While most EU goverments have been forced to freeze or cut their spending drastically as the region grapples with a severe debt crisis, the European Comission is asking for a six percent budget increase.
Many of the big EU countries, including France and Germany, have balked at the funding request, but Britain has been the most hardline in its opposition. UK Prime Minister David Cameron has demanded a budget freeze and threatened to veto any increases.
A veto, says Simon Tilford, chief economist at the Centre for European Reform in London, will raise serious questions about Britain’s EU membership.
“It will be another indication that the country really does seem intent on distancing it self from the EU and perhaps even withdrawing from the union,” Tilford says.