Britain's EU rebate is under threat

Nov. 24, 2012 at 10:38 AM
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BRUSSELS, Nov. 24 (UPI) -- Prime Minister David Cameron said he protected Britain's European Union budget rebate from proposed cuts but predicted efforts to cut the rebate will persist.

"I have successfully defended the rebate, but I will have to go on doing so in future discussions," Cameron said after EU budget talks broke down this week in Brussels, Belgium.

French President Francois Hollande said after the talks ended he would support future efforts to cut Britain's rebate, an idea proposed by EU President Herman Van Rompuy.

Britain's rebate was put into place during former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's era, due to high payments Britain makes to support French farmers in the EU's subsidy system.

Taking away the rebate would cost Britain about $4.8 billion between 2014 and 2020, The Daily Telegraph reported Saturday.

Hollande told reports this week Britain, "through its rebate, has contributions below those of France. He (Cameron) put forward protection of his rebate and his refusal to contribute further."

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