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German MEP Martin Schulz has downplayed chances of a deal at the next EU budget talks.

He said MEPs would not hesitate to use recently acquired powers to block spending plans for the next seven years.

Schulz said parliamentarians would not back calls from EU leaders for deep cuts.

“I hope there is an agreement, because it allows us to plan more reliably. But the compromise must be, if it is found, acceptable for us as a parliament,” he told journalists in Brussels.

“I do have the impression that positions among member states are far apart and – what I hear -compromise lines are still very far from what we want in the Parliament.”

EU leaders failed to reach a deal at the last talks in November.

British Prime Minister David Cameron wanted a real-terms freeze in the budget, including cuts to the Common Agricultural Policy.

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