British Prime Minister David Cameron warned on Thursday that there would be no EU budget deal without further cuts to proposals made at a summit in November that collapsed in disagreement.
"When we were last here in November, the numbers that were put forward were much too high. They need to come down. And if they don't come down, there won't be a deal," Cameron told reporters at a start of talks in Brussels.
The British premier refused to accept the trillion-euro European Union budget for the next seven years proposed at last year's special summit, despite EU President Herman Van Rompuy cutting it back to 973 billion euros ($1.32 trillion) under pressure from London.
Cameron warned again on Thursday that "the European Union should not be immune from the sorts of pressures that we've had, to reduce spending... that we're all having to do right across Europe".
Since November, Cameron has caused further divisions with his EU partners with his promise last month to renegotiate the terms of Britain's EU membership and to put that new settlement to the British people in a referendum before 2017.
Cameron's promise won political capital at home, particularly among anti-Europeans in his increasingly restive Conservative party, but he will need the support of fellow EU leaders to carry out the reforms he wants.