it now clear that he failed in every single one?"

Mr Cameron concluded with these words:

Why did he give up £7 billion for next to nothing?  And – vitally – how is the Chancellor going to pay for it?  More taxes?  More borrowing?  Or cuts in spending?  Which is it?  A good budget deal would have limited spending.  It would have reformed the CAP.  And it would have helped change Europe’s direction.  Isn’t it the case that none of those things happened under the British Presidency?  Europe needed to be led in a new direction.  Aren’t we simply heading in the same direction, but paying a bigger bill?"

Mr Blair defended the deal by saying that Britain had invested in the future prosperity of Eastern Europe:

"To have championed the cause of these new states; to have welcomed them into NATO and Europe and then to have refused to agree a budget that protects their future economic development would have been a betrayal of everything Britain has rightly stood for in the past 15 years or more since the fall of the Berlin wall.  They are our allies. It is our duty to stand by them. But it is also massively in our interest."

Read the full text of David Cameron’s Commons speech.