An EU Commission chief’s comments stating that there is ‘no discretion’ on the EU’s £1.7bn surcharge and ‘no discretion either not to apply the penalty interests’ shows that Cameron’s pledge not to pay a sum is ‘pie in the sky’, according to UKIP’s EU Budget Spokesman, Jonathan Arnott MEP.
The comments were made in the EU’s budgetary committee yesterday when UKIP’s MEP quizzed the EU Commission representative over the £1.7bn charge which was landed on the UK taxpayer nearly a fortnight ago.
The Brussels based EU Commission representative said “The regulations say that a member state shall pay in by the 1st December, there is no discretion on the date, there is no discretion on the amount, it has to be the one which has been calculated, and if the payment is not done by the 1st of December there is no discretion either not to apply the penalty interests”.
The charge initially gained an angry reaction from Mr Cameron who said that the figure and deadline were ‘unacceptable’.
Following the meeting, Jonathan Arnott MEP said “There is a clear consensus among the euro elite that the UK taxpayer will be paying the £1.7bn surcharge, if not, we should expect a hefty fine. Cameron’s pledge not to pay a single penny has been left as pie in the sky, and he’s has been left battered and bruised by the Brussels based bureaucrats once again”.
The EU chief’s comments come just over a week after Angela Merkel dismissed Cameron’s hopes of an EU renegotiation over the free movement of workers, with the German Chancellor stating that Germany “would not tamper with the fundamental principles of free movement in the EU”.
Arnott added “Cameron promised to fight for the UK’s interests within the EU since he became Prime Minister in 2010. Since then, he hasn’t managed to get rid of a single stroke of a pen, of a single EU law”.
You can watch the full exchange here: