Labour MEPs push for EU budget reform to deliver growth, jobs and innovation for the UK

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Labour MEPs voted today against a number of measures which would have seen the overall EU budget increase. They voted to focus the EU budget more heavily upon investment for growth and jobs and against proposed rises for agricultural subsidies and administration.

Clare Moody MEP, Labour's European spokesperson on the EU budget, said:

"We voted today for the EU to do more of what it is good at, working collectively to deliver real benefits and developments in technology, like the Composite Centre in Bristol in my constituency, where cutting edge research is delivering for industry.

"We voted for investment for growth, for projects like The Hub in Lockleaze where small businesses and social housing have benefitted from funding that wouldn't have happened without the EU, and voted for regional funding that goes directly to communities, communities like Cornwall, that are best able to determine how to deliver for people locally.

"These are areas where we are more than the sum of our parts, where the EU makes a real difference and I'm proud that Labour MEPs have stood up for our constituents in these areas today."

Ms Moody added:

"David Cameron has no strategy to deliver an EU budget that benefits the UK, he is alienated and has failed to deliver reform or cut areas such as the common agricultural policy.

"He has also failed to put an end to the parliament's wasteful second seat in Strasbourg, a shambolic waste of money that the Conservatives helped create. More than £150 million a year is spent on having a monthly plenary session in Strasbourg - with the 818km round trip creating 19,000 tonnes of CO2 each session.

"Labour MEPs want to see real budget reform in the EU we want to see an end to wasteful agricultural subsidies, an end to vanity projects like the European House of History. The monthly trip to Strasbourg that John Major's government signed us up to also needs to be abolished. It is important that added value is placed at the centre of EU budget decision making, we want to see areas that do not bring real benefits to our constituents cut.

"I know from my Labour colleagues that EU investment in our regions, our businesses and in our Universities is delivering for our communities and for the UK as a whole. More needs to be done to ensure we make the absolute most of the many opportunities EU membership brings us."

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