EU Seeks Extra £1.7bn From UK Economy

A surcharge which Brussels blames on Britain's strengthening economy will add a fifth to the UK's annual £8.6bn contribution.


Britain is facing a demand from the European Union for an extra £1.7bn because of the success of the economy.

The increase would add almost a fifth to the UK's annual contribution of £8.6bn.

A spokesperson for the European Commission said it was fair because it was like personal taxation - the more a person earns, the more they have to pay.

Commission spokesperson Patrizio Fiorilli said: "Britain's contribution reflects an increase in wealth, just as in Britain you pay more to the Inland Revenue if your earnings go up."

The demand is intended to reflect improvements to Britain's economy since 1995.

The change in each state's contribution is a result of changes in the way the EU calculates gross national income.

A Commission spokesman said it was mainly due to the fact that the economic strength of EU's member states had increased or decreased relative to each other.

Preliminary figures seen by the Financial Times suggest that Britain is facing the largest adjustment in the amount it is required to pay compared to other members states.

The Netherlands, another country that is being asked to pay more, is being asked for an extra £509m.

By contrast, France is due to receive a rebate of £0.8bn, Germany £618m, and Poland £250m.

Britain's surcharge is due for payment on 1 December - just days after the crunch Rochester and Strood by-election.

The vote to decide who takes the seat hangs on a knife edge with David Cameron's Tories struggling to fight off a challenge from anti-EU Ukip.

Mr Cameron held talks on Thursday evening with Dutch counterpart Mark Rutte, who is also facing a large demand for more cash, on what can be done to challenge the demands.

The surcharges are likely to overshadow a European Council summit in Brussels, where Mr Cameron is meeting leaders of the 27 other EU States, some of which are looking forward to reductions in their contributions.

Several Conservatives MEPs have already spoken out against the surcharge, saying Britain is being punished for its success.

Downing Street said the UK will be challenging the demand.

A source said: "It's not acceptable to just change the fees for previous years and demand them back at a moment's notice.

"The European Commission was not expecting this money and does not need this money and we will work with other countries similarly affected to do all we can to challenge this."
Is it me, or does it seem the EU makes it up as it goes along?


War Hero
Hang on. Let me get this right.

We, the UK are now being penalised for having an economic plan that has worked and for being the top economy in Europe. France who are falling to bits at the seams are being rewarded with a rebate?

Im with UKIP on this one.

Only a fool and a mad man would pay the extra money.
Cameron should just grow a set and tell the French and Germans (because they are driving force behind this) to **** off.
Farage couldn't write better campaign material if he tried.

This demonstrates the complete denial of the EU that there is anything wrong. While they sit around smirking when Farage speaks, quietly taking the piss, they think they are the all seeing all powerful entity who must be obeyed no matter what.

Tricky one for CMD. Does he go straight to telling them to foxtrot oscar.

Or does he wait until UKIP's support swells by another few hundred thousand and he gets his arse handed to him in Strood and Rochester before doing so.

Thatcher would have been wielding the handbag saying no, no no. Dave has the opportunity to claw some support back from UKIP but he will need the balls and a similiar 'Thatcher' moment to do it.

If anything it shows the hundreds of years of resentment of our Continental Cousins. France and Germany have been at different times through history natural enemies of Britain but have never been able to subjugate her.

War it not waged on the battlefield these days, it is done in the World of political advantage and wielding of a power that forces all citizens to pay.
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£1.7 billion? Is that all? Lets round it off to a nice £2.0 billion shall we? The sooner we're out the better.
I take it Germany paid extra for all of the years they perfomed well then?
According to some analyst on R4 this morning the increase is in part due to the EU's assessment of our GDP now includes drug-dealing and prostitution!

Well done to all of you that have contributed - can we now ask that you pay VAT and taxes on your, ahem .. activities.
There is a gaping open goal in front of David Cameron here. A straight "no we won't pay" will put the ball in the net.

Unfortunately it looks like he will hoof the ball into the stands by shaving a percentage off the payment. He will then claim a moral victory losing many more votes as a result.
Anybody would think they actually want us to leave


This from the Guardian.

"Eurostat arrived at the €2.1bn figure on the basis of new methods of calculating member states’ GNI since 1995, taking account of previously unreported or under-reported black economy elements, such as drug dealing and consumption or the sex industry"

Two points, firstly tax is not gathered on illegal activities so how can drug dealing and prostitution be taken in to account and how is it a quantifiable figure as now one knows the true figure?

I really do think the EU is taking the proverbial and should do one, however in a few weeks time once its a bit quieter CMD will sigh the check like a good little boy.


It does smack slightly of "What's mine is mine and what's yours - well, that's mine, too," doesn't it?!

This is all bubbling away in the media on the morning Farage does his LBC moan-in. Is it too early to be tucking into the Butterkist?

They were talking about how the Lee Rigby memorial won't say "Lee Rigby" on it when my alarm sparked up this morning, with most contributors pointing out that this was yet another example of how Labour (who control the relevant council) are out of touch, etc. All the "Westminster Three" have been out of touch and out of step with the public for a long time and whether it's a "little" issue such as the Rigby memorial or a huge one such as the EU money-grab (how many years in a row have the auditors failed to sign off the accounts now?) they just can't see why UKIP keep going from strength to strength.

Dave will bluster about standing up to Brussels and saying "Enough is enough" and how we'll have an in/out referendum if he's still prime minister in 2017 whilst he sends Osborne off to quietly hand over the cheque.

And then they'll all noisily send an eyebrow up their foreheads as even more votes and more of their MPs go to UKIP...
So why are they now getting a rebate?
Not knowing the entire ins and out I can't answer with authority but going by what has been said regarding the reasons I would guess that it's because there is less of a "black" economy in Germany, also 600m isn't such a big drop from 22+ Billion total contributions.

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