PM: EU budget rise is 'wrong'

David Cameron has said he believes it would be "wrong" for the European Union budget to increase "at a time when we are having to make difficult decisions." He is holding talks with the German chancellor Angela Merkel at Number 10.

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German Chancellor: We must use our money effectively

German Chancellor Angela Merkel refused to be drawn on whether she supports a budget freeze. Credit: APTN

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said it was important that Europe spends its money effectively, but would not be drawn on whether she supports a budget freeze. Speaking through an interpreter she said:

"I beg leave to first discuss this with the Prime Minister. What is in my interests is that we use our money effectively."

"Not all of the expenditure that has been earmarked has been used with great efficiency... We need to address that."

Cameron: It would be wrong for the EU budget to increase

Prime Minister David Cameron said this evening he believed it would be wrong for the European Union budget to continue to rise. Speaking at a joint press conference with the German premier Angela Merkel he said:

"I believe it would be wrong for the European budget to increase at a time when we are having to make difficult decisions not just in Britain but all over the European Union to get our budgets back to balancing."

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Prime Minister welcomes German Chancellor to Number 10

Prime Minister David Cameron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel host a joint press conference in Downing Street Credit: ITV News

David Cameron said he would fight for "a good deal" for taxpayers on proposed changes to the European Union budget, as he welcomed German Chancellor Angela Merkel to Downing Street for talks.

Mr Cameron said the two leaders had a lot of common ground, saying they were "both believers that European countries have to live within their means, as well as the European Union".

No 10: Reaching agreement on EU Budget will be 'difficult'

A Downing Street spokeswoman refused to go into detail about what the Prime Minister's negotiation position will be with the German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Speaking at a regular Westminster media briefing, she said:

We have been very clear about what the UK position is, but I am not going to get into detail about what any negotiating position might be.

We have always said it is going to be difficult.

You have got 27 countries sitting round the table and they all want different things from the budget, so it is always going to be difficult to get agreement.

We are going to be arguing for an outcome that is in Britain's interests.

– Downing Street spokeswoman

Labour: EU budget should be focus of Cameron-Merkel talks

At David Cameron's dinner this evening, he should begin the work that he should have started months ago, trying to build alliances and win support in Europe for a budget deal that is good for Europe and best for Britain.

Parliament has given him a mandate to push for a real-terms cut in the EU budget and that is what he should focus on at today's meeting with Chancellor Merkel.

Unfortunately, David Cameron's threatening of vetos before talks have even begun will mean today's dinner will likely be spent trying to patch things up instead of really moving things forward."

– Shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander

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Cameron: Proposed EU budget 'completely ludicrous'

In less than three weeks, a crunch EU summit will be held to determine the next long-term spending plans for Brussels.

Prime Minister David Cameron has said he will make a "very robust and strong argument" for a deal in Britain's interests and that forces the Commission to match cost-cutting in member states.

David Cameron has accused Brussels of "doing nothing" to tighten its own belt. Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA

Mr Cameron said:

"Every other country in Europe has had to take difficult decisions. We cut ministers' pay, froze it for a parliament, reduced the size of the civil service, slashed the number of quangos, cut billions out of central budgets.

"We are not doing that in Britain to see the European Union doing nothing similar itself, so we will be taking a very tough approach."

Cameron: Eurozone should have its own budget

British taxpayers should not have to foot the bill for the problems of the eurozone, David Cameron has said ahead of a meeting with the German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

If the eurozone wants to have its own budget, it should have its own budget.

And if they want to have fiscal transfers they can have fiscal transfers, if they want to channel more money to euro members that have difficulties, they can channel more money to euro members that have difficulties.

But they shouldn't be using the European Union budget as a proxy for that.

– Prime Minister David Cameron

Cameron to hold talks with German Chancellor

Prime Minister David Cameron and the German Chancellor Angela Merkel will hold talks at Downing Street this evening.

It comes less than three weeks before a crunch summit to determine the next long-term spending plans for Brussels.

David Cameron with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at a previous meeting in Berlin

Mr Cameron has said British taxpayers should not have to foot the bill for the problems of the eurozone.

Speaking ahead of the meeting, he said:

"I look forward to my conversation with Angela. We always have good, frank, open conversations and I will be making that argument with vigour.

"I understand the difficulties of the euro but the European Union budget is for all 27 members of the EU and we shouldn't be using the European Union budget to make up for difficulties and problems in the eurozone."

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