UKIP Vote Against EU Budget Deal

This one will surprise a few people: UKIP’s MEPs have voted against the EU budget in today’s vote. Labour sources have this afternoon been stressing to Guido how their own MEPs had voted with the Tories, but that hasn’t stopped UKIP from opposing the deal on the grounds that it didn’t offer a big enough cut. A senior UKIP source tells Guido:

“Fact is that this is a posturing piece of flam from the parliament. UKIP voted against such a paltry cut, we demand a 100% cut in Britain’s contribution to the EU’s flabby, wasteful budget.”

One way to stir things up…

UPDATE: Roger Helmer explains the UKIP dilemma:

“Our first instinct of course is to vote against.  We don’t want to be in the EU, and we don’t want any EU budget at all.  No matter how little the EU costs us, it’s still too much. But on the other hand, we’ve always called on the EU to spend less, so how can we vote against a reduced budget?  Just suppose, for the sake of argument, that in a tight vote our dozen UKIP votes tipped the scales and defeated the proposal.  If no agreement is reached, the default position is a real-terms freeze — so the budget would go up in nominal terms.  How do we fancy a headline “UKIP vote leads to increased EU budget”? Tough call.  But of course there’s an up-side in terms of voter perception, if the budget deal falls.  The news for the voters would then be “Member States agreed a cut, but the European parliament effectively vetoed it”.  That should increase public anger and resentment against the EU and all its works.”

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