EU Politix is reporting UK Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott as telling a plenary session of the EU’s Committee of the Regions that London is “strongly committed” to finding agreement on the EU budget before the end of 2005. He is quoted as saying “We can not change agriculture in the short term.” and “We have put our abatement on the table. It is not the best way to spend European money”. If confirmed at the actual summit this would be news. This is also being linked to the establishment of some kind of fund to offset the industrial impact of globalisation and offshoring.
However I remain sceptical both on whether there is this dis-connect between the budget and agricultural reform in reality (remember opening talks with Croatia was not – *definitely not* – linked with the agreement to start negotiations with Turkey) and about the advisability of the UK taking this approach. Still, maybe this has something to do with it.