David Cameron announced today at a press conference in Brussels that he “is not going to get out his cheque book” at the request of the European Commission.
“There has been quite a bit of anger about the way we have been treated,” said the Prime Minister, referring to the £1.7bn demand by the EU from UK tax payers.
He reported on the successes he had in increasing the funding to tackle ebola in West Africa and said that was a good use of the aid budget.
But everyone listening was waiting to find out what had happened regarding the bombshell that had been dropped the day before.
“It is frustrating that the European economies aren’t growing faster.” he said.
“Britain has broadly based economic growth of 3 per cent this year.”
“We’re building homes, building businesses; we’re making things again in Britain…with almost 1.8million people in work than the day I became Prime Minister.”
He then went on to express his “downright anger” at the demand from Brussels.
He said the increase in Britain’s contribution to the EU budget was “completely unjustified” and that a “sudden production of a bill for Britain of £1.7bn that is apparently supposed to be paid by the 1st december” was “completely unacceptable and “an unacceptable way to treat one of the biggest contributors to the European Union.”
He told reporters that he had interrupted the meeting this morning and said that before the meeting went any further “this had to be discussed urgently.” He was supported by the Italian, Maltese, Dutch and Greek Prime Ministers along with others present.
“There will be an emergency meeting of finance ministers and I think it’s vital that that happens.” he said, adding
“Now according to the Commission it is an ‘estimate’ not an actual figure.'”
“I am not paying that bill…if people think we are they have another thing coming; it is not going to happen” he added.