Blair ChiracI cannot quite believe it, but we actually have a deal on the EU budget this morning. I have just read some of the analysis and – to be honest – I cannot work out why anyone but the British would have agreed to this. A bit of cash has been shaved off the rebate, and some special small allocations have cash have been provided for Central & Eastern Europe. Further, a comprehensive review of the budget has been promised for 2008-2009.

I suppose 2 things prompted a deal: time pressure, and Angela Merkel playing the role of broker rather than just backing up Jacques Chirac as Schröder had typically done. I reckon these heads of state are going to go home and think "Hell, what have we agreed to?"

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