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UK won't pay "unjustified" bill
24 Oct 2014 14:02
British Prime Minister David Cameron has warned he would not pay an "unacceptable" €2.1bn bill that the European Union had unexpectedly demanded to be paid by December 1.
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"I am not paying that bill on the first of December," Mr Cameron told reporters at an EU summit in Brussels, thumping the lectern as he spoke.
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"If people think that is going to happen they've got another thing coming.
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"We are not suddenly going to take out our chequebook and pay that cheque."
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The budget bust-up raises fresh questions over Britain's vexed EU membership, which Mr Cameron has vowed to put to a referendum in 2017 if he wins a general election next year.
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A clearly furious Mr Cameron insisted repeatedly that Britain, one of the largest contributors to the EU budget, had been treated unacceptably.
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He said the €2.1bn demand came virtually out of the blue from the European Commission.
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"I first learned about this (on Thursday)," he said, "and I immediately set about finding allies such as Italy and the Netherlands," who also face back-bills.
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Making the pill even harder to swallow for Britain, the same budget review gives struggling France a rebate of €1bn, while economic powerhouse Germany gets nearly €800m.
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"We have asked a lot of questions (but) we have not had answers. I will go on asking those questions," Mr Cameron said.
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"It is not an acceptable way to behave and (the EU) should not be surprised when some of its members say it cannot continue like that and that it has got to change."
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