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MEPs back plans to cut funds for EU states who weaken rule of law

Vote sets up post-Brexit budget clash with countries accused of damaging democratic values

The European parliament has backed plans to cut EU funds to member states that undermine the rule of law or allow corruption to fester – a move that could raise tensions with the governments in Hungary and Poland, which are accused of weakening judicial independence.

MEPs voted 397 to 158 for a draft law to freeze EU cash if a government was found to be eroding democratic values. The proposals will come into force if backed by EU member states and could lead to a fierce battle between national governments when they discuss the bloc’s €1tn post-Brexit budget later this year.

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