I don't blame him for putting a bit of spin on the result. But even The Spectator is doubtful:
Here’s what Osborne left out: the UK will still owe the full £1.7 billion, only not all in December, and would be able to quickly offset the cost with its rebate on EU contributions.
EU Commission vice president Kristalina Georgieva explained at a press conference later on Friday that the EU plans to amend its budget rules to allow for flexibility in ‘exceptional years’, when gross income exceeds previous estimates as the UK’s did this budget year. For the UK, Georgieva said this means the payment period for the £1.7 billion sum ‘will be stretched into the next year, and when this happens, then the payment and the rebate on the payment could converge.’But does Osborne need to look so damned pleased with himself?