A budget battle may have sunk last month’s EU summit.But for Britain, which takes over the bloc’s rotating presidency today, securing a deal on European finances from 2007-2013 is a key priority. Speaking in parliament, Foreign Minister Jack Straw outlined his hopes for a breakthrough. “Any new financial perspective must, at the very least, set out a process which leads to a more rational budget, shaping the second half of the perspective up to 2013,” he said. “We recognize our responsibilities as EU presidency and we will work hard to reach agreement on future financing by the end of the year.” Britain is at the centre of the dispute that has stalled progress, with London refusing to give up any of its annual EU rebate unless reform of the bloc’s agricultural policy also takes place.
British EU presidency to seek budget deal