Britain's increasing debt burden and poor growth prospects means it cannot abandon austerity for fiscal stimulus measures, the European Commission has warned in its spring economic forecast.
The Brussels analysis of the British economy warns that "growth improvements remain distant" amid high inflation faltering consumer spending, low investment and weak exports at the same time as government debt is growing.
Olli Rehn, the EU's economic and monetary affairs commissioner, warned George Osborne, the Chancellor, that there could be no question of relaxing unpopular austerity measures.
"The public debt level is projected to rise to close to 100pc next year and there is really no case for a discretionary fiscal loosening in the UK. It's important that the UK follows through with consolidation of public finances," he said.