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PM steps up budget diplomacy

PM steps up budget diplomacy

David Cameron has insisted he will not allow the UK’s budget rebate to be reduced at tomorrow's European Council meeting on the EU budget.

Speaking at Prime Minister’s Questions today, Mr Cameron attacked the last Labour government for its decision to negotiate away a portion of the rebate.

“The rebate negotiated by Margaret Thatcher is an incredibly important part of Britain's position in Europe and making sure we get a fair deal and it is absolutely extraordinary that the last government gave away half that rebate and we've never heard one word of apology, one word of regret, that however hard we work in Europe and have been working very hard this week, they cut the rug from under us.”

Catch up on all the action from today's PMQs at our liveblog.

Earlier reports suggested Mr Cameron's negotiations in Brussels could lead to a squeezed budget but a higher UK contribution. With the Prime Minister under intense pressure to cut Britain's share of the bill, diplomats have told the Daily Telegraph that such a result is an option on the negotiating table.

The Prime Minister has also stepped up his diplomatic efforts ahead of tomorrow's meeting with further calls to EU leaders.

Downing Street revealed that David Cameron has phoned European Council president Herman van Rompuy and the Czech prime minister Petr Necas to discuss the forthcoming budget negotiations. It follows the Prime Minister's previous calls to his French, German, Swedish and Polish counterparts.

“The Prime Minister set out our position that European spending cannot be immune from the cuts we are having to make at home,” the Prime Minister's Official Spokesman said.

Mr Van Rompuy is said to have proposed a cap of €940 billion on the next budget.

Number 10 said today of the Van Rompuy proposals: "They are a step in the right direction but they don't go far enough."

Green Box: PM steps up budget diplomacyClick to open

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