Nov. 23 - European Union leaders failed to reach agreement on Friday on a new seven-year budget for their troubled bloc, calling off talks in less than two days after most countries rejected deeper spending cuts demanded by Britain and its allies. Matt Cowan reports
No deal. An EU summit meant to set out the bloc's budget between 2014 and 2020 has ended without agreement. Talks were called off after most countries rejected deeper spending cuts demanded by Britain and its allies. SOUNDBITE: David Cameron, UK Prime Minister saying (English) "Attempts there might have been to say let's just put the British in a box over there and do a deal without them, that didn't work because there are other countries that I worked with very closely to make sure we are all standing up together for taxpayers and to make sure we have a fair outcome on this budget when we're cutting our budgets at home." Sources said European Council President Herman Van Rompuy made the decision to try again early next year rather than continue negotiating into the weekend. SOUNDBITE: Herman Van Rompuy, European Council president saying (English) "There are still existing divergences of view but that there is a sufficient degree of potential divergence to make an agreement possible in the beginning of next year." Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, the biggest contributor to EU coffers, played down the consequences of failure, having been sceptical from the outset that leaders would reach the unanimity needed the first time around. The last time the EU held its marathon budget negotiations in 2005 it took six months and an acrimonious failed summit at which Britain wielded its veto before a deal was finally found.