Cameron 'hopeful' on EU budget deal


EU flagsDavid Cameron is "hopeful" that a deal can be struck in the latest round of European Union (EU) budget negotiations next week, it has emerged.

A senior government source said the Prime Minister felt he had built a "strong alliance" with other net contributors to the union's budgets.

However, the source suggested success could depend on the commission's willingness to strike a compromise.

Leaders from the 27 EU states failed to reach agreement on the 2014-2020 funding package last November, with Mr Cameron holding out for a freeze or a real-terms cut.

However, German chancellor Angela Merkel said earlier this week that she was "very optimistic" that the meeting in Brussels on Thursday and Friday will go better.

The senior UK government source said Mr Cameron felt he had "built a strong alliance between net budget contributors like the Swedes, Danes, Dutch" and also believed there was "support" from Berlin.

"He is hopeful of a better outcome at this forthcoming European council but that lies in many ways in the hands of how the commission and council choose to handle it," the source said.

"In any organisation you do have to listen to the net contributors."