EU leaders agree broad lines of budget deal

European leaders have agreed the broad lines of a deal on a seven-year budget that would fix total EU spending at €960bn.

The breakthrough came after 15 hours of intense negotiations between countries in the bloc.

The agreement is expected to strike a balance between the demands of northern European countries such as Britain and the Netherlands that wanted a belt-tightening EU budget, and countries in the south and east that wanted sustained spending on farming subsidies and much-needed infrastructure.

Leaders are expected to continue negotiating in the hope that they can sign off on a final agreement later today.

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