British Prime Minister David Cameron Speaks to ABC's Diane Sawyer

DIANE SAWYER: Did it trouble you how tough the president has been? He has said that he doesn't want to see any money being spent on ads -- when so many small businesses are suffering down in the Gulf. At one point, he called BP reckless. At another point, he said he was looking for who's ass to kick. That is a direct quote from the president.

DAVID CAMERON: Look, I don't want to get into a war of words over this. The president and I have spoken about this. We agree it's important BP does those things it should do --

DIANE SAWYER: But did you think this was unhelpful? Did you have any differences with him on this?

DAVID CAMERON: I -- I don't want to, as I say, to get into a war of words. What matters is dealing with the issue. And the issue is, the spill in the gulf, the need to cap the wells, the need to make the payments, rather than get into -- a war of words. I don't want to -- to do that.

I'm interested, and President Obama said this to me himself. I'm interested in not making this a U.S.-U.K. issue. It shouldn't be. BP has 39 percent of its shareholders, I think, in the US and 40 percent in the U.K. It's pretty balanced between the two countries. And as I say, it's in our interests in the long-term that this is -- this company has a strength and stability to be able to make those payments, clear up the spill and continue as a strong and independent oil business.

DIANE SAWYER: As you know, some of the -- some of the estimates, looking down the road, are that over 15 years or even less, the payments required by promises and also by fines and also by the fund for the compensation could be $60 billion to $100 billion. Is that just too much?

DAVID CAMERON: Well, I don't want to speculate on what the number will be.

DIANE SAWYER: Is there a point at which you might intervene and say, "That's -- that's too much?"

DAVID CAMERON: Well, I think there are some areas where we need to be clear that -- we need to be clear about what BP's responsibility is. Cap the well, yes. Clear up the mess, yes. Make compensation -- yes, absolutely. But would it be right to have legislation that independently targets BP rather than other companies? I don't think that -- would be right.

Would it be right to say -- that BP has to pay compensation for -- damages that were nothing to do directly with the spill? I don't think that would be right. So I think we have to be clear about what its responsibility is. And those are discussions, obviously, that BP has -- with the -- with the US administration. And now also -- the key point is there is now -- a legal proceeding underway where BP will rightly have to make its arguments and will have to pay out the compensation it's asked to pay out.

DIANE SAWYER: But the question of what is a direct result, and not is an ambiguous one in some cases and --

DAVID CAMERON: That's right.

DIANE SAWYER: --there are businesses who are going to -- to say, with some justification, "Look, we have losses that," they may be the second, third level of loss, but they are real losses because of the spill.

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