The leaders of the 27 member states plus Croatia – set to join the EU in July – will begin their two-day summit in Brussels on Thursday (7 February). Following the customary exchange of views with Martin Schulz, the president of the European Parliament, the leaders will hold a first plenary session on the EU's next seven-year budget, followed by bilateral consultations.

Cuts are planned for research, cross-border infrastructure, development aid and foreign policy development 

Britain, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark are pushing for a lower budget than that proposed.

Expect Britain to make its voice heard very strongly.  Britain wants a real-terms freeze in EU spending to reflect the harsh economic climate across Europe, which would involve more cuts. Cameron will also seek to defend Britain's rebate that is worth € 3 billion pounds per year. Britain is going to take a tough stance and at the end there might not be any deal at all.  

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