The attempt by the European Union to force Britain to pay an extra £1.7 billion into EU coffers is “outrageous” and will push the UK closer to leaving the European Union, according to Syed Kamall, Conservative MEP for London.
Syed Kamall said:
“Britain is the only EU country to have taken the really hard economic decisions and is being penalised for having a steadily improving economy. Meanwhile, France is rewarded for being an economic basket case. This is outrageous.”
The European Commission claims that part of the reason for the huge sum demanded is that the UK economy has grown faster than anyone realised. Their calculations include contributions from illegal drugs and prostitution, despite no firm agreement on what these activities add to the economy in real terms. Grave suspicions surround the validity of the European figures, given that these are the same economists and statisticians who failed to spot the financial crisis approaching in 2008.
“This is Europe demanding money with menaces. I congratulate the Prime Minister for his refusal to pay. This move will do enormous damage to the EU’s already crumbling reputation in the UK. It’s an astonishing own goal by the European Commission less than three years before the UK holds a referendum on whether or not to remain a member of the EU.”