BRITISH disillusionment with the European Union is “the deepest it has ever been”, Foreign Secretary William Hague has warned.
The Richmond MP told a foreign policy forum in Berlin that UK voters feel the EU is a “one way process” with Brussels sucking up powers from the governments of member states.
Mr Hague said: “If we cannot show decision-making can flow back to national parliaments then the system will become democratically unsustainable.”
British people feel the EU is something that is “done to them”, over which they have no say, he added. Mr Hague said the coalition was committed to playing a leading role in the EU but also insisted that its budget had to be “in touch with the real world”.
“People do not understand why there should be massive increases in the EU budget when all EU countries are trying to balance the books at home,” he said.
His comments came as Euro MPs backed a 6.8 per cent rise in EU spending next year and an overall increase of at least five per cent in the EU’s long-term 2014-2020 budget.
British Euro MPs fought the plans but were outnumbered in a Strasbourg vote endorsing European Commission demands for more cash to fund EU policies.
Mr Hague’s remarks drew immediate fire from UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage who said: “If Mr Hague is so aware of the British people’s dislike of the EU why is he, and the Prime Minister, so keen to keep Britain shackled to it?
“Time has proven we are no more than a cash cow whose interests are flagrantly ignored.
“It has become clear that Brussels wants to control everything, from determining national budgets to creating a European army.”
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