Cameron vows to get a better European Union deal for Britain

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David Cameron last night promised to fight for a “good deal” for British taxpayers on the European Union budget as he welcomed German chancellor Angela Merkel to Number 10 for talks.

The Prime Minister declined to say whether he was urging her to back the real-terms budget cut that the Commons voted for last week.

Mrs Merkel refused to say whether she would even support a freeze, which Mr Cameron is pressing for at a crunch summit later this month.

But, ahead of their meeting, Mr Cameron said they were “both believers that European countries have to live within their means, as well as the European Union”.

Asked whether he would be urging his German counterpart to support an EU budget cut or a freeze, he said: “I believe it would be wrong for the European budget to increase at a time when we are having to make difficult decisions not just in Britain, but all over the European Union to get our budgets back to balancing.”

The Prime Minister had earlier flown to a refugee camp on the Syrian border to witness conditions. Britain will hold talks with armed Syrian rebels in a bid to unite the opposition to president Bashar al-Assad.