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Osborne to fight EU over £1.7bn tax bill

Chancellor George Osborne is to argue against paying an extra £1.7bn to the EU s at a meeting of European finance ministers in Brussels today.

The BBC reports the EU has set a deadline of 1 December for the UK to make the payment, though Prime Minister David Cameron has stated this will not be met.

The Chancellor will demand a reduction in the size of the surcharge, as well as a later deadline for any payment, but a full and final agreement is not expected to be reached today.

Separately, the Financial Times reports that Confederation of British Industry director general John Cridland has urged chief executives to stem heightened euroscepticism in the wake of the EU surcharge and Cameron’s plans to limit European migration.

Cridland says UK business leaders must learn from the Scottish referendum, and argues they must speak out to prevent the benefits of EU membership “being drowned out” by anti-immigration headlines.

He says: “It is quite odd the voice of business isn’t being heard in the debate about freedom of movement – it expects the CBI to do the heavy lifting.”


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There are 4 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Very sad that Osborne and the Tories have agreed to pay surcharge. All they are doing now is arranging a discount and a payment plan.

    I would think they would do more for the British public if they, as Cameron first promised, refused point blank to pay this levy.

  2. Grey Haired Underwriter 10th November 2014 at 11:29 am

    What I don’t understand is why the UK as a major net contributor to the EU doesn’t use its clout in this respect. If we were to withdraw from the EU there has to be a question mark as to how the EU could continue to fund itself (let’s face it there are few EU countries that could replace that sort of money). Money talks so why don’t we use the leverage that we have got more effectively.

  3. @Grey haired underwriter. That’s an excellent point and one must question why our current MP’s keep rolling over and allowing the EU to continually use the UK as a piggy bank to give pocket money to the rest of the EU.

  4. I always thought that bribery was frowned upon within the EU but what we effectively have is a situation whereby if a European country wants to do business with countries in the EU without too many trade barriers in place they have to pay into the bottomless pit of the EU budget.

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