David Cameron vows to protect Thatcher's EU rebate


David Cameron will not accept a cut in Britain's rebate from Brussels as he tries to secure a freeze in the European Union budget, Downing Street said today.

The Prime Minister's spokesman said the rebate, negotiated by Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s, was "fully justified" and would be protected.

The prospect of a reduction in the rebate has been raised by the European Commission and European Council president Herman van Rompuy under proposals for the EU budget, which will be the subject of tortuous negotiations among EU leaders gathering in Brussels tomorrow.

"We are going to protect our rebate because we think it's fully justified," Mr Cameron's spokesman said today.

The Prime Minister is insisting on at least a real-terms freeze in the total EU budget for 2014-20.

But he faces stiff resistance from countries which are overall winners from the way EU money is shared out - mostly poorer countries in the south and east of Europe - as well as theEuropean Commission, which is arguing for a significant increase in its budget.

Revised proposals by Mr van Rompuy were an improvement but still contained further room for cuts, Downing Street said today.

"While van Rompuy's proposals are a step in the right direction, we believe there are areas where further cuts can still be made," Mr Cameron's spokesman said.

"There are various areas of spending that make up this EU budget and the current proposals see significant rises in certain areas and we think there is room to cut."

Mr van Rompuy has tabled proposals to put a ceiling of 973 billion euros (£783bn) - at 2011 values - on the amount the EU can commit to spending over the seven years between 2014 and 2020.

This would represent a real-terms reduction compared to the 993bn euro (£799bn) limit for 2007-13 and is well below the Commission's request for 1,033bn euros (£831bn) - also both at 2011 values.

However, the council president has not put a figure on the maximum amount which could actually be spent, which tends to come in rather lower than the commitment ceiling, and was 943bn euros (£759bn) over the period 2007-13.


Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
2015 General Election

Poll of Polls

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk