HC Deb 24 April 1985 vol 77 cc444-5W
64. Mr. Sedgemore

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is his assessment of the budgetary achievements of the European Economic Community in the past year.

Sir Geoffrey Howe

In the last year, the Community has made progress in two important respects on the budget front. First, it has agreed on a lasting solution to the United Kingdom's budget problem and accepted in principle that any member State sustaining a similar inequitable budgetary burden may benefit from a correction. Secondly, it has agreed that the rigorous rules which govern budgetary policy in Member States shall also apply to Community spending, in particular by fixing each year a maximum level of expenditure for all Community policies and ensuring that agricultural expenditure will increase by less than the rate of growth of the own resources base.