Brits are told every year- especially by the anti-EU press- that the EU fails to pass its own audit test. It turns out that this is not strictly true. Each year mistakes and errors are found, but, it turns out that these are most often in the 80% of the EU budget that is administered by the national governments. In fact, the EU budget turns out to be in a far more orderly position than the "failure of the EU court of auditors to approve the budget" implies.
David Cameron intends to reduce- if possible- the total EU budget, and this, in the context of the large austerity that national governments are being forced to impose sounds wholly reasonable. However, Mr. Cameron, together with the other EU leaders, has been asking EU agencies to do a lot more in connection with the crisis that the EU faces. Several of the Eurozone governments are also asking the EU to do more- and it can not do this without increases in the budget. Thus, the challenge to reduce or even simply freeze the budget is probably a literally impossible task- and is, it turns out, certainly not a reasonable position for the British government to adopt, especially since they have clearly failed to inform the British electorate what they have already agreed to.
The fact is that there is now a huge information gap. British voters are not being given the information about what the EU does and how it does this. Furthermore any attempt by- say the BBC- to provide explanations is denounced as EU propaganda by the Europhobes. It is easier for the media to avoid the issue, even though it has left a black hole of an information vacuum about the EU, into which the right wing Tories and UKIP send a torrent of their own inaccurate propaganda.
The result was the utterly disgraceful spectacle of the completely unprincipled Labour Party under Ed Miliband seeking, for their own short term ends, to make Mr. Cameron's position even more difficult by voting with the know-nothing wing of the Europhobe Tories. If I ever think about giving the adenoidal leader of the opposition any benefit of the doubt in the future, his mealy-mouthed display of the uttermost hypocrisy during the Commons debate will forever still my sense of mercy. The fact that he allies himself with the most poisonous of the Brownite micro-managers- Ed Balls- merely confirms that whatever principles he may adhere to will always be abandoned in time of short term political need- as with AV. Labour under Miliband are as cynical bunch of hypocrites as has been seen in British politics since Disraeli retired.
The Europhobes are wrong in their judgments, but at least they genuinely believe in their mistakes. Labour knew that what it was doing was against the national interest, but did it anyway- and that is what made it such a contemptible display.