The Straits Times
Published on Feb 08, 2013

Britain's Cameron stands firm in EU budget battle


BRUSSELS (AFP) - Prime Minister David Cameron stood firm on his demand for further cuts in the EU budget on Friday, despite coming under pressure over his pledge to hold a referendum on Britain's membership of the bloc.

Mr Cameron arrived in Brussels on Thursday afternoon in bullish mood, insisting he would not back down in pursuing a reduced seven-year budget for the European Union, demands which caused the last summit in November to collapse.

"When we were last here in November, the numbers that were put forward were much too high. They need to come down. And if they don't come down, there won't be a deal," Mr Cameron told reporters as he arrived.

Last year, Mr Cameron refused to accept the near trillion-euro budget on the table in Brussels, despite EU President Herman Van Rompuy cutting it back to 973 billion euros (S$1.6 trillion) under pressure from London and backers.