The FINANCIAL — British Prime Minister David Cameron threatened to veto the European Union budget, telling The Sunday Telegraph newspaper he would not stand for "outrageous" attempts to hike it up.
As his Conservative Party's annual conference was about to get underway in Britain's second city Birmingham, Cameron said he would block the budget if it was not in Britain's interest.
He said he would stand up to "outrageous" attempts to increase the EU's overall budget in upcoming negotiations to set total spending for 2014 to 2020.
"On the multi annual financial framework, it would not be acceptable to have large amounts of taxpayers' money going, increases going from European countries to the central budget," Cameron said.
"And so we will fight very hard for that, and we will fight very hard, and won't give up, at all, the UK rebate.
"I feel we're in a strong position, and if it comes to saying no to a deal that isn't right for Britain, I’ll say no."
"It would be outrageous to go and see vast increases in the European budget while we're having to cut things here at home."
He said the Liberal Democrats, the junior partners in the governing coalition, were in agreement.
Cameron also floated a "bold thinking" plan for the 27-member bloc to have two separate budgets — one for the 17 nations using the euro currency and another for the other 10, Britain included.
"The argument about the future of Europe is opening up," he said.
While such a plan could save Britain money by funding fewer common institutions, it could effectively establish a two-tier EU.
He also said he wanted to give voters a say on Britain's relationship with the EU, though that may come in the form of manifesto pledges at the general election due in 2015, rather than a referendum.
"I want to set out as Conservative leader… a new settlement, and then we'll seek fresh consent for that new settlement," Cameron said.
"That could be via a referendum or it could be via a general election, depending on the timings of all these things."
Meanwhile Home Secretary Theresa May called for a review of the EU's freedom of movement directive — which guarantees freedom of movement between countries — in order to prevent a new influx of immigrants from the continental Europe.
As EUbusiness announced, she has asked Foreign Secretary William Hague to include the fundamental EU principle in the government's strategic review of Britain's relations with the bloc.
"We are looking at this whole area of the abuse of the freedom of movement," the interior minister told The Sunday Times newspaper.