Lyon: Astonishing that Labour votes against EU funding to tackle youth unemployment

MEPs voted for a 6.5% cut to the EU’s budget for 2014 today in Strasbourg, as agreed in a deal last week in Brussels.

Commenting, Liberal Democrat MEP and Vice-President of the European Parliament Budget Committee George Lyon said:

“Liberal Democrats have voted to reduce next year’s EU budget by £7.7 billion compared to 2013. We also fought for an extra £180 million research and innovation funding, of which the UK is one of the biggest beneficiaries.

“It’s astonishing that Labour MEPs opposed this budget, which includes almost £3 billion to tackle youth unemployment and create thousands of jobs across the UK. Labour have shown that they are running scared over Europe, and are as weak and divided in Brussels as they are in Westminster.

“Meanwhile the Tories and UKIP have been side-lined in the budget negotiations from the outset as everyone knows they will just vote against it anyway.

“Only the Liberal Democrats – as the Party of In – are fighting for a smaller budget that delivers for Britain, rather than blindly rejecting any deal in fear of a Eurosceptic backlash.”

Notes to editors

In the deal on the 2014 European Budget, agreed by negotiators from the Council, European Parliament and Commission last week on 13th November, overall spending will total £113.8bn, a 6.7% or £7.7bn cut compared to 2013.

Funding of £2.9bn has been brought into the budget to combat youth unemployment and an extra £178m compared to the Commission’s original proposal is included to support Research and Innovation

Today’s vote is the final stage in the budgetary process and following the adoption of the budget this will now be implemented from January 2014.

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