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Cameron vows to keep British EU rebate

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November 22 2012, 7:41PM

British Prime Minister David Cameron has arrived for contentious European Union budget talks in Brussels, vowing to fight efforts to cut his country's rebate.

"We're going to be negotiating very hard to get a good deal for the British taxpayers and to keep the British rebate," he told reporters on Thursday.

Britain's then prime minister Margaret Thatcher obtained a budget rebate in the 1980s on the grounds that London was paying too much towards the bloc. The rebate was worth 3.6 billion euros ($A4.49 billion) last year.

Cameron has threatened to veto the EU's 2014-2020 budget unless spending is frozen in real terms, saying that at a time of austerity at home the EU must also make cuts.

"It's quite wrong for EU to propose more spending," he repeated on Thursday in Brussels ahead of the two-day summit aimed at agreeing a trillion-euro budget that has bitterly divided a 27-nation union already mired in crisis.